Believing in Mac: The Camerons of Tide’s Way by Skye Taylor

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In her typical style, Taylor weaves a realistic and engaging romance with strong mystery elements. Mac and Casey are very different people in some ways, very much the same in others. Both strive to do their very best in all that they do, both want to be at peace with their choices, even the hard ones. And though stubborn, both are looking to serve others along the way. Can a career cop and an ex-con find common ground to grow a lifelong love? The great pacing, well-drawn and fun characters, and beautiful Tide’s Way all work together to make the magic that is Taylor’s signature, work really well for readers. A PERFECT summer beach read!

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Want to live a more stress-free life? Enjoy more moments? Sleep peacefully at night and live peacefully during the day? Enjoy more passion and creativity?

I’m hear to tell you it’s possible and I’ve learned that through what’s been probably the toughest two years of my life to date. And I’ve had other really dark times for sure – but this has been different. The key has been about surrender which is very different from giving up.

Our family has experienced an extended time of challenges this past two years and they aren’t over. Yours probably has, too – I’m hearing about it from so many. But, by the grace of God, I’ve learned a few things that have changed my quality of life, the strength of my faith, and who I am as a human being. Peace has become my nearly-constant companion as I’ve learned so many things. For instance:

  • to let my family and friends know I need their thoughts and prayers. I don’t need to try and handle everything on my own
  • to stay focused (present) to each moment and what I’m seeing and feeling
  • to enjoy every opportunity to laugh, be it at myself or those crazy felines we share our home with
  • to stop and put my feet up with a cup of tea or cocoa and just enjoy the lights twinkling on the tree, or a rare moment of quiet
  • to start my day with quiet time (prayer, thoughtfulness, reading my Bible)
  • to smile a lot more, even when I’m all by myself
  • to surrender each and every moment of my day to the Lord

When did you enjoy a sunrise or sunset last? When did you really, really enjoy the aroma as well as the taste of that coffee or tea? When was the last time you closed your eyes and even noticed the smell and feel of a hug? When is the last time you smiled at someone at the checkout line just because you could?

For me, Christmas is about the birth of Jesus Christ whom I consider our savior. I believe He is with me as I have added Caretaker of my Spouse, Grieving Parent, and Employee to my other titles. And to handle any of those roles, surrender has been required. What a gift that has been. Stress-buster 101!

“Jesus, I surrender myself to you. Take care of everything.”

How much joy is possible if I’m always concerned with what I’ve left undone or what is coming? Without joy our spirits cannot grow and thrive which is a necessary element of life.

Our creator does not expect perfection from us. He does not demand perfection from us. He asks us to love ourselves and our neighbors. He asks us to help one another when and where we can. He asks us to be quicker to forgive than we are to be offended and that includes ourselves. He asks us to just be our best selves at any given moment.

My Christmas wish for you is to have peace and joy in your everyday life. I pray you’ll come to enjoy each moment and each person you encounter. I pray that through the tapestry that is our journey you discover how truly loved and revered you are by your creator and how very reliable, trustworthy, and steadfast He is to keep his promises to walk with you if you’ll only ask Him to. Any time.


Think they’re too big to care? Think your review or testimonial doesn’t count? Not true!! Every author will get viewed by a new reader every day! Help that reader to know they can count on this author to deliver on that writer-reader contract!! Takes a few minutes – JUST DO IT!


Guardian Angel by Sara Paretsky

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m a longtime V.I. Warshawski (and Paretsky) fan and enjoyed this novel very much. Loved the premise and the characters and I think that this book had more than the usual number of twists and turns. As usual, I thought I might have it figured out once or twice only to find I wasn’t even close. Highly recommend Guardian Angel for the female PI-loving readers!

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Dedicated to my friend Gerald Eubanks, may he rest in peace.

Nearly 4 million new book titles are produced each year if we count both self-published and traditionally published authors.

How in the world can that be possible? If we supposed (and this is NOT a realistic supposition, I know) that each book is 60,000 words on average, that’s 240 BILLION words being shared in a year.

About $14 billion dollars will be spent this year on non-fiction titles alone and this number does not include self-published titles which generally sell less than 100 copies ever. Some of those are self-help or how-to books, but most of that industry fits into the memoir/biography/autobiography categories.

For a writer, the words we generate, massage, revise, and polish to a high-gloss shine are often cathartic to us in some sense whether we are writing a book meant to educate others or we are writing a book meant to provide entertainment.

Education and entertainment are both worthy reasons to write. I know authors who’ve received emails to thank them for writing a story that helped a reader through a very long, rough night in a hospital waiting room. Others get a thank you note for that information or insight that changed the reader’s perspective.

I know top-of-their-field doctors who write poetry to level out the high stress levels; top scientists who write sci-fi novels to create the endings they long to see; nurses who work sixty-hour weeks who pen romance novels on their meal breaks.

Some of us are healed by the words we read. Some of us are healed by the words we write. It is true that words have great power indeed. Whether our words are written or spoken, it’s always important to remember that. My friend Gerald knew that and whether he was administrating, teaching, or leading a public event, he was conscious that his words had the power to change people.

The challenge is – and I hope you’ll take up this gauntlet – to have your words heal and not hurt others. To offer encouragement as well as education. To offer truth with kindness and compassion and without judgement.

We are wordsmiths, certainly. We can be advocates for peace and greatness if we choose to be.

Keep writing and reading! And don’t forget to review what you’ve read!


“Sometimes, all a person needs is a little perspective.”

Life. That bittersweet journey we all embark upon after conception. Everyone’s life and mission is different, but everyone has smooth times and hard times, too. We won’t always see that, but it’s a truth.

Available in all formats including CD, paperback, Kindle, audiobook, and hardcover

From Old Testament times and throughout all of mankind’s recorded history, the bards and scribes have waxed poetic about challenging times.

Sometimes those really dark, tear-filled days are the culmination of weeks, months, even years of hard stuff and we’re brought to our knees in complete and total exhaustion – and surrender. There is no more energy to maintain walls and facades of courage and strength. There is just, well, soul-deep fatigue. Our spirits cry, “Help me” to God, our Creator, because our spirits know we are connected intimately with our Creator. And, that He always hears. He always cares. Our minds may be talked out of that knowledge and our hearts may be hardened by this world, but our spirits know.

And that’s when a person may walk into your heart or a friend may take your call, or a bookshop owner may point out a book they think might be of interest – and voila, you are presented with a different “perspective.”

THE NOTICER by Andy Andrews is one of the gifts I was recently given on a particularly difficult day. Easy to read, this 2009 Thomas Nelson book is one of several written by this bestselling author. It is meant to offer us a new perspective on our own lives. Not on life in general but on how we see ourselves and our struggles. After all, whose life do WE really have any control over, anyway? Try it on like a new fall jacket. Enjoy it like a new friendship. See where it leads you.

“My contention is that you are right where you are supposed to be. This may look like barren sand to you, but nothing could be further from the truth. I say to you as you lay your head down tonight, you are sleeping on fertile ground. Think, learn, pray, plan, dream. For soon . . . you will become.” Excerpt from The Noticer.

THE NOTICER is your chance to regroup, take a breath, and begin your life again. Right now. Today. No reservations needed. I cannot recommend this little book strongly enough for anyone, of any age. With all we’ve been through on this planet in the past 36 months, we can ALL use a restart button!

As Jones, the protagonist says, “The best is yet to come.”

Wishing you all the best, always! Learn more about the author at


Introducing Susan S. Slater, International Bestseller

ESPECIALLY if you are a Tony Hillerman fan, you will love both of the series by Susan S. Slater; if you are woman you’ll not only love those characters, but also Susan’s standalone, 0 to 60. Just have tissues ready as she brings you to tears of laughter and empathy from beginning to end!

Snake Eyes, by Susan S. Slater [Ben Pecos Series]

If you ask her, she’ll tell you that 0 to 60 is only semi-biographical and that writing it was something that helped her spirit heal after a very upsetting decade of forced changes. No wonder this title has been optioned for the big screen!

Another standalone story that wouldn’t leave Susan alone is The Caddis Man, released in late 2021. A huge departure from her Native American characters in the two series, this is a historical fantasy that will grab you by the collar and not let you go!

“Readers are loving this sweeping family saga that spans fifty years and half a world, from the wide Kansas farmlands to the missionary settlements in the Congo….” [Review]

She’s an outstanding storyteller for sure and if you enjoy well-told stories, you’ll enjoy this author, I’m sure.

New, expected in early November, is SNAKE EYES, the latest book in the Ben Pecos series. I, for one, cannot wait!!!! And in the meantime, I’ll finish The Caddis Man!


Happy reading to all!

Nancy Q.

Mystery Writers Chat About “The Mystery”

St. Augustine, FL

Doors open at noon – a fun, free afternoon for readers, writers, library staff and booksellers. See below for the bios of each panelist – and share with anyone you think might enjoy this afternoon event. A portion of the book sales will benefit the Friends of the Main Branch Library to support their programs and materials for the public!

Friends of the Main Library is pleased to present a panel of four mystery authors to discuss their writing and the sub-genre of mystery books. The discussion will include the types of mystery they each write, how location plays a role, how characters are constructed, and some of their own favorite authors. Nancy Quatrano will moderate this event.

This program is free, open to the public, and will take place at The Waterworks, 184 San Marco Ave., which shares a parking lot with the Main Library. Seating begins at 12:00 PM, and the presentation starts promptly at 1:00 PM. No reservations are required. For more information, please call the Main Library at 904-827-6940.

Nancy Quatrano is an award-winning novelist and short story author, developmental editor, speaker, and columnist. She’s presented workshops to readers, writers, businesses, and women’s groups, from New York to Florida. In addition to writing a mystery series and co-authoring a women’s fiction series with D.K. Ludas, she writes a semi-monthly column for the St. Augustine Record and runs On-Target Words. Among several awards, her mystery Still Shot won the Action category in the international 2019 Book Excellence Awards. For more information, visit

Judy Weber is the author of A House to Die For, the first in the Angela Rossi Realtor Mystery Series. The second book in the series, No Good Deed, is due out by the end of the year. She’s also one-half of the Amber Adams writing team, which produced the four-book Day McKelvey Mystery series set in St. Augustine. She has also had numerous short stories published, one of the latest being A Tale of Two Muses. She is the former editor and publisher of a regional trade magazine, American Builder. She is a long-time resident of St. Augustine, living in her home on the St. Johns River with her rescue beagle Barney.

A New Mexico transplant and Tony Hillerman protégé, Susan Slater’s first novel, The Pumpkin Seed Massacre, made her an international bestseller in 2000. Now, seventeen novels later, she’s added three stand-alones to her two mystery series and her quasi-memoir, 0 to 60, has been optioned by Hollywood. In addition to writing, two degrees in English Literature and a third in Adult education have supported a career in college teaching; course design for the American Embassy and the All Indian Pueblo Council’s teacher education program; plus two stints in the Defense Industry for both DoD and DOE as a Senior Instructional Specialist.

Vic DiGenti is the award-winning author of six novels, a collection of short stories, and six works of nonfiction. His novels include the Windrusher trilogy of adventure-fantasies featuring a four-legged feline protagonist and the Quint Mitchell Mystery series published under the pen name Parker Francis. The first in that series, Matanzas Bay, won the 2007 Josiah W. Bancroft Sr. Award and was named Book of the Year in the 2009 Royal Palm Literary Awards competition in the Pre-Published category. Bring Down the Furies, the second in the series, won the Gold Medal in the 2013 Florida Authors & Publishers Association’s President’s Award Competition. The third, Hurricane Island, is set in Cedar Key. In his former life, Vic worked as a producer/director for WJCT, Jacksonville’s PBS and NPR station affiliates, and also produced the Jacksonville Jazz Festival for eight years. He lives and works in Ponte Vedra Beach.

The Waterworks is available through the generosity of the City of St. Augustine and the St. Johns Cultural Council.

TRANSFORMING YOUR AGING BRAIN by Linda Stoler M.A. and Dr. Gretchen Espinetti

Are you caring for someone (of any age) with a brain injury of any type? Someone showing signs of dementia either age or medication-related? This book will feel like a hug!

When we worked together on this book, I learned tremendously helpful things about our brains and how to heal them or keep them healthier, and about the impact of attitude and activity not just on our brains, but on our very quality of life both mentally, spiritually, and physically.

While a great many things can change in eight years (this was released in late 2014), there isn’t much in this book that would change. The ideas, discoveries, methods, and lessons are pretty much timeless. Sure, there a few newer brain studies, especially related to concussion injuries, but those add information, they don’t change what this duo so carefully crafted as a tool essentially, to joy!

I’ve just reread this terrific work by Stoler and Espinetti and was reminded of things I’ve forgotten now that I’m a caregiver. I am happy to say that the Stolers are still actively teaching the multi-modal method to not only caregivers and care facility staff and management for elders, but to young people, too.

And why not? We’re never too young – OR – too old, to take better care of ourselves and live life with a positive attitude and as many dance steps as we can do!

If you’re in the age group of 25 – 100, you’ll LOVE this book! Available everywhere you can order books in electronic and print versions!

Harlan Coben: StoryTeller Extraordinaire

The Woods by Harlan Coben

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Harlan Coben is a master storyteller who does a great job of building the tension and then letting the reader nearly off the hook before setting it deeper. By midway, readers will not be able to put this away so they can find out what’s really going on!

I wasn’t terribly happy with the ending but I suspect this book could have had more than one. We’ll have to see what Netflix does with it!

If you want a story that’s well-built with characters that don’t mind leading you over hill and dale, The Woods is one you won’t want to miss. Just wear your sneakers so you can keep up!

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I Love Mysteries but There is Nothing Like a Christine Bush Sweet Romance

Long ago and far away, when I was first discovering the business of writing commercial fiction, a woman dashed into our meeting room wearing a trench coat, private investigator hat, and sneakers. She yelled, “Is everyone ready to have fun?” Of course, the large group in the room shouted, “Yes!” And the woman began to “show” us how to write our fiction so that it was entertaining. Colorful. Energetic. And, that was only ONE of the many workshops taught by Christine Bush in the nearly 10 years I was with the NJ Romance Writers.

Why is she so memorable for me? She’s a teacher, an encourager, a woman of integrity and gentleness. And, I was delighted to find out, she’s stuck with the romance genre and style that I always loved in her books.

When I realized that I didn’t believe in Happily Ever Afters, yet alone want to write them, I could still read her books and enjoy them, and it was then that she taught me to follow my heart and write what was right for me.

Thanks, Chris! Love you, still. NQ

Cindy’s Prince by Christine Bush

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In traditional Christine Bush fashion, Cindy’s Prince is a charming sweet romance that will have readers cheering, biting their nails, crying, and laughing! While I read far more mysteries than romances, Bush has a real gift for a good story and a dedication to the traditional sweet romance so when I see a new book by this author, I grab it! If you like your romances sweet, you’ll love this author.

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