Blog Tour: Murder at the University by Faith Martin

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MURDER AT THE UNIVERSITY by Faith Martin

Looking for a brilliant murder mystery with a feisty female detective?

MEET DI HILLARY GREENE, A POLICE WOMAN WITH A THIRST FOR JUSTICE AND A COMPLICATED CAREER

A pretty French student is found dead in her room at an exclusive Oxford college. Everyone thinks it is another tragic case of accidental drug overdose.

But Detective Hillary Greene has a nose for the truth. She quickly discovers that the student had been up to some very unusual activities.

With a shocking cause of death found, the case becomes a high-profile murder investigation.

Adding to the pressure, Hillary’s nemesis is transferred to work with her at the station.

Can Hillary keep her cool and get justice for the unfortunate student?

MURDER AT THE UNIVERSITY is the second in a series of page-turning crime thrillers set in Oxfordshire.

Perfect for fans of Agatha Christie, Colin Dexter, or Ruth Rendell.

 

THE LOCATION
The Oxford Canal meanders through the beautiful county of Oxfordshire, sometimes joining up with the rivers Cherwell and Thames, and flows past the world-famous university city of Oxford. Unlike many canals which are practically ruler-straight commercial waterways, built to help transport goods and heavy traffic before the advent of the railways, the Oxford Canal is a more winding and natural-looking body of water, and is a haven for wildlife and wildflowers. It has several romantically-named locks on its length (such as the Three Pigeons Lock, and Dashwood Lock) and boasts the ominously-sounding Somerton Deep Lock, which often terrifies first-time boating holiday-makers.

 

THE DETECTIVES

DI Hillary Greene
An attractive woman in her forties, Hillary Greene is a police officer of many years’ experience, and came up through the ranks. Consequently, she knows how the system works, and is fiercely loyal to the force without being blinkered to its faults. She is a long-standing friend of her immediate superior officer, ‘Mellow’ Mallow and enjoys a rather enigmatic relationship with the steely Superintendent Marcus Donleavy. Popular with the rank and file for her no-nonsense attitude and competence, she is currently under investigation on account of her recently deceased, and definitely corrupt husband (Ronnie Greene). But adversity has never stopped her from doing her job.

DCI Philip ‘Mellow’ Mallow
Mel appreciates Hillary’s first-rate ability to solve her cases, and isn’t happy about her harassment by the officers from York. Known for his sartorial elegance and laid-back manners, he has a sharp mind, and an eye for the ladies. A good friend and ally for Hillary in her recent tribulations, he’s determined to keep his best investigator focused on the problems at hand.

PLEASE NOTE THIS IS A REVISED EDITION OF A BOOK FIRST PUBLISHED AS “ON THE STRAIGHT AND NARROW.”
 
DI HILLARY GREENE SERIES

BOOK 1: MURDER ON THE OXFORD CANAL
BOOK 2: MURDER AT THE UNIVERSITY
MORE COMING SOON!

 

 

 

 

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Author Bio

Faith Martin has been writing for over 25 years, in four genres and under four different pen names. She was born in Oxford and sets most of her crime novels within sight of the city of dreaming spires. A real nature lover and afficionado of the countryside, descriptions of wildlife and native flora often find their way into her manuscripts. Right now, JOFFE BOOKS are re-issuing the first eleven of the DI Hillary Greene novels in new updated editions! And the first of these, MURDER ON THE OXFORD CANAL is available now, with the others to very quickly follow.

Her romance novels, written under the name of Maxine Barry, are now available from Corazon Books. IMPOSTERS In PARADISE, and HEART OF FIRE are both out, and others will very quickly become available in the future.

Her first foray into writing ‘spooky’ crime, (and written under the pen name of Jessie Daniels) comes out in November 2017. THE LAVENDER LADY CASEFILE is published by Robert Hale, an imprint of Crowood Press.

As Joyce Cato, she writes more classically-inspired ‘proper’ whodunits. So if you like an amateur sleuth, plenty of clues and red herrings, plus a baffling murder mystery to solve, these are the books for you.

 

 

 

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Blog Tour Interview with Ben Thomas

(1) Which genre do you enjoy writing most? 

I love writing the Hillary Greene novels, as I’ve written more with her as my
main character than any other kind. I think, of all my fictional creations, I probably know her the best. However, I grew up reading Agatha Christie, and through her, the other great writers of the golden age – Crispin, Sayers, Allingham, et al. And so I love the ‘proper’ classic whodunit genre, with the larger-than- life amateur sleuth, the well-hidden clues, and the classic locked-door or other baffling mystery to solve. Not to mention the red-herrings! Which is why I wrote the Joyce Cato mysteries. But they’re very hard to plot, and they’re very nerve-wracking to write, because you’re always aware that you might disappoint a reader if they figure out the puzzle. With Hillary Greene and police procedural novels, it’s more about characterisation, setting, and the weaving of a story line around a team, doing a job of work. Both are very satisfying to write (and read, I hope!), but in different ways. (Having said all that, I started out writing romance, when I was young and dewy-eyed, and writing about handsome sexy men, in exotic settings wasn’t exactly a hardship!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
(2) What’s the most challenging thing about writing?

I think there are several challenging things about writing. And being your own boss is definitely one of them. If you get up in the morning, and you don’t feel like writing, it’s very easy to just take the dog for a walk, or play some music and mooch around the house doing nothing in particular. Alas, that doesn’t get chapter six written! And if you don’t write that, you can’t finish the book. No finished book means no royalties, and then the electricity gets cut off! And you can’t even blame the boss…… On the other hand, there is a definite creativity involved in writing (you’re not producing bootlaces on a machine, after all) and sometimes if you’re not in the mood to write, forcing yourself to do so produces work that isn’t of the quality that makes you happy. So you have to learn the difference between just being lazy, and not having the attention of the muse! Also, you’re very much alone when you’re writing a book (I know that may sound a cliché, but it is also true.) When you type in the words ‘Chapter One’ on a blank computer screen it’s just you, your imagination and the blank screen. And nobody but you can fill it. So you have to develop a certain amount of self- belief that has to carry you through. And sometimes – especially if things aren’t going well, or you hit a rough patch, or are flirting with writer’s block, then you can feel that you’re the only person on the planet daft enough to be doing this writing thing!

 

 

 

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(3) Name your top three crime shows or movies.

I love Midsomer Murders, Poirot and Rebus.

 
(4) Who are your top detectives?

I love the golden-age sleuths – both in the UK and USA. I’m currently reading
Nero Wolfe, for instance (Rex Stout’s marvellous creation.) But in my to-be read pile I also have Patricia Wentworth’s Maud Silver books, Lee Child’s latest, and some Kate Ellis and Elly Griffiths novels. I read widely (mostly crime) but can’t hack horror (too chicken!)

 

 

 

 

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(5) What inspired you to write crime novels?

I trained as a secretary, and when I left college, worked for 5 years at Somerville College in Oxford. But my parents had a very bad car accident, which mean they needed a carer, so I left work and stayed at home. But I needed to do something creative, and decided, since I devoured crime and romance fiction as a reader, I might as well write my own novels (as you do!) After practising for 3 years or so, I plucked up the courage to send one to a literary agent who snapped it up! My first novel was published in 1993, and I’ll soon hit the 50 published novel target.

 

 

 

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(6) What’s the difference between a DI and a DCI?

Ah – what is the difference between a DI and a DCI! That’s something Inspector Morse often ruminated upon! I think DI Hillary Greene would say the difference was in the pay packet! But I think a DCI has to be more of a pen-pusher and administrator than a detective, which is why I think Hillary isn’t all that fussed that she’d doesn’t get promoted.

 

 

 

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(7) Who is Hillary Greene?

Hillary Greene is a local girl who grew up in Oxfordshire and got a degree in
Literature, but who joined the force and went up through the ranks. I think she is fiercely loyal to her colleagues, but doesn’t wear rose-tinted glasses and can be somewhat cynical about her job at times. She’s had a lot of experience, and taken a lot of knocks, but won’t let it get her down. She enjoys removing bad people from society and will put up with all kinds of excrement in order to carry on doing so. She has to have a sense of humour (so she does) and she has to look out for number one sometimes (so she does) but she’s a good friend to have in your corner when things get rough. She makes mistakes, but can move on from them, and doesn’t take herself too seriously. She has a somewhat odd relationship with Commander Marcus Donleavy, so is trusted by both the rank and file and –to some extent – her superiors, who she views with a somewhat jaundiced eye.

 

 
(8) Would you like to be in her shoes solving crime?

No – I wouldn’t like to be in her shoes, solving crime. I’d be scared witless! And totally incompetent. Hillary Greene is all the things I’m not!

 
(9) What’s the relationship like between Hillary and DCI Phillip Mallow?

Hillary and DCI Phillip Mallow are good friends. They’ve known each other for years and like each other (most of the time.) They’ve never had romantic feeling for each other. Hillary sees him as her boss, too, and can sometimes keep him at arm’s length, when she needs to. For his part, Mellow Mallow knows that she’s his best investigator, and uses her as such, but also cares about her as a friend, and will do his best to protect her, when necessary. But her perspicacity can sometimes get on his wick, as he can’t pool the wool over her eyes, when he’d sometimes like to.

 
(10) What are you working on next?

I’m currently working on a Joyce Cato novel, whereby my sleuth, travelling cook Jenny Starling, is staying at an Inn in a Cotswold town, and solving the murder of how an actress was drowned and murdered in a local pond, in front of over 50 witnesses – with nobody having seen how it could be done!

 

 

Connect with Faith Martin

Amazon | Twitter | Goodreads

 

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Don’t miss the rest of the blog tour!

 

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Benjamin Thomas

@MTW_2018

www.mysterythrillerweek.com

In the News: Law & Vengeance by Mike Papantonio

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Mike Papantonio is back with his second novel with Law and Vengeance and is sure to be a winner. So don’t miss out on this legal thriller!

 

Law and Vengeance

 

 

From the Author

Mike Papantonio, a leading trial lawyer and the television host of America’s Lawyer, has delivered his new action-packed legal thriller. This time his leading character is a beautiful, determined woman who built her career as a criminal trial lawyer by believing she could play by the rules and still achieve justice for her clients. But the gruesome murder of her law partner and former lover has turned her world upside down―and suddenly she’s on a playing field where there are no rules.

When Gina Romano learns America’s largest weapons manufacturer has her in its crosshairs, she realizes this time the pursuit of justice is not enough.

In her own two-pronged attack against her enemies, her strategy is to win both in the courtroom and, when necessary, outside of it.

Based on a real case, Mike Papantonio delivers the goods in his carefully drawn, likeable characters and a smart, well-told adventure.

 

 

Law and Vengeance: Introducing Gina Romano

 

 

 

 

Don’t miss this Eye opening Television Interview with Mike Papantonio.

 

 

 

Mike Papantonio is a senior partner of Levin Papantonio, one of the largest plaintiffs’ law firms in America, that has handled thousands of cases throughout the nation involving pharmaceutical drug litigation, Florida tobacco litigation, litigation for asbestos-related health damage, securities fraud actions, and other mass tort cases. “Pap” has received dozens of multimillion dollar verdicts on behalf of victims of corporate corruption.

Papantonio is one of the youngest attorneys to have been inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. In 2012 Papantonio became President of the National Trial Lawyers Association, one of the largest trial lawyer organizations in America. For his trial work on behalf of consumers, Papantonio has received some of the most prestigious awards reserved by the Public Justice Foundation, The American Association for Justice, and the National Trial Lawyers Association.

Papantonio is an author of four motivational books for lawyers. He is also co-author of Air America: The Playbook, a New York Times Political Best Seller.

Papantonio is the host of the nationally syndicated radio show “Ring of Fire” along with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and Sam Seder. Papantonio has conducted hundreds of recorded interviews with guests, including Dan Rather, Helen Thomas, Howard Zinn, Arianna Huffington, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Bernie Sanders, David Crosby, Merle Haggard, Morgan Spurlock, John Edwards, Bill Moyers, Rickie Lee Jones, Alanis Morissette, Pete Seeger, Jackson Browne, Chuck D from Public Enemy, Henry Rollins, Ted Sorensen, and Elizabeth Kucinich. His role on “Ring of Fire” is featured in the movie, “Jesus Camp,” which was nominated for the 2007 Academy Award for Documentary Feature.

Papantonio is also a political commentator who frequently appears on MSNBC, Free Speech TV, RT America Network, and Fox News.

Papantonio is married and has one daughter. He is an avid scuba diver and often dives on the Emerald Coast.

 

Amazon | Goodreads | Twitter | YouTube | Facebook

 

OTHER RESOURCES

 

Book Review: Law and Disorder

 

Law and Disorder

 

 

 

Special Feature from the Crime Division by Robert K. Tanenbaum

So You Want to Write a Legal Thriller

Readers, bloggers, authors, sign up for Mystery Thriller Week:  #MTW_2018

 

 

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Benjamin Thomas

@MTW_2018

The Writing Train

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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!!

Facebook | Twitter | Website | Amazon | Goodreads

 

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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

 

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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

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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).

Continue reading “Exclusive Interview with Executive Director of the APA”

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.

Continue reading “Interview with Author Anne Buist”

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.

Continue reading “Interview with Rebecca Cantrell & The Joe Tesla Thrillers”

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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Continue reading “Talking Mystery & History with Author Ritter Ames”

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!

 

 

pakalsarcophaguslid

 

 

 

(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”