KAREN MILLIE-JAMES grew up in north-west London and now lives in the Buckinghamshire countryside with her husband, daughter and their three dogs. Karen founded her international business consultancy practice in 1993 and is widely recognised as an expert in the corporate field, sitting on many boards of directors around the globe in an advisory capacity.
THE SHADOWS BEHIND HER SMILE is Karen’s first novel.
The sequel, Where in the Dark, which continues the story of Cydney Granger,
will be available worldwide later in 2016.
Find out more at www. karenmilliejames.com
As soon as corporate forensic specialist, Cydney Granger, hears the crunch of tyres on her driveway, she knows they’ve come to report her husband is dead. After all, Captain Steve Granger had barely left for Afghanistan when she’d had the first of those terrible premonitions.
Although Cydney is a psychic medium, she’s disturbed by her inability to connect with Steve. But when she’s contacted by recently deceased Ray Gordon, he agrees to help her, on one condition – can she put a stop to his brother’s greed and corruption and ensure Ray’s family get the inheritance they deserve?
Sean O’Connell, Steve’s former sergeant, had promised he would always protect Cydney and the children in the event of Steve’s death. However, during Cydney’s investigations into the scrupulous activities of two high-powered businessmen, and when George Edwards appears on the scene intent on pursuing her, Sean finds himself out of his depth.
From the heart of Cydney’s corporate world in London to the ruins of war-torn Damascus, men will stop at nothing to achieve their goals. Faced with secrets, fraud, attempted murder, and blackmail, can Cydney come out of this unscathed? And, after four years, is she ready to let Steve go?
A brilliant plot that combines the heat of the business world with the secrecy of the Special Forces.
In a genre of its own encompassing crime and mystery, this unique thriller is impossible to put down.
A LITTLE Q & A
If this were a Twitter pitch party, you would squeeze your tag line into a 140 characters. Would you like to try?
Transported from the boardroom to war-torn Damascus, the suspense erupts with a background of romance and a hint of the paranormal
Who are your main characters?
Cydney Granger – a strong, self-assured businesswoman with a hidden side.
Sean O’Connell – ex Special Forces who always gets to the truth
George Edwards – lawyer with a background he never wants to reveal
Rupert Van der Hausen – South African industrialist, whose fortune continues growing despite the circumstances
Steve Granger – Captain in the Special Forces. A born leader of men. Killed on a secret mission – but his body was never found.
Craig Benton and Robert Crossley – accumulated their wealth through insider dealing and corruption
Ray Gordon – in spirit, desperate to stop his brother, Charles, from defrauding his wife.
Tell me about the title. Are there any hidden subtexts we should know about?
Cydney has everything to the outside world but her feelings are kept firmly under wraps and nobody is allowed in especially as a result of her father dying in her childhood, and losing her husband, Steve. Can she release those shadows and learn to love again with George.
How many books do you have planned?
The sequel, Where in The Dark, will be released towards the end of 2016. There will possibly be a third book in the series. I doubt I can let Cydney go now.
Tell me about your home base. Country or city?
I now live in the Buckinghamshire countryside in a cottage built in the 1890’s which has been extended and modernised. We love the outdoor life with our three dogs.
Are you a fan of self-promotion? What is your weapon of choice? (I love Twitter)
I love the interaction and groups on Facebook. I am still learning about Twitter but the social media scene helps you meet so many new people.
If eyes are the windows to the soul, the telly is the window to writing prompts. What are you watching on the telly these days?
I love period dramas and have just finished watching War and Peace.
Share your method with us.
I have no actual method. I sit down and the story flows. After a few chapters I read through, maybe change things around, then carry on writing. I think through the characterisation and how the various people would react to circumstances, normally in the early hours of the morning when I can’t sleep, or when I’m driving. Sometimes I would think of an amazing sentence or description and have to write it down to use when the occasion arises.
All writing and no play makes the writer suffer. What do you do in your spare time (other than work the day job)?
Believe it or not, I read. I always have done from an early age, especially the classics. I go to the theatre and love musicals. I dance, particularly Ceroc and jive, and play tennis or table tennis.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
What are you doing right now this minute?
Watching Would I Lie to You on TV. So funny and makes me laugh out loud.
Continue my writing. Possible radio and TV interviews promoting my background in business, which are in the pipeline.
As Ray left her, albeit reluctantly, his body melting out of the taxi, Cydney’s skin returned to normal. She was now alone and the thoughts of the man faded to be replaced by the nose-to-tail traffic as the taxi driver turned south off the Marylebone Road and into Park Crescent, a beautiful area of London with elegant stuccoed terraced houses forming a semi-circle, which linked to Regents Park opposite. As they moved between the two halves of the crescent, Cydney looked into the private garden and saw between the railings the seven feet high statue of Queen Victoria’s father, Prince Edward, wearing his field marshall uniform. Driving through brought pictures to her mind of old English gentry and peers of the realm visiting in their private carriages.
Turning her attention to the day ahead, Cydney took the opportunity to read through her papers once again. It was important nothing should go wrong and that the client maintained his faith in her. However, thoughts of Ray wouldn’t leave her. She took out her mobile and dialled her assistant.
“Granger Associates – Jennifer Vere-Nicholson speaking.”
Cydney never tired of hearing the sound of the phone answered so professionally by the staff of her own company. Jenny was her right-hand woman and had started work the day she and Steve had established the company. She had built up her own client base and always explained that she was learning from the master. Her father had been knighted several years ago for his contribution to industry and Cydney liked the fact she had such a good pedigree. Jenny was in her mid-twenties and had joined the company straight from university where she’d read law and criminology, deciding she didn’t want to go into law itself but work in commerce. Cydney had taught her the business world she’d come to know and love and now she completely relied on her; she was worth her weight in gold. With no time for small talk she got straight to the point.
“I’m on the way to the meeting but I want you to do a complete check on a company for me called Rayshel Plastics. Get Richard to help you. I want everything by the time I come into the office tomorrow morning.”
“Not much notice then…”
“This is important – full report, records, accounts, criminal stuff.”
Cydney rang off. She knew they could trust Richard. Even though retired from CID he still had an ‘in’ to the powers that be. Now she could sit back and relax a bit whilst they did their work.
THE SHADOWS BEHIND HER SMILE is Karen’s first novel. Where in the Dark, which continues the story of Cydney Granger, will be available worldwide later in 2016.
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