Friday, February 24, 2017

New novel by Darden North - Release set for June 15, 2017

In "The Five Manners of Death" there are five ways to die. 

Surgeon Diana Bratton believes that homicide is the only one left. Then the police prove her wrong. Diana learns that murder is her family secret. 

After a construction worker unearths a human skull on the campus of the University of Mississippi that dates to the 1960s, an older woman’s desperate attempt to erase history counts down the five manners of death. Surgeon Diana Bratton is surrounded by bodies after the discovery of her Aunt Phoebe’s 50-year-old note detailing the five ways to die. Suicide, accident, natural cause, and one death classified undetermined are soon crossed of this list—leaving Diana to believe that only homicide remains. Then the police prove her wrong. 
When Phoebe is linked not only to that death, but to the recent deaths of two local men, Diana is torn between pursuing Phoebe’s innocence and accepting police theory that her aunt is involved in multiple murders. Diana steals precious time from her young daughter, her surgical practice, and her hopes for renewed romance to clear Phoebe’s name. As Diana searches for evidence to outrun the conspiracy between her ex-husband and Phoebe’s long-time lover, her quest to expose the truth may be overshadowed by Aunt Phoebe’s need to rebury the past.

What they're saying about my new novel coming June 15!


"The Five Manners of Death is a taut, tense, and gripping tale about a long-buried secret tangled within the pages of an old college yearbook that once unleashed reveals that murder is a family affair. Meticulous plotting, richly-drawn and engaging characters, and a shocking storyline combine to create an extraordinary thriller rich in the unexpected.  A unique but realistic story with the right mix of medical authenticity, The Five Manners of Death plunges readers deep into the minds of the novel’s characters as each learns that no one can be trusted—and that everyone has his own agenda. With this sensational, skillful, and highly suspenseful tale, Darden North claims a solid spot among today’s finest thriller writers." 

The novel, set in Jackson and Oxford, Mississippi, will be published by Wordcrafts Press in hardcover, paperback, and eBook and released June 15, 2017. Book pre-orders available online early March through your favorite retailer.

----- I look forward to seeing all my readers and friends soon at a book signing or other event!
!

        Darden

        www.dardennorth.com

Saturday, January 21, 2017

2017 Southeast Region Writing Conferences

"Writer's Digest" is sponsoring writing conferences in Alabama, Louisiana, and Tennessee in 2017. The magazine's editors will be speaking and literary agents are scheduled to be on hand for one-on-one pitches.

For more information, check out these links:

      February 24, 2017 alabamawritingworkshop.com 

      April 22, 2017  neworleanswritingworkshop.com

      July 22, 2017  tennesseewritingworkshop.com 

I received a tweet message from The Writer's Digest team about the conferences and thought I would pass along the information. An email contact was also provided: chuck.sambuchino@fwmedia.com.

If you are a budding or blooming writer, you might want to check out these opportunities.

----- Darden

Darden North
www.dardennorth.com 
      

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

A lot went on before the fall - Review of "Before the Fall" by Noah Hawley (audio book)

Noah Hawley's vivid character development and descriptive settings make this satirical narrative of successful corporations and extravagance (as well as the almost parody of Bill O'Reilly and Fox News) shine. "Before the Fall" is an entertaining, not totally predictable, story of Scott, a struggling, alcoholic painter and swimmer, who draws on the inspiration of the original fitness guru Jack LaLanne to save a four-year-old boy. As Scott becomes the scrutinized hero after their private plane crashes into the Atlantic, Hawley's social commentary on the evils of the rich and famous slows the action at times but still keeps the reader's interest. I "read" and enjoyed the audio book edition and recommend it highly. Robert Petkoff as audio book narrator is splendid with the addition of his English and Irish accents, while doing well with both male and female voice inflections.
-----Darden North
      www.dardennorth.com

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Where was Cleveland?

Audio Book Review - "Dispatches from Pluto: Lost and Found in the Mississippi Delta"
Author - Richard Grant

By Darden North | September 5, 2016

I guess Grant never reached Cleveland during his tour of the Delta, that vibrant community an antithesis of this liberal discourse on Mississippi race relations, overall poverty, and crumbling education. Regarding the English narrator's cadence in the audio book, it was often repetitious, and he sometimes mispronounced words including names of Mississippi counties, such as Bolivar. The narrator could have spent a little time on research in that regard. Of course, I grew up in Cleveland and Bolivar County, so I guess I'm partial. Grant's own hours spent in research and with live interviews of his subjects sets the memoir apart. His description of race relations is clear and accurate, showing that we Mississippians may actually be very high on that positive list. I envy Grant's knack to describe physical appearances and settings so beautifully although in this well-written, wonderful piece (unlike in fiction), he has the advantage of looking across the table at his real characters and breathing the true air of each setting. While the treatise on race does get long and deep, a happy ending is always a relief.

www.dardennorth.com

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Easter is always a special time

I'm not sure what's going on with the Easter Bunny's left eye, but it was indeed a Happy Easter event at our neighborhood Easter Egg Hunt today. Our organizers for 2016 didn't have an area roped off for egg hunters in the 40-plus crowd, but there was plenty of socializing to make up for that slight. Anyway, I never was any good at finding Easter eggs.

It is a special Easter for me, and I hope for you, too. The weather through Saturday of this spiritual weekend in Jackson, Mississippi, is beautiful; my wife and I have had a chance to relax and enjoy our home; our two kids are busy and happy; and (Of course, only a writer would include this one) I have finished the draft of my fifth novel, "When the Bee Stings."
-----Darden North
       www.dardennorth.com

Sunday, January 24, 2016

From the Other Side

The new year 2016 brought a special gift to me, the "opportunity" to be on the other side of the healthcare delivery system--the care receiver rather than the caregiver.

Fortunately, I am blessed that my surgery went well. I only missed just over week of work, and a full recovery is expected. During those days away from my ob/gyn career, I spent time at home recuperating and was feed well by family and friends.

The surgery had been scheduled long before the Ole Miss Rebels finished a stellar football season, and since my wonderful physician is not an Ole Miss fan he did not mind skipping our second trip to the Sugar Bowl in over 40 years. Fully alert, status-post anesthetic trance and requiring minimal post-op pain meds on the evening of January 1, I watched Ole Miss trounce Oklahoma State on a fairly large, widescreen TV from the comfort of my den couch.

However, I missed being in New Orleans with my friends at the Superdome in what they described as great seats in an obviously well-spirited, happy atmosphere for University of Mississippi loyals.

That first week of January at home also gave me a chance to catch up on some things. Since I did not feel much like straightening out my closet or desk drawers and thinning out some stuff, I spent the time on another much needed project: completing revisions of the Kindle edition of my third thriller novel "Fresh Frozen" for its release as an audio book through audible. com. "Fresh Frozen" is now ready for audio download to "any electronic device" as they say.

In early January of 2016, I balanced my writing time between completing the audio book by working with narrator and voice artist Flora Plumb and finishing the draft of my fifth novel "When the Bee Stings." "WTBS" is a follow-up story to my current novel "Wiggle Room." I am on the final pages of "When the Bee Stings" with plans for my readers to like it a lot!

The other sliver of time devoted to writing was invested in watching television. My justification for reasoning that TV and authoring novels parallel is that some writing coaches (at least one I know of from an article I read in "Writer's Digest") advise structuring the plot of a suspense novel or thriller with the fast pace of a moving television drama.

So in taking that advice, I drew inspiration from binging on the most recent seasons of "Homeland," "The Affair," and "Ray Donovan." But that was not all. I plodded through another season and a half of "The Tudors" (but I'm still not caught up) and got totally hooked on the engrossing new series "The Man in the High Castle" and "Orphan Black."

I hope that my trip to the other side is indeed over. The holidays and the close of 2015 as it melted into 2016 were a joyous distraction. Leading up to my surgery, our house was happy and lively since both young adult children and their special friends and pets were at home with Sally and me for several days. We took day trips out-of-town (to a concert in Memphis and a pre-Sugar Bowl weekend trip to the Big Easy), patronized great Jackson, Mississippi restaurants, opened presents over a several day period, watched old family movies, played with a new corn


hole game, and enjoyed meaningful church Christmas music services. My mother and sister-in-law and her family were also by to visit. Having my family with me was fun and treasured leading up to my big event in the hospital on the morning of New Year's Eve.

Happily, except for follow-up doctor's visits, my trip back from the other side is over, I hope, although the memory will last a lifetime. I'm back practicing obstetrics and gynecology full time and writing books. Of course, I'm looking forward to the new television season of "Game of Thrones" and hoping for the return of "House of Cards."

-----Darden North
www.dardennorth.com
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