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Editor's Ebook Pick of the Week - Special Edition: "Freezing Point" by Karen Dionne

Tue Oct 28, 2008 - 12:17 PM EDT - By Jennifer Chappell

Freezing Point

I'm always on the lookout for another Ebook to add to my Centro's library. If you're an avid reader on your Palm smartphone, I'm sure you're the same way. For some reason, I'm cuckoo about books that have stories set in cold environments. I search those types of books out. There's just something exciting about reading stories involving people who brave those coldest of places like Antarctica where someone can get lost in the snow in the blink of an eye.

Well, an Ebook over at Fictionwise caught my eye recently as I was browsing through the new suspense/thrillers. "Freezing Point". Ahhh, just the name of the book sounded good. I quickly clicked on the book's information.


Salvation and annihilation meet at one degree. One man's dream of providing clean drinking water for millions, tapped from the polar ice, sparks a conflict of humanity, science, big business, and environmental extremism.But no one can foresee the true danger hidden deep within the ice--an enemy more deadly than any could imagine, and an apocalyptic horror mankind may not survive.

Now that sounded pretty good to me! I noticed "Freezing Point" was Karen Dionne's first novel. I looked on Google to see if Karen had a website so I could find out more about her book. She does have a website and here's the description from the site:

As he faces the frozen behemoth of a giant iceberg, environmental activist Ben Maki sees Earth’s future. Clean drinking water for millions, waiting to be tapped from the polar ice. The Soldyne Corporation backs Ben’s grand philanthropic vision for a better today—while making its own plans for a very profitable tomorrow.
Rebecca Sweet lives for the cause—an eco-terrorist who will do whatever she must to protect the earth. And Ben Maki’s ideas have set her on the path to war…
All of them will be drawn into a battle between hope and helplessness, power and pride. But they are about to discover that deep within the ice waits an enemy more deadly than any could imagine—an apocalyptic horror mankind may not survive.

I finally had a chance to start reading "Freezing Point" one Sunday afternoon. It was one of those "hit the page running" types of books that I love. "Freezing Point" got my attention from the first page and kept my attention. I read it all afternoon until I had to make myself stop because I had some work to do. Mrs. Dionne is an excellent writer! All of her characters come to life and you feel that you're inside the story because Dionne describes all the scenes so well. She really knows her science and does her research. I was very impressed with Karen Dionne's book!There aren't any dull places in the book either. I can't tell you how many books I've started reading and eventually set them aside and started on another book before I finished reading the first one because I hit a dull spot and my eyes started glazing over. In fact, I had previously started two other books before I started reading "Freezing Point". Well, once I began reading "Freezing Point", I forgot all about those other two books. For real.

I finished "Freezing Point" the other day and I loved it! I can't wait to read Karen Dionne's next novel! I wrote Karen an email and she very kindly responded. She's naturally very excited about her first novel being published. We've written back and forth over the past few weeks and Karen is a very sweet person. I asked Karen if she reads Ebooks on any devices. Here's what she said:

"Even though I write near-future science thrillers, nine years ago when I first started writing with a view toward publication, I never dreamed that people would be reading my novel on their PDAs and smartphones. So cool. Hope everyone enjoys the story!"

I asked Karen if she had a Palm smartphone and she said that she doesn't. She uses a BlackBerry. She's never used a Palm smartphone but I bet she'd like it if she ever did. Let's see if we can get Karen acquainted with the Palm OS. ;-) Not that there's anything wrong with BlackBerry of course. Karen told me something neat about her BlackBerry. She said that she had recently gone on a trip to Paris, and that she emailed everyone that she knew while standing at the top of the Eiffel Tower. Cool!

Also, here are some questions and answers about Karen's decision on writing a science thriller:

Why did you write an environmental thriller?

I’ve always loved science, particularly anything to do with the natural world, and I love the high-octane action in thrillers, so for me, the combination was an ideal fit. As a novelist, it’s great fun to take a plausible “what if?” scientific scenario, and then push the story to its limits.

What’s unique about an environmental thriller?

All thrillers play on people’s fears, but environmental thrillers pit man against nature in the classic struggle with a twist: man’s interference with the natural world is often the source of the problem. That deep irony at the story’s core is what makes eco-thrillers so compelling. Bad things are happening, nature is turning on the characters – but the characters have brought the situation about themselves.

Why did you set your novel in Antarctica?

Antarctica is the ultimate environment, a fascinating place rife with story possibilities. There’s the extreme isolation - NASA actually studies the folks who winter over at the South Pole to get an understanding of what isolation does to the human mind and body – and the severe weather creates an additional obstacle.
Additionally, there’s no law in Antarctica. Various nations have made land claims, but because no one owns their particular piece of the continent, there’s no government, and no authority, engendering an anything goes, Wild West atmosphere that’s perfect for an out-of-control thriller.

How much of the story events in your novel could actually happen?

Scientists are currently looking at various ways of melting icebergs into drinking water, including using microwaves. And while an expert in the medical field at the core of my story’s problem might cock and eyebrow and say, “Not bloody likely,” they wouldn’t be able to put a finger on why it couldn’t happen exactly as I say.
The opening sequence in my novel in which a team of iceberg cowboys off the coast of Newfoundland lasso an iceberg intending to tow it to shore and crush it into drinking water is also based on reality. In fact, I have two cases of bottled iceberg water sitting in my office right now.

Thanks so much to Karen Dionne for writing such a great book and for being so kind to answer my emails. Being that "Freezing Point" is Karen's first novel, I can just imagine what great things she has in store for us in the future. I'll be waiting anxiously for her next book to come out!

Karen had an online book launch party which was very cool. You can check it out here. Author David Morrell, who wrote "First Blood", is quoted on Karen's book cover saying:

"Karen Dionne is the new Michael Crichton."

Plus Morrell has a video message to Karen that you can watch on the online launch party website.

Sweet! And one of my favorite authors, Douglas Preston, is quoted on the back of "Freezing Point" saying:

"What a ripper of a story! I loved every page."

Another favorite author of mine, James Rollins, sent Karen a video message for her online launch party. Rollins highly recommends "Freezing Point" and he talked about how quickly he read through it and was at the end before he knew it. Hey, just like me! ;-)

I'm so glad that "Freezing Point" caught my eye over at Fictionwise that day. This is one of the best Ebooks I've read in a long time. I have a copy on my Centro and I also bought a signed paperback copy for myself and my Mom. My Mom read her copy before I could get finished with mine. She called me and said that she loved the book. We both agreed that there weren't any dull places in the book and that Karen is an excellent writer. My Mom said, "I hope she's already working on another book!" LOL, so do I Mom! So do I.

If you'd like to read "Freezing Point", you can get it here for $7.99.

Karen Dionne is the founder of Backspace, an Internet-based writers organization with over 750 members in a dozen countries.

Karen is a member of Sisters in Crime, the Mystery Writers of America, and the International Thriller Writers. She and her husband live in Detroit’s northern suburbs. Freezing Point is her first novel.

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