Chatting with Author Allison Brennan & her new book Shattered

 

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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

 

Goodreads

 

 

 

BOOK BLURB

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.

 

 

 

 

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*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. 




Motivation




*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.”

www.allisonbrennan.com

Audio Forensics Book Review: The Camel Club by David Baldacci

 

Hear the sound wave

 

 

 

 

Hear ye, hear ye!

 

Welcome to another edition of Audio forensics! This is where I attempt to usher you into the marvelous experience of recently assimilated stories. You do… Have them right? Audiobooks? I do! The Camel Club, by David Baldacci is kind of a blast from the ‘recent’ past, published in 2005 by Hachette Audio.

 

 

 

The Camel Club Audio

 

 

 

Written by: David Baldacci

Narrated by: Jonathan Davis

Length: 16 hrs and 10 minutes

Series: The Camel Club, book 1

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date: 10-21-05

Publisher: Hachette Audio

Audio sample

 

 

 

Goodreads

Existing at the fringes of Washington D.C., the Club consists of four eccentric members. Led by a mysterious man know as “Oliver Stone,” they study conspiracy theories, current events, and the machinations of government to discover the “truth” behind the country’s actions. Their efforts bear little fruit — until the group witnesses a shocking murder … and become embroiled in an astounding, far reaching conspiracy. Now the Club must join forces with a Secret Service agent to confront one of the most chilling spectacles ever to take place on American soil — an event that may trigger the ultimate war between two different worlds. And all that stands in the way of this apocalypse is five unexpected heroes.

 

 

 

My Rating:

 

 

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There are books, good books, stories, then there are STORIES. The kind that suck you relentlessly into it’s core and wont’ let you go until the last page! The books of this category are completed at a much faster pace. For an audiobook of 16 hours it’s bit long, but it still felt timeless.

David Baldacci crafts some of the deepest plots I’ve seen of any author, and still maintains characters that are just as deep.

If you’ve never read the Camel Club, they’re kind of a rag tag, quirky group, not to mention the least likely to be heroic. But that’s what makes it so interesting.

 

 

Narrator Performance: 10/10

The narrator Jonathan Davis was excellent. The best narrators catapult you into the core of the story without being noticed at all. And he did just that.  Superb.

 

Story Connection: 10/10

This is where I determine how well the narrator is connected to the story itself. This would definitely include protagonists, antagonists, sidekicks, love interests, male and female characterizations etc. Again, Davis did a phenomenal job throughout the book, bringing the story alive.

 

Voice Switch Over: 10/10

This is where determine how well the narrator switches back and forth between characters, genders, dialects and narrative voice. I’m sure there’s a more technical term for this, but it’s just what I call it. This is also where the better narrators are further separated from the rest of the pack. How well they switch from character to character without flaws, mistakes, or drawing attention to themselves and thus away from the story. Believe me, this is no easy feat.

Davis again does a marvelous job. In the Camel Club, there’s male, female, Arabic, polish, and a variation of American voices. Now switching between them, accurately, consistently, and making them believable, is difficult. Those who can not only manage this, but excel at it, are rated higher in my opinion.

 

Sound Quality: 10/10

I’m not sure if this is an old school thing, but this audiobook was sprinkled with touches of dramatic effects. It wasn’t overpowering or distracting and I thought it added to the overall performance. Thumbs up!

 

Overall Performance: 10/10

Highly recommended. Can’t wait to listen to the next book in the series called, the Collectors. 

 

 

What do you think? Are you fan of Baldacci? Have you read the Camel Club? What do you think of my format? Are you a fan of audiobooks? Let me know in the comments!!

 

Benjamin Thomas

Exclusive Interview with Executive Director of the APA

GOT AUDIOBOOKS?

 

 

 

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Please Welcome Michele Cobb Executive Director of the The Audio Publishers Association (APA).

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Interview with Author Anne Buist

 

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Please welcome Anne Buist, author of the Natalie King Forensic Psychiatrist Series.

Anne Buist is the Chair of Women’s Mental Health at the University of Melbourne and has over 25 years clinical and research experience in perinatal psychiatry. She works with Protective Services and the legal system in cases of abuse, kidnapping, infanticide and murder. Medea’s Curse is her first mainstream psychological thriller.  Professor Buist is married to novelist Graeme Simsion and has two children.

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Interview with Rebecca Cantrell & The Joe Tesla Thrillers

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Welcome Rebecca!

 

Rebecca Cantrell’s Hannah Vogel mystery/thriller novels have won the Bruce Alexander and Macavity awards and been nominated for the Barry and RT Reviewers Choice awards; her critically-acclaimed cell phone novel, iDrakula, was nominated for the APPY award and listed on Booklist’s Top 10 Horror Fiction for Youth. She and her husband and son just left Hawaii’s sunny shores for adventures in Berlin. Find Rebecca Cantrell on Facebook, Twitter, and at www.rebeccacantrell.com.

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Talking Mystery & History with Author Ritter Ames

WELCOME BACK TO THE FORENSIC LENSES SERIES

 

 

An investigative and exploratory approach into the minds of voracious readers everywhere. Strap your seat belt and let’s take a ride into the wonderful world of mystery…

 

 

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Author Interview with Bill Thompson

Interview questions – Benjamin Thomas to Bill Thompson – January 12, 2017

 

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Where did your passion for writing start?

I have always enjoyed the English language and I have a degree in journalism.  I worked for a metropolitan newspaper while I was in college and I found writing the easiest and most satisfying part of the job.  I used my writing skills peripherally in the corporate world, but now I’m doing it full-time and enjoying it very much.

That’s great! 

 

 

 

When did you start writing?

See question 1.  My career as an author began when I started – but never finished – my first book thirty years ago.  I became a caretaker for my terminally ill wife who urged me to finish it.  In 2009 that book, The Bethlehem Scroll, became my first published novel.

I would love to read this. The story premise looks great. 

 

 

If you could start over would you begin with a writing career?

No. I wouldn’t trade my years in the corporate arena for anything.  I was fortunate to be able to travel extensively and enjoy the finer things in life.  Many of my experiences are included in my books, especially in the life of Brian Sadler, the primary character in five books so far.

Wonderful! It’s refreshing to hear this. 

 

 

 

What sparked your love for archaeology?

Since I was a kid it’s been an interest of mine.  I loved reading about paleontology and many of the books I checked out of the library were about dinosaurs.  I also was fascinated with Egypt and how people in ancient times could have created the massive pyramids, Sphinx and temples.

My boys both love dinosaurs. Egyptian culture is extremely fascinating. 

 

 

 

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Tell us about your archaeological thrillers.

Most of my books are set in Mesoamerica and involve places to which I’ve traveled. Even though I found the ancient Egyptians fascinating, I think there’s even more mystery and intrigue in the Mayan world.  How an agrarian culture with no knowledge of things such as the wheel and pulley systems could create temples in the jungles is beyond me.  I have seen a hundred-ton stone sitting atop a thirteen-story temple in Guatemala.  How did it get there?  Some of my books address those types of questions in unconventional (but not that far-fetched) ways.

Oh wow, that is a mystery. I can’t wait to read more of your books!

 

 

Who is Brian Sadler?

Brian Sadler is an ambitious man who started as a stockbroker for a mainstream brokerage firm in Dallas.  He watched friends make millions with a high-flying broker who played fast and loose.  He joined that company and things went fine until the Feds arrived.  In a bizarre turn of events, Brian became owner of a Fifth Avenue antiquities gallery with an international reputation.  He has taken that firm – Bijan Rarities – and made it and himself into household names by creating shows for Discovery and History channels.

Brian and his lawyer-turned-fiancé Nicole Farber face one adventure after another as the series progresses.  From the jungles of Mesoamerica to the corporate jungles of London and New York, Brian finds something new around every corner.

I’ve only ready Order of Succession. Now I have to go back and read all the others. Love a good adventure. 

 

 

 

How did you develop the plot for Order of Succession?

I enjoyed writing Order of Succession most of all my books.  It all began with a “what if” moment.  What if the Republican president and vice president disappeared in separate and seemingly unrelated plane crashes, within minutes of each other?  What if a boorish Democratic career politician with a hidden agenda suddenly was thrust into the presidency?  What if his friends were on a mission to take over the largest oil company in the world?

The plot developed from there, with twists and turns along the way.  Brian Sadler is a big part of this book, but his role is not as important here as in the earlier novels.  Regardless, I think it’s a believable plot that will make readers ask – what if?

I love what if’s!! There’s so many possibilities!

 

 

 

What are your favorite mysteries of the past?

I like novels in my genre, such as those by Clive Cussler, but I also enjoy the books of Preston and Child, James Rollins and Joel Rosenberg (his are absolutely incredible, since he was a bit of a prophet on his first two books!)

I also enjoy books that explore possibilities beyond the traditional realm of thinking.  I read alternative theories about Egypt and other major sites in the Middle East, possible involvement in our early societies by people from other worlds, and the idea that there may have been technology on Earth millennia ago that has been lost and may someday be discovered.  I don’t read things that are too much in left field – like aliens walking among us today – because I’m more interested in the ancient past.  And could these things have happened? Why not?

It does sound pretty intriguing. 

 

 

Name three favorite travel destinations and what you enjoy about them.

My favorite places to travel are cities.  I love London and New York and have traveled there for decades both for business and pleasure.  Rome has become a more recent favorite city too.  All three are teeming with history from vastly different ages.  In my book The Relic of the King (the first of a trilogy) I mention the things excavators find every time they begin to build a new building in the City of London.  You can’t walk more than a few blocks in that tiny part of London without seeing something from the Roman occupation.

Same thing with New York, but fast-forwarded hundreds of years.  Downtown Manhattan was New Amsterdam and archaeologists find historical memorabilia all the time under its streets.  I think that’s fascinating.

And rewind thousands of years to the majesty of Rome.  What a glorious city.  Walking its streets, seeing the temples and fountains and contemplating life in this ancient place always whets my appetite to write a novel about it.  (And I did.  In The Bones in the Pit, Brian Sadler takes on a powerful Cardinal in the Vatican who isn’t what he seems to be.)

I’ve been to London and New York and can’t wait to go back. 

 

 

 

Name three of the most intriguing travel destinations.

Egypt, Israel and Turkey.  Two I’ve visited, one I haven’t.  Turkey’s on my list for the future.  I want to see its archaeology, especially Gobekli Tepe, a fascinating archaeological site that may be the oldest one found on Earth so far.  What people erected enormous monuments there nearly 12,000 years ago?  Let your imagination run wild!

YES!

 

 

Can you share any pictures?

(“Pakalsarcophagus”) – This is King Pakal, who is buried in the Temple of the Inscriptions in Palenque, Mexico.  Doesn’t he look like an astronaut, lying back and preparing to be launched with his hands and feet on the controls?  Many people think so!

 

 

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(Image 204) – Temple IV at Tikal, Guatemala.  How did primitive farmers get those massive stones up there a hundred feet above the ground?  Was it levitation?  That’s as logical to me as saying ten thousand men spent ten years dragging it up.

 

 

Back Camera

 

 

 

(Image 416) – The Zapatista rebels set up roadblocks along the roads in the state of Chiapas, Mexico.  They want to secede and their interference with the government makes life interesting for locals and tourists alike.  See my book The Crypt of the Ancients for an idea of what might happen if the rebels turned into kidnappers.

 

 

Back Camera

 

 

How does writing compare to the success you’ve had in the business world?

That depends on what one’s definition of success is.  Financially my life in the corporate world buying and selling companies and making deals was vastly more successful.  I think I’m just getting started in recognition as an author.  It’s going well so far and I hope it’ll continue to provide more and more financial rewards.

The real measure of success for me is the satisfaction I receive in what I’m doing now.  I absolutely love creating stories that other people will read and enjoy.  It’s immensely gratifying when readers let me know they’re ready for the next book and loved the last one.  The pleasure I receive from that makes it all incredibly rewarding.

Great definition of success. Love it. 

 

 

What are you currently writing?

I recently finished The Outcasts, my tenth novel and the first I’ve written in the genre of apocalyptic disaster.  This one is totally different for me and it’s a stand-alone book (at least so far – some readers are already asking for a sequel!)  This book begins with a current theme – the election of 2016 when two candidates ran for president and most Americans weren’t that happy with either one of them.  Two years later the House and Senate switch to the other party.  In 2020 the Social Democrats are swept into power and they retain control of our government until the very last election ever in the United States – the presidential election of 2040.  Things get really interesting after that!

The book I’m working on now is tentatively called The Black Cross.  It’s another Brian Sadler mystery.  Unlike Order of Succession, he plays a very prominent role in this one.  It’s a story about voodoo, Christopher Columbus and an ancient relic; it’s set in New Orleans, Cuba and Guatemala.  It will be released in late March 2017.

Wow. I love the premise of all your books. Can’t wait to read more. 

 

 

Connect with Bill Thompson!

Goodreads | Website | Amazon

 

BECOME A “SUPER FAN” OF MYSTERY THRILLER WEEK

super-fanIf you are already a fan of the Mystery Thriller genres, then you are in for a FAN-tastic surprise. Mystery Thriller Week is rolling out eleven fun-filled mysteriously thrilling days just for you! That’s one whole week and then some. We just couldn’t pack all the excitement into seven days. Beginning February 12th and running through February 22nd, 2017, MTW will engage you with online events around the clock 24/7. No matter what continent you hail from or which country you call home, rest assured that MTW plans to delight and thrill you with events, contests, book reviews, interviews, book excerpts, informative criminal and historical columns, book video trailers, blog tours, and live Facebook chat sessions with international best-selling authors. There will be mystery that thrills even the most selective palate. Continue reading “BECOME A “SUPER FAN” OF MYSTERY THRILLER WEEK”

Thriller Thirteen: 13 Bestselling Thriller Novellas for $0.99

 

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