17 September 2018

*Author Interview & Giveaway!* OUT AND IN by Pat Dunlap Evans

a mystery-thriller
  Genre: Fiction / Romantic Suspense
Publisher: A.M. Chai Literary
Date of Publication: April 27, 2016
Number of Pages: 316

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Stunning beauty and amateur cellist Marie Donovan finds herself in deep trouble after her pro-quarterback husband dives off a Dallas high rise—many say in shame after his shady investments go sour. Just months later, the grieving Marie faces capital murder charges for the death of a lecherous opera maestro. When hard evidence points squarely at her, only her best friend and defense lawyer believe her.

Marie is no stranger to struggle. During her six years as an NFL Football wife, she fends off groupies eager to take her man, all the while feeling lost in her husband’s macho culture. Studying the cello becomes Marie’s solace until her hard-drinking husband retires after an injury. Returning to Dallas, he plays with high society's money in an investment scheme until winning at all costs leaves Marie and her twin sons on the hook for millions.

Scorned by society friends, charged with murder, Marie pins her hopes on hunky defense lawyer Ryan Ingles, one of Cole's college football pals. After Ryan’s legal team discovers some of the maestro’s dark secrets, Marie and Ryan’s investigative troupe travel to exotic islands in search of clues Cole left behind. As the tropics weave a romantic spell, a corrupt offshore banker dashes Marie's hopes. She wonders if she’ll ever be free of blame...and able to claim her own place in this world.

"Out and In is the perfect mystery-thriller for the beach, a long flight, or to savor before bed...an exciting but heartfelt story about a beautiful woman who struggles to prove her innocence … As for the ending, I am still stunned.”
 — Lara Reznik, Amazon best-selling author of The Girl from Long Guyland and Bagels and Salsa.

"Could not put it down, once I started reading. Definitely a must-read. Look forward to reading more books from Pat Dunlap Evans. " 
-- five-star Amazon review by reader "Mimi"

"Awesome...flowed nicely ... definitely kept you on your toes to who actually committed the murder. The lead character was a perfect blend of hard and soft. A great read.
-- five-star Amazon review by reader "Tiffany"

Where did you get the idea for this novel?
After writing my very emotional debut novel, To Leave a Memory, I wanted to try my hand at a page-turner mystery with a female protagonist. I also wanted to use my long-ago experiences as an NFL wife as a backdrop for a novel. But let’s be clear. The Cole Donovan character in Out and In is not my ex-husband, and I am not at all Marie Donovan. However, many NFL wives I knew during our long-ago era had similar experiences with our marriages. We felt as though we didn’t count. Didn’t exist. We were insecure and lacked any identify beyond our husband’s fame. So that’s where Marie’s somewhat desperate neediness comes from. The rest is fictionalized.

Did you always want to become an author?
Not really, although they say you should do the first thing you try to do as a child. For me, that was writing a neighborhood newsletter. Other than that, I had few aspirations. Mother simply told me, “Get a teaching degree just in case.” Later on, I thought I might like to be a hair stylist. I was known for cutting a great bob in Virginia Hall at Southern Methodist University. But I always excelled in English classes. Writing came easily. I used to bang out college papers right before class and made good grades.

Did you major in creative writing?
My first interests at S.M.U. were Spanish and math. Years later, I majored in P.E. at University of Missouri, Kansas City. I thought I might coach high school swimming, but I kept taking English classes. One of my freshman comp teachers took me aside and convinced me to look at an English major, so I signed up for American Literature and Creative Writing. That’s where I met Professor James C. McKinley. He was bright, articulate and funny as hell. I was enthralled. I followed him like some sort of academic groupie from class to class, not for any romantic interest, but for his intellectual magnetism. The classes I took with Jim, and the friends I made in the English department, became my mainline escape from the win or lose world of football. So, I changed my major.

Was To Leave a Memory your first novel?
No. After I got my bachelor’s and master’s degrees, I tried to publish a novel during the late 1980s, but it was an amateurish work based on my fifteen years as wife of an NFL quarterback. Probably due to the commercial aspect, it was almost published. “Almost” was the key word. After a divorce, I had three children to support and needed to make a living. So, I went into public relations and advertising for almost thirty years and sidelined the fiction writing until I had time to write.

What is To Leave a Memory about?
My debut novel is a poignant tale about a family struggling to move beyond grief. That sounds terribly sad, but there are many funny, joyous moments. In fact, there is more humor in To Leave a Memory than in Out and In. Young children added a lot of humor, and the main characters are intellectuals, so wit was easier to incorporate. It’s difficult to have a lot of humor in a mystery although I tried to give readers a smile in Out and In.

Will your next novel be a mystery?
The next novel is called Those Who Try. It’s high-concept women’s fiction with a thriller subplot. You might call it Bridget Jones Diary meets Adaptation. I don’t think I’m a pure mystery-thriller writer in that I included lots of character development in Out and In—some might say too much. However, my focus always has been “the human heart in conflict with itself,” the Faulknerian mantra. Because of this, I enjoy character development more than action-packed plotting. As for my next-two novels, the idea of having Marie Donovan return as a sleuth appeals to me. And I’m working on a cozy mystery set in a mythical town called “Greater Wrightway,” where several of the town’s clubwomen are murdered.

A.M. Chai Literary is your publisher, a small Indie house. Why not get a big New York publisher or make a movie?
Everybody and their brothers are authors these days, so it’s tough to get a break. But perhaps we’ll land a big house or movie deal. One can dream. Until then, I hope readers will enjoy my efforts.
For information about speaking engagements, book signings or readings, please contact AustinWriterGirl@Yahoo.com. Likewise, for screen rights.

Pat Dunlap Evans was born in Michigan but "got to Texas as soon as I could," she says. Her family lived in San Antonio and later Dallas, where she attended South Oak Cliff High School and Southern Methodist University. Pat eventually completed her bachelor's and master's degrees in English at University of Missouri, Kansas City, with emphasis on creative writing. She also taught freshman writing courses as a part-time lecturer. After a divorce, Pat stressed her way as a single mom through twenty-five years of high-stress advertising and marketing roles before retiring to write fiction and screenplays. She lives in the Lake Travis area with her second husband Dr. Bill Evans and enjoys travel, golf, volunteer work, sailing, and the chaos of the couple's combined five adult children, five grandchildren, and two cockalier dogs.
Pat has published two novels, To Leave a Memory and Out and In, with a third novel Those Who Try due out soon.

 1ST PRIZE: Signed Copy of Out and In + $10 Amazon Gift Card
2ND PRIZE: Signed Copy of Out and In + $5 Amazon Gift Card
3RD PRIZE: $5 Amazon Gift Card
  September 12-21, 2018

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