Friday, June 10, 2016

#MMBBR #Showcase Valerie Davisson @ValerieDavisson


Forest Park

Critical choices made in the drama and chaos of the last days of the Vietnam War reach across the Pacific to modern-day Portland, Oregon, threatening to destroy the lives of those who managed to cheat death in 1975. When a violent explosion takes a woman’s life just steps away from Logan McKenna’s downtown hotel, the police suspect all the wrong people, including a homeless vet and two of Logan’s new friends; but are any of them completely innocent?
While unraveling the tangle of half-truths and secrets to help her friends, Logan’s personal life suffers an explosion of its own. Each character must decide not only whom to trust, but at what cost.
In addition to writing a great story, in FOREST PARK: Logan Book 2, Davisson skillfully deals with tough questions about our attitude toward refugees, immigration, the homeless, and our military vets. Through the eyes of her original and complex characters, she invites us to explore the true nature of hope, redemption, family, character, and love.

Book categories: Mystery


Meet Logan McKenna … fiercely loyal, and impossibly inquisitive.
In SHATTERED, the first book in the original mystery series and stunning fiction debut with which Valerie Davisson lets us crave for more, Logan McKenna loses her husband, her illusions, the company they built together, her music, and now, probably her job. But that won’t stop her from digging into a murder investigation that keeps Southern California’s tight-knit artist community on its toes and law enforcement cluelessly guessing.
At loose ends, and running out of money after buying a fixer upper on the coast, she decides to help out her best friend from high school, Thomas, a Native American artist, and his wife Lisa at their booth at the Otter Arts Festival, in the idyllic coastal town of Jasper, where she and her police-officer brother Rick grew up. When one of the talented, young artists is found gruesomely murdered at the festival, Logan is faced with the reality that her best friend not only lied to her, but may be guilty of murder.
It’s up to her to find out what really happened that night, before the murderer kills again.

Book categories: Mystery
A self-admitted book addict, Valerie was the kid with the flashlight under her pillow. A life of travel with exposure to many different cultures led to a pervasive interest in people, with degrees & teaching credentials in Cultural Anthropology & English.
Writing and Teaching became twin passions, and she feels lucky to pursue both. With the support and distraction of her husband, John, their 6 children, a growing tribe of grandchildren, and a very supportive Girls' Night group, she is hard at work on Book 3, Logan's next adventure.
If you like Nevada Barr’s Anna Pigeon, J. A. Jance’s Sherriff Joanna Brady, Elly Griffith’s Ruth Galloway, or Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Milhone, you’ll love Davisson’s independent, strong, female protagonist, Logan McKenna

Q.  What inspires your writing?
A. It would be easy to say “Everything” and that would be true, but I am often inspired when I shake up my daily routine and go to a museum, watch a documentary on a subject I know nothing about, or get outside my comfort zone and learn a new skill like glassblowing.

Q.  What is your favorite thing about being a writer?
A. It’s satisfying. Like preparing a delicious meal, you have to pull everything you’ve ever learned, ever skill you’ve developed and bring it all together.  It’s complete creative freedom.

Q.  What is the toughest part of being a writer?
A.  Right now, finding time to do it! Like most writers, I have a demanding day job. Finding time to work, write, plus do all of the other things that keep us healthy, connected with family and friends, and financially solvent, is a daily challenge.

Q.  If you could not be writer, what would you do/be?
A.  A Cultural Anthropology Professor - through a combination of conscious choice and exigent circumstances after a double whammy divorce and back injury years ago, I went into teaching younger students. At the time it was sad to leave the university environment, but when you know yourself and what makes you happy, and keep your eye on the goal, your path eventually leads you to ways to fulfill your creative passions. I spent the next 20 years loving the stimulation of helping young minds develop. It allowed me to pull another love of mine into the mix: Art! Over the years, I  have integrated Art into all subject areas. Art is essential to learning! I can’t tell you the number of students who blossomed by being allowed to express themselves through Art. I was fortunate to receive grants to help fund Art for students, because without those grants, I couldn’t even buy Crayola markers for kids, let alone papyrus, clay, paper mache masks, high-quality watercolor paper and paints, etc.

Q.  What would the story of your life be entitled?
A. Plan Z

Q.  What is your favorite book of all time?
A. I absolutely can not answer that question…there are too many! But I guess the first book I remember selecting for myself and falling in love with was The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis.

Q.  Which character from ANY book are you most like?
A. Great question! I’ll have to give that some thought - I definitely would not be any female character who bats her eyelashes to get what she wants. I would have to go back and read it again, but I hope I’d be like Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird.

Q.  What character from all of your book are you most like?
A. ANOTHER great question! Every writer who does a series puts a lot of themselves into their lead character, but even though I share some traits with Logan - we both have an independent streak - Logan quickly took on a life of her own. She plays a musical instrument, which I wish I could, but don’t - unless you count the 4 minor guitar chords I learned to sing along with Joan Baez back in the day. Iona Slatterly is awesome - she is much braver than I am - doesn’t care what anyone else thinks of her-she’s happy in her own skin. Tava’e is bits of my maternal side, but is wiser than I’ll ever be. So, to answer your question, there are bits of me in all of my characters.

Q.  Which book would you love to take a weekend vacation inside of?
A.  Of my own - I’d say the chapter in SHATTERED where Logan buys her fixer-upper in Jasper, CA. Jasper is modeled after Laguna Beach, CA and I’ve spent many joyful hours walking that town and its accompanying beach. I love little coastal towns where all of the architecture is unique.

Q.  What is your favorite season?
A.  Spring or Fall. It used to be summer - but living in Southern California almost cures you of that, because it’s so perfect and sunny all the time, you crave some variety! Having lived in different climates growing up, I appreciate fall leaves, crisp air and bonfires as much as I do the joy of dogwood blossoms and brilliant azaleas after a long winter.

Q.  What inspired your book cover(s)?  Or what is your favorite book cover and why?
A.  I give all credit to Hauser Publishing for designing two excellent book covers. They are so different, it’s really difficult to choose. FOREST PARK: Logan Book 2 has that haunting image of the soldier and the Vietnamese woman in the background. It speaks to several of the important themes in the book - both personal and larger, societal issues-how war affects people immediately, and for generations.

Q.  Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book.
A.  When I first started out, a local business set up a book signing for me. I sat at a little table, with an old-fashioned fountain pen and my books all fanned out, ready to go! A woman came over and I got all excited! My first fan! I was crushed when she asked for directions to the bathroom! Luckily, my career has improved since then!

Q.  Are you working on something new?
A. Yes, I am hard at work on Logan Book 3! No title yet, but it brings Logan back to Jasper, CA and involves sea otters, salty dogs, and seduction…

Q.  Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?
A.  Books have often been my solace as well as my joy.  When I decided to create this mystery series, I wanted to write the kind of books I could sink my teeth into: character-driven, intelligent mysteries where I might even learn something new. I hope you enjoy my Logan McKenna series as much as I enjoy writing about her! I also love to connect with readers and writers on my author site, . I’d like to invite you to stop by and check out the most recent posts. Follow me to learn about upcoming events and workshops. You can also find me on Facebook and Twitter. And a Big Thanks to Emily for this opportunity to share my work with you.

Buy the books HERE

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