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Archive for January, 2016

Book Review: Frosted Jan 12

*Disclaimer: All opinions are my own. Post may contain affiliate links. And, while I strive to avoid spoilers, there are details that need to be shared to make a thorough review.*

One of the more recent additions to my list of favorite authors is Laura Griffin. I’ve followed her Tracers series from the beginning. Frequently when I would search the internet to find a new author to try while waiting on my favorites to write a new book, the author Allison Brennan would come up. Her Lucy Kincaid series sounds right up my alley, but I know how I am with book series. If I like it, I will obtain and read them all. Start to finish, pausing only to eat and take or pick up the children from school. The series was already at least five books in at that point, and I just couldn’t commit myself to it. And then! During one of these searches, I discovered that a book co-authored by these two individuals was available for pre-order. And it would be a series.

I was ridiculously excited and pre-ordered it. And a new love was born.

As much as I would like to start at the beginning and review them in order (I love order), that would be a stumbling block for me to actually write a review. So instead, I start with a very recent release in the Moreno and Hart series, a novella titled Frosted.

Private investigators Scarlet Moreno and Krista Hart receive an all expenses paid weekend to a ski resort as compensation for helping up-and-coming actor Adam Brock determine if he is actually being stalked. He also happens to be Krista’s ex-husband. The interactions between Krista and Adam perfectly explain why their marriage failed, but you can’t help but feel affection for them.

Also invited along for the weekend are Adam’s manager, Dave, and acting coach, Trina. They all share the penthouse suite at the resort, which is the only one available after a wedding fills up the rest of the resort. The odd interactions between the wedding guests and Adam, Krista, Scarlet, Dave, and Trina make for some interesting distractions to the the case being investigated.

In order to get the answers that Adam needs, Moreno and Hart ask for help from Scarlet’s brother, who is a cop, and the interactions between siblings give you some nice background and updates to Scarlet’s life, since this book is more about Krista. I, personally, appreciated that glimpse.

There was one thing that really bothered me about the story, and it’s going to be hard to write about without giving away the ending. The reason that Adam is being stalked is unusual to me. The depth to which the plot goes that results in Adam being stalked is a little extreme. Part of me appreciates this. But, it actually read as very rushed. I just re-read the ending, hoping I had missed something because it was late and I was tired by the time I finished the book. I still do not actually understand WHY ANY of the events happened that resulted in Adam being stalked.

Despite this, it was an enjoyable 100-page read. I’m ready to tackle their next book, Lost and Found, which is waiting for me on my Nook. If you’re already a fan of either Laura Griffin or Allison Brennan, or enjoy mysteries with realistic characters, this book, and the entire series, needs to be on your list of books to read.

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Writers Gotta Write Jan 09

For many years now, I have put together bits and pieces of stories. For a few years now, I’ve promised myself that I would pay more attention to those bits and pieces, and to turn them into real novels.

But I got in my own way. That little voice in my head kept telling me that I wasn’t good enough. That my standards as a reader were too high, and therefore my writing would never meet my hypercritical qualifications.

So I did some research. The best way to write better is to write more. In addition to the bits and pieces I wrote for myself, I picked up a couple jobs as a freelance writer. The pay was good and the subjects were interesting, but the passion wasn’t there, and it showed. My fragile ego took a beating when I wasn’t good enough to continue writing, even though I’m not sure it could be any farther from the genre I wanted to write.

It took awhile, and several more bits and pieces of fiction written, for me to pick myself up and dust myself off. The ideas started fluttering through my head on a more regular basis. After Christmas was over, I had some free time for the first time in two months. Rather than stress myself writing, I downloaded several new books to my Nook and began to read.

Reading has me analyzing how great stories are written. What it takes to make a story capture you and leave you satisfied when it’s over. These are qualities that I want my own writing to have, and to improve them, I have to know them.

How do you recognize those qualities? I’m not sure, but I know that sometimes when books end, I have questions. Or feel disappointed. And taking time to discover why will ultimately improve my own writing.

I’ve decided to post some book reviews. I know, I know, I’ve said this before, and the ones I started are still drafts. But this time, not only are the posts about the most recent books I’ve read already written, but they’re already scheduled to post. So stay tuned. The first step towards improving my writing is on its way.

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