17 November, 2012

#Spotlight & #Interview :: When the Siren Calls by Tom Barry

When the Siren Calls: story of seduction, deception and betrayal...

When restless and neglected Isobel is invited to an idyllic Tuscan retreat owned by the suave and streetwise Jay, she imagines a life of excitement outside her stagnant marriage. Despite fear and guilt, she abandons herself in a passionate love affair, but is soon trapped in a web of feminine manipulation, business intrigue, and ruthless ambition, while controlling Jay encourages conservative Isobel to push beyond her sexual boundaries. 
But all is not as it seems in the hilltop paradise and as her lover battles for survival, she finds herself a player in a dangerous love triangle. Unable to know who she can trust, she must fight to control both her own cravings and to save what little of herself is left. As her life falls apart, she is torn between the consequences of infidelity, her love for Jay, and fear that he will be her nemesis.
For both Isobel and Jay, the excesses and confusions of an uncertain and largely amoral age are about to be brought home to roost, right in the heart of their lives.
Witty and smattered with the best sort of irony, with twists and turns that keep you guessing, When the Siren Calls is a sensual and moving emotional drama that titillates the senses while racing along like a Grisham thriller. The novel will appeal to adult readers of romantic suspense and to fans of Fifty Shades of Grey.

Rave & Reviews:
“A pacy, racy, romance novel that simultaneously feels like a critique of a particular social scene. The prose is very strong technically, and the characters are comprehensive and believable. Isobel is an effective and sympathetic protagonist, and her story is compelling.” ~~  Tom Fletcher, Author, The Leaping

    “Wow! Lady Chatterley meets Christian Grey! Tom Barry has a strong sense of irony and a nose for unearthing what lies beneath the civilised facades we present to the world. It is exciting to find a new writer who tells life like it is, but with a delectable twist of romance, sex and humour.” ~~ Stephanie J Hale, author, Millionaire Women, Millionaire You

“A very well-conceived story with interesting characters and a tantalising pace. I couldn’t ask for more than that.” ~~ Jennifer Custer, Literary Agent, A.M. Heath

“I thoroughly enjoyed the way the strands come together as the novel pushes towards climax.” ~~ Matthew Branton, author, The Love Parade

“A sexually-unfulfilled wife in a tricky situation and a handsome stranger coming to her rescue. Give me good old escapism any time.” ~~ Alana Woods, author, Imbroglio

“I loved this book! I am recommending it to all my friends who love smart, sensual stories with twists that keep you guessing.” ~~ Erin Potter, Shamrock Editing

“This story grabs you by the throat from the start. The openingscene is every woman’s nightmare.” ~~ Kathleen Patel, Amazon Books  

An Interview with the Author
Q: What prompted you to write When The Siren Calls?
A: It was a goal of mine to write a business book about the art of persuasion, and I've been encouraged to do that. But when the opportunity came, I decided that, if I were going to be a writer, I'd rather entertain my readers than lecture them!

Q: Where did the idea for When the Siren Calls originate?
A: Once I had the idea of a character - a master persuader who would use his skills for business and pleasure - I thought about context and setting. I've lived and worked abroad much of my life, and I have bought propertyin Italy and Spain, amongst other places. I know a lot about the siren call of living in the sun, having answered that call myself, and I also know a lot about the perils and pitfalls of overseas property investment. So I set my story against the background of a dream holiday condominium for expats. It could be anywhere you find Brits in the sun, but I chose Tuscany because I love visiting there, and I knew stereotypical Italians would add plenty of spice to my story.

Q: Other than your experiences overseas, what else qualified you to write this particular story?
A: People tell me I'm a salesman by nature and I've spent 20 years in management consultancy, or what I prefer to call the persuasion game. My only tool was my pen, so what I was really selling was hope, hope to
corporations looking for salvation. And that is what the master persuader appeals to in my story, to people's hopes and to their dreams. 

Q: But the master persuader is not your protagonist. What made you give the story a female lead?
A: I wanted the book to be about the characters and what happened to them, not a training manual in the art of persuasion or in living the expat life. The more the characters came to life, as I wrote the story, the more I
fell in love with Isobel, and the more I wanted to tell her story.

Q: And what is that story?
A: Isobel is quintessentially English: a modern day Lady Chatterley. When she meets my master persuader, Jay, she imagines a life of excitement outside her stagnant marriage, free of her workaholic husband. When The Siren Calls tells what happens next – a tumultuous, dramatic story of sexual awakening set beneath the Italian sun, intertwined with all the intrigue of a business thriller. 

Q: What makes your story different to other romantic suspense novels?
A: Several things. First, as I've indicated, I've written cross-genre. My book is a romantic suspense and business thriller brought together around three common threads: seduction, deception and betrayal. Second, it's written from multiple points of view; we don't see the story just through Isobel's eyes. And every character is the hero of his own story. The result is a story with twists and turns that keep you guessing. But more importantly it is fresh and original because it does not follow the formulaic approach that all publishers now demand before they will even consider a manuscript from a debut author. The reader sees characters'
actions through the characters' point of view, and the point of view of their adversaries, and it is for the reader to decide who are the good guys.

Q: So are you saying different readers will view characters differently?
A: Exactly, take Isobel for example. I hope every reader will find her an empathetic character and I think most will be rooting for her. But not everyone will agree with how she behaves.

Q: How difficult was it to put yourself inside the head of a female protagonist?
A: That was probably the biggest challenge in writing the book. I immersed myself in the genre, and I had the help of my local book club, which acted as a focus group. In the end my final court of opinion was my wife, who says she loved the book!

Q: WTSC is the first book in a trilogy. When can we expect book two? 
A: Book two, Saving Jay is already written. The timing on the release is something I discuss with my agent regularly. We haven't set a date yet, but hopefully you will see Saving Jay in bookshops late spring 2013.

About the Author
A published writer at University, Tom Barry spent 20 years in management consultancy with Accenture, Deloitte, and PwC, advising the Boards of leading global brands such as Apple, Disney, Toyota and Vodafone. His career prompted a specific interest in the art of persuasive communication. He is passionate
about nurturing young talent and has supported a number of UK and overseas schools, including the Nordoff Robbins Centre for Music Therapy. He lives near London and is currently working with the Brit Writers’ Awards, a charitable initiative to promote creative writing in our schools.

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