I first learned of this book and author on NPR’s Fresh Air podcast (July 6). The combination of debut author, flight attendant, hijacking, kidnapping, New York Times bestseller, and a Universal deal on the film rights intrigued me and I just had to read it. Wow, what a ride! Both the book and the author’s story.
About the Book
You just boarded a flight to New York.
There are one hundred and forty-three other passengers onboard.
What you don’t know is that thirty minutes before the flight your pilot’s family was kidnapped.
For his family to live, everyone on your plane must die.
The only way the family will survive is if the pilot follows his orders and crashes the plane.
Enjoy the flight.
A pilot is preparing for a flight, but his wife is angry with him. He’d promised he’d be home for their son’s Little League opener but he was called in at the last minute, and, duty bound, could not say no to his boss. So there’s tension immediately. Then the cable man arrives, or so they think, which sets off the chain of events. The reader is with all of these characters throughout the book, on land and in the sky, and we meet a number of other key players throughout the story, including the three flight attendants on board who are charged with keeping the passengers safe and calm for what will be a dangerous and unpredictable flight. These characters are all likable and easy to identify and empathize with, very real and human. The character development was great. You can even empathize with the terrorists, who are, after all, humans too with a horrifying backstory that motivates their dastardly act.
There is some political drama which makes a point but does not veer away from the story.
The chapters are short and move quickly; the pace is excellent. I could not stop reading, needing to know what would happen next. And Newman did not disappoint. You want to read this.
This is an author with a brilliant future.
About the Author
T. J. Newman,a former bookseller turned flight attendant, worked for Virgin America and Alaska Airlines from 2011 to 2021. She wrote much of Falling on cross-country red-eye flights while her passengers were asleep. She lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Falling is her first novel.
Two former best friends return to their college reunion to find that they’re being circled by someone who wants revenge for what they did ten years before—and will stop at nothing to get it—in this shocking psychological thriller about ambition, toxic friendship, and deadly desire.
A lot has changed in the years since Ambrosia Wellington graduated from college, and she’s worked hard to create a new life for herself. But then an invitation to her ten-year reunion arrives in the mail, along with an anonymous note that reads “We need to talk about what we did that night.”
It seems that the secrets of Ambrosia’s past—and the people she thought she’d left there—aren’t as buried as she’d believed. Amb can’t stop fixating on what she did or who she did it with: larger-than-life Sloane “Sully” Sullivan, Amb’s former best friend, who could make anyone do anything.
At the reunion, Amb and Sully receive increasingly menacing messages, and it becomes clear that they’re being pursued by someone who wants more than just the truth of what happened that first semester. This person wants revenge for what they did and the damage they caused—the extent of which Amb is only now fully understanding. And it was all because of the game they played to get a boy who belonged to someone else, and the girl who paid the price.
Alternating between the reunion and Amb’s freshman year, The Girls Are All So Nice Here is a shocking novel about the brutal lengths girls can go to get what they think they’re owed, and what happens when the games we play in college become matters of life and death.
Don’t start this if you have to get up early. This one will keep you flipping pages and then leave you with a book hangover. I couldn’t stop thinking about the characters at the heart of the story, Ambrosia and Sully, two of the most unlikable characters I’ve ever encountered. They’re so much “girls you love to hate” that I couldn’t look away. Both of them are beautiful, narcissistic, insecure, dangerous villains who team up to wreak havoc on the guys and girls who unfortunately enter their orbit at school, resulting in the tragic death of an innocent girl who unwittingly gets in their way. I think the story goes a little too far and the ending is a bit neat, but Ambrosia and Sully each meet satisfying (and well deserved) endings. Recommended for those who like a suspense novel with characters you love to hate.
About the Author
Laurie Elizabeth Flynn is a former model who lives in London, Ontario, with her husband and three children. She is the author of three young adult novels: Firsts, a YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults pick, along with Last Girl Lied To and All Eyes on Her, under the name L.E. Flynn. Her adult debut, The Girls Are All So Nice Here, has sold in eleven territories and has been optioned for television by AMC. Visit her website LaurieElizabethFlynn.com or connect with her on Twitter @LaurEllizabeth.
If you could pound a stake through the heart of the Bermuda Triangle until it appeared on the opposite side of the Earth, you would be in the dreaded Dragon’s Triangle. What better place to hide a weapon of mass destruction?
A simple phone call from a friend at sea throws Andrea, a graduate of Yale University with a PhD in biomedical engineering, into a world of espionage and intrigue. Did her friend, a deep-sea diver working for a company repairing communication cables, really find a mysterious object buried one thousand feet below the ocean’s surface, and could it be of any importance? Why did this phone call from the billions made each day trigger a covert group, a remnant of Nazi Germany, to come out of the shadows to claim this object, and, like a virus, systematically destroy anyone who stands in its way of recovering what it lost so many years ago? The reputation of the Dragon’s Triangle for unexplained events is just beginning a new chapter.
An obvious neophyte in this deadly game where people are starting to disappear, Andrea has nowhere to turn. A chance encounter with a NYPD officer might strengthen her chance of survival. Sean is a retired Navy SEAL officer who teams up with Andrea only to find that they are both in over their heads. The enemy seems to have limitless power, and there is only one person Sean knows who can help them stay alive. He turns to Paul O, a man of great wealth who owns a company that builds ships and satellites for the U.S. government. A private war breaks out with Paul, Andrea, and Sean, pitted against an unknown, fanatical group that takes place in the air, on and beneath the sea, and on land.
Will they survive, and if they do, how will it change them?
Three people from different walks of life meld into a tenacious team, never giving up when the chips are down and all seems lost. Who will be the first to sacrifice their life for the others, and does Andrea stay a victim, or does she become a force to reckon with that takes the strongest of men by surprise?
Tony Dellamarco is an engineer turned teacher turned author. His lifelong passion for writing led to the publication of professional articles throughout his engineering career. He has also written several stories for children, including The Great Race, on understanding the doubling of numbers, two others for a Great Pyrenees periodical, ODE to A Great PYR and Great Bear the Great PYR, and The Little Star and Tubby the Tugboat, that have been read in elementary school classrooms. He completed two additional yet to be published novels, The Raptors and The Cranberry Chalice, designed to capture the imaginations of teenagers and adults alike. A graduate of Arizona State University (ASU) with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, and Mount Saint Mary College, Newburgh, New York with a master’s degree in education, he has years of technological and educational training.
His first job was with IBM where he started working in the Quality Control and Engineering departments. After 27 years he finished his IBM career as a senior engineer. He then taught 10th and 11th grade history and science at the Minisink Valley Central School District in upstate New York. Throughout his life he’s been an avid sportsman and has trained in power lifting and a variety of martial arts. At 19 he earned a scuba diving certification and piggybacked a pilot’s license at the same time. When he’s not writing or conjuring science fiction novels, he enjoys teaching his grandchildren how to drive his tractor while working the fields around his home in the Hudson Valley.
Q&A with Tony Dellamarco
MS:Hey Tony, Congratulations on publishing your first book. Tell us about it.
TD:Beneath the Dragon’s Triangle covers many genres. It is a techno-thriller which includes military covert operations, espionage, science fiction and a dab of romance. The main character is a female, Andrea, who is thrown into a deadly game of espionage after she receives a call from a male acquaintance repairing a communication cable deep in the dreaded Dragon’s Triangle. What did this man find buried that immediately put people’s lives in danger?
When Andrea’s best friend, a librarian, dies a questionable death while researching the approximate coordinates where this object was found, her life turns into a living hell. Soon others will follow the ranks of the missing. Like the unraveling of a ball of yarn, Andrea’s mundane life becomes entangled in a web of deceit and danger. She meets Sean, a NYC police officer at her friend’s apartment. He is there to inform the next of kin of the librarian’s tragic death.This chance encounter puts both their lives in danger, and they soon find themselves fighting a fanatical group that will stop at nothing to get the information that only Andrea knows – the actual coordinates of where the object lies. Sean, a retired Navy SEAL, enlists the help of Paul O., a modern-day Howard Hughes stereotype and close friend.
Together the three fight to survive the attacks of a relentless well financed covert group. This story is high on action and adventure taking place on the land, in and below the deep waters of the ocean, and in the air. The race is on to see who will be the first to find the mysterious weapon that is capable of changing the course of history.
Here’s a (very) short excerpt:
Oh, the arrogance of man. Even the best plans can be delayed by unforeseen circumstances.
MS:So, were you born a writer, or did it evolve?
TD: As a youngster in elementary school, I always wrote stories that were out of the ordinary. A rocket that landed on the sun, as an example, and a story about a magical sled that could go through buildings. In high school I took a high-speed reading and writing class at a local college. The Sister who oversaw the writing piece told me I had quite an active imagination. The essay I wrote for her in the early 60’s was about flying cars and how they traveled from one place to another. I guess in retrospect, I was born with an imagination, but never took people and their impressions seriously about the articles I had written.
MS: When, why, and how did you start writing?
TD: Writing has always been a passion of mine. However, it was unleashed when I hung my engineering spikes up and starting teaching at Minisink Valley School District (NY) as a 9th grade history and 11th grade science teacher. Unfortunately, the general public has no idea of the diversity and intelligence of the teaching environment. My experience as a high school teacher was invaluable to my writing career – sort of like a mini-Library of Alexandria. One wing of the high school contained the biology, chemistry, and physics teachers. Another wing housed the math teachers. Then there were the English teachers who had a compilation of hundreds of stories from Ancient Greece to modern literature. The entire school was like a huge book just waiting to impart its knowledge freely to anyone who wished for it. Walk the halls of a high school with disciplined students and you will be overwhelmed with ideas and stories one could write about.
MS:What inspires you?
TD: Nature, biblical stories, and prophecies, watching and trying to understand why people act the way they do; studying the big picture…earth, the universe; studying the ever-faster evolution of technology and where it might lead….
MS: Who was/is your biggest influence?
TD: I would say my freshmen college English teacher and my humanities literature professor. My freshmen English teacher liked my style of writing, and my humanities literature sparked a thousand stories by his inspiring lectures and antics.
MS: Who was/is your biggest supporter?
TD: My wonderful wife, my editor, and an established author who took me under her wing.
MS: Who was/is your biggest detractor?
TD: Life… Accidents, sickness… Life can throw you curves when you least expect them.
MS:Who would you most like to thank for their involvement in your writing career?
TD: My wife, who never faltered when I needed to write a chapter or essay that sometimes took away from our vacation time. My wife is a true blessing that has always stood by my side and constantly encourages me to write.
MS: If you could study under any author, who would you choose and why?
TD: There are many, but, Isaac Asimov would be my choice. He wrote over 500 plus books and is one of the best Sci-fi writers of the last century.
MS: Name something you wish you had written and explain why.
TD:The Time Machine. It’s timeless.
MS: What advice do you have for beginning authors?
TD: Perseverance… never give up… It took me over 15 years of research and being delayed due to life throwing curves that took time for me to regroup … Pick up the pieces and continue.
MS:Describe your writing process.
TD: I tend to think on a topic and then do a mental layout.
MS:How do ideas come to you?
TD: I’m constantly thinking of story lines. If you listen and watch life as it evolves around you, ideas will come to you.
MS:Do you work from an outline or just go with the flow? If you use an outline, how detailed is it?
TD: Both… I have a habit of going outside the story line and go with the flow…
MS: Explain your research process.
TD: Journals, engineering, science, geography. History… read, read, and read a variety of materials.
MS:What do you love most about writing?
TD: It’s one of the few things you can do in life where you are in total control of the outcome…
MS: What do you hate about writing?
TD: Nothing really to hate. I do get frustrated when I write myself into a box − where the outcome I anticipated cannot happen because of what was written in previous chapters…
MS: What is the most important thing you have learned about yourself through writing?
TD: Everyone has a story within themselves. Write about what you have personally experience and what you know best.
MS:Do you have a special place to write?
TD: Yes. I enjoy looking at the landscape from the vantage point of my computer.
MS: Where did you get the idea for your book?
TD: Multiple sources that converged into a plot.
MS:Do you have a favorite character from your book or series? Why that one?
TD: Andrea, because she is every man’s dream, and a champion for women who never give up even when the odds are stacked against them.
MS:What is the time span in your novel, weeks, months, years?
TD: Months to a few years.
MS: How much research went into it?
TD: I put in years of research because of technology catching up to what I had already put down on paper. Meaning, I had to re-research and recreate something different and futuristic from what I had committed to the storyline.
MS: How have the changes in present day publishing impacted writing career?
TD: Unfortunately, times have changed. Years ago, you could send a manuscript or chapter outline to a publisher and get a response, but that option no longer exists, except for the few very well established authors. Today, getting a response from an agent is difficult. Where a publisher would read your manuscript in the past to see if the story was well written and interesting, today’s agents make their decisions without diving into the story line.
MS:What would you do if you couldn’t write anymore?
TD: Dedicate more time to charities.
MS:Can you tell us what you’re working on now?
TD: The sequel to my first book, Beneath the Dragon’s Triangle.
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Life in beautiful Santa Barbara County will never be the same for two grieving widows. One is serving a lengthy sentence for the bizarre tractor death of her much older, land-rich husband. The other is convinced her husband’s death was no suicide.
During Madeline’s four-month convalescence, Steven Ridley—her jailbird ex—manages to get parole on the pretext of retraining inmates for their reentry into society. He has the audacity to enlist Mike’s help to find out if inmate Lindsay Bartholomew had been set up to take the fall for her husband’s death.
Santa Barbara D.A. Conrad Adams makes a personal appeal to MDPI on behalf of Natalie Sheckle, hoping Madeline and Mike can prove whether her husband took his own life, or if someone stitched him up for his own murder.
Never ones to shy away from long shots or lost causes, the duo dives into both cases. But now they must figure out what secrets these two men took to their graves.
The Trouble with Paradise is the fourth book in the Madeline Dawkins Series
A lifelong reader and lover of the written word, I turned to writing as a means of coping with a debilitating illness in 2000. Since then, I’ve written eleven books and have published nine of them. In addition to contemporary fiction, I write detective mysteries–THE MADELINE DAWKINS MYSTERY SERIES–and some memoir– FINDING RUTH and ONCE UPON A LYME…A TALE OF TWO JOURNEYS.
My Madeline series has really captured my mind and heart, allowing me to expand on one woman’s nightmare by giving her dual careers and a supporting cast of characters, with special emphasis on Mike Delaney, her partner in love and crime. THE TROUBLE WITH PARADISE is the fourth installment in the series and is set for release in the summer of 2019. As with the rest of the books, it is centered around Santa Barbara, California, Madeline’s hometown as well as mine.
Being a voracious reader, I’ve always got my Kindle with me, taking advantage of any spare moment to read, even while eating. In addition to reading and writing, I love nothing more than being outside, preferably taking hours-long walks with my husband.
I share my reading experiences through my reviews, though I only review books that I have truly enjoyed. I would take no pleasure in criticizing another author’s work. The reading experience is so subjective; if I’m not enjoying what I’m reading, I will move on to something else, but that is no reflection on the author or the book.