Thursday, March 17, 2011

Guest Post + Giveaway - India Black by Carol K. Carr

I am very fortunate to be able to welcome the lovely Carol K. Carr to One Book Shy today.  She is currently on a virtual book tour celebrating her new book India Black which I enjoyed and posted a review of yesterday.  Welcome Carol...
Thank you, Julie, for having me on your blog. Thanks also for suggesting a nifty subject: “Why I Want to be a Spy.” Except, mmm, I wouldn’t want to be. For one thing, I don’t have the courage to dabble in espionage. Oh, it would be fine if all one had to do was wear fabulous clothes and swill champagne and track international arms dealers from the opera to a Michelin-starred restaurant. But when the going got tough, I’d be looking for the door. And at the first sign of the electrical wires and the car battery, I’d spill the beans.

I’m afraid I’d sign up only to find that things weren’t glamorous. This would be espionage hell for me:
  • Being assigned to an equatorial climate. I hate being hot. I hate sweating. I hate sweating through my clothes. I hate sweating while I’m sleeping.
  • Going undercover. You never know who’s been sleeping on the mattress in that seedy hotel.
  • Learning languages. I’ve tried. I don’t have the gift. The best I could manage would be to ask the location of the toilet, and I don’t think I’d get very far with the locals with that level of expertise.
  • Having to subsist on rancid goat while I staked out the terrorists. I have a weak stomach.
  • Trying to shoot bad guys from a distance. I have an astigmatism which would make that difficult. And wounding chaps just makes them angry.
It’s true that some very fine writers have done the odd bit of spying. Ian Fleming, Graham Greene, W. Somerset Maugham, Compton MacKenzie, Len Deighton and John Le Carre all worked for intelligence agencies, either before or after commencing their writing careers. I suppose authors make good spies. Theoretically, they should understand people, being able to create believable characters. Lots of writers drink to excess, which comes in handy. You can get sloshed at the bar with a corrupt official of the regime and tempt him into indiscretions. Writers (particularly journalists) should be good at finding out things, like where the rebels are hiding, who shot the mayor, and where can you find the cheapest whiskey in town. Still, it’s risky. The idea of blowing my cover and getting shot because I forgot the Ukrainian dative case does not appeal.

I’ll leave the spying to my heroine, India Black. She’s savvy, having grown up on the streets of London. She knows how to protect herself: she can handle a gun and she knows how to fence. She’s pretended to be lots of people she’s not, like maids and shepherdesses and governesses, all for the pleasure of her customers. She can run a bluff with the best of them. She’s not afraid to mix it up, whether in a catfight with another madam over territory, or with Russian spies bent on stealing British military documents. She can gun down a Cossack guard without blinking, and use her feminine wiles to extract state secrets from a Russian official. Writing may provide a useful background for spying, but running a brothel has got to be the best preparation of all. Yes, I think I’ll leave the spying to India.
Carol, thank you so much for taking the time to share with us what you won't be doing in the near future :)  Me either, btw!  I am looking forward to living the spy life vicariously through India in her next adventure.
Learn more about India Black, the lovely Carol and check out what she's currently working on at her website:  Also find her hanging out on Facebook.
Carol and her publisher are generously offering 1 reader a copy of India Black for their own reading pleasure.  As usual, it's simple to enter:
  • Must be 13 years old or older
  • US or Canada residents only
  • NO PO Boxes
  • Giveaway ends 3/31
  • Winner will have 48 hours to respond
  • Leave a comment for Carol or tell us your thoughts on being a spy, be sure to leave your email address/contact info
Thank you so much to Carol, Premier Virtual Author Book Tours, and Berkley Publishers for the opportunity to review this book and for the giveaway copy.
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~~~~~ Disclaimer:  All opinions expressed on this blog are 100% my own.  I do not receive monetary compensation for my reviews but do utilize affiliate links.  I may receive books in  order to facilitate a review, but this does not guarantee a good review - only a completely honest one.  Each review post denotes how I obtained the book.


  1. I used to want to be a spy and work for the CIA, but a few months later, I decided I wanted to be a game show host. I am neither, but those are my thoughts on being a spy.

  2. I would love to be a spy...sound fun to me

  3. Loved Carol's very humorous reasons for not wanting to be a spy, and I agree with everyone of them. The book, and India, however sound wonderful. Thanks for the giveaway.

  4. Thank you for the chance to win! :)

  5. Being a spy always sounds like somuch fun. Thanks for the giveaway. Happy St. Patrick's Day.

    lizzi0915 at aol dot com

  6. This really looks good. I have seen it on a few other sights. I think being a spy would be exhilerating and of course very dangerous!!!


  7. Great post--I love India Black--and I am surprised to learn that Carol does NOT want to be a spy--ha ha!!

  8. Being a spy would be an adrenaline high!

    pocokat AT gmail DOT com

  9. I think spying would be hard work, but the movies and books make it seem so glamorous!! thank you for the contest!

    inthehammockblog at gmail dot com

  10. I think spying would be really fun, but probably pretty tough too. India sounds like she makes a great spy though. I'm really looking forward to reading India Black, so thanks for the giveaway!

    jmartinez0415 [at] gmail [dot] com

  11. This book sounds so very cool. Yes, I've dreamed of being a spy. It is so everything I am not. (Cool, coordinated, good with languages, athletic, etc, etc.) I think I held out hope for some time that watching enough episodes of Alias would get me recruited!

    rebekah at roscoehill dot org

  12. I like reading about spies. As for being one? Nope, I don't think I've got what it takes! (That's what it's so much fun to read about!)

    Thanks for the giveaway. (Email in profile.)

  13. ha I would fail at being a spy...i can't walk across a flat surface without tripping...and if I try to lie my face turns bright red ahahha

  14. I don't think I would want to be a spy. I would be too nervous to be believable.
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com

  15. I used to want to be a spy. Then I realized that a blind-as-a-bat spy wouldn't be any good at it, so I decided I wanted to be a fighter pilot instead. o.O Yeah. Doesn't make sense now, either... :)

    dreyshouse at gmail dot com

  16. Me? A Spy? lol I'm waaaaayy to clunsy and sooo NOT stealth enough for that! I'll stick to being a teacher :)

    swaggirl01 at gmail dot com

  17. I enjoyed the guest post and would love to read India Black :) *Thanks* for the giveaway!

  18. • There's all that running...and jumping...then more running again. Usually in ridiculously inappropriate shoes. Why don't spies ever wear sensible shoes?
    • Then there's all that keeping track of which drink is the Mickey Finn...
    Thank you for the giveaway!

  19. I think being a spy would be very exciting.. maybe a little too exciting for me! I'd rather stick to something a little less dangerous.. and legal.
    girl23rocks at hotmail dot com

  20. If I had the skills necessary, I think being a spy would be kind of fun and at least adventurous if nothing else.


  21. I could never be a spy but I do love reading about them! Thank you for the giveaway!
    mittens0831 at aol dot com

  22. I am pretty certain I could never be a spy. The ambassador to Vietnam was told I was his bodyguard when he visited our campus (back during the war in the 60's when there were protestors). I was part of a group of students sponsoring his visit. No one told me until after the event that I was supposed to be a black belt karate expert (NOT) and there to protect him. I got really nervous when his flight was delayed and I had to escort him around the next day. I have no idea what I would have done if there had been trouble. Am just glad I didn't have to find out. That is as close to the espionage field I ever want to get. I am way too old now to even consider it.

    INDIA BLACK sounds like a book I would enjoy. I hope it will be a series.

    librarypat AT comcast DOT net

  23. The life of a spy really appeals to me but the threat of getting caught, tortured and dumped in a shallow grave...not so much.



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