THE THREE-YEAR RIDE! — Derek Barton

Anniv Blog

Three years ago, I created this blog and established my site and social media footprint in order to advertise my book and to give my fans a place to reach out to me.  This has been a crazy but fantastic ride!  So thankful to all of you who’ve come along as passengers on my little quest.

Here’s the growth from year one to now:

SUBSCRIBERS:

  • 2019 = 70 WordPress, 11 Email & 488 through Twitter & Facebook.
  • 2016 = 11 Email

VIEWS/VISITORS:

  • 2019 = 4,488 — 2016 = 1603 views
  • 2019 = 2,475 — 2016 = 659 visitors
  • 2019 = 61 — 2016 = 19 different countries

POSTS:

  • 2019 = this is the 115th post!! (26 so far this year)
  • 2016 = 37 posts

GIVEAWAYS:  18 Individual giveaways for Book, Audio, Amazon or Metal Bookmarkers!

 

As you know if you’ve been following my goal blogs, I use a bi-montly process that has actually been quite effective.  Here are the goals made and fulfilled from July, 2018 through June, 2019:

  • Complete the Audiobook for In Four Days. Now out on Amazon, Audible & Kindle! N4D Revamp 2018c
  • Create/organize this year’s 2018 Indie Fantasy Book Giveaway with several other independent authors. Was a decent success — this year’s increase in participation & what we are giving away is a nice testament to that!

2019 Indie Book Giveaway Ad

  • Find at least two places to do a book-signing appearance. Did four book signings but due to finances and low turnout I couldn’t justify doing more…but with several books released now, I will be on the prowl for another couple signing spots this year!  Would also like to get into one or two comic-cons, but cannot promise that due to having to usually register months in advance.
  • Finish editing for Elude #1 & #2.
  • Design the book cover for Elude #1 & #2.
  • Write the end of Elude #3.  Elude Ad 2019The entire series has been completed, book covers designed then redesigned, and soon to be released in audible format by the end of the first quarter next year!!
  • Send out Monthly Newsletters by 15th of the month.  I have been successful with this and plan on continuing.
  • Keep up The Hidden saga on the website every 2 weeks.  Accomplished this and have published the entire series on Amazon & Kindle!cover
  • Start my outline for Book #3 for the Wyvernshield Fantasy series. Still trying to get through this one. Coming up with the battle plans and the intricate plots is a whole lot more complicated than you’d expect! Plus, with this being the finale, I want to do better than “What-did-you-do-to-my-Game-of-Thrones?!”… UGH!!!GoT s8
  • Write up and prepare for writing in the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) Challenge in November — Book #3 will be my focus for NaNoWriMo! (50,000 word count goal!)  I participated in this last November, but my outline had too many holes so it only garnered 26,000 words… However, it’s a good start!
  • Craft a video book trailer for Consequences Within Chaos and The Bleeding Crown.  (Can you say strettcccchhhhh gooooaaalll???)  This will happen — but trying to make Wyvernshield #3 a priority right now.
  • Start another web saga?  May have to have a survey for which genre to pursue — fantasy or horror.  Decided to do a Dystopian/Fantasy saga:  Juxtaposed…  Now working on Chapter Four. JX CH 2
  • Thinking about setting up a service to other authors for possible book cover design.  Maybe…  I did get this off the ground and have had some success doing covers, editing & proofing for other writers. I plan on continuing this as the work has been sporadic and not too overwhelming so far.
  • Begin a four-part guest blog swap with fellow writer Adam Mitchell and complete a Blog Interview with him! (This will be my first ever blog swap and should be a lot of fun!)  This has been a success — our final and fourth blogs are due out this month.  Check out Adam’s here!  For my blogs, click here!

 

Thanks again to all of you for your continued help, support and following me along this bumpy road!  It has been the greatest adventure of my life!!

Anniv Blog v2

 

Reviews of Audible Book AND 80s & 2019’s Movie Versions of Stephen King’s Pet Sematary — Derek Barton

PS VS PS

Pet Sematary

by Stephen King — Horror Novel

Released on November 14, 1983 — 561 pages

Narrated by Michael C. Hall (of the Dexter television series)

 

MOVIE ADAPTIONS:

1989 Pet Sematary — Screenplay written by Stephen King — Starring Dale Midkiff, Fred Gwynne & Denise Crosby

2019 Pet Sematary —  Screenplay written by Jeff Buhler — Starring Jason Clarke, John Lithgow & Amy Seimetz

 

This review post I wanted to do a little different as this book is one of my favorites from Stephen King and to some fans, the 1989 movie was one of the best movie renditions of his books.

Recently, King released a new audio version narrated by the talented Michael C. Hall who played the vigilante/serial killer on the HBO television hit, Dexter.  And this last April, the film reboot was made of Pet Sematary.  I felt it was fitting to give you a review of all three.

 

The Synopsis:

When Dr. Louis Creed takes a new job and moves his family to the idyllic rural town of Ludlow, Maine, this new beginning seems too good to be true. Despite Ludlow’s tranquility, an undercurrent of danger exists here. Those trucks on the road outside the Creed’s beautiful old home travel by just a little too quickly, for one thing…as is evidenced by the makeshift graveyard in the nearby woods where generations of children have buried their beloved pets.

Then there are the warnings to Louis both real and from the depths of his nightmares that he should not venture beyond the borders of this little graveyard where another burial ground lures with seductive promises and ungodly temptations. A blood-chilling truth is hidden there—one more terrifying than death itself, and hideously more powerful. As Louis is about to discover for himself sometimes, dead is better

 

PET SEMATARY (1989)

The Review:

I will admit right now that I am very biased about this film for three reasons:  One – the late Fred Gwynne did an absolute stellar performance as Jud Crandall, the well-meaning neighbor, two – Dale Midkiff who starred as Louis Creed, the patriarch of the family as he gives a very emotional performance through the film and three – Brad Greenquist who plays the ill-fated jogger, Victor Pascow, who tries time and time again to warn Louis of the supernatural dangers.

These memorable characters and the roles they played in this tragic tale just stick with you long after you’ve read and/or seen the movie.  Jud Crandall a lifetime resident of Maine, comes to life on the screen with his thick Northeastern accent (“Ayup”) and quirky sayings like “The heart of a man is stonier, Louis.” And of course, “Sometimes…dead is better!”.

Overall, I have found this movie aged very well with the retelling, most of the acting and the physical special effects.

 

PET SEMATARY (2019)

 

The Review:

I applaud the effort this reboot made to give some new insight to the reasons why the Micmac Indians burial ground “soured” and became tainted with ghastly evil.  The writers delved a tad deeper into “the Wendigo” creature that traveled between our realm and the realm of the dead.  They also played up the enchantment the land held over the local children — how they had funeral marches and maintained the Pet Sematary grounds.

The other highlight they accomplished was a better version of Churchill, the Creeds’ cat (as seen above). Its evil stare would for sure lock you in your tracks should you ever come across it on your path.

However, those are the only two highlights for this version.  Very poor writing (I even wondered at times if Jeff Buhler even read the original book) as the plot veers erratically and key conversations and events in the book are just haphazardly placed in the film at times.

Another knock against the film is the underuse of John Lithgow’s incredible acting talent. Also, they took away the Jud Crandall accent as well as most of his character building interactions with Louis.  Instead of trying to scare the audience with Zelda, Rachel Creed’s dead sister, they should have focused on what made the 89 film a classic: its character stories.

This version tried too hard to introduce its own vague ideas (I won’t go into any detailed spoilers) but the unnecessary jump scares and changes to plot points were beyond annoying and the ending was over-the-top and frankly dumb.

 

PS Narr

 

The Narration:

Michael C. Hall was born February 1, 1971, in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Michael is a graduate of NYU’s Master of Fine Arts program in acting. He is known for the titular character “Dexter” in Dexter (2006) and as mortician “David Fisher” in Six Feet Under (2001). His most recent performance on Broadway was as “Hedwig” in “Hedwig and the Angry Inch”.

Battled Hodgkin’s lymphoma during his run on Dexter, but the disease has been in remission since January, 2010.

 

Michael does a fantastic job of the voices and the pacing of the story, even channeling Fred Gwynne to perform the classic version of Jud Crandall.  Choosing this actor who has a way of delivering great sarcasm with subtly was a great choice for this story.

The Rating:

In summary, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND the original book and the audio version.  As well I would recommend seeing the 1989 film as it brings King’s suspense and dark undertones to the screen, but don’t waste your time and money on the new 2019 Pet Sematary.  Hollywood’s attempt to reboot or “resurrect” this story was a dismal failure… Or as Jud Crandall would say, “Dead is better.”

 

By DEREK BARTON — Author of the ELUDE series (Parts I, II & III — a Horror/crime thriller), IN FOUR DAYS: a Horror-Suspense Novella and co-author of The Hidden (all available on Amazon & Kindle).  Also author of the Dark Fantasy novel series CONSEQUENCES WITHIN CHAOS and THE BLEEDING CROWN (also available on Audible.com!).

 

 

Audible Book Review of Neil Gaiman’s “American Gods” — Derek Barton

Am Gods #2

American Gods

by Neil Gaiman — a Contemporary Fantasy Novel

Released on June 19, 2001 — 674 pages

Narrated by Ron McLarty and a full ensemble cast

I have been for over a year now getting Audible books so I decided I would review and share my opinion on some of them with you. Enjoy!

 

American Gods is now a STARZ Original Series produced by FremantleMedia North America starring Ricky Whittle, Ian McShane, Emily Browning, and Pablo Schreiber.

 

Am Gods #1

From watching the first episode of the television series, I was hooked on this story.  American Gods has become a classic tale and this novel highlights just how much Neil Gaiman is an innovative author and a dynamic storyteller.

One of his biggest strengths is his use of visual depictions.  He paints the scene so vividly in your mind, you can’t help but feel like you are standing in his story world.  This appeals a lot to me as this is the type of writer I aspire to be and have worked hard at refining my skills at imagery and visual writing.

 

The Synopsis:

Locked behind bars for three years, Shadow did his time, quietly waiting for the day when he could return to Eagle Point, Indiana. A man no longer scared of what tomorrow might bring, all he wanted was to be with Laura, the wife he deeply loved, and start a new life.

But just days before his release, Laura and Shadow’s best friend are killed in an accident. With his life in pieces and nothing to keep him tethered, Shadow accepts a job from a beguiling stranger he meets on the way home, an enigmatic man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. A trickster and a rogue, Wednesday seems to know more about Shadow than Shadow does himself.

Life as Wednesday’s bodyguard, driver, and errand boy is far more interesting and dangerous than Shadow ever imagined. Soon Shadow learns that the past never dies . . . and that beneath the placid surface of everyday life a storm is brewing — an epic war for the very soul of America — and that he is standing squarely in its path.

 

The Review:

As I stated above, I loved the writing style and his way with words to produce a play within your mind’s eye.

The story itself…well, I liked it, sort of… It is very unusual and at times wanders way left, then zigzags suddenly back to the right.  It keeps you engaged, but sometimes frustratingly confused for long periods.

While I was disappointed somewhat in the meandering plot, I did find that I loved the characters so much I had to continue forward to the end.  They were obviously very well thought through, fleshed out with tons of back story, and rich with flaws, strengths, and desires. He could challenge even Stephen King’s skills in making such memorable and deeply-moving characters.

I would definitely encourage every avid reader to give this story a welcome chance and experience the rollercoaster ride that American Gods is for themselves.  He didn’t leave a huge amount of loose ends at its conclusion and thus, has never written a sequel in the eighteen years since its original publication.  However, the television series could possibly prompt him to with the resurgence of interest in this storyline.

 

McLarty

The Narration:

Narrated by Ron McLarty and several other cast members.

A native of East Providence, RI–Ron McLarty is a veteran actor, accomplished playwright, prolific audiobook narrator, and acclaimed novelist.

McLarty is also noted for his body of work as one of the country’s leading audiobook narrators having done over 100 titles including the narration of books authored by Stephen King, David Baldacci, Anne Rice, Richard Russo, Elmore Leonard, Ed McBain, and Scott Turow, among many others. He is the recipient of numerous Audie Awards.

This is the first audiobook I have heard using more than two voice actors.  It was very well produced and the voices were not melodramatic or over-the-top as one might expect with such a fantasy tale about the gods that roam America.

 

The Rating:

In summary, I was not totally thrilled with the development of the story but definitely blown away by his characters and the writing of this novel.  I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND (but I did warn you of the “exotic” plot!).  I will definitely be checking out more of his work in the future!

 

By DEREK BARTON — Author of the ELUDE series (Parts I, II & III — a Horror/crime thriller),  & IN FOUR DAYS: a Horror-Suspense Novella (available on Audible.com!).  Also the Dark Fantasy novel series CONSEQUENCES WITHIN CHAOS and THE BLEEDING CROWN (both available on Audible.com!).

 

 

Interviewed by Adam C. Mitchell — Derek Barton

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Check out this great interview I did with fellow writer, Adam C. Mitchell.

 

Having a chat with… Author Derek Barton

I had the privilege to chat with American Horror Author Derek Barton a head of him launching a 4 part guest blog series on this site. Check out his Interview below, my review of his book on the Author Review Page ” Consequences Within Chaos” and his first article on the blog tomorrow…

1. Name

Derek Barton

2. Place of Birth

Small town in Indiana

3. Present Occupation (other than author)

A sales supervisor for a healthcare call center. (snooozzzzeee)

4. Hobbies

Hiking, video games, movies

5. Memberships in Organizations

I am a member to several Facebook groups but nothing outside of that.

6. Current Book Description Just finished my last installment of the Elude series I have been writing. It follows a desperate cat-and-mouse chase between a young ex-con, Vic Vicente, and a sadistic serial killer who keeps placing bodies and blame on Vic. The core of the story is how Vic has to elude the detectives on his case and elude the real murderer using only his wits and street instincts.

Book Blurb: Stepping blindly into a horrific murder scene, a young ex-con, Vicente Vargas, must flee from the police while eluding the real killer who continues to pin more bodies on him in this intricate cat-and-mouse game. Cut off from all friends and family, tried and convicted by the press, Vic must survive on his wits and cunning on the gritty streets of Phoenix, Arizona long enough to clear his name.

7. How did you come to write this book?

I liked the idea of a serial killer who chooses a “patsy” for his crimes only his pawn doesn’t behave in the expected patterns. The killer’s flaw is his own racism.

8. Other publication’s you have out (books listed in order of release:)

A/ Consequences Within Chaos

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01LYT2OS9/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i2

B/ In Four Days

https://www.amazon.com/Four-Days-Horror-Suspense-Novella/dp/1542625556/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

C/ The Bleeding Crown

https://www.amazon.com/Bleeding-Crown-Derek-Barton/dp/1720670226/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

D/ Elude: Part One

https://www.amazon.com/Elude-Part-Horror-Suspense-Derek-Barton/dp/1725798107/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

E/ Elude: Part Two

https://authorcentral.amazon.com/gp/books/book-detail-page?ie=UTF8&bookASIN=1728977983&index=default

9. Blogs and Websites (With links):

Author website @ https://rivyen.wordpress.com/

Facebook Page @ https://www.facebook.com/NovelistDerekBarton/

Twitter Accont @ https://twitter.com/Rivyen

and my Patreon Page @ https://www.patreon.com/user?u=16518751

10. Are there any special markets where we can find your work?

Not at this time.

11. Are there any book-stores where we can browse your work?

I am at a local bookstore called Bookman’s Exchange in Phoenix, Arizona. A small selection of my earlier works.

12. Do You have a mailing list?

Yes, I do for a monthly newsletter which I update my core fans with my progress, what book giveaways I am running and where I can be found for personal book signings.

13. Any reviews of your work you would like to share?

Yes, William Bitner Jr, an online book reviewer, read and wrote up a great review of Elude: Part Three. Check it out here: https://booksinmylibraryblog.wordpress.com/2019/04/10/elude-part-three-by-derek-barton/

14. Do you have any Endorser or specific people you would like to thank for whatever reason?

Yes, I would like to thank and give a shout out to my patrons Susanna Willey, Deborah West & Jon Paul Rai on Patreon.com. Their help and support mean a lot and let me do more for my entire fan base than I could alone.

15. What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?

What is the first book that made you cry? I remember sitting in my class in grade school reading Watership Down and the character Bigwig was ensnared. I thought he died, and I burst into tears in the middle of class…pretty embarrassing, but I had my own rabbit and it hit a nerve.

16. In your opinion what is the most unethical practice in the publishing industry?

Of course, plagiarism is the worst offense any writer can make, but I think another issue I have noticed is this “writers selling to writers” trend. Professional writers offering “expert” tips, strategies, etc to help less experienced writers and they just pour out the same information found everywhere for free online with exorbitant fees or monthly payments. I am not saying that there isn’t good reference material out there, but it seems like too many writers are profiting and making a big paycheck off the backs of less experienced or successful writers.

17. Does writing energize or exhaust you?

It can definitely do both, but if the thrill of telling a story or entertaining someone isn’t there then you should rethink what you are in it for. I love it where a fan or a reader wants to discuss an event in one of my stories and wants to know the reasons behind my decisions. It means that I touched them, and my story engaged them – it’s such a great interaction and motivation to me. Writing keeps me breathing!

18. What are common traps for aspiring writers?

A trap I fell into was the belief I could do my own editing. It seems easy enough to just go back through and read your work, but editing is a completely different mode of thinking and analyzing. You really need to hire out for it. The other trap I see is the lack of building your email list. Putting your book on Amazon won’t be enough to build your platform. You have to keep shouting in that crowded room of a thousand new faces on Amazon. If you don’t market or make yourself seen, your work will be never noted and go unseen.

19. What is your writing Kryptonite?

Not having an outline. I’m a total plotter. Writer’s block to me is an empty white screen and no notes on the side to follow. In fact, until I really saw the benefit to an outline, I never completed a story I wrote until in my thirties. I would always start strong, peter out and flounder in the middle and never reach the end of the stories. All I had accomplished was a drawer filled with half-attempts.

20. Have you ever gotten reader’s block?

No, I haven’t. However, I cannot find time to sit and read. I’m a huge audiobook fan and that is the only way I can get through books now. Too many responsibilities require my time so I make use of driving time, standing in line, working out, and other opportunities to pop on my audio book. It is another reason I have even gotten three of my stories on Audible.com. Consequences Within Chaos, The Bleeding Crown and In Four Days are all in audio book formats. Elude is the process of being made into an audio book.

21. Have you got a pen name you use?

No. I have no use or desire to create one at this time.

22.. Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

To me, you have to do a bit of both to be successful. Give the reader what they’re looking for but with a touch of a twist or something unique added.

23. What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

I have my father who was always an inspiration for me to become a writer. I have several friends that are writers (Nesa Miller, Adam Mitchell, Logan Fox, Jon Paul Rai and Susanne Lambdin) that I ask questions or seek advice often. It’s a journey and everyone can learn something new from anyone. And we all become stronger for sharing experiences, sharing services and sharing support.

24. Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

I am definitely trying to build a world of work within the fantasy side of my writing (Consequences Within Chaos and The Bleeding Crown). My horror stories (In Four Days and Elude) accidentally became linked when one of the surviving characters in In Four Days became a perfect fit for a character needed in Elude. And now, I am working on a new horror/crime series called Evade that will have another big connection to In Four Days.

To read the rest of the interview CLICK HERE!

 

Bi-Monthly Goals for April & May 2019 — Derek Barton

Goal pic Apr 19

 

Time for a goal check-in!

In January, I opted to break away from the Bi-Monthly goals and introduced a new goal system.  As you may recall, it was a goal system defined by Sarrah Cannon in her YouTube video How To Make 2019 Your Best Year Yet.

The essence of her system revolves around Main Goals, Projects, and Tasks.  You set two or three “main” general priority goals to focus on.  Then you break down those goals by deciding on Projects that will accomplish those general Main Goals.  With each Project Goal, you detail and define what Tasks you are taking to get the Project finished.

Here  are the goals I worked up for the first quarter:

My MAIN GOALS are as follows:

  • Increase my site visitors by 25% = 232 visitors — (2018 1st Quarter’s results were 186 visitors)  ACTUAL RESULT:  243 visitors (Success!)
  • Complete one of three books for the year 2019  ACTUAL RESULT:  Published Elude: Part Three the first week of April (Partial success).

PROJECT GOALS are as follows:

Goal to Increase Site Visits — 

  • Three Monthly Giveaways
  • Two Book-signings
  • Weekly Blog Posts

Goal to One of Three Books for 2019 —

TASK GOALS to Increase Site Visits as follows:

  • Develop three unique site giveaways (signed book copies, amazon cards, audiobooks)
  • One Book-signing set in January (Superhero Saturday); call and set up another for February or March
  • Update each week a blog post (web sagas, goal-setting blogs, etc) for a total of at least 12 blogs in the 90 days.

TASK GOALS to Complete Elude Part Three as follows:

  • Complete Bullet Outline
  • Write the rough draft (30,000-word count left)
  • Go through 3 waves of edits
  • Cover & Blurb (already completed)
  • Publish on Kindle & Amazon by 3/31/19

 

While I did accomplish my goals, I felt like the extra month gave me too much leeway — gave me an out and I was not as “driven or pushed” as I have been with the Bi-Monthly goal system.

A couple positives did come out of the trial run:  I was able to get a weekly blog done for the three months which was a nice plus and also I increased my site traffic by almost 31% versus the 25% I was shooting for.

So… I may not have felt like I was productive, I did accomplish some objectives. That being said, I’m going to try to do a combination of the two systems and see if that works for me.

First I am going to set myself five Main Goals that are a bit more specific than the general “Main Goals” as with Cannon’s approach. Also, I am going to give myself a bit of an established timeline completion date (not a deadline but more of an expectation).

 

MAIN FOR APRIL & MAY GOALS:

  • Complete the outline for the third book in the Wyvernshield Series (possibly titled Swimming in the Ashes). Due date by May 15th.
  • Complete the outline for the new horror web saga (no title yet).  Due date by April 30th.
  • Complete the outline for the new Evade Series (crime/horror series).  Due date by May 31st.
  • Rework the covers of my books. (I have been hit over the head several times by more successful authors that my books were not cohesive or didn’t express the right genres. “If you confuse the reader immediately, they will not bother figuring it out and move on.” I write in two genres so I’m going to have to do a better job at making it more obvious.) Due date by May 31st.
  • Begin a four-part guest blog swap with fellow writer Adam Mitchell and complete a Blog Interview with him! (This will be my first ever blog swap and should be a lot of fun!)  Started by April 15th – the interview and First Blog on May 1st.

 

My April & May months may only 5 goals for the Bi-Monthly system which usually had 10, but these are some tough objectives and come with imminent goal dates.  And along the way, I want to get a video done for my fantasy series as I watched several videos on book trailer production and think I’m up to it…but where can I get in that extra time?

WISH ME LUCK!  

 

Audible Book Review of James Patterson’s “Never Never” — Derek Barton

Extract-Never-Never-by-James-Patterson

Never Never

by James Patterson & Candice Fox — a Thriller-Suspense Mystery

Released on January 16, 2017 — 370 pages

Narrated by Fereday Holmes

I have been for over a year now getting Audible books so I decided I would review and share my opinion on some of them with you. Enjoy!

I have a small confession: this is actually the first book I have read from James Patterson. I know that he is an extremely prolific writer, but until recently I just did not have the opportunity to read much. I still don’t, but that is the beauty and power of buying audiobooks.  It gives you the time to do other things like drive around for errands, vacuum the carpets, mop the floors, etc.  Anyway, I am really glad I got a chance to read this one.

 

The Synopsis:

Never…

assume you know someone. Harry Blue is the top sex crimes investigator in her department. She’s a seasoned pro who’s seen it all. But even she didn’t see this coming: her own brother arrested for the grisly murders of three beautiful young women.

Never…

accept a reassignment to the middle of nowhere “for your own good”. Harry’s been sent to a makeshift town in a desolate landscape – a world full of easy money, plenty of illegal ways to spend it, and a ragtag collection of transient characters who thrive on the fringes of society. A place where little grows but evil flourishes.

Never…

trust anyone. Looking into a seemingly simple missing persons case, Harry’s been assigned to a new “partner”. But is he actually meant to be a watchdog? Still reeling from the accusations against her brother, Harry can’t trust even her own instincts, which she’s never doubted…until now.

Never…

go anywhere without leaving a trace. Far from the world she knows and desperate to clear her brother’s name, Harry has to mine the dark secrets of her strange new home for answers to a deepening mystery – before she vanishes in a place where no one would ever think to look for her.

Never Never is an edge-of-your-seat thrill ride with enough intrigue and suspense to keep you guessing until the final minute. You’ll never be able to turn it off.

The Review:

While I thought the hook of a sex crime detective not knowing her own brother was a serial killer was intriguing, the main story arch for the novel turned out pretty engaging as well.  The uranium mine setting was unique, but from other articles that I have read, the details of its size and population were farfetched and very inaccurate.

The story revolves mainly around the hard-as-nails female detective, Harriet Blue and how she perseveres with the stress of her brother being arrested then portrayed as a sexual serial killer all over the media.

While this should have been the main storyline, instead it is the story of her investigating missing miners in this uranium mine in the middle of nowhere.  I liked the storyline, but it did feel a little “bait-and-switch”.  Another complaint would be that it was never clear in my mind — the locale was not fully painted in my mind.

The characters are complex and varied.  Harry’s personality, though, was too mixed for me. One moment strong and feisty, next confused and weak.  I would like her depiction one way or the other. On top of it, she was a horrible judge of character ESPECIALLY FOR A DETECTIVE! HA!

Intense action sequences, good dialogue as well as some unpredictable plot twists certainly makes this a fun read.  I will be getting the next novel in the Harriet Blue Book Series.

 

The Narration:

Federay Holmes — Here I usually include a picture of the voice actor, however, there were none to be found anywhere on Amazon, Kindle, IMDB or Audible.com.  Not sure why no images exist.

Born in March 1968 in Australia as Sarah Federay Holmes.

She’s listed on IMDB.com as a bit role actress known for television shows New Tricks (2014), The Widower (2013), and Oranges and Sunshine (2010).

She did a great job on this project and her British accent definitely added to the Australian atmosphere of the novel.  I would say her performance is one of the main reasons I liked the novel. Ms. Holmes has over a dozen different novels to her credit including Me Without You, Like A House On Fire, and The Devil’s Staircase.

 

The Rating:

Some flaws which I am willing to overlook as I liked the story and characters and want to know just what is the story around brother… I would RECOMMEND this series starter novel.

 

By Derek Barton — Author of ELUDE:  PART ONE, ELUDE: PART TWO  (horror/crime thriller),  & In Four Days: a Horror-Suspense Novella.   Also the Dark Fantasy novel series Consequences Within Chaos and The Bleeding Crown.