Gypsy Shields, #1
Publisher: Andrea Drew
Date of Publication: October 28, 2014
Number of pages: 244
Reluctant psychic Gypsy Shields—she prefers the term "intuition consultant"—finds herself in trouble when, on her way home from a blind date, she interrupts a kidnapping in progress. She attempts to intervene, and her heroics are repaid with a collision between the attacker's van and a brick wall. She awakens in the hospital, paralyzed on her left side and unable to speak. This also means she's unable to share her vital information as a witness. Fortunately, she is able to use her telepathic connection with her niece to throw a line out to a police detective she knows: Connor Reardon, her blind date.
Connor will do anything to protect Gypsy, and he listens to her claims of psychic power willingly, as he's concealing certain powers of his own. Nor are they all he's concealing. Gypsy senses a part of her new ally's mind is closed to her—what she cannot know is that Connor suspects the kidnapper is someone close to him, and the kidnapping victim holds secrets that will tear through Connor's department, putting careers and lives at risk. Including Gypsy, still in hospital and vulnerable as the attacker turns his sights on her once again.
Can Gypsy use her powers to track down the perpetrator and prevent her own murder?
As a telepath, I pick up on feelings and instinct more than most. Other people like to call me a psychic medium, but I’m not really comfortable with the label. Apart from the fact that I do it for love, not money, I’m sure once someone learns I’m a telepath they conjure up images of dodgy fraudsters on stage at mass events, feeding grieving families what they desperately need. I’d rather not expose myself to more ridicule than necessary. My abilities happened almost by accident—apparently my grandmother was ‘fey,’ as my mother enjoyed mentioning.
I was sure the pinging, nagging doubt had something to do with Aaron’s home life. “What about you, Gypsy? What do you do?” Connor relaxed his posture, the glass poised before his mouth. He had taken on a different look, probably from the wine, or even better, from unfulfilled lust.
“I write business plans. I’ve also been told I have pretty damn good intuition.”
That seemed to spark Connor’s interest. He pulled at the other earlobe.
“Oh yeah? What does your intuition tell you about me, then?”
“That you seem like a nice enough guy.”
Connor moistened his lips, which quivered with what I suspected was amusement as he sat legs wide apart
“And you’re fishing for compliments that I’m not going to give you just yet.”
Connor threw his head back, indulging in a belly laugh. The rich, throaty sound filled me with pleasure. A smile I couldn’t suppress burst through.
“That’s a fair call, Gypsy, fair call.”
The silence was a comfortable one, our shared joke establishing the early threads of friendship.
Today, we welcome Andrea Drew to Musings and Ramblings. Let's all give a big Geeky welcome!
Thank you – of course you realise that geek is the new cool?
Let's start with some writer specific questions before moving into the fun stuff. That way everyone can really get to know the person behind the writer. We will finish things off with a round of Think Fast. Ready for the interrogation to begin?
Bring it on!
Is your writing style more plotter or pantser?
You know the funny thing about this question. For the first few months of writing I wondered who the hell these authors were writing without pants on. Thank god for google. Definitely a pantser although I write an outline before I start, its fairly rough and leaves plenty of wiggle room when characters take over and the story takes a bit of a detour. For the record, I do wear pants when writing. My husband however, is a different story. Whoops! Slang alert, lol!
When is your favorite time/place to write? Do you write structured or patchworked?
My favourite time to write is the morning if I can. I used to be a bit more patchworked (I have three children and two writing businesses) but am now on a mission to finish book 2 in the gypsy series by end of the month so write about 2K words a day. I don’t stop until I know she’s satisfied. Oops, sorry that’s a cheesy Clarence Carter track from the 80s. My apologies. Ahhh... I have some fond memories of that song.
How do you deal with Writer's Block?
What is that exactly? Is that kind of like those jenga wooden things for authors to build towers with when they’ve had enough of writing dialogue? Or is it the type of thing necessitating heavy use of prunes and laxatives? Oops did I just draw an analogy between poo and writing? Eeesh I think I did. Oh well. The serious answer to this question is that I don’t suffer from writer’s block, more making the time to write as once I get started, there’s no stopping me sometimes. If there is a pause of more than a few seconds, I take ten minutes or more off and do a bit of housework then come back to it. I don’t even know why I bother with housework, you clean the house and six months later you have to do the whole damn thing all over again. Yeah! What is up with that?!
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
Think about writing, fill in plot holes, read, and coerce the zappa spousal unit into conversation (it’s not working unless grunts count as a response. Please feel free to contact me with tips or if you’re willing to offer a good home to a rather tall and mainly silent husband. Comes with cage and computer attached to fingertips)
What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
Two reviewers called me a master story teller in their reviews and I wanted to reach through the computer screen and kiss them. My first ever review for my debut novel was a one star stinger from some random woman (and I use the term loosely) who read a galley copy. Of course I didn’t respond to her despite wanting to stick pins into a doll fashioned in her image. All reviews from that point were four and five star so I hope she is wringing her hands somewhere from the confines of her straight jacket whilst in the confines of a maximum security jail for the criminally insane.
What was the last movie/concert/show that you saw?
Edge of tomorrow starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt. Not the last one but the one I enjoyed the most. Did I mention that I want to have Tom Cruises children? Could be tricky considering I am six feet two and he is five foot seven but then again who am I to let a logistical point like height stand in the way of true love? Wonder if my husband will give me a hall pass? There I did it again, left you with that horrendous mental picture. Oh well.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
Bah, I scoff at your super powers. Who needs super powers when you can dream up worlds, people, murderers, telepaths and play God at will? Excellent Point!
What was the name of the last book you read?
Before I go to sleep by S J Watson. Now there is a geek I can relate to, I’d like to invite him to dinner and have him holding a tea towel and dry the dishes as I wash them while we exchange literary pleasantries. Now that, my friends is the definition of a sexy man. Does housework and writes books for a living, thrillers at that! You had me at dishes, *grin*!
You are going to be stranded on a deserted island and bring 3 luxury items.
What would they be? A boat, a flare and a book while I wait for my damn butler to arrive to row the boat back to civilisation. I have this imagine of Batman's Alfred showing up in a rowboat.
What would we find in your refrigerator right now?
A mess I haven’t cleaned it since, well I can't remember rightly. Leftover bits of all sorts of stuff, its time for a food shop I think. I obviously need to become rich and famous pronto as I have a natural aversion to shopping, cooking, cleaning and all things domestic. Next time I’m coming back as a man. I keep saying that what I need is a wife. Sounds like you could use one too!
If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?
Confessions of a mad pen monkey.
Elvis or Sinatra? Sinatra
AM or PM? PM
Mountains or Sea? Sea
Meat or Veggies? Feed the girl meat
Summer or Winter? Winter
Coffee or Tea? Mmmm Coffee
Dead Tree or Electronic? Electronic all the way
Sorry for cheating. I actually cheated and chose 7 not 5. That's all right. More Answers are always welcome! ☺
Thanks for coming by and spending some time with us. Any final words of wisdom to pass along?
To any authors reading I would say keep going and don’t give up. It can seem like hard and lonely work at times, but if you give up, you’ll never know. And to readers, your emails and comments mean so much to me and inspire me to keep writing. And thank you for an awesome interview, allowing me to let my very annoying personality shine through. If I have any fans left after this, thank you in advance.
I am going to start off by saying that I struggled with this review. There was so much that I liked about the story, but I had some big issues with it as well. It left me conflicted as to a rating.
When we first meet Gypsy, she is on her way to dinner with some friends. She knows that she is being set up, and although she's not sure she is ready to start dating again, decides to go ahead. Her last relationship lasted several years and left her with some issues. The impression I got was that she had some OCD challenges, and certain things were hard for her to do or deal with. Based on the character later in the book, either I missed a turning point, or misunderstood her. Both of these Gypsys were interesting and read very well, they just didn't match up in my head.
My biggest issue is with the timeline. When Gypsy is run down and ends up in the hospital, things seem to speed up dramatically. I was left with the impression that she went from completely paralyzed on one side to walking, talking and kicking butt in a matter of a few days. It felt like there should have been a longer time frame here. A lot is happening with the story, multiple POVs are shown as we are guided through all the events that are happening concurrently and intersecting with each other. Don't get me wrong, these individual elements and pieces added together to make an interesting tale. It was just the one piece that kept throwing me out - her miraculous recovery with no real explanation.
So, although I have these issues, the story stayed with me and kept me thinking about it. And that has to count for something. Plus Gypsy and Connor really don't have that much face time together in the book. There is a lot of each of them thinking about the other person, so I am interested to see where their relationship will go in the next book. Warning, this is not an HEA book, their story will continue in Gypsy Cradle. For a first book in the series, it did the things it was supposed to: catch my interest, and set me up to want the next book. Mission accomplished: sounds like a 3 star read to me.
Andrea will be awarding a $20 amazon gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
Andrea Drew has been a commercial copy writer and resume writer for over a decade.
She's written for celebrity stylists, assisted business coaches and start-ups, written grants for not for profits, delivered marketing presentations to business owners, and attends Australian writing conventions.
Her self-published book "Pro Resumes Made Easy" has been downloaded over 40,000 times.
Andrea has one husband (more than enough), three kids, a pet rock (her daughters not hers), and a house in the suburbs, where she's hard at work on the second novel in the Gypsy series.
Email her at email@example.com.
Gypsy Hunted her first fiction novel (her first suspense thriller set in her home town of Melbourne Australia) is available for pre-order on Amazon prior to release on October 28, 2014.
To connect with the author online:
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