Mirage by Clive Cussler
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
As always, Clive Cussler and Jack Du Brul deliver nonstop, full on action with core characters I care about. The crew of the Oregon is family (as stated at the end) and while they are mercenaries, they are honorable men and women who choose jobs with a conscience.
I never want to give away a book's plot or twists because those are the parts I like the best. I will say that if you like history, science and intrigue woven through your thriller/adventure, this is right series. Cussler and Du Brul created a killer stew filled with Cold War Russia, Tesla theory and current events and finished it off with a stiff shot of action filled rescues.
This book was released some time ago and I bought it right away (hardcover from CostCo, because there are just some authors I collect), it is only now that I take a break from writing to read. So good I read it in less than 24 hours (had to sleep sometime) and so sad when I turned the last page.
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1. Turn it around- Look at a well-known tale, fairy tale or historical event from a different point of view. Every story has at least two sides. As a stepmother, I have often wondered if Snow White’s stepmother could tell her side, if we wouldn’t have seen Snow White as a snotty, self-indulgent girl who ran away after being caught with a stable boy in the royal gardens.
2. Take a trip- Star Wars and the Wizard of Oz are both allegories. Place an historical event or political intrigue in another locale, time or reality, change the names and faces to protect the innocent—or the guilty—and you have a fresh take on an old story.
3. Walk in their shoes- When waiting to see the doctor or in line at the grocery store, observe those around you. Every single person has a story. Why is that man limping? Why is that mother so short-tempered with her children? Don’t make judgments, observe and let your imagination free.
4. Turn your negatives into positives- Like songwriters who turn their failed relationship experiences into hit songs, authors sock away negative events as fodder for upcoming novels. Simple irritations such as jury duty or dealing with coworkers to seriously painful events as loss of a relationship or a loved one provide realism for your characters when you plumb that reservoir of emotion.
5. Dive into your hobby- Use your hobby to provide depth to your story. Accurate details resonate with readers for successful novels. The saying “Write what you know” rings true every time.
6. Write what you don’t know- Find a topic that excites or intrigues you, research it and infuse that enthusiasm and passion into your hero or heroine. The antagonist can respond with an attitude of banal superiority and voila, instant conflict or basis for a contemptuous romance.
7. Humanize an event- A couple of my favorite authors, Steve Berry and James Rollins, take historical events and examine them from the viewpoint of an historical figure. Wrap a current conspiracy and real relationships throughout and they have top ten sales every time.
8. Wonder what if- From historical events, common folk or fairy tales, or your own memories, imagine a different turn in events. What if
9. Mix it up- Mix up different tropes to get a fresh story. Go crazy and write tropes, character options and settings/time periods on dice and let your muse choose your next endeavor. Even if you don’t use all the suggestions from the dice, it might give you a new direction to examine.
10. Play games- Game playing can spark creativity. Once Upon a Time, Gloom and Elder Sign enable players to stretch their imaginations to win. Play has always been a way to release your inner muse. Most of us repress them as we become adults and responsible.
11. Work it out- Give your brain a rest and work out. Take a walk. Go for a bike ride. Dance. Exercise increases your blood flow, improving your focus while allowing your mind to relax.
Whatever you do, keep writing.
Wanted: Tall, sexy shifter
Have you ever wondered why people are obsessed with Bigfoot? Have you noticed how many TV shows are dedicated to finding evidence of the legendary Sasquatch? What if those beings were really shifters, able to virtually disappear by cloaking themselves?
Trevor Greene is one such being. His kind calls themselves “Watchers” and shift between the human side of their souls and the beast. As a master of stealth, Trevor employs his abilities to guard a damaged six year old boy and falls for his nurturing teacher.
Available through Musa Publishing (http://tinyurl.com/q6svuk7) and Amazon (http://tinyurl.com/kdu4jyt).
School teacher Cassidy Sinclair’s sanity is questioned after claiming to see her hero appear out of thin air. Her savior dies in her arms after intercepting a gunshot meant for her and her student, Allan Branson. The only person who believes her account is the boy’s father who arranges her one-week stay at an exclusive holistic healing spa called the Wiccan Haus off the coast of Maine.
Trevor Green, a paranormal, is recovering—again—from gunshot wounds at Wiccan Haus. His body battered and his confidence broken, he is tasked to protect the woman he almost got killed. The one he’s fantasized about for months and who thinks he’s dead.
What happened? He inhaled a calming breath and counted to ten, aware that Cemil and Cyrus had joined Sage and were awaiting his answer. Well, not Cemil. He was just being polite. As a telepath, he’d already read Trevor’s thoughts.
“She was determined to come back here and I had to stop her.”
Cemil grinned. “The best you could come up with was decloaking her dead savior right in front of her?”
“Yeah,” he snarled, “it was.” Cassidy stirred in his arms and he tightened his hold keeping her close. He savored the innocent intimacy and hated himself for enjoying it.
Dana stood between the two elevators. “Your room or hers?”
He nodded toward Sage as he waited for the third elevator, the one reserved for the humans. Somehow, these siblings had charmed the elevators so that only humans could use the one designated to go to the third floor and only Paranormals could use the second floor elevator. The first elevator was reserved for the siblings alone. No one knew where that one went.
“I could use a key to her room.”
“How will you get there?” Sage asked, though he was sure she knew the answer. As always, he would wait patiently, cloaked, for his opportunity.
“Don’t worry about me. Just get me the key. She’s not going to be an easy one to keep an eye on.” The elevator pinged and Dana escorted him to the third floor.
In the privacy of the elevator, he pressed his lips to her hair. She wouldn’t know, but he would remember the silky strands caressing his cheek during the long lonely nights.
He needed to concoct a believable explanation for materializing out of thin air without threatening her sanity.
Or his secret.
Need a great way to kick off 2014? Here it is: Betrayal written by Jenna Jaxon. Set for release January 31, 2014, the story continues where Betrothal, the first in the Time Enough to Love series, left off.
I've been waiting for the next in the series. I loved the authenticity of the setting, wardrobe and customs of King Edward's court in Betrothal. Ms. Jaxon takes those elements and weaves a tale that immerses the reader in the story from the first page.
Here's a blurb from Betrayal:
After a night of passion with her betrothed, Sir Geoffrey Longford, Lady Alyse de Courcy is eagerly looking forward to her wedding. But when Geoffrey is forced to marry another, a heartbroken and possibly pregnant Alyse finds herself in her own private hell. She must either gamble with her reputation or marry someone she does not love.
A reputed connoisseur of women, Thomas, Lord Braeton, has dallied with many ladies of King Edward’s court, although he has favored none. However, as Geoffrey’s best friend, Thomas has sworn to serve and protect Alyse, an oath now sorely tested when he agrees to marry her—in name only—to guard her reputation. Yet, as they grow closer, and Thomas discovers Alyse’s sweet but spirited nature, he comes to desire a marriage in truth. Can he overcome her memory of Geoffrey or is Thomas doomed to burn with passion for a woman he can never possess?
Shifters & Spice (e-book 99 cents!)
Romance writer. Paranormal and contemporary. Mother of two and wife of perfect husband. Love the environment, travel and reading.
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