09 April 2013

Today's Read Plus Guest Post: Evidence of Life by Barbara Taylor Sissel

Wouldn't you love to have a weekend to yourself? Imagine that your husband and daughter go camping and your son is at college. Like Abby Bennett, wouldn't you be dreaming of all that wonderful alone time? Now suppose your husband and daughter are lost in the aftermath of a flash flood. Would you ever stop looking for them?

The following scene happens once rescue operations have begun:

It was one of those perfect spring days: a breeze fiddled along under a blue umbrella sky while the sun rose, a butter-yellow balloon above the sudden earth. It was the picture of innocence, a child's crayon drawing. Not one vestige remained of the horrible rain Abby had driven through to get here, and it disconcerted her and infuriated here . . . this weather that lay on her like a blessing, that wouldn't hurt a fly, that would take nothing from anyone. She felt mocked by it.
Evidence of Life by Barbara Taylor Sissel (Harlequin / Mira, 2013, p. 36)

Quick Facts
  • Setting: American Southwest; Texas hill country
  • Circumstances: a father and daughter who may or may not have been killed in a flash flood; as Abby searches for them, she realizes she never really knew her husband
  • Characters: Abby and Nick Bennett and their children, Lindsey and Jake; Kate, Abby's friend; Dennis, the sheriff
  • Genre: mystery; psychological thriller
  • Themes: marriage, trust, deceit, parenting, grief, holding on to hope, moving on
Guest Post

In celebration of the release of Evidence of Life, author Barbara Taylor Sissel stops by today to tell us about the origins of the story. Thanks to Meryl L. Moss Media for organizing this guest post for me.

Question: Can you give us some background on Evidence of Life and how you came up with the idea?

Answer from Barbara Taylor Sissel: As a mother, I’ve always been a worrywart. I know it’s pointless and unnecessary and that it gets me nothing except stressed out and sleepless. Still I do it, even now that both my boys are grown. I’d like to think it’s at least partly an act of the author in me that causes me to dream up a worst-case scenario and then imagine its consequences. But whatever it is, the scaffolding for Evidence of Life was built around this tendency to worry.

Then, of course, the news is filled with stories about natural disasters, heavy flooding for instance, where family members become separated from one another. I combined this idea with an unlikely setting: the Hill Country of Texas. It’s an area I love, that is known to be dry, exceptionally dry, except when it’s not. Floods there are rare but devastating events when they occur. The deluge can come on so quickly, dumping endless inches of rain in a matter of hours, creating flash floods, catching unsuspecting people off guard.

Suppose someone you loved, your husband and daughter, say, were to vanish in such a storm without a trace? What would you do? Sit home and wait? Or try and find them? How long would you keep looking? How would you sustain hope and for how long? As a mom, I wondered about these questions. Abby came into my brain, and I wanted to tell her story. I wanted to find her answers.

I have the same questions! I am looking forward to finishing the novel and discovering whether Abby ever learns the fate of Nick and Lindsey.

Buy Evidence of Life at an indie or at a bookstore near you. (Link leads to an affiliate program.)
ISBN-13: 9780778315162

Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy).

12 comments:

bermudaonion 4/9/13, 7:51 AM  

I'm not sure what I'd do - this book sounds kind of unsettling, but in a good way.

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow 4/9/13, 8:04 AM  

This sounds like such a page turner! Thanks for sharing...and here's MY TUESDAY MEMES POST

Lisa (Southern Girl Reads) 4/9/13, 8:45 AM  

Beautiful writing! I would definitely read this one! Hope you're enjoying it!

Kathy Martin 4/9/13, 9:12 AM  

This one is on my review stack. I liked the language and can't wait to get to it. Come see my teasers for Furious by Jill Wolfson and Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs. Happy reading!

Sandy Nachlinger 4/9/13, 9:21 AM  

Beautiful description. I like the way the author contrasted the delightful weather with the terrible situation. I'll read this one.
My teaser is from CONFESSIONS OF AN INSTINCTIVELY MUTINOUS BABY BOOMER.

Beth Hoffman 4/9/13, 9:40 AM  

The power of nature fascinates and terrifies me. I can't imagine what I'd do under the circumstances presented in this book.

Zibilee 4/9/13, 10:10 AM  

I am a worrywart too, and I spend a lot of time worrying over my family. I can't imagine how scared I would be if this happened to me! I want to read this one when I can. I must find out if the two ever come home!!

Heather 4/9/13, 10:42 AM  

Sounds good, though I'm wondering what happened to the son if only the father and daughter disappeared. My teaser: Aunt Dimity: Detective

Tribute Books Mama 4/9/13, 11:26 AM  

Sounds like a captivating read.

http://tributebooksmama.blogspot.com/2013/04/teaser-tuesday_9.html

Barbara Sissel 4/9/13, 5:43 PM  

Thank you ever so much, Beth, for this post. I love how it's set up and I appreciate having the exposure more than you know. I hope you'll share your thoughts about the story when you're finished!

Thank you, too, to everyone who stopped by. I had goosebumps reading your comments because it seems everyone feels intrigued, and as the author, I can't help but love that!

Andrea @The Bookish Babes 4/9/13, 11:40 PM  

I really enjoy reading about the author's inspiration. Thanks for sharing!

Daryl 4/10/13, 9:26 AM  

now i am curious and want to know too ... damn it .. adding this to the nook app

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