Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Beating Creedence to the Top

When Bad Moon Rising was published by Crooked Cat Publishing just over six weeks ago, a search on Amazon showed my novel on about page nine of the results. Not really surprising when one considers that not only is Bad Moon Rising the title of a famous song, but there appear to be hundreds of books with the same name.

A friend contacted me today to say that she’d looked for my novel on Amazon, but as she couldn’t remember my pen name had simply typed the title in the search engine. “Oh,” I said, “in that case, I bet it took you a while to find it.”

Her answer surprised me, but also made me very happy. Bad Moon Rising, searching in 'All Departments' on Amazon UK, brings my novel up as item five on the first page. What amazed me even more was that it appeared ahead of some Creedence Clearwater Revival items! In fact, only two of Creedence Clearwater Revival entries were placed above my Bad Moon Rising.

I was so amazed that I tried it myself. Sure enough she was right. I narrowed the search to 'Books' and my Bad Moon Rising came up as the second item on the first page.

Presumably, this new found place in the search facility is down to sales, tags and likes. Whatever the reason – I like it!

It seems readers like the book as much as I like its search engine visibility, as the five star reviews are building nicely.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Piwko’s Proof - Review

Piwko’s Proof is so very close to being a five star read, but the opening chapter, instead of providing a hook that drags the reader into the story, is actually its weak point. The novel opens in a distant point of view as we follow two unknown men breaking into a home and kidnapping Conrad Carlson, an assistant director of the FBI. The two men in question are bit part players. We never again return to their point of view, so are left wondering why most of chapter one was written from their perspective.

Had the book opened in Conrad Carlson’s point of view at the moment the kidnappers enter his marital bedroom, we could have been right there in the moment.

We next discover (during a long section which introduces more people we will never see again) that Carlson’s release is dependent on a stay of execution for Tom Austin, convicted paedophile and child killer. If we had been in Carlson’s head during the kidnapping and so identifying with him, this information would have put fear into our hearts, knowing there was no way the state could comply.

However, once we get over chapter one the book takes off and becomes a really enjoyable read with plenty of drama, violence, intrigue and plot twists to keep any thriller fan turning the pages.

In chapter two we get to meet the main character of the novel, Harry Meurant, a small town lawyer who represents the eponymous Piwko. Piwko, incarcerated in a maximum security prison, claims he has evidence that will exonerate Austin of murder, meaning the death penalty can be overturned.

Meurant takes the information Piwko has given him to the FBI, who aren’t inclined to take the claim seriously. From this point onwards, Meurant’s life is in danger, but we only discover who is trying to kill him right at the end of the book.

There are a few subplots running alongside the main thread which give the novel added interest while throwing the reader off the scent.

I thoroughly enjoyed Piwko’s Proof and can’t help wishing it had come to me for critique, rather than for review. I would have advised the author to scrap chapter one and rewrite it, putting us in the head of the kidnapped man. With that change, I’d be rating this five stars all the way. As it is, it’s still a good read and one I have no hesitation in recommending.



Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Great reviews of Bad Moon Rising

This is a book review site, so it’s great to be able to post some five star reviews my own novel has received. I am thrilled that Bad Moon Rising has garnered five star ratings across the board, not only from experienced reviewers, but also from readers who have bought the book because their friends and family have read and recommended it.

As an author, there is nothing better than knowing what you’ve written is being enjoyed by others.

I’ve updated the Bad Moon Rising Review page (see tab above) but here are two of the most recent reviews – one from a reviewer and the other from a reader.

“... anyone who enjoys a good crime novel should find this thriller an absorbing read. I sincerely hope there will be another novel featuring Paolo and this cast of characters.”

"The conclusion is harrowing. The twist is unanticipated, the characters are realistic, the story is original and the next one is eagerly awaited."

Bad Moon Rising is published by Crooked Cat Publishing

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Review of Don't Look Down

Don’t Look Down by Barbara Scott-Emmett

Don’t Look Down opens with a scene which is only resolved at the end of the novel, giving us an immediate hook. We have to keep reading to find who, what and why.

Lauren Keane flies to Germany to visit an old friend, Katti Hauer. But Katti is missing and her brother, Wolf, with whom Lauren shares a past blighted by a broken love affair, meets Lauren’s flight in Katti’s place. Lauren and Katti look very much alike, especially when Lauren is wearing Katti’s clothes. As a result, she is mistaken for Katti and kidnapped in her place. Lauren must fight for her life and sanity, while also trying to find and save her missing friend.

The plot has many layers, leaving Lauren not knowing who is friend and who is foe. Revenge, the sex trade, drugs and people trafficking all combine to give us a complex plot and plenty of reasons for the characters to produce twist after twist.

The story is set against a bitter winter backdrop and Scott-Emmett brings Nuremberg and the surrounding area vividly to life. From the moment the heroine, Lauren Keane, leaves the airport on her arrival the settings are flawless. Not once did the descriptions of town and country feel intrusive, they simply added depth to the storytelling.

The characterisation is good and the hero, Wolf Hauer, is gorgeous enough for fall for, but not so overwhelmingly handsome that he doesn’t seem real. Let’s put it this way, I wouldn’t mind riding pillion on his bike as Lauren does at the beginning of the novel.

The book was marred (very) slightly for me by guessing correctly early on who the mole was, but this didn’t spoil my overall enjoyment of what was a very entertaining read.