Tuesday, September 13, 2011


I speak to book clubs, libraries, civic clubs and book signings. Inevitably I'm asked if I base my characters on celebrities or people I know.

I use people I've known or strangers that impress me  to craft characters, but while they're important to me, most readers want to know about celebs, so I'll reveal all.

In the Laura Kate O'Connell Plantation Series, I've used Robert Redford's and Sean Connery's facial and personality characteristics. Laura Kate is most like Vivian Leigh as Scarlet O'Hara.

Moriah Dru in THE END GAME looks like Diana Rigg (as Emma Peel). I tried to make Richard Lake look like Warren Beatty, but Lake wouldn't cooperate. As Dru observes, his irregular facial lines and planes come together to make him handsome.

Ann Gavrion's "silvery quality" in THE GHOST SHIP was modeled after the late Carolyn Bessette Kennedy.

Having a "model" helps in "seeing" these characters. But, like Lake, most of my characters have unique appearances and personalities that comply with their actions and attitude. When they act out I have to rethink my visual of them.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Review of A DEAD RED HEART and conversation with newsletter editor and author R. P. DAHLKE, creator of Lalla Bains, ex-model turned crop-duster

Rebecca tells us in her own words:

I sort of fell into the job of running a crop-dusting business when my dad decided he’d rather go on a cruise than take another season of lazy pilots, missing flaggers, testy farmers and horrific hours. After two years at the helm, I handed him back the keys and fled to a city without any of the above. And no, I was never a crop-duster.
I write about a tall, blond and beautiful ex-model turned crop-duster who, to quote Lalla Bains, says: “I’ve been married so many times they oughta revolk my license.” I wanted to give readers a peek at the not so-perfect -life of a beautiful blond. Lalla Bains is no Danielle Steele character, she’s not afraid of chipping her manicure. Scratch that, the girl 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.
I enjoy writing with humor, and if you enjoy my books, I'd love to hear from you! Here's my e-mail:
Rebecca is also the genius behind the:
About All Mystery E-Newsletter
I created this website to explain to readers how All Mystery works:
  • It’s not a website or a review site
  • It’s not like Amazon where you’re locked into buying only from them.
  • It’s not Good Reads where the e-newsletter only promotes NY Times Best Sellers
Instead, this is a monthly e-newsletter that features authors from NY Best Sellers to the rising stars of today.
Each issue has a fun theme to tickle your imagination: British authors, exotic locations, Murder at Work, Paranormal Police Procedurals & PI’s , Historical Mysteries, and Romantic Suspense.
Each feature includes the following:
  • Colorful book covers with click through to the author website
  • Book description
  • Reviews
  • Buy Now click-throughs to Amazon for zippy fast purchase
  • Want to read more about the featured authors, or revisit one you read about last month? A left hand column has all of this year’s author websites.
Join at http://allmysteryenewsletter.com

A Dead Red Heart
By R. P. Dahlke
Reviewed by Gerrie Ferris Finger
BUY: http://tiny.cc/uzywp

I’m a sucker for places I’ve never been and I’m overjoyed when I come across a setting/location that puts me there as R. P. Dahlke does with Modesto, Calif.
Also, I love a kick-butt heroine with a sense of humor and a good heart. Lalla Bains is all that and more. A former model turned crop-duster pilot (sounds weird, but good writing and plotting makes it plausible) Sheriff Caleb Stone is her long-time boyfriend. Their interactions are funny, aggravating or heart-rending. Lalla’s family owns the crop dusting business. Another memorable character is her dad who fights against odds to keep the company going when there are those who'd like to see it go under. If it kills her, Lalla, a woman addicted to danger, won't let them have their way.
The heart of the mystery is Billy Wayne Dobson. He’s obsessed with Lalla. Caleb warns him to stay away from her. But his obsession is too great. Lalla goes to confront him and finds him dying, having been stabbed with scissors. He gasps out some last words. Naturally, feisty Lalla is suspect number one. She determines to find out who killed Billy and why. Take a look at this exchange:
He (Caleb) gave me a piercing look. “Yeah, you. You got that race-horse out-of-the-gate look all over your face.”
“If you will remember, I’m the one who found Billy Wayne, and there are people who expect me to find his killer, namely Detective Rodney.”
“You got something in mind? Never mind. If I don't know, I can’t get in trouble." At my surprised look, he said, "You love this stuff, don’t you?”
Flustered, I sputtered, “Caleb Stone, that’s not fair! What am I supposed to do? He died at my feet and my reputation stays in purgatory until the guilty party is in jail.”
“Deny it all you want, but I know you, you got the bit in your mouth and the chase is on for you, isn’t it?”
I could feel a flush rising up my cheeks. He was right, of course. His words had touched something deep within me and it sounded very much like a starting gun and whinnying race horses. I never felt more alive than when I was this close to touching danger.
“Look,” he said, “you’ve gotten more in one day than we have all week. It’s not a blank check, so don't go overboard and do anything rash; no flashing your fake badge at people."
“But, Caleb…,” I could do without the badge, but it felt good to banter with him again.
“No buts on this.”
R.P. Dahlke (2011-06-05T21:26:50.694000+00:00). A Dead Red Heart (Kindle Locations 1900-1912). Dead Bear Publishing. Kindle Edition.

Posted by Gerrie Ferris Finger
BUY: http://amzn.to/r3imp5