Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Bad Spirits - Books 1-5 (Kate Jones Adventure Series) by D.V. Berkom

Bad Spirits - Books 1-5 (Kate Jones Adventure Series)
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Kate Jones is on the run with a backpack full of money, intent on finding her way back to the United States from Mexico. Unfortunately, a ruthless drug lord named Salazar is just as intent on finding her, retrieving his stolen money, and making her pay for ever having left him. Is there anyone she can trust?

Bio: DV Berkom grew up in the Midwest, received her BA in Political Science from the University of Minnesota, and promptly moved to Mexico to live on a sailboat.

Several years and at least a dozen moves later, she now resides outside of Seattle, Washington with her sweetheart Mark, an ex-chef-turned-contractor, and writes whenever she gets a chance. You're welcome to email her at dvb (at) dvberkom (dot) com or chat with her on Facebook or Twitter- she loves to hear from readers as well as other writers.


Something didn't feel right.


Dirt floor.

My left side ached, and I could barely swallow. I sat with my eyes closed and tried to recall what happened. The events from the previous night came crashing back into the present, and the fear of discovery threatened to overwhelm me again.

I peeked around the corner of the corrugated steel building. A lone goat munched on some dried grass near a split-rail fence. A few yards away a rooster pecked at the hard, dry earth. An older woman with salt and pepper colored hair and skin like a walnut scattered seed in front of him. She clutched a brown and white serape around her against the early morning chill.

Everything appeared calm, bucolic, even. I leaned back against the metal wall and took stock of my position.

Salazar ruled this little section of Sonora with an iron hand. The woman outside would not help me, for fear of payback. In fact, no one who knew him would be fool enough to assist Salazar's crazy American woman.
Especially when she took something that belonged to him. Something he valued above all else. And it wasn't only his pride, although that would be enough to get me killed.

I opened the canvas backpack next to me to make sure the contents were still safe, that I hadn't somehow lost it all in my mad rush to escape.
The cash was all there. I breathed a sigh of relief. It meant my survival. Without it, I would have nothing with which to bargain for my life, if it came to that. As it was, the stash wouldn't get me the immediate help I so desperately needed. It wasn't like I could call a cab in this part of Mexico, even if I had a phone.

If I knew Salazar, he'd already locked down the small airport a few miles away, and was probably trying to bribe aviation officials in Hermosillo, Oregon and even Puerto PeƱasco, although each of the towns lay miles from his hacienda.

I needed to get to San Bruno, a small fishing village on the Sea of Cortez. Salazar didn't have much pull with the ex-pats who lived there. Besides, they'd help a fellow American.

Especially one with a boat load of dinero.

Interview with D.V. Berkom

What will readers like about your book? 
Readers who love fast-paced, action-packed suspense with a strong heroine will like this book.

Why did you self publish? 
I love the whole entrepreneurial aspect of self-publishing: being able to choose the format, book cover, getting to know readers, planning book launches, and yes, self-promotion. I've learned so much in the last few months about the e-pubbing industry and it's exciting! What a fantastic time to be a writer!

What is your writing process? 
I work full-time, so carving out enough time to write is a challenge. I usually write on my lunch hour, at home in the evenings and at least one day on the weekend. I have a vague idea of what I want to achieve in terms of plot by the time I start the story, although many times the more I get to know the characters, the more the idea for the story changes. I love that part!

How long does it take you to write your first draft? 
Depends on the length. Lately, I've been intrigued by novella length- it suits my lifestyle and attention span :-). It usually takes a few weeks to get the first draft finished, followed by a couple of weeks of editing, sending to beta readers, polishing, etc. All in all, about two months. As for novel length, it can take me anywhere from four months to a year, depending on research.

What inspired you to write this particular story? 
The escalating drug cartel violence in Mexico. I lived in Mexico for a time and fell in love with the country and people. The idea that such a family-oriented culture had to deal with incredibly stressful circumstances in their daily lives gave me the kernel for the story. I also lived in Arizona off and on for years- it's very hard to live in the Phoenix metro area and not be affected by the polarization created by the whole illegal immigration issue. Let's just say I saw a lot of hypocrisy. Ultimately, though, I wanted to write an entertaining story and blow things up.

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