Wednesday, December 16, 2015



Caught in a web of illegal drugs when she tries to help one of her co-workers, Victoria Gillette places her own life in danger. During the investigation, Sean Casey, an undercover narcotic agent, falls in love with Victoria, although he can’t reveal his true identity. During a crisis, will Sean reach Victoria in time to save her life? This fast-paced eBook has lots of twists and turns.

A shot ripped through the Steak Grill, shattering the ornate mirror behind the bar. A man wearing a shiny, blue suit grabbed Victoria and dragged her, and the couple standing next to her, to the floor. She struggled to free herself, but blue suit held a firm grip on her. “I’m with security,” he growled. “Keep your head down until we determine who fired the shot.”
The small restaurant evolved into a state of mass confusion. Tables were overturned and drinks spilled as guests of the engagement party scrambled for safety.
Then, dead silence. The other couple stood and the man offered his hand to Victoria.
“I’m Sean Casey. Let me help you.”
Victoria jerked her arm away. “I’ll get up by myself, thank you.”
The last thing Victoria Gillette had in mind was to attend was a party honoring Olivia McDougle and Dr. Mitchell James, but her mother insisted.
“Hold your head high. Show everyone you can rise above their petty gossip.”
Easy for Mom to say; she wasn’t the one jilted. Well, not jilted really. Mitch never displayed any interest in Victoria, no matter what she did. He had eyes only for Olivia.
Victoria had reluctantly offered her best wishes to the happy couple. A lump swelled in her throat when she glanced at Mitch. She should have been holding on to his arm instead of Olivia. She appraised Olivia’s outfit and unconsciously smoothed the skirt of her new dress, which stretched tightly over every curve of her body. Before she could peruse the crowd for any single men, the shot rang out.
Now, Victoria found herself at the bottom of a pile of struggling guests. A large blot of red wine ruined her dress and the band holding her hair broke, allowing her blonde tresses to fall in a tangled mess around her face.
After several agonizing minutes of shocked silence, the entire room energized. The few people still standing stepped aside when Hamilton Bowers, Rexford’s Chief of Police raced to the front of the room and confronted the woman holding the weapon.
“Drop the gun, Mrs. Gleason.”
“What?” Mary Margaret’s eyes widened. Her hand shook uncontrollably.
“We don’t want any more trouble.” Ham, quiet but determined, reached out and removed the revolver from the trembling woman.
One of the guests pushed his way toward the police chief. “She wasn’t the shooter. The lady over there fired the weapon.” He pointed to a white-faced Dorothy Gillette held by two bystanders. “Mrs. Gleason hit her hand just as she fired and then grabbed the gun,” the witness continued.
Victoria disentangled herself from the group on the floor and shouldered her way through the crowd to reach her mother, who had collapsed in a chair, her arms dangling loosely at her side.
“Mom, are you okay? Mom?”
Dorothy’s eyes lids fluttered, her gaze empty, vacant. Her head drooped to the side and drool saturated the collar of her black-silk suit. She babbled to Judge Gillette as if he stood beside her, although her husband had been dead for over a month.
The once quiet restaurant exploded into bedlam. A few guests rushed to gather their coats and leave the chaos, while others crowded around Dorothy and Victoria to observe the drama. Victoria couldn’t help but overhear their slanderous opinions, including a rehash of the Gillette family’s history of scandals. She clapped her hands over her ears in an attempt to block out accusing voices as personal nightmares from the past resurfaced.
The police called for an ambulance, and while they waited, Chief Bowers interrogated Victoria. Fighting hysteria, she explained she and her mother arrived in different cars.
“Mom said social protocol demanded we make an appearance. She planned to congratulate Dr. James and Miss McDougle and then go home. She didn’t want to be seen celebrating so soon after the judge’s death. I intended to stay for dinner and drinks.”
“Does your mother usually carry a gun?”
“What? Mom? No, she hates guns. I just don’t understand.” Victoria buried her face in her hands. Uncontrollable tears gushed from her eyes.
When the ambulance arrived, Chief Bowers steered Victoria aside to allow the EMT team space to attend to her mother. After they checked Dorothy’s vital signs and did the usual work-up, they told Chief Bowers they planned to transport her to the psychiatric ward at St. Marks in Lima for further evaluation.
Sorrow turned to horror as Victoria’s mother lost touch with reality. The crowd avoided Victoria as if she were responsible for the incident. She tried to ignore the hurtful barbs and whispers, instead focusing on her personal dilemma. Why had this happened? What could have caused her mother to react so violently? She looked around the almost empty restaurant and considered her future.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

OLIVIA, an eBook by Joyce Brennan

When Olivia relocates from New York to her former hometown, will she find love or will her decisions destroy a new relationship? Suspense, rumors and gossip make "OLIVIA," by Joyce Brennan an ebook page turner. Now available on for $4.99

"It wasn’t the two-step, but a slow dance. Mitch pulled her close, aware he had a captive audience and she’d have to listen.
“Olivia, I know it’s difficult to date a doctor, my life’s not my own. You need to know how attracted I am to you.
OLIVIA is the first of a series, but also written as a stand alone book. VICTORIA, the second of the series will be out in 2016 and I am presently editing JADE. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Drama in a Small Town: Another Short Story DANCE

Drama in a Small Town: Another Short Story DANCE: Short stories are fun to write. It's a challenge to complete one in under three-hundred and fifty words. Enjoy.  DANCE       315   ...

Another Short Story DANCE

Short stories are fun to write. It's a challenge to complete one in under three-hundred and fifty words. Enjoy. 

DANCE       315                                                                                J. Brennan

Chet Mason took extra care shaving and changed his tie twice. Satisfied, he peered at his image in the mirror, sighed deeply.
“Marsha, there’s no point in dancing around this. I’ve found someone else and I’m leaving you.” He threw his suitcases on the bed. “I’m going to Chicago on a business trip. I’ll come for the rest of my things when I return Friday evening.
Marsha’s mouth flew open.
Chet held up his hand. “Let’s not have a nasty discussion about this. I’ve made up my mind.”
She stood back as Chet carefully folded and packed his clothes, grabbed his luggage, and went out the door. Shocked, she didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Then anger took over. She went to the kitchen, poured herself a good stiff drink, and then a second. “Chet, ole boy, you haven’t begun to dance.”
It was Tuesday morning. Marsha had four days to plan. First, she arranged to take the rest of the week off work and then phoned a divorce lawyer. She made calls to the utilities and newspaper to discontinue services Friday morning and finally contacted a realtor to find another place to live. On her way to get packing boxes, she withdrew all the money from their joint accounts and dropped Chet’s golf clubs, tools and stereo equipment at Super Pawn.
Wednesday, between packing, she went with a realtor to look at condos. She found one within walking distance of her work and arranged to rent it until the deal closed.
Thursday, the movers come to load and transport her belongings. Early Friday morning, she went back to the house to box up the rest of Chet’s things.
She marked all the boxes before she sealed them. Because it was summer, she carefully put a partially opened tin of sardines in the middle of each one marked winter clothes.
Let Chet dance until he found the source of the odor.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

      My good friend Morrie Greenberg submitted this short story for my blog. Enjoy, Joyce                                 


  Frankie and Johnny  592 words
                                      Copyright 2015 By Morrie Greenberg                      
          “Yeah, I shot him.  He was my man and --“
          “I now, I know, —you said it ten times already--he done you wrong.”  Defense attorney Ken Wilkins let out a deep sigh He sat on one side of the desk the jail provided attorneys; his new client sat slouched on the other side.
          “Frankie, just tell me what happened.”
          “He tol’ me he’d be true…” 
           Frankie, still slouched in her chair, poured out her story.           
          “He said he was just goin’ out for a beer….I  looked over the transom…saw him, heard him squealing with that woman… got out the forty-four I had under my slip. Shot him three times.   He was my man---“
          .”I know Frankie, I know, but he done you wrong.  Listen, that story---it ain’t gonna fly.
          Forget it.  Suppose you had a gun to protect yourself from all the bums.  Suppose you thought Johnnie was in trouble.  Suppose you rushed in to protect him.  You’d never used a gun before and you accidentally squeezed the trigger.  It was—an accident”.
          Frankie let loose with a soft, long “Oooohhh.”
          Oh my God, he thought, I think she’s got it.
          Over the next few weeks, Wilkins came to the jail almost every day and questioned Frankie as though she were on the witness stand.  In short time she was spouting out the story very much as he had suggested.  Now he felt they had a good shot at manslaughter or second degree.
           No one who was there that warm spring day in 1908 would ever forget it   ‘
          “Your honor, the defense calls as its first and only witness Frankie.”
          A buzz traveled across the courtroom.  Frankie, clad in a tight fitting print dress slithered out of her seat.  Once seated Frankie feigned pulling down her dress.
          Wilkins walked toward her, dismayed at the dress she wore that highlighted her curvy figure.
          “Can you tell us what happened on the  afternoon of February eighteenth?”
          “Well, when Johnny did not come back, I went looking for him at Joe’s saloon and—“
          Good.  Wilkins thought: that is just the way they had rehearsed it.
          Then Frankie paused in mid-sentence.
          “Yes, go on.”
          “And so, I, I, I…”
          Why is she stammering?  She said it just right yesterday.
          A sudden fire blazed in Frankie’s eyes. Her face reddened as she swiveled on the witness chair to face the jury.  The movement lifted her dress above her knees, but this time she made no effort to pull it down.   
          “Me and Johnny, we were sweethearts”
          She waved a hand toward her lawyer to keep him from interrupting.   Wilkins felt the blood drain from his face.
          Frankie’s eyes drifted from one man on the jury to another as she seemed to sing-song her story.
          “Lordy how we could love
          Swore to be true to each other
          Yeah, true to the skies above
          He was my man, but he done me wrong.”
          As Frankie rambled on, Wilkins glanced at the men on the jury.  Their eyes glistened.  A few had tears.
          The prosecution had no cross examination.  As Frankie stepped down she offered Wilkins a quick wink. 
          The jury was dismissed to deliberate.  Thirty minutes later the jury returned.  A nervous Wilkins stood next to a relaxed Frankie as the verdict was announced..
          “Your Honor, we find the defendant not guilty.”

          Before they parted Frankie hugged Wilkins and whispered in his ear, “…he done me wrong.”  Wilkins only listened.  This time, he thought, she was certainly entitled to the last word.  

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


Drama in a Small Town: TURNING YOUR SHORT STORIES INTO NOVELS: I love to write short stories, and try to create one every month. Once in a while, someone will mention that they want to read what happen...


I love to write short stories, and try to create one every month. Once in a while, someone will mention that they want to read what happens next.
Years ago I wrote a story about four single women meeting every Wednesday night for dinner to discussing their work, their love life, and the challenges of meeting someone new in a small town.
My critique partner agreed it was good, but what happened? Did the women connect with a mate? Were their careers going nowhere? Where was the conflict,confrontation, and the happy ending?
 With that in mind, I created a fictional town named Rexford, Ohio. Then I separated the characters and wrote a novel on each woman.
Thus, the first of the series, which is also a stand alone story, I named OLIVIA.
I loved writing about this former New York advertising executive who returned to her home town to tend an ailing Aunt and to take over the family newspaper. 
Olivia faced challenges both from downsizing her life, and attempting to live in the confines of small town rumors and innuendos. 
Her honest, straight-forward editorials clash with a local judge who runs the town of Rexford. 
When Olivia falls in love with a local General Practitioner, who the Judge's daughter has claimed for her own, the walls come tumbling down.
I've created blackmail, attempted murder, and of course, romance in this Romantic Suspense Novel.
Watch for the twists and turns. I hope I've surprised the readers and Olivia will be the page-turner I hoped for.
OLIVIA, by Joyce Brennan is now available on, Smashwords and from my publisher, "Tirgearr Publishing"
Download it now and write a review.
Joyce Brennan