Sunday, March 8, 2015

Welcome to Anne Louise O'Connell on Blog Tour for Deep Deceit! Out Today!

In celebration of International Women’s day, on March 8, 2015, (and my birthday, LOL) award-winning, Canadian author, Anne Louise O’Connell officially launches her latest novel, Deep Deceit, which one reviewer calls ‘gripping’ and ‘masterful’. It also begins her Blog Tour! Welcome Anne!

“I’ve now started a tradition of launching my novels on the same day,” said O’Connell. “Since my main characters are women and the plots are typically driven by the emotional development of these women, along with thematic issues that predominantly impact women, International Women’s Day seemed like a good choice.”

Other underlying themes in the book also resonate with a female readership, such as domestic abuse and oppression. Some sensitive mental health issues come into play as well as the protagonist faces bouts of depression, and her abusive husband lashes out as he fights against the demons of post-traumatic stress.

“The author's portrayal of the complexities of emotional damage is insightful and she demonstrates that nothing comes from nothing, and we are all vulnerable when it comes to our mental health,” said Jae De Wylde, author, The Thinking Tank and Sleeping People Lie. “O'Connell cleverly combines the thrill of the chase with intense psychological elements, as her characters unravel under the pressure of events beyond their control.”

A sneak peek into Deep Deceit:

When Celeste Parker’s daughter Tamara goes missing in Dubai the all-out search and rescue mission she anticipates never materializes. Put off by the police as 18-year-old Tamara is technically an adult, and no foul play is apparent, Celeste has a gut feeling something is terribly wrong. New to the city and with her husband away working in Saudi Arabia, Celeste turns to her new friend and fellow expat, Susan Morris, for help. The duo set off on a hunt, which takes them down a dark alley of deep deceit. From exotic nightclubs and high-class call girls to mysterious Saudi palaces hidden behind ominous walls, they follow each lead while uncovering the unthinkable. As they come closer to finding Tamara, the secrets Celeste and Susan uncover threaten not only her daughter's life but everyone in their families’ as well.

Deep Deceit will be available on Amazon in both print and on Kindle. The Kindle version will be available through KDP Select for free on March 9th and 10th. Pre-orders are available now at http://amzn.to/1zZrxEU.

O’Connell’s debut novel, Mental Pause, was a 2013 Independent Publishers Book Award winner. If you haven't read it yet, click over to read my review!


To learn more about the author visit www.anne-oconnell.com. Interact with her on social media at www.facebook.com/annethewriterwww.twitter.com/annethewriter, and at www.goodreads.com/annethewriter.

~~~



Deep Deceit

By Anne Louise O'Connell



Sweat mingled with sunscreen and sand,
streaming into Susan's eyes, almost
blinding her. Her arms shook and she
didn't know how much more she could
take.
"Come on girls... give me 10 more or no
water break!" screamed the burly Neand-
erthal Susan nicknamed "The Sadist'.
She looked over at the latest newcomer
whose face glowed a brilliant shade of
crimson and who, after each push-up,
fell flat on her belly, and Susan felt
sorry for her. She'd introduce herself
and take her for a cold one once this
evening's desert boot camp finished.
~~~
When I first saw the front cover and the back blurb, also excerpted above, I was afraid that the story line would be dark. Let me quickly say not only is it not, but the plot was totally unexpected and wrapped up so well that I was immediately caught by and held by the female lead characters. Have fun with this one!

Celeste Parker had been beaten down by one man after another, assuming that she was the one who was unable to deal with issues, and often in depression...
World's Largest Mall in Dubai...
This was Susan's second round at boot camp. The
only thing that kept her coming back was that it helped
her shed what everyone called the 'Dubai stone',
a whopping 14 pounds. She had gained it since
moving to the most glamorous place on earth, with
lots of temptation and not too much work...She'd
started 'boot camp' after she caught a glimpse of her
widening rear-end in a shop window reflecting back
at her in all its calorie-induced glory...
~~~


Until she met Susan Morris, a psychiatric nurse, who was not working at this time. Both are expats living in Dubai. Both husbands out of town... Celeste's daughter was sleeping over at a friend's home... So when Susan introduced herself to Celeste, she quickly accepted her invitation to go for a drink. Hours later she realized that she was so relieved to have a friend to talk to!


Long's Bar, Dubai...
"You don't know how nice it is to finally have someone to talk to," Celeste put her hand on Susan's arm. "I've been so busy getting Tamara settled. It's been particularly difficult for her...as a teenager it's tough to change schools and it's her last year of high school. I'm so focused on the transition I haven't had time to do anything for myself, which I know is important but there are only so many hours in a day..."

It was after midnight when they left there and both knew they had met someone who could become a close friend. That was especially important for Celeste since her daughter was giving her the typical teenage frustration, especially now that she was 18 and considered an adult...

Which became very important when it was discovered she was missing! The last Celeste had seen her was when they had decided upon their new place to live, been bullied by somebody following them who had even hit them from behind, only then to have Tamara grab a cab to head out to meet her friend, leaving her mother to deal with everything alone.

It was no wonder that she started thinking about the past...when her first husband had disappeared, when his partner made an overture and she had responded and when, she discovered she was pregnant, they were married.
Had she made a mistake? Because there were times when Ryan, her husband, could be so cruel... Even when she called him to let him know Tamara was missing, he told her she'd just have to deal with it...

I was feeling the same way that Susan was when Celeste told her what he'd said. "What a loser!, right?"

Susan was obviously concerned about Celeste, but she also felt excited for herself--she was a mystery lover and was dying to help Celeste work to find Tamara, especially when the police showed no real interest in helping find her.
And then they were able to discover that Tamara's passport had been used, heading for Saudi!


Tamara opened her eyes and blinked hard to clear the blurry images floating around her like the shadows of zombies coming out of the mist. She closed them again and her hand floated up, almost disembodied, to her throbbing temple. This was worse than a hangover... and she hadn't even drunk very much. Not tha she could remember anyways... Jeez, what was in that last drink? She pulled the covers up over her head not wanting to face the day yet. She couldn't remember how she got home and vaguely remembered an Arab gentleman approaching her in the club and said he recognized her from when she lived in Saudi and knew her father. Everything after that was a blur.

The sweet smell of lavender wafted from the sheets and poked at her subconscious. That was odd. Her mother never used lavender-scented anything because it reminded her of when her first husband had proposed to her in a garden in South Africa. Tamara slowly lowered the sheets and peeked out. These weren't her sheets and this wasn't her room...it wasn't Heidi's either...

She would have to make herself known to the rest of the household and face the music! The situation would have been funny if only her head didn't hurt so much. Bravely, she stroke across the room, reached for the doorknob and turned. The door was locked. She shook the knob and pulled again. Nothing. How strange...She could feel the start of a nervous quiver squirreling around in the pit of her stomach...


~~~


The suspense is high. the threat real, the deceit unbelievable! Susan proves to be very good at leading an investigation. In fact, she will soon be having her own series according to the author. Great! 

The novel takes readers deep into the culture and family relationships of Saudi Arabia, including attending a royal wedding, which had the theme of the Great Gatsby! With the men and women having separate parties so the women could remove their outer clothes. For, of course, the requirement for females to be totally covered when outside. Apparently, it is quite different when the high fashion and bling they wear appears inside! I enjoyed this very much!


More than a cozy mystery with its drama and suspense, the relationship between Susan and Celeste is such a great addition to the novel, as Susan helps Celeste gain her independence. Watching Celeste's mental well-being change, until she helps create the dramatic ending, was worth reading the whole book, and that's a special bonus. I enjoyed this fantastic, unique story! Well done! I believe you can get a bargain on the 9 and 10th...so do check this one out immediately! And Enjoy!


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