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Tuesday, 27 December 2011

A brand new thriller from M. D. Cliatt


When criminal defense attorney Maeven Dayne decides not to walk away from her job to defend a teenage girl with no family and no money, she finds herself taking on a corrupt juvenile justice system and winds up in the middle of a murder plot.

I’m brand new to the world of writing fiction, and from what I see and hear, the world has changed with the advent of ebooks and online publishing. When I started writing my novel four years ago, I had no idea how I was going to publish and market it.  I just knew I wanted to write it and I’d worry about the rest later.  So, when later arrived, I found myself pulling my hair out as I tried to figure out how to get it done: to publish through a traditional house or to self-publish. Both options seemed intimidating. I never really concerned myself with how my favorite books ended up in my hands; I just wanted to find the nearest hidey hole and plunge into someone else’s imagination. Well now, I wanted to share my imaginary world and story through a book, and I didn’t know how to do it.  Ugh!  So, I jumped on my trusty steed--my laptop of course--and galloped into the virtual new world of cyberspace looking for answers. 

I discovered there’s a lot of help out there. I’m really blown away by the presence and power of the book reading and writing community. Who knew?! I certainly didn’t.  From block buster plot consultants to literary agent query sharks to ebooks to YouTube marketing to virtual tours to book bloggers, an aspiring writer can get a lot of useful advice and get a lot done.  As I began my research on whether to self- publish or try a literary agent and a publishing house, I learned that authors have a lot of options as well as obstacles. 

Because I’m not a very patient person and I believe that I should control my dreams, I chose self-publishing.  I’ll be honest and admit that I bristle a little bit at the idea of a faceless agent standing between me and my goal.  I drafted a few queries, but deleted them.  Trying to figure out what agents like and dislike proved maddening.  With self-publishing, when I’m ready, I can upload my book online with Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Create Space, Lulu.com and others, and it’s published, I don’t have to wait a year for the publishing house. 

The real source of book marketing now seems to be social media--as it should be.  Social media is how word-of-mouth moves at warp speed.  It allows aspiring authors to rise and fall on their own merit without some middleman or woman shaking their head at you and telling you to not even bother. With Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, blogs and etcetera, an author can tap social media on their own.  I’m excited about the possibilities in this new world of writing; I’m excited about the self-empowerment it provides. 

Feel free to drop me a comment on this subject on my blog at http://mdcliattbooks.blogspot.com/and I’ll send the first commenter a free digital copy of my book The Public Pretender. Meanwhile, something to whet your appetite: 

The Public Pretender Synopsis 

Unlike what she thinks of her own mother, Maeven Dayne considers herself to be a great mom who loves all of her kids, but she must choose between them: the juvenile defendants at work or her sons at home. She pleases her devoted husband when she decides to quit her job as a public defender to spend more time with their sons. But, on Maeven’s last day at work in the courtroom, a juvenile probation officer she despises drags a weeping young girl before an irritated judge for an unscheduled hearing while Maeven is packing up her things to leave. She is walking out of the courtroom, fighting her urge to turn around, when she realizes the probation officer didn’t notify the girl’s parents or arrange for a public defender to represent her. Maeven can’t resist the girl’s pitiful pleas for help and decides to intervene even though she is risking her family. 

While defending this girl, Maeven discovers people are profiting from imprisoning innocent kids in juvenile placement facilities, but whom? A juvenile psychologist who tries to expose the kids-for-cash scheme is murdered, but he’s left clues. As Maeven delves deeper into the case, she discovers, to her horror, that she is just like her mother. When her oldest son is beaten, arrested and detained on false charges, her husband receives a message proposing an offer: Maeven quits her job and the case, or they lose their son. Her husband insists that she choose their son. The problem? She doesn’t know if she can sacrifice one for the other.

Monica Cliatt is a wife and a mother who loves to tell stories.  She was born and raised in Georgia, but now lives in Central Pennsylvania. She is a staff attorney in a law school clinical program, and is an adjunct law professor who teaches juvenile justice and legal writing. She used to be a public defender specializing in representing children, and for the most part, loved the work. She thrived on the heat of courtroom battle, but the highs are very high and the lows are very low and she burned out. Now, she spends her time grading papers, supervising law students as they represent indigent clients in court and reading with her sister in their long distance book club.


  1. I'm glad for the ebook revolution. First it's very green and that's good for the environment. Second, it allows for more options so that I don't have to depend on the gatekeeper to get my books. I like the whole "freedom of speech" that comes with that.

  2. Me too! I had a Kindle for Christmas so I'm spending a happy few hours buying cheap (and sometimes free) books. I'm in download heaven!