Reviews are starting to come in for Tell Me No Lies and they are good. I’m smiling.

“Well-drawn characters, a dash of romance, and enough logically constructed red herrings to keep the reader guessing right up to the end distinguish this tightly woven tale.”—Publishers Weekly

“The first in Willis’ planned series mixes murder and romance with enough suspects to keep you guessing.”—Kirkus Reviews

 

“Lynn Chandler Willis writes with a voice as big as the Appalachians. TELL ME NO LIES is a compelling mystery and a spot-on depiction of newspapering in a small town. I’m already looking forward to more from Ava Logan.” – Brad Parks, Shamus, Nero, and Lefty Award-winning author of SAY NOTHING

“A well-wrought tale of the secrets concealed beneath the surface of small-town Appalachia…Willis is a seasoned professional who gives us just enough red herrings to keep us guessing to the end.” – Margaret Maron, New York Times Bestselling Author of Long Upon the Land

“A page-turning balance of small town life and an unsolvable mystery with characters we wish we knew for real. Tell Me No Lies is a mystery that will not disappoint.” – C. Hope Clark, Author of Echoes of Edisto

“Willis brings to life not only the beauty of the Appalachia, but also the crippling poverty that can and does cause people to resort to terrible things.” – For the Love of Books

 

The Countdown Begins…Day 10

10 days. 10 things others are saying about Wink of an Eye:

“Readers won’t be able to put this novel down. P.I. Gypsy Moran is the perfect blend of streetwise smartass and big-hearted nice guy…That Chandler Willis manages to much so much into one story, with well-rounded characters, is amazing in itself. This reviewer is hoping for future books.”—RT Book Reviews , 4 1/2 stars

“Gypsy and Tatum’s relationship is a well-drawn emotional hook, and the solid investigation, combined with well-timed humor, should create a following for this PWA First Private Eye Novel Competition winner.”—Booklist

“The real-life town of Wink, Tex., provides the setting for Willis’s promising debut… Readers will want to see more of Gypsy, a nice combination of brains, brawn, and bravery.”—Publishers Weekly

“This engrossing debut is told with a great eye for the gritty details of life in west Texas. The setting is extremely well done, and the twisty, compelling plot will keep readers hooked.”—Library Journal

“A terrific mystery with a Texas twang! Authentic and touching, this well-written page-turner shines with its own brand of western justice.”—Agatha, Anthony, and Mary Higgins Clark award-winning author Hank Phillippi Ryan

“P.I. Gypsy Moran’s blasting out of Vegas on the run but finds he can’t escape his past when he returns to his hometown in this high octane tale of hot new love, smoldering first love, murder, and betrayal. Wink of an Eye flies by in the ‘wink of an eye’ in this fast paced thriller set on the hot, dusty Texas plains. I eagerly await Gypsy’s next adventure.”—Paul D. Marks, Shamus award-winning author of White Heat

“In Wink of an Eye Lynn Chandler Willis writes with fearless realism and creates characters you’ll never forget. I predict private investigator Michael “Gypsy” Moran has a long and trouble-filled series ahead of him—lucky for readers. One of the most cohesive and entertaining mysteries I’ve ever read.”—Donnell Ann Bell, bestselling author of Betrayed.

“Lynn Chandler Willis perfectly captures the tense atmosphere of a small community where corruption flourishes and good people feel helpless to stop it. Investigator Gypsy Moran is a southwestern cousin to Steve Hamilton’s Alex McKnight, a flawed but likable Everyman who pushes himself past the danger point to find justice for victims who can’t defend themselves. Wink of an Eye is a winning blend of small town mystery and private eye suspense.”—Sandra Parshall, author of Poisoned Ground

“Small-town Texas, big-time crime. That’s what private-eye Gypsy Moran finds when he comes home to Wink, Texas. Murder disguised as suicide, a cop shot in the back, and an old sweetheart are just the beginning of the problems Moran encounters. Lynn Chandler Willis knows her way around a plot, and her characters and setting ring true. Wink of an Eye is a fine debut, and I hope it’s just the beginning for Willis and Gypsy Moran.”—Bill Crider, author of Compound Murder

“Wink of An Eye creates an entertaining, mannerly, yet bad-boy PI character we wish we’d met in real life in our single, unattached days, because to meet him now would be way too tempting. Gypsy Moran draws out laughter, empathy, and romantic heat with the flip of a switch. Lynn Chandler Willis writes with an easy flow, her dialogue catchy, the plot intricate enough to keep the pages turning.”—C. Hope Clark, author of the Carolina Slade mystery series

10

When you don’t ‘get it’

As a writer and lover of books, I do a lot of reading. Some books I read for pure enjoyment; others I read to study the author’s style. Some I read because the author is a personal or cyber friend and I want to support them. Some I read because they come highly recommended from other friends and reviewers.

Sometimes the books click. And sometimes they don’t.

This post is about the ones that don’t. One in particular, no matter how hard I tried I just didn’t ‘get it’. The reviews, and there were hundreds, were all either five or four star crowdreviews. The author is respectable and likable and has a good following so the book hadn’t been penned by someone who just threw something out there.

But I didn’t ‘get it’.  The reviews glowed with praise. I went back and re-read the reviews to make sure we were talking about the same book.  I even re-read some of the book (which I couldn’t finish) to see if I had ‘missed something’ — like maybe a disclaimer saying the author was experiment with a new style. Show don’t tell, point of view, dialogue that actually sounds real. Nope. All the things that transcends genres, all the things that were drilled into my head years ago as a new writer were thrown out the window. But apparently I was the only one who noticed.

in-friends-as-Monica-Rachel-jennifer-aniston-and-courteney-cox-9580692-465-337Remember the sitcom Friends? Remember the episode where Rachel can’t see her baby in the ultrasound? The doctor and Ross are ooohhhing and ahhhing over the tiny shrimp like baby, while Rachel pretended to “see it” only to break down, sobbing, she couldn’t ‘see it’. It made her feel like a failure as a mother before the baby was even born. The scene was hilarious, and oh so real.

Sometimes it ‘clicks’ and sometimes it just doesn’t. Are there books out there that you just don’t get?