By: Alison Brodie
Publication Date: January 9, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance
|Brake Failure is a contemporary romance with a kick-ass heroine. The story is set in one of the most fascinating periods of America’s history: the months leading up to Y2K “melt-down.”
“Is it too late to tell him you love him when you’re looking down the barrel of his gun?”
Ruby Mortimer-Smyth is an English debutante, destined for Lady’s Day at Ascot and taking tea at The Savoy. She knows the etiquette for every occasion and her soufflés NEVER collapse.
She is in control of her life, tightly in control. Until fate dumps her down in … Kansas.
Ruby believes that life is like a car; common-sense keeps it on the road, passion sends it into a ditch. What she doesn’t know is, she’s on a collision course with Sheriff Hank Gephart.
Sheriff Hank Gephart can judge a person. Miss Mortimer-Smyth might act like the Duchess of England but just under the surface there’s something bubbling, ready to explode. She’s reckless, and she’s heading for brake failure. And he’s not thinking about her car.
With the Millennium approaching, Ruby gets caught up in the Y2K hysteria. She joins a group of Survivalists, who give her a gun and advise her to stockpile basic essentials, such as gasoline and water-purifying tablets. So she bulk-buys Perrier, Gentleman’s Relish and macaroons.
Ruby, far from home, is making Unsuitable Friends and “finding herself” for the first time. She falls in with a gang of Hells Angels and falls foul of the law. At every turn, she comes up hard against Sheriff Hank Gephart, whose blue eyes seem to look deep into her soul. She desperately wants him but knows she can never have him.
She’s angry at the emotions he arouses in her. Pushed to her limit, she bursts from her emotional straightjacket.
As the clock strikes midnight of the new Millennium, she’s on a freight train with three million dollars, a bottle of Wild Turkey and a smoking gun.
What happened to Miss Prim-and-Proper? And why did she shoot Mr. Right?
Note: Alison Brodie wrote this story from first-hand experience. She lived in Kansas during this time and was stunned by the hysteria, unnerved that the US government was spending $150 billion preparing for Armageddon. As Lionel Shriver says in “We have to Talk About Kevin”: ‘1999, a year widely mooted beforehand as the end of the world.’
What Others Are Saying
5 * “OMG…I freakin’ LOVED this book…going on the list of one of my favorites of 2016.” –Star Angels Reviews
5* “Everyone needs to read this book. It’s blooming brilliant.” –The Reading Shed
5* “Hilarious.” –Lauren Sapala, Book Reviewer and Writers’ Coach.
5* “A laugh-out-tale that will keep you flipping the pages as fast as possible.” –Tome Tender
5* “Empowering…comical…refreshing.” –San Francisco Book Review
Amazon US – http://amzn.to/1RsAsnm
Amazon UK – http://goo.gl/58v0r5
Amazon CA – https://goo.gl/duU52G
Claire was never late, except when she wanted to undermine the enemy – and Ruby was the enemy. They’d been at war since they became sisters at the age of eight. Then, it had been a blitzkrieg of shin-kicking; but now they were adults, it was more stealth and guerrilla tactics.
She waved as if Ruby were far out to sea. She always had to do something that stopped a room talking. Leading the maitre d’ like a favoured slave, she sailed over, her eyes raking up and down Ruby’s suit. ‘You look like a dental nurse.’
Claire and Granddad detested each other. Claire said he should be de-loused. Granddad said her face could stop a tank.
Edward was right when he said everyone in Kansas is friendly… I go to my regular checkout girl, Clementine, who grins at me as if I’ve just donated a kidney to her baby brother. As usual, she wants inside information on the Queen, and since I don’t want to disappoint, I say, Her Majesty smokes like a chimney and her corgis bite.
At the checkout, Clementine asks what the Queen eats besides cucumber sandwiches and I say, Grilled Swan.
‘So what does a maiden-in-distress wear?’ she muttered, running up the stairs. A Wonderbra and a plunging neckline would do for starters.
Ruby had thought of a name for their little house on the prairie: ‘Buckin’ Palace.’
I frequently giggled, barked, and laughed aloud while reading this delightfully amusing story. Alison Brodie is a talented scribe who loaded her tale with vividly comical descriptions of her numerous quirky characters, as well as the countless hilariously theatrical antics that Ruby stumbled through. As an example – Ruby was a hypochondriac and felt her Doctor “had the tenderness of a Third World dictator,” with “his hairy eyebrows converging like fighting rodents” when he spoke to her.
Ruby, and her ridiculous diva stepsister Claire, were highly competitive, excessively dramatic, shallow, selfish, volatile, and heinously snide; although Ruby was more of a Calamity Jane due to her thoughtless bumbling and impulsivity. Due to her odd childhood, Ruby was emotionally repressed and suffered from excessive anxiety as well as overly grandiose fantasies and ideals. She was a fish out of water being a British woman who was suddenly plopped down in Kansas following her new husband’s job promotion, a move which was quite distressing for Ruby as she had big plans of being relocated to Paris, the very place her sister had always dreamed of living. In Ruby’s mind, her life goal would only be perfect once she achieved something her sister could not, and that was Paris. But instead of her expected and highly desired new and perfect life in Paris, Ruby found herself in Kansas – where for the first time she also found herself popular and wildly in demand. She was surrounded by Y2K prep/survivalists and locals who assumed that since she was English, she had inside information on the royal family. She was continually asked by everyone she met – whether it was housewives, clerks, or the local chapter of Hell’s Angels – tidbits about the Queen and, “Who really killed Princess Diana?” Since Ruby did not want to disappoint, she made up ridiculous yet somewhat plausible replies that never failed to bring a smirk to my mouth.
The narrative went back and forth prior to YTK and after, all the while I was tantalized with periodic mentions of a big incident that the story continued to build toward, as well as looming questions about Ruby’s involvement in this incident. The writing was divine and heaving with humor, snark, addle-brained mishaps, and witty scenarios. As Ruby began to unravel she became braver, although her fantasies became increasingly delusional and her activities more overt; she wrote abysmal poetry and schemed of ridding herself of her disappointing husband, and moving on with a handsome Adonis. I adored this book from beginning to end and proudly add a new author to my Mega Talented list.
Alison Brodie is a Scot, with French Huguenot ancestors on her mother’s side of the family. Alison was a photographic model, modeling for a wide range of products, including Ducatti motorbikes and 7Up. She was also the vampire in the Schweppes commercial.
A disastrous modeling assignment in the Scottish Highlands gave Alison an idea for a story, which was to become Face to Face. She wrote Face to Face as a hobby and then decided to send it off to see what would happen. It was snapped up by Dinah Wiener, the first agent Alison sent it to. Three weeks later, Alison signed a two-book deal with Hodder & Stoughton. Subsequently, Face to Face was published in Germany and Holland. It was widely reviewed, ie: “Vain, but wildly funny leading lady.” -Scottish Daily Mail. It was also chosen as Good Housekeeping’s “Pick of the Paperbacks.”
Unfortunately, Alison then suffered from Second-Book Syndrome. The publisher’s deadline loomed and she was terrified because she didn’t have an idea for a story! She found the whole experience a nightmare, and this is why she cautions first-time authors to write more than one book before approaching an agent. She managed to finish the book – Sweet Talk – but it bombed.
While writing Sweet Talk, she moved to Kansas and lived there for two years. She loved the people, their friendliness, their free-and-easy way of life, the history and the BBQs! Sadly, her visa ran out and she had to come back to the UK – although her dream is to one day live permanently in America. Now, Alison lives in Biarritz, France.
Alison has taken the exhilarating steps to becoming an indie author. Her second ebook, THE DOUBLE, is out on Amazon Kindle with some great reviews. “Excellent.” –San Francisco Book Review.
Alison writes contemporary romance. She aims for a strong plot line, set against the background of a world-changing event, coupled with touches of humour, sexual tension, and character transformation.
She loves to hear from her readers.
Social Media Links
Twitter – @alisonbrodie2
Website – http://www.alisonbrodiebooks.com/