Friday Freebie with Sandi Wallace
Because I love Fridays, I’m offering you the chance to win one of three print copies of Tell Me Why book one in my Rural Crime Files series. Entry is simple, scroll down to find out more!
I love Fridays because they are my main writing days. I’m a personal trainer in my other world and grab every opportunity to write wherever possible around work and family life. But on Fridays, I have lovely big blocks of time to immerse myself in my stories, whether that’s the current book in my Rural Crime Files series, short crime stories or articles. I wish every day could be Friday.
In Tell Me Why Melbourne writer Georgie Harvey is searching for Susan Pentecoste, a farmer missing from Hepburn, while country cop John Franklin is working a case that’s a step up from Daylesford’s usual soft crime; a poison-pen writer whose targets are single mothers. Harvey and Franklin collide on the woman’s disappearance and an earlier unsolved case surrounding her husband.
People and place were my major inspirations for this book. I wanted to write a crime series that would feature country Victoria, and Daylesford seemed the perfect chief setting, as it’s one of my favourite spots, a pretty country town, popular with tourists and arty types, and that romantic perception contrasts well with a moody crime story. The inbuilt conflict of a town balancing permanent residents with regular influxes of tourists adds another element to the tension. I wanted my series to be very character-driven: instead of wooden people going about solving the crimes, my characters ought to feel like real people that you might encounter in that location. They needed to be juggling personal and professional lives, friendships, love and lust, and be strong, yet fallible. It fascinated me to imagine John Franklin, a slightly old-school country cop and Georgie Harvey, an independent city writer, in Daylesford – his territory and a place which is way outside her comfort zone – but with her in the driver’s seat in the search for Susan.
Tell Me Why is contemporary, reflecting our times, our world, even though it’s fiction and I angled this book as mainly a Why-Dunnit because many readers – including me – are intrigued by why crimes happen, the repercussions and outcomes. This story centres on the complexities of human relationships, how far we’d go, and what we’d risk, to find the truth. It also explores how quickly we make judgments about other people and how dangerous that can be. Somehow, this seemed the right place to start my series, with each book delving into different themes, along with the growth of the characters.
Georgie Harvey is twenty-eight in Tell Me Why and lives in Richmond, an inner suburb of Melbourne. She tells strangers she’s a writer and lets them draw their own conclusions. But in reality, she’s struggling to establish her career. She’s gutsy, empathetic, unpredictable and one-track-minded, which are all strengths and weaknesses, and all account for her determination to find the woman who is missing from Hepburn. Georgie drives a classic convertible, a 1984 Black Alfa Spider which she calls ‘the Spider’. She drinks, smokes, swears and speeds, is far from perfect and never boring, which is what readers love about her.
John Franklin is thirty-six in this first book and a cop based at Daylesford for over sixteen years. These days he’s less idealistic than when he first pulled on the blue monkey suit and unapologetically a cop; he supposes that mixes curiosity and helpfulness with arrogance. Franklin is also a single dad, in a struggle with fear of change and the need for it, while somehow surviving his daughter’s teens. That’s why his current case is both chilling and exciting and brings out his maverick cop side. Outside of work, he rides a very cool blue-over-white Kawasaki Ninja, when not behind the wheel of his older model SS Commodore. Several readers have admitted to having crushes on Franklin and have even asked for his home address.
Tell Me Why was released in September 2014 and I’m thrilled that the sequel Black Saturday will be out around spring this year – and yes, Georgie and Franklin will be back! I have written the third book in the series and am polishing it a little more now, but I’ve already started on book four, too!
Tell Me Why
Picturesque Daylesford has a darker side.
Melbourne writer Georgie Harvey heads to the mineral springs region of central Victoria to look for a missing farmer. There she uncovers links between the woman’s disappearance and her dangerous preoccupation with the unsolved mystery surrounding her husband.
Maverick cop and solo dad John Franklin is working a case that’s a step up from Daylesford’s usual soft crime; a poison-pen writer whose targets are single mothers.
Georgie’s investigation stirs up long buried secrets and she attracts enemies. When she reports the missing person to local cops, sparks fly between her and Franklin. Has he dismissed the writer too quickly?
A country cop, city writer, retired farmer and poison-pen stalker all want answers.
What will they risk to get them?
What will be the ultimate cost?
WIN your copy of Tell My Why by simply entering your name and email address below – we’ll be in touch next Thursday to let you know if you’ve won!
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