by Roberta Gately
We are delighted to welcome author Roberta Gately as our guest.
Roberta's new novel of suspense is The Bracelet (Gallery Books; November 2012 trade paperback and ebook formats).
Today Roberta tells us about the background to her story.
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Though I'm an author, and a lover of mysteries, I never saw myself as a member of that much admired group of writers who are somehow able to craft the perfect plot, and the mesmerizing clues and hints guaranteed to keep readers turning pages late into the night. But, The Bracelet, I'm thrilled to say, became a sudden and unexpected mystery from the first pages. And the first pages – the run, the murder, the dazzling bracelet — were all part of my own dream, a dream so real I woke one night panicked and fearful, and I wrote it all down. I knew I had to follow the story my dream had created, and the first step was figuring out who my victim might be. Was she the wife of the man on the balcony? No, I quickly decided — too obvious, and with that verdict, the mystery of who my victim was began. Though her role in the story is small, she was at the heart of it, and if my main character, new aid worker — Abby Monroe, was going to follow the clues, the victim had to be as intriguing as the story.
Photo provided courtesy of
Roberta Gately; photo credit Miller Studios
As an aid worker, I knew I wanted to tie the murder and the clues to a compelling issue that strikes at the heart of all of us. I knew my victim would be a refugee but the facts of who she was remained fuzzy as I created my story. Was she a maid, I wondered or maybe a secretary? I dismissed both of those and as my story unfolded, I began to look into the issue of human trafficking. Although I'd been vaguely aware of the problem of human trafficking, I had no idea of the mind-numbing facts and figures, and from there, I knew — my casualty in Geneva had been a victim more than once in her young life, and though we learn so little about who she was, we know that in the end, her death saved countless others from a similar fate.
Mystery? I hope so. The mystery of who was killed in Geneva is the first cryptic clue in Abby Monroe's search for truth, and as grand as it sounds — for justice as well. Writing The Bracelet — constructing my story and fashioning the tiny clues along the way, was a long process of research and attention to detail, and I loved creating the mystery it became. I hope that readers will enjoy the unraveling that mystery for themselves.
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Roberta Gately has served as a nurse and humanitarian aid worker in war zones ranging from Afghanistan to Africa, about which she wrote a series of articles for the BBC World News Online, and speaks regularly on the plight of the world's refugees and displaced.
For more information about the author, please visit her website at RobertaGately.com or find her on Facebook and Twitter.
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A Novel by Roberta Gately
Newly heartbroken and searching for purpose in her life, Abby Monroe is determined to make her mark as a UN worker in one of the world's most unstable cities: Peshawar, Pakistan. But after witnessing the brutal murder of a woman thrown from a building, she is haunted by the memory of an intricate and sparkling bracelet that adorned the victim's wrist.
At a local women's shelter, Abby meets former sex slaves who have miraculously escaped their captors. As she gains the girls' trust and documents their horrifying accounts of unspeakable pain and betrayal, she joins forces with a dashing New York Times reporter who believes he can incriminate the shadowy leader of the vicious human trafficking ring.
Inspired by the women's remarkable bravery — and the mysterious reappearance of the bracelet — the duo traces evidence that spreads from remote villages of South Asia to the most powerful corners of the West, risking their lives to offer a voice to the countless innocents in bondage.