Thank you Janis Levonitis for a wonderful review!

November 16th, 2014 → 9:12 pm @

Janis Levonitis

Recommends This Book

Yes

WOOHOO, for all us menopausal ladies over 50. Robin Leemann Donovan’s: Is It Still Murder Even If She Was Bitch?, is a hilarious story of a group of menopausal co-workers and a few male coworkers thrown in, who decide to investigate the murder of a former coworker, Claire, who was a back-stabbing, manipulative, hateful excuse of a human being. WHY? To keep suspicion off themselves, because they all could have had motive to do the deed. Lead by Donna, whose inner monologue rolls with humorous observations of others as she deals with God awful hot flashes, memory issues and the ever dreaded hormonal induced emotions that strike at the most inopportune times. But through various misadventures, destruction of public property, they actually, inadvertently catch the killer. This book takes water cooler office talks to a new level. The characters are quirky and a special mention of Clovis, just to help her out with her extreme narcissism. She would be over the moon with happiness with the very mention of her name. This book starts out slow like a day at work that ends up being an extra exceptional day! I liked this book, as an over 50 gal myself, I’d like to think I’ve still got an adventure or two left to experience. I look forward to more of Donna’s adventures.
This book was provided by the publisher and Netgalley for an honest review.
Go to this link to see it in its original form: http://tinyurl.com/mcmercd

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Thanks cayocosta72 For Your Insightful Review

November 11th, 2014 → 7:44 pm @

Check out cayocost72′s review at this link:

http://cayocosta72.wordpress.com/2014/11/07/is-it-still-murder-even-if-she-was-a-bitch-by-robin-leeman-donovan-published-by-writelife/

or just read it below:

Is it Still Murder Even if She Was a Bitch? by Robin Leeman Donovan. Published by WriteLife

When one of Donna Leigh’s ad agency employees is killed, she decides to become her own investigator. Because she like the deceased so much? Hardly. Donna hated the old bag, but she figures the cops will be knocking on her door, ready to pin the murder on her if she doesn’t find the real guilty party. What follows are Donna and her friends somewhat less than successful attempts at investigating the murder.

Just plain funny. I love love Donna’s caustic wit

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Check out my guest blog post on Fiction University

July 29th, 2014 → 2:35 pm @

Janice Hardy invited me to guest blog on her Fiction University site. Check out my column here:

Character Evolution: Don’t Restrict Your Characters to Your Original Vision of Them

By Robin Leemann Donovan

Characters have a way of evolving in a story, sometimes for the better, sometimes to the utter frustrations of their creators. Despite those hair-pulling moments, though, a character who comes to life on their own often turns into a star. Please help me welcome Robin Leemann Donovan to the lecture hall today, to share the story of one such character.

Robin is president of the advertising/communications firm, Bozell and author of the blog, Menologues, a humorous yet informative look at the trials and tribulations of menopause by someone who’s been there. Menologues is republished on two commercial sites: Vibrant Nation and Alltop, and has won regional honors for social media at the AMA Pinnacles and PRSA Paper Anvil awards. Her first book in the Donna Leigh Mystery series: Is It Still Murder Even If She Was A Bitch? won an AMA Pinnacle award.

Robin was born and raised in New Jersey but lived and worked in Connecticut for a number of years before moving to Nebraska in 1999. Starting her career as a high school English teacher, Donovan moved into advertising in the early 80’s. In 1999 she accepted a job offer from Bozell. Donovan lives with her husband and three bulldogs, Jasmine, Roxi and Sadie (Sweet Pea).

Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indie Bound

Take it away Robin…

When I started writing my first comedic murder mystery, Is It Still Murder Even If She Was A Bitch?, there was no Clovis Cordoba Seville character. All of my characters were utilitarian. I had a murder victim, some amateur sleuths, and some cops.

Having loosely based the murder victim on a less-than-favorite acquaintance, I had plenty of opportunities for humor in my ability to mock her. Early in the process I began to realize that too much focus on mocking the murder victim would make my protagonist really unsympathetic.

I had characters that could give me some slapstick and some playful co-worker banter but I was worried about too much of the same type of humor over and over again. I was short on diversity and range in recurring comedic characters.

That’s when I introduced Clovis.

She is loosely based on a former co-worker with a stunning ability to make herself the center of absolutely everything. How had I forgotten about the importance of narcissistic humor – the backbone of any creative enterprise – in the mix? So Clovis was born.

Throughout the writing process I was able to introduce Clovis as the “irrelevant logic voice of reason,” a role the deranged woman who inspired her had mastered. The beauty of this was that I didn’t have to make fun of her – she took care of that all by herself!

One fairly typical comment by Clovis causes Donna Leigh, the protagonist, to ruminate, “I was really beginning to think that the only thing that would satisfy her would be to make her the murder victim, and it was getting more tempting by the minute. But, of course, being the second murder victim just wouldn’t do.”

Initially, Clovis was nothing more than an outsider looking to insert herself into the action, making her the antithesis to most characters in a murder mystery who labor to distance themselves from any possible suspicion and/or danger. The complexity of her character is based on the fact that fulfilling her self-centeredness is the main driving force in her existence trumping every other basic need. How many of us have not known someone like that?

Further along in the plot, her thoughtless selfishness (in her case this is not really redundant) causes the protagonist to contemplate murder, “At that moment the thought of killing her and spending the rest of my life behind bars seemed like the only logical course of action.”

Ultimately, Clovis proves to be more integral to the plot than I’d initially anticipated. As she moves deeper into the plother character’s sense of triumph grows palpably.

Clovis is ridiculous. One of my editors questioned whether or not anyone would believe such an impossible to believe character. Ironically, the very aspects of Clovis that are so ridiculous are behaviors I have absolutely seen her inspiration exhibit on a quasi-daily basis. Honestly, I couldn’t make this stuff up!

I take great pride in the believability of all my characters. They are all based on real behavior patterns plugged into a fictional story. Unfortunately, for many who are not in a creative profession themselves – these characters can be a stretch of the imagination. I cringe whenever I see that my work has been reviewed by a scientist, knowing that they’re generally surrounded by logical, orderly minds on a daily basis, and that they don’t easily suffer fools. My work is not for them.

As writing progressed it became clear that Clovis could be so much more than just a comedic figure on the periphery of the plot fighting to get in. Her penchant to project her own self-aggrandizing behaviors onto Donna Leigh in a constant dogmatic tirade enables us to view the protagonist herself through a, probably more realistic but definitely less flattering and far more amusing, filter.

Clovis becomes the mechanism by which Donna’s own character flaws are illuminated in a way that enables us to laugh with her more than at her.

Clovis has gone from being a late-to-the-party add on to being my favorite character. She enables me push the envelope of the ridiculous and explore the machinations of a totally self-absorbed individual.

About Is It Still Murder Even If She Was A Bitch?

How does one react to the shocking news that a former colleague has been brutally murdered? Worse yet, you realize that your vitriolic relationship with the victim could land you squarely on the suspect list. That’s exactly what happens to Donna Leigh, the energetic and somewhat sardonic owner of an Omaha ad agency, who jumps right in to the investigation – despite annoying menopausal symptoms – in order to keep the wolves away from her door. She manages to amuse as well as impress with her effective but unorthodox sleuthing.

As Donna and her colorful colleagues work feverishly to solve the case, they leave a trail of unintentional destruction in their wake; from injured police officers to collapsed buildings. Donna and her team stir things up enough to make the murderer nervous; after Donna receives a threat to “back off” things take on a more serious bent for her, but not for her ever vigilant colleagues who continue to animatedly bungle their way through the investigation until the murderer is behind bars.

Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indie Bound

http://blog.janicehardy.com/2014/07/character-evolution-dont-restrict-your.html

 

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KOIL It’s The Beat Interview – Jody and Karen are totally cool!

May 23rd, 2014 → 10:15 pm @

Check out Saturday’s It’s the Beat at 12 noon. It was so incredibly fun! Jody and Karen were hilarious!

20140521_192119 (3)I want to hang out with them from now! And their engineer was awesome as well!

20140521_193723 (3)They all made me feel so comfortable – and encouraged me to talk as much as I want.

Naturally, there will be  some edits!

In addition, they invited me back when book 2 comes out – which should be any time now!

Watch for it – and check out Saturday’s show – it might give you a laugh!

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Radio Interview on It’s the Beat! on the Mighty 1290 KOIL

May 16th, 2014 → 5:40 pm @

Just got a call from producers of It’s the Beat to record an interview Wednesday night featuring Is It Still Murder Even If She Was A Bitch?.

 

It will air on Saturday, May 24th between noon – 1 pm!

It will also be available online. I’ll keep you posted!

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Omaha Public Library Author’s Fair

February 25th, 2014 → 10:41 pm @

The third annual OPL Author’s Fair brought with it some familiar encounters, some welcome opportunities and some surprises. It is an event that seems to morph with each new year.

Some of the same characters made the rounds. Some waxing philosophic and others looking for shelter from the cold on a February day. Luckily, there were some who were fascinating and others who were entertaining.

There were aspiring writers looking for detailed information on the writing process and fellow authors looking for tips on book marketing. There were talk show hosts looking for authors to interview.

I loved sharing with my fellow authors – some were so inspiring and incredibly encouraging (one was trying to make me feel inferior – I don’t need her for that!). I really enjoyed meeting the aspiring authors, they were so genuine and eager to learn – and they really seemed to be listening.


I bathed in the glow of praise for my title and my cover art. This crew had an awesome sense of humor!

But for me, the brightest and most shining of moments were those few occasions where people came up to me and said they loved my first book and are anxiously awaiting the release of my second book. That was awesome!

LF2014D

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A Talented Photographer Can Make Your Book Cover

January 21st, 2014 → 9:27 pm @

I feel very fortunate. Being in the ad business I have access to many very talented artists. When it came time to design my book cover, my designer strongly recommended commissioning a photograph by the incredibly talented Scott Drickey. Scott read the book, asked a few questions and then came up with a cover photo that offered mystery and intrigue. It created a visual tension befitting a suspense-filled story about murder, yet it maintained a whimsical posture which enabled it to pave the way for the comedic nature of the book.

And Scott managed to convey all of these things within an extremely sophisticated framework.

It fit the book to perfection!

So many of my cozy mystery colleagues select covers that are exaggerated and cartoonish in nature. I’m not sure how that trend came about – but I knew right from the start that it did not fit my work.

I relied very heavily on my designer, Jill Rizzo, to find a “look” that would convey my brand accurately, and with the help and talent of Scott Drickey – my expectations were far exceeded!

 

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Review from Granite Cove Mysteries author Sharon Love Cook

January 7th, 2014 → 5:46 pm @

By Sharon L. Cook on September 11, 2013

Format: Paperback Amazon Verified Purchase

The title alone tells you this isn’t a cozy about embroidering or making fudge. The central character, Donna Leigh, isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty. But even when she finds herself in trouble, she never lacks for a witty response. This amateur sleuth compares herself to Miss Marple, albeit a “younger, hotter ” Jane Marple. And though she may unwittingly do ditzy things, such as propping a ladder against the dead woman’s house, thereby attracting the attention of the police, she is a savvy businesswoman. In fact, part of the book’s charm is the insider look at the world of advertising. Author Robin Leemann Donovan is part owner of a high profile advertising agency in Omaha, Nebraska, the setting of this mystery.

There’s something for everyone: fashionistas will love the descriptions of clothes worn by Donna Leigh and colleagues, a coterie of women who aren’t afraid to pile into the car and go investigate a murder. And though they’re bold and daring, they don’t always think before they act. Impulsivity runs rampant in that office. Nonetheless, they’re fiercely loyal, the kind of friends any woman would love to have in her corner–providing they remain in the corner.

Is it Still Murder Even If She Was A Bitch? is brimming with madcap fun, dark deeds, humorous musings and asides and old fashioned suspense along with a victim you love to hate. The protagonist is a whirling dynamo who never slows down, and never lets the reader down either.

 

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Sold Out on Amazon?

December 30th, 2013 → 6:06 pm @

For the first time ever: Is It Still Murder Even If She Was A Bitch? is listed as unavailable on Amazon.com. I emailed my publisher to tell her something was wrong.

She said there’s nothing wrong – it just means that they need to order more copies for their warehouse. Does that mean my book is “sold out” on Amazon? Why do I find this so hard to believe?

I’d love to believe that they just can’t keep it in stock – but I’m having trouble convincing myself. If experience has taught me anything – I’m more inclined to think there’s a technical glitch.

That said, please check out amazon.com and let me know what you find. If my book is truly sold out – I’m going to celebrate more than just the New Year!

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Thanks again Council Bluffs for a very nice Library Author Fair

November 26th, 2013 → 5:51 pm @

This past Sunday was my second Council Bluffs Library Author Fair, and it was even better than the first. Although it’s set up as a sleepy little surprise for local library patrons, it has a whole other set of surprises for some of the attending authors.

Sure, it’s always nice to sell a few books, but Sunday’s Fair also enabled me to meet and reconnect with other local authors. It enabled me to meet some aspiring authors that might be looking for a little bit of mentoring to get through some of those new author/not completely edited jitters, and possibly best of all, it enabled me to meet some of my readers – that was awesome!

In this entire book writing/publishing experience, I guess it just never occurred to me that there would ever be strangers coming up to me to enthusiastically tell me that they’d read my book and/or heard me speak. If felt really good!

 

 

 

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