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text 2015-06-11 09:00
@GoddessFish Guest Post: Flash by Donna Ball




Flash Dog Mystery, #1


Donna Ball


Genre: Mystery
Publisher: Blue Merle Publishing
Date of Publication: May 1, 2015
Number of pages: 251
Cover Artist: www.bigstock.com



Available at the following retailers:
Amazon     BN
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.

Guest Post: 

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.




Author Bio:

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.

To connect with the author online:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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text 2014-09-01 21:05
Rapid Fire
Rapid Fire (Raine Stockton Dog Mysteries, #2) - Donna Ball

By:  Donna Ball

Series:  Raine Stockton Dog Mysteries, #2 

ISBN:  0985774851

Publisher:  Blue Merle Publishing

Publication Date:  6/04/2014 

Format:  Audio

My Rating:  4 Stars 


Donna Ball’s intriguing mystery, RAPID FIRE (Raine Stockton Dog Mystery #2) turns up a notch with hidden diamonds, eco-terrorism, an ex-boyfriend wanted by the FBI, an ex-husband and Deputy Sheriff on his trail, the FBI, and a fearless golden retriever, Cisco — making for an unstoppable team of characters!


Raine Stockton is a consultant and a rescue officer with the Forest Service in the Smoky Mountains of NC, with her own kennel business, Dog Daze Boarding and Training, still managing to attend competitions with her dogs. (always lots of surprises).


When yummy ex-husband, Deputy Sheriff Buck Lawson, comes charging in with the FBI wanting answers about her old college boyfriend, Andy Fontana, a terrorist, she is shocked. The FBI thinks Andy is back in the NC area and suspects he has hidden diamonds near her house.


Raine believes in Andy’s innocence, and knows there is a conflict between Buck and Andy. The only way to prove Andy is not the real killer, she begins a mission with the help of her beloved golden retriever, Cisco to solve the mystery.


Donna Postel, narrator provided an engaging performance via the audiobook. If you have not read Donna Ball’s Ladybug Series, you are missing a real treat!


As mentioned in my previous reviews, I am such a fan of her work, and as always golden’s, hold a special place in my heart. An entertaining mystery filled with humor, and lots of smiles! Look forward to reading the other books in this heartwarming series!



Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/848181031
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review 2014-08-29 23:10
Smoky Mountain Tracks
Smoky Mountain Tracks: A Raine Stockton Dog Mystery (Volume 1) - Donna Ball

By:  Donna Ball 

Series: #1 A Raine Stockton Dog Mystery

ISBN:  0977329674

Publisher:  Blue Merle Publishing 

Publication Date:  7/1/2012

Format: Audio

My Rating:  4 Stars


A personal favorite author, Donna Ball, who has warmed our hearts with her famous Ladybug series, wins over fans with her much loved Raine Stockton Dog Mystery Series with adorable golden retriever and rescue dog, Cisco in #1 Smoky Mountain Tracks.


A native of the small mountain town of Hansonville, NC, and daughter of the local judge, Raine Stockton is the pro in the area, as a wilderness rescue worker. She gave up her canine business after a tragic loss. However, she returns to active duty to help find a young child who has been kidnapped and taken into the wilderness.


Raine’s golden retriever, Cisco, picks up the trail and seems to know more than given credit for, for their first dynamic duo team of rescue, when discovering the kidnapper. All the while Raine struggles to overcome her personal demons; however, Cisco comes through. (Adorable)


I typically only read new releases as my blog is 2014 Must Reads, as read, review, and blog new ARCs. However, when I love an author’s style, having read all their new releases, I tend to go back and devour all their “oldies but goodies”.


I became a fan for life with Donna Ball’s Ladybug series, as have read them all and anxiously awaiting the next one. Eileen Goudge, another favorite author recommended the Stockton Dog Mystery Series quite some time ago, as many people know I love golden retrievers (my famous Golden Duke of Farmington, from my thirty three acres in NC, and city life in former Atlanta days,) supplying me with endless joy for fifteen glorious years), and decided not to take on another dog, due to my travels. He was the center of attention in this small rural NC town, as had nine lives, and got himself into all sorts of mischief, making his way to the front page of local paper, and loved retrieving all the neighbors newspapers and burying them in our yard. (so many stories-sure miss him)! Golden Retriever’s, will always hold a special place in my heart.


Donna Ball manages to add humor, mystery, and suspense to the series, with the dog trainer and rescuer, as she does with all her books and of course the famous renovations, and fun design descriptions, which I love.


Combine my favorite author, mystery, hiking, the Smoky Mountains, and a Golden—a winning combination. I loved hearing the mentions of Asheville and other areas I love and looking forward to reading all the books in this much lovable, and recommended series! Recommend the audiobook, as Donna Postel provided a stellar performance!

Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/848181018
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review 2014-08-06 17:23
A Wedding on Ladybug Farm
A Wedding on Ladybug Farm - Donna Ball

By Donna Ball

Series: Ladybug Farm #6
Publisher: Blue Merle Publishing
Publication Date: 05/21/14
Format: e-book
Page: 359
My Rating: 5 Stars


A WEDDING ON LADYBUG FARM (#6 Ladybug Farm Series), by Donna Ball is truly like a special gem, one to treasure and savor. If you have not read the Ladybug Farm series you are in for a treat, as it is captivating, addictive, and a Must Read series. Let’s hope this is not the last one, as these characters are just too darn good to end!


Loved catching up with all the gang at Ladybug Farm and Hummingbird House B&B guys! Each time I read a book in this heartwarming series, cannot imagine the next one being better than the previous; however, Donna Ball always surprises you each and every time with a new twist, making each unique and special.


I am not sure how I missed this latest book, as if I had known, would have pre-ordered or purchased it the day it was released. (Yes, it is that good)! Each of the books can be read as as a standalone; however, would highly recommend you start from the first book, and read them in order, as you will fall in love with these flawed, but magical characters.


The front cover is spectacular, as depicts the beauty and splendor of this lovely farm, the warm souls, good friends (old and new), family, the gardens, animals, the farm, smashing events, and the delightful epicurean tidbits of fine food and wine. Readers will laugh and cry, as they see each character grow and mature throughout the series, while making you feel a part of this close knit group of friends.


Bridget, Cici, and Lindsay left their suburban lives behind and purchased and restored an old mansion in the Shenandoah Valley, as they embraced rural farm living from the first book, bringing their skills and knowledge, and some old friends from the city (Paul and Derrick the gay guys-- you will love who own the nearby Hummingbird House B&B Inn).


They also have developed new friends along the way; old housekeeper Ida May, and Farley who can fix anything for ten dollars, and of course their grown children, always drop in (Lori, Kevin, Noah) and now the new winery, The Tasting Table restaurant with tourists, gifts, souvenirs, gardens, events, entertaining, and bottles of wine, and of course the famous porch of the main house lined with rocking chairs, for their nightly gathering, and now, planning the upcoming marriage of Lindsay and Dominic. It has always been the three woman against the world, and now that Dominic is stepping in, will things change?


A WEDDING ON LADYBUG FARM, brings you surprises you did not see coming, with a new love interest, which will make you laugh and cry (and I am not talking about Lindsay/Dominic) no spoilers there—what a great twist! Of course, with a wine operation, event planning, upcoming wedding, renovations, and crazy farm animals out of control; always chaos and obstacles around every corner.


From holiday lights, halls filled with laughter and music, noisy mealtimes, busy days, tractors, hammers swinging, gardens, vines, fruit trees, baskets of strawberries, intoxicating scents from the kitchen, and dreams of those inside the big house, and soothing comforts of home and laughter, all to warm your heart.


Fans of the Ladybug Farm series will get to catch up with all the lovable characters, as they all come home to celebrate. The series is for every woman who ever had a dream, or a friend. If you have not read The Hummingbird House (A spin off of Ladybug Farm Series), it is outstanding as well, and highly recommend!


Donna Ball, a highly talented author, with personality and passion. This woman knows her way around the kitchen, renovations, design, gardens, farm, and one phenomenal writer, as she so eloquently describes each setting, drawing you into every scene. You can almost smell the flowers and feel the breeze, and wish you were a part of the nightly group on the rocking chairs, filled with laughter, sipping wine or coffee, and discussing the day’s events and planning the next. I want to be there!


I think I speak for all of Donna’s fans, you are inspiring and the Blue Ridge Mountains (which I love as well), definitely is your solace – keep up the great work and cannot wait for the next book. I have not read the Raine Stockton Dog Mystery Series, so think I will start on this series next, and then move on to her chilling suspense series, and then the romance.


As everyone likes to say on Ladybug Farm, “You never know where a dream might take you,” and Donna has definitely taken us there!


Fans of Wendy Wax, Beth Hoffman, Eileen Goudge, and Mary Kay Andrews will love this series, a journey and adventure filled with wit, tragedy, charm, and lots of love!


I definitely agree with one of the other reviewers,THE LADYBUG FARM series should be a mini-series. If Cedar Cove can make it, LADYBUG FARM needs to be front and center. Can you imagine the cast and all the viewers? Fantastic!


I think this was my favorite book, thus far (of course, I say this each time). Again, please oh please, do not let this series end. (Possibly bring in Dominic's children, or more from Lori, Kevin, Noah or new love interest for Cici or Bridget, Ida May's past to surface, new stories of the winery, the tasting room, and of course more from the B&B Inn guys, and their guests).



Book One    A Year on Ladybug Farm



Book Two     At Home On Ladybug Farm   



Book Three   Love Letters from Ladybug Farm




Book Four   Christmas on Ladybug Farm (a Novella)




Book Five   Vintage Ladybug Farm 







A Spin Off with some of the same characters:

The Hummingbird House 



Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/1013663052
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review 2014-03-17 19:26
The Hummingbird House
The Hummingbird House - Donna Ball


By Donna Ball

ISBN-13: 9780985774837

Publisher: Blue Merle Publishing

Publication date: 10/9/2013

Pages: 316

My Rating:  5 Stars



The Hummingbird House e-book was amazing!


This was my first book by Donna Ball, as I was attracted to the book after reading the summary about a B&B (I have worked with B&Bs and hotels across the country for about 25 years in marketing-love them and have stayed at many while traveling)! When working with them, there is always a story with the many colorful guests. 

I was very impressed with this author, her writing style and how she eloquently created real characters -- how they all come together at the ending of the book and how their paths join together. I have already purchased her other e-books (The Ladybug Farm series) and cannot wait to dive into reading this series and following this author! This is one you will want to re-read again and again. 

I loved everything about this book and so deserving of 5 stars (and movie worthy). Derrick and Paul-owners of Hummingbird House B&B (assume were gay, as they are adorable, full of drama and style) and fell in love with them. Anabelle was full of spunk and Megan had much to learn from her grandmother. This book reminds me a little of Richard Paul Evans (Walk series), as during the road trip, meeting many angels along with way. The book can be a standalone without reading the Lady Bug Farm series; however, I look forward to reading. (Sounds adventurous). 

There are many lessons to be learned and great takeaways from this novel. (Destiny or luck)? I urge readers to follow the reader’s discussion guide included at the end --personal responsibility being the theme throughout the book and how character’s actions effected their outcome. Everyone is giving up too soon without seeing the big picture. 

Artie’s (an angel) character was a delight and would love to see a sequel and continuation with Josh, his father, and daughter as well as Nick/Megan, and more stories of guests from Hummingbird House B&B and its owners (maybe hiring Megan/Nick), Purline, more from Harmony, and more from the gals from the farm and other guests. 

I highly recommend for hours of enjoyment as this book is difficult to put down! You will be sad when it ends as Hummingbird House is too good to end – let’s hope for another series. 

Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/772100218
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