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...
About the author:
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.
What inspired you to write this book?
Secret Sister started with one question, “If everything about you changed on the outside, would your true love recognize you?” I knew I didn’t want to do a ‘Beauty and Beast’ story, where of course someone would have to be disfigured to pull it off. I like ‘trading places’ stories, starting with “Freaky Friday” through “What Women Want” with Mel Gibson, and I thought it would be interesting to add the ‘what if’ twist of one of the traders dying. So I mixed all those elements together and ended up with this book. I’m always inspired by ‘what if’ thoughts…and this one occurred to me. I felt if it happened to me, my husband would recognize the real me…because true love is that strong. Corny, but I believe it!
What characters do you connect with most?
Zoe in Secret Sister is a secondary character at the heart of the story. She seems the most capable of embracing the extraordinary in life and having faith in love. I also really liked Cathy. Like me she’s bossy and opinionated but convinces herself she’s doing what’s best for those she loves.
What's your favorite book-turned movie?
Tough question. I could give you five, but I’ll say The Girl With the Dragoon Tattoo. Both the Swedish and the American versions. Both films actors have the characters down cold, and the setting and action is so accurately and wonderfully realized, I felt I was reading the book all over again.
If you could be best friends with one of your characters, who would it be?
Bradley. Totally. He is so kind and loving and funny. And he likes to drink wine. A lot! HA! He reminds me a great good friend of mine from Los Angeles, many years ago. Shout out to you, MG!
Can you tell us about any other books you're writing?
I’ve finished a novella, Duets, which is going to be published in a novella collection, Once and Forever, in November 2013. The characters in Duets are going to command their own novel, Molly Harper, which will be released in December of 2013. Molly Harper will pick-up where the action ends in Duets three years later. It was exhilarating writing two stories with the same characters. I’m really looking forward to readers reactions to these folks.
What do you do in your spare time?
I have no spare time. HA! But I’m almost not kidding. I have a day job, a husband, a house, two cats, two wonderful kids who are out in the world on their own but I still make time to try and interfere in their lives, and my beloved writing career. It is taking about twenty hours a week of marketing and publicity, and thirty hours of creative writing. So ‘spare’ happens after about ten at night…but I will admit to mindlessly watching HGTV when I can’t sleep. I love Property Brothers and House Hunters International…those shows have all the elements of a great romance novel! Especially hunks, great scenery, and happy ever after!
Who's your inspiration?
Wow. Again, tough question. I think P.D. James, who came to writing later in life than many, worked every morning from 3:30 a.m. until 5:30, when it was time to get her kids off to school, cared for her ill husband, worked a full-time job, and wrote the most amazing mystery novels I’ve ever read. And my daughter, Olivia, who has faced some huge decisions in her very young life, and has made them. She’s not afraid of change, challenge, the odds being against something, or the unknown. I admire her courage immensely. She reminds me of my mother, who was also unafraid of moving forward, no matter what the fears. I’ve been blessed with great role models!
If you were stranded on a desert island which character do you want by your side?
From my book? Ryan Seth. He’s brilliant, blind and beautiful. He might not be much help looking for ships, but I’m certain he’d help me keep it together while we waited.
Team Edward or Jacob?
Come on. Edward. Really, is that an actual question?
Team Peeta or Gale?
Okay, this is hard. In the book, totally Peeta. But how can anyone not want to be on Liam Hemsworth’s team? Yes, I am totally superficial and am influenced by his looks. And yes, he is a god.
What are you reading now?
I’m reading Kristan Higgins Too Good to Be True, an outstanding author new to me but much beloved by everyone else (for good reason); Cathy Maxwell’s The Scottish Witch which has me in love with a character named Harry; and Mary Blayney’s One More Kiss. Blayney is a critique partner and a real master at Classic Regency love stories. Her men (a whole family of them in her Pennistan series) are all honor and wit and hunky looks. Try one and you’ll see why I love them all!
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**Emelle will be awarding a $100 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during this tour AND her Reviews Tour