Sue Charnley ~ What makes a great book and contest

With the June 1, 2011 release of my erotic romance, The Widow's Revenge,
I've spent a lot of time thinking about what makes a great book or even a
good book.  
Much of the source for a great read lies in the technical aspects of authoring, 
things like character, plot, conflict, description, pacing, style and voice.  
However, a reader's emotional involvement in the story is equally if not more 
important than technically expert writing.
Some would say that a great book must have both.  Put differently a great
book cannot provide emotional involvement without technically expert
writing.  I won't argue that.  I will state that I've seen plenty of
technically expert writing that does not satisfy, does not provide an
emotionally involving great read.  The reason for such failures is that
while technically well-crafted the reader's emotional needs are not
carefully considered.  One of those needs is for a sense of anticipation
that builds throughout the story.  Another of those needs is for catastrophe
or disaster.  That fictional moment when all seems black and the characters 
the reader has been rooting for seem doomed to fail.  Neither anticipation
or disaster would have purpose without what professionals call denouement
or what I call afterglow.
In terms of story telling denouement and afterglow are not precisely 
equivalent terms. gives the following definitions:
"de.noue.ment-noun 3. the outcome or resolution of a doubtful series of 
occurrences; af.ter.glow-noun 3. the pleasant remembrance of a past
experience, glory, etc.: She basked in the afterglow of her stage triumph."
I could argue that "the pleasant remembrance." is a result of a series of 
occurrences-although not necessarily doubtful ones-but I would be
picking at unnecessary nits.  The resolution of a series of events is a 
state, the afterglow is a feeling or emotion.  As a reader and an author
that afterglow is what I'm hoping for when I start any story and what I get
if the story is good.  The afterglow lasts a very long time if the story is
Leave a comment telling me about the story that gave you the best 
afterglow, you can even tell me why if you want.  Everyone who comments
will be added to my mailing list and entered in a drawing for swag.
Notice will be sent to the recipient on or before June 15, 2011.
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