Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Friend's Review: Vanished, by Joseph Finder

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[Written by Ms. Moo]
GENRE: Thriller/Mystery

Lauren Heller and her husband, Roger, are out to dinner one night when they’re brutally attacked. Twenty-four hours later, Lauren awakes in the hospital to find that her husband has vanished without a trace. The only one who has any chance of locating him is his brother, Nick, the investigative head of a private intelligence firm.

If you like Lee Child’s “Jack Reacher” novels or David Baldacci’s “Oliver Stone” novels, you’ll get hooked on Joseph Finder’s Nick Heller. Trained in the Special Forces and armed with a set of deadly skills, Nick still believes in honor and integrity, even when digging up dirty secrets that powerful people would rather keep hidden.

Finder’s novels are fast-paced and pack a good punch. You’ll find yourself rooting for his character, Nick, as he overcomes lies, deceit and deadly obstacles to get at the truth. Hollywood loves a good story too, which is why his latest novel, Buried Secrets is now in theaters.

Review Time!

Hello! The Jason Jack Here!

Coming at you from post birthday celebrations! Yay!

Man, do the weeks fly by. Been finding my "legs" so to speak over April. That is, enjoying life while getting back on the writing train. In fact, I wrote 3k words today :) Which I'm pleased by. The rest of April was spent on reading, reading, and reviewing.

3 reviews, to be exact.

Hop on over to my website and check out my mini reviews for Amanda Hocking's Switched, Stephen King's Under the Dome, and Nora Robert's Naked in Death.

But while you're here, continue reading for my FIRST EVER "Friend's Review" post where a person other than myself Reviews a book I might or might not have selected to read myself.

This first Friend's Review comes from an intelligent woman I will call . . . Ms. Moo :) Ms. Moo has many credentials including degrees, important sounding title positions, and editing. Now, onto the show!

Until next time, read THIS POST :)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Editing is a Man's Best Friend

There. I finished uploading my fifth chapter of the novel I'm currently writing on my website.
And it only took two hours to do it.

I woke up this morning with the intent to uploaded the chapter at 6:30 in the morning.   See, I already had it written about two weeks ago. In the mean time, I've been sprucing up other novels for their debutante submission process. Digression aside, the chapter was done. Complete. An advertisement in a GQ mag, it was so fine.

Now here's when things went wrong.

I woke up at 10:20am. I planned on waking up early and making Saturday an entire writing day, but I didn't get to sleep until 1am. Counting sheep is crappy advice, especially since I got a degree in accounting (1 sheep; 2 sheep; 3 . . . wait. Did we cosign the first 2 or did we pay cash? What's our Accounts Payable like after we took on the first 2 fluffs? Do they have any salvage value after their useful lives?)
At least I received about 9 hours of sleep :) Plus side, for the win!

Editing is a man's . . . worst friend. Don't get me wrong. Editing's awesome, but it can always sneak up on you. I have plans today, so a surprise two-hour editing for a single chapter (which is not unusual) just kind of stinks. The writing in the chapter wasn't terrible; it was actually quite good. There were, however, those pesky little problems that you don't see until you go back a while later. But I suck it up, because good writing is what I strive for.

Now, here's some tips to find and get rid of what I like to call pesky little problems:

1. Needless Words. They like to show up in the form of "that" (He wanted to know whether that the tree was green. I said that the tree was brown), "to" in some instances (he tried to sing; omit the word to, and change to sing into singing), and never use "the fact that" or "all of a sudden".

The theory, concerning omitting words you don't need, is (that) it makes smoother, faster prose. Try rereading your writing a few days after you wrote it and give it another shot with an honest eye.

I recommend exporting your document into a PDF if you can't print it out. The PDF version looks, at least to me it does, more like a finished novel. In this fashion, it becomes easier to see mistakes because the product looks more like a book than the same screen you've been (desensitized to so you won't see errors as easily) typing away at for hours on end. You might be surprised what you find.

2. Adverbs. -ly words should go (sourly, grouchily, hungrily, etc). The author's number one goal is to show and not tell. Adverbs tell and not show. Thanks, Stephen King, for the good advice :)

For example, writing "Give me back my son!" the man hit the tree mercifully" is lame writing. What does that even mean?

How about this: The man punched the tree trunk without concern for his well being; his knuckles were raw and splintered, and the trunk's bark had been stripped, yet the mans's assault continued on throughout the night and into the morning. "Give me back my son!" he yelled, driving his now bloodied fist into the oak without the intent of stopping no matter the sacrifice to his own body.

Much better.

3. Check names. Always check you have written your character names correctly throughout your entire draft. Someone named Billy can end up Bilyl or Bllyi without you ever noticing. Hey, it happens to me all the time. And that is just embarrassing.

That's all I have for today's editing lesson. Number one thing to remember while editing is taking your time and reading each sentence, line by line and word by word. Reading slower should help you catch these critters and help you create a better end result.

Oh, shoot. It's 1pm, and my day is just beginning :) Have a nice weekend.

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Craziest Woman to Ever be Crazy

Hello! The Jason Jack here!

For this Friday night treat, I thought I'd share a little story my brother sent me years ago. I hosted this on my website at first, but I thought it would fit better here :) Enjoy!

The Craziest Woman to Ever be Crazy
(What follows is a transcript of a real phone call taken by my brother, Cojiro. All true, except names and private information have been altered)
May 9, 2008
3:45pm – 4:10pm

Cojiro: Thank you for—
Woman: (interrupting) –customer service at the bank!?
Cojiro: Excuse me?
Woman: Is this customer service at Trustus Bank?
Cojiro: Yes. This is customer service, my name is Cojiro. How may I help you today?
Woman: How can I be sure that this is actually the bank and not the market trying to scam me?
Cojiro: Well, you know that number you just called? 1-555-555-5055? That reaches a live operator at the customer service line for the bank.
Woman: Okay. I just got out of the Lucky Market and the woman ran my check through really quickly, but I wanted to pay with my food stamps instead so she charged me twice. I took the check and ripped it up, but is there any possibility that they already got my money from my account? I mean, they are trying to double-dip my account and that’s just wrong.
Cojiro: Sure; I can help you with that. May I have you account number please?
Woman: Yes it’s 4264-67263-0
Cojiro: Thank you, one moment please.
(Enters number)
May I have your name please?
Woman: Uh, well, why should I tell you that? Why don’t you tell me what you see there?
Cojiro: I just need to verify that you are really you so I can’t disclose any information until you give me your information.
Woman: Well, something’s fishy about all this, but okay. My name is [name deleted].
Cojiro: Thank you. May I have the last four of your social?
Woman: 5000
Cojiro: Thank you Ms. [name deleted]. What I can do for you today is place a stop payment on the check so it won’t come out of the account. Fortunately you called before 8pm so we still have time. Do you have the check number?
Woman: There’s not gonna be a charge right? Because there’s no way I’m gonna get charged twice when it’s not my fault.
Cojiro: Well, there is a $20 charge for placing the stop payment to make sure the check you said the woman grabbed from you doesn’t clear the account.
Woman: Are you kidding me? $20 to stop a check? No sir. I’m not gonna do it. You shouldn’t even charge me since this isn’t my fault at all.
Cojiro: Well it’s your choice after all. Since you said you received the check and tore it up you may be fine, but—
Woman: So you’re tellin’ me that those crooks are gonna get my money and they got my food stamps if I don’t give you $20?
Cojiro: If you don’t place a stop payment and you are concerned that the woman ran your check through, then yes, they will get the funds both times.
Woman: No, no, no, no. I don’t think so. If anyone should pay, it’s those crooks at Lucky Market! I mean, they’re double dipping my account. Why should I have to pay you $20?
Cojiro: Well this seems like a problem you may be able to take up with the manager of the Lucky Market. If this woman did disrespect your wishes and charged you twice—
Woman: She was the manager. She had a pin on saying so. And then the funny thing was the 1st time she ran the transaction through, she got $67.44, but then when she did it again for the food stamps she got a different total for the cents. Like 55 cents. And there her workers were just egging her on to quickly scan the food and confuse me so I wouldn’t know they were trying to scam me.
Cojiro: There has to be a manager above her. Maybe you could see a Store Manager. Or if that doesn’t work, you could talk to her Regional Manager.
Woman: You know what? I’m going to get to the bottom of this. I’m gonna call Scotland Yard and get an officer to investigate.
Cojiro: (stifles laughter)
Woman: And you know, I’m gonna call, uh, what’s it called? The international police men, the…
Cojiro: Interpol?
(Stifling more laughter)
Woman: Interpol, yes! And they will get all this sorted out. I’ve got their direct line and all I gotta do is dial them up.
Cojiro:  Okay, well it seems like you have things sorted out on your end. So will you be doing the stop payment or not?
Woman: Instead of paying you my $20, I think I’m going to hire a detective to follow my sister Tracy, who really isn’t my sister, around because she’s the cause of all this.
Cojiro: (Motions to co-workers that this woman is crazy)
Woman: Then I’ll follow these crooks, all of them and find out, um, why you all are doing this to me.
Cojiro: Okay…Is there anything else that’s bank-related I can help you with?
Woman: No and you know what? All of you are in on this together and I’m gonna have the investigator follow you all around.
Cojiro: (Chuckles) Okay…umm…
Woman: You think it’s funny? That I’m kidding?
Cojiro: No. I just don’t appreciate being threatened.
Woman: Oh, no, no, no. I’m not threatening you directly, I’m just telling you all that I will get to the bottom of all this and that I won’t let you take my money like that. You and the Lucky Market are in cahoots on this one and I won’t let you double dip my account like this.
Cojiro: I assure you, we have noth—
Woman: No, no. It’s alright. I know what I have to do.
Cojiro: Okay. Is there anything else I can—?
Woman: No. ♪ Thank you. Have a nice day. ♪

Inaugural Post, by The Jason Jack

Hello! I'm the Author The Jason Jack! And welcome to my complementary blog which goes along with me website,

For my first post, which I'm writing in between loads of laundry and a growling stomach, I want to address who I am as concise as possible. This is important to understand, especially those who have never been to my site. Okay. Ready?
Yup. I'm someone who has too much fun hanging out at the back of water falls in San Francisco. That aside, I am an (currently) unpublished author finding his way to stardom. Or, at the very least, financial stability so I can keep writing fiction for the rest of my life. How else will I fund my waterfall soliciting?

Now onto some quick facts about myself:

I've been writing full time since the Fall of 2010 upon graduating with my BS in Business with a concentration in accounting. (I know--you don't have to say it . . .  that is an awesome degree one needs to be a writer!)

I wrote 5 novels and started (shameless plug) within my first year.

I have been editing said novels and improving my technical skills since then.

I have begun work on my 6th novel, which you can read on my website at this link.

Along with my other-half, known from here on out as The Misses, I have searched agents and began the submission process for my manuscripts.

AND one last thing--I lost 30 pounds after college, kept it off, and started a new diet for myself :) College makes ya fat. I should know.

Whelp. That's me. Just a person trying to make it in this world by doing what he loves to do: writing.

Now, to stifle my hunger and check my load of laundry before someone steals my socks . . .