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Alan Orloff

By Dawn Ius

Alan Orloff came to the writing world relatively late in life and has always had trouble judging his work—so when he found out that Pray for the Innocent had been nominated for an ITW Best E-Book Original Award, it came as welcome affirmation.

But at first, he didn’t believe it. “I’ve got a lot of friends who would love to prank me,” he says.

As it turns out, Orloff is among five authors whose books have been nominated for an ITW Best E-Book Original Award—for real—and says that in all honesty, the nomination is enough. “Being nominated alongside so many other writers’ great books is an honor in itself and more than enough affirmation.”

Samantha Hayes

Samantha Hayes isn’t so much looking for affirmation, but the nomination for her thriller The Reunion is proof that her daily escapes to the very beach in the book—where she would sit on a special rock and read—was more than just grumbling about the difficulties of growing up; she was honing her future writing skills.

“I wish I could have told my younger self that I would one day write a book set there…and that it would be nominated for an ITW Award!”

One of the many books Hayes may have read on that rock was Jonathan Livingston Seagull, where she became mesmerized and inspired by Richard Bach’s writing. For that reason, he’s the author she would love to have at her table when the ITW Awards are announced at ThrillerFest, July 13 in New York.

T. S. Nichols

For T. S. Nichols, author of The Memory Detective, that honor would go to Stephen King. Nichols says, “it was never his pure horror that attracted me but his characters and his ability to drop full-fledged human characters into crazy situations and see how they respond.”

Attendees at this year’s ThrillerFest will have an opportunity to see first-hand the response of the winner of this year’s Best E-Book Original when the award is handed out this July.

Scroll down to see a complete list of the nominated thrillers in this category.



The fourth standalone thriller in The Executive Series finds Secret Service Agent Scott Roarke on a serial assassin’s trail―one that leads to a clandestine North Korean plot and a nuclear standoff.

Instability and fear seize the nation. Local and national political figures are systematically assassinated. A growing secessionist movement stirs up anti-government fervor. The combination creates nationwide unrest and lack of confidence in leadership. With the clock ticking toward a monumental constitutional crisis, President Morgan Taylor assigns Secret Service Agent Scott Roarke to investigate the assassinations. Meanwhile, Roarke’s fiancée, an assistant to the US Supreme Court Chief Justice, is tasked with researching the separatists. Attorney Katie Kessler goes rogue to gather evidence for the court. Roarke hunts a lone assassin across two continents. Their paths lead them both to a decades-old plot hatched at a private school in Switzerland, now leading to North Korea.

With the assassin ready to make his greatest kill and critical destabilizing votes occurring state by state, the president must decide whether to activate America’s own secretive, long-incubating active measures against an enemy that can’t be exposed, but must be stopped. Timely and revealing, with an inside-out view of real and present dangers, Executive Force brings a political reality to the page that feels like breaking news.



So many memories. So little time. In an astounding thriller ripped from tomorrow’s headlines, cutting-edge technology and a pulse-pounding manhunt lead to a conspiracy of money, power, and sex.

Cole remembers what it’s like to be murdered. That’s how he does his job. The operation takes eight hours with a dead body on the table next to his; when it’s over, he’s flooded with images, thoughts, recollections, some hazy, some crystal clear. They all come straight from the victim’s brain—right up until his or her final chilling moments.

Cole’s career in homicide has wreaked havoc on his personal life. As usual, his new case—a young runaway battered to death with a hammer—consumes all his waking moments . . . and then some. Haunted by the Jane Doe’s hopes, desires, and fears, Cole mentally retraces her every move, from Kansas to New York City, to track down a killer.

But Cole has a terrible suspicion that someone is using the same memory-transfer science for a very different purpose. In fact, he’s already being watched. Because Cole’s the only one standing in the way of a ruthless corporation that’s harvesting people for their most intimate memories—and eliminating anyone who stands in the way.


THE REUNION – Samantha Hayes

They were all there the day your sister went missing… Who is lying? Who is next?

THEN – In charge of her little sister at the beach, Claire allowed Eleanor to walk to the shop alone to buy an ice cream. Placing a coin into her hand, Claire told her to be quick, knowing how much she wanted the freedom.

Eleanor never came back.

NOW – The time has finally come to sell the family farm and Claire is organising a reunion of her dearest friends, the same friends who were present the day her sister went missing.

When another girl disappears, long-buried secrets begin to surface. One of the group hides the darkest secret of them all…



The sun rises on a lush, stone courtyard, where birds sing and ferns shade an ancient, burbling fountain. But in the fountain’s murky depths, a young woman’s body grows cold…

Samantha Seabrook—an ambitious young woman with a chequered past—is found drowned in the ornamental fountain of a locked Cambridge courtyard. The only clue is an antique silver chain wound tightly around her throat.

It’s local reporter Tara Thorpe’s job to discover what happened to Miss Seabrook—but the case becomes personal when she learns that Samantha had been receiving threatening messages… rather like the one that landed on the doorstep of Tara’s little cottage the night the woman died.

Together with Detective Inspector Garstin Blake, Tara follows a lead that takes her to the deep and watery fens on the outskirts of the city. But there’s something Tara can’t quite admit to Blake about her past—and it could make all the difference to whether they crack the case before the killer strikes again.



Can former best-selling novelist Mathias King—now a rumpled, grizzled English professor—save America from a terrorist of his own making?

In the shadow of the Pentagon, a secret DoD brain research experiment goes terribly wrong, and an ex-Special Ops soldier escapes, believing he is Viktor Dragunov, the Russian operative from the ’80s thriller novel Attack on America. To capture him, the Feds turn to the person uniquely qualified to predict his next moves, the man who created the fictional character, bestselling author Mathias King.

Now a reclusive English professor, King is reluctant to get involved, having sworn off the culture of violence after a deranged fan murdered his wife. But when innocent people start dying, King is thrust back into that dark world. With help from his enthusiastic graduate assistant Emily Phan, King must outsmart his own creation—while outmaneuvering the cover-up-loving Feds—before Dragunov succeeds in his hell-bent mission.

To destroy America.


Dawn Ius
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