Carol Childs’ Mysteries by Nancy Cole Silverman

Nancy Cole Nancy Cole silvermanSilverman’s new series, the Carol Childs Mysteries (Henery Press) takes place inside a busy Los Angles Radio station. Carol Childs is a radio reporter who works a for a local radio station.

Book Reviewsfor eacy of Nancy Cole Silverman’s Carol Childs’ Mysteries


A top Hollywood Agent is found poisoned in the bathtub of her home and the police suspect one of her two nieces. Carol Childs, a reporter for a local talk radio station, doesn’t believe it, she knows these people and knows that they could not have committed Carol knows she must save her friend from being tried in the court of public opinion.
shadow of a doubt
Carol must challenge both her friendship and the facts, and the only thing she knows for certain is that the killer is still out there.

Book Review and 3.8 stars

This cozy mystery was an interesting read, however, I stayed with until the end.  I didn’t give it my usual 4 because I thought some aspects of the story were cliche, but for the most part I did enjoy this book.

Synopsisbeyond a doubt

Carol Childs is called to the scene of a murder, where she has no idea she’s about to uncover a connection to a string of missing girls.  A judge’s daughter leaves behind a clue and a trip down Hollywood Boulevard’s Walk of Fame reveals a connection to a high powered real estate mogul and to a cartel targeting girls for human trafficking.

As Carol Childs investigation gets to close, she finds herself  at odds with powers that threaten to undo her career and like the very girls she’s seeking, make her disappear.

Book Review and 4.3 stars

I liked this story a lot better. It was interesting to watch how the connection to past was illustrated to a series of murders that had occurred in Hollywood.  I think that the author put the information together in a very sequential manner.

without a doubtSynopsis

Our favorite radio reporter Carol Childs investigates a series of Beverly Hills jewelry heists, when she realizes her FBI boyfriend, Eric, is working the same case. Even worse, she may have inadvertently helped the suspect escape.  Now Carol is faced with the difficult choice of choosing between her job and her personal relationships. It was just a coincidence that Carol and Eric were investigating the same case, now before the thieves can pull off a daring escape, they are leaving a trail of dead bodies behind, and taking the jewels with them.

Book Review and 4.5

This was a great sophmore follow up in the series.  I think that it was good to explore the relationship, but I wish the author had spent more time on this aspect. However, it is a mystery not necessarily a romance.



A Cat Latimer Mystery by Lynn Cahoon

Fatality by Fireplace


Cat Latimer inherited her home from her ex-husband and turned it into a bed-and-breakfast.  She plays host to writers who utilize her home as a retreat.

To kick off a winter writing retreat, Cat and her handyman boyfriend, Seth, escort the aspiring authors to a nearby ski resort, and before long,  Christina, romance novelist is  warming up next to a  local ski bum who might have neglected to tell her about his upcoming wedding.

Unfortunately, the young man’s been found dead in a hot tub—and Christina shows up crying and covered in blood. Now, between a murder mystery, the theft of a rare Hemingway edition, and the arrival of a black-clad stranger in snowy Aspen Hills, Cat’s afraid everything’s going downhill. Not to mention a mystery concerning her former marriage is unraveling and causing her some issues.

Book Review and 4.2 stars

It is a good read, however, Ms. Cahoon is a bit stodgy with the details of Cat’s former marriage.  I am really anxious to find out more about her former husband and what is going on.  At the same time, I hope it, whatever it is, does not interfere with her relationship with Seth.  Time will tell!!

Book Review: Trash ‘n’ Treasures Mysteries Series by Barbara Allan

Barbara Allan is the joint pseudonym of acclaimed short story writer BaScreenshot 2017-04-09 19.26.32rbara Collins (Too Many Tomcats) and New York Times bestselling mystery novelist Max Allan Collins (ROAD TO PERDITION). They have joined forces to write Trash ‘n’ Treasures to write about Brandy Borne and Her mother Vivian.  I have to wonder which author defined Vivian.  The story is very interesting and very enjoyable.



Antiques Swap

It happened at Serenity’s swap meet, right after Brandy Borne and her ever-more-eccentric mother Vivian finished shooting the pilot for their very own TV show, Antiques Sleuths.
Vanessa turns up at each and every meet when Brandy Boone and her mother go to purchase material for their reality show. Sure, Vanessa was furious that she caught Brandy in Wesley’s embScreenshot 2017-04-09 19.23.00.pngrace. However, now with a new murder in their world, now Brandy–along with her notoriously nosy mother and their sleuthing shih tzu Sushi–are determined to dig for the whole truth.

Book Review and 4.3 stars

I liked the book, but I don’t like Vivian, she is just a little to out there for me.  However, Vivian does have a way of lightning up the story a bit.  I strongly encourage you to read the book, it will definitely keep you entertained.

Antiques Frame

Brandy Borne and her interesting mother, Vivian have a hit reality TV series, Antiques Sleuths.   But another “hit” enters the picture, after a rival bidder becomes a one-woman show at their televised auctions—and it’s the estranged wife of Brandy’s police-chief beau, Tony! When I say she is always around she is always around.

Brandy’s mom—her daughter, Brandy,  is  now wearing basic jailhouse orange— and Vivian is working overtime to help resolve this situation. Brandy and Vivian race to solve the problem.  They are aided only by Sushi, their loyal shih tzu, and police dog Rocky, the wacky mother-and-daughter sleuthing team must learn the killer’s identity.

Book Review and 4. 4 stars

There is one thing about this series that I haven’t been able to understand: that is do Brandy Borne and her mother like each other.  My thought is that they do like one another, but I also Screenshot 2017-04-09 19.23.25.pngthink tha they need each other to keep their world from crashing down.  I think most people will enjoy this book.  They characters remind me of people I meet everyday.


Java Jive Mystery Series by Caroline Fardig

Screenshot 2017-04-05 21.31.13.pngCarol Fardig mystery series which is published by Random House is based on two people who have known each other off and on, but have always worked together in a coffee-house.  Except now, the coffee house has included murder in their mix.

Death Before Decaf 

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Juliet Langley’s music career has crashed and burned in spectacular fashion, now she is forced to turn to the only other business she knows: food service. Now her personal life is in ruins.  Juliet packs up and moves back to her college stomping grounds in Nashville to manage an old friend’s coffeehouse. The place is burning money, the staff is has declared open warfare, and Juliet finds one unlucky employee dead in the dumpster out back on her first day.
The corpse and Juliet had just had a huge fight over the health code. The other employees are not impressed with Juliet and have no problem selling her as the number one suspect in the murder. The is a  stranger who’s asking a lot of questions, and now Juliet in hot water.  What is a girl to do when her luck is currently all bad.

Book Review plus 4.1

The book is good and it definitely follows the cozy mystery formula.  However, I liked Juliet, the main character  the fact that she has a good friend who is willing to help her out, even if the rest of the staff isn’t quite on board.  The story also incorporates my favorite drink: coffee.

Mug Shot

Screenshot 2017-04-05 21.37.39.png (1)


Former musician Juliet Langley has been working hard at  the coffeehouse owned by her best friend, Pete Bennett. IN addition, Pete’s girlfriend, Cecilia Hollingsworth, is organizing the  annual Holiday 5K Race . This year, Java Jive has a booth right at the finish line, which is where. . .  Juliet stumbles over Cecilia’s dead body on the morning of the race.

Pete is arrested for Cecilia’s murder, Juliet sets out to clear his name. Juliet goes undercover and enter  Nashville’s high society to find any hidden skeletons in Cecilia’s closet. Pete’s bond is paid for by Juliet, but Juliet needs to hang onto her temper and find out who killed Pete’s girlfriend.

Book Review plus 4.3

The story was good and I glad to see more of a relationship between Juliet and Pete.  It is a great read and wonderful second book in the story.  It is a must read

A Whole Latte MurderScreenshot 2017-04-05 21.35.17

Juliet’s personal and professional luck has taken a turn for the better. She has a boyfriend, great looking,  detective Ryder Hamilton continues to simmer, and business at Java Jive is booming. However, Ryder has been promoted to homicide and Juliet is concerned about the type of people he will encounter, not to mention then the safety issue.

Juliet finds Chelsea dead, a missing college student and her involvement puts a strain on Ryder’s first homicide case.  Now one of her’s and Peter’s employees went missing.  Now what is happening and what will the end result be?

Book Review and 4.4 stars

This is a whole bunch of trouble for everyone connected and what happens at the end will be a surprise to them all.  However, it is sad and it kind of reminds me of the episodes of Disappear I watch, the ending . . . well I guess you will just have to read the book.

Brew or Die          Screenshot 2017-04-05 21.43.23

Juliet Langley is officially one of Nashville’s licensed private investigators. Her best friend, Pete Bennett, isn’t worried that it will interfere with her job at Java Jive, he’s concerned about the amount of trouble she will find. In addition, he would like her to re-enter the local music scene.

However, one of Java Jive’s baristas, Shane, asks Juliet to look into the suspicious death, when she died on the job. He thinks that her party-planning colleagues are up to something criminal—and will do anything to keep it quiet.

In addition, Juliet will need to bridge her differences with her ex. Detective Ryder Hamilton. Now what happens?

Book Review plus 4.2

I will be honest, I didn’t like the fact that Juliet got her P.I. license.  I liked her status as a coffee store manager.  My opinion.  The story did work, it kind of brought together elements that I was glad to see occur, but I wish Ryder had another police job.  Yet, Yet, Yet . . . I liked the story and worked well!

All of these books were provided to me by the publisher via Netgalley in return for my honest review of the books.



An Aurora Anderson Mystery Series by Sybil Johnson


Screenshot 2017-04-03 21.45.23 (1)

This is Sybil Johnson,  She is the author of an Aurora Anderson Mystery Series.


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Aurora is a computer programmer who works out of her house in Vista Beach.  The house is from her Grandma. Aurora seems to get into more trouble when she is helping her mother out.

Fatal Brushstroke  (#1)

Aurora finds a dead body in her garden and a homicide detective on her doorstep, plus a sheriff who blames her DNA…suspicion has fallen on her.

Computer programmer and tole painting enthusiast Aurora (Rory) Anderson doesn’t  live in Vista Beach, a quiet California beach community where violent crime is rare and murder even rarer.

The body—her tole painting teacher, Hester Bouquet is quite dead and in her garden.  Rory attended one of Hester’s weekend seminars, and although she likes tole painting, she will not go through another unpleasant experience with this particular teacher.  Now that Hester is dead, evidence piles up against Rory, (which the Sheriff is more than willing to help build the frame) she begins a journey to identify the killer and clear her name.

Book Review 4 . 3 stars

The whole time I read this book I kept thinking I need to read the book that come first in this series.  The first book in this series is Fatal Brushstroke.  However, once I got past that point I really enjoyed the book and throughly recommend it as a good read.

I received this book from the publisher via Netgalley for an honest review.

Paint the Town Dead (#2)


Aurora (Rory) Anderson, a computer programmer and tole-painting enthusiast, live in the city of Vista Beach.  It is June and decorative painters are heading to the newly built Akaw hotel to attend the Ocean Painting Society’s inaugural convention. Rory is there to help her mother with her booth as well as get together with old friends.

Rory’s old friend, unfortunately, witnesses her childhood friend collapse in class and die. Rory embarks on her own investigation on her own investigation when everyone but her thinks the her friend’s death is not an accident

Book Review plus 4.6 stars

The story was good and it was sad because her new homocide friend has a girlfriend.  Rory does her best to get over that fact and make friends with this new girl.  However, the death of her friend puts a damper on the process.  This was a good book and I learned something new.  It is a wonderful read!

A Palette for Murder (#3)


Aurora (Rory) Anderson, a computer and tole painting crafter live in Vista Beach, which is currently experiencing high temperatures are hard on everyone. The high temperature hit the homeless population, especially hard. Residents are doing everything they can to stay cool, including leaving windows open to catch the faintest breeze. The local air conditioner companies have waitlist for everyone who wants cool air in their home.  In addition, there are a string of burglaries is plaguing nearby towns and no one understands how they are gaining entrance.

Still, Rory doesn’t expect to find her neighbor’s body, who is homeless, just a few doors down. Suspicion falls on a friend and fellow painter,  she turns to Rory for help and help discover the truth before the police try her for murder.  As Rory investigates she finds more and more information, but the final ending is the biggest twist of all.

Book Review plus 4.8

This book had a great twist that I didn’t quite understand until the very end of the story.  I KNOW people will like the story and we will all wait for the next book in this series.

This ARC was given me by the publisher via Netgalley.

JD Robb

This is pseudoymn of Nora Roberts. The story (or truth) goes that Ms. Roberts is such a prolific writer that she wanted to write more books, but based on her contract she was held to only a certain amount.  Ms. Roberts and her literary agent decided to create a pseudoymn so that Ms. Roberts could explore her creative outlet in another genre.

Nora Roberts is basically a romance writer, a good writer, but her genre is basically romance.  JD Robb is derived from the first names of her two sons and part of her last name. I think it is great and according to my research, her literary agent  liked the name because it put all of her books together in one section of the bookshelf.

Personally, I am glad because I like the futuristic genre that JD Robb authors.  The premise that Eve Dallas, an abuse survivor and the top cop of the NYSPD and her husband, Roarke, a self-made billionaire who sprung for poverty and is also an abuse survivor.  The two of them solve some very interesting crimes with the help of the friends (who are really their family) and these crimes bring out details from their past, impact their marriage and list some very interesting electronics.

I really like how JD Robb’s books flow together and I encourage people to read the series.  There are over 44 books in the series at present time and they seem to be published every six months.

A Cora Crafts Mystery by Mollie Cox Bryan (Review of Books)


This series is a craft retreat mystery series which is set in Gap, North Carolina (not a real place).  The main characters, Cora Chevalier and Jane Starr plus daughter, are transplants who are setting up a new life for themselves.  Actually, they are doing what they love and making a living. 

Death Among the DoiliesEath Among The Coilies


This is the first book in the series of “A Cora Crafts Mystery” .  Cora Chevalier and Jane Starr (and her daughter) are starting over.  Cora worked in a woman’s shelter which caused her to have a stress related condition.  Jane is getting over a violent relationship, while raising her daughter in a new environment.  They are transforming a Victorian estate into a craft retreat business. Unfortunately, their first retreat includes a murder where Jane’s fingerprints are found at the crime scene. Not to mention the fact that they are not popular among the regular town folk.  This is not a great start to their business.

A Book Review (4. 5 stars)

What I really like this about this book was Cora.  I can relate to Cora’s stress related condition, I have a chronic illness that reacts to stress.  If I don’t have my medicine handy or I don’t take it regularly plus water, I am in a great deal of pain.  This retreat plus Cora’s blogging really intrigue me and gave me pointers on my blog plus really increased my desire to get out of the classroom. 

Anyway, the book was great, I stayed up and read the book cover to cover. The book is a page turner, the concept is great.  Also, I liked the fact that it was realistic measure of how people could solve a mystery and run a business at the same time.  Wonderful read!

No Charm Intended

SynopsisNo Charm intended

This is the second book in the series “A Cora Crafts Mystery”.  Cora Chevalier and Jane Starr (plus daughter) are hosting a “wildcrafting” retreat.  However, Jane’s nanny (Gracie) has disappeared and their technology is going haywire.  The guests are going on Nature hikes in order to find things for their crafts and Jane is teaching them how to make charms.  Gracie’s boyfriend is the chief person of interest and as a result has been kicked out of his home.  The ladies take him in and proceed to uncover clues in order to locate Gracie.

A Book Review (4.3)

I wasn’t as excited about this book as I was with the first book.  That doesn’t mean I didn’t like the book, I just wish more time was spent on the wildcrafting part of the story. I know it is a cozy mystery, not a cozy crafting story, but the information about the wildcrafting was good and I liked it.  Also, the technology that was incorporated into the story wasn’t that new for me, I just didn’t like all of the drugs incorporated into the story.  It was bit over the top for me.  Once again, I LIKED THE STORY, HENCE THE STARS.  You should read it!!!!

Macrame Murder

Macrame MurderThis is the next book in the series!! Can’t wait to review it!!!

Mystery Thriller Week: Interview with Ritter Ames


How old you when you wrote your first story?


What genre was that ?

Mystery—I was already reading Trixie Belden, and my story was similar to one of those.

Do you think that or do you have another series in mind? Where would it be locate?

I have a new first-in- series I’m doing final edits on now—it’s not published yet—and it’s set in the south central U.S. I have another series I want to start playing around with soon that has a bit of a paranormal slant and Europe is the backdrop for it.

Do you enjoy any sport? Crafts? Other?

I’m a huge basketball and hockey fan, and I used to play basketball but rarely anymore. I walk a lot and enjoy riding horseback. I also knit to relax and I love photography.


Where do write from?

Place in your emotions

I write mysteries because I love to read them. What I love most about mysteries is figuring out the “puzzle,” so I chiefly write from curiosity—if that can be labeled an emotion—to see how my characters use their strengths to solve the mystery. I also love snark and humor, and I write from whatever place draws from the needfor a quick laugh, too—but not a cheap laugh  Most important, I appreciate characters who are smart and think outside the box, and I’m drawn to those kinds of people in real life, too, so it’s only natural I want them in my fictional life.

 Place in your house? From your organizations? if so what organizations)

I have an office in my house where I write and work on the marketing side of my business during the afternoons. But I start each day writing on my laptop in my big comfy reading chair. I get started there with a cup of hot tea to write my sloppy copy of the day and brainstorm on my laptop until I’m ready to get the serious word count that gets completed in my office.

What would you be doing if you weren’t a writer?

I honestly can’t imagine anymore. Probably I would do something that ties with the volunteer work I do now. I work a day each week in our local library, and I’m a certified literacy tutor and work with adults who want to learn how to read.

How much support do you receive in relation to your writing and eventual publication? From where and whom?

I’ve been writing full-time for more than 15 years—nonfiction before I signed my first fiction contract in 2013. So, I have a pretty good idea about the business side of things and don’t need as much help there. But on the marketing side, I belong to a number of terrific author groups with fabulously giving authors who share information that works for them and are quick to answer questions that any authors pose. Those groups are a tremendous support. I also have a terrific editor at Henery Press who is always available to help me work through any snags or plot holes.

If you could do only one form of writing, would you write stories or keep a blog? Why?

Definitely write stories. I’m getting better about blogging, but it still isn’t my favorite thing to do.

 How did you find your niche?

I wrote what I love to read.

How much research do you do for your books?

A Lot! It takes about six months to write one Bodies of Art Mystery, and more than half that time is devoted to research and verifying art work or art history, and firming up my info on settings/locations I use in the books.

What surprised you most about the publishing process?

How much non-writing work authors must do after they turn a book into the publisher. Writing the book is only half the job—marketing is probably even more time consuming. Want to thank you for inviting me to interview, Michelle. I appreciate learning about other mystery authors, and this is a great forum for that. Thanks again for including me.

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Contact Info

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Mystery Thriller Interview: Judy Penz Sheluk


How old were you when you wrote your first story?

I’ve been writing stories in my head as long as I can remember. I’d walk to school and think up a story, and then finish it on the way home. Some stories I would keep going for a week or more. I actually thought everyone did that. It wasn’t until many years later I found out that’s not the case. I remember, in grade 10, having to write a story based on a picture the English teacher showed us. It was a picture of the jungle, very dark and gloomy. I don’t remember the story, any longer, but I remember the first line I wrote was Loneliness…

What genre was that?

 I suppose it would be considered literary fiction, though the feelings evoked were definitely influenced by the recent death of my father. He was 42 when he died of stomach cancer, and I was just 14. I really was lonely. Your friends don’t really know what to say or do, and back then, there was no counseling, you were just supposed to suck it up and get on with it. My mom was ill prepared to deal with her own grief and a hormonal, rebellious, and angry teenager. It was a very dark period in both our lives.

Do you have another series in mind? Where would it be located?

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 I currently write two series. The Glass Dolphin Mysteries are set in the fictional town of Lount’s Landing, Ontario, Canada. The Glass Dolphin is the name of an antiques shop on the town’s historic Main Street. The protagonists are Emily Garland, a journalist, and Arabella Carpenter, the shop owner. The first book in the series is titled The Hanged Man’s Noose and Barking Rain Press released it in July 2015. I’m just finishing the second book in the series. Lount’s Landing is loosely based on Holland Landing, where I lived for many years.

My Marketville Mysteries are set in the fictional town of Marketville, Ontario, Canada (loosely based on Newmarket, which is a larger town just south of Holland Landing). The protagonist is Calamity (Callie) Barnstable. In book one, Skeletons in the Attic (Imajin Books, August 2016), Callie leaves Toronto to move into a house in Marketville left to her by her late father. The condition of inheritance is that she find out who murdered her mother thirty years before. When she finds an actual skeleton in the attic, she begins to have her doubts about her decision to move there. I’m currently writing the sequel.

I have a third series idea in mind, but it’s not fleshed out enough to talk about it. I’m thinking along the lines of a novella, vs. novel, for that series, and my hope is that it will be a comedic mystery series.

Where do you write from?

 When I’m at home in Alliston, Ontario, I write in my home office on my iMac. When I’m at our cottage on Lake Superior (near Sault Ste. Marie) I tend to handwrite my stories in a notebook while sitting on the deck, and then transcribe the notes later on my iPad, or first thing in the morning. It’s a very different experience, writing by hand, and my handwriting is atrocious, but it’s quite liberating.

What would you be doing if you weren’t a writer?

 I’ve had a lot of different jobs, from Credit Manager to Office Manager to Sales & Marketing Coordinator. I left the corporate world in 2003 to take up freelance writing and editing. I’ve never looked back. I can’t imagine a life without writing, but I also enjoy teaching creative writing, and did some of that online for a while. I may do that again.

How much support do you receive in relation to your writing and eventual publication? From where and whom?

 My husband, Mike, is super supportive. He reads all my work before I send it out and he can find the smallest plot hole. My mom was really supportive, but she died in September 2016. She was handing out my bookmarks to the doctors and nurses in the hospital until the end, and the last book she read was Skeletons in the Attic. My friends are also very supportive, and I’ve had two Friends and Family Book Launches that were well attended and filled with love. But I think to be successful, as a writer, you have to be self-supportive. There’s a lot of rejection in this business, and for every great review, there’s someone who just doesn’t get your writing. This is true, even for runaway bestselling authors. At the end of the day, you have to go the tough stuff alone.

If you could do only one form of writing, would you write stories or keep a blog? Why?

 Stories. I enjoy writing my blog, but it could never fill the void if I stopped writing short stories and books.

How did you find your niche?

 My go-to genre to read is mystery. When I started writing The Hanged Man’s Noose, the goal was to write a book I’d like to read. That’s remained my goal. I also read a lot of mystery novels, and I learn from all of them, those I love and those I don’t. To quote Stephen King, if you don’t have time to read, you don’t have time to write.

How much research do you do for your books?

 Anything factual, I do a lot of research. Get a fact wrong, and you’ve lost the reader. I’ve also been the Senior Editor for New England Antiques Journal since 2007, and so a lot of the antiques side of things in the Glass Dolphin Mysteries comes from that knowledge base.

What surprised you most about the publishing process?

 I knew it would be slow process, but I didn’t realize just how tough it would be to find a publisher. I thought my publishing history as a freelancer (magazines, newspapers) would make a difference but it didn’t. I did self-publish a collection of short stories, and found that process to be very simple, but selling them has been a challenge. Either way, there’s a lot of marketing involved, and very little is taken on by the publishers, so I’d certainly consider self-publishing in future, for another series.

What do you want engraved on your headstone?



Judy Penz Sheluk’s debut mystery novel, The Hanged Man’s Noose (Barking Rain Press), was published in July 2015. Skeletons in the Attic (Imajin Books), the first book in her Marketville Mystery Series, was published in August 2016.

Judy’s short crime fiction appears in World Enough and Crime, The Whole She-Bang 2, The Whole She-Bang 3, Flash and Bang and Live Free or Tri.

Judy is a member of Sisters in Crime, Crime Writers of Canada, International Thriller Writers and the Short Mystery Fiction Society.

Find Judy on her website/blog at, where she interviews other authors and blogs about the writing life. You can also find Judy on Facebook ( and Twitter (@JudyPenzSheluk) and on her Amazon author page,

Judy lives in Alliston, Ontario, Canada, with her husband, Mike, and their 14-month old Golden Retriever, Gibbs.


Mystery Thriller Week Interview: Rose Fedele



How old were you when you wrote your first story?

screenshot-2017-02-12-17-51-31-pngOther than some creative writing as a child, I didn’t sit down to write seriously until about five years ago.

I think I needed a trigger, and it came in the form of a beautiful old house. But it was more than a house; the magnificent old building riveted and mesmerised me and in the following weeks I was drawn back to the site, over and over. The mansion was fronted by a brightly painted door, a glossy façade, and I imagined what the door might mask and what it could have concealed over the last 150 years: nasty, shameful secrets, possibly a poor family’s misfortune and tragedy, rotten crimes and heaven knows what other unholy messes … and a story began to form.

Funnily enough, when first I started, I had no idea what I was doing. In fact, I was so embarrassed that I started the project in secret, waiting until the house was empty and I was sure to be completely alone.

What genre was that?

Being a great lover of psychological thrillers and suspense, it wasn’t going to go any other way!

Do you think that or do you have another series in mind?  Where would it be located?

My books are set in Sydney and always built around a central theme: an iconic old house or building in need of restoration. THE RED DOOR is the story of a woman who purchases and restores a beautiful old mansion ‘Rosalind’, but soon begins to believe that one of her tenants is watching her; a reclusive man who happens to share his name with two teenage sisters, victims of a sinister and brutal murder.

As the tale unfolds, you’ll find paintings and drawings I’ve created to illustrate exactly how our main protagonist appears in my mind, to show what the chair in Beadles’ shop window looks like or the iconic Balmain Garage, before developers tore it down.

Here’s one:

The second book, again based on an historic building, is in editing stage and I’m preparing the illustrations now, hopefully to be released later this year. And yes, there will be a third.

Do you enjoy any sport? Crafts? Other?

My passion, and a significant part of my life, is art: by profession I am an artist and portrait painter, with a quirky penchant for painting vintage cars.

I don’t play sport but walk for miles every day, and it’s during my walks that my stories germinate.

Where do you write from? Place in your emotions?

My stories are drawn from life, from observation and from experience.

Visually: I love old architecture, and sometimes my heart profoundly aches at the sheer beauty of a building and I will stop and stare dumbly at the shimmering tarnished Gothic copper roof of a turret, the sun flashing off stained glass windows or the swirling ochres and russets of a Sydney sandstone wall. This is why my stories are always centred on a building.

Emotions: With every experience there is an emotion attached, whether it’s joy or excitement, nostalgia or yearning, anger or fear, and I try to tap into those emotions, using them to illustrate the story.

Observation: Having a portraitist’s eye helps, watching how people integrate with their environment and each other, the inter-personal dynamics, mannerisms, the tilt of a head, a finger rubbed nervously across a philtrum.

I believe everyone could sit down and spin a yarn based on their experiences, if they chose to.

Place in your house? From your organizations? if so what organizations:

I write in my studio, where I also paint and prepare the illustrations for the books. It’s a lovely room, south-facing with a big window and, although I live in inner city Sydney, it has a beautiful tree-filled vista. The walls are covered with paintings and sketches, an easel that holds a large board covered in post-it notes for storyline plotting, and a few vintage cars waiting to go to the next exhibition. Here’s a photo:

What would you be doing if you weren’t a writer?

As explained, I’m actually an artist and that’s what I’d do if I wasn’t writing.  Also, I’ve always fancied the idea of being a landscape gardener!

How much support do you receive in relation to your writing and eventual publication? From where and whom? 

Emotionally – my family are my greatest supporters and cheer squad (and my biggest critics!)

Financially – THE RED DOOR was self-published and self-funded.

If you could do only one form of writing, would you write stories or keep a blog? Why?

If I could only do one form of writing, I would probably keep writing my stories. Now that I’ve started, I’ve unleashed a monster and words are spilling out of me.

My blog is a very visual medium, keeping my followers up to date with new works as well as sneak peeks and excerpts from the next book. Many also follow me on Facebook or Instagram @rosafedele where I invite my readers/art lovers to come along on the journey, watch the images develop, laugh with me as I discard the rejects, and encourage feedback.

How did you find your niche?

I have always known that one day I would write and illustrate my own books, so I think my niche found me!

How much research do you do for your books?

Because my stories are based on actual historic houses in Sydney, much research is needed about the building, architectural drawings, style etc. I explore the process of building and renovation, interior design, fittings, fixtures and furnishings and draw on my own knowledge and tales from the art world. Also, as do many other mystery writers, I study crime, forensics and legal proceedings. I would hate for anyone to look at my Google search history – it would be quite horrific!

What surprised you most about the publishing process?

Two things:

The amount of editing, re-writing, re-editing, proofreading, over and over, required to produce a high quality book; and

The exhausting amount of self-promotion required. The thing is, Australians are a humble and self-effacing lot; in our culture any tendency to “blow your own horn” is sneered at, almost considered abhorrent. It took a long time to overcome that.

What do you want your obituary to say? What do you want engraved on your headstone?

Probably something silly, like: “I told you I was sick.”

Contact Information:



Michelle Dragalin

 Freelance Writer and Educator


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