Fiction Writing and Other Oddities

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Lightning Strike

You know how your parents always warned you not to stand under a tree during a storm? You know how you always scoffed? Well, it turns out, they were right. You should never be anywhere NEAR a tree during a storm and I have proof. If you read this blog and look at the pictures and still run to shelter beneath the spreading branches of a tree during a storm,'re an idiot.

About a week ago, we had a terrible storm during the night. At 4:00AM we heard a loud boom that rattled the entire house. We live in a log home and have actually weathered hurricanes and trees hitting the house with only the merest thump. This time, the house really did shake so we knew there had to have been an explosion of some kind. We figured lightning had struck somewhere close, very close, and were afraid it was our power line. Thankfully, this was not so.

The next day, we checked the trees around the house to make sure none of them had been struck for fear the tree would die and then come crashing down on the house. All the trees in the immediate vicinity appeared fine, however.

Then today, we were taking the dogs for a walk through our woods and found the lightning strike. The sight was awesome in the sense of "awe inspiring." I had never seen anything like it in my life. A huge tree had been struck and literally exploded into fragments, some of which were littered as far away as 100 feet. Many of the jagged, spear-like fragments were stuck in the ground and you can only imagine what would have happened had you been foolish enough to be within 100 feet of that tree when it exploded.

From examining it, we saw the charred area about four feet off the ground where the lightning hit. The heat of the strike immediately boiled the moisture in the tree and the steam created so much pressure that it blew the tree apart, as if the tree had been a pressure cooker without a safety valve. It looked like someone had stuck an explosive into the tree and set it off. The thick trunk was split to the ground and the top was blown completely off and landed next to what remained of the stump, still upright and leaning against the shredded remains of the trunk.

So the next time you even THINK about taking shelter anywhere near a tree, I encourage you to think again. Most experts tell you to take shelter in a building or a car (cars have rubber tires, after all) and I think that's pretty darn good advice at this point.

The really amazing thing to me is how a previously healthy, mature tree was so completely split apart into matchsticks. (Okay, they are giant matchsticks, for sure, but the fragments scattered everywhere in the woods did look like matchsticks.)

I am also pleased that this happened before birds started nesting this spring. We did not find any "bodies" of any critters, which was a relief to me (although evidently a disappointment to the dogs).

One must never forget the power of nature. Lightning is obviously nothing to "fool around with."

On a cheerful note, I'm watching my latest book, The Unwanted Heiress, creep up the Amazon ebook charts and it looks like it is a success to me. :) That will give me some bucks to do some planting and I think a few more trees may be in order.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Shooting Craps

Publishing is really a crap shoot - you just never know what will catch reader's attention and what will just slip away into oblivion.

This weekend has been one of my best, ever, with the exception of three months in 2011 when my books were literally flying off the shelves. About two weeks ago, The Unwanted Heiress, a sweet Regency romance was released, or rather re-released as it had previously come out as I Bid One American. The cover for The Unwanted Heiress was redone by a professional cover artist, Amber Shah, based on a photograph by Jenn LeBlanc, and the results were terrific.

The book had always done well and attracted the interest of two agents, so when I got the rights back, I re-edited it and got it re-released.

The results have been everything I could have hoped for. Back in 2011, several of my Regency mysteries did very, very well (The Vital Principle and the Regency romantic mystery, A Rose Before Dying) but I had never been able to crack that "2,000 in all Kindle books" bestseller barrier. This time, I did. On Saturday, March 23, I got a ranking of 1,995 in all Kindle books!

How did I finally break the barrier? Beats me. In fact, I've done absolutely nothing other than mentioning the book on my author page on Facebook a few times and tweeting about it a few times. Like many others, I read Konrath's blog about publishing and he's pretty well clueless, too, about what suddenly attracts readers to a book (and hopefully, an author), except for a few basics:

  • A great cover - this is what catches the attention, first
  • A great blurb
  • A great title

The funny thing is, this reminds me of my first research into publishing when I began seriously writing (for the second time, after college) back in the late 90's. What I kept hearing, especially from unpublished authors, was that publishers kept telling them they wanted, "Something that is the same, only different." What the heck does that mean?

It means a book that fits comfortably into a genre that readers know and love, and yet is somehow different while it remains within the bounds of that genre. Now some writers can break through and establish entirely new genres, e.g. Georgette Heyer or Stephen King, but for the most part, if you want to sell, you need to write a book that readers can "place." That means, that readers know/understand what to expect. Oh, not that they know what to expect in every detail, but in general terms, like knowing there will be a happy ending.

Writing a book that fits within a genre, of course, doesn't guarantee sales, but it will generate more sales than writing a mishmash, e.g. a Frankenstein-meets-Gone-with-the-Wind-in-Space. If readers can't wrap their heads around a concept, it's going to be hard to find readers unless, of course, you're the next Stephen King. And while most writers think they are not only the next best thing to King, but actually better, I'm afraid the reality is: probably not.

So I'm grateful that readers are discovering The Unwanted Heiress and I hope they enjoy the sweet Regency romance. It fits nicely in the Regency genre, but as so many editors requested, it is the same, only a little different.

Happy Reading!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Dylan's Song Virtual Book Tour

Today we have another guest author, P.M. Terrell, and I hope you will enjoy hearing about this new tale of suspense and mystery, set in Ireland.

p.m. terrell


Dylan Maguire returns to his native Ireland with psychic spy Vicki Boyd. Their mission: to locate and extract a CIA Agent who disappeared in Dublin while on the trail of a known terrorist. But when Dylan receives word that his grandmother is dying, he is plunged into a past he thought he’d left behind forever. His mission and the dark secrets he’d sought to keep hidden begin to merge into an underworld that could cost him his life. He must now confront his past demons and the real reason he left Ireland—while Vicki harbors a secret of her own.

Suspense Magazine says, “p.m.terrell’s writing is powerfully written and masterfully suspenseful; you have to hang on for the ride of your life.” Midwest Book Review says the Black Swamp Mysteries series is “page-turning action, unforgettable characters, breathtaking descriptions and unexpected plot twists.” And syndicated reviewer Marcia Freespirit says the series is “riveting, spell-binding, sexy and intense!”

“Why are you so adamant about not going back?” Vicki said. “I don’t understand.”

He strode to the back door. With his hand almost on the knob, he stopped abruptly and turned around to face them. “The flight is a hundred hours long.”

“It’s six hours,” Sam said.

“I’ll have jet lag for weeks!”

“Two days, tops.” Sam’s voice was becoming quizzical.

“Are you afraid of flying?” Vicki asked.

“No!” he bellowed. He opened the kitchen door. “The weather there is atrocious!”

“I can’t believe you’re acting like this is such an inconvenience for you!” Vicki shouted.

“In me whole life,” he said as if he hadn’t heard her, “it’s rained once.” He held up his finger. “One time!”

“Really?” Vicki said. “Once?”

“And it’s lasted for thirty years!” With that, he marched outside and slammed the door behind him.

Vicki and Sam stared at the door for a long moment without speaking. Then she turned to him. “I’m at a loss here.”

He continued staring at the kitchen door as if he hadn’t heard her.

“Do you know why he doesn’t want to see Ireland again?” Vicki asked.

“He can’t refuse a mission,” Sam said quietly. “You can’t pick and choose your missions in this line of work.”

Vicki turned to stand directly in front of him.

“Do you know,” she said in a stronger voice, “why he doesn’t want to see Ireland again?”

He looked at her as if seeing her for the first time.

“You know, don’t you?”

He looked away from her. His eyes roamed the kitchen as though he was searching for something. Vicki stood her ground until he said, “No. I have my suspicions; that’s all.”


Why did you decide to write?
I began writing in grade school when my father (an FBI agent) was transferred to the Mississippi Delta from New Jersey. It was 1967 and the area was undergoing a particularly troublesome period; my father was helping to break up the Ku Klux Klan; the Civil Rights movement was in full swing; and so was the Vietnam War. My school principal encouraged me to write and I found it took me away from the hostilities I encountered as a northerner in a small Southern town. It opened up worlds that have continued to entertain me and enthrall me, decades later.

How much research do you do?
It depends on the book I’m writing. With my historical adventures, I averaged more than 30 hours of research for each 1 hour of writing. With a stand-alone contemporary suspense, I could perform an average of 3 hours of research per 1 hour of writing. But with the Black Swamp Mysteries series, I find the research is getting faster and easier.

What was the most interesting thing you discovered when you were doing your research?
I am always fascinated when reading CIA declassified documents. I suppose one of the more interesting things I’ve discovered is the psychic spy program on which I based the main character’s vocation. It surprised me that a government agency would employ such people, and even more surprising was the fact that our enemies started it first.

What’s your favorite method for researching?
Hands-down, it’s the Internet. But there is so much information out there that I make it a policy to go to recognized websites such as government agencies (the CIA has a section right on their own website for reading through declassified documents), libraries, historical societies, etc. I always fact-check through three sources before anything based in fact make it into the book. I don’t believe I could have written the books that I have without the immense amount of information at my fingertips. The Internet truly has revolutionized research.

With themes, I love placing ordinary people into extraordinary circumstances. I like the additional layer of a character evolving through the book or series. I like multi-faceted characters as well; Dylan Maguire, the CIA operative, for example, is tender and romantic but he is also capable of killing.

When do you write/what is your writing day like?
When I am at home, I will often begin writing first thing in the morning and I may not get up from my chair for 10 or 12 hours. When I’m on the road, I will write in hotel rooms in between book signings and appearances. I write at least six days a week and often seven days.

What is the best advice someone has given you about writing? The worst advice?
The best advice anyone ever gave me was to keep writing and keep honing my skills. The worst advice was from a New York Times bestselling author who told me after my first suspense had been rejected by three publishers to give up.

How do you approach a new book? Outlines? Just an idea?
I will plan the crime first. So I’ll research all the elements of the crime, even down to the flaw that will lead to the crime’s discovery or the criminal’s apprehension. I then look at the best way to tell the story. In the Black Swamp Mysteries series, I have several main characters that I can move between, depending on whose view is best for the telling of a particular plot: a psychic spy, a CIA operative, a computer hacker, and a political strategist.

What makes a great book in your opinion?
A book has to grab my attention and hold it there. I have so many things vying for my attention—work, volunteerism, family commitments—that a book must grab me from the very first page. The plot has to be thought-provoking, the action has to continue without lulls and time-consuming descriptions, and I have to be able to feel myself in the role of one of the main characters. If I can’t picture the main characters, if I can’t identify with them, and if I am not interested in where the plot is going, my attention span becomes very short.

If a reader took away one thing from your book(s), what would you like that to be?
When a reader reaches the last page of one of my books, I’d want them to wish they hadn’t reached the end—and immediately look for the next book I’ve written. That’s always a sign of a good author: when you can’t wait to read their books but you find yourself reading them more slowly as you get toward the end because you don’t want it to end!


p.m.terrell is the award-winning, internationally acclaimed author of more than 16 books. Vicki's Key, one of the first books in the Black Swamp Mysteries series, was one of five finalists in the 2012 International Book Awards (Mystery/Suspense) and 2012 USA Best Book Awards (Mystery/Suspense.) River Passage, an historical work based on her ancestor's migration to Fort Nashborough in 1779-1780, won the 2010 Best Fiction & Drama Award. The Nashville (TN) Metropolitan Government Archives determined it to be so historically accurate that they entered the original manuscript into their Archives for future researchers and historians.

Prior to becoming a full-time author in 2002, terrell founded and operated two computer companies in the Washington, DC area. Her clients included the United States Secret Service, CIA, Department of Defense and federal and local law enforcement. Her specialty is in the areas of computer crime and computer intelligence. Her experience in these areas have greatly influenced her books' plots.

She is the co-founder of The Book 'Em Foundation, whose slogan is "Buy a Book and Stop a Crook" and whose mission is to raise awareness of the link between high crime rates and high illiteracy rates. She founded Book 'Em North Carolina Writers Conference and Book Fair, an annual event to raise money to increase literacy and reduce crime.

For more information on Book 'Em North Carolina, visit and

p.m.terrell's website is and her blog is

She can be found on Twitter @pmterrell

Contest Information
Be sure to leave comments and follow Ms. Terrell's book tour as one lucky person will receive a gorgeous Celtic knot necklace from those who participate.

You can check out additional stops on the blog tour at the following link: terrell tour

 Good luck and thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Nobody Has to Know Review Tour

Nobody Has to Know
by Frank Nappi



Nobody Has To Know, Frank Nappi's dark and daring new thriller, tells the story of Cameron Baldridge, a popular high school teacher whose relationship with one of his students leads him down an unfortunate and self-destructive path. Stalked through text-messages, Baldridge fights for his life against a terrifying extortion plot and the forces that threaten to expose him. NHTK is a sobering look into a world of secrets, lies, and shocking revelations, and will leave the reader wondering many things, including whether or not you can ever really know the person you love.

Chapter One:
Cam knew he should not have encouraged her - should have never pursued her. It was the first thing he was told before he took the job. It wasn’t so much an admonition as it was a statement of fact.

“Remember, you can be friendly with these kids, but you are not their friend,” his mentor, a seasoned veteran of twenty nine years, warned. “Especially the girls. That’s just trouble waiting to happen.”

Cam shrugged it off. He had heard that warning before. Besides, he had no interest in teenage girls, especially the ones sitting in his classroom.

“No problem there John,” he had explained at the time. “I have it covered. I have no time for any of that. I’m involved already. College sweetheart. It’s cool. Really. We’ve been together for years.”

“Is that right?” John commented. “Then what’s the deal? I mean, twenty five isn’t old friend, but seems to me you should have taken it to the next level by now.”

Cam flushed and stood more awkwardly now. John marveled at his protégé’s attempt to free himself from the moment’s grasp.

“I don’t know,” Cam replied. “Why does everyone ask me that? I really don’t know. I guess the timing has never been quite right.” He paused briefly, gleaning some obscure meaning behind the raised eyebrows of his friend and mentor, then continued to speak, like an actor who had just been cued from offstage.

“But that should change soon. Hayley and I will probably be engaged by Christmas.”

Cam should have remembered John Volpe’s words. He should have listened to logic, and tucked away those feelings. He should have done a lot of things, like remembered his master’s thesis – the one that explored La Femme Fatale. He knew all the names. The sirens of Greek Mythology. Mata Hari. Memo Paris. Daisy Buchanan and Mattie Silver. And of course there was Nabokov’s Lolita. She was the one he remembered most. “All of them,” he had written, “are so very beautiful, so alluring, yet deadly – life draining vampires who possess the power to transfix the opposite sex with their feminine wiles, leaving these spellbound males weak, vulnerable and ultimately barren.” He should have remembered. He should have considered how much he loved teaching and his genuine affection for everyone at Hillcrest High School. He tried. But all he could see was her. For some reason, all he could think about was her long dark hair, and what it would be like to touch it – to let the soft strands cascade across his own body. And the wet shine of her lips. My God, what would it be like to feel those as well? To press his to hers. She was so beautiful, so exquisite, so young.

So many times, during their little chats before and after class, he stared into her blue eyes, marbled with gray flecks, and was lit by her electric smile, all the while wondering how it was that this universe managed to give birth to such a perfect creature. She was perfect. She was just as Nabokov had described his Lolita -- the nymphet, a mystical, magical, sweet smelling creature budding with sexuality, ripening on life’s vine, right before his very eyes. Yes, the forbidden fruit. Oh how she tortured him. The curve of her mouth; her slender waist and fully formed hips, both attenuators to the rhapsody of her walk; her sweet smell and the softness of her tan skin. Everything about her called to him desperately. It was a familiarly paralyzing feeling. The girl was also familiar. He could recall, as a kid, humid summer evenings with his friends, racing around on damp lawns under a gray sky that had just begun to soften into the pitch of night. Freeze tag was the game most often. Some complained it was a bit juvenile, but there were all sorts of variations, including a wrinkle that included their favorite alcoholic drink of choice.

The rules of the game were basic: once touched, you could not move. You remained frozen in place, sometimes drinking to excess, until someone freed you from your current state. He could still remember waiting, silent and still, for what seemed sometimes to be an eternity. It was uncomfortable. Cam’s knees would ache and his arms would burn. It was interminable. He was always tempted to transgress, to flex his muscles under the cover of the deepening night. He never did. Even though he could move, he never did, for the spirit of and passion for the game always trumped logic and reason.

He played it all the time, with Maleigha. She was his first love. It was the summer before he began high school when he met her. She had just turned fourteen, and was visiting her cousin, who happened to be his next door neighbor. He was slightly older and they had spent that entire summer together, swimming and riding bikes. He often thought, even now, how odd it was how they seemed to click instantly. She came from a Latin American family that lived in a trailer in New Jersey. She was a singer, and a lover of jazz music. He was just a kid from Long Island who loved the Mets. Their cultures and upbringing differed greatly as well. Yet somehow, none of it mattered. It was part of the magic.

The days that summer were filled with innocent fun with a group of others. They sat around many afternoons listening to their favorite tracks from Rage Against the Machine and The Smashing Pumpkins while playing Super Mario 64 on his Nintendo. When they tired of that, the world outside offered more frivolity, including wiffle ball, Marco Polo, tag, and man hunt. They were rarely at a loss for entertainment. Those were good days. But night time was really special. At night, it was all about Maleigha.

Often, Cam would take her for walks through the nature preserve not too far from his house. She loved the sound of the crickets, and the gentle trickle of the shallow waterway that snaked its way through the underbrush. It was there they would hold hands and talk about the summer and the beach and about their feelings for each other.

“This is very different from where I come from,” she said, marveling at the moon through the treetops. “I really love it here.”

“Is Long Island really that different from New Jersey?” he asked.

She looked at him with bubbling amazement.

“Yeah, just a little,” she answered, shaking her head playfully.

“Well, it’s not that far,” he said. “Maybe your family can move here.”

She never looked so sad.

“I don’t think so Cam.”

“Well, you never know,” he continued. “Besides, you can always visit, right?”

She was thinking of her mother, and the last thing she said to her before Maleigha left.

“Have good time at Carla’s, behave yourself Maleigha, you hear? No trouble, okay? But by time you get back, we be all set to leave for Ecuador. No worries mi hija. It be fine.”

It will be fine, her mother kept saying. Somehow, Maleigha just could not see how moving to the other end of the earth would ever be fine. Not now. Not ever.

“Sure Cam,” she said through glassy eyes. “I can visit.”

He thought of Maleigha often. It was eleven years since he had last seen her, and he was now a twenty-five-year-old man with a beautiful fiancée and a promising career. Time had altered many things for Cam, but Maleigha remained a part of him. And although life had offered him a promising path to follow, other thoughts were now surfacing as well, like how this new nymphet of his, Nikki, knew very well, on some level, just how enticing she was. That’s why her sweaters fell the way they did across her round breasts, and why her clothes left very little unknown about just how shapely she was. It was the same reason why she twirled her hair when she laughed and why she giggled flirtatiously every time she said hello to him in the hallway. She was no child. No way. And he was no longer a man in control, but a tortured soul, slave to her essence, lost always in beautiful, woeful distraction.

There were moments when it was almost more than he could bear. When she touched his arm playfully, or blinked her eyes in that coquettish way of hers, it rendered him in agony. His heart would rebel feverishly, and his reality would divide instantly into two sectors – the ecstasy felt from the passing of electricity through that touch or flirtation and the devastation of a world that simply forbade any further advance. Those fires of love, or perhaps lust, burned wildly in the chasm between hemispheres and transformed quickly into waves of passionate thought. What would it be like, he wondered, to press his body up against hers? Just once. To feel, with all his being, her tight, silky skin next to his. It was a desire that ruled his soul.

Even so, he should have known better. Although only seven years separated the two, it should never have gone any further. It should have ended with those harmless flirtations, like their conversations about things they both loved, like the Mets and Kanye West, and the way he always saved her a piece of his Orbit gum or the many visits he made to Carvel, where she worked part time, just because he was “in the neighborhood.”

“You again?” she said laughing. “This is the third time this week. You sure must love ice cream.”

“What can I say Nikki,” he answered. “I’m addicted.”

Yes, he should have recognized the signs and just walked away. But he didn’t. Somewhere, deep within the darkest chambers of his soul, lurked the feeling that he had to have her – that his body would not survive in her absence. It was an uncompromising pang. Not even John’s advice and knowledge of all that he could lose were enough to extricate him from the blissful imaginings and real life longings. No. It did not matter. Nothing else mattered. Not any more. His world had been turned upside down in an instant, and he had reached the point of no return. 

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 Frank Nappi has taught high school English and Creative Writing for over twenty years. His debut novel, Echoes From The Infantry, received national attention, including MWSA's silver medal for outstanding fiction. His follow-up novel, The Legend of Mickey Tussler, garnered rave reviews as well, including a movie adaptation of the touching story "A Mile in His Shoes" starring Dean Cain and Luke Schroder. Frank continues to produce quality work, including Sophomore Campaign, the intriguing sequel to the much heralded original story and the just released thriller, NOBODY HAS TO KNOW, which received an endorsement from #1 New York Times bestselling author Nelson DeMille. Frank is presently at work on a third installment of his Mickey Tussler series and his next thriller. He lives on Long Island with his wife Julia and their two sons, Nicholas and Anthony.

Nobody Has to Know book trailer 

Nelson DeMille's Endorsement:

"A haunting, briskly-paced page turner that explores the darkest recesses of the human psyche while propelling the reader through an intricate series of hair-raising twists and turns. Nobody Has to Know is a masterfully written tale that is expertly told. Frank Nappi knows how to entertain the reader from start to finish."
-- #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Nelson DeMille.

More Stops on the Tour

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Easy Meatloaf Dinner

Since I retired from my day job to write full time, I've also started doing a lot more cooking. Both my husband and I enjoy cooking and hubby is even trying to learn how to bake! Last night, we managed to throw together another delicious dinner of meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green beans, and an apple spice cake. I had hoped for enough leftover meatloaf and mashed potatoes to make a pseudo-Shepard's Pie for dinner tonight, but no such luck so today I have chicken chili in the crock-pot. My meatloaf never really tastes the same way twice because I tend to vary the recipe and for some reason, I hit a home run last night.

Here is what I threw together and a few tips to help you through your hectic food preparation.

1 lb lean ground beef
1 tsp. salt (optional, I often don't put salt into food)
1/3 c. oatmeal
1/2 c. milk
1/2 of a medium onion, chopped fine
1/8 tsp pepper
1 egg (beaten)
1 tsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp. chopped chipotle chili with adobo sauce
Ketchup or chili sauce (to spread on top)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Soak the oatmeal in the milk while you mince the onions. You don't have to, but it is a good idea. Mix everything (with your hands--that really works out best) except the last ingredient.

Spray a loaf pan or grease it to avoid sticking. Spread the meat mixture into the pan and then pour a Tbsp or 2 of the ketchup or chili sauce on top.

Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour to 1 and 1/4 hours.

Time and Food Saver Tip
A lot of recipes, including the one above, call for a Tbsp or so of chipotle chilies and adobo sauce. The problem is, you generally have to open a small can and you only use a small part of it. I have found that I can scrap the rest of the can's contents into a quart-sized freezer bag, smoosh it out so that the contents of the bag are spread out and there is little-to-no air and then freeze it.

The advantage of this is that you can then break of pieces of the chilies and sauce and easily chop it up to add to recipes. I find that it is actually much easier to chop up the chilies into much smaller pieces when they are frozen, so this works well (at least for me).

Apple Spice Cake
The cake we made last night was basically the one from this link: Spice Cake from, except that I modified it as follows.

2 Apples cored and sliced thinly, spritzed with a little fresh lemon juice to keep them from going brown

Bisquick Streusel topping:
2/3 c. Bisquick
2/3 c. Brown sugar
4 Tbsp. Butter
1 Tsp. Cinnamon

Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the Bisquick, brown sugar and cinnamon until the consistency is grainy with pea-sized bits.

Make the spice cake then layer the apples on top. Layer the streusel topping on top of the apples. The spice cake calls for baking in a 9 x 13" pan, but I put it into a Bundt pan, which meant I had to bake it for 50 minutes instead of the 40 minutes the spice cake recipe called for.

It was delicious. :)

Today, I'm baking our French bread for the week and we have chicken chili for dinner, which gives me time to do some writing. Good eats all around!

What Else Am I Working On?
My editor at Highland Press emailed me about a sweet Regency romance anthology they are putting together and she asked if I could dash off a novella for it. I have a terrible track record with novellas and "dashing things" off, but I did agree so I've been working very hard to get 20,000 words written and edited. I'm now working on the ending, which is always the hardest part for me. The story is tentatively (and not very creatively) called "The Thief" and will once more feature the cursed emerald necklace, the Peckham Necklace, and another member of the Archer family.

It's what I consider a light, fun story and I really hope my editor and my readers like it. My first novel published with Highland Press is called The Necklace and it too features the emerald necklace so I thought the novella would be a nice continuation with the Archer family and their misadventures with their infamous necklace.

Wish me luck and happy reading!