In 2041, the choice is yours.
San Francisco is deserted, the Bay Bridge bombed, and the BART subway trains grounded. The Guardians, members of an elite and mysterious government-appointed military police force, are maintaining order at all costs—thanks to emotion-altering drugs like Emovere that suppress fear and anxiety. Lex Knightley, daughter of a prominent forensic psychiatrist, risks entering the devastated city to partner with the Resistance, a group of rebels intent upon exposing the dangers of Emovere. Lex discovers an ally in Quin McAllister, a magnetic Guardian Force recruit with a haunting past that binds them together. As she uncovers the secrets of the Guardian Force and confronts the truth about her family, Lex begins to realize that even those closest to her are not quite who they seem.
Check out my reviews of the series:
Legacy | Prophecy | Revelation
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes
A Day in the Life:
What exactly does a forensic psychologist do? I know precisely what you’re thinking right now. You’re picturing Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins—Clarice and Hannibal. You’re seeing a beleaguered Morgan Freeman as Alex Cross, hunkered over a desk, analyzing crimes scenes, profiling serial killers, putting together a puzzle no one else can solve. And you wouldn’t be entirely wrong. But for most forensic psychologists, a day in the life is far from Hollywood.
Forensic psychology begins at the intersection of psychology and the law, and its practitioners are involved in a variety of diverse issues, ranging from criminal insanity to child custody to violence risk assessment. My primary job responsibility is evaluating prison inmates, most of whom have committed murder or another serious crime, have been incarcerated for a very long time (some before I was born!), and are coming up for parole. I’m tasked with assessing the inmate’s risk for future violence, using an interview and standardized tools, to inform the parole board’s decision about release.
I’m often asked what it’s like to sit across the table from someone who has taken a life. In fact, this very question inspired one of my characters, George McAllister. But, I get the feeling no one really believes my answer, which is: It’s not that different than sitting across the table from anyone else. Through my work, I have become more and more certain that we all have the capacity for good and evil, that it is a peculiar blend of choice and circumstance that puts me on one side of the table, him on the other. One of my favorite poems, The Veteran by Dorothy Parker, reads in part:
When I was young and bold and strong,
Oh, right was right, and wrong was wrong!
…But I am old; and good and bad
Are woven in a crazy plaid.
You probably won’t believe this either, but being a forensic psychologist is a lot like being an author. My job is to tell a story. I start by getting to know the main character, gathering information from as many sources as possible (the inmate, his prison file, criminal history, etc.), and a picture begins to develop. The plot, already written and sometimes inexplicable, becomes clearer. I learn how the main character has developed, how he came to be who he was, and why he acted a certain way in the world. Then, I communicate the story to others, in a way they can understand, trying to make data-driven predictions about how the rest of the tale might unfold. As a young adult author, I relish the idea of my stories having impact, my words resonating with a reader. As a forensic psychologist, the stories (reports) I write carry great weight and with them great responsibility.
At the end of a day in the life, I hang up my forensic psychologist hat and trade one computer for another. Diet Snapple in hand, brain buzzing with inspiration, I sit down and start to tell a story.
Ellery’s debut novel, Legacy, has received several awards, including winning the Gold Medal in the Independent Publisher Book Awards, young adult, e-book category. Ellery was recently selected as one of ten semifinalists in the MasterClass James Patterson Co-Author Competition.
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