Tell us about your book.
Breaking News is an original mystery set in Maine. This is the first publication. Right now it’s available electronically only. Links are given below.
When news editor Kurt Borden sends his star reporter out to do a story on a senator who disappeared more than 40 years ago, the reporter goes missing too. Kurt’s wife, Janet, finds an elderly neighbor ill in his home. The old man begs her to give a cryptic message to his grown children. Could the two mysterious events in small-town Maine be connected? To help unravel the mystery, Kurt and Janet must rely on their faith and use all their wits and diplomatic skills.
Can you give us a sneak peek at your new release?
Here’s an excerpt from a few chapters into the story:
After the morning news meeting with his staff, Kurt lost no time getting to the police station across the street, in the basement of the old city hall.
He stopped at the window and gave the dispatcher a brief version of his mission, and she immediately called the patrol sergeant. The uniformed sergeant opened a door farther down the hall and guided Kurt into a tiny office that was more a niche than a room.
“I know Mick Tyler. How long has he been missing?” Sergeant Bedard opened a small notebook and sat with his pen ready. He was young, in his early thirties, clean cut, and exhibited the right amount of concern and efficiency.
“Since Monday morning.” As Bedard wrote, Kurt felt as if something was finally being done, and things would turn out all right. He had come prepared with all the contact information he had for Mick—Callie’s phone number and address, Mick’s cell phone, Lionel’s phone and address, a description of Mick’s car.
“Do you have the license plate number?” Bedard scrutinized the memo sheet Kurt had given him.
“No, sorry. Callie might have some records at the house.”
Bedard nodded and wrote something else in his notebook. “Pardon my asking, but is there a chance Tyler is hiding from you?”
“Oh, I don’t think so. He never has before.”
“But isn’t he a hard drinker on the weekends?”
“I guess he can be, but I saw him Monday morning, and he was sober.” Kurt watched the sergeant, waiting for an expert opinion on Mick’s erratic behavior. “He was upbeat that day,” he added. “I ... I had put him on a new assignment last Thursday.”
“What was it?”
“A nostalgic piece about an old family that used to live in Belgrade. He went out there Friday and scoped the house involved. One of our photographers, Wally Reed—”
“I know him.”
Kurt nodded. Sgt. Bedard apparently knew everyone at the paper. “Wally was going to meet him there at ten Monday morning and take some photos for the story. But when he got to Belgrade, Mick wasn’t there. Wally waited a while and then came back. But Mick hasn’t checked in since, and as I told you, his wife and the friend he was staying with haven’t heard from him either.”
Bedard frowned and studied his notes. “You say he and Mrs. Tyler were having some problems.”
“Well, I don’t know any details.” Kurt shifted in his chair, uncomfortable to be revealing another’s private affairs. “All he told me was that he wasn’t currently living at home. And when I stopped by the house yesterday, Callie seemed ... ”
The sergeant zeroed in on his hesitation. “How did she seem?”
Kurt groped for the right word.
“Mr. Borden, if Tyler’s in trouble, any little thing could be important.”
“Well, to be honest, she was pretty bitter. Sort of a good riddance attitude. She said ... she said he’d been a no-show for lots of family events.”
“So she considered this part of a pattern.”
“I don’t know. I only know that at work he either shows up or he calls in. But not this time.”
Bedard nodded. “I’ll have one of our officers do some checking. Could be he decided to get away for a few days and forgot to let you know.”
Kurt doubted that. “If he was involved in an accident, wouldn’t his car show up in your reports?”
“Depends on where it happened. Sometimes it takes a while for our system to get updates from other agencies. But I’ll put someone on it right away. Meanwhile, if there’s any word from him, you let us know.”
“Of course.” Kurt stood up, wishing he’d come in sooner to file the report. Now to tell Grant. He wished he didn’t have to, but they needed to inform the newspaper staff right away. Terry Fallon, the reporter covering Mick’s former police beat, would find out soon anyhow, when he went to collect the daily reports from the police log. Kurt didn’t want the employees to find out that way.
What inspired this book?
In the 1920’s, Judge Joseph Crater owned a summer cottage in Belgrade, Maine, my home town. Judge Crater’s disappearance in 1930 was considered the missing persons case of the century. I decided to place a later disappearance in the same location, this time making a senator the person who vanished. By moving the event to 1968, I was able to tell the story in a contemporary setting through the eyes of middle-aged people who remembered the event. I created a family, the Fairmonts, who lived near the senator’s cottage, and a pair of kind neighbors—editor Kurt Borden and his wife, Janet—to get involved. Kurt sees the mystery unfold from the official perspective when his reporter, Mick Tyler, goes to write a story about the senator and ends up missing, too. Kurt deals with the police and the news staff covering the story. Janet sees it from a more personal angle. She gets to know the elderly neighbor’s children—adults now, but boys and girls when the senator vanished. Piece by piece, Kurt and Janet solve the mystery of the two disappearances.
How long have you been writing?
I started writing fiction seriously in 1999. Before that, I was a correspondent for the daily newspaper where Kurt works in this story.
What was the first book you ever wrote?
The Priority Unit, a mystery with romance and faith woven in. This book has not yet been published, but I hope to bring it out as an electronic book soon. My first published book was Protecting Amy, a historical set in Wyoming in 1858. My 40 traditionally published titles are almost equally divided between historical and contemporary.
What project are you currently working on?
I’m writing a women’s fiction book with light mystery elements for Guideposts’ Miracles of Marble Cove series. This collection is written by several different authors and is presented as a book-a-month series.
What is a fond childhood memory?
Belgrade, Maine was a wonderful place to grow up. My father was the area game warden. When I was very young, he was allowed to take his children with him occasionally when he patrolled the lakes and checked fishing licenses. Later this practice was stopped and civilians weren’t allowed to ride along, but I recall long, lazy days in the boat with Dad, sometimes with one of my sisters along.
What book are you currently reading?
Sandra Robbins’s Shattered Identity. I also have a tall “to be read” stack on my nightstand.
I’m happy to give away a copy of the eBook, Breaking News to one of your readers.
Thanks, Susan! In order for there to be a contest at least 10 people need to leave comments WITH email addresses OR you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and put "contest-breaking" in the subject line. Winner announced March 25th.
To purchase the book for Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Breaking-News-ebook/dp/B007HPPXYY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1331298086&sr=8-1
Or Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/breaking-news-susan-page-davis/1109343998?ean=2940013924024&itm=1&usri=breaking+news+susan+page+davis
Last, I invite readers to visit me at my Website: www.susanpagedavis.com