Thursday, January 30, 2014

James Patterson's Private Series

While I go out of my way to buy books by new Indie authors, I also read as many best selling authors as possible. They are the masters and there is so much to learn from their writing. It's almost like doing homework.

I write romantic suspense, which can also be classified as romance thrillers. While I love to read other romantic suspense authors like Nora Roberts, and Linda Howard, I also love adventure thrillers and mysteries.

James Patterson is the highest paid author in the world at the moment and when you read his books, you can understand why. He has created several unforgettable characters including Alex Cross and Michael Bennett, and although he mainly writes thrillers, he has also written romances and many of his thrillers contain romantic elements.

I have recently been reading the Private Series. Private Berlin had the most terrifying monster one could imagine, and I think Cronus in this one, Private Games, comes a close second.

Peter Knight is a British detective working for the London branch of the international Private Organization, an investigation group headquartered in the US and lead by Jack Morgan. 

Co-written with Mark Sullivan, a best-selling author in his own right, the story revolves around the 2012 Olympic Games, and a madman who calls himself Cronus, who has spent years planning his sabotage tactics, which he carries out with the help of his 'sisters'--three cold-hearted, depraved Bosnian war criminals whom he dubs 'the Furies'.

Cronus frustrates Private and the other law enforcement agencies responsible for the security of the games when he is able to pull off a series of terrifying murders with impunity right under their noses.

With the help of Sun reporter, Karen Pope, Knight follows a trail of clues that lead him to a TV character and a female professor who leads a double life, both of whom subsequently disappear. 

The widowed Knight's efforts are constantly hindered by his inability to find a nanny for his three-year-old twins. Cronus sees this as an opportunity to get close to Knight, and sends one of his 'sisters' to apply for the job.

This book is very different from most of Patterson's works because the entire story is told with a British perspective. If you like thrillers, I definitely recommend this one.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Reviews

Although I love to write, reading is also one of my most pleasurable pastimes. 


I try to support Indie authors by downloading a new author's work whenever I have time to read.  I always write reviews on Amazon and Goodreads if I think they're good. But... rather than write a bad review, I just don't do any review for the books I don't think are up to standard. I think readers will all agree there are many books out there that are just not ready for publication and need a lot more work.

I love editing and my hands itch to get hold of some of these books and help whip them into shape, but it is very time consuming and for that reason I have to charge people for editing services. (http://www.youselfpublish.com).

The most common mistake I find is verbosity. The author babbles on and on, often about the same thing, and eventually I (and I'm willing to bet other readers) just get bored and stop reading the story. Example-- when your characters are on the phone, nobody wants to read about them exchanging pleasantries;
 "How are you?"
"I'm fine, how are you?"
"I'm okay. I went out to dinner last night."
"Lucky you."
Please get to the meat of the conversation. Tight writing people!  Don't use two words when you only need one. Use strong verbs. Don't be repetitive. Don't spell everything out for your readers--give them credit for some intelligence to work things out for themselves.

Am I the perfect writer? No, of course not. I've thought of self-publishing, but am lucky enough to have had my manuscripts accepted by two different publishers so far. The downside of this is that one has to wait a year to get published, but the upside far outweighs that for me, because I've had the services of a couple of wonderful editors. They have pointed out the flaws, shown me when the timeline doesn't gel, and helped me re-craft each story, and I will always be indebted to them.

One thing that bugs me more than anything are the so-called POD publishers -- Publish America and iUniverse are two that come to mind. I think they are evil because they lure unsuspecting writers into thinking they have written a masterpiece. They make them sign a contract giving away their rights for years, and then they don't offer any editing help. Grrr! I was shocked and embarrassed when someone told me my first book, Way Out of Line was sorely in need of editing. I stopped promoting the book and waited seven years to get my rights back from Publish America. As soon as I did, I submitted it to Uncial Press, and with the help of my wonderful editor Jude, reworked it and made it into a story I could be proud of.

I'd love to hear what other readers and writers do about reviews. Do you think it's your duty to write a bad review to warn other readers not to bother with a book, or do you just pass?






Monday, January 20, 2014

Aquarius Addiction

I'm thrilled that in December I managed to complete the manuscript of my next romantic suspense novel in the Zodiac Series, and my wonderful agent, Jane is working to find a publisher who will accept it.


FBI psychic  Arlette Xylander places hot passionate sex with Andre Rossouw at the top of her bucket list, but is determined to beat the odds of her terminal disease.
 Set in modern day New Orleans, an instant emotional connection between ARLETTE XYLANDER and ANDRE ROSSOUW is thwarted by a terminal illness and a crazed sociopath, with secrets surrounding a haunted mansion, a famous jewelry piece and a voodoo queen.
Feisty and attractive FBI Psychic ARLETTE XYLANDER displays all the character traits of her star sign, Aquarius, being feisty, eccentric, freedom-loving, flirtatious, rebellious and unpredictable. She may be only five feet tall, but she still drives a full size truck.
Her emotions rage between denial, anger and tears when her doctor tells her she is suffering from a rare terminal disease similar to ALS that causes her to fall down without warning.
When hunky ANDRE ROSSOUW asks her to help find his sister who has been missing for four years, Arlette makes two decisions. To beat the disease and find a cure, and to have wild and passionate sex with him. She decides not to tell anyone about her death sentence and when she falls in the presence of others, she dismisses it as clumsiness.

Arlette's country home on the banks of Bayou LeGue was left to her by her mysterious aunt Lucie, whom she never met, and whom her dysfunctional parents have never been willing to discuss. She often wakes in the dark hours of the night to hear ghostly voices downstairs, and wishes she could find out who they are and what they want. A mysterious letter arrives from her aunt, hinting at a secret in the house, and her friend, REAY, agrees to research her home's recorded archives, while Arlette plans to dig into her family history. At her aunt's grave, Arlette meets a mysterious woman wearing a hooded cloak, who leaves in a hurry. . .

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Untreed Reads Ebook Challenge

Untreed Reads is a great company who distribute books to sites all over the world.

They're holding a great competition where you can win some good books, and we all know how hard it is to find good books these days with so many being offered free.

This is how it works:

1. Send your name and email address to 2014Challenge@untreedreads.com . If you're participating in another reading challenge on the Internet, be sure to let us know that too. We won't EVER share your info with anyone else, but we'll add you to our New Releases newsletter so you can see the great new books coming down the pike…plus get even more coupons!
2. Each month we'll send you a coupon good for a free download from our store (http://store.untreedreads.com). You can choose any title up to $5.99 and in any format you prefer: EPUB, PDF or Kindle.
3. Read the book and leave a review in our store and as many other places you can, such as Amazon and Goodreads. Please leave an honest review! You'll also need to include in your review that you received a free copy of the book in exchange for a review. The government requires that. Darn red tape!