Pat Bertram is a native of Colorado and a lifelong resident. When the traditional publishers stopped publishing her favorite type of book — character and story driven novels that can’t easily be slotted into a genre — she decided to write her own. More Deaths Than One and A Spark of Heavenly Fire, available from Second Wind Publishing, are Bertram’s first novels.

More Deaths Than One: Bob Stark returns to Denver after 18 years in Southeast Asia to discover that the mother he buried before he left is dead again. He attends her new funeral and sees . . . himself. Is his other self a hoaxer or a doppelganger, or is something more sinister going on? Even worse, two men who appear to be government agents are hunting him for no reason that he can fathom. With the help of a Kerry Casillas, a baffling young woman Bob meets in a coffee shop, he uncovers the unimaginable truth.

 

A Spark of Heavenly Fire: In quarantined Colorado, where hundreds of thousands of people are dying from an unstoppable disease called the red death, insomniac Kate Cummings struggles to find the courage to live and to love. Her new love, investigative reporter Greg Pullman, is determined to discover the truth behind the red death at all costs, until the cost — Kate’s safety — becomes more than he can pay.

 

Bertram’s publisher says: “I was told by some other small publishers with whom I had done research that I was going to get mountains of unacceptable crap for every worthy thing I received. So when I got Pat’s manuscript for A Spark of Heavenly Fire, which was like the first submission to Second Wind, I thought, ‘OMG, is this possible?!’ I knew in the first 20 pages that she was the real thing. Then, as we corresponded, I realized where I knew that name: she and I were neck and neck throughout the FCC contest on Gather.com. I remember reading her first chapter of More Deaths Than One and thinking, ‘Oh, man. I hope her second chapter is messed up! I can’t beat this.’ Well, it just goes to show, if you can’t beat ’em, publish ’em!”

Reviews

“I love the story of More Deaths Than One. Pat Bertram blends mystery/suspense with history very well. Her characters are strong, and I love the slow reveal of who Bob really was/is. The hints and clues Bertram drops come together for me with the jungle nightmares.The descriptions of the places Bob and Kerry visit are exquistely done; the places sound real. I enjoyed this story very much.” Rachael Wollet, freelance editor.

“Wow. I read A Spark of Heavenly Fire twice. The first time for the story, the second for editing. Though I’m not sure I caught much because I got so engrossed in the story…even the second time through. Bertram’s characters are heartbreaking and real. I love Kate. Absolutely love her. The description of everything seems spot on. Sounds much like New Orleans post-Katrina. Bertram clearly did her research on this one. Fabulous.” Rachael Wollet, freelance editor.

“Full of intriguing dialogue and interesting characters one will not soon forget, “A Spark of Heavenly Fire” is a truly satisfying read I highly recommend. Captivating visuals and an original theme kept me turning the pages at a rapid rate. I look forward to more work from this gifted writer.” Deborah Ledford, author

“Pat Bertram, author of More Deaths Than One and a Spark of Heavenly Fire, is one of the best of the new crop of writers. Pat’s work is insightful, superbly crafted, and completely involving. I would unhesitatingly recommend her books to anyone who enjoys speculative fiction of the highest order.” Suzanne Francis, author of the Song of the Arkafina series from Mushroom Ebooks.

In More Deaths Than One, Bertram created two characters I’m ready to watch take off. The combination of Bob and the waitress is great-she’s obviously the one person he’s letting pull him out of whatever shell he’s been in. Bertram raises so many interesting questions in her initial chapter that it definitely compels me to want to read more. Why is Bob in Denver, and where has he ben? Is this a story of timeshifting madness, or what? Why are the police at the funeral? And on and on! Bertram’s writing is also well-crafted and flows so well. The dialog is a strong suit.” Ann Barks, fellow FCC contestant.

“While we are intrigued and caught up in the absurd story of a man who goes to the second funeral of his mother (long dead) and sees himself (living a life he doesn’t realize he’s lived) and his brother (with a trophy wife young enough to be his daughter), the real clues Bertram leaves us as to what’s going on are to be found in Bob’s perpetual headache, his troubled/troubling art, his mysterious reappearance in his hometown, and the questions asked by the friendly, persistent waitress. Meantime, I enjoy the dialogue, with unique phrasings such as “son of rabid dog”. Denver is an unusual setting that must figure into the story in multiple ways. I enjoyed the rock solid POV, as well as the nice, just-slightly-more-than-minimal descriptions (like the way Bob concealed himself in the lilac bushes or the description of the young couple in the diner). Above all I appreciate the way Bertram builds mystery on several levels into the story. Good job.” Lazarus Barnhill, author

Advertisements