I am very pleased to welcome Emelle Gamble to One Book Shy of a Full Shelf today as she tours the blogosphere with her new book – Stranger Than Fiction. I had a chance to ask Emelle a few questions and learn more about her and her writing. Welcome Emelle!
Classic Tale of Romantic Suspense…Set in Manhattan and Narragansett
Bay, Rhode Island in 1993….
books could kill…Plagiarism is an ugly word. And Tony Nichols keeps
repeating it. Claire Kennedy is forced to consider that her
bestselling, reclusive author might have stolen her latest mystery
novel from one of Tony’s college students. Was Claire’s reputation,
and the future of her employer, Cauldron Press, in jeopardy? Or is
Tony masterminding a hoax? The
mystery takes a terrifying turn when these uneasy allies, who each
realize they are more than a little attracted to one another,
discover a corpse. Claire realizes that the truth behind The Poison
Pen Pal’s creation not only threatens her career, but her life.
had not shown up to get her at the inn, nor had he called with a
message. She had checked the inn not more than a half hour ago. Was
his lack of punctuality further proof of his criminal makeup, she
determination not to be manipulated propelled her up the stairway to
the second floor. The lighted hallway was empty of any security
guards, secretaries or students to direct her. Turning away from the
stairs, Claire walked toward a closed office with English Department
stenciled on the frosted glass and knocked.
was no answer. A lectern stood next to the door, and .the black
notebook on it listed the instructor’s office hours. Turning
hastily to the Ns, Claire found the entry.
space for appointments was crossed through with a large black X.
ought to just go see Sarah Winesong, Claire thought as she hurried
down the hall. If Mr. Harrison and Tillie had not babied the author
all these years, Cauldron Press might not have been in this
predicament. And she would not be chasing around after Tony Nichols.
took the stairs up to the third floor, pausing out of breath on the
landing. A black arrow with the numbers 311-321 led her to the left.
hall was dark, the only illumination coming from the gray sky visible
through a single window at the far end of the corridor. All the
offices appeared locked and unoccupied.
was no lettering on the frosted glass of room 319 other than its
number, and the small metal nameplate holder above it was empty.
Claire’s stomach churned. She rapped loudly and waited.
“Tony? Are you in there? It’s Claire.”
inquiry was met with silence. Rubbing one hand with the other, Claire
looked around. Though everything was silent, she had the feeling that
someone was nearby. Gingerly she put her hand on the brass doorknob
and turned it. It opened easily, into almost complete darkness.
instant she spoke his name, the shrill cry of the telephone rang out
like a startled sentry’s gun. Clutching her chest, Claire gasped
and stepped back.
a sigh of exasperation, she decided to answer it and groped for the
light switch. As she did so, she noticed the room was dense with the
odor of Tony’s tobacco. Inhaling, she tried to ignore the vivid
pictures that rose to mind. She found the switch and flicked it and
the room lit up.
first thing Claire saw was the blood pooled on the dingy carpet just
inside the office door.
froze. Dully she realized the phone had stopped ringing. Then her
ears picked up a new sound. In the hallway she had just vacated, she
heard the creaking of a door hinge followed by footsteps.
that were coming closer.
Claire snapped off the light and moved deeper into the small office.
Her hands groped in the dark for a weapon. Heavy, leather bound books
were everywhere. Gripping the smooth surface of a large, anonymous
text, Claire raised it above her head and waited.
bulky silhouette filled the doorway as the hallway light tumbled into
the room. Though Claire had made no sound, it was clear she had been
spotted. Without a word, the figure lunged across the small office at
her. She brought the book down squarely on the intruder’s face and
the corner of it stabbed into his cheek.
was tackled and thrown against the edge of the desk while her
attacker howled a curse at her blow. Claire struck him repeatedly
with the book.
they both crashed to the floor, Claire beat him with every bit of
adrenaline pumping into her body. Then, quite suddenly, she knew who
it was cursing her in the dark. She recognized the strong hands that
hugged her waist, the wavy hair brushing against the tender skin on
body identified her captor even when her terrified mind had not. “Let
go of me, Tony. You’re hurting my arms.”
was straddling her hips. She could now clearly see his eyes in the
dim light from the hall.
what are you trying to do, kill me?”
Do you get more enjoyment out of creating heroes or the villains?
My thrill is solid motivation…I want the reader to meet and understand my characters and believe that they are acting logically and not just a paper-cut out cliché moving around on paper.
I love my heroes and heroines, who are always a bit complicated and flawed, but seek to live the golden rule. I also love my villains, who always ‘have their reasons’ for acting as they do.
I know, I know, not a clear answer. Welcome to the mind of a writer, HA!
Where is your favorite place to write?
I have great difficulty writing anywhere but my cozy little office. Cats at my feet, neighborhood out the window at my back, hubby down the hall or outside taking care of the yard. The only other place I am always successful is during a yearly outing with my critique group, The Lifesavers, at a loaned house on the Chesapeake Bay. It’s heaven there, and like opening the ‘writing vein’…probably due to the love and support of the writers, and also not having to cook or clean.
Do you have any specific “rituals” when you’re creating/writing?
Does eating candy count as a ritual? I don’t usually eat the stuff, but for some reason when I’m stuck on a plot point, I grab a hard candy and crinkle the paper and pop the calories in my mouth. Oh, and I do laundry. It clears my mind to walk up and down the stairs to the laundry room, usually talking out loud to a balky character.
Tell us about your favorite literary character (can be your own or other, or both!)
My own is the movie star icon, Cary Grant. It was such great fun using him as a secondary character in DATING CARY GRANT He was charming, articulate, funny, sexy, and I felt like I was channeling a ghost when I wrote dialogue for him.
What are three things you can’t be without?
Family. Friends. Hope for the future.
What are you currently working on?
STRANGER THAN FICTION was the first romantic suspense novel I ever wrote. I have always been interested most in mystery…I love the way the ending ‘solves’ something and allows justice to prevail. I wrote six other novels of classic romantic suspense for Harlequin Intrigue, and my books always have a lot of suspense in them, no matter if they are mystery or women’s fiction.
I think I am coming full circle and returning to suspense at this time in my career. I have two big books done, and am working on a new one, OVERHEARD, about a killer who taunts his victims with clues he posts on a website. It’s fun and challenging, and I hope to turn it into a series as the two main characters, long-married couple Annie and Jasper, are chattering to me day and night to tell their story.
Thank you so much Emelle for taking the time to give us a little behind the scenes peek!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 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.
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
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.
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 is generously gifting one lucky reader a $25 giftcard to either Amazon or Barnes & Noble! All you have to do is enter below. Be sure to check out the other tour stops for more ways to enter and to learn more about Stranger Than Fiction. Good Luck & thank you Emelle!
~~~~~ Disclaimer: All opinions expressed on this blog are 100% my own. I do not receive monetary compensation for my reviews but do utilize affiliate links. I may receive books in order to facilitate a review, but this does not guarantee a good review – only a completely honest one. Each review post denotes how I obtained the book.