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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Work In Progress....Fade To Gray

I am currently in the process of editing a crime thriller that takes place in Seattle, Washington. Tarrin Grace has just come through a very difficult divorce, and just when things are beginning to look up, her young daughter, Lexie, is witness to a heinous murder. Suffering from a form of post-traumatic stress disorder, Lexie is unable to recall details of the crime or the murderer. However, the killer remembers her, and Tarrin must risk all she has to protect her family. 

* Taken from Chapter Three:

             Tarrin combed her fingers through her hair. She stood and stretched, then laid the Sloan International handbook on the kids’ dresser. She would start her new job on Monday, and she had plenty to learn before then. She knelt on Jake’s bed and glanced out the wide window. Her eyes dropped to the yard below and she could hear the loud, “Thwump, Thwump,” of Jake’s soccer ball hitting the side of the house.
                After a quick lunch, the children had rushed outside to play while Tarrin had gone upstairs to finish unpacking and to sort through the kids’ toys and clothes. She had stopped for a short break and had taken a minute to review the handbook. The time was nearing five-o’clock. She wondered if Erin would be home at six. Maybe after dinner they would have time to search the city for a second-hand store. It would be nice to get a couch and a table set. She was getting tired of picnic-style meals.
                She sighed softly and turned from the window just as Lexie’s shrill scream caught her attention. Tarrin spun around and rushed to the window.
                “Lexie?” she called.
                Tarrin raised a hand to her chest when Jake suddenly rushed across lawn toward the thick wall of trees. Is she in the woods? She thought frantically. She stumbled from the bedroom and rushed down the narrow stairs. She reached the sliding glass door and tugged on the handle.
                “Oh, come on!” Tarrin yelled when the door stuck.
                The sound of grating metal made her cringe as she jerked the door across the runners. The door finally gave enough for her to squeeze outside and Tarrin raced into the yard. Her eyes scanned the empty expanse.
                “Jake?” she called, jogging toward the trees. “Lexie?” She stepped into the darkened woods. “Jake! Lexie!” Tarrin called loudly.
                Her feet crunched audibly on the forest understory as she pushed through a barrier of ferns. “Ahh-ugh!” she moaned when she stumbled through a thick spider web. She brushed at the clinging web as she continued pushing through the undergrowth.
                “Jake! Lexie!” Her voice rose in pitch.
                “Mom?” Jake’s voice suddenly sounded from a short distance ahead, and the breath left Tarrin’s lungs in relief.
 “Where are you?” Where’s Lexie?” Tarrin called. She turned in the direction of his voice. Tarrin’s shoulders relaxed when she caught of glimpse of Lexie’s bright pink shirt through the trees and ferns. “Jake, what is it? What’s wrong? I thought I told you two not to come in the woods.”
                Jake turned to face her as she came through the trees, and Tarrin suddenly paused when she read the fear in his expression. Lexie sat on the ground. She remained still and unmoving. The little girl’s eyes were large as she stared toward a thick patch of brush. Tears coursed down her young face, but she made no sound.
                “Lexie?” Tarrin’s heart rate increased and she rushed toward her daughter.
                “Mom, there’s…there’s someone hurt,” Jake spoke, and his young voice trembled.
                 “What is it? What’s wrong?”
                Confused, Tarrin glanced around frantically. Jake pointed ahead, toward the edge of the spiny blackberry bush. “There in the bush…there’s a hand in the bush.”

Friday, August 26, 2011

A Review of The Alias....

By Dianne/ Goodreads: This book was wonderful. The plot kept me reading into the wee hours of the night. The characters are endearing and it's a very clean cut book. I highly recommend this book. I look forward to reading more books from this Author.

By Author Sherry Gammon: Jacey is a divorced mom who needs to escape her life, quickly. Her ex-Hubby, an abusive creep, has the FBI on his tail, and he also believes he deserves to have custody of their son, Blaze. Jacey assumes a "new" identity, and escapes to Utah with her son. 

The story was intense, with action and suspense at every turn. The abuse by the Ex-hubby were real and heart-wrenching, making it difficult to read without crying. 

The Alias was a great read and I enjoyed every last second of it!! First-time novelist Mandi Slack did a masterful job at telling a story on such a difficult subject. I can't wait to read more from her! Thanks, Mandi! 

By Nicole/Goodreads: This was a great book exploring many important issues such as family, religion, and domestic abuse. Mandi did a great job endearing the characters to you and helping you get hooked in the book.

Reviews for The Alias....

By Christine/Goodreads: Jacey is a divorced single mom who is starting over. She left her abusive husband and is trying to have a new start with her son Blaze. The FBI starts investigating her ex for some serious crimes, and her ex wants Blaze back, so Jacey decides to leave for their safety. 

Jacey's best friend, Melissa, suggests that Jacey assume her identity and go stay with her aunt and uncle in Utah to hide out. Melissa's aunt and uncle have only seen her in some older pictures, so it seems like as long as Jacey can lie and pretend she is Melissa she can hide out there. 

My thoughts: 

This book had a lot of suspense and action. I liked the pacing of the story, and while some outcomes were predictable I found that there was enough going on to keep me very engaged in the story. I did find the domestic abuse flashbacks that Jacey had very realistic, and so these were extremely hard to read at times. I teared up and had to put the book down once. 

When Jacey and Blaze arrived in Utah, I loved reading descriptions of the farm and surrounding area. I could tell right away that the author had spent a lot of time in Utah, and she described it so well that I could picture it with ease. 

I enjoyed Grant, Helen, and Kale. They were such a nice family, and welcoming and kind to Jacey and Blaze. 

I also wanted to mention that I liked reading about the Mormon church and religion. I wasn't sure how I would feel about it at first. I have no experience with this church, and have heard very little about it. The author presented it well, and it didn't feel preachy or weird to me. It found it very interesting and was glad to read about it. 

My only criticism with this book would be is that I thought the ending wrapped up a bit too quickly. It seemed very rushed. 

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and thought it was a great read. The domestic abuse was hard to read about, but I was glad Jacey escaped it. 

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads. Thank you! :)