Q: Tell us a little about Saving Madeline.
A: Saving Madeline is about Caitlin McLoughlin, a public defender, who works hard freeing too many criminal for her peace of mind. When Parker Hathaway is arrested for kidnapping four-year-old Madeline, Caitlin thinks he is just one more criminal she must get through the system, but instead she finds a cause she can believe in. Soon she is in a race to uncover proof that will free Parker and save Madeline before it’s too late.
Q: How did you get the idea for this story?
A: Several years ago, shock radiated throughout Utah when an infant was found dead after ingesting meth she had found in a plastic bag on the floor of her home. What made this tragic circumstance even more notable and horrific is that weeks earlier her father had forcibly taken her across state lines, hoping to protect her from her mother’s substance abuse.
Authorities found the child, placed her back with her mother, and sent the father to jail for assault and burglary. A little over a week later, the baby was dead and the mother was charged with desecration of a dead body for moving her daughter to cover up the mother’s drug abuse.
All charges against the father were eventually dropped. Sadly, this is not the only story of a child becoming the victim of a parent’s drug use. In my research, I found many more instances, some of which I’ve written under the Author Comments for the book on my website at http://rachelannnunes.com/. Though these true-life experiences do not appear in my book, the events inspired me to explore what might have happened in a similar instance. Questions I asked myself include, "Can the ends justify the means in some circumstances?" and "How far would a parent go to save a child they love?"
I have to add that while this book is on a series subject, there is a lot of fun there, too. And romance. I know my readers will be satisfied with the ending!
Q: So when is Saving Madeline available? Where can you buy it?
A: Mid-September. But you can read the first chapter on my website right now (http://www.rachelannnunes.com/). In Utah, all the local bookstores should have it, and you should be able to order it at any bookstore. There are many online stores that will have it.
Q: You have published a lot of books over the years. Tell us about them.
A: Saving Madeline is my 29th published book. My most popular books were probably the Ariana series and the picture book Daughter of a King, primarily because they've been out so long (the first three Ariana novels were recently reprinted under one cover). But I'm most proud of my later novels: Flying Home, Fields of Home, and Eyes of a Stranger. I enjoy writing good stories that will resonate with a wide variety of readers. I like writing family drama, with a lot of characters.
Q: What's coming next?
A: My next book, Imprints, takes another different direction as I'm jumping on the national bandwagon by including a paranormal element. On the day of her father's funeral, Autumn discovers a paranormal gift that allows her to find clues about missing people. Nothing so weird as to put off my regular readers, though. In fact, I'm sure they will enjoy what I have planned. I hope to have four or more books in the series.
Thank you, Rachel!