What's in Store

Meet the Authors, Writers Doing Right, Book Reviews and More!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

And the Winners of Last Week's Book Giveaway Are.....

Last week, authors G.B. Pool and John Paul Wohlsheid allowed their characters, Gin Caulfield and Benny Cahill, to prove who was the toughest Private Eye. Well, the characters tied, but the readers came out winners!

And the winners are

Steven Vredeveld won a free ebook copy of Trouble is My Client!

Jane (no last name given) won a free paperback copy of Hedge Bet!

The winners will be contacted by email!

Congratulations to Steven and Jane!

Friday, February 12, 2016

A Romantic's Perspective on Valentine's Day

Jacquée T. lives life romantically. Through being a writer and imbiber of life. She is an authoress, and proprietress of Detour Productions. She is the former newspaper columnist for 'Letter from Chicago'. And the poetess of the book Growing Up (the pain, the joy, the discoveries) "Romance is a matter of perspective." she says.

I am pleased to welcome
Jacquée T.  to A Writer's Jumble just in time for St. Valentine's Day!  Remember to check out A Romantic's Perspective for suggestions on wine, cinema, and first dates!


I was excited to hear that you have recently teamed up with WREN Internet Radio out of Topeka, Kansas, for "A Romantic Moment" on Saturdays at 12:30 pm Central Time, USA. WREN Radio dates back to 1926, and in 2012 transformed to an all Internet station. They broadcast a classic radio OLDIES format.

How did you, in Chicago, connect with a radio station in Kansas?

I am on the road via a “Jacquée T. Writer in Residence expedition,” and featuring Kansas. “Writer in Residence” was initiated via my website A Romantic’s Perspective(.com) TRAVEL section.

Shortly after I arrived in Topeka, I discovered WREN on the Internet, and became a regular listener and fan. I would “tune them in” as I traveled to other parts of Kansas. I thought the station would be a fabulous match as a “Writer in Residence” sponsor. One time when back in Topeka, I approached the station owners Frank Chaffin and Les Glenn. They thought it would be a better idea to work together.

Ahh, serendipity! It so happened I had already started recordings for my “A romantic moment” concept and had the recordings filed in my computer. I presented the concept to Mr. Chaffin and Mr. Glenn. They thought it was a great fit for the Saturday Frankie C. Show. We started working together right away.

We are all excited about with this collaboration, discussing ways to further entwine Romantic’s and WREN.

Does the Oldies format make a good pairing with romance?

O, yes!

Firstly, WREN features oldies from the '50s, '60s and '70s. The majority of songs in these eras inspire folks to dance. And dancing is a titillating exchange between males and females.

Not that folks listening in are grabbing partners to dance. Although some might be. Others listening may reminded of times they have been dancing – whether they did when this music first came out, or they did after the music officially became Oldies. All this raises the spirits, and brings smiles.

Secondly, these featured eras present styles of music, lyrics and passion all their own. Their heydays are bygone and the styles cannot be reproduced. Yet the affect remains timeless in appealing to our emotions.

Thirdly, WREN Radio makes this music accessible, in classic car-radio style that includes live deejays. To boot, it’s on Internet radio to bring these eras to a modern day medium. ’Tis accessible to folks who listened to this music when it first came out, and to the younger generations who are discovering it.

The WREN Radio format crosses eras, and inspires its own brand of romance across generations. And now its songs and deejay voices are accessible globally. Romance is timeless, and is universally understood. Quite a nice fit.

The purpose of "A romantic moment" is to demonstrate to listeners simple ways to weave romance into their daily lives. Can you share a few tips?

’Tis my pleasure.

To live life romantically begins with you. Whether you are in a couple, or presently between relationships, you need to foremost nurture the romantic in yourself. From there you may enlighten others with your romantic attitude.

“A romantic moment” celebrates this, and how easy it is to add romance to your lifestyle.

Per each segment, I feature a subject, and for three to five minutes present suggestions to incorporate it into your attitude and your routine. This to add quality to your life and make it a little more romantic every day.

“Begin with you” is one of the earlier features. Here I suggest pausing to recognize what inspires you. Embrace the little things like a good cup of coffee, for example, or a clean desk. If you love coffee, find a favorite way to make your own – and do it. Savor it in the morning as part of your preparing for the day, or take it in a thermos to work to savor as you tend to your tasks.

If you feel comforted by working at a clean desk, pause to straighten it up, before lunch, or before finishing the workday – so that when you return your desk is in order and ready for you.

If you love to read, designate more time for it.

These are examples. You need to take note of things that add comfort to your day, and take time for them to make your days more fulfilling. Tend to the romantic in yourself, and sharing your romantic attitude with others will become second nature.

Another “A romantic moment” feature: “Gotta love chivalry.” Here I emphasize that chivalry is ver-ly much alive and urge both men and women to partake in the exchanges.

For example, one of the basics is a man opening the door for a woman. His gesture is not at-all implying “You can’t open your own door.” ’Tis expressing, “I respect you as a woman.”

The woman completes this exchange by accepting the gesture. She walks through that door, and perhaps offers the gent a smile or “thank you.”

Chivalry is an honoring of masculinity and femininity through small gestures that may be made wherever men and women commingle. Each time the exchange is completed adds a bit o’ romance to the air.

These are all aspects you may integrate into your days to make each day more romantic.

"A Romantic Moment" is sponsored by Avenue Hair Styling & Day Spa based in Topeka Kansas. And, sponsors with products available in stores and online: PINES International, based in Lawrence Kansas, Fabulous Florals based in California, Chilly Root Peony Farm in Alaska, and The Tasteful Olive, based in Topeka and Overland Park, Kansas.

How did you go about finding sponsors?

The main objective is to find businesses that complement the “A romantic moment” mission. I select businesses per an agenda of the “romantic” nature, and personally invite the owners to sponsorships.

Yet I do not invite a business per their niche alone. With each company I invite, I am ver-ly particular.

Examples: Flowers are romantic. However I do not invite just any florist. I seek out florists that provide locally grown and USA grown flowers. I also find flower farmers who are in the United States and offer flowers nationwide.

Cooking is a romantic part of life. And having the right supplies, like olive oil, is essential. Yet not just any olive oil. I find a business that knows olive oils, and takes mission to offer top quality products.

Eating healthy is romantic. It’s taking care of your body. I seek companies that have a dedicated, naturally-based mission that is carried out in the products they offer.

The next objective is geography. WREN Radio is based in Topeka, near the northeast corner of Kansas. So of course I seek regional businesses that fit my “romantic” agenda.

Plus WREN Internet Radio is accessible via the World Wide Web. They have a global audience, including active listeners in Europe. Yet at present the majority listenership is in the United States.

So I seek romantic and otherwise inspiring businesses throughout the United States – preferably ones that have a storefront or farm to visit plus option to order online.

These all represent aspects I consider before inviting a business owner to sponsorship. The ones who accept, of course, are truly romantic.

Sponsors sign on for four or more weeks at a time. We have a limited number of sponsors per segment. Therefore, as “A romantic moment, by Jacquée T.” continues, sponsors alternate.

Do you have any local events in the Chicago area planned in the near future?

As I am on the road, events in Chicago are presently not on the agenda. I am considering beginning a series of recording “A romantic moment” live in the communities I visit.

Any last minute words for us as we prepare for St. Valentine's Day weekend?

Indeed! Ladies and gentlemen, get out and celebrate – if you’re in a couple, and if you’re


Valentine’s Day is not a holiday that was invented to sell greeting cards. It dates back over 1,000 years in honor of St. Valentine. ’Tis said he performed secret marriages to couples in love – at a time the Roman Emperor prohibited marriage because he wanted men to dedicate their minds and their hearts 100% and only to war efforts.

St. Valentine defended romance because it is an integral part of human existence. On Valentine’s Day we honor him and honor romance.

For couples:

Fellows, take the initiative. Sweep your darling away to a lovely evening together. To some of you this may seem like much pressure, yet ’tisn’t. Simply pause to consider details to make this a special Valentine’s celebration.

You may orchestrate a “classic” date with a romantic dinner and a gift or two, or an interactive date.

Depending on the level of your relationship, the details of the date may vary. Perhaps ’tis a budding romance. Perhaps it seems like you have been lovebirds together forever. The main thing is compose this date to celebrate your romance. Once the date begins, focus on her. Do so with enthusiasm, and she will reciprocate, with rosy cheeks.

For singles:

You’re romantic! Seize this romantic holiday.

Compose a “singles only” gathering. Invite all your friends who are unattached, and have them invite all their unattached friends. Nudge them. Have them nudge their friends. Nobody stays home.

Make it a “red party.” Participants need to wear something red.

Host it it at your favorite Happy Hour place, wine bar, or other public venue that has space for mingling.

Or, host it at your place. If so, have folks bring something red, like red appetizers, or a red wine or liqueur.

While this “singles only” Valentine’s gathering does not promise meeting the love of your life, it does promote a hearty mix of fellows and gals who are between relationships, to mingle, and flirt per whim. It promotes laughing, and rosy cheeks.

In summary, I gotta say, celebrate romance every day, through your attitude and little things you do. And for Valentine’s day, definitely celebrate it to honor romance, as romance is a fabulous part of life.

Sign up to keep up with the news from A Romantic's Perspective! 

Join Our Mailing List
Powered By Elite Email

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Battle of the Sexes Meets Two Private Investigators

              Welcome to the pre-St. Valentine's Day                  Battle of the Sexes - PI style! 

Who's the toughest Private Investigator, Ginger "Gin" Caulfield, or Benny Cahill? Both are excellent investigators written by outstanding authors. To help you decide, we peppered both the characters and the authors with some tough questions to determine which PI would win the Battle of the Sexes. There is a link at the bottom of the page to a brief survey. Place your vote, and the first 100 people to respond to each survey will be entered in a drawing to win the latest novel of the author for whom they voted, so make sure to enter the correct email address! Winners will receive either the paperback of Hedge Bet or the ebook version of Trouble is My Client. Winners will be announced next Tuesday!


We'll let the characters introduce themselves. Ladies first.

Hi, I’m Gin Caulfield. G.B. Pool asked me to answer these “Toughest PI Questions,” since I’m a private detective in one of her detective series. I came along before her Johnny Casino character, so I guess I have a few more miles under my belt. And I’m the one who trained Johnny, so half of what he knows, I taught him. Sorry, Johnny. Age before beauty, handsome.

Alright, let's get this over with. My rent ain't going to pay its self. My name is Benny Cahill. I'm a PI in a big, bad city. This writer, John Paul Wohlscheid, asked me to answer these questions about whose the toughest PI, but we already know who that is. The kid likes to call himself my "biographer". I guess it sounds better than "writer". To me, he's a pain in the butt. Excuse me, if I'm a little short, but I just spent the last two days playing nursemaid to a new PI named Solomon Strong, while we tailed a mark. I'm sure you'll learn about it soon enough. Now. let's get to the questions. I running out of coffee.

And now, for the questions.

What is the stickiest situation your detective has ever had to get out of?

 I’d say the stickiest situation in a book came along in my latest case, Damning Evidence. It had me thinking that I just might have run out of options. It started when I discovered a body up by a local dam. The main suspect hired me to prove his innocence. I went searching for clues to the real killer and found something that changed everything and it almost cost me my life and maybe the lives of hundreds of others.

Does being stuck on a boat between an armed gangster and his armed thug count? When the smoke cleared, they were both dead. And I was unarmed. Never a good thing.

Who is the most dangerous criminal your character has faced, and what made him/her so dangerous?

The most dangerous criminal I ever faced? That’s easy. Anybody who wants to kill you is dangerous, but one with power can really ruin your day. In Hedge Bet, I thought I knew who I was after when an acquaintance turned up dead at the racetrack, only to find out the hard way I was missing a piece of the puzzle And what made the killer so dangerous? The killer knew who I was and was waiting for me.

I've had to deal with quite a few gangster since I got home from the war. For worst gangster I've dealt with so far, there's a tie between Tom Branigan and Frank Cassidy. One sent a sniper to kill me and the other sent his goons to iron out my skull.

What is your detective's weapon of choice and why?

I have no problem carrying a gun… or two. I often do. But sometimes I’m in a situation where I can’t use a gun or I don’t have a gun with me. What do I rely on then? My brain.
I usually carry a rod. I own couple different ones, so it depends which one I grab that day. Sometimes it's the Luger and sometimes it's the Colt Police Special. But my weapon of choice is my fists because they are silent and don't need to be reloaded.

Does your private eye work alone, or does he or she have help?

When I first started out in the biz, I worked for another agency. I did undercover jobs and worked alone. Now that I have my own agency, I occasionally rely on another member of my staff to do some of the legwork. My husband, Fred, often gets roped into doing small jobs like bringing a Mexican firecracker back across the border in Hedge Bet. He had a few choice things to say about that. I hired a capable trainee quite a few years ago, mostly to save him from getting into serious trouble. He went on to start his own agency. His name is Johnny Casino. You can read about our first meeting in The Johnny Casino Casebook 1- Past Imperfect. Or when he first worked for me in The Johnny Casino Casebook 2 – Looking For Johnny Nobody. But now that I am getting older, I want to bring on a full-time partner. I know who he is: my husband. Wait until I tell him about it… in a forthcoming book.

I'm not Superman, I can't do everything myself. My biggest helper is a barfly named Mickey Jakes. Jakes used to be a top investigative reporter until he decided to dig through the mobs dirty laundry. It wasn't too long before the fixed his little red wagon. He still has a bunch of contacts around town, so I tap him when I need help with a case.

Do the police help or hinder your character?

That depends on the cop. In real life, cops give P.I.s some leeway. If you screw up once, they’ll give you a pass. But don’t let them catch you a second time. So far, that has worked. I do have a couple of cop friends who have backed me up a few times in both Hedge Bet and Damning Evidence. But there are one or two cops I wouldn’t turn my back on.

I mainly deal with two detectives: Lieutenant. Brady Summers and Lieutenant Crowley. Summers is a good cop and I generally get along with him. But Crowley’s another story. As soon as I show up on a case, he works overtime to make me fit the crime. I don't think he likes me.

Who was your toughest client and why?

You ask who was my toughest client? Donald Delvecchio from my Hedge Bet case, because the idiot married somebody less than 24-hours after his wife was killed. My quote: “Are you out of your freaking mind? Marrying somebody before you even buried your wife! Do you want me to save your butt or direct traffic to your hanging?”

I've dealt with quite a few gangsters in my time. Before that, I helped kick the Nazis out of Europe. But none of those scared me like Mother Mary Peter. She taught high school at St. Sensation's the whole time I was there. Most of the kids tried their best to stay on her good side, but there always was someone begging for the ruler. She hired me to clean drugs out of her school a couple of years after I hung up my shingle. She might have been in her eighties, but you still didn't mess with her. I gave the kid the information, but he hasn't written it up yet. (The story will be published later this year. JPW)

What is the toughest part of writing a series featuring a private investigator?

Your last two questions will have to be answered by the author. So I’m signing off. See ya, Gin.

What is the toughest part of writing a series featuring a private investigator? The main thing I did when I started writing the Gin Caulfield P.I. Series was to write a biography for her so I knew where she came from and what type of person she was. Since I used to be a private detective, I sort of know what they can and can’t do. And I also didn’t want the books to be so regimented with procedures that I would get bogged down in detail, so I tend to let my imagination take her into fictional trouble rather than blood and guts reality. I don’t write cozies, mind you, so there are dead bodies and some high-wire tension to keep you on your toes, but the language is fairly reserved. Since Ginger Caulfield is a professional, she does use her head and follows the rules… most of the time… and she owns a gun.

I don't know what to tell you, so I'll let the kid answer this.

For me, the hardest part of writing this series is coming up with the solution to the mysteries. The banter and the characters are fun to create, but solutions take time for me to come up with. Most of the time, I'll come up with the crime to be solved and then build from there.

What is one situation/location/challenge you would like your character to face in a future book?
Gin was shot in the back by a very influential man who got away with it by lying to the police. She nearly lost her life and ended up closing her detective agency for a few years until the urge to solve a case became too great. I want her to catch the bum who shot her while he is doing something that will land him in prison. And I want it featured on the nightly news so the swine can’t deny it. It will be a subplot in a subsequent novel. And I will tell you this, I came up with the plot while answering this question. Thank you, Jackie, for stimulating my creative juices.
Well, that's a hard one. I've already been to the (spoiler). What?!? I can't even say (spoiler). For some reason, the kid has his Spoiler Filter set to high. So, I'll say that I've taken down gangsters and lesser criminals. Maybe in a future book, I'll take on bigger fish, like politicians. Because that's where the real money is.

A former private detective and a reporter for a small weekly newspaper, Gayle
Bartos-Pool has several books in print: The Johnny Casino Casebook 1- Past Imperfect, The Johnny Casino Casebook 2 – Looking for Johnny Nobody, and The Johnny Casino Casebook 3 – Just Shoot Me; Media Justice, Hedge Bet, and Damning Evidence in the Gin Caulfield P.I. Series; From Light To DARK, a collection of short stories; Eddie Buick’s Last Case, The Santa Claus Singer, and Bearnard’s Christmas. She is the former Speakers Bureau Director for Sisters in Crime/Los Angeles and also a member of Mystery Writers of America and The Woman’s Club of Hollywood. She teaches writing classes: “Anatomy of a Short Story,” “How To Write Convincing Dialogue” and “Writing a Killer Opening Line” in sunny Southern California. Website: www.gbpool.com.

John Paul Wohlschied was born and raised in West Michigan. He discovered
detective stories at an early age through the magic of Old Time Radio. Since then he has devoured hundreds of hours of radio shows (such as Sam Spade, Philip Marlowe, Boston Blackie, Richard Diamond and Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar) and mystery stories. With all this knowledge, he decided to take a crack at recreating those hard-boiled stories of yesteryear. Someday he plans to expand into scifi and westerns and pick your own adventure games. You can visit his website or sign up for his mailing list to get the latest news! 

And now, vote for the toughest PI!

Click here to vote for Gin Caulfield

Click here to vote for Benny Cahill