Saturday, September 5, 2009

Rachel Nunes' "Saving Madeline" - (Hold on to your heart)

Rachel Nunes does not disappoint in her delivery of a tale that touches on what is sadly becoming an all-too-prevalent modern day epidemic.
The story opens with a sinister kidnapping of a 4-year-old girl that turns out to be a desperate rescue effort by the girl’s non-custodial father. He feels she is in danger from her mother’s carefully concealed drug use, but the officers who catch up to him don’t agree.
The reluctant defense attorney is assigned to the case, which she doesn’t believe in, until she spends more time getting to know the defendant. Then her heart is torn, and she uses every resource at her disposal in an effort to get at the truth.
Nunes style is engaging, and she skillfully weaves different threads into her tale. Some surprises await you along the trail of this modern-day cautionary fiction story that addresses an issue which Nunes researched from true events.
You won’t leave it without feeling a sense of outrage at the injustices done to innocents, and a desire to champion those who wish to protect these little ones.
Make a comment here and be entered to win a copy of this book! Winner can be found at on Sept. 26th.

Shirley: Rachel, thanks for coming to meet me in this courtroom. Dibs on the judge’s chair! Aw. You beat me to it. Okay, then I’ll take the witness stand. So when did you get the idea of writing “Saving Madeline?”
Rachel: Several years ago, shock radiated throughout Utah when an infant was found dead after ingesting meth she had found in a plastic bag on the floor of her home. What made this tragic circumstance even more notable and horrific is that weeks earlier her father had forcibly taken her across state lines, hoping to protect her from her mother’s substance abuse.
Authorities found the child, placed her back with her mother, and sent the father to jail for assault and burglary. A little over a week later, the baby was dead and the mother was charged with desecration of a dead body for moving her daughter to cover up the mother’s drug abuse. All charges against the father were eventually dropped.
Sadly, this is not the only story of a child becoming the victim of a parent’s drug use. In my research, I found many more instances, some of which I’ve written under the Author Comments for the book on my website at Keep in mind that though the idea for this novel was inspired by the true-life stories I researched, the plot, characters, and resolution in Saving Madeline are completely fictional. No actual experiences or interviews of real -life people were used in the text itself.

Shirley: You write it like you’ve had some legal experience. Do you have a law degree tucked in your files, or did you visit courtrooms to find out what happens in the legal world?
Rachel: Don't judges always take the children home and give them Ding Dongs?* :-) Actually, I researched a lot of information on the Internet, and I also chatted with a local attorney who practices in the Salt Lake. He was very helpful.
Shirley: Okay, quit spinning around in that chair, you’re making me dizzy. How long did it take you to write “Saving Madeline?”
Rachel: Would you stand still? Why are you moving so much? Oh, it's me. That's better. I first had the idea for Saving Madeline about three years ago, but I was working on another series at the time. I finished the book two years ago after about five months of writing. I let it sit for a year before rewriting and submitting to my publisher, which is always the best thing to do if you have the time. Usually, I'm less than a year from idea to published book.
Shirley: You are certainly tackling some tough topics with your books lately. What feedback have you gotten from readers?
Rachel: So far I've had no hate mail or bomb threats. Of course, the book isn't in stores yet, so that might be why. Thankfully, all the reviewers have given the thumbs up!
Shirley: Okay, put down the gavel. I know you’re passionate about your work, but hammering on the podium without that little protective circle thingy might make the real judge mad! What do you have in mind for your next subject?
Rachel: I plan to publish "Imprints" next year, which is a sequel to my novel Eyes of a Stranger. In this novel, Autumn, on the day of her father's funeral, discovers she has a supernatural gift (sometimes she calls it a curse) that was previously only hinted at in Eyes of a Stranger. With this gift, she is able reunite missing people with their families--though often it puts her in grave danger and at odds with a certain police detective. I think this will develop into a series of at least three or four books, possibly more. I also see it as a movie someday or TV series. But we'll see. I'm really excited about it. It's a fun story. Autumn will have two love interests through most of the books, and I'm really not sure who she'll eventually end up with. Though it may occasionally seem obvious to the reader, love is not always what it appears. Each book will also deal with a variety of serious subjects, as Autumn attempts to unravel all the family ties and problems in each case.
Shirley: That sounds interesting. It’s a good thing that you write about things that bring social problems to readers’ awareness.
Ooo, I’m feeling kind of hungry. Is that a double box of donuts on the evidence table?
Rachel: Actually those were my breakfast and lunch. Oh, and my dinner. Haven't you ever heard of the donut diet?* I've already lost ten pounds. I think. My son dropped the scale into the pool the other day. I'm sure it still works. But I have two more dozen in the car. Here, I can spare one. Take your choice.
Shirley: Aha! You left the judge’s chair of your own free will and choice, so it’s mine now! Ah, cushy! Hey, is there a cream-filled donut in there for me? Toss it on over… wait… where are you going? Who’s out there? The BAILIFF? (gulp) Oh, hello, sir. No, there’s been a misunderstanding. I’m not impersonating a judge. I’m only sitting here temporarily. You can ask my friend, Rachel.
Rachel: It's true, officer. Actually, I was sort of sitting here and then . . . What? No, I don't know anything about those gavel marks. What do you mean you'll have to arrest me? Look, want a donut? Sure, I have a cream-filled one here with your name on it. I'll just be leaving now. Thanks, officer--I'll find my own way out. Carry on with what you were doing.
Shirley: No, no, no I don’t wear bracelets. Besides, silver’s not my color. They’re too tight!
Rachel: Don’t worry, Shirley, I’ll write you out of this predicament. Maybe I’ll get to it in my next book.
Shirley: Thanks, Rachel, if anyone can do it, you can! And anyone who wants to send an innocent person a treat in jail, I’m volunteering for your kind-hearted donations.
Rachel's Notes:
*There are no Ding Dongs or other boxed pastry in "Saving Madeline."
*Do not try this at home. The creator of the donut diets is under indictment for murdering his mother-in-law with his diet regimen.


Jewel's Gems said...

Great interview. I love this book. It's now one of my favorites:-)

Cindy Beck said...

Thanks for the review ... and the hilarious interview. :)I'll be sending you some treats while you're in the slammer. :)

D'ann said...

I enjoyed your review. I've always enjoyed books by Rachel, i'm looking forward to this one!

Danyelle Ferguson said...

LOL! Great interview! Thanks for the book recommendation!

Suze said...

I hope I win!!!

Wendy said...

I've read a few interviews on this book already, but I love how you do yours. Very creative!

Shirley Bahlmann said...

Thanks, Wendy. I'm not what you'd call traditional by any means. When I put my fingers to the keyboard, things just happen! Glad you enjoyed it.

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