Sunday, December 30, 2012

Blonde Demolition,my thriller, is free today. Help me get into the Top 100. Thanks cmr

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Review:November Hunt By Jess Lourey

November Hunt

By Jess Lourey
ISBN: 978-07387-3136-0
A 2012 269 page TP release
From Midnight Ink Books

The eleventh novel in her Murder By The Month series brings sometime librarian-cum-private investigator Mira James squarely up against some respected town leaders. Mira is angling to become a licensed P.I. and needs many hours of supervised investigation in order to qualify. Given that her account in the local Battle Lake bank is flatter than the pancakes served at the local eatery, she has two powerful motives to take on the investigation of a local philanthropist and business man’s murder by his long time buddy.

November in Minnesota can be cold. Not only does the weather provide impediments, so do many of the town’s citizens, but Mira perseveres against bone-cracking cold and icy stares. The author is a good writer and the story is enhanced with clever characters, and a lot of tongue-in-cheek dialogue.

The series is known for the self-deprecating insouciance of the main character and her slightly twisted outlook on life. The danger of this kind of approach is in going over the cliff. Sometimes the impact of a really powerfully crafted scene can be lessened by the odd verbal swipe.

The plot is well designed and while there are few large surprises, the author spins this tale tightly and nicely to its conclusion with the aid of several interesting and amusing characters. This edition contains a series of discussion questions which can be useful to book clubs.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I note that the author and I are long-time acquaintances.<\p>

-- -- Carl Brookins,
Case of the Great Train Robbery, Reunion, Red Sky

Friday, December 07, 2012

911 technology in the U.S.

Here's an interesting 'infographic' on the technology behind 911. Thank you to Benjamin Gaw, Director of Digital Relations,
for forwarding this. 

His contact info is: Direct: 858.869.0571 Fax: 866.780.5126 Email: 10935 Vista Sorrento Pkwy, Suite 200 San Diego, CA 92130

 5Star medical alert


Crime Fiction/Psychological Thriller
Sequel to The Traz 

 FATAL ERROR eBook in the UK 

COVERS and covers

I am totally unaware of why I like or don't like a book's cover. When my publishers send me a cover proposal, I immediately show it to my husband, my daughter-in-law, or my website designer, all of whom have a WAY better sense of what makes a good cover than I do.

That said, I am smart enough to see when a book cover attracts people and when it doesn't. I've published books that people merely glance at and books that "call out" to readers. I watch their hands reach out for them subconsciously. KILLING SILENCE is in the latter category.

"That looks good," readers tell me when I hand out bookmarks. "Ooh, what's this about?" they ask, taking the book into their hands.

Exactly the kind of thing a writer wants to hear.

Amazon and other on-line bookstores have changed cover art, because a lot of detail is lost when a book is shrunk to the size readers see when they get little hints like "People who bought this book also bought..." Print books might still have beautiful colors and images, but they fade into blurs in those tiny squares.

Simpler is the trend, but a cover shouldn't look naked. I've set up at book fairs next to people who so obviously designed their own covers that it's almost painful. Yeah, they think it's "stark" and "evocative." Too often, it looks cheap.

I tried the less expensive route once, hiring an art student to design a cover. It turned out that "student" was a relative term. This one had no sense of perspective, no real interest in making a cover that popped. Luckily for me, my web guy saw it (he almost choked) and offered to work on it. Using the same images, he made the cover you see below, a vast improvement on the flat offering from the student.

I recently recovered the rights to a book published with a cover that always made me a little uncomfortable. At the time, I thought, "The publisher knows what will sell," but it turned out that particular publisher didn't know much at all. I've contracted with a professional artist to do a new cover for the book, one whose work I saw through a fellow author's website. She's been wonderful, and I'll post her cover here as soon as it's finalized, early next week.

So what's my cover recommendation for those planning to publish their backlists and more? Unless you've got experience in graphic arts AND an artist's eye, pay someone to design your covers.