Photos from the Past

Fresh from our family archives is a photo of the village of Grimm, Russia, taken from the side view of a typical home. I suspect the home belongs to a relative of ours, although I cannot confirm that detail. In the foreground, the roof of the home is in disrepair, with part of it actually missing. A small mud and…

Harmony Grove

It’s no secret that the fictional town of Somerville in Braha is based on the town of Escondido, California. I have a strong connection to Escondido, for I spent much time there as a child at my grandparents’ ranch. My grandparents named their farm Ranchito Vida Nueva, or the ranch of new life. For them, it represented the new life they would live…

Kirkus Reviews: Wicked Family Secrets

In Mangano’s debut mystery, a writer [sic] returns to her hometown to investigate the death of her grandfather and ends up uncovering wicked family secrets. Linden St. Clair returns to her hometown of Somerville, Calif., after the death of her beloved grandfather, who raised her after the deaths of her parents. The mystery surrounding his death only intensifies when Linden realizes her grandfather left…

Mood Music

Music has always been one of my true loves. When I was younger, I thought I perhaps would become a songwriter one day, maybe even a singer, but the world had different plans for me. Despite a different artistic calling, music still deeply influences me. When I was writing Braha, I listened to songs that helped me feel the mood of…

A New Beginning

It doesn’t sound possible, to begin anew, but that’s what I’m doing with my blog. As many of you may know, my blog has been down for several months now, as I switched the hosting to a new server. I encountered a multitude of problems that I just couldn’t deal with, since I was in the final stages of editing,…

Finding Leena

Mumu spoke the language of children. Accompanied with a smile and a hug, it has no verbal barriers. After writing about my childhood friend Leena, I became very curious about tracking her down. I’ve never done something like that, so I was feeling rather Nancy Drew-ish. Thanks to my raging insomnia, I had the opportunity to do a little searching…

Finnish Dreams

When I was growing up, one of my favorite friends was a Finnish girl named Leena (pronounced Lay-neh). Actually she was half German, but that side of her family might as well have been non-existent because that family lived and breathed Finland. Her one hundred percent Deutsche father was some kind of salesman and traveled regularly. I saw him perhaps…