Keeping memories of the men in my family by Barbara Edwards

In remembrance on this Father’s Day.

Francis A. Radjeski

Francis A. Radjeski

My father, Francis Radjeski, lived a long and full life, passing away in his eighties. He was a foreman at Bowsers manufacturing for most of my youth, then worked for a company Called American Research. he built environmental test chambers.

He didn’t talk much about growing up in New York with seven brothers and sisters. He never said why he chose to leave all of them behind and move to Connecticut when I was a toddler. I do know he worked in the Brooklyn Navy Yards during World War II and wasn’t drafted because he was vital to the war effort.

My father was a skilled electrician, welder and carpenter.

His biggest gift to me was his love of books. Every evening he’d read a chapter from one of the classics to us. I heard Tarzan, Tom Sawyer, Treasure Island, Huckleberry Finn, and many others.

His dream was to be a writer but he never published a word.

img014My grandfather, Anthony Radzijewski, was born in Poland and migrated to New York in the early 20th century. I don’t know why and never thought to ask. He arrived at Ellis Island with fifteen dollars and a suitcase with a change of clothes.

He had a job at the Parson’s estate on Long Island for as long as I can remember. He was the head gardener. His Rhododendrons won awards for their display.

From the stories he was a tough disciplinarian, using a razor strop to enforce his orders with the boys.

He grew grapes on an arbor at the house in Bayside and we picked the grapes to make jelly. Before my time, they raised a pig in the backyard. Even to this child his roses were beautiful and smelled like heaven.

img003My mother’s father, Cyprian Gadamowitz, also migrated from Poland. He and his brothers were going to be conscripted into the Russian Army and their father, a pharmacist, sent to them to America. They were to go to South America (Brazil?) but my grandfather had been so seasick he refused to get back on the ship. He also had seven children.

I remember he had a rooster in the backyard that chased me. I even have a photo of that bird somewhere.

Cyprian worked as a mason. He did tile work in the Empire State building when it was built. He worked hard and drank hard. I don’t recall him ever kissing us grandchildren or giving us a hug.

It’s my blessing that because these men lived, I live. I like to think I’m as strong and tough as they were.

Have you written down your family memories?

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Writing again by Barbara Edwards

After months of frustration I am writing again. The joy is bubbling like champagne. I’m notBarbara Edwards up to speed yet, but I feel hopeful. My writer friends understand. Writing is not a choice. It’s an obsession. An addiction. Being so overwhelmed with other parts of my life that I had 2012-05-15 01.27.47to put my writing aside took a toll on me.

Depression threatened. I didn’t want to get out of bed. I couldn’t concentrate. I didn’t care about normal things like getting dressed or using makeup. uh oh. All classic signs I was slipping into a real slump. I was lucky. I did recognize I had a problem.

Its not easy to get out of that hole. It took me several weeks to force myself into a healthy routine.

And most of those days I wanted to write.

I can’t blame all of my feelings on not writing since being the caretaker for my recovering husband took all of my time and energy for months. He’s been cleared by his cancer surgeon.There is no trace of that horrible bugaboo, but life is not back to routine. He still trip north 013has a physical therapist to help rebuild the muscles weakened by long days in bed.

So what did I do? I stopped nagging at myself. I got enough sleep. I worked in my garden although it wasn’t really spring yet. I walked my dog.

The fresh start I got this week is like a blessing.

Thanks you to all my friends for your support and prayers.

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Guest Joe Cosentino presents Porcelain Doll

author of PORCELAIN DOLL, a Jana Lane mystery, published by Wild Rose Press

           Anyone old enough to remember Shirley Temple, Hayley Mills, Patty Duke, seeing their movies over and over as I did as a kid? Didn’t you love them? I sure did. So I created a heroine who was the biggest child star ever until she was attacked on the studio lot at eighteen years old. We get the backstory in PAPER DOLL, as Jana at thirty-eight lives with her family in a mansion in picturesque Hudson Valley, New York. Her flashbacks from the past become murder attempts in her future. Jana ventures back to Hollywood, which helps her uncover a web of secrets about everyone she loves. She also embarks on a romance with the devilishly handsome son of her old producer, Rocco Cavoto. Since readers loved PAPER DOLL and begged for more Jana Lane novels, I continued with the series.
In PORCELAIN DOLL, which released March 16 from The Wild Rose Press, the present story begins. Jana makes a comeback film and uncovers who is being murdered on the set and why. Her heart is set aflutter by her incredibly gorgeous romantic co-star, America’s heartthrob Jason Adonis. The other suspects include Jana’s James Dean type young co-star, her older John Wayne type co-star, her children’s Eve Harrington type nanny, the film’s gossipy makeup and hair artist, a local reverend trying to stop the film’s production, and Jason’s agent. In SATIN DOLL (not yet released from TWRP), Jana and family head to Washington, DC, where Jana plays a US senator in a new film, and becomes embroiled in a murder and corruption at the senate chamber. She also embarks on a romance with Chris Bruno, the muscular detective. In CHINA DOLL (not yet released from TWRP), Jana heads to New York City to star in a Broadway play, enchanted by her gorgeous co-star Peter Stevens, and faced with murder on stage and off. I am currently writing RAGDOLL, where Jana stars in a TV murder mystery series and once again life imitates art.
     I set the series in the 1980’s since I love the music, hair styles, clothing, and decadence of that era. I had great fun writing about Jana’s mansion, wardrobe, makeup, and hairstyles. I was also able to incorporate some of the music, films, television shows, Broadway shows, and political and social events of the era.
The reviews have been amazing. For example: “Porcelain Doll is Joe Cosentino at his finest. We are drawn back to the fashions and attitudes of the 1980’s in a character-driven story full of intrigue and passion.” Kirsty Vizard, Divine Magazine
“Beautifully written and intensely detailed, Porcelain Doll is one not to be missed. Flirtatiously decadent with a strong moral undertone, set in a decade of extraordinary social change this is a story of its period that is as poignant today as it was then. Joe Cosentino controlled the emotions that the book encouraged with a deft but delicate touch. Suspenseful and mysterious, Porcelain Doll is a masterful creation, one that was impossible not to be affected by.” Carol Fenton, BooksLaidBare Reviews
As another reviewer wrote, I use my insider knowledge of show business to devilish ends! Prior to becoming a college Theatre Professor/Department Head, I was an actor in film, television, and theatre, working opposite stars like Bruce Willis, Nathan Lane, Rosie O’Donnell, Holland Taylor, and Jason Robards. I knew my novels would include show business in some way, since show business has always been such a huge part of my life. As an avid mystery reader, it was clear to me that my novels would also be page-turning mysteries with clever plot twists, engaging characters, romance, and lots of clues leading to a surprising yet earned conclusion. Since coming from a funny Italian-American family, I also knew humor would play a role in my novels. I’d love to come full circle and play Jana’s funny, resilient, and fiercely loyal agent, Simon Huckby in film or television version!
I hope you read PORCELAIN DOLL, and let me know what you think. I LOVE hearing from readers!

Buy link:

Praise for PORCELAIN DOLL, a Jana Lane mystery:

“Porcelain Doll is Joe Cosentino at his finest. We are drawn back to the fashions and attitudes of the 1980’s in a character-driven story full of intrigue and passion.” Kirsty Vizard, Divine Magazine

“Beautifully written and intensely detailed, Porcelain Doll is one not to be missed. Flirtatiously decadent with a strong moral undertone, set in a decade of extraordinary social change this is a story of its period that is as poignant today as it was then. Joe Cosentino controlled the emotions that the book encouraged with a deft but delicate touch. Suspenseful and mysterious, Porcelain Doll is a masterful creation, one that was impossible not to be affected by.” Carol Fenton, BooksLaidBare Reviews

Praises for PAPER DOLL, the first Jana Lane mystery:

“Paper Doll is a superbly crafted mystery with an eclectic cast of characters that will engage you and elicit some very emotional responses as you are completely caught up in the events that unfold in these pages. Everyone has secrets and the people in Paper Doll have them in spades!” Fresh Fiction

“If you like novels that are filled with new and old Hollywood, and a range of sub-plots, you are going to love this!” Saguaro Moon Reviews

“I liked that there was enough evidence for each of the suspects to keep me guessing until the very end.” Molly Lolly Reviews

“Joe Cosentino knows how to keep his readers’ interest with every page.” Universal Creativity Digital Magazine

“The setting, the characterization and the plot keep you turning the pages.” The Book Mistress

“Joe Cosentino has crafted an engaging tale of secrets, lies and deceit set in that crazy, ego driven scene called Hollywood.” Deb Sanders

“Mr. Cosentino has produced a masterpiece of mystery” “The story gripped me from the start and there were enough twists and turns, with a bit of romance thrown in for good measure, to keep hold of me until the end of the book.” “Great book, can’t wait for book 2.” Readers’ Favorite

Released: March 16, 2016
Pages: 260
Cover Artist: Debbie Taylor
Paperback: 978-1-5092-0603-2
Digital: 978-1-5092-0604-9
Heat Level: Sensual, PG-13

Amazon Bestselling author Joe Cosentino wrote Paper Doll the first Jana Lane mystery (Whiskey Creek Press), Porcelain Doll the second Jana Lane mystery (The Wild Rose Press), Drama Queen the first Nicky and Noah mystery (Lethe Press), Drama Muscle the second Nicky and Noah mystery (Lethe Press), An Infatuation & A Shooting Star & A Home for the Holidays & The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland (Dreamspinner Press), Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back (NineStar Press), and The Nutcracker and the Mouse King (Eldridge Plays and Musicals). He has appeared in principal acting roles in film, television, and theatre, opposite stars such as Bruce Willis, Rosie O’Donnell, Nathan Lane, Holland Taylor, and Jason Robards. His one-act plays, Infatuation and Neighbor, were performed in New York City. He wrote The Perils of Pauline educational film (Prentice Hall Publishers). Joe is currently Head of the Department/Professor at a college in upstate New York, and is happily married. His upcoming novels are Satin Doll the third Jana Lane mystery (The Wild Rose Press), China Doll the fourth Jana Lane mystery (The Wild Rose Press), Drama Cruise the third Nicky and Noah mystery (Lethe Press), and Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward (NineStar Press). Joe was voted 2nd Place for Best MM Author of the Year in Divine Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Awards for 2015.

Web site:

As Jana sat waiting for Jack to call for action, she looked up at Jason’s encouraging face. She again was taken aback by his incredible beauty.
Reverend Charlton and Gloria reentered the study.
Jack called for quiet and action. Jana and Jason played the scene, where the detective notifies her of her husband’s death. Jason delivered his lines with warmth, vulnerability, and obvious affection for Jana. In turn, Jana listened then reacted with deep emotions, conveying shock, loss, fear, and hysteria while being comforted by the man she trusted. Jana clutched onto Jason with such force, her fingernail accidently tore a hole in his jacket.
“Cut!” Jack hollered.
While the wardrobe woman repaired Jason’s jacket, Jana noticed Reverend Charlton step out of the study again, this time with Ryan O’Halloran.
After the two men returned, and the jacket was mended, Jack called for slate and action for take two. Jana and Jason did the scene two more times. Each take was more realistic and heart-wrenching than the next, and each appeared as if it were the first time Jana was given the sad news.
After the third take, Jack shouted, “Cut! It’s a wrap. Ryan, let’s move on to the next location.”
Jana wiped the tears from her cheeks.
Jason placed his hand on the side of her face. “You’re amazing.”
“You’re not so bad yourself, partner.”
“You make me better,” he said with adoration in his true-blue eyes.
They shared a smile as again people hurried around the room like ants after a picnic.
Suddenly, Jana heard a loud crash followed by a scream. Leaping from her chair, she followed the horrified gazes of the others in the room to Ryan O’Halloran lying motionless on the floor with a Fresnel tungsten shuttered light next to his head, and blood dripping from his scalp onto the hardwood floor.

#New Release from Guest Maureen Bonatch #Giveaway Why this Story?

perf5.000x8.000.inddForget Me Not, a new release by Maureen Bonatch. Please welcome my guest Maureen Bonatch. She’s here to tell us more about her new release. Please share how you came up with the idea for this story.

The story for FORGET ME NOT formed last February while my hubby, my girls, and I stole away to a cabin over Valentine’s weekend to relax and enjoy quiet time together. Despite ensuring access to the finer things in life such as bathroom and shower facilities, the snow blanketed our remote cabin into peace and solitude. I spent this time reflecting upon how fast life goes by and how many decisions are guided by our head and not our hearts. These decisions might prove fruitful financially, but no money can buy, or replace, true love.

maureenbonatchFORGET ME NOT is about second chances and taking the time to enjoy the little things in life like family, friends and good conversation. My heroine must learn to shed her insecurities and embrace the small town where everyone knows everything and loves you all the more because of it.

What if your memories hadn’t been made yet?

Forget Me Not (A Candy Hearts Romance)
by Maureen L. Bonatch
Buy Link:
The car accident totaled Sabrina Post’s convertible and reinvented her memories. She can’t recall dumping Cole Dawson ten years ago. What her new clairvoyant visions tell Sabrina is he’s her husband.

Any practical girl would question her sanity. But if Sabrina wants to make this imaginary future a reality, she’ll have to regain Cole’s trust and eliminate her rival, the coffee shop waitress who’s pegged Cole as husband #4.

To prove she’s foreseen their destiny, Sabrina stirs Cole’s interest by revealing specifics about him she couldn’t have otherwise known. Unfortunately, the one detail he vividly remembers is the pain when she left him and their “rinky-dink” town in her rearview mirror.

If Cole can’t believe she’s a changed woman, can Sabrina accept the only second chance she has at love exists in her memories?

A Fantasy romance from The Wild Rose Press
Release Date: January 6, 2016
Cover Artist: RJ Morris
Editor: Frances Sevilla

978-1-5092-0502-8 Digital

Link to Page on my Blog for Giveaway. 

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My Pinterest Board with all of the Candy Hearts Books & Extras for Valentine’s Day:

Guest Diane Burton & The Case of the Fabulous Fiance from Barbara Edwards

Welcome to my blog, Diane.
Diane BurtonPlease tell us about your new release.

The Evolution of The Case of the Fabulous Fiancé.

Six years ago, I thought it would be fun to write a story about a female private investigator. When I was a kid, I read all my mother’s Nancy Drew books plus the ones I got from the library and as gifts. In the 1980s, I fell in love with the TV show Remington Steel. (Loved Laura’s hat.) I didn’t like that she had to use a guy as a front while she did all the work. My investigator wouldn’t do that. She was her own girl and would be a success because of her hard work. In the 1990s, I discovered Stephanie Plum, Janet Evanovich’s screwball bounty hunter who makes Lucy and Ethel look like amateurs. I learned not to read those books before going to sleep. I’d laugh so hard the bed would shake. While I didn’t want my PI to be a screw-up, I wanted the stories to be humorous.

So I started writing the first Alex O’Hara mystery.

A friend of mine is a retired police chief. I’m always asking him questions, and he always tells me more, which gives me better ideas. The more I wrote, the more I realized I was adding too much back story—how Alex inherited the agency from her father and his business partner, how her old heartthrob Nick came back into her life, and many other details that had taken place in the past. As much as I liked her, I didn’t think the reader would enjoy info dumps. By that time, I’d written over half the story.

Not good.

My parents came of age during the Great Depression, so I was brought up on the adage “waste not, want not.” I never throw away story ideas or half-finished manuscripts. I set Alex’s story aside to write science fiction romances and a romantic suspense. But she kept nudging me to tell her story.

A writer can only hold out for so long. Nudging became poking that led to yelling in my ear as I tried to go to sleep. I couldn’t take it anymore. So I hauled out that manuscript and went to work. All that backstory became The Case of the Bygone Brother, published last year. What started out as the first book in the series then became the second, The Case of the Fabulous Fiancé.

It’s been said that it’s easier to write a new story than to rewrite an old one. How true. The next Alex O’Hara story will be much easier. I can’t wait to dive into it.

Alex O’Hara - The Case of the Fabulous Finance - 750 CoverThe Case of the Fabulous Fiancé (An Alex O’Hara Novel) by Diane Burton
978-0-9966374-2-8 (eBook)
A PI mystery

Available at:


She’s at it again. Alex O’Hara just can’t say no to a new investigation. What do a 45-year-old boyfriend, a deadbeat dad, and a teenage runaway have in common? All new cases. With no receptionist, phone and internet problems, and her own boyfriend in the wind, Alex has no idea how she’ll manage. But the question for the past three months is why did Nick disappear. Is this the end of O’Hara & Palzetti?


I picked up the pen before looking at Nora Finley. Even though I was in the middle of a major case, I never turned down a prospective client. At least, not right away. I’d hear her out and then decide.
“What can I do for you?”
Her expression completely changed. The high-powered exec disappeared. In its place, caution and . . . vulnerability. “Ellen VanderVeen said I could trust you.”
I smiled. Ellen and I had been friends since college. That girl had more fashion sense in her baby finger than I did in my entire body.
“Yes, I know Ellen.”
“She said you helped her investigate her fiancé.”
I nodded.
She hesitated and appeared to rethink what she was doing in a private investigator’s office. Quickly, she came to a conclusion. “I’d like you to do the same.”
“You want me to vet your fiancé?”
“He’s not my fiancé. Yet.”
She didn’t explain any further, so I asked, “Why? Do you suspect something?”
“No. Oh, goodness, no.” She pursed her lips before continuing. “My father left me a prosperous financial firm plus a sizeable inheritance. I am not saying that to brag but to explain my concerns. In my younger days, I was, uhm, taken advantage of. I need to be sure this man truly loves me—me, not my money.”
Although nobody would ever mistake me for an heiress, I understood her caution.
“I am almost forty years old,” she said. “I want to have children before I’m too old.”
Again, I understood. I’d recently passed a landmark birthday. The big Three-Oh. Rather than worry about kids, though, I devoted myself to my business. After a rocky start, I was on a pretty even keel. Plenty of work. Not enough time. But I did have plenty of time before settling down with kids. And a husband, of course. I’m kind of old-fashioned like that. I’d thought Nick might— Don’t go there.
“Ma’am, if you’d called for an appointment, I could have saved you a trip. I do not have time to devote to your case.”
A crestfallen Nora Finley stared at me, her mouth slightly open. I guess nobody ever turned her down. While hers might be interesting, I didn’t have a good feeling about this case. A client might want the lowdown on a prospective mate—as I’d discovered before—but they often resented the bearer of bad news. Of course, the client could be grateful if the news was good, like my friend Ellen.
“I will double your usual retainer.”
“It isn’t a matter of money—” Although money never hurt. “—I’m in the middle of a large case that is taking up all of my time.”
“How soon will you finish?” No longer disappointed, she looked calculating.
God save me from rich people who think everyone should drop what they’re doing to attend to them.
“Three weeks, minimum.”
“Good. I will be out of the country for the next four weeks. You may finish your present case then check into Clyde Wilson.”
Well, shit. I mean, shoot. I was trying to break my bad habit of swearing. I had misgivings about this woman. Demanding, she was going to be difficult to work with. She exuded the power that came from old money. Power that expected everyone to drop everything and do her bidding.
But then I’d had difficult clients before and managed them. I could probably wrap up the fraud investigation in a couple of weeks. I’d given myself a cushion when I’d told her three.
Were my misgivings about her enough to turn down double my retainer?
I drew the pad closer to me. “Tell me about this man. Clyde Wilson?”
That better not be a smug look on her face.

Author Info:

Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing romantic fiction. Besides the science fiction romance Switched and Outer Rim series, she is the author of One Red Shoe, a romantic suspense, and The Case of the Bygone Brother, a PI mystery. She is also a contributor to the anthology How I Met My Husband. Diane and her husband live in Michigan. They have two children and three grandchildren.
For more info and excerpts from her books, visit Diane’s website:

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Party for Two by Monique DeVere from Barbara Edwards

Please welcome my guest Monique DeVere
Her newest release is a charming story and I’m happy to have her tell us more.

Party for Two by Monique DeVere
Her sexy weekend fling.

Ex-lawyer turned pregnancy model Danielle Hampton has one simple rule; never date an attorney, even if he’s so deliciously hot she’s nicknamed him His Hotness Esquire. When her father asks her to strap on her silicone bump and pretend to be Casey Lowe’s pregnant fiancée in order to pull her family’s law firm out of trouble, her first answer is a resounding no! But she owes Casey for wrecking his pool.

Civil Rights Attorney Casey Lowe lives by a code of practice: never date his boss’s daughter, but he’ll do just about anything to make partner at the top law firm—even if it means violating his personal code. He hasn’t bargained on the fierce desire that burns hotter than the Mojave Desert and combusts every time he gets his boss’s daughter alone. She may drive him to distraction and melt in his arms, but will this party girl hang around long enough for him to convince her that all the best parties… are for two?

Copyright © Monique DeVere 2015
Crystal Swan Publications
All Rights Reserved

He leaned in an inch; just enough to let his chest lightly brush her back. “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”
She suspected she probably was if he was thinking about forgetting dinner and heading straight to bed for round three. But she wouldn’t tell him she’d been indulging such risqué thoughts.
“If you’re thinking that dinner is getting cold and we should get moving if we want to eat while it’s still warm, then I guess we’re on the same page.”
“I wasn’t thinking that at all.” His lips caressed her ear as he spoke, a wicked enticement she barely resisted. “And I don’t think you were either.”
She turned her head to meet his gaze over her shoulder, only he didn’t retreat and their lips ended up almost touching. He inhaled a hard breath and she thought she heard the merest hint of a groan. So, she wasn’t the only one being tormented here—good. She maintained the feather contact between their lips and pretended she hadn’t even noticed.
“I guess you’ll never know, Lowe.”
MoniqueDeVereAuthor Bio
Monique DeVere is a full-time author of Sweet ‘n’ Spicy Romantic Comedy and Contemporary Romance. She also writes Christian Supernatural Suspense movie scripts. She was born on the beautiful island of Barbados, where she grew up on a large plantation with enough wide-open space to let the imagination run free. She moved to the UK as a teen and shortly after met and fell instantly, and irrevocably, in love with her very own strong-silent-type hero. When Monique isn’t writing or spending quality time with her family, she likes to armchair travel to distant and exciting parts of the world and considers herself to have the best job on earth.
You can visit her at where she invites you to join her exclusive Sweet ‘n’ Spicy Readers Club packed full of goodies for her members. Monique loves to hear from her readers, do contact her at

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