Posts Tagged ‘thriller’

Hey, all, author me is taking over the blog this morning. I’ve had two wonderful publications (at least, I think they’re wonderful, though I admit to the possibility of bias) out in the last few months, and I’ve been too busy to do proper promotion for them. Bad author, no cookie.

faultlines-front-cover-final Soooo… Today I’m going to say a bit about them both. You may have heard me talk a bit about FAULTLINES, my young adult thriller, which is so near and dear to my heart. In brief, FAULTLINES is about a girl whose world is turned upside down by her best friend’s suicide. Vanessa is devastated by her best friend’s death, and blindsided as well. Lisa had pushed her and everyone else away in the months before her death, so Vanessa has no idea what led up to it, though she feels she owes it to Lisa to find out and put all the horrible rumors to rest. But while she’s reconstructing the events of Lisa’s life, someone begins taking revenge against those they perceive drove her to her death. Vanessa might approve of this vigilante, Poetic Justice, if the pranks weren’t growing more and more serious and if everyone didn’t assume it was her taking revenge and react accordingly. As the danger level of the pranks and retaliations mount, it becomes clear that no one is safe.

There are a few exciting new developments on this book. There’s an excerpt of the book now up on the YA Chicks blog! Earlier this week, the fantastic Mia Siegert (author of JERKBAIT) put up a fabulous review and Spotify playlist for the book. The editors of The Big Thrill have been very good to me, posting and tweeting out my interview in the International Thriller Writers newsletter.

For anyone who can’t get enough of hearing me talk (no? just me then? oh, hi, Mom!), there are also these guest posts and interviews for the book:

Books, Coffee, and Crafts – where, of course, I talk about books, coffee and crafts

Slippery Words – where I talk about where the story started for me and why it’s important

Deborah Blake’s Blog – about switching gears from humor to more serious stuff

Tez Says – the problem with the no-ripple approach

YA Books Central Interview

Fiction University – Punching Up Your Prose

And not to give anything away, but two recent, very personal posts that tie in to issues in the book:

A Personal Post for Bullying Awareness Week

Victimization

tribulations-cover And now for something completely different! Faith Hunter put together two wonderful anthologies of stories set in her Rogue Mage world (novels: BLOODRING, SERAPHS, HOST), and I’m very pleased to have a story in  TRIBULATIONS!  Inspired by my trip to Ireland, my story “Rolling Stone” follows Aoife Cleary, traveling talespinner and a little bit more. And…well, you can read all about it in my Q&A over on Faith Hunter’s blog or you can pick up the anthology and read the story itself (and I hope you will).

Well, that’s it for now, but I should have new and exciting news soon, so stay tuned!

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!

If you follow me on Twitter, you may be over hearing me crow about Ramez Naam’s fabulous, award-winning sf thrillers NEXUS, CRUX and, now, APEX.  But if you’ve read the books…ah, that’s a different story!  You’ve probably already begun proselytizing yourself!

APEX, the epic conclusion to the series is out today in digital and one week from today in print.

You can read an exclusive of the first chapter of APEX up at i09, see the Geek Library review here or find out what the big idea is over on John Scalzi’s blog.  You can take B&N’s word for it as a Best Pick for May.  Or, you can head over to Ramez’s website or your bookseller of choice to check the series out for yourself!  The cover copy for APEX and some reviews for the series are below.

Apex-144dpi APEX by Ramez Naam (Angry Robot Books)

The Explosive Conclusion to Nexus and Crux

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 protesters. Armies are mobilized. Political orders fall. Nexus-driven revolution is 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.

Rave Reviews:

NEXUS & CRUX

“I cannot recommend these two sci-fi thrillers highly enough” —Kurzweil: Accelerating Intelligence Blog

NEXUS

“Naam, an expert in new technologies and author of More Than Human: Embracing the Promise of Biological Enhancement (2005), turns in a stellar performance with his debut sf novel.” —Booklist, Starred Review

Nexus is a lightning bolt of a novel, with a focus on action and plotting that will remind readers of some of the best novels from the late Michael Crichton.” –Ars Technica

“Naam displays a Michael Crichton-like ability to explain cutting-edge research via the medium of an airport techno-thriller.” —SFX Magazine 

“His breathtaking expertise and confidence as a writer makes Naam the only serious successor to Michael Crichton working in the future history genre today.” —Scott Harrison, author of Archangel

“Excellent spycraft, kick-ass action scenes, and a chilling look at a future cold war over technology and ideology… a hell of a read.” —Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing

“The action scenes are crisp, the glimpses of future tech and culture are mesmerizing” —Publishers Weekly

“A ‘smart thriller’ in all senses of that phrase. Ramez Naam really does know how to make you turn that page. If you are posthuman or transhuman this is an absolute must-read for you; and even mere mortals will love it.” —Philip Palmer, author of Version 43 and Hell Ship

“Nexus is an extremely strong, intriguing and interesting fiction debut.” —SF Signal

“I can highly recommend reading Nexus. It is a fun, thought-provoking read, an excellent combination of interesting speculation with a gripping plot.” —Sense of Wonder

CRUX

“A blisteringly paced technothriller that dives deeper and even better into the chunky questions raised by Nexus. This is a fabulous book, and it ends in a way that promises at least one more. Count me in.” —Cory Doctorow, author of Little Brother and Homeland

“Smart, thoughtful, and hard to drop, this richly nuanced sequel outshines its predecessor with a wide cast of characters and some complicated, uneasy questions about power, responsibility, and the future of humanity.” —Publishers Weekly

“Potent like Naam’s vividly imagined nano-drug Nexus, Crux is a heady cocktail of ideas and page-turning prose. It left my brain buzzing for days afterwards.”  —Hannu Rajaniemi, author of The Quantum Thief and The Fractal Prince

Crux (Angry Robot Books) is an outstanding speculative fiction adventure. It combines the very highest level of neuroscientific reality with plausible neuroscience fiction that is very well thought through. I loved it.” —Stephen L Macknik for Scientific American

Crux was absolutely amazing!” —Thinks Books

I don’t know about you all, but to me there are few things more exciting than the start of a new series!  Diana Pharaoh Francis’s novel TRACE OF MAGIC releases tomorrow, beginning her Diamond City Magic series.  For an early taste of things, Literary Escapism has Di as a guest author today.  Romantic Times Book Reviews has given it 4½ stars and a Top Pick! rating and raves abound (see below).

beyond our stars small In other news, Marie Langager’s debut young adult science fiction thriller/romance, BEYOND OUR STARS, is available for $1.99 on Kindle for a limited time.  Great time to support a new author and get yourself a fast and fantastic read for the long Labor Day weekend.

rock addiction As if all that wasn’t enough, you can get an exclusive excerpt right now of ROCK ADDICTION, Nalini Singh’s bad-boy, rockstar contemporary romance coming September 9th!

 Trace of Magic cover TRACE OF MAGIC by Diana Pharaoh Francis

Even the most powerful tracers can’t track you if the magical trace you leave behind is too old. But I can track almost anything, even dead trace. That makes me a unicorn, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, and the Lock Ness Monster all rolled into one. In a word, I am unique. A very special snowflake. And if anyone ever finds out, I’ll be dead or a slave to one of the Tyet criminal factions.

Riley Hollis has quietly traced kidnapped children and quietly tipped the cops to their whereabouts one too many times. Now she’s on the radar of Detective Clay Price, a cop in the pocket of a powerful magic Tyet faction. When he blackmails her into doing a dangerous trace for him, Riley will have to break every rule that keeps her safe. Or become a Tyet pawn in a deadly, magical war.

Quotes:

“Wonderfully fun read! The perfect mix of magic, sleuthing, action, and romance—with a likeable, wise-cracking heroine in a dangerous, well-developed world. I couldn’t put it down.” —Barb Hendee, Co-Author of the Noble Dead Saga

“Best book of the year! Best new character of the year! Best new series all year! I. Loved. This. Book. You gotta read it.” — Faith Hunter, author of the bestselling Jane Yellowrock series

“When an exceptional author kicks off an exciting new series, it’s reason to rejoice. From the start, Diamond City, located in an old volcano caldera in Colorado, is nearly a character itself as its denizens are stuck in the middle of a magical gang turf war over diamonds and drugs…. The action is nonstop and the danger palpable in this amazing tale.” – Romantic Times Book Reviews, 4½ Star Top Pick!

“Diana Pharaoh Frances has crafted a winning paranormal mystery that mixes sizzling sex, magic, and a decades old search for artifacts that could change their world.” —Jeanne Stein, Bestselling Author of The Anna Strong Chronicles

“Trace of Magic caught me up fast and pulled me in tight for a fun, action-and-sass adventure full of deadly magic and dangerous romance. Diana Pharaoh Francis delivers a downright terrific read.” —Devon Monk, nationally Bestselling Author of HELL BENT

“A vividly written world of magic and kick-ass action.“ —D.B. Reynolds, Bestselling Author of The Vampires in America series

“A kickass thrill ride with magic, sex, guns and mystery.” —John Hartness, Bestselling Author of The Black Knight Chronicles

NEXUS!

Posted: July 24, 2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

nexus Huge CONGRATULATONS to Ramez Naam, whose awesome sf thriller NEXUS is a finalist for this year’s Endeavor Award!  Can’t keep track of all the author’s amazing awards and nominations?  Angry Robot has a handy-dandy checklist for you!

 

I’m time crunched at the moment between the vacation backlog and the final prep work for next week’s London Book Fair, so while I have three amazing book birthdays this week (SHARDS OF TIME by Lynn Flewelling, THE WOLF SIREN by Karen Whiddon and TEACH ME A LESSON by Jasmine Haynes), I’m going to celebrate them with a post a day so that each gets to shine on it’s own!

Before I start, I have to wish HUGE congratulations to TJ Bennett for finaling in the RITA Award for Best Historical for her wonderful, atmospheric novel DARK ANGEL and to Ramez Naam, whose received even more recognition for his sf thrillers NEXUS and CRUX, this time by being shortlisted for the Prometheus Award.  So proud!

And now (drum roll please)…  I’m so thrilled with the early attention Jasmine Haynes is receiving for her latest erotic novel TEACH ME A LESSON, like this fabulous quote from Heroes & Heartbreakers: “There is no one who writes pure erotic fantasy better than Haynes.”  I’m sure you can all guess that I think she’s wonderful, but you shouldn’t take my word for it!  Run out and see for yourselves.

Teach-Me-a-Lesson250 TEACH ME A LESSON by Jasmine Haynes (Berkley)

Do what you have to do, Principal. I deserve it…

High school guidance counselor by day, sex therapist by night, Charlotte Moore’s passion is people—whether helping students with the realities of life or helping their parents with the fantasies. Enter Principal Lance Hutton, the perfect subject for Charlotte’s method in recharging the sex drive—and it’s going to take some discipline. Considering this hot older man is her boss, it makes sense that he dole out the punishment. Besides, Charlotte’s begging for it.

But when Charlotte’s after-school extracurricular activities are made public, it threatens her job, her reputation, and the career of the man she’s falling head over heels in love with. Now, if this town wants a scandal, Charlotte and Lance are ready to give them one—and a lesson in bad behavior they’ll never forget.

—–

You can read more with RT’s Hump Day Excerpt here.

Now, it just so happens that Jasmine Haynes came up today in Amy Christine Parker’s and my vlog for YA Rebels.  Not because she’s YA (decidedly not!) but because when I went out to Los Angeles to research my first Latter-Day Olympians novel, she came out to meet me, and we had a grand old time.  Only a fraction of our travels and travails made it into BAD BLOOD, but I’ll have the memories for a lifetime.  If you’re interested in hearing a bit more, here’s the vlog talking about writing, travel and inspiration.  Enjoy!

For those of you who haven’t yet read I HUNT KILLERS by Barry Lyga, he’s written an intense novel in which Jazz, the teenaged son of the world’s worst serial killer, becomes obsessed with hunting a new murderer in order to prove that the “training” he received from his father during his formative years can be used for good.  (This to counteract the fear that he and others have that Jazz may follow in his father’s footsteps.)  It’s a wonderful novel, both psychologically and suspensefully, and so realistic in the way that Jazz must constantly fight his father’s brainwashing and the fears raised about his future.  It’s not often that I write fan letters – I should probably do this a lot more frequently, but as an agent I always worry that people will suspect ulterior motives—but I met Barry years ago, and had to reach out to tell him how much I enjoyed I HUNT KILLERS and to pick his brain about how he was able to maintain his own sanity while getting into the right mindset to make the novel truly authentic.  Here are my questions and his answers.

INTERVIEW with BARRY LYGA
Barry, I’m blown away with the way that you were able to put yourself into your protagonist’s head and to create someone at once so appealing and potentially scary.  What kind of research did you have to do in order to create Jazz and his father, Billy Dent?

Thanks! Before I wrote the book, I sort of immersed myself in all things serial killer. I spent a few months reading nothing but books about law enforcement and forensic science and serial killer profiles and the history of serial murder. There was a temptation early on to take all of that reading and use it very specifically and sort of make everything in my book a reference to that real-world information in some way, but then I just decided that it would be best to let my research linger in my head and inform the mood of the book, rather than the details. So Billy, for example, isn’t based on any real person. He’s a figment of my imagination, filtered through all of that reading. And Jazz is really just… There aren’t many books about the children of serial killers, at least none that I found or read. So I just did what I always do, for every book: I thought to myself, “Imagine you’re a kid in this particular situation. What happens now?” And I ran with it.

Did you ever find the mood of the story affecting you personally?  If so, were there strategies you used for getting into the mindset and back out again?

Nah. I know the safe answer is something like, “Oh, yeah, it was horrifying to write this… I was so disturbed…” But it didn’t bother me at all. My friends joke that I was born without a soul because I have no problem jumping right in and writing some of the gruesome and psychologically messed up stuff in the book. I don’t have to get into any specific mindset. I just sit down and boom! I’m there. And when I’m done, I’m done. Doesn’t bother me or affect me.

Was there any personal experience or background you were able to draw on to evoke the emotions within the novel?

I think everything written, no matter what it is, has some kind of background in the author’s self and history. It’s not like my dad’s a serial killer or anything, but I’ve had — we’ve all had — that moment in our lives when we think, “Am I going to grow up to be just like my parents?” And that can either thrill you or terrify you. It’s a universal thing and it’s easy to tap into. And I think Jazz’s fear of himself, of his own power, is universal, too, as we grow up and come out of the haze of adolescent hormones and begin to realize that there are people who matter in the world and that we have the ability to hurt them or to help them. So, yeah, I drew on that stuff and sort of ramped it up because for Jazz these issues are literally a matter of life and death.

As much as I love Jazz, his best friend Howie is probably my favorite character in the novel.  Do you want to discuss how he came to be?

Aw, I am so glad to hear that! I love Howie. I was so terrified that he was going to succumb to Best Friend Syndrome. I resisted letting him be funny at first because the best friend is ALWAYS funny and I’m sort of tired of that. But then he developed this dark gallows humor about him, and he’s got this knowledge that he could die so easily, and it made him feel very real and very new to me. At first, I just thought it would be sort of funny and interesting to have Jazz’s friend be a hemophiliac. It was the idea of juxtaposing the ultimate killer with the ultimate victim. Because you know Jazz could kill Howie in a fraction of a second. And then that knowledge sort of filtered down for me and I realized that by being friends with Howie, Jazz has put himself in a position where he’s constantly reminded of the frailty of human life. And Howie allows himself to be in that position, to be that reminder. It just all came together really nicely and I’m so happy with the two of them. There’s a lot more of Howie in the second book, so I’m glad people seem to like him!

Can you talk a little about the process?  How many drafts did you have to go through?  Did you have to dig yourself deeper with each one?  The momentum on the plotting and pacing are so strong that I wonder….

I typically don’t go through many drafts. I usually do one on my own and then do a clean up and then another with my editor and we’re done. But I’d never written a mystery before and when I finished the first draft of KILLERS, every damn person who read it figured out who the killer was! Every single one of them! So, I did some tweaking and some fixing and… I don’t remember, but I think I did two or three sweeps through it before I gave it to my editor. And then SHE figured out who the killer was! And I was like, “Goddamn it!” But it took her LONGER than it took my beta readers, so I knew I was on the right path! [Laughs] So we did another run-through and then just a quick little tweak after that and it was ready. The bones of the whole thing were there from the beginning, from the first draft: The character arcs, the plot, everything. It was just a little thing, you know — the goddamn mystery! I just had to keep tweaking things and modifying bits to make it work. It was a serious education for me. You can change the direction of the mystery in the reader’s head just by changing a line of dialogue. Like I said — I’d never written anything like this before, so I was sort of learning as I went along.

You mentioned momentum and that’s funny because I always feel like my books start really slow and then sort of build from there. And that was all right for my other books, but at some point, I realized, Duh! This book is a thriller! It has to MOVE. And I felt like the beginning was still slow, so I just arbitrarily decided that I would cut ten percent of the first hundred pages of the book. Don’t ask why — I don’t know. I just decided that out of the blue one day. When you break it down, it works out to something like twenty-five words cut from each page. So that’s what I did — I just went through and cut ten percent of the first hundred pages. And honestly, I still think the first forty pages or so are a little slow, but it’s better than it was before.

Given the subject matter, was it a challenge at all to convince your agent or the young adult editors that it would be appropriate for the YA market?

Not at all! I mean, I lucked out in that regard — my editor was itching to publish a YA novel about serial killers. She had mentioned the idea of such a book and I thought it was sort of too much and disgusting and disturbing, and then one night I woke up in the middle of the night, thinking, “His FATHER is a serial killer!” And I went to my computer at, like, three in the morning and wrote up a proposal. And bang — it all came together. She was a little worried that it was going to be too dark, but when she saw Jazz interacting with Howie and Connie, she saw what I was up to and it’s been smooth sailing all along.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?  Any other projects you’d like to mention or websites you’d like to direct us to for excerpts or further information?

Well, almost diametrically opposite KILLERS, I have a fun middle grade series called ARCHVILLAIN. The last book in that trilogy will be coming out in January. And the second KILLERS book will be out in April. Web-wise, I’m on Facebook at facebook.com/barrylyga, I’m @barrylyga on Twitter, and of course I have my website at barrylyga.com. People can feel free to stalk me at any combination of them!

Thanks so much, Barry!  It was a pleasure to read I HUNT KILLERS and a pleasure to have you here.  I’m already looking forward to the sequel!

Thanks, Lucienne!