The Rome Affair by Laura Caldwell

The Rome Affair, Laura Caldwell, 2006

My favorite quote: “I understand now that innocence is relative.”

Notable characters: Rachel Blakely, a software salesperson; Nick, her husband, the surgeon; Kit, her BFF

Most memorable scene: For me, it was the description of the Roman mornings

Greatest strengths: Great plot structure

Standout achievements: Its surprises. I didn’t see them coming

Fun Facts: The research for this book led the author, a former civil trial attorney, to a case that became the basis for her first nonfiction book, Long Way Home: A Young Man Lost in the System and the Two Women Who Found Him

Other media: N/A

What it taught me: If there’s a writing lesson to be found here, it’s show, don’t tell. Some of the most pivotal events in this story take place “off-stage” and are only experienced through flashback and dialogue, which really weakened the effect

How it inspired me: At the time I read this book, I was seriously contemplating a writing career myself, so I was paying close attention to the structure and ingredients of the things I read — and while I liked the plot of The Rome Affair, I couldn’t get into the characters at all. It was then I decided that in my own books, compelling characters would be a top priority

Additional thoughts: This is one of the books that come to my mind when people talk about “vacation reads”

Haunt me:

Published by Alistair Cross

Alistair Cross grew up on horror novels and scary movies, and by the age of eight, began writing his own stories. First published in 2012, he has since co-authored The Cliffhouse Haunting and Mother with Tamara Thorne and is working on several other projects. His debut solo novel, The Crimson Corset, was an Amazon bestseller. The Black Wasp, book 3 in The Vampires of Crimson Cove series is on its way. Find out more about him at: ********************************************************************************************* In collaboration, Thorne and Cross are currently writing several novels, including the next volume in the continuing gothic series, The Ravencrest Saga. Their first novel, The Cliffhouse Haunting, was an immediate bestseller. Together, they hosted the horror-themed radio show Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! which featured such guests as Anne Rice of The Vampire Chronicles, Charlaine Harris of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series True Blood, Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels, Jay Bonansinga of The Walking Dead series, Laurell K. Hamilton of the Anita Blake novels, Peter Atkins, screenwriter of Hellraiser 2, 3, and 4, worldwide bestseller V.C. Andrews, Kim Harrison of the Hollows series, and New York Times best sellers Preston & Child, Christopher Rice, and Christopher Moore. ********************************************************************************************** Currently, Thorne & Cross are hosts of Thorne & Cross: Carnival Macabre, where listeners can discover all manner of demented delights, unearth terrifying treasures, and explore the dark side of the arts.

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