Dark of Night Discussion

Thursday, January 29, 2009
Who's finished reading Suzanne Brockmann’s book, Dark of Night, yet? I have, I have! And my initial reaction is…

If there had NOT been thirteen books in the series leading up to this story and DON was merely a stand alone novel where no one had ever read about any of the characters before, it would be an awesome book. There’s some kick-butt action, witty dialogue, wonderful super-spy intrigue, and all sorts of romance going on everywhere.

Yet, for a Team Decker/Sophia fan like me, there was, of course, plenty of disappointment. They obviously did not get together for a happily ever after. By the end of this book, though, I was glad they didn’t because the characters they were back in Flashpoint when they met are not the same people they are all these books later in Dark of Night.

Have you ever seen one of those pictures or videos where someone pastes, like, a punk rockers head on the body of a soccer player on top of the legs of a business man in a suit so they end up with a really funny, mixed-up person (yeah, I’m sure you have)? Well, that’s kind of what it felt like in this book. To have Tracy end up with Decker and Sophia end up with Dave, it was like Brockmann had to rearrange the characters and put some of Sophia’s personality into Tracy’s body and some of Decker into Dave’s body.

I’ll give one example of each instance (though there are plenty), and then shut up about that because I’m more anxious to hear everyone else’s thoughts on the matter. Here goes. In previous books, you’ll notice Sophia was always the uber-organized receptionist, and in Flashpoint, she’s the one that went after Decker on their first encounter, not giving in until she had him where she wanted him. In this book, Tracy’s no longer the clumsy screw-up receptionist but the uber-organized one and she’s the one that pushes and prods Decker until she gets him where she wants him.

On the man front, it’s always been Dave that’s opened up to Sophia about himself, being all honest and sincere, and Decker is the one that says nothing to anyone about ANY of his feelings. But in DON, Dave buttons up so much more and Deck spills out his entire life like he’s suddenly sprung a leak in him.

To me, it just felt so odd to see everyone this different. I know Tracy had been reading a bunch of self-help books, straightening her life out, and Decker had some help learning to open up because of Dr. Jo, but man, they all just changed so quickly, they seemed like totally different people to me. Or maybe I’m just over-analyzing because I’ve been way-too focused on reading every little thing Decker and Sophia did in the past few books. I have no idea.

One last issue I found to be strange was the plot. I felt a big sense of author intrusion there, like, Brockmann, not the characters, was controlling the story. She purposely kept Sophia and Decker apart for about nine-tenths of the book so these other characters could insert themselves into being their main love interests. It was like Brockmann knew she couldn’t let Sophia and Decker anywhere near each other or their real characters would emerge and they’d end up together.

But… those are just my initial thoughts. It was a good read, Brockmann remains to be one of my biggest writing heroes, and I did enjoy seeing Decker end up happy and satisfied. Brockmann was able to get me into his romance with Tracy. I didn’t exactly skip over Sophia and Dave’s story completely, but I did read a bit faster through their scenes because they weren’t as earth-shattering for me. But that’s just me.

Now, what is everyone else’s opinions, and remember, your opinion is just that, an opinion. There’s no right or wrong answer, and because of that I’m certainly not going to argue with anyone. I’m just genuinely interested to see how others who’ve followed the Troubleshooters series liked the story.

DON Countdown

Thursday, January 22, 2009
It's five days until Suzanne Brockmann's Dark of Night (book no. 14 in the Troubleshooters series) is released and I'm beginning to feel queasy with worry. After reading so many spoilers, my appetite for the story has soured. Spoil is such a good term for spoilers, you know, because a couple of them have left that rotten garbage odor in the air and sickened me with disappointment. Some posts are just so certain so-and-so is going to end up with whats-his-name and the thought makes me nauseous with panic that it might actually be true. So, in the spirit of anticipation, I've stopped reading the spoilers and when DON is released, I'm just going to open the book at page one and start reading. Though I currently have no craving to see some certain characters involved with other certain characters, I'm hoping Brockmann will find a way to build my hunger between the pages and make it so I'll be gobbling up the romance of her choice by the end of the last page.

But... we'll see.

That's what's so historic about DON. I can't recall a time in romance history where an author has attempted to surprise her readers to such a large degree, or created such a stir by doing it. It'll be very interesting to see how well received her colossal attempt will turn out. Very interesting indeed.

In other news, my manuscript THE STILLBURROW CRUSH, is still in editing (no release date set yet), and I'm excited because my doctor has taken me off my nine-pill-a-day schedule. Today I've begun my prescription for Hypothyroid, which is one pill--yes, only one pill--a day (Can I get a hallelujah?). This is supposed to be the final cure-all for my Graves' Disease so I expect to be leaping tall buildings in a single bound and saving the universe from doom within a matter of hours (LOL), though I'll settle for feeling like a normal, healthy human by the end of the month.

In a week or two, I'm sure I'll demand all you Troubleshooter-mania fans to tell me what you thought of Dark of Night. So, everyone, get ready to give your reports (or not--totally up to you)!

The World Watches

Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Big Day.

All eyes will be on Washington DC today. Schools are cutting class time to tune in. Different countries are devoting hours of airtime. And my boss even announced we'll have a television set up in our break room to sneak an occasional peek at the activities taking place. It's a huge day indeed.

I'm young enough I've only lived through four presidential inaugurations in my lifetime, but I don't think it matters how old a person is, I can still tell you this one is is getting the most hype by far. I bet the first woman president won't even grasp this much of a stir when she steps into office. I wonder, though, if today will make a "where were you" moments in history.

I can remember clearly where I was on 9/11 when I heard about the twin towers attack. My college campus. I hadn't even been married two months. I walked into my computer applications class, where the professor had the TV turned on. Smoke and fire covered the screen and announcers were talking so avidly no one made a whole lot of sense. I turned to a fellow classmate next to me, a complete stranger, and asked what had happened. "Haven't you heard?" he said and went on to spill it all. The professor, a native Irish woman, was too distraught to teach and dismissed class before it even began. So, I phoned my hubby on the cell, woke him up because he'd just finished his night shift, and told him I was coming home and to turn on the television. I remember thinking this is big. This is really big.

I remember I was in high school shop class (hoping I could learn to make a wooden roll-top desk for my mother, which I never did) when I heard about the Oklahoma City bombing. The teacher turned on the television and that's the first moment I saw the soot-covered fireman carrying a bloody baby (That's the picture that won a Pulitzer).

I was in junior high for the Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill Supreme Court Hearing. Our social studies teacher let us watch a little, but not enough to hear all the gory, suggestive things Hill accused Thomas of saying to her.

It was night time and I sat in my living room at home with a couple of my brothers, one sister, and my dad watching O.J.'s white bronco flee the parade of police when he was accused of killing his wife.

And I vaguely remember one of my older brothers bursting into my sister and my room to announce George Bush Sr. had just declared the Desert Storm war a go. The was the first war Americans had fought in since I was born (at least it was the first I remember being declared). It gave me a scare, I'll tell you what. I heard the word war and instantly pictured WWI, WWII, Vietnam. I wasn't sure what to think of such a huge declaration.

I love hearing my mother tell stories of where she was at certain points in history. She was sitting at the kitchen table in a different house she lives in now, though she was serving lunch to the probably some of the same family members, when the news broke into her regularly-scheduled soap opera show, "As the World Turns," to announce that JFK had been assassinated. That was way before my time, but I can picture my parents and older siblings' expressions perfectly as they watched the news that day. It was definitely a major change in history.

So... where are you going to be when this date in history takes place? How will you remember? Or is this just another day for you?

MRW Strikes Again

Friday, January 16, 2009
I woke up this morning, poured myself a bowl of generic Wheaties (yes, I'm the stingy type like that), started to eat and, wow, my entire jaw was almost too sore to chew. I had to poke at my cheeks a few times to make sure I still had all my teeth in there. Took me half my breakfast-thinking time to realize I'd just experienced another MRW Meeting.

Last night, the Midwest Romance Writers struck again. I attended their monthly meeting and spent the entire time talking, laughing, eating, and talking some more. For a person that works in front of a computer all day, then goes home to write, read, watch TV, or take my solitary-peaceful walk (if you can't tell, none of those activities require much speaking), you could say my jaws received the ultimate workout last night. I think I found a few new muscles in my face. It even hurts to smile!

But, wow, did I have a blast. And as usual, I learned so much about lots of stuff. I also learned how dangerous it is to say, well... just about anything in certain situations. Makes me wonder how a person can keep a blog at all. But fear not, I'll terry on with keeping you updated. It'll be interesting. In a few years, I'll be able to look back at all these posts, shake my head sadly and say, "I was such a newbie. What was I thinking?" But we'll at least have a record of all my steps in my fiction-writing career.

With that said and out of the way, I'm going to tick off my Monthly Nightstand List now. After last night, I won't give my opinions or a review on every title, but I still like logging down what I've read lately. And though, I won't single any certain book out, I've got to say, I enjoyed them all. My hats are tipped in respect to these talented authors.

My January Nightstand List
  1. To Seduce a Sinner by Elizabeth Hoyt (Historical Romance - No. 2 in the Legend of the Four Soldiers)
  2. Kiss and Tell by Suzanne Brockmann (Contemporary Romance - No. 1 in the Sunrise Key Books)
  3. Family Stories by Tessa McDermid (Contemporary Romance - No. 8 in Harlequin Everlasting Love)
  4. Take No Prisoners by Cindy Gerard (Romantic Suspense - Black Ops Book No. 2)
  5. Whisper No Lies by Cindy Gerard (Romantic Suspense - Black Ops Book No. 3)
  6. Night Fall by Cherry Adair (Paranormal Romantic Suspense - T-Flac Book No. 12)
  7. Night Secrets by Cherry Adair (Paranormal Romantic Suspense - T-Flac Book No. 13)
  8. Night Shadows by Cherry Adair (Paranormal Romantic Suspense - T-Flac Book No. 14)
  9. When the Duke Returns by Eloisa James (Historical Romance - No. 3 in the Desperate Duchesses Series)
  10. The Pagan Stone by Nora Roberts (Contemporary Paranormal Romance - No. 3 in the Sign of Seven Trilogy)

Book Video

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Today, I'm heading into phase two of the editing process of my first book-publishing experience. There's not much to do but wait on my end, so, here's a short video I made up to give you a taste of what The Stillburrow Crush is like. Hope you're intrigued.

And while I'm here, I'd like to thank Sandra Ruth, Katie Ann, and Kayla Rae for their input and advice on pictures, timing, words, and music. Couldn't have done it without you. Thanks a billion.

Hello '09

Monday, January 5, 2009
Turned in my first round of edits, showed up to my day job on time, ready for the new year to begin... I guess. It'd be nice if I had, oh say, another two or three hours to sleep in, but I'm sure I'll get back into the swing of things. Eventually.

Good news is my first contest went great. Over thirty people dropped in their entry and Leesa from Kansas is our proud winner of the $20.00 gift card to Amazon.com. I have no idea when I'll have another contest... probably when I actually have a release date for my book, though I doubt the prize will be as extravagant.

Well, that's all from me for now. I'll post my monthly nightstand reviews in a few days. I've been reading some juicy ones!