Monday, May 1, 2017

BOOK REVIEW Emily Anne (Baby) Teegarten and The Jazz Age


Product Details

Nineteen twenties--the Jazz Age. 

The deep south, New Orleans, speakeasies, prostitutes, gangsters, the people who make jazz what it is and thirteen-year-old Emily Anne (Baby) Teegarten jazz singer wanna-be-no, gonna be.




Emily Anne knows all the jazz in the repertoire by heart and wants desperately to go to New York City to sing in its clubs and make a name for herself. Before she gets there, though, she has to pay her dues (as do all musicians). Some dues are higher priced than others.


Follow Emily Anne with her deep southern dialect, the friends who helped her, who sacrificed for her, who took advantage of her and who saved her life when the time came.
Who exactly is Emily Anne? I do know she's first and foremost a teenager and jazz singer with a voice that will throw church ladies into tears and speakeasy customers into doing things highly illegal. Fortunately she has family and friends who do their best to keep her on the straight and narrow.

I highly recommend this book for it's unique qualities, it's depth of research during the jazz age and that lifestyle, and a little girl who grows up much too fast. I think Emily Anne creates a lot of trouble for herself, but I can't judge her because I don't come from the 1920's or the jazz scene. As a musician, though, I can relate.
Our Springtime Book and Block Party has been extended for at least another day. April has been a month full of unusual and interesting blogs from the outstanding members of Rave Review Book Club or #RRBC. Yes, we're on Twitter, Facebook and lots of other sites. I'm happy to have two blogs represented--work related--"How to Write the Perfect Book Review" and "Writing the Blurb for Fun and Profit." You can see these a little further down in this blog.

I hope you have investigated my stories or rather, my characters' adventures. They've had many. They've endured ghosts, international hitmen, stalkers, drug dealers, chase scenes esp. in airports, relationships in trouble (romantic suspense always have relationships in trouble.) castles, explosions, bad dreams and lots of other stuff. That's only in three novels, mind you.

Once again, hope you've had a great time at RRBC Springtime Book & Block Party. If not, get on there today and see the great authors who share our club.



Friday, April 14, 2017

SPRING FLING BLOCK PARTY. COME JOIN US.



Patricia A. Guthrie, Chicago, Illinois 


Hi and WELCOME to RAVE REVIEW BOOK CLUB'S BOOK AND BLOG PARTY AT: 

THE COTTAGE OF BLOG  www.paguthrie.blogspot.com and a soon-to-be revised website: www.patriciaanneguthrie.com. (you may also know me by Anniecollie as a "handle." I hope you're enjoying the RRBC blog tour. I've been fascinated by some of the blogs and have discovered books I'd like to read but didn't know existed. Now I know. 

I'd like to introduce you to my books and my blog. In the right column you'll find all kinds of fun information about my books and a FREE SHORT STORY "THE FAIR LADY."  

This stop focuses on HOW TO WRITE THE PERFECT BOOK REVIEW and some of the books I've reviewed. Hope you have a good time. 


***

PRIZES:  Here's what I'm giving away:

Ebook: LEGACY OF DANGER
Ebook: WATERLILIES OVER MY GRAVE
Ebook: IN THE ARMS OF THE ENEMY

Number of winners for this stop:  3

 This is a great group of authors, readers and reviewers. Unlike some book clubs, we promote each other's works. Some of our activities are: read and review books by RRBC authors, blog radio, forum discussions, conventions blog and website parties. COME JOIN OUR MEMBERS' SPRING FLING BLOG TOUR  www.ravereviewsbynonniejules.wordpress.com









HOW TO WRITE THE PERFECT BOOK REVIEW
By Patricia A. Guthrie 
Beem Weeks 

You might be a professional book reviewer, an Amazon super or sporadic reviewer, or a student writing for class. You still should write a professional book review. You are performing a service for the reading community. You want them to know what kind of book it is, what it’s about and how you, as a reviewer, felt about its strengths and weaknesses. 

Book reviews are opinions and nothing else. But these are valued opinions (when done correctly) that can guide readers to—or away from—an author’s hard work. Opinions will always vary when it comes to books, movies, restaurants, or anything else that is often the target of reviews. I may not have enjoyed the mashed potatoes at Cracker Barrel, but those same spuds may stir recollections of Granny’s home-cooked Sunday dinners from way back in another patron. So, does that make my opinion any greater than another’s? Not a chance. My opinion is just an option for those reading reviews of dinner choices at the local Cracker Barrel.

I’m an author, but I also take delight in writing book reviews for other authors. No, I do NOT write for the New York Times, New York Journal of books, Kirkus Publications, Midwest Review, The Romantic Times, or Affaire du Coeur (the last two for romance novels.) I’m sure you can think of more, hidden in the back pages of major and minor publications. Keep in mind, book reviews are showing up less and less (except over at Amazon.)

Whether your review is for a novel, play, film, or a non-fiction book, certain elements are applicable to all. 

IN THE BEGINNING THERE WAS: 

The first thing we need to see is the title. Self-explanatory? Maybe, but I was writing a book review and forgot to put the AUTHOR’S NAME after the title. Embarrassed, well yeah. So, make  sure you have the TITLE, AUTHOR’S NAME, GENRE, PUBLISHER, PUBLISHING DATE, FORMAT STYLES (Kindle or Ebook, hardcover, soft cover) NUMBER OF PAGES, ISBN numbers, and COPYRIGHT information. Is that all? Well, no. Read on. 

The next thing you should probably do is READ THE BOOK. There are professional reviewers who read the beginning, the end and a few places in the middle. I guess some film critics do the same thing, when they miss the first hour, or the theater critic who has to run out before the end to keep his or her deadline. However, they miss so many nuances of plot, character and author’s style. I don’t do it. 

You might also take notes. The eBooks are fun that way, because they have touch highlights. At the end, the reviewer can go back and check them. It helps with plot changes and developments, interesting characterizations, scenery paintings, weaknesses, grammatical errors. 

A reader wants to know what the book is about. If the first scene is electrifying, you might present a few quotes from the first lines. 

“I was murdered,” is the first sentence from my book “Legacy of Danger.” 
“It was the best of times and the worst of times,” from Charles Dickens “A Tale of Two Cities.” 
In Suzanne Burke’s “Acts Beyond Redemption” a short paragraph in the beginning came from Revelation 6:8 from “The Bible.” A chilling beginning that hooks the reader from the start. 

Give the reader a short description/ story line and reveal the central issues. In Suzanne Burke’s book, the central issue is 17 people murdered and an FBI unit who can’t get close to the killers. Keep your summary short and to the point. 

The first (and most important) item to remember is: NO SPOILERS! Not even with a “spoiler alert” attached to the front end of your review. If there’s a twist at the end of the story that really blew your mind, then please allow the next mind to be equally blown. I hate it when such things are divulged—even with a warning. I may choose to not read beyond the warning, but that doesn’t mean a friend will stop at that point. This friend then decides to bring up the twist as I’m mentioning the new book I just added to my Kindle. 

I’ve read the novel Me & Emma by Elizabeth Flock. This wonderful story contains a twist at the end that spins the entire story into a whole new perspective from the one through which I’d viewed it right up to the final two chapters. Good writers will do these things. Good reviewers will leave those things hidden, allowing the next readers to discover those gems for themselves. So please leave the spoiler alerts out of your reviews.

I call to mind the first time I saw the movie The Others. I hadn’t even heard of this film prior to my viewing it one lazy afternoon. I remember thinking that the film trotted along at a rather slow pace—so much so that I nearly turned the channel. I’m glad I didn’t. As the film progressed, I became even more invested. And as it reached its conclusion, POW! I honestly did not see that twist coming. And thankfully, I was able to be floored by the brilliance of the writing and the acting because nobody spoiled it for me.

Next, we might focus on the author’s writing style. If this is a young adult book, does the language, narratives and dialogue fit with that genre? In my first novel “In the Arms of the Enemy” the length is perfect Young Adult. However, the content not so much. (A publicist told me there was far too much sex for a YA.  (She might have been right) It was my first book, how did I know? I was writing a romantic suspense novel.  I’m very careful now. Who’s telling the story? Is this in first person or third. If it’s in second, why? Does the author stick to someone’s point of view or vacillate between characters? (In other words, does the author head-hop? (Nora Roberts does, and it doesn’t seem to bother anybody) It did bother me, though. 

How does the author develop the story through its major points or climaxes? Think about the plot structure and its development, how it twists and grows, gets more climactic as the book goes along.

Remember, your book review is short. So keep the story line to the point, short with maybe one or two development points. Don’t go overboard.

The next thing to keep in mind is: DITCH THE PLAY-BY-PLAY! A review is never meant to be an outline spilling plot details. Neither is it supposed to be a road map through the story. If I can gather most of what’s going on between those book covers from your review, what reason do I have in investing money and time in reading it for myself? This only serves to cheat the reader out of a good read, and it snuffs out a sale for the author.

A well-written review will give us just a taste of the plot, a glimpse into the lives of the characters, and offer opinions on whether or not the author has what it takes to tell a fine story. It should be a critique of story and style.

This leads us to another very important point: ATTACKING CONTENT MISSES THE MARK! Okay, so what exactly am I talking about? Saying you didn’t like the story in question because the girl was raped or a child died says more about the reviewer than it says about the book. If we’re voracious readers, we’ll eventually run into a story that may, at points, make us feel uncomfortable. My skin was crawling at times while reading The End of Alice by A. M. Homes. It’s a dark read, this story. But Miss Homes is one of my favorite writers. Her stories are vivid with living characters. She, as a writer, is skilled at yanking the reader from his or her comfort zone. The best writers are able to do these things without a second thought.

You need to evaluate the book. What you liked about it. What could have been better? I wouldn’t batter the poor author. If he/she is famous, maybe you can hit a little harder, if necessary. Don’t find fault just because you think you should, but don’t avoid being critical either. That’s what you’re there for. If the grammar is bad, you need to point that out. You might mention the story is fantastic, but the grammar took you out of the narration and disappointed you. (Try not using the word “I”) If the characters are wooden sticks, you might suggest the author make them a little more three dimensional. Do the characters intrigue you? Would you like to get to know them better? Would you like to put them onto a slow boat to China? You get my point. If you're going to give the book a two or three star rating, you need to say why. If a book deserves a five, but something bugs you, tell the author why. If it is a five, what makes it a five? 

Did the writing captivate you? Are the characters believable? What sort of emotions did you experience while reading? Did the author pull you out of your comfort zone? Is it a well-written story without punctuation or spelling errors? Did you care about the characters or were they worthy of being hated? These are the sorts of questions we should ponder while determining our opinions of the works of others.

Not all reviews warrant four and five stars. But that’s not license to attack an author’s work either. An honest review should be constructive in its criticism, not destructive. Social media is rife with mean and nasty comments that are designed to tear down rather than build up. Take into consideration the author may learn something from your review, and thus become a better writer because of you! Be honest, be tactful, be kind—even if it’s a 1-, 2-, or 3-star review. If you don’t like a particular story, explain the reasons behind your opinion. 
 
As reviews coordinator for RRBC, (Beem Weeks) I have heard from members who found issues with books they’ve read. They tell me they feel guilty writing a one or two-star review. Well, if that’s their honest opinion, then that’s what they should award. I challenge them to offer the author—as well as potential future readers—an explanation on why they arrived at this rating. Are there punctuation problems? Plot holes? Is the story just too unbelievable? Share these details—but do so in a way that teaches. Be encouraging rather than discouraging.

Is this book successful in the market place? How does the overall quality of the book take it there? Think about the famous authors you’ve read. How does this story compare in quality, interest, and development to other books in its genre. One technique Amazon uses is: If you liked (well- known book) you might like this story.

And finally, when posting your reviews, be sure to proofread before sharing with the world via Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Nothing is quite as ridiculous as a critique of another’s work in a review filled with misspellings, missing or poor punctuation, and sentences that make little or no sense at all. If need be, allow another pair of eyes to do the proofreading for you—before you hit the post button. Your words represent you as a writer—whether they’re reviews, blog articles, essays, or novels. Always strive to make a strong impression. And remember, writing reviews is another way to make connections in the indie author world. If you’re needlessly harsh in your criticisms, that’s a reflection on you. 

That’s pretty much the basics of writing a book review. 

Patricia A. Guthrie
Beem Weeks 

Bibliography: 
How to Write a Book Review from Wiki How to Write a Book Review
How to Write a Review by Three New York Times Reviewers (Book Reviews) Neil Genzlinger, Televsion Critic 
On Book Reviews by Micki Peluso 
How to Write a Book Review by Allena Tapia 
How to Write a Book Review by Bill Asenjo

HERE ARE SOME OF MY BOOK REVIEWS:



Jessica, the Autobiography of an Infant
By Jeffrey Von Glahn, PHD
             
               This is the true psychological process of a troubled young woman who had no sense of “self” no sense of deserving of love, attention or anything good that came her way. Taken throughout over three years of psychotherapy, patient and therapist weave a true story that peels layer upon layer, until all she’s left with is her “me,” her inner self. The therapy sessions take us back throughout her life until we reach the core of her birth and a bit beyond.
             
               This is an incredible journey. Not frightening, but intense none the less. We see her progress and regressions: one step forward, two back as we’re privileged to peek into their sessions and discover a trip few ever see.
             
                I didn’t realize anyone could remember back so far. Few have. It makes me wonder, could I with the proper guidance? It also makes me wonder, do I want to?
             
               Excellently written, as some other reviews pointed out, it reads like a novel, and it does. It was hard to put down.

Patricia A. Guthrie Reviewer 



Been reading a lot lately. Mainly from the book catalog of Rave Review Book Clubs. Some very interesting and unique gems. Here's one I just reviewed. I hope you read the review, are so taken with the book that you will go ahead, buy, read and review it.



Heaven’s Waiting Room
By
Clare Wilson
            
What if heaven didn’t have room for the general public, but only “top drawer” candidates who’d made something of their lives (not necessarily public officials, politicians and CEOs.) What if these spirits who leave the living realm are forced to lead a non-life existence on earth floundering to find a sense of belonging, learning who’s a good ghost and who's evil.
           
Portia is a young deceased teenager who must pick her own way throughout her new life.
            
We learn about how she finds her way, meets a new family and engages in battles of good vs evil helping her new and old family along the way.
            
This is a different kind of ghost story, told from the ghosts point-of-view, delightfully funny in some spots, but engaging throughout. Yes, there are some uh-oh moments where she and her friends must find a way out of situations.
            
This is a delightful YA fantasy that can be enjoyed by all ages. (well, maybe not toddlers). The scene where Portia goes to heaven by mistake (grabbing hold of a dying person who’s bound for heaven) and where she tells God’s first Lieutenants what she thinks of their system is great fun to read. She comes to learn why she’s earth bound, who’s she’s destine for, and what her life might be like for the rest of eternity.
            
Four stars. Excellent simple story.

Patricia A. Guthrie Reviewer 




Sugar Coatin' is for Candy; Pacifyin' is for Little Kids
By Nonnie Jules  

Ever feel so down, you don’t think you can pull yourself up by the boot straps? Or get so angry at someone, but back down from confrontation, because that person might be A. hurt you or B. have so strong a personality, you’re humiliated and can’t defend yourself? 

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” A quote from Dr. Suess.

And so begins Nonnie Jules’ gem of a book; a collection of inspirational blog posts intended to education, inspire, persuade and entertain us on how to stand up for ourselves and others. 
Nonnie Jules has taken these jewels to a new level and instructs us to be strong in our beliefs and not be afraid to say what we mean and mean what we say.” That’s a hard achievement for any of us. 

This simple but elegant collection gives us insight into the world of Jules writings, meanderings and thoughts as she instructs, but more than that, never belittles, but encourages and entertains.

This book is well-written and keeps you interested and engrossed from the beginning to the end. We can float back into our own lives and discover the times we were beaten down, humiliated, lost and didn’t know where to go.  

The Table of Contents breaks down to:
  “I’M JUST ME”
  “WE WERE PUT HERE TO GROW”
  “WE ALL BLEED RED, DON’T WE?”
  “WHY I WANT TO BE AN AUTHOR”
  “HOW TO BECOME A GREAT SUPPORTER ON AND OFF SOCIAL MEDIA...NAMELY       TWITTER.”
  “YOU’RE GONNA HEAR ME ROAR”
  “YOU MADE ME CRY”
  “IF YOU DON’T TOOT YOUR OWN HORN, WHO WILL?”

Maybe Nonnie Jules does, because her book shows us she believes in us. 

This is a book you might want to keep by your bed stand. I gave this book five stars, because I loved it, I will keep it handy, and it was well written. 





Review by Patricia A. Guthrie



Bravura
Lisa Kirazian
“You are the music while the music lasts.”
T.S. Eliot
Taken from Part Six of Bravura

The decade is the 60’s into the 70’s. The years of Kennedy and Nixon, Viet Nam and The Beatles. The Metropolitan Opera has just moved into Lincoln Center, Van Claiburn has exploded onto the classical music scene and Grace Bumbry, Maria Callas, Renata Tabaldi are gracing the operatic stages. Rudolph Bing is the Director of the Metropolitan Opera House.  Life is a struggle for young musicians as it is and has been for all ages.

Kate and Neil Driscoll, a violinist and pianist have joined the throngs of students at the Royal Academy in London and meet up with lifetime friends and colleagues, Anne, Colin, Jeremy and Maggie who will take this epic journey with them. This is the story of their lives from conservatory students to accomplished musicians, their day-to-day struggles to reach the top of the music world and how that intermingles with love, loss, disgrace and redemption.

A beautifully woven tale takes you into the inner sanctum of the music world. For the musician it is sublime. Ms Kazian strokes her words like a conductor might pen a manuscript with highs lows, crescendos and decrescendos. In describing her opera singer she writes the arias in the original language then gives us the translations so we can comprehend her emotions, personally and professionally while singing to ever more glowing audiences.

The book contains the joys and sorrows of each character so you might want to keep a box of tissues nearby.

Well done. It will be interesting to see what she does with the next two books of her three part series.


Patricia A. Guthrie Reviewer 


YOU CAN FIND MY OTHER REVIEWS AT: www.paguthrie.blogspot.com 


Thursday, April 13, 2017

WELCOME TO "MOMENTS" BY @HARMONY KENT #RRBC







WELCOME TO HARMONY KENT AND HER NEW BOOK "MOMENTS: A COLLECTION OF SHORT STORIES AND POEMS".








Book Blurb:

Come.

Take a moment to delve into tales from the dark side, have fun with fantasy, dabble in dystopia, and court danger in a little science fiction.

These tales touch upon death, grieving, war, fresh starts, hope, courage, change, choices, and encouragement.

And then, after all that, you’ll find the poems.

From the lonely echoes of an empty house to the soaring heights of unexpected love and joy and learning to live as free as clouds and water.

For each of us, a moment encompasses a lifetime and, yet, passes in but the blink of an eye. In but a moment, everything can change. And in this very moment, life beckons in all its potentiality.

When the shadows fall, what will you do?

*  *  *

Author Bio and Links:

Indie Author Harmony Kent is an award winning multi-genre author. Her publications include: 

·The Battle for Brisingamen (Fantasy Fiction) AIA approved
·The Glade (Mystery/Thriller) AIA Approved/BRAG Medallion Honouree / New Apple Literary Awards Official Selection Honours 2015
·Elemental Earth (YA Fantasy Fiction)
·Polish Your Prose: Essential Editing Tips for Authors (Writing/Editing) New Apple Literary Awards Top Medallist Honours 2015
·Finding Katie (Women’s Fiction)
·Slices of Soul (Contemporary Poetry)
·Interludes (Erotic Romance short stories)
·Moments (Short Stories and Poetry)

As well as being an avid reader and writer, Harmony also offers editing, proof reading, manuscript appraisal, and beta reading services.   As well as reviewing and supporting her fellow indie authors, Harmony works hard to promote and protect high standards within the indie publishing arena.   She is always on the look out for talent and excellence, and will freely promote any authors or books who she feels have these attributes. 

For all books available from me, check out my author pages at Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Book Trailer videos: Harmony’s trailers.
Twitter: @harmony_kent https://twitter.com/harmony_kent

*  *  *









The tour sponsored by 4WillsPublishing.wordpress.com.



Saturday, April 8, 2017

SPRING FLING BLOCK PARTY WRITING: BLURBS FOR FUN AND PROFIT





Patricia A. Guthrie, Chicago, Illinois 


Hi and WELCOME to RAVE REVIEW BOOK CLUB'S BOOK AND BLOG PARTY AT: 

THE COTTAGE OF BLOG  www.paguthrie.blogspot.com and a soon-to-be revised website: www.patriciaanneguthrie.com. (you may also know me by Anniecollie as a "handle.") I hope you're enjoying the RRBC blog tour. I've been fascinated by some of the blogs and have discovered books I'd like to read but didn't know existed. Now I know. I'd like to introduce you to my books and my blog. This stop focuses on WRITING BLURBS FOR FUN AND PROFIT with examples. Hope you have a good time. 


***

PRIZES:  Here's what I'm giving away for today's blog stop:

Ebook: Legacy of Danger
Ebook: Waterlilies over my Grave
Ebook: In the Arms of the Enemy 

Number of winners for this stop:  3

 This is a great group of authors, readers and reviewers. Unlike some book clubs, we promote each other's works. Some of our activities are: read and review books by RRBC authors, blog radio, forum discussions, conventions, blog and website parties. COME JOIN OUR MEMBERS' SPRING FLING BLOG TOUR  www.ravereviewsbynonniejules.wordpress.com








Patricia A. Guthrie, Chicago, Illinois 

CHECK OUT THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE BLOG FOR The Fair Lady  A FREE SHORT STORY AND INFORMATION REGARDING MY BOOKS. 





HOW TO WRITE A BLURB


By Patricia A. Guthrie 

            WHAT IS A BLURB?
            
            What the heck is a B-L-U-R-B, you ask? A blurb is that dust jacket on the back of the book's cover that tells the reader what your story is about and intrigues the readers enough they will buy your book.

            TIP: A blurb is NOT a synopsis. Although many will say it’s a short synopsis. Not so. A synopsis tells you the whole story in a nutshell. A blurb MUST NOT give away the ending. Stimulates interest and curiosity? Yes. Entices the reader to buy the book? Yes. Gives away the ending? No.
            
WHY DO YOU NEED ONE?
            Let me count the ways:
            1. Your editor asks you to
            2. You need one for your website page
            3. You need it as part of a proposal for your publisher, agent, editor presentation
            4. Competition entry or
            5. If you should be so lucky, a journalist asks you for one.
            And most important, after the cover, it’s probably the second biggest selling point of your book.
            
When I decided I wanted to learn more about how other authors wrote their blurbs,  I checked five or six sources to see what these writers thought. I discovered that most provided the same elements, so I knew I was on the right track.
            
I concluded, it’s not always the information you give that gives the pizazz, but the packaging. So, here goes my packaging for “How to Write a Blurb.
            
TIP: KEEP THE BLURB SHORT: Readers don’t have the time to pour over a lot of text. Less is more in a blurb. Keep it to a few short paragraphs and focus on the main character, genre, and main plot and leave out the subplots.
            
Make it arouse the reader’s interest in the story, arouse their curiosity—promise them a good read, an adventuresome time. As one writer put it the “What’s in it for me?” factor.
            TIP: know your genre well enough to understand what your readers want to know about your book.

            TIP: Go to your own collection of books or Amazon.com and find books in your genre. Look at their blurbs. What makes you want to open those pages? What are some keywords that may be used throughout your selections?  How long are these blurbs? Some may be longer than others (see examples) but they’re all short.
            TIP: What market are you selling to? That answer will determine the most important information to keep in your blurb. If you’re writing primarily mystery, you don’t want to overshadow this with the romantic lives of your characters. And, if the reader expects romance, don’t emphasis everything but. Give the readers what they want---what they expect.
            
If it’s a multi-genre book, let the reader know it’s a romance but it’s also suspense or mystery or other genre. If it Sci-fi and there’s romance, you’ll want to let the reader know romance plays a part, but the Sci-fi is the important part.  Same with fantasy and other genres.
             
Use language in your blurb that may reflect the overall atmosphere or mood of the story. Word paint your blurb. (as much as you can for so short a synopsis.)  If it’s funny, reflect the humor. If it’s dark write the blurb with dark and ominous sentences like: “And fear was the summer slogan in Lake Nager,” from ‘Waterlilies Over My Grave’ (or something even better)
            KEY ELEMENT: PROTAGONISTS:  Focus on the main character, the one who has the most at stake and the most to lose. In romantic suspense (or romance) there are two equal partners. Each one has his own goals, motivations and conflicts. You might include both---you might not.     
            KEY ELEMENTS: GOAL, MOTIVATION AND CONFLICT: What does the h/h want (goal) why does he/she want it? (motivation) and what stops him/her from reaching his/her goal? (conflict)
           
I’ll repeat: What does s/he want during the course of the book and why does s/he want it. (goal and motivation and conflict is key in the blurb.) And, what or who’s stopping them from reaching that goal.
                                                                                    
            The conflict usually starts with “but” or “however.” Sometimes the H/H/ inner conflicts are as or almost as important to the story as the outer conflict. But, the inner conflicts should at some point intercede and explain why they can’t resolve their outer conflicts.
            
You can generalize how the characters intend to overcome their problem, but don’t give away how they do it.
            
Here comes the story question (the hook.)  
            Will the hero or heroine protect the lead secondary character and come up with a plan to thwart the villain’s game plan that will lead them to disaster? And, what will happen if they do not succeed?
            
In In the Arms of the Enemy, “Maggie and Adam must learn to work together before they find the killer on their doorstep.” Try to make your blurb dramatic filled with tension and intrigue. Remember it's short, so make every word count.
            
Also, you might bring out the story question. Do H/H track down and kill the bad guys before the killers ignite the world’s most powerful bomb? Or do they get blown out of existence and the world as-they-knew it comes to an end? (just an example off the top of my head---oh, and half the movies I’ve seen.) Show urgency that the good guys must win the day or the consequences will be dire either for them or the world at large.  
            Here are few do’s and don’ts.
            Don’t give away the ending.  
            Don’t tell everyone how great your book is or compare yourself to other writers.
            Don’t use overused phrases. Try to be unique---different from other writers.
           
NOTE: You can mention all these things in a blurb and there may be some that are implied. Not everything has to be spelled out, as long as you get the idea across. 




 Here are a three blurbs that may make this clear: 
Here’s a blurb from my romantic suspense novel In the Arms of the Enemy



HORSES, ROMANCE, INSURANCE FRAUD AND MURDER

When the murder of a racing stable’s prize horse and its trainer is blamed on the stable’s owner, his son, HERO Adam Blakely, GOAL is determined to find the killer he thinks might be the trainer’s partner, Maggie McGregor. 
HEROINE Maggie GOAL is determined to leave the tumultuous world of horse racing and returns home to try and find peace.
When a handsome horse owner moves his horse into her father’s boarding stable and asks Maggie to train his horse, MOTIVATION family finances dictate Maggie accept—CONFLICT and that’s when the accidents begin.
CONFLICTS: Drowning in deception and lies, Maggie and Adam search for a killer and uncover an insurance scam so insidious, it threatens to rock a horse racing empire and bring the killer to their doorstep.

This is a romantic suspense so the hero and heroine have equal footing in status.
Maggie is the heroine. She wants to get away from horse racing and find peace and a normal life.
Adam is looking for a killer and thinks Maggie might be responsible.
BUT: When Adam comes to her stable, accidents start to befall Maggie and her life is now in danger.  Further complications: Adam falls in love with his prime suspect.
WHAT TO DO: The have to learn to work together and trust each other when they uncover an insurance scam that kills race horses for money, and find a killer before the killer finds them.



Waterlilies over my Grave  

"You can run, but you can't hide," in this new romantic suspense from Patricia A. Guthrie.

In a spiraling fall into obsessive madness, psychiatrist Duncan Byrne vows revenge against his ex-wife for divorcing him. When she leaves New York, he reflects, "You can run, but you can't hide."

"Psychologist, Annabelle O'Brien begins a new life in the popular resort town of Lake Nager, hoping to find peace and normality. But anonymous threats follow, and Annie finds herself terrorized by a stalker.

Burned-out Detective Mark Driscoll detests the new psychologist who recommends he take time-off. How dare she? But when somebody slashes her tires, ransacks her apartment and kills her cat, Mark spends his mandated furlough playing bodyguard.


They don't count on falling in love; something neither wants, but both need. Nor do they count on women resembling Annie being murdered.

Fear becomes the summer slogan for Lake Nager. 


There are two main characters in "Waterlilies." Annie and Mark. Duncan is also a main character and who can say if he shouldn't have equal footing with Annie and Mark. Since this is a psychological suspense, I've mentioned the bad guy. But here's the dissection of the two main characters.

Goal for Annie: moves across country to get away from her ex-husband
Motivation: He's obsessive and mad, threatens revenge and is a master in the field of psychiatry and disguises. 
Conflict: Anonymous threats, tires slashed, dead cat and women in the town murdered. He's out there and nobody knows where. 

Goal for Mark: Stay on the force and as far from Annie as possible
Motivation: He's been forced to take leave of absence. He killed a teenager in a drug raid, when the boy pulled a gun on Mark's boss.  
Conflict: He has trouble living with the guilt. On his furlough, he's assigned to protect Annie, the psychologist he can't stand.
He has to find the person who's stalking Annie and murdering young women who  resemble her in the town. 
NOTE: There are several subplots in "Waterlilies." 


Legacy of Danger  



If you’d just inherited a castle in Romania, wouldn’t you expect to visit? So does young Elena Dkany, last member of an ancient, noble Romanian family. But, somebody doesn’t want her to reach her destination, and of the two people who can keep her safe, one is the ghost of her deceased husband, and the other the very live presence of the one man she wants to avoid at all costs. As they make their way into the mountainous regions of the Carpathian Mountains, deadly accidents, explosions and murder follow them wherever they go. Someone seems to know their every move.

Here's the simple dissection:

Elena's goal: To reach her castle in Romania
Motivation:    She's just inherited the castle and she wants to go, plus she's been attacked in her Evanston home by an international hitman. Time to discover the truth. 
Conflict: Somebody doesn't want her to reach her destination and seem to be ahead of them at every step of the way. The ones who protect her are: her ex-boyfriend, who she never wants to see again and the ghost of her deceased husband. 

NOTE: There are several subplots in Legacy of Danger. I didn't mention them in the blurb.  


Here are the sources I used for "Blurbs for Fun and Profit."  

How to Write a Blurb (Back Cover Copy) by Marilyn Byerly
The Do’s and Dont's of Writing a Blurb for your Novel by Milena Calizares
4 Easy Steps to an Irresistible Book Blurb by Beth Bacon
Writing a Short Book Blurb by Marg McAlister
Writing the Fiction Synopsis by Pam McCutcheon