Tag Archives: #bookseries

Ever get angry at a book?

Ever get angry at a book?

Well, I have. I did yesterday and, to be honest, 24 hrs after finishing it, I’m still pretty pissed off.

And yes, I know that I don’t usually have a rant on here.

Indulge me, please.

Now, I am well aware that “people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones” but as an author, I sincerely hope I never leave any of my readers as frustrated and disappointed as I was late yesterday afternoon.

And before any of you ask – no, I’m not naming the book or the author as that would be unfair. I am sure that there are countless readers, more than have ever read my own efforts, who have loved every book in the series.

However, I do know from checking the reviews on Amazon and Good Reads that I’m not alone in my feelings of frustration and disappointment here,

The series in question here runs to five books. Books one through to three had me gripped, totally invested in the central characters’ relationship. I was well and truly hooked! I needed to know where they ended up. Would they get their “happily ever after” by the end of book 5?

From the start, book 4 felt a bit “different”. It felt cold. It felt rushed. It was lacking in description. Scenes that in the earlier books would have been fuelled by emotions were almost glossed over or were missing altogether. Key points from the threads of the storyline from book 3 were all but forgotten, much to my annoyance.

In all of the books I had overlooked some of the UK/US inconsistencies.  If you are resident in one or other, I get that it’s difficult if not impossible to get the vernacular totally accurate for the other. I have faced the same challenge while writing but from the opposite side of the equation.

As I read voraciously through book 4 the % read rose steadily but the storyline stalled out….

Suddenly, totally out of character of the style in the first 95% of the book and the others in the series, the reader was propelled “six months later” then “two years after that” then “ten years on” …. then it ended.

But there was still book 5…. or was there? I actually went back to my Amazon account to check that I had read them in the correct order!

Initially, swallowing some of my bitter disappointment, I dived straight into book 5 and immediately pulled up short.

Now, I’m fairly sure that, if I had kept reading, I would have gained some fresh insights into tales already told in books one to four but I’m sorry the author lost me forever when reference was made to racoons ransacking the trash cans in a burgh in London. 

Reality check moment… a simple Google search by the author or their editor could have saved the day and pointed out that London is pretty much out of racoons in the wild, but it didn’t.

Kindle closed.

I am so annoyed that this author has let her characters down here. She sold their story short, and I’d love to know why? Did she fall out of love with them? Was it a deadline that was looming and time ran out? Was it a word count issue? If so, why not stretch the telling of the couple’s tale into book 5 and spare us the flawed retrospective? Was it a case of writer’s block? Was she just bored by them?

I am so frustrated that these strong characters were short-changed in this way! (You might have figured that out already.)

So, here’s my plea to you, my readers, if you get any sense that I’ve sold my characters short please tell me!

Most of you already know that I too have written a five-book series (For those who didn’t know, it’s called the Silver Lake series and you can find it on Amazon), but I feel I stayed true to my characters to the very end. Yes, not all of them made it through all five books. People come and go in books as in real life. I wrote the Silver Lake series over a period of seven years and these fictitious characters became like old friends and I knew they deserved the best storyline that I could create for them.

I ended the Silver Lake series with a definitive ending before I could be accused of running out of ideas and of repetition. It was a tough decision to reach but I feel strongly that it was the right one.

Will my characters be back one day? Yes quite a few of them will. Will some of the sub-plots from the Silver Lake series be explored further in future? Yes, I certainly hope so. Will some of them get their own books? Most definitely!

As an author, I learned a valuable lesson from reading the four books of that unnamed five book series. It showed me the importance of being true to your characters and in delivering for your readers. I certainly have no intention of “cheating” my readers out of their “happily ever after.”

Rant over…. two-star review left online.

(image sourced via Google – credits to the owner)

A Romantic Read…..what does that really mean?…..

 

romance

Step back in time about fifteen years… I would spend my lunch breaks at work lost in a book…that was until a colleague teased me about reading “dirty books”. Lunchtime reading stopped abruptly, and I started to read a newspaper instead. (Actually, the book I was reading at the time was Until I Find You by John Irving- just in case you were curious.)

Return to the present day…. I spent my lunchbreak at my desk reading my Kindle. No one knows what you’re reading with a Kindle. To be honest, half the time I’m not sure of what I am reading as you don’t see the book’s cover or title after you’ve started reading.

However, I’ll confess, the novel I was reading at lunchtime today is utter filth.

It’s someone’s “book baby” though and I’m not about to tear it to shreds as I know and understand only too well the blood, sweat and tears an indie author puts into their work. (There are a few continuity errors and spelling mistakes that I’d love to correct but that’s the indie author coming out in me.)

Like a certain “shady” series, this one got me hooked with its male lead. He’s a complex, messed up character. He’s gorgeous and well inked. He’s a “Bad Boy Rock Star” extraordinaire.

It’s got me thinking.

NO! Not about THAT! (Well, maybe a little……)

It’s got me thinking about my own “rock star” and the quality of my own writing. I’m not searching for compliments here. That’s not where this is going!

Mr Bad Boy Rock Star has had sex, rough sex at that, with just about every female character in the four books. He’s had these “ladies” just about every way you could possibly imagine!

Is this what readers expect from a rock star romance novel?

I checked online and that particular series is badged as “new adult romance.”

New Adult Romance is an emerging sub-genre of romantic fiction with protagonists in the 18-25 age bracket. It’s a genre intended to follow on naturally from Young Adult Romance  which tends to explore coming of age romantic encounters, first love and teenage fumblings. All I can say is that these guys must have been fast learners!

I’m 30% of the way through the final book in the series in question and, to be honest, they only reason I’m still reading it is that I’m nosey. I hate giving up on a book once I’ve started it, no matter how bad it is. I need to know if this jerk finally gets his girl back. I’ll not be sorry when it’s done.

Some “book boyfriends” you miss when you reach the last page.  (Caesar Blue from another indie author’s series springs immediately to mind – and he was a ghost!) Despite his hot rock star looks and body and tattoos, I won’t be sparing this guy a second thought once I’m done!

So, back to where this has all left my head about my own book babies….

I turned to Google for some clarification:

“contemporary romance” – the largest sub-genre of romance novels; books that are set in the here and now, give or take a decade or two.

“erotic romance” -no, not erotica- erotic romance- this sub-genre uses the sexual interactions   as an integral part of the relationships between the central characters without detracting from the storyline.

“rock star romance” – one of the small sub-genres that kind of speaks for itself.

So, where does that leave Mr Power?

I like my characters, male and female, to be believable. I do my best to craft tangible relationships between them. My characters have flaws and bad habits (no one is perfect) but they also have integrity (I hope!) Any romantic storyline has to go beyond “hand holding” to maintain any credibility.

I guess where my head is now at is that the Silver Lake series fits the criteria for erotic, contemporary romance along a rock music theme.

And, if its too tame for those readers in the New Adult Romance bracket then I’ll apologise now for being a romantic at heart.

 

(image sourced via Google – all credits to the owner)

Book Baby 6…yes, it’s a work in progress

facebook_1583595355196

It’s been a while since I mentioned my current “work in progress” aka Book Baby 6…ok it also has a “real” title but I’m keeping that under wraps for now.

Book Baby 6 will be the 5th book in the Silver Lake series…and, yes, it will also be the last book in the series.

DON’T PANIC, Silver Lakers, there will be more from some of your favourite characters in the future…. I promise!

A few folk have asked me why I am ending the series and the reasons are simple-

  1. Personally, I feel that 5 books in the one series are enough. I don’t want folk to start thinking I’m kicking the ass out of it.
  2. From an indie author angle, it is getting harder and harder to gain traction from book  bloggers and book reviewers to help promote the books. Getting reviews is always a bit of a slog but getting bloggers/reviewers engaged for book 5 when they perhaps haven’t read the others in the series is tough…very tough! ( If you are a book blogger and are interested in reading and reviewing the series, please get in touch. I have eARC copies available)

So where am I at with the story?

facebook_1583595258043

My best guess is that I’m 25/30% of the way there with the first draft. To continue the pregnancy analogy I’ve used for previous book babies, we’re still in the first trimester! I’m onto the second notebook out of a probable five.

facebook_1583595232864

I’m not the best planner when it comes to writing out the plot, planning the storyboard etc but this time I have a plan, a timeline, key scenes in mind…hell, I even know how it’s going to end!

But, for now, you’ll need to be patient 😉

Ok….I’ll tease you with a little tiny piece of it…

Everything round about him felt warm and familiar. The silky soft Egyptian cotton sheets. The weight of the duvet. The gentle ticking of the grandfather clock in the hallway outside the bedroom door.

He was home…

He glanced to his left and smiled. Lori was curled up on her side still sleeping peacefully, her long golden braid draped across the pillow.

There’s a LOT of work to be done over the coming months!

If you’ve missed the first four books in the series, there’s plenty of time to catch up. I’ll add the sales links at the bottom for you.

Book Baby 6 has a target publication date of “early 2021”. (No, I’m not being any more specific at this stage!).

I think I’ve teased you enough 🙂

20200112_163332

 

If you’ve missed the start of the series then check out the first four books today-

 

Amazon.com links –

Stronger Within – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VXDSC1M

Impossible Depths – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01C0GS30K

Bonded Souls – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XSQHG71

Shattered Hearts – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ZY8ZSDM

 

 

Amazon.co.uk links –

Stronger Within – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00VXDSC1M

Impossible Depths – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01C0GS30K

Bonded Souls – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XSQHG71

Shattered Hearts – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07ZY8ZSDM