Search This Blog

Loading...

About Me

My Photo
I am a lawyer & mother by day & a midnight writer. I just finished my first novel, a legal thriller, JUSTICE FOR SALE. More...

Pinterest

Pinterest
Stalk Me Here

FlipBoard

A to Z Schedule

A to Z 2015

Google+ Followers

CLICK TO TWEET

CLICK TO TWEET
Click Here to Tweet this Blogpost

Repost.Us

My Crimespace Page


CrimeSpace: A place for readers and writers of crime fiction to schmooze, booze and draw up plans for the heist to end all heists.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Have You Heard

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Get widget

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG)

September's Insecure Writer's Support Group Post



It's been a long time since I've joined in on the IWSG post. The IWSG posts are published on the first Wednesday of every month. I wish I could say it's because I've been feeling so confident and on top of everything that I've learned to push all insecurity from my life. Yeah right! 

Show me someone who doesn't feel insecure about something major in their life and I bet they aren't being truthful. 

We are all insecure and that's okay.  It's healthy, actually. Now listen to me ...  the amateur pop psychologist. 

My Biggest Insecurity Relates to Time:

I feel like my non writer family and friends don't understand the lengthy process of writing a novel and having it published. 

"You're still writing a book? But, that's what you were doing all summer?" Or. "I thought you wrote that book last year. It isn't in the stores yet?" 

When will I feel secure enough to think of myself as a full time author and not someone who writes as a hobby?


Being a writer or anyone in a creative field, I believe adds another layer to our insecurities. We don't produce daily or weekly tangible results of our current work. It's hard for non writers to fully comprehend how much time and effort is involved in the process of writing a novel or whatever you happen to write. There is so much more to it than just jotting down words that turn into sentences. I always wanted to write a book, but until I seriously decided to make it happen, I didn't realize the extent of work involved. Sure we write, but that's just the tip of the beginning. 

Then comes rewriting, and revising and more rewriting and revising. Then, if you're lucky enough to figure out what you're doing, you can take all of your newly acquired knowledge and apply it to your work. If you're like me, not only was your first draft crap, but maybe you're entire first book was crap. Only after learning the craft and acquiring better skills can you apply them, but for some of us it takes a really long time to let all of that sink in. We've worked so hard on our first book, the one we think is going the be the next greatest novel, that we are reluctant to let part or all of it go ... and begin again. That part, for me, took years. When I finally accepted that if I wanted to become a published author, I had to be able to recognize my earlier work for what it was. It was the story inside of me that needed to come out, but not for the world. That's hard to accept.

I love that quote and it applies to writers as much as actors.



Once we accept it, we can truly begin to write a novel.

Then comes the really hard revisions and rewrites, followed by our critique partners' showing us all the areas that need improvement. That plot hole or a character's arc that needs further development. Once we finally get it to the next level, we have to find beta readers and then make more revisions. For many of us the next step is a developmental editor followed by a copy editor, then a line editor. Once we have a final and polished draft are we there yet? Hell no.

Now comes the even harder part. Sending your work out there in the form of a query or pitch and waiting for the rejection letters until finally we are matched with an agent. Is that the end? Hell no. Our fabulous agent might require boatloads of change and more revisions. The fabulous agent has to be able to find an editor for a publishing company willing to take a look. What I'm saying is that the road to publication is long and hard and along the way, we feel insecure.  And from I've read from many of your who are already multi-published authors, the insecurity doesn't end there. Reviews, sales, marketing, our next book. The list is endless.

In my lifetime, I've witnessed a plethora of insecurity. There are two very different kinds of insecure people and how we act on our insecurity, defines our character.

When it motivates and challenges us to work harder toward our goal, it is a strength.

It's when an insecure person allows her insecurity to rise to the level of jealousy or envy that it becomes a flaw. 

I'm honored to belong to this amazing group of people. We cheer each other on and we are genuinely happy for the success of others. I've never encountered a group of people more willing to give their time to help struggling writers. It makes me proud to be a part of this group.

So, what's eating at you this month? Feeling insecure? Please share.

You've come to the right place.

IWSG

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It's a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds.


Tweet: Feeling Insecure? Visit blogs from Insecure Writers Support Group #IWSG


Twitter Hashtag #IWSG


Check out the other post. Here is a list of the Insecure Writers Support Group Members.

It's hard to believe that it's been four years since Alex Cavanaugh formed the IWSG

Check out the IWSG Anniversary Announcement. It's big.


This month's co-host are


Murees DupĂ© - She has some amazing, big news of her own. Make sure you stop by her blog and learn more about the release of her debut novel.








Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Blogger Verses Wordpress: The Best Blogging Platform

Choosing a Blogging Platform: Pros & Cons of Wordpress and Blogger

I use Blogger or Blogspot as my blogging platform. Let me tell you why.


First of all, I'm far from an expert when it comes to blogging. I'm probably the most technologically challenged blogger bud you have. I have no idea how to write code and if not for the help of the experts over at TCBOTB, my blog wouldn't have any upgrades or cute little fonts or labels. I don't know jack about code, html, site hosting, shared server hosting, Virtual Private Servers (VPS), Cloud hosting ... yada yada. Hell, I still haven't figured out where this damn cloud is that is holding all my photos and documents hostage. It's out there ... so my kids tell me. 

I started blogging for fun and I wanted to connect with other writers/authors/bloggers with shared interest and Blogger seemed like the easiest choice. In defense of Blogger, they've made many style updates and bloggers have many more options when it comes to design and style. It's taken me years, but I've finally taught myself how to add widgets, photos, links and a few other accessories. I'm still a cut rate beginner and that's where I'll probably remain. I don't plan on taking any computer or code courses.

Many of you have probably heard me tossing around the idea of switching from Blogger to Wordpress. If I do, I will switch to Wordpress Dot Org, not Wordpress Dot Com. There are far more advantages and swag to owning your own site on WordPress Dot Org. I wouldn't even consider moving my blog to another platform unless I owned and controlled my website/blog.

I haven't made up my mind.

In fact I'm scared shitless about making such a bold move. Just look at me.


The move seems like quite an ordeal and one that I'm not technically up for. Although, WP users swear by their platform and the web is flushed with easy to follow tutorials. But, can a computer simpleton like myself follow those so called easy to follow instructions?

Here's how I see it: The advantages of moving from Blogger to Wordpress:


I currently reside on Blogger and while I've purchased my own domain name, I'm still only renting space. I am a tenant, renter, lessee.

Bottom line: I do not own my home on Blogger. 


If I move to WP, I will purchase my new home on the blogosphere. 

In the real world, I recognize the benefits of owning my own home, but if I am new to an area, I might be better off renting until I get a feel for the location. The question is: how long should I rent, before ponying up and become a home/land owner and enjoying all of the rights and benefits afforded an owner?

What I like Most about Blogger:

I am familiar with the platform and have pretty much learned how to use it.

I've made some amazing friends on blogger via Google Friend Connect (GFC), and I am worried about losing them if I move.

But, I also recognize that Google can take GFC away from me any day. I believe they've already stopped new blogs from even installing it. I know that Google no longer allows WP bloggers to use the widget.

We all know how easy it it for Google to yank the rug out from under you. They took away Google Reader and many speculate that GFC is next. Hell, half the people I know have hinted that it's only a mater of time before Google pulls the plug on Blogger/Blogspot all together. Then what? I guess all of us using the Blogger platform are up shit creek, not only without a paddle, but without a life preserver and facing riptides and a strong current.

I'm not a complete idiot. Yes, it has to be better in the long run to own your own blog; have control over your content, ads, and widgets/plugins. I understand we can hire a hosting service. So, what is holding me back?

One of the biggest drawback and I don't know how many of you have come across this, but there seems to be a big divide between the WP bloggers and Blogspot bloggers. During the A to Z challenge, I read many WP blogs and the authors came right out and admitted that they seldom if ever even read Blogger blogs because they claim it is far too difficult to leave a comment.

It's hard for me to leave a comment on WP blogs, as well, but if I like the blog, the author or the content, I make the effort and I find a way to leave a comment.

I'm certain that all of you know the wondrous, ingenious Arlee Bird, the mastermind and creator of the acclaimed A to Z Blogging Challenge. If not, you must be living in a hole or in solitary confinement at a super max prison. Arlee is one of the nicest, most helpful bloggers you'll ever have the honor of knowing. I read his blog post last week over at Tossing it Out and he made some good points about cross over commenting that really stuck with me.

Arlee wrote about all of the WP blogs that he follows. He regularly leaves comments, but he's noticed that quite a few of the WP bloggers that he visits: here let me give it to you straight from the gurus mouth:

"One of the first things I'm going to be tackling is my subscriptions to a number of Wordpress blogs that I've followed over the years.  There are many that I regularly read and comment on and they never seem to acknowledge the existence of my blogs.  I've already begun unsubscribing to many of those."

Arlee went on to say that he fully intends to maintain the wonderful friendships with the WP bloggers he interacts with. After reading his post, I felt like he'd ripped the thoughts straight out of my brain. Mind reader? Nope. Just another blogger who is feeling the neglect of some WP bloggers who make zero effort to reciprocate. It stings! It hurts. And he's right. we have too little time to continue following and commenting on blogs who fail to acknowledge we exist.

How do you feel about Wordpress bloggers who refuse to or can't comment on Blogger blogs? For all of you WP bloggers ... is it really that time consuming or too difficult to leave a comment on a Blogger blog? I have WP friends who manage to leave comments and I have (hands down) the worst commenting system out there ... Disqus. I know it sucks. Don't throw rotten bananas at me.

Any ideas how we can remedy the cross platform commenting issue? 

How many of you Blogger/Blogspot bloggers are content with your platform and intend to remain indefinitely? Do you see any drawbacks to your preferred platform?

Those of you who have made the switch from Blogger to WordPress ... any ideas or suggestions for someone on the verge of making the move? Can you recommend a specific theme? Hosting service? Other necessary services?

Those of you who are still using the Blogger Platform ... are you contemplating a move to Wordpress? What factors are you considering? What, if anything is making you reluctant to switch from Blogger to WordPress?

Those of you who will remain loyal Blogspot bloggers: Will you share the reasons behind your decision?

And finally ... Blogger/Blogspot bloggers ... how afraid are you that Google will yank the rug out from us and leave us high and dry without a blog to call our own? Have you taken any counter measures to ensure this doesn't happen?

If Google gives us the big Fuck Off ... then what?


I realize I'm bombarding you with questions, but I am confused and on the fence. A decision of this magnitude requires much thought.  I don't want to make a rash decision. 

And, if I make the move to WP, can anyone recommend a custom website/blog designer who specializes in creating WP blogs and transferring blogger blogs to Wordpress?




The suggestion box is open! Please speak up & voice your thoughts & opinions.

Tweet: Weigh in on the WP vs Blogger debate #blogging
Tweet: Weigh in on the WP vs Blogger debate #blogging
I appreciate any input and suggestions you can offer.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Do You Mary Sue?

It's Up to You ... Do You Still Like Mary Sue?

It's Been a While Since I've Screened My Characters Through the Mary Sue Test:


Is your character all knowing, powerful, flawless, pretty & perfect?


I'm sure my characters have enough flaws, maybe too many. But whenever I see this test, I can't help but give it a spin. If nothing else, it's quite fun.

It just might be time for another Mary Sue test for the protagonist of my current novel.

I'm a little worried that I may have taken her from Mary Sue to Bitchy Brenda Lou.

Here's another test, I came across. It's an interactive Mary Sue Test. But, this test is definitely geared more for fantasy novels. The first one works for all genres. 

This Mary Sue -test is a lot more comprehensive and asks the questions I remember from years ago, like if your character is named after you, resembles you or works in your same industry or profession.

And here ya go, for all the male protagonists ... is your character a Marty Stu? Damn! Poor dude. He has to lose the name or his looks might not be enough.
Because a Marty Stu + a Mary Sue = one
 dimensional, unbelievable characters who are too perfect and laughable. 
Don't get me wrong. I'm not implying that your characters have to be ugly, stupid, and so flawed that they are beyond redemption, but you get what I'm saying.

Most of us know if our characters are a little too good to be true. Hey, we don't like making a mess of someone we created, especially if their image and features and personality are already second nature to us. That's why it can't hurt to take an objective step backward and participate in a few fun quizzes, just to make sure, we've given our beloved characters enough flaws and imperfections to make them real on the page.

Or try this one on for size. Are you a Mary Sue & Marty Stu Critic? This quiz will (supposedly) alert you if you've gone overboard in the opposite direction. Are the characters you taged as Mary Sue or Marty Stu, really that bad, as in too good?

Or are you someone who harshly judges other writers' creativity? Whoa! A site making fun of those who judge Mary Sue characters. This should be fun. Or not.

And finally ... the official Mary Sue litmus test

Then just for the hell of it, hop over to Fuck Yea Character Development

This last site is not for taking the Mary Sue test, bur for questioning the absurdity of such test. Check out the Original Anti Universal Mary sue Litmus Test

Wow. Who knew? So much conflict for poor Mary Sue and Wimpy, but hot & sexy Marty Stu. Marty Stu needs a better name or he's gonna continue getting his ass kicked, wherever he goes.


Need some more ideas?

Want to morph your pantywaist, paladin, demigod, diva into a sneaky, badass Mary sue? Try this site for ideas on transforming your loyal, perfect character into a badass.


Have you taken these test? For fun? Or do you place any stock in the answers and outcome?

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Egg Donation: Big Bucks for Elite Eggs

Egg Donors: An Altruistic Gift for Infertile Couples or a Baby Factory?


Seeking: Single white female, Ivy League college degree, blond, blue or green eyes, tall 5'9 minimum, slender, athletic, IQ 130 or above, musically inclined,  Jewish heritage, SAT score 140 minimum, excellent bone structure, gifted, excellent health, non smoker, no alcohol or drug problems in extended family, no mental health issues, coordinated, perfect vision and hearing, excellent breeding. 


Nope. This is not Harry the hunk's online dating service profile.






Nope! Not a job listing in the classified section.

It's a human catalogue. Egg donors fill out questionnaires and fertility clinics catalog the available egg donors with pages of beautiful, young, educated, talented, women. Prospective egg buyers peruse the catalog scrutinizing the girls and their pedigrees. Females offering their eggs are required to list their names (some companies use code numbers), height, weight, hobbies, IQ and asking price. Yup, you heard me. A price tag accompanies the offering. This is after all a business transaction.

And many couples are searching for the Golden Egg



 And they are willing to pay top dollar for A Perfect Match. Click on the link to the left and take a gander at some of the perfect match ads.


Bright Creative Egg Donor

Wanted by playful Boston couple. We recycle, floss & respect our elders. 


Generous Compensation Provided







Men have been donating sperm to sperm banks for decades and with the advancements in assisted reproductive technology more and more infertile couples are becoming parents. Reproductive technology will always be a controversial subject and many have strong opinions on the topic. I'm all for it. If not for a variety of assisted reproductive options, I wouldn't have any of my loving, bright, beautiful children.

But not eggs are created equal. Fertility and egg donor organizations have what they refer to as their "A" list; exceptional donors and the price tag on Grade A eggs reflect what people consider the quality of the eggs.

A Perfect Match advertised a $500,000 reward in an Ivy League Newspaper for egg donors meeting their criteria.

I'm all for assisted reproductive technology and I am in favor of sperm donors, egg donors, embryo donors, surrogate mothers, gestational hosts, IVF, adoption and other means that allow loving couples to fulfill their life long dream of becoming parents. Becoming a family. I advocate the rights of women to choose this option and the rights of women to donate eggs. I firmly believe the donor should be adequately compensated for her time and any pain and suffering involved in the process.

I don't know exactly where I draw the line. I think most of us who may have traveled this area, and given the option to choose your egg donor, would attempt to match with a donor who shares some of your physical attributes. There's nothing wrong with wanting a child of your same race and even who shares your basic physical components. If I were using an egg donor I would be interested in her mental and physical health history and that of her family. It's the same with adoption.


But ... when does one cross the blurred ethical line.


My search on the Internet showed me that Jewish and Asian donors with exceptional educational backgrounds and pedigrees are currently in high demand.

What's you take on this subject?
Should we be able to choose purchase the best that money can buy. Does the government need to step in and offer some real guidelines in this industry

Please watch this short trailer shown on We are Egg Donors. Sonja O'Hara, a New York writer and actress, starred in the narrative film based on her experience as an egg donor. Ovum is meant to spur conversation about eugenics and the unseen side of the market for elite and top shelf eggs, according to We are Egg Donors.

This teaser trailer is very short, but a must see.


Please share your thoughts on egg donation. For it? Against it? Should we be permitted to get into bidding wars for elite eggs. What about siblings who grow up not even knowing they are related? What problems can we foresee in the future?

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Check out Kristen Lamb's Post


The talented and intuitive Kristen Lamb has penned an excellent article over on her blog - 


Lies, Denial and Buried Secrets - How to Create Dimensional Characters:

https://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/2015/07/15/lies-denial-buried-secrets-how-to-create-dimensional-characters

I'm posting this from my phone so I can't mange to create a hyperlink to her blog.

Lies, Denial and Buried Secrets - How to Create Dimensional Characters. 

She expounds on how we show a different side of ourself to different people and we don't do it to be deceptive . It's part of life. We all do it. We have our mom face, work face, the face or mask we show our acquaintances, neighbors, friends and then the truer face we share with our more intimate friends.

It's an interesting read and a helpful article for anyone struggling to create more believable, dimensional characters. Take a look. You'll be glad you did. 

She is also offering a second chance for writers to participate in her class: Hook Your Readers - The First Five Pages

Check out her blog now to find out more and read all about using lies and secrets to add character depth and also tension, mystery and suspense to your novel.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Fixer -- Joseph Finder Explores Secrets, Corruption, Greed & Father Son Relationships

The Fixer by Joseph Finder: Finder's Latest Novel: Important to Finder that the Book be About Fathers & Sons:

The Fixer by Joseph Finder

Verdict: 5.0 Stars out of 5 Stars


Finder is one of those authors who writes fast paced books you can’t put down, but it’s a bittersweet love affair with a book that you can’t put down. You hate for it to end and the faster you read, the quicker you get to the end. Ugh, now I must wait another year for his next book — always worth the wait. Do I wish Finder’s books came out more often? Hell yea! Would I want him to sacrifice his storytelling techniques, trendy exploration of themes and taut, gripping narrative just so I could read more of him? Hell No! 

We don’t need any more James Patterson clones who put out 20 books a year (okay I exaggerate a little), all of them now “Co-authored,” by another author. Hint hint: I don’t think I’m exposing any big secret here by sharing my opinion that Patterson no longer writes his books. I’m sure its a win-win for the co-author. They write the book, do the work, but hell, who wouldn’t do that for their name in print at the front of the bookstore — yes a real live bookstore. Patterson’s co-authors benefit from the experience. The thing is, as readers, we don’t know what we are getting. When each novel is co-authored by a different author we can’t look forward to a certain writing style or the unique voice of a favorite author. 

 With Joseph Finder, Michael Connelly, Lisa Gardner, Harlan Coben, Chevy Stevens and a few others … I’ll bide my time and wait the year or more for the next book because I know I won’t be disappointed — well normally I’m not disappointed. Every author hits a low from time to time. I haven’t experienced that low or slow speed or anything remotely resembling a down hill ride with the brilliant author, Joseph Finder. The names I've linked to above will take you to my reviews of the author's novels.



The Fixer explores the lengths to which people will go to cover up mistakes, accidents or anything that might cost them money and even further lengths people will go to cover up crimes, their past and to keep things hidden.




Investigative reporter, Rick Hoffman sold out on his dream of becoming the next Woodward and Bernstein for a high paying job writing puff pieces for a Boston elite magazine. He did it for the money and glamour — sold his soul, but the cash flow and expense accounts didn’t last when the magazine cut the print edition. 


Almost out of cash and fresh from a recent breakup with his gorgeous-model fiancee, Hoffman returns to his home town and is forced to live in his father’s run down, dilapidated home that hasn't been occupied for years.  His father lives in a nursing home and hasn’t spoken a word since his stroke, eighteen years ago.  Hoffman begins renovations of the family home with the help of one time friend and neighbor and discovers large amounts of cash hidden in the walls of his father’s study, to the tune of over three million bucks.
 Where did the money come from? Before his stroke, his dad made barely enough money as a lawyer to keep his two kids in private school and the house afloat after their mother’s death.



What’s a guy to do when he finds three million bucks. 
Me, I’d probably hide the money and ask no questions, but that wouldn’t make for a very suspenseful story now would it.

 Left in the hands of the talented author who brought us Suspicion last year and the concept has all the makings for the next big thriller film. In 2002, Finder’s novel High Crimes was made into a major motion film.

Rick hides the the money, well most of it and sets out to learn where it came from. Some things are better off not known. Some things are better left buried. 

Rick, begins the novel as a somewhat superficial, egotistical, status seeking jackass who is more concerned about image than people. His former fiancee, points this out to him early on. She pegs him when she alerts him that he never loved her — only the image of her, his decorative arm piece, his trophy girlfriend. So he pockets about a hundred grand and hides the rest. After bumping into a former high school girlfriend, one he dumped because she didn’t fit into his future image, Rick drops about ten grand on new clothes then wines and dines her with the upper echelon of Boston, ordering expensive caviar dishes with ridiculous names like Beggars Purse and a four thousand dollar bottle of wine. Andrea is anything but impressed.

.

While Rick doesn’t garner the attention he hoped from his former flame, dropping 25K in a weekend draws the attention of just about every person Rick doesn’t need on his tail. 
It doesn’t take long for the bad guys to pick up on his new found wealth and Rick finds himself in one ass beating, near death situation after another.

“Who have you been talking to?” The thugs want to know as they crush his ribs. Hmm … not “Where is the money?”

We are taken on a 374 page ride of Rick trying to find out where the money came from and along the way, Rick learns that he never really knew his dad at all and by the end of the book, Finder has transformed the MC from a selfish, image seeker into a decent, caring man who vows to do the right thing, regardless of the costs. He is willing to risk his life to ... well I can't tell you that or it would spoil the book.

Joseph Finder is by far one of, if not the best author I’ve read in a decade. His last two stand alone novels have given us ordinary people who are thrust into extraordinary circumstances and he is the master of upping the anti at the perfect moment. Just when we begin to believe Rick is safe, wham bam his world is torn a part again. Throughout the book the character is given plenty of opportunities to leave well enough alone ... stop asking questions about The Fixer … the cash bank … and some other long buried secrets. But the investigative reporter in him can’t quit. What he learns about his father gives him the courage and drive to continue his quest for the truth.

Turns out dad had more to hide than money and his law practice involved some shady big hitters. Rick’s dad was what’s known as a Fixer, hence the title of the book. 

Corrupt? Or just the price of doing business in a big city with the big boys? We all have our own opinions, morals and ethics. We all have different backgrounds in the under-goings, under the table, behind the scene events in politics, city government, construction contracts … 

I’m from Louisiana so none of this is unbelievable in the world where I grew up. I hail from the great state of Louisiana where we having bragging rights to Huey Long and the charismatic Edwin Edwards as two of our finest governors ever. One of the more infamous quotes in Louisiana about Edwards has always been — “He may be a crook … but he’s our crook.” 

What I Liked:

 His writing is action packed, fast paced and the suspense builds and builds with perfect mini climaxes at the perfect time.

 The chapter ending cliffhangers that made it impossible for me to stop reading.

 His dialogue is real, full of subtext and never, “on the nose.”

 A lot of authors are able to keep my attention once they grab it. The last few books I read took me a while to get into , but I kept going at the insistence of others, (The Girl on the Train for example), but Finder never fails to captivate me from the beginning. He grabs you on the first page and never loses you.

 With Finder there are no sagging, drooping, dragging middle areas. Many authors could cut their pages by about 100 and get the same result. Not Jo Finder. The man doesn’t waste space and never waste our time (the readers).

His characters are believable. None of the perfect Mary Sue or super smart, too good looking, MC’s with awesome jobs and perfect families — no, we get real life people we can relate to. We’ve all had issue with our parents, regret for things left unsaid or undone or regret for things said without apology. Most of us have dealt with an aging or debilitated relative in a nursing home or assisted living and we know the guilt that accompanies those visits, lack of visits and the general thought of putting them in a home rather than caring for them ourselves. We’ve all lost a job or a fiancee or suffered heartbreak, divorce, embarrassment, humiliation, etc. His characters are made up of tiny components so real that each one of us will resonate on some level. His characters are flawed and we witness the actual character transformation. He doesn’t just tell us that Rick is a selfish … and then at the end throw in one gratuitous scene of character revelation. We watch it unfold, transpire before our eyes and it is done with such impeccable precision and timing that the author doesn't call attention to it or take away from the story’s plot. In fact the character arc enhances the plot.

 His writing is clear, concise, succinct and to the point. No purple prose here or wasted space on overly described characters or settings. If an office building looks just like any office building then it doesn't require a page and a half of fluff, but if there is something unusual or unique about a particular setting, Finder shows it to us via all the senses. He is particularly strong in this area. Using the sense of smell, taste and sound, all of which conjure up vivid images in our mind. He doesn’t rely solely on sight. I love the way he introduces new characters with a short physical description, but gives us something in their mannerisms or way of speaking that make them memorable and distinctive.

Finder's novels are always filled with plot twists and unexpected reveals. The closer you get to the end the quicker the twists funnel in. He always sets them up early in the story and the pay off is usually a whopper.

 Finder never fails to remind the reader what's at stake for the main character and what he stands to gain or lose. He puts his MC in danger, and his life is threatened — not just threatened, but the threats are acted on and the character is beaten nearly to death ( great symbolism here,) but if I discuss it I will give away one of the best secrets revealed in the book

Dislikes:

I really don’t have any. This book does require some suspension of disbelief. I've said this a million times — you can’t write a tight, fast paced thriller or read one without the willingness to suspend disbelief. This is especially true now in the digital era. Bad guys could always find the MC or money or whatever secret, hidden item they are searching for in a matter of seconds with computer hacking, GPS devices, Phone spying software etc. But if we want to continue being entertained with thrilling novels of suspense, then we know in advance that we are expected to suspend disbelief. If not, I suggest reading memoirs and other non fiction.

After writing the draft of this review, I learned that Joseph Finder's own father died while he was writing The Fixer.

Read Amanda Orr's Full Review of The Fixer, where Joseph Finder said in a phone interview that his new suspense novel, The Fixer, is his most personal book. "My father died while I was writing it," Finder said in a phone interview. "The story started out differently than it ended up. It was important for this book to be about father and sons."


Finder discussed The Fixer, on June 10, 2015 on Murder Books

You can purchase The Fixer at Amazon.


Read more about the author, Joseph Finder on his website.

Read more of my Novel Reviews


What are you currently reading? Have you read The Fixer? If not, I highly recommend it. What books are on your summer TBR list?