Thursday, June 11, 2015

Flash Blog Tour! (+$25 Amazon GC Giveaway!)

Title: Flash
Author: Donna Ball 
Series: Flash Dog Mystery #1
Pages: 247
Date Published: May 2015
Publisher: Blue Merle Publishing
Format: Kindle
Genre: Mystery
Source: Goddess Fish Blog Tours
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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.

~The Seven Deadly Sins...~
Some years ago I gave a speech on The Seven Deadly Sins of Writers.  The first six were:

Now that I’ve written a book, let me tell you how much you don’t know.

He got 2.6 million dollars for that?  I wrote better books reports in third grade!

Anyone can publish a book these days.  I think I will.

Why bother (to fix that paragraph, change that opening sentence, double-check my research, proof read, or learn my craft)?  It’s good enough.

My book is such a delicately balanced masterpiece that I couldn’t possibly subject it to the crude hands of an editor!  And if you can’t see that, you’re clearly afflicted with plebian tastes and a lack of vision.

Do you know long it took me to write this book?  I deserve six figures at least!  I think I’ll start a crowd-funding campaign.

Any one of these vices can keep a promising writer from ever reaching his potential—or keep him so distracted that he never has time to write the book in the first place!  But when I was recently I  asked what weakness  I most  often see in beginning writers, my mind immediately went back to this list, and  to the seventh—and deadliest-- sin of all.  I share it with you here:


Fear stops nine of ten writers dead in their tracks before the first word is written. Fear will cause a writer to put away her manuscript the first time she runs into a plot problem she can’t solve or a character who seems wooden. Fear will rob a writer of her dream the first time someone confirms– or appears to confirm– what she has always secretly believed to be true: that her book is no good.

The problem is that you can’t be a writer without fear. Writers live in a constant state of fear. Those who make friends with fear will win the race. Those who do not will never even leave the start line.

Fear of failure keeps you going back to that manuscript until you get it right; fear of rejection keeps you sending it to agent after agent, publisher after publisher in the desperate hope that someone, somewhere will give you a chance; fear of losing– your time, your faith in your story, your belief in yourself and even your train of thought!– is what keeps you sitting in front of your computer every day until you get it right, and then coming back the next day to face that same fear again. The fear of dying with his song yet unsung is the motivating force behind most writers. Fear is your strongest ally, and your deadliest enemy. The difference can be found in whether you use the fear, or let the fear use you.

So if the definition of courage is to be afraid, and do it anyway... Do it anyway.
~Try an Excerpt!~
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. 
~Meet Donna!~ 
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.
Donna will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


  1. When did you decide to become a writer?

    1. Hi Mai,
      I wrote my first book -- all of 25 pages long!-- on lined paper with a #2 pencil when I was 9 years old. Since then, I have never imagined myself to be anything but a writer. Great question, thanks for asking!

  2. Great excerpt, thanks for sharing

  3. I'm delighted to be here today. I love talking about the art of writing, and about FLASH in particular. I'm happy to answer your questions.

    1. Hi Donna!

      I'm glad to see you popping in! :) What are you up to this beautiful day? (At least, it's quite beautiful and HOT here in DC!)

    2. Hi Andra! Thanks for having me here today. Every day is a writing day for me and I expect to spend the afternoon on my screened porch with my laptop, working on my next book.

  4. definitely a book I'd like to read :)

  5. I'm glad to have the opportunity to share the news about FLASH. It's one of my personal favorites!

  6. I love this excerpt. I really love any story that includes a dog, but this one sounds exceptional.

    1. Thank you., Flash is my favorite border collie ever, and what makes him so much fun is that every now and then we actually get a glimpse into what he is thinking.

  7. Very interesting post, sounds like a really good book, thanks for sharing!

  8. It was a pleasure hanging out with you all today! Thanks for hosting, and good luck to everyone on the giveaway.

  9. Great post! I enjoyed learning about you and your book~thank you for sharing!

  10. Reading through the 7 deadly sins was interesting thank you.

  11. Great post, I enjoyed readng it.