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Did You Miss Out on Halloween Jeopardy? I realize most of you are subscribers on my website because you downloaded In the Spirit of Murder at no cost, most likely from something you saw on Facebook or another online outlet. Spirit is the first in the Claudia Hershey Mystery Series and has close to 100,000 []

I Got To The Homicide Victim First
One Reason I Became A Mystery Author Many of you know I started my career as a newspaper journalist, long before cell phones, GPS, and other technology tools we use today began to dominate and control the way we do things. Well, my first job for a Florida daily paper was as the police reporter. []

Where Do Writers Get Inspiration?
For me, inspiration often comes from the unexpected. Take this horse, for instance. Understand, I live in a bustling South Florida urban area and narrowed down, my specific residence overlooks a community lake in a 55+ development. Yes, it’s pretty placid here. But the lake itself is filled with gigantic turtles, huge carp, a bunch []

Sneak Peek Into The Next Claudia Hershey Mystery
IS THE COCKATOO A CLUE? Many of you have asked me when the next Claudia Hershey mystery will be out. Well, I can’t answer that quite yet, but I can share the opening scene with you. Have a look, you wonderful book junkies: CHAPTER  1 One week. It was only supposed to be one week, []

Trust YOUR Homeowners Association?
You ever have a squabble with your homeowners association? Or even just a nasty neighbor? Well, I experienced the former years ago, and eventually it was resolved. No one died (though I got highly agitated), but it became an inspiration for Deadly Associations, a full-length novel and part of my Claudia Hershey Mystery Series. In []

Solving Crime With Carpenter Ants
Claudia Hershey and Creative Tactics To Nail Bad Guys Have you ever found yourself in a weird circumstance where you just had to be inventive to explain something or work yourself out of a bad situation? Well, if you’ve already read my free ebook, In the Spirit of Murder, then you know my main character, []

A Cop Shop in a Phone Booth
There’s Small, and Then There’s Smaller When I created my fictitious town of Indian Run in Central Florida as an ideal location for Detective Lieutenant Claudia Hershey, I established the town with a population of about 8,000. Pretty small, no? But get this: There actually is a bonafide city in Florida’s Panhandle that’s far smaller, []

Why I Binge Watch Netflix
There are good reasons to drown in TV I’m a novelist who pens full-length police procedurals. You’d think virtually everything I do that absorbs my time is writing. You’d be wrong. Here’s why: To write effectively, authors have to be in some kind of an incomprehensible zone, where they’re living, breathing and even dreaming their []

I Am a Professional Liar
Cut Pinocchio Some Slack First of all, let’s give Pinocchio a little leeway, okay? He’s not the only masterful fabricator on the planet. In fact, it occurs to me that anyone writing fiction is, indeed, a professional liar. Oh, sure, you already knew we’re all dreamers, imaginative people who take our craft very seriously — []

The Little Girl Inside the Adult Mystery Author
How Did YOU Grow Up Into What You Are Today? I don’t know why I’m still surprised, but I frequently get this question from readers: “What were you like as a kid? How did your childhood years influence you to become an author?” Oddly enough, it’s kind of a tough question for me to answer. []

Let’s Banish Acronyms
They Make My Head Hurt Are you sick of acronyms, those dreadful abbreviations for actual words? I am, and it seems as if new ones pop up daily. What are we supposed to do? Google them or run to a dictionary to see what they mean? Now admittedly, a lot of acronyms are common to []

Lights! Camera! And . . . Maybe Action
So What About That Film Option? Periodically I’m asked about my film option for In the Spirit of Murder, the first in my Claudia Hershey Mystery Series. The topic occasionally comes up in reviews on Amazon, probably because the book itself has a banner that says “Now optioned for film rights.” That’s true. It has []

The Mysteries of Florida’s Non-Native Species People often ask why I selected Florida as the setting for my Claudia Hershey Mystery Series. Well, it’s true that I’ve lived in Florida most of my life, so that has to count for something. But more than that? It’s largely because the state is home to one of []

Am I The Only Photo Creeper?
It’s with some certainty that I contend we all have camera phones at this point. You know it. I know it. And most of what we tend to see from others shows up on Facebook and Instagram as photos with pets and children. Fine, fine. But me? Well . . . I am an admitted []

I Decided To Let Him Live
Husbands Think Differently Last week and Saturday were busy, so when Sunday finally rolled around with nothing on my agenda I decided to really relax. In fact, at 1 p.m. I was still in my pajamas, noodling around on Facebook. And then came a cell phone call showing “unknown caller.” We all know what that []

When The Phone Rings . . .
Killing Time Waiting for My Nephew To Call Back Listen, I love my nephew Casey. I do. Unfortunately, he lives in Pennsylvania and I live in South Florida, so we don’t see each other often. We don’t talk all that often, either, because he and his wife have three really little kids: 9, 3, and []

Why This Vet Is Taking Veterans Day Off
Celebrate. Some of you might already know this, but back in the Vietnam War Era, I spent four years in the Air Force. I joined right after high school and, in fact, was on my way to basic training two days after graduation. My mother was not pleased and had only grudgingly signed permission for []

The Story Behind The Book
Why psychics & mediums play a big role The plot for In the Spirit of Murder didn’t strike me like a lightning bolt. I didn’t just wake up one morning and say “Ah-hah! I’ve got it!” No. What happened was, well . . . mundane. I was swilling coffee one morning and somehow I happened []

Maybe a Movie One Day!
Okay, here’s the truth: Few novels that get optioned by a producer or film company are actually ever turned into movies or TV series. And of those that are? Most fall into the science fiction or fantasy categories. (Happily, cop stories remain hot, too.) But let’s back it up. What does it actually even mean []

Going Back To My Roots
How often have you switched things up? Your interests? Your career? I mean, after all life does have a way of surprising us all, right? It did that with me, and in the process I haven’t exactly lost my connection with writing, but I did put it on the back burner. No more. I’m not []

No, No, No! You Can’t Sit All the Time
Are you a writer? Someone who hunches over a computer for sometimes hours at a time? Well, I’m here to tell you to stop that right now! Even if you basically loathe exercise, as I do, you can still integrate little measures that’ll get you up and moving. Believe me, if I can, YOU can. []

We’re almost through the year. (And by the way, where did it go? I’m going to look between the couch cushions.) Anyway, it’s always a good time to reflect on goals, clear the cobwebs or clutter in order to open the new year properly. Yes. Even for writers decluttering is a most excellent strategy. In []

Authors? Are You Including Video In Your Social Media Mix?
Okay. You’re an author. That means you’re probably on Facebook and a couple of other social media sites. Good! You should be. You have an audience out there (or a potential one) just waiting for you to reach out. But there are loads of reasons you should also routinely be doing video. Now mind you, []

Review of Jack Turley’s “Alzheimer’s: Will I Be Next?”
Let me make one thing clear right away: I’m not a medical professional. I’m a former journalist turned novelist who also works as a freelancer and previously also worked in communications for two Florida-based skilled nursing facilities, among other places. I’m also not someone who’s had a family member afflicted with Alzheimer’s. That said, in []

Writers, Don’t Get Hit With A “Gotcha”
You’ve labored over your novel for what seems like forever, right? Did all the right things? Spell check, grammar check, several rewrites and more. Of course, if only it were that simple. It’s not, though, because after a while we’ve looked at the same thing so many times we can’t see the most obvious flaws []

I Am Honored, Indeed
There isn’t an author on the planet who doesn’t appreciate reader reviews, but this video review from a gentleman I don’t even know was over the top in my experience. Naturally, I’m very pleased he enjoyed In the Spirit of Murder, but to take the time to do a video is astonishing. Then again, it’s []

Turn What Bugs You Into a Plot
Let’s be real. All sorts of seemingly mundane things make us crazy. If you’re an author or a would-be author, well, I’m here to tell you that you can turn those irritants into plot development long enough to sustain a full-length novel, or even use it for a plot twist or character development. Have a []

Teaser of the Month | In the Spirit of Murder
So, okay. Can you find the killer before Claudia Hershey does? The passage is in Chapter 2 of In the Spirit of Murder — first in this (so far) three-part police procedural series. You can read more about the general plot of the mystery right here. Naturally, I’m hoping you’re intrigued enough to want to []

Who DOESN’T Like Jeffrey Deaver?
In case you missed my 5-star review on Goodreads or elsewhere, have a look at what I thought of Jeffery Deaver’s The Skin Collector: If you’ve ever read a Jeffery Deaver novel in the past, then you already know that no matter the story, it’s going to be solid, hard to put down, and filled []

Newbie Authors, Have a Look-See
Let’s face facts: If you’re a new author, you’re in a REALLY tough field. This, I’m sure, already comes as no shocker to you, what with the crush of ebooks, bestsellers from the same authors, and the struggle to get found amidst all that noise. Well, guess what? Been there, done that. I’m not a []

Beware the Caravella Monkey!
Okay, look, here’s the deal: I adore mysteries, thrillers, legal dramas and, well, more or less dark or intense stuff. I even have three of my own police procedural mysteries out there. But now and then I need a break from reality and Dave Barry’s Insane City, meaning Miami, is absolutely perfect because there aren’t []

May Identity Thieves Burn in Hell
It’s probably happened to you. Some lowlife out there managed to rip your credit card or debit card — or both. With luck, you discovered it on your own because you have alerts sent to you every time you make a transaction. (You do have that in place, right?) Or maybe you just have a []

Look Deep Into Nature
Yes, yes. I’m an author, never mind a writer of many other types of work. You’re probably an author or someone who wants to be. But you know, we are all more than what we primarily present to the world. And in my world? Second to writing is nature. Albert Einstein said it best: “Look []

Who wants a “Booey” as an intern?
Multi-decorated homicide detective Claudia Hershey, who moved from the tough streets of Cleveland, Ohio to a tiny Central Florida town called Indian Run, is suddenly saddled with the police chief’s nephew for an unofficial “internship.” It’s most certainly not what Claudia wants, particularly when she sizes him up on their first encounter in Quietly Dead []

Claudia Hershey NEVER Did This!
People have a tendency to assume that an author’s main character is a lot like the author. Well . . . no. Look, Claudia Hershey, the top cop in In the Spirit of Murder, Quietly Dead and Deadly Associations, is a whole lot tougher than I am. We do share some similarities, but I would []