Before The Telegraph (October 2014) and The Independent (January 2015) discovered the appeal of Suburban Noir fiction, I took to categorizing my novels under that banner because my work doesn't fit neatly into the thriller or suspense genres. My novels and stories reveal a world where psychological suspense meets psychological horror. Exploring the conflicts and betrayals leading to crime fascinates me far more than stories of detection. I want to follow character journeys, peer into the psychological forces that drive fictional people to do what they do, and witness the way small choices accumulate, leading to unforeseen and life-changing consequences.
Readers have said my writing makes the mundane menacing.
This uneasy world is portrayed in my seven novels as well as in my short fiction, which has been published in Ellery Queen and Alfred Hitchcock Magazines, The Shroud Quarterly Journal, and various flash fiction e-zines.
Whether it’s a realistic style or a side trip into a world where ghosts make themselves known, as I do in the Madison Keith ghost story series, characters battle the antagonists in their own minds as often as they wrestle with the flesh and blood people in their lives.
I graduated from San Jose State University with a degree in history, and worked in the high tech industry for nearly twenty years. Now, I write near the ocean where I live with my husband and two cats.
“... the nuanced and believable story paints its picture in striking colors.”
– Kirkus Reviews
From Grant (Beloved Ghosts, 2015, etc.) comes a novel about a minister’s wife in desperate need of her husband’s attention.
Gabrielle, an attractive young woman whose “full breasts were the only fleshy part of her body,” finds herself at a difficult moment in her marriage to Mark, a motorcycle-riding pastor. “From the beginning,” the narrative says, “it had been a silent battle between her and Grace Lutheran Church for Mark’s attention.” As time accumulates after the couple has their first child, the battle becomes more heated. While Mark busies himself with a controversial opportunity for the church to expand, his love life with Gabrielle dwindles to nothing. “Her touch was supposed to entice him. She didn’t want to ask him to make love to her. She shouldn’t have to!” In addition to her feeling rejected by her husband, she’s overly attached to her young son, Peter: “It terrified Gabrielle to think of Peter going out into the world without her, learning things she didn’t want him to know, picking up habits she didn’t like.” Will Gabrielle’s desire, anger, and loneliness boil over like a volcano or sink into a detached domestic existence? Since the book opens with a scene that involves a dead body, clearly the reader can expect something of the former. Enter Allysan, a “musky” woman who attends prayer meetings at a place where “They believe God is active, not just a remote being that has to be invoked through correct words and structured worship services.” What sort of effect might an active God have on a decisively inactive libido? Featuring men and women who are as complex as they are familiar—the conservative albeit hip pastor, the judgmental though tender mother—the nuanced and believable story paints its picture in striking colors. The only bump in the road may be its predictability, given the premise of a disinterested husband. That aside, the book doesn’t fail to provide an affair that is anything but languid.
Astutely detailed if a tad unwoven.
Pub Date: July 31, 2015
Page count: 474pp
Publisher: D2C Perspectives
Review Posted Online: Sept. 21, 2015
Grant’s (Getting Ahead, 2014, etc.) novel tackles social media and its impact on real people.
Allie is an attractive woman with a nice home, a successful husband, and a supportive group of friends. That is, if you consider her “friends” on the Facebook-like site AboutFace to be more than virtual acquaintances. Though she has known most of her circle since high school, their interactions lean more toward status updates and snarky comments than deep conversations. It’s a fact that annoys her husband, Marcus, to no end. As he tells his wife, “You can’t read about someone’s life and click favorite and make one-sentence comments and call that a friendship. You just can’t.” The question is simple, even if the answer is not: just how well do these people really know each other? The book attacks our world of constant though limited interaction head-on, exploring characters ranging from hotshot PR man Jake to deeply religious, Bible-quoting Tiffany (sample status update: “ ‘Every place where you set your foot will be yours.’ Deuteronomy 11:24”). Grant also takes on hot topics like the addictive qualities of a constantly buzzing smartphone and the effects of seeing only the carefully curated positive aspects of other people’s lives (e.g., an expensive new home). Though the narrative can be heavy-handed at times—there’s even a right-wing friend who posts articles about “how we all need to arm ourselves and hunker down before the government turns us into slaves”—the characters for the most part emerge as genuine and familiar. After all, we all know someone who can’t seem to put her phone down, someone who gives “the impression she couldn’t live without her social network.” Maybe it’s even you.
A perceptive, inviting look at the thornier aspects of constant instant communication.
Pub Date: March 6, 2015
Page count: 532pp
Publisher: D2C Perspectives
Review Posted Online: July 22, 2015
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2015
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