13 February 2015

The Clock Strikes Midnight Tour Stop!

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The Clock Strikes Midnight 
The Clock Strikes Midnight is a race against time in a quest for revenge and atonement. This is a story about hate, love, betrayal and forgiveness.
If you found out you had only 3 months to live, what would you do? That’s the question Janie Knox faces in this fast-paced mystery full of uncertainty and tension that will surprise you until the very last page. Hiding behind the façade of a normal life, Janie keeps her family secrets tucked inside a broken heart. Everything changes on the day she learns she’s going to die. With the clock ticking and her time running out, she rushes to finish what she couldn’t do when she was 17—destroy her mother’s killer. But she can’t do it alone. Janie returns to her childhood home to elicit help from her sister. She faces more than she bargained for when she discovers her sister’s life in shambles. Meanwhile her mother’s convicted killer, her stepfather, recently released from prison, blackmails the sisters and plots to extract millions from the state in retribution. New revelations challenge Janie’s resolve, but she refuses to allow either time or her enemies to her stop her from uncovering the truth she’s held captive for over 20 years.
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The Clock Strikes Midnight is a well-written and fascinating story with plenty of twists and revelations that will have your mind wondering what’s next while questioning what has been revealed. Joan C. Curtis presents an entertaining and dramatic journey into the lives of two sisters with a tragic and complicated past that they wish they could forget but can’t move beyond.

 Warning there are some sensitive topics that are discussed in the storyline involving things pertaining to sexual abuse, abortion, and post partum depression.

Janie has been diagnosed with Cancer and her doctor has given her 3 months to live. With the reality of death on the horizon Janie decides it’s time to deal with her past and put some things she’s been putting off in order.  She has a list she needs to complete before her time runs out and that means she needs to go back home to Atlanta to face her demons, to face her stepfather Ralph who killed her mother. It’s been 20 years since she ran away from Atlanta leaving her past behind her but she has a plan. Once she’s back home she ‘s going to contact her sister Marlene and convince her estranged older sister that it’s in both their best interests if they work together. However, Janie’s plan doesn’t go as smooth as she thought it would. Marlene isn’t exactly in a good place. She’s harboring anger and bitterness over Janie disappearing on her 20 years ago, her marriage is in shambles and she’s turning into a depressive and angry alcoholic like their mother.

Most of the characters in the story aren’t exactly likeable nor are they perfect.  They make mistakes and do some rather selfish things but it’s their raw and relatable imperfections that make them compelling and as a reader I couldn’t help but want to delve deeper into the psychology of each character and pick away at their misguided attempts. I was won over by Marlene and Janie’s determination and inner strength. The two are complex characters with layer upon layer of secrets and emotions that once pulled back reveal moments in their childhood that shaped them as adults. I don’t want to reveal too much of what happens so I don’t take away from the insights and nuances that build up the mysterious reasons behind Janie’s plans.

The storyline transitions between the past and the present and between different points of view from Janie’s perspective, to Marlene’s, to their mother Eloise who as a teenager went through something that would one day shape Marlene and Janie’s future. The transitioning was done smoothly and in a way that allowed the story to reveal itself in a gripping manner adding to the intensity of the plot. The book was suspenseful and dramatic with touches of loss, tragedy, adversity, love and family unity. 

“Daddy, when I get my kitty, can I name him Davy?” she had asked, yanking Marlene’s Davy Crockett mug full of M&M’s from her grasp.
The colorful candy spilled all over the backseat of the car.

“Mama, tell Janie to—”

"Janie, behave,” Daddy said, admonishing her for an instant with his eyes from the rearview mirror.

“Malcolm, look out—!” Mom screamed.

Janie slammed into Marlene. Pain. The world tumbled topsy-turvy. The mug flew across the interior of the car, colors of the rainbow falling all around her.

Then, everything went black.

When she opened her eyes, Mom’s blood-streaked face rose in front of her out of the darkness.

“Wrap your arms around my neck, honey.” Mom lifted her from the wreckage.

Janie clutched her doll by the dress while the rain beat her curly hair flat.

Marlene stood on the side of the road.

“Try to walk,” Mom said, toppling her from her arms.

Her head pounded and blood trickled down her leg. She leaned on her good leg and limped in the direction of her sister.

“Mama, where’s Daddy?” Marlene asked between sobs.

Mom took Marlene’s hand and yanked her forward with Janie in tow.

Marlene lurched back toward the smashed Oldsmobile with smoke billowing from its hood and a big tree lying across the roof. The Davy Crockett mug lay shattered by the back tire.

“Daddy! We can’t leave Daddy!” Marlene yelled, picking up pieces of the broken glass.

They had left Daddy that day and piled into an old Chevy pick-up truck with a bashed in headlamp, belonging to a man with carrot-red hair. Mom pushed them inside the truck and ordered the man to get help. But by then it was too late for Daddy.

It was too late for all of them.
Joan is an award-winning writer who has published 5 books and numerous stories. In her newest mystery/suspense novel, The Clock Strikes Midnight, we meet Janie Knox, a tormented young woman who escaped her home and family after a jury convicted her stepfather of killing her mother. Full of twists and turns, readers learn of a trail of long-hidden family secrets that plague the lives of both Janie and her older sister, Marlene. Not until the last page do all the secrets reveal themselves and the web of lies finally release its hold on the two sisters. Joan has been an avid reader for as long as she can remember. She reads all kinds of books, including women’s fiction, mysteries, biography, and nonfiction related to her work. She does not read fantasy, horror or romance. Her passion as a reader lies closer to literary writing with a commercial bent. Her debut novel, The Clock Strikes Midnight, was released by MuseItUp Publishing on 11/25/ 2014. This mystery/suspense book is exactly the kind of book Joan loves to read. "I write about characters who remind me of myself at times and my sister at times, but never fully so. My stories are told from a woman's point of view with a destiny. Characters drive my writing and my reading." Having grown up in the South with a mother from Westchester County New York, Joan has a unique take on blending the southern traditions with the eye of a northerner. She spent most of her childhood in North Carolina and now resides in Georgia.
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1 comment:

  1. Hi, Thank you for hosting me today and for the very nice, thoughtful review of The Clock Strikes Midnight. I'm gratified that readers are finding it moving as well as a pleasant read.