Showing posts from 2012

Review of LOVE COMES LATER by Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar

Love Comes Lat56
Author: Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar Genre: Multicultural; Family Saga; Romance
Page Count 256
Book Summary
Hind is granted a temporary reprieve from her impending marriage to Abdulla, her cousin. Little does anyone suspect that the presence of Sangita, her Indian roommate, may shake a carefully constructed future. Torn between loyalties to Hind and a growing attraction to Abdulla, Sangita must choose between friendship and a burgeoning love.
A modern quest for the right to pursue love and happiness, even when it comes in an unconventional package, LOVE COMES LATER explores similarities between the South Asian and Arab cultures while exposing how cultural expectations affect both men and women. Identities are tested and boundaries questioned against the shifting backdrops of Doha, Qatar and London, England.
Although romance is not typically my genre, I enjoyed Love Comes Later. Set in Qatar and London, the 256 page book provides a look into the never easy path of love thr…

Create Living Characters

Great characters will help you create stories with depth and complexity. Stories that will last in your reader’s mind.
Every character should have a description that you keep handy. Consistency is extremely important. You can’t have a character with one trait on page seven and another that conflicts on page eighty. You may miss it, your editor may miss it, but your reader won’t.
Unless the plot dictates otherwise, when you first introduce your character, you’ll need to provide the person’s name, and a few traits that briefly describe the individual. At this point, you are trying to set an image in your reader’s mind. If it’s a minor character, that’s about all you’ll need to do. A major character, one who appears throughout your book, needs to be fleshed out, with descriptions and traits delivered over a longer period.
There are a number of templates on the web that can help you pick the characteristics you want to describe. Most include some variation on:
Name Ethnicity Age Height Weight Hair …

Your Editor is Always Right

Your editor is always right. You heard me. I’m not talking about niggling little punctuation problems, word usage, or even misspellings. All of that is considered copyediting, and you should have paid attention in school so most of it wouldn’t happen in the first place. I’m talking about the comments. Most editors use track changes in MS Word. So pretend you’ve gone through the copyediting part of your manuscript and clicked on the Accept Change button. That leaves the comments. The little ones in the right margin that can drive a writer nuts.
You’ll see something like this in a blue box:
Comment (U62) Again, why? This is not a clear motivation.
Comment (U58) This should have been much clearer earlier . . . because then her march/journey would be much more purposeful.
Do not get yourself in high dudgeon and send an email. “What do you mean? It’s perfectly clear in chapter 4, where she mentions it.” Or, “You missed the point, It’s explained on page 13!”
Maybe she did miss it. S…

Are you a pantser?

Are you a pantser? Someone who doesn’t outline their story, or at most partially outlines it. I fall into the latter category.
My current YA novel started life as a 250-word flash mystery story submission to a pulp magazine. It was a runner-up, and I liked it, so instead of lengthening it some and submitting as a short story, I decided to use it as part of a scene and build my novel around it.
I didn’t try to blow that story up to become the novel, but instead to use it as a seed. It turned out to be around one fifth of Chapter 3.
Since I had designed the character and given her the attributes I wanted in the short-short story format, it was an easy task to write the first few chapters, and create a suitable ending. Doing it that way made it a lot easier, since I knew exactly where I was going.
The novel has been through its first pass with an editor and sits at a little more than 55,000 words. A decent number for YA.
Let me know your method.

Review of Alexandra Sokoloff's Huntress Moon

5 Stars to Alexandra Sokoloff's Huntress Moon
FBI Special Agent Matthew Roarke heads to an emergency meeting with his undercover agent when he sees him killed in a gruesome accident. That is, if it was an accident. He sees a beautiful blonde standing quietly behind his dead agent staring at him.
I really can't tell you anything more without ruining the many surprises in the book. I can tell you that Huntress Moon gets a grip on your mind and won’t let go.
The book is very cinematic which is not surprising, as Ms. Sokoloff is also a screenwriter. And not only does it play visually, it gets you at a gut level, making you think of human monsters and the things they do.
Ms. Sokoloff has created a stew of memorable characters, beautiful settings, and a tight plot. Into this, she has ladled generous amounts of terror, guaranteed to keep you up at night. Be prepared, Huntress Moon is one hellava ride.

Last Call - Flash fiction for April

LAST CALL I had terrible bruises, and it hurt to sit on the little wooden bench in the phone booth. I was trying to stay out of the chill wind that was blowing in off the ocean. My eyes had finally adjusted to the dark, and I looked out over the dunes, waiting for my husband.
I’d been on a walk with my friend Jill, and when we finished, her ride came. Mine didn’t. Leaving me stranded was one of Tony’s favorite pastimes. I could have ridden with Jill, but if I did, he would hurt me. I touched the stitches in my lip. In the past few months, he’d added physical abuse to his repertoire. I would have to call him and plead for a ride.
I dropped some change into the coin slot. It was an old rotary phone and the receiver clicked through each number.
“Hello?” His voice sounded cold and flat.
“Please, Tony. I’m freezing.”
“It will all be over soon.” There was a crackle, then silence.
Minutes stretched into an hour. I heard a sound and he appeared at the phone booth door, his face twisted with rage. He…

Cover Reveal for "Street Crimes"

Here is the cover created for my mystery anthology "Street Crimes." by Carl Graves of
Hope you like it!

German shepherd dog

Took Lily to dog school last week. She completed a six hundred foot track over blacktop, ice plant, concrete, and dirt at Fort Ord. She tracked the bad guy to a building where I sent her on a building search. She cleared the first floor and found him on the second.  All this in about four minutes. GSD's noses are amazing.

A little 500 word story

Had a little flash mystery published on In another form, it was runner-up in an Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine contest.