Thursday, March 5, 2015

"Damnatio Memoriae" by Laura Giebfried

Damnatio Memoriae
(Damnatio Memoriae Book 1)
by Laura Giebfried

Damnatio Memoriae is the first book in Laura Giebfried's series of the same name. Also available: In Absentia.

Damnatio Memoriae is currently on tour with Enchanted Book Promotions. The tour stops here today for an excerpt and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

Nothing ever happened at Bickerby. Located on an island off the coast of Maine, its prestige, remoteness, and near-inaccessibility in the winter months were the reasons that Enim Lund’s father sent him there in the first place. With only a year left of school until graduation, Enim’s only focus is to keep his grades high enough to scrape by and keep his unforgiving involvement in his mother’s critical accident secreted away. But when a body washes up on the school’s shore and a teacher vanishes without explanation, the thought of a quiet, uneventful year becomes unlikely – especially given that his best friend has planted himself in the middle of the crime. Worse than the thought of a killer loose on the island with them, though, is that the unfolding events are dredging up horrors in Enim’s past that, if uncovered, will result in his own misdeeds being found out.
As Enim is pulled further and further into crimes that he both has and hasn't committed, he finds that his mind is slowly unraveling and his grip on reality is faltering, and unwanted comparisons are being drawn between his mother's withering health and his own. Soon, discovering who the killer is becomes his only concern. Yet before long, it becomes clear that there's an even more difficult task at hand than who's responsible for the horrid crimes: getting anyone to believe him.

She died on a Friday, right in time to ruin the holiday plans for the students who had hoped to take the ferry to the mainland for the long weekend. The boys stood on the shore even still, watching as the police pulled the water-logged body from the ocean with mixtures of excitement and anticipation on their faces. Several more students joined the crowd once word got out, but by the time she had been zipped out of sight into a plastic-bag, Barker had gotten wind of the situation and sent someone down to chase them away. I watched them idly from the window of the residence building, the phone in my hand slipping down to my shoulder as I did so, until Karl’s sharp tone alerted me back to the conversation.
“It’s the third one this year, Enim,” he said. “You can’t keep failing exams, especially in the year before college. What would people think?”
“Right,” I said absently, still squinting to see the students whispering feverishly about what they had seen. “What would they think.”
“I know this comes down to Jack’s influence – there’s no other explanation. I rather thought that you would have reevaluated your friendship with him by now, especially given the trouble that he got you into last year.”
“You were very nearly expelled,” Karl went on without acknowledging the flatness in my tone. “Anyone else would have been. You’re lucky that Mr. Barker was compassionate enough to let you stay on –”
“I’m lucky that my father paid Barker off, you mean.”
I wrapped the phone cord around my fingers as I gave the blunt response, reveling in the sound of static as Karl struggled to respond. He would undoubtedly run his hands through his hair before smoothing it down again as he thought of a way to counter my claim, but even the image of him so frazzled in his neatly pressed suit and straight tie couldn’t lighten the mood brought on by his phone call.
“I – he – that’s not true, Enim. He didn’t pay the headmaster off.”
“He bought the lacrosse team another stadium,” I said. “They’re very pleased about it.”
“That was a completely separate event. He donated the money so that you could have a better lacrosse team.”
“I don’t play lacrosse. I don’t even go to the games. The only reason he wanted Bickerby to have a better sporting field was so that I could stay in school.”
“That’s not true, Enim. If anything, he did it in the hopes that you might start playing a sport – we all agree that it would be good for you.”
I rolled my eyes to the ceiling, grateful that he couldn’t see my expression. Despite the fact that he was a lawyer, he had never been a very good liar: Barker had only consented not to expel me in return for a signed check.

Praise for the Book
"This book was very good. The characters were likeable and I found I really cared about them. It is over 500 pages and I have to give kudos to the author for not chopping it up into two or three books the way most of the authors of e-books seem to be doing. I will definitely read more from this author, unlike the ones who write "books" with no ending, forcing you to buy more to see how the story finally ends. I would definitely be interested in another book featuring Enim, Jack and Karl further down the road in their lives." ~ Jan
"... a beautifully written, sensitive story that had me hooked from the beginning and still haunts my thoughts. Outwardly it's the story of roommates and friends in a secluded boarding school and a mystery they feel compelled to solve. But the real story is the gripping internal struggles of a young man trying to deal with the confusing aftermath of personal tragedy. I'm not going to be a spoiler, but the ending was unexpected and still haunts me with questions our society isn't really prepared to deal with." ~ Laura Pedro
"Thoroughly riveting. More than a murder mystery, but not strictly a psychological thriller either. Because it is set primarily in a all boys boarding school in New England, I was reminded of Catcher in the Rye with some of the characters. This is the author's first book and it's quite a thought provoking page turner. I am left satisfied, but truly hoping she is writing a follow-up book (which I hear she is). The writing is excellent and well-crafted and vivid. I highly recommend it." ~ Eileen Collims
"Damnatio Memoriae is an amazing first effort from a talented new author. It is a gripping account of a young boy's struggle to deal with the pain in his life and in his head while attempting to solve a murder mystery with his friend. Although the descriptions were at times long winded they reflected accurately the young man's struggles to make sense of it all. I look forward to Ms. Giebfried's next book." ~ Paul Clarke

About the Author
Laura Giebfried was born in Bangor, Maine in June of 1992. She is the youngest child of Joseph and Rosemary Giebfried, who moved to Maine from New York in order to raise their family. Giebfried currently lives in Bangor and attends the University of Maine where she is earning her degree in psychology.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a copy of In Absentia, the second book in the series.