Roses Are Red, Diamonds Are Blue: Author Donna Alice Patton
Roses Are Red, Diamonds Are Blue is a mystery set in Ohio in the 1970s. Laura Barkley is a young widow– and now a single mother of twin five-year-old daughters. Her husband, Peter, was murdered at the museum where he worked as a curator. He manages to make a phone call to Laura as he lays dying, mutter a few cryptic words that she struggles to understand.
The same night as Peter’s death, the museum is set on fire, and its safes broken into. The thieves’ target was a rare, valuable blue diamond, known as “The Anastasia.” They didn’t find it. Many are convinced that Laura knows where it is. As the one-year anniversary of the crime nears, the local newspaper dredges up the story again, and Laura feels that she and her children may be in danger.
There are many surprises and plot twists throughout the story, as well as romance.The mystery also manages to incorporate Laura’s favorite author and namesake, Laura Ingalls Wilder, whose famous books may provide the only clue to finding The Anastasia.
Patton’s writing is smooth, descriptive and fast-paced. The character of Laura is believable, admirable and easy to relate to. The “supporting cast” of characters are entertaining. The author paints a colorful picture that allows the reader to visualize their looks, actions, and even their voices. She captures the fashions and lifestyles of the late 1970s with great accuracy. I would say her style is comparable to the reigning “Queen of Suspense,” Mary Higgins Clark. I enjoyed this book very much, and I highly recommend it! Click here to order, and check my interview with Donna Alice Patton below.
- How long have you been writing? I have been writing almost all of my life – making up stories to share with my school friends. I always knew I wanted to be a writer, even without knowing quite what a writer did! If the question were ‘how long have I been writing seriously for publication,’ that’s since about the 1970’s. It’s kind of funny but when all of my high school friends were reading and raving over “Love Story,” I had just discovered there were BOOKS about WRITING and was working my way through that section of the library.
- What was the first thing you had published? The first things I ever had published were actually letters to the editor of our local newspapers. As a teen, I was very opinionated about the events of the day and loved to share my views. It was thrilling to get fan letters and calls from people who agreed. After that I worked very hard to write for various magazines – being published in “Lady’s Circle,” “Reminisce”, “History” and many small magazines that no longer exist. My first book was published in 2010 – a children’s mystery titled, “The Search for the Madonna.”
- What made you gravitate toward mystery/ suspense? Writing mystery is a natural choice because that’s my favorite type of book. It’s always fun to see how the puzzle turns out and see if I’ve guessed the villain.
- Who are your favorite authors? Laura Ingalls Wilder for one! Mystery and suspense authors are too many to count. I read such a wide variety of books, it’s almost impossible to list just a few authors I reread again and again. Laura and I also love the non-fiction of Gladys Taber.
- What made you decide to incorporate Laura Ingalls Wilder into your ebook, Roses Are Red, Diamonds Are Blue? I’m not really sure when the idea came to incorporate LIW into the book. After I’d decided to name my character after Laura, it seemed logical that she would love the books. From that step, it was fun to figure out a way to sprinkle clues that only another Laura fan might know. It was also a way to honor the memory of LIW and her Little House books.
- Was this difficult/ challenging? Challenging! The book had to be structured so the clues made sense, were part of “Laura lore” and could have been something my character, Laura, could figure out.
- What kind of feedback have you gotten on the book? Lots of positive feedback so far! In fact, the book might come out in a print version sometime this year. That’s been a request by many who have read it as an ebook. I’d love to get more feedback from readers who also are Laura fans – to see if the mystery worked for them, or if they guessed the outcome.
- Lastly, what are you working on next? I am currently doing edits on a children’s western book – 1st in a series (The Cattle Rustling Catastrophe), the second in a series of Gardening Mysteries for children and an adult comic western. A sequel to my first book, “The Mystery in the Maze,” will come out in print sometime in October from Behold Publications.
Further Reading by Donna Alice Patton
The Search for the Madonna (Behold Publications, 2010)
The Gift of Summer Snow: A Tale from the Garden of Mysteries (Philothea Press, 2010)
Flashlight Memories – Little Girl in the Library (Silver Boomer Books, 2011)
Roses are Red, Diamonds are Blue (MuseitUp Publishing, April 2013)
Christmas, Interrupted (MuseitUp Publishing, November 2014)
The Mystery in the Maze – coming soon!