I received this book at no cost in exchange for an honest review. 513wLH+cX1L

The murders first caught my attention when the family of Christopher Watts went missing. It particularly grabbed my eye because of the way he behaved on interviews I saw on television.

I’ve been the victim of narcissistic abuse in my life by someone who I thought was a friend for a very long time. I ignored a lot of her behavior as her just being different, but as time went on, I realized she really had a deeply rooted mental problem. I put up with her treatment of me until one chilling moment when I realized I needed to cut off the friendship/relationship. I began to research and learn about narcissism, attachment disorder and the various traits of someone with those personality disorders.

When I saw the TV footage of this man, Chris Watts, I saw my former friend in his actions and in his demeanor and lack of affect. His demeanor was completely inappropriate for the circumstances he was in. It was alarming to watch and I knew then he’d done something awful to his family.

When given the chance to read this book, I was already curious about his mental makeup and since the author is a psychotherapist, I was intrigued to read it and get her perspective.

I wasn’t disappointed. She had meticulously researched the case as well as reviewing the forensic evidence. This included text messages from Shanann, Chris and his paramour as well as reviews of police reports, court transcripts, and interviews. Her discussions of certain mental disorders was intriguing. How she showed what was in Chris’ mind and his lack of remorse for his actions was validating in many ways with behavior I’ve witnessed for myself in my own experience. Of course, my experience wasn’t fatal, but so much of what she said rang true. I found myself nodding along as I read her words.

This was a horrific crime and this man should never be freed – it’s clear from the analysis of Derhally he doesn’t have the ability to feel remorse or be reformed.

The book was a hard read- not because it was complicated but because it was so tragic. Shanann trusted the wrong man – the man she thought loved her and her children. My heart hurts for her family and friends.  I recommend this book – to TRY to understand this case.  Those of us with normal psyches will have a difficult time understanding Chris Watts’ brain, but Derhally sheds light in those dark corners.

Posted by: Author | February 19, 2020

Wordless Wednesday


Posted by: Author | February 10, 2020

Tuesday Tales- February 11, 2020- Picture Prompt

It’s picture prompt week for the Tuesday Tales authors. I chose the window picture.  We are limited to 300 words this week. I’m still in my Regency set story.

Be sure to check the other tales here

new TT Feb 2018

tt 1


Honora could tell better now the height of the drop out the window. It wasn’t quite as high as she thought when she looked down in the dark before she passed out from whatever was in the poultice. She shook her head again, unsure if it appeared closer because her vision was still somewhat blurry or if it truly wasn’t as far.

It’s now or never. That old woman will be finding her way up here soon. I’m sure of it. She probably has an idea how long I’d be asleep by the amount of poison in the poultice.

Relieved she hadn’t placed the stinky thing on her chest as instructed since she might even be dead by now, Honora made her decision. She was going out the window. Even if she broke something, she had to try. Sitting here waiting for her fate wasn’t something she relished.

She hefted the lower edge of the pane. It was painted onto the sill.

Glancing around for an item she could use as a weapon she found a letter opener on the one table in the room. In her search for something that could work better, she shoved all the papers to the floor. A few letters tied in ribbon landed at her feet.

Squinting at them as she couldn’t bend over due to dizziness, she thought they were addressed to Charles Lockwood.

Honora knelt down to get them and fell on her rear. Suppressing her laughter at her involuntary drunkenness, she shoved the packet in the bosom of her gown. They might come in handy at some point in time.

Posted by: Author | February 5, 2020

Wordless Wednesday

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Posted by: Author | February 3, 2020

Tuesday Tales- Feb 4, 2020 – Gray

This week’s word prompt for the writers of Tuesday Tales is gray.  This is from my Regency novel.

Be sure to check out the other tales here

new TT Feb 2018

Memory returned. She’d been taken by Charles Lockwood and was being held by a blind woman. A blind woman who poisoned me.

Rubbing her arms to try to return some feeling to them, she closed her eyes. They didn’t want to stay open. What did she give me?

She pressed down on her legs in an attempt to make the blood flow better. Her hands moved from her thighs to her calves a few times.

When her legs seemed more normal, she worked on getting them off the bed with her feet on the floor.

Sitting up was difficult. She held on to the coverlet with clenched fists. How will I get out of here if I can barely move or keep my eyes open?

Honora struggled to stand. Wobbly and unsure of herself, she staggered over to the ewer and basin, almost falling a couple of times.

When she made it, she picked up the ewer and took a big gulp of some of the liquid from the side, hoping it would serve to help wake her.

Once she slaked the terrible thirst, she dumped the entire remaining contents over her head. That should help.

Shaking her head to throw off some of the liquid, she felt slightly better.

Making her way to the window slowly, she was dismayed to find the gray sky getting brighter. So much for my intentions to be well away from here before daybreak.

Posted by: Author | January 15, 2020

Wordless Wednesday

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Posted by: Author | January 8, 2020

Wordless Wednesday

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Posted by: Author | January 6, 2020

Tuesday Tales- January 7, 2020- Round

This week, the writers of Tuesday Tales are writing to the word prompt round. We are still in my Regency tale.  Enjoy and be sure to check out the other tales here.

new TT Feb 2018

When James returned to his quarters after the boxing matches, he was surprised to find his mother seated at the round table near the window where he usually made notes in his journal before retiring for the evening. He’d picked up the habit in the army when he didn’t know if he’d love to see another day and wanted to jot down thoughts in case of his death. He still had the habit even though he wasn’t in mortal danger any longer.

Being slightly winded still and sure he smelled like sweat, he was a bit disconcerted to find her there calmly sipping tea. He stopped short of pulling off his soiled shirt. “Mother. What has happened to lead you here to lie in wait for me?”

She carefully set her cup in its saucer. “Why don’t you tell me?”

Bemused, he pulled out the other chair and sat. “Tell you what, ma’am?”

“Have you made an offer to Charlotte Marlowe?” Her hands clenched together on the tabletop. He was fascinated by how red they were becoming.

“Why would you think I did such a thing?”

“Answer the question, James.”

She spoke to him as if he were a child again. Anger surged in his breast. “What if I did, Madam? Would you punish me or make me break it off?”

To his utter shock, tears pooled in her eyes. “If you’ve done something as foolish as that, I couldn’t —or should I say, wouldn’t—ask you to go back on your word, but I must tell you, I’m very disappointed in you.” She stood so quickly, the cup of tea jostled in the saucer and spilled out onto the table. It trickled across the wood and some fell to the floor.

They both stared at it for a long moment.

His mother finally said, “That quite sums it all up, doesn’t it?” She walked toward the door. Her shoulders slumped which frightened him. She always held her posture erect and perfectly. “I’ll leave you and allow your man to assist in making you presentable.”

Posted by: Author | December 30, 2019

Tuesday Tales- December 31, 2019- Year

The word prompt for the week for the Tuesday Tale authors is year. Since I’ve been only sharing Honora’s angst in my Regency tale, I thought I’d share a bit of her being happy since the whole book isn’t a downer. 🙂

Be sure to check out the other tales here

new TT Feb 2018After making a ninny of herself, Honora needed time alone. Lord Cavanaugh had appeared completely aghast at what she’d asked him to promise. He even had a coughing fit to avoid making the vow. Not that she thought he was an unkind man—not as she had that night at the ball—but why he couldn’t make a promise caused her consternation. To say nothing of the embarrassment.

She hummed under her breath as she curried the horse, content to be alone for a while and trying to put the conversation behind her.

Wishing she’d asked Lord Cavanaugh what he had planned for the houseguests today so she could craft a reason she couldn’t participate, she finished up with Aloysius and placed the brush on the table outside his stall.

Honora rubbed his nose. “I’ll be back tomorrow.”

Sneaking out of the stable and across the yard, hoping not to be seen, she made it all the way to the side door but was stopped by the man she met at the ring toss game. “Where have you been? Have you found a young man who strikes your fancy?”

She surely didn’t want a rumor of that sort getting out. Searching her mind for how to deny it without sounding coy, she took too much time as he added, “If you have, I’ll never tell. I’d be very happy for you.”

Relieved he wasn’t looking for something to gossip about she said, “I’ve only met one young man here who I’m interested in a relationship with.”

He raised his eyebrows. “Good on you. Best wishes.”

“He’s about four years old, I believe.” Honora grinned. She didn’t usually say whimsical things and found herself enjoying it.

His eyebrows shot even higher. All the way to his hairline this time. “Four?”

“Yes. He’s lovely with chestnut hair.”


“His name is Aloysius, he lives in the stables and is about sixteen hands high.”

The man playfully grabbed his chest. “You scared me there, Miss Honora.” He smiled. “I didn’t know you were so witty.”

“I didn’t either.”

At that, he threw his head back and laughed.

Posted by: Author | December 23, 2019

Tuesday Tales- December 24, 2019- Gift

This week’s Tuesday Tales word is appropriate for the day- it’s gift.  We are still in my Regency story.  The ladies of the house party are doing needlework while the men are off doing “men” things. 🙂

Check out the rest of the tales here

new TT Feb 2018

Honora wished she could tell if the countess was angry or frightened. It was hard to tell since it could be either. She didn’t know the lady at all really but she’d seemed very kind when they had tea together. This was an altogether different side of the lady. One that didn’t seem as calm and settled as the other one.

As soon as the countess was out of the room, Charlotte moved to Honora’s side. She knelt down and practically hissed at her. “What kind of game are you playing? You and I both know you aren’t making a sampler for me. Why are you trying to embarrass me?”

Without answering, Honora pointed at the sampler.

Charlotte gasped. “You really are doing that?”

The sampler had roses and ivy around the edges and a space at the top with no name. Charlotte’s name was under that blank space and Honora had half-finished the words she intended to put below. The “happily” was there. All she had left was the “ever after” and the groom’s name.

It was intended to be a surprise wedding gift, but now that was ruined.

“You all must come and see this.” Charlotte waved the others over.

Is she trying to embarrass me now?

Several ladies crowded around. They all oohed and aahed and then the questions about the groom’s name came again.

Her sister put on the appearance of enjoying the teasing, but Honora could tell by the glittering of her green eyes that she was angry. Angry that Honora’s work was appreciated for its beauty and also angry she herself had called everyone’s attention to it. As well, the teasing without a true proposal had to be annoying to Charlotte. She could pretend to be coy about it, but the truth was, no one had declared for her.

Honora knew this was all growing into an ugly confrontation when they were finally alone. She wanted nothing more than to be off this estate and safe at home where she knew all the best hiding places. Charlotte’s wrath had caused her to learn those over the years. She had no chance of escape here.

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