Wednesday, August 27, 2014

An Interview with Deborah Coonts, author of LUCKY CATCH

Hello All!

I'm very excited to be a "stop" on Deborah Coonts' blog tour for her new book, LUCKY CATCH!!! This is the fifth book in her Lucky O'Toole series set in Las Vegas. I've thoroughly enjoyed this series from the beginning, which is Wanna Get Lucky?

This blog post includes an interview, and a e-giveaway at the end--please use the comments area after the end of the post to win a copy of LUCKY CATCH!

I started out with a few questions borrowed from the Book Brahmin questionnaire from Shelf Awareness:

On your nightstand now:
The Book of Life, by Deborah Harkness  ( I HAVE to see what happens!),  Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty, Power Play by Catherine Coulter, Me Before You by Jojo Moyes and one titled Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen by Susan Gregg Gilmore…I grew up in Texas and have intimate knowledge of many, many Dairy Queens  Although I can’t say I’ve looked for salvation there.  Perhaps that’s what I’ve been doing wrong.

Favorite book when you were a child:

The Moonspinners….okay, everything by Mary Stewart.  And I loved horses so Marguerite Henry was a must—I still have all the first editions.  And then there was Johnny Tremain and  Phantom Tollbooth….  Seriously, you want me to pick ONE????  Impossible.

Book you're an evangelist for:
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield.  Gothic, moody, evocative, the story is pitch-perfect.
And my Lucky books…. If I don’t like them, I’ve got a real problem.

Favorite line from a book:
Love and lust—two four-letter words men often confuse.

I wrote that one—it leads off the next Lucky book, LUCKY CATCH, out August 26th.

I’m a sucker for a good first line…..

Which character you most relate to:
Probably Lucky.  As my aunt so succinctly put it, Lucky is the woman I always hoped to be.

And now, a few questions from me:

What are your favorite things about Las Vegas?

The total silliness of the place.  Where else is it ho-hum to stop at a light only to have a gaggles of six-foot tall young women dressed in g-strings and feathers cross in front of you?  Or go to a bar that is holding a contest with the grand prize being a boob job?

Probably most of all though, I love the emphasis on happiness, having a good time, and being totally non-judgmental.

The food’s pretty darn amazing as well…..and then there are the concerts….

Have you ever had a job like Lucky’s?

No, but wouldn’t it be fun?  Something different every day?  Exhausting, but energizing.

I want to say that one of my favorite things about Lucky is that, for the most part, she is smart about making sure that people know where she’s going—she doesn’t go to the cemetery at midnight to meet a murderer. She’s safe with most of her investigating. Was this a goal for you when you started writing this series?

Thank you!  I have a real problem with the portrayal of women as inept and liable to do really dumb things.  We all make mistakes, but hopefully, we don’t do really stupid things intentionally.  If the female protagonist in any book does something really dumb to put herself in harm’s way, I will throw the book across the room.  I don’t know any women who would go by themselves at midnight to meet the murderer.  And, if a fictional woman does that and bad things happen, I sorta figure she asked for it.

When I set out to write Lucky, I wanted to write about somebody I’d like to know, somebody like my friends—competent, capable, pretty smart, hard-working, and yet, often times confounded by human behavior, especially of the male variety.

I’m working on a new series now (yes, I’ll keep writing Lucky for a bit) where there are no dead bodies…at least not yet  I’m having a great time…it’s set in Napa, so my research has been fabulous  The series will be straight women’s fiction/contemporary romance--that’s where my heart lies.

And there will be no vapid, inept women….except when it comes to men, of course  But aren’t we all a little stupid when it comes to love?

Thank you, Deborah, for answering the questions above, and for having terrific and interesting answers! This has been fun for me, and hopefully fun for you.

Deborah has very kindly offered to give away an e-book copy of her new book, LUCKY CATCH. To enter the contest, please leave a comment below. The contest will close on Thursday, September 4, at 5:00 PM Pacific Time, and a name will be drawn on Friday, September 5.

Happy Reading!

Friday, August 1, 2014

My Turn for 50!

Hurrah! At last I’m 50!

Some people are thinking "Finally!", and others are thinking "Really?", and my favorite people are thinking "No way, Patti can't possibly be 50!" Smiley

I will be 50, as of Sunday, August 3, 2014. I don't feel like I'm 50, and am blessed with looking younger than my age. I'm happy, healthy, I have a wonderful boyfriend, Mike, I have a great job that I love, I love living in Arizona, and my family and friends are happy and healthy; overall, life is very good.

I actually wrote an article that was published in the Arizona Star last month about my work: World's Best Job: Selecting Books for the Library. This was a great addition to my year.

One of the cool things I've been doing this year is receiving birthday postcards from around the world. I requested in April that friends and family send me a postcard from wherever they may be vacationing or from their hometown. This has been a lot of fun, and I'm thoroughly enjoying going to the mailbox! I'd love to receive a postcard if you haven't sent one to me already; email me at superbkwmn1992 at gmail dot com, and I'll send you my snail mail address.

A new interest that has popped up in my life is comic books and graphic novels. This is a whole new world for me, and I believe I have The Mary Sue and to blame for much of this. Also, Dark Horse  published a 6 issue Firefly comic series called Leaves on the Wind, written by Zack Whedon (brother of Joss) and illustrated by Georges Jeanty. That got me into the comic book store, and then The Mary Sue and Tor led me to other comics. Currently I'm reading Ms. Marvel, The Lumber Janes, Star Wars: Rebel Heist, and I have some more graphic novels at home from the library. I never thought I'd be reading comic books at all, let alone at "midlife".

Another contribution to the above was "The Avengers", and the movies proceeding it; "Iron Man" (I and II), "Captain America" and "Thor". I didn't think I'd like these kinds of movies either, but they're a great ride, with superheroes who are interesting characters rescuing everybody. Now we just have to give Black Widow her own movie...

I am also coloring, which many of my friends and family know about. I primarily use colored pencils, and print out coloring sheets from the internet--Pinterest has been a great source for this. I like choosing the colors and seeing how the color combinations work together. I'm not sure what, if anything, is next in the creativity area of my life, but it will be interesting to find out.

I am still very interested in Detroit area sports teams and follow the Detroit Tigers, Red Wings and Lions from Arizona. My Big 10 team is the University of Michigan (my dad and grandfather are alumni), but I also follow the University of Arizona as they are the home town team for Tucson. Mike and I have also been to car shows here in Tucson, and hope to visit Michigan sometime in the future for the Woodward Avenue Dream Cruise.

Of course I continue with my great interest in reading, and my favorite genre continues to be mystery. I also read a little romance (Jill Shalvis and Jennifer Crusie), and quite a bit of fantasy (the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness has been dominating my summer). Coming up for the rest of the year are new books by some of my favorite mystery authors; Margaret Maron, Louise Penny, Lauren Willig, Deborah Coonts, G.M. Malliet, Charles Finch, Deborah Crombie, and more series entries for Jenn McKinlay and Juliet Blackwell. I've cut back on the signings I go to, but in the last few years authors have been coming to me via the Tucson Festival of Books. This past March I moderated a fun panel with Jenn McKinlay, G.M. Malliet and Deborah Crombie. Spending time with these three authors, in addition to catching up with Steve Hamilton and William Kent Krueger made it a great festival for me this year!

Mike and I traveled to Michigan for my parents' 50th wedding anniversary celebration in June. I miss many things about MI, but the humidity isn't one of them! My parents' party went off beautifully; it was the perfect time of year for an outdoor event. Mike and I then spent a week seeing some sights, such as Greenfield Village, the Detroit Institute of Arts and Ann Arbor. We also met up with some of my friends, including a few who also are turning or have turned 50 this year. We had a wonderful vacation, with many people contributing to a great trip for us!

My birthday weekend includes dinner out with Mike and some of our friends, the movie "Guardians of the Galaxy" over the weekend (part of a theme I'm noticing here...), and some reading and relaxing. Sounds like a great way to mark a milestone to me!

Thanks to all who have been or are making my 50th birthday year fun!!!
Happy Reading!