Mastering Plot Twists
July 2nd, 2018 by diane92345

Mastering Plot Twists pulls back the curtain on how the writing process works.

Excellent manual on plotting, character motivation and including the unexpected within your writing. Each chapter includes a brief lesson, a multitude of examples, and exercises for the reader to apply the knowledge to their own works. There are also two case studies or stories, which the author uses to illustrate her points. Not only are the case studies from different genres—political thriller and middle grade fantasy—so are the examples making this a useful book for any author. Each chapter concludes with a brief summary of its takeaways. The two tools provided, the TRD (twist, reversal and danger) Development Checklist and the ICE (intrigue, credible and evidence) assessment model will show the underlying skeleton of any book. Jane’s Plotting Road Map will shorten the overwhelming process of writing into manageable chunks.

While marketed to writers, Mastering Plot Twists is an excellent resource for readers and reviewers interested in the mechanics of writing. For both aspiring and experienced writers, there are many tips and tricks to be found here. 4 stars!

Thanks to Writer’s Digest and NetGalley for an advanced copy.

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Posted in Non-fiction Tagged with: ,

Top Hoodlum
June 27th, 2018 by diane92345

Immerse yourself in the world of New York mafia kingpin, Frank Costello, labeled a Top Hoodlum by FBI director, J. Edgar Hoover.

Prohibition was a marvelous time for organized crime in 1920s New York City. Bringing in liquor from Canada, Frank and all his cronies became millionaires supplying the addictions of both rich and poor. After it ends, Frank puts his money into legitimate businesses and works to negotiate truces between mob families as far away as Chicago.

The names within Top Hoodlum are familiar to anyone who has ever watched a Hollywood mafia production such as the Godfather or Boardwalk Empire. Al Capone, Lucky Luciano and Meyer Lansky are all here. The famous restaurant assassination scene in the Godfather was real and meticulous detailed here. Readers who like mafia movies will be engrossed by the well-researched Top Hoodlum. 3 stars!

Thanks to the publisher, Citadel, and NetGalley for an advanced copy.

Posted in Non-fiction Tagged with: , ,

liar liar
June 26th, 2018 by diane92345

Liar Liar is an engrossing study of a woman willing to do anything, regardless of the impact on her family, to achieve her dreams.

Didi Storm wants riches and fame. When her acting career is derailed with a teen pregnancy, she becomes a celebrity impersonator in Vegas. Realizing she’ll never be rich, she attempts a long con by giving birth to a rich man’s twins and trying to get paid for the male infant. Remmi, her teenage daughter, sees it end horribly with both Didi and the twins missing, possibly dead. Fast forward to the present, someone has published a true crime book about Didi’s life when Didi is sighted in San Francisco.

Nice mystery with a few twists. Recommended for fans of mysteries more than than thrillers as the slow build of the family dynamics is what drives the plot. 4 stars!

Thanks to the publisher, Kensington Books, and NetGalley for an advanced copy.

Posted in Mystery & Thrillers Tagged with: ,

Babyteeth Vol 2
June 25th, 2018 by diane92345

Babyteeth Vol 2 begins with a nice summary of Vol 1. While that is nice for readers beginning here, it spoils the surprises in Vol 1 so I would recommend reading them in order. Also, if you want to read Vol 1 first, please don’t read the rest of this review since it contains SPOILERS for that volume.

I loved Vol 1 of this series. As I stated in my 5 star review of Vol 1, I couldn’t wait for volume 2 and grabbed it off NetGalley as soon as it appeared.

This story begins immediately after the first with Heather, Sadie and baby  Clark travelling on a commercial airplane flown by the girls’ dad. The group is accompanied by the wizard Dancy and headed for the Maine castle built for Clark by the dark cultish group, the Way. In the meantime, the quasi-governmental group, the Silhouette, is trying once again to kill them. Both groups believe that Clark is the antichrist, born to usher in the end times. For the Way that is good news but for the Silhouette it is not. Are both groups insane? Well, little Clark does only drink blood and when he cries people bleed and sometimes disappear.

While still a good horror story, this volume doesn’t have the big ‘Clark is who?’ surprise element of Vol 1. There are a few smaller twists in the plot to keep it interesting. An adorable “fire-breathing murder raccoon” and Sadie’s backstory are intriguing. The relative of a past adversary also appears.

Babyteeth Vol 2 collects issues #6-10. Single issues continue to be published so I can’t wait for Vol 3. 4 stars!

Thanks to the publisher, Aftershock Comics, and NetGalley for an advanced copy.

Posted in Graphic Novel, Horror Tagged with: ,