If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

August Interviews

8/5 Lucy Burdette, The Key Lime Crime

8/12 Maggie Toussaint, All Done With It

8/19 Julie Mulhern, Killer Queen

8/26 Debra Goldstein, Three Treats Too Many

August Guest Bloggers

8/8 Leslie Wheeler

8/15 Jean Rabe

August Interviews

8/22 Kait Carson

8/29 WWK Authors--What We're Reading Now


Congratulations to our two Silver Falchion Finalists Connie Berry and Debra Goldstein!

Paula Gail Benson's "Cosway's Confidence" placed second and Debra Goldstein's "Wabbit's Carat" received Honorable Mention in the Bethlehem Writers Roundtable 2020 short story contest. Congratulations, Paula and Debra!

Susan Van Kirk's Three May Keep A Secret has been republished by Harlequinn's Worldwide Mystery. The WWK interview about the book can be accessed here. We're so glad another publisher picked up this series.

KM Rockwood's "Burning Desire," and Paula Gail Benson's "Living One's Own Truth," have been published in the anthology Heartbreaks & Half-truths. Congratulations to all of the WWK writers.

Please join Margaret S. Hamilton's Kings River Life podcast of her short story "Busted at the Book Sale" here. Congratulations, Margaret!

Look Margaret S. Hamilton's short stories in the new Mid-Century Murder by Darkhouse Books. Margaret's story is titled "4BR/3.5BA Contemporary."

Grace Topping's second novel in Laura Bishop staging series, Staging Wars, was released by Henery Press on April 28th. Look for the interview here from April 29th.

Annette Dashofy's 10th Zoe Chambers mystery, Til Death, will be released on June 16th. Look for the interview here on June 17.


Friday, November 16, 2012

Book Reviews : William Casey Moreton’s The Search and Dana Donovan’s Eye Of The Witch

Book Reviews: William Casey Moreton’s The Search and Dana Donovan’s Eye Of The Witch

Jim recently blogged on this site about free books offered on Kindle. He said he had not read anything that made him want to buy another book for the author who offered one book for free.
That has been my general experience too.  Most of the books that I’ve downloaded, I’ve tossed quickly due to editing and writing shortcomings.  Putting up a book that is not ready is a good way to demonstrate your writing weaknesses and to lose potential readers. But I believe the free book strategy can work, if the writer has put in the time and effort that good writing requires.  The two books below qualify.

The Search
by William Casey Moreton provides a roller coaster thrill ride.  The pace kept up my interest throughout the entire book.  There was plenty of action and distinctive characterization.  His style was to follow a number of characters individually as the story lines arc toward a collision of conflicting interests and needs resulting in an explosion not everyone will survive.  Interestingly, I read a new version of the book recently uploaded by the author.  Early reviewers reported editing issues that I did not see in this version. Apparently the author recognized the problems and corrected them.

Eye of the Witch by Dana Donovan is a good book with parts that are below average and parts that are exceptionally good.  To deal with my criticism first, there is a lack of continuity.  The book appears to be set in the future but it includes vocabulary of the past, which provides a jolt to readers (or at least to this reader) “boom box” and “video tape” are technologies that are already outdated in the present.  I don’t believe they will be widely used in the future.  Parts are repetitive. One character eats a lot and frequently.  He is described as eating a meatball sandwich, then a turkey, then candy bars and on and on.  I think it's an attempt at humor.  Detectives interview a witness/victim/suspect, asking a few questions. Then they do the same with another person, a third person and then a fourth.  Next they interview the first person again, briefly again and the round robin starts again.  In this mystery the author does not “play fair.” Unlike Christie, Sayers and Tay in the past and Hart, Grafton and Pickard in the present the solution depends on a series of unlikely events and relationships which are impossible to guess from the information given in the book.

What the author does quite well includes: a powerful opening that induces the reader to care about the detective, a strong entrance of the witch and a clear, compelling description of the magic involved in this paranormal setting.  I wish the author had devoted the time she spent developing her ideas about magic to developing knowledge of writing mysteries.  Despite its faults, I can recommend this book due to the author’s skill and her strengths.



E. B. Davis said...

Are these books still free, Warren?

Warren Bull said...

I don't think they are still free. I think they were temporarily free to introduce new readers to the authors.

Linda Rodriguez said...

I have to say that I'm with Jim. In general, I've found few of the free books worth reading. I have found a few exceptions, however. Not surprisingly, they turn out to be books that were trade-published originally, had gone out of print, and are now put out as e-books by their author.

Gloria Alden said...

Warren, I've been winning some free books by responding to blogs. So far, I liked the one by Edith Maxwell (Trace Baker) SPEAKING OF MURDER, have started Maggie Touissaints book IN FOR A PENNY, and like what I'm reading so far. The third, FACE OF THE ENEMY by Joanne Dobson & Beverlie Graves Myers I haven't started yet. I buy a lot of books at conferences that sound good when I hear the authors speaing on a panel, but sometimes they don't live up to my expectations. If the book is only okay I probably won't read more by this author, and if I really don't care for it, I don't finish it. Fortunately, most of the books I buy this way I like. Actually, maybe that's unfortunate because now I have too many authors I like and want to follow their series.

Warren Bull said...

Linda, Yes self-publishing is great for out of print books.

Warren Bull said...

Gloria, I like blogs and conferences as sources for authors to read.

Britt Vasarhelyi said...

Warren, I guess I've had better experiences than you -- or my quality controls are out of whack.

I'll read anything Joseph Flynn writes and loved The Purples by Warren Berger. Nuclear Winter Wonderland was a hoot from start to finish and Death on a High Floor ranks right up there with the best of legal thrillers (IMHO). The Billy Boyle series started with the first novel being free and then was picked up by a publisher. I also enjoyed Lexi Trevillian's first book (name escapes me). These are just a few that come to mind.

My site of choice for finding and downloading is http://www.ereaderiq.com/free/. =, which purports to have all the free books online at any given time. I download whatever looks interesting and then use a simple formula to decide which ones I'm actually going to read. (After all, Amazon stars and reviews can be unreliable.)

I start reading and, if there are typos, bad grammar, or awkward sentences, I dump it on the spot. If not, I read the first chapter, unless I get bored before I finish. At the end of the first chapter, if nothing egregious is wrong, I'll continue reading IF the book has a spark, I like the characters, or it has me hooked in some other way.

I could, of course, simply read the first chapter peek that Amazon sometimes offers, but often I have time to download a few books but no time to read.

This way I'm exposed to new authors and I don't have to spend a lot of time wading through them to find the good ones.

I realize this may not be everyone's cup of tea but it works for me.


Warren Bull said...

Thanks for the information. I will check out the website.

Paula Gail Benson said...

Thanks, Warren. I always appreciate hearing about new authors.

dana e donovan said...

Warren, thanks for your thoughts on Eye Of The Witch. I've heard similar concerns regarding some of the points you mention and agree there is certainly room for improvement.

E.B. Davis, Eye Of The Witch is still free at most ebook outlets (Amazon, B&N, Kobo, etc.) It is book two in the series.

To all, please accept my thanks for your participation in this discussion and allow me to get you started with book one in the series (The Witch's Ladder)Free. You can download it in any e-format at Smashwords, using promo code NK73P at checkout



E. B. Davis said...

Thanks for letting us know, Dana.