Today we have author Emelle Gamble visiting. Welcome!
What would you like to tell readers about yourself?
* Emelle Gamble became a writer at an early age. At six years old, she was bursting with the requisite childhood stories of introspection, and this itch to tell tales evolved into bad teen poetry and tortured short works that, thankfully, never saw the light of day, or an editor’s red pen.
* She took her first stab at writing a novel in an adult education class in Mobile, Alabama when her kids were in bed for the night. As ‘M.L. Gamble,’ she published several romantic suspense novels with Harlequin Intrigue. She now publishes novels of Ordinary Women in Extraordinary Situations with SoulMate Publishing and Posh Publishing …works ranging from women’s fiction to thrillers and romantic suspense.
* Always intrigued by the words ‘what if’, Gamble’s books feature an ordinary woman confronted with an extraordinary situation. Emelle celebrates the adventurous spirit of readers, and hopes each will enjoy the exciting and surprising journeys her characters take.
* Emelle lives in suburban Washington D.C. with her hero of thirty years, Philip, and two orange cats, Lucy and Bella. Like all good villains, the cats claim to have their reasons for misbehaving. Her children are happily launched on their own and are both contributing great things to society, their mother’s fondest wish.
* Emelle welcomes any reader interested in emailing her and hopes they will visit her website, or her Author Emelle Gamble FaceBook page.
Today Emelle Gamble will be talking about the first book she read that had a big impact on her.
* This is a really difficult question to answer, and I imagine it is for many readers and probably all writers.
* I’ll give you a ‘stages of life’ answer.
* When I was a child, I loved to read from as early as I can imagine. Board books, then chapter books, then mysteries. Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden, in particular. I loved all stories of trying to find your way home, or trying to find out who the bad guy was.
* Once I was in middle school, I would literally inhale any kind of historical fiction that involved British nobility. I loved court intrigue and unrequited love affairs, and the horses. Yes, I loved the horses in those books, and of course the stable boys.
* In high school I had fabulous English teachers that gave me books to read that still make me tremble – The Scarlet Letter. The Great Gatsby. The Confessions of Nat Turner, a book which I returned to the Librarian (who let me check it out even though it was on the ‘teacher’s only’ shelf) and begged her to tell me it really wasn’t based on true events.
* As a mom with two little kids, I gravitated to romantic suspense (honorable men and spunky women) and best sellers, always with a love of mystery. I wanted books to absorb, entertain, and end with a resolution that, because of smart sleuthing and big hearts, the world was a better place than at the beginning.
* Now I read everything. Non-fiction books that keep me up at night worrying, fiction that is provocative, novels that impress me, mysteries that rarely make me feel better about anything. HA!
* But to get back to our blog hostess’s question – the first book that had a big impact? As an adult, one of the first novels that rocked my world was The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher.
* It is a warm family saga about a woman with a bohemian upbringing and a lost true love. A woman who did what was expected of her, was ‘happily’ married and gave birth to three children, but always had a secret life inside her heart. This heroine, Penelope, suffered great losses during World War II, and afterwards, but stayed optimistic. She loved each of her children equally, but differently. Her life often surprised – but never defeated – her.
* This book showed the reader in me how complicated, challenging, heartbreaking and wonderful family life is. And it taught the writer in me that characters did not have to be all good or all bad in commercial fiction to be compelling. It is one of the few books I own that I have re-read multiple times, and I realized while writing this post that it contains many of those elements I always loved as a reader. Finding your way home. Solving a mystery. Intrigue and heartbreak. What a great book. If you haven’t read it, do!
A look into…
~ Blurb ~
* Jill Farrell’s college reunion is coming up, but she wants no part of it. The man she once loved, Swedish exchange student Max Kallstrom, is rumored to be attending, but that doesn’t tempt her as Max disappeared from her life the night before the graduation, and has never been heard from since.
* When her ex-husband, Andrew Denton, knocks on her door and announces he wants to make nice, and, “oh, by the way, one of their class alumni might be a murderer”, Jill’s resolve to avoid the event hardens.
* Jill shuts Andrew’s efforts to reconnect down, and tries to put Max out of her mind. And that’s that, until a second man knocks on her door, and the emotions of a time long ago overtakes her. Max Kallstrom tells Jill she’s the reason he has come to California. He asks her to please let him explain why she hasn’t heard from him for fifteen long years.
* She’s willing to listen to what he has to say, but immediately realizes that her memories must guide her through a wrenching and dangerous few days. While her heart remembers a handsome young lover, she and her classmates are all different people now, and the reality of a murdered friend proves she can’t trust everyone.
* What’s not so clear is if she should trust anyone . . . especially Max Kallstrom.
~ Excerpt ~
* Was that a noise in the garage?
* The sound of muted rustling did not fit the normal night sounds. She took a step closer to the garage exit opposite the front door. Slowly she leaned forward to listen, but all was quiet.
* Tell me I didn’t forget to close the garage again. She visualized coming in from errands earlier, but could not remember if she had hit the button before she stepped inside.
* She set her laptop and paperwork on the kitchen table, turned on the teakettle, and headed resolutely back to the foyer. I’ll open it a crack, confirm everything is closed properly, and then sit down and get to work.
* She turned the knob and pushed the door open, and flipped the light switch. Her car was parked, and the garage was closed. But there was a cardboard box sitting on car’s passenger side trunk.
* The top was open and several books were piled next to it.
* “What the devil?” She stepped down onto the concrete and headed for the box.
* “Hello, Jill,” the killer said.
* She yelped and grabbed her throat.
* A man rose from the crouch he was in beside the washing machine. He grabbed Jill with one hand, and aimed a gun at her head with his other. “Stand still and be quiet. I won’t hurt you unless you scream.”
* Shock and bitter anger nearly brought her to her knees as she registered who he was, and what a massive betrayal he had pulled off. Furious, she slapped at the gun and twisted out of the man’s grasp, and turned to run.
* Before she completely filled her lungs with air to scream, his pistol cracked against her skull and knocked her to her knees.
* There was black, and then nothing.
Buy The Second Man here…
Thank you for joining us here today, Emelle Gamble! It was a pleasure getting to know you and your story.
ANNOUNCEMENT! Emelle Gamble will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour! So be sure to leave a comment AND use this RAFFLECOPTER LINK to enter the drawing. Also, visit the other tour stops for a greater chance of winning!