"My hat is off to Robert Downs for clearly stamping his creation with a unique style that runs from the gritty sound of older mysteries to a contemporary grind without missing a beat. His bold approach to his characters’ complete individuality is refreshing as he doesn’t ask you to like them all of the time, but to see what he sees inside that makes them tick. " - Dianne, Goodreads
Published: November 12th, 2016
To Veronica Baird, escaping from an underground dungeon and racing through the woods, is anything but convenient, even as her captor in rubber mask attire proves rather persistent in his continued pursuit. Despite her apparent independence, she considers a partnership, albeit reluctantly, with a former classmate who may still have feelings for her.
Pete Nealey still has flashbacks to Iraq and, with the bottle as his eternal companion, tends to fall off of barstools at the most inopportune moments or pass out face down in the tavern parking lot. But what he may lack in cheerfulness, he more than makes up for with his steadfast loyalty to the cause, even when he ends up handcuffed to an air conditioner in a shoddy motel.
But unless Veronica can learn to trust Pete for more than just intermittent intervals, the slipshod relationship, and her freedom, won’t last…
The Trials and Tribulations of Book Reviewing
Book reviewing turned out to be more challenging than I expected. My initial thought was if readers were going to read and review my books, and I certainly hoped to get a few reviews to aid my cause, I figured I should do the same for other authors. But reading is a highly-personalized experience, and why I like one book and don’t like another isn’t always easy to speak about intelligently. But that certainly didn’t stop me from trying, even if I failed a few times along the way.
Since I started writing novels, I’ve discovered that different motives have encompassed my reading than it has in the past, along with a few tried and true reasons that haven’t changed much. Reading is still fun and entertaining for me, but now I read to understand the market, to improve my own writing, and to see if I can recognize why one book works and another doesn’t, just to name a few. I’ve also discovered that I need to replenish the writing well on occasion, and there’s no better way to do that than to pick up a good book and read for a few hours or a few days. When I’m done, I’m always in a better place than before I began, and I’m transplanted to another world with interesting characters. It helps set my imagination free, and that’s never a bad place to be.
I don’t know if I’d say reviewing books has improved my own writing skills, or at least not in the sense that I thought it would. But I do know that reading good books from a wide variety of genres does make me a better writer, even if I only see small, incremental improvements in my own work. It’s a rather simple formula, but I do know the more time and attention I devote to the craft, and writing is a big part of that, the better I become. Reflection on why something works and something else doesn’t work helps my writing cause as well. Sometimes I have to take a step back from my own writing and look at someone else’s to truly understand what works and what may have missed the mark. I learn from my own success and failure, but I can also learn from what another writer has done.
I’ve come to realize that days that involve writing are better than days that do not, and trying my hand at different mediums from reviewing to blogging to novellas to novels only helps me improve my craft even more. My goal is to become the best writer I can be, and I believe I need to take multiple roads and avenues to get there, and reviewing is certainly one road that I’ve enjoyed exploring.
About the author:
Robert aspired to be a writer before he realized how difficult the writing process was. Fortunately, he'd already fallen in love with the craft, otherwise his stories might never have seen print. Originally from West Virginia, he has lived in Virginia, Massachusetts, New Mexico, and now resides in California. To find out more about what’s next on his list, visit the author’s website:
When he’s not writing, Robert can be found reviewing, blogging, or smiling. Falling Immortality and Graceful Immortality helped him discover his true love: hard-boiled mysteries. LaCour’s Destiny helped him enter the mind of a female amateur sleuth with OCD tendencies. His fourth and fifth novels will come out this year with Black Opal Books.