Dr. William Osgood, a Beverly Hills psychologist, must make a quick decision. Seventeen-year-old Loretta, his most troubled patient, has just fainted on his couch, and his Thursday night group is about to arrive. Knowing that allowing Loretta to stay is ethically murky and potentially perilous to the group’s dynamic, Dr. Osgood begins to consider what might happen once Loretta opens her eyes. He feels that Loretta will be safe – but even the good doctor can’t possibly predict the results of his decision.
Loretta, as it happens, has come to be Dr. Osgood’s patient under somewhat mysterious circumstances. Her story rivets the six members of Dr. Osgood’s weekly group, who themselves struggle with inner demons and life conflicts; when a bigtime talent agent is shot, the doctor recognizes that each of the group’s members may have had a motive. These psychological twists and turns – as well as Dr. Osgood’s own as he copes with a bitter divorce and downsized
lifestyle – pave the way for the captivating story told in the debut mystery GROUP, by Lynne Turner. The thriller’s author knows her subjects well: she herself is a psychotherapist in Beverly Hills, and deftly weaves the lives and maladies of her characters with elements of mystery and surprise, set against the backdrop of the fringes of Hollywood and Beverly Hills.
“None of the characters in the book are based on my actual clients. However, the many compelling cases in my work, along with my deep love for Los Angeles, inspired me to write GROUP,” explains Turner, a lifelong fan of mystery writers. “My years of practicing psychotherapy have enhanced my ability to create characters that readers experience as real people, as opposed to caricatures.
“What is underscored in GROUP is the discrepancy between outward appearance and the actual genesis of one’s dynamics and one’s pain. In writing it, I wanted to give readers a ringside seat inside a therapist’s office and allow them to ‘hear’ the intimate details of each group member’s life, as well as to give them the rare opportunity to hear a therapist’s internal dialogue and witness his private life.”
Equally authentic is the geographic setting Turner provides, in part because another of her passions, Los Angeles street photography, gives her a literal close-up view of the city and its denizens.
“The many cultural references drawn from life in Southern California are, on the surface, funny and absurd,” Turner notes. “However, they also reveal a great deal about the values and aspirations of many Americans. The social injustices are gently exposed with humor and compassion. I’d like to think readers will be entertained, especially in these troubled times.”
By book’s end, not only is the mystery solved, but the characters – psychologist and patients alike — have grown and begun to heal, and a romance has bloomed. “GROUP is indeed a story about a particular group,” Turner says. “However, the word ‘group’ accrues meaning as the story develops. It demonstrates what can be accomplished with group effort, strength and understanding.”
After the group had left, there was an eerie quiet. Even the wheezing of the cleaning crew’s vacuum cleaner had ceased. The doctor opened one of his desk’s secret compartments, which was empty save a single glass and a bottle of Johnnie Walker Black. He poured himself a generous double. His lips surprised him. They trembled as he took his first horrid swallow; the second one went down easier. He could see the Hollywood sign from his office window tonight. The Santa Ana winds had cleaned up the city. It was now flooded by an amber wash that was so devastatingly beautiful his throat tightened unexpectedly.
Lynne Turner is a psychotherapist in practice in Beverly Hills, California, where she has practiced for over 30 years. She grew up on the East Coast, in the aptly named seaside town of Point Pleasant, New Jersey. After earning her Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from Montclair State University, she moved to Los Angeles, where she earned her Master of Science degree in psychology at California State University, Los Angeles. In addition to her practice and her writing, she is a Los Angeles-focused street photographer, which has afforded her the opportunity to take a closer look at the human condition from yet another perspective. She lives with her daughter and two dogs in the Hollywood Hills. Visit her WEBSITE or connect with her on INSTAGRAM.
Dr. Ronda Beaman has been Chief Creative Officer for the global research and solution firm PEAK Learning, Inc., since 1990. As a national award-winning educator, Dr. Beaman is Clinical Professor of Leadership at The Orfalea School of Business, California Polytechnic University. She is Founder and Executive Director of Dream Makers SLO, a non-profit foundation granting final wishes to financially- challenged, terminally-ill adults, and serves on the Board of Directors for the National Pay It Forward Foundation. She was recently named a Stanford Fellow at the Distinguished Career Institute.
Her national award-winning book, You’re Only Young Twice, has been printed in five languages. Her memoir, Little Miss Merit Badge, was an Amazon bestseller and was featured at The Golden Globe Awards. Her children’s book, Seal With a Kiss, is designed to improve skills for beginning readers and is offered at Lindamood-Bell Learning Centers internationally. My Feats in These Shoes will be released in Spring 2021.
Dr. Beaman is an internationally recognized expert on leadership, resilience, fitness, education, and life coaching. She has conducted research in a host of areas, written many academic articles and books, and won numerous awards. She was selected by the Singapore Ministry of the Family as their honored Speaker of the Year and named the first recipient of the National Education Association’s “Excellence in the Academy: Art of Teaching” award. She has been selected as a faculty resource for the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) university in Argentina, Kyoto and India, where she received the highest speaker ratings among 36 elite faculty. She has been featured on major media including CBS and Fox Television, USA Today, and is a national thought leader for American Health Network.
Dr. Beaman earned her doctorate in Leadership at Arizona State University. She is also a certified executive coach and personal trainer with multiple credentials from the Aerobic Research Center. Her family was named “America’s Most Creative Family” by USA Today and she won the SCW National Fitness Idol competition.
If memoirs, done right, tap the right sort of personal journey to ignite fresh insight and inspiration into the human journey, then what better way to humorously and poignantly illuminate the sequential steps and stages of life than with shoes?
“My Feats in These Shoes” is an exuberantly spunky woman’s spirited and irrepressible romp—slips, missteps, leaps, scuffs, and twirls—toward becoming something bigger, something better, something more.
Far from serving up trauma porn (or emotional bunions), this memoir is an upbeat, humorous, affectionate and affecting coming of age memoir that ends each chapter with a ‘Put Yourself in My Shoes’ section for readers to consider their own strides in pursuing an out of the shoe box life.
Welcome to My Bookish Pleasures. We would
love to get to know you and your book! When did you begin writing?
As a university professor and international speaker, I
was writing all the time, but not for me, not as an art or expression of my
“self”…when I turned 40 I wrote my first book, “You’re Only Young Twice” as a
reaction to my own ageing and then my writing took off from there!
Describe your writing process. When and
where do you write?
I have a hectc and varied life, so I commit to one
hour in the morning and one hour in the afternoon, and I stick with that
everyday, seven days a week until I get ‘er done.
Can you tell us about your most recent
My latest book, “My Feats in These Shoes” is my second
memoir. It was inspired by so many people asking how I built the life I have
and wanting to show them that nothing comes easy! Life demands that you step
forward and up, and if you stay standing in one place, none of your dreams will
How did you get the idea for the book?
I am a bona fide shoe-aholic, I have an entire shoe
wall at home, and it occurred to me that each pair is a memento, a souvenir, a
reminder of where I was going and what I did when wearing them.
What was the most challenging aspect of
writing your book?
Delving into my weaker moments, my mistakes and
missteps…not fun, but critical to being a whole person. No one who has lived
any kind of life is unwounded.
Do you find it easier to write nonfiction?
Yes, I think real life and real characters are vastly
more interesting than fictional characters! I can relate to a real person with
Do you have plans to write fiction?
I never say never!
What projects are you currently working
My next book will either be about my college teaching
career or, and I am leaning toward this one, a memoir about building a family
compound and living with my son and his family on one piece of land, called
“Haul in the Family!”
What advice would you offer to new or
aspiring nonfiction authors?
Write for one person, one person you care about,
direct your ideas and ideals toward them. For example, I wrote both my memoirs
thinking of my grandchildren, who would never know me as a young person. Once
you can get your story on paper with that person in mind, you can be sure
others will enjoy and benefit from your creativity and expression.