Aug 2015

J.J. Houston: Murder on Moon Street - Review and Interview w/Author



This is an engaging read. It romps right along with humor and intrigue. I was instantly attracted to smart-talking J.J., a very likable character whose wit remained consistent throughout the entire book. I found this to be a fun book that carried me into another time and place, with the added bonus of introducing enough archaeological facts to teach me something new and interesting. Highly recommend this book! 

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I had the opportunity to ask B.K. Crawford a few questions, to get to know her a little better. Below are her responses:

1.)
J.J. Houston: Murder on Moon Street is your third published book? What was your inspiration for this story?

Yes, J.J. is my third novel. The book started out as a memoir. I recently slipped into menopause (okay, I smacked into it like soft melon on a brick wall) and the emotional turmoil left me yearning for the days of my youth. So, as a fiction writer, I thought, since I don’t own a time machine, I can at least try to whisk myself back into my childhood. What started out as a memoir, quickly morphed into an action/adventure/mystery based on some real events. (Hint: Check out The ‘Bear Slapped’ chapter).

2.)
You include a fair bit of archaeological information in this book, has it always interested you? Is archaeology incorporated in all your books?

Archaeology has always been a passion and fascination for me, just as it is for J. J. Sadly, I never pursued the field although I most certainly meant to. Instead, I stayed on the sidelines as an ardent researcher. But, I don’t hear the fat lady singing, so there’s still time, and I may yet end up on a dig in some exotic place. Archaeology does play some role in most of my books, although you won’t find any reference to it in
The Future Queen, which is a comedic farce based on Arthurian legend. My interest in the legend itself probably came about because of my interest in archaeology and ancient history.

3.)
Your characters really come to life, are any based on real people?

Not usually, but it’s a big fat yes for Jennifer Jane and her family. As I said, the book started out as a memoir, so many of J. J.’s thoughts, interests, attitudes, and reactions are based on my own. J.J. is named after an online friend, a woman who is a real fire cracker. I chose her because I felt she and I had a lot of “down-home” qualities in common. (A big shout-out to Jenny!) Fortunately, I don’t know anyone like Hank Hornbrook, although I did borrow some of his evil qualities from people I knew in real life. “Write what you know,” I’m told.

4.)
When you're not writing, what do you enjoy doing most?

I fell in love with reading when Dick and Jane threw a ball to Spot. Getting lost in a good book is like taking a mini vacation. I still research a lot in archaeology and anthropology. I enjoy surfing the web and kicking back with a good novel. Fuel for the fire. When I’m reading, I often get ideas for new works, or an unexpected spark will ignite a new plot twist for a work in progress.

5.)
J.J. Houston has such a whip-smart humor, which really endears her to the reader. Have you always seen the funny side of life?

Not always. It’s sad, but true, that the best comedians in life have known the greatest suffering. It’s the way we choose to judge the events in our lives that makes the difference. It’s all perspective. We laugh or we cry. I’ve experienced cycling through these phases in my life, with long periods of laughter and long periods of absolute desolation. But, if you recall, my original aim in writing J.J. was to return to a happier period in my life. It was my way of cheating misery by going back in time without the required machinery. The young years in my life were days of total abandon. No real responsibilities, no worries, and a false sense of immortality. God, I miss those days. So, there’s a good chance I’ll attempt a sequel.
What a hoot.
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An Awesome Blog Review by B.K. Crawford!

The Olive Picker: A Mind Blowing Memoir
August 14, 2015
B.K. Crawford
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I don't normally "do" memoirs. I'm more of a fiction reader, a die-hard fan who read the entire Harry Potter series four times and watched the movies...*gulp* I just realized I'm not willing to admit how many times I've seen the movies. But sometimes, a book just reaches out, grabs you by the shirt collar, and insists on being read.

The Olive Picker is one such book. Honestly, I didn't expect much because I was reading outside my normal genre. After reading the first few pages of The Oliver Picker, I was no longer convinced the work was so different from fiction after all, as I could barely believe what I was reading.

I found myself carrying the book from room to room, unwilling to put it down while I went about my daily routine. Driven, I read it from start to finish in one day.

Kathryn Brettell is in total command of her craft. By that I mean she is a gifted writer, an excellent strategist, extremely creative, and honest until it hurts. So much so, you had better stock up on tissues before you embark on the journey she has laid out for her readers. I read the book nearly a month ago and it still haunts my thoughts.

Whenever I think of this story, I see a beautiful little pitbull pup in my mind, a pup made to fight for its life and usually against the larger, more ferocious dogs. It's that intense.

I couldn't possibly recommend this book to the faint of heart. But for everyone else, it will blow your socks off, mess with your head, make you laugh so hard you'll leak, and break your heart only to put it together again by the time you finish.
 
Thank you B.K. Crawford!  This was posted on her blog page The Magic Quill .
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