Happy New Year

selective focus photography of several people cheering wine glasses

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Best wishes to all for a happy, healthy and prosperous new year.

If you’re like me, the vague prosperity resolutions you make for 2020 will include enriching your mind. Reading outside your comfort zone will certainly contribute to this decision. I’ve expanded my brainpower in the last several weeks by reading some really old works and the best part – the books are absolutely free!

While rereading “Educated: A Memoir” by Tara Westover, I came across some titles she mentioned she had read during her studies at Trinity College. I tracked a few of them down because they related to women issues and being a woman, I was intrigued.

I’m on page 120 of “The Subjection of Women” by John Stuart Mill and it’s brilliant. What’s the brilliant part, you might ask? The book was printed in 1869! Modern-thinking Mill was way ahead of his time coming to his conclusions about the unfair and often criminal treatment of women. I’m surprised he wasn’t ostracized for his beliefs (or maybe he was, I haven’t actually looked into his history just yet).

Also on my list is “An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals” by David Hume – A 1912 Reprint Of The Edition Of 1777. Say what? 1777? Hume was lightyears ahead of his time and I’m totally surprised the guy wasn’t burned at the stake (again, maybe he was – have to look into that, too).

blaze blazing bonfire burn

Photo by Digital Buggu on Pexels.com

If you have an interest in women’s studies or are seeking what I assume would be very old public domain titles on whatever interests you, check out Project Gutenberg at http://www.gutenberg.org/ and find some mind-blowing books. You have the option of downloading epubs, reading them online as an HTML, or even adding them to your Kindle library. If you’ve made a resolution to be more frugal this year, you have no excuse. Like I mentioned before, it’s free, free, free!

As for me, life (which is writing) goes on. Perhaps 2020 will be better for this author.

May the coming year be your best year yet!



Winter Wonderland


christmas xmas christmas tree decoration

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Happy Holidays to all! The snow is falling here in Central Jersey, though it shouldn’t be. It’s only December 2nd, still technically autumn and way too soon to contend with this white sh*t. Is Mother Nature on steroids or something?

I’ve been on a short hiatus from writing due to some health issues. My concentration hasn’t been up to par for several weeks, but now is a great time to reengage in my own fictional world. To help fuel the writing fire, I’ve been tracking down the fates of several stories that have been in the hands of potential publishers for the past few months. As I learn more, I’ll pass on the info – good or bad. And I can’t wait to submerge myself in my Boardwalk Psychic series. It’s been a while since I’ve spent time with Dani Grotowski inside her mother’s psychic reading booth in fictional Sun Beach, New Jersey.

To pass the time (and to keep from going crazy), I’ve been reading a lot and watching as much mystery as I can on TV. I am especially intrigued by Dublin Murders on Starz, though after Sunday’s episode, I’m just about ready to scream. Has anyone else been following this series? If so, did you find the latest installment unbelievably contrived? How convenient that the dead girl (Lexie) looks exactly like Cassie! And what a coincidence that Cassie just happened to have an imaginary friend as a child named Lexie . . . Oh, and Cassie’s going to impersonate her doppelganger . . . What the hell? Seriously? Though I won’t do spoilers here, are they kidding? The series is based on two books by author Tana French – “In the Woods” and “The Likeness.” The stories are sort of combined, but not seamlessly. What annoys me most is that if I e-submitted a story like that to an editor or agent, they’d reject it faster than you can hit “reply” to an email. I’ll continue to watch, of course, because I’d like to know how this thing ends – but are they for real? Sorry. Enough of my rant. If anyone thinks this storyline is brilliant, kindly leave a comment and let me know why.

To end this post, I wish everyone a joyful holiday season. Hopefully I’ll be able to post again before Christmas with some really great news.

Stay healthy and keep reading!







orange pumpkin

Photo by Trygve Finkelsen on Pexels.com

What is it about Halloween that stirs the imagination? Is it the love of a good scare? The chance to dress up as anything from a ballerina to Michael Meyers? Maybe it’s the candy!

Creepiness has always appealed to me. I write horror as well as mysteries and always have. I think we’re all attracted to the strange, probably because we’re all a bit strange in one way or another. That’s a good thing – almost as good as the trick-or-treat candy.

Stories, in particular, fire our imaginations as Halloween approaches. Think of Sleepy Hollow and the Headless Horseman. How about a little Edgar Allan Poe? Who isn’t captivated by The Mask of the Red Death, The Pit and the Pendulum and my favorite, The Tell-Tale Heart?

At a recent Sisters in Crime – Central Jersey meeting, I had the privilege of hearing a talk by Irene Curran, a local Poe expert.


What I learned about Poe is that he was, well, an odd-ball. His life was horrible, awful, tragic, sad . . . there aren’t enough adjectives to cover the kind of life this guy endured since early childhood. Yet he wrote. And wrote. And wrote some more.

Primarily Gothic in his writings, the macabre author was the one of the first American writers to make his living by writing alone. As such, the poor man was dead broke for most of his life (I can certainly relate, as do many of the writers I know). If you get the chance, read his life story. Also, there’s an excellent movie called The Raven, made in 2012 starring John Cusack. It doesn’t cover Poe’s whole life and much of it is fictional, but I loved it and think it’s worth watching.

Other news:

OB Library Event

left to right: Nicki Monteperto, Christine Clemetson, Kristina Rienzi, Jo-Ann Lamon Reccoppa and Linda Rawlins

The picture above is a bit blurry. I didn’t take the shot (this time) so it’s not my fault!I had the pleasure of appearing with fellow Sisters in Crime authors at my local library on the Saturday before last, for a discussion about writing mysteries and getting published. I was amazed at how many would-be writers there were in the audience – all seeking advice on how to get their stories down and into print.

That’s all for now. I hope to have some good news about my upcoming books in the very near future. Please keep your fingers, toes, legs, etc., crossed for me. Meanwhile, enjoy Halloween, eat plenty of candy, dress up weird, and read something chilling.


Library Event


Good evening all! Members of Sisters in Crime – Central Jersey will hold a writers’ event this Saturday at the Old Bridge Public Library, Old Bridge, NJ:

Sisters in Crime Mystery Women’s Writers Group

October 19 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Sisters in Crime Central New Jersey Chapter offers a friendly, supportive network for women crime writers at every stage of their crime writing career. Join them as several authors share their experiences as crime writers.

If you are in the area (or care to take an enjoyable weekend drive to our area), please join us. The address is One Old Bridge Plaza, on the corner of Cottrell Road and Route 516 West in my beautiful hometown of Old Bridge.

Including yours truly, other speakers will be Kristina Rienzi, Nicki Montaperto, R.G. Belsky, Linda Rawlins and Christine Clemetson. We will have our books for sale, speak about our crime fiction, and hopefully recruit some new members (both readers and writers) into our local Sisters in Crime chapter. Remember, too, that we’re not all sisters, we also have misters.

I hope to see lots of faces at the event.

As always, keep reading!

Open Mic – Sisters in Crime Central Jersey

Open Mike June 29

Good morning everybody.

This is just a quick post to inform readers and writers in the vicinity of Central New Jersey about the open mic/fundraiser, which will be held at the Sisters in Crime – Central Jersey meeting tomorrow at the Jamesburg Senior Center, Jamesburg, NJ. (See above)

I will be reading an approximately five minute except from one the Jersey Girl books (haven’t decided which one yet, but I’d like it to be a body-discovery scene). There will be plenty of talented fellow sisters and misters reading excerpts from their own work as well.

The address is 139 Stevens Avenue, Jamesburg, NJ 08831. If you happen to be in the area, please stop by. I’d love to meet you in person!

Have a great day.

Good News

New Math Is Murder Cover           HideNorHair-front-cover           AnotherMansPoison-Cover2-page-001


Happy Sunday readers and writers! I finally have news to share about the Jersey Girl Cozy Mysteries. Crossroad Press, specializing in the digital publishing of back lists, will be reissuing New Math is Murder, Hide nor Hair and Another Man’s Poison, which means Crossroad will be my new publisher. The books will be available again electronically, as well as in print and, if I’m reading the contract correctly, in an audio version. There is also a chance they will consider publishing a fourth book in the series – which thrills me. I would love to write more about Colleen, Ken and the entire gang. I’ll post as soon as the books become available for sale once again.

102_0461    102_0465

As for Recurring, there’s no news as yet. I did manage to get into New Brunswick to take some shots of the vicinity where the book’s protagonist, Elaine Masters, is nearly murdered while fleeing an assailant. I loved being there in person to see exactly what’s going on in her mind as she desperately tries to outrun the guy who is out for her blood. The shot is of tiny Monument Square Park – offering no place to hunker down and hide in the dark!

Other writing non-news, I’m still working on and reworking other projects. Hopefully something good will come to light with those, too!

Enjoy this beautiful weather and read something wonderful outside in the gorgeous summer sun!




Memorial Day


The American Cemetery in Normandy, France

Hello fellow readers and writers. I hope you’re having a great weekend. The above image was taken by me! I thought it fitting to post the solemn picture on this Memorial Day.

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to reading (especially over this long holiday weekend). The weather is perfect for lounging under the sun with an exciting book open across your lap – unless you’ve slathered yourself with tanning lotion or sunblock. Tip: put a towel across your legs so the book cover doesn’t get greasy. I say “book” because outdoors in the bright light, the print on e-readers is difficult to see. I’ve tried it and it doesn’t work well.

So, what are you reading? A beach book that’s quick, fun and perfect for relaxing? Something deep or inspirational? Something that might scare the flip-flops off of you? Let me know if you care to  comment.

The Five

Book released April 9, 2019

I’m revisiting the Jack the Ripper and Black Dahlia murders. What better way to relax, right? Over the years, I’ve amassed quite a few books on these two subjects. After skimming through them for the hundredth time, I think I have it all figured out, until I pick up the next set of books and change my mind as to the killers’ identities.

Donald H Wolfe

This book’s release date will be in June, 2019. You can bet I’ll be ordering it!

I also watch every new theory pertaining to these murders on TV, hopeful that someone will prove beyond a doubt that so-and-so did the heinous deeds in Whitechapel, or that George Knowlton, George Hodel (interesting that both men are named George) or some other depraved psycho savaged Elizabeth Short in Los Angeles. So far, no dice.

As for me and my writing, things are going painfully slow – as usual. The thing is, slow is not unusual for a writer. And as I explained ad nauseam, the waiting game takes forever (or seems to take that long). I have work out there for consideration to both agents and editors. Time will tell. I’ll post, as well as shout it from the rooftop, if I hear anything regarding publication.

Have a wonderful day AND KEEP READING!