Delving Deeper into Dead Blow

One of my blogging friends, Gina Barlean, released another book that blew me away (and not just because of its title—Dead Blow). This book is Mayberry meets The Shining, with sinister undertones, and an antagonist that makes your skin crawl. But Shhh! Don’t tell him I said that.

He’s here…on the phone. We’re doing an interview today with Jackson Samuels (JS) from Fallbrook Mental Hospital (yeah…he’s the guy looking at you right now. Kind of creepy, huh?). Now be quiet…and listen.

Me:           Um, Hello, Mr. Samuels. How are you today?

JS:             Fine…just fine. Get on with the questions. I don’t have all day. Therapy, lunch, a nap…my day is full.

Me:           Uh, okay.  Sorry. This is my first phone interview. How about telling us a little about your childhood.

JS:             Are you a shrink?

Me:           No. But I’m kind of shrinking right now.

JS:             I don’t remember much of my childhood. I think it was good…enough. I do remember, though, how much I enjoyed messing around with my dad’s tools out in his shop. I loved tools ever since I was a kid. They just felt so good in my hands…heavy, cold…like I could just as easily destroy something with them as make something…uh…what were we talking about again?

Me:           Who were some of your friends growing up?

JS:             My dog. Definitely my dog, Boris. My wife, Elaine wouldn’t let me have a dog. She didn’t like dogs. But a dog…you know, they’re good for kids. Especially boys…but I don’t want to think about my boy. It’s a sore subject, you know.

Me:           Yeah, I know. You mentioned Elaine. Tell us how you met your wife?

JS:             Ah, that was college. I shared a dorm room with a guy from Dawson. He had a job as a hired hand over the summers for Clive Marshall. Clive needed extra help the summer of my junior year, moving pipe, baling hay, that kind of thing. Elaine stayed there over the summers because Clive and Berta were her grandparents. The moment I saw her, I fell in love.

Me:           Tell us about your marriage.

JS:             It all seemed so perfect. I had my own insurance business. She was a great mom. Shelby, our daughter, was the light of our lives. We enjoyed being a family. And Elaine and I were like a hand in a glove. I could have never imagined anything changing our love.

Me:           What about your children?

JS:             My children? You want to know about Jackie, don’t you? You have the audacity to ask me about Jackie. My only son. The son that was taken from me. You have a death wish, lady?

Me:           Uh, never mind. Bad question. What are some of your pet peeves?

JS:             Anyone who tries to control me. I can’t take it anymore. No one should ever try to manipulate me. I especially don’t like people who ask too many questions. Like those psychiatrists…question after question. They paid, though…they paid for it real good…all I had to do was find the right tool…yeah…the right tool… you know, you’re asking a lot of questions.

Me:           Now calm down, Mr. Samuels. That’s what you do in an interview. No need to get upset. Let’s talk about something else. Do you have a hobby?

JS:             Working with tools if I could just get my hands on some. That and thinking. I’m always thinking. Mostly about what I’ll do when I get out. By the way Char. Exactly where do you live?

Me:           Oh my! Will you look at the time. It was nice chatting with you, Mr. Samuels, but I better wrap wrap this up since you’ve got such a busy schedule there at Fallbrook.

JS:             Yes. I will get out of here someday…and when I do, I’ll come see you, in my car to see you…Char!


Me:           I think he just hung up on me. Rude!

I guess that ends my first phone interview. I probably should have picked an easier character to call, one that wasn’t so moody. Oh well…live and learn.

I highly recommend Dead Blow. It’s a great psychological thriller set in the Midwest filled with suspense, unique twists, and characters as human as you or me. Gina Barlean lives on a farm in Nebraska and is an independent publisher. Dead Blow, released at the beginning of this month, is her 6th book. She enjoys blogging, volunteering for her church and community, family, her unique group of friends, her many pets, living in the country (particularly mowing the lawn), the Nebraska Writers Guild, and cooking.

Hope you enjoyed delving deeper into Dead Blow. Leave a comment for a chance to win an eBook of this spine-tingling thriller. You can find out more about Gina and her books on her website, blog (where she’s interviewing me today about my character Suvi; I think she got the easier deal), Amazon, About Me page and her book trailer.

Char Signature

38 thoughts on “Delving Deeper into Dead Blow

  1. You have really piked my interest. I will be checking into this book. Great interview by the way Char.

    • Thanks, LaRaine. I have enjoyed all the books Gina has written. They are a different genre than I usually read, but they break up the monotony I guess and make me think a lot (and give my heart a workout with all the pounding involved)

      • Your book made my heart pound, Charrisa! Poor Suvi! That girl survived everything. I’m glad you read my books. I read out of my genre sometimes, too. It’s good to get different perspectives.

  2. Thanks for the great interview with “Jackson!” Char, you’re the best. LaRaine, thanks for stopping by. Do you like to read suspense thrillers?

    • You’re welcome, Gina. And thanks for interviewing me as well. My Aunt LaRaine is a voracious reader. I loved going to her house as a kid to borrow another book from her massive library.

    • Between Dead Blow and Secret Keepers, you have two great opportunities for solid suspense. Check out my blog to win a copy of Charissa’s book Secret keepers.

  3. Yikes! He sounds scary and in need of some chocolate! You don’t have to put me in for the book. I’m going to look it up and download it. It sounds like a great one.

  4. Um, Char, I’d change my phone number if I were you…If he’s that scary in the book as he is on the phone, I’m not sure I can read it!

    Just kidding, of course. Sounds like a great psychological thriller, Gina.

  5. I’m hiding all my tools in case Mr Samuels reads this comment and comes looking for me. He’s one scary character, although he can’t be all that bad if he liked his pet dog. He did like his dog didn’t he? Like he didn’t take up taxidermy or anything … I hope. I bet they have some very specific tools …

    • Actually, this book was amazing in that I really did feel for Jackson Samuels at one point in the story. He was wronged, and he had been a good man with a great life. It was a real thinker afterward wondering about how certain experiences and held-in feelings can wound, fester, and change a person’s personality and desires.

      • I’ve been watching the series, Breaking Bad. It’s an interesting display of how life can change us. Poor Jackson. Just a man changed by his circumstances.

  6. Oh, spooky guy, do you still have the chills after talking to him? Are you going to check your door and window locks twice before going to bed tonight? Great interview, it sounds like a great book.

  7. That was an amazing interview, Char, and I hope you don’t have nightmares tonight as a result! I’d be sleeping with one eye open and hoping Gina doesn’t reveal any information about you!

    • Gina promised not to blab any personal info to Jackson about me…and I trust her. She pulls all his strings, so I think I’m safe (but he was kind of scary in this interview, wasn’t he?)

  8. Thanks, Arlene. I have a long list to read too, but I pushed this one up front because I’d liked her other ones I read. There are probably some gems I haven’t read yet, but will eventually get to, and then chide myself for not reading them sooner. Ah! The life of a reader with too many books to read. That’s a good problem to have.

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