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Marrying and Divorcing Rich – and my guest post for M.J. Kane

As my readers know, amateur sleuth Melissa Morris is based on a real person – an old girlfriend of mine named Lysette. She used to do some work for the Mossad until she got tired of seducing Syrian businessmen in cheap East European hotels. She drifted for years. I urged her to give up and marry rich, but Lysette made the too-common error of ignoring my advice and now she’s living in Queens.

It’s a real shame because, like any attractive woman, Lysette could have married and divorced someone wealthy by now. Instead she has to work for a living, as a social worker no less, and she’s a vegan. It’s a tragedy, no matter how you look at it…

Read more of this guest post on M.J. Kane’s website. M.J. Kane? She’s a stay-at-home mom turned Amazon bestseller. Her words inspire, encourage and bring hope, so really, we have very little in common. Still, hop on over and check her out…

in Charles Cornelius Endicott IV, Crime Fiction, Dalmore, Lysette, Mossad, Myron Xavier Schwartz. | Read full story · | Comments { 0 }

Blog Hopping in the USA

The talented JD Chase has asked me to participate in a Blog Hop, which is a little like wife swapping without the keys, sex and suburbia. Thank you, JD and good luck with Hunting Lust, a “contemporary romance with mild erotica”.

What is the title of your book?
Speaking of sex… The title of the second novel in my detective series is Fakakt: Melissa Morris and the Meaning of Sex

Where did the idea come from for the book?
Amateur sleuth Melissa Morris is based on my friend Lysette who used to work for the Mossad until she got tired of seducing Syrian businessmen in cheap East European Hotels. She now works as a social worker and one day I thought to myself, what if, instead of working with abused children, Lysette found dead bodies and solved crimes?

What is the genre of the book?
Mystery – Chick-lit

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Christian Bale has already agreed to do it in drag.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Melissa Morris chases her cheating boyfriend to Rome. While trying to track him down, she’s arrested for the murder of a Romanian businessman. She sets out to find the real killer, discovering an underside to Rome and herself that she never imagined.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I’ve just taken my second dose of Opana. Who can remember?

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
People have compared me to Marian Keyes and Donald Trump

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Did I mention that Sabina’s son, Elvis called me yesterday? What does he want? Isn’t enough that his skanky platinum blond dye-job of a mother roped my father into getting engaged? Some people ask why bad things happen to good people, but that’s really the wrong question. The correct question is, why aren’t things going better for Jasmine? What’s wrong with the world?

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
My future ex-husband has started to read books, which I find odd. But if, like him, you do actually read, then go ahead and pick up a copy. It just came out in paperback.

Thanks again JD and happy hopping…

in future ex-husband, Jasmine's Father, Lysette, Mossad, Sabina | Read full story · | Comments { 0 }


What the hell is Prana breathing anyway? The Mandarin detox was pretty good, up to a point, and then suddenly Dario started telling me how to breathe while he was stimulating my lymph nodes. Then he made me drink this revolting green-colored juice which made me want to puke, but unfortunately, I think I mentioned that I’m not one of those women who easily hurls her food. My stomach was shot the entire day. $2000 later and I still need valium.

You’re probably wondering how this all started.

Actually I’m having some trouble remembering myself.

Oh yes. It’s coming back to me. I had a hangover. A really bad one. If you recall, we were invited to dinner at Lysette‘s, my old friend who used to work for the Mossad. I based my detective character on her. I think I already mentioned that.

Lysette lives in some place called Kew Gardens. We took a taxi over, stopping for drinks on the way, and by the time we got there, we were an hour late, which shouldn’t be such a big deal, but you can tell from the look on Lysette’s ethnic boyfriend’s face, it was.

So it was pretty much a disaster from start to finish. My future ex-husband, through no fault of his own, can’t really handle being around poor people. He got completely soused on the Dalmore we bought with us and before too long he was making his usual drunken racist comments. Santiago, surprise surprise, doesn’t have much of a sense of humor, and sometime after the ‘entrée’ was served, they were yelling at each other and talking about current events. In her sad, little kitchen Lysette revealed to me that she was pregnant after years of trying. As my readers know, when people tell me about their fertility woes, I usually say a little prayer for them that they won’t get pregnant, because no one really understands the extent to which children make you unhappy. But with Lysette, it was too late, and she was so excited about having a baby that all I could do was listen and pretend she wasn’t making a huge mistake.

I can’t emphasize enough that going to Queens was probably one of the biggest mistakes I’ve ever made, or at least, the biggest one of the summer. But the summer is ending, and I’m hoping for a respite from all the drama this fall. Let’s all say a little prayer for Jasmine.

in Dalmore, future ex-husband, Kew Gardens, Lysette, Manhattan, Mossad, Queens, Uncategorized, Valium | Read full story · | Comments { 9 }


When I tell people about my novel, they’re curious to know if I based my character on a real person. I suppose it’s time to reveal that amateur sleuth Melissa Morris is based on a friend I used to know. I think I mentioned her in a previous post. She used to work for the Mossad.

After leaving the job, Lysette drifted, taking work no respectable person should ever consider. She was a secretary, a sales assistant, an ESL teacher and an archivist in a cruddy, dark basement in Queens where she had to drink instant coffee and microwave her lunches. Eventually she trained to be a social worker. Really, it was a nightmare to be her friend. Obviously, we lost touch.

So when it came time to write a novel, I thought, what if, instead of working with abused children, Lysette found dead bodies and solved crimes? This is the kind of stuff you have to think about when you’re a writer. You have to ask that really good ‘what if’ question. You have to put normal people in extraordinary situations. You have to sit down and write after drinking at least two gin and tonics. Most writing teachers will tell you that.

Oh yeah – did I mention my novel sold? My future ex-husband was so right. Four different publishers were bidding for it by the end of last week. My badly aging agent, Elaine Totsky, closed the deal yesterday. This industry moves so fast that it’s dizzying.

So back to Lysette. I called her to tell her that I based my detective character on her, and do you know what she did? She invited us for dinner. Now I have to go to Queens. What a nightmare.

in Lysette, Mossad, Queens | Read full story · | Comments { 2 }


I once had a girlfriend named Lysette who did some work for the Mossad. It was a good gig, but eventually she got tired of seducing Syrian businessmen in cheap East European hotels. She drifted for years. I urged her to give up and marry rich, but Lysette refused, and now she’s living in Queens with an ethnic boyfriend.

Think about it for a second. Lysette could be in Fairfield county, fooling around with her Bikram trainer while her husband blogs about Wall Street. I’m just saying, people should be more open. The world would be a better place.

I’m thinking about this because since I last posted, I wrote the novel and now have an agent. Her name is Elaine Totsky.

Elaine may have been good looking once – it’s hard to tell once the sun spots set in. At first I thought it didn’t matter how she looked. I figured she’s in a job where no one has to see her face. But it turns out that agenting is all about lunches, and lunches are all about impressing people with your body. I’ve seen other agents at parties, and they’re young and hot and skilled at drawing attention to their cleavage. Frankly, I’m a little concerned. How did I get stuck with Keith Richards?

My future ex-husband told me not to be worried. “Babe,” he said. “She’s selling you. Not her sagging neck.” Easy for him to say. He still thinks I’m 35. But I thought just in case, I should give her the number of my plastic surgeon. I also handed her a card for a “cosmedical” spa on Lexington because of her facial hair situation. And do you know what? She didn’t even thank me.

Speaking of cosmeticians, did I mention that my father is dating his dental hygienist? She’s a Kosovan single mom, so that’s three offensive things about her already. I’m really having a bad day.

in future ex-husband, Jasmine's Father, Literary Agent Elaine Totsky, Lysette, Mossad | Read full story · | Comments { 3 }