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SEATTLE, WASHINGTON—Ever since she was a little girl, Danielle Esplin wanted to write professionally. Today, that goal is now a reality. In 2016, she received a publishing contract from Black Rose Writing. The company recently released Give It Back, a mysterious and fast-paced novel guaranteed to leave readers on the edge of their seats with each attention-grabbing page.
“I’m grateful for this opportunity. I expect I’m calmer than other authors releasing their debut novels traditionally,” stated Esplin. “I don’t think it has sunk in yet.”
Give It Back follows the journey of three women whose lives are majorly flawed and troubled. Lexy is an au pair from London with a hidden agenda. Her host mother, Lorraine who lives in Seattle, has brain tumors which are affecting not only her reasoning skills but also her behavior. Ella, the protagonist, reluctantly visits Lorraine, her cancer-ridden sister but soon learns some shocking news. Lexy is now missing but so is Ella’s nephew. After Ella’s arrival in Seattle, she decides to take it upon herself to dig deep into the clues and poems left by Lexy to find out what really happened to her and her sister’s 16-year-old son. Both simply vanished one afternoon when Lorraine apparently took a nap.
Every chapter is filled with twists and turns that readers will not see coming. Below is an excerpt from Give it Back:
I’m online, researching cognitive behavioral therapy. Lately the smallest things set me off, which is unusual for me. I’ve never had a temper—Ella had one for me, an extra one. At first I felt positive about possibly undergoing this type of psychotherapy, but then I read a quote: “The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.” Any hope I had was snatched away by that sentence, because I don’t know if my brain tumors are doing the thinking or if it’s just me. How many times will I say something and wonder afterward what the hell I just said? I don’t recognize myself anymore. Who have I become?—Lorraine
While the story and the characters are completely made up, Esplin drew some inspiration for the novel from her own life. Like Lexy, she, too, once worked as an au pair in Seattle for six months. Following a trip to Costa Rica, ideas for her debut novel started to surface, and she began putting pen to paper.
“I know how it feels to read a great book, and I want to provide something for my readers that will give them the same feeling I got when reading some of my favorite books,” explained Esplin. “I want them to feel as if you’re part of the story. And for the non-avid readers, I hope my novel encourages them to read more.”
Today, Give It Back is currently a proud finalist for the CLUE Awards which recognizes emerging new talent and outstanding works in the genres of thriller and suspense novels. The grand prize winner and the first place category winners will be announced and recognized at the April 2nd, 2017 Chanticleer Writing Contests Annual Awards Gala in Bellingham, Washington.
“I’m so ecstatic to have been selected as a finalist. I honestly had no idea what to expect,” stated Esplin. “I sent them my first edition before receiving my publishing contract. This journey has had some pleasant surprises so far, and I’m excited to see what the future holds for me.”
In the short time since the book’s release, the reviews have been overwhelmingly positive. Amazon presently gives the psychological thriller 4 ½ stars out of five. Writer’s Digest also gave the book high praise.
“The author is certainly talented. Great voice for the genre and skilled in her word choices. In fact, I deeply loved her sensory cues and her word choices. Great plot twists and turns throughout. I didn’t have any pacing issues. Great chapter hooks and suspense hooks,” read a Writer’s Digest review.