The year is 2057. Larkin Bellamy and her father lived in a darker time for the United States, when the Western World had become alarmingly consumed by Socialism, and the American citizens in turn creating a resurgence of the old era of McCarthyism. Neighbors spy on neighbors and friends betray one another to avoid being in the spotlight themselves. In these turbulent times, Hadrian Bellamy chooses to pursue a lucrative yet ‘less than reputable’ line of work, and is forced to flee with his daughter to escape almost certain prosecution at the hands of the now extremely paranoid CIA.
They seek refuge on a beautiful Caribbean island, hoping to fall under the radar of any neighboring Socialist powers and the US government alike. But their disastrous fate seems to follow them, launching the two fugitives in to a harrowing fight for survival and leaving them stranded in the lush paradise.
When Larkin is ripped away from her father, she has no choice but to grasp the dark reality facing her and circumstances far more impactful than she can realize, before it’s too late.
Forced to evade secret service agents, armed guards, and the vile man responsible for her plight, Larkin finds herself in near impossible odds. Gaining a mysterious ally in the most unlikely of places, the two of them must navigate their way through the treacherous sparkling waters, rife with danger at every turn.
Hello book lovers! Today is a day where I will be writing another author spotlight for a well-accomplished author whose work I have loved. As you know book lovers I love learning about authors and the inspiration behind their work, it fascinates me and adds to the depth of the book because the reader will be able to better understand it. That is how the author spotlights were created because I soon discovered that you lovely readers ALSO love learning about author’s, so I am excited to tell you a little bit more about author Raechal Evett whose book Cruel Paradise thrilled me from beginning to end. I personally would recommend this book to all of those that love mystery and suspense but really the book can be read by anybody as it is flawlessly written and highly enjoyable. With today’s author spotlight for Raechal Evett, a biography of the author and an interview between me and Raechal Evett will be shared, and I hope that you book lovers enjoy reading it! To kick this off here is an author bio about the wonderful Raechal Evett!
Raechal Evett is a graduate of Texas A&M University, where she studied both Hispanic and Russian history, culture, language, and literature. She is a first-time published author of Cruel Paradise, and writer of many short stories located in a trunk in the attic somewhere. A longtime lover of languages and literature alike, Raechal’s obsessions are (somewhat predictably) traveling, burying her nose in a book, photography, chocolate, and attempting crafty things from Pinterest. She is married to a chemist/biologist-turned-sales executive, who is frequently subjected to sporadic text message queries about wildlife, disasters, and states of decay when she’s writing. Raechal continues to dream up new stories and adventures, while questing with her darling toddler, who genuinely believes that he is a super hero.
Now, how wonderful does Raechal Evett sound?! Raechal Evett is a truly exceptional writer and I hope that you lovely readers have a read of Raechal Evett’s work because you will not regret it! Please see below an interview between me and Raechal Evett, I hope that you enjoy Raechal Evett’s answers to my questions, they are incredible and provide some great advice too!
Thank you for joining us today at Red Headed Book Lover! Please tell us more about yourself.
In a nutshell, I love staying busy! I work full-time at Keurig Dr Pepper in Dallas TX, am a yoga instructor, a writer of course, and mother to the best six year old boy ever! Ok I’m biased, but he really is pretty amazing. I’m teaching him Spanish currently (I’m fluent in Spanish and Russian), and together we talk about ancient Egypt, music, space, Harry Potter, and Greek mythology. I also assist with his horseback riding lessons. I am an ardent crafter as well as a pianist, and I like to pursue those interests along with reading regularly, naturally. Philanthropy is very important to me, and I also do lots of charity work with several non-profit organizations in our area, and like to involve my family in that as well. I tend to get a little stir-crazy, so we travel a lot. My husband and I just got back from Spain, and are already planning several family trips for next year!
Could you please tell us readers about your book and what inspired you to write your book?
All of my story ideas come from dreams. I have a very vivid imagination and as such my dreams are complex and vivid also. I keep a notebook where I write down the good ones. The basic plot and several major scenes in this book came from a dream I had 5 years ago. Then I filled in the blanks around it and my story was born!
This book is a deviation from my usual dream inspirations. I am obsessed with anthropology, and they usually have a more historical fiction basis. But this novel is a suspense/thriller, set in the not too distant future in a different political climate. The citizens of the US have become extremely paranoid and the government has started targeting Socialists – removing them from their homes and jobs, tapping in to phone calls, and having neighbors spy on each other. When one of our main characters, Hadrian Bellamy, gets mixed up in some shady dealings he is forced to flee the country with his daughter Larkin, and they go to the Caribbean where they hope to lay low for a while. But they soon find themselves in danger again, facing an even more formidable foe than before.
What would your advice be for aspiring writers?
Just write. Don’t allow things like the amount of work it might take, critical reception, or the difficulties of actually getting published bring you down. First and foremost you are writing for you, and if others get to enjoy it that’s a bonus. And as such it’s a labor of love.
In your opinion what is the most important thing about a book?
The best books actually transport you in to their world, and cause you to be so caught up in the story and imagining every aspect that it’s hard to put down and sad when it ends. So that gripping style of story-telling is a must for me, and I hope that I’ve achieved it in Cruel Paradise.
What is your writing process like?
It breaks the rules. Most good or even best-selling authors will say that in order to hone your craft, so to speak, you must set aside time to write daily and be wholly committed to it. Well as you can tell from my answer to your first question, I don’t have time for that. So I try to make it a priority and write during my lunch hour or in the evenings and on the weekends, but it’s maybe 3 times a week at best.
I actually wrote this first novel out by hand in a notebook whenever the next step in the story popped in to my head. Then that became a more involved process because I had to type it all up before I could start doing revisions. That was 5 years ago that I started this book, while my son was one and our sleep habits were turned upside down. Somehow in that foggy time I managed to write it out in 2 years, but it took me longer to decide to pursue publishing.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
Mainly I research the specifics of details that I don’t know. I like to paint a picture with my words, and if I don’t know the “lay of the land” (literally and figuratively) of my setting, down to the types of wildlife and plants residing there, then I need to fill in those blanks. I also like to incorporate historical contexts around my fictional plots, whether that’s re-using people or place names or mirroring previous events that transpired around a theme. So this research consists of hunting down as much information as I can find on my own (chiefly online), but also leaning on my subject matter experts.
For this novel, I consulted my husband on the biological aspects, as he is a Chemist and Biologist. I would send him texts such as, “If a dead body with head trauma and an open wound were wrapped in a blanket and carried through a humid jungle for 3 days, what would the state of decay be on the 4th day in air conditioning?” My father, a former US Army Ranger (Special Forces), has some pretty extensive tactical experience that I tapped in to for details on my Marine double agent, like what types of weapons would they likely carry and how they’d think through strategies. The texts that he got from me were more along the lines of, “If you needed to slash some tires and you were a Marine, what type of pocket knife would you be carrying and would that be sufficient?”
His friend was my source of insight in to flying private aircraft, though I studied some flight manuals as well. And my own background from college in Hispanic Studies gave me the idea for the context of this book – a world in which the Latin American countries got fed up and unified as Socialistas to overcome their individual obstacles. This has a past precedent in the colonial days of South America, when the “libertadores” José de San Martín and Simon Bolívar led the charge against the Spanish regime and started a movement among the countries. Socialism has tried to gain a foothold in such revolutions in that area for centuries, one of the more well-known incidences being with Ché Guevara and of course Fidel Castro in Cuba.
Do you have a set schedule for writing, or do you only write when you feel inspired?
I have a pretty demanding life schedule so it’s only when I feel inspired!
Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
I usually make time to read before bed and stop looking at my phone. Lately I’ve been on a Russian history kick and reading Helen Rappaport’s amazing work on the last Romanov imperial family. As English monarchy historical fiction goes, I love Rosalind Miles. In Spanish, Gabriel García Márquez and Pablo Neruda are a must (but the English translations are phenomenal as well), and in Russian or English I always enjoy Lev Tolstoy. I treasure Elizabeth Kostova’s works and most of Dan Brown’s, particularly the older novels.
Lastly, when can we readers expect to read more wonderful books from you?
I’m working on a sequel now! Hopefully by the end of next year.
Its official book lovers, I am obsessed with Raechal Evett! If you have liked what you have read about Raechal Evett and are interested in learning more about Raechal Evett and reading Raechal Evett work, then please do have a browse of the links below and be sure to have a read of the preview too! You will not regret it.
Goodbye for now book lovers,