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Reviewed by Cheryl E. Rodriguez for Readers' Favorite
C. Gary Johnston pens an insightful dramatic tale in New Leaves in Winter. It is the holiday season; the weather has turned cold and somewhat precarious for travel. However, the frigid and threatening atmosphere of Starlinger’s Advertising far surpasses the wintry elements outside. Daniel Pierce has been summoned to the owner's mansion, fearing what awaits him. Days earlier, Joan Schneider, Dan’s co-worker, received a mysterious text from the grandson of the owner to meet with him. However, this meeting never occurs, and the reasons are strange and grow stranger with each passing day. What is happening at Starlingers? Are the rumors true, could the infamous Starlinger family be cursed? Dan and Joan find themselves caught in a web of anxious uncertainty, trying to navigate through, “another reckless tragedy of the rich,” and keep their jobs.
New Leaves in Winter by C. Gary Johnston is an engaging tale. Johnston's creative and unique writing style leaves a trail of cryptic crumbs as the story unfolds. The first chapter baits you quickly, and chapter by chapter you are reeled into the corporate drama. Enhanced by using flashbacks in the timeline, the action twists and turns. Johnston is careful and doesn’t give away too much too soon. The points of view of the characters change frequently. Through the varying perspectives, the characters' memories, emotions, and thoughts are revealed. As a result, this literary device gives an in-depth panoramic view of the characters and the setting. The conflict is penned in the mind of the characters as well as in the plot action. The plot is overshadowed by doubt, insecurity, and fateful misfortune. At the apex of the action, the villainous antagonist is revealed. At that point, the outcome spirals into the revelatory conclusion. Hold on tight! C. Gary Johnston’s New Leaves in Winter invites you into the haunting pressure and emotional roller coaster ride of corporate America.