Showing posts with label suspense. Show all posts
Showing posts with label suspense. Show all posts

Dec 10, 2021

Book Clubs Take Note: Discussion Guide: Sister Saint, Sister Sinner

Book Club Clip Art  

When I sent Sister Saint, Sister Sinner to my editor, she was (as usual) helpful about pointing out areas that needed more development, parts that repeated information already given, and places where the logic  temporarily failed. At the end, she made a comment that stuck with me: "People are going to be talking about the things you deal with in this book."

To me, that meant the story was destined for book clubs. Having visited a few in my years of writing, I knew that they often begin with a list of discussion topics. Now, they often don't stay focused on them, and that's okay. Sometimes it's the wine. Sometimes it's a natural progression. But discussion leaders like having questions that can get the conversation back on track when it strays too far from the story.

Every person who reads a book gets something out of it that no one else does. I had the experience once of visiting a book group where one reader didn't like the book and kept bringing up her objections, much to the dismay of the discussion leader. I remained polite when she asked why I did this and didn't do that with the plot. The leader kept moving on to someone else's comments. It wasn't my most pleasant experience, but I recognize that readers will never agree completely on the quality of a book. Authors have to get used to it.

In anticipation of book club interest, I'm posting 20 discussion questions here. You might not want to read them until you've finished the book, since there are spoilers. Mostly they serve to start discussion of a character, a plot point, or a theme. Here are examples from the list:

1.     1.  At the beginning of the story, the sisters have been living separate lives. Now that you’ve finished the book, do you see any significance to their distance from each other?

1.    14.  The relationship between Kim and Drew seems like it was meant to be. What factors in Drew’s makeup contribute to Kim’s attraction to him? 

1 1818. Olin Dobbs becomes for Nettie the son she might have had. Do you believe her support of Olin is a form of redemption for her?


Buy it HERE




Nov 28, 2021

It's Getting Close!


 


You might think "Christmas!" when you read that headline, but for me it's the release of SISTER SAINT, SISTER SINNER on December 15th.

The launch of a new book is both exciting and nerve-wracking. I dread some mistake that I and the many editors and beta readers missed. I drive myself crazy trying to come up with exactly the right categories and keywords to make Amazon and all the other search engines offer up my book when people go looking for something new to read. I'm excited to see what readers think. I'm afraid of what readers might think.

It's complicated.

"So what is this book?" you might ask (Oh, please ask.)

It's not a mystery per se, though it has a murder that eventually is solved. It's more a family drama that spills onto the larger, national scene. But it's not one of those "Aren't these women sweet?" books. These women take matters into their own hands. For better or for worse, they're proactive. And if you have sisters, you'll recognize that the actions of one sister don't always sit well with the actions of another.

Here's a boiled-down version of an advance review from Readers' Favorites:   "Sister Saint, Sister Sinner by Peg Herring was a captivating novel…brilliant plot and unpredictable storyline… fantastic page-turner through stylish writing and flawless character development… a masterpiece."

Aw, shucks... 

Anyway, it's up for pre-order at Amazon and most everywhere. Here's the link:

https://books2read.com/u/bwaGPY

Jun 9, 2020

Looking at Covers-Please Weigh In




The Kidnap Capers is a three-book series starring Robin and her "hoods," who take down crooks by unorthodox, often humorous methods. 
Book 3 will be out on September 1st, so we're trying to settle on a cover. I'd like input from readers on what's eye-catching and gives the sense of a humorous but suspenseful story.
Here are their covers (these are for the audio books because that's what I can find right now):

Keeping the red/black theme, we got these two possibilities. They'll be fine-tuned once we choose a basic idea.



If we skip the idea of coordinating colors, I like this one too:



Please tell me which cover you prefer, or choose elements that work for you that might be incorporated into a new cover (e.g., "I like the lettering in X but the picture in Y.")








Jun 19, 2019

It's Been One of Those Months

We all have them, and at some point we wake up and ask, "Where did the time go?"
My wake-up was my hair. I was trying to make it behave two mornings ago, and I'll confess, I had unkind thoughts about my stylist. What did she do wrong?
Then I looked at the calendar and saw how long it's been since she cut my hair.
Oh. My bad.

The time between early May and mid-June has been a blur of not good things, but I did a radio interview yesterday with Patzi Gil of Joy on Paper, a syndicated author-talk show out of Clearwater, FL. Patzi has been great to me since she discovered, wholly on her own, the first of the Kidnap Capers, KIDNAP.org. Not only did she contact me for an interview last summer, but she also promised to do a second if I let her know when Book #2 came out.

It did, so I did. Here's the website, the interview should be searchable there soon. https://radio-joyonpaper.com/

All that to say that I realized I hadn't yet added PHARMA CON to my website. Here's the info:

The Kidnap Gang, Robin, Em, Cam, Hua, and Tom, take on a pharmaceuticals manufacturer who cheats the public and the government daily and prides himself on getting away with it. The problem is that Neil Preston surrounds himself with "helpers": a sleazy lawyer, a single-minded security manager, a slippery PR man, and his cunning sister. The gang will first have to get past them to get to Preston, which means everyone has to play his role perfectly.

Questions to be answered: Can they get past Preston's complicated security and into his Stalinesque estate? Does the appearance of Robin's old flame mean complications they can't overcome? Will the hooker they've hired as an assistant help or hurt the caper? And what clever methods will the gang come up with to convince Preston to end his cheating ways and use his company's power for good?

Universal Buy Link
Available in print (Amazon) and e-book (link above). Audio is under way!

Dec 3, 2018

So Much to Do, So Little Time

Readers are aware that I'm making the Loser Mysteries mine by getting new covers, re-editing (which I shouldn't do but can't stop myself from), and re-releasing them. That's enough to keep me busy...sort of. The problem is there's lots of wait time. Wait for proof copies. Wait for beta readers to comb through for those last few niggling mistakes. Wait for more proofs. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

Because I can't stand to be idle, I took up a side project: the sequel to SHAKESPEARE'S BLOOD. I blame this on a reader who claims it's the best book she's read in years--how's that for incentive?
When I had an agent for SHAKESPEARE'S BLOOD, she told me to work on the sequel while she shopped the book to publishers. Being the good girl I am, I did that. Then after a year, I got a letter saying she couldn't sell the book (though she said she still loved it) and she was dropping me as a client. That's how it goes in the biz.

Anyway, I had the book, and Amazon had begun making it easy to do your own e-books, so I released it that way. There were glitches, because it wasn't quite as easy to do a good e-book as I'd thought, but eventually I got it right and it was out there. A while back I decided to make it a paperback. Got a new cover and did that, which is how the reader I mentioned above got hold of it.

With her comment, I recalled the sequel, pretty much finished but just lying at the back of my computer. With time to wait for Loser, I brushed up CHARLIE DICKENS' DOCUMENTS and sent for proofs of that one. Teaser: Mercedes Maxwell, the protagonist of SHAKESPEARE'S BLOOD, returns to Britain for a second adventure, this time chasing the secrets of Charles Dickens so she can find, maybe rescue, her SO, Colm Kennedy.

So yeah, now I'm waiting for TWO books to be ready...It never ends!



Mar 14, 2016

All Kinds of Mysteries

http://www.amazon.com/Macdeath-Ivy-Meadows-Mys…/…/B00OQJG9NI
I love reading, and I especially love mysteries.
That doesn't mean all of them, of course.
I don't like the ones that are too silly. I can't stand the amateur who should stay out of the way and let the police investigate. I don't like the best friend who gets the protagonist into trouble with her antics.
I want some sense of reality in the world an author creates.
That's why I like MACDEATH. The main character is real, funny but not silly.

http://www.amazon.com/PLAN-Rory-Tate-Thrillers…/…/B00D68H8PI
I also shy away from thrillers that have over-the-top heroes (unless they have a sense of humor). I don't want anyone tortured, even the bad guys. I don't care to read three full pages of gun description.
That's why I like PLAN X. The hero has things to deal with. The action moves quickly. Nobody gets waterboarded.
http://www.amazon.com/Nine-Days-Evil-N-West-eb…/…/B007PJ5PYU

I don't like mysteries where no one is likable. I recently finished one where everyone in the book screamed insults at each other through the whole thing, and I wondered why I bothered. Yes, I wanted to know who the real killer was, but it wasn't really worth it in the end. Time spent with mean, nasty people never seems like a reward. That's where NINE DAYS TO EVIL is good. You like the main character immediately, and you want her to get her life straightened out. I need someone to cheer for,
or a book is disappointing.
http://www.amazon.com/Shakespeares-Blood-Peg-H…/…/B0053GCTLE

And if you know me, you know I love history. That's why I like (and wrote) SHAKESPEARE'S BLOOD. Like the other books, it's set in modern times, but there's a connection to one of my favorite plays, Macbeth. It doesn't hurt to learn a little bit from reading a novel, even if it's alternative history.

Everybody Lies

    First, let me say I'm aware that I make things up for a living, so writing about lying is a little hypocritical. But I don't pre...