Could Mother Have Known About Toddler’s Death

Cooper Harris, the twenty-two month old toddler killed last month after being left to bake in a hot car was buried on Saturday. But questions remain as Cooper’s father, Justin Ross Harris has been charged in the boy’s death after investigators found someone in the home had searched the internet for information on dying in hot cars. His behavior during the day has also made the father’s claim that he was absent-minded, seem unrealistic.

The morning of the boy’s death, Justin Ross Harris bought his son breakfast and should have then dropped him off at daycare, but instead drove to work. Around noon, he returned to his car to put light bulbs he had purchased in his car. He also received an e-mail from the daycare. And police have found that while at work, Justin Harris often communicated with numerous women, including sexting on the day of the incident. But nothing reminded him that he had left his son in the back of his car until he drove off after work and discovered him dead in the back.

Toxicology reports have come back with no drugs or medication in the boy’s system and investigators are running experiments to determine how hot the car would have gotten that day (could have been as high as 140 degrees!)

It all adds up to some very serious questions about this boy’s death. Police are sure the father is guilty of murder and the grand jury agreed there is enough evidence to try the father. The next question is whether the mother, Leanna Harris is involved as well.

Reports have stated that Leanna acted strangely before and even on the day her son died.  When she arrived at the day care to pick her son up and learned that he wasn’t there, she allegedly stated, “Ross must have left him in the car.” Even though workers told her there could be other reasons her husband failed to drop the boy off, she repeated it. Also when police were investigating the internet searches on car deaths, Leanna claims they made the search together as they were curious on ‘how it occurs.”

More information will come out in the coming weeks as police continue to investigate and as we move closer to Justin Ross Harris’ trial. Leanna Harris has now obtained  a criminal attorney.

Image Credit: The Marietta Daily Journal

Visit for their July Summer/Winter Sale. Use the code SW100  at checkout to get STRANGER: A DEATH VALLEY MYSTERY for free during the limited time promotion!

(Offer good through July 31, 2014)


The death of a stranger at the Death Valley Motel is more than an inconvenience for new owner Alex Delgado. Alex and her brother Ric chose this small desert city because it appeared to be a quiet place for Alex to heal from the violent traumas of her past.

But a local detective is convinced Alex’s secret past is connected to his victim and is determined to uncover the truth.

Visit for their July Summer/Winter Sale. Use the code SW100  at checkout to get CHASING DEMONS for free during the limited time promotion!

(Offer good through July 31, 2014)


Journalist and ex-car thief, Luc Actar has finally decided to settle down and stay out of trouble. So when detectives arrive to inform him of the death of his father, he’s hesitant to get involved. But a powerful leader in the mental health industry is pulling the strings and Luc unknowingly steps right into the crosshairs of a deranged killer.


I have finished the first round of re-writes for my novel, NEXT OF KIN (the sequel to STRANGER). Current word count is at 61,000 words. A second round of rewrites will start this weekend in hopes to get this off to the editor by the end of summer.



As Homicide Detective Will Stellar comes to grips with his brother’s recent incarceration, he’s called out to the murder of a childhood friend. His investigation leads him to uncover secrets that could take down the Lake City Police Department and forces him to walk a tightrope of politics and family responsibility.

Troubled by the stall tactics that has allowed criminals to live in the quiet desert city, a vigilante, dubbed the Coyote decides to take matters into his own hands. He leaves the mutilated bodies of two residents known for their violent behaviors towards women as a present to the city. As the city cheers on their new hero, the Coyote focuses on Detective Stellar’s inability to arrest his latest murder suspect.

Pushed against two opposing forces, Detective Stellar finds an unlikely ally in motel owner and convicted murderer, Alex Delgado. Stellar is determined to stop the Coyote by dangling an irresistible target…but there is more at stake than just Stellar’s badge.

Bosch - Pleasantly Surprised

I’ve never been a real fan of books turned into movies or television shows. I’ve been disappointed too many times. If one of my favorite books or series gets picked up by Hollywood, I get excited at first. Then the realization hits. The actors are never what I pictured in my head (i.e. Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher or Matthew McConaughey as Micky Haller). Stories are changed or back stories sliced or worse, endings are revamped (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo). I’m not saying I didn’t like these movies. After all, the stories and characters are some of my favorites. It’s just not what I had pictured in my head and can be a bit of a letdown.

That was until BOSCH. I was skeptical at first. After all Michael Connelly’s books have been made into movies before with some disappointment (Blood Work, The Lincoln Lawyer). And Harry Bosch is one of the best characters in the mystery genre today. As the pilot was being produced by Amazon, I could see the series going either way. With Amazon producing, who knows what kind of budget or changes could be made. Yet Michael Connelly was directly involved along the way focusing the look and feel.

So I was hopeful when I watched the pilot episode (available for free on I was pleasantly surprised. In fact, I was thrilled with their choice of Titus Welliver as Bosch and the supporting characters. The setting and cinematography was perfect and the storyline was gripping. I was so impressed that I actually purchased Amazon Prime so I can watch the rest of the season.

If you’re a fan of Michael Connelly, I think you will enjoy the series. Let me know what you think…

Image Credit:

Greatest Mystery of Our Time?

With the disappearance of flight MH370, experts are scratching their heads. As we stretch into day 11 of the missing Boeing 777 with no clear answers, conspiracy theories are running wild. Was it a high jacking? Was it an accident? Is the plane safely landed or at the bottom of the Indian Ocean? Was it aliens? We are still no closer to answering the mystery and I’m starting to wonder if the mystery will ever be solved.

There have been other mysteries never solved. Who was Jack the Ripper? Is there a Lock Ness Monster? And what about Big Foot? What happened to the Zodiac Killer?  Who killed the Black Dahlia? Why was Stonehedge created? Will anyone crack the Kryptos code? Where is Jimmy Hoffa? Who was DB Cooper and what happened to the money? There are hopes that someday these mysteries will be solved, but the likelihood gets smaller as time marches on.

The families of those on board Malaysia flight 370 are waiting for answers. Hopefully this mystery will be solved in the coming days as the search continues in 11 countries.

Or will Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 become the greatest mystery of our time?

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Serial Killer Stalking Virginia

Nancy Dunning, a real estate agent and wife of then-Sheriff James Dunning, was shot and killed in her Alexandria home in 2004. For several years, her husband was a suspect in his wife’s death, and had not been ruled out as a suspect at the time of his death in 2012.

Last November, Ronald Kirby, a city transportation planner was killed in broad daylight in his Alexandria home. He was shot after presenting himself at the front door.

Last month a man approached the Alexandria home of music teacher, Ruthanne Lodato. When she opened the door she was shot and killed. The man also wounded her caretaker.

All three killings took place around noon and within a two mile radius of each other.

Police have now linked these three killings through forensic investigation. Bullet fragments have been compared in all three cases and found to be similar. With this third victim, police are now investigating whether there is a serial killer in the area. At this time, only the gun has been linked to all three killings, but the timing and location suggests a serial killer. No common motive has been found.

Police say they are looking for an older, white male with gray hair and a full beard. Police have released a sketch of the suspect in Lodato’s murder and are asking for the public’s help. The FBI is also assisting officers field leads.

Book Trailer for CHASING DEMONS by Melissa M. Garcia.

Created by Haley Kamola

For more information on CHASING DEMONS visit

Happy New Year - Free Autographed Book Offer

To celebrate the start of 2014, I am offering a free autographed copy of STRANGER: A DEATH VALLEY MYSTERY to all my followers. If you would like a personally signed paperback copy mailed to you, please send your name and address to


Happy New Year and Happy Reading!

Please note your information will NOT be sold or given out to anyone. Offer expires 1/31/14.

Unplanned Entry?

The Interim Los Angeles Coroner Lakshmanan Sathyavagiswaran has released an update to the Natalie Wood case.Coroner: New Questions in Natalie Wood Drowning Death

Natalie Wood, a child actress who grew up in the Hollywood system and then married actor Robert Wagner, died in 1981 under mysterious conditions. While boating with her husband and his friend, Christopher Walken, and consuming large amounts of alcohol, Woods disappeared. When Mr. Wagner realized his wife was missing, he radioed for help and a search began. The LA County Life Guards pulled her from the water hours later.

Upon investigation, it appeared she had climbed out of the yacht after an argument with her husband and boarded a dinghy perhaps to go ashore. The case was closed as a probable drowning.

In the new report, the LA coroner has revised the cause of death to “drowning and other undetermined factors.”

The report states it is unable to “exclude non-volitional, unplanned entry into the water.” This could include falling in accidentally or worse, being forced into the water.

The mystery continues.

Click here for entire report.

Featured Mystery Authors Suggest Titles

Barnes & Noble asked some of the most popular Mystery Authors what titles they would suggest to new readers in the genre. Here are their suggestions. How many have you read?

Click the links for full list of suggested novels.

Michael Connelly - Suggests novels spanning from Robert Crais to Harper Lee

Robert Crais - Suggests novels from mystery superstar Michael Connelly and legend Raymond Chandler

Sue Grafton - Suggests novels from spanning from John le Carre to James M. Cain

Lisa Scottoline - Suggests novels from thriller writer David Baldacci to mystery superstar Sandra Brown.

What would you suggest to a new mystery reader?

STRANGER Book Club Questions

1. Stranger takes place in Death Valley in the middle of the hot summer. What is your opinion of Death Valley? Did your image of Death Valley change after reading the novel? What do the characters in the novel feel about it?

2. During his interview with a possible witness, Detective Will Stellar tells Alex Delgado she has issues with control. Discuss other instances in the novel where Alex displays a problem with controlling herself. Discuss the ways in which Alex tries to gain control in these situations.

3. Ric Delgado often refers to other people by a nickname, such as calling Detective Stellar “Cowboy.” When referring to the computer store clerk, he explains he forgot the boy’s name. In another instance he calls his longtime partner, Detective Dade by the name of “Judas.” Why do you think Ric uses nicknames for the other characters?

4. Ric Delgado admits having doubts about what he would have done if Alex had called him instead of Detective Dade the night she shot Davey. Ric believes Detective Stellar will save his brother instead of arresting him when confronted with the truth. Do you think Ric’s opinion of Detective Stellar will change knowing Stellar arrested his brother instead of protect him?

5. Detective Dade and Ric Delgado have a tenuous relationship at the end of the novel. Do you think they will remain friends or will they throw away their past partnership and move on? Do you think Detective Dade will check up on the Delgados?

6. Will Stellar’s relationship with Erika is much like a roller coaster. Do you think their relationship will be able to move past her infidelity with his brother? Do you think they will ever come to an agreement regarding their future?

7. Do you think Alex and Ric grew closer together or further apart by the end of the novel? Do you think they will stay in Lake City?

8. What did you find to be most compelling about Stranger — the action scenes, the characters, the setting, the dialogue, or something else entirely? Why?

9. A red herring is defined as something that draws attention away from the central issue. In crime fiction, a red herring is often put there to fool or distract you. Were you fooled by anything in Stranger? Were you surprised by the killer’s identity?

10. Are you satisfied with how the book ends? Would you have preferred another ending? Where do you think the series will go from here?

reposted from an earlier blog.


There is a dead body in room 110 of the Death Valley Motel, and the evidence points to murder. Managers Ric and Alex Delgado, siblings with police work in their blood, chose this small Death Valley city specifically because it appeared to be a quiet place in which Alex could heal from the violent traumas of her past. Now a killer has struck too close to Alex, opening old wounds and threatening her new life.

The situation gets more complicated when Detective Will Stellar trains his observant eye on the siblings and ascertains they have something to hide. Murder seems to follow Alex Delgado, and Detective Stellar is certain she is a dangerous woman. Racing against time and against each other, the Delgados and Detective Stellar risk their lives to uncover the truth, which is ever more complicated and dangerous than any of them have imagined.