The Duty Bound Duet by Sydney Jamesson - Author Interview
"You never know where this story is going and what secrets will be unearthed along the way. I can say this kept me guessing right until the very last page. What an absolute thrill ride this duet took me on!" ~ Kindle and Koffee Book Blog
On her death bed Emily Derbyshire’s mother made her promise to take good care of her little sister. Keeping her promise, twelve-year-old Emily did exactly that and became five-year-old Rita’s benefactor and bodyguard.
After eighteen years of sisterly devotion Emily receives some shocking news! Rita has committed suicide. When disturbing details start to surface, Emily puts her highflying career on hold to seek out those responsible. She hires an American private investigator Robert Blackmoor; a motorbike riding, no-frills, computer hacker who will use any means necessary to unearth the truth.
Not surprisingly, Robert uncovers secrets from Emily’s troubled childhood and chips away at the glossy veneer of deceit which masks the truth behind, not only Rita’s life, but Emily’s imperfect life too.
Together they assemble the pieces of a sinister puzzle, revealing a cruel and corrupt world of exploitation and murder: a Dark Web into which Rita has become entangled.
As dark forces encircling Emily tighten their grip, and with everything to lose, she must make a life and death decision that she may live to regret.
Emily Parsons is a product of a difficult childhood: self-reliant, fiercely protective and willing to do whatever it takes to safeguard the wellbeing of those in her care. She has even slayed a monster, or two … or three in the name of poetic justice, and yet she is haunted by the image of a beautiful blond girl.
Sixteen-year-old Louise Travis has been abducted.
Louise’ fate rested in Emily’s hands, but she let her slip through her fingers like gold dust, only to be swept away by a malevolent band of brothers.
By once again enlisting the help of computer hacker, Robert Blackmoor, Emily must find Louise before she is lost forever in a Dark Web of heinous crimes, cruelty and corruption. The clock is ticking, and Emily’s investigation is drawing the wrong kind of attention, but she will not back down. She is duty bound to protect those she loves.
With skeletons from her past being unearthed, who can she turn to, and who can she trust with her own sinister secrets?
Don't miss the giveaway at the end of this post!
Enjoy an Excerpt from
Duty of Care
MAY CAME WITH A vengeance. Mid-month, there was an outbreak of whooping cough.
Like a wrathful ogre wielding a scythe, it struck down the young, the frail and faint-hearted. Aged five, Rita Derbyshire was incapable of escaping its relentless assault. Emily was quick to read the signs: a lack of appetite, flushed cheeks and a wracking cough that had her gasping for breath.
Despite the outbreak, an ineffectual night shift worker was reluctant to respond. He locked the office when Emily asked to use the phone to call for an ambulance and staggered to bed stinking of whisky and tobacco, claiming it was too late to drive anyone to the hospital.
Fearing Rita might die, Emily raised hell, had the O’Farrell twins rouse anyone who was not struck down with the illness to dress warmly, to put on gloves and meet her in the kitchen. When they were assembled, bleary eyed and shivering, she explained that if they did not work as a team that night, then some of them would die.
Remembering what she had read on the computer at school about the illness, she paired them up and handed one of them a bowl of steaming water. Their partner was to guide them slowly to one of the ailing girls. They were to hold the whooping girl over the bowl under a towel and encourage her to inhale the steam. Once the water had stopped steaming, then they had to do it all again. Having organised them, she returned to Rita and did the same for her. The caravan of bowl carriers continued through the night.
When the day shift worker, Cassie Hendricks, arrived at eight in the morning, she was horrified to see the kitchen in disarray and bowls of every shape and size scattered on corridors amid puddles of freezing water. She assumed they had been having a pyjama party or a midnight feast of some sort. It was not until Emily appeared wearing yesterday’s clothes carrying a pale faced little girl across her arms fighting for breath that she realised what had gone on.
Close to exhaustion, Emily cried out, “Cassie, Rita needs to go to hospital, right now!” Around her stood a group of ashen faced girls, some still clutching bowls. “You need to call a doctor because there are lots of sick kids here.”
Without saying a word, Cassie pulled her phone out of the back pocket of her jeans and made a couple of calls.
End of Excerpt. Copyright © Sydney Jamesson
Q&A with Sydney Jamesson
Any weird things you do when you’re alone?
When I’m alone in the house, I like to turn up the radio really loud and sing along. I must have been a diva in an earlier life!
Like so many writer’s though, I’m an observer. One of the weirdest things I do when I’m out alone is watch how people behave, just sitting or when they’re interacting. It’s amazing what can be worked out about a person, even a stranger, simply by paying attention to their body language.
There have been times when I’ve been on a train or a bus and become convinced that the woman across from me or the man boarding is running away from something, they’re scared or close to falling apart. It’s the writer’s curse: to see a potential plot in every mannerism and every face.
What is your favorite quote and why?
I have lots of favourite quotes. I have been inspired by some of Maya Angelou’s quotes as they often demonstrate wisdom and an awareness of the human condition that often goes unrecognised.
‘Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles and leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.’ ~ Beautiful!
In Wuthering Heights Emily Brontë has Catherine saying this about Heathcliff.
“He's more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.” How romantic!
An all time favourite is by Emily Dickinson. In showing her appreciate for the English language, she wrote, “I know nothing in the world that has as much power as a word. Sometimes I write one, and I look at it, until it begins to shine.”
Who is your favorite author and why?
Choosing a favourite author is never easy when you have such an eclectic taste. I’m a very selective reader. When free time is limited, you choose what you read wisely. If I don’t like the writing style on the first page, I don’t read on. It also depends on the mood I’m in and what’s happening in my life at that moment.
For certain, my answer must include Anne Tyler. Most of her stories revolve around dysfunctional families who are made up of odd, eccentric and sometimes comic characters who speak coherently but don’t communicate on a meaningful level. I would read Breathing Lessons once a month if I had the time.
My favourite, commercial author would have to be Sylvain Reynard; rich romanticism and eloquent prose make for a delicious read and Professor Emerson is easy on the eye and all the other senses…
In the past, I have devoured novels by Tiffany Reisz: The Siren made me cry on the beach when I finished it. I love the complexity of Gillian Flynn’s novels and her dark, despondent characters in Dark Places are inspired.
What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?
Personally, I consider good characterization vitally important. If the reader can’t connect with the characters early on; see themselves in them, feel sorry for them, cheer them on or even hate them with a vengeance, then the story won’t work. They won’t have a vested interest in what happens to the protagonist or the antagonist and whether they achieve their goal or suffer an agonizing death.
Also, there must be a well plotted story. My novels are full of twist and turns, surprises and changes in tempo and direction that can have readers reeling—close to tears one minute and on the edge of their seats the next. That’s what I want from a book—something I didn’t see coming!
How many books have we read when you can guess halfway through how it’s going to end? I hate that! When it happens and the story is predictable, I skip to the end to put myself out of my misery. A weak ending turns what should be an entertaining surprise into disappointment or, worse still, a cop-out.
Of course, how the story is written is an important element. I have read stories that swap and change between multiple settings, time periods and narrative voices. Then, the experience of reading can become more about working out the structure than plot development and progression. The reader can spend too much time checking the who and the when rather than enjoying the story. Readability is crucial and that only comes with good editing, proofreading and revisions.
Where did you get the idea for this book?
THE DUTY BOUND DUET came out of a shocking news story I became aware of in early 2019. In the north of England, a gang of Asian men had been sexually exploiting teenage girls over many months, given them gifts, plied them with alcohol and drugs, made then totally dependent on them for drugs and affection with the singular intention of using them as sex slaves for themselves and other men. Some of the girls were from good homes, others were snatched from care homes. They all had crucial factors in common: they were minors, they were groomed, they were raped, and they were innocent victims who, like the girls in DUTY OF CARE and THE CARETAKERS, needed to be rescued.
Knowing about these harrowing cases was only one aspect that triggered the creative process.
I asked… What if the one person you were responsible for and loved more than any other became caught up in this cruel and corrupt world of sexual exploitation and murder: a Dark Web into which they had become entangled. What would you do?
Emily Parson’s answer lies within the pages of THE DUTY BOUND DUET!
Learn more by visiting the author's website. Duty of Care released August 18, 2020 and The Caretakers released August 25, 2020.
Meet the Author
Sydney Jamesson is a USA Today bestselling author by night and an English teacher by day. She is nocturnal by nature and loves nothing more than staying up late, listening to music and being inspired to write. She has always written creatively; in her home is one enormous wastepaper basket full of discarded phrases, opening lines and pieces of dialogue that have hit her like lightning in the middle of the night. Her USA Today bestselling trilogy, THE STORY OF US sold worldwide, and she has been thrilled to continue Ayden Stone's and Beth Parker's epic love story in The Story of Us Series: Into the Blue, featuring Blue Genes, Blue Hearts and Blue Moon.
More recently, Sydney has focused on psychological suspense. THE DARKEST CORNERS was her first venture into the new genre: a complex love story filled with lots of angst, emotional scenes and edge of your seat suspense as a single father and a troubled young woman confront their deepest, darkest fears together. The twists come think and fast and the ending is unforgettable!
In her latest novels, DUTY OF CARE and THE CARETAKERS - THE DUTY BOUND DUET -readers explore the seedier side of the Dark Web; witness abduction, human trafficking, and a devoted sister’s willingness to do whatever it takes to safeguard the wellbeing of those in her care. It’s a real page turner, filled with incidents which are heart-breaking and heart-stopping in equal measure!
Duty of Care and The Caretakers by Sydney Jamesson
Genre: Psychological Suspense
Duty of Care Release Date: August 18, 2020
The Caretakers Release Date: August 25, 2020
Content Rating: 5 Hearts; Some violence and sensitive subject matter related to human trafficking.
Sydney Jamesson will be awarding a $50 Amazon or B&N gift card to one randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter by the end of the tour. Don't forget to tell your friends about these thrilling books.