Monday, September 23, 2013

Secret Sister by Emelle Gamble Guest Post & Giveaway

Tour Schedule

To their friends, Nick and Cathy Chance have the perfect marriage. High school sweethearts who’ve been together for ten years, they’ve weathered challenges and are as committed as they were when they first fell in love. Cathy trusts Nick, Nick’s world revolves around his wife, and the future looks golden.
To everyone who knows them, Cathy Chance and Roxanne Ruiz have a perfect friendship. They connected in grade school and since then have been each other’s confident and trusted advisor. Cathy loves the gorgeous Roxanne like a sister, Roxanne has fun-loving Cathy’s back in every situation, though lately there’s been tension between these two best friends…
And then, on a sunny summer morning, the unthinkable occurs, throwing into doubt the truth of what each of these people really know about themselves and one another.
Will Roxanne’s sacrifice be too little, and too late? Should Nick’s love for his wife be strong enough to risk trusting his heart more than logic? Can Cathy’s devotion to Nick give her enough strength to convince him to see her for who she really is?
Secret Sister proves how strong, how stubborn, and how trustworthy love can be as Nick and Cathy and Roxanne are challenged to overcome the secrets, the lies … and one extraordinary twist of fate that turns their lives upside down.


“May I sit down, Nick?”
 
I nodded. Roxanne sat at the table in the kitchen. Despite her appearance, she seemed in control. I felt her eyes on me as I poured myself a glass of water.
The kitchen was a mess. For a second I was embarrassed by the dirty dishes, the soured milk on the counter. Then I got a grip. This wasn’t a social call and Roxanne wasn’t someone I was trying to impress. Every time she walked into the room, she did so with an agenda.
I turned around. “Do you want something to drink?”
She shook her head.
I sat across from her. She was pinching the back of her hand, like Cathy used to do.
“What’s going on? What do you want from me?” I sounded angrier than I thought I was.
“What do you mean?”
“You’re fooling around with your hands exactly like Cathy always did. You never had that habit. Why are you doing stuff like that?”
“What else am I doing?”
“You’re wearing your hair pulled back in a ribbon, and clothes like my wife wore.” I pointed at her blouse. “And you’re acting weird with the cat, like she’s your cat, among other things. It’s freaking my sister out.”
Roxanne fidgeted. “That’s ridiculous,” she said, but her face revealed I’d hit a nerve...


There were two big challenges in writing Secret Sister. The first was to use a supernatural/paranormal event, which of course is not ‘real’, as a structural plot element and not scare off readers who want a traditional love story that also examines faith, trust and how much anyone really knows about those they love.

Women’s fiction, particularly stories about a central romance,  tend to be very reality based; many stories revolve around every day domestic and work situations, relationships with family, lovers and husbands, and generally have two feet firmly planted in realistic happenings.

So when I decided to write a ‘trading places’ story, where one character’s ‘being’ or ‘soul’  is transferred by an extraordinary event into another character’s physical body, I wanted to be sure not to undercut the emotional impact and feel of the story by using something too weird. I think it worked based on the feedback I’ve had from readers and the seventy plus reviews on Amazon.

The second challenge was dealing with the sexuality and ‘moral character’ of Nick and Cathy and Roxanne, my three main subjects.

I believe the mind is a free roaming beast, and despite our good natures and moral beliefs, it can sometimes (often times) imagine or project a fantasy thought that surprises the person having it. I think it’s normal and average for a woman to have a ‘what if?’ thought about her best friend’s husband as a sexual partner, and I don’t think having that thought brands a person, in any way,  as bad or shameful. I’ve been surprised by the reaction of a few readers who felt that this honest depiction of these ‘untamed thoughts’ characters  in Secret Sister have, but don’t act on,  made the character unlikeable. Some readers didn’t think it was okay for a woman to silently consider the sexual prowess of a friend’s boyfriend, or that it’s traitorous for a man to wonder what sex would be like with his wife’s dearest friend.  I think real people do this all the time, with no intention of acting on any of their thoughts. They’re mature and in control of their actions, but who can control their own thoughts?

But that’s one of the things about writing and putting your stories out there…you will often get feedback about something you weren’t aware you were revealing about your characters, or yourself. HA! Who knew that what I thought was normal wasn’t a good fit for others? This was na├»ve of me, and when you add into this mix the fact that many readers want ‘ideal’ characters in their romance, it could have been a fatal mistake.

That said, I took on the challenge of realistically examining the situations this extraordinary event of a Cathy Chance being trapped in another woman’s body would have on an ordinary woman. I thought it was fun and intriguing way to look at the big issue in Secret Sister, which was, how well do we really know our true love, or our self?

So far most readers I’ve heard from enjoyed the depiction of these struggles in Secret Sister. Which is what writers probably always hope for when they choose an unusual structural or thematic element in a story.

Fifty shades of Grey? You think S/M will sell millions? Twilight? Teen Vampires, really? A Wizard School for kids? No way will that sell, I’m sure more than a few people said.

But as a dear friend, Alice Seaman, once wrote in a card to me when I first got published… ‘No guts, no glory’.  So bring on the challenges and Emelle Gamble will give them a try!


Purchase SECRET SISTER from Amazon



Emelle Gamble was a writer at an early age, bursting with the requisite childhood stories of introspection which evolved into bad teen poetry and took her first stab at full length fiction in an adult education writing class when her kids were in bed. As M.L. Gamble, she published several romantic suspense novels with Harlequin. She has contracted with Soul Mate Publishing for Secret Sister, summer of 2013, and Dating Cary Grant, an early 2014 release.
Always intrigued by the words ‘what if’, Emelle’s books feature an ordinary woman confronted with an extraordinary situation.  She most enjoys reading stories that surprise and amaze her, and hopes her readers will enjoy the challenging and exciting journeys her characters take.
Emelle lives in suburban Washington D.C.  with her husband, Phil, her hero of thirty years,  and two orange cats, Lucy and Bella. These girls, like all good villains, have their reasons for misbehaving. Her daughter, Olivia, and son, Allen, are happily launched on their own and contributing great things to society, their mother’s fondest wish.


Ways to stay connected with Emelle Gamble:


Emelle will be awarding a $100 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during this tour AND her Reviews Tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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63 comments:

  1. Thank you for hosting this stop on my blog tour, Read Your Writes! I've enjoyed many of your reviews the last couple of months. Hope you liked the "Challenges" piece. Thanks again!!!

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    1. Hi Emelle!!!! I REALLY did enjoy your post. Thank you. You know the blurb had me curious. The excerpts which are apart of your tour are interesting. But the guest post is what really has me wondering about the story and if what I think happens actually happens. Thank you so much for taking the time to write it for me.

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    2. You are so very welcome, Kim! Your blog site rocks...great reviews that feel honest and unvarnished, which is how I love them. Let me know if you'd like to read and review and I'll be more than happy to gift you an eBook! Keep up the great work supporting authors!

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    3. Thank you Emelle. I will definitely read the book. But unfortunately, it probably won't be until next year. That sounds bad.. My review list is pretty scary.

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  2. I enjoyed reading the guest post, thank you.

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    1. Hi Rita. Isn't it a great post?!!!!! Thank you for stopping by.

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  3. You're welcome, Rita! Good luck in the drawing. And if you get a chance to read Secret Sister, let me know what you think about my character's inability to control their naughty thoughts! HA! Thanks for posting.

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  4. The insight on your process around the use of paranormal and the moral dilemma of your characters was interesting, Emelle. I personally loved your use of paranormal which gave the main character such a unique perspective on the story. Seeing her marriage from outside her own experience was a vantage point most of us would probably not want to view. Love the blog, Emelle.

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    1. Thank you for stopping by today Deborah. Emelle's guest post is really selling me on the book. I have to find out if what I think happens actually happens.

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    2. Thank you so much for posting, Deborah Barnhart! As usual you put your finger on the biggest challenge...I could show how it would feel to be 'lost' inside another person, but would readers want to read about it? Your support means the world! Good luck in the drawing. XXX

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  5. Great post, I love books with secrets :)
    ~Karina V

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    1. Thanks for stopping by. If you check out the book, PLEASE come back and tell me what you thought of it.

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  6. Okay, Karina V! Secret Sister is for you! Lots of secrets...and actually, that's the big topic. Do we all keep secrets? Thanks for posting, and good luck in the drawing! If you get a chance to read Secret Sister, let me know what you think!

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  7. This story poses a serious problem and I have no idea how it can be handled. I am hoping that you do solve the situation, because I would hate for it to end badly.

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    1. Gosh, me too MomJane! If you'd like to read it and give me your opinion, email me privately at emellegamble@aol.com and I'll send you a FREE copy. then you can report back. I'm not kidding. I love the 'challenge' of posing a set-up someone thinks is too tough to fix! Thanks for posting, and great good luck no matter what in the drawing!

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  8. I think what sounds best about Secret Sisters is that Nick and Cathy are high school sweethearts, and all of the secrets and lies. I enjoy reading any book that contains secrets and lies. I can't wait to find out what they all are. This book is amazing. Thanks for having the giveaway.

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    1. You're welcome, Anita Yancey! Thanks for posting. Yes, I liked the high school sweetheart aspect. While I didn't find true love with mine (HA!) my dearest friend did and I like that model of people knowing each other for years, but still having some secrets. Good luck in the drawing!

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  9. Really interesting post...it's always cool to learn more about an author's process!

    vitajex(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. Vitajex...I always hope to hear from you. And thanks for not being too bored with all you're learning about me and Secret Sister! Good luck in the drawing!

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  10. Thanks for sharing the great excerpt and the giveaway. Sounds like a great book. evamillien at gmail dot com

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Eva. Good luck with the giveaway.

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    1. thanks for posting Brittany Mercer! And good luck in the drawing.

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  12. Fascinated by the supernatural element!! And I do like the discussion of "naughty thoughts."

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    1. Hey good things! I liked the supernatural aspect too. I love all kinds of books, including woo-woo paranormal, but I think my favorite are small, 'is it or isn't it?' plots about ghosts, etc. Keeps me guessing. Thank you for posting, and good luck in the drawing!

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    2. Hahaha...

      Now Emelle, you said ghosts... You totally took my thought process somewhere else. Dang it.

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    3. Kim, I do have a ghost in my next book from SoulMate in February. Dating Cary Grant is all about a career girl in Manhattan, her estranged husband, and the sexy ghost of a certain film icon who lives downstairs! I'll remind you when it's released!

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  13. Eva Millien and Kim, our hostess with the mostess, won a FREE copy of Secret Sister! thanks all for posting, Kim, send me your email at emellegamble@aol.com and I'll shoot you a gift eBook! Best to you all! Emelle

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    1. Oh wow... Thank you Emelle. Congratulations Eva.

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    1. Good luck in the drawing, Shawntelle! thanks for posting. Be sure and check out my Author Emelle Gamble Facebook...I've got a drawing at Sweepstakes at the top of the page. You could WIN an Kindle Paperwhite! Everyone, come on down! HA! I love giving stuff away to my favorite people...Readers!

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    2. Thanks for stopping by Shawntelle

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    3. Awesome!!! I love when authors giveaway stuff... Even better when I win. Plus it's really cool when I don't win and see someone I know win.

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  15. the plot seems fresh coz i haven't something similar so far !! it sounds awesome and thank you for hosting the giveaway :D

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    1. I know. I think because I don't know what's going to happen has me intrigued. I have a guess, but I don't know if my guess is what's really going to happen.

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  16. Anything paranormal intrigues me because it has no rules!

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    1. Ah Meghan, a girl after my own heart. We rule breakers love to go our own way! This was one thing I kept hearing from editors when I was trying to sell Secret Sister...you can't have a paranormal element in a women's romantic fiction book! HA! Wrong again, editors! Thanks for posting, Meghan. Good luck in the giveaway!

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  17. Looking forward to reading it. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  18. I love new authors/friends! Thank You for the book & giveaway.
    leamei1981@yahoo.com

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    1. Isn't it AWESOME talking to authors!!!!

      Thanks for stopping by.

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  19. Sounds like a great read!!
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

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    1. It does sound like a good read. Thanks for stopping by. Good luck.

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  20. What sounds good about this book? The secrets and the stubborn characters.

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    1. Hi Amy.

      I'm looking forward to reading this book. I can't wait to find out what's really going on.

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by. Hopefully you'll win.

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  21. Interesting background discussion points. Thanks for the excerpt too.

    kareninnc at gmail dot com

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  22. I just want to know what is going on. It sounds like a interesting book. It is now added to my TBR list!
    Thank you for the giveaway!

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  23. I know I am late in the game, but I loved this book...At the end I was not sure...I made my own assumption...but I loved it Emelle...You are a wonderful author...my first book and can't wait for more...
    It made my think of a TV show that is on...It definitely a soul searching book...and thank you the giveaway even if it's over now...All my best...xoxo

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  24. I know I am late in the game, but I loved this book...At the end I was not sure...I made my own assumption...but I loved it Emelle...You are a wonderful author...my first book and can't wait for more...
    It made my think of a TV show that is on...It definitely a soul searching book...and thank you the giveaway even if it's over now...All my best...xoxo

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    1. You're not late. The giveaway is still going on.

      Thank you for taking the time to stop by!

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  25. This book looks excellent! I love how there are secrets that the characters have to overcome in order to move forward. I agree that people have doubts, feelings, etc that happen and they have to deal with the realty of the each situation. I can't wait to read this!

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  26. I like they way that you thought about the taboo's that went into your book. Thanks for writing the book

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  27. Very curious to find out what goes down between the 3 of them

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    1. I know!!! Look under the "Book Reviews" section to see Mona's review of Secret Sister.

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  28. Thank you for hosting for such a good book I have not had a chance to read it yet but have bought it

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    1. Thanks Felicia. I hope you enjoy it.

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  30. Secret Sister sounds like a fantastic read -- the excerpt has me wanting to know what happens!!

    Happy Holidays and thanks for the amazing giveaway!
    elizabeth @ bookattict . com

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  31. This book seems very interesting and original. I hope to read it soon. Thanks for the giveaway!

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