I am in the midst of my latest read by John Grisham, A Time for Mercy, released in October 2020. It is the third in the Jake Brigance series. It is what Grisham does best, legal suspense and courtroom drama. The characters are well-developed, the legal challenges clear and concise, and a sixteen-year-old’s life is on the line.

…the chores and food and intimidation were nothing compared to the violence.

John Grisham, A Time for Mercy

Clanton, Mississippi. 1990. Jake Brigance finds himself embroiled in a deeply divisive trial when the court appoints him attorney for Drew Gamble, a timid sixteen-year-old boy accused of murdering a local deputy. Many in Clanton want a swift trial and the death penalty, but Brigance digs in and discovers that there is more to the story than meets the ey…


I’ve been in love with Florida ever since I tumbled out of my parent’s car as a toddler and ran barefoot into a patch of sandspurs on the banks of Wares Creek near the Gulf of Mexico.

Like most folks in Florida, we moved to the state from someplace else. In the intervening decades, I moved away a few times, but I always come back. Something about the warm, white sand between my toes, the bright, hot sun on my back, the salty, cooling Gulf breeze in my face—not to mention the frequent insanity of the place—yanks me back to Florida every time.

Hence, it shouldn’t be any surprise that all of my books are set—where else? Florida!

With seven published book, including The Smuggler’s Daughter, and a new one, Wayward Girls, on the way, all set in Florida, one might ask why is Florida such a ri…


My sleeping husband’s feet moved like a ducks’, paddling beneath the covers. Then one fist began to rotate. He was flying in his sleep again. That, among other oddities—like hoping for pestilence or watching the wind—became an accepted part of our marriage. I was a cropduster’s wife.

I remember driving to work one morning. Approaching an overpass, I noticed an ag plane spraying a field near the freeway. It was one from the dusting operation that employed my husband. Then, another plane from the same company, approached from the north, ferrying back from another field. I knew my husband piloted one, but both planes looked identical. Just as my car crested the overpass, I saw the ferrying plane fly over the working airplane. The working plane pulled up at the end of a spray run, heading fo…


No One Writes Books about Locksmiths

by Luanne Oleas

Most of the time when you think about writing a book, they say you should write what you know. I knew locksmithing.

As a woman locksmith, I didn’t go out on the two-a.m. calls when patrons discovered their keys locked in their cars after the bar closed. But I did open cars for drunks in the daytime. One call required me to use a Slim Jim (a long, flat piece of spring steel) in my customer’s car door while he wavered beside me, smelling of pizza and beer. Only after I unlocked the door did he mention he didn’t have any money. I tossed the keys on the front seat, locked the car door, and slammed it shut. Suddenly, he remembered his checkbook in the glove box.

At the time, my husband was a cropduster, and I was looking to get out of lo…


Do you ever wonder what it would be like to produce and narrate audiobooks? I know I have. Recently, I had the chance to interview Amy Verdon, the producer/narrator for my first audiobook, Jess Sayin'. Jess Sayin' the audiobook is available on Amazon and Audible.


How did you get started as an Audiobook Narrator? My journey to becoming an audiobook narrator was a natural progression of my education and interests. I have been acting nearly all my life—I was in my first musical at age 8, and did my first voiceover gig at age 10. I was active in community and high school theatre, and from there pursued a degree in Theatre with a minor in Vocal Performance from Kansas State University. I was fortunate to be cast in numerous plays and musicals.


After a few acting gigs around the countr…


With Women’s History Month in the news, we wanted to hear from a male author to hear his perspective on what qualities are found in a strong female character.

Can a man channel a woman’s interior thoughts in a convincing manner? Can even the most earnest male author write a credible female protagonist without lapsing into gender stereotypes?

High-tech thriller author J.D. Lasica, who chose a female lead for his Shadow Operatives series, agreed to step up to the plate. Here’s my Q&A with him on the subject.

Alessandra Torre: Where do you start with any book – writing the characters or writing the story? Is that different when you're writing female characters?

JD Lasica: As a thriller author, I typically start with a intriguing concept or situation that seems like it would be sufficient…


Rosalind Tate - Time Travel, Adventure and Heroic Dogs

Rosalind Tate is the author of the Shorten Chronicles -- the exciting new romantic, time-travel series featuring Sophie Arundel and her dog, Charlotte. Rosalind has a tolerant husband and two utterly gorgeous dogs. As our Author of the Day, she tells us all about her book, Stranded.

Please give us a short introduction to what Stranded is about.

The idea came into my head a few years ago when I was watching Downton Abbey on TV. How would a modern girl cope (or not) if she found herself in a grand house a century ago?

My main character, Sophie, f…


Let’s face it. With the whirlwind of demands made on our time, it’s often easier to sit down in front of a screen to watch a show than it is to read the novel it’s based on.

But the old adage remains true: The book is often better than the movie.

So whether you want to go deep into a character’s backstory or just want to explore the subplots that never made it onto the small screen, the book is where you’ll find the whole story.

Clarice (on CBS) and Firefly Lane (on Netflix) are two of the book-to-TV adaptations that recently debuted this year. Plenty of others are coming up fast. So we’ll leave it to you whether you’d like to start with the book or pick it up once the series gets you hooked.

Here's a look at 10 novels being turned into series for broadcast, cable and streaming servic…


Following is a Q&A with author Alessandra Torre.

Q: Tell us about how the idea for this book came to you; did anything provoke it?

A: I watched a late-night special on camming one night and instantly thought 'Wow- that is something I want to know more about.'  There is such a secret world out there that is completely unknown by most women – an entire forbidden underground where men act out their most secret desires online.  'The Girl in 6E' didn't even touch on most of the crazy fetishes that exists, most of which deeply embarrass these men, to the point where they can only confess them to a stranger.  As far as the murderous aspect of DeAnna – as I began writing the story she morphed into this really dark individual, her character really wrote herself.


Q: We saw at the end of the b…


The Air He Breathes was chosen as the BingeBooks February 2021 Book Club read. As part of the book club, author Brittainy Cherry did a live chat and interview with readers and host Alessandra Torre. it was a fantastic half-hour event followed by smaller private discussions by readers.


If you're interested in a future BingeBooks book club, visit and join the connected group here.



Here is the full transcript of author Brittainy Cherry's live chat about The Air He Breathes:



Alessandra: Hi, everyone. We're going to let the room fill up but welcome to Binge Books. My name is Alessandra Torre. I'm here today with Brittainy Cherry and we're going to be talking all about The Air He Breathes. So I'm so excited to have you guy…