Pages

Friday, May 11, 2018

Birth of a Book by Jacqueline Seewald


Spring has finally arrived and with it new life abounds.
Robins are singing. Daffodils, azaleas, tulips, and trees 
of all kinds are blooming. So it seems particularly fitting that DEATH PROMISE, my new romantic suspense mystery thriller, 
was published on May 2nd.  

This has also made me reflect on the following: What causes a writer to consider investing the time, energy and effort into the creation of a book or any written work for that matter? With DEATH PROMISE, the idea actually took some years to develop.

I had encouragement in the sense that Encircle, my publisher, found me rather than vice versa. I’ll explain since this is rather unusual. DEATH PROMISE is a sequel to DEATH LEGACY, a novel originally published by Five Star/Cengage in hardcover and large print hardcover. The novel received excellent reviews from the major review publications such as PUBLISHERS WEEKLY and BOOKLIST among others. Harlequin Worldwide Mystery brought out a paperback edition while a different publisher opted for e-book rights. The novel proved popular with many readers. This encouraged me to write another book featuring the two main characters. Originally, I conceived of DEATH LEGACY as a stand alone romantic mystery. However, my subconscious insisted that Michelle and Daniel really needed at least one more good story.


When Five Star/Cengage dropped their mystery line, many of us who wrote mysteries for that publisher were hurt.
Although a small publisher, Encircle took on a number of  orphaned Five Star authors. Encircle has turned out to be professional to work with. They provided good editing and we worked on cover art together with satisfactory results.


 You can check out the description of this new novel at:


DEATH PROMISE is now available from:



and many other booksellers.

Positive reviews are starting to be posted.

From Mel Jacob at Gumshoe Mystery Review:

“The romance between Daniel and Michelle is incendiary with plenty of heat. Nonetheless, they work well together to catch a killer. She struggles with wanting love and not wanting to give up her dangerous work.”
*****
“This is a nice blend of suspense and romance with 
lots of action to keep the pages turning.”
 
Lelia Taylor, Buried Under Books, May 2018 

*****
Here’s a shortened excerpt from near the beginning of DEATH PROMISE:

 Dr. Daniel Reiner was finishing a turkey sandwich at his desk during his lunch break. The morning had proved hectic. The Park Avenue practice was a busy one. Things had really picked up in the past year. A lot of that was due to Morris Lerner, his partner and fellow psychiatrist. Morris had a thriving practice before Daniel joined him. Morris had too many clients and was looking for a younger doctor who could take some of the burden. Morris also had a demanding wife and two young children. He needed and wanted to spend more time with his family. Daniel, unattached and just starting out, was a good fit. The association was working out well.
Cheryl, their receptionist, buzzed him. Daniel picked up the phone.
“Are you taking calls now?” He appreciated Cheryl’s pleasant Midwestern accent.
“Yes, all done with lunch. When’s my next appointment?”
“You’ve still got a half hour. I think this call might be personal rather than a patient.”
“Okay, put the caller through.”
He heard the click. “Hello, how can I help you?”
“Maybe you can, maybe not. Are you Daniel Reiner? Son of David Reiner?”
He confirmed that he was indeed Daniel Reiner as he wiped away some stinging mustard from the corner of his mouth with a paper napkin.
“You don’t know me but I was married to your father.” The woman’s voice was deep as if she were a chain smoker.
“Then I guess you know my father and I haven’t been in contact for many years.”
“Yeah, I know. He told me about your mother. Tough break.”
Daniel felt a visceral pain. He was raised by his grandparents after his mother died. Mom was a beautiful woman, loving and vital. She developed ovarian cancer and died too young. He was only a young child at the time but knew he wanted to be a doctor and save as many lives as possible. He found out years later that surgery wasn’t for me. So he set out to heal people’s minds instead of their bodies.
The woman cleared her throat. “The thing is I don’t know if you were aware but your father died a year ago.”
He felt nothing. He should have felt something but found he could not. Not for the father who had abandoned an orphaned child. Daniel realized his father had been out of his life too long for it to matter. It was as if when his mother died and his father left him with his maternal grandparents, the man had also ceased to exist. Sad but true.
“I’m sorry for your loss,” he said, his voice lacking emotion, sounding formal and wooden to his own ears.
“Thanks, but your father and I were divorced for close to ten years. The thing is I looked you up because I thought maybe you’d like to know you have a sister.” The woman cleared her throat again.
Daniel’s posture straightened. “Your daughter?”
“Yes, mine and your father’s.”
“How old is she?”
“Seventeen. She’ll be eighteen in six months.”
Daniel tapped a pen against an open notebook on his desk. This was surprising news. He wondered if his grandparents had known and just not told him. He shook his head. That wasn’t their style. They were very open people. Decent, hard-working, honest. No, they would have told him. He conjectured this woman wanted something from him. If she just intended to connect, she’d have called him a long time ago. His years of training in the field of psychiatry taught him to think analytically without a lot of emotional baggage. He said nothing, waiting for her to continue.
“I guess you’d like to know more about your dad.”
“Not really. I gave up on him a long time ago.”
The woman let out a small, mirthless laugh. “Yeah, me too. We got that in common. I’m Tiffany, by the way, Tiffany Tyler. I’m a cocktail waitress in Vegas. The thing is I’m planning to remarry soon. I’m kind of at loose ends with my daughter Beth—your sister. When your dad and I split up, it was hard for me to manage. I worked late hours. It was tough having a kid around. So I sent her to a boarding school. Well, that’s finished now and I’m planning to remarry.”
“So you said.” Daniel was becoming impatient. He tapped his pen again.
“I left Beth with my cousin, Robert Tyler. He lives in Vegas too. I’m going to San Francisco in the morning. Meeting my fiancĂ© there. In his business he travels a lot. We’ll be off to Thailand and other places in Asia. The thing is my cousin, Rob, well, he’s a professional gambler. Kind of a restless guy. He isn’t someone Beth should have to live with for any length of time. I can only see leaving her with him as a temporary kind of thing. You know?”
No, he didn’t know. Daniel wondered what the woman was getting at in her rambling. “Can’t you take your daughter with you?”
“There are reasons I can’t do that.” The woman sounded defensive as well as nervous. “I’ve been doing some checking. I hear you’re a doctor there in New York. Beth is real adaptable. Maybe she could live with you for a little while?”
At first, Daniel was too stunned to respond, although he knew he had to say something.
“I hate to ask but could you come and get her? She’s a good kid and wouldn’t be any trouble. When she’s eighteen, she can be on her own.”
“Tiffany, no offense, but you’re a total stranger. How do I know anything you’re telling me is true?”
“I can prove it. Your father signed her birth certificate. I have our marriage license. I’ll send you all that information. Just come for Beth.”
“Ms. Tyler, who told you where to find me?”
She emitted a small, embarrassed laugh. “Your father kept in touch with some cousins in New York. He was proud when he learned how you became a doctor in the city. Boasted how he had such a smart son.”
That wasn’t what Daniel expected to hear. How sad that he knew so little about David Reiner. And now his father was dead and he would never know.
#
The following day was sunny but chilly, a true autumn in New York afternoon. Daniel finished with his patients earlier than expected because his final appointment of the day called to cancel and reschedule. He decided to walk from his office on Park Avenue over to the Citicorp building on Lexington Avenue where International Consultants had offices. It was only a ten-block walk down to the area between 53rd and 54th Street. A perfect day for a walk. His last patient left at four; that gave him just enough time to get over before the offices would likely close at five. He was determined to talk to Michelle Hallam if she was there. He reached her skyscraper office building feeling exhilarated by the brisk exercise.
       #
Daniel told Michelle about Tiffany Tyler and his supposed half-sister, Beth. Michelle listened politely without interrupting him, her face expressionless.
When he finished his brief narrative, she finally spoke. “This cousin with whom the young girl is staying, you were given his name and address, were you not? It should be a simple matter to phone him and arrange for the girl to come to New York. You could e-mail her a plane ticket.”
Daniel shook his head. “I’m not that dense. I checked out the cousin yesterday. No one answers his cell phone. He lives in an apartment complex. I was able to get hold of the manager. He told me something troubling. Apparently the cousin owed back rent. No one’s seen him for several days. He hasn’t returned. I called several more times. I really was persistent.”
“I believe that,” she said with a small smile.
“I got the manager to use his key to open the apartment. He claimed there was no one present and the place was devoid of belongings. There’s no forwarding address.”
Michelle raised her chin and worried her lower lip. “That is troubling.”
“Now you understand why I want your help.”
She faced him. “You know that most of what I deal with involves international matters. I could situate you with someone in Las Vegas who could look into the matter and find out what happened to your sister. That would be best.”
Daniel shook his head. “No one else would be as thorough as you are. Incidentally, I tried to call Tiffany Tyler and it went to voice mail. I left several messages for her. This whole thing is weird. I need to get out to Las Vegas and look into it. I want you to come with me.”
Michelle let out a deep sigh. “I’ll be in D.C. for several days. We’re handling a rather delicate diplomatic matter there. However, it shouldn’t take long. I will call you when I return and we’ll set up a trip.”
“You’re going to D.C.? District of Crime?”
“Not amusing,” she said with a frown. “In the meantime, phone the manager of the complex again and see if he has any news. And don’t give up on this Tiffany Tyler person either.”
Daniel told her he wouldn’t. If he did in fact have a half-sister and the girl needed help, he was willing to do what he could for her. He sensed something amiss here. Every instinct told him that this was not going to be a simple matter. He hadn’t lied when he told Michelle that he needed her help.
She was no ordinary private investigator. Michelle Hallam ran a highly specialized consulting firm. She came from a diplomatic British family. Her uncle had been an MI6 operative. Michelle was trained by him. When he passed away, she inherited the business. Daniel didn’t ask too many questions in the time they were together. He knew the work she did could be dangerous. It had in fact almost gotten them both killed the previous year.

My hope is that readers like you will read this novel and enjoy it. 
If you do, your review would be appreciated!

Comments Welcome!


22 comments:

Zari Reede said...

Great romantic suspense. I liked the location a lot. It provided an interesting backdrop for the story. I’ve spent a lot of time in Vegas and love the old part. I remember old Vegas before the light show was built downtown, and on the strip, the Belagio was just a hole in the ground. I was curious about your gambling research... was it a tax write off? Wink, wink... the perks of being a writer:)

Paul D. Marks said...

Congratulations, Jacqueline. Glad to hear Encircle picked up your book.

Susan said...

So glad that Encircle 'adopted' you - another Jacqueline Seewald book! Yippee! Susan, aka Janis

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi Zari,

No tax write off I'm afraid. It happens that my husband loves Las Vegas and even wanted to move out there. We've made eight separate trips to Nevada over the years. I thought it the perfect setting for this particular novel.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Paul,

Thanks for your good wishes!

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Susan,

I am grateful that Encircle was enthusiastic about Death Promise.
Michelle and Daniel are two of my favorite original characters.

Pamela S Thibodeaux said...

So wonderful and amazing how this publisher discovered you and your work Jacqueline - as well as other Five Star authors.

Great excerpt!

I wish YOU and all the best of luck and God's blessings
PamT

Susan Oleksiw said...

Congratulations on your new book, Jacquie. I enjoy your stories and I'm sure I'll enjoy this one also.

Patricia Gligor said...

Jacquie,
You asked a good question: What causes writers to invest their time, etc. in writing?
With so many books being published every day, the odds of making any money through writing novels are slim. So, why do we do it? Either we're gluttons for punishment - LOL - or it's because we love to write and we have stories to tell and, with any luck, to share.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Pam,

I'm glad you enjoyed the excerpt from Death Promise. Thanks for your good wishes!

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Susan,

I do hope you enjoy the novel. I value your opinion.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Pat,

I often get discouraged with writing. Certainly we writers don't do it for the money. Only a few lucky ones earn much for their efforts. But like you, I write because I need the creative expression. It means a lot when we can share our work with others as well.

Betty Gordon said...

Jacquie, I look forward to reading your new work.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Thank you, Betty! I appreciate that.

Carole Price said...

Jacqueline, I'm in the middle of your new book and loving it. What goes on between Daniel and Michelle is fun to read and frustrating at the same time because of their desire for each other. I hope for more in this series.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Carole,

Thanks for commenting. I really appreciate your feedback on the novel.

MRy F. Schoenecker said...

I’m intrigued from the start. I’ll look for it ,Jackie.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Mary,

Lovely hearing from you!

Bonnie Tharp said...

Much good luck with your new mystery. I like sequels and your novels are great, so it goes on my list of books to read. Thanks for sharing.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Bonnie,

Thanks for the positive feedback! Much appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Wow!!!! what an experience! DR. LABABA is a wonderful spell caster, she has made my life complete again by helping me cast a spell to return my lover to me again. I was skeptical at first, but what a believer I am now, his spell really worked! my lover is now faithful to me, if you are also seeking for help to get your lover back? just email lababasolutiontemple@gmail.com

kold_kadavr_ flatliner said...

Yay!
yoo RITE!!
Gotta lotta
extraordinary
exponential
exactly.
Wannum?