Roses & Thorns

Roses & Thorns

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Finding Sarah by Terry Odell


Being robbed at gunpoint wasn’t part of Sarah Tucker’s business plan. Neither was falling in love with the detective who arrived to solve the case.

All Sarah wants is success for her gift boutique—the one she and her husband created. Now, she’s living a hand-to-mouth existence. Her husband died a year earlier in a car accident—an accident that was ruled suicide, denying her his life insurance money. Burdened by guilt that she was somehow to blame for his death, Sarah faces one business setback after another. Determined to succeed on her own, she fights off a meddling sister-in-law as well as offers of financial assistance from a former boyfriend. Unaware someone is setting her up for failure, she’s totally unprepared to find herself fighting for survival.

Police Detective Randy Detweiler thinks the crook is a thief who’s been evading cops all over the state. A routine robbery investigation turns into the biggest challenge of his career when he falls in love with the victim, and he starts crossing professional boundaries. When Sarah disappears, he's afraid all his detective skills might not be enough to find her in time to save her life.

Finding Sarah was previously published by Cerridwen Press. This version has been revised, updated, and includes some material not found in the original.

About the Author:

Terry Odell was born in Los Angeles and now makes her home in Divide, Colorado. An avid reader (her parents tell everyone they had to move from their first home because she finished the local library), she always wanted to "fix" stories so the characters did what she wanted—in books, television, and the movies. Once she began writing, she found this wasn't always possible, as evidenced when the mystery she intended to write rapidly became a romance.

However, her entry into the world of writing can be attributed to a "mistake" when her son mentioned the Highlander television series on a visit home. Being the "good mother" she began watching the show and soon connected with the world of fanfiction—first as a reader, then as a critique giver, and then, one brave weekend, she wrote her first short story.

Things snowballed and soon she was writing her first original novel. Much later, she mentioned something about a recent Highlander episode to her son, and he said, "Oh, I've never actually watched the show, I just thought the concept was cool." Little did he know what he'd started.

With a degree in Psychology from UCLA, she loves getting into the minds of her characters, turning them loose in tight spots and seeing what they do. Too often, they surprise her.

Review by Rochelle:

I received Finding Sarah as part of a boxed set in return for an honest review. And as my readers know, sometimes my reviews can be scathingly honest. In this case, however, Ms. Odell doesn’t need to be too careful what she wished for. I enjoyed Finding Sarah, even though I figured out fairly early who the villain was.

But then, I do that a lot. There were plenty of red herrings, but that’s how I’d have written it if I were as good at writing mysteries as I am at reading them. I’m what we call in the industry, a “pantser,” not a “plotter.” I think that in order to write a mystery, one needs to be a plotter—to plan ahead of time who did it, how, and to be able to plant those red herrings to throw people off the scent. Ms. Odell is good at that and once or twice she almost threw me off, but not quite.

Still, her characters were deeply drawn, each with baggage and issues to work through, and I loved how Randy and Sarah helped each other heal from their pain. I also loved Sarah’s neighbor, Maggie. She’s about my age and she’s outrageously outspoken, adding a dash of humor to the book. She spots the love growing between Sarah and Randy before either of them is willing to admit it and encourages them to see it, as well. She’s also a cat person, like me.

Finally, despite the fact that it’s the first book in a series, Finding Sarah wraps up everything neatly, with no cliff-hangers. Thank you, Ms. Odell! I greatly appreciate an author who relies on good writing to keep the reader coming back for more.

Author Website:
Heat Rating:  R
Length:  331 Pages
Print:  $10.99
Digital:  $0.99

Thanks for visiting. Donna, Julie, & Rochelle

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