Author Mary Angela Introduces Passport to Murder

 

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Death never takes a holiday, but it certainly can take away one. Will Professor Prather find out who killed her Parisian plans before the end of spring break?

 

 

 

 

© Julie Prairie Photography 2016

 

 

About the Author

Mary Angela is the author of the Professor Prather academic mystery series, which has been called “enjoyable” and “clever” by Publishers Weekly. She is also an educator and has taught English and humanities at South Dakota’s public and private universities for over ten years. When Mary isn’t writing or teaching, she enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her family. For more information about Mary or the series, go to MaryAngelaBooks.com.

 

 

Book Blurb

Passport to Murder (Professor Prather Mystery #2)

 

Start with an unlucky number. Throw in a romantic location. Include a dashing Frenchman and an uncompromising professor. And you have all the ingredients for a passport to murder.

This semester, it seems that Professor Prather’s dreams are about to come true. Ever since she was a young girl, she’s imagined going to France, and her French colleague, André Duman, has finally made that trip possible. Over spring break, she and André are to lead a group of students and faculty to Paris to explore the City of Light. But before she can utter her first bonjour, a professor dies, and they are stuck in Minneapolis. She returns to Copper Bluff with an unstamped passport and a mystery to solve.
When André becomes the prime suspect, Emmeline puts her research skills to good use, determined to find out who really killed the professor and spoiled their spring break plans. With thirteen travelers assembled, the possibilities are varied and villainous. Luckily, her dear friend and sidekick, Lenny Jenkins, is close by. Together, they will sort through the conflicting clues even if it costs them time, trouble, or tenure.

 

 

 

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  1. What was your process for creating English professor Emmeline Prather?

I knew I wanted to set my series in a small college town in South Dakota, so I imagined a young professor relocating to the area. The landscape had to be a draw for my protagonist because the pay is definitely not. I like that she’s an outsider looking in. It heightens her awareness of the region.

 

 

 

 

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  1. What do you like about an amateur sleuth versus a professional one? 

I like that an amateur sleuth is not paid to solve crimes. It’s not her job, so she doesn’t have any police experience to help her. The amateur sleuth allows me, as a reader and a writer, to become intimately involved. I like to imagine what I would do in the same circumstances.

 

  1. What are some characteristics of Emmeline that help her solve crimes?

She is an excellent researcher, which helps her dig up information. She also has a degree in French literature, so she’s great at analyzing stories. Combined, these characteristics make her a tough sleuth to beat!

 

 

 

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  1. You affectionately call her “Em.” Describe your relationship to the protagonist. 

Em is so much fun, and I do think of her as Em as I’m writing. I enjoy writing her because she can be incredibly passionate when it comes to education, students, and crimes. Sometimes I get a chuckle out of her antics.

 

  1. What are the dynamics like between Emmeline and her sidekick Lenny Jenkins? 

There is a strong dynamic between Em and Lenny; they balance each other nicely. Em can take herself too seriously, and Lenny—doesn’t. They both challenge each other to see the world from another viewpoint, which is incredibly advantageous for crime fighting.

 

 

 

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  1. Describe some challenges writing Passport to Murder. 

Moving a group of thirteen characters was hard. I had to talk to the airport police in Minnesota and South Dakota. I also had to read about police procedures and what can and can’t be done when police investigate a suspicious death.

 

 

 

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  1. What did you learn while researching this book? 

I learned that the FBI has jurisdiction involving any crime committed in the air. I thought that was pretty interesting! I also learned that a plane can’t land on a full tank of gas.

 

 

 

Seriously, Just Ahead Green Road Sign Over Dramatic Sky, Clouds and Sunburst.

 

 

 

  1. Is it challenging writing a mystery? 

Yes, it is challenging, but that’s exactly what I like about the mystery genre. It works both sides of my brain. I spend lots of time making my characters and settings interesting, but I also spend an ample amount of time creating a clever and believable plot. All loose ends have to be tied up by the end of the novel. It takes great attention to detail.

 

 

 

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  1. Do you outline your novels? 

No, I don’t, but I do create a timeline and plot some events before writing them.

 

  1. Imagine yourself as Professor Emmeline.  Given the criminal circumstances, would you make the same choices as her? Why or why not?

That’s a tough one! I think I would. I might try to reveal the murderer in a less obvious way, but if I thought I could solve the crime, I would have to try, especially if it benefited my campus or friend.

 

 

 

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  1. Have you ever been to France? 

Yes, I have been to France and loved my time there. I would like to go back and spend the summer in a little French village. That’s my hobby: looking at vacation rentals in wine country. Maybe some day!

 

 

 

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  1. What’s next for you?

I’m writing book three in the series, A Very Merry Murder. It’s a holiday mystery, so I’ve been spending most of my days dreaming about baking sugar cookies and eating fudge. Not a good omen for the impending holidays!

 

 

 

Connect with Mary Angela

 

© Julie Prairie Photography 2016

 

 

Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon | Maryangelabooks.com

 

 

 

Thanks for ridin the train folks! Come back and see us. Peace out.

 

 

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Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

www.mysterythrillerweek.com

 

 

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Between the Shadow and Lo by Lauren Sapala

 

Lauren Sapala

 

 

PLEASE WELCOME LAUREN SAPALA 

 

Lauren Sapala is a writing coach who specializes in coaching introverted, intuitive writers. She founded the WriteCity writing groups in Seattle and San Francisco and currently blogs about writing and creativity at www.laurensapala.com.

 

 

My fellow creative friend on the east coast just released another book August 29, 2017. Check it out!

 

 

Between the Shadow and LO

 

Amazon | Goodreads

 

 

BOOK BLURB

“A voice that was strong and cruel came from somewhere deep within me. When the voice split away and talked to me all by itself I started calling her Lo…She’d watched me at my lowest points and saved up a thousand slights, a million minor offenses. She forgave nothing, and now she wanted revenge.”

Leah is an alcoholic. She’s antisocial, self-destructive, and deeply damaged. She’s also battling a voice in her head she calls Lo, who wants to take over her body. Lo is everything Leah isn’t—beautiful, charming, confident, and ruthless in her desires.  She commandeers Leah’s will whenever Leah gets too drunk, and acts as her escort through the rainy Seattle underworld.

As a misfit bibliophile, Leah’s conception of reality has never been rock solid, but as she spirals deeper into addiction the “real world” of bars, bikers, dealers, and addicts slowly dissolves into Lo’s dark vision. As Lo steadily tightens her hold, Leah prepares to make one last bid for survival, knowing her only chance is to transcend Lo’s terrifying drive toward death.

 

 

 

Road

 

 

 

In the beginning you addressed this book to your Uncle John. Who was he to you, and what impact did he have on your life?

My Uncle John is my dad’s identical twin brother. One of the issues I explore in the book is the death of my younger brother, which occurred when he was six years old and I was eight. My younger brother battled leukemia for three years before his death and my Uncle John was the one who drove us to his chemotherapy appointments two hours away, each month. My uncle had a bad hip, so being in the car for long periods of time like this wasn’t ideal. But he did it anyway. I have always carried that memory of my uncle soldiering on through the physical and emotional difficulty of ferrying us back and forth to those appointments. I watched his example and learned from it. That’s why I say in the dedication that he taught me that “the only way out is through.” It’s a well known saying that means, “the only way to get through it is to get through it.” My Uncle John always got through things, he didn’t run away from them. This is a lesson that the narrator of the book, Leah, needs to learn.

 

 

 

*What does the “shadow” represent from the title of your book?

The “shadow” refers to the shadow self, that psychological dark side that exists in each of us, but normally remains buried in the subconscious. The narrator, Leah, is a normally introverted, bookish type of person who doesn’t know how to express her true self, or how to express her real needs. When she gets drunk, her shadow self comes roaring to the surface, the wildly extroverted, aggressive, domineering personality who has absolutely no awareness of anyone else’s needs other than her own.

For those who are interested in MBTI, I’m an INFJ personality type, so my shadow side is an ESTP. However, because our shadow side usually stays hidden in our subconscious, it also stays relatively undeveloped. A personality expert I love said that using your conscious side is like signing your name with your dominant hand—it’s smooth and fluid from using it so much. But using your shadow side is like trying to sign your name with your left foot—everything comes out distorted and barely recognizable because that part of you hardly ever sees the light of day.

When Leah gets drunk she goes into her shadow side and becomes Lo and, consequently, everything in her comes out as distorted and barely recognizable. It’s definitely a Jekyll-and-Hyde type of situation.

 

 

 

 

Shadow

 

 

 

 

*What does the “Lo” represent? 

Lo is the personality that Leah, the narrator of the book, becomes when she gets drunk. I was an alcoholic for many years and this book is based on my experiences during that time. To this day, I’m fascinated by the personality changes that people undergo due to addiction. It’s quite common to hear people say that a family member is the most loving, compassionate person when sober, but when they’re drunk or high it’s the complete opposite. And of course, people do things when intoxicated that they would never do sober, like lie, cheat, and steal. I find this so intriguing and so I wanted to explore how that process worked for me when I was an active alcoholic.

I also believe that, as a society, we use a lot of different addictions to lower consciousness on a regular basis— that is, to make ourselves less alert, less empathetic, less compassionate, less emotionally sensitive. Alcohol and drugs are obvious choices, but we also use things like shopping, sex, the internet, gossip, an oversaturation of news and media, exercise, and food. In my book, Leah is just one extreme example of someone who systematically and purposefully tries to lower her consciousness whenever she can (through alcohol) because she doesn’t want to deal with her emotionally painful past, or her energetically sensitive present.

 

 

 

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*There are two very interesting quotes at the front of the book. Can you describe what they mean to you?

The first quote actually comes from one of my clients, a writer named Ritu Kaushal. She has a blog called Walking through Transitions (http://www.walkingthroughtransitions.com) which is just fantastic. I was reading some of her work and stumbled across that quote from her and it hit me like a bolt of lightning. Especially the last few lines:

Maybe, that’s what hurt does. It cuts us into different people. There are some parts with their gaping holes that break off from the core, and then they roam inside us, reminding us of our own poverty.

I thought, “Yes! Ah-ha! That’s EXACTLY the way I felt during all those dark years when I was drinking!” Ritu very graciously let me use the quote from her and I am so grateful because it’s just perfect.

The second quote is from Jean Genet:

Worse than not realizing the dreams of your youth, would be to have been young and never dreamed at all.

He’s one of my very favorite writers, and that quote from him sums up how I felt about those years. They were dark and difficult, but I’m so glad they happened and I wouldn’t trade them for anything. As painful as that time was, I still saw it all through my writer’s imagination (my “dreaming eyes”) and I treasure those experiences.

 

 

 

 

Dreaming eyes

 

 

 

 

*After suffering some hardship you turned to books. What led you in that direction?

Oh, I’ve always been a book nut. In fact, that was something I really wanted to emphasize in this memoir/novel. Because of some painful experiences in her childhood, Leah has a lot of trouble connecting with people. She feels separate from everyone all the time. One of the main ways she relates to the world and figures out how to navigate life is through books. For example, there’s one instance in the book where Leah meets this couple who run a nightclub together. She immediately compares them to characters out of a Fitzgerald novel and wonders to herself if she should “plan” to feel about them the same way she felt about those characters. This is extremely dysfunctional—but that’s actually how I was at that time. I had no idea how to even have spontaneous emotions toward people because I was so guarded and shut down. So, I often categorized people as characters from books I had read, and then treated them accordingly.

Leah (who is obviously me as a character) does this all through the novel too. She becomes involved with a guy who reminds her of Prince Myshkin from Dostoyevsky’s The Idiot and so she instantly puts herself in the role of the tragic female character of that novel to support that fantasy. At the end of the book Leah flees her disastrous life in Seattle to start over in San Francisco, and the only way she can process that decision is by comparing herself to Anna Karenina jumping in front of the train. You’ll see this over and over again throughout the book. Leah is so frightened by “real life” that the only way she can interpret her experience of it is through story.

 

 

 

 

The Idiot

 

 

 

 

*What were some challenges writing this book.

Um, wow. I could write ten pages on this. Well, the first draft took me over two years to write. It came out to about 800 pages, and it then took me another nine years to cut and rewrite and revise. I probably rewrote the whole book at least five times. Putting it all together structurally was kind of a nightmare.

Beyond the actual process of writing it, the book contains really, really personal stuff. And a lot of it is super embarrassing. I detail incidents in that book that I hadn’t told my closest friends about. There are sections that are sexually explicit, and other sections that are incredibly emotionally intimate. I was terrified of what people would think of me.

I resolved to bury the manuscript in the backyard and never think about it again at least 20 times. And then I finally published it.

 

 

 

 

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*Name the rewards of writing it.

Ha, I could write ten pages about this too! Well, first of all I felt a huge sense of relief once it was out of my desk drawer and into the world. I do believe that releasing your work into the world is the essential last step in the creative cycle for any writer. If you have a ton of work stuffed away that no one has ever seen, it’s just as mentally unhealthy as it would be if you were a hoarder and living in a house stuffed with piles of newspapers.

Second of all, I made the most unlikely and unexpected connections through the book. Readers messaged me on Facebook and emailed me directly to tell me how strongly the book resonated with them. All the stuff that I was so embarrassed about and was cringing over…well, they loved it. They told me they thought it was hilarious or beautiful or just awesome. That was a really, really cool thing for me to see, that I’m not the only one that’s gone through dark times.

 

 

 

 

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*What is the message you want others to walk away with?

I want others to read this book and know that they don’t have to hide themselves. It’s okay if you have or are currently struggling with addiction, or low self-worth, or messed up stuff from your past. Other people are going through it too. We’re all human and none of us are alone in this. I also hope that people are just plain entertained by the book. Readers have told me that they read it all in one night because they just couldn’t keep from going on to the next chapter, and then the next. I think that’s something every writer wants to hear, that the book you wrote was just actually a lot of fun for people to read.

 

 

 

*Hindsight is 20/20. Put on your hindsight glasses and write a letter to your younger self. What would the letter say? What would you say to Lo?

Well, after living with her myself, I can honestly say there is no telling Lo anything. She is completely ego-based and runs entirely on fear. That’s her role in this life and that’s cool. But I would tell Leah that everything is going to work out, and that everything she’s living through is going to be in a book someday. I think that would have made her very happy.

 

 

 

 

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Connect with Lauren

Twitter | Facebook | Amazon | Goodreads | Website

 

Don’t miss out on Lauren’s other book, The INFJ Writer

 

INFJ writer

 

Amazon | Goodreads

 

 

 

THANKS FOR JOINING US ON THE WRITING TRAIN

 

Train

 

 

 

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

Mystery Thriller Week 2018

 

 

 

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Author Interview with Megan Tennant and upcoming Book Release

 

 

 

The Official Aletheia Book Trailer!

 

 

 

 

 

AVAILABLE SEPT. 7, 2017

 

 

Aletheia

 

 

Book Blurb

 

The first book in The Seventh River series, Aletheia, takes the young adult dystopian genre to new, and often dark, places. While coming highly recommended to fans of the Hunger Games, Maze Runner, and Divergent, readers will find a gut-wrenching, original plot that dares to stand apart from what is expected of the genre. Brilliant and brutal, Aletheia is praised for tearing deep emotions from even the toughest reader. Whether you enjoy post-apocalyptic, dystopian, or general science fiction, reviewers agree, Aletheia is a must read.

Nearly two decades after the fall, the transcendent city of Iris is the only place rumored to have a cure to the disease that decimated the world. Beyond Iris, are the remnants of the old world, crawling with the Depraved. Infected with Lethe, they no longer remember the people or dreams they were once willing to fight for, and are left instead with familiar voices that whisper dark and unfamiliar words within their minds. Instinct is all that keeps the diseased struggling to exist another day.

Deep underground, below Iris, exists a compound, prison to the Nameless who traded their freedom for the cure to Lethe. It is here that 736 fights to protect those she loves. Not against the Depraved that she’s taught to fear, but against the society that saved her from that fate. She was willing to trade away her rights to regain the ability to form memories, but she won’t let the cult that cured her treat the lives of the Nameless like a resource to be used and discarded. At least, not without a fight.

How much is 736 willing to sacrifice for revenge against her captors? For those she cares about? For freedom? Everything has a cost, what would you be willing to pay?

 

Amazon | Goodreads 

 

 

 

 

 

AUTHOR INTERVIEW

 

 

 

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*Where are you originally from?

I’m originally from Angels Camp, California. A cute little town near Big Trees State Park.


*What’s it like living in Silicon Valley?

Expensive! But other than that, fairly nice. Silicon Valley is very diverse and full of science and art. It’s my kind of place, though cost of living could definitely improve.



*Is anyone else in your family a writer?

My mother has written some published children’s poems and stories, and my father is an aspiring science fiction writer. My brother is a great graphic artist who also dabbles in shadow boxes, but never caught the writing bug.

 

*Did you really spend half your life exploring wild jungles in Costa Rica? Have pictures?

I did, and it was incredible. From the age of roughly 8 to near 16 I lived on the Nicoya Peninsula, surrounded by jungles, beaches, and waterfalls. It was an amazing experience and has fueled many of the more fundamental aspects of my writing. And I do have pictures, which is a good thing, because I might not believe all of my stories if I didn’t have proof.

Costa Rica 3

 

 

Costa Rica 1

 

 

Cost Rica 2

 

 

 

*Why did you choose to be an indie author?

I chose to be an indie author from the very start, before even querying a publisher. For me, the choice was easy and ultimately came down to control. I knew what I wanted my novels to be, and I didn’t want them being twisted to fit into the market norms. A lot of beautiful things are lost from art when parts are carved away so it can fit in a more ‘market friendly’ box. I don’t recommend this route for everyone. But for those who can afford it, and want a high degree of control over their work, it’s definitely something to look into. My partner and I actually started a company (Cloud Kitten Publishing) to publish Aletheia, and we hope to one day soon offer services that mesh the experience and support of traditional publishing with the creative freedom of self-publishing.

 

*How do you personally define dystopian, or Post-apocalyptic fiction?

I believe there are many different ways to define a genre, but personally, what I take most out of dystopian and post-apocalyptic fiction is the way humans handle disaster and immense societal shifts. In both of these genres, we commonly see a society that was once our own but has been forced through a rapid set of changes whether due to disaster, war, disease, power shifts, or a combination. We see societies torn apart, and sometimes rebuilt. In these settings, characters are pushed to their limits and forced into gray areas that test them on levels we don’t often experience ourselves.

 

*Why did you decide to write this genre?

I decided to write my first series in the dystopian genre in part because the idea I had for Aletheia was dystopian by nature, but also, because I’m passionate about the genre. I love to see stories where humans are pushed out of their comfort zone and forced to face and overcome their fears. I love stories where characters are very real and have a gray range to their personality. The dystopian genre contains many of these stories. I also believe that it’s very important to write what you love. If a writer is truly passionate about a story, it will show and make for a better read. Also, writing a novel takes a very long time, so I reserve that level of dedication for genres I’m passionate about. In future projects, I’ll be exploring alien science fiction and fantasy, since those are genres I’m passionate about. But I don’t expect to stray much beyond the three. And you will never find a contemporary novel written by me.

*What is Aletheia about?

In Aletheia, the world has been ravaged by a disease that causes a range of psychotic behavior, but most notably, interrupts the reconsolidation of memories. The latter means that when infected people remember things, the memories aren’t restored, and are thus partially or fully lost. The nature of this disease leads people to try to avoid thinking about the things most important to them, but there’s a catch.

Don’t think about the white bear.

You thought of the white bear, didn’t you? The memories people most try to avoid recalling are the first they lose, leading to a rapid breakdown of their mental well being.This is only further fueled by the voices in their heads, the deep set paranoia, and the very real fact that society has crumbled around them and they can’t trust anyone.

Aletheia starts roughly two decades after the fall of society. The protagonist was infected with the disease as a child, and in exchange for the cure, she traded her freedom to the Prophet, who is the main antagonist. She, along with thousands of other Nameless, are now imprisoned underground, working for the Prophet and the elite city of Iris, paying a debt that can never be repaid. 736 lives like this for a decade, until the game changes and the risks of staying in the compound, outweigh the risks of escape. But plans are underway, and 736 soon meets someone on the outside who promises a chance of freedom, not just for her, but for all of the Nameless. But freedom will come with a great deal of costs, not just for 736, but for those she loves.

Aletheia is all about a very gray and realistic portrayal of a post-apocalyptic world, the costs of survival, and the choices we make when trapped. In Aletheia, you’ll find a diverse cast in terms of ethnicity, sexuality, disabilities, motives, and more. Characters clash and plans Interweave, leaving a thread of difficult decisions that cost lives. In a world where no one can really be trusted, but alliances are the only way to win, Aletheia delves into the nature of sacrifice and victory.


 

 

*Is there a central character or protagonist?

Aletheia is written in first person present tense from the point of view of 736. Our protagonist, 736, is a strong female lead with a murky past. Having contracted the disease as a child, she has no real memory of her time before being infected. Living in the underground compound, and doing the Prophet’s bidding has left 736 stronger in some ways, but weaker in others. 736 struggles with PTSD, guilt, and anger, but she also has a lot of love for those she trusts.

 

*Can you tell us a little about the setting of Aletheia?

Aletheia is set in the crumbling remnants of a city built around science, art, and nature. The compound where 736 spends much of her time is deep underground and made of cold concrete. High above, the land is split between the magnificent, wall encased, city of Iris, and the nature strewn ruins beyond. Aletheia is set in the future, so you will see some slight technological advancements, but after two decades without society, most of the environment is in a state of partial ruin.

 

 

*When is the next book of the series due?

You can expect to see Aletheia’s sequel (The Seventh River #2) out sometime in 2018.

CONNECT WITH MEGAN TENNANT!

 

 

Megan Tennant Author

Main siteAletheia site

Amazon | Goodreads

 

Youtube

 

 

 

 

Thanks Megan!!

 

 

 

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

http://www.audiospy.wordpress.com

Book Recommendations with Peruse Project

TELEVISION TUESDAY!

 

 

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July Wrap Up by Peruse Project

 

 

 

What was your July Wrap up like? Tell me in the comments!

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

http://www.audiospy.wordpress.com

 

 

Talking Books with Sasha Alsberg

IT’S TELEVISION TUESDAY

 

 

 

TV in cartoon style with bright color

 

 

 

 

 

Talking books with Sasha Alsberg: June Wrap Up & July TBR!

 

 

 

 

 

What are you reading this month? Tell me in the comments!!

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

Books & Blurbs with LT Vargus and Tim McBain

Books & Blurbs!!

 

Open Old Book

 

 

 

Please Welcome Bestselling Authors LT Vargus & Tim Mcbain

 

 

 

LT Vargus Headshot

 

 

Authors of Awake in the Dark, Scattered and the Dead, and new Violet Darger series.

 

 

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

 

 

Image in a Cracked Mirror LT Vargus                           Dead End Girl LT Vargus

 

A new thriller series following Special Agent Violet Darger.

 

 

 

business future uncertain?

 

 

1. What led you to write a serial killer thriller?

We’ve both always been fascinated by serial killers, both in fiction and non-fiction. I remember reading Red Dragon by Thomas Harris years ago and thinking, “Man, I wish I could write like that.”

2. What was your experience writing this genre compared to your other books?

Our first novel, Casting Shadows Everywhere, is basically a thriller. Since then, we’ve written an urban fantasy series, a post-apocalyptic series, and a slasher horror novel. So going back to a straight thriller felt a little like returning home.

 

3. Tell us about FBI agent Violet Darger.

She’s tough but damaged. Violet is hard-nosed and driven in her work, and sometimes that intensity is directed at the people around her and results in conflict.

 

 

FBI

 

 

 

4. Why did you decide Violet would be a rookie agent?

We wanted the first few books to sort of serve as Violet’s origin story, so starting at the beginning of her agent career just made sense.

 

 

 

rookie, 3D rendering, metal text

 

 

 

5. Do you know how many books will be in this series?

Right now we have solid plans for three full length novels, as well as a few novellas. But we intend this series to be open-ended and for each book to be a standalone that could be read out of order.

 

 

Connect with LT Vargus and Tim Mcbain

Amazon | Goodreads | LT Vargus | Twitter | Facebook

 

 

Thank you!

 

 

 

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

Books & Blurbs featuring David Baldacci

IT’S TIME FOR BOOKS AND BLURBS

 

 

Girl  reading a book

 

 

 

Featuring books by Author Juggernaut, David Baldacci

 

 

 

Light

 

 

 

 

The Fix David Baldacci

 

Goodreads

 

I like what D. Baldacci has done with the Amos Dekker series, although this wasn’t my favorite one. The best part was the last 1/3 of the book. The first 2/3’s IS well written, intriguing, with a killer hook, but still felt lacking. Having said all of that—David Baldacci still writes the best plots! They’re absolutely off the charts, cerebral, and entertaining. Also enjoyed the introduction of a new character, DIS agent Harper Brown. She played a vital role throughout the book and I can sense she’ll be back in the future.

 

Other points…

 

  • I wish Melvin Mars played a bigger role in the book.
  • Enjoyed Melvin’s developing relationship (no spoilers!)
  • Can’t say that I really like Alex Jamison that much. I know she’s a well written character, but I’m not impressed with her role suppose.
  • I’m guessing Jamison is there to bring out the human side of Amos Dekker and provide some level of conflict. If that’s the case, then it worked.
  • I would’ve loved to see Baldacci go deeper into Dekker’s personal worldview. Maybe see more of his motivations. It came out more in the last act of the book. His sense of humor, boldness, quirkiness was revealed more.
  • The hook in the beginning was AWESOME. The solving of the crime took a TON of deduction, investigation, and deliberation from multiple sources. I think this was somewhat overdone, although the plot was excellent.
  • There was one subplot that could’ve been eliminated in my opinion. It didn’t bear any weight on the story, conflict or overall story goal.
  • The Climax wasn’t the greatest I’ve seen from Baldacci, but there was a nice twist at the end.
  • Finally, I felt the first 2/3’s lacked somewhere, but I can’t say what. Take away the subplot, beef up the role with Melvin Mars, polish the climax, and I would’ve given this 5 stars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Innocent David Baldacci

 

Goodreads

 

 

David Baldacci is a master storyteller on steroids.

This was my first Will Robbie book and loved it! Not many people can make an assassin so intriguing, appealing, and compelling. Loved the wit, charm, and sarcastic humor of Robie. His personality fully springs out of the dynamics of his relationship with FBI agent Vance, and fourteen old runaway.

Baldacci writes the most complex plots that I’ve read of any author, yet his characters are just as deep. The use of foreshadowing, characters, tension, stakes, causes you to be lost in the story.

 

Other points…

 

  • Will Robie’s personality is a winner in this one, especially for a lone-ranger assassin. Actually, you see him saving lives more than taking them.
  • He’s a great investigator.
  • His personality is more entertaining than similar types like, Brad Thor’s Scot Harvath etc. Scot Harvath is technically ex-marine, CIA, black ops, but still similar.
  • This is one of my favorite Baldacci books so far!
  • Looking forward to the next Will Robie books!

 

  1.  The Hit
  2. Bullseye (short story)
  3. The Target
  4. The Guilty
  5. End Game coming November 14th, 2017!

 

 

 

End Game David Baldacci

 

 

 

Thanks David!!

 

 

 

David Baldacci Headshot

 

 

 

 

 

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

 

Author Leslie Tentler & the Rarity Cove Series

 

Welcome sign

 

 

Please welcome Author Leslie Tentler!

 

 

On the red carpet photographers take pictures of the actress

 

 

 

ABOUT LESLIE TENTLER

Leslie Tentler is the author of six novels, including BEFORE THE STORM, LOW TIDE, FALLEN and the Chasing Evil Trilogy (MIDNIGHT CALLER, MIDNIGHT FEAR and EDGE OF MIDNIGHT). She was a finalist for Best First Novel at ThrillerFest 2012, and is a two-time finalist for the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery and Suspense. She is also the recipient of the prestigious Maggie Award of Excellence. A native of East Tennessee, she currently resides in Atlanta with her husband, standard poodle and three aloof cats.

 

 

Tell us about Rarity Cove and what bearings it has on the story.

Setting is such an important piece of any story. It sets the atmosphere and builds the mood. I first introduced readers to Rarity Cove in Before the Storm (Rarity Cove Book One). It’s a fictional seaside town about forty minutes outside of Charleston, South Carolina. It’s a small tourist town and quite idyllic, with a quaint downtown with centuries old live oaks in the square and the ocean boardwalk nearby. Rarity Cove is best known for the St. Clair, which is a four-star resort hotel that has been run by the St. Clair family for generations.

 

 

 

Before the Storm

 

Goodreads

 

 

 

What’s the St. Clair family like? 

I strongly recommend reading Before the Storm before moving on to Low Tide (Rarity Cove Book Two) in order to truly get to know the St. Clair family and especially to understand the dynamics between Mark, the eldest St. Clair sibling and the hero in book one, and Carter, the younger brother who is the hero in book two.

The St. Clair family is considered to be “old money” in the small Southern town, and Mark, who is head of the St. Clair hotel, is a business and civic leader. In book one, Carter is sort of the prodigal son who has returned to Rarity Cove while on hiatus from the soap opera he stars on in New York City. He and Mark have a bit of a contentious relationship, and the reason as to why is revealed in Before the Storm.

In Before the Storm, you’ll also be introduced to Mercer, the youngest St. Clair sibling and only daughter, and Olivia, the family matriarch, who is a socialite and a bit of a meddler in her family’s personal lives. You’ll visit all these characters again in Low Tide.

 

 

Who is Carter St. Clair?

When you first meet Carter in Before the Storm, he is an actor on a soap opera in New York City, still on the cusp of superstardom. At the end of that book, his career has taken off in a big way, and you’re just beginning to get a glimpse of his trajectory to fame.

Low Tide begins three years later, and Carter is now an A-list Hollywood leading man, very much in demand. But then the unexpected happens. Seriously wounded in his LA mansion by a deranged stalker, he leaves the glare of Hollywood and returns home to Rarity Cove to recuperate, both physically and emotionally.

A few readers mentioned to me they initially had qualms about reading Carter’s story in Low Tide, since he was a bit of an antagonist to Mark in Before the Storm, at least until the two brothers finally buried the hatchet over something that had happened years earlier. But those same readers have told me how much they ended up loving Carter in book two. Carter has matured quite a bit and the nearly fatal stalker attack in particular has forced him to really take a hard look at his life and the kind of man he wants to be.

 

 

 

Low Tide

 

Goodreads

 

 

 

Introduce us to Quinn Reese.

Quinn Reese is a physical therapist who has returned to her mother’s home in Rarity Cove after fleeing her soon-to- be ex-husband, a professional football player in San Francisco. Currently out of work, she receives a lucrative offer from the St. Clair family to work with Carter. But Quinn has her own personal history with the St. Clairs, and with Carter in particular. Mark talks her into working with Carter since he has been resistant to other physical therapists so far. Mark believes Quinn won’t be intimidated by Carter’s fame, since she was married to someone famous herself. Quinn is reluctant, but needs the money to truly get a fresh start on life.

I really enjoyed writing Quinn—she’s smart, good at her job, and empathetic. She’s also a vegetarian, a dog lover and a yoga enthusiast. But while she seems like she has it all together on the outside, on the inside, she’s kind of a mess and keeping some pretty big secrets that spill out over the course of Low Tide.

 

 

 

Top Secret

 

 

 

What was your experience like writing Low Tide?

Low Tide was my first foray into writing a continuing series. Both Before the Storm and Low Tide are also my only books that aren’t high-stakes, law enforcement oriented thrillers. I enjoyed revisiting the characters I’d created in Before the Storm in Low Tide.

 

 

Who is your favorite character?

With this series, it really is Carter. I had a lot of fun making him a bad boy in Before the Storm, and then knocking him off his throne in Low Tide. At the beginning of Low Tide, Carter is in pain, he’s depressed and he’s really struggling with the “new normal” in his life after being so seriously wounded. Until Quinn’s arrival, he’d lashed out against physical therapy, but Quinn isn’t having any of his attitude. At the point that Carter realizes he’s falling for Quinn, he really has made a 180-degree turn from the man he used to be. Carter has been a “ladies man” his whole life—his looks, the St. Clair money and later, his fame—always allowed him to have his choice of women. Having him realize that ordinary Quinn is actually someone quite special, someone he wants to protect and cherish, was fulfilling for me as a writer.

 

 

If you could be any character in this book who would it be?

Quinn, definitely. Who wouldn’t want to be the heroine in her own book? 😉

 

 

Successful Superwoman

 

 

 

LOW TIDE (Rarity Cove Book Two) BACK COVER BLURB

Hollywood leading man Carter St. Clair had it all—until a brutal stalker attack nearly takes his life. Seriously injured, he returns to his hometown of Rarity Cove, South Carolina, to recover in private, his outlook on fame forever changed by someone claiming to be his “number-one fan.”

Physical therapist Quinn Reese fled San Francisco to be free of her soon-to- be ex-husband, professional football player Jake Medero. Staying at her mother’s house in Rarity Cove seems like her only option until she can get back on her feet financially. When the St. Clair family makes her a lucrative offer of employment, Quinn sees the potential for starting over, even if it means working with Carter, who broke her heart years ago. As Carter heals under Quinn’s care, a fragile bond forms between them. Carter also recognizes a parallel between his own stalker and the possessive pro baller who considers Quinn his property. But even as Carter steps into the role of Quinn’s protector, another dangerous storm is brewing…one for which neither of them is prepared.

 

 

 

connected network

 

 

 

CONNECT WITH LESLIE ONLINE:

Website | Facebook | Twitter

 

 

Leslie Tentler headshot

 

 

 

BUY LINKS:

LOW TIDE is the second book in the Rarity Cove series, so we recommend reading

BEFORE THE STORM first. Low Tide is available at the following retailers:

Amazon |Barnes &  Noble | iBookstore |Kobo

BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS WITH SASHA ALSBERG

IT’S TELEVISION TUESDAY!!

BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS WITH SASHA ALSBERG

 

 

 

Stylish retro TV. More TV in my portfolio.

 

 

BOOKALICIOUS BOOK HAUL!

 

 

 

 

What are you reading this month? Tell me in the comments!!

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

Book Recommendations With Regan

IT’S TELEVISION TUESDAY!

 

 

 

television-clker-3

 

 

 

June Book Recommendations with Regan

 

 

 

What are you reading this month? Tell me in the comments!!

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com