Friday, March 25, 2016

On the couch with Yolanda Renee's dysfunctional love-birds

Today, I’m sitting in on a session with Sarah and Steven, the protagonists of Yolanda Renee’s terrific mystery series. But these characters need serious help. The doctor is in!
 SRW: Steven…Sarah…this isn’t high school. Why do you guys break up to make up?

Steven: You ever hear of make up sex?

Sarah: STEVEN!

Steven: Sorry. The truth Doc, Sarah did what she felt was right. Circumstances, stupid circumstances that we've overcome.

SRW: Sure, you’ve been through the ringer. More serial killers than a ranch-full of Mansonites. Still no excuse to sabotage your relationship. You guys are in love, right?

Sarah: Of course we are.

Steven: Right. Stupid question, old man.

SRW: Wait...what? "Old man?" I'll have you know 59 is the new 38! Ahem. Where was I?  Oh!…why do you keep reaching for new obstacles? There’s Scott from Sarah’s past. There’s the floozy psychiatrist Steven dallied with (the less said about her, the better). Show me love, guys, show it!

Sarah: Don't be silly.

SRW: Yes, well…I didn’t mean that literally. Anyway…start working together as a couple. You guys are always off on your own tangent. Not to be cruel or anything…but do you know how many lives might’ve been saved if you weren’t both so danged stubborn?

Steven: Off on our own tangent? Lives saved? What lives? These murderers had their own agenda. Nothing I did or Sarah did could've changed that.

SRW: Maybe not, but communication’s everything, guys. Do you communicate? No, not really. Stephen doesn’t read Sarah’s emails and Sarah, you just shut down. Walk up on a hill or something. Really? Let’s try an experiment. Have you both been honest with each other? Tell each other one thing you haven’t been honest about.

Steven: Yeah, okay, you win on that. I was stubborn. Stupid really, and I've admitted that.

Sarah: And I've forgiven him. But you're right, I do shut down when the stress becomes extreme. I just need to think. I can't do that in a crowd or with people yelling at me from all sides. My security team, always thinking they know best, talking like I'm not even in the room. Deciding what's good for me like I'm a child. I have the right to make my own decisions. Even if they're wrong!

SRW: Of course, but let's continue. Share something you haven't been honest about.

Steven: Despite Sarah's confidence and strength – I'll always feel as though I should protect her.

Sarah: When Alice entered the picture, I truly thought he'd choose her over me. 

SRW: Um, guys, do you really want to be making out at my hourly rate? You can get a room later. Please! Look…I keep hearing you two talk about love. But you’re two different, very obstinate people going down their own paths. Isn’t love supposed to be about companionship?


Steven: Exactly what do you want us to say? We love one another, and each of these incidents has only brought us closer.

Sarah: Yes, doctor. What do you want?

SRW: Fine. I'll explain. Steven…the next time you get on a big serial killer case, how’re you going to treat Sarah?

Steven: I've already arranged double security 24/7. And, we'll talk about the case. Discuss the issues. Sarah has a natural insight. I won't overlook it again.

SRW: You’re not off the hook, Sarah. The next time a stalkery killer comes after you (which seems to happen a lot…something we need to address in a future solo session), how will you handle it? Holing up and painting? Or sharing it with your partner?

Sarah: We've agreed to share everything. No more secrets.

SRW: Steven, you’re more obsessed with Sarah’s ex-love, Scott, than she is. Issues much?

Steven: If you only knew the stunts he's pulled!

SRW: Let's use our indoor voices please. So...he's still a thorn in your side?

Steven: (Crickets.)

Sarah: We'll be married soon. Scott will lose interest then, I'm sure.

SRW: Sarah, open your heart. I mean, not in a gross clinical way. But, you seem to be frozen in your emotional being. Let’s take a few minutes, find our inner selves.
Sarah: (Shooting eye daggers.) Frozen, doctor? What does that mean exactly? I don't respond the way you want? I don't start cat-fights with rivals. I don't break down crying because someone's threatening my life. Instead, I've learned to shoot a gun. I prefer facing things head on. It keeps me from going off half-cocked. 
SRW: Yes. Well...hmm. Sarah, who’s after you these days?

Sarah: No one. At least not that I know of. Why, have you heard something?

Steven: (Takes Sarah's hand.) The doctor just wanted to see your reaction. There is no threat. Is there doctor?

SRW: No. But what if there was/ What’re you gonna do about it, Steven? Retire to your coppish man cave?

Steven: (Glowers in silence. Tough room, tough room.)

SRW: Um, maybe we better move on. Let’s play a game. I want you to use “I” statements. No judgment. For instance, “I feel I can’t go to the bathroom because I’m constipated.” Um…just an example. Steven, you start.

Steven: I think it's time Sarah and I left. You obviously don't appreciate that a man can solve such unusual cases and still hold onto the love of a woman as unique as Sarah, despite the obstacles. This session might have been a lark for you, but for us it only brings home the rightness of our choice.

Sarah: I am a very blessed woman. Thank you, doctor, for pointing that out.

SRW: Great! I see I've been a big help. I accept credit cards, cash, but no personal checks. Wait! Where're you going? You still have--

(They left arm in arm, eyes only for the other. Not even a thank you. They deserve happiness...but I wonder if they'll ever find it...)


Murder & Obsession: On sale here!


Love is never easy, but for Detective Steve Quaid and his fiancée, Sarah, their road to happiness is laden with minefields.

Steven’s countless hours reconverting his grandfather’s cabin into the perfect honeymoon retreat for Sarah soon becomes a bloody crime scene detailing her death. Accused, Steven escapes into the Alaskan mountains, biding his time to find the truth…

Who killed his beloved?

A seasoned woodsman, he outsmarts even the cleverest of trackers. All but one…

Mauled by a grizzly, a half-dead Steven barely escapes.

But will he live to bring the true murderer to justice?


  1. Hi, Stuart!
    Thanks for hosting Sarah and Steven today. Always a pleasure to visit Tornado Alley!

    1. You're very welcome, Yolanda! But despite my best efforts...I'm not sure those kooky love-birds learned anything!

  2. This was a FANTASTIC post, and a masterful and creative way to present Sarah and Steven to potential readers. However, although they're undoubtedly in need of additional counseling, I think they're way too stubborn to change. Gotta love 'em!

    1. Thanks Susan! All of my psychological training (um, watching all four Psycho movies and the Bates Motel TV series) has apparently gone for naught, however. Stubborn couple, I tell ya.

    2. Hi, Susan!
      Yes, way to stubborn to change for sure! LOL Thanks for stopping by, but with Stuart's training - they'd never stand a chance! :)

  3. Hi Stuart! Hi Yolanda! Great interview Stuart. Helps the reader get to know Steven and Sarah so much better!

    1. Hey Denise, shouldn't you be packing for that trip to China? Seriously, thanks for stopping by. I know how busy you are! And by this time should be touching down! Have a great time!