Saturday, April 20, 2013

Live and Let Die by Bianca Sloane (Review, Interview)

On a bitterly cold January evening, Tracy Ellis went for a jog along Chicago’s snowy lakefront and disappeared. Her body was discovered days later, her beautiful face bashed in with a rock. Police determine her brutal death to be a mugging gone wrong and drop the matter into their cold case files.

Over a year later, Tracy’s sister, Sondra, still can’t come to grips with what happened. She throws herself into her work as a documentary filmmaker to try and forget the cruelty of her sister’s death. However, a chance encounter with a man from Tracy’s past rips the wound open and sends Sondra on a desperate search for answers about the secrets from her sister’s life that may have led to her death.

As Sondra struggles to uncover what happened to Tracy, she’s launched into a tangled web of deceit and danger that puts her on a collision course with life and death…

  • File Size: 422 KB
  • Print Length: 290 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Bianca Sloane (November 7, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.

Bianca Sloane

Image of Bianca SloaneMy day job is a freelance writer for corporate clients (though hoping to make “novelist” my full-time career one of these days!) I live in Chicago and am a Bravo TV junkie, an Investigation Discovery addict, an avid reader and a home cook. "Live and Let Die" is my first novel.

Interview with Bianca Sloane

Tell us about your book?
“Live and Let Die,” is about the disappearance and brutal murder of a young woman, Tracy and her sister, Sondra’s efforts to solve the mystery of what happened (however, this isn’t a procedural or detective story).  The case is dropped into the cold files, but when, Sondra, who was out of the country at the time, comes home, she starts to realize there are a lot of things about Tracy’s death and her life, that don’t add up.  Complicating matters are Tracy’s husband, Phillip and his new wife, Paula.  What do they know about what happened to Tracy?  The more Sondra digs, the more sinister it all becomes. 

What led you to write it?
About 8 years ago, I was laying in bed one night about to drift off to sleep when the characters of Tracy and Phillip started talking to me.  I had no idea who they were or what they were talking about, but I was so intrigued, I jumped out of bed and started to write down the conversation.  From there, I started adding plot points, the opening scene started to take shape and I just started writing it.         

Who is a writer that inspires you and why?
My “author crush” (because we all have one, right?”) is Joy Fielding.  I love “See Jane Run,” “Grand Avenue,” and “Whispers and Lies,” which are like master classes in suspenseful page-turners.  I like that her stories stem from demons closer to home, i.e., the suspicious husband, the sinister teenager, the neighbor with an agenda vs. stories about random serial killers or world-weary/quirky detectives.     

I actually had the opportunity to take a weeklong writing class with Joy during the summer of 2012 in Toronto and it was the highlight of my life.  She provided great feedback on my writing (and everyone in class), shared a lot of tips and tricks, many of which I now employ and was a fountain of knowledge on the publishing industry and the craft of writing.  Like I said, meeting her was the experience of a lifetime.     

What was the biggest challenge you faced writing this book?
The biggest challenge in writing “Live and Let Die” was trying to nail down the complexities of the plot.  There were a number of things that had to happen and had to happen in a certain order and it took me a really long time to figure it all out.  I toyed with a lot of different plot devices, but nothing seemed to work so I discarded all of them and went back to basics.  I printed out the middle pages and laid them out on my living room floor like the pieces of a puzzle.  Doing that helped me see what needed to go where and from there, it all fell into place – literally!      

I don't want to give away the ending of the book, which is a total surprise, but it was a totally unexpected ending and I couldn't quite figure out if it ended or if it was a set up for a continuation. Is your next book a sequel?
Thank you!  People seem to really be shocked by the twist at the end, which is what I was going for; what would be the one thing to tie this all together that no one would see coming?

When I wrote it, it wasn’t with a sequel in mind; however, I did start to wonder what happened to the characters, so I’ve been tinkering with a sequel of sorts.  However, that is a bit off in the horizon.  All I can say is stay tuned.

My next book, “Sweet Little Lies,” is about a woman who comes home one afternoon and discovers evidence her husband is having an affair.  During their ensuing confrontation, she stabs and kills him.  Although the murder happens in the first few pages, it’s not so open-and-shut, as there are a lot secrets, twists and turns that happen along the way.

Review, Book Quotes:

Live and Let Die is a book that will leave you scratching your head trying to figure out the villian. And, just when you think you have it all figured out - think again - AND AGAIN!

Bianca Sloane wrote a 'WOW' book. The deeper the reader gets into the plot, the more complicated the story becomes, and the book ending is guaranteed to stun you. 

Sondra threw a wad of crumpled twenties at the driver and flung the door open, not bothering to close it. She didn't hear the cabbie yelling after her as she bounded up the front steps of the house and slammed herself against the door to make it open. The first thing she heard was her mother's pained cries. The first thing she saw was her father's face, and the shake of his head. Sondra's knees buckled and she crumpled into a pile on the gleaming hardwood floor.

The story has a woman gone missing and a distraught husband; a mother and father heart broken, and a sister with dozens of unanswered questions. As the story advances, disturbing information comes to light, and one sister begins investigating the death of the other sister. The plot ebbs and flows, heightened with drama and then it slowly takes a breath. The reader is left trying to find a suitable pace at which to read as the story is so captivating and the reader is left wanting to rush through it to the next scene, but don't. You will want to savour each page before the next one slaps you in the face.

He'd wanted to run screaming from the house and counted the minutes until he was free of all well-wishers, grieving friends, and in-laws. Satisfied, he turned and went in search of his phone, dialling the number from memory. I'm on my way. Be ready for me when I get there." He clicked the phone off and walked over to a picture of Tracy and him on their wedding day. He let his finger trail down her cheek before he picked it up and kissed the image. "Sometimes, we do what we have to do." He lingered over the picture for a few more minutes before he grabbed his coat and keys and left.

Each chapter is written in a different point of view and the book as a whole, contains very few grammatical errors. The plot and the characters are well developed and complicated. The author did an exceptional job with the dialogue and with the many twists and turns, created an outstanding first book.

"I must say, you could have fooled me. You still seem rather morose." Sondra laughed. "Gary, you're the only person I know who drops 'morose' into casual conversation." "I refuse to capitulate to the incessant butchering of the English language to which our present society is so prone. I do have a reputation to maintain." Sondra chuckled. "Wow. 'Capitulate'." Sophisticated, witty, urbane, Sondra always thought Gary was Frasier Crane's long-lost black twin.

Live and Let Die is a psychological thriller involving a murder. You will be mesmerized by the book and completely blown away by the ending. Live and Let Die has garnered 5 star ratings across the board and this reviewer is adding another.

Click the book to purchase:

Disclaimer/Disclosure. I received a complimentary copy of this book with no obligation for a positive review. No compensation – monetary or in kind – has been obtained for this post. Cover art, book description, and any excerpts are courtesy of the author, publisher, or PR firm. The views, beliefs, and opinions expressed by guest post authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views, beliefs, or opinions of My Life. One Story at a Time. My Life. One Story at a Time. is an advertising affiliate with Amazon, a small fee is earned when purchases are made using the above links.

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1 comment:

  1. Hi Donna,
    I'm so glad you enjoyed the book - had a lot of fun being interviewed by you, too! :)

    Thanks again!


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