Author Interview with Rebekah Dodson of the Life After US series

Daisy Song Cover

 

 

It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Seven months ago, Vicki Morel was supposed to be happy, not in the midst of the apocalypse. She and her fiancé, Will, should have been married and about to celebrate the birth of their child. Instead, she is on the run in fear for her life and the life of her baby. Her only hope is Ambrose—the man she truly loves.

Vicki entered Ambrose’s life like a bomb and blew everything apart. Just when he thought they could get out of this hell hole alive, she walked away. Or did she? After a cryptic message on a satellite phone, Ambrose is willing to risk it all to find her. Through a plane crash, escaping crazy doomsday preppers, and invading a military base, Ambrose and his band of survivors is determined to rescue Vicki. He wasn’t born a leader, yet the people follow him, determined to carve their own path in this world.

When everything ends, the daisy’s song promises a new beginning, a different life, and a fresh path in this altered world.

 

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*How did you develop a love for writing?

As a kid, I was homeschooled, which meant I had a lot of free time on my hands. Both my mother and I disliked math, so she always gives me an option to write a story about topics instead. Thus, I started writing historical romances from a very young age! This was cultivated over the years with journaling and writing poetry, but I never lost my intense obsession with historical figures and romance.

 

 

*Writer. Editor. Teacher. Mother. Wife…Is it hard wearing so many different hats?

 

Yes, definitely. I couldn’t do it without my husband, who is a disabled veteran who stays home to help with kids and things. Wearing so many different hats requires precise time management; my days start at 4am and end at 9pm, and in that short amount of time I have to fit in writing, editing, teaching, and grading. It’s very tiring, so I have to snatch a little downtime whenever I can steal it. And wine, lots of wine.

 

 

*How does being an editor and teacher influence your writing? And vice versa? 

Being and editor and teacher has influenced my writing because it made it more precise with the rules of grammar, and also concise and clear writing. As an editor I’m able to quickly fix my own grammar mistakes with commas and dialogue, and as a teacher (in technical writing and GED studies) I’m also able to say things with less wordiness. I can’t believe how much my writing has increased in quality just since I started teaching five years ago! My writing also influences my editing and teaching, because I’m able to look at things more creatively. When a client is stuck on a scene I can help them pull through with a new idea or piece of dialogue, and when my students are frustrated with assignments I’m able to communicate clearly how to overcome their issues.

 

 

*What do you love most about history? 

The fact that it’s ALWAYS changing, and most of what we know isn’t really what happened. What we know is never fact; it’s just based on anecdotal pieces of evidence that we have based on a triangulation of artifacts: painting, first-hand accounts, records, and all of that. But I’m more interested in the little details: what did people look like? How did they walk? What did they do for fun? Those are some things we have lost to time in many cultures.

Also, I’m really fascinated with food. In my book Mirrors I spend three days researching medieval banquets for a simple 3 paragraphs of writing! It was awesome to be able to describe it through my time traveler’s eyes! You’ll notice I’m always about the food in many of my books.

 

 

*Is it challenging writing in different genres? 

No, not at all. It’s very refreshing. When I’m stuck writing romance, or I don’t have any fresh ideas, I switch to fantasy to unlock my creativity. The (time travel) fantasy I write isn’t far from science fiction, so that seemed a logical jump. It’s also exciting to go back to plain ol’ romance where all I have to worry about is boy + girl, or boy + boy, or girl + girl or… well, you get the drift.

 

 

*There seems to be an underlying theme of love and romance in all of your series. One of your catch phrases is “Love even in the apocalypse.” Can you tell us more about this and how it bleeds into your writing process?

I think all my characters start with a small motive of love. In my Curse of Lanval series, I knew he was going to find Marie, who is based on the historical poet from the 12th century, Marie de France. I didn’t know they’d have such an epic time at figuring it out, however. In Life After Us, I knew Vicki and Ambrose were going to fall in love after the airport, I just wasn’t sure how it was going to happen.

Romance plays a huge part in my process because it makes everything more intense and dangerous, I feel. The dialogue is more exciting, and so is the body language. When friends fight, for example, they aren’t staring deep into each other eyes or wanting to hold the other person. I love writing a romantic angle because it shows us some raw human emotion: the need to be loved, held, and care for are fundamental, “lizard” brain stuff. It’s as old as time itself.

 

 

*Daisy Song in the Life After Us series is awesome. How did you take the initial idea and shape it into a compelling story?

Oddly enough, this book series Life After Us was born from the song “Leavin’ on a Jet Plane” by John Denver. I was at the gym one day when the song came on and I started thinking about a couple embracing at an airport where one of them is leaving and not coming back (that became Vicki and Will).

I kept thinking about it all day – why wasn’t he coming back? What if he doesn’t love her, and he’s trying to escape? But why would he do that? Does he get kidnapped by terrorists? What if the airport was bombed and America was invaded, and one of them was lost?

It just rolled downhill from there: what if they had to escape the end of the world and flee Portland, Oregon, a perfect place for an invasion that no one ever considers. So, I sat down to write what became chapter two of Poppy Bloom that very day. Over a few months, a friend and I started bouncing ideas between each other, and Vicki, Will, and Ambrose as characters were born.

And actually, there’s a bit of a joke in there, as well. My best friend and beta reader at the time challenged me to sneak some WWE characters in there, so you’ll notice some names of famous wrestlers sprinkled throughout. Which ones? I won’t say…

 

 

*What is your creative process for characters? 

A LOT of looking at pictures and photographs! Before I even write much about them I make a graphic or teaser about the character, so I know exactly what they look like, so I can refer to it when they need to do something like rub their chin or push back their hair or something. Then – and this is weird, but – I write out a modified Dungeons and Dragons roleplaying sheet, where I know their alignment (morality, basically) and what they look like, their strengths and weaknesses, and what their fears and dreams are. When I get stuck in a scene, I have an arsenal of things to work with. No more dialogue? Well, talk about dreams. Run out of scenes? Drop them in their fantasy. It’s grand fun.  

 

 

*Tell us about the relationship between Vicki Morel and Ambrose Palamo. 

Vicki and Ambrose really have some things they have to get over in their past, and that prevents them from having a real relationship. In Lavender Dream, we learn Ambrose had his heart broken and hasn’t been able to move past that. In Daisy Song, we learn more about Vicki’s parents and her abuse as child, which lead her to an “easy going” man like Will. Both of them quickly learn they lacked affection growing up, and that’s what they truly seek from each other.

In the beginning, though, they hate each other. Vicki doesn’t like to be ordered around: she has an absent fiancé, so she does what she wants. Ambrose isn’t used to ordering people around but suddenly has to step up. After the airport attack, it’s all about not dying, but then Ambrose realizes that he’d like Vicki to die less, and one day he wakes up and realizes he can’t live without her (like I said, it’s that need for affection thing). That’s when the story changes (at the end of book 1, Poppy Bloom), when Ambrose realizes that there’s no one else he’d rather be stuck with than her. And even though they only spend a few short weeks together in Book 2, Lavender Dream, he will go to the ends of the earth to save her in our third and final book.

I guess you could say they are enemies turned friends turned lovers, but that’s not entirely true. I think they were both lonely for a long time and it took the end of the world to see that time was of the essence to be happy, or as happy as they could be. In the end Vicki ends up being very broken, and Ambrose becomes the leader, and so their roles change, and with it does their relationship.

I’m excited to show you what this means in the new Series release, which will include exclusive content with Vick and Ambrose a year after the Daisy Song ends. Look for it in March 2019!

 

 

*How has writing this series affected you? 

This is the first book I ever wrote in third person (my preferred writing style is first person, and first person POV switch between male and female) and I learned a great deal about “head hopping.” My first editor for Poppy Bloom left me a crying, sobbing mess in the corner when she destroyed my book for “hopping” between Ambrose and Vicki’s innermost thoughts. But I fixed it, and the next too books came out even better!

In fact, I’d say this series affected me because in Daisy Song, Vicki had to go to some dark places. She’s suffering abuse and has PTSD, and I did a lot of research on the victimization of women especially. As a result, my next novel, a standalone called Road More Traveled, is a romantic suspense about a woman who is feeling a criminal from her past. I channeled a lot of Vicki into my new character, but instead of giving them PTSD, I’m watching it unfold and allowing the character to heal. I’m glad I was able to write Vicki’s anguish to the point that it influenced another new book. And guess what? It’s also in 3rd person, which is quickly becoming my new favorite way to write. Stay tuned for a release date, likely it will be April!

 

 

Rebekah Dodson Author Bio

Rebekah Dodson is a prolific word weaver of romance, fantasy, and science fiction novels. Her works include the series Postcards from Paris, The Surrogate, The Curse of Lanval series, several stand alone novels, and her upcoming YA novel, Clock City. She has been writing her whole life, with her first published work of historical fiction with 4H Clubs of America at the age of 12, and poetry at the age of 16 with the National Poetry Society. With an extensive academic background including education, history, psychology and English, she currently works as a college professor by day and a writer by night.

 

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Blog Tour: Silent Murder by E.R. Fallon

SILENT MURDER

 

 

 

SILENT MURDER by E.R. FALLON

 

DISCOVER A FAST-PACED DETECTIVE THRILLER FULL OF TWISTS

A body dismembered with a chainsaw is found under an infamous Newark bridge. The victim has links to organized crime.

On her first day back at the job Detective Rebecca Everhart has a new partner to cope with as well as this baffling case. Rebecca has just come back from a homicide case that left her shaken.

Then another body turns up with the same gruesome wounds as the first. Has Rebecca got a serial killer on her hands or a mob war?

She must enter the tightly-knit Portuguese community to break the case.

This is second of a series of enthralling mysteries featuring Detective Rebecca Everhart. Perfect for fans of Kimberley Chambers, Melinda Leigh, Robert Dugoni, and Patricia Gibney.

 

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THE SETTING

Newark is the biggest city in the state of New Jersey, a gritty waterfront city with a large port. It’s a place that some call home but also somewhere many workers commute in to from the suburbs. It’s considered a dangerous city by some, but in recent years has been somewhat revitalized. One of the most diverse cities in the world, it’s a place full of life and great stories.

 

 

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This is great crime fiction. I love where the story begins and gives you a sense of motion; but also leaves you with a healthy dose of suspense. Silent Murder has everything you need to feed your crime addiction! Depth of character with good point of view. Sufficient tension and conflict, plot twists, mysterious crimes. A creative and unpredictable plot. I was hooked!  I literally felt part of every scene. I’m a fan. Can’t wait to see what E.R. Fallon has coming down the pike.

 

 

DETECTIVE REBECCA EVERHART SERIES

Book 1: BODY IN THE BOX

Book 2: SILENT MURDER

 

 

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E.R. FALLON

Having spent most of my life in and around NYC, I know well the gritty city streets I write about and have firsthand knowledge of the localized crime world through family. I will say no more. I studied criminology in college and was mentored by a leading advocate for the family members of homicide victims. I’ve published several stories with mystery and crime elements that received praise from bestselling international writers, and have previously worked as a business writer. I now live in the countryside and enjoy connecting with readers on and through my website.

 

 

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Book Review: Buried in Black by J.T. Patten

Buried in Black

 

TASK FORCE ORANGE #1

 

DEEPER THAN DEEP STATE

In this explosive new series, former intelligence expert J.T. Patten takes you deep inside the top-secret operations you’ll never see on the news: our deadliest weapons in the war against terror . . .

BURIED IN BLACK

In the clandestine world of shadow ops, he’s known as The Man From Orange. A master of surveillance, signals intelligence—and silent killing—special operative Drake Woolf has been groomed and trained by the old-guard intel community after his CIA father and mother were murdered in Tunisia. Now he works for Task Force Orange, handling cases the government doesn’t want its fingerprints on. Woolf can always be relied on to carry out an assignment with surgical precision—and exterminate a threat with extreme prejudice. But his latest mission is different. Woolf knows the targets personally. He trained them in Iraq to be the perfect killing machines. Known as the “Mohawks,” these Iraqi rebels know our secrets, our strengths, and our weaknesses. And they’re using this knowledge to launch the deadliest attack the world has ever seen—on American soil . . .

 

 

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BOOK REVIEW

 

Former intelligence expert J.T. Patten breaks on the scene with the first Task Force Orange book, Buried in Black.  First, I LOVE Black Ops. The tagline “Blacker than Black Ops” rings true when you read this book. Special operative Drake Woolfe is a well crafted character with a great backstory that bleeds well into the course of the story. They’re books about Black Ops…and then they’re books that plunge you into the authenticity of this darker than dark realm. Patten is of the latter.  I’m really looking forward to the next Task Force Orange book!

 

 

 

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“J.T. Patten” has worked with the intelligence and special operations community in support of national defense and policy. He has a degree in Foreign Language, a Masters in Strategic Intelligence, graduate studies in Counter Terrorism from the University of St. Andrews, and numerous expertise certifications in forensics, fraud, and financial crime investigations. Patten shares these unique experiences with readers to give them a taste of “the black.”

His novel is written in a multi-layered non-linear plot style that provides a compelling inside view of larger than life covert activities in addition to the gripping turmoil that warriors suffer while battling foes and internal demons.

Disclaimer:
These novels do not constitute an official release of CIA information. All statements of fact, opinion, or analysis expressed are those of the author and do not reflect the official positions or views of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) or any other U.S. Government agency. Nothing in the contents should be construed as asserting or implying U.S. Government authentication of information or CIA endorsement of the author’s views. This material has been reviewed for classification.

 

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October Book Recommendations with the Book Beast

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October Book Recommendations by the BOOK BEAST  Laura Rash a.k.a Wonder Chick

You can find her on Instagram at Wonderchick40 or on Twitter @RashLaura

Thanks Laura!

 

 

DI Murphy & DS Rossi Series

 

 

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The young girl you have found isn’t the first experiment I’ve carried out. She won’t be the last.

A tense, unpredictable crime debut that will not only have you gripped, but will chill you to the bone. Perfect for fans of Stuart MacBride and Mark Billingham.

A serial killer is stalking the streets of Liverpool, gruesomely murdering victims as part of a series of infamous, unethical and deadly psychological experiments.

When it becomes apparent that each victim has ties to the City of Liverpool University, DI David Murphy and DS Laura Rossi realise they’re chasing a killer unlike any they’ve hunted before – one who doesn’t just want his victims’ bodies, but wants their minds too.

With a series of psychological twists Dead Gone will keep you guessing until the very end.

 

Other books in the series…

The Dying Place

Bloodstream

It Never Leaves You

Then She Was Gone

 

 

The Harry Hole Series

 

The Thirst Jo Nesbo

 

 

Harry Hole returns in the eleventh installment of the author’s best-selling, electrifying crime fiction series—published in 48 languages, more than 30 million copies sold worldwide.

In Police—the last novel featuring Jo Nesbø’s hard-bitten, maverick Oslo detective—a killer wreaking revenge on the police had Harry Hole fighting for the safety of the people closest to him. Now, in The Thirst, the story continues as Harry is inextricably drawn back into the Oslo police force. A serial murderer has begun targeting Tinder daters—a murderer whose MO reignites Harry’s hunt for a nemesis of his past.

 

Other books in the Harry Hole series…

 

 

The DI Callanach Series

 

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The body of a young girl is found dumped on the roadside on the outskirts of Edinburgh. When pathologists examine the remains, they make a gruesome discovery: the silhouette of a doll carved in the victim’s skin. And when a macabre ragdoll is found nestled beside an abandoned baby, DI Luc Callanch learns the killer’s horrifying game plan – cutting out dolls from the flesh of his victims.

When a series of drug-users are brutally branded with the letter Z slashed into their foreheads, Luc and his partner Ava must risk both their jobs and their lives to unearth the truth. Is this the merciless work of the same assailant?

As the killer’s twisted games persist, Luc knows it’s only a matter of time before he strikes again. Can they stop another victim from being silenced forever – or is it already too late?

 

Other books in the series…

Perfect Remains

Perfect Prey

Perfect Death

 

 

The Orphan X Series

 

 

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When darkness closes in―he’s your last, best hope. Evan Smoak returns in Gregg Hurwitz’s #1 international bestselling Orphan X series.

Taken from a group home at age twelve, Evan Smoak was raised and trained as part of the Orphan Program, an off-the-books operation designed to create deniable intelligence assets―i.e. assassins. Evan was Orphan X. He broke with the Program, using everything he learned to disappear and reinvent himself as the Nowhere Man, a man who helps the truly desperate when no one else can. But now Evan’s past in the Orphan Program is reaching out to him.

Someone at the very highest level of government has been trying to eliminate every trace of the Orphan Program by killing all the remaining Orphans and their trainers. After Evan’s mentor and the only father he ever knew was killed, he decided to strike back. His target is the man who started the program and who is now the most heavily guarded person in the world: the President of the United States.

But President Bennett knows that Orphan X is after him and, using weapons of his own, he’s decided to counter-attack. Bennett activates the one man who has the skills and experience to track down and take out Orphan X―the first recruit of the program, Orphan A.

With Evan devoting all his skills, resources, and intelligence to find a way through the layers of security that surround the President, suddenly he also has to protect himself against the deadliest of opponents. It’s Orphan vs. Orphan with the future of the country―even the world―on the line.

 

Other books in the series...

Orphan X

Buy a Bullet

The Nowhere Man

Hellbent

The Intern

Out of the Dark

 

Out of the Dark will be available January 29, 2019 Pre-order a copy now

 

 

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INCEPTION: An Introduction to the Black Flagged Series by Steven Konkoly

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Daniel Petrovich, the most lethal operative created by the Department of Defense’s Black Flagged Program, represents a new breed of covert operative.

 

 

*****

 

INCEPTION is Daniel Petrovich’s origin story. The perfect place for a new reader to start the BLACK FLAGGED series.

 

 

 

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He wasn’t recruited from Special Forces, law enforcement or any of the alphabet agencies–and he isn’t motivated by a sense of undying patriotism or bitter revenge. Petrovich is none of those things, which makes him all the more dangerous. Unlike most “heroes,” there’s no obvious black and white in Petrovich’s world. He sees everything in gray–an uncompromising trait that will keep him alive long enough to pull off one of the biggest coups in covert military history.

“Black Flagged lays the foundation for a gritty, high-octane series exploring the serpentine link between covert operations and government agency politics.” – Amazon reviewer

“…explosive thriller in the tradition of Flynn, Thor, Clancy…” – Amazon Reviewer

 

GET INCEPTION FREE ON KINDLE

 

Steven Konkoly is one of my favorite writers. If you haven’t discovered him yet, you’re really missing out. I love mysteries and thrillers, but there’s only one who gave me the chills—Steven Konkoly. When I read the Fractured State series the tension was so thick it literally gave me the chills. I love the creativity of authors and he has some great books out on the market. Black Ops, Post-apocalyptic thrillers, Near future Black Ops, and Military Science fiction. 

Inception, is Daniel Petrovich’s origin story, a.ka. Marko Resja, deep Black Ops operative. It’s a great place to start if you’re new to the Black Flagged series.

 

 

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About Steven Konkoly

 


Steven Konkoly is the USA Today bestselling author of over twenty novels and novellas. His canon of THRILLERS includes: the FRACTURED STATE trilogy, a “24-style,” near future conspiracy series set in the southwest United States; the BLACK FLAGGED books, a gritty, no-holds barred covert operations and espionage saga; and THE PERSEID COLLAPSE series, a tense, thriller epic, chronicling the aftermath of an inconceivable attack on the United States. He recently released HOT ZONE, the first book in a thriller series chronicling the events surrounding a bioweapons attack against the United States.

Want to go behind the scenes of a bestselling thriller author? I have created an extensive array of bonus material at my website, stevenkonkoly.com, and hope you will stop by to check it out. There’s something for everyone, and you can sign up for my exclusive newsletter while you’re there. By signing up for the newsletter, you get access to subscriber only content, discount offers and “you heard it here first” updates.

***THE LONGER BIO***

Steven graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1993, receiving a bachelor of science in English literature. He served the next eight years on active duty, traveling the world as a naval officer assigned to various Navy and Marine Corps units. His extensive journey spanned the globe, including a two-year tour of duty in Japan and travel to more than twenty countries throughout Asia and the Middle East.

From enforcing United Nations sanctions against Iraq as a maritime boarding officer in the Arabian Gulf, to directing aircraft bombing runs and naval gunfire strikes as a Forward Air Controller (FAC) assigned to a specialized Marine Corps unit, Steven’s “in-house” experience with a wide range of regular and elite military units brings a unique authenticity to his thrillers.

He lives with his family in central Indiana, where he still wakes up at “zero dark thirty” to write for most of the day. When “off duty,” he spends as much time as possible outdoors or travelling with his family–and dog.

Steven is an active member of the International Thriller Writers (ITW) and Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) organizations.

You can contact Steven directly by email (stevekonkoly@striblingmedia.com) or through his blog (www.stevenkonkoly.com).

WORK BY STEVEN KONKOLY

THE ZULU VIRUS CHRONICLES–Bioweapons/post-apocalyptic thrillers
1.) Hot Zone
2.) Kill Box
3.) Fire Storm

THE FRACTURED STATE SERIES–Dystopian, near future thrillers
1.) Fractured State
2.) Rogue State

THE PERSEID COLLAPSE SERIES–Post-apocalyptic/dystopian thrillers
1.) The Jakarta Pandemic
2.) The Perseid Collapse
3.) Event Horizon
4.) Point of Crisis
5.) Dispatches

THE BLACK FLAGGED SERIES–Black Ops/Political/Espionage thrillers
0.) INCEPTION (PREQUEL)
1.) ALPHA
2.) REDUX
3.) APEX
4.) VEKTOR
4.5) COVENANT
6.) OMEGA

Thirst No More: The Morgan Dane Kool-Aid Has Arrived…

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THIRST NO MORE…

 

 

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THE MORGAN DANE KOOL-AID HAS ARRIVED…

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHAT I’VE DONE (MORGAN DANE BOOK 4)…

 

 

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Morgan Dane’s new client has blood on her hands—and no recollection of what happened—as the #1 Amazon Charts bestselling series continues.

Haley Powell wakes up covered in blood, with no memory of the night before. When she sees a man lying in the backyard, stabbed to death, she has only one terrified thought: What have I done?

Agreeing to take the case as a favor to her PI friend Lincoln Sharp, Morgan must scale a mountain of damning circumstantial and forensic evidence to prove her client innocent. Haley couldn’t appear more guilty: her bloodstained fingerprints are on the murder weapon, and she has no alibi. But Morgan can’t shake the feeling that this shocked young woman has been framed.

Someone out there is hell-bent on sabotaging her defense, targeting Morgan, her partner, and especially Haley. Someone who will stop at nothing—and whose next move will be deadly.

Available Sept. 18, 2018 Pre-order now

 

 

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Audiobook: Pre-order now

 

 

 

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Say You’re Sorry

Her Last Goodbye

Bone’s Don’t Lie

What I’ve Done

Secrets Never Die

Save Your Breath

 

 

100% guaranteed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coming Soon: Long Road To Mercy by David Baldacci

 

 

David Baldacci has written some of my favorite characters and series. Can’t wait to meet FBI Special Agent Atlee Pine this fall! 

 

 

 

Long Road to Mercy Baldacci

 

 

Introducing a remarkable new character from #1 New York Times bestselling writer David Baldacci: Atlee Pine, an FBI agent with special skills assigned to the remote wilds of the southwestern United States who must confront a new threat . . . and an old nightmare.

Eeny, meeny, miny, moe. Catch a tiger by its toe.

It’s seared into Atlee Pine’s memory: the kidnapper’s chilling rhyme as he chose between six-year-old Atlee and her twin sister, Mercy. Mercy was taken. Atlee was spared.

She never saw Mercy again.

Three decades after that terrifying night, Atlee Pine works for the FBI. She’s the lone agent assigned to the Shattered Rock, Arizona resident agency, which is responsible for protecting the Grand Canyon.

So when one of the Grand Canyon’s mules is found stabbed to death at the bottom of the canyon-and its rider missing-Pine is called in to investigate. It soon seems clear the lost tourist had something more clandestine than sightseeing in mind. But just as Pine begins to put together clues pointing to a terrifying plot, she’s abruptly called off the case.

If she disobeys direct orders by continuing to search for the missing man, it will mean the end of her career. But unless Pine keeps working the case and discovers the truth, it could spell the very end of democracy in America as we know it…

 

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David Baldacci talks about his experience in a secret government agency

 

 

 

 

Davidbaldacci.com | Twitter | Facebook

 

 

Interviews:

Northern Virginia Summer Spotlight: David Baldacci

David Baldacci’s 6 favorite books with an element of mystery

 

 

 

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Book Recommendations by Book Beast Laura Rash

We Recommend

 

 

Books on the Radar with Book Beast Laura Rash

 

The Last Time I lied

 

 

THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

In the latest thriller from the bestselling author of Final Girls, a young woman returns to her childhood summer camp to uncover the truth about a tragedy that happened there fifteen years ago.

Two Truths and a Lie. The girls played it all the time in their cabin at Camp Nightingale. Vivian, Natalie, Allison, and first-time camper Emma Davis, the youngest of the group. But the games ended the night Emma sleepily watched the others sneak out of the cabin into the darkness. The last she–or anyone–saw of them was Vivian closing the cabin door behind her, hushing Emma with a finger pressed to her lips.

Now a rising star in the New York art scene, Emma turns her past into paintings–massive canvases filled with dark leaves and gnarled branches that cover ghostly shapes in white dresses. When the paintings catch the attention of Francesca Harris-White, the wealthy owner of Camp Nightingale, she implores Emma to return to the newly reopened camp as a painting instructor. Seeing an opportunity to find out what really happened to her friends all those years ago, Emma agrees.

Familiar faces, unchanged cabins, and the same dark lake haunt Nightingale, even though the camp is opening its doors for the first time since the disappearances. Emma is even assigned to the same cabin she slept in as a teenager, but soon discovers a security camera–the only one on the property–pointed directly at its door. Then cryptic clues that Vivian left behind about the camp’s twisted origins begin surfacing. As she digs deeper, Emma finds herself sorting through lies from the past while facing mysterious threats in the present. And the closer she gets to the truth about Camp Nightingale and what really happened to those girls, the more she realizes that closure could come at a deadly price.

 

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“A twisting, heart-wrenching journey into a marriage, a gripping thriller…Reardon grabs his readers on page one, then deftly ratchets the suspense until the breathless ending.”—Lisa Unger, New York Times bestselling author

Julia Swann, mother of two young boys, is on the phone with her husband, Michael, when the call abruptly cuts out. It isn’t until later in the evening when she discovers that something terrible has happened at Penn Station, where Michael was waiting for a train home.

Julia races to New York City to look for Michael, her panicked searching interwoven with memories of meeting and falling in love with the husband she’s now desperate to find. When someone finds a flier she’s posted and tells her they may have seen her husband, her prays seem to be answered. Yet as she tries to find him, her calls go unanswered. Did Michael survive? If so, why hasn’t he contacted her? Was he—or is he still—the man she fell in love with?

Part family drama, part tragic love story, The Real Michael Swann is a deftly plotted suspense novel with an unflinching portrait of a marriage at its heart, challenging us to confront the unthinkable–both in our country and in our own homes.

“Reardon masterfully delivers an intimate, heartbreaking portrayal of a family whose love, trust, and loyalty for each other is put to the ultimate test.”—Rhiannon Navin, author of Only Child.

 

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“A tense and gripping read that plumbs the depths of grief and longing. Leave No Trace is as thrilling as a whitewater rapid and as dark as the Minnesotan wilderness itself.” —Amy Gentry, internationally bestselling author of Good as Gone

“Dark and atmospheric, with palpably vivid details and complex characters harboring plenty of secrets, Leave No Trace is the perfect combination of gorgeous prose and edge-of-your-seat storytelling.” —Kimberly Belle, internationally bestselling author of The Marriage Lie

“This novel deserves the top-spot on your reading list!”—Hannah Mary McKinnon, author of The Neighbors

From the author of the “compelling” (Star Tribune, Minneapolis) and critically acclaimed Everything You Want Me to Be, a riveting and suspenseful thriller about the mysterious disappearance of a boy and his stunning return ten years later.

There is a place in Minnesota with hundreds of miles of glacial lakes and untouched forests called the Boundary Waters. Ten years ago a man and his son trekked into this wilderness and never returned.

Search teams found their campsite ravaged by what looked like a bear. They were presumed dead until a decade later…the son appeared. Discovered while ransacking an outfitter store, he was violent and uncommunicative and sent to a psychiatric facility. Maya Stark, the assistant language therapist, is charged with making a connection with their high-profile patient. No matter how she tries, however, he refuses to answer questions about his father or the last ten years of his life.

But Maya, who was abandoned by her own mother, has secrets, too. And as she’s drawn closer to this enigmatic boy who is no longer a boy, she’ll risk everything to reunite him with his father who has disappeared from the known world.

 

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The next novel of psychological suspense and obsession from the authors of the blockbuster bestseller The Wife Between Us

Seeking women ages 18–32 to participate in a study on ethics and morality. Generous compensation. Anonymity guaranteed.

When Jessica Farris signs up for a psychology study conducted by the mysterious Dr. Shields, she thinks all she’ll have to do is answer a few questions, collect her money, and leave. But as the questions grow more and more intense and invasive and the sessions become outings where Jess is told what to wear and how to act, she begins to feel as though Dr. Shields may know what she’s thinking…and what she’s hiding. As Jess’s paranoia grows, it becomes clear that she can no longer trust what in her life is real, and what is one of Dr. Shields’ manipulative experiments. Caught in a web of deceit and jealousy, Jess quickly learns that some obsessions can be deadly.

From the authors of the blockbuster bestseller The Wife Between Us comes an electrifying new novel about doubt, passion, and just how much you can trust someone.

Praise for The Wife Between Us:

“A fiendishly smart cat-and-mouse thriller” —New York Times Book Review

“[A] seamless thriller that will keep readers on their toes to the very end…Readers will enjoy the dizzying back-and-forth as they attempt to figure out just who to root for and as the suspense ratchets up to one hell of a conclusion.” —Booklist

 

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After leaving her marriage to jealous, possessive oncologist Maxwell, Lily and her six-year-old son have a second chance at happiness with teacher Sebastian. Kind but vulnerable, Sebastian is the polar opposite of Maxwell, and the perfect match for Lily. After a whirlwind romance, they marry, and that’s when things start to go wrong. Maxwell returns to the scene, determined to win back his family, and events soon spiral out of control. Lily and Sebastian find themselves not only fighting for their relationship, but also their lives.

 

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A serial killer is burning people alive in the Lake District’s prehistoric stone circles. He leaves no clues and the police are helpless.

When his name is found carved into the charred remains of the third victim, disgraced detective Washington Poe is brought back from suspension and into an investigation he wants no part of.

Reluctantly partnered with the brilliant but socially awkward civilian analyst, Tilly Bradshaw, the mismatched pair uncover a trail that only he is meant to see. The elusive killer has a plan and for some reason Poe is part of it.

As the body count rises, Poe discovers he has far more invested in the case than he could have possibly imagined. And in a shocking finale that will shatter everything he’s ever believed about himself, Poe will learn that there are things far worse than being burned alive…

 

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One of the most anticipated reads is now available.

 

 

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New York Times bestselling author William Kent Krueger delivers yet another “punch-to-the-gut blend of detective story and investigative fiction” (Booklist, starred review) as Cork O’Connor and his son Stephen work together to uncover the truth behind the tragic plane crash of a senator on Desolation Mountain and the mysterious disappearances of several first responders. This is a heart-pounding and devastating mystery the scope and consequences of which go far beyond what father or son could ever have imagined.

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

To Stephen O’Connor, Hamlet’s dour observation is more than just words. All his life, he has had visions of tragedies to come. When he experiences the vision of a great bird shot from the sky, he knows something terrible is about to happen. The crash of a private plane on Desolation Mountain in a remote part of the Iron Lake Reservation, which kills a United States senator and most of her family, confirms Stephen’s worst fears.

Stephen joins his father, Cork O’Connor and a few Ojibwe men from the nearby Iron Lake reservation to sift through the smoldering wreckage when the FBI arrives and quickly assumes control of the situation. What seems like the end of the O’Connors’ involvement is, however, only the beginning of a harrowing journey to understand the truth behind the Senator’s death. As he initiates his own probe, Cork O’Connor stumbles upon a familiar face in Bo Thorson, a private security consultant whose unnamed clients have hired him to look quietly into the cause of the crash. The men agree to join forces in their investigation, but soon Cork begins to wonder if Thorson’s loyalties lie elsewhere.

In that far north Minnesota County, which is overrun with agents of the FBI, NTSB, DoD, and even members of a rightwing militia, all of whom have their own agendas, Cork, Stephen, and Bo attempt to navigate a perilous course. Roadblocked by lies from the highest levels of government, uncertain who to trust, and facing growing threats the deeper they dig for answers, the three men finally understand that to get to the truth, they will have to face the great menace, a beast of true evil lurking in the woods—a beast with a murderous intent of unimaginable scale.

 

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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…

 

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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.

 

 

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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