Monday, September 24, 2012

The Mistaken Book Trailer

Because I'm not too savvy with this embedding book trailer stuff, this introductory paragraph will come after the book trailer.  Above you will find the book trailer for my friend, Nancy S. Thompson's thriller, The Mistaken which is due out on 10/18/12.  It is awesome.  Just like Nancy's book.

If you've followed my blog (or Nancy's) for any length of time, then you know we're besties.  I first "met" Nancy through Nathan Bransford's forum.  I had been looking for critique partners who wrote in the same genre as me and Nancy contacted me.  Immediately upon reading her first few chapters, I was blown away. To date, her book remains one of the best thrillers I've ever read.  It's smart, entertaining and original.  I am going to post the review I wrote for it below.  But please don't think I'm out here promoting Nancy's book simply because she is a close friend.  Nancy's writing was the first thing that drew me to her.  When I first critiqued her book, I thought, "Wow.  Here is someone with great talent who is just as serious about this writing thing as I am."  It was refreshing, to say the least.  Our friendship grew out of our mutual respect for one another's work.  A match made in heaven.

So all of that said, I hope you'll enjoy the trailer and buy the book when it comes out in just a few weeks.  You can add it to your To Read list on Goodreads here.  

And if you stick around a bit longer, you can read what I've got to say about it below:

This book is amazing. It is a non-stop thrill ride that will keep your pulse pounding and keep you turning pages well into the night. Meet Tyler Karras. He has a great life. Until he doesn’t. Karras’ entire life falls apart before his eyes, sending him spiraling down into a hell of despair and self-loathing. When his brother Nick, who has ties to the San Francisco Russian mafia, suggests a despicable plan to exact revenge on the woman who inadvertently robbed Tyler of everything, Tyler readily agrees. In an alcohol and grief-soaked haze, Tyler mistakenly targets the wrong woman, Hannah Maguire. Although Tyler comes to his senses and realizes that revenge is not the panacea he was seeking, the realization comes too late. He has already plunged himself, his brother and now an unsuspecting Hannah deep into the seedy, violent underworld that is ruled by the Russian mafia—and the mob does not forgive and forget.

What I especially loved about this book is how Thompson deftly handles the plot twists. I never saw what was coming next! I read a lot of thrillers and I can usually predict the course of a novel by the second or third chapter. It was exceedingly refreshing to read a book that kept me so enthralled and actually made me gasp aloud. All the incredible twists were not what I expected and for me, that made this book very original. I love a book with good, unpredictable twists in its plot that reads well and keeps you turning pages even when you should be doing other things! This book does that.

What I also love about this book, among other things, is that it is fast-paced and wildly entertaining and it also has depth. This book is not just a run-of-the-mill man-and-woman-in-jeopardy thriller. It asks how far would you go? If someone took everything from you, how far would you go to get revenge? If someone you loved was in deep trouble, how far would you go to protect them, to help them? This book asks how well do you really know yourself? Can a good person do unspeakable things? Is there redemption after touching the fiery face of hell? Tyler Karras is the answer to these questions and he does not disappoint. You will feel his struggles, his grief and despair, his guilt and self-hatred in your bones. You will cheer desperately as he tries to set things right. Hannah acts as a kind of foil for him, meeting the unexpected terrors that Tyler has mistakenly set upon her with calm determination. You will cringe at what she has to go through but you’ll respect her character all the more for the strength and grace she shows. She is Tyler’s redemption personified. These characters are complex and well-drawn and the terrifying moments that draw them together make the moments of intimacy that much more poignant. You will connect to them on a visceral level. I was captivated by them both and the relationship that developed between them against the backdrop of loss and violence. As is usually the case in life, nothing goes as intended. These are regular people thrust into unimaginable situations and their drama will keep you riveted for hours.

Thompson is a rare new talent in the thriller genre, combining an intelligent and well-thought-out plot with complex and relatable characters that will give readers the white-knuckle reading experience of their lives! Do not miss this book! I am a fan for life!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Is it good or is it good? Or is it good?

Here's the deal with my reading habits.  You can visit my Goodreads profile and you'll see I've never rated a book lower than 3 stars.  (3 stars, by the way, means I liked it; it just didn't blow my mind).  Why?  Because if a book is that bad, I simply won't finish it.  And I refuse to rate a book I haven't actually read.  That seems wrong.

My time is precious.  I have a family and a full-time job.  I'm trying to do this writing thing which means not just the writing and revising but a lot of social media obligations as well. I do my best to keep up with other writers I've come to care about.  I also like to read.  Oh and I like sleeping too although there doesn't seem to be much time for that!  Then there are unforeseen things like medical emergencies that pop up now and then.  Sometimes I look back on the week and can't believe I fit it all in.

So a crappy book is just not going to compete with all that.  If you want my time and attention, your book better be pretty darn good.  I only finish books that I really like or that really capture my interest.  When I was in college I used to suffer through anything.  Cause I had to.  But now, there are too many other, more important things competing for my time.

All of that said, I have actually read books that had a lot of problems and yet, I thoroughly enjoyed them.  I've read books where the writing was so stunted and awkward that it actually made me cringe and yet, I couldn't stop turning the pages.  So what's up with that?  Is the book still good?  Typically, I would say any book that keeps me up all night frantically turning pages is a good one.  But how can this be?

I now turn to the 50 Shades Phenomenon by way of example.  Now I haven't read any of the 50 Shades books yet.  I have the first one but haven't had time to crack it open.  But pretty much every single person that I know has read the first one, at the very least.  And here is what I hear the most from people:  "It was so poorly written but it was a great book."

Let me repeat that:  "It was so poorly written but it was a great book."

Interesting, that.

As I said, I haven't yet read any of these poorly written great 50 Shades books but I will at least try the first one at some point to see what all the fuss is about.

I've also read books that I knew were not only good but in fact, works of literary genius and been bored to tears.  I'm aware that the writing is incredible.  I'm aware that said books are cultural landmarks in the literary landscape of our times and yet, watching paint dry is more interesting to me.  How can this be?  How can a great, world-altering book make a root canal seem like a good time?  Why does trying to finish it feel like wasting precious moments of my life that I'll never get back?

Then there are books that are good, solid reads.  I finish them.  The writing was fine, the story was fine.  It was all fine.  Clearly it's a good book and yet, I feel nothing.  I don't feel excited about it.  I don't feel like I connected.  But there is nothing wrong with it.  It's kind of like the dating "it's-me-it's-not-you" thing.  And how can this be?  How can I read a truly good book and feel nothing?

I guess it's that darn subjectivity thing again.  So I ask you:  what's up with that?  I invite your commentary!

Have you ever read a book that you knew was a good book but you didn't like it?  Or have you ever read a book that was clearly not good but you liked it anyway?  Ever read a book that was clearly good but you felt nothing after reading it?  What do you think constitutes a good book?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Carrie A. Butler's Cover Reveal: Strength

I'm way excited to share in the big reveal of Carrie A. Butler's cover for her upcoming New Adult Paranormal Romance novel, Strength.  It will be available from Sapphire Star Publishing on March 7, 2013. This novel is a study in sheer awesomeness.  I don't really read romance and I almost never read paranormal.  Both seem to bring out the raging skeptic/bitter Scrooge in me for some reason and I rarely enjoy them, no matter how well they are written.  Imagine my shock and surprise when I read Strength and could not get enough.  It was addicting.  Lisa is to Strength as Twihards are to the Twilight series.  I heart this book.  No, no--I am crazy about this book!

Okay, okay, I know . . . the cover.

And yes, when you meet Wallace in the book, he is every bit as hot as this.  I just know you want to see this in 3D.  I certainly do.

Now for the goods:

The release date is March 7, 2013.

The synopsis is:

When college student Rena Collins finds herself nose-to-chest with the campus outcast, she’s stunned. Wallace Blake is everything she’s ever wanted in a man—except he can’t touch her. His uncontrollable strength, a so-called gift from his bloodline, makes every interaction dangerous. And with a secret, supernatural war brewing among his kind, there’s no time to work it out. To keep Wallace in her life, Rena will have to risk a whole lot more than her heart.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Next Big Thing

The lovely and talented, A.L. Jackson recently tagged me in The Next Big Thing.  So I have to answer some questions about my next book and tag five more people. 

I figure you guys are all Finding-Claire-Fletchered out so I'm going to talk about my next book, Aberration

What is the working title of your book?


Where did the idea come from for the book?

I lived in this really tiny apartment once (which I called, not affectionately, the Shoebox) and periodically things kept disappearing from it.  Weird things like 2 books I was reading for one of my literature classes and my lucky hair scrunchy to name just a couple.  I thought I was going crazy.  I never recovered any of the missing items but for awhile I kept wondering what would it be like if you had a benign stalker?  Like someone who bore no ill-will toward you (other than stealing your crap) but basically stalked you?  Of course warm, fuzzy, nice stalker doesn't make for an entertaining story so I thought okay, well what if this stalker started killing for you?  And the story was born . . .

I used an FBI "profiler" for the main character because back then I was reading a lot of John Douglas books and I thought it would be fun to make the main character a behavioral analyst.

What genre does your book fall under?

Crime fiction; suspense

What actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Hmmm . . . that's a tough one.  Especially for Kassidy who is the main character.  I always imagined her as looking a lot like Diane Lane but Kassidy is in her mid-thirties so I had to choose a younger actress.  I would say Emily Blunt for the main character, FBI analyst, Kassidy Bishop.

For her two love interests, I would chose Hugh Jackman for Jory Ralston and Simon Baker for Isaac McCaffrey.

To play Detective Jory Ralston

To play Lt. Isaac McCaffrey

I didn't purchase royalty free photos for the other characters but I could see Don Cheadle as Kassidy's unofficial partner, FBI agent TK Bennett and although I can't think of an actress who actually looks like Kassidy's best friend, DEA agent Linnea Deeds, I think perhaps Rosario Dawson could pull it off.  For the killer, Wyatt?  That's a tough one too but maybe actor James McAvoy.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? 

When a series of sadistic murders bearing the same signature arise in different parts of the country, FBI behavioral analyst, Kassidy Bishop is assigned to the "For You" killer's task force--whose investigation leads right back to her.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

It will be published by Sapphire Star Publishing and it will be available 6/6/13!

How long did it take you to write the first draft of this manuscript?

I wrote the first chapter of this book way back in 2001, if I recall correctly.  Then it sat for years and in 2006 I picked it up again, wrote a few chapters.  Then I put it aside to work on something else.  In 2007 I picked it up again and began working seriously on it.  I finished my first complete draft in 2009.  So from first chapter to final draft, 8 years but if you want to calculate how long it took me to write the first draft using the time I was seriously working on it, 2 years.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

See my answer to the second question about benign stalkers and John Douglas books!

What else about your book might pique readers' interests?

Well let's just say that there are a couple of twists at the end that will make you go back and rethink the entire book.  I tried to pull a Harlan Coben here.  I hope it worked!

And Tag, You're It!

Libby Heily
L.G. Smith
Hope Roberson
Jeff O
Emily Moir

And P.S. if you are a woman or care about a woman, I recommend reading John Douglas' Obsession.  Seriously.  It is very instructive and may help people avoid potentially dangerous situations that they might not have noticed otherwise.