Sunday, December 29, 2013

Planning for the New Year

Well, the new year is almost here. Lots of people make resolutions but I’m not one of them. I’ve done that in the past but I’ve found that it doesn’t work for me. I do like to plan for the year ahead though, which includes scheduling posts for my blog. For the past two years, I’ve done a “Getting to know you” post once a month where I’ve interviewed many wonderful authors. I’ve decided to continue my GTKY posts in 2014 but with a change.

Beginning in January, the post will not be an author interview. Instead, I plan to interview the main characters in some of my favorite mystery/suspense novels. My first guest will be private investigator Sandi Webster, the main character in Marja McGraw’s Sandi Webster Mystery series. I’m curious (and eager) to read her answers to my questions.

Another change to my blog is that, although I love hosting other mystery/suspense authors and will continue to do so from time to time, I will no longer post a "Mystery Author of the Month." But, I will continue to post a "Mystery of the Month," featuring some of the books I've read and want to recommend to my blog readers. 

In addition to scheduling posts for my blog, I’m looking forward to the release of my most recent Malone mystery, Desperate Deeds. A new book coming out is always an exciting time. I especially love hosting a book launch event at Higher Ground, my favorite local coffee shop in Cincinnati. I’ll post the date and time when I have that information. And, last but not least, I’ll be busy in 2014 writing the fourth book for my series.

What are your writing-related plans for 2014? Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Serpent's Disciple by Deborah Stevens

In The Serpent’s Disciple, an ancient evil threatens to take over the Catholic Church and use it to create a New World Order. Thirty years after Pope John Paul’s death, Peter Romanus, the Grand Master of Propaganda Due, sets in motion the plot to kill the pope and supersede him—and take control of major world governments through the Church.

While visiting their father’s birthplace of Pesaro, Italy, the lives of Anthony and Nelli Andruccioli become entwined with the Grand Master’s plot. A 600-year-old family secret and an ancient artifact could save humankind from this diabolical leader many fear is the Antichrist. Anthony and Nelli learn of their family’s deep and ancient connection to Saint Anthony, and they are called to protect the Church: Nelli as the Chosen One and Anthony as one of the Guardians sworn to protect her from the false prophet. Together they must navigate the labyrinth of ancient prophecy and Vatican politics to expose the truth before it is too late.

Deborah Stevens

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have a book in my hand.  Over time my preference for a certain genre of literature we know as  “thriller fiction” was taking over my bookshelves.  Fortunately, my love for this kind of writing is shared by many and the publishing market has responded with the work of many fine writers offering a nearly endless array of quality choices.

I might have remained a reader rather than an author of thrillers, except that my mind began to dream up plots for novels as I listened to the news of events from around the world. At such times, I’d jot down ideas for stories and books, doing so hundreds of times before the fateful day when the idea for Serpent’s Disciple took up residency in my head and then took on a life of its own. 

Given my ancestry- Italian Catholic- the setting for Serpent’s Disciple was probably pre-determined. But as luck would have it, real life events handed me the outlines of a plot that begged to be written and turned into a page turning thriller.  While researching the facts and events that form the background of the book, the characters became living, breathing people taking on a life of their own. The more I researched, the further I found myself led on a journey revealing the next plot twist or the fate of the characters being revealed to me paragraph by paragraph.

The Serpent’s Disciple represents the culmination of yet another kind of journey. Born in Michigan, and a graduate of Michigan State University, I moved with my family to Minnesota.  It was during this period of my life I began to write, but found that as a single mother, I never had enough time to devote to it.  Both my daughters are adults pursuing their own dreams now. I am remarried and continue to live in the Twin Cities circumstances that, thankfully, afford me not only the time to write but also an environment alive with great writers whose work and success proved the incentive I needed to get back to my writing on a more intensive basis.

I hope you will enjoy the novel I’ve woven for your reading pleasure.  Meanwhile, I am already at work on my newest thriller, whose plot - as with The Serpent’s Disciple - is inspired by real life events. 
Deborah is giving away a paper copy of "The Serpent's Disciple" to one lucky person who leaves a comment. 
Congratulations to Leslie Diehl! Deborah will be contacting you for your mailing address. Happy Reading! 


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Getting to know Betsy Ashton

Patricia: Betsy, welcome to my blog. Tell us, what are your favorite things to do when you’re not reading or writing?
Betsy: In the past seven years, I've become very active in local and state-writers groups as well as our arts council. I organize speaker events and book fairs to promote local writers. I attend writer conferences, often appearing as a speaker. I must be in a rut, because all I can think about is helping out writers, listening to the voices in my head ordering me back to the keyboard and crafting story lines and plot twists.
Outside of volunteering, I love long walks in the country, riding around the lake in our boat, visiting my two wonderful grandsons and dancing naked in the sunlight.
Patricia: What’s your favorite color? Why?
Betsy: My favorite color used to be green, especially the new green that emerges on trees in early spring. I love walking under that bright yellow-green of rebirth. Lately, however, red has taken over. Maybe it's because it was my mother's favorite color. I adopted it as my own after she passed over a decade ago. Maybe it's the color I turn if I don't use enough sun block on the boat. Maybe it’s the color of my favorite leather pants. Or, and most likely, it’s the color I turn dancing naked outdoors in winter. Yup. Has to be the latter.
Patricia: How would you describe yourself, personality wise?
Betsy: Irreverent. Snarky. Sassy. Willing to take most double-dog dares. Thick skinned. You have to be thick skinned to be a writer, or you lie bleeding in the grass when you read a less-than-flattering review of your latest book.
Patricia: Do you like to travel? If so, what are some of your favorite places to go and/or what was your favorite vacation?
Betsy: I love to travel. My favorite places for vacation are Japan and Thailand. I’ve studied Zen Buddhism for decades, so returning to Japan, where I spent two years in graduate school, is like returning to a familiar place that has changed beyond recognition. And Thailand because it’s so incredibly beautiful.
Patricia: How would you complete this sentence? If I won a million dollars, I would  ------
Betsy: Be horribly boring in my choices. Never tell anyone about the windfall. Set up college funds for the two grandsons. Splurge on a new car. I have my eye on a Tesla Roadster. Mostly, I’d continue as I am, writing and promoting books every day. Nothing like a dull answer to end a Getting To Know You post.

Bio: Betsy Ashton, born in Washington, DC, was raised in Southern California where she ran wild with coyotes in the hills above Malibu. She protested the war in Vietnam, burned her bra for feminism, and is a steadfast Independent, before she entered the military-industrial complex after her academic career as a student and teacher. She is the president of the state-wide Virginia Writers Club and is the author of the boomer novel Mad Max Unintended Consequences. She also loves riding behind her husband on his motorcycle. You'll have to decide for yourself if and where she has a tattoo.

Links:Amazon: Amazon:

Betsy is giving away a paper copy of "Mad Max Unintended Consequences" to someone who leaves a comment on her post.
And the winner is John M. Daniel. Congratulations, John!