The scoop: Can you make a clean break from a troubled past and start a new life? Four lives intersect when Celeste Vanek leaves her husband, Adam. His compulsive gambling and physical threats have poisoned their marriage and emotionally damaged their young son. Celeste moves to a small rental across town, works to gain financial security, and helps her son navigate his fantasy life. But she quickly finds that starting over is not easy. Adam demands his family back, and things get out of control. Jake, who witnesses a violent struggle between Celeste and her husband, becomes Celeste’s ally and friend, while struggling with his own emotional and ethical issues. Jake carries a history of failed relationships—one of them with Sara, a married and childless police detective who has a private agenda to pursue when a crime is committed that links these four characters together and changes their lives forever.
Our take: You'll love getting lost in this fast-paced, satisfying read.
Giveaway: 5 copies of Clean Break. Leave a comment and be entered to win. We'll randomly select the winners after 6pm PST on Monday, June 18th.
CHICK LIT IS NOT DEAD PRESENTS...7 SECONDS IN HEAVEN WITH...DAVID KLEIN
1. In 6th grade I wrote a play that my class performed. It was about a group of wild boys who wanted to kidnap Santa and keep all the presents for themselves. At the end, the boys get caught and are apologetic. But that wasn’t enough. My teacher (nun, Catholic school, so it’s no surprise) changed the ending so that Santa is putting the ringleader over his knee for a good spanking. This was also my first introduction to the editing process.
2. I’m obsessed with titles and place a lot of importance in them. While writing Clean Break, I floundered through half a dozen drafts and many, many working titles. It wasn’t until I came up with what I felt was the perfect title that the entire novel started to gel. All of the key characters are trying to escape their pasts and get a fresh start on life. Easier said than done. With my first novel, Stash, the opposite occurred. Stash was the first working title I had and it never went away.
3. I’d love to write for a television series someday. I mean a really compelling drama, like Breaking Bad, The Sopranos, or Mad Men. I like the serial structure of the storytelling, where the characters have broad story arcs over the course of a season or more, yet in any given episode can experience a complete mini-story (storylette?) and transformation.
4. I got heckled recently at a book group event. This was an event that brought a number of book groups together along with a moderator to discuss my first novel, Stash. A “rogue reader” showed up and blasted me over the content and characters of the novel. Her insults went beyond the book itself and questioned my moral character. The moderator let her run on. I sat there and took it until she wore herself out. 5. I wonder if I could start a business writing love letters. Long ago, in a far away place, I won over a woman I had a terrible crush on by writing her letters. The real kind, with ink on paper. It took a while, but she finally fell for me. She said I was such a beautiful writer. So I started writing short stories, poems, then novels. The relationship didn’t work out, but she might be the person that made me ambitious about writing.
6. Mountain bikes are my thing. I’m an avid off-road mountain bike rider. Deep woods. Narrow trails. The more rocks and roots and scary downhills the better. It’s physically demanding and mentally thrilling and a huge stress reliever. It took me several seasons of contusions and bruises before I smartened up and started wearing protective pads on my arms and legs.
7. My daughter and I are both born on Christmas Day. Thirteen years ago, my daughter gave me the best combined birthday/Christmas present I could ever have. Of course, now she’s learned from some other relatives about the combined birthday/Christmas present swindle. She says it’s worth the shortage to share a birthday with me. Bonus item: my brother, three years older, was also born on Christmas.
Liz & Lisa