Adventure Thrillers

The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist’s Solution by Lisa de Nikolits

By ITW Staff

Just when they thought life had new adventures, a couple’s trip to Australia throws them into stormy waters, and invokes the spirit of Sid Vicious and a former nurse, now turned evil ghost.

Lisa de Nikolits’ new serio-comedic, tarot-with-a-twist thriller is about the meaning of life, healing from old wounds, romantic love at all ages, and how with love and passion, we can make a difference, at any age.

This month, The Big Thrill caught up with Nikolits to get the scoop on her writing influences and how they helped her to write THE OCCULT PERSUASION AND THE ANARCHIST’S SOLUTION.  

What do you hope readers will take away from this book?

Hope and motivation that life can offer all kinds of amazing surprises in later years—albeit by crime and mystery! This one-of-a-kind punk-themed suspense thriller combines the winning elements of many bestselling novels. A picaresque thriller with elements of punk rock, combined with domestic thriller intrigue, aspects of esoteric spirituality, unexpected adventures and a new cast of unique, hilarious, and relatable characters. This book will inspire readers to believe anything is possible!
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Crossfire by Lee Gimenez  

Face-Look is the world’s largest social media company. When that company’s president is brutally murdered, the FBI investigates. As more people are killed, former Special Forces soldier John (J. T.) Ryan and FBI Assistant Director Erin Welch are assigned to the case. Ryan and Erin delve into the mystery and begin to uncover a vast criminal conspiracy behind the murders. A conspiracy involving not just Face-Look, but also the world’s other social media and high-tech corporations.

As more people are murdered, Ryan pursues the secret cabal of criminals across the USA, Japan, and Europe. The dangerous and harrowing journey takes him from the mansions of the super-rich to the gritty back streets of the criminal underworld. There he learns the ultimate goal of the secret group known only as Viper. A goal so explosive it will cause the collapse of the American economy.

Can John Ryan and Erin Welch capture the murderous criminals before they themselves are killed?

Award-winning author Lee Gimenez took time out of his busy day to speak with The Big Thrill about his latest J. T. Ryan thriller, CROSSFIRE:
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Doorways to the Deadeye by Eric J. Guignard

By Austin S. Camacho

There are plenty of horror novels out there, but if you want to read something truly strange, concerned with myths and magic, exploring language, tradition, and those spaces in between realities, you’ll want to pick up DOORWAYS TO THE DEADEYE by Eric J. Guignard.

This epic tale revolves around Luke Thacker, an everyman thrust into a life-changing experience. Guignard describes him as a relatable, likable, and honest young man who was orphaned as a pre-teen and had to make his own way during the hardships of the 1930s-era Depression.

“He embraces the life of a hobo, tries to do the right thing, and ultimately discovers that he’s granted a bit of knowledge and access to the world of memories by a benefactor who’s been grooming him,” Guignard says. “Luke does not see himself as a hero at all, nor would he want such a title, until he realizes that’s the only way to make his own memory stronger, which leads him to be able to fight injustice as well as nefarious enemies.”

Luke’s life changes forever when he enters Athanasia, another name for the realm of the Deadeye, which is the state of collective memory amongst the living. In the book, memories are tantamount to ghosts; they’re all around us, unseen, unless they “take” our attention, which then causes us to remember them, and by that action, make the memory stronger.

“The idea,” Guignard says, “is that once someone dies, they become part of the collective memory of the living. Memories reappear where they were thought of strongest, and they act as they were recalled, whether the memories are factual or changed through mythology or legend. For example, Harriet Tubman helps people escape troubles. The Earp Brothers act as vigilantes according to their own sense of justice. Lizzie Borden is an emotionally-unhinged spinster with an ax. Pocahontas, on the other hand, tries to change her legend from a love-struck doe to an indomitable warrior.”
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Storm Rising by Ronie Kendig

By Basil Sands

Ronie Kendig knows her stuff—and her latest novel, STORM RISING, is the high-adrenaline, pulse-pounding proof.

Kendig grew up an “Army Brat”—her words not mine—in a classic military family; father often deployed to parts unknown, and her mother holding down the proverbial fort. By the fourth grade, Kendig had attended six schools. Her only constant companions were the characters she created.

Since launching onto the publishing scene in 2010, Kendig and her books have hit bestseller lists and garnered awards and critical acclaim. Oh, and did I mention she writes high-energy, action-packed novels that can take you down a quick path to tachycardia?

In this The Big Thrill interview, Kendig gives us the scoop on her latest release and shares insight into her writing process.
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Dark Spiral Down by Michael Houtz

Cole Haufner has no equal as a professional MMA fighter. At the peak of his success, Cole suffers a horrible personal tragedy. His grief deepens when his brother, Butch, a Delta Force operator, goes missing. Desperate to find Butch, Cole travels back to his childhood home in southeastern China and the Shaolin Temple where he was raised.

When Cole meets his brother’s Delta teammate, code name Hammer, his fame and personal agenda collide with the Delta unit’s mission to recover an invention that could transform the human race. It could also see its downfall, if the pursuing North Korean agents find it first.

Cole’s spiral downward approaches madness as a family secret is revealed, one that could force him to choose between his brother and one of the most important, and potentially deadliest, discoveries in modern human history.

The Big Thrill caught up to author Mike Houtz to discuss his must-read action thriller, DARK SPIRAL DOWN:
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White Oaks by Jill Hand

Aimee Trapnell reluctantly leaves her apartment on Manhattan’s Central Park West to return to her childhood home in Georgia for her father’s ninetieth birthday. Also on hand are her two brothers, wily Marsh and ne’er-do-well Trainor. With a forty-billion-dollar inheritance at stake, they’re willing to do whatever it takes to make the old man happy.

To their shock they learn that what their father wants for his birthday is to kill someone. He doesn’t care who it is. He just wants to know what it’s like to commit murder.

Betrayal, double-dealing, and fast-paced action set the Trapnells on a collision course with an unexpected villain. Their journey takes them from the swamps of Georgia, to Italy’s glittering Amalfi coast, to rugged Yellowstone National Park.

Award-winning author Jill Hand took time out of her busy schedule to discuss her latest thriller, WHITE OAKS, with The Big Thrill:
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The Thousand Dollar Killers by J. T. Brannan

By Charlie Cochrane

When the commission for this article dropped in my inbox, I wondered why the Big Thrill gurus had chosen to pair me with J. T. Brannan for this interview. A quick visit to his website and all was revealed: it’s a case of us Brits sticking together.

Brannan’s Colt Ryder series kicked off in 2015 with The Thousand Dollar Man, about a homeless war veteran who travels the US with his dog, Kane, righting any injustice for a fee of $1,000. The 10th installment, THE THOUSAND DOLLAR KILLERS, finds Colt and Kane visiting Las Vegas for some down time, only to be swept up in a bloody mafia scheme.

In his latest talk with The Big Thrill, Brannan discusses several of his ongoing series characters, and shares the disturbing statistics that led him to set his longest-running action series in the United States rather than his native Britain.
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The Pandora Room by Christopher Golden

When what appears to be the original Pandora’s Box is discovered in an ancient city, neighboring countries fight for ownership and unleash a terrible plague.

THE PANDORA ROOM is New York Times bestselling author Christopher Golden’s chilling exploration of what happens when the original Pandora’s Box is discovered in an ancient subterranean city, stirring international conflict and exposing the archaeological team to curses, whispers, and the terror of a legendary plague.

In one ancient variation on the myth of Pandora’s Box, there were two jars, one for Pandora and one for her sister, Anesidora. One contained all the blessings of the gods, the other all the world’s curses. Now, in a subterranean city in Northern Iraq, archaeologist Sophie Durand has discovered a secret chamber covered in writing that confirms that version of the tale–a chamber which contains a single jar. “Weird shit” expert Ben Walker joins Sophie’s team just as the mystery deepens and grows ugly. Those who believe the myth want to know which jar has been found in the Pandora Room, the one containing blessings, or the one full of curses. Governments rush to lay claim, but jihadi forces aren’t waiting for the dust to settle. Whatever the jar contains, they want it, no matter who they have to kill…or what will emerge when they open it. For Sophie, Walker, and the others, the Pandora Room may soon become their tomb.

Bestselling author Christopher Golden spent some time with The Big Thrill adding some insight and intrigue into his latest thriller, THE PANDORA ROOM:
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Westfarrow Island by Paul A. Barra

Big Anthony Tagliabue is a local character whose woman owns a stable on the eponymous island. She is secretly training a promising filly for the track when she discovers that Tagliabue also harbors a secret: he accepts assignments from a cryptic agent named Giselle. The latest one involves a Russian spy ship transiting the coast on her way back to Saint Petersburg. It’s another dangerous mission from Giselle and it’s complicated by his quest to solve the murder of his mate.

Award-winning writer Paul A. Barra took time out of his hectic schedule to discuss his latest thriller, WESTFARROW ISLAND, with The Big Thrill:
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Banana Republic: Richie’s Run by Glenn A. Bruce

Richie Makepeace flees to South America after being framed for a double murder in Miami. After settling on La Vaca, a classic tiny town on the edge of the Colombian jungle, he meets Vicki Freeman, a top fashion model with a thing for “bad boys.” While Richie fights falling for her, she and her rich boyfriend devise a wild “adventurous” plan that will rely on Richie helping them, something he does not want to do. But with cash running out, he concedes and sets up what will result in chaos, backstabbing, and bloodshed. The rules of the jungle will prevail and those unprepared will pay the highest price.

Author Glenn A. Bruce carved some time out of his busy schedule to meet with The Big Thrill and discuss his adventure thriller, BANANA REPUBLIC: RICHIE’S RUN:
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The Extractor – Mission: Arctic by J. T. Brannan

John Lee is the Extractor, an ex-US Air Force Pararescueman trained to retrieve personnel from behind enemy lines, in the most inhospitable environments on earth. Now running his own “extraction” business, his team is hired by the Russian government to locate Yuri Yushenkov, one of the country’s top nuclear scientists, who is believed to have been kidnapped by the Russian Mafia.

It is believed that the scientist is being held in a secret camp somewhere in northern Siberia, in the death zone within the Arctic Circle—and John therefore sets off into the icy wastes, supported by his loyal team. He must fight against temperatures that drop to -50F, calving ice glaciers, blinding blizzards, and avalanches, as well as ferocious polar bears.

And as he faces the appalling conditions, John knows that even if he does manage to locate and rescue Yushenkov, he will have to escape back across the dangers of the Arctic once more—this time with an untrained civilian to look after, as the Russian Mafia pursue them all the way back to Moscow in order to exact their savage revenge.

Bestselling author J. T. Brannan discussed the third installment of his John Lee series, THE EXTRACTOR – MISSION: ARCTIC, with The Big Thrill:
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Open Carry by Marc Cameron

By P. J. Bodnar

Arliss Cutter is a man of action—so when his sister-in-law suffers a tragic loss, Arliss doesn’t hesitate and moves to Alaska to help. A Deputy US Marshal, Arliss is called to a remote island off the Alaskan Coast to look for a missing girl. But when others go missing, Arliss must use all his skills to find the missing—and bring the suspects to justice.

OPEN CARRY is the first book in a new series from bestselling author Marc Cameron. His other work includes the popular Jericho Quinn series and the Jack Ryan books in the Tom Clancy franchise.

Cameron is a retired Deputy Chief US Marshal with more than 20 years’ experience hunting people. He took some time out of his busy schedule to sit down with The Big Thrill and talk about his new thriller, OPEN CARRY.

Cutter pushes the limits at times but has a strong moral compass. How does he balance this? 

Arliss Cutter will always err on the side of action. He rarely smiles so it seems like he has a bad temper, but that’s not it at all.  He’s a big, imposing guy who believes wholeheartedly in the law, but he also has a strong view of right behavior. He doesn’t have to decide what to do in the heat of the moment. That decision has already been made. Cutter will suffer virtually any insult against himself personally, but he will not allow another to be bullied. There is a line he will not allow others to cross. Ever. No matter the consequences. He’s the type to put himself in the middle of a confrontation.

As the plot of OPEN CARRY unfolds, we see there is a moment in Cutter’s past that changed him profoundly. He feels extreme guilt for a time he feels he should have acted, but didn’t.
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Dangerous Alliance by Randall Krzak

United Nations sanctions are crippling North Korea. China has turned her back on her malevolent partner. The North Korean military machine is crumbling, unable to function. Oil reserves are minimal and the government seeks new alliances.

Cargo and tourist ships are disappearing along the Somali and Kenyan coastline at an alarming rate. Speeches abound, but inaction emboldens Al-Shabab to seek their next prize: Kenya. The terror organization controls land but requires weapons.

Bedlam Bravo team leader Colonel (Ret.) Trevor Franklin leads the small international team into East Africa. Tempers flare as the team is embroiled in a political quagmire. The axis must be stopped to avert an international crisis but at what cost?

Two of Randall Krzak’s novels are semi-finalists for the 2018 Global Thriller awards, The Kurdish Connection and DANGEROUS ALLIANCE. He took time out of his busy schedule to speak with The Big Thrill about his latest thriller, DANGEROUS ALLIANCE:
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The Thousand Dollar Christmas by J. T. Brannan

Colt Ryder – the Thousand Dollar Man, a near-mythical figure who travels America, helping those who nobody else will help – is finally allowing himself some time to relax, and finds himself in New York City with his loyal dog, Kane, for the Christmas celebrations.

But he finds that trouble never leaves him alone for long – for while he is enjoying the decorations at Macy’s on Christmas Eve, the department store is overrun by armed criminals. The exits are sealed, thousands of customers are taken hostage, and nobody knows what they want – are they thieves or terrorists?

Colt Ryder doesn’t know, and he doesn’t care – they’ve spoiled his vacation and, one way or another, he’s going to make them pay.

The Big Thrill caught up with bestselling author J. T. Brannan to discuss his latest thriller, THE THOUSAND DOLLAR CHRISTMAS:
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Hy Brasil, Island of Eternity by Robert E. Kearns

A highly advanced society, Hy Brasil is faced with pending catastrophe and Olan is determined to live on. Archaeological discoveries throw light on a civilization previously confined to legend with grave consequences for a young couple caught up in this extraordinarily dynamic enigma.

Set in ancient and present times, this is a tale for readers who adore adventure, history and extraordinary epics. It embraces influences of the Gothic, Dickensian; so too, Literary, and then bonds them into a story which delivers a thrilling read that will captivate audiences from the start.

With its colourful descriptions, complex characters and a plot line as well as prose complete with symbolism and imagery, Hy Brasil is certain to entertain, spellbind and mesmerize the book lover for Eternity.

Author Robert E. Kearns took some time to talk to The Big Thrill about his debut novel, HY BRASIL, ISLAND OF ETERNITY
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The Malta Escape by Chris Kuzneski

AN ANCIENT TREASURE
While on vacation in Malta, Jonathon Payne and David Jones bump into an old friend, who has come to the islands to search for a long-lost treasure of the Knights Hospitallers, an organization that dates back to the First Crusade in 1099 AD.

A VENGEFUL CRIMINAL
When Ivan Volkov—the ruthless leader of a Russian crime syndicate—is betrayed, he is willing to do anything to get retribution. Protected by a team of hackers and henchmen, he travels to the Mediterranean, where he leaves a trail of bodies in his wake.

A FINAL SHOWDOWN
Before returning home, Volkov learns about the ancient hoard, one with possible ties to Paul I and the Russian Empire. With pride and riches on the line, he focuses his wrath on the only people who stand in his way, but Payne and Jones refuse to back down as they try to locate one of the most important treasures of antiquity.

Bestselling author Chris Kuzneski took time out of his busy schedule to discuss his latest thriller, THE MALTA ESCAPE, with The Big Thrill:
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The Divine Affliction by Robert M. Fleisher

When Derrick Daniels, Justice Department attorney, reluctantly investigates the possibility that rogue Arab states developed deadly diseases as a terrorist weapon against the United States, assassins and inexplicable forces threaten his existence. Soon, the powers of ancient law collide with contemporary villainy, threatening the fate of all humankind. Every living thing is at risk, from wild animals that become road kill to the most elite members of every society. Is widespread violence random, or is there a combination of unrelated plots conspiring to bring an end to the idyllic life that used to define the American way?

TheBigThrill caught up to Dr. Fleisher to gain some insight into his debut novel, THE DIVINE AFFLICTION:
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Fireball, a J. T. Ryan Thriller by Lee Gimenez

By Millie Naylor Hast

The murder of three prominent leaders—a Supreme Court justice, a senator, and a cardinal—blasts Lee Gimenez’s FIREBALL off to a searing start, and the danger grows more intense as the pages fly by.

The U.S. President—teetering on the brink of impeachment—asks former Special Forces soldier and Medal of Honor recipient J. T. Ryan, now a private investigator working with the FBI, to join a small cadre of trusted aides to track down the killers. He suspects rogues within the National Security Agency. The murders pile up as J. T., his boss, FBI Assistant Director Erin Welch, and CIA Agent Rachel West uncover an international conspiracy that pushes the United States and Russia to the brink of nuclear war.

Gimenez is the author of 14 novels, including six science fiction and eight mystery/thriller. He was nominated for the Georgia Author of the Year Award and was a finalist in the Terry Kay Prize for Fiction.

I caught up with him for The Big Thrill to talk about FIREBALL, the latest in his J. T. Ryan series.
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Wish to Die by Robert Walton

The Greek countryside and a beautiful woman might seem like enough to satisfy anyone’s vacation plans, but the intrepid archaeologist Harry Thursday seems bereft of a good time if someone isn’t trying to kill him.

During WWII, the Russian Amber Room and a hoard of diamonds worth 200 million dollars were stolen from Göring’s Kunstschutz commander, Erich Koch.

Now, over thirty years later, Russian art historian Elina Kulinov is attempting to recover these items when Harry Thursday stumbles along. He joins her in a race against a Philadelphia museum and SMERSH.

With everyone looking for the same items, who will find them first? And who will survive?

The Big Thrill caught up with Robert Walton to discuss his adventure thriller, WISH TO DIE:
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Sea of Heartbreak by William Nikkel

By Terry DiDomenico

In William Nikkel’s Sea of Heartbreak, marine biologist Jack Ferrell is sailing the Kaiwi Channel near Oahu when he rescues Allison Hunter, who’d been pushed overboard by her husband and left to drown. Jack is reluctant to get involved—until his boat explodes under suspicious circumstances and Allison is killed. When he sets out to settle the score, Jack is reunited with the beguiling and mysterious Cherise Venetta. Working together to bring down a major drug trafficker, they become entangled in a web of murder, drug violence, and lost treasure.

The surging fentanyl crisis and the increase in opioid-related deaths plaguing the nation provided the idea for SEA OF HEARTBREAK, number eight in the Jack Ferrell series. Nikkel recently sat down with The Big Thrill to discuss his literary influences, the inspiration for the treasure hunt at the heart of his latest novel, and the future of his best-known character.

What research did you do for SEA OF HEARTBREAK?

I live on Maui and have visited Oahu on a number of occasions, giving me first-hand knowledge of the island. Beyond that, my research consisted of discussions with friends, law enforcement contacts, and web searches primarily centered around fentanyl manufacturing, smuggling, and just how deadly the drug can be when it is combined with street drugs and introduced to opioid addicts.
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Pray for Death by James Hilton

By Austin S. Camacho

The Gunn brothers are at it again in Jim Hilton’s latest international thriller, PRAY FOR DEATH, in which the action and intrigue never let up.

Celine Chavez has disappeared while vacationing in Mexico. She’s the closest thing to a daughter Clay Gunn has, so he and his brother Danny take up her trail, which leads them into the violent Mexican underworld. They’re determined to bring her home, no matter what it takes, and they have the tools and skills to do the job.

Danny and Clay Gunn followed rather different paths growing up after their parents separated. Clay, the older brother by six years, chose to live with his father’s family in Texas. Danny spent his formative years around Glasgow in Scotland. Both wound up in elite military units—just different armies. While these are two dangerous men, they’re both quite likeable.

“Both have a wicked sense of humor and old-fashioned manners,” Hilton says. “Both are natural storytellers without making it about themselves. Both are gentlemen around women and intolerant to bad manners in others. And neither brother would class himself as a hero, but regard many of the soldiers that they served with as such.”

They may not see their own actions as heroic, but neither is willing to let injustice slide without retaliation. This makes the Mexican underworld a natural setting for their kind of action. To get a feel for what they’d be up against, Hilton studied the cartels, their methods, organization, and infrastructure for months. He found that the more you look into these criminal empires, the more you come to realize just how immense and powerful they are.
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Irrational Fears by Lee Lindauer

After witnessing the horrifying murder of her friend Tom Haley, Mallory Lowe, a cautious university mathematics professor, must emerge from her cocoon to become the gutsy and unpredictable woman she’s always dreamed of being. Running on the guilt of a past family tragedy that she blames on herself, Mallory is determined to find Tom’s now-missing daughter.

Following the clues in a 300-year-old equation left by Tom, Mallory’s search propels her into the tangled threads of a ruthless corporate entity known as Möbius, bent on controlling the world’s most precious resource: fresh water. Mallory is propelled along a perilous journey from the southwest United States through the breathtaking landscape of Switzerland and into the inner workings of a massive hydroelectric dam in Turkey. She solves the riddle of the centuries old mathematics equation—only to discover something more ominous and deadly in the process.

Author Lee Lindauer spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing his latest release, IRRATIONAL FEARS:
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Obsessed by Joseph Badal

A world-class thriller with non-stop, heart-pounding tension and action, OBSESSED brings back Matt Curtis and Renee Drummond and their villainous nemesis, Lonnie Jackson. This second installment in Joseph Badal’s The Curtis Chronicles takes the reader from Rio de Janeiro to the mountains of New Mexico to the Mexico/United States border, following a crazed Jackson on his single-minded quest for revenge against the two people he blames for the deaths of his mother and brother and for the destruction of his criminal empire in Hawaii.

OBSESSED is another master stroke of fiction from this Amazon #1 Best-Selling Author, two-time winner of the Tony Hillerman Award for Best Fiction Book of the Year, and three-time Military Writers Society of America Gold Medal Winner.

The Big Thrill caught up with Badal just in time to discuss his latest thriller:
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Forsaken by Michael McBride

IT HAS SURVIVED

At a research station in Antarctica, scientists discovered a strange and ancient organism.
They thought they could study it, classify it, control it. They couldn’t.

IT HAS THRIVED

Six months ago, a secret paramilitary team called Unit 51 was sent to the station.
They thought the creature was dead, the nightmare was over. It wasn’t.

IT HAS EVOLVED

In a Mexican temple, archeologists uncover the remains of a half-human hybrid. They believe it is related to the creature in Antarctica, a dark thing of legend that is still alive—and still evolving. They believe it needs a new host to feed, to mutate, to multiply. They’re right. And they’re next. And the human race might just be headed for extinction…

Award-winning author Michael McBride took some time to discuss his latest thriller, FORSAKEN, with The Big Thrill:
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Dog & Bitch Island by Robert Blake Whitehill

Ben Blackshaw’s old friend Travis Cynter is dead. Cynter was Blackshaw’s comrade-in-arms in the U.S. Navy SEALs. He was killed in full tactical gear during a black-ops mission on American soil. FBI Agents Molly Wilde and Pershing Lowry try to draw Blackshaw into helping them solve Cynter’s murder. The agents need Blackshaw because the case landed in their laps from an American intelligence agency with overseas interests. From two previous cases, these Feds have come to appreciate how Blackshaw can work in the shadows, off the books, and be easily disavowed should his investigations implode.

Blackshaw is torn. He has a longstanding mistrust of doing any kind of clandestine work for government intelligence agencies. In fact, when patriotism has led him to do the right thing in the past, usually against his better judgment and instincts, his friends and loved ones have suffered; many have died. Helping Wilde and Lowry always comes at too great a cost. This unhappy history weighs heavily against Blackshaw’s profound desire to solve the mystery of Travis Cynter’s death. Should he serve with patriotic duty to an ideal that might not exist, or act with honor to clear the name of his murdered friend?

Against the wishes of LuAnna, Blackshaw’s expectant wife, and contrary to the grim and hard-won advice of his friend Knocker Ellis Hogan, Blackshaw reluctantly launches the investigation with a close study of the murder scene on Dog & Bitch Island near Ocean City, Maryland. The trio finds the exact spot where Travis Cynter died. It is LuAnna who discovers a clue which spins the team into a deadly transatlantic chase; she quickly learns that the Feds have not told them the whole truth about Cynter’s final mission.

Thanks to Ellis’s wisdom and wealth, and LuAnna’s independent deductive logic, Blackshaw operates like a small covert agency unto himself. Along the way, he tangles with an old enemy, discovers an unfinished SEAL mission, and cuts out rot at the highest levels of government, including a scandal that could rally terrorists the world over. And it is all controlled by the iron hand of a shadowy syndicate called Faction.

DOG & BITCH ISLAND author Robert Blake Whitehill was kind enough to discuss his latest thriller with The Big Thrill:
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The God Machine by Ken Newman

By Myles Knapp

The best part about this gig—other than meeting very cool writers—is that your lucky reviewer guy, me, gets assigned a book. This often forces me to read outside my normal genre, which is heroic thrillers—Jack Reacher, Spenser, Caitlin Strong and Doc Ford, to name just a few.

THE GOD MACHINE isn’t a heroic thriller—it’s a heroic, science fiction, thriller, and a romantic comedy. A wild mashup.

Set in the year 2014, a 19-year-old budding novelist, Kieran Nash, is transported to the alien desert world of Adeaa. There he is rescued from certain death by an elite squad of German paratroopers—World War II soldiers who have been yanked straight off the battlefield.

The writing is fresh, sarcastic, funny and wildly entertaining.

Newman says he was inspired by Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clark, Frederick Brown, Keith Laumer, Orson Scott Card and Phillip K. Dick. And if you like their work, you’re going to love THE GOD MACHINE.
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Speed the Dawn by Philip Donlay

Hundreds of white-hot meteor fragments plunge toward Earth near Monterey Bay, California. Huge fires ignite the tinder-dry landscape and, as the sun sets, the power grid collapses and the fires grow, illuminating a nightmare created in hell itself. Donovan Nash realizes he is trapped.

Injured and growing desperate, his options dwindling, Donovan fights to keep himself and a small band of survivors alive until dawn, when they can make one last attempt to escape the inferno.

Meanwhile, Donovan’s wife, Dr. Lauren McKenna, working with the Pentagon as well as the Forest Service, envisions a bold approach to stop the fire from spreading all the way to the Bay Area and the seven million residents living there. She’s terrified that, if not executed perfectly, her plan could cause the death of thousands of people–including Donovan.

Bestselling author Philip Donlay discussed his latest thriller, SPEED THE DAWN, with The Big Thrill and this is what he had to say:
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The Pandora Block by John Hegenberger

The race is on to find the cure for a bloody disease targeting women of color. But a hidden side-effect of the Black Sea Virus might kill us all. Time to call in the 21st Century Robin Hoods to locate, assemble and decode The Pandora Block.

The Pandora Block opens with the world engulfed in a deadly pandemic. Jonathan Boyd reaches out to a team of reluctant colleagues in the search for an ancient puzzle/relic that might hold the key to the cure. From Capetown to Columbia, Busan to Paris, LA to St. Croix, John Hegenberger takes readers on a globe-trotting ride that is part action/adventure, part spy thriller, and part theft caper. Meticulously researched, the book combines the best elements of Clive Cussler and Ian Fleming, with a dash of Dan Brown and Michael Crichton. A fascinating story. — Baron R. Birtcher, award-winning author of Rain Dogs and South California Purples.

Award-winning author John Hegenberger spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing his latest thriller, THE PANDORA BLOCK:
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Man of Honor by Chris Malburg

By David Healey

Chris Malburg is a writer who wants to get things right.

Sure, it’s not unusual for a good thriller writer to head to the local library, spend some time with Professor Google, or visit a locale that he’s thinking of using as a setting. But how many would enroll in classes at the University of Southern California to learn the finer points of air disaster investigation?

Malburg would—and did—learning alongside experts from a host of “alphabet” government agencies such as the FAA and FBI. The final exam, by the way, involved heading out to a hangar to determine why three different planes went down.

That hard work has paid off in Malburg’s fourth Enforcement Division novel, MAN OF HONOR. American planes are crashing thanks to Chinese cyber terrorism, and it’s up to NTSB investigators to help stop them. The result of Malburg’s research is a novel that rings true in every detail.

Malburg wasn’t always a writer. He began his career as a CPA and investment banker. Success in that field enabled him to pursue his dream to be a writer, and he enrolled in classes to improve his skills.

Since then, he has written or co-authored a slew of books, many of them nonfiction and focused on finance, such as “The Great Unravel: Profiting From The Transformation In Fixed Income.”
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Sailor Take Warning by William Nikkel

By Austin S. Camacho

Even in winter we sometimes crave a good beach read. And if you’re looking for an intelligent thriller that smoothly merges mystery with high speed adventure, pick up SAILOR TAKE WARNING by William Nikkel.

In his seventh recorded adventure, Jack Ferrell is spending time at Lake Tahoe to get a break from Hawaii. He soon finds himself entangled in a web of violence and death in the seedy world of coin fraud, blackmail, and lost treasure. Why is he so entangled? Because as the author puts it, Ferrell is a lady’s man, and a sucker for a pair of doe eyes that gets him into trouble every time.

“If someone needs help, he’s quick to rush to the rescue,” says Nikkel. “A take care of business kind of guy—a man’s man who’s willing to put his life on the line when necessary. But he doesn’t see himself as a hero. Only as a person who does what needs doing.”

This time Ferrell finds himself the target of a vengeance-driven man named Ryan Chambers who wants the gold and Jack’s head on a platter. Like all good villains, Chambers is a business man enamored with wealth, and more so by his love for gold. And of course, he has a grand evil plan.

“His latest plot is a large-scale coin fraud scheme that will net him millions,” Nikkel says. “But when one of the fraudulent twenty-dollar gold pieces is thrust into Jack’s hand by a dying man, Jack is drawn into the enigma surrounding the double-eagle. Ryan Chambers’ problems don’t stop there. Not only does Jack have the coin, he also unknowing intercepts one of three clues leading to a century-and-a-half old cache of stolen gold that Cambers is after.”
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