I'm very excited to bring you a guest post from J.D.Barker for my stop on the #4MK Blog Tour today! Thank you so much to J.D.Barker for taking the time to write the post. I hope you all enjoy it!
The difference between the writing and publication of Forsaken and of The Fourth Monkey.
Oh, this was night and day. When Stephen King read my first novel, Forsaken, and granted me permission to use some of his characters from Needful Things, I figured the submission process would be a piece of cake. It was anything but. I sent query letters off to more than 200 agents and couldn’t get a single response. I submitted to some publishers directly and although I received offers to publish, the advance numbers just didn’t make sense. Ultimately, I decided to indie publish the book and hope that I could use it to draw the attention of the larger publishers and agents down the road. I knew if I indie published though, I’d have to put out a product that could compete with traditionally published books. I couldn’t just upload it to Amazon and hit GO. So I hired the best editors, cover designers, and publicists. I released the book on 11/14/2014 as a hardcover, softcover, and audiobook, and followed this with a mass-market paperback. Then the real work began with marketing. Ultimately, the book sold well and more than a little bit of that was timing, luck, and more luck.
When it came time to publish The Fourth Monkey, I fully expected to indie publish it like the first book. Financially I did well and once I got used to the added workload, I didn’t mind it much. It seemed like a fair trade for the control I was able to retain. My wife (who is way smarter than me) told me I should send the book out to agents, give it a few months, and if I don’t get anywhere, go ahead and indie publish again, so that’s what I did. On February 11, 2016, I sent query letters out to 53 agents for The Fourth Monkey. Within a week, I had eleven requests to read the book and eight offers of representation. I didn’t expect this at all. The publication process went just as fast with film and TV rights selling before the book.
Expectations on my third book (a prequel to Dracula) are even higher than The Fourth Monkey. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I welcome the pressure to top the previous success, it keeps me motivated. Whenever I feel overwhelmed, I take a step back and remind myself - I make a living making shit up. It’s as fun as it sounds, and I can’t imagine doing anything else.
Once again, thank you so much to J.D.Barker for my very first guest post!
(Here's a link to my review for #4MK in case you'd like to read it! http://www.mistimoobookreview.co.uk/home/the-fourth-monkey-by-jdbarker )
Brilliant. Complicated. Psychopath.
That’s the Four Monkey Killer or ‘4MK’. A murderer with a twisted vision and absolutely no mercy. Detective Sam Porter has hunted him for five long years, the recipient of box after box of grisly trinkets carved from the bodies of 4MK’s victims. But now Porter has learnt the killer’s twisted history and is racing to do the seemingly impossible – find 4MK’s latest victim before it’s too late…
With echoes of the films Se7en and Silence of the Lambs, THE FOURTH MONKEY is a rollercoaster-paced reading experience which will have you white-knuckling the pages at every heart-pounding twist and turn.
About J.D Barker:
J.D. Barker is the international best-selling author of Forsaken, a finalist for the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a Debut Novel. A strong emerging voice in the horror and crime world, J.D. Barker will be setting the bar high for a new wave of serial killer thrillers with #4MK.
Blood Sisters had me engrossed from the minute I opened the first page. Its unique storyline and range of well-developed characters hooked me in and didn't let me go. I sat out in the garden reading and by the time I'd finished, it was getting dark! I didn't even stop to make a cup of tea!
Alison was always holding something back which made her a really intriguing character to read about and made me even more desperate to finally find out the truth of what happened on the day that changed the lives of the characters forever. (And massively influenced the lives of those around them.)
I went through a wide range of emotions when it came to Kitty. At first, being inside her head while she is frustrated when people can't understand her was amusing. For example, when she's trying to call the carer a cow! But as I learned more about her past, I started to feel that she was spoilt and that in fact she was still like this and hadn't changed after the accident. Towards the end though, I did begin to feel a little sorry for Kitty as she revealed more about her feelings towards Alison and the truth about the accident came out.
There were twists and curve balls all the way through, as well as little pieces of information dotted here and there which at the time seemed insignificant, but later on, had me leafing back to previous pages as I realised the importance of them and as the dots connected. Everything clicked into place perfectly.
The ending of the book was excellent and felt really well thought out. The twists continued right until the very last pages where just as I thought the whole truth had come out, the final revelation from Alison had me reconsidering everything all over again.
Overall, I'm giving Blood Sisters 5 out of 5 and adding it to my five star favourites shelf! It was utterly enthralling and packed with twists which kept me guessing right until the end.
This book was provided for free in exchange for an honest review
While I'd been looking forward to The Fourth Monkey for a few months, I was a little wary of the police investigation aspect as sometimes I find those parts aren't as thrilling as they could be. I needn't have worried though as it definitely wasn't short on thrills! It was fast-paced, intriguing and broken up with humour from Porter and Nash. Combined with the chilling diary entries from the serial killer, this made for a completely gripping read.
The voice of 4MK was so lifelike, which meant reading his thoughts was even more shocking.
I must just mention though, that it's definitely not for you if you're really squeamish. I was expecting it to be graphic, but it was REALLY graphic with lots of gory descriptions. Yet it was so fantastically twisted and cleverly written that I was unable to put it down. (It's no wonder that the film and tv rights have been sold, I think it'll make a fantastic film)
The ending was simply amazing. I don't want to say much more, as I think the shock factor really adds to the story and makes it all the more riveting. It's one of those books where you need to go into it knowing as little as possible.
I'm giving The Fourth Monkey 4.5 out of 5 stars. It was impressively written with a chillingly sinister storyline that kept me reading late into the night.
Look out for my spot on the blog tour on the 29th June where I've got a fantastic guest post from J.D.Barker himself!
The Fourth Monkey will be published on June 27th by HQ
This book was provided for free in exchange for an honest review.
At first, the transition from past to present was a little confusing but once I got into the book, I soon got used to it so it wasn't a problem at all.
I found that I liked the style of writing. It really helped to develop the character of Ian and I was able to gain a greater understanding of him and his state of mind. I think this was very important to the story and the themes which ran through it.
I did feel like the pace was a little slower than I would've liked. Some areas were a bit too descriptive which made them feel more drawn out then they needed to be. However this is just a personal preference really and I'm sure others will appreciate the amount of detail given.
The uneasy atmosphere and the supernatural element of the curse was definitely intriguing.
For me, the ending alone took Broken Branches up half a star. Although it didn't totally wrap things up and it left some things unanswered, I felt it was a fitting end to the book and the questions I had gave me plenty to think about after I'd finished.
Broken Branches was different from what I was expecting and definitely different from what I'm used to reading but I still found it enjoyable.
Overall I'm giving it 4 out of 5. It was a unique tale with an eerie gothic side and a supernatural edge which made for an enjoyable read.
This book was provided for free in exchange for an honest review.
Today is my stop on the blog tour for The Silence, a wonderful novel by Katharine Johnson! Be sure to check out the rest of the fantastic bloggers taking part and see the bottom of my post for details on how to enter to win one of two e-copies of the book!
"A gripping tale of secrets and lies remembered long after the last page.” – Amanda James, author of Behind the Lie.
Doctor Abby Fenton has a rewarding career, a loving family, an enviable lifestyle - and a secret that could destroy everything. When human remains are discovered in the grounds of an idyllic Tuscan holiday home she is forced to confront the memories she has suppressed until now and relive the summer she spent at the villa in 1992. A summer that ended in tragedy. The nearer she gets to the truth the closer she comes to losing her sanity. In order to hold onto the people she loves most, she must make sure they never discover what she did. But the reappearance of someone else from that summer threatens to blow her secret wide open.
About the Author:
Katharine Johnson is a freelance writer and editor and has worked for a variety of magazines. She has a passion for crime novels, old houses and all things Italian (except tiramisu). She grew up in Bristol and has lived in Italy. She currently lives in Berkshire with her husband, three children and madcap spaniel. When not writing, she plays netball badly and is a room guide in a stately home. The Silence, a psychological/coming of age story set in Tuscany will be published on June 8th. For Katharine's latest news, writing advice, book releases and gossip follow her on twitter @kjohnsonwrites Facebook.com/katharinejohnsonauthor website/
Blog www.katyjohnsonblog.wordpress.com www.crookedcatbooks.com
I'd had my eye on this book for a while. As soon as I read about it on Katharine's website I was desperate to review it and I was ecstatic when I later got the opportunity to be on the blog tour too! I had high hopes for the novel since it sounded so intriguing and the Tuscan setting was something new and different. After reading it in one sitting, I can say that it definitely didn't let me down! It was everything I'd hoped it would be and more.
The Tuscan setting was perfect for the story. It was masterfully described which brought a great atmosphere to the book and transported me right there.
All of the characters were developed brilliantly throughout and each evolved as the story went along. Their motives began to become clearer and their pasts were gradually revealed through twists that I never saw coming. I found Abby's character extremely interesting as I was constantly learning new things about her and there was so much to be explored.
I thought the ending was also brilliant. Without giving too much away, I felt that it wrapped things up as much as possible in the circumstances and it was an area I particularly enjoyed.
Overall, I'm giving The Silence 5 out of 5! It was masterfully written with plenty of twists, turns and excitement.
Where to buy:
Click to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway in which you could win one of two e-book copies of this thrilling book!
Finally, thank you to Emma for organising the tour! I'm so grateful to be part of it.
This e-book was provided for free in exchange for an honest review.