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Review by Anniek
Mia was just 12 years old when a tragic accident took her father's life and left her in need of a heart transplant. Mia got Alexis's heart. Alexis was a young girl who was murdered by a serial killer. Lately Mia's been having dreams about Alexis's last minutes. Mia feels compelled to act on those memories. She starts an investigation on her own, trying to find out who killed Alexis. Will Mia be in over her head with a serial killer on the loose? What will happen when she gets too close?
The heart transplant left Mia with a big scar and she feels terribly insecure about it. She tries to cover it up at all times. Mia still struggles with everything that happened and she can't deny her secondhand heart the truth. Her boyfriend doesn't understand why she's so determined in her quest and he isn't too supportive. I loved how Mia holds her own. She feels so strongly about this and is not backing down. Alexis deserves justice and I loved Mia for wanting to give that to the girl who saved her life.
A Secondhand Life is a gripping story that kept me on the edge of my seat. What Mia is experiencing is organ memory. This is not uncommon and I found this subject incredibly intriguing. I believe that the heart is part of someone's soul and to receive a heart from someone else must be really weird. Pamela Crane knows exactly what she is writing about and her story grabbed me from the very beginning. It can be a bit confusing when a story has a lot of flashbacks, but I had no troubles at all keeping track because the writing is so clear.
Pamela Crane surprised me more than once with the direction of her story and I love it when a writer can do that. A Secondhand Life has a fast pace, which made me fly through the pages. After I finished I looked up organ memory on the internet since I wanted to know more about it, that's how real A Secondhand Life felt for me. This was my first book by Pamela Crane, but I can't wait to read another one of her thrilling emotional rollercoasters.
If you're looking for a gripping and compelling read I highly recommend A Secondhand Life. Even though A Secondhand Life is part of the Killer Thriller series it can easily be read as a standalone.
About Pamela Crane
Pamela Crane is a professional juggler. Not the type of juggler who can toss flaming torches in the air, but a juggler of four kids, a writing addiction, a horse rescuer, and a book editor by trade. She lives on the edge (ask her Arabian horse about that—he’ll tell you all about their wild adventures while trying to train him!) and she writes on the edge. Her characters and plots are her escape from the real world of dirty diapers and cleaning horse stalls, and she thrives off of an entertaining tale.
She is the author of the best-selling psychological thriller "The Admirer’s Secret," Amazon top 20 short story "A Fatal Affair," and her latest releases "A Secondhand Life" and "A Secondhand Lie."
1. Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
I like to think of myself as a full-time juggler, though I’m not nearly as agile as one. I have four kids ages 6 and under, I work as a book editor, I run a horse rescue (or what my daughter calls a “zoo,” since we seem to rescue all types of animals), and I recently added being an author to the list. I’m a terrible cook, but I lucked out by marrying a wannabe chef who loves to ban me from the kitchen.
2. You're a full-time writing and working mom. What does a typical day look like for you?
Changing at least 2 dirty diapers starts the day off, along with the ear-piercing shrieks of my clumsy 3-year-old who takes a tumble at least once every morning. But after the morning chaos dies down, I usually run around like a beheaded chicken passing out snacks, getting my older kids to school, chugging coffee, and checking email. Evening, after the kids are in bed, is when I jump on my computer to catch up on writing. I’m working on my sixth thriller book and am loving the plot and characters, so my nightly writing time is precious to me. I close the day with my Kindle and tea, reading pretty much any genre I can get my hands on.
3. You have your own blog. What do you like the most about blogging?
I have an autistic but adorable son, so I blog to vent some of my frustrations about life and parenting in general, but I also review good books I’ve read. I also like sharing editing tips for my writer blog fans. With blogging I can throw out a few paragraphs without having to proof it to death, yay!
4. Do you have a favorite quote?
E.L. Doctorow wrote: “Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.” This is so me. I can write about serial killers, brokenness, and heroes and no one has yet to diagnose me with a mental illness for having such erratic (and often creepy) thoughts.
5. You're also a reviewer. Could you name one book that is a must-read?
Oh no, what to choose? I’m going to go with an indie author this time, since God knows they need the support. I recently read a book called 2nd Sight about a man suffering from hallucinations that are part of a genetic psychic disorder. The visions can change based on various choices made, so the protagonist is constantly attempting to figure out how to avoid a dire future looming ahead. Think of the movie The Butterfly Effect but with a villain out to kill him and an earth-shattering reality that the character is trying to stop from happening.
6. What's your favorite writing and reading spot?
If you’ve ever seen National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, do you remember Cousin Eddie’s run-down RV spewing toxic waste? Well, I have a similar 1979 RV—minus the toxic waste. That RV is my writing nook where tea and snacks are within an arm’s reach while I write. It’s ugly, but it sure is cozy and quiet!
7. You thrillers are based on real-life experiences. Could you name one that made a big impression on you?
A friend of mine had a lung transplant, and shortly after he started experiencing changes in his tastes and even some unfamiliar memories. Worried that something was wrong with the transplant, he sought answers from his doctor, who told him about a cellular memory phenomenon where organs can retain information from the original host and pass it to the new host. Combining this organ memory science with my personal experience with a traumatic psycho-stalker incident, I decided to embellish the tale in my murder mystery story A Secondhand Life. I’ve met my fair share of crazy people, so as they say, I write what I know.
8. Could you describe yourself in 6 words?
Peppy, Animal-loving, Manic, Energetic, Loyal, Adventurer (Like how I used my name as an acronym? Haha)
9. Do you have a writing routine?
If by routine you mean whenever I can scrape an hour here and there together, then sure! I do try to make consistent time to write, though it varies. Sometimes the flow of words will be so heavy that I’ll write a chapter a night. Other times I’ll beg my husband for a weekend getaway to focus solely on writing. I live, breathe, and eat words, so somehow or another I’ll make time for it, no matter how much sleep I have to lose (I have 4 kids—I’m used to no sleep by now anyways).
10. What can we expect from you in the future?
My next thriller series, “The Little Things That Kill Series,” has been released in July 2017. I’m very excited about the first book in the installment, The Art of Fear.
Ari Wilburn died long ago—the day her little sister’s life depended on her, and she lost it. After years of enduring resentful parents, crippling self-blame, and a failed suicide attempt later, Ari stumbles upon a sliver of truth about her sister’s death. Was it the accident investigations claimed it was? Or was there a darker motive involved? In the midst of her crumbling psyche, Ari joins a suicide support group where she meets Tina, a sex-trafficked escapee whose father winds up dead. Although ruled a suicide, Tina suspects otherwise and drags Ari into her pursuit for justice. Faced with these murderous wakeup calls, Ari can no longer sleepwalk through life as she pieces together clues that could free her conscious but fuel the killer’s interest in seeing her dead. Will Ari be able to help herself and Tina find closure? Or will she only bring more suffering on herself and those she gets close to?
Five very lucky readers from With Love for Books will receive a digital copy of one of the books on Pamela Crane's backlist (winner's choice).
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