Thank you to the author, publisher, and Ann-Marie Nieves of Got Red PR for the opportunity to read and review this book. I guess you could say this might be the perfect book for me. In my working world, the one that pays the bills, I am travel advisor and have been for 28 years. This book appealed to me on several levels, it's a psychological thriller (a favorite genre of mine) and it deals with a travel problem.
What happens when you rent a place via Air BnB or VRBO and the owner doesn't return all or part of your deposit? What if they claim you caused damage and they need to fix, repair, or replace what was damaged? The only thing, you didn't cause any damage! This is the premise of This Is Not Over by author Holly Brown.
The story is written in a series of emails and texts back and forth between Dawn, who rented the place in Santa Monica with her husband, from Miranda, the owner. The story is multilayered, so we begin to see more of each women's private and public persona as we read on. In addition to the emails and texts the story lets us in on the lives of the two women.
Dawn is a 30 year old wife who has gone back to college to fulfill her dream of becoming a better person. Dawn has always felt less. Less pretty, less rich, less smart and the email from Miranda saying she soiled the $200 sheets during their stay, brings out all of Dawn's feelings of inadequacy. Dawn has worked hard to hide where she came from. She loves to go on getaways where she can "try on" a different persona, pretend to be someone else and she's not going to let a snob like Miranda get away with keeping her deposit and sullying her at the same time.
Miranda is an older woman and wife of a well-known doctor in Beverly Hills. Most people think the rental in Santa Monica is a little project to keep her busy, but what they don't know is she needs the income from the rental, desperately. Miranda's son has a drug problem and she's been sending him money without anyone knowing.
As the story progresses the dispute between Dawn and Miranda escalates. We begin to realize the desperation each woman feels and we understand why neither is able to back down. Miranda's son starts applying pressure on her, her husband is up to something too, plus she can't let him know she's been sending money to their son, causing her more stress. Dawn's crazy past comes back with a vengeance when her father dies and her mother shows up on her doorstop threatening to ruin her new life. Dawn's husband begins to see the cracks in her facade.
The author has added plenty of twists and you will be unable to put the book down until the very terrifying and surprising ending. This Is Not Over, by a long shot!
I was very lucky to be able to interview author Holly Brown. Ms. Brown is a practicing marriage and family therapist, so she's got all the skills to write a story with complicated women such as Dawn & Miranda. Her blog, Bonding Time, is featured on PsychCentral.com. She lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her husband and daughter.
Q & A
I decided to mix it up a bit and do the interview in the style of Inside the Actor's Studio. My friend Vesna had this idea once when our book club hosted debut author John Kelley and it was a lot of fun. Holly was game, so without further ado, here is the interview.......................................................
What is your favorite word? Discombobulated
What is your least favorite word? Mucus
What turns you on? Intellectual curiosity
What turns you off? Invulnerability
What noise do you love? Rainfall
What noise do you hate? Screeching, apparently her daughter's been doing that a lot lately!
Favorite curse word? She claims she doesn't curse imaginatively, fuck!
What profession, other than your own would you like to attempt? Investigative journalism, she'd like to be able to shed the light on issues.
What profession would you not like to do? Bacteriologist, doctor, or nurse, she's a bit of a germaphobe!
If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say at the pearly gates? "Come on in!" Then after going through there'd be a huge stack of books on the other side!
Plus a few other questions.....................................................................
Blog reader Chantelle Grady asked, what inspired you to write a thriller? So, this particular story came from an interaction after staying at an AirBnB. The owner claimed there was a child sized stain on the sheets. That prompted a back and forth of about 6 emails. It made Holly wonder what would it take to really have something like this get under your skin?
Do you have a preference for online or in person research? Historically I've only done only online research, but for the current book in progress, in person research might be useful.
Favorite children's book? Shel Silverstein's, The Missing Piece and The Missing Piece Meets the Big O.
Favorite place you've traveled to, or want to travel to? Croatia
Thank you again Holly!! Readers, be sure to enter the giveaway on my Baer Books Facebook page!
Now, back to the current book I'm reading!