Friday, July 13, 2018

Boy on the Beach ~ ~ Blog Tour, Review, and Giveaway!

by R.D. Maddux

Category: Adult Fiction; 304 pages
Sub-genres: Mystery / Thriller
Publisher: Ezekiel 12 Publications
Release date: March 11, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 + M 
(There are implied, but not graphic, sex scenes and some violence.)

Book Description: Andrew Foster, a real estate developer in San Diego, is a man suddenly haunted by his past. Memories, like specters from his former life of sex, drugs, and rock and roll have come crashing into his current world of business in this sunny coastal city. The ominous, repeated appearance of a black SUV at the beach where he meets his sister each week has triggered fears that it’s payback time for a bad choice he made years ago.

To add to his frustrations, his hopes of a big breakthrough in the San Diego real estate market haven’t come to pass. He’s starting to wonder if his visions of success will ever come true when an investor offers to finance his dream project. Soon things start to fall into place for Andrew in business, life, and even love. He starts dating the beautiful and business-savvy Nicole, but even with her at his side he can’t seem to shake the ghosts of his past. As the relationship with Nicole deepens, Andrew opens up to her about the many loves and adventures that have taken him from the crazy days of living in Big Sur and Joshua Tree to business success in San Diego. Her wise insights help him face the character flaws that have caused him to fail in his past relationships.

Rounding out his social life is his once-a-week task of assisting his sister with her nanny job watching a young boy named Chandler. They build sand castles on the beach and enjoy the beauty of nature together. But the now ominous weekly appearance of a strange car at the beach has awakened Andrew’s fears. Is the boy in danger? Or worse, has an enemy from Andrew’s past come seeking revenge and now Chandler’s caught in the middle?

A strange twist of events threatens to destroy Andrew’s dreams, but as he searches for answers, a sudden revelation offers hope of a future he never imagined.

To follow the tour and read reviews, please visit R.D. Maddux's page on iRead Book Tours.

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HALL WAYS REVIEW: 3.5 Stars. I was drawn to the cover of this book and then the cover blurb enticed me even further. Neither really represents the crux of the story told in Boy on the Beach, but it’s time well-spent between the book’s covers nonetheless.

The first chapter of the book is action-packed, heart racing, and quickly hooks the reader into the world of Andrew Foster.  After that, there is less heart racing and more heart wrenching. For the majority of Boy on the Beach, readers are sitting on the shoulder of main character Andrew. At times, it feels like we’re reading his journaling where he summarizes events and his feelings about them. Other times, we’re right there with him thirty-seven years ago or in current times as his life unfolds. Author R.D. Maddux uses the flashbacks and summarizing to move the story forward and selectively fills-in holes without bogging down the plot. Readers have an advantage over Andrew due to the sprinkling of chapters told from a different character’s viewpoint. These chapters take much of the mystery out of the story, and at times feel awkward, but they allow the dread to build for the train wreck that readers see coming but which Andrew only feels is coming. Further adding to the interest is that Andrew thinks he deserves what is coming, in whatever way it manifests itself.

“One word that shouldn’t be part of a life graced with wealth, a beautiful spouse, gorgeous children, and an amazing career. One word: Revenge.”

Boy on the Beach is a study in human nature and illustrates some of the best but more of the worst mankind has to offer – and most importantly, the consequences of those unsavory characteristics. For me, young Andrew is not a likable character. He is immature and horribly selfish and justifies his actions because he feels entitled to have what’s not his and to live the life he wants, regardless of the fallout. Though fifty-seven-year-old Andrew has matured and evolved in some ways, I still didn’t find him overly likable; however, I could see that he may have been getting there with the help of his sister, young Chandler, and his love interest, Nicole.  Sadly, none of those characters or relationships have a big enough role in the story. Their parts are minor in the story even though it’s clear they are major contributors to Andrew’s growth. The result is that readers don’t experience much of these relationships, but they see the potential positive impacts of them being an influence on Andrew and his attitudes and thinking, and that does help.

Readers who remember the free-love and drug haze aspect of the sixties/seventies will certainly enjoy Andrew’s flashbacks to that era and lifestyle. Maddux’s attention to details really paints a picture of everything from jam sessions to psychedelic tripping after eating peyote buttons. While I couldn’t relate to that aspect (but found it fascinating), from a personal standpoint, I do relate to and enjoy the California setting. I’m familiar with these exact towns and places north of San Diego, so I can easily visualize the nooks and crannies of Swami’s beach, the June gloom, and the promise held in those beautiful sunsets. Maddux writes some fabulous sentences and has some rich descriptions that show he not only has a real love for his setting, but he also is a talented writer. Unfortunately, that talent is overshadowed by the need for some additional editing (unnatural dialogue, telling not showing, holes) and a lack of proofreading of the text. There are numerous SPAG errors, some formatting glitches, and no page numbers, all of which, for me, were distracting and detracted from the quality of the book.

Overall, there is a fascinating story told in Boy on the Beach, and there are even a few surprises that show-up that make for a satisfying ending. Readers are left with an impression that many people’s lives are about to get better, and that hopeful vibe was just the right way to end the book.

Thank you to iRead Book Tours and the author for sharing a print copy of this book with me in exchange for my honest opinion – the only kind I give. 

Meet the Author: R.D. Maddux has story telling in his blood. Since he was young he’s always loved a good tale. He’s been writing seriously since he was in high school and college. His novels range from Mystery and Intrigue to Sci-fi/fantasy. With Boy On The Beach he’s set the story in modern America, to be exact, on the West Coast of California. He’s a native of the golden state and has been a resident of San Diego since 1987. Before that he grew up in northern California and lived in the Sacramento Valley and Bay Area with sojourns in some of the beautiful parts of our state.

Living in California for over 60 years he couldn't help but watch the way things have changed in our culture and the impact this coast makes on the rest of America and the world. So even though Boy On The Beach is fiction, like most serious novels, it is not without a context and comment on issues we all face in our changing world. It takes place in real locations that are very familiar to him and its characters, which are fictional, no doubt have their counterparts in the real world. Boy On The Beach is a story of intrigue, suspense, revenge, love and redemption with flashbacks to the era when sex, drugs and rock and roll set our culture on it's inevitable journey to our present day. This idea has been rattling around in his heart and mind for a decade and it's finally coming to the page.
Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

FIVE WINNERS! Copy of the Book & Amazon Gift Card!
TWO WINNERS! Copy of the Book
(US Winners: Print Copies; International Winners: eBook Copies) 
Ends Aug 25, 2018

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  1. Replies
    1. It really was! thanks for stopping by the blog!

  2. Thanks Kristine for your conscientious review of my novel and your insightful comments.
    R.D. Maddux

    1. You are most welcome. It's an excellent story.

  3. I read your excellent and insightful review of my book. Your critique has been helpful and has given me a lot to think about when it comes to developing a story. I did hire both a copy and developmental editor but it appears that they missed a lot both in the areas of SPAD and development. Thanks for your interest. All the best.
    R.D. Maddux

    1. I always hate to hear when an author has paid for proofreading and editing and not gotten bang for the buck -- you have to trust people to be those much needed extra eyes to catch the goofs. So disappointing when they don't.

  4. Too bad that in our youth we do not realize that some day, our actions could come back to haunt us. This sounds like it will be a good, suspenseful read.

    1. What is it they say? Youth is wasted on the young? It was a great read-- thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  5. Hi Kristine. Appreciate you following up with comments. Yes, it was disappointing that I didn't get a better editing job. I'm going to add the page numbers per your comment. By the way I noticed you were hoping for growth when he tried drugs one more time but my point is that is this a flawed man coming to the end of himself - redemption's on the way and I give that hope at the end. That last "trip" was a catharsis and he regressed to a "boy on the beach" - to be reborn a new man. Something that was very personal to me. I just happened to me 50 years ago and personally but I'm hoping it will happen to a whole generation that's searching for answers today. Again, so grateful for your honest and insightful comments.

    1. And thank you for stopping by -- it is always a treat to get the author's thought process and intended message. I hadn't thought of him being the boy on the beach or being reborn. I like that a lot! Looking forward to more books from you, Bob!