Wednesday, May 13, 2015

GUEST POST: Sylvie Grayson, THE LIES HE TOLD ME

Sylvie Grayson has published romantic suspense novels: Suspended Animation, Legal Obstruction, and The Lies He Told Me; all about strong women who meet with dangerous odds, stories of tension and attraction. She has also written The Last War series, a romantic fantasy set to be released in 2015.

She has been an English language instructor, a nightclub manager, an auto shop bookkeeper and a lawyer. She lives in southern British Columbia with her husband on a small piece of land near the Pacific Ocean that they call home, when she's not travelling the world looking for adventure.

For more information on Sylvie and her other books, visit her about me and books tabs at her official website.

Where are you from, Sylvie?
I was born in Victoria, British Columbia and moved around the province quite a bit, from the North Peace River, to the Kootenays and back. I've returned home and live near Victoria now, and love it here.

Tell us a little about yourself?
I'm a wife, mother and grandmother. I travelled a bit, spent a year in Japan, then returned to University for a degree in sociology and one in law. I have had a lot of different jobs, but have been self-employed most of the time. I ran nightclubs, worked in an autobody shop, for large stores and for government. I practiced as a lawyer and a consultant.

Every one of those jobs taught me something. The people I met enriched my life and added to my knowledge. When I write, I draw on all that and find myself putting it to good use in my characters and their stories.

When did you decide you were a writer?
I have written for about ten years, but always worked as well. It was when I cut back to part time work that I had the leisure to look at publishing. Then I needed to learn more about the industry. I joined RWA, and the local group. I formed a critique group and that helped tremendously. Everyone has been so generous with sharing their expertise and knowledge.

Tell us your latest news?
My book The Lies He Told Me is my third and was released in February of 2015. And I have a new series, The Last War, that will be released soon. I am waiting for covers! I'm very excited about it, they are more sci-fi/fantasy which is an entirely new genre for me. But I loved the freedom of writing where I could make it up, create whatever world I felt like. It was great.

Who designed the covers for you books?
Steven Novak designed them. He's wonderful to work with and very creative and patient. I couldn't ask for a better designer. He can be reached at novakillustration@gmail.com.

To learn more visit Sylvie's website at www.sylviegrayson.com and you can find her on facebook.



The Blurb: Romantic suspense
When Chloe Bowman woke to find her husband gone, never did she imagine it would take so long to find him, or that in the midst of the search she'd discover she didn't really know this man at all. She soon realizes she has been left alone with her young son and a time bomb on her hands. Then the earthquake throws everything into question. Lurking in the shadows is the mysterious Rainman who travels under an unknown name.

Police Detective Ross Cullen was already investigating Chloe's husband when he disappeared. Although he's powerfully drawn to Chloe, Ross also knows that when one member of a family disappears, the first place to look for the suspect is among those closest to him. No one is closer than Chloe.

But the deeper Ross digs the less he knows, and the more he's attracted to the young wife as she struggles to put her life back together. Can Ross break through the Rainman's disguises to solve the case so he can be with Chloe?

Excerpt:
    Ross Cullen shifted on the seat of his truck and cranked his neck sideways to snap the stiffness out of it. Surveillance duty was hard. He was staff sergeant now and had become detective a year ago. He didn’t have to do a lot of the grunt work anymore. But he’d wanted this case. He’d already had Jeff Sanderson in his sights.
   When a few months later the Missing Persons Notice crossed his desk, it all seemed too convenient. After the husband disappeared, the house got finished, the lawn went in. The property taxes were paid. He’d checked. How did the wife Chloe have the money to do all that if the husband had taken off leaving her high and dry? He didn’t buy it.
   Today was his day off and he didn’t have to be here. But now and then he came over and parked, keeping an eye on the yard. Dan might be right, he had too much time on his hands. Dan Parker was the Constable who’d drawn surveillance duty on the wife right after she laid her Missing Persons information. He had lots to say about her. He certainly couldn’t fall asleep with this kind of duty, he reported.
    Ross had thought Dan was joking, but from where he sat Ms. Bowman was wearing a tight camisole and not much else. Well, maybe a pair of shorts if he looked hard and squinted his eyes. Good God, didn’t she have neighbours? He panned the area with his binoculars. No one could look into her yard, she had a lot of privacy.
    He’d seen the tapes of Chloe’s first interview at the station. After she filed the report about her missing husband, she’d been asked to come in and answer some questions. Her brother John had come with her, but Chloe herself had been impressive. She was obviously shaken. She’d looked tenuous but dogged as she recounted everything she claimed she knew about her husband’s last days in Victoria. Her husband was gone, his laptop, his cell phone, his dog and car were gone. She answered the same questions over and over as they were put to her different ways, until she sagged back in her chair in exhaustion.
    “Well,” she said. “I’ve had enough. If there’s anything else you want to ask that might help find my husband, then please ask now. Otherwise I’m going home.”
    She stood, looking down at the officer who sat with his finger midway down the page and a surprised look on his face. “You may have more to say but I’m through. Now you’ve had my cooperation and I want yours. Find my husband. Quit dragging your feet, quit pretending he ran off and find him!”
    She turned her back and headed toward the exit, followed closely by her brother. The officer at the door looked past her to see what his instructions were, then opened the door and escorted them out. It was Ross’s opinion that Chloe and her brother John were cut from the same cloth. Chloe was just younger and hid her steel under her feminine nature. But she was just as tough in her own way and just as determined.
    And beautiful. He’d been fascinated by her dark glossy curls and fair skin, the large liquid eyes. He’d watched the recording of the interview more than once and it irked him to know that it was as much to look at her as to analyze the information.
    He watched from his truck now as Chloe called across the yard to her little white dog and leaned down to ruffle his ears. Ross slowly panned the binoculars over her form, feeling his temperature rise. Maybe this kind of surveillance wasn’t healthy. He might get a fever just watching her.


Review of The Lies He Told Me, by Sylvie Grayson
Review title: A heartwarming narrative

The plot concept of The Lies He Told Me was intriguing and well developed. Chloe Bowman’s husband mysteriously disappeared six months earlier, and she is well on her way to putting her life together. She has finally made the decision to take over all her missing husband’s business affairs, and navigates the court systems, uncooperative lawyers, corporate heads, and established tenants with focused efficiency.  While managing all the legalities, she runs ads for boarders in her recently finished home, conducts the interviews, cooks, cleans and looks after the boarders, and her four year old son.

Chloe is an emotionally strong, business savvy, feminine character, who has an ability to always look for the good in people and events. She is surrounded by the loving support and confidence of her family and friends, and is able to garner many heartwarming moments with her son, dogs, family members, boarders and friends. It is no wonder the handsome Sergeant Detective Ross Cullen, who heads the investigation into her husband’s disappearance, falls instantly and madly in love with her, and is willing to risk losing his job to be with her.

There are several mysteries to be resolved in this story: the sudden disappearance of her husband Jeffery, what his role is in the money laundering scheme, who is the mysterious Rainman and what is his connection to Jeffery’s business; and through it all, how the growing romance between the detective and his lead suspect is to be maintained during the investigation, and what will happen to their love once her husband is found.

If you are a fan of the heartwarming craftiness and domesticity of a Debbie McComber romance, and the intense intrigues of Danielle Steele, you’ll enjoy the writing style of Sylvie Grayson; where the bad guys are not heartless, and the good guys are virtually flawless.

I was given a pdf version of this novel for free in exchange for an honest review. While I found the mystery concept intriguing, and the characters and contemporary world well rounded and fully developed, I did not easily connect with Chloe’s character through much of the story. The author narrates extensively in a stream of consciousness, nearly omniscient third person point of view; and includes unnecessary details in setting descriptions, recipes, craft creations, and intimate details of every character and event, no matter how minor the role. There are three main perspective characters in the novel, and the story is consistently repeated through each character. Several times the author summarizes all the events of the investigation, giving a laundry list of involved people, events and outcomes.

I am giving this novel a 3 star rating based on my pdf reading experience. Many of the editing errors I discovered and heavy use of pronouns that so distracted me from the story may have been corrected in the Kindle or print book formats. However, it was the stream of consciousness narrative and repetitious story telling that mostly affected my rating.

Purchase at: Amazon

15 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Congratulations, Sylvie! Traveling really does expand and enrich your life. You can see beyond the narrow confines of your own backyard. (I also spent several years in Japan.)
Science fiction is a great genre - have fun writing that series.

Pat Hatt said...

Sounds like one to read, now that the errors are fixed.

M Pax said...

Hmm, I want to read this book. Congrats, Sylvie!

olgagodim said...

Hi, Sylvie.
Your book sounds interesting.
Also it's nice to meet a fellow British Columbian. I wave at you from Vancouver.

Jodie Esch said...

Wow! Such a variety of jobs and places that you've visited. I'm looking forward to this book.
And nice to meet a fellow Victorian. I don't find many people who were born in Victoria!

Dixie@dcrelief said...

Sounds like a great read. The review held my attention, Donna.

Best wishes to Sylvie!!

dolorah said...

Alex: traveling is great for story ideas.

Pat: I hope someone else gives a review with that fact.

Mary: Enjoy

Olga; lol, I'll wave at you also.

Jodie: cool

Dixie: thank you

jbiggar said...

The book sounds wonderful, I can see where all your experiences would play a large part in the interesting plotline you've developed. Best of luck,
Jacquie Biggar

Sylvie Grayson said...

Thanks for all the great comments everyone. I hope you enjoy the book, because I had fun writing it.

Aloha to all the people from British Columbia, and afar.
Best
Sylvie Grayson

Jacqui Nelson said...

Enjoyed learning more about you, Sylvie! Very cool that you've had so many adventures to draw on for your story ideas.

Julie Dao said...

I love how rich and fulfilling travel can be! I'm hoping to do more of it this year, starting with my trip to Ireland :) Congrats on the book!

Christine Rains said...

Congratulations to Sylvie! Victoria is a beautiful place. I lived in Vancouver for a year, and I've always wanted to move back out west.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I would love to visit Japan. And you're right, Steven did an awesome job on your cover!

Sylvie Grayson said...

What a great group of commenters! (is that a word?)
Thank you everyone for reading my post and wishing me well. Back at you, Sylvie

Cherie Reich said...

Congrats, Sylvie! I love fantasy because I can make up more things too. What a great cover! I've admired the covers Steven Novak has designed for a while. :)