And the Winners of my Social Media Contest Are…

What a fun contest that was! For the past month, I asked readers to upload a photo of themselves with my novel THE HUNT FOR XANADU and put it on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook with the Hashtag #xanaduquest. Then, on 2/21 I randomly chose five winners to receive a signed hardcopy of the sequel, THE QUEST OF THE EMPTY TOMB, which is launching next week on 2/28. For just a bit more fun, I uploaded a bunch of the contestant’s photos to my webpage for a super cool “Fan Shout-Out.” I won’t lie… I clicked on my own webpage a few times a week just to look at it. 🙂 I still have it up, so feel free to check it out here at

So, the winners, chosen by a third-party, and in no particular order are….


Congratulations! If the lovely winners will please contact me via my contact page here: and give me your address, I will mail you a copy of THE QUEST OF THE EMPTY TOMB. Anyone else that wants to get on my newsletter for new releases can fill out their information here as well.

kelsey covers

If you’d like to purchase THE HUNT FOR XANADU, I’ve dropped the price to $2.99 and you can get it here:

UK Amazon:

The book is also available around the globe and in ibooks, too.

Thanks to everyone that entered – it was so much fun and I really appreciate all of you. Catch you next week at the launch and happy reading!


Book Signing at a New Leaf

Book Signing at a New Leaf

To everyone who had the chance to read THE HUNT FOR XANADU, Book #1 in the Kelsey Porter Series, Book #2 is finished. It’s getting some final editing and proofing, cover is being created, and then it will be out to the world.

This series is near and dear to my heart. I wanted to write something that featured a strong female heroine, but be sexy and smart and action-packed. I wanted the characters to be well-rounded and have a history to them that was deep. I actually have written a 26 page character file with information about everyone in these books. Kelsey Porter’s sheets are actually six pages long and still growing as I develop her character further.

If you’re interested in picking up Book #1, THE HUNT FOR XANADU, feel free to click here:

United States Amazon:
United Kingdom Amazon:
Canada Amazon:

So, without further ado… I give you the beginning of Chapter 1 of THE QUEST OF THE EMPTY TOMB…

Chapter 1

The Pier

“Dammit, they were supposed to be here two days ago. Gisborne, I’m telling you, the intel was wrong.”

It was two a.m. and the detectives were back at the docks for the fifth night in a row. A rash of illegal and classified weaponry making their way to the United States from the Middle East had been reported and tracked to this location. They’d been told another one was due to have arrived two days prior, but it still hadn’t shown.

Detective Sean Flanagan swiped at the sweat dripping from his brow. It was hot on this breezeless August night and his partner knew he wasn’t happy. “We’ve been had. It had to have come in somewhere else.”

Desmond stood on the edge of the platform and examined the dock, searching for anything he might have missed. The abandoned warehouses were silent and empty and the pier was quiet. Light waves from the Hudson River lapped gently against the broken and decayed planks. An occasional coo from a dove, or a flap of pigeon wings, were the only sounds to mar the silence and tranquility of the evening.

“We definitely missed something,” Desmond mused. “Sharif was sure it was coming in here. He tracked the shipment leaving the Middle East.”

“Sure, my ass,” Flanagan snorted. “Wheedling the info out of a bunch of drunken Syrians isn’t what I’d call ‘sure.’ Probably blitzed out of his mind on Barada Beer the entire time. Not so hard when you’re partying on the government’s dime.”

Desmond exhaled. “Let’s do a final check of the wharfs on Harper’s Row and then call it a night.”
The Detectives moved across the jetty and made their way downtown to the last set of piers.


That was just a little taste… If you’re interested in joining my mailing list to find out exactly when it’s launching, please feel free to join here:

So, what do you think? Have you read book #1? Are you intrigued? Love to hear!

What’s the Fascination with Twins?

holding handsI admit it. I am fascinated with twins. Fraternal, identical, boy/girl – it doesn’t matter. When I was a little girl, I used to draw crayon filled drawings of what my family would be like when I got older, and they were filled with twins, triplets, and octuplets. I’d have a family of forty kids and two very happy looking parents smack dab in the middle, with their brood surrounding them. Now, thirty years later, I actually have a set of twins and I’ll tell you what? Two is just fine, thank you very much! LOL.

But twins still fascinate me, as they do society as a whole. Is there a special bond? Do they get along? What is it like to have one? My twins are as different as possible. One is sporty, the other is into computer coding, one will eat sushi and one won’t let anything but pizza and nuggets pass his lips. One’s a boy, one’s a girl.

But what about other twins? The famous ones we hear about? Tiki and Ronde Barber were football players (and one was a Giant – yeah!!!) and were so competitive. They are both now authors themselves who write books about being football players. Then there’s Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen who were child actors and who have now built a fashion empire together. And my idols, Abigail and Brittany Hensel. Want to talk about cooperation? They are conjoined twins who share one body and when I think about how much those girls have had to work together and cooperate in order to do practically anything, I realize that all of us can look to them on how to act on a daily basis. Check here for Abby & Brittany’s show on TLC to learn more about them.

But what if all twins didn’t get along? What if they hated each other with a passion? I wanted to explore that in my dark fantasy novels, THE WORLD OF KAROV and THE RUBY AMULET. Both books include twins and both books take that complicated relationship and flip them on their heads.

I have a third book in the series and guess what? Twins are in this too. Here’s the beginning of a flash fiction tale that will give you a little “taste” for this particular novel. It’s going to have a high fantasy feel and will eventually be a pre-cursor to both novels: (Here’s only half of it – the rest is just a click away!)


The sphere was so small in the palm of my hand. All that vast blue with hints of greens and browns and soft white swirls covering it.

I felt a gentle hand upon my shoulder. “You must take care of it, son, for it’s fragile.

I glanced up at my father. “Is this one alive?”

He nodded. “Yes, very much so. Not like the ones you played with as a young child, Arpagius.”

I remembered those worlds. Those lovely marbles of brown and black; some as light as a dove’s feather, some as heavy as a block of granite; but all ice-cold.

I stared back at my world. It was nearly hot in my hand and I watched as new fluffy white masses formed across the greatest stretch of blue. I gently blew on them. The clouds scattered where my breath hit them. I glanced back at my father.

“Arpagius, how you treat this world will determine your place with our kind. Will you be a leader, a god to these small beings? Or, will you fall, to remain a servant of the land, never to achieve your full status? Only you can decide this. It’s an important decision for one of only nine years old, but it must be done and this is the only way for us to know your true character. I trust you’ll make the right choice and not fall by the way of your brother.” My father turned, and with a spread of his wings, flew out the window. I watched him soar over the turrets of the castle and move northward, until he was but a black speck in the sky.

I turned back to my world as black clouds formed across the oceans. “I will do my best, Father,” I whispered.

Want receive the rest of the story? Just shoot me a note here and say “I want the end of the short story!” and choose CONTACT ME. Or click here:

Just ask and you shall receive. (even if you’re already on my contact list)

Want to read THE WORLD OF KAROV? Click here on Amazon:
Want to read THE RUBY AMULET? Click here on Amazon:

The fact is, I find twins are occupying so much of my thoughts that I have been putting them in nearly all my series in one capacity of the other. I didn’t realize that until very recently when I decided to publish a horror tale for Halloween – and yep, there are twins in that, too. So, Happy Twinning!

Public Versus Private – How Much is Too Much?

publicThis is one of those conundrums indie authors face. How much of yourself do you keep personal and how much do you allow to be public? When you are publishing books without the backing of a big house and you are doing all the social media yourself, you need to continually find ways to be in the public’s eye and brand yourself. This means, in my opinion, you need to use your real name (or the name on the cover of your books). The reason for this is that you must make it easy for readers to find you, no matter what social media platform you are on.

The question is, how much is public versus private? I have a FB page, Twitter, WordPress Blog, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, Goodreads, Linkedin, etc., and all of them have my real name. Each of these mediums also has a bio about me and while I try to keep them consistent, I also try to switch them up based on the particular medium I’m in. Twitter has me as an author, black belt and gastronaut (shock food fan), while other sites I chat up my gardening skills and others I talk about my pet ferret. On LinkedIn I actually downplay my writing and concentrate on my sales day job because I do have to make a living.

So, the question is, how much information is okay to share? I’ve heard readers don’t want to see you just preaching to them to buy your book. Nowadays with the ease of the internet and free knowledge about everything under the sun, they personally want to KNOW you. They want to see what you like, how you think and sometimes, just want to chat. I know that when I reach out to an author, and sometimes “famous ones,” that I get a real kick when they write me back. I’ve had personal conversations with a few “famous” thriller authors on FB and on twitter – not to mention probably a thousand other amazing indie writers on both mediums. I love learning a bit more about them, knowing what makes them tick and why they write what they write. Sometimes people have bought my books just because they know me personally or know me via my virtual persona.

I try to steer clear of discussing religion, politics, sex and personal finances. I also don’t list my home address or personal phone numbers and while I may discuss my family, I try to keep most private information private. Seriously, there are some things people don’t need to know. But besides those small things, everything else should be fine. Think of every post passing “the mom test.” If you won’t get a call from your mother about your post, then you should be fine!

Love to hear your thoughts on this. And for those interested in joining my email newsletter list, please sign up here. I will be offering a free short story in the next few days and information about the new book release of FLYING TO THE FIRE – book #2 in my YA Deaf thriller series.

I also am doing a Goodreads Giveaway of my Buddhist themed thriller, THE HUNT FOR XANADU. Please consider entering or putting my novel on your shelf.

So, You’ve Been Asked to Do a Reading From Your Book…

Getting ready for my signing

Getting ready for my signing

I am so excited to participate at a Book Signing at the illustrious Dolphin Bookshop on June 7th from 2-4 in Port Washington, NY. I’m part of a multi-authored event where I will be promoting my adult thriller, THE HUNT FOR XANADU.

I’ve been asked to prepare a 90 second reading. Now, I’ve been to author readings before. I won’t lie. I don’t usually like them. In fact, at two library talks I did, the coordinators suggested that I don’t do a reading because they felt that they weren’t interesting enough for attendees. Hmmm. You see, there are some books, when read aloud, just don’t sound good – especially the ones riddled with sentences that end with “he said, she said, they said, Karen said, said Mark…” you get the picture. I was at one recently, and there was so much of it, that it completely broke up the entire flow.

So the question is, what to read that will be exciting, won’t give away any crucial parts of the book, but will sound great read aloud? Pick something action-oriented, something that will grab your audience in their clutches…

I decided to go with the beginning of chapter one of THE HUNT FOR XANADU, not the epilogue, but right into the beginning of the book that starts with this action scene:


Hidden in the security camera’s blind spot, she sucked in her gut, closed her eyes and listened intently. “Come on, already,” she thought, drumming her fingertips rapidly against the brick wall. She heard the dogs panting now. This sound had replaced the earlier frenzy of them tearing into the drugged raw hamburger she had thrown over the fence just twenty minutes before. She’d crushed thirty-six Acepromozin tablets into the ground meat, reckoning it would enough to knock out the four guard dogs, if not kill them outright.

She glanced at her watch and waited. This is taking so long. Five more minutes passed, with nothing sounding except the soft, rotating click of the camera. Abruptly, she yanked down the protective goggles resting on her head and placed them over her eyes. The clicking now echoed loudly, indicating the camera was once more faced in her direction. Brazenly she stood, aimed her laser gun and pointed it directly into the lens. The high tech, silicon-based CCD camera had an impressive wavelength sensitivity. The laser’s high-powered emitter instantly saturated the pixels of the camera’s CCD sensor and burned the chip out instantly.

Ricardo Perez thought he protected himself with the best of everything. He’d under-estimated meeting an assassin so invested in seeing him dead.

Hooking the laser into her belt loop, she flung her knapsack over her shoulders and scaled the wall in a practiced leap. She balanced delicately on the edge to prevent being punctured by the barbed wire and slipped on a pair of leather gloves, grabbed the wire cutters hanging from her backpack and snipped her way through. In less than twenty seconds, she was inside the backyard of the compound. Three of the dogs lay unconscious in the grass nearby, but their twitching feet told her they were still alive. Where is the other one?

A deep, menacing growl came from behind her and she whirled to face the remaining Doberman. She had just enough time to register the bits of bloody hamburger still clinging to its snout before it lunged. Her instincts kicked in and she did the only thing she could remember. She punched the animal savagely in its throat like she’d been taught, and it fell to the ground, dead.

Breathing hard, she turned back to the house where Ricardo had hoped to escape from her. Her body shook and she took a deep breath, trying to keep her anger in check. This man couldn’t expect to destroy her family and get away with it. He was going to pay.


I might add on (since it’s all of 45-60 seconds), or not. But here’s the kicker… I DON’T HAVE TO READ EVERY SINGLE WORD! That’s right. In the above reading, I might remove the last sentence in the first paragraph entirely and simply move on… this is your reading, your time to shine in the spotlight – heck, you can make everything up if you’d like – it’s like doing a presentation for work. Your audience doesn’t know what you’ve prepared or what you’re presenting, so there’s no reason to ever be worried about making a mistake. Even if you stumble over your words. Just own it and move on. Remember, the attendees don’t want an embarrassing situation either – they want you to do well – that’s why they are AT your signing.

If you can’t make the event but would like to grab your copy of THE HUNT FOR XANADU, please feel free to do so here: I have little postcards that I can sign and mail to you if you’d like. Come to my contact page and join my newsletter – give me your address, let me know you’ve purchased a kindle copy and I’ll mail you a personalized note:

Want to come get a signed copy of the book? Here are the details!

June 7th 2:00 – 4:00
The Dolphin Bookshop
299 Main St, Port Washington, NY 11050
(516) 767-2650

And, I’ll have Dove Chocolates and Asian treats! Come on down, love to see you. 🙂

Building an Email List – SWEEPSTAKES TO WIN A BOOK – 10 AVAILABLE!

First edition cover - only 20 left in existence!

First edition cover – only 20 left in existence!

Hi everyone, I’m getting my email newsletter up and running. My plan is to make announcements only monthly and/or if I have a new book release… which I will have by March.

Many of my readers have read my YA thriller, FLYING TO THE LIGHT. It’s a book about a young deaf boy who knows about the afterlife and now people are after him for the answer. The publishing company who represented this book folded and I was fortunate to have an agent pick it up. But, nearly a year later he still can’t sell it, or the sequel that is ready to go. Why? Because the book was “already out in the field” and publishing houses don’t want to take on another publishing house’s book unless I can confirm oodles of sales. While I was told FLYING TO THE LIGHT was the biggest seller at the old publishing house, my sales weren’t high enough to warrent a look. (think Harry Potter or Fifty Shades sales)

So, that said, he’s released them back to me. I’m working on a new cover and going to get it back out into the world. Which brings me back to newsletters. I’ve been told this will be the best and most efficient way to reach my readers. So, if you’d like to join my e-mail list for announcements, trivia and games, please do so here: I promise NEVER to sell or distribute your email to anyone else.

SWEEPSTAKES: The 10th person to join my newsletter is going to win a signed copy of FLYING TO THE LIGHT – with the original first cover. The 20th person will win a signed copy and so will the 30th. I will do this up until the 100th new newsletter fan! The contest will go until the new book cover is released in early March. How’s THAT for a sweepstakes?

Come on over folks and enter.