Archive for the ‘Preview’ Category

Months of writing it, weeks of editing and proofreading it and several days of formatting it and now it’s done. What is it? My fourth novel, “Beyond the Law”. It is now published in eBook form. It can now be viewed or/and ordered from Kobo, Barns & Noble, Apple, Page Foundry, 24 Symbols, Scribd, and Tolino.
Here is a brief description of what the novel is about. Beyond the Law 6When Marianne, the woman William loved more than life, got caught in the crossfire of a drive-by shooting, he swore revenge on all who made their riches through criminal activities. Under the cover of an entertainer known as the Minstrel he performed at parties for gangsters and their families to learn more about their involvement in crime, where they kept their most cherished and valuable belongings, and what security systems they employed at their mansions. Months later he returned late at night and robbed them of their most valuable and incriminating possessions.

Known as the Black Phantom because the thief had left no clues to implicate him in several high profile thefts Detective Vanessa Haldersen and her partner had been assigned to solve several of these million dollar thefts in their jurisdiction ascribed to this mysterious thief. While the robberies’ methods were similar in all regards, the detectives found no evidence that could lead them to the thief except one small card which contained the line of a love song. After months of investigations that small card led them to suspect the Minstrel. To find out if he was the Black Phantom Vanessa’s superiors decided that she needed to form a relationship with him.
But Detective Haldersen and the Minstrel, William Trucastle, who had not learned that Vanessa was one of the officers charged to investigate the robberies he had committed, felt a strong attraction for each other from the first time they met. That attraction they eventually realized was love at first sight. What would Vanessa do when she found out William truly was the Black Phantom? How would William deal with the knowledge that Vanessa was one of the officers investigating the jewel thefts he had committed?
Having fallen in love with Vanessa William decided the robbery of another gangster’s valuables he had been planning would be the last time he would step beyond the law. Little did he know that on a hunch the detectives investigating the Minstrel had staked out the mansion with plenty of backup officers the same night he planned to commit his last theft there.

Werner Manke's photo.

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Coming soon!

The second book I published, “In Joy and in Sorrow”, is special to me.  I quickly learned to connect with the characters.  So creating certain  conditions that some characters would experience became more difficult for me to contemplate and write than the characters experienced in “Secrets of Hawking Manor”.  In the coming week I plan to post a series of excerpts for readers’ enjoyment.

“In Joy and in Sorrow” by Werner Manke maybe ordered from Chapters, Barnes and Nobel and Amazon.  Below is the brief summary found on the back cover of the novel.

“IN JOY AND IN SORROW”,  a summary

Life is good for the Claremontes.  Danielle is a talented teacher, Douglas an outstanding young pastor.  Their future appears bright when they’re called on to go through the fire of suffering.  Danielle is diagnosed with cancer.  Douglas is unjustly accused of enticing another man’s wife, and an old enemy secretly resurfaces planning revenge.

In her suffering Danielle remains strong.  The bereavements Douglas experienced in his childhood and youth leave him with scars.  The present test of faith wounds his soul.

Half a world away Lois dedicates herself to serve needy people in a mission hospital in outback Zambia.  That great distance away from home is also to help her to deal with a secret she must never reveal.  She is talented and beautiful.  An acquaintance in Zambia is secretly infatuated with her and sends her anonymous, suggestive notes.  Feeling threatened she tries to uncover her tormentor.  Before her final term at the hospital ends he pretends to assist her but lures her to an isolated cabin attempting to seduce her.

Danielle’s condition, Jack’s revenge, the accusations leveled against him and Lois’ return from Zambia unite in a maelström threatening to shipwreck even those strong of heart.

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Coming soon

It is certain, the new snow we can now see  in the mountains will pay us a visit before long.  I’m just as certain to post the next excerpt of “Secrets of Hawking Manor” soon.  I’ll do my best to do so in the next day or two.  Meanwhile, please enjoy the view.

On another note, I’ve started previewing the book, “Think of a Number” by John Verdon.  The story’s main characters, Dave Gurney and his wife Madeleine appear to have lost some of their love’s spark.  Dave, an extremely successful detective, has retired.   Both of the Gurneys are trying to get used to Dave being around the house much of the time.

To please his wife he agrees to go with her to an art appreciation course.  It’s the last thing he wants to do, but he enjoys the course.  He is also impressed with Sonya who teaches the course.  Unexpectedly, a former classmate surfaces and announces he needs Dave’s assistance with a unique problem.  With the arrival of Mark Mellery, the former classmate, the reader begins to realize that a sense of uncertainty and possible danger has entered the casual tone of the story.  I’m looking forward to finish reading the preview.  This may well be a book I want to purchase for my Kobo Reader.

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What’s to come?

One of the best books I have read in years is Secrets of Hawking Manor.  I’ve read it more than a half-dozen times.  You see I wrote that novel, and each time I read it I set out attempting  to proofread its manuscript carefully.  I can tell you I got sidetracked by the story many times.  My editors claimed they had the same experience.  But I want you to judge for yourself.  In the days to come I’ll post a chapter or two for your consideration and hopefully for your enjoyment.   For today and tomorrow let the “Foreword” below be sufficient. 

Have you ever stood in front of a painting, and you couldn’t tear yourself away from it? The story Secrets of Hawking Manor is like that.

The novel, Secrets of Hawking Manor, is a historical adventure, not of great battles but of alliances and conflicts of individuals living in a world where, by some, dueling is still considered an honorable way to settle differences of love and hate. It is also a world where Clipper Ships can transport their passengers to places where people live a millennium in the past. Through a superb cast of characters, W. H. Manke takes us on exciting voyages to two vastly different worlds.

In Secrets of Hawking Manor, we experience the romantic pastoral England, where the beginnings of the modern world’s mechanical advances appear to be an intrusion into all that is natural and beautiful. Much of its society is refined; its people are guided by institutions, are bound together by well-defined borders, and clocks measure time.

On Packet and Clipper ships, Manke creatively transports us to a new, as yet untamed world, a world vast beyond imagination, filled with countless dangers, brimming with untapped, natural resources, and rich in majestic landscapes that defy description. Its people are at their environment’s mercy. Survival demands all of their ingenuity and most of their energies.  The seasons are the clock and calendar by which time is measured.

A noble clan and masters of Hawking Manor, the Carstairs family, with their friends and acquaintances, show us virtues and vices common to mankind. In young Benjamin Carstairs, we see the height to which individuals can rise through determination, hard work, and skill. Our emotions are stirred watching Benjamin grow from a newborn to a young man. We are filled with excitement when through Benjamin and his friend, Nelson Barkley’s eyes, we see San Francisco rise out of the fog as the Clipper Ship enters the harbor. We feel Benjamin’s rush, and we understand his fears at being seduced into manhood. With Benjamin and his friends, we strain to mine gold at the American River, and we are infected with young Carstairs’ desire to fulfill his sacred promise to his beloved uncle to search for Clarissa, his uncle’s child in the New World.

But we also suffer his loneliness on his endless travels and feel his dejection at the prospect of failing to find his kin. The hopelessness of his mission touches our heart, and with him we loathe to admit defeat. Yet our adrenalin peaks with the dangers he and Clarissa face on their separate journeys on the wintry Prairie, and we breathe a sigh of relief when their paths finally cross.

Eugene Fairham, the story’s main protagonist and one-time friend of Henry Carstairs, Benjamin’s brother, embodies a life bent on destruction. Eugene is clever, an expert marksman, and given to brawl. Although he is endowed with privileges equal to those of the Carstairs, Eugene has not their noble qualities. He loves the night. It was Eugene who disabled young Benjamin and dumped him on the Fortune Four, a Packet Ship bound for the New World, on a night when they celebrated together. At a feast planned for Henry, Meredith Carstairs, Henry and Benjamin’s mother, defeats Eugene in a contest. Feeling shamed, he vows revenge on the Carstairs. Hate begins to consume him until his plans include murder.

Fate eventually brings Eugene again together with Benjamin who, after years away, returns to England. In a deadly duel Eugene, defeated fairly by Benjamin, uses guile to wound the young Carstairs. He is about to shoot him when Henry comes to his brother’s rescue. Together the brothers overcome Eugene, and Henry proves his affection for his brother.

Along with Benjamin, Henry, and Eugene, Secret of Hawking Manor’s main characters, Manke delights us with a superb supporting cast. Clarissa is a child of both worlds. Her mother is native to the Prairie, her father is a Carstairs. Captured as a child by a band of warriors, she eventually escapes her captors and searches for her father. Meredith Carstairs is the beautiful and gifted lady of Hawking Manor who, with her husband Samuel, portrays what is best in the old world; struggling with the injustices and poverty she sees among many of its citizens. We weep with her for the brother and father Percy Millborough, a neighbor filled with hate for the Carstairs, takes from her in a planned holdup. We laugh with those into whose company George Wickendew parades. Benjamin and Henry’s friends befriend us, too. Among the other women of the novel Louisa Pennington, Virginia Harrington, Lady Lydia Holbrook, with her daughters, as well as Hannah Cardinal, Sylvia Tuttleford, and Mrs. Marlowe among others, enchant us with each of their appearances.

Secrets of Hawking Manor begins with the most beautiful and dramatic event of human experience, the birth of a child. What can equal those pages? It is the triumphs and defeats of those who are part of Secrets of Hawking Manor. The story ends with Martin Tuttleford dreading the completion of the book, a history of the Carstairs, that he was commissioned by Samuel to write. Writing the book he dreams of a love he, as a commoner, must keep secret.

What greater compliment can one give a friend than that it is enjoyable to be with him or her? Secrets of Hawking Manor is  that kind of  friend. You start reading, and you can’t put the book down until you reach its  end. And when you near that last page, you dread the novel’s completion as much as Martin Tuttleford does.

⎯Angela Bono

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