By Karen Harper
Jane Jordan is known for blending two compelling genres—horror and romantic suspense. And in her latest gothic-inspired novel, WHISHT HALL, Jordan taps into both genres well to deliver a story that is bold, unique, and filled with atmospheric details.
In this The Big Thrill interview, she shares what inspired WHISHT HALL, as well as provides insight into why setting is so important in her books, and what she’ll be working on next.
Please tell us what your new book WHISHT HALL is about.
After losing her father, Amy Derneville travels to remote Whisht Hall on Dartmoor, the home of her step uncle and three step cousins. Far from being close, her cousins have unresolved rivalries, and one possesses an odd and destructive power.
After an eventful outing to a dangerous and haunted wood, Amy doesn’t know who to trust, and the cries from of the legendary Whisht hounds shatter her nerves completely.
As the mystery of the family starts to unravel, her uncle is murdered on the moors. Fearful that she could be next, Amy flees to New Orleans and to a strange house in the middle of the black-water swamp—here lies some dark fragment of a past she never knew.
Drawn into the world of voodoo, she uncovers the shocking truth of her family as she is propelled toward disaster. Now, Amy must return to England and face an adversary who means to destroy everything she holds dear.
Roan West was born with an extraordinary gift: he can perceive the past of any object he touches. A highly skilled psychometrist, he uses his talents to find and sell valuable antiques, but his quiet life in New Orleans is about to change. Stuart, a fellow pyschometrist and Roan’s close friend, has used his own abilities to unearth several out-of-place-artifacts or “ooparts”—like a ring that once belonged to the seventeenth-century mathematician and philosopher René Descartes, but was found buried in prehistoric bedrock.
The relics challenge recorded history, but soon after the discovery, Stuart disappears, making him one of several psychometrists who have recently died or vanished without a trace. When Roan comes across a viral video of a young woman who has discovered a priceless pocket watch just by “sensing” it, he knows he has to warn her—but will Melicent Tilpin listen? And can Roan find Stuart before it’s too late?
The quest for answers will lead Roan and Melicent around the world—before it brings them closer to each other and a startling truth—in the latest romantic thriller from Gwendolyn Womack,
The Big Thrill caught up with Womack, the bestselling, PRISM Award-winning author of The Memory Painter and The Fortune Teller, to discuss her latest thriller, THE TIME COLLECTOR:
Maddox Kinkade is an expert at managing the impossible. Tasked with neutralizing a lethal bioweapon, she turns to the one person capable of helping her stop the threat of pandemic in time: the love of her life, back from the dead and mad as hell at her supposed betrayal. Recruiting Cole to save millions of lives may be harder than resisting the attraction still burning between them, but Maddox will do whatever it takes…even if it destroys her.
When Maddox crashes back into Cole Matthews’ life, he wants to fight back. He wants to hate her. But the crisis is too strong to ignore, and soon the two former lovers find themselves working side by side in a breakneck race to stop a world-class killer with a secret that could end everything.
The clock is ticking.
Author Juno Rushdan took time out of her busy day to discuss her latest romantic thriller, EVERY LAST BREATH, with The Big Thrill:
By Wendy Tyson
Award-winning author Elizabeth Heiter is back with her latest romantic suspense novel, K-9 DEFENSE. In addition to Heiter’s signature compelling plot and strong, intriguing protagonists, this book has an extra twist: canine character Rebel, a combat tracker dog. Together, Kelsie Morgan, ex-marine Colter Hayes, and Rebel search for Morgan’s long-ago kidnapped sister in the wilds of Alaska.
Heiter hopes readers take away from this book how important self-forgiveness is. “Colter Hayes lost everything in a single moment—his career, his marine brothers, even some of his mobility,” Heiter says. “Now he’s shut out the world, punishing himself for his survivor’s guilt by refusing to truly live his life. Kensie Morgan has spent most of her days since she was thirteen searching for the sister who was abducted right in front of her—and blaming herself for not stopping it. Through the course of the book, they have to learn to accept that they can’t change the past, and figure out how to forge a new future.”
Morgan and Hayes’ journey toward self-forgiveness, and the challenges they face along the way, will keep readers riveted.
With 11 full-length published novels to her name, Heiter understands what it takes to write a riveting crime novel. The Big Thrill recently had the pleasure of talking with Heiter about K-9 DEFENSE, the importance of networking, and her excellent advice for aspiring authors.
By Karen Harper
Melinda Leigh’s books are known for their suspense, but her in-depth characters and the family dynamics of her stories also keep readers coming back for more.
Since scoring a Best First Novel nomination in the ITW Thriller Awards for her 2011 debut, She Can Run, Leigh has gone on to publish 18 novels and a string of novellas co-authored with fellow Wall Street Journal bestseller Kendra Elliot. Leigh is currently juggling several ongoing series, including one centered on prosecutor-turned-defense attorney Morgan Dane and her partner, private investigator Lance Kruger. If you love continuing character series where you can really get to know the people in the story, Leigh’s latest Morgan Dane thriller, SECRETS NEVER DIE, is for you.
The Big Thrill recently caught up with Leigh for an inside look at her latest page turner, which finds Dane once again on the trail of a killer.
After her husband is controversially acquitted of multiple crimes, now-divorced Abbie Forrest escapes to the peaceful rural town of Taylor’s Bend, intent on focusing on her career as a landscape artist. Estranged from her sister and daughter, Abbie tries hard to forge new relationships in the small community without revealing her own secrets.
Town policeman Rupert Perry is attracted to the quiet woman who lives alone on a large block 15 minutes from town. But Rupe is happy with what he has—part-time hours, a friendly, inclusive community, and freedom to grieve for his late wife away from the well-meaning but overwhelming concern of his old friends.
When a series of peculiar and increasingly frightening events threaten Abbie, she is forced to turn to Rupe for help. But will he be able to prevent the escalation of terror as past wrongs demand revenge?
Author Elisabeth Rose spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing her latest thriller, THE SECRETS THAT LIE WITHIN:
In the tiny village of Caperucita Roja, Mexico, in a laneway just off the main square, stands an old wall. Plaster-cracked and hung with bougainvillea, it’s been painted with a picture of nine running wolves. The image is faded nearly invisible, but the right words can turn the wolves loose—and once set free, they can’t be called back.
A thousand miles north, in Santa Teresa, California, the beach pavilion is in full swing. The oceanfront is overflowing with good bourbon and hot neon, and the Mills Brothers are headlining at the Montelindo Hotel. The sun is warm, the swimming pools are blue—and the very worst fairy tales are coming to life.
This is Springtime 1948—perfume and color so real you’ll want to stay. The wolves are running, and Annie’s back.
Author Bob Bickford spent sometime with The Big Thrill offering insight into his latest thriller, THE ORANGE GROOVE:
Marc Blanchard’s short, ill-fated marriage and the death of Nikki Alvarez’s fiancé sent them both to very dark places, causing them to close their hearts to future love of any kind, the risk of devastation more than they were willing to face.
But Fate likes to play tricks on people, like bringing these two badly wounded souls together at their most vulnerable and showing them the possibility of a future.
A romantic getaway is supposed to help them find the answers…until they stumble onto a plot of a major terrorist attack. Before they can contemplate a future together, they have to save their own lives—and those of several thousand others.
Desiree Holt is a USA Today bestseller and multi-award winning author, and she took some time to speak with The Big Thrill about her latest Strike Force novel, ADVANCE TO THE REAR:
When an old college roommate invites Claire Britten to join her on an archaeological dig at a Florida peat bog, it’s an offer the renowned forensic psychologist can’t refuse. Claire’s husband, criminal lawyer Nick Markwood, is comforted to see Claire working on a prehistoric burial site instead of an open grave for once. But Claire’s investigative instincts kick in when some of the Black Bog’s perfectly preserved corpses show signs of a grisly fate. What really happened to these people?
What started as an exploration of the past soon escalates into an all-too-current danger. Someone is watching—someone who really doesn’t want Claire digging into the past or Nick making connections to a current, violent murder case he’s investigating. The bog’s corpses may be long dead, but if Claire and Nick don’t figure out who’s gunning for a fresh kill, the next bodies to be discovered will be their own.
The Big Thrill caught up with New York Times bestselling author Karen Harper to discuss her latest release, the fifth installment of her South Shores series, SILENT SCREAM:
In a city most flock to dreaming of being discovered, four siblings with unique abilities will go to any lengths to stay hidden.
After losing their father to a corrupt police officer’s negligence, the Massaro sisters harbor deep distrust of law enforcement. They do their best to keep their psychic abilities secret, but meddling outsiders with good intentions pop up at the worst of times. Keeping a low profile is now more important than ever; years of red tape have delayed their wrongful death suit against the city, and 21-year-old Giselle Massaro is about to lose her younger sisters to the foster care system. But when a neighbor shows up with an impassioned plea to find a kidnapped girl, Giselle cannot refuse to use her incredible gifts before the kidnappers make good on their threats, even if it means putting her family back under the scornful eyes of the local police.
This month, I caught up with Bradley to ask about her upcoming release and the planned quartet of books.
By Karen Harper
Autumn Jordan’s new release kicks off with a dynamite opening and then settles into a plot that is ripped from the headlines and features characters that are totally intriguing—and believable.
Since I also write suspense blended with romance, I was thrilled to interview Jordan about LOVED BY DARKNESS and the rest of the books in her impressive cache of work.
Please tell us what LOVED BY DARKNESS is about.
LOVED BY DARKNESS is a romantic mystery/suspense in which a two-year-old child is found adrift on the Atlantic. It’s the job of the Cape James Police Chief, Norris Stiles, to learn who left the girl to die. But new to the area, and to the job as chief, he might be out of his depth. Fortunately help has arrived.
Unfortunately, the feisty and beautiful U.S. Marshal sent to assist could distract him from his obligations.
Burnt out by grueling covert missions, U.S. Marshal Jolene Martinez heads home to the Virginia Coast for a much-needed vacation, only to become embroiled in a heartbreaking child abandonment case. When she saves the child, the case becomes personal for Jolene, and she’s determined to solve the mystery with or without the chief’s support.
As the clock ticks on, both the sweet girl and the charismatic chief pluck at heart strings Jolene believed severed years ago. Duty and desire mix while she and Norris race to eliminate suspects and expose the perpetrator of the sinister act before the tides wash away all evidence and the suspect attempts to harm the child again.
The South Seas Room is silver light, generous drinks, and the best band in town. At night, the fashionable crowd leaves swimming pools and beaches to haunt the end of the bar. It’s a friendly place. Go there by yourself, and chances are you’ll leave with company. Someone is borrowing the pretty people though, and not returning them.
Convertibles, neon signs, and Gin Rickeys…a sea of light all the way to the Pacific Ocean. This is January 1948 and Santa Teresa, California…perfume and color so real you might not want to come back.
Author Bob Bickford met with The Big Thrill to discuss his latest thriller, DEEP CHERRY RED:
Seventy miles north of Dallas, the Iron River Ranch is pretty much nowhere. That’s what its new owner, Josh Cain, wanted when he came back from Afghanistan. Big skies, quiet nights, no trouble.
One look tells Josh the pretty redhead with the adorable little girl will give him trouble of the most personal kind. But he’s seen trouble before, and he doesn’t scare easy. Not when “accidents” start happening around the ranch. Not when Tory’s best friend back in Phoenix is abducted and brutalized. Not even when it looks like their current problems are only the tip of the iceberg.
But if he gets too close to fierce, determined Tory, Josh knows his nights are going to be anything but quiet. And that’s one possibility no amount of training can prepare him for…
The Big Thrill caught up to New York Times bestselling author Kat Martin and had the opportunity to discuss her latest release, BEYOND CONTROL:
Four and a half years ago, Maggie Frye served as special prosecutor in a remote mountain county in Commonwealth of Virginia v. J.D. Carson. Shaking off echoes of the family tragedy that drove her to be a prosecutor, she did her damnedest, but still is rattled when the jury finds Carson not guilty.
But now another young woman has been killed in chillingly similar circumstances.
Either Maggie prosecuted the right man and got the wrong verdict or she prosecuted the wrong man and got the right verdict. Either way, a murderer went free to strike again.
And there is J.D. Carson — not only still in town, but far too close to the investigation for Maggie’s comfort. This time Maggie’s going to get it right…no matter what it costs her.
USA Today bestselling author Patricia McLinn met up with The Big Thrill to discuss her latest thriller, PROOF OF INNOCENCE:
Seven years ago, operative Luke Gallagher vanished to become part of an elite team set on capturing a deadly terrorist. When Luke returns to face those he left behind, their help becomes his only hope of stopping his target’s latest threat of an attack that would shake America to its core.
Private investigator Kate Maxwell never stopped loving or looking for Luke after he disappeared. But she also never imagined he left her or his life by choice. Now he’s back, and together they must unravel a twisting thread of secrets, lies, and betrayal, all while on the brink of a biological disaster.
Will they and their love survive, or will Luke and Kate become the terrorist’s next mark?
Bestselling author Dani Pettrey spent some time with The Big Thrill offering insight into her popular Chesapeake Valor series, and her latest release, DEAD DRIFT:
Former prosecutor and now hot-shot defense attorney, Jackie DelRay, is a star in the shark-infested judicial waters of Washington, DC. Behind her take-no-prisoners façade, she hides a painful secret and a longing for FBI Special Agent Beckett Pearson-the man who captured her heart during a passion-filled weekend in college. The same man who still holds a grudge over a case Jackie refused to prosecute years before. When Beck is arrested for the shocking murder of the FBI director’s estranged wife, Jackie breaks every rule she’s known about being emotionally involved with her client. Knowing the risks to her heart and her career, she rushes to defend him.
A former model and football star, Beck has finally found his home with the Bureau. He wants nothing to do with the sexy lawyer who left him without a goodbye twelve years ago and then destroyed his first, and most important, missing persons investigation. Now, with his freedom on the line, Jackie’s brilliant legal mind may be his one hope at staying out of prison.
When their investigation is mired by political alliances and reckless greed, Beck and Jackie battle corruption at the highest levels. That battle includes resisting the long-buried passion they’d shared twelve years earlier. But will a killer bent on stopping their investigation give them a fight they are bound to lose?
USA Today bestselling authors Misty Evans & Adrienne Giordano took time out of their busy schedule to discuss their latest thriller with The Big Thrill, DEFENDING JUSTICE:
By Karen Harper
It’s hard to imagine a timelier hook than the one at the heart of Diana Muñoz Stewart’s Band of Sisters novels. Each installment will center on a different protagonist, but the characters are united by their allegiance to the League of Warrior Women, a covert sisterhood of vigilantes who tackle crimes against women all over the world.
The series kicked off in May with I AM JUSTICE, which has earned rave reviews in Publishers Weekly and BookPage. Stewart recently took time out of her busy schedule to talk with The Big Thrill about her latest book, her writing process, and the inspiration behind the fierce women who populate her new series.
Please tell us what your new book I AM JUSTICE is about.
The novel is about a secret group of female vigilantes that attempt to take out a sex-trafficking ring in the Middle East. More specifically, it’s about one of the members of this vigilante group, Justice Parish, and her quest to take vengeance on the men who killed her sister.
As the Jack-of-All-Wicked-Trades for a secretive French military intelligence agency, Kingsley Boissonneault has done it all—spied, lied, and killed under orders. But his latest assignment is quite out of the ordinary. His commanding officer’s nephew has disappeared inside a sex cult, and Kingsley has been tasked with bringing him home to safety.
Once inside the château, however, Kingsley quickly falls under the spell cast by the enigmatic Madame, a woman of wisdom, power, and beauty. She offers Kingsley the one thing he’s always wanted. But the price? Giving up forever the only person he’s ever loved.
Award-winning author Tiffany Reisz took some time out of her writing schedule to discuss her latest thriller with The Big Thrill, THE CHATEAU:
Twelve years ago, Lei Zhang and her friend Emma Nilsson miraculously lived through the notorious Sorority Row Murders that left twenty-one of their sisters dead. Still wrestling with the trauma but finally out of the limelight, Lei and Emma are now devoted to helping other victims find closure. But most disturbing for Lei—beyond the gut-wrenching survivor guilt—is that the killer was her boyfriend. He’s behind bars, but she’ll never lower her guard again.
When a copycat killer targets Lei and Emma, FBI Agent Dante Young is put in charge of anticipating the sociopath’s every move. But what he doesn’t expect is his immediate and overpowering attraction to Lei.
Bestselling author Katee Robert spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing her latest novel, THE SURVIVING GIRLS:
By Renee James
If Linda Poitevin had been an inch or two taller, it might have all turned out differently. But she missed the height requirement for service as a police officer in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police years ago and instead became a civilian dispatcher for the local RCMP, where she met and married a cop.
Thus began the endless adventures (and misadventures) of family rearing, home relocation, and a variety of jobs. One constant, however, was writing. Poitevin had been writing stories since childhood, and used her passion to fill the few quiet hours in her family life. With the encouragement of her husband, she published her first novel, Sins of the Angels, in 2011.
Today, Poitevin has published seven books, with an eighth, SHADOW OF DOUBT—about a police officer whose life is upended when she crosses paths with a wounded ATF agent who’s been framed for murder—scheduled for release on May 10. Her work is notable for many reasons, not the least of which is that she has achieved artistic and commercial success as a self-published author.
The Big Thrill interviewed Poitevin by email in late March.
When Devon Cole’s father disappeared she was shocked to discover his connection to a major drug cartel. An attack by members of the cartel looking for the information he disappeared with sends her to top security agency Vigilance, and bodyguard Logan Malek. But Malek has his own demons that he fights daily. When Devon is kidnapped, he must deal with them in order to save her and bring down the cartel.
USA Today bestselling author Desiree Holt spent some time with the The Big Thrill discussing her latest thriller, WITHOUT WARNING:
What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
I learned once again that danger can come at us from any person and any lade, and we cannot discount anyone when our lives are threatened. more »
It’s been four months since forensic psychologist Claire Britten last crossed paths with danger. Finally feeling she can catch her breath, together with her partner, criminal lawyer Nick Markwood, Claire has settled into a new role, volunteering with a support group for children stressed by domestic violence. But a leisurely field trip to a wildlife sanctuary turns deadly, leaving Claire to question whether the death was an accident, suicide—or something far more sinister.
Nick gets the South Shores team on the case, hunting down anyone with a potential grudge against the sanctuary. But their investigation turns wild when other attacks come too close to home. With a hostile predator on the loose, Nick and Claire will have to race to unbury the truth before a killer wipes them from the endangered-species list for good.
New York Times bestselling author Karen Harper joined The Big Thrill to discuss her latest thriller, SHALLOW GRAVE:
Being popular isn’t the same as being loved. At the exclusive Violet Crab, the club headliner is Carla Rose, a torch singer with a voice as delicious as the rest of her. There’s nothing delectable about the strange, bloated mermaid who washes up under the Santa Teresa pier, wearing seaweed and a red dress, though—and nobody wants to know about Carla’s last swim. She’s all alone.
THE VIOLET CRAB is the third Kahlo and Crowe mystery, following Girls in Pink and Hau Tree Green. This is southern California in the dying days of 1947—ocean breezes and palm trees, the taste of a gin fizz mixed with lavender neon. It’s LA noir, as bright and colourful as today.
THE VIOLET CRAB author, Bob Bickford, sat down with The Big Thrill to discuss his latest installment of the Kahlo and Crowe mystery series:
What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
I hope they have fun. Writing is supposed to be for readers, not so authors can hear their own voices in the mirror.
DiAnn Mills, author of the new thriller HIGH TREASON, lives up to her tag line: Expect an adventure. One look at her Instagram feed (@diannmillsauthor) gives you the big picture of not just a writer, but also a community leader, a traveler, a fashionista, and a coffee connoisseur.
In fact, she roasts her own beans and starts the grind (both literally and figuratively) at 5 a.m. during the week. “My most productive time is in the mornings,” she says. “At 5:30, I’m on the treadmill working through social media for the day and then my current story. By 7:30, I’m ready for coffee and breakfast. The afternoons are filled with writing blogs, marketing and promotion, learning about the craft, reading, etcetera.” Which is how Mills built a burgeoning career in publishing with over five dozen novels, three non-fiction books, and a barrage of short stories and poems.
HIGH TREASON, about an FBI agent who teams up with a CIA operative to stop the assassination of a Saudi prince on U.S. soil, is her latest published endeavor. It is the third and final installment in the FBI Task Force series, which also includes Deadly Encounter and Deep Extraction. “The objective is to show how the FBI work with other agencies and law enforcement to stop and prevent crime,” says Mills. “Each agency has its specialty, and a task force can be effective and efficient.”
Mills went straight to the source to research interagency relations between the CIA and FBI for her new novel. “The FBI is an amazing resource,” she says. “A special agent answered my questions, pointed me toward other research, and generally encouraged me.” Mills admits this wasn’t the most challenging exploration she undertook for the book. She talks about going “down a path that led to medical research, a trip to MD Anderson Medical Center here in Houston, feet on the ground experiences with the various settings, and lots of ‘think’ time.”
When her mother disappears, Jessica Hargrove’s life begins to unravel. And her problems are only just beginning. A horrible secret has been revealed, threatening to destroy three generations of her family, and the one person who may be able to help her is the man she’s never stopped loving, the man who once broke her heart.
LAPD Detective Sean Burke is back in his small hometown, pondering if his career in the big city is what he really wants anymore. As painful as it is to see Jess again, she needs him. He can’t walk away when she’s about to lose everything she holds dear. But will what he discovers ruin their second chance at love?
DEADLY DECEPTION author Marissa Garner spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing the latest book in her Rogue Security series:
Like many crime fiction writers, Lynette Eason has always loved mysteries. She grew up reading Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, hooked by the idea that they were “just basically kids who solved mysteries.” Between those childhood favorites and a later love of Alfred Hitchcock, it seemed only natural that, when she finally began to write, it would be in this genre.
Asked about her writing journey, she says, “I started writing in 1999, but it took a few years before I decided to pursue publication seriously. I began attending writing conferences and working with a mentor and in February 2007, got the call that Harlequin’s Love Inspired line wanted to purchase my first book, which released in February 2008.”
Since then, Eason’s books have hit the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists and have won numerous awards, including the prestigious Carol Award. Her latest novel, OATH OF HONOR, is the first of a new series and was inspired by her love of the Tom Selleck television show Blue Bloods. “I’ve always loved the show,” she says, “so when it came time to write up the next proposal, I decided I wanted to write about a law enforcement family. I brainstormed the family and gave them all law enforcement jobs. Except for Ruthie. She’s the black sheep. She rebelled and became a surgeon.”
So how does a South Carolina mom of two with no police background write about a family of law enforcement officers? Primarily by interviewing law enforcement personnel and attending Lee Lofland’s Writers Police Academy, where she not only got to meet some of her favorite authors, like Kathy Reichs and Lisa Gardner, but also got to experience “some pretty cool things” like being an eye witness to a staged hostage situation and shooting at the bad guys in a virtual situation.
Let’s welcome Eason to The Big Thrill.
As a seventh-generation Texan, bestselling author Elizabeth Goddard was lulled to sleep as a child by the hum of the oil pumps. That rhythmic, oddly surf-like sound may have made her sensitive to the rhythms of language as well, and thus been partially responsible for her lifelong love of writing. She wrote poetry and short stories throughout her childhood and started her first romance novel at fourteen. She was also a voracious reader, tackling 2001: A Space Odyssey and Pearl S. Buck’s The Good Earth in the fifth grade.
Since then, she’s written more than 30 romantic suspense novels. Her 2011 romantic mystery, The Camera Never Lies, is a 2011 Carol Award winner, and she’s a double finalist for the prestigious Daphne Du Marnier Award. But she has an analytical side too. She has a degree in computer science, and before leaving the work force to homeschool her three small children and pursue her dream of becoming a writer, she worked in high-level software sales.
Her readers appreciate her uplifting, faith-based stories. When they’re feeling blue, they can pick up one of her books and forget their problems for a while. For Goddard, that means she’s doing her job. On her website, she says, “Sometimes we simply need an escape from the stress of life and the tragedies happening around us in this fallen world. We need to be refreshed and inspired, lifted from everyday life.”
This month, we welcome Goddard to The Big Thrill to share a little about her writing journey and the inspiration for new release, TEXAS CHRISTMAS DEFENDER.
By Terri Nolan
In her pre-writing life, Marissa Garner was a CPA. She’s not sure when she made the switch from left brain to right brain, but she finds words more fun than numbers. But her left brain years gave her the organizational skills she uses as a pantser. And as such, she can write anytime, at anyplace. Her favorite location is the family room couch, known as Command Central. It is there where she has created her latest novel, RISKY REDEMPTION, the first in the Rogue Security series.
Jake Stone is a retired assassin who begrudgingly takes an assignment because his handler insists the target—a woman—is a traitor and a security threat. The woman, Angela Reardon, does have a secret past and hidden struggles, but it’s not what it seems. As Jake investigates and gets closer to his target, he questions the mission’s justifications.
Garner’s novel is non-traditional—she doesn’t follow the usual romance formula or color inside the lines. The story is told in alternating timelines, past and present, and two points of view: the hunter and the prey. The plot structure doesn’t get hung up on its cleverness as it interweaves each story. And when the past and present meet? There is a surprise. True suspense.
This month, The Big Thrill chatted more with Garner about the thrilling first book in her new series.
ASAC Steve (Mac) McKenzie is out to prove himself by leading a task force investigating a series of murders in the heart of Washington, DC. His undercover work in an antigovernment compound twenty years earlier is related—as is the sweet, innocent girl he befriended back then. Now that girl is a beautiful woman, and she has something to hide.
Tess Fallon spent a lifetime trying to outrun her family’s brand of bigotry, but someone is threatening her anonymity by using the anniversary of her father’s death to carry out evil crimes and she’s terrified her younger brother is involved. She sets out to find the truth and comes face-to-face with a man she once idolized, a man she thought long dead. As the crimes escalate it becomes obvious the killer has an agenda, and Tess and Mac are running out of time to stop him.
Will the perpetrator use a decades-old dream of revolution to attack the federal government? And will the fact that Tess and Mac have fallen hard for each other give a cold-hearted killer the power to destroy them both?
Bestselling author Toni Anderson spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing her latest book, COLD MALICE:
Scorpio obsessed, with a mind as strong as twisted steel, Henry Slater, suave, sophisticated, sexy, intelligent, and wealthy is the perfect man—except to women who tell him what he doesn’t want to hear.
Dr. John Trenton is called back to NYC for a case close to his heart, while NYPD Detective Samantha “Sam” Wright and forensic psychiatrist Doctor Frank Khaos, conflicted about their on-again-off-again relationship, take on another case—a serial killer who’s orchestrated sixteen murders across the United States over a nine-year period. The seventeenth victim is Sam’s best friend, Carrie Baines. When forensic science connects Frank to Slater, Frank is pushed to delve into his past, something he swore never to do. Meanwhile, due to the interstate nature of the crimes, the FBI gets involved, convincing Sam to go undercover. But Slater is clever, and Sam is no match for him. Will her psychic skills and police training be enough to survive this close encounter with a killer, or will she end up as his eighteenth victim? And even if she lives, is her relationship with Frank really over?
Ronnie Allen, author of SCORPIO: THE SIGN BEHIND THE CRIME, recently sat down with The Big Thrill to discuss her latest novel: