Tag Archive for: Stiletto Gang

Untitled Post

Dancing for You – the Magic of Red Shoes by
Debra H. Goldstein

shoes have always had a magical place in literature and film. Whether dancing,
as in The Red Shoes fairytale by
Hans Christian Anderson and the classic movie, The Red Shoes, or being how Dorothy gets home in the Wizard of Oz (the ruby red slippers), red
shoes were accorded magical powers. In each story, the protagonist must change
and grow before the curse associated with the shoes is lifted and the shoes can
finally be removed.

traditionally use red blood to signal the occurrence of criminal acts.  Whether pools of blood, blood spatter
patterns, or ooze from a wound, readers immediately conjure up images of

When I
joined the Stiletto Gang, the logo was a red stiletto heel fashioned with a
dagger. It immediately charmed me. I’d found a group of like-minded writers of
mystery and romance.

up with fashion, a few years ago, we updated our heel to a more golden tone
with a wider toe box. It was an elegant logo that reflected the composition of
the Stiletto Gang, but I missed the internal excited sensation stimulated by the
red coloring.

change every season. Authors come and go, but one thing is constant – our
relationship with you.

fashion, the members of the Stiletto Gang also have evolved.  Our writing is more diverse, sharper, and
whether comical, romantic, or pure mystery, more defined. Together, we agreed
to modify our shoe to be more reflective of the times and us. 

I was
thrilled when our resident graphic guru, Bethany Maines, proposed a red
stiletto logo. To me, our new logo is magical. 
I hope it will keep you looking for it every day. You see, without you
supporting and enjoying our writing, our efforts are for naught. For you, we
will gladly dance in the wind indefinitely. Do you like our new red shoes?

Dancing in Red Shoes

by Bethany Maines

We are celebrating our new logo this month and discussing
what our red stiletto means to us.  As I
have been recently taking a trip through the Grimm’s Fairy Tales and the
stories of Hans Christian Anderson, I was immediately reminded of the story of
the Red Shoes. In the
story an orphan girl gets a pair of red shoes and makes the mistake of wearing
them to church. She’s very pleased with her red shoes and give a little dance
step and from that moment on is cursed to dance whether she wants to or not.  Eventually, she gets a woodcarver and
occasional town executioner to chop off her feet.  He carves her a pair of wooden feet, she begs
forgiveness and eventually is allowed to return to church and presumably her
life of appropriate poverty and boring clothes. 
The story is a very obvious warning about dressing above ones station,
acting without proper humility and of course having the audacity to be a pretty
girl.  To which I say… bring on the red
shoes, let’s go dancing.
Red stilettos are sexy, daring, and commanding, all of which
are dangerous things for women to be whether it’s 18th century
Germany or 21st century America. The Stiletto Gang doesn’t require
our members to wear stilettos, but we do embrace the idea that there isn’t a
particular way women ought to be.  Our members are diverse in ethnicity, ages,
and outlook , but we all share the idea that women can be (and write) what they
want.  To me that’s what the red shoe
stands for—boldly embracing women’s right to be powerful.
Many thanks to my Stiletto sisters for their continued
support and now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a little dancing to do.
Want to know more about upcoming releases from Bethany Maines?  Join the Blue Zephyr Press Readers Group.  You’ll receive a free e-short from Bethany Maines and get updates about new releases and sales from the Blue Zephyr Press authors.    WWW.BLUEZEPHYRPRESS.COM
Bethany Maines is the author of the Carrie Mae Mystery Series, San Juan Islands Mysteries, Shark Santoyo Crime Series, and numerous
short stories. When she’s not traveling to exotic lands, or kicking some
serious butt with her fourth degree black belt in karate, she can be found
chasing her daughter or glued to the computer working on her next novel. You
can also catch up with her on
YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.

The Kick Off: An Ode to High Heels

by J.M. Phillippe

This month we at the Stiletto Gang are celebrating the return of our (new and improved) red stiletto shoe by sharing our thoughts and feelings about shoes, stilettos, and what it’s been like to be part of this particular gang.

I have never been a high-heels girl. I own a few pairs, but prefer the widest, steadiest heel I can get. A thick heeled boot was my go-to during my clubbing days, and for fancy occasions, I aimed for something in a kitten heel or spool heel, something that felt a little more stable. When wedges were in, I was very pleased (even if I thought they were kinda ugly).

I mostly wear high heels for weddings or other times when it is imperative that my footwear look appropriate. Inevitably, this means that as soon as the dancing gets going, my shoes will find their way to a corner or be shoved under a chair–I never have managed to master the art of dancing in heels. In fact, my favorite thing about high heels is how they give me an excuse to take them off, giving me the freedom to dance barefoot (but still on my toes).

It is well known that even the world’s most comfortable high heels will, eventually, hurt the feet they encase. There are countless studies that suggest that regularly wearing them are bad for your feet, but that wearing them can make you appear more attractive, more feminine, and be more persuasive. In the cost-benefit analysis, women often decide that wearing them is better than not wearing them. They have held an allure for women since they were girls trying to fit their feet into their mother’s shoes, and no make-over movie montage is ever complete without the requite “learn to walk in heels” scene, which some of lived out in our own, non-movie lives.

But if wearing your first pair of heels is a right of passage for girls and femmes, that right of passage isn’t complete until that same person has kicked said shoes off. If all pleasure is derived from the relief of tension, then the feeling of finally launching a pair of particularly painful heels across the room is indeed ecstasy.

I will never relate to anything more than when Emma Thompson, one of my favorite actresses of all time, took her high heels off at the 2014 Golden Globes. She then threw them over her shoulder and presented an award barefooted. In fact, many actresses have started pushing back against the expectation that women HAVE to wear shoes. Kirsten Stewart famously took her own heels off at the 2018 Cannes Festival despite strict dress guidelines.

If the high heel is the symbol of the Femme Fatale, taking that same high heel off is the symbol of the Every Woman. It is the woman who has completed a day of work, made it through a long event, or decided that even if the event isn’t done, her feet are. Her toes now have room to stretch and wiggle, and the ball of her feet can share her weight more evenly with her heel. The high-heel kick off is one of life’s great joys.

What I love about being part of The Stiletto Gang is that I don’t have to be a high-heels girl to fit in. This particular group is very inclusive, encompassing a wide variety of writers, making space for different styles and even genres. This group is filled with my kind of women–women who are bold enough to put themselves out there, and make their voices heard. They are the anti-Cannes Festival, letting participants show up in whatever footwear suits them. And I am very proud to be part of this gang.


J.M. Phillippe is the author of the novels Perfect Likeness and Aurora One and the short stories, The Sight and Plane Signals. She has lived in the deserts of California, the suburbs of Seattle, and the mad rush of New York City. She works as a clinical social worker in Brooklyn, New York and spends her free time binge-watching quality TV, drinking cider with amazing friends, and learning the art of radical self-acceptance, one day at a time.

Red Shoes! The Stiletto Gang’s New Look – an Open Clicking Our Heels Letter to Our Readers

Shoes! The Stiletto Gang’s New Look– an Open Clicking Our Heels Letter to Our Readers


adore you. It is a joy to know you habitually read our posts directly from our
blog page, through an e-mail subscription, or from our Facebook page. Your
comments telling us you appreciate the diversity of our writings, backgrounds,
and personalities gives us the incentive to write our next blogs. Because you
support us, it is our constant goal to provide you with the best experience possible.
That means not only the words we give you, but the visual experience, too.

years ago, our first logo featured a stiletto and a spiked red heel. A few
years ago, we updated our website to reflect the changes happening in fashion
and with our bloggers. The result was a new logo, featuring a gold platform
shoe. It was beautiful.

your comments and clicks, we know you are enjoying what we are doing, but we
are not willing to stand on the status quo. It is our pledge to continue to
produce diverse and edgy writings that let you into our inner thoughts as
people and writers. To support this promise and keeping ourselves in the height
of style, we are introducing an updated logo:

What do
you think?

September and October, each member of the Stiletto Gang will be writing a blog
that reflects our different thoughts on red shoes. Subscribe to the blog, leave a comment on today’s
post, comment on the various September and October red shoe blogs, and let your friends
know about our logo change and we’ll keep track of what you each do. Check the November Clicking Our
Heels to see how we recognize the person who earned the most points doing any and all of these four things the most. Oh, and one more thing – next month Clicking Our Heels will be back to its first Wednesday position and Judy Penz Sheluk’s October post will be on the first Monday.

We can’t
wait to hear from you. As we said, we adore you. 

The Stiletto Gang


By AB Plum

Expecting Kay Kendall’s byline? Kay’s on hiatus this week, and I’m subbing.

Years ago (after we stopped chiseling words of wisdom in stone and around the invention of the printing press), I wrote a full page of “high school-news” every week for my daily newspaper.

Like Hemingway and others, I created on my Royal manual typewriter. I met my deadline every week—no matter what. I usually had a minimum of six to eight articles—laid out in columns. Memory says I earned about $.02/word so I sometimes padded my news.

Thinking about those journalistic feats, I realize I was never at a loss for words—or for topics. Now, some days, I find myself reaching for the right word or subject.

In turn, I wonder how many words now exist in English?

Google that question (or variations on it) and you’ll come up with differing views—some of which are pretty close to nit-picking.

Other questions then arise.
  • How many words does the average American use every day?
  • Is it scientifically accurate that men have a more limited vocabulary than women?
  • What’s the most common verb in English?
  • How many words does the average person speak/read a minute?
  • How many words can the typical six-year-old read/speak?
  • How many words do we use in a typical day on our cell phones?

You can see, the list goes on and on and on without asking how many words a writer writes every day? Or how many words in a 300-page novel? Or how do we writers decide on chapter length? Or how many words in a typical sentence? (Ask Hemingway, then read Stephen King). 

And OBTW, who, historically, is the most prolific writer in the English language?

I always thought it was Nora Roberts. Check here for some surprises. Here are a few more authors who, taken as a group, must’ve have used every word in our Mother Tongue.

Our Stiletto Gang blogs tend toward between 300-800 words. In these busy times, that seems about “write” to me. While I could wax on about this subject, I won’t. I am, after all, subbing for Kay. Expect her back on the third Wednesday in June.

In the meantime, enjoy a good book, letting the power of words take you into a new place, meet new characters, solve crimes, travel into space, slay a dragon, fall in love, and maybe shed a few tears.

Who’da thunk 26 letters could bring forth such awesome experiences?
AB Plum writes dark, psychological thrillers. She turned out about 500,000 words in the seven-volume MisFit Series. She gave up counting how many words she sliced and diced during edits. She lives in Silicon Valley.

Clicking Our Heels: Our Virginia Woolf Places to Write

Clicking Our Heels: Our Virginia Woolf
Places to Write
Woolf famously said women writers need a room of their own.
This month, we asked the members of The
Stiletto Gang: Where do you write? Are you happy with it? How would you change
it if you could? What do you think our answers demonstrate about each of
Aragon Fatula
: When I’m
alone in my camper, I feel like I’m in a cabin in the wilderness and I can read
or write without interruption. I should mention the camper has heat/ac, fridge,
stove, microwave, generator, and a great big queen size bed; I sleep like a log
at night. I feel like it’s my room of my own.
: Where I write
is satisfactory, but I would prefer to be in a standalone little building in
our back garden. As it is, I make do in the third bedroom in my house, and it
doubles as a guestroom, workout room, and attic. It is a mess, and I call it
the writer’s lair, to signify that it is dark and messy. Oh yes, such a mess.
Debra H. Goldstein: It
depends on what I’m writing. Although I tend to mail things from the formal

office I have upstairs (a bedroom I converted to an office when we bought this
house), I write in different rooms with show music playing in the background. The
living room is where I write if I’m looking for peace and happiness because I
like the way I pulled oranges and blues together in there.  My leather recliner in the den is perfect for
male oriented pieces because the décor is Joel’s sports memorabilia. The place
I do most of my writing though is in my father’s oversized chair, which now
resides in our master bedroom. Because my father had long legs, like I do, the
chair was designed to accommodate him. When my sister and I were young we
played our imaginary games using this chair as a covered wagon, tent base, or
as matching steeds (it has great arms).

J.M. Phillippe: I live alone
so I suppose my entire apartment is a room of my own. I don’t think I utilize
it enough or have it set up the way it should be to promote regular writing. I
wish I had space for a desk. (New York Housing is very small.) And more book
Linda Rodriguez: I’ll
be setting up my office in our new house as soon as we get everything

It will be much smaller than my old office, but I think it’s going to be more
efficient and nicer, plus it won’t share space with my spinning/weaving studio,
which will be located in another part of the house. It’s light and has a nice
storage closet, plus lots of electrical outlets. It also has a snazzy new
ceiling light and ceiling fan. It opens right out to the front door, so I could
meet with my developmental editing clients at my home if I wanted to. The big
plus is the opportunity to design it from the ground up instead of dealing with
what was already there.

Penz Sheluk
: I love my Philipsburg Blue office at home, and I love writing
while watching Lake Superior at our camp in Northern Ontario, though not so
much the space (kitchen table). If I could combine the two, that would be
amazing. Mostly I love that my Golden Retriever, Gibbs, lies by my feet
wherever I’m writing.
Mary Lee Woods:
I have recently redone my office, moving it from the basement of our house to
the second floor. We’ve repurposed a guest bedroom with a new bamboo floor,
painted the walls a soft gray, and added a few bookshelves. And a window perch
for Sparkle, my cat. Not an expensive remodel but it created a great workspace
for me. My one splurge was a stand-up desk and I love it! It easily adjusts so
that I can sit or stand and I take full advantage of that ability to move
between the two. I am happy with the office and thrilled with the desk!

Anita Carter
– I write in my office and I love it. If I could change anything, I’d like
two or three more bookshelves. Unfortunately, my office isn’t THAT big. 🙂
Dru Ann Love: I write my
musings in my living room and I wouldn’t change it as I have the space I need.
A.B. Plum: At the risk of
redundancy, I love my cluttered, book-filled office with all kinds of
memorabilia. My only lament is that it’s not big enough, but it is MINE. Being
mine matters the most.
T.K. Thorne: I would put the ocean in my yard. Otherwise,
I am happy with my porch.
Shari Randall:  I write
at my dining room table, mainly because it has big windows and is the sunniest
room in the house (my husband says I’m part cat – I follow the sun). But
because of those big windows, it’s also the most distracting room in the house
– I can’t help but keep tabs on the neighborhood. So when writing gets serious,
I go to the library and camp out in a study carrel. No distractions, but I’d
put in a big sunny window near it if I could.
Bethany Maines: I
write frequently in my office, but I’m happier if I can write on the couch or
bed.  I’m going to say that it’s because
I think better lying down, but it could just be that I’m lazy.  Either way, I would love to have some sort of
giant recliner with a suspension desk that would hold my laptop.  It would be awesome.

Clicking Our Heels – Television and the Gang

New Year’s Resolution – Don’t leave blogs
until last minute. New Year’s Reality – Oops!

I cannot tell a lie.  Between a self-imposed deadline, holiday fun,
and a million other things, I spent last night sprawled in front of the television
vegging out. I completely forgot the first Wednesday of 2018 fell two days
after January 1 because I was engrossed in the Tuesday night line-up of NCIS,
Bull, NCIS-New Orleans, and Major Crimes (which I will miss!).  Now you know my guilty pleasures, but here
are some of my blog mates’ favorite TV shows and a word about how they
influenced them. Me? Mindless joy. – Debra
H. Goldstein.

Judy Penz Sheluk: Gilmore Girls. Great
writing and a stellar example of character development. I also loved the 2016
Netflix four-part series that caught us up on the characters as they are today.

Bethany Maines: I’ve had several favorite TV shows over the
years.  I usually tend toward shows that
have a humorous or whimsical take on life, but with realistic characters. From
Better off Ted, to Firefly, to Buffy the Vampire Slayer and even the West Wing,
all of them had very serious characters who must contend with the superb
ridiculousness that is life.  I think my
writing reflects that taste.

Shari Randall: Did it ever. My favorite show as a child was
The Avengers. From the moment I first saw super cool, catsuit-clad
martial arts expert Emma Peel, that’s who I’ve wanted to be. Hasn’t quite
worked out that way, but her panache, her boots, her style inspire me. I
occasionally try a few of her poses when I’m psyching myself up to write.

Jennae Phillippe: Star
Trek: The Next Generation — full of progressive values and characters that
cared a lot about doing the right thing. Also responsible for a lot of my
teenage crushes. But I think what I remember most was their willingness to
tackle an issue and not have a clear message about how people should think
about it. It was okay for people to debate and disagree. I wish modern times
were more like that. 

TK Thorne: Don’t watch much TV, but when the new Battlestar Galactica was
on, I couldn’t wait to see it because everything you thought you knew got
turned on its head frequently. I realized that was an important part of
enticing drama and try to incorporate that concept into my writing.

B.A. Plum: The GOOD WIFE served as a good model for the kind of female
character I wanted to paint on the page. Alicia was much savvier than my
heroine, AnnaSophia in The Dispensable

Dru Ann Love: Mary Tyler Moore Show. She showed that women can do anything
that a man can do and still be feminine at the same time.

:  Star Trek.
To this day, if someone’s trying to bully or emotionally manipulate me by
threatening a public scene, I go into Spock mode and become more and more controlled
and infuriatingly calm as they up the threats or bad behavior. It’s never
failed me yet. It passed into the next generation, and now my grown son uses
the same technique.

Juliana Aragon
: The Walking Dead characters are larger than
life, pun intended. My characters in The Colorado Sisters may seem
strange to some readers but are based on people I know and love, even the
villains. My Atlanta Butcher killer cuts up the billionaire Reggie Hartless who
likes to grab pussies. He gets butchered. Many of the women are strong
characters that kick ass in stilettoes and cowgirl boots.

Clicking Our Heels – Movies That Makes Us Laugh and Cry

Clicking Our Heels – Movies That Make Us Laugh and Cry
Like books, movies impact emotions.
The Stiletto Gang thought we’d suggest some of our favorite films for a good
laugh or cry.

Dru Ann LoveImitation of Life made my cry. What’s
Up Doc
made me laugh.

Paula Benson – During times of stress,
I have three go-to-movies that always life me up with laughter and make me
ready to face the world again: Legally
, Bridget Jones Diary, and Shakespeare in Love.  Then, I have to admit a real fondness for Sneakers, due to all the wonderful
performers, the puzzles, and the conclusion.
Cathy PerkinsCollateral Beauty (made me cry). I watched this one on the plane
coming back from a business trip. Will Smith stars in this movie about a parent’s
grief over losing a child.
Juliana Aragon Fatula Gone With
the Wind
– Don’t listen to Miss Prissy. She don’t know nuttin’ bout birthin’
no baby. Yellowbird and Blazing Saddles always make me laugh.                                                                                                                     
Linda RodriguezSongcatcher is a movie I’ve loved that didn’t get a lot of
attention, but it’s a superb little film about the Great Smokies, the original
homeland of my people, and always makes me cry.
Bethany Maines Clue – A movie based on a board game should never work, but not
only does Clue work, it succeeds
brilliantly. The dialogue is razor sharp and delivered at a machine gun pace by
actors working at their best. Tim Curry anchors the movie with a wicked grin
and the rest of the cast from Eileen Brennan, to Christopher Lloyd, and
Madeline Kahn fill the screen with enough shenanigans that it needs multiple
viewings to catch all the jokes.  Added
to the acting is some brilliant editing that operates the movie in real time (a
character says “the police will be here in thirty minutes” and you can time it
yourself, the police do indeed show up in thirty minutes), and gives the viewer
a multiple choice ending. It makes me laugh EVERY time I watch it. I wish more
people were aware of it, because it’s truly a classic.
Kay KendallFrench Kiss (starring Meg Ryan and Kevin Kline, released in 1995)
has several scenes that make me laugh out loud, no matter how times I watch it.
Kevin Kline is a delightfully sly Frenchman forced to turn crook, and Meg Ryan
plays his unwitting accomplice, an American tourist running from her fiancé who
two-timed her.
Debra H. Goldstein – No matter how many
times I see it, the subtle and not so subtle lines in Miss Congeniality make me laugh. Similarly, as hokey as the movie
can be, there is a moment in An Affair to
that always make teary eyed.
Sparkle Abbey:
– There are so many!  Movies that make me
laugh in no particular order: The Princess
Bride, Planes Trains and Automobiles, Airplane,
The Great Outdoors, Steel Magnolias (it makes me cry too!), and
Some Like it Hot.  Movies that make me cry: Imitation of Life, An Affair
Remember, Penny Serenade, Marley and Me,
My Dog Skip, Old Yeller.
– Oh my, Ditto on all of Anita’s list. I cried for a couple of days
when I saw Old Yeller. Another for me
is Toy Story 3. I know it’s animated
but it always makes me cry. It is so funny and great for kids, but also
extremely poignant. The main “toy” story and the human sub-plot is all about
growing and changing. As far as movies that make me laugh: All of Me, Birdcage, Miss Congeniality, Airplane, and I loved The
Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Jennae Phillippe – So many! The one
that comes to mind these days is Swing
about a group of rebel kids in Germany that listen to swing music and
go to dance halls – until they get caught stealing a radio and two of them
start to get indoctrinated into the SS. Only one manages to resist. The end of
that movie makes me cry every time, even if I only watch the last 15 minutes.
A.B. PlumWonder Woman – the hero’s reaction to WW
catching him naked coming out of a hot springs bath is laugh-out funny and
sweet and innocent. The scene that made me cry was Wonder Woman’s arrival at
the front line near the end of WWI.  That
was a gruesome war that definitely should have ended all wars given the number
of deaths, lives destroyed, and nightmares suffered by shattered survivors.

Holiday Gift Guide

Dear Readers,

It’s Thanksgiving and that means that the commercial holiday known as Black Friday is upon us. Today we have a great list of books to give or GIVEAWAYS to snatch up for yourself. So if you’d prefer to stay in your jammies and read or just order books from the comfort of your own home, then we have the reading list for you! Peruse our holiday book list and pick up all your favorites!
Thank you to all our readers – we hope that you’re all warm and safe and that your To Be Read pile is within easy reach!

The Stiletto Gang

Black Friday Gift List

Sparkle Abbey

Buy on: AmazonBarnes & NobleKoboiTunes

Barking with the Stars

Lights! Camera! Murder!
It’s a star-studded event and tongues are wagging. Laguna Beach pet therapist, Caro Lamont’s, ex-husband Geoffrey is spreading rumors and snuggling up to the biggest stars, including Purple – the temperamental diva, who’s the lynchpin of the celebrity line-up. All too soon, Caro is losing clients, her reputation, and patience with Geoffrey’s shenanigans. More trouble is unleashed when the high-strung headliner is found dead and Geoffrey was seen leaving her hotel room. With a potential killer on the loose, Caro is hounded by questions about who had reason to want Purple out of the picture and though all the evidence points to her ex, Caro believes the police are on the wrong trail. Even if her sleuthing puts her in the doghouse with Detective Judd Malone, Caro must dig up the truth before the real killer gets away with murder.

Juliana Aragon Fatula

Buy at: Bower House BooksMany Blankets Press

The Colorado Sisters and the Atlanta Butcher (forthcoming)— Atlanta billionaire and big game hunter, Reggie Hartless is found murdered, butchered, and frozen.The Colorado Sisters work undercover to solve the homicide and to unravel the legend of the Ute curse.

In Crazy Chicana in Catholic City, Fatula writes histories so terrifying they feel as if they were written with a knife. She writes with craft and courage what most folks are too ashamed to even think about, let alone talk about. Her fearlessness is inspirational. This is the kind of poetry I want to read; this is the kind I want to write. — Sandra Cisneros
In Red Canyon Falling on Churches, Fatula’s poems are gifts from the desert: nopales, chile ristras, and coyote tricksters offered with reverence to the earth and ancestors. Aztec goddesses speak, as do memories of star filled nights, and the love that remains from those we have lost in a tri-lingual, tri-cultural Chicana Azteca voice that reveal desert ways, the men, the women, tamales, beer, y la muerte. – Adela Najarro

Debra H. Goldstein

Buy on: AmazonBarnes & NobleWalmart

Should Have Played Poker

When attorney Carrie Martin’s mother reappears twenty-six years after abandoning her family, she leaves Carrie with a sealed envelope and her confession she once considered killing Carrie’s father. Before Carrie can find answers about her past, her mother is murdered. Although instructed by the detective assigned to her mother’s case – Carrie’s former live-in lover – to leave the sleuthing to the professionals, the investigative efforts of Carrie and her co-sleuths, the Sunshine Village Mah jongg players, quickly put Carrie in danger and show her that truth and integrity aren’t always what she was taught to believe.

Kay Kendall

Buy on: AmazonBarnes & NobleiTunes
Kay Kendall’s Rainy Day Women is the second book in the Austin Starr Mystery series. In 1969, during the week of the Manson murders and Woodstock, the intrepid amateur sleuth, infant in tow, flies across the continent to support a friend suspected of murdering women’s liberation activists in Seattle and Vancouver. Then her former CIA trainer warns that an old enemy has contracted a hit on her. Her anxious husband demands that she give up her quest and fly back to him. How much should Austin risk when tracking the killer puts her and her baby’s life in danger?
Learn more: AustinStarr.com or follow Kay on Facebook: www.facebook.com/KayKendallAuthor

Bethany Maines

Buy on: Amazon $9.99

The Carrie Mae Mysteries Boxed Set

The Carrie Mae Mysteries – 5 stars, 2 books, 2 short stories, 1 low price
Q: What do you get when you cross Avon Ladies with Charlie’s Angels
A: A world-class intelligence organization run by women who really know their foundation. You get CARRIE MAE.
These make-up ladies aren’t just selling lipstick – they’re packing heat and saving the world. Join Nikki Lanier and her team of kick-ass friends as they take on gangs, drug smugglers, arms dealers, and internal politics, all while looking fabulous or at least trying to remember clean underwear. Featuring the short stories Supporting the Girls, Power of Attorney and the novels High-Calbier Concealer, Glossed Cause.

HOLIDAY GIVEAWAY!! Shark’s Instinct

Fresh out of prison and fresh out of luck, twenty-something Shark wants back into The Organization. But when Geier, the mob boss with a cruel sense of humor, sends Shark to the suburbs to find out who’s been skimming his take, Shark realizes he’s going to need more than his gun and an attitude to succeed. With the clock ticking, Shark accepts the help of the mysterious teenage fixer, Peregrine Hays, and embarks on a scheme that could line his pockets, land him the girl and cement his reputation with the gang—if he makes it out alive.

Julie Mulhern

The Deep End

Buy on: AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKobo
Swimming into the lifeless body of her husband’s mistress tends to ruin a woman’s day, but becoming a murder suspect can ruin her whole life.
It’s 1974 and Ellison Russell’s life revolves around her daughter and her art. She’s long since stopped caring about her cheating husband, Henry, and the women with whom he entertains himself. That is, until she becomes a suspect in Madeline Harper’s death. The murder forces Ellison to confront her husband’s proclivities and his crimes—kinky sex, petty cruelties and blackmail.
As the body count approaches par on the seventh hole, Ellison knows she has to catch a killer. But with an interfering mother, an adoring father, a teenage daughter, and a cadre of well-meaning friends demanding her attention, can Ellison find the killer before he finds her?

Cold as Ice

Buy on: AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKobo
Ellison Russell’s life resembles a rollercoaster ride. And rollercoasters make her ill. Her daughter Grace has a crush on a boy Ellison doesn’t trust and she’s taken to hosting wild parties when Ellison goes out for the evening. Worse, the bank which represents Grace’s inheritance from her father may be in trouble.

When a meeting with the chef at the country club leads to the discovery of a body, Ellison can’t afford cold feet. She must save the bank, find the killer, and convince Grace (and herself) that powerful women don’t need men to rescue them.

Cathy Perkins

Buy on: AmazonBarnes & NobleKoboiTunes

Double Down

Every family has challenges. The Kaufman’s might include murder.
Murder isn’t supposed to be in the cards for blackjack dealer Maddie Larsson. Busted takes on a new meaning when her favorite customer, a former Poker World Tour champion, is murdered. His family claims—loudly and often—Maddie is the gold-digging murderer. She better prove she’s on the level before the real killer cashes in her chips.

If the victim’s body had been dumped five hundred yards up the road, Franklin County Sheriff’s Detective JC Dimitrak wouldn’t have been assigned to the Tom Tom Casino murder case. Instead, he’s hunting for suspects and evidence while dealing with a nemesis from the past and trying to preserve his own future. He better play his hand correctly and find the killer before an innocent woman takes the ultimate hit.

J.M. Phillippe

Buy on: AmazonBarnes & Noble

Perfect Likeness

Perfection can haunt you.
Quick-witted 24-year-old Allyson Smart is the perfect woman — in her dreams. In real life, Ally has to deal with the clumsiness of her size-16 body, the good intentions of her over-achiever best-friend, and the condescending attitude of her too-cool little sister. But when the fantasized version of herself shows up in her bathroom mirror, calling herself Allison (with an i because she says it’s prettier), Ally discovers how cruel perfection can be. In this contemporary fantasy novel, Ally learns that perfection really can haunt you.


Round one winner of the New York City Midnight 2017 Short Story Challenge, Plane Signals by J.M. Phillippe features a guy, a girl, and the four inches of space their arm rest shares at twenty-thousand feet. Is he interested or is it just the airline shoving him into Meagan’s personal space? If only she had some…Plane Signals.

AB Plum

The Reckless Year

Buy on: Amazon
Against all reason, ruthless Silicon Valley tycoon Michael Romanov, becomes infatuated with a totally unsuitable, but bewitching woman. Her loser boyfriend leaves no doubt money and power can’t derail real love. He laughs at titles, prestige, and good looks. Threats and bribes don’t work. He refuses to step aside.
Will Michael stop at murder to sweep his first love off her feet?

The In-Between Years

Buy on: Amazon
In exchange for saving you from kidnappers and probably death, what if your father grooms you to become a murderer?

What if he promises to make the risks you’ll take worth a small fortune?

How long would you hesitate?


Sign up HERE for a chance to name two characters in The Broken-Hearted Many, Book 5 in The MisFit Series, releasing in early 2018.

  • Deadline for signing up: Midnight (PST), November 30, 2017.
    One winner randomly selected. 
  •  Winner announced on my Stiletto Gang blog, December 12, 2017. 
  • Names submitted must avoid slandering or defaming living or dead persons, avoid racial and ethnic slurs and cannot be pornographic.

Author reserves the right to decide if submitted names meet all guidelines.
One submission per reader, please.

Linda Rodriguez

Buy on: Amazon

Plotting the Character-Driven Novel

In Plotting the Character-Driven Novel, Linda Rodriguez turns her sought-after writing course on using depth of character as a springboard to a strong plot into a book designed to help the aspiring writer who wants to tell a story made compelling by the truth and complexity of its characters. She provides examples of actual documents she has used in creating her own award-winning books to demonstrate the methods she teaches. Great plot springs from character and the motivations each character has for taking or not taking action. With this book, you will learn to create an exciting and complex plot, building from the integrity of the characters you create.

Judy Penz Sheluk

The Hanged Man’s Noose: A Glass Dolphin Mystery #1

Buy at: Barking Rain Press
Small-town secrets and subterfuge lead to murder in this fast-moving, deftly written tale of high-stakes real estate wrangling gone amok.
Journalist Emily Garland lands an assignment as the editor of a magazine based in Lount’s Landing, a small town named after a colorful 19th century Canadian traitor. As she interviews the local business owners, Emily learns many people are unhappy with real estate mogul Garrett Stonehaven’s plans to convert an old schoolhouse into a mega-box store. At the top of that list is Arabella Carpenter, the outspoken owner of the Glass Dolphin, who will do just about anything to preserve the integrity of the town’s historic Main Street.
But Arabella is not alone in her opposition. Soon, a vocal dissenter at a town hall meeting about the proposed project dies. A few days later, another body is discovered. Although both deaths are ruled accidental, Emily’s journalistic suspicions are aroused. Putting her reporting skills to the ultimate test, Emily teams up with Arabella to discover the truth behind Stonehaven’s latest scheme before the murderer strikes again.

Skeletons in the Attic: A Marketville Mystery #1

Buy at: Audible
What goes on behind closed doors doesn’t always stay there.
Calamity (Callie) Barnstable isn’t surprised to learn she’s the sole beneficiary of her late father’s estate, though she is shocked to discover she has inherited a house in the town of Marketville – a house she didn’t know existed. However, there are conditions attached to Callie’s inheritance: she must move to Marketville, live in the house, and solve her mother’s murder.
Callie’s not keen on dredging up a 30-year-old mystery, but if she doesn’t do it, there’s a scheming psychic named Misty Rivers who is more than happy to expose the Barnstable family secrets. Determined to thwart Misty and fulfill her father’s wishes, Callie accepts the challenge. But is she ready to face the skeletons hidden in the attic?


Sign up for Judy’s newsletter by November 28, 2017 11:59 p.m. EST for a chance to win an audiobook copy of Skeletons in the Attic from Audible.com OR an e-book copy (Kindle, Kobo or Nook) of The Hanged Man’s Noose (Winner’s choice). Three winners will be randomly selected and announced (first names only) on my post, Monday, December 4th. SIGN UP HERE

T.K. Thorne

Noah’s Wife

Buy on: Amazon
“. . . a novel of epic sweep, emotional power, and considerable beauty.”—Ron Gholson, The Blount Countian
Na’amah wishes only to be a shepherdess on her beloved hills in ancient Turkey—a desire shattered by the hatred of her powerful brother and the love of two men. Her savant abilities and penchant to speak truth force her to walk a dangerous path in an age of change—a time of challenge to the goddess’ ancient ways, when cultures clash and the earth itself is unstable. When foreign raiders kidnap her, Na’amah’s journey to escape and return home becomes an attempt to save her people from the disaster only she knows is coming.

Angels at the Gate

Buy on: Amazon
“A fantastic story about the mysterious woman who, until now, was simply a shadow among biblical heroes…The story is so compelling that I could not wait until I could read the next part of the adventure.” —San Francisco Review
ANGELS AT THE GATE is the story of Adira, destined to become Lot’s wife, the woman who “turned into a pillar of salt.” A daughter of Abram’s tribe, Adira is an impetuous young girl whose mother died in childbirth. Secretly raised as a boy in her father’s caravan and schooled in languages and the art of negotiation, Adira rejects the looming changes of womanhood that threaten her nomadic life and independence. With the arrival of two mysterious strangers, her world unravels. She alone can solve the mystery of what happened to her father and the abduction of one of the strangers.

Untitled Post

Clicking Our Heels – Redoing Life – Maybe

At some
point in life, one looks back and contemplates a re-do. Stiletto Gang members
are no different, but the question is whether given the chance to re-do
anything, would they?

– Maybe I would have gone to the Bristol Speedway to watch a race with
my father, uncles and cousins. 
Maybe.  But, I don’t think so.

– Not work 9-gazillion hours at the day job and spend more time writing
or enjoying one of my other creative outlets.

Dru Ann
–Would have gone to graduate school.

– Start Writing for publication earlier.

Aragon Fatula
– Go to college when I was twenty not fifty. I would have a Ph.D

literature instead of a Ph.D in life.

– I’d try to worry less and have faith that things would eventually
work out, as I’ve found they usually do. 
I say “try” because this is a lesson I’m still learning.

– Community college. Not the actual going, but the rate at which I did
it. I took far too long to figure out where I was going and what I was doing.

– I would quiz my parents and grandparents about their lives in an
in-depth way, making notes so I would never forget.  There are many things I want to ask them so
much more about, now that it is way too late.


  Anita – I can’t think of anything I’d like to
redo. Maybe the last family road trip. 6 people, jammed inside a Grand Caravan
for 20 days. We saw Mt. Rushmore, Custer Park, Yellowstone Park, the Redwoods,
Napa Valley, San Francisco, LA, Laguna Beach, Hoover Dam and Las Vegas … maybe
it wasn’t as great as I think it was.

  Mary Lee – I can’t say that I have many
things I’d re-do.  Even some of the bad choices
eventually led to good things.  However,
if I could re-do anything in my life, I think it would be my education. At the
time, I simply didn’t realize all the options out there…

– I would have stuck with dance when I was a kid, and made it more a
part of my life. I have found myself at various times in my life drifting to
and from it – and I always wish I could make more room for it in my life.

H. Goldstein
– Given in to being a writer and comedienne vs. a lawyer and