Friday, July 1, 2016

Cheryl Upchurch ~ 2nd guest post and her novel The Girl and the Gangster

TITLE: The Girl and the Gangster
RELEASE DATE: February 20, 2016
AUTHOR: Cheryl Upchurch
 KEYWORDS: mystery, suspense, thriller, romance, gangsters, st. louis, crime
 CATEGORIES: Mystery/Suspense/Romance
ISBN: 978-1523656059
IMPRINT: Black Hawk

Sara and her twin brother, Jack, run a fledging investigative service in St. Louis, Mo. They are hired by a rich man who inadvertently leads them to the Cunnelli crime family and the boss, Anthony, who is smitten by Sara’s inclination to flirt with danger which includes being shot at, slashed, whacked with a baseball bat and almost jailed for moving a dead body. Sara must wrestle with her conscience when faced with danger while Anthony Cunnelli, a self-professed criminal, comes repeatedly to her aid, unheeded but heartily welcomed. Her sometimes boy friend Agent Dan Brady, chafes at Sara’s relationship with Cunnelli and worries that her morals are being compromised by a slick talking grifter. Sara leans first to the gangster that saves her, comforts her and desperately tries to change his life to keep her.

ONE LINER:  The story of one woman’s ambivalence toward a gangster that loves her and the law she holds dear to her heart.

Cheryl Upchurch currently lives in Missouri and is a widow with two grown children, Mindi Rowland and John D. Upchurch.

She has a BS in Secondary Education, History and English as duel majors and earned her MA in Counseling. She has worked as a middle school guidance counselor for seventeen years in the Parkway School District in St. Louis County and has been writing all her life. Her first book The Metamorphosis of a Middle School Dweeb was published in 2010 based on the suicide of a child due to bullying.

Guest Post
The man’s a sociopath thinking it’s quite all right to kill his wife. After all, she’s fat, can’t have that, and has a cat that hates him back, medical bills from his wife’s fall down the steps at the public library. He couldn’t collect a dime of insurance as the fat bitch was talking on her cell phone to her equally fat sister. He calls Kelly investigations to hire them to kill his wife. At this point I am looking to add some humor, some positive craziness.
The reader doesn’t like this guy right off so when my heroine turns him into the cops it’s karma, the righting of the wrong. That would be the end of that, but it isn’t because they just moved into their shotgun office from their garage. Did they have the call recorded? Of course not and that’s why the sociopath walked. Even though Sara’s life is jeopardized by this man returning with a gun he will not prevail as Sara protects herself by throwing her computer at the man while her secretary pulls a gun out of her bra and wounds crazy man just in the nick of time. Justice delayed in not always justice denied.

I used to be a middle school counselor so my students were fodder for my imagination. I was never disappointed by their effortless ability to ruin some kid’s life for that day. A real drama calling for tears and sniffing of agony for one popular girl (or so she thought) was not being allowed to sit at the same table with her friends. She had been ostracized, banished to the hell of a different table to eat lunch! The problem was if this happened at school and the same girl was torn down to her naked self on Facebook and Tweeted to death that she looked at Shelly’s ex-boyfriend.(Shelly was the queen, the alpha of all the cute popular girls, the meanest of the mean girls) this detested girl might commit suicide. This is where I get some of my ideas about teens, plus I have five grandsons who think they are cool and tell me precious gems of adolescence knowledge.

I have less sympathy for adults as they have had time to redirect basic impulses when these impulses lead to criminal behavior. For instance, one mobster in The Girl and The Gangster thinks it’s quite all right to shoot Sara Kelly because she would not cough up some information she did not have. Here I must insert that I like to have fun with my characters, pop in some humor. Instead of the mobster shooting Sara he gets shot with a paint ball gun by Sara’s Grammy, who has a pretty good aim. Throughout this book the young handsome gangster Anthony Cunnelli comes to Sara’s aid, saving her life on one occasion. He is kind, solicitous, and falls in love with Sara.

This is wonderful except Sara can’t give her heart to a man running a criminal enterprise. It hurts Sara because she sees so much good in Anthony and defends him to others who think she trusts the wrong man. How often do we give our trust to people who don’t deserve it?

How often are we disappointed?

The reader has been in same situation. Are people able to change? What causes that change and why do some people stick with the same unhappy life? When I write I want the reader to think about aspects of life.

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