TLC Book Tour: Prime Suspect 2: A Face in the Crowd

A Face in the Crowd by Lynda La Plante 

Synopsis:  "The coroner’s report identifies the body as young, black, female, and impossibly anonymous. Yet one thing is clear to Detective Chief Inspector Jane Tennison about the latest victim discovered in one of London’s poorest districts—that news of her murder will tear apart a city already crackling with racial tensions, hurling Scotland Yard and Tennison herself into a maelstrom of shocking accusations and sudden, wrenching violence.

Even as London’s brutal killer remains at large, Tennison remains locked in a struggle to overcome her station house’s brutal chauvinism and insidious politicking. And as the department’s deeply rooted racism rears its head to overshadow every facet of her new investigation, the trail of her prime suspect is growing colder. Worse, when the details of the beleaguered detective’s stormy personal life explode across the headlines of London’s sleaziest tabloids, Tennison’s already frenzied determination to bring the killer to justice will be catapulted into obsession—one that could send her spiraling over the edge."

In Lynda La Plante's 2nd book in her Prime Suspect series A Face in the Crowd,  Jane Tennison has to deal not only with her male colleagues distrust but also their blatant racism. During a conference she becomes intimate with a black detective, Robert Oswalde and is put on the spot when he is transferred to her department to help out with the current investigation.  He goes overboard and a young man kills himself while in custody.   Tennison has to work hard to ferret out the facts from fiction all the while dealing with her commander's political aspirations. Tennison isn't necessarily a likable character, however the point makes itself throughout that she doesn't care if she is liked, just respected.  You have to respect her tenacity and brains.

A Face in the Crowd is well written with 3 dimensional characters and  the frustration, the tension of the story is palpable.  Highly recommend reading the books in order.  Thank you to TLC book tours for asking me to be part of the tour, Harper publishing for providing me with a copy of the books and Lynda La Plante for writing such an interesting series.  Check out the other tour stops to find out what others thought of the story. The tour runs through the end of March.   I'll be reviewing the 3rd book Silent Victims on March 13th.

Sunday Salon: Figuring it all out!

I finally made some progress with Blue Steel.  Pats self on back.  I've been stuck (again) and the deep story editing class is sort of responsible.  I had written it a certain way, then changed the sequence of the story and got totally derailed.  Been stewing for the better part of the week, stepped away from it for a day or so, then had an epiphany.  Figured out my story order today, typed up the sequence of events and what scenes need to be revised (majority) and what still needs to be written.   Have a better idea  where to place the through lines for the romance portion of the story, plus cover more from the antagonist's point of view. 

Basically been a blog friend and row80 failure for the first couple months but getting my arse back in gear.  My writing goal will be to complete one hour of editing and one hour of writing per day.  I gave up on Francine Prose's Reading Like a Writer. I wasn't getting anything out of it.   Starting James Scott Bell's Revision and Self Editing this week.   Will be making more time to do the rounds and visit everyone - promise, cross my heart.   I have been doing great with the treadmill, exercising 5 times per week for one hour.  Go me!!!

The Sunday

Currently reading Moby Dick and on chapter 45. Have learned about all types of whales, the symbolism of whiteness and Ahab's exhortation to his crew to join him in his revenge quest.  It's interesting....yet not.  I've given myself permission to skim those sections that are a bit boggy, otherwise it will take me months to read.

It's book week 9 in our quest to Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks.  Highlighting Frank Peretti this week, who am I happy to say finally has a new book coming out on March 6th - Illusion.  Yes, I pre-ordered it.  I discovered him back in the 1986 with the release of  "This Present Darkness" about evil trying to take over a small town and the battle not only with humans but angels and demons for their souls.  It's a gripping tale that will literally give you goosebumps as angels fight amongst the humans with demons sitting on someone's shoulder whispering in their ears.  Super scary, supernatural, psychological thrillers that will give you goosebumps and sleep with the light on for a week.

J.D. Robb also just released a new book in the In Death series - Celebrity in Death. Have already devoured it.  :)    And I'm working my way through the series again listening to them in the car.  Currently listening to the 6th book Vengance in Death.

 Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

See you round the blogosphere!!!

Sunday Salon: Vacations and motivation

Just returned from spending a few days with my folks and hanging out with my sister in Arizona. My brother, whom I haven't seen in what seems like forever also drove down to visit.  James and I went while father stayed home with the cats.  Two were on medication for various illnesses so instead of canceling the whole trip, he elected to stay home.  He managed to surprise me by repainting our master bathroom and replacing the cove while we were gone.  He's usually not to good with keeping secrets but he got me on this one.   It is beautiful, clean, and very bright.  Now I just need to find a new picture to put up on the wall.

Our flights were relatively uneventful except for some turbulence going into Las Vegas.  Southwest has worked out many of their bugs and I'm sure we'll be using them again in the future.   I was surprised, yet relieved, to discover TSA doesn't make kids go through the ultra x ray machine so we went through the regular metal detectors.  James, being the gregarious kid that he is, thanked each of the officers as they assisted us and you should have seen the looks of surprise on their faces.  I don't think they are used to getting thanked.  

I didn't get any writing done whatsoever the past week but what can you expect when you are on vacation.  I haven't made much progress with editing Blue Steel lately so going to figure out daily goals and set up a schedule for getting all done. Plus I'm feeling the need to write so going to brainstorm some ideas for writing short stories so exercising my left brain and right brain.  Either that or write back story scenes that will never go into the book but will satisfy my urge to create. 

I love this quote by Ray Bradbury: 

You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.  ~Ray Bradbury
Speaking of writing - K.M. Weiland shared her Wordplayer's Manifesto which everyone needs to check out. I downloaded it to my desktop so it's the first thing seen when turn on my computer.   We're past the halfway mark with the first round of ROW80, click here to see how everyone else is doing. 

Lent is coming up and going to use it as incentive to help with writing and editing. Also, rather than giving something up will be taking something up with James such as studying certain books of the bible.  Will brainstorm and figure out which ones within the next few days.

Starting reading Moby Dick and I can tell it is going to be slow going.  Ishmael is an interesting character to say the least but after 50 pages my brain gets overloaded.   In between that will be reading for my A to Z challenge by title and author: Dead Ringer by Lisa Scottoline and Never Tell a Lie by Hallie Ephron.   Plus the 2nd book in the Prime Suspect series A Face In The Crowd which will be reviewing on the 28th.

Off to get drunk on writing!  :) 

The Sunday

TLC Book Tour: Prime Suspect by Lynda La Plante

Prime Suspect by Lynda La Plante
Synopsis: "The moment Jane Tennison takes over Scotland Yard’s investigation into the death of sex worker Della Mornay, two grim facts become immediately clear to her. First, that the constabulary’s old boy club is determined to hinder, harass, and undermine the new female Detective Chief Inspector at every turn. And second, that their murder victim isn’t Della Mornay.

Now the police are a step behind, and a madman is loose on the streets of London. To apprehend the criminal stalking women through the city’s shadows, Tennison will have to steel herself against the hostility of her fellow officers and conceal her own mounting obsession with breaking through the glass ceiling of the station house—even as department politics, a crumbling relationship, and a wickedly elusive prime suspect threaten her very existence.

A dark and riveting race against the clock, Prime Suspect is an unforgettable introduction to this bestselling series from Edgar Award-winning author Lynda La Plante."

Lynda La Plante's Prime Suspect series encompassing #1 Prime Suspect, #2 A Face in the Crowd and #3 Silent Victims are based on her british television series Prime Suspect with Helen Mirren as the lead character Jane Tennison.  It actually seemed to read like a televised crime fiction show to me with its fast pace and action.  I had a hard time getting into it at first, but once I did enjoyed the story.   Tennison is tough. She has to be since she's the only female chief inspector and none of the men really want to work with her.  She takes advantage of an opportunity to move in as lead inspector of a homicide which doesn't garner her any friends in the department. However, when she finds more clues and uncovers more clues than any of the other detectives, they start to change their mind.   Tennison isn't really a likeable character but she's determined to prove herself so has to be tough.  She kind of grows on you after a while. 

Thank you to TLC Book tours, Harper Publishing for providing me with copies of all three books and Lynda La Plante for creating such an interesting crime story.  I'll be reviewing the 2nd book A Face in the Crowd on February 28 and 3rd book Silent Victims March 15.   Be sure to check out the rest of the tour and others thoughts about the series.

Sunday Salon: Deciphering and inscribing

We are getting ready to go on vacation and head out to see my parents in Arizona.  It has turned into a mom/son adventure because we have a sick cat.  Herbie, one of the two boy cats got a urinary blockage which resulted in the beginning of kidney issues and a urinary infection.  He spent three days at the vet and is now on antibiotics.   Luna, the mama cat also has kitty asthma and is on prednisone.   We've worked it down from twice a day to once every three days.  Know what's amazing. We have a compounding pharmacy that blends the prednisone with chicken broth and she willing takes her medicine.  Herbie however is extremely stubborn and tries to avoid swallowing so he can spit the medicine out.   You have to get creative when giving cats medicine.  

Reading wise, my 52 books group and I are about to tackle Moby Dick.  I've never read it so downloaded it to my nook to read while on vacation.  I've slowed down my reading quite a bit this year and during January completed:

  1. The Rose Labryinth - Titanie Hardie
  2. Garden Spells - Sarah Addison Allen (e-book)
  3. By the Light of the Moon - Dean Koontz (e-book)
  4. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil - John Berendt
  5. The Silent Oligarch - Chris Morgan Jones  (Review)
  6. Ahab's Wife - Sena Jeter Naslund 
  7. Changeless #2 Parosol Protectorate - Gail Carriger (ebook)
  8. Canyons on Night #3 Looking Glass Trilogy - Jayne Castle
  9. Spirit Bound - Christine Feehan (ebook)
 I read my first Dean Koontz book and look forward to reading more of his stories.  Discovered Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil was actually non fiction.  Midway through the story I'm thinking where is the plot, then took another look at the synopsis.  *facepalm*   Ahab's Wife was a delightful, intriguing read and it's one book I want to actually buy hard bound and read again.  Gave me lots to think about.  

I'm still reading "Reading Like a Writer" by Francine Prose. Unfortunately not getting much out of it, but going to persevere and find the rose hidden among the thorns somewhere.

How's the writing going, you ask.  Slowly.  I'm in the edit phase right now and things stalled a bit, but getting back into the grove.  Currently taking another workshop through Savvy Authors - Editing the Heck Out of Things with Beth Daniels aka J.D. Dane.   Between this one and Deep Story and transferring all over into Scrivener,  I'm hoping to get Blue Steel all polished up.  I've turned into a ROW80 dropout and going to make an effort to get back into the groove.   Too much left brain thinking.  I need some right brain activity. So going to sit down and write up a list of ideas to write about - perhaps some short stories or the next story.  For now I'm going to set a goal of getting all of my WIP transferred into Scrivener in sequence, rewrite my outline and figure out which scenes are missing.   

I have been doing great with eating healthy and doing the treadmill at least 5 times a week for an hour.  And though I haven't lost any weight, I did lose a size and can fit back into my size 8's.   Yeah me!  

 I'm creative - you can't expect me to be neat too.  ~Author Unknown

The Sunday

Sunday Salon: Life - no matter where you go there you are!

Road by Etrusia UK
Happy Sunday!  I'm still here.  Just been contemplating several directions life could take us right now and as with all things, change can be stressful.  We've never been ones to take the straight road or the road most taken.  We pretty much follow our own path.  Some folks don't like or agree with our choices and you know what. That's just too damn bad.  It isn't their life is it.  We've been homeschooling James all the way through Elementary school.  We took it one year at a time to start with and considered that by the time he reached 7th grade, he'd be ready to go to middle school.

Hubby and I have been stressing over it for the past few weeks and finally realized it all comes down to James and what he needs.  He wants to continue to home school and frankly I'd prefer it that way.  He thrives learning one on one and we can follow his interests and make adjustments when he's not getting something or take a break when we need too.  He is super bright and then you have those 'duh' days. Aspergers shares a lot of commonalities with attention deficient syndrome so he has good days and bad days and you can forget about getting him to focus on anything.  I also have control over what he is learning and who he is hanging out with.

So, now that we've decided to continue for the time being, a new stress has set in.  James does enough to get by which drives me crazy.  But after giving it some thought, I realized I used to be the same way.  There has to be some incentive, a reason.  He's the type of kid who want to know the why and the what and the how.  I also discovered over the years that homeschooling is just as much me learning and discovering new things as well as him.  I have to lead the way.   In the past couple years I' realize I've gotten lazy and lowered my expectations. I've let doubts interfere. And usually when those doubts surface I go toMelissa of Mental Multivitamin's site and read It All Begins with Me.   When everything starts breaking down, the person I need to look at is myself.  Talk about a kick in the pants. 

Melissa on Well Trained Mind recently said:

"We have an obligation -- in fact, a legal responsibility -- to educate our children. While homeschooling certainly gives us some flexibility in terms of coping with life's challenges, it does not give us a "pass" on getting the job done. Teachers in traditional classrooms also experience life's upsets, great and small, but if our children were their students, we'd have every expectation that despite the other demands, those teachers would teach our children.

And so we must have the same expectation of ourselves.

Here's a challenge: This year, refuse to lower your expectations. Instead, raise them. And then exceed them. Enough of the whining and complaining and self-indulgence. Teach, **** it. Lead. Coach. Motivate. Inspire. Give your students the best that you have to offer every. single. day. Remember: The goal is a lifetime of excellence, not a day or two here and there. A lifetime. Begin, then, with raised expectations -- of yourself and of your students."

I'm accepting the challenge.  Going to Reread "A Thomas Jefferson Education" and just add "The Student Whisperer" by Oliver DeMille as well to my TBR pile.   Remind myself what it means to be a mentor.  

So, where do we go from here? Fortunately our school district has a charter school Vision in Education providing public support to home schoolers and they have teachers who will come out to your home and help you personalize your educational plan, provide feedback and help. One less stress to worry about.  We CAN do this.