GO! (Hold On ! Season 2) by Peter Darley-Review, Guest Post and Giveaway
(Hold On Season #2)
by Peter Darley
Release Date: May 26, 2015
Genre: adult, contemporary, romantic, suspense
ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date May 26, 2015
Brandon Drake has escaped from Leavenworth, aided by a new player who has entered the game. Tyler Faraday is the heir to an empire––and Brandon’s long-lost brother. Tyler enables Brandon’s reunion with his lover, Belinda, but Brandon is no longer the man she once knew. Haunted by memories of a life that never happened, he succumbs to the lure of alcohol.
Tyler has discovered he and Brandon have another sibling. Having been raised in a convent, their sister, Emily, has a crisis of faith and flees. On the road, she is kidnapped by a ruthless human trafficking organization run by a mysterious kingpin called Sapphire. Brandon, Tyler, and Belinda learn of Emily’s plight and begin their search for Sapphire’s location, hampered by Brandon’s growing alcohol dependency.
Meanwhile, Andrew Wilmot, new leader of a rogue government faction, seeks to use Brandon for his own nefarious plans, and hunts him down.
Brandon, Belinda, and Tyler’s quest leads to Los Angeles, where they search for the only one who knows Sapphire’s location––a former captive known only as Siren, and who may not even exist. Their quest is destined to lead to the most explosive action in the series so far.
REVIEW: GO! is the second installment in Peter Darley’s high energy, Hold On romantic, suspense series focusing on former soldier Brandon Drake. Two years have passed since the events of book one-Hold On-wherein Brandon found himself sentenced to Leavenworth for crimes against the US government.
Told from several third person perspectives, GO! finds Brandon and Belinda on the run. After escaping Leavenworth Prison, an injured Brandon finds refuge with a brother he barely knows, and the woman he hasn’t spoken to in almost two years. What ensues, is Brandon’s recovery; Tyler and Brandon’s search for a missing sibling they knew nothing about; and the hunt for Brandon and Belinda by a rogue government faction who has other plans for Brandon’s special skill set and ability to evade his captors. The search for Tyler and Brandon’s sister places our heroes on a path to uncover a human trafficking ring wherein our hero’s intrepid brother goes undercover as a high stakes bidder for human sex slaves.
GO! is an ensemble storyline with a large cast of supporting and secondary characters whose actions directly affect Brandon and his search for Emily Drake. From rogue government agents, the FBI and CIA, to friends and enemies of Brandon Drake, everyone is suspect and no one can be discounted as a potential threat against Brandon’s mission to find the sister he hasn’t seen for over twenty years.
The action and suspense of the hunt are the primary driving factors that continue to push the storyline forward. Brandon has some personal and emotional issues that he has to overcome, and in this, Brandon has some traits of the anti-hero when life begins to overwhelm and everything appears to be crashing around them. But Brandon is a man without a past and there are some things about Brandon that are both frightening and dangerous to everyone around. He is a reluctant hero-a man epitomized by the American public for his acts of bravery, and fight against corruption and government crime. Brandon is an enigma; a man with deep flaws and a darker history. We will question the limits of Brandon’s moral integrity, his insecurities, and his ability to get the job done.
GO! is a storyline with military style action and adventure; a tale of suspense and intrigue, espionage, murder, and drama. Peter Darley’s GO! is an action movie set to ‘virtual’ paper; an intense look at one man’s need to save the people he loves, and the world around them.
Copy supplied by the author.
Reviewed by Sandy
Hold On !
by Peter Darley
Release Date: July 7, 2014
Genre: mystery, suspense, action,romance
Click HERE for Sandy’s review of HOLD ON !
ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date July 7, 2014
Two lovers! A deadly conspiracy! A race to freedom!
When Carringby Industries, a government-contracted arms manufacturer, is raided by what appear to be terrorists, the CEO’s secretary, Belinda Reese, is rescued by Brandon Drake, a dashing young AWOL soldier. Using an experimental test aircraft, he flees with her to his remote, isolated cabin in the mountains of Aspen.
While assisting in the design of military weaponry, Brandon discovered a plot within his own government to attack its own facilities, under the guidance of immoral politician, Senator Garrison Treadwell. Belinda’s body was not found among the dead at Carringby Industries, and Treadwell suspects that Drake was responsible for rescuing her. In an effort to entrap him, Treadwell arranges for an all points bulletin to be placed on Belinda
Deeply in love, Brandon and Belinda attempt to escape from America, only to endure one harrowing experience after another as they try to evade and expose Treadwell’s corrupt faction.
But on the run, with danger around every corner, Brandon makes a discovery so devastating that it shatters the very foundations of his reality.
Go! and the Cliffhangers Behind the Scenes
Hi everyone. It’s great to be back at The Reading Café. ☺ With what’s happened since the last time I was here, the fact that I made it back makes this even more special.
Go! – Hold On! Season 2 is the latest instalment in my novelized, hypothetical TV thriller series. I began writing Go! in 2012 in reaction to the excitement I felt when its predecessor, Hold On!, was picked up for the first time by a publisher in Michigan. Unfortunately, it all went downhill from there. A week before Hold On! was due to be released, my publisher folded, and my agent retired. It was then tentatively picked up by Fifty Shades of Grey’s original publisher – who went silent without explanation, after four months of us working on the book. Go! was still being written through all this, and the uncertainty of the future of the series seriously impaired its completion.
Several weeks later, in late 2013, Hold On! was picked up by a publisher in New York, which, at the time, gave me some incentive to complete Go!. What ultimately happened with this publisher was a total nightmare – which is a story I will get to in a moment.
The story in Go! was a work in progress for some time. Many have commented (and even complained) that Hold On! ended on a cliffhanger, and yet I never saw it that way. When I originally completed Hold On! back in 2011, I had no concept of a sequel. It ended on an apparent HEA. There was an opening for a continuation, but I didn’t feel it was essential. I believe that the ‘cliffhanger’ so many were vexed about was an optical illusion created by the excerpt from Go!, which was published on the page after Hold On! ended. It was down to the mere fact that a sequel had arisen. I do believe that the original version of Hold On! could have stood alone without Go!.
With the release of the second edition of Hold On! (now called Hold On! – Season 1) that has changed. There are definitely cliffhangers at the end now. This is mandatory for this idea, really. All thriller TV show seasons end on the essential ‘season finale’ hook. For that reason, I added the ‘Season 1’ subtitle in order to give my readers a heads-up from the outset.
In the story of Go!, I had to consider the human factor, and how such circumstances would affect real human beings. Brandon Drake is an extraordinary, enigmatic hero, but he’s also a man. He isn’t a machine. Hold On! and the early chapters of Go! illustrate what he goes through. It’s extreme, both emotionally and physically.
In order to be credible, it was important to contemplate how all of this would affect someone? Soldiers on the battlefield often suffer PTSD, which can lead to extreme, self-destructive behavior. For this reason, I wanted to keep Brandon real, and he becomes an alcoholic. In turn, this alcohol plotline made for an entirely new type of cliffhanger. In Hold On! Brandon would get them out of a tight spot, but this time – he’s utterly useless. How are they going to get out of it now?
Continuing to explore the myriad types of bullies and controllers in the world, I picked up the story exactly where Hold On! left off. The government conspiracy storyline continues, along with a human trafficking subplot.
In Hold On! it was revealed that Belinda had been sexually abused by a priest when she was a child. In Go! I gave a deeper exploration of what she went through. I had reservations about her flashback scene, and it wasn’t easy to describe something so ugly without it seeming graphic and exploitative. Nevertheless, I am confident that I succeeded, basing a non-graphic, purely ‘audible’ memory on the accounts of actual victims of this crime. My intention was to show the harm that it causes to the individual, and its far-reaching consequences. In my opinion, crimes such as this should be exposed, and not swept under the rug.
A new cast is introduced in Go!. We get to meet Brandon’s long-lost brother as they risk everything to rescue their sister from a brutal human trafficking organization. Along the way, we share Brandon’s struggle to overcome his alcohol addiction and restore himself to his former greatness. All plot threads build toward an explosive finale, which leads into the final book in the current story arc: Run! – Hold On! Season 3. We are currently working on the final touches of Run! in preparation for its release on August 17th.
After Hold On! was signed, my former publisher accepted Go! and sent me a publishing contract for it in April, 2014. Before long, I noticed that their promotional measures were virtually none-existent, and there was an insensible complacency in them. None of the promotional efforts I was making, or even Hold On! having picked up a sterling celebrity review, seemed to be of any interest to them. Any asset which would have propelled the visibility of the book was discarded by this publisher, who seemed to be comfortable with all of their books languishing at the bottom of the Amazon rankings.
Whatever their business model is, it does not explain this blatant aversion to success. Whether you run the village bakery or if you are an international arms dealer, the bottom line of any business – is profit. If profit is not the agenda here – what is? Could it have been set up intentionally to make a loss in order to reduce the tax liability on another venture? I just don’t know.
On my publisher’s author ‘support’ blog, I bore witness to threats, by an editor, to authors who dared to question this complacency. Soon, I would find myself on a chilling excursion into utter insanity.
I was in preparation for a major promotion of Go!, into which I would have been investing almost $1,000. It should be noted that my publisher would have reaped the majority share of the proceeds from this. Before I went ahead with it, I needed them to add the sequel’s release date to the end of the first book, and upload the amendment to Amazon. I’ve done this myself, countless times by now. It takes exactly four minutes. With the expenditure involved, their silence and complacency was beginning to agitate me.
My subsequent discussions with my publisher became heated. In retaliation, this person claimed that Go! required ‘major revisions’, wouldn’t tell me what those revisions entailed, and all communications between my editor and I were blocked. Lies and false accusations – that I had asked to be released from my contract, and that I had rejected cover art (that I had designed!) – ensued. All attempts at reasoning with this person failed. In breach of our contract, I had a termination agreement for Go! forced on me – while they stated they were going to keep Hold On! (which would have remained at the bottom of Amazon’s rankings, without my input.) I could do nothing with the sequel without Book One. I was also accused of not ‘acting in good faith’. If that were true, wouldn’t it also have applied to Hold On!?
Extremely creepy commentary came back from my publisher: “We are cancelling your sequel, but we are still willing to work with you on Hold On! so you can still be a part of our ‘family’.” And “Read back through this thread and you will see why ‘this is happening’.” I’ve kept all of the emails, read through them, had them vetted, and nobody can decipher what this was supposed to have meant. To me, it was all a bit ‘Twilight Zone.’
Ultimately, it cost me close to $800 to buy Hold On! back from them. (This was preferable to an estimated $100,000 in transatlantic legal expenses.) It’s interesting that they threw in the cover art as part of the deal, when previously they’d claimed I’d rejected it. Why would this person think I’d want something I’d allegedly rejected?
But what had I got myself involved with? If they are not a business in pursuit of profits, what are they? And why do they seem so intent on such vindictive behavior? I am now extremely wary of publishers. Authors seek them, largely as a result of having no knowledge of marketing. The truth is – neither do many publishers.
I have since set up my own outfit. With my new cover designer, Harris Channing, and my editor, confidante, and dear friend, novelist Patricia Harreld, I am taking the Hold On! series all the way to the end. Patricia has been amazing. Through a series of deep discussions, leg-pulling, and practical jokes, we have become the best of friends. I am also acting as consultant on her new sci-fi thriller novel, DASH, which involves a magician. I’ve never disclosed this in a writer’s forum before, but I actually am a professional close-up magician (the David Blaine type), so this collaboration between Patricia and me has worked out beautifully. ☺
At the conclusion of Hold On!’s first major promotion on Amazon after its re-launch, it reached #1 in young adult, #1 in thrillers, #1 in romance, mystery and suspense, and #2 in ‘all books’. Its reviews and ratings have been overwhelmingly positive, with only a negligible number of naysayers. The reviews and ratings for Go! seem to be even better than for Hold On!. (So much for ‘major revisions required’.)
I am hopeful that this pattern continues so that I can take the Hold On! series into the next wave after Season 3. Maybe all of this will, ultimately, have a HEA. ☺ I don’t think I handle any more cliffhangers (lol.)
The links for the Hold On! and Go! video trailers are:
Hold On! – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JM3ZRKoYNhE
Peter Darley is a British novelist, whose professional history is in show business. He is a graduate of the Birmingham School of Speech and Drama, and studied television drama at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA.) Peter’s television credits include guest-starring roles in UK productions such as BBC’s Crime Limited, Stanley’s Dragon for ITV, The Bill, Sky One’s Dream Team, and numerous TV commercials. He also worked as a model, presenter, and voice-over artiste for ten years, and has been an agent for several variety acts.
Peter’s lifelong admiration of heroes, and love of roller-coaster-style thrills have been a huge influence on his writings. He is also a professional close-up magician, a keen athlete and body builder, and lives with my wife in rural England.
Peter is offering an ecopy of HOLD ON! and GO! to ONE(1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe. ONE commenter will win a copy BOTH ebooks.
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