Tag Archives: Suspense

Author Interview: ‘Germs of War’ by Ketan Desai

About the Book:

A book where bioterrorism meets international intrigue, politics, and Islamic fundamentalism.

What if ISIS had biological weapons? This nightmare scenario was first published in Germs of War in 1999, which predicted 9/11. A fast-paced amalgamation of science, international intrigue with rogue CIA agents battling terrorists, and shady politicians. Only a lonely student can thwart it all. Will she be able to?

 

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

Author Interview:

1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing?

I am a physician and scientist who went into the biotechnology world after graduation. I founded three companies in the radiology and biotech industries. I have been writing since medical school, initially as a gag, but with the encouragement of readers, gradually more seriously.

2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?

No, I write when and where the inspiration strikes.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

From all walks of life. It can be political, medical, spiritual. For example, the idea of my book Germs of War came to me when I was bored in a clinic with very few patients to occupy my time. The mind began to wander and pretty soon, the idea of bioterrorism based novel came to me. I wrote the book in a month.

4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?

Mere nubbins of an idea. It develops as it goes along.

5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?

Mostly medical based thrillers. A cross between Robin Cook and Robert Ludlum.

6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?

Since the main character is a female, the lead would have to be a woman who can portray a strong woman. I don’t have any favorites there. Some Indian actors could pass of for the Afghan based terrorists.

7: Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?

Not as much as I like since running of three companies and seeing patients one half day a week keeps me busy. I’d rather write than read others.

8: What book/s are you reading at present?

None at the moment.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

Collected stories of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conon Doyle. I really appreciate the attention to detail, solid plots, and deductive reasoning in the book.

10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?

Just start, and don’t give up.

11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?  

I just started on Facebook. Was a skeptic of Social Media for a long time, and am just beginning to see the value of FB.

Link: www.facebook.com/people/Ashoka-Chakra/100019072092418

About the Author:

Ketan Desai, MD Ph.D., Ketan Desai is a physician, entrepreneur who has 3 biotechnology and cosmetic companies, and a writer for seekingalpha.com and talkmarkets.com

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Author Interview: ‘Blood Brothers’ by Nick Pope

Divided by Hate

United by Honour

About the Book:

Two deadly but very different terror attacks bring carnage to London on the same day: a suicide bombing in the heart of Soho, and the shooting down of a military aircraft taking part in a ceremonial fly-past. Simultaneously, a previously-unknown Islamic radical calling himself Saladin declares a caliphate in the UK and decrees that all British Muslims should rise up against the infidel state.

The initial terror attacks are followed by sickening atrocities at Jewish schools, and in response to Saladin’s message, disaffected Muslim youths heed the call to arms, establishing Sharia patrols that bring terror to the streets. Others undertake lone-wolf marauding terror attacks. The resultant backlash plays into the hands of a charismatic right-wing politician and threatens to ignite a race war.

The Prime Minister authorises the creation of a multi-agency team, codenamed Artemis, led by an experienced MI5 analyst. This elite new unit brings together top experts from MI5, MI6, GCHQ and the SAS, in a desperate race against time to hunt down the terrorists before they can complete their murderous plan. They’re joined by a former enemy whose knowledge and skills might just be the key to unlocking the entire plot – if he can be trusted.

What people are saying:

“This is an excellent book and reads like a TV miniseries… a fast-paced, action packed read.” You Want To Read This

“Left my jaw dropped… I highly recommend this book.” Cherie Homan (Reviewer)

“The remarkable plot held me at the edge of my seat with a convincible cast of well-defined characters.” Paul Falk (Reviewer)

“I really enjoyed the book and there was a high degree of brotherhood that developed between two warriors who were on different sides of the apparent conflict between Islam and the West.” Steve Canipe (Educator)

“A enthralling book about a Jihadist plot to form a Islamic Caliphate in the UK. The plot is very believable and the some of the depicted events are extremely current, with similar attacks having taken place very recently… An exciting and well written novel.” Peter Coxall (Reviewer)

“A good spy novel… I really enjoyed the book.” Shelly Imholt (Reviewer)

“100% here for all those fans of thrillers with story lines that may be just around the corner. I loved this and so will you.” Ranger Harper (Reviewer)

“Highly recommended.” Lee Marriott-Dowding (Reviewer)

 

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

 

Author Interview:

1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing?

I worked for the Ministry of Defence (MoD) for 21 years and while I had numerous postings in the course of my career, I’m best-known for having run the MoD’s UFO project – a job I did for much of the early Nineties. I took early retirement in 2006 and now live and work in the US, where I do consultancy and spokesperson work for various UFO/alien-themed movies, TV shows and video games, as well as a lot of freelance journalism and broadcasting on subjects that include the unexplained, conspiracy theories and fringe science. I gravitated to writing books because there’s such a lot of media and public interest in UFOs and the search for alien life, and I knew I had an interesting story to tell – within the confines of the Official Secrets Act, of course!

2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?

I prefer to write in the late evening, after all the daily distractions are out of the way. I set up my laptop on the dining room table and try to write 1000 words each day. Sometimes, the creative process is further enriched by a cold beer or a chilled glass of Pinot Grigio!

3: Where do your ideas come from?

My non-fiction comes from real life, i.e. the research and investigation into UFOs and the unexplained that I undertook at the MoD. My fictional inspiration is more varied, and while some of it is loosely based on other things that I did at the MoD, ideas sometimes come to me from newspaper stories, from chance remarks from family or friends, or from my imagination. But I think that in most cases, art imitates life, which is why the biggest piece of fiction in many novels is probably the disclaimer that says all characters and events are fictitious and that any similarity to real people or events is purely coincidental! Lots of movies are prefaced by the statement “inspired by true events” and I think the same is true of most books (even fiction!), with heavy emphasis on the word “inspired” – authors should always be “inspired” by things. I certainly am!

4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?

If my literary agent is reading this, I ask that he looks away now. I know conventional wisdom is that one should have a detailed synopsis, and of course I do, because publishers require it. However, with my science fiction novels and with my action thriller, the story and the characters soon began to have ideas of their own! I recall Stephen King writing about how, with Salem’s Lot, his original idea was to have the vampires win. But King said that some of his characters turned out to be stronger than expected, and that Ben Mears wanted to be a hero, so he “let him be what he wanted to be”. This is exactly what happened with my latest novel, Blood Brothers, when a minor character called Ashraf Abdul Khan grew beyond his original role and turned into someone who – only after I’d finished writing the book – I realized was a modern-day Long John Silver. Once a character evolves into something other than what was originally envisaged, events tend to diverge from the original plan too.

5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?

I’ve written three non-fiction books about UFOs, based on my government work on this topic. All three needed official security clearance and I’ve really only been able to write about this because the MoD has itself declassified and released most of the files about my old government job – a process with which I’ve been involved. I wrote two science fiction novels about alien invasion, combining what I knew about UFOs with more conventional warfighting information. My latest book, Blood Brothers, is an action thriller about terrorism in the UK, and was inspired by my final MoD posting as an acting deputy director in the Directorate of Defence Security. I’m currently writing the sequel, Old Enemies, set in the same fictional universe and featuring many of the same characters. I have plans for further novels in the series, doing what Tom Clancy did with his Jack Ryan novels, where he was able to incorporate some really slow-burning story arcs.

6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?

I’d like to see Faran Tahir as the enigmatic, conflicted Ashraf Abdul Khan, Jessica Chastain as the brilliant and strong-willed MI5 analyst Jenny Fairbanks, and John Simm as the tough-but-clever SAS officer Matt Quill. Khan is the most complex character, and it’s a challenging role for an actor, especially with the controversy over some of the themes covered in Blood Brothers. There’s already been some interest in film/TV rights, so it’ll be interesting to see how this pans out and what actors are actually cast, if something gets greenlit.

7: Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

I read a lot, both non-fiction and fiction. I love war histories and biographies by authors such as Antony Beevor and Simon Sebag Montefiore, but also really enjoy Lee Child’s Jack Reacher novels, Stephen King’s horror, and pretty much anything that Tom Clancy or Anne Rice ever wrote! And as a sci-fi fan, I’ve got to namecheck the fabulous Isaac Asimov, Connie Willis and Frank Herbert.

8: What book/s are you reading at present?

I’m a true crime buff and I’m currently reading Fatal Vision, by Joe McGinness, which tells the tragic, disturbing and controversial story of Jeffrey MacDonald and the murder of his wife and two young daughters. It’s a long, detail-rich book that really draws the reader into the story and the characters.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. I first read it when I was around 12 and I’ve re-read it several times since. I don’t want to repeat all the usual clichés about how it proved to be so prophetic, because for me, what really makes the book is the cleverness and complexity of the fictional universe that Orwell created. As a writer, I was particularly intrigued by the concept of Newspeak, which cleverly explores the relationship between thinking and language.

10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?

This is probably a cliché, but before you write, read! And pay attention to what works for you as a reader, and what doesn’t, whether it’s plot development, character-building or dialogue. Reading widely, across a range of genres, and learning from the authors’ techniques should be your start point, but then you should ask yourself if you have the genuine hunger and passion for it – not because you want fame and fortune (as is the case in all professions, only a tiny handful of people make it to the top), but because you have the drive to want to create a fictional universe populated by characters you’ll come to love (or hate) and in which interesting, life-changing events occur.

11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?  

My www.nickpope.net website is the best place to find out about my work. There’s a section devoted to my books (with links to the relevant Amazon pages) and on the home page there are links to my Facebook and Twitter pages, which can be found below.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/nickpopeofficial

Twitter: @nickpopemod

 

About the Author:

Nick Pope used to run the British Government’s UFO project. From 1991 to 1994 he researched and investigated UFOs, alien abductions, crop circles and other strange phenomena, leading the media to call him the real Fox Mulder. His government background and his level-headed views have made him the media, film and TV industry’s go-to guy when it comes to UFOs, the unexplained and conspiracy theories.

As the world’s leading expert on UFOs, Nick Pope has consulted on, and helped to promote a number of alien-themed movies, TV shows and video games. He has presented, consulted on and contributed to numerous TV shows, has written five best-selling books, and lectures all around the world.

Nick Pope lives in America.

 

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Book Review: ‘The Teenage Spy’ by Naila

Title: The Teenage Spy

Published: 1st April 2017

Publisher: Notion Press

Author: Naila

 

Synopsis:

Everybody loves to dream. They dream of becoming what they want. One such extraordinary dream was that of William Dunk. A teenager, living in North Bellwood, William Dunk aspires to become a spy. Growing up among spy novels and movies, he consequently loses his interest in his medical studies that his father Richard Dunk, a well Known businessman, had pushed him to do. His obsession for becoming a spy results in his expulsion from high school. His father loses his calm and banishes him from his mansion. William moves to South Bellwood and finds a best friend in his neighbor. The two embark on a mission to fulfill William’s dream. But is it really easy to go through after what one wants they get? After all, Bigger the aims, bigger the risks!

 

Review:

An interesting novella that follows William while he tries to make his childhood dream of becoming a spy a reality – let’s see how that goes.

William wants to be a spy so tends to explain things in a way that you would by breaking down information with a case. It’s just a shame that his school and father have no interest in him being one, thinking it is just a passing phase that he just won’t leave behind. After being expelled from school, and then subsequently thrown out of the house by his father, he goes to live in his late grandma’s old empty house. This sees him soon makes friends with Ryan, and after telling him his dream of being a detective and/or spy, they soon try to locate an agency where he can work and hone in his skills.

After what seems like a wasted day going round so many places and finding squat they hold out everything on the last place on the list. Seems this place is a hit and luckily comes with a dorm – good job too with William’s serious lack of funds. It seems Mr. Wood, the head of agency, thought he came across as someone to watch so sets Mr. Dancey the task of training him. William just has to make it through the first stage of training before he is admitted into the U.M.A – Undercover Missions Agency, which is the real deal with spy agencies.

Training begins with tests along the way to see if he has what it takes to be a true agent. With how much he wants it you know he will fly through. Cases soon pile up but when they get a bit too close to home things get dicey.

The SF agency is the darker side of the agency world where people pay them to do their dirty work. One person on the payroll is a doctor who hypnotizes his patients to do the deeds for them. Win-win as nothing comes back to them. When a few UMA agents fall foal and commit murders William steps up to try to figure things out and take them all down. Can he save the day or will he get caught in the crossfire’s?

Interesting starting point but I think it needed a bit more work done to it to make it a cleaner read. It kept jumping between present and past tense and at times it seemed like a word or two was missing or needed taking out from the sentence for it to make sense. Not much of a twist but more just flowing through from one case to the next. There may be a bit of danger along the way but it’s nothing he can’t handle.

2 for edit and 3 for story out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review.

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Author Interview: ‘Caina’ by Joe Albanese

About the Book:

Twins tend to be closer than typical siblings. They often share a bond that is oftentimes unexplainable.*

For some reason that bond didn’t apply to Grant and Lee Tolan. Grant was always the responsible one. Lee, on the other hand, was always in trouble and in jail, self-destructing to the point the twins hadn’t seen or spoken in years.

In trouble with the Irish mob who wanted him sleeping with the fishes, finding Grant dead of an apparent suicide, Lee did the only thing that made sense. He switched identities.

Instead of making life easier, Lee is plunged into a world the Irish and Italian crime families, the Mexican cartel and the DEA. Pitting one against the other, Lee enlists the help of friends to save his own life. He will need a miracle.

But Grant’s secret is the biggest shock of all for Lee and he must re-evaluate his entire life.

*Maureen Healy, author of Growing Happy Kids.

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

Author Interview:

1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing?

My name is Joe. I live in New Jersey. I write fiction and poetry. I have a novel, Caina, and a novella, Smash and Grab. I don’t like talking about myself, so this is borderline torture for me.

Years ago, my friend asked if I wanted to write a screenplay with him. It sounded amusing. He was high at the time. I don’t have an excuse. It turned out really bad, but I had fun creating something from scratch, so I kept writing and transitioned from screenwriting to prose and poetry.

2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?

Most of my writing gets done in the middle of the night at the kitchen table. That’s the only time it’s quiet, and there’s less TV and internet going on to distract me. But I do enjoy a rainy day spent writing.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

If I had a good answer to that, I probably wouldn’t currently be out of ideas.

4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?

Mostly I plan. Smash and Grab is the only story where I just started writing with no real idea other than the opening. It kind of worked out because some of the twists surprised even me. For everything else, including Caina and the novel I just finished, I take a shit-ton of notes until a full story is in my head, then I do notecards to help organize, then outline, then write, then contemplate suicide, then rewrite.

5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?

There’s almost always a criminal element to them, and usually from the criminals’ perspective. I went to school for criminal justice, so that probably had some influence. But you can always have more fun with characters who blur the line between right and wrong.

6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?

For Caina, I think Sam Rockwell would deliver the comedic dialogue best. He’s probably too old though. I’d be a terrible casting director. Martin McDonagh would be my dream director for it though.

7: Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

I used to read a lot, but I’ve barely read anything in 2018. The only writers I’ve read a lot of are Charles Dickens for fiction and Charles Bukowski for poetry. I try to read a variety.

8: What book/s are you reading at present?

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. I read The Graveyard Book last Halloween and really liked it, and I’ve seen a few of his movie adaptations, so I figured I need to read more of his since he’s so popular.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

A Clockwork Orange. The language is so good. It takes a couple chapters to get used to, but it’s so good.

10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?

You start by laying the rope out like an S.

11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?  

 You can find me on Twitter @JoeAlba88

 

About the Author:

Joe Albanese is a writer from South Jersey. He has had short fiction, nonfiction, and poetry published in the United States, Austria, Bangladesh, Canada, England, India, Ireland, Portugal, Scotland, South Africa, and Sweden. Joe is the author of “Smash and Grab” and “Caina.”

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Book Blitz: ‘The Venom Protocols’ by John Murray McKay

Title: The Venom Protocols

Author: John Murray McKay

Publisher: KCEditions

Genre: Crime / Thriller / Suspense

 

 

About the Book:

“You should have left me alone.”

Charlotte Corday was once called the most dangerous woman on the planet by the FBI until she retired. But it’s not so easy to remain retired when the past is determined to drag her back into the hell she wanted to leave behind her.

To uncover the origins of the mysterious Valkyrie program, Charlotte fights through her own dark past, dredged up by those determined to keep her out of retirement… or out of the business permanently… and to find solace in her own razor blade filled mind.

Her own words—her own warning—will come to haunt them.

They should have listened.

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

 

Excerpt

They kept coming after us, whistling and shouting as they went. It was like time stopped and everything around me grew quiet. I could sense the brick as it left the man’s hand, feel the texture of the rough red grain as it flew through the air. In slow motion I pushed Peter to the side, feeling him fall away as I turned and felt the brick strike my chest. Chest thumping, blood dripping down my breasts, dress torn as I lay on the dirty pavement sucking in deep swathes of breath. I could not hear Richard’s terrified screams or the laughter of the men, just the torrent of blood in my veins racing faster and faster.

And then it stopped.

About the Author:

Well you’ve found my profile page, thus you’ve already qualified for an attaboy award (a pat on the head and a chuck on the shoulder).

Now comes the part where I tell you about myself (I’ll wait for you to get some popcorn and get comfy).

I am a 20 something writer out of South Africa (Howzit my lanies, ons klap dit stukkend hier!), I am a professional cat herder, with other words a teacher. My favourite authors are Clive Cussler and Terry Pratchett and I am a Marvel comics addict! My inspiration for writing starter with the Johnny Castaway screensaver which I took as inspiration for my first novel “Man on an island.”. I have moved onto the horror/ Sci fi fields now and I can proudly say I am a serial writer and I love doing it!

I love writing about people and strong female characters like Quentin does in his movies.

Something interesting about me? I am wanted for various unstated crimes by the Tunisian Sock Merchant Mafia

Social Media Links:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/NDaysSeries

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/7480193.John_Murray_McKay

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