Lisa Lane's Blog

February 9, 2012

Blood Hearts Blog Hop

Celebrate Valentine's Day the horror way on February 13 and 14. I'll be participating, as well as a number of very talented horror writers, and there will be lots of giveaways. Here is more info: http://vamplit.com/bloody-hearts-blog...
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Published on February 09, 2012 10:46 Tags: blog-hop, blog-tour, giveaway, horror, valentine-s-day

January 12, 2012

Coming Friday the 13th!

To be released on Friday the 13, 2012: DEMON LOVERS, an erotic anthology of Incubi and Succubi! Edited by the very talented Inara LaVey and Kilt Kilpatrick.

This book has an amazing line-up:

Succubusted by Inara LaVey
Le Petit Mort by Kat Sheridan
Never Bargained for You by Loren Rhoads
Incubator by Elizabeth Black
Shipping and Handling by Ray Garton
Insatiable by Lisa Lane
Mad with Desire by Courtney Sheets
Blood and Souls by Angela Cameron
Roadside Assistance by Red Hanner
Demon’s Grace by Elena Derring
The Devil is in the Details by Anastacia Greumach
Original Cyn by Olivia Cunning
Shine for Me by Kilt Kilpatrick

I'm really proud to have my work listed among such talented authors. You're not going to want to miss this one!
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Published on January 12, 2012 21:25 Tags: erotic-horror, erotic-romance, erotica, incubus, new-releases, succubus

December 8, 2011

Welcome Guest Clayton Bye of Chase Enterprises Publishing!

Today, I would like to welcome writer and publisher Clayton Bye, who co-edited the upcoming anthology Writers on the Wrong Side of the Road.   Thanks so much for agreeing to this interview, Mr. Bye.  How long have you been writing?

I've been writing "on purpose" for 17 years.

It seems you've written quite a bit during that time.  What inspired you to write your first book?

Some great friends I met through Toastmasters noticed I was doing a lot of speeches that were motivational in nature. They liked the content and knew I wrote out my speeches to help me prepare my delivery, so they suggested I should write a book. It turned out they knew what they were talking about; I had enough material already written that it was just a matter of organizing it and editing it until I just couldn't do it anymore. In 1994, after a year of working on it, I published How To Get What You Want From Life. I netted $11,000 in the first year, selling locally. The book has continued to sell as a back listed item: total earnings to date are approximately $20,625, net.

Tell us a little about Chase Enterprises Publishing.

How did you get your start in publishing? When I was 18 or 20, I sent a poem to the "Fiddlehead," a literary magazine on the East Coast of Canada. They returned a rejection slip with the following scrawled upon it: "Wonderful imagery, if a bit wordy." I didn't like the way the whole rejection thing made me feel. Also, writing was so damned hard, I just stopped trying. But when the time came to publish my first book, some 16 years later, I remembered that feeling from so long ago. So, I took a bag full of skills I had garnered working in the newspaper industry, put together a camera ready book block and sent it to a printer (there was no POD back then, so you had to set up pages the way an offset press operated at that time: 1, 312, 2, 311, 3, 310, etc.—setting headers and page numbers was a complete nightmare. Anyway, I got it done and have been self-publishing ever since. My company, Chase Enterprises, created that same year, had and still has two main functions: first, it's an umbrella under which I have conducted several business concerns, including my new imprint, Chase Enterprises Publishing; second, the company name, derived from my firstborn's middle name, symbolizes all the dreams my clients and I pursue (chase) on this journey we call life.

It sounds like you are able to do things you are really passionate about through Chase Enterprises.  Does that give you any time for leisure reading? What genres do you most enjoy reading these days? What makes a particular work stand out for you?

That's a hard question to answer. I'm Editor-in-Chief at The Deepening, with 6 blogs and an editorial column to oversee. Each blog requires reading in different genres or different styles/levels of reading. The most popular blog is Horror, consequently I read more horror than anything else. This is a nice fit as I enjoy horror a lot. But... since I don't get to choose what I read--most of the time, on those rare days when I can pick up one of "my own books," I've found myself turning to a couple of authors who write fantastic historical novels, a genre I've barely touched. These authors are Jack Whyte, who has given us an Arthurian history so believable I have a hard time remembering it's just fiction; and Diana Gabaldon, who's writing is so captivating that her series about a Scottish warrior (1743) and a time traveling, modern-day woman (1946) is cherished the world 'round.

What, in your opinion as a reader, writer, and editor makes a work not only good, but great? What turns you off?

The deeper an author can pull you into the story, the more real the characters and the world they inhabit become, and (usually) the less apparent the author is to the reader, the better a book is.

A great book does all, or some, of these things but also reaches you on such an emotional level that it impacts your world, sometimes to the extent that it changes you. Well known, modern books that come to mind for me are Richard Bach's Jonathan Livingston Seagull (it was a phenomenon in the '70s), Richard Bach's Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah (affected me big time) and Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead (Only due to the fact that the story of her hero, Howard Roark, has been burnt into the minds of so many individualists, myself included). But you can ask any avid reader, and you'll find that each has at least one book that has affected them on a deep emotional level; a great book will receive multiple mentions over the years I'm turned off when the author does something that suddenly kicks me out of the story, that disturbs the dream, that ruins the illusion...

Who do you consider to be your most notable writing influences?

Because I write (or will write—it's been my unspoken goal) in all the major genres, I have an eclectic group of writers who have influenced my writing: Dale Carnegie, Tony Robbins, Frank Bettger, Og Mandino, Damon Knight, Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, Alistair MacLean, Hammond Innes, Louis L'Amour, John D. MacDonald, Robert Frost, Robert Burns, F. Scott Fizgerald, Alice Munro, Stephen King and Robert McCammon are the most notable to date.

Do you have anything special you do to put yourself in the writing/editing mood?

As I write in a conversational manner, and because it catches all sorts of errors, I always read aloud when editing. It also gets me going, keeps me going and helps to hold the outside world at bay.

How long does it take you to write/edit a story from first sentence to ready for submission?

I have only recently begun to work the short story field, so I really can't say. As for book length works? It varies a lot, but out of the 9 books I've written one year has repeatedly shown up as the period required. 9 months to write, 3 months to edit; 3 months to write, 9 months to edit; 2 weeks to write; a year to edit; and one month installments, sold as a one year subscription, edited as I went and sold as a book when done; the former example occurred twice (different projects).

And then comes the fun part—selling your work.  What tools/social media do you use to market your books?

I subscribe to the Ninja way of marketing: when you find something that works, take it, make it your own and practice it until you become proficient in its use. For me, the list I have used effectively, now and/or in the past, is as follows: in person, in bookstores where the owner gives me a prominent position and also talks up the book, in person at public events, by telephone, by mail, by email, through distributors, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Linked-in, MySpace (although I've pretty much dropped it, as the company has made it user unfriendly), my own website, my virtual store, targeted advertising (radio, newspaper, flyers, sponsored blog ads, submitting my main website to hundreds of search engines repeatedly at six month intervals), spreading my name across the internet in any business-like way I can, building a name as a reviewer who now attracts submissions from small to large publishers, teaching at high schools and colleges, holding seminars and utilizing back-of-the-room selling, recommendations, testimonials, Authonomy participation and the collection of all comments made about specific books, reviews of my books, radio interviews, newspaper interviews, internet interviews (mostly on blogs), submitting short stories and poems to magazines—online and offline, I was asked to submit my fantasy novel, The Sorcerer's Key, for consideration as a movie, the result of networking, providing local students with my book, How To Get What You Want For Life, as they entered middle school, the same book is used as a course outline in one of our local high schools. I'm getting a headache, so I'll stop now. I'm sure your readers will have gotten the point.

Tell us a little about Writers on the Wrong Side of the Road.

Writers on the Wrong Side of the Road is the first book I have published for someone else. It's actually a marketing project thought up by Sassy Brit, the owner of the promotional website, Alternative-Read.com (AR). Sassy has a core group of "affiliate authors" who are mainstream users of, and/or contributors to, her website, and she wanted to do something special for them. She tossed out the idea of an Anthology featuring "affiliate authors" to the bunch of us one day, just as I had been thinking of when I was going to make the jump from writer and editor to publisher. I put up my hand, so to speak, and the pair of us dove in. We didn't get all of our affiliates, so I brought in some authors with looser association to AR. I think they rounded out the group nicely. Sassy and I decided to give our authors a challenge to come up with something that would give the reader a different kind of experience than what they're getting now. An Alternative Read, if you stop to think about it. Then we tossed ideas around a lot until we came up with a title, subtitle and back cover headline. Here's all three in sentence form... Introducing: Writers on the wrong side of the road. These are the most dangerous rule-wreckers from Alternative-Read.com. So, we decided to take away the rules and let them write whatever they liked. Read the book to find out what we got.
  
No doubt the result is a broad and interesting array of stories.  What would you say are the biggest challenges in working with such an eclectic group of authors?

The authors involved in the AR project are all professionals. There were no challenges at all until we came to the final proof—a printed copy of the book. And the challenge was actually with me. After the author's submitted the final copy of their story and I had paid them the contractual amount, I was done with them, so to speak. Well, it seems that traditional publishers allow the authors a look at the finished product, before it goes to print. When they realized this wasn't going to happen, I had a mutiny on my hands. So, in the end, I allowed a final proofread by the authors, then resubmitted the manuscript. I wish all projects went so smoothly.

Bonus question: If your writing/publishing were to take off and overnight you found yourself filthy rich, what charity would you consider most befitting of your donations, and why?

1 in 3 people will get cancer; the statistic for death from a heart attack or stroke is about 1 in 4; and worldwide there are more than 30 million people infected with HIV and AIDS. I could go on and on. There are countless charities and research projects that need money. But my approach to charity has always been to help people in my own community who, through no fault of their own, need financial help and who aren't receiving it elsewhere. I don't see why this would change if I became "filthy rich."

Thanks so much for stopping by today, and the best of luck with your upcoming anthology, Mr. Bye!
See my review for Writers on the Wrong Side of the Road.  Click here for more about Clayton Bye's books.

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Published on December 08, 2011 20:35

December 4, 2011

Book Review: WRITERS ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD

Picture This anthology contains some of the creepiest and unusual stories I've read in a long time.  While a few of the selections seemed out of place either by caliber or by genre, the best works in this anthology truly set the bar for greatness in speculative fiction.  As a whole, I rate Writers on the Wrong Side of the Road at four stars and recommend it as a great addition to any speculative fiction library.  Here's the story breakdown:

"Hold Up" by Lucille P. Robinson – 4 stars

A serial rapist gets more than he bargains for at his local Wal-Mart.

This story is thoughtful and well-written.  I liked the premise a lot, but would have liked to have read more.  The ending was justifiably abrupt, but it did leave the story feeling somehow incomplete.  Nonetheless, it's a good, short read.
"Judgement Day" by Angelika Devlyn – 3.75 stars

A young woman jumps at the chance at revenge after an attack sends her to the hospital with a miscarriage.

This story has some great moments to it, but needs a few kinks smoothed before it might live to its full potential.  The premise is very good and the twist fun; however, following the story is frustrating at times because believability of many of the character motivations is shaky in many places.  The erotica was well-written.

"For Art's Sake" by Elizabeth Coldwell – 4.5 stars

A move and career change can be a pain in the rear. . . .

I don't claim spanking as one of my turn-ons, but I enjoyed this erotic piece all the same.  The story is well-written and cohesive and moves to a satisfying ending.

"Simon Seeks" by Nathan L. Yocum – 4.75 stars

A psychic finds his own life on the line when sent on a search for a missing girl.

This story is executed beautifully, offering creative visuals and awesome depth to details other authors might leave mundane.  The only disappointing part is the ending, which seems far too abrupt for such an otherwise meticulously laid out story.  I wanted to read more.

"The Barefoot Hero" by Timothy Fleming – 5 stars

A man looks back to the past after the tragic death of an old friend.

"The Barefoot Hero" brought tears to my eyes.  The story is bittersweet, tragic, and brilliantly written.  The characterization is deep and thoughtful, leading to a conclusion that is as painful as it is gratifying.  A lovely story.

"The Cenotaph" by Casey Wolf – 4.25 stars

Past and present collide when a camper stumbles upon a long-forgotten memorial.

A thoughtful commentary on perspective and war, this story does a great job at showing the fears and expectations that arise when one considers leaving for war.  Some of the shifts are a little jarring, but may be intentional in an attempt to pull the reader into the protagonist's confused state of mind.  Overall, this is a very good story.

"Take Two" by Kit St. Germain – 4.5 stars

An interesting post-apocalyptic future history, this story speculates the effects of religious take-over and genetically modified food.

Very well-written and creative, "Take Two" paints a very interesting future picture, moving at a fast pace and growing in intrigue as the story progresses.  The ending is anticlimactic however, offering a good twist, but not executing quite powerfully enough to hit with the five-star punch it could have.

"The Journey" by Megan Johns – 4.5 stars

A housewife on a train ride contemplates her life while eavesdropping on a group of nearby passengers.

"The Journey" cleverly explores human insecurity and interpersonal dynamics, while offering a twist ending that is sure to delight.

"Triona's Beans" by Casey Wolf and Paivi Kuosmanen – 2 stars

A young girl goes on an intergalactic adventure with little people that look like feathered beans.

I had great difficulty getting through this story, which reads like a very young children's fantasy.  This story does not belong in a dark speculative fiction anthology.

"The Meal" by Mike Brecon – 4 stars

Two couples come together for the taping of a reality television show.

The concept behind this story is great and I enjoyed the writer's style, although I would have liked to have seen some of the scenes hashed out a little more.

"Seven Deadly Sins" by Karen Coté – 3 stars

A man snaps after his past catchers up with him and unravels his life.

This story is creative, sick, and bleeding with potential.  Sadly, the prose needs tightening, as do the structure and story development.  As is, the story depends too much on shock value, leaving the reader with flat characters in a tense but static environment.

"The Smile in Her Eyes" by John B Rosenman – 4.75 stars

A man sees what he believes to be the essence of his deceased wife in a teenage girl.

Very well-written and creepy on many subtle fronts, "The Smile in her Eyes" reads like Lolita in The Twilight Zone.  Pay attention to every little detail when you read this story or you'll miss out on its full brilliance.

"Slumfairy" by Tonya R. Moore – 3 stars

Factions fight over the pilot—and therefore the future—of a super-massive space ship.

This story is difficult to follow, with plot holes and vague spots that leave too many questions throughout the work.  There is too much going on, too many aliens to keep track of, and not nearly enough time taken to paint a good, cohesive picture of it all.

"A New Leaf" by Megan Johns – 4 stars

A divorce finds solace in her garden after starting over in a new home.

Sweet and well-written, this story would have been even more enjoyable if it had not ended so hastily.  Even so, this is a satisfying story.

"Man Slaughter" by Lucille P. Robinson – 5 stars

An alleged murderer recalls each of the deaths she has been accused of while giving her official statement of confession.

The characters and plotline of this story are developed and executed masterfully.  The characters are believable and the story creepy.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading this one.

"Pronghorns" by Casey Wolf – 5 stars

A double suicide goes to "Plan B" when initial plans go awry.

"Pronghorns" is a darkly brilliant commentary on life and death.  It is well-written, gripping, and has a shockingly profound ending.  This is one of those stories that resets the bar.

"Frame of Reference" by Mike Brecon – 4 stars

Story and reality collide in the mind of a young, insecure writer who finds himself unsure how to proceed with a scene.

Any type of artist will appreciate the twist to this quick, fun read.

Malpas by Marion Webb-De Sisto – 2 stars

A woman falls victim to, then in love with, an incubus.

The premise is decent, but the story is thoroughly unpolished.  The prose is simplistic, the vast majority of the dialog recaps previous scenes, and the erotic scenes seem forced and filled with unnecessary, moment-jarring dialog.  This story is a disappointing end to a very good anthology.

Overall score:
PictureWriters on the Wrong Side of the Road will be available soon at your favorite online retailers.
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Published on December 04, 2011 20:03

December 2, 2011

Congratulations, Goodreads Winners!

Huge congrats to Marilyn C., Andrew J., Jesse K., Sam B., and Robyn B. ... you each have won a copy of WORLD-MART!   Your copies are in the mail.

My thanks to all 407 entrants to the giveaway.  Good luck next time!
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Published on December 02, 2011 09:36

November 21, 2011

Response: "The Harsh Bigotry of Twilight-Haters"

I received a link this morning to an opinion piece titled, "The Harsh Bigotry of Twilight-Haters: Why is it that female fantasy is so derided and feared?" with a request to write a response on my blog.  Given I had already said my piece about Twilight at the New Sensuality, I thought to discard the link.  Unfortunately, the title already had me hooked. 

What irony that the article's author, Erika Christakis, uses the very argument people make against Twilight to condemn them.  She writes,

The negative reactions fall in two camps: The dismissive camp simply mocks Twilight's incorporation of silly, "moony" elements like undying love and the surprisingly authentic portrayal of wedding ritual, honeymoon jitters and the shock of unintended pregnancy; the topics are apparently too boring and unrelatable for most reviewers. The deluded camp, conversely, takes Twilight far too seriously, faulting it for leading young girls to mistake fantasy for reality in dangerous, disempowering ways.

Here, the author suggests that those who disapprove of Twilight are either dismissive or deluded, offering a ridiculous list of "elements" we "haters" find too "moony."  (Could someone please define "moony" for me?  My vocabulary is unsophisticated.)  Apparently, I mock undying love, realistic weddings, honeymoon jitters, and the shock of unintended pregnancy.  Ms. Christakis, if you would like to read about a truly shocking unintended pregnancy, please read my erotic horror, The Darkness and the Night: Blood and Coffee—and perhaps you might hold Karen's hand at the abortion clinic while she contemplates terminating the monster she is sure to give birth to.

Christakis describes those of us who disagree with the dynamics between Bella and Edward as "deluded," adding,

Maybe part of the reason critics deplore these movies is not only because they are so unfamiliar with kooky heterosexual female fantasies but also because they don't really like what these fantasies say about men.

What people like this author don't seem to get is the problem is not with kooky heterosexual fantasies (fantasies are good); it's about characters that are so despicably misogynistic that one can't help but cringe when made to think about them.  The problem isn't with "undying love, realistic weddings, honeymoon jitters, and the shock of unintended pregnancy;" the problem is with Edward's violent temper (very reminiscent of a spouse abuser), with Bella's utter dependence upon a male figure in her life for safety and purpose.  Author Kathryn Sirls wrote this thoughtful opinion piece on the references to spousal abuse in Twilight.

In closing, I would like to make it clear for the last time: "Twilight-haters" have a problem with abusive Edward, defenseless and dependent Bella, and all of the other messed up dynamics Meyers somehow makes okay.  That's it.  End of story.
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Published on November 21, 2011 09:39

November 19, 2011

Win a Copy of WORLD-MART through Goodreads!

Now through December 1--winners chosen randomly by Goodreads: .goodreadsGiveawayWidget { color: #555; font-family: georgia, serif; font-weight: normal; text-align: left; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; background: white; } .goodreadsGiveawayWidget img { padding: 0 !important; margin: 0 !important; } .goodreadsGiveawayWidget a { padding: 0 !important; margin: 0; color: #660; text-decoration: none; } .goodreadsGiveawayWidget a:visted { color: #660; text-decoration: none; } .goodreadsGiveawayWidget a:hover { color: #660; text-decoration: underline !important; } .goodreadsGiveawayWidget p { margin: 0 0 .5em !important; padding: 0; } .goodreadsGiveawayWidgetEnterLink { display: block; width: 150px; margin: 10px auto 0 !important; padding: 0px 5px !important; text-align: center; line-height: 1.8em; color: #222; font-size: 14px; font-weight: bold; border: 1px solid #6A6454; -moz-border-radius: 5px; -webkit-border-radius: 5px; font-family:arial,verdana,helvetica,sans-serif; background-image:url(http://goodreads.com/images/layout/gr... background-repeat: repeat-x; background-color:#BBB596; outline: 0; white-space: nowrap; } .goodreadsGiveawayWidgetEnterLink:hover { background-image:url(http://goodreads.com/images/layout/gr... color: black; text-decoration: none; cursor: pointer; } Goodreads Book Giveaway World-Mart by Leigh M. Lane World-Mart by Leigh M. Lane

Giveaway ends December 01, 2011.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win
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Published on November 19, 2011 11:44

November 16, 2011

It's the Anti-Twilight ... Oh, Yes!

With the release of Stephanie Meyer’s newest Twilight film, I thought it might be helpful to remind readers that there is a deliciously dark and dirty alternative. Originally copyrighted in 1997 as short stories in my 13-Taled Beast collection, then re-written into three full-length novels in 2008 and 2009, The Darkness and the Night trilogy is effectively the anti-Twilight. For Twilight fans, that might not be a big draw; however, for those who like their vampires scary instead of sparkly, murderous instead of “vegetarian,” and lustful instead of chaste, have I got the series for you....

I haven’t read the Twilight saga, so I’m not going to pass any judgment on Meyer’s writing skills. Stephen King already covered that, and I’m not one to argue with the King. I have heard all about the series, however, and it seems to me that one either loves or hates Meyer’s work--with no in-between. For most die-hard horror fans, reading about vampires with “traditional” family values just doesn’t cut it. Mind you, I have nothing against anyone’s religious or family values. I just don’t think they mesh (at all) with stories about monsters spanning from a long history of blood-drinking, village-infesting creatures of the night. Bram Stoker surely turned in his grave when Meyer’s series got the greenlight. What’s next, “born again” zombies who moan prayers before eating pig brains?

Conversely, The Darkness and the Night offers readers a contemporary alternative to the coffin-sleeping denizens of lore without attempting to tame the beast. The storyline is dark and, at times, horrific. The sex is raw and uncensored. At times, there is raunchiness and there is gore. Would Stephen King approve? He’d likely call it dirty, rotten smut, then qualify that with a unabashed smirk. I dare not put words into the King’s mouth, however, so instead I leave you with a proposition of my own: While the YA crowd gears up to gawk at vampire sparkles, join the numbers of readers who have turned to the dark side for their vampire fix. Read The Darkness and the Night and follow the independent heroin Karen on her dark odyssey--from Stockholm victim, to self-realized monster, to suburban vampire mom--and make the comparison yourself.
Blood and Coffee
Cosmic Orgasm The Darkness and the Night # 2
The Darkness and the Night III: Twins of Darkness
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Published on November 16, 2011 23:14 Tags: lisa-lane, stephanie-meyer, stephen-king, the-darkness-and-the-night, twilight, vampires

November 13, 2011

Response: "'American Horror Story' Goes Too Far'

I was surprised today to read Yahoo News' headline, "'American Horror Story' Goes Too Far'".  The gripe?  Tate's back-story.

Picture For those who missed it, the episode offered every gory detail about his massacring several classmates before committing suicide by cop.  What the article's author found to be going too far, however, I found to be a thoughtful and creepy commentary on the dynamics involved in such heartbreaking and ghastly events.  Any murder/suicide—let alone teenage murder/suicide—is a tragedy.  It is horrific.  That's precisely why last week's episode of American Horror Story  was so powerful.  It's obvious why viewer response has been so strong.

What makes the series so good is its willingness to take chances, to show the ugly along with the artful, and the mesh the fantastic with gritty realism.  To me, that's what makes good horror.  What do you think?  Is it still "too soon" to cover a Columbine-type storyline?  Did AHS go too far?
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Published on November 13, 2011 18:05

November 10, 2011

Review: THE DEAN'S LIST by Jimmy Petrosino

Dean Perrasani excitedly follows in his older brother's footsteps when he is invited to take over the fraternity Phi Beta Regnum—which we learn early on is an interesting mesh between Mafia and Skull and Bones.  As Regnum's new "Don," Dean finds himself a "made man" in a world of thugs, greed, double-crossers, and wanna-be gangsters, and he learns quickly that power and danger go hand in hand.

The Dean's List is a fast-paced, contemporary suspense novel that is as thoughtful as it is well-written.  The prose is fragmented, but with purpose, creating a striking marriage of style and content.  The story is tight, the characters detailed and believable, and the dialogue sharp.  Keep an eye out for this author, as he is definitely up and coming!

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Published on November 10, 2011 18:39