Thursday3Some: 3 Insights About Trail of Secrets by Nora LeDuc

This morning, I welcome Nora LeDuc to SlingWords. 

In case you haven't met Nora before, she writes romance with a mystery thriller edge. She's also one of my Romance Gems pals and blogs there on the 29th of each month.

Discover Nora LeDuc

Nora grew up in rural New England where she and her family currently live. She first decided to become an author when she spotted an article, “You Too Can Be A Romance Writer,” while searching for romances to read. 

Immediately, she knew this profession was meant for her. Through the years, she’s enjoyed combining her love of true-crime shows with her imagination to produce romantic suspense and mysteries that will keep you guessing.

During the past three winters, Nora visited her friends, the Winettes, in Florida. While there, she imagined and wrote the first book of her latest series, Love & Lies in Paradise. Book 2 releases in August 2021.Stay tuned later in the year for news of her Holiday Romance.

Visit Nora Online  

Amazon | Twitter | Goodreads | BookBub | Facebook | RomanceGems

Trail of Secrets, Book 1 of Love & Lies in Paradise

Who killed the vivacious Emily McGuire and laid out her body at the water tower? Orderly, rule-abiding Mia McGuire is the least likely person to answer this question.

Lately, her life has taken a downward spiral with her sister Emily’s murder, the breakup with her boyfriend, and the loss of her editing position. 

When the homicide investigation crawls, Mia can’t stand by doing nothing. She’s convinced the murderer is nearby, watching. 

She hires the problematic former bad boy Lucas Davis to help her find the truth. After suffering trauma from a shooting on the job, ex-police officer Lucas Davis resigned his post. 

Once known as a daredevil in his small Florida town, he has become an embarrassment to his dad, the police chief. 

When Mia offers him investigative work, he quickly accepts to prove he still possesses the skills and guts to solve the case. Together, these two unlikely sleuths form an intimate bond and are determined to beat the odds. They set out to bring a terrifying killer to justice before he targets them.

3 Insights About Trail of Secrets

1. What inspired you to write this particular story?

Growing up in New England and experiencing the cold winter months, I eagerly looked forward to escaping to the warm temperatures of Florida. Once there, the state’s natural beauty and the surrounding sites inspired me to incorporate them in my next romantic suspense. As usual, I’d no idea what would happen except I’d share the places that intrigued me with readers.

The water tower standing over us, the rail trail walks surrounded by jungle like foliage, and the picturesque sandy beaches were woven into the major points of Trail of Secrets. In the story, the water tower overlooked the scene of the crime. The rail trail became the path of the victim’s last journey, and the beach stood out as a place of hope for my hero and heroine where they finally meet and express their love.

2. Was there a favorite scene you wrote that you'd like to share with the audience?

I’ll share the final scene from Trail of Secrets. I’m a sucker for a happy ending. The hero Lucas is showing the heroine Mia his new home.

Excerpt from Trail of Secrets

Colorful surfboards were mounted on a long wall. Two windows at the end looked out onto towering Queen and Fan palms. They mixed with the blooming bushes of reds, oranges, and yellows and mirrored the colors in the room.

“It’s your dream! I love it. What else are you planning?” She pivoted around. “A few pieces of furniture would be nice.”

“They’re coming.” He tapped his index finger on his chin. “I need your opinion.”

“I will do my best.” She lifted her head upward meeting his gaze.

“This is how I picture the bare space on the other wall. Bookcases. Lots of bookcases.” He waved his hands in the air.

“Okay. Are they for surfing trophies?” She imagined shiny gold statues.

“No, they’re for books. In a special library type order.”

She turned to him. A slice of hope filtered through her. “Go on.”

“They all say, Editor, Mia McGuire, inside.”

A spark of understanding flashed through her. Her heart skipped a beat. At least she thought she understood. “I like your thinking, Davis. Tell me more.”

His expression grew solemn. “I’ve missed you, Mia. I want to be with you.”

Her breath left her. She couldn’t speak. Was he saying what she longed to hear?

“You’re what matters in my life. The world is tough, especially with our baggage, but together we can take it on. And win.” He rested his palms on her hips and looked down at her. “I’m falling in love with you,” his voice softened. “In fact, I’m totally crazy about you.” The heat in his eyes increased.

The heady feeling of anticipation and happiness burst through her. “I’m crazy about you, too.” She slipped her arms around his neck. “What’s your diagnosis? Is there a cure for us?”

“None. It’ll be you and me in the sea of life.”

“A figure of speech! You know how to sweep a girl off her feet, Lucas.” She tilted her head

back. Happiness lifting her spirits higher and higher. “So here’s to living happily ever after.

“Always.” He bent and kissed her.

3. Do you have a review of the book that really resonated with you, the author, that you'd like to share with the audience?

Here’s a part of one of my favorite reviews by Ally Swanson on the Fabulous and Brunette Blog.

“The author did a fantastic job on her character development as these characters were so real and personal on many levels! I love Nora’s writing style that everyone and anyone is a suspect. She makes reasonable, valid points of why they’re on the chopping block, and then appropriately clears them in due time, and then moves on to the next. 

"This book has a creative story line with well executed plot points, excellent mystery structured scenarios, fantastic writing style with detailed scenes, relatable characters, is fast paced, and keeps you fully engaged and entertained. There are some predictable scenes. However, there are still many unexpected twists and turns and misdirection’s that you won’t see coming!

"This book is book one in the Love & Lies in Paradise Book Series and can be read as a standalone. All in all, I really enjoyed reading it and would absolutely recommend it! So, add it to your TBR List and get to reading -you won't be disappointed!"

Thanks, Nora, for dropping by today and sharing these insights with the readers of SlingWords.

Takeaway Truth

If you haven't read Nora LeDuc before, now is your chance. Grab a copy of Trail of Secrets, Book 1 of Love & Lies in Paradise and have a great weekend reading.

Free Book: April Fool Bride

I sent my free newsletter out to subscribers Friday.

They always get the news first about free books, bargains, and new releases.

In my April newsletter, I also had 99¢ bargains from my friends who offered bargains as well as new release deals.

I like to extend the free book offer to SlingWords readers too. Get my Marriage of Convenience RomanceApril Fool Bride, free from Amazon Kindle. 

Free offer ends 11:59pm PDT, April 11, 2021, Sunday.

About April Fool Bride

Oil heiress Madeline Quinn needs a husband by the time she turns twenty-five in order to claim her full inheritance. 

Mad Maddie, as the tabloids christened her, learned the hard way that men only see dollar signs when they look at her.

Maddie decides a marriage of convenience is the only answer. 

She turns to the one man in the world she can trust, her housekeeper’s son who always treated her like a little sister when they were growing up—until one disastrous night when she acted impetuously.

Jake Becker hasn’t seen Maddie since the night she tried to seduce him. Why should he help the woman who changed the course of his life? Simple. Revenge.

Or is it something else? Something that sizzles like steam heat between Maddie and Jake that neither can resist!?

"A charming novella with romance, passion, humor. Funny and sexy is the trademark of Joan Reeves’ books, add emotion and passion. A lovely romance you will read in one sitting." —Reader Forever Review

Takeaway Truth

If you'd like to be one of my Reader Friends and get free book and new release news first, just click to subscribe.

Finally Friday

What is it about Friday that makes the day so special?

It's been years since I worked a job outside the home. I'm an author which means I'm the boss of me.

But when Friday rolls around, I feel that anticipation of the weekend ahead.

I also have that, "I made it through the week," feeling.

You know, the way Nanea Hoffman describes: "Every Friday, I like to high-five myself for getting through another week on little more than caffeine, willpower, and inappropriate humor.”

Takeaway Truth

It's been a tough week. Thank God it's Friday. Have a great weekend.

Thursday3Some: 3 Insights on It's a Trust Thing by Peggy Jaeger

Grab your coffee and let's have a chat with Peggy Jaeger, one of my Romance Gems friends.

I asked Peggy to drop by and tell us 3 things readers may not know about her book, It's a Trust Thing.

First, let me introduce Peggy, who is a delight to everyone who knows her.

Peggy Jaeger Unveiled

Peggy writes contemporary romances and rom coms about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them.

Family and food play huge roles in Peggy’s stories because she believes there is nothing that holds a family structure together like sharing a meal…or two…or ten. Dotted with humor and characters that are as real as they are loving, Peggy brings all aspects of life into her stories: life, death, sibling rivalry, illness, and the desire for everyone to find their own happily ever after. 

Growing up the only child of divorced parents, she longed for sisters, brothers and a family that vowed to stick together no matter what came their way. Through her books, she has created the families she wanted as that lonely child.

As a lifelong diarist, she caught the blogging bug early on, and you can visit her at where she blogs daily about life, writing, and stuff that makes her go "What??!"

Website/Blog | Twitter  | Amazon Author PageFacebookPinterest  


3 Insights About  IT'S A TRUST THING

What inspired you to write this particular story?

I’d been drawn to the Bernie Madoff story while it played out in the press and, as a native New Yorker, was fascinated by how many smart people he was able to swindle. 

When I heard one of his sons committed suicide because of the shame he felt, wrought by his father, it got me to thinking: what happens to the children and families of people who are notorious, felons, murderers, etc?

Nell Newbery was born from that thought. As the daughter of a Madoff-like fellow, she lost everything when her father was arrested and convicted: social status, money, friends. Her mother has a nervous breakdown and retreats from reality, and Nell has to work like a dog to support them. From tragedy, shame, and financial ruin, her backbone was formed. But, also because of what her father did, she’s developed real trust issues.

Why did you choose the setting used in this book?

I love writing about New York City (Manhattan) and as a native New Yorker, I know the ins and outs of the city, the fun places – and the not so fun. New York is an amazing town and you can meet every type of person there is, plus, you can follow and find your dreams and heart’s desire if you want to.

Is there anything about the heroine that is like you?

Nell and I are both klutzes.

It’s been said that I can trip standing still – because I have! I drop things more than I hold on to them and if anyone bumps into me it’s a guarantee I’m going down to the ground. 

Machinery breaks when I touch it and I have some weird electrical imbalance in me that causes computers to spontaneously combust when I type the wrong keystroke!

Speaking of Nell

Nell Newbery has trust issues.

It’s hard to trust when you’re the daughter of a fallen financial scion who bilked people out of billions. 

Nell’s done everything in her power to keep away from men who see her as their ticket to fortune and fame. All she wants to do is run her ultra-successful business, HELPFUL HUNKS, in peace.

But it wouldn’t hurt to find a guy who doesn’t know a thing about her father’s felonious past; one she can give her heart to and trust it won’t come back to her battered, bruised, and broken.

Is Charlie Churchill that guy?

On the surface he seems perfect, all polished manners and quiet mirth. Nell’s convinced he knows nothing about her, other than she likes superhero movies and views junk food as a food group.

Can she trust him to be what he appears to be? Or is he just pretending? For Nell, trust is everything in life…and in love.

Takeaway Truth

If you're looking for a good book for weekend reading, grab IT'S A TRUST THING. You'll love it.

Celebrate National Library Week

I've had a lifelong love affair with books, enabled when I was very young by the public library.

National Library Week is from April 4 - 10 this year, and I urge you to visit your local library. Get a library card if you don't already have one.

With the changing times, libraries have evolved to more than a place with print books. Most libraries offer ebooks for checkout now, and that number will increase in the coming years.

Not only can you check out print books and ebooks, but also audio books and videos too.

When I was 14, I made the goal one summer to read every book in the library in alphabetical order by the author's last name.

Ah, so many books so little time. Even in our minuscule public library, I didn't even get through the A's before school started again. I treasure those summer nights when the attic fan drew cool air in through the open windows, and I read by the lamp clipped to the headboard of my bed. It was the best part of summer to me.

Oh, in case you're wondering, yes, we slept with all the windows open. The car keys were left in the ignition of the car in the driveway, and the house was never locked. Our small southern town was typical of most towns back then. 

Takeaway Truth

 Most of your favorite writers have their books available in your public library system. Many of mine are because Smashwords and Draft2Digital distribute to the library system. Ask your local library how to check out an ebook. The librarians will be happy to help you make it happen.

Review: Satan and Adam

I'm a big fan of rockumentaries although Satan and Adam, the film I'm reviewing today, isn't about rock music. It's about blues, and it's fascinating and fabulous with the music you'll hear.

The story of a young white man and an old black man will fascinate you. When you first hear the old blues man play, you instinctively know he must have been someone known for his talent.

From the opening minutes with the young man looking for a way to asuage the pain of a break-up, you get the sense that something significant is happening.

Adam Gussow was the young man who found the release he needed by playing harmonica with the old blues man who was a daily fixture on the streets of Harlem.

As the story progresses, one learns the blues man was Sterling "Mr. Satan" Magee, a talented guitarist who played with some of the greatest names in the music business. 

Adam and Satan were meant to be. Eventually they played in much bigger arenas than a city street. Sterling Magee was as complicated and conflicted as he was talented. The duo lasted 12 years before splitting up around 1998.

By 2005, Adam Gussow was a professor of English Studies at the University of Mississippi, and Sterling Magee was living in Florida at an adult care facility. Gussow went to visit the blues man only to learn a stroke had left him unable to play.

If the duo's story were an opera, the intermezzo would be that Magee regained his ability to play the guitar. In fact, music rejuvenated him. He and Gussow were once again a duo for a few years.

The documentary, actually filmed over a 20+ year period, is life affirming and makes one believe in Destiny. These 2 men from such disparate backgrounds were destined to meet and make beautiful blues music together.

Sadly, Mr. Magee, still living in Florida, passed away in September 2020 from complications of CoVid-19.

Takeaway Truth

If you're a Netflix subscriber, by all means watch Satan and Adam. The music will make you wish you'd had the privilege of seeing them perform in person.

Who Invented Crime Scene Tape?

Recently Darling Hubby and I were watching one of the many true crime documentaries.

I said, "I wonder who invented crime scene tape."

What I Learned

The official name for what we call crime scene tape is "non-adhesive barricade tape" which is a mouthful.

The yellow tape used by law enforcement was developed in the early 1960s by Harris Industries, a California company, and it's made of lightweight polyethylene.

The standard roll is 3 inches x 1,000 feet, and comes in a variety of thicknesses. The tape can be tied, stapled or nailed in place and is used, according to the manufacturer, to increase visibility of hazards.

Locard's Theory of Transfer

If you've watched very many police procedural or forensics series or movies, you know the tape is designed to keep people who aren't part of the investigating team away from the crime scene.

They want as little interaction with the crime scene as possible because Locard's Theory of Transfer asserts that people entering a crime scene leave behind evidence—from their shoes, clothes, body, and even their breath—and take evidence with them, i.e. stepping on a hair that may have belonged to the killer with the hair adhering to the sole of a shoe.

The more people entering a crime scene, the more it is contaminated. In some states, police arrest anyone crossing crime-scene tape, and the penalty can be jail time.

Why Yellow? Why Not Red or White?

The scientific explanation is that bright yellow is the most eye-catching color because of the way light bounces off the eye’s rods and cones. That makes it easier for it to be perceived more quickly than other colors.

The bright yellow can also be seen by color-blind people whereas red would not. 

Over the years, people have come to associate yellow with caution signs and other hazards. I did not know that school buses are painted yellow because of this. (In 1939, Frank W. Cyr, a professor of education, convinced education leaders to standardize school bus appearance by painting them all a high-visibility yellow.)

Takeaway Truth

You can file this under: "Learn something new every day."

Starting April With a Great Quote

Words of Wisdom from Audrey Hepburn

I believe in pink.

I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. 

I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. 

I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. 

I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. 

I believe that tomorrow is another day,

And I believe in miracles.

Takeaway Truth

 I believe in the wisdom above. For the month of April, try believing in those words too.

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