Book Review of Cozy Mystery Cream Puff Murder (Hannah Swensen Series, Book 11) by Joanne Fluke

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Welcome back to another Write On Purpose book review. Each week, I review a well-written book, highlighting what makes it good from the reader’s perspective and what writing skills and techniques make it an irresistible read. Thus, each review serves both writers and readers.

This week it's a cozy mystery from the Murder, She Baked series by Joanne Fluke.

I've been reading the series from the first, The Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder. Each book includes recipes. Most are for cookies, but there are some for casseroles, cakes, and other asty foods.

The first book is now a movie that received tremendous ratings on the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries Channel. That channel isn't in my package, so I haven't seen it, but I'm a Hannah fan and hope I can get it soon.

the Cream Puff Murder:

Bakery owner Hannah Swensen has a dress to fit into and a Cream Puff Murder by Joanne Flukedate with her sister, Andrea, at Lake Eden's new health club, Heavenly Bodies. Dragging herself out of bed on a frigid Minnesota morning for exercise, of all things, is bad enough. Discovering the body of man-eating bombshell Ronni Ward floating in the gym's jacuzzi? Okay, that's worse. Nor does it help that there's a plate of The Cookie Jar's very own cream puffs garnishing the murder scene.

Trying to narrow the list of Ronni's enemies down to fewer than half the town's female population, Hannah has her plate full. Trouble is, when it comes to cookies--and to murder--there's always room for one more. . .

"Foodie fans will eat up Fluke's cozy. . . A fluffy mix of sweets and suspense." --Publishers Weekly

"Entertaining and sprinkled with tempting recipes. It's a sweet treat of a novel." --The Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN)

"A tasty treat." --Kirkus Reviews

Did I find this book to be a worthy read? Continue reading "Book Review of Cozy Mystery Cream Puff Murder (Hannah Swensen Series, Book 11) by Joanne Fluke"

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Book Review of Amish Science Fiction Brother, Frankenstein by Michael Bunker

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elcome back to another Write On Purpose book review. Each week, I review a well-written book, highlighting what makes it good from the reader’s perspective and what writing skills and techniques make it an irresistible read. Thus, each review serves both writers and readers.

This week, it's an Amish science fiction novel called Brother, Frankenstein by Michael Bunker.

Yes, I said "Amish science fiction." Have you heard of it?

It sounds like a strange combination, doesn't it? Yet in the hands of a skilled wordsmith, it can definitely work.

Here's the book description from Amazon:

Dr. Chris Alexander, a borderline sociopath and Brother, Frankenstein amish science fiction book by Michael Bunkertechnological genius, has designed an advanced cybernetic life form from prototype decommissioned military drones and top-secret experimental DARPA technology.

The HADroid was supposed to be a military grade robot with the transplanted heart and brain of a human donor that would “transform” into a devastating state of the art war machine when activated by its onboard human operator.

But when the mad doctor steals the dying child of a simple Amish couple and transplants the brain and cardiovascular system of their dying eleven year old autistic son into the incredibly lethal robot the dark forces of government come looking for their investment. Dr. Alexander and the monster escape into another Amish community to hide among the plain folk while Frank, the autistic eleven year old boy trapped inside the body of the world’s most deadly robot, befriends another child who will help the prisoner inside the machine to leave the world of autism and understand what it means to be human and Amish.

But tensions arise among the plain and pacifistic yet closed minded Amish as they begin to suspect just what kind of technological monstrosity is hiding among them, and before long hard men who do the government’s most dirty deeds will come looking for a killing machine only to find a boy named Frank who has the power to defend a closed society from the worst of the world.

Did I think reading Brother, Frankenstein  was a good use of my time? Continue reading "Book Review of Amish Science Fiction Brother, Frankenstein by Michael Bunker"

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Book Review of Dystopian SiFi Novel Black Cloud Rising: Chrysalis by Darrel Sparkman

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Welcome back to another Write On Purpose book review. Each week, I review a well-written book, highlighting what makes it good from the reader’s perspective and what writing skills and techniques make it an irresistible read. Thus, each review serves both writers and readers.

This week's review is yet another in a genre I don't often read. I like expanding my horizons. This time it's Black CLoud Rising: Chrysalis by Darrel Sparkman

Ronda Del Boccio holding the Kindle edition of Black Cloud Rising: CHrytsalis  by Darrel Sparkman, showing the cover

I don't often read dystopian books because so many of them have a strong theme of futility. Not so with Chrysalis..

Why did I feel this book was well-written enough to give it a 5-star review?

5 Star Review Graphic Continue reading "Book Review of Dystopian SiFi Novel Black Cloud Rising: Chrysalis by Darrel Sparkman"

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Book Review of Western Historical Romance the Montana Gallagher Collection by MK McClintock

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Welcome back to another Write On Purpose book review. Each week, I review a well-written book, highlighting what makes it good (or not so good) from the reader’s perspective and what writing skills and techniques make it an irresistible (or annoying) read. Thus, each review serves both writers and readers.

This review is a mixed bag. The series is the Montana Gallaghers historical fiction series by MK McClintock.

First I need to say I have immense respect for anyone who follows through from concept to completion of a novel or a series. As a novelist myself, I can attest to how much work it takes.

I enjoyed aspects of the first book, and others annoyed me immensely. And while I typically only review books I like a lot, I'm making an exception.

"I could never immerse myself in the Montana Gallagher series, because so many things about the writing distracted me."

- Ronda Del Boccio, amazon top reviewer

I give this series 3 stars. Here's more about the Montana Gallagher Collection. I like historical fiction, and I really wanted to be enthralled with this series, but alas, it was not to be. Continue reading "Book Review of Western Historical Romance the Montana Gallagher Collection by MK McClintock"

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Book Review of Spy Thriller Historical Romance Alaina Claiborne by MK McClintock

Welcome back to another Write On Purpose book review. Each week, I review a well-written book, highlighting what makes it good from the reader’s perspective and what writing skills and techniques make it an irresistible read. Thus, each review serves both writers and readers.

This week, it's a historical romance spy thriller called Alaina Claiborne by MK McClintock.

This book contains all the sizzle  of a good spy thriller and all the spark of a hisgtorical romance. Some aspects of the book I liked very much. Others annoyed me. How did I rate this book? Continue reading "Book Review of Spy Thriller Historical Romance Alaina Claiborne by MK McClintock"

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Book Review of Suspense Anthology The Apostate by J. B. Hogan

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Welcome back to another Write On Purpose book review. Each week, I review a well-written book, highlighting what makes it good from the reader’s perspective and what writing skills and techniques make it an irresistible read. Thus, each review serves both writers and readers.

This week, it's a collection of suspenseful tales called The Apostate and Other Stories of the Contemporary Southwest by J. B. Hogan

The Apostate by J.B. Hogan

Bobby Earl, a desperate boy with psychopathic urges,

sticks a gun to the head of mild-mannered college professor and fugitive Michael and kidnaps him. The police and FBI are on the lookout, but Michael’s hidden past makes attention from the FBI the last thing he wants. His past hadn’t been a problem until now but his predicament has drawn the attention of the one man in the state who would know him for who he really was. A successful rescue might mean death or imprisonment for Michael, but staying in a killer’s clutches is certain doom unless Mary Beth – a sweet but damaged woman-child – can calm Bobby Earl. And time is running out.

The Apostate - J. B. Hogan

Read my 5 Star Amazon Review!5 Star Review Graphic

What Makes a Great Suspense Story?

Some suspenseful tales focus on high speed chases. Some focus on character struggles. This collection Continue reading "Book Review of Suspense Anthology The Apostate by J. B. Hogan"

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Book Review of Washed in the Water: Tales from the south by Nancy Hartney

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Welcome back to another Write On Purpose book review. Each week, I review a well-written book, highlighting what makes it good from the reader’s perspective and what writing skills and techniques make it an irresistible read. Thus, each review serves both writers and readers.

This week's excellent read is a collection of southern short stories called Washed in the Water: Tales from the South by Nancy Hartney

Washed in the Water: Tales from the South by Nancy Hartney

I like a good short story collection. Sometimes I want to read something that won't require a lot of time to read. Sometimes I don't want to dive into the world of a novel. Plus, I can sample an author and decide quickly whether I like their style.

Washed in the Water: Tales from the South contains 7 stories. Grab a glass of sweet tea and get ready to journey to the deep south into the lives of people who live and work hard.

5 Star Review Graphic

Read my Amazon 5 star review

 Vivid, Tight  Descriptions

Continue reading "Book Review of Washed in the Water: Tales from the south by Nancy Hartney"

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Book Review: Biographical Historical Novel No Paved Road to Freedom by Sharon Rushton

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Welcome back to another Write On Purpose book review. Each week, I review a well-written book, highlighting what makes it good from the reader’s perspective and what writing skills and techniques make it an irresistible read. Thus, each review serves both writers and readers.

This week's excellent read is a historical biographical novel called No Paved Road to Freedom by Sharon Rushton.

A good book is aboiut the writer's craft and in equal measure enjoyment for the reader. This book has it all!

Here is the description of No Paved Road to Freedom from Amazon:

No Paved Road to Freedom by Sharon RushtonNo Paved Road To Freedom is a gripping and emotional story that humanizes the impact of communist occupation in Romania after World War II. It is relevant, it inspires, and it reminds us that freedom is precious. Based on a true story, it documents the loss of freedom, and the extraordinary courage of Cornel Dolana and his family as they pay an incredible price for resisting communism. Cornel makes up his mind to escape the oppression and uses his ingenuity to put his plan in place. His fortitude keeps him moving toward his goal, despite enduring enormous setbacks, brutality, and extreme outdoor elements that few humans could survive.

What makes No Paved Road to Freedom a good read? Continue reading "Book Review: Biographical Historical Novel No Paved Road to Freedom by Sharon Rushton"

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Book Review of Psychological Thriller In Her Shadow by August McLaughlin

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Book Review: In Her Shadow, a Psychological Thriller by August McLaughlin

Welcome back to another Write On Purpose book review. Each week, I review a well-written book, highlighting what makes it good from the reader’s perspective and what writing skills and techniques make it an irresistible read. Thus, each review serves both writers and readers.

This week, it's a chilling and suspenseful tale of secrets, pain and torment. In Her Shadow  is August McLaughlin's debut novel.

In Her Shadow by August McLaughlin

5 Star Review GraphicRead my 5-star review.

 

Here is the book description from Amazopn:

One woman locked in a basement, nearing death and longing for escape. Another baffled by the inexplicable symptoms wreaking havoc on her life. Both are lost and alone, yet somehow connected. And time is running out...

Near the tenth anniversary of her parents' unexpected death, Claire Fiksen, a lovely young Harvard-grad and gifted psychologist in Minnesota, develops bizarre symptoms of an eating disorder that threaten her fledgling career, her relationship with a handsome young medical student, her grasp on reality and, soon, her life.
When her beloved grandfather reveals that there may be more to her parents' death than she's realized, Claire's pursuit of healing becomes a desperate search for answers as she delves into her family's sordid past. Meanwhile, someone is watching her every move, plotting to draw her into her own twisted web of misery.
Claire has something he needs, and he'll stop at nothing to obtain it. Every step Claire takes brings her closer to the truth and danger. And her life, she discovers, isn't the only one at stake.

This book began its journey as a memoir but became a thriller, one of Ms. McLaughlin's favorite genres. Now, time for my review: Continue reading "Book Review of Psychological Thriller In Her Shadow by August McLaughlin"

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Book Review of Romance Thursdays at Coconuts by Beth Carter

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Book Review of Thursdays at Coconuts by Beth Carter

Welcome back to another Write On Purpose book review. Each week, I review a well-written book, highlighting what makes it good from the reader’s perspective and what writing skills and techniques make it an irresistible read. Thus, each review serves both writers and readers. This week's good read is Thursdays at Coconuts by Beth Carter. It's a light read with interesting characters. It reminds me of a "typical" woman's Sex in the City, because the key characters are interesting women who have more common lives and jobs than the glitzy shopaholic movie/TV series.

What makes this a good read? Continue reading "Book Review of Romance Thursdays at Coconuts by Beth Carter"

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Writing Skills Book Review: Writing Fight Scenes by Rayne Hall

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As an author, I read books about the craft of writing, publishing, book marketing and similar topics writers need.  Today, I'm reviewing an excellent book about writing battles.

Ronda Del Boccio holding Writing Fight Scenes by Rayne Hall

Have you ever been reading a good book but found yourself brought right out of the story by a ridiculous fight scene? I have.

One book I read is otherwise excellent, however, the author wrote a hand-to-hand combat scene in which a man bit out a woman's Adam's apple.

Wh-wh-wh-wha-???

In case you, like this author, don't know your anatomy, only men have that bobbing little apple-like protrusion. It's not possible for someone to bite a woman's (nonexistent) body part and ruin her vocal chords, leaving her with a permanently husky voice.

I've also read stories in which a tiny woman wields a battle axe. If you've never picked up one of these weapons, it's heavy and requires a solid wallop. Not something a tiny woman, or man for that matter, could manage.

I read a sword fight scene in which the warrior pulled a heavy, long sword from his back, when it would not be possible.

Feel free to share any battle blunders you've read in he comments. I'd love to read them, and I'm sujre others would as well!

Writing Fight Scenes by Rayne Hall is a top-notch resource for authors writing fight scenes. Chapters cover everything from true crime to were-creatures to nautical fights to fantasy to swordfight, and everything in between.

Here is the book description from Amazon:

Writing Fight Scenes by Rayne HallThis is the bestselling original by Rayne Hall, published in 2011 and updated in 2013.

Learn step-by-step how to create fictional fights which leave the reader breathless with excitement.

The book gives you a six-part structure to use as blueprint for your scene. It reveals tricks how to combine fighting with dialogue, which senses to use when and how, how to create a sense of realism, and how to stir the reader's emotions.

You'll decide how much violence your scene needs, what's the best location, how your heroine can get out of trouble with self-defence and how to adapt your writing style to the fast pace of the action.

There are sections on female fighters, male fighters, animals and weres, psychological obstacles, battles, duels, brawls, riots and final showdowns.
For the requirements of your genre, there is even advice on how to build erotic tension in a fight scene, how magicians fight, how pirates capture ships and much more.

You will learn about different types of weapons, how to use them in fiction, and how to avoid embarrassing blunders.

Please note: This book assumes that you have some fiction writing experience. You'll benefit most if you've already mastered the basics of the craft and want to learn specialist techniques. It is not recommend for absolute beginners.

The book uses British English.

I like how the book is structured, beginning with  what the author should consider before the fight  commences.  Then, various weapons have their own chapter.  Male VS female combatants, self defense, and psychological barriers take you deeper into planning. Finally, the book moves into writing skills such as pacing, dialogue, making the reader care and creating erotic tension.

The first decision is whether your scene is to be "gritty or entertaining." Each style has a different presentation on the page.

Chapter Two is all about location.  Different battles lend themselves to different weapons. This chapter helps you decide upon staging.

The third chapter is one of my favorites, because it gives a six-step method for weaving the fight scene into the story. It's not just about the battle.

You'll be able to pick and choose the chapters to read when planning your battle. If you're not sure which polearm or sword to incorporate, you'll get the basics here. That will help if you need to do ore research.

I love that Rayne Hall includes blunders to avoid in each chapter. This helps the author avoid rookie mistakes that ruin the story's credibility.

Read my Amazon 5-star Review of Writing Fight Scenes.

About Rayne Hall

Rayne Hall writes fantasy and horror fiction. She is the author of over fifty books in different genres and under different pen names, published by twelve publishers in six countries, translated into several languages. Her short stories have been published in magazines, e-zines and anthologies.

After living in Germany, China, Mongolia and Nepal, she has settled in a small Victorian seaside town in southern England. Rayne holds a college degree in publishing management and a masters degree in creative writing. Over three decades, she has worked in the publishing industry as a trainee, investigative journalist, feature writer, magazine editor, production editor, page designer, concept editor for non-fiction book series, anthology editor, editorial consultant and more. Outside publishing, she worked as a museum guide, apple
picker, tarot reader, adult education teacher, trade fair hostess, translator and belly dancer.

She is the editor of the Ten Tales anthologies (themed short story collections). Her books on the writing craft are bestsellers.

 Connect with Author Rayne Hall

Buy the Book

Buy Writing Fight Scenes on Amazon

I hope this is a helpful review. Please share it liberally with your author friends!

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About Ronda Del Boccio

Ronda Del Boccio is an award-winning and best Click for Member Home Pageselling author of both fiction and nonfiction. She tells transformational tales and helps visionary authors turn their dreams and imaginings into published books. See and order Ronda's books on Amazon.

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PS Want to republish this review?

I am delighted for you to repost this review on your blog or website. You are most welcome to republish this review following standards established by best practice and copyright law. This is true of any blog post, by the way.

Here are the guidelines that help you play nicely and give credit where it is due.

  • You must use the permalink for the specific post, which is the direct article link, also called the original article source.
  • You must include my byline and author information, or I shall come after you
  • Following these guidelines helps my website traffic as well as yours. Thank you for playing nicely.

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Book Review of Thriller The Geneva Decision by Seeley James

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Welcome back to another Write On Purpose book review. Each week, I review a well-written book, highlighting what makes it good from the reader’s perspective and what writing skills and techniques make it an irresistible book. Thus, each review serves both writers and readers.

This week's excellent read is The Geneva Decision by Seeley James, a thriller about an athlete embarking on a new and dangerous lifestyle.

Like any good thriller, the lead character Pia Sabel is both flawed and larger-than-life in equal measure. That's part of what makes thrillers exciting to those who enjoy them.

Read the book description of The Geneva Decision on Amazon

Cover of The Geneva Decision by Seeley JamesPia Sabel plays to win.

Until a few weeks ago, she was an international soccer star. But now she’s taken the helm of her billionaire father’s private security company, and she’s playing against a whole new set of opponents – the kind who shoot to kill.

On her first day on the job, Pia’s client is assassinated in front of her. There’s no time for training, so Pia must trust her instincts and athletic skills to unravel the complicated maze of money laundering and piracy that will take her from Swiss mansions to the jungles of Cameroon.

Her battle-hardened employees suspect she’s just a spoiled rich girl with a mean corner kick. But Pia’s got some unexpected moves of her own. Will they be enough to bring her team through its mission?

Read my Amazon review.

What makes The Geneva Decision an exciting thriller?

Continue reading "Book Review of Thriller The Geneva Decision by Seeley James"

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Book Review of Suspense Thriller Copperhead Cove by Ron Parham

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Welcome back to another Write On Purpose book review. Each week I review a well-written book, highlighting what makes it good from the reader’s perspective and what writing skills and techniques make it an irresistible read. Thus, each review serves both writers and readers.

This week's excellent read is Copperhead Cove, a suspenseful story in which a cheerful and relaxed fishing guide finds himself in a heap of trouble,

Watch for this week's book review Copperhead Cove on http://writeonpurpose.com #BookReview #suspense

Here is the description:

Copperhead Cove by Ron ParhamThe stillness of the warm, Kentucky afternoon on Copperhead Cove is shattered by the echo of a high-powered rifle, sending birds flying and two famous basketball coaches to a watery grave. Bo Paxton, their fishing guide, becomes collateral damage, thrashing through the murky waters of Quail Hollow Lake for his life while a Chicago hit man hunts him down, beginning a life-and-death manhunt for Bo and a marked member of the Chicago mob.

Ethan Paxton and Jake Delgado, from far-off California, search the unfamiliar Kentucky hill country for Bo, but they aren’t the only ones looking for him. In a race against time and the Chicago mob, Ethan and Jake must battle an unforgiving lake, a thunderstorm and poisonous snakes to decide Bo’s fate. Can they reach him before the mob enforcers?

While devouring this book,  I couldn't wait for reading time each day.

What makes Copperhead Cove a great read? Continue reading "Book Review of Suspense Thriller Copperhead Cove by Ron Parham"

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Book Review and Excerpt of Paranormal Romance Thriller Glory: The Legend of Glory Book 1 by Devin O’Branagan

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Welcome back to another Write On Purpose book review. Each week I review a well-written book, highlighting what makes it good from the reader’s perspective and what writing skills and techniques make it an irresistible read.Thus, each review serves both writers and readers.

This week's excellent read is Glory:  The Legend of Blory, Book 1 by #1 best selling author Devin O'Branagan.

I've known #1 best selling author Devin O'Branagan since I helped her with the first book launch of GLory. Now, she is talking with a producer about turning the book into a movie or TV program. I hope that comes true, because Glory is an excellent book.

Read my 5-star Amazon review.

5 Star Review Graphic

Cover of Glory by Devin O'Branagan

This is a story about a teenager who rises to meet incredible challenges. Her helpers include a fabulous dog, an angel and a vampire. It is the first of a trilogy, and I have read and reviewed them all.

Starting The Story Where The Change Happens

No matter what genre you write, it's important to start where the change begins. Ruminating over tea doesn't cut it these days. Glory begins powerfully, with the impending death of Glory's father.

A pandemic is sweeping the country, and Glory's blood has the antidote, but not only the "good guys" are after it.. Here is the Glory book trailer video:

Watch the video.

Amp up the Story with Internal and External Conflict

Conflict makes a story interesting. After all, if nothing happens, you don't have a novel. There are two kinds of conflict that make for a good book. Both are important. This trilogy has them both in roughly equal measure.

External conflict

External conflict refers to those elements outside the point of view character. these challenges come from outside the person and include the major plot hurdles for the story. in Glory,  our hero deals with the nasty bug and with people who are after her because of her uniqueness.

Internal conflict

Internal conflict comes from a character struggling with her emotions and actions. Glory's struggles include losing her father to the pandemic and the feelings she develops for her vampire and angel guardians.

The internal landscape is what distinguishes one book from another. Many would argue that there are perhaps only 30 or 50 plots around love, revenge, achievement and the like..

It's how the point of view character(s) handling their challenges, their road of trials, that distinguish a book. The character-against-world themes are similar. How a hero interacts with her world sets a story apart from the rest.

That's why I say the internal conflict makes a book even more than the more obvious plot elements, such as in this case the pandemic, good and evil beings, and the scientists.

While this is a young adult tale with a 17-year-old hero, it is a good read for adults as well.

A Curvaceous Protagonist

I LOVE books with a strong female character who's curvy, not twiggy. I'm writing one like that just now myself. Here's how Glory reacts when she hears a policeman tell a friend they're looking for a girl about her age but "much heavier":

I bristled. I wasn't heavy. I was--as dad had described me--voluptuous : chesty, hippy, and curvaceous, but most certainly not fat.

Yay! Having so often been shamed for my size, I can appreciate a character being proud of her curves. I'm so sick of movies and TV shows glorifying women who could blow away if you sneeze on them.

Wits Win

While there are numerous supernatural elements and beings, both helping and detracting from Glory and her mission to save the world, there is no savior. No rescuer. She must rely on her own wits and strength. This is an element that improves any story, and I like the way O'Branagan handles the balance.

Glory Book Excerpt:

I floated and it felt good. It was warm and bright and I was at peace.

Dominic appeared. “Don’t go,” he said.

I looked down at my body lying in a soggy ditch in a pool of blood. “I don’t have a choice anymore.”

“I’m here now. I can help if you want me to.”

I didn’t want him to. The world and all its misery had lost its allure. I was done.

He knew what I was feeling and I could feel him too. It was shockingly intimate. He yearned for me to want to return; he needed me to be noble.

“I’m not your salvation,” I said.

I felt his disappointment. He wanted to love humanity for his father’s sake, and I was conscious of his regret at not being able to. I felt his remorse for having failed me, his tenderness for me, and how that new emotion surprised him. I wanted to comfort him and take away his pain. He sensed my affection for him and was moved by it. Our empathic connection was exquisite.

I realized that what we shared at that moment was what everybody longed for—the merging of bodies was a poor imitation of the merging of hearts.

Suddenly, I wanted to do whatever it took to relieve his suffering and the suffering of all those who could benefit from my blood. In that moment, I suffered the pain of all creation. I needed to heal it.

My translucent hand reached for him. “Take me home.”

He didn’t ask which home I meant. His heart knew.

I hope you'll get your copy of the whole trilogy.

About #1 Best Selling Author Devin O'Branagan

Author Devin O'BranaganBestselling author Devin O’Branagan writes novels about uncommon heroes. Her genres include young adult urban fantasy, paranormal romance, paranormal thrillers, and romantic comedy. She’s been published by Simon & Schuster’s Pocket Books, German publisher Heyne Verlag, Turkish publisher Dogan Egmont, and indie publisher Cornucopia Creations. Her books are available in print, eBook, and audio book formats.

Connect with Devin

Buy Glory: The Legend of Glory, Book 1

About Ronda Del Boccio

Ronda Del Boccio is an award-winning and best selling author of both fiction and nonfiction. She tells transformational tales and helps visionary authors turn their dreams and imaginings into published books. See and order Ronda's books on Amazon.

Join Ronda's readers for free stories, sneak peeks at her next books and more at WriteOnPUrpose.com/read

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PS

Want to republish this review?

I am delighted for you to repost this review on your blog or website. You are most welcome to republish this review following standards established by best practice and copyright law. This is true of any blog post, by the way.

Here are the guidelines that help you play nicely and give credit where it is due.

  • •You must use the permalink for the specific post, which is the direct article link, also called  the original article source.
  • You must include my byline and author information, or I shall come after you
  • Following these guidelines helps my website traffic as well as yours. Thank you for playing nicely.

If you are an author

Want your book reviewed?

If you are an author or publisher desiring a review, here is everything you need to know:

Each Tuesday, read a book review on WriteOnPUrpose.com. I delve deeper in these than I do for what I post on Amazon

Focusing on what makes a good read, these reviews benefit authors and readers alike. Each contains helpful hints to help authors make their books more compelling.

Before posting here, I first write a review on Amazon, and I am an Amazon Top Reviewer; read my reviews at WriteOnPurpose.com/reviews.

If you are an author or publisher wanting a book review, go to my Review Request Page at WriteOnPurpose.com/reviewrequest and complete the form.

You will need to provide a digital copy of your book and be willing to accept my honest review or the possibility that I may choose not to review your book at all. My aim is to showcase good writing, and I won't know if your book measures up until I read it.

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Book Review of Paranormal Romance Suspense Voodoo Butterfly by Camille Faye

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Welcome back to another Write On Purpose book review. Each week I review a well-written book, highlighting what makes it good from the reader’s perspective and what writing skills and techniques make it an irresistible read.Thus, each review serves both writers and readers.

This week's excellent read is a paranormal romantic suspense story Voodoo Butterfly by Camille Faye. This is her first book, anhttp://writeonpurpose.com/wp-admin/plugins.phpd it is so good!

Read my 5 star review of Voodoo Butterfly on Amazon.

Here is the book description from Amazon:

Voodoo Butterfly by CAmille Fay CoverWhen twenty-five-year old Sophie Nouveau inherits her grandmother's voodoo shop she knows nothing about voodoo. Or her family's history of Mind Changers, who have the power to change evil people to good. To complicate matters, someone doesn't want Sophie in New Orleans and sends a series of death threats to scare her away from her new enchanted life.

Tipped off by her grandmother's ghost, Sophie realizes her mind-changing spell's been missing one magic ingredient: true love. If Sophie cannot experience transformative love, she cannot make her spell work, and she will be powerless to fight back when confronted by the one who wants her dead.

Fatal Flaw

No matter what genre you may prefer to read, the "ideal" point of view character has both strengths and flaws. Just like "real" people out here in the tangible world.

The most interesting tales feature 3-dimensional lead characters who have a fatal flaw which could keep them from reaching their ultimate desire.

Sophie's fatal flaws are her doubt and her walls. So scarred by her past is she that she is unable to open up to love. And I'm not only speaking of romance, though there is a strong romantic storyline.

As Sophie enters her new life in New Orleans after her grandmother's death, her emotional armor prevents her from experiencing friendship freely given. Poppy, co-owner of the Voodoo shop Sophia inherited, offers her open love and acceptance, yet she is too closed and distrusting to see it.

Sophie's past haunts her and affects current decisions and actions. This makes for good reading, because the reader wants her to overcome those old traumas and embrace her new power.

While her mindset definitely interferes with the budding romance, it also informs her daily decisions.

Author Tip: As an author, if you want to write deeper stories, pour that fatal flaw into every chapter. It adds emotion and intensity to your story. Give your reader something interesting to chew upon even after she finishes the book.

Where to Start Telling the Story

Common wisdom on where to begin a book is right in the middle of the action. I like to say start at the first sign of conflict. You only have a page or two to grab the reader by the metaphorical collar and compel her to keep reading.

For a few months now I have been reading submissions for a publisher, and I have become more keenly aware than ever how important the first couple of pages have become.

Indeed, some samples I have read are so awful that I don't get past page one, or even all the way to the end of it.

Voodoo Butterfly dives into the first conflict fairly quickly, but it begins with the past. The writing is good enough I turned the page, but I thought it was strange to start with history.

The tale began with Sophie's mom's funeral., which is back story, not current conflict  Back story is the stuff we want to learn about as it comes up in the POV character's memory or in some other direct experience.

Beginning with a funeral is tricky business, as the reader has not yet developed any affinity for the narrator. We don't know her yet, so how can we?

If I were to recommend one thing for this book, and it is a minor one, I would suggest making a slight modification to the start of the book.

Not that Ms. Faye asked me, BUT it's my review and my chance to give my own humble opinion while helping authors, so here goes. This is what I would do.

I ould take out the whole section about the mother's funeral and those feelings. THey'll all come up soon enough.

HOWEVER, from that section, I would definitely certainly bring in mom's box of secrets, as it is significant. That box, not the funeral or family oes, pulled me into the tale.

Imagine opening the story something like this:

I just inherited a voodoo shop in New Orleans? Fingers trembling, I read the letter again to review two shocking discoveries:I had an until-now unknown grandmother whom I would obviously never meet, and I now owned her business about which I knew nothing in a town about which I knew nothing. I had never even left my hometown.

Making a small shift to where a story starts can add even more suspense and build empathy. Right after a strong opening, there is time to have Sophie look through her box of secrets, perhaps adding the will to it.

The next thing that happens is the million butterfly march, so that definitely captures the reader's imagination.

Author Tip: Power up Descriptions

Powerful writing does not end with -ly. Power emanates from verbs and imagery. Here are some of my favorite examples that will help you show rather than explain action through the narrator's perceptions:

Describing emotion: Don't write "I was afraid" or I felt afraid." Show the reader how the fear acted and felt. Fiction writing is about the experience through the perception of the point of view character.

Whispers of fear slithered through me as reality settled in. I was lost.

Sadness pinned my heart to my chest.

Describing movement: You can avoid the more simplistic word and make the book more interesting for the reader. Look what word the author described the motion of the monarchs in these three passages.

Millions of monarch butterflies rushed down the street like a tangerine river.

The mass of them actually churned the air, making me feel as if I was in a churning cauldron of steaming stew.

Monarch butterflies crawled over every square inch of the building, making the church come alive The building twisted and turned with the movement of muscles and joints underneath a skin of orange and black iridescent wings.

Transformational Storytelling

Transformational stories are those with three basic elements:

  • Quest:  The hero searches for something important and undertakes a journey of transformation in order to attain it.
  • Tests: A road of trials
  • Loss: A dark night of the soul during which the hero could lose everything
  • Victory (or sometimes not): The hero ultimately wins despite insurmountable difficulties and crushing defeats.

In short, personal growth of the hero is a requirement. Change is what makes people want to read books. Something needs to be different by the end of the novel.

Throw a person into a situation she didn't ask for but ultimately decides to embrace. Add numerous challenges to overcome, including in this case death threats and someone actively trying to lead the Sophie off her path. Include allies and useful tools. And be sure to bring the point of view character to the brink of giving up more than once.

FUll of emotional scars, Sophie inherits a whole new life in a strange town and an innate power she didn't know she possessed when she inherits the shop. Thus begins her journey.

Her own doubts and fears make the various trials and tribulations she faces that much worse. Death threats frighten her, sure, but facing down her own personal demons terrifies her more, especially once she opens enough to truly care about those who care for her.

Personal Power

Voodoo Butterfly is a self-help book as well as a good read in that the reader learns about the power of the mind and heart while reading. There are lots of great mindset teachings threaded through the tale.

That's one of the things I love most about this book. Sophie doesn't merely make choices and deal with challenges. She develops a whole new perspective, and in so doing, the reader may perhaps glean some knowledge to help her develop her own personal power.

Get your own copy of Voodoo Butterfly

Buy Voodoo Butterfly on Amazon

You can read the book on any device or computer by downloading a free Kindle Reading App. If you need one, you'll see a link right there on ANY Kindle book page, below the buy box.

Want to republish this review?

I am delighted for you to repost this review on your blog or website. You are most welcome to republish this review following standards established by best practice and copyright law. This is true of any blog post, by the way.

Here are the guidelines that help you play nicely and give credit where it is due.

•You must use the permalink for the specific post, which is the direct article link, also called  the original article source.
•You must include my byline and author information, or I shall come after you.

•Following these guidelines helps my website traffic as well as yours. Thank you for playing nicely.

About Ronda Del Boccio

Ronda Del Boccio is an award-winning and best selling author of both fiction and nonfiction. She tells transformational tales and helps visionary authors turn their dreams and imaginings into published books. See and order Ronda's books on Amazon.

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Each Tuesday, read a book review on WriteOnPUrpose.com. I delve deeper in these than I do for what I post on Amazon

Focusing on what makes a good read, these reviews benefit authors and readers alike. Each contains tips to help authors make their books more compelling.

Before posting here, I first write a review on Amazon, and I am an Amazon Top Reviewer; read my reviews at WriteOnPurpose.com/reviews.

If you are an author or publisher wanting a book review, go to my Review Request Page at WriteOnPurpose.com/reviewrequest and complete the form.

You will need to provide a digital copy of your book and be willing to accept my honest review or the possibility that I may choose not to review your book at all. My aim is to showcase good writing, and I won't know if your book measures up until I read it.

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Book Review of Women of Washington Avenue, a Hen Lit Romance by Linda Apple

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Welcome back to another Write On Purpose book review, the first of 2015! Each week I review a well-written book, highlighting what makes it good from the reader's perspective and what writing skills and techniques make it an irresistible read.Thus, each review serves both writers and readers.

This week's excellent read is a "hen lit" romance called Women of Washington Avenue by Linda Apple.

Read my 5-star Amazon review of Women of Washington Avenue here.

Before I go on, you may be wondering...

What is "Hen Lit"?

A few years ago, "chick lit" became a "thing" - a genre. Books about  and for women, particularly younger women, flooded the market.

Then the more mature ladies said, "Hey, what about us? We're not sprig chickens, but we are still interesting women living vibrant lives." Hen lit came from that evolution. Hen lit showcases interesting women in and beyond middle age.

Women of Washington Avenue

Women of Washington Avenue tells the story of several unstoppable and very cool women of the south who all live on the same street, their lives weaving together through the years.

Here is the description of Amazon:

Wome Of Washington Avenue by Linda Apple CoverOn Washington Avenue in Moonlight, Mississippi, four friends, single and over fifty, find themselves in the age-old conundrum--they're too old to be young, but way too young to be old.

All of them are ready for another chance at love. But when that chance comes to each of them, it brings startling surprises and secrets that threaten their hopes for love.

 

This is an uplifting "feel good" book. Yes, there is conflict, as in life, but it is not overly intense. The women are all over fifty and, as anyone I know over that age, living a full and vibrant life and never giving up on themselves.

I love how well Linda Apple develops each of the women. THey are most definitely distinct, the result of an experienced writer accustomed to revealing character.

Not only are these "hens" each over fifty, most of them are full bodied ladies. Only one bean pole in this book, Ava who has succumbed to her time in New  York to be tiny until returning to her home in the South puts some meat back on her bones.

I personally find it refreshing to read (and, since I am an author, write) about women who don't count every calorie and only eat five bites of food at a time. Brava! Unlike what the media would have you believe, luscious women can indeed attract a man.

I love one of Avalee's lines to Jemma: "We need all the sass we can get at our age."

I say we need all te sass we can get at ANY age! I've had that quality all my life, miuch to my mother's chagrin, I'm sure.

I love that each of the ladies has a chance to tell part of the tale. Avales's segments are in first person, the others in third. I've read a few books like this recently, where narration shifts between first and third person depending who tells that part of the story.

The advantage for an author is you get to play with different storytelling methods within the same work. You're not locked in to only first or only third person narration. This method provides variety for the reader.

Linda Apple does an excellent job of remaining in the head of the narrator without losing focus and straying. If you're a "green" (budding) author, struggling with staying in one narrator's head, reading this book provides guidance for you to study.

The romances

If you've read my other reviews, you'll know I don't tend to read a lot of romances, particularly in the general fiction category. This book has a number of budding relationships.

Many mainstream romances involve explosive outbursts and love-hate relationships. This one not so much. There are secret pasts, startling revelations and a couple of fights, but there is no "contrived hyper-drama", as I call it.

If you are a budding romance author, realize that you don't have to create false conflicts in order to tell an interesting story of the growth of a relationship. Out here in real life, not everyone goes off the deep end because you tagged them in a Facebook photo or forgot to pick up the dry cleaning.

No need to exaggerate drama in romances. That's one of the things that makes me cringe about the genre as a whole...too much fabricated conflict.  If you want gritty, explosive fighting, this book is not for you. if you're after something hopeful, or wish to write hopeful books, Women of Washington Avenue is an excellent study.

Life

Women of Washington Avenue doesn't rea like real life, but life as we would wish it to be. Men say the right things and act lovingly toward their women. Conflicts find happy resolution. Characters reveal burdens and find supportive understanding.

Though the book is over 300 pages, it is a fast and fun read. I read the Kindle edition and didn't realize it was that long until I was looking up the various details to include in this review.  Women of Washington Avenue is another excellent Wild Rose Press book.

Order Women of Washington Avenue from Amazon.com, Kindle or print.

Order Women of Washington Avenue from the Wild Rose Press site.

Want to republish this review?

I am delighted for you to repost this review on your blog or website. You are most welcome to republish this review following standards established by best practice and copyright law. This is true of any blog post, by the way.

Here are the guidelines that help you play nicely and give credit where it is due.

  • You must use the permalink for the specific post, which is the direct article link, also called  the original article source.
  • You must include my byline and author information, or I shall come after you.
  • Following these guidelines helps my website traffic as well as yours. Thank you for playing nicely.

About Ronda Del Boccio

Ronda Del Boccio is an award-winning and best selling author of both fiction and nonfiction. She tells transformational tales and helps visionary authors turn their dreams and imaginings into published books. See and order Ronda's books on Amazon.

Join Ronda's readers for free stories, sneak peeks at her next books and more at WriteOnPUrpose.com/read

If you are an author

Want your book reviewed?

If you are an author or publisher desiring a review, here is everything you need to know:

Each Tuesday, read a book review on WriteOnPUrpose.com. I delve deeper in these than I do for what I post on Amazon

Focusing on what makes a good read, these reviews benefit authors and readers alike. Each contains helpful hints to help authors make their books more compelling.

Before posting here, I first write a review on Amazon, and I am an Amazon Top Reviewer; read my reviews at WriteOnPurpose.com/reviews.

If you are an author or publisher wanting a book review, go to my Review Request Page at WriteOnPurpose.com/reviewrequest and complete the form.

You will need to provide a digital copy of your book and be willing to accept my honest review or the possibility that I may choose not to review your book at all. My aim is to showcase good writing, and I won't know if your book measures up until I read it.

Please share this review all over the social web!

Follow your B.L.I.S.S.

Ronda Del Boccio
#1 best selling author, speaker, and Amazon Top Reviewer

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Book Review: The Cemetery Club by Blanche Day Manos and Barbara Burgess

The Cemetery Club is a "cozy mystery" set in a small town in Oklahoma. I've noticed people are confused about what makes a cozy, so before I get into this particular one, here are some conventions of the genre.

What is a cozy mystery?

A cozy mystery has a dead body or two, but not a lot of gore. An amateur sleuth gets involved trying to solve the riddle of "whodunit."

Examples of cozy mysteries include:

Murder, She Wrote series by Jessica Fletcher was turned into a TV series. Fletcher  is a mystery writer who stumbles over dead bodies the way some folks trip over their own two feet.

The Cat Who mysteries by Lilian Jackson Braun: Reporter Jim Qwilleran  and his Siamese cat Koko (and later another Siamese named YumYum joins them) solve all sorts of mysteries, first in New York, then, more conventionally to the genre, in a small town.

 Royal Spyness Mysteries by Rhys Bowen is a historical cozy series about a minor royal without estate or fortune trying to make her way in a changing world. Meanwhile, she stumbles across mysteries and tries to keep her head above water.

and of course, the Darcy and Flora Cozy Mystery Series, of which The Cemetery Club is the first. Reporter Darcy has returned to her hometown where she quite literally stumbles over a dead body while helping her mother Flora tend the cemetery.

I would call this a Christian cozy series, because prayer and Christianity figure heavily in the plot. There is also a delightful Cherokee influence with the omen of the Owl, thanks to co-author Barbara Burgess..

Here is the information on Amazon about The Cemetery Club:

Cover of The Cemetery Club: a Darcy and Flora Cozy Mystery by Blanche Day Manos and Barbara Burgess

Goshen Cemetery lay quiet and peaceful under a benevolent spring sky. Darcy Campbell and her mother, Flora Tucker, had no inkling that in a few moments, the scene would change and they would face a horror on the ground and a threat from above, beyond their imaginations.bla

Mother-Daughter Team

I enjoy cozies. I'm not one for the true crime books full of blood and viscera. I don't watch CSI.  I don't enjoy reading steamy love scenes either. None of that is in any cozy.

I gravitate toward stories about people finding themselves in unexpected situations from which they must extract themselves. That's part and parcel of the cozy.

One of the aspects of this book I enjoyed was the mother-daughter team. Daughter Darcy couldn't have figured things out without her mother Flora.

Interestingly, Flora had the bigger emotional stake in solving the mystery, as she was long-time friends with the family of the deceased.

As they go through the experience, you see the kinds of things that happen with a grown daughter and her aging mother. FLora asserted her independence. Darcy helped her around puddles and other obstacles, and Darcy's purpose for coming to see her mother and going with her to the cemetery was simply to be with her.

The Hook

The job of the first paragraph of any novel is to grab the reader's interest. If you're a writer, remember that well when you write those first words.

Here's how The Cemetery Club begins:

When I awoke to sunshine, blue skies, and the smell of freshly perked coffee that morning, I had no inkling that a few hours later the sun would be blotted out by menacing clouds or that my mother and I would stumble upon a dead bo dy in a brush pile in Goshen Cemetery.

Isn't that just how momentous changes come upon us all? That was a good hook for the story.

At this point, the reader doesn't know anything about who's talking, so we don't "care" yet. That hook needs to show there's something newsworthy.

Some Blood But Nothing Gruesome

This is a murder mystery. There will be something other than sunshine and puppies, but it's not grotesque. Here is Darcy's discovery of dead Ben:

Only a bloody stump remained where the third finger of Ben's left hand should have been.

The two shaken women had little time to consider what to do next. Because what should happen to disturb the scene but a tornado that churns up the whole area.

I admit the storm felt a little over the top to me as a reader, but not so much I wanted to stop. Tornadoes definitely come up suddenly in Oklahoma as well as where I live in Missouri.

Motives and Secrets

Look at any newspaper or story online about a murder, and there is always a motive. Out here in the real world, plenty of families keep secrets. The Cemetery Club is no exception.

This secret involves a cache of hidden gold and plenty of people wanting to find it and call it their own. That adds a layer to the mystery.

Omens and Portents

 The Cemetery Club includes a character who never speaks a word, though he talks in his way: the Owl.

Owl

 At various key points in the tale, the owl makes himself known. I found the implication that believing in Native American ways was superstitious. The owl turns out to be a most helpful sign.

About the Authors Blanche Day Manos and Barbara Burgess

It may seem strange to some that a mild-mannered kindergarten teacher would become an author of cozy mysteries, but it's actually a good fit. A teacher is a word craft. So is a writer. A teacher wants the efforts of her labor to have a positive outcome. So does a writer. A teacher prays and hopes that each student has a positive take-away from her work. A writer hopes that for her readers too. A teacher would like each of the children in her classroom to achieve a satisfying life. Although she can't control that, as a writer she can control the way her books conclude!
A native Oklahoman, Blanche has a deep familiarity with the Sooner state, so it's the logical setting for her books. Her Cherokee heritage and feeling at home in the rural settings of Oklahoma are vividly woven into the background fabric of her books. Her other published cozies include Grave Shift and Best Left Buried, books two and three of the Darcy & Flora Series.
Barbara Burgess is a retired trial court administrator who says she found many good story ideas in the courtroom. One of those ideas evolved into her first suspense novel, Lethal Justice, published in 2010. She also co-authored The Cemetery Club, a mystery novel based on Cherokee history. Her father was half Cherokee and she says much of her family history involves Cherokee legend and beliefs similar to those found in Grave Shift. She has also written short fiction for Woman's World and Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine and freelanced for several Arkansas newspapers.

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Book Review: Once There Were Sad Songs by Velda Brotherton

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Once There Were Sad Songs is a romance between two people fleeing their pasts. Author Velda Brotherton, a full time writer, created the story.  Wild Rose Press published it in December of 2013.

I have to be honest. I'm not usually a romance reader, unless there's suspense, mystery, or the romance is just part of life and not the focal point. Thee are certain conventions in the romance genre that drive me crazy.

I read Once There Were Sad Songs because of the skill of the author, Velda Brotherton. She  has now successfully written and published 25 books, I believe, and is a superb writer, a helpful mentor, and a terrific person.

Her writing is so strong and compelling. I'm glad I read this book.

When a writer is so gifted you'll gladly read a genre you don't normally enjoy, that's quality wordcraft.

SEXY, DARK AND GRITTY TALES Tough gutsy heroines, strong and gentle heroes, villains to die for.

The Romance Reviews

Here is the description from Amazon.com:

COver of Once There Were Sad Songs by Velda BrothertonIn the summer of 1985, Mary Elizabeth flees a fanatic husband and a cult-like life to search for a meaningful existence.

Camped in Ouachita State Park she falls in with three scruffy motorcycle bums after one of them rescues her from some young hoodlums. That one, despite all his nightmare memories, teaches her the true meaning of love and changes her life forever. Steven, a Vietnam vet and war hero set on the path to destruction with his buddies, never expected to find a woman whose love could help him see how to atone for his misspent life and find happiness again.

But once he's cofound her and realized the way he must go, it's impossible to keep her in his life. Or is it?

Read my 5-Star Review here

5 Star Review Graphic

 

Details that Reveal Character

I love how Brotherton reveals character and physical description at the same time. Here is an example from when Mary Elizabeth first get a look at the man who had pulled her out of the river yesterday:

Dimples carved humor into the features as if the artist who had sketched him had returned to add one more detail.It was an amazing restoration She couldn't help but smile back.

That is so much more elegant and effective than merely describing an expression or physique. Brilliant. That's the sort of thing that makes me read a romance that Velda authored.

Power of the Past

I have come to feel that the character's past is a character in its own right. In Sad Songs, Steven is a beleaguered veteran suffering from PTSD. Mary Elizabeth was fleeing her life in a cult with a control freak husband.

People--real people, not just characters in books--react based upon the past That's why I say it becomes a character all its own in stories such as this.

Neither of our heroes, particularly Steven, is always living in current time. Here is an example of how the past intrudes into a character's now:

With a sigh he turned toward the back wall, sucked in the musty smell of old, damp canvas, closed his eyes, and found himself gazing down with nine-year-old eyes into Papa's coffin. Saw the familiar old man change into a young soldier dressed in jungle gear. Steven Michael Llewellyn, killed in 'Nam, like he should have ben.

A terrifying darkness swallowed him up.

This is how memory works. I'm not talking about the kind of memory where you try to recall where you left your keys. The brain spits up other times,barging into our present with images, smells, recollections. It's messy and mostly unconscious.

The above passage is also an excellent example of deep POV, coming up next.

Deep POV (point of view)

I've brought up deep point of view more than once. It's currently the "in fashion" way to write, letting the reader deep inside the thoughts, feelings, and perceptions of the character. Brotherton is a master of deep POV.

Here is an excellent example from a passage in which we're inside the head of  Steven, an embattled Vietnam vet living the life of a wanderer with two of his buddies:

No tears. too late to cry. Much too late. His ruined life twisted behind him in long, ugly spirals. Like he'd snatched at it, squeezed it dry, then tossed it away. Never once looking back.

This pulls the reader into Steven's perception of his life and his sense of unworthiness.

Deep POV is something that you don't get as an author until you do. It may feel as if you're deep when you're not. Practice and read great examples.

Twisting the Romance Mold

Every genre has its conventions. Romance has a certain formula, dictating that the two who will pair off meet, have a ight (or several), make up, come closer together, fight again, and so forth. And just when things seem blackest and bleakest, they come together.

Once There Were Sad Songs is not your grandma's formulaic romance. While ere are the expected fights and make-ups (and some sex scenes), the plot is not predictable.

I love how the resolution happens. Naturally, I won't spoil it for you, but suffice it to say it's not typical.

A Reading Tip for Authors

Writers must read. Reading good books helps you improve writing skills.

Get a highlighter. If you're an author wishing to improve your skills, read books with a highlighter in hand.

I highlight passages on my Kindle all the time when I come across something juicy. Yes, it helps me write these reviews, but most importantly, doing this makes it easy to go back and review passages from which I as an author can learn.

Maybe it is a bit of character development, the cadence of dialogue, or a loaded description. Later I can easily see those highlighted bits.

Order your copy of Once There Were Sad Songs

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Connect with Velda Brotherton

Like her Facebook page.

Visit her website.

Velda Brotherton book table including Once There Were Sad Songs, Beyond the Moon, Rowena's Hellion, Wolf Song and others

Similar Books by Velda Brotherton

Brotherton has published several books in which one of the main characters is a wounded warrior (veteran) with PTSD.

Beyond the Moon is a darker tale of a hospitalized veteran with raging PTSD and the artist dragged into his life. This is an intense tale published by Foyle Press, an Oghma Creative Media imprint.

Rowena's Hellion is the second in the Victorians series, also published by Wild Rose Press..

See all her many books on Amazon.

Book Reviews

Before posting here, I first write a review on Amazon, and I am an Amazon Top Reviewer; read my reviews at WriteOnPurpose.com/reviews.

Each Tuesday, read  a book review on WriteOnPUrpose.com. I delve deeper in these than I do for what I post on Amazon

Focusing on what makes a good read, these reviews benefit authors and readers alike. Each contains  hints to help authors make their books more compelling.

Book Review Requests

If you are an author desiring a book review, go to my Review Request Page at WriteOnPurpose.com/reviewrequest and complete the form. You will need to provide a digital copy of your book and be willing to accept my honest review.

Follow your B.L.I.S.S.

Ronda Del Boccio
#1 best selling author, speaker, and Amazon Top Reviewer

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Book Review: Show Dog Sings the Blues by Devin O’ Branagan

Show Dog Sings the Blues cover - Devin O- Branagan

Show Dog Sings the Blues is a tail...tale of mistaken identity that's gone to the dogs.

Here is the description from Amazon:

Show Dog Sings the Blues cover - Devin O- BranaganIn an unfortunate case of mistaken identity, pampered show dog Talisman is switched with a cowdog and has to work on a ranch for the day. By the time her harrowing adventure is over, she is in desperate need of a massage, a session with her Reiki Master, a consultation with the pet psychic, a full grooming, and a pedicure. However, along the way she learns powerful lessons—including the discovery that she’s so much more than just another pretty face. Hilarious and touching, a tale for dog lovers everywhere! This short novella is a spinoff from the chick-lit novel "Red Hot Liberty" and is told from the dog's perspective. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to Australian Shepherd Rescue: www.AussieRescue.org - Learn more about this book at www.CanineChickLit.com

While I have not read the novel from which this novella is a spin-off, I am an animal lover, and I've read a few of Devin O' Branagan's other books.

This book is definitely more than a puff tale about a pampered dog who gets to experience a whole new life. Talisman faces unexpected dangers and experiences character development.

Based on Real People - with Fur

The two featured canines are based upon 2 of the author's former dogs. She shares their story and a link to pictures of them as well as those of other critters who feature prominently in her novels.

It gives a chance for readers to learn something new about their favorite characters. It also gives you a chance to build a stronger reader base and sell more books.

If you're an author, consider how you could adapt this for your work. Maybe you don't have dog or cat bases for your heroes, but you might have interesting places, works of art, songs, or similar. It's easy enough to make a page for them.

Critters are Characters Too

Even an anthropomorphized dog is a character, and the reader needs he hero to change. If your book features a dog or an alien or other non-human, that person still needs to have a road of trials.

This means that even if your character isn't human, she or he needs to grow, face challenges, or otherwise learn something. It's part of all stories, including the movies.

Spin Spin Spin-Off

Writing a novella that relates to a novel is brilliant. What a great idea for any fiction author. Show Dog Sings the Blues is a spin-off of the Red Hot series, which you can find at RedHotNovela.com.

O'Branagan wisely includes that link at the back of the book. The link takes you to a link on her main website, DevinWrites.com.

Multi Genre Authors

As a multi-genre author, O'Branagan has pages on her site relevant to each. This makes it easy to funnel the right readers to the appropriate series.

Keep this in mind for your own work if you, as do she and I, write a variety of stories.

Order the book:

You can read my 5-star review of Show Dog Sings the Blues on Amazon.

Order Show Dog Sings the Blues from Amazon.

And as Maddie the ranch dog would say,

Morde diem, which means "Bite the Day."

Each Tuesday, read  a book review on WriteOnPUrpose.com. I delve deeper in these than I do for what I post on Amazon

Focusing on what makes a good read, these reviews benefit authors and readers alike. Each contains helpful hints to help authors make their books more compelling.

If you are an author desiring a book review, go to my Review Request Page at WriteOnPurpose.com/reviewrequest and complete the form. You will need to provide a digital copy of your book and be willing to accept my honest review.

Follow your B.L.I.S.S.

Ronda Del Boccio

#1 best selling author, speaker, and Amazon Top Reviewer

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Book Review of The Perfect Victim by Pamela Foster: NaNoWriMo Day 25

People read books to get caught up in a character or a story.

Cover of The Perfect Victim by Pamela FosterThe Perfect Victim by Pamela Foster begins with a birthday surprise that turns out to be much more than Mary or her friend could possibly imagine.

The Perfect Victim is a real-world horror story of love gone wrong. It is a compelling but frightening story that just might make you lose some sleep.

Before I delve more deeply into the review, here is some more about the book.

Here is the synopsis of the book:

When friend Anne "buys" the new deputy for loan officer Mary Brock at the local charity auction, neither she nor Mary know what has been brought into their lives.

At a little over six feet, slim, with wavy blond hair, Billy Joe Wilkins is enough to make most women dream of snuggling on the beach, the ocean's waves crashing rhythmically.

Mary discovers — to her delirious delight — that Billy's lovemaking more than fulfills the promise of the dream. But when his demands begin to include Mary's complete domination, physically and emotionally, it all begins to seem more like a nightmare she can't escape.

But Mary is trapped by her own feelings, reeling between what she knows she should do and what Billy says she must do. She becomes obsessed with escape.

And what about her son? What about Michael? He's being caught in the middle of her emotional tug-of-war. Will he become a victim too?

Can Mary find the courage to take control of the situation?

Praise for The Perfect Victim

"Foster has the gift of painting a scene so remarkably vivid that it's as though the reader has stepped through Alice's looking glass and can see, feel, smell and even taste the world she's created. She offers up characters who are just as vividly present as they reveal their hearts and souls with no reservations. She has one of the most unique writing voices." ~ Lori Ericson, author of A Lovely County

You can read my 5-star review on Amazon

Ronda's Review of The Perfect Victim

.I've read most of Pamela Foster's books. She is one of my favorite writers, and extremely versatile.

The Perfect Victim is a book she wrote a number of years ago then set aside. Returning to it after successfully publishing several books, she said she made improvements and it is now in print.

Deep into character - AKA Deep point of view

Getting into a character's mind so the reader feels involved is important. There are various "levels" of narration. The least engaged is where you as the reader feel the character is telling you a story, as in you're listening to the telling.

As the author goes deeper, the reader experience likewise becomes more rich and engaged. These days, the deeper the better.

Deep point of view means being so deeply inside the mind of the character telling the story that there's no filter between his/her thoughts and perception of the story's action.

Here is an  example of deep POV from Foster in The Perfect Victim. These are Mary's perceptions from  from when the new boyfriend Billy wants to buy her son an expensive pair of shoes.

Black angerbubbles up from my gut. Pain in my molars reminds me to unclench my jaws  How dare he put me in this position?

There's no separation between character and reader, no distinction between thoughts and reaction.

Immediacy

This story has an immediacy most books don't. A big reason for this is that Foster wrote it entirely in present tense.

Here is the opening:

A brew of perfume arises from pulse-points hot with anticipation , the air heady with the estrogen-rich excitement of a girl's night out.

Let me tell you,, while writing in present tense amps up the immediacy and urgency of a tale, this is  not easy to sustain over time. One slip into past tense and the spell is broken.

Emotion

Foster is a whiz at conveying emotion in her books. Here's just one example. It takes place with best friend Ann  wants to warn Mary about her new boyfriend:

I nod, concentrate on breathing, keep my mouth shut so the fear doesn't fly out into the room.

Terror

I'm not kidding when I call this book "real world horror." The situations that come up for single mom Mary as she enters a new relationship are frightening.

The story is likely to trigger fear or panic if you've ever had issues with a control freak or alcoholic.

Billy keeps inserting himself into Mary's life and she's torn between sexual desire and fear because of his control.

Adult content alert

This is a sexually explicit book with a few F bombs and some other coarse language. I mention this so you're not surprised. .

Empowerment

Emotionally charged, frightening at times, t his is ultimately a tale of empowerment at great personal cost.

About Pamela Foster

Pamela FosterPamela Foster grew up in the redwoods of northern California where her family has raised all manner of mischief for eight generations. She's lived on the banks of the Mauna Loa on the Big Island of Hawaii, on the edge of the Mexican Caribbean, in the prickly-sticklies of the Arizona high desert, and on the tropical coast of Panama. She now lives in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas with her husband and his retired PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder) service dog.

When she's not writing-or teaching writing workshops-Foster volunteers her time to raise public awareness of PTSD and its effects, speaking at Veteran's Centers and civic groups and facilitating the Northwest Arkansas chapter of INTERACT, a support group for families of veterans.

How to order The Perfect victim

You can order from Pen-L Publishing or buy on Amazon.

NaNoWriMo Day 25 Update

This is an intense writing day for me, and I am loving every minute of writing They All Died Smiling. I blew past the 45,000 word mark a while ago. I should make the 50,000 word goal by Thursday, the 27th.

 

 Enjoy this chilling book and as always, follow your BLISS,

Ronda Del Boccio

#1 best selling author and speaker

FInd my books on Amazon

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Book Review of Daughter of the Howling Moon by R. H. Burkett: NaNoWriMo Day 18

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Welcome back to another Write On Purpose book review. Each week, I review a well-written book, highlighting what makes it good from the reader’s perspective and what writing skills and techniques make it an irresistible read. Thus, each review serves both writers and readers.

Here I am more than halfway through National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and still on track with my own novel-in-progress, They All Died Smiling.

People who like my upcoming book will LOVE Daughter of the howling Moon, a .gripping paranormal suspense story of an epic battle between good and evil.

Before I dive into the review, here's my progress for those of you keeping tabs.

Writers need to read.

One of the most important tasks any author can do is to read superior books. Not the old time classics, but modern books that speak to the people in current times.

Daughter of the Howling Moon was an excellent book for me to read while writing my own work in the same genre.

R. H. Burkett is an Arkansas author with a background in theater and a poetic sensibility that adds a layer of intensity to her books that few authors achieve.

I gave her newest book, Daughter of the Howling Moon, a 5-star review on Amazon.

Cover of Daughter of the Howling Moon by R. H. Burkett

What makes this a great story worth reading? Continue reading "Book Review of Daughter of the Howling Moon by R. H. Burkett: NaNoWriMo Day 18"

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Book Review: Just Like Gravity by Sorchia DuBois

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Welcome back to another Write On Purpose book review. Each week, I review a well-written book, highlighting what makes it good from the reader’s perspective and what writing skills and techniques make it an irresistible read. Thus, each review serves both writers and readers.

Just Like Gravity is a new paranormal romance by Sorchia DuBois

Here's the description of the book from Amazon:

How many times can you make the same mistake? How many lifetimes does it take to get it right? And how many people have to die in the process? In Scotland,

Anna searches for answers. She finds cold rain, steep hills... and terror. When she sees the ancient broch, the ruined building triggers a terror she can’t explain. Scenes from her past lives provide glimpses of the web of events linking her to the broch and the man she’s lost countless times before.

Trapped in an eddy of Fate invariably ending in blood, Anna tries to break the chain and protect what she lost before. Her tealeaves and tarot cards lead her, but the weight of the past may be too heavy.

Have  you ever wondered if you have met someone in another life? Or whether perhaps, you had been lovers?  Perhaps your encounter is there to show  you a pattern that maybe this time you can break forever. That is one of the things you'll explore as you read Just Like Gravity.

Just Like Gravity - paranormal romance by Sorchia Dubois

 

What else makes this a great read?

Continue reading "Book Review: Just Like Gravity by Sorchia DuBois"

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Book Review Opportunity for Authors

Would you like to have  your book reviewed by an Amazon Top Reviewer?  If I choose your book, I'll review it on Amazon and on my site, http://WriteOnPurpose.com.

It's great to have Amazon reviews. Very important. And what a bonus to have reviews on other websites as well.

Preferred genres include
Paranormal
Thriller
Cozy
Fantasy
Science fiction
Young adult fiction
Historical fiction
Self improvement,

I do not review:
Erotica
Children's.

You'll need to provide a Kindle (or Smashwords) copy of your book. Alternatively, if your book is not yet out, you or your publisher may send an ARC.

Complete the form to be considered.
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1cYPpHzOqlWZS_2WJR6_VkOQWNtYYnVG010wydjnPbz8/viewform?usp=send_form

Follow your BLISS,
Ronda Del Boccio
bestselling nonfiction and fantasy author

Find all my books on Amazon http://WriteOnPurpose.com/amazon

  #bookreviewer  

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