Saturday, February 28, 2015

Short and Sweet Review: Breaking Point by C.J. Box

Breaking Point is the 13th installment in the Joe Pickett series and for a while there the reader may be worried that 13 is not Joe's lucky number! But it is C.J. Box's, because this book, as with all the others, is one hell of a ride.

Once again Joe is dealing with his resourceful wife who worries about him, his girls who sometimes treat him like he's a relic of another time and federal agencies that don't respect him, let alone the rights of the citizens of Saddlestring, Wyoming.

When Joe is forced to help hunt down the father of his daughter's best friend, things don't go well. They go south. And they go up into the mountains with their rough terrain and vast expanses of beetle kill pines.

Fans of this series are used to watching the moral and physical battles Joe wages with not only criminals but all levels of the law and government. This installment finally finds common sense at the helm of the local sheriff's office, but that can't help Joe when the guys from the EPA decide to makes up the rules as they go.

Joe, of course, will be Joe. And that's what we love about him. Watching Game Warden Pickett 'go rogue' in the name of what's right is what keeps me coming back. And did I worry about all that beetle kill that's as dry and combustible as Joe's almost absent friend, Nate? I live in the Rocky Mountain west and totally appreciate it's ramifications...and of course I appreciate Nate.

Nate and Joe's relationship has taken a beating over the course of the last few books, and they are both changed men. But I'm hopeful future installments will bring them closer. We'll see. On to #14!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Publishers BAN Exclamation Marks?!?

Anyone who has corresponded with me personally knows that I do love my exclamation marks! But a fellow writer has told me she's heard of a publisher that limits authors to one lonely exclamation mark per BOOK! That's just nuts!!

Okay, so I get that publishers don't want us to get carried away in print. They may even want us to express our emotions with words rather than punctuation. But honestly, the exclamation mark is as valid a punctuation mark as commas and periods and I don't see publishers clamping down on those puppies! In fact, if you have a tendency to run-on in your sentences your editor may even suggest that you apply a few more commas and periods. Perhaps even a semi-colon!

But the lonely exclamation mark sits like the wallflower of grammar, unwanted and discouraged despite its effervescent enthusiasm for expression...

Despite my better nature, I will continue in my efforts to tamp down my exclamatory inclinations. I appreciate that it's overuse lessons its effect so I will pull as many as possible, sending them whooping and hollering back to whatever spot in my brain the over-animated writer in me resides. I miss them already, poor little things. But really, I can't promise to hold it down to just one. (!!!)

**exclamation point courtesy of