Sunday, January 28, 2024

I read all three one right after the other!-that's how good this was!

A short & sweet review for my thriller trilogy, Ash Suspense Thrillers: Trilogy:

Reviewed in the United States on October 21, 2023

Each of these suspense filled books follow each other. Ash seems to always be getting the rough end of everything until the very end of the last book!! Really a lot of action and some really bad guys. I read allthree one right after the other!

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Sounds like his heart is about to break. Oh, I can only wish.


He lets out a heavy grunt. Sounds like his heart is about to break. Oh, I can only wish. 

“Oleg,” I say, “how about, free my hands?”

He lets the baton hang idly by his side, and his eyes start filling with menace. “No vay.”

“Oh well.” I shrug. “You can’t blame me for asking.”

Finally, the shoes are on. I straighten, then rub my eyes, trying to keep the rope from itching my nose. Despite the shadows, I recognize this place. Pointe Dume. Near the top of the bluffs, the path passes right along the edge, skirting a sharp drop-off. Seen from here, the ocean should be sparkling in the distance—but on this moonless night, it looks dim. 

I remember how lovely this beach looked from this very spot a month ago, how it greeted Michael and me with a beautiful sunset as we clung to each other, kissing. 

Clouds were brushing the horizon copper, their fiery edges sketched in reflection across the vast surface of swirling water. An abundance of wildflowers burst over the shoulder of the bluff, painting it mustard yellow. Tickseed flowers shook their toothed-tip petals, their scent sweetening the salty breeze. 

The breeze is just as bitter now—but the fragrance has been lost.

His clammy hand paws at my waist, which startles me into the present. It’s not where I want to be. 

“I vill not hurt you,” Oleg tells me, “if you do vat I want.”

I know what he wants to hear, what would turn him on—but I’m in no hurry to say it, because of what would inevitably come next.

Drooling, he hisses in my ear, “Say you vant me.”

And just as I take a fluttering breath, not even sure what would fly out of my mouth, something unexpected happens. A buzz. It vibrates noisily from his pocket. It’s my cellphone, which he’s snatched away from me. 

Oleg now has three things to juggle: the cellphone, the baton, and me. He does his best. First, he uses his right hand to lean me against the van. With his left, he sticks the baton under his armpit, grabs the cellphone out of his shirt pocket—maybe he mistakes it for his own—then barks, impulsively, “Vat?”

I hear Rita’s voice, bright and cheery. “Hi!”

His hold on me is somewhat looser than before, perhaps because he’s distracted. The baton keeps slipping from his armpit every time he raises the cellphone to his ear. “Hi,” he says, in apparent confusion. 

“Who is this?”

“Vat number you call? Zis is mistake.” 

I don’t stick around to hear the rest. Instead, I jerk my elbow sharply out of his hated clasp. And on impulse, I leap off the trail, my body rolling down, bumping over the steep, rocky slope—unfortunately, without the benefit of using my arms for balance. 

Oleg is coming for me—his bellow, way up above, is deafening—but at this point, despite getting banged every which way, I feel simply ecstatic. A chill sings around me in the night air. I am free. 

For now.


By popular demand, all three thrillers in one box!

Coma Confidential



Saturday, January 13, 2024

They emitted a slight rattling sound every once in a while, as if eager to spring into action.

None of the wire characters stirred from their assigned positions on the landscape. But despite being still, they emitted a slight rattling sound every once in a while, as if eager to spring into action. Even Lace seemed to have a vapor of cold breath trembling in the air just outside her mouth.

Staring at them, Michael felt as if he, too, were locked in suspended animation. He missed Ash. He missed hearing her voice. Was it too early to call her?

At any other time, he would not hesitate to wake her up and whisper sweet nothings in her ear. With every word, he would come closer to arousing her. But this morning, what he had to say wasn’t sugary, and it was far from intoxicating. 

He had to share a clue with Ash, a substantial clue that sobered him. Michael had derived it from The Artist’s Hand. The scar on its palm could be explained in one of two ways: either Bull had an unusual intuition, which allowed him, somehow, to depict its shape—or else, he was the killer. 

So far, Michael had been inclined to set aside his suspicion and give Bull the benefit of the doubt. Even now, there was nothing he wanted more than to go on trusting him. After all, his friend shouldn’t be judged by the same measuring stick as other people, should he? His mood swings, extravagant as they might be, served to fuel his inspiration. In his art, creative forces were tightly coupled with destructive ones. 

“The artist’s hand is really invisible,” Bull had told him. 

Michael remembered the bandage around his wrist. Was his the invisible hand? 

“Long time no see,” Bull had said. “When did you see me last?” 

To that, he had added, “I think you don’t care to remember. But sooner or later, it’ll come back to you.”

Did he think that Michael had spotted some detail, some hint of the killer’s identity and might, one day, figure it out? 

There would be no urgency to answer any of these questions, if not for Ash, planning to head over to his studio. 

“My last model was beautiful, just like you, but she stopped coming,” Bull had told her. “I can always use a new one.”

Michael groaned. Flipping his cellphone on the palm of his hand, he clicked her name. Would Ash disregard his concern, would she treat it as mere jealousy?

There was a ring, a prolonged ring that died out in the end. 

He clicked her name a second time. 

No answer.

And just as he was about to click one last time, there was a loud bang on outer side of the garage door. It rolled up as if of its own accord, revealing two figures standing there. They were practically indistinguishable from each other. Same height, same cropped haircut, same police uniforms. 

The first cop rubbed his hands together. “This time,” he boasted, baring his teeth in a smile, “we got ourselves a murderer.”

Directing his gaze towards Michael, the other said, “Yes, if the shoe fits.”

Paperback Hardcover


Haunted by discovering the body of a beautiful dancer, Michael re-constructs her murder in a virtual reality. Can he bring the mystery to life? Can he solve it in time, before the killer turns on the woman he loves, Ash?

"A truly fascinating glimpse into the world of virtual reality. I felt as though I was in Michael's work environment whenever he was using Virtual Reality. Whether he was displaying Laguna Beach or the Northrop Grumman B -21 Raiders flying overhead, I not only was there but I could feel my heart pounding and my pulse racing..."  

Thursday, January 4, 2024

I’ve done it before. I’m tired of it now.

I try to contact the dermatology clinic, hoping to prove that I was never treated by anyone there for anything, let alone a vasectomy. Why would they even offer such a procedure? It is more than skin deep, obviously outside the scope of their medical specialty. Why would they even offer the procedure to a female patient? Why me? Clear my record, I say, and cancel the nonsensical charge. An apology for the mix-up would be nice, too. 

I leave a message on the answering machine. Hours later, it remains unanswered. I can’t say I’m surprised.

So I hit the road, determined to get to LA and find that clinic before the end of the business day. Can you blame me for blowing off my earlier decision to lay low? Self-quarantine is a tedious thing. I’ve done it before. I’m tired of it now. Fuming, I puff my cheeks. I feel like I’m burning. Maybe it’s rage. Maybe fever. I have a devious urge to breathe on this Dr. Cohen character so he, too, catches fire. 

Just kidding.


This used to be rush hour—or more precisely, a stretch of four long hours or even more, starting at two in the afternoon, during which you would be stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic. But now, the drive is surprisingly smooth. Boring, even. Because of the stay-at-home directive, there are few cars on the 405 highway. From time to time, a gray van appears in the rearview mirror, somewhere in the far distance. A couple of refrigerator trucks trundle in front. 

I turn on the car radio, flip between this station and that, hoping to plunge myself into the clamor of news reports. As long as I do that, the loneliness sending its cold, creepy fingers toward my heart will be held at bay. In the presence of a good tale, it will go away. 

I flip to another radio station. Nothing holds my interest for long. But then, as I enter the city and pass through Skid Row, a story comes on the air that quickens my pulse. It’s about the 2010 Medicaid fraud case, committed by a gang called The Armenian Power

Wait, wait! I remember this story. The other day, I even read it out loud for my dad. The leaders of this organized crime group, based in New York and Los Angeles, were eventually caught. I suppose they’re rotting in jail. Still, I wonder if the idea of their scam could has propagated, somehow, to the outside world. If it did, then a new version of that fraud is now claiming new victims. 

I may be one of them. 


 Paperback Hardcover


Her bullet grazed his head, but the leader of a Russian crime organization is still breathing. One way for Vlad to avoid paying the price for his crimes is to play dead; another is to play dying. For Ash, this is not a game. She must learn his secrets. Only one problem: because of the raging pandemic, she must put her plan on hold.

Vlad slips away from the hospital in a body bag, then develops a brazen fraud scheme that will bilk health insurance companies out of millions of dollars. If not caught in time, he will drive victims to suicide, rob Ash of her identity, and slit her throat.

Will Ash manage to stay one step ahead of him and at the same time, protect her loved ones from contagion?