Wednesday, January 26, 2011

WHEN SERPENTS DIE, a Long and Short Review

When Serpents Die: Laura Kate Plantation Series Book I
Author: Gerrie Ferris
Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense
Length: Full (171 pages)
Heat: SensualRating: 5
Reviewed by Stephantois

Laura Kate O'Connell left her life of excitement as an overseas news correspondent to return to her Georgia hometown to raise her two young cousins. When Royce Lee, Laura Kate's attorney, supposedly commits suicide, too many pieces of evidence tell a different story. Her instincts as an investigative reporting are tingling, and she just can't leave it alone.
She meets Jack Rhodes, Royce's business partner. Sparks fly, but can she really trust a man she knows nothing about? And why is it that every time something new develops in the case, he seems to be there? Warnings to back off escalate to an attempt on her life. Now, for Laura Kate, it's more than just a mystery.
Depending on Jack might be a mistake, but if Laura Kate can get past his southern charms and the nervous way Jack makes her feel, she may get the facts, solve the case, and even save her own life.
I really enjoyed this book. I love a good mystery and this one didn’t disappoint me in any way. Laura Kate is a great sleuth. Every character jumps off the page. The dialogue sounds so natural it’s almost as if you’re overhearing a conversation. And the southern setting of this book added to the enjoyment. The smells, the manners of the South all added wonderful colorful layers to the plot.
There are the essential quirky characters, the red herring, and there’s even a trial going on in town while Laura’s trying to figure out if Royce took his own life.
Laura Kate is a series character and Ferris does a first class job of laying in back story and not giving away too much too soon. All the characters were likely suspects, there were twist and turns I didn’t see coming and it was a pleasure to read.
Ferris also added some romantic suspense elements into the mix by introducing Jack as a possible love interest for Laura. I can’t wait to see what happens between these two in the next book of the series. And for that matter, read more of Ferris’ work.If you like a good mystery with a cast of colorful characters, put this one on your must read list.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Paraprosdokian sentences

A figure of speech that uses an unexpected ending to a series or a phrase, for example:

I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn't work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.

Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.

The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list.

Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

If I agreed with you we'd both be wrong.

We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.

War does not determine who is right - only who is left.

Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research.

How is it one careless match can start a forest fire but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?

Dolphins are so smart that within a few weeks of captivity they can train people to stand on the very edge of the pool and throw them fish.

I thought I wanted a career -- turns out I just wanted paychecks.

A bank is a place that will lend you money...if you can prove that you don't need it.

I didn't say it was your fault...I said I was blaming you.

I saw a woman wearing a sweat shirt with "Guess" on I said "Implants?"

Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars but check when you say the paint is wet?

Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut and still think they are sexy.

Why do Americans choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America ?

Behind every successful man is his woman. Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.

A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.

The voices in my head may not be real but they have some good ideas!

Always borrow money from a pessimist. He won't expect it back.

A diplomat is someone who can tell you to go to hell in such a way that you will look forward to the trip.

Hospitality: making your guests feel like they're at home even if you wish they were.

Money can't buy happiness but it sure makes misery easier to live with.

I discovered I scream the same way whether I'm about to be devoured by a great white shark or if a piece of seaweed touches my foot.

Some cause happiness wherever they go. Others whenever they go.

I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not sure.

I always take life with a grain of salt, a slice of lemon and a shot of tequila.

When tempted to fight fire with fire remember that the Fire Department usually uses water.

To be sure of hitting the target shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.

Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

Some people hear voices. Some see invisible people. Others have no imagination whatsoever.

If you are supposed to learn from your mistakes why do some people have more than one child?

Change is inevitable...except from a vending machine.

Monday, January 10, 2011


My editor at St. Martin's Minotaur passed away January 10, 2011 at the age of 92. She was 90 years of age when she chose my novel, THE END GAME, to win the St. Martin's/Malice Domestic Best First Traditional Mystery.

This essay is a reprint I wrote for Julie Lomoe's Blog.

I wrote my first novel before I began my newspaper career, right after I got out of college, while I was babysitting my two children. It was a war novel – hey, why not start with something you know everything about, right? It's a good thing I love to research.

I sent it off to an agent friend, a classmate in college. He told me it was hard to believe a woman wrote the book, and that if he sold it, I should use initials so buyers would think I was a man. Then he gave me friendly advice. He said I should write women's non-fiction like the stuff in "Cosmopolitan". Sex positions was going to propel me to the top of the Best Seller List.

I went to work for a newspaper instead. After twenty years as a writer, editor and columnist, I retired to write novels in earnest. Like most journalists, I had a few manuscript starts, but never finished them. My first effort was a mystery overlaid with romance. I didn't consider genre when writing the manuscript. I just wanted to tell a story, sell it to a publisher and have a large reading audience. I hired an agent and wrote four books in what she called the romantic suspense genre, before she told me romantic suspense wasn't selling well.

So okay, let's do something else. I created Moriah Dru, a former cop turned child finder. Already in love with a detective, Dru wouldn't be drifting into romance. My agent didn't like The End Game, because she didn't like the heroine. Dru had too much angst. After three years, my agent and I parted, and I sent The End Game to large independent publishers (of which there are few) and got requests for the "full" manuscript from all. I wrote the second book while waiting for offers that didn't come.

I entered The End Game into the Malice Domestic/St. Martin's Minotaur competition for Best First Traditional Mystery novel and started another mystery series. I'd forgotten about the Minotaur contest. Who wins contests anyway? Then my contest reader called to tell me she'd sent the novel on to St. Martin's. The process starts with readers who receive manuscripts from all over the country. They chooses the best in their estimation and send them to St. Martin's.

A couple months went by, and I "got the call" from Ruth Cavin. I was working on a straight romance and almost let the phone ring. Instead, I said "Hello".

I swear my heart stopped beating as I listened to her words that went something like: "This is Ruth Cavin with St. Martin's. I'm calling to tell you that your novel won the St. Martin's contest. Congratulations."

It couldn't be any of my joker friends. They didn't know I'd entered the contest. My husband didn't know.

My mouth was open and dried-out when I stuttered, "You're kidding?"

She laughed and said, "I had some wonderful manuscripts to choose from, but I thought yours was just the best." Just the best. Her wonderful voice still resounds in my head.

When I told my husband I was going to be published by a big New York house, he said, "At last!"

Thank you Julie for letting me relive that call on your wonderful blog.
Gerrie Ferris Finger

Sunday, January 2, 2011


In Roman mythology, Janus was the god of gates and doors and openings; a god of beginnings and endings. It has roots in the word janitor which means a gatekeeper.

Janus is portray with two faces, one facing forward, one backward.

In January, the Sun returns and the days grow longer, marking the start of a new year. However, in Roman Times, the new year began in March, which is why September (seventh month), October (8), November and December seemed oddly placed in the calendar.

In myth, Janus was the patron of concrete and abstract beginnings of the world, i.e. religion, the gods, human life. He symbolized change and transitions such as the progression of past to future, of one universe to another.

In time of war 'The Janus' (gates/doors) were kept open after a contingent of soldiers had marched through it. The doors were closed at the conclusion of peace. Augustus and Nero declared peace and closed the doors of the Janus during their reigns.

Janus was worshipped at the beginnings of the harvest and planting times, as well as marriages, deaths and other beginnings.

Now you know.
Happy January.
Researched from internet encyclopedias

Gerrie Ferris Finger