West of Famous Book Trailer

My third suspense story–West of Famous–comes out in February and I’m pleased to share this book trailer. (Think of it as a movie trailer on an author’s budget.)


Thank you, David Ivester, for your knowledge and skill in promoting my work!

This is the third book in the Compass Crimes. This one is set in Florida. The research was exceptionally fun. You can read about it in my blog “Call Me Trawler Trash.” I know far more about airplanes than boats, so I sought out people who know boats. A special thanks goes out to Paul and Caryn Frink for sharing their trawler with me for their shake-down cruise. Paul, a career Navy man and engineer, understands more about boats than I’ll ever need to know. He was kind and patient while answering thousands of questions. He didn’t bat an eye when I asked where one could stash a 120-lb. person on his boat. He just started lifting hatches and asked, “Living or dead?” Note to self: Never mess with an engineer.

Trawler Hosts Caryn and Paul Frink

Caryn has been my best friend since grade school. It was a joy to spend time with her and to understand why she loves boating. They completed their first loop while West of Famous was being completed. Their accomplishment was far more daunting than mine by far.

Paul and Caryn Frink earn their Loopers gold burgee

Thanks also to Kimberly Russo, Director of the AGLCA (America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association) for answering all my questions about the AGLCA, otherwise known as Loopers. These intrepid souls live on boats and motor up the east coast, through rivers and the Great Lakes and turn south to travel through waterways down to the Gulf of Mexico. The LOOP the eastern states in boats. What an unusual and close-knit group!

The Loopers play a role in this story.

I pray the story is as exciting to read as it was to create.


West of Famous: The Cover Reveal

Thank you, readers, for your feedback. The votes are in and the cover for the upcoming West of Famous. We have a winner. This is the third book in the Compass Crimes Series and it is scheduled for release in February. It can be read as a standalone. For those unfamiliar with the series, it has overlapping characters. The prominent characters in one book are minor characters in another. All the stories feature strong women and a crime. This story features Martina Ramos, a young woman who secretly takes a part-time job during a break from Oxford University.

Why the Right Cover Matters

According to experts in marketing, books in a series work best with a signature look or brand. Carl Hiaasen, for example, has eye-catching colorful, simple covers that tell the reader to expect humor. And yes, readers do judge a book by its cover. Great cover art reveals the type of story inside. I’ll prove it. Let’s play pick the genre.

A woman homicide investigator holds a gun behind her back as dark butterflies flit around her.


Martini Afternoons by Beverly Fortenberry

Reunited by Danger

Which one is romance? Young adult? Humor? Science Fiction? Literary or Women’s Fiction? And this is why choosing the right cover art matters.

The Runners-Up

The runners-up, though beautiful, did not resonate with loyal readers enough to suit the storyline. If you want some background on the setting of West of Famous, check out the research stage of developing this story here: Call Me Trawler Trash. Many thanks to the brilliant and talented graphic artists at Damonza.com for their work on these cover choices. These are the three runners-up.

cover art candidate 1 for West of Famouscover art candidate 2 for West of Famouscover art candidate 3 for West of Famous

And The Winner Is…

West of Famous book cover



A young woman plays the role of her life when kidnappers mistake her for a celebrity.

Those who know where she is don’t value her life. Those who value her life, don’t know she’s missing.