Max Strong returns next week in BURN THE NIGHT, the fifth book in the series. Max is lying low driving nights for a car service when he picks up a woman in a bloody wedding dress with a mysterious box. Max soon finds himself forced from the shadows and drawn into a dangerous vendetta with a long history.
This one is set in Philadelphia. A place where I still have a lot of family and visit often. America’s fifth largest city has a lot to offer from food, to history, to art, to nightlife.
The book was a blast to write and it was really fun to “virtual” re-visit a lot of my favorite places in the city. Read more “5 of My Favorite Philly Places”
The next Max Strong, TROUBLE WILL FIND ME, is currently out with beta-readers and will be published next month. I’m excited for the rest of you to soon get a chance to read Max’s latest adventure.
While the first three Max’s were more straight thrillers, I’ve found myself almost apologizing (writers – such insecure creatures) that this latest is less thriller and more mystery but blends elements of both genres. Someone finally asked me what the hell I meant. Fair question. I probably spend more time than most thinking about these things. Read more “Mystery or Thriller?”
One of my favorite things as a reader and crime fiction fan is to discover a new series. Even better if it’s well established with plenty of books to catch up on. I know I won’t have to wonder what book I’ll be reading next for a little while. And once I catch up, I know I can look forward to spending some time with ‘new friends’ each year.
Often it’s the high concept hook or unconventional crime that will initially drawn you in but once you commit to a series the crimes rarely matter all the much, you keep coming back for the characters. Sure, justice and catching the bad guy are great but series are a staple in the mystery and suspense genre for creating compelling characters and worlds that you want to keep coming back to, not only for the action and thrills, but for the emotional attachment to the characters. Read more “My Favorite Current Thriller Series”
I just finished up the first draft of my fourth full length Max Strong thriller. A first draft is a long way from done. I’ll spend the next month, at least, editing and refining but a first draft is a good time to see if the bones of the story are working. Will it meet reader’s expectations for the genre? If those aren’t in place now, it’s hard to add them later. So what are the most important elements or characteristics of a modern commercial thriller?
These are the 8 plot elements that I make sure are in each of my novels. These are what I would expect as a reader (there are of course exceptions to every rule) when I cracked the spine on a thriller. If they are missing…the reader will notice. They might not know why but they will feel disappointed or let down by the book. Writer, omit these at your own peril! Read more “8 Characteristics of a Thriller”
I find myself in a weird position as an author during quarantine. I’m in one of the few jobs where the demand for the product has remained high. This is great. People are reading more, something I always wished for. People are buying books and ebooks and listening to audiobooks as they exercise. This also puts some pressure on authors to continue to write and be productive during the quarantine. With everything else going on, this is not an easy ask.
Some days diving into my fictional world is a relief. Other days it feels selfish. And some days it feels just about impossible. I will say, that like exercise, I do almost always feel better after it’s over. And while I’m being careful to always put family first and not put any additional pressure on myself with a word count or expectations, I have (almost against my will) developed a daily quarantine writing routine that is working. Read more “My Quarantine Writing Routine”
Between working, writing, parenting, and homeschooling my energy at the end of the day is pretty well tapped out. I’ve found very energy or patience for binging on shows. I just can’t seem to commit and rarely get past browsing the various streaming menus. I’ve found myself craving the comfort food of familiar authors, series and sometimes books I’ve read in the past. I need to know the energy I put out is going to be worth it.
Here’s what I’ve read, and the few things I’ve watched, since being being inside since March 15th. Read more “Recent Reads – Spring ’20 Quarantine Edition”
We are suddenly awash in free (or on sale) ebooks and audiobooks to keep us entertained or at least distracted, in this age of quarantine. Many publishers have taken pity on the homeschooling parent and offered a lot of material for kids free.
In an attempt to help you navigate all the choices, here is a roundup of my favorite places to find free or discounted books. Read more “Best Places to Find Free Ebooks or Audiobooks”
Both are great deals for bibliophiles but if you are balking at subscribing to yet one more service and already have Prime (like over 65% of Americans!) than 12 free books a year is still a good deal and can further help you recoup the cost of that 2-day shipping membership.
I read a lot of books each year. If I bought each book I read it would put a serious dent in our budget. Luckily, if you know where to look there are a lot of options, both online and offline, to get free (or heavily discounted) quality mysteries and thrillers.
Here are my 5 favorite places to hunt down free mystery and thriller books. Read more “Favorite Places to Find Free Mysteries & Thrillers”