Joan Leotta

Strawberries & Poetry For Valentine’s Day

by Joan Leotta

Chocolate-covered strawberries are considered a love-treat to go along with champagne, especially on Valentine's Day. For me, it is the berries themselves that speak of love, as they did to the Cherokee people. If I were writing a mystery, I might add something nefarious to the sliced berries, but this poem was written with my one true love, my husband, in mind, so it is simply a statement of the joy of making up. Hope you enjoy strawberries.

Halloween Cawse: Halloween Mystery Short Story

by Joan Leotta

The toy crow I bought at the Halloween jumble sale at my middle school quickly became my favorite stuffed animal. Having just read Poe’s "Raven' poem, I almost named him “Nevermore.” But after I got an A on the essay I wrote on the poem, I thought of my crow, as a lucky charm that would both inspire my writing and lead me to success. So, his name became “Cawse,” a pun on the cry of a crow and on the stuffed animals as the Cause of my success.

The Painted Queen By Elizabeth Peters & Joan Hess: Review/Giveaway

by Joan Leotta

It's the Egyptian 1912-1913 archeological season. Our encounter with Amelia and soon, The Painted Queen (Nefertiti, wife of Akhenaton) is exciting. Amelia is startled in her hotel bubble bath by a would–be assassin who is himself brought down by a dagger. The fast start is typical of the series, but what is not typical is that this book comes out after Peters' death. It was finished by Peters' friend and fellow mystery writer, Joan Hess.

Annual Meeting: A Mystery Short Story

by Joan Leotta

John scanned the crowd. He stopped his survey when he noticed a tall, willowy redhead looking at him. Red was partially encircled by several of the conference's mostly male attendees. They were obviously entranced by her smile and her form-fitting green wool dress. Her emerald gaze, however, looked beyond her coterie of admirers.