Theme MUST be the Foundation of Your Novel

What are the hallmarks of an amateur novelist?

This is a question I get all the time and, of course, there are many answers: poor pacing, flat dialogue, a lack of believable character development. All of these things are a death kiss for any fiction writer.

However, even if all of these elements are in place and you have the most exquisite dialogue and beautifully realized characters, there can still be something missing in your novel. And very often, it relates to theme.

Theme is something that all readers will pick up on when reading a book, whether they realize it or not. At its core satisfying novels need to be about something — whether that’s something broad like ‘love’ or something as narrow as ‘corrosive corporate culture’. Even novels about gods or dinosaurs or space aliens will have something to say about the human condition — a vein that…

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REVIEWS OF THE DEAD GAME

I posted this last year. Since then Amazon has taken down most of these reviews. I don’t why they delete reviews and why only 5-star ones.  I’ve reposted them–in memory.
There’s one Barnes & Noble review in the bunch.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
 

Deneale Williams rated it was amazing

This book, “The Dead Game” would make an excellent horror movie. I just could not get enough of it and would love to see it on the silver screen. In fact, I think it would be even more fantastic in 3 dimensional. Let me start by saying: I read this in the dark, along with one light on and in a big house. Wait, did I mention I was alone? I might suggest that you might not want to do that. I’m just sayin…

Just let me be frank with you here. Okay, wait. I still want to be me. Here goes. I honestly love watching TV, and I know what would make for a good show or movie. And as I was reading this, I was just so totally freaking out all through it, I could totally visualize everything. I know this book would be amazing as a Movie, you seriously need to read it, because you know it goes. When they turn books into Movies, they ruin them. And if the words are this good, you need to read them now!

Another thing that I loved about this book, was the fact that it is portrayed in Oasis, Florida. As most of you know, I am I currently live in Florida. So I love it when books put Florida, or Ohio on the map, I’m in. 

This book, “The Dead Game” has Vampires, Beachfront property, a scary haunted mansion, dead bodies, romance and of course people. What a unique kind of mix.

But let me tell you, never ever go to a place called: “End house” and never attend a party on a Friday night where the invitation envelopes are black. I mean if that doesn’t just say: “It’s going to get weird.” As a warning, then nothing will. 

I was so impressed, with “The Dead Game”, I couldn’t put it down. I give it five stars, it was just that exciting. If you’re anything like me, and enjoy horror, with a kick, then you need to read this. And you better be ready to get comfortable, because you’re not going to want to put this book down! It’s just that enjoyable. 

book cover
on March 5, 2016
“The Dead Game” by Susanne Leist is one of those great reads that you stumble across and end up eternally grateful for discovering it. In a vast sea of paranormal novels, The Dead Game stands out in all its horrifying glory. If you’re seeking chills and thrills this book is definitely a great read. Just the prologue will be enough to drag you deep into a plot filled with brilliant twists and turns. Leist brings her world and story to life with strong vivid language that flows seamlessly, lulling you into a tale you’ll never forget. I find her cast of characters to be truly unique and real, expressing human nature as if it were bare before us. Without hesitation, I can say this is among the best novels of the year I’ve come across. Highly recommended.
the dead game

Format: Kindle Edition

The Dead Game is a mystery/horror story that brings you into the lives of a group of people living in the quaint seaside community of Oasis, Florida. Even though Oasis seems to be a lovely place to live, sinister forces are hiding around every corner and wreaking havoc on the innocent town-folk. The author does a good job of developing the characters (both good and evil) and fleshing out the world they live in. Two inanimate objects in the story that grew into characters as the book progressed where the town of Oasis, Florida as well as a place called End House.
End House is an old abandoned mansion in a reclusive part of town that has a mysterious background. Invitations in black envelopes are sent to select people in town to attend a party at End House on a Friday night. The friends decide to attend the party and that is when all hell breaks loose. (Not wanting to reveal too much of the story) End House displays its paranormal personality with all sorts of terrifying entities from razor-sharp saws to gigantic bugs.  
The author is very creative with the horror she dishes out making it interesting and detailed without being so graphic as to turn anyone away from reading the rest of the story. After the horrific events of the party, the group has suspicions about the people within their own circle and if they are friend or foe. Friendships evolve between the characters both positively and negatively. The Hidden attraction between a few of the main characters brings a romantic angle to the story as well. A few of the characters work together to discover information on an eccentric man named Charles Wolf and a group he leads named “The Dead”. Rich and powerful, Wolf is known as a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” and throws another wrinkle into the story. At this point in the tale, suspicion among one another runs rampant as factions emerge from among the groups of characters. Some groups are honest and good and others deceitful and evil.  
It’s not easy to tell the good from the bad and the author keeps you guessing here. The honest and good group of characters leads a revolt against The Dead at the mysterious End House in an attempt to crush the evil group and eliminate them from Oasis. The author provides us with more creative action and gore as the battle between good and evil plays out. After the brawl, the town goes back to its lazy little self and people start getting back to their normal lives… or do they? The last few chapters are a topsy-turvy dance to figure out who is the real bad guy in the story. I was surprised by the end of the story and didn’t see it coming. This book is definitely well worth the time and the price.

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A GREAT 5 STAR REVIEW ON AMAZON AND BARNES & NOBLE

The Haunted Mansion Awaits?, March 22, 2014

By
This review is from The Dead Game (Kindle Edition)
 

The Dead Game by Susanne Leist is a psychological thriller set in the small town of Oasis, Florida where Linda Bennett and her friends embark on a haunted house expedition. Her clique of entrepreneurs includes Todd Morrison, a roguish fellow who easily navigates among the different factions within the community. Only Linda perceives the fact that Todd and the enigmatic Father John may know something more about the town than meets the eye, and the traumatic events to follow serve to confirm her darkest fears.

The author raises the bar in the Stephen King haunted house genre by combining an illusory backdrop to the standard demon-filled storyline. We are introduced to the evil Wolf, whose Dead subculture threatens to overwhelm those who trespass upon their perimeters. Yet Leist weaves an element of surrealism into the tapestry, creating scenes where each area of the property and room in End House appears to lead into a different dimension. Walls that reach into the sky and floors that lead into the netherworld are just some of the enhancements that Leist has built onto End House, and Wolf and his vampires arrive just as the protagonists appear to teeter on the brink of madness. It is rare when the environment is nearly as overwhelming as the evil that lurks within, but Leist has clearly made this happen in this page-turner.

This is an intriguing spin on the supernatural genre, definitely something to curl up with on book night. The Dead Game by Susanne Leist is a well-crafted novel you won’t want to miss.

 

fun sun death

on May 6, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
“Write with energy and imagination!” That’s what the great Oz said on the day author Susanne Leist was born. Then he waved his five-foot-long wand and infused her with the power to create worlds of Vampires and Wolves and twisted players from the mist of legends and grim fairy tales.
The Dead Game never quits. It takes off like a rocket through skies that may or may not be real, and it ends in fantastical possibilities that burrow into the secret earth. But throughout, there’s the mysterious, sexy, brown-eyed Todd and the responsive and curious heroine Linda. Can they ever get off of the diabolical crazy train long enough to take care of business?
Hmmm. You’ll have to read it for yourself. A town with so many questions raised by a mile of bizarre events is worth a closer look. And creepy mansions are elevated to a new level that supersedes the merely haunted houses of days gone by. The Dead Game. Humans are invited to the party, but just who or what you will be by its end is part of the gruesome fun. Get the book!
13 comments|6 people found this helpful. 
run
on March 4, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Spooky scary and kept me up all night! I loved it. A small town filled with secrets… and some you don’t want to know. Shivery delicious.
Comment|5 people found this helpful. 
small ice
on March 29, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

I read this in one sitting because I couldn’t stop turning pages. The story is well done, to say the least. Leist weaves together a gothic horror story that includes both good and evil vampires. Unlike many stories that include vampires, The Dead Game focuses on our human heroines and their efforts to solve the mysteries of Oasis Florida.Keeping to the format for good gothic horror, Leist introduces a tantalizing romantic element. The haunted house had a personality all its own. Be certain to read the prologue to catch the house’s seductive side.

If you like good gothic horror, this ranks right up there with Anne Rice and Radcliff.

Footsteps in the Sand
on May 21, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

The Dead Game by Author Susanne LeistIt is not very often that I read paranormal novels, but “The Dead Game” by talented Author Susanne Leist is a real page-turner. I found it very difficult to put down.

The story takes place in the quaint town of Oasis, Florida. Shrouded in mystery, it is evident that this lovely oasis holds many secrets. Newcomers to this picturesque town soon realize that something is amiss. There is what appears to be a vacant mansion called “End House” which all local residents are aware of and usually, avoid at great lengths. When there is a foreboding black invitation sent to several young people, including Linda and her friends to attend a party on Friday 13th, there is much angst as to whether they should go or not. Pique by a combination of curiosity and fear, they decide to go as a group to get to the bottom of the mysterious aura and odd events that prevail in Oasis…

Scary people, vampires, a touch of romance, murder and mayhem all add to the many twists and turns in “The Dead Game”. The Prologue captures the reader’s attention right from the onset and after that…Leist entices her readers to hang onto to her every word.

A most chilling and thrilling horror story!

 

glory of dead
on August 14, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

Omg, I just know I will have nightmares tonight. This book scared the heck out of me, so much so I had to skim past some pages to get back into my comfort zone as those pages were getting to me. If you want a good read on a blustery night then choose this book! The Dead Game You can’t go wrong if you like scary stories. This book has a great story, from a great scare the pants off you type of author. Wonderful descriptions. In truth, should have read this book with a glass of wine or something, to make me a bit more relaxed. Maybe I am just a coward…. Thank you, Susanne Leist for such an entertaining, though scary read. It would make a great “hide behind the cushions” type of movie!!!Honest review by Jessie B Tyson author of 1st edition “White Heaven Women” AND 2nd edition WHITE HEAVEN WOMEN on Pre-Order, coming out soon, so I know about things that bump in the night..haha.

The #RRBC “TREAT” Reads Blog Hop

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Welcome to the first ever “TREAT” Reads Blog Hop!  These members of RRBC have penned and published some really great reads and we’d like to honor and showcase their talent.  Although there were maybe 3-4 winners who were previously on this list who are no longer with the club, now all of the listed Winners are RWISA members!  Way to go RWISA!

We ask that you pick up a copy of the title listed and after reading it, leave a review.  There will be other books on tour for the next few days, so please visit the HOP’S main page to follow along.  

Also, for every comment that you leave along this tour, including on the HOP’S main page, your name will be entered into a drawing for an amazing gift card to be awarded at the end of the tour!

Dog Bone Soup by Bette Stevens

Book:  DOG BONE SOUP

Blurb:  

Whether or not You Grew Up in the 1950s and 60s, you’ll find DOG BONE SOUP (Historical Fiction) to be soup for the soul. In this coming-of-age novel, Shawn Daniels’s father is the town drunk. Shawn and his brother Willie are in charge of handling everything that needs to be done around the ramshackle place they call home—lugging in water for cooking and cleaning, splitting and stacking firewood…But when chores are done, these resourceful kids strike out on boundless adventures that don’t cost a dime. DOG BONE SOUP is the poignant tale of a dysfunctional family struggling to survive in America in the 50s and 60s, when others were living The American Dream.

Author:  Bette Stevens

This blog hop sponsored by:  4WillsPublishing

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Midnight Thrills, Midnight Chills

 

Welcome to The HORROR/THRILLER B2B CYBER CONVENTION and EXPO 2018. 

This is the link to the B2B CONVENTION Website:  http://b2bcycon.com

And this is the link to the CYBER CONVENTION ON GOODREADS:  https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/154267-brain-to-books-cyber-convention-fairgrounds

 

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You will meet authors of all genres at the B2BCYCON, but here we focus on the scary and the bloody that authors of horrors and thrillers enjoy dabbling their fingers in.

 

HorrorThriller Tour Banner

 

My book, The Dead Game, falls into this creepy category. With vampires, human vampires, and plenty of gore, it will take you to the dark side.

Be sure and visit my virtual booth at the B2B CONVENTION ON GOODREADS. I will be awarding books for playing my games. And if you’ve read The Dead Game, you already know that The Dead love their fun and games–preferably at night.

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/19252225-susanne-leist–paranormal-thriller-author

 

Come One, Come All to the Greatest Book on Earth!

The games will be dark.

They will be scary.

For The Dead take no hostages.

Stand back.

Eyes wide open.

And enjoy!

 

1 book COME ONE

 

Enter this link for a peek into book two coming this summer:

 THE DEAD RETURN TO OASIS FOR BOOK TWO

 

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BLOG HOP BOOK INTERVIEW QUESTIONS:

 

1- Describe your main character in one or two sentences.

 

Linda wants a peaceful life for herself and her friends. She wants happiness above all else and sometimes tries too hard to achieve it.

 

2- Which one word would you use to describe your antagonist? Now, which word would your antagonist use to describe him or herself?

 

Todd is decisive. He would call himself a leader. He is a born leader.

 

3- What’s the worst thing your main character has done?

 

Linda agrees to go along with Shana’s plan of confronting Wolf in his home without backup.

 

4- What is the most prized possession of your antagonist? And why?

 

Linda loves her books. They allow her to escape from reality.

 

5- What is the one part of your book that you, as the author, like best?

 

I like all of it since I wrote it. If I were to pick one scene, it would be the party in the glass house. As snow falls outside, the guests dance around the lifelike ice sculptures of people.

 

After the questions, you will do a one paragraph reading of a beginning of a chapter (any chapter, author’s choice). Remember no graphic sex or violence.

 

The next morning, Louise arrived early at her store. As soon as she stepped through the doorway, she sensed that something was wrong: the air was frigid, and the lights wouldn’t turn on. From the corner of her eye, she noticed a shadow pass by her. She was terrified that the creeping shadows were now stalking her inside and in the daylight.

 

Turning to leave the store, she grabbed the door handle but found that it wouldn’t budge in either direction. Staring through the door’s plate glass window, she saw that the town was deserted. All the other stores along Main Street were still closed, except for the sheriff’s office, which was too far away to be of any help. She was all alone with no one around to save her. If she cried out for help, no one could hear her. She felt panic beginning to overwhelm her.

 

She couldn’t breathe; it felt like all the oxygen in the room had been sucked out. Panicking, she gasped for air, but there didn’t seem to be any left in the locked store.

 

THE VILLAIN CRAWL Blog Tour:

Join our tour through the websites and blogs of horrors and thrillers. Follow the chain that will bring you chills and thrills from leading authors of the occult, paranormal, and horror.

The villain from The Dead Game, Charles Wolf, teases and charms Linda Bennett. Will she allow herself to fall for a vampire, or will she choose a human-vampire? 

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Want to meet more villains from other awesome Urban Fantasy writers? The Villain Crawl continues…

 

Author K. Matt on Welcome to Hell Bent

Three brief interviews with three different villains: a genetically-altered serial killer, a centuries-old, supreme luddite of a mage, and a cyborg/arms dealer.

 

Author Debbie Manber Kupfer on Paws 4 Thought

Alistair is a werewolf seeking justice. When his mentor sends him on his first mission, he knows who the victim must be.

 

Author Maaja Wentz on Maaja Wentz

Necromancers are the unsung heroes of the undead world in FEEDING FRENZY. Find out why you should worship the fungus among us when the Entity rises!

 

Author Rebekah Jonesy on Heart Strong

Leucosia, siren daughter of Achelous, is sick. And very hungry. With her health deteriorating she is forced to subsist on the softest human flesh, but she has a plan.

 

Author Aziza Sphinx from on Aziza Sphinx Into the Dark

My name is Emiliano Ortega. I didn’t ask to be a paw in Truth’s game yet here I am playing the Reaper when all I want to do is sleep.

 

Author Anastasia Poirier on Anastasia Poirier Author and Editor

My main antagonist is Ecrin. Her villainous path is a bit ambiguous. She’s good and she’s bad…but the why remains to be revealed. Mostly, she’s misunderstood and she’s acting out of desperation. I modeled her appearance after Tilda Swinton’s character in The Only Lovers Left Alive.

 

Author Tiffany Apan on My Haven on this Desolate Terrain

A 19th century Romanian aristocrat who takes pleasure in seeing those beneath him suffer…

 

 

Horror/Thriller Website Tour Authors

A. F. Stewart

K. Matt

Carmilla Voiez

Naching Kassa

KM Pohlkamp

Alice de Sampaio Kalkuhl

Brenda Mohamed

Susanne Leist

Tiffany Apan

C. Bilic

THRILLS AND CHILLS AND FUN FOR ALL!

HEAR THE WHISPERS

 

by hdunsirn:Peabody library, baltimore 9.6.14
©hannahdunsirn

 

The peace.

The quiet.

The silence.

The hush of the hallways.

The smell of books.

The taunt of knowledge.

Sit at a table.

Sit by the stacks.

Sit in the corner.

Feel the adventure.

Live the history.

Learn about life.

THE OLD BOOKSTORE

aurelielise-anne:
“The old bookstore.
”
Why don’t we have these anymore?
Books covering ceiling to floor.
Happiness between the binding.
What a perfect and safe finding.
Read in the candlelight.
Nothing can be as right.
Pictures and words before my...

 

aurelielise-anne:

The old bookstore.

 

Why don’t we have these anymore?

Books covering ceiling to floor.

Happiness between the binding.

What a perfect and safe finding.

Read in the candlelight.

Nothing can be as right.

Pictures and words before my eyes.

Reading about truth and some lies.

You’ll definitely find me hiding.

The tall shelves of books I’ll be minding.

 

Author, Susanne Leist – #RRBC

Please visit my Author Booth on RRBC” Writers Conference Book Expo!

Author, Susanne Leist –

Source: Author, Susanne Leist – #RRBC

Author, Susanne Leist – #RRBC

book Dead Game Fire

Door prizes: e-book copies of “THE DEAD GAME” (4 Winners)

Bio:

I have always loved to read. I grew up with Agatha Christie, Alistair Maclean and many other authors who filled my imagination with intrigue and mystery. The TV show, Murder She Wrote, kept me entertained when I was not reading late into the night.
Over the years, my taste in books has expanded to include the supernatural and paranormal genres as reflected in my selection of shows, such as Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries, and The Originals.

My first book, The Dead Game, is a paranormal suspense/mystery. It brings fantasy and the surreal to the simple murder mystery. It has dead bodies and suspects. However, it also has vampires, vampire derivatives, and a touch of romance to spice up the mix.

https://www.facebook.com/susanne.leist.98

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“THE DEAD GAME”

The Dead Game by Susanne Leist

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SCAVENGER HUNT Clue: Which RWISA Member put a P in Silent?

WHY DO WE WRITE?

writing: imagination

WHY DO WE WRITE?

Our minds want more.
We need to explore the world.
To explore the unknown.

If we can’t fulfill our dreams in our daily lives,
Then we can fulfill them in our writing.
Stories about love, evil creatures, and deadly games.

I’ve always wanted to live in a small town.
So I created a small town in my book
And called it, Oasis.

I love to read books.
The main character moves to Oasis
And opens a bookstore.

You get the idea.
The main character, Linda,
Is living my dream life.

My mind takes a dark turn.
Life is too good and care-free.
Oasis needs a darker side.

The original residents live in a forest
And only come out at night.
This is when the fun and games begin.

Do you see where this is going?
If not, you can always read my book.
I finally got my small town,
Where fantasies come true,
And some just don’t.