Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Killing Storm by Kathryn Casey

Many of my blog followers wrote to let me know they enjoyed my interview with author Kathryn Casey about her book SHATTERED. Some were fans who told me to waste no time getting to her fiction thrillers now that I've read all of her true crime books. Casey is another successful and brilliant writer who gave generously of her time to Madame Perry's Salon, for which we are honored.

Enjoy this trailer for The Killing Storm by Kathryn Casey. Then get the book as fast as you can. And a nightlight.

Monday, December 27, 2010


Author and Edgar Award Finalist Diane Fanning was very generous with her time when invited to Madame Perry's Salon. Her books are extremely well researched and tightly written. I encourage you to visit her website and purchase her books at your favorite bookstore.

I think reading true crime books teaches us to be aware of circumstances around us that aren't quite right, and to use reason when deciding what information to share with authorities when needed. Caylee Anthony had every right to grow up and enjoy her life.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Grips Kthjellu - Tonight is your night MTV EXIT 2010 OFFICIAL VIDEO ...

Mentor Haziri, of the Albanian band Kthjellu, was one of my first co-interviewers here when at Madame Perry's Salon. Here is a video of their song "Tonight Is Your Night" from an MTV special. Mme. Perry obviously is a fan and recommends checking out their CD. Expect them to be here again in 2011.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Aura Imbarus - Out of the Transylvania Night Book Signing Party.

As the year closes I want to thank everyone who has been kind enough to read Madame Perry's Salon, leave me comments, share it with others, and especially the wonderful authors who've been generous with their interviews. They gave their time, in the midst of busy lives, line editing, promotions and much more even though I am not a famous person. Until year's end I will be playing bits of video of each and encouraging everyone to check out each of these brilliant writers.

Aura Imbarus made friends with me on a book bloggers ning. I loved e-mailing with her because she not only is intelligent with a broad knowledge horizon, but this woman has a very keen sense of humor! Even after the difficulties of living through Ceacescu's Communist regime and even more setbacks she details, Aura embraces life and a good challenge, and keeps that snappy sense of humor on hand in just about any language you choose. Love you Aura, thanks for honoring me with your friendship.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Out of the Transylvania Night: A Story of Tyranny, Freedom, Love and Identity by Aura Imbarus, Ph.D.

There is great value in this thing called the internet, despite several publicized incidents that would make us to think otherwise. Discovering  a 'ning' of bloggers who are passionate about books and their authors led me to the brilliant guest of this post. Actually, she very kindly made me welcome to the group the first day I joined, and I’m delighted.

A brief bit of background, Aura Imbarus was born and raised in Sibiu/Hermannstadt, Romania, or more precisely in “Dracula’s county - Transylvania," Ms. Imbarus attended Lucian Blaga University, earning an MA degree in American and British Studies and a Ph.D. in Philology with the distinction Cum Laude. From 1990 to 1997, she worked as a journalist for Radio Contact, The National Journal, and Gallup Poll in Sibiu, Romania.

In 1997, Aura immigrated to Los Angeles, where she continued her education at UCLA and began her teaching career both as a high school and college professor. She is an educator, professional speaker, and the author of the critically acclaimed memoir, Out of the Transylvania Night: A Story of Tyranny, Freedom, Love and Identity, and a book for teens, 101 Great Ways to Make the World a Totally Awesome Place - By Teens For Teens, both fall 2010 releases.

You may recall that Aura was my co-interviewer when author Diane Fanning was featured here, or that I posted Aura's book trailer. She graciously made time to come back and discuss Out of the Transylvania Night: A Story of Tyranny, Freedom, Love and Identity.

Madame Perry: You take us into your family’s home in the time before and during the Romanian Revolution and show us the day to day life in personal, cultural and social realms, including having to bury your family’s most valued heirlooms. It is very beautiful to see how much you value each other and your heritage.

Aura Imbarus, Ph.D.: Money is a commodity that can be gained or lost, but the most important thing we carry with us is our heritage. No matter what you will do in life and where you will end up living, the roots will be the ones providing stability and that sense of belonging every human being longs for. The love and care we have shared cannot be purchased with all the money in the world.

Perry: Did most of your neighbors and relatives, even with their hopes, believe they would live to see Romania as it is today?

Imbarus: The old generations, like my Grandma’s one, have seen or had better days. They never lost the freedom’s torch and their hope that one day Romania will see the end of its suffering, and the borders will open up and people will travel the world. My parents’ generation has been skeptical. Some of them believed in a brighter tomorrow, while others never saw it coming. I always believed that Romania would find its way out of Communism, but I also knew that I would end up in a bigger country, one that has an ocean line and palm trees. It has been a vision I had since I was a child and has never left me until I landed on LAX, fulfilling my premonitions and déjà-vu.

Perry: Do you feel the depravation and struggles create a deeper appreciation of freedom than many of us in America can grasp?

Aura Imbarus, Ph.D.
Imbarus: The lack of something (or someone) creates the desire and the addiction to posses it. You really never know what you have had unless you will lose it. The inexistence of something you held before will give you the motivation to do everything in your power to get it back. Depravation and poverty can be motivators of success. Americans never missed their freedom or the opportunity to gain financial success, political, cultural, and religious independence. It is hard to see what you are missing or if you are missing something when you were never exposed to the other side of the coin.

 "I am my best friend and my most unbeatable enemy. I constantly challenged myself . . . "

Perry: When you and your husband came to America, it took a lot of courage to live meagerly and accept low-paying jobs even though you were both very intelligent and well educated people. How did you manage to persevere and keep up your morale?

Imbarus: A strong foundation and a high self esteem that was ingrained in me since I was child have helped me tremendously. On one hand, my parents never accepted anything but the best from me, and, on the other hand, I never let them down. So, failure was not a word in my vocabulary. Did I have awkward moments in my journey? Of course, I did, but it is not how many times I failed, but how many times I succeeded. I knew that whatever I was doing at one point in my life would get better if I will hold my head high and keep my integrity untouched.

Perry: Aura! That last sentence alone makes a powerful mantra. When your hard work paid off, what drove you to keep climbing the ladder of success, instead of leveling off and taking it easy?

Imbarus: The spirit of competition I have in me is not in reference to others but to my own self. I am my best friend and my most unbeatable enemy. I constantly challenged myself in the long hours I work, in the multi-tasking I put up with, and in the barriers and obstacles I want to surmount. As long as I cannot see the end of the road, the battle is not over. In my case the end will be when I will stop breathing. I love psychological, strenuous trekking, and the challenges that come with them. Like Mark Twain once said, “I never let schooling interfere with my education,” I assert something along those lines as well: I will never let my spirit be tamed and my desire of life be curved.

From Transyvania - Special Gifts and Psychic Phenomena

Perry: Your grandmother’s quote “Out of the bleakest winter night come the hungriest wolves,” surely described the despair you felt when it seemed you were suffering not a mere reversal of fortune, but a collapse of the structure and security you had built in your new life. Did you feel you could call on the love and spirits of family members who had passed away for guidance and hope?

Imbarus: Between life and death there is a thin, invisible line. Love is the eternal feeling that transcends time and space, so, yes, I truly believe there is something out there way bigger than us, way more powerful that our mere brain can comprehend. I constantly feel their presence around me; another set of eyes looking at the same things I am looking at and guiding me. I believe in numerology and in karma; I don’t believe in coincidences even if they might appear to be like that. I think that all present people in our lives carry a special message, and it is up to us to see it and decipher it.

Perry: Yes, I also feel certain loved ones who have passed on very near me at times. Also I believe, and enjoy, wonderful moments of synchronicity. Which brings me to the question – is it true that people from Transylvania tend to have special psychic gifts?

Imbarus: There are some big names of psychics of Romanian origin out there, so there must be something in the air. I do believe due to topography and laws of physics, ESP and psychic phenomena are really present in Transylvania.

Perry: And your special gifts would be?

Imbarus: I had dreams during high school and college alerting me of future testing topics; I predicted my ranking at the college admission, and I even saw the desk I would be sitting at. I always knew that I would end up in a country similar to America. I still have premonitions about myself, but I cannot see or predict for anybody else.

Perry: Aura, I am so glad to have met you. And I thank you for sharing your story about life during and after the Romanian Revolution; and about the beauty of your love of family and country, with all of us.

Aura: JP, thank you so much for reviewing my book and truly picking up on its themes. It is never too late to find out that a new fan or a new friend was just born for you. You are that new addition to my life!

Perry: You are so gracious, Aura, and you know I'm enjoying getting to know your sharp sense of humor. Please don't be a stranger here in my salon. For everyone reading this, I urge you to get Out of the Transylvania Night: A Story of Tyranny, Freedom, Love and Identity and read it. You can visit Aura’s website, and follow her on Twitter.

Monday, October 18, 2010

SHATTERED, The Latest True Crime Book By Author Kathryn Casey.

Kathryn Casey has written six true crime books, three mystery novels and countless magazine articles. Fortunately for her readers, she doesn't appear to slowing down - ever. Indeed, she's had two books published in the last four months. I've read each of her true crime titles and am starting her novels next.

SHATTERED, released in August, was in the top ten on Amazon's best selling true crime list for over a month prior to publication, and continues to be a best seller in paperback and kindle. SHATTERED is the story of David Temple and Belinda Lucas Temple, who appeared to be the model of the all American ideal couple. David and Belinda were attractive, popular, successful, well-educated, and starting a beautiful family. That is, until the myth was exposed and destroyed by the horrible murder of Belinda and her unborn baby.

Kathryn Casey has somehow made room in her schedule to visit Madame Perry's Salon to talk about SHATTERED, so let us begin.

Perry: Welcome to Madame Perry's Salon, Kathryn. Tell me, at what point did you begin following the murder of Belinda Lucas Temple who was eight months pregnant with a baby girl when she was murdered; and when did you decide you wanted to write this book?

Kathryn Casey: I noticed the articles quickly after the murder, and then kept tabs on the case over the years, googling it every so often to see if there was any news. I knew that if the case was ever solved/prosecuted, I would have to be in the courtroom. I was fascinated by what had happened and the long, seemingly endless investigation. For a long time, nothing. Then David Temple was arrested, and I made plans to go to the trial. That was my first real commitment of time, six weeks in the courtroom. From that point on, I worked on the book for about a year, full time.

Perry: Because of his stellar football career David Temple was practically treated like a rock star in the community. How challenging was it for you to get people who knew and admired him to talk about him?''

Casey: It wasn't easy, but then that's often a challenge with true crime books. But I was persistent, and it paid off. Eventually, many people did talk with me and the book took shape. As much as his celebrity status in Katy, the problem was that quite a few people were afraid of David. He's a big, muscular guy with a notoriously bad temper. Even though he was behind prison walls, some people worried for their safety.

Perry: The Temple family certainly appears to be a very tight clan, even to the point where the families of their sons' wife were not considered during major holidays and events. Therefore Belinda was never with the Lucases, her own family, on Christmas or other special days. Yet after her brutal murder when police questioned David's involvement the family - except for Belinda's twin sister - loudly defended him. It must have been very difficult to get them to discuss the loss of their daughter and granddaughter.

Casey and Max
Casey: It wasn't too long after the murder before Tom and Carol Lucas began questioning their son-in-law's possible involvement. By the time I met them, they'd spent years fighting to bring David to justice. Once they understood that I was committed to writing a fair and accurate account of their daughter's murder, they agreed to talk to me. Still, those are painful memories. It's often very difficult for parents, siblings, loved ones to discuss the awful moment of that first phone call, signaling that someone they love has died.

The days that followed are so emotional, and then there's that awful realization that a young man they thought of as a son was a controlling, abusive husband and a murderer. The Lucases carried the burden of Belinda's murder for so many years, fighting for justice. It was truly heartbreaking.

Perry: I've read every one of your true crime books, Kathryn, and you get deep in the stories of some evil, twisted people. Do you have some process you go through to sort of detoxify yourself emotionally and psychically after finishing an intense true crime story?
Kathryn Casey in the courtroom
during the Celeste Beard trial.

Casey: No, I'm really fine. The secret is that when I work on a true crime book, I meet maybe one or two really bad people, a few I probably wouldn't invite over for dinner, but for the most part dozens and dozens of truly fine individuals simply trying to live their lives. To write a book like SHATTERED, I talk to somewhere around 100 sources. Maybe five percent are unsavory. For the most part, the people I meet are good people simply caught up in a horrible tragedy.

That said, I have begun writing crime fiction. My third novel, THE KILLING STORM, is coming out on October 26th. I do think that the fiction helps, that it's a release from covering real-life murders. I have so much fun with it that I think of it as therapy.

Perry: Congratulations on the excellent sales for far, I wish you much more success.

Casey: Thank you! It's appreciated.

You may visit Kathyrn Casey's website, follow her on Twitter, and her author page on FaceBook. And of course, get out and buy her books now.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Fader Vixen - Performs 'Laser Fire' at their Studio

Toniet Gallego of  Fader Vixen
Talking with her muse, perhaps?


Music for Monday evening.  Toniet Gallego is a multi-media artist, writer, performer, craftsperson and musican. She is also a freind who inspires me greatly, and will be a guest here soon.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Crucifying Angel, Book One of the Future Imperfect Series by P.I. Barrington

Fans of sci-fi detective thrillers, this one's for you. Madame Perry's Salon is delighted to introduce you to author P.I. Barrington, here to discuss her book Crucifying Angel.

Perry: How did you choose the location and year for the setting of the Future Imperfect series?

Barrington: I wanted someplace that easily lent itself to dystopia and Las Vegas pretty much filled the bill. Under all that façade of glitz and glamour Vegas.

Perry: That sounds right on target. The themes that propel the plot – cults, crucifixes, interpretations of the Holy Bible – though not new will remain in literature because they are ripe with danger, hope, fear, love, lust, power, and just about every other human emotion, strength or frailty. Did you feel it could also be treacherous terrain to plant the crux of the story’s conflict there?

Barrington: Actually, it wasn't that deep an interpretation. I did want to explore guilt in all its myriad facets, especially with Gavin and Payce and their huge baggage but with the killer, Ralphie Teon , I just wanted to give him a crusade; some motive in his mind that evolved out of a twisted childhood that he could use to justify his killings and that could be manipulated by someone real outside  Ralphie's mind, using that crusade to eliminate people.

Perry: Sorry, P.I., but I had to hit the blackout button over the killer’s name for the folks who haven’t read or haven’t completed Crucifying Angel. I sense a bit of the author in Sgt. Payce Halligan. If that is true, or not, please tell me what handsome Brit you see in the role of Detective Gavin McAllister?

Barrington: In fact Payce is not really like me at all. She's little and cute and sweet, not snarky like me. She might come up with a smartass remark but that's rare for her whereas I can't stop doing it, lol! She takes her job as a cop seriously, it defines her.

As for Gavin, I've been looking for him since day one! I know in my mind what he looks like but it's been almost a year since Crucifying Angel came out and I still haven't found any man that looks like him to me—and I've looked at a lot of gorgeous men Brit or otherwise! All I can tell you about Gavin in terms of physicality is that he speaks a lot like John Nettles—doesn't look like him—but speaks like him.

Perry: Ooh, love John Nettles. Actors? Check out Patrick Ryecart or Martin Kemp. Yes, Martin, wait. where was I? Because this is set in the near future, what type of research did you do to project the conditions of the earth and its atmosphere? And of course, you created several items of forensic methods and tools, as well as police equipment. Did you consult with experts in those fields, or was the work all yours?
P. I. Barrington

Barrington: I did some research at the beginning of CA. I researched the pollution sources from the mines and looked up some of the effects of that pollution on local wildlife, things like that. The terrible thing is that when I set up The New Creation compound and this is honest to God true: I thought Area 51 was in New Mexico and after I'd written the book I realized I'd set the location very near to where Area 51 sits!
About the tools and weapons, you know it's amazing but last week someone who'd read the book emailed and attached a news article about spray-on clothes that have just been unveiled by scientists, no kidding. And one aspect the article mentioned is that part of the reason for the spray-on clothing is for germicidal protection which is why I came up with the spray-on surgical gloves. I wanted something that could be safe and easily disposed of for use in the later books. Again, I swear I never heard of spray-on clothes before I came up with the gloves, lol! What I try to do is look at what technology we have and try to think of ways I'd like to deal with situations that are unique and new but also a logical progression of technology.

I've said before, I'm no scientist but I like to give verisimilitude to my technology. For the police related procedures I did have LAPD and other police departments' contacts but in the end I realized that I was creating this dystopia and so I could dispense with normal police procedures. Gavin being hired so quickly is the example of that. Las Vegas, 2032, is just too financially pressed to bother with background checks or go through the hoops. LVPD needs bodies not regulations and because things are rapidly deteriorating, they shove any legality aside.

Perry: You leave us with a bit of a cliff-hanger for the next book of the series – Miraculous Deception. How many titles do you have slated for the Future Imperfect series?

Barrington: As we speak I have literally delivered the complete manuscript for Book Three: Final Deceit to my editor. Book Three will be the final book in the Future Imperfect series.

Perry: As John Nettles might say in his Barnaby character, “Well done, you!” So glad to have you visit us here. And here I'll tell people they can follow your work, read excerpts and order from The Word Mistresses.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Madame Perry's Comments and VIPs On The Guest List.

This began as a comment but the length better suits it to a post. I appreciate everyone who has read this blog, commented, and even became followers. I'll do my best to keep bringing you great authors.

It was very exciting to have Diane Fanning give us her time so generously to discuss MOMMY'S LITTLE GIRL. While she has two other books about to be published, she made time for the readers of Madame Perry's Salon.

To Celeste, Wrighton, & Rebecca - in this genre you can't get better than Ann Rule, Diane Fanning, and Kathryn Casey. News flash - Casey is our next guest! She will talk about her latest true crime book, SHATTERED. To Sandy, I understand, and want to add that during the diligent research for her book, Through The Window, Diane pulled together evidence that exonerated a woman wrongly accused and imprisoned for murdering her own little boy.

One of the reasons I find value in true crime books is that often the monsters commiting such heinous crimes are often disguised as the friendly neighbor, a regular Joe or Jane, the quiet fellow who installs the sprinkler systems, the guy everyone thinks is just swell. My hope is that this opens people's eyes to be aware of things that just don't seem right or a bit out of place, to listen to victims with an open mind, pay attention to their surroundings, and to be willing to give information to the police. If you have information that you are reluctant to share because you 'don't want to be involved'; you are already involved. Choosing not to help allows someone else to be a victim.

I also have the excellent Italian American journalist Candace Dempsey visiting soon to discuss her book, Murder In Italy, the tragic story of the murder of British student Meredith Kercher, and the American student who shared the flat and was indicted for her murder, Amanda Knox. I have to admit she turned me around completely on this case.

Book trailers - what do you think of them? I have two posted on this blog. One is for Out Of The Transylvania Night, a memoir by Aura Imbarus, Ph.D., about living in Romania during the revolution that occured during Communist dictator Nicolae Ceacescu's rule. She will be stopping by the salon in a week or so. I also posted the trailer for Laura Benedict's book, Calling Mr. Lonely Hearts. Ms. Benedict is at the top of my wish list for MPS guests.

My dear friend, Collin Kelley, has returned from his UK tour during which he was a guest lecturer at Oxford. He will return to Madame Perry's Salon with the sequel to his novel Conquering Venus.

Oh, yes, author P.I. Barrington will be here talking about her detective thriller Crucifying Angel, set in the not to distant future in Las Vegas!

It is always an absolute thrill when these authors kindly fit my questions for Madame Perry's Salon into their quite busy schedules. They have my gratitude for sharing, as all my readers and followers do for your time and comments. One more shout out to Helen Ginger, whose blog Straight From Hel has been more helpful to me than she can imagine.  Please keep buying books, reading, visiting me, commenting and inviting your friends. I think you are all wonderful!

Madame Perry

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


My friend Aura Imbarus, author of Out Of The Transylvania Night, will be the next guest in Madame Perry's Salon. Enjoy this trailer as a preview.

Friday, August 27, 2010

A Visit With Diane Fanning, Author Of MOMMY'S LITTLE GIRL, The Tragic Story Of Caylee Anthony.

I love and cherish many writers and many styles of writing. Yet I confess a serious addiction to a well written true crime book. One day we'll sort out the why of it. For now, it is very exciting to introduce one of my absolute favorite writers.

Diane Fanning is a master of the art. With ten true crime books, five novels, several short stories and blog contributions; the growth of her fan base has positioned her into the literary equivalent of rock star status. Her latest book, MOMMY’S LITTLE GIRL, about the murder of three-year-old Caylee Anthony, is an Edgar Award finalist. If you're a fan, you know I'm thrilled to have some of her time. If not, read on. You'll get it.

Perry: Thank you so much for visiting Madame Perry's Salon, Diane. Because I like to keep a conversational feel here, I've invited author Aura Imbarus, PhD, whose memoir, Out of the Transylvania Night, has just been published.

Aura: I'm very happy to be here and to meet you also, Diane. I also have questions about your latest book.

Perry: I've read several of your true crime books. Do you always choose the cases you write about, or are some suggested by your publisher or someone else? What factors make you really want to write about a particular case?

Diane: Sometimes I choose the subject, other times they are suggested by my agent or the senior editor at St. Martin’s Press. For me to agree to accept a contact, there always has to be something in the story that I find intriguing—often, for me, that means that I perceive a challenge, a piece of the story puzzle that can teach me something new. I’ve learned about all sorts of things—from the space program to cosmetic surgery to red neurons.

Perry: As you wrote in the afterword of MOMMY’S LITTLE GIRL, "An innocent child deserves the opportunity to stretch a long shadow into the future." This is what makes the murder of a child all the more heart-wrenching. The heavy media coverage of the disappearance of little Caylee, and the seemingly non-stop party life of her mother Casey, truly seemed to shock and horrify the public. You've written about, and interviewed, people who have committed cruel murders. What was it like to make discovery after discovery of a mother who couldn't even fake being sad? A mother who seemed more irritated at having her lifestyle disrupted than losing her child.

Diane: It is disturbing to encounter people who seem incapable of experiencing normal human emotions. We all try to understand sociopaths and psychopaths from our own personal perspectives. Those efforts are doomed to failure because their brains are wired very differently. Sociopaths and psychopaths see a world that is so different from ours that it might as well be in another universe. It is only be accepting that reality that we can comprehend their reasoning.

The commonality I’ve found is a coldness, a sense of disconnect from others, a deeply ingrained narcissism, an inability to accept responsibility for their own actions and a practiced ability to lie without any regret.

Aura: From a psychological point of view, Casey Anthony is totally disturbed. Were there previous signs to pinpoint to a future potential crime or act of violence?

Diane: Her habitual lying and willingness to always blame others for her own shortcomings were evident from the time she entered adolescence. She is not mentally ill as much as she is emotionally flawed. I do not believe, however, that anyone could have foreseen her murdering Caylee. I do think that the negligence of Caylee could have easily been predicted.

Perry: Casey's parents covered for her to such extremes. She stole from friends and family without a pretense of remorse. One man she slept with said she made him feel like a jilted female when, after sex she got up, dressed and left. Casey cares for no one but Casey. What do you think causes parents like George and Cindy Anthony to continue to carry on publicly as they have about the innocence of their daughter, especially in the face of so much evidence to the contrary?

Diane: It is difficult for a parent to accept that they created a monster. I think initially, George and Cindy’s denial was understandable and perhaps essentially for their own mental health. However, it reached a point where they made a conscious decision to reject any and all information that pointed to Casey’s responsibility for Caylee’s death. Cindy has taken it so far to recently suggest that Caylee might still be alive—as if she could will away the tiny skeleton found in the woods. It is difficult to empathize with them when you know that cannot possibly believe anything they are saying.

Aura: On Oct. 14, a grand jury indicts Casey Anthony on seven charges related to Caylee’s disappearance, including a first-degree murder charge. On Nov 26 released documents show that on Google there was a search for the phrases “neck breaking,” “shovel,” and “household weapons.” So if this was a premeditated crime and not a pure accident, how do you explain that on Dec 5, the Orange-Osceola State Attorney’s office announced that they would not seek death penalty against Casey Anthony?

Diane: They decided they would not seek the death penalty because at that time, they did not think they had the conclusive evidence of premeditation they would need to get a death sentence. However, they have since come to a different conclusion and the death penalty, once again, is on the table. In MOMMY’S LITTLE GIRL, I have analyzed the evidence and presented what to me seems the most likely scenario for Caylee’s murder.

Aura: In nowadays’ society with a media encouraging violence from the early morning shows to the movies released each and every month, is Casey Anthony’s a result of what they are promoting on each and every channel?

Diane: No. If it were, we would have a generation of blood thirsty monsters out there killing their families in their homes and strangers in the street, every minute of the day. Just the act of walking out your front door would be suicidal. The fact is that the vast majority of kids and adults watching the same movies and shows do not ever commit a single act of violence. I do think that sociopaths and psychopaths do try to blame society for their own actions. Serial Killer Tommy Lynn Sells has done just that over and over again in the conversations I’ve had with him.

Rick Riordan, Diane Fanning
and Harry Hunsicker on a panel
at the 2007 Texas Book Festival
Perry: Diane, I thank you so much for taking so much time with us. I know you're extremely busy, but can you give us a hint of what's to come in your next book?

This year, I have completed two manuscripts. In fiction, I wrote the fourth Lucinda Pierce novel, TWISTED REASON. An elderly man with dementia who was missing for months, suddenly shows up neatly dressed, stretched out on the front porch and definitely deceased. Detective Pierce doesn’t know if she has foul play or the oddest death by natural causes she’s ever encountered. This book will be released September 30 in the UK and January 1, 2011 in the U.S.

In true crime, I’ve written a book about Raynella Dossett Leath of Knoxville, Tennessee. My working title is THE PROSECUTOR’S WIFE because her first husband was the Knox County District Attorney General. This book has some amazing threads running through it: a cattle stampede, a three-shot suicide, two medical examiners threatening to shoot law enforcement, the murder of the first African American prosecutor in a judicial district, a secret city and a love child. At this point, I don’t know what the final decision will be on the title and I don’t know when the book will be released.

Aura: It was a pleasure, Diane, thank you.

Perry: Indeed. I’m excited about your next books. We wish you much continued success. And I love the pictures of you in the dark shades - like The Avenging Author! Wait, I think that's my next project. A graphic novel about lady true crime writers.

You can purchase MOMMY'S LITTLE GIRL, and all of Diane Fanning's books at your favorite brick and mortar bookstore. Visit her blog Writing Is A Crime, and follow her on Twitter, MySpace, and Facebook.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Calling Mr. Lonely Hearts Book Trailer

Laura Benedict knows how to make you sleep with all the lights on! We hope she will visit Madame Perry's Salon very soon.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Signing in the Waldenbooks by Parnell Hall

The brilliant author Tom Parnell sings of every author's fears, nightmares, and to many - bad memories. We are not alone. Maybe today we can all buy a Tom Parnell book, and he'll visit Madame Perry's Salon to talk with us.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Walter Fredericks, writing as T.F. Walters, My Brother's Keeper

T. F. Walters, author of My Brother's Keeper

In 2009 I met T. F. Walters and his friend, film maker/actor Keith Hayes, in Waldenbooks store in the CNN center in Atlanta, where he was scheduling an event to promote My Brother's Keeper. A handsome man, he has an aura that is simultaneously understated and intriguing. Walters' debut novel is the story of brothers Dallas and Dakota Seabrook and their mother, Nora Seabrook. Nora is doing her best to keep a good home and raise two boys in Harlem in the 80s and 90s after their father goes out for the proverbial loaf of bread of no return.

The call of the streets and fast money have an iron clad grip on Dakota, the older brother, while Dallas is a carefree fellow who enjoys and excels at school and sports. What the boys have in common is a fierce devotion to each other and their mother. Told through the eyes of Dallas we are provided the sights, sounds and feel of their lives as if watching a 3-D film, thanks to Walters' tight control of language, dialogue and action. The family trio settles into a life that, though not perfect, has managed to find a workable balance within their circumstances.
The balance is shattered by the brutal murder of Dakota, and seemingly apathetic police investigation. Dallas, for whom the future appears to offer the keys to the doors of success, success he's methodically planned for, sacrifices all to find Dakota's killer.
AuthorHouse. 183 pages. ISBN 1420853805 Available at Barnes & Noble , Amazon, .

T. F. Walters is here to answer questions about My Brother's Keeper and I'm curious about his influences and writing habits. We're joined by a very dear friend of mine, Joy Barge, (right photo) who is a seasoned and respected broadcast professional in Atlanta as well as a talented vocalist and entertainer. Joy and I give Mr. Walters a moment to settle in and serve him a cup of tea and conversation before we ask the questions we've had on our minds.

Madame Perry: You have a style of telling the story that makes the reader see, hear and feel the action. People will assume it is, at least in part, autobiographical. Is it, and if so, how much?

T. F. Walters: My book is loosely based on my life. The story of Dallas and Dakota Seabrook being raised by a single mother was my brother and I growing up, hence the title. We had to take care of each other while my mother worked. There are different parts of the story that are autobiographical. There are actually too many to point out. The content of my book is based off of my life's experiences.

Perry: What one event in your childhood had the greatest effect on your career as a writer?

Walters: The one event in my childhood that has had the greatest effect on my writing is the brutal murder of a close friend. He was murdered right in front of me and that changed my life forever. I realized that my life was a canvas that needed to be painted on and shared with the world.

Joy Barge: What was your general mood as you were writing the book?

Walters: Joy, during the time I was writing "My Brother's Keeper" my mood was one of heartache and disappointment. I was coming out of a very serious relationship and I had to move back to New York and stay at my mother's house.

Joy Barge: What did you hope to accomplish by sharing this story with your readers?

Walters: I hoped to touch my readers in some way. I believe everyone who reads my book can relate to a particular character or situation. I want people to live the story as they read it.
Barge: Did writing this book give you a better understanding of your own life experiences?

Walters: Definitely, I can't stress enough how much of me and my life is poured into this book. When I look back at some of the things discussed in the book, it amazes me how incredible my childhood was.
Perry: What lesson from an older person do you still live by today?

Walters: My mother is my role model and biggest supporter. She taught us to work hard, stay focused and never let anyone keep you from achieving your dreams. I continue to follow that wisdom as I live out my dreams today.

Barge: This has certainly been a pleasure, and I wish you much success with this and all of your work.
Walters: The pleasure is all mine, Joy, and after hearing you on the radio it's very nice to finally meet in person.

Perry: And I'm delighted to have you as a guest in Madame Perry's Salon. I don't want to reveal to much, but I know about the screenplay and we hope you'll come back and talk to us about that.

Walters: Definitely!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

"Conquering Venus" ~ a novel by author and poet Collin Kelley

This review of author Collin Kelley's novel, "Conquering Venus" published by Vanilla Heart Publishing in 2009, was written by Madame Perry, and was previously published in New Southerner magazine.

When reality becomes too painful, who hasn’t wished to be able to run away to another city or even another country - a place without reminders or other people who remember what we can’t forget or face. In Collin Kelley’s new novel Conquering Venus, Martin Paige does and seizes that chance when his best friend Diane, a high school teacher, invites him to accompany her to Paris, as a chaperone for a group of students on their graduation trip.

Still grieving his lover Peter’s suicide, and consumed by despair, Martin makes the life-altering decision to accept her offer. He is immediately drawn into an escalating relationship with David McLaren, one of the students. David appears by turns affectionate and cruel as he flirts with Martin, rebukes him, and retreats into alcohol. But David, like Peter, is conflicted with his gut emotions and what his parents have taught and expect from him. Diane’s frank irritation with this situation apparently is to keep her friend, her student, and herself out of dangers emotional, physical and legal. We learn later she’s buried her own secrets that won’t lay still and stay quiet.

Before leaving for Paris, and while he’s there, a mysterious woman keeps appearing in Martin’s dreams and even as a vision when he’s awake. He and the enigmatic Irène Laureaux are entwined with a connection both emotional and physical even before they meet. On identical places on their left hands are matching tattoos. Martin and Peter had the same uncommon tribal symbols, meaning ‘equal but opposite’ tattooed on their left hands as symbols of commitment, as did Irène and her deceased husband, Jean-Louis.
After landing in Paris and checking into the hotel, Martin is stunned to see that this same woman who has been haunting him lives in the apartment across from his hotel room. Instantly recognizing one another from their similar dreams, they are quickly drawn to each other and begin spending time together in her apartment. A debilitating agoraphobia imprisons Irène in her apartment where she works as a book editor and spies on the hotel guests. She tells Martin of Jean-Louis’s involvement in the student/worker riots of 1968 in Paris, and of his death in the riots. More diplomatic in expression than Diane, Irène is also warning Martin to be cautious in his handling of David.
As the student trip is drawing to a close, a there is devastating terrorist attack on a Paris metro station. The bombing forces a turning point making the characters to face the truths of their own lives. Secrets are exposed creating unexpected outcomes, some that foresee drastic consequences. Emotional revelations result in Irène and David having to look truth in the face, and redirect their emotions.

It is unfortunate that the top line on the back of the book describes it as ‘Gay Literary Fiction.” Even with the homosexual themes, the characters and their stories will resonate with most all readers, not just those in the gay community. Kelley does an excellent job of taking us seamlessly into the paranormal scenes and back to reality; neither missing the proverbial beat nor losing one bit of his hold on the reader. And sometimes the most explosive moments for these characters in Conquering Venus, are the quiet ones, the epiphanies, and the ones where truth and memories won’t stay put in their hiding places.

Conquering Venus by Collin Kelley

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Deneane Clark, Romance Author

Welcome to the first gathering of Madame Perry’s Salon, where you will meet a charming author of historical romance novels, … What was that? I beg your pardon, you say you’re not a fan of this genre? By all means, do come in anyway. Neither were some of us until this lady made us all a fan of her beautiful, independent, lust inspiring Ackerly sisters and their world with her first books - Faith and Grace. Come in, sit and listen as Deneane Elise Clark talks about her books and answers a few questions.

Joining us tonight are Albanian musician and songwriter Mentor Haziri, of the popular European band Kthjellu, and writer George LaCas, author of The Legend Of Jimmy Gollihue.

Deneane Elise Clark is a native of New Orleans who now lives in Charlotte, though she’s planning a return to her treasured NOLA. Her third book, Charity, will be in bookstores on October 1, 2010.

Mme. Perry: Deneane, we’re delighted to have you here and excited to hear about the new book you have coming out. Your first book, Grace, was nominated for Best First Historical Romance of 2007 by Romantic Times magazine and given a four star rating, as was your second book, Faith. That must have been a thrill for a newly published writer, but did it also put some pressure on you, too?

Deneane Clark: Oh, completely. I'd written Grace years and years before finally receiving an offer, so I'd polished and tweaked and improved it nearly to death. Having deadlines was a new experience, too, which also added to the pressure.

Mentor Haziri: How did you choose to set your novels in early 19th century England? Have you considered a different country? Maybe in Europe?

Clark: I'm an unapologetic Anglophile. I adore British music and history, especially that of the monarchy. My favorite English historical figure is Elizabeth I, but I chose the Regency period because it is caught between two eras known for their extremes: The decadence of the French Revolutionary period, and the prudishness of the Victorian period. There are some intriguing overlaps in the Regency period that make for a very pretty tension.

Perry: Truthfully, Deneane, do the fashions of time factor in? And have you ever dressed in Faith and Grace’s style of clothes for a book signing?

Clark: ~laughing~ Oh, my. Um ... while I do adore the fashions of the time, I'm rather short and curvy, which doesn't go well with the Empire waistlines and rather flimsy materials of the women's clothing. Honestly, I don't quite know how an amply-endowed woman of that era remained decently covered.

George LaCas: Why did you become a writer, and why do you choose to write in your particular genre?

Clark: I've always written, actually ... as long as I can remember. I don't think I ever questioned whether or not I would become a writer. As to the genre, I'm a sucker for a happy ending.

LaCas: Would you like some Cheez-Its?

Clark: Organic and vegan? Yes, please.

Haziri: There are probably some similarities in writing music and writing books. What writing problems do you struggle with, and how do you solve them?

Clark: Time is something with which I constantly struggle. And lack of sleep. I work a full time "real" job, and I raised two children on my own. They're both grown now, but multiple deadlines have me nearly as busy as I was during the days of sitting on bleachers cheering for my kids between line edits. I don't actually believe in writer's block, per se. When I feel blocked on a particular project, I move on to another. I'm juggling as many as twelve projects at once, in various stages of completion.

Perry: A good bit of research must go into writing historical fiction, what with clothes, customs, social mores, businesses, even the food being different from what we have today. When researching and writing about a different era, then going out with friends or somewhere, do you ever feel like you’re a bit of a time traveler?

Clark: I do get a sense of being caught in a different time when I emerge from a period of intense writing. It's funny, though ... it's not unlike the feeling I get when I read a good book. It always takes me time to emerge from the story into the real world, especially with historical fiction. As for research ... it never ends. I have great admiration for those who wrote historical fiction before widespread internet access. With my schedule and home life, I can't imagine where I'd find the time to pore over reference books in a library.

Perry: Can you give us a sneak preview into your fourth, and fifth books?

My fourth book, Mercy, will be the final book in my current series. It is the story of the youngest Ackerly sister, and in it, we will learn if she finally gets her Duke ... who she met when he did his level best to run her down with his coach in my first book, Grace. I've been looking forward to this one since I first created the series, and it's the book about which I get the most fan mail and questions. My fifth book ... hmmm. That's a tossup. I have tentatively planned another series of four romance novels, with the ancestors of the heroes in the Virtue series, set in and around the world of Tournaments in the Middle Ages. I'm also working on a children's/young adult series, though, which will be set in my home city of New Orleans. We'll have to see which way the Muses tug me.

Perry: It has been an absolute pleasure to have so much of your time. We wish you much success.

Clark: Thank you so much for having me!

Perry: And my thanks to Mentor Haziri and George LaCas for being part of the first gathering here in Madame Perry’s Salon, and of course, to those who have read this. I hope you all enjoyed it. Please feel free to leave a comment, suggestion and to follow.