Category Archives: A DAY IN THE LIFE

a place where characters give you a glimpse into their day

A Day in the Life of Melissa Kerby by E.J. Copperman

Inspector SpecterMy average day is just like the average day of most other fifth graders: I get up the morning, get ready for school, get some breakfast, get driven to school, spend the day there, then get driven home and cook dinner—okay, that part’s a little unusual, but I like it—and do homework, maybe watch some TV or do online stuff until I have to go to bed.

Typical.

All right, I left out a couple of things. First, my mom owns a guesthouse on the Jersey Shore, so we always have some very nice people visiting in the house and I have to make sure I’m on good behavior when they’re around, because like my mom says, they’re paying for the house we live in.

Second, my mom also has a private investigator license, and every once in a while we investigate a case together. She does most of the driving around and interviewing people and then we talk about it at night and I sort of interpret what a lot of the stuff they said to her meant.

There is one other thing I should tell you: The house is haunted, and I do see ghosts, especially the ones who live there.

I’ve always been able to see ghosts. It took a long time when I was little for my grandma, who also can see them, to explain to me that not everybody does. It was harder because my mom couldn’t see or hear the ghosts all around her until a few years ago when she got hit on the head and then all of a sudden she could.

My best friend Wendy (Mom calls her my BFF, and maybe she is, but nobody says that anymore) knows about the ghosts and can’t see them. She’s totally cool with them, which is one of the reasons I like her so much.

So Maxie and Paul, the ghosts in our house, are part of my day every day. Maxie is so much fun—she likes to be outrageous but she really is sweet and she cares about us, even if Mom doesn’t think so. Paul is serious, but he always knows what to do when we have a case, and he’s really warm and nice for a guy who got murdered three years ago.

Anyway, my day includes school, guests, ghosts and sometimes investigations. I love the cases, and Mom pretends she doesn’t but I think she really does. It’s so cool to think about who did what and why they did it. But when our friend Lt. McElone from the police department asked Mom to help with something, it got a little weird for a while.

Mom tells that story in a book called Inspector Specter. What she says is mostly true.


Melissa Kerby is featured in Inspector Specter, the sixth book in the Haunted Guesthouse mystery series by E.J. Copperman, published by Berkley Prime Crime. The first book in the series is Night of the Living Deed.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 6 p.m. eastern on December 29 for the chance to win a copy of INSPECTOR SPECTER. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.

Meet the author
E.J. Copperman is either someone’s pseudonym or the sick mind behind the Haunted Guesthouse mystery series, in which two resident ghosts help a single mom/innkeeper/private investigator solve crimes and entertain guests, or both. E.J. is a screenwriter, freelance reporter, teacher and bon vivant from New Jersey, if such a thing is possible. Visit E.J. at his website.

A Day in the Life with Rosa Mancini by Jennifer Fischetto

One Garish GhostHi, I’m Rosa Mancini—matriarch of my wonderful family, co-owner of Mancini Deli (over on Park Place in South Shore Beach), and murderabilia collector. Yes, I’m aware that’s bizarre, but let me explain.

My husband is a regular man. He isn’t much affected by life’s morbidity. Well, except for what the rest of us place at his feet, but for the most part, he goes about his day slicing meats, taking orders, and making sandwiches. Then there’s our middle child, our son. The responsible one.

Please don’t tell my two daughters I said that.

Our son graduated college and entered the police academy. He’s currently an officer and just bought his own house. We’re very proud of him. My eldest daughter works at the deli part-time, is married, and has given us the sweetest granddaughter. Well, she’s a teenager now, so maybe ‘sweetest’ is the most accurate term on most days.

Then there’s our youngest daughter, Gianna.

When she was eight-years-old, she fell in the deli’s walk-in freezer, hit her head on the floor, and passed out. It was so busy that day we didn’t realize she was missing. When we found her, she was so cold and stiff, I feared the worst. According to the paramedics, she died for one minute and thirty-two seconds in the ambulance, on the way to the hospital. To this day, eighteen years later, I still shudder when I think how we almost lost our little girl. But everything turned out fine. She had a mild concussion and sprang back immediately.

There was one change though. Gianna could suddenly see and communicate with ghosts. And for reasons we’re still not sure of, the ghosts pass to the other side through the freezer. She stopped talking about them to her father, siblings, and me some years ago. I believe she was trying to spare us the weirdest of it all, but I know she still sees them. Luckily Gianna has a great sense of humor and can handle it all.

As for me, I collect murderabilia—items that once belonged to a murder victim or their killer. Yes, I realize it sounds like a gruesome hobby. It all started years ago when my sister, Stella, died. I was convinced she’d been murdered while taking a bath, but it turned out that she simply slipped getting out, hit her head on the edge of the tub, and slipped under the standing water. It started a fascination with me though.

Now don’t look at me like that. I don’t wish people dead. And I’d never want to see a bloody body, but their possessions intrigue me. The things they leave behind. I used to collect items locally, but when my husband bought us a computer, it opened up a world of collectibles. Online I’m knows as Clarice. Yes, I’m quite proud of myself for picking that name. I am very grateful I’ve never come across a real life Hannibal Lecter though.

As for the family as a whole… Well, we like to scare one another. It’s not malicious. It’s all in good fun. The kids love it especially. One will stand outside the bathroom door, nose pressed against the wood, wait for the other to open, and then whisper, “Boo.” Just the other day, my husband and I were out, but my eldest and granddaughter were at our home. Our son snuck inside and down to the basement. He screamed at the same time he blew the circuit breaker, shutting down all the lights. My daughter had a few choice words for him, but my granddaughter laughed and thought it was fun. I’m not sure when we started this tradition, but being scared sure gets your adrenaline pumping.

So next time you stop in Mancini Deli, if you hear a scream, it’s probably one of my children scaring another. And if you see Gianna talking to no one, just ignore her. Of course, if you happen to come across any murder items, you know where to find me.


You can read more about Rose in One Garish Ghost & Blueberry Peach Jam, the first book in the new “Dead by the Numbers” mystery series, published by Gemma Halliday Publishing.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 6 p.m. eastern on December 26 for the chance to win a signed print copy of ONE GARISH GHOST & BLUEBERRY PEACH JAM (US residents only, please) or an e-book (open to everyone)–winner’s choice.

Jennifer Fischetto is the National Bestselling Author of the Jamie Bond Mysteries. Unbreakable Bond, her adult debut novel, has received a National Reader’s Choice award nomination. She writes dead bodies for ages 13 to six-feet-under. When not writing, she enjoys reading, cooking, singing (off-key), and watching an obscene amount of TV. She also adores trees, ice cream, thunderstorms, things that sparkle, and horror movies—the scarier the better. She lives in Western Mass with her family and is currently working on her next project.

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A Day in the Life of Cassie Baxter by Cindy Blackburn

UnbelievableDo yourself a favor, never move in with your father. Especially if he’s an early bird. Because your father, if he’s anywhere near as annoying as mine, will wake you up at the crack of dawn. We’re talking every day. Drives. Me. Nuts! Dad keeps insisting we Baxters are morning people. I keep reminding him I’m forty-four and haven’t been a “morning person” since I was twelve. And once we have that daily argument out of the way, what a shocker, I’m awake.

During breakfast, Dad fills me in on Chance Dooley’s latest adventures. My father—Bobby Baxter—is a retired English teacher who’s taken up writing science fiction. The hero of Bobby’s stories is Chance Dooley, owner and operator of Dooley’s Delivery Service: The Delivery Service That Delivers Where No Delivery Service Has Ever Delivered Before. Needless to say, Chance and his trusty Spaceship Destiny get into some truly absurd situations. And given enough coffee, I can usually come up with an equally absurd solution to Chance (and my father’s) problem du jour.

Why I ever agreed to this truly absurd living arrangement with my father is a long story, but Dad and I share a big old Victorian house in Lake Elizabeth, Vermont—population 600, not including dogs, cats, and livestock. My favorite animals are our black lab Charlie, Evert Osgood’s basset hound Miss Rusty, and Oden Poquette’s goats Rose and Ruby. I’m getting to know Miss Rusty and the goats quite well this summer, since they were my only witnesses when I found, and then lost, the dead redhead. Yeah, I know—unbelievable. I was in my pajamas at the time. Yeah, I know—way unbelievable. My story’s even more unbelievable than Chance Dooley’s latest crisis.

Oh, but Dru Ann asked me to tell you about a normal day. I’m a history professor at Crabtree College, so during the school year I spend my days teaching. Crabtree’s not exactly a bastion of academic excellence, but I like it. My best friend Bambi also teaches at the college, and we usually do lunch together. Bambi and I bonded long ago because we both have trouble in the being-taken-seriously department. Me, because I’m teeny-tiny and, as everyone’s been telling me since the day I was born, “cute as a button.” Bambi’s normal-sized, but with a name like Dr. Bambi Lovely-Vixen? You get the picture.

When I’m not on campus, I’m home in Lake Bess, where my father, as mentioned, drives me nuts. But Dad’s not the only one. We have neighbors. Maxine Tibbitts, a reporter for the local newspaper, lives next door, and to say she’s a busy-body snoop is putting it mildly. Maxine thinks my every action is worth reporting in her weekly gossip column. And when I found, and then lost, the dead redhead? Let’s just say Maxine’s report was memorable.

Not to be outdone in the driving-Cassie-Baxter-nuts department is our other neighbor, Josiah Wylie. Joe’s a mad scientist who works at home with his invention, a machine he calls—don’t ask me why—the FN451z. No one but Joe has the foggiest clue as to the FN451z’s purpose. But everyone around the lake has heard the thing, since the FN beeps, burps, and chirps 24/7.

Joe, on the other hand, is annoyingly quiet. The man must have secrets, and considering he gets himself invited to dinner with Dad and me on an almost nightly basis, I intend to learn out what those secrets are. Don’t tell my father the match-maker, but Joe Wylie’s kind of sexy. A sexy mad scientist? Yeah, I know—unbelievable. But I’m here to tell you such a thing actually does exist.

Which brings us back to that dead redhead. She exists, too, and luckily I have the summer off. So, unbelievable or not, I intend to solve the mystery of the missing redhead. I may be undersized, but don’t underestimate me.


Learn more about Cassie, Joe, and the gang in Unbelievable, the first book in the new “Cassie Baxter” mystery series.

Here’s some info about Unbelievable:

Small sleuth, tiny town, unfailing fun.

Welcome to Lake Elizabeth, Vermont, where the water is blue, the mountains are green, and Cassie Baxter is going nuts. Who wouldn’t go nuts in a town this size? What possessed Cassie to move in with her father? And why do they have to live next door to a mad scientist? A sexy mad scientist. Does such a thing even exist? And speaking of existing, what happened to the dead redhead? You know, the one Cassie found, and then lost? What’s up with that? Cassie Baxter intends to find out. Read Unbelievable and you will, too.

The Cassie Baxter Mysteries: They’re not Cue Balls, but they are screw balls.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 6 p.m. eastern on December 26 for the chance to win a Kindle copy of UNBELIEVABLE. The giveaway is open to everyone.

Meet the Author
Cindy Blackburn spends her days sitting around in her pajamas thinking up unlikely plot twists and ironing out the quirks and kinks of lovable characters. When she’s not typing on her laptop or feeding her fat cat Betty, Cindy enjoys taking long walks with her cute hubby John. A native Vermonter who hates snow, Cindy divides her time between the south and the north. Most of the year you’ll find her in South Carolina. But come summer she’ll be on the porch of her lakeside shack in Vermont. Yep, it’s a place very similar to Lake Elizabeth. Cindy’s favorite travel destinations are all in Europe, her favorite TV show is The Big Bang Theory, her favorite movie is Moonstruck, and her favorite color is orange. Cindy dislikes vacuuming, traffic, and lima beans.

Learn more about Cindy and her books at www.cbmysteries.com. Cindy can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

A Day in the Life of the Mojito Man by Rebecca M. Hale

Aground on St. ThomasI’ve been sick for a while. Cancer. Doesn’t really matter what kind. It’s spread through my entire body. Stuff is eating me away from the inside out. I only have a few weeks left to live. That’s what the doctors told me.

I’ll get the last laugh, though. I’m going out with a bang. I had all I could take of the hospital. Those dreary white walls, blocking you in. Don’t get me started on the food. And those oncologists, I tell you, they have no sense of humor.

So I bought a one-way ticket to the Virgin Islands. I’m going to lie in the sun, chill out on the beach – and suck down as many Mojitos as the bartender can mix up for me.

I’ve booked all the rooms at Blackbeard’s Castle. For the next month, I’ve got the place to myself. That should pretty much do it. It’s a fantastic view from up there. You can see everything: the harbor, the sea…every detail in the city below.

Of course, I didn’t expect all this hullabaloo with the governor. I guess he got caught with his hand in the cookie jar, and now he’s on the lam. Charlotte Amalie is crawling with G-men. The place is on lockdown until they find him.

Me, all I’m searching for is the perfect Mojito. This government upheaval is causing a major disruption in the supply of mint leaves, and you can’t make a proper Mojito without fresh mint leaves.

People keep asking me what I saw up at Blackbeard’s Castle the other night. To tell you the truth, I don’t rightly know. That was after my nightly medication. Things get kind of fuzzy once the drugs kick in. They should just leave me alone.

I came here to die. And to drink Mojitos… Hey, do you know where I can get some fresh mint?


You can read more about Mojito Man in Aground on St. Thomas, the third book in the “Mystery in the Islands” mystery series, published by Berkley Prime Crime. The first book in the series is Adrift on St. John.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 6 p.m. eastern on December 25 for the chance to win a copy of AGROUND ON ST. THOMAS. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.

About the author
NY Times bestselling author REBECCA M. HALE worked for almost ten years as a patent attorney in the San Francisco Bay Area before taking time off to write her first novel, HOW TO WASH A CAT. She is now the author of nine Penguin titles and a growing list of ebooks released under her own imprint, Green Vase Publishing. Her writing is often influenced by her travel experiences and the people she meets on her journeys.

Rebecca lives in Western Colorado with her feline writing associates, that is, when she’s not off researching future books set in San Francisco, the Caribbean, or wherever else her wandering spirit takes her.

Author website: www.TravelingWithBooks.com

Blog Tour: A Day in the Life of Carol Childs by Nancy Cole Silverman

Shadow of DoubtMy name is Carol Childs and my life is a balancing act. I’m a single, middle-aged mom, I work at a talk radio station in Los Angeles and I’ve recently started dating Eric Langdon, an FBI Agent, who professionally I know I shouldn’t be involved with, ‘cause sometimes things can get sticky, particularly if we’re working different sides of a story. So, I do the best I can to keep work and play separate.

But, this morning, when I got to the station, I found this yellow post-it note on my computer. My boss Tyler Hunt, KCHC’s boy-wonder, needed to see me, ASAP. He wants to talk about this murder I’m covering that concerns the sudden death of a well-known Hollywood talent agent, who just happens to be my next door neighbor’s aunt, Pepper Millhouse. Not a problem, except I was on the phone with said neighbor, Samantha Millhouse, at that very moment. She was concerned the investigation surrounding her aunt’s death may be heating up and that I might be beginning to think – just a little bit anyway – that she’s somehow involved.

“Only it can’t be,” she says, “‘cause my twin sister’s setting me up.”

I didn’t want to put the phone down, not on that note, but Eric has just texted me. The FBI’s been called in to investigate Pepper’s murder. The coroner has ruled the official cause of death to be a poisoning, possibly the result of product tampering. Hence the FBI been called to assist LAPD with the investigation. Then written in all caps: TWO MORE BODIES FOUND IN NORTH HOLLYWOOD.

A chill runs down my back. Since Pepper’s death, a former client of hers, a Hollywood psychic, has been reaching out to me – don’t even ask – to tell me she’s been communicating with Pepper Millhouse, and that she, Pepper, has told her, they’re going to be more murders, unless I do something.

Do something? Me?

Tyler tells me I’m the world’s oldest living cub reporter in need of a good story. He’s given me three months to prove I can handle this job. I’m six weeks into my probationary status and looking at a future of doing nothing but traffic reports and recording mindless station promos unless I can come up with story of my own. I’m torn. Samantha’s a loyal friend and like her aunt, a talent agent. She’s been my source for a lot of industry news, and she even looks in on my son Charlie when I work nights. But the more investigating I do into Pepper’s murder, and the more I’m required to report, the more I fear she’ll be judged in the court of public opinion as a cold hearted gold digger, or worse.

Like I said, my life’s a balancing act.


You can read more about Carol in Shadow of Doubt, the first book in the new “Carol Childs” mystery series, published by Henery Press.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 6 p.m. eastern on December 24 for the chance to win a copy of SHADOW OF DOUBT. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.

Meet the author
Silverman believes her twenty-five years in radio helped her to develop an ear for storytelling. Much of what she NancySwrites she admits is pulled from behind the headlines of actual events that were reported on from some Los Angeles busiest radio newsrooms. In the last ten years she has written numerous short stories and novelettes and books. Currently she has three audio books with MindWings Audio. Her first novel, The Centaur’s Promise, was published by Eloquent Press in 2010. In December, Henery Press will roll out the first of Silverman’s new Carol Childs Mysteries, Shadow of Doubt.

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Another Day In The Life of Piper Prescott by Gail Oust

Kill Em With Cayenne“Change is a good thing, right?”

I wasn’t quite sure how to respond when my BFF, Reba Mae Johnson, once posed the question. Sometimes change wasn’t either good or bad, it was just change. And I ought to know. Ask anyone in Brandywine Creek, Georgia, and they’ll tell you Piper Prescott was the Queen of Change. Not only had I divorced the low-down lying skunk I’d been married to for over twenty years, but I’d invested every last cent I had in a fledging business, Spice It Up!, in a building older than Methuselah. When it came to change, I could write a book.

But I wasn’t about to complain.. No way, no how. Life was good. Now that the murder of a local chef had been solved, peace and quiet reined once again in the small Southern town this Yankee had adopted as her home. At least, I thought it was peaceful and quiet..

The day had begun like any other: a morning jog with Casey, my rescue mutt of many breeds, coffee, shower, more coffee, a blueberry muffin, and then flipping the sign in my shop window from CLOSED to OPEN. Business was brisk. Thanks to the annual Barbecue Festival spices were practically flying off the shelves with cayenne pepper and chili powder leading the pack.

Later in the day though, things got really interesting when out-of-towners started to arrive for the festival. The first to appear were good ol’ boy Tex Mahoney, champion pitmaster, and dapper Wally Porter, certified master barbecue judge. They were followed by none other than Miss Va-Va-Voom herself, Barbara Bunker Quinlan, aka Barbie Q. Barbie, a hometown girl with an axe to grind, was about to launch a new show for barbecue aficionados, Some Like It Hot, on the Cooking Network. Added to the mix were locals, Becca Dapkins, clerk at the water department, and Maybelle Humphries, manager of the Chamber of Commerce. Each of the aforementioned had an agenda. I didn’t have to be clairvoyant to sense that competition for coveted first place between out-of-towners and locals would be fierce.

Things heated up higher than a red-hot charcoal briquette when my trusty canine and I stumbled upon Becca’s body under an azalea bush in the town square. No longer pretty in pink, Becca’ was deader ‘n a skunk. Seems Becca had been bludgeoned with a brisket. Sad way to meet your Maker and all because of a cheap cut of meat. Sadder still, Maybelle was Chief Wyatt McBride’s prime suspect. No one, not even a friend like me, could argue the fact that Maybelle had good reason to bean Becca with a brisket. What red-blooded woman wouldn’t be upset at a hussy for stealing her beau of thirteen years?

Problem was, I couldn’t reconcile the gentle Maybelle I’d known for years with such a vicious act. So I did what came naturally. I called my BFF and Reba Mae and I set out to find the real killer.


You can read more about Piper in Kill ‘Em With Cayenne, the second book in the “Spice Shop” mystery series, published by Minotaur. The first book in the series is Rosemary and Crime.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 6 p.m. eastern on December 23 for the chance to win a signed copy of KILL ‘EM WITH CAYENNE. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.

About the author
Gail Oust is often accused of flunking retirement. While working as a nurse/vascular technologist, she penned nine historical romances under the pseudonym of Elizabeth Turner. It wasn’t until she and her husband retired to South Carolina that inspiration struck for a mystery. Hearing the words “maybe it’s a dead body” while golfing fired her imagination for writing a cozy. Ever since then, she spends more time on a computer than at a golf course. Author of the Bunco Babe mysteries, she’s currently writing the Spice Shop Mysteries. Kill ‘em With Cayenne, the second in the series, was released in December 2014.

Visit Gail at her website or on Facebook

A Day in the Life of Mel Turner by Juliet Blackwell

Keeper of the CastleOccupation: Home Renovation Specialist and up-and-coming Ghostbuster

First things first: as soon as I get up (which is eeeaaaaarly, since I’m in construction), I make myself a really good cup of strong French Roast. Then I feed Dog, a perpetually hungry former stray lab mix who I kept meaning to find a home for…until he decided this home would do quite nicely, thank you very much, and that he didn’t care to leave. Meanwhile, I fight off increasingly strident offers of breakfast from my Dad, who believes my refusal to eat breakfast is some sort of unhealthy teenage rebellion (no use telling him that I haven’t been a teenager for a good couple of decades).

Then I check in with our office manager Stan Tomassi, at the home office of Turner Construction. Dad started Turner Construction long ago, and my sisters and I were quite literally raised on a series of building sites. So a couple of years ago, when I went through a difficult divorce, abandoned my PhD in anthropology, and my mom passed away suddenly, I found myself back home and running Turner Construction (“temporarily”) for my grief-stricken father. He never came back to work, and now I’m General Manager, whether I wanted the position or not.

I hit the road by 6:30, usually with Dog by my side (he used to be carsick, but we’ve been working on the problem so he can visit sites with me). As General, I’m in charge of several different sites in various states of repair (or disrepair): everything from exploratory meetings with clients, to signing contracts, to pushing papers through City Hall, to actual construction and historic renovation – which is the best part of my job. I also get to look through junk stores and antique shops for parts to restore old homes – what’s not fun about that?

Lately, I’m working on rebuilding a medieval monastery out of ancient stones brought over from a Scottish Isle. It seems Ellis Elrich, the mysterious, wealthy CEO of a motivational empire, wants to turn the complex of buildings into a state-of-the-art retreat center in beautiful Marin County.

Only trouble is…he may have accidentally imported a ghost (or two) along with the stones. So now, not only do I have to figure out how to drill and reinforce a stone building in earthquake-prone Northern California (lots of rebar) and how to update it with modern conveniences like plumbing and electricity and technology, but also how to make peace with a couple of extremely confused entities who don’t recognize where they are. International (and time) travel can be very disorienting….

The good (and bad?) news is that rather than commuting all the way from Oakland, Mr. Elrich has invited me to stay at his fabulous house, right up the hill from the building site. The house needs a little work, but it includes a pool and a sauna and a 24-hour snack bar chock-full of organic delicacies prepared by a famous French chef. And Dog is welcome, too – he especially likes loping around the big field between the house and the ruins.

If only the eerie sound of a ghost flute didn’t float up the hill every night, disturbing my sleep. And when a building inspector is killed and someone I care about is attacked, all bets are off. I’m going to figure out what’s going on in this ancient monastery, if it kills me.

Just another Day in the Life of Mel Turner, contractor and (sometimes) ghostbuster.


You can read more about Mel in Keeper of the Castle, the 5th book in the “Haunted Home Renovation” mystery series, published by Obsidian. The first book in the series is If Walls Could Talk.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 6 p.m. eastern on December 22 for the chance to win a copy of KEEPER OF THE CASTLE. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.

About the author
Juliet Blackwell is the New York Times bestselling author of the Witchcraft Mystery series, featuring a powerful witch with a vintage clothes store in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury. She also writes the Haunted Home Renovation Mystery series, about a failed anthropologist who reluctantly takes over her father’s high-end construction company…and finds ghosts behind the walls. As Hailey Lind, Blackwell wrote the Agatha-nominated Art Lover’s Mystery series, in which an ex-art forger attempts to go straight as a faux finisher. She is currently working on a novel about a woman who takes over her uncle’s locksmith shop in Paris, entitled The Paris Key. A former anthropologist and social worker, Juliet has worked in Mexico, Spain, Cuba, Italy, the Philippines, and France.

Visit her at www.julietblackwell.net, join her on Facebook (JulietBlackwellAuthor) and on Twitter @JulietBlackwell