The Jane Hawk Giveaway
As a writer, I know it is important to make sure that I expose myself to authors who have perfected their craft. Oftentimes, I tend to look to the classics- Dickens, Austen, Faulkner, Melville, et. al.- as they have achieved that covetable status of being archetypal in the literary community. But one need not reach so far back to find great writers from whom one can draw inspiration. When I need a jolt where my own writing is concerned, I know who to turn to: Dean Koontz.
Through the years, I have found that he is exceptional in several areas that every fiction writer should be.
Dean Koontz writes characters so real and fully developed that within in a few sentences, I’m invested in what happens to them. Case in point, the very first line of his novel False Memory had me adoring Martine Rhodes and wanting to know what was in store for her in the remainder of the book (see post here). Some would call this a good hook, but I think it’s more than that. Fostering kinship with characters is a thing which should not be overlooked. For some authors, the characters serve merely to propagate the story. They exist as pawns. In Koontz’s novels, I find myself wishing that his characters were real, live people with whom I could sit and have a cup of tea and good conversation. I really care about them. That sort of engagement is extremely important in my book (no pun intended, as I too am writing a book and hope for this sort of engagement with my characters as well).
Raise your hands if you know that setting is important in a novel. (Don’t worry, no one can see you.) Koontz brings his settings alive. For the most part, his novels take place in California, where he makes his home. The old adage of writing what you know applies here. He doesn’t just describe California as that halcyon place where the sun always shines and there are never any clouds. Rather, he is so familiar with his landscape, that he writes about its changeable temperament as though California were her own character. Furthermore, he has mastered the craft of augmenting the emotions of the characters with the atmosphere in which they find themselves. This feat builds the mood of the novel- whether it’s to create a peaceful, happy existence or to build tension.
Now, this might seem like a 1-0-1 thing here. Every novelist should be good at writing, right? However, there are those who do it with aplomb. Mr. Koontz is one such author. He paints with his words. He weaves them together to effect the most beautiful literary devices. Last year I dedicated a Lines to Love post exclusively to him, selecting several choice lines from his works that were my particular favorites. In it, I dubbed him the King of Metaphor. I stand by that. In fact, I would throw in simile, too. He’s a master. When his fingers dance across the keys of his word processor, I wonder if he fully realizes the subtle beauty he embroiders into every sentence. Yeah, he’s that good. I am not exaggerating. If you don’t believe me, check out the Lines to Love post here.
Whenever I pick up a Dean Koontz book, it’s the equivalent of visiting an old friend, even if I haven’t read the novel before. When my father died five years ago, it was too painful for me to read his novels. My father introduced me to his work. We would read his novels together, and then go out on dates to talk about our favorite parts. Dad was the one who came up with the brilliant idea of using Post-It tabs to earmark the lines I love in any book I read. The first novel I did this with was False Memory, and I’ve been tabbing away ever since.
For my birthday last year and then at Christmas, my brother bought me the first two novels in the Jane Hawk series. I eyed them leerily on my TBR pile when I went to select the next book to read. However, when my brother gifted me the third novel in the series for Valentine’s Day, I knew I had to bite the bullet and read them or else risk hurting his feelings. I’m glad I did. While I have always loved Koontz’s characters, in Jane Hawk I find something that speaks to my soul. That’s why I’m so excited about today.
You all know how much I love giveaways. And since Whiskers On Kittens is all about my favorite things, I’m hosting another. For the month of October, I am giving away TWO sets of the first three books in the Jane Hawk series (The Silent Corner, The Whispering Room, and The Crooked Staircase). Furthermore, Mr. Koontz was gracious enough to sign and inscribe each book for the lucky winners.
Here’s how to enter for your chance to win.
You must be a subscriber* to Whiskers On Kittens. (*At this time, I can only offer this giveaway in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia.) If you already subscribe to Whiskers, then move on to step two. If you haven’t subscribed yet, and reside within the US, UK, or Australia, then scroll to the bottom of this post and fill out the form.
In the comments section below, tell me why you’d like to win this series. Are you a fan of Dean Koontz? Or are you a thrill seeker who wants to satisfy that yen without leaving the comfort of home? Do you enjoy stories that deal with life and death choices? Perhaps you’ve just taken up the Keto diet and identify with Jane’s love of high protein meals? Do you just like California? Maybe you simply love books and jump at any chance to win free ones? Let me know what caught your attention.
Take it from me, these novels will have you gobbling them up one after the other like kids eating their Halloween candy. But, if you’re still on the fence, let me introduce you to Jane.
Jane Hawk is a former F.B.I. agent who has adopted a personal quest which has set her in the sights of a nefarious organization whose supreme purpose is to effect world dominance by controlling the minds of people via nanotechnology. (Wow! That’s a mouthful.) What started out in grief- a desire to understand why her steady, reliable, level-headed Marine husband, Nick, committed suicide out of the blue- has transformed into a hunt so massive that Jane may never see the end of it- at least, the end where it doesn’t end with her death. Each novels builds upon the next one. Sure, you can read them independently of each other, but there is so much more to be gained in the progression of Jane’s psyche when you read them in order and back to back. The stakes she faces are life and death, yes, but they are more. If Jane does not succeed, she risks not only her life, or the life of her five year old son, but the lives of millions more.
Jane did not ask for any of this. Rather, like greatness, this burden was thrust upon her. Nor did she have any notion how herculean the task before her would turn out to be. Yet, she has accepted the mantle, shouldering the yoke with little complaint. With a methodology and single-minded focus I admire, she slowly peels back one layer after another, but rather than uncovering those whose dark deeds should be brought to light, she finds herself winding further into the labyrinth with no sight of the Minotaur at the middle. But, she will not stop. Her integrity and commitment to truth and justice won’t let her. Neither will her love for her son; she must do everything she can to protect him and his future, even it means giving her life to do so.
I love Jane Hawk for her ferocity, strength, compassion, and honesty. Finding such nobility in a modern character is rare today. But Dean Koontz doesn’t just make her all virtue. He shows the emotions and decisions she wrestles with. In the third book, she is placed in a position where she has to decide between the lesser of two evils. It’s harrowing to read- a bit like Sophie’s Choice.
Peppered throughout these books are also minor characters- both heroes and villains- who provide flavor to the narrative and supplement the storyline so that the reader is left in no doubt of the righteousness of Jane’s undertaking.
I can’t wait to share her with you more in depth in the coming weeks. And I’m thrilled to be hosting this October event for two lucky readers! So, put your name in the running.
Now for the technical bits, which, alas, must be included to prevent confusion.
This giveaway (promotion) is open to current and new subscribers. To subscribe, scroll to the bottom of this post and fill out the form. Once you click subscribe, you will receive a Welcome email in your inbox within an hour’s time. Please add Whiskers On Kittens to your address book so that you can be kept abreast of all the latest posts and upcoming giveaways here at Whiskers.
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The giveaway (promotion) will be open from 12 A.M. October 1st, 2018 until October 28th, 2018 at 11:59 P.M. Central Time. The winner will be notified by email and announced on October 29th here at Whiskers On Kittens as well as on Whiskers’ Facebook page, Instagram, and Twitter (links to follow all are at the bottom of the page).
Good luck, dear readers.