Renee Knight: Disclaimer Sunday, Jun 14 2015 


Readers can add Renee Knight to their growing list of UK authors who will keep you flipping pages and waiting their next book in this startling thriller. DISCLAIMER presents a very creative and original premise. What if you picked up a book to read, only to find a hidden part of your life documented in the guise of fiction, down to the clothes you were wearing on a specific day, and that book ends with your horrific death?

This is the nightmare that hits Catherine Ravenscroft, a documentary filmmaker, which also happens to be Knight’s background. Catherine and her lawyer husband have just moved house to downsize. Their only child, 25 year-old Nicholas, is finally living on his own and they are still unpacking boxes when Catherine comes across the book that will change all of their lives. The Perfect Stranger is the pseudo-fictinal account of a day Catherine thought she’d stored in her memory banks, written by one Stephen Brigstocke.

Suddenly the tension ratchets keenly, as the details are parsed out of the incident she’d rather forget: a vacation to Spain whene her husband was called home early, leaving her and young Nick alone for a few days to finish the trip; the young stranger who seemed fascinated with her; the day her son almost lost his life.

Many of the chapters are told from the point of view of Stephen, the man who has published the book that destroys Catherine’s life, and we see his reasons clearly as the story unfolds. His wife, although long dead, extends her influence, as does his son.

Just when you think you know what has happened, everything turns and twists into something else entirely. The nightmare extends and extends again as every aspect of Catherine’s life becomes infected by the story of those lost days in Spain. Her husband turns on her; then her son; then her colleagues.

This was a book Auntie M found tough to put down. It creeps into you much in the manner of S. J. Watson’s Before I Go to Sleep. You’ll be waiting for Knight’s next one~ and for the film shortly to go into production. But read the book first. It will grab you all the way through to its unsettling ending. A terrific psychological thriller the centers on revenge, guilt, grief and hiding the truth.

Madeleine Mysko: Stone Harbor Bound Sunday, May 17 2015 

Please welcome author Madeleine Mysko and her new release: Stone Harbor Bound


Confessions of Wannabe Mystery Writer

Unlike many of Auntie M’s guests and readers, I’m neither a writer of mystery novels nor a lifelong reader of them. I guess you could call me a wannabe—a “literary” novelist who occasionally hangs out in the mystery genre, hoping to pick up a few tricks of the trade from the respected practitioners.

Among writer friends, I make a joke of my addiction to re-runs of Masterpiece Mystery—Inspectors Morse, Lewis, and Lynley . . . Miss Marple, Wallander—but then, turning serious, I muse that watching mysteries can be a good thing for those of us interested in plot development. I expect my friends to believe what I’ve made myself believe—that an afternoon of watching murder mysteries (when I ought to be writing) isn’t really procrastinating, not as long as I’m “studying” in what order the writer makes things happen on the screen.

My brother (not a writer but an audiologist) has long been an avid reader of mystery novels. For years now, he’s been saying he and I should collaborate—that he could come up with the story line, drawing from his familiarity with detectives and police procedurals and all sorts of formulae for whodunits. And of course I would do the writing. There’s something wistfully half-serious about my brother’s proposal. He really loves mystery novels. He really loves me. Maybe he thinks I could actually deliver on my half of the bargain.

Once, out of the blue and without my brother’s help, I came up with an idea for a mystery novel. I was very pleased with myself. I had what seemed the necessary ingredients: setting (contemporary Baltimore), sleuth (somewhat jaded nurse about my age), and murder (or what appears to be murder to the nurse-sleuth, but to no one else.) I wrote the first chapter of my first mystery novel in a glow of self-satisfaction. Then right after I typed “Chapter Two” I was in trouble.

Determined to follow through, I ordered several manuals with bold, no-nonsense titles like “How to Write a Mystery Novel.” I devoured these manuals with pleasure, as though they were novels themselves, the heroine a person just like me who crafts a gem and finds both agent and publisher to adore her. This was ten years ago. I still have Chapter One of my first mystery novel on my computer. As for the how-to books, I think they may have left the house last fall, in a box headed for the Hospital Auxiliary Sale.

I’ve recently launched my second novel, Stone Harbor Bound (Bridle Path Press). Already, much to my surprise, I’m happily working away at a third. I’ve got the setting (contemporary Baltimore) and the main character (a somewhat jaded nurse about my age). I’ve even raided Chapter One of my first mystery novel for some of those details that delighted me the first time around.

But the main character of my third novel isn’t actually a sleuth. Turns out she’s just a wannabe, like me.

* * * * *
Madeleine Mysko’s poetry, fiction, and essays have been published widely in journals that include Smartish Pace, The Hudson Review, Shenandoah, Little Patuxent Review, and Bellevue Literary Review. She is the author of two novels, Bringing Vincent Home and Stone Harbor Bound. A graduate of The Writing Seminars of The Johns Hopkins University, she has taught creative writing in the Baltimore area for years, and presently serves as contributing editor at American Journal of Nursing.

Stone Harbor Bound is available from Bridle Path Press:
and from

Daniel Palmer: Desperate Sunday, May 25 2014 

Just when you think there can’t be a new twist to a story, along comes Daniel Palmer, who surprises readers yet again with his newest thriller, Desperate.

Told strongly in first person from the point of view of Gage Dekker, he and his second wife Anna Miller are desperate to adopt. Both have survived the loss of a child, and for Gage, the added loss of his first wife, Karen, compounds his despair when he meets Anna in a grief survivor’s group. After a whirlwind courtship, a meeting of the minds and hearts, the two are married six months when they decide to adopt after Anna experiences a miscarriage.

A chance meeting with unwed mother Lily turns their anticipated long wait to adopt into a sudden rush when Lily asks them to adopt her baby. With their upstairs tenant gone, Lily is installed over their heads to await the blessed event.

And then things start to horribly go wrong for Gage in several areas of his life, and Lily seems to be at the bottom of it all.

But Anna refuses to believe Gage when he insists Lily is sabotaging his life. The two women have bonded and Anna is desperate for this child to complete their family; she blames Gage for the seemingly innocuous incidents that have him believing Lily is not who she seems to be.

As the stakes are raised, Gage will find himself embroiled in a fantastical plot he can’t find a way out of, one that leads to murder, and he’s stuck at the heart of it.

This compelling thriller will appear to leave Gage no way out, and then the complicated plot takes yet another twist until it careens around a sharp curve and readers will be left breathless and amazed at the audacity Palmer infuses into his novel.

Compelling and intelligently written, Palmer will hook readers and draw you in, in this inventive thriller with its surprising events. Unexpected and original.