Dec 142018
 

Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Kid Case
by Rosalind Barden


Welcome, Rosalind! 

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m hopelessly creative, with a whimsical way of looking at the world, when I’m not looking at the world with a pair of satirical glasses, that is.

What are three things most people don’t know about you?

Yes, my hair is real; 2) I’m a decades-long vegetarian/mostly vegan; 3) No, I don’t understand why I’m not thin.

What is the first book you remember reading?

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish” by Dr. Seuss, and “Put Me in the Zoo,” by Robert Lopshire. In a burst of de-cluttering awhile back, I gave away “Put Me in the Zoo,” and have regretted it ever since.

What are you reading now?

I typically read several books at the same time. The first book I’m reading is the short story collection “Arithmophobia” by Ruschelle Dillion. It’s published by Mystery and Horror LLC, which also published “Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Kid Case.” I’m enjoying the darkly humorous, well-constructed stories in “Arithmophobia” that weave around the theme of numbers. Intriguing stuff.

I’m also re-reading two books I picked up on a whim from the Homer Bookstore: “Tails of a Dogsitter” by Karen Roush, and “Invisible Ink,” an anthology of short stories by Homer authors edited by Joyce Baker Porte. I think these two books have possessed me. By the way, it’s worth going to Homer, Alaska for this bookstore, in my opinion. Homer is an interesting place.

I regularly re-read books that I’ve enjoyed in the past. That’s why I find it so hard to give them away even though I probably should be “de-cluttering” them. I like being surrounded by interesting books.

What made you decide you want to write?

I always assumed I’d be a writer. I liked telling stories and reading stories from as far back as I remember. My Mom was a big influence on me. She was a creative person who did some writing too. She always encouraged my creative pursuits and believed in me. I remember our frequent trips to the library where me and my siblings camped out in the children’s section, while she headed to the biographies, her favorite section. She’d buy us kids plenty of books too, even though we lived on a tight budget (“Put Me in the Zoo,” for example). I was raised with books. Not everyone is, so I’m really lucky to have had a Mom like that.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

I have my laptop on a table where it fits. I write where I can. I also write long-hand in paper notebooks if I’m out and about. Got tired of lugging my laptop around. Plus, I worry about someone snatching my laptop (and all my writing-in-progress!). There’s not a lot of resale value in used paper notebooks, so less snatching worries there. I do have a fantasy of a dedicated writing office with a sublime view, lots of shelf space for my books, and a couch where I can drowsily dream of new ideas.

Do you write at the same time every day?

No. For me, that’s not practical. I write when I can.

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

Everywhere. The seed of an idea will come into my head, and then I let my mind wander from there. I usually don’t remember where the original little bit of an idea came from. There are exceptions. For “American Witch,” I vividly remember watering the backyard where I used to live, and it was like the character of George came right up beside me. So, of course, I had to write his story. I’ve never had another character come to me so strongly. “American Witch” probably is the best I’ve written, and I wish it’d gotten a wider readership. But that’s the challenge of self-publishing. It’s tough to promote, which is something I learned from that book. I’m making more of a promotion effort nowadays!

What books have most inspired you?

It’s challenging to narrow my list down, because I read so much and am inspired and impressed by so many books and writers. I may have a different answer tomorrow, but today, here goes: “King Rat” by James Clavell and “Catch-22” by Joseph Heller for their dark satire. Same for “Bonfire of the Vanities” by Tom Wolfe. Tom Wolfe’s writing style amazes me. His words bounce off the page with impertinent glee. I confess I have been known to “borrow” some of his favorite style bits. Douglas Adams and P.J. Wodehouse inspire me for their satire of the lighter variety. The first two “Harry Potter” books by J.K. Rowling are my favorites from the series. “Five Children and It” by Edith Nesbit because it’s slyly subversive. I enjoy older humorous books and short stories, like Robert Benchley’s essay collection, “My Ten Years in a Quandry,” Josephine Dodge Daskam’s short story “A Study in Piracy,” and cozy mystery “The Haunted Bookshop” by Christopher Morley. “Ghosts, A Treasury of Chilling Tales Old and New” selected by Marvin Kaye also comes to mind. Douglas Clegg’s books are dark and impossible to put down. Going back to my early reading years, “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak influenced me. I desperately wanted to take that boat to the island with the Wild Things. I did rig up a “boat” and hoped I’d have the same result as Max in the book, but no such luck. Maybe I’ll try again later.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Finding the time. That’s the toughest. Not many people understand that a writer needs a lot of time to sit down, create, revise, plus daydream about the concept in the first place. It’s hard to tell a friend I can’t do something over the weekend because that’s the only free weekend I’ve had in awhile and I desperately want to stay in to write. People tend to become upset.

And the promotion. In this day and age, writers also have to be marketers. It eats up precious writing time, and to me, it’s harder than doing the writing itself. The exception is meeting readers in person at book signings. That’s fun. But trying to puzzle out promotion dos and don’ts? Not so fun. Because I write in different genres, my “brand” is elusive, which is a big frowny-face in book marketing. I remain hopeful that readers with a sense of humor will discover my work and be patient that I don’t fit neatly within a brand.

What do you think makes a good story?

Wanting to turn the page and keep going. Also thinking about the book, the characters, the scenes long after I’ve finished reading. Deciding to give the book another read after a couple of years, or couple of months. Third read, then fourth read. I once told another writer that I’d read “Bonfire of the Vanities” twenty times. She didn’t believe me, but it’s true. Tom Wolfe is a word master and I love his sentences!

Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

I’m in every story I write, sometimes more, sometimes less. For “Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Kid Case,” there’s a lot of Sparky in me. Sparky is resourceful, adventurous, but misunderstood, which I think describes me.

Why did you pick your particular genre?

I’ve been toying with mysteries for a long time. They’re challenging to write, because they have the puzzle solving element. But that’s what makes mystery writing interesting. “Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Kid Case” grew out of my short story “The Monkey’s Ghost,” which appears in the short mystery anthology, “History and Mystery, Oh My!” published by Mystery and Horror LLC in 2015. Some of the characters are the same, though I made Marigold older in “Sparky.” The main characters in “Sparky” are new, except silent screen vamp, Tootsie, who is pulled from another, unpublished short story of mine. That story explains Tootsie’s early, pre-stardom days that are only eluded to in “Sparky.”

Of course, I also write horror and sci-fi, because I enjoy reading them. My novel “American Witch” is dark satire because, again, I enjoy reading satire. I love picture books, which explains why I wrote and illustrated “TV Monster.” Picture books are an art form in their own right. I love to read many types of books, which leads me to write many types!

What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

I don’t think there’s another humorous, noir, 1930s, Los Angeles, Young Adult mystery novel out there besides “Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Kid Case.”

What’s next on the horizon for you?

I’m currently writing book two in the “Sparky of Bunker Hill” series, tentatively titled, “Sparky of Bunker Hill and the No Nose Knucklehead.” After that, “Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Monkey Island Murder.” Sparky bumps into one challenge after another in both books.

In “No Nose Knucklehead,” life gets really real, really fast for Sparky. Bobby, the bum, is out of town with his cozy family so is no help whatsoever. She’s got to handle the mess (it’s a big mess) on her own. And find out who the real cannibal is.

In “Monkey Island Murder,” she goes back to school, which is tough for independent, smarty-pants Sparky. Will any of the other kids ever talk to Sparky? And what’s with the escaped gorilla?

Thank you, Rosalind, for visiting today. 

Keep reading to find out about Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Case Kid

 

About the Book


Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Kid Case
Young Adult Mystery
Mystery & Horror, LLC (October 9, 2018)
Paperback: 216 pages
ISBN-10: 1949281027
ISBN-13: 978-1949281026
Digital ASIN: B07H49P46T

Lots of characters have it bad, in my Bunker Hill neighborhood smack dab in the middle of Los Angeles, but I’ve had it rougher than most.
There may be something to this 13th business.

That’s my birthday, and I’m learning to dread seeing it roll around. My mother died on one birthday. The cousins dumped me on my last. This year, 1932, I found a dead kid on a park bench. It’s my eleventh birthday, and the day me, Sparky, ended up on the run, wanted for murder.

If the dead girl wasn’t enough, the dirty newspapers pinned every body in LA on me, and even blamed me for the Great War. I wasn’t even born then. The price on my head got bigger by the day.

It was up to me to find out who killed the girl and why I got framed, before I ended up dangling from the hangman’s rope.

Praise for Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Kid Case
by Rosalind Barden

What a fun, exciting adventure book! . . You just can’t help loving Sparky and her way of thinking and talking.
~Here’s How It Happened

About the Author

 

Over thirty of Rosalind Barden’s short stories have appeared in print anthologies and webzines, including the U.K.’s acclaimed Whispers of Wickedness. Mystery and Horror, LLC has included her stories in their anthologies History and Mystery, Oh My! (FAPA President’s Book Award Silver Medalist), Mardi Gras Murder, and four of the Strangely Funny series. Ellen Datlow selected her short story “Lion Friend” as a Best Horror of the Year Honorable Mention after it appeared in Cern Zoo, a British Fantasy Society nominee for best anthology, part of DF Lewis’ award-winning Nemonymous anthology series. TV Monster is her print children’s book that she wrote and illustrated. Her satirical literary novel American Witch is available as an e-book. In addition, her scripts, novel manuscripts, and short fiction have placed in numerous competitions, including the Writers’ Digest Screenplay Competition and the Shriekfast Film Festival. She lives in Los Angeles, California. Discover more at RosalindBarden.com

Author Links
Website Amazon Author Page 

Purchase Links – Amazon – B&N

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December 13 – Here’s How It Happened – REVIEW
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Mar 222013
 

right where i belong

Right Where I Belong
Young Adult Christian Fiction
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (December 11, 2012)
Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1401684907
E-Book File Size: 502 KB
ASIN: B008GVYWJU

Right Where I Belong

Natalia’s about to discover her place in the world . . . and it’s not following in her father’s footsteps.

Natalia’s father is about to get divorced again. His business is his top priority and plans for her to take over his business. Her mother is more concerned with her career and doesn’t have much time for her daughter. Natalia has really bonded with her current stepmother. Maureen has introduced Natalia to Christ and Natalia wants to learn more. When Maureen tells Natalia she will be moving home to Florida after the divorce she is devastated. She needs Maureen and actually decides to move from Spain to Florida too. Her parents think living in the States would be wonderful for her college prospects so they put no obstacles in her way. It is not long before Natalia realizes Maureen needs her too. Together they embark on a journey following the paths set by a higher power.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
This was a beautiful story of a woman’s continuing journey with Christ and a young woman’s awakening in the awesomeness of the Lord. The behavior of her parents seriously marred her outlook on life. She never wanted to date or fall in love because she has a bird’s eye view of the heartbreak that occurs when someone falls out of love. Her father treated woman as things not humans with feelings. Moving away was just what she needed to open her eyes and her heart to the joy the world can provide.

Perfect way for today’s teens, Right Where I Belong is loosely based on the Bible’s story of Ruth. Her stepmother brought her the Good News of Christ and Natalia is still learning about her faith. She does want to share her awakening with everyone.

In Florida, she attends a Christian High School that is so different from her school in Spain. There were few Christians in Spain and they rarely discussed their faith. But the real adjustment was the language. Natalia spoke English well but she didn’t speak American teenage slang. It was a treat to learn the ways of American teens from the way they dress to the way the speak including the phases that roll so easily off our tongues but are truly confusing when words are dissected.

The story is brilliantly written with rich, warm, real characters. It is a Christian novel but it doesn’t preach. It is a perfect book for teenagers and those of us who are young at heart. It was an amazing fast read and I recommend it highly. I found JOY within the pages of Right Where I Belong. and think you will too.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

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About This Author
Krista writes for teens, teaches teens, and more often than not, acts like a teen. She and her family have lived and ministered in Texas, Costa Rica, and Spain. Her current hometown is Tampa, FL.

Find out more on her webpage here.

Be her Fan on GoodReads here.

Like her Author Page on Facebook here.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Sep 182012
 

Bras, Boys, And Blunders in Bahrain
(Young Adult Romantic Comedy Set in the Middle East)

E-Book File Size: 484 KB
Print Length: 222 pages
ASIN: B0089P7G14

Bras, Boys, and Blunders: Juliet & Romeo in Bahrain

 

What’s a girl gotta do to get her first bra, her first kiss, her first love?

If you thought the Middle East was all about fatwas and burkhas, think again. Join the fun as Veena, a naive teen from India, bungles her way through adolescence on the island of Bahrain.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

A great escape filled with laughter and teenage angst. Girls in the Middle East aren’t very different than girls in the U.S. The girls in the story had to live with a few more rules but like girls everywhere they find ways to get around the rules.

Veena is a 15 year old Indian girl living in Bahrain. She goes to a multicultural Catholic school with Arab, White, Indian and Pakistani students. Boys and girls. Venna calls it like the United Nations. It is very interesting to see the interaction between the students. Problems or conflicts between the home countries are not felt in this story. The kids are just kids with kid type issues.

Veena is a really smart teen with a mother who would drive anyone let alone a teenager crazy. Her mother is the reason Veena seems to have more than her share of issues. Bras, haircuts, boys, the normal teenage things, her mother just doesn’t get it and this just adds to the laughs.

It is fun to step away from the heavier fiction of thrillers and mysteries to pick up this lighthearted quick read. From the school play of Romeo and Juliet to the “No-No Club”, from “crushing” on boys to learning to love the bodies they are blessed with, this story was a joy to read. Young teens to grandmas will enjoy Veena’s story.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Review: Dollhouse by Kourtney, Kim & Khloe Kardashian

 Reviews 2012  Comments Off on Review: Dollhouse by Kourtney, Kim & Khloe Kardashian
May 172012
 

 

Dollhouse
William Morrow
An Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

Meet the Romeros, Mom Kat, sisters, Kassidy, Kamille and Kyle.  The Romero’s life is turned upside down when husband/dad David Romero dies suddenly and they have to sell their house for something more modest. A life insurance policy allows Kat to buy a defunct restaurant in West Hollywood. Then she marries Beau, a retired Dodger pitcher,  and he add his kids, Benjy and Bree, to the family.

Then one of the sisters is “discovered” and becomes a model which forces the entire family into the spotlight. It doesn’t take them long to realize that being a celebrity in L.A.’s  “gilded dollhouse” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I know what you are thinking, this is just another spin-off from the Kardashian television series and you are right, but don’t we always say authors write about what they know. This is what these girls know.

Seriously, I do enjoy their t.v. show, one of my little guilty pleasures, but I really hadn’t planned on reading this book until my twenty year old daughter said “Mom, you have to read this book!” She loved it!!!! So I read it. It is a very fast read and at first I thought I was wasting my time until the dialogue started sounding just the way they talk to each other on the show and the way my daughter talks to her friends.  Then I started to realize that if the authors were not the famous Kardashians with all the hype, the story wasn’t bad. A Young Adult novel about a dysfunctional family trying to function in the Hollywood spotlight.

Yes, Kassidy is based on Kourtney, Kamille is based on Kim, Kyle is based on Khloe, Kat is based on Kris Jenner but this is a fiction story. Perfect and fun for those older teens and twenties girls to read and enjoy. Like my daughter they would love it. So my daughter would give it five stars, an old lady like me would give it a three so I’ll average that out.


**One small gripe but this is the publisher’s fault not the authors. The book jacket shows the family name as the Rameros and the book has the name as Romeros. This should have been caught before it hit the shelves.

Dollycas

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Whiskers in the Dark: A Mrs. Murphy Mystery by Rita Mae BrownGet Your Copy Today!
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