Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What series do you have and in what order should I read?

The Riley Forte Suspense Thrillers

I recommend starting out with this series. It kicks off with the explosive Nocturne in Ashes, which traps Riley in a perilous isolated community and pits her against a serial killer who harbors a special interest.

Book two of the series, Staccato Passage, is scheduled for release September 26, 2024. Recruited by an elite, under-the-radar security firm, concert pianist Riley Forte trains to go undercover at an ultra-secret spy school in the heart of Bavaria where she encounters treachery and gets the education of a lifetime.

Book three is underway and slated for release in time for summer reading in 2025.

Right now, I have seven books planned for the series, though it could stretch far beyond that when all is said and done.

The Steadman Mysteries

Next, I would suggest The Steadman Mysteries, which spin off the riveting thriller novel, Steadman’s Blind.

These are short stories featuring Chief Steadman and his partner, Frost, as their adventures continue. The third book in the series, Cold Hands, Warm Heart, was chosen by Amor Towles as one of The Best Mystery Stories of the Year, 2023 and published in the Otto Penzler release from Mysterious Press.

The books don’t necessarily need to be read in any order. Here they are, listed in the order they were published:

Kissed by the Snow Angel

Broken

Cold Hands, Warm Heart

Miscarriage of Justice

The stories generally first appear in major mystery magazines or anthologies. When the rights revert back to me, I publish them as part of the series. At some future point, I plan to compile them into one volume as Steadman Mystery collection.

The Tal Bannerman Thrillers

The Tal Bannerman series presents short, snappy thrillers that read like Mission Impossible meets Get Smart, and feature Homeland Security agent, Tal Bannerman and his partner, Carl Wrigley.

I’ve written four of them, but only have the rights back on two. More to follow. This is a very fun series, and I plan to produce a lot more of these!

Green Storm Rising

The Bermuda Triangle Blueprint Exchange (appearing in Thrill Ride Magazine, June 2024)

A Very Krampus Christmas

The Cathryn Harcourt Mystery Shorts

If you like things a little cozier, this is as close as I get. I created my Cathryn Harcourt character when I was invited to write a guest post for The Write Destination, a website dedicated to learning from the masterworks of various mystery greats. I was asked to write a story in the style of Agatha Christie…and Cathryn was born.

Of course, Cathryn is no Miss Marple. She has her own voice and personality. Though if you read The Sodden Spectators, that first story which was featured on The Write Destination, you may detect shades of that wonderful old lady detective.

Again, you needn’t read the Cathryn Harcourt Mystery Shorts in order. Here they are, as published:

The Sodden Spectators

Cromwell’s Echo

Facing the Diamond-Hard Truth

Because of Louisa

Like the Steadman Mysteries, these stories first appear in magazines or anthologies before I publish them in this series. I have plans to compile a collection of Cathryn Harcourt Mystery Shorts in the Fall of 2024.

Historical Suspense

The only thing that ties these Historical Suspense stories together is that they all take place in earlier times. If you like historical mysteries, I encourage you to explore these and read the ones with settings or situations that intrigue you.

In order of publication, they are:

The Wolf & Lamb (Victorian London, a theory regarding the possible fate of Jack the Ripper)

Rough Musick (17th century Cornish mining town, one woman’s break from the grasp of superstition)

Captive (17th century English village, a young woman wrongfully imprisoned and slated for the hangman’s noose)

The Javelin in Her Hand (ancient Egypt, in the midst of political intrigue, a young laundress seeks vengeance)

Many more to come in this series.

Q: I’ve heard that Nocturne in Ashes and Steadman’s Blind are related. Do I have to read both to enjoy or understand the stories?

Nocturne In Ashes shares the same time frame and setting as Steadman’s Blind—during the devastating aftermath of Mt. Rainier’s eruption.

In Nocturne, a series of murders occurs and the county sheriff’s office dispatches officers to the scene. When you read Nocturne, you see that it takes them three days to arrive.

When you read Steadman’s Blind, you find out why. This book is the story behind those three days…and so much more. You’ll join Chief Steadman and his partner, Deputy Frost, on their riveting and perilous journey to reach Riley.

The two stories briefly intersect in a couple of chapters, so if you’ve read one book, you’ll get to see some of the scenes through another character’s eyes. I think that makes it more fun and interesting for the reader to get those different perspectives.

So, you don’t have to read both books to understand and enjoy one or the other. But I highly recommend it. Each can be read as a stand-alone, but it’s more fun reading them together!

Q: How did you get started writing and what motivates you to keep going?

From the time I was old enough to hold a book and turn the pages, I knew I’d be a writer someday.

I also knew I’d have to wait until the right season of my life to start living that dream. There was a lot I needed to experience and learn first, and I would have made a lousy mother if I tried to write with young children at home.

The writing consumes me, taking all my time, attention, and affection when I’m in the midst of it. Our youngest child flew the nest in November 2016, and I published my first novel July 2017. Fortunately, I have a wonderful and very supportive husband who’s also my biggest fan.

What motivates me is you. I am so passionate about writing because I want to create the kind of reading experiences for others that so many fantastic authors have done for me over the years.

When I sit down to write, I am thinking of you—my ideal reader—and how I can meet your expectations and satisfy your cravings for mystery, suspense, twists, surprises, thrills, and human connection.

Thank you!