Thursday, May 2, 2019

The Oxford Comma

I've been using the Oxford comma for years and never knew it had a name. For those who may not already know what that means, it is the comma that appears after the last word in a grouping. For example: I ate cookies, drank milk, cleaned up, and left the kitchen. Many writers do not use a comma after the last word and apparently it's OK. The important thing is to be consistent in your writing. It makes more sense to me to use the comma in such a grouping. Now I know there's a name for it!

Monday, April 8, 2019

Book Review

Past Tense (Jack Reacher, #23)Past Tense by Lee Child
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A page turner as usual. Parallel stories that don't intersect until close to the end. Jack Reacher heads for San Diego but is enticed to stop at Laconia, New Hampshire because he remembers his father talking about being raised there. Unfortunately, the city can find no records. This doesn't stop Reacher, who continues to pursue information until he finds more than he expected. In the meantime, a young Canadian couple, on their way to New York to sell some items they believe have great value, are forced to stop at an out-of-the-way motel when their car breaks down. Once there, they are unable to leave. Reacher of course manages to have a few fights along the way. The story ends with a twist you don't suspect. Reacher continues heading to San Diego after wrapping up business in Laconia, leaving a few dead bodies in his wake. I often wonder how he gets away with this, but that's what makes this fiction.


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Saturday, February 23, 2019

Book Review

LessLess by Andrew Sean Greer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

With all the cover accolades this book received I fully intended to love it. Unfortunately I didn't even like it. The protagonist, Arthur Less, is a self-effacing writer, a homosexual, and approaching age fifty, acts as if his life is over. Greer is a good writer, but his plot jumps around so much it is hard to follow. One consistency is the whining Less does, no matter what situation he is in. His homosexuality seems to drive him as his self-esteem is based on whoever he is having a relationship with. Having been rejected by his latest love, who is now getting married, Less flees the country to accept various invitations he has received for literary events around the world. This gives the author the opportunity to place Less in different countries, with each having their own disasters. He spends much of his time reminiscing, which involves flashbacks that come and go and make the story progress in a sketchy manner. When Less returns home a surprise awaits him. If you can stay with this book until the end you'll learn what it is.


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Sunday, February 10, 2019

Great Website for Authors

I recently learned about a website dedicated to helping authors and signed on for their weekly newsletter. It is so helpful and everything on it is free. I want to share it with you. Entitled "Authors Publish Magazine," you can sign up for this free subscription service by going to http://www.authorspublish.com They will let you know what publishers are accepting manuscripts, what magazines are accepting essays or stories, who pays (most of them do), and include the links to further explore the possibilities for yourself. All of the sources provided are researched ahead of time and NONE expect you to pay for their services. Authors Publish also accepts submissions and provides their guidelines.

I hope this information is helpful to you writers, both published and aspiring to be. If any of you take advantage of their services and are successful, please comment. I'd love to know that it's working for you.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Book Review

A Gentleman in MoscowA Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Beautifully written. Every page full of detail and interest. Sweet ending. Not a "beach read" but one you need to concentrate on and absorb.


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Thursday, January 10, 2019

Write What You Know or What You Did?

As writers we're always told to write what we know. This makes sense, especially to a new writer who is looking for a theme, especially fiction writers. But what about what we've done? When I wrote my mystery novels I did both, and here's why. My 26-year career in the probation system in California taught me that few people outside the field knew exactly what probation officers did. As a mystery reader, I learned that mystery writers rarely wrote about this important aspect of the criminal justice system, favoring instead the police, forensic examiners, or private investigators. Why not do a fictional novel that unfolds through the probation department in southern California? The reader will learn about an interesting branch of law enforcement while following an engaging story line.

I now have three books in the series about my female protagonist, probation officer Linda Davenport. The latest  is "No Deadlier Destiny." If you haven't read the first two, no problem. Each book stands alone and "No Deadlier Destiny" will keep you turning pages until the surprising twist at the end. Linda's life is threatened by an escaped felon she helped sentence to prison. She goes into hiding and risks all she holds dear, as she struggles to save her impending marriage, and her life. My intimate knowledge of the probation system ensures you will learn about its inner workings while following a suspenseful story line.  I love feedback and can be reached at: Bjfratto@aol.com

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Five-Star Review

Readers' Favorite gave "No Deadlier Destiny" a five-star review. You can read it here: https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/nodeadlier-destiny#

If any of you have read my latest book, set in southern California, I would appreciate your comments. Thank you in advance.

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