Interview with Bentley Turner

I’m happy to welcome author Bentley Turner. Today, Bentley chats about his creative journey and new release, The File on Thomas Marks.

Here’s Bentley!

Q: Why do you write fiction under a pseudonym?

A: I use a pseudonym for my fiction and I use my legal name for my nonfiction. Besides, I wanted to pay tribute to my mother as well as my grandmothers’ maiden names, which were Bentley and Turner.

Q: Where did you grow up?

A: In a small town in northern Kentucky. My wife and I left about a year after we married. She was teaching elementary school and I was completing two masters’ degrees at the time. Over the years we lived and taught in Arkansas, Illinois, Florida, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. We retired from teaching several years ago.

Q: You mentioned writing nonfiction. Have you written a lot of nonfiction over the years?

A: Yes. I’ve written articles based on research for academic journals, chapters for academic books, entries for encyclopedias, and several books for academic and reference publishers.

Q: Do you still write nonfiction?

A: Yes. Although I don’t write as much as I used to, I still write an occasional academic article or review of a book.

Q: How does writing mysteries compare with writing nonfiction?

A: I enjoy reading mysteries. Several years ago, I thought I would try to write one. Well, I tried, but it was extremely difficult. I had to change gears, so to speak. I was used to researching and writing nonfiction―not fiction. In fact, I had not written anything remotely resembling fiction in decades. To say the least, I struggled. I found myself asking all sorts of questions as the plot moved along. Were the characters real or authentic? Would they act this way or that way? Were the situations in which the characters found themselves realistic? Etc., etc., etc. Now, I understand what writers of fiction go through―at least, to a certain extent. I haven’t written that much fiction, so I’m certain I haven’t experienced as many hurdles as other writers of fiction have. Unlike writers who have been writing fiction for years and who seem to have it down, I’m still learning the ins and outs of the craft.

Q: How many years did it take to write The File on Thomas Marks?

A: I believe I wrote the first draft in a year. Then I went through it again and again. After that, I had another person go through it. When I thought the manuscript was ready, I sent whatever numerous publishers desired. Generally, most wanted a synopsis and three chapters. After months and months of rejections, a small publisher accepted it, but for some reason―I don’t remember what―I didn’t sign the contract. After that, I sent several chapters to other publishers. Eventually, another small publisher offered a contract. However, there were one or more clauses in the contract that I didn’t like, and the publisher wouldn’t budge. Needless to say, I didn’t sign the contract. I sent several chapters to other publishers. Finally, another small publisher accepted it. I signed the contract.

Q: Do you remember the first story you wrote?

A: Considering that was decades ago, unfortunately, no. However, the first story that I wrote that was published was “The Question.” It was published in a literary magazine in the 1960s.

Where to find Bentley…

Goodreads | Amazon


In this suspenseful thriller, Thomas Marks, a young, intelligent man, admits to being with two women just before they were murdered. Though detectives don’t believe him, he claims to be innocent. The only problem is none of the evidence corroborates his story nor confirms the guilt of anyone else. When another suspect surfaces, Thomas thinks he’s in the clear, but appearances can’t always be trusted. Will an arrest stick? Find out in this mystery mayhem of twists and turns that will keep you guessing until the very end.

Buy Links

Amazon Paperback | Amazon Kindle | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Books a Million | Apple | Kobo | Nook | SCRIBD

Virtual Book Tour: Constellations by Patricia Leavy

I’m happy to welcome bestselling author Patricia Leavy. Today, Patricia shares her latest release, Constellations.


Constellations follows Tess Lee and Jack Miller after three years of marriage as they navigate the meaning of love and family over a series of holidays. Tess is a wildly successful and world-famous novelist. Her inspirational books explore our innermost struggles and the human need to believe that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Jack is a former federal agent. After spending decades immersed in a violent world, a residue remains. Both healing from past trauma, together they have finally built the life they wish to live. What will happen to their blissful union when Jack’s childhood family resurfaces? When Tess and Jack visit the Millers for Christmas, how will insecurity, a sense of missed opportunities, and the need for redemption test their relationship? When a terrible accident threatens everything in an instant, will they learn the true meaning of unconditional love? Their loved ones are along for the ride: Omar, Tess’s sarcastic best friend who calls her Butterfly; the female president of the United States, with whom Tess talks politics and bakes cookies; Joe, Jack’s friend from the Bureau who understands the sacrifices he’s made; Bobby and Gina, their younger friends who never fail to lighten the mood; and the Miller family. Constellations is a novel about family – those into which we’re born and those we create – the human desire to belong and feel connected, the true nature of intimacy, and the power of love to heal and redeem. Written as unfolding action, Constellations is a poignant novel that moves fluidly between melancholy, humor, and joy.


Tess clung to Jack as they sped along the cliffside road on their Harley, winding around the last curve as they approached their house. When they arrived home, Jack carefully took off Tess’s helmet, kissed her, and grabbed the bag of fruit they’d bought at the farmers market. She pulled the scrunchie out of her hair, releasing dirty blonde locks down to her waist. They headed inside. “You thirsty, baby?” he asked.

She nodded.

He quickly tapped a coconut, stuck a paper straw in, and handed it to her.

“You’ve gotten so good at that,” she said, taking a sip.

“Yeah, just in time to go back to DC. I can’t believe we have to leave our Hawaiian paradise tomorrow morning. We’re crazy to leave Maui this time of year.”

“I know, baby. But we’ll be back in less than three months to throw Omar and Clay the tropical Valentine’s Day wedding of their dreams. Besides, it’ll be fun to see our friends.”

He smiled and kissed her forehead.

“Here, have some,” she said, handing him the coconut. “Let’s leave the pineapple out. We can grill it tonight for our Thanksgiving feast while we sit on the lanai and watch the sunset.” She kicked her shoes off, slipped her T-shirt over her head, and shimmied out of her shorts, revealing a hot pink string bikini. “Bet I can beat you to the ocean,” she teased, darting off.

Soon, they were splashing around in the warm water, the sun beating down on them. Jack wrapped his tanned arms around Tess and kissed her. They stared at each other, the energy between them electric.

“I could get lost in your big, brown eyes,” he said.

She smiled and said, “Come on, let’s dry off.” They walked to their pool and lay together on a chaise lounge.

“Jack?” Tess whispered.

“Yeah, baby.”

“I know you hold back sometimes, but you don’t need to.”


“Baby, I know you do. There’s nothing that could ever happen between us that I wouldn’t want.”

He caressed the side of her face. “You’re so beautiful and delicate. I just want you to feel safe and loved.”

“I do and I always will.”

“You’ve been through so much. It wasn’t that long ago that Ray was stalking you; I know that brought up memories of your childhood abuse. I don’t ever want to be the cause of your pain or remind you of the ways you have suffered.”

“You couldn’t. You only push those thoughts further away. I trust you, Jack. Nothing could ever change that. I want to share everything with you. I’ve never felt as close to another human being as I do to you.” She ran her fingers through his wet, salty hair and said, “I still remember the first time we came here, before we owned this place. You took me in the shower and we were so free.”

He grazed his fingers along her cheek.

“I’m gonna rinse off,” she said. She untied her bikini top, let it fall to the floor, and headed for the outdoor shower.

Jack hustled out of his swim trunks and followed her. She flipped the water on, turned toward him, and smiled. He cupped her face in his hands, kissed her softly, and with one swift movement, swung her around and pulled her bathing suit bottom down. “Don’t let me hurt you,” he whispered. He pushed her against the wall and they made love passionately.

With his quivering body pressed tightly against hers, Jack kissed Tess’s neck and nibbled on her ear. Finally satiated, he turned the shower off and wrapped towels around each of them. He picked her up and cradled her in his arms as he carried her to a lounge chair. They resumed their tender kisses, Jack caressing the side of her face. He looked at her with unadulterated adoration.

“I love you so much,” he said.

“I love you too. More than anything.”

10 Lessons Learned from my Protagonist Tess Lee

1. See each person’s humanity.

2. Be generous.

3. Treat those you love with grace. Be gentle with your words and touch.

4. Writers and artists should own their creative work. Full stop.

5. Never allow anyone to take credit for your achievements.

6. Open your heart.

7. You are worthy. You are enough.

8. Some wounds are not visible, but they are there.

9. We all must learn to balance darkness and light in our lives. Love is the bridge.

10. Breathe. Just breathe.

Author Bio & Links

Patricia Leavy, Ph.D., is a bestselling author. She was formerly Associate Professor of Sociology, Chair of Sociology and Criminology, and Founding Director of Gender Studies at Stonehill College in Massachusetts. She has published over thirty books, earning commercial and critical success in both fiction and nonfiction, and her work has been translated into many languages. She is also series creator and editor for ten book series with Oxford University Press, Guilford Press, and Brill/Sense, including the ground-breaking Social Fictions series. Patricia has received dozens of accolades for her books. Recently, her novel Film won the 2020 American Fiction Award for Inspirational Fiction, her 3-novel set Candy Floss Collection won the 2020 American Fiction Award for Anthologies, and her novel Spark won the 2019 American Fiction Award for Inspirational Fiction and the 2019 Living Now Book Award for Adventure Fiction. She has also received career awards from the New England Sociological Association, the American Creativity Association, the American Educational Research Association, the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, and the National Art Education Association. In 2016 Mogul, a global women’s empowerment network, named her an “Influencer.” In 2018, she was honored by the National Women’s Hall of Fame and SUNY-New Paltz established the “Patricia Leavy Award for Art and Social Justice.” She has residences in Maine and Massachusetts where she lives with her husband, daughter (when she’s not away at college), and her dog. Patricia loves writing, reading, watching films, and traveling.

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Amazon Buy Link


Patricia Leavy will be awarding a signed set of 3 novels: Shooting Stars, Twinkle, and Constellations to two (US only) randomly drawn winners via Rafflecopter during the tour. Find out more here.

Follow Patricia on the rest of her Goddess Fish tour here.

Last Day!

***Pick up your free ebook of No More Secrets today. The promotion ends at 11:59 p.m. ET***


Angelica Delfino takes a special interest in the lives of her three nieces, whom she affectionately calls the daughters of her heart. Sensing that each woman is harboring a troubling—possibly even a toxic— secret, Angelica decides to share her secrets, secrets she had planned to take to the grave. Spellbound, her nieces listen to an incredulous tale of forbidden love, tragic loss, and reinvention that spans six decades across two continents. It is the classic immigrant story upended: an Italian widow’s transformative journey amid the most unlikely of circumstances.

Inspired by Angelica’s example, the younger women share their “First World” problems and, in the process, revisit their relationships and set themselves free.

But one heart-breaking secret remains untold…

Buy Links

Amazon (CA) | Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK) | Amazon (AU)

New Release: Santa Baby by Peggy Jaeger

I’m happy to announce Peggy’s Jaeger’s new release…


It’s Christmas Eve morning in the tiny New England town of Dickens.

Santa’s arrival is imminent, and a hint of snow is in the air.

Amy Dorrit is just about to open her popular diner for the breakfast rush when she discovers an abandoned baby on her back doorstep.

Amy knows she should call the authorities and turn the infant over to them, but she just can’t. Thoughts of her own abandonment as a baby flood through her and she wants to keep the little one out of the hands of the authorities until the mother – hopefully –returns.

But will the mom come back? And if she doesn’t, what is Amy prepared to do about the baby who has, already, claimed her heart?


As she moved through the breezeway connecting the diner to her apartment, Amy heard a mewling sound at the back-alley door. Her cook, Willie, often left scraps out for strays, especially in winter, and sometimes when she took the trash out at the end of the day, Amy would find a mamma cat searching for something to feed her kittens.

Amy opened the door, expecting to see a hungry animal looking for a handout, and got the shock of the century when she found a baby carrier, complete with a crying infant nestled in it.

She gasped, her head flicking right, then left, to find the person responsible for leaving a baby out in the frigid night air.

“Hello? Is anyone here?”

The still sleeping and silent town surrounded her as shoe impressions in the fresh snow indicated the baby hadn’t been there for long.

The infant’s howl echoed in the quiet.

“Oh, you poor thing. Let’s get you out of the cold.”

Book Trailer

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Add it to your Goodreads WANT TO READ list:



Peggy Jaeger is a contemporary romance writer who writes Romantic Comedies about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them. If she can make you cry on one page and bring you out of tears rolling with laughter the next, she’s done her job as a writer!

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, she brings all topics of daily 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’s created the families she wanted as that lonely child.

When she’s not writing Peggy is usually painting, crafting, scrapbooking or decoupaging old steamer trunks she finds at rummage stores and garage sales.

A lifelong and avid romance reader and writer, Peggy is a member of RWA and her local New Hampshire RWA Chapter.

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??!”

Where to find Peggy…

Website/Blog | Twitter | Amazon | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads | Instagram | BookBub | You-Tube

On Fulfilling Your Dreams

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

Here’s an inspiring quote from author and coach Barbara Sher:

Celebrating Women’s Fiction Day 2021

First established by WFWA (Women’s Fiction Writers Association) in 2019, this day celebrates the authors, readers, bookstores, and fans of the women’s fiction genre.

WFWA describes women’s fiction as “layered stories in which the plot is driven by the main character’s emotional journey. The driving force of women’s fiction is the protagonist’s journey toward a more fulfilled self.”

The female protagonists in these novels take matters into their own hands and shape their own futures. Famous examples include Offred in The Handmaid’s Tale, Jo in Little Women, Scarlett O’Hara and Melanie Hamilton in Gone with the Wind.

Some of my personal favorites include Queen of the Owls by Barbara Linn Probst, The Time Gatherer by Rachel Dacus, Recipe for a Perfect Life by Karma Brown, and The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennet.

To celebrate, I’m offering free ebooks of No More Secrets on all Amazon platforms.


Angelica Delfino takes a special interest in the lives of her three nieces, whom she affectionately calls the daughters of her heart. Sensing that each woman is harboring a troubling—possibly even a toxic— secret, Angelica decides to share her secrets, secrets she had planned to take to the grave. Spellbound, her nieces listen to an incredulous tale of forbidden love, tragic loss, and reinvention that spans six decades across two continents. It is the classic immigrant story upended: an Italian widow’s transformative journey amid the most unlikely of circumstances.

Inspired by Angelica’s example, the younger women share their “First World” problems and, in the process, revisit their relationships and set themselves free.

But one heart-breaking secret remains untold…


As Angelica read the document, she heard several sighs emanating from Bellastrega. While she had grown to like this young woman and trust her judgment when it came to wellness, Angelica was not prepared to abandon her plans. Three women needed to be rescued.

“What if they don’t come?” Bellastrega asked.

“They will come,” Angelica said, smiling confidently.

“It’s still winter, and the roads around here can be treacherous.”

“That won’t stop them.” Angelica smiled at Bellastrega’s discomfort with winter driving. Fearless in her talk, the psychic dreaded going out at any hint of snow. “Not to worry. They’re Northern Ontario girls.”

Bellastrega waved her hands. “So, they get up here, and you share your secrets. Then what?”

“They begin to heal.”

“You can’t expect to solve all their problems in one weekend,” Bellastrega said in a gentler tone. “If you’re not careful, you’ll send them running to their mothers, who won’t hesitate to create unnecessary stress for you.”

From the start, Bellastrega had been determined to eradicate all the unnecessary stress in Angelica’s life. Did she really think she could create a lasting magic bubble?

Since receiving the positive medical report, Bellastrega had redoubled her efforts and started to plan spring and summer excursions. She had added to her meager wardrobe and purchased several decorative items for her room. Each day, she was settling in and becoming more comfortable in her role as a companion. The beautiful thirty-five-year-old woman with Arctic-blue eyes and a stormy past had found sanctuary in Angelica’s house.

Angelica’s thoughts traveled back six decades to her encounter with another set of Arctic-blue eyes. But that woman had been much older and more realistic in her expectations.

“Are you all right?” Bellastrega asked.

“I’m fine,” Angelica said, returning to the present. “I want to start the process. The rest will be up to them.” Angelica felt a sudden wave of fatigue, one she hadn’t experienced in months. This argument was growing old, and she no longer wished to justify her motives. Why couldn’t Bellastrega let it go?

Book Trailer

***Free ebooks – Monday, June 7 to Thursday, June 10***

Amazon (CA) | Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK) | Amazon (AU)

In Praise of Moodling

When I first heard the word moodling at a writing workshop, my thoughts gravitated toward zucchini noodles. A bit off base, but considering it was close to lunchtime, I assumed there might be some connection.

The facilitator quickly put an end to that line of thinking. A long-winded explanation followed with brief mentions of famous moodlers such as Isaac Newton, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Albert Einstein.

Intrigued, I decided to do my own research. Here’s what I discovered:

Moodling is primarily a solitary activity. You won’t find any university or college courses devoted to moodling. Nor will you find it in the Pocket Oxford English Dictionary (2013 edition).

Continue reading on Catherine Castle’s blog.

Book Blast: Truffle Me Not

I’m happy to welcome husband-and-wife team, M. K. Scott. Today, they are sharing their new release, Truffle Me Not.


The future of Cupid’s Catering Company hangs in the balance. With a rival bakery, owned by the queen of all mean, rich girls, Della is at a distinct disadvantage.

Della hinges her financial future on winning the local truffle contest. As if there wasn’t enough on her mind, additional problems arise, including missing cats, jewel thieves, and her desperate attempt to find the incredibly kind man who’d lent her hand when she had tire trouble.

Can she solve all these problems and find time to whip up a cookbook at the same time?


Even before she picked up the phone, she felt apprehensive. Why call when she’d see her mother at the bakery in less than thirty minutes. “Hello, Mother. I’m almost in the car.”

“Good! I need your help.” Mabel rushed the words together, forcing Della to decipher the bunched words before answering.

For most of her life, her mother had helped Della. Sometimes, almost too much, which came from being a surprise baby to a couple who had given up hope on having children. As the only child, Della felt obliged to be the best she could be after one of her school mates pointed out her parents had invested all their hopes and dreams in her. A staggering responsibility for a primary school-aged child to handle, but she had dealt with it.

“What’s wrong?”

“I need a jeweled cat collar. Red. Lots of rhinestones.”

“Mom…” she stretched out the word, making it into more of a question.

“Buy whatever styles they have. We can return the ones that don’t work.”

Even though her brain might not function at its full capacity without coffee first, almost anyone could deduce an incident occurred involving Prince Purrfection of the jeweled collar. There was a good chance Tony could be the culprit.

“Ah, did Tony hurt Prince? Did Prince hurt Tony? What’s up with the collar?”

Her mother inhaled audibly. “Time is of the essence. Vanessa is going to start looking for her cat once the storm passes. I need a new collar on the feline diva before I push him out the door. Tony thinks I’ve gone traitor by even letting her into the house.”

Author Bio and Links

M. K. Scott is the husband and wife writing team behind The Painted Lady Inn Mysteries and The Talking Dog Detective Agency. Morgan K Wyatt is the general wordsmith, while her husband, Scott, is the grammar hammer and physics specialist. He uses his engineering skills to explain how fast a body falls when pushed over a cliff and various other felonious activities. The Internet and experts in the field provide forensic information, while the recipes and B and B details require a more hands-on approach. Morgan’s daughter, who manages a hotel, provides guest horror stories to fuel the plot lines. The couple’s dog, Chance, is the inspiration behind Jasper, Donna’s dog. Overall, both are fun series to create and read.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest | Amazon

***The book will be on sale for $0.99 on the day of the tour.***

Buy Link:


M.K. Scott will be awarding a $40 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Find out more here.

Follow M.K. Scott on the rest of their Goddess Fish tour here.

Make Pigs Fly

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

In his book, Life is in the Transitions, Bruce Feiler writes about the power of positive language and transformative personal stories. Here’s one of my favorite excerpts:

The novelist John Steinbeck had a quirky logo he drew after signing his name. It was a pig with wings. He called it Pigasus, which he wrote out in Greek letters. Late in his life, he accompanied the illustration with the Latin words Ad Astra Per Alia Porci, which he translated (incorrectly, it turns out) as “to the stars on the wings of a pig.” His explanation: We must all try to attain the heavens, even though we are bound to the earth.

For half a millennium, the expression when pigs fly has been used in multiple languages to mean a circumstance so improbable that its completion is nearly impossible. It’s a figure of speech known as an adynaton, a way of saying something that will never happen. Steinbeck adopted this phrase because he had been told by a naysayer professor that he would be an author “when pigs fly.”

More recently, neuroscientists have discovered that imagining this kind of unimaginable outcome is vital to recovering from a life interrupted. The more we are able to conjure up a future that seems out of reach—I will find another job, I will laugh once more, I will love again—the more we’re able to advance toward it. A big reason is mirror neurons, the part of our brains that mimic the actions we observe. When we see someone jump, laugh, or cry, our brains imitate the same activity.

The same mirroring happens with stories we tell. If we tell ourselves we will get better, or calmer, or happier, our minds will begin to simulate that outcome. This response doesn’t mean we’ll achieve these results right away, but it does mean we set in motion that possibility.

Steinbeck was right: We can make pigs fly.

Source: Life is in the Transitions by Bruce Feiler, p. 290.

Cover Reveal: Aiden

I’m happy to reveal the cover of Peggy Jaeger’s next novel…


Lexi Buckley wants answers about her younger sister’s death. The police have labeled it a suicide, but Lexi doesn’t believe it. Stymied in her investigation, she doesn’t know where to turn next. After a chance encounter with a private investigator, she thinks her prayers have been answered.

Aiden Keane has never been an answer to a prayer before, but he agrees to help Lexi. A quirky combo of brains and beauty, the pixie blonde makes him feel things no professional ever should for a client.

When their investigation puts Lexi’s life in jeopardy, her safety becomes his number one priority. The hard part is not falling for her.


Were you close with your sister?” Aiden asked.

Not the way we should have been. Not at the end.

“We had a sizable age difference between us. Almost ten years. I was the big sis. The oldest.” Her lips trembled when she pulled them into a sad line. Rolling her eyes she added, “The bossy one, according to her. She was the baby and took full advantage of her status from the moment she realized it.”

“And rightly so.” The corners of his eyes crinkled. “I’m the youngest of my brothers and I’ll can tell you with one hundred percent honesty, my oldest brother is the bossiest one of us. I think it comes with birth order. Although he takes his so called right uber-seriously. Especially at work.”

This time her grin was steadier. “What kind of business do you all own together?”

“We a run a private security company.”


“Personal bodyguards, if a client needs protection from something. Background checks for employers. Mostly we do investigations.”

“What, like private eyes? Like on television?”

He laughed. “Nothing so glamorous. The fast cars and hot babes are all fantasy. It’s a lot of boring research, computer work, and surveillance, but yeah, you could say I’m a private eye.”

Lexi’s entire mood turned on his words. The sorrow flew, the hurt dissolved. Even her nervous trivia-speak went dormant. She sat bolt upright, her knees bumping against the tabletop when she shifted. Excitement shot from her system as she turned her body, placed a hand across his forearm and declared, “Oh, my God. You’re the answer to my prayers.”

A PRIDE OF BROTHERS: RICK is available now across all digital media and in print: