Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Picture Kills review and meet and greet with author Ian Bull

The Picture Kills (The Quintana Adventures)The Picture Kills by Ian Bull
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Since the war, Steven Quintana has been running from his past. He decides to fill the hole in his heart by using his talent for photography to take pictures of celebrities. This backfires when a photo he has taken is used to cover up a kidnapping. He is then compelled to rescue the victim. Does he succeed or does he die trying? You will just have to read this compelling thriller novel to find out.
I found this book to be a wonderful suspense novel filled with action, drama, loyalty, and humor. The plot is fast paced and flows well. I especially like when he starts naming the bad guys I was chuckling the whole time. I would recommend this to anyone who likes thrillers, dramas, or a dangerous rescue of a damsel in distress.


I would like to welcome Ian Bull to my website today.



 

 

Welcome Donald Please introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?

 

My name is Donald Ian Bull, and my pen name is Ian Bull. I am a husband and a father, I live in Los Angeles, and I grew up in San Francisco. I have been a TV writer, director and producer. Now I edit TV shows and write novels, screenplays and my blog, CaliforniaBull.

 

What genre do you like to write?

 

I like to write thrillers, but with strong female characters. Some people have said I write romantic thrillers, or thrillers with romance, if there is such a thing. Ive only published one book so far, so it may change.


If you were to branch out from your current genre which one(s) would you like to explore?

 

Id write historical fiction, or historical recreations/examinations. I love reading about the past.


How long have you been writing? What prompted you to start writing?

 

I have been writing since I was ten. Ive always wanted to write novels, but the truth is, I didnt have the courage to pursue it. I chose a sensible path that led to writing news for TV, that led to documentaries, that led to TV writing, and screenplays. Perhaps I also have enough life experience now to tackle a novel.


What inspires you to write?

 

I have imaginary conversations in my head all the time (in a good way), always arguing two sides of a conflict. I am also inspired by my own mortality, the problems in the world. Those drive me to act. My family also inspires me, in a positive way..

 

When a story idea pops into your head, how long does it typically take to write it (from start to finish)?

 

Years. Thats because I am writing two hours a day (three on weekends) while also earning money as a TV editor working eight to ten hours a day, and also being a husband and father. I wish I could flop it and edit two hours a day and write for eight!


What did you find to be the most difficult part of the writing process?  Easiest? 

 

The hardest part of writing for me is when I paint myself into a corner with a plot point or a characters behavior and I realize I must back track and fix it. The easiest part for me is to rewrite and edit my first draft. I dont find that difficult, because I do it all day with my TV footage.

 

Of all your characters whom do you most relate to?

 

The main character Steven. Hes great at what he does, yet he knows he could be doing more, yet is plagued by doubt. Thats meand plenty of other people! Id like to be like Carl Webb, but Im not.

 

Is there one of your characters that you did not like when you started writing about them, but found yourself liking by the end of the story?

 

Trishelle. I first made her ditzy, and then my wife pointed out that women have friends for a reason they compliment each other and support each other, even if theyre very different, and Julia wouldnt have a one-sided friendship. Shed have a friend as strong and smart as her, but in a different way. I went back and made Trishelle strong and capable in her own way, with her own vision of the world that is different than Julias. Shes much more street smart and savvy about the ways of the world than Julia is, especially when it comes to politics and men.


What is your least favorite part about writing? The Most?

 

My least favorite part of writing is fighting to find the time to write. My favorite part of writing is finishing a chapter and then telling my wife.


When you are not writing or editing what do you do for relaxation?

 

I read, I swim, I play with my daughter, hike with my wife and cook.


What genre of books do you like to read?

 

I like thrillers, histories, dramatic histories, and contemporary fiction.


What author(s) do you enjoy reading?  Why?

 

I go on kicks. Right now I am reading Karen Russell, who wrote Swamplandia, Vampires in the Lemon Grove and Sleep Donation. I am also reading This Changes Everything, by Naomi Klein about Climate Change. I also love anything by T.C. Boyle and Steinbeck, my favorite California writers. For thrillers, I like John D. MacDonald old school.


Tell us about your books where can people find them?

 

My one book, THE PICTURE KILLS, is available on amazon.com, in print and digital formats.  The sequel, SIX PASSENGERS, FIVE PARACHUTES, will be out in 2015!

 

 

Ian Bull is the pen name of Donald Ian Bull, a TV producer and director turned thriller novelist. His TV credits include The Real World, The Osbournes, and Dr.90210.  He grew up in San Francisco, attended UC Berkeley and then UCLA, and now lives in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter.

 

 

 

 

 




Friday, February 27, 2015

The Garbage Sifter by Barry Jones review and interview.

The Garbage Sifter by Barry Jones
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When Camila Sanchez finds the government documentation regarding the “Wild Ferret Project” partly shredded in her sorted trash she takes it home to processes. As she slowly pieces it back together she instantly realizes it is worth something. In an act of desperation she decides to sell it, she never imagines however that by turning it over to the authorities it would change her life and millions of others so drastically.
This political suspense drama is well written the different timelines and locations flow well with one another. There is enough embedded life drama with the characters to keep you invested in their well being and move the story forward while, not overpowering the true plot. While this book is not my cup of tea I did enjoy it I would recommend this book to anyone who likes political dramas, daring rescues, and deep plots which intertwine many generations.


View all my reviews

I would like to welcome Barry Jones to my blog today.

1) What genre do you like to write?
      
     1. I have written in a number of genres. I prefer near term historical thrillers where readers may be familiar with the basic facts but insufficiently confident in their knowledge that I can add a purely fictitious story.

2) If you were to branch out from your current genre which one(s) would you like to explore?

       2. I am currently branching out to write of an ongoing social situation in Guatemala.

3) How long have you been writing? What prompted you to start writing?
    
      3. I have been writing for a little over six years. I began writing short stories then, at the behest of a friend, joined a story telling group, Explorastory of Hendersonville Tennessee. After I had written over thirty or so, I compiled them into my first book, 'Words Upon A Tombstone'.

4) What inspires you to write?
    
      4. As for inspiration, it varies but never in any forced way. For my first novel, 'Rusted Rails' it was the sight of an abandoned rail line meandering off into the undergrowth. For 'The Garbage Sifter', it was watching an Argentinian garbage collector in the streets of Buenos Aires.

5) When a story idea pops into your head, how long does it typically take to write it (from start to finish)?
   
    5. Once I start a book, it has taken about one and a half to two years to complete. I research quite extensively to try to ensure that my books are believable.

6) What did you find to be the most difficult part of the writing process?  Easiest? 
    
     6. The most difficult part of writing for me is bringing the characters to life. I spend a great deal of time on this and have considerable help from beta readers and members of my writing group, the Nashville Scribblers. The easiest parts are the fast paced chase scenes. There are actually two in 'The Garbage Sifter' and one prolonged one in "Rusted Rails'.


7) Of all your characters whom do you most relate to?

    7. The character I relate to most is Eduardo Rodriguez in The Garbage Sifter, (at lease I'd like to). He's a young, IT specialist who works for the CIA but gets dragged into some pretty dangerous field work

8) Is there one of your characters that you did not like when you started writing about them, but found yourself liking by the end of the story?

     8. As regards the character that I didn't like but ending up liking, well Sinclair, the republican presidential candidate in 'The Garbage Sifter' is my selection. But, by the end of the book, I still didn't like him.

9) What is your least favorite part about writing? The Most?

     9. My least favorite part of writing is proof reading and editing,/re-edtiting...My favorite, apart from the writing itself. is the research.

10) When you are not writing or editing what do you do for relaxation?
    10. As for relaxing, I'm an exercise buff and cycle most days. I also love to travel and belong to the Overseas Adventure Travel group that takes small groups to exotic locations like Patagonia, and Botswana.

11) What genre of books do you like to read?

     11. I read historical thrillers such as the civil war series written by Jeff Shaara. I also read science fiction. The Dune series by Frank Herbart and others is also one that I find fascinating.

12) Tell us about your books where can people find them?

     12. My books can be found on Amazon both as paperback and eBook. 'Rusted Rails' is also available as a Nook book. I also have a science fiction novella, 'The Search for Kindronium 379' available from Amazon as an eBook. 'Rusted rails has been out for a year or so. 'The Garbage Sifter' just issued.













Monday, February 23, 2015

Meet and greet with author R.P. Dahlke with my review of Dead Red Alibi

A Dead Red Alibi (The Dead Red Mystery Series #4)A Dead Red Alibi by R.P. Dahlke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After Lalla’s fiancĂ© Celeb is delayed on the way to their wedding Lela spooks and convinces her father to come with her to Arizona to check out a property which was an early wedding gift from her Aunt. Little did they know soon after their arrival they would land in the middle of a whole mess of trouble that would take a whole lot of ingenuity, luck and some help from cousin Pearlie to dig their way out of. Along the way, Lalla learns about herself and why she keeps running away.
I found this book to be very enjoyable and even though I have not read the previous novels which featured these characters I fell easily into the rhythm of their lives. I would highly recommend this series to anyone who likes Who Done It Thrillers or crime mysteries with a humanitarian twist.


View all my reviews



Please introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?

I am Rebecca Dahlke and I write the Dead Red Mystery series and a romantic sailing mystery series under RP Dahlke


3) How long have you been writing?
 
About 30 years, off and on, but it wasn't until Amazon got into publishing that I saw the potential for putting my books in front of thousands, if not millions, of fans. Now I'm a happy Indie author.

4) What inspires you to write?

 
Readers! I love hearing from readers. I put my e-mail in the back of every book for that express purpose. Did you know that only 1% of readers ever leave a review for a book they like? Good reviews are what influence prospective readers.

5) When a story idea pops into your head, how long does it typically take to write it (from start to finish)?
 
 It may pop, but not every idea becomes a book.  An idea usually stews in my brain. I take notes with a lot of what ifs, and then write it as a premise, then give it a push to see if it works.  If it's not complete nonsense, I'll start working. Start to finish? I'm always an optimist, and then a couple of months into a project I become a realist. It takes me 6-8 months to write a good working readable draft.  Then to editors and beta readers. For me, it's one year from start to finish to publish.

6) What did you find to be the most difficult part of the writing process? 
 
Editing for the 7th time. After I write a book, I never want to read it again! 
 
Easiest?  That's the 1st draft. Then I kick myself around the room with the 2nd and the 3rd draft. Then someone else gets it and they kick me around the room some more.

7) Of all your characters whom do you most relate to?

 
There's a little bit of me in both Lalla Bains and her cousin Pearlie. I am, depending on who you ask: annoyingly  tenacious, opinionated, hard-working, honest, tactless,loyal, impatient, and loving.

8) Is there one of your characters that you did not like when you started writing about them, but found yourself liking by the end of the story?

 
I knew from the moment I introduced cousin Pearlie to the mix in A Dead Red Oleander, that she would be viewed as unlovable, but I had every intention of allowing her to redeem herself, and she does--quite admirably too!

11) What genre of books do you like to read?

 
Mystery, humorous mystery, romance with humor, Romantic Suspense, Historical fiction (with or without mystery in it).

12) What author(s) do you enjoy reading? 
 
I used to love reading books by men; James Michener, James Clavell, Ken Follett, Wilbur Smith, Edward Rufferford--wonderful authors, but now I only read books by women. There are so many great women authors; Sara Donati, Dorothy Dunnett, Diana Gabaldon, and Mary Lou Locke.  

13) Tell us about your books where can people find them?


I write humorous mysteries about an annoyingly tenacious tall, blonde and beautiful, ex-model turned crop duster who, to quote Lalla Bains, says: “I’ve been married so many times they oughta revoke my license.” I wanted to give readers a peek at a not so-perfect -life of a woman who is not afraid of chipping her manicure because she doesn’t have time for a manicure what with herding a bunch of recalcitrant pilots and juggling work orders just to keep her father’s flagging business alive.

Beginning with A Dead Red Alibi, Lalla and her family will reside in South East Arizona where she will divide her time between a fledgling P.I. business with cousin, Pearlie Bains, and volunteering as a team member with  Cochise County Search and Rescue.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Roses and Daisies and Death, Oh My! by Penny Clover Petersen Review with meet and greet.

Roses and Daisies and Death, Oh My!Roses and Daisies and Death, Oh My! by Penny Clover Petersen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After their aunt died she left her entire estate to the Forest sisters. Ready for a change the renovated the upstairs into an apartment and turned the downstairs into a store called Champagne Taste. Everything was wonderful until a series of break-ins started happing in their neighborhood the sisters decided to get an alarm system and a dog. Both turned out to be more than they bargained for especially with their eccentric mother, libidinous dog, an ex-husband, and a murder mystery are thrown into the mix.

     Short in stature but big in heart this little who done it murder mystery is well worth the read the characters are believable and the comic relief of the overactive dog really moves the plot along. If you like mysteries, romance, and animals then this little book is a great read.


View all my reviews

I would like to welcome Penny Clover Petersen to my blog today.




Bio

Penny Clover Petersen began writing at age fifty-nine on a dare from her husband. After years of hearing her complaints that "I could write a better story than this", he suggested that perhaps she should do just that. The result is her first novel Roses and Daisies and Death, Oh My! (released by Intrigue Publishing in December 2013), a modern cozy featuring cocktail loving sisters, Daisy and Rose Forrest, as small town shop owners who just can't seem to get through a day without tripping over a dead body.

 

In addition to writing, she enjoys time with her children and large extended family, likes to refurbish old furniture, and collect family stories and recipes for the ‘family cookbook’. She loves historic homes and is a docent at Riversdale Mansion in Riverdale, MD. She is also the author of several children’s stories, including The Last Elf and An Angel for Jenny and is currently hard at work on her third Daisy&Rose mystery. Penny lives with her husband, Tom,  and three feral cats in Bowie Maryland.






Sally: What genre do you like to write?
Penny: Today I write cozy mysteries for the most part. I have written some stories for children as my own were growing up, but now I am concentrating on novels.
 
Sally: If you were to branch out from your current genre which one(s) would you like to explore?

Penny:I started writing mystery novels about five years ago. I had toyed with the idea for years, but never had the determination to do it. After my husband and I retired, he encouraged me to give it a try. So I did. I wrote my first novel, Roses and Daisies and Death, Oh My and greatly surprised myself.

 
Sally: What inspires you to write?
Sally: How long have you been writing? What prompted you to start writing?

Penny: My family gave me my original inspiration to write. My father and brother were poets and everyone is artistic in some way. I grew up reading and writing anything from book reports to letters to the Editor.  Finally I chose to write cozy mysteries because I’ve always loved a mystery. Every time I would read an article in the paper and I’d ask myself what I would do if, say, I found a dead body in a park or saw a robbery in progress.  I decided it would be fun to create an alter ego who would investigate whatever crime came her way. So Daisy Forrest was born.
 
Sally:When a story idea pops into your head, how long does it typically take to write it (from start to finish)?
Penny: I’m a slow writer. So far it’s taken me about two years to finish each of my books from the time I got the germ of an idea to the point I sent to my publisher for consideration.
 
 
Sally: What did you find to be the most difficult part of the writing process?  Easiest? 

Penny: The hardest part for me is simply making myself do it. I have a bit of ADD and find myself easily distracted. I need discipline and limit myself to two hours a day of writing time.

The easiest part is the research. My books usually have one unusual object that is the center of the mystery – something like a priceless heirloom. I don’t need to do too much research, but I find I really enjoy getting the facts right.


Sally: Of all your characters whom do you most relate to?
Penny: I have created a cast of characters loosely based on my family and friends. Daisy Forrest is, as I’ve said, my alter ego. She says all the things I might mean to, but don’t think of until three hours later. She outgoing, always looks good, has an unlimited income, and is never shy about sticking her nose in where it isn't wanted.


Sally: Is there one of your characters that you did not like when you started writing about them, but found yourself liking by the end of the story?
Penny: I actually don’t dislike any of my characters. Bill Greene, Daisy’s ex-husband, is my least likeable character. He is invaluable as her foil in the first book, but he does become a little more sympathetic in the next.

 
Sally: What is your least favorite part about writing? The Most?
Penny: My least favorite part about writing? Writing transitions passages in the story. I always find this awkward and have a hard time making it flow.
Most favorite? I like writing dialog best. I like banter and a bit of silliness.

Sally: When you are not writing or editing what do you do for relaxation?

Penny: When I’m not writing I try to spend as much time with my kids and grandkids as possible. I love cooking, especially baking, I refurbish old furniture, and I’m a docent at Riversdale Mansion in Riverdale Maryland. I also try to keep up the ‘family cookbook’ made up of recipes and family stories.
 

Sally: What genre of books do you like to read?

Penny: I like to read any type of mystery or thriller. I also read some fantasy, the classics, and the occasional biography.
 

Sally: What author(s) do you enjoy reading?  Why?

Penny: Some of my favorite writers - Janet Evanovich, Ann George, Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, John Grisham, M.C. Beaton. I also enjoy the likes of Jane Austen and Tolkien, and I find myself re-reading To Kill a Mockingbird every other year or so.

For all of these authors, I like the characters. When I read, I find that if I don’t like the characters I just can’t get into the story. For me plot comes second.

 
Sally: Tell us about your books where can people find them?
Penny: Only Roses and Daisies and Death, Oh My is available so far. It’s available in paperback at Barnes and Noble (on-line and in stores, but you might have to order it) and at Amazon.com in paperback and as an eBook.

I hope to have the second Daisy&Rose mystery, Roses Are Dead, My Love, out soon.
 
 
For more information please visit the links bellow.