Thursday, January 23, 2014

Get Lost in a Story interviews Donnell Ann Bell

Hi All! Cynthia D'Alba here. Usually when I have the privilege of being on Get Lost in A Story, I'm talking about me or my book. Today, I was extremely pleased to have the honor of interviewing one of your regulars, Donnell Ann Bell. 

About Betrayed: 
A riveting suspense and cold-blooded conspiracy that strikes at our most precious bonds.

When Oklahoma City resident, Irene Turner learns the incomprehensible, that the stillborn baby she delivered 28-years earlier is alive, she takes the evidence to where her daughter now lives—Denver Colorado. Detective Nate Paxton can’t believe what Irene Turner shows him. Kinsey Masters, a world-class athlete, raised by a prominent Denver family, an unattainable woman he’s known and loved for years, was stolen at birth.

Irene Turner, Nate Paxton, and Kinsey Masters are united in a sordid conspiracy. But, it’s who the conspirators turn out to be that will leave the trio shaken and in disbelief. Irene’s foundation of trust will be ripped from its core, as kidnapping, murder, and a thirst for revenge lead her to learn she’s been betrayed.

Excerpt from Betrayed:

Expecting the nurse, and so very tired, Irene prepared to tell the hospital employee these constant interruptions were overkill.  But a man clearing his throat had Irene sitting upright. 
“Mrs. Turner?”
Lieutenant Montoya stood in the doorway.
He eased farther into the room.  “My men tell me you’ve been through the ringer in the last ten hours.  I’m sorry about your husband.” 
“Thank you.  But from our first meeting, I think you know there was no love lost between Stephen and me.  We’d been living together yet separately for years.” 
The lieutenant held papers and a small package in his hand. 
“What’s that?”
“When was the last time you washed your hands?”
“The staff ordered me not to.”  Irene shuddered.  “Rather odd request in a hospital, don’t you think?”
His mouth curved upward.  Not for the first time, she noticed his smile.  Too bad he didn’t do it often.  “This is a gunshot residue kit, Mrs. Turner.  Sorry to delay your personal hygiene, but I asked that you not wash your hands until I had time to execute a warrant.”
She sucked in air.
“We’ve determined that the weapon used to kill Stephen Turner was a .38 projectile.”
Her heart commenced beating like a war drum.  Damn this fight or flight response handed down from our ancestors.  “I did not kill my husband.”
Lieutenant Montoya moved closer to the bed.  “My detectives are inclined to believe you.  Your department store receipts, that nasty blow to your head.  The test I’d like to perform is one more test to prove your innocence.  When was the last time you fired your .38?”
“Months,” Irene said.  “The last time I fired it was at the club during target practice.”  She swallowed and her throat felt like sandpaper.  “I have asked for and been denied a phone.  I’m ready to call a lawyer.”
“And that’s your prerogative.  But first, you should know we’ve already tested your clothes.  We found zero traces of gun powder.  In my opinion, whoever’s doing this is an amateur.”  He held up a box.  “One more test should prove it.” 
Her heartrate slightly decreased.  “Is this where the bad cop pretends to be a good cop and takes the poor innocent suspect into his confidence?”
The lieutenant lifted a brow and gave her another one of those smiles.  “Mind if I use your restroom, poor innocent suspect?”
Sucker.  “Suit yourself.” 
“I won’t be long.  I’m just going to wash my hands.”
She scowled at him.

We all know Donnell as an Amazon Best Selling author, but let's dig into Donnell, the person, today! 

Cyndi, thanks.  Fire Away.  I'll be happy to answer...I think.

CYNTHIA D'ALBA: When you were a little girl, what did you want to be when  you grew up?
DONNELL:  It was a toss-up between an architect and a Carmelite nun. 
CYNTHIA D'ALBA.  What was your favorite fairy tale? Not today, when as an adult we get all the nuances of the story, but way back when. 

DONNELL:  Easy.  Rumplestiltskin.  I LOVED it and read it over and over again. Loved The Brothers Grimm. 

CYNTHIA D'ALBA:  What was the name of your first boyfriend? You know, back in first grade or kindergarten. The "first" boy.  Do you remember his name? Do you know where he is today? 

DONNELL:  Yep. Haven't a clue where he is but I remember my first kiss -- behind Skateland, our local skating rink in Farmington, New Mexico ;)  You're not going to tell my mom, are you?

CYNTHIA D'ALBA:  Paul, George, John, or Ringo? Why? 
DONNELL:  Honestly? Call me an oddball, but I was never hooked on the Beatles.  I was a Monkey fan through and through.  Davy Jones, Michael Nesbitt and Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork  (Here we come... walkin' down the street...loved them). 

CYNTHIA D'ALBA:  Are you a rose with thorns, beautiful but handle with care, or a daisy, pretty but odorless and harmless?
DONNELL:  Mind if I mix it up a bit?  I'm somewhere in between.  I'm a snapdragon.  Fragrant, hardy and a survivor.  I love that they grow where they darn well please -- I love my snapdragons.  In the spring and summer I watch them pop up everywhere.      

CYNTHIA: Where are you in the rank order of your siblings? Would you be a different person if that rank order had been different?

DONNELL:  I'm the middle child.  And I mean "sandwiched" middle kid.  My brother is one year older than I am, my sister is one year younger than me.  I'm glad I didn't know about the middle child stigma till later in life.  I have a terrific family, and many of the friends I had as a child, I'm still friends with to this day.  I was blessed to have a terrific childhood. 
CYNTHIA:  What is your favorite card game? 
DONNELL:  Love cards.  I love to play gin with my husband, bridge with my friends, a card game called Golf with my daughter, and Spades with my entire family when my son comes to town. 

 CYNTHIA:  You just won ninety million dollars (after taxes.) Do you keep writing or retire? 

 DONNELL:  After taxes, whoa, that's a haul.  I keep writing.  But how I set up my office in Hawaii, in Aspen, and I take my friends on all my extensive research trips.

CYNTHIA:  Tummy tuck, butt lift or facelift?
DONNELL:  Maybe my eyes if anything and then I'd think long and hard.  Surgery has not been my friend.  I've always had complications.   

CYNTHIA: Stop right now. Look over the screen. Describe what you see. 

 DONNELL:  A bookshelf crammed with what else? Books!

Thanks Donnell. I know I'll know you a lot better after today! 

Thank you, Cyndi.
Readers, Cyndi gave me an idea.  What was your favorite band growing up?  Or if that doesn't do anything for you, what was YOUR favorite fairy tale?

Commenters will be entered in a drawing to win their choice of my three books, Betrayed, Deadly Recall or The Past Came Hunting.  We'll draw on Sunday evening. 

Follow me on Twitter @donnellannbell

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Trade paperback U.S. Residents Only.  Digital to all others.



  1. Hey DA! Favorite fairy tale...even I thought that was a hard question! I think Cinderella. Hmm...maybe that's why I read so many romances, you think?

    I grew up with the Beatles. I was a Ringo gal. I never really got into The Monkies. I think it was because I had piano lessons during the show's time period and I didn't get to watch them much. And no VCRs back then to tape the show!

    I think I'm a rose...I smell nice, can look good (with a little work!) but OMG! Watch out for the thorns.

  2. Ha, Cyndi, I love your questions! I agree you're a rose! Seriously, you wanted me in the daisy category? :) Not even close. Sticking with my snapdragons. Thanks for the fun questions.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Sounds like a great read!!! My favorite bands...well no real favorites, but liked Bon Jovi and U2 :)

  5. Nice interview. Cinderella

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

    1. Cinderella is the ultimate chick flick and happily ever after :)

  6. I was a Monkees fan too! Does this age us? Can't wait to read the new book.

    1. Yes, Kim Sanders, it so ages us. Felt ancient replying to Peaces of Me (I loved Bon Jovi and U2 too) :) Thanks for commenting!

  7. Fun interview. I loved Elvis. Thumbs down on the Beetles. The Monkees made a song I loved. "Then I saw her face. Now I'm a believer." The heroine in one of my early romantic suspense novels was based on that song. And snapdragons are lovely surprises. They come in different colors, return the following year, and the deer don't eat them.

    1. Karalee, such an education! Yes, Elvis was a staple of music lovers growing up. He transcends generations. Yep, Neil Diamond made the Monkeys a sensation when they recorded his music. So interesting about snapdragons. I never knew deer wouldn't eat them! Cool! Thanks for stopping by.

  8. It was and still is Beauty and the Beast. It's nice that there are no villains. :)

  9. May, are we talking about book or the film adaptation. Notice in the film they included an antagonist. Thanks for dropping by!

  10. Nice interview. Your book sounds great....the subject matter is very interesting.
    Growing up my favorite band was Prince and The Revolution, and my favorite Fairytale was Hantzel and Gretal. It was creepy and scary and I couldn't help reading it again and again.

    1. Laurie, hi, welcome to Get Lost in a Story and thanks for the compliment. Yes, Hansel and Gretel was soooo scary. That mean old witch and Hansel tricking her with a bone. Great story! You're entered in the drawing. Thanks for stopping by!

  11. Unfortunately, asking about bands growing up ages us, but here goes. I loved, loved The Bay City Rollers, then KISS, Styx, and the Eagles. My favorite fairy tale was 3 Billygoats Gruff and Cinderella. Every Sunday we would watch Mutual of Omaha then Wonderful World of Disney. I loved it.
    This looks like a story I would love. Loved the interview. I like getting to know the authors this way.

    1. Katrina, yes, we are dating ourselves aren't we. Those were great bands. I saw the Eagles in person in El Paso, Texas. Don Henley is one of my favorite singers to this day. Glad Betrayed seems interesting to you! You're entered in the drawing. Thank you for stopping by!

  12. I loved The Past Came Hunting, and I still think about your main characters, Mel and Crandall. So I can't wait to read Betrayed! You really have a knack for creating memorable characters. BTW, I wanted to be a nun, too, until I discovered boys! And the Brothers Grimm was one of my favorite books, too!

    1. Hi Maria, I thought I was the only one who thought being a nun would be so melodramatic and glamorous. Thank you for stopping by!

  13. So looking forward to reading another book by you, Donnell! Love the excerpt you shared. And nice to know a little bit more about you.

    And great interview, Cynthia. Your questions got me to thinking. I grew up in a household with classical music, jazz, and pop vocalists from my parents' era. When I rebelled, I went for the folk singers like Joan Baez. Favorite fairy tale? Anything from Andrew Lang's Fairy Books of Many Colors.

  14. Fleetwood Mac was a favorite when I was a kid.
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com

    1. Hi, Maureen. Great Group! Don't stop believin' you're entered in the drawing!

  15. Donnell, loved the interview. After each question, I thought about what my own answer would be. Plus, I feel I know you a little better, too. Clever interview. BTW - The Monkeys and Davy Jones. LOL. Although I always loved Cinderella as my fairytale.

    1. Vickie! Thank you. I'm so glad you enjoyed. Cinderella's a classic. I'll give you that one! Thanks for stopping by!