Giveaway today!


Colleen Caruso’s Midas Touch, which is A Day in the Life of Colleen Caruso, is up on Dru’s Book Musings today. If you visit the site and leave a comment, you’ll have a chance to win a print copy of Another Man’s Poison. Good luck to all who enter!

Here’s the link:

Virtual Book Tour

blog tour Poison

The book tour is all set and there is lots of time to think up clever interview answers before the virtual excursion begins. I’ll post the schedule again and check all the links to be sure they’re in working order as the tour dates draw nearer.

Tour Participants

October 2 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT  

October 3 – Valerie’s Musings – INTERVIEW

October 3 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – SPOTLIGHT

October 4 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW

October 5 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

October 6 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

October 7 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

October 8 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST

October 9 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 10 – Cozy Up With Kathy – GUEST POST

October 10 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 11 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW

October 12 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

October 13 – Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT

October 14 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

October 15 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

Things are finally moving fast. On Tuesday, August 22nd, I’ll be doing A Day in the Life  for Dru’s Book Musings and will respond to all comments posted on the site throughout the day. I’ll send the link out again on Tuesday as a reminder, and hopefully one of you will post a comment for the chance to win a copy of Another Man’s Poison.

The book is also available on Amazon for pre-order, though as far as I can tell, it’s only for the Kindle edition. I have to contact the publisher to find out why the paperback isn’t available for pre-order yet. If anyone is interested, here’s the link:

Enjoy what little remains of the weekend everyone! I’ll post a reminder on Tuesday about Dru’s Book Musings. If you get some free time, check it out!

Halfway Through August

Umbrella photo blog

The above patio umbrella (in beloved Devils red) will soon be closed for the season! I can’t believe how fast the summer is slipping away. I haven’t accomplished even a small fraction of the things I planned to do! The heat really got to me this year. I’ve all but deserted my own backyard. The humidity is paralyzing. Lately I refuse to lift a finger anywhere if air conditioning isn’t involved.

News of Another Man’s Poison – it’s coming. The tentative release date, August 10th, has come and gone. Any day now is all I can say. It will definitely be out by August 22nd, as I am doing another Day in the Life guest post for Dru’s Book Musings on that date. I will have all the links here on this site, as well as links on Dru’s site if anyone cares to purchase it.

As I said in a previous post, I’ve been busy working on other things. I wish my brain could function at a faster pace, and I would love to have fingers that fly across a keyboard instead of staggering like ten drunks! As it stands, there’s another series in the works, revisions on Recurring to make the book a lot more edgy, and an extremely serious book that I have to drag, kicking and screaming, out of my past – Lesser Saints. This one is tricky. It’s not exactly a mystery. The book is about the religious restraints placed on Catholic schoolgirls growing up in the sixties, the importance of virtue and chastity even though the abuse is not the victim’s fault, four reticent classmates who make a solemn pledge to keep a deadly secret, and the ethics involved in lying to save one’s own skin. This is the hardest thing I’ve ever written, even more tough than a newspaper story I covered years ago about a brave woman who chose to have a double mastectomy as a preventative measure when first diagnosed with a cancerous lump at age 29 (that one really upset me).

I will update the exact release date of Another Man’s Poison as soon as I hear the news. Meanwhile, stay cool, enjoy what’s left of the summer, keep your patio umbrellas open and tilted, and remember to read while you’re tanning!


Another Man’s Poison August Release

AnotherMansPoison-Cover2-page-001August Release!!!


It’s been over two months since my last post and I’m thoroughly ashamed about that! I received a comment on my site this morning under the Cover Reveal post about the upcoming book’s release and she pushed me into action! The fact is, I hadn’t heard much about Another Man’s Poison for a while, when Dru Ann Love contacted me last month to ask if I was interested in doing A Day in the Life for her popular blog, Dru’s Book Musings. That inquiry got the ball rolling. I bugged the editors at PageSpring Publishing and shamelessly pushed. They’ve been a little behind in releasing titles due to several unforeseen events and authors simply had to wait their turns. As it happens, my turn has finally arrived.

Another Man’s Poison will definitely be released in August. I’m doing a guest post for Dru’s site on August 22nd, and I’ve sent in my dedication, acknowledgments, and a revised bio to the publisher to be included in the book. The publisher is putting together a nice blog tour (I’ll post the schedule when it is all booked and finalized). All very exciting!

It’s been exactly two years since Hide nor Hair! I can’t believe that much time has passed. I think everyone’s been sidetracked – at least I know I have, working on other things and dealing with the obstacles life throws at me to trip me up and comically entertain the cosmic universe.

So it’s coming. And soon. And thank you all for your patience and interest!

Off discussion and on a side note – has anyone experienced the latest Microsoft update and had trouble? I turned on my desktop this morning and was greeted with a shot of a field filled with lavender and a prompt to type in my password. The problem – I had absolutely no idea what my password was! So I placed a call to Microsoft, where I needed a linguist to interpret the tech’s suggestions, took a dozen more tries at guessing the right password, received an advisement to wipe out the whole system (and lose tons of files which aren’t backed up including one entire manuscript, the start of two separate new series, and an outline of a book that I hope will be a NYT bestseller, as well as over a thousand pictures). Obviously I wasn’t about to do that. After a suggestion to contact HP, I hung up. This exchange took over an hour and my blood pressure skyrocketed. I ran to the bathroom cabinet and took a whole Xanax pill (I hate taking medications) to avoid a stroke. I finally controlled my shaking hands, calmed down, and started fooling around with password combinations and took some wild guesses. I was finally able to sign on!

The moral of my story — write down every single password you’ve ever used. Back up everything – no matter how insignificant you think it is – on a flash drive or a disk! Microsoft automatically did this “update” without my permission (second time in a row). They will never hold me hostage again.

Have a great night everyone! Remember to back up your work!

Life of Crime Tea Party


Tea Party

(left to right) Eileen Watkins, Roberta Rogow, Kristina Rienzi, me, Linda Rawlins, and Debbie Buchanan

This past rain-soaked Saturday was a lovely day for a tea party at Sisters in Crime-Central Jersey. Besides the spring-inspired garden party outfits and the various teas and nibbles, the panel did a good job explaining what led each author to pursue a life of crime, at least fictionally. I learned how much mystery writers have in common — strange childhoods, the love of a good murder from a very young age, strange reading and television viewing habits, etc. We all had so much fun and were amazed by the culinary skills of the dessert volunteers.

Sue's Cupcakes

Sue Ortiz (above) did a masterful job of baking mini-cupcakes from scratch and decorating each one piping (is that the term for frosting stuff using tips and pastry bags?) delicate flowers, a task that took several hours to accomplish (but with amazing results).

I even wrote a little poisoning hand-out for the event in honor of Another Man’s Poison:


Different Photo

Tea and No Sympathy  (a layperson’s guide to poisoning)

by Jo-Ann Lamon Reccoppa


Spring has sprung. Proper gents in seersucker blazers and ladies in pretty frocks gather for a garden tea, complete with dainties and polite conversation. For a would-be killer, the setting presents the perfect opportunity to do away with a disappointing loved one, an old foe, or a potential rival.

How, exactly, is this mission accomplished? With tainted tea and toxic biscuits, of course! Tea gives us an ideal medium to deliver the fatal blow. With its visual appeal and pleasant aroma (not to mention the enticing sweetness courtesy of a sugar bowl or a drop of honey), the irresistible deadliness of the brew is nearly undetectable. But what poison shall I use? And where can I get hold of a bit of the lethal stuff?

Good poisons for tea:

Cyanide – the almond scent of this nifty poison is a natural for coffee (and tea) creamers such as hazelnut, almond mocha crème, and vanilla nut. This lethal toxin can be concocted using old pesticides, or it can be ordered legally on the internet.

Arsenic – delivered as a sugar or a sugar substitute, sweetens the pot. It worked well in movies such as Leave Her to Heaven. For a lovely additive on cakes or cookies, this powdered sugar double is very effective. Remember Flowers in the Attic? This, too, is available on the net. Just remember to pay with a pre-paid credit card and have the deadly stuff delivered to a P.O. Box rented by using a fake identity (keep a sharp eye out for those pesky post office cameras).

Oleander – this pretty little gem (with alluring blooms and toxic leaves) can be steeped as an herbal tea, and oh what a kick it provides! It’s economical too. Just snip some flowers and leaves from your own or your neighbor’s garden. Sadly, in the book and the movie White Oleander, fingering the poisoner was simple for investigators to figure out.

Rest assured, Sisters in Crime – Central Jersey, is not in the habit of poisoning those who attend our afternoon teas. We do enjoy discussions about the best way, the proper way, to eliminate our enemies though.

And we love a good murder, but not enough to kill you!


So there you have it! Hope you enjoyed the pics. Next post will hopefully be the exact release date of Another Man’s Poison. Meanwhile, have a wonderful weekend everybody.


Cover Reveal


Another Man’s Poison (pre-tweaked)

After a laborious four hours of trying to convert a pdf file to a jpeg, I am finally able to post the cover of Another Man’s Poison. I never did figure out how accomplish this bit of magic, so my techie son had to come around and do it for me! The colors might be changed (there is a lovely amber background and also a purple background version), but I’m partial to green because I’m half Irish. The layout of the words on the cover might shift somewhat, but this is basically the cover. Whatever version the publisher decides to go with will be fine by me.

So, what’s the verdict? Feel free to comment.

I think I’m looking at more of a July release than June. I know it’s a long time coming and I’m sorry about that. It took a while to write, and a long wait for publication. This mystery is something of a departure for our Colleen, and poison kills a lot quicker than the time it takes to write about it.  But it is coming and I’m thrilled to death that the date is drawing near.

Have a great day and keep reading!

Tea and Murder

Scan_20170405 (3)

On Saturday, April 22nd, the Sisters in Crime – Central Jersey will present a highly interesting and entertaining function. “How I Got Started in a Life of Crime” is a tea party, a dress-up, and an author panel. There will be tea, of course, and light refreshments (as well as a few heavier ones like baked ziti or penne vodka courtesy of yours truly). The panel features several of New Jersey’s best crime writers – Kristina Rienzi, E.F. Watkins, Linda Rawlins, Debbie Buchanan, Roberta Rogow, and Jo-Ann Lamon Reccoppa (how did she get in there?), and we will discuss our early romance with criminal activity.

If you’re in or around New Jersey and are interested in what led these mystery writers to a life of fictional crime, sign up for party! We’d love to see you there.

Meanwhile, I’m still awaiting the cover for Another Man’s Poison! I’ll post it here first to give you all a glimpse of the next installment in the Jersey Girl Cozy Mystery series.

Have a great night and wonderful weekend everyone. Keep reading.



Atlantic Highlands Marina

This shot was taken nearly two months ago, but I’d love to go out on this boat on a warm, crystal clear day and soak up some sun. Unfortunately, it’s snowing and icing outside. I’ll have be content with staying warm and dry inside for now, and sharing information about Colleen and the gang during this bitter-cold end of winter.

Another Man’s Poison is expected to be published sometime in May! I wouldn’t be surprised if the publishing date is pushed back to June. I came down with something awfully nasty nearly two weeks ago and was late getting corrected copy back to the editor. I think I had the flu, and yeah, I did get a flu shot sometime in the fall. I don’t know, maybe I had a variation or a really bad cold that just felt like the flu. Either way, the book is coming. It’s a go! I’m thrilled. I hope everyone is as excited as I am.

As soon as I get the cover art I’ll do a reveal. Don’t know what the cover will look like – maybe a skull and crossbones effect? That’s what I imagined, but artists come up with some amazing, eye-catching ways to present a book! This should be loads of fun.

Pleasantries aside now. I have to bundle up and dig out the driveway, scrape three inches of ice off the windshield, and hopefully not freeze to death as I clear a path on the sidewalk. And to all those enjoying your eighty-degrees in Florida today (you know who you are), BAH-HUMBUG.

Keep in touch folks and stay safe.


Groundhog Day


Atlantic Highlands

As it is February 2nd, I expect to keep waking up and repeating this day again and again, much like Bill Murray did in the movie. Who wouldn’t want to relive a single day, accomplish so much, then finally make things right? It would be so much fun up to a point. Then, of course, it’s boring.

According to groundhog Punxsutawney Phil  we have six more weeks of winter. A little closer to home, Staten Island Chuck predicts an early spring. All this means absolutely nothing. The two groundhogs only occasionally agree on their predictions, and more often than not winter tends to hang on until she’s good and ready to let go.

Winter or spring, I’m all set for the beach, as well as for crime. Finally some good news about Another Man’s Poison! A few changes will be necessary before the book goes to editing (the publisher’s edits, that is). You can bet I’ll be working my tail off to get it just right, and hopefully Another Man’s Poison will at last see the light of day in the coming months. Meanwhile, Recurring is stuck in limbo, and the first book in my next series is at the mid-way point. I guess I have a thing for murder. Pretty exciting stuff for me!


Author Jane Kelly

Speaking of murder, last week I met up Philly author Jane Kelly in Atlantic Highlands for a leisurely lunch and a good, long chat as we gazed out at crystal-clear Raritan Bay – Colleen Caruso’s stomping ground. The weather was fairly warm, very breezy, and perfect.

Generally we seek each other out at mystery conferences, so this setting was a special treat. Cousin Jane (I call her that because there are a slew of Kellys on the Lamon side of my family and I figure she must be related to me somehow) loves murder as much as I do, not to mention the shore! Her books take place down the Jersey Shore, like mine, and feature likable, resolute sleuth Meg Daniels. Jane’s fiction is a joy to read and worth checking into if you like dead bodies and such. Visit her website at:

That’s all the news I have for now. Hopefully I can update next week, when I know exactly what is going on with Colleen and the gang.

Have a wonderful weekend all!


A Brand New Year



Happy 2017!

We’re two days into the new year and have entered winter. I miss the leaves, noticeably absent from the bleak-looking picture above. I’m waiting patiently for spring to arrive and am keeping my brain occupied with words – both by writing and reading them. Almost everyone I know has given up on making resolutions. It doesn’t pay to promise to commit to something, only to break that promise in a week or two.

However . . .

There are three resolutions I’ve decided to devote myself to in the coming year: outlining (which as a seat-of-my-pants writer is nearly impossible), devouring books, and the last (and possibly the most difficult) – figuring out how to use Goodreads to my advantage. I’m terrible at utilizing reading sites to further my own writing. I’m not sure how to do things; how to post, how to change settings, how to friend, etc. I guess how to friend is the worst. What if none of these writers and readers want to be friends? What if they hate my writing style? How embarrassing! Regardless, I plan to study the site and figure out how to get the most out of Goodreads. So much to learn, so little time! If you’re not familiar with Goodreads, just click here and explore. I intend to. As a Goodreads author, you’d think I would know all this stuff, but I don’t.

As for progress on my books under consideration – still no news! So sorry. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Need I go on? I’ll be doing some follow-up in the coming week and good news or bad, I’ll post it here as soon as I hear something.

In closing, I again wish everyone a happy, healthy New Year. May only exciting, delightful things happen for you — today and always.