The perfect read entails curling up in a comfortable chair with a mystery.



Apr 13, 2021 by R. M. Morgan

My publisher, 3rd Coast Books, is near finishing their edit of my mystery novel, Cherokee Emerald, by R. M. Morgan. We completed the Readers Testimonials page last week. Thank you, Leonard Szymczak, Craig Wells, Barbara Hennessey, Linda Rosenberg, and Dick Hoff, for reading an advance review copy and writing a review.

Chapter and Scene

Apr 04, 2021 by R. M. Morgan

3rd COAST BOOKS IS EDITING CHEROKEE EMERALD, THE THIRD MYSTERY BOOK BY R. M. MORGAN. We are exploring the book’s Scenes and Chapters. K.M. Weiland says, “. . . my personal favorite approach to dividing scenes into chapters is to actually use the chapter break to divide the scene in half. I like to end chapters with the Scene Disaster, since it usually provides an excellent what’s-gonna-happen hook to keep readers reading. This then allows me to open the following chapter with the Sequel Reaction, in which the characters respond to whatever just happened.” Do you carry your scenes across chapters?



Mar 18, 2021 by R. M. Morgan

I WANT THE COVID 19 PLAGUE TO STOP. I have had both Pfizer shots, and I wear my mask to protect the individuals who haven’t had a vaccine. This evening—for the first time in a year--I took my beautiful wife to the sun and a restaurant to rejoice and see people. The picture shows sitting outside at the Italian eatery.

Nasty Branch

Mar 08, 2021 by R. M. Morgan
In writing “Cherokee Emerald,” my third Roth/Gannon mystery novel in publication, I routinely read the local Asheville, NC, newspaper. The articles can be mesmerizing and give me an understanding of the city’s culture over the past years. A stream that runs through the historically Black neighborhood just south of downtown recently became gentrified and underwent environmental improvements. A whole generation knew it as Nasty Branch. In gentrification, the stream’s name became Town Branch. The residents of the Southside neighborhood got the official name changed to Nasty Branch.

Contract with 3rd Coast Books

Contract with 3rd Coast Books
Mar 01, 2021 by R. M. Morgan

3RD COAST BOOKS READ “CHEROKEE EMERALD” AND SENT A CONTRACT TO PUBLISH THE NOVEL. This book is the third in the Harriett Roth/Don Gannon mystery series. An early reader found the story entertaining and learned things he didn’t know about the Cherokee Nation in Western North Carolina. I’m signing the contract and pressing to get to publication without delay.

Idea I Found Doing Research

Feb 06, 2021 by R. M. Morgan

I write the Roth/Gannon mystery novels based in Asheville, North Carolina. Although born and raised there, I subscribe to the Asheville Citizen-Times looking for stories. A recent article suggested a ten percent tax on political ads on TV to fund schools and such. I think that’s a constructive idea.


Stephen King and Tana French

Feb 03, 2021 by R. M. Morgan

I read Stephen King’s book on how to write, in which he says an author must do two activities: write and read. Last week, I read Stephen King’s review of “The Witch Elm” by Tana French. Stephen King amazed me by the myriad of books he has read and his seamless integration of those books into the French review. Enjoy yourself by reading King’s review of one of the best mystery writers (Tana French) composing today.  



Third Novel Early 2021

Third Novel Early 2021
Dec 22, 2020 by R. M. Morgan
I got the final edit of “Cherokee Emerald,” the third book in the Harriett Roth and Don Gannon series. I am eager to get it out to mystery/history fans in early 2021. In response to requests, the beautiful, sassy Carla comes back to the series.

Smell the Rain?

Dec 13, 2020 by R. M. Morgan

When a writer says their characters smell the rain, is that impossible? In summer, you can smell the rain as it begins dropping. Why? What do you smell? Rain (water) itself has no scent. As a rain event starts, an “earthy” smell known as petrichor permeates the air. It’s musky, fresh – generally pleasant. Petrichor is a combination of oils made by plants and bacteria (actinobacteria) that decompose dead or decaying organic matter into simple chemical compounds, which can then become nutrients for developing plants and other organisms. When raindrops fall on the ground, the petrichor compounds are dissolved within the raindrop and released in aerosol form into the air.

Why a Movie Star for President?

Nov 13, 2020 by R. M. Morgan

In my opinion, movie stars make harmful Presidents. An article in the Harvard Business Review suggests, “when we choose humble, unassuming people as our leaders, the world around us becomes a better place. Humble leaders improve the performance of a corporation in the long run because they create more collaborative environments. They have a balanced view of themselves – both their virtues and shortcomings – and a strong appreciation of others’ strengths and contributions while being open to new ideas and feedback.”



Cherokee Indian Story

Oct 25, 2020 by R. M. Morgan

My current Roth/Gannon murder/mystery is interwoven with the Cherokee Indian story. According to the Blue Ridge Heritage, “The Cherokee, and what some anthropologists deem to be their pre-Cherokee ancestors, have lived in the mountains of North Carolina since the end of the last ice age, or about 10,000 B.C. The early Cherokee hunted, fished, and farmed, thriving in the rugged mountain landscape . . . the Cherokee lived in towns of rectangular log houses and worked extensive, communally-held farms nearby. Corn, beans, and squash—called the “three sisters”—were staples in their diet. They also raised potatoes and grew peaches. Each of their towns had a council house for meetings and religious ceremonies.” I’ll have the novel “Cherokee Emerald” finished by the end of 2020.

Nearly Through 3rd Novel

Nearly Through 3rd Novel
Oct 12, 2020 by R. M. Morgan

NEARLY FINISHED WITH 3RD R. M. MORGAN NOVEL, “CHEROKEE EMERALD.” I feel Fiona Jayde designed a fantastic cover. The high mountains in the background represent the ancestral home of the eastern band of Cherokee Indians. The emeralds represent the gem found solely in North Carolina in North America. How do you feel about the cover?

Influence of Leonardo Padura

Sep 27, 2020 by R. M. Morgan

One of the remarkable writers I am reading now, Leonardo Padura of Cuba has four of his books in a film on Netflix. The film, “Four Seasons in Havana,” has a mesmerizing view of Cuba, is humorous, is historical, has four hard-to-crack mysteries, and gives a character gem of an everyman detective. I will finish writing my third book, “Cherokee Emerald” by R. M. Morgan, this October. My reading Padura has energized my writing of my third novel.

Constantly Re-writing

Sep 14, 2020 by R. M. Morgan

I am forever re-writing my third book--tentative title, Cherokee Emerald and almost finished. My natural prose is choppy, a desirable quality only if someone is shooting at you, and you want to confuse the shooter. I find insufferable my writer colleagues who own smooth sentences. My primary goal when I re-write my writing is to smooth out my herky-jerky sentences. You can take the lad out of engineering, but you can’t take the engineering out of the lad.

Postal Service Mailing Children

Aug 25, 2020 by R. M. Morgan

I MENTIONED I ENJOY READING HISTORY—I have a high opinion of the workers in our government. In the early days of our postal service, one Ohio couple took advantage of the parcel service to make an extraordinary delivery: their infant son. They paid 15 cents for his stamps and an unknown amount to insure him for $50, then handed him over to the mailman, who dropped the boy off at his grandmother’s house about a mile away. A mail carrier might have carried a child who couldn’t walk, but he wouldn’t have let a diaper-wearing baby sit in a pile of people’s mail.

I Moved to California in May 2014

I Moved to California in May 2014
Jul 18, 2020 by R. M. Morgan
Among the many significant differences from Virginia and North Carolina is CA has these little dragons—lizards. They’re ubiquitous and move in a flash. Yesterday, as I sat reading on the patio, I saw two of them fighting furiously—or perhaps it could have been a mating ritual. What do I know?

Richmond Burns

May 24, 2020 by R. M. Morgan
RICHMOND BURNS IN “LAST TRAIN TO DANVILLE”-- After a long siege, Grant captured Petersburg and Richmond in early April 1865. Confederate troops set fire to all tobacco, cotton, and munitions warehouses, as well as machine shops and other government buildings, to prevent their capture by the enemy. The Richmond fall forms a background scene for the murder/mystery, available on Amazon.

Chinatown and Three Kings

Chinatown and Three Kings
May 04, 2020 by R. M. Morgan

CROWN HUNT DELIVERS LIKE A BLEND OF TWO MOVIES: THREE KINGS AND CHINATOWN. It is the first book in the Harriett Roth/Don Gannon series. The murder/mystery, Crown Hunt, by R. M. Morgan, is available at You might enjoy reading this whodunit during the coronavirus lockdown, just saying.


May 02, 2020 by R. M. Morgan

DRIVING DOWN US INTERSTATE 95 FROM NEW YORK TO MIAMI, THERE’S A MARKER SAYING, “DREWRY’S BLUFF”—It’s in Virginia and I miss the sign unless I’m looking. The Battle of Drewry’s Bluff took place on May 15, 1862, as part of the American Civil War. Federal gunboats had a clear run up the James River to Richmond, Virginia. In a three-hour battle, five Federal ironclads/gunboats battled to past Drewry’s Bluff but failed. I was interested in the marker because I placed a “Last Train to Danville” character at that clash.

California Gold Rush

Apr 29, 2020 by R. M. Morgan

I AM DOING BACKGROUND READING FOR BOOK THREE OF THE ROTH/GANNON SERIES—Before the California Gold Rush, the non-native population of the California territory was less than 1,000, compared with 100,000 in 1849. On January 24, 1848, a carpenter found flakes of gold in the American River at the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains near Coloma, California. Days after the carpenter’s discovery, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed, ending the Mexican-American War and leaving California in the hands of the United States.