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Hillside Book Club Halloween

hillside book club halloween

Amy and Jim Herron as Claudia and her FBI contact

Hillside Bookclub Halloween

Hillside Bookclub at Halloween

At the end of October, 2017, the zany ladies of the Hillside, Ventura, Book Club read What She Saw (a young woman with amnesia. For the second time, my friend Amy Herron invited me to attend their meeting as guest author. They met the night before Halloween and they dressed up as characters from the book. What a thrill to see my characters come to life that way! Almost as good as having it made into a movie (almost).

Irene Mefford (in mermaid green) hosted the event at her home in Ondulondo, a neighborhood in the hills high above Ventura. Imagine the view of the lights at night, the Pacific Ocean during the day. Irene went all-out with fabulous Halloween-themed food. She created claw-shaped meatloaf, witches head apples in cider, Jello shots in huge syringes. As you can imagine, by the time we got around to judging the costumes, everyone was in a great mood.

hillside book club halloween

Winner Teri Casey

Teri Casey dressed as Jessica Mack’s backpack! How’s that for creativity? She won a prize for that great costume.

Tragedy strikes the book club

Tragically, few short weeks later, Irene’s beautiful home became one of a thousand casualties of the Thomas fire, a heartbreaking loss. Other club members in the neighborhood were also evacuated. These terrifying experiences teach us a lot about what is really of greatest value in our lives.

The good news is, the book club continues to meet and I hope to be invited back again some time. How would they dress up for my upcoming book, Proof of Life, which is the sequel to What She Saw.

What She Saw, a young woman with amnesia. Imagine waking up on a train and realizing that you don’t know who you are, where you are going. or where you came from. Furthermore, something tells you that you can’t call the cops.

Book Clubs

If you have a book club and would like a visit, contact me  If your club is too far for me to drive, I’m happy to show up via Zoom or Skype.

Dead Write is book number three

Available in: Paperback, Kindle, Audiobook

Dead WriteDead Write is book number three in the Forensic Handwriting psychological suspense series. For several years, I worked for a high-priced dating service, analyzing handwriting of the members. That’s where I got the idea for this book. Not that there were murders going on in the real-life service, of course (at least, as far as I know…).

In Dead Write, at the behest of an eccentric new client, Claudia Rose flies east to New York. Meanwhile, at home, according to Annabelle Giordano, Claudia’s young friend, Joel Jovanic’s new partner appears to have designs on him. Nothing like wondering what your partner is up to while you are across the country. Can Claudia trust him?

Dead Write

Dating can be dangerous, so clients who can afford the services of eccentric Russian “baroness”, Grusha Olinetsky, are willing to pay the hundred thousand dollar fee she charges for an introduction to their perfect mate. Claudia gets involved when Olinetsky hires her to come to Manhattan and uncover apparent screwups made by her nemesis. The assignment puts her at odds with her romantic partner, Detective Joel Jovanic, who suspects that Grusha herself is trouble. Drawn into the feckless lives of the rich and single, Claudia delves into a twisted world of love and lies fueled by desperation. But desperate enough to kill? Clues in the suspects’ handwriting might help Claudia save Grusha’s already dubious reputation before the names of more victims are scribbled into someone’s little black book.

Here’s what readers say

  • The characters are engaging the story moves at a quick pace. I look forward to the next book in this series. Beatrice
  • This book had me on the edge of my seat through out the book. This author has never disappointed me with this series. Tammy
  • I love how she educates and entertains using her talented skills as a handwriting analyst. This book keeps you guessing right up to the end. Jessie

Dead Write forensic suspense is waiting for you.

Famous mystery authors at Bouchercon

Famous mystery authors at Bouchercon and me. When Bouchercon, the largest mystery fan convention in the world came to Long Beach, CA, I got a pic with a couple two famous mystery authors. Plus, I’m honored to say, both fellow Brit Simon Wood and Jeffery Deaver provided wonderful cover blurbs for my 2016 book, Outside the Lines.

And that’s not all. Mr. Deaver told me he used my book The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Handwriting Analysis as a reference for The Devil’s Teardrop. Why? The book features a forensic document examiner like Claudia Rose and me. Pretty cool, no?

Several of his books have been made it popular movies, including The Bone Collector with Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie. I just hope some of that talent, hard work and good luck rubs off on me!

Here’s what these two famous mystery authors said about my book:

“Utterly compelling! “Outside the Lines” joins the ranks of those rare thrillers that expertly blend nonstop plotting with keen perceptions of the characters—good and bad—who populate this wonderful tale.” Jeffery Deaver

Simon Wood, author of “The One That Got Away” wrote,

“An expert witness makes for expert storytelling in “Outside the Lines.” 

Going to mystery writer conferences and appearing on panels is one good way for a mystery author to get visibility. Especially at Boucheron, where there are usually over 1000 attending, it’s great exposure. I’m a little more comfortable at Left Coast Crime, where there are about half that number. Besides, I’m more of a house cat, more likely to attend when it’s on this side of the country.