Day: March 1, 2014

Review of ‘Free Tools for Writers, Bloggers and Solopreneurs’

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Free Tools for Writers, Bloggers and Solopreneurs by Karen Banes is a handy book, especially for someone who is just getting started in blogging or writing for publication. A bit misleading, in that some of her so-called ‘free’ tools actually do have a price tag attached, it is nonetheless a good document to have on your computer for occasional reference.

I received a free copy of Free Tools for review. Having read tons of how-to books for writers, I was prepared to be underwhelmed, but Banes delivered adequately. A word of caution: many of the tools are downloads which can, if you go overboard with them, quickly clog up your computer, slowing it to a snail’s pace.

If, though, you want some hints to help you get off to a good start in the blogosphere or the writing game, this is a good place to start.

Review of ‘Death Dues’

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DI Joe Rafferty is a man with problems. His fiancée wants a royal wedding on his distinctly non-royal salary, and his boss is hounding him to solve the muggings of loan shark collectors. As if he doesn’t have enough mush in his bowl, a collector ends up with his head bashed in, and Rafferty and his partner, DS Dafyd Llewellyn must find the killer.

Death Dues by Geraldine Evans is British cozy mystery at its best, with witty conversations between Rafferty and Llewellyn, and no end to twists, red herrings, and misdirection to keep you guessing until the very end. Evans paints a full-color – though not rosy – picture of Essex and its environs, and trots out a cast of characters that you want to love, hate, and smash – in no particular order.

I read a free review copy of Death Dues, and found that I couldn’t put it down until I’d reached the end, and then had to go back to search for the clues I somehow missed the first time through. If you like traditional British mysteries, you’ll absolutely love Death Dues.

Review of ‘Scarlet Revenge’

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Caycee Scarlet is a new FBI Intelligence Analyst, assigned to a task force trying to capture the Omega Killer. Very quickly, Scarlet finds herself caught up in the murky bureaucracy of the bureau and its dog-eat-dog politics. Her life is further complicated by her physical and emotional attachment to FBI agent Gil Graham, who becomes her boss when she is bounced off the Omega task force by its leader who is jealous of her analytical ability.

Scarlet Revenge by Ann McGinnis is a fast-paced mystery that will keep you guessing until near the end. I received a free copy in exchange for an objective review. The love affair between FBI personnel is perhaps a bit far-fetched, and the secret FBI interrogation facility is definitely off the chart (getting a confession that would stand up in court in a facility run like this – a la Guantanamo – would be impossible. McGinnis also has Scarlet doing things that an analyst would never be involved in. These procedural twists, however, are the only negative things I have to say about Scarlet Revenge. Fiction, after all, is about suspending disbelief, and McGinnis’s tight prose and sense of adventure enabled me to pretend that this could have happened.

If you like fast-paced mysteries with something other than the usual protagonists, McGinnis delivers the goods.