BOOK REVIEW: This book has deep down grunt that gives the storyline a rich and meaningful foundation. Corporate greed. The making of a psychopathic killer. Corruption. Murder. Cruelty. Love and loyalty. An epic idea in the suicide seed technology…. Everything builds inch by inch. Slowly and relentlessly. Like multiple angles to the same force that explodes in the final chapters…. An intriguing setting in 3rd world Africa. Great characters, both the good guys and the bad. And a wonderful dog hero that is worth the read on his own…. But above all, there’s a latent power here that I also noticed in a previous read of this author. Fry writes real, gritty stuff.
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BOOK REVIEW: It’s the contrast between the unrelenting, high octane suspense and the excruciatingly slow burn of romance. That’s what it is about this author’s writing. Of course you get that a lot in these kinds of books, but Sandra S. Kerns does it so well. The crime here is complicated and deeply woven through the cast of characters. This is a damned fine police story. The action starts with the witness to a murder unconscious in an ER, our hero by his side, our heroine nursing them both. Unravelling what happened is a great read… The romance is between a strong, positive, yet damaged, woman and a tough, gritty man who is all heart and impatience. Expertly drawn, these two have you feeling that slow burn and living it with them. I was particularly pleased with how things came together at the end – the way the hero took charge… Excellent romantic mystery/thriller.
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BOOK REVIEW: The feel of this book takes me back to the musty halls of the Hermitage Museum and the iron curtain mentality of the real Russia that still smoulders today. We are expertly pulled into this mood chapter one and never really get to crawl up out of it. The characters and plot – the mystery of Brodsky – kind of tumble in on top of us, abstract and disjointed at first, building and tightening as we crawl through the maze (walk the endless corridors of The Hermitage, the towering portraits of lives past eyeballing us)…. Yes, I found the setting here to be tremendously powerful. The mystery itself is classy and intelligent, and develops into a killer of a finale…. Try this one if you like your art-heist thrillers to be gritty, real, and steeped in history.
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Well the basic challenge is overcoming familiarity and reading what you typed, rather than what you meant to type. And the short answer to this is to use audio, concentrate, go at a set slow pace, and double check alterations.
But let’s clarify what I’m talking about here: I’m talking about a piece of writing that has already been edited and proofread. Either by yourself or by a paid service. The structure of the work is set. And all that remains is to find simple typos. A word missing. A plural that should be singular. A missing quote mark or period. Something capitalized that shouldn’t be. Repeat words etc….
The reason I’m offering this advice is because I read a lot of indie books, and almost all have simple typos. Like mine used to.
My process is this:
Microsoft Word: From the top of the page we need to click on this little arrow that gives us a drop-down box to Customize Quick Access Toolbar. And we select ‘More Commands’
From the More Commands pop-up we want ‘All Commands’
From the list of all commands we want to select ‘Speak’
Which puts this little icon on our toolbar. And when we highlight a section of text and click Speak, the text is read to us slowly and clearly.
This forces us to follow the text at a set pace, and the audio will help A LOT in picking up errors. You might be amazed at how you will see something that you’ve missed a hundred times (and that your editor missed as well).
A couple of important tips:
- Use earphones and accept no distractions.
- Make corrections immediately then highlight again to re-read that paragraph.
- If your mind has drifted, stop and go back to where you were last focused.
- Expect this to take a long time – 3 to 4 hours per 10,000 words.
- If you find a lot of errors, do it all over again.
BOOK REVIEW: This is one of the better romances of this kind I have read. It’s a letdown when the hero is a shallow playboy type and the heroine allows her attraction to him to overpower her better judgement. The mix here has the heroine not being overpowered at all. Maggie is a terrific character – her strength not wavering until the final scene, and even then we have to wonder who it was that lost control and succumbed to the attraction – or indeed whether they both did. There is a depth of honesty and realism in these characters that handles the tryst between the powerful bad boy and intrepid good girl way better than some bestselling books of late…. This is a fast read but not a quick fix story. It’s sexy and highly entertaining.
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BOOK REVIEW: What a thrill ride! This picks up at the height of tension we were left with in the first part of the story. It picks up there and never backs off. Right to the final confrontation we are on the edge of the seat – heart in mouth. The style of storytelling here is sharp, gripping, take-no-prisoners. The action, including the love making, is graphic and powerful, but in that it is just keeping up with the mood of the story. The characters portrayed here are gritty and real. The bad guys are total scum and not easily defeated – more tension! The hero and heroine earn every bit of the ending…. Awesome, powerhouse read!
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BOOK REVIEW: She is going to die and she knows it. Genre aside, that right there is a powerful and intriguing story idea. No one has threatened her or anything. She has simply seen her own funeral. Brilliant. The big question to be answered here is laid out plainly in the title, and within a page or two of reading, we’re in. We’re going to need to know how and why she dies at the end…. So now we have a clear and simple yet powerfully intriguing question, but do we have a story journey to back it up? Definitely! The setting is a tangible paranormal world with interesting relationships between the different species and plenty of historic complexity. Certainly 3 dimensional. And the tale of who our heroine is and how and why she dies is rich and captivating storytelling…. For mine, this book is every bit as good as the title.
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BOOK REVIEW: This sci-fi setting is like real. It’s actually quite brilliantly understated. When imagining the universe being depicted here, it’s as if there’s nothing to prove – as if it’s just a matter of fact that this place exists and we all know it. This is a powerful human drama and romance set elsewhere, not on Earth…. The depth in the story itself is also impressive. We can easily imagine the prequel, which would be potentially even more intense and dramatic. I quite enjoyed joining in at the tail end of a story, with lives already blown apart, and seeing everything come together…. An intelligent and nicely constructed read.
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BOOK REVIEW: This is an intense, shadowy thriller, paced for a quick read. There’s plenty of angst in the awkward, fledgling, arranged romance between our main characters before the real challenge even begins…. The 1980s setting is authentic and well suited to stories about this kind of crime – it’s kind of what makes it so shadowy. It works well. The descent into the murky depths of perversion as the thriller aspect of the story builds is another highlight. The climax is grim and hard-hitting. The romance finds a way…. This stands alone as a terrific read, but there’s definite potential for a follow-up and study of some of the secondary characters.
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BOOK REVIEW: Is this a children’s story… a parent’s how-to perhaps? I was unsure what to expect with this book, but it captivated me immediately and held me spellbound throughout. I’m giving a full 5 stars because this is a brilliant story – could make it as a classic. It’s a wonderful read for children, and it shows us all the bullying experience through a child’s eyes. The tale itself is clever and highly impactful (had my lip quivering once or twice – the shoes). Expertly detailed and written.
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BOOK REVIEW: A terrific action adventure told by a natural storyteller. The artwork is excellent and wonderfully apt for the feel of the story. The graphic violence here is offhandedly dealt with, and it works. It’s just normal for these ninjas to fight, shed blood and kill. Incorporating that into a story about a bunch of kids was handled with just the right, low level of sensationalism. The individual characters were fun and interesting. Spending time in each of their heads makes for excellent reading and was definitely the best way to tell this tale. A handful of misfits trained, tested in battle and building into a tough little fighting force with an unknown mystic power on their side, their foes beaten but not defeated and planning their next move… Great stuff!
BOOK REVIEW: Good versus evil, but wait a minute – not so simple. Two victims of bullying suddenly being bestowed with awesome powers… What better test of character and inner strength than to see how they each respond? How these two youths are transformed (or not) by this ‘gift’ is handled in an intelligent and complex way. Understanding the origin and ultimate purpose of this force is shaping as an intriguing supernatural thriller. One aspect of this power I’m finding particularly interesting is the sensing/exposing/manipulating of people’s emotions, and how this sword is double edged, with the loss of control happening inwardly as well. This volume ends in a blaze of action – the scene set for who-knows-what next… The main characters here are young adults, but I’d recommend a youthful spirit of adventure is all that’s needed to enjoy this story.
BOOK REVIEW: The princess of good trekking across the kingdom to battle the darkness of evil. This is a well tried concept and is handled wonderfully right here in a fast moving tale. If you don’t spend a lot of reading time in fantasy, you can need just the right balance of description and action to hold your interest. It’s a completely foreign world, so you need to be informed of the surroundings. The characters are often creatures, so you need plenty of detail about who and what they are. I find it easy to get bogged down in all this description in fantasy stories, but that didn’t happen with The Darkness Of Gold. Not at all. I found the characters to be intriguing and the scenery vivid, yet the story moved quickly and kept me very much interested and in anticipation of what would come next. I ended up with an impression of a richly three dimensional kingdom, with a lot to the story remaining mysterious and untold. The different kinds of communities briefly encountered were fascinating and offered adventures for the imagination well beyond the scope of this quest. You find yourself wondering what was going on there as you’re passing by. I liked that. The action scenes were quite powerful and, again, vivid. I think the romantic element was sweet and in just the right proportion with the rest of the plot. I didn’t pick the ending. That was a good twist… To an occasional fantasy reader, this was quite a good Sunday’s entertainment.
BOOK REVIEW: Brooding, sinister, atmospheric…The feel of this book takes me back to the musty halls of the Hermitage Museum and the iron curtain mentality of the real Russia that still smoulders today. We are expertly pulled into this mood chapter one and never really get to crawl up out of it. The characters and plot – the mystery of Brodsky – kind of tumble in on top of us, abstract and disjointed at first, building and tightening as we crawl through the maze (walk the endless corridors of The Hermitage, the towering portraits of lives past eyeballing us)…. Yes, I found the setting here to be tremendously powerful. The mystery itself is classy and intelligent, and develops into a killer of a finale…. Try this one if you like your art-heist thrillers to be gritty, real, and steeped in history.
BOOK REVIEW: Interesting, believable characters and a fascinating look into history and ancient culture. This intriguing thriller pulls you in and builds steadily. It’s the kind of story that gets you thinking – calls on your intellect while stringing you along. The climax is hard hitting, the resolution warm and satisfying. As with all detective stories, you need a strong, likable lead character. Juan Morales works!
BOOK REVIEW: Full-on wit and intrigue… Standouts in this novel are the realistic characters and their dialogue, and an intelligent plot. The club of old men at the centre of things seem ordinary and innocuous. You are fascinated by their interactions and their minds, but you wonder where it’s all leading. You are actually pulled quite unsuspectingly into the intrigue – or perhaps it’s a case of the characters being so interesting and well written that you are distracted from the plot and freshly surprised by the way it steadily builds and escalates into a powerful political thriller. Yes, the strength of both the plot and the characters are quite impressive. I’d highly recommend this novel to readers who like an intellectual challenge to go with their serving of wit, humour and suspense.