D. R. Ransdell – Island Casualty
About the Author
D.R. Ransdell hails from Springfield, Illinois, but she escaped bleak Midwestern winters long ago. After a stint in Mexico, she moved to Tucson, started grad school, and joined a mariachi band. She still lives in Tucson, but her vagabond feet tap away all summer long. Greece is a favorite destination—all those lovely beaches! She fell in love with the bouzouki groups she heard around the country—they were just like mariachi players in more comfortable clothes. For a day job she teaches writing at the University of Arizona. Her students assume she’s kidding when she says she’ll be happy to murder them if they give her too much trouble!
About the Book
An island paradise, a lost engagement ring, and a midnight chase add up to Island Casualty!
When Andy Veracruz flies to Greece for a holiday, the California native expects to spend afternoons swimming and nights making love. After all his troubles in Mariachi Meddler, he deserves a break! But at an outdoor café, he meets a fellow traveler who accidentally leaves behind a package. Before Andy can return it, the man disappears.
Andy tries to enjoy the rest of his vacation, but after he and Rachel are run off the road by a determined motorist, the musician starts doing undercover work by playing in a bouzouki band. Soon he realizes that he’s not safe anywhere on the island. While he’s around, his friends aren’t safe either! He vows not to take any more vacations, but he has to uncover the truth before he can make his escape.
Carmel Hanes – Crooked Grow the Trees
“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…until you climb inside his skin and walk around in it.”
Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird
She heard the rhythmic pounding long before she reached the source. Panting from the exertion of running up a flight of stairs, Sophia leapt the remaining two steps and quickly opened the door with her key. Rushing into the staff observation room, she tried to catch her breath while scanning the scene through the glass.
Beyond the wall Quinn slammed a chair repeatedly against the wall. Thud…thud… thud echoed through the unit as the plastic chair quivered with each contact. The doorway into the unit was barricaded with a bookshelf and couch. Books and papers lay strewn across the floor between upended chairs, sogging in water from an overturned cleaning bucket. The unit’s television lay on the floor among glass shards.
Four of Quinn’s peers huddled in the corner farthest away from the staff window, their faces reflecting a mixture of excitement and trepidation as they stared at Quinn. Stripped of power, the residents were impressed when one of their own rose up to seize control. But, like a tornado a safe distance away which suddenly changes course to come your way, they knew rage’s funnel could shift without notice and touch down on whatever was near and accessible. None of them wanted to find themselves in the crosshairs of his emotional rifle, having witnessed his previous escalations with staff.
In a detention center filled with likeable boys who do unlikeable things, coworkers battle over how to reshape twisted lives. In this world where each day might bring an explosion, Sophia appears to be a calm and skilled presence amid the chaos.
But looks can be deceiving.
While heartbreaking events and decisions injure those she strives to support, Sophia faces her own demons when a family death brings long-buried secrets bubbling to the surface, unraveling what Sophia believed about herself and her family.
In the resulting turbulence, Sophia finds not all prison walls are visible, and sometimes one must break before healing.
Who will succumb? Who will survive? Who will be forever changed?
Realistic and believable characters, delicious prose, and a mesmerizing plot will keep you turning pages. You’ll be talking about the ending for days.
Carmel Hanes is the curious result of whisking the DNA of Mr. Spock, Boo Radley, Atticus Finch, and Mr. Rogers together and baking it in a female body. She hid among the likeable misfit toys she worked with in public schools and detention centers during a thirty year career as a school psychologist. The indelible imprint they left on her insisted on expression in this debut novel, exposing the struggles we all have to overcome early influences. She avoids crowds, preferring to commune with sand dollars, trees, waterfalls, or the alternative universe of a good book.