The Cupid Caper (A Finley Goodhart Crime Caper) by Larissa Reinhart. Character interview!

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He wants her back. In the grift. And in his life. Can Finley Goodhart convince Lex that doing good is the greatest hustle of all?

Ex-grifter Finley Goodhart may try to stay on the straight and narrow, but walking that thin line becomes wobbly when she believes her friend Penny was murdered. The last thing she wants is to work with her ex-partner (and ex-boyfriend), the brilliant (brilliantly frustrating) British con artist, Lex Leopold. However, when it appears Penny’s demise might be related to an exclusive matchmaking service for millionaires, Fin needs Lex’s help to pull a long con to get the goods on Penny.

Romance is in the air for hustlers, gangsters, and their marks. Unfortunately for Fin and Lex, infiltrating the racket doesn’t make for a match made in heaven. This Valentine swindle could stop their hearts for good.

Character Interview

Finley, welcome to Island Confidential! Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?
Generally, I don’t let anyone know anything about me. I’m a high school dropout turned pool hall hustler turned con artist. And I’m only twenty-seven. I thank my crooked cop dad for my introduction to criminal life. But recently, I’m on the square—I’ve left that life behind. Or at least I’m trying to leave it behind.
It’s hard when my ex-boyfriend and ex-partner wants me back in the grift and in my life. Lex’s brilliant, charming, and loves nothing better than a challenge. Meaning he’ll try to con his way back into my heart. I miss him, but I won’t admit it. I loved conning greedy skinflints, but it’s wrong and I can’t do it anymore.
However, I’ve just learned my best friend, Penny, is dead. She was my only friend on the streets before I met Lex. I may have to use my criminal skills to find out what happened to Penny and deliver my own brand of justice.

Anyone in The Cupid Caper you’re particularly sweet on ? 
Lex Leopold, my old partner, knows me best. Even more than Penny did. He turned me out, taught me the art of the long con. Unfortunately, Lex loves the art of the big bamboozle. Maybe more than me. I left him before I could find out.

Is there anyone you don’t get along with so well? 
Definitely Dot the Jamaican. She and her zoo of poisonous creatures, not to mention her hulking minions, give me the creeps. She’s a handler — she sets up jobs. Criminal jobs. More Fagin than Corleone, though. I’ve talked Lex out of working for her on several occasions, so now Dot has it in for me. I hope to never work for her again.

Just between you and me: What do you really think of your author?
Writing mystery novels has created a naturally suspicious nature in Larissa, so I don’t think I’d have an easy time conning her in a pigeon drop or a similar con. But she’d probably fall for a fake charity. She gives money away to strangers and doesn’t even check to see if they’re really hard up.

What’s next for you?
Using con artist tricks to catch crooks really appeals to me. But the criminal under-ground is a dangerous place to live and I only skim the surface. I have to watch my back, knowing that several mobsters could be gunning for me now that I’m working against them. You’ll have to find out which in my next book!

About The Author 

Wall Street Journal bestselling author, Larissa Reinhart writes humorous mysteries and romantic comedies including the critically acclaimed Maizie Albright Star Detective, Finley Goodhart Crime Capers, and Cherry Tucker Mystery series. Larissa’s a contributor to the 2017 Silver Falchion Reader’s Choice winner, was the 2015 Georgia Author of the Year finalist, 2012 Daphne du Maurier finalist, 2012 The Emily finalist, and 2011 Dixie Kane Memorial winner. Larissa’s family and dog, Biscuit, had been living in Japan, but once again call Georgia home. See them on HGTV’s House Hunters International“Living for the Weekend in Nagoya” episode. Visit her website,, and join her newsletter for a free short story.


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Which Hot Button Words Are Dealbreakers in Relationships? (I’ll say “fava beans” and “Chianti”)

Words Can Change Your Brain

I was reading about certain words that should never be used in advertising because they yield poor results. The article pointed out that people are far less likely to click on the word “submit” on a web site because it is too committal. As an alternative, “click here” is better, and “click here to receive whatever is being offered” is better yet. The article went on to point out how language can be a turn on or a turn off when making decisions.

As I read, I started to consider some of the keywords that don’t fly too well in the realm of relationships. I couldn’t help but ponder words like “obey,” for instance; a word that was once the norm in traditional wedding vows (and may still be in certain circles). Using “obey” in the realm of relationships is a deal breaker for many of us, including several terms that mean something similar. (Ironically, when I looked up synonyms of “obey”, “submit” came up!) Even reference to the “head of the household” can be an indicator of a power hierarchy. If this is okay with you, no problem, but if not, paying attention to this kind of terminology may assist you in avoiding some major struggles.

In my work as an online dating advisor, I would guide people to watch for the themes they, or the people they were interested in, posted in their profiles. I encouraged them to watch for the underlying messages that they were sharing through, often unconscious, choices. Repetitious sexual content, mention of alcohol and drugs, complaints about previous partners, a clear portrayal of low self-esteem, or elevated ego are all little red flags to watch for in an online write-up. Even in our face-to-face relationships, we all drop indicators of our beliefs and attitudes everywhere we go through our language and choice of words.

Some words aren’t the issue themselves, but rather the problem arises with the timing of their use. For instance, “love” — a word we clearly associate with relationships — can serve as a bomb if dropped too soon or a detriment if not used soon enough. “Commitment,” “monogamy,” and “marriage,” can freak people out when thrown around too early in the dating process, as well. And equally, at some point in the relationship, a lack of willingness to use these terms may be a deal breaker.

What we call each other at different stages of the relationship may also be an indicator calling for attention. Referring to your date as your “boyfriend,” or “girlfriend” can cause just as many problems as referring to your boyfriend or girlfriend as your “date” or your “lover.” Your level of commitment, or lack thereof, is revealed in your choice of labels, as is how you define the relationship.

How we refer to sex may also be a trigger. For some calling it “making love” (instead of sex) may be an issue, while for others it may be exactly the other way around.

How we talk about previous partners and past relationships can also reveal hot button issues. I have a friend who is adamant that people should refer to their previous husband or wife as “former spouse” rather than their “ex”, as he feels it is far more honoring of the major role they have previously played. While you may prefer not to honor those that have come before you, the truth of the matter is that in time you may be the next on the “ex” list wishing for more honor.

For me, a hot button is to refer to breaking up as “dumped,” as in “I dumped him or her.” We dump trash, not people. Using this term for breaking up can be an indicator that the respect levels of people and relationships may be sorely lacking.

People will often reveal early in the relationship where the big issues will lay ahead simply in their words. The problem is that we don’t often listen, or pay attention until the situation gets out of control. While everyone’s hot button issues may be slightly different, we would all benefit by paying a little closer attention to what is said, what is meant, and what is being revealed.

Rather than just considering what your hot button issues are when someone else utters them, be sure to practice awareness of the words you use as well — the words or the timing of your words, that may be pushing others away. Your own clarity and impeccability with the alignment of your words and your intended meaning will set the tone of deeper discussions, and greater understanding.

What are your hot button words or terms in the realm of relationships?

This post courtesy of Spirituality & Health.

from World of Psychology

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Internet dating. It’s like being a kid in a candy store. A candy store full of poisonous snakes.

Fake profile of horrible person attracts swarms of suitors.  (However: She’s cute).  Any evolutionary psychologists want to weigh in on how it’s time for the human race to die out already?

“It’s riddled with typos. This girl clearly lacks the ability to read and write. In the opening paragraph, she kind of quotes Katy Perry and says her passions are krumping and interpretive dance … but as long as you love chili and art you’re golden! She also makes an off-handed racist comment. She then describes what she’s doing with her life in the most vague way possible, only sharing a horribly offensive 9/11 joke and that she posted on a picture of Willy Wonka. Then you get to what she’s really good at and she says iPods. What does that mean?? How are you good at iPods?”