by S. M. Freedman
For Agent Josh Metcalf, memories are ghosts. They are blood-soaked backpacks and the smell of strawberry Chap Stick. Josh is haunted by a little girl who went missing his first summer on the force. Decades later his search has become an obsession, and he's pinned the photos of hundreds of missing children to his wall of tears. All the children had psychic abilities. All the cases went cold -- with no witnesses, no useful tips, and no children ever recovered. Until a woman gets injured trying to stop an abduction, and Josh comes face to face with his personal ghost.
For Rowan Wilson, a meteorite hunter for NASA's Spaceguard program, memories are lies. The childhood she thought she knew has been erased, leaving a black hole in its place. New recollections are flaring to life: men dressed like priests, a ranch in the mountains, mind control, and rape. Each new memory draws her closer to one of the other missing children, Sumner Macey; and to I Fidele, the underground organization for whom kidnapping is just the beginning.
For Sumner, memories have become weapons. He's sharpened each of his with surgical precision: the ranch, the doctrine, the mind-wash, and the murders. He's eager to slice at the black sludge pumping through I Fidele's heart, desperate to cripple those who stole his childhood.
To I Fidele, non-psychics are cockroaches in need of extermination, an inferior species destroying the earth. They're ready to enforce eugenics on a global scale. If they succeed, only those faithful to their doctrine will survive. Crossing several genres, The Faithful will appeal to anyone who enjoys supernatural mysteries; high-tech, edge-of-your-seat suspense flavored with paranormal elements; thrillers involving psychics, occult and high stakes action/adventure; tied up with a depth and humor usually reserved for works of literary fiction.
~Buy THE FAITHFUL:
AN INTERVIEW WITH S. M.
-What inspired you to become a writer?
It goes all the way back to my grandmother, who never left the house without a book in her purse, just in case. I remember watching soaps with her on afternoons when we’d visit. I was maybe three years old, breathing in the smell of tea and cigarette smoke, and utterly fascinated by the drama unfolding on the screen. It was at her side that I realized how much more I enjoyed fantasy than reality.
-What draws you to your genre of choice?
I’ve never really understood this notion of pigeonholing a story into a narrow category. The best books I’ve ever read have been cross-genre spectacles of awesomeness. Of course a book needs to fit into the proper spot on the bookstore shelf, but if I worried about that I’d probably end up with an enormous case of writer’s block. Instead I take what fascinates me from each genre and make myself a word stew: a little mystery, a chunk of suspense, a dash of horror and a sprinkle of romance, just for good measure. After all, that’s life, right?
-Give us a fun or interesting fact you learned researching this book.
The guards on the White Sands Missile Range have very big guns, and they will be more than happy to stop you when you try to get just one teensy tiny peek at the Spaceguard facilities. Bringing your mom and children along as a diversion won’t help, no matter how cute and innocent they look.
-Which of your characters would you go out for pizza with?
Not Ryanne, she’d eat it all! I think I’d choose Sumner. He generally says the wrong thing at the wrong time, and I have to admit I get a kick out of his foot-in-mouth disease. I think we’d have some laughs.
-For aspiring writers, any tips?
It’s pretty simple: Write. Every day, even when it’s painful, even when the only words you can manage suck like a three-day layover in Kabul. Just keep writing the story, and don’t let anyone tell you it can’t be done. Don’t edit or doubt yourself. Once you finish, spend at least twice as long cutting useless words and trimming the flab. No one wants to hear how your character went from the shower to the breakfast table, unless she hog-tied a ninja assassin along the way. Keep trimming, a layer at a time, until all you’ve got left is tender meat and juicy bones. Then it’s ready.
-Is there a genre you could never write? Which and why?
Corset-tearing romance. Vampire romance. Hmm, I’m sensing a pattern. I enjoy mixing romance into a story that’s got a lot of other stuff going on, but I don’t think I could stick it out for an entire novel if that’s all I was writing.
ABOUT S. M.
S. M. Freedman is a top-ranked Amazon author in the Mystery, Thriller and Suspense categories, and a member of the WorldWiseWriters group. She lives in Vancouver with her husband, two children and a giant orange cat.
She studied acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, and spent years as a private investigator and business owner.
Inspired by authors of many different genres (favorites include Sue Grafton, Diana Gabaldon, Jodi Picoult, Stephen King, Justin Cronin, Suzanne Collins and Lawrence Hill, to name a few) she eventually turned back to her first love: writing.
The Faithful, a paperback and kindle Amazon Bestseller in both the US and the UK, and a Quarter Finalist in the 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, is her debut novel. She's currently working on the sequel.
Find her online:
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