Sunday, April 25, 2010

Ideal Read for NaNo Fans…National Novel Writing Month

Read Queen of Hearts -- A NaNo Inspired Novel!

Queen of Hearts

K. Dawn ByrdCopyright 2010
ISBN 10: 1-936000-22-9
ISBN 13: 978-1-396000-22-7
Desert Breeze Publishing

I must admit that I only bought Queen of Hearts because the author mentioned in a blog post that it started as a NaNo project. I’ve entered the NaNo challenge every year since 2003 and I’ve completed it three times. So naturally I was interested in how the book came out.

Here’s what I Discovered:

Queen of Hearts is a high energy, fast moving, light, and spontaneous, adventure that will keep you guessing until the last page. The story opens in New York City during the early years of World War II. The heroine is a rich, young, reporter who has just agreed to become a spy for the United States. She goes immediately on assignment without a single day’s training. It seems spies run in her family. She idealistically hopes her efforts will end the war quicker and bring the boys home as soon as possible.

The author states that Queen of Hearts was written, in part, during the National Novel in a Month contest – an event which talks place every November. The goal is to write a 50,000 word novel in thirty days

This unique genesis makes Queen of Hearts a very interesting read because the book demonstrates both the best and least favorable aspects of writing a novel so quickly. The story is fast paced, spontaneous, and creative. It also features extensive dialogue and internal monologues. The story is light on physical descriptions and period research. As such, the success of Queen of Hearts rests on captivating the reader’s interest. This it does with enough force to keep the reader turning the pages.

I was never quite sure what type of story Queen of Hearts was going to be. It starts out like a spy thriller, then seems more like a romance, then moves into a gothic motif. The gothic then grows darker into a possible horror story. In time the theme returns once again into a possible romance. Moreover, for most of the book I could not tell who the hero was going to be. There were two choices of hero and neither one was very promising husband material.

As if this wasn’t enough to keep the reader guessing, Queen of Hearts is also solid Christian fiction. I must say it was rather disconcerting to see a potential mad mobster seriously saying grace before meals. Strange as it seems, it all works.

I think of Queen of Hearts as a kind of guilty pleasure. I had too much fun reading it to worry about what kind of book it was. My advice is to just read it for the ride!


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