Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine

I discovered an excellent new (to me) writer a couple of weeks ago — though I have to admit her name is so familiar, I keep thinking we must have met somewhere in the labyrinth of the writer’s world: a conference, workshop, or publisher event.

Anyway, it doesn’t matter.

Somehow, and I don’t remember that either, a copy of Stillhouse Lake showed up on my eReader. No, I don’t think it was magic; it was probably a promotion of some kind where I downloaded the book and then promptly forgot about it. Well . . . for some reason, I started reading it despite the fact I was already in the middle of two books and an audio book. Let me tell you, I was hooked from the very beginning and the two other books, that were good, got put on hold until I finished Stillhouse Lake.

This is such a well written, tightly plotted book with compelling characters. It really is one of the best suspense novels I’ve read this year. I highly recommend it. Oh, and I’ve already preordered the second book in the series (Killman Creek) which comes out on December 14th.  I can’t wait!

So, after you read it, let me know what you think in the comments section below.

P.S.  I’m pretty sure both books are only available through Amazon.  Here is the link, or click on the cover or text links above.

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Swan Song by Robert McCammon

One of my all-time favorite books by one of my favorite authors — Robert McCammon.

I’ve read Swan Song three times, plus listened to the audio book. There is no other book that I’ve read that many times.  The eBook is currently on sale for 1.99 — I don’t know  how long that will last, but if you like post-apocalypse stories, then I promise you’ll love this one . . . no matter what the price.

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The Queen of Bedlam Book Review

The Queen of Bedlam ImageI love audio books. IMO, a good reader can make a good book better, while a not-so-good reader can hurt a book. I always have an audio book in my car — and a half-dozen waiting on my iPod.

The good and bad thing about listening to books, however, is when I find one that’s so compelling that I can’t “read” it fast enough. It doesn’t happen often, but I’m currently listening to The Queen of Bedlam by Robert McCammon, and it’s driving me crazy. I’m ready to take a road trip just to finish it.

As you all may know, I’m a huge Robert McCammon fan. He’s one of my all-time favorite authors, and only one of two authors whose books I’ve read more than once. (The other is Tolkien.)

So, obviously The Queen of Bedlam falls into the outstanding “read” category. It’s the second book in McCammon’s Matthew Corbett series. The first in the series is Speaks the Nightbird — which I read twice, but The Queen of Bedlam is even better. McCammon is a master story teller, with intriguing and unique characters and intricate plots. Plus he’s a craftsman of the first degree. His use of language, the way he manipulates words, takes my breath away—and makes me a bit envious.

Anyway, obviously, I’m loving this book, and I’m going to have to read the third one in print because I can read faster than I listen.

So let me know if anyone else is a fan.


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Out of Reach – Now Available

I’m exited to announce my second eBook release.  Out of Reach, like Blind Run, was originally published by Ballantine Books in hardcover, then a year later, it came out in paperback.  Unlike Blind Run, however, Out of Reach is the start of my Erin Baker Thriller series.  I absolutely love the main character, Erin.  Heck, I’d like to be Erin.  Enjoy!

Out of Reach CoverBack Cover Copy

In her acclaimed novel, Blind Run, Patricia Lewin proved her brilliant command of heart-stopping tales of suspense—and the staggering human emotions that go with them. Now in Out of Reach, Patricia Lewin returns with a gripping new thriller—a gritty and terrifying story of a man and a woman entering a battle against an unseen evil . . . the kind that targets the most innocent among us.

CIA Officer, Erin Baker, is driven by a tragedy from her past. When she was a child, her eight-year-old sister, Claire, was kidnapped. Erin blames herself, and although Claire was eventually found, she was changed forever—as was Erin, who’s since spent her life defending those unable to protect themselves. Continue reading

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Pat’s Street Team

Hi, All.  I just started a street team on Facebook. We call ourselves Pat’s Panthers.  Come check it out.

Pat's Panthers Logo

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Blind Run Released in eBook

I’m so excited to announce the release of by first eBook, Blind Run. This book originally came out in hardcover, then later in paperback. However, I’m not excited to make it available for the digital reader.  This is my first eBook Release and it has been so much fun . . . and a bit scary.

Back Cover Copy

Ethan Decker was a specialized hunter for a CIA Shadow Organization, working deep undercover to track down and capture ruthless international mercenaries and fugitives. Then a daring mission takes a lethal turn, leaving innocents dead in its wake, and Ethan’s wife a prime target of a ruthless assassin. To save her, and because he can no longer justify his actions, Ethan exiles himself to a remote desert in New Mexico, a prisoner of his own guilt and grief.

Then one searing day, a former member of Decker’s covert team arrives at his door, shepherding two children. She entrusts them to his protection and leaves without explanation.

Suddenly, the race is on: to reach his ex-wife before the deadly assassin finds her, and to unlock the mystery behind the two children—who have become pawns in a dark conspiracy so evil that even this former spy cannot imagine the peril that lies directly in his path.


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One Second After by William R. Forstchen

One Second After by William R. ForstchenApocalypse / post-apocalypse books are my favorite sub-genre of books. (If there was such a list, I’m sure I would have read most of the biggies. And no, Dystopian is not the same thing and does not count.) So, ONE SECOND AFTER . . . is probably one of the scariest apocalyptic books I’ve ever read.

Whereas most other  apocalypse books are hard to imagine, even if they are feasible, One Second After is frightening because of it’s very feasible and possible scenario.  It had me wanting to go take a  survivor training class.

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How To Drive An Editor Crazy.

The Belle Ringer Logo 900 x 188


Exclamation Points. Lose them! 

Carton ImageNew writers seem to love exclamation points.   Whenever I open a manuscript and spot a bevy of these little demons, I moan.  It’s a sure sign that the author is inexperienced.

Now, will a plethora of exclamation points keep me from buying a book?  Probably not by themselves.  However, the overuse of exclamation points is often a substitute for strong writing.  Plus, exclamation points are distracting, smack of insecure writing, and yes, will almost all come out in the edits.

So what should you use instead?

Show emphasis with your character’s words and the action he takes while saying them.  Take a look at this snippet of dialogue.

John grabbed my hand.  “Stop that.”

“Let go.” I met and held his angry gaze.  “Now.”

Obviously, there’s emphasis in both characters’ dialogue.  However, no exclamation points are needed. In fact, exclamation points would distract from the tension between the characters.

So, does that mean there is never a place for exclamation points?  Of course not.

John jumped to his feet and pointed to the balcony.  “Fire!”

Continue reading

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Techniques of the Selling Writer

Techniques of the Selling WriterOne of my favorite books on writing is Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight Swain.  As most writing teachers will tell you, this is the bible for writing commercial fiction. It’s a valuable resource you’ll use throughout your writing career.  Just a word of warning, though.  It’s very dense, and you might not get it all the first time through.  Don’t worry about it.  You’ll get the parts  you’re ready for as a writer. Then I promise you’ll pull it out again and again during your writing career – maybe just to read sections — and then you’ll say,  “Oh, I get it.”

After over twenty years of writing, I still use it today and am still finding new information that I didn’t ‘see’ before.

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The Passage by Justin Cronin

The Passage by Justin CroninAs all of you know, I’m a big reader. I always have about four or five books going at a time. Until one of them grabs me and hangs on. Currently, I’ve been caught by Justin Cronin’s THE PASSAGE. It’s fabulous–if you like apocalypse books. (Which happens to be my favorite sub-genre.) It’s not a super fast read, but the writing is fabulous, and the story is layered and multifaceted. Sometimes, the best seller lists get it right

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