And the winner is…

Me! No, I didn’t win first prize, but I placed 16 out of 25, so my short story, “Mama,” will be published in the 17th Annual Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition Collection. Each year, Writer’s Digest sponsors a variety of writing competitions, the winners of which win cash prizes and/or have their work published in the magazine or one of the books it publishes. Since this was only the second short story I’ve ever written, I’m very pleased with the win. Once I have details about how you can obtain your copy of the short story collection, I’ll post

Book Review: BEYOND the RAGE by Michael J. Malone

Michael J. Malone’s Beyond the Rage is one of those novels that keeps you thinking long after you turn the last page. Its hero, Kenny O’Neill, made appearances in Malone’s previous books in the DI Ray McBain series (Blood Tears and A Taste for Malice). Kenny, a successful criminal with friends in many places, is an unlikely hero. He’s a good bad guy, one who struggles to make sense out of senseless violence while avoiding the memories of a troubled childhood. Kenny’s father abandoned him shortly after his mother committed suicide when he was 12-years-old, at which time his mother’s

Book Review: SIGHT UNSEEN by Iris and Roy Johansen

I’ve been reading Iris Johansen’s books since the 1980s and enjoyed every single one of them. Sight Unseen is my first introduction to her collaborations with Roy Johansen and it’s no surprise it hit the New York Time’s bestseller list right out of the gate. Kendra Michaels is a recurring character in a number of previous novels (written by Iris solo and in collaboration with Roy). One of the traits that makes her a unique and appealing character is the fact that after the once-blind Kendra underwent surgery that restored her sight, her heightened senses made her acutely observant–a quality much appreciated

Book Review: KEEP QUIET by Lisa Scottoline

Lisa Scottoline’s Keep Quiet is one of those novels that keeps you wondering how you’d behave if you were able to change the outcome of a single, regrettable decision. What would you do if you were responsible for the tragic car accident your son caused? Just how far would you go to protect him? And how long could you shield your wife from all the lies and secrets, especially when keeping quiet might not only quash her hopes for federal judgeship but kill her career, as well? These are just some of the heart-wrenching struggles Jake and Ryan Whitmore face as

Book Review: THE GUILLOTINE CHOICE by Michael J. Malone

Although the Book Depository’s blurb for The Guillotine Choice appears below, it doesn’t touch on the powerful and emotional impact of this novel. Malone, who is best known for his award-winning poetry and crime novels featuring DI Ray McBain, has proven himself to be a versatile and truly gifted writer. I have a habit of reading really good books straight through regardless of the hour the alarm clock is set to ring the next morning. However, I had to limit myself to a few chapters at a time because this story, its characters, and the consequences of every action had me

Book Review: THE PLAYER by Brad Parks

The Player, Parks’ most recent novel in his Carter Ross series, is exciting, amusing, and suspenseful–all in a classy way. In this book, our hero (a reporter for a New Jersey newspaper) investigates the strange and sometimes deadly illnesses affecting a small neighborhood in the city … all while fielding a number of personal and professional curve balls. I rate this 4 stars–it’s very, very good and I won’t be lending my hardcover copy of the book to anyone. The Player by Brad Parks Released March 4, 2014 by Minotaur Books ISBN 978-1-250-008-2