Flash Dog Mystery, #1
Publisher: Blue Merle Publishing
Date of Publication: May 1, 2015
Number of pages: 251
Cover Artist: www.bigstock.com
The first in a powerful new series from the author of THE RAINE STOCKTON DOG MYSTERIES...
Aggie Malone is a dedicated young cop who has spent her entire life just looking for a place to call home. She never thought she'd find it in a quaint Florida village called Dogleg Island, where almost nothing ever happens. Almost...
Deputy Ryan Grady is an easy going playboy who carries a surf board in the trunk of his patrol car and lives in the same rambling beach cottage his grandfather built seventy years ago. He grew up on Dogleg Island and can't imagine ever living anywhere else. It's always been the most peaceful place he has ever known. Until...
Flash is a black and white, blue eyed border collie with amazing powers of perception, recollection, and deduction. He was born to be nothing more than a pampered family pet, however, and his skills might never have been uncovered. And then...
A single night of blood and terror changed the lives of these three forever, and forged a bond between them that nothing will ever break. While each of them struggles to deal with the scars left by that night, they must also bring a killer to justice-- a killer who is also stalking them. And only Flash knows who it is.
Sometimes understanding comes slowly, in small bits of truth and torn scraps of information whose jagged edges seem to bear no relationship to one another. Sometimes the mind, working so hard to unravel the problem, to put those jagged pieces together into some kind of coherent whole, obscures the very picture it wants so badly to see. And other times, often when it’s least expected, the picture comes together in a single flash of insight, a sudden understanding, a moment of truth that changes everything.
That was the way it was for Flash as they stood there in the living room of the house where once blood had splattered and thunder had roared, where he had tried to chew through the bars of a cage to escape the smell of death and violence. As the man who had shot Aggie came around the corner of the room with another gun in his hand, everything that had puzzled Flash, everything he had been worrying over and trying to figure out, suddenly made simple, brilliant sense.
Just because it was done did not mean it was over. Dead was not the end as long as the truth was still missing. This was why Aggie and Grady and Bishop talked about it so much. This was why they could not let what had happened in the past be buried in the past, even though they sometimes tried to pretend it was.
The squirrel in the yard.
The man in the lagoon.
Sometimes you had to go to the dark place and face the thing that terrified you the most for the sake of someone you loved. It was all becoming clear to Flash now.
Donna Ball has over 80 book under different pseudonyms. So I asked what her reasons and benefits for using them were.
First you have to remember I have been writing for a long, long time! Back in the olden days (when dinosaurs and 20-plus major publishers roamed the earth) it was the policy of most publishing houses to publish only one book a year by each author. With an advance of under $5000 per book, even writers like Stephen King and Dean Koontz were forced to take pseudonyms to make a living. Also, before the days of the Internet it wasn’t so easy to keep up with real-time sales figures, so if an author’s numbers began to drop she was often encouraged by her agent, and often her editor, to reinvent herself with another name. And, believe it or not, some publishers would insist upon a pseudonym if you were switching genres, in the belief that readers would not follow an author across genres.
All of those reasons played a part in my choosing to write under various pen names, and in many cases I didn’t have a choice. For example, the Leigh Bristol and Taylor Brady books were written with a partner, and it was virtually unheard of for a publisher to put two names on the cover of a book. For the most part, however, my decision to write under pseudonyms was due to a simple clause in every publishing contract that forbade the author from selling a book to another publisher written under the name of (pseudonym here) . I wanted to write more than one book a year, and I wanted to write in multiple genres. The only way I could do that was by writing under different pseudonyms, and I absolutely do not regret that decision. I could never have achieved the career success I did, not to mention the writing experience and the editorial contacts, had I done otherwise.
By the time I started writing mysteries in 2005, of course, the constraints of past years were no longer applicable, so I used my real name. Most of my readers knew who I was by then anyway, and, to my surprise, had been following me across genres for years. Today I am slowly re-publishing some of the books that were written under pseudonyms, and I’m putting my real name on the cover. And I’ve been delighted to discover that readers are still following me across genres. Fans of the Raine Stockton Dog Mysteries will seek out the Ladybug Farm books, and Ladybug Farm readers frequently convert to mystery fans. My hope, of course, is that both groups will love Flash, which is something of a cross between a dog mystery and a police procedural. One thing is certain, though: with my real name on the cover, it will be easy to find. And that’s the real advantage to not using a pseudonym.
Donna Ball is the author of over a hundred novels under several different pseudonyms in a variety of genres that include romance, mystery, suspense, paranormal, western adventure, historical and women’s fiction. Recent popular series include the Ladybug Farm series by Berkley Books and the Raine Stockton Dog Mystery series. Donna is an avid dog lover and her dogs have won numerous titles for agility, obedience and canine musical freestyle. She divides her time between the Blue Ridge mountains and the east coast of Florida, and lives with a variety of four-footed companions. You can contact her at http://www.donnaball.net, or follow her on Facebook at Donna Ball Author Page.
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