Monday, February 13, 2023

Virtual Book Tour + #Giveaway: Vindictive Too by Ryan Lawrence @RyanLAuthor @GoddessFish

Vindictive Too

by Ryan Lawrence

GENRE: Thriller/LGBT


The best revenge never includes forgiveness. To truly punish the guilty, something worse must be done to them.

A chain of vengeful events is set in motion when a man's brutally murdered body is found in an alley behind a seedy bar. Inspector Declan James is put on the victim's case, only to discover his intimate connection to the slain man. After a not-by-chance meeting with the mysterious Véronique, a woman on a mission to right a terrible wrong, Declan finds himself mired in an intricate web of corruption, lies, and coverups.

Marie and Jacques Bergé, the owners of the internationally renowned Château Bergé, act publically as the pinnacle of society and wealth, but behind closed doors, their lives are in turmoil. From Marie's erratic behaviour and bizarre disappearances to Jacques's not-so-secret love for another woman, Fairporte's "it" couple teeters on the edge of destruction.

In the shadows, a bearded man, powerful and dark of heart, secretly orchestrates his machiavellian manoeuvres from a place of sadism and despair.

From the bustling core to the rustic outskirts of Fairporte, ON, secrets, suffering, and rage are found everywhere. As the cruel desire pain, the wronged seek retribution, and the fragile break, will anyone get their revenge before death or madness claim them?

Vindictive Too on Amazon


Jules, you’re the best,” Jacques stated as a big smile appeared across his handsome, chiselled face. Instinctively, he reached across the table and placed his hand on top of hers. “I can always count on you.”

Jacques, we’re in public,” Jules whispered, retracting her entire arm. She saw several of the high-end restaurant’s patrons eyeing them curiously. Their piqued interest crafted brazen, sly smiles on their soon-to-be gossiping mouths.

Jules glared daggers at the spectators; they all quickly shrank back, intimidated by her ferocious sneer. She did not care about anyone’s opinion or judgment, but she refused to back down from her public stance that she and Jacques were solely business associates and close friends. If Marie was in the picture, there could be nothing else between them.

I don’t care!” Jacques roared. “I want to hold your hand. Quand je dis que je t’aime je le pense vraiment! When I say I love you, I really mean it!”

Jules rolled her eyes and, in a low voice, replied, “What does love have to do with anything? I know you love me, but we’ve been over this. You can’t have it both ways. As long as you’re with that basket case you call a wife, we can’t—oh, whatever. I’m not talking about this. Speaking of Marie, one of my favourite topics, have you heard anything?” Jules’s sarcasm was on full show.

Oh, Jules!” Jacques cried, frustrated. He knew it had been reductive to say he loved her, but for once, he wanted to completely forget about Marie, her issues, and his life outside of this moment with Jules. Admitting defeat, Jacques stiffened up, arched his back, placed his hands in his lap, and answered Jules’s question.

No, not yet. Marie left for her session without me. She’s very upset about what I said to her regarding the twins. Marie is not a basket case, Jules. She’s troubled. And she’s the mother of my children. Can’t you show just a little compassion? Or some respect for her? I mean, come on, you drove her right out of the party last night, and she never returned!”

Jules shrugged and ate some more of her salad.

Interview with Ryan Lawrence

How many books have you written, and which is your favourite?

I've written and published two books: Vindictive and Vindictive Too. I can't say I have a favourite; I love my books equally, but for different reasons. I will say that Vindictive holds a special place in my heart because it's my first published novel and focuses heavily on my favourite character to write, the wickedly intelligent and sarcastic Jules Cartell. She does appear in Vindictive Too, but not in a principal role. My second favourite character, Inspector Declan James, gay, handsome, and gutsy, does not appear in the first novel but is at the centre of the second and ongoing.

If you’re planning a sequel, can you share a tiny bit about your plans for it?

I've always considered Vindictive Too to be a companion novel to Vindictive and not a sequel because the events in both books occur simultaneously. There is an as-yet-untitled third novel in the series that continues and closes all significant storylines. I will say that those who deserve their comeuppance will most likely get what’s coming to them. But remember, revenge is a knife that cuts both ways, so….

Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

In the initial editing stage, I shifted direction and carefully and pragmatically reworked my original weighty novel into two more “manageable” books. Vindictive and Vindictive Too contain unique storylines and cross-over ones, linking them together. It was vital for me not to sacrifice my love for and desire to produce descriptive, cinematic-like prose and illustrative dialogue; my novels remain "meaty" but more coherent and accessible to a broader audience.

The events in the last chapter of Vindictive Too take place mere hours after the final events in Vindictive and merge the two books into a streamlined narrative going forward. Yes, they stand on their own as fully realized, fleshed-out novels, but I recommend Vindictive be read first. Vindictive Too's final chapter and the epilogue contain revelations of character fates and answers to mysteries in the first book. The "Too" in Vindictive Too is a play on words to connote a novel with characters that are also as vindictive as the ones in the first novel and the fact that it is the second book.

How did you come up with the title of your book?

I knew I wanted a single word for the book's title, and this was before I consciously decided to split the text into two. This word for my (eventual first book's) title had to sound menacing yet intriguing in a soapy dramatic way. Despite the overarching theme of my narrative, I didn't want to use the word "revenge" as I felt it would be too on the nose, and it's been done to death. I don't recall where I first read or heard someone say "vindictive" in a sentence or as a description of someone; it's such a powerful, evocative word. It was perfect. Initially, my second novel was entitled something entirely different, but I grew concerned it wouldn't immediately connote the sequential relationship to the first novel. After voicing this to my husband, we brainstormed ideas and the fun, play-on-words title of Vindictive Too was eventually chosen..

How long did it take you to write this book?

Years. To elaborate, I started this book in my late teens but only got 30-odd pages written before life got in the way. Fast forward two decades later, I discovered this unfinished, haphazard manuscript in a box while moving and felt a creative calling to complete it. Then it took about two years to write an 800-page novel. You can see why I inevitably split it.

What does the title mean?

It means that inside Vindictive and Vindictive Too are multiple characters who have been done wrong, and they have an axe to grind. A score must be settled, preferably in the most ruthless way possible.

What did you learn when writing the book?

I discovered my best writing comes when I don't rush or force it. I also learned it's okay to alter or remove entire swaths of writing if it improves the cohesion and coherence of the story.

What surprised you the most?

This might not be the monumental shocker people expect as an answer, but the reader-response to specific characters in my books surprised me. In Vindictive, Phillip, the long-suffering husband of Jules, became a character that resonated with many readers. It might have been his golden locks, Chris Hemsworth-like good looks or perhaps his tragic (though possibly not unwarranted) victimization. Whatever the cause, he became a fan favourite. In my latest novel, Vindictive Too, Inspector Declan James has become a darling of my readers. In his case, I had hoped the audience would connect with him, but with Phillip, I did not, at least not as a stand-out favourite. The reader’s organic and often unpredictable experience with what they experience textually makes the writing process so exciting; it's best to leave most expectations at the door.

Have you ever killed off a character your readers loved?

No one has come at me with pitchforks yet. I’ve had people convey to me that they wish I'd kill certain characters, mind you. That makes me smile. Several people have told me not to harm a specific male character featured in Vindictive Too, as they love him. All I’ll say is to keep reading.

What do you do to get inside your characters’ heads?

I like to place myself into the scenario I want to explore, be it positive (love and pleasure) or negative (rage and betrayal), and ask pointed questions like what's happening, who's involved, and how's it affecting me? What would I be feeling? What would I do about it? How would I do it? Then I use my thoughts, emotions, and reactions as a bridge to connect to the unique personality of the character I'm focussing on in the storyline I'm writing. It's not cut and paste, of course, merely a helpful tool. I open up my creative mind to push the envelope, to make things exciting, but still remain in objective reality--I'm writing melodrama thrillers, not Fantasy/SciFi. I want things taken to extremes when appropriate; still, the methods, situations, and even the characters in my work must be believable, or the narrative loses its sense of plausibility.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Ryan Lawrence was born and raised in Guelph, ON, and he is a graduate of the University of Guelph in English Literature. Ryan lives in London, ON, with his husband, Todd, their cat Dora, and his massive comic book collection that once fell on Todd. He's okay.

Connect with Ryan Lawrence

Website ~ Twitter ~ Instagram ~ Facebook



$10 Amazon/BN GC

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Marcy Meyer said...

The excerpt sounds interesting. I like the cover.

Sherry said...

I love the cover and look forward to reading the book.

Debbie P said...

This sounds really good.