Blog Tour: The Dark Divide by D.K. Stone – Mini Review

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WARNING: CONTAINS SOME MILD GRAPHIC ACCOUNTS OF MURDER.

Synopsis by Goodreads

Waterton is a town with dark secrets, and after a summer of murder and mayhem, American ex-pat, Rich Evans, knows exactly how far people will go to hide them. Jobless after the fiery destruction of the hotel he once managed, Rich is charged with arson. Only one person, local mechanic Louise “Lou” Newman, believes in his innocence. But even Lou’s love and support can’t dispel the darkness that’s spreading through the community. Dead animals appear on porches, strangers threaten the safety of the locals, and a fingerprint from the fire is linked to a decades-old murder.

The lonely border town has a new danger: a murderer willing to do anything to protect a web of secrets that links them to the arson.

As the risk of jail or death increases, Rich turns to Lou for guidance and she finds herself in an impossible position. Lou has her own secrets! Does she protect the border town where she grew up, or side with the man she loves… even if it means she can never tell him the truth about herself?

Mini-Review

Can someone please make a TV show out of this Trilogy? It would have the most breathtakingly beautiful setting, with eerie landscapes that would just elevate the suspense of this great story.

This second instalment of the Waterton series takes you back to where Edge of Wild left off. We go back to Rich, Lou and also the locals who are as closed off as before. Events from the previous book are still affecting the small border town and getting in the way of the epic romance that it is Rich and Lou. #Endgame

I really couldn’t put the book down once I started. The way Stone writes suspense is amazing and really keeps you on the edge the whole time. At times you think you got it and then BAM! You realise that it wasn’t quite what you thought.

Even though the story moves a bit more onto the romance of our main characters, it doesn’t deviate from the main theme which is ‘WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON?’ I mean mystery!

I can’t wait to see what Stone has in store for us with the last instalment! I kinda need it right now!

There is dark secrets, suspense, murder and mystery with sprinkles of romance. All set in a beautiful small Canadian town, so what are you waiting for? Go get it!

Rating: ★★★★✬

The Dark Divide by D.K. Stone is available in paperback and e-book and you can get it now on Amazon(affiliated link).

Thanks Danika Stone for sending me a paperback copy (and amazing book swag) of The Dark Divide in exchange for my honest review.

*FangirlSince1988 xxx

 

 

 

 

 

Blog Tour: The Dark Divide by D.K Stone – Author Post

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The Tools of Writing Suspense

There are many ways to plot a book. For some authors, the process is like gardening: Plant the seeds of an idea, tend them, and see what grows. For others, it’s architecture: Create a structure and assemble the plot by following that plan. I’m probably a little of both, but when it came to writing my mystery / thriller The Dark Divide (Stonehouse, 2018), I found I needed far more of a plan than I’d expected.

Looking back, these are some key elements which kept my plot rolling.

  1. Start with the End in Mind: The Dark Divide is a small town mystery about an outsider, Rich Evans, who finds himself trapped there by circumstances. Accused of burning down the hotel he once managed, Rich’s very freedom is at stake. Add to that a deranged character who seems bent on destroying my main character, Louise, throw in a mystery that goes back three decades, and you have the plot of a whodunit! I knew where I wanted to end, so at the beginning of the writing process, I let my inner ‘gardener’ write what she wanted while I kept the ending in mind. That final scene of The Dark Divide, in fact, was one of the first scenes I wrote! A few unexpected events appeared as I wrote, but having this general idea kept them on topic.
  2. Lay Out a Plot Plan: In my den, I have a wall dedicated to whatever novel I’m currently working on. I write a one-sentence summary of each scene on a sticky note, color-coding by which character it focuses on. I then lay these scenes out in columns by chapter. These scenes can (and do!) move around while I’m writing, but being able to see them in motion – color by color – lets me get the bigger picture of whose story is being told.

With mysteries, it’s important to keep your readers guessing. Moving character-scenes lets you do that.

  1. Get an Outside Point-Of-View (or MANY): When the first draft of The Dark Divide was finished, I sent it off to beta-readers. Their insights allowed me to do my first round of edits (and they were massive!) With this done, my agent took a look, offering his ideas for polishing. (Round 2 was slightly easier.) Then the book headed off to a professional editor.

In my case, this was Dinah Forbes, one-time executive editor from McClelland & Stewart, who I had worked with on book 1: Edge of Wild. She took The Dark Divide plot to the next level. Her complex, scene-by-scene analysis broke the manuscript down like a mathematical formula, pointing out issues with pace and plotting, and suggesting ways of tightening the mystery. Her notes were both terrifying and satisfying to read. If someone with a background as strong as Ms. Forbes says your book is ready to sell, it is!

  1. Rewrite, Rewrite, and Rewrite Again: Every book benefits from revisions, but if you’re writing a mystery / thriller, edits are the difference between success and failure. (ie: See everything I said in the last paragraph.)
  2. Let Your Characters Have One Out-Of-Character Moment: The last hint came to me as I was deep in the throes of revisions, and that is the question of how you throw enough shade on everyone in your story to leave them open to being the potential villain. It’s incredibly easy, and works beautifully in the realm of building believable, flawed personas for all the characters in your book.

You let them have flaws.

And every once in a while, you (sparingly) allow them to do something ever-so-slightly ‘off’. Why? Because your readers are smart, and they’ll be watching for it. You want them to wonder, and there’s no better way to do that then leave everyone as a possible suspect.

In the end, the only way to know if your mystery actually worked is to let your readers have a go at it. When I sent it off to Dinah, my editor, for the last time, I wondered if she’d ‘catch’ the ending. She didn’t! And that, more than anything else, told me it really was done.

Written by D.K. Stone


WatertonPic-DanikaStoneDanika Stone is an author, artist, and educator who discovered a passion for writing fiction while in the throes of her Masters thesis. A self-declared bibliophile, Danika now writes novels for both teens (All the Feels and Internet Famous) adults (Edge of Wild and The Dark Divide).

When not writing, Danika can be found hiking in the Rockies, planning grand adventures, and spending far too much time online.

She lives with her husband, three sons, and a houseful of imaginary characters in a windy corner of Alberta, Canada.

Edge of Wild by D.K. Stone – Book Review

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Warning: contains some mild graphic accounts of murder.

Synopsis by Goodreads

Transplanted from New York City to the tiny mountain town of Waterton, Alberta with the task of saving a floundering new hotel, Rich Evans is desperate to return to the city as soon as he can. The locals seem unusually hostile towards his efforts, or maybe even menacing, and was that a cougar on his door-step last night?

As Rich begins to wonder whether his predecessor disappeared of his own accord, he finds himself strongly drawn to Louise Newman, the garage mechanic who is fixing his suddenly unreliable BMW, and the only person in Waterton who doesn’t seem desperate to run him out of town. As Rich works on the hotel, the town is torn apart by a series of gruesome, unsolved murders.

With Louise as his only ally in a town that seems set against him, Rich can’t help but wonder: will he be the next victim?

Review

I wasn’t sure what to expect coming into the book. I was worried that it may not be quite my type of read, but how mistaken I was. What I loved most about Edge of Wild by D.K. Stone was how it was written. It read like you are watching a TV show, and being a TV fanatic I thought this was amazing. I don’t mean to say that it was written in a script format by the way. I can’t quite explain it but when I was reading it, I kept imagining it as a TV show in my head. I could even see where in the book each episode will finish, leaving you wanting more. I believe that this book will make an amazing thriller TV show and someone should definitely get on it.

Once the story gets going, I couldn’t put the book down. It plays with your mind and you too, start to think if what is going on is actually real. I just kept begging to myself, for one more page, just one more chapter. I needed to know who the killer was, not sleep. #SleepIsForTheWeak

The way Stone describes Waterton makes you believe that you are there, and makes you want to be there for real (minus the murders of course). The setting is breathtakingly beautiful and so well crafted. Perfect for a story full of murder and a sprinkle of romance.

Initially, I don’t know if I liked Rich that much. I felt a bit like the locals felt. Like, what is this outsider trying to do to this beautiful and still in the edge of wilderness town. Is he trying to take all the charm away? You may think so, but underneath the surface there is so much more going on. Not all is as it seems.

Lou on the other hand is such an adorably cute character, and I love her stories. There is always a meaning behind them and if you pay enough attention you may pick up on some of the clues.

In the end, I’m so glad that I got out of my YA bubble and gave this book a chance because it was a truly enjoyable read. If you like beautiful settings, wilderness, murder and mystery this is the perfect book for you.

Thankfully, I already have the second book with me so I can dive back in to the beautiful Waterton. Make sure to tune back in for my blog tour stop for The Dark Divide on the 20th of April, it comes with a amazing guest post by the author D.K. Stone.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Edge of Wild by D.K. Stone is available in paperback and you can get it now on Amazon (affiliated link).

Thanks D.K. Stone for sending me a paperback copy of Edge of Wild in exchange for my honest review.

*FangirlSince1988 xxx