Review: The Girl Whose Luck Ran Out

The Girl Whose Luck Ran Out by Gayleen Froese

Rating: 5 stars
Buy Link:
 Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Length: Novel (~212 pages)

I really liked this book. Ben is a private detective, who was once a cop. He was blackmailed into quitting the force because of reasons (I won’t spoil you, but I do think he was dumb to have put himself in that situation). But generally, he’s a good guy. Jesse is his ex who is now a super star musician. And he’s pretty good too. I like it when my characters aren’t jerks.

Ben is asked to find a missing girl and Jesse joins in, (who is sick, so can’t perform) helping where he can. Both of their past angst and issues come out through the story, a way to show the characters are slightly broken so they can heal each other. I wasn’t as into that, but I loved the teamwork, Jesse’s fun confident manner, and Ben’s surety. The mystery plot and the romance plot both continued steadily throughout the book. Also, social media is evil.

They mystery is followed through naturally. I felt the steps made sense based on the clues he was given. There were a few red herrings and great secondary characters. I was worried for Kim and had my heart squeezed by the end of the story.

The title connection with the girl’s reason for being missing I thought was great. Tricksy and lovely.

The attraction between the two exes was great and expected in this kind of story. I like that they had a past so it wasn’t an instalove.

I was pushed out of the story on two occasions. Both, when the author’s opinions/politics came to the forefront. I skimmed both politics discussion and anti-depressant discussion. Didn’t even read those sections and found when the discussion ended and started again, because I was enjoying the story. But other readers might not even notice.

Definitely recommended for those who like to follow mysteries, enjoy engaging characters, and second chance romances.

I asked Gaylene to let us know more about her, and she agreed to be interviewed! So let’s get to know this great author of a fun detective series.


I’m a mystery writer who lives in Edmonton, Canada with a house full of pets, including three dogs and a three-foot tegu lizard named Marlowe. My housemate, Laird Ryan States, is also an author. Marlowe hasn’t written anything yet. They say everyone has a book in them but it’s possible this doesn’t apply to lizards.

I have two previously published books, Touch and Grayling Cross. The Girl Whose Luck Ran Out is my first book with DSP Publications and the first in a series. If you’re looking for me online, my website is and I’m on Twitter @gayleenfroese

Are you promoting a book now? Tell us about it.

I’m promoting my new detective novel, The Girl Whose Luck Ran Out. I met the main characters, Ben and Jesse, in a dream, which is how I usually meet the characters I end up writing about. The book is set it, in part, in a real place called Dead Man’s Flats. It used to be called Pigeon Mountain and it got its new name in 1985 because someone thought it would encourage tourism. I think, if a town is going to have a name like that, it should earn it.

The Girl Whose Luck Ran Out is the story of a P.I. named Ben Ames, who’s looking for a missing university student. It’s also the story of Ben’s musician ex-boyfriend Jesse, who gets pneumonia on tour and crashes at Ben’s house, then winds up coming along for the ride while Ben works the case. There’s nothing better than a long highway drive for aggressively not discussing your failed relationship. There’s also nothing better than getting everything you think you want for making you question the whole idea of luck.

The trade paperback and e-book are available June 14, 2022, and you can find pre-order links and an except at

What was your ‘ah ha’ moment when you realized you wanted to be a writer?

I don’t remember a time when I didn’t plan to be a writer but I didn’t think I would write novels. I thought I’d write for television and I went to university with that in mind. The more I talked to working TV writers, though, the more I realized TV writing wouldn’t be for me. I’m more suited to connecting with my characters on my own and working through the story myself than I would be to having to advocate and negotiate for them in a writers’ room. That’s definitely not disrespect for TV writers or writers’ rooms—it’s just my temperament and how I prefer to work.

What are you working on right now?

I’ve sold the sequel to The Girl Whose Luck Ran Out to DSP Publications. The working title is The Man Who Lost His Pen, which may not sound dramatic, but you’d be surprised how bad losing a pen can be.

Now I’m working on a book about a teenager who gets mysterious superpowers, and accidentally comes out to his family and friends, on the same night. He takes one of these things much more seriously than the other.

Do you have any writing rituals?

I often put together music playlists to write to. I might have an overall playlist that covers the main themes and settings of the book and then scene-specific playlists that are more geared to generating a specific mood. If I can’t find exactly the song I need, sometimes I have to write one, but I’m a painfully slow songwriter and this approach soon begins to look like avoidance of the book I meant to be writing in the first place.

Avoidance. Yes, I think we all recognize that. Thank you Gayleen for the interview. And good luck with the launch of The Girl Whose Luck Ran Out! I know your other readers will love it.

Interview with Neil Heath-Hartley

I’d like to introduce you to Neil Heath-Hartley, who is joining me today to share a bit about himself, his writing, and his writing process. He’s just launched a newsletter, so this is your chance to sign up to keep updated on Neil’s upcoming projects. You can also find him and his books at Goodreads: Neil_Heath_Hartley.

Welcome, Neil.

<Neil Heath-Hartley>: Let me start by thanking you for this opportunity to answer your questions. My name is Neil Heath-Hartley, and I stay in Kempton Park, South Africa with my husband. I write in many genres: children, fantasy, LGBTI+, with a range of audiences from toddler to adults. I cater for everyone. My website is and I have just recently launched a newsletter I am so EXCITED about.

<Nat Kennedy>: A newsletter a great step, and a lot of work. What should we expect from your newsletter?

<Neil Heath-Hartley>: I am going to include sneak peaks into my books as well a competition or two. I also have a Facebook page where I promote all four books that I have available

<Nat Kennedy>: Tell us about your daily writing procedure.

<Neil Heath-Hartley>: Because I work full time, I only basically write one hour a day (during lunch time).

<Nat Kennedy>: I’m with you on that. Finding time to write is always difficult, and an hour a day is better than many. I’m impressed you have four books out!

What was your ‘ah ha’ moment when you realized you wanted to be a writer?

<Neil Heath-Hartley>: My “Ah-ha” moment came when I discovered that there were not many gay authors that actually wrote about things that happen in the gay community, and when I started my gay book, Behind the Mask, the story just flowed out. It’s almost two years that the book has been out, and I’m planning to make it a series

<Nat Kennedy>: I think it’s important to have authors with real experience write the books we read. Thanks for sharing those with us.

You’ve only got an hour a day, so you must use that time wisely. What do you do for writer’s block?

<Neil Heath-Hartley>: When I get writer’s block I try take a break for a white and just pick up my diary and scribble words, trying to get new ideas, by the way I am a pantser.

<Nat Kennedy>: A Pantser! Oh no! I don’t see how you guys can do that. I need an outline.

What are you working on right now?

<Neil Heath-Hartley>: Currently I am working on a Thriller, Underneath the Rose’s Thorn. It follows a female serial killer as well as a gay character, no spoilers will be mentioned.

<Nat Kennedy>: Spoilers be gone! Thanks.

What writing has inspired you?

<Neil Heath-Hartley>: Growing up I read Sydney Sheldon and Mary Higgins Clark, and they were my idols. I have to include JK Rowling in my list of favorites. I also found a Youtuber Jenna Moreci that is amazing with advice regarding being an author and writing tips.

<Nat Kennedy>: Where do you get your ideas from?

<Neil Heath-Hartley>: My ideas come to me at any time, any place, sometimes I can just sit and something will pop into my mind, then I jot done my idea on my phone or piece of paper

<Nat Kennedy>: If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

<Neil Heath-Hartley>: I would tell my younger self to start earlier with any marketing courses and to learn as much as I can regarding this wonderful art

<Nat Kennedy>: What would you choose as your writing mascot/animal spirit/totem?

<Neil Heath-Hartley>: My logo on my newsletter is an octopus, however I would go for a butterfly, they so fragile however they are free to be wherever they want to be

Thank you for stopping by and chatting, Neil.

A Personal Interview by Rita Chapman

I love doing interviews, asking and giving. It’s a way for me to talk about myself (which most people love to do) as well as talk to others, get them to share parts of themselves with their audience.

Rita Chapman, an author herself, asked me a few questions and I’d love to share them here with you! Go to her website (Rita Chapman’s Nat Kennedy Interview) to read the transcript there:

But I’ve snipped my favorite question here. Because it’s all about Pickle.

If you have owned pets, do you have a funny story you would like to share with us?

When I was young I used to raise sheep for 4-H. My first lamb was Pickle, and he was like a pet dog. He would follow me around, running after me as I rode my bike, baaing along, happy as could be. We would climb up this platform at the fairgrounds, and he would leap off. Leap! As in up into the air, not just jump down to the ground. He was known as Pickle the Flying Sheep by many of the locals.

Blog Tour : Treasure Trail by Morgan Brice – Author Interview and Giveaway

I’d like to introduce you to Morgan Brice, who is joining me today to talk about her new book, Treasure Trail, as well as inspiration, marketing, and the fact that writer’s block only has the power you let it.


: Hi everyone! I’m Morgan Brice. I write urban fantasy MM paranormal romance, so plenty of sexy thrills and spooky chills. My books all involve magic, supernatural creatures, and hot sexy men finding their HEA.

: Sounds perfect.  Right up my alley all around!

: My bestselling Badlands series is set in Myrtle Beach, SC with a sexy psychic medium who pairs up with a hot homicide cop to catch a killer. There are three books in the series (Badlands, Loose Ends, and The Rising) so far, with more to come.

In my Witchbane series (Witchbane, Burn, Dark Rivers so far), Seth and Evan team up to stop a group of dark warlocks who have been carrying out a century-long killing spree. If you like shows like Supernatural, Vampire Diaries or Buffy, this is your kind of story!

I also write urban fantasy and epic fantasy as Gail Z. Martin. All of my urban fantasy worlds as both Gail and Morgan overlap and crossover, so the characters all know each other and interact in one big, haunted universe!

: So, Morgan, you’ve a new book coming out!  It looks very exciting with your signature thrills and chills.  Tell us more about it.

: I’ve got a brand new series that just launched: Treasure Trail! It’s set in another beach town, Cape May, NJ. Erik used to track art fraud and bust up forgery rings, but after a close call, he moves to Cape May to make a fresh start. Ex-cop Ben is also starting over, and sparks fly when the two men meet. But when old scandals and murders come to light, they’re going to need each other and every bit of luck to get their happy ending!

I ‘found’ Cape May when we visited to plan our daughter’s wedding, and totally fell in love with all the big Victorian houses, the beach, the food (OMG!) and all of the history. So many plot bunnies! I always try to match main characters to the the location. So in this case, Erik’s background in art preservation and stopping art fraud and relic theft was perfect for a town that is so into art and antiques. Ben’s background as a former undercover cop in Newark who needs a fresh start also seemed like a great fit—both for Erik and for Cape May!

: That sounds like a good way to find a new location. I’ve never been there myself, so I will have to read your book to get a good sense of the place!  I also love the combination of art expert and ex-cop.  I can’t wait to see their chemistry.

So, you’ve got quite a few books out there.  What writing rituals work for you?

:  Coffee! I drink a lot of coffee when I write. I’m also usually an afternoon writer, because I’m not really a morning person.

: I’m a tea drinker myself, but yes, the fuel of the writer! Caffeine!

Tell us, what was your ‘ah ha’ moment when you realized you wanted to be a writer and would require all that coffee to keep you fueled?

I’ve always written stories from the time I was a kid. I loved being able to entertain my friends. I’d write a story, or a fan fiction of one of our favorite series, and they’d read it, and then bug me to write something new. I loved telling stories and knowing other people enjoyed them. When I was 14, I realized that the writers who were writing then wouldn’t always be around, so there had to be new writers or there wouldn’t be any more books! That’s when I decided I wanted to be a writer, too.

:  Okay, now for the tough question.  Give us your wisdom!  What do you do for writer’s block?

: I don’t really believe in writer’s block. As my friend John Hartness says, there’s no such thing as ‘plumber’s block’ or ‘electrician’s block’. If it’s your job, and how you make your living, you get up in the morning and do it. Writing is how I make my living. But sometimes, if I’m having trouble with a scene or a chapter, I have to pull back, research and write a better outline. Being stuck comes from not having a clear idea of where I’m going. It means I’m missing a piece. Doing some research and revising the outline has always worked so far to get me going again!

I’ve heard other professional writers say exactly the same thing.  It’s a job, you sit down and do it.  But thanks for the hint.  I sometimes feel uninspired and stuck.  But then, don’t fall down the research hole, either!  It’s can be a hard balance.

Now, what all your fans want to know. Once we’ve read Treasure Trail, what’s next? What are you working on right now?

: I’m editing Flame and Ash, which will be the next book in my Witchbane series. I’m also working on two more of my Gail books that will come out later this summer. Then back to more Morgan books!

: I’m inspired by your productivity!

Writing new things, polishing, editing, and also taking the time to get your books out there.  What have you found to be the best ways to market your books?

: I love going to conventions like GRL (GayRomLit) and Coastal Magic and meeting readers and being on panels. I also love chatting with folks on Facebook and Twitter. It’s also fun to be a guest blogger and to take part in Facebook parties and takeovers with other authors. And I also really enjoy doing cross-promotions with other authors. Getting out there and meeting people, in person or online, works for me!

: You make it sound fun!  An extrovert! I love your energy.

You’ve got some great and varied worlds.  What writing has inspired you?  And where do you get your ideas from?

: I have learned so much from reading other authors in the genre. I love the stories, and I also find motivation.

I get my ideas everywhere! News articles, history, documentaries, ghost books, mythology, books about legends and lore, traveling to new places, going on tours—truly everywhere!

: If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

: Hang in there. Don’t get discouraged. It takes longer than you think it will, but you’ll get there eventually!

: And last, but definitely not least.  The most important question in this interview…. What would you choose as your writing mascot/animal spirit/totem?

: I have two dogs, a Maltese and a Golden Retriever, so I already have my mascots!

Ah, lucky!  Thank you so much, Morgan, for joining me today.  Treasure Trail is available now at these locations (and there’s a Giveaway too, go to the bottom of this page):

Buy Links

Amazon US

Amazon UK


About the Author

Morgan Brice is the romance pen name of bestselling author Gail Z. Martin. Morgan writes urban fantasy male/male paranormal romance, with plenty of action, adventure and supernatural thrills to go with the happily ever after. Gail writes epic fantasy and urban fantasy, and together with co-author hubby Larry N. Martin, steampunk and comedic horror, all of which have less romance, more explosions. Characters from her Gail books make frequent appearances in secondary roles in her Morgan books, and vice versa.

On the rare occasions Morgan isn’t writing, she’s either reading, cooking, or spoiling two very pampered dogs.

Other books include Witchbane, Burn, Dark Rivers, and Badlands. Watch for more in these series, plus new series coming soon!

Join my Worlds of Morgan Brice Facebook Group! Get the early scoop on upcoming books and new series, see new covers first, enjoy insider news and special contests and giveaways! Plus it’s where I get my beta readers and launch team!

Author Links


Facebook Group

Pinterest (for Morgan and Gail)

Twitter: @MorganBriceBook



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