The cover drew me in at first, even before I read the synopsis. It had that White Collar vibe, and the tagline, “if you can’t invent it, steal it,” only served to make me jump at the chance to review it. Who wouldn’t?
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Crazy Things Happen When Science, Greed, and Love Collide in This New Book
Laser Trap is listed as a “thriller/suspense,” but for the first half of the book, I couldn’t see why. Not only that, but I’ll be honest and admit that I didn’t understand most of the first half’s story regarding the laser. I don’t think I’m sufficiently intelligent. Add to that a relationship that wasn’t working for me, and I was afraid I’d end up not liking the book.
But I did–the second half in particular. Starting in “Book Two,” the story picks up, the relationships between the people make sense, and the awkwardness I’d seen in the first “book” faded into much more authentic-feeling interactions. I suspect there’s a point to the way things went that I just personally don’t get.
In the second half, the characters behave in ways you’d expect under the circumstances, and even the unexpected still fits. Faith elements are strong and clear, and the science clicked. At first, I assumed it was because Frank DiBianca had laid it out beforehand and my mind had been working on that information, but I don’t think that’s true. I really think that the second half just reads clearer to my mind.
Recommended for lovers of all things science and research and fiction that doesn’t shy away from genuine faith. I appreciate the review copy I received and really enjoyed the second half of the book.
Laser Trap is on tour with Celebrate Lit
Book: Laser Trap
Author: Frank DiBianca
Release date: June 7, 2022
Laser Trap is a multi-layered Thriller/Suspense. Quincy University engineering grad students Dan Butler and Lana Madison are trying to unravel their mutual confusion about how attracted and attractive they are to each other, when Dan’s lab laser unexpectedly begins to produce unheard of amounts of brightness and power in its laser beam, making it a candidate for super-weapons. StarWay Labs, an organization of criminal scientists, has been conducting research on this same phenomenon for two years, but without success. When they learn of the discovery at Quincy U, they kidnap Dan and demand he replicate his work in their secret lab.
Lana, alarmed at Dan’s disappearance, forms a high-tech team of friends to help the authorities rescue him. They make remarkable breakthroughs in tracking him down while the criminal cadre at StarWay pushes Dan close to his breaking point. The life-or-death question is whether the authorities can rescue Dan before he succumbs to his captors’ savagery.
Laser Trap is a story of love, danger, cruelty and faith that takes place on a university campus and in an invisible laboratory.
About the Author
Frank DiBianca is a former medical physics and biomedical engineering teaching and research professor. He has written numerous novels and short stories in the suspense, romance and sci-fi genres. His first traditionally published novel is LASER TRAP (A QUINCY U SUSPENSE), Iron Stream Fiction (2022), a mystery and romance laden suspense. Frank and his award-winning wife, Kay, are both full-time writers who assist each other in their manuscript development.
More from Frank
The Seven Biggest Surprises in my Laser Trap Journey
1. The Time It Would Take to Complete the Manuscript.
The first words of a romantic short story entitled “The Love Coach” that would eventually become the thriller/suspense novel Laser Trap were written on June 29, 2009, almost exactly thirteen years before the book was released on June 7, 2022. (I’m not superstitious.) The prolonged manuscript completion time included periods of learning how to write modern fiction, turning to several other writing projects, such as a 120,000-word sci-fi novel entitled Centaur about the threatened collision of a monstrous deep-space planetoid with the Earth, and many other writing-related detours.
2. Learning a New Language: How to Write Modern Fiction.
When I began this writing journey, the fiction I’d been reading was largely from the nineteenth century, including Jane Austen, Anthony Trollope, Wilkie Collins, The Brontës, and Charles Dickens. I’d never heard the literary expressions “third person close narrator, point-of-view, show-don’t tell,” and many others. My first editor, Mel Hughes, took me by the shoulders, figuratively, and patiently showed me the ropes via several manuscript rewrites based on “footser” notes of recommendations (she said humorously I was shooting myself in the foot). Would I ever learn modern fiction techniques?
3. The Genre Switch Late in the Game.
The book would likely not have been published by Iron Stream Media (ISM) absent two crucial people/occurrences. I met Karin Beery, Managing Editor, Guiding Light Women’s Fiction, LPC, at a writers conference in 2019. She liked my preliminary book proposal and asked me to send her a polished proposal when it and the manuscript were complete. A year later, I did that. Karin’s queue was filled, but she passed my submission on to colleague Darla Crass, Managing Editor, Lamplighter Mysteries and Suspense, LPC. Darla offered to publish the book on condition I would collaboratively rebalance the story toward more suspense compared to romance. With much joy and a twinge of trepidation, I signed the contract and the jaws of Laser Trap snapped shut—most auspiciously.
4. The Number of Editors Involved.
Editors are essential, but having a novel edited through multiple drafts is expensive. I expected that one or two editors would be needed. I ended up with seven. Here’s what they focused on and [who paid them]: 1) Mel Hughes -developmental editing [FD]; 2) Barbara Curtis -copy editing/proofreading [FD]; 3) Jeanne Leach -book proposal development [FD]; 4) Darla Crass -rebalancing toward suspense [ISM]; 5) Sally Shupe -general editing [ISM]; 6) Denise Loock -editing/proofreading [ISM]; and 7) the publisher’s final review [ISM]. This surprise showed the level of commitment and investment both the publisher and I made in improving and polishing the book.
5. The Effectiveness of a Book Launch Team.
Book launch teams were another modern device I was unfamiliar with. Working with my Author Care Specialist at ISM, I received instructions on forming a team and advice about managing one. I was fortunate to enlist thirty friends and family members who agreed to promote Laser Trap. Some of the activities they engaged in were promoting the book via email, social media, and word of mouth, in addition to, as appropriate, submitting book reviews to Facebook and Goodreads. Team members were also asked to distribute digitally a two-page summary brochure on the book. The unforeseen effectiveness of the launch team is evident in its contribution to the surprising successes described in items 6 and 7.
6. The Reader Reaction to the Book.
The seven endorsements we received for Laser Trap were so gratifying, ISM decided to insert them verbatim in the front pages of the book. The reviews in bookselling and reviewing websites were likewise very positive. For example, over the first seven weeks from release, Amazon’s rating averaged 4.8 out of 5 stars. None of this was expected.
7. Amazon #1 Best-seller Status.
However, the biggest surprise of all came when Amazon ranked Laser Trap the #1 Best-selling New Release in Religious Mysteries from two days before release through the next two weeks.
So, a number of beneficial surprises that came during the development and release of Laser Trap have significantly boosted the quality and stature of the book.
I extend my deepest gratitude to the many people who contributed to my novel, especially my author-wife, Kay, and I’m eager to see what happens in the upcoming months.
Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 12
The Write Escape, November 12
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 13
Texas Book-aholic, November 14
Inklings and notions, November 15
Mary Hake, November 15
deb’s Book Review, November 16
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 17
Locks, Hooks and Books, November 18
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 19
Betti Mace, November 21
Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, November 22 (Author Interview)
Lily’s Book Reviews, November 22
Blogging With Carol, November 23
For Him and My Family, November 24
Pause for Tales, November 25
To celebrate his tour, Frank is giving away the $35 Amazon gift card and a paperback copy of the book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.