Category Archives: writing

Ghost: Justice Chronicles Book 1 by Michael Jack Webb, a Review.

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This book had a good story, buried in way too much minutiae and exposition. The characters had interesting backgrounds and the premise of the story was great. Sadly, the action was interrupted constantly by overlong descriptions and encyclopedia “dialogue” being inserted way too often. The periods of natural dialogue were good, but there was not enough of that to satisfy this reviewer.

The heroine’s parents disappeared, and rather than being upset and focused on finding them (she’s an FBI profiler), she’s more concerned with what the local cop is wearing when he shows up and that he looks like Chris Pratt. There’s a long section on Chris Pratt and how she binged watched his movies in grad school. This was the first of many such interruptions in the flow of the story.

At one point, the main characters are driving along investigating the case of the serial killer that takes her attention away from finding her parents. She mentions a winery and stopping to get a bottle of her favorite wine. She then goes into a long one-sided discussion of the history of the winery. This totally took the reviewer out of the story and was not the only time such exposition did so.

Each time the characters went to another location, one of them would go into great detail about the history of the area (to the point it was laughable as it appeared whole sections of the encyclopedia were cut and pasted into the text.)

Another time, they ate at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park and we got the whole history of the hotel as well as the town. These numerous interruptions of the actual plot of the story—that added nothing to moving the tale along—began to grate on this reviewer’s nerves and caused the focus of the tale to meander off on tangents.

I kept reading as I was interested in how the story would turn out, but sadly, the author seemed to get in his own way. What could’ve been a tight, taut, thriller turned into a slog of too much information. Research is important to add richness to the story line, but telling the reader everything that was learned in the research for the novel takes away from the pacing and excitement of the story unfolding in a thrilling manner. Little tidbits sprinkled in to add authenticity to the settings/circumstances is good, but wholesale chunks of research take the reader out of the story.

I’d give this one three stars.  If it was tighter and there was not so much dialogue that sounded more like recitation from the encyclopedia, I would’ve rated it much higher. I most likely won’t read the next in the series even though I like the storyline. The information-dump style is not for me. I much prefer a tightly written, fast paced story. For those who like an intense history lesson while reading a novel, this one may be right up your alley.

Dasher and Dancer- a Flash Fiction Piece

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Here’s a bit of flash fiction for the season. It’s called Dasher and Dancer:

Dasher and Dancer

“Dude, hurry up. Time’s a’wastin’,” Rudy said.

Slamming the locker door, the other man tossed his used towel into the hamper. “I’m ready.”

“It’s about time, Dasher. We’re going to be late.”

“Why do you insist on calling me Dasher?”

“You’re the only guy I know who can run the fifty yard dash that fast. The name fits.” Rudy clapped him on the back. “I want you to meet that girl I told you about. She’s just your type. All doe-eyed and brown hair.”

“Then let’s get to that vixen’s party.”

“You don’t like me calling you Dasher but you always call my girlfriend Vixen.”

“Like you said, it fits.” The man referred to as Dasher led the way out of the gym and to the parking lot.

Soon, they arrived at the party. The house was decorated with enough lights to illuminate a small Middle Eastern village.

“I’d hate to be the one to pay your gal’s January power bill.” Dasher rang the doorbell.

“Yeah. I’m glad it’s her nickel and not mine.”

Once they were inside, Dasher glanced around at the crowd. Spying a gorgeous girl near the punch bowl, he turned to Rudy. “Who’s that chick over there with the brown hair rocking around the Christmas tree?”

“Oh her?”

“Yeah, her.”

“We call her Dancer since she’s always boogieing. She’s the one I wanted you to meet.”

“Then lead on.” Dasher followed Rudy across the room to the table laden with cookies, fudge and other sweets. There was one plate of vegetables arranged in the shape of a wreath with lettuce in a circle with tiny tomatoes and kale arranged as holly and another with broccoli, carrots and cauliflower shaped like a Christmas tree.

Glad to see at least one or two healthy foods since he had to keep in running shape, Dasher decided to ignore the snacks for the moment and concentrate on the girl. She really was pretty.

Rudy tapped her on the shoulder. When she turned to face them, Dasher sucked in a breath.  Up close, she was absolutely stunning. And doe-eyed for sure.  He held out his hand as Rudy introduced them.

When she clasped his, hers was so cool and smooth it was all he could do not to put it to his lips and kiss it as if he were from another age or another country.

“Since you’re called Dancer, would you like to dance with me?” Dasher asked.

“I’d love to.”

He was glad the band played a slow song next. That way, he didn’t have to let go of her hand.

Leading her to the area cleared for dancing, Dasher spun Dancer around the room and stared into those beautiful eyes.

As the song, Silver Bells, continued, Dancer hummed along. They moved in unison. Dasher realized she was the perfect Christmas gift for him.

He liked to dash, she liked to dance and they fit together perfectly. Both clearly loved Christmas music. They were meant to be.

THE END… OR…THE BEGINNING…

 

 

Good News! The Eisenger Element 

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I turned in the first edits on this novel back in February and have been awaiting the second edits patiently. Finally broke down and asked for status again last night and I should have them shortly. There was a computer crash and lots of edits had to be recreated. So, I’m hopeful for a release date soon as well as a cover. I did also learn that the editor loved the story so yay for that. I confess, I was getting scared since it was taking longer than normal. I was thinking it must be a trash book. Writers have such fragile egos! Lol. 

I love this story. It takes place in New Orleans, one of my favorite cities. It has a lawyer and a cop as the protagonists and there is even a scene or two at Angola Prioson where they have a rodeo every year. I wanted to use that in a book someday and have now done so. I think it’s awesome that the inmates have something to do to also give back to the community. It’s a real thing and keeps them busy all year preparing. 

I hope the world loves this book as much as I do when it comes out. In fact, now that I’ve got it on my mind, I’m in need of a po-boy. 

Young Adult Novel

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I’ve now written a young adult novel and I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. I’ve already edited it and sent it out to a couple of agents. It’s a story about magic and is a bit of an adventure. I like a lot of stuff going on in the books I read and so I tend to load up the ones I write, too.

This story is kind of a mashup of Mean Girls and The Craft with a side dose of a teen crush.

I’m hoping that others whom I’ve shared this one with like it. It was a departure for me to go back to the first person writing I did when I started and it was also a new age group for the protagonists so I hope that the young adult voice is acceptable. One other writer I know who does children’s stories told me she thought I had a great YA voice. Let’s hope she’s right.

The inspiration for this story was something that happened to me a bit over a year ago and this was my way of working out in my head that the events that occurred weren’t all on me. LOL

Island Song

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I’m still working on that Young Adult novel and last night my characters landed on an island. It’s not going to be the tropical paradise my heroine believes it to be but it’s going to be fun to write for sure. One of my friends posted a Madonna song on her blog this week so I was reminded of my favorite Madonna song from back in the day and it ties in to my novel- sort of. Here it is. Enjoy!

Flash Fiction

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Hildie McQueen is hosting a flash fiction month on her blog and Jillian is there today with her 498 word story called “Holly” – the rules were romance and under 500 words and use the word Holly. Go see how she did, here.

From Seed to Final First Draft- in 14 Days

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I decided at the end of August to start a new novel with Venice as the setting. I’m totally a pantser when I write which is defined as not writing from a plot outline but from the seat of the pants. I usually start with protagonists’ names and not much else. Here are the notes I started with for this Venice story with no title yet. Fourteen days after I started writing, I had the first draft done. Ready now to polish and make it pretty enough to send out.

New story.

Vincente Canaletto

Charlotte Bolling

Venice. He’s a water taxi driver – they meet when he drives her from train station. She thinks he’s a lowly driver but he actually owns a fleet of them.

She’s an architect? Artist? She’s there to do research for something or paint?

He calls her Carlotta.

Yep, That’s all I had. I amaze myself sometimes when I think that from such a small seed, that a whole story can grow. This was a record first draft for me and I’m super excited about how it turned out- maybe I won’t be once I read it again! LOL!

Naming Characters

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My friend Jillian is blogging today here about naming characters. One of the hardest things can be getting that character name just right. Sometimes the writer has to change that name mid-book if the character just isn’t responding. How many times have you had to do that as a writer?

Long Time No Post!!

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Sorry I’ve beem MIA. I’ve had a lot going on with my mother being ill and in and out of the hospital. I’ve also had to travel quite a bit recently and have been working diligently at the day job and the evenings writing. I also had edits on a pretty long novel that my alter-ego has coming out on September 9, 2012.

I’m over here today to announce that I got an acceptance for a Halloween story to be published by Whortleberry Press in September. This will be my fourth year in their Halloween anthology and I’m super excited to be back. I absolutely adore the fall season and all the holidays therein.

This story I wrote was so fun. I woke up on a Saturday morning with the first paragraph in my head, fully formed. I jumped up and grabbed my iPad to jot it down. The next paragraph came right away and every time I thought I’d stop working on it, more came. I didn’t get up for two hours and it was done. I was still in my robe and was shocked when I looked up to see it was two hours later.

I edited it that night and sent it in. It’s a really cute little story if I do say so myself. It’s in first person but you know, it really called out for that perspective.

The name will be changed from what I had but that’s cool. I’m awful at titles so I’m always open to changing them. LOL! Of course, I’ll post when it’s available for purchase.