Thursday, July 31, 2008

What a deal!

Great news from one of my very favorite authors, Eric Wilson. Any of you who like supernatural thrillers must read Field of Blood.

I will have a review here on this blog soon, hopefully including an interview with Eric.

Happy reading!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

CFBA book of the week: Try Darkness, by James Scott Bell

I read Try Dying back when it was released and enjoyed it. Although I haven't had the opportunity to read this one yet, I plan to soon. Make sure you go read what others are saying about this book. James Scott Bell truly is a phenomenal writer.


Ty Buchanan is living on the peaceful grounds of St. Monica’s, far away from the glamorous life he led as a rising trial lawyer for a big L.A. firm. Recovering from the death of his fiancĂ©e and a false accusation of murder, Buchanan has found his previous ambitions unrewarding. Now he prefers offering legal services to the poor and the underrepresented from his “office” at local coffee bar The Freudian Sip. With his new friends, the philosophizing Father Bob and basketball-playing Sister Mary Veritas, Buchanan has found a new family of sorts.

One of his first clients is a mysterious woman who arrives with her six-year-old daughter. They are being illegally evicted from a downtown transient hotel, an interest that Ty soon discovers is represented by his old law firm and his former best friend, Al Bradshaw. Buchanan won’t back down. He’s going to fight for the woman’s rights.

But then she ends up dead, and the case moves from the courtroom to the streets. Determined to find the killer and protect the little girl, who has no last name and no other family, Buchanan finds he must depend on skills he never needed in the employ of a civil law firm.

The trail leads Buchanan through the sordid underbelly of the city and to the mansions and yachts of the rich and famous. No one is anxious to talk.
But somebody wants Buchanan to shut up. For good.
Now he must use every legal and physical edge he knows to keep himself and the girl alive.

Once again evoking the neo-noir setting of contemporary Los Angeles, Bell delivers another thriller where darkness falls and the suspense never rests.

“Bell has created in Buchanan an appealing and series-worthy protagonist, and the tale equally balances action and drama, motion and emotion. Readers who pride themselves on figuring out the answers before an author reveals them are in for a surprise, too: Bell is very good at keeping secrets. Fans of thrillers with lawyers as their central characters—Lescroart and Margolin, especially—will welcome this new addition to their must-read lists.”

“Engaging whodunit series kickoff . . . Readers will enjoy Bell's talent for description and character development.”
—Publishers Weekly

“James Scott Bell has written himself into a niche that traditionally has been reserved for the likes of Raymond Chandler.”
—Los Angeles Times

“A master of suspense.”
—Library Journal

“One of the best writers out there, bar none.”
—In the Library Review


JAMES SCOTT BELL is a former trial lawyer who now writes full time. He has also been the fiction columnist for Writers Digest magazine and adjunct professor of writing at Pepperdine University.

The national bestselling author of several novels of suspense, he grew up and still lives in Los Angeles. His first Buchanan thriller, TRY DYING, was released to high critical praise, while his book on writing, Plot and Structure is one of the most popular writing books available today.

The book link

Sunday, July 06, 2008

All Worthwhile

My youngest daughter's birthday is July 4th, so it's an extra celebration for us. She's always so excited to get fireworks on her birthday. This year a friend of ours offered to take us in his boat to the Cape Fear River, where fireworks would be shot off of the U.S.S. Battleship North Carolina.

We traveled quickly south down the ICW (Intra Coastal Waterway), wind ripping through our hair and clothes. The salt spray got us a few times as well when our boat crossed another boat's wake, causing the boat’s bow to slam up and down against the water.

A landlubber, I'm not fond of choppy waters and fast speeds, so when we reached the mouth of the river and had to make a right turn in order to come inland, I got a bit nervous. Thankfully, our friend slowed down for me.

It took about an hour to reach our destination, where we were among at least 30 other boats and thousands of on shore spectators. We were trying to set anchor when the display began. I've seen fireworks everywhere from Washington, D.C. to Germany to Disney World, but there's nothing like sitting directly under them when they explode. The sound was deafening and I had to shield my eyes several times because of the brightness. But the feeling of being a kid again, oohing and ahing, trumped any discomfort.

Finally, the show ended and we began our trek home. Now, of course, it was totally dark. The river current was against us, so it took longer to get back to the waterway. Thank God for GPS and depth finders, because we nearly hit a few of the unlit markers when we strayed too close to the boundary of the safe range. I felt so helpless, not being able to control the water or the boat or where the markers were in the almost pitch black. The red and green flashing signs and the GPS were the only things there to guide our friend in the right direction. Thankfully, he was very experienced.

Finally, about two hours later, we arrived back at the marina. I was never so happy to see good ole terra firma! I thanked God silently and our friend aloud for the safe and fun trip. Even though parts of the experience were nerve-wracking, the fantastic show made it all worthwhile.

Isn't that how our lives are sometimes? God is the captain of our boat. He alone knows where the channel is, where the signs are, where the dangers are. He slows down for us sometimes when we're scared. But we have to cross choppy waters--it's inevitable in the journey he's taking us on. But he's faithful. His promise to be with us when we pass through the waters remains a hope for us. And at the end of the journey we will look back on the joys and the trials and see that it was all worthwhile.