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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

"So Damn Lucky" by Deborah Coonts~Lucky's a Hellbentforleather, Sassy Las Vegas Detective!

Any time spent with Lucky is unimaginatively hilarious!
She's the kickin' female friend you'd love to have
drinks with at girl's night outs!! 
Published by:  Forge
Pages:  385
Author's website:  http://deborahcoonts.com/
I encourage you strongly to go there!!

The Book Summary from Kirkus Reviews:
If Houdini were going to send a message from the great beyond, what are the odds it would land in Vegas? Lucky O'Toole, Head of Customer Relations at Vegas' glitziest hotel, the Babylon, is not having a good day. A visiting couple from the Midwest has gotten tangled up in a sex sling. Her boyfriend Teddie has opted out of their relationship in favor of groupies and rock-star fame. And when the curtains are opened during a performance, Dimitri Fortunoff, a magician trussed up in a replica of Houdini's Chinese Water Torture Cell, has vanished.
 Did one of the many other magicians attending the annual gathering of prestidigitators waylay him? Are they responsible for the threatening note he received? Who will replace him as the Masked Houdini at Halloween night's performance? Or did Dimitri himself plan his disappearance in search of much-needed publicity?
 In between flirting with a handsome gaming control board member, swooning over the hotel's delicious new French chef and witnessing the wedding of her parents at a drive-through chapel, Lucky (Lucky Stiff, 2011, etc.) tries to find Dimitri. The search takes her from subterranean storm drains to Area 51, the Air Force's secure facility, which has become a mecca for UFO seekers, as she sorts through lies and puzzles set up to fool her by Dimitri's assistant Molly and four members of the Magic Ring. Mentalists have their say. Kooks congregate to stare at the sky. Lucky, alas, becomes vulnerable to head whacks and the effects of serious liquor and coffee consumption. Like everything in Vegas, the plot is saturated with sex, booze and backgrounds that don't bear scrutiny. But the Houdini code is intriguing, and Lucky's the kind of gal who will make any heart beat faster.
Let's Get To Know The Author:

Hi, Deborah, I've been dying to interview you!  Here goes!!

1. First of all, please tell us a special something about what makes you "tick." When you aren't writing, what are you doing?

Mainly getting into trouble. You have no idea how hazardous my research in Las Vegas can be. Take male stripping (Yes, this really was research. My visit to this world ended up as a really fun scene in the new book, SO DAMN LUCKY.) Anyway, I had no idea this sort of thing was a contact sport! For some reason, I couldn't stop laughing, which didn't make the "scenery" very happy. I think I lasted about 45 minutes, but I'm glad I went. No way could I have imagined the whole stripping thing as over-the-top as it really is. My version would have been much more... dignified, to the extent that that adjective should ever be appropriate when talking about men taking their clothes off to a thumping beat for the entertainment of inebriated, pawing women. Then there was the trip to Shark Reef with my son. I asked one of the attendants at the shark tank if I threw a dead body in there would the Tiger Shark eat it. Yes, I have the number of a good attorney on speed-dial. And my son won't go on research expeditions with me anymore. Go figure.   OMGosh, I can only imagine you doing these things!!!  I've often embarrassed my children, but never over dead bodies, Deb!! LOL

2. You chose a specific genre, a place and time to write about, what made you choose it?

Years ago I discovered that trying to do anything even remotely serious was not within my skill set. So, I played up my ability to get a laugh, cutting my humorist's teeth on a column I wrote for a national magazine. Gradually I expanded my repertoire until I felt delusional enough to handle novel-length silliness. I throw in a bit of mystery and some romance because I like those things -- and a story sort of needs a purpose:)
Vegas: need I say more? Talk about a place ripe with stories! Nowhere else is the human condition more fully or lushly displayed. I've lived there for over a decade and I never tire of the endless parade. Where else does Elvis bag your groceries? Or the guy behind the counter at the gym moonlight as a unicyclist? Or the pretty pre-school teacher is also a scarf performer at a Cirque show? Or the University professor is a showgirl at night? You get my drift. And this doesn't even include the 45 million stories the visitors bring to town every year . . . The most difficult task for me is to pick which stories I want to tell.

3. Bronte or Austen? Hemingway or Hawthorne? Why?

If I had to pick, Austen, because the stories can be a bit more lighthearted. And Hemingway for the adventure, the joie de vivre . . . at least most of the time. But, frankly, I'd rather have Dr. Seuss, Will Rogers and Mark Twain, if I could.  LOL  I can totally see that!

4. In your opinion, what makes a book a great one?

Something about it touches your soul and becomes a part of you.

5. Which author(s) most influenced your love of books from childhood?

All of them. What courage it takes to tell a story! The things people say, the comments they make! Thank Heavens I started writing when I was a bit older--not only do I have more to say, a better perspective, hopefully, but my skin is also much thicker.
Anyway, as a child I loved the Marguerite Henry books (I was nuts about horses) and I also liked Mary Stewart, Alistair Maclean, Arthur Hailey -- I was a pretty precocious reader:)

6. Read any good books in the past 6 months?

With writing taking up so much time, I don't get to read as much as I would like. That being said, I try to read enough. And I try to read outside my genre. A book that I didn't expect to like, but enjoyed immensely was The Discovery of Witches. I'm reading books by thriller writers now such as Allison Brennan, Carla Neggers, and Lisa Gardner and also enjoying them very much.  I love Lisa Gardner, too.  She writes a great thriller.

7. Choose 4 guests from any era for dinner. Who would they be and what would you choose for a topic of conversation?

Winston Churchill, Ayn Rand, Abraham Lincoln, and the Dalai Lama. I'd love to sit back and let them argue about how to get the human race working together. And just for kicks and grins, I would love to bring Dorothy Parker as my side-kick. Truly, was there ever a funnier woman?  OMGosh, Ayn Rand with that group!!!  She'd have them all in a tither!  Three pacifists and a radical, and two of you to laugh at them!!!  :P

8. Which of your characters is most like you?

Well, my aunt told me that Lucky is the woman I always wanted to be. Does that count?

9. If you could cast your book for a movie, who would you choose?

I hesitate to answer that because a trip through a story is such a personal experience. One of the wonderful things about reading is that we, as readers, get to participate in our entertainment. The writer may set the stage and propel the action, but the vision of the place and the actors is unique to each reader.

10. Worst habit you have?

Talking before thinking. For a woman who is fluent in sarcasm and innuendo and trying, at the moment, to navigate Dallas, the Buckle of the Bible Belt, a mute button would be a good thing -- or at least a filter.    Oh, God, I know the feeling!!

11. How much research did you do before and during writing?

I live in Vegas, so my "research" surrounds me. However, sometimes I do get a wild hair . . . see Number 1 above:) I'm always poking into interesting places whether it's behind the scenes at Siegfried and Roy's Secret Garden, or backstage at a Cirque show, or in the tunnels under Las Vegas. Who knows where my wanderings will take me next?

12. Tell us a secret about your book we wouldn't otherwise know, please!

If you flip the pages real fast, there's a subliminal message. Kidding. A secret? I don't have any secrets. Let me think . . . Okay, I really did meet the French chef . . . although he was a vintner:) Oooh, la, la! No, I won't tell you his name. That's my secret.
Deborah, you are a hot mess, as they say in the South!!  Just this interview can do nothing but give insights into your writing!  LOL

Something Else About Deborah Coonts
My mother tells me I was born a long time ago, but I'm not so sure--my mother can't be trusted. I do know that I was raised in Texas on barbeque, Mexican food and beer. I currently live in Las Vegas where family and friends tell me I can't get into too much trouble. Silly people. I have owned my own business, been a tax lawyer and a flight instructor, and have survived a teenager. And now, I make stuff up for a living.

Each day I sit in the front window at my favorite Panera and play with my imaginary friends. My SO is a psychologist and he tells me that many of his colleagues would consider me an annuity. I can live with that. Thankfully, he can too.

I write a mystery series set in Las Vegas--funny, sexy and romantic. I've been told they are comedic thrillers--sounds like an oxymoron to me, but you get the drift. The first in the series, WANNA GET LUCKY?, came out May 2010. The second, LUCKY STIFF, and the third, SO DAMN LUCKY.

Look who I found in Vegas!  Robin Williams....my lucky star...

The Dame's Wrap-Up :
Deborah Coonts's book is hysterically funny, strange, light-hearted and a mystery in so many ways!  Deborah is a nut-case, she's so funny! I had a great adventure reading "Lucky."  Here's the thing about Coonts; she's a wonderful mix of a good writer, a satirist and a student of people.  She's also a comedian. 

"So Damn Lucky" is the best trip you'll ever take to Las Vegas!  If you've never been there, you only have to pick up this book to experience it.  I laughed myself off the chair in the first chapter visualizing the exact characters she portrays that I'd seen there myself!  This is a side-buster of a book, and a great mystery, too.  Viva Las Vegas, absolutely captured and delivered in the hands of "Lucky" and Deborah Coonts...Elvis is definitely still alive there, so are aliens and missing persons!
If you're looking for a book to make you laugh and read like a bandit, and that will keep you wide-eyed with the joy of finding out about crazies and cons, this is the one for you.  I found it a refreshing oasis from the books I've been reading lately.  It's not always good to have a steady stream of the serious and fantasy world...once in a while it's so nice to have a sorbet between courses.   "So Damn Lucky" is the raspberry sorbet of a book that will have your literary palate tingling!!

4 stars
Deborah/TheBookishDame          Thank you for stopping by to see me!



What an interesting review and interview of a book and author I had never heard of. So much to read! Where does one even start? Thanks.

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