ThrillerFest 2018 Part 2 via Mark Dawson

News

 

 

 

 

 

Highlights per Mark Dawson:

Mike Lewis on building relationships at conferences, Jon Land on picking up the Murder She Wrote franchise — Bringing Jessica Fletcher into the present day, The advantages to readers when authors have choices about how to publish, Lynda La Plante on doing research for her novels, The inspirational female police officer behind Prime Suspect, The luck and skill involved in Lynda’s writing career, Resources mentioned in this episode: Karen’s marketing book for authors of children’s books.

 

Sneak Peek of ThrillerFest 2018 via Mark Dawson

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Sneak Peak of ThrillerFest 2018 via Mark Dawson

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Sneak Peek into ThrillerFest 2018 with Mark Dawson

 

 

 

 

 

See which books won big in the ITW 2018 Awards via TheRealbookspy.com

 

 

 

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Book Review: FIELD OF VALOR by Matthew Betley

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Set in the aftermath of Betley’s “machine-gun pace” (BooklistOath of Honor and the discovery of a deadly global conspiracy, the president requests Logan West to form a covert task force with the mission to dismantle a nameless enemy.

With the full resources of the Justice Department, Intelligence Community, and the military (not to mention presidential pardons pre-signed), Logan must battle a secret organization with the connections and funding to rival many first-world nations. The goal of this organization is both singular and sinister—to pit the United States against China in a bid to dismantle the world’s security and economy. Back on US soil, Logan and his task force pursue the elusive foe from the woods of northern Virginia to the banks of the Chesapeake Bay, from suburban Maryland across the urban sprawl of Washington DC. The stakes have never been higher for Logan or America itself…

 

Amazon | Goodreads

 

 

 

VALOR IS FREEDOM

 

 

 

 

“Betley has quietly become an important new voice in the covert-thriller genre.” (Booklist)

“The action in Betley’s superb thrillers can come from every direction at the pace of a firefight, sweeping you from Iraq to Mexico to Africa to the corridors of power in DC. A former Marine, Betley writes with the authority of an insider who understands this world intimately, just as he knows his compelling and troubled hero, Logan West. A welcome new star!” (Peter Heller, New York Times bestselling author of THE DOG STARS)

“Suspenseful, inventive, and relentless, FIELD OF VALOR unfolds at lightning pace. The action rings with authenticity. The story brims with twists, intrigue, and secrets that will keep readers turning pages.”  (Meg Gardiner, New York Times bestselling author of INTO THE BLACK NOWHERE )

“In Field of Valor, make sure you strap in tight! Like the best rides in a theme park, this one starts FAST, and while your heart rate may occasionally approach ‘normal,’ it never truly does…and you’ll love it! Betley’s pacing, language, and presentation of situations sing the true, real notes of one who has been there. Logan West uses his considerable intelligence and fortitude to conquer the challenges presented. If you haven’t discovered Matthew Betley before, congratulate yourself for doing so now!” (Charles Davis, Fox Sports NFL Sunday Announcer & Analyst, John Madden Video Game Announcer )

“Fast, hard-hitting, and impossible to put down, FIELD OF VALOR is hands-down one of the best action thrillers hitting bookstores in 2018.” (The Real Book Spy )

 

 

 

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Better, than expected.

 

I admit this was my first tap into Matthew Betley’s blockbuster series with Field of Valor. It was definitely better than I expected it too be. I’m not sure what I expected, but exceeded whatever was in my brain! Excellent. The crafting of the scenes, including the fighting, settings, and action were off the charts. All I could say was, DAMN, that was good. It’s that kind of thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat and leaves you full when you’re done. The plot to stop a global conspiracy with the lethality, resources, and resolve that rival our own military make this a homerun. In fact, it seems like the conspiracy gets deeper and deeper as the book goes along. I jumped into this series with Field of Valor, so have to go back and devour the first two books. Overwatch and Oath of Honor. So I’ll be ready for book 4 when it comes out early next year!

 

 

 

Five Gold Stars

 

 

 

 

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Matthew Betley grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, which he considers home after his family moved there from New Jersey, where he was born and which also explains his affinity for the New York Yankees. He attended St. Xavier High School and then Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where he graduated with a B.A. in psychology and minors in political science and sociology. He also spent the first semester of senior year investigating felony murder cases as an intern investigator in Washington, D.C., for the Public Defender’s Office, a formative experience that provided countless stories that could fill the pages of a non-fiction book. Upon graduation, he worked in corporate America for five years in Cincinnati before joining the Marine Corps in 1999.

Matt spent ten years as a Marine officer and was trained as a scout sniper platoon commander, an infantry officer, and a ground intelligence officer. His experiences include deployments to Djibouti after 9/11, and Fallujah, Iraq, prior to the surge, both in staff officer support billets.

Finally, and most importantly, Matt is a recovering alcoholic with nearly eight years of sobriety. He credits the Marine Corps with providing a foundation in discipline and personal accountability for his desire to initially seek help. Matt is open and direct about it and has spoken in front of large groups of people with one clear message – if he can get sober, so can anyone. He credits his recovery with providing the authenticity for Logan West’s struggle with his inner demons.

 

 

Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

 

 

 

 

 

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Brad Thor’s SPYMASTER and Interesting Factoid

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The newest thriller in the #1 New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and #1 Publishers Weekly bestselling series!

Across Europe, a secret organization has begun attacking diplomats. Back in the United States, a foreign ally demands the identity of a highly placed covert asset. In the balance hang the ingredients for all-out war.

With his mentor out of the game, counterterrorism operative Scot Harvath must take on the role he has spent his career avoiding. But, as with everything else he does, he intends to rewrite the rules—all of them.

In Spymaster, Scot Harvath is more cunning, more dangerous, and deadlier than ever before.

If you have never read a Brad Thor novel, this is the place to start!

 

Amazon | Goodreads

 

See my book review  of Spymaster on one of my new sites – Harvathians.com where you’ll find all things Brad Thor.

Whenever you read a book by Brad Thor it’s always global in scope. This book is no different. The opening scene takes place in Sor-Trondelag, Norway deep in the forest.

 

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The breadth of the plot is well, pretty broad in its scope. Harvath is racing the clock to prevent an article 5 catastrophe involving the members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). He and a small counter-terrorism unit, Norway’s Police Security Service (PST) with other military operatives, discover a terrorist cell and try to shut it down. This breathtaking scene kicks off a hunt to stop a foreign adversary from advancing their agenda in Eastern Europe.

 

Interesting Factoid 

*The Norwegian Police Security Service (PST) is Norway’s version of the F.B.I. *

PST is Norway’s national police security service, and its responsibilities include collecting and analyzing information and implementing countermeasures against matters that threaten national security. The service is organized as a special police service parallel to the regular police, and the service reports directly to the Ministry of Justice.

Check out their website: The Norwegian Police Security Service

 

For the rest of the plot you’ll just have to read the book! I highly recommend it.

 

 

 

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Book Release: Portraits of the Dead by John Nicholl

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Looking for a serial killer thriller you won’t be able to put down? Then discover Portraits Of The Dead, by #1 best-selling author John Nicholl, today.

Emma didn’t know how long he hid in the large Victorian wardrobe to the side of her single bed. She didn’t know how long he peered between the two heavy oak doors, and watched, as she slowly drifted into fitful sleep. She didn’t know what time he pushed the doors open and crept towards her in the darkness of the night.

Detective Inspector Gravel finds himself faced with a difficult case when a local nineteen-year-old university student is abducted and imprisoned by a sadistic serial killer, who has already tortured and killed at least five young women.

Can Gravel find the girl and stop the murderer?

He will learn that the greater the evil, the deadlier the game… 

 

Amazon | Goodreads

 

Trust me, this is an author you don’t want to miss. John Nicholl is the real deal. When I listened to the audiobook format of this title I was literally in awe. Having worked in law enforcement as a police officer, John Nicholl fully brings to life the true nature of crime fiction. You’ll get to know well DI Gravel, a young student named Emma, and the sadistic mind of a killer. Don’t miss it!

 

 

Business, Technology, Internet and network concept. Young busine

 

 

 

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John Nicholl, an ex police officer, child protection social worker and lecturer, has written six darkly psychological suspense thrillers, each of which has been an Amazon # 1 bestseller.

John has publishing deals with Bloodhound Books, W.F. Howes, and Hungarian publisher – Konyvmolykepzo. He is always happy to hear from readers, bloggers or the media and can be contacted via his author website at: http://www.johnnicholl.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review: Red Dragon – Hannibal Lector #1

Red Dragon

 

 

THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Feed your fears with this terrifying classic that introduced cannibalistic serial killer Hannibal Lecter.

FBI agent Will Graham once risked his sanity to capture Hannibal Lecter, an ingenious killer like no other. Now, he’s following the bloodstained pattern of the Tooth Fairy, a madman who’s already wiped out two families.

To find him, Graham has to understand him. To understand him, Graham has only one place left to go: the mind of Dr. Lecter.

 

Amazon | Goodreads

 

 

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I’ve seen the Silence of the Lambs long time ago, but hadn’t read the book, or even heard of the first one. The Red Dragon introduces one of literature’s most chilling characters in Hannibal Lector. Talk about a compelling character! Famed, yet retired and battered FBI profiler Will Graham is tasked to solve the murders of two families. The serial killer named the “Tooth Fairy” by authorities is on the loose but the killer himself identifies with the Red Dragon. You’ll have to read the book (or watch the movie–I did both) to find out what that means. Will Graham, the Tooth Fairy, and Hannibal Lecter cross paths in more ways than one in this blockbuster thriller. For a book that has Hannibal Lecter in it I found the Tooth Fairy to be a worthy opponent with a unique M.O. backstory and personality. What a beginning to a great series!

 

 

 

 

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Bestseller: The President is Missing by James Patterson & Bill Clinton

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The President is missing

 

 

The President is Missing a thriller written by James Patterson and Bill Clinton has sold over 260K copies in the first week. 

 

The President Is Missing confronts a threat so huge that it jeopardizes not just Pennsylvania Avenue and Wall Street, but all of America. Uncertainty and fear grip the nation. There are whispers of cyberterror and espionage and a traitor in the Cabinet. Even the President himself becomes a suspect, and then he disappears from public view . . .

Set over the course of three days, The President Is Missing sheds a stunning light upon the inner workings and vulnerabilities of our nation. Filled with information that only a former Commander-in-Chief could know, this is the most authentic, terrifying novel to come along in many years.

 

Amazon | Goodreads | Google Play Books | Barnes & Noble

 

I just read the first chapter and it’s quite  a whopper. Full of intrigue, tension and questions that go unanswered. It begins with President Duncan being questioned by the Speaker of House regarding his actions regarding the world’s most wanted cyber terrorist. He’s definitely in the hot seat but is unable to provide answers due to the nature of the conflict, classified information, and the interest of national security.

By reading the first chapter you can sense the tense history between the Speaker and President of the United States. I also love where this story begins. Obviously something already substantial happened to put the President in the hot seat, but what? The suspense is palpable! And that’s only the first chapter! Can’t wait to devour this one.

 

 

Check out the Book Trailer…

 

 

 

 

Bill Clinton And James Patterson On Their Thriller, ‘The President Is Missing’ | TODAY

 

 

 

The Headlines

The Washington Post

Hollywood Reporter

The Guardian

 

It’s not every day the 42nd president of the United States and the most successful novelist in modern history collaborate to write a thriller.

 

 

 

 

recommended

 

 

 

 

 

Reading, Storytelling, and Deep Point of View

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What am I reading? 

 

Gray Mountain John Grisham

 

 

John Grisham has a new hero . . . and she’s full of surprises

The year is 2008 and Samantha Kofer’s career at a huge Wall Street law firm is on the fast track—until the recession hits and she gets downsized, furloughed, escorted out of the building. Samantha, though, is one of the “lucky” associates. She’s offered an opportunity to work at a legal aid clinic for one year without pay, after which there would be a slim chance that she’d get her old job back.

In a matter of days Samantha moves from Manhattan to Brady, Virginia, population 2,200, in the heart of Appalachia, a part of the world she has only read about. Mattie Wyatt, lifelong Brady resident and head of the town’s legal aid clinic, is there to teach her how to “help real people with real problems.” For the first time in her career, Samantha prepares a lawsuit, sees the inside of an actual courtroom, gets scolded by a judge, and receives threats from locals who aren’t so thrilled to have a big-city lawyer in town. And she learns that Brady, like most small towns, harbors some big secrets.

Her new job takes Samantha into the murky and dangerous world of coal mining, where laws are often broken, rules are ignored, regulations are flouted, communities are divided, and the land itself is under attack from Big Coal. Violence is always just around the corner, and within weeks Samantha finds herself engulfed in litigation that turns deadly.

 

Amazon | Goodreads

 

It’s no surprise that international sensation John Grisham is a grand storyteller, but now I know why. Gray Mountain is about the story of a big city lawyer, Samantha Kofer, who ends up in a small time town of Brady, Virginia. Everything she worked for is nearly gone when her law firm folds under stressful circumstances of a recession. Now forced to work for free under limitations of her employer, she has to go up against big time coal mining companies in the middle of nowhere.

Right away I was drawn into the point of view and mindset of Samantha Kofer as she navigates life after the big city. Storytelling is all about people in the midst of challenging situations. This is her story. Really looking forward to the rest of the book!

 

 

What am I anticipating next?

 

 

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Let it bleed. Watch it burn.

The first shot punches through the windshield of an SUV. A head shot. The driver’s death is instantaneous.

By the time Special Agent Violet Darger arrives in Atlanta, the city teeters toward panic. The vacant streets and restaurants paint an eerie picture. No one dares to venture out.

A killer walks among them. A shadow. And the public cowers just the way he wants them to.

A sniper along I-20 kills eight and causes a 36 car pileup. The next morning, the same individual stalks through a grocery store parking lot with a handgun, taking out six innocent shoppers along with the store’s front window before fleeing without a trace.

Once more Agent Darger must identify with a murderer, must stare into the darkest recesses of mankind to anticipate his next move. Putting herself in his head may be the only way to stop him. But what hatred drives a man to such desperate, violent acts? What damage? And what price must one pay to invite that chaos inside themselves?

 

Amazon | Goodreads

 

I just finished the first book, Dead End Girl and LOVED IT.  There are good writers, great writers, and those who bring you so deep into the point of view their characters are indelibly impressed upon you. The Violet Darger FBI series by L.T. Vargus & Tim McBain is of the latter category. The prose is quite remarkable. The ability to capture a scene so well it invokes physical reactions in the reader as its replayed in 3D.

I’ve really been enjoying the deep point of view of characters recently. Listened to the audiobook of Dead End Girl so I feel like I know Protagonist Violet Darger. Seeing her reactions, fears, vulnerabilities, strength, secrets, family, history was quite the ride. Now I’m definitely looking forward to book 2! The Killing Season A Gripping Serial Killer Thriller.

 

 

 

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Books of the Year by Bibliophile Vikki Faircloth

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I asked fellow bibliophile, Vikki Faircloth, some questions about her favorite books and authors. Let’s see what the results are…

 

 

FAVORITE AUTHORS 

David Baldacci, Greig Beck, Matthew Betley

Lee Child, Preston & Child, Clive Cussler

Matthew Fitzsimmons

Meg Gardiner, Mark Greaney, Michael Grumley

Alex Lukeman

Luke Murphy

Matthew Reilly, James Rollins

S.L. Shelton, Jack Silkstone

A.J. Tata, Brad Taylor, Brad Thor

 

 

 

The Best Improve Great Performance Development Concept

 

 

 

 

 

BEST BOOKS READ THIS YEAR

Matthew Betley: Overwatch and Oath of Honor

Mark Greaney (was a new author to me): all Gray Man books this year

Meg Gardiner: UNSUB and Into the Black Nowhere

Alex Lukeman: Project Book 16

 

 

 

Matthew Betley: Overwatch & Oath of Honor

 

 

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Mark Greaney

 

 

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Meg Gardiner: UNSUB and Into the Black Nowhere

 

 

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Alex Lukeman: Project Book 16

 

 

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BOOKS IN QUE

David Baldacci: The Fallen

Jack Carr: Terminal List

David Ricciardi: Warning Light

 

 

 

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Anticipation

 

 

 

 

HIGHLY ANTICIPATED RELEASES

Matthew Betley: Field of Valor

Brad Thor: Spymaster

Robert Parker: Jesse Stone Debt to Pay

James Rollins: Hammer of Witches (the title has changed?)

 

 

 

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Crucible: A Sigma Force Novel (Sigma Force Novels) by James Rollins

The cover has yet to be revealed! Pre-order here

Available January 8, 2019. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review: Dead End Girl by L.T. Vargus & Tim McBain

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Her body is broken. Wrapped in plastic. Dumped on the side of the road. She is the first. There will be more.

The serial killer thriller that “refuses to let go until you’ve read the last sentence.”

The most recent body was discovered in the grease dumpster behind a Burger King. Dismembered. Shoved into two garbage bags and lowered into the murky oil.

Now rookie agent Violet Darger gets the most important assignment of her career. She travels to the Midwest to face a killer unlike anything she’s seen. Aggressive. Territorial. Deranged and driven.

Another mutilated corpse was found next to a roller rink. A third in the gutter in a residential neighborhood.

These bold displays of violence shock the rural community and rattle local law enforcement.

Who could carry out such brutality? And why?

Unfortunately for Agent Darger, there’s little physical evidence to work with, and the only witnesses prove to be unreliable. The case seems hopeless.

If she fails, more will die. He will kill again and again.

The victims harbor dark secrets. The clues twist and writhe and refuse to keep still. And the killer watches the investigation on the nightly news, gleeful to relive the violence, knowing that he can’t be stopped.

A page-turning thriller packed with heart-stopping suspense. Fans of John Sandford, Jeffery Deaver, Karin Slaughter, and Lisa Gardner should get to know Violet Darger.

 

Amazon | Goodreads

 

 

 

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Praise for Dead End Girl:

“Wow, just wow! If you like scare-you-half-to-death mystery books this is the one for you. It starts with a bang and just doesn’t stop.” — Ada Lavin

“Refuses to let go until you have read the last sentence.” — Bloodymummer

“Violet Darger is a unique, incredible character, and I immensely enjoyed taking this journey with her.” — Cat

“If you liked Silence of the Lambs, you’ll love Dead End Girl… At the same time, there’s so much attention to detail and organic storytelling that this could easily compete with any of Stephen King’s longer works. I found myself completely invested in every character, from the authorities to the killer to the victims themselves.” — eden Hudson, author of Jubal Van Zandt & the Revenge of the Bloodslinger

 

 

 

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Authors LT Vargus and Tim Mcbain have teamed up to write an excellent series.  The Violet Darger FBI thriller books. After reading this one I walk away with the indelible impressions of the writers upon my head. The ability to not only capture the moment, but display it in “3-D” with a lasting prose that sticks to your ribs. I found it easy to mentally visualize scenes throughout the book, which made for a very unique reading experience. I’ve only come across a few writers that have this effect.

The storytelling was great in the deep point of view of newly minted special agent Violet Darger from the FBI’s Victim’s Unit. All of the characters get a nod though. It’s definitely a slow burn, yet paced perfectly without a dull moment. Highly recommended series!

 

 

 

 

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L.T. Vargus grew up in Hell, Michigan, which is a lot smaller, quieter, and less fiery than one might imagine. When not click-clacking away at the keyboard, she can be found sewing, fantasizing about food, and rotting her brain in front of the TV.

L.T. Vargus now lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan with her special man friend/writing partner, Tim McBain.

She likes YouTube videos of cute animals, mystery novels, punk rock, and pizza.

Website | Amazon

 

 

 

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People say your author bio should tell the world why you write. I write because life is short, and I want to make something awesome before I die.

Website | Amazon