Book Review: How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method

Title: How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method

Author: Randy Ingermanson

Format: Kindle ebook

Published: 2014

In case you haven’t heard, November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). If you choose to accept the NaNo mission, you try to write 50,000 words of a novel in–you guessed it–November. Some writers just sit down and write (“pantsing” – for writing by the seat of your pants), while others make detailed outlines that cover every plot detail. Then there are the rest of us, who, like Goldilocks, want a solution that’s neither too hot nor too cold. And speaking of Goldilocks…

She is the main character in the business parable that makes up the bulk of Ingermanson’s ebook, How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method. Goldilocks goes to a fiction writing conference to learn how to make her dream of writing a novel come true. She tries Papa Bear’s outlining seminar, but outlining is too structured for her. She tries Mama Bear’s workshop on writing “organically,” i.e. pantsing, but that doesn’t work for her either, so she ends up in Baby Bear’s workshop on the Snowflake Method. What follows is about 40,000 words of Goldilocks’ adventures with various fairy tale characters as she learns how to plan her novel using the Snowflake Method.

As a beginning fiction writer, I’ve found the Snowflake Method exceptionally helpful for thinking through my first novel, and Ingermanson’s book presents it in a way that’s both fun and informative. We learn how to go from a one-sentence summary to a complete list of scenes using a method that provides just the right amount of structure. We also get to see the Big Bad Wolf as a literary agent (yes, really) and Robin Hood as a loveable sleazeball. There’s even a murder, because, you know, fiction needs to have conflict.

The book ends with a summary of the Snowflake Method and the snowflake for the book itself, so readers can see exactly how the method works with a real book. If you’ve ever thought about writing a novel–or if you just want to learn more about fiction writing and how novels are structured–join Goldilocks, Baby Bear, and the Big Bad Wolf for some edifying fun. 5 stars!

Book Review: The Truth Waits

Title: The Truth Waits

Author: Susanna Beard

Format: Netgalley Advance Readers’ Copy Ebook

Published: 2018

 

Thank you to Netgalley and Legend Press for the opportunity to read The Truth Waits before its release on November 1, 2018 in exchange for an honest review.  Please make sure you come back HERE to Book In The Bag on November 9th for an exclusive stop on Susanna Beard’s blog tour!

We meet our protagonist Anna, who appears to be a depressed workaholic.  She resides in England, but, decided to take an extended work trip to Lithuania, where her factory that makes her clothing line is located.  She unfortunately gets stuck in Lithuania due to the volcano that erupted in Iceland and ends up having to extend her stay.  She goes out for a walk on the beach and ends up discovering the body of a dead girl washed ashore, with whom she becomes obsessed with.

Through all the chaos, she hesitantly meets a friendly couple, Gavin and Charlotte, at the hotel bar and ends up talking to them.  Through sitting and talking with this couple she also gets introduced to Will, whom she takes a liking to.  They end up spending a week together while stranded in Lithuania and continue to see each other in England, where they both reside.  Will ends up moving in with her and we see a strange, distant relationship blossom.

It ends up that both Anna and Will have some deep, dark secrets.  In the end both are innocent enough, however, as you are reading your mind takes you to crazy places with what is going on.  I was upset in the beginning of the book because it seemed too predictable and that the book was going down a path of a substandard thriller.  I was so wrong.

This book kept me hooked and became a quick read for me.  I had to know what was going on and I became as obsessed with the dead girl Anna found on the beach as she did in the book.  This was a captivating thriller that I got swept away in.  I appreciated the closure at the end of the book and through all the darkness, we were given a happy ending.

This is a solid 4 star read for me.  It comes out next week so pre-order it now, you won’t be disappointed.  Beard does not disappoint in this fast-paced thriller.  Be warned, if you are looking for a book that you will be able to put down to go to bed at night, this is not the book for you.  She captivates you and makes you believe that you don’t need to sleep for the night, you need to find out what is going on with Anna and Will.  Tune in next week for my review Into The Hollow by Lynn Vroman.  But more importantly don’t forget to come back in 2 weeks on Friday, November 9th for Beard’s stop HERE on her blog tour!

Image

Book Review: The Victims’ Club

Title: The Victims’ Club

Author: Jeffery Deaver

Format: Kindle Single Edition

Published: 2018

Being an Amazon Prime member, I get access to 10 books at a time that I can check out of the Kindle library for free.  I wanted to explore a Kindle Single story and chose this one.  Overall, it took about an hour to read which is great if you are looking for a quick read.  I would not recommend reading this in anything but one (or two really close together) sittings.

What was awesome about this story was you pretty much dove right in to the meat and potatoes.  A university professor was at a party off-campus when she was drugged and compromising pictures were taken of her and spread around campus.  It is up to the job of Jon Avery, private investigator, to figure out whodunit.

You can tell the author has experience and knowledge in law enforcement because he hooks you in.  Right away Avery has taken the case over from a colleague who has to go out of town.  The experience Avery has shines right through and is up against a lot of odds.

Avery feels everyone around him knows who committed the crime, however, no one wants to speak up.  Avery feels that even the college knows who was involved.  The college essentially threatens him that if he goes public with accusing any star athletes of such a crime, he will be punished.

Since this is a Kindle Single, the story is so short we find out who did it quickly.  Honestly, I had no idea it would take the twist it did at the end.  The way that Deaver penned this story was done just so remarkably, you will leave thinking there is hope that not everything is corrupted in this world.  Our protagonist was able to delicately seek out the truth and pull out information from people most people would not be able to.

I am giving this book 4 stars.  I enjoyed this short story and was left feeling as if I read an entire novel.  There was certainly a beginning, climatic suspense, and ending which can sometimes be difficult within a short story.  I felt all the necessary information was presented in the book and you are left satisfied.  Tune in next Thursday for my review of The Truth Waits by Susanna Beard!

Book Review: Lifeline

Title: Lifeline

Author: Abbey Lee Nash

Format: Kindle Edition

Published: 2018

 

Thank you to Hidden Gems for the free copy of Lifeline in exchange for my honest book review!

What a solid read. This book takes us on the journey of a popular high school jock, Eli, who thinks he is untouchable.  He’s the lacrosse captain with the hot girlfriend and thinks he can use drugs whenever he chooses and can stop whenever…then he overdoses and loses everything.  This story takes us on his journey in rehab.

At first, he annoys the crap out of me because he’s being an idiot and not taking anything seriously.  As his time in rehab grows, so does he and I think it really shows how in denial you can be that you have a problem.  This would be an amazing read for any teenager to see it through a teen’s perspective on drug use.

I felt that this book was realistic and did not try and sugar coat anything.  Eli was essentially forced to go to rehab or be faced with crazy charges against him.  As his story plays out over 28 days, I can only imagine how hard it would truly be, especially for someone who does not think they have a problem.  We also learn how Eli’s past led him to where he is today and what he needs to do in order to achieve a better life.

I am sure that there are many teens out there where this is their life and maybe reading this book could help someone.  Even if you aren’t a teenager this book is still enjoyable.  It was very satisfying and I enjoyed how the story played out (even if it bugged the crap outta me in the beginning, however, it gave time for the character to grow).  I felt this book was real and honestly, wouldn’t be bad as required book for young minds to read.  You won’t regret picking this up to read!

I am giving this book 4 stars.  I enjoyed journey Eli went on and enjoyed the friends he made while in rehab.  There were some very tough times, especially when they left the facility, and the fact that those are brought to light shows extensive knowledge on the subject matter at hand.  Abbey Lee Nash did a remarkable job with her penmanship showing how addiction is a disease, life long struggle, and how it ultimately affects everyone around you.  Very powerful.  Tune in next week for my review of a Kindle Single, The Victim’s Club, by Jeffery Deaver.

Book Review: The Diagnosis Is Murder

Title: The Diagnosis Is Murder

Author: Steven Gossington

Format: Kindle Edition

Published: 2017

Thank you to Hidden Gems for the free copy of The Diagnosis Is Murder in exchange for my honest book review!

What an interesting book.  We meet Laura Valorian, an ER doctor, who seems to be carrying some baggage with her.  When it comes to child abuse cases, Dr. Valorian tends to lose her cool and go overboard.  This all stems from her once missing a case of child abuse in the ER and that child goes on to later die.  As the story progresses she works through her issues with this.

The characters throughout this mystery get introduced to us one at a time.  This is much appreciated so you are not overwhelmed at the beginning with a ton of characters to remember.  Gossington builds the characters slowly, but, does not neglect their development.

A fellow colleague at the hospital comes in unresponsive to the ER.  It is a conceited surgeon and he unfortunately succumbs to his “heart attack” and dies.  Dr. Valorian has a gut feeling that he did not die of natural causes and ends up doing some gutsy private investigation work.  Along the way she connects with Alec, a private investigator, who decides to help her out free of charge.  They set forth together and narrow down the potential list of suspects and look for possible motives.

Throughout the story I felt like there were mini stories taking place as well.  Dr. Valorian had a medical student intern in the ER and he came with his own baggage and story.  Alec also comes with baggage and his own story too.  They all intertwined nicely and just when I thought the story was over, it wasn’t.  The little stories ended up combining to fill in the larger story and kept the book going.  I was glad because I was not quite ready end to see the end of Dr. Valorian.

This is book one and I am disappointed there is no book two yet, Dr. Valorian is a very enjoyable character.  It was a fun, light read and kept my attention with the twists and turns.  I also could tell that Gossington has experience working in the ER as those little details shined through in this book.  I also appreciated that this book was not overrun with medical terminology that a common person, such as myself, would have a hard time understanding.  Sometimes doctors get a little ahead of themselves (and show off with fancy words) when they write a book, however, Gossington does not and this attributes to the book being a great read!

I am giving this book 4 stars.  I enjoyed the plot and the ending was satisfying.  I am hoping that there will be a book two and we will see even more character development with Dr. Valorian and Alec, and I will be the first in line to buy book two, you can bet your bottom dollar on that one!  Tune in next Thursday for my review of Lifeline by Abbey Lee Nash!

%d bloggers like this: