Chatting with Author Allison Brennan & her new book Shattered






Please welcome an awesome writer,  Allison Brennan. She’s a New York Times and USA today bestselling author who’s penned over a dozen thrillers and short stories over the years.  Her new book Shatteredwill be released Tuesday August 22nd as the #4 book in the Max Revere series. I’m reading this title now and it’s absolutely stunning.




Shattered Alison Brennan







Over a span of twenty years, four boys have been kidnapped from their bedrooms, suffocated, and buried nearby in a shallow grave. Serial killer or coincidence?

That’s the question investigative reporter Maxine Revere sets out to answer when an old friend begs her to help exonerate his wife, who has been charged with their son’s recent murder. But Max can do little to help because the police and D.A. won’t talk to her―they think they have the right woman. Instead, Max turns her attention to three similar cold cases. If she can solve them, she might be able to help her friend.

Justin Stanton was killed twenty years ago, and his father wants closure―so he is willing to help Max with her investigation on one condition: that she work with his former sister-in-law― Justin’s aunt, FBI Agent Lucy Kincaid. Trouble is, Max works alone, and she’s livid that her only access to the case files, lead detective and witnesses depends on her partnering with a federal agent on vacation. She wants the career-making story almost as much as the truth―but if she gets this wrong, she could lose everything.

Haunted by Justin’s death for years, Lucy yearns to give her family―and herself―the closure they need. More important, she wants to catch a killer. Lucy finds Max’s theory on all three cases compelling―with Max’s research added to Lucy’s training and experience, Lucy believes they can find the killer so justice can finally be served. But the very private Lucy doesn’t trust the reporter any more than Max trusts her.

Max and Lucy must find a way to work together to untangle lies, misinformation, and evidence to develop a profile of the killer. But the biggest question is: why were these boys targeted? As they team up to find out what really happened the night Justin was killed, they make a shocking discovery: Justin’s killer is still out there … stalking another victim … and they already may be too late.





A wall clock with Tick Tock face design in pink and gold isolated on white





*Who is Maxine Revere and what makes her tick?

Maxine Revere spent the first ten years of her life traveling the world with her mother on the whim—Martha Revere never wanted to put down roots. Shortly before Max’s tenth birthday, her mother left her with her very wealthy, very traditional grandparents and then disappeared—sending Max occasional postcards until they stopped after Max’s 16th birthday. Her mother lied to her about her father—she still doesn’t know who her father is—and Max still doesn’t know what happened to her mom.

When Max was a senior in college, her roommate Karen Richardson disappeared while they were on spring break. There were signs that she had been murdered—a lot of blood—but no body was found, and no evidence to convict the playboy Max was certain killed her. Max hounded law enforcement for a year, and finally wrote a book about Karen’s disappearance and the police investigation. She found she had a knack for gathering information and a skill for writing about crime. She ended up writing four true crime books and numerous articles, mostly about cold cases and missing persons.

Now, Max hosts a monthly newsmagazine on a cable television network, highlighting cold cases (think an in-depth America’s Most Wanted, but where the suspect is an unknown.) She is driven to solve crimes for others because she’s never been able to solve the mystery of her own life. Max is abrasive, intelligent, independent, and never gives up.

In SHATTERED, Max is compelled to look at evidence from three cold cases of young boys kidnapped from their bedrooms and murdered. She thinks there’s a connection, though the police haven’t put it together. Once Max is convinced she’s right, she isn’t going to stop until she solves the case.

I really like Max Revere’s straight-forward personality. Her determination and intensity truly shines. She’s not afraid to step on toes to get what she wants. 


*What motivates FBI Agent Lucy Kincaid?

When Lucy was seven, her nephew and best friend Justin was killed. It changed her and her family forever. Her older brothers and sisters changed their career focus and all went into some aspect of law enforcement or the military. She didn’t realize how much these events impacted her, until after her own tragedy when she was eighteen—she was kidnapped and raped live on the internet, and would have been killed if not for her family tracking her down.

Now, nine years after that horrific event, Lucy has realized her dream of becoming an FBI agent. She’s on the second year of her assignment to the San Antonio field office. She is recently married to private investigator and security consultant Sean Rogan, and has grown tremendously from an insecure trainee to a confident investigator over her now 12-book series.

Lucy is motivated by justice—to help victims by catching those who prey on the innocent. She has a keen insight not only in victim profiling, but in criminal profiling.

I love Lucy! She’s a very interesting character, especially the whole Kincaid family. Seeing what motivates characters and what they want is very satisfying.



*Explain the relationship dynamic between Maxine and Lucy. 

Max and Lucy meet in SHATTERED. Justin Stanton is the possible first victim of an unknown serial killer. Justin’s father, long-time D.A. Andrew Stanton, agrees to help Max in her cold case investigation on the condition that Max work with Lucy. Lucy is more than willing to take time off of work to solve a crime that has pained her and her family for so long. Max doesn’t like working with cops for many reasons, largely because they have rules they must follow that she doesn’t. Lucy is intrigued by Max’s theory, and reminds her that without her, no one in San Diego will cooperate. They don’t trust each other, and when Max starts digging into Lucy’s past, Lucy threatens to cut Max out of the investigation completely, which infuriates her.

However, Max and Lucy are both driven by the need to see justice served—that the truth needs to be uncovered at all cost. That tentative bond can be strengthened or severed … it was very fun and satisfying for me to challenge these two strong women.

Seeing these two clash and work together on the page is quite explosive. Very entertaining to say the least. The tension is palpable. 

*What did you enjoy the most in writing Shattered?

Putting Max and Lucy on the same page. At first I was really nervous about it because I wasn’t sure how they would work together. They are both so clear to me, they are both so well-defined in my head, that I was afraid that they would absolutely detest each other and not work together. There is a lot of distrust and even some misinformation between them, but as they worked together they gained a mutual respect.

You might be on to something here, Allison. These two are dynamite!


*What were some challenges writing Shattered?

Figuring out the logistics of what happened to Justin and the other boys. I was never going to solve Justin’s murder unless I knew why he was killed. When I figured out the why, I thought it was going to be “easy” to solve the crime. But I was tied to some information I’d released in earlier Lucy Kincaid books, and I had to make sure I was consistent in this book. It took a lot of thought and choreography to make sure it worked! But once I had the motivation of the killer understood, it fell into place.

Your’e motivations are great! The plotting has been spectacular. Your choreography paid off 🙂


“Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations.”



*Will Maxine and Lucy partner in future books?

I don’t know — I would like to put them together again. I might bring Max into a Lucy book. (SHATTERED is technically part of the Maxine Revere series though Lucy plays an equal role in the story.) It would be fun … but I’d have to have the right idea for them. I’ll never say never!

Well, I certainly hope they team up again in the future. They have a wonderful chemistry about them. Even their resources, backgrounds, colleagues are ripe for a collaboration. Guess we’ll wait and see what happens!

Partnership 3d Word Collage Team Association Alliance

Thanks Allison!!

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Allison Brennan
SHATTERED coming August 22, 2017

RT Top Pick!

PW: “Intricately plotted … psychologically complex characters … heart-pounding.”

Interview with Historical & Contemporary Romance Author Maggi Andersen



Introduction message on Paper torn ripped opening




Please welcome Maggi Andersen, historical and contemporary romance author from New South Wales, Australia. She has a BA and Master of Arts in Creative Writing, loves local wildlife, and pens the Regency, Baxendale Sisters, and Spies of Mayfair series.  And she has an AWESOME WEBSITE. Please check it out,




Maggi Anderson



Now, let’s learn a little more about our friend, Maggi…



*What’s it like living in Australia?

It’s great! Australians are known for their easy-going attitude to life. I grew up close to the beach and my childhood was all sun, sand, and sea. My brother and I roamed free in those days. Now I live in a bustling village in the Southern Highlands near Sydney, where the spring and autumn are glorious and it sometimes snows, but lightly and rarely! It’s wine country, with rolling green hills, some covered in vines, horse studs and farms. The highlands has many endangered bird species and a large koala population. Old inns, and their ghosts, still operate in the historic villages nearby where the stage coaches once passed through during the 1800s. When I feel I need to break out of my self-imposed writer’s cocoon, I head to Sydney for a writer’s conference or Melbourne to visit family.


This is great. Would love to visit there one day. My wife has a cousin, uh, somewhere over there. Sorry memory fails me at the moment. 





Location Australia. Green pin on the map.




Here’s some additional pics…



Australia 2



Australia 3








*What led you to read the books of Georgette Heyer and Victoria Holt?

My mother loved them, and she handed them on to me. We reread them many times over and had lengthy discussion on each one. It was a special thing to share with her, with lovely memories now that she is no longer with us.

It’s lovely to share the joy of books with others, especially another family member. 



A book is a gift you can open again and again. -Garrison Keillor



*What do you love most about the Georgian and Regency worlds?

There is so much to write about. The history, manners, culture, fashions, gardens, mansions, and food aside, there was also the extravagant and extraordinarily self-indulgent Prince Regent, plus the lengthy Napoleonic wars. There was also the pulsating underworld where crime and vice of every kind flourished. The colorful Georgian era was less mannered, but equally as fascinating. Some of the people who existed in these eras seem larger than life, like Beau Brummel, who was a profound influence on men’s fashion and their bathing habits in the early 1800s. He was befriended by the Prince of Wales, but was always on the verge of poverty, which was then labeled ‘dun territory’. He lost the Prince’s friendship and left England a broken man. Young gentlemen were dangerously idle. Great gamblers, there are many instances where huge estates and wealth were lost at the gaming tables and the races.

I love what you’ve done with your historical series. It not only brings history alive, but it also transports you there in many ways. 




Vintage compass lies on an ancient world map.



*If you could send yourself back to those time periods what would you do?

Marry a duke of course. 🙂  Seriously, I would hope to be a member of the ton, the Upper Ten Thousand in society. Life could be very hard for the lower classes. If I was born without money or family, I’d be an actress, I always wanted to tread the boards.

Splendid! I always enjoy the answers to this question. 


*What are your top three experiences writing about these times?

Creating the three books in The Spies of Mayfair Series. A Dangerous Deception, A Spy to Love, and A Secret Affair. They were enjoyable to write, I loved the heroes and heroines, and researching interesting historical facts which included Napoleon’s escape from Elba, The Peterloo Massacre, and the famous Hope diamond, the blue diamond of the French Crown, stolen from King Louis XIV in 1791.

Awesome! Can’t wait to read all of them. 



A Dangerous Deception



A Spy to Love



A Secret Affair




*Tell us about your new release, The Baron’s Wife.

My new release The Baron’s Wife has just hit an historical mystery bestseller list on Amazon! Another of my favorite stories to write, it’s set during the late Victorian era, teetering on the brink of the 20 th Century, when so much was changing. Women were fighting for their right to vote, to gain access to university degrees and have other freedoms allowed to men. It would take many years for these things to be realized. My heroine, Laura Parr was involved in the Suffrage movement when she met her hero, Baron, Nathaniel Lanyon. She puts these dreams on hold after he sweeps her off her feet, marries her and takes her to his home, an ancient abbey in Cornwall. Laura soon discovers all is not as it seems in her new home. There’s a mystery surrounding Nathaniel’s first wife’s death. Nathaniel had been confident he could offer Laura a happy life, but the past comes back to claim him.

This sounds like an intriguing story!



The Barron's Wife



*What was a courtship like at the time of Laura Parr and Baron, Lord Nathaniel Lanyon?

For a strictly raised young lady such as Laura, her future marriage partner, and her courtship was often chosen and managed by the parents. Her father must first approve of the suitor and her mother would make sure she was chaperoned until the wedding. Many couples were virtual strangers when they married.

Wow. That’s amazing. The thought of my parents choosing my spouse makes me cringe.



*Is this a standalone or part of a series?

The Baron’s Wife is a standalone novel. It’s my third Victorian mystery romance. The first two are The Folly at Falconbridge Hall and The Diary of a Painted Lady.

I already downloaded this one!



*What else are you working on?

At present, I’m working on a new Regency series, The Kinsey Family, Unmasking Lady Helen, Book One. The story is filled with mystery, suspense and romance, Ancient Egyptian tombs, and art forgery. I hope to have it published by August. Also, my contemporary romantic suspense novella Finding Daniel is part of a boxed set coming in February 2018.

Sounds great, keep us posted. 



Thanks Maggi!




A Baron’s Wife:

Amazon Author page:


Twitter: @maggiandersen


Website: http//




SWAPPING GENRES by Andrew Richardson

I approached writing ‘The Door into War’ with some trepidation. On one hand, it
was a story I wanted to write with a plot I was pleased with. On the other hand, my
previous novels have all been firmly squarely horror or historical fantasy genres. Writing
a time travel thriller was a complete change for me, especially as my reading knowledge
of time travel and thrillers is limited, and as a writer is zero.
Putting together ‘The Door into War’ led me to wondering, what are the benefits
to a writer of switching genres? And what are the drawbacks?
In my case, having written a lot of horror where tension is key I have at least
some experience of maintaining suspense. I’ve also got a background in archaeology so I
made my main character an archaeologist, and made archaeology an important part of the
story which gave me something familiar to work around. I write occasional erotic shorts,
which I found a help with the need to show characters’ emotions and reactions to each
It was also a refreshing challenge to try something completely different, and I
hope this enjoyment comes over in the novel.
Because I didn’t know the thriller genre I suppose there’s a possibility that in my
naivety I might have brought something new to it – but that’s probably wishful thinking!
But, genre-swapping isn’t all plain sailing. I’m pretty sure I’ll have made some
genre-specific mistakes, and I probably missed some things that thriller readers will
expect, or misjudged the pacing and similar.
When writing historical fantasy or horror I usually have an idea of whether or not
what I’m doing is any good – or at least whether it’s good above the line enough to be
picked up by a publisher. I didn’t have that same feel for ‘The Door into War.’ In fact, as

Continue reading “SWAPPING GENRES by Andrew Richardson”



When a dangerous or evil person talks, make their dialogue short and to the point. The tighter their speech, the more intelligent and threatening it becomes. Wordy waffling would dilute the effect.

Continue reading “Writer’s Craft: VILE VOICES: DESCRIBING HOW THE KILLER SPEAKS by Rayne Hall”

Historical Division: 1876-Not Just a Year by Khristina Atkinson

When starting to write my historical romance, Hopelessly, Completely, MADLY in Love, I choose the year 1876 for a simple enough reason.  It’s the hundred-year anniversary of the independence of America.  I ended up not mentioning this significant fact, because my character, Lexi Donovan, was dealing with some trying issues when the celebration would have rolled around.

Continue reading “Historical Division: 1876-Not Just a Year by Khristina Atkinson”

Writer’s Craft: Cruel Claws: Describing the Killer’s Hands by Rayne Hall


To increase suspense in a scene where a dangerous person is about to do something nasty, slow down the pace and describe their hands. This is perfect for when the evil overlord signs the order to exterminate the children, or when the torturer readies his instruments.


This technique works especially well in thrillers. Show the killer’s (or the suspect’s) hands, especially when the point-of-view character is helpless to do anything. This will send creepy shivers across the reader’s skin.

Continue reading “Writer’s Craft: Cruel Claws: Describing the Killer’s Hands by Rayne Hall”

Historical Division: Restitution of Artwork Stolen by the Nazis during World War Two by Jennifer Alderson

Before moving to Amsterdam, I knew very little about the restitution of artwork stolen by the Nazis during World War Two, a topic that plays a central role in my novel, The Lover’s Portrait: An Art Mystery. Sure, I’d read about controversial cases in newspapers and wondered why museums didn’t hand over the artwork immediately when legitimate claimants appeared on the scene, but also why it took the relative of the legal owner so long to submit a claim.

Continue reading “Historical Division: Restitution of Artwork Stolen by the Nazis during World War Two by Jennifer Alderson”

Writer’s Craft: Managing Tension With Peaks and Troughs by Rayne Hall

Tension is good. It makes the reader turn the pages. However,  constant high tension soon gets dull. The readers can’t sustain continuous scared excitement, and after a while, instead of roused, they become bored.

It’s like the waves on a stormy sea: the peaks are only high because of the troughs between them. If there were only continuous peaks without any troughs, the sea would be flat.

Your job as writer is to create not just the peaks, but the troughs which make the peaks look high.

Continue reading “Writer’s Craft: Managing Tension With Peaks and Troughs by Rayne Hall”

DUP IS HERE! by Gavin Mills



‘Here’s my MTW review of Gavin Mills‘ adrenaline-rush of a thriller: Dup Departs…’


‘If you like thrillers involving gangsters, guns, drugs, corruption and action

this book is for you…’


These are comments on Dup Departs by two great writers for Mystery Thriller Week and I am blown away.


I am so glad people like Dup – because a lot of Dup is me, or was me …or something like that. But that’s not the point. Dup is like most anybody, just doing his best to lead an uncomplicated life and provide for his family. And things are not easy… There comes that time when one starts thinking whether he keeps pressing on or finds other cheese (sorry – had to borrow). Haven’t we all gone through that at some time? Is our life worth anything, are we doing what we love, …or are we missing out on life?

Continue reading “DUP IS HERE! by Gavin Mills”

What’s a Writer of Thrillers to do When Reality Outstrips Fiction? by Brian Greiner

What’s a writer of thrillers to do when reality outstrips fiction?
by Brian Greiner

The great fun in writing thrillers is playing with fascinating
technologies and concepts. The problem with thrillers is that eventually,
reality renders all that great tech obsolete—sometimes laughably so. So
how can a writer deal with the inevitable obsolescence of their
carefully-crafted worlds? One way is to simply ignore the problem and
treat the novel as something with a limited shelf life. The other way is
to focus on larger issues, with the technology simply serving as an
exemplar to highlight those issues.

Continue reading “What’s a Writer of Thrillers to do When Reality Outstrips Fiction? by Brian Greiner”