Saturday, August 6, 2016

Midnight Mysteries-Laura (1944)

I imagine between the schedule and facing the dark side of humanity on a daily basis that it would be difficult for a NYC detective to meet that someone special.  Under her portrait’s mesmerizing gaze while reading her diary, Detective Mark McPherson falls for a beautiful, quick-witted woman during a murder investigation. Unfortunately, the lovely Laura Hunt happens to be the victim.

The true star of the movie is the dialogue.  Laura’s mentor, newspaper columnist, Waldo Lydecker, has a rapier wit and he’s fond of skewering the unwary.  Writers will be intrigued by Lydecker’s writing desk, a typewriter perched over a spa-sized bathtub.

“I’m not kind. I’m vicious it’s the secret of my charm.”
 Waldo Lydecker

“In my case, self-absorption is completely justified. I have never discovered any subject so worthy of my attention.” Waldo Lydecker

McPherson: [Regarding the list of suspects] “You know you’re on this list too.”
Lydecker: “Good. It would insult me to be overlooked.”

“I can afford a blemish on my soul, but not my clothes.” Shelby Carpenter

By the way it’s a treat to see a young Vincent Price emerge from the shadows to play Laura’s man candy boyfriend, Shelby Carpenter.

I’m afraid I can’t say more without revealing too much. I can tell you that Laura like most noir movies, nothing is as it seems.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Author Interview-Jenna Bennett

What inspired you to become a writer?
I’ve always been a writer. My first grade teacher told my parents – and all the other parents in the room – that “this one will probably grow up to be an author,” just before she read my story out loud at one of the parent-teacher meetings. Growing up, writing stories was a way to live vicariously through the characters, who were all prettier, more popular, and much more exciting than me.
I never considered writing as a possible career, though, so I did a lot of other things. Tour guide, bank teller, actress, waitress, proof reader, bed and breakfast reservationist, real estate agent, stay-at-home mom... until 2005, when I met historical suspense author Tasha Alexander. Her first book was being released that year, and she told me, “if I can do it, you can do it.” So I did it. And the rest is history, pretty much.

Who are your favorite romance characters (besides your own?)
I’m partial to Eve Dallas and Roarke, in JD Robb’s (Nora Roberts’) In Death series. They have full lives, difficult pasts, often difficult presents, and they don’t always get along, but their relationship is always real, and I like how, when they disagree, it’s over real stuff, and not some silly misunderstanding that could be figured out with a two minute conversation. As mostly a mystery writer, I appreciate the mystery and suspense plots of the books, too.

Tell me what inspired this story.
I started writing the Savannah Martin romantic mystery series when I was in real estate school in 2005. They were talking a lot about personal safety, and about the dangers that might lurk in an empty house. Things like axe murderers, rapists, and really big cockroaches. And I started imagining what might happen if a newly-minted real estate agent walked into an empty house and found a dead body. And not just that, but the dead body of a competitor, the barracuda of the real estate office, with her throat cut from ear to ear. And the suspect in the crime, the guy practically standing over the body, was the boy her mother always warned her about...  
That’s how A Cutthroat Business was born. I was reading a lot of Janet Evanovich around that time, so that’s the general feel of it. With a romantic relationship that actually goes somewhere, and doesn’t carry on in perpetuity with no resolution.

What is one of your favorite romantic locales?
I’m not sure there is such a thing. I mean, it all depends on who you’re with, right? Anywhere can be romantic with the right person, or unromantic with the wrong one.
That said, the isle of Capri is lovely. So is Venice. So, for that matter, is Bruges. And a whole lot of other places in the world, depending on your taste.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
A Cutthroat Business, the first Savannah Martin mystery, is a free ebook download.  You can find the links on my website, or simply by checking your ebook vendor of choice for it. It’s available on Amazon, BN, iBooks, Kobo and Google Play.
Here’s the blurb, if you think it’s something you might be interested in. It’s pretty funny, and with a really hot love interest, if I do say so myself.

Savannah Martin has always been a good girl, doing what was expected and fully expecting life to fall into place in its turn. But when her perfect husband turns out to be a lying, cheating slimeball—and bad in bed to boot—Savannah kicks the jerk to the curb and embarks on life on her own terms. With a new apartment, a new career, and a brand new outlook on life, she’s all set to take the world by storm.
If only the world would stop throwing her curveballs...
Everyone has warned new-minted realtor Savannah Martin that real estate is a cutthroat business. But Savannah doesn’t think she’s supposed to take the warning literally ... until an early morning phone call sends her to an empty house on the ‘bad’ side of town, where she finds herself standing over the butchered body of a competitor, face to face with the boy her mother always warned her about.

Rafe Collier is six feet three inches of testosterone and trouble; tall, dark, and dangerous, with a murky past and no future—not the kind of guy a perfect Southern Belle should want to tangle with. In any way. But wherever Savannah turns, there he is, and making no bones about what he wants from her.

Now Savannah must figure out who killed real estate queen Brenda Puckett, make a success of her new career, and avoid getting killed—or kissed—by Rafe, all before the money in her savings account runs out and she has to go back to selling make-up at the mall. 

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Author Interview-Rachel Leigh Smith

What inspired you to become a writer?
I can’t put my finger on any one thing. Writing was something I always enjoyed, and that my parents encouraged me to pursue. Then in 2007, I decided I wanted to get a little more serious and learn how to write a novel. So I did. I finished my first one in the winter of 2011, and I just published my fifth novel.

Who are your favorite romance characters (besides your own?)
How much time do we have? :D Acheron from Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter series! He’s magnificent. I’m also a huge Psy-Changeling fan, and Sherri’s The League. I have such a Dark-Hunter problem that I own both of the coloring books out right now.

Tell me what inspired this story.
My Name Is A’yen arrived in a dream, after a pretty traumatic couple of years and surviving an abusive marriage. On the night of what would’ve been my third anniversary, I dreamed about a humanoid alien walking through the forest saying the same word over and over and over.
I woke up the next morning, got out a notebook, and started writing stuff down. It just poured out. In 86 days, I had a completed first draft of 97,000 words. Writing it was a big part of my healing process. I poured all of my heartache into A’yen, and when he got his happily ever after I kinda did too.

What is one of your favorite romantic locales?
It’s an Episcopalian church in St.Francisville, Louisiana, with a beautiful old cemetery. It’s such a beautiful place. And I’m odd enough that I find old cemeteries very romantic. Especially Southern ones in the spring when all the azaleas are in bloom.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
My Name Is A’yen is free! It’s a romance focused on the hero, as all of my romances are. If the hero is always favorite character, or you like exploring new worlds, check it out. It’s available on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iBooks, and Google Play.

They've taken everything from him. Except his name.

The Loks Mé have been slaves for so long, freedom is a distant myth A'yen Mesu no longer believes. A year in holding, because of his master's murder, has sucked the life from him. Archaeologist Farran Hart buys him to protect her on an expedition to the Rim, the last unexplored quadrant of the galaxy.

Farran believes the Loks Mé once lived on the Rim and is determined to prove it. And win A'yen's trust. But she's a breeder's daughter and can't be trusted.

Hidden rooms, information caches, and messages from a long-dead king change A'yen's mind about her importance. When she's threatened, he offers himself in exchange, and lands on the Breeders Association's radar. The truth must be told. Even if it costs him his heart.


You can also check out my website, for more about A’yen’s Legacy, and watch for my upcoming shifter romance series launching this fall. I’m also on Facebook,, and on Instagram, @rlsauthor.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Midnight Mysteries-One Body Too Many (1944)

Eager beaver insurance salesman, Albert Tuttle, thinks he’s landed a dream appointment with eccentric millionaire, Cyrus Rutherford.  He arrives at the Rutherford estate only to find his hot prospect is stone cold dead with a house full of conniving relatives, suspicious servants and a slippery lawyer.  As stipulated in Rutherford’s will, none of the potential heirs may leave the premises until the next morning.  It could be the opportunity of a lifetime for Tuttle…if he lives through the night.

One Body Too Many is the typical creepy mansion flick complete with secret rooms and hidden passages as well as a comic twist.  While likeable Tuttle is hardly the typical stoic, square-jawed hero he stammers, stumbles and scrambles from one situation to the next.  Though the large cast makes it tough to distinguish the cut-throat relatives from one another, the flick is well-worth a watch.

Fun facts:

Director Frank McDonald worked on the railroad prior to his directing career. He directed more than 100 films including action movies and Westerns.
Albert Tuttle was played by Jack Haley who is best known for his role as the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz.

Bela Lugosi appeared in a supporting role as Merkel the butler.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Care Instructions Motherhood & Writing

Repeat as needed.  

The creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal has shared some inspiring comments regarding writing and motherhood, but this is one of my favorites.  Too often mothers and writers embark on a frantic search for the right combination of habit, attitude and magic that will keep their priorities aloft without all of them crashing down on their heads. Unfortunately due to life’s ever-changing nature, what worked like a charm today may be worthless tomorrow.

That doesn’t mean to stop striving, but you can ditch trying to be perfect.Sometimes it is best to keep moving forward and embrace the silly sticky moments.  Instead of aiming on an impossible ideal, focus on being consistent which works well for both real kids and literary babies.

Have a wonderful Mother’s Day.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Ladies Who Lunch

I don’t know when it became fashionable in the corporate world to skip lunch. I recall a late afternoon meeting in which a C-Suite darling bragged she had made it through the entire day on an apple and a single cup of coffee.  Had that been me, I’m not saying there would have been bloodshed, but there would have been serious bruising.

Besides magic can happen when sharing lunch with a like-minded colleague especially if fresh tortilla chips are on the table. A while back during lunch at Q’doba, I told Regina Duke about two of the stories I had sent to an editor for a romance anthology. She quickly brought me to my senses.

“Get them back from the editor and publish them yourself. You don’t need outside validation,” she insisted. I could hardly argue with retired college professor and USA Best Selling Author especially since my mouth was full. After our lunch I hurried home to retrieve my two stories from the editor and to write what would be the third story in Hot Flash.

A couple of notes on the inspiration behind the Hot Flash stories:
·         Overture-Yes, I’m a former band geek with a weakness for sax players.
·         Room Service, a spicy short featuring Liz and Patrick from Package Deal.

·         Last Friday Night-On occasion I’ve had to borrow my son’s car, a high-mileage, low slung gray sedan, to go out on the town.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Author Interview-JM Stewart

What inspired you to become a writer?
A dream, actually. I had a dream one night and a single image stuck with me. It seemed to have a story and I was intrigued.

Who are your favorite romance characters (besides your own?)
Oh, this one’s easy. Jamie and Claire, from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander. Jamie is just swoon worthy and I like that Claire is such a strong character.

Tell me what inspired this story.
Hahaha. I’d always wanted to try my hand at writing erotic romance. I read a lot of it. One day, I thought, “Why not?” This was my first attempt. I wrote this book originally for me and me alone and I followed the muse. I think I chose a billionaire theme just because it was popular and I’d never done one before. I wanted to see if I could. lol

What is one of your favorite romantic locales?
Hmm. That’s a tough one. I’ve never been anywhere outside of the US and nowhere I’d particular call romantic. But for the sake of the question…Paris, I suppose. Or Italy. Or Greece. They’re all so beautiful. I’d love to visit someday.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers? 
Blurb for Bidding on the Billionaire:
Safety. Anonymity. Invisibility.
Those are just a few advantages of Internet “dating.” Even better, as far as Hannah Miller is concerned, is the fact that she can shed all inhibitions without worrying about what he thinks of her figure or her face. “He” is bikerboy357, the man who knows what Hannah likes, and wants her—every night—as much as she wants him. When he asks to meet, Hannah hesitates. But the temptation is too strong. And after one look into his sultry green eyes, there’s no turning back.
Cade McKenzie's never met a woman who wasn't blinded by his billion-dollar net worth, but "JustAGurl456" knows neither his face nor his name. Her words are so smart, sweet, and scorchingly sexy that Cade's willing to gamble she'll be just as amazing in person. And she is. But even as every delicious encounter makes Cade want Hannah more, what he wants most is her trust.
It’s something all his money can’t buy. And now, Cade will do anything to earn it.
Buy links: