Archive for August, 2016


Secrets and Lies

by Shirlee McCoy




Attacked in her classroom, widowed teacher Ariel Martin’s only thought is for her unborn child. When her student’s brother, rookie K-9 officer Tristan McKeller, and his faithful dog save her life, she can’t thank him enough. She knows Tristan won’t rest until she’s safe, but she doesn’t want him or his police colleagues digging into her dangerous past. After all, the only person who would want to hurt her is dead…or is he? With her and her child’s life on the line, she’ll have to trust Tristan with her secrets if she wants to finally get the fresh start she’s been desperately seeking.

Available from all fine booksellers and directly from Harlequin: http://www.harlequin.com/storeitem.html?iid=65556



Whoopie Pies


1 cup sugar

½ cup shortening

2 egg yolks

2 cups sifted flour

5 tbls cocoa

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup milk


2 egg whites

½ shortening

2 cups powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Sift flour, sift again with cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt. Cream sugar and shortening. Add egg yolks and beat well. Add dry ingredients alternately with milk. Stir in vanilla.

Drop by tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes.

Beat together filling ingredients until light and fluffy.

When cookies are done, remove from cookie sheet and allow to cool on a wire rack. When cool, make cookie sandwiches by spreading filling between two cookies.


About Shirlee McCoy

Shirlee McCoy has always loved making up stories. As a child she daydreamed elaborate tales in which she was the heroine — gutsy, strong and invincible. Though she soon grew out of her superhero fantasies, her love for storytelling never diminished.
Shirlee knew early that she wanted to write inspirational fiction and began writing her first novel when she was a teenager. Still, it wasn’t until her third son was born that she truly began pursuing her dream of being published. Three years later she sold her first book.
Now a busy mother of four, Shirlee is a homeschool mom by day and an inspirational author by night. She and her husband and children live in Maryland and share their home with a dog and a guinea pig.

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Beauty and the Bodyguard

by Lisa Childs



Can this bachelor bodyguard save his true love from mortal danger…on her wedding day?

Bride-to-be Megan Lynch has just learned her ex, presumed dead marine Gage Huxton, is alive after surviving enemy captivity. But before she can break up with her fiancé, gunmen storm her wedding and take hostages! Megan will do anything to stay alive—for herself and a second chance with Gage. But there’s more terror to endure before she can say yes to the dress—and her dream groom!

What do the gunmen want? Gage works double time to unravel the mystery and save the beauty who still holds his heart. As the wedding crashers open fire, Gage puts his life on the line to protect Megan and convince her of his love.

Available from all fine booksellers and directly from Harlequin: http://www.harlequin.com/storeitem.html?iid=65567


Mexican wedding cookies (Because most of the book takes place during a wedding)


½ cup powdered sugar

1 cup butter or margarine, softened

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup finely chopped or ground almonds or pecans

¼ teaspoon salt

¾ cup powdered sugar


  1. In a medium bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Stir in vanilla and water. Add the flour and almonds, mix until blended. …
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  3. Shape dough into balls or crescents. Place on an unprepared cookie sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven.
  4. Roll in powdered sugar when cool.

About Lisa Childs

Lisa has been writing since she could first form sentences and transfer them to paper with crayon. Born soft-spoken into a big, boisterous family where only he who speaks loudest is heard, she learned early to express herself through the written word.
Her first books revolved around the antics of the family dog until she discovered Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. Then writing mysteries became second nature for the author who arrived in the world on a dark, stormy Halloween night. When she was 11, the local paper interviewed her for a book she had written involving a kidnapping plot.
During the day Lisa is a part-time insurance agent and full-time wife and mother. She has two beautiful daughters who share her love of the written word and a husband who provides loving support with praise and extra housecleaning duty.
When night falls and fog from their 15-acre swamp wraps around their house, Lisa becomes the focused writer, spinning stories she hopes her readers will enjoy.
Readers are welcome to contact Lisa at PO Box 139, Marne, MI 49435.

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by Cate Holahan

Ana Bacon, a young housewife, tumbles off a cruise ship into the dark and deadly waters, but did she take her secrets with her?

Investigator Ryan Monahan is a numbers man. So when his company sends him the Bacon case, which could net a ten million dollar payout, Monahan doubts that her death is just a tragic accident. But the husband has a substantial alibi and a number of witnesses claim to have seen Ana fall. So the official ruling seems to be substantiated.

Still, the more Monahan uncovers about Ana’s life, the more he realizes how many people would kill to keep her secrets hidden. And the closer he gets to the truth, the greater the odds grow that he, too, will take a fatal fall.

Cate Holahan looks at the dark underbelly of a marriage from the perspectives of the detective and the victim in her tense and enthralling page-turner, The Widower’s Wife.

Available from Amazon and other fine booksellers.



1.) What inspired you to write The Widower’s Wife?

Many of my thriller ideas come from things I am afraid of in my own life.

Before starting The Widower’s Wife, my husband and I bought our first house. We have a mortgage that is heavily dependent on his salary. I worried what would happen to our family if my spouse ever lost his job and, simultaneously, our house lost value—a position that so many families found themselves in during the recent recession. Jokingly, I told my husband that we might have to rely on my life insurance policy. Once I’d verbalized the idea, I realized it would make a compelling story. 

2.) What kind of research went into this book?

For this novel, I studied the insurance industry. What are the rules for life insurance policies? What kind of odds are considered when pricing policies? I learned a ton of statistics about various insurable interests: lives, cars, marriages, etc. Some of these facts were worked into my main investigator character.

 3.) Can you tell us about some of the creepy things you had to Google while writing The Widower’s Wife?

I really hope Google knows that I am a writer. Otherwise, there’s definitely someone at the FBI looking into my web searches. I did a lot of research into how drugs and people are smuggled into the U.S. from the Caribbean. Revealing anymore would spoil elements of the plot.

 4.) Did you speak with any experts in the fields of statistics, insurance policies, etc during your research?

I am fortunate to know several people in the insurance industry who let me pick their brains on what kinds of considerations go into issuing policies. I also think being a business reporter for years allowed me to parse some of the statistical data myself.

 5.) Investigator Ryan Monahan is an incredible character with a statistics driven brain. What was it like getting inside the mind of this character?

I loved thinking like Ryan. I tend to be a more passionate, emotionally driven person so I enjoyed trying to see the world with his analytical gaze. He’s a skeptic who distrusts most of the information he is given and is always weighing it against his own database of stats and odds. He’s constantly asking: is this assumption likely? What are the chances this isn’t true?

Personally, I could use a bit more Ryan in my life. Despite writing thrillers, my default assumption is that everyone that I meet is fundamentally honest, keeps their word, means what they say and has other people’s best interests at heart as well as their own. I still think this is primarily true. But, I am learning that in certain circumstances my world view can be a bit naïve.

6.) Would you consider writing another book with Ryan as investigator?

I would love to write another book with both Ryan and Ana. I think Ryan is a great character that seems to have resonated with a bunch of people. Jeff Ayers wrote for RT Book Reviews that he was “so intriguing that readers will be anxious to read about his further adventures.” I think he could have other insurance crime based cases. I also think that Ana’s position at the end of the book would be interesting to explore. I’d really love to continue the series.

 7.) Ana’s parents back story adds a great layer to the tale. Did you decide to

bring them into the story early on or was this a later development?

I always wanted Ana to be the American born child of deported immigrants. The struggle to fit in without a support system and the pain of not having her family around for her formative years is central to who she is and, I think, what makes her a compelling character. It’s why she is so self-sacrificing for her family. Also, having her parents removed when she was a pre-teen, made her a survivalist in some respects. That kind of I-just-have-to-make-it-through attitude can lead to questionable moral choices, which makes her more complex. And she pays dearly for some of those choices.

8.) Do you have any writing rituals?

I write everyday from 9a.m. until 2:30 p.m., stopping midday for 20 minutes to walk the dog. I edit after everyone in my house goes to sleep, including my husband. Usually from 11 p.m. on…

9.) Are you attending any writer’s conferences this year?

I am attending Bouchercon (September 15-18), and I will be on a panel Saturday at 4:30 p.m. about pacing. The lineup is great. I am excited to meet Sara Blaedel and Suzanne Chazin, among others.

10.) What are you working on next?

I am working on a novel about a writer with a shady past who explores the whole art imitates life vs. life imitates art battle. It’s a taut, creepy mystery, and I am definitely excited about it.





About Cate Holahan

CATHERINE “CATE” HOLAHAN is an award-winning journalist and former television producer. Holahan’s articles have appeared in BusinessWeek, The Boston Globe, The Record and on web sites for CBS, MSN Money, NorthJersey.com, BusinessWeek.com, and CNBC. Her short fiction won first place in the 19th annual Calliope competition, a magazine published by the writer’s group of American Mensa.

She lives in New Jersey with her husband, two daughters, ages 6 and 4, and dog.

The Widower’s Wife is her second novel, published by Crooked Lane Books. Dark Turns was her first.’

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