Friday, June 8, 2018

The Other Woman Review

Title:  The Other Woman
Author:  Sandie Jones
Publisher:  Minotaur Books
Release Date:  Aug. 21, 2018
Purchase Link:  Amazon

My Rating:  4 Diabolical Hearts

*Many thanks to Minotaur Books for a copy of this arc via Netgally.

HE LOVES YOU: Adam adores Emily. Emily thinks Adam’s perfect, the man she thought she’d never meet.

BUT SHE LOVES YOU NOT: Lurking in the shadows is a rival, a woman who shares a deep bond with the man she loves.

AND SHE'LL STOP AT NOTHING: Emily chose Adam, but she didn’t choose his mother Pammie. There’s nothing a mother wouldn’t do for her son, and now Emily is about to find out just how far Pammie will go to get what she wants: Emily gone forever.

I'm always excited to discover a debut novel that keeps me up at night, burning through pages to reach the end.  The Other Woman certainly did that with an air of impending doom surrounding the heroine, Emily.  I knew it was just a matter of time before everything hit the fan as this gripping story unfolded.

Emily and Adam meet in a bar and are immediately in lust and soon after "in love".  Emily has finally met her prince, and now she's meeting his perfect mother, Pammie - a woman who does no wrong in his eyes.  Emily is nervous, but ready . . . she thinks.  It quickly becomes obvious that Pammie isn't ready to share Adam's affections with another woman.  Her devious actions undermine Emily at every turn, even as she presents a sweeter than sugar persona to Adam and everyone else.  When things take a malicious turn, the question becomes . . . Is Pammie dangerous?  How far will she go to keep Emily and her son apart?

The Other Woman is an intense, engaging, medium paced read told through Emily's point of view.  Readers have a front row seat to what's happening to Emily both physically and mentally.  She's a perfect spokesperson for the old saying "Love is Blind" and still, I was sympathetic to her plight.  The author does a great job weaving the plot and enhancing it with a varied cast of support characters.  I will say I suspected the main twist way too soon and while the delivery of the story had me flipping pages and freaking out early on, the ending left me feeling a bit disappointed and wanting something more.  In spite of that, The Other Woman is a gripping debut thriller that I enjoyed reading.  I'm looking forward to more from Jones.  Avoid all spoilers and settle in with this Must Read!

My Rating:  4 Diabolical Hearts . . . And that's the truth!

Cross My Heart . . . xxx

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

IWSG: The Name Game

June IWSG Question:  What's harder for you to come up with, book titles or character names?
The Name Game by Shirley Ellis (originally published in 1964)

Does anyone remember one of the many versions of the rhyming song, The Name Game?  What a fun, contagious way to make rhymes with names.  So addictive and impossible to get out of your head!  If only naming book characters was as simple  - or finding the perfect book title.

Naming our babies in both real life and the book world is serious business.  Not only do the names have to be a good "fit", they also have to stand up to a lot of wear and tear.  Most of the time, character names come to me as I become intimate with my characters.  I have to know them both physically and mentally before I can saddle them with a permanent name.  I usually form a short list of names for consideration once I have researched time period, popular names, possible nicknames, etc., and after I've settled on attributes such as appearance, demeanor, motivation, goals, desires.  At this point, if everyone is cooperating with me (a BIG "if"), a name usually screams Pick Me, Pick Me!  Other times, I have a name in mind from the moment the story idea takes root and starts to grow.  I can't really explain it - it just is.  

A fun exception to the rules of naming characters is in a fantasy/sci-fi world where the only limitations are those of your own mind.  You get to create a make-believe world, story, characters, and names . . . how great is that?!  While this applies in some degree to the writing of all genres, it's never more evident than in fantasy.  I'm currently in the early stages of developing an idea that has my creative juices flowing and imagination soaring and am hopeful things will mesh together in a way that progresses into a book set in my very own fantasyland.  Maybe the rhyming Name Game song will be helpful in naming the characters!  Who knows! lol

Book titles give me more grief.  I think it's probably easier for those of you with a long list of completed titles, but I find it a difficult decision to make.  Deciding on a title that reflects my story as a whole while enticing readers into a purchase is tough.  If there's a secret to it, please feel free share!

What about you?  Do you find it harder to name your characters or find the perfect title to represent your book?

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a community of writers who share ideas and encourage each other. It's a great place to express doubts and concerns as well as offer and receive tribulations and guidance from other writers. IWSG posts the first Wednesday of every month. I know you'll find it to be a great writer's resource that's well worth your time. Be sure to stop by and visit with some of the other IWSG writers/bloggers at IWSG Members.

Please join me in thanking June's awesome co-hosts:
Beverly Stowe McClure, Tyrean Martinson, and Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor!  Be sure to stop by to visit and thank them personally!  And keep on writing!