Music Monday and Doesn’t Remind Me #GuitarSolo

Many thanks to musician and friend, Ian Esche, who introduced me to Audioslave and this song. I knew little about the band, but I cried the first time I watched the video for “Doesn’t Remind Me.”

Audioslave was an American band formed by then-former Soundgarden lead singer, Chris Cornell and then-former Rage Against the Machine’s guitarist Tom Morello.

It’s Morello’s guitar you hear in the solo at 2:51.

I love the song and the touching video; I hope you do too. ;)

Have a wonderful week,

~ eden


Filed under Musical Mondays

NEW books for the Lei Crime Series on @Kindleworlds #LeiCrimeKW

lei crime kw oct 2

Please welcome the latest books to join author Toby Neal’s Lei Crime Kindle World! If you’re not familiar with the series, read about it on Toby’s website. I’ve written two novellas for this series and intend to write more in future launches. You can too!

Many of the new stories that join the growing list of Toby’s Kindle World are already available. You can find them along with all the books for the series on Amazon US.

kw oct 1

Hit the title for the individual book on Amazon.

Dead Flow by Malcolm Aylward

Hoaka Moonshine by Laurie Hanan

Rocky Bluff  by Kim Hornsby

Unforeseen Danger by Patricia Logan

Of Rainbows and Butterfly Wings by Ron Logan

Revenge Makes it Sweeter by Julie Gilbert

Coconut Island by J.L. Oakley

Tough Choices by Terry Ambrose

Ti Leaves and Mooncakes by A.J. Llwewllyn

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Congratulations to all the new authors joining the Lei Crime series Kindle World!

In the meantime, I’m writing A Fragile Truce, book two of Dr. Kate Hampton’s trilogy. If you’d like to learn of my upcoming releases and giveaways, please add your name to my list by subscribing below. Easy!

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Filed under Important Announcements, Lei Crime Kindle Worlds

GRANDFATHER KNOWS BEST ~ My story for @RBwood’s Word Count Podcast #Halloween

You can also hear me read this story on: Episode #51 (Halloween edition) of R.B. Wood’s “The Word Count” podcast.

The prompt asked that we write a ghost story.

*  *  *  *

Katy called me a week before Halloween and asked if she could come by to treat or treat in our neighborhood. She had not set foot in our home for over a year. She had also not spoken to her father in just as long. Their once happy daddy-daughter relationship ended that previous Halloween night. Her phone call surprised me and gave me hope that reconciliation might be possible. She must have heard the concern in my voice.

“You know your father will be here, Katy. I wish the two of you would—”

“Mom,” she said, “I don’t want to talk about Dad. I know he’ll be there, but I’m coming to see you. Jacob misses you.”

I sighed at the mention of our four-year-old grandson, whom Bill had not seen in over a year because Katy forbade it. She was angry with him, and I guess she had every right to be. I had visited our daughter but chose to keep it a secret from my husband. It would have only rubbed salt in the wound for him to know what he was missing. Unfortunately, a slip in the bathtub threw out my back. I hobbled around the house, unable to do much let alone drive the two hours to visit Katy and Jacob. Maybe that was why she wanted to make the trip.

After I hung up the phone, I wondered if I had made the right decision, but what could I do? My husband was tortured over what had happened, but I had to believe that a visit from his daughter and grandson would somehow heal the hurt. Because Katy initiated it, perhaps she was ready to forgive him.


When I told Bill about Katy coming over with Jacob, he did not say a word. I thought it meant he might make himself scarce during their visit or he would choose to leave the house altogether. I really did not know how he would react. I suppose I didn’t expect him to stay, but he did. The awkward reunion with him and our daughter was short-lived. Jacob broke the ice by running into Bill’s arms when he kneeled down to greet him.

“Grandpa!” he screamed.

Bill’s eyes welled with tears as he picked up the small boy and hugged him tightly. Jacob squirmed and giggled, brushed his small hands over his grandfather’s mess of silver hair. When Bill loosened his grip, Jacob stared into his eyes, “Grandpa, why are you crying?”

“I’m just so happy to see you.” Bill’s voice cracked. “You are such a big, handsome boy now.”

“And you have a white beard!” Jacob said, running his hands over Bill’s face.

Katy stepped forward and scooped her son out of his grandfather’s arms. “Now, now,” she said, “make sure you say hello to Grandma too.”

As I hugged and kissed Jacob, half my attention fell upon the other two people in the room. Father and daughter exchanged cool words, but the greeting was civil. Katy may not have been ready to forgive yet, but my heart beat quickly at the possibility that things could only get better. At least they were talking.

That afternoon, I made a special meal for Halloween before darkness set in, things I knew a little boy would love—severed finger hotdogs and bloodshot eyeball cookies. Jacob squealed at the sight of the chocolate Halloween brownies shaped like mice. I used strands of licorice for the tails and almond slivers for the ears. Red candy pieces made up the eyes. “I love these, Grandma!” He grabbed two mice, one in each hand.

“Jacob!” Katy said with feigned exasperation. “Take one at a time please. You can’t fit both of them in your mouth, sweetheart.”

Jacob offered a tiny smile. “They’re not both for me, Mama. One is for Tyler. I want him to have a chocolate mouse too.”

I gasped at the mention of Tyler, a name neither Bill nor I had spoken since he died a year ago—in our home. Though the accusation was never made, I knew Katy blamed her father for Tyler’s death. I suppose I did too. Tyler was born less than five minutes after Jacob; they were identical twins. The baby gate Bill had secured at the top of the basement stairs had somehow come undone. Tyler fell down the wooden flight of steps. Bill was the only one with them at the time. When he yelled Jacob’s name, Katy and I had rushed into the room. Jacob would surely have fallen down the stairs too if Bill had not grabbed him.

I saw my daughter’s eyes widen as she pulled her son close to her. “Jacob, what … what are you saying? Tyler is gone.”

“No, he’s not Mama.” Jacob’s high-pitched voice suddenly took on a deeper tone. “He’s here. He’s talking to me.”

I could tell Katy was trying to maintain calm even as she stuttered to find the right words. “Sweetheart …,” she said to her son, “Tyler is not here. It’s not possible—”

“Yes it is! Yes it is!” Jacob stomped his feet and threw his chocolate brownies on the floor. His angelic nature of minutes ago took a quick turn.

I looked to my daughter who stared back at me with her mouth open. She lifted her shoulders and turned up her palms in disbelief. No matter how much Katy tried to cajole her son, he kept talking to his little brother.

“Tyler. I’m sorry,” he said. “Come back, please come back …”

Katy shook her son by the shoulders. “Jacob … it’s okay, everything will be okay.”

But Jacob was not listening to her. “I’m sorry, Tyler,” he said, “I’m sorry I opened the gate and pushed you down the stairs … Come back … please come back.”

As Jacob sobbed, his words sucked the oxygen out of the air. I looked to my husband whose face turned white with an expression I had never seen. Was it dread, or was it relief that a secret he had kept to protect his grandson was now revealed by a ghost?


Thank you for reading.

Feel free to leave a comment or question. Feedback, whether good or bad is always welcome.

If you want to learn of upcoming releases and specials, please sign up for my newsletter.



Filed under Short Stories & Poetry

Praise for the Novella ~ Guest blog for @ShelfPleasure

shelf pleasure

I am thrilled to be featured on the site, Shelf Pleasure, home of the latest book news and trends. Many thanks to author Toby Neal for the referral!

My article Praise for the Novella is timely, considering all the new novellas releasing Oct. 31st for Toby’s Lei Crime series on Kindle Worlds

As you know, I wrote A Snake in Paradise and SEAL of a Monk for the series and intend to do more in the future.

I hope you enjoy the post and feel free to comment if you do!

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Connect to Shelf Pleasure 

Website | Twitter @ShelfPleasure | Facebook* * *



Filed under Craft of Writing, Eden's Guest Blogs & Interviews

Music Monday and Up Above My Head #GuitarSolo

I first learned about Sister Rosetta Tharpe when I researched blues music for my novella, Seduced by the Blues. The story is a bluesy tale of music mixed with passion, so I wanted a female musician who evoked that passion in me.

Sister Rosetta Tharpe certainly does. Don’t miss her solo at 1:29. She rocks, and she does it with panache!

Have a wonderful week,

~ eden


Filed under Musical Mondays

CONDITIONED by Christoph Fischer (@cffbooks) is now available!


I’m very happy to announce a new release from prolific author and friend, Christoph Fischer. His latest novel, Conditioned is now available and garnering excellent reviews. The story continues from his novel, Conditions, which came out just over a year ago.

Please help me in congratulating Christoph on his latest book.

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Buy Link: Amazon e-book worldwide

CONDITIONED dives back into the world of gardener Charles, his friends and the state of his mental health – one year on. We meet loner Simon and his battle with the outside world, co-dependent Martha and her abusive husband Clive, neurotic poet Catherine on the verge of getting married, Tony, who finds his strange brother Charles a challenge, psychic Elaine looking for a new direction in life and quirky widow Sarah Roseberg who has a go at sorting out all of their problems.

CONDITIONS aimed to sensitise readers and make them think about tolerance and acceptance.

CONDITIONED wants readers to look beyond their attitude towards Conditions and examine what we all do and what we can do to overcome our challenges. The sequel is another snapshot of this circle of friends. Some will have improved their lives, others will not.


Connect to Christoph

christoph w/ dog

Christoph Fischer was born in Germany, near the Austrian border, as the son of a Sudeten-German father and a Bavarian mother. Not a full local in the eyes and ears of his peers he developed an ambiguous sense of belonging and home in Bavaria. He moved to Hamburg in pursuit of his studies and to lead a life of literary indulgence. After a few years he moved on to the UK where he now lives in a small town in West Wales. He and his partner have three Labradoodles to complete their family.

Christoph worked for the British Film Institute, in Libraries, Museums and for an airline. ‘The Luck of The Weissensteiners’ was published in November 2012; ‘Sebastian’ in May 2013 and ‘The Black Eagle Inn’ in October 2013 – which completes his ‘Three Nations Trilogy’. “Time to Let Go”, his first contemporary work was published in May 2014, and “Conditions”, another contemporary novel, in October 2014. His medical thriller “The Healer” was released in January 2015, his latest historical novel “In Search of a Revolution” in March 2015 and his latest thriller “The Gamblers” in June 2015.

He has written several other novels which are in the later stages of editing and finalisation.

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Filed under Author Promotions

Music Monday and Gypsy #GuitarSolo

I’ve always liked Fleetwood Mac, and the guitar solo on this song resonated with me the first time I heard it. It helped me discover what a great guitarist Lindsay Buckingham is.

The solo comes at the end of the song (3:40 mark). Wait for it, it’s worth it. ;)

Enjoy and have a terrific week.

~ eden


Filed under Musical Mondays

Author @BRChitwood releases STRANGER ABDUCTION #mystery

Multi-published author and friend, Billy Ray Chitwood, has just released another book. I’m pleased to help spread the news of his mystery called Stranger Abduction inspired by true events.

The history of how this story came to be written is also an interesting one, and you can learn more about it on Billy Ray’s blog.

Now, let’s learn more about Stranger Abduction, and help congratulate Billy Ray on his latest book!

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stranger abduction

Buy the e-book from Amazon Kindle worldwide

Paperback: Amazon US | Amazon UK

It is a sunny Sunday in May, 1993. After church, a mother and her lovely fourteen-year old daughter walk three miles to a country store for cigarettes and ice cream. It is a walk members of the family often take in this rural Sulphur Springs Valley area of southeastern Arizona near the Mexican border.

The mother and daughter arrive at the store in a jovial mood, trading pleasantries with customers and the owners… The daughter timidly flirts with a boy from her school. The daughter and mother leave the store in a silly mood, finger painting ice cream on their faces.

They never make it home…

The deputy sheriff of the county believe there has been a ‘stranger abduction’.

There are lots of action, interesting characters, and romance to go with this fictional account of an incident inspired by true events…events that brought tragedy to a shaken family.

Don’t miss this one!

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Connect to Billy Ray


Filed under Author Promotions

Read a guest blog by @CaseSheridan for #NationalFeralCatDay

I’m always happy to support good causes, especially if it’s near and dear to the heart of one of my favorite people. Author, Casey Sheridan and I have been friends since I started writing, and she is an animal lover.

I have great respect for those who care for animals. If you want to learn more about National Feral Cat Day, please read Casey’s blog, which includes pictures of some of her cats. Casey is an incredibly generous and supportive author as you will find out from her post.

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national feral cat day

I asked Eden if I could guest post on her blog to help me get the word out about my month long celebration of National Feral Cat Day (I’m donating my book royalties for the month) – it’s officially on October 16th, and this year I thought it was high-time I put my money where my mouth is, or however that saying goes, since I love animals and have always wanted to do something for them.

One of the many things I’ve learned from having cats, or one specific cat anyway, has to do with a tablecloth. Hence, my post…

The Mysteriously Messy Tablecloth

A few years ago, I had an antique dining room table with eight chairs. It was big, heavy, and old. I loved it. It sat in someone’s barn for years before I got a hold of it and cleaned it up, and believe me, it needed it. I did what I could, but the cherry veneer top couldn’t be fixed. At least, not by me and my limited knowledge. It was a beautiful piece of furniture except for the top of the table.

Anyway, to hide the damage I put two tablecloths on it, a fancy lace one over a mauve-colored one. The effect reminded me of Thanksgiving dinner at my step-great grandmother’s house. It was quite elegant, especially with the vase of flowers I put in the center. My place was starting to feel like a home.

The next day when I came home from work, I found both tablecloths were hanging off one edge of the table, the vase of flowers teetering on the edge the only thing keeping the cloths from being completely on the floor.

How the hell did this happen?

I straightened everything out, went about the rest of my evening with no troubles, and eventually went to bed.

The next morning, both tablecloths were messed up. They were still on the table, but it looked as if someone had balled them up and left them sitting on the tabletop, the vase of flowers was broken on the floor, water and petals everywhere. WTH?

Cat 1

Mommy Cat

I cleaned up the mess, straightened the cloths and took myself off to work, and, again, on my return home, the tablecloths were hanging off the edge. I looked under the table and found my little black cat, My Sweet Baby (Sweet Baby), curled up asleep in the section of cloth that hit the floor.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Duh, Casey! There’s your culprit. How obvious does it have to be? Not much of a mystery, is it?”

Um, no. You see, there were two other suspects in the house at that time – Pork Chop and Kitty Witty. Both of them had reputations for destruction, especially Kitty Witty. Besides, there was a reason Sweet Baby was named MY SWEET BABY – she was sweet and quiet and never did a bad thing. Ever. I raised her from a kitten, so I knew her well.

This tablecloth fiasco went on for a few more days. Everyday those tablecloths were bunched up, messed up, on the floor, you name it. I never caught Pork Chop or Kitty Witty in the act!



One would think I’d just leave the damn tablecloths off, but no! It was the principle of the thing! I was determined to catch one of them in the act of messing up my stuff.

My day off rolled around and I spent the morning cleaning and, of course, straightening the damn tablecloths (bloody ell). After that, I put a chair out of sight, so I could begin my stakeout.

I sat, watched, and waited. Fortunately, I didn’t have to wait for too long.

My Sweet Baby ran into the room, took a flying leap onto the table and proceeded to slide across it taking half the tablecloth with her. With her ears back and a crazy look in her eye, she flicked her tail twice and soared off the table and bolted down the hallway.

Tiger, Dolly & Daisy

Tiger, Dolly & Daisy

There was a bit of a ruckus in the back before Sweet Baby charged back into the room, ran around the table before she stopped. She stood on her hind legs and reached up with her front paws, digging her claws into the fabric to pull the table cloth the rest of the way down to the floor where she then proceeded to tackle it, and beat it up by kicking it with her hind legs.

I walked into the room and she gave me a wild-eyed look before dashing off to wreak havoc elsewhere.

Pork Chop and Kitty Witty, in the meantime, were curled up sleeping on the sofa during all the commotion.

You think you know someone and this happens.

So much for never doing a bad thing. Ever. =^. .^=

* * *

Thank you for stopping by to read my post! I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

The Mysteriously Messy Tablecloth is part of my #NationalFeralCatDay celebration. I’d like to encourage you to learn about feral cats, outdoor cats, how to care for them, and all the many ways you can help by visiting Alley Cat Allies website

If you’d like to take part in the festivities of Nation Feral Cat Day in your community (U.S. and International) this October 16th, visit

Also, when you purchase any of my books during the month of October (1st through the 31st, 2015), I will donate all my royalties to Alley Cat Allies. Let’s help kitties live happy, healthy lives. You can find my books at

Thanks again, Eden, for the use of your blog. Sorry about all the cat hair.


Connect to Casey

casey sheridan picture

Like most authors, Casey Sheridan began writing when she was very young. It was later in life when she read her first piece of erotica and it was on a dare that she wrote her first erotic story.

Casey enjoys writing erotic, fun, and romantic fiction.

An introvert and lover of chocolate, Casey is happiest when writing. She enjoys reading, watching movies, and listening to music. She loves animals and volunteers to care for local feral/outdoor kitty pals.

To be kept up-to-date on Casey’s latest author news and releases, you can add your name to her mailing list:

Find her on the Web at:


Filed under Eden's Guest Bloggers

Three Tips for Writing Memorable Characters ~ A guest blog for @BestsellingRead

I’ve written a guest blog for the site Bestselling Reads about creating memorable characters.

The site is a collective of bestselling authors, and I’m happy to be amongst them.

Please hop over and read: Three Tips for Writing Memorable Characters by hitting the graphic below.

Hope you find it helpful, and all comments are welcome, either here or on the Bestselling Reads site. ;)

~ eden

bestselling reads 2

Learn more about Bestselling Reads

Website |  Facebook | Twitter @BestsellingRead



Filed under Author & Artist Interviews, Eden's Guest Blogs & Interviews

Music Monday and Comfortably Numb #GuitarSolo

This is the perfect song for Canadian Thanksgiving because I’m sure I’ll be comfortably numb after a big turkey dinner.

I’ve featured David Gilmour’s guitar virtuosity on my blog before, and no tribute to great guitar solos would be complete without his name on the list, especially since this song has two solos. Whee!

The first one starts at the 2-minute marker and goes on for 35 seconds.

The second one – much longer at almost two minutes starts at 4:30 and goes to the end. Both are terrific, though I prefer the first one.

To friends in Canada — Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy David Gilmour and your turkey coma.

~ eden



Filed under Musical Mondays

Music Monday and Johnny B. Goode #GuitarSolo

For the remainder of the Mondays this year, I’m featuring great songs with guitar solos in them.

I love the guitar, but I’m no fan of a solo shoehorned into a song merely to showcase the virtuosity of a guitarist. A superhuman-fast solo or “shred guitar” does not impress me if it doesn’t serve the song.

With this in mind, some of the more well-known solos may not make my list, but hopefully you will discover new ones you like.

Chuck Berry’s guitar solos and showmanship became major influences on rock and roll music. Berry, who will be 89 in a little over a week, is considered a pioneer of rock and roll, and for good reason. If you want to know his influence, watch Chuck Berry Hail! Hail! Rock ‘n’ Roll and learn more about this eccentric but brilliant guitarist. 

It was difficult to find a good quality video of “Johnny B. Goode,” but this one captures Chuck Berry’s energy along with the energy of the crowd. It’s a fantastic song to kick off my series.

If you have a song you’d like to include on my list, feel free to leave it in the comments. I can’t guarantee I will use it, but I’m always open to learning about what others consider as great guitar solos.

Have a wonderful week, and dance along with Chuck Berry. I did. :)

~ eden



Filed under Musical Mondays

Anatomy of a Book Cover

A short time ago, I started thinking about changing some of my book covers to better represent the genre and tone of my stories. For this post, I’ll talk about the changes I made for my latest mystery/suspense novellas—A Snake in Paradise released April 9, 2015, and SEAL of a Monk released July 26, 2015. Both were written for the Lei Crime Series in Kindle Worlds, based on the books of author, Toby Neal.


lei early attempts

Original covers – Early attempts


I don’t like busy covers with too many images. I prefer something subtle and spare. The problem with this is that subtlety can be lost on a reader if they know nothing about the story. If the cover does not grab them immediately, they are unlikely to read the blurb or sample the first few pages.

At the other end of the spectrum, some covers incorporate too many story elements and end up as a cluttered mess of images in a collage.

So … what is the right balance? I’m no expert, but here’s what I do.

I consider the cover as the first point of contact for my book—a visual sales tool, if you will. As such, I try to do everything I can to make it appealing to a buyer.


lei original final

Original covers – FINAL


It’s true that most people judge a book by its cover. He or she may assess it any number of ways:

  1. Does it look professional?
  2. Do the graphics evoke a particular genre? (Horror, women’s fiction, romance …)
  3. What kind of mood does it convey? (Mystery, humor, fear …)

All these thoughts go through a reader’s head when browsing for a book, but the process is quick. We have limited time to hook a potential buyer before they move on to the next book cover.


sip woman image

Image used for A Snake in Paradise – NEW COVER


When Toby suggested I change the two covers I had written for the Lei Crime Series, I had already been considering it, but her input clarified what I had to do. She offered ideas for how I could keep the dark restraint of my original covers while adding some sexiness to better convey the mood of the books.

soam man image

Image used for SEAL of a Monk – NEW COVER


Toby was absolutely right. My old covers were too dark and subdued. They conveyed the mystery/suspense genre, but the graphics did little to reveal the mood. In the original cover for A Snake in Paradise, my designer gave me a symbol of the story as I had requested, only … the story was not about a snake. It was about a woman named Lainey Lee with a snake tattoo. She was the main character and deserved to be on the updated cover.

In SEAL of a Monk, the story continued with Lainey. In it, she met Max, a Navy SEAL who helped her with a search and rescue operation. He was central to the story, so he was represented on the new cover. Common elements such as color, texture, and font linked the two books together.

When the essence of the stories became clear for me, it was obvious that I needed to add the human element to the covers. The symbols I had originally used were too vague. It was important to allow readers to visually know what was between the pages.


new lei first attempts

NEW covers – Early attempts


Ultimately, I changed the covers so they would better resonate with my readership as well as attract new readers. And let’s be honest, the reason authors want a great book cover is not just so that we love it. Potential buyers have to love it too. If it can please both the author and the reader, then we have found the sweet spot.

Here are a few things I learned with this change process, and I hope you find them helpful.

~ Whether you use a professional cover designer or not, it is important to have a clear vision of what your story is about. Is it a love story, a mystery, or a different genre? Once you determine this, choose a color scheme and image(s) to clearly communicate it. If uncertain, refer to bestselling books in your particular genre for ideas.

~ Ensure a proper balance of text and graphics. Remember that e-books should be clearly visible as a thumbnail, and a cover with a white background will lose its borders on most sales’ sites. That means your book image ends up “floating” in white space. If you must have a white background, consider going a few shades darker to give your book a distinct outline.

~ Book covers should be both functional and attractive. It’s art, but there are rules. Do some research on what sells and what is considered good. I’m a bit of a design junkie, so it’s interesting for me to read up on trends, but you can google “best book covers” and find numerous sites that will provide useful information.


NEW LEI covers

NEW covers – FINAL


As always, huge thanks to JB Graphics who designs all my covers.

I hope you like the new ones and enjoyed learning a bit about the process I used to arrive at them.

Over the next while, I will change more of my covers. I want to attract new readers, particularly for some of the books that have not been selling as well as I like. I will keep experimenting. Aside from doing the work, I don’t see a downside, and the upside is … greater sales and connection to more readers. I think that’s worth it, don’t you? ;)


Filed under Craft of Writing, Lei Crime Kindle Worlds

New Release by @Maria_Savva ~ A TIME TO TELL

Friend and author, Maria Savva has a new book out shortly, and I’m happy to highlight it. Learn more about A TIME TO TELL and watch the video below. It’s available for pre-sale now and releases October 14th! 

A Time to Tell


PRINT: Amazon US | Lulu | Amazon UK and others shortly

 E-Book: Amazon USAmazon UK

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A family saga spanning fifty years and three generations…

Cara fell for the tall, dark, handsome stranger, fifty years before. Now Frederick is about to return to her life. Can true love stand the test of time?

When Cara’s granddaughter, Penelope, flees her home to escape a violent husband, Cara’s world is turned upside down. She returns to Huddlesea, the town she grew up in. Her estranged sister Gloria is less than happy to see her again. Can they rebuild their relationship after the tragic circumstances that tore them apart?

Benjamin, Cara’s eldest son, has been missing for sixteen years. She longs to see him again. Will their reunion be everything she had hoped for?

In this romantic drama, history repeats itself for a family lost in secrets.

After the lies, the TIME has come to TELL.

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Connect to Maria

maria savva

Website | Twitter @maria_savva | Facebook

Maria Savva lives and works in London. She is a lawyer, although not currently practising law. She writes novels and short stories in different genres, including drama, psychological thriller, and family saga. Her short stories have appeared in the BestsellerBound Anthologies and she is a regular contributor to the The Mind’s Eye series of books.

Maria is also a music blogger for the UK Arts Directory. You can find out more about her work at her official website.

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Filed under Author Promotions

Music Monday and Oasis #Britpop

I’m finishing September and the Britpop series with one of the biggest hits for the band, Oasis.

“Don’t Look Back in Anger” received its title inspiration from David Bowie’s song “Look Back In Anger.” You might also notice the piano intro resembles that of John Lennon’s “Imagine” and “Watching the Wheels.” Both Bowie and the Beatles were heavy influencers for Oasis.

Hope you enjoy the song, and like it says, don’t look back in anger. ;)

Have a terrific week,




Filed under Musical Mondays

Music Monday and The Verve #Britpop

Continuing with Britpop for September, here’s The Verve with their catchy tune “Bitter Sweet Symphony.”

Although the song’s lyrics were written by The Verve’s vocalist Richard Ashcroft, its distinctive string passage was sampled from the 1965 Andrew Oldham Orchestra of “The Last Time,” which inspired the Rolling Stones’ song of the same title.

A legal controversy surrounding plagiarism ensued, and songwriting credits changed to include Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. The Verve also lost all their royalties to Allen Klein, the former manager of the Rolling Stones.

And that’s some music trivia for the week. ;)

Hope you have a great one, and enjoy the end of summer!




Filed under Musical Mondays

50 and SINGLE ~ My story for @RBwood’s 50th episode of the Word Count Podcast

50 and single

You can also hear me read this story on: Episode #50 of R.B. Wood’s “The Word Count” podcast.

This milestone episode asked that we use the word FIFTY in our story and provide a photo with FIFTY in the image. The above was mine … a tongue-in-cheek snapshot of being 50 and single.

Hope you enjoy the story! 

* * * *

The year I turned fifty saw me single again after I buried my husband. Thomas had been sick for some time. Still, when he died … I almost expected the heavens to open up or trumpets to play, but nothing happened. There was no fanfare. It was like any other day, only the world was now less one wealthy, abusive man.

I sat with a tissue in hand at my doctor’s office, my first visit since Thomas’s funeral.

“It’s natural to want to withdraw, Kadin,” Dr. Bill Wood said to me. “You were married for over ten years. That’s a long time to be with someone.”

I dabbed my cheeks while sniffling, took a breath. “Thomas was not in good health … still … sixty-five is too young to die.” Dr. Wood looked at me with sad eyes and a thin-lipped smile. He pitied me, but that was okay. I wanted him to pity me.

“It’s not going to be easy,” he said. “You may feel lost for the next little while, but please don’t let this set you back. You’ve come so far, Kadin.”

I nodded slowly, curled in my lips to stifle a whimper. The truth was I wasn’t lost, but my shrink didn’t need to know that. If anything, I was relieved. Dr. Wood was partially right though. Losing Thomas was like losing a limb, only not my limb. Thomas’s death had freed me from his hands around my neck—a fear that used to wake me up at nights gasping from a tightening in my throat. Now, I was able to breathe again.

At the insistence of my good friend, Cameron, I had started seeing Dr. Wood a year ago for my anxiety. It was the best thing I ever did. It gave me somewhere to go every Tuesday and Thursday morning. After only our second meeting, Dr. Wood wrote me a prescription for anti-depressants, which I promptly filled. Eventually, our twice-weekly routine helped put my life in perspective. It gave me a purpose.

Within six months of seeing the good doctor, I had a drawer full of pill bottles. He had changed the prescription several times at my urging, each time increasing the strength of the dose. He even combined a couple of different meds—Celexa, Prozac, Zoloft, Wellbutrin. I had them all, but I needed something else. I complained of side effects like nausea and loss of concentration. He tried hard to get me the right combination of meds, but remained perplexed that I wasn’t getting better. What clinched it was when I told him my husband did not like my decreasing sex drive from the drugs. That’s when he prescribed Sinequan.

“I’m very surprised you’re doing so well on this new medication, Kadin. I hardly ever prescribe Sinequan anymore,” he had said.

“Oh, why is that?” I had infused an innocent lilt into my voice, something I did often when I spoke to him.

“It’s one of the oldest anti-depressants,” he said in his usual professorial tone. “It has more side effects than the newer ones, but you seem to be faring well with it. No heart palpitations or dizziness?”

“None, whatsoever, doctor. I feel better than I have in a long time.”

That was three months ago when Thomas was still alive.

How time flies.

You see, I know a few things about drugs, but I never spoke about it to Dr. Wood. Sinequan, which he prescribed, is not recommended for someone with a heart problem. I didn’t have a heart problem, but I also never took it. Actually, I never took any of the drugs he prescribed, but I filled them because I wanted him to keep renewing my prescription.

In meeting Dr. Wood, I found the perfect solution to relieve the source of my anxiety.

Poor Thomas, born with a heart murmur, which in itself wasn’t dangerous, but he did have an underlying heart problem, which he neglected. Stress from his business, a bad diet, and lack of exercise made him a walking heart attack. Only … knowing how stubborn a man he was, he could’ve easily been walking another ten, maybe twenty years. I couldn’t wait for that, but I could wait for a year under the guise of needing therapy. I could wait for Thomas to ingest the pills I crushed and fed into his meals, and I definitely could wait when I saw the effects of the drugs working on him.

I was turning fifty. It was time for me to start the second half of my life, and I really didn’t want Thomas as my husband anymore.

Luckily for me, the drugs helped.

;) If you have read my book, Stranger at Sunset with Dr. Kate Hampton, then the above story may have a twisted and familiar feel to it. ;)

As I work on A Fragile Truce, the next book with the good doctor, I’d recommend you take a moment and add your name to my mailing listI’ll be offering specials and freebies targeted to those on the list.

As always, my sincere thanks for reading, and comments and feedback are always welcome.




Filed under Short Stories & Poetry

A Book About A Film is a #NewRelease from @C_W_Schultz

C. W. Schultz is the pseudonym for American writer Calen Sifferman, and I interviewed him on my blog last year. I’m happy to announce he has a new book out. Learn more about: A Book About a Film.

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A Book About a Film

Buy from Amazon

Plot summary: Author C. W. Schultz’s fourth release A Book About a Film is a matchless thriller focusing on a low-budget movie called The Cornfield People, which follows journalist Joe Fischer as he investigates the eponymous group.  The Cornfield People are a secret society who know the meaning of life and what comes after death.  It is essential to the Cornfield People that their knowledge remain hidden from outsiders, and they will stop at nothing to protect their secret.

Schultz surveys censorship through the means of violence in this chilling and unforgettable book.  This satire on film-criticism takes on a double-narrative, with one acting as a novelization of the movie, while the other examines the film’s hidden messages, motifs and haunting obscurity.

Connect To C.W. Schultz

cw schultz

WebsiteTwitter @C_W_Schultz | Facebook | Goodreads

C. W. Schultz is on par with other writers of twisted literature, such as: Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho), Jack Ketchum (Peaceable Kingdom), Irvine Welsh (Marabou Stork Nightmares) and Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club).

C. W. Schultz is the pseudonym for novelist Calen Sifferman. He was born in Seattle, Washington.

Schultz’s work has been known for its blatant candor, and omniscient and/or unreliable narrative styles. He greatly enjoys ambiguity and motifs, and often resorts to such literary devices as: breaking-the-fourth-wall, epiphanies, irony, symbolism and thematic patterning. The author often creates characters that are examples of what is being criticized–his debut novel “Yeval”, for example, is a satire on the glamorization of violence in entertainment, but its main character is a product of escapism.

Despite not receiving critical attention, “Yeval” has been discussed in reading circles, with the Utica Public Library including it on their list of Guy Lit among other contemporary classics such as “American Psycho”, “Trainspotting” and “The Godfather”.

After the release of “Yeval” in 2007, Schultz went on to write a blog about bird care for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer called “Birdie Basics” and also wrote trivia questions for the game-show “Eastern Expedition”.

2010 marked the release of Schultz’s second novel “The Pack” and the filming of “Watch”. “Watch” premiered at the Gig Harbor Film Festival on October 21, 2012 to a favorable response, with the film being placed as the First Runner-Up (2nd Place) for the Director’s Choice Award for Best Short Film.

In January 2011, the author began writing his third novel “Jill”, which was released on Friday, December 7, 2012.

In April 2013, Schultz’s short horror story “The Stairwell”, was released in the eighth issue of Sirens Call Publications.

He has plans for an ongoing series of children’s books, which is merely a sign that he is expanding his horizons and should not be interpreted as him taking all his future writings down a tamer path.

His fourth novel “A Book About a Film” was released on Tuesday, September 8, 2015.

For more information on C. W. Schultz, please visit his website at:



Filed under Author Promotions

Music Monday and The Stone Roses #Britpop

Feel like some Britpop for a few weeks? A subgenre of rock and pop music that originated in the United Kingdom, Britpop  emerged from the British music scene of the early 1990s. It was influenced by British guitar pop music of the 1960s and 1970s and indie rock from the 1980s.

Let’s start off with The Stone Roses and “Fool’s Gold.”

Have a great week,




Filed under Musical Mondays

Join the #MysteryReveal – One Day Only ~ Sept 12 on #Facebook

I playfully refer to this as the Magical Mystery Reveal Tour! For one day only, Saturday, September 12th, I’ll participate in a Facebook event with other bestselling mystery writers.

Hit the graphic and join us :)


mystery reveal

Sept 12, 21015 ~ Join us on Facebook from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. EST


Come by for exclusive giveaways, freebies, and purchase e-books for only 99 cents! My book, Stranger at Sunset has been reduced for the event but will go back up shortly, so take this opportunity to grab it!.


SAS bestseller

Available everywhere!


Here are just some of the authors who’ll be attending and answering your questions. I’m available from 10-11 a.m. EST, and I’m excited to talk to you, so please join us!


10-11 Perry Elisabeth, KJ Traynor, Eden Baylee and Duncan Whitehead
11-12 Mary Ellen Hughes, Zanna Mackenzie and Celeste Burke


12-1 Sheila Odom Hollinghead, Vicki Vass,
1-2 Kathi Daley, Pamela Kelley, Elizabeth Lorraine and Tonya Kaypes
2-3 Susan Holmes, Amy Metz, Kathi Daley and Amy Vansant
3-4 Sylvia Selfman, Jb Hawker, Duncan Whitehead & Dianne Harman
4-5 Ritter Ames, Laurinda Wallace, Sherry Chamblee & Maria Swan
5-6 Stefania Mattana, Ca Larmer, Morgana Best & Dianne Harman
6-7 Karoline Barrett, Julie Moffett, Abby Vandiver & Grace Geyer



Filed under Author Promotions, Important Announcements, Stranger at Sunset