Mystery in the Missing Year

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Today I'm delighted to welcome Belinda Frisch, author of a new contemporary romantic mystery, The Missing Year, to my blog, and she's staying for coffee, so grab a cup and join us as we chat on the sofa. (Don't forget, there's a great giveaway included with this post, so be sure to read on and find out how to enter too.)

Hi Belinda, and welcome to my blog. I don't know if you drink coffee or not, but there's tea, juice, water. Please help yourself.

Having seen your bio, I have to ask what branch of healthcare did you work in, and how does it influence your fiction?

My background is in medical coding and billing. In 2005, I authored a textbook, Correct Coding for Medicare, Compliance, and Reimbursement, and moved into a teaching role at a regional hospital, training physicians on the importance of documentation. I love all things medical (forensic files, CSI, Bones, TLC) and took it upon myself to know exactly what happened in each of the hospital departments I worked for. I needed the doctors to have faith that I understood their job on a level that made them comfortable taking advice from me. I shadowed MDs and PAs, witnessing everything from brain cutting at a neuropathology conference, to weekly medical grand rounds, to medical treatments, psychiatric intakes, and autopsies. I am not squeamish. I’m also known as the household medic. One of my doctor friends loves to tease me about the extent of things I treat myself. I am also constantly thinking. Every time I learned something new, the writer side of me (which has been present since my youth) was like, “Hmm … What if?” From that curiosity (and my dislike of the creepy hospital basement) came Cure, the first in my Strandville series. There’s a bit of something medical in almost all of my books. It’s become part of my signature, I guess.

Sounds fun... though I might like to avoid that basement. I've heard it said fact is stranger than fiction. What do you think?

Oh, it’s true! Something people might not know about me is that I love all things odd ala Ripley’s Believe it or Not. I dig macabre news. My late Shetland Sheepdog was named Ripley, though I think out of Freudian coincidence.

Ah, I love dogs, though mine have tended to have rather more mundane names. What's your favorite of all the short stories you've written, and why?

One of my earliest published short stories, The Fence was picked up by Shroud Publishing several years ago. The story came from my husband and I actually erecting one of those mammoth white PVC privacy fences. We had recently purchased a home and wanted a place for our dogs to safely run. What we didn’t know at the time is that we must live at the site of a glacier melt. There was nothing but rocks. We couldn’t use heavy equipment because it wouldn’t work and was dangerous. We ended up hand-digging every post hole. BRUTAL. It took an entire summer to finish, but we did it. Putting the pieces together, we thought, you could put anything down these hollow fence posts. Who would know? So I wrote a story … and disposed of a body in the fence.

Ummm. That will put me off digging too deeply under fences! What's your favorite of all the books you've written, and why?

My hands-down favorite is Better Left Buried, a reimagining of my debut novella Dead Spell. While Dead Spell was decent, for years the characters had been asking me to give them a longer life. Better Left Buried was born to get them to be quiet. It was great going back and revisiting Harmony Wolcott, the most damaged, original, and haunting character I have ever written.  She was the reason I loved the book so much.

What inspired you to write the Missing Year?

I’m a conspiracy theorist when it comes to the question, “What are you afraid of.” The trope has been used often enough for me to limit what I say on the subject (which comes up often in horror interviews). I have it in my head that someone out there is looking to use my fears against me. The ones I can’t hide are the fears of terminal illness and of ever losing my husband. Combine the two and you have The Missing Year. While normally I write darker stories, fast-paced thrillers, and occasionally unapologetic gore, The Missing Year is a true thinking piece that explores terminal illness from both the patient and loved ones perspectives, focusing on end-of-life options, the burden of grief, and ultimately learning to live and love again after all is said and done. Exploring my fears through writing has proven to be a great outlet.

It sounds a really intriguing novel, and I hope I might get to read it sometime. Thank you for spending time on my blog, Belinda, and now I'll tell everyone some more about you, your book, your tour, and your giveaway.

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Title: The Missing Year
Author:  Belinda Frisch
Published:  November 17th, 2014
Word Count:   72,000
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
About the Novel:
Thirty-four-year-old Blake Wheeler was everything Lila had ever wanted. A rising-star surgeon with his whole life ahead of him, Blake gave Lila ten perfect years of marriage before plunging her into the hardest year of their lives.
When a late night shooting leaves Blake in a coma, Lila is faced with a difficult decision: continue life support or let him go.
One year later, Lila remains unwilling to speak, in a private mental health facility where she refuses to move on.
Dr. Ross Reeves knows firsthand about loss, having spent the better part of five years burying himself in his work. Tasked with the challenge of breaking Lila’s silence, Ross investigates Lila’s past and her husband’s death, finding more to Blake’s murder than meets the eye. A series of mysterious coincidences has Ross wondering if Lila is acting out of grief … or guilt.
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About the Author:
*Runner-up Halloween Book Festival 2012 and optioned for film, Cure *Honorable Mention New York Book Festival 2014, Better Left Buried *Amazon Top 100 Medical Thriller, Fatal Reaction
After fifteen years of working in healthcare, Belinda Frisch’s stories can’t help being medicine influenced. A writer of dark tales in the horror, mystery, and thriller genres, Belinda tells the stories she’d like to read. Her fiction has appeared in Shroud Magazine, Dabblestone Horror, and Tales of the Zombie War. She is the author of Cure, Afterbirth, Fatal Reaction, Better Left Buried, and The Missing Year. She resides in upstate New York with her husband and a small menagerie of beloved animals.
Tour Details:
Giveaway Details:
There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
  • 10 Kindle copies of Fatal Reaction or The Missing Year (winner's choice)
  • 10 ACX audiobook codes for Fatal Reaction or Cure (winner's choice)
  • A $25.00 Amazon gift card
Giveaway is International.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Unknown said…
Sheila, thanks for having me and for doing such a great job. Love the inline commentary and what a great blog you have.
Sheila Deeth said…
You're very welcome. I really enjoyed our interview.

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