Special to the Big Thrill: Thriller Award Nominees by John Raab

By John Raab

And the nominee’s are…….

And the winner is….well, you are going to have to wait for ThrillerFest NYC 2013 to get this answer. The Big Thrill newsletter would like to introduce you to some of the nominees in each category. Some of the nominees were too busy writing their next novel, but we have a great lineup and a couple of questions for them to answer. When you put together an award ceremony with so many great authors, there are always some that just missed this list. The process is a long involved one and a lot of reading to determine the nominees. It all starts at the top and that would include two very important people, Carla Buckley, ITW Board of Directors, Vice President, Awards and Joshua Corin, Awards, Committee chair. Both of them had a ton of work ahead of them when they took on such a monumental task. Between them and the dozens of judges, they had to sift through all the murders, crime, detectives and everything else included in a great thriller book. For a reader it is always exciting to find that new author or new book, sit down in some comfy clothes on your favorite seat and cracking open the first page. All the authors listed below give the readers the excitement they crave. Let’s take a deeper look inside the nominees and we will start with Carla and Joshua, to set the mood.

Carla Buckley ITW Board of Directors, Vice President, Awards:

Now that the nominee process is over, has your blood pressure dropped to a normal level?

In a way, yes—now that all our finalists have been selected and notified, a large part of the awards process has come to rest. And so can I . . . but not for long. Now begins the second half of the process: working with our glass artist to get the awards ready, putting into place the ThrillerFest events we have planned for the finalists, and the scariest part of all: making sure the envelope I hand each presenter at our Awards Banquet has the right name inside!

How did you get involved in the nominee process?

My involvement with ITW tracks back to when I sold my first book and joined the ITW Debut Authors Program. I was asked to chair the Debut Program, which I did for two years, before being asked to join the Board of Directors as Vice President of Awards. This was my first year overseeing the awards process, and I’m deeply grateful for all those who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to bring us to this point: Josh Corin, Al Leverone, Jeff Ayers, and twenty-nine hard-working judges who put in countless hours reading every submission. And I’m particularly grateful for all those authors out there writing books that keep me up at night. I wish we could honor them all.

*****

Carla Buckley was born in Washington, D.C. She has worked as an assistant press secretary for a U.S. senator, an analyst with the Smithsonian Institution, and a technical writer for a defense contractor. She lives in Columbus, Ohio, with her husband and their three children. She is the author of INVISIBLE and THE THINGS THAT KEEP US HERE, which was nominated for a Thriller Award as a best first novel and the Ohioana Book Award for fiction. She is currently at work on her next novel, which Bantam will publish.

To learn more about Carla, please visit her website.

*****

Joshua Corin, Awards Committee Chair:

Now that the nominee process is over, has your blood pressure dropped to a normal level?

My blood pressure has dropped to its normal abnormal levels. I really should refrain from eating french fries for breakfast.

How did you get involved in the nominee process?

I got involved in the nominee process the way most people get involved in anything: I was drafted. Carla Buckley and I previously had worked together on the Debut Authors committee and so, when she was promoted to Vice President of Awards, she called me up and asked me if I’d be interested in getting the band back together. Since it is rude to say no to someone as delightful as Carla Buckley, I said yes. And the rest, as they say, is misery…err, history. In all seriousness, I was honored to be asked and I only hope that I have done good work for a community of people I deeply love.

*****

Joshua Corin’s first book, NUCLEAR WINTER WONDERLAND was named by BOOKLIST as one of the top debut crime novels of 2008. His Esme Stuart series for MIRA Books is under option by 20th Century Century Fox TV. He lives in a pineapple under the sea.

To learn more about Joshua, please visit his website.

*****

BEST HARDCOVER NOVEL

Sean Chercover – THE TRINITY GAME

Give us your seven word pitch on what your book is about.

Corrupt televangelist’s phony prophecies start coming true.

What does being a nominee mean to you and if you win how will you celebrate?

Being a nominee is an incredible honor. And I know everybody says that, but it really is. To have it acknowledged by your peers and to see it listed alongside some of your favorite authors is truly special. If I win? Well, my wife and son will be at ThrillerFest, so the first order of business will be family hugs. After that, drinks in the bar.

Sean Chercover is the author of THE TRINITY GAME, TRIGGER CITY, BIG CITY BAD BLOOD, and a handful of short stories. His previous work has received the Anthony, Shamus, CWA Dagger, Dilys, Crimespree and Gumshoe awards, and has been shortlisted for the Edgar, Macavity, Barry, ITW Thriller and Arthur Ellis. He lives in Toronto with his wife and son.

About THE TRINITY GAME: Daniel Byrne is an investigator for the Vatican’s secretive Office of the Devil’s Advocate—the department that scrutinizes miracle claims. Over ten years and 721 cases, not one miracle he tested has proved true.

But case #722 is different; Daniel’s estranged uncle, a crooked TV evangelist, has started speaking in tongues—and accurately predicting the future. Daniel knows Reverend Tim Trinity is a con man. Could Trinity also be something more?

The evangelist himself is baffled by his newfound power—and the violent reaction it provokes. After years of scams, he suddenly has the ability to predict everything from natural disasters to sports scores. Now the mob wants him dead for ruining their gambling business, and the Vatican wants him debunked as a false messiah. On the run from assassins, Trinity flees with Daniel’s help through the back roads of the Bible Belt to New Orleans, where Trinity plans to deliver a final prophecy so shattering his enemies will do anything to keep him silent.

 

Brian Freeman – SPILLED BLOOD

Give us your seven word pitch on what your book is about.

Murder and redemption in two rural towns.

What does being a nominee mean to you and if you win how will you celebrate?

This is the second time in three years that one of my novels has been short-listed for Best Hardcover Novel in the Thriller Awards. I’ve been on judging panels like this myself, and I know how hard it is to select five finalists among so many wonderful books. So the recognition from my peers is about the highest honor a writer can receive. It makes me work even harder. If I’m fortunate enough to get the nod, I’ll probably stop long enough for a glass of champagne . . . but then it’s back to the next book. I’m just happy to be in such good company as a finalist.

Brian Freeman is an international bestselling author of psychological suspense novels featuring detectives Jonathan Stride and Serena Dial. His books have been sold in 46 countries and 20 languages and have appeared as Main Selections in the Literary Guild and the Book of the Month Club. His settings in the bleak, frozen landscape of Duluth, Minnesota, and his deeply complex characters, have drawn comparisons to Swedish noir.

He has twice been named a finalist for Best Hardcover Novel in the Thriller Awards presented by the International Thriller Writers organization (for SPILLED BLOOD and THE BURYING PLACE). His debut thriller, IMMORAL, won the Macavity Award for Best First Novel and was a nominee for the Edgar, Dagger, Anthony, and Barry Awards. It was named International Book of the Month by book clubs around the world, a distinction shared with authors such as Harlan Coben and Karin Slaughter. His novel STRIPPED was named one of the top 10 mysteries of 2006 by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

His third novel STALKED was released in February 2008. “Freeman just keeps outdoing himself with each book,” said the starred review in LIBRARY JOURNAL. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY similarly gave a starred review to Freeman’s fourth novel, IN THE DARK (2009), calling it his best book yet, “harrowing and heartrending.”

His fifth novel THE BURYING PLACE arrived in bookstores in 2010. Upon its release in the UK, London’s DAILY MAIL called Freeman the discovery of the year in crime fiction and said of the book: “Fleshed-out characters, high tension and terrifying twists put Freeman up there with Harlan Coben in the psychological crime stratosphere.”

Brian’s sixth book THE BONE HOUSE was his first stand-alone novel, featuring all-new characters and another remote Midwest setting in Door County, Wisconsin. THE BONE HOUSE was a finalist for an Audie Award (Best Audiobook of the Year) in Thriller/Suspense and a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award.

About SPILLED BLOOD: Two teenage girls play a deadly game of Russian Roulette . . .

It’s every parent’s worst nightmare. Christopher Hawk’s daughter has been accused of murder . . . and she looks guilty as sin.

Chris rushes to the rural badlands of southern Minnesota, where his ex-wife and his only child, Olivia, now live, determined to defend his daughter.

He discovers two towns at war: Barron, where a chemical company has brought jobs and money, and St. Croix, Olivia’s downriver home, where the same chemicals are believed to have brought death: a cancer cluster with mysterious origins.

Olivia is at the center of the feud, and so is the girl she’s suspected of killing. If Chris is to find out what really happened, he needs to learn everything about his daughter . . . but he’s beginning to realize he hardly knows her at all.

Chris wants to believe Olivia is innocent, but belief is only the first step. Now he has to prove it.

And all the while, her enemies are waiting, baying for her blood . . .

 

Lisa Gardner – CATCH ME

Give us your seven word pitch on what your book is about.

Woman has four days to outwit killer.

What does being a nominee mean to you and if you win how will you celebrate?

CATCH ME is the first novel I have written with my two new editors, Ben Sevier from Dutton (US) and Vicki Mellor from Healdine (UK). It was such an amazing experience to work with them on the book, to then be named a finalist for best thriller s a huge honor! Let’s see, if I win . . . I never think that way. Especially, given the other authors on the list. I’ve read most of the nominated novels, and wow!  So today is a great day, and in publishing, that’s good enough.  You do the happy dance, and you don’t look too far ahead!

Lisa Gardner, a #1 NEW YORK TIMES crime thriller novelist, began her career in food service, but after catching her hair on fire numerous times, she took the hint and focused on writing instead. A self-described research junkie, her work as a research analyst for an international consulting firm parlayed her interest in police procedure, cutting edge forensics, and twisted plots into a streak of internationally bestselling suspense novels, including her most recent release, TOUCH & GO.

With over twenty-two million books in print, Lisa is published in thirty countries. Her success crosses into the small screen with four of her novels becoming movies and personal appearances on television shows.

Lisa lives in New Hampshire with her auto-racing husband and black-diamond skiing daughter. She spends her days writing in her loft with two barky shelties and one silly puppy.

About CATCH ME: IN FOUR DAYS SOMEONE IS GOING TO KILL ME…

At 8pm on 21st January, twenty-eight year old Charlie Grant believes she is going to be murdered and she wants Boston’s top homicide detective, D.D. Warren, to handle her death investigation.

Confronting D.D. at her latest crime scene, Charlie lays her cards on the table. For each of the last two years, one of her childhood friends has been murdered leaving Charlie as the only one of the three friends to remain alive.

But as D.D. delves deeper in to the details of Charlie’s case, she begins to question the young woman’s story. Because Charlie can now outfight and outrun anyone she meets and D.D.’s instinct is that she’s hiding a secret. A secret so explosive that Charlie herself may turn out to be the biggest danger of all…

. . . BUT THE SON OF A BITCH HAS GOT TO CATCH ME FIRST.

 

Gregg Hurwitz – THE SURVIVOR

Give us your seven word pitch on what your book is about.

Man on ledge. Sees heist underway. Choices.

What does being a nominee mean to you and if you win how will you celebrate?

It is, as they say, always a pleasure just to be nominated. But some nominations are more personal than others. This one in particular is a joy, mostly because of the company I’m in—both in regards to my fellow nominees and the pool at large—and because ITW is the gold standard for thriller writers. I’m flattered and delighted, a lovely cocktail of emotions. I remember being in that first meeting where a ragtag group of evil plotters discussed the formation of a new association, one specific to thriller authors, and to see that dream realized is itself a pleasure. Then to be shortlisted for an award? Frosting on top of frosting.

If I win, I’m not sure how I’ll celebrate, but I’d lay odds that bourbon and frolicking will be involved. Likely in that order.

Gregg Hurwitz is the critically acclaimed, NEW YORK TIMES and internationally bestselling author of twelve novels, most recently TRUST NO ONE, THEY’RE WATCHING, YOU’RE NEXT,  and THE SURVIVOR. His books have been nominated for numerous awards, shortlisted twice for best novel of the year by International Thriller Writers, nominated for CWA’s Ian Fleming Steel Dagger, chosen as feature selections for all four major literary book clubs, honored as Book Sense Picks, nominated for the Galaxy National Book Award, and translated into twenty two languages.

Gregg has written screenplays for or sold spec scripts to many of the major studios, and written, developed, and produced television (including ABC’s V) for various networks. He has also written comics for Marvel and DC, tackling characters ranging from Wolverine to Batman. He has published numerous academic articles on Shakespeare, taught fiction writing in the USC English Department, and guest lectured for UCLA, and for Harvard in the United States and internationally. In the course of researching his thrillers, he has sneaked onto demolition ranges with Navy SEALs, swum with sharks in the Galápagos, and gone undercover into mind-control cults.

Hurwitz grew up in the Bay Area. While completing a BA from Harvard (‘95) and a master’s from Trinity College, Oxford in Shakespearean tragedy (‘96), he wrote his first novel. He was the undergraduate scholar-athlete of the year at Harvard for his pole-vaulting exploits, and played college soccer in England, where he was a Knox fellow. He now lives in L.A. where he continues to play soccer, frequently injuring himself.

About THE SURVIVOR: One morning in Los Angeles, Nate Overbay—a divorced former solider suffering from PTSD and slowly dying from ALS—goes to an eleventh-floor bank, climbs out of the bathroom window onto the ledge, and gets ready to end it all. But as he’s steeling himself, a crew of robbers bursts into the bank and begins to viciously shoot employees and customers. With nothing to lose, Nate confronts the robbers, taking them out one-by-one. The last man standing leaves Nate with a cryptic warning.

Nate soon learns what that message meant. He is kidnapped by Pavlo, a savage Russian mobster and mastermind of the failed heist. Unable to break back into the bank to get the critical item inside, Pavlo gives Nate an ultimatum—break in and get what he needs or watch Pavlo slowly kill the one thing Nate loves most—his ex-wife Janie and his teenaged daughter Cielle—both lost when he came back from Iraq broken and confused. Now he’s got one last chance to protect the people he loves, even if it’s the last thing he is able to do.

 

William Landay – DEFENDING JACOB

Give us your seven word pitch on what your book is about.

Ordinary family. Mysterious son accused of murder.

What does being a nominee mean to you and if you win how will you celebrate?

I am flattered and absolutely thrilled to be nominated, and deeply grateful. It is presumptuous to talk about what I’d do if I won, of course, but the answer isn’t very mysterious: I’d get right back to work. It’s the only thing I know how to do. And while everyone loves prizes like this one, we all know too that no book is ever perfect, just the best you could do at the time with the limitations you had, limitations of time, skill, etc. So we try to get a little better with every at-bat. What choice do we writers have?

Bio: William Landay is the author of the highly acclaimed MISSION FLATS which was awarded the John Creasey Dagger as the best debut crime novel of 2003.  A graduate of Yale University and Boston College Law School, he was an assistant district attorney before turning to writing.  He lives in Boston, where he is at work on his next novel of suspense.

About DEFENDING JACOB: Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney for two decades. He is respected. Admired in the courtroom. Happy at home with the loves of his life, his wife, Laurie, and teenage son, Jacob.

Then Andy’s quiet suburb is stunned by a shocking crime: a young boy stabbed to death in a leafy park. And an even greater shock: The accused is Andy’s own son—shy, awkward, mysterious Jacob.

Andy believes in Jacob’s innocence. Any parent would. But the pressure mounts. Damning evidence. Doubt. A faltering marriage. The neighbors’ contempt. A murder trial that threatens to obliterate Andy’s family.

It is the ultimate test for any parent: How far would you go to protect your child? It is a test of devotion. A test of how well a parent can know a child. For Andy Barber, a man with an iron will and a dark secret, it is a test of guilt and innocence in the deepest sense.

How far would you go?

 

BEST FIRST NOVEL

Daniel Friedman – DON’T EVER GET OLD

Give us your seven word pitch on what your book is about.

An elderly detective hunts a fugitive Nazi.

What does being a nominee mean to you and if you win how will you celebrate?

The authors nominated for the Thriller award are some of the most exciting new voices in crime and suspense fiction, and I’m honored to be named among them.

DON’T EVER GET OLD is kind of a strange book; there are other books out there about elderly detectives, but I was attempting something a little different than some of the books that might be seen as comparable titles. My protagonist is eighty-seven years old, and has become physically frail. He’s facing serious health problems, and he’s on the edge of losing his independence, which is very important to him.

Readers have been very generous in letting me delve into some of these darker themes in a book whose narrative framework and jacket synopsis might suggest a somewhat lighter, cozier sort of story. And, hopefully, getting nominated the Thriller and other awards will help me earn the trust I need to hang onto readers in future books, as I stretch in new directions to tell different kinds of stories.

Daniel Friedman is a graduate of the University of Maryland and NYU School of Law. He lives in New York City.

About DON’T EVER GET OLD: When Buck Schatz, senior citizen and retired Memphis cop, learns that an old adversary may have escaped Germany with a fortune in stolen gold, Buck decides to hunt down the fugitive and claim the loot. But a lot of people want a piece of the stolen treasure, and Buck’s investigation quickly attracts unfriendly attention from a very motley (and murderous) crew in Daniel Friedman’s DON’T EVER GET OLD.

 

Chris Pavone – THE EXPATS

Give us your seven word pitch on what your book is about.

Woman abroad falls into web of deceit.

What does being a nominee mean to you and if you win how will you celebrate?

I’m immensely gratified that at least some of my new colleagues in the thriller field have enjoyed THE EXPATS. I’m a first-time novelist, which is a precarious position, high on a wire and easily knocked off, so it’s awfully encouraging to have strangers keeping me up. If I win, I’ll celebrate by taking my baseball-obsessed kids to a new ballpark, in good seats

Chris Pavone, a book editor and ghostwriter for nearly two decades, was briefly an expat in Luxembourg and now lives with his family in New York City. His first novel, THE EXPATS, was a NEW YORK TIMES and international bestseller, and has been nominated for an Edgar, a LOS ANGELES TIMES Book Prize, and awards from the STRAND MAGAZINE Critics Circle, the Mystery Booksellers Association, and the International Thriller Writers. His second novel, THE ACCIDENT, is due to be published in early 2014.

About THE EXPATS: In the cobblestoned streets of Luxembourg, Kate Moore’s days are filled with playdates and coffee mornings, her weekends spent in Paris and skiing in the Alps. But Kate is also guarding a tremendous, life-defining secret—one that’s become so unbearable that it begins to unravel her newly established expat life. She suspects that another American couple are not who they claim to be; her husband is acting suspiciously; and as she travels around Europe, she finds herself looking over her shoulder, increasingly terrified that her own past is catching up with her. As Kate begins to dig, to uncover the secrets of the people around her, she finds herself buried in layers of deceit so thick they threaten her family, her mar­riage, and her life.

Stylish and sophisticated, fiercely intelligent, and expertly crafted, THE EXPATS proves Chris Pavone to be a writer of tremendous talent.

 

Matthew Quirk – THE 500

Give us your seven word pitch on what your book/short story is about.

Young Washingtonian makes deal with the devil.

What does being a nominee mean to you and if you win how will you celebrate?

It’s a great honor. So many of the authors I look up to are involved with ITW. I’m thrilled to be recognized by them and nominated alongside such an amazing group of writers. I’d celebrate with a nice dinner in New York with my wife, some much-deserved thanks to my agent and editor, and then back to work!

Matthew Quirk studied history and literature at Harvard College. After graduation, he spent five years as a reporter for THE ATLANTIC in Washington, D.C. His first book, THE 500 was a national bestseller. It has been translated into twenty languages and nominated for the Edgar, the Strand, and the ITW Awards for best first novel.

About THE 500: A year ago, fresh out of Harvard Law School, Mike Ford landed his dream job at the Davies Group, Washington’s most powerful consulting firm. Now, he’s staring down the barrel of a gun, pursued by two of the world’s most dangerous men. To get out, he’ll have to do all the things he thought he’d never do again: lie, cheat, steal—and this time, maybe even kill.

Mike grew up in a world of small-stakes con men, learning lessons at his father’s knee. His hard-won success in college and law school was his ticket out. As the Davies Group’s rising star, he rubs shoulders with ‘The 500,’ the elite men and women who really run Washington—and the world. But peddling influence, he soon learns, is familiar work: even with a pedigree, a con is still a con.

Combining the best elements of political intrigue and heart-stopping action, THE 500 is an explosive debut, one that calls to mind classic thrillers like The Firm and Presumed Innocent. In Mike Ford, readers will discover a new hero who learns that the higher the climb, the harder—and deadlier—the fall.

 

BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL NOVEL

Alison Gaylin – AND SHE WAS

Give us your seven word pitch on what your book is about.

Detective with perfect memory tracks missing child. (Boy, seven words is hard! Honestly, I don’t usually talk like the Cookie Monster.)

What does being a nominee mean to you and if you win how will you celebrate?

It’s incredibly exciting to be nominated by—and with—such a great group of people. It’s not only a big honor, but a chance to meet a lot of writers whose work I love. In New York City. With cocktails. What more could you ask for?

If I win, I’ll celebrate with champagne. But actually I’ll probably do that if I lose, too.

Alison Gaylin is the USA TODAY bestselling author of the Brenna Spector series. Her other books include the Edgar®-nominated thriller HIDE YOUR EYES as well as its sequel, YOU KILL ME, two stand-alone novels and the upcoming YA mystery, REALITY ENDS HERE (due out in June from Simon and Schuster/PocketStar). NORMANDY GOLD the graphic novel Alison co-wrote with Megan Abbott, has been optioned by New Regency and is currently being developed as a TV series. A graduate of Northwestern University and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, Alison lives with her husband and daughter in upstate New York.

About AND SHE WAS: On a summer afternoon in 1998, six-year-old Iris Neff walked away from a barbecue in her small suburban town . . . and vanished.

Missing persons investigator Brenna Spector has a rare neurological disorder that enables her to recall every detail of every day of her life. A blessing and a curse, it began in childhood, when her older sister stepped into a strange car never to be seen again, and it’s proven invaluable in her work. But it hasn’t helped her solve the mystery that haunts her above all others—and it didn’t lead her to little Iris. When a local woman, Carol Wentz, disappears eleven years later, Brenna uncovers bizarre connections between the missing woman, the long-gone little girl . . . and herself.

 

BEST SHORT STORY

David Edgerley Gates – THE DEVIL TO PAY

Give us your seven word pitch on what your short story is about.

Hijacked guns, Russian mobsters, the Mexican cartels.

David Edgerley Gates lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The author of the Placido Geist bounty hunter stories, a series of noir Westerns, he is a past nominee for the Shamus and Edgar awards. He recently completed BLACK TRAFFIC, a Cold War spy novel set in Berlin in the late 1960s, and is at work on his next book, THE BONE HARVEST, which takes place during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.  His ITW award nominated story, THE DEVIL TO PAY, which appeared in ALFRED HITCHCOCK, has been chosen for “Best American Mystery Stories 2013.”

 

BEST YOUNG ADULT NOVEL

Andrew Klavan – IF WE SURVIVE

Give us your seven word pitch on what your book is about.

Four teens swept up in a revolution.

What does being a nominee mean to you and if you win how will you celebrate?

Since I’ve only recently begun writing for young adults, I’m especially delighted to be nominated in this category. The awards are being given on my birthday, so I either hope to celebrate my birthday by winning, or to celebrate winning by becoming a year older.  Either way would be fine.

Andrew Klavan is the author of such internationally bestselling crime novels as TRUE CRIME filmed by Clint Eastwood, DON’T SAY A WORD, filmed starring Michael Douglas and EMPIRE OF LIES. Stephen King called him “the most original novelist of crime and suspense since Cornell Woolrich.” He has been nominated for the MYSTERY WRITER’S OF AMERICA Edgar Award five times and has won twice. He has also won the Thumping Good Read Award from WH Smith and been nominated twice for the Boucheron’s Anthonys. His books have been translated around the world. His latest novel for adults is A KILLER IN THE WIND which KIRKUS REVIEW said, “evokes the gritty classics of Cornell Woolrich and Jim Thompson while spinning its own brand of hard-boiled psychological suspense.”

Recently, Andrew has begun publishing thrillers for young adults, including the bestselling Homelanders series, which follows a heroic teenager’s battle against terrorists, and is being developed for film by Summit Entertainment. This year, his YA novel IF WE SURVIVE has been nominated for an International Thriller Writers award.

As a screenwriter, Andrew wrote the screenplays to A SHOCK TO THE SYSTEM, which starred Michael Caine, and ONE MISSED CALL, which starred Edward Burns.

A contributing editor to CITY JOURNAL, Andrew’s essays and op-eds on politics, religion, movies and literature have appeared in the WALL STREET JOURNAL, the NEW YORK TIMES, THE WASHINGTON POST, the LA TIMES, and elsewhere.

About IF WE SURVIVE: They came on a mission of mercy, but now they’re in a fight for their lives.

High schooler Will Peterson and three friends journeyed to Central America to help rebuild a school. In a poor, secluded mountain village, they won the hearts of the local people with their energy and kindness.

But in one sudden moment, everything went horribly wrong. A revolution swept the country. Now, guns and terror are everywhere—and Americans are being targeted as the first to die.

Will and his friends have got to get out fast. But streets full of killers . . . hills patrolled by armies . . . and a jungle rife with danger stand between them and the border. Their one hope of escape lies with a veteran warrior who has lost his faith and may betray them at any moment. Their one dream is to reach freedom and safety and home.

If they can just survive.

 

Dan Krokos – FALSE MEMORY

Give us your seven word pitch on what your book is about.

Teen super soldiers fight their creators. (Did it in six!)

What does being a nominee mean to you and if you win how will you celebrate?

I’ve never won anything before, so being a nominee for something like this is really incredible. The closest I’ve come to winning something was a spelling bee in elementary school, but I had never heard the word “rural” before, so I lost in front of the whole school. You’ll never see rural in one of my books.

If I won, I would celebrate with a glass of Johnnie Walker Blue, and then maybe a dinner where I was forced to wear some kind of neat formal clothing. I will probably do this anyway just for being a nominee.

After pumping gas for nine years to put himself through college, Dan Krokos became a full-time writer. He enjoys watching TV, playing MMORPGs, and drinking coffee. Follow his antics on twitter (@DanKrokos) or visit his Web site, www.dankrokos.com.

About FALSE MEMORY: Miranda wakes up alone on a park bench with no memory. In her panic, she releases a mysterious energy that incites pure terror in everyone around her. Except Peter, a boy who isn’t at all surprised by Miranda’s shocking ability.

Left with no choice but to trust this stranger, Miranda discovers she was trained to be a weapon and is part of an elite force of genetically-altered teens who possess flawless combat skills and powers strong enough to destroy a city. But adjusting to her old life isn’t easy—especially with Noah, the boyfriend she can’t remember loving.

Then Miranda uncovers a dark truth that sets her team on the run. Suddenly her past doesn’t seem to matter…when there may not be a future.

 

BEST E-BOOK ORIGINAL NOVEL

Jon Land – PANDORA’S TEMPLE

Give us your seven word pitch on what your book/short story is about.

What if Pandora’s Box was real?

What does being a nominee mean to you and if you win how will you celebrate?

Having never been nominated for an award like this before, it’s an absolutely incredible thrill, made even more special that it’s in an award category that represents the future of publishing. I will celebrate by buying lots of drinks for everyone at Open Road Media who did such a great job publishing PANDORA’S TEMPLE.

Jon Land is the author of more than 30 thrillers, including the bestselling Caitlin Strong Texas Ranger series that includes STRONG ENOUGH TO DIE, STRONG JUSTICE, STRONG AT THE BREAK, STRONG VENGEANCE,  and, coming this August, STRONG RAIN FALLING. This past fall he resurrected his longtime series hero Blaine McCracken in the E-Book Original PANDORA’S TEMPLE which became a bestseller on both Apple and Amazon and a follow-up, THE TENTH CIRCLE, is slated for release in time for the holiday season.  He lives in Providence, Rhode Island and can be found on the Web at www.jonlandbooks.com.

About PANDORA’S TEMPLE: McCracken has never been shy about answering the call, and this time it comes in the aftermath of deepwater oilrig disaster that claims the life of a one-time member of his commando unit.  The remnants of the rig and its missing crew lead him to the inescapable conclusion that one of the most mysterious and deadly forces in the Universe is to blame—dark matter, both a limitless source of potential energy and a weapon with unimaginable destructive capabilities.

Joining forces again with his trusty sidekick Johnny Wareagle, McCracken races to stop both an all-powerful energy magnate and the leader of a Japanese doomsday cult from finding the dark matter they seek for entirely different, yet equally dangerous, reasons.  Ultimately, that race will take him not only across the world, but also across time and history to the birth of an ancient legend that may not have been a legend at all.  The truth lies 4,000 years in the past and the construction of the greatest structure known to man at the time:

Pandora’s Temple, built to safeguard the most powerful weapon man would ever know.

Now, with that very weapon having resurfaced, McCracken’s only hope to save the world is to find the temple, the very existence of which is shrouded in mystery and long lost to myth.  Along the way, he and Johnny Wareagle find themselves up against Mexican drug gangs, killer robots, an army of professional assassins, and a legendary sea monster before reaching a mountaintop fortress where the final battle to preserve mankind will be fought.

The hero of nine previous bestselling thrillers, McCracken is used to the odds being stacked against him, but this time the stakes have never been higher.

 

CJ Lyons – BLIND FAITH

Give us your seven word pitch on what your book is about.

Grief-stricken mother ensnared by betrayal and deceit.

What does being a nominee mean to you and if you win how will you celebrate?

I’ve been involved with ITW since the first meeting in Toronto, so winning a Thriller Award judged by my peers is one of the highest honors I can imagine. As for celebration, since my fashionista fourteen-year-old niece is joining me at ThrillerFest, I’m sure it will involve a lot of shopping and probably a makeover!

NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY bestselling author of eighteen novels, former pediatric ER doctor CJ Lyons has lived the life she writes about in her cutting edge Thrillers with Heart. CJ has been called a “master within the genre” (PITTSBURGH MAGAZINE) and her work has been praised as “breathtakingly fast-paced” and “riveting” (PUBLISHERS WEEKLY) with “characters with beating hearts and three dimensions” (NEWSDAY).

About BLIND FAITH: An article of clothing. A child’s toy. An unmarked grave.

Sarah Durandt knows the man who murdered her husband and son is dead. But without knowing the location of their bodies, Sarah has no sense of closure. She decides to search the mountains of her Adirondack home for anything that remains of her husband and son.

Anything to make this terrible dream seem real. But what she uncovers is too horrifying to even consider . . .

Maybe they executed the wrong man. Maybe the killer is still out there.

Maybe, for Sarah, the nightmare is just beginning.

 

Alexandra Sokoloff – HUNTRESS MOON

Give us your seven word pitch on what your book is about.

Haunted FBI agent hunts female serial killer.

What does being a nominee mean to you and if you win how will you celebrate?

It was quite a leap of faith for me to publish HUNTRESS MOON directly as an e-book instead of seeking another traditional deal. The nomination is a big validation that it was the right thing to do. I love ITW for creating this new award category to recognize the huge changes going on for authors and the industry. And the timing couldn’t be more perfect, as I have just released the sequel, BLOOD MOON as an original e-book. Thanks, ITW!

How will I celebrate if I win? I’ve already won—all my favorite people are nominees, too. This Thrillerfest is going to be the party of the year, I can’t wait.

Alexandra Sokoloff is the Thriller Award-winning and Bram Stoker, Anthony, and Black Quill award-nominated author of the supernatural thrillers THE HARROWING, THE PRICE, THE UNSEEN, BOOK OF SHADOWS, THE SHIFTERS  and THE SPACE BETWEEN and the Top Ten Amazon bestselling Huntress/FBI thriller series (HUNTRESS MOON, BLOOD MOON). The NEW YORK TIMES Book Review has called her a “daughter of Mary Shelley,” and her books “Some of the most original and freshly unnerving work in the genre.”

As a screenwriter she has sold original horror and thriller scripts and adapted novels for numerous Hollywood studios. She has also written two non-fiction writing workbooks: SCREENWRITING TRICKS FOR AUTHORS and WRITING LOVE, based on her internationally acclaimed workshops and blog, and has served on the Board of Directors of the WGA, west and the Board of the Mystery Writers of America.

About HUNTRESS MOON: FBI Special Agent Matthew Roarke is closing in on a bust of a major criminal organization in San Francisco when he witnesses an undercover member of his team killed right in front of him on a busy street, an accident Roarke can’t believe is coincidental. His suspicions put him on the trail of a mysterious young woman who appears to have been present at each scene of a years-long string of “accidents” and murders, and who may well be that most rare of killers: a female serial.

Roarke’s hunt for her takes him across three states…while in a small coastal town, a young father and his five-year old son, both wounded from a recent divorce, encounter a lost and compelling young woman on the beach and strike up an unlikely friendship without realizing how deadly she may be.

As Roarke uncovers the shocking truth of her background, he realizes she is on a mission of her own, and must race to capture her before more blood is shed.

 

Allen Wyler – DEAD END DEAL and DEAD WRONG (Nominated for Both Titles)

Give us your seven word pitch on what your book is about.

Pulse-pounding, blitz paced race to survive an assassin (DEAD END DEAL).

Three Days Of The Condor meets Marathon Man (DEAD WRONG).

What does being a nominee mean to you and if you win how will you celebrate?

Most artists—writers especially—work without a true metric of audience appeal. Being nominated in a category is a mind-bending experience because it is a validation of writing in this genre—a trial by a jury of peers—if you will.

On the off chance I win, I’ll buy a bottle of Veuve Clicquot to share with good friends.

Allen Wyler is a renowned neurosurgeon who earned an international reputation for pioneering surgical techniques to record brain activity. He has served on the faculties of both the University of Washington and the University of Tennessee, and in 1992 was recruited by the prestigious Swedish Medical Center to develop a neuroscience institute. In 2002, he left active practice to become Medical Director for a startup med-tech company (that went public in 2006) and he now chairs the Institutional Review Board of a major medical center in the Pacific Northwest. Leveraging a love for thrillers since the early 70s, Wyler devoted himself to fiction writing in earnest, eventually serving as Vice President of Awards for the International Thriller Writers for several years. After publishing his first two medical thrillers DEADLY ERRORS (2005) and DEAD HEAD (2007), he officially retired from medicine to devote himself to writing full time. He and his wife, Lily, divide their time between Seattle and the San Juan Islands. Visit him at www.allenwyler.com.

About DEAD END DEAL: World renowned neurosurgeon Jon Ritter is on the verge of a medical breakthrough that will change the world. His groundbreaking surgical treatment, using transplanted non-human stem cells, is set to eradicate the scourge of Alzheimer’s disease and give hope to millions. But when the procedure is slated for testing, it all comes to an abrupt and terrifying halt. Ritter’s colleague is gunned down and Ritter himself is threatened by a radical anti-abortion group that not only claims responsibility, but promises more of the same. Faced with a dangerous reality but determined to succeed, Ritter turns to his long-time colleague, corporate biotech CEO Richard Stillman, for help. Together, they conspire to conduct a clandestine clinical trial in Seoul, Korea. But the danger is more determined, and more lethal, than Ritter could have imagined. After successful surgical trials, Ritter and his allies are thrown into a horrifying nightmare scenario: The trial patients have been murdered and Ritter is the number one suspect. Aided by his beautiful lab assistant, Yeonhee, Ritter flees the country, now the target of an international manhunt involving Interpol, the FBI, zealous fanatics and a coldly efficient assassin. DEAD END DEAL is a fast paced, heart-pounding, and sophisticated thriller. Penned by master neurosurgeon, Allen Wyler—who often draws from experience and actual events when writing—DEAD END DEAL is unmatched as a technical procedural. Its medical and scientific details can impress even the most seasoned medical practitioners. And yet, the fascinating expertise is seamlessly woven into a riveting plot, with enough action and surprises to engross even the most well-read thriller enthusiast. A smart, unique, page-turner, DEAD END DEAL delivers.

About DEAD WRONG: When a top secret program of implanting harrowing memories into innocent people comes to light, neurosurgeon Tom McCarthy is literally caught in the crossfire. While McCarthy looks forward to a three day weekend, his office is suddenly raided by two Department of Defense investigators bent on arresting him for a crime he didn’t commit. All hell breaks loose when an inadvertent scuffle escalates, leaving one agent dead at the hands of the other, and McCarthy fleeing but hopelessly trapped inside the labyrinthine corridors, heating ducts, and stairways of a gigantic Seattle medical center. With the CIA and Seattle PD closing in, McCarthy unwittingly pulls Dr. Sarah Hamilton into the fray. And like rats in a maze, they struggle to stay one step ahead of their deadly hunters, while simultaneously uncovering a trail of corruption that reaches shocking dimensions. Penned by master neurosurgeon, Allen Wyler, DEAD WRONG brings the reader inside the world of an insidious and terrifyingly plausible narrative, to create a heart pounding, claustrophobic and nightmarish thriller.

 

It’s difficult enough for an author to finally reach “The End”, but only a select few can stand above the crowd and be called an ITW Nominee. I hope you all join us at Thriller Fest NYC 2013 to see who are crowned the winners, as I’m sure there is just as much suspense in that room, as there is in their books. Congratulations to all the nominees, and now “The envelope please”.

John Raab

John Raab is the CEO / Publisher for Suspense Magazine.Founded in 2007 Suspense Magazine is a monthly magazine dedicated in bringing fans and authors together in the genres of suspense / mystery / thriller and horror.John is married with four children, which raised his golf score by five strokes on each child.Currently John is also the host of the popular radio show "Suspense Radio" which is broadcast on Blog Talk Radio, giving fans the opportunity to hear from their favorite authors live.Visit Suspense Magazine at www.suspensemagazine.com and Suspense Radio at www.blogtalkradio.com
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