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Detective Brynn Bly gets two fortunes in her fortune cookie and before the day is out, she meets “tall, dark, and handsome,” but is he the “devil who will wreak havoc on her soul”? Rafe Cutter, hired by the sheriff to fix the department’s hacked IT system, didn’t expect to have to put on his bomb suit to go inside the SO to find a bomb. While he’s inside, someone shoots Brynn, which requires a trip to the ER. The question remains, who is the devil?

“I just finished the four-book “Fossil, Colorado” series while waiting for [Hidden to Die, Grace Gabbiano Mysteries] to become available. I highly recommend both series as wonderful reads. I love the development of the peripheral characters and the Gabbiano family.” —cococjb, Amazon reader

“Last Rights is a fascinating read! The plot is interesting with many different turns. The book is educational and also about miracles and demons. Great characters who solve the mystery.” —Gary Wolfe, Amazon reader

Ann Simas recently spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing her latest thriller, FORTUNE’S COOKIE.

Can you pinpoint a moment or incident that sparked the idea for this book?
I got the germ of an idea for this book years ago, but I had other books I wanted to write first, so it had to wait. I have no idea why the idea of two fortunes in one cookie popped into my head, but it did. Once I started writing, I decided to begin with Brynn being at lunch with her best friend, Penny, who’s a little ditzy. When she opens her fortune cookie, she finds two fortunes inside and she’s not willing to read them aloud and add “under the sheets” afterward (Penny’s idea).

Ann Simas

A novel is such a major undertaking; there’s the writing of it, of course, then you’re spending months and months revising, polishing, and then promoting it. How did you know this was the book you wanted to spend the next couple of years on?
To be honest, I didn’t spend a couple of years on this book. From start to finish, it will be an 9-month project. I don’t like the promotional aspect of writing, but if not me, then who will do it? (It’s fortunate I know how to actually do promos.) Sometimes, I wish I didn’t have so many story ideas rumbling around in my head. It might be fun to spend a couple of years on one book.

Were there any particular books, movies, or songs that were knocking around in your head while you were writing this one?
I always listen to the Easy Listening channel on Comcast when I write. If I listened to music with words, I’d never get anything written! I’d be singing along and toe-tapping instead.

When you first created your protagonist for this book, did you see an empty space in crime lit that you wanted to fill? What can you share about the inspiration for that character?
As I considered my characters for Fortune’s Cookie, I didn’t know my protagonist’s name, what she did, or what she looked like. I only knew that she lived in a small town in the Colorado Rockies. The same happened for the male protagonist, but once I figured out that Brynn Bly would be a detective in the sheriff’s office, I worked out how to introduce her to Rafe Cutter, a security expert, who the sheriff had met at a party in Denver and hired to “fix” their IT hacking problem.

Then came the antagonist. As often happens, the person I think is going to be the bad guy doesn’t end up being the bad guy. Why it always goes this way, I have no idea. The intended bad guy is murdered, so that led me to finding an alternative. My hope is that the identity of that person will be a big surprise to readers.

In addition to a great read, what do you hope readers will take away from this story?
I want readers to laugh while they’re reading this book. No, it’s not a rom-com thriller, but when I have a chance to insert humor, I take it. My editor assured me this is a good story, and I believe her. The book was fun to write, I loved my protagonists, and I disliked my antagonist. I also love setting stories in the Colorado Rockies. I hope my readers will get a good mental picture of those beautiful mountains.


Ann Simas lives in Eugene, Oregon, but she is a Colorado girl at heart, having grown up in the Rocky Mountains. An avid word-lover since childhood, she penned her first fiction “book” in high school. The author of 42 novels, one novella, and one short-story collection, she particularly likes to write a mix of mystery/thriller/suspense, with a love story and paranormal or supernatural elements.

In addition to being a three-time Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Finalist, Ann is also an award-winning watercolorist and budding photographer who enjoys needlework and gardening in her spare time. She is her family’s “genealogist” and has been blessed with the opportunity to conduct first-hand research in Italy for both her writing and her family tree. The genealogy research from century’s-old documents, written in Italian, has been a supreme but gratifying and exciting challenge for her.

To learn more about the author and her work, please visit her website.