Artemis by Andy Weir

I imagine Andy Weir was a bit daunted by the prospect of following his surprise blockbuster, The Martian, with a new novel. Most authors build their skill and readership over numerous books, so that by the time they write that breakout novel, the one that gets all the buzz and a movie deal, they’re well- grounded and confident in their skills. Andy Weir, however, didn’t have that luxury, and I expect he, like a lot of his readers, were wondering if he was a one-book wonder. So, I admit, I was a bit skeptical about reading his next book – oh, I had to read it – but I was ready to be disappointed.

Okay, you all can laugh now.

I was so wrong. In its own way, Artemis is every bit as good as The Martian.

First, Artemis is a very different type of story than The Martian. It’s a heist / thriller vs. a strictly survival story. However, there are similarities. It’s set on the Moon in the near-future, and once again Weir draws on his scientific knowledge to give us a taste of what living there might be like. But he never goes overboard with details. In fact, his main character often makes fun of the scientific details.

Which brings me to my next point. Not only is the setting of Artemis similar in time and space to The Martian, but Weir’s style and voice are every bit as engaging in Artemis. Let’s face it, a lone survivor on Mars could have been very dull story, but it wasn’t. Instead Weir’s ability to create great characters with humor as well as a lot of smarts, turns his stories into something fun, interesting, and engaging.

So, if you enjoyed The Martian, I promise you’ll like Artemis as well. And yes, I plan to read his third book whenever it shows up.

Pat Lewin

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My Favorite Character

Erin Baker (from Out of Reach & Out of Time)

All authors have their favorite books, the ones that will always hold a special place for them. I have several that have meaning for me because of the time or circumstances when I wrote them, or simply because I loved the story. However, I could not pick just one.

On the other hand, of all the characters I’ve created, Erin Baker is my favorite. She’s smart, brave, strong, and well . . . damaged. I’ve often said that I not only love writing about Erin, I want to be her. (Well, except for the ‘damaged’ part.)

So where did she come from? I’m not sure. I usually plan out my characters with certain traits in mind that will fulfill the needs of the story. Erin, though, came to life for me organically. I had a story I wanted to write, all plotted out, and I needed a character to live that story. Before I knew it, Erin took on a life of her own. It was like she became the director, telling me who she was and how she’d act. It was, as an author who usually has control of her stories and characters, a wonderful adventure. And so, Erin Baker came alive for me, first in Out of Reach and then, Out of Time.

However, I’m still not done with her. You remember that whole ‘damaged’ part? At the end of Out of Time, she’s nearly broken . . . So I have to find out if and how she heals in the next book, Out of the Woods (Coming later this year). And yes, Erin’s still the director.

Pat Lewin

P.S.  Go take a look at my working cover for Out of the Woods and let me know what you think.

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Out of the Woods, from short story to novel.

Originally, I planned Out of the Woods as a short story. So much for my “plans”.

What happened was that at the end of Out of Time, my heroine Erin (who, BTW, is my favorite of all my characters) is left emotionally battered from the events of the story. So, I meant the short story as a transition between Out of Time and the next full novel in the series—which I already have planned and outlined.

As I started to work on the short, however, I hit a major roadblock. I moaned and groaned and complained to fellow writers. And, as often happens when writers work together, one of my friends said, “what about . . .” and in the next few minutes, she suggested a solution that was both brilliant and unique.

We talked it over and as I got more excited about her idea, it suddenly hit me. “This is not a short story.”

“No,” she said, smiling, and maybe just a wee bit amused at how long it took me to realize what she’d known from the beginning. “It’s not.”

And that was that. On that day, Out of the Woods became the third book in the Erin Baker series. Welcome to the wacky, crooked road of being a working writer.

So, when will it be released? I’m working on finishing it by the end of February. Then it needs to go through the editing process, etc.. So look for it in late spring or early summer.  I’ll keep you updated.

 

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What’s on you eReader?

Tell me what’s on your eReader for a chance to win an Amazon Gift Card.

I’m always looking for the next great read.  So, here is your chance to share what you’re reading, get me to read it too, and win a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate.

Just post what you’re reading below during the month of December, and if I pick your recommendation, I’ll send you the gift certificate. IOW, convince me that what you’re reading is great.  That easy. So give yourself something for the holidays.

P.S.  If I get 25 comments, I’ll up the gift certificate to $25.

So, what’s on my eReader?  Well, I just finished Rachel Caine’s Stillhouse Lake.  (See my review below.   Now, I’ve just started Manhunt by Ann Voss Peterson.   I’ll let you know what I think.

 

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Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine

I discovered an excellent new (to me) writer a couple of weeks ago — though I have to admit her name is so familiar, I keep thinking we must have met somewhere in the labyrinth of the writer’s world: a conference, workshop, or publisher event.

Anyway, it doesn’t matter.

Somehow, and I don’t remember that either, a copy of Stillhouse Lake showed up on my eReader. No, I don’t think it was magic; it was probably a promotion of some kind where I downloaded the book and then promptly forgot about it. Well . . . for some reason, I started reading it despite the fact I was already in the middle of two books and an audio book. Let me tell you, I was hooked from the very beginning and the two other books, that were good, got put on hold until I finished Stillhouse Lake.

This is such a well written, tightly plotted book with compelling characters. It really is one of the best suspense novels I’ve read this year. I highly recommend it. Oh, and I’ve already preordered the second book in the series (Killman Creek) which comes out on December 14th.  I can’t wait!

So, after you read it, let me know what you think in the comments section below.

P.S.  I’m pretty sure both books are only available through Amazon.  Here is the link, or click on the cover or text links above.

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Swan Song by Robert McCammon

One of my all-time favorite books by one of my favorite authors — Robert McCammon.

I’ve read Swan Song three times, plus listened to the audio book. There is no other book that I’ve read that many times.  The eBook is currently on sale for 1.99 — I don’t know  how long that will last, but if you like post-apocalypse stories, then I promise you’ll love this one . . . no matter what the price.

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The Queen of Bedlam Book Review

The Queen of Bedlam ImageI love audio books. IMO, a good reader can make a good book better, while a not-so-good reader can hurt a book. I always have an audio book in my car — and a half-dozen waiting on my iPod.

The good and bad thing about listening to books, however, is when I find one that’s so compelling that I can’t “read” it fast enough. It doesn’t happen often, but I’m currently listening to The Queen of Bedlam by Robert McCammon, and it’s driving me crazy. I’m ready to take a road trip just to finish it.

As you all may know, I’m a huge Robert McCammon fan. He’s one of my all-time favorite authors, and only one of two authors whose books I’ve read more than once. (The other is Tolkien.)

So, obviously The Queen of Bedlam falls into the outstanding “read” category. It’s the second book in McCammon’s Matthew Corbett series. The first in the series is Speaks the Nightbird — which I read twice, but The Queen of Bedlam is even better. McCammon is a master story teller, with intriguing and unique characters and intricate plots. Plus he’s a craftsman of the first degree. His use of language, the way he manipulates words, takes my breath away—and makes me a bit envious.

Anyway, obviously, I’m loving this book, and I’m going to have to read the third one in print because I can read faster than I listen.

So let me know if anyone else is a fan.

Pat

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Out of Reach – Now Available

I’m exited to announce my second eBook release.  Out of Reach, like Blind Run, was originally published by Ballantine Books in hardcover, then a year later, it came out in paperback.  Unlike Blind Run, however, Out of Reach is the start of my Erin Baker Thriller series.  I absolutely love the main character, Erin.  Heck, I’d like to be Erin.  Enjoy!


Out of Reach CoverBack Cover Copy

In her acclaimed novel, Blind Run, Patricia Lewin proved her brilliant command of heart-stopping tales of suspense—and the staggering human emotions that go with them. Now in Out of Reach, Patricia Lewin returns with a gripping new thriller—a gritty and terrifying story of a man and a woman entering a battle against an unseen evil . . . the kind that targets the most innocent among us.

CIA Officer, Erin Baker, is driven by a tragedy from her past. When she was a child, her eight-year-old sister, Claire, was kidnapped. Erin blames herself, and although Claire was eventually found, she was changed forever—as was Erin, who’s since spent her life defending those unable to protect themselves. Continue reading

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Pat’s Street Team

Hi, All.  I just started a street team on Facebook. We call ourselves Pat’s Panthers.  Come check it out.

Pat's Panthers Logo

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Blind Run Released in eBook

I’m so excited to announce the release of by first eBook, Blind Run. This book originally came out in hardcover, then later in paperback. However, I’m not excited to make it available for the digital reader.  This is my first eBook Release and it has been so much fun . . . and a bit scary.

Back Cover Copy

Ethan Decker was a specialized hunter for a CIA Shadow Organization, working deep undercover to track down and capture ruthless international mercenaries and fugitives. Then a daring mission takes a lethal turn, leaving innocents dead in its wake, and Ethan’s wife a prime target of a ruthless assassin. To save her, and because he can no longer justify his actions, Ethan exiles himself to a remote desert in New Mexico, a prisoner of his own guilt and grief.

Then one searing day, a former member of Decker’s covert team arrives at his door, shepherding two children. She entrusts them to his protection and leaves without explanation.

Suddenly, the race is on: to reach his ex-wife before the deadly assassin finds her, and to unlock the mystery behind the two children—who have become pawns in a dark conspiracy so evil that even this former spy cannot imagine the peril that lies directly in his path.

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