Second Draft


Sorry I’ve been MIA. Working on the second draft of my novel. Isn’t that such a sweet, idyllic photo? Well, no…it’s not like that at all! I finished my first draft in October, short on sleep, pounding away at the computer, giving up my social life and cooked meals, to run proudly to the new world known as Second Draft. Holy Shit! Who turned out the lights? It’s not very friendly at all! Is this the promised land? I’m hating all my characters at the moment. They say this is “normal” but why didn’t anyone warn me that the road was far worse after the first draft is done?


9780451496102The novel Lola is about a drug gang in south Los Angeles. The Crenshaw Six is a small operation ran covertly by a chick, Lola, under the pretense that her boyfriend, Garcia, is the leader. Lola is petite, street-smart, and a scrapper. Pimped out by her mother at a young age, she’s grown up in the world of drugs. Her mother is still a junkie, slipping away for days on end, and Lola begrudgingly looks after her. Lola and Garcia are living comfortably in a run-down neighborhood hiding their loot in the floor to avoid the wagging tongues of neighborhood gossip-mongers. When the cartel approaches the Crenshaw Six to intervene in a drug trade among their rivals, things go sour. The drop is a bust. They don’t get the $2 million in cash (because it’s just paper disguised as money) and the $2 million in drugs are snatched up by the rival. So now the Crenshaw Six is in deep to the cartel and it’s Lola’s neck that is on the line. When the rival gang kidnaps her mother, Lola fights with her lack of empathy.

Lola is Melissa Scrivner Love’s debut novel. It will take you deep into the grit of the wrong side of town and the guts it takes to survive. I received this book from Random House for my review.

Patrick Flanery Scores with I Am No One

9781101905876Jeremy O’Keefe is a professor trying to find his place in this world after a failed marriage. He moves abroad for a fresh start but never quite fits in. When he moves back to New York, after a decade of being away, he finds that he doesn’t fit in there either.

I Am No One is a thriller in which the reader can relate to the main character, his attempts to be happy just continually fall short of being realized. Then it begins, voluminous amounts of his own personal information are being dropped off anonymously at Jeremy’s apartment. Boxes. Jeremy has to figure out what he has done to warrant such intense scrutiny before it’s too late.

This book will make you rethink everything about your privacy and just how little you truly have. It will give you a mental workout as you try to decide who Jeremy has crossed to become the subject of such a detailed probe into his everyday life.

Patrick Flanery is also the author of Absolution and Fallen Land. I received this book from Random House for my review.

Herman Koch’s The Dinner is delicious!

The Dinner is the best-selling novel by Herman Koch. The novel is set in a high-end restaurant where two brothers and their wives have gathered to talk about something their teenage boys have done. Something that will set both families off course and into disgrace. The meeting is intense as the whole truth gradually unfolds from the perspective of one of the brothers, Paul Lohman. 

As the five-course meal progresses, complete with complex descriptions of each plate, the layers of secrets are peeled back. There are flash backs as Paul puts together what is happening to his family. He discovers his happiness teeters on a tightrope. He is desperate to save his family and the clock is ticking. Literally.

The Dinner is a fast-paced, complex book that will make you rethink what you thought you knew about yourself. It’s dark, it’s relatable. It’s downright heart-wrenching.

The Dutch novel has been translated into 21 languages. The movie adaption will be released this year starring Richard Gere. Herman Koch is the author of 40 books. I received this book from Random House for this review.

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