Guest Chick: Shari Randall

We’re thrilled to have the delightful and talented Shari Randall visit again today as our Guest Chick! Against the Claw, the follow-up to her stellar debut, Curses, Boiled Again, was just released. Shari will be giving away a copy of the new book to one lucky commenter. Take it away, Shari!

Dear Johnson Brad, Please Stop Friending Me

I’ve had one too many fake Facebook friend requests.

They say you always remember your first.

His name was Richard Tony. Sandy hair, easy smile. He’d sent me a Facebook friend request. Yes, the name struck me as somewhat unusual, but I clicked anyway. It was 2014 and I was new to this whole Facebook friending scene. He looked nice and he was a soldier, clean cut, and square jawed. Plus he was friends with many of my friends.

My finger hovered over the Accept button. Was I being un-American, unsure about friending a soldier? But something held me back.

Then I scrolled down, Under “Started New Job” he’d written: West Point – The U.S. Military Academy, New York City. I was pretty sure West Point was not in NYC.

Request deleted.

Since then, scammers using two bland names and photos hijacked from other people’s Facebook profiles have been constant visitors in my feed. To cope, I just call them Two-Name Guys and delete their requests. They’re the ants at the Facebook picnic, the poison ivy in the Facebook garden.

As the years have passed, I’ve gotten better at spotting the scammers, mainly because the scammers have such a hard time coming up with believable names. Still, some profiles stand out.

I really missed my chance with Burton Adam. His profile photo showed a silver haired Army General in a dress uniform with a chest full of medals. Not only was he an Army general, he was also a graduate of the Sorbonne and a surgeon with the UN! Plus he somehow had time to work on an oil rig. Much as I appreciated the scammer’s grasp of intriguing occupations, I did notice that the General’s nametag read “Taylor.” Gotta sweat the details Two Name Guys. Delete.

David Petraeus friended me. Delete.

Certain themes repeated themselves. Yes, military guys. But also oil rig workers. It struck me as believable that someone working on an oil rig in the middle of the ocean would be looking for friends but some of these boiler room hackers aren’t well attuned to believable emotional details. I sense that they’re newbies, new to scamming but also, perhaps, just young. They don’t understand women but they think they do. So they use vague photos of bouquets of flowers in colors that don’t exist in nature, or pics of waterfalls and rainbows with sparkling, ungrammatical messages like “You Love” and “Hearts Will Be Much.”


I felt like I’d unlocked a special level of FB when I received a friend request from Bryan Denny. I’d just read an article about him and here he was! Denny is a real guy whose photos and personal details have been used by dozens of criminals to scam lonely women out of thousands of dollars. You can read about him here:

In the last year or two, Two Name Guys have morphed from soldiers into Guys with Dogs, Guys with Sportscars, and Widowers with Adorable Children. Who lists their occupation as widower? Delete.

Just as technology is ever changing, so are these guys. They’re now on Instagram, up to the same old tricks.

I just wish they’d stop clogging my feed.

About the book:

Finger-licking delicious, Shari Randall’s AGAINST THE CLAW is the second in the Lazy Mermaid Lobster Shack series, of which King’s River Life review said,“The action and intrigue build to levels that will have readers more than ready for the next installment in this suspenseful and very entertaining series.”

Welcome back to the seaside village of Mystic Bay, where someone’s been found sleeping with the fishes. . .

Ballerina Allie Larkin is still back home, healing up from a broken ankle and lending a hand at her aunt’s Lazy Mermaid Lobster Shack. But now that the famed restaurant is branching out into the world of catering, Allie’s help is needed more than ever—even on the lobster boat. The last thing she expects to find once she’s out on the bay, however, is the dead body of a beautiful young woman.

When days pass and not even the police can ID the corpse, Allie takes it upon herself to learn the truth about what happened. Her investigation leads her all the way from the local piers to the secluded estates of Mystic Bay’s posh elite. But how can she crack this case when everyone seems dead-set on keeping their secrets beneath the surface?

About the author:

When she’s not committing murder (on the page, of course), Shari enjoys walking the beach near her house, traveling and eating the local cuisine, reading, and dancing. She’s a librarian, and is the Library Liaison for Sisters in Crime. You can see what’s new with her at and check out her mermaid obsession on Instagram @sharirandallauthor.

Make up a FAKE FACEBOOK FRIEND NAME and post it in the comments. One lucky commenter will win a copy of the second book in the Lobster Shack Mystery series, AGAINST THE CLAW. 

63 thoughts on “Guest Chick: Shari Randall

  1. This is too funny. I made the mistake of accepting a friend request from one of these guys back when I was new to social media. I got a “How are you?” message, replied with something like “Fine, thanks. You?” thinking they were a friendly reader, and proceeded to receive a three-page response about what this guy was looking for in a wife. Now I have sense enough to delete! As for my fake Facebook name, I’ll go with Molly Anna, a mash-up of my cats’ names. Her occupation is Friend Request Deleter!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I watch out for those too, because a lot of authors tend to simply accept Friend requests. I always look at the page and if there’s a tell-tale sign – like a senior citizen woman who hasn’t posted since 2017, I send a message: “Hi, thanks for the Friend request! Due to all the FB spam, I just want to make sure you’re you.” If they write back coherently, accepted! If I never hear back or it’s in broken English or one-word answer – delete.

      It’s good to remember that spammers come in other forms besides generals and widowers!

      Liked by 6 people

    2. Ha, congrats, Liz! I understand that as a married, middle-aged cozy writer I’m irresistible. But, I’ve wondered if our romance writer pals get even weirder stuff!

      Liked by 4 people

  2. Fun post, Shari! Thanks for hanging out today with the Chicks! For my fake name, I think I’ll go with General Monroe Marilyn. And, naturally, I have a large chest to accommodate all my medals. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  3. So funny! I just got a request last week and I felt honored that I would have been that guy’s first friend (had I accepted lol).
    I think I’d be Liz Zee Borden 😂

    Liked by 4 people

  4. LOVE all your names, everybody!

    Shari, thank you so much for this post. I’m going to scan the Friend Requests with a lighter heart next time. (I always feel terrible when I ignore them because I don’t know who the person is…)

    Can’t think of a good fake name. But I’d embrace a title of some kind. Like: Executive Director of Sunshine and Rainbows.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I am skeptical of accepting friend requests from anyone I don’t personally know. Here’s a fake one for you: Hugh Mantu 🙂 Have a great day!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I think everyone can relate to getting spammy friend requests, Shari! I probably don’t get as many as you do, but they seem pretty easy to spot. Though it takes more investigation and confirmation when a spammer uses the photo from someone already on your friends list!

    I already have a copy of Against the Claw, so please don’t enter me into the giveaway.

    Thanks for the fun post!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I always wonder why someone ask for help or a suggestion with a new book or somewhere you’ve traveled. You give them a reply, 10 seconds later you have a new friend request. I don’t think so.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Not to mention the authors who send you a friend request and then, BAM! “Visit my website. Sign up for my newsletter. Friend and follow me at every corner of the Internet and universe. Buy my books, too, while you’re at it. All 42 of them and here are the titles!” (Deeeeelete.)

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Yes!! Yes to everything you said. The widowers with adorable children. The sports cars. The roses. SO MANY ROSES!! I get a lot of the two-first-name names, too, but I have two special ones in my request folder that I haven’t deleted because the names make me laugh: Ebenezer Westfall and Divide William. Thanks for the laugh!!

    Liked by 3 people

  9. LOL, Yes, West Point ins not in the city- It is approx 50 miles north. Having lived there for over 13 years, I am familiar with this area of NY. Great blog. Please do not put me in for the book. I read the ARC- Loved it. I am suspicious of every friend request.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. OK. First, I’m real. But I fit the description of the SR old lady who hasn’t posted in a yr. Until I joined Cozy Mystery Crew & discovered Bead Destash pages. I’ve posted more in the last few months than in all the yrs prior combined. I’ve been on FB since 2009, & found my sister, who I hadn’t seen in over 30 yrs thru it. Just not a big social media fan.But a real old lady. 🙂
    As for my fake name, I feel like this is the old “what would your stripper name be” so I’m going with that. Fluffy Maurice. (1st pet & street I grew up on)
    And, I deleted 2 friend requests like you described in the last 2 days.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Barbara, how wonderful that you found your sister through FB! That shows that social media can be a force for good, despite all the spammers and crazy people out there.

      Liked by 4 people

  11. I didn’t like to get an account separate from my husband, especially when I started getting friend requests from these guys – at least one with a dog, several military.. I wonder how they missed “married” in my profile…How about Mary Married? With occupation of Crazy Cat Lady?

    Liked by 4 people

  12. Loved this post. I do get some unknown requests and delete them but none as interesting as yours. How about John John a man my father knew from school.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Yesterday was the first time I actually had a fake namer comment on one of my posts. Asking how I was. I deleted their comment. 2 minutes later the same person saying hello. Deleted it again and they didn’t come back. Funny thing is my name on facebook is made up. I don’t want to be found, lol. My mother’s is also made up and my older brother too. Nope we are not in the witsett, lol. So here is another name, not one of the ones we use though – Buddy Al Weighs

    Liked by 3 people

  14. I’ve received those requests also and I block them. I don’t know why anyone would waste time sending those kind of requests. A good FB name would Ginger Root.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. I’ve had si many of those. The name not matching the uniform is a huge giveaway. I’m not getting many any more. The last six months has been sparse. Name? Allen Tim.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Jiminy Cricket would be a bells and whistle one for me. lol! I had one come through from a guy who was in the service, supposedly. When he started telling me how beautiful I was, I told him he needed glasses and deleted him. Thanks for sharing Shari Randall’s books.

    Liked by 3 people

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