This Just In!

Cover Reveal for Crime-Mystery Writer/Blogger Margot Kinberg’s Upcoming New Book, DOWNFALL (pub date March 16, 2018)

Confessions of a Mystery Novelist...

This is the cover for Downfall:

Isn’t it beautiful? That’s because it is the work of gifted Montréal artist and writer Lesley Fletcher. I am so fortunate that she agreed to do the artwork for the cover.  Please, go pay her a visit at her web site and consider her art. You won’t regret it!

I’m also very grateful to germancreative, at Fiverr, for the sleek, sophisticated professional design of the cover. Writers, if you need a cover designer, please consider her work!

Here’s the blurb for Downfall:

 They Said It Was a Tragedy. They Said It Was an Accident. They Lied.

Second Chance is a Philadelphia alternative school designed for at-risk students. They live on campus, they take classes, and everyone hopes they’ll stay out of prison. And then one of them dies. When Curtis Templeton falls from a piece of scaffolding near the school, it’s…

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Interview & Book Review| Deadly Spirits by: E. Michael Helms

Moohnshine's Corner

31146881Deadly Spirits

by E.Michael Helms (Goodreads Author)
 4.46  ·   Rating details ·  37 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
When PI Mac McClellan’s girlfriend convinces him to join the Palmetto Paranormal Society, he becomes embroiled in a case of whooodunnit. The society president, while investigating an old hotel, is found dead at the foot of the stairwell, his neck broken. The man’s secretary and current squeeze stands horrified beside his body. Authorities rule the death an accident. Mac has doubts—no one heard the man tumbling down the stairs. Then the secretary dies in an apparent suicide. Two deaths in two paranormal investigations, and not a peep out of either victim. Mac suspects there’s more going on than a vengeful spirit.
Book 4 in the Mac McClellan Mystery series, which began with Deadly Catch.

Goodreads | Amazon | Kobo | B & N


My Review

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Tome Tender Book Blog features the Mac McClellan Mystery Series!

Friday, January 5, 2018
Attention: Mystery Lovers! Armchair Sleuths! Tome Tender Uncovers Great Reading Picks! Settle in and discover the Mac McClellan Mystery Series by E. Michael Helms – Set in the Panhandle of Florida.

The New Year is here, it’s time to find some GREAT New Reading!

Meet Mac McClellan

deadlyDeadly Catch

by E. Michael Helms

Series: Mac McClellan Mystery, Book One
Publication Date: November 12, 2013
Publisher: Seventh Street Books
ISBN: 1616148675
Genre: Adult Mystery
Number of Pages: 210
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

“The first cast of the day turned my dream vacation into a nightmare. . . .”

After twenty-four years in the U.S. Marines, recently retired Mac McClellan is happy to be a civilian again. He is enjoying a leisurely fishing vacation in the Florida panhandle when he hooks a badly decomposed body.
Then, when a bag of rare marijuana is discovered stashed aboard his rental boat, he realizes someone is setting him up to take the fall for murder and drug smuggling. Mac’s plans for a more laid-back life must be put on hold while he works to clear his name as the number one suspect.
Mac launches an investigation with the help of Kate Bell, a feisty saleslady at the local marina with whom he has struck up a promising relationship. Along the way he must butt heads and match wits with local law enforcement officials, shady politicians, and strong-armed thugs from the Eastern Seaboard to sniff out and bring the real smuggler and killer to justice.

Deadly Ruse_coverDeadly Ruse

by E. Michael Helms

Series: Mac McClellan Mystery – Book 2
Publication Date: November 11, 2014
Publisher: Seventh Street Books
ISBN-10: 1616140097
ISBN-13: 978-1616140090
Genre: Mystery/Intrigue
Print Length: 250 pages
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Mac’s girlfriend, Kate Bell, thinks she’s seen a ghost. Wes Harrison, Kate’s former boyfriend, supposedly perished twelve years ago in a boating accident. But now she swears a man she spotted in a crowded theater lobby is Wes. Mac has his doubts–it was only a fleeting glimpse. But to calm her shattered nerves, he starts making inquiries.

A clue leads him from his home in St. George, Florida, to a Texas orphanage. There he uncovers startling information that turns both his and Kate’s world upside-down. Diamond smuggling, sex, deceit, and murder are just part of the twisted tale that emerges from Kate’s earlier life. Using wit, grit, and the ingrained military training of a former Marine, Mac starts to fit the pieces of this scrambled puzzle together.

Further clues point to the Palmetto Royale Casino and Resort near St. George. He and Kate discover that the casino is a front for big drug deals. When they barely escape a murder attempt, Mac knows he’s on the right track.

But he better play his cards right–because losing this high-stakes game could cost him his life.

Deadly Dunes 3Deadly Dunes

by E.Michael Helms

Series: Mac McClellan Mystery – Book 3
Publication Date: March 15, 2016
Publisher: Camel Press
ISBN-10: 1603813470
ISBN-13: 978-1603813471
Genre: Mystery | Suspense
Paperback: 228 pages
Available from: Amazon

Hours after hiring Mac McClellan to investigate the supposed suicide of her archaeologist brother, single-mom Jessie dies in a car accident. Jessie had just showed Mac artifacts and a copy of a map Jake found, items that indicate Hernando de Soto and his explorers might have camped on Five Mile Island during the winter of 1539-1540. Studying the map, Mac determines the site lies in the middle of a planned resort, The Dunes. Declaring the area an historic site could shut the project down. Suspicions aroused, he forges ahead, even though he no longer has a paying client.

Everywhere Mac turns, greed abounds, and no one he interviews seems innocent, even Jessie’s closest friends the Deckers, who have adopted her teenage daughter. Ron Decker’s construction company is building the Dunes, and he is heavily invested in its success. Then there is the oily son and ex-stripper wife of an old curmudgeon who won’t sell the one lot the project still needs to acquire. Jake’s estranged wife Laurel had plenty to gain from his death, and as Mac continues to dig, he begins to wonder if Jessie herself had more at stake than he was led to believe.

No one is happy about Mac’s persistence, and someone is unhappy enough to crash his truck and frame him for yet another murder. But Mac isn’t giving up, no matter what the cost.

Book 3 in the Mac McClellan Mystery series.

31146881Deadly Spirits
A Mac McClellan Mystery
by E. Michael Helms

Series: Mac McClellan – Book 4
Publisher: Camel Press (January 15, 2017)
ISBN-10: 1603813497
ISBN-13: 978-1603813495
Genre: Mystery
Paperback: 266 pages
Available from: Amazon

When PI Mac McClellan’s girlfriend convinces him to join the Palmetto Paranormal Society, he becomes embroiled in a case of whooodunnit. The society president, while investigating an old hotel, is found dead at the foot of the stairwell, his neck broken. The man’s secretary and current squeeze stands horrified beside his body. Authorities rule the death an accident. Mac has doubts–no one heard the man tumbling down the stairs. Then the secretary dies in an apparent suicide. Two deaths in two paranormal investigations, and not a peep out of either victim. Mac suspects there’s more going on than a vengeful spirit. Book 4 in the Mac McClellan Mystery series, which began with Deadly Catch.

Deadly Spirits by E. Michael Helms

Wonderful review of DEADLY SPIRITS by chloesbooksblog!


31146881Private Investigator Mac McClellan reluctantly joins his girlfriend Kate in a nightly excursion with the Palmetto  Paranormal society. During the trip the society president is found dead at the bottom of the stairs with a broken neck. The death though ruled as an accident raises Mac’s suspicions and when more bodies start turning up Mac is convinced there is more at play than the ghostly spirits.

This is the fourth book in the series but can read as a stand-alone. I enjoyed trying to guess who the killer was but got it completely wrong. The dialogue was witty and hilarious and I loved the interaction between Mac and his dog Henry.  4 stars from me for this good old-fashioned mystery with interesting characters.

I would like to thank the author E.Michael Helms for providing me an ARC of this book in exchange for my fair and honest review.

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Imajin Books Releases Look The Other Way Today!

New THRILLER from Kristina Stanley releases TODAY!


Wake up.

Check Kindle.

Look the Other Way delivered!

There is nothing like seeing your own book arrive on your kindle – except the day the printed versions arrive – but it’s exciting, thrilling, scary…

Look the Other Way Createspace 6x9 252pg

Thank you once again to Imajin Books for publishing Look the Other Way.

You can buy Look the Other Way in both kindle and print editions at

Thanks for reading…

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All_the_Different_Wa_Cover_for_KindleI’ve enrolled ALL THE DIFFERENT WAYS LOVE CAN FEEL in a Kindle Countdown deal, which means the eBook will be available for only $.99. The deal runs from June 28th through July 5th, so if you need something cheap to read at the beach or by the pool, give it a try! And, by all means, spread the word to your friends. Thanks!

Max Everhart photo

Max Everhart’s latest book is a collection of short stories called All the Different Ways Love Can Feel.  It is available on his Createspace store and Amazon. You can also read his latest novel Unlove Me on Wattpad for free.  Find him on Facebook and Twitter.



pink elephant

go go gato

ed not eddiealphabet-land







split to splinters

To Write a Series or Not To Write a Series –by Maggie Thom

Okay, well first off I have to be honest, I had never planned on writing a series. In fact, I had sworn to myself that I would never write a sequel. Now that I’m in the process of publishing book 3, Split Seconds, of the Caspian Wine Series, I guess I have to say that was an empty promise.


Caspian Wine Series (1)


I love reading series and I have read many of them but one of the first things that came to me was they were a lot of work. Not only did you have to keep track of all the characters, action, situations and setting in one novel but now you have to do it across several.

So how did my series come about?

I actually wrote Captured Lies, book one, in the series many years ago and I had originally written it as a romance. For some reason, I thought to be an author that’s where you had to start. I really liked the story but I didn’t want it to be just a romance. I really wanted it to be a suspense/thriller with a hint of romance. So I tore it apart and started over. I love where it finally went but I won’t kid you, it was a lot of work.

Captured Lies is about Bailey.

Kidnapped not once but twice and now someone wants her dead. Her life was a lie!

After I published Captured Lies in 2012, it was a reader who said to me, ‘Geoff (the antagonist) is stuff that nightmares are made of. When are you writing book 2?’ She had loved the story and the characters and wanted to know more about what happened to them all. I politely told her I had no plans to write a sequel.

Words that I would again have to eat. Ideas started coming to me as to where I could take book 2. Since I felt I had wrapped up the story for those characters in book 1, I didn’t want it to be about them but to still have them part of the story. That’s when Deceitful Truths, book 2, was created.

Deceitful Truths is about Tarin.

Someone has stolen a week of her life and now wants to steal the secret she is now hiding.

The struggle I had with writing book 2 was that originally I had handwritten Captured Lies and then typed it up. So all of my notes, characters, setting, etc. were on pieces of paper. I then had to dig them all out only to find that my notes weren’t all that great and I had written some of them in the margins of the pages.

Eek, it was a mess. So I had to reread Captured Lies and pull all my notes and start a new file. It turned out to be way more work than I had thought to write a series. Mainly because I hadn’t planned for it. I always thought that people who wrote series planned them all out ahead of time and in many cases that is true but it wasn’t for me.

Now that I had done the sequel, Deceitful Truths, I again told myself, that was a cool experience but I’m not doing it again.

Well, I seem to like to eat my words. Another reader said to me, ‘Loved Deceitful Truths, but would love to know more about who Tarin’s mom was.’.

This time I just replied, ‘thank you I’ll let you know’. Immediately ideas came to me for where to go with book 3, even the title, Split Seconds.

So now I’m off writing book 3, only to realize that again I have not kept notes that I need for a series. For example, I hadn’t put exactly where the winery was located, I hadn’t made detailed notes about Tarin’s mom because she had only a short mention in Deceitful Truths. Because of where I was going with book 3 there were details that I had to go back through and read in Deceitful Truths to get.

Split Seconds is about Tijan.

Twins torn apart as toddlers… reunited as adults… and now switching places to take on organized crime…

So Book 3, Split Seconds, is now completed. The series I had never planned is written and I have no idea if there is book 4, but already a reader–who read my ARC (advanced review copy) said–I love reading about your characters. I can’t wait to read more about this family.

Oh no!

To write a series or not to write a series, is that even the right question?


Split Seconds is now available for pre-order: Pre-Order Split Seconds

Twins… separated as toddlers, reunited as adults… and now they’re switching places in a dangerous game to take on organized crime.

Her sister is alive! Excited to discover her twin didn’t die as a toddler, Tijan can’t wait to meet her other half. But why hasn’t her only sibling reached out in almost thirty years?

Although the reunion is joyous, not everyone is excited to discover there are two of them. Using it to her advantage, Tijan is determined to take down the one man responsible for it all… her father. The secrets and lies that have kept the two apart, soon unravel but with deadly consequences.


An Interview with Author Maggie Thom

  1. Welcome, Maggie! Tell us a little about yourself; a quick, mini bio, if you will.

I love to read, to write, to hike in nature, find waterfalls, and go kayaking. I’m also a wife, and mom to twins.

  1. When did the proverbial writing bug first bite you? Also, give us a brief summary of your writing journey.

I wrote my first novel at 9. I dabbled off and on for a few years but really didn’t get encouraged so didn’t do much with it. In eighties, I wrote mostly poetry. Then in the nineties I got serious about my writing. I joined a writing group and a critique group and took some writing lessons. Best decision I ever made. It really grew me as a writer. I wrote many novels but didn’t do much with them. It wasn’t until 2011 that I sent my book, Captured Lies off to a traditional publisher. In 2012 I pulled Captured Lies from that traditional publisher and decided to Indie Publish. Why? The publisher said it would take another two years to see my book in print, that was too long, I was ready now.

  1. What books and authors were most influential in stirring your desire to become a writer?

There are so many who inspired me. The first author who really drew me into his writing and got me hooked was fantasy author Stephen R. Donaldson – Thomas Covenant the White Gold Wielder Series. He really sparked my curiosity with writing. He wrote such amazing fantasy stories. Then Sandra Brown and Robert Ludlum were other authors that I loved to read and learned a lot from, in how to write a good novel that draws the reader in.

  1. I understand that Maggie Thom is a nom de plume. Why did you choose to write under a pen name?

I chose to write under a penname because I was doing other things under my own name so didn’t want to confuse readers. I know as a reader when I find an author I like, I like to know that their books are all going to be in the same genre.

  1. You wrote two standalone suspense/thrillers before you decided to change course and launch the Caspian Wine Series: Captured Lies, Deceitful Truths, and the soon-to-be-released Split Seconds. Will you share with us why you chose to begin a series of suspense/thrillers, and what the inspiration was behind your decision?

It was the readers. I truly had no plans to write a series. In fact I swore I’d never write a series, I knew they were a lot of work. Captured Lies was actually a story I wrote about fifteen or so years ago. I then tore it apart and rewrote it about seven years ago. I published it in 2012 and to me that was the end of it. Then a reader asked me some questions about Captured Lies and wanted to know when I was doing book 2. I told her I wasn’t but then the ideas started coming. So I wrote book 2, Deceitful Truths. Again, for me that was it. Then… a reader asked when I was writing book 3. I just said thank you, thinking ‘well, I’m not’ but away my mind went with ideas. So I wrote book 3, Split Seconds, fully with the intent that this was it. But… I’ve already heard from a couple of my ARC readers and reviewers wanting to know where I’m going with the next book in the series. So never say never.

  1. For those who haven’t yet tasted the Caspian Wine books, can you share a brief premise of the series, the returning characters, and your protagonist? Without giving anything away, or course.

The series is loosely based around the Caspian Winery. It is a seventy-year-old winery run by Dorothea Lindell, an elderly very wealthy woman, who has a few enemies. At the center of it all is Knight’s Associates, a Private Investigative company, who specializes in cybercrimes. The stories are really about families–the good, the bad and the ugly.

Captured Lies – Bailey was kidnapped not once but twice, her life was a lie.

Bailey – after her mom dies, she discovers that all she grew up with might not be true. She definitely didn’t live the life she was intended.

Guy – is the owner and private investigator from Knights Associates, who is sent to find Bailey.

Graham – Guy’s partner.

Dorothea – Bailey’s grandmother and is Guy’s stepgrandmother.

Geoff – Dorothea’s brother

Deceitful Truths – Tarin has lost a week of her life and now someone wants to steal the secret she is now hiding.

Tarin – gets a job at Knights Associates to use them to find who is trying to steal her son

Graham – wonders if the person who might be stealing their secrets, isn’t Tarin

Guy – helps with figuring out who is trying to hack them and who Tarin really is

Dorothea – needs Knights Associates to help her fend off who is trying to take down her winery

Bailey – tries to get close to Tarin to figure out her real story

Geoff – Dorothea’s brother

Split Seconds – Tijan – Twins torn apart as toddlers, reunited as adults and now switching places to take on organized crime.

Tijan – sets out to find her twin but also meets her father who doesn’t seem to know she exists, which is good because she didn’t know he was alive. She soon learns that although he seems to run a legitimate hotel chain, not is all that it appears.

Tarin – Tijan’s twin, who didn’t know about her sister

Graham and Guy – help with protecting Tarin and Tijan and taking down organized crime

Dorothea – protecting her winery that someone wants to buy

August – who is searching for his father, finds himself hired by Caspian Winery and then asked to go undercover in Tijan and Tarin’s father’s hotel.

  1. Describe a typical day in the writing life of Maggie Thom.

When I’m in writing mode, I usually get up at 5:00 and start writing and write for a couple of hours. I’ll do this daily but usually take a few days off, every 4 or 5 days. The wildest thing I did was last November I wrote 55,000 words in 21 days, without stopping. That is the longest stretch and most words I had ever written in that short of a time.

  1. Do you work from an outline, or do you tackle your stories from the seat of your pants?

I tend to tackle from the seat of my pants at least to start. I get an idea and I start writing. Then I do a mix of seat of my pants and plotting. When I do the rewrites, that’s when I go through though and make sure that the plot done well and that all loose ends are tied up.

  1. Is the dreaded “WRITER’S BLOCK” ever a problem for Maggie Thom? If so, how do you approach it? Is there some “magical cure” you’ve found? If so, may I buy a bottle of it?

I don’t have writer’s block… anymore. In the past, I used to struggle with it but I learned that if I just wrote and didn’t edit, it made it so much easier to stay out of that critical viewpoint of ‘it sucks’. Which is what I attributed my writer’s block to. I also found that if I played with my story while I was away from computer or pen to paper, that I was able to let me imagination go wild and that has really helped me to keep the writer’s block at bay.

  1. Okay, down to the nitty-gritty. It’s a distasteful subject almost all authors must contend with, whether traditionally or independently published. Would you mind addressing and sharing your thoughts and approach to marketing and promotion? What have you found works for you, and what hasn’t?

Marketing used to be such a foreign concept for me. I think I was a late bloomer when it came to marketing. I’ve done so many things some worked some didn’t. Virtual Book tours are a good idea but do not have the impact they used to. They are still a good way to help get your name out there. Just make sure you’re using a good company. Do guest blog posts, create a Beta team (they are the first readers of the finished draft, usually before editing), create an ARC team (they read after editing and are willing to leave a review), do interviews (online and with your local newspaper and radio), do youtube readings of your book, find ways that work for you to share about your book.

This time with the launch of Split Seconds I’m doing some new things. I am doing cross promoting with other authors. Having an email list has been the most beneficial and smartest thing I have done. I give away a copy of my suspense/thriller Captured Lies to those who sign up. I work at making good connections with other authors. I do many things to help them other authors because then I know when I need help I have someone to reach out to. Like you Michael, who I love what and how you write and how you help authors, I am honored to have ‘met’ you.

  1. What’s up next for Maggie Thom? Is there another Caspian Wine thriller in the pipeline, another standalone, or . . . ?

As I mentioned earlier, no there are no plans for another book in the Caspian Wine Series but… some readers are already asking, so I don’t know. I am currently taking a story I wrote many years ago, but did nothing with, and I am rewriting it. I always liked the story but felt something was missing. Now I think I know what that is and am excited to see where it will go.

  1. Is there anything else at all that you’d like to touch on? Feel free to fire away with both barrels!

Michael, thank you for hosting me and helping me to get the word out about my new release, Split Seconds. It is now available for pre-order and for those who pre-order I have some cool bonuses.

And a special “thank you” to all those who love to read, you truly make this journey worth it.

Maggie, thanks so much for being with us and sharing the ins, outs, and struggles of being a writer and author in today’s hectic world of letters. It’s been a pleasure!

Split Seconds - T c

Pre-Order Split Seconds



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Maggie Thom’s Bio

Want to take an adventure beyond your fingertips?

Award winning author, Maggie Thom loves the challenge of creating a web of secrets, lies and deceit. She doesn’t want you to figure it out until the end. Author of The Caspian Wine Suspense/Thriller/Mystery Series – Captured Lies (Award Winning) and Deceitful Truths with Split Seconds about to be published – and her other individual novels Tainted Waters (2013 Suspense/Thriller Book of the Year through Turning the Pages Magazine) and Deadly Ties. Take the roller coaster ride. It’s worth it. Get your free copy of Captured Lies, Book One in the series.

Her motto: “Read to escape… Escape to read…”

Maggie Thom… proves her strength as a master of words, plots and finely chiseled characters… she weaves a brilliant cloth of the many colors of deceit.” 

Dianne Bylo — TomeTender Reviews


Author Links