Monday, October 14, 2013

The Cutting Edge - Review and Interview

Tomorrow is the Release Day for Ace Collins' newest novel! I enjoyed interviewing him at ICRS in June and we spent part of our time talking about this book. That interview is below but first here is some info about the book and my review.

The Cutting Edge
Ace Collins
ISBN: 978-1426714665
October 2013/336 pages/$14.99

Can Leslie become more than just a pretty face?

Leslie Rhoads may have grown up in a small town, but is on the verge of becoming a supermodel in the Big Apple, when the 24-year-old is chosen to grace the cover of Style magazine and star in the controversial Passion Nights’ perfume ads. But before she can step into the spotlight, Leslie is assaulted by a drug gang and disfigured with a broken scotch bottle. Without her perfect face, she is lost and no amount of surgery can ever make her what she once was. Now trying to hide her face from the world, Leslie encounters more trouble as she seeks to rebuild her life: unrequited love, thoughts of suicide, and her assailant out to finish the job. Little does she know that a young girl named Angel will turn it all around, showing Leslie the joy and potential in life and the fact that love truly is blind.


Ace Collins is the best-selling and award-winning author of more than 60 titles, including Music for Your Heart, The Stories Behind The Best-Loved Songs of Christmas, Darkness Before Dawn, and Lassie: A Dog's Life. Ace frequently speaks across the country and on radio and has appeared on national television shows, including Good Morning America, The Today Show, CNN, Fox and Friends, Entertainment Tonight, The Early Show and more. When not writing, he works as a magazine editor and graphic designer, as well as host for a charity organization radio and television broadcast. Ace and his wife, Kathy, are based in Arkadelphia, Arkansas.


Ace Collins has created a compelling read with his latest novel. The Cutting Edge cuts deep indeed as it rips away the layers and portrays what can happen when beauty is only skin deep. Collins weaves a suspenseful plot into this issue-driven and character-focused tale. In spite of her lack of inner strength, Leslie Rhoads is a likeable character, and the horrific attack she experiences makes it easy to sympathize with her as she must confront the physical and emotional challenges that result from her attack. This is not a simplistic novel. Leslie grapples with difficult issues such as suicide, the purpose of life, betrayal and the foundations of attraction and love. Collins expertly weaves threads of faith, hope, and love among the suspense and despair in this story that is alternately chilling, poignant, and heartwarming. While this is a standalone, readers of Darkness Before Dawn will enjoy appearances of that novel's main character, Meg Richards. Don't miss this important book.


Your next release is another novel, The Cutting Edge. That looks so intriguing!

The Cutting Edge has the same characters that Darkness Before Dawn did with the addition of a new character, who is Meg's cousin. She is a New York model who is trying to make it and gets an opportunity, after several small gigs, to finally hit the big time, but the ad shoot she's going to do requires nudity. She goes back to her hometown to talk to her folks about it. In the process, she arrives on the last flight in at night. She's waiting on a cab to take her from the airport to the house and her cell phone is dead; she didn't tell her folks she was coming in. Four guys grab her because they recognize her from a model cover and they want all the money she has. She has no money with her, just a few dollars, and she fights them off. They decide to take revenge so they break a bottle of whiskey and carve up her face. Now suddenly, you have someone who is beautiful and has based her entire on being beautiful and she is now unrecognizable. So she has to find value underneath all that. My background characters that I introduced in Darkness Before Dawn are there along with this new character, Leslie Rhoads, who is fighting for her life.

I think the cover is probably the best cover I've ever seen on any of my books. You see her shattered face like she's looking in a mirror but there's a piece of the mirror missing, and that's the alley with the stalker. The stalker is still out there. He thought he killed her and now he's got to go and finish the job, and she doesn't know she's being stalked. There's a bit of an Alfred Hitchcock-style story in the midst of this person who is trying to find value. This deals with suicide, mostly. It's another issues book.

It just amazes me how all of you likeable, friendly authors come up with such macabre, dark storylines!

(Ace-and his wife!-laugh) I think part of that is, you obviously want to take readers to a place they don't go in real life. Also, I tell people all the time that I was an only child growing up so I had to make up these characters to play with. I'm still making them up and they need to get out of my head to keep me from going crazy! They represent some of the characters that are playing around in my head.

So you have the voices inside your head like a lot of other authors do!

Yes, and they keep saying, "I want to come out and play!" So eventually I let them. The Cutting Edge represents some of that. The Cutting Edge also really represents the way America views beauty and the way we should be viewing beauty. In this age when cosmetic surgery fixes all our evils but the problems are still there, this young woman had no depth because she was beautiful. She finds other people who have incredible depth because they weren't. Our spiritual anchor in this book is a little girl, who is abused by her mother, whose face is disfigured. She always looked at this magazine cover before Leslie was carved up and said, "That's my Cinderella." Then when she meets her and she's carved up, the first words out of her mouth are, "God doesn't like you either, does He?"

Oh, my.

That's when part of the turnaround happens in Leslie's life, when she looks at this little girl named Angel, who tells her "Mommy did this. Mommy poured boiling water to me; she threw boiling water on my face because God doesn't like me."

Wow. Okay, I'm taking this one on the plane!

It's one that potentially is going to be a really good read for some folks.

It's not really a sequel to Darkness Before Dawn, though, right? It's just connected with the characters?

It's the second book and I don't know how many will do. But they don't need to read the first one. It's a separate book unto itself. But people kept asking me to see what Meg (from the first book) is doing now. Of course, the mere fact that Leslie gets cut up, you've got a hospital, and Meg is a nurse. I had so many people who really liked the camaraderie of the nurses in the first book. They wanted some of that humor back. It helps lighten up a dark story.

Thanks so much, Ace!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book from Ace Collins and Abingdon Press. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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