What makes you pick up a Thriler?

The cover is probably the first thing (by the way – I think my cover designer did a great job with Fatal Obsession – awesomely creepy!), but then you read the book description and decide whether or not to read. I can write the book, but I agonize over the description. You have to fit so much in very few words.

Take a look at these descriptions from books that are on Amazon’s thriller bestseller list now:

The Night Bird by Brian Freeman:

Homicide detective Frost Easton doesn’t like coincidences. When a series of bizarre deaths rock San Francisco—as seemingly random women suffer violent psychotic breaks—Frost looks for a connection that leads him to psychiatrist Francesca Stein. Frankie’s controversial therapy helps people erase their most terrifying memories…and all the victims were her patients.

As Frost and Frankie carry out their own investigations, the case becomes increasingly personal—and dangerous. Long-submerged secrets surface as someone called the Night Bird taunts the pair with cryptic messages pertaining to the deaths. Soon Frankie is forced to confront strange gaps in her own memory, and Frost faces a killer who knows the detective’s worst fears.

As the body count rises and the Night Bird circles ever closer, a dedicated cop and a brilliant doctor race to solve the puzzle before a cunning killer claims another victim.

The Trapped Girl by Robert Dugoni

A #1 Wall Street Journal bestseller.

When a woman’s body is discovered submerged in a crab pot in the chilly waters of Puget Sound, Detective Tracy Crosswhite finds herself with a tough case to untangle. Before they can identify the killer, Tracy and her colleagues on the Seattle PD’s Violent Crimes Section must figure out who the victim is. Her autopsy, however, reveals she may have gone to great lengths to conceal her identity. So who was she running from?

After evidence surfaces that their Jane Doe may be a woman who suspiciously disappeared months earlier, Tracy is once again haunted by the memory of her sister’s unsolved murder. Dredging up details from the woman’s past leads to conflicting clues that only seem to muddy the investigation. As Tracy begins to uncover a twisted tale of brutal betrayal and desperate greed, she’ll find herself risking everything to confront a killer who won’t go down without a deadly fight. Once again, New York Times bestselling author Robert Dugoni delivers a taut, riveting thriller in the fourth installment of his acclaimed Tracy Crosswhite series.

Both of these sound good – but what is it about that description that draws you in? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Special Guest Tierney James: Rooftop Angels

RooftopAngelsTierneyJames200x300I met Tierney James at a writers’ conference several years ago. We bonded immediately over scrapbooking and guns, and I feel fortunate to count her as a friend. In honor of her recent release, I asked her to stop by and answer a few questions.

First, some background. Tierney has been in education for over thirty years. She recently stopped teaching World Geography for a nearby college to pursue her writing career. Creating a workshop for beginning writers, speaking at schools and serving as an officer in the writing group Sleuths’ Ink, are some of the work she does when not writing. With the creation of Winds of Deception, Tierney is now working with one of the crew members of USS Liberty in hopes of obtaining the Medal of Honor for him.
Besides serving as a Solar System Ambassador for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab and attending Space Camp for Educators, Tierney has traveled across the world. From the Great Wall of China to floating the Okavango Delta of Botswana, Africa, she ties her unique experiences into other writing projects such as the action thriller novel, An Unlikely Hero, the first in the Enigma Series. Winds of Deception is the second in that series. Living on a Native American reservation and in a mining town for many years fuels the kind of characters she never tires of creating.

And now, for the questions!

What prepared you to write action thrillers with a Homeland Security theme?
Curiosity. The Twin Towers coming down. I’m also really into geo-political conflict.

This is the third in your series. Can you give us a little taste of the book?
When Tessa Scott wakes with blood on her hands in a rat infested shack in Afghanistan, she discovers six orphan girls and the Undersecretary of State counting on her for protection. Confused at how she got there or why a smoldering Black Hawk helicopter has crashed outside the village, forces her into yet another adventure of cat and mouse with the Taliban who intend to kidnap them. With the help of a Kyrgyz tribesman and his men, they elude the danger only to discover their protection comes at a price which involves marriage to the leader. An unexpected chance at new love outweighs the secret Tessa must now carry forever. Meanwhile Captain Hunter, an Enigma agent, desperately searches for her before she disappears on the rooftop of the world. A race against time and ruthless drug lords, who work with the U.S. government, create obstacles which change Tessa’s life in a way she never expected.

Afghanistan is a pretty exotic locale. Your first two books took place in the United States. Is this the new Enigma?
Well I love geography and sometimes my story just takes me to faraway places. There will be one in China and Turkey but the others will probably remain in the good ole USA.

How many books will there be in the series?
Right now I think there will be about eight.

Will you try to write in other genres?
I’ve tried my hand at paranormal thriller and now science fiction/fantasy. Those are really fun.

List your favorites:
1. Author – James Rollins, Brad Thor, Steve Berry, Daniel Silva, Nora Roberts, Sandra Brown
2. Music – Movie soundtracks, jazz
3. Actors – Dwayne Johnson, Jason Scott Lee, Jeremy Renner, Daniel Craig
4. Hobby-Gardening
5. Animal—Dog & the Okapi
6. Exotic locale—Tibet & Israel
7. Movie—Wind & the Lion

What else would you like others to know about you?
Besides teaching and writing, I enjoy family, gardening and traveling. I like trying new things such as learning Hebrew in hopes of incorporating the knowledge in a future Engima Series. Doing research sometimes involves learning new skills, such as being certified with various weapons. I had a blast taking a Samurai class at Killer Nashville. I’m also addicted to writer conferences.

Social Media:
Twitter: @TierneyJames1
Website: http://www.tierneyjames.com