Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Straight Browsing from the Library: The Name is Red by Beena Khan

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be giving away a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn commenter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


Two strangers on the same path.
Survivors. Companions.
They will be each other’s salvation.

On a rainy, winter night, a mysterious woman in a red dress seeking shelter comes inside the restaurant Kabir was busy working in —primarily the bar— and night after night, drink after drink, she comes back to the same spot. That is where he sees her for the first time.

Hundreds of patrons around her try to speak with her daily, but she dismisses them. It appears she wants to remain in a blissful peace alone with her booze and books. After seeing the mysterious woman reading a book, and because of his shy nature, Kabir gains entrance into her life by anonymously leaving books with notes for her.

The Name of Red is the story of two strangers, two different personalities who meet on a winter, rainy night who challenge each other. They have a connection which blossoms into a friendship due to their fondness of books. But they both have secrets that can bind them together or threaten their newfound relationship forever.


The bartender placed her drink, in front of her.

She eyed the amber liquid and the golden glow of the glass-like cubes in her cocktail. Sometimes, she ordered whiskey mixed with vodka because she liked the amber color, otherwise she preferred vodka. The bartender called it New York Whisk. She was entranced by the mini icebergs in the glass. She reached for her drink with her slim, long fingers.


The elixir of her life.

The strong tonic was the only cure to her life. She lifted the drink to her lips, and the taste burned her tongue and throat.

Beena Khan lives in a suburb in Queens, New York in her apartment. She is 27 years old from Azad Kashmir, Pakistan. She is an immigrant who moved to New York when she was five years old. She currently holds a Masters Degree in Developmental Psychology from Cuny School of Professional Sciences. She enjoys reading, writing, and netflixing. This is her debut novel.

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Monday, June 1, 2020


This cover reveal is organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Kristina M. Sanchez will award a randomly drawn winner a $20 Amazon/BN GC. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


At thirty-seven, Valentin Belmonte returned to his mother’s house with his tail between his legs. No surprise there. His life had been a long line of bad choices, failures, and trouble. Also returning home, freshly graduated and on the hunt for a job, was Mina Toussaint, the orphan Val’s mother and stepfather had taken in when he was already grown. She’d been the only person who’d ever really liked him, but he’d screwed that up a long time ago.

Mina’s adoptive family had treated her like the perfect princess and little girl they always wanted. Val was the only one who’d ever seen her for who she really was; she’d never wanted to be a princess. But after what happened when she was sixteen, she thought she hated him. Now, six years later, things were different. She wasn’t the child she’d been when she got so angry. The trouble was that Val hadn’t changed. He still saw her.


Kristina M. Sanchez began her life-long love of writing as a small, insomniac child, making up stories about Bugs Bunny to occupy herself when everyone in the house was asleep. She lives now in Southern California with two cats and an enchanting hurricane—err—toddler. An enchanting, smarty-pants, bewildering toddler. Kristina is an asexual, happily single mother by choice. You might think that’s a weird kind of person to be writing romance novels, but the best science-fiction writers have never been to space, so there you go.



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Thursday, May 28, 2020

Straight Browsing from the Library: Ashes and Blood by Katie Zaber

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will award a $25 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn commenter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


“I’ll start at the beginning. Long ago, before roads, before we built structures, before medicine was discovered, before the government was created, before man gained any knowledge, there were The Five. Independent from each other, The Five had a mutual respect for one another. They knew their roles in the world and their duty. They were gods…”

An adventure begins when an otherworldly tree captures the attention of Megan and her friends. The environment morphs around them, transferring them to an exotic planet. Stuck in a rural town still maimed by the plague, a chance encounter with a familiar face gives Megan and her friends some security during their adjustment period.

While settling into new, promising lives, they are attacked and stalked by planet Dalya’s humanoid inhabitants, who focus on Megan. One dark night, after an epic, magical attack, the Fae King’s knight is sent to fetch Megan. When she wakes up a prisoner, she learns that there is much more to this strange world, and it is oddly more like her own than she ever would have expected.



Every time my life improves, when business runs smoothly and this world begins to feel normal, there’s a curveball. Always, without fail, either Earth-shattering news or Dalya-shattering news, depending on which planet you come from. Don’t get me wrong; I’m glad to see Megan and her friends alive, but they should be living their lives happily on Earth, not here.

Not trapped.

I honestly thought Megan was a hallucination created by too much alcohol. Standing there in the forge, surrounded by people from both worlds, it made me panic. I was positive I’d lost it, that I either drank myself mad or that I’d gone crazy. Two distant worlds collided together, people from my past and present, from two separate places, standing in the same room. It made me freak out to a completely new level. It took a few moments to realize Megan and her friends actually stood in front of me. What happened to me eight years ago happened to them too.

Good, I’m not insane—not yet—but it sucks for Megan and the girls.


Katie Zaber writes new adult fiction. With multiple projects spanning from being transported to an alternate universe, to past lives, reincarnation, and trapped souls, to prophesied pregnancies—there are more stories to tell. She lives in North New Jersey with her boyfriend.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Straight Chatting at the Library: David Beem

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. David Beem will be awarding a $10 Amazon or BN GC to one randomly drawn commenter via Rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


When the Voice Speaks

“Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.” —Mark Twain

We’ve all been there. I daresay I’ve been there more than most. Still, I thought I had learned my lesson, whether it be arguing politics with fools, friends, or foolish friends. My latest stumbling block is my imaginary friends. For example, the new series I’m writing features a fifteen-year-old child prodigy alpha male protagonist. That guy has no qualms telling someone they’re dumb as a brick, so imagine my surprise when he unleashed himself on an old friend who decided it was the right day to “poke the bear.”


When the voice speaks, it can be exhilarating, or, as in the above example, problematic. It’s as if souls from other worlds have stepped through a magical door, (like in Stephen King’s The Drawing of Three) and “come forward” in your mind to tell your story for you. You’re no longer alone on your journey, and now neither is your reader. An entire language can emerge, literally, as in Lord of the Rings, or, as happens probably more often, through the DNA of a book’s prose.

Readers of my Edger series will not believe my next series is written by the same person. But that’s good! Edger is the literary equivalent of a superhero/spy tv sitcom. I don’t say that to knock it, I think it’s great. But that’s the Grundgestalt of the work, to borrow a term coined by Arnold Schoenberg, who said, “whatever happens in a piece of music is the endless reshaping of the basic shape.” That concept applies to all forms of artistic creation. The hard part for the creator is recognizing your creation for what it is, because ideas rarely form with perfect coherence at the outset. We often struggle to “see” through the murk of imagination. But after you recognize the nature of what you’re striving to reach, your creation will quite literally awaken. It’s as if it becomes a kind of artificial intelligence of itself, repeating its form over and over, until it draws to its logical conclusion.

The Edger series is a collection of goofy tropes and thwarted goofy tropes. There are good guys, bad guys, stoners, one evil artificially intelligent cow (but is she really evil?) a battalion of skydiving Russian mind-control monkeys, one lovesick Vladimir Putin, zombies, and, finally, giant dildo catapults (dildos upon which our very lives depend!) which launch the “Full Clinton” of ordnance (defined as 50 flaming dildos per attack) into Mexican airspace. You will never read anything like this series. You may never want to read anything like it again. But one thing it has, dear reader, is a clear, unambiguous voice.


Meet Edger (Ed-jer), a twenty-six-year-old gadget retail dork destined to become the world’s first superhero! His superpower: the ability to channel the Collective Unconscious, a psychic network connecting the living and the dead. In his arsenal are the skills of Bruce Lee, the strength of Samson, the wisdom of the ages...and the dancing chops of Michael Jackson—including that one twisty foot move, crotch grab, and fedora tilt. But there's a catch... Like every psychic super power to get administered through a hypodermic needle, this one comes with a prick. Someone seems to have misplaced the booster necessary for stabilizing his superpower. Without it, Edger has three days before his brain turns to pudding. Join our Dork of Destiny as he overcomes the world’s greatest butt, two rival Cluck-n-Pray gangs, an evil cow, a Green Bay Defensive Tackle, rifle-toting assassins—and a pair of stoners who inadvertently create the world’s first supervillain after a wild night on Twitter!


The water is filling.

We’re spinning.

Blondie is rapturing.

Below us, the nightclub turns like a sparkling dream. Worse, Underwearld is wallpapered in phosphorescent art photos of Caleb in his Calvin Kleins.

“Hey Edger—it’s Caleb!” says Mary, banging her shoulder against the side of our disco ball water torture prison and sloshing water. “Caleb! Caleb!”

I roll my eyes. “Of course you know Caleb. Because the universe just couldn’t let me die without letting me know: Hey—Mary knows Caleb.”

“Edger, Caleb’s H.A.R.D.O.N.”

“Hard-on for you, hard-on for Kate—”

“Oh my God, Edger. Not now, okay? High Risk Agency for Regulating the Defense Of the NFL.”

“What!? That doesn’t even make any sense! It should be H-A-R-D-O—wait, somebody capitalized the freaking O—?! You know, my tax dollars paid someone to capitalize that letter O.”

“Really? Really, Edger? You want to do this now?”

“That’s what they always say too: ‘You wanna do this now.’ But notice they never balance the budget. All I’m saying is, you gotta talk about it sometime.”

“Edger! We. Are about. To die.”

So I’m panting, she’s panting, and Caleb’s down there scanning the room in front of a larger than life phosphorescent photograph of his crotch. Because apparently all paths in life lead there.

“Caleb!” Mary yells.

“Caleb!” I yell.

And so there we are, yelling our butts off, banging our shoulders into the wall, water sloshing over our faces—you know, not panicking.

Then the water level reaches our chins.


David Beem loves superhero movies, taekwondo, and flossing. He lives in Djibouti with his family and crippling self-doubt. To help actualize David’s inner confidence, visit his website and buy all the stuff:

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Thursday, May 21, 2020

Straight Browsing at the Library: Diary of a Lost Witch Blog by Reut Barak

This post is part of a virtual tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will award a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly dawn winner. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour. Start reading from the beginning of the diary:


Visit to begin the story featured on Reut Barak's new blog

Molly is in trouble. Running away from home to escape the dangers of her coven, she ends up in Edinburgh at a time of Corona. Homeless and running for her life, she must find a new coven and get the help she needs to protect herself, or she is not going to make it back.


April 13

The weekend was long, and I ended up having to sleep outside in the park. There was one guy on gumtree that said he was able to host people, but he seemed creepy. There were two more ads that didn’t reply to my email, but otherwise, it was impossible to find a place to stay.

There is a spell called the Tent spell. It makes a small fixed space safe, invisible to the outside world. You won’t be seen or heard there, and you can use spells inside. When I had given up trying to find a normal bed for the night, I figured I might as well head for one of the parks and cast it there. The park I slept at was called Arthur’s Seat. I found some dense trees at the bottom of it, near the small lake.

Inside my “tent” I cast a mattress and blankets, which were supposed to be comfortable, but I slept horribly. I kept waking up, fearing that someone might accidentally step in and discover me. Someone mortal who would ask a lot of questions, or worse, someone with magic.

It was a relief when the morning came, and I finally opened my eyes to hear the birds, and a few runners. It was also a relief from my dreams, of the terrible things I had left behind.

I dreamt that the witches of May’s coven had found me here, and taken me back to Alice. She had a plan for me, to make an example of me for leaving.

I woke up covered in cold sweat, and sat up for an hour thinking, before I was ready to fall back to sleep. I needed to find another coven and fast. There would be a few here in Edinburgh, but unlike back home they didn’t meet in the park during weekends. At least not in the one I’d been sleeping in. I had hoped to bump into a coven that way. That would have justified my homelessness.

This morning was different, though. I was on my way back to a groceries store I found, where the kind seller let me charge my batteries so my new phone doesn’t run out of power. He’d even told me where I could find a local sim card, and I texted the new number back to my moms.

It was really early morning. The store would just be opening. I was walking down the empty streets, when I saw something.

It was a girl, about my age, walking her dog. She had a sweater with a university logo, and the dog suddenly pulled hard on the leash. She cursed, falling straight on her right knee, and then screamed from the pain and cursed again. I rushed to her to help her up, and then I saw, or rather felt something. Something inside her was spreading warmth from her heart towards that knee to heal it. And there was only one way I could sense such a phenomenon. She was using magic.

Molly Evans


Following a short stint in the military, Reut graduated as a trained Opera Singer from the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, and then worked in Berlin, singing church music by Mozart, Haydn and Bach. While arranging concerts in the city and managing artists, she discovered her passion for business. She joined fellow entrepreneurs in the 2013-2014 class at the University of Oxford, with a scholarship to study business (MBA), where she founds that creativity goes far beyond art. She later had a taste of corporate life, seeing the inside workings of some of the world’s largest finance, energy and manufacturing companies, and wrote for National Geographic. Leaving the world of corporate drama behind, she now pursues her dreams of becoming a fiction novelist, a self-published vegan author, blogger and youtuber. She first arrived in Scotland as a hiker, eager to explore the mysterious highlands, where she got her inspiration for her books and blogs.

Well, no not really… The true story is:

Once upon a time…

Reut was born in Camelot in the year 1201, following the famous explosion of the northern dragon tower. She has a degree in fantasy and science fiction from the University of Atlantis and this record can be found in the central library, now twenty thousand leagues under the sea. She likes phoenix riding, dragon fighting and painting the roses red. And Grimm’s Fairy Tales.

Lost Witch Blog:

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Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Straight Browsing from the Library: Single Chicas by Sandra C. Lopez

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Sandra C. Lopez will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


Single Chicas is a collection of stories about modern Latinas being in, out, and around the zany hurdles of relationships. One woman receives strange calls from a lonely soul, another seeks advice on how to love herself, and another wakes up in a parallel universe to a man she's never met. These chicas will make painstaking effort to survive the complexities with humor and grace. Once again, López dazzles audiences with her brilliantly candid craft. Smart, witty, and funny, these stories will explore the true endurance of singlehood.


Dear Single Chicas,

Hey, hey, love your site! I was wondering if you could help me. I have a boyfriend I'm crazy about, but he has a tendency to call me at work. It's getting annoying. Any advice?

Sincerely, Looney Cell

"Ah, a typical relationship conundrum," Simone said with a mouthful of pizza.

"Yeah, a typical headache," Georgia added.

"So what do we say?" Chrissy asked.

"Try this," Simone said, waiting for Chrissy to start typing.

Dear Looney Cell,

Your boyfriend needs to realize that, when you are at work, you are NOT his girlfriend. You need to give him specific hours, just like in any other job. Lay down the line with him. Point out that each time he calls you at your job, it keeps you from doing the work—work you're getting paid to do and work that in no way, shape, or form involves him. Besides, it may get you in trouble with your boss, if it hasn't already. Instead tell him to send you a simple text, but be careful not to overload your phone memory. Thanks for the shout out!

Single Chicas

The next email read:

Dear Single Chicas,

What's up! Problem: I'm engaged and I'm totally freaking out about it. Would I be a fool to ask if we could postpone the big day until I'm less freaked?

Yours truly, Runaway Bride


Dear Runaway Bride,

Absolutely not! Don't do anything you don't feel ready for. Be honest about it. If nobody can understand that, then you would save yourself the headache and the hassle, not to mention the time and money, for that whole shindig. If it wasn't meant to be, then so be it. If, however, you have a guy that is willing to wait, then, by all means, let him wait. Wait, wait, wait until you are sure you can make it down that aisle without breaking out in hives. Just make sure you bring your running shoes on the big day....just in case. ;)

Sincerely, Single Chicas

The next email read:

Hey, Single Chicas,

I saw this one episode of "I Love Lucy" where Lucy suggests a vacation from marriage. What are your thoughts? Yay or Nay?

Sincerely, TV Addict

Dear TV Addict,

Yay! A vacation from marriage allows for the re-discovery of one's individuality―the "I" before the "we." There is such a thing as spending "too much" time together. Lucy said it best in that episode: "I'm sick at the sight of your face." Take a vacation to avoid this sickness.

Sincerely, Single Chicas


Sandra C. López is a writer, artist, blogger, and book reviewer. She is one of today's funny and influential authors in YA and chick lit. Her first novel, Esperanza, was published in March 2008 WHILE she was still in college. Her most recent and bestselling book is Single Chicas, a collection of humorous short stories about zany chicas. She is currently working on the next installment of the Single Chicas series called Holiday Chicas. Release date coming soon! When not writing her stories, Sandra supports the art and literary communities with freelance work and book promotion.

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Monday, May 18, 2020

Straight Browsing from the Library: The Gourmet Gangster by M. Glenda Rosen and Jory Rosen

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Marcia Rosen & Jory Rosen will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


The mysteries are malicious. The recipes are delicious. John Klopfenstein, Criminal Defense Attorney ~ Carmel/Salinas, California

My son Jory and I had a great time collaborating on this book. I wrote the mysteries and he provided the recipes. Together we created some murderous titles for the recipes and decided which types of food would best fit the various mystery stories.

Some of my stories were influenced by being a gangster’s daughter.

Really. My father was a gangster.

He was a bookie, owned a gambling ‘place’ and when he was ready to move on, he and his partner opened a restaurant and bar at the heart of Main Street in Buffalo, New York.

The head of one of the big crime families lived in Buffalo. Odd as it may seem, Buffalo was home to many members of that family in the middle of the twentieth century. There are books about them, telling who they were and what they controlled—from Buffalo to Niagara Falls.

My father knew some of them, I have been told. He was invited to share their goods, their ill gained fortunes and business opportunities. He always refused, and I’m grateful for his wisdom and choice. For some reason they left him alone to forge his own gains.

He did not have or carry a gun. In fact, even though his wife, my mother (who I once called his gun moll in a story I wrote) could be nasty, he was never unkind to her or me. He was generous, and I learned a lot about generosity through his actions.

My boyfriend at the time, his friends and I would stop in at the restaurant. They would even go on their own, knowing my dad loved to have them visit.

What stories he told them! Ones he wouldn’t tell a daughter, he told them and, eventually, his grandson. Who, of course, told me.

I watched my father as he found his way, lost it and then found it again.

Through it all, I always knew I was loved. How lucky I was!

My two sons, his grandsons, also knew he loved them. They were more than special to him; he adored them.

He loved owning and hanging out at his restaurant, The Spaghetti House, and he enjoyed cooking as much as serving drinks and talking to people.

Some people sat at the bar, others in leather booths where meals were served. Passersby stopped to talk with him. Looking back, I know that, for my father, it was the best of times. Food, friendship and family were at the heart of his life.

Remembering my father, and picturing him at a restaurant he owned is what initially inspired me to write stories that took place in a restaurant. I’m a mystery writer, so they had to be about murder, mayhem and, I thought, a fun bit of madness.

Loving short stories, I decided to write a series of short mysteries, all taking place in a restaurant called Manhattan Shadow.

I’m a New Yorker at heart and have lived there for many years, so New York was perfect as the restaurant’s location and the center of the stories’ criminal organization.

.Zero the Bookie is fashioned after my father. He also appears in my Sleuths Mystery Series along with Dick and Dora Zimmerman, reminiscent of the Thin Man characters.

The idea of adding recipes made good sense, since my father was a chef and the stories were set in a mob-owned restaurant. Then, Level Best Books, our publisher, suggested putting a recipe before each story.

I agreed. “Great idea. My son is a fabulous cook; he can create the recipes. Plus, we’ll give them names to fit the stories.

Indeed, we did. For example, “Chicken Piccata Caper,” “The Sacrificial Lamb,” “The Quiche (Kiss) of Death.” Near the end we added, “A Deadly Delicious Dessert.”

It will perhaps seem strange to some readers that those desserts are ‘donuts,’ but those donuts belong to a very important memory. When my father and mother came to visit us after we moved to Long Island, my father brought along a small donut-making machine.

I wisely disappeared from the anticipated mess.

Oh, how his grandsons loved making the donuts, adding different frostings and sprinkles and devouring them. The three of them had such fun! The experiences of those times have long belonged to my son, Jory. I believe they inspired his joy of cooking.

Here are Jory’s thoughts concerning his love of both cooking and his family ties: “Some of my earliest memories about my grandfather include making donuts with him in the kitchen of our house. I remember his kindness, patience, and love for the process as well as the end result. It gave me a lifetime passion for cooking, and a desire to learn the best techniques. It did, of course, also have the effect of creating a lifetime love affair with donuts (come on, they are nature’s perfect food). As I grew older, there were many shared meals and stories that gave me a true appreciation of my grandfather as a person.

“In my family, today, we truly look forward to our evening meals. I have three kids (2 girls, 9 and 7, and a boy 3); my grandfather would have adored them. What I cook allows my children to get know my grandfather through every bite of the cuisine he created. I hope the recipes in my mother’s books inspire good memories and experiences in others, too.”

As I considered mystery stories for the book, I thought about places familiar to me or where I like to spend time.

The story, “He’s A Dead Duck,” was a reminder of a duck pond we lived near on Long Island, years ago. I loved the idea of creating a story beginning with a duck recipe. “The Chicken Piccata Caper” was the easiest; I always ask Jory to make that delicious recipe for me when I visit. There’s a story centered in a coffee shop: I meet friends there several times a week to take a writing/computer break.

“Malled to Death” is a result of my seeing a mall at death’s door, most stores gone, when I was back east last year.

Never a dull moment in this entertaining and intriguing collection of underworld stories featuring a mob boss with plenty of axes to grind. Fascinating tales told by a talented author. As an added bonus: delicious recipes for the gourmet mobster in all of us. ~ Lida Sideris, author of the Southern California Mystery series


The Family Business

This is a collection of murder mystery stories linked by two main characters, Poppa and the Boss and at times joined by the Senior Sleuths, Dick and Dora Zimmerman and their friend, Zero the Bookie. How they get involved is often a mystery.

Poppa is head Chef for a successful restaurant, Manhattan Shadow, owned by the Boss, a powerful mobster determined to maintain control and power in his territory.

To refuse to work for him would be considered an insult. Not a good thing for Poppa’s wellbeing.

There are silent implications if one should become disloyal. There are consequences implied one doesn’t want to experience.

In the restaurants private dining room murder is often planned for all sorts of irrational reasons that seem very rational to the Boss: including power, greed, control, revenge and of course money.

The stories Poppa could tell…and does.

But who is he telling?

That’s also part of the mystery.

Of course the Senior Sleuths and Zero know.


Two Left Feet

“There has to be bodies somewhere,” the homicide detective shouted to the coroner and Forensics.

It was a detective who one day would be very important to Poppa.

“Yeah, well they sure aren’t here,” came a snarky reply.

The two left feet had been found in the backyard of a home owned by an elderly couple in a Brooklyn neighborhood off Ocean Avenue. They were more than slightly hysterical upon finding them, and immediately called the police. They watched the police search the property and the house while neighbors gathered, voyeurs to it all.

Eight days later, two left legs washed up on the sands of a private beach at the end of Coney Island. The residents of Seagate were outraged. The same detective, coroner and forensic scientist searched the area, looking for clues.

“Bodies would be nice,” snapped the coroner.

Less than a week later, a homeless man looking for a place to sleep pulled open the unlocked door of a black Toyota in a Brooklyn used car lot. He discovered two dead bodies had beat him to the spot for his comfortable night’s rest.

Again the detective showed up, the coroner arrived with two gurneys, and the forensics scientist carefully checked the inside and outside of the car. The homeless man was taken to the police station for questioning and later released.

“It’s a mob hit.” The detective shook his head.

The Mob Boss was brought in for questioning shortly after the bodies were discovered. As always where murder was involved, he had a solid alibi: “I was out of town on business. Here are my credit card receipts.”

A month earlier the whole “caper,” as they called it in The Boss’s private dining room, had been planned. It was to be executed by Marco and several other members of his criminal organization.

“This is revenge,” growled D’Angleo to his men.

“These two guys have been making an aggressive effort to take over some of our loansharking business. I want to leave a message that won’t be forgotten.”

More body parts were found throughout different neighborhoods of Manhattan and Brooklyn. Though no notes were attached, “See what happens if you mess with us!” was certainly implied.

Poppa, Head Chef, placed food on big platters in front of them, poured wine, left several bottles on the table and walked out as he always did.

He had overheard talk, “tear them limb from limb,” and when he read the news, first about the feet and legs, he knew. There was nothing he could do; if he squealed, his various body parts would also be found lying about somewhere.

Poppa sat with his wife, Vi, reading one of the many newspaper stories written about these bizarre murders. For several weeks body parts were tossed out like old shoes.

“Body parts of several men have been found throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn, scaring the elderly, causing bars to close early and seemingly sending a warning. Only, who’s sending it is a mystery. The coroner is working to identify the victims.”

The detective in charge interrogated D’Angleo several times. His gut told him he had more than a little to do with the atrocious murders.

“Come on Alan, we’ve known each other for years. This is right up your alley, and happening in your territory.

“Hey, I’m a legitimate businessman with customers from Manhattan to Brighton Beach at the end of Ocean Avenue. I don’t go into the Russian’s territory. I respect it belongs to them.”

Both the detective and the Mob Boss knew no one fooled with the Russians. The first time any man messed with them, he lost a very essential male body part!

The various body parts were eventually identified as belonging to three men who were members of another criminal organization. For the time being, it would be an unsolved case.

At least for the time being.

Chicken Piccata was served the night those three men had dinner in the private dining room of the Manhattan Shadow, prior to their unseemly demise. Poppa heard D’Angelo laugh out loud and call it the Chicken Piccata Caper.

Apparently, mobsters appreciated a good meal as well as a good murder!


Chicken Piccata “Caper”
Cauliflower Rice and Fresh Italian Bread

Chicken Piccata is a classic recipe filled with an amazing lemon butter flavor. Place the Piccata over the fresh cauliflower rice (or standard rice, if you prefer) and let the sauce coat the rice for the ideal bite. Use the bread to soak up any extra sauce. The meal is the perfect complement to the crisp, clean taste of the Sauvignon Blanc.

4 skinless and boneless chicken breasts (The thinner the cutlet the better, as it will cook easier and more evenly. If you have thicker breasts, use a meat mallet or rolling pin to pound thin/flatten out.)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
All-purpose flour, for dredging
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup brined capers, rinsed
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Season chicken with salt and pepper, then dredge in flour and shake off excess.

In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter with 3 tablespoons olive oil. When butter and oil start to sizzle, add 2 pieces of chicken and cook for 3 minutes. When chicken is browned, flip and cook other side for 3 minutes. Remove and transfer to plate. Melt 2 more tablespoons butter. When butter starts again to sizzle, add the other 2 pieces of chicken and brown both sides in same manner. Remove pan from heat and add chicken to the plate.

Into the pan add the lemon juice, stock and capers. Return to stove and bring to boil, scraping up brown bits from the pan for extra flavor. Add seasoning to taste and return all the chicken to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove chicken to platter. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter to sauce and whisk vigorously. Pour sauce over chicken and garnish with parsley.

Wine Pairing: Sauvignon Blanc.


M. Glenda Rosen is author of a total of ten books including The Gourmet Gangster: Mysteries and Menus by The Family published by Level Best Books. They are also her publisher for The Senior Sleuth Mystery Series, and will be republishing all four books in her Dying To Be Beautiful Mystery Series. She has won several book awards, was founder and owner of a successful marketing and public relations agency for many years, receiving numerous awards for her work with business and professional women. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, LA and Alb.NM, Central Coast Writers and Public Safety Writer’s Association

She currently resides in Carmel, California and can be reached at:

Books by M. Glenda Rosen (aka Marcia Rosen)
The Gourmet Gangster, Mysteries and Menus by The Family (Marcia and Son Jory Rosen)
The Senior Sleuths Mysteries: Dead In Seat 4-A
The Senior Sleuths Mysteries: Dead In Bed
The Senior Sleuths Mysteries: Dead In THAT Beach House (2020)
Dying To Be Beautiful: Without A Head
Dying To Be Beautiful: Fashion Queen Dying To Be Beautiful: Fake Beauty Dying To Be Beautiful: Fat Free
My Memoir Workbook
The Woman’s Business Therapist:Eliminate the MindBlocks & RoadBlocks to Success

Jory Rosen has been in the advertising and marketing business for over 30 years and is the owner of the J. Rosen Group, a full-service international advertising, branding and direct marketing agency.

For over two decades, Jory Rosen has set the tone for strong, innovative, and successful campaigns, while providing a flexibility and level of personal client service rarely seen in the industry has extensive experience in all areas of advertising, direct response and marketing including sales, production direct mail, email, web, TV, radio, alternative media and more. In addition, with over 150 campaigns under the belt, there is a strong track record of success.

Jory’s passions are his family, cooking and wine. Jory worked as a cooking demonstrator for many years in NYC and now takes the show on the road by doing cooking demonstrations for his kid’s schools and classrooms. He often cooks meals with his kids and loves seeing their reactions to new recipes and meals.

They live in Los Angeles, California.

Amazon buy link:

The book is $0.99.


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