Friday, June 12, 2015

Straight Chatting From the Library: Flash by Donna Ball

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Donna will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

What is the favorite book you remember as a child?

My favorite book from childhood was Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time. Even now I get a little thrill when I remember how that book transported me into a whole new world. I think that was the first time I understood the amazing power authors have to change, not just your day, but your life. That was the book that opened my imagination to what was possible.

What are you reading right now?

I’m reading another mystery, NEW TRICKS by David Rosenfelt. His Andy Carpenter mysteries make me laugh out loud, and they are so cleverly executed that I try to read them slowly so I won’t finish the latest in the series before the next one is out.

E-Reader or print? and why?

For years I was one of those readers who swore you would have to pry print books out of my cold dead fingers. I got my first Kindle four years ago and now it’s very hard for me to go back to print. I keep wanting to tap the pages to see what time it is, or have a quick peek at the weather forecast, or—and this is the worst part—when I get to a boring section, I want to go back to my home page to see what else I have waiting to be read. E-readers have definitely changed the way I read, and even more importantly, the way I write. For example, I’m very careful to try not to write the boring parts now!

Do you have any bad book habits?

My worst habit is that I tend to over-buy. I know perfectly well that I have a dozen unread books on my Kindle and another dozen stacked up on my nightstand, but when Amazon says “recommended for you” I think, “Well, I guess they know what I like by now!” and I buy. It’s that whole fear-of-missing-out thing. Or if I see an interview with an author or hear about a hot new book everyone has been waiting for, or if someone in my book club says she liked something, I have to have it. It is entirely possible I won’t live long enough to read all the books I just had to have.

When do you do most of your reading?

As a writer, I always feel guilty about sitting down during the day to do anything other than write. So my reading is done almost exclusively at night, after 11:00 p.m. In fact, I so rarely take time out of the day to read that when I do, it’s worthy of a Facebook post!

Do you loan your books?

I treasure my print books and I never, ever loan them. Sorry, friends! I’ve lost too many good books that way. However, if I find a book I love that I want to share, I will buy a friend a copy.

What would make you not finish a book?

There are a lot of books I don’t finish. My reading time is so valuable, and my choice of books so wide, that if you don’t completely suck me in by the end of the first chapter, you’re history. Sometimes I know by the first three pages. Usually if I get beyond the first chapter I will stay with the book; I feel committed. But I will admit that I’ve been committed to some books that took me months to finish!

Favorite book you've read this year?

The year is young, and remember all those unread books I have stacked up? But so far my top pick is Louise Penny’s How the Light Gets In , one of the Inspector Gamache mysteries. It concludes a story arc that was begun years ago, and was absolutely beautifully done.

One book at a time or multiples?

I always have three books going at once: One on my Kindle, one in paper, and one on audio. That way, no matter what I’m doing, I don’t have to miss an opportunity to be entertained!


Almost two years ago the sleepy little community of Dogleg Island was the scene of one of the most brutal crimes in Florida history. The only eye witnesses were a border collie puppy and a police officer. Since that time Flash has grown from a puppy into a vital part of the Dogleg Island Police Department, and has lived happily with the two people who rescued him on that horrible night: Deputy Sheriff Ryan Grady and Police Chief Aggie Malone.

Now the trial of the century is about to begin. The defendant, accused of slaughtering his parents in their beach home, maintains his innocence. Aggie and Ryan, the top witnesses for the prosecution, know he is lying. But only Flash knows the truth.

And with another murder to solve, a tangle of conflicting evidence to sort out, and a brutal storm on the way, the truth may come too late... for all of them.


If the call had come four minutes later, Aggie would have missed it. This close to end of shift, no one would have blamed her had she ignored it and headed on in, and in fact she considered doing just that. She glanced at her dashboard clock: 6:56 A.M. Then she saw the street sign coming up she muttered, “Crap.” She punched the radio mike. “Unit four, responding. ETA, thirty seconds.”

The radio crackled again. “Hey, Aggie, you still beachside?”

It was Ryan Grady, her morning relief for beach patrol. Relief was of course a relative word; he’d been nothing but a pain in the ass since she’d joined the Murphy County Sheriff’s Department eighteen months ago. She worried what it said about her that she was actually starting to get used to him—and worse, even to enjoy his inanities. Secretly, of course.

She switched on her flashers and made the turn onto Harbor Lane. The swirl of color bounced off the early morning fog, painting tree trunks and the tangled jungle of vacant lots in eerie explosions of blue. “Amazing powers of deduction, Sherlock. ETA now twelve seconds.” And she wasn’t even hurrying. The one thing she loved about Dogleg Island was that there was rarely any need to hurry. Very little was more than ten minutes away in any direction.


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, or follow her on Facebook at Donna Ball Author Page.

FLASH is available at Amazon and other retailers:


a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?

    1. Hi Mai,
      I have been writing on a computer since the first CPUs were as big as my desk (seriously!) Now I write only on a laptop, out of doors whenever possible, with my feet up and my dogs piled all around. What a life!

  2. Great interview! I can’t wait to read it! Thank you for sharing and for the contest!

    1. Thank you! I love doing these kinds of interviews and I love meeting readers-- even if it is virtually.

  3. I have enjoyed learning about the book. Thanks for sharing it.

    1. It's been my pleasure! I hope you'll enjoy FLASH.

  4. Thank you for hosting me today, and for the great interview questions. I'll be checking in throughout the day, and I'm happy to answer question from readers.

  5. Great interview, I enjoyed it.

    1. Thanks, Rita. Those were fun questions to answer.

  6. I find it difficult to read print books now - I have had a kindle since 2009 but went exclusively ebook last year and quit buying print altogether. I've never read Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time - I've bought several copies for my nieces and nephews but for some reason I have never read it...I should pick it interview - thanks for the giveaway

    1. Hi Maria--I know, right? Very hard to go back to print once you've gotten used to an e-reader. BTW Flash is only 6.99 for Kindle:)

  7. Enjoyed the excerpt, sounds like a great read. Entering under the name of Virginia

  8. Enjoyed the excerpt, sounds like a great read. Entering under the name of Virginia

  9. I enjoyed learning about your book and following the tour, thanks for sharing, and I hope the tour is a success.

  10. Thanks for hosting me today! It's been such fun getting to know you all, and I wish everyone great luck in the giveaway. Have a wonderful weekend!

  11. Thank you for sharing your book! I enjoyed learning about it.