Blog Archives

A sensitive, thought-provoking and pacy family-driven mystery

LA2 finalV2

 

Debt and Defiance is Book 2 of the Luke Adams Series. It is an independent, family-driven mystery thriller with realistic characters and numerous subplots.

It is a great read from an exciting new author, written for the perspective of Leanne Stark.

There is romance, tension and drama. There is sorrow and rejection. There is humour and joviality. It is a great mix, written in a strong, sensitive and thought-provoking style.

Give it try. I dare you. You won’t be disappointed.

 

Click on image to go to Amazon.

 

Decades have past since Leanne’s grandmother inherited a vast house. This fact has remained a tight secret, never broached nor discussed. Leanne grows up believing her mother is dead, that is, until her grandmother dies. She is confounded by the protracted deception, and a gnawing sense of betrayal.  

The consequences of her grandmother’s actions span generations; the locals struggle with the emerging truth; greed, death, and revenge linger.

Desperate for consolation Leanne sets herself a quest to uncover this mysterious past. For professional backup, she engages the successful team of Luke Adams and Imogen Morrison.

 

Luke Adams Investigates . . .

Shift of Influence Duty and Denial

I have a new eNovel, the publishing date 29-11-2013 “CONCEALED LEVERAGE” book 3 of my Luke Adams investigates series.

Naturally I would encourage you to browse my stories on Amazon or Smashwords, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Indigo and many others.

I suggest doing a preliminary read online or download the samples, it will aid decisions as to whether the NON GENRE nature of my material is suitable for you.

AN OVERVIEW of THE LUKE ADAMS INVESTIGATES SERIES

As a reader do you prefer to immerse yourself into a story dynamic? Do you enjoy some introspection, character roles and participation, live the emotional conflict in all the combinations that create our individuality THEN YOU WILL LOVE MY STORYLINES!

Take a good look, my main characters are strong, highly reactive, expressive, they are living characters! They exist to expand the story,and create an atmosphere that you the reader can feel! The plots are fast, even hectic at times but as you become familiar with my writing style they will not present any obstacle to your enjoyment. Woven with humour, danger,drama and romance, all blended for your delicatation!

Remember this is a private detective series,I do not oversimplify, the clues are there but small with the obligatory “red herrings”. My stories are not beach reads, if you put them down you’ll disengage and lose the storyline that acts as the pathfinder.

LADIES you will relate to both Luke Adams and Imogen Morrison they tease the heck out of each other! Luke is a modern man with the nature and good manners of an English gentleman. Imogen is a capable and observant young women, with a bubbly even effervescent personality, the tandem effect of this pairing, combined with their personal dilemmas enriches the plot as it winds through the story. You will be there on their plain of existence, thats the fun of reading, it becomes a personal world.

Press the book images at the top of this post to check them out.

Combining a plot with emotions

ShackledShift of InfluenceDuty and Denial

I  am a serious writer and whilst I insist on having a strong plot, usually a mystery, I also write about people, animals, situations, reactions, emotions, tragedy, love and romance. I also like to add a bit of humour and enjoy intrigue. Above all, I love to generate some pace to accentuate the excitement, so yes, I am guilty of creating page-turners.  I want to engage the reader, immerse them or even merge them into the story. This is all distilled as eloquently as I am capable.

My “Luke Adams Series” is as much about the detective’s life, experiences, emotional conflict and interaction as those of his client. What does this infer? First and foremost my stories are written from the viewpoint of both protagonists (Luke Adams and the client) along with the antagonists. The viewpoints are depicted in such a manner that you can understand and empathise with everyone involved. Realistically the reasons for the culprit becoming malicious or evil is as important as the hero’s reasons to act has a guardian of good.

So, as long as you’re not afraid of what drives us you will enjoy my books.

Give them a try. An absolute bargain at 0.99

Honor

Singing the praises of the classic rewrites

I’ve just been listening to Joanna Trollope talk about her new book, Sense and Sensibility on BBC TV. I am not a big fan of the classics, yet since I understand their historic value I admire the decision that was made to rewrite this book in a modern style. I hope many more books follow suit.

Up until about 13 years old, I was an avid reader of children books, but during my teens, having been forced to read the classics at school, I was put off reading for some 15 years. In my naivety, I believed this was how adult books were – hard to read, slow-paced and uninspiring. I hate the omniscient style of writing (multiple viewpoints at same time) and don’t believe it does anything positive for the reader, often leading to confusion.

As Joanna said this morning, at the time when Sense and Sensibility was originally written, life was very measured, and therefore so was the writing. She also added that action scenes in the original book were wrapped up in conversation. These days we require actions scenes to create tension and drama, and so they need to be more explicit. It does allow for a more enjoyable read.

I must qualify that I do not believe the actual stories in these books to be poor, quite the contrary. Jane Austen was brilliant at creating stories of immense moral value, which is why I believe a modern day version of her books to be of benefit to everyone. Of course, many people will disagree with me and will tell me part of the pleasure is to get a very real sense of the time of book was written. There is something to be said for this, but maybe it would be better for the educational system to study excerpts having advised students to read the modern version. Then there is no risk of turning our youngsters off reading forever.

Confused by popular books and rave reviews

I am currently reading a psychological thriller that has been written by a popular author and has great reviews. Even though I am not yet half way through, I’m convinced I shall not  be giving it the same praise. My reason for this? The book has not been written in a style with immediacy.

Let me explain.

1) The dialogue is interspersed with an overwhelming number of flashbacks, which loses me along the way. (One flashback often leads straight into another)

2) The scenes are written in a summarising style, which leaves me with a sense the story is being told retrospectively.

3) The author does not ‘show’ but ‘tells’ in the majority of instances, leaving me unconvinced by their accounts.

4) The dialogue is often short and has few descriptions of body language or emotions. Without these, I find it difficult to get a sense of what is going on, nor does it generate sympathy for the protagonist.

5) The protagonist spends a lot of time telling how they feel about other characters, but there is nothing in there to show/tell how she feels and how the incident described at the start of the book has affected her.

6) The scenes have no fluidity, with no definite sense of where they are taking place. As a result, a lot of the time I feel I am listening to the story in an empty white room.

7) The paragraphs are long and muddled, with, at times, several hours passing within the same paragraph.

In essence, I consider it a badly written book. But evidently, it hasn’t affected sales. So what am I missing? Could the author be deliberately slowing the pace so protect the reader from the harsh reality? Could they be so patronising? It is quite baffling.

Surely, there should be some link between writing style and genre? I read a book like this one to be in the moment and feel things I would like otherwise feel. Don’t you read horrors to be scared? I know I do.

Sometimes, the reviews and popularity of books completely baffles me. I’m not going to say who the author is, or what the book is called, but it would be interesting to see if anyone can guess.

How readers react to emotional scenes.

I have been pondering how readers react to emotional scenes.

Take the following example, a real-life situation.

A woman is visibly upset because her cat is missing. Each person who witnesses the scene has different feelings towards the woman. Some may adore cats or have a compassionate personality. They sympathise fully. Others may dislike cats or lack compassion. They think the woman is hysterical and over-emotional.

If this scene were in a book, it too would engender different responses in readers. Authors can try to guide a reader to feeling a particular emotion, but how the reader actually feels will depend upon their life experiences and character traits.

So, to avoid alienating readers, would it not be preferably for the author to show the disappearing cat but not show the woman’s reaction? The reader can still reach his or her own conclusion; they just do it quietly in their own head.

Obviously, it’s a matter of personal preference. Personally, I think characters with real emotions are a positive; it generates a bond between the reader and the character, whether you agree with what they are feeling or not. As a result, since you care about the character, it keeps you interested in the book. I want to be taken to places I wouldn’t otherwise visit. Isn’t that one of the pleasures of reading?

Is reading a chore?

Reading a novel should be a pleasurable experience, but all too often I hear comments such as, ‘it’s hard work,’ or ‘I can’t keep track of the story.’

In my early twenties I went through a period when I didn’t read. When I decided I wanted to read again, I had problems. Aside from not knowing what to read, I found books hard work. The act of reading wasn’t fluid; I stumbled over words and I had no flow or rhythm. It felt as though it took me an eternity to get though a few pages, and it didn’t seem worth the effort.

So what can you do about it?

1) Choose an easy-to-read novel, and don’t assume classics fit into that category. Some may, but the style of many is considered old-fashioned and hard to grasp.

Also remember fiction is hugely subjective. What is considered a brilliant read for one person can be seen to be awful to another. So choose carefully.

2) If the subject interests you, you are more likely to stick with it.

3) Check the genre. Don’t buy a thriller if you like a beach read!

4) Take note of the authors style. Authors write differently. Some like lots of description, others like dialogue. Some like the book to be written for one point of view throughout the entire book, others like to write from multiple points of view.   Neither is wrong; they are just different. If you are struggling with the authors style, but still enjoy the story, stick with it. It will get easier.

5) Read frequently. Reading a little bit every day not only will help you keep track of the story but it also develops your skill as a reader. Over time you will learn to read faster, and as a result, the story appears to move on quicker.

6) Don’t worry if you forget any of the detail such as character names or the scenes in which the characters have been involved in.  As you progress through a novel, it will become clearer. You’re not revising for an exam and there isn’t a test afterwards!

On a personal note I often forget how characters are related to the protagonist, but I rarely look back to remind myself who they are.  My understanding will grow with the number of pages I have read.

7) Some authors like to leave in unanswered questions to raise intrigue. This is not meant to be a test. Accept you don’t know the answer and move on.

8) Finally, enjoy the thrill of the ride.

Help! I’m struggling to find reading pleasurable.

Since I started writing novels, I have been struggling to find reading pleasurable and have been wondering if this is a common problem. So often, on tv and suchlike, I hear other writers singing the praises of other authors. Are they making truthful comments, or are they just being polite?

Do they, like me, find it difficult being entertained?

I used to be an avid reader, and have read a variety of fiction, from family sagas to science fiction. Now I struggle to get beyond the first few chapters. If I do I am hyper-analytical, critical even. It’s not necessarily because I find the work poor, but it can be because I am too busy making comparisons to my own abilities. The good and the bad.

Help! I can’t switch off from work-mode.

I examine the grammar, the structure of the novel, and the plot. I study the characters and I wonder if I feel sympathy towards them in the way the author would have wanted. I wonder if I would do things differently.

Surely, I can’t be alone.

Perhaps I am a little obsessive, but without such a character trait I would have never gotten to the place I am now.

So maybe it is a small price to pay.

Why we should read a debut author’s novel

Why don’t we try books from new authors? I ask. I’m as guilty as the rest and do it far too infrequently.

What puts you off?

Firstly, they are poorly written.

Of course some are. I have seen incorrect grammar, mixed tenses within sentences, spelling mistakes, and poor sentence structure in many debut novels, but this also applies to many well-established authors too.  I am not going to give examples, but there are times when I have been horrified by the poor quality, and wonder why they have been published. Maybe we just notice it more with debut’s.

Secondly, the plot is feeble, or the characters are not well drawn.

Again this can be true, and again it applies to all books. There is so much out there that reading is a matter of taste.  What is brilliant to one person, is dreary to another.  I don’t believe debut novelists are necessarily any worse. If fact I think the opposite can often be the case. Many new writers write in a very appealing modern style, often in one point of view making it more readable, whereas some established writers chose to write in several points of view. Take a look at the classics. Many of them are a chore to read.

I also think there is another important factor that stops us from buying debut novels, and it is a psychological one. The word of an established publisher has clout. If they shout out this book is good, we believe it and buy it. Who is going to believe any old Joe in a remote village?

As human beings we don’t like to be seen to be different.  If we read a book that has a average rating of 4.5 stars, based on a few hundred reads, we are looking for the positive. Likewise, if a book has no rating, or a low rating, we look at it with the assumption it is poor.

But really, what is there to lose when the books are often priced cheaper than a coffee or a half-pint of beer?

So lets all do things a bit differently. Wouldn’t it feel great if we were one of the first to read a book that turns into a massive hit?