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Friday, October 10, 2014

A Deadly Denial by Kathy Bennett

Title: A Deadly Denial
Series: LAPD Detective Maddie Divine, Book 3
Release Date: July 30, 2014
Pages: 293 pages
Publisher: Kathy Bennett
Age: Adult! These books feature commonly used street language and violence. 
Genre: Suspense/Thriller

Book Summary:
Someone is killing cops in Los Angeles. Detective Maddie Divine is assigned to the elite Robbery Homicide Division to join the hunt for the cop killer. With officers being murdered every few days, the suspect list grows longer as secrets, deceit, and denials are uncovered.

Maddie Divine – Maddie's keeping a secret and if her co-workers knew, they'd put her in a padded cell and give her a rubber gun. Meanwhile, her former partner, Cash McCool, has some explaining to do. But will she accept his justification for his actions? 

Cash McCool – He and Maddie were on the brink of a relationship. What drove him away, and how does he react when he and Maddie are assigned to track the cop killer together?

Rex Rango – Why can't this newlywed cop say no to a female deputy chief and stay out of her bed? He thinks he's gotten away with his betrayal, but he's wrong.

Jill Rango – Two months after her wedding, personal and professional scandals have Jill fighting to hang on to her husband and her badge. When one of her secrets is exposed, she's suddenly on the short-list for a murder rap. 

Holly Banks – Married to an older man, Holly has manipulated men all her life. As her list of lies increase, the LAPD's suspicions grow that Holly is involved in something a lot more serious than artful string-pulling. Holly says she's innocent…but is she telling the truth?

Edison Watts – The early-morning radio 'shock-jock' fans the flames of alleged police corruption, while protecting his reputation, king-sized ego, and secrets of his own. Will his whole empire be lost as a result of one drunken mistake?

Jacqueline Girrard – After turning in a key piece of incriminating evidence in a murder investigation, the statuesque stunner sets her sights on Maddie's partner. Will the easy-going detective jeopardize the investigation by falling victim to Jacqueline's charms?

About Kathy Bennett:

Kathy Bennett is no stranger to murder and mayhem. She served twenty-nine years with the Los Angeles Police Department – eight as a civilian employee and twenty-one years as a sworn police officer. While most of her career was spent in a patrol car, she’s also been a Firearms Instructor at the LAPD Academy, a crime analyst in the “War Room”, a Field Training Officer, a Senior Lead Officer, and worked undercover in various assignments. Kathy was honored to be named Officer of the Year in 1997.
On the personal side, she’s married to a Los Angeles Police Officer, Rick and they have one daughter and one granddaughter. Kathy likes to go hiking with Rick and their two Labrador Retrievers, incorporating photography into many of their adventures. Attempting to recapture some of the excitement of working the streets, Kathy can periodically be found in Las Vegas risking a few bucks.  
Guest Post by Kathy Bennett

Can Moving Change Who You Are?

My husband and I just moved from Southern California to Idaho. One of the first things we noticed when we moved here (we're right outside of Boise) is that the people are extremely nice. In fact, when we talk about our interactions with other citizens of Idaho, we describe it as Stepford-like – just too good to be true.

As retirees, we're both enjoying the slower pace of life. But there is more than a slower pace to make us glad we relocated. When I go into a store and I'm looking for something, the store employee is never satisfied to follow my directions of: "Point me in the right direction and I'm sure I'll find it." The clerk has always insisted on taking me to find the item I'm looking for and then advising me the pros and cons of the item I'm considering.

This goodwill has rubbed off to the point where I'm intentionally being nicer to the people I interact with – no matter who they are. I got a call from a telemarketer last week and I actually listened to their spiel. When I got a chance to talk, I explained my position about them calling me and interrupting my day and how I just don't have time to listen to something they're selling that I know I don't want.

Now, for all I know, this telemarketer could be calling me from downtown Los Angeles, but instead of hanging up the instant I figured out it was a pitch, I gave him my reasons for not wanting to talk to him. When I lived near Los Angeles, I'd get those kinds of calls about every other day. As soon as I they started their pitch I'd hang up. We've been here a month and I've only got one telemarketer call. Is it my nicer demeanor? Has the telemarketer put me on a bi-monthly call list? Who knows?

But, since the move, I've changed in other ways. In L.A. I took pride in rarely cooking. I often said that I'd starve if it wasn't for my husband…and that statement was true. Now, I'm trying at least one new recipe a week. I'm actually cooking more. Thanks to our new house, there is room for everything. My office still needs to be unpacked, but since my desk just arrived yesterday, I don't feel that I'm behind. See? I've got a more laid-back attitude.

A few other side effects of the move…I'm driving more slowly. I’m not always in a rush. When I see someone trying to pull out into traffic, I stop and wave them into my lane. And no one behind me honks as I do this act of kindness. They'd probably have done it if I hadn't let the other driver in.

I'm learning that not everyone hates their jobs. In fact, most people are thrilled to have their jobs and aren't looking 'for a way out.' They take pride in jobs that many people  wouldn't consider taking.

Our new neighbors actually came and introduced themselves to us. They weren't pushy about finding out who we were. They just wanted us to know they were available if we had any questions about the neighborhood or the community.

I've found my TV habits have changed, too. In Los Angeles, there is local news on TV almost 24 hours a day. Here, if you're not up by 7:00 a.m., you've missed the local news. I've discovered that I can live without my morning news 'fix' that sometimes lasted hours.

Lastly, the newness, the uncertainty, the adventure of it all has brought my husband and I (who were already very close) closer together. We go out together to explore our new neighborhood and surrounding cities. We're discovering new favorite restaurants, the best places for haircuts, and groceries. We're both extremely relaxed and happy.

In about 10 days I'm heading down to Los Angeles to visit my mom and daughter.
What would make our transition ideal would be if my mother moved here and my daughter and her family lived here too. But right now, that isn't in the cards.

But that's okay. Because of our move, I'm striving to be a better person, and I'm making headway.

Now my only worry is that my new, pleasant, relaxed attitude is going to rub off on my sharp, smart-mouthed, lead character in my suspense books, Maddie Divine. It's one thing for me to become nicer, but Maddie still actively deals with lowlifes, criminals, and felons. In order to fight crime in Los Angeles, she's going to have to maintain her current manner –  therefore, I think it's safe to say Maddie is never going to move to Idaho!

Tell us about your latest worktitle, genre, etc. and why you wrote it?
My latest book is called A Deadly Denial, and is the third book in the LAPD Detective Maddie Divine series. My books are mystery/suspense books…but some readers consider them thrillers as well.

Law enforcement officers are often targets for violence and death. While it's true an officer knows that they're entering a profession where they may be killed, it's a whole different story when police officers are being hunted…merely because they wear a badge. That's what A Deadly Denial is about…LAPD officers being hunted.
What draws you to your genre(s)? Why is this type of story compelling to you?
I was a Los Angeles Police Officer for twenty-one years and I loved my job. I've always been interested in crime and the people who commit them. I love to create scenarios based on my experience and twist and tweak those incidents into suspenseful stories.
What is your writing process like? Do you map the whole thing out or do you just let it unfold?
I've found each book to be a different experience, but I do believe my process is different than most writers. I come up with a title and a book cover idea and then write the story. I usually know what the major crime is going to be and who is responsible, and what personal problem my lead character, Maddie Divine will face, but the rest of the story happens as I write.
What kind of research was involved?
Fortunately, because of my background as a police officer, I don't need to do much research. That's not to say I think I know it all – because I know I don't know it all. No one does.
How much of YOU makes it into your characters?
Ha ha! Probably too much. When I was working as a police officer I often had these internal dialogues going on in my head when I was talking with co-workers and supervision. Now those types of thoughts bleed onto the page – especially with my character, Maddie. Sometimes she can be quite the smart mouth.
How do you balance the need to have time to write with the needs of family, society, etc.?
This has always been a huge problem for me. My husband and I just moved to Idaho and my schedule and lifestyle are completely different here. I haven't yet established my writing schedule, but I know that, in the past, I've always done better writing late at and night and into the wee hours of the morning. We'll see how it goes here in my new surroundings.
Have there been any authors in particular, that inspired your writing?
The various authors who wrote the Trixie Belden mystery series were my first influences into mystery writing. More recently, James Patterson, and a surprise answer of Jackie Collins! Patterson taught me it's okay to write in short chapters – and I do! Collins introduced me to, what I call, a revolving point-of-view. What I mean by that is that in Chapter One you're introduced to one character and their story, and in Chapter Two you're introduced to another character and what's going on in their life, and Chapter Three will feature a totally different character. Then as the story goes on those characters and their individual stories blend into one big story. I always worry that the individual stories won't mesh together at the end, but somehow they always have…thankfully!
Is there a story you want to tell behind or about your work(s)?
I write authentic crime in arresting stories. I take bits and pieces of people I've seen, met, arrested, or worked with, mix them with things I've experienced or witnessed (or imagined), and tweak them all to come up with an entertaining story.
What other projects are you currently working on or about to start?
I'm currently working on the forth Maddie Divine suspense. I have the title and the cover all planned out and the story is coming along. I have been slowed down by our move, but I'm chomping at the bit to get back to the problems, crooks, and crimes I've set up. I'm really looking forward to getting the next book out there.
Could you share some of your marketing strategies?  Which ones are the most effective in your opinion?
I'm thrilled to say that Barnes and Noble chose the first book in the Maddie Divine series, A Deadly Blessing, as one of their best e-books of 2012. I use that fact every chance I get! Word of mouth is the best way for me (or anyone) to gain new readers. I like to reach out to readers who may not have heard of me through doing guest blogs, and I take out advertisements as my wallet will allow J
What would be the top five, (or 3 or 1 or however many) things you would tell aspiring authors?
I would tell aspiring authors that writing is a lot of work and that you have to put your fanny in the chair and type out those words. I'd also tell them there is no one way to get your story published. Do what feels right for you.

Do you have a favorite line or scene from the book?
Without giving too much away…the last scene of the book – there is a twist that, at first, even I didn't see coming!
Tell us about the inspiration for ...  What part of the book came to you first?
The idea for A Deadly Denial came from the manhunt for a former LAPD officer who went on a rampage killing police officers from several jurisdictions in Southern California. As that horrible reality unfolded, I can't describe the anxiety that ALL police officers felt. I tried to capture those anxious times on the pages of A Deadly Denial.
How did you first envision the plot of the book, and what changed as you went through the planning, research, and/or writing process?
I didn't have much of the book plotted out, other than the fact that someone was going to be killing numerous LAPD officers. At first, I wasn't even sure who was going to do it. Then all these crazy side stories came up and it was a goulash of crime and drama, seasoned with a smidge of humor.
You obviously did extensive research for this novel:  what are some of your most useful or favorite sources that you’d recommend to others?
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Please open your book at a random page and tell us the first paragraph…
Saturday morning I walked into RHD carrying two bags of bagels and a large box of donuts. If I must be assigned to work on a weekend, there needed to be some reward in it for me. Bloating myself with carbohydrates fit the bill perfectly.

Again, thanks Kathy for taking the time to share your knowledge with us. We appreciate you and your work.

Thank you, Dee, for having me on your blog. Those were great questions!
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