Monthly Archives: May 2012

Review by “Seattle Wrote” Website

4 star reviewNorelle Done posted her recent review of Painted Black at her Seattle Wrote blog site.  She gave the book four out of five stars, which is a win by anyone’s calculations.  Here’s how she tallied up the score.

Amidst frozen corpses, a funeral home scandal, and each character dealing with their own ghosts and closet skeletons, this novel comes down to a key point – the people that live on the streets are mostly forgotten when they disappear.

  • Plot: Painted Black is easy to follow, interesting, and gets you hooked – I was drawn into Lexie’s plight and found Jo’s investigation easy to keep up with. The story flowed well and fit together like a puzzle, and it didn’t feel too coincidental either. Star Awarded.
  • Characters: I felt like Deb went 75 percent of the way with the characters. There was back story, but it wasn’t resolved or fully explained, such as what really happened with Jo’s dad, or Chris’ family, or more into why Jack is involved with the homeless. Maybe there will be more in future Jo Sullivan books, but I was slightly left hanging with this one. Half-Star Awarded.
  • Setting: The setting for Painted Black is supposed to be Chicago, but I found myself feeling like it was Seattle more than once. Granted, I have never been to Chicago, and all of the Seattle-based books I read probably tainted things a little bit, but I feel like more could have been done to make it feel like Chicago. However, the book did have the trait of feeling like it could be any city, and with the focus on the homeless, it could help the reader to adopt the story for their own city. Half-Star Awarded.
  • Originality: It’s definitely a unique story. From the characters to Deb’s intimate understanding of what the homeless face, Painted Black is a one-of-a-kind story. Star Awarded.
  • Style: I noticed one or two errors, but none were glaring or distracting. Star Awarded.

That’s a total of Four Stars. Borys depicts the street life and struggles in an engaging, interesting way that draws you in and helps give a little perspective into the lives of the homeless. Maybe the next time you see someone huddled in a door frame or sleeping on a park bench, they won’t be quite so invisible.

via Seattle Wrote: Painted Black Review

Advertisements

Hometown Props

I sent off promo packets to some of my hometown news sources, including the columnist Nancy Dinelli-Prill at the News Tribune in LaSalle, Illinois.  Nancy recently did an article about all the books people have called to her attention.  Here’s what she had to say about Painted Black.

The next book that crossed my desk this week comes from Debra R. Borys of Seattle, Wash. “My mother still lives in my hometown of La Salle, Illinois and recently sent me a clipping from your column in the News Tribune. In it, you invite your readers to send you information about books they have written,” she writes.

It seems that our little “help the author” series we do in AgriNews and the Tribune gets around. Debra goes on to say that her book, “Painted Black” is a suspense novel and is about a reporter, Jo Sullivan and her search for a missing street kid. The story takes place in Chicago. I was really impressed with the “packet” that was sent with lots of information about the book including a disc that could be loaded in your computer as an electronic version. Very impressive. If you are interested the Ebook and the trade paperback are available both on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, iBookstore.com or ordered from any bookstore.

via Everyone’s writing a book – LaSalle News Tribune – LaSalle, IL.


Cities of the Mind Review

This review slipped by my notice until yesterday.  Connor Rickett tells his views about the good, the bad and the–well, there isn’t really anything ugly in his review, so I’m counting it as a big win.  See what you think–click through to read the whole review.

Debra R. Borys is a good writer, and Painted Black keeps the pace up throughout. The characters come across as real, and the at times disturbing reality of the way she portrays the lives of the homeless lend the entire book a visceral feel. She clearly mines her own experiences working with the homeless community to bring the streets to life. The gritty realism that surrounds the protagonists gives them a flavor, and Borys does not seem to feel burdened to tie up every loose end and personal issue in a nice little happy bow. That simple accession to reality is one a lot of writers refuse to make, invested as we are in our characters.

Another item particularly well done was the dialog. Borys must have an ear for it, because it flows naturally, and mimicking the slang of the inner city is something very good writers often mess up painfully.

The villains are certainly intimidating, and, however twisted, far from incompetent most the time. There is nothing that drives a story forward quite like villains suffering from competence and a tendency towards intelligent action. There are some elements that are almost creepy, and some elements that are incredibly successfully creepy. A good villain can make a book, and though I wish they had been given more page time, these guys did their job: They made you think the protagonists were in real danger.

via » Review of Debra R. Borys’ “Painted Black” » Cities of the Mind.


Norelle Done’s Review

Norelle Done from Seattle Wrote posted her 4 star review review on Amazon and Goodreads today.  The review will also be posted on her website.  Here’s an excerpt of what she had to say.

Thanks, Norelle!  I’m glad you enjoyed it.

Painted Black is easy to follow, interesting, and gets you hooked. . . Borys depicts the street life and struggles in an engaging, interesting way that draws you in and helps give a little perspective into the lives of the homeless. Maybe the next time you see someone huddled in a door frame or sleeping on a park bench, they won’t be quite so invisible.

via Amazon.com: Norelle Done’s review of Painted Black.


Debra R. Borys

Suspense Magazine gave me a chance to share two “postcards” of real people I knew on the streets of Chicago and reflect on how they impacted my writing.  I hope you will click through to read the entire post and get a glimpse of Chris and John.  These people influenced my portrayal of Cry and Samuel Walker in Painted Black.

In my years of meeting street people in Chicago and Seattle, I was struck by how their lives could seem like fiction, their world some dystopian underworld, if you didn’t actually experience it physically like they do. We prefer it that way. We enjoy being readers and observers of the dark and scary, but prefer them in the form of a noir detective novel, perhaps, or a gritty action movie. By doing that, we can remain, for the most part, untouched by the reality of the darkness.

via Suspense…

View original post 16 more words