Posts Tagged ‘reviews’

Review: BLOWBACK, an espionage thriller

Monday, September 30th, 2013

BLOWBACK <><><><>

An exciting new espionage thriller, with insider detail and the realism that only a former spy could provide, by former CIA ops officer Valerie Plame Wilson and thriller writer Sarah Lovett.

Covert CIA ops officer Vanessa Pierson pits herself against Bhoot, alias The Ghost, the world’s most dangerous international nuclear arms dealer. The fast-paced action takes the reader from Europe to Washington D.C. to the Near East.

Be inside the head of a CIA ops officer, a heroine to admire—courage, stamina, intelligence, determination—as she risks her cover, her career and her life to hunt for and take down not only arms dealer Bhoot, but also another man, a talented elusive assassin who kills a highly valued contact.

The non-stop suspense, action, and intrigue will likely have readers wanting to finish the novel in one sitting, while the emotional connections between characters, including a forbidden love affair with handsome as hell David Khoury, give the story and characters depth, and a sense of real community in a dangerous profession. An exceptional thriller, and a great read!! I can’t wait until their next book.

This is the first installment of the Vanessa Pierson series.

Valerie Plame Wilson also wrote Fair Game: How a Top CIA Agent was Betrayed by Her Own Government (with Laura Rozen). Her career in the CIA included assignments in Counterproliferation operations, ensuring that enemies of the United States could not threaten the country with weapons of mass destruction.

Sarah Lovett’s five suspense novels–Dark Alchemy, Dantes’ Inferno, Acquired Motives, Dangerous Attachments, and A Desperate Silence—feature forensic psychologist Dr. Sylvia Strange, and have been published in the United States and around the world.

Blue Rider Press / A member of the Penguin Group (USA) Inc. / New York.

Link to Amazon:


TOUCH & GO, by Lisa Gardner — Review

Sunday, February 3rd, 2013


Main character, the lovely and talented Libby Denbe.
Her husband, Justin Denbe.
Their beautiful 15-year-old daughter Ashlyn.
Investigator Tessa Leoni.
Wyatt Foster, sexy New Hampshire detective.
Ex-military and Special Forces.
With appearances by D.D. Warren.

Pain has a flavor. The question is, what does it taste like to you.

Boston’s exclusive Back Bay neighborhood, a gorgeous brownstone on a tree-lined street. A great marriage. A family who seemed to be admired and loved by all.

In the first chapter, three masked men attack and abduct them. When investigator Tessa Leoni arrives on the crime scene, the family has vanished without a trace—no witnesses, no ransom demands, no motive. Just a million tiny pieces of Taser confetti. Racing against the clock to locate the family, Tessa and Detective Wyatt team up, with the FBI, to uncover the family’s deepest secrets and a complex web of betrayal and big business. Who did it? Why did they do it? What happened to the family?

This is the truth: Love, safety, family…it’s all touch and go.

Gardner’s brilliant novel is a thriller as thrillers should be written. Tense and highly suspenseful, her latest features a delightfully fresh plot, a variety of unexpected twists and some great surprises. With the search to save this family and a family under immense pressure–this story is also definitely emotionally charged and compelling. Very engaging writing and wonderful, intriguing characters. (Loved the dynamic between Tessa and Wyatt.) Gardner is a suspense maestro. Unputdownable, fast-paced, utterly riveting. And a spectacular conclusion!

Lisa Gardner is the New York Times best-selling author of fourteen novels, including the D.D. Warren series: Catch Me, Love You More, Live to Tell, The Neighbor, Hide, and Alone. Her latest book, TOUCH & GO,  comes out February 5th, 2013, bringing back Tessa Leoni, a character who was first introduced in the book, Love You More.


Review: “Catch Me,” by Lisa Gardner

Saturday, April 28th, 2012

Back from maternity leave and investigating a murder scene, Detective D. D. Warren is confronted by Charlene (Charlie) Grant, who tries to recruit D.D. to investigate her upcoming murder—over the past two years, two of Charlie’s friends were murdered on January 21st of each year, and Charlie expects she’s next. That’s just 4 days away.

The story is Charlie’s, though it’s told primarily through both Charlie and Detective Warren. As Charlie prepares—she has all the details from the two previous murders—she sweats bullets when her present collides with some startling events in her past, and she’s faced with difficult choices.

D.D. Warren is a charming mixture of new mother and talented, hard-nosed detective, experiencing the softness and demands of motherhood against the starkness of real life as a big-city detective, pursuing a killer.

Gardner’s great opening had me interested and into the story immediately. Terrific story, terrific storytelling. While the story had a few upsetting details—that is life and great fiction—the stand-out characters were very much worth getting to know and read about. In addition to unusual characters, this novel had some great twists and surprises—a can’t-put-it-down suspenseful plot—everything a reader could hope for in a very good read.

I sometimes compare certain things to great meals—like great lectures and great conversation. This was like going to an excellent restaurant, ordering a wonderful meal and having it be really surprisingly great. Calling this novel “a very engaging book” is an understatement.

Lisa Gardner is a New York Times bestselling author of 14 novels.
Her Detective D.D. Warren novels include Catch Me, Love You More, Live to Tell, The Neighbor, Hide, and Alone.
Her FBI Profiler novels include Say Goodbye, Gone, The Killing Hour, The Next Accident, and The Third Victim.


Welcome to The Smart Writer!

Sunday, June 26th, 2011

If you’re here, you’re interested in writing, whether fiction or nonfiction, but also share an interest in the creative. This first blog post represents a beginning, and the blog will undoubtedly grow and change. 

Who am I? I’m a Book Editor but also a freelance writer, budding novelist, and budding artist. 

This blog will focus on the craft of writing, fiction or nonfiction, and publishing in general — marketing, self-publishing, copyright, trends, platform, the writer’s life, and submissions. And since my WIP is a thriller/romantic suspense novel (emphasis on the “IP”), I will likely be sharing about writing my novel, and any fun facts that I find in my research. I read, enjoy and edit a variety of books, a variety of genre, so this won’t just be about thrillers or romantic suspense.

About twice a month, I’ll be doing reviews of books, and intermittently having a few guests talk about their books, their writing process, what excites them about writing, about life and creativity, etc.

This is a new thing for me, so I’ll see where it takes me. Beyond here… be dragons.

What is your creative process? What gets you excited about writing?