Thank goodness for computer issues and glitches :) Without my recent problems I would've missed out on this.
I recieved a message from Tina Hammond over a week ago about Red Rover. Here is what the message states:
Well, I have new news... so you may as well hold off on my review and jump ahead to someone else you need to get posted: its all on the blog-- you're welcome to cut and paste or ask additional questions for your blog entry if you'd like (sigh, life isn't complex enough?) ---- Tina Hammond
"This week, I will be pulling Red Rover (the original version) from Amazon and re-issuing it with a new title (some of you know that the original working title was Blind Seduction, but I changed it the week of the release due to my confusion over genre classification). Cripes! If I knew then, what I know now, life would be so much easier.
When I wrote Red Rover, it was meant to be a Paranormal Romance / Adult Contemporary novel. It was tough to classify because we have a level-headed woman blinded in an accident who get's a German shepherd she finds she is able to mentally communicate with- paranormal, right? Sigh... it should be so easy.
The book doesn't have the feel of a paranormal book because the book is completely taken over by the dog, Red, and his snarky, witty dialog, sans filter. So, humorous, right? Sigh... Nope." From Tina Hammond's blog on Goodreads.
I have gotten to know Tina over the past couple of months and have read Red Rover and PG-13 version of Red Rover. I loved both versions and have shamelessly fallen in love with Red. So my first reaction to this news was.... WHAT!!!! *GASP*!!!! REALLY????
Tina had to reassure me a bit, because I was really concerned about this series :)
Aww... its not bad news... just a little more work, that's all. Not looking forward to setting up and running an event, but its all part of the process (I'd rather be writing!) ----Tina Hammond
Tina reassured me (finally!) that it was the title not the story line that was changing (whew) :) So with the magic of a few edits (changing the title) I have a Q&A with Tina Hammond, Red and Teresa about Blind Seduction.
1. Blind Seduction is the first romance/mystery I've read that involves a service dog. What was your inspiration for this story and all your characters?
Ms T: Actually, a lot of the story wrote itself. The German shepherd dog (GSD) is based on my experiences at my local kennel where I bought my GSD. I started the story with no real direction, it was part of the 50K Word Challenge in November. I started to write about a blind woman, Teresa, getting through the trauma of a freak accident right after witnessing the birth of the GSD puppy she wanted. When Teresa is united with the GSD she selected on the day of the accident, it was natural for me to make him a service dog. I wanted Red to be her partner, as well as her friend.
2. Red's personality is very true to the point and very much what I would imagine if my dog were to be able to communicate as well. How were you able to capture/write this character's personality?
Ms T: I have owned GSDs continuously since the mid-80's. My last dog, Spencer was very intelligent (and the cover model for Red Rover). My current GSD, Dexter, is more the goofy type (the cover model for the NA/YA version that will soon be out). Red is a blend of their personalities combined with my sarcasm and, dare I say wit? When reading through their copies of the book, my sister and mom kept saying... OMG, this is so You! Red is how I personally see the world. Maybe I should have been born a dog?
3. How many books are going to be in this series and for us anticipating fans when is the next book going to out?
Ms T: Gosh, a bazillion? I will be writing dual books from this point forward, one for adults with the content I prefer. And a second PG-13-type book concurrently that is less sexually explicit with a slightly different story line to accommodate readers that don't want a sexual tone to their book. I was planning three books total, and I had each plotted, but Red (that rascal) threw me for a loop in the first four chapters of book 2, so I plan to complete at least 3 books - but the new twist opens up a lot more ideas for me.
Does Red have anything comments or hints that he'd like to make right now?
And can he give his opinion on why we should all be reading this series?
I have a steak and I'm not afraid to bribe with it
I should mention that this steak is fresh, I have a farm
Red (with some help from Teresa): I am totally awesome. And I'm a Handsome Boy. (Teresa: Hey, Pal, just answer the questions... Geez, the first interview question she asks you, and you're already chasing the metaphorical squirrel).
Red: Squirrel? (Teresa: Focus, Red).
Red: Okay. Let's see, why should people read the series? This book has it all... the drama of clawing your way through adversity... (Teresa: Red, you were a puppy, tromping over your siblings to get breakfast, that doesn't count as 'clawing your way through adversity').
Red: Yeah, but my way sounds better. (Teresa: *sigh*)
Red: This book has crime solving, and intrigue, and a talking dog-- well, sorta, its more that Teresa can mentally hear what I'm saying. She completes me. (Teresa: Okay, Bonehead, cut it out... saying nice things will not get you steak for dinner tonight).
Red: Bummer. Okay, there's also Bastian and David. Teresa is under siege in the book and they sabotage each others' dates because... (Teresa: Hey now, Pal, don't go spilling the whole story here).
Red: But it's one of the best parts! You have to admit its a hoot when you're out on a date with David, then Bas shows up, and visa-versa. I especially liked reading the part... (Teresa: Who are you trying to fool? You can't read, and you can barely count to five).
Red: Ken has been reading the story to me. (Teresa: When did this start? He better be reading the Special Edition to you, you are too young for the original version. Its bad enough he's teaching you slang, I'll fire his butt if he's contributing to the delinquency of a minor. How about answering the question from the interviewer about comments or hints you'd like to make).
Red: First off, I want to hint to Hollywood that I would make a better movie star than Lassie. (Teresa: I think she meant hints about the book)
Red: Well, you can interpret the question in your own way when she asks YOU the questions. Back to Lassie... If Timmy had been MY boy, he would never have fallen down a well in the first place. And What's with the dialog? She had one line! One! "Bark", I mean, Really? And could people not really tell she used body doubles all the time? Then there's... (Teresa: Hey pay, look what I found in my pocket, I have an extra dog cookie)
Red: Cookie? Can I have it? It looks really tasty, and I'm swwwwinking. I'm soooo starving, I haven't eaten in days and days. (Teresa: Save it, you Marlon Brando wanna-be. You gobbled down your breakfast two hours ago. And at 90 pounds, people aren't going to believe you're shrinking).
Red: Oh man, that was so good. (Teresa: Why don't you talk about the next book?)
Red: Oh Gosh! Its great. We get to work with the police some more, and Team Red is being scouted by the military. Maybe we can go to strange and exotic locations? All I know is that I get my own Tuxedo... I'm such a handsome Boy!
Anything you'd like to add Teresa?
Don't be shy. Red's is really stealing your thunder
Teresa: I have to ask you, who can compete with a talking dog? And one that has such a high degree of Smart-assery in every comment? (Red: I prefer to think of myself as clever. Besides, everyone wants to read about the ‘talking’ dog).
Teresa: He does have a point. It makes for an interesting read when you get unfiltered comments from Red, he pretty much says what’s on his mind. I find myself fortunate to have good friends in Janey, and Ken who really helped in the months after the accident. And then there are Sebastian, and his friend David who add a very nice touch to my story with their darned competitiveness and spirited pursuit. (Red: yeah, like you were really running hard, *snort*)
So here's the scoop:
Team Red ‘Blind’ series:
Blind Seduction, Book 1 (originally issued as Red Rover)
Color Blind, Book 2 (coming May 2013)
Team Red ‘Red’ Series:
Red Rover – Special Edition, Book 1
Red Zone, Book 2 (coming June 2013)
I look forward to the next installment of The Blind series and am counting down the days. Red really is a scene stealer, but how could you get mad at him when what he says is adorable, hilarious and very truthful.