Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂
I am in love with this book and with Brenda Novak. She got me out of my slump. Honestly, I’ve always loved Brenda Novak. I’ve read her romantic suspense and her romance. She just knows how to weave a story together. This series blends romance and suspense perfectly. There is a lot of suspense, but the romance doesn’t make it as overwhelming as it could be.
Hello Again by Brenda Novak
Series: Evenlyn Talbot Chronicles #2
Also in this Series: Her Darkest Nightmare
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
Release Date: November 2nd, 2017
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
From NYT bestseller Brenda Novak comes the next installment of Dr. Evelyn Talbot and her murderous home for psychopaths in Hello Again.
SHE CAN MAKE SENSE OF A COMPLEX CRIMINAL MIND.
Evelyn Talbot, a psychiatrist at a maximum-security prison in Alaska, studies some of the world’s worst serial killers. But she’s about to meet her most elusive patient at Hanover House yet: Dr. Lyman Bishop, AKA the Zombie Maker given his fondness for performing ice-pick lobotomies on his victims. A brilliant cancer researcher, Bishop is either the most cunning psychopath Evelyn has ever encountered—or he is wrongly convicted.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A CRIMINAL CAN SEE INTO HER OWN?
When a new ice-pick fatality occurs, it seems Bishop really was wrongly convicted. Except…Evelyn has a personal connection to the victim and that suggests the killer may be someone from her own past: Jasper Moore, her high school boyfriend who tortured her and left her for dead when she was only sixteen. Jasper also murdered three of her friends—and was never caught. Is he trying to send a message with this copycat crime? The only thing Evelyn knows for sure is that if Jasper is on her trail, she might not be able to escape again . .
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If she could just get the cords that bound her hands to loosen a tiny bit more, she could get free.
Christina Piper felt the slight give, knew her captor hadn’t tightened the knot as carefully and securely as he usually did. He’d been in such a foul mood when he appeared earlier, had been angry before he even saw her.
Mercifully, he hadn’t had much time. After torturing her for half an hour, he’d mumbled something about his wife (whom he referred to as “that bitch”) and tied her up as quickly as possible before stomping out of the old camper and slamming the door behind him.
Hands numb and swelling from pulling against her bindings, Christina paused to gather her breath and her strength. Thank God it wasn’t summer. She’d been in the camper for four days. Without air-conditioning, anyone imprisoned in the barren desert near Phoenix, Arizona—where temperatures often skyrocketed to 120 degrees—would’ve been dead by now.
Still, it was hard to breathe, what with the stench of who-knew-what (she couldn’t even allow her mind to supply a possible answer for the terror it would elicit). And the pain from her injuries made her nauseous. She couldn’t see out of one eye, had terrible burns on the insides of her thighs, which had blistered and were oozing puss, and several broken toes. She hadn’t had anything to eat or drink, either, except for the vile substances he’d forced down her throat. She’d thrown up when he made her eat a spider, and he’d slugged her so hard she didn’t know how long she was out, just that when she came to, he was gone.
She couldn’t last like this much longer. If she didn’t escape, she’d die.
Unless he decided to keep her alive. He didn’t seem to be in any hurry to end the torment. He was enjoying it too much.
At last, she got the cord to stretch. She almost couldn’t believe it when she managed to free her hands and untie her ankles. Briefly, she rubbed her sore wrists, trying to get the blood flowing, but she didn’t waste another minute as she scrambled to get out of her 1970’s dungeon.
Her poor toes, which he’d taken great pleasure in smashing with a hammer, made it almost impossible for her to walk. Only by using the counter and stove, and then the wood-paneled wall, was she able to remain upright.
As soon as she flung open the front door, saw the sun and felt the chill winter wind on her face, she started to cry. All she could see for miles was bare land and desert scrub, but it was beautiful to behold. She’d thought she’d never see anything again, anything other than the inside of that camper.
She had no idea how far she was from civilization, or in which direction she should travel in order to find help, but she didn’t care. She’d wander in the desert until she died of thirst and exposure before she’d allow the man who’d dragged her into his van when she left the bar near her house abuse her for another second. Each time he arrived, what he put her through grew worse.
“You’re a monster. I hope you die a death far more painful than the one you have in store for me.” Or worse than the pain he’d caused others. She wasn’t his first victim. She couldn’t be. He was too practiced. Too calm. Too unflinching in the face of her suffering.
When she stepped out, she fell and couldn’t get up. She was too weak, too dizzy.
Cursing, screaming and crying, she began to drag herself away from the camper. But she only made it ten or fifteen feet before she heard a car and turned to see her captor bring his van to a skidding stop.
He’d seen her. She had no way to fight him, and there was no help.
That meant there’d be no escape, either.
Evelyn Talbot Chronicles
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About the Author
It was a shocking experience that jump-started Brenda Novak’s bestselling author career.
“I caught my day-care provider drugging my children with cough syrup and Tylenol to get them to sleep while I was away,” Brenda says. “It was then that I decided that I needed to do something from home.”
However, writing was the last profession she expected to undertake. In fact, Brenda swears she didn’t have a creative bone in her body. In school, math and science were her best subjects, and when it came time to pick a major in college, she chose business.
Abandoning her academic scholarship to Brigham Young University at the age of 20 in order to get married and start a family, Brenda dabbled in commercial real estate, then became a loan officer.
“When I first got the idea to become a novelist, it took me five years to teach myself the craft and finish my first book,” Brenda admits. “I learned how to write by reading what others have written. The best advice for any would-be author: read, read, read….”
Brenda sold her first book, and the rest is history. Many of her novels have won or placed in contests such as the National Reader’s Choice, the Bookseller’s Best, the Write Touch, the Award of Excellence and the Beacon Award for Published Authors.
Brenda and her husband, Ted, live in Sacramento and are the proud parents of five children—three girls and two boys. She juggles her writing career with her children’s softball and soccer games, field trips, carpool runs and homework sessions.
When she’s not spending time with her family or writing, Brenda is usually working on her annual fundraiser for diabetes research—an on-line auction held at her website May 1st – May 31st. Her youngest son, Thad, has diabetes, and Brenda is determined to help him and others like him. She also enjoys traveling, watching sporting events and biking–she rides an amazing 20 miles every day!