Now Available for Preorder

Hey, Readers. There were times when I thought this day would never come. Many of you have followed me on this journey. More than likely, you never thought it would happen either.

Today, I’m happy to announce Menagerie, my collection of short stories, is available now for preorder on Amazon.

Because I’m not superstitious, there are thirteen stories. The release date is Friday, January 13. Thirteen generous bloggers have offered to host me on a thirteen-stop tour. By the way, my black cat Little Bit approves of this. Come to think of it, so does my Tuxedo cat, Tucker.

If you’d like to preorder your copy, just click on the link below. Thanks in advance for your support.

Preorder Link


King’s. The Tower of London. Glass. What do these have in common?

Each is a famous menagerie.

While this Menagerie doesn’t focus on exotic animals, it does contain a collection of stories that explore various trials people face and how their reactions shape their worlds.

Survivors of a haunted bridge. Women who wait while their husbands fight a war. Former partners reuniting to solve a cold-case murder.

These are just three of the thirteen stories in this compendium, encompassing past and present, natural and supernatural, legend and reality. The genres and timelines are varied, but there’s a little something for everyone who enjoys reading about simpler times and small-town life.

Book Review: Genuine Deceit

Happy first Tuesday of December! Another year is almost on the books. Can you believe it? I’m happy to say that I exceeded my Good Reads challenge for the year. More about that later this month, but today I want to share a review of another new to me author. I love it when a book grabs hold and doesn’t let go and I hope to see more publications by this author.

My Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The title alone says it all. How can deceit be genuine? Yet Reagan Asher soon learns that everything she held dear is not what it seems.

Upon learning of her grandmother’s brutal murder, Reagan returns to her hometown. Her friend Mattie enlists the help of her brother-in-law Aiden, a former Navy SEAL to look after Reagan while she’s in town.

When a second break-in occurs in her grandmother’s house, Reagan and Aiden set out to discover what the killer was after. The discovery of jewelry, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, lead them across the country in an effort to learn who hid the jewelry and why.

Reagan is torn between her feelings for Aiden and her “boyfriend” who shows up unexpectedly. There are plenty of twists and turns that kept me in suspense until the end.

A great mystery that will keep you turning the pages until the surprising conclusion.

Cover Reveal and Request #newrelease

Good morning, readers. There were times I thought this day would never arrive. I’ve wanted to publish a book of short stories for who knows how many years. When I began writing them in the fall of 2021, I expected to publish them in the spring. Then came summer, then fall, and… You get the picture.

The working title of this collection was A Book of Shorts, but I needed something better. A huge thanks to Staci Troilo for brainstorming with me to come up with something that would fit this mixed-genre collection.

When I think of the word, menagerie, a group of animals first comes to mind. Merriam-Webster also defines a menagerie as a varied mixture. Hence the title.

And now, for the cover reveal.

Menagerie is a collection of thirteen short stories. The shortest is around 3000 words, and the longest is around 9000. The genres include mystery and suspense, contemporary/family fiction, and ghost fiction. There is one dual-timeline story. While some are set during the present day, several of the stories take place during the 1960s, 70s, and 80s.

It’s my hope this collection has a little something for everyone.


  • Understand a young girl’s confusion when she suspects her brother is hiding a dark secret
  • Share the suspense as two partners reunite to solve a thirteen-year-old murder
  • Visit a neglected cemetery at dusk where a ghost is said to reside
  • Discover the reason for a family’s mysterious disappearance
  • Feel the bond between a lonely cowboy and a solitary wolf
  • Realize that life in the music world isn’t always what it seems
  • Learn the legend of a haunted bridge
  • Find out progress isn’t always for the best
  • Experience the emotions of two women while their husbands are away at war
  • Pay tribute to a fallen hero fifty-one years after his death
  • Take a whitewater rafting trip and meet a woman with a mysterious past
  • Spend a week away from the everyday pressures of life
  • Accept a ride from a friendly truck driver

Release Date and Blog Tour

Because I’m not superstitious, I plan to release this collection of thirteen stories on January 13, 2023. In case you’re wondering that’s on Friday.

I also plan a blog tour of thirteen stops beginning the following Tuesday, January 17, which will continue through February 28.

I already have ten of those slots filled. If you are interested in hosting me for one of the last three posts in late February, just drop an email to Thanks in advance to anyone who can host.

Book Review: The Premonition at Withers Farm

Happy Tuesday, everyone. I’m coming off a semi-blogging break. I read a few books last week, including The Premonition at Withers Farm. Jaime Jo Wright is a new to me author.

My Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I always enjoy a dual-timeline story, and The Premonition at Withers Farm came highly recommended.

The book focuses on two women—Perliett, who lived in the early twentieth century, and Maggie in modern times.

Perliett is a self-proclaimed healer who often butts heads with the town physician George Wasiak. Her mother is a spiritualist who tries to summon the deceased relatives of grieving families. The book opens when George calls upon Perliett to help prepare the body of Eunice Withers who was found dead of multiple stab wounds in a nearby cornfield. Not long afterward, Eunice’s younger sister is also murdered.

In the present day, Maggie Wasiak and her husband, Trent, buy an old farmhouse that was once part of the Withers farm. Maggie suffers from depression due to having four miscarriages. She’s apprehensive about living in the house—the basement’s foundation was made of broken sections of old gravestones.

Shortly after they move in, Trent discovers the body of a young woman who was also a murder victim. Maggie starts to see visions of deceased people. She tries to hide the truth from Trent, as well as her best friend. In the meantime, Trent is also hiding things, including the fact the murdered woman is his cousin.

Maggie soon learns of the 1910 unsolved killings and that the murdered women lived on their farm. As she and her friend look for clues, they discover evidence of a woman who went missing in the 1980s. Are all the events connected, and if so, how?

This is a page-turner and the author kept me guessing until near the end. As a note, this book is Christian fiction, and I wondered how Wright would handle a character summoning the dead as well as another one seeing visions of dead people. I thought she did an admirable job that would satisfy readers of the genre. It’s also a good “ghost” story for those who enjoy those types of books.

April Book Reviews Part Two

Hey, everyone. I posted the first part of my April reviews last week. If you missed that post, you can find it here. Now for the second half.

Means to Deceive

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This was my first time reading anything by author Alex Craigie. I’m glad I did.

If I had to summarize this book in one word, that word would be “wow!”

Gwen Meredith left her job and returned home in order to help care for her aging grandmother who is in the early stages of dementia. She takes a job as a learning support assistant in a local school. On the last day of the school year, she manages to make not only one but two, enemies. When a misinterpreted photo of her appears on social media, her problems really begin.

The situation quickly escalates—graffiti spray-painted on her car, weed killer used in her garden, dead goldfish in the backyard pond. Gwen also has a past event that has haunted her since childhood. She has support from her older brother Gethin, who comes to stay for a few days. There’s also a new neighbor, Ben, whom she becomes romantically interested in.

The book starts as a slow burn, but the suspense and tension increase until I didn’t want to put it down.

Although I figured out the culprit, the author threw in plenty of red herrings that kept me second-guessing. And the ending? You just need to read for yourself.

You can bet I’ll be reading more books from this author.

Amazon Link

Carolina Moonset

Rating: 5 out of 5.

After reading Mae Clair’s review of this book, I immediately went to Net Galley to request an advanced reader copy. The book releases on May 31.

I almost always enjoy stories when there is an unsolved mystery from the past, so I was drawn to this one. Carolina Moonset did not disappoint.

Joey Green returns to Beaufort, South Carolina to visit his aging parents. He immediately recognizes something is wrong with his father. Marshall Green has been diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia. His short-term memory is practically non-existent, but he can remember things from long ago in vivid detail. Marshall is also starting to hallucinate, another symptom of the disease.

The stress of caring for her husband has taken its toll on Carol Green. When she has an opportunity to accompany a friend to Florida for a Pickleball tournament, Joey encourages her to go, saying he’ll care for his father.

But when a prominent citizen of Beaufort is murdered, police suspect Marshall may be responsible. He hadn’t tried to hide his dislike of the man and his entire family. What’s worse is that an antique gun belonging to Marshall turns up missing and police determine it’s the same type of gun used in the murder.

Carolina Moonset is not only a murder mystery, but there is also romance, family dynamics, and enduring friendships. Both the major and minor characters are well-developed. The mystery of the past probably intrigued me the most, but I also was eager to learn the identity of the present-day killer.

The book has a comfortable pace—not exactly a page-turner, but neither a slow burn. I found it just right for the genre and recommend it to anyone who enjoys not only a good mystery but also for the enduring family dynamics.

Thanks to Net Galley and Macmillan-Tor/Forge for an advanced reader copy.

Amazon Pre-order Link

The Bones of Amoret

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Arthur Herbert is a new to me author. I learned of The Bones of Amoret after reading a review by Jan Sikes.

The book is set in a small west Texas town near the Mexico border and takes place in the early 1980s. Those two things alone were enough to pique my interest.

Noah Grady, the main character, is a doctor who is beloved by many. He has a good heart and does a lot to help the people of the community, particularly the Mexican immigrants. The story is told from Noah’s reflections forty years later in a conversation between him and an unknown reporter.

In 1982, Blaine Beckett, one of Amoret’s residents, goes missing. His burned-out Jeep was found in a dry creek near a box canyon outside of town. There is no sign of Blaine. The local sheriff investigates, and we soon learn that Noah has secrets, one of which is that he carried on an affair with Beckett’s wife. Because of this, he briefly becomes a suspect but is quickly ruled out. After all, there isn’t a body. Eventually, the sheriff surmises Beckett chose to disappear.

But in the meantime, there are plenty of events that keep a reader guessing. Besides his medical practice, Noah helps illegal immigrants cross into Texas. On one run, when a young man who is nearly dead of dehydration is found carrying drugs, it could cause a problem. Noah, with his good heart, can’t leave the man to die.

Shortly afterward, Noah and his family become targets of someone bent on revenge. Is it the drug cartel or is Beckett involved? The author lays out plenty of events that keep the reader guessing. Near the end, we learn Noah’s biggest secret of all, which came as a total surprise to me.

The book is well written, and the descriptions of the Texas landscape are superb. Herbert did a fantastic job of capturing small town life in the early 1980s. The characters are well developed. Of note, there are times when Noah jumps back to the present day in his conversation. The first time this occurred, it jarred me a bit, but once I realized what he was doing, the story flowed. After all, you’d expect an eighty-four-year-old to digress at times.

I’m confident I’ll be reading more books by this author.

Amazon Link

The Resort

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Wrapping up my review for this month is a quick and fun read.

I picked up a free copy of this book after seeing a friend’s recommendation. The Resort is a fast read—perfect for the beach or a lazy afternoon.

Three couples, a single woman, and a single man are invited to spend a week at a brand-new resort with all expenses paid before it opens to the public. They are treated to a life of luxury—gourmet meals, spa treatments, and exclusive shopping excursions.

Told from the point of view of the four females, we soon learn that each of their lives aren’t what they seem. Some of the characters are likable, others are despicable, and one of them is downright creepy. The suspense builds, and the ending surprised me.

The book had mixed reviews—some readers liked it, others hated it, but I found it satisfactory—enough that I finished it in an afternoon.

Amazon Link