A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Monday, November 7, 2016

The Second Man by Emelle Gamble- Feature, Review + Author Interview


Jill Farrell’s college reunion is coming up, but she wants no part of it. The man she once loved, Swedish exchange student Max Kallstrom, is rumored to be attending, but that doesn’t tempt her as Max disappeared from her life the night before the graduation, and has never been heard from since.

When her ex-husband, Andrew Denton, knocks on her door and announces he wants to make nice, and, “oh, by the way, one of their class alumni might be a murderer”, Jill’s resolve to avoid the event hardens.

Jill shuts Andrew’s efforts to reconnect down, and tries to put Max out of her mind.
And that’s that, until a second man knocks on her door, and the emotions of a time long ago overtakes her. Max Kallstrom tells Jill she’s the reason he has come to California. He asks her to please let him explain why she hasn’t heard from him for fifteen long years.

She’s willing to listen to what he has to say, but immediately realizes that her memories must guide her through a wrenching and dangerous few days. While her heart remembers a handsome young lover, she and her classmates are all different people now, and the reality of a murdered friend proves she can’t trust everyone.

What’s not so clear is if she should trust anyone . . . especially Max Kallstrom.




I am so lucky to have the chance to interview author Emelle Gamble today at The Book Review! 

So, please give her a warm welcome!

What is the hardest thing about writing?  Easiest thing?
The hardest thing for writing for me is living. HA! I want to write so much I could literally sit in my office for 12 hours a day. Now, don’t think I would be churning out 15 books a year – that would never be me. I think and rethink, and do it all over again, but I love the research, the drafts, the push to completion. Love it like no other career I have or have ever had outside of writing.

The easiest thing? Starting a new book. I always have a title, an clear overview of the point of the story, and an ending. It’s all those hundreds of pages of a polished novel that are hard.

Plotter or Panster?
I always plot. Outline, list of items, reviews. Seldom stay exactly on course. I am undisciplined enough to let my characters run away with the story from time to time. But I always know the ending. Just not always sure how I’m going to make it there.

Besides romantic suspense, what other genres to write?
I write women’s fiction, too, and feel my tagline ‘ordinary women in extraordinary circumstances’ is the common thread in all my work. It’s based on Alfred Hitchcock’s comments that the common man, caught in an unusual situation, is always interesting. I have also recently completed a pure mystery, set in 1951 Los Angeles. I anticipate it will be a three-book series. I love it – stretching my wings and harkening back to my first love as a reader, which was Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden.

Where can readers contact you?
Website: www.EmelleGamble.com
Twitter: @Emelle Gamble
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Emelle-Gamble/e/B00DXZ2SJA

Do you have favorite quote you would like share?

It’s from The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry. “A goal without a plan is just a dream.” It is what I tell all the people who over the years have told me how much they want to write, but don’t know where to start. I think it fits for all of us for any treasured hope – make a plan, and then put one foot in front of the other and walk toward it.

Thank you for hosting me today, Julie! I love all that you do for authors and readers on your blog, in reviews, and on Goodreads! I hope your readers will sign up for my newsletter and follow me on Amazon and Facebook – let’s get to know each other! 

Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview!!


The Second ManThe Second Man by Emelle Gamble
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Second Man by Emelle Gamble is a 2016 Soul Mate publication.

This is the way romantic suspense should be written!

The Second Man starts off with a bang… literally! From there the suspense and edginess increases, making it next to impossible to relax, much less breathe.

Jill Farrell’s college class reunion is coming up, but she has no desire to attend, even after rumors begin to swirl that her old college sweetheart, Max, is planning on making an appearance. Her resolve only deepens when her ex-husband, Andrew, shows up out of the blue weaving outlandish tales about one of their old college alumni being a murderer.

But, when she finds herself face to face with Max again, and he offers her a reasonable explanation for why he pulled a disappearing act all those years ago, Jill begins to have second thoughts about the reunion... and Max.

Jill and Max had fallen head over heels in love back in college, but an accident left Max with severe memory loss. Now Jill is working to help Max recover some of his lost memories. But, in the meantime, Jill learns one of their old classmates has been murdered, and Andrew had fingered Max as suspect number one.

Who should Jill believe? Who can she trust? Could there be a murderer amongst them?

Romantic suspense is one of my very favorite genres, but I’ve been neglecting it of late. Suddenly, I realized I had a strong craving for a good, old fashioned novel of suspense and I must say, I could not have chosen a better book to satisfy that craving than this one!

Not only is this a traditional romantic suspense novel, the type I prefer over all others, but it could very easily fall into the psychological thriller category, as well.

The author uses the approach so often employed these days in modern psychological suspense novels, which keeps the reader totally in the dark, ratcheting up the suspense until I was literally on the edge of my seat, totally engaged in the plot, wringing my hands with concern for Jill, who could be in grave danger, if she decides to trust the wrong person!!

This is romantic suspense the way I like it. The suspense is well balanced with the romantic elements, the pacing is quick, the atmosphere is edgy, the dialogue is realistic, and the twists are well placed within a unique plot.

I think any fan of romantic suspense will enjoy this book! Highly recommend!





Emelle Gamble was a writer at an early age, bursting with the requisite childhood stories of introspection which evolved into bad teen poetry and attempts at 'real literature' all copies of which she has since, very sensibly, shredded. She took her first stab at romantic fiction in an adult education writing class when her kids were in bed, taught by fellow writer Carolyn Haines, in Mobile, Alabama. As M.L. Gamble, she published several romantic suspense novels with Harlequin. She is now contracted with Soul Mate Publishing for Secret Sister, summer of 2013, and Dating Cary Grant, an early 2014 release.

Always intrigued by the words ‘what if’, Emelle’s books feature an ordinary woman confronted with an extraordinary situation. She most enjoys reading stories that surprise and amaze her, and hopes her readers will enjoy the challenging and exciting journeys her characters take.

Emelle lives in suburban Washington D.C. with her husband, Phil, her hero of thirty years, and two orange cats, Lucy and Bella. Her daughter, Olivia, and son, Allen, are happily launched on their own and contributing great things to society, which has always been their mother’s fondest wish.



  1. Thank you the most kind and generous review, Julie! I am so happy a lover of romantic suspense enjoyed this story. And the interview questions were great. Readers - what is your favorite quote? Share below and one of you will win a signed book from me!

  2. I have read Anna Karenina twice now as my Mother chose my name fro the title. My favourite quote is from the Leo Tolstoy book and says “He stepped down, trying not to look long at her, as if she were the sun, yet he saw her, like the sun, even without looking.”

    1. Oh my gosh, Karen, that is a stunningly beautiful quote. Thank you so much for sharing it! And that is the truth of true love, don't you think. That you feel the presence of the one you love, and are warmed by it. XXX Thanks for posting.


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