Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Book Review: Guardian of the Horizon by Elizabeth Peters

I really wanted to like this book. I'd heard about the Amanda Peabody mysteries for years and the idea of an archaeological exploration in Egypt intrigued me. It started off well enough, introducing the characters, setting up the adventure, and making me feel like I was going to settle into a good read.

But after about one hundred pages, I was wondering when the suspense was going to start. It seemed as if every time our valiant band of adventurers was about to get into serious trouble, the Father of Curses, aka Emerson, Amanda's husband, is recognized by the bad guys and the danger evaporates. Because they always escaped harm, I had no desire to get back to reading the story.

Maybe it's because I'm currently reading James Scott Bell's book on Conflict and Suspense that I'm very aware of where the conflict is or, in this case, isn't. Maybe I've become too used to the breakneck pace of thrillers. Even cozy mysteries, which are character-based and used to have much gentler openings, are much more focused on getting the murder up front and putting the sleuth in peril. Mortal peril at the end of the book when the sleuth confronts the killer.

For whatever reason, I was disappointed in this book and probably won't be reading another in this series.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Faith, Hope, and Murder Released!





Finally, after several years of writing, rewriting, editing, and formatting, I'm thrilled to announce that my edgy Christian fiction mystery, the first in the Community of Faith series, is now available on most major online retailers as an ebook.

I know this book will not be to everyone's taste. The religious theme is too strong for mainstream publishers. And the characters are too "real" for Christian publishers. But I'm writing about Christians (and those who might or might not become Christians) as I know them. The Christians I know are flawed. They have bad habits. They say bad words sometimes. They have doubts and fears. They make lots of mistakes.

It was the story I wanted to tell and I decided over a year ago that in order to tell it, I'd probably have to publish it myself. As it turns out, that probably was not the worst idea I've ever had. Publishing is changing so rapidly it's hard to keep up. As publishers consolidate, there are fewer opportunities for new authors to find a publishing home. And, threatened by the popularity of ebooks and the decline of print book sales, they're offering authors less advantageous terms and payment while expecting authors to do more of the work, particularly with marketing their books.

It's exciting as well as daunting to have total control over your own destiny. There's a lot to learn, a lot of frustration, but also great rewards when you finally pull up your book on your nook and see it listed with all the other books on Amazon. And, if someone actually reads it and likes it, so much the better!

Summary:


When Faith Andersen’s best friend asks her to help a stranger with a legal issue, she has no idea that Ursula’s problem is a fiancé convicted of murder. As a web designer, Faith’s knowledge of law is sketchy at best, but, having just lost her job, she has plenty of hours to fill.
The victim, a smuggler who brought both drugs and human beings over the Mexican border, had plenty of enemies. And even more dangerous friends.
Pastor John Menard has problems of his own. His ministry rocked by scandal, he’s already lost his wife and may just lose his congregation. It’s too soon after his divorce to think about another relationship; but there’s something about the pretty skeptic that draws him to her.
As Faith investigates the murder, she finds herself with more questions than answers. Who killed the coyote? Is Ursula really who she seems? And has Faith gotten herself into more peril than she’s ever imagined possible?
If this sounds like something you'd like to read, you can find it at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords.

And now I'm off to do the Snoopy dance