Monthly Archives: March 2014

Short story in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine: Check out the June issue

My story, “When I’m Famous,” is in the June issue of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. It is my first fiction publication credit. A huge thanks to editor Janet Hutchings!



The issue contents are posted here:,-LLC/Ellery-Queen-Mystery-Magazine/Fiction/41731

Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award: Second round

My novel, The Overthrow, is moving on to the second round of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award competition. Thank you kind readers and judges!

The Overthrow is a suspense novel that weighs in at about 89,000 words. Here is the pitch I submitted to ABNA:

PI Brenda Hale has uncanny success helping teenage runaways. She credits a lot of hard work plus a little supernatural assistance from her late daughter, a former runaway. But none of these things seem to mean anything when she’s hired to track down Sierra Langford.

To save Sierra, Brenda realizes she’s going to need a straight-up miracle. And to date, miracles haven’t been her specialty.

Initially, Brenda and her associate Charlene Barker think the case will be short and sweet. They already know where Sierra, a prep school student from suburban Washington, DC, is hiding. But when Brenda’s first attempt to intercept Sierra results in bloodshed, she and Charlene realize they’re not the only ones looking for the girl. Someone else is trying to find Sierra—someone who wants the teenager dead.

Sierra has made enemies in high places. Very high places. A blogger with a genius IQ and Harvard ambitions, she has stumbled upon a secret that could take down the president of the United States.

In trying to keep the teenager alive, Brenda and Charlene find themselves up against a corrupt national security official chasing his version of the American dream: life, liberty, and the pursuit of other people’s money. And no one gets in his way and lives to tell the tale, not two private detectives or an idealistic 17-year-old intent on bringing him to justice.

Science experiment: Department of rotting food

In case you were wondering, this is what an organic potato looks like when it has gone bad. Apparently conventionally grown potatoes don’t decay nearly so beautifully. Yet another advantage for organic. Mario Ambrosino, an agricultural researcher, originally gave me this potato and some others. This purple beauty was living life to its fullest in my fridge, hiding out in a region reserved for healthy, low-calorie foods. I unearthed it just in time for it to enjoy an unlikely late-life stint as a photographer’s model.