Sunday, July 29, 2012
Echo of Silence
Author: Crystal D. Budy
How long it's been on sale: Jan 2012
Current price: $2.99
Marketing: FB, Twitter, GoodReads, blog, website, Squidoo, featured on Hercules Editing and Consulting blog, reviewed on Manic Readers, featured on Best Indie Writers
Total sold so far: 20
Link to book on Amazon: Echo of Silence (North Coast Mystery #1)
Special Agent Rob Karlton is brilliant, dedicated, and tries hard at whatever he does. He's also stubborn, sarcastic, and spends much of his time pissing a lot of people off. A tragic past has left him bitter and contemptuous toward women and life in general and his attitude doesn't rub well with a lot of people. One of those people is his new boss, Lilah Matthews. Rob is horrified that his new boss is a woman and makes no bones about expressing that opinion. Lilah has no problem taking none of his crap and giving his attitude back to him tenfold.
When 13-year-old Cassie Phelps gets swiped off the street on her way to school by men in ski masks, Rob is placed on the task force to help find her. When he discovers that Cassie and her parents didn't exist before 2004, he's dead-set determined to find out the story behind it. What he uncovers goes much deeper than anything he could have ever imagined.
This book contains strong language, violence, and adult content that is not acceptable for anyone under the age of 17.
First 300 Words:
Thump. Thump. Thump. The sound echoed in my ear, vibrating through my skull, until I felt like my brain was going to dribble out of my ears. Cracking open an eye, I observed the world around me. Drab off-white walls, burglar bars on the windows…this was definitely not my apartment.
The heavy feeling in my head and the cotton in my mouth reminded me of the liquor I had consumed the previous night before the memories began to flood back. Note to self: stop drinking so much.
My stomach lurched as I swung my feet off onto the hardwood floor. The pounding in my head increased as I stood. The early morning light began to seep through the dirty blinds, and I winced, turning away. And that’s when my eyes fell upon the woman stretched out in a bed the size of King Tut’s tomb. And try as I might, I couldn’t for the life of me think of what her name was.
My name is Rob Karlton. And I’m really just an average guy. An average guy who drinks too much and enjoys casual sex – quite often, might I add – but that is beside the point, now isn’t it?
I scoured the room in search of my clothes. The bedroom was a mess of scattered clothing and bed sheets. The woman was either a terrible housekeeper, or we’d had some serious play last night.
My jeans were turned inside out, one pant leg sticking out from under the bed. I discovered my t-shirt hanging off the closet doorknob, and God only knows where my socks were.
Another two minutes of searching and I decided screw the socks. I jammed my feet into my sneakers. As I did a quick check in the mirror to make sure I didn’t have any embarrassing lipstick marks anywhere — hey, it’s happened to us all at least once, — a small moan escaped from the bed.
“Come back,” the woman purred. “We should try it once sober. Make sure it’s still as good.”
Comments: I want to like the cover, I really do. I love the colors, I love the font, and I think it's well designed. The only problem is I can't figure out anything about the story from the cover. I see some kind of weird object on the grass, but it's so small I had to click the "Look Inside" feature to see the cover larger to figure out it was a shoe. Ah, one shoe left behind. LOVE that. But I can't see it. And in thumbnail it's going to be impossible. My suggestion? That one shoe is brilliant on the cover. Focus on that. Make that the whole cover. Really express that one left behind shoe. Ditch the city and the park bench. Focus on the shoe. That communicates something to the reader. It gives us a solid genre, and makes us want to know more.
I'll be honest, the first paragraph of the description put me to sleep. The one shoe on the cover promised me the book was about someone who was kidnapped or missing. The first paragraph didn't say anything about a missing person. If I were wanting a book to read, I would move on before getting to paragraph two. I'd cut the whole thing.
The second paragraph starts out strong. The only thing I would add would be a short description of Rob, since I suggested cutting the first para. Maybe: When 13-year-old Cassie Phelps gets swiped off the street on her way to school by men in ski masks, Special Agent Rob Karlton is placed on the task force to help find her.
The second sentence is good. I would leave it. The third sentence is too vague. "What he uncovers goes much deeper than anything he could have ever imagined." This tells me nothing, and isn't intriguing. It's repelling. I want to know what kind of story I'm in for. Does he uncover a drug ring? A psycho with frozen heads in his freezer? Teens being sold as slaves? I can't tell from your description, so I'm not sure I want to read it. Please don't be vague. You don't have to detail the entire plot, just give us an idea of what we are in for.
The beginning of the book doesn't do it for me. I would get more opinions about it, but for me it didn't work. I didn't like when the character introduced himself. That totally took me out of the story. I also have no idea why it started with thump thump thump. What does that even mean? His heart beat? Someone banging in the apartment above? I can't tell and it's not good.
I would suggest redoing the description and focusing on the shoe on the cover. I would get more eyes on the book to make sure the little kinks are worked out. Maybe some beta readers or a critique group. What do you guys think?