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Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Hartford Outdoor Book Fair

Many Sisters in Crime New England authors received a special invitation to return to Barnes & Noble and meet their avid readers! We will be signing their books at an outdoor street fair hosted by Barnes & Noble UCONN and the Hartford Business District at the first annual Books on Pratt. Meet the authors of your favorite mysteries and thrillers, chat, and stock up on your reading!

And, yes, of course I'll be there!

Date: September 28, 2018
Time: 11:30 AM - 3:30 pm

Place: Barnes and Noble UConn Hartford Bookstore 
18 FRONT STREET, Hartford, Ct. 06103 

Giveaways! Raffles! Meet and Greet! Great Deals and More!

Tuesday, September 18, 2018


Wow! In the Age of Amazon, it's WONDERFUL to have a corner of the world book lovers can call their own...a real corner! With chairs! And people!

Kudos to Chris Upton for creating a world where all are welcome at FREETHINKER'S CORNER. There is something for everyone. Children's books. Memoir. Thrillers. How to. You name it, and Chris will either have it or get it for you! There is nothing like the attention to detail and patrons a small book store can provide!

"Like" their Facebook page to stay current on their events and books.

Stop by. Browse. Buy. I'll see you there!

WHEN: Saturday, September 22, 2018

WHERE: A Freethinker's Corner Bookstore
                652 Central Avenue, Ste A
                Dover, New Hampshire 03820

TIME: Ribbon Cutting at 10:00 AM
            Author Meet-n-Greets, Signings until 6 PM

Friday, September 14, 2018

Light Shines on GOING DARK by Jolene Grace

I'm always excited to read a new author. I met Jolene at a Sisters in Crime event and was immediately drawn to her intense and clear manner. Learning she was a foreign correspondent before penning her new book didn't surprise me. The more I learned about her, the more interested I became in her book, GOING DARK. Read on. Get to know Jolene. I'll just bet if sacrificing all in a geopolitical thriller sparks your interest, you'll soon be lost between the covers of this terrific new book. -cjh


The idea of 'Going Dark' started to form in my mind as I spent nights working on the foreign desk at CBS. Those nights, I was alone in the entire studio, watching in coming video feed from our military forces stationed in Iraq. In 2006-07, the war was in full swing and we received daily updates on the progress and struggle people were facing during the war. The war zone wasn't too far off from our foreign correspondent team stationed in Iraq, reporting from there.

As I was sitting in my desk, I envisioned Amelia Sinclair (a foreign liaison in Going Dark) how hard and challenging must be to be separated from your family when your job takes you away from them, especially if you have young children. Sinclair ultimately sacrifices a stellar career when she finds out that she's unexpectedly pregnant and chooses to stay close to home by taking a desk job at the United Nations. In her mind, she can still do it all. However, her adventurous heart can't change and she's drawn into a cover op to send four U.S. journalists to Damascus, Syria, a country in the midst of a civil war, to interview the president.

Murphy Law's tips the scale and things quickly escalate when the four are kidnapped from their hotel room shorting after they arrive in the county. Amelia receives a suspicious e-mail with a video showing their kidnapping. Her boss, Harold Frost and her, don't have a plan in place to save them. Frost makes the decision to call Gabriel Jets, CIA's top officer, who's back in the States on a well-deserved break from the Middle-East.

When the White House learns four U.S. journalists have gone missing, they panic. President Delay's administration is a hundred days in and the country is divided by his election. Kidnapped Americans would spell trouble they can't afford at the moment. A Pakistani report links Sinclair to a terrorist cell suspected of the kidnapping. Sinclair's name is quickly escalated up the chain of command and her life is turned upside down on a dime.

When Jets and Amelia meet, Frost has been killed by an assassin and a sniper takes aim at Amelia. What is he supposed to do? He can't let her get killed, Sinclair holds answers to pressing questions, even she doesn't know it yet. Together they have to run to clear her name and find who's really behind the kidnapping plot if they want to bring the four alive.

In my debut novel 'Going Dark' I wanted to showcase the female strength, the love a mother posse to protect her child and empower women to pursue their dreams despite the obstacles presented to them in today's world.

'Going Dark' is now available in ebook and paperback on Amazon.


Jolene Grace was born in Eastern Europe in the 90s while the region
was undergoing a geopolitical makeover. She witnessed first hand the poverty and struggles of people around her that deeply affected her and left a life lasting impression. Those childhood memories find their way today in her written works.

During college, Jolene began writing professionally while pursuing a degree in journalism. Her interest in politics deepened and led her into a fulfilling career where she had the opportunity to cover state and national politics.

Jolene interned for CBS evening news, working on the foreign desk at night time. It was during that time the idea of ‘Going Dark’ took shape in her mind as she watched the unfiltered tapes trickled in from the front lines of the American/Iraq war.

Upon leaving the network, Jolene went on having a successful career as a digital manager for radio stations across the country. Later on, she settled down with her husband and kids and began to write full time.

For updates and previews of upcoming works by the author visit; find and follow her on Twitter:@theauthorjolene; subscribe to her newsletter for exclusives. 


Gabriel Jets is the CIA’s top agent, a man with a reputation of getting the job done, no matter the price. On a rare visit back to the States, Jets is dispatched to collect a video depicting the kidnapping of four U.S. journalists working undercover in Damascus, Syria.

Meanwhile, the U.S. president and his chief of staff, Robert McKaine, are called to the Situation Room to receive a briefing. Damascus is rocked by a terrorist plot that killed twenty-five innocent people.

A link between the two events is quickly discovered, with evidence pointing to the involvement of another U.S. journalist, Amelia Sinclair, a prominent foreign correspondent, with direct ties to the missing.

While Jets hunts for the video, he crosses paths with Amelia. In a blink of an eye, his mission is compromised as he believes she is been set up to be the fall guy.

As the U.S. government closes in to arrest Sinclair, Jets alters his assignment to help clear her name and track down the powerful behind the ploy to draw in the country into an international scandal. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Writing Prompts: What Would You Write?

Okay kids. You know this drill. One writing prompt, six responses. Want to see what's in your heart? Set your timer for five minutes and write whatever comes to you. 

Have fun! -cjh

"How can I speak to you if you won’t even look at me?"...


From Cyd, YA author...

“How can I speak to you if you won’t even look at me?”

“I can’t, I can’t bear to see my reflection in your eyes.”
I wondered what I would see. Regret? Shame?

“We have to face this Eti, face it together. I need to know…”


“…know why. Tell me WHY you gave their son the wrong medicine.”

“I… I…”

“Are you angry at them? Jealous of Nehmae? Resentful when Diego and I speak in our old language?”

“It’s Yahilah.”

“What? Choco isn’t even her baby!"

“Yahilah hates me.”

“Hating Yahilah is no reason to hurt someone else’s child.”

When Eti turned around, I knew what she had been trying to hide. Hatred.

“It is,” she said, “if you want everyone to fear you.”


From Maggie:

"How can I speak to you if you won't even look at me? TURN AROUND!" her mom yelled.

"Why? I can hear you just fine."

"What are you hiding?"



The air thickened, the lights seemed to dim and the maternal instinct that never existed scratched.

"Stop yelling at me!"

"What will I see if you turn to me, Grace?" A gentle hand was felt on the small of her back.

"Nothing," Grace whispered, "nothing."

Always Follow Your Dreams!
Maggie van Galen
Award-Winning Author of The Adventures of Keeno & Ernest Children's Book Series


From Bette:

“How can I speak to you if you won’t even look at me? You, you – you! Ignoramus! Dammit, Jordan, Look at me.”
            “Why would I want to look at you when you’re growling and overreacting?”
            “Oh!! I can’t believe you did that?”
            “What? Did what? I took my other to lunch!”
            “But we were supposed to be at Amy’s play. You could have – you should have brought your mother!”
            “I forgot. I’m sorry. I really am.” He looked away again. “How was the play?”
            “Oh, my God. O cried. Just seeing her up there in her polar bear suit. It kept falling over her face. And she’s the littlest one there.”
            “Well, I hope she didn’t see you crying. My God, she’ll be traumatized!”
            “Don’t be silly, Jordan. She’s too strong for that.”
            “Yup. And so are you.”
 Bette Lischke
Historical Fiction author
From Donna:

"How can I speak to you if you won’t even look at me? Can't you please stop doing cartwheels while I am trying to tell you something VERY important.”

“What can be that important?” she called out, as her body stretched and rolled like the spokes of a wagon wheel.

“It’s something you need to know NOW—stop you are making me dizzy!” 

“Go ahead! I’ll do a handstand, then I can look at you upside down.”

“NO! It isn’t proper, I am looking down your nostrils! You are not being serious enough for me to share…”

“Oh, alright then.” She jumped in one hop from standing on her hands to landing on her feet.

“What’s the big deal?”

“The big news is that you have won a place on the gymnastics team for…the olympic team!
Donna Seim 
First Prize for Regional Literature
New England Book Festival
The Eloquent Quill Award
Juvenile fiction
Top Honors, Literary Classics Book Awards


From Elizabeth:

“How can I speak to you when you won’t even look at me,” said Melanie as she faced down her fifteen year-old son.
            “Look at you, look at you. It’ s all about me looking at you but what about you looking at my emails?” Samuel answered with a shake of his long blonde locks.
            Such gorgeous hair. Too bad it’s wasted on my son, Melanie thought for the millionth time.
            “I didn’t try to look at your emails. They fell out onto my eyes as soon as I opened my laptop. Why’re you emailing your friends on my laptop? And if you and your fellow miscreants don’t want to get caught you should be more careful.” 
            She was sure she had leveled him with this advice. And did he know the meaning of miscreants? A good SAT word.
            “And what is this about a party, and it’s this weekend and it’s here? We have talked about this, Sammy. No parties when Dad and I can’t be here to supervise. It’s not about your friends but how it looks to the neighbors. What will be the consequences to us in the long run?” Melanie said.
            Melanie continued to pour the hot pasta into the colander and then searched the frig for the pesto sauce.
            ‘Remember when the Leavitt girl had the party and no parents were home and the boy got so drunk? They put him in the bathtub and he drowned in his own vomit cause the plug was left in. Well, the parents were sited in that case. They were the responsible party.”
            “Mom, there will be no drowning in the bathtub.”

Elizabeth R.
Journalist, Memorist


From Me:

"How can I speak to you if you won't even look at me...
I've tried everything," I said, putting my face inches from his nose.

He stared straight ahead.

"I'm sorry. I truly am. I needed more than what I thought you could give me. I should have tried talking with you first, but I didn't. I was afraid. Do you hear me? I was scared to say anything."

He stared straight ahead. A line of red crept up his neck.

I waited, swallowing back tears. "Then, that's it. I cheated on you. I had to do it for me. To feel loved."

His mouth twitched. Veins bulged from his forehead.

"I forgave you when you strayed. Can you do the same for me?"

The quiet killed me more than anything.

"I'm sorry. We're done." I turned and picked up my packed bag.

I didn't see him move. He came up behind me. His hands wound around my neck.