Questions about DEADLY SILENCE

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So DEADLY SILENCE was released a few days ago. I thought you might enjoy a more in-depth look at how it came to be so I imagined what some questions might be regarding it.



First it’s part of my Deadly Communication series so it needed the word Deadly in it. But the more important word is silence. I wanted to explore the idea of silence from several different perspectives. First there’s the silence of being abandoned at the altar without a word of explanation. But Maven is also faced with a different kind of silence as she takes on a new client who is a late-deafened adult. Her client has been thrust into a silent world due to a medical condition. And then there’s the silence from God that threatens due to Maven’s anger and bitterness.


I’m so glad you asked that! I like to think of my Deadly Communication series as cozy mystery meets suspense. It’s got all the action of suspense but the great characters of a cozy mystery.


At this point I don’t have any plans for a fourth but that doesn’t mean a whole lot. Since I write the stories that come to my head, if another Maven story pops into it, then I’ll write it.


My goal was to portray a real woman with real problems. So we saw Maven struggle with depression, the after affects of Bell’s palsy, her weight issues, and then being left at the altar. We also saw her keep going through it all by depending on God.

So that’s the take away–no matter what happens in your life, God will be there to see you through it.


YOUR TURN: Do you have a question about Maven and the Deadly Communication series, or one about writing? Leave the question in a comment and I’ll do my best to answer.








As promised, today I’m giving a sneak preview of DEADLY INTENT, which releases tomorrow. So without further ado, here is chapter 1 of DEADLY INTENT…




No, you can’t have him.” She clasped the boy closer, her arms tightening around her son. This wasn’t fair. She had so little. All she wanted was her child. She wouldn’t let him take her son.

The man looked down with what seemed to be compassion in his eyes, though she knew it wasn’t real. “Sorry, it has to be done. The sooner, the better.”His voice was soft, almost kind. “We can’t keep him any longer. He’s just too disruptive. It’s not going to work out.”

Mustering all her courage, she glared at the boy’s father. “No. I won’t let you take him. I’ll make him be good. Please, give me another chance. I’ll make him listen. He’ll be good. I promise.”

He shook his head. “It’s not your fault. Something’s wrong with him. He’s too much to handle.” His arms reached out and grabbed the boy. The child yelled and struggled to stay with his mother. His arms clung to her neck as she clutched him.

In spite of her best efforts, the man pulled her son from her grip. No words came from the boy, only a shrill keening sound—like that of a wounded animal.

She reached up and put her hands on each of his precious cheeks. He stopped screaming as her lips pressed against his for a moment. “Remember, I love you, baby. I love you. I’m so sorry.”  Her heart broke as the boy’s father dragged him across the room. ‚Give him back to me.”

How much more could she bear?

The wordless screaming continued.

The father opened the door.

Heartbroken, she crumpled to the floor, unable to follow them.

The man closed the door without another word.

Too soon, her son’s screams faded. And then all she had was a memory.


So…what do you think? Deadly Intent releases tomorrow and so I’ll have announcement than about Amazon gift cards and a giveaway!




Besides being a writer, I was a speech-language pathologist (SLP) for more than 30 years. I officially retired in 2007 from Cleveland City Schools in Ohio. Yes, I have a lot of stories I could share, but I won’t. After that, I worked part-time as an SLP until last school year. Now, I’m not working at all due to a variety of reasons.

But the truth is I miss being an SLP.

I don’t mind telling you I was pretty good at my job! Not perfect but pretty good!.  In many ways, it feels like I was just getting really good when it was time for me to quit. Anyway, I’ve decided to share some of my SLP knowledge from time to time on this blog. Since this blog is about this writer’s life and being an SLP was a big and important part of my life, it only makes sense.

So today’s communication topic is COMMUNICATION!

For communication to take place, there are three necessary elements. A speaker–A message–A listener.  Communication happens when one person (speaker) relays a message to another person or group of people ( listener) and the listener receives the message as it was intended.

It sounds simple enough, doesn’t it?

Maybe not, let’s look at the very last part of my definition–receives the message as it was intended. All too often, this is where things get sticky. A speaker sends a message but without some feedback, they can’t know if the listener received the same message they sent!.

So, whose responsibility is it to make sure the listener received the same message the speaker sent?


Whether as a speaker or a listener, it only takes a moment to verify the message was understood correctly. If you are the speaker simply ask the listener to repeat your message. If you are the listener, ask the speaker if this was what they meant.  It only takes a moment, and so many misunderstandings or communication breakdowns can be avoided.

I am so amazed at how much communication DOESN’T happen any more. It almost seems as if the more ways we have to communicate, the less we actually do it.  So much communication stays at such a superficial level that it might as well not happen. Another issue is that it seems more and more people avoid communicating in difficult situations which hurts the relationship more than if they dared to communicate about the difficult issues.

Avoidance is NOT a good thing when it comes to communication and relationships. Now, obviously that doesn’t mean you have to share every personal thought (specially the negative ones), but it also doesn’t mean you should avoid ALL of the tough issues.  When you do that, you’ll miss the opportunity to develop a stronger relationship with that person.

So,, what sort of things do you find difficult to communicate with others about?


UNTIL NEXT TIME….God Bless and Good Reading?


Smarten up your kid? Is that possible? Yes and No. You can’t change your child’s inherent intelligence or abilities, but you can improve their language skills. Better language skills = more success in school.
Normally, I write about things on my mind or my writing, but today I want to talk about you. Specifically abour your child’s speech and language skills. I’ve been a speech pathologist for over 30 years. Obviously, God gifted me with a love of words.
Whether a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, or teacher, there may be a child in your life with a communication problem. So, what you can you do about it? A lot, actually. Parent’s are and always have been the best language teachers for their child. Unfortunately, the busier we get the less opportunities we have to do just that.
Is your child struggling in school? Many times learning problems are a result of delayed speech or language skills. It’s not always the case but language skills definitely affect learning and school success. These language problems can often be subtle and not show up until 2nd or 3rd grade or even later.
Reading and writing are language processes so if your child has language problems (even mild ones) they can and most likely will affect their reading and writing skills. And schools are all about reading and writing. That’s why it’s important to strengthen their language skills.
I’ve released an e-book (and soon to be print book) with the title SMARTEN UP YOUR KID; STRATEGIES TO IMPROVE YOUR CHILD’S LANGUAGE.  This book is written for parents in an easy to understand style.
This book contains information about articulation and language problems and what parents and others can do to strengthen their child’s communication skills. It is NOT a substitute for a Speech Pathologist, but it’s filled with tips, strategies, and activities for you to enjoy with your child. And at the same time improve their language skills.
To learn more about this book or about Speech Therapy in general, visit