Posts Tagged ‘suspense’

Greetings! Hope it’s drier where you all are than it is here. Thunderstorms, pouring rain. A great day to stay in with a good book! Luckily, Barnes & Noble has a list of some of the best new science fiction and fantasy releases of May for your reading pleasure, including Faith Hunter’s latest, COLD REIGN! And if that’s not enough, N.K. Jemisin’s award-winning Broken Earth series has earned another win — this time the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best High Fantasy for THE OBELISK GATE! If you haven’t already started this series, now is a great time to catch up on THE FIFTH SEASON and THE OBELISK GATE before the August release of the stunning conclusion, THE STONE SKY.

Since I’ve promised great reads for a rainy day in my blog header, here are some awesome first pubs and re-releases in sf/f, mystery and suspense that are available right now, no waiting!

 cold reign COLD REIGN by Faith Hunter (Penguin Books, mass market)

(Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Indiebound)

The adventures of Jane Yellowrock continue with a thrilling new installment in the New York Times bestselling series that captures “the essence of urban fantasy” (SF Site).

Jane Yellowrock is a shape-shifting skinwalker…and the woman rogue vampires fear most.

Jane walks softly and carries a big stake to keep the peace in New Orleans, all part of her job as official Enforcer to Leo Pellissier, Master of the City. But Leo’s reign is being threatened by a visit from a delegation of ancient European vampires seeking to expand their dominions.

And there’s another danger to the city. When she hears reports of revenant vampires, loose in NOLA and out for blood, Jane goes to put them down—and discovers there’s something unusual about these revenants. They never should have risen.

Jane must test her strength against a deadly, unnatural magic beyond human understanding, and a ruthless cadre of near-immortals whose thirst for power knows no bounds…

kiss the bricks KISS THE BRICKS by Tammy Kaehler (Poisoned Pen Press, hardcover)

(Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Indiebound)

At the end of the first practice session for the iconic Indianapolis 500 race, Kate Reilly is stunned to discover she was the fastest driver on the track. She’s even more surprised to learn she wasn’t the first woman to top the speed charts in the race’s 106-year history. That feat was accomplished in 1987 by PJ Rodriguez-steady, dedicated, immensely promising-who shocked the racing world and the wider one by committing suicide ten days later.

When the press, bloggers, and social media go crazy over the connection between PJ and Kate, Kate begins to lose her identity-suddenly everyone’s comparing Kate and PJ, calling Kate PJ, and wondering if Kate will kill herself, too. Under siege from various trolls live and digital, Kate feel PJ’s story deeply. So she’s impelled to listen to PJ’s family-which claims PJ did not jump, but was murdered. And she agrees to help them find PJ’s killer and restore her reputation…30 years after the fact.

PJ’s death was a great tragedy; Kate feels it in her bones and believes she is the best person, perhaps the only person, to investigate PJ’s story. What evidence is there? She can interview people at the track who were there in 1987. She can consult the press coverage. And she can marshal up help from “Special Team Kate.” They work in an atmosphere of prejudice and chauvinism, the same that surrounded PJ.

But Kate is at the Indy to run the biggest race of her career. To prepare she fills her days with driving on the track for practice, fulfilling sponsor obligations, promoting the IndyCar Series and as ever, playing peacemaker between the warring sides of her maternal and paternal families.

Before long one suspect in PJ’s death turns up dead, all but confirming PJ was killed. So as Kate prepares to run the biggest race of her life she must narrow down the clues to not one but two murders, all while fighting for her own voice and identity through the storm of media attention. Will the past stay buried? Or will history repeat itself and leave Kate dead?

Kiss the Bricks is the 5th Kate Reilly mystery and takes its title from the Indy winner’s tradition of kissing the track’s Yard of Bricks in tribute to its legendary history.

Apex-144dpi APEX by Ramez Naam (Angry Robot, mass market reissue)

(Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Indiebound)

The Explosive Conclusion to Nexus and Crux Winner of the Philip K. Dick Award

Global unrest spreads through the US, China, and beyond. Secrets and lies set off shockwaves of anger, rippling from mind to mind. Riot police battle neurally-linked protestors. Armies are mobilized. Political orders fall. Nexus-driven revolution is in here.

Against this backdrop, a new breed of post-human children are growing into their powers. And a once-dead scientist, driven mad by her torture, is closing in on her plans to seize planet’s electronic systems, and re-forge everything in her image.

A new Apex species is here. The world will never be the same.

heart breaker HEART BREAKER by Shannon Curtis (Harlequin Australia, hardcover)

(Booktopia, Amazon AU, Dymocks)

She’ll do whatever it takes to track this killer …

Harmony Talbot’s world is destroyed when she arrives home and discovers her cousin’s dead body, left with a single white rose as the killer’s calling card. Lightning shouldn’t strike twice, but this is the second unsolved murder in Harmony’s family. Harmony is determined that this time there will be justice, even if she has to track down the culprit herself.

Homicide detective Bern Knight is good at catching criminals. Though meaningful, his work leaves little time for relationships, and the last thing he needs is a beautiful, bumbling amateur sleuth getting herself into trouble. Whoever committed this crime is no ordinary murderer; he’s a ghost, leaving behind no evidence until more bodies with the same sadistic markers start turning up.

As a digital forensic investigator, Harmony has a special set of skills that she’s fully prepared to use, no matter how much the stern detective is against her interference. Tracking the killer is no easy feat, but Harmony lures him out of hiding. Except now she’s the one in the killer’s crosshairs…

I must have started today’s blog a dozen times, because it’s difficult to think of much else right now beyond concern over the direction our country is headed. (For the record, I’m choosing activism over acceptance. For those like-minded, I’m happy to supply this link of “pro-women, pro-immigrant, pro-Earth, anti-bigotry organizations” you might consider supporting.)

But there is something else front and center of my mind today, and that’s the release of my new novel FAULTLINES. This is a book very close to my heart, perhaps even more so right now given the new wave of hopelessness and abuse many are suffering in the wake of the election. FAULTLINES is a young adult suspense novel – fiction but dealing with issues that are unfortunately all too real.  This weekend I talked with Books, Coffee and Craft News about the need to create. Today I’m over on the Slippery Words blog discussing my need to write this book in particular and talking about some of the themes.  I hope you’ll read along and check back here frequently (or follow me on Twitter or Facebook) for other blog stops, some with giveaways!

I’m also pleased to post up here the cover, quotes, copy and buy links in case you’d like to grab your own copy of FAULTLINES, which releases tomorrow from Bella Rosa Books!

faultlines-front-cover-final “Vivid, suspenseful, and charming, Diver creates a world where anything can happen in this must-read page-turner.” —Carrie Jones, New York Times bestselling author of the Need series

“Faultlines blew me away! A tense, suspenseful read that will break your heart and keep you guessing right up until the very end.” —Amy Christine Parker, author of GATED and ASTRAY

Six months ago Vanessa Raines lost her best friend.

Lisa had changed, pushing away everyone close to her, even Vanessa. She had quit soccer. Started wearing dark and dismal clothes. She refused every offer to talk and suffered whatever she was going through in silence. Now she’s really gone. Suicide they claim, but Vanessa knows that isn’t right. It can’t be.

Vanessa blames herself for letting Lisa chase her off. She wants answers, so that she can put to rest the rumors surrounding Lisa’s death and so that she can move on, heal. But Lisa left no note and the journal she was always scribbling in—which might tell all—is mysteriously missing.

As Vanessa struggles to come to terms with the loss of her friend and to reconstruct the last months of Lisa’s life, someone calling themselves “Poetic Justice” begins taking revenge against those he or she thinks drove Lisa to suicide. Everyone at school believes Vanessa is this mysterious “Poetic Justice”. It’s easy to blame the former best friend, and Vanessa makes an obvious target.

Struggling with her own guilt, Vanessa is determined to ignore the threats and allegations aimed her way. But as Poetic Justice’s vengeance takes a darker turn, retaliation against Vanessa begins to escalate, from cyber bullying to violence, putting both her and the little sister she adores in the line of fire. To protect them both, she has to find out who’s behind the attacks before things turn deadly. And hope she can survive the truth.

Buy links:

Amazon

Kindle

Nook

Books-a-Million

Indiebound

 

I’m so excited that Take Me Away to a Great Read has done the first cover reveal for my new YA suspense Faultlines! This is a novel that is seriously close to my heart, and I hope that you’ll all check it out.  Please feel free to Tweet or otherwise share the link. I’d really love to get a buzz going for this book. Yes, I’d love to get a buzz going for all of my books, but this new direction is really important to me, so I’m willing to beg for your attention!

What’s it about? Well, I’m glad you asked!  Here’s the cover copy:

“Faultlines blew me away! A tense, suspenseful read that will break your heart and keep you guessing right up until the very end.” —Amy Christine Parker, author of GATED and ASTRAY

Six months ago Vanessa Raines lost her best friend.

Lisa had changed, pushing away everyone close to her, even Vanessa. She had quit soccer. Started wearing dark and dismal clothes. She refused every offer to talk and suffered whatever she was going through in silence. Now she’s really gone. Suicide they claim, but Vanessa knows that isn’t right. It can’t be.

Vanessa blames herself for letting Lisa chase her off. She wants answers, so that she can put to rest the rumors surrounding Lisa’s death and so that she can move on, heal. But Lisa left no note and the journal she was always scribbling in—which might tell all—is mysteriously missing.

As Vanessa struggles to come to terms with the loss of her friend and to reconstruct the last months of Lisa’s life, someone calling themselves “Poetic Justice” begins taking revenge against those he or she thinks drove Lisa to suicide. Everyone at school believes Vanessa is this mysterious “Poetic Justice”. It’s easy to blame the former best friend, and Vanessa makes an obvious target.

Struggling with her own guilt, Vanessa is determined to ignore the threats and allegations aimed her way. But as Poetic Justice’s vengeance takes a darker turn, retaliation against Vanessa begins to escalate, from cyber bullying to violence, putting both her and the little sister she adores in the line of fire. To protect them both, she has to find out who’s behind the attacks before things turn deadly. And hope she can survive the truth.

Details:

Publisher: Bella Rosa Books

Formats: Trade Paperback, ISBN 978-1-62268-100-6 and eBook, ISBN 978-1-62268-101-3

Publication: November 15, 2016

Other preorder links will follow, but so far it’s up for the Kindle here!

I was privileged to be interviewed at Pinellas Comic and Maker Con by Scott Ertz and Marissa Schiereck at Plughitzlive.com, and I’m pleased to present it here!  The new book I mention in the interview, releasing November 15th, is FAULTLINES. It’s very near and dear to my heart, and I suspect you’ll be hearing a lot about it in the coming weeks, at least from me!

http://plughitzlive.com/player/episode.php?EpisodeId=1447

Amy Christine Parker is doing a really fun thing for the release of her new young adult novel SMASH & GRAB, which, as you might expect from the name, is a heist novel. She’s asking people who they’d have on their heist crew, and people are tweeting and otherwise posting, using the hashtags #Smash&Grab and #MyHeistCrew. As some of you may know, tweeting is a challenge for me. I’m voluble. I want to reason and give supporting arguments and all that jazz. Thus, I’ve decided on an entire blog post.

So, here’s my heist crew (if they’d have me)!

Ramez Naam: he can plot like a sumbitch, and keep multiple complex threads weaving in and out of each other in a way that would make my head spin. Plus, he’s able to see and present all sides of an issue. Invaluable when it comes to planning a heist, I should think! Also, R.S. Belcher, because I’ve just read his new Golgotha novel QUEEN OF SWORDS (which will knock everyone’s socks off!) and he writes an amazing Anne Bonny. Anyone who’s had Anne Bonny in his head for so long can no doubt pull of a heist almost single-handedly! In fact, it would be incredible to have all of my authors in on the plotting/planning stages. What a think tank that would be!

Big Brian: Full name left out to protect the, uh, innocent. Yes, it’s true, I might have a friend who might once in his misspent youth have been a computer hacker and who would absolutely be part of any crew I’d assemble. Although, he’d have to stay in the background because at six foot six he might be a little conspicuous otherwise!

Amy herself would, of course, need to be part of the crew. I can only assume that having extensively researched SMASH & GRAB she’s learned a thing or two.

As for feet on the ground? Egads, I’m forty-mumble years old. I’m certainly not in any shape for ducking, dodging or outrunning anyone. Let’s see…ah ha! My authors Christina Henry and Chloe Neill (and probably others) run marathons, which blows me away. They’d be fleet on their feet. And there’s Keith R.A. DeCandido, who is a second degree black belt in karate, so he might be able to handle a heist. Oh, and I’d have to have my friend Sal Torres on the team, even if I had to ask him the specifics of his martial art, which it turns out is advanced level wushu…think Jet Li!

Peter Wheeler (aka my husband): Several reasons here. First, I think I’d be divorced if I left him off the list! Second, he’s amazing. He loves puzzles and has a brilliant mind for them. He’s all but an Eagle Scout (finished all the requirements, just never the paperwork) and so he knows an awful lot of MacGyvering. (It’s my blog and I’ll make up words as I please.) In a pinch he’s the first person I’d expect to do something with nothing. A paperclip, some chewing gum and a few wadded up napkins and viola, miracles!

There you have it. Who’s on your heist crew? Comment below, do your own blog, Facebook, Tweet or whathaveyou. Just share in the fun!

And grab SMASH & GRAB when it hits shelves tomorrow.

smash and grab

SMASH & GRAB by Amy Christine Parker (B&N, Amazon, Books-a-million, Random House Children’s Books)

Ocean’s Eleven meets the star-crossed lovers of West Side Story. Grab some popcorn and get ready for an adrenaline-filled heist!

LEXI is a rich girl who loves a good rush. Whether it’s motorcycle racing or BASE jumping off a building in downtown Los Angeles, the only times she feels alive are when she and her friends are executing one of their dares. After her father’s arrest, Lexi doesn’t think twice about going undercover at his bank to steal the evidence that might clear his name. She enlists her hacker brother and her daredevil friends to plan a clever heist.

CHRISTIAN is a boy from the wrong side of the tracks. The local gang has blackmailed him and his friends into robbing banks, and he is desperate for a way out. When the boss promises that one really big job will be the last he ever has to do, Christian jumps at the chance for freedom. In fact, he’s just met a girl at the bank who might even prove useful…

Two heists. One score. The only thing standing in their way is each other.

Told in alternating points of view, this caper is full of romance and fast-paced fun. Hand to fans of Perfect Chemistry, The Conspiracy of Us, and Heist Society.

Quotes:

“This is an action-packed book that will leave you guessing until the very end. Highly recommended.” —Christina Farley, author of the best-selling GILDED series

“This book has a little bit of everything: mystery, love, diverse (and deep) characters, and a lot of heart.” —Raquel Henry, editor, Black Fox Literary Magazine

“What a delightfully fun summer read. Smash and Grab has tons of heisty goodness.” —Boundtoloveya.com

“A fun, adrenaline-filled story full of suspense, blackmail and characters who can’t help but fall for each other along the way!” —Fictionfare.com

“Absolutely one of the most enjoyable reads of the summer! Pure and simple: it’s a heap of fun! Run, don’t walk, to snag yourself a copy!” —Caitlin Bauer, RoyalSocialMedia.com

“Smash and Grab is a unique story about heists…I would recommend this to fans of books like Heist Society by Ally Carter.” —The Candid Cover

“There were many points where I was biting my nails wondering what was going to happen and if they were going to get caught…I really enjoyed this book.” —Once Upon A Twilight

“Entertaining, nicely paced and spiced with romance.” —Ratedreads.com

This is technically the third installment of How I Met My Client, since these posts were inspired by one of our Knight Agency newsletters where I talked about the story of meeting Lynn Flewelling for the first time and had her share the story from her perspective as well.  Not long ago, Christie Golden kicked off the theme here on my blog.  Today I’m very excited to talk about How I Met My Client Amy Christine Parker and to have her talk about how she met her agent (spoiler alert: me)!

Gated_hires_pbackAstray Cvr1smash and grab.jpg

How I Met My Client Amy Christine Parker

I met Amy when I came out to talk with her writers group and subsequently when I attended a meeting of her critique group out here in Florida (where you may or may not know I work from a home office after spending 15 years in Manhattan). Her critique group shared work, and I was impressed with Amy’s writing, particularly her ability to make an impact with her sentences. She had a natural sense of when to use one word sentences or a one sentence paragraph, a natural way with flow and immediacy that really impressed me. But her first idea wasn’t one that I thought would fly.

As Amy mentions in her blog post below, we kept in touch. One day, as I remember it, I asked what she was working on currently. When she told me, I got goosebumps. The story she laid out was about a girl who’d grown up in a cult. The End Times were coming, according to their prophet, and Lyla can’t bring herself to do some of the things he says must be done, like killing others who would threaten their way of life. And as Lyla starts to discover pieces that don’t fit with what the prophet tells them is true, she has reason to fear for her own survival. If Lyla is wrong about the prophet, she might doom herself and everyone she loves, but if she’s right…

You see, chills. I asked her to send it to me when she finished, already dying to read it.

My e-mail archive doesn’t go back far enough for me to check and be sure, but I believe I began reading the complete on a Wednesday night and that by mid-day Thursday I e-mailed Amy asking whether she wanted to meet Friday for coffee to discuss. See, I was halfway through and already knew I had something special here. I strongly suspected that I would take this on, but I had to finish first, just in case things fell apart at the end. I was so enamored, though, that I knew that even if we hit that worst-case scenario, we could discuss revisions and brainstorm fixes and I’d ask for a revise and resubmit. Well, I’m happy to say that things did not fall apart and I absolutely fell in love with the novel. (Although I did, of course, have some thoughts on how to make it even stronger.)

We met for coffee that Friday and discussed the book, at the time called THE SILO, and by the time the ice was melting in our drinks (latte for me, black tea lemonade for Amy), I had a new client and Amy had an agent.

Next came the revision and the submissions and the waiting, which is always the worst part of the job. However, in this case my enthusiasm for the book was so contagious we received some really quick reads and almost instant interest. One auction later, we’d sold the book and a sequel to Random House Children’s Books, where they came to be called GATED and ASTRAY. Plus, Amy’s got a third suspenseful YA novel, SMASH & GRAB coming July 19th.

I’m so pleased at the way it’s all worked out!

And now, here’s our story from Amy’s perspective:

How I Met My Agent

By Amy Christine Parker

Have you ever met someone and just known that you were meant to meet them? I am a pretty pragmatic person, but the moment I was introduced to Lucienne that’s exactly how I felt. In my gut I knew she would play some part in my writer’s journey. I had no premonition that she would one day be my agent—that seemed like way too much to hope for at the time given where I was in terms of skill—but I did feel like our paths crossing was not accidental.

I was fairly new to writing and was attending a local writers group. All I knew about publishing I had literally Googled. Green doesn’t even begin to describe me! But, I had an overwhelming desire to write and to one day see my work on book shelves. Getting the chance to meet a real live agent—in Florida no less—was a dream come true!

Lucienne had been invited to my writers group by one of the other members. I was so nervous I could barely think straight, but Lucienne was warm and engaging. It was easy to feel comfortable around her. She read some of our work, made comments then shared some of her own writing. I was blown away by what she brought to read and by the advice she gave. That night I left feeling inspired to work harder than ever to hone my craft.

Afterwards, I began following Lucienne on social media and regularly read this blog, commenting when I enjoyed something she said or wrote. Because we live relatively close to each other, she visited my writers group several more times. Gradually, we became friends. What impressed me most was how passionate she is about agenting, her clients, and books. She loves what she does and it shows. The more I got to know her, the more I became convinced that I would be very, very fortunate to have her one day offer me representation.

When it came time to query my first novel, she was at the top of my list. That first novel wasn’t ready for publication and was rejected by every agent I queried including Lucienne, but she took the time to let me know that she thought I had potential. She even offered to look at my next novel when it was ready. Seven months later it was and I queried her first, exclusively. I knew I’d benefit from waiting to query anyone else until she weighed in. Luckily for me, she made an offer! I’ve never said yes to someone so fast in my entire life (not even my husband, but don’t tell him that).

We’ve worked together for about four years now and she’s closed deals for the book she offered on and three more since. I couldn’t be happier. I am keenly aware of how blessed I am to have met her the way I did. Most writers never have the opportunity to get to know their prospective agents so thoroughly before they agree to representation. I am thankful to work with her and to be able to call her my friend.

I’m a few days late wishing a happy book birthday here on my blog to Chloe Neill for DARK DEBT, the latest in her awesome Chicagoland Vampires series, and to Karen Whiddon for bringing us back to her small town Anniversary, Texas with THE RANCHER’S RETURN.  Two very different and wonderful novels, both with old wounds reopened, scandals and suspense.

dark debt DARK DEBT by Chloe Neill

A vampire never gets old. But neither do his enemies. When a figure from Ethan’s dark past makes a splashy debut in Chicago, Merit and her Master don’t know whether he’s friend or foe. But they’ll have to figure out soon, because trouble is brewing in the Windy City.

At an exclusive society soiree attended by the upper echelons of the human and supernatural worlds, Merit and Ethan barely stop the assassination of a guest. When the target turns out to be a shady businessman with a criminal edge, Merit suspects a human vendetta. But the assassins have fangs….

The connections to Chicago’s Houses go deeper than Merit knows, and even one wrong move could be her last….

rachers return THE RANCHER’S RETURN by Karen Whiddon

In the small town of Anniversary, Texas, pure evil will find you…

The night rancher Reed Westbrook makes love to Kaitlyn Nuhn, his life ends. While in the throes of passion, his brother is murdered…and Reed becomes the prime suspect. When Kaitlyn, his solid alibi, vanishes, Reed goes straight to prison and becomes a scourge of the town.

Finally released, Reed lives under the radar, until Kaitlyn reappears claiming she was held prisoner by the real murderer, a man so powerful he’s virtually untouchable. This killer will stop at nothing to eliminate Kaitlyn, and only Reed can protect her. The electrifying attraction that drove him to near-madness is still as powerful as ever. And the walls he’s built around his heart are in danger of crumbling.