The 14th-century poet Dante depicted Hell as nine circles of suffering. In Jon Land’s THE TENTH CIRCLE, Jeremiah Rule, a charismatic, bigoted preacher with a dark past, threatens to open up Hell’s tenth circle in America. Rule has inflamed half the world with his hateful rhetoric. The United States has been hit with a series of unprecedented terrorist attacks, resulting in the nation’s virtual shutdown. Worse, Rule isn’t acting alone, but rather has the support of a powerful, violent cabal. Only Blaine McCracken can stop Rule and his supporters from unleashing a weapon as devastating as any known to man.
Over the course of the novel, McCracken faces danger not only from Rule, but also from a malevolent foreign power bent on revenge and a lethal assassin whose motivations are unclear. Epic in scope, THE TENTH CIRCLE takes the reader to colonial Roanoke, where all the settlers mysteriously disappeared, to the ghost ship Mary Celeste, and from Iran to rural Florida. Maintaining a break-neck pace throughout, the novel, through Blaine McCracken, explores the nature of courage, duty, and friendship.
THE TENTH CIRCLE marks the second return engagement of Jon Land’s longtime series hero Blaine McCracken on the heels of last year’s PANDORA’S TEMPLE, which was nominated for a Thriller Award and received the 2013 International Book Award for Best Adventure Thriller.
C.T. Jorgensen (aka Christine Jorgensen) is a multi-published crime fiction writer. Her first six novels were humorous amateur sleuth mysteries—five in the Stella the Stargazer series and one standalone. MISSING is Jorgensen’s debut thriller, the first in a series featuring Detective Casey Jansen.
In MISSING, a young single mother, Karen Preston arrives to pick up her daughter from her first sleepover to discover her daughter missing. When she returns home to get a picture of her child for Detective Jansen, she finds her apartment stripped of all evidence of a child. It’s not a spousal kidnapping, the child’s father left the country before knowing of the pregnancy. Then secrets about Karen’s past begin to surface. Jansen is skeptical of her story, and she takes it upon herself to find her missing daughter while trying to keep her own secrets hidden and untangle the truth about a terrible crime.In this race against time, a young mother risks her life and a detective risks his career in a race against time to save a young girl.
For the new series, Jorgensen draws on her professional background as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker specializing in the fields of child abuse and neglect, and in pediatric rehabilitation. Recently I had a chance to catch up with Jorgensen and ask her a few questions.
Missing is a real change from your first six novels. It’s much darker. What prompted such a dramatic change in direction?
I was writing very dark stories when I first started writing. But when the demands of my then job (a child protective social worker at first Denver Social Services and then at The Children’s Hospital) became so dark and depressing, I turned to humor for a relief. Now that I’m retired from that position, I am a much happier person and can go back to my first love—the dark side.
I got to connect with Karen Robards to discuss her upcoming Christmas Thriller, THE HUNTED. A few quick facts about Robards: Karen Robards resides in Louisville, Kentucky in a big old fashioned home. She has three sets of three. Kids, Cats and Dogs!
For being a regular on the NEW YORK TIMES, PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY and USA TODAY bestseller lists, she’s wonderfully down to earth. Robards was truly touched by my complimenting her books. Her books are known for being exciting, steamy, and real page turners! She’ll have you staying up hours past your bed time just to find out what happens next.
Below you’ll find my interview with her to talk about a variety of topics ranging from her newest book to one of her secret talents.
Tell me about the Hunted.
HUNTED is a fast-paced romantic thriller that RT BOOK REVIEWS described as having “plenty of action, danger, and sexy sizzle” in a 4 1/2 star review. At a glittering Christmas party in New Orleans, model homicide detective gone rogue Reed Ware takes the city’s movers and shakers hostage. When hostage negotiator Caroline Wallace is called in to talk Ware into standing down, the situation is complicated by the fact that she once had an enormous crush on Ware – and her father, the superintendent of police, is among the hostages. The negotiations go spectacularly wrong, and Ware goes on the run with Caroline as his hostage. But as Caroline starts to piece together the truth behind Ware’s actions, she discovers that the more she learns, the more danger she’s in – and not necessarily from Ware.
By Nate Kenyon
Gregg Loomis has been publishing for more than twenty years, with over half a million copies of his books in print. He is the author of VOODOO FURY, THE JULIAN SECRET, THE PEGASUS SECRET, and THE GATES OF HADES, among others. NEW MYSTERY READER called THE PEGASUS SECRET“highly entertaining,” while PUBLISHERS WEEKLY said “The international setting and fast-paced action grip.” Loomis has also published articles in FLYING and SCUBA DIVING magazines. He was a nominee for Writer of the Year by the Georgia Writers Association.
Loomis is a former race car driver both in and out of the United States and a licensed commercial pilot. He has traveled extensively in Europe and the Caribbean. Loomis is also a lawyer specializing in commercial litigation. He practices law in his native Atlanta, where he lives with his wife Suzanne, also a lawyer, and their golden retriever, Harry. Between court dates, Gregg works on his next novel.
THE BIG THRILL sat down with the author to discuss his career and his new blockbuster thriller, THE FIRST CASUALTY, which continues the story of Jason Peters, a private operative agent. When a terrorist group threatens the United States, armed with a powerful laser, Peters knows he’s the only man for the job. Bored with retirement and fueled by his own reasons for revenge, Peters must race against time to recover the deadly weapon before it’s too late. Ending this threat may mean blood will be shed, but Peters has never minded getting dirty for the sake of Uncle Sam.
By E. A. Aymar
Weekends in Baltimore
The first time I went to Baltimore was on a date, so that’s probably why my view of the city is tinged with romance…even though that date ended with a handshake. But, as a hopeful writer in my twenties, Baltimore was an endless book of stories, and I kept going back. And I did my homework. I read histories, guidebooks, walking tours; for a few years, I spent every weekend in the city, walking around neighborhoods with a pen and a notebook, learning about locations that my characters would later visit. I remembered Flannery O’Connor’s dictum, that the best American fiction is regional, and it seemed like this region had been given to me.
I wanted to see the city without influence, so I avoided Baltimore-based thriller writers. But then I read Laura Lippman, and realized that her reporter-turned-detective Tess Monaghan had already walked these streets. And, dammit, Lippman wasn’t the only one. Terrific writers like Sujata Massey and Tim Cockey, not to mention Edgar Allan Poe and a host of others, had all set stories in the city or region. And then David Simon introduced THE WIRE and not only sketched the city, he etched it in stone. For a time, I worried whether another viewpoint would ever be accepted.
But a city isn’t a stone or a ruin; it changes. It grows. And any city that can house all those voices, as well as the eccentric films of John Waters, Anne Tyler’s quietly powerful work, and the short stories and essays of Rafael Alvarez, and many, many others, will always have room for more. A city, like a story, belongs to both no one and everyone.
In October 1943, a U.S. destroyer sailed out of Philadelphia and supposedly vanished, the result of a Navy experiment with electromagnetic radiation. The story was considered a hoax—but now Juan Cabrillo and his Oregon colleagues aren’t so sure.
There is talk of a new weapon soon to be auctioned, something very dangerous to America’s interests, and the rumors link it to the great inventor Nikola Tesla, who was working with the Navy when he died in 1943. Was he responsible for the experiment? Are his notes in the hands of enemies? As Cabrillo races to find the truth, he discovers there is even more at stake than he could have imagined—but by the time he realizes it, he may already be too late.
New Jersey bounty hunter Stephanie Plum knows better than to mess with family. But when powerful mobster Salvatore “Uncle Sunny” Sunucchi goes on the lam in Trenton, it’s up to Stephanie to find him. Uncle Sunny is charged with murder for running over a guy (twice), and nobody wants to turn him in—not his poker buddies, not his bimbo girlfriend, not his two right-hand men, Shorty and Moe. Even Trenton’s hottest cop, Joe Morelli, has skin in the game, because—just Stephanie’s luck—the godfather is his actual godfather. And while Morelli understands that the law is the law, his old-world grandmother, Bella, is doing everything she can to throw Stephanie off the trail.
It’s not just Uncle Sunny giving Stephanie the run-around. Security specialist Ranger needs her help to solve the bizarre death of a top client’s mother, a woman who happened to play bingo with Stephanie’s Grandma Mazur. Before Stephanie knows it, she’s working side by side with Ranger and Grandma at the senior center, trying to catch a killer on the loose—and the bingo balls are not rolling in their favor.
With bullet holes in her car, henchmen on her tail, and a giraffe named Kevin running wild in the streets of Trenton, Stephanie will have to up her game for the ultimate takedown.
My third novel THE MANHATTAN PUZZLE features a conspiracy, a plot to win power through torture and murder. And some of the wealthiest people on the planet, a senior Chinese banker and the chairman of a Western hedge fund, are behind it.
Like me, you probably grew up believing people were essentially good. And they are. What THE MANHATTAN PUZZLE is about is the exceptions, the individuals who will do anything to achieve their aims. These are outwardly enviable people who will break every law as if it wasn’t intended for them.
I think most people accept now that conspiracies happen. There are even laws against them and prosecutions take place. One 2012 U.S. Senate report charged HSBC with laundering 12 million euros for opium and cannabis smugglers. It’s hard to believe isn’t it? But here’s just one link to the case, and here’s another. And here’s a recent one about Bank of America being charged with fraud. I’m definitely not making this up. All of these are reputable news sources.
When Stone Barrington embarks on a trip to Bel-Air to check in on some business and personal concerns, he expects a relaxing break from the fast pace and mean streets of New York. But trouble never takes a vacation, and it has a way of finding Stone. A case that had seemingly been resolved has returned in full force—with lethal results. And this deadly situation makes for strange bedfellows when Stone finds himself teamed with the least likely ally . . . a gentleman of unique abilities, who can fly below the radar and above the law.
From the high-stakes poker tables of Las Vegas to California’s lush beachside resorts, the trail of disguise, subterfuge, and murder leads to a shocking conclusion.
By Jeff Ayers
The amazing Sandra Brown is the author of over sixty NEW YORK TIMES bestsellers. Writing professionally since 1981 she has published over seventy novels and has upwards of eighty million copies of her books in print worldwide. Her work has been translated into thirty-three languages. She holds an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Texas Christian University, and in 2008 she was named Thriller Master, the top award given by the International Thriller Writer’s Association. Other awards and commendations include the 2007 Texas Medal of Arts Award for Literature and the RWA’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
In her latest, DEADLINE, Dawson Scott is a well-respected journalist recently returned from Afghanistan and suffering from battle fatigue. But then he gets a call from a source within the FBI. A new development has come to light in a 40 year old story–a story that could be the biggest of Dawson’s career. Soon, Dawson is covering the disappearance and presumed murder of former Marine Jeremy Wesson, biological son of two terrorists. Then the case takes a stunning new turn, and haunted by his own demons, Dawson takes up the chase for the notorious outlaws. . .and the secret, startling truth about himself.
DEADLINE continues the amazing streak of thrilling reads from Sandra Brown, and she talked a bit about her latest work with The BIG THRILL.
What sparked the idea for DEADLINE?
Having gone to Afghanistan with three of the best military writers in the world, I never considered writing a book based on the USO trip in 2011. (Clive Cussler, Andrew Peterson, Mark Bowden, Kathy Reichs and I.) But when I began thinking of a plot, I remembered how many civilians our group met while we were there. It occurred to me that we hear a lot – sadly – about service members returning for the war zone with PTSD. But what about the civilians, whose lives are also at risk 24/7? That sparked the idea for Dawson Scott, my protagonist, who is a journalist for a news magazine. He’s been in AF for nine months covering the war. He returns home suffering from PTSD.
By Don Helin
In his thriller, DARKNESS & SHADOWS, Andrew Kaufman ratchets up the tension by weaving such a masterful web of intrigue that NEW YORK Times bestselling author of FLAT-OUT-LOVE and LEFT DROWNING, Jessica Park says, “This is a story about damage and survival, about the past and the future, and about facing the truth behind the pain. I’ve never read a better mix of engrossing suspense that also slammed me with heartfelt and raw emotion.”
Struggling professionally and reeling from the psychological wounds left by a horribly abusive mother, Patrick Bannister is driven over the edge by a news report. A wealthy socialite couple has been murdered, and while the wife’s name isn’t familiar, her face is. It’s his first and only love, Marybeth, the woman who he lost to a horrific fire years ago. Patrick’s obsession to find the truth sends him scouring documents that lead to a shocking discovery: there’s no evidence Marybeth ever lived or, for that matter, ever died. Was the love of Patrick’s life just a product of his abused psyche?
His quest for answers takes him on a twisted odyssey that forces him to question his own reality. He might not be able to trust his memories and perceptions of the past, but the answers may still lie in the darkest recesses of his mind.
Patrick will soon find out that by stoking the flames from that long ago fire, he’s blazing a path straight into danger. And this time, not only is he about to get burned–he could also lose his life.
In Israel, a man clutching a backpack searches desperately for a boat. In Minnesota, Virgil Flowers gets a message from Lucas Davenport: You’re about to get a visitor. It’s an Israeli cop, and she’s tailing a man who’s smuggled out an extraordinary relic—a copper scroll revealing startling details about the man known as King Solomon.
Wait a minute, laughs Virgil. Is this one of those Da Vinci Code deals? The secret scroll, the blockbuster revelation, the teams of murderous bad guys? Should I be boning up on my Bible verses?
He looks at the cop. She’s not laughing. As it turns out, there are very bad men chasing the relic, and they don’t care who’s in the way or what they have to do to get it. Maybe Virgil should start praying.
By H.B. Moore
For every novel we write there is a story behind the writing and the eventual publication. When I started drafting QUEEN (now FINDING SHEBA) in 2005, I had no idea that it would take nearly eight years to see it published. Based on an agent’s feedback, I changed the ending, which resulted in losing a few plot points and a brand new 200 pages. (A pretty wild ride considering I’m a pantser. If I change one plot point, I might start writing a completely different book.) More time passed. New agent. First thing she said was “cut 100 pages.”
We went on submission just as the nation spiraled into a recession. The publishing world followed with layoffs and major restructuring. Three years later, after so many “close calls” that included final NY committee meetings, QUEEN was still without a home.
I continued writing and publishing a line of historical novels, but QUEEN wasn’t a good fit for my current publisher. So I waited and watched. Finally, it made sense to take the manuscript off my agent’s desk and retire it for a while.
We were now in 2011 and the ebook market was taking off like crazy. Some publishers were even considering releasing books as ebooks first. I was still writing and publishing for my publisher and I had nine books out with them. But thoughts of QUEEN wouldn’t leave me alone.
In the summer of 2012, I was planning out marketing for my first contemporary romance novel that was coming out in a few months. I realized that all of my other novels were historical thrillers, and written under H.B. Moore. Now, ATHENA (The Newport Ladies Book Club series) would be coming out, and published under Heather B. Moore. Since Amazon makes authors with two pen names separate those author pages, if someone looked up “Heather B. Moore” they’d find two inspirational non-fiction books and ATHENA. If someone loved ATHENA, they’d have nothing else to read that compared.
Sacred Sisters Catholic girls’ school has hardly changed since Jen Archer was a student. Jen hoped her older daughter would thrive here. Instead, shy, studious Carley becomes the target of vicious bullies. But the real danger at Sacred Sisters goes much deeper.
The only person Carley can talk to is “Angel,” a kindred spirit she met online. Carley tells Angel everything—about her younger sister, about school, about the sudden death of her former best friend. Angel is her lifeline. And Angel is closer than she knows.
When another schoolgirl is found dead, Jen’s unease grows. There are too many coincidences, too many links to her past. Every instinct tells her that Carley is the next target. For someone is intent on punishing the guilty, teaching the ultimate lesson in how to fear . . . and how to die.
It’s February 1992. Desert Storm is raging in Iraq but twenty-two-year-old Jack has more pressing matters at home. His favorite bar, The Spot, is about to be sold out from under Jack’s friend, Julio. To save it, Jack demonstrates his innate talent for seeing biters get bit. With a body count even higher than in Cold City, this second novel of the Early Years Trilogy hurtles Jack into the final volume in which all scores will be settled, all debts paid.
By J. N. Duncan
I would like to welcome John Lutz to this month’s THE BIG THRILL. He is the author of more than forty novels and over 200 short stories and articles, covering many crime fiction sub-genres, including: political suspense, private eye novels, urban suspense, humor, occult, crime caper, police procedural, espionage, historical, futuristic, amateur detective, and thriller. His novels and short fiction have been translated into almost every language and adapted for almost every medium. He is a past president of both Mystery Writers of America, Private Eye Writers of America and a winner of the Edgar award. His story, SWF SEEKS SAME was made into the hit movie SINGLE WHITE FEMALE, and his latest novel, TWIST, hits the shelves this month. Now then, let’s get to the good stuff.
This is the latest book in your series of Frank Quinn novels. Can you give us a little low-down on Frank and what makes him tick? What has made you want to write so many stories involving this character?
Quinn is a composite of some older cops I’ve known, corruptible in small ways, but incorruptible in large. Not disinterested in legalities, but more interested in justice.
By Jeremy Burns
Jeffrey Deaver is a thriller writer who needs no introduction. The author of 33 novels and three collections of short stories has won or been shortlisted for almost every crime or thriller award a novelist can vie for, including CWA’s Steel Dagger Award and ITW’s Novel of the Year Award. His books have been made into feature films and HBO specials, he was selected to write CARTE BLANCHE – the #1 internationally best-selling James Bond continuation novel – and he has been a perennial mainstay on best-seller lists in many of the 150 countries his books are sold in. But like the plot of one of his novels, just when you think he’s done everything, he throws a killer twist at his fans in the form of his new book, THE OCTOBER LIST. Mr. Deaver sat down with THE BIG THRILL to give readers a glimpse behind the curtain of this modern master of suspense.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a former folk-singer, journalist and lawyer and have been a full-time novelist now for 25 years. I’ve written 33 novels and three collections of short stories.
Tell us about your new thriller, THE OCTOBER LIST.
A typical thriller of mine falls into a certain pattern: They all take place over a short time period, move very quickly and feature many reversals and plot shifts as the story moves along. I tell the story from different points of view and with several subplots moving along simultaneously with the main plot. Most important to me is the surprise endings—note: that’s plural. I like multiple surprise endings, one right after another.
THE OCTOBER LIST does the same—except it moves backward. It opens Sunday night and then goes back in time to Friday morning. In effect, I wanted to create a book with a surprise beginning, not a surprise ending (though it turns out that the ending is a surprise too!).
Since she broke a controversial news story that made her a persona non grata with the New York City Police Department, Laura turns to a pair of quirky Delaware private detectives for help. Paul Chang, a former NYPD cop with a mean streak, and his prescient, scrawny sidekick, Nelson Rogers, are convinced that Max is up to no good. But they can’t be sure exactly what the prankster wants from Laura. Meanwhile, Laura scores scoop after scoop from an anonymous tipster, breaking big stories about a billionaire’s murder and an unlikely peace treaty brokered by the mayor of New York. Chang suspects Max has some connection to the exposés—and a grandiose plan that goes far beyond simple stalking. Can Chang and Nelson catch Max before the mad jester turns the city into his own three-ring circus?
The third novel in the Detective Chang mystery series, SEND IN THE CLOWNS juggles a twisted tale of obsession and political intrigue.
DUKKHA: REVERB is the second book in the Dukkha thriller series, published by YMAA Publications. The first is DUKKHA: THE SUFFERING.
Up until six weeks ago, Sam Reeves, a respected Portland, Oregon police detective, and a veteran martial arts instructor, had a good life. But six weeks ago Sam got into trouble on the job, the kind that rips a city apart, damages a police agency, and forever blackens the soul. Still reeling from the media maelstrom, Sam takes a leave of absence and heads to exotic Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam to seek refuge in a family he just learned he had.
Sam is captivated by the contrast of the beauty and the struggles of a country still recovering from a devastating war, and by the warmth of his newfound family—his father Samuel, his half sisters, and the beautiful and captivating Mai. But the grief crazed mob boss, Lai Van Tan, still seeks revenge against Samuel who he holds responsible for the death of his son. Ever the protector, Sam joins the fight to thwart Lai Van Tan’s random and potentially deadly attacks on the family.
Just when they think the mob boss couldn’t get any more evil, the family learns that his people have kidnapped 27 young girls to be sold into the sex trade.
Carla Norton’s first thriller, THE EDGE OF NORMAL, will be released this month from St. Martin’s Minotaur. Norton is an accomplished journalist with a number of non-fiction publications out there. This is her first attempt at fiction and it has garnered some great reviews.
Please give us an elevator pitch for THE EDGE OF NORMAL.
“Reeve is a survivor—not a victim—of kidnapping and captivity. True, this 22-year-old is a damaged individual. She’s scarred. She’s flawed. She’s psychologically unbalanced. But when a lurking predator threatens her young friend, Reeve quells her fears, sidesteps the law, and follows her instincts down a dark trail. But he’s watching her every move. He’s more deadly than she knows. And when she treads to close, she stumbles into the predator’s trap.”
That’s the long elevator pitch. The short one? “Think Elizabeth Smart meets Clarice Starling.”
THE EDGE OF NORMAL is your first published novel, but you have a few non-fiction books published. Did that earlier writing experience help or hinder your fiction and how?
THE EDGE OF NORMAL is actually inspired by the crime I wrote about in my first book, PERFECT VICTIM, which is about a true case of kidnapping and prolonged captivity. That case haunted me,that was the seed. But this transition from nonfiction to fiction took a while. THE EDGE OF NORMAL is debut fiction, but it’s also the fifth novel I’ve written. The others never made it to publication. It’s been a long road, and I’ve given up many times, but writing is like an addiction I can’t quit.
By S.L. Menear
During college, I worked as a water sports model. Afterwards, I began a career as a Pan Am flight attendant. I was based at JFK Airport in New York and flew to eighty-eight countries spanning the globe. Those were the glory days of the airline industry. Pan Am stewardesses were treated like movie stars—when I was in uniform, people stopped me on the street and asked for my autograph—no idea why. Airline pilots were revered as sky gods. Gourmet food was cooked to order in first class, and baked Alaska was served flaming. Hollywood legends and international tycoons were frequent passengers.
In the early 1970s, I transferred to Miami and joined the Pan Am Flying Club. Three months later, I earned my private pilot license. The Pan Am sky gods (pilots) were kind to me. They let me hand fly a Boeing 707 for two hours over South America on a flight with few passengers and good weather. I also enjoyed flying a Boeing 747 en route from JFK to Frankfurt, Germany. The jumbo jet felt as steady as flying a big house. That was my light-bulb moment. I wanted to fly jet airliners.
When I began my quest, there were no female pilots with major airlines. I spent the next few years earning an instrument rating, commercial pilot license, multi-engine rating, and flight and ground instructor certificates, and logging flight time instructing and flying charter flights. After enough flight experience, I was the first woman hired by a small commuter airline. I loved flying Shorts 330s and 360s and STOL Twin Otter prop jets. My copilot job included plenty of experience flying in bad weather, hundreds of instrument approaches, and lots of landings. I was well prepared when the time came to apply to USAir a year later.
By John Raab
Barry Lancet brings us his debut novel “Japantown”. Barry has spent many years in Japan, and his latest thriller combines Japan and the United States together in a thriller set in San Francisco. One incident in particular started him on his present course of writing, and led to JAPANTOWN and the Jim Brodie series (the next book is in the editing stages; the third is in the works). Early on during his return to Japan, Lancet was directed by the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department to come down to the stationhouse for a “voluntary interview.” The MPD proceeded to interrogate him for three hours over what turned out to be a minor, noncriminal infraction. All authors should take notice that by just opening up their eyes during their everyday lives, they will find inspiration all around them. Barry also has some very exciting news already with his series. While I would love to announce the news in this newsletter, I would suggest visiting his website to find out what is going on. Let’s take a look inside JAPANTOWN.
When an entire family is senselessly gunned down in San Francisco’s Japantown, antique dealer and reluctant private eye Jim Brodie receives a call from a friend at the SFPD. As an American born and raised in Japan, Brodie has advised the local police in the past, but the near-perfect murders in Japantown are like nothing he’s ever encountered.
Using his extensive Asian contacts and fluency in Japanese, Brodie follows leads gathered from a shadow powerbroker, a renegade Japanese detective, and the elusive tycoon at the center of the murders. Step by step, his search takes him from a crime scene in California to terrorized citizens in Japan.
By Jeremy Burns
Simon and Garfunkel. Siegfried and Roy. Bert and Ernie. Some duos are just destined to be legendary, and if the upcoming collaboration between two industry veterans is any indication, Coulter and Ellison may soon be joining that list. Catherine Coulter and J.T. Ellison are joining forces in their new book THE FINAL CUT, which will launch a fascinating new spin-off series for their respective brands. To help spread the word about this new project, Catherine and J.T. sat down with THE BIG THRILL to take us behind the scenes – and to provide plenty of entertainment along the way!
Tell us a little about yourselves.
CC: I wrote my first book while aboard the ark. When the ark landed in Manhattan it turns out the printing press had just gotten up and going. What excellent timing. I soon realized writing novels was not only fun it had the added advantage of making enough money to feed the cats. I’m currently writing my 72nd book (wow, that’s oodles of words), and the 18th FBI thriller, POWER PLAY, out next summer.
JT: I began writing in 2003, and my first novel came out in 2007. I write two series, Taylor Jackson, Nashville homicide lieutenant extraordinaire, Dr. Samantha Owens, a spin off from the Taylor series based in Washington, D.C., and now, the Drummond novels. I did a great deal of research with Metro Nashville homicide, the FBI, and the M.E.’s office to make the books come alive. I also co-write with Alex Kava and Erica Spindler on awesome connected novellas with our main series characters. Plus the various short stories, blogs, Facebook quips, etc., that make up our crazy writerly lives. I want you to interview me when I write my 72nd novel (I’m on 13, you do the math. I became a writer so I wouldn’t have to.).
THE FINAL CUT is a huge international thriller. How did it all come about?
CC: A year and a half ago, I realized I wanted to write another series, no, not stop the FBI series with Savich and Sherlock, but I had this other character in my head and he was yelling at me, “Hey, my turn!” His name is Nicholas Drummond, and he’s an inspector with Scotland Yard. More than that I even had the series name — A Brit in the FBI.
By Ethan Cross
In TELL NO LIES, a book that Anne Rice describes as “Simply brilliant,” a series of anonymous threats intended for others puts a man—and everyone he loves—in the path of a relentless killer.
Daniel Brasher has always been something of a disappointment to his old-money aristocratic San Francisco mother. Daniel left his high-paying job as a money manager to marry his community organizer wife and work at a job he loves, leading group counseling sessions with recently paroled ex-cons. Now he’s ready to move on and start a private practice.
But before he leaves, he finds an envelope in his department mailbox—one intended for someone else that was placed in his slot by accident. Inside it is an unsigned piece of paper, a note that says only “admit what you’ve done or you will bleed for it. you have ’til november 15 at midnite.” The deadline has already passed and the person to whom the envelope was addressed was brutally murdered. But this first warning is only the beginning.
Soon, Daniel finds more warnings in his office mail, to people that the police cannot track down, and to victims that cannot be saved. Daniel’s efforts, however, have alerted the killer to his involvement and next he gets a threat of his own. Now, with the clock ticking, Daniel—with no clue what he’s supposed to have done or to what action he must confess—must somehow appease, or outwit, a seemingly unstoppable killer.
Who knew that Chris Kuzneski—high school class clown and former University of Pittsburgh football player—would one day be an international bestselling thriller writer? His grade school librarian, for one! She had his first work (THE MONSTER COOKBOOK) hardbound and placed in the school library for all to read.
When his football career ended due to a freak foot injury (and, according to him, “a severe lack of athletic ability”), Kuzneski went on to earn a B.A. in writing and an M.A. in teaching. He taught English and coached football in Pennsylvania, then—taking a leap of faith—he quit his job to write. Now, he has endorsements from some of the biggest names in writing:
“Kuzneski’s writing has raw power.” – James Patterson
“Not to be missed.” – Lee Child
“Makes you wish it would never end.” – Clive Cussler
Reacher has made his way from snowbound South Dakota to his destination in northeastern Virginia, near Washington, D.C.: the headquarters of his old unit, the 110th MP. The old stone building is the closest thing to a home he ever had. He’s there to meet—in person—the new commanding officer, Major Susan Turner, so far just a warm, intriguing voice on the phone.
But it isn’t Turner behind the CO’s desk. And Reacher is hit with two pieces of shocking news, one with serious criminal consequences, and one too personal to contemplate.
When threatened, you can run or fight. Reacher fights, aiming to find Turner and clear his name, barely a step ahead of the army, and the FBI, and the D.C. Metro police, and four unidentified thugs.
Counterfeit prescription drugs are being distributed in every American city, killing thousands. Behind this pandemic is a cartel run by the mob. When the FBI sets up a Pharmaceutical Drug Squad of Special Agents to close the cartel’s operations down, the members are immediately in danger as the antagonist, Marco Vennuti, takes measures to protect the cartel from the deepening FBI probe.
Special Agent Mark Matthews is assigned to the squad and is teamed up with Special Agent Wendy Farrell who becomes his new love interest.
The danger to Mark is amplified when, Mel Tarkington, responsible for the death of Mark’s former lover, Susan Harrigan, comes out of hiding bent on killing Mark.
Fatal Dose has numerous sub-plots that will take you down dark and sinister paths. This is Mark Matthews at his best.
Please welcome, Kathy Reichs, the #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author, and inspiration for and producer of the hit FOX show BONES. Kathy was kind to talk to me about her forthcoming novel BONES OF THE LOST, but she also agreed to give us a master class in writing first lines!
First let me tell you why I’m excited about the release of her 16th Temperance Brennan novel.
BONES OF THE LOST ventures into the underground, terrifying world of international human trafficking as Tempe goes to Afghanistan.
BONES OF THE LOST begins when Charlotte police discover the body of a teenage girl along a desolate stretch of two-lane highway, Temperance Brennan fears the worst. The girl’s body shows signs of foul play. Inside her purse, police find the ID card of a prominent local businessman, John-Henry Story, who died in a horrific fire months earlier. Was the girl an illegal immigrant turning tricks? Was she murdered? The medical examiner has also asked Tempe to examine a bundle of Peruvian dog mummies confiscated by U.S. Customs. A Desert Storm veteran named Dominick Rockett stands accused of smuggling the mummies into the country. Could there be some connection between the trafficking of antiquities and the trafficking of humans? As the case deepens, Tempe must also grapple with personal turmoil. Her daughter Katy, grieving the death of her boyfriend in Afghanistan, impulsively enlists in the Army. Meanwhile, Katy’s father Pete is frustrated by Tempe’s reluctance to finalize their divorce. As pressure mounts from all corners, Tempe finds herself at the center of a conspiracy that extends all the way from North Carolina to South America to Afghanistan.
By Derek Gunn
Not content with having our intrepid hero’s wife killed, Douglas Wynne turns up the terror for recently widowed Desmond Carmichael. In short order his son is abducted, the investigator into his wife’s death still harbours a suspicion that Desmond might be his wife’s killer, his wife’s parents feel he is unfit to raise his son, and someone has broken into his apartment. And all within the first few chapters. Talk about a lot to take in. At first I thought I had missed a previous book – so much had happened.
However, as it turns out I hadn’t missed anything after all. The story unfolds beautifully as Desmond has to try and piece together a story of revenge born in the searing terror of the past.
This was my first time reading Douglas Wynne’s work. His previous novel was THE DEVIL OF ECHO LAKE, and it has garnered a lot of positive reviews. His debut novel was billed as a horror/thriller and I like this sub-genre immensely, however STEEL BREEZE is firmly rooted in the thriller genre. The characters are very believable and you find yourself reading just one more page as each chapter ends with just enough tension to make you turn the page.
Most of the action centres on Desmond Carmichael. Our hero is a novelist whose wife was killed in her home, decapitated by a Japanese Katana that Desmond kept on the wall above his desk. Although a homeless man is serving time for her murder, there is still a question about whether Desmond might have actually killed her, at least the investigating officer and his wife’s parents harbour suspicions. When things spiral out of control and more murders take place using a similar edged weapon, Carmichael is arrested and his son taken from him.
Running out of money, Diana Poole is forced to go back to the only work she knows: acting. Her much-loved husband and movie-star mother have died, and now Diana is forty. In Hollywood that means she might as well be dead. Still, a few key people remember her talent, and she lands a role in a new movie.
But an actress should never get her hopes up, especially when Diana discovers the young female lead’s murdered body.
Raised in her mother’s shadow, Diana knows people in the business will go to dangerous lengths to protect their images. When her own life and career are threatened, Diana decides to fight back and find the killer.
But unmasking the surprising identity of the murderer isn’t so easy, Diana discovers, especially as she begins to uncover what’s real—and unreal—in her own life.
Has your acting background helped you in fiction writing, if so, how?
There are many things a writer can learn from acting. Having been an actress, I had to say all kinds of dialogue from the very worst to the very best. I leaned to really hear the words I spoke. The ones that sounded real, the ones that sounded stilted. I began to understand the pace of dialogue and how can it can slow a scene or sped it up, creating more tension. Comedy has its own kind of pacing. The one thing I know for sure is people don’t speak using colons, semicolons, or dashes.
An actor needs to have a goal in a scene, something that gives her focus, and a reason for being on stage or in front of the camera. It’s the same with a character in a book. Otherwise your character, like a bad actor, stands around flapping her arms.