Sunday, October 21, 2012

No dog, or any animal for that matter, should endure this kind of treatment, especially at the hands of a veterinarian, a person charged with caring for animals.


This is what a Doberman should look like.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Under the Influence by Douglas Corleone

One common question all authors are asked is: who are your influences? For the past three years I’ve been writing a series of legal thrillers featuring Kevin Corvelli, a criminal defense lawyer who moved from New York City to Honolulu following the death of an innocent client.

The character of Kevin Corvelli was influenced by many other fictional criminal defense lawyers who came before him. David Rosenfelt’s Andy Carpenter gave me the courage to use wit and sarcasm with Kevin both in and out of the courtroom. Michael Connelly’s Mickey Haller gave Kevin a shot of confidence verging on cockiness. Steve Martini’s Paul Madriani helped hone Kevin’s courtroom skills and taught him how to deal with the press. John Lescroart’s Dismas Hardy gave Kevin the heart to play well with others.
Last Lawyer Standing is the third and final book in the Kevin Corvelli series. Next spring, Minotaur Books will release my first international thriller, Good as Gone, about a former US Marshal whose search for a missing young American girl takes him across the European continent. When asked about my influences, I now have entirely different answers.
While preparing to write my first international thriller, I read Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series because I wanted my main character Simon Fisk to be tough yet sensitive. I blew through Jeff Abbott’s Sam Capra novels because I wanted my main character to be smart and passionate. I devoured Robert Ludlum’s Jason Bourne series and Ian Fleming’s James Bond series.
Ten years ago, if you asked me who my influences were, I would have told you Charles Bukowski and Hunter S. Thompson. A few years later, Bret Easton Ellis and Jay McInerny.
The fact is, our influences change over time. That’s why it’s so important for writers to read widely in every genre. Novelists should have range, and they shouldn’t be afraid to experiment. My first two books were written in first person present, my third in first person past. I’ve yet to write a book in third person, but I look forward to giving it a shot. I’d also like to write a novel from a female point of view. Unfortunately, I first have to learn at least something about understanding women. So, kindly look for my first female POV novel around 2038 or so.
Doug Corleone

BIO: Douglas Corleone is the author of three crime novels published by St. Martin's Minotaur. His debut novel One Man's Paradise was nominated for the 2010 Shamus Award for Best First Novel. A former New York City defense attorney, Doug now lives in the Hawaiian Islands, where he is currently at work on his next novel.  You can visit him online at

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Freedom Isn't Free

Very interesting article in the Huffington Post
"This Independence Day, I say let's go back to a truer use of the word "freedom." Let's start with President Franklin Roosevelt's Four Freedoms: freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want and freedom from fear. I would add the freedom to bargain collectively."  Richard Trumka  Huffington Post

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

It’s Obscene: PayPal, Erotica and Censorship It’s Obscene: PayPal, Erotica and Censorship It’s Obscene: PayPal, Erotica and Censorship It’s Obscene: PayPal, Erotica and Censorship

Posted with Permission

If you agree with these words, please copy them, and send them on by email, or blog them. All copyright waved (just in case you’re the sort of person who wouldn’t want to do anything illegal.)

So here we are, people, with a crack-down on online obscenity. By obscenity, we mean anything assumed to be for sexual titillation that somebody official finds objectionable. Both the ‘sexual titillation’ aspect and the ‘objectionable’ are totally subjective. You can bet they won’t be cracking down on literature, drama, crime or horror fiction.
Now, no matter how extreme the content, fiction, by definition, is not real. No one really does any of the things in the book. No one bleeds, or dies. So assuming an offence exists, we’d be talking about a victimless crime, and a thought crime at that. If you are offended by the construction of victimless crimes and thought crimes, about freedom of speech, and about who has the right to determine who can find what sexual, you need to start paying attention to what’s happening. This is also a situation in which hypocrisy is fine, and a suggestion of honesty isn’t. If you can pretend that the book is instructional, or memoire, or literature or crime… then you can write all the graphic rape scenes you want. No one is gunning for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, despite the graphic violence and anal rape. But it’s a crime novel, so we all know that no one reading it would get off on that kind of content, don’t we? Right.
There are real people out there being raped, really raped. Those in authority would rather use their time chasing people who write about it.
There are children being abused. Apparently it’s a better use of money to chase book distributors whose content might be a bit dark.
Victims of domestic abuse are beaten every day, but for some people, the things you imagine are in far more urgent need of policing.
While real victims are suffering the consequences of real crimes, it is not just ridiculous to spend time and money chasing authors and publishers, it’s obscene. It’s criminal.
Being raped is a horrendous experience, and the prosecution rates are very low. Being abused is life destroying. Reading about abuse and rape, can be cathartic and healing. It’s a big part of why we do it. The erotica industry is dominated by female authors, female readers and female publishers. It has a lot of gay, lesbian, transgender and otherwise not-straight people taking refuge in it, finding community and expression. Erotica is a voice for real experience. We don’t just tell pretty, inoffensive little love stories, we talk about life as it really is, for good and ill, what it does to you. Erotica empowers people to speak up, to understand what is good, to know the difference between consenting to something kinky and being conditioned into slavery. These are thought forms that could help thousands of abuse victims to recognise their condition, and thus be able to escape it.
The kind of people who would rather spend money policing the things that offend them, will harp on about the good old days, the upholding of family values. Ah yes, those good old days when a man could beat his wife and children, and no one would deign to notice. The good old days when there was no such thing as rape in marriage and your wife was your property. The good old days when your legally owned slaves could be killed on your say so, and your bastard children fathered on raped slave women could be left to grow up as slaves too and that was just fine. Hurrah for those old fashioned family values. Don’t we long for the days when it was fine to jail people for being queer, fine to lock people up for their underclothes, back when the poor knew their place and kept to it.
First they came for the pornographers, but I did not speak up, because I was not into porn.
Porn should not be inherently offensive. Abusing people to force them into the porn industry should be offensive. Letting human beings live in such poverty and hopelessness that they feel forced to sell their bodies, should be offensive. The priorities of those in power are very, very wrong.
We know how this goes, people, we know how this works. You start with the ones who are furthest from the mainstream, and work your way back in. Porn first, dark fiction writers, then what? Who next? This is not about real crime, real offence, or real harm, this is about curtailing the rights to freedom of speech and freedom of expression. This is about making it harder to talk about the dark side of sex, rather than tackling the kind of people who actually abuse. Right now, I don’t know what any of us can do about it, but we can know and witness, and try to resist. Once it is established that you can lock people up for thought crimes, we are on a very slippery slope. If the state has the right to dictate what we can think about, write about, talk about, it’s power to quash dissent is absolute. Do not imagine that, just because you aren’t needing to express anything dark, or hardcore, it won’t affect you. Ask what comes next. Ask what we won’t be allowed to talk about tomorrow. What we won’t be allowed to do tomorrow.
And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak for me.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Creating Diverse Characters - Ryder Islington

Creating Diverse Characters

I love, and hate, my characters. Getting to know them was what really gelled the plot. See, they mostly all know each other, or used to know each other, or are related to each other even if they don’t know it. They all have secrets. And they all have problems. None are perfectly good or perfectly bad.

From the beginning, I knew five of the characters. I knew the beginning and end of the story. By working on character development, the rest came together. For me, there was natural conflict everywhere I looked. Since giving away the conflicts would probably be a spoiler, I’ll leave that part out, but believe me, this bunch of Southerners definitely have problems.

SSA Trey Fontaine is a thirty-two year old FBI agent who is recovering from being shot in the butt during a drug raid a few weeks before the story begins. His relationships with his mom, dad, godfather, previous heartthrob, and town villain keeps his head whirling. Being addicted to pain medication doesn’t help any.

His godfather, Russell Coleman, is the only Black detective, in the south Louisiana town. He hates Alton Boudreaux, the rich man in town to did an evil thing a few years back. And Coleman’s new partner, Gemini Taylor, is the only female detective willing to work the ugly cases. She has an ulterior motive for working so hard to be hired by this department, in this parish. And with the man she wants to influence. She’s on a mission.

Jaime Boudreaux, Alton’s son, is a service officer at the same department as Coleman and Taylor. He hates Blacks. He hates women in power. He wants to be in control and aspires to greatness—as soon as he’s old enough to become a gun-toting deputy. He’s entitled, arrogant, mean. He only had one brief moment of what he calls love, and the woman involved is dead. He is a suspect in a case very close to Coleman.

Then there are the three children, Drew, a fifteen year old girl, Rocky, a twelve year old boy, and Wile, a six year old boy. Three rattlesnakes who tag team anyone they see as a threat to women or children. Don’t underestimate them. And don’t threaten them. They’re young, but smart and determined. They know almost all the other characters, and they don’t care about titles like deputy, investigator, or rich land owner. One is very talkative, one is almost always silent, and one is coming of age, but still committed to the others. I love sick little Wile. He’s sharp. He’s Huck Finn with attitude. I can’t share Rocky’s story here. It’s too ugly. And Drew, bless her heart, loves children—of course she sees herself as an adult, though only three years older than Rocky.

Ultimate Justice, A Trey Fontaine Mystery is receiving rave reviews from readers.

The small town of Raven Bayou, Louisiana explodes as old money meets racial tension, and tortured children turn the table on abusive men. FBI Special Agent Trey Fontaine returns home to find the town turned upside down with mutilated bodies. Working with local homicide detectives, Trey is determined to get to the truth. A believer in empirical evidence, Trey ignores his instincts until he stares into the face of the impossible, and has to choose between what he wants to believe and the ugly truth.

A graduate of the University of California and former officer for a large sheriffs department, RYDER ISLINGTON is now retired and doing what she loves: reading, writing, and gardening. She lives in Louisiana with her family, including a very large English Chocolate Lab, a very small Chinese pug, and a houseful of demanding cats. 

She can be contacted at or visit her blog at Ryder Islington