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Author | Blogger | Workshop Facilitator Visit my website at www.authordeelawrence.com to learn more about my romantic suspense novels, Gotta Let It Go and Gotta Get It Back, the sequel. Connect with me online @authordeelawrence (Facebook). Thanks for visiting with me today!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

A Review of Rose Gold by Walter Mosley

When I think of Walter Mosley's novels a couple of things come to mind: intricate plots, flawed characters, realistic dialogue, backdrop that places you right in the heart of a scene and of course Easy Rawlins and you've got the recipe for a great read. Rose Gold was no different and hit the mark quite nicely.

In this novel, Rawlins is tasked with finding Rosemary "Rose" Gold, the daughter of a wealthy weapons manufacturer, who has been kidnapped by a group of revolutionists. The thing is Rose is much of a revolutionist herself but this time she is out of her element and her wealthy father must pay the kidnappers who have already sent a body part to remind him of how serious they are.  But they are no match for the skills and wiles of Easy and his street team who owes him a favor or two.

If that's not a large enough job, throw in finding Bob, a man who morphs into whatever character he decides to be and who is caught up with Rose and now being blamed for murders he didn't commit, a child who is taken from his white mother to be raised by the black side of his family, Easy's complicated love of a woman, etc. - Wow what a journey! Side note: I really missed having Mouse's energy but it was felt through his telephone conversations with Easy.

Two thumbs up! Very cinematic! A must read!

Some of my favorite lines:

"What could you possibly have to say to me?" he asked. "And why would the CEO of Proxy Nine need me to listen?


It was a pleasure to see that the captain of industry could be rocked by just a word. He gazed at the letter in his hand, questioning its origins, and then looked up at me with the same query in mind.

"Where do you come from?"

I went into the story that had been going through my mind the last twenty-four hours. I told him about Moving Day and Roger Frisk, about Tout Manning and being shot at in front of Benoit's Gym.

"Why would the police come to you?" Goldsmith asked.

"I'm a private detective. Not too many my shade of brown in L.A. The cops find that I can get work done where they cannot. Also I know things about the world outside of my neighborhood."

Rating: 5 stars

Image result for rose gold by walter mosley

Monday, June 20, 2016

Interview with Penny Clover Petersen, Author of Roses and Daisies and Death, Oh My and Roses Are Dead, My Love

Author’s 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 Daisy & Rose Mystery Series, modern cozies 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.

Penny lives with her husband in Bowie Maryland. In addition to writing, she enjoys time with her children and large extended family 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 just finishing her third Daisy & Rose mystery.

What inspired you to write your book?
Actually it started as a hobby; I had retired and was looking for ways to fill my days. I had written some stories for my kids over the years, and had toyed with the idea of someday writing a book. With time on my hands I decided to give it a try mainly to keep busy. But as I got into it I realized that I was writing something that I’d like to read.

Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
Growing up in a family of writers and avid readers, I can’t remember when I didn’t have a book in my hand. My mother was a mystery lover and passed it on to me. The two I loved most were Agatha Christie, who had such a wonderful mind for plots, and Dorothy Sayers, who wrote such in-depth characters, both of whom set a high bar for the cozy.   

Is this your first book? How long did it take to start and finish your book?
I’ve written two Daisy & Rose Mysteries and am almost finished my third. I am an incredibly slow writer, so each book takes me about two years to write.

Do you write with an outline, or just let it flow organically?
When I start I know the general plot, who did it and who got done, but I write the first 20,000 words or so without an outline. At that point I go back and summarize what I’ve written chapter by chapter. Then I make a general outline for the rest of the book. Then about two-thirds of the way through I make a firm outline and stick to it.

Do you listen to music when you write? If yes, is there a theme song for this book?
No. I need quiet. I am so easily distracted that music would just have me singing along or dancing.

What are the keys to success in getting your book out to the public?
I have to admit I really don’t know. I am a terrible salesperson and publicist. I am a very shy person and have difficulty putting myself forward. It’s just not in my nature. I do use Facebook. I tweet, and am LinkedIn.  

What advice would you give to new authors?
Write for yourself and enjoy it. For me when writing becomes a chore I will stop. I would also say that anyone who wants to write, must read. Get to know your genre and read critically. If you like a particular book or author - or dislike a particular book or author – understand why and use it to improve your own writing.

How about sharing an excerpt from Roses Are Dead, My Love?

They (Daisy and Rose Forrest) got back to Champagne Taste, put Malcolm in the backyard, and entered the house through the private entrance on the far end of the front porch. Daisy threw the tote onto the small table in the entry hall, and she and Rose ran upstairs to get showers. Dressed and re-made-up Daisy came down the stairs and opened the door in the small hallway that led directly into the shop.

Roscoe (the cat) had pulled the tote off the little table and was batting it for all he was worth.

“What’s the deal, Roscoe? Is there a tiny, little mailman in there?”

As she lifted the cat and started scratching his tummy, the tote caught on Roscoe’s paw and everything spilled out.

Daisy muttered “Oops,” then let out an earsplitting scream as a sinewy, black body slithered through the letters toward her foot. She dropped Roscoe with a thud and jumped back up the stairs.

Rose ran down the stairs and collided with Daisy.  “What are you screaming about?”  

“Snake! Snake! Right there. It’s a snake,” screamed Daisy putting a vise-grip on Rose’s arm and pointing to the table.

“Hells bells! How did a snake get in here?”

“I think we carried it home in that tote bag. What do we do now?”

“First, you let go of my arm. You’re cutting off the circulation.”

“Oh, sorry. I don’t like snakes.”

“Well, where is it?” asked Rose as she cautiously crept down the stairs.

Daisy pointed and said, “Right there, next to the table.” Only it wasn’t. “Oh my God, where is it!”

“Holy mackerel, we have a snake on the loose. Where’s Roscoe?”

The question wasn’t out of her mouth when Roscoe walked in from the shop with something black and slinky wriggling in his mouth. He walked up to Rose and dropped it at her feet where it lay for a moment apparently contemplating its fate. Then it started slithering again.

“Roscoe, pick that thing up,” she yelled as she jumped back onto the staircase colliding with Daisy for a second time. Daisy screamed again even louder and tripped over her own feet almost knocking Rose down the steps.

“Oh for God’s sake, cut it out, would you?” cried Rose as she caught herself.

“Sorry. Again. I just really don’t like snakes,” said Daisy.

“And I do? We need to be calm.”

Roscoe gave them a baleful stare. Then he picked the snake up in his mouth again and sat there waiting for instructions.

“Okay, Roscoe. Outside. Take it outside. NOW!” Rose ordered as she darted past the cat and the snake and pushed open the outside door, then jumped back to the steps. But Roscoe just hunkered down with the snake under his paw teasing the poor thing.

“Look. He’s grinning at us,” said Rose. “Go. Get. Take your friend outside.”

There was a tap on the door and a man poked his head in. “You need some help? I heard someone screaming.”

“Brad! Hi. A little snake problem. We seem to have brought one home with us and Roscoe apparently wants to adopt it. Daisy and I aren’t too hot on the idea, and we’re having trouble convincing him to let it go.” 

He looked down. Roscoe had the snake in his mouth again and was heading back to the shop.
“Stop him!”

In a swift motion Brad caught Roscoe under the legs and pried the hapless reptile out of his jaws. Holding it behind its head, he took it outside.

A minute later he came back in. “All taken care of. Relax. It was only a little black snake. They’re harmless.”

“So I’ve heard. Still, snakes! Ghastly,” replied Daisy with a shudder.

What’s next for you?
I am just wrapping up my third mystery, Pushing Up Daisies. Next I am getting ready to publish a children’s story, Christopher’s Vacation Wish, the story of a little friend who gets left behind, beautifully illustrated by my sister, Christine Clover. 

Where can readers find out more about you and your book(s)?
It’s been a pleasure having you here with us today. I know my readers will enjoy getting to know you and your work.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

You Make Me So, So, So...

There are so many ways one can express themselves creatively (e.g. through acting, singing, dancing, painting, designing, etc.). But words have made it a possibility for me to express myself creatively through writing. I don’t deny myself the opportunity to create scenarios and storylines that pull readers in. Nor do I deny myself the opportunity to create bold characters some of whom my readers have come to love and/or hate.

Writing – You make me so, so, so HAPPY to find that special place to be me. Thanks for allowing me to undress my thoughts on paper. And to all my readers, all you have to do is say YES to wanting more!

Hope you enjoy this snippet from Love, Honor & Contempt, another novel I’m currently working on:

As soon as they sat down at the small table near the window, Eva heard her cell phone buzzing on her desk.

“Aren’t you gonna get that?” Brett asked as he stuffed a piece of pastry into his mouth. “It could be the White House.” He laughed.

“They can wait.” She forced a smile as she took a long sip of her coffee, but on the inside she was a ball of nerves waiting to be unraveled. Her phone continued buzzing.

“Hey!” Brett threw his hands in the air. “Don’t let me stop you from running your business. Gotta use the little boy’s room, be back in a flash.” As soon as he got up his cell phone rang. He answered on the second ring as he walked towards the door. “Dr. Hutchinson. Yes Sam, sure...”

Eva watched as the door closed behind him then leaped to her desk and snatched up her phone. She exhaled when she saw the call was not from the anonymous caller, but belonged to Jackie, her best friend, and keeper of her secrets.

“Whew, girl. What’s good in your zip code?”

Monday, June 6, 2016

Interview with B. Swangin Webster, Author of Let Me Just Say This Series and Stiletto Stalker

Author’s Bio: B. Swangin Webster is the mother of five grown children and the "Nina" of nine grandchildren. She continues to write because if she didn't, she believes she would stop breathing. "Live life with passion" is her motto and this is something that she does every day.

She has recently embarked on an additional career as a radio talk show host on WLVS Radio; Radio you can watch and has become one of their leading hostesses. When she isn't writing, you can find her reading one of her 300+ novels or taking cooking classes. When she isn't doing that, you will find her at her grandchildren’s football games or watching her favorite football team, The Dallas Cowboys.

What inspired you to write your book?
I have always loved reading and just felt that I could do a good job at it. I wasn’t a child to go outside and play; I was the child sitting in my room thinking up stories.

Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
None in particular, but I loved E. Lynn Harris and the way he told a story that most people wouldn’t want to tell. His ‘truth’ and his vivid descriptions had me hooked from his very first book.

Is this your first book? How long did it take to start and finish your book?
No, this isn’t my first book. Most of the time I can write a book in less than three months. It’s my self-editing that takes up most of my time.

Do you write with an outline, or just let it flow organically?
Is that what that is called? LOL, I let it flow organically or until my characters need a glass of water or to go to the bathroom.

Do you listen to music when you write? If yes, is there a theme song for this book?
Yes, I listen to music but there is no theme for the book. Heck, I listen to so many different types of music that the book would be a hodgepodge of genres. 

What are the keys to success in getting your book out to the public?
The key to getting your book in front of the public is to not be scared. You can’t be shy when promoting and talking about yourself and your book(s). This isn’t the type of business that will take on a life of its own. You have to create the life that you want for it.

What advice would you give to new authors?
Actually, I have two pieces of advice. Tell everyone that you are an author. Never undersell yourself. When people ask what you do; tell them you write books. Second, make sure you take criticism. Don’t be so full of yourself that you think you are the best. Uh, No! If you were, you would be on the NY Times bestselling list.

How about sharing an excerpt from your upcoming novel, Stiletto Stalker?

She stood over her and wiped her mouth. She spat out the curse word like it burned her mouth. “All you had to do was get out of my way and let me do what I wanted and this wouldn’t have happened.”
She kicked the legs of the fallen woman from her path and stepped into the kitchen. She picked up the knife and ran her fingers across the blade. The initial cut burned but she was used to that. She just needed a little relief. Why couldn’t they understand that? She turned toward the woman sprawled on the floor in front of her, leaned down and touched her face with the blade.
"Maybe next time you won’t be so stupid as to get in my way.” She pulled the woman’s hair from her face and let the knife glide slowly across her cheek. The blood flowed easily and when she finished, she let the knife fall to the floor.

What’s next for you?
Hmmm, good question. I am going to finish up my romance novel and then hopefully go back out on tour. I’m focusing on getting back in front of book clubs and doing more live events.
Where can readers find out more about you and your book(s)?
·         Website: http://bswanginwebster.webs.com
·         Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/B-Swangin-Webster/e/B0039NQEIW
·         Twitter: https://twitter.com/BSwanginWebster
·         Blog: http://booksshoeswriting.blogspot.com/

It’s been a pleasure having you here with us today. I know my readers will enjoy getting to know you and your work.