Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Andrea Downing and her New Release

 A native New Yorker, Andrea Downing divides her time between the canyons of city streets and the wide-open spaces of Wyoming. Her background in publishing and English Language teaching has transferred into fiction writing, and her love of horses, ranches, rodeo, and anything else western, is reflected in her award-winning western romances. She has twice been a finalist for the RONE Awards, winner of the Favorite Hero along with several Honorable Mentions in the Maple Leaf Awards, and winner of the Golden Quill for best novella for Dearest Darling. She currently resides on the East End of Long Island.

2020 Character Interview

Beverley: What’s your name?

Dr. Sydney Cantrell: I’m Dr. Sydney Cantrell, and I’m featured in Andrea Downing’s book, Shot Through the Heart. The rancher I’ve been associated with, Shiloh Coltrane, has taken to calling me ‘Syd,’ which is fine as a term of endearment, but I do prefer others to keep in mind that I have studied the same as a man, been examined for my knowledge in medical school the same as any man, and am therefore entitled to the same respect as any other doctor.

Beverley: Where did you grow up?

Dr. Sydney Cantrell: I grew up in Philadelphia.  My parents are quite well-to-do, but they did not approve of my having a profession and I am therefore no longer in touch with them.  I do think my mother may have continued to write to me but she is very much under the thumb of my father, sadly, so I no longer hear from her either.

Beverley: During what time period does your story take place?

Dr. Sydney Cantrell: It is the turn of the 20th Century in Wyoming. I do return to Philadelphia briefly, however.

Beverley: What’s your story/back story? Why would someone come up with a story about you?

Dr. Sydney Cantrell: As a young woman, I fell under the spell of a professor/doctor and his wife, who was also a doctor.  They were guests in my parents’ home.  They inspired me to study medicine as well, something of which my father did not approve.  I was also enamoured of the professor so when his wife passed away, well…I think I’ll leave the rest to your imagination.  I went on to Wyoming to start my medical career while the professor was in his year of mourning, but things didn’t work out quite the way either of us envisaged.

I guess Andrea has found my life interesting enough to write about it.  After all, there are very few women doctors these days, sadly, and for someone with a background such as mine to pick herself up and move from Pennsylvania to Wyoming to work on an Indian reservation and in a small town is highly unusual.

Beverley: What’s your goal in this story?

Dr. Sydney Cantrell: I have several goals I believe.  First and foremost, I wish to be accepted as their doctor in this new community in which I live in Wyoming, not just by the saloon girls or the army laundresses but by everyone, men and women alike.  Secondly, I need to sort out my feelings for rancher Shiloh Coltrane but also, I feel I need to stop him from his foolhardy and dangerous mission of seeking out his sister and nephew’s killers—this is something for the law, for a sheriff or a marshal.  I know he has been a hired gun in the past, but I want him to put those days behind him and be the rancher he wants to be.

Beverley: What conflicts are you facing?

Dr. Sydney Cantrell: I think I’ve let on here that I am engaged to one man and in love with another, so that is one conflict.  Another is how do I make myself accepted as a doctor in this small community?  And finally, how do I save Shiloh Coltrane from himself, from getting killed by going on a fool’s errand when it is really someone else’s job to find these dangerous men?

Beverley: Do you have a plan for resolving them?

Dr. Sydney Cantrell: No, I have no plan other than being the woman and doctor I am, and trying to make Shiloh see the right thing he should do.  Other than that, I must let life play out as it will and take each step as it comes.

Beverley: Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you?                                                           

Dr. Sydney Cantrell: Not really, but thank you for asking.  I think your readers must read the book to find out anything more about me, but thank you very much for having me here today and for taking the time to interview me.  It has been greatly appreciated.

Blurb for For Shot Through the Heart:

Gunslinger Shiloh Coltrane has returned home to work the family's Wyoming ranch, only to find there's still violence ahead. His sister and nephew have been murdered, and the killers are at large.
Dr. Sydney Cantrell has come west to start her medical practice, aiming to treat the people of a small town. As she tries to help and heal, she finds disapproval and cruelty the payment in kind.
When the two meet, it's an attraction of opposites. As Shiloh seeks revenge, Sydney seeks to do what's right. Each wants a new life, but will trouble or
love find them first?

Excerpt from Shot Through the Heart:

She crouched behind him, unable to stop the thought her patient’s physique was a prime example of why a female shouldn’t be a doctor, according to her last professor. Oh, yes—we wouldn’t be able to treat men without thinking of marriage. Ha! She shook her head to banish the thought, now supplanted by admiration for the curve of his buttocks, and stood up. Put on her professional tone. Looked into eyes the color of a storm-brewing sky and felt a rush of desire to run her hands though the shaggy blond hair.

Never. Never ever.

She breathed out, pulled herself back to the moment.

“You’re covered in glass.”

“What else is new?”

“Are you in pain?”

“Some. It can wait. Not enough to concern me.”

“You’re going to have to take off your pants and lie on your stomach so I can examine you.”

He didn’t take his eyes off her as he said, “Well then you’re going to have to help. My hands….” He held out his hands, palms up, for her to see.

She realized he was right but resented her own huff of annoyance as he lifted his arms away from his sides. She reached for the buckle on his gun belt first, her irritation with his smirk making her proceed faster than she might have, with less care.

He grimaced.

 “Did that hurt?”

“’Course it dang well hurt. I’ve got glass—”

“I can see you’re covered in glass, Mr.?” It suddenly struck her she’d been so stunned by her patient, she hadn’t even got his name.

“Coltrane. Shiloh Coltrane.”

She pulled herself together once more as she stood, disconcerted, her gaze avoiding his. “Perhaps you’d like to see the barber? This is something he can—”

“If I wanted a shave, I’d see the barber. What I want is…what I want is to get this dang glass out of my skin, my hands particularly. And the piece that’s sticking me in the…the…behind.”

“There are bits in your face as well.” She reached for his belt without another word and undid it, hanging the gun belt on the chair before reaching for his pants belt and pulling it free. That, too, landed on the chair.

“I know I’ve got bits in my face. Let’s just deal first with the hands and …and behind.”

“All right,” she said. “I’m not going to take your pants off for you. Let me see your hands.”

Once more, Shiloh held out both hands, palms up.

Flustered, she blurted, “Sit down.” She went to her bag and searched for the carbolic, gave it a shake before putting some on a cloth and wiped a pair of tweezers. She pulled a tin basin out of the bag as well. She pivoted back to him to find him still standing. “Sorry I forgot. You can’t sit, can you?”

“Not really. Am I causing you problems?”


Buy Links for Shot Through the Heart:

Available in both eBook and Paper at all good booksellers:




Barnes and Noble:


Social Links:

Twitter:  @andidowning






Amazon Author Page :

Please follow Andrea on BookBub and Goodreads

Monday, October 26, 2020

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

As a breast cancer survivor (three times) this month hold a special place for me. Almost everyone knows someone who has, or has had , breast cancer, or maybe it’s you and you’re a survivor. Do you “Run for the Cure?” Do you donate to Breast Cancer this month? No, I’m not hustling for donations, but I through more research more and more people survive. I’ve known several people who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Many years ago, they didn’t survive Now diagnosis, treatment and prognosis has improved thanks to research.

Two of my three diagnosis were discovered by a mammogram. (The other one was a feeling I had and told my family doctor, and he ordered a mammogram, so I guess all three were). I know there are pros and cons about mammograms. Pros- They do save lives. They are estimated to reduce cancer deaths by 15%. Cons – Some people will undergo treatment for no reason, because the identified cancer would never have grown. Women may experience psychological distress, anxiety and uncertainty for years because of an inaccurate result. This comes from a report at And some cancers are too aggressive and virulent to control, no matter how early they are picked-up.

Obviously, I recommend mammograms, at least women should be doing a monthly self breast check for any lumps or changes. Always remember to check the lymph nodes in the armpit. If you do have a mammogram and it shows abnormalities, they may do an ultrasound. Doctors may also use the ultrasound to do a fine wire biopsy of the area and send it to the lab for testing.  

There are several other types of biopsies that may be done. If the results show cancer cells, treatment is usually surgery. It may be a lumpectomy or a mastectomy. And may also include radiation, chemotherapy, or hormone therapy.

I found my recent experience rather amusing. (After two previous experiences you don’t get as concerned) I had my routine mammogram. Something showed up. I had an ultrasound. Not sure what it was so a fine needle biopsy was booked. I had the biopsy and the doctor at the time said it didn’t really look like cancer. It was very small. But if it was cancer, he said they had probably removed it all int the tissue sample. The lab said it was cancer and they booked a lumpectomy. The doctor did the lumpectomy and sent it off to the lab. It came back no sign of cancer. My doctor is most upset. Had she missed the spot? Was it somewhere else? I explained that they had probably got it with the biopsy. I don’t think she thought that was possible. People are still unsure and confused about this. I gather this is not common. 😊

If you have a comment or story to share, I’d love to hear it.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Addison Brae and her her New Novel

 Addison Brae lives in Dallas, Texas on the edge of downtown. She has been writing since childhood and continues today with articles, video scripts and other content as an independent marketing consultant. Until about ten years ago, she never dreamed she would publish romantic suspense and contemporary young adult fiction. Addison spends her time traveling the world, collecting interesting cocktail recipes and hosting parties. She enjoys reading, jogging in her neighborhood park, sipping red wine, binge-watching TV series, vintage clothing and hanging out with her artistic other half and their neurotic cat Lucy. Read more about Addison on her website, Tirgearr Publishing, Amazon, and BookBub. Connect with Addison on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

Beverley: Which genre or genres do you write or prefer to write? And why?

Addison: Contemporary romantic suspense is what I know and enjoy. It’s what I live—with lots more thrill, twists and turns than everyday life. DARK ENERGY and BECKER CIRCLE are contemporary romantic suspense with a young heroine. I also write young adult contemporary, with two likely releasing in 2021.

Beverley: Who influenced you the most in deciding to become a writer?

Addison:My influence came from within. While growing up, no one encouraged me to think big. To dream. My destiny was to go work, get married, have kids, then retire. Me? I don’t think so. About ten years ago when I took a mini work sabbatical, I realized I could do lots more than live the expected life. The extra time motivated me to clean out boxes I had lugged with me for many moves. In one was the diary I wrote when I lived in England as a teen. The diary contents sparked the idea for the first novel I ever wrote. I signed a publishing contract for that book in March, and it should be released in 2021. I didn’t tell a soul until I had 30,000 words written. That’s when I realized I could finish a novel. I was very selective about who I told so no one could discourage me.

Beverley: What gets your creative juices flowing?

Addison: I immerse myself in the book’s setting. BECKER CIRCLE and DARK ENERGY take place in the bar scene. I often wrote sitting at bars around the U.S. and talking to bartenders and patrons for inspiration.

Beverley: What inspires you as an author?
: Life experiences are huge inspirations for me. I wrote these books during a stage in my life when I was single, going out a lot, and meeting some of the most unique people on the planet.

Beverley: Who would you love most to meet 'in person' and why?
: Diana, Princess of Wales has been a role model since I was a young teen. I lived in England during her fairytale engagement and wedding. I saw her wedding dress and had a couple of Diana sightings. What inspires me most is how she wasn’t afraid to buck tradition to stay true to herself. It took tremendous strength for her to show her sincerity and kind heart, which touched so many directly and indirectly. Her spirit will live on forever in so many ways.

Beverley: If you had an unexpected free day what would you do with it?

Addison: During this unforgettable 2020, I’d treat myself to every day at-home things—take a longer jog, try a new recipe, longer play sessions with Lucy, and binge-watch a new series. As the world begins to open up again, I would indulge my passions—take a day-trip to see a friend, stroll around an outdoor craft festival, watch live music, catch up with friends over a cocktail, and do all of these with John, the love of my life.

Beverley: What are you working on now?

Addison: There are many projects in progress. The next will be a young adult contemporary fiction that I hope my publisher will release in 2021. Stripped of her Olympic gold, figure skating career, and even her identity, Docia must disprove the vicious adoption scandal threatening to end far more than her dreams. The speculative romantic thriller I’m writing now explores how mainstream use of artificial intelligence will affect relationships. It’s terrifying to write. You’ll never look at your Alexa or Siri the same again.

Blurb for Dark Energy (Return to Becker Circle):

 Cybercrime doesn’t talk. It creeps in and destroys lives right under Gillian’s nose when a cryptojacking scheme lands her boss, Pinkie, in jail. Gillian had just started over with a new career, boyfriend, and confidence after escaping a vicious murder investigation that shattered her ability to trust. Then Pinkie’s arrest leaves her struggling to run his two bars while also unraveling the conspiracy.

 Gillian will not let her mentor and friend go down for something he didn’t do. Neither will Jon, the most talented musician on the bar’s stage and the perfect boyfriend...until his good fortune sends her reeling. Gillian forces herself to trust the cops, people who hurt her, and known criminals. Will it be enough to free Pinkie and save her life? 

Excerpt from Dark Energy (Return to Becker Circle) - Chapter Six:

I rest my forehead on the window and breathe to gather what little nerve remains. People stroll the sidewalk like tonight’s a regular Saturday night. Cars drive past like nothing has changed. The neon that traces the perimeter of the high rise across the street cycles through a rainbow of colors. Inside, the crowd hum creeps back. A shaker and clanking bottles sound from the bar.

I’m sure this is a little misunderstanding. Pinkie will be back tomorrow. Thoughts race through my head. They’re only words, not answers. Certainly, they’ve made a mistake and arrested the wrong person. What do I do right now? Face this head on?

Ignore it? Tell patrons, “thanks for being part of the Pinkie’s Too grand opening. The band starts shortly, so order another round and enjoy!”

What’s Pinkie’s Too without Pinkie? The answer is entirely up to me to figure out.

Buy links for Dark Energy

Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada, Amazon Australia, Smashwords, Apple Books, Kobo, and B&N Nook. Author proceeds go to Staff Meal to help provide meals and other aid to restaurant workers in need during the pandemic.

Monday, October 19, 2020

Judi Phillips and her New Novel

Judi has had stories in her head as far back as she can remember. However, being lazy (her friends like to point out that she’s efficient), and being a legal assistant, she knew she could never complete a manuscript if she had to write it on a typewriter. Then, along came word processors, and those magic cut and paste and delete icons. There was no stopping her after that. Within a few weeks of her first job with a computer, she started her first story, a house-beautiful, vogue thing about lawyers. Needless to say, it will never be published — but she honed her description skills on that project, so nothing is ever wasted.              Judi has recently relocated to New Mexico and is living in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains at the southern end of the Rockies.  No more Februarys in Maine for her. She lives with two dogs, a Yorkie, Mishka, and a MinPin, Gizmo, --who lives up to his name. Both have acclimated easily, although Gizmo does miss eating snow in the winter. Despite their small size, they rule the house.

First of all, I want to thank Beverly for inviting me to her blog.

I thought I'd share about a favorite character.  Well, really, I have two. My first favorite character is Aerial Bonné.  She first appeared in her daughter's book, Ghost of a Chance, where her daughter, Wynter Storm, is denying she has any psychic abilities.  Then Aerial comes to visit over the holidays, and begins to take over the book.  I had to sit down and have a chat with her, promising I would write her story, but this was her daughter's story.

Ghost of a Chance – Chances Are … Book 1:  A logical engineer, a psychic in denial and a mischievous little boy ghost equal a recipe for trouble. Available from Amazon Kindle and KU:  Link to Trailer: CoPNH0&t=1s

Excerpt from Ghost of a Chance

Late that afternoon, Trace climbed the stairs to his study. At the moment it was a work in progress. A sheet of plywood, confiscated from the site, resting across two filing cabinets, imitated a desk. A bookcase created from more boards and cement blocks housed engineering books. He'd ask Wynter to work on this room next. Before the living room.

He set a bottle of beer on the end table and settled into an overstuffed chair in one corner of the room. He'd catch up on professional reading before looking over a batch of blueprints to get a head start on work the next day.

The sun had set, and dark filled the corners of the room. He reached over and touched on the lamp. Suddenly, a chill wafted across his arms. He got up to check the window. Perhaps Gertrude had opened it a crack to air out the room and forgotten to close it.

The window was securely latched.

He returned to his chair, settled himself, opened the journal he wanted to read, and the light shut off. "Must've bumped it when I turned the page," he muttered. He touched it back on. He read a paragraph, grabbed his beer and took a sip. The light went off again. Guess I hit it on accident, he decided. That was the only logical explanation. He turned it on once more and continued reading. Five minutes passed and it shut off again.

"What the devil," he muttered. He hadn't moved. He touched it on for the third time. In no more than a minute or two, it turned off. Grinding his teeth in frustration, he touched it on. It went off.

He got up, unplugged and plugged in the lamp, and turned it on. It immediately went off again. Was there an echo of childish laughter? He dismissed it. Sara was gone, spending the night with his mother. Had to be kids down the block, playing outside. 

Then came Aerial's story that I promised her, Taking a Chance.  While her daughter is on her honeymoon, Aerial stays in Hidden Falls to run Wynter's shop and take care of her pre-teen granddaughter.  And starts hanging out with a local detective, Frank O'Malley, and spends time with her new BFF, Betty.  Come to find out, Betty's daughter was kidnapped years ago when she was two.

Taking a Chance – Chances Are … Book :  A psychic, a skeptical cop, a cold-case kidnapping and a hard-core conspiracy-theory lover.  Who will take a chance?  Available from Amazon Kindle and KU:  Link to Trailer:

  And now we come to my second favorite character, Guy Beadie, who shows up in Taking a Chance, and there isn't a conspiracy theory he doesn't love.  Which is why I find him fascinating.  He's based on a date I had, where the guy talked about chem trails (which I had never heard of at that time) and discussed in detail seeing a bank blocked off with tape that he drove by to meet with me and how they were conspiring to keep people away.  So, the husband of a friend of mine is a police officer.  I immediately called her and discovered that there had been a bank robbery at that exact location.  I was fascinated by him, but clearly my responses were not enthusiastic enough.  I would have gone out with him again for research purposes, but he said bye and that was it.  However, Guy thanks him. 

Excerpt from Taking a Chance

"I know you're off-duty, but do you mind if I ask you a possible work-related question."

Frank was thankful for the change of topic. "Another missing music box?" he asked with a smile, remembering the first time they'd met. She had insisted the police department be called about Sara's missing music box.

"No, this time it's about a missing girl."

His smile faded at the solemn expression on her face. "What about it?"

"I had the oddest dream last night."

He folded his arms across his chest. "Oh?"

Aerial waved her hand dismissively.  "Never mind. Probably just my overactive imagination. I won't bother you with it."

"It's no bother."

"No, it's nothing. Just a silly dream."

"Are you sure? I'm a good listener."

She shook her head.

"You've probably watched one too many reruns of Without a Trace."

She stared at him a minute as if she intended to say something, then closed her mouth firmly. "You're probably right."

Son of a gun. He'd obviously said something wrong. "Look, I'm sorry for teasing you. I do want to hear what you have to say."

"It's okay. I know. It was a crazy question."

Her reluctance to say anything more tweaked Frank's interest. What had stopped her? No matter the situation, he always wanted to pull the loose thread to see what unraveled. She'd given him an opening, and he decided that was a good excuse to see her again. "How about we go out to dinner? I can check around, and we can talk about this more."

She hesitated a moment, just long enough for him to realize he really wanted her to say yes. "I'd like that. When are you thinking?"

"How about Saturday?"

"That will work. I'll ask Betty if she can watch Jenny. My granddaughter," she added in response to his raised eyebrow.

"Great." What a doofus. Couldn't he come up with something better to say? He couldn't believe how tongue-tied he was around her. Good thing he wasn't in the dating market. And he hadn't just asked her for a date. He merely wanted to satisfy his curiosity about her.

"I'll let you know for certain. I'm sure we will see each other at the Bean."

Looked like she'd learned the locals' nickname for the coffee shop. "Looking forward to it." Frank turned, grinning like a detective who'd just closed a cold case. It had been a long time since he'd met a woman who intrigued him as much as Aerial. Sure, she was attractive, even if she might appear to be a little offbeat. After all, she was from the land of flakes and nuts. But he suspected there were deeper layers. And he definitely wanted to investigate them.

As he exited the door, he nearly bumped into a guy loitering outside. Frank quickly assessed him. Middle-aged, mussed hair, rumpled clothes, refusing to meet his gaze. Might mean something — or nothing at all. The guy didn't smell like a homeless person. Likely just lived on his own. Probably not a threat. But he didn't look like the usual kind of customer Frank expected to see at The Herbal Emporium. He'd keep an eye out for the guy, see if he showed up here again.

You can find Judi at:

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blog at:

Twitter:  @judiphil

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You can watch trailers for her books at