Day: January 29, 2017

5 qualities of a brilliant story

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Nail Your Novel

3389004318_2e8d3200fb_zI write a lot of posts about problems with book drafts. But isn’t it just as important to look at the positive? If we listed the qualities of a brilliant read, what would they be? (Plus, I think we need a feelgood post.)

So, as I sit here on Sunday morning in London with an hour to get this post out of my head and into the grey matter of the blogosphere, this is the list I’ve come up with. I hope you’ll storm your brains and join in at the end.

Here goes.

Deft use of details

A writer needs to give a lot of details to evoke the setting, time period (if it’s not contemporary), distinguishing features of the characters, points about the weather. A skilful storyteller will smuggle a lot of these in as part of the action. A historical period might be evoked by showing a character…

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Review of ‘Operation Tropical Affair’

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A few weeks into her field training, US Fish and Wildlife Service Special Agent Poppy McVie busts a couple of bear poachers in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. In the midst of that operation, she’s called by her boss and told that she’s being reassigned. Her new assignment; go undercover in Costa Rica with a special operations team already in place to bust an animal trafficking ring.

In Costa Rica, Poppy has to deal with Special Agent Dalton—just call me Dalton—who is wary of having an untested female agent assigned to the operation, even though her cover is as his wife. It doesn’t help matters that they’re attracted to each other, Even worse, Poppy finds herself drawn to an animal rights activist who is after the same illegal operation for his own purposes.

Operation Tropical Affair by Kimberli A. Bindschatel is well-written thriller that takes a deep dive into the illegal animal trafficking business, while at the same time giving the reader a close-up view into the emotions of the characters. Masterfully plotted, with lots of action, this is that rare message novel, it gets the message across without preaching, and it entertains. This author knows  her stuff.

Five stars for an entertaining read.