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Book Review: Blood Moon, by Alexandra Sokoloff

 

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Book Description

Book II of the Huntress/FBI Thrillers

Twenty-five years have passed since a savage killer terrorized California, massacring three ordinary families before disappearing without a trace.

The haunted child who was the only surviving victim of his rampage is now wanted by the FBI for brutal crimes of her own, and Special Agent Matthew Roarke is on an interstate manhunt for her, despite his conflicted sympathies for her history and motives.

But when his search for her unearths evidence of new family slayings, the dangerous woman Roarke seeks – and wants – may be his only hope of preventing another bloodbath.

Purchase BLOOD MOON

Amazon US / Amazon UK / Amazon DE

My thoughts…

This novel was a hell of a ride. Sokoloff has a gift for creating engrossing plots and heart-racing thrillers. I read the first book in the series, Huntress Moon, and although I loved that first instalment, this second one was even better.

First of all, the whole thing about the female serial killer–actually, a vigilante–is quite compelling, especially because our protagonist, Roarke, develops torn, conflicting feelings toward her. And we can’t help but do the same! Sokoloff has done her research well and she incorporates lots of information about the mind of the serial killer. She does this skillfully, however, without including long information dumps like some other authors do. Roarke is a sympathetic hero with a high sense of honor and justice. There are lots of twists and turns, yet the story evolves organically, with the right balance of quiet moments between the thrills. Lots of atmosphere, lots of interesting setups.

If you haven’t read Sokoloff’s novels yet, I highly recommend you do. She’s one of my favorite authors these days and her stories never disappoint. One more thing, although Moon Blood is the 2nd one in the series, it holds well as a stand-alone book, as the author incorporates bits of backstory here and there to quickly draw readers right into the central plot of the series. In sum, if you’re a fan of suspense and thrillers, I strongly recommend you pick this one up. You won’t be disappointed.

Read my interview with Alexandra Sokoloff HERE.

Character Interview: Special Agent Matthew Roarke from Alexandra Sokoloff’s Huntress/FBI thrillers series

character interviews logoWe’re thrilled to have here today Special Agent Matthew Roarke from Alexandra Sokoloff’s new thriller, Blood Moon, Book II of the Huntress/FBI thrillers. Roarke is a 35-year old FBI agent living in San Francisco, California.

It is a pleasure to have him with us today at Beyond the Books!

Thank you so for this interview, Agent Roarke.  Now that the book has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers?

Roarke: There are things that I would do differently, personally. I deeply regret the course of action that led to the events at the end of the book.  Lives were saved but at a terrible cost.  I would give anything to do it over.

Do you feel the author did a good job colorizing your personality?  If not, how would you like to have been portrayed differently? 

Blood Moon.jpg 250 x 375Roarke: I cringe at the obvious ambiguity of my feelings and motives. I can’t blame the author for that, though.

What do you believe is your strongest trait?

Roarke: Relentlessness.

Worst trait? 

Roarke: Relentlessness.

If you could choose someone in the television or movie industry to play your part if your book was made into a movie, who would that be (and you can’t say yourself!)?

Roarke: The author is the expert as far as the film business is concerned. She says Kyle Chandler or Viggo Mortensen.  I defer to her.

Do you have a love interest in the book?

Roarke: If I’m to be entirely honest, I have two.  One would almost certainly be fatal. One might be saving.

At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out?

Roarke:  I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I’ve been apprehensive since the first book. This case is unlike any I’ve ever experienced. There’s no criminal precedent for a female serial killer. There’s no psychological precedent for Cara Lindstrom, period.

If you could trade places with one of the other characters in the book, which character would you really want to be and why?

Roarke: I deeply admire my team member, Special Agent Epps. I wouldn’t say I’d trade places with him, but I would be a better person if I had his balance and moral certainty.

How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away? 

Roarke: It’s not over. I’m not going to leave it this way.

What words of wisdom would you give your author if s/he decided to write another book with you in it?

Roarke: Don’t get in my way.

Thank you for this interview! Will we be seeing more of you in the future? 

Roarke: I’m afraid so. The third book, Wind Moon, is unfolding now. As I said, it’s not over.

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Purchase BLOOD MOON

Amazon US / Amazon UK / Amazon DE

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AlexSokoloff bwABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alexandra Sokoloff is the Thriller Award-winning and Bram Stoker, Anthony, and Black Quill award-nominated author of the supernatural thrillers THE HARROWING, THE PRICE, THE UNSEEN, BOOK OF SHADOWS, THE SHIFTERS, and THE SPACE BETWEEN, and the Top Ten Amazon bestselling Huntress/FBI thriller series (HUNTRESS MOON, BLOOD MOON), which has also been nominated for a Thriller Award for Best E Book Original Novel. The New York Times Book Review has called her a “daughter of Mary Shelley,” and her books “Some of the most original and freshly unnerving work in the genre.”

As a screenwriter she has sold original horror and thriller scripts and adapted novels for numerous Hollywood studios. She has also written two non-fiction writing workbooks: SCREENWRITING TRICKS FOR AUTHORS and WRITING LOVE, based on her internationally acclaimed workshops and blog, and has served on the Board of Directors of the WGA, west and the Board of the Mystery Writers of America.

Find the author on the Web: 

Website: http://alexandrasokoloff.com

Blog: http://www.screenwritingtricks.com

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/alexandra.sokoloff

Twitter: http://twitter.com/AlexSokoloff

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/axsokoloff/

 

 

Character Interview: Veronica Vasquez from R. Barri Flowers’ crime thriller, BEFORE HE KILLS AGAIN

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We’re thrilled to have here today, Special Agent Veronica Vasquez from R. Barri Flowers’ crime thriller, BEFORE HE KILLS AGAIN. Veronica is a thirty-five year old Criminal psychologist and profiler with the FBI’s Serial Killer Unit., living in Washington, DC, but visiting Portland, Oregon.

It is a pleasure to have her with us today at Beyond the Books!

 

Thank you so for this interview, Veronica. Now that the book has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers? 

 

Yes, I believe the book was pretty accurate in its depiction of me as a career FBI criminal psychologist, a widow still hoping to find love again, and a sister seeking to reestablish the bonds with my estranged sister. 

 

That said, I would like to tell the readers that I didn’t run away from my hometown of Portland for the sake of running away, per se, but rather because it was time to start a new life. Though there have been some regrets along the way, I firmly believe that things happen as they were meant to, for better or worse. 

 

Do you feel the author did a good job colorizing your personality?  If not, how would you like to have been portrayed differently? 

 

Before He Kills Again_CoverYes, the author was spot on in colorizing my personality. I am basically the same down to earth, yet analytical character with an open mind as a profiler and tender heart for those who mean something to me as illustrated. Like other people, I have a few flaws and am continually trying to rectify them. 

 

What do you believe is your strongest trait?

 

My dedication to the job, even as other things were falling apart in my life. An honorable mention would be a willingness to look at the big picture while zeroing in on the smaller one. 

 

Worse trait? 

 

My worst trait is perhaps a stubbornness that I inherited from my mother—in which I can be pretty inflexible to my own detriment. It’s something I’m working on. 

 

If you could choose someone in the television or movie industry to play your part if your book was made into a movie, who would that be (and you can’t say yourself!)? 

 

That’s a great question. If it were a television movie, it would definitely be Kelli Giddish, who resembles me physically and is a great actress. For a motion picture, I would say that Kate Hudson or Amanda Seyfried would be ideal choices to play me. If they decided on a British actress, I’d love to see Dominique McElligott in the role. 

 

Do you have a love interest in the book? 

 

Yes, I am happy to say. Things between me and Homicide Detective Sergeant Bryan Waldicott of the Portland Police Bureau become pretty intense as the story moves along.

At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out? 

 

I would say about three-quarters of the way when I think I’ve got the bead on the serial killer and am forced to look in a different direction, unsure just who the unsub is. 

 

If you could trade places with one of the other characters in the book, which character would you really not want to be and why? 

 

I definitely wouldn’t want to be the killer that’s for sure, because he’s going down—if I have any say in the matter. 

 

Beyond that, though I love my sister Alexandra, I wouldn’t want to be in her shoes. Mainly because it would just be too weird as we know each other too well (not always a good thing). Also, I don’t get along too well with her new husband and certainly wouldn’t want to wake up one morning and find that I was married to him.

 

How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away? 

 

I feel it was really a great ending—everything you would expect in a good thriller with a heart pounding conclusion that wraps up everything while leaving open the door to the future.

 

What words of wisdom would you give your author if he decided to write another book with you in it? 

 

I would tell him to keep my character three-dimensional while exploring new ways for me to do my job and pursue a social life. 

 

Thank you for this interview, Veronica. Will we be seeing more of you in the future? 

 

You certainly will. BEFORE HE KILLS AGAIN is the first in a new crime series, starring me as a tough but vulnerable FBI criminal psychologist and profiler, ready to do my part in solving cases and bringing perps to justice; along with continuing an exciting new romance and exploring its potential. 

 

Thanks for interviewing me. It was fun. Hope to do it again sometime.

 

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R. Barri Flowers is an award winning criminologist and internationally bestselling author of more than sixty books–including thriller and suspense fiction, relationship fiction, young adult mysteries, true crime, and criminology titles.

Bestselling mystery and thriller fiction, including SEDUCED TO KILL IN KAUAI, MURDER IN MAUI, MURDER IN HONOLULU, KILLER IN THE WOODS, DARK STREETS OF WHITECHAPEL, STATE’S EVIDENCE, PERSUASIVE EVIDENCE, and JUSTICE SERVED.

Author Photo R Barri FlowersOther novels by the author include the bestselling relationship novel, FOREVER SWEETHEARTS, and young adult novels, COUNT DRACULA’S TEENAGE DAUGHTER, GHOST GIRL IN SHADOW BAY, and DANGER IN TIME.

Flowers has also written a number of bestselling true crime books, including THE SEX SLAVE MURDERS, THE PICKAXE KILLERS, SERIAL KILLER COUPLES and MASS MURDER IN THE SKY. He was editor as well of the bestselling anthology, MASTERS OF TRUE CRIME.

The author has been interviewed on the Biography Channel and Investigation Discovery.

Official Website: http://www.rbarriflowers.com/

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R._Barri_Flowers

Video Introduction to Author: http://youtu.be/kKvkXirbpgM

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/R.-Barri-Flowers/e/B000APKBLI

Twitter: http://twitter.com/RBarriFlowers

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/rbarri.flowers?ref=ts

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/rbarriflowers/

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=52919163&trk=hb_tab_pro_top

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/#102817962533514256321/posts

MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/crimewriter_rbarriflowers

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/authorrbarriflowers

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&query=r.+barri+flowers

LibraryThing: http://www.librarything.com/author/flowersrbarri

 Blogs:

Mystery Fiction Blog: http://www.mysterywriters.org/?q=node/334

Thriller Fiction Blog: http://hawaiimysteriesauthorrbarriflowers.blogspot.com/

True Crime Blog: http://rbarriflowers.blogspot.com/

Young Adult Fiction Blog: http://bestsellingteenfiction.blogspot.com

Audio Books Blog: http://authorrbarriflowers.wordpress.com/

 

 

 

Interview with Sharon Donovan: ‘It’s a tough journey that can only be achieved through blood, sweat and tears’

Sharon Donovan lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with her family. Prior to the loss of her vision, she worked as a legal secretary for the Court of Common Pleas where she prepared cases for judges in Domestic Relations. Painting was her passion. When she could no longer paint, she began taking creative writing classes. Today, instead of painting her pictures on canvas, Sharon paints her pictures with words. Mask of the Betrayer is her latest book. Other books by Sharon are Echo of a Raven, The Claddagh Ring, Touched by an Angel and Lasting Love. Her Biggest Fan and Charade of Hearts are coming soon. You can visit Sharon at her website at www.sharonadonovan.com or connect with her on facebook at www.facebook.com/sharon.a.donovan.

Q: Welcome to Beyond the Books, Sharon.  Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?

Multi-published.

Q: What was the name of your very first book regardless of whether it was published or not and, if not published, why?

Raptured was the first book I wrote, but certainly not the first book published. It went through several years of revisions, rejections and title changes before it was published as Mask of the Betrayer.

Q: For your first published book, how many rejections did you go through before you either found a mainstream publisher, self-published it, or paid a vanity press to publish it?

My first book published was Touched by an Angel, a short story. It was accepted the first time but went through three revisions.

Q: How did the rejections make you feel and what did you do to overcome the blows?

Raptured is the first book I received the most rejection letters for. Sadly, the count was 21. The first rejection letter felt like a stab in the heart. After the first string of rejection letters poured in, I took a long, hard look at my manuscript. Deciding I needed to better learn the craft of writing before attempting to submit again, I enrolled in creative writing classes, learned how to take constructive criticism, joined writers groups, attended conferences and read all that I could in the genre of which I love. Suspense.

Q: When your first book was published, who published it and why did you choose them?

The Wild Rose Press published my first book and I chose them because I met a contact at a writers’ conference. It really pays to network.

Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?

It was like receiving a reward after a long, hard battle.  My family took me out to dinner to celebrate.

Q: What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?

Had a website built and a blog. A website showcases my professional side, my books, reviews and videos. My bio and contact information is also listed here. My blog is a personal side of me, listing my interests, things I’m doing as well as author interviews to promote fellow authors. I joined every networking group that I could, did guest blogs and interviews to get the word out.

Q: If you had to do it over again, would you have chosen another route to be published?

No. Looking back, there are always things I might have done differently, but for the most part, it’s a tough journey that can only be achieved through blood, sweat and tears.

Q: Have you been published since then and how have you grown as an author?

I always remember the words of my first writing instructor. She said that the first book written is seldom the first book sold. It made no sense to me at the time, but it does now. My first book wasn’t published for so long because it lacked the skills necessary to make it acceptable. My first book was rejected 21 times and went through several rewrites and several title changes before getting published. I grew as a writer over the years because I learned how to take criticism. If a reader is confused or is dozing off at what you consider a pivotal point in your story, something is wrong. Ultimately, the goal of an author is to please the reader and make them want to read more. I learned that I’m a better writer than I was yesterday, but not as good as I will be tomorrow.

Q: Looking back since the early days when you were trying to get published, what do you think you could have done differently to speed things up?  What kind of mistakes could you have avoided?

Know everything about the genre in which you want published. Read it, research it, live it. I wasted a lot of time and energy trying to sell my book to literary houses that were not a good fit for my book. Know precisely what your genre and subgenre is and take all the guidelines each publisher writes seriously. If one thing is the slightest bit off, it will be rejected.

Q: What has been the biggest accomplishment you have achieved since becoming published?

Being called an author, receiving rave reviews, being nominated and receiving awards, and book signings.

Q: If you could have chosen another profession, what would that profession be?

I didn’t choose writing as a profession. Contrary to most authors, I never enjoyed writing. I loved to paint and painting picturesque scenery was my passion. My career was as a legal secretary where I prepared cases for judges in the Court of Common Pleas. In my early twenties, I developed diabetic retinopathy, a condition that can lead to progressive blindness. For the next two decades, vision came and went. After one fateful surgery, I lost all vision and all hope. But when I attended a program for the blind and learned how to use a computer with adaptive software, converting text to synthesized speech, a new dream arose. Needing to channel my creative muse, I decided to try my hand at writing. And after a long and winding road, it did. Today, instead of painting my pictures on canvas, I paint my pictures with words.

Q: Would you give up being an author for that profession or have you combined the best of both worlds?

I would say I made lemonade from lemons.

Q: How do you see yourself in ten years?

That’s up to God. I’ve learned the hard way to live each day to the fullest and make each day count. We never know what the morrow will bring.

Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?

Never give up on a dream. Decide what you want and go after it. Reach for the stars.


Special Note: Sharon, unfortunately, won’t be here with us today because she had a heart attack and is still in the hospital but is on the road to recovery. If everyone would please keep her in your prayers, we would greatly appreciate it. We at Beyond the Book wish her a speedy recovery!  If you wish to leave a comment, please do so at www.sharondonovan.blogspot.com.  Get well, Sharon!

Interview with L.G. Bradshaw: ‘Don’t give up and believe in yourself’

L.G. Bradshaw lives in Minnesota.  He served in the United States Army and worked in law enforcement for 14 years, witnessing all manner of human depravity, some of which haunts him to this day.  Dot to Dot is his first of many novels.  He has finished writing two others, and is working on a fourth.  Check out his website: www.lgbradshaw.com.

Q: Welcome to Beyond the Books, L.G.  Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?

Thanks.  Dot to Dot is my first published novel.  Since leaving my career in law enforcement, I’ve been writing full time.  I’m working on other novels right now.

Q: What was the name of your very first book regardless of whether it was published or not and, if not published, why?

Dot to Dot is my very first book.  Not the last, though!

Q: For your first published book, how many rejections did you go through before you either found a mainstream publisher, self-published it, or paid a vanity press to publish it?

I received a hand full of rejections before deciding to self publish Dot to Dot.  It was so rewarding to receive that first copy in the mail.  Very emotional.

Q: How did the rejections make you feel and what did you do to overcome the blows?

Frankly, any kind of rejection sucks.  But, that’s life.  You have to believe in yourself, even when others can’t readily see what you have to offer.  It doesn’t really matter what others think of you or your work.  The only thing that matters is what you think of yourself.

Q: When your first book was published, who published it and why did you choose them?

Dot to Dot was published through CreateSpace.  I chose them after reading several reviews.  They were great to work with.  Professional and very thorough.

Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?

Like I mentioned earlier, receiving the very first copy of my novel – holding it in my hands and smelling the fresh print – was very emotional.  As for the celebration, my sons and I went to McDonalds.  They wanted happy meals!

Q: What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?

My first promotion I did through Face Book.  Got a lot of great feedback, too.  People really seemed to enjoy the book, one character in particular: a ten year old boy who deals with his mother’s abusive boyfriend in a very interesting way.

Q: If you had to do it over again, would you have chosen another route to be published?

I’m very pleased so far with the route I have chosen.  Frankly, after having spent 14 years in law enforcement, the world of publishing is all new to me.  I’m learning, though.

Q: Have you been published since then and how have you grown as an author?

Dot to Dot is my only published work as of now.  That’s going to change, though.  I have two other finished manuscripts, and recently started work on a fourth.

Q: Looking back since the early days when you were trying to get published, what do you think you could have done differently to speed things up?  What kind of mistakes could you have avoided?

Honestly, I have no idea what else I could have done different.  Like I said, the publishing world is all new to me.  I’m looking forward to learning a lot more about it, though.

Q: What has been the biggest accomplishment you have achieved since becoming published?

I recently attended my first book club meeting with a group of women who read my book.  I felt honored that they took the time to read Dot to Dot.

Q: If you could have chosen another profession, what would that profession be?

Nothing else!  I want to write.  That’s it.  I worked in law enforcement for 14 years, and that was rewarding in its own way.

Q: Would you give up being an author for that profession or have you combined the best of both worlds?

I feel like I’ve combined the best of both worlds.  I learned a lot and witnessed so much while working as a police officer.  Some of those things seep into my writing.  It’s inevitable, really.

Q: How do you see yourself in ten years?

In ten years I see myself as a happy person focused on my family.  I will have published several more novels, and that will be fulfilling on a personal level.  That can’t take the place of the relationships I will build along the way, though.

Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?

Don’t give up and believe in yourself.  Forget what everyone else says and do your own thing.  If you succeed, cool.  If not, fuck it, who cares.  In the end, we all die.  Might as well enjoy the ride.

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