Tuesday, December 30, 2014


And here he is, meet my vision of Zach Gerard aka Aaron Eckhart. I think this man is so handsome. The saying goes, "a cleft in the chin, a devil within" and that depicts my character perfectly. 

I thought I’d try something different on this New Year's eve, eve and post an interview with one of my leading characters in The Last Witness, Elusive Justice and Deadly Obsessions.  His name is Zachary Gerard and he’s a homicide detective. This interview should give you some insight into his personality and why he does and says the things he does.

1.  How old are you?
Zach Gerard:  I’m 34.

2.    Are you married?
Zach Gerard:  No, not yet.  Ten years ago, my grandparents and father banded together trying to push me into marrying who they thought was the perfect woman for my career in the family law firm.  I did date her for a while, but the only thing we had in common was affluent families. Thank God, Mom saw right through her phoniness, but she didn’t have much control over what those three said and did. When I announced I was enrolling in the Police Academy and I wasn’t interested in defending criminals or marrying their choice of wives for me, dad said I’d never amount to anything and if I continued in this vein, I’d be removed from the Will.

3. Did that upset you?
Zach Gerard:  It upset me that they tried to control my life, but just because Pop and my dad are high profile attorneys didn’t mean I wanted any part of it.  They defend these scumbags, and I put them behind bars.  As for being cut from the Will?  Money doesn’t buy happiness.

4.     Are you married now?
Zach Gerard:  No. Being in law enforcement, it’s hard to have a relationship with anyone other than someone in the same profession who understands the demands placed upon you.

5.    Where do you work?
Zach Gerard:  In the 21st precinct in the NYPD as a Detective 3rd class.

6.    So you’ve worked your way up the ladder?”
Zach Gerard:  I have and I don’t intend to stop there.

7.    Is your attitude toward your goals to show your father you have made something of yourself?
Zach Gerard:  I’d have to say that’s part of the reason, although I know I’ll never get his approval no matter what I do.

8.    Are any other people living with you?
Zach Gerard: No one, and that’s probably a good thing because I have frequent visitors, if you know what I mean.

9.    Do you have any regrets about the estranged relationship between you and your father?
Zach Gerard:  My only regret is that Mom died while Dad and I were still angry at one another. I should have mended our fences for her sake, but I’m sure she would have seen through our strained interaction with one another.  She’d devoted her life to me and the one thing I could have done for her, I failed.  Dad and I acknowledge each other with a nod when we’re in court.

10. Do you have any siblings?
Zach Gerard:  I’m an only child.  But I’ve always thought if I did, it might have taken the pressure off me with my father.

11. What were three things you liked to do when you were a child?
Zach Gerard:  We had a mock courtroom set up in our basement and Dad and Pop would go down there and argue their cases.  I learned a lot about the law watching them in action.  Knowing his legalese tactics when he’s working a case has really paid off during the times I have to testify and he’s the opposing attorney.

During the holidays, Mom would let me skip school for a day and we’d go out shopping and then stop to see the Christmas tree lights at Rockefeller Center.  Those meant a lot to me. 

And, I guess lastly, for my birthday, Mom would let me take all my friends to a special place, like the Bronx Zoo or Central Park for the day and we’d celebrate with a big party.

12. What were you afraid of when you were a child?
Zach Gerard:  Undoubtedly, my father.  Once I learned to pretend I was in agreement, he eased up a bit.Bottom of Form

13. Do you like your job?
Zach Gerard:  I love my job and I’m very good at what I do.

14. What makes you happy now?
Zach Gerard:  Being able to help the victims of a crime I’m investigating by putting the perpetrator behind bars for a long time.

15. What is your greatest fear?
Zach Gerard:  Not being able to solve a case.

16. What would you change about yourself if you could?
Zach Gerard:  I would practice more patience with others.  I have a tendency to interrupt when they’re expressing their points of view by jumping to conclusions.

17. What is it that you have never told anyone?
Zach Gerard:  I’m in love with my partner.  She’s a hot looking woman with long red hair and a body that doesn’t quit, but she won’t give me the time of day.  But I love a challenge.

18. What do you want?

Zach Gerard:  I want to work my way to Police Commissioner, convince my partner we’re soul mates if she’d just let herself go, and I guess ultimately, have my father tell me he’s proud of me.

And so now, I have a question for those of you who've read any of the books in this series to tell me what actor you picture Zach Gerard to be?  The person who gets the correct answer wins an autographed copy of Deadly Obsessions. Good Luck!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014


I've been very busy these last two months between weekend book signings and having a Fan Appreciation Christmas Party that was loads of fun. One of my greatest joys is showing my fans how much I appreciate their loyalty--this was just one way.

I cooked up a storm in preparation and there weren't too many leftovers. That's always a good sign. The other good sign is they stayed late. That made me feel pretty good. And the next day, hubby and I finished cleaning up the kitchen and vegged out for the remainder of the day.

Here's just a few pictures. For some reason, most did not turn out as I had hoped, so I'm limited. Those in attendance who didn't have to pay for airfare were Patti and Bob Chadwick, Barbara Shapland, Betty and Don Hamilton, Anne-Marie Older, Julie Abrams, Kayce Lassiter, Beverly Malloy, Linda Smith, Jan Edwards, Karen Gannon, Max Benson, Sandy Conn, and several others who could not attend. But a good time was had by all.

The menu consisted of: Bruschetta on garlic bread rounds, rosemary Focaccia, Caprese, baked ziti, eggplant parmesan, penne alla vodka, chicken piccata, roasted potatoes and Caesar salad with croutons. Desserts: Italian cheesecake, chocolate and cranberry biscotti, chocolate truffles laced with Kahlua, and free flowing beverages.

To those who celebrate, from my house to yours, here's wishing you a very happy holiday season! 

Thursday, December 4, 2014


Happy day, my friends! No, my meatballs aren't spicy but they do have a lot of flavor, so as promised, here's the recipes for the meatballs and tomato sauce that have been passed down from generation to generation in my family. Although, as any chef will tell you, it's been enhanced with my own preferences. So before you change my recipe, just try it once.

As you'll note from the titles and the procedure, this is from Dishing Up Romance where I've incorporated the recipes right into the storyline. These recipes and thirty more are included after each chapter. http://amzn.com/B009K2DXKI

NOTE: For some reason, when I preview this recipe the format shifts and doesn't line up the ingredients properly, but it's not in the file itself and no matter what I do, it doesn't want to change. It has a mind of its own on this rainy Thursday. The ingredient that's on two lines is 6 oz Parmesan cheese.


¼ cup good quality olive oil                            ¼ cup of chopped parsley (fresh)
¼ cup sweet butter                                           10 leaves fresh basil, cut into thin strips
            1 tbsp granulated onion powder                      1 tbsp granulated garlic powder
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes                       4 oz red Chianti wine, good quality                                  6  oz Parmesan cheese                                     ½ tsp black pepper
1 (28 oz) can tomato puree                              ¼ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
            1 (6 oz) can tomato paste                                 1 tsp salt

Let’s face it.  Mama’s nagging is never going to change until you’re married and have a houseful of kids, so make the sauce, celebrate the fact that you already love the smell, and forget her antics.  Allowing the “M” word to make you crazy isn’t productive, although the keyword in Mama’s mind is reproductive—if you get what I mean.
In a large 5 qt pot, coat the bottom with olive oil, add the butter using a medium high flame until it melts and becomes foamy.  Add the granulated onion and garlic; stir to blend them together, and cook until a light golden color.
If you’re using an electric stove, slide the pan onto a cold burner before you add the remaining ingredients.  If you’re using a gas stove, just leave the pan where it is and shut off the burner until you add the tomatoes, parsley, basil, salt, black pepper, and wine, to avoid a back splash.  And please, use a good quality wine.  If you wouldn’t drink it,” don’t use it.  Stir to blend the ingredients together with a wooden spoon and allow sauce to simmer, not your anger because Mama’s aggravating you with the “M” word, for 30 minutes before adding the Parmesan cheese.   10 servings

MAMA’S MEATBALLS                                                                              
1 1/2 lb ground beef                                                    1 tbsp granulated onion
2 large eggs                                                                 1 tbsp granulated garlic
6 oz Parmesan Cheese                                                 4 rolls
2 tsp salt                                                                      ½ cup raisins
10 fresh basil leaves, chopped                                    ½ tsp black pepper
¼ parsley, chopped                                                      Italian flavored breadcrumbs

In strainer, place the rolls inside and run water over them.  Squeeze out as much water as you can and add to a large bowl and try to imagine him squeezing you the same way.  Add remaining ingredients except the flavored breadcrumbs and mix thoroughly.  Test the mixture with your fingers, and if still too moist, add flavored breadcrumbs a little at a time until the mixture is pliable.  Makes approximately 20 meatballs—two per serving.

Coat the bottom of a large fry pan with olive oil, heat.  For uniformity, I use an ice cream scoop to make the meatballs, molding them into round balls.  Place them into the frying pan, being careful not to crowd, and brown on all sides.  Lower the heat of the tomato sauce and drop the meatballs into the sauce.  Stir frequently, but gently, so as not to break the meatballs.  After all this trouble you don’t want burnt sauce, even though you burn every time she mentions the “M” word, so stir gently, making sure to reach the bottom of the pan.  Adjust the lid to allow circulation of air.  Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out, and allow the sauce to simmer for no less than two hours.