Book Review: Collector’s Item

Guest Review by Michelle Schaffer

book review denise golinowski collector's itemCollector’s Item was an interesting read with a great story line potential. There was a great deal put into a novella. Though the book had promise, it fell a little short for me. To sum it up, I wanted more details, less story angles. The span of the story could have been expanded into a full book instead of a novella.

The book is about KT, a were-jaguar trying to find her aunt who has gone missing. KT is a part of a royal were-family who are trying to find the people behind the Collectors who view supernatural’s as game to hunt. I enjoy supernatural stories, and loved that the lead in this book was a female alpha. KT is a great lead character…strong, smart, saavy, who know’s who she is and what she wants. Where I was thrown was her were-jaguar form, Andi, and the way in which they communicate. I actually went back to read it again to understand. Once I understood, I loved it. It was different than any other supernatural story I had read.

The lead male character is Peyton. He is all male in every way…in every good way possible. Peyton is strong, sexy and domineering. He is a great match with KT, someone who can stand up to her and put in her in her place. He is an alpha-male that is looking into the Collector’s for his own personal reasons. Their were personas recognize a connection immediately, it takes KT and Peyton more time to catch on. The connection between the two is strong and intense, and I wanted more.

Where the story lost me was the missing details. Without giving any spoilers, I wanted more information about KT’s family and the Alliance. I wanted more details about her aunt, her decisions in the end. It felt like there were many parts of the story that were left vague and unclear. If you aren’t paying very close attention you will miss key parts that will require you to go back. An example of that the communication between KT and Andi. It is stated in one sentence and wasn’t clear until I read it twice. I like a story in which I am completely lost and absorbed into the story to where you don’t miss a single detail. The book gets there, just not initially. Where I think the story excelled is the connection and story between KT and Peyton and their were form connections. The scenes between the two of them had me smiling, frustrated, laughing and consumed in the book.

Overall, I liked the book. The story has great potential as well as the author. I would read more from this author when there is more time to divulge in the details of the story. This was the first book I read from Denise Golinowski. I like her writing style around characters and romance. She paints a great picture around romance, love and lust.

Book review Collector's Item

About the Book

Alpha were-jaguar, Katarina “KT” Marant is trained to protect the pride so when her aunt disappears, KT naturally takes up the hunt. Her suspicion settles on the Collectors, humans who view shapeshifters as the ultimate big game.

Peyton Allers can’t believe he’s got to blow his cover to rescue a shapeshifter “princess.” Even harder to believe is that she wants to stage her own kidnapping in order to catch the leader of the Collectors and find her aunt.

Everything goes sideways when KT is kidnapped for real and by someone she never suspected. Will Peyton find her before time runs out? Or will she become a true Collector’s Item?

About the Author

Denise Golinowski has always been a writer. A hopeful romantic, she gravitated to fantasy and romance.  Collector’s Item is her second enovella with the Wild Rose Press and is currently availableexclusively on Amazon.com for Kindle.  Her first enovella, The Festival of the Flowers: The Courtesan and The Scholar, is also available from The Wild Rose Press.  Denise is a PRO member of the Romance Writers of America, Virginia Romance Writers, James River Writers, Writers Endeavor, and RichWriters.  A native of Richmond, Virginia, Denise lives with her uber-supportive husband and one devoted lap kitty. She is currently working on a Contemporary Paranormal Romance involving another member of the Marant Clan—KT’s older brother, Peter Marant.  You can find her on facebook at Denise Golinowski/Author and at her blog, Golinowski’s Gambol. You can buy Collector’s Item for Kindle at  www.collectorsitembook.com. Visit her blog, Golinowski’s Gambol, and visit Denise on Facebook atDenise Golinowski/Author.

About the Reviewer

Michelle is a lover of books, all shapes and sizes, but a big sucker for a great romance and the search for a new fictional boyfriend! When not taking care of three demanding persons in her home, one being the man she married and the other two co-created with her husband, she works full time in a job that pays the bills. She dreams of down time to lose herself in another book since she has more books on her TBR list than she does food in her refrigerator.

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On Writing: Worldbuilding

IT’S EASIER THAN YOU THINK

Guest post by Denise Golinowski

on writing: world buildingAs a fantasy author, I often hear how intimidating worldbuilding can be for writers. I often wonder—is it the whole “world” thing or the “building” thing? Suspecting it’s a case of both of those and more, I suggest we change the term and, hopefully, change the attitude. [Drum roll and appropriate trumpet flare]

Henceforth, I shall call the process “world-discovery.”

I think the term works better because it’s more about discovering what’s familiar or different about my character’s world and putting those details on the page.

For me, a story begins with a character, a personality who saunters or struts or leaps onto the stage of my imagination and demands that I tell their story.

The first step to world-discovery is to take in the details of my character. Besides the basic statistics—name, age, sex—I take note of what is unique about this character? What will keep my attention through the writing, and the reader’s attention through the reading? Attractive characters are easy to sell, but there is also something to be said about the flawed character. Bottom line, your character must be interesting enough to you to carry the story for the readers.

A character’s clothing will give you plenty of hints about their world. Do they look like they stepped off a fashion runway (a contemporary world) or a starship (a futuristic world)? Are their clothes machine-made (a world with technology) or homespun (a world with low technology or none)? Do they carry weapons (again, high or low technology) and are they comfortable with the weapons (in defense or offense)?

Let them reveal their story to you. Listen carefully. Whenever they present you with something unfamiliar, take a moment to examine it. Whenever their story requires something unusual, delve into the reason and then explore your options for fulfilling that need. No one lives in a white box. Every room your character enters, how is it furnished? Every street they walk, how is it paved? Every person they encounter, how are they dressed or occupied? Make your character show you what they need from their environment and then discover how to supply those needs.

As you discover more and more about the character’s world, you will begin to do your research. This is a slippery slope and one you have to treat with respect. Dig to get the details you need to tell the story, but don’t fall down the hole into parts unknown and unrelated to your character’s story. Also, don’t become so enamored with your discoveries that you toss in everything, including the kitchen sink, because it just so interesting.

Remember: If it doesn’t move the plot or provide character development, it doesn’t belong on the page. Think of it this way. You use a cell phone, but do you really know how it works? Do you need to? The answer is probably no to the first and definitely no to the second. And neither does your reader.

In my newest book, COLLECTOR’S ITEM, my shapeshifters live openly in society, having come out of the closet, so to speak, about twenty years ago. An entire legal system had to be developed to protect both humans and shapeshifters, codified in the Paranormal Rights Act, but I didn’t need to give my readers the details of the Act and legal system, I only refer to them where they impact my story.

My shapeshifters and their animal personalities are separate entities sharing a physical form. They communicate to each other, but the animal personality is always under the control of the human side. Shapeshifters live in clans and raise their children communally, openly preparing children for the emergence of their animal personalities with the onset of puberty. This dual nature is anticipated but in rare instances, can create serious psychological issues that were once a death sentence, but with the help of modern medicine is now manageable.

I loved developing these parts of KT Marant’s world, but they were only mentioned in passing, or hinted at, in COLLECTOR’S ITEM. Putting any more into the story than I did would have slowed the action of what I hoped would be a suspenseful story.

Think of those fascinating details as seasoning. Put in too much and you’ll spoil the dish. Put in just the right amounts in the right combinations and you’ll have a dish fit for a king.

World-discovery is fascinating. If you are engaged in your character and the story, I know you will easily discover all the details you need to successfully portray their world.

About the Author

Denise Golinowski has always been a writer. A hopeful romantic, she gravitated to fantasy and romance.  Collector’s Item is her second enovella with the Wild Rose Press and is currently available exclusively on Amazon.com for Kindle.  Her first enovella, The Festival of the Flowers: The Courtesan and The Scholar, is also available from The Wild Rose Press.  Denise is a PRO member of the Romance Writers of America, Virginia Romance Writers, James River Writers, Writers Endeavor, and RichWriters.  A native of Richmond, Virginia, Denise lives with her uber-supportive husband and one devoted lap kitty. She is currently working on a Contemporary Paranormal Romance involving another member of the Marant Clan—KT’s older brother, Peter Marant.  You can find her on facebook at Denise Golinowski/Author and at her blog, Golinowski’s Gambol. You can buy Collector’s Item for Kindle at  www.collectorsitembook.com. Visit her blog, Golinowski’s Gambol, and visit Denise on Facebook at Denise Golinowski/Author.