The Second Man
by Emelle Gamble
GENRE: romantic suspense
Jill Farrell’s college reunion is coming up, but she wants no part of it. The man she once loved, Swedish exchange student Max Kallstrom, is rumored to be attending, but that doesn’t tempt her as Max disappeared from her life the night before the graduation, and has never been heard from since.
When her ex-husband, Andrew Denton, knocks on her door and announces he wants to make nice, and, “oh, by the way, one of their class alumni might be a murderer”, Jill’s resolve to avoid the event hardens.
Jill shuts Andrew’s efforts to reconnect down, and tries to put Max out of her mind.
And that’s that, until a second man knocks on her door, and the emotions of a time long ago overtakes her. Max Kallstrom tells Jill she’s the reason he has come to California. He asks her to please let him explain why she hasn’t heard from him for fifteen long years.
She’s willing to listen to what he has to say, but immediately realizes that her memories must guide her through a wrenching and dangerous few days. While her heart remembers a handsome young lover, she and her classmates are all different people now, and the reality of a murdered friend proves she can’t trust everyone.
What’s not so clear is if she should trust anyone . . . especially Max Kallstrom.
Jill stared at her ex.
Andrew was much the same, auburn hair and icy blue eyes, but somehow completely changed from the man she last saw over a decade ago. He wore an expensive, dark suit, like an attorney, and any appearance of youth was now gone. He was lean and intense, the man behind the eyes more complicated than she remembered.
When they were together, he had worn his hair short around his neck and ears. It was longer now, combed straight back and gelled. There was a scar at his right temple, small and flat, and perfectly round.
“Because I can’t think of a single thing we have to talk about,” she finally replied.
“Grudge holding doesn’t become you.” He set the vase on the ground at his feet. “We should talk some things out.”
“No, we shouldn’t. I’m leaving the past where it belongs. Dead and buried.”
“Okay, so we won’t talk about the past. We’ll focus on going forward and celebrating all we have in common.”
“Which is nothing.” Jill swallowed, her mouth dry.
“Not true. We’re alumni from the same college. The same class. And our reunion is in two weeks.”
Twice in one day she was being forced to travel back and time and think about a man and a broken relationship. Although her short marriage to Andrew, four years after they graduated, was not the same thing as her college romance with Max Kallstrom, two reminders in one day that she wasn’t a very good judge of men’s characters was distressing.
Emelle Gamble answering the question: Why do you write the kind of books you do?
Great question – and one I had to think about quite a while. The ‘kind’ of books I write are stories of ‘ordinary women in extraordinary circumstances’. Like the great movie director Alfred Hitchcock, who always used the common man at the center of his dangerous plots, I felt women like you or I would be the ones we could all relate to, empathize with, and root for.
And that’s what I want most of all with my characters, for the readers to root for their lives to work out in the fictional world they inhabit. About that fictional world…my biggest goal as a writer is provide stories where the characters act in a realistic, well-motivated manner – in other words – they usually do what you might do. Much of the women’s fiction romance market is based on fantasy, where the characters do things our best selves would do – my books tend to differ a bit in that my characters make decisions that are often flawed and not necessarily the wisest choice, but I hope they are always believable.
They are all relationship stories about women and the men they love, and the friends they hold dearest. They also all have a touch of something else; a mystery here, a ghost there, an exciting or shocking turn of events. This gives the folks in my imagined world an interesting extra conflict to deal with, and my readers an extra issue to think about.
SECRET SISTER is a woman’s fiction novel with a touch of paranormal that sets the plot in motion. It’s my take on true love.
DUETS, a prequel novella, and the novel MOLLY HARPER, set three years later, explore the multi-faceted impact family secrets have on the lives of three women and the people who love them. It’s heartfelt. And the final chapter is now available! DECEMBER WEDDING is the last chapter about Cruz and Molly, and I hope you enjoy their happy ever after. These books are my deepest heartfelt opinions about what makes a family good and bad.
DATING CARY GRANT is a modern Manhattan tale of a career woman, her estranged small town mayor hubby, and a certain drop-dead handsome neighbor who just might be the ghost of a certain screen icon. It’s fun! And my one book that is truly a romance.
The Second Man is a pure romantic suspense, a woman looking for a lost love and a murderer targeting her. I love, love, love this genre, and hope you will too. The part that memory plays in our lives is a central theme, as well as our propensity to never quite give up wondering about that love that got away.
Thank you for hosting me today! I hope all your readers will enjoy the excerpt and try the book to get to know me if they don’t already.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Emelle Gamble became a writer at an early age. At six years old, she was bursting with the requisite childhood stories of introspection, and this itch to tell tales evolved into bad teen poetry and tortured short works that, thankfully, never saw the light of day, or an editor’s red pen.
She took her first stab at writing a novel in an adult education class in Mobile, Alabama when her kids were in bed for the night. As ‘M.L. Gamble,’ she published several romantic suspense novels with Harlequin Intrigue. She now publishes novels of Ordinary Women in Extraordinary Situations with SoulMate Publishing and Posh Publishing …works ranging from women’s fiction to thrillers and romantic suspense.
Always intrigued by the words ‘what if’, Gamble’s books feature an ordinary woman confronted with an extraordinary situation. Emelle celebrates the adventurous spirit of readers, and hopes each will enjoy the exciting and surprising journeys her characters take.
Emelle lives in suburban Washington D.C. with her hero of thirty years, Philip, and two orange cats, Lucy and Bella. Like all good villains, the cats claim to have their reasons for misbehaving. Her children are happily launched on their own and are both contributing great things to society, their mother’s fondest wish.
Molly & Cruz
Dating Cary Grant
The Second Man
Emelle Gamble will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.