My interview over at The Art and Craft of Writing Creatively is HERE

Purchase my book Images of America: Detroit Lakes HERE

Monday, February 24, 2014

Book Spotlight: The Accidental Prophetess by Michelle Lam

Author: Michelle Lam
Publication Date: February 24, 2014

Natalie Richards (27) knows how to make a video go viral. It’s her job, after all. But when she’s fired over her latest video — an ad for dish soap, of all things — she complains. Loudly. In public. It’s not her fault that those words were written down decades earlier. Within minutes she’s abducted, whisked underground, and proclaimed to be a long-lost prophet destined to save the world.

The threats against world peace are real. But then again, so is the need to breathe fresh air and have a decent haircut. Not to mention the two deliciously handsome men that seem to have secrets of their own. A cult is a cult, no matter how sexy the head of security might be … right?

"I’d been holding my breath for a long time. I know how these things go. Okay, in retrospect, I realize that all of this knowledge has been gleaned from spy novels and CSI shows. But still, knowledge is knowledge. A girl gets abducted. Put in a car. Then there’s a damp rag held over her mouth. She slumps and wakes up in the trunk. Or doesn't wake up at all. I put that thought quickly out of my mind and pressed my lips firmly together. When the rag came, I would pretend to faint, and then when the car stopped, I’d make a run for it. It was a decent plan, considering the circumstances.
“We haven’t used the chloroform rag since child locks were invented,” said the neckless hulk of a man squashed in on my left. “You can breathe normally.” His partner snorted, but regained his composure quickly.

I let out my breath as nonchalantly as I could and devoted my time instead to memorizing our route. We were rolling through Manhattan behind tinted windows. I needed a Plan B. I dismissed the thought of trying to get help -- the windows were too dark for anyone to see inside, and I doubted trying to wrench a door open would work. So I stared intently out the window, committing everything to memory. After several turns I was hopelessly lost. I’ve lived here for two years, but I’ve spent the best part of those two years in front of my computer, setting up media marketing campaigns for my job.

My name is Natalie Richards. I am a marketing executive and I am really good at my job. Too good, actually, because I got fired today right after my latest video -- an advertisement for dish soap, of all things -- went viral. But I’d known my video would be good. It had just the right amount of sarcasm and pop culture references. Sometimes you just know when things are going to turn out, you know? I had maneuvered my boss to sign an agreement beforehand into giving me a large percentage of the advertising space. He wanted the ad space now that the video was viral, so he fired me. I fully intend to fight him on that one, but first I need to get out of this car.

“I kinda miss the damp old rag,” the man to the left was saying. “Delivering people now is getting boring. I feel like a taxi driver.”

“Taxi drivers don’t usually poke guns into people’s ribs,” I said, before thinking to check my tongue.

“That’s true. But most people don’t try to stun gun me.”

“Really?” I was genuinely surprised. When I had moved here from Rochester at least three people had told me to carry one for protection in the big bad city. “Why not?”

"Most people just get in the car,” the partner said. “They take one look at us and that’s all it takes. But the last few have tried to fight us. Maybe we’re losing our touch. What do you think, Mike?” Mike just shrugged.

I looked at both of them. Mike looked like he had been more menacing a decade or two ago. Now, if you put a red suit on him, he would make an excellent Santa Claus. Well, maybe the leather jacket would have to go. I switched my gaze to his partner. He was leaning back in the seat, with his thin arms crossed over his chest. His fists were curled into tight balls and tucked under his arms, pushing his biceps out. He periodically glanced down to survey their size. Great. I was stuck between a tired Santa and his insecure elf.


Michelle is an author from a small town in Manitoba, Canada. She is a part-time stay-at-home-mom of two little toddlers and a part-time English teacher for a group of rowdy 6th graders. She writes at night when the world (mostly her household, really) is asleep. She has traveled and taught in Thailand and Indonesia and currently lives in Vietnam. She loves to read, try new restaurants, and spend time with her family and friends.