A Tale of Two Friends

I’m so excited that Let’s Fake a Deal is out today! (Look for a giveaway at the end of the post.) While I’m the one that does the writing so many other people contribute to the book. The whole fantastic team at Kensington including my editor Gary Goldstein, Larissa Ackerman in publicity, Lou Malcangi the  Art Director, the sales team, copy editors, and production team among many others. There wouldn’t be a book without them.

Then there’s Barb Goffman who is my independent editor and chief hand holder. And my beta readers including Mary Titone. (And if that name sounds familiar it should – Mike “the Big Cheese” Titone is one of the characters in the series.) They have saved me from myself multiple times.

Today I want to focus on two other people who helped shape this book—Vida Antolin-Jenkins and Bruce Coffin.

I’ve known Vida for several years. Barbara Ross introduced us and I’m so glad she did. Not only is Vida a lot of fun, she’s a big reader, and supports my series. We’ve had many happy discussions about Sarah and her turbulent personal life. Vida served in the Navy for 23 years and retired in 2013 at the rank of captain (in the other military branches that’s the equivalent of being a colonel). She knows part of each of my books includes some aspect of military life. Vida suggested that I feature a woman who is an officer in the military. This of course required meeting for lunch.

At lunch I took notes and asked lots of questions. Vida gave me big picture ideas along with a lot of personal stories. Much of what she shared that day ended up in Let’s Fake a Deal and we came up with a plot. A female officer is promoted to colonel, only someone files an IG (inspector general) complaint against her. IG complaints are anonymous and, as in real life, the promotion is held up until the complaint has been investigated and the person cleared. In Let’s Fake a Deal, Michelle has a good idea who filed the complaint. The man harasses her when Sarah and Michelle are at a bar together. Things go from bad to worse from there.

It was really interesting to use this plot line in the book and I interviewed several other women who’d served in the military to get their takes on what it was like. Their stories were vast and varied but had a common theme. It isn’t easy working in such a male-centric environment, but they loved the challenges. Each of them handled those challenges in different and fascinating ways.

Bruce Coffin is one of the nicest people on the planet. He is a retired detective sergeant with a wealth of knowledge and experience. (Be sure and read his fabulous Detective Byron mystery series.) Two years ago at Crime Bake I picked his brain. I told him about the main plot of Let’s Fake a Deal – that Sarah throws open a garage sale and right as she does the police show up. She soon discovers that everything she’s selling is stolen.

I’d vacillated back and forth trying to decide if Sarah should be arrested or not. I explained my uncertainties to Bruce and he said, “Go for it.” Then he helped me with the details. I imagine I didn’t get them all right, but they are closer to the truth than they would have been without his advice. It was interesting to try something new for this book.

Beyond that, thank you internet! I found that defense attorney’s pages provide a wealth of knowledge about the whole arrest process in any give state. It really was thought provoking  reading about what happens in Massachusetts.

I hope you check Let’s Fake a Deal out. I’m giving away a copy of it to someone who leaves a comment.

Readers: Do you like to try new things? Or just say hi!

Here’s the cover copy: SHE’S GOT THE GOODS . . .
As a former military spouse, Sarah Winston’s learned a little about organizing, packing, and moving. Her latest project sounds promising: a couple of tech-industry hipsters, newly arrived in her Massachusetts town, who need to downsize. Unfortunately, when Sarah tries to sell their stuff, she discovers it’s all stolen—and she’s the unwitting fence.

Michelle, an old friend of Sarah’s from the Air Force base, is in line for a promotion—but not everyone is happy about it, and she’s been hit with an anonymous discrimination complaint. When one of the men she suspects is behind the accusations turns up dead in Michelle’s car, Sarah needs to clear Michelle’s name—as well as her own for selling hot merchandise. And she’ll have to do it while also organizing a cat lady’s gigantic collection of feline memorabilia, or they’ll be making room for Sarah in a jail cell . . .


124 Thoughts

  1. Congratulations on your new book baby! I like to try some new things as long as I have room for the old and loved. Thank you for sharing about the people who contribute to your series, too!

  2. Congratulations! This is such a great series, I’m so glad to see a new book! I don’t like to try new things very often. I like to read, why would I need to do anything else? Lol.

  3. Let’s fake a deal sounds fascinating! I can hardly wait to get my hands on it! Also, thank you Tonya for mentioning the other books written from your friends. Now new ad on’s to my Amazon list!

  4. I love to try new things! I haven’t read you yet but I would like to!

  5. Totally depends on whether I like to try new things. I’m pretty cautious by nature, but sometimes you just gotta go for it.

  6. Congratulations on your new book. This series is wonderful to follow. I believe you need new challenges to keep your mind/body energized. It would be a boring world without this. robeader53(at)yahoo(dot)com

  7. Congratulations!!! I love trying new things! Thanks for the chance!

  8. I believe that new is good, and like to think that I am always up for new experiences. I enjoyed reading about how Let’s Fake a Deal came into being and can’t wait to read it! Thanks for sharing ~

  9. Love to try new things unless my “UFO’S” are giving me the eye.

  10. Congratulations on the new book. I’m a big fan of yours and have read this whole series. I hope you’re working on the next one.

  11. I love to try new things. Books and food are my top picks. This is a great series. I just recently got in to it after picking up the first book at a library sale.

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