Posts tagged ‘fiction’

Book Review: A Man for Kate by G.S.Bailey

Welcome to Goran Vale. A small (fictitious) town in New South Wales.

It isn’t far from Sydney and Melbourne.

It’s a long way from home—and farther from the truth than most folks find comfortable.

Author G.S. Bailey places readers right into the heart of town with vivid and detailed descriptions. We can close our eyes and see a little town reminiscent of Twin Peaks—without the picket fences.

A Man for Kate

A romance served with murder receives 4 of 5 stars.

Meet Kate.

She was left standing at the altar by one of the men in her life.

Early on, we meet them: Paul (her boss), Bobby (adopted brother), Ben (the friendly police officer), Stephen (her first love), and Lance (American insurance salesman). Will one of these candidates be the man for her?

One of them is “special” character. He’s the common denominator that links the major characters. He’s the glue that holds the story together.

Minor characters in Goran Vale are introduced and we learn that everyone seems to have secrets and several have skeletons in their closets (literally.)

Parallel plot lines follow Kate as she looks for the right man and Ben, the cop, who looks for the killer of poor little Melanie Rose.

Bailey does a superb job of weaving a page turner as we rush to learn which search is successful. Clues to the murder turn up when the shooting starts.

Which of the leading men will win Kate’s heart?

Will Kate and Ben find the same man? How do their paths cross en route to the story’s denouement?

A Man for Kate previously appeared as Remains of a Local Girl and Bailey does an efficient job of creating two female characters for whom either title would be eponymous.

A Man for Kate plays well as both a romance novel and a whodonnit. Such are the mysteries of love.

In the end, we leave Goran Vale secure in the knowledge that more books in the “Mystery Loves Romance” series are forthcoming.

Can you hear the Angelo Badalamenti soundtrack?

What the shooter knows before squeezing the trigger.

Group Dynamics crowdTravis Bickle lurks just a few rows from where the President is shaking hands with the crowd.
Twenty yards away, Squeaky Fromme waits with the patience of a tortoise.
John Hinckley is an adolescent who observes every movement.
A select detail of Secret Service Agents execute their duties to perfection.
The President works the crowd and departs the airport unharmed in his limousine, “The Beast.”

From her hotel room on the forty-second floor, Claudia Barry lowered her binoculars, smiled, and thought to herself, I could have choreographed that entire scene.

Her confidence in doing so comes from the fact that she was the first person to earn a (fictitious) masters degree in group dynamics from LSU (or anywhere else for that matter.)

The study of a system of behaviors and psychological processes which occur within a social group, or between social groups and individuals within and/or outside of either, is group dynamics. An in-depth understanding of these interactions coupled with knowledge of the subject individual will assist observers in predicting the subject’s movements and response to the movement of others. Such facts as the subject’s personality profile and handedness are key elements to anticipate reactions as well. (How many U.S. Presidents were left-handed?)

Ms. Barry earned an undergraduate degree in sociology with a minor in psychology from the University of Arkansas. She learned to shoot from her grandfather who was a retired motorcycle repairman (a subtle reference to Zen) and had enjoyed watching the movement of animals in the woods. She attended numerous church services, political cocktail parties, and trials to study the way humans moved in response to others. She took private dance lessons and applied what she learned while moving through crowded subway stations and common areas. Mardis Gras parades were a favorite for personal challenges.
How close can I get to the mayor?
Can I shake hands with the grand marshall on the parade route?
She interviewed street performers and scrutinized every move they made, especially as they interacted with the impromptu audiences.
To add legitimacy to her project and to mask her unconscionable motive, she titled her thesis paper, Security in Space: The dynamics and challenges of providing personal security in high risk environments.

New Release: Life Sentence, Romantic Suspense by @Carolyn_Arnold

Carolyn Arnold’s new suspense romance

“If I pay with my life, you will pay with yours.”

Defense Attorney Bryan Lexan may have just taken on the case which will cost him his life.

When his client, a Russian mafia boss, is convicted of first-degree murder, he vows to make

Bryan pay.

Meanwhile, Jessica Pratt has always prided herself on being a modern woman–you know, the

kind who doesn’t need a man to make her feel complete. So when she finds herself torn between

two, she realizes that not all decisions are based on facts. If they were, her boyfriend, Bryan,

would be the logical choice. He has the family name, wealth, and a stake in a successful law

firm. Only thing is, when she meets Mason Freeman, the chemistry between them is irrefutable

and he won’t take no for an answer.

With both of them caught up in a struggle for survival, and a powerful enemy on their heels,

they’ll need to decide where their loyalties lie.

“Carolyn Arnold…continues the trend of writing exciting stories that keep your attention

throughout…Life Sentence is a thriller all the way…Arnold never disappoints.”

—Barb, The Reading Cafe

“Though unique in her own right, author Carolyn Arnold is a masterful blend of such greats as

Shirley Jackson (horror), Joseph Finder (thrills), and Janet Evanovich (humor and romance).

Life Sentence is powerful and gripping, with so many twists and turns it left me gasping…”

—Betty Dravis, Award-winning Author and Journalist

Get your copy now at one of these fine retailers.
Available in E-Book or Print formats.


Barnes & Noble:




CAROLYN ARNOLD’s writing career was born when a co-worker said “tell me a story”.

From there what had started off as a few paragraphs grew into her first length novel—LIFE

SENTENCE. Her writing has been compared to New York Times Bestsellers such as JD Robb,

Mary Higgins Clark, Sue Grafton, Michael Connelly, Tess Gerritsen, and more. She is the

author of the best-selling Madison Knight series, and Brandon Fisher FBI series. Carolyn was

born in 1976 in Picton, Ontario but currently lives in southwestern Ontario with her husband and

two beagles.

Connect with Carolyn online:



Facebook Fan Page:

Guest blogger, Martha Orlando – author of YA books

My interest in the young adult genre was recently rekindled when I discovered a vintage March 1963 copy of Swiftwater by Paul Annixter. Watch for a blog from me about Swiftwater soon. In the mean time, we hope you will enjoy this guest blog by friend and fellow author, Martha Jane Orlando. Martha is the author of young adult novels and she is from Kennesaw, GA. Her first book, A Trip, a Tryst, and a Terror, is also Book One of her Glade Trilogy. (Available on Amazon in both e-book and paperback) She pens a bi-weekly devotional, Meditations of My Heart, which she invites you to visit at Once there, you can read Martha’s profile,

Guest blogger is author of young adult titles.

Guest blogger is author of young adult titles.

read her posts, and know your comments are always welcome.


Writing for Young Adults and Tweens


Are you contemplating writing fiction for the young adult/”tween” reader? Before you get started on that best seller, here are some tips which are bound to make your venture as successful as possible.

Know Your Audience
I taught middle-school for fifteen years, sixth and then seventh grades to be precise. One great advantage I enjoyed during this time was observing which books my students chose to read for pleasure. I, in turn, would retrieve copies from the school library and read them for myself.
I must have read hundreds of novels during this time period. Though they differed in subject matter, setting, and tone, the most popular always had these components:
· Likeable, believable characters.
· Lots of dialogue.
· Limited, but thoughtfully crafted, descriptive passages.
· A hook/teaser in the first chapter which entices the reader to continue reading the story.
If it’s been years since you have read any young adult literature, pay a visit to your local middle school. Talk with the media specialist. Find out which authors and novels are popular with the students.
Then, read them! Get a feel for the voice and the pace. Note what these books have in common. Is it action? Mystery? Magic? Humor? Or, do they contain a little bit of each of these aspects? Then, develop your story with these characteristics in mind.

Know Your Competition
If you are a baby-boomer, as I am, our childhood amusements were confined to playing outside, engaging in board games, building with Lincoln logs, and watching, when parents permitted, a choice of shows on only three television stations. Reading, for most of us, was a coveted pastime. Books were the kings of the entertainment world!
Not so today . . .
The amount of distractions facing the average young adult in the 21st Century is mind-boggling. I don’t think I need to elaborate here as we know that computer-generated diversions are rife and thriving among the young. And, when our children and grandchildren hear the stories of how life was when we were growing up, they assume we dwelt in the Dark Ages.

Orlando's first book begins a series, "The Glade Trilogy." It has opened with glowing reviews. It deserves your attention.

Orlando’s first book begins a series, “The Glade Trilogy.” It has opened with glowing reviews. It deserves your attention.

How do we bridge that kind of generation gap?
Simple. Tell a great story. One unique and so exciting, it can’t help but uproot young folks from their remote controls and their instant-access wi-fi connections. A story so riveting, they will read loyally and joyfully from beginning to end.
So, ask yourself the following questions: How meaningful and relevant is my story? Is it exciting? Engaging? Memorable? What can I do to hook, line, and sinker my audience?
Answer these questions honestly, and remember: You have competition . . . Big time!
K.I.S.S. – Keep It Short, Sweetie!
Aside from the Harry Potter phenomenon, I cannot recall any of my students toting an oversized book to class. Even Harry had lost his charm with this age group by books six and seven. Lesson learned? Keep it short!
My publisher, thankfully, was all about this. When I submitted my original novel entitled, The Glade, she suggested we convert it into a trilogy. Wow! No better advice could have ever been given.
Sadly, young readers, especially those for whom books are only celebrated at school, are daunted by the length and width of a tome. As mentioned before, the all-competing venues for their attention contribute to their lassitude in tackling large-sized books. Truth be told, it’s downright intimidating and discouraging to them.
And, it’s up to us, as writers, to make amends. To reach them where they are. To love them through our stories. To build their hopes, their faith, their dreams.
To teach them that good things come in small packages, one precious and beautiful installment at a time.
And, for them to learn and wait in patience, as Paul Harvey always said, “For the rest of the story.” Allow them the space and time and invitation to be willing and eager to read more!


Know Your Vocabulary (and Theirs)
I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t in love with the written word, and I was always eager to expand my vocabulary. Such is not the case with the majority of young people today. When in class it was time to begin a new vocabulary lesson, I braced myself for the wails, moans, and gnashing of teeth which inevitably ensued. Even though I did everything I could think of to make learning vocabulary fun, from writing short stories to creating word games, I still could not engage them all.
So, how can we, as novelists, help young people to learn vocabulary and actually like doing so? By introducing challenging or unfamiliar words in context. For example, a seventh grader might not know the definition of “vulnerable”, but if you pair it with the word “weak”, he or she can glean an understanding of its meaning. While they are gleefully reading your delightful story, they are unwittingly expanding their vocabulary knowledge.
By writing carefully and thoughtfully, your words can be the sugar which helps the bitter medicine of vocabulary learning go down!
It was an honor and a pleasure to write this guest post for Chip’s blog. I hope you have found these writing tips helpful, and I am looking forward to reading your feedback in the comments section.

%d bloggers like this: