September 5, 2022
Best-selling author Joy Jordan-Lake's historical mystery, A BEND OF LIGHT, drops readers into a quiet coastal village five years after post–World War II America, where the past and present secrets collide.
Amie Stilwell, a photo interpreter for an Allied unit in England, returns to her hometown in Maine. Jobless and discouraged but stubbornly resourceful, she moves in with Shibby Travis, the surrogate mother with whom Amie never lost touch.
There, the unexpected also awaits for her. It begins with a silent, abandoned boy is found with a note from a stranger pleading that he be watched over. Amie and Shibby take him in, but the mysteries multiply when a Boston socialite is found dead in a nearby barn and an old friend, believed to be a casualty of war, suddenly reappears. Trained to see what others cannot, to scan for clues, and to expose enemies, Amie uses her skills to protect the child, solve a crime, and find the motive behind a veteran’s masquerade. Through the hazy filter of a town’s secrets, Amie must also confront her own painful past.
Josie and Joy discuss Joy’s historical research, her approach to creating a small town with all its insular nuances juxtaposed with how its residents will open their hearts toward strangers; and why redemption is such a big part of her novel.
February 28, 2022
In best-selling author Lisa Barr’s latest thrill, WOMAN ON FIRE, rising young journalist, Jules Roth, is given an unusual—and very secret—assignment: locate a painting stolen by the Nazis more than 75 years earlier: It is the final request of World-renowned shoe designer Ellis Baum, who has a special relationship with the painting and knows his time on Earth in short.
But a cunning art gallery owner is also searching for the painting. Heir to her art collector family’s millions, Margaux de Laurent is renowned for getting everything she wants—and the only thing standing in her way is Jules. Helping Jules is Adam Baum, Ellis’s grandson. A recovering addict and brilliant artist in his own right, Adam was once in Margaux’s clutches. He knows how ruthless she is, and he’ll do anything to help Jules locate the painting before Margaux gets to it first.
A thrilling tale of secrets, love, and sacrifice that illuminates the destructive cruelty of war and greed and the triumphant power of beauty and love, Woman on Fire tells the story of an exquisite work of art that burns bright, moving through hands, hearts, and history.
November 2, 2021
In Yasmin Angoe contemporary debut thriller, HER NAME IS KNIGHT, an elite assassin heroine on a mission to topple a human trafficking ring and avenge her family.
Stolen from her Ghanaian village as a child, Nena Knight has plenty of motives to kill. Now an elite assassin for a powerful business syndicate called the Tribe, she gets plenty of chances.
But while on assignment in Miami, Nena ends up saving a life, not taking one. She emerges from the experience a changed woman, finally hopeful for a life beyond rage and revenge. Tasked with killing a man she’s come to respect, Nena struggles to reconcile her loyalty to the Tribe with her new purpose.
Meanwhile, she learns a new Tribe council member is the same man who razed her village, murdered her family, and sold her into captivity. Nena can’t resist the temptation of vengeance—and she doesn’t want to. Before she can reclaim her life, she must leverage everything she was and everything she is to take him down and end the cycle of bloodshed for good.
Yasmin and I discuss how and when the premise came to her; how family is embedded deeply in the story—both in its plot and as inspiration for the concept—and why women as assassin protagonists are finally enjoying acceptance: from publishing editors and readers.
October 26, 2021
In GATED PREY, prolific thriller writer and television producer Lee Goldberg’s third novel in the Eve Ronin crime fiction novel series, her supposedly simple 24-7 sting operation takes a violent and unexpected turn, leaving three intruders dead, and a body count that nearly includes Los Angeles Sheriff's Detective Eve and her soon-to-be retired partner ,Duncan. Eve’s bosses are eager to declare the case closed, but there are too many unanswered questions for her to let go. Was the trap actually for Eve as bloody payback for her very public takedown of a clique of corrupt deputies? Or is there an even deadlier secret lurking behind those opulent gates?
Eve’s refusal to back down and her relentless quest for the truth make her both the hunter…and the prey.
Lee and I discuss his research for the book; the toll of Eve’s physical and emotional grief on her psyche, and her strength; why it’s easy to make Duncan so lovable; and—LISTEN UP!—some very interesting projects he has on the horizon.
June 29, 2021
In the novel, CHOOSE ME, prolific authors Tess Gerritsen and Gary Braver have collaborated on a thriller that introduces Frankie Loomis, a tough-as-nails police detective whose investigation of a college student’s fatal plunge from a balcony is so finely layered with possible suspects that it will keep you guessing until the end if it was suicide or a murder.
Tess and Gary discuss why they enjoyed the collaboration; why it was great to see how each approached dialogue—both the men’s and women’s—from each other’s points of view; and why they chose to make Frankie a woman of a certain age.
We also discuss two very important issues specific to authors: when using a pen name works well; and why the laws that protect Intellectual Property need to be strengthened, especially in circumstances when novels are adapted to movies or television.
February 12, 2021
In Black Coral, master magician and prolific novelist Andrew Mayne’s second thriller of his Sloan McPherson series—Mayne’s take-no-prisoners detective, a diver with her police force’s newly formed Underwater Investigation Unit—stumbles across a submerged car in an alligator-infested canal.
It turns out that the bodies inside belong four to missing persons—teenagers presumed runaways. This decades-long cold case is just one piece in a string of similar vanishings—and if Sloan’s team is correct, the work of a serial killer hiding in plain sight.
But Sloan will do anything to catch him—even if it means being his perfect victim.
Andrew and I discuss how Sloan’s unorthodox past makes her an unlikely albeit a successful detective; and how he channels his Florida childhood to create stories about the secrets that lie beneath the water’s edge. We also talk about his own ties to law enforcement; and how his profession as a master illusionist has helped form his approach for writing tight, taut suspenseful novels.
January 11, 2021
There are tiger moms. And then there is Rachel Marin, Jason Pinter’s protagonist in the thriller series that bears her name. Pinter has given Rachel a very unique skill set: she has an uncanny ability to see clues that crime scene investigators may miss.
She is also a lethal killer.
In A STRANGER AT THE DOOR—the second book of series—when danger lands on Rachel’s doorstep with the threat of harming her young family, she has a vested interest in solving the heinous murder of a local high school teacher.
Jason and I discussed the twists and turns of this suspense-filled thriller. We also talk small towns and the evil that may lurk behind those perfect white picket fences.
January 3, 2021
In BONE CANYON—prolific author and television producer-writer Lee Goldberg’s second book in his Eve Ronin series—charred bones found in the aftermath of a devastating Santa Monica Mountains fire embroils his protagonist in a conspiracy that puts her hard-fought position on the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department in jeopardy—not to mention her life.
Lee and I discuss how he approaches the research for his books, why he believes that making life for Eve, a rookie cop, complicated and messy, both in her personal and her professional relationships makes her a more satisfying heroine, and the most important thing he feels every author should do to be successful in their careers.
September 1, 2020
Josie and her guest, Robert Dugoni, discuss his latest thriller, The Last Agent—the second book in his Charles Jenkins series.
The novel’s non-stop fast-paced plot revolves around the ultimate heist: the exfiltration of the undercover Russian Operative who once saved Jenkins’s life. Every step of the way—from Moscow to Scandinavia to the open ocean—Jenkins is hunted by a brutal Russian agent on a killer quest of his own.
You can order Robert Dugoni’s novel, The Last Agent, right now, through Amazon.
You can read an article including this interview in THE BIG THRILL: http://bit.ly/BigThrillLastAgent
April 3, 2020
In Samantha M. Bailey’s debut thriller WOMAN ON THE EDGE, a mother hands her infant daughter to a stranger before falling to her death in front of a subway train. That is, the woman given the child claims they've never met.
But there is enough evidence to prove otherwise. If she's lying, it's because she has a lot to gain: the child she's always wanted, AND access to the fortune the child will one day inherit.
In other words, WOMAN ON THE EDGE has all the right elements for a taut, breakneck domestic thriller.
Sam and I discuss how the concept for her novel came to her, and why the book's plot hits home with so women. And having personally known Sam since WOMAN ON THE EDGE began it’s journey to publication, if your an aspiring author seeking insights and inspiration, our discussion on that process is one you won’t want to miss.
January 28, 2020
In New York Times bestselling author Robert Dugoni’s latest thriller, A COLD TRAIL, Seattle homicide detective Tracy Crosswhite returns home to Cedar Grove, where a brutal murder and her haunted past come to a crossroads.
There her husband, lawyer Dan O’Leary, is drawn into representing a local merchant whose business is jeopardized by the town’s revitalization. At the same time, Tracy is urged by the local Police Department to put her own skills to work on a new case: the brutal murder of the new police chief’s wife who was also local reporter investigating a cold-case slaying of a young woman.
As Tracy’s and Dan’s cases crisscross, Tracy may have put everyone she loves at risk.
Josie and Robert talk about the genesis for the book's plot, a family recipe for great spaghetti sauce (hint: a family recipe) and the REAL Tracy Crosswhite.
April 29, 2019
Today's guest is the prolific suspense novelist Debra Webb, a USA-Today and Publishers Weekly bestselling author with over one hundred and fifty books to her name.
Debra’s latest novel, THE SECRETS WE BURY, is the first in a new romantic suspense series whose protagonist, Dr. Rowan Dupont—formally Nashville, Tennessee Police Department’s forensic psychologist—also happens to be an undertaker’s daughter.
Rowan, who comes from the small town of Winchester Tennessee, is haunted by the mysterious drowning death of her twin sister. Between her mother’s subsequent suicide and the recent murder of her father, returning to Winchester to run the funeral home feels fitting—even if it leaves her vulnerable to an obsessive serial killer.
Debra and I not only discussed her plotting and how her own past affects her writing, she also has sage advice to authors just starting out: "If what you write is what readers want to read, don't deviate from what works best for them—and for you."
February 26, 2019
In the 10th novel in the Deborah Coonts’ series, LUCKY CE SOIR, Coont’s heroine, a fixer at the mythical and very posh Vegas Strip hotel, the Babylon, puts her business life on hold in order to meet the parents of her fiancé, the noted French chef Jean-Charles Boucle, only to stumble into a murder mystery that might destroy the Bouclet family’s reputation in the high-stakes industry of top-flight French wines.
December 28, 2018
James Rollins has written enough bestselling novels to fill a tall bookcase. In most of them, a historical event, or artifact, is the catalyst for a modern-day catastrophe. Sometimes Rollins will find the perfect plot concept from reading an article. Sometimes it’s sparked from his travels. For his latest novel, CRUCIBLE, it came from a place that even surprised him. (You'll have to hear the interview to find out where.)
In CRUCIBLE, the Spanish Inquisition is the catalyst for a religious cult's modern-day witch hunt in the not-too-distant-future. Fair warning: should the events depicted in this novel come to pass and scientists soon develop an artificial intelligence capable of warp-speed learning capacity, fact will be much scarier than fiction.
Click here to read the feature article accompanying this podcast interview in TheBigThrill.org
November 30, 2018
According to internationally bestselling author David Baldacci, when you’ve written as many books as he has—ten series, or a total of thirty books, and counting; and another twelve stand-alone novels—there is one way to keep his writing razor-sharp: “Start from Square One: create a new character, a new series—a new world.”
With his latest novel, LONG ROAD TO MERCY, Baldacci has done just that. His new protagonist, female FBI agent Atlee Pine, must cover a desolate Far West outpost on her own. And although its size is intimidating—it includes Grand Canyon National Park—Atlee is strongly motivated to succeed. She sees it as a way to avenge the tragic death of her twin sister, Mercy, who was abducted by a serial killer when the girls were only six years old.
David and I talked about his process in creating new, complex characters and weaving real-time geopolitical incidents into a heart-pounding plot.
Click here to read the accompanying feature interview with David in TheBigThrill.org
November 1, 2018
The iconic loner anti-hero, Jack Reacher, has made thriller writer Lee Child an internationally renowned author.
Child’s debut novel, Killing Floor—the first of 23 Reach books—won both the Anthony and the Barry awards for Best First Mystery.
The 9th novel, THE ENEMY, won both the Barry and the Nero awards for Best Novel and became a film starring Tom Cruise.
I interviewed Lee about the latest book in the series, PAST TENSE, in which a turn in the road takes Jack to his long-deceased father’s hometown, where the ghosts of his past aren’t necessarily dead and buried.
Click here to read the accompanying feature article with Lee at TheBigThrill.org
August 13, 2018
If you’re a novelist, the best way to make lemonade from a lemon of a non-fiction book deal gone awry is to repurpose it into a thriller that garners numerous enthusiastic reviews and a slot several best-sellers’ lists.
With her latest stand-alone novel, TRUST ME, Five-time Agatha award-winner Hank Phillippi Ryan has done exactly that. I talked to her about this latest thriller as well as how she varies her process when writing a stand-alone novel as opposed to her Jane Ryland series.
Click here to read the accompanying feature article with Hank in TheBigThrill.org
April 20, 2018
Today my guest is novelist Sandy Parks is renowned for her adventure thrillers which often with an aviation theme. In Sandy’s HAWKER INCORPORATION series, her heroine, military test pilot Amelia “Jet” Walkzinski, specialize in the difficult, elusive, and highly profitable repossession of high-end aircraft.
We also discuss Sandy’s new science fiction action thriller, TO DIE AGAIN, involving a special FBI unit where most of the agents and support personnel have “unique” talents they use to make sure people of their race do not interfere negatively with the human world.
April 20, 2018
The idea for Marilyn's (thus far) four-novel Crystal Psychic series came to her when she sat on a long-distance flight. As for Marilyn's contemporary romantic suspense novels, readers are enthralled by their historical angles and faraway locales. In fact, you'll hear how saffron gave Marilyn the plot for her next book.
April 20, 2018
The top-secret missions of Julie's NSA tech-op, Lexi Carmichael, has her traveling the world. She leaves the geek guys on her mission team in awe. Who says that men don't make passes at geek girls with the smarts to outwit the bad guys?
Julie tells me how her latest novel, No Regrets, leaves Lexi with quite a few to fight off.
April 20, 2018
Twins, separated at birth are a great hook for funny mystery series. No one knows that better than Jocie (note: she spells it with a "c" — not an "s"), whose Mayson Dickson novels are laugh-out-loud hilarious.
April 20, 2018
Cozy and romantic mysteries are a specialty of New York Times bestselling author Denise Swanson. But besides her Devereaux's Dime Store and Scumble River and Chef-to-Go mysteries, she has a sweet side, which you'll see when she discusses her Delicious contemporary romances with me.
April 20, 2018
If you’re looking for romances that provide thrills and chills, Abbie’s two series—Fatal Dreams, and Fatal Truths—are must-reads. Her profession—that of mental health counsel— gives her compelling insights into the human psyche. Abbie and I discuss her latest serial killer novel—with a twist.
April 20, 2018
This novelist's life is done by half measures—including the themes of her novels. Deborah Coonts is a lawyer, a pilot, and a motorcycle enthusiast. Not only will you laugh your head off at her Lucky O'Toole Las Vegas funny mysteries and cry tears at her California wine country contemporary romance, Crushed, you'll also stay up late in the night with her thrillers—After Me and Deep Water.
Deborah and I talk about why her heroine, Lucky, is any but (especially in love...)
April 20, 2018
Obviously, I couldn't interview myself, so I tagged Deborah Coonts to do the honor. She had me laughing too hard—at the differences in our processes of writing, at life, and mostly, at myself. Feel free to hear what I have to say—and chuckle along.