30 Shades of Dead–A new Anthology

30ShadesofDeadCvr-1Exciting news! My story At Thirty Weeks is included in the new anthology 30 Shades of Dead A collection of mysteries to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Sisters in Crime.

Every story includes some element of thirty or takes place thirty years ago. If you love a good mystery, you’ll love these stories!

The anthology is available in print and pre-order for ebook (released 10/31, just in time for Halloween!) Read an excerpt below!


At Thirty Weeks – Excerpt

The Pall Mall trembled between Agnes’ lips, the crusted tip threatening to topple. She rocked back and forth, staring through the sheer curtains. Morning light crept between the apartment buildings across the street, hesitating to come in, as though not wanting to know the truth.

The skin on her bones hurt.

Blinking even hurt.

“Please sweetie.” Pearl shuffled in, her bony fingers clutching a burnished silver tray. Steamy liquid slosh ed over the porcelain cup’s edges. “Put something in your stomach.” 


Act normally?

Agnes shook her head, words paralyzed in her throat like flies in a spider’s web. Stuck. Unable to go forward or backward.

Her mama meant well, but the foreboding in her stomach swelled. Something felt wrong. Terribly wrong.


Book Breakups are hard to do!


Saying goodbye to a good book is hard. Really hard. Sometimes gut wrenching!

When I become submerged in a good story, I connect to the characters and hop into their life journey. I learn what gives them superpowers, and what scares them in the dark. I want to read at every free moment… over coffee, waiting for doctor appointments, and at bedtime. And sometimes, gulp, even over dinner. This can go on for days, sometimes weeks, and then it comes time to close that last page and say goodbye. At eleven years old, I can still remember finishing the Little House on the Prairie series and wondering how I’d make it through the rest of the summer without my friend Laura Ingalls Wilder. We’d go to Plum Creek together daily!

As an author, I spend countless hours creating characters (or them telling me who they are!). In my latest novel The Dark Path, Parker Stillen’s journey was tough, and this reflected in his not-so-great choices that put him in the middle of a murder. When I typed The End, I immediately missed Parker in my ear. This guy would get himself in a mess, and tell me to get him out of it. Like I could! Time and time again, I had to tell him no. He had to figure it out on his own, so he could grow. Is it wrong to just want him to be happy?

But alas, I’m ready to send him into the world and share his roller coaster with others. I’ll miss him and his journey.

Have you read a character that you’ve missed well after closing the book?

When your Favorite Book becomes a Meet & Greet

Happy Holidays!

People often ask, what is your favorite book?  Without a beat, many stories come to mind. From classics to more current books. But which would I say is at the top of my list?

Drum roll….

Hands down, The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks is my all time, can’t-put-it-down book.  Have you read it? I won’t spoil it for you, but it’s a beautifully written story about a couple’s love for each other and the obstacles they face —a classic girl meets boy from the other side of the tracks.


What was it about this book for me? It was a captivating, plain and simple. Regular people find themselves in an extraordinary relationship. Allie and Noah fought for each other through tears and a whole lot of spark! Could they make their relationship work? I’ll let you read their journey to find out. Maybe it will move to the top of your holiday list!

The moment you get to tell the Author their book is your Favorite!


Recently, Nicholas Sparks visited Union Square Barnes and Noble in NYC to sign his newest book Two by Two. I had to go! I planned for two weeks about what I could say to the author of my favorite story. Do I tell him how much The Notebook meant to me? Or that I cried when Allie said goodbye to Noah? Or that I felt the same love for my husband as he described for Noah and Allie?

Or that I had re-read it more than a half dozen times?

I was determined not to gush and spew mindless thoughts. ACK!  But when it came to my turn, I fumbled with the words, and can’t say verbatim what actually came out, but it went something like…

“The Notebook is my favorite book of all time and your writing inspires me.”

I think!

So there you have it—my favorite book! How about yours? What is your favorite story?

Behind the scenes with Author Linda J. Parisi – “The Emperor”

I am thrilled to welcome author Linda J. Parisi to my blog today! I sat down with Linda to learn more about her thrilling new story The Emperor, which is part of the Never Fear – The Tarot: Do you Really Want to Know? anthology. 13 Thirty Books asked twenty-six authors to write stories based on the Tarot, with the cards determining which stories the authors would write. Linda’s card was The Emperor.



The Emperor

Alan Trembley thought he could survive boarding school by outsmarting the bullies. But then his roommate goes missing and Alan is determined to find out what happened to him. Sometimes being smart isn’t always a substitute for being Wise. And being a friend is the hardest choice of all to make.



Thank you Linda for joining us! We’re so excited to find out more about your new story The Emperor!

Can you tell us about how you came up with your idea for The Emperor?

I’d listened to a news story about bullying and wanted to write a piece about how that can affect people even as adults. Also, I’d been writing YA and wanted to try my hand at something just a bit younger.

What was your favorite part of The Emperor to write?

First, the ending. I always knew exactly how I wanted the story to end. Then there’s a scene (I don’t want to describe it now or that’ll spoil the fun) that has always scared me to death. And since this is a horror story….

Your characters in The Emperor are so unique and memorable. How do you go about creating characters that stick with the reader?

Easy answer: years of practice. Hard answer: digging way too deep inside and putting myself in there. You see, for a short time, I went to a boarding school too.

 I’m looking forward to reading more! What project are you working on now?

My last completed work, entitled Resistance, is a World War II Historical YA about the choices young people had to make during the Nazi occupation of Poland. Right now I’m working on a sci-fi YA about what happens to people after the world is destroyed by a virus.

What advice can you give to aspiring authors?

I could give you all the platitudes like Never Give Up or Finish the Damn Book but the fact of the matter is, publishing is not an easy business. So the only advice I can give is embrace that. Don’t fight against it. Make everything you do a victory instead of a defeat. There’s still gold to be mined from even the most scathing rejection. And you never know when a window will open.

I’d also like to give a shout out to my publisher, 13 Thirty Books, for taking on a Romance Writer and letting her try her hand at writing horror. I had a lot of fun writing this story.

About Author Linda J. Parisiheadshot-linda-parisi-1

As a research scientist during the day, Linda J. Parisi knows that the perfect formula for making sparks fly is combining conflicted, edgy heroes with heroines who never give up or give in. Awarded the New Jersey Romance Writer’s Golden Leaf Award for Best First Book for her novel, Noble Blood, and winner of the 4th Annual Stroke of Midnight Contest for her novel, The Joining: Bound by Blood, Linda is a long time member of the Romance Writers of America, member of the YA chapter of RWA, current treasurer of Liberty States Fiction Writers, as well as a Craft and Industry Instructor for Literary Powerhouse Consulting. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, John, and a family which includes Audi, a Cocker Spaniel mix who had her at woof!

You can find Linda here:

Website: Linda J. Parisi, Author

Facebook: Linda J. Parisi, Author

Where to buy: Never Fear, The Tarot: Do You Really Want to Know?