Old Flames

Rated 4.57/5 based on 14 reviews
"You have a real talent with language. Every scene you describe is vivid, and the dialogue is alive and authentic."-TransAtlantic Literary Agency ***

Once a wild teenager in a renegade fraternity, now a heroic Fire Captain, Gerry Ormond visits his hometown and fights to keep his old crime hidden. With an ace fire investigator on his tail, his life begins to unravel, as old friends become enemies More

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About E. R. Yatscoff

Most mysteries and suspense novels have to do with cops, lawyers, and PIs. My protagonist is a firefighter and is the first firefighter pulp fiction in Canada. True grit and reality are my writing tenets.
My juvenile/middle grade/chapter books have no magic wands, wise talking creatures, vampires, or parallel worlds. I write stories about children, not so much specifically for children. Many adults enjoy my writing because of this. My stories are about unassuming boys who get in trouble and must prove themselves and show the world they have hearts of lions. There's fighting, conflict, loyalty, bullies, integrity, and courage. I've read samples to Grade 4 and 5 students and garnered excellent reviews.

I was born in Welland, Ontario, a blue-collar town in the Niagara Peninsula. Backpacked the world and lived in Australia. I've worked as a paperboy, grocery clerk, sales rep, all types of construction work, painter, mink ranch hand, assembly line rubber factory, cherry picker, freelance astronaut (no offers), boilermaker apprentice, various sales jobs, delivery driver, father, coach, and career firefighter and officer for 32 years. I've also played drums in the Black Gold Big Band for 8 years.
I retired as fire captain with Edmonton Fire Rescue, a large Canadian metro fire service. I live in Beaumont, Alberta with Gloria, whom I met on a freighter/passenger ship from Jakarta to Singapore. I've climbed the Great Wall of China, been down and out living in Australia, honeymooned with Gloria during the Grenada Revolution and saw Maurice Bishop, snorkeled with a marlin, almost smuggled a Playboy into Communist Russia, tossed eggs at an Aussie PM, was in Havana when Fidel shocked Cubans and stepped down. My wife made a pot of tea for the Queen of England in N.Z.
I travel widely, do a bit of fishing and boating, drink demon rum, manage a writers group, do occasional renos, and sit on my butt outside in the good weather reading a decent book. My writing work consists of travel articles, YA, juvenile, how-tos, and has garnered several awards. Check out my website for some excellent short stories.

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Review by: Sarah (Workaday Reads) on April 25, 2013 :
This story read more like a history/mystery than a fire fighting drama. Instead of focusing on the arson fires that are mentioned in the beginning of the book, the story is more about Gerry’s trip to his hometown. We learn a lot of his history growing up, and how things have changed, and haven’t changed since then.

Gerry was a hard character to like. He wasn’t fully good or bad. He had a bad boy history as a teenager that is relived quite a bit in the story, and even though he is a hero in his fire fighter persona, he seems to be a jerk on a regular basis.

The plot of the story is a bit messy, without a clear purpose. It is a quite predictable and I guessed who the bad guy was early on.

Overall, this was a family drama type story that just happened to have a male fire fighting protagonist. There is little fire fighting action, but where it appears, it was intense and emotional. I wish the whole story was like that. Instead, it seemed a bit lack lustre.
(reviewed 2 years after purchase)
Review by: Darlene Bouck on Aug. 25, 2012 :
I really enjoyed this book. It kept me interested the whole time I was reading it. I'm sorry I waited so long to read the book. I guess I didn't know what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised by the content and story line. I would recommend this book to others.
(reviewed 11 months after purchase)
Review by: Dorothy Cormack on Jan. 2, 2012 :
Very enjoyable read, Yatscoff's characters are so real you expect to meet them in the street and he really gives you an insight into what fires are all about.

I highly recommend his book and I'm sure we will see more of his work in the future.
(reviewed 51 days after purchase)
Review by: Kimba88 on Dec. 12, 2011 :
Old Flames, is a suspenseful mystery. Yatscoff takes us into the life of a Canadian firefighter with a secret from his past. The tale has lots of twists and a reveal, that I didn’t see coming. Told from a male protagonist’s point of view, this novel offers a fresh perspective into firefighting, arson and revenge.

The main character is Captain Gerry Ormond. He is recently widowed and has been catapulted into the spot-light by a photograph of him carrying a young child from a fire. Ormond is a working man with a snarky sense of humor. He puts in an honest day’s work, cares for his team and his daughter. He is in a relationship, but not ready to commit. Recently, his team has encountered arson fires, one of them deadly. The arsonist only strikes when Ormond’s team is on duty, and everyone is beginning to look at him and his team. Ormond has a secret, involving an old man and a fire from his youth. Worried that this has something to do with it, he heads back to the home town he fled from twenty years ago. He spends time with his ailing Dad, meets his high school crush. Karen is married, but the heat that simmers between them could sizzle an egg. He learns someone has been calling his Dad’s home, saying “Gerry” and hanging up. Upon his return home, the calls become threatening. He confronts former friends from his past, and learns that most of the people involved in his secret are dead.

The tale that unfolds is gripping and totally from a male perspective. Yatscoff feeds us the details of Ormond’s past, as the arson continues to escalate. This was a fast paced action packed tale that kept me engaged. The details surrounding the fires were in-depth and fascinating.
(reviewed 44 days after purchase)
Review by: Jennifer Hutchinson on Nov. 19, 2011 :
I loved the book so much that I immediately bought the sequel, Gerry's War and I'm waiting on the next one to come out. Awesome books!
(reviewed 21 days after purchase)
Review by: Sue Leonhardt on Nov. 7, 2011 :
"Old Flames" by E.R.Yatscoff was a free download that I received for my Kindle through Goodreads Giveaway.This is the first firefighter novel I have read.Captain Gerry Ormond, suddenly thrust into the media spotlight due to a heroic rescue, visits his hometown after a twenty-year absence. He is the Local Hero Firefighter keynote speaker at a Fundraiser Gala.His old crime as a teenager in a fraternity comes to light and his life begins to unravel. Old friends are now enemies and an arson murderer seeks revenge for the old crime.This is a fast paced novel that I could not put down.The indepth desciptions of the fires, and scenes have you totally glued to the outcome of the novel. A very enjoyable read.
(reviewed 9 days after purchase)
Review by: David Dostaler on Oct. 31, 2011 :
This is an action packed, highly intense firefighter book written by a man who knows what he's talking about.

If you're at all interested in an intense, tension filled, highly realistic firefighter novel I recommend this book to you.

The firefighting scenes and action/combat sequences are written with such clarity you may find yourself looking over your shoulder for the real thing. This is a fine novel by an excellent writer.

(reviewed the day of purchase)
Review by: James on Oct. 16, 2011 :
Most of my friends are firefighters and I really enjoyed how it was comparable to their actual personalities. I recommend this book to anyone who knows or is a firefighter.
(reviewed 21 days after purchase)
Review by: James on Oct. 16, 2011 :
Well written
(reviewed 21 days after purchase)
Review by: James on Oct. 16, 2011 :
Well written
(reviewed 21 days after purchase)
Review by: James on Oct. 16, 2011 :
Well written.
(reviewed 21 days after purchase)
Review by: David Smith on Sep. 22, 2011 :
I liked this book as it was a real books. It had the feeling of having real characters and real situations unlike so many fiction books hitting the shelves these days.
Some of my friends are firefighters so it was nice to get a look at their lives (although not many arson's in their lives). I would really recommend this book to anyone who has the chance to read it.
(reviewed 13 days after purchase)
Review by: Helen Rose on Sep. 12, 2011 :
A firefighter novel wasn't the first pick. My family is familiar with this writer's juvenile novels and I decided to give his adult story a read. The downloaded sample convinced me as I enjoyed the fire and the intrigue that's set up in the first chapter. There is a broad spectrum in this book regarding characters and situations like arson, murder, fire investigation. Surprising me was his romance with an 'old flame' and two other women who drive this guy around the bend. There's What I really liked was the heroism angles that the author examines and figure every firefighter might think something like that. The main character is a firefighter but is still a man, a flawed man. And the setting is a small city in Canada, not NY or LA, which are tiresome as life does go on elsewhere. It's a satisfying read that I think a lot of people would like as the story moves along well.
(reviewed 7 days after purchase)
Review by: C KYM on Sep. 2, 2011 :
There are lots of stories having to do with skeletons in the closet and this skeleton could belong to any of us from when we were teenagers. The old hometown visit becomes crazy for the off-duty fire captain. I enjoyed this story thoroughly. It moved smoothly and took a bit of a twist as to the culprit wreaking hell on the main character. Never expected to see strong female characters in a book written by and featuring a fireman. Females in this story played a big part esp. the fire marshal 'Sam' Samantha Markham. Good to have a another firefighter in the mystery genre. The author's website said he'll be releasing another soon and I'll be waiting. Tough spot between a four or five star effort.
(reviewed 16 days after purchase)
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