Uncle Si’s Secret – M. M. Gornell, Author

August 14, 2009 at 9:57 pm (Suspense Novels) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Uncle Si’s Secret – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat

Creating Cedar Valley Residence was a dream come true for Belinda Jones and her brother Bernard. They had spent five years making sure each room and suite was perfectly decorated to create a feeling of comfort and welcome. Now it was time to add a new addition, which would create space for more residents and allow Belinda and Bernard to start turning a profit in the near future.

Cedar Valley residents were a hodgepodge of ages and personalities that had all become family to Belinda and Bernard. One special resident was Miss Shirley, who had appeared a year before with a bewildered look on her face, broken glasses perched on her nose, no identification and a pile of cash in her purse. Even after putting ads in the newspaper, talking to the police and tacking fliers on telephone poles, no one knew who she was nor where she had come from. The doctors assured Belinda that Miss Shirley had temporary amnesia and that she would probably come out of it at some point in time. So when Miss Shirley asked for a meeting with Belinda to inform her that her money had run out and she would be moving, Belinda was rightfully concerned. Miss Shirley also told Belinda that she was missing her favorite Chinese print scarf, which Belinda felt had probably been misplaced and would turn up later. But as more residents informed Belinda that they too have missing items, her concern started to grows. Does she really know her residents? Could one of them be a thief? She had to get to the bottom of this thief mystery before it really started hurting business.

Belinda had always thought she would enjoy becoming a detective and had actually helped solve a few minor crimes in the past. So to add to her task of catching the person responsible for items missing from Cedar Valley, she’s approached by Olive Norris. Mrs. Norris comes in hope that Belinda will find enough evidence to free her son Kirby who was arrested for the murder of his wife. The case against Kirby appeared to be an open and shut case. Items of clothing and the gun used to kill Lana Norris were found in Kirby’s car. After meeting with Kirby and hearing his story, Belinda believes in his innocence and decides to take the case. But after another murder is committed, plus an attempt on the life of someone dear to Kirby, Belinda begins to wonder if she has taken on more than she can handle and can she solve this case before anyone else has to die.

Uncle Si’s Secret is full of secrets. M. M. Gornell kept me guessing throughout the whole book. Every time I thought I knew the identity of the thief and the murder, Gornell would surprise me with a new twist proving my theory to be wrong. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Uncle Si’s Secret and I think you will too. I will give you a small clue. The thief will really surprise you.  It sure did me.

Uncle Si's Secret

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Shadows of the Past By Margaret Blake

August 13, 2009 at 5:34 pm (historical, romance) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )


Shadows of the past cover 

“Alva has lost her memory after a car accident. She cannot remember her husband, the Conte Luca, nor the Palazzo on Santa Caterina Island.

Returning to the island she is apprehensive, yet it is only when someone tries to kill her that she realizes she knows something. Can it be that someone is afraid of her remembering…”





A Poisoned Legacy

A Poisoned Legacy cover 


Belinda soon realizes the legacy is poisoned. By rights the house and land should have gone to Jesse Crane, or at least be shared between him and Carl Nash.


Does someone want her dead…can she trust Jesse Crane. Carl Nash is a charismatic pastor he at least has to be honest…or is he?


How can she fight her growing attraction to Jesse, knowing he might wish her harm?


Set in rural Florida – light years away from the smart hotels and theme parks this is the story of a young woman who is confused but brave. Uncertain of who she can trust, still she leans towards Jesse…never guessing at the terrible secrets that Nash House holds to itself.



Breaking the Clouds

 Breaking the Clouds cover


The move to New Zealand has suited Bronwen for she has a good job and a beautiful home. The only downside is her lawyer husband Jack, who is drinking too much and is obviously unhappy with the move.


What she doesn’t need is a visit from her enigmatic cousin, Marged, a woman with whom she has little in common. However, it is with Marged’s visit that Bronwen’s life starts to spin out of control. She learns Jack was fired months ago from his firm, that he has abandoned his apartment in the city, and most of her money is missing from her bank account.


The only person who might know something is Job Tepi but Bronwen is not sure she can trust him…

The latest romantic suspense from Margaret Blake – available from  -www.halebooks.com

www.amazon.com www.thebookdepository.com

libraries and book stores.



I was always writing stories, even as a little girl, however it was not until I was married and my husband encouraged me that I began to take myself seriously.


It was probably being an only child that drew me to writing. As an only child you tend to spend a lot of time on your own. I was either reading or writing and when I was doing neither, I was at the cinema, another passion of mine.


A love of history drew me to writing historical novels and I published seven novels with Robert Hale Limited.  I then turned to contemporary romantic fiction and had five novels with the same publisher.  These I wrote under my Grandmother’s maiden name – Ellen Noone. Some years on I started to be published by Whiskey Creek Press, my first novel for them being Fortune’s Folly.


 May 2008 saw my return to my original British Publisher, Robert Hale Limited, for my new venture into romantic suspense. “Breaking the Clouds” is a brand new genre for me, and I have also published A Poisoned Legacy, a romantic suspense set in Florida. A place I love – especially as my son and his family live there! My latest novel with Robert Hale is another romantic suspense this time set on an island in Italy, “Shadows of the Past” which is published on the 29th May 2009.


Late last year and early this year I had three novels out with Whiskey Creek Press – His Other Wife, The Substitute Bride which is a medieval historical romantic suspense and Spanish Lies.

I was thrilled when The Substitute Bride was the best selling novel at Whiskey Creek for March.


Also in April I published “Bitter Betrayal with Wings Press.com. All my American novels are available in e book and print format.


Well, about me, I am married to John and we live in the North West of England, on the coast, although we are both city born originally and I came from Hulme, Manchester.  We both lived in the States for some time.  I have one son, the best daughter in law in the world and three fantastic grandchildren.


 A lot of my inspiration and plots come to me while I am walking the hills. I live not too far from The Lake District and go walking there twice a month. It is amazing how good it is for my mind. Sometimes I wonder what a character would do and where they would go, being in the peace of magnificent scenery on a perfect day, always helps to show me the way to go.


Travel is a bonus for me. I love to visit Italy and France. I backpacked around Australia and New Zealand, all these countries have been an inspiration for me. Of course I visit Florida as often as I can. My son and his family are there – trips to Florida inspired A Poisoned Legacy., but I do like to think it is the “real” Florida rather than just the theme parks. Not that I am knocking the theme parks, my grandkids and I have had wonderful visits there.


I have a lot of fun with my writing. I love to go to new places and usually allow my characters lead me. Usually a situation will come into my head first of all, then the character, of course first I ask what would I do if…then I look around for a character and let me them decide the way to go. Writing about men is no problem – all my male characters are romantic and sexy – they can be macho and alpha but usually they are tamed by my heroines. So Happy reading!


You can read more about me at my website – www.margaretblake.co.uk – find me at

www.myspace/authormargaret, or at face book. Hale authors have also started a blog, at www.haleauthors.blogspot.com and you can usually find me blogging once a week at www.larkjournals.blogspot.com

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