Tag Archives: Agatha Christie

Kindred Intentions by Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli

A book is something that we pick up to read and if we are lucky will light our imagination. If we are even more fortunate it, that same book will get us hooked. The reader will not want to put it down as they are afraid to miss a moment of what is unfolding in the story that is being told by those words on the page. It is not every day that a reader will come across a book like that, and it’s even more rare to have an author continually turn out books with such storylines we cannot help but want to read it cover to cover in one sitting. Author Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli really hooked me with her Red Desert set of books, about life on Mars, but has done it again with her book, Kindred Intentions.

Kindred Intentions takes the reader into a police investigation of murders that are happening at the law firm of, Goldberg & Associates. We are quickly introduced to agent Amelia Jennings who has the job of finding out who is committing those murders.  However, things never seem to go as planned and before we know it people are out to get Amelia and she has to find out who is behind this all.

The reader will also find out as Amelia runs she will have one Mike Connor along for the ride. The issue is can she trust Mike and is he who he says, well I’m sure I could say but that is giving things away.

In the previous point I mentioned, “along for the ride”, and that’s what this book is. Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli has so many twists and turns within the pages of the book you may feel highs and lows as if riding a roller coaster.  The book has spots of humor that had me laugh out loud, and get a strange look from those nearby as I read. On the other side there are points that are dark as one must recall they are after a murderer.

The story is well developed, well told and if one tried to create a murder board as seen on TV shows, the intersections and paths would be confusing to follow, at first. This is the great hidden piece of the book the way you think you may have finally figured things out only to turn a page, and realize you were wrong. It can be upsetting for sure but it also makes you dive further into the story as you tell yourself you’ll figure out who it is.

I’ll add that this was one of the complaints about Agatha Christie’s books on how she would hide things from readers that only her detectives picked up on. It did frustrate some during her time, but it’s not the case within the pages of Kindred Intentions. Instead all you need to figure things out are here but life its complex.

Now, I will add that as I read this I would have to tell myself that what I thought could be misspellings are not ones at all. The books setting is in London, England, and thus the British English is utilized in the book and to me just added more realism. I would not expect a British character to be using American terminology, and as a reminder English is not author Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli first language. It however does not matter what language you may read this in as the story in itself is what will capture your attention and suck you into the pages, be that they are digital or real. Kindred Intentions is just one well written book with plot lines that are developed masterfully and a story more twisted at times than a pretzel, but well worth the read.

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Posted by on October 28, 2017 in Reviews


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Ten Plus One Questions with Author Sam Abbott

A Cold GoodbyeSome others will give a full paragraph on who they are and others are a bit more shy about telling readers who they are. Then of course there are authors who can write word after word and save that for their creations I believe that author Sam Abbott falls into the category of saving their writing. I say this as there are several Ned Fain books in publcation. Also one thing read the answers carefully as you will learn some real information about Sam Abbott is. So without further comment lets get to those questions.

Question 1: When did you realize first wanted to be a writer?

As a kid I used to write 10 to 20 page thank-you notes for birthday and Christmas gifts; I guess I could say that was the bug first biting me. I’m a late starter, though; took me years to actually pen my first story.

Question 2:  How did your friends/family take the loss of your time as you wrote the book?

My husband travels a lot for work, so my writing time isn’t much noticed by him. Other than that, I’ve been in business for myself for years, and writing has now become the business I wish I’d always been doing.

Question 3: What inspired you to write A Cold Goodbye?

Honestly, I don’t remember anything specific. Readers often ask where my ideas come from and the only answer I can give is that they just don’t stop. It’s rather problematic, actually, and can be quite a distraction.

Question 4: During the initial writing process where did you get the idea for the book and its characters? 

The books I write are the books I like to read, which covers a fairly broad spectrum. Ned Fain evolved in my mind over a period of time and he was pretty real to me before I even began to think of a plot. Much of that thought process developed during my morning walks with my dogs, and as I got to know Ned I began to imagine his story. I did want a character who was physically challenged, including in his looks, and in the second book in the series that leads to Sylvi, who turns out to be a pretty different lady. As to the opening setting of the book, I wanted something a little off-the-wall, so began with “somewhere” in a zoo and ended up at the polar bear pit.

Question 5: Who were some of the authors that inspired you as a child growing up and their books? 

Well, The Chronicles of Narnia, C. S. Lewis, completely enchanted me, and I read the series over and over. At age 12 I discovered boys, (Sam Abbott is a pseudonym, if you didn’t already know) and went through a dreamy-eyed phase of Georgette Heyer historical romances. However, Miss Heyer was also an accomplished writer of mystery, and before you know it I’d worked my way to Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers and Ngaio Marsh among others.

Question 6: What was the feeling like when you saw the first completed version of your book?

Nervous. ‘Nuff said.

Question 7: Do you continue to write and in what genre? 

Absolutely I’ll keep writing; Ned Fain isn’t ready to retire yet. Another PI series I’m working on as Liz Dodwell features a gorgeous, yet emotionally scarred, Icelandic woman: Elka Dahl, the Agency Confidential Series. And I have an ongoing series of an amateur sleuth who also happens to be a shipwreck treasure hunter – the Captain Finn Treasure Mysteries. Last year I wrote a cozy mystery story of a pet-sitter – Polly Parrett, which I’m picking back up for the end of this year. There’s also a new detective series in the works – a supernatural mystery, of sorts – and I’m adding to my range with a little Arthurian Sword & Sorcery.

By now you’re thinking I’m all over the place. Well, yep; it’s true. I’ve tried, I’ve really tried, to stick with one series at a time but finally had to accept my mind just doesn’t work that way. Though I’ve trained myself to create in-depth outlines I still get blocked at times. When that happens, I jump to a different series and keep on writing.

Question 8: Who do you imagine being the people reading your book?

For Ned Fain I chose a male pen name because men are still more likely to read mystery/thriller. However, it seems more and more women are learning to enjoy this type of intrigue, which is why I created Elka Dahl. As for cozies, mature women far outnumber everyone else.

Question 9: Any good suggestions for those who want to try writing their own book?

Write something short and get it out there so you can get past that fear of failure and learn the production side of the business. Don’t sweat reviews and don’t reply to reviews. If you don’t have any reviews, it’s no big deal. As I write this there are two books in the Amazon top 100 that have only three reviews, and another with just one; and every top author has plenty of one-star reviews. Once your book is published, the real work begins: it won’t sell unless you put some effort into marketing it, so do your due diligence.

Question 10: When not writing how does you like to spend your time?

Ah, reading is definitely up there, along with walking the dogs – I have a pit bull and two poodles. My husband and I love dining out and traveling and I like to yodel. (Just kidding about that last one).

The + 1 Question (In this case I ask authors to answer one or the other. We got a bonus as answered both.)

If you had any one place in the world you could travel to for a book tour, where would that place be, and why? 

Hmm, I had to think about this and I’m inclined to say I’d go to Afghanistan – where Ned Fain met his fate – and hand out books to the remaining troops, or visit military bases here in the US.

If your book got turned into a movie do you have any actors/actresses you’d like to see play your characters?

For Ned, JR Martinez would certainly have to be in the running, but I could also see Robert Downey, Jr., Bradley Cooper or James Franco.

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Posted by on September 26, 2015 in Reviews


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Ten +1 Questions with Author Stefania Mattana

captain-pinnera2 (2)Author Stefania Mattana  is not a native English speaker being from Sardinia.  This has not stopped her from writing several short stories, a blog on the Huffington Post and her own website. She also has a sense of humor that may show in some of the below answers, but surely on her writer blog. Why do I say that, well let me just give you a bit of what she writes about herself.

“I write crime novels and detective stories because I’m a snooper. I always have been, ever since I was a kid.

I’m from Sardinia and currently living in London, a city I really love. The only things I miss about Italy are my little dog and the bidet. Nothing else, as I’m able to prepare an outstanding pizza by myself… so problem solved!”

So, that’s just a bit on the author and now lets get on to the questions and her answeres.

Question 1: What inspired you to write Into The Killer Sphere?

It might sound rhetorical but I got inspiration from two of my favorite Agatha Christie’s books: “The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side” and “Hercules Poirot’s Christmas”, which is also one of my fav books ever. If you have a deeper look at Into the Killer Sphere I guess you will find some little details that will recall those titles, although the plot is not connected to them. It’s my way to pay credits to the queen of crime.

Question 2: Is there any significance to the name names of your main characters?

Yes, of course. I carefully chose my main character’s name, Chase. In English, “to chase” means going after with the intent to catch, which is basically what Chase does whilst investigating. Chase comes from a “police” family: his father is a Scotland Yard sergeant, while his older brother, Scott, is a RAF pilot. I like to think that Chase’s mother has felt her son’s deep soul before his birth and called him Chase for this reason.

The surname Williams comes from my passion for Serena Williams, the tennis player, and the former Wales rugby wing Shane Williams.

Concerning the other recurring character, I tried to stay with Romans/Italian names, as Giulia, Marcella, Paola, Luciano (the dog), Benito etc.

Angelo, Chase’s Inspector friend, is a different story. To create Angelo’s body feature I was inspired by a friend of mine whose surname is Angeloni. Since I didn’t want to use his name, Federico, I went for his surname. All the Italian surnames mentioned in my books are centre Italy popular/traditional surnames.

Question 3: During the writing process did you find yourself thinking about any of your memories?

It depends. Chase’s life is not as smooth and happy as mine, but you can find some of my memories or things related to my life in other characters. For example, Giulia’s dog, Luciano, is exactly how my dog looks like (and behaves, unfortunately).

Sometimes I create places according to what I saw and travelled in my life, while I don’t dislike to build characters and places from scratch. I think it’s pretty normal for an author to mix reality and pure creativity to get things interesting.

Question 4: What were some of your favorite books growing up?

When I was little I obviously loved fairy tales. I was more attracted by the horror/not-happy-ending ones than by the classic princess-marring-Prince-Charming, such as Hans Christian Andersen’s tales or my favorite tale ever, Bluebeard. I think it’s a masterpiece. Sometimes I also loved changing tales’ endings (my father told me that), like Little Red Riding Hood. In my version, the girl opened the wolf tummy and started eating him for revenge. I was four. Yes, I know what you’re thinking!

The books that changed my life while growing up are too many, starting from Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women (Jo March’s story really had an impact on me when I was ten), Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men or Hemingway’s The Old Man and The Sea, along of many Dostoyevsky’s masterpieces.

Crime fiction speaking, I started reading Agatha Christie when I was about eight. George Simenon and Andrea Camilleri have influenced me as well, especially in the way they tell their literary world, they’re amazing.

Question 5: Do you hear from fans of the book, and if you do what do they say?

Yeah, Chase’s fan are growing, that makes me feel proud of my British lad. Most of them ask me what the hell Chase did in London to be kicked out of Scotland Yard. I keep my mouth zipped as I don’t want to revel anything about Chase’s past. One reader also told me to not die unless I have already left a note about Chase’s past, lol. Well, I want to live as much as possible so I won’t put anything written about that… I can at least avoid readers’ attacks!

Question 6: What was the feeling like when you saw the very first printed version of your book?

I am about to find it out soon as I haven’t already printed them. First of all because Cutting Right to the Chase is a very small ebook, so it doesn’t worth the effort. On the other hand, Into the Killer Sphere reaches a good length for being printed, so I’m currently working on the printed version. Can’t wait to hold it!

Question 7: Do you continue to write?

Yes, I do. The Chase Williams saga is just started and I’m on Pull The Trigger, a longer novella with two young dead athletes. The second volume of Cutting Right to the Chase, this time featuring 10 x 1000k words, will be out very soon. Another 100k novel is almost ready and two other plots have been developed. I can say Chase is meddling around pretty often in Tursenia!

Question 8: What is the message you are want people to take away from the book?

What I learnt from the greatest mystery authors is that if you want to deliver a great crime story you don’t have to hide any collateral message. The best message you might send is: there’s no perfect murders as long as there’re brilliant minds around. That makes sense, doesn’t it?

Question 9: If you could envision a future for your main character, what would it be?

Probably getting around with a lady enough patient to understand his troubled mind. I don’t want to spoiler anything to any potential new reader of my series, but honestly I don’t think that a guy like Chase could resist too much sitting in front of a monitor dispatching cashmere stuff. He has crime hunting blood in his veins.

Question 10: Who are those in the dedication of the book, and their importance to you?

I haven’t put any written dedication on my books, but my parents, my sister and my partner know that Chase would never exist without their support, inspiration, suggestions and – sometimes – cheers up.

The + 1 Question: If you had any one place in the world you could travel to for a book tour, where would that place be, and why?

I’d probably choose the United States. First of all because it’s a huge country with a lot of different landscapes and things to see. Secondly because most of my readers are from the US, so it would be a way to thank them for their great support so far.

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Posted by on January 31, 2014 in Interview


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