Today I have Cindy McDonald joining us for an interview about her writing, her successes, and her up coming releases. Can you believe this lady used to dance, but now took up writing? Quite the talent. First is a review of Dangerous Deception, book 3, of the Unbridled Series.
Title: Dangerous Deception
Author: Cindy McDonald
Publish Date: November 1, 2012
Personal Rating: 3 stars
About the Book:
Old age ain't for sissies!
Vic Deveaux’s glory days as a winning jockey have ended, but he refuses to accept that pile of horse hockey!
When the West family asks Vic to take an easier position at their Thoroughbred farm, Westwood, he becomes enraged and teams up with two greedy stable hands in a scheme to kidnap the youngest son, Shane.
Things turn ugly when Vic discovers that his new-found friends have murder on their minds. Suddenly Vic finds himself between a rock and a hard place. He has betrayed his good friend, Eric West, but will he participate in his son’s murder as well?
Not content to sit at home and wait for her men to bring her brother home, Kate West convinces homicide detective, Carl Lugowski, to check out a hunch at an old abandoned mansion. Soon they’re trapped in a hornet’s nest of a notorious biker gang.
Oh yeah, Vic’s deception has placed the West family in more danger than they know what to do with!
I choose to read this book because I enjoy mysteries and the synopsis describes a great story.
I enjoyed all of the characters. They were described very well without being too wordy. I instantly was able to see these types of character in my head and put them into the story. My favorite character was Kate, especially when she hooks up with Lugowski to head to the mansion to help with the situation there. I also enjoyed their new found friend Luzetta. I wonder what part she will play in future books in this series.
My least favorite part of the book was that there were so many stories going on. These stories eventually wind together and fit in the end, but I spent so much of the time while reading wondering how it was going to go together. This just provided a little bit of a distraction for me.
All in all this was a good book. I would recommend this book for readers who enjoy adventure, mystery, and thrillers.
INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR CINDY MCDONALD:
1. In one sentence, how would you describe your Unbridled Series?
The Unbridled Series is action packed with double plots that climb into a blended climax.
Forgive me but here’s another: Hold on to your seat!
2. Dangerous Deception is the third book of the Unbridled Series. Have you written them to go together, go in sequence, or as stand alones?
I make every attempt to make sure that each story can stand alone because you have no guarantee that a reader will pick up the first book first. I make sure that I re-introduce the characters in each book, but always in a different way so that if I do have a reader that follows the series in sequence they are not bored with the intros. I would like to claim that there is no real sequence to the series, but it is best to start with Deadly.Com, then Dangerous Deception. Hot Coco is a romantic comedy from the Unbridled Series—it is out of genre—I wrote it for fun, and most of my readers have enjoyed it as a fun romp with the West’s.
3. How does a dancer turn into a writer? What has prepared you for writing or have you always had a desire to write novels?
For twenty-six years my life whirled around a song and a dance: I was a professional dancer/choreographer for most of my adult life and never gave much thought to a writing career until 2005. Don’t ask me what happened, but suddenly I felt drawn to my computer to write about things I have experienced (greatly exaggerated upon of course) with my husband’s Thoroughbreds and happenings at the racetrack.
Surprised? Why didn’t I write about my experiences with dance? Eh, believe it or not life at the racetrack is much more…racy. The drama is outrageous--not that dancers don’t know how to create drama, believe me, they do, but race trackers just seem to get more down and dirty with it which makes great story telling—great fiction.
I didn’t start out writing books, The Unbridled Series started out as a TV drama, and the Hollywood readers loved the show. The problem was we just couldn’t sell it. So one of the readers said to me, “Cindy, don’t be stupid, turn your scripts into a book series.” and so I did!
In May of 2011 I took the big leap and exchanged my dancin’ shoes for a lap top—I retired from dance. It was a scary proposition, I was terrified, but I had the full support of my husband, Saint Bill. This past year has been a huge change for me. I went from dancing hard five hours a night to sitting in front of a computer. I still work-out and I take my dog, Harvey, for a daily run. I have to or I’d be as big as a house. Do I miss dance? Sometimes I do. I miss my students. I miss choreographing musicals, but I love my books, and I love sharing them with my readers.
4. Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
I think that reading in general help me to grow as an author. There are of course authors that I enjoy reading more than others, but when I read (which is often) I pay very close attention to the way their words flow through description and the expressions or feeling that their characters exude. I am most hopeful that my characters have an effect on readers.
5. What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
Without telling too much, I must admit that I truly enjoy writing about Lugowski and Kate—their relationship intrigues me. Keep an eye on these two—I have big plans for them as the series continues.
6. Which character(s) to you best identify with and why?
Actually I identify with a character who is not a main character in the series: Jen Fleming. Perhaps because she is my age and has the insights of a woman of my experience, and because of this, I find that I am writing her in more and more. Jen Fleming was supposed to be a very temporary character—after 4 books she is still going strong.
7. How did you come up with the title?Originally I was considering Deadly Deception, however, the first book of the series is titled Deadly.Com and the sixth book of the series (coming sometime in 2013 after Book #5) will be titled: The Dead of Winter. I really didn’t want the word “dead” in so many of my titles, after all I’m not writing a zombie series. So I decided that not only was the situation “deadly” it was also quite dangerous—for everyone!
8. What project are you working on now?
I just finished the 4th book of the Unbridled Series, Against the Ropes. The manuscript is now “marinating” for the month of December. I will open the file in January for some editing and tweaking on this book, and than it will go to the editor and publisher in February—it will release in June.
The moment the Against the Ropes is out of my hands, I will begin work on the 5th book, Shady Deals. I will also be starting a new series call First Force—both books will release sometime in 2013—I’m afraid that no dust ever settles on my computer. But make no mistake—I never hurry the process. It takes me approximately ten months to write and edit and tweak an Unbridled manuscript.
9. When will those books be available?
I’m planning a June release for Against the Ropes, and a November release for my new series First Force. The first book of the new series will be titled, Into the Crossfire. This will be my first attempt at writing two series’ at the same time—we shall see how that goes.
10. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
I had a reviewer call my characters “one dimensional” recently. Ouch! But I never take criticism lightly. I immediately went to my manuscripts to study my characters. Hmmm, I’m not sure what the reviewer was looking for that I simply did not deliver—my characters feel, they show how they feel. My characters think, and you are aware of what they are thinking at all times. Readers are not crazy about Ava West. Good. She’s not meant to be Miss Congeniality—she is my full-time, on-the-job antagonist among my cast of characters. If she’s getting under a reviewer’s skin—then I guess she’s done her job—she’s got more dimension that the reviewer is willing to admit to.
I had a reader post on my FB page recently that they had just read Deadly.Com and it was the best book they’d ever read—that’s a pretty good compliment, I’d say. Those are the compliments that we authors cling to in the face of a nasty reviewer.
11. Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?Write everyday. The more you write, the better you write. Don’t allow poor reviews to get you down. Bad reviews happen—to everyone. That said learn something from a bad review—never stop learning.
And last but not least, Chocolate or Vanilla?
Oh la la! Chocolate baby—definitely chocolate!!
For twenty-six years my life whirled around a song and a dance: I was a professional dancer/choreographer for most of my adult life and never gave much thought to a writing career until 2005. Don’t ask me what happened, but suddenly I felt drawn to my computer to write about things I have experienced (greatly exaggerated upon of course) with my husband’s Thoroughbreds and the happenings at the racetrack.
Surprised? Why didn’t I write about my experiences with dance? Eh, believe it or not life at the racetrack is more…racy. The drama is outrageous—not that dancers don’t know how to create drama, believe me, they do but race trackers just seem to get more down and dirty with it which makes great story telling—great fiction.
I didn’t start out writing books, The Unbridled Series started out as a TV drama, and the Hollywood readers loved the show. The problem was we just couldn’t sell it. So one of the readers said to me, “Cindy, don’t be stupid. Turn your scripts into a book series.” and so I did!
In May of 2011 I took the big leap and exchanged my dancin’ shoes for a lap top—I retired from dance. It was a scary proposition, I was terrified, but I had the full support of my husband, Saint Bill. It has been a huge change for me. I went from dancing hard five hours a night to sitting in front of a computer. I still work-out and I take my dog, Harvey, for a daily run. I have to or I’d be as big as a house. Do I miss dance? Sometimes I do. I miss my students. I miss choreographing musicals, but I love my books and I love sharing them with you.
Websites & Links:facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/THE-UNBRIDLED-SERIES/234151313271418