Tag Archives: suspense thriller

Interview with Steve DeWinter: ‘I am a heavy plotter and planner.’

I was born and grew up loving to read. But enough about me; you’re here for my books. If you like super-charged thrillers that merge high-tech gadgetry with ancient mythology and pit the outcast against powerful clandestine organizations, you are among friends.

My goal as a writer is to transport you to fresh and exciting worlds that not only take you on a white-knuckle ride but leave you hungry for more when you finally turn that last page and reluctantly slam shut the back cover of the book.

This is my promise to you the reader.

I will continue to satisfy your never-ending desire for more. So keep reading!

When one story ends, another begins.

To find out more about Steve visit www.stevedw.com

Q: Thank you for this interview, Steve. Can you tell us what your latest book, Inherit The Throne, is all about?

A: Thank you for having me here today. I always love talking about my books. In my latest book, Inherit The Throne, Melissa Stone is a woman displaced. After being listed by the military as killed in the line of duty, her husband and young son move on with their lives. Living under an assumed identity, she would have been happy to spend the rest of her days under an assumed name in a small town. But my villain has other plans. She was the only one who could stop him, so he sends an assassin to close off the biggest loose end in his plan. His attempt to remove her has the opposite affect and instead puts her smack dab in the middle of the action. To find out what happens next, you will have to read my book.

Q: Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters?

A: Melissa Stone is a strong and capable woman. She has been referred by readers as a female Jason Bourne. Despite being a kick-butt female, she is still a mother, and that comes out when her son is put directly into harms way. Even though she has inner strength, Melissa still needs outward help. For this, she is surrounded by a cadre of supporting characters that help her find out who is trying to kill her, and more importantly, why. Nick is the man she turns to early on and he proves to be, by far, the best person to call. His easy access to much needed resources helps her evade the police after she tangles with the assassin; resulting in explosive results in the normally sleepy little town.

Q: Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

A: My characters are larger-than-life and crafted entirely in my imagination. Thankfully, I write about events that never actually happened, or at least not in the way I write about them. I would hope that nobody in the real world behaves like any of my characters do.

Q: Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel, or do you discover it as you write?

A: I am a heavy plotter and planner. I have usually written out what takes place in each chapter before I sit down to write out the detailed text that becomes the finished book you read. I work out the chapters and re-order them and revise them before I write out the entire novel. This helps me maintain a global perspective and assists with the pacing of my stories.


Q: Your book is set in some wildly different geographical locations throughout the story. Can you tell us why you chose these settings in particular?

A: The locations in my book range from the gritty backstreets of Washington D.C. to the fog shroudhed forests of the Pacific Northwest, back to the unique geographical location of the Adirondack Mountains, and the big finale taking place in a secret underground complex deep in the heart of Manhattan. I like to take my readers to places that they may not get to see on a regular basis and, since my book dealt with an attempt to gain control of the government of the United States, I felt that the story needed to encompass the entire geographical space of the nation.

Q: Does the setting play a major part in the development of your story?

A: I like to have my characters travel as they change. The setting helps me identify where they are in their personal growth as well as giving me something that I can take away and make their lives even harder; pushing them to change if they want to stay alive. As a writer, I am a firm believer that without conflict, there is no story.

Q: Open the book to page 69. What is happening?

A: Melissa and Nick are debating about whether her small-town boyfriend is able to help them infiltrate a top secret government building. Melissa says that not only is he still injured from the assassin’s attempt on her life, but he is a civilian. Nick reminds her that he is not technically a civilian and is actually very qualified for the job. To this Melissa responds, “He was in the Navy fifteen years ago. He might as well have watched Top Gun four hundred times with what he still remembers about those days.”

Q: Can you give us one of your best excerpts?

A: This is from early on in the book when the double for the Vice President has second thoughts about “taking the bullet” for him.

Andrew perched on the edge of the back seat and watched as the dimly lit buildings of Washington, DC at night blurred past the limousine window. He felt like he was standing still, and the rest of the world was streaming by. When that first egg hit the top of the car he almost jumped out of his skin. It had sounded so loud; like a gunshot. Then more followed, hitting the sides and the top. Andrew was immediately pressed backward into the soft leather seat by the sudden acceleration as the motorcade sped away from the scene.

Well, they got that part right. This meant that the rest, no matter how incredible it sounded, was most likely true. It was probably the most overused plot in low-budget sci-fi movies, but Andrew knew that somewhere, out there in the night, there was an intelligent robotic killing machine looking for him. There was nothing left for him to do but sit back and wait.

Knowing the end was drawing near, Andrew naturally reflected on his life. But all he could focus on was the whirlwind year he was about to complete. Ten months ago, after the surgery, Andrew learned the informal medical term “new lease on life”. He set out to make his bucket list, the list of things he always wanted to do but never took the time. And now he finally had the time.

But when a sharp stabbing pain forced an emergency evacuation by helicopter from the peak of Half Dome in Yosemite, Andrew learned a new medical term only six months into his “new life”. Metastatic cancer. What this meant for him was that not only had the cancer come back; it came back in more places than it had started.

And now, four months later, here he was.

Sitting in a limousine posing as the Vice President of the United States.

Waiting to die.

He reflexively winced through every intersection as the convoy of vehicles screamed through at high speed. At this hour there was almost no traffic, and every cross street provided ample opportunity for a high-speed side-impact collision.

This was taking way too damn long.

Andrew suddenly glanced up at the roof of the limousine. An overpowering desire to live washed over him. He knew why that first egg sounded so loud. Maybe he could reach it? Pull it off and throw it out into the street? There were other treatments he could try. He didn’t have to die right now, did he?

Andrew shook his head as his vision blurred slightly. He knew that this euphoric thinking was a direct result of the opiates in his system caused by the breakthrough pain medication.

Still, he had a lot to live for, didn’t he?

Of course he did.

That settled it.

Andrew leaned to his left and fingered the controls to roll down the back window. A strong wind immediately blew around inside the cabin of the limousine. They must’ve been traveling at least seventy miles an hour.

With the window rolled down all the way, Andrew sat with his back to the window and reached up behind him to grip the door frame where it met the roof. With a single motion he lifted himself up and out and sat down on the edge of the closed door. The wind threatened to pull him the rest of the way out of the limousine, and he splayed his legs on opposite sides of the door’s interior to create an anchor for himself.

The wind buffeted him fiercely.

He squinted against the harsh conditions and scanned the roof of the limousine for what he knew must be there. And then he saw it. The tiny magnetic transponder sat just this side of dead center on the roof.

If he could just reach it.

Clamping his legs to the frame of the car he pushed a little higher, to give himself a longer reach. Flashing lights from his right drew his attention away from the tiny device. He glanced over at the Chevy Suburban filled with Secret Service agents. They were frantically flashing their headlights at him.

What did they think that would achieve?

Did they think that he didn’t know what he was doing?

He returned his full attention back to the device that sat, mockingly, just out of his reach. Losing leverage but gaining more reach Andrew pushed up ever so slightly with his legs.

Just a little further.

He almost toppled out of the limousine when a motorcycle officer appeared on the opposite side right into his field of view. The loud roar of the wind rushing past at over seventy miles an hour made it almost impossible to hear the officer, but not quite. “Get back in the car!”

With his left arm splayed forward on the roof to provide additional stability Andrew made one final push and gripped the tiny object with his fingertips. A second motorcycle officer joined the first, and they took turns hollering questions and commands at him. Andrew tugged at the device. It resisted slightly before releasing its magnetic grip and came free into his fingers.

He had done it!

He waved the device in front of him showing it to the two motorcycle officers with a big smile on his face. “I got it!”

And then his face fell as he looked past the two motorcycle officers to see the blurred grill of an SUV heading straight for them at impossible speed.

As soon as the Audi Q7’s bumper made contact with the second motorcycle, the collision detectors triggered the shaped C-4 charges, which focused all of their explosive power directly at the limousine right in front of it.

It happened so quickly that Andrew never even felt the end of his life.

Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Steve. We wish you much success!

A: And thanks again for having me on today. I enjoyed this interview very much.

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Interview with Mystery Suspense Author Gale Laure

Gale Laure 2Gale Laure, a native Texan, is the international selling author of Evolution of a Sad Woman, a mystery, suspense, thriller and romance novel .   She resides in a small suburban town in the Houston area with her husband and family.  Laure’s hobbies include genealogical research, movies, creating stories for the children around her, involvement in her church and people watching. She is busy at work editing her second novel, The Bunkhouse, and writing the sequel to Evolution of a Sad Woman. It is entitled Alana – Evolution of a Woman.  As mysterious as her  book, Laure writes under a pseudonym.  Adamant about maintaining her privacy and the privacy of her family, she keeps her identity a mystery!

For more information about Gale Laure or her novel, Evolution of a Sad Woman,  visit www.galelaure.com or her blog  www.evolutionofasadwoman , do an Internet search or the following:

• www.twitter.com/wwwgalelaurecom

• www.authorsden.com/galelaure

www.facebook.com/Author.GaleLaure

• www.goodreads.com/galelaureauthor

• www.myspace.com/galelaure-author

Evolution of a Sad Woman

Thank you for this interview, Gale. Can you tell us what your latest book, Evolution of a Sad Woman, is all about?

Gale:  Evolution of a Sad Woman is a mystery, suspense, thriller and romance book.  It is about a beautiful, mysterious woman named Keziah – also known as Kizzy.  She is brutally murdered.  When five men who have all loved her are brought together to solve the crime there is pandemonium.  These men, strangers, must share their pasts with Kizzy to find clues to solve her murder.  Personalities get in the way on the adventure to resolve this murder.   They are taken on into episode of deceit, crime and cruelty. Be prepared for a surprise ending you will not see coming!

Evolution of a Sad Woman

Evolution of a Sad Woman by Gale Laure (click on cover to purchase)

Is this your first novel?  If not, how has writing this novel different from writing your first?

Gale:  This is my first debut novel.

How difficult was it writing your book?  Did you ever experience writer’s block and, if so, what did you do?

Gale:  No.  I never had writer’s block until I started writing the guest posts for my virtual blog book tour.   To overcome this,  I did not give up.  I kept thinking and praying.  Ideas popped into my head.

How have your fans embraced your latest novel?  Do you have any funny or unusual experiences to share?

Gale:  Some of my fans have been angry that one of my characters dies.  One fan said she cried when she read my novel and not because of the death.  Many of my fans cannot wait for my next book.  Some are waiting with anxiety for the sequel to Evolution of a Sad Woman.  The unexpected surprise ending has fascinated all my fans.

What is your daily writing routine?

Gale:  I try to work on the edit of my next novel due out in 2010, The Bunkhouse, daily.   I write on the sequel to Evolution of a Sad Woman entitled Alana – Evolution of a Woman at least once a week.  The times of day that I work on my writing varies.  It usually happens when I am alone in the house.  I write better in quiet.

When you put the pen or mouse down, what do you do to relax?

Gale:  I go to a movie.  My husband and I have date night on Fridays.  This usually includes dinner out and a movie.  I also play with the children in my family.  Children relax me.  I read or take a nice, long, hot bath.

What book changed your life?

Gale:   I am a big Agatha Christie fan.  I suppose she is the one who influenced me to write mystery.  I love all of her novels.  I also liked Little Women by Louisa May Alcott as a child.  I liked it before I knew I wanted to be an author.  It is ironic it is about an author.

If someone were to write a book on your life, what would the title be?

Gale:     The Mystery of a Complicated Woman

Finish this sentence: “The one thing that I wish people would understand about me is…”

Gale: . . . I am a very private person.  This is why I write under a pseudonym.  I want to keep it that way.

Thank you for this interview Gale.  I wish you much success on your latest release, Evolution of a Sad Woman!

Gale:   You are very welcome.  I enjoyed very minute.

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Book Excerpt: Evolution of a Sad Woman by Gale Laure

Evolution of a Sad WomanThe Saturday Night Murder -1996

Kizzy lies nude on her bed as she listens to the music. Briefly, her mind reviews the upsetting visitors of this day. She has tried her best to phone him. He never answered. Quickly, she erases the thoughts from her mind. She tries to relax her twitching body. The music is soft, soothing, the kind that would make you want to sleep. Yet, she cannot unwind enough to sleep. She is significantly nervous. The least small sound makes her jump.

Outside, she hears the clicking of light hot humid rain, not the soothing kind that cools the earth, as it beats upon the window glass. An occasional crack of lightning typical for a summer in Houston, Texas, startles her, jolting her nerves even more.

The pills will take effect at any time. She looks slowly around the room. As she takes the last sip of wine from the glass and rolls it around inside her mouth, she savors the taste, in retrospect to her first glass of wine . . . .

All these years later, she loves the pungent taste. She collects the clock from the floor and places it on the bedside table. The clock says ten forty-five p.m. While sighing, Kizzy welcomes the feeling of rest as it overwhelms her body. Filled with lightheadedness, nausea and weakness, she knows the pills are the reason for these feelings. Maybe she should not have taken so many. Yet she knows she needs the pills. She wants to fall sound asleep. She lies in the bed, barely able to see the ceiling from the dim lamplight beside her bed. Briefly, she observes the empty wine glass sitting on the bedside table, tasting the wine as she runs her tongue around the inside cheeks of her mouth. How she loves the pungent taste of wine.

When she lies on her back, tears run from her eyes, down to her ears and into the back of her hair. Yet she is not crying. She will not sob. Therefore, from where are these tears coming? Her nose is stuffy from the increased mucous caused by the tears. She tries to breathe through her nose, which is not possible. Gently, she parts her full lips to breathe and sucks in the air. She is not sad because she is finally in control.

Kizzy jumps as the CD player in the living room clicks off indicating the music is over. Only the sound of the rain pervades the air. As she looks around the room again, she listens to hear the silence. She is waiting for the pills to take effect, hoping they will establish unconsciousness. The pills are taking forever. Maybe the hot bubble bath will help. In the bathroom, she has the tub drawn and ready. Barely, she can sniff the vanilla candle as it perfumes the bathroom, the wonderful soothing smell overflowing into the bedroom through the open bathroom door. Briefly, the smell reminds her of a bowl of vanilla ice cream. She tries to take a deep breath of the scent, but cannot.

Suddenly, she hears the rattle of a doorknob turning, coming from the living room. Someone has entered her apartment through the locked door. As she musters the energy she has left, she stands beside the bed with terror filling her very being. Her legs are shaking. As she staggers and sways, she stiffens her legs, standing still. Her vision is becoming blurry. With overwhelming weakness, her paramount instinct is to call for help. Except for the intruder, she knows she is in the apartment alone. She wants to scream and talk this intruder out of doing this. Maybe she could stop this from happening. She tries, but she does not have the strength to call out. Her body is limp from the pills. Trepidation pervades her rapidly beating heart. Her heart flutters, making her even more lightheaded and dizzy. She tries to walk, to run, to move—something! She is frozen and cannot move. The telephone is in the living room. Kizzy has
always meant to have an extension phone installed in the bedroom. Whom would she call? Why is she thinking about this now? She cannot run to the phone in the living room. The intruder is in the living room. The pills have made her too weak. Besides, she knows the intruder will stop her before she can get to the telephone. She knows this intruder has come to kill her. She tries to speak, hoping to plead to stop this, but cannot utter a word. She looks toward the open bedroom door, her heart throbbing with the anticipation of the intruder’s entrance.

She can barely see him as he enters. She is afraid, really deep down afraid. Death has not seemed frightening, earlier, but now the actuality of death is terrifying to her. She tries to speak and cannot. She cannot form the words on her lips or in her throat. Clenched tightly shut, she cannot separate her teeth. The pills have left her defenseless. He towers over her. Kizzy’s green, emerald eyes stare upward, deeply, into his large, dark eyes. His eyes are cold, vacant. For a moment there is another sound. Kizzy moves her eyes focusing to look slightly around him. Behind him stands a woman. With her blurred vision, Kizzy cannot identify her. She does not seem familiar. Kizzy looks back in his eyes, trying to communicate with him through her eyes. He does not try to understand. Horror fills her eyes. He stares stolidly, looming over her, looking down in her eyes. She wants to run, but she knows she has nowhere to
run.

While he grabs her with one mighty arm, clenching her arm tightly beneath his large, gloved hand, he leans close to her, whispering, “I’m sorry.” In his large dark eyes, she can see the dread. With a deep grunt, he plunges the knife, with all his mighty force, deeply into her upper abdomen.

Desperately, Kizzy’s shaking hand clutches onto his gloved hand. Beneath their two hands, the knife pushes deeply into her flesh. She can feel the blade against her rib bone. By pushing toward him on his hand with her hand, she tries to inhibit the knife from plunging deeper. However, she is too weak to fight, and he is too strong for her to overcome. Beneath her hand, she can feel the handle of the knife under his hand. The pain is sharp, tearing, burning. Too late to stop death, a painful frown covers her face. She whimpers softly, but she cannot cry out or even speak. With tightly clenched teeth, she breathes rapidly from the desolation, sucking the air through her parted lips. Electricity from her silent suffering permeates the air, charging it with her pain. Looking deeper in her eyes, he twists the knife inside her, tearing and ripping her insides. The sharp pain travels straight through into her back. The misery intensifies, spreading throughout her back from her neck to her buttocks.

At first, she leans against him, using him to support her as she stands beside the bed. Her legs feel weaker. He stands against her strongly, not objecting, supporting her weight. Then, she collapses back upon the bed, lying on her back. She can barely see him in the dim lamplight. He stands over her holding the knife in his hand. Kizzy’s blood exudes from the knife onto the floor. Kizzy can feel the blood draining from her body. She can feel herself lying in her own blood. Through her stuffed nose, she can smell the strange freshness of her own blood. She feels colder.

Her eyes can barely see the ceiling above her bed through her truly blurred sight. She can feel the tears once again run from her eyes onto her cheeks and into her hair. Her breathing is shallow and rapid, as she fights to keep the breath inside her. She feels tired, weaker and weaker. She cannot move at all. He continues to stand over her, staring down at her. It becomes even harder to breathe, soon impossible. Gasping desperately for air as though to cheat death, she holds on to the last moment of life. She does not want to die. Kizzy wants to live. Her life starts flashing before her eyes.

Memories flood across her mind like the fast flicker of a movie projector. Briefly, she clears her mind of the memories. She clinches the sheets between her fingers and palms. Wetness from her own blood causes the sheets to stick to her hands. Opening her eyes widely, she tries to clear her blurred vision, grasping at the last sight of him—the last sight of her life. The killer does not move. He stares down at her, silently and shows limited remorse or emotion. Holding the knife in his gloved hand, it still drips with blood. He watches the increasing redness of the sheets and the wideness of her green eyes. Kizzy takes her last breath, a deep breath. With her green eyes wide open and her teeth still tightly clenched, she dies. Kizzy goes toward the light.

He lays the knife on the sheet beside her statuesque nude body. He grabs her body by the legs and pulls it off the bed onto the floor, face down. He stands over Kizzy, pausing briefly and admits that even in death, she is beautiful. Yes, she is so genuinely tantalizing. Enjoyably, he sucks in a deep breath of Kizzy’s fresh blood. He looks down at her drained body. He has forgotten about the woman standing quietly behind him. After opening the small pouch around his neck, he places the bloody knife inside.

From the pouch, he pulls out a large meat cleaver.

–Book Excerpt from Evolution of a Sad Woman by Gale Laure.  You can visit the author’s website at www.galelaure.com or purchase her book here.

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