#1 Seasoned Hearts

Explosion, arson, and murder play an integral and entertaining role in Actor Blythe Huxley’s life, but when his wife is shot, the tragedy becomes real and the decisions heartbreaking.


Love, sacrifice, and duty aren’t empty words that Riley Kendrick writes in her television scripts. They are the threads weaving her life together—a life marked by the loss of her husband in the line of duty, the hardship of raising two children alone, and the strength to move on.


As Riley offers a friendly ear to the actor’s difficulties, an arsonist strikes close to home, casting a shadow on her husband’s death and forcing her to revisit her past. Meanwhile, another bullet flies in proximity of the television studio, entangling her life with Blythe’s tragedy. 


Can she and Blythe stop the arsonist threatening her family and the killer set on destroying his life before they each lose another loved one and have their hearts shattered beyond hope of repair?

Mystery / Romantic Suspense / Second Chance

81,000 words

BWL Publishing Inc

ISBN: 978-0-2286-2079-2  (ebook)

ISBN: 978-0-2286-2078-5 (print)

EBOOKS are available at List of stores

PAPERBACKS are available at Amazon-CanadaAmazon-US 



Riley's aircraft bounced on the lone airstrip. It wasn’t the smoothest landing, but it beat driving more than thirteen hundred kilometers to get to Winnipeg. She unbuckled her seatbelt and waited her turn to exit.

At the sight of Hunter waiting outside the security gate near the baggage carousel, her heart filled with love and pride. In the blink of an eye, her little boy had grown into a good, kind, and compassionate man—a wonderful man who looked so much like his father that it hurt.

Hunter gave her a big hug the moment she joined him. “I’m glad you’re home, Mom. No coffee stains?”

That he remembered the incident she had mentioned the first night she called him didn’t surprise her, but his disheveled brown hair and the uncharacteristic dark circles under his eyes troubled her. “No, I stuck to water on my flight back. You look tired. Is something wrong?”

“I didn’t sleep much the two days you were gone.” He released her and turned toward the conveyor belt. “Let’s get your luggage first.”

“Not another fire?” Though she had made an uneasy peace with his decision to follow in his father’s footsteps, Riley struggled with the fear that Hunter might also meet his fate.

“Not just one.” Her son retrieved her suitcase then led her toward his green pickup truck. “I’m not allowed to say anything, but we have a firebug on our hands.”

An invisible brick sank in the pit of her stomach. “How many fires did he start?”

“We suspect four, including the one from last night.” Hunter placed the suitcase in the truck bed then secured it with a bungee cord. “I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but the children’s section in the library is a mass of soggy burned books.”

Appalled, Riley gasped and recoiled against the side of the truck. The children’s section, which she had affectionately nicknamed Dear Little Readers’ Corner, was her favorite.

Back when she was head librarian, she had spent lots of time, effort, and money to build a decent children’s collection. Now it was gone. “What about the other sections?”

Her son opened the door on the passenger side. “Some smoke and water damage, but Jocelyn believes she’ll be able to restore most of the books.”

A good friend of hers, Jocelyn had taken over the librarian job when Riley quit. “That’s a small consolation.” Growing more exhausted by the minute, she slumped in the leather seat. “Do the police have a suspect?”

“No. Not even a profile.” Hunter closed her door, then seconds later, he slipped behind the wheel. “Carl and Jeff were injured when a row of bookshelves tumbled down. They’re in the hospital, flirting with the nurses.”

The mental picture of two strapping firefighters in skimpy hospital gowns drew a smile on her lips. “Poor nurses. I take it they’ll be fine?”

“Yes, but with two guys out of commission, the department decided to expand its volunteer program. Care to guess who’ll be running the classroom training sessions?” The engine roared. As he switched gear, Hunter winked at her. “Me.”

Her son had inherited his father’s engaging personality and commanding presence. When Hunter spoke, people paid attention.

“You’ll make an excellent training officer.” Pride swelled in her chest. “Did you volunteer or were you chosen?”

“Let’s just say I was given the option of volunteering before I was chosen.” Hunter flashed a disarming smile in her direction. “So, how did it go in Winnipeg? Did they offer you a contract?”

“Yes, they did.” Before she left the studio, Martin had summoned her to his office and offered her a contract for the rest of the season. “For the next three months, I’ll fly to Winnipeg on Monday morning and fly out Wednesday night. The rest of the week, I’ll work from home.”

~ * ~


JULY 1, 2013

 4 STARS from Between The Pages (Still Moments Magazine - July 2013)

...the story is captivating with twists and turns that keep you guessing who is after Riley. Just when you think you know who it is, there's someone else to suspect. This well-written story of friendship, loss, and romance is a must read for anyone who likes a good suspense mixed in.

For full review, please visit Still Moments Magazine

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JULY 30, 2012

5 STARS from Stephsbookretreat

This novel captured my attention and made me want to keep reading, despite the late hour. With all the twists and turns in this novel it kept me on my toes.

‘Unscripted’ was such a wonderful read, I kept tissues nearby, as a few points I was close to needing them. 

J.S. Marlo, takes her reader through a gambit of emotions and leaves them wanting more and to help solve the mysteries that are expertly woven throughout this novel.

For full review, visit Stephsbookretreat

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MAY 9, 2012

B+ (4 STARS) from Book Perfection

I was dreading the end of this book because I knew that it would leave a huge hole in my heart. I didn't want to say goodbye to Blythe or Riley. I wanted to stay wrapped in their story for much longer than I thought was possible, such is the amazing talent of this writer.

I cried (more than once), I got annoyed (okay really pissed off) at a couple of the characters and frustrated as well. All indicators that I was totally immersed in the plot and the people involved. 

For full review, please visit Book Perfection

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NOVEMBER 29, 2012

5 STARS from The TBR Pile

I enjoyed both the mystery/suspense angle and the romance, which can be hard to balance but was well-done in this story.

I also enjoyed how well populated the book was - Riley's family, Blythe's sister and in-laws, and their various co-workers all added color and interest to their story.

For full review, please visit The TBR Pile

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JULY 13, 2012

4.5 STARS from Night Owl Romance

Unscripted has all the elements that captivate a reader’s sensory neurons and heighten the curiosities. You will be examining mysterious events that keep you wondering what will happen next. The unforeseen events are key factors in this drama that stimulates and challenges the intelligence. 

Have a nice relaxing afternoon and add some spice to it by reading Unscripted by J.S. Marlo. It is loaded with plenty of intrigue, adventure and tenderness.

For full review, please visit Night Owl Romance

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