My first novel, Love Lies Bleeding, will be released in the spring. As a little taste, here is a little glimpse into my main character, Frank Conley, a member of the New York State Police, and a small excerpt.
It was a story that had haunted Ithaca for decades. Libbie Morgan disappeared on a stormy night back in 1916, never to be seen again. In 1986, a hiker stumbles across an old skeleton at Buttermilk Falls State Park, buried with a rusty buttonhook and a locket full of pictures. Frank Conley of the New York State Police realizes that the woman was his aunt, who vanished all those years ago.
Aided by the town historian and one of Libbie’s childhood friends, Frank starts peeling away layers of history and confronting family demons. Finally, he pieces together Ithaca’s seventy-year-old secret as flashbacks unfold.
Now, you have to know, we tried to get Frank to tell us more, but he’s a pretty quiet guy, and it was almost like pulling teeth getting him to talk. Besides, he was still trying to get some paperwork cleared up for a murder the previous week, so he begged off early. That’s just the kind of guy Frank is. But here’s what we were able to get out of him before he excused himself.
Thank you for coming to chat with us today. Why do you think Laini chose you to represent her?
Don’t know much about that. She needed a stand-up guy who could put all the pieces together, I suppose. The fact that the skeleton happened to be related to me might have had something to do with it. And the fact that I’m a cop.
Tell us a little about yourself?
Do I have to? I’m a pretty quiet guy. Don’t like to talk about myself much. I work for the New York State Police. Divorced. I have a teenage daughter who, while being the light of my life, can also be a giant pain in the ass at times.
What is your birth date?
Why? You want to know my sign? Bake me a cake? What?
Where do you live? What is it about that area that drew you there?
Ithaca, New York. I was born here, so just ended up staying. I love it here. Lots of nature and beautiful scenery, state parks, great camping, hunting and fishing. Couldn’t imagine living anywhere else, I suppose.
What do you wish people would know about you?
Nothing. Look up the word private in the dictionary and it’s got my picture next to it. I do like chocolate chip cookies though. Any readers want to send me some chocolate chip cookies, then feel free. The most kind. Not those hardtack ones.
What music do you listen to?
Stuff my daughter’s embarrassed by. You know, the classics. Neil Young, Dylan, Joe Cocker.
Will we be seeing more of you or are you stepping out of the limelight?
Not sure. Gonna have to ask the boss lady that. I don’t think she’s decided yet.
What is your perfect evening?
Evening at Nonna’s with a glass of red wine and a good plate of pasta, I guess. Maybe a pretty lady with me. Linda fits the bill.
Is there anything you wish Laini had kept her mouth shut about?
I don’t think everybody needed to know about my drinking. I mean, geez. It was something I kept pretty much under control. Didn’t let it affect my work. But I’ve got a handle on it now. Hope my boss doesn’t read this book.
Do you feel you were portrayed fairly?
Yeah, I guess so. She seemed to get right to the meat of me. We’ve had some family dysfunction, I know. But I think all families have a little bit of that, don’t they?
What really pushes your buttons?
I hate the little creeps that mess up our area—selling drugs, driving drunk, and destroying old cemeteries just because they’re bored and want something to do.
What’s your favorite sports team?
The Jets, of course.
Why should the readers be interested in your story?
It’s got a little bit of history, a little bit of modern day content (well sorta modern-day), some romance, some sex, some violence. Isn’t that what everyone wants in a story?
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