All posts by mhgressley

Madge, who is an accomplished, award-winning visual artist, lives Missouri. She is a Signature Member of the Missouri Watercolor Society and Best of Missouri Hands Juried Artist. The scope of her artistic talent covers a wide range of media, including acrylic, oil, watercolor, clay and graphic design. Her work is proudly displayed in the collections of numerous corporate and private collections throughout the United States, Great Britain and China. Madge has recently expanded her artistic horizons to include writing. Books one and two of her first novel series, “Inescapable”, a romantic suspense thriller, are available in the Kindle Store and paperback on Amazon. She recently started a new series—‘Sophie Collins Mysteries’. Young Adult books about the adventures of Sophie Collins, a modern-day Nancy Drew. The first edition "The Red Coat" is in the Kindle Store on Amazon. Madge is also the co-owner and graphic designer for Art & Graphic Innovations, LLC, and owner of MEG Originals Fine Art.

Long time no hear from

Hi all,

I know it’s been a while since I’ve been here. It has been a whir wind these past few months—busy with work and deadline specific jobs, and that has left little or no time for writing. (Sigh)

However, some great things have been happening while I have been away that I need to let you know about.

22197894_498187283875706_1489559774_oThe best of all—the birth of the great-grandson—
Nathan Michael—August 10, 10 lbs. 6 3/4 oz., 22″ long.






In other news….

5star-shiny-hrFirst – both of my Sophie Collins Mystery Series books – “The Red Coat” and “The Secret of Trail House Lodge” – have received 5 Star Ratings from Readers’ Choice. They have joined my two children’s books – “Dexter’s Wonderful Day” and “Totally Terrible Tommy” that also have 5 Star Ratings.

The-Red-Coat-Cover-ArtSML   cbf85-the2bsecret2bof2btrail2bhouse2blodge  Dexter Cover RGB  TTT Kindle Cover Art

Readers-Choice-Awards-circle-blue-n-gold-768x582Second“The Secret of Trail House Lodge” (book 2 in the Sophie Collins series) has been selected for the TCK Publishing Reader’s Choice Award. To vote for me go here: My book is on page 12 YA & Middle Grade books. Click on the title to vote. The titles are in alphabetical order. But, be careful when scrolling down the page, if you accidentally click on any title, you have voted for that book. When the title disappears, that means your vote has been counted. You can vote only once.

FFThird – My first book with Black Opal Books Publishers – “Inescapable ~ The Beginning” – made the finals list for the Book Excellence Awards!


21992719_285198758644353_1513615814548193527_oFourth – My short story “The Package” has been accepted into the “CEA Greatest Anthology Written” by Celenic Earth Publications that is trying for the Guinness World Record of the most short stories in one volume. The record is 50. “CEA Greatest Anthology Written” has 100 short stories by 100 authors! Launch date is October 14, 2017, in Cape Town, South Africa. Participating authors are world wide—SOUTH AFRICA, UNITED KINGDOM, USA, CANADA, AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND, HUNGARY, NIGERIA, MEXICO, BOLIVIA and SWITZERLAND.

You will want to be sure to add this one to your bookshelf! It is a great read with 100 short stories covering many different genres.
Pre-order your copy here

All in all I feel really blessed with all of these wonderful things happening.

Wishing everyone a wonderful fall!


Today is the day! Inescapable ~ The Beginning has launched.

You can find it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, KOBO, Smashwords, Google Books, through the iTunes App, and Black Opal Books.

Here is what people are saying:

”The story is well-thought out. It has a solid plot, with plenty of twists and turns, edge-of-your-seat tension, and intriguing characters. Darcey is utterly charming, and you can’t help but root for her. I can’t wait for the sequel.” ~ Taylor Jones, The Review Team of Taylor Jones and Regan Murphy

Inescapable: The Beginning by Madge H. Gressley contains several different elements: some action, intrigue, suspense, and romance. I was instantly charmed by Darcey’s character, and was engrossed in the book from the beginning to the end. The book had a fast pace, but it wasn’t a whirlwind of activity. The plot and the characters had depth and were well thought out; Darcey’s reactions to the traumatic events that she suffered were realistic. Darcey’s personality changes a bit after the injury and the drugs, but who she is at her core remained the same…Gressley has managed to combine the elements of suspense, intrigue, and romance to create a balanced and interesting story. I am really looking forward to reading more about Darcey and Brad in the next book.” ~ Charity Rowell-Stansbury, On My Kindle Book Reviews

Inescapable, The Beginning is fast paced, intriguing, and exciting. Gressley’s characters are well-developed and realistic. I found the plot not only solid, but thought-provoking and intense, almost too realistic. I couldn’t put it down.” ~ Regan Murphy, The Review Team of Taylor Jones and Regan Murphy

I know you are going to enjoy Inescapable ~ The Beginning as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Release Date Announced

If you remember (it’s okay if you don’t), I signed with Black Opal Books Publishing to publish my 3 book “Inescapable” series.

I now have the release date for book 1 —
“Inescapable: The Beginning

It is April 22nd.

I am so looking forward to book 1 in the “Inescapable” series  being released under a publisher.

There have been some updates from the indie release that make the story even better. So, I hope, even though you may have the indie edition, that you will give the new edition a try as well.

I am going with the same cover as the publisher’s marketing department loved it. Book 2 and 3 will have new covers.


“When Darcey Callahan, tumbles for Brad Daniels, it starts her on a dark and perilous journey that quickly turns into her worst nightmare. Believing Brad has gone missing—while investigating an attempt to sabotage his top-secret project in Peru—Darcey dashes off to find him, setting in motion a series of events beyond her control. Awakening from a near-deadly car crash, she finds herself with no memory and a prisoner in the dangerous world of human trafficking, murders, and espionage. Held captive in Morocco until she can be “sold,” she doesn’t know whether to trust the stranger who has come to rescue her. Is he really willing to help her, or is this a nightmare from which she may never wake up?”

It will be issued in  eBook and paperback editions. E-Book will be available for pre-order next week. Will post date as soon as I know it.

Please share with friends and family.


Review—The Secret of Trail House Lodge

Review Rating: 5 stars!  5star-shiny-hr
Reviewed By Michelle Stanley for Readers’ Favorite


The Secret of Trail House Lodge
A Sophie Collins Mystery, Book 2 by Madge H. Gressley is for young adults. Fifteen-year-old heiress Sophie Collins and her friends explore an abandoned lodge and become curious after seeing a particular guest entry in the registration book, and finding a stash of old coins and puzzling footprints. Her guardian, Mr. Johnson, investigates the lodge’s history and learns it was once owned by a notorious gangster. Sophie’s suspicions increase when she and her friends return to the lodge and realize someone else was searching the rooms. Their sleuthing picks up surprising clues that help the sheriff link unsolved cases. Sophie’s estranged Uncle Titus believes he should be her guardian, but Mr. Johnson is wary of him, much to his displeasure.

The Secret of Trail House Lodge is a lovely sleuth mystery, especially with its main character. Sophie is a high-spirited teen who is clever and brave with a keen sense of perception. It is a suspenseful story that sees the teens take on investigative roles, despite the risks they encounter. The interaction among the characters, both good and evil, is sharp. Sophie can be a bit rebellious, but this probably comes from her dismal past. This is Madge H. Gressley’s second book in the Sophie Collins Mystery series. The mystery interested me, but so did Sophie, whose present lifestyle was entirely different to what she was accustomed to. Book 1. The Red Coat,  is another mystery that sees Sophie’s luck change. Madge H. Gressley’s book is recommended.

Buy Link eBook: The Red Coat (Book 1)
i Books:
Buy Link Paperback:

Buy Link eBook: The Secret of Trail House Lodge (Book 2)
Buy Link Paperback:

Other book by Madge H. Gressley
eBook Romance Novella
The Royals of Monterra: A Design for Love:

Official Review: The Secret of Trail House Lodge

[Following is an official review of
“The Secret of Trail House Lodge”
by Madge H. Gressley.]


3 out of 4 stars

Review by kandscreeley

The Secret of Trail House Lodge is the second book in a mystery series starring Sophie Collins. Sophie, a fourteen year old girl, has only recently become heiress to the Morsey Estate. She, as most young adults her age, is still trying to find her way. Grayson, her caretaker, wishes she would act more dignified and ladylike, but Sophie is a tomboy at heart and not ready to grow up quite yet. Sophie and her friends Beth Martin, Tommy Logan, and Tyler Blakemore love exploring together and finding mysteries.

In this second book in the series, Tommy and his cousin Matt stumble upon an abandoned old house up in the woods. The four friends decide that this would be a great place to explore as they might find some ghosts or at least a mystery or two. While hunting they find out that this building used to be a hotel which was shut down after a lawyer named Stanley Higgins disappeared. During their search they find secret passageways and hidden rooms, one of which even contains a mummified corpse. Will the four young detectives be able to uncover the mystery that is Trail House Lodge?

When I picked this book to review, I was leery as the description stated this was book two in the series. I wasn’t sure if it would stand alone or if I would get lost while reading. My fears were unfounded, however, as the author does a great job clueing us in. There were only a few missing pieces that overall do not affect the readability of this book on its own. Most notably we do not learn exactly who Mr. Johnson is in relation to Sophie until the middle of the book, and I feel certain the first book would clarify this.

The mark of a great book in a series is if the book makes you hungry to read the rest, and I’m happy to say this is a great book. It captured my attention pushing me to finish to the very end. Good, clean mysteries like this one are hard to find at the young adult level. This reminds me of the Nancy Drew Series or the Hardy Boys Series, which used to be very popular. This book is a breath of fresh air in a market saturated with science fiction and thrillers. In my opinion, we need more books out there along these lines.
While I appreciate the genre, I’m not sure the author could decide what age level to write this book for. I would agree that it’s a young adult book, and yet the reading level is a little too simple to be suited for older teenagers. Along those lines, one particular character likes to swear, and because of this, it would not be suitable for pre-teens to early teenagers.

Unfortunately, the editing in this book also leaves much to be desired. I spotted missed words, commas in the wrong places, and two different tenses in the same sentence. Here is an example of a comma hanging out in the middle of a sentence: “(She) noticed nothing different except the suitcase, Tyler had gone through yesterday was now sitting on the floor.” These mistakes happen too often to ignore and even interfere with the reading of the story.

Another point worth mentioning was the use of vernacular by the author, Madge Gressley. It appears she’s trying to use a southern accent for the characters, but I found the dialogue to be stilted and hard to read because of this. The characters seem to enjoy the use of the non-word ‘n. Sophie at one point says, “’N yes. I have my cell.” This is only one instance of many throughout the book to which I had a hard time adjusting; however, this is more of a preference, so I did not count this against the author.

Overall, I rate this book a 3 out of 4. The plot was extremely enjoyable, and I loved how easy it was not only to read but to really get into the story. I cannot give it a perfect rating, however, because of the many mistakes as well as the confusion as to reading level. I would recommend the book as it is exciting and easy to read, but it might warrant screening by the parents for the younger readers.

The Secret of Trail House Lodge
View: on Bookshelves

For the Love of Books!

I am participating in a Valentine’s Day Giveaway with 43 other authors. There are many prizes and lots of books to win as well as the
Grand Prize of $135.00 PayPal Cash!
Check it all out here:

Unfortunately my Facebook link does not show my name. You will find it listed as:
“Visit 1460702867501390 on Facebook.”
All of my other links list my name.

I am giving away one e-copy of “The Royals of Monterra: A Design for Love” and one e-copy of books 1 & 2 in my Sophie Collins Mystery Series.


Drop by and enter for lots of prizes and the Grand Prize of $135.00 PayPal Cash!

Welcome 2017!

I feel this is going to be a terrific year. My one and only resolution for 2017 is to keep my blog up. This I hope, is the first of many authors I will be featuring here. If you are interested in being featured, please contact me at

So without further ado, I would like to introduce a fellow Missouri author (although I am sure she is familiar to many of you) — Tierney James. Her newest novel Dark Side of Morning will be released January 10.

Here is Tierney to tell you a little bit about herself and her new book.


One of my favorite places to visit is the Field Museum of Natural History is Chicago, Illinois. This is where Dark Side of Morning takes place. Years ago when I visited I found a display case with a Pawnee Indian standing ready, looking over the Native American wing of the museum. In the distance was a blessed Pawnee earth lodge where I took time to rest and dream. I visited him often over the years and even spoke to him. I began to wonder what if he could really see me, hear me from a parallel universe. I tucked those thoughts away for a long time until I decided it was time to bring Wind Dancer into our world. When he did, things began to go wrong and our way of life became threatened.

I always love the process of finding a new story to tell. Sometimes it is something I find in a museum. I wrote Rooftop Angels after seeing a picture in National Geographic about a group of forgotten people in Northern Afghanistan in the Wakhan Valley. Other times a documentary or article grabs my imagination and the wheels start to turn. I keep notebooks of plots, themes, pictures and articles that may have the potential in becoming my next adventure.


james-book-coverWhen you confide in a mannequin in the Museum of Natural History you shouldn’t be shocked when he comes looking for you to help him save the world.

Dr. Cleopatra Sommers never came to terms with her father’s disappearance at the Museum of Natural History in Chicago. He had been a Native American scholar that explored avenues of unexplained spiritual paths in their cultures. The museum had been her home and playground growing up where her father spent long hours working. She was always drawn to one display case holding a mannequin of a Pawnee Indian. There was no way she could know he watched her all those years until the night he crossed over to find her.

Detective Jacque Marquette suspected the beautiful doctor of stealing priceless artifacts from a Native American exhibit. He realized after meeting his identical twin from another time and place, Dr. Sommers might not be as crazy as he initially thought. The layers of concern for his city begin to stack up as he is caught between culture and the Pentagon. Only with the help of a Pawnee warrior from two hundred years ago, can save his city from a deadly disease brought in from a parallel universe.

Wind Dancer had loved the little girl who grew up before him for years. When he decided to cross over to prevent his enemy from finding Dr. Sommers, the bombardment of changes forced him to rely on the ways of the past to survive. Navigating the future proves to be complicated as he teams up with a grumpy detective to hunt down a common enemy. No one expected the price to be sacrificing Dr. Sommers to the Morning Star in order to avert disaster.


Tierney has been in education for over thirty years. She recently stopped teaching World Geography for a nearby college to pursue her writing career. Creating a workshop for beginning writers, speaking at schools and serving as an officer in the writing group Sleuths’ Ink, are some of the work she does when not writing. With the creation of Winds of Deception, Tierney is working with one of the crew members of USS Liberty in hopes of obtaining the Medal of Honor for him. She is also working with Mission K9 Rescue to create a children’s book about four-footed soldiers that save lives.

Besides serving as a Solar System Ambassador for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab and attending Space Camp for Educators, Tierney has traveled across the world. From the Great Wall of China to floating the Okavango Delta of Botswana, Africa, she ties her unique experiences into other writing projects such as the action thriller, An Unlikely Hero, the first in the Enigma Series. Winds of Deception is the second in that series. Living on a Native American reservation and in a mining town for many years fuels the kind of characters she never tires of creating.

Besides teaching and writing, Tierney enjoys family, gardening, reading and music. Other pursuits involve learning Hebrew in hopes of incorporating the knowledge in a future Engima Series. She likes to research and sometimes that has involved learning new skills, such as being certified with various weapons.

She has settled in the beautiful Ozarks, but there’s never a dull moment in Tierney’s life. And that is just the way she likes it.

You can find Tierney here:
Twitter: @TierneyJames1