Friday, February 27, 2015

Admit to Mayhem by DJ Adamson | Blog Tour with Excerpt and Author Interview

The Blurb

With a contrary attitude and an addiction for independence, Lillian Dove admits she has not been a success in life. In fact, she considers failing as one of her addictions. Yet, when she comes across a suspicious house fire with a history of arson and murder, she instinctively attempts to help someone trapped. Lillian becomes the only possible eyewitness to criminal arson, and her life begins to spiral out of control. 

Lillian Dove is an endearing “everywoman” struggling with life issues, emotional complexities and a habit of doing just the opposite of what she’s told to do. These qualities in a heroine give the reader an ability to vicariously struggle along with the protagonist in this intriguing Midwest Noir mystery.

Admit to Mayhem by DJ Adamson 
Series: Lillian Dove Mystery, #1
Genre: Noir Mystery / Amateur Sleuth
Publisher: Horatio Press
Publication Date: March 10, 2014
Format: Paperback, Kindle
Paperback: 286 pages
ISBN-10: 0990307808
ISBN-13: 978-0990307808
E-Book File Size: 403 KB

Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

    The Excerpt

    My name is Lillian Dove. I am a recovering alcoholic, five years sober. 

    Five long years, yet the clink of ice in a glass still sets me on edge.

      There is no graduation from alcoholism. Or life, for that matter. I am also addicted to Pepsi, chocolate, men, being afraid, being afraid of not being afraid, men — again  and my independence, co-dependence and unsettling ability to fail no matter my attempt. There are other compulsions and bad habits, but I can’t think of them right now. Memory loss, see? And I obsess on how much I forget, if I remember. Giving up alcohol turned out to be easier than changing some of my other behaviors. 

    Especially my bad judgment when it comes to men. The type of man I’m most attracted to is like a tall, Tom Collins on a sweltering, summer day:  gin, a little lemon  but not too sour — with sweet syrup and bubbly soda.  It’s hard to resist, even if I know it’s not good for me.

    I’ve pledged a Tom-Collins-abstinence. 

    Yet, Chief Charles Kaefring began offering me his attention. I thought my sobriety realigned my sexual magnetism. I was attracting a different type.

    He started coming to my desk to tell me he was leaving and instructed me to send all his calls to his assistant. At first I couldn’t figure out why he thought I needed this instruction. I already transferred his calls as a manner of routine. Then a week after making sure I was aware of his whereabouts, I bumped into him lakeside at Louise’s Italian Kitchen. 

    Louise’s is my Friday night routine. I celebrate making it through another week.  One spaghetti dinner at a time. 

    After that Friday night, I saw him at Louise’s every week. If he got there before me, I’d see him glancing toward the entry as if waiting for me to arrive. If I got there first, I’d pretend I never expected him to show up  which was the truth. Each and every time he arrived, I was flabbergasted. 

    I wasn’t sure what was starting up between the two of us or who started it. I mean, how could a man like him seriously be interested in me?

    And even after weeks came and went, I still didn’t trust him. At each dinner he’d ask if I’d like wine with my meal. “Of course,” I’d say, letting my glass set without drinking it. If he worried the wine wasn’t good, I’d bring the glass to my lips, without sipping. I figured if he knew I had a drinking problem, he’d beat the hell out of there. Eventually though, he stopped asking if I wanted wine and only ordered one glass instead of two.

    Still, he kept showing up.

    I knew I was starting to slip into a situation that could toss my sobriety into the toilet, but meeting for dinner didn’t seem like backsliding into emotional drunkenness. Although, it never feels like slipping until you find yourself in a ragged heap of discontent.

    Our routine altered when on a Sunday afternoon he telephoned giving me a weather report. He said the day was hot and getting hotter. He said he was putting a steak on the barbecue, and he just happened to have two.  Are you hungry? 

    Interview with the Author

    I have a special guest in the studio today.  
    Please help me welcome DJ Adamson!

    Did you have a specific inspiration for this book?

    My father was estranged from his sister because of her alcoholism. I was told I favored her in personality. She died before I could meet her. The Mormon belief is that someone can still be saved after death. I wanted to give my Aunt Lillian sobriety.  My protagonist, Lillian Dove, is taking on life sober.  Alcoholism has little to do with the novel. Taking on a “new” life and self-identity are the overall internal themes.

    Do you have a favorite character in this book? 

    The setting is a small town called Frytown located in Iowa. I have met a great many people like my characters--Midwest, hardworking, farmers, small town citizens.  I would have to say my favorites to spend time with are Lillian and her mother Dahlia. These two don’t realize how very much alike they really are. Or see how they want the same things, they just don’t know how to ask for it.

    What is the best part of being an author?

    The best part? Being true to who I am. Writing. I can’t remember a day when I wasn’t creating a story. My family will tell you going to the grocery store can be an “event.” 

    When and why did you begin writing? 

    My mother stated I came out of the womb carrying a pencil and a piece of paper wanting to record my birth. My second grade English teacher said I was the best liar she’d ever met and I should be a storyteller. I have never NOT been writing, on paper or in my imagination.

    Do you prefer to write books that are in a series, or stand-alone books?

    I started writing and publishing short stories in literary journals. The Lillian Dove mystery series, first book Admit to Mayhem, is my first published novel. The next in the series, Suppose, will be out this fall 2015. I am also working on a syfy-mystery 3-part serial. The first book, Outré, is coming out this April. But, I also have drafts of stand alones I want to get back and revise.

    What books by other authors have influenced your life? 

    Not books, authors: Shirley Jackson, Flannery O’Connor, Faulkner, Steinbeck for some classic authors.  Stephen King, Kirkwood, Saramago, Coetzee... oh, heck. There are too many in too many genres to name. I read 4-6 novels a month.

    Which writer would you consider to be a mentor? 

    She doesn’t write my genre of writing, but I would have to say it is Joyce Carol Oates. What I like about her work is her bravery is digging for the truth of her characters. I’d also have to say Flannery O’Connor. She did the same, only the darker, secretive side of a human weakness.

    What are you currently reading?

    I am reading Saramago’s Death With Interruptions and waiting to receive the third novel in Laurie Steven’s Gabriel McRay series, The Mask of Midnight, due out in a couple of weeks. 

    Do you have any hobbies other than reading?

    I come from Iowa women. I have five generations of quilts in my house, and when I need to get out of my head, I quilt. I can’t say I was given the family talent just the pleasure of doing. My husband also travel when we can. We have traveled extensively, Europe, South America. 

    Are there any new authors who have captured your interest? 

    Again, the list would be too long. There are a great many good and enjoyable writers out there both traditionally published and Indie. How fortunate we all are to be able to read Indie work. Yesterday, we would have had to wait for these writers to die and then be discovered.  Let’s not forget Emily Dickinson’s work was discovered in her closet, poetry in shoeboxes. Now I can take my stories out the closet, so to speak, and put them in the marketplace. Wonderful.

    If you could have a dinner party and invite four authors, living or dead, in any genre, who would you invite, and why?

    First is Faulkner. I knew someone who studied under him. I read a Faulkner novel once a year to remind myself writing is art and craft as well as story.  Emily Dickinson, although she would probably be sitting behind a screen, as she sometimes did not want to directly communicate. Flannery O’Conner. And the last, Agatha Christie. She would find a way and reason to kill one of them. Or me.

    What four items do you always have in your fridge or pantry?

    See’s Scotch Kisses. For the good days when writing is moving smoothly. Popcorn to munch on while I am reading… remember, I have Midwestern blood. Or, crackers and cheese if I have opened up a bottle of white wine.

    Is there anything else you would like my readers to know?

    Writers write to offer others what they see in their mind’s eye. But it takes readers to re-envision. Every writer I know values those who read. I wish to thank all your readers for their time and their interest in my work. 


    Well, that's all the time we have for today's interview.  Thank you so much, DJ, for visiting the Jane Reads studio, and thank you to our great studio audience!  I hope you enjoyed the interview as much as I did.

    The Author

    About DJ Adamson

    D. J. Adamson is an award-winning author. Her family roots grow deep in the Midwest and it is here she sets much of her work. She juggles her time between her own desk and teaching writing to others at two Los Angeles area colleges. Along with her husband and two Welsh Terriers, she makes her home in Southern California.

    For More Information:
         Visit D.J.’s website.
         Connect with D.J. on Facebook.
         Connect with D.J. on Twitter.
         Find out more about D.J. at Goodreads.
      ●   Find out more about D.J. at Amazon.
         Visit D.J.’s blog.
         Contact D.J..

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