Monday, December 31, 2012

Honor Code: A Review


Back in Crazy Crazy November (aka NaNoWriMo), I teamed up with an awesome group of women, and we became the Dangerous Divas...writing to help the Dead Sexy team win the Entangled Smackdown  contest. 

Cathy Perkins was one of my team members, and in the middle of all the crazy, crazy writing, she sent me a copy of her latest release, Honor Code

The blurb:  In a small southern town where everyone knows each other's business, veteran detective Larry Robbins must solve the disappearance of eighty-year-old widower George Beason.

When evidence arises that Beason may have left town on his own, it would be easy for Robbins to close the case, but his gut instinct tells him more's at stake. As he uncovers clues about Beason's deceased wife and his estranged daughter, Robbins must untangle conflicting motives and hidden agendas to bring Beason home alive.

What a good read!  I've always loved mysteries--my first "real" book memories are of Nancy Drew, Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators, and let's not forget Encyclopedia Brown (even though I could never figure out the clues).  I'm a little better at guessing what's going to happen these Blake Snyder (the Save the Cat guy) said (and I'm paraphrasing here, because I'm too lazy to look up the exact quote), It's not so much WHO dunnit as WHY dunnit. 

I think I knew pretty early on WHO dunnit...but the WHY was quite the conundrum...and as the detective, Larry Robbins, follows the clues, I was reminded that nothing is ever black and white.  Every life has it's dark moments and bright spots, and people get twisted up by the decisions they make, which sometimes lead them down darker paths that are better avoided. 

I would like to get to know Larry better...during the course of his investigation, he begins to question some things about his own relationship with his wife, and he makes a couple of turns himself.  I thought that was cool. 

Honor Code is linked to Cathy's other release, The Professor , but it's definitely a stand alone book.  I haven't (yet!) read The Professor, and didn't feel like I was showing up at the party after everyone was already two drinks ahead of me (which happens to me almost every time I start a series any where after the first book). 

So anyway.  Shameless plug for a new friend:  Buy Honor Code!  Read it!  Enjoy! 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Merry Eight Days Til Christmas!

Uh, oh. 

Did you know that Christmas is only eight days away? And, okay, seven shopping days, because our family starts the party on the 24th. Gah! I finally went shopping yesterday, though. Go me. Got--sort of-- done. Granted, I did some shopping online and there will be gift cards. 

Anyway. I spent last week cleaning up my NaNo manuscript. I participated in this Entangled Smackdown thing through the Savvy Authors website. The group I was in, Dead Sexy, won--which means that our imprint (Dead Sexy is the romantic suspense line) scored the most points for showing up and suiting up--and the authors who participated earned the opportunity to compete for the chance to be published by Entangled. 

We got an email last Monday from editor Nina Bruhns that said something along the lines of Hey! Send what you've got, with your beat sheet and a query letter, and one of you will get published.

To which I said to myself, You've got to be freaking kidding me.  Not only is this not finished, the story changes directions sixteen times in the 68,000 words I have written. 
Not to mention how many "that's" and "her eyes looked" and "her fingers felt" there are in there.

But hey...what do I have to lose? Okay, maybe I could get my email automatically added to the Dead Sexy spam list, but otherwise, what do I have to lose? 

I enlisted the help of my friend Laura, who graciously looked for as many overused and misspelled words as she could find (why don't I notice the spellcheck suggestions myself?).  I managed to edit SOME of the manuscript. I put together a beat sheet that explains the story I'll be telling once I've rewritten the thing. Wrote a real live query letter and sent the whole mess off. 

And now I have renewed motivation to get back to work and finish this book! I think I'll be buying a few more gift cards to finish out the Christmas shopping, and see if I can hire an elf to do some wrapping so, I can "wrap" things up on my book. HA HA HA. I crack myself up.

Merry Almost Christmas and Happy Belated Hanukkah, and Joyous Whatever Else You Might Be Celebrating!