Baby Carter

Happy Release Day Baby Carter

Dina is one of the first writers I connected with when I started blogging. That was 8oo+ posts ago. Since then we’ve actually met in real life and she is lovely.

I’m also a fan. I loved Baby Grand and Baby Bailino and have been anxiously awaiting the next book, Baby Carter. 

I highly recommend this series.

ABOUT the Author

Voted one of the best Long Island authors for two consecutive years, Dina Santorelli is the author of the Baby Grand Trilogy, a contemporary thriller series. She has been a freelance writer for 20 years and has written frequently about parenting, travel, entertainment, pop culture, and the military. Dina currently serves as the executive editor of Salute and Family magazines for which she has interviewed many celebrities, such as Kiefer Sutherland, Kate Mara, Michael Strahan, Norman Reedus, Vince Vaughn, James Gandolfini, Tim McGraw, Carrie Underwood, and Kevin Bacon. Since 2010, she has collaborated on a variety of nonfiction titles, and her book Daft Punk: A Trip Inside the Pyramid has been published in several languages. Dina also lectures for Hofstra University’s Continuing Education Department and is a SELF-e Ambassador for the Library Journal. For more information about Dina, visit her website.

About the Book 

When a bomb is discovered in the White House during the first year of Phillip Grand’s tenure as president of the United States, press secretary Jamie Carter takes her daughter, Faith, to the one place she believes to be safe—an address in Wyoming given to her years before by reputed mobster Don Bailino. Bailino—thought to be dead by just about everyone, except recently retired FBI special agent Paul Wilcox—has been laying low out west for more than three years, but is propelled out of hiding to protect the woman he loves and the daughter he’s fathered. Will Bailino be able to keep them safe from this new threat? Or will Wilcox finally get his man? Can Jamie and Faith ever stop running? The explosive finale of the Baby Grand Trilogy.


The Interview:

What can we look forward to with Baby Carter? Is the story a continuation? Which characters are back?

BABY CARTER takes place in fall 2017, about a year and a half after BABY BAILINO’s epilogue, and is a continuation, yes! Phillip Grand is now the president of the United States, and Jamie Carter is his press secretary. Just about everyone is back—everyone who is alive, that is.

Are the locations in the series real places and if so what was your research process like?

The locales in the series are real, for the most part—Albany, Manhattan, and Long Island, New York; Cody, Wyoming; Washington, D.C. I’ve invented some specific locations, such as Taryn’s Diner in BABY GRAND and Bailino’s log cabins, both in New York and in Wyoming. I’ve been a journalist for nearly 30 years and, as you can imagine, have done LOTS of research over the years. For the most part, when it comes to my fiction, I tend to stay away from research and just rely on my imagination. That said, I have taken a few trips to get a feel for places. I visited Albany in May 2010 for BABY GRAND, and also Washington in March of this year for BABY CARTER. I like to mix the real and the imaginary, but beyond that I don’t do massive amounts of research.

Did your characters come to you easily? What was the process like developing them?

They say there are two kinds of writers—plotters and pantsers. I’m the latter. I just sit down with a vague idea of what I want I want to write and the people I want to write about. My characters are formed through the writing itself. I learn about them as I go. Just like the reader.

I love the book covers for the Baby Grand series. Who created them? Did you have input?

I worked with a company called Stonesong ( for my covers. I had lots of ideas for what I wanted and provided input, but in the end it really was the designer’s vision.

What comes next? Is this the end of this series?

Ah, this is the end of the series. It really is bittersweet. These characters have been with me for decades, and now they will live on in the hearts and minds of readers. I can’t think of anything better.

How do you turn off the editor in you while writing, is that even possible?

I cannot. And that editor is a real pain in the butt, I’ll tell ya!  I have to make a conscious effort to allow myself to “just write.” One of my mottos is “Bad writing is better than no writing.” I just keep reminding myself that I’ll edit later. That’s actually very hard for me to do.

The list of talent you’ve interviewed is impressive. Was there a celebrity you interviewed that had you feeling complete fan girl?

I seriously fan-girled when I interviewed Kiefer Sutherland and Norman Reedus—and, especially, James Gandolfini. While I didn’t model my villain, Don Bailino, specifically on Tony Soprano, the complexity of that character inspired him—and me. Also, this year I got the opportunity to interview Maria Shriver, and although I wouldn’t say that I necessarily “fan-girled,” I really was completely in awe of who she is as a person and the message she is putting out into the world—one of honesty, acceptance, benevolence.

What advice do you give that you should take more often yourself when it comes to writing? When it comes to life?

Well, it would definitely have to go back to the editing—reminding myself to just get the words on the page and worry about editing later. That really is difficult for me. When it comes to life? Hmmm… Perhaps I am in front of my computer way more than I should be. I’m always preaching moderation to my kids, but as a writer I find it difficult to pull away. My bloodshot eyes can attest to that.

When it’s time to recharge your creativity where do you go?

I am very much inspired by good writing—whether it’s a book or a film or a TV show—so I would say it’s not necessarily someplace I physically go, but mentally. I also find that I’m recharged when I push myself out of my comfort zone. I recently went kayaking for the first time and felt an incredible rush—not only from my nervousness, but from the beauty of Long Island’s south shore and also from the workout I gave my body. Who knew kayaking was so intense? It was amazing. I returned fully recharged and ready to go—and perhaps even more willing to try something new, writing-wise. A healthy body begets a healthy mind, as they say, and vice versa.

What is your favorite hometown restaurant? What are you ordering?

Ah, this is an easy one. We have a local Cajun place called Big Daddy’s ( that we’ve been going to for years! Depending on my mood, I’ll order the Vieux Caree (voo ca RAY), which is pork and waffles, or pasta jambalaya, or a seafood dish. You can never go wrong at Big Daddy’s.


Baby Carter will be released as an ebook on August 28, 2018, and as a paperback on Sept. 18, 2018!






Join Dina’s newsletter and get a free short story titled “A Baby Grand Story: Bailino,” a companion piece to the Baby Grand Trilogy! You’ll also receive regular updates on Dina’s various books and author events, as well her popular “3 Things I Love.”






When Kirk Stryker, a respected certified public accountant, is brutally murdered in his office in the Long Island village of Gardenia, all eyes are on rival Marty Benning, the handsome newcomer whose high-tech firm has been stealing Stryker’s business and attention. Muriel Adams, a middle-aged mom who has given up on love, falls head over heels for the charming yet enigmatic Benning, despite the warnings of friends and family, and when Benning is arrested for Stryker’s murder, she is the only one to believe in his innocence. Is Muriel blinded by love? Or is Benning playing her for a fool? In the Red is an emotionally charged contemporary thriller that follows the police investigation, media coverage, and political and economic fallout surrounding this high-profile crime, and, ultimately, uncovers a dark underbelly that reveals the dangerous places the heart can lead.


2 Responses to “Baby Carter”

  • Hi Doreen, As a writer and a reader, I enjoyed you interview with Dina. I’d like to know if she has trouble reading books? I do. It’s difficult for the editor and the writer in me to get past the first page of most fiction books. Memoir and biographies are easier for me to read. xoxox, Brenda

  • I’m so glad I got to read this post, I’m always looking for new books and new authors. Definitely going to check Dina out.

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