Tag Archives: Suzi Weinert

Civil War relics fuel latest “Garage Sale Mystery”

Garage Sale Riddle, by Suzi Weinert. BluewaterPress LLC. 325 pages. Trade paperback $21.95.

Winter Naples resident Suzi Weinert has now published the third title in her Garage Sale Mystery Series. It follows Garage Sale Stalker and Garage Sale Diamonds. Does the series sound familiar? Ms. Weinert’s work is the inspiration for the powerhouse series of films that is run religiously on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel. The seventh premiered in January, and there are others in the pipeline. gsrfinalcover

The new novel has several intertwined plots, some more engaging than others. The primary story line, and the one most likely to be of interest to Southwest Florida readers, is Jennifer Shannon’s need to deal with her aging mother’s future. Frances Ryerson, now in her later eighties, must be steered into giving up her independent habits after having lived in Naples, Florida for many years. This concern leads to a practical roadmap for making and carrying out such decisions, a roadmap that involves scaling down, arranging for estate sales, choosing the next home for Frances, taking stock of assets, and many other matters.

Because the author has these issues arise and gain shape in the credible conversations involving mother, daughter, granddaughter, friends, and experienced professionals, she avoids overt preachiness and penetrates the emotions involved in such stressful changes.

The catalyst for the redirection of Frances’s life is that she has been victimized by a skillful criminal who preys on seniors. The escape from and apprehension of this abusive man and his female accomplice (also a victim, though she doesn’t know it) forms a second and more suspenseful plot line within the broader concern of the kind of life adjustments that seniors need to make – and often need help making.

Suzi Weinert and actress Lori Loughlin

Suzi Weinert & actress Lori Loughlin

Then there’s the Civil War relics plot.

Garage sale wizard that she is, Jennifer comes across two special items, and they fire her imagination in unexpected ways. One is a statue of a dragon. Jennifer’s fascination with it introduces reveries about dragon lore and about how so many cultures share the dragon motif in their art and in their ancient stories. It’s as if the dragon comes alive for her and guides her in some way. . . .

To read the entire review, as it appears in the February 16, 2017 Naples and Bonita Springs Florida Weekly, and the February 22 Fort Myers and February 23 Punta Gorda / Port Charlotte editions, click here: Florida Weekly – Garage Sale Riddle

 

Ms. Weinert will be talking about her new book at the following locations:

 

 February 17 –  at Collier County South Regional Library from 1-2:30pm at 8065 Lely Cultural Parkway, Naples.
March 6 –     Luncheon speaker at Riverwood Plantation at 11am at 4600 Robt. E. Lee Blvd, Estero. For more info call Janeen Dulaney at 239-947-1052.

March 9 –     Luncheon speaker at Sea Stars of Naples at noon at Countryside Country Club, 600 Countryside Drive, Naple. For more info contact Linda Earle at 239-514-0773.

March 14 –  Luncheon speaker at Hideaway Beach Club at noon at 250 S. Beach Drive, Marco Island. For more info, contact Maxine Shapiro at 239-394-5555.

April 3 –  Luncheon speaker at Vasari Country Club at noon, 11250 Via Del Vasari Dr., Bonita Springs. For more info contact Marianne Lavalle at 516-816-5454.

 

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“Garage Sale Mystery” a big winner

News from Jonathan Axelrod, producer, via Carole Greene, agent.

 
The September 14th premiere of the Hallmark Channel original movie “Garage Sale Mystery” (9-11P) delivered a 2.1 HH rating with 1,847,000 households.

“Garage Sale Mystery”  is the highest September original movie premiere in network history!

GSM PosterCompetitively, “Garage Sale Mystery” ranked as the #1 rated  cable movie of the WEEK .

In its Sat 9-11p time period, “Garage Sale Mystery” ranked #1 in HH rtg .

“Garage Sale Mystery” [based on the novel “Garage Sale Stalker” by Suzi Weinert] helped boost Hallmark Channel to be the #1 rated cable network in Prime Time for the day among HH(2.1 HH rtg)

“Garage Sale Mystery” was seen by more than 3.3 million unduplicated viewers (P2+)!

Jonathan Axelrod
Axelrod-Ett Productions

The film, which was shown again on September 18, repeats tonight (Saturday, Sept. 21) on the Hallmark Channel at 6pm EST.

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Suzi Weinert Update

Here is the latest news on NPC member Suzi Weinert’s Garage Sale Stalker novel, now called Garage Sale Mystery as a Hallmark Channel movie:

“Hello Phil —

Several exciting things have happened with the book/movie connection for “Garage Sale Stalker”: Hallmark upgraded “Garage Sale Mystery” (as they call it) from the Hallmark Movie Channel to the Hallmark Channel and they changed the date to September ( in TV land apparently a fall airing is more prestigious than a summer airing).
 
Also, I finished Book Two (“Garage Sale Diamonds”), which should be published in the next ten days.DiamondCov
 
Hope you enjoy the link below and get to see the Sept. 14th movie based on my book.
 

 
Best,
 
— Suzi”
 
I hear there is a release-date screening and party taking place in Pelican Marsh. Go to this link:

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Local writer’s Garage Sale Mystery filmed for Hallmark Movie Channel

NOTE: The information given below has changed. The initial broadcast of the film will be on Saturday, September 14. It will be on the more prestigious Hallmark Channel rather than the Hallmark Movie Channel.  See http://www.hallmarkchannel.com/garagesalemystery.

Also, Weinert’s follow-up novel, Garage Sale Diamonds, is now available.

In March 2011, I offered a review of Neapolitan Suzi Weinert’s first novel, “Garage Sale Stalker,” and also reported on the roles of the Naples Press Club Authors & Books Festival, Jeff Schlesinger of Barringer Publishing and editor-agent Carole Greene in the development and eventual publication of that book. In January 2012, we reported on the contract for a television movie based on the book to be developed by producer Jonathan Axelrod for the Hallmark Movie Channel.

Now we can report that the screenplay written by Walter Klenhard has been filmed and the movie will premiere at 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 24.

Loughlin, Weinert, Axelrod

Loughlin, Weinert, Axelrod

The movie was shot in Vancouver in April and early May.

“By filming time,” says the author, “my contribution to the production (the source novel) was long in the background. The TV movie now reflected the screenplay, the new bible on which the producer, director (Peter DeLuise, son of actor Dom DeLuise), the actors and crew concentrated,” she adds. . . .

See the entire review, as it appears in the May 30, 2013 Naples Florida Weekly, by clicking on this link: Florida Weekly — Garage Sale Mystery Movie. Here is a pdf from the June 5 Fort Myers edition:Florida Weekly – Garage_Sale_Movie

Below is some additional material that did not get into FW:

The members of the film’s creative team were happy to comment on the experience. Jonathan Axelrod related the genesis of his discovery: “My wife, Katy Garretson, knew I was looking for a mystery. She told me her best friend’s mother had written one. She nagged me until I read it, and afterwards I kissed my wife and knew she had found gold!” The producer “loved having Suzi in Vancouver. She enchanted everyone on the set. It was truly wonderful to see the author watch her characters come to life.”

 Director Peter DeLuise liked the challenge of “telling a story about a fully realized, 3-dimensional, strong female character with realistic family and friend relationships who is so observant and clever that she manages to solve a murder mystery.” He considered meeting that challenge “the highpoint of the project. It made me want to see this character solve a series of these mysteries, where we would get to enjoy her character again and again.”  [italics mine]

 The female lead, Lori Loughlin, “liked the fact that in addition to being a mystery, you got to know my character on many levels. I loved that the whole family was introduced and we got to experience Jennifer Shannon as a wife, mother and working woman as well as someone who is keenly observant and quite involved in trying to solve the mystery behind a rash of neighborhood burglaries as well as a murder.  And even though a murder has taken place, the movie is not dark. The piece has some nice comedic moments and the different relationships between the characters are fun.  It also appealed to me because this is a movie my mother would love and a movie that the whole family can watch.”  

 Ms. Loughlin adds, “It was a pleasure to meet Suzi and hang out with her on set while she was in Vancouver.  Suzi is very charming and was extremely excited to see her novel come to life on screen.  I was thrilled to be a part of that moment.”

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Naples novelists get Hollywood Nibbles and Bites

Two local authors have had nibbles (in one case more than a nibble) from Hollywood production companies about turning their recent novels into films. The authors, Suzi Weinert and Howard Giordano, have a few things in common. Both found a publisher through the networking opportunities at the Naples Press Club Authors and Books Festival. In fact, both have the same publisher, Naples-based Barringer Publishing headed by Jeff Schlesinger. Also, both have had the benefit of Naples writer and literary agent Carole J. Greene as manuscript editor.

Otherwise, the stories are quite different.

A new Los Angeles production company headed by Rob Goodrich found Mr. Giordano’s thriller “Tracking Terror” by browsing through publishers’ web sites looking for viable properties. When he found, on the Barringer site, the description of a brand new novel that involves a terrorist plan to bomb New York’s Belmont Park Racetrack during the running of the prestigious Belmont Stakes, he and his associates had to take a closer look.  One never knows what first provokes interest. In this case, says Mr. Schlesinger,” it was the book cover that grabbed their attention.” They loved the concept and optioned the novel.

An option is a time-defined exclusive rights agreement. It keeps a book or manuscript off the market so that the option purchaser can move ahead with project development. In this case, “Tracking Terror” is being held for three consecutive 6-month options by Mr. Goodrich’s organization. For Jeff Schlesinger and Howard Giordano, it’s wait and see what comes of the process. The film rights have not yet actually been purchased – that will involve another kind of contract.

Schlesinger is optimistic. “It’s a matter of luck,” he says. “This is just what they were looking for.” He says that Goodrich and his team, which includes Naples partner Bruce Barone, Jr., were greatly impressed by the depth of the main character.

Rob Goodrich has been connected with such recent films as “Zookeeper,” “Never Say Never” (Justin Bieber docu-pic) and Adam Sandler’s “Grown Ups.”

Howard Giordano is not surprised that filmmakers have an interest in “Tracking Terror”:  “I always felt the story, the scenes and plot, lent themselves to film. I am a visual person, and when I write I can see the scenes as I form them on the page. There are some great graphic opportunities in this novel and I am certain it would make a riveting movie.”

Already at work on his next novel, Mr. Giordano followed a career in advertising with the position of Director of Marketing for the New York Racing Authority (Aqueduct, Belmont, and Saratoga racetracks).  Later, he was president of the New York City Off-Track Betting Corporation. Mr. Giordano retired to Naples to find more time to writing. The move led him to participate in workshops at the NPC Authors and Books Festival.

In the book’s acknowledgments, Mr. Giordano thanks not only Carole Greene, but also James Robison, the novelist and short story writer who has for many years led Renaissance Academy writing workshops at FGCU’s Naples Center. He also thanks his critique group that included locals Don Wilson, Linda Bilodeau, and Pina Olson.  Coincidently, the room where that critique group met is the same room where Howard Giordano met Jeff Schlesinger.

Has Naples become a hotbed of literary activity? Clearly the dynamic of supportive interaction is alive and well here. 

Weinert (left) with editor-agent Greene

Suzi Weinert’s “Garage Sale Stalker” came out just over a year ago (and was reviewed last winter in FW). Now the rights have been sold for its next life as a movie on the Hallmark Channel as a Hallmark Original Movie. Producer Jonathan Axelrod, best known for the “Dave’s World” series, and Director Michael Scott will bring screenwriter Ron Parker’s adaptation to the 87 million households that Hallmark reaches. These gentlemen all have strong track records in the industry.  Mr. Parker’s credits include the “Joan of Arc” television mini-series. . . .

To read this article in full, as it appears in the January 26,2012 issue of Naples Florida Weekly, as well as in other editions, click here:  Naples novelists get Hollywood attention

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Who knows what evil lurks at a garage sale?

“Garage Sale Stalker,” by Suzi Weinert. Barringer Publishing.  352 pages. $15.95.

Jennifer Shannon is an inveterate garage sale junkie. She loves to discover a hidden treasure, either for herself or as a gift. An organized bargain-hunter with a detailed calendar outlining her efficient shopping schedule, Jennifer brings along batteries, light bulbs, and whatever else might be needed to test a possible purchase before making a deal. Her white Cadillac crossover SUV is well-traveled throughout McLean, Virginia, an affluent suburb of Washington, D. C. She works her territory like a pro. 

Jennifer is by nature a people-watcher. She gives her fellow shoppers nicknames that label their behavior in the rough-and-tumble world of garage or yard or estate sales. Shrewd and energetic, mostly she is observant. She doesn’t miss much. And that is how she happens to discover that recent newspaper notices of property thefts at certain addresses match up with dates of garage sales she has attended at those same homes. Someone is going to garage sales in order to “case the joint” and return soon after to make off with treasures that were not for sale. She convinces a police officer that there is something here to investigate.

Before long, Jennifer and detective Adam Iverson are almost partners in an investigation that leads in unexpected directions. The suspect is not just a thief, but a man who was an abused child and has become an abuser in turn; indeed, he is a programmatic and audacious serial killer. Once he learns that Jennifer is interfering with his schemes and twisted desires, he is driven to punish her, to put an end to her meddling – and perhaps put an end to her. Ruger Yates is a truly monstrous villain, and Ms. Weinert’s ability to enter his mind provides one of the book’s great strengths.

Suzi Weinert carefully builds suspense and understanding of her characters in this well-turned first novel that teaches while it entertains. The author addresses the classic nature-nurture dichotomy as she, through her protagonist, explores the wellsprings of personality and behavior. Readers receive a course in the garage sale as a revealing slice of American culture and ritual. The author handles police procedures and medical matters with believable authority.

Suzi at work

Romance? Well, there’s that too as one of Jennifer’s daughters becomes enamored with Detective Iverson, who is mightily smitten himself.

How did the publication of this chilling thriller come about? Three talented people who reside in Naples meet a forum that puts authors, publishers, and agents together.

To read this review in its entirety, as it appears in the March 16, 2011 issue of Fort Myers Florida Weekly and the March 17 issue of Naples Florida Weekly, click here: Florida Weekly – Suzi Weinert

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