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Archive for September 16th, 2010

It’s been one year since ex-Navy SEAL Ethan Kelly last saw his wife Rachel alive. Overwhelmed by grief and guilt over his failures as a husband, Ethan shuts himself off from everything and everyone.

His brothers have tried to bring Ethan into the KGI fold, tried to break through the barriers he’s built around himself, but Ethan refuses to respond… until he receives anonymous information claiming Rachel is alive.

To save her, Ethan will have to dodge bullets, cross a jungle, and risk falling captive to a deadly drug cartel that threatens his own demise. And even if he succeeds, he’ll have to force Rachel to recover memories she can’t and doesn’t want to relive—the minute by minute terror of her darkest hour—for their love, and their lives, may depend on it.

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A year ago, Ethan was told that his wife had died in a plane crash in South America. Now, on the anniversary of her death, he has received an anonymous package telling him she is still alive.  Ethan’s guilt, disbelief, anger, and hope are so vividly described in the beginning of this book,  I could not set it down until I reached the last page.

Ethan and his brothers are able to rescue Rachel but the Rachel that comes home is not the same one that left. This Rachel is broken. She has been held captive in a hell hole for a year. Her captures addicted her to drugs to manage her. Her memories of her life are mostly gone and what’s left comes in small bursts that leave her confused and afraid.

Rachel and Ethan’s road to rebuilding their life together is one that I just don’t have the words to describe. I’ve tried, this is my fifth attempt at this review. I can say this. Ms. Banks made me feel every emotion in this book. I got chills when Ethan opened the envelope. I was teary-eyed when Rachel reunited with her family. My heart ached as Rachel struggled with her drug addiction. And there is a scene at the end of the book that is truly sigh-worthy and just makes me melt. A fantastic start to a new series and I can’t wait to read more about the Kelly family!

You can read more about The Darkest Hour at Maya Bank’s website.

GIVEAWAY!

Five lucky people will each win a copy of THE DARKEST HOUR. To be entered, just leave a comment below.

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I am happy to say one of the most common remarks I get from readers is, “I couldn’t put it down.”  People send me notes grumbling because they stayed up late into the night to finish one of my novels.

For an author, these words are music to the ear.

Writing a fast-paced novel isn’t every writer’s goal, but it certainly is mine.  I like to read books that draw me in and won’t let go, books I think about all day and wait impatiently to get back to in order to see what happens next.

There are a lot of tricks that writers can use to write page-turners.  Leaving out blocks of description makes the story move faster–or as Elmore Leonard said, “I try to leave the stuff people don’t read.”  Often the settings are places that are familiar from TV, travel, or movies, so the description can be shorter.

Enter late and leave early is a Hollywood trick that pertains to the beginning and ending of scenes in the story.  Jump right in–leave out the, “Hello, how are you?”  “I’m fine, how are you?”

Hooks at the beginning and end of chapters are helpful.  Some authors begin a new chapter in the middle of the action.

One of the things I’ve noticed about my own writing is that I do a lot of characterization by showing how the people–hero and heroine and sub characters–react as the plot goes forward.  Unless it’s pertinent to the story, I don’t write a lot of background information.  I don’t care what the heroine did in high school–unless it has some bearing on how she’ll handle the situation in which she currently finds herself in the story.

I get criticized for this somewhat, but it definitely moves the book forward.

This month, my publisher is re-issuing The Necklace Trilogy–THE BRIDE’S NECKLACE, THE DEVIL’S NECKLACE, and the HANDMAIDEN’S NECKLACE.  If you like fast-paced novels and you haven’t read the series, I hope you’ll give them a try.

January, February, March come the Raines Brothers Trilogy, a new contemporary series beginning with Jackson Raines, AGAINST THE WIND.  I hope you’ll watch for them and that you enjoy.  All best wishes, Kat

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Thank you Kat for visiting with us today! To find out more about Kat and her books, visit her website here and friend her on Facebook. She is also running a contest on her site. You can find all the details here.

Remember to leave a comment here for a chance to win an autographed copy of The Bride’s Necklace. Good luck!

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