While some of the books I review on my site are furnished by the publishers, authors, or publicists for the purpose of review all of my reviews are truthful, honest, and my sincere opinion.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Review: Lost + Found by David Trotter

I won a copy of this book through Library Thing's Member Giveaway as a giveaway from the author.

About the book

After 10 years as a pastor, David was burned out and stuck in a life and marriage that lacked passion. His desire for an intimate partnership led him to leave his mistress of ‘ministry’ and run into the arms of a real-life mistress — his wife’s best friend. After moving in with one another and spending forty days together, the woman abruptly left to go back to her husband and four kids, and David’s life hit rock bottom.

This first-hand account of what led to his burnout and life implosion takes the reader on a raw and intimate journey…from illicit affair to hospitalization and ultimately to reconciliation with his wife and family. This is a powerful story of redemption that will leave the reader both challenged and inspired

Visit David Trotter's website.

Follow David Trotter on Twitter.

My Review

This was a really good book. I can only imagine the hurt that writing this book brought back to Trotter. But I have to say he did a great job.

I always find it hard to review books written about actual events and/or people. To me the people in the stories are just characters while I'm reading, even though I know that they are real people and that these things really happened to them. I want to say that these were great characters, they seemed so real, because they are real. This was so emotional, there were the highs and lows. My heart truly ached for David as he tries to put his life back together, only to have it smashed to pieces again.

The story was so emotional, I'm actually surprised I didn't cry through the entire book. David's breakdown was so raw, being able to describe what he was going through to someone who was not there is no small feat. I was able to understand what was going on in his head and how he rationalized his decisions. Having been in a similar place in my life before I guess I have a better understanding of what he was going through. Had I not been in a similar situation before would I have understood as much? I would say yes, I think you have to go into this story with an open mind. If you look at it as he had an affair and that makes him a horrible person I don't think you will enjoy this book at all.

What I really liked about it is that I didn't get the sense that he was leaving anything out. He threw everything onto the table and really explained what was going on in what had to be the darkest time of his life. I can't say that there is ever a good reason to have an affair, and I think this book really shows the dark side of affairs. Movies tend to sensationalize affairs and this is a real look at the damage that is done to all parties involved.

Lost + Found: Finding Myself by Getting Lost in an Affair

Review: Audiobook: Private by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

Thank you to Anna at Hachette for sending me a copy for review.

About the Book

Former Marine and CIA agent Jack Morgan inherits his father's renowned security and detective business--along with a case load that tests him to the breaking point. Getting to the bottom of an NFL gambling scandal and an unsolved LAPD investigation into 18 school girl slayings would be enough. On top of all that, Morgan takes on solving the horrific murder of his best friend's wife.

As Morgan fights the urge to exact brutal revenge on that killer, he has to navigate a workplace imbroglio that could blow the roof off his elite agency. And it's an especially explosive situation . . . because the love affair is his own.

Get more information about Private by visiting Hachette Book's website.

You can also visit James Patterson's website.

My Review

The story in this one was pretty good. There were a few things going on in the story, and I felt like if they had focused more on less of the plots that this could have been so much better. Not that it was bad, it was just a little disjointed to me. Private is a P.I. firm that seems to have their hands in everything, apparently all across the globe.

I liked the characters in this one, although I didn't really connect with any of them. Jack was so confident and strong. He was the glue that seemed to hold a few different lives together. Yet he had his own "glue" so to speak. Each character had some "quirks" (for lack of a better word) that added to the team from Private's ability to solve their cases. There were so many characters, and since I was listening instead of reading, that I can't fully remember all of them. (Sadly I'm even having trouble remembering most of their names).

I liked the story, and I think that this would make a good series. I kind of get the feeling though that maybe this is going to be a series and Patterson and Paetro wanted to introduce us to many characters in setting up for later books in the series. I could be totally wrong on this, but I get the feeling that this was a set up for a series...

The narrator was pretty good also. Peter Hermann apparently has appeared in many shows that I watch (watched) but I can't place him in any of them, which helps add to the ability for me to connect to the book rather than the narrator. His voice is very good for reading, he's not monotone, but he's not "perky". He had different voices for each of the characters, and does a good job of relating the feelings of the characters through his voice.

Overall I think this was a good book, but that it could have had a few less story lines. Like I said this had the feel of the start of a series and maybe some of the story lines could have been saved for later. I liked it and at the same time I was a little disappointed in it.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Guest Blogger: Stephanie Draven

Today I am happy to have author Stephanie Draven as a guest blogger. Her latest book Poisoned Kisses came out earlier this month. Here is Stephanie to talk about how her books come together.

Sometimes the Sex Comes First

Usually, when I’m writing a story, the first thing that comes to me is a premise. For example, when I wrote Midnight Medusa, I knew I wanted to write a story about a modern day gorgon. Other times, I’ll get a character voice in my head and I want to know more about him. But sometimes, when it comes to writing paranormal romance novels, it’s the sex scene that comes to me first.

This is important, because the way an intimate scene unfolds can tell me more about the people I’m going to write about than any character study might. The setting of the sex scene tells me if my characters are desperate people or hedonists, if they’re exhibitionists or very private. The position they choose often tells me who is sexually dominant and who is uninhibited. The way in which my characters will fall into bed reveals either a slow and steady seduction, the mark of self-control, or an animal hunger. If there’s any whiff of taboo about the love scene, anything
subversive about it at all, I try to deconstruct what it says about my heroine’s deepest fears and desires. In short, a sex scene should never just be a sex scene. It’s another opportunity to give the reader insight and to develop your characters at their most raw.

Another reason to start with the love scene is to make sure that it’s something I can appreciate as an author. What turns my characters on doesn’t always have to be what turns me on--but it can’t be anything that bores me. And in a romance, it can’t be anything that repulses me, or else it will repulse the reader too.

To that end, I’m of the firm opinion that a love scene should be as hot as an author can make it within the confines of the genre, or else close the bedroom door. But the heat comes from the scenario--the set-up, if you will. Otherwise, it’s all about inserting tab A into tab B and that’s not very exciting, which is exactly why starting with the sex scene might actually be the best way to
begin writing a romance novel.

Stephanie, I think you make a great point. I've always wondered about love scenes in books. Even when following the same author the love scenes are usually so different from character to character. I can't imagine that every scene is one that the author is turned on by, because they are so different. And I like the idea that the sex scenes give you a better idea of who the characters are. I've never really looked at those scenes as giving insight but to see if from your point of view I get it now. Thank you so much for sharing with us. I have my copy of Poisioned Kisses in hand and am now eagerly waiting to get to it!

You can get more information about Stephanie and her novels at her website.

Thank you for reading!