by B Williams and J J White
Charlie is timid. Yes, she's a psychic, and 'a dang good one', but we get the impression she suffers anxiety through her otherworldly encounters and she is nervous around people. Then we discover she is made of much sterner stuff as we understand why a werewolf hangs out in her office. We learn - briefly - that she saved his life.
The wonderfully tender relationship between Charlie and Wolf is delightful, and watching it slowly unfold till it gains momentum is a joy. Understandably it is difficult with one so timid and one so reserved, and the human/not human element only adds to the issues. The reader is rooting for them to get together, yet there is a tinge of sadness as we realise the full implications for Wolf.
Wolf is big and tough as you would expect a werewolf to be, yet underneath his taciturn exterior his emotions run deep though he keeps them well controlled, and seldom lets them out on show.
The budding detective business has a strange mix of cases, from dishing the dirt on cheating husbands to saving the world from pure evil. Their help is sought to retrieve a Magical grimoire from the 1500s which has been stolen in strange circumstances. The supernatural is suspected.
Charlie’s strength and dogged determination come to the fore. ‘Your path of action after almost dying is to do it again?’ She can’t let this one go – there is too much at stake. People’s lives are at risk. The evil now stalking this world is the stuff dreamed of in nightmares.
Our unlikely duo work well together, and we meet an interesting array of people who help them along their way. The ending is satisfying and leaves you wanting to meet Charlie and Wolf again, if only to see how their relationship develops.
The relationship between Charlie and Wolf is carefully managed, especially given that Wolf seldom speaks. The development is shown in Wolf’s actions, his selfless dedication to protecting her speaking louder than any words.
Although there isn’t much in the way of dialogue between them - certainly Wolf says very little - their thoughts are shared with the reader so we have a deeper understanding of what lies behind their actions.
We are gradually fed enough of a thought to make us think there is more to it than we’ve heard, and sure enough, the answer comes along to satisfy the intrigue. As a technique, it works well.
Description is brief but enables you to see the setting, and more importantly the atmosphere. Clothes are described in a way that tells you more about the wearer and their personality than simply what they are wearing.
The back and forth style works, walking the reader alongside these unlikely detectives as they fathom out the clues.
I asked Williams and White to tell us a little about their self-publishing journey.
They decided not to go for traditional publishing, partly due to the time and effort involved and the need for an agent, neither of which they were interested in doing.
They hired an editor and a cover designer, but later changed the cover to better suit the genre.
They are finding marketing difficult as is the case for many writers. They feel that you have to find things that work in your genre, make sure your cover is on point and look at marketing materials. They’ve tried Facebook marketing and Instagram. They have a mailing list on their website.
What has brought most success? Just joining writing groups and being personable in Facebook groups, and making suggestions.
This writing team of B Williams and J J White tell us that this project took a long time to come to life, starting with a friendship and moving on to being co-writers. I hope that this will be a long and fruitful coupling.