Monday, March 18, 2013

Divine Fury VBT

Candidate Andrew Harper was a college basketball star, a crusading prosecutor and a beloved Congressman.  He is also openly gay.  When the San Francisco politician gets the inside track to become California’s next governor, it sends shockwaves through the political and religious establishment.

Reporter Enzo Lee is cajoled into leaving his comfortable niche covering fluffy features for the San Francisco News to cover the historic campaign.  A series of campaign events are mysteriously and dangerously disrupted.  A key endorsement is scuttled at the last minute.  An earlier murder takes on new significance when it is linked to a Watergate-style break-in involving computer spying.

But, finding the culprits behind political sabotage and high-tech hacking take a backseat when it’s discovered that a troubled war veteran armed with guns and explosives has begun a violent journey from small-town Montana to the City by the Bay.

When Lee becomes a target himself he must dodge attempts on his own life while trying to expose the conspiracy and, with the help of police allies, foil an assassination plot.

Divine Fury is the newly released second book in the Enzo Lee series from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Robert B. Lowe.  The series was kicked off by the best-selling Project Moses, the bioterroism thriller that made the Amazon Top 20 Mysteries list and was a finalist in the Best Indie Books of 2012 competition.

Divine Fury is a page-turning thriller with suspense, action, romance and enough twists to keep the reader guessing.  It also focuses on a timely theme as the issues of same-sex marriage and gay rights become a major
cultural battleground in America.    

The music continued. They were letting Harper have a long victory dance before he started speaking. To the sway of bodies and bouncing of signs, Walberg started to thread his way toward the middle and closer, always closer, to the platform and the self-assured politician who was front and center.

He wasn’t thinking about the bomb in the backpack now. He was close to the front with only three layers of people between him and the edge of the crowd held in place by the half-circle of police. This is how he preferred it. He wanted to see Harper’s face when he shot him. That was the instant he craved.

The crowd was pressing in. He could feel the pressure from behind as people inched closer to the front as the masses in back continued trying to push forward. He could see the police, now with their sticks at chest level fighting to hold their perimeter. They were straining. They weren’t trying to hurt anyone but he could see they were determined not to give up any ground.

All Walberg needed was two seconds, enough time to steady his right hand with his left without getting jostled and squeeze. He thought he would have that. He could see the faces and eyes of the cops moving all over. They were stressed. The music, the crowd, the signs…all the chaos would hide what he was doing for a crucial second or two.

Walberg had his right hand in the pocket of the jacket. His fingers found the Beretta and he could feel the safety with his thumb. He flicked it off while he kept his eyes focused on Harper and struggled to keep his face in a relaxed half-smile.


“Gripping…with an adrenaline-filled climax combined with compelling characters.” – Kirkus Reviews

“A fascinating and fast-paced mystery/thriller.  It is a thought provoking and extremely captivating story." – Kindle Book Review

Guest Post:
From Start to Finish – Writing a Mystery Novel.

For me, the two things I need when I start a book are a pretty good idea what the main conspiracy will be and who will be the main protagonist(s).

As an example, for Divine Fury I started with the idea that the story would center around a gay candidate running for office and the conspiracy would be two-pronged.  One element would be a group with power and money trying to sabotage the campaign.  The other piece would be someone on a violent mission.  Since I was carrying over the main character from my first book, Project Moses, I already had the main protagonist.  Some of the secondary characters – a police detective and the woman who becomes Enzo Lee’s love interest – already were in the first book as well so I had a head start there, too.

Once I’ve got these pieces set, I pretty much just start writing.  Usually I have an opening chapter that is in my head – hopefully something that will have enough of a hook to get people interested and kick things off.   
Even before I start to write, though, and certainly the entire time that I’m writing, I’ve got another side of my brain trying to puzzle through all the parts.  I may introduce a new subplot or an interesting character.  Often they just sort of happen while I’m writing.  Then, I’ll be thinking about how this will tie in with the main theme and the other subplots.   

Through the whole – say, 4 months of writing the first draft – parts will start to crystallize.   They may be climatic scenes, chase scenes, key character development moments, events in a romance, etc.   Sometimes, I’ll jump ahead and write one of those, particularly if I’m stuck or in an is-this-any-good mindset.  As an example, I had early on in the writing of Divine Fury the main campaign sabotage events.  So, I actually wrote those early on as separate chapters and determined later where to drop them in.

My style tends to be to have three or four somewhat discrete plot lines that start to get tied together as the book progresses.  For example, in Divine Fury there was the campaign, the religious leader trying to sabotage it, the war veteran on a violent mission and Enzo Lee who starts out covering a murder and also is assigned to cover the campaign.   Bobbie Connors, the police detective who investigates the murder and gets involved in uncovering the sabotage has her own part as well.  I tended to rotate through those subplots and keep them all advancing although I would jump around depending upon what felt right.  As the threads became more intertwined, it was more just points of view of the same situation such as two sides of chase.           

In the case of Divine Fury I wrote about half the book and gave it to my main two readers to critique while I kept writing.  Fortunately, their comments were very similar and were not major structural changes.  I kept on with the second half of the book.  When I finished that, I passed that along to my readers and went back to make some fixes to the front.  

Then I went on to make fixes to the back of the book. Of course, I’m constantly rereading what I’ve already done.  Even as I’m writing, I tend to look back over the past two days work and revise to improve it.  When I first started writing books, I would keep many copies of all the revisions because I wasn’t sure what was better and what wasn’t.  I do that much less now.  I guess I just trust my instincts and judgment much more now.  

In addition to what your readers tell you about weak parts of your draft, you always have a list of things that you know aren’t quite what you want or at least that you question.   So, when I go back for the rewrites, 80 percent of my time is spent reworking those parts versus just reading through it and fixing things that seem wrong.

When I have a draft that I’m feeling pretty good about, I’ll send it out to another 4-5 people.  Some of these are more copy editor types – people who have been generous enough to volunteer to look for mistakes.  Others are more critical readers and I’m really doing more of a reality check.  Thumbs up or down.  Then, was there anything that jumped out as a problem or question?

For both books, I found that it helped me a lot to have a few days away somewhere where I could work on the book alone.   It just was helpful to have single-minded attention on it so I could get totally immersed.  This was more toward the end where I pretty much knew where I was going and was starting the major rewrite work.  I felt like I could really get my arms around the whole plot and the characters and see clearly everything I was trying to do and where it wasn’t working.

Another thing that helps me is to see the drafts in different formats.  For example, I’ll print it out on paper at several points along the way.  And, toward the later stages, I’ll put it into Kindle format and even read it on different devices – basic Kindle, Kindle for PC, Kindle for Ipad or even Iphone.   The more I can make it seem like something new I haven’t reread 8 times, the better I am at the self editing, I think.    My best experience in that regard was rereading a draft of Project Moses for the first time after 15 years.  It was really like editing someone else’s work.  That’s not a technique you can use often, though.

Robert will be awarding a $25 Amazon Gift Card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. So the more you comment the better your chances of winning!

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Author Information:

Robert B. Lowe is a Pulitzer-prize winning author whose fiction is based in San Francisco, his adopted home.

His past experiences – a 12-year career in investigative journalism and a Harvard Law School degree – enable him to write gripping mystery thrillers in both the legal and journalistic fields. Lowe draws his inspiration from John Grisham, Dick Francis and Lee Child and adds his own San Francisco twist. Readers will enjoy his references to the city’s landmarks such as Chinatown, North Beach and Pacific Heights  and the Bay area’s foodie culture.

Divine Fury is Lowe’s second novel.  His first was the best-selling Project Moses which reached the Amazon Top 20 Mysteries list and was a finalist in the Best Indie Books of 2012 competition hosted by the Kindle Book Review.

Divine Fury continues the adventures of Enzo Lee, a jaded journalist rehabilitating his career as a feature writer in San Francisco who stumbles into scandals and criminal conspiracies that require his investigative expertise to unravel.

When Lowe isn’t writing he enjoys a day at the golf course and spending time with his wife and daughters.

Twitter: @authorRobBLowe
Amazon Divine Fury
B&N Divine Fury


  1. Thanks for having me on the blog. I'll check back to answer any questions.

  2. I never thought about the difference the format makes...That's actually really helpful! I bet you can do some kick butt editing that way :)

    andralynn7 AT gmail DOT com

    1. It does help a lot. I usually do a Word to Kindle conversion when I feel like my draft is decent but I'm still tinkering a lot - maybe even trying different endings. It's like seeing it in book form and you react to it differently.

  3. An excerpt to have me on edge that's for sure.


  4. It sounds like a long working process, do you need a lot of time for editing?

    lyra.lucky7 AT gmail DOT com

  5. Do your characters resemble someone you know?

    moonsurfer123 at gmail dot com