Monday, April 27, 2015

A Girl Like That To Be Released In May, 2015

What would you do if you were thirty-seven, good-looking, and single with no family ties and a bad girl rep that you can’t live down? That’s exactly the situation Elle McLarin finds herself in as my new novel, A Girl Like That (112,000 words) opens. Mean girl Elle McLarin desperately needs to reinvent herself. Growing up with her grandparents in their small North Carolina mountain community after her teenage mother, who named her for a fashion magazine, ditched the idea of motherhood and disappeared, Elle found her upbringing to be tougher than most. Add to that a near-tragic mistake—drugging high school hunk Kyle Davis at a party, which landed her in prison for a year—and Elle has long since paid her debt to society. Nineteen years after being dubbed Badass Barbie in high school, and with her grandparents now passed away and her illegitimate son joining the Army, Elle is ready to pull up her bootstraps—and her roots—and go where no one will know her, or what she did.

In coastal Wilmington, Elle opens a bakery called Bake My Day with the proceeds from selling her grandmother’s cabin. Bent on turning her life around, she is constantly driven by her comical Good Elle/Bad Elle inner dialogue. But Elle’s budding relationships with a handful of eclectic and unlikely new friends help her to move outside of her head to grow the possibilities that surround her if she can prune away her transgressions. Nate, an unexpected white-hot neighbor and fishing show producer appears with just the kind of naughty smile Elle likes, reminding her too vividly of the past she’s left behind. Then, right when her new life begins to take root, and love could be a tenuous possibility for Elle, a remarkable event brings Elle into the limelight, causing a jealous bystander to uncover her sordid past, threatening to expose her and drag her under once more. But has this woman met her match? Sometimes, in situations like this, Bad Elle is needed and it’s a good thing she hasn’t gone far!

Told in the first person, readers will get to hear Elle’s side of the story that began in the pages of my first novel, The One. Elle makes cameo appearances in the next two books of the series, though A Girl Like That is a stand-alone novel. If you are meeting Elle for the first time, you may hate her initially, and possibly grow to love her, but it is quite likely that you will not forget her!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

New Review of Breaking Out Is In


Mary Flinn
Mary Flinn (2014)
ISBN 9780990719700
Reviewed by Nicollette Violante for Reader Views (01/15)

“Breaking Out” by Mary Flinn details the life of Dr. Susannah Brody, a twice remarried, divorcee and widow. She is the best dermatologist in the little border town of Magnolia in South Carolina, and she finds herself completely alone. Her first husband, Kent, cheated on her during their marriage and now he is dating her sister, and her second husband, the love of her life, passed away a few years before the events of the novel. Susannah’s only son, Myers, is about to go to college and Susannah feels helpless, and her life empty and without a purpose. Suddenly, a month before Myers starts college, Susannah’s friend’s daughter goes missing and she is suddenly thrown into the investigation with the attractive and fit detective Chase. Susannah gets the feeling that Myers might be hiding something and wrestles with her feelings of loneliness, grief, and now romantic interest for Chase as she attempts to live her life “day by day.

“Breaking Out” is narrated from Susannah’s point of view and she is an incredibly likeable protagonist. All of Flinn’s characters are easy to empathize with, are realistic and whole, neither completely good nor completely bad. All of the characters (minus one) grow and develop throughout the course of the novel. Flinn is an excellent writer with grammar, prose, and description; I really felt like I was there in the quaint town of Magnolia, meeting and interacting with all of the people. Flinn also has excellent pacing, nothing excessively dramatic and not dropping bombs one after the other, nor unnecessarily twisting the plot where it does not need to be twisted.

I highly recommend “Breaking Out” by Mary Flinn to anyone who identifies with grief and loneliness, the romantic novel enthusiast, and anyone who needs inspiration in “breaking out” on their own and living a life full of happiness.