Cache a Predator by M. Weidenbenner-Review and Interview with the Author
ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date July 28, 2013
Officer Brett Reed will do anything to gain custody of his five-year-old daughter, Quinn. But when a judge grants Brett’s drug-addicted ex-wife custody and slaps him with a protective order for losing his temper, he fears for Quinn’s safety. Who will protect her now?
When Quinn is found abandoned on the streets, she’s placed in a temporary foster home until Child Protective Services can complete an assessment. It should only take a few days.
But a lot can happen in a few days.
Especially when there’s a deranged psychopath on the loose, someone who’s attacking pedophiles, someone who wants to protect children like Quinn, and someone who’s planting body parts in geocaching sites.
Cache a Predator is a novel about a father’s love, justice, and the unhinged game of hide-the-cache.
REVIEW: Let me begin by letting you know this book is such a thrilling read! That said; let’s get into the premise and beginning of the story.
I don’t want to give too much away, but we’re dealing with abuse (physical and sexual) and its aftermath years down the road and how it affects the lives it touches, I know – not a wonderful subject, but this is really well done. The story begins with the narration of a person going a crime…describing feelings, past and present, what they’re doing now and the whole scene. The crime is an interesting one, breaking into a mausoleum and cutting off the male member of a dead abuser…then taking that and sealing it in a plastic bag and hiding in in a geocache location. Geocaching is an interesting hiking activity of a sort of treasure hunt game people are playing all over the world…Google it!
This is an intricate story or stories as it deals with different people and their lives all touched by the same or similar situations and the aftermath.
The main character in this twisty thrilling tale is Brett Reed. Brett spent twelve years trying to “rescue” Ali, his ex-wife from herself and her issues from her past, but some people just won’t be saved. However, they managed to produce Quinn, a wonderful little girl who loves her parents. Circumstances have Brett wound up in knots trying to gain custody of his daughter, while trying not to harm her mother any further than she already is! You really feel the frustration that courts and their “snail-pace” can and do inflict.
Brett is also a police officer and he and his partner draw the case of the “whacker”, who is now whacking live sex offenders in their area and geocaching their members as well!
Due to complications, I would need to write my own novel to describe; Quinn is placed in Child Protective Services (CPS) care to keep her safe until custody can be determined by the courts, after she is found wondering the streets of the neighborhood in the middle of the night. This brings into play the lovely Dr. Sarah Grinwald, a psychologist and part-time case worker for CPS. She’s to assess Quinn, Ali and Brett and make a recommendation to the courts as to custody and what would be in Quinn’s best interests.
Sarah is a very good psychologist, but also a wonderful human being! The sparks between Brett and Sarah are immediate, but very slow and cautious. Now the fun begins! This story takes off on many levels as crimes, personal issues, and more wind into a marvelously compelling and thrilling tale.
While I’m not a lover of abuse stories, I found this intriguing tale compelling and strangely uplifting. I think this was mostly due to the well written dialog and plot of this story. It’s inspirational, slightly sensual, and very realistically written. I have to say I just loved it and wanted more! This was definitely worth the read!! Enjoy, I did!
Copy supplied by the author
Reviewed by Georgianna
TRC: Hi Michelle and welcome to The Reading Café. Congratulations on the release of CACHE A PREDATOR.
We would like to start with some background information. Would you please tell us something about yourself?
Michelle: I’m a fulltime writer and blogger, encouraging adults and teens on their writing journey. My blog is called RANDOM WRITING RANTS.
I’m a sucker for emotional stories, sometimes called an empath. I feel other people’s pain. It’s my sensitive side that fuels the passion for my character’s plights, often giving me the ability to show readers the other side of the story.
I grew up in the burbs of Detroit with five brothers. No sisters. Each time my mom brought the boy bundle home I cried, certain my mom liked boys better than girls. But when my brothers pitched in with the cooking, cleaning, and babysitting—without drama, I discovered having brothers wasn’t so bad. They even taught me how to take direct criticism without flinching, which might come in handy with book reviews.
I’m living my dream—writing every day and thanking God for the stories He puts in my path. When I’m not writing I’m winning ugly on the tennis court. I’m known as “Queen of the Rim Shots.” No joke. It’s ugly.
My debut novel, Cache a Predator is a geocaching mystery and an Amazon bestseller in the thriller/crime category.
Scattered Links, a Young Adult novel about a Russian orphan, is slated to be released January 2014.
TRC: July 30 2013 saw the release of your suspense/mystery novel CACHE A PREDATOR. Would you please tell us something about the premise?
Michelle: It’s a geocaching mystery about a cop who wants custody of his five-year-old daughter. But first he has to convince the judge, child protective services, and a deranged vigilante that he’s a good dad.
TRC: Do you have plans for a series of novels focusing on Officer Brett Reed and his murder investigations or is this a stand alone novel?
Michelle: Although this is a stand-alone novel, several readers have commented that they’d love for the story to continue, so I might have to consider a series.
TRC: If you could virtually cast the leading characters of CACHE A PREDATOR, which actors or models would best represent your ideal image or character muse?
Michelle: Confession—I have no clue. I’m really bad at knowing the names of actors and actresses. Isn’t that pitiful? Maybe if they wore nametags on their foreheads I could remember! I know, it’s embarrassing. My friends make fun of me about not knowing who the big ones are.
However, I have a Pinterest board of CACHE a PREDATOR and photos of what I think the characters might look like.
TRC: What is the significance of the novel title-CACHE a PREDATOR and its relationship to the storyline?
Michelle: In the sport “geocaching” hikers find hidden cache boxes in their communities. They use GPS devices to find the coordinates of where the cache boxes are hidden. In this novel, the “cache” is a predator’s body part, thus “Cache a Predator.” But it’s a play on words too—meant to sound like “Catch a Predator.” The vigilante targets pedophiles and plants a “piece” of them in the cache boxes.
TRC: Who or what was the influence behind the storyline and Officer Brett Reed?
Michelle: I knew a dad who was going through a divorce and he worried the female judge would grant his ex-wife custody of their son. His raw emotion helped feed this story. I also think that there are a lot of great dads out there who are married to women who struggle with addictions, but you don’t hear about them as often as you do men with addictions.
When a friend of mine suggested I write a geocaching mystery I had no clue what geocaching was. But once I researched this sport I was totally intrigued. That led me to thinking, “Who would plant body parts in these cache boxes?” I decided it would be someone who liked to play games and had a backstory that would lend itself to targeting pedophiles–who seemed the least likeable people.
TRC: We have read where a number of readers were caught off-guard with the storyline content in the initial pages of the novel. What ‘warnings’ or information would you like to impart to your readers and followers regarding the imagery or details of the storyline?
Michelle: The first chapter is tough for readers because they’re in the mind of the vigilante—a person who’s been sexually abused and wants to right wrongs, wants to protect other children from abuse. It’s gross because the vigilante targets pedophiles and slices a body part—the part that causes the most damage in children.
I’ve thought of rewriting that first chapter, but it’s important to see what drives the story. Maiming pedophiles is something that people have thought about, but no one has ever written about. I understand why it’s difficult for some readers to read, but if they can get past the first chapter it’s not bad thereafter.
There are 35 five-star reviews at Amazon so many readers have gotten past that first chapter.
TRC: When writing a storyline, do your characters direct the writing or do you direct the characters?
Michelle: It’s a little of both. Characters have specific flaws and strengths so who they are dictates what they do and how they speak. However, the outline to the story is something that I loosely plan. I want the characters to show the readers a certain story, so I have to orchestrate that a little and put obstacles in the character’s way.
TRC: How do you keep the plot unpredictable without sacrificing content and believability?
Michelle: Great question. How do you? Ha!
Typically there’s a perfect ending. What the characters do is a result of their personalities and their predicaments. It leads to the ending that best fits. Sometimes it’s not what the readers want to see though. Sometimes the main character dies and the reader is disappointed, but if it fits the story then it works.
TRC: Are you a plotter or a panster (‘write by the seat of your pants’)?
Michelle: A little of both. I like to have a loose outline so I know the beginning and the ending, but I might not have the middle plot points figured out. For instance, I’m writing a mid-grade novel about a boy who has to save the canine race and a centaur showed up, a mythological creature who’s an immortal half man/half horse. It’s a supernatural story so it fit, but that creature came out of nowhere. Two months ago I didn’t even know what a centaur was. So, you see, if I had everything figured out to the “Nth” degree it wouldn’t allow for any creativity.
TRC: The mark of a good writer is to pull the reader into the storyline so that they experience the emotions along with the characters. What do you believe a writer must do to make this happen? Where do you believe writers fail in this endeavor?
Michelle: I love this question, and I totally believe this is the reason readers keep reading or close the book before they finish. If the hero doesn’t sacrifice something, or if the writer doesn’t make me care for the character, then I’m not going to be interested in finishing the novel.
In Cache a Predator I wanted readers to feel sorry for Brett Reed. He’s a great guy who wants custody of his five-year-old daughter to keep her safe from a drug-addicted mother. He only wants what’s best for his little girl. But he has a temper. That’s one of his flaws. He doesn’t see eye-to-eye with a judge who thinks the child is better off with her mother.
But I also want the reader to feel sorry for the vigilante. I think they do by the end of the book, but not in that first chapter. Ha!
In my next novel, Scattered Links, readers feel sorry for Oksana because they see her on the streets in Russia with an abusive aunt. The first 500 words of this novel won $1000 in the Aspiring Writers Contest with The Reading Room a few weeks ago. Literary agent Catherine Drayton requested the full novel for consideration too! (She’s the BOOK THIEF’s agent.) I think the reason this novel won was because readers cared about Oksana. They felt sorry for her right away. (At least, I hope they did!)
TRC: Many writers bounce ideas with family and friends. With whom do you bounce ideas?
Michelle: I have a group of writer friends I “bounce” with. We meet once a week. But one of my favorite “bouncers” is a young mom, Janelle Leonard, in upstate New York—far from my Indiana home. I met her online. We PM at Facebook. Last week we spoke on the phone for the first time and I loved it! I feel like we’re sisters with a different mother. Wait, actually, I could be her mother I’m so much older than her. Ha! But she reads a ton of Young Adult and writes in that genre, so I find her helpful. I love her writing voice—it’s very different than mine so I appreciate it. I like to encourage her too, and listen to her ideas because she’s an amazing and creative woman.
TRC: On what are you currently working?
Michelle: I’m in the final edits of my young adult contemporary novel, SCATTERED LINKS. It’s a multicultural novel set in Russia and then the US. It’s about a teen who’s abandoned in an orphanage before she says goodbye to her Mama or tells her a secret that haunts her.
TRC: Would you like to add anything else?
Michelle: Thanks for asking great questions and giving me the opportunity to be at the READING CAFÉ!
Favorite Food – Crunchy asparagus sushi
Favorite TV Show – I don’t watch much TV, just mostly FOX news. But Robin Roberts from Good Morning America is awesome too. It’s not that I don’t like to watch TV, it’s just that I enjoy writing and reading more.
Last Movie You Saw – Superman. I loved the Christian elements.
Dark or Milk chocolate – Milk Chocolate
Favorite Flower – Yellow daisies
Secret Celebrity Crush – I don’t really have one. I know. I’m weird.
Pet Peeve – Indie authors who don’t hire a developmental editor or line-editor for their novels. They give other “Indie” authors a bad name when they publish novels with typos, grammar errors, and plot problems.
TRC: Thank you Michelle for taking the time to answer our questions. Congratulations on the release of CACHE A PREDATOR. We wish you all the best.
Michelle: Thanks! The pleasure was all mine.