Ebook Review – Into The Arms of Madness – Regina Pacelli

Into the arms of madnessThis was a hard review to write – not becuase I disliked the book, because I really didnt, but because it would be all too easy to give away far too much of the plot!   This is Regina's first novel and it is well written, well edited and easy to read. 

It focusses on a newly wed couple whose happiness and relationship is tested to the limit, but this does not come from an outsider, but instead from the groom himself, whose secrets threaten to shatter not only their marriage, but their entire lives.  Not your standard formulaic thriller, Into The Arms of Madness does far more than you think it will.  


Razberry Rating:  

When I read the synopsis, I admit I wasnt too keen to read this book, and I even received it via default, when another reviewer decided it couldnt possibly be their thing – but the thing is, I think it probably would have been their thing!!  

With so many books focussing on the same set of rules Into The Arms of Madness delivers some shocks and surprises, and is a read I would recommend to anyone looking for a thriller with a different twist!


About the author….in her own words

I'm a native of Brooklyn, New York, and for the majority of my career, I have worked in the computer field, at first as a developer, then later designing and managing the implementation of various computer applications and systems. I enjoy taking a blank piece of paper and together with my customers, shaping visions into reality. Out of the five Ws, my favorite one always was, and still is, "why?" I love analysis, finding the connection between things, and digging down past symptoms to the root cause. As far as my credentials go, I obtained my B.S. in Computer Science right after high school, and then much later in life, went back to school at night to obtain my Masters in Public Administration. This return to school was where the joy of writing made its first small foothold in my psyche and I am now happily under its spell. And, oh yeah — I love to laugh and joke around. (except about the letter T).


From where do you get your inspirations for your characters and storylines in your books?

Ideas and inspirations come from different things I've thought or heard about, shreds of images that flash through my mind, or even just a feeling. I can hear one stray phrase while watching a movie or overhearing a conversation, for example, and it can trigger an idea about something completely unrelated. An idea could even come from something as simple as my beloved childhood dinosaur and pool float, Dino, who mysteriously went missing one sorrowful day. I have an idea for a science fiction book that germinated when all the medical books I read crossed with an environmental economics book I had to read in school. It's as if something triggers in your mind. You suddenly make a connection between things that you hadn't thought about before.

The spark of the idea for "Into the Arms of Madness" arose from a story my father told me about an arranged marriage where the daughter was speaking to her mother and saying, "but I don't know him. I don't love him. How can I marry him?" and the mother replied, "it doesn't matter because no matter who you marry, you will find that the day after your wedding, you are married to a different person, that they have changed. Love comes after."

The part about them being a different person became the basis for the story's opening. It got me thinking and I ultimately began exploring what might happen to love (how unbreakable it is or is not) when someone learns things, earth shattering things, they never realized about their soul mate, and whether love is stronger than fear or the shackles of mental illness. The story grew organically from there into a love story and psychological thriller. That originating spark is reflected in the book's first lines: "They say the morning after your wedding you wake up to a different person, someone who looks like the one you married, but who has begun to change in some subtle way. You can't put your finger on it, but you can feel the difference just the same."


What are your favourite books?

There are so many great books out there and I read a lot of non-fiction as well as fiction, in a wide variety of genres. One of my fiction favorites is "The Awakening Land" trilogy by Conrad Richter. I read it a long time ago and can remember reading the book slowly, a little each day on my train ride home, savouring it. A few others are "The Good Earth" by Pearl S. Buck, "East of Eden" by John Steinbeck, "Dead by Sunset" by Ann Rule, "The Black Sheep" by Honoré de Balzac, "The Octopus" by Frank Norris, "Giants in the Earth" by O.E. Rolvaag, "Duel and other horror stories" by Richard Matheson, "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne, "Hawaii" by James Michener, "Fahrenheit 451" by Ray Bradbury, "The Andromeda Strain" by Michael Crichton, "Coma" by Robin Cook, "The Lathe of Heaven" by Ursula K. Le Guin, and while growing up, I loved reading Agatha Christie and all the Nancy Drew mysteries.

I like the thought that some of my other favorite books (and characters) are still out there waiting for me to discover them.


What are the best thing and the worst things about being a writer?

I've been writing fiction for a relatively short time (several years), in the evenings sometimes and on weekends mostly, but I'd have to say that one of the best things about writing so far has been the joy of imagining and weaving a story and becoming immersed in it, getting out of my own head and into the character's mind, thinking through all the plot twists and turns, while also striving to make a story that is suspenseful and can hold the reader's interest. When what you write resonates with readers, when they react to and feel about your characters as if they were real people (yelling at them, worrying about them, disagreeing with them, perplexed by them, happy for them, or caring about what happens to them), when perhaps the story makes the reader think about some things, even just one thing, differently than they did before, or when they are able to escape within the pages of the book for a little while, finding within those pages a few hours of enjoyment, that's a really happy thing, and makes writing all the more worthwhile.

Probably one of the worst things is the notion that in order to be successful (and by that I mean build momentum and name recognition) you need to focus on a particular genre (unless you're going to write under different pen names or are already a known commodity). I have so many ideas that are in widely divergent genres and I'd like to believe that an author can be successful without having to tie themselves to any one genre or having to color too closely within the lines of it. The books I've written thus far tend to be a mixture of various genres. I let them organically shape themselves into what they became. This though ends up making it difficult to neatly categorize them. My first book "Outsmart the Unexpected" was characterized by someone once as 'sui generis', which I had to look up (unique in its characteristics and difficult to classify).


Tell us a little bit about your books, who they are aimed at, and where people can buy them?

I've written two books so far. The first was "Outsmart the Unexpected: Grow Your Creativity the Edge-of-your-seat Way". It's a book of unusual, no-time-to-lose predicaments (in story form) where it's up to the reader to find a way out of the fix the central characters suddenly find themselves in. Many of the dilemmas require you to suspend your disbelief to play along and reflect my penchant for far out tales with a twist. I didn't want to make most of them everyday kind of dilemmas, but situations most folks would probably never encounter (hopefully!). This way you wouldn't be able to use your life experiences and expertise as much in trying to formulate the best possible solution when faced with a situation where you must react quickly and there's little available information to work with. The book is aimed at anyone who wants to stretch their creativity, give their brain a workout, or just have some fun. It is currently available in paperback and eBook editions at Amazon.com, Amazon UK, the other Amazons, Apple, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.

My second book is the psychological thriller "Into the Arms of Madness". The novel is about a honeymoon which careens out of control after one partner reveals their alarming and bizarre secret, ultimately putting the strength of the young couple's love for each other to the test. It is aimed at anyone who enjoys being pulled along on the tide of suspense, psychological explorations, thrillers with lots of twists and turns, and sad and unusual stories about true love. It is currently available in paperback and eBook editions at Amazon.com, Amazon UK, the other Amazons, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Diesel, Kobo, Smashwords, and Sony.


Useful Links

Website: www.reginapacelli.com