The Clock Strikes Midnight by Joan C. Curtis – Guest Post + Giveaway


Cover_The Clock Strikes MidnightThe Clock Strikes Midnight by Joan C. Curtis

The Clock Strikes Midnight is a race against time in a quest for revenge and atonement. This is a story about hate, love, betrayal and forgiveness.

If you found out you had only 3 months to live, what would you do? That’s the question Janie Knox faces in this fast-paced mystery full of uncertainty and tension that will surprise you until the very last page.

Hiding behind the façade of a normal life, Janie keeps her family secrets tucked inside a broken heart. Everything changes on the day she learns she’s going to die. With the clock ticking and her time running out, she rushes to finish what she couldn’t do when she was 17—destroy her mother’s killer. But she can’t do it alone.

Janie returns to her childhood home to elicit help from her sister. She faces more than she bargained for when she discovers her sister’s life in shambles. Meanwhile her mother’s convicted killer, her stepfather, recently released from prison, blackmails the sisters and plots to extract millions from the state in retribution. New revelations challenge Janie’s resolve, but she refuses to allow either time or her enemies to her stop her from uncovering the truth she’s held captive for over 20 years.


Guest Post

Where in the World Do Those Characters Come From?

When reading fiction, I often wonder where do the characters come from.

Where, for example, did Mr. Ripley of The Talented Mr. Ripley come from? Patricia Highsmith, the amazine suspense writer, developed a fascinating character in Mr. Ripley. He’s charming, but he kills people. He not only kills people, but he doesn’t seem to mind doing so. He is a pure sociopath. Where in Miss Highsmith’s head did he come from?

Currently I’m reading Stuart West’s Godland. The villian is really scary. In a recent interview Mr. West said the bad guy was based on his grandfather. Of course, he added his grandfather was not as bad, but still, not a very nice person. Yikes!

People ask me where my characters come from. My answer is they are a mixture of me and many people I know. For example, In The Clock Strikes Midnight, Marlene is most like me, but she also differs in many ways. I’ve never been an alcoholic; I’ve never been abused and I’ve never been depressed. I know all about these things, though, through my past careers. Marlene is like me in her determination and her moral standards. Her sister, Janie, on the other hand, is nothing like me. And, I might add, nothing like my younger sister. Nonetheless Marlene and Janie are 18 months apart in age (as are me and my sister). Their mother, Eloise, resembles no one I know. She probably evolved in the same way Highsmith’s Mr. Ripley evolved. What fun to think about.

Where do your characters come from?

About the Author

Author Pic_The Clock Strikes MidnightJoan Curtis authored four business books published by Praeger Press. She is also published numerous stories, including:

• Butterflies in a Strawberry Jar, Sea Oats Review, Winter, 2004
• A Memoir Of A Friend, Chicken Soup for the Working Woman’s Soul, 2003 and Flint River Review, 1996
• Jacque’s Story in From Eulogy to Joy, 2002
• The Roommate, Whispering Willow Mystery Magazine, April 1997
• A Special Sort of Stubbornness, Reader’s Digest, March 1997,
• My Father’s Final Gift, Reader Digest, November 1994

Her first place writing awards include : Best mystery manuscript in the Malice Domestic Grants competition, best proposal for a nonfiction piece in the Harriette Austin competition, and best story, Butterflies in a Strawberry Jar in the Cassell Network of Freelance Writer’s Association.

Other Books:

Hire Smart and Keep ‘Em: How to Interview Strategically Using POINT, Praeger Press, an imprint of ABC-Clio, Santa Barbara, CA 2012.

The New Handshake: Sales Meets Social Media, Praeger Press, 2010, an imprint of ABC-Clio, Santa Barbara, CA

Managing Sticky Situations at Work: Communication Secrets for Success in the Workplace, 2009, Praeger Press, an imprint of ABC-Clio, Santa Barbara, CA.

Strategic Interviewing: Skills for Savvy Executives, 2000 published by Quorum Books, Greenwood Press.

“I write about characters who remind me of myself at times and my sister at times, but never fully so. My stories are told from a woman’s point of view. Characters drive my writing and my reading.”

Having grown up in the South with a mother from Westchester County New York, Joan has a unique take on blending the southern traditions with the eye of a northerner. She spent most of her childhood in North Carolina and now resides in Georgia.

Links: website:

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9 comments / Add your comment below

  1. What a fascinating title and concept for a book. What would YOU do if only given 3-months to live? Would you spend your time making good on past regrets? Or would you spend that time letting go of the past and creating a Present full of Joy that could be given as a Living Legacy to others? Would your 3-months fly past in the snapping of a finger? Or would those 3-months expand into a Century of Time? Eventually, we all must approach our final moments. What Would you Do — What Will you Do — with Yours?

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