Title: Gone Daddy Gone
Series: Sloan Monroe Mysteries #7
Author: Cheryl Bradshaw
Genre: Crime Mystery, Thriller
From New York Times bestselling author Cheryl Bradshaw:
A single moment is about to change Sloane Monroe’s life forever …
On an early winter morning, college student Shelby McCoy walks the quiet, snowy path back home. A tree branch snaps in the distance. Then another. A man is there with her, following close behind, whispering her name. She looks back, sees him gaining on her, and runs. Who is this man, and why is he carrying a gun?
*Can easily be read as a standalone!
The man stood across from Bonnie and Hank’s hotel, watching everyone say goodbye. From the looks of things, Cade appeared to be returning to Wyoming, and Sloane would stay behind.
It would be much easier for him to divide and conquer this way.
He took one last drag on his cigarette and flicked it to the ground, stubbing it out with the bottom of his shoe. He thought about leaving, but he couldn’t tear his eyes away from Cade and Sloane, holding hands, standing together beside the truck for one last embrace. The embrace was long. Too long. It made the man uncomfortable.
Get on with it already.
Viewing such tenderness between two people turned his stomach, like a virus had entered his body and quickly spread.
Slow, festering anger.
His heart beating faster and faster.
He reached out, clutching a tree for support, inhaling and then exhaling and then inhaling again.
Remember what you’re here for and why.
You’re in control.
It’s all going according to plan.
Cade gripped the handle of the door, but then leaned back to Sloane, whispering something in her ear. For a moment it looked like she might cry, but she didn’t.
Seeing the display of emotion between them was almost like witnessing two lovers on a movie screen, a magical connection that seemed too unrealistic to be real. For a fleeting moment the man was reminded of a time in his own life when he too had been in love. A time so long ago, he strained to remember it.
Over the years he’d been with plenty of women. A few of them he’d even cared for on a marginal, detached level. The rest served a single purpose—a warm body on a cold, lonely night. He had only ever felt real love for a woman once, and that woman had been his wife, and when he lost her, he lost everything.
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About the Author:
A New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Bradshaw writes in the genres of mystery, thriller, romantic suspense, and supernatural suspense. To date, she has published almost two dozen novels and novellas, including her New York Times bestselling mystery series based on a sassy, OCD challenged private eye named Sloane Monroe. In 2013, Bradshaw’s fourth novel in the series, Stranger in Town, was a finalist for a Shamus Award, and that same year, book three in the series, I Have a Secret, won best thriller of the year from eFestival of Words. She was raised in California and currently resides in Salt Lake City, Utah.
An Interview with Cheryl Bradshaw:
Where did you grow up?
I was born and raised in California and consider myself to be a California girl, although I’ve lived in Utah longer. I go back often, mainly because I miss being by the ocean.
Describe yourself in 5 words or less!
Driven, passionate, creative, nurturing, full of life
What made you want to become an author and do you feel it was the right decision?
Reading and writing has always flowed through me in a way that made it obvious it was a talent I needed to explore. As a child I read books that were above my school grade. One of my teachers was concerned and approached my mom about it, but my mom understood that I was mature enough to handle reading books meant for a slightly older audience. By the time I reached high school I was writing and publishing short stories and poems. Then for almost two decades I stopped writing for the most part while raising my daughter and picked it back up in my thirties. Now I publish several novels a year.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been published since 2011. It took a couple years for me to hit the USA Today bestselling books list, and about a year later I hit the New York Times bestsellers list. I’ve also been a finalist for awards, including a Shamus Award. It’s been an amazing journey.
What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book?
It depends on the book. I spend the most time researching forensics so I can be as accurate as possible with my descriptions, but it’s always surprising the interesting things I end up looking up. For example, yesterday I watched videos on how to protect yourself from a frontal attack in a parking lot, and I actually learned a few things that are beneficial for me to know!
What inspired you to write this book?
My fans waited quite a while for me to write it. It’s the seventh in my Sloane Monroe series, and one thing I wanted to do was to bring back several of the secondary characters I’ve used throughout the series that they’ve been missing. It worked out really well, and I was thrilled to give my fans what they wanted.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
It was so much fun bringing old characters back that I’ve used in previous books in this series. They added a lot of flavor to the plot and weaved in and out of the story well.
Tell us about your main characters- what makes them tick?
Sloane Monroe is driven by justice and seeing things through to the end. She’s a methodical character, who sees clues in different ways than most, and this ability allows her to solve even the hardest cases, where others fail. She’s flawed, of course, and struggles with OCD and anxiety, which sometimes works to her benefit, and other times cripples her. By layering her personality she comes across as a real and authentic, which makes her a lot of fun to write.
Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write?
It’s a combination of both. I usually create main characters at the onset of starting a new book and then allow my secondary characters to be created as I’m writing their part in the story.
Do you have any “side stories” about the characters?
People who know me assume that Sloane Monroe is me. She is in many respects, but she also isn’t. I feel like there’s a piece of me in every character I write. As humans we are all multilayered, not single layered, and this aspect rings true for me in many of my characters.
A day in the life of the author…
It rarely the same two days in a row! A typical work day has me checking and responding to fan mail in the morning, working with my assistant on things we’re doing, dealing with different promotions I’m running or planning to run, and checking my social media. Once that’s done I write for the rest of the day.
Describe your writing style.
I believe I do a good job of keeping the action moving in my books and writing good cliffhangers to keep my readers turning pages. It’s always nice when my fans say they had only planned to read a couple of chapters and ended up staying up all night because they couldn’t put the book down. I don’t think there’s a compliment better than that!
What is your writing process? For instance do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first?
I attempt an outline, but it’s always loose. For me personally, I find if I outline too much it takes away from the spontaneity of my characters and the plot. So I generally have an idea of what the next three chapters I’m working on will be, and then I allow my characters to take it in the direction it seems like it needs to go.
What can we expect from you in the future?
More Sloane. Always more Sloane! But I also have other a few other series I write as well, and I’m toying with the idea of starting a witch series once my ghost mystery series is finished.
What makes a good story?
Good characters and a good plot, characters fans connect to on a personal level.
What advice would you give to new authors?
If you’re just starting out, take time to research the genre you’re writing in. I spent a year familiarizing myself with the mystery and thriller genres while I was writing my first book, and it paid off in ways I couldn’t imagine.
What are you passionate about these days?
Aside from writing, I’m passionate about traveling and seeing the world, and I often find inspiration for my writing by visiting places I haven’t been to before. Recently I spent time in Spain and Amsterdam. Both places offered a unique perspective and insight into how others live across the world.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
I usually listen to relaxing music or watch a television show or see a movie that doesn’t require me to do much thinking and allows me to tap out, even if it’s just for a small amount of time. I also spend time with those I love, and that’s usually all I need to rejuvenate.
What is something unique/quirky about you?
My personality, I suppose! I’m an INFJ, which is the rarest of the 16 Myers-Briggs personality types, and classified as The Advocate. Less than 1% of the population is this personality, and while I enjoy being unique, I’ve always felt like I’m a lot different than most from a young age. As a writer, it seems to work to my benefit though, so I’ll take it!
What are some of your pet peeves?
Things like people not canceling the microwave out when they’re finished cooking, so it sits there at :15 forever (haha), bad drivers or drivers who sit in the fast lane and never pass, and people who lack compassion and kindness for others.
What kind of world ruler would you be?
I’m a blue (The Color Code), and not just a little blue, I’m pretty much a full-blown blue personality! This makes me reliable, creative, and practical (sometimes TOO practical, haha) so I surround myself with yellow personality types who help pull out my often reserved playful side. I’m not a big risk-taker, but as a ruler I would consider all options before making what I believed to be the best decision.
Who is your hero and why?
It’s honestly hard to choose one, so I’m going to list two here. The first would be Abraham Lincoln. I quote him at the beginning of every story I write. He was an impressive man, with values I admire. The second is the Dalai Lama, who I was fortunate enough to see in person last year. What an amazing man he is. He continually discusses compassion in his speeches, and I’ve always felt that if we had more compassion for others, the world would be a more peaceful, happy place.
If you knew you’d die tomorrow, how would you spend your last day?
I’d spend it with those I love, eating my favorite food, sharing memories, and letting those closest to me know how much I care for them before I made my exit from the world.
What book do you think everyone should read?
The Art of Happiness – Dalai Lama
Tell us about a favorite character from a book.
If we’re talking one of my books, Sloane Monroe was the first character I created and the one my fans connected with first, so she will always be special to me in many ways. I still love writing her too and allowing her to grow and develop through the series.
What are you currently reading?
The Crime Book
What are your top 10 favorite books/authors?
- Murder on the Orient Express – Agatha Christie
- Death on the Nile – Agatha Christie
- The Godwulf Manuscript – Robert B. Parker
- Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
- Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
- The Art of Happiness – Dalai Lama
- Codependent No More – Melody Beattie
- Lonesome Dove – Larry McMurtry
- The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln – Doris Kearns Goodwin