The Redemption, the latest mystery by C.L. Tolbert. Check out all the stops on the Partners in Crime Book Tour!
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Emma Thornton is back in The Redemption, C.L. Tolbert’s second novel in the Thornton Mystery Series.
When two men are murdered one muggy September night in a New Orleans housing project, an eye witness identifies only one suspect – Louis Bishop- a homeless sixteen-year old. Louis is arrested the next day and thrown into Orleans Parish Prison. Emma Thornton, a law professor and director of the Homeless Law Clinic at St. Stanislaus Law School in the city agrees to represent him.
When they take on the case, Emma and her students discover a tangle of corruption, intrigue, and more violence than they would have thought possible, even in New Orleans.
They uncover secrets about the night of the murders, and illegal dealings in the city, and within Louis’s family.
As the case progresses, Emma and her family are thrown into a series of life-threating situations. But in the end, Emma gains Louis’s trust, which allows him to reveal his last, and most vital secret.
Published by: Level Best Books
Publication Date: February 9th 2021
Number of Pages: 286
Series:Thornton Mysteries, Book 2 || Each is a Stand Alone Mystery
by Cynthia Tolbert, author of The Redemption published by Level Best Books
In my Thornton Mystery Series, Emma Thornton, my heroine, is a young attorney and mother to twin boys. She’s tenacious, hard-working, and confident. Sometimes her confidence leads her to dangerous surroundings and circumstances. But Emma is multidimensional. She’s a heroine to her clients, and cares about them so much she puts herself in harm’s way. She is equally concerned about championing her sons. It’s a tough balancing act ˗ negotiating her challenging professional life with her private life, including nurturing relationships with her boyfriend, Ren, and her twin sons. What gets her through is her tenacity.
I’m not Emma, but over the past year and a half, I’ve learned I’m nearly as determined.
In January of 2020 I was revising and finalizing The Redemption, my second book in the series which was due to the publisher in June. Everything was on schedule, and I was pleased with my progress. My husband had been suggesting that we move to the suburbs for several years which I’d always ignored. He suddenly started pushing strongly for the move because he hated the commute from our home to his office. I, on the other hand, was completely content with our century old bungalow in Atlanta and couldn’t imagine moving. Our house was perfect. The yard was beautifully manicured. We had completely refurbished the place, exactly as we wanted.
But even though I’d never been happier in my life, my husband insisted that we go forward with the purchase at the end of January, 2020.
Then the pandemic hit, and he was required to work from home. He chose to work from suburbia. I stayed in the intown Atlanta home trying to finalize The Redemption, pack, and sell the house, all at the same time.
It took six months to sell our intown home. And once the house sold, it took me another month to pack it up. If I was honest I would admit that I still haven’t quite recovered from the loss of that lovely place, which was a sanctuary to me. But the worst part of it all is how long it has taken to remodel the new place.
My husband is a software developer who is also an electrical engineer. He’s a talented guy and is capable of a great many things, including a complete house renovation, but he doesn’t have much time to devote to work on the new place. He and a few contractors gutted the new house, and framed the walls and ceilings. After realizing he wasn’t pleased with their job, my husband, who may also be as tenacious as Emma, decided he would do the bulk of the remaining work.
That was more than a year ago.
We still don’t have a kitchen, and the house is so dusty the air purifier can’t keep up. I have felt more than a little daunted during this process. Still—I’ve always liked a challenge.
This year I’ve recognized similarities between house renovations and writing.
I came late to the profession of writing, and, after thirty-five years of practicing law, have been hanging on to ideas for stories for years. My thoughts, beyond the initial inspiration, are often a jumble, many of which are scattered, much like the gutted-out downstairs of my house right now. I work those initial ideas into a chapter by chapter plot, sometimes using a basic outline.
In house remodeling terms, this would be the frame and ceiling. After writing the plot, the characters need attention, so I flesh them out, and bring out their personality traits and emotional reactions, much as my husband would flesh out the walls of the house with electrical wiring, plumbing, and sheet rock. I’ll add action on the third go around, which in construction terms is comparable to attaching fixtures and appliances—things that make the house come to life.
Writing means re-writing to me. The process only comes to an end because there is a publication deadline. I can only hope there’s an end to the construction at our house.
The progress of my second book, The Redemption, much like the house, was delayed in 2020.
My publishers, Level Best Books, who may be the most patient and understanding company in the business, extended the publication date. They, like Emma, didn’t give up on me, and I didn’t give up either. I can write anywhere it is relatively quiet, but it was often noisy at the new place due to construction sounds and loud music. So I rented an Air BNB, worked on the book away from the dust, noise, and confusion of construction, and was able to meet my new deadline. The book came together in a way that made me feel proud.
I’m starting to warm up to the new place. I like the layout my husband designed, and he was smart enough to start the renovations with my bedroom and bathroom, both of which are nice, although not quite completed.
As I’m watching the house slowly come together, through the dust and occasional toxic fumes, I’m also working on my third novel, Sanctuary, which is the second book I’ve worked on since we started the renovation process. I’m in the plot development, or “framing up” phase. The progression of the house construction is slightly ahead of my third book’s development. The framing is complete, the plumbing, electricity, and dry wall are up on the second floor, and even some of the final touches have been added.
My husband and I have a long way to go on our projects, but in the end, I think we both enjoy the process. We certainly persevere, much like Emma, my main character.
I wonder who will finish first?
C.L. Tolbert, author of The Redemption
Cynthia Tolbert won the Georgia Bar Journal’s fiction contest for the short story version of OUT FROM SILENCE. Cynthia developed that story into the first full-length novel of the Thornton Mystery Series by the same name, which was published by Level Best Books in December of 2019. Her second book in this same series, entitled THE REDEMPTION, was released in February of 2021.
Cynthia has a Master’s in Special Education and taught children with learning disabilities for ten years before moving on to law school. She spent most of her legal career working as defense counsel to large corporations and traveled throughout the country as regional and national counsel. She also had the unique opportunity of teaching third-year law students in a clinical program at a law school in New Orleans where she ran the Homeless Law Clinic and learned, first hand, about poverty in that city.
She retired after more than thirty years of practicing law. The experiences and impressions she has collected from the past forty years contribute to the stories she writes today. Cynthia has four children, and three grandchildren, and lives in Atlanta with her husband and schnauzer.
To learn more about Cynthia, click on her name, photo, or any of the following links: Goodreads, Instagram – @cltolbertwrites, Twitter – @cltolbertwrites & Facebook – @cltolbertwriter
Visit all the stops along the tour!
06/01 Guest post @ Author Elena Taylors Blog
06/01 Guest Post @ The Book Divas Reads
06/02 Showcase @ Silver’s Reviews
06/03 Showcase @ Books, Ramblings, and Tea
06/04 Guest post @ Novels Alive
06/07 Interview @ BooksChatter
06/08 Showcase @ nanasbookreviews
06/10 Showcase @ Im All About Books
06/13 Showcase @ I Read What You Write
06/14 Review @ Book Reviews From an Avid Reader
06/15 Interview @ A Blue Million Books
06/16 Interview/showcase @ CMash Reads
06/17 Review @ Quiet Fury Books
06/21 Showcase @ Celticladys Reviews
06/26 Review @ Jersey Girl Book Reviews
06/27 Review @ Margaret Yelton
06/28 Review @ A Room Without Books is Empty
06/28 Review @ Bound 4 Escape
06/29 Review @ sunny island breezes
06/30 Review @ @ jay. rae. reads
06/30 Review @ Pat Fayo Reviews
07/01 Interview @ Podcast
07/01 Review @ Just Reviews
Elena Taylor is the author of All We Buried, available now in print, e-book, and audio book format at all your favorite on-line retailers. And don’t forget many independent bookstores can order books for you and have them shipped to your home or for curbside pickup.
For more information on All We Buried, click on the link here to visit the home page.
Foreword INDIE Award Finalist, Best Mystery 2020