The Pauline Sokol Mystery Series - Lori Avocato

The Pauline Sokol Series is a “Thirty-something House meets Scrubs” series. Each novel is a wonderful medical-world story enlivened by an exceptionally fun and sassy voice about a burned out registered nurse who becomes a medical insurance fraud investigator only to be yanked back into the nursing field by an experienced hunk of an investigator who she just can’t say no to--until she keeps stumbling upon dead bodies. Humor, suspense, mystery and sex abound!

I started the series after reading a humorous mystery and deciding I wanted to read more like it. After looking in the bookstores to no avail, I decided I would have to write my own. But, what to write about? Well, I was an ex-nurse. Hm. Good heroine. Smart, organized, logical. Made sense. But where to set the series. If I used a hospital, how many dead bodies could be found before they shut the place down! There'd go my series. So, I had to think more. Living near Hartford, CT helped. Hartford is "the insurance capital" so it made sense to use that. Medical insurance fraud came to mind. After researching the topic, plot after plot was clearly set before me.

A Dose of Murder was written in which the burned out nurse, Pauline Sokol, was born. She hated nursing and wanted nothing to do with it. So when the hunk gets her assignment after assignment in medicine, she's about ready to commit murder--of him! Oh, that hunk is the mysterious Jagger, who surfaces in all the books of the series. Yum!

I followed up with The Stiff and the Dead, about Viagra fraud and the senior citizens. Then, One Dead Under the Cuckoo's Nest about mental health fraud where Jagger shanghais Pauline into a locked institution. She finally gets a little vacation on the high seas in Deep Sea Dead, but there are those pesky dead bodies discovered along with more medical insurance fraud. In Nip, Tuck, Dead, Pauline gets her best friend Goldie involved in a plastic surgery fraud ring--but his proboscis escapes unscathed.

So, when it was time to plot out book #6 of the series, I met a great contact. A real-life, burned out paramedic named ER Dano. ER became a character, Pauline has a new love interest and air and land ambulance fraud runs rampant in Dead On Arrival. The research, listening to ER Dano share some of his experiences, was a hoot and gave me some fantastic jumping off points for her book, which is a July 1, 2007 release.

Lori Avocato------http://www.loriavocato.com


ORINOCO - James A Ciullo

Idealism clashes with greed and opportunism

“The cover design is very nice, but what is ‘Orinoco’?” Many have asked me. It is understandable that many people are not that familiar with South American Geography, so I explain that the Orinoco is the major river in Venezuela. Its mysterious brown waters twist and turn in a northeasterly direction from Venezuela’s southern tip before filtering through Delta Amacuro out to the Atlantic.

From 1969 through 1971, I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in an Orinoco River port city that was rapidly establishing itself as a commercial center. It is where the idea for my novel was born, some 36 years before publication. One night, several of my fellow volunteers and I were sitting around a cold case of Venezuela’s renowned Polar beer lamenting what might happen to our projects without carryover funding once we concluded our service.

Enter our middle-aged friend from the international business world, an American with a flair for adventure. He had just returned from a trip to Caracas where he had been in a meeting with some bankers. Popping his first cold one, he proceeded to explain that he was now privy to the location of $6 million worth of copper smuggled from Germany by the Nazi underground after WWII. He said that it was in a lightly guarded storage yard and that he could get his hands on the trucks necessary to steal it and take it away.

Fueled by the Polar beers, we began to speculate about how we could get away with it, where we could hide it, and how we might liquidate it to cash. Since it would entail stealing from ex-Nazis, there was no downside from a moral standpoint. But there was some discussion of potential reprisal. Needless to say, the next day’s sobriety brought with it a restoration of reason and we never pursued the heist.

Nevertheless, the “what-if” speculation took root in my imagination for the next 30 years. For the copper, I substituted looted WWII art—a subject that has received some due attention on the international stage. In my novel, the Peace Corps Volunteers indeed pursue the heist. They view it as a win-win situation. But the main story line, which takes place in 1998, puts that premise into question when Joe LaCarta decides to run for the US Senate in Vermont as an Independent. The mystery, suspense, and a taste of romance unfold from there.

In the flashback portion of the novel, I afforded myself the opportunity to re-live some of the laughs, good times, and lessons about life. The actual experience was a nice starting point from which to roll out the fictional scenario.
---Jim Ciullo, Author

Published by Five Star Mystery www.gale.com/fivestar/

(Release Date—late June 2007)


Renee Russell

KATE’S PRIDE is my debut novel. A lot of people have asked me where the idea for the story came from and how I came to write it.

KATE’S PRIDE is actually based very loosely on one of my great great grandmothers. I’d been bitten by the genealogy bug years earlier, but when I was researching the branch of my family that descended from Kate, I came to a screeching halt with her. All I could find out beyond public record information was that she’d had two illegitimate children and been disowned by her family not long after the end of the Civil War. I couldn’t find out who that family was. I still haven’t found out – even though I continue to take a stab at it occasionally.

Before I began writing KATE’S PRIDE I’d find myself up at 3AM poring over genealogy sites and all the paper documentation I’d managed to locate trying to find that elusive piece that would give me the names of Kate’s parents. It had to be there somewhere. I knew if I kept trying I’d eventually find it. Didn’t happen. My life became frustration station with regard to Kate and it drove me up the wall. The less I could find, the more I wanted to know. The more I had to know. Can you say obsession?

Eventually, my husband suggested I write a book about Kate. I sniffed. What did he know about writing a book? Didn’t he know if it was easy everybody would do it? And I was surprised because I’d never told him my secret dream had always been to be an author. I’d never shown him the poems and short stories I’d written over the years.

His suggestion sat there in the back of my mind. Whispering in my ear. Here’s your chance. You can give yourself some closure on Kate AND take a shot at your dream.

I think the scariest part was worrying about what my family would think of the story I was telling. Kate’s story isn’t a happy one. How could it be? She’d been left to raise two children with no one to lean on. In a world that had been turned upside down by war and a world where women had no value or rights outside their own family.

I pushed aside those worries about what the family would say and wrote the story I thought could be true based on the time and place and circumstances. Is KATE’S PRIDE the real story? No. I can never know that because her real story is lost in the mists of time. But I wrote the truest story I could think of. The story of a woman who took the worst life handed her and made a place for herself and her children.

Last Sunday was Decoration at the church where Kate is buried. When I placed my flowers on her grave, I impulsively pulled a bookmark from my purse, put it among the flowers and, silently, said to her. “I hope you approve.”

I hope you’ll want to read Kate’s story and find out how she made that life for herself.

Stop by and visit me at www.reneerussell.com to find out more about me, Kate and my next book release this fall. A romantic suspense under the pen name Darcy McKenna. You can also friend me at http://www.myspace.com/reneerussellauthor

I look forward to hearing from you!



Tessa Radley - Rich Man's Revenge

When Passion And Danger Collide

When I started writing RICH MAN'S REVENGE, my June 2007 release from Silhouette Desire, I wrote it for myself. I often find that the seeds of an idea come from the book that goes before. The manuscript I had completed before I started writing Rich Man's Revenge had been a romantic suspense. 90 000 words. Complicated. Exhausting. I wanted to write something short, intense, with lots of spark between the hero and heroine…but I wanted that edginess that a hint of danger brings to passion. And I wanted to write a revenge story…I've always loved reading Harlequin Presents novels with a revenge plot…so my hero, Rico D'Alessio had to be an Italian. No one does revenge better than a gorgeous Italian hero.

Danielle Sinclair is a bit of a modern day fairy princess. I drew a little on fairy tale mythology. Rapunzel in her tower perhaps. Even Sleeping Beauty a little. Danielle is a good girl. She's been given everything she's ever wanted in life…except freedom. She's as trapped as the ancient fairytale princesses. Rico D'Alessio lies on the other side of the scale. He's worldly, powerful, a widower…and a man who returns with a mission. Revenge. That's what he wants more than anything in the world.

Because of what happened to him at the hands of the Sinclair family Rico became an exile. He roamed the world and set up a successful business as a kidnap retrieval expert. He's dark and more than a little damaged by the time he comes back into Danielle's world, a dark angel of death and dishonor. His arrival is well-timed, because Danielle is in danger. His solution? A marriage of convenience. But Danielle is no passive, perfect princess…she makes choices which are sometimes flawed and have consequences that both she and Rico have to face.

While RICH MAN'S REVENGE is not a romantic suspense—there's no space for a complex suspense plot in such a short book, but the backdrop against which they fall in love is a world full of bodyguards and threats, double cross and betrayals…and a fake wedding. I had such a blast writing it. And I was so sorry to let these characters go that I think my next proposal to my editor may have to be a story linked to RICH MAN'S REVENGE.

Tessa Radley's debut Silhouette Desire BLACK WIDOW BRIDE hit the shelves in March this year, and her second book is a June 2007 release. She loves the magic of creating characters who fall in love…despite the odds stacked against them.