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The Gods of War by Graham Brown

  • Wednesday, August 27, 2014
  • by
  • Dave
  • Graham Brown's The Gods of War is available on Kindle at a special price! Today only, it's $1.99.
    The price begins to climb tomorrow until it reaches its full retail price.

    This dystopian/Sci-fi thriller about a dying Earth and the desperate effort to colonize Mars has been called "...military science fiction at it's gritty, page turning best." - Jeff Edwards, award winning author of Sword of Shiva.
    Read More...

    The Lost Island by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

  • Friday, August 8, 2014
  • by
  • Dave
  • The Lost Island is the third book in the Gideon Crew series. Gideon is a former high-level art thief who is employed by Eli Glinn (a character who will be familiar to readers of Preston and Child's other works) to apply his particular skills in Glinn's service. Hanging over Crew's head, or rather, lurking inside his head, is a terminal condition that has given him only months to live.

    In Lost Island, Crew finds himself in search of a mysterious substance that might have the potential to cure him. While the story begins with Gideon pulling off a spectacular theft, it quickly morphs into a classic action-adventure story, with treasure maps, myths and legends, mysterious creatures, and plenty of action.

    While the duo's Pendergast series remains my favorite, The Lost Island tops my list of Gideon Crew stories. It's great fun and highly recommended for adventure lovers.
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    Ethan Continues by William Dietrich

  • Monday, August 4, 2014
  • by
  • Dave
  • When HarperCollins decided last year that the series had run its commercial course and declined to contract for book eight, I thought they might have a point. I warned readers of this blog that Ethan looked headed for retirement.

    But a bunch of you shouted, ‘No Way!’ and urged me to keep the Gage family going – possibly through independent publication.

    So I am, because I find Ethan and Astiza irresistible. Exactly when and how the next Ethan Gage will appear is yet to be determined (other publishers are pondering) but I can tell you I’ve got him struggling in a Russian snowstorm, while writing on superb Pacific Northwest 80-degree summer days.

    Young Harry is standing alertly by, as well.

    Congratulate yourselves. It’s all your fault.

    The next Ethan Gage novel is in fact one of five book projects I’ve got underway, three of them already written and poised for publication. If you tote up all the other Gage novels I’ve sketched and other book ideas that are somewhere in the idea-to-started stage, you come up with about fifteen more, which should keep me busy until Valentine’s Day, at least.
    I’ve found I have as much trouble trying to predict the future as the characters in the most recent Ethan Gage novel, The Three Emperors. Nonetheless, the writing life does seem to keep me busy.
    So here’s a forecast:

    Aimed for a September publication is a young adult eco-adventure novel set in prehistoric Africa called The Murder of Adam and Eve. This is going to be an indie, with my own publishing company. First time I’ve tried that, so it’s a steep learning curve. But I think readers will be intrigued. It doesn’t follow the expected formula, editors have told me, but it’s a strong narrative with big ideas.
    It’s a teen thriller that is a survival story, a romance, and an eco-fable.

    In October comes The North Cascades, a gorgeous coffee-table pictorial by Mountaineers Books in Seattle, with me doing the lead essay and other parts. It’s a joy to be connected to a project that is so pretty, and so important.

    Napoleon’s Rules: Life and Career Lessons From Bonaparte is kicking around the New York publishing ranks right now. This could be a good indie as well.

    And I’ve linked up with a fascinating scientist to help with what could be a real blockbuster of a book, but one that is a few years off from publication.

    The Ethan Gage I’m working on, with the tentative title of The Trojan Icon, takes our peripatetic heroes from St. Petersburg to Constantinople, with a lot of bumps along the way. Much writing to do yet, but if it winds up an indie it would appear sometime in 2015.

    Then comes the hard part: deciding which of several good ideas (besides more Ethans) to do next.
    The easy part is that you readers have got my back. You’re the wingmen, the Sancho, the Cyrano. So thanks for the encouragement – and happy reading!
    Read More...

    Dead Ice- Desolate Settings

  • Tuesday, July 29, 2014
  • by
  • Thriller Central
  • Whenever I start planning a new book, I first pay a visit to my "Google Doc of Big Ideas." It's a
    single document where I save links to all the cool articles I stumble across online and think "I could use this in a story." It could be one of many things: an interesting or challenging setting, an unsolved mystery, a story from history, a scientific advancement, or a fascinating creature (real or imagined.)

    The next step is to group the elements that I think would go together, and see if any ideas bubble to the surface. While going through this process, it would be easy to succumb to temptation, drop what I'm working on, and dive into whatever new idea I develop, so I console myself that at least I won't forget the story idea whenever I come back to it. (Forgetting cool ideas is another article in itself.)

    When Steven Savile and I sat down to plan our collaboration, we started with the Google Doc and the first thing that resonated with us was the setting: Wrangel Island. Wrangel is a Russian island that sits due west of Alaska's northern coast. Its frozen landscape and remote location made it a perfect setting for an adventure/thriller. 

    Once we chose the setting, the other elements came naturally. Wrangel itself gave us our "Man vs Nature" conflict, its location in Russia gave us our "Man vs Man" conflict, and also our historical back-story. Our "Man vs Beast" conflict also related to the frozen setting, but I'll say no more here. All in all, it quickly evolved into our new novella, Dead Ice. Check it out, and give Steven's work a try while you're at it!
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    SAVAGE--Adventures in research

  • Wednesday, July 23, 2014
  • by
  • Sean Ellis
  • If you’re a fan of James Rollins or Steve Berry, then you’re used to seeing an ‘afterword’ where some of the stranger bits of historical or scientific lore employed in the stories turn out to be based solidly on fact, which makes them even more intriguing. I have thought about doing the same with my novels, and perhaps one day I will, but for now, this will have to do.

    This week marks the release of SAVAGE, which I wrote with Jeremy Robinson. It is the latest installment in the Jack Sigler/Chess Team series, and my third (or fifth, depending on how you count it) outing with the characters.
    Without giving you any spoilers, I thought I would share a few of the historical and geographical curiosities that found their way into the novel.
    SAVAGE brings the Chess Team to the Dark Continent—a term that was coined in the days of European colonial explorers like the notorious journalist Henry Morton Stanley. Stanley figures prominently into the story, mostly because of a curious footnote in his biography.
    If you’ve ever heard the phrase, “Dr. Livingstone I presume” then you’re already a little bit familiar with Stanley. In 1871, Stanley set out on a widely publicized expedition to find Dr. David Livingstone, a Scottish missionary who had been missing in Africa for nearly three years. Stanley found Livingstone after an arduous journey, and accounts of the meeting famously reported the two men greeting with the aforementioned salutation. Like most sound bites, there’s more to the story. Although Stanley reported it that way, we’ll never know for sure what really happened that day, because the pages of Stanley’s diary that contained the firsthand account of the meeting were removed by Stanley himself. Why? What was the most famous explorer of the nineteenth century trying to cover up?

    I can think of one possibility....

    There are two African lakes that figure prominently into SAVAGE. One of these is Lake Natron in Tanzania. To truly appreciate Lake Natron, you need to see it…or at the very least, see some pictures of it. Lake Natron first came to my attention when I read about how the waters can actually turn birds and other animals to stone!

    Okay, it’s not quite as dramatic as it sounds, but it’s not an exaggeration. The alkaline water can have a deadly effect on animals that ingest it, and in some cases, if the animal dies in the lake, the dissolved chemicals in the water can cause rapid fossilization. If that made it sound too boring, just look at these pictures, and you’ll see why Lake Natron had to be in SAVAGE.

    Most of the action in the story however takes place near Lake Kivu, which sits on the border of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. One of the really interesting (and scary) things about Lake Kivu is what lies beneath, which in this case is an enormous bubble of methane and carbon dioxide. How enormous? Estimates put the carbon dioxide bubble at 256 cubic kilometers and the methane at 65 cubic kilometers. Oh, and incidentally, all that gas is the result of volcanic activity under the surface. Methane, as you probably know, is explosive, and it probably wouldn’t take much to set it off, but the real danger is from the carbon dioxide. If the gas trapped at the bottom of Lake Kivu were to rise to the surface—the technical term for this is ‘limnic eruption’—it would suffocate the people living on the shore. A similar event occurred in 1986 at Lake Nyos in Cameroon. The eruption happened quickly, with no warning, and the odorless, colorless cloud moved at more than sixty miles per hour, instantly snuffing out all animal life within sixteen miles of the shore. More than 1,700 people died, along with many thousands of animals.
    The bubble underneath Lake Kivu could be as much as five thousand times bigger, and there are more than two million people living in several cities on the shore. Steps are being taken to reduce the threat of a limnic eruption at Lake Kivu, but the problem with bubbles, as any kid will tell you, is that sometimes when you mess with them, they pop.

    On a lighter note, there’s a little Easter Egg in the story that I hope will provide fodder for discussions among Chess Team fans. It relates to another interesting historical footnote which has to do with one of the most famous wristwatches in the solar system. I present the following excerpt from the official NASA website without comment.

    “NASA supplied each of the Apollo astronauts with a standard issue Omega Speedmaster Professional manual-wind wristwatch…
    The timepiece was intended to be worn for intra and extra vehicular activities including the moonwalks on all the missions. Inside a pressurized environment the watch was worn conventionally but during EVA (extra vehicular activity) the astronauts wore the watch on the outside of their pressure suits, the long Velcro strap was designed to accommodate this change in 'wrist' dimension…

    Of special note, it is understood that Buzz Aldrin's watch was lost in transit in or about 1971 whilst en route to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum whilst Buzz was attempting to loan the item for display. Its current whereabouts are not therefore known. It may well be the first watch worn on the moon. Buzz recounted in his autobiography that, during the EVA, Neil Armstrong left his own Speedmaster in the Lunar Module as a replacement for the in-cabin timer which had malfunctioned.”
    Read More...

    Steven Savile on Writing Across Genres

  • Tuesday, March 25, 2014
  • by
  • Dave
  • Steven Savile, author of the Ogmios thrillers, is a guest on the Nook Press blog:

    I suppose I should start by introducing myself. So imagine we’re sitting in a smoky bar in Cuba with the music playing and the far-too toned dancers shaming us slightly out of shape writers as we smoke our cigars and sip a nice single malt in the sweltering heat. What? That’s not how you imagine a writer’s life? Okay how about a garret in Soho with a wire-framed bed and a typewriter straight out of Naked Lunch perched on the windowsill, filthy curtains filtering the sunlight, the pasty-faced writer hunched over the keys bleeding onto the white page? Better or a bit too noir? Depending on how we’re meeting I’m Steve, though I could be Alex, or Aaron, and pretty soon to a whole new generation I’ll be Matt...

    Read the rest on the Nook Blog
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    The World Beneath by Rebecca Cantrell

  • Friday, February 14, 2014
  • by
  • Dave
  • The World Beneath (A Joe Tesla Novel) is the newest thriller by author Rebecca Cantrell. While I've read her collaborative efforts with James Rollins, this was my first foray into her solo fiction, and it did not disappoint. Tesla is a millionaire whose agoraphobia forces him into the New York City underground. While this is a setting that's been explored in other thriller novels (Chaos by David Meyer and Reliquary by Preston and Child come to mind) there are always new depths to plumb (pun intended) and new discoveries to be made. Thus, it's one of my favorite places about which to read.

    Tesla and his service dog Edison are soon on the run from the bad guys and the "good" guys. Twists and surprises abound in this entertaining adventure story! I particularly enjoyed Tesla's character and the way in which his major flaw impacts the story. Cantrell has done a fine job with what I hope is the first in a series.

    Here's a little more from the publisher:

    Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Cantrell drops you into a vast, dark world: 100 miles of living, breathing, tunnels that is the New York City underground. This subterranean labyrinth inhales three million bustling commuters every day. And every day, it breathes them all out again... except for one.

    Software millionaire Joe Tesla is set to ring the bell on Wall Street the morning his company goes public. On what should be the brightest day in his life, he is instead struck with severe agoraphobia. The sudden dread of the outside is so debilitating, he can't leave his hotel at Grand Central Terminal, except to go underground. Bad luck for Joe, because in the tunnels lurk corpses and murderers, an underground Victorian mansion and a mysterious bricked-up 1940s presidential train car. Joe and his service dog, Edison, find themselves pursued by villains and police alike, their only salvation now is to unearth the mystery that started it all, a deadly, contagious madness on the brink of escaping The World Beneath. 

     *I "read" the audiobook version, which is very well done. It's narrated by the superb Jeffrey Kafer, who has worked with many of my favorite thriller authors, including Jeremy Robinson, Bob Mayer, and that David Wood guy. Great work!


    Read More...

    A "Thrilling" Social Media Experiment

  • Monday, January 27, 2014
  • by
  • Sean Ellis
  • As an author, there are no words I hate writing more than "buy my book."  Oh sure, I want you to buy it, but I don't want to come across as desperate.  I may post a link to my latest release, but by and large, using social media to advertise my books is the Internet equivalent of standing at the freeway on-ramp with a cardboard box sign that says "Will Write Books for Food!"
    There's no denying that social media is a powerful platform, but I'll admit to being a little stumped when it comes to figuring out new ways to make good use of it.  Whenever somebody figures out a new way to get a little publicity, pretty soon everybody does it and suddenly it doesn't work anymore.  I call this "the supermarket checkout line effect."  You know, when you're waiting in a long line at the store and a new checkout lane opens.  Unless you're the first person in that new line, your situation won't change that much.
    I've been pondering how to use various social media platforms for a while now, trying to come up with something unique and interesting to say, and one idea that I've been kicking around is finally about to bear some fruit.
    Now, when I say social media, I'm referring to interactive platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and so forth.  Technically, people have been socializing on the Internet since it began, instant messaging with IMC chat and posting back and forth on newsgroups and forums, but these dedicated social networks have thrown the doors wide open.  Initially, this was a great way to get the word out about a new book, but it's become a very crowded room, and unless you've got something distinctive to say, no one really listens very closely.  And unless you can say something interesting every day, you aren't going to make a very deep impression.
    A couple years ago, I had the idea of telling a story in daily Twitter posts.  If you aren't a Twit (as I lovingly call my fellow Twitterers) then all you need to know is that Twitter posts are limited to 140 characters, including spaces and punctuation. How long is that?  Well, this paragraph hit 140 with the "s" in the word "Twitterers."
    As I pondered this idea further, I realized that this limitation might give me the opportunity to explore a new kind of storytelling.  Much like the daily comics in  newspapers (not Cathy or Andy Capp...I'm talking about the superhero strips and daily dramas) where a story advances only a frame or two at a time, I would have to devise a way to tell the story in a brisk, precise fashion, with no words wasted. 
    I'm pleased to announce that I'm finally ready to launch God Dance, a Twitter adventure.
    Here's how it will work.  Every weekday, starting today (January 27, 2014) I will post the latest "frame" of the story on my Twitter page @thrillersean .  I will post a few times throughout the day, and probably on  my Facebook wall as well.  Every Friday, I will collect the week's progress together and archive it on a Tumblr blog where I will also post additional material relating to the story. In fact, you should visit it right now to learn about the hero and get an advance look at the mystery at the heart of God Dance. http://twitteradventureseries.tumblr.com/
    I hope you'll join me for this unique experience.  I don't know how it will turn out, but I can guarantee it will be an adventure.


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    Interview with David Sakmyster

  • Friday, January 24, 2014
  • by
  • Dave
  • 1-   You've recently released your Morpheus Initiative series in a single omnibus edition. Tell us about the series.

    The Morpheus Initiative series was really born out of a phase in my reading where I was obsessed with all the mysterious structures around the world and the apparent clues as to lost wisdom and technology… And then I came across a book about modern day psychics – and the CIA program using ‘remote viewers’ to spy on enemies and foreign locations.   That got the ball bouncing around in my brain – what if there’s this team that could actually see into the past, albeit with difficulty and often unpredictably? From there I took as my first target (or in the field’s lingo, ‘objective’), the Pharos Lighthouse – one of the ancient wonders of the world. There are all sorts of legends about it housing the treasure of Alexander the Great and being full of traps and puzzles.  So that was the basis for the first book – and of course I worked in a neat angle on government conspiracies and an ancient society determined to protect the secrets.  And from there, I wanted the team to tackle other mysteries – Genghis Khan was next, and that was a lot of fun speculating on his tomb’s location, since there are several multi-million dollar expeditions going on right now to find him. And from there, the characters set their sights higher – and I  worked in secrets of NASA and the Spear of Destiny, among other quests.  There are also two short story prequels in the omnibus that help fill in the blanks about some of the major characters, and allow them their own adventures (one involving the Taj Mahal, and another the Grand Canyon).
      

    2- Kevin J. Anderson described your work as Indiana Jones meets the X-Files. If you had to choose one, would you be Indiana Jones or Fox Mulder?

    I’d love to say Indiana Jones, because I look good in hats, but I’ve always associated with Mulder, feeling like we share a common crusade to discover the truth, no matter where it takes us or how many enemies we make along the way.


    3- You write the sort of globe-trotting adventure I really enjoy. Of the various places you've researched and written about, which is your favorite and why?

     My favorite would have to be Mars, because I somehow doubt I’ll get there in my lifetime.  But if I had to choose a terrestrial location, I would stick with the first one, the Lighthouse of Alexandria.  As a premiere model of engineering and architecture, a beacon of hope and light, a symbol that influenced so many later designs including our Statue of Liberty (see my book 3), the Pharos was really the most compelling and fun research subject.  And to read so many varied descriptions of it, trying to sort through the legends and word of mouth descriptions after its collapse, and then speculate on what may have been its true purpose, was a great experience.


     4- What's next for you?

    I’m currently finishing a standalone thriller about modern-day druids and environmental warfare.  I may also work in a collaboration about zombie dinosaurs, and then, in the not-so-distant future – possibly a return to the Morpheus team. Got some new mysteries needing to be solved...

    To learn more about David and his work, visit him online at www.sakmyster.com.
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    Desecration by J.F. Penn

  • Wednesday, January 22, 2014
  • by
  • Dave
  • Desecration is a dark mystery-thriller by author J.F. Penn. Best known for the ARKANE thrillers, a series
    that blends action-adventure with DaVinci Code-style history and mystery, Desecration represents a slight divergence from Penn's established path.

    In Desecration, detective Jamie Brooke and clairvoyant Blake Daniel investigate a grisly murder, with a single artifact left as the only clue. As Brooke and Daniel race to solve the crime and stop subsequent killings, they stumble across even more mystery and intrigue. Penn explores the subculture of body modification, as well as issues of grave robbery and genetic engineering. 

    Though I love the ARKANE books, which fall right into my reading "wheelhouse," Desecration pulled me in from the get-go. Penn has crafted a perfectly paced, meticulously  researched mystery that is sure to please. I hope we haven't seen the last of Brooke and Daniel!

    Read More...

    New Release!

    New Release!

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    New Release!

    New Release!

    New Release!

    New Release!

    New Release!

    New Release!

    New Release!

    New Release!

    Coming August 12!

    Coming August 12!