Monday, November 7, 2016

The Second Man by Emelle Gamble - Interview and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Emelle Gamble will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

If someone were writing a story about you, what would your blurb say?

Slow starter. Always had to do it her way. Paid-off with a unique story. And that’s not just commentary about my writing. HA!

Would you tell us a little about your newest release that isn't in the blurb?

THE SECOND MAN is a classic romantic suspense novel, but at its heart it’s a discussion about memory. When my dear mother was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s a decade ago, I had no idea what Alzheimer’s did to a person, other than a vague concept that it damaged your memory. It certainly does that, but I didn’t understand that it destroyed the memory of how to do everything, and how to remember anyone.

In THE SECOND MAN, my heroine, Jill, refers to it as ‘cancer of the personality’. Her mother is suffering as mine did, and I must confess it was somewhat cathartic to deal with this tragedy through a fictional character. My family watched this illness eat away my mom’s memory – all of her memory, not only of her precious love for my dad and her children and friends, but of all the experiences, good and bad, that made her the bubbly, optimistic, funny survivor – that beautiful unique soul she was. My heroine is in the midst of this same experience, and I hope gives readers a little insight as to the toll it takes on everyone who loved a person so afflicted.

Because of my mother’s illness, I got to thinking about love between a man and a woman, and I realized, aside from the chemistry of physical attraction, relationships are completely based on memory – all those little incidents and big dramatic moments when we thrill one another, surprise or disappoint one another by revealing our true selves, those form the foundation of our love for another person. And since I am a deranged thing called a ‘writer’, this insight immediately made me conjure up a story about a woman falling back in love with a man who left her fifteen years ago, and wondering if she could trust her memory about who he was. Or if she would realize that, of course, none of us really are the same people we once were, and none of us are probably the person others remember us to be.

What was your favorite scene to write in this story?

I’m a sucker for a big build-up and the drama of surprise. I loved, loved, loved Jill opening her front door and finding Max on her doorstep. I felt the slap of disbelief and shock, the racing of her heart, the joy, the sexual excitement, followed immediately by doubt, hurt, and anger. It is one of the few scenes I have ever written where the character reacted exactly as I imagine I would. Jill isn’t much like me otherwise, but in how she dealt with that, she’s channeling Emelle. HA!

If you could trade places with one of your characters, who would it be and why?

Never in a million years would I want to, or accept the chance to, change places with anyone. I love my life, warts and all, cannot imagine it without my husband and two children, my glorious gran girls, my dumbass cats, or my struggles and success. I know the question is meant as a fairy-tale ‘what if’ fantasy moment, but I am the superstitious sort, and I never, ever tempt fate with wishing I was someone else. (Okay, maybe I did one time wish I was Angelina Jolie when she first hooked up with Brad Pitt, but you see how that worked out for her! I rest my case.)

Let me hear from you readers, who would you change places with if you could? Remember, you don’t know the inside of anyone’s life, only what you can see from outside.

Jill Farrell’s college reunion is coming up, but she wants no part of it. The man she once loved, Swedish exchange student Max Kallstrom, is rumored to be attending, but that doesn’t tempt her as Max disappeared from her life the night before the graduation, and has never been heard from since.

When her ex-husband, Andrew Denton, knocks on her door and announces he wants to make nice, and, “oh, by the way, one of their class alumni might be a murderer”, Jill’s resolve to avoid the event hardens.

Jill shuts Andrew’s efforts to reconnect down, and tries to put Max out of her mind.

And that’s that, until a second man knocks on her door, and the emotions of a time long ago overtakes her. Max Kallstrom tells Jill she’s the reason he has come to California. He asks her to please let him explain why she hasn’t heard from him for fifteen long years.

She’s willing to listen to what he has to say, but immediately realizes that her memories must guide her through a wrenching and dangerous few days. While her heart remembers a handsome young lover, she and her classmates are all different people now, and the reality of a murdered friend proves she can’t trust everyone.

What’s not so clear is if she should trust anyone . . . especially Max Kallstrom.

Enjoy an Excerpt:

Jill stared at her ex.

Andrew was much the same, auburn hair and icy blue eyes, but somehow completely changed from the man she last saw over a decade ago. He wore an expensive, dark suit, like an attorney, and any appearance of youth was now gone. He was lean and intense, the man behind the eyes more complicated than she remembered.

When they were together, he had worn his hair short around his neck and ears. It was longer now, combed straight back and gelled. There was a scar at his right temple, small and flat, and perfectly round.

“Because I can’t think of a single thing we have to talk about,” she finally replied.

“Grudge holding doesn’t become you.” He set the vase on the ground at his feet. “We should talk some things out.”

“No, we shouldn’t. I’m leaving the past where it belongs. Dead and buried.”

“Okay, so we won’t talk about the past. We’ll focus on going forward and celebrating all we have in common.”

“Which is nothing.” Jill swallowed, her mouth dry.

“Not true. We’re alumni from the same college. The same class. And our reunion is in two weeks.”

The reunion.

Twice in one day she was being forced to travel back and time and think about a man and a broken relationship. Although her short marriage to Andrew, four years after they graduated, was not the same thing as her college romance with Max Kallstrom, two reminders in one day that she wasn’t a very good judge of men’s characters was distressing.

About the Author:
Emelle Gamble became a writer at an early age. At six years old, she was bursting with the requisite childhood stories of introspection, and this itch to tell tales evolved into bad teen poetry and tortured short works that, thankfully, never saw the light of day, or an editor’s red pen. She took her first stab at writing a novel in an adult education class in Mobile, Alabama when her kids were in bed for the night. As ‘M.L. Gamble,’ she published several romantic suspense novels with Harlequin Intrigue. She now publishes novels of Ordinary Women in Extraordinary Situations with SoulMate Publishing and Posh Publishing …works ranging from women’s fiction to thrillers and romantic suspense.

Always intrigued by the words ‘what if’, Gamble’s books feature an ordinary woman confronted with an extraordinary situation. Emelle celebrates the adventurous spirit of readers, and hopes each will enjoy the exciting and surprising journeys her characters take.

Emelle lives in suburban Washington D.C. with her hero of thirty years, Philip, and two orange cats, Lucy and Bella. Like all good villains, the cats claim to have their reasons for misbehaving. Her children are happily launched on their own and are both contributing great things to society, their mother’s fondest wish.

Amazon Author Page:

Buy the book at Amazon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thanks for hosting me today - your blog is one of my very favorites! Readers - tell us about the one who got away. We all love those juicy stories - good luck in the drawing.

  2. Happy to be a part of this tour, thank you for sharing!

    1. Hey, Nikolina. thanks for posting again. Do you have a 'man that got away' story to share?

    2. Yes, though I wouldn't share it... lol :) :)

    3. Ah, ha. A woman of secrets! Good for you. by the way, love your name. Might be borrowing it in a future novel...Russian?

    4. I'm from Croatia and the name comes from one of our biggest saints - St. Nicholas (Nikola in our country). You can borrow it in all of your future novels! :) :)

  3. Thank you so much for hosting!
    Emelle is one of my top favorite authors. Not just because I'm in love with the language in her books -Her ability to write with grace and flare, emotion and reason. But also because her stories are compelling, and it gives me what I crave, which is learning something new, or being compelled to think about how it relates to me on a deeper level. I need to experience that when I read, and I always find it in Emelle's books.
    The second man is such a great story. It's thought provoking, thrilling, and a definitely a must read!

    1. Thank you dear Nina! I always love hearing your opinion about my work - it truly is insightful, and I've become a better writer because you're such a great reader! XXX good luck in the drawing and thanks for your most valuable support.

  4. congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win :)

    1. Thanks, Lisa Brown. Do you have a story about a man who got away? Come on girlfriend, share! XXX

  5. Enjoyed the Q&A and the excerpt, sounds like a great book!

    1. Hope you get a chance to read it, Eva. Thanks for your support!

  6. Replies
    1. You're welcome, Victoria. This is such a lovely blog, it is always nice to stop by.

  7. Changing places would be horrible I think. Happy to be me.

    1. I agree, Mary. I wouldn't give up any of it if it risked anything else. Thanks for posting!

  8. I agree with you, Emelle. I wouldn't trade my life for another. There are too many good people and memories. As for the "one who got away," well, I got him back and we have been living "happily ever after!" I'm looking forward to reading more of your books, Emelle.

    1. Thanks so much, Nancy! Let me know which one you read and what you thought about it. I appreciate the support! Good luck in the drawing.

  9. Replies
    1. Great. Intrigued enough to read the book? HA! We writers are always looking for readers to tell us how they liked the ending! Thanks, Rita.

  10. I loved The Second Man for many reasons, and did think back to my younger teen age years before I met my husband, and honest, not one of the boys that I thought were so "cool" then have had as much going for them or made as much of themselves as my husband. I am so lucky that I thought with my heart as well as my head when I wanted to get married a week before I turned 20. I was very mature (yes, really) for my age, (according to my parents, etc.) and so I guess I was able to see what I had even then when it wasn't even possible to know how it would work out. But it did, and you do have to work at it, but it has been a wonderful life for both of us and our two children who are now adults in their 40's as we will be married 53 years at the end of this month, and I don't regret a minute of this journey with him. No second man for me. One worked out just fine. (Thank goodness). Love your writing Emelle. Love it!!!!

    1. Love you, dear Cynthia. Your love and devotion to your family continues to amaze and inspire me. XXX Good luck in the drawing.

  11. The book sounds interesting, thanks.

  12. It's funny. A lot of times I wish I could make things different or even BE someone different. Now that someone asks, I can't think of a single name! How about that. I like the different questions you've been asking along the tour!


So... inquiring minds want to know: what do you think?