Sunday, July 12, 2020

Chris Rice Cooper Blog: #176 Inside the Emotion of Fiction Denise Devine "The Bootlegger's Wife"

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Name of fiction work? And were there other names you considered that you would like to share with us? The Bootlegger’s Wife is the name of my book. The original title was called The House on Laurel Avenue. Most of the story takes place at a residence on Laurel, but that title didn’t really describe my book because the story was about a young woman who ran away from her violent husband.
What is the date you began writing this piece of fiction and the date when you completely finished the piece of fiction? This book only took about two months to write. I fell in love with the characters and kept working on it every day until I’d finished it. I loved this story so much, the words literally flowed through my fingers on the keyboard. I had the idea and a notebook full of notes for about two years. I didn’t start writing it until late March 2019 (Left) and published it on May 25, 2019.

Where did you do most of your writing for this fiction work?  And please describe in detail.  And can you please include a photo? My writing room is actually my daughter’s bedroom. She’s married now and has kids of her own, so I set up my computer workstation at her old desk and that’s where I write. I stand as I write, but I also have a stool to sit on occasionally. An oil painting of Tom Selleck as Magnum PI hangs above my computer. It’s my favorite of the portraits my late mother painted. On the left of it is a picture of my book cover and on the right of the portrait is an old photo of what I think Charlotte would look like. Next to my writing desk is a long dresser under the bedroom window. That’s where my cats sleep, keep tabs on the neighborhood and also supervise my work. Ha Ha

What were your writing habits while writing this work- did you drink something as you wrote, listen to music, write in pen and paper, directly on laptop; specific time of day? I have ADD so I cannot have anything distract me—no TV, no music, no talking. But that’s not usually the way it goes. The phone rings, the mailman comes, someone is at the door, my husband needs help with something, or there’s a cat barfing on the carpet in the other room… So many things going on! Every time I get interrupted, it takes me up to an hour to get back to what I was doing. So, when I have a strict deadline, I get a little unhappy with people who interrupt me! In the summer I like to keep my windows open because I love the fresh air and that poses problems with neighborhood noise, but I always seem to get the book done on time.

Please include just one excerpt and include page numbers as reference.  This one excerpt can be as short or as long as you prefer.

Page 5-18 of the print version
May 15, 1925

It was a typical Saturday night of drinking, dancing and defying the law at La Coquette, the newest and most luxurious venue in St. Paul, Minnesota. Tuxedos, silk gowns and diamonds described the dress code of our clientele; “anything goes” was the name of the game. From sparkling chandeliers and oriental carpets to white linen tablecloths and fine china, the enormous success of our ritzy nightclub exemplified a dream come true for Gus and me.
Gus handled the business end of La Coquette. My job was to welcome special guests and impress them with our hospitality. Some of our guests came from North Dakota or Chicago, clients who purchased liquor through our bootlegging operation. Others were corrupt city officials who accepted bribes to look the other way.
Patrons had their choice of a casino in the basement, a supper club on the main floor or private rooms on the upper level for business meetings and invitation-only card games. Except invited guests, everyone paid at the door for a ticket to eat, drink and be as merry as their hearts desired. As far as the drinking part went, we served the setups—a glass with ice and ginger ale—and our customers spiked the drinks with their own supplies of bootlegged liquor. The club employed several off-duty policemen to watch over the crowd, but as long as customers were discreet about their liquor consumption, the police left them alone.
The guests at my private table made up an impressive list of St. Paul’s finest public servants, all on my husband’s payroll. Tonight, Gus and I had invited four couples to meet us for cocktails and dinner. To my dismay, Gus had stayed for one cocktail then excused himself for an appointment and never returned. It was unlike him to be so rude and it irritated me. If his meeting had detained him indefinitely, he could have at least dispatched Albert, his right-hand man to let me know so I could make his apologies to the group. I didn’t feel well and hoped to take my leave early, but Gus’ disappearance put me behind the eight ball. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the strength or the energy to search for him and talk him into coming back to the party.
On my right, the wife of a police sergeant stood and raised her glass for a toast. A buxom redhead with a quick smile and a hearty laugh, Sally Wentworth looked like the cat’s meow in her aqua silk and cashmere dress with a gold skirt sash wrapped around her hips. A hairclip stuffed with peacock feathers clung to the thick finger waves above one ear. “Come on everybody. Here’s to a generous hostess and a great gal to boot.” She turned to me and smiled. “You’re the bee’s knees, Charlotte LeDoux. You know how to put on one heck of a party.”
As everyone agreed and touched the rims of their glasses together, she bent low and whispered, “And if my instincts are correct, you’re expecting, too. Congratulations! I won’t say anything until you announce it yourself. Does Gus know? He hasn’t mentioned it.”
Shocked by her statement, I stared at her and shook my head. I hadn’t told a soul yet, not even my husband. I’d had so many miscarriages in the past, I didn’t want to get Gus’ hopes up until I knew for sure I wouldn’t lose this one, too. “How did you know?”
Sally sat down and placed her hand over mine. “I’ve been in your place a few times.” She patted my hand. “Honey, you’re whiter than those beautiful gloves you’re wearing and you look so exhausted I’m worried you might collapse and fall off your chair. The first few months are always rough, but it’ll get better. You just make sure you get enough rest.”
“As a matter of fact, I—”
A waiter appeared at my side and before I could wave him away, he placed a glass in front of me filled with ice, ginger ale and a shot of whiskey from Gus’ private reserve. “Mrs. LeDoux, you need a refreshment. Shall I bring one for Mr. LeDoux as well?”
My stomach roiled as I looked down at the glass. The sharp aroma of “Minnesota 13,” reputedly the best corn whiskey in the country, wafted into my face. At this point, I didn’t care if it was the best whiskey in the universe, I couldn’t stand to look at it without fighting off a wave of queasiness. I closed my eyes and pushed it forward. “Please, Gerard, take it away. I don’t care for anything tonight.”
Or ever again if it continues to bother me this much...
Sally snatched the glass and held it to her lips. “I’ll take it. No sense wasting good hooch.” She tossed it back and handed the waiter the empty container. “Thank you, Gerard.”
Then she turned back to me. “Keep a bowl of soda crackers next to your bed. It helps with morning sickness. A glass of lemon-lime soda occasionally might settle your stomach, too.”
I thanked her and groped for my silvery blue shawl and matching mesh purse. The fringed bag, designed by Coco Chanel, contained a hundred dollars in small bills, a tube of red lipstick, my powder compact and a small, pearl-handled revolver. Gus insisted I carry the revolver with me always, even though I detested guns. I would have traded it right now for a handful of crackers...
“I need to find Gus,” I said weakly and pushed back my chair. I needed to escape before I embarrassed myself by fainting or vomiting all over my beautiful, silvery blue gown. What little I managed to eat at dinner threatened to come back up.
“You look awfully pale,” Sally said, frowning with concern. “Perhaps I should come with you.”
Though I understood her concern, I didn’t want company. I just wanted to find my husband and go home. Clutching the rope of pearls around my neck, I placed my other hand on the table for support and shakily rose to my feet. “Thank you for asking, Sally, but I’ll be fine.”
“All right, but you go straight home now and take care of yourself.”
I promised her I would as she straightened my shawl and sent me off with a hug. Waving goodbye to my guests, I headed across the smoky room in search of Gus. As I made my way through the crowd, the room began to spin and I immediately regretted not accepting Sally’s aid. Though in my third month, my pregnancy had plagued me all along with bouts of fatigue, nausea and dizziness. Afraid of falling, I quickly clutched the back of the nearest chair to keep my knees from buckling.
An older gentleman with thinning hair and a bushy mustache turned toward me, surprised by my intrusion. My face must have showed my distress for he frowned and placed his hand on my elbow. “Miss, are you all right?”
I wanted to collapse on the floor and bawl my eyes out, but instead I mustered a faint smile. “It’s so warm in here...I just need to get some fresh air.”
I concentrated on staying upright as I slowly walked away, determined to find Gus and make him take me home. At the next table, I stopped one of our cigarette girls, a slim blonde with a chin-length bob wearing a short red dress and matching pillbox hat. She roamed from table to table, carrying a tray of cigars, cigarettes and novelties for sale. “Irene,” I said evenly, attempting to mask my desperation by sounding merely curious, “have you seen Gus?”
“No, Mrs. LeDoux.” Irene shrugged. “I haven’t seen him since Madame Deveraux arrived.”
Adrienne Deveraux—our newest singer and the most evocative performer I’d ever witnessed. A raven-haired beauty, her smoky voice, hourglass curves and poisonously scarlet lips oozed with sensuality. From the moment she’d cast her dark, sultry eyes on Gus, I knew she’d set her sights on him. I had a sinking feeling she had her red-lacquered claws into him at this very moment.
Scanning the cavernous room, I searched for Gus, but I had difficulty focusing on the person next to me, much less the sea of people hopping like chickens on the dance floor. Every night, the revelers would dance the Charleston in front of our twelve-piece orchestra until the early hours of the morning. On the weekends, we entertained them with popular musicians and a twenty-five-member dance team that performed a new show every Friday. Tonight, the raucous, drunken crowd caroused as though they hadn’t a care in the world as they waited for the show to begin.
Frustrated, I turned my back on the reverie and slowly made my way toward the stairway that led to Gus’ office on the upper level. I clung to the railing and pulled myself up the stairs, my head pounding in sync with every step I took.
At the top of the stairs, I paused to get my breath. After a few moments, I made my way down the hallway, leaning against the wall for support. At the end of the corridor, I turned the corner and encountered Albert Schmidt, Gus’ personal bodyguard. The short, dark-haired man looked formidable with thick arms, a stocky build and the strength of an ox. He stood guarding the door to Gus’ private office, a Colt 1911 automatic pistol gripped in his right hand. My greatest fear turned out to be true. Gus had stationed his paid watchdog at the door so no one would interrupt him. Even an idiot could guess why.
By now, nausea and dizziness plagued me so heavily I could hardly stand, but I mustered all the energy I had to look the big German square in the eye. “I need to talk to Gus. Now.”
Albert pushed back his black Fedora with the tip of his gun. His deep voice held a trace of his native accent. “I got strict orders from da boss. No one is to disturb him. No one.”
A low, passionate moan seeped under the door of Gus’ office.
Under normal circumstances, I liked Albert, but I didn’t care for him very much right now. Mustering up the strength to stand up straight, I poked him square in the center of his starched white shirt. “Listen, you big goon—I mean what I say.” Placing both hands on his chest, I tried to push him away. “Move away from the door, mister, and that’s an order.”
His face blanched, but I knew it had more to do with his embarrassment of my hearing Gus’ lover in the throes of passion than the threat of my knee in his groin. He didn’t budge. “I cannot do that, Frau LeDoux.”
The guttural sounds coming from under the door angered me so much I temporarily ignored my condition. I had worse things to deal with now. I started to pull the revolver from my handbag, hoping the sight of it in my palm would show this hired thug I meant business. “Step aside, Albert. This is between Gus and me!”
I probably looked as ridiculous as I sounded, but Albert didn’t laugh. With a stoic face, he calmly but firmly pulled the revolver from my hand and proceeded to empty the bullets from the gun’s chamber. “I mean no disrespect, but I’ll keep these.”
Citizens of the underworld were fearful of my husband and called him “boss” or “sir.” When I seethed with anger, as I did now, I called him every swear word I knew. And after nine years of marriage to Gus, I knew them all in his native language of French as well as English.
“I know you’re in there!” I screamed in frustration as I ripped off my gloves and threw them at the door. “You and your French whore!” Since I couldn’t get past Albert, I resorted to the only thing a girl could do to disarm a man. I began to sob. Given my condition, the emotional outburst came easily. “Come out, you coward—right now—and face me! How dare you treat me like this!”
I figured the tears and calling my husband a coward in public would be enough to get his attention, but the door stayed shut. Holding my stomach, I glared at Albert and said in a shaking voice, “I want my bullets back.”
He slipped the bullets into the pocket of his navy suit coat and handed me the empty revolver. “Calm down, Frau LeDoux. Be a good wife and go back to your guests.” He put his hand on my shoulder and gave me a sympathetic look. “There’s nothing you can do about it.”
Angry at Albert’s ridiculous and insulting suggestion, I pushed his hand away. “If Gus thinks I’ll simply go away and keep my mouth shut, he’s crazy. I will never accept this—”
Suddenly a door at the far end of the hallway slammed open and one of the machine gun-toting sentinels from the catwalk on the roof burst into the hallway. “It’s a raid!” he hollered as he tore past us to warn the people downstairs. “Get out fast! The Feds are coming!”
Hair stood on the back of my neck. My arms filled with goose bumps. The one thing every bootlegger feared had come upon us…
The door to Gus’ office flew open and my husband stood in the doorway holding his machine gun, his sandy hair as disheveled as his wrinkled white shirt. His suspenders hung loosely at his sides. He showed no inkling of remorse at being caught literally with his pants down.
Behind him, Madame Deveraux eyed me with a sly, triumphant smirk as she pulled up the straps of her ruby silk gown.
My emotions flared red-hot at her brazen gesture. I was tempted to scream insults at her, but when I looked into Gus’ cold, sage eyes, I realized she was a byproduct of our failing marriage rather than the cause. For months, the demands of managing La Coquette had left precious little time for Gus and me to share the intimacy we’d once had, and I’d hoped the news of my long-awaited pregnancy would begin to draw us closer again. Obviously, it was too late. Gus had become infatuated with Adrienne Devereaux.
I took in the scene before me and deep in my soul, something irrevocably changed. My belief in true love and “happily ever after” with this man had shattered. I knew I’d never trust him, or any man, with my heart ever again.
“Get her out of here!” Gus glared at me, but spoke to Albert. I knew Gus was deadly serious when he offered his new “Tommy Gun” to his bodyguard. “You know what to do.”
Albert slipped his handgun into his shoulder holster and took possession of the machine gun. “Yes, boss.” Jumping into action, he pulled me down the hallway. His vise-like fingers locked on my arm, the other hand gripped his ten-pound Tommy Gun. “Come with me, Frau LeDoux.”
“No!” I fought with all my might as Albert dragged me away. “Let go of me!”
“Take her down to the hollow, Al.” Gus glanced over his shoulder at Adrienne then back at me. “I’ll get there as soon as I can—”
The piercing of sirens arriving at the building cut him off. Everyone froze at the cracking of gunfire.
Gus’ eyes blazed. “I said GO!”
At the top of the stairs, Albert slipped his free arm protectively around my waist and hauled me down to the main floor, shielding me with his rock-hard body as he muscled his way through the screaming, thundering mob to the coat room. Behind a movable rack of fur wraps, a small group of employees were filing into a tunnel through a secret door in the paneling. “Coming through. Step aside!” Albert pulled me to the head of the line and pressed his broad palm against my shoulders as he guided me through the door. In the tunnel, the men who’d gone ahead of us carried flashlights to show us the way.
The musty, dank passageway, filled with cobwebs and centipedes gave me chills, but after what I’d just witnessed, I knew I fared much better than the people in the club. Gripping the edges of my fringed shawl, I marched along the downward slope, keeping up with the others. I had to escape for the sake of my baby. The thought of being arrested and taken to jail frightened me to the core, but it also strengthened my resolve to keep going, no matter how badly I wanted to stop and catch my breath.
As we approached the end of the tunnel, I recognized the Katzenbaum brothers just ahead of me. Marv, stiff from arthritis, hobbled along with a large ledger tucked under each arm. He’d served as the chief bean counter for Gus’ father back when the family brewery was in operation, but now he worked for us. Harv, Gus’s attorney and also a long-time employee of the LeDoux family, carried a sack of money in each hand.
The tunnel ended at the bottom of a hill, surrounded by a thick stand of oak trees and shrubbery. Once we reached the exit, we passed through an open door into the twilight. Relieved to have fresh air, I stopped and inhaled deeply, but the frightened screams of a panicked mob and roaring sirens back at the club spurred me on. Albert and I picked up the pace again.
“Where are we going?” I hollered as we emerged from the trees to a city street. I saw the auto dealership directly across from us and knew we were headed there. Gus and I owned it.
Albert grabbed my hand, pulling me along as we ran across the street to the car lot. We passed between used Chryslers, Chevrolets and Packards until we came to a new Nash Touring Car. Its black exterior would make it harder for the Feds to see us, and if Albert chose it as his getaway car, it had speed, too.
Suddenly, a man in a dark suit sprung from behind one of the cars holding a gun. “Stop! You’re under arrest—”
Before the agent finished shouting, Albert shoved me away, raised his gun with both hands and shot the man multiple times.
I couldn’t believe what was happening. My head swam with terror. I bent at the waist and covered my ears to keep my head from ringing, but it didn’t help. Bullets discharging from Albert’s weapon created a blast so loud the force literally shook my body. When the bullets finally stopped, my legs buckled and I slowly collapsed to the ground. As I lay on my side, I saw the agent lying prone a few feet from me. I smelled the sickening, coppery odor of blood. My mouth began to fill with saliva…
Albert ripped open the car door and wrapped his arm around my waist, lifting me off the pavement. “No!” I struggled to get away as fear and revulsion overtook me. Seeing what he was capable of, I couldn’t stand the thought of his hands touching me now. “No! Get away from me!” I didn’t have anywhere near the strength I needed to match his. As a last resort, I began to cry. “Please, Albert, let me go!”
“Get moving!”  He forced me into the front seat, slammed the door and cranked the car to start it. We were leaving by the back entrance of the lot as a torrent of bullets whizzed past us.
Bracing my shaking hands against the dash, the stench of burnt gunpower constricted my throat and made my eyes water. I hung my head, coughing. The scene back in the parking lot flashed through my mind again like a bad dream.
Oh, my God… I-I’ve just witnessed a murder…
Albert’s large, rough hand pressed on my shoulder. “Get down!”
Numbed by my thoughts, I slumped to the floorboard as Albert gunned the gas pedal and drove like a maniac, dodging parked cars and speeding through intersections. Without warning, he made a quick turn and the car nearly slid out of control. I hung on for dear life. My tummy problems didn’t seem important any more.
Dear God, please get me out of this alive! I beg of you, spare my baby!
Still concentrating on the road, Albert flattened his palm on the empty seat. “Take these! Put them back in your gun.” On the seat lay the bullets he’d removed from my revolver. I really didn’t want them back, but the ugly growl of his voice frightened me into action. I obediently scooped them up and stuffed them into my handbag. After the horror I’d just witnessed, I could never shoot anyone.
A short time later, I poked my head above the dashboard, thinking I would be safe now that darkness had descended. “How much longer until we reach the hollow?”
“Never mind. Stay down!”
Albert drove through a dark tunnel at breakneck speed into the deep ravine called Swede Hollow, a little hamlet of shanties without electricity or running water. I’d grown up in the hollow and even though my family had long ago moved to a better neighborhood, I still knew some of the families living there. Before Prohibition had shuttered its doors, my father had worked at the LeDoux Brewery, situated on the edge of the ravine; the same place where I’d met my husband, Rene Gustav LeDoux, the eldest son of the owner.
Just when I thought we’d escaped the Feds a torrent of bullets showered the car. The back window shattered and Albert slumped over the wheel.
The car careened out of control. Still on the floor, I slammed my head against the seat as the car bounced over rocks along the marshy bank of Phalen creek and came to an abrupt stop. For a moment I sat hunched over, gasping for breath, aching badly. Slowly, I raised myself above the dashboard and realized my thigh hurt fiercely in one spot—where I’d been sitting on my purse with my gun still in it. I pulled my silvery beaded hat and dropped it on the seat. My necklace caught on the shift stick. Dozens of Japanese pearls scattered across the floorboard.
“Albert? Albert, what’s wrong?” I reached over and cautiously touched his arm.
His lifeless form suddenly slumped against the door. Gasping in horror, I scooted away.
A flash of headlights cut through the dark, moonless night as several cars sped out of the tunnel. I grabbed my handbag with one hand, clutched my shawl with the other and scrambled out of the car, dropping my feet into the cold stream.
Shivering uncontrollably, I waded through the ankle-deep water, slipping on rocks until I reached dry land and hurried toward a narrow footbridge that led past a row of outhouses built on stilts over the creek. Shielded from the oncoming headlights by the line of buildings, I stumbled across the bridge, desperate to get away before the men on my trail caught up to me. Once I’d made it safely across the creek, I hobbled into the brush and made my way behind a small, darkened house. My mind couldn’t think straight, but gut instinct warned me to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
The screech of brakes cut through the air, indicating cars had come to a stop somewhere along the creek. Several doors banged successively as the agents jumped out to investigate the scene.
“Don’t look back,” I whispered to myself and forced my feet to move faster, knowing the Feds would apprehend me unless I found a good place to hide—or slipped away into the night. Using the back of my hand, I brushed my hair from my face, leaving something sticky on my cheek. My fingers had suffered a long, horizontal cut, most likely from a piece of flying glass. Oddly enough, it didn’t hurt.
I quickly approached my former childhood home, a tiny, weathered shack, wishing I could stop there and rest a while. My right hip ached like crazy, but I knew I couldn’t stop until I’d reached the western slope and the tall wooden stairway that led to the sandy road above the railroad terraces.
A chorus of shouts indicated people were already coming out of their houses to see what all the ruckus was about. Though Gus was counting on it, I had decided not to ask anyone for shelter. Within minutes, the Feds would be all over this place, searching for me and I didn’t want to risk getting any of these good people in trouble for harboring a fugitive. Besides, with the Feds so close on my heels, I didn’t have time to find out if anyone would help me.
As I hurried through the inky darkness in sloshy T-strap shoes and a wet dress, I gradually felt no discomfort, only a strange sense of calm. Pulling my shawl tighter around my shoulders, I thought about what I’d do next. I had no idea where my husband was—in jail perhaps or...dead. Knowing Gus, he was still alive. He hadn’t earned the nickname “Lucky LeDoux” for nothing. To my astonishment, however, I didn’t care one way or the other. I only knew that I couldn’t live this life anymore—as a bootlegger’s wife.
The thought of leaving Gus terrified me, but at the same time it gave me a sense of hope for my baby’s future. Sadly, I knew better than to believe things could go back to the way they were before Prohibition when Gus worked in his father’s brewery. Once the Volstead Act passed—the eighteenth amendment—the LeDoux Brewery had been forced to shutter its doors, destroying the family income and causing his father, Rene Sr. to suffer a fatal heart attack. Gus’ deep-seated anger at the government for devastating his family and the folks who’d depended upon the brewery for their livelihood had fueled his decision to forge ahead despite the risks. Enlisting many of his former employees, he’d formed a new operation bootlegging Minnesota whiskey and operating La Coquette.
Now, he was a criminal, wanted by the Feds…
Before Prohibition, Gus and I had lived a simple life as an ordinary couple and we were happy together. Nowadays he preferred collecting barrels of money and spending it on women and other sinful pleasures more than he loved me. Even so, he’d never let me go if he discovered I planned to leave him—especially in my present condition. This I knew without a doubt.
Albert’s lifeless form flashed through my mind and I shuddered, wondering if I would ever feel safe again. My eyes smarted with tears. I couldn’t bear the thought of subjecting my child to the perilous life my husband had chosen.
I had two choices—locate Gus and live in constant danger or start a new life for myself and my unborn child. Casting apprehension and excuses aside, I told myself I needed to follow my instincts and do what would be best for my baby. It didn’t take long to choose my path.
Charlotte LeDoux had ceased to exist

Why is this excerpt so emotional for you as a writer to write?  And can you describe your own emotional experience of writing this specific excerpt? In the first chapter, Charlotte goes through so many emotions. After nine years of marriage, she’s pregnant, but before she gets a chance to tell her husband, Gus, she finds him with another woman. Then the Feds raid their speakeasy and Gus sends her away with his bodyguard while he goes in another direction with his mistress. She felt betrayed, demeaned, but at that time in history, a woman didn’t have a lot of options when it came to leaving her spouse. I purposely made Charlotte a strong character who decided to take matters into her own hands, not for herself, but for the safety of her child.
I accompany my characters like a silent partner through every page of the story. I agonize with them, fear for them and root for them through every situation. I think every writer puts a little of herself into every character and I think I’ve given Charlotte my determination to succeed.

Were there any deletions from this excerpt that you can share with us? And can you please include a photo of your marked up rough drafts of this excerpt. Actually, I don’t have copies of the working pages of this book. Once the book is published, I pitch everything and start on the next book. Otherwise I’d be drowning in used paper.
The Bootlegger’s Wife is Book One of the Moonshine Madness Series. It’s published in eBook, print and in early 2021, it will be in audio book, too.
The print version and eBook are available on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited.

Anything you would like to add? Book two, Guarding the Bootlegger’s Widow will be released on June 29, 2020 and Book Three will be available in the fall.

If you want to know more about me, my website is https://www.

I have a private Facebook group called https://www.facebook.

Denise Devine is a USA Today bestselling author who has had a passion for books since the second grade when she discovered Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder. She wrote her first book, a mystery, at age thirteen and has been writing ever since. Her books have hit the Top 100 Bestseller list on Amazon and she has been listed on Amazon’s Top 100 Authors.

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034 05 01 2019 George Kramer’s
Arcadis: Prophecy Book

035 05 05 2019 Erika Sams’s
Rose of Dance

036 05 07 2019 Mark Wisniewski’s
Literary Fiction
Watch Me Go

037 05 08 2019 Marci Baun’s
Science Fiction/Horror
The Whispering House

038 05 10 2019 Suzanne M. Wolfe’s
Historical Fiction
Murder By Any Name

039 05 12 2019 Edward DeVito’s
The Woodstock Paradox

040 05 14 2019 Gytha Lodge’s
She Lies In Wait

041 05 16 2019 Kari Bovee’s
Historical Fiction/Mystery
Peccadillo At The Palace:  An Annie Oakley Mystery

042 05 20 2019 Annie Seaton’s
Time Travel Romance
Follow Me

043 05 22 2019 Paula Rose Michelson’s
Inspirational Christian Romance
Rosa & Miguel – Love’s Legacy: Prequel to The Naomi

044 05 24 2019 Gracie C McKeever’s
BDMS/Interracial Romance
On The Edge

045 06 03 2019 Micheal Maxwell’s
The Soul of Cole

046 06 04 2019 Jeanne Mackin’s
The Last Collection:  A Novel of Elsa Schiaparelli and
Coco Chanel

047 06 07 2019 Philip Shirley’s
The Graceland Conspiracy

048 06 08 2019 Bonnie Kistler’s
Domestic Suspense
The House on Fire

049 06 13 2019 Barbara Taylor Sissel’s
Domestic Suspense/Family Drama
Tell No One

050 06 18 2019 Charles Salzberg’s
Short Story/ Crime Fiction
“No Good Deed” from Down to the River

051 06 19 2019 Rita Dragonette’s
Historical Fiction
The Fourteenth of September

052  06 20 2019 Nona Caspers’s
Literary Novel/Collage
The Fifth Woman

053 06 26 2019 Jeri Westerson’s
Paranormal Romance
Shadows in the Mist

054 06 28 2019 Brian Moreland’s
The Devil’s Woods

055 06 29 2019 Rebecca Gomez Farrell’s
Epic Fantasy
Wings Unseen

056 07 02 2019 Randee Green’s
Mystery Novel
Criminal Misdeeds

057 07 03 2019 Saralyn Ricahrd’s
Mystery Novel
Murder In The One Percent

#058 07 04 2019 Hannah Mary McKinnon’s
Domestic Suspense
Her Secret Son

#059 07 05 2019 Sonia Saikaley’s
Contemporary Women’s Literature
The Allspice Bath

#060 07 09 2019 Olivia Gaines’s
Romance Suspense Serial
Blind Luck

#061 07 11 2019 Anne Raeff’s
Literary Fiction
Winter Kept Us Warm

#062 07 12 2918 Vic Sizemore’s
Literary Fiction-Short Stories
I Love You I’m Leaving

#063 07 13 2019 Deborah Riley Magnus’s
Dark Paranormal Urban Fantasy

#064 07 14 2019 Elizabeth Bell’s
Historical Fiction

#065 07 15 2019 Lori Baker Martin’s
Literary Novel

#066 08 01 2019 Sabine Chennault’s
Historical Novel

#067 08 02 2019 Margaret Porter’s
Historical Biographical Fiction

#068 08 04 2019 Hank Phillippi Ryan’s

069 08 08 2019 Diana Y. Paul’s
Literary Mainstream Fiction

070 08 10 2019 Phyllis H. Moore’s
Women’s Historical Fiction

071 08 11 2019 Sara Dahmen’s
Historical Fiction

072  08 19 2019 Carolyn Breckinridge’s
Short Story Collection

073 08 21 2019 Alison Ragsdale’s
Emotional Women’s Fiction

074  08 22 2019 Lee Matthew Goldberg’s
Suspense Thriller

075 08 23 2019 Jonathan Brown’s
Mystery/Amateur P.I.

076 09 02 2019 Chera Hammons Miller’s
Literary Fiction w/ suspense, concern with animals & land management
Monarchs of the Northeast Kingdom

077 09 09 019 Joe William Taylor’s
Literary Mystery
The Theoretics of Love

078 09 15 2019 Linda Hughes’s
Romantic Suspense
Secret of the Island

079 09 19 2019 Max Elliot Anderson’s
Middle Grade Adventure/Mystery
Snake Island

080 09 22 2019 Danny Adams’s
Science Fiction
Dayworld: A Hole In Wednesday

081 09 24 2019 Arianna Dagnino’s
The Afrikaner

082 09 29 2019 Lawrence Verigin’s
Seed of Control

083  10 05 2019 Emma Khoury’s
The Sword And Shield

#084 10 07 2019 Steve McManus’s

#085 10 08 2019 Sheila Lowe’s
Mystery/Psychological/Suspense with Scientific Bent

#086 10 10 2019 Jess Neal Woods’s
Historical Fiction

#087 10 11 2019 Karen Odden’s
Historical Suspense

#88 10 14 2019 Kate Maruyama’s
Love, Loss & Supernatural

#89 10 17 2019 Sherry Harris’s

#90 10 18 2019 Linda Mooney’s
Science Fiction Apocalyptic/ Post Apocalyptic

#91 10 19 2019 Jayne Martin’s
Flash Fiction Short Story Collection

#92 10 22 2019 Janice Cole Hopkins’s
Inspirational Romance

#93 10 29 2019 Kristi Petersen Schoonover’s
Short Story Collection

#94 11 01 2019 David Henry Sterry’s
Fiction: Sexual Violence

#95 11 03 2019 Jay Requard’s
Dark Fantasy/Horror

#96 11 04 2019 Caroline Leavitt’s

#97 11 06 2019 Kelsey Clifton’s
Science Fiction

#098 11 13 2019 John F Allen’s
Urban Fantasy Tale

#99 11 16 2019 Damian McNicholl’s
Historical Novel
“The Moment of Truth”

#100 11 19 2019 Stacia Levy’s
Mystery/Suspense Novel
“Girl Crush”

#101 11 24 2019 Charlotte Morgan’s
Fiction Novel
“Protecting Elvis”

#102 11 26 2019 T. L. Moore’s
Children’s Christian Fiction
“Ed On My Shoulder:  Maria & The Candy Trail”

#103 11 27 2019 Jeanne McWilliams Blasberg’s
Coming of Age Literary Novel
The Nine

#104 11 29 2019 Charlotte Blackwell’s
Adult Paranormal

#105 12 07 2019 Mike Burrell’s
Satire Novel

#106 12 09 2019 Phil McCarron’s

#107 12 11 2019 Wendy H. Jones’s
Crime Fiction/Police Procedural Novel

#108 12 13 2019 Sandra Arnold’s
Historical Literary Fiction
“The Ash, the Well and the Blue Bell”

#109 12 16 2019 Amalia Carosella’s
Historical/Contemporary/Duel Timeline/ Women’s

#110 12 19 2019 Laura Bickle’s
Weird Western/Contemporary Fantasy

#111 12 27 2019 Brian Pinkerton’s
Science Fiction Thriller

#112  12 28 2019 Sandra de Helen’s
Lesbian Thriller

#113 12 29 2019 Jo Wilde’s
Vampire Thriller

#114 12 30 2019 Sam Richard’s
Short Story Collection of Weird and Transgressive
“To Wallow In Ash and Sorrows”

#115 12 31 2019 Duncan B Barlow’s
Literary Fiction Novel

#116 01 02 2020 Allison Landa’s
Young Adult Novel

#117 01 03 2020 Pablo Medina’s
Literary Satire Novel

#118 01 06 2020 William Trent Pancoast’s
Historical/Literary Novel

#119 01 07 2020 Jane Bernstein’s
Contemporary Novel
“The Face Tells the Secret”

#120 01 09 2020 Terry Kroenung’s
Young Adult, Historical and Fantasy
“Brimstone And Lily”

#121 01 12 2020 Melissa Yi’s
Fiction Thriller

#122 01 15 2020 Marcie R. Rendon’s
Crime Thriller

#123 01 16 2020 Tori Eldridge’s
Multi Genre Novel

#124 01 17 2020 Kristen Joy Wilks’s
Christian Romantic Comedy

#125 01 20 2020 Susan C. Shea’s
Cozy Mystery

#126  01 22 2020 Phong Nguyen’s
Improvisational Fiction

#127 01 23 2020 Kate Thornton’s
Mystery Short Story In Its Entirety
“Ai Witness”

#128 01 24 2020 Phil McCarron’s
Semi Fictional Essays
“The Great Facepalm: The Farce of 21st Century

#129  01 27 2020 Kenneth Weene’s
Historicized Literary Fiction
“Red And White”

#130 01 28 2020 Graham Storrs’s
Science Fiction Thriller

#131 02 08 2020 Angela Slatter’s
Short Story “Terrible As An Army With Banners”

#132 02 11 2020 Joan Joachim’s
Just One Kiss

#133 02 16 2020 Kelsey Clifton’s
Science Fiction

#134 02 17 2020 Soraya M Lane’s
Women Historical Fiction

#135 03 07 2020
Linked Fiction
BLEACHERS Fifty-Four Linked Fictions
By Joseph Mills

#136 03 15 2020
Science Fiction Romance
By Marie Lavender

#137 03 17 2020
Crime Fiction
12 Bullets
by O’Neil De Noux

#138 03 18 2020
Flash Fiction Piece
by Kelle Grace Gaddis

#139 03 20 2020
By Jamie Sheffield

#140 03 21 2020
Character Driven Novel
By Jamie Lisa Forbes

#141 03 23 2020
Literary Murder Mystery
By Russell Rowland

#142 04 01 2020
By Kim Cormack

#143 04 02 2020
Western Noir Short Story
“Night Rounds”
by James Reasoner

#144 04 03 2020
Southern Fiction
By Claire Fullerton

#145 04 04 2020
Mainstream novel with elements of crime, mystery, and magic
by Karen Hugg

#146 04 07 2020
Historical Fiction
by Sophie Perinot

#147 04 08 2020
Dark Urban Fantasy with elements of Paranormal Romance
by Stephanie Reisner aka AUDREY BRICE

#148 04 13 2020
Mystery With A Fantasy Twist
By Shoshana Edwards

#149 04 14 2020
Historical Fiction
by Sharon Glogal Friedman

#150 04 19 2020
Vampire Horror Novelette
Blood Thrasher:  The Devil’s in the Metal
by Adam Messer

#151 04 25 2020
Historical Fiction
Charis in the World of Wonders
by Marly Youmans

#152 04 29 2020
Historical Fiction
The Master of Verona
by David Blixt

#153 04 30 2020
General Fiction (Family)
Bread Bags & Bullies:  Surviving the 80s
by Steven Manchester

#154 05 01 2020
Into The Ashes
by Lee Murray

#155 05 06 2020
Coming of Age/Crime Novel
All Things Left In The Wild
by James Wade

#156 05 10 2020
Paranormal Mystery
Southern Bound
by Stuart Jaffe

#157 05 13 2020
Mystery/Crime Novel
By Mark Slade

#158 05 15 2020
Horror/Crime Novel
Hotel Nowhere
By David E Adkins
#159 05 16 2020
Satire/Crime Novel
by Clint Margrave

#160 05 19 2020
Southern Gothic Fiction
by Emily Carpenter

#161 05 21 2020
Women’s Domestic Life Fiction
by Alena Dillon

#162 05 26 2020
by Drew Fortune and Spain Willingham

#163 05 31 2020
Coming of Age/ Psychological Thriller
by Ruth Dugdall

#164 06 01 2020
Psychological Thriller
by Owen Mullen

#165 06 02 2020
Small Town Short Story Collection
by Eliot Parker

#166 06 04 2020
Noir Crime Novel
by Christina Hoag

#167 06 06 2020
Coming of Age/Historical
by Ellen Marie Wiseman
#168 06 08 2020
World War Two Historical Fiction
by Maggie Brookes

#169 06 09 2020
(about the 1960s,
Rolling Stones in their exile,
genocide, it’s survivors, and
people from places that no longer exist.)
by Nick Sweeney

#170 06 11 2020
Family Life/Coming of Age Novel
by Robert Dugoni

#171 06 26 2020
Women’s Divorce Fiction
by Barbara Linn Probst
#172 07 01 2020
Short Story “The Belindas” from the Short Story Collection LOVE WAR STORIES
By Ivelisse Rodriguez

#173 Inside the Emotion of Fiction
07 04 2020
Organized Crime Thriller
by Raymond Benson

#174 Inside the Emotion of Fiction
07 08 2020
Contemporary Literature & Fiction
by Allison Burnett

#175 Inside the Emotion of Fiction
07 09 2020
Horror Novella
by Jeff Lyons

#176 Inside the Emotion of Fiction
07 12 2020
20th Century Historical Romance
“The Bootlegger’s Wife”
by Denise Devine

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