martedì 2 dicembre 2014

Review & Giveaway: The Clock Strikes Midnight by Joan C. Curtis

The Clock Strikes at Midnight
by Joan C. Curtis

Book Blurb:
The Clock Strikes Midnight is a race against time in a quest for revenge and atonement. This is a story about hate, love, betrayal and forgiveness.
If you found out you had only 3 months to live, what would you do? That’s the question Janie Knox faces in this fast-paced mystery full of uncertainty and tension that will surprise you until the very last page.
Hiding behind the façade of a normal life, Janie keeps her family secrets tucked inside a broken heart. Everything changes on the day she learns she’s going to die. With the clock ticking and her time running out, she rushes to finish what she couldn’t do when she was 17—destroy her mother’s killer. But she can’t do it alone.
Janie returns to her childhood home to elicit help from her sister. She faces more than she bargained for when she discovers her sister’s life in shambles. Meanwhile her mother’s convicted killer, her stepfather, recently released from prison, blackmails the sisters and plots to extract millions from the state in retribution. New revelations challenge Janie’s resolve, but she refuses to allow either time or her enemies to her stop her from uncovering the truth she’s held captive for over 20 years.
Book Excerpt:
“Daddy, when I get my kitty, can I name him Davy?” she had asked, yanking Marlene’s Davy Crockett mug full of M&M’s from her grasp.
The colorful candy spilled all over the backseat of the car.
“Mama, tell Janie to—”
“Janie, behave,” Daddy said, admonishing her for an instant with his eyes from the rearview mirror.
“Malcolm, look out—!” Mom screamed.
Janie slammed into Marlene. Pain. The world tumbled topsy-turvy. The mug flew across the interior of the car, colors of the rainbow falling all around her.
Then, everything went black.
When she opened her eyes, Mom’s blood-streaked face rose in front of her out of the darkness.
“Wrap your arms around my neck, honey.” Mom lifted her from the wreckage.
Janie clutched her doll by the dress while the rain beat her curly hair flat.
Marlene stood on the side of the road.
“Try to walk,” Mom said, toppling her from her arms.
Her head pounded and blood trickled down her leg. She leaned on her good leg and limped in the direction of her sister.
“Mama, where’s Daddy?” Marlene asked between sobs.
Mom took Marlene’s hand and yanked her forward with Janie in tow.
Marlene lurched back toward the smashed Oldsmobile with smoke billowing from its hood and a big tree lying across the roof. The Davy Crockett mug lay shattered by the back tire.
“Daddy! We can’t leave Daddy!” Marlene yelled, picking up pieces of the broken glass.
They had left Daddy that day and piled into an old Chevy pick-up truck with a bashed in headlamp, belonging to a man with carrot-red hair. Mom pushed them inside the truck and ordered the man to get help. But by then it was too late for Daddy.
It was too late for all of them.

My Review:
Janie and Marlene have had a terrible childhood: when they were small in a bad car accident have lost their beloved father. Growing up have made force helping each other. The situation is worsened when her mother remarried with Ralph, a man who eventually had rescued the day of the accident. Their life becomes hell until the day when Ralph killed their mother. Janie decides to escape the city and not to become more alive with anyone, not even with her sister. She tried to build a better life and succeeded both professionally and romantically. One day, however, turns out to be seriously ill and have a few months to live. Must realize revenge waiting for over twenty years, but can not do it without Marlene. Back in Atlanta and asks for her help. But even her sister is living a bad time: she was just left by her husband.
Marlene is really bitter with Janie, she felt abandoned. She had to face alone the chatter of the people after the death of their mother, was not even present at her wedding, she was all that remained of her family.
Alternating between past and present are revealed little by little the secrets surrounding this family.
I really liked the alternation of the story from the point of view of Janie and that of Marlene, (and also of their mother in the second part of the book): allows the reader to emphasize more with the main characters.
It 's a truly engaging thriller, full of suspense, to be read in one breath because once you start you can not leave it until the end.
I loved everything about this book: the gripping storyline, the characters very realistic and well characterized and especially the city where everything happens, Atlanta.

My rating:                                      *****

Author Information – Joan Curtis:
Joan Curtis authored four business books published by Praeger Press. She is also published numerous stories, including:
  • Butterflies in a Strawberry Jar, Sea Oats Review, Winter, 2004
  • A Memoir Of A Friend, Chicken Soup for the Working Woman’s Soul, 2003 and Flint River Review, 1996
  • Jacque’s Story in From Eulogy to Joy, 2002
  • The Roommate, Whispering Willow Mystery Magazine, April 1997
  • A Special Sort of Stubbornness, Reader’s Digest, March 1997,
  • My Father’s Final Gift, Reader Digest, November 1994
Her first place writing awards include : Best mystery manuscript in the Malice Domestic Grants competition, best proposal for a nonfiction piece in the Harriette Austin competition, and best story, Butterflies in a Strawberry Jar in the Cassell Network of Freelance Writer’s Association.
Other Books:
Hire Smart and Keep ‘Em: How to Interview Strategically Using POINT, Praeger Press, an imprint of ABC-Clio, Santa Barbara, CA 2012.
The New Handshake: Sales Meets Social Media, Praeger Press, 2010, an imprint of ABC-Clio, Santa Barbara, CA
Managing Sticky Situations at Work: Communication Secrets for Success in the Workplace, 2009, Praeger Press, an imprint of ABC-Clio, Santa Barbara, CA.
Strategic Interviewing: Skills for Savvy Executives, 2000 published by Quorum Books, Greenwood Press.
“I write about characters who remind me of myself at times and my sister at times, but never fully so. My stories are told from a woman’s point of view. Characters drive my writing and my reading.”
Having grown up in the South with a mother from Westchester County New York, Joan has a unique take on blending the southern traditions with the eye of a northerner.  She spent most of her childhood in North Carolina and now resides in Georgia.
Links:  website:

Prizes for the tour are as follows:
  • One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/ gift card.
  • One randomly chosen host will receive a $25 Amazon/ gift card.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

5 commenti:

  1. Thank you for the beautiful post. I'm so glad you enjoyed the book and I'm very happy to learn about your blog. Adoro tutto italiano!!

  2. I liked the book blurb and excerpt best.

  3. I enjoyed the excerpt and look forward to reading the book.


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