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The Emily Taylor Mysteries have used the plots of three short stories to form the action through which Emily and her husband and friends move.   The fourth book will explore the couple’s secret past and that will be the end (Catherine thinks!) of the series.  This is a preview of "Seventh Fire", Book Four, which will be released around Christmas, 2009.



Prologue

 

The Artist stood back and admired his masterpiece.  At first, he had not felt the rush of inspiration that most often accompanied his best work.  Perhaps he had been tired out by all the activity in which he’d indulged before beginning the composition, but a second spurt of energy had surprised him.  Flinging the oils against the backdrop, the muse had overtaken him at last.  The rush, the thrill of creation, flooded his head, puppetting his hands.  Suddenly he was in total control and yet completely out of control.  He watched himself as the pattern flourished, the globules became design, the colours burgeoned.    

Pinks and yellows and blues blended with the pale background to create a pre-dawn sky that pleased him immensely.  The pallet spewed out all over the canvas with wild abandon like an English garden, seemingly disparate pieces and colours coming together in an exquisite array.

Fascinated by the way the liquids combined, he spent a long time watching the paint, mixed with those other fluids, as it seeped slowly downward.  As though pulled by an unseen hand, the liquid would bounce back up, leaving just a little bit behind at a time, a bungee cord of ooze.

Finally, he realized that he was exhausted, satiated. Now he could compose himself enough to stand back, to marvel at what he had done. Not only did the composition itself warrant reverence, but his action was also worthy of respect; the moment, the life-changing event, that he alone had put into motion, was beyond his wildest expectations.

With a renewed sense of purpose, he began to pack up his precious brushes and pallet.  Only then did he clean up the blood.

 
Book Three:  Legacy

 

This third book in the series is multi-layered.  There are six recurring “voices”, all centering on some kind of search.  One character is a mysterious woman, who, because of her pregnancy, wants to uncover her roots.  For Emily Taylor, it is the search to discover a way to assist a very troubled family, whose nine children attend her school.  Another voice is that of a child who is being abused; a voice that turns out to reflect two distinct characters.  A new personality to the series is also introduced: that of Jacob Finch, a lawyer whose past has been difficult, but whose involvement in this mystery is vital.  Alain Reneaux, May’s husband, is a recurring figure in the series.  In this book, he is troubled by his own past and begins to search for his roots as well.  As the stories evolve, it becomes apparent to the reader that all the events and people are interrelated.

A shocking revelation about two of the main Emily Taylor Mystery Series characters, the exposure of a church that has become an evil cult that will stop at nothing, including murder, to regain their power, and the resolution of the bones found in the well in Book Two, are enough to keep any previous readers of the series riveted.  However, the book can also stand alone, as its themes are both current and universal.


Reviews:

 

By Don Graves, Hamilton Spectator
"..had your publications fit within the policy, I would have chosen both Victim and Legacy as 2 of my top 10 books for 2008. That is how strong the writing is in my opinion.
 

By Lisa Dwyer 

Hey Cathy!  Finished Legacy yesterday!!  Well done.You are such a talented writer. Case in point...despite the dark subject matter, I found it difficult putting it down. I was reading on the subway, going to and from work and nearly missed my stop a few times because I was so engrossed in the stories (and there were certainly a lot of different stories within 1 story!) It seemed like every mystery beget another mystery...with everything coming full circle. You developed one story line after another and somehow managed to connect them all despite the feeling that they were all very separate, unconnected stories. It was kind of like reading several different stories/novels...at least that's how I felt.
 

You build such rich characters. In fact, I find myself really craving these characters be brought to life on film. I'm very much a visual person, not much of a reader. Even so, you put so much information and detail in every sentence that I had to keep going back and re-reading so I didn't miss something important...that's why it took so long for me to read it. To steal one of your sentences...."...stretching out the words so that each one is infused with far more than a single syllable; they are whole sentences of meaning unto themselves"....That's what you do with the written word. It must be an exhausting process for you because you pack every sentence with so much! I'm embarrassed to say that I did have to open a dictionary a couple times though.

 

You have such a sympathetic way of making even the most unsavoury character somehow have a legitimate excuse for how they turned out. And we end up feeling empathy. Even the most seemingly evil maybe ended up that way because of what they were exposed to early in life. How much is genetic, how much is environment? What makes evil? Are some people just plain evil?  I think a couple of lessons I got out of your novels, is that everyone has issues, and everyone deserves a second chance at happiness. Can one overcome the legacy of their past or of family connections? People can overcome. Love can overcome. You always end on a positive, hopeful feeling. I also get the sense you're making a strong comment on child abuse and animal abuse and your love for the rich native heritage of Canada. I'm sure you must have seen a lot being in education.

 I found it interesting the way you structured each chapter, devoted to a specific character at a specific moment of time in their life....and then ending each chapter right at the point of a pivotal event. Leaving the reader having to wonder when and where we'll get to learn more or find an answer to what just happened.....great writing tool! Just like still no answers, just more hints on what happened in Vancouver....brilliant marketing tool! You've already sold your next novel! 

 I am a little sorry that Emily wasn't involved more this time because I came to like her so much from the prior 2 novels. And I like what she brought to each situation. Have you started on the next book?  What is the legacy of Legacy? So, looking forward to the next Emily Taylor mystery!