New Series Starting and Current Denny Ryder Series Continuing

I’ve started my first novella in “Delilah, Astral Investigator Series.” Working title is, “Episode 1, The Boy and the Shopkeeper.” This is a relatively current novella, but Delilah will travel far and wide on the time continuum–from ancient to future. I look forward to her adventures! Denny Ryder’s Paranormal Crime Series continues with “Stroke of Silence!” in the near future.

Stroke of Fear! on amazon: B00CFWYAX4

Stroke of Midnight! B00F8Z2KAK


Please let me know about any editing and publishing issues you’d like me to address. I enjoy helping authors, business writers, and people who enjoy the written words, as I do.

Thanks to all of you who read my blog and my Twitter friends!


I hate to give the plot away, but . . .


Why do agents/publishers want the full synopsis, including ending? Here goes:


Marcy Jennings, 32-year old, award-winning Foreign Correspondent for The New York Times has been all around the world. She loves her job and her nomad ways, even when some of her writing assignments put her in dangerous locations. She also loves her husband, parents, and the quiet refuge of her hometown, Herndon, Virginia.
When Marcy returns to Herndon to spend time with her family, accepting a permanent position for the local newspaper, her life is turned upside-down when her husband, Richard Crawford, abruptly moves out of the condo where they have lived for ten years. Marcy is left hurt and confused. Ultimately, she has to face the first shadow in her life that has been unresolved since college—a miscarriage which she told her fiancée, Rich, was an abortion. (Revealed much later in the novel and demonstrating how a little white lie can corrode a relationship and stop meaningful communication, even when love has found two soul-mates.)
Determined to face her problems head-on, Marcy moves forward with her life, even though she still feels in limbo. Through a human-interest story for the Style Section of The Herndon Chronicle, Marcy meets a younger man, Chuck Linsford, an established horse-breeder from Middleburg, Virginia, who inherited the horse farm from his Great Uncle. Marcy is impressed with Chuck as a true survivor and hero of the foster care system where he grew up. When they begin a consensual relationship, Marcy is swept up in the experience of steamy sex and the idyllic beauty of the Virginia countryside.
Little does she know that 22-year old Chuck is a skilled sociopath and a master at combining date-rape drugs into a sex-slave cocktail: Rohypnol (“The Forget Pill”), Ecstasy (a sexual enhancer), and Ketamine (a horse tranquilizer and hallucinogenic). Under the façade of an adoring lover, he makes her forget just completely enough—makes her sexual urges just strong enough—and tutors her in a paralyzed, altered state just long enough—for Marcy to become a sexual submissive, completely dominated and controlled, losing her grasp on reality, her self-worth, and self-esteem.
Other supporting characters in this erotic, romantic, psychological suspense are facing their own shadows, dealing with relationships in our fast-paced modern society, where secrets can be hidden and past transgressions are often misrepresented.
The cliché, “All’s well that ends well,” is not always the case. The neurological, physiological, and emotional side effects of date-rape drugs linger long after the drugs are out of the blood stream. Marcy must now face this second set of deep, dark shadows.
Marcy finds out her lover’s dirty secrets from Chuck’s elderly housekeeper. When she suffers a second miscarriage (Chuck’s baby), the physical and mental side effects of the drugs cause Marcy to almost bleed to death and suffer a complete mental breakdown.
Her husband reaches out to her from afar to prove that love and understanding can start the healing journey, physically and emotionally. The Epilogue reaches into the future as Marcy and Rich finally have the baby girl they have both wanted for so long, but were afraid to talk about. The shadows of sexual abuse still surface, but they face those nightmares together. There is hope!

Excerpt Future Best Seller “LIVING IN A SHADOW” Contemporary Romance/Erotica

Available at Only $1.99!

Marcy and Rich
Chapter 1. The Confrontation

June 3, 2005
Marcy heard the faint rattle of keys, followed by the slam of the door. A familiar sound, yet her whole body tensed as she listened to the cold silence. Her mind flashed inadvertently to a time when the slam of that door made her heart quicken and warm voices filled the air. Better not think about that now.

She sensed his presence before he even made a sound. She turned from her computer screen, still seated. Rich was standing in the doorway to the den, staring at her. She leaned back in her chair, looking fully into his eyes. What do you say when there are no words to express the thick emotion mounting in the quiet room?

“Hi, Rich,” Marcy said, trying desperately to sound casual.

Rich only nodded to her in greeting. He met her probing, questioning gaze for a moment and then turned his head away as he asked, “Can we talk? I mean, are you at a point in the article where you can take a break?”

“Sure, give me a minute.”

Rich vanished from the doorway. Marcy turned back to the computer. As she went through the automatic tasks of save . . . exit, her mind was racing. This was probably her last chance to talk to him.

Panic squeezed Marcy’s throat. Her breathing was shallow and forced. She told herself to take a deep breath to calm down, but somehow simple breathing had become impossible.

Tears began to surface as her life flashed before her eyes, her life with Rich. Rich was her life! I can’t; I can’t; I can’t face this now! Her fingers trembled so much she could barely handle the small flash drive. She had to get her emotions under control. She’d need a level head to understand why Rich wanted a divorce. This was her last chance before the door slammed shut for good.

Rich was getting his head together, too, as he waited for Marcy. He’d adopted a cool logic, blocking out his feelings, just as Marcy was trying to turn off her memories.

Too soon it seemed, Marcy entered the room and sat on the edge of the Wedgwood blue recliner, Rich’s usual chair. Rich was seated on the ivory leather sofa, Marcy’s pride and joy. This room had once reflected both of their personalities, but Rich already looked like a stranger, a guest in his own home. Gone were his mementos—the antique wooden clock his father had loved so much, his computer that had covered the credenza at the back of the room so Marcy could use the whole den as her office. It was bare now; even his family pictures were gone.

Fifteen years of shared dreams crowded into the small condo living room. How do you sum it all up before you say goodbye?

“How was your day?” Marcy asked to break the ice.

Rich shot her an angry glance as he ignored the question. It was apparent he didn’t want to act like everything was normal.

“I’ve moved everything out except a change of clothes and my shaving kit. I’ll be out of here tonight,” Rich said.

“I still think this is wrong,” Marcy countered. Her voice cracked loudly, and she had to look away, blinking back tears.

“I know you do,” Rich responded coldly. “You’ll feel differently after you get on with your life. You can travel all you want now!”

Rich’s voice escalated as he spoke. He backed off now, silent. He looked away, his elbows propped on his knees. He was poised on the edge of the couch, ready for flight.

“So my job is the problem,” Marcy answered hesitantly. They’d been through all this, but nothing seemed resolved.
“Yes . . . ah, no; not really. It’s everything, Marcy. It’s us! We don’t want the same things out of life anymore.”

“How can you say that? Tell me what you want because I honestly don’t know. Do you want something besides your career, Rich?”

The ice in Marcy’s voice was helping her to cope a little better. At least, she wasn’t a blubbering idiot when she was angry.

Rich stood up, obviously irritated. He paced a few steps, turned his back to her, and spoke to the ceiling. He couldn’t allow himself to look at her defeated expression or he’d change his mind again.

“That’s just the point, Marcy; you don’t know what I want. You never cared enough to ask.”

“Let’s talk about it then,” Marcy interrupted.

“We’ve been talking . . . for the past week. Ever since I told you I wanted out!”

“Then we’ve been talking about the wrong things ‘cause I still don’t know what you want.”

Marcy’s short, clipped remarks were only antagonizing him. He was pacing again, still not looking at her.

He hesitated and turned to face her. He was calmer now. He let escape a forlorn sigh of bereavement. Shaking his head, he muttered almost to himself, “Marcy Jennings, world-renowned journalist and correspondent for The New York Times; a writer’s writer who gets the facts right, but doesn’t leave out the drama, the sensationalism, the emotion for the concerned citizen.”

He was reciting her accolades softly, yet sarcastically.

“Maybe you don’t have the time or inclination to be Mrs. Richard Crawford,” he finished with conviction.

“That’s where you’re wrong. I’m not the one demanding a divorce, disrupting our lives!”

Marcy rose from the edge of the recliner, where she’d been balanced by long, well-shaped legs, stretched out in front of her. She had on a short cotton skirt, unusual for her when she worked at home. Rich wondered if she’d been out somewhere today as he consciously ignored the slender legs, body, and face he knew so well.

Marcy took a few steps toward him. He stopped her short by angrily blurting out, “I bet you don’t even realize how much I want a child, Marcy! We’ve been married ten years, for Christ’s sake! You’ve never even mentioned it, except when your folks force you to talk about it. And then all you do is make jokes!”

“But, Rich,” a small voice answered, “you joke about it, too. I thought you were just . . . well, indifferent to a baby.”

The tears were evident now. She stood frozen in shock. She couldn’t believe he was saying this. He always kidded with her mom and dad, “Marcy’s a child herself and always will be.” She’d found it amusing, too, but now?

Memories came rushing back of pain and heartbreak. Maybe this, Rich leaving, was the only thing that had ever come close to the shattering loss she’d experienced eleven years before.

Rich hadn’t been with her that night, either, just like he was walking out now after dropping this bombshell on her.

She continued to stare at Rich—her husband, her lover, her best friend—and then bolted from the room.

He wanted to go after her. My God, he wanted to comfort her, hold her, and love her. But he didn’t dare move, or it would all start again. No matter how much he loved her, this pain had to end. Rich had to be free of this agony!

Rich was fair enough to admit that much of his pain Marcy had never known about. He couldn’t explain it to her when it had happened, and he sure wouldn’t explain it to her now.

It’s been going on too long; eleven years, in fact, Rich realized.



LIVING IN A SHADOW is a fictional novel with an important message for all women, any man who has ever loved a woman, or anyone who has ever loved a victim. A dramatic, suspense romance delving into the machinations of date-rape drugs and the side effects that can make them lethal. Blackouts, disorientation, confusion are mixed with domination and control. Only love and understanding can help the victim accept and begin the healing process.

Enjoy Fiction With A Message!

I’m an author who writes in different genres, including the creative urge to combine genres to give the reader an enjoyable experience with accurate research and important information. I’m available on twitter, facebook (soon to be completed) and now WordPress to share editorial and inspirational ideas or answer questions. Authors need to help each other, and it’s so easy in this instant technological age. The communication of authors direct to readers with questions, comments, ideas, etc., will make each sequel in a series or each successive novel more custom-made for readers. Writers are fanatical readers themselves, and I love to paint word paintings and/or prosaic poetical prose (my own phrases) for descriptive passages that place the reader in the scene. Yet, it is just as important to keep the plot fast-paced and action-packed, whether it be romantic drama, contemporary women’s erotica, psychological thriller, mystery, paranormal investigative chronicle, or historical fiction saga. I have delved into all of these genres, and I’m always looking for creative, new variations on a theme. I would love to hear from kindred spirits, both readers and writers. I know as an avid reader myself, my most treasured books are the ones that I learn something from as well as having captivating, can’t-wait-to-turn-the-page plots.