Is this novel a mystery? Is it a thriller? Is it a romance? It’s actually a bit of all three. One thing is for sure, Flawless, by Heather Graham is a great story. It starts with Kieran Finnegan, who is a criminal psychologist and helps out in the family bar in the evenings. During a robbery in the Diamond District of New York, Kieran inadvertently saves the life of FBI Agent Craig Frasier and brings about the arrest of the thieves. What should be the end of a crime spree turns out to be the beginning of a murder investigation of a deadly group of copycat thieves that places Kieran, the FBI, and her family in danger. But there is more than murder to deal with–Kieran finds herself terribly attracted to Craig. Here is one novel that has something for everyone.

Mystery Fest Key West Announces 2019 Whodunit Mystery Writing Competition—Entry Deadline is April 15  

Key West, Florida Keys — Do you have a finished, but unpublished, mystery genre manuscript? Mystery Fest Key West has announced a call for entries for the 2019 Whodunit Mystery Writing Competition. The winner will claim a book-publishing contract with Absolutely Amazing eBooks, free Mystery Fest Key West 2019 registration, airfare, hotel accommodations for two nights and a Whodunit Award trophy to be presented at the 6th Annual Mystery Fest Key West, set for June 28-30 in Key West, Florida.

Sponsored by Absolutely Amazing eBooks, candidates wishing to compete are invited to submit the first three pages (maximum 750 words) of a finished, but unpublished manuscript to no later than April 15, 2019. There is no fee to enter, finalists will be notified by May 1, and will have until May 10 to submit full manuscripts.  

“Why just the first three pages? That criterion is a nod to late author Jeremiah Healy, a terrific mystery writer and great judge of mysteries,” said Fest co-founder Shirrel Rhoades. “Healy often said a book either captures a reader in the first three pages…or it doesn’t. The competition judges agreed with that assessment, and decided to use it as a yardstick for the competition.”  

Contest judges for 2019 are Dr. Toby Armour, whose credits include the murder mystery book “Blood Tells” and play, “Is This 24 Lily Pond Lane?”; Carol Lazar, an author, columnist, photojournalist and former senior editor for South Africa’s Independent Newspapers; Captain Reef Perkins, author of “Sex, Salvage and Secrets,” Screwed, Blu’d and Tattooed,” and the mystery novel “Deep Air”; Robin Robinson, an author, syndicated newspaper columnist, educator and horticulturist; and Rhoades, an author, film critic, media consultant and publisher of Absolutely Amazing eBooks.  

The 2019 Mystery Fest Key West, featuring Keynote Speaker Jeffery Deaver by popular demand, will include multiple presentations, panel discussions and social events at landmark Key West locations where attendees mingle with acclaimed mystery, crime fiction and true crime writers.  

Whodunit Writing Competition guidelines and submission details, complete schedule of Mystery Fest Key West events and a Fest registration form are all available at

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Here’s an idea. Buy one of those packages of school valentines. You know, the ones where you get about 30 valentines for a couple of dollars. Give them out to your coworkers. I always give them out and everyone loves them. Enjoy the holiday.

My first novel, Homicide in the Headlines, has been published. I was very lucky because I found a publisher at local mystery writers’ conference (Key West Mystery Fest). It’s a quick and fun read about a newspaper editor who is a dwarf and a tall blond who is a Marine Corps combat vet. A series of events forces them into a deadly game where they are looking for a serial killer. For mystery readers, it’s kind of a police procedural where readers follow how the heroes manage to find the killer. I hope you all enjoy it.

The Homerun Kid

By Cayuro Jonronero, translated by Oscar Blas Fernandez Mesa

Published by Absolutely Amazing Books

Everyone knows Ernest Hemingway as the Nobel Prize winning writer. Many know him as the adventurer. Others may know him as a womanizer. But very few know him as a caring father and a man who loved children and made sure many poor Cuban children learn sports and valuable life lessons.

This book is a series of vignettes telling about Cuba in the 1940s and how Hemingway changed the lives of the poor children in his neighborhood. Hemingway moved into a fancy house and his two sons would visit him during the summer. To ensure they had playmates, Hemingway formed a baseball team.

The stories are told by one of the children about how Hemingway formed the team, made sure they had the proper equipment, and taught them how to play the game. But Hemingway’s guidance didn’t end with baseball. He took the children to a sports club patronized by foreigners. The children got to play against other teams, and were treated to Coca-Cola, candy, and cookies. But more importantly, Hemingway taught the children valuable life lessons such as taking care of the trees in the neighborhood and standing up for themselves when being bullied. Hemingway’s house became a second home to the children.

These stories show the warmth and humanity of the Cuban people. Although these events took place more than seventy years ago, they will make you want to visit Cuba. This book is truly a wonderful window into the lives of the Cuban people at that time and today. More importantly, they show a very warm and loving side of a great writer.


Already vs. All Ready


            There are several words in English which give us trouble because they sound the same but have different meanings. The words already and all ready are excellent examples. Please note that I often use other internet sources for references. I include them to give readers an additional source for grammar questions I don’t answer.

Already is an adverb meaning prior to a specified or implied time, which could be now.

Examples:        When they pulled the shark up in the net, it was already dead.

                        The flowers are already blooming.

                        I have already finished my homework.

All Ready is a term meaning everything is completely prepared.

Examples:        Jillian is all ready for the presentation.

                        Wehave everything. We are all ready to start decorating for the party.

Book Review – Tower Down by David Hagberg

            The first page thrusts the reader into a suspenseful thriller as a merciless killer works to bring down a New York City landmark, killing hundreds of people, including many of the world’s wealthiest individuals. But the plot doesn’t stop with a single attack. Authorities soon learn another attack is imminent. This brings CIA’s Kirk McGarvey and his partner, Pete Boylan, into the investigation as they track a killer who hides by killing and stealing the identities of others. McGarvey and Boylan discover the killer targets the super-rich as a way to intensify the effects of his terrorist’s attacks. Their investigation takes them to the playgrounds or the wealthy at the Cannes Film Festival, the Monaco Grand Prix, and the Mega-Yacht Run at Mallorca. McGarvey and Boylan create a scam designed to entice the greed of the very wealthy and at the same time, flush out the killer. But this brings them into the killer’s sights, turning the investigation into a deadly cat and mouse game; each trying to expose the other before the next terrorist’s attack. The globe-trotting chase brings all of the players back to New York for a final showdown.


Book Review – Pulse by Michael Harvey

            Inspired by an actual event, this novel chronicles Daniel Fitzsimmons’ journey as he deals with the death of his older brother, Harry, and his search for Harry’s killer. The novel opens with a traffic accident and the tragic death of Daniel’s and Harry’s mother. Fast forward eight years to where Daniel is in high school and Harry is a star of Harvard’s football team. Daniel looks for a place of his own and rents a room from Simon, a Harvard professor that no one seems to know. Simon offers explanations for Daniel’s strange psychological dreams where he seems to inhabit the minds of others and animals. A night of adventure for college students leads to Harry’s death. When Detectives Barkley “Bark” Jones and Tommy Dillon arrive on the scene, they find Daniel there with Harry’s body; but Daniel has no explanation on how he got there. The detectives are able to identify a suspect. Furthermore, they reopen the investigation into Daniel’s mother’s death, suspecting it might have been murder instead of an accident, The police investigation, along with Daniel’s visions, lead them through a maze of deception in a deadly quest for the real killer.