Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Guest Post: MOONLIGHT AND MYSTERY by Karen Malley

My guest today is Karen Malley. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two sons and is, by far, the shortest person in the house. A perfect weekend would be spent hiking and camping with her three guys. She loves God, her family, playing games, and has a goal to visit as many National Parks as possible! When not in the great outdoors, she’s either at work as a scientist or at home writing stories in her pajamas.

Karen has written a wonderful new book! Here's the blurb:

 Beth Tarrington has it all: a gorgeous fiancΓ©, a lucrative career, the latest model car, and a high-priced condo. On top of that, the Tarrington name opens every door in town. So why is she so discontent? When everything falls apart in Beth’s life, will she finally find the strength to stand on her own two feet? Is God really willing to stand by her side, even after ignoring Him for so long?  

When Jason Brooks meets Beth, his head tells him to run in the opposite direction. Beth is a high-society snob engaged to another man, and he’s not sure where she stands with God. So why does God keep bringing the two of them together? Can these two find love, in spite of everything that stands in their way?

      Look at this terrific cover and read an excerpt. You'll be hooked. 😊

     Beth settled next to Jason on a bench in front of the fountain. She glanced upward. “I can’t believe it’s so bright tonight.”

Jason pointed over the trees. “Full moon.”

Beth gazed up at the silvery orb. “It’s gorgeous.”

“God’s showing off for us,” Jason said.

Not sure how to reply, Beth unwrapped her sandwich. “I don’t usually eat like this.” 

“It won’t kill you to eat fast food once in a while.” 

“My mother wouldn’t agree.”

“Is she a healthy eater?” 

“That’s an understatement. I didn’t discover fast food until college. Most people expand their food horizons as they get older to include more sophisticated tastes. Me, I regressed.” She dipped a fry into ketchup. “Like the simple pleasure of ketchup.”

Jason laughed. “Here I though the rich folks had everything. But no ketchup? That’s a tragedy.”

“That’s not the worst of it.” Beth leaned close and whispered in Jason’s ear. “No peanut butter, either.”

Jason clutched his hands to his chest. “I never would’ve reached adulthood if it weren’t for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.”

“Lucky.” They settled into a companionable silence while they ate. The sky was cloudless, and although they were in the center of town, a few stars managed to peek through the moonlight. Beth finished her meal and watched the streams of water dance around the fountain. Peace filled her. She couldn’t remember enjoying an evening this much for a long time.

Jason fished some change from his pocket, threw a quarter into the fountain, and handed one to Beth. “Care to make a wish?”

“What did you wish for?”

“I can’t tell you or it won’t come true.” 

Beth giggled. “You really believe that? Fine. I’ll make a wish, but I won’t tell you mine, either.”

“I’ll make you a deal,” Jason said.

Beth turned to him, “Oh?”

“When my wish comes true, I’ll tell you what it was.”

“Do magicians even need wishes?” Beth asked. “Can’t you make your magical dreams come true?”

Jason’s eyes caught Beth’s and held her captive. “Some wishes have to happen on their own.” 

Beth lost herself in his eyes for a moment too long. She tore her gaze away, stood, and closed her eyes. I wish I could always feel as happy as I do tonight. I wish I could forget about being who my parents want me to be and be who I want to be. She opened her eyes and tossed the coin into the fountain.

Buy Link:


If you’d like to learn more Karen Malley or her books, check out her website at If you sign up for her newsletter, you’ll get a free short story in your inbox each week. You’ll also be the first to find out about new releases and giveaways and have a chance to have your ideas show up in a future book!




Wednesday, October 11, 2023

The Scariest Book

The other day, I was chatting with my favorite book club. Since Halloween will soon be here, we got onto the topic of scary stories. The question was raised, "What is the scariest book you ever read?"

I do not read horror or any other terrifying tales. I like romance and happy endings. However, for a while in my younger years I subscribed to the Book of the Month Club and so I wound up with a book that scared me so much I only read the first chapter. Then I set it aside for about half a year before I tackled it again. Eventually, that book was made into a movie. Against my better judgement, I went to the movie. Hubby wanted to see it. I spent much of that movie holding my hands over my eyes. I walked out of the movie with legs that felt as if they were made of rubber. 

The book and the movie made from the book was Jaws. Some folks really don't think that's very frightening. But I live near the ocean and grew up near Matawan, New Jersey. In 1916, a shark swam up Matawan Creek and attacked four people. Killing two. You can see a video explaining the event and exactly where it happened here:

I enjoy the beach. I love living near the sea. But there are dangers and everyone should be aware of them. 

What's the scariest book you ever read? 

Wednesday, October 04, 2023


Halloween is coming! THE COMPANY YOU KEEP is at the rock bottom price of $0.99. This book features a ghost, a billionaire, plenty of evil entities, and a terrible secret. 
It’s the perfect story for a dark, cold night in the month of October.
Here are snippets of reviews from the past:

A reader on Goodreads said, "This book surprised me. I though it was just a romantic novel, but I was wrong. Besides romance, includes other genres like suspense , paranormal and crime. I couldn't put it down until I finished it. I really enjoyed the story!"

Diane Tugman of The Romance Studio said, "With each chapter you'll be drawn into a tangled web of the supernatural."

Anastasia Castella-Young of Mind Fog Reviews said, "I highly recommend this paranormal romance to those interested in demons, spirits, adventure and love. Penelope Marzec hits the mark dead on!"

This is the story of Jennifer Brant. Her existence has centered on protecting the world from a cursed spirit who guards a deadly portal located on her farm. When a billionaire developer, haunted by the sins of his past, wants to buy her farm, she refuses, knowing the spirit will be released on those she loves. When someone intent on controlling the demon kidnaps her brother in order to use the farm for his own evil deeds, Jennifer and the billionaire must unite to save her brother and destroy the portal. Can their union grow into a loving and safe lifetime for them and their future generations?

The following scene is in Nathan's point of view--he's the billionaire. While Jennifer sleeps after being involved in an accident, Michael, her brother, offers Nathan the land he wants. This comes as quite a surprise to the billionaire...

Nathan placed another log on the cheery blaze in the fireplace. Jennifer lay on the couch, bundled in a wealth of quilts. Her chest rose and fell softly in a steady rhythm. He sat in the chair and took a calming breath. Despite a variety of bruises and a mild concussion, she should be fine, especially since he had volunteered to watch her for the rest of the night.

Michael walked into the room with two brandy glasses. “Here, McDugan. It’s been a long night.”

“Thanks.” He accepted the glass.

Michael paced around the room with his brow deeply furrowed. The younger man was still revved up and running on adrenaline.

 “I want to thank you. I really panicked when I saw Jen’s truck up against that tree,” he admitted. “I’m usually cool on a call but it’s different when it’s one of your own...” After a pause, Michael continued in a raspy tone. “You see, our parents died in a car accident.”

He nodded. He’d felt the twist in his gut when he had heard the metal crumple in the crash, but when he saw Jennifer in that wreck it was as if his heart slipped out of gear. He sipped some of the brandy. The warmth of peaches tingled on his tongue and his control nearly crumbled. Wiping the sweat from his brow, he dared another taste. The sample reminded him so vividly of the flavor of Jennifer’s lips that he felt nearly possessed.

He drew in a great breath. For a moment tonight, he thought he had lost her. In that brief flash, raw grief sliced into him. Thinking about it later, he was stunned at his violent reaction. He told himself that simply visiting a wreck stirred up the old horror.

“The police said someone tampered with the brake hoses,” Michael blurted out. “But that’s ridiculous. I know it’s an old truck. But George—” He stopped his restless pacing and paled. “George always fixed it.”

“She said the brakes didn’t work.” He kept his voice low. He did not want to disturb her. She needed to rest.

“Yeah. Yeah. I know.” Michael downed a good portion of the brandy in one gulp. “How much land do you really need?”

He narrowed his eyes, wondering if he had heard correctly.

“Your absolute minimum,” Michael reiterated.

Momentarily speechless with surprise, he nearly dropped the glass in his hand. Did he see desperation in the hard lines around Michael’s mouth? “Your sister has led the fight and worked the hardest to keep me out of Marlpit. Won’t she consider you a traitor?”

“Everything has changed in the last few months. Everything.” Michael swore softly. “My wife is ill. We had another dry summer so we didn’t grow much produce.” He gave a small snort. “Except for peaches. We had plenty of peaches. Now with Jennifer’s truck destroyed, I don’t think there’s any way—” He didn’t finish the thought. A deep scowl creased his forehead and he balled up his fists.

Nathan cleared his throat. Warning gongs sounded in his brain but he ignored them. He had no reason to trust Michael Brant. However, after tonight, it seemed worth the gamble. “Forty acres.”

Michael sniffed. “Why didn’t you tell us that in the first place?”

“I padded my original proposal figuring it would get whittled down to nothing anyway.” Despite the heady liquor, his nerves seemed ready to snap. He’d wanted this for so long.

Michael set his glass on the mantle and stared into the fire, his back to Nathan. “What price?”

He realized he was about ready to crush the glass in his hand. He forced himself to relax. Leaning back in the chair, he tried to look casual. He didn’t want to get roped into a ridiculous deal.

“This is an unusual liqueur,” he said, taking another sip from his glass. “Do you make your own brew?”

Michael’s shoulders sagged. “Nah. That stuff is something Jen mixes up. Peach juice and vodka, I think.”

He glanced at her, still sound asleep on the couch. Wispy tendrils framed her serene face. She looked fragile—and enchanting. A pang of something like loneliness stabbed at his heart. Clearing his throat, he added. “Your sister is quite talented.”

“Yeah. Well, you have to do something with all those peaches before they rot,” Michael commented. He plopped down in the wingback chair and hung his head. He looked beaten.

Despite the smell of victory, a hollow space seemed to widen in Nathan’s heart. This had all become more than a simple business deal. While he had spent months arguing with Jennifer and the people of Marlpit, he would win only because fate and some crazed maniac had lent him a hand.

“Which forty acres are you willing to part with?” He stared into the sweet but potent liquor in his glass.

Silence hung in the air for several tense minutes before Michael answered. “You can have a portion of Abigail’s woods.”

He lifted his head and frowned. “It would take extra labor to clear it.”

Michael stood again as he spoke louder than before. “It’s well up on the ridge so you won’t have any drainage problems. In addition, it’s out of the DEP’s designated area.”

Then something sparked in Michael’s eyes as his voice reached a new crescendo. “Aside from that, the visitors to your fancy theater will have a sweeping view of feudal serfs living as they did in the dark ages! You should be able to raise the price of the tickets for that privilege!”

Jennifer moaned and stirred on the couch. Without conscious thought, Nathan sprang to her side. He touched her forehead. His hand shook. He wasn’t sure if she felt warm or hot. Dammit. She looked too pale.

“Should I wake her like the doctor said and ask her some questions? Do you think she’s all right? How does her forehead feel to you?” His heart hammered in his chest.

Michael rubbed the back of his callused hand on his sister’s cheek. “She’s okay. I should just keep my big mouth shut.”

Relief flowed through him. “She always tries to act so tough but she isn’t,” he mumbled, almost to himself. Then he glanced back at Michael, catching an odd puzzled look as it flitted across the younger man’s features.

“Yeah. Well. She’s flesh and blood, McDugan. Two hundred year old maple trees are a lot tougher,” he whispered hoarsely. “Come on into the kitchen. I’ll get a calculator. Let’s talk numbers.”


You can find the book at many ebook distributors.