Thursday, April 17, 2014

Make Your Easter Happy with Thrillers!

The Easter break is approaching fast. In many countries, this means four days of no work. Four days of lazing about, catching up with family members, eating too much and reading not enough.

So, what is there to read in the thriller department? Mark Billingham's latest Tom Thorne book won't be out till 22 May 2014. The latest Lee Child is coming even later: August 28. And I've just finished Harlan Coben's brilliant new release.

Perhaps now is the time to go to the back list and read all those books I missed in 2013? Here are a few of those on my night table:
  • Blackbirds and Mockingbird by Chuck Wendig
  • 7 Dae by Deon Meyer 
  • The Bookthief - is that even a thriller or a literary novel?
  • And if I run out of other people's fiction, there's always my own: Operation: Genocide. :-)

Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Person Of Interest - Blacklisted?

I have a bone to pick with the friend / friends who introduced me to the TV series Person Of Interest (fortunately for them, I can't remember who they are). The last thing I need in my life is spend more time on the sofa. I keep telling myself a good writer needs to stay abreast of modern storytelling, be it movies, TV series or novels. Consequently, it's so very easy to spend an hour or more every night doing "storytelling research" with a bowl of popcorn!

That's probably why the first two seasons of Person Of Interest whizzed by in a matter of weeks, and after that bit of catchup, I sat down with the rest of the world to enjoy Season 3. Is is just me? Have I had a Person Of Interest overdose? Or is the third season not as gripping as the first two?

I find myself wanting to watch an episode of Blacklist rather than an episode of Person Of Interest. I'm not very far into Blacklist (just three episodesso far), so perhaps this new addiction will wane, too. Meanwhile, though, I know whom to blame for introducing me to this latest vice: Colby Marshall, a fellow author at Stairway Press. Check out her thrillers, they are worth it!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Missing You - Harlan Coben

Harlan Coben is back with his latest thriller, MISSING YOU. After a few books which were solidly good yet not brilliant, he's created a set of oddball characters we love to love. Together with a twisty, satisfying plot, that will jerk your heartstrings, this is a sure winner.

(Incidentally, here is a reviewer who disagrees with me and while loving MISSING YOU thinks the 2013 Coben, SIX YEARS, was better.)

And yes, Mr Coben, I remember the song well. :-)

From the book jacket:

It's a profile, like all the others on the online dating site. But as NYPD Detective Kat Donovan focuses on the accompanying picture, she feels her whole world explode, as emotions she’s ignored for decades come crashing down on her. Staring back at her is her ex-fiancĂ© Jeff, the man who shattered her heart—and who she hasn’t seen in 18 years.

Kat feels a spark, wondering if this might be the moment when past tragedies recede and a new world opens up to her.  But when she reaches out to the man in the profile, her reawakened hope quickly darkens into suspicion and then terror as an unspeakable conspiracy comes to light, in which monsters prey upon the most vulnerable.

As the body count mounts and Kat's hope for a second chance with Jeff grows more and more elusive, she is consumed by an investigation that challenges her feelings about everyone she ever loved—her former fiancĂ©, her mother, and even her father, whose cruel murder so long ago has never been fully explained.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Rediscovering Ruth Rendell

I used to read lots of Ruth Rendell books. My favourites include The Crocodile Bird, The Bridesmaid and Sight For Sore Eyes. So I was pleasantly surprised to discover The Vault which picks up the action years after the events of Sight For Sore Eyes, with Wexford trying to solve the more-than-a-decade-old mystery. A thoroughly good read.

Encouraged by that, I read The St Zita Society by the same author. I love the way she portrays her characters. I shall be reading and re-readign more Ruth Rendells soon.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett

You know, I'm very pleasantly surprised by Raising Steam. It's almost as though old Terry's back. It's great to return to Ankh-Morpork where Nobby is Nobby, Vimes is Vimes and Vetinari is Vetinari - or is he? Having a steam train in Discworld is a logical step in the series, and I thoroughly enjoyed the journey.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Class With Savvy Authors

Running Down the Stairs, She Put on Her Shoes by Yvonne Walus

Registration Information
Click to register
May 12 - May 25, 2014
Savvy Authors forums

"Running down the stairs, she put on her shoes." Do you know why your editor will tell you to rework this sentence?
This class will tell you why. It'll also teach you how to dig deeper into the story to come up with interesting sentence structures, other than the dreaded "she did this and then she did that."

Level: Mixed
Where:  The Savvy Forums
Cost:  Premium Members $20 / Basic Members $30

Lesson 1: Those pesky -ings
Lesson 2: He said, she said... Remove Those Tags!
Lesson 3: She went outside. She started the car engine. She drove... and the reader fell asleep.
Lesson 4: Q&A
Yvonne Walus is an award-winning novelist with over 20 books published in USA and UK.