• Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Release Date: August 1, 2023
  • Available Formats: Audio, e-Book, Hardcover

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A young mother and a high-rolling consultant collide under devastating circumstances.

At a Texas county fair, amidst carousels and a bustling midway, children’s book author Elle Portman is enjoying a rare night out with her favorite cowboy: her two-year-old son, Charlie. But just as they’re about to head home, the unthinkable happens: a shooter opens fire into the crowd, causing widespread panic to erupt all around them.

Also caught in the melee was corporate consultant Calder Hudson. Arrogant, self-centered, and high off his latest career win, he’s frustrated and confused when he wakes up in the hospital after undergoing emergency surgery on his arm. The doctor tells him that he was lucky—that as far as gunshot wounds go, he pulled through remarkably well. Others weren’t so lucky, which instills in Calder a furious determination to get justice . . . a goal shared by Elle.

Their chance encounter at the police station leads to a surprising and inexplicable gravitation to one another, but even as the attraction grows, Elle and Calder can’t help but wonder if the unimaginable tragedy that brought them together is too painful and too complicated to sustain—especially while the shooter remains at large.

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2023 Sandra Brown Books

A Note From Sandra

For every book, I write an “in a nutshell” synopsis of the story, a basic “What’s it about?” It’s a tool I use to hone down 400 plus pages into one concise sentence that will arouse readers’ curiosity, plant in their minds subliminal questions, and leave them wanting to know what’s going to happen and to whom.

Writing that summarized storyline for OUT OF NOWHERE was difficult, because the book begins with the most unspeakable occurrence in our society’s new reality: a mass shooting.

Yes…it involves an egregious loss. But let me emphasize that this isn’t a story about death. It’s about survival.

So, the nutshell for OUT OF NOWHERE: In an instant of unthinkable tragedy, the destinies of two strangers collide.

Allow me to add three more words: collide and become entwined.

That raises the question of who these strangers are.

Calder Hudson: age thirty-seven, over-achiever, successful, affluent, charming and self-confident to the point of arrogance. He has a storehouse of grownup toys, an expensive wardrobe, and a gorgeous girlfriend who lives with him in a glitzy high-rise condo in downtown Dallas. His life couldn’t possibly be more charmed.

Elle Portman: mid-thirties, author and illustrator of children’s books, a stay-at-home single mom to the love of her life, her two-year-old son Charlie. They live quietly and contentedly in a suburban neighborhood of Fort Worth, thirty miles west of, but a world apart from, Calder.

The “unthinkable tragedy” that causes that fateful collision?

A mass shooting at a county fair.

To say that’s a distress subject is an understatement. It’s a topic I would ordinarily avoid. As I’m sure you do, I react to hearing of yet another with dismay and abject sadness. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to find oneself in that terrifying circumstance, to miraculously survive it, and then to endure the strife-embroiled aftermath.

But, as storytellers are wont to do, I did. Imagine, that is.

Did I want to write about a mass shooting? Not really. But I was compelled to write about people trying to pick up where their lives suddenly had left off. How do they go about rebuilding when crucial pieces of the past are now fractured or missing?

And characters waiting restlessly in the wings have a way of applying pressure to the author to tell their story. Elle and Calder emerged from my subconscious as individuals whose worlds had entirely different landscapes…until those worlds were upended by a shared horrific experience. Now, each is struggling to reshape their here and now into some form of normalcy.

If not for that unpredictable, inexplicable, and tragic occurrence at the fairground, it’s unlikely that they ever would have crossed paths. But because of the ruthless act of another, their destinies intersected. Because of a caprice of physics, they became intertwined.

Now, you’re asking: How so? What happened?

I can go no further here without giving away too much. Much of the conflict revolves around Calder and Elle trying to reconcile their unfathomable connection with a most untimely attraction to each other. But OUT OF NOWHERE is also a novel of suspense. A clear and present danger is bearing down on them. The resultant mind game leads to a wild chase that culminates in a twist that I hope you won’t see coming. Yes, this story packs an emotional punch, but it contains all the elements that readers of Sandra Brown have come to expect.

If you take nothing else away from reading this backstory, please note this. I don’t presume to know what it’s like to suffer through a tragic experience like the one portrayed in this work of fiction. Many do, though. They’re living their stories, and those are brutally real.

I did my best, with as much authenticity and empathy as I could, to depict their heartbreak, despair, and anger. I acknowledge that I fell short of capturing on paper the enormity of their struggle to stay afloat in the wake of a catastrophe.

I wrote this book in observance of those killed or injured in mass shootings – and those who have survived, whom I rank among the casualties.

  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Release Date: August 1, 2023
  • Available Formats: Audio, e-Book, Hardcover

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