Saturday, March 19, 2016

my second radio interview of 2016

this is the second of four radio interviews for 2016, I will be doing LA Talk Radio on April 6th and artistfirst radio May 10th. This is the link

The book is available at Smashwords for $1.20 right now.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

other reviews

these might not be here and these are the other reviews.

Bad Memories

Reviewed by Janelle Fila for Readers' Favorite 9/7/15

John Miller has a haunting past. While a doctor at the Allendale Asylum, three people died when medicated with the wrong dosage. That past is starting to catch up with John Miller. His friend and former colleague at the asylum, Albert Smith, is murdered. When another man is murdered shortly after his friend, Miller begins to see a new pattern that might shed light on the mystery of his old life.

I really liked the mystery element of Bad Memories. There is something intriguing about reading a mystery and trying to follow along and solve the mystery along with the main character. I thought the author summed up what a mystery is very well when he said that Miller wanted to solve the mystery "for the knowledge that he could take a problem in hand and master it." I think that is why a lot of people read mysteries and want to be able to understand the solution, because they want to master the problem. I thought this was very well said and seemed to reflect the attitude of the book nicely. The story really stayed true to this theme.

I also liked the information that we could gleam from the characters' dialogue.  It gives the reader information within the text that shows the reader how the characters feel without telling the reader how the characters feel. This is a hard concept for a lot of writers, so when it is done well it should be praised. I think there are good examples of that in this text and that helps carry the story forward. 

 Mysterious and Suspenseful By booklover on November 7, 2015 4 stars
Format: Paperback
This debut novel by Douglas Sander came as a surprise to me. It started out rather slow .... my first impression was a very sad man married to a shrew who did nothing but whine and complain and expect her husband to do everything. So my first thought was ... he is going to kill her.

When John Miller decides to take a weekend away from the shrew and the monotony of the job, he first has to put up with the wife's complaints. For a change, he doesn't let her conniving ways stop him. I was still a little perplexed, and then the author started drawing me in. I found out that what I had seen in John Miller was a result of his past. While a doctor at an asylum, patients died because of an incorrect medication dosage.

This weekend he is going fishing with a friend. Unfortunately the friend is murdered. Another man of his acquaintance is murdered shortly after. These deaths bring about ....bad memories. The story line is unique and became more mysterious and suspenseful the more I read. The characters are multi-dimensional. And once I got into it, I did not want to put it down!

Many thanks to the author who so graciously furnished a digital copy in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. 
 Vivid: an impossible-put-down must-read. By Sarah Stuart on March 12, 2015 5 stars
Format: Kindle Edition
“Don’t judge a book by its cover”. This time I did, intrigued by the design of a closed book “Bad Memories: Do not open” and, of course, I opened it… just before midnight. I read it at one sitting, captured in the head of John Miller.

The author paints pictures with words. He didn’t describe the endless monotony of the pill-bottling lab where John worked: I was there, this was my reality. Julie was the wife John loved: the wife for whose sake he turned down what he believed to be a fishing weekend with Arthur; Julie would have dinner on the table. Julie had done nothing all day but read magazines and eat candy. That was the moment for frustrated anger to become murder, surely? No, but Arthur is dead in circumstances the police dismiss as suicide.

Mr Sandler’s characters don’t jump off the page, they draw in the reader, each, however minor, intensely vivid and always cleverly different. “The illness of his skin.” His broken nose – “the gristle tip of a chicken’s fleshless breast”. 
A Thrilling Story By Mr. Kibbles on April 14, 2015   5 stars
Format: Kindle Edition
A very enjoyable and suspenseful story. A great variety of characters, vivid descriptions and a real sense of trepidation. Definitely worth a look. 
 An Intriguing Plot By Icarus14 on July 19, 2015 4 stars
Format: Kindle Edition
An intriguing plot that becomes more mysterious as the story develops. Things aren’t quite what they seem in Millersburg and John Miller is up to his neck in it. A series of unfortunate incidents becomes a nightmare for Dr Miller and he struggles to cope as one problem leads to another. A good read.
A Kiss Before Strangling
 Reviewed by Janelle Fila for Readers' Review on 9/3/2015

"A Kiss Before Strangling by Douglas Sandler is a psychological thriller [set in 1950's] about a killer who wants revenge against cops whom he thinks killed his fiancee, but all is not what it seems. The story was creepy in a good way. I liked how there were different aspects of the story going on at the same time, scenes in the theater, scenes from the cops' points of view, and scenes that showed the drama and politics between the mayor and sheriff. But I think my favorite scenes were from the killer himself. I liked the mystery and suspense surrounding that. I liked not quite knowing what was going on, but understanding enough of the physical surroundings. We got into the mind of the killer and could understand at least a little of his motivations and why he felt the need to compulsively do what he had to do.

I also liked the idea of someone being so angry with the police that it would drive them to seek revenge, Unfortunately this something a lot of people can relate to right now. And it is easy to believe that someone could go so far off the edge they would act this way. So again, I found this story realistically creepy. It kind of freaked me out how much I could see it relate to real life and how I keep forgetting that I was reading a book and not reading the headlines of a newspaper. This is a timely topic." {authors note: when I wrote this in 1998 I did not know that the fiction book could come to pass.}
Old-Style Murder Mystery! By 1DreamReader on April 18, 2015 5 stars
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you like old-style murder mysteries, you’ll enjoy this novel. Young ladies are being murdered in a small town by a serial killer who likes to kiss and not tell. He kisses them wildly, then leaves them for dead. One of the victims happens to be the fiancee of a police sergeant. Seems things are amiss at the local police department also. The author adds enough mystery to keep you wondering just who was the killer all through the story. This one had me on the edge till the very end.
Exciting! By B Nelson on April 22, 2015 5 stars
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This psychological thriller is an exciting read. In “A Kiss Before Strangling” author Douglas Sandler, does a great job of creating tension and suspense. Every time I thought I had it figured out – boom – another twist in the tale. I definitely liked it enough to read more by this author and plan to check out his book, “Bad Memories” next. Recommended. Five stars. 
 Good original thriller By Big Apple on April 14, 2015 5 stars
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A well-crafted thriller which is suspenseful from the start and never relents. The length is just right and not a word is wasted. Perfect escapist entertainment. An enjoyable read. 
 Sally and him were in love at first sight and By TDC Book Reviews on September 27, 2015 3 stars
Format: Paperback
This book starts off with a cop, Younger, taking his fiancé to her play rehearsal. Sally and him were in love at first sight and, according to him, she was one of those gals that was proper, so he was a gentleman which meant no funny business. Meanwhile, in another part of town a killer is kissing ladies and then strangling them. This book follows Younger's journey to unearthing the killer.
This book leaves you gripping the pages while you are trying to figure out who the killer is. It will keep you on your toes, that's for sure! Once you think you know who the killer is, the author changes it. Characters are well written and scenery is described with an artistic touch. The only thing that got me was that it jumps in spots and you really have to re-read to make sure you didn't accidentally skip a page. I give it three out of five stars. 
Guns of Vengeance
 Good Guys and Bad Guys By Icarus14 on July 19, 2015   4 stars
Format: Kindle Edition
If you like books about good guys hunting down bad guys then you will probably like this one. Marshall Allen Johnson has personal reasons to feel bitter and uses all the skills he has developed as a law enforcement officer to deal out vengeance … even if that means outstepping the law.

the thought process of Bad Memories

This is the thought process I used in creating Bad memories. If you compare my abstract paintings, Bad Memories book cover & book trailer you see a pattern with a common subject. Example here is two paintings I painted, they are abstract view of mental illness as I see it.

The top one is called the 2 faces of myself, the face on the left is me normally when I am on my medicine and the face on the right is me before my meds. The bottom picture is me effected by the meds and in a stoned happy place.

This is the book cover for Bad Memories it pictures a dark and dismal cell wing which is what the asylum in the book is and it is corrupt and a evil place, hence the dark and depressingly eerie setting.
Now we come to the book trailer, the images in the trailer are taken from old public domain pictures that show what the patients of the asylum in my book are treated like and the reason John Miller is no longer a doctor. Those pictures are actually true in the bad dark old days of mental health. View the trailer to see why 

I suffer from several mental health issues and this book was written back in 1998/99 and I was not diagnosed till June 2006. So you see the theme of the book and the thought process in its creation.

The story behind Bad Memories also comes from the real cases of Letchworth Village and Pennhurst both asylums who abused, murdered and were cruel to their patients and were closed by a federal judge. The stories were real but made into fiction.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

latest review of Bad memories

As they say everyone will not like what you write, well this review seems to say on one hand she liked it, on the other she didn't. But with several 4 and 5 star reviews, it was enviable that a 2 star would show up. I am posting the review to be transparent and to show that I am not just posting the great ones.

Genre: Mystery/Thriller     Date: 28 January 2016           Rating: 2 stars

Douglas Sandler’s Bad Memories is the story of ex-doctor John Miller, now working as a pill-presser in New York after a conviction for medical malpractice leads to his mental breakdown. Trapped in a marriage to a woman who expected to live on the much higher salary of a medical doctor, John’s descent into depression is alleviated by visits with his one friend, Dr. Albert Smith in Millersburg. When John receives a weekend fishing invitation from Dr. Smith, the last thing he anticipated was having to stretch his half-forgotten medical skills in a key role in a murder investigation.

Bad Memories is a classic mystery novel set sometime after WWII, with John Miller its reluctant detective in a string of multiple murders that the Millersburg PD is either incapable of or uninterested in solving. While the novel showcases a strongly nostalgic sense of setting and era, it is undermined by the frequent editorial errors that disrupt the reading, and although the vacillations of confidence that John suffers from are expertly sketched into the plot, the final reveal came across to me as something of a Hail Mary save, with a wealth of additional details suddenly being pieced together by our reluctant hero. A few more breadcrumbs would have helped that final scene to be more credible for me. 

Review by J.C. Steel