Thursday, January 15, 2015

Straight Chatting from the Library - The Vanishing Wife by Barry Finlay

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Barry will be awarding a medium or large t-shirt with the author's "Keep On Climbing" logo on the front to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour (US/CANADA ONLY), and a $10 Amazon or B&N GC to a randomly drawn host. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


What is the favorite book you remember as a child?

This question made me think a bit because that was a long time ago. I can remember my mother reading Little Golden Books to me like The Saggy Baggy Elephant and Scuffy the Tugboat but my favorite had to be The Little Engine That Could. It was a great story and, as it turned out, a great life lesson.

Tel l us about your current book in 10 words. 

Thriller involving a wife who disappears on her 20th anniversary.

What are you reading right now?

I’m reading Dan Brown’s Inferno. The scenario about world overpopulation and dwindling resources to support it is unfortunately pretty realistic, in my opinion. It brings home the message that something needs to be done, although it’s questionable whether anyone is listening.

E-Reader or print? and why?

Both. I love to have a hardback or paperback in my hands but there are times when an e-reader is too convenient to ignore. I feel badly for the small independent book stores that can’t survive because of e-readers. I try to support them as much as possible and so far, paperback copies of The Vanishing Wife are outselling e-copies. Admittedly, taking an e-reader on vacation instead of packing a suitcase full of books has its advantages.

One book at a time or multiples?

I rarely have more than one book on the go at a time. The only time it happens is if I’m reading a book that I only pick up from time to time. For example, for Christmas I received a giant book on minimizing injury and maximizing athletic performance called the Supple Leopard. It’s the type of book I will pick up occasionally while I’m reading something else.

Dog-ear or bookmark? (don't worry—Librarian Judith won't hold it against you—much) Always bookmark. I don’t like to see a book that is dog-eared. I think that goes back to my upbringing. I was always encouraged at home to keep my books nice – yes, even my school books. I’m proud to say that our sons feel the same way.

Favorite book you've read this year?

I really enjoyed I Am Malala. She is a strong and courageous young lady as well as very charismatic for her age. I believe the key to solving many of the world’s problems is through education and that’s what she stands for. We raise money to help the kids in Africa so I was inspired by her message. Our first project was to fund the drilling of a well. When the project was complete and they had clean water readily available in the community, it freed up the girls (who are tasked to carry the water) to spend more time being educated. Then they needed another classroom. Everything is connected, but the bottom line is education. That’s what Malala promotes and if you are looking for some inspiration, I would highly recommend her book.

Re-reader or not?

There are so many books to read that I’m not sure I’ve ever re-read one. As I get older, I might re-read one by accident because I have forgotten I read it. Haha! I keep some of my autobiographies with the goal of someday re-reading them but it’s not very likely to happen. I will go back and dig out a quote or section to use for a presentation but it’s very doubtful that I will read the whole thing again.

What would make you not finish a book?

I can only think of one book I didn’t finish and that’s because the typos, grammatical errors and punctuation were so bad I just couldn’t continue. And that book was written by a friend. Here’s a little advice: If you are writing a book, hire a professional editor. It makes no sense to me to pour everything you have into writing a book only to have people not read it because of silly mistakes. I have finished books that had little interest for me because I had to see how they ended. I always think there will be some redeeming value to a book. Sometimes I have been wrong.


How far will a man go when his family is threatened? Mason Seaforth is about to find out. He is a mild mannered accountant living a quiet, idyllic life in the quiet community of Gulfport, Florida with his wife, Samantha. At least, it’s quiet and idyllic until Sami, as she’s known to her friends, vanishes the night of their 20th anniversary.

Mason is thrown into a life that is meant for other people as he and their brash friend, Marcie Kane, try everything to find out what has happened to Sami. A search of Sami’s computer uncovers notes describing a past that Sami has buried for more than 20 years. Then come the threatening phone calls: to Sami, to their daughter Jennifer at university in Miami, and to Mason.

Mason and Marcie are thrust into a race against a sadistic killer to discover what has happened to Mason’s wife. He reluctantly exchanges his spreadsheets for a Glock 17 and he and Marcie follow a trail left behind by Sami which leads them to a potential confrontation with some very dangerous men in Canada. Mason is required to make decisions that he could never imagine himself making and each one has deadlier consequences than the last. The wrong one could result in the death of his entire family.


Sami never went anywhere without her cell phone, and if she had gone out for a walk, she would certainly have taken the phone with her. He reached for his own phone and dialed Sami’s number. The number rang. And rang, and rang again. Mason held his breath. “Please, Sami, please, pick up,” he whispered. On the sixth ring, he heard Sami’s confident voice message.

“You have reached Samantha Seaforth. Please leave a message, and I will call you back.”

In a shaking voice, Mason heard himself doing as she asked. “Sweetie, it’s Mason, I’m leaving a message. Where are you? Please call me back right away.”

It had been two hours since he first noticed Sami was gone.


In 2009, Barry Finlay went up a mountain as an accountant and came down as a philanthropist.
After over thirty years in various financial roles with the Canadian federal government, he took his life in a different direction and climbed Africa’s Mount Kilimanjaro at age sixty with his son Chris. The climb and their fundraising efforts to help kids in Tanzania led to the award-winning book, Kilimanjaro and Beyond: A Life-Changing Journey.

He followed that up with the hilarious travel memoir, I Guess We Missed The Boat, which was named Best Travel Book of 2013 by Reader Views. Now, he has completed his debut fiction book, The Vanishing Wife. Barry was named to the Authors Show’s list of “50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading” in 2012. In 2013, he received the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee medal for his philanthropic work in Africa. He lives in Ottawa, Canada with his wife Evelyn.
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  1. Thank you for the interview. I had a great time doing it. I would be happy to answer any questions from your readers.

  2. I have enjoyed learning about the book. Thanks for sharing it.

  3. the interview's nice

  4. I liked the excerpt best. This book sounds like such an interesting and intriguing read. I will totally have to add this book to my "to-read" list.