The Truth About Night by Amanda Arista releases today in the Paranormal Mystery genre.
As an investigative journalist, Merci Lanard has an uncanny knack for getting the truth out of people, a talent she uses to expose the real story behind her city’s most gruesome crimes.
Until one night, when her partner, Ethan, is killed.
Reeling from shock and grief, Merci vows to track down his murderer. As she starts digging, she meets Ethan’s estranged brother, Rafe, who agrees to work with Merci to find his brother’s killer. She soon discovers Ethan had been hiding things from her, mainly that he was a Shifter and had a whole life in a supernatural world she knew nothing about.
A Shifter himself, Rafe introduces Merci to magic she never knew existed. As they work together to uncover hidden connections between Ethan’s murder and a series of strange dead bodies, they find themselves in the crosshairs of a turf war for the soul of the city.
If Merci is to have any hope of saving her city, she will have to face the truth about this war, the truth about this new magical world, and the truth about who she truly is.
The words echoed across the parking lot, and everyone turned. They turned because it was a show; it was a spectacle at a funeral. It distracted people from their loss and own sense of mortality.
I turned around because this voice felt like someone sliding a blanket across my skin. The static in my brain rose to greet this new sensation, as did the hairs on the back of my neck.
The man I’d seen fighting with Levi stormed across the parking lot straight toward me. Hayne tried to step between us, but I restrained him with an outstretched hand. I’d never hidden behind Hayne before, I wasn’t about to start now. I would face him as I faced all threats, head on.
When he stopped before me, my skin singed under his teal-blue eyes and the anger that poured off of him. He glared at me, the arch of his eyebrow giving a wicked articulation to a presence that felt bigger than his body. Who was he? What were he and Levi fighting about? Why had he called me a liar? The questions started circling around in my brain and the sizzle to answer them was like Frankenstein’s monster being brought back to life.
“You’re lying about what happened that night.”
My body reanimated with the new electricity running through it. I took my time with my answer as I collected details. The who’s and what’s of the situation. Accent was Scottish. Couldn’t be family. He was smaller than Ethan. The suit was new from the smell of it. And, seriously, those eyes were as deep as an ocean trench.
“I never lie about anything,” I answered, keeping my voice steady and my nerves calm.
He thrust his finger at me. “You got him killed.”
Oh, the game was on now. A smile played across my lips as the current danced around my head, tingling and tightening the hairs at the nape of my neck, “You really want to do this here?”
“Yes. Here.” His glare deepened. “I need to know.”
It was comforting to feel the familiar chill down my spine as I slipped into interrogation mode.
“Did you see the initial police report?” I asked.
“It was a load of shite.”
The police report didn’t have much in it because I didn’t have much to tell. Even now, after three days of reliving it in my head, there was very little I could articulate about what had happened. And I’d never give up Benny as my informant—his ass was mine. “What do you think happened?”
“Ethan was targeted. Either by your stupidity or—” He snapped his mouth shut as the words nearly spilled out of him.
“Or what?” My voice somehow remained calm though I was vibrating on the inside with anticipation, like a high schooler with their first cup of coffee.
Tension filled his jaw and his entire body as he restrained himself from speaking.
I bit my lip to keep the questions inside. Who was this man? Why did he think that Ethan’s death was on me? What did he think happened that night? They were all right there, the questions, beating against the inside of my skull like a swarm of angry bees against a window.
He took another step toward me. I watched his lips, the flush of his cheek as he spoke. “I will find out what happened.”
I didn’t back down. Never backed down. “No, I will. He was my partner.”
His nostrils flared, and his knuckles went white at his sides. “Aye, but he was my brother.”
It was like steel bat to my midsection, and all the air left me in one quick assault.
Ethan never mentioned a brother.
About the Author
Amanda was born in Illinois, raised in Corpus Christi, lives in Dallas but her heart lies in London. Good thing she loves to travel.
During the summer after second grade, she read every book in the young adult section of the library, much to the surprise of the local librarian. So she started making up her own stories and hasn’t stopped.
She has a husband who fights crime, one dog who thinks he’s a real boy, and another who might be a fruit bat in disguise. She recently added a tiny human to the mix who is following in her mother’s footsteps of storytelling.
Along with her BA in English & Psychology and her MA in Education, Amanda is a graduate of the SMU Creative Writing Program and now teaches other aspiring authors. She has delivered lectures at several writer conferences and loves discussing craft, character, and structure. Her current favorite: Stirring up Trouble with Romantic Subplots.
She is represented by Kimberly Brower, of Brower Literary & Management.
Amanda is adopted and loves to share that story with others to promote adoption.
Amanda has a collection of turtle figurines that collects on her travels.
Amanda has a strange love of cheesy horror movies. She prefers demons and witchcraft to slasher films.
Amanda is a really good bowler and completely rocks at croquet.
Hi Amanda, and thank you for being here today!
What is your writing process like? How long does it take you to write a book, and where does it fit in your schedule?
I don’t outline until I know who the character is, which means that I’ll write out a couple of scenes in my head and then figure out what tortures I’m going to put them through. The technical term for that is a ‘pantser,’ or a person who just writes by the seat of their pants and goes where the characters take them.
It took me fours years to write and polish TRUTH ABOUT NIGHT but the second one is flowing much faster. I work a full-time job but that doesn’t stop the inspiration from striking at any time. Primarily I write at night with the #momswriterclub after the family winds down for the day.
Did you know how it would end before you started writing, or was it more of an organic process?
The ending of TRUTH was always in my head, especially when I nailed down Merci’s internal arc. I knew I wanted a war at the end. I knew I wanted her to walk into it knowing that she might die. The details were a little fluid, but I had dialogue from the first few scenes I’d written in Merci’s head that are still in the final product.
I can’t say that all my books are like that, but when you meet Merci, you’ll understand that she’s a stubborn one.
Tell us about the main characters in it.
Merci Lanard is an investigative journalist for a newspaper in Philly. She is dedicated to finding out all the truths in the city that are hurting the underdogs. She’s like their personal Joan of Arc, and Merci doesn’t mind if that means she only has one meaningful relationship with Jack Daniels. As long as the truth comes to light.
Rafe MacCallen is a walking oxymoron. He’s a Scottish professor who specializes in American Lit. He’s a werewolf Primo without a pack. He’s power wrapped up in a tweed jacket with elbow patches. His control is impeccable, but there is something about his unmoveable character that explodes when he meets Merci’s unstoppable force.
Tell us about the setting you chose. What was it that specifically inspired you?
I needed an older setting so it had its fair share of good times and bad times. Philadelphia struck me because of its history and its iconic sites. It had the gravitas that I knew Merci would love and protect. It’s not as sexy as New York and not as mobby as Chicago. Once I really starting researching, Merci as a character and her growing up loving the city really all cemented together to make the location almost a character in the book. Philly is her damsel in distress.
Do you have any plans to publish any sequels, and if so, how many more books do we have to look forward to?
Merci’s tale is currently a trilogy with a novella, so you can look forward to more coming out in 2020. The Those who Wander universe has been in my head for so long, I have no idea how many books are in there, so we will see more from the universe soon as well.
What are your favorite books and authors? Do you have a favorite genre?
American Gods by Neil Gaimen
Good Omens- Neil Gaimen and Terry Prachett
Sandman graphic novels (are you seeing a trend here?)
Jim Butcher is a big one. Christopher Moore is climbing the ranks as well.
Jane Austen is my rainy day fallback.
And I read one Shakespeare play a year, though mostly is Hamlet.
I read a lot of fantasy and would prefer it to be tongue in cheek than serious.
What is your best advice for aspiring writers?
Write. Writing is a muscle and you have to work it out for it to pay off.
Keep reading. It will smooth out your style.
Find a group of people to be insane with. Its nice to be sitting in a group of people and be able to talk about the feasibility of blowing up a building without anyone calling the cops.
Get comfortable with saying the word WRITER. Its no more ridiculous than saying SKIIER or BUNGY JUMPER. And its like confession, the more you say it out loud the more real it feels.
- Amazon gift card and Merci Lanard swag pack.
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