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By John Raab

Lisa Gardner is the New York Times #1 bestselling author of her D.D. Warren series and she is back with her latest book TOUCH & GO coming out February 3rd, 2013. Lisa brings back her character Tessa Leoni, which was first seen in as a victim in LOVE YOU MORE. With TOUCH & GO being her twenty eighth novel, Lisa continues to push the boundaries of thriller / suspense writing with each book. Lisa is a self-described research junkie, and has been able to parlay her interest in police procedure and cutting edge forensics into twisted plots that thrill readers with each page. Let’s take a look inside TOUCH & GO:

This is my family: Vanished without a trace…

Justin and Libby Denbe have the kind of life you’d find in the pages of a glossy magazine. A beautiful fifteen-year-old daughter, a gorgeous brownstone on a tree-lined street in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood, a great marriage, admired by all, a perfect life.

This is what I know: Pain has a flavor…..

When investigator Tessa Leone arrives at the crime scene in the foyer of the Denbes’ home, she finds scuff marks on the floor and a million tiny pieces of bright green Taser confetti. The family appears to have been abducted, with only a pile of their cell phones and electronic devices remaining. No witnesses, no ransom demands, no motive. Just a perfect little family, gone.

This is what I fear: The worst is yet to come….

Tessa knows better than anyone that flawless fronts can hide the darkest secrets. Now she must race against the clock to uncover the Denbes’ innermost dealings, a complex tangle of friendships and betrayal, big business and small sacrifices. Who would want to kidnap such a perfect little family? And how far would such a person be willing to go?

This is the truth: Love, safety, family….it’s all touch and go.

Now that you’ve seen a little inside TOUCH & GO, let’s take an inside look into Lisa Gardner with a short interview below:

Well here we are again with another book, TOUCH & GO looking to scare the hell out of us, what behind the scenes look can you give us?

I played with Tasers!  I was interviewing a New Hampshire sheriff’s county detective, and he walked me through how Taser worked as well as different strategies for use.  For example, even after ejecting the Taser cartridge, you can still dry fire into bare skin and burn your target.  Fun, huh?  So naturally, the book opens with three masked men attacking a family with Tasers.

When you explore the darker side of life, how caught up emotionally do you personally get with each book?

TOUCH & GO is definitely an emotionally-charged novel.  The main character, Libby Denbe, is a middle-aged woman, facing the possible collapse of her marriage and the inevitable departure of her teenage daughter.  She is at that stage of her life many of us as parents and spouses can relate to which makes her story particularly compelling.  I certainly felt her pain when writing the novel, but I loved that, because then I could also feel her triumph.  To me, that’s great suspense.

Your book LOVE YOU MORE was when you introduced your main character in TOUCH & GO Tessa Leoni, how was the transition from victim to hero with this character?

I loved returning to Tessa’s story, because it gave me a good excuse to introduce a new character, a sexy New Hampshire detective, Wyatt Foster, who gives her a run for her money.  Let’s face it, after everything Tessa did in LOVE YOU MORE to get her daughter back, she deserves some happiness!  I think it’s exactly her transition from victim to hero that’s so satisfying to read.  Great characters become like our friends.  We want them to succeed because it makes us feel good, too.

What one piece of advice that you received do you pass along to other authors?

Join a writers group.  I really love International Thriller Writers, also Romance Writers of America.  Then you can attend writing conferences with workshops on craft, opportunities to meet with agents and editors, and hang-time with fellow writers.  Not to mention Thrillerfest, ITW’s annual conference, is just plain fun!

What sentence or paragraph in the book TOUCH & GO can you look back and say, damn I nailed that one perfectly?

Pain has a flavor.  The question is, what does it taste like to you?  That line came to me while walking one afternoon.  For Libby Denbe, the mother in TOUCH & GOher life is in crisis.  She sits across from the family she loves tasting only pain, and that’s before armed intruders break into her house.  Welcome to mid-life crisis, Lisa Gardner style.  Hope readers enjoy!

Now you have all the information you need to go out and get a copy of TOUCH & GO. We would like to thank Lisa for taking the time to speak with The Big Thrill newsletter.


Lisa Gardner is the New York Times bestselling author of fourteen previous novels. Her Detective D.D. Warren novels include CATCH ME, LOVE YOU MORE, and the International Thriller of the Year award-winning novel, THE NEIGHBOR. Her FBI profiler novels include SAY GOODBYE, GONE, THE KILLING HOUR, THE NEXT ACCIDENT, and THE THIRD VICTIM. She lives with her family in New England, where she is at work on her next novel.

To find out more information on Lisa and all her works, check out her website.

Photography credit: Philbrick Photography

John Raab
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