Blog Archives

We Had A Reason To Fight

Jordan Hampton Author Interview

Ignition 2084 follows a warrior in the insurrection who is fighting for his people and a chance at freedom and peace from the ones that want to destroy all others. What was the inspiration for the setup of your story?

Ignition 2084 was a response to 2020. Disease ran as rampant as racial disparities, politicians failed to prove their trustworthiness and care for the public, and violence was on the rise. Between the wrongful killings of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd and Breonna Taylor; the increase of domestic violence; the rampant deaths from COVID-19; it seemed that for many of us that year, we had a reason to fight for freedom and peace from the things (or in some cases, people) that were so determined to destroy all others.

What were some of the emotional and moral guidelines you followed when developing your characters?

A lot of the characters in Ignition are based on real people from throughout my life. Some are friends, enemies, mentors, students, or family of mine, so when developing the characters I wanted them to be true to form. I wanted this to be a love letter to the people who helped me to become who I am, but I also wanted to recreate the realness of the people from whom the characters derived their base. They had to have their own views, not just the view that I present as the author. They had to present their own motivations for the good or bad that they do, and regardless of which side they fall on, there are always questionable thoughts, words and actions between them. Just like in life, I wanted to see how they would forge a path ahead, or even if they would.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

The effects of war on family was one of the central themes, along with the effects of war on individuals. I wanted to explore the side of military life that I got to see as a military brat that often gets overshadowed in stories. There is an equal focus on survival and the inequality of rich and poor as it relates to the ideas of freedom and tyranny, and of course a somewhat obvious focus on racial tension.

Will there be a follow-up novel to this story? If so, what aspects of the story will the next book cover?

A sequel novel is underway, codenamed “Project ShadowStorm,” and is set to release around the holiday season this year. This one picks up where the last one leaves off, with a mixing of new and old characters that endeavor to put an end to the war that began in the first installment. There will be a lot more action, a few compelling moments, a few loose ends tied up, and a deepening of the in-world mythos as we continue to address some of the important issues in our society in the hopes of making real change over real conversations.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

Repulsor boots and bulletproof cloaks. Heat-treated chains on their wrists attached to diamond-shaped titanium blades. The Reikiken, a heated sword made of tungsten that can cut or burn through almost anything.
The year is 2084, and the Hanzo Gear’s done a lot to level the playing field against Kingdom Scarlet in the last 38 years. After the Second Civil War destroyed America in 2020, the minorities displaced by the autocratic Kingdom split into three factions, all watching for just the right moment to strike back.
The Kabuto Sanctuary built a network of tunnels during the war, and relied on stealth and sabotage. The Yoroi Alliance, nestled in the Grand Canyon, lay numerous deadly traps to keep the outsiders at bay. The Yaiba Insurrection have continuously engaged their enemies directly, and when they were pushed to the brink of extinction, they created the Hanzo Gear.

The Reds are on the move again, more determined than ever to bring the other factions to heel. John Hamlin is the strongest warrior that the Insurrection has to offer, but when his home is invaded and the people he loves are threatened, captured or killed, the strength that had preserved his peace for years is called into question.

Red Sinai

Joseph Mather’s Red Sinai is a riveting and unforgettable spy thriller. From the very first page, readers are thrown into a high-stakes situation, and then transported back 23-hours to watch intelligence officer Captain Freya Coraline Mathew’s story unfold. This is a great way to capture readers attention right from the beginning, and I was certainly hooked. Fan-favorites from the first book, The Silver Prince, return, this time with a keen interest in northern Africa. In this fast-paced thriller, the United States and United Kingdom join forces to safeguard international protocols from a rogue campaign aiming to destroy Egypt and NATO. Working alongside Richard Armitage as the head of MI6’s Egypt desk, Freya Mathews investigates religious histories within the country’s development to save millions of people from a flood – only one of many threats they face in less than 24 hours.

With cliffhangers, plot twists, and shocking character deaths, Red Sinai is a relentlessly entreating espionage thriller. Readers are taken to some exotic location and many scenes were “picture-perfect” and serve the plot well. Freya has to pick apart clues to her case, and answers come from all directions.

Rather than facing day-to-day obstacles which would have slowed down the team’s operations, everything was accomplished speedily and efficiently. Considering the deep complexities and thematic nature of this book, I was surprised to find a plot that was easy to follow, and one that makes for an encapsulating read. Without having to focus on the context of modern-day London or other niche problems often found in political fiction, readers can focus solely on the characters and their perilous journey. My heart was warmed to see the collective strength and community in Mather’s Red Sinai, epitomizing the heroine spy for all thriller books on the market.

Red Sinai is an exciting crime novel that keeps one thing in mind all throughout the story; entertaining the reader. If you have no more Robert Ludlum books to read, then this should be the next book you pick up.

Pages: 237 | ASIN: B0BS1VN6CX

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Baker Street Irregular

Baker Street Irregular by Craig W. Fisher is a story that has the reader questioning whether he is guilty or innocent? As we follow the protagonist, Bill, in the present, he is accused of a brutal murder. Clearly, he was there at the scene, and all the evidence points towards his involvement, but he claims to not be the killer and is keen to find out who truly did it, clearing his own name. Once a war hero, he definitely has the skills needed to get to the bottom of this. However, being in Berlin only a few years after the end of the war may make his investigation a little more complicated.

Gripping from the very offset, the story opens with the line, “One last check of his watch and a reassuring pat on the knife he kept in his jacket pocket, and he disappeared into the all-consuming darkness of the Berlin night.” Dark and mysterious, this has the reader drawn into the story from the beginning, keen to discover more about this compelling character. As the story progresses, it flashes between various times in the main character’s history, with each chapter exploring what led to his current situation. The author has done this wonderfully by heading each chapter with the date and location, making it easier for the reader to follow the plot.

Baker Street Irregular is an extremely intriguing espionage thriller. I could not wait to find out more about the main characters’ history during the war etc., as well as who really committed the murder in the present day (1947). It is a story that encompasses crime, spy novels, and war into one interesting tale. I would highly recommend this to anyone, as I found it hard to put down.

Page: 362 | ASIN : B0B7GNLFH7

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Special Sleeper Agents Evolved

T.J. Hawkins Author Interview

Sleepers follows a man who discovers he is an agent for MI5 and now must save Britain from a psychopath terrorist set to destroy the country. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

The inspiration for the book came from realising that I was really fortunate with the genes that I have inherited from my father. After 5 years of not seeing a dentist, I thought it was about time that I had a check-up. As the dentist examined my teeth, to my surprise, she then muttered a blasphemous expletive under her breath. She couldn’t believe that I hadn’t got a single filling in my mouth and still didn’t need one. I’m in my mid 50’s by the way and have a really really sweet tooth! A month later, I went to see the doctor over a very minor matter and he looked genuinely surprised to see me. I hadn’t seen him since I registered with his practice many years before. My father is 99 years old by the way, and he told me the other day that felt like he was 79 not 99! So, then the idea of special sleeper agents evolved.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

As the main villain has an Islamist extremist background, I thought it was really important to include positive Muslim characters in the book as well. I also wanted to explore other aspects, such as how someone could be drawn into a life as a terrorist. I tried to make sure that this didn’t slow down the pace of the story too much but still (hopefully) adding some depth to the character.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I’ve started on the sequel, which I’m really enjoying. The protagonist is female by the way and if you’ve read ‘Sleeper’ then you’ll know who that is! Expect outrageous behaviour from Baqri and his terrorist cell, by the way.

Author Links: Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Tom Rivers is a middle aged professional. He has a wife and two daughters. His life is comfortable, if somewhat unremarkable. But he has a secret, that even he doesn’t know about. During a business trip to London he discovers that he is instead, a genetically superior and highly trained MI5 agent who has been kept in a sleeper state for the past twenty five years and is now expected to save his country from catastrophe.

A terrorist cell has developed a weapon so devastating that it could send Britain back to the Dark Ages and, at the same time, cost thousands of innocent lives. Their leader, a charismatic and extrovert psychopath, has carefully planned his attack on the capital with America in mind as his next target. Except, there was one element he hadn’t predicted – Tom Rivers as his nemesis. The game of cat and mouse races across London as Tom and his team try to stop the terrorists in time and before the threat of nuclear war becomes a reality. But there are also other sinister forces at work, operating from the shadows.

Who can be trusted?

Sleeper is a real page-turner – a gripping and engaging thriller that delivers plenty of surprises along the way. Exciting, believable and action packed with characters that truly engage.

Stories Of Experiences

Ted Kissel Author Interview

Betrayal in the Casbah follows a military attaché as he sets out on a rescue mission to save a downed pilot being held by terrorists. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

Most of my inspiration in writing the book came from my military background and experiences while serving for almost three decades. Being a fighter pilot experiencing combat, a base commander in NATO, leadership roles at the highest levels at the Pentagon, and the intrigue of being a military attaché in an extremely unstable country in North Africa. But actually, I combined events of my last two years as a military attaché in Algeria in writing the book. The attempt to rescue a downed American pilot was an actual mission and I used much of what happened while attempting to accomplish that mission in the fictionalized story.

What is your background and experience in writing and how did it help you write Betrayal in the Casbah?

I have always loved the written word and periodically would write little stories of experiences in my life, but nothing serious. Most of my previous writing was of a military nature. Briefings, reports, after action documents, evaluations, etc….. The only formal background would be my bachelor’s degree in English and Political Science.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Terrorism in North Africa, Al-Qaeda, the Barbary Coast pirates, and ancient Roman cities in Algeria.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

Escape from Algiers, which is the sequel to Betrayal in the Casbah. Hopefully it will answer many questions that persist after reading my first book. I anticipate the sequel being available at the end of this year or early 2023.

Author Links: Website | Instagram

It’s the early 2000’s in the US embassy, Algiers. US military attaché and decorated fighter pilot Colonel Mitch Ross needs a dose of reality and relief from the constraints of the diplomatic life. He catches a break of sorts when he survives a brutal knife attack one evening after attending a diplomatic reception.

Nursed to health by the beautiful and mysterious Abella, Mitch returns to duty and is approached by the CIA with a covert mission: to rescue and bring home a downed American pilot being held by terrorists in Algiers. As he plans and prepares for the mission, Mitch and Abella become confidants and lovers, and Mitch discovers she is more than just a nurse working in a military hospital. Together with longtime friend and French colonel Yves Dureau and Mitch’s assistant, Army Warrant Officer Dave McQueen, Mitch and Abella will risk their lives to bring the American POW to safety.

Slay the Dragon

Slay The Dragon by William McGinnis is a compelling thriller novel with complex storylines with action and adventure. Readers will be invested in the story from the opening pages. This action-filled novel portrays the pure brutality and intensity of life in the espionage world. With political agendas, civil turmoil, and an all-knowing agency watching everyone all the time, the future of the U.S. as we know it is at risk. Adam Weldon and his friend BC attempt to unravel what is happening and stumble upon more than they bargained for. While searching for a murderer, they risk becoming the next victims.

McGinnis’s writing is well-paced and has a nice rhythm to it. The story is quick but consistently keeps the reader engaged with a steady buildup of intrigue and action that all comes to a head in the riveting climax of the story. The characters really come alive due to detailed characterization and well defined personalities that make them interesting if not authentic. For readers that get confused by all the characters, the book includes a contents section for all of the characters and who they are. This makes it easier for readers to keep track of all the characters in this page-turning novel.

The author is able to create unique characters using free-flowing dialogue in a story that is constantly moving. Because this story has a quick pace it is important that we always know who is speaking and the author is able to keep readers fully aware of who is saying what in conversations that are both believable and succinct.

Slay The Dragon is a riveting thriller novel that will appeal to readers looking for a suspenseful spy story. This unpredictable mystery novel will engulf the reader in its complex exploration of geopolitical predicaments while providing them with a unique storyline that will keep them engaged from the first to the last page.

Pages: 268 | ASIN : B09PMPH7FN

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It Was Going To Get Away From Me

GJ Scherzinger
GJ Scherzinger Author Interview

The House on Chambers Court follows a corporate spy who’s forced to steal a special book in a magical but dangerous land. What were some sources that informed this novels development?

I challenge myself with each book. In the case of “The House on Chambers Court” I wanted to write a ‘caper’ novel, but within a Fantasy setting. That was the core of the book and the story evolved from there. More than any other book I’ve written, it evolved with the writing, a lot of the characters and circumstances appearing rather than planned. The secret is to write what one knows, and I’ve years of experience in martial arts, and include rock climbing as part of my past endeavors. I was living in Mexico during the writing. As I was a 6’4″ red-headed Gringo, there was no way I was ever going to blend in, and I thought it made for an odd counterpoint for a ‘spy’. I also love the intelligence inherent in the animal kingdom and all of my books give them some kind of inclusion.

This seemed like a fun book to write. What scene did you have the most fun writing?

It was fun throughout, as I really felt like I was trying to keep up with the characters rather than leading them on. The whole instance of them stealing all of the horses instead of just the one was a prime example. I live on a farm now, and horses have their own heads. It was obvious when I started writing the scene that, like the horses, it was going to get away from me and yet it provided the opportunity for the packet to fall in their hands. The interactions between Xavier and Kendra were fun to write as well. Their conversations really fell out of me easily, two people who genuinely liked each other.

What were some ideas that were important for you to explore in this novel?

The idea of writing of shapeshifting really started listening to a recent album by Santana called ‘Shapeshifter’. I was blissfully unaware of the glut of ‘shapeshifter’ urban fantasy novels on the market, or I’d never have used the device. The album, and cover, really got me thinking more in terms of the shamanistic legends as the basis for my character. In researching the worlds related to spirit or guide animals, it’s really a mechanism by which we try to understand at our own natures. We have elements of the animal kingdom that influence us, we are animals after all. We also have our culture and the genetic memories of our ancestors. There are also the male and female qualities inherent in each of us. Thinking of ‘shapeshifting’ allowed for all of these things to come into play for me, so in the process of writing the story, a lot of those ‘conclusions’ came out. It’s impossible to put ourselves into the minds of the various beasts. We’re so involved in verbal communications and the electronics of life. I wanted to explore the animal sense where so much of the communication is non-verbal, then relate that as a writer. I dedicated the book to the ‘animals in our lives’. Anyone who loves their pets will understand.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I presented myself with another goal, to write a murder mystery. Agatha Christie did it. Why not me? And of course toss in layers of magic, for what would Fantasy be without it? Those sorts of whodunits have all kinds of suspects and motives and so it presented a new challenge for me as a writer. I hadn’t gone too far along in the plotting before I included the characters of Xavier and Kendra which were introduced in ‘The House on Chambers Court’. They were still fresh in my mind and fun to write, so I kept going with them central to the plot. The story has become “The Masque of Count Milado”. It’s a spoonerism on a Poe title and I’m not changing it. Bibliophiles will laugh. ‘The Masque …’ isn’t a sequel, rather a whole new tale. I’ve just had the second draft returned by my editor, so the final draft is being polished. I hope for its release in Spring 2022.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Amazon

Xavier Gaines, a corporate spy on the run, stumbles upon a strange house in a neighborhood he thought he knew. When the door shuts behind him, he finds himself shanghaied by the mysterious Tamarina Voxana to a land of magic and shapeshifters, charged with stealing the Book of Undone Deeds as his only hope of reprieve.
Xavier becomes a stranger in a strange land and must stay beyond the notice of the ruthless Guardsmen as well as a powerful Oracle, all who have reason to want him dead. To succeed, Gaines must discover the location of the Book and in the process, the truth of his own inner nature.

Everything Is One Great Butterfly Effect

Lorraine Evanoff
Lorraine Evanoff Author Interview

Devil’s Ledger follows a fierce and confident spy set on a mission to expose the corruption behind the world’s oldest bank in Italy. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

The prologue of Devil’s Ledger gives a quick background of the real-life tragic death of the Russian attorney, Sergei Magnitsky, who fought to defend Russian-based American investment fund manager, Bill Browder. Magnitsky subsequently died in a Russian prison, leading to the U.S. passing the anti-corruption Magnitsky Act, named after him.

The opening chapters of Devil’s Ledger pick up where the lives of Louise Moscow and other recurring series characters left off in the 2nd book of the series, PINOT NOIR. Every fascinating and powerful character in the Louise Moscow novels are inspired by actual situations and people I have met.

Louise Moscow is an intriguing and well-developed character. What were some driving ideals behind her character’s development?

This is a very pointed question. Louise Moscow embodies ethical integrity and honesty, in the face of venality, greed, and corruption. She’s not judgmental. Rather, unethical character flaws fascinate her. She tries desperately to understand what drives others to lie, cheat and steal for something as meaningless as money. The other major motivation behind Louise’s actions is her fascination with making connections. She sees everything in life as a clue, something tied to something else and worth a closer look. Everything is one great butterfly effect.

I enjoyed the mystery at the heart of this story. Did you plan it or did it develop organically while writing?

Another great question! Before sitting down to write Devil’s Ledger, I had already decided to base it on the major Banker’s Grave story, the events surrounding the Magnitsky Act. However, my research soon led me to the world’s oldest bank, Monte dei Paschi di Siena, and I knew I had found my yellow brick road for the story!

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I have decided to write an offshoot of Louise Moscow, in retirement, solving a murder for a friend, kind of a J.B. Fletcher / Murder She Wrote, or Agatha Christie novel. Fingers crossed it will be available for purchase October 2022!

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website


Evil is brewing in the heart of Italy…and the Devil is in the details.Ten years after cracking her last banker’s grave murder case, the CIA has recruited Louise Moscow into their financial crimes division.
Louise is ready to shed her cover as a Burgundy lavender farmer…and return to the spy game. All roads lead to Siena on her top-secret mission: to expose the devastating corruption behind the collapse of the world’s oldest bank.
Her investigation becomes a race to discover an ancient and mysterious treasure, while fighting a new enemy…The Master of the Russian Dark Arts.
It’s not long before Louise finds herself in the cross hairs of powerful enemies. Risking her life to shine a light on financial and political wrongdoing, can Louise expose the rot that has taken hold of Siena?
Or has she finally met her match?
Filled with suspense and international espionage, spirited female sleuth, Louise Moscow’s next adventure is where James Bond meets Temperance Brennan.
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