When elderly client Doris Hargrave informs private investigator Alexandra Neve that her beloved antique ruby heart necklace has gone missing for the second time in a period of over sixty years, Alexandra knows this is no ordinary jewellery theft. The ruby heart is a family
heirloom and the only thing that connects an ailing Mrs Hargrave to her parents, who were murdered during the Holocaust.
To solve the case, Alexandra and her business partner, blind history professor Ashford Egan, must sift through obscure Holocaust documents to find out the truth. It’s that way that they learn of a secret World War II-era love affair which could hold the key to all the answers they are looking for. Meanwhile, Egan is under immense pressure from the university to quit his private investigating business, and Alexandra is afraid that a man she trusts will leave her. Again.
When Alexandra begins to receive anonymous threats and her flat is vandalised, this all becomes personal. Knowing that there is someone out there to hurt her, Alexandra vows to find that elusive ruby heart if it’s the last thing she ever does.
I’d like to welcome Cristelle Comby to Brooke Blogs. Thank you so much for stopping by! I enjoyed your guest post and I am excited to share it with my readers.
A writer’s life, in five points.
By Cristelle Comby
1. It’s a lonely job. This may be obvious to many but until you really start it is difficult to fully imagine how solitary the life of a writer can be. Almost every writer needs peace and quiet. This can be difficult to find and your tranquil writing area can be at the mercy of the phone, family and other occupations. Finding the perfect place to write is the first step. However, this will invariably lead you away from everyone you know. It will be just you, your room, a computer and in my case, copious amounts of coffee.
2. Writing takes longer than you think. You have to write, re-write, re-write again, and probably do that several more times until you and anyone else reading it will be happy. The myth of Jack Kerouac writing his most famous novel On the Road in 3 weeks on one continuous piece of paper turned out to be a lie; it was in fact years; although by then he was a best seller. Even if you can fool people into thinking the writing didn’t take a long time, like Kerouac, it definitely will. Once you think it is ready, someone will probably be ready to tell you your work isn’t.
3. It’s harder than it looks. You might think that once you have a good story in your head, coupled with the ability to write, you’ll be well away. You might. But you probably won’t. Writers are continuously tripped up by plot holes, unbelievable characters and various inconsistencies throughout the writing process. Gelling everything together into a cohesive whole can be tricky and will require revisions and edits to get the job done.
4. Unless you have an original idea about wizards, vampires or greying men then writing will almost certainly not make you rich. With royalties extremely low for each book sold some writers choose to self publish. However, that comes with its own set of financial problems as investment costs when one chooses to self-publishing are alarmingly high. But if you thought it was all bad…
5. It will make you happy. The feeling that you get after you have your printed book in your hands for the first time – something you painstakingly wrote and edited. Your labour of love. No one can ever take that happy, joyous, feeling away from you. It makes all the pains and aches worth it. Take the word of a writer who has been through it from start to finish.
Cristelle Comby was born and raised in the French-speaking area of Switzerland, in Greater Geneva, where she still resides.
Thanks to her insatiable thirst for American and British action films and television dramas, her English is fluent.
She attributes to her origins her ever-peaceful nature and her undying love for chocolate. She has a passion for art, which also includes an interest in drawing and acting.
Ruby Heart is her second new-adult novel, and she’s hard at work on the next titles in the Neve & Egan series.
Being a private investigator is nothing like as glamorous or exciting as books and films make it look. Some warning of those harsh facts before I opened my own Private Investigation agency is unlikely to have deterred me, but I wish we’d been a bit more perceptive about it all beforehand. “We” is myself and my former university lecturer, Professor Ashford Egan, now a good friend and colleague.
Although you could say I stumbled into the sleuthing world quite by accident, that accident was shocking and dramatic. I’d always led a very quiet, ordinary life, until the day my best friend was murdered.
That horror stopped short my meandering, easy life and so much changed. I had no idea this would result in my very first investigation, but it did. Egan and I put a stop to a Russian criminal syndicate — with its complicit upstanding British citizens — by delving into the murky worlds of human trafficking, arms dealing, murder and arson. Sounds horribly exciting and dangerous, doesn’t it? It was… to the point where I was nearly killed, not just once but twice, and Egan was kidnapped.
However, I have since discovered that the everyday life of a PI isn’t always so intense. Most of our cases involve suspicious spouses and lost items, or even worse… lost dogs. Life isn’t always like it is in books and films, so why should the job of PI be so? We can’t afford to refuse a client, even when the case is not as appealing as a mysterious unsolved murder or a missing painting on some tropical island. Our advert in the Yellow Pages claims, completely truthfully, that we provide “Comprehensive, all-round services. We diligently seek out the truth for our clients. Discretion assured.”
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