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Friday, 11 June 2021

ℚ The Redemption: Thornton Mysteries [2] - C.L. Tolbert

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about The Redemption (, Level Best Books, 343 pages), a Mystery, book two in the Thornton Mysteries series; each is a stand alone read.

"With The Redemption, Cynthia Tolbert delivers another beautifully written and compelling read in her Thornton Mystery series, as law professor Emma Thornton's fight to save a teen wrongly accused of murder endangers her own life in this gripping tale of corruption and crime in the 1990s Big Easy." - Ellen Byron, award-winning and bestselling author of The Cajun Country Mysteries 

"Mystery, murder, and mayhem in The Big Easy; C.L. Tolbert's The Redemption is a page-turner guaranteed to keep you guessing until the very end." - Bruce Robert Coffin, award-winning author of the Detective Byron Mysteries

|| Synopsis || Teaser: KCR Preview || The Series || Author Q&A || About the Author || Giveaway & Tour Stops ||

A very warm welcome to Cynthia Tolbert; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

What was the inspiration for The Redemption?

"In 1995 I met a fifteen-year-old boy who had been charged with the murder of a man in a housing project in New Orleans.  Even though he was a juvenile, he was in the adult prison system because of a statute which required that all juveniles be tried as adults for certain crimes of violence.  The DA had already mentioned the death penalty as a possibility for the juvenile, which was permissible in 1996.  I was teaching at a law school, and took the case through the law school’s clinic.

I’ll never forget the look in the young man’s eyes when I met him.  He wouldn’t make eye contact.  I could tell he was terrified.  One of his knees shook up and down like a piston.  He refused to give any meaningful information about the night of the murder.

This young man inspired The Redemption.  In the actual case, the young man protected his brother, who was the head of a gang, and went to prison for him.  I changed the story to show how the juvenile could have turned that same love of family, and that same courage around to save himself."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"I’ve been asked by several people if Emma Thornton, the protagonist in the series, is me.  She isn’t, but there are similarities.  We’re both attorneys.  I was also a working mother like Emma.  So, Emma and I share similar professional expertise, a penchant for thoroughness, and a tendency to be aggressive, on occasion.   

I also use my legal background to structure each book procedurally, and my thirty-five years’ experience as an attorney to develop the story line."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for The Redemption - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"The cover for The Redemption is a photograph of a section of Magazine Street in New Orleans at dusk.  Brian Swanner, a local architect, is the artist who took the photograph.  

I choose this particular scene because of its moodiness and color, and because several chapters and scenes in the book take place on Magazine Street.  It was also important that the cover photo be recognizable as New Orleans.  This photograph not only captures an image that’s easily recognizable, it captures the essence of New Orleans"
Why should we read The Redemption and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your book unique?
"The Thornton Mystery Series are mysteries told through the eyes of Emma Thornton, a stressed-out attorney who is also a working mom, whose impulsive tendencies get her into more trouble than the average person would ever experience.  But what makes the mystery series even more unique is the element of social justice which runs through each story line.

I wanted to show the reader how easy it is to manipulate a sixteen-year-old.  This vulnerability is what caused Louis Bishop’s arrest and incarceration, and eventually, since, in 1996 the death penalty was constitutionally viable for juveniles, it is what made him susceptible to this country’s most extreme punishment."
Can you tell us something quirky about The Redemption, its story and characters?
"One of my antagonists was an incredibly handsome man, movie-star, tooth-paste commercial handsome, especially when he smiled. He had a huge moustache, which Emma considered a personality defect. The true nature of this character was disguised behind the comedy of his appearance."
Who would you recommend The Redemption to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"I’d recommend the book to all adult readers.  There is some adult language, but very little.  There is no graphic violence or sexual content."
If you could / wished to turn The Redemption and the Thornton Mysteries series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
Director: Kathryn Bigelow Emma Thornton: Diane Lane Ren Taylor: Ryan Gosling
"Location for The Redemption: New Orleans"
"Location for Out From Silence: Rural Georgia/ Athens, Georgia (Jonesburg, GA, the town setting in the book, is fictional)"
What do you like to write and read about? Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
I enjoy writing mysteries, which is like fitting together puzzle pieces.  I plan on staying with this genre, for now.

I enjoy reading mysteries, but also enjoy reading literary fiction, and historical fiction.  My favorite writer is Gabriel Garcia Marquez who writes in the genre of magical realism.
What is your writing process?
"I try to write every day, preferably, in the early morning.  Then, I like to write again from 1:00 through 5:00 in the afternoon.  

I start with the plot, and write the entire book, not worrying much about character development.  Then, the second time around, I’ll flesh out the characters, and emotional issues.  Finally, on the third time over, I’ll concentrate on action, especially in dialogue."
What is in store next?
"I am currently working on the third book in the series, Sanctuary.  It is also set in New Orleans, and begins with the death of the leader of a cult."
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"My husband and I have Yoda, our schnauzer, who has been a part of our family for the past ten and a half years.  He’s a stubborn little guy but sweet, and we love him."
Hello Yoda! Lots of head-scratches and belly-rubs from all of us at BooksChatter.

Cynthia, thank you for sharing Yoda with us; we hope you are having a great tour!

When they take on the case of two murdered men, Emma and her students discover a tangle of corruption, intrigue, and more violence than they would have thought possible, even in New Orleans.

The Redemption
Available NOW!

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1 comment:

Wall-to-wall books said...

Great and fun interview! Thanks so much! This book is definitely on my wish list.