It is thrilling to get a professional review several years after my debut novel was released. I used to think the number of stars was the most important, but honestly, years later, I feel what matters is whether the reviewer understood the plot, the challenges of intertwining the complexities of writing romantic suspense and bringing the ending of the story to a movie-theatre block-buster ending. When a reviewer (that I don't know and have never met) recognizes what an author has gone through to craft a "can't put it down" novel, it encourages me to hone my craft and deliver another book
Goodreads: Book review by Susan Sewell/Reader's Favorite yesterday.
"The Dordogne Deception by Sherry Joyce is a suspenseful and intricately woven web of intrigue filled with greed, lust and murder. A group of strangers is brought together by one man's avarice and another man's murder. Each of them is drawn into the snare, victims of the same psychopath. Cherise Eden, reeling from an unexpected and painful divorce, leaves her home in San Francisco and moves to France to start a new life. Lady Diana Aubrey disappears after her husband's suspicious death, leaving behind scandalous rumors. Brett Maxfield, a retired detective from Scotland Yard, discovers his old friend has been murdered and is searching for the murderer. The god-like Francois Delacroix preys upon wealthy and vulnerable women to establish and maintain his affluent lifestyle. Although none of them have ever met and are countries apart, they are intertwined in an international murder plot. Unaware of the sinister fate in store, their paths merge with the killer's. Will they survive or will they all succumb to the death that is planned for them? The Dordogne Deception by Sherry Joyce was an intriguing suspense story with a touch of romance thrown in. It was interesting to follow each character's point of view and, subsequently, watch how their thoughts and actions were threads that were pulled and manipulated by one unscrupulous man. The story starts out slowly, but the intensity begins building as it progresses and then snowballs its way to a smashing finale It is a major feat to have that many different points of view threading through a storyline and have them unite without confusion. Kudos to Sherry Joyce for pulling it off.
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Home/Romance/The Dordogne Deception
About This Book
When a romance novel opens not with a crime of passion, but a conspired, premeditated murder, there should be no doubt that the book is not your typical boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love and live happily ever after fairytale. The Dordogne Deception is a sordid, dark romantic thriller.
Most of the book is told from two perspectives: Brett, who is investigating the death of his friend/mentor, and Cherise, who is living a fairytale life in a French chateau. These two have never met and have no idea that their lives will unexpectedly clash together, which may cost both of them their lives. The two different viewpoints occur concurrently, which gives readers the advantage of knowing much more than the characters making the convergence of the perspectives that much more exciting.
Sherry Joyce gives enough backstory for each character so that readers will understand their personalities and motivations. Cherise is trying to overcome the shock of her sudden divorce and trying to make a fresh start by buying a bed and breakfast in the French countryside. Francois is looking for an unsuspecting, vulnerable, wealthy woman to target next in his lifelong scheme of acquiring wealth. Brett is a retired Scotland Yard detective who is trying to get back in the world after the death of his wife. Diana is a young opportunist whose goal in life is to find a rich man to take care of her. Joyce does an amazing job of weaving the lives of these four people together in a wonderfully surprising mix of tragedy and getting another chance at love.
The pace of the book is a bit sluggish at times, but the primary reason for that is because the reader can feel the anxiety of the characters and you want to beg for relief from the tension. You will be eager for the story to peak when all of the secrets get revealed and the characters show their true colors.
The Dordogne Deception is a masterfully written plot that will appeal to readers who enjoy books of the romance and suspense/thriller genres alike. The combination of lies, conspiracy, betrayal, murder, heartache, and love with a touch of the whimsical, all set against the backdrops of the English and French countryside’s is a wonderful surprise and delight for readers.
DetailsAuthor: Sherry Joyce
Star Count: 4.5/5
Page Count: 251 pages
Publish Date: 08-Jul-2013
Issue: April 2014
Reviewed By: Jennifer Moss
Thrilled! MURDER BY CONCLUSION, my newest short story, has been selected for publication by the judges, for the fall release of the 2016 Capitol Crimes Anthology published by Sisters In Crime, Sacramento Chapter.
As a resident of Northern California for over seven 7 years, I was delighted to have an opportunity to use the state capitol as the setting for the story.
March 16, 2016 Sisters in Crime evening at the Cameron Park Library was a big success. Standing room only!
Join five members of Capitol Crimes, the Sacramento chapter of Sisters in Crime, to discuss why “WRITING IS MURDER.” Meet Elaine Faber, author of the Black Cat Mysteries, Sherry Joyce, author of The Dordogne Deception, Cindy Sample, four-time Lefty Award finalist for Best Humorous Mystery for her Laurel McKay Mysteries, Linda Westphal, author of The Hermit Bookstore, set in Rescue, and Danna Wilberg, author of the Grace Simms Trilogy. The presentation will begin at 6:30 at the Cameron Park Library, 2500 Country Club Drive, Cameron Park, CA. Free and open to the public. Contact Cindy Sample at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
About the Authors –
Elaine Faber is a member of Sisters in Crime, Inspire Christian Writers and Cat Writers Association. Elaine’s cozy mysteries include. Black Cat’s Legacy; Black Cat and the Lethal Lawyer, and Black Cat and the Accidental Angel. Black Cat tackles a cold case murder, an embezzling lawyer and skullduggery at an emu farm in the Sierras. She is also the author of Mrs. Odboddy, Home Town Patriot. Elaine lives in Elk Grove, CA with her husband and four house cats, the inspiration for the Black Cat Mysteries.
Former Vice President of Human Resources, and owner of SJDESIGNS Interiors, and SHERRY JOYCE CREATIVE WRITING SERVICES, Sherry is the author of THE DORDOGNE DECEPTION, a romantic suspense novel. A feature writer for BEHIND THE GATES magazine, she is a member of Capitol Crimes/Sacramento chapter of Sisters In Crime, Northern California Publishers & Authors, Romance Writers of America, and California Writer’s Club. Sherry was recently published in NCPA’s Anthology, OUR DANCE WITH WORDS, with a humorous caper, COZUMEL CALAMITY. Her second suspense novel, DANGEROUS DUPLICITY is in process. She lives with her husband and three Westies in El Dorado Hills.
Cindy Sample is a former corporate CEO who decided plotting murder was more entertaining than plodding through paperwork. Her national bestselling humorous mystery series features single soccer mom, Laurel McKay. The series, set primarily in El Dorado County, includes Dying for a Date, Dying for a Dance, Dying for a Daiquiri, Dying for a Dude and Dying for a Donut. Cindy is a four-time nominee for the LEFTY Award for Best Humorous Mystery. Cindy describes Dying for a Donut, set in Apple Hill, as a lip-smacking mystery. It definitely involved the most dangerous research!
Linda Westphal writes feel-good stories, like The Hermit Bookstore (a California Gold Country story) and The Medium. Her stories include characters who explore life events that cannot be explained but are true based on firsthand experience, such as coincidence, help from people who have passed on, interactions with angels, intuition, and mind-body-spirit topics. The Hermit Bookstore is a 2015 TISBA Finalist in the Fiction Category; it takes place in Lotus, California. Linda lives in Sacramento with her family and enjoys travel, tea, food, sunny days, friendly people, and reading a good story.
Dänna Wilberg, a multiple award winning short film maker, produces and hosts two local TV programs in Sacramento, PARANORMAL CONNECTION and STORY CONNECTION. Dänna has been writing romantic suspense and paranormal fiction for over ten years. Her trilogy is published by Pretty Road Press. “The Red Chair”, “The Grey Door” and “The Black Dress, depict the story of a young psychotherapist who learns the true meaning of LOVE through FEAR.
For more information:
Enjoy my light-hearted short story about a vacation gone wrong. "Cozumel Calamity" was selected for the prestigious "Our Dance with Words: A Collection of Fine Writing from Northern California Authors"
Click the Featured Member Interview – Sherry Joyce
By Simona Carini
Interview by Catharine Bramkamp
Many of us fantasize about living in a castle; many of us wonder what would happen if we just had a book delivered to us like a bolt from the blue, to name two clichés. WNBA member, Sherry Joyce has experienced both.
Her first book, The Dordogne Deception, is based in the Dordogne, Perigord region of Southwestern France, and it was inspired by both a stay in a French castle and a lightning strike.
“The bolt of lightning that struck the castle we were renting for family and friends actually happened during the afternoon with mild cloudy skies—no rain or anything dramatic. It scared me to death and I got a real buzz from the electricity, then I calmed down until going to bed that night. A storm came up the Dordogne River with wild wind, blowing the shutters on the castle, and lightning was intermittent with thunderclaps. Terrified, I could not sleep, thinking the lightning rod above the turret would get hit again. I started shaking and said ‘this setting is like a murder/mystery’ and I began writing the novel in my head during the storm.
“Once we returned home, the characters I had created during the storm would not stop chatting and the plot began to weave itself together. Until I actually sat down to write the novel, I had no idea if I could write everything that was in my head, but once I started typing, I could not stop. It took me about 2-1/2 weeks to type out the first 65,000 words. When we moved from Redwood City to El Dorado Hills, the novel sat in a box until I discovered it again, added another 30,000 words and began working with an editor to refine the manuscript.
“I was still running an interior design business when I started writing the novel. In retrospect, I had no idea how much work went into editing and the entire publishing process. Sometimes moving ahead fearlessly is the only way to accomplish something. Without having an intention to be a serious author, I now find myself thoroughly enjoying writing my second novel, and have at least four more in my head! I had no idea how much I loved crafting a story until I wrote a novel.
“Probably every author would say a lot of luck was involved in his or her success. I found a great editor to collaborate with who also handled all of my marketing which had everything to do with the publicity for my book launch, subsequent radio interview with Beth Ruyak’s Insight program in Sacramento, and many other writing, library or philanthropic presentations. I offered to help another author at Left Coast Crime’s convention in Monterey a few years ago and ended up on a panel discussion.
One thing leads to another if you are open and willing to say: ‘Yes…let me try that.’ I also found that joining several writing organizations was the best way to publicize my work and also myself. One of the best things about becoming an author and being part of writing organizations is that other authors help and support you. Writing for a local magazine as a feature contributor has meant that many people in my community know who I am and continue to buy my book. I highly recommend investing in a quality website.
“Everything that has happened to you in life (the good, the bad, the difficult, the impossible) all can be used in story telling. It helps to look at your strengths and what you did well in past careers and build on those attributes. Think about whether or not you can handle criticism, are well-organized and can meet deadlines, don’t mind re-writing, are adept at working with people, can handle pressure — all of the traits that made one successful in a job can be applied to crafting and finishing a novel. Probably the most important advice I can give anyone starting out is to be open to listening and learning from both failure and success and to retain a sense of humor. Believe that your writing voice is unique!”
Sherry Joyce’s website
The Dordogne Deception
Stunned, beautiful and successful Silicon Valley executive Cherise Eden never saw her divorce coming. With a lucrative payout from her job, she flees San Francisco to start a new life in the Dordogne region of France. As the new owner of a posh bed and breakfast, Chateau Roufillay, she meets seductive and irresistible Francois Delacroix, a guest at the castle who sweeps emotionally fragile Cherise off her feet while unaware of his dark past. Retired Scotland Yard detective Brett Maxfield discovers his old friend, Sir Raleigh Aubrey died gruesomely-his wheelchair plummeting down the grand staircase of his manor home, Brightingham. Or, was he pushed? Determined, Brett resolves to unravel the mystery, following the trail of bizarre clues from England to Switzerland and Bordeaux, ultimately leading to Roufillay. Lives, lies and lust intertwine as danger approaches. Trapped and frantic, Cherise needs an ally. But can she trust Brett?
Intriguing and mystifying, Sherry Joyce’s new novel, The Dordogne Deception proves an enticing high stakes blend of murder, mystery and romance. Spinning a cleverly nuanced plot, she ably juggles timely complexity to maintain a notable balance between suspense and transparency, which armchair sleuths will undoubtedly appreciate. An enchanting read throughout, her chosen setting adds a notable atmospheric dimension to her tale as she takes her readers to the heart of Dordogne. Described in evocative thematic prose, it’s a wonderfully fitting backdrop that lingers in glimpses and provides elegant contrast against the darker and infinitely more sinister events that unfold in Joyce’s tale. With well observed characterization, each protagonist is well cast. All are bold and vibrant and whilst this is true of her lead Cherise Eden, Joyce also imbues her with an element of naivety which makes her both vulnerable and particularly endearing.
A vivid and wholly satisfying read throughout, Sherry Joyce is in her element writing in this genre and The Dordogne Deception is sure to build her a host of enthusiastic followers. Deserving of your attention it is strongly recommended.
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Check out my latest interview with Fiona Mcvie at Author Interviews! She asked lots of great questions!
DANGEROUS DUPLICITY BOOK LAUNCH WAS A HUGE SUCCESS!!