Writing hints


wind-river-wrangler-wind-river-series-book-1-lindsey-mckenna3-starsShiloh Gallagher is a best selling, romance writer. She has had a traumatic past—she had an abusive stepfather, who eventually killed her mother in front of her. Her testimony sent him to jail. For the last six months, she has been terrorized by a stalker—phone calls, turning door knobs and a knowing that someone is outside her door. Gradually she quits running in the park; she has her necessities delivered, so she doesn’t have to go out. Her fear makes her a prisoner in her apartment. And she can not longer concentrate to write. Finally, she can not stand the pressure. She slips away to Wyoming—to find shelter with Maud Whitcomb at Wind River Ranch. Maude had invited her many times, but Shiloh had loved her apartment in New York, and she didn’t want to leave.

Roan Taggart has a Special Ops background. He is well disciplined, alert and aware. Now he works as a wrangler at Wind River Ranch. He has had many women, but nothing serious. He is surprised at the strange attraction that he feels for Shiloh.

However, Shiloh’s stalker hasn’t given up. After a few weeks of peace, one day she senses his presence. She is terrified and confides in Roan. Roan takes her to the police so she can tell them what has been happening in her life. They start an investigation, and Roan vows to protect her until the danger is neutralized.

Shiloh knows she can never return Roan’s feelings until the stalker is captured.

This was an okay book. The plot was interesting, but Shiloh referenced too much from the point of view of being a romance writer. It began to feel disingenuous to me.

I read so many books; I may have become pickier than other readers. You may love the book.

This book can be purchased ay Amazon.com by clicking here


kerrris-war-by-stephen-douglassstars-5-0._V192240867_ (1)Kerri’s War is the third book in the King Trilogy and another Stephen Douglass masterpiece!- I didn’t want this Trilogy to end.

Kerri Pyper  is now the President and CEO of Iacardi and Sons. Due to her natural keenness and instinct for the trading in the commodity markets, she has become a legend on Wall Street.

Kerri’s War begins when the terrorist attack on September 11, 2011, hits the World Trade Center in New York, hitting the South Tower, in the spot where Iacardi and Sons New York offices are. The attack decimates the New York headquarters, killing 338 of the 342 employees. Only four survived. Three of them were in London at the time. Peter Tavaris, Iacardi’s most senior trader, Walter Deaks, and Billie Dukes, watched the event unfold on CNN from their hotel room in London.  Kerri Pryor was at home, in bed with a virus. She also watched, in shock as she realized that all of those people who she had known and cared about were gone—their families left behind, with a dismal future. She also realized the impact the loss of the offices would have on the company.

Karri’s main concern is the plight of her employees’ family members. She desperately wants to give them financial security, to help ease their loss. She decides that she wants to rebuild the company as quickly as possible, and she begins that task immediately.

She also decides to divide the tainted money in the King’s Trust, into equal amounts and anonymously give it to each family affected. It would give them each a considerable amount, and it would disburse the ill-gotten money that had brought nothing but grief to her family. This generosity brings many complications into her life when the Feds find out about it.

When Ken Layton, president of Enerco, a gigantic energy trading company with headquarters in Houston, calls Peter Travis and says that he wants to buy Iacardi and Sons, promising to make him President, Travis is elated. He hates Kerri Pryor. He firmly believes that he should have been given the position as President and CEO at Iacardi, but he had been overlooked once again. This was a way to oust Kerri as President, and become wealthy with the shares that he would have in Enerco. He vows to make the deal happen, even though he knows Kerri will not be receptive to it.

While Kerri fights to rebuild Iacardi, Peter Travis, and Ken Layton wage war against her. Underhanded tricks, murder, treachery, and betrayal frighten her, but Kerri is strong and determined. Even when she seems to be beaten, she does not bow.

Can Kerri reclaim her place in the Corporate world? Will she ever find love? Does she want either one?

Do not miss this stunning finale!


the-tainted-trust-by-stephen-douglassstars-5-0._V192240867_ (1)The Tainted Trust is the sequel to The Bridge to Caracas—and it is equally as good.  In the first book, Joe Sevito had defrauded the American and Canadian government with a complex gasoline tax evasion scheme. When he realized that his wife, Karen, had reconnected with Mike King, who was her first love, Joe set up an elaborate scheme to frame them both for his crimes. Then he kidnapped his son and took him to Caracas with him, believing that Mike and Karen would spend the rest of their lives in jail.  He introduced the boy to Alfred Schnieder, a bank manager in Caracas, and instructed Schnieder to make Phillip his beneficiary.

When Joe met his untimely death in Caracas, he left an estate valued at $325,000,000.00 in an account in a bank in the Cayman Islands. Phillip led Mike and Karen to Schneider, and eventually the money. The money should have been returned to the Feds, but Mike was so angry about the way they had treated him and Karen, that he refused to do the right thing. The money was hot and represented too great a risk to move. Karen and Mike convinced Schnieder to set up the King’s Trust and manage it.

In The Tainted Trust, the aging Schnieder contacts Louis Visconti at Mara, Griesdorf, and Visconti. He is a thirty-two-year-old who is known as ‘The Crown Prince of Wall Street’ because of his phenomenal success as a Trader.  Schnieder has a plan, and Visconti is an opportunist. He quickly agrees to the terms and waits for Schneider to prompt King to come his way.

Under Visconti’s management, King’s Trust grows phenomenally over the next seven years. Then, on the one weekend that he decides he needs to get away from the phones and take a break, the stock market crashes. No one can get a hold of him so he can do damage control, and when he comes back to town, he finds out that the company has taken a big hit. On October 19, 1987, King’s Trust has lost half a billion dollars on paper. Visconti is desperate to recoup the money quickly, and save his reputation. And his pride.

He turns to Miles Dennis at Iacardi & Sons. Miles Dennis has made fortunes for people in commodities, and Visconti wants him to go short and buy contracts in the volatile crude oil market for him. On his first visit, Miles Dennis discourages this plan, advising him to wait for a few months.

Visconti is desperate but listens to him. To save face, he falsifies his annual report and doesn’t reveal to Mike King the true position of the trust. Visconti has started down a treacherous road of desperation and deceit. In 1988 he continued to confer with Miles Dennis, who consistently advised him against his plan.

In October 1988, Kerri Pyper takes a course in commodities at Long Island Community College. Miles Dennis is the instructor, and he is impressed by her keenness and aptitude. At the end of the 40-hour course, he hires her as his assistant.

On February 23, 1989,  Visconti is determined to jump into the crude oil market. He shows up at Miles Dennis’s office again.  There he meets Kerri Pyper and becomes besotted with her. She is married to Brian Pyper, the famous New York Jet’s star quarterback. As her marriage hits trouble times, Visconti befriends her and does his best to make the marriage fail. He will be there to pick up the pieces.

Eventually, Kerri turns to him. Visconti is confident that his crude oil contracts will restore his wealth and he will have the love of the beautiful Kerrie Pryor.

The best-laid plans of man can fall apart. Kerri Pryor is no fool, and she is honest and loyal to those that she loves. When she discovers that Visconti is not who he portrays himself to be, she vows to take him down.

THERE ARE NO SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW. Stephen Douglass once again has created a complex, captivating plot. I read this book long into the night for two evenings. I loved his portrayal of the characters. Visconti, so proud and driven to make more money. Kerri so intelligent and loyal, but strong and determined when she realizes how corrupt her lover really is.

Corruption, suspense, betrayal, love, loyalty, rage and murder.  Don’t miss this great read. I immediately downloaded the third book, Kerri’s War. I am a Douglass fan!!

This book can be purchased at Amazon.com by clicking here.

the-bridge-to-caracas-by-stephen-douglassstars-5-0._V192240867_ (1)The Bridge to Caracas totally captured my imagination! There are many aspects of this book,  but they all weave together seamlessly to create an exciting thriller; a story of crime, vengeance, and a love triangle.

Jim Servito is aa American draft dodger who snuck into Canada. He ends up in Toronto, pumping gas for Pop Williams, who has taken a liking to him and lets him sleep in a room at the back of the office. Pop’s is happy to teach Jim the honest rules of the gasoline business.  Jim is looking for an opportunity to move on and make big money. Then one evening he is approached by Jerry Allison, who tells how he can make big money by buying “bootlegged” gas to sell in the pumps. This fated meeting opens the door for Jim.

Jim is looking for an opportunity to move on and make big money. One evening he is approached by Jerry Allison, who tells how he can make big money by buying “bootlegged” gas to sell in the pumps. This fated meeting opens the door for Jim. Eventually, he buys Pop Williams gas station. Then he corners Jerry and forces him to tell him the who, where and how of the scheme Bob Bushings runs.  Jim tells Jerry that they will be partners and he makes him take him to Bushings place of business. He knows too much, and Bushings realizes that Jim will ruin him if he doesn’t go along with what he proposes. Jim Servito is now on the road to riches, fueled by corruption, and ruthless greed.

Karen Taylor was a stewardess. She met Mike King when she leased an apartment on Toronto’s St. George Street, directly across from Mike’s fraternity house. At the time Mike was studying medicine—he was going to follow in his fathers footsteps and become a Doctor.  He and Karen have a torrid love affair. Then Mike decides that he doesn’t want to be a doctor. Instead, he is going to travel and figure out what he wants out of life. Karen wants to go with him, but he says this is something he has to do alone.

Karen is broken-hearted, and decides to take a vacation. She and Patti Arthur go to Europe. As they are leaving Athens, their plane is hijacked by terrorists who demand that the pilot fly them to Syria. When the plane landed, Karen and Patti are among 5 hostages that are taken off. The terrorists as they are leaving the site, and it is presumed that all the passengers who had boarded it are dead.

Four months after he left, Mike returns to Toronto. He has found a purpose, and he is longing to see Karen. He is stunned when her mother tells him that she is dead. Eventually Mike moves on. He is introduced to Barbara Larkin by a friend, and they eventually marry and have a daughter, Kerri.

Sixteen months after being held as a political prisoner, Karen is released. All she has thought about is getting back together with Mike. He is shocked to discover that she is alive, she is stunned to realize that her dream can never be fulfilled because he is married and has a child.

Eventually fate brings Jim, Mike and Karen together. Their journey is painful, filled with passion, deceit, corruption, revenge and murder. It forever changes their lives.

I loved this book, and immediately downloaded “The Tainted Trust” to my Kindle. For me it was non stop reading of the King Trilogy!!

This book can be purchased at Amazon.com by clicking here

sinagiri-rajah-kasyapu-and-the-frescoes-at-singiriya-by-mike-lordstars-4-0._V192240704_I read many different genres and while I usually read  for sheer enjoyment, I love to read a book that tells me something factual about the area it is set in—or as in the case of this book, a look into history that I had no idea existed.

I am a Goodreads author, and recently Mike Lord sent me a message, suggesting that because I read so many different genres, I might enjoy reading his book. I had no idea who Mike Lord was—and naively thought it might be a debut book, with no reviews. I went to Amazon and checked it out and decided I would buy the book.

I am delighted to say that I really enjoyed this book. It is well written and full of a fascinating history about an era and an area that I know little or nothing about. If I were ever to go to  Sri Lanka, I would definitely visit the rock fortress of Sinagiri. I was fascinated by the description of the fortress and  the secret frescos in the hidden cave.

Abebech, a princess from Eritrea, was relatable, smart (even though she had never learned to read or write as per the social norm of the 5th century) and intriguing.  The story begins as she starts out on the journey to Taprobane (now known as Shri Lanka) from her home in Gonder, in the African highlands. Her father is sending her to fulfill an arranged marriage agreement that had been signed years before. Her older brother, Mekoria, accompanies her as a chaperone.

They ride camels on the first part of the journey. It takes five days to reach the coast and the bustling seaport of Assaba. There they board a large dhow (ship). The voyage has some adventure, including storms and pirates. Eventually, they arrive at the  port at Puttulam, in Taprobane.

From there they set out for Anarajapura, traveling over badly rutted roads with horses and wagons or carts. Part way there, they are met by the Royal stables train of elephants. Abebech and Mekoria have never seen elephants before and they are fascinated by them!

When they reach Anarajapura, they are amazed by its beauty. They learn that it had been the capital of Taprobane for hundreds of years, until a few years ago, when the present Raja decided to move his capital to Sinagiri.

Abebech has never met Raja Kasyapu, her husband to be. She knows nothing about him, does not even know if she will be his only wife or one of many. Whenever she or Mekoria ask questions about him, they begin to realize that the answers they get are evasive, and Abebech begins to wonder about the man she has been pledged to marry.

When they finally arrive at Sinagiri, they find the site unusual, and the main palace is still under construction.

Abebech does not meet Raja Kasyapu until the actual marriage ceremony—I would have to say that for a teenaged girl, the new groom must have been less than attractive, but Abebech seems to accept everything as part of the arrangement—until she learns that all is not what it appears to be.

I do not read a lot of historical books, but I sincerely enjoyed this one. I recommend it to anyone who loves history and encourage those who don’t to step outside their comfort zone and experience something different. They might be as pleasantly surprised as I was.

I must add that I later discovered that this was certainly not Mike Lords debut book—he has written several others!

You can get this book on Amazon.com by clicking here

and-the-whippooorwill-sang-by-micki-pelusostars-5-0._V192240867_ (1)I confess, I bought this book because of the title and the cover. I didn’t read the reviews—I didn’t even pay much attention to the synopsis of the book. The title had me—I have this “romantic” thing about Whippoorwills—even though I’ve never seen one. I did not realize that it was a memoir—truth is I may not have bought it. How much I would have missed!

This is a beautiful record of Micki and Butch Peluso’s life; from their teenage marriage, the growth of their family, the loss of a teenaged child and the survival of their relationship through love, laughter, stress, hardship, and loss.

Sometimes memoirs are too introspective for me, but as I read Micki Peluso’s book, it was so engaging that there were times that I had to remind myself that this was a true story.

The loss of a child is devastating; I speak from experience- we lost an 18-year-old son–but he died instantly. If it had to be, I thank God we did not have to endure the agony of sitting vigil for ten days, to have to accept the loss in the end.

The raw story of such a loss would make a desolate read, but Peluso skillfully inserted glimpses of the grief and pain of losing 14-year-old Noelle, throughout the story, while sharing other aspects of her marriage and the six children that they had.

I laughed, I cried, I related to the happy, the sad, and the stressful times that this couple and their family experienced.

I wholeheartedly recommend this book. It touched my heart, as I believe it will most people. Life is full of unexpected, unplanned events—joyful and tragic, hilarious and shocking. And the Whippoorwill Sang shares the story of an extraordinary relationship, an extraordinary family and the reality of their life.

This book can be purchased on Amazon.com by clicking here

the-art-of-healing-by-jeanne-felfestars-5-0._V192240867_ (1)I loved the cover of this book, but at first the title threw me—“The Art of Healing”– it sounded like it would be a book about psychology, or possibly health or even spiritual or hands on healing. But it said it was “A Novel.” Now I would have been prepared to read the book if the subject matter was about any of those topics, because they would have interested me. However, I was delighted to discover an incredible novel about two people who have been dealt difficult hands in life, and together, deal with their past and find emotional healing.

Julianne Garvoli is a pediatric nurse who comes from a strong Catholic family—her Mamma is Irish, her Poppy is Italian, and she is surrounded by a strong community of Italian support and love.

She believed her marriage was solid, until the night she hurried home to make a surprise supper to celebrate the anniversary of their first date. When she got there, she discovered that Clayton had moved out while she was at work, leaving her a note to say he had left her. (What cowardly piece of work he was.)

Julianne struggles with the devastating reality of her life for a time, before she goes home to seek comfort from her Mamma and her Poppy, who calls her “Tesoro mio,” which is Italian for “treasure of mine.” Divorce is not normally accepted by the church, but both her parents agree that what Clayton has done is unforgivable and they support her. Julianne takes the prospect seriously and does not rush into filing for one. While she is at her parent’s place, she sees a picture taken when she was sixteen years old on a mission in a village near Machu Picchu. She remembered all the dreams that she had then, all the plans and wondered what happened to that girl; how she had lost her? She is free now, maybe she should think about exploring ways that she can use her nursing experience to help others in disadvantaged places.

She settles into a routine; working, then picking up something for supper at Marc’s before she goes home. One night a beautiful woman, who looks sad and haunted approaches her. The woman is Michelle, and she is the one Clay had left Julianne for. This was a shockingly revealing moment for Julianne, and it cemented her decision to divorce Clay.

Jokob O’Callaghan lost the love of his life to cancer. He is a renowned photographer and since Keara’s death, he has immersed himself in his work.

One day, Bella insists Julianne go to a photo exhibit with her. Julianne resists at first, then reluctantly agrees. Once there, she is captivated by a picture. Jakob is the artist, and he asks her what she sees in the picture. He is delighted when she expresses something that no one else has sensed. That is the beginning of their friendship.

Things progress between them, but the journey is not straight forward. They both have strong feelings to overcome. Neither is certain that they want to risk another relationship.

I liked the way this book ended. It was not what I expected, but I liked how both Julianne and Jakob had grown.

I highly recommend “The Art of Healing.” It is very well written, an outstanding debut novel. I will be watching for more books by Jeanne Felfe. I would love to see one that tells Michelle’s story.

This book can be purchased on Amazon by clicking here.

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