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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Spotlight Saturday: Guest Post and Giveaway with David P. Holmes, author of Loose Gravel

Hi, everyone!

Welcome to another edition of Spotlight Saturday at Darlene's Book Nook, where we feature authors and their books!

We will be joined today by David P. Holmes.

About David:

I was born and raised in a congested neighborhood in Minneapolis, during what is now nostalgically called, ‘The Great Depression’. Mothers stayed home then, doing what mothers did. Mine, grudgingly raised us in a cold water flat with one bedroom for four people. My parents were a dissimilarity in character, which was the catalyst to frequent conflicts. My father was a pacifist, while my mother was a war lord. When they were congenial to each other, the topic of discussion was usually the trouble my brother and I caused. My father could have never afforded alimony payments, so thankfully for him, the Catholic doctrine forbade divorce.

My early life was devoid of things not considered a necessity, but I look back at this as a lesson in reality. There were no gifts. Whatever you wanted or needed would be gained by working for it, or by absconding with it, which never worked. Missteps by children were handled at home during those days, much more effective than legal intervention.

However harsh my mother’s attention to us was, it remains a lesson today. Metered by my father’s logical and psychological approach, my upbringing is the one greatest element that formed who I am. I am constantly aware that the one single value I treasure is having a father who showed that love, care, and understanding were values worth holding—and a good foundation to build on.

My first marriage was tumultuous at its best point. I had unwittingly married a woman exactly like my mother. Humorous now, in retrospect, and yet another lesson. My second marriage was my salvation, showing me that there are kind, loving, and wonderful people still available. A day never goes by that she doesn’t know how much I love her.

In my professional life I was a technical writer in a manufacturing setting. With drafting and design knowledge I was able to instruct others on methods and systems to produce an economical and quality controlled product. Educational, and fraught with experience in writing, but incredibly boring. Four years with the Air Force, one of which was spent in a Quonset hut in Korea, was nothing more than enlightening.

My father was an artist, and all he ever wanted out of life was to paint landscapes and beautiful people. He died never realizing his one dream. When I retired I made a vow to amend the vacuum in my father’s life. I had a burning need to create literature that had feeling, with a message. I wasn’t going to die unfulfilled.

I am often asked why I tend to write on issues that delve into the mistreatment of women. In some form or other, the suppression of women appears in much my work. Psych 101 will teach that I am compensating for the absence of a loving mother. I hold a deep respect and admiration for women, and endeavor to create a safe loving place for women who are being subjugated. Through my book, Emily’s Run, I was invited to sit on the board of directors for the local crisis center, and I work part time with disadvantaged people.

My Smedly and I live in the woods in Central Minnesota, among the pines, maples, birch, and poison ivy, in a log house my wife and I built. We’re happy here and consider our intrusion on the wild being justified by giving the mosquitoes a never ending supply of food.


Welcome to Darlene's Book Nook, David!

David has written a guest post, so I will now turn the floor over to him!

I am a very emotional person, and the passion for expressing that, is the reason I have taken to writing. I think that my being able to put feelings onto the printed page is a blessing. My earlier writing was stymied by my concern for offending readers. I have since learned that my writing is my individualism, and by trying to at least keep it tasteful, I’ll only offend those who are in disagreement with my philosophy. And that, I am pleased to say, breeds discussion.

I am a fan of Mickey Spillane and the way he describes confounding situations. When Mike Hammer shot a guy, he just didn’t point and shoot. Spillane brought the reader on the same path as the bullet, experiencing the wrath of destruction. He excited the reader. I want to excite readers. I want them to experience the drama as if they were one of the characters feeling the pain, tension, horror, or joy, as it happens. Fiction must be truer than true to be believable. I want to leave the reader breathless, wanting more.

I begin Loose Gravel letting the reader know what they are in for:

It all started with Isabelle’s jealousy, fueled by her unstable mental condition. If she had left it alone, nobody would have gotten hurt, and nobody would have died. Now, she sat hidden in the roadside bushes facing the front of the large white house, waiting for the chance to steal a gun to murder her mother.

Mysteries are loaded with machismo heroes that always win by playing fair, and of course, get the girl. The CSI and Criminal Minds dramas we are drawn to can be entertaining. There is always a perfect ending, brought about by perfect people, but not in real life. Real life is more likely to be filled with people like Detective Harold Bruntz:

After being called to a crime scene

            Detective Bruntz waddled off to his rusty Plymouth, the driver’s door creaking open to let him in, hiding from the frenzy in Gordon’s house. At one time, Harold would have been at the center of the show, directing traffic, assigning tasks and comfortable as the ring master. Things were different now, and he was smart enough to stay out of the way while younger and more aggressive detectives did the grunt work.
            Staring out the windshield at the commotion, he wondered how many times he’s seen people’s lives shattered by foolish acts that could have been avoided. How many stories had he been compelled to listen to about monstrous dealings of infidelity, lying and stealing. Harold Bruntz just could not understand how the human race got so screwed up.
            Shaking his head he knew he couldn’t hide from it; yes, he did know. Lighting his cigar and downing the last of the half pint, he understood completely that he was one of the vilest offenders. The only difference now, was that he could sit back and watch others do it.

Hard boiled and immune to criticism, Harold Bruntz has a weak point that brings him to his knees:

In a grave yard at a visit to a particular site

            Yo-yo looked deep into the waste-land behind his pale eyes, seeing the pathetic clutter that made up the notorious Harold Bruntz. Touching the bottle with her fingertip, Yo-yo quietly said, “Yes, Harold, she’s going to love it. It’s a very nice perfume for a seventeen-year old.”
            He gently set it on the stone tablet, and his body started shaking again. He tried to hold it back, until he was told, “Let it go man, let it all out. Let Rachel feel the tears to tell her how much you miss her and still love her.”
            Rolling over, his inflated stomach keeping him from somersaulting, his heartache came out in a gushing moan, “Oh God, my baby. I’m sorry, honey. Oh, I miss you so much. Ohhhh.”

My latest book, HellBurger, gives Harold Bruntz a cameo, but also gives birth to another washed up alcohol driven mess, Norby Klein. I experimented with writing in the first person and discovered a whole new avenue to inject humor and feelings.
Thanks so much for joining us today, David!


One lucky winner will win a copy of Loose Gravel.

Welcome to the dark world of Harold Bruntz, a thirty-year veteran of the Minneapolis police force. Detective Bruntz is tenacious about bringing justice to the streets he works. His methods of exacting righteousness can be brutal, illegal, unethical, and quite often deadly.

He is overweight, a drunken slob, and has no hygienic values. Up to now, the only thing he cared about was cheap whiskey, cheap cigars, and his cheap woman. This case will overturn Harold's sordid life, adding one element he was not prepared for.

In Loose Gravel, Harold confronts the most evil and sinister product of the devil's loins, Leonid Cherasky, a sadistic Russian underworld mob boss. Bodies are piling up around Bruntz, and Cherasky must be taken down before there can be closure on the mess. Dealing with a psychotic killer, a mother and daughter bent on destroying each other, and dirty politics in the squad room, Harold puts his own life on the line for a woman who wants nothing to do with him.

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To enter the giveaway, you must complete the Rafflecopter entry form below.

The giveaway is open to Canada/US mailing addresses only and will close at 12:00 AM CST on March 23, 2013.


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