Thursday, August 23, 2012

[57] Orangeberry Summer Splash - Double-take Tales REVIEW

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Genre - Short Stories 
Rating - PG13
Three dark, sardonic short stories that will have you expecting the unexpected:
In "Poison," a psychologically abused wife discovers that her husband's nut allergy may be the solution to all her problems. 
In "Round Trip," a five pound note passes through desperate hands, greedy hands and tired hands before coming full circle…accompanied by a big surprise. 
In "Ç'est La Vie," the police bungle a murder investigation under the watchful eye of someone uncomfortably close to the killing.

Connect with Donna Brown on Twitter


5/5 stars
I really love short stories, even though it's hard to write reviews of them.
The most important thing I look in that form of writing is if authors can express themselves in so little words. Donna Brown surely can.
Double-take tales consist of three stories and I couldn't decide which is my favourite one. They are all amazing, dark and give you that anxious feeling. All the endings are really surprising.
It's hard to write anything else. I simply loved it and it's my new favourite short stories collection.


If you could travel in a Time Machine would you go back to the past or into the future?
The past! I'm only 32 and technology is advancing so quickly that I can't keep up in the present day, let alone the future! Although there's so much of the past I don't know, I feel like I'd have a little bit more of an advantage than in the future.

If you were stranded on a desert island what 3 things would you want with you?
I'm itching to say my cats (I have six but you'll let me count them as one, right?!), my husband and my iPhone.

What is one book everyone should read?
I believe everyone should read one book that they believe they wouldn't necessarily like - because you may be surprised. It doesn't matter what the book is but go outside your comfort zone. If you're lucky, it could change your reading life.

If you were a superhero what would your name be?

If you could have any superpower what would you choose?
Telekinetic house-tidying

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Caramel Chew Chew

If you could meet one person who has died who would you choose?
My paternal grandfather - I bet my Dad gets more and more like him every day in manners as well as looks and I want to see if I'm right

What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?

Night owl, or early bird?
Night owl

One food you would never eat?
Snails. Bleurgh.

Pet Peeves?
People who are unnecessarily rude, like not saying thank you when a door has been held open.

Skittles or M&Ms?
M&Ms (peanut!)

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
Because then you can tell me if you saw the twists coming and if you liked them.

Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?
I'm about 10,000 words in to a novella (working title Harry Schmidt) but I'm a little stalled on it right now. I've been throwing round some ideas in my head for a new set of short stories but they feel a little dark right now - I need to find a way to keep them dark but with a slight twinkle of hope.

What inspired you to want to become a writer?
I just love words. Whether I'm blogging, writing poetry, writing short stories or just rabbiting away to my husband, I love words so much
Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
I got a review from someone I didn't know all that well (back then - now she'd probably accuse me of a being a cyber-stalker!). It made me cry because I realised I had given somebody something that they had loved.

If you could jump in to a book, and live in that world.. which would it be?
The Worst Witch stories gave me so many scenarios to imagine when I was a child so I think I'd still have to plump for that!

What is your dream cast for your book?
Pass. I am not character driven and don't get very attached to my characters at all. I think that might explain why I'm struggling so much with my novella. I find it hard to get attached because I'm flighty but I'm also very emotional. It would pain me greatly to kill a character I loved.

What was your favorite book when you were a child/teen?
As a young child, The Hungry Caterpillar. As an older child, The Worst Witch.

Is there a song you could list as the theme song for your book or any of your characters?
Yes - for C'est la vie - but if I tell you the song I might give a major twist away

What's one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?
Start building your connections in advance. Help bloggers build their audience, get involved with something in the writing community, help others. You will need enough help in the long run so pay it forward early!

If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
Germany, without question. That has been my unequivocal answer since my first visit 17 years ago.

What is your favorite Quote?
"Don't sweat the small stuff" (but of course I frequently do!)

When you were little, what did you want to be when you "grew up"?
A teacher. Or a librarian.

Who are your favorite authors of all time?
Terry Pratchett, Arthur Golden, Stephen King, Lisa de Nikolits

Can you see yourself in any of your characters?
Sometimes. My characters sometimes take some very extreme steps but I suspect they simply put those vengeful thoughts we all occasionally have at 3a.m. into play!

What's the craziest writing idea you've had?
A woman who poisons her husband slowly by taking advantage of a nut allergy.

What's the best advice anyone has ever given you?
Remember your manners.

Favorite Food?

Favorite Candy?
Fizzy strawberry or cola laces

Dee. Or Flowerpot (from my Dad).

You have won one million dollars what is the first thing that you would buy?
Something extravagant for my cats, like a cat house in the shape of a castle!

What do you do in your free time?
Read, walk, play video games, listen to audiobooks

Give us a glimpse into a typical day in your day starting when you wake up till you lie down again.
My days are very unusual. I work for a US company but I live in the UK. Some days I live by UK hours, some days by US. It depends what commitments I have on each side of the pond! Usually I will do some work, take a walk out and grab some coffee, do some more work, maybe have a bath and a nap, read, play around on the computer, blog, read and round off with a little more work. I don't work nearly as much as that makes out - I just break it up a lot!

What's your favorite season/weather?

What is your guilty pleasure?
Coffee. I know it's bad for so many reasons but I absolutely love it.

What TV show/movie/book do you watch/read that you'd be embarrassed to admit?
I still love Mills and Boon/Harlequin romances. I once had 100 in a box under my bed!

Favorite places to travel?
Germany - particularly Cologne and Berlin.

Favorite music?
The Beatles, The Decemberists

In your wildest dreams, which author would you love to co-author a book with?
My husband (fantasy author David M. Brown). I love his ideas but I don't have the patience for worldbuilding. That said, he has written some short stories so maybe we could put together a pretty dark collection!


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  1. I can't tell you how much this review meant to me - I am absolutely grinning from ear to ear! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and review the stories and for posting the interview. This just made my day fantastic!

  2. What a lovely review :) Thanks for sharing!


Thank you for your comments!
They make me really happy and I always try to reply :)