Above the Fold by Rachel Scott McDaniel: Book Review
About the Book
Book: Above the Fold
Author: Rachel Scott McDaniel
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: December 3, 2019
Confined behind a secretarial desk at her father’s struggling newspaper, Elissa Tillman longs for her father and the world to take her seriously—not just as a suffragette, but also as a full-fledged journalist.
Cole Parker regrets the day he’d abandoned Pittsburgh to chase a high-profile journalism job in New York, but now he’s returned to the steel city to amend his mistakes and win back the woman he once spurned.
The murder of a millionaire offers the perfect chance for Elissa to nab the headline and prove her skills. But there’s a catch. To get her story above the fold, she must compete for it. Her rival is none other than Cole Parker, the very man who shattered her heart.
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Ah, Elissa and Cole, a perfect match, even if they deny it.
Set in the 1920s during prohibition, I found Above the Fold a unique experience. Elissa dreams of one day being able to publish her work under her own name, a worthy and lofty goal for this era. Trying so hard to overcome the stigma of her youth, Elissa presents a haughty exterior that merely covers her pain-filled heart. That haughtiness was occasionally problematic and caused no end of trouble for Elissa and Cole. In a show of true human nature, Elissa allows her past and her fear to shadow several decisions. She seeks that coveted space above the fold and is willing to put herself at risk to achieve her goal.
Cole is a recovering alcoholic. His character was probably my favorite, and I enjoyed reading about his strength of character as he was continually faced with the failures in his past. As he struggles to be a better man, Cole shows that who you were is not who you always have to be.
Adding in the murder/mystery into Above the Fold created a drama worthy of movie screens. I had a sense of what might be happening, but I could not be sure. My favorite type of mystery.
I requested a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. I was not required to write a positive review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
About the Author
Rachel Scott McDaniel is an award-winning author of historical romance. Winner of the ACFW Genesis Award and the RWA Touched By Love award, Rachel infuses faith and heart into each story. She currently enjoys life in Ohio with her husband and two kids. Rachel can be found online at http://www.RachelScottMcDaniel.com and on all social media platforms.
More from Rachel
What does the classic movie His Girl Friday, famous mystery writer Agatha Christie, and my husband’s grandfather all have in common? They were all used as inspiration for my debut novel Above the Fold.
His Girl Friday is one of my favorite stories. This movie captures the thrill of the newspaper world—that drive within the reporter’s heart to get the scoop, that hum of activity from the newsroom to the firing of the presses, and that inescapable pursuit to beat out the opposing paper. But what I loved most about this movie was the chemistry between the two main characters. They share a romantic history. In turn, there is major tension, but man oh man is there spark! So this triggered my creative mind. What would happen if I switched the roles and had the heroine be the one that gets jilted? What if I set this story in the 1920s when the profession of journalism was male-dominated? What if I add some more mystery? Cue Agatha Christie.
My husband and I love Christie’s Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple series. Did you know that she wrote over 74 books? That’s staggering to me. My mind reels at how intricate and varied all her plots are. My husband and I would try to guess who the murderer was at the beginning of a story and more often than not, we were wrong! On one particular night we were watching a PBS version of Miss Marple and an idea struck me. What if I changed my story to go this route? What if I made this person the villain instead of that one? The idea that came to me had nothing to do with the story we’d been watching, but one thing that’d been said flickered a light in me. I love it when that happens! And I also love it when I can incorporate pieces of my personal life into the book. This brings me to the biggest inspiration of the story—my husband’s grandpa.
Grandpa Jay Lewis had two loves in his life—his wife and the newspaper press. He’d started working for the local newspaper during his early teens and made his way up the ranks until he became the press foreman. Here’s a picture of Jay when he was in his early 20s. The hat shown was made of folded newsprint paper and worn to keep the ink from dripping on his head. But the expression in this picture says it all—the press was his happy place. He’d worked with the presses for over five decades, until he no longer had the strength. In 2004, he passed away, but his legacy lives on in the hearts of many. So in tribute to Jay and his great passion for the newspaper world, I included him in the cast of characters. I only hope I was able to capture his zeal.
So there you have it. Inspiration came to me in a myriad of ways, but they all worked together to bring you a story that I pray delights your heart.