Tag Archives: D. K. Stone

“The Dark Divide is a bittersweet love story coming back to a more familiar place, allowing the reader to fall in love with the true beauty of Waterton” | Q&A with author D. K. Stone

There are many good suspense novels available and a good-many of them offer sequels to their original story lines. But none seem to offer the unique level of dedication that D. K. Stone offers to her books set in Waterton Park, Alberta. Her first novel ,  Edge of Wild (Link to my review), was gripping enough but now Stone is release the second novel in that series – The Dark Divide (Link to my review). Stone answered a few questions for me about not only her new book but how the level of interest her fans show to her, help her in her writing.

TheDarkDivide&EdgeOfWildTogether

1) First off, could you give a bit of an overview of “The Dark Divide”?

The Dark Divide is the second of a three part series that takes place in the small Rocky Mountain town of Waterton Park, Alberta, and it directly follows the dramatic events of book 1. In The Dark Divide, Rich Evan is on trial for the arson which destroyed the Whitewater hotel he once managed. There is one niggling doubt, however, a single fingerprint—linked to a decades-old unsolved murder—which suggests someone else in town might have started the hotel fire. As police try to uncover who the real criminal is, the danger that this “other” person presents becomes abundantly clear. Louise, the keeper of the town’s secrets, is caught between wanting to help Rich and needing to protect her friends. And when a mysterious stranger shows up, ready to expose these secrets, chaos is unleashed.

2) This is the second book that you have set in the rugged area of the small town of Waterton. How has the reaction been to the first novel. Are there any memorial comments to the first book you care to share?

One of the notes I most regularly received after Edge of Wild was that readers wanted to know “more about Lou”. The Dark Divide is, at its heart, Louise Newman’s story. Her history and secrets shape the story’s plot and her decisions cause the main events to unfold. I was happy when readers were pulled back into her story. “Picking up right where Edge of Wild left off, we are once again pulled into the magic of Waterton…” and “Reading this book was like getting reacquainted with old friends.” But my all-time favorite comment (perhaps ever) is this one that captures everything I wanted to do: “If Edge of Wild was an exploration into the wilderness and unnerving and jagged sharpness of an outsider trying to fit in, The Dark Divide is a bittersweet love story coming back to a more familiar place, allowing the reader to fall in love with the true beauty of Waterton, and an understanding of what warmth can come from such a crisp and cool place.”

It’s reviews like THAT which keep writers writing!

3) You mentioned in your Q&A with me a few years ago that you were going to call this book “Hinterland?” Was there a reason for the change?

You’re right! It was called Hinterland until the very last round of edits with my editor, Dinah Forbes, who suggested that I change the title to create a more evocative feeling. I honestly had no idea WHAT to call it, so I enlisted the help of my readers online. Eventually I had a massive list of possible names. Though none of them were exactly The Dark Divide, a number of them had to do with borders and darkness, and with that nudge in the right direction, I was able to rename. Once I said The Dark Divide aloud, I knew it was ‘right’.

4) Are you planning a book tour with this book? If yes, are there dates you are looking forward to attending?

Given my location in Canada, I tend to do more online book tours, and this year is no different. I’ll be doing a two week online tour with my Street Team. I’ll be posting links to all sorts of content starting April 14th. As for scheduled appearances, I will be at the Stonehouse launch in Edmonton at the Boyle Street Community League April 14th at 7:00p.m., at CrossIron Mills Indigo on June 6th at 5:00p.m. and at San Diego Comic Con (yes – you heard that right!) from July 19th through 22nd. I will have more details on panels as the date nears.

WatertonPic-DanikaStone

5) Have you been working on this book steadily since 2016? Was it a difficult book to write?

A portion of this book actually started off as part of the original first draft of Edge of Wild, but the story was so large and unwieldy that my agent suggested I try to break it in two. I drafted out a plan for two books—found that it was STILL too long—so I added a third, and suddenly I had a trilogy. I picked up those “pieces” early in 2016 and was able to complete the editing process by the end of the year. It was actually significantly easier to write The Dark Divide because it felt like I already “knew” my characters, whereas in book 1, Edge of Wild, I was still trying to get their voices right.

After months of writing and revising, I finally had something I felt comfortable sending to Stonehouse. I was terrified, but quickly heard back from then. They signed The Dark Divide in 2017 and the final polishing began. For those of your readers who are worrying that they take “too long” when writing, keep in mind that the first part of this book was written in 2012. That is quite a gestation from idea to bookstore!

6) How did you like working with Stonehouse Publishing for this book? 

Stonehouse Publishing is a young independent publishing house, with plenty of hands-on connection to its authors. You never feel like a “cog” in a machine when dealing with them, and I received outstanding support for my writing. They knew going in that I was writing a trilogy and they were supportive of that, without pressuring me to a deadline. (I really appreciated that, as I had other YA books on my plate at the same time.) Seeing The Dark Divide in print, I know that I made the right decision to connect with Stonehouse. From editors to designers to promotions staff, they are an incredible group!

7) You mentioned in a previous Q&A that you eagerly interact with readers via the internet and on social-media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Was that experience true with “The Edge of Wild” and are you eager to interact with fans to discuss “The Dark Divide” in that manner?

Absolutely! One of my favorite things to do is to connect with my readers. A friend of mine beta-read a (new) story of mine the other day and live-tweeted her reactions. I laughed so hard I was crying! That kind of thing just doesn’t happen if you never chat. So, yes! If you’re reading The Dark Divide, I’d love to hear who you think the murderer is. I warn you though… even my editor didn’t see the twist coming, so it might be trickier than you think! (I also won’t tell you if you’re right. Ha ha!)

8) Are you working on anything new right now? If yes, are there details you care to share?

Right now I’m working on a couple young adult novels, one that is a contemporary YA, the other that is scifi YA. I’m also working on the as-yet-untitled book 3 of the Waterton series. On that note, if you have a title suggestion, I’d love to hear it!

Thank you so much for interviewing me, Steven. It was great to chat again!

My pleasure. Good Luck with the launch!

*******

 

Book trailer for The Dark Divide: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCZBNt1LlZY&feature=youtu.be

Danika Stone, Author Bio:

Danika Stone is an author, artist, and educator who discovered a passion for writing fiction while in the throes of her Masters thesis. A self-declared bibliophile, Danika now writes novels for both adults (The Dark Divide, Edge of Wild, The Intaglio Series and Ctrl Z) and teens (Internet Famous, All the Feels and Icarus). When not writing, Danika can be found hiking in the Rockies, planning grand adventures, and spending far too much time online. She lives with her husband, three sons, and a houseful of imaginary characters in a windy corner of Alberta, Canada.

Ms. Stone is represented by Morty Mint of Mint Literary Agency.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Danika_Stone

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/danikastoneauthor/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/danika_k_stone/

Link to the Stonehouse Publishing website for The Dark Divide

The Thriller in the Wilds Continue . . . | Review of “The Dark Divide” By D. K. Stone (To be released April 15, 2018) Stonehouse Publishing

A big thank you to the author of this book for sending me (a fan of her work) an advance reading copy of it to add to my bookshelves.

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It is enthralling to loose oneself in a good thriller. After a long day spent, it feels great to slip into a realm filled with intrigue and suspense and become engaged with another unique sent of problems for a while. And D. K. Stone has done that for many us too as she revisits the remote mountain-community of Waterton in her book The Dark Divide.

This story is a continuation of the plot that Stone so brilliantly brought forward in her first book Edge of Wild. (Link to my review) Stone has continued explorations of the frustrations of her protagonist Rich Evans and his stay in the small community of Waterton. He finds himself jobless and listless after the destruction of the hotel he once managed and under suspicion of its arson. Only one person believes in his innocence – local Louise Newman – and although she truly loves him, their relationship comes under severe strain as the suspicion of his actions is called into court and he needs to deal with proving his innocence.

Stone not only weaves a great tale of suspense and intrigue here but she captures great elements of the human condition. We have all encountered some sort of suspicion and fear when we have visited close-knit communities. And her exploration of the troubles between the relationship of Rich and Lou while are troublesome, are very real and familiar to many of us. This is a story that is unique and yet very familiar for many readers.

The Dark Divide is a great read filled not only with suspense but documents some deep-seeded emotions and feelings. It is not only a great read but a unique one as well.

*****

Link to Stonehouse Publishing’s Spring 2018 Catalogue which  features The Dark Divide

Link to D. K. Stone’s website

 

 

 

A Thriller in the Wilds | Review of “Edge of Wild” by D. K. Stone (2016) Stonehouse Publishing

Edge

A stranger comes to town. That theme in any story is the sign of a plot that is full of twists and conflicts. We follow a series of characters through a collection of uncomfortable situations – many leading in conflicts – and we are compelled to finish the story desperate to see how the situations are resolved. And that is exactly what D. K. Stone has done by leading her readers to the Edge of Wild.

Page 18

Dawn came too quickly, and Rich struggled to awaken when the alarm went off. He shaved and showered, putting on his second-best suit and heaviest top-coat, the headed out into the early morning haze. Around him, sun-tipped ridges soared, looming golden over the far southern edge of town where the manager’s cabin was located. He shielded his eyes, taking in his home for the foreseeable future.

His was the last cabin before the campground, beyond that was untouched forest. The two-storey house had cross-timbered peaks and faded stucco, its roof covered with uneven cedar shakes. Against the majestic sky, it looked like a doll’s house, while eight blocks away – dead centre in the target of the small town  – the straight angles and bold lines of the newly-constructed Whitewater Lodge perched like an ungainly bird against the backdrop of lofty peaks. It looked, Rich decided, like an unfinished drawing from a discarded Frank Lloyd Wright sketch book, but even from this distance, dark blotches on the surface marred the illusion of perfection. Pieces of siding were peeling under the onslaught of wind. Seeing it, Rich grimaced. He buttoned his coat and trudged down the front steps. What he saw beyond the porch had him stumbling to a stop.

There were footprints in the snow.

This is a great thriller of a novel. We see Rich Evans plucked from the streets of New York and deposited into the mountain town of Waterton. Entrusted to bring a luxury hotel to the small town, one thing after another seems to block Evans attempts to do his job. Yet as the locals become more and more hostile to him, he finds himself attracted to Louise Newman, the town’s mechanic who is fixing his unreliable BMW. Yet as their attraction grows, a series of murders is plaguing the area, and Evans begins to fear for his own life.

Page 37-38

There was a flash of russet and two startled deer bounded past. Rich’s head jerked in surprise, but he didn’t slow. He could no longer see the figure ahead of him, but the ground canted downward, his speed increasing as he moved toward the falls. Suddenly the greenery fell away, replaced by open ground, the roar of Cameron Falls deafening. A flicker of movement – gold this time – caught his attention on the cliff face next to the waterfall, and Rich stumbled to a halt.

There were cougars, three of them, and they were watching him.

He recalled reading Jeffrey Chan’s last email to Coldcreek Enterprises, sent a week before the wayward manager had disappeared. “Waterton is too primative, and I don’t feel I’m adequately prepared to manage a hotel in the area. There is dangerous wildlife in the townsite. My dog was killed by a cougar while chained in my yard.” Rich was panting, the sweat across his back icy. He was the only thing in the small clearing, except for the three cougars. One was the mother, the other two her half-grown cubs.

That’s why the deer were running, he realized in belated horror.

The mother raised her head in interest and took two steps down the steep incline, muscles rippling under loose hide. Cunning eyes held his gaze. Rich took a single step backward, and then another, random snippets of information flashing in his mind. Cougars could take down much larger animals than themselves. They were known to be clever and enjoyed the hunt. Swift and deadly, the surest way was to turn and run.

Rich stopped in his tracks. He didn’t have a chance. He was already winded.

With a calmness born from exhaustion and terror, the shaking of his body stilled, his heart slowing. The cougars were burnished gold in the moonlight, their shapes bright against the damp grey cliff. The two cubs moved across the ragged edge of the rocky outcrop, their mother a stone’s throw below. Rich gasped as the female in front jumped to a lower ledge, balancing on the small precipice. She watched him warily, her head moving back and forth as if trying to ascertain what he was, and whether he was worth the bother. Rich waited out her attention, his mind skittering, looking desperately for an escape.

He couldn’t see one.

Stone’s descriptions are vivid and simple. The mind almost flashes immediately with an image of a scene she lays out or an emotion she is describing. And with that a reader will crave to continue with the story until the book is finished. A quality of a great thriller.

Page 89-90

Waterton’s marina was located on the small jetty of land extending past Main Street out into Waterton Lake. Faded plank docks stretched out into the dark waters of Emerald Bay, boats moaning softly as they rocked against their moorings. The marina was the last outstretched finger of the clasped hands of Waterton’s business centre; this finger pointed back to the base of the mountains where the town’s sole entrance lay. Unlike the marinas in larger communities, Waterton’s waterfront had no life after the sun went down. The main walkway was bare, spectral shadows cast from the trees overhead dancing in the golden circles of street lamps. The shoreline, with its slope-roofed buildings, was eerily abandoned; a circular parking lot, bustling during daylight hours was empty save for a single motorcycle.

Mac stood in the oily darkness of the empty parking lot, glaring out at the slick black surface of Emerald Bay and the shimmering lights of the Prince of Wales Hotel reflected in it. The town was too small, in Mac’s opinion. There were few places to meet without drawing suspicion. From his position near the marina, the sounds of the downtown streets intruded – people’s laughter from the bar and strains of music – while beyond the trees, the steady chop of waves broke the silence. Early summer coolness clung to the air leaving him chilled beyond what he’d expected for the last week of June. He waved away a small cloud of mosquitoes and took a drag on his cigarette. The ember flared to life, revealing acne-pitted features and a prison tattoo which crawled up from the collar of a leather jacket around his neck.

D. K. Stone has produced an enticing thriller with Edge of Wild. Her descriptions are vivid and clear making a reader to want to push forward with the story. A great read.

*****

Link to D. K. Stone’s website

Link to Stonehouse Publishing’s webpage for Edge of Wild

Link to my Q&A with D. K Stone – “I was eager to find a Canadian press for Edge of Wild, since it’s a Canada-focused story.”