LOW PRESSURE: a book recommendation


Sandra Brown and I go way back.  We started in the field of romance together, actually met at the first ever Romance Writers of America conference.  We raised our kids, saw them marry and have their own kids at roughly the same time.  Both straying from the romance genre, I entered the field of women’s fiction, while Sandra made her mark writing thrillers. Her novels are beautifully written, exquisitely plotted, and deeply sensual.

Low Pressure, her latest book, is no exception.  I had the pleasure of hunkering down this weekend to read it, and while you know that I don’t do book reviews but simply tell you what I like, I gotta say I like this one.  Where to begin?

RULES OF CIVILITY – a book recommendation

Another one, you say?  Wow, do you read fast!  I do, but only when I’m not writing, and since right now I’m hovering in the twilight between Sweet Salt Air and my next book, I have time.  As always, this isn’t as much a book review as a recommendation.  I can only tell you what I like.  I won’t pan the work of other authors. Different readers like different books, right?

If you like my books, though, there’s a chance you may like the books I like.

Do you talk to yourself?

Do you?  I mean, out loud?

I didn’t used to.  Only deranged people talk aloud to themselves, right?  But there are certain circumstances now when I find myself doing it.

Like when I carry two super-heavy bags of groceries in from the car and heave them onto the kitchen counter.  Okay, I grunt in relief when the first hits.  Okay, I grunt when the second lands beside it.

I also talk to myself in times of frustration, like when someone cuts me off in traffic.  You imbecile, I mutter under my breath, often using a more rude word than imbecile, but since I’m talking to myself, myself isn’t shocked.  Are you in such a *** rush that you can’t be civil?

When characters are name-callers

Here’s another thought for those of you who are interested in the kinds of things a writer has to consider.

In a single stretch of dialogue, how often should the characters call each other by name?  I’ve been hypersensitive about this lately, because I just read another book that, IMHO, did it very wrong.

Here’s an excerpt from Sweet Salt Air in which Charlotte and Nicole are discussing Cecily Cole.  Cecily is the legendary island herbalist, alternately feared and adored.  Her herbs, which are particularly strong, are what makes island food so special.

Should grammar matter?

So I’m working on SWEET SALT AIR, rereading Chapter 6 for the umpteenth time, and I pause on the following paragraph:

“By Oliver Weeks?” Charlotte cut in.  “Still?  What a character.  Major interview there.”

Charlotte and Nicole are talking about ramekins that are hand-thrown by a ceramicist on Quinnipeague, but there is not one complete sentence in what Charlotte has said.  I try revising.

“Were those ramekins made by Oliver Weeks?” Charlotte cut in.  “Is he still here on Quinnipeague?  He is a total character.  An interview with him will be crucial to our book.”