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  • Writer's pictureRandy Overbeck

What's Old Is New Again

“Sooner or later, everything old is new again.”

This quote from Stephen King came to mind when I thought about my newest work.

In October, the Wild Rose Press will release my newest fiction, CRUEL LESSONS, an atmospheric amateur sleuth mystery and the first in a new series called “Lessons in Peril.” The new novel features a pair of middle age protagonists who are, you guessed it, educators, in fact, an elementary school teacher and a school administrator. Not your normal heroes! In the story, some fifth graders get hold of a dangerous hallucinogenic, steal a car and die in a horrific crash. Assistant Superintendent Ken Parks and teacher Stacy Turner struggle to uncover who is peddling the deadly drugs before more kids die.

What brought King’s words to mind is that, while the novel is my newest work, it is also my oldest. I’ve been at this writing thing for a while now. CRUEL LESSONS will be my fifth published work in the past decade or so. But like most writers I think, I’ve been inventing stories, imagining characters and conjuring up plots and crimes for quite a while. One of my earliest fictional inventions was this story—or at least a very early version of the narrative and characters. This manuscript has lain in the virtual drawer for twenty years—the first attempt at the tale written long hand on legal pads—waiting for me to mature and improve as a writer and storyteller. Even though the current published version of CRUEL LESSONS has been through too many revisions, re-writings and editings to count, the skeleton of the narrative is much the same as envisioned so many years ago. So, like King wrote, what’s old is new again, though this was probably not King’s intent for this saying.

And, I think you’re going to like the final rendering of the tale. The early reviewers certainly did.

Literary Titan wrote that the novel was “masterfully written. Each new revelation adds to the suspense and keeps the reader on edge, eagerly anticipating what further secrets the story holds…… a gripping crime thriller and amateur sleuth mystery.”

The folks at ReaderViews called it “a thrilling murder mystery…with an immersive plot, steady pace and stellar character development…one of the best mysteries of 2023.”

And the reviewers at N N Light Bookheaven wrote CRUEL LESSONS was “brilliant from start to finish…Impressive storytelling left me with a racing heart and shivers. One of the best thrillers I’ve ever read.”

Interested yet?

The official release date of CRUEL LESSONS is scheduled for October 11 and all I can give you now is the book cover. Something else, isn’t it?

Stay tuned for more exciting information and a link to preorder. As always, I truly appreciate your interest and support for my storytelling.

Dr. Randy Overbeck


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