Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Peter Perrin and His Latest Novel

Peter Perrin writes sweet, seasoned romances involving larger-than-life mature characters who will make you rethink your views on older people in a positive way. His characters are mature in age but not necessarily in their behaviour. They may not be in the first flush of youth but that doesn’t stop some of them acting like hormonal teenagers.
Peter was born in Romford, in the county of Essex, near London, England. For nearly twenty years he has lived with his wife of almost forty years in a quiet suburb of Swindon, in the county of Wiltshire, in England. He is a father and grandfather.

He is a former member of The Royal Air Force who has served in the UK, and in Madagascar, Singapore, and Saudi Arabia. He was also stationed for two years in Aden—which nowadays is part of Yemen.
After almost fifteen-years’ service in The Royal Air Force Peter worked in Engineering, Quality Control, and Procurement Management, not to mention myriad smaller jobs in between those careers.

Now retired Peter’s interests are Writing, Carp Fishing, and (despite being in his early seventies) PC and PlayStation games.
His favourite quote is “Youth passes, but with luck, immaturity can last a lifetime.”

Character Interview for Grace’s Turmoil

Beverley: What’s your name?
Grace: I’m Grace Stollery.
Beverley: Where did you grow up?
Grace: I’m originally from Romford, Essex, in England. Nowadays it’s so big it has become part of East London.
Beverley: During what time period does your story take place?
Grace: Oh it’s very up to date. It’s set in the late summer of 2014, but much of it takes place in an English mansion that was built in the mid-1600s.

Beverley: What’s your story/back story? Why would someone come up with a story about you?
Grace: I’ve had a tumultuous love life with all my relationships ending badly. Then I got married and thought my life was going to be perfect. But, over time I was seriously mistaken about that and my marriage ended in an acrimonious divorce. I was wary of men and determined never to again to get involved with one. The Alfred came along and turned my life upside down and my heart inside out. Who wouldn’t want to write about that?

Beverley: What’s your goal in this story?
Grace: I just wanted to be left alone to spend my semi-retirement painting portraits and let time heal my emotional scars. But, it seems that Alfred has other plans for me.

Beverley: What conflicts are you facing?
Grace: I’m struggling not to let my liking for one drink too many to become a problem. And I’m having a problem reconciling my nervousness towards men with a growing attraction to Alfred.

Beverley: Do you have a plan for resolving them?
Grace: Not really. The drinking is something I’m going to have to be very strong to deal with. That’s helped by the fact that Alfred has his own reasons for not letting me become an alcoholic.
As for the personal conflict I’m going to have to get Alfred to take things slowly and let me get to know him properly. If he pushes me, it will only end in tears.

Beverley: Do you have any special characteristics?
Grace: Hmm. I’m not too sure what you mean by that. I’m gregarious and sociable, but I am also introverted and prone to depression. So, Alfred isn’t going tom find me easy to understand or deal with.

Blurb for Grace’s Turmoil
Divorced and emotionally damaged, artist Grace Stollery wants nothing more than to spend her semi-retirement painting and let time heal her emotional scars.

But when dashing widower Alfred Nobel moves into her retirement village he turns her life upside down and her heart inside out by awakening feelings she wants to keep dormant.

Alfred quickly sets out to woo Grace and slowly she warms to him. But the village’s resident femme fatale wants him for herself. Will she succeed in driving a wedge between Alfred and Grace?

Excerpt from Grace’s Turmoil:
Not Too Old for Love
Book 1

Grace jabbed at the volume button on the remote control, turning up the sound on the television. She was trying to drown out the chatter which filled the palatial residents’ lounge. It had been like that for days, and she’d grown tired of it. Who would have thought the imminent arrival of one man could affect mature ladies like that?

One of the things which had appealed to her when she moved to The Grange retirement village was the lack of men. Yet a man who aroused feelings in her she didn’t want was going to add to their number.

Grace had caught a glimpse of him across The Lounge a few months ago, taking the standard tour of The Grange. He'd towered over the young woman he’d been with, and she’d guessed he was at least six-foot-five. Built like a tank, with a mass of wavy white hair and a snow-white beard, he’d reminded her of a polar bear. His presence had been overpowering and almost menacing. An image of him defending a seventeenth century mansion in days gone by had jumped into her mind.

Looking at him had sent a spontaneous burst of attraction rippling through her. It had caught her by surprise. Becoming attracted to anybody was the last thing she’d needed right then. Her divorce had been too recent and too painful. All she wanted was to focus on her painting to block out the pain. Although she hadn’t come there to look for a man, there was no denying how she’d reacted to the sight of him. She wondered how she would cope when they met. And she couldn’t help feeling he was going to have quite an impact on her life. Whether it would be a good impact or not was the million-dollar question. He might be the greatest thing since sliced bread! Or he could turn out to be a snake in the grass like her ex-husband.

You can contact Peter at:
Amazon Author Page: n/a until published on Amazon (approx. 22nd to 25th December 2017)

Monday, December 11, 2017

Kryssie Fortune's Boxed Set and Giveaway

Kryssie Fortune writes the sort of hot sexy books she loves to read. If she can sneak a dragon into her paranormal books she will. Her paranormal heroes are muscular werewolves, arrogant Fae, or BDSM loving dragons.

Kryssie likes her contemporary heroes ex-military and dominant. Her heroines are kick ass females who can hold their own against whatever life - or Kryssie - throws at them.

Kryssie's pet hates are unhappy endings, and a series that end on a cliff hanger.
Her books are all stand alone even when part of series. Plot always comes before sex, but when her heroines and heroes get together, the sex is explosive and explicit. One review called it downright sensual.

Kryssie's Social Links: Facebook | Twitter | Blog | Website

Kryssie is giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate and 3 ebooks of Submission, Secrets, and the Soldier to lucky winners during the tour. Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Remember there is a chance to enter every day, so please follow us along on the tour. You may find the tour locations here.

About the Boxed Set:
Kryssie Fortune's holiday series, Heroes of Westhorpe Ridge, is now available in a convenient e-boxed set!

Marriage, Mobsters, and the Marine:
Abigail Montgomery, a small town schoolteacher with zero self-confidence, dreams of the Dickensian Christmas her family never enjoyed. Each month she attends a masked BDSM club, but her next visit will be her last. If she doesn’t marry within the next year, her brother won’t inherit Montgomery Hall. Desperate, she advertises for a husband. 
 Jared Armstrong, a former Marine sharpshooter and occasional Dom needs $125,000 to get his family out of a hole. His solution--to marry Abigail Montgomery for her money. His only regret is his wife won’t accept his spanking lifestyle.
Gradually, Abigail comes to dream of making their marriage real, but she promised Jared a divorce two years after their wedding. Can they share some Christmas magic as their relationship faces extortion threats, a kidnapping, and an attempted murder? Or will Jared break her heart when he walks away?

Sex, Scandal, and the Sheriff:
Jasmine Stewart (Jazz to her friends) falls for the blond stranger when he spanks and seduces her at a Washington soiree. Later, when she discovers her flatmate is trying to draw her into a spy ring, she goes to the authorities. The ensuing publicity costs her her job, her security, and her future. Starting over in Westhorpe Ridge is her only option.
Sean Mathews, former SEAL and Westhorpe Ridge’s sheriff, can’t forget the woman he spanked when he visited Washington, but he thinks she’s a spy. When she turns up in Westhorpe Ridge, he tries everything to make her leave town. Despite their misunderstandings, though, they can’t keep their hands off each other.
As Year’s Eve looms, the spy ring resurfaces. Jazz will need all of Sean’s SEAL prowess to survive. But because his wounded leg cost him his speed in the water, will it be enough?
Desire, Deceit, and the Doctor:
Twelve years ago, Mandy Devlin moved away from her friends and family--under threat. If she returned in the next ten years or told anyone who fathered her baby, her boyfriend’s great-aunt would bankrupt her family. She’s a single mom who dreams of her lost love and a good spanking. When she’s finally free to return to Westhorpe Ridge, the last person she expects to see is Adam--the man she loved and lost so long ago.
Dr. Adam Montgomery doesn’t know he has a son. Thanks to his great-aunt’s will, he has nine months to find a bride or he loses Montgomery Hall and the fifteen million dollars she left him. Although he seduces Mandy on his first night home, he still believes she betrayed him twelve years ago. No way would he marry a woman like her.
As Valentine’s Day looms, someone tries to kill Mandy. Is Adam trying to get rid of her? Or can Mandy trust him to protect them?
Note: All of the books in this set were previously released as single titles.
Buy Links:
Excerpt from Marriage, Mobsters, and the Marine:

Abigail gazed Jared’s his face, her eyes still awash with tears. “Okay, but I expect you to tell me what’s going on. Who were those men? And why did they destroy your truck?”


He slid out from under her, brought a sponge, and gently wiped her face. Once he’d dried her cheeks, he pulled her back onto his knee. “I need to tell you about those personal reasons I mentioned when I accepted your proposal.”

Abigail didn’t speak, just rested her head on his shoulder and snuggled closer. He liked the way seemed ready to move forward. “My cousin’s life is a mess. A few years ago she married a small-time crook with a bad gambling habit, but she didn’t deserve to watch the mob murder him over his debts. She’s agreed to testify against them and go into the witness-protection program. The mob still wants their money, and they threatened to go after her mom and dad, always assuming they could find them. My aunt and uncle are off exploring the Amazon basin or something.”
Abigail listened intently. When he paused for breath, she shook her head. “The mob? The Amazon basin? It sounds like B-movie plot to me. Just throw in a few killer tomatoes.”
Jared held her tight against his chest. “The phone call earlier was from my cousin. Since the mob can’t find her parents, they’ve decided to come after me. Destroying my truck was a warning. Here’s the thing… You know I married you because I needed money. I wanted pay them off and keep my unsuspecting family safe, but I’ll be damned if I’ll pay protection money to keep them away from me. They’re parasites who won’t leave until they’ve taken everything I hold dear. I’m only sorry I sucked you into my mess.”
She hiccupped against his shoulder. “So what happens now?”
He almost stroked her wire-wool hair but thought better of it. “I don’t suppose you’d take a month’s holiday somewhere?”
She sat up, her eyes gleaming with anger. “No way will I abandon my class. We’ve got Christmas projects to finish and the nativity to rehearse. I try to make everything special for them, with it being their last year before they move on to junior high. I’ve already bought them all individual Christmas presents. In between that, we’ll be measuring daylight hours and checking the shadows at midday. Hopefully our solstice project will help them get their heads around shortening days.”
He felt ready to argue but said nothing.

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Friday, December 8, 2017

Robin Michaela's The Santa Bargain

Thanks so much for hosting me on your blog today, Beverley!
The Santa Bargain is my new release. It’s a contemporary holiday romance about a relationship-phobic single mom and the equally commitment-shy guy who agrees to be Santa in their small town’s holiday parade. In order to get Joe to agree, though, Maria has to strike a bargain that promises to heat up the holidays.
Years ago, I lived in Colorado. Some of the small mountain towns went all out for the holidays in the hope of luring tourist dollars from the nearby ski slopes. One town had carolers roaming the streets, dressed in beautiful 1800s costumes. They actually roasted chestnuts over a fire on the street corner, and they sold goodies like gingerbread and mulled cider. When I was writing The Santa Bargain, I remembered how much fun we’d had experiencing an old-fashioned Christmas festival in the mountains, so I wrote the town’s celebration into my holiday romance.
Thanks for checking out The Santa Bargain. Have a merry and bright holiday season!
Robin Michaela has been reading romances since her teen years, when she first snuck her aunt’s copy of The Flame and the Flower, by Kathleen Woodiwiss.

She’s married to her own Handsome Prince (a military airman) and has lived everywhere from the sunny shores of Florida to the wild crags of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. By day, she’s a dental hygienist and by night, Robin can be found eating chocolate, training for her next half marathon, and crafting her next novel (although not necessarily in that order).

Robin loves to hear from readers. Please visit her website ( You can also follow her on Facebook ( or Twitter   (

Blurb for The Santa Bargain:
Santa’s gifts can be both nice…and naughty.
Coffeehouse entrepreneur, Maria Thompson, has sworn off men ever since her young son’s father walked out of their lives. But, when she literally runs into sexy carpenter, Joe Sinclair, she wonders if it’s time to rethink her plan.

Joe Sinclair doesn’t need or want romance or a family. He was raised in the foster care system and learned long ago not to get attached to anyone. Now, if he could just remember that, he could put the sensual owner of Copper River, Colorado’s new coffee shop out of his mind.

After Maria and Joe volunteer to work together on the town’s first Christmas festival, their attraction lights up brighter than a new a string of holiday lights. When Santa comes to town, will they finally find everything they’ve ever wished for under the tree?
Excerpt for The Santa Bargain:
           Wanting to lighten the mood, he cleared his throat. “I bet Zach is looking forward to Santa’s visit. The holiday is coming up fast.”
        He watched a soft smile spread across Maria’s face. “Yes, he is. He’s at that perfect age for Santa – too old to be afraid, but still young enough to believe in the magic of the season.”

She must be working some magic of her own on him because Joe felt the warmth of her smile all the way to his toes. He grinned, remembering his own excitement as he awaited Santa’s visit when he was Zach’s age. “Has he told St. Nick what he wants for Christmas yet?”
           “I’ve been waiting until the festival to take him to see Santa because the big guy is supposed to show up there. That is, if I can ever find someone to actually be Santa.” Maria clamped her mouth shut.
         He saw a glint come into her eyes as she tilted her head to one side, then squinted at him like she was appraising a prize show horse. “Hmm.”

        Joe really didn’t like the way she’d started looking at him. He could practically see the image in her mind – and, in it, he was all decked out in a red suit. He put his mug down on the counter so fast it made a clinking noise as he held up his hands. “Oh no, don’t get any ideas, Maria. I’m the last guy who should be Santa.”
        “Why, Joe, I think you’d make a perfect St. Nick.”

He’d swear her voice had dropped by at least an octave. The new throaty tone made his groin twitch.
        She picked up her spoon and slowly slid it between her lips. He watched her tongue sweep out to lick a droplet of coffee from it, and he fought to keep from groaning. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t pull his gaze from her mouth.
        “You know, I’ve been thinking…if you were Santa, I could be your elf,” she continued in her sultry voice. “Who knows? You might be very happy with what you find under your Christmas tree this year.”

He suppressed a smile as he thought about that. How she could make being a festival Santa sound enticing was beyond him, but she was managing. Joe was very nearly tempted to tell her he would do it, but he held back and waited to see if she’d sweeten the deal.
Buy links:
On sale for $0.99 at Amazon or FREE read on Kindle Unlimited:

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Seelie Kay and her Latest Holiday Anthology

Seelie Kay writes about lawyers in love, with a dash of kink.
The writer, editor, and author has more than 30 years of experience in law, journalism, marketing, and public relations.  Writing under a nom de plume, Ms. Kay’s wicked pen and overly inquisitive mind has resulted in six works of fiction, five of which are scheduled for release in 2017, including Kinky Briefs (2/24), Kinky Briefs, Too (6/2), The Garage Dweller (7/8), Kinky Briefs, Thrice (9/8), and a to-be-published holiday short, A Touchdown to Remember. This year, Kay also contributed to a romance anthology, Pieces of Us (11/24), which was released by The Nu Romantics. Kinky Briefs, Quatro will be released early next year.
When not spinning her kinky tales, Ms. Kay ghostwrites nonfiction for lawyers and other professionals.  She has also written for such publications as the Minneapolis Star, Kenosha News, Twin Cities Magazine, Virginia Lawyers Weekly, Illinois Legal Times, Wisconsin Opinions and the Wisconsin Law Journal. 

A graduate of the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, and St. Louis University School of Law, Ms. Kay also attended Northwestern University.  She has been admitted to the bar in Wisconsin and Missouri. 
Ms. Kay resides in a bucolic exurb outside Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she shares a home with her son and enjoys opera, gourmet cooking, organic gardening, and an occasional bottle of red wine.
She is an MS warrior and ruthlessly battles the disease on a daily basis. Her message to those diagnosed with MS:  Never give up. You define MS, it does not define you!

Why I wrote this story:
I write short stories about lawyers in love, with a dash of kink, so when I was asked to write a holiday short, I struggled to find a seasonal connection. I didn’t want to do a traditional love story, I wanted to write something with a bit of social impact. While scrolling through the news, I came across a story about concussion protocol and I began to think about the risks football players take to entertain millions. Sure, the rewards—the money, the adulation and fame—are great. But multiple concussions have been proven to have a long-term impact and it’s a negative one. And for a lawyer, that impact could effectively destroy a career before it even got off the ground. The result was A Touchdown To Remember, the story of NFL running back Tim Wheezer Douglas, a part-time law student. While on leave from the game, recovering from his second concussion, he meets young lawyer Laura Adler and falls in love. Suddenly, the decisions he must make take on even greater weight for his health, his career, and his relationship. Suffice to say, some interesting introspection takes place as he contemplates his future.

A Touchdown To Remember

It takes more than a hard knock on the head to keep running back Tim Wheezer Douglas down. When life pelts him with the proverbial lemon—a career-threatening concussion—he simply runs the other way, right into the arms of litigator Laura Adler.

When a second concussion sidelines Milwaukee Greyhound running back Tim Douglas, the rest of his life continues full-speed ahead. A sometime law student, Tim is faced with a classic Catch 22: Whether to continue to play football and risk a third and possibly life-altering concussion or quit the game altogether to pursue a career as a sports agent. He loves the game, but his priorities change when he meets Laura Adler, a sassy, sexy young attorney and rabid Greys fan. Their sizzling romp of a romance turns serious and Laura demands that he make a decision about football before she accepts his marriage proposal. Will Tim choose football or the law, and what role will Laura play in his future?

When the band played its last song, Laura and Tim stopped dancing and Tim kissed her forehead, leaning into her. “Not sure where we are headed from here, babe, but I am quite sure we are going somewhere.” He smiled at her, his eyes lit with what appeared to be lust. “I think I’m falling…”

Laura interrupted him. “Tim, I really don’t have time for a relationship and neither do you. You’re right in the middle of the season. And I don’t do one-nighters.”
Tim pulled Laura toward him and settled his lips over hers. His kiss was gentle at first, then became more urgent. He cupped her chin and pulled her more firmly against him, his tongue probing, then dancing in her mouth.

As Laura was pulled into the passionate kiss, she felt her resistance melting away. Her loins were heating, and her heart was pounding. I want this man, naked and primed to please. Wait. No way. I am not going there. Abruptly, she pulled away.
Still holding her in his arms, Tim studied her. “You don’t wait until the time is right for relationships, Laura. You make the time when the right relationship presents itself. I am willing to make time for you. Are you willing to make time for me?”

Available from all other major booksellers soon!
Genres:  Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance

Social Media Links for Seelie
Twitter: @SeelieKay

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Recipes and My Writing Update

Christmas is fast approaching. I love the music, the lights and of course, the food. I have just finished formatting Hunted, the first book in the Hawkins’ Ranch series with CreateSpace, for print. It was an interesting experience. I’ve been putting it off for a long time. Now I can move on to updating my website – and Christmas baking and decorating.

With selling a house, moving to a different province, adjusting to a new city and different ways of doing things, selling a motorhome and buying park model and adjusting to those changes, I haven’t managed as much around the business of writing, advertising, etc. for the last year or so. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.                                     

Now I’m trying to get back into writing work mode and Christmas mode. For this blog I thought I’d see if anyone wants to share recipes. Have a favorite? Please share.
And if you have a hint for the business of writing, please share.

Here’s my favorite recipe for Chocolate Nobake Cookies.
2 cups white sugar       ½ cup milk
½ cup cocoa                ½ cup of margarine
3 cups rolled oats        1 cup cocoanut

Combine sugar, cocoa, milk, and margarine. Put in saucepan and put over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Boil for five minutes.

Remove from heat and add the rest of the ingredients. Drop on greased cookie sheet and set in fridge.
Enjoy and please share your favorites. I love trying new ones.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Robb White on Weather as Setting

This week we’re going to find out a little about author Robb White. November’s theme is ‘Weather as Setting’ so Robb will share his thoughts on this plus share a little about himself and his writing.

Under the names Terry White, Robert White, and Robb T. White, Robert White has published dozens of crime, noir, and hardboiled short stories, and three hardboiled private-eye novels.  A lifelong reader of crime fiction, he published his first story in Gary Lovisi's Hardboiled magazine. Since then, he has published several dozen crime stories, and a collection of mainstream stories in 2013. An ebook crime novel, "Special Collections," won the New Rivers Electronic Book Competition in 2014. 
White was born, raised, and continues to live in Ashtabula, Ohio.

Beverley: Do you think using weather can be part of a setting?
Robb: I recall some writer saying that using weather was a risk and goes nowhere fast.  I want to say Elmore Leonard but I can’t recall whom. Deploying one of those “it was a dark and stormy night” gambit could lead to trouble.  There’s also the risk the reader will say, “Who cares what the temperature was or how the wind was coming from the southwest?” My gut tells me weather as setting is likely to be either a distraction or a writer’s self-indulgence.  A good writer can get away with anything, of course.  I still remember a description from one of the “Rabbit Run” novels of John Updike years ago in which he describes the iridescence of sunlight reflecting from a sidewalk puddle after a rain as the character walks out of a bar. It’s easy to forgive talent. 
Beverley: Do you think adding weather to a scene can add emphasis to the scene?
Robb I do.  No contradiction to the above response.
Beverley:  Can weather add to the emotional contact with a reader?
Robb: Only if done sparingly, I think.  Weather is always a “delay,” a deliberate suspending of the plotline.  As a reader, I’ll always give a writer who is also a good stylist that opportunity to show me what he or she can do. It’s a promissory note in which the author works in some descriptive detail about the weather but knows the reader is “waiting.” We’re gravity-bound, weather-oriented creatures so it’s expected—that is, outside of experimental fiction. It’s a risk because one sentence too many and the writer breaks the reader’s trust. The writer controls the narrative but the reader gives permission in a sense.  
Beverley Do you know any authors who use weather in their books?
Robb: Two of my favorite crime-fiction writers, David Lindsey and Martin Cruz Smith use weather brilliantly in dollops.  In the former case, you get a wonderful sense of Houston’s skyline and its oppressive heat and humidity as Lindsey’s detective drives around the city. Smith can make you feel a Moscow winter with a few sentences scattered about or make you feel what Arkady Renko feels as he drives his clapped-out Lada through slushy snow in the outer ring of the city in a squall. On the other hand, I admire Lynda La Plante and I can’t recall any weather in her fiction.
Beverley: Have you ever used weather as a setting in any of your books?  If yes, tell us how.
Robb: Only one book comes to mind:  Saraband for a Runaway.  I set the book in Miami and used the Everglades for a major scene.  I wanted to make it sticky and hot, naturally, but my only experiences in Florida were on the west coast—a couple days in Ft. Myers with my wife on a belated Spring Break and one long drive down and back from Ohio to fetch a relative in trouble.
Beverley:  Anything else you’d like to add about the use of weather in a book?
Robb: I suspect most readers don’t think of it one way or the other. Enough said.
Beverley: Which genre or genres do you write or prefer to write?
Robb: Crime.  A sixty-forty split in favor of hardboiled over noir. I’ve made rare forays into horror or fantasy in my short fiction but nothing to brag about.
Beverley: What prompted you to write in the genre/s you do?
Robb: A genetic predisposition.  My mother was an avid reader of mysteries, mainly of the dreaded “cozy.” I never thought of it until my middle age toward the end of my teaching career.  I’d always been content to read great writers and talk about them to my students. However, one day I was in my local library browsing the recent arrivals in the mystery corner, and I skimmed a couple pages of a bestselling author. I was surprised and even annoyed the author had opened up so many points of view so soon into the story.  A clichéd, disheveled detective arrives on scene and a rookie cop gazes admiringly at him and mentally provides the reader with too much information.  I considered it awkward from such a well-published writer.  I decided to take a crack at writing a novel, knowing it was easy to criticize someone else’s flaw. 
Beverley: I’d love to hear what you think of the present genres, how they’ve been affected by self-publishing and where you think they might be headed.
Robb: This is a great question and a complex one.  It’s also one that exposes a writer of indie novels like me to hypocrisy or resentment. In short, it’s both good and bad.  Here’s the good:  the iron grip of the Big Five or Big Six, if you prefer, among New York City publishing houses has been greatly weakened. We don’t need to have the same ten authors jammed down our throats week after week courtesy of the New York Times bestseller lists.  (I’ll restrict myself to the mystery genre and its subgenres.) Readers now have many, many choices. The big-name authors aren’t even allowed to die nowadays.  Teams of ghost writers take over and add to the canon. It’s all about money and control.  Indie authors can’t get spaces on book shelves because these NYC houses reward and punish stores.  One could say the same for certain “approved” websites that kowtow to the Mystery Writers of America.  Again, the same authors are annually rotated for the honors with the assumption the public willing buys into their selections—except that nowadays the reading public has awakened, thanks to the internet, of course, to the variety of choices out there and the sheer proliferation of indie publishers.  Bloggers are independent of all control. 

The bad?  Well, that’s easy.  There’s too much of everything. People like to believe that talent rises, the old “cream rising to the top” expression, but we all know that’s not the only thing that floats.  Every human being with enough experience knows you can be overwhelmed by obstacles.  In this case, the force of numbers can get any writer stuck in the shallows, never able to reach enough readers or reviewers.  POD [print-on-demand] can’t compete with even a below-average press run of a first-time novelist. Furthermore, it works both ways for a writer’s benefit and detriment to be put at the mercy of “stars” awarded on Goodreads or Amazon. Bloggers, too, can harm by inflicting their own tastes without submitting to scrutiny. The owner of Vigilant Reader once rejected my offer to send a novel because he found the online sample “too wordy,” yet he gushed enthusiastically over a book in which the character slaughters six people in a bar during a drunken blackout and then takes his nephew fishing.      
Beverley: How long have you been writing?
Robb: That anecdote I relayed about my library experience with the bestseller’s latest work happened in the early 1990’s.  The manuscript I then wrote in five weeks sat neglected in a file on my desktop for years; it was nearly ghosted along with a couple other efforts when our work computers were being upgraded.  A tech called down to ask if I wanted “those files,” or else, he said, they would be erased.  The long and short of it is that one of those became Haftmann’s Rules, published in 2011 thanks to Ryan Thomas of Grand Mal Press who liked what he saw.
Beverley: Who influenced you the most in deciding to become a writer?
Robb: I can’t say anyone influenced me. When you teach great books for a living, it’s impossible to think you can be like the writers you teach. I tell myself I don’t write “literature,” I write “entertainments,” as Graham Greene once said of his lesser works.
Beverley: What obstacles did you have to overcome to begin creating your work?
Robb: Absolutely none. My own lassitude, if anything.  Life keeps everyone busy but I am as much a creature of habit as anyone I know. If I’d had a difficult job like my father, a tug man for the Great Lakes Towing Company, or if I’d been stuck in a plastics factory like the one I worked summers in during high school, I’d never have found the energy to write.
Beverley: What gets your creative juices flowing?
Robb: Thinking about the next Hannibal Lecter or Arkady Renko novel.  I think some of that joy carries over into a desire to write something again, not that I would compare myself to those master stylists, both of whom write beautiful prose, never mind the subject.
Beverley: What will stop your creative muse the quickest?
Robb: Being in the middle of a sentence, working on an image or the right word choice in something I’m writing, and my cat Athena will jump onto my laptop’s keyboard. Because I must adore her when she does that, I cease at once and attend to her. 
Beverley: What do you have for breakfast?
Robb: I don’t eat breakfast.  I drink coffee all day.
Beverley: What do you wear when you are writing?
Robb: Tee-shirt, gym shorts (no shoes).
Beverley: Where do you do most of your writing?
Robb:  A room upstairs, Goldie’s Room, named for a sick cat my wife and I adopted many years ago.  I face a wall with photos of Great Lakes steamships I once sailed on, a large map of shipwrecks of Lake Erie, and a postcard-sized image of James Joyce.  I keep a few knick-knacks on the desk. Except for removing one photo of Hemingway at his typewriter in Key West, the room has been unchanged for ten years. My wife reminds me to clean it every couple of weeks. Correction:  I do have film posters on the walls behind me, which I rotate or replace every few years.  Right now, it’s Body Heat, Syriana, Låt den Rätte Komme In, Chinatown, No Country for Old Men, and Hitchcock’s Psycho, which I had seen in a theater at 10 years old (an era bereft of political correctness and excessive parenting). 
Beverley: Do you have a favorite cartoon character? Why?
Robb: I grew up on Looney Tunes.  I admit to laughing at the characters in South Park—great satire. And I did watch a few minutes of Family Guy recently and surprised myself by laughing.  But Daffy Duck is my all-time favorite.  Alas, I am he.
Beverley: Who would you love most to meet 'in person' and why?
Robb: Not being arrogant here, I hope, but I don’t want to meet anyone, either alive or a reincarnated version.  I’m not a great fan of human beings in general.
Beverley: If you had an unexpected free day what would you do with it?
Robb: The very same thing I do now: relax in my hammock, the weather we have discussed assisting, read a few pages of my favorite travel and film books, maybe try out a new recipe.  I’ve found Voltaire’s advice “to cultivate one’s own garden” a sure-fire way to staying content in life.  
Beverley: What are you working on now?
Robb: I want to say a new novel but I am bogged down after developing the outline to a sequel. Writing about “dangerous women” has also intrigued me to want to do more with women protagonists, but Jade Hui, my woman FBI agent in Perfect Killer, hasn’t returned to my imagination in a way that compels me to write about her again, so I’m hesitant to resume unless something clicks. I don’t know what that is right now, and so I pass the time writing short stories and sending them out with a decent batting average in acceptances.

Blurb for Dangerous Women:

Weaker sex?  Not hardly!
The female is definitely deadlier than the mail.  Short stories about ladies who can hold their own.

Excerpt for Dangerous Women:
   Be careful what you wish for, Regina.
   Her mother’s words. Sometimes she could hear her mother’s voice in the house.
   The Vindicator piece on Bodycomb’s death was two paragraphs.
   He was found floating in Lake Milton, a popular summer resort area for fisherman seventeen miles east of Austintown just off the Interstate 80 overpass. Shot by a small-caliber weapon in the back of the head. The important information was in the second paragraph: Bodycomb, it noted, was running a dog-fighting network among three states: Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia for a loose-knit West Virginia crime family connected to the Pittsburgh LaRizzo family.
   Damn you, Leo.
   She was blowing through caution lights, ignoring the honking of cars, as she beelined for the office on Market.
   Like a script from a cheap thriller, he was there, wearing the same clothes and unshaven, big jowls dark with stubble, pong of body odor in the overheated single room.
   “You promised me full disclosure, total honesty,” she said.
   She threw the paper across his desk.
   “Here it is in case you missed it.”
   Be calm, Regina, she told herself. She wasn’t going to lose her temper and a new job in that order.
   “I did and I meant it, Baby,” Leo said.
   He glanced at the paper sideways and pushed it back to her. He’d obviously read it.
   “You asked me—no, you demanded I call somebody. I did,” he said.
   He disgusted her with those wagging jowls and big stomach. She noticed his belt was undone and a patch of curly belly hair exposed.
   Probably jerking off in here, the freak.
   “I suppose you’ll tell me when the mood strikes.”
   “I meant the second case—your next case,” Leo said. “Full disclosure, just like you want.”
   Her indignation petered out at the prospect. “So tell me about it,” she said.
   Bodycomb was moving in on Donnie Bracca’s territory with his dog-fighting, Leo said.
   “He can kill all the dogs he wants in West Virginia,” Leo said. “But Donnie B. controls gambling around here.”
   “Donnie Bracca was your real client all the time,” Baby said.
   “It’s like this, kid. They don’t blow each other up in cars no more. Gentlemen’s agreements, all nice and polite. But rules have to be followed. Bodycomb went rogue.”
   She bit back a retort: You mean, like your own father?
   Leo went on, waxing large, a hopeless Mafioso lover, although a real mafia man, a made man, could see Leo couldn’t be trusted. But even the Aryan Brotherhood used outside associates to get things done. Leo could be useful if you couldn’t buy a cop or scare off an investigative reporter snooping in shady politics or business deals.
   She didn’t feel bad about Bodycomb’s death. After all, she'd wanted to kill the guy herself.
   “Damn it, Leo,” she said. “You should have told me this in the beginning.”Baby moved in the direction Bodycomb’s vehicle had taken. After A couple of hundred yards through meadow grass up to her knees, she stopped and listened. Moving on, she dodged stunted bushes that popped up out of nowhere to snag her clothing. The foliage grew less dense. She found the parallel ruts of the Road Runner’s tracks and kept moving, straining her eyes to see light ahead. If Bodycomb was hiding assets from his soon-to-be ex-wife, he was taking a lot of trouble over it.
After five minutes of faster walking in the grooves, she heard barking coming from the right. She saw the first glimmer of light in the distance. The terrain was sparse but small slopes refracted the light source so it appeared and disappeared with every rise of the ground. A single dog barking became two, then three and finally a pack. Beneath their howls, men’s voices.
   When she got close enough to make out words, she lay flat on her belly and put the binoculars on a cluster of men beside a ramshackle barn surrounded by cages of dogs in the beds of trucks beside a squared string of light bulbs a dozen feet from the ground. It looked like a crude boxing ring for backyard brawlers.
   Its purpose became clear in the next few minutes. It was a dog-fighting pit.

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