Book of Kells Now Free to View Online

The Book of Kells is the world’s most famous medieval manuscript–it is a beautifully decorated, intricate copy of the four Gospels dating back to the 9th century. I was lucky enough to see a few pages of the Book of Kells under security glass at Library of Trinity College in Dublin, but now the book is online for everyone to see. You can even zoom in to see the detail on the pages. The link is in the article below. Enjoy!

Book Recommendation: No Comfort for the Lost


This week I’m highlighting a book I’ve waited a long time to read.

No Comfort for the Lost by Nancy Herriman is a beautifully written, historically fascinating look at the underside of 1867 San Francisco. It is the captivating story of Celia Davies, an English-born nurse living in the city and caring for its most unwanted residents–in many cases, the Chinese women and girls forced to work as prostitutes in the seedier parts of town. The reader is introduced to San Francisco as it existed 150 years ago–expanding, dirty, bustling, beautiful.

Celia is the guardian of her half-Chinese cousin Barbara, whose father passed away leaving them a home and leaving Celia a bit of money she uses to run her free health clinic. Barbara, besides being a member of a hated ethnic group in San Francisco, has health problems which prevent her from moving quickly or deftly. She occasionally helps Celia with her patients, but is sometimes not able to help as she would like.

When a former Chinese prostitute, a friend of Celia and Barbara, is found murdered, Celia takes it upon herself to attempt to figure out the culprit because certain members of the San Francisco Police Department have shown reluctance to spend too much time on crimes involving Chinese victims. Luckily, Celia finds a sympathetic detective, Nicholas Greaves, who is interested in the plight of the victim and who, despite the warnings from his overbearing and very unpleasant boss, is willing to invest police time and resources to find the perpetrator. With a past which is only hinted at in the book, Greaves has a soft spot for underdogs and a personal need to do the right thing. And he has a soft spot for Celia, too, despite (or perhaps because of?) her stubborn pig-headedness, which can only be described as both endearing and maddening.

As the story progresses, we find that the list of suspects is growing and that the people Celia and Barbara know and trust are not always what they seem (it wouldn’t be a mystery otherwise, would it?). I don’t want to give anything away, but I will say that I suspected almost everyone in the book before being completely surprised by the ending.

I loved the book. I loved the descriptions of old San Francisco, the antiquated medical methods described to treat injuries and illness, and the story of Li Sha’s murder and its aftermath. Not only that, but one of the scariest undercurrents running through the book is the bigotry experienced by Chinese immigrants during the 19th century. In many ways, the issue has echoed down the years and still exists today, even in presidential politics in the United States. I was struck while reading the book of the similarities between 1867 San Francisco and the present day worldwide.

Nancy Herriman has a way with language and uses it in a way that evokes an older time and is still immensely readable and enjoyable. The amount of research that must have gone into No Comfort for the Lost is obvious and breathtaking in its depth. But besides all that, there are the backstory mysteries–what happened to Nicholas Greaves’ sister? What happened to Celia’s husband, Patrick?

And the very best part? There’s another Celia Davies book on the way! It’s called No Pity for the Dead and it will be released in August, 2016. I will be in line to pre-order it!

Full disclosure: Nancy Herriman is a friend, but as you know from previous posts, if I hadn’t liked her book I simply wouldn’t have recommended it.

Until next week,


P.S. If you’re interested in visiting Nancy Herriman online, her website is

A HUGE Milestone to Share!

The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor_ebook cover

My editor called me this morning to tell me that The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor is now on the USA Today Bestseller list!!

Thank you to everyone who has read the book, read Secrets of Hallstead House, read my blog, visited me on Facebook or Twitter, and/or reviewed either of my books–it means the world to me!

Until next week,


House of the Hanging Jade Cover Reveal

Before you scroll down to see the cover for my new book, let me thank you for your support in making The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor Amazon’s #1 bestseller for Gothic Fiction! I am thrilled and honored.

And there’s more good news, too! Secrets of Hallstead House is on that same bestseller list at #20!

It’s been a while since I posted any information about where the books can be found, so I’m going to do it again today.

And bonus! The ebook version of The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor is on sale for 99 cents at all major online retailers. Here are the links:

Amazon: Secrets of Hallstead House

Amazon: The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor

Barnes & Noble: Secrets of Hallstead House

Barnes & Noble: The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor

Kobo: Secrets of Hallstead House

Kobo: The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor

itunes Secrets of Hallstead House The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor

For international readers who may be interested in either of my books, they are available at, (Secrets of Hallstead House), (The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor), (Secrets of Hallstead House), (The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor), (Secrets of Hallstead House),  and (The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor).

So now for the cover reveal!

As you may already know, I am in the copy-edits stage of my third novel, House of the Hanging Jade, which is due out in April, 2016. It is the story of Kailani Kanaka, a Hawaiian-born sous chef in Washington, DC, who decides to head back home to the tropics to take a job as a personal chef to a family living on the Island of Hawaii. I’ll be telling you more about the book in future posts, but for now I’d like to share the cover with you.

Drum roll, please…


House of the Hanging Jade cover

What do you think? The Art Department at Kensington Publishing went a little more modern with this one. I hope you’ll share your thoughts with me.

Until next week,


P.S. If you’re interested in pre-ordering House of Hanging Jade, you can do it on amazon,, and!







I’m Baaaack!

Happy September, everyone! If you’re anything like me, you’re ready for some cooler fall weather. So bring it on!

August was a very busy month, so I wasn’t able to post every Tuesday as I usually do. But good news: yesterday I sent the edits of my third novel, House of Hanging Jade, to my editor. Now I can get back to writing my next two novels in earnest. And cooking regular meals, and doing the laundry, and keeping the flower beds weeded, and cleaning the house…

This week I want to tell you about some of the events I participated in this summer. I had a great time and I’m happy to have some photos to share with you.

First, Sun Rose Words and Music, an independent bookstore in Ocean City, NJ, hosted a booksigning for me on a beautiful Thursday in July. Some fantastic folks stopped by to chat and I even sold a few books! It was great seeing old friends and making new ones.

Sun Rose signing         Sun Rose signing 3        Sun Rose signing 4

Second, I was lucky and honored to be included in the Summer Author Lecture Series at the Avalon Free Public Library in Avalon, NJ. This year and in the past, the library has attracted the likes of Elin Hilderbrand, Lisa Scottoline, and Lee Child, so it was thrilling for me to be able to be included in the library’s line-up this summer. Here are a few photos of the event:

  Avalon library 2015 poster       Avalon library solo photo        Avalon library 2015

A few days after the event in Avalon I had the opportunity to visit my hometown of Watertown, NY, to be a guest of the Asbury Book Club. It was a group of lovely and lively people (mostly women, but one man came, too!) who asked lots of questions about my books and the publishing process. And they were kind enough to invite my mom, which was a big bonus. Some of the people at the meeting didn’t make it into the picture below, but it was wonderful to meet all of them (my mom didn’t make it into the picture, either, because she was the photographer). And after the book club meeting, I got to have lunch with Sharon Aguanno, an avid reader and friend whom I’d never met in person. What a treat for me!


And finally, I attended the second annual Suffolk, Virginia Mystery Authors Festival on Saturday, August 22nd. It was such a thrill to share the stage with so many talented and prolific writers and friends! The event actually started for the attendees on the 21st, when we were treated to a Suffolk Ghost Walk. We learned about the history of the beautiful city of Suffolk and the ghosts who haunt its homes and businesses. On Saturday there was a meet & greet for guests and writers, then a panel of the 24 authors, followed by booksignings, readings, workshops, and other panels. I participated in the Location, Location, Location panel and had a great time. I am already looking forward to going back next year.

IMG_1277       IMG_1290       Suffolk festival panel 2015       IMG_1299

I’d like to thank all the people who showed up to any of these events, everyone who organized and coordinated the events, and anyone who took pictures and shared them with me!

I hope you had a great August, too. How did you spend your time?

Until next week,