REVIEWS FOR THROWAWAYS ON GOODREADS AND AMAZON

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Rating: 4 out of 5.

…the story moves at a break-neck speed with an explosive ending.

Reviewed in Pakistan on March 22, 2021

FROM GOODREADS:

Jake Savage a research volunteer for ClearSeas is photographing lion fish population in the Gulf waters off Key West when he finds a dead body of a young girl floating face down above him. The girl appears to be around 13-14 years old and scantily dressed. Jake’s inner voice tells him to ignore the body and let it pass but he knows he can’t–Jake feels strongly about getting the girl some closure since he still has to live with unsolved murder of his own mother who was stabbed to death 23 years ago. He is sure that the girl’s death is not an accident but when the police decide to term the girl a random throwaway and her death an accident and close the case, Jake takes it upon himself to find out who the girl was and how did she end up dead. He finds unexpected help from Detective Murphy who was incharge of the case, his adoptive mother Edith, her carer Tess and many others in his quest which he soon finds out is far more dark and sinister and involves rich, powerful, famous and dangerous people and the world of sex trafficking of underage girls.

Covering a period of one week, the story moves at a break-neck speed with an explosive ending. The ending although a bit unbelievable in general terms was still satisfying for me. Jake’s mother’s murder still remains a mystery in the end so I am thinking maybe this is going to be a series.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

Such a good read, kept me wanting more and more every time. I really enjoyed this one!

Awesome! March 5, 2021

Perfect combination of mystery and suspense all in one. The plot itself is scary to think that things like that actually do happen all because of our corrupt system. Such a good read, kept me wanting more and more every time. I really enjoyed this one!


Rating: 4 out of 5.

An ambitious crime story with good character development March 2, 2021

Light’s straightforward prose invites you to try and solve the mystery yourself, which is always welcome.

An ambitious crime story with good character development that tackles the heavy subject of child trafficking. Light’s straightforward prose invites you to try and solve the mystery yourself, which is always welcome. The setting of the Florida Keys is enjoyable too, although less so as the story unfolds and the dark underbelly of all those beaches and sunlight comes into focus.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

I’ve read hundreds of books set in Key West and this is among the most enjoyable. Looking at the ratings, I’m not alone in this thinking. Hit the download key and enjoy.

Fabulous people of Key West February 25, 2021

My wife met Elliott at a Publix, they talked about his books, he gave her his card. I read this book and really enjoyed it and will move on to the next book. I’ve read hundreds of books set in Key West and this is among the most enjoyable. Looking at the ratings, I’m not alone in this thinking. Hit the download key and enjoy,


Rating: 5 out of 5.

An incredibly good book, well layered with an inventive plot and great backstories that add to the believability and motivations of the diverse range of characters. Surprisingly well-written for a retired engineer with great banter and witty repartee. I look forward to reading more from this author.

An inventive, gripping and timely suspense mystery! February 16, 2021

I appreciate how hard it is to construct a good mystery. You need to get the layers right, the exposition needs to be pinpoint (not too subtle so it’s buried and not overly overt as to be too obvious), a spectacular setting that you can imagine yourself in, and the characters have to be strong, believable, flawed and relatable. Throwaways had all of these elements going for it…and more.

The “more” is the very important message this book delivers about power and privilege and the havoc it wreaks upon the most vulnerable and less advantaged in our society. For the latter half of this novel, I couldn’t get Jeffery Epstein’s snide mug out of my mind and perhaps that’s why I found myself pulling so much for Jake Savage and his band of helpful and even not-so-helpful acquaintances as they try to navigate the waters of the Florida Keys, each of these characters with their own noble agendas, none of them absolutely right, none of them wrong either. That is the quandary of this story. Sometimes when you try to help out (as Jake and others do), it can have unintended consequences.

An incredibly good book, well layered with an inventive plot and great backstories that add to the believability and motivations of the diverse range of characters. Surprisingly well-written for a retired engineer with great banter and witty repartee. I look forward to reading more from this author.


REVIEWS FOR THROWAWAYS GO INTERNATIONAL!

BUY YOUR COPY TODAY!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Terrific descriptions, great character development and several clever lines keep the story moving along at a brisk pace. By page 24 I was well and truly hooked into the story, and I did not put the book down until it was done.

Reviewed in Canada on February 1, 2021

Throwaways is a new thriller by Elliott Light that takes place in the elusive world of obscenely rich, powerful men where they take advantage of marginalized women and girls, who, for all intents and purposes, have been discarded by family, community, and society.

Jake Savage is a research volunteer, who, after turning down a job offer to look after his adoptive mother Ethy after she has a stroke, spends parts of each day counting and photographing the invasive lionfish in the Gulf water off Key West. He is doing just that when a shadow floats above him. The shadow is cast by a young, dead girl, scantily dressed and floating face down. He wants to let her go, but knows that he can’t, and he is quickly thrown into a world of trouble, along with a cast of complicated and interesting characters.

Terrific descriptions, great character development and several clever lines keep the story moving along at a brisk pace. By page 24 I was well and truly hooked into the story, and I did not put the book down until it was done.

The introduction of Detective Murphy, the description of his presence and personality, were so well-written that I had to (wanted to) re-read that page several times. I had my favorite line in the book before reaching Chapter 2. OK, I hoped for more great lines and personalities, and I was not disappointed, but my favorite line is still on page 24. To quote the author “Impressions are what happen when information is filtered through lenses of experience, bias and, to some extent, wishful thinking.”

My favorite line is in the next paragraph. Check it out and see if you feel the same way, or if you like some of the other terrific lines. Four out of five stars for me because I enjoyed the story, the pace and the characters.

Many thanks to the author, Bancroft Press, and NetGalley for the digital copy of this book. The opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own. Read and reviewed voluntarily.

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Rating: 4 out of 5.

The author took headlines and made a story that was well worth reading.

Worth reading January 31, 2021

The subject of child trafficking is not something I normally read. However it is really straight from the headlines isn’t it. I actually picked this up as a thriller action book. It is truly a suspense action. Evil rich men, naïve young girls and several do gooders make the story one you won’t forget. My stomach twists at how badly the girls are treated. The rich that misuse their good fortune is sad and wrong. The author took headlines and made a story that was well worth reading.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

I was hooked from the moment I picked up the book

 Hooked. January 21, 2021

Elliot Light once again weaves a fantastic, fast paced tale with a sympathetic, relatable cast of characters that is impossible to put down. I was hooked from the moment I picked up the book and felt truly invested in what happened to the characters through the twisted path they were set on in the gorgeous backdrop of Key West


Rating: 4 out of 5.

The descriptions are beautiful and give us a peek into the character and history of Jake. I found myself caring not only for him but also for Detective Trent, for Ethy, so oblique with her affection, for Tess, who is equally twisted in terms of past baggage, and even for Jake’s adoptive father, Maurice Savage, who is dead when the book begins.

Well written thriller

Reviewed in India on 8 January 2021

Throwaways is a great thriller about the world of the rich and powerful and the crass manner in which they indulge their basest desires, at the expense of helpless and unfortunate throwaways, youngster who have run away from home and are unwanted. A portion of the book relating to the crime is deeply distressing and may act as a trigger for sensitive persons.

Jake is a research volunteer with an organisation called ClearSeas. He is looking to photograph an invasive species called lionfish when the corpse of a teenage girl drifts into view. Against the backdrop of his own mother’s unsolved murder 23 years ago when he was only 4, Jake is troubled by the police’s dismissal of the case as an accident.

Detective Trent Murphy has good intentions, but he’s close to retirement and fears losing his pension in the quest to solve the mystery of the death of a throwaway, a child no one wants.

At first Jake wants to give the dead Jane Doe the dignity of an identification, but soon he gets caught up in the need to save Alicia, another runaway who might have been the friend of the dead girl and who has run away with a crucial bit of evidence: a laptop. Jake’s investigations point him towards Giles Horan, a filthy rich sexual pervert who may know a lot about the death of Megan Jones, the dead Jane Doe, and is after Alicia to silence her. The effort signs his death warrant for Horan is a vindictive man.

Meanwhile Andre Mitchell is working on behalf of his client who is also interested in calling a halt to the investigation. Andre tells Jake to get the laptop that Alicia stole and give it to him in exchange for protection from Giles but to forget about Megan’s death.

For Jake, caught between two antagonists, as well as for Ethy, his adoptive mother, and Tess, the girl hired to look after Ethy, and Detective Murphy, this can only end badly.

The story is written in the past tense PoV of Jake Savage. One feels the pain of a young man who, as a child, found the dead body of the only parent he knew.

The descriptions are beautiful and give us a peek into the character and history of Jake. I found myself caring not only for him but also for Detective Trent, for Ethy, so oblique with her affection, for Tess, who is equally twisted in terms of past baggage, and even for Jake’s adoptive father, Maurice Savage, who is dead when the book begins.

The setting comes alive with the simplest of words. Despite knowing zilch about the geography of the place, I could picture it based on the details provided and I liked the picture my mind built up. I was impressed by the research around oceanography, the currents, tides etc. The details of the boats and the building and renovation feel intuitive and real.

The entire story takes place over 8 days, from Sunday, October 18, to Saturday, October 24. The author, in the person of Giles and Andre, kept pushing Jake into one predicament after another. It was well done, and it kept the pace going fast and smooth.

I’d first opted to read this book after reading the description and seeing the cover. I was touched by the incongruence of the cover image, the dead girl floating ethereally in the great blue with the lionfish surrounding her. Having suffered at the hands of humans while she was alive, it seems that she is now fodder for another invasive species below.

I loved the ending. It felt right, without seeming unbelievable or hurried or even forced. I only wish the author had given Jake, and us, some closure on the one mystery relating to his life. Perhaps a second book could throw more ‘light’ on Jake’s past..

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AND NOW THROWAWAYS IS AVAILABLE AS AN AUDIBLE BOOK!

Throwaways, the first book in the Jake Savage Mystery Series, is now available as an Audible book. Listen to the sample by clicking the Listen Hear text below.

Cover Art for Throwaways by Elliott Light

The body of a young girl drifts over a reef where Jake Savage is photographing lionfish, beautiful brown-striped creatures with feathery pectoral fins that could almost make one forget their venomous spines. For an instant, Jake thinks she might be watching him, but she has no snorkel or mask. She isn’t wearing a swimsuit, but rather is clad in only a shirt and panties. And she can’t have looked at him because she has no eyes. What has this child done to die so young, to be forgotten and left to drift until consumed by the creatures of the sea?

Listen Here

Imagine you’re in your late twenties. School is behind you.  You have money, a beautiful wife, lots of friends.  Everything you ever wanted is at your fingertips.

And then suddenly, it’s all taken from you.

Listen Here

Syndey Vail, once a beautiful soap opera star, now has a passion for championing the rights of animals—but she keeps the controversial methods of her cause as shrouded as she keeps her partially disfigured face. Sydney enters lawyer-cum-detective Shep Harrington’s life in a cloud of dust and vanishes just as quickly, leaving behind two very different but strangely connected things: a chimpanzee and a murder.

Listen Here

It was eugenics that compelled white doctors to attempt to murder Baby John. It was compassion that led to his kidnapping. And it is the cruelest of circumstances – the murder of Jennifer Rice – that 50 years later leads Shep Harrington to search for Baby John.

Question begets question, and the slide down the slope proves inevitable: What happened to the baby? Who took it? Why was he taken? And who killed Jennifer Rice?

Listen Here

A NEW YEAR AND NEW REVIEWS FOR THROWAWAYS!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

 Great mystery/crime story! January 5, 2021

Following a research dive in the Florida Keys, Jake Savage finds himself hellbent to uncover the mystery of the death of a young girl, whose body he encountered. This leads Jake down a dangerous path, where he finds himself facing some very unsavory characters and a sex trafficking ring.

Throwaways is a fast paced mystery with a great cast of characters. The focus is on Jake, his foster-mother Ethy, and her part caretaker Tess. Their lives becoming increasingly more involved with what they discover about young girls who are victimized because of their station in life, or lack thereof. Jake fancies himself a bit of a savior and quickly learns that there are times where it may not matter. Elliot Lights builds a world with highly developed characters, with backstories that allow the reader to easily feel like you know them. The mystery of the throwaways is both fascinating and uncomfortable, disturbing and sad. Overall the plot plays out and explosive ending ensues, providing a sense of justice to the culprits.

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Throwaways is a fast paced mystery with a great cast of characters.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

 Suspense-filled novel January 2, 2021

Jake is surprised to see in the water in the keys of Florida, the body of a young girl hovering over him. He’s so tempted to swim out, he has freaked his face, he has been eaten away by sea animals, he can’t abandon her, and he calls to the police with all conscience.

This is a rapidly rising tale of ‘throwaway’ young people and of the wealthy, affluent, and abuseful men.

I liked Jake and his acts, and his relationship with his adoptive mother, Etsy in particular. I loved this book, and it was a pleasure to bring the Keys in place. Nice one.

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I loved this book, and it was a pleasure to bring the Keys in place. Nice one.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The mystery about child trafficking. December 27, 2020

The story is all about discovering the mystery behind a dead girl’s body floating off the Florida coast. It is really awful what happens to children in this world; I mean child trafficking. Easy to follow story, engaging storylines, a complex plot, and an unexpected conclusion.

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Easy to follow story, engaging storylines, a complex plot, and an unexpected conclusion.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A Fun Mystery December 27, 2020

A fun mystery and some intriguing characters. I enjoy mystery and suspense and this story didn’t disappoint. Enjoy!

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…this story didn’t disappoint. Enjoy!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Yes to new authors & engaging suspense December 23, 2020

Suspenseful, engaging and full of surprises- my kind of good read!

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…my kind of good read!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A dark and timely novel December 12, 2020

This book took a very real problem we have in our world today and wrote about it with no mercy. The writing was spectacular and the characters were so real that it was scary. If you’re in it for a story that literally was built around headlines from our timeline and an unshakeable hero, read this book!

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an unshakeable hero, read this book!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Well crafted. a great sleuth novel December 7, 2020

A well crafted plot that carries you along and is always clear.
The sleuth is likable and perceptive and the treatment of his photographic memory is really believable.
set in florida keys kind of gives it a carl Haissen vibe, it is similarly wild and fun while a tense and suspenseful mystery. The pacing and plot are pitch perfect for a mystery series. This seems like the start of a great series of mystery novels, especially if you are a fan of James Patterson. Kind of reminds me of Patterson, a journalistic, no-nonsense writing style that drives a complex plot while maintaining total clarity in the mind of a reader. It is fun to feel like you can participate in the case a bit and figure out what is going on. Jake Savage is also not just a macho action hero cut-out. He’s vulnerable and complicated and cares about the people in his life and goes to great lengths for them. He has complex relationships that are more than just the action hero love interest.

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Kind of reminds me of Patterson, a journalistic, no-nonsense writing style that drives a complex plot while maintaining total clarity in the mind of a reader. It is fun to feel like you can participate in the case a bit and figure out what is going on.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Great characters December 6, 2020

I like the complexity of the characters in this and the other mysteries by Elliot Light. Great job!

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I like the complexity of the characters...

Rating: 5 out of 5.

 Sad material, but a really good book December 6, 2020

I was generally aware of the subject matter, but not enough to not be sickened by the perversity and sadness. I had to backtrack a few times to make myself more aware.
And I really want to blow up some fancy boats!! Good thing I’m in the Northeast, lol.

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And I really want to blow up some fancy boats!! Good thing I’m in the Northeast, lol.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Elliott Light incorporates contemporary issues into his engaging mystery stories December 2, 2020

Having read and enjoyed the three Smalltown mysteries, I have been awaiting Elliott’s next installment recounting Shep Harrington’s adventures. Instead, Elliott has given us “Throwaways,” a timely story about sex trafficking and a new hero in Jake Savage. “Throwaways” does not disappoint. It is an interesting read, because Jake wrestles with issues of personal history, justice and fairness, and the very real problem of sex trafficking. While these issues might seem dark on the surface, he balances them on the structure of quirky and amusing characters. I particularly am impressed by Elliott’s portrayal of women, as I was in the Smalltown mysteries. Elliott draws the characters from a feminine perspective and empowers the women in interesting ways. His understanding of the world of young girls and women who are trafficked is especially impressive. Now am am awaiting more Jake Savage stories. Well done, Elliott.

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I particularly am impressed by Elliott’s portrayal of women, as I was in the Smalltown mysteries. Elliott draws the characters from a feminine perspective and empowers the women in interesting ways.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Intense and well characterized. Sadly, very worthwhile and pertinent topic: human trafficking November 29, 2020

Intense and well characterized. Sadly, very worthwhile and pertinent topic: human trafficking. I particularly enjoyed the relationships between the well written characters. Will be looking for more from this author.

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Will be looking for more from this author.

READERS ARE LOVING THROWAWAYS!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Fast paced action – November 27, 2020

I enjoyed this book. The plot was interesting-a young man in the Florida keys taking it upon himself to investigate the death of a young girl- fast-paced action, and engaging characters, with some keys history along the way. I definitely recommend it!

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Fast-paced action, and engaging characters… I definitely recommend it!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Spoilers!! – November 26, 2020

A new writer and a new series is always a bit of a mystery. You don’t know what kind of story you are getting into. I was hoping for character. I got that; Jake, Ethy, Tess, but especially the relationships between these characters, familial bonds and old mistakes, made them interesting and relatable. I was hoping for setting, and yes I got some sense of the Keys (a place I’ve always wanted to spend time in), even if I would have liked a little more five-senses writing in the descriptions (something John D. MacDonald was so very good at).

I also knew the deep anger at injustice would be there. At a system weighted towards the mean, where the very poor and marginal are trapped by fines and fees they can not afford and the very rich and powerful are barely touched at all.

But until I got to the end I wasn’t sure where this would end up. Even then, there was a hope Jake would finally snap and go all Mr. Majestyk on their asses. As the list of what the untouchable rich guys had done grew, I would have been happy to see the ‘Cloud go up in a nice fireball with all the guests on it.

But that wasn’t the direction he was heading. In the end, what happened perfectly fit the way these “damaged” (Jake’s words, not mine) people continue to struggle on, to compromise when they have to but still keep trying to do what is right. Even Alicia’s rescue makes sense. As much as everyone had argued she, like the other Throwaways of the title, were beyond redemption, the very example of Murphy, Jake himself, even Andre (arguably my favorite character) is that everyone is a bit damaged but most make do anyhow.

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SPOILERS!

In the end, what happened perfectly fit the way these “damaged” (Jake’s words, not mine) people continue to struggle on, to compromise when they have to but still keep trying to do what is right.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The story is so engaging – November 25, 2020

The book is written so well that you will start to feel like you are inside this fictional world and you want to bring the culprits to justice at any cost. The mystery and thrilling elements are so flawlessly constructed. But at times you may feel a bit lengthy, but it is okay. Amazing read.

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Amazing read.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

 A chilling crime novel about human trafficking – November 24, 2020

It might not be an easy read for some, as it’s quite dark, descriptive and it revolves around a social issue that is a part of our reality: child trafficking. The plot starts in Florida, when a photographer discovers the body of a girl in the water. After calling the police, he decides to join the investigation and help find the killer of the child, driven by the murder of his own mother, from the time he was a four years old.

The plot thickens and brings up the corruption in the system, that rich and powerful people spread without fear of the consequences. The storyline is easy to follow, written in a way that pulls you in from the first pages. I highly recommend it to those who love a good believable crime story.

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I highly recommend it…

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Good Mystery – November 17, 2020

This book had me hooked from the first page. The descriptions are so well done I could picture every page in my head. The MC was relatable and I even felt for him during certain scenes. Definitely recommend this read.

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Definitely Recommended.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The perfect book to read for those who are exhausted with those who think they are above the law – November 14, 2020

I am currently exhausted with people who think they are above the law and that the rules don’t apply to them. Those people you always hope get what they deserve. This book is a good book to read in the rollercoaster year of 2020.

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A good book to read in the rollercoaster year of 2020.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Great read!November 8, 2020

Key West setting was well described. Enjoyed the protagonist and his efforts to deal with a myriad of personal issues, many remaining unresolved in this book. Plenty of room for sequels.

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Enjoyed the protagonist.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

InterestingNovember 8, 2020

This book brings to light many of the headlines we see today involving the super-rich. Those who seem to get away with whatever they want, use whoever they want, and never face the consequences for their actions. Definitely recommend.

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Definitely recommend.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A Current of Injustice Surrounds Power and Money –November 2, 2020

Throwaways is suspense-filled novel about power and money that takes place in the Florida Keys. Here the wealthy are above the law; all accusations against them roll off as if they are made of Teflon. The throwaways are at their mercy. Jake drifts into this world of the exploited when he finds a girl’s corpse floating while studying lion fish. He naively thinks that justice can be done for this unknown young girl and others like her who’ve been thrown onto the streets to fend for themselves. While he knows they are easy prey for those with power, he believes that he can fight for them. Jake falls into the cross-hairs of the sex-trafficking ring of the wealthy and well-connected. His own life story is inextricably entwined with those being exploited, motivating him to pursue a perilous search for the truth. He gathers unlikely allies, and isn’t always aware of the ones he should fear. The reader is kept on the edge, wondering whom to trust. The story is filled with empathy, hope, and loss. One of the best thrillers–you won’t be able to put down.

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One of the best thrillers–you won’t be able to put down.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Nicely Paced MysteryNovember 2, 2020

Jake Savage is doing some underwater photography when a shadow floats above him. Much to his surprise, it is a young girl, scantily dressed and floating face down.

The police are called … and they are calling it an accident. He takes it upon himself to find out who she is and how she wound up dead.

He’s learning that he has all kinds of help …. his elderly step-mother, her care taker, a cop who is terminally ill, and assorted strangers he happens to bump into. It gets dangerous when he find that the girl was somehow involved with a crime that was committed against someone high up in the government who has ties to a crime lord.

Attacks come fast and furious …. and Jake and his ‘partners’ find themselves in deep trouble.

Great character development keeps the pace of this mystery racing at a break-neck speed. It’s a complex plot with hints of deeper, darker crimes committed. The conclusion was unexpected … and explosive.

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The conclusion was unexpected … and explosive.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Dark story about human traffickingOctober 28, 2020

This book did a good job highlighting the evils/”freedom” that money brings depending on which side of the fence you’re on. Very timely with current media stories. It’s a sad but heroic story. The setting (Key West – supposedly paradise) makes the story even more unsettling. A good read if you’re into a sort of mystery (since you know Jake Savage will right the wrongs in the story).

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Very timely with current media stories.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Detailed, Emotional Story October 26, 2020

Child trafficking. This is a page-turner with scenes so real you become part of the story. The characters have personality so much so that the reader gets to know them and root for them. This dark, intense story is a page-turner you won’t be able to put down.

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A page-turner with scenes so real you become part of the story

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Very Well WrittenOctober 26, 2020

A very well written, almost too much but just descriptive enough to captivate the reader while taking them on a emotional journey into today’s current and relevant topics centered around trafficking, abuse, money and power. It’s dark and disturbing but so is the reality of what happens in our underground, and sad, disposable world.

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It’s dark and disturbing but so is the reality of what happens in our underground, and sad, disposable world.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Great StuffOctober 24, 2020

Great characters and a great setting for a mystery adventure. Despite the sun and surf, it’s written with a descriptive abruptness that hints at noir. The story is well-structured, with great dialog. The plot gets more complex as it moves along and the consequences for the hero and heroine more dire. I loved it, and I’m looking for the next Elliot Light novel right away!

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I loved it, and I’m looking for the next Elliott Light novel right away!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Jake is the real thingOctober 23, 2020

A lot of authors set out to create likable, believable characters, but few succeed to the extent that Elliot Light has with Jake Savage. Throwaways was a great read and I’m eager to read of the Jake’s future exploits.

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Likable, believable characters

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Easy to read: tense and emotionalOctober 23, 2020

A solid new mystery series from this author. This brings to life the new age of internet and involved things like the me too movement. Very powerful stuff….not for the faint of heart…chilling. Highly recommend I will be looking for book 2.

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Very powerful stuff….not for the faint of heart…chilling. Highly recommend

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Dark & MeaningfulOctober 22, 2020

This is a fairly dark story that shines a light on the horrors of human trafficking. As someone who has spent a lot of time in South Florida the setting of this book hits “close to home” & made the reading experience that much more impactful. I’m generally not interested in a topic such as human trafficking but the book made contending these ideas engaging. If you’re interested in dark stories based on reality then I’d recommend this book.

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I’m generally not interested in a topic such as human trafficking but the book made contending these ideas engaging.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This Book is interestingOctober 22, 2020

This book gives alot of “throwaways” in the story. It’s definitely imaginative and easy to follow when it comes to the characters and the story line. This is a book to read if you like interesting storylines that’s engaging, but dark and intense as well.

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This is a book to read if you like interesting storylines that’s engaging, but dark and intense as well.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Life RealityOctober 21, 2020

Throwaways by Elliott D. Light is based on today’s reality. The rich are in a class of their own and many of them forget about the little people once they get there. Though-provoking, intense, disturbing, and nerve recking.

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Thought-provoking, intense, disturbing, and nerve recking.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A sort of #MeToo story – October 20, 2020

A book that covers a #MeToo story is not my cup of tea at all! I generally hate hashtag movements because they usually end up corrupted by basic human jealousy, anger, and/or greed – even when they started with good intentions. That said, a fictional re-telling or portrayal of a #MeToo scenario is an interesting idea. This is particularly true now when the #MeToo movement has lost a lot of its initial steam and support because you don’t know how the book will go and, more importantly, how it will be received. Overall, I’d say if you’re interested then give this one a read and draw your own conclusions.

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A fictional re-telling or portrayal of a #MeToo scenario is an interesting idea.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Good ReadOctober 19, 2020

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The hook of the main character Jake spotting a body on his dive set in motion a plot that was well-paced and laced with mystery.

Characters had personality and there were emotional connections. You get to know and root for them.

I recommend this book to anyone who loves a good mystery.

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The hook of the main character Jake spotting a body on his dive set in motion a plot that was well-paced and laced with mystery.

CHARACTERS SAY THE DARNDEST THINGS!

One of the most common questions asked of writers is how did you write your book? I’m not sure how other writers address this question, but the honest answer is, well, I sit at my computer and hope the words appear on the screen. That’s a bit snarky, largely because the question is misdirected. I suspect that what is being asked is how did you construct the story that your book tells?

That is an interesting question.

Before I attempt an answer, let me offer a few definitions:

A pantser is someone who writes without an outline or even notes. Basically, the writing is a stream of consciousness exercise that starts with an idea. The author may have a vague ending in mind or be surprised by what he or she produces.

A plotter is someone who produces detailed notes of the story before the writing even begins. Some outlines are very granular while others break down the story into chapters and the chapters into scenes. My favorite books on the subject are Structuring Your Novel and  Outlining Your Novel both by K.M. Weiland, who also writes an amazing blog that can be visited by clicking her name.

An outline not only serves as roadmap for writing but can function as a “proof of concept” before time is invested in writing a book. The downside of the detailed outline is that a lot time can be invested in the outline itself. I have dozens of outlines that have collapsed like a house of cards in a windstorm.

Writing is hard enough without having to deal with a hundred-page outline that goes nowhere.

Enter the Snowflake Method.

When I hear the word snowflake, the first image that comes to mind is something akin to the photograph I took in September in Colorado when 18 inches of snow fell over Labor Day. Lots of snowflakes. Very pretty to watch, but shoveling? Not so much.

The term snowflake in the context of this post is neither the white, cold kind nor the socially stunted human kind but rather a shorthand reference to a method created by Randy Ingermanson that is described in detail in How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method. (Again, click the book title for more information).

The end product of the Snowflake Method is what might be thought of as a type of outline (perhaps better described as blueprint) that uses an iterative technique to produce it.

ASIDE: The name comes from a process of drawing a snowflake using triangles. You can watch an animation of this process created by António Miguel de Campos.

The value of plotting is that that the writer is compelled to think about his or her story. The  problem with thinking about the story is that the writer can slip into left-brain thinking where The value of plotting is that that the writer is compelled to think about his or her story. The  problem with thinking about the story is that the writer can slip into left-brain thinking where critical choices are made. (This is the area of the brain where your mother’s voice and the voice of your piano teacher reside.)

Creativity, on the other hand, is largely a right-brain function. The Snowflake Method tries to minimize left-brain thinking by breaking down the outlining process into ten steps that theoretically should be performed in the right hemisphere.

The first three are:

Step 1) Take an hour and write a one-sentence summary of your novel. Something like this: “A rogue physicist travels back in time to kill the apostle Paul.”

Step 2) Take another hour and expand that sentence to a full paragraph describing the story setup, major disasters, and ending of the novel.

Step 3) The above gives you a high-level view of your novel. Now you need something similar for the storylines of each of your characters. Characters are the most important part of any novel, and the time you invest in designing them up front will pay off ten-fold when you start writing.

For each of your major characters, take an hour and write a one-page summary sheet that tells:

•           The character’s name

•           A one-sentence summary of the character’s storyline

•           The character’s motivation (what does he/she want abstractly?)

•           The character’s goal (what does he/she want concretely?)

•           The character’s conflict (what prevents him/her from reaching this goal?)

•           The character’s epiphany (what will he/she learn, how will he/she change?

•           A one-paragraph summary of the character’s storyline

The remaining steps involving the expansion of sentences into paragraphs, paragraphs into pages and so on to produce the blueprint of the story.

In writing my latest book, Throwaways, I started with an outline only to find that my story lacked focus. Something was missing. That’s when I learned about the Snowflake Method. I was skeptical at first but found the stepped approach appealing.

The first two steps went well. I found that identifying a character’s motivation, goal and conflict produced some interesting insights. I could feel the snowflake developing just like Mr. Ingermanson described.

But then I took a detour. I was working a character’s storyline when my head filled with questions I might ask him. To my surprise I heard him answer. The answers led to more questions and the story from his perspective emerged. I interviewed other characters. Curiously, and happily, not all of the characters reported events the same way.

Some approaches to character design use a questionnaire to gather profile information—favorite color, ice cream preference, favorite book. But the questions produce a static profile. The interview produces a dynamic interaction between the writer and the character. If the writer can stay right-brain focused, the interview may lead anywhere, even providing new insights into where the story is going.

For example:

MALE CHARACTER : Of course I didn’t kill her. I loved her.

WRITER:  You loved her? Had you even met before you shot her?

MALE CHARACTER: I watched her, how she talked to people, how she squeezed their hands…I didn’t shoot her!

WRITER: Were you stalking her?

MALE CHARACTER: You have a sick mind. She was my daughter!

That was unexpected. What does the WRITER do now?

The cool thing is that if WRITER is smart, he/she continues to interview the other characters. For example:

FEMALE CHARACTER: He told you that she was his daughter, right?

WRITER:  That’s what he said.

FEMALE CHARACTER: (Sigh). I let him believe that, but just between you and me, it isn’t actually true. You know, sometimes things happen and well, the truth is…complicated. Confession may be good for the soul, but can get you killed, if you know what I mean.

WRITER: Do you think he killed her?

FEMALE CHARACTER: Are you stupid or just uninformed? The girl led a double life. She’s Mother Teresa coexisting with the Son of Sam. Nah. He didn’t kill her. You might want to check out the commune where she used to live and learn a bit more about the Disciples of Truth.

This dynamic exchange informs the writer that his victim led a double life, that her parentage is uncertain, that the reason for her death is shrouded in uncertainty. Even in this limited example, the writer is offered multiple opportunities to create conflict. Conflict produces questions. Questions properly posed (and mostly answered) create reader interest.

For me, the character interview is the key to finding the story in the one-sentence summary that drives the Snowflake Method. Additionally, a character’s voice may emerge—cadence, word choices, and other personality ques—that make the actors in the story unique and interesting.

Once the interviews were done, I returned to the ten steps and put together a blueprint of my book organized into chapters and major scenes. Writing was still challenging but without the fear that the effort would fail.

The reviews of Throwaways on Amazon have been extremely positive. Perhaps the most satisfying comments refer to the characters:

The characters have personality so much so that the reader gets to know them and root for them. Texas Read, October 26,2020.

Great characters and a great setting for a mystery adventure. Red Wolf, October 24, 2020

A lot of authors set out to create likable, believable characters, but few succeed to the extent that Elliott Light has with Jake Savage. William Hansmann, October 23, 2020

I have written a one sentence summary of a second Jake Savage book. The players are in the wings ready to tell me their stories. I, for one, can’t wait to speak with them.

Cover Art for Throwaways by Elliott Light

Learn more about Throwaways by clicking here.

Great Reviews for Throwaways keep rolling in!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Great mystery read October 18, 2020
Author did a good job in writing an imaginative, emotional and mysterious story line. A little dark and heavy so beware if you’re not used to reading these types of books. But very relevant to the world around us right now. Recommend if you want a deep and interesting page turner.


Rating: 4 out of 5.

Good Read October 17, 2020
I enjoyed this book. This was an easy read with good flow. For me the 1st chapter was a bit of overload on information, but once past that, it was a good read. I enjoyed getting to know the characters and seeing how the story turned out.


Rating: 4 out of 5.

An entertaining dive into a seedy world October 16, 2020
His discovery of a dead girl floating off the Florida coast throws diver and marine researcher Jake Savage into the shifting current of a mystery that slides through the seedy side of coastal life in Key West, Florida and into the even seedier side of a greater life, the world of child sex trafficking, including a headline villain who recalls Jeffrey Epstein.

Such is the convoluted world of “Throwaways,” a mystery by Elliott Light.

Faced with a disinserted police detective (who eventually comes around) and the moral imperative to right the wrong, Jake plunges into the dangerous search for the name of the dead girl and her killer.

Jake is the amateur investigator, the carrier of the hopes of the “throwaways” of the story: himself, as he overcame at age four the murder of his mother; the street girls who are turned into drug addicted prostitutes and playthings for rich men; any number of the characters who get attached to Jake’s quest, and even Detective Murphy, lost in a stagnant career and seriously ill.

The reader wants Jake and his gang to succeed; ultimately the reader knows they will.

“Throwaways” presents the veneer of a mystery, an entertaining exploration of a noble and righteous quest, a story at whose heart is a big idea that feeds a certain desire – who doesn’t want to be the average guy who brings down an international sex trafficker?

That idea will allow the reader to forgive instances in the book that could have used more attention. At times there is the aura of danger and terror, but nothing the reader feels; the seedy side of beach life is such because the author tells the reader it is; and the world of billionaire sex traffickers is bad because, well, it is unambiguously supposed to be.

That said, “Throwaways” provides a good read. While it doesn’t grab the reader by the throat, it gives us average guys hope that some of the world’s evil can be exposed.

A note: I am the author of mysteries and Anita-Dugan Moore, who created the stunning cover for “Throwaways” and was an editorial advisor, also created the covers for my books.


Rating: 4 out of 5.

Not the usual crime story October 16, 2020
It is a story for today. a well-written page-turner and a highly imaginative story – I understand it’s the author’s first story of its type. Quite a dark subject but the way the author handles the subject matter, it is well managed.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

This book is a very intriguing and well written. October 13, 2020
As soon as I got into the first few chapters, the book has a way of pulling you in with all the descriptive details the writer paints as you get further into this dark mystery. It’s a great read and I highly recommend to anyone that loves a good mystery book.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

Emotional, well-written October 13, 2020
Elliott wrote this novel as if he had been through this story in person. The scenes were so real and detailed and I could imagine just like I were a spectator in the scenes. The story unfolded as a body of a young girl was seen in Key West. People who like suspense novel will really enjoy it. Enjoyed it!


Rating: 5 out of 5.

Great book! October 13, 2020
I was hooked from the very beginning of this contemporary mystery novel. Putting it down in for any length of time was not an option. Jake Savage, a 27-year-old diver working for an environmental firm off the coast of Key West, is photographing predator fish when he discovers a dead young woman floating above him. Where did she come from? Was she murdered, and if so, why? On Jake’s journey to find her killer, we meet Ethel, his step-mother from his complicated past, and Tess, the caregiver, who will have a more important role to play later on. Jake’s clues ultimately come together and solidify into a believable conclusion, rather like a spider’s intricate web that stuns us with its construction. I wholeheartedly recommend this book, and hope for more from Elliott Light.

Reviews for Throwaways!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Detailed, Emotional Story October 26, 2020
Child trafficking. This is a page-turner with scenes so real you become part of the story. The characters have personality so much so that the reader gets to know them and root for them. This dark, intense story is a page-turner you won’t be able to put down.


Rating: 4 out of 5.

Very well written! October 26, 2020
A very well written, almost too much but just descriptive enough to captivate the reader while taking them on a emotional journey into today’s current and relevant topics centered around trafficking, abuse, money and power. It’s dark and disturbing but so is the reality of what happens in our underground, and sad, disposable world.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

Great Stuff! October 24, 2020
Great characters and a great setting for a mystery adventure. Despite the sun and surf, it’s written with a descriptive abruptness that hints at noir. The story is well-structured, with great dialog. The plot gets more complex as it moves along and the consequences for the hero and heroine more dire. I loved it, and I’m looking for the next Elliot Light novel right away!


Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Jake is the real thing October 23, 2020
A lot of authors set out to create likable,believable characters, but few succeed to the extent that Elliot Light has with Jake Savage. Throwaways was a great read and I’m eager to read of the Jake’s future exploits.


Rating: 4 out of 5.

Easy to read: tense and emotional October 23, 2020
A solid new mystery series from this author. This brings to life the new age of internet and involved things like the me too movement.

Very powerful stuff….not for the faint of heart…chilling.

Highly recommend I will be looking for book 2.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

Dark & Meaningful October 22, 2020
This is a fairly dark story that shines a light on the horrors of human trafficking. As someone who has spent a lot of time in South Florida the setting of this book hits “close to home” & made the reading experience that much more impactful. I’m generally not interested in a topic such as human trafficking but the book made contending these ideas engaging. If you’re interested in dark stories based on reality then I’d recommend this book.


Rating: 4 out of 5.

This Book is interesting. October 21, 2020
This book gives alot of “throwaways” in the story. It’s definitely imaginative and easy to follow when it comes to the characters and the story line. This is a book to read if you like interesting storylines that’s engaging, but dark and intense as well.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

Life Reality October 20, 2020
Throwaways by Elliott D. Light is based on today’s reality. The rich are in a class of their own and many of them forget about the little people once they get there. Though-provoking, intense, disturbing, and nerve recking.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

Good Read October 19, 2020
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The hook of the main character Jake spotting a body on his dive set in motion a plot that was well-paced and laced with mystery.

Characters had personality and there were emotional connections. You get to know and root for them.

I recommend this book to anyone who loves a good mystery.

Editorial Reviews for Throwaways!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

“Throwaways is reminiscent of many of the #MeToo headlines seen in the media today.”

“Throwaways is a timely statement about the ‘have’s’ and the ‘have not’s’ of today’s society. It frankly illuminates the corruption and greed of the uber wealthy as they consume what they desire from the weak and the less fortunate, and then simply toss them aside like yesterday’s garbage. This story could have been ripped from many of today’s headlines.” 

  – Charles Rieger
Ph.D., Artificial Intelligence

CATS AND CHARACTERS

You may have noticed that in various ways my website pay homage to cats. My do everything book guru, Anita Moore, has sprinkled a kitty silhouette in the margins and included a sketch of a kitty sitting on a desk that I drew years ago.

This shared affinity for felines is not just a coincidence. Anita reviewed The Gene Police and noted that the book featured cats in various scenes:

Oh, and Shep has cats…lots of cats; just a few more creatures in need of help that he doesn’t turn away. These critters end up being a fun addition to the book too. I don’t say that just because I love cats (don’t judge me) but because they become tertiary characters due to how Mr. Light treats them.

A character’s reaction to an animal or an animal’s reaction to a character adds depth to a story. For example, in Lonesome Song, the fact of Reilly Heartwood’s death is made more real by the reaction of a cat:

The open casket was at the end of the room. A stray beam of sunlight danced across Reilly’s waxen face. I watched as a male tabby cat appeared on the closed end of the coffin. He walked confidently toward Reilly’s head, his tail raised in a question mark. When the cat was half way across the coffin, his gait slowed and his tail twitched nervously. He continued to move forward in a crouched position, until he came to the edge of the opening. The cat stepped gingerly on Reilly’s chest, his head bobbing as he took in the scent of the dead body. He looked up, his mouth open—it was the feline’s way of tasting what he had inhaled. A moment later, he was on the floor, scurrying away. I could see by the fluff of his tail that he had encountered something frightening. I wondered if the brave tabby would spread the news to the others that Reilly had used up his nine lives and was no longer of this earth.

In Chain Thinking, Shep refers to the cruel treatment of a cat to question the relationship of humans with God:

Howard Doring had justified testing on animals by declaring that humans were made in the image of God. …. How about the sick person who coaxed a lovable old cat like Van Gogh to approach, then violently slashed off his ear? I thought ofVan Gogh and how he had probably run happily to the human who called to him. I imagined how he swiped his attacker, a feline gesture that means “good to see you.” I wondered what Van Gogh would say about humans, to humans, if he could speak. How do humans, knowing the cruelty we as a species are capable of, stake claim to such a relationship with the Supreme Being?

In The Gene Police, cats again are used to reveal the troubled nature of the character Willet:

“I know who you are,” replied Willet angrily. “I’m not stupid. I’m just fucked up. Paranoid delusions and tremors.” He nodded as if confirming a thought. “Yeah. I took drugs. Fucked me up good.” With his gun, he motioned toward the bunkhouse and Robbie and I turned and walked to the door. As we stepped inside, Willet yelled, “Hands on your head!”

A moment later, the four kitties surrounded his feet.

“They won’t hurt you,” I said.

“I know that. People hurt people. People hurt animals. I prefer the company of cats to any humans I’ve met.” To my surprise, he knelt down and rubbed each cat behind the ears. I considered tackling and disarming him, but I was afraid I might break all his bones.

Willet put the gun down and slid it over to where I was standing. “I don’t know if the gun actually works. Anyway, it’s not loaded. I can’t afford bullets.” Willet laughed as one of the cats butted its head into his chin. “These creatures calm me. They tell me something about you. I think I’m okay for the moment.”  

Cover Art for Throwaways by Elliott Light

In Throwaways, cats provide a brief insight into the thinking of a traumatized girl:

The living room was a small space made more so by an odd collection of furniture, cat trees, and scratching posts. Kizzy was sitting in the middle of the floor, the object of attention of three kittens vying for ownership of her head and shoulders. The yarn attracted the attention of an orange tabby cat who chased and batted at it enthusiastically.

I sat on the floor a few feet from Kizzy and cast the yarn in her direction. “I call this cat fishing,” I said. “You want to try it?”

For a moment, Kizzy ignored me. Then she grabbed the end of the string and pulled it toward her. The three kittens and the tabby gave chase. She smiled as they took turns pouncing on it, falling over, and chasing it again.

“Do the kitties have names?” I asked.

Kizzy looked at me, making eye contact for only a moment. She pointed at a gray-striped kitten. “That’s Daniel. I had a brother named Daniel. The black kitten is Licorice. Daniel was always eating it. It made his tongue black. The girl kitten is a calico cat. I don’t have a name for her yet. And the orange kitty is Trouble. That’s his name because he’s always climbing the curtains or pushing things off counters. He may be my favorite.”

“Did Alicia like to play with cats?”

Photo by
Andrea Marciani

A scowl flashed across Kizzy’s face. She scrambled to her feet. “I want to leave.”

Like many folks, I observe the interaction of humans and animals without conscious effort. I’ll leave you with one of my favorites pictures. What does this say about me?

For more information about Lonesome Song, Chain Thinking, The Gene Police click here. Learn more about Throwaways by clicking here.

Writing a book? Need a graphic design? Check out Anita Moore’s website and services at www.cyber-bytz.com. She does cover art, interior formatting for print and digital books and can walk you the entire way through the publishing process!