Excerpt (For Scavenger Hunters)
A sharp crack, like a branch snapped in half during an ice storm, makes me look up from my notebook. Mr. Ellery hears it, too, and stands up from behind his desk and walks to the classroom door, steps into the hallway and comes back in shrugging his shoulders.
Guest Post: What draws you to write suspenseful women’s fiction?
I’ve enjoyed writing since I was a child – yes, I was one of those kids who did a fist pump whenever the teacher assigned a writing project -but as is typical with most writers, I was and am, first and foremost an avid reader. As a child my favorite place in the world was our public library and I spent as much time as possible with my nose in a book. I loved mysteries and plowed my way through all the Encyclopedia Brown and Nancy Drew Mystery books. One of my favorite mystery series growing up was The Boxcar Children which I recently learned was originally published in 1924. I read all the books that were available when I was a child, and again as an adult I read them to my own children with enthusiasm. Who can resist a story about a tight knit set of orphaned siblings, an abandoned boxcar, a dog, and the mystery surrounding a long lost grandfather?
As I got older, I continued to enjoy mystery and suspense novels but my interests expanded to a variety of genres, including books that explored the intricacies of the human heart: Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio, Elizabeth Berg’s Pull of the Moon, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, and so many more. I’ve always admired the way writers could take me away to different places and times through the written word. I knew I wanted to try my hand at writing but didn’t sit down and seriously begin until after I was married and had my children. But when I did, I remembered all the stories and books I’ve read through the years, remembered how deftly authors could arrange the words on a page to be suspenseful, heart wrenching, or heart-warming – to evoke all varieties of emotion. My hope is to do the same for my readers.
One Breath Away Synopsis
On a bitter March day, as a sudden snowstorm envelops the small town of Broken Branch, Iowa, an unknown man with a gun enters the town’s only school and takes a classroom of children hostage. As awareness of the situation spreads, the panicked community is ready to do anything to protect their children, but can only watch and wait.
As the standoff progresses and the snowstorm rages outside, anxiety and frustration start to build to dangerous levels. But everyone knows how precarious the situation is. One wrong move, even a breath, could have the most devastating of consequences.
About the Author
Heather Gudenkauf is the author of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling novels The Weight of Silence and These Things Hidden. She lives in Iowa with her family. Visit her website, HeatherGudenkauf.com.
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GIVEAWAY (US and CANADA)
One reader will win a paperback copy of One Breath Away. To enter, just follow the directions on the Rafflecopter form. Giveaway ends 7/31 at 11:59PM, and is open to US and Canada residents 18+. Winner will be notified by email and has 48 hours to respond. Void where prohibited.