5 stars from Gabrielle Sally!
“I was impressed with Marilyn Baron’s THE ALIBI. There’s a richness of language that paints a picture making it easy, as readers, to drop into the story… THE ALIBI is an unfolding of a tale filled with Southern, small town mystery, intrigue, suspense, murder, and a bit of down home charm…an absolute enjoyable read.”
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press, Inc.
Publication Date: September 13, 2017
Welcome, Marilyn to The Romance Reviews!
Please tell us something unique about you that we can’t learn from your bio.
I was born without a sense of smell, although I can still taste food. That came in handy when my kids were in diapers but I’ve never been able to smell flowers or perfume or anything I cooked. So I have to be particularly careful when I’m writing about that sense in my novels.
What’s your favorite part of writing?
I love coming up with the title of the book and the names of the main characters. I can’t start to write without them. I love when inspiration first strikes and I come up with an idea because then all the possibilities are open. I also love writing dialogue. I’m a panster, so I don’t outline. To me, outlining is restrictive. I often edit as I write, although conventional wisdom is to get it all down and then revise the book.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve learned while researching a book?
After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Bermuda was surrounded by German U-boats. Although the move cut off vital supplies, the islands were never invaded. Reading that, I wondered why the Germans stopped short of capturing that tiny speck in the ocean, when the value of controlling such a strategic possession could have altered the course of the war. I based my novel, Under the Moon Gate, a romantic thriller set in contemporary and World War II Bermuda, on a fictional account of why Bermuda was spared.
What’s your inspiration for writing The Alibi? What is the significance of the title?
The Alibi was inspired by my job as an Information Specialist II at the Florida Department of Corrections about a year after I graduated college. Although I spent a year in the prison system (doing PR, not time), the events, characters and location of the book are fictional but some parts of the story are based on actual experience to add realism. The title refers to the fact that the heroine is coerced into serving as an alilbi for the director of the prison system, whom she believes murdered his mistress, Judge Savannah Braddock, and is sworn to secrecy.
Tell us about Merritt Saxe. What is it about her that would endear her to the readers? What in her past shaped her to the person that we meet?
Merritt Saxe has been dating her long-time boyfriend throughout college and expects a proposal but he won’t make a commitment. She wants to put her college degree to use and can’t find a job in Miami during the recession so she takes one in a small town in the Florida Panhandle. It’s the city girl coming to the country to take a job with the biggest good-old-boy network in the state in the middle of nowhere. In that way, it’s a little autobiographical because I’m from Miami and took a job with the prison system in Tallahassee, which is the city after which I patterned the fictional Watertown.
Who is Israel Goodspeed?
Israel Goodspeed is a hunky lawyer, and the brother of someone who works for the director of the prison system. Meritt’s direct boss fixed them up on a date and she falls in love with him, but in the end, suspects that the director has engineered the romance to keep her in line. He wears a white cowboy hat and boots and is someone she could spend the rest of her life with if she weren’t so suspicious of his motives.
Why would readers root for Merritt and Israel?
They are in love but she suspects her director of masterminding the match so she cannot quite give her heart. However, Israel is truly in love with Merritt and can’t fathom why she won’t trust him.
What’s up next for you?
A new novel called “The Siege,” a women’s fiction that spans two generations about a mystery and a tragedy that befell the Jews of Chania, Crete, during World War II. The novel is set in Florence, Italy, the Greek island of Crete and New York City. After finding a cache of vintage WW II photographs and love letters in a shoebox in her grandmother’s closet upon her death, heroine Theia Constas goes on a journey of self-discovery to the Greek Island of Crete, where she finds love and realizes her passion through a link to her grandparents’ hidden past.
Thank you, Marilyn!
* “Stilt House,” a signed, matted decorative print by Florida artist Sharon Goldman. Stilt House is on St. George Island off the Florida Panhandle, where The Alibi is set. The location is representative of where the hero and heroine go for their weekend beach getaway.
About Marilyn Baron