Welcome to my blog!

Welcome to my blog! This is my journey, my first steps into the world of fictional writing. This blog is an online journal of sorts, where I share the progress of my work as well as what I have learned along the way. I hope you enjoy your time with me and that my experience may be of some use to you.

Friday, December 22, 2017

By the Book - Covert Christmas

Welcome back,

Books with Christmas themes can be hard to find, so when I came across ‘’Covert Christmas’’, I thought to myself it might make a good book review for December. So here is my review of this novel, written by suspense writer Hope White.

I found this novel in a used bookstore while I was shopping around for reading material.  This is not the type of book I would normally go for, but thought it would work well for future themed book reviews. Coincidently, it is also about suspense, a literary genre I covered just  recently.

           The story is about an ex-police-officer named Scott turned private security agent, who is investigating his employers shady activities. While trying to escape some hired thugs, Scott bumps his head and loses his short term memory. Luckily for him, he is saved by a local search-and-rescue trainer named Breanna, who nurses him back to health. Together, they work on getting Scott’s memories back, and uncovering what illegal activities are going on in the area. As the cover says, this novel is a love inspired suspense, so the story focuses a lot on Scott and Breanna’s feelings for each other as the plot progresses.

Back of the book:

A man has been shot and left for dead on Echo Mountain, and Search and Rescue K-9 handler Breanna McBride wants answers. With no memory, all the injured man can recall is that his first name is Scott, and that someone wants him silenced. Scott knows better than to depend on strangers, yet he finds himself falling for his captivating protector. And although Breanna won't rest until she helps him piece together the rest of his past, she vows to ignore the attraction between them. But as they close in on the truth, she becomes the killer's next target. Now the pursuers will stop at nothing to ensure the pair is six feet under by Christmas.

Echo Mountain: Saving lives and finding love in the mountains of Washington State

What I learned from this book:
  • Cliff hanger: The author successfully kept the audience engaged in the story by having some pretty intense cliff hangers at the end of every chapter. Random events, such as the unexpected appearance of a lost loved one or sudden gunfire was effective in keeping the readers hooked and wanting to move on immediately to the next chapter.
  • Amnesia as a plot tool: Having the main character suffer from amnesia was a creative way of drip feeding information to the audience while explaining how the protagonist didn't have this information himself. This was also effective in making the protagonist vulnerable, and open to receive help from the love interest character, Breanna. However, I felt that amnesia in a love story sounded a bit cliché, reminiscent of old TV soap operas.
  • Romance: This being the closest to an actual romance novel I have ever read, it turned out to be a great learning experience. I saw how the author built the relationship between Scott and Breanna little by little, using a combination of simple, causal actions (such as longing stares, honest conversation, etc.) and a dramatic situation (in this case, Scott’s amnesia and being pursued by killers).

Hope White was born and raised in the Midwest and migrated to the Pacific Northwest as an adult. Her hobbies include hiking in the mountains, enjoying a fine cup of tea with friends, or going to the movie theatre.

For those interested in reading more books from Hope White, please check out his website at http://www.hopewhiteauthor.com/

For those interested in learning more about her work on the Love Inspired Suspense series, you can check out this extensive wiki page:

In closing, I would like to thank you all for dropping by and following my blog. Your patronage and encouragement is truly appreciated.

Until next time!


Patrick Osborne

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