Having just turned sixteen, Sara Jane Rispoli’s birthday is anything but sweet.
Returning from her first high school dance, Sara Jane walks into a ransacked home and finds her family missing, the dog maimed and a psychopath in a ski mask who won’t rest until she’s dead. With nothing to go on but a clue hidden in a bust of Frank Sinatra, Sara Jane jumps into her dad’s 1965 Lincoln Continental and drives into the night.
The clues lead her to an ancient, worn notebook that contains a guide to a Chicago hiding in plain sight— safe houses, secret doors, mysterious phone numbers are all suddenly at Sara Jane’s disposal. But it also contains darker, more troubling secrets concerning the Rispoli family, including the revelation that a rare and powerful hereditary trait passed down from the time of Alexander the Great enabled certain male members of the Rispoli clan to become major figures in the Outfit, Chicago’s storied crime syndicate.
Sara Jane realizes the secret-filled notebook is the reason why her family was taken, and why she’s being pursued by three different factions: her turncoat uncle, Police Detective Dotty Smelt, and the huge, shambling freak in the ski mask. Learning of the gift awakens a realization in Sara Jane that she, too, possesses the powerful phenomenon.
With the help of a weight-challenged sidekick, an angry Italian greyhound, and a legion of guardian angel sewer rats, Sara Jane is chased, attacked, and fights back with cold fury, staying one step ahead of her pursuers and circumnavigating the male-centric Outfit while also keeping a growing romance.
T.M. Goeglein began his career as a writer of print and television ads for a host of advertising and media companies. As a screenwriter, he created both original scripts and worked as a script doctor for several production companies in Los Angeles. He was an original contributor to the Huffington Post 'Living' section, and continues to write for both the national edition and Huffington Post Chicago. Read T.M. Goeglein's stories on the Huffington Post.
His debut young adult novel, COLD FURY, will be published by Penguin/Putnam in 2012 and is the first in a trilogy; he’s currently working on the second book. He lives in Chicago with his wife, Laura, and two young children.
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Top 10 Favorite Things With T.M.
What is your favorite movie?
It’s a hybrid, stitched together from parts of The Godfather I & II, Tommy Boy, The Shawshank Redemption, Animal House, and The Bourne Identity.
What was your favorite cartoon as a kid and do you still watch it today?
Bugs Bunny, but the old, violent ones; whenever they’re on, I can’t believe they were made for kids.
Who is your favorite author?
It’s a tie between Elmore Leonard and J.D. Salinger.
Do you have a book that you can re-read?
Out of Sight (Leonard) and Nine Stories (Salinger.)
If you were not a writer what would you have been?
Either a cab driver, bartender, or unemployed.
What 3 things can you not live without?
My wife and kids, fresh books, and smart movies.
If you were on a deserted island what 3 people would you like with you dead or alive?
Not to echo, but my wife and kids are a given. Beyond them, Derek Jeter (we could play catch,) Mario Batali (he could cook,) and Bob Marley (gotta have the right music on an island.)
What is the one place you would like to travel that you haven’t been to?
Istanbul, Turkey – I’m fascinated that it’s both the eastern and western world in one location.
What is the first book you read in the paranormal genre?
The Shining, years ago, and I’m still wetting my pants.
If your book was made into a movie what actors would you like to play the parts?
That’s really tough, because Sara Jane Rispoli, my protagonist is really tough; it would have to be an appropriate fit, so some combination of Lily Collins and Elizabeth Gilles. As Max, probably someone like Logan Lerman, and as Tyler, I’d go with Devon Bostick.
Who is your favorite signer/group/ or song?
Old-old school: Frank Sinatra (song: Come Dance With Me.) Old school: Marvin Gaye (song: Got to Give It Up.) Now: Maroon Five (song: Payphone.)
If you could have dinner with 1 person dead or alive who would it be?
The notorious gangster and leader of the Chicago Outfit for fifty years, Tony Accardo. I’d really like to know how he kept all of those deadly secrets for so long, and how he managed to live to a ripe old age.
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