Several years ago, an agent suggested that I write a
spec script for one of my favorite TV shows, “Cagney
and Lacey.” In preparation, I spent days at a museum
library that housed old TV scripts, familiarizing
myself in depth with the characters and their lives.
Because cults were going to figure prominently in my
story, I devoted weeks to doing research, even
attending workshops of anti-cult organizations, and
was amazed to discover how many authoritarian cults
still exist in the U.S. today. Shortly after my
script was submitted to the head writer, I was
invited to the west coast to pitch story ideas.
Hallelujah, I thought naively, I’m on my way. But
Hollywood being Hollywood, before I had even packed
my bags, the network canceled the show. Disappointed
doesn’t begin to cover how I felt. All that effort
and research wasted. “Cagney and Lacey” went into
the bottom drawer.
Time passed during
which my amateur sleuth series was published, and I
decided to try my hand at something new. After attending a Halloween
parade in Nyack, NY, the germ of an idea began to
form. What if a murder were committed amidst the
chaos of a costume parade? The killer is masked. No
one could identify him or her--unless there happens
to be a witness who could not be fooled by the
disguise. Out of the bottom drawer came “Cagney and
Lacey.” All that effort and research had not been
is a story
about power and greed and about the mind control
used in destructive cults by men corrupted by the
power they have gained over the souls of their
followers. The victims of this evil, often done in
the name of God, are the alienated and the
vulnerable, but surprisingly, they are also bright
young idealists who are convinced that they are
being shown “the way.” Most people believe that
cults died out in the seventies. Nothing could be
further from the truth.
The cult in this book is
fictional, a conglomerate of many such groups drawn
from my imagination, but the methods used to recruit
and control its followers are based on my research
culled from the experiences of ex-members.
“ABLAZE” is also a love story about
two people deeply attracted to each other, but whose
inability to work through past experiences keeps
them apart. My protagonist, Samantha Barron, the
victim/witness advocate for the Bergen County, NJ
prosecutor’s office, has her world shaken up when
the man who threw her off his elite NOVA (National
Organization for Victim Assistance) crisis response
team, insinuates himself into a case involving the
disappearance of one of her clients. A terrified
young girl shows up at Samantha’s office
blurting out a story about having witnessed a friend
being "horribly punished," "cast into the abyss" at the Greenwich Village
Halloween parade; then suddenly bolts crying that
she is a Judas, she should never have come. Samantha
must put aside her feelings about this man, attorney
Douglas Ruark, with whom she had once been
in love. They are forced to work
together to find and rescue the girl before the
malevolent sect that they believe is holding her
captive, discovers that she had witnessed the
killing and can identify the murderer. In the
process they learn valuable truths about themselves
and about each other.
This is a strong
example of romantic suspense that I found hard to
put down. Samantha
is a sympathetic protagonist, bent on saving Miriam,
even as she puts herself in danger...
Ruark is a dream male lead, tough and
vulnerable...The real strength of the work, however,
lies in the details of its subject matter of cults
and their dynamics..."
-C ITY BOOK REVIEW - San Francisco Book Review
"Completely unique and a cross between a
Guyana-style cult crossed with fundamentalists,
the inner workings of the cult and the mystery
around it are a gripping read."
- I am, Indeed-The Place to find your next read
"Nancy's theatrical experience, both on stage and at
the writing table,
allows her to paint the images of cults, terror,
passion, romance, and crime investigation
with such deft color that we might as well be
watching a film surrounding our space.
That is a gift and her facility with words, polished
as it is, never gets in the way
of conveying gut level reactions."
- Grady Harp, Hall of fame top 100 reviewer Vine
"The title says it all! This book sizzles with
suspense, mystery, drama and steamy romance."
-The Long and the Short Of It Reviews
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