Monday, November 16, 2015

5-star review

I certainly did not regret my decision to purchase Antaeus Factor.
It is a skillfully constructed thriller, and at the same time it is a murder mystery, with an intricate plot and well-developed characters. The action takes the reader on a whirlwind ride across the globe.
The scene is set in the first chapter with the unexplained murder of reporter Thomas Allard in
Memphis. A mysterious set of events seems​ to be conspiring to hinder the police investigations. Ron Cable, working in Rome, Italy is approached out of the blue to replace his step father as CEO of the hugely influential company Cable Incorporated. A mysterious series of events sees Ron deported from Italy. This is just one of numerous damaging and unexplained events that seem to be plaguing Cable Incorporated and anyone with any connection to the company.
Lies, deceit, murders, computer hacking and manipulated events designed to shame and embarrass conspire to destroy Cable Corporation. Everyone appears to be working to different agendas.
Antaeus Factor is a thoroughly enjoyable read that will keep you on the edge of your seat. The plot is first rate, scene settings and characters are cleverly constructed with a professional panache. The author has done a skilful job in creating an easy reading novel that ticks all the boxes.

Friday, November 6, 2015


I think it is wonderful that some experienced writers spend so much time answering research questions for the rest of us. Three generous experts come immediately to mind; Neil Low, Dr. Doug Lyle, and Lee Lofland. Many novels have passed the giggle test because these experts went to the trouble of giving an accurate answer to some obscure research problem. Regardless of how well educated you are, you can’t know everything about any given subject, and that is when you go to someone who knows more about it than you do.

Those of us with less experience can also lend a hand by writing reviews of books we like. After all, writers spend long hours pulling all of the threads together to create an enjoyable book. They need (and deserve) your feedback. Enough reviews and enough sales will encourage the writer to write another book in a series, and that is what most of us want.

A young woman I met on a forum was very talented, but she decided to write a book set in the 1950s in the rural South. She was in her mid-forties, grew up in a city in the Pacific Northwest, and had no experience on a farm. She asked me if I minded answering a few questions. I agreed with the understanding that I might pass some of them along to the ‘real’ experts. Fortunately, all of them were about things I experienced when I was growing up. There were many questions over the year and a half she was writing and editing her book. She told me that she was going to thank me again on her acknowledgment page in the front of the book. I got a copy as soon as it was in print and read carefully through her glowing comments that covered three pages. When I got to the end of the account, she mentioned the name of her ‘expert’ which wasn’t me. She also posted her acknowledgements on a forum for everyone to read, and the name she gave was the screen name of another person on the forum. Almost immediately, I received an email from the other ‘Joe’ who was embarrassed to have received credit for something he didn’t do. “How do we straighten this out?” he asked. “This book is already in print.” I had been laughing since I read her account of how her book came together, and was still laughing when he sent his email to me.

“No harm done,” I told him. “And don’t try to straighten it out. It would embarrass her too much.”

I missed my 15 minutes of fame, but I still help less experienced writers, and I do write reviews when I read a book I especially like. When you write a review, you are helping yourself in the long run. A writer you like won’t starve, and he or she might write you another gripping novel. After all, that is what this writing game is all about.