He created a legacy that no one could imagine...
Tarin has lost a week of her life. She doesn't know what happened but not long after she returns to work she is suspended from her job. Confused and pregnant, she quits and agrees to marry Stephen, only to be thrown into a whole new nightmare. Desperate, she grabs her son and moves across the country to get away from her abusive husband and to avoid her unforgiving father. Thrilled at getting the job at Knights Associates, where she'll help them solve cyber crimes but also be able to use their connections and resources to find her own answers. Who stole a week of her life? And will they return to steal the secret she is now protecting?
Graham and his partner Guy, can't keep up with the demand. They are being flooded with requests at Knights Associates, where they offer a combined service of private investigator and that of solving cyber crimes. It appears that someone wants to get their attention as not only have they been hacked but Guy's family business, Caspian Winery, seems to be under attack as well. Hiring an assistant seems to be the answer but when Graham discovers she's been accessing their high-security accounts, he realizes the cause of their predicament might be closer then he thought. Is there new assistant behind the problems they're having? If she's so innocent why does someone want to abduct her?
Tarin and Graham discover that although they don't trust each other, they are forced to work together to solve several seemingly unrelated crimes that may lead to one disastrous conclusion. Can they figure it all out before Tarin's nightmare plays out? An eighty year old woman pays with her life? Or before Tarin learns a truth that may seal her fate and be the one secret that will keep her and Graham apart as neither one of them may be able to forgive or forget...
(Standalone but is a Sequel/Companion Novel to Captured Lies)
What to avoid in writing a thriller/suspense
Suspense/thrillers are one of the genres that I love to read and I love to write. For me a suspense/thriller has to have this intriguing story that pulls me in and continues to build and it keeps me guessing as to where it’s really going, who’s guilty, why things are happening, who’s going to win out and how. A suspense/thriller can be a novel that tells you who’s guilty, what they’re doing and it really becomes a race against time or it can be more of a puzzle, where you meet many people but you’re not sure who the guilty party is and possibly why.
Something I hear a lot when someone is first reading suspense/thrillers is they find that there is a lot to keep track of - possibly a lot of characters and a lot of information. It can be a bit confusing. My response: awesome, keep reading. To write a good suspense/thriller there has to be a number of things introduced, lots of people so that it keeps you guessing as to who is guilty and why or what the bad person is going to do next and what is the bad person’s real motive. All I can tell you is, don’t stop reading. A good author will tie all of it up for you, explain all of it by the end so that it makes sense and everything is pulled together.
So when writing a suspense/thriller there are some things that an author should avoid doing:
1. Introducing main characters 3/4’s the way through the story. Don’t bring in a character who has not been introduced or barely mentioned and have them be a key player - it doesn’t work. I recently read a book that did this. A character was mentioned in about the first third of the book - ‘oh that’s (her name), she’s in a grade behind us’ - and that was it. Then about 2/3’s to 3/4’s it turns out she was the bad person, who had really made this other person’s life hell and she had all of these magical powers - none of which showed up earlier in the story. If I had been told, ‘she’s so mean to cats, she’s always experimenting on them with her magic’ or something that simple, earlier on, I might have been okay with her being the bad person. The story lost me because there was no lead up to her even being a main character or really having any role.
2. Characters acting out of character without an explanation - don’t have someone act in a way that isn’t explained well as to why they would do that. i.e. there’s this sweet, little old lady who is very nice to everyone and that’s all you see but then you learn she’s the one who’s the mass murderer. It’ll never work unless there some hints that she’s not all that she seems.
3. Too many twists. It’s always good to have twists in your story but you have to make sure there aren’t too many. I love twists in a story and when they are well placed, they can really bring a wow factor and keep the reader reading because they want to know where you’re going with it. In Deceitful Truths there are several twists but when I first wrote it and edited I realized I had too many. I ended up cutting out two major twists in the story because otherwise it became too much of a roller coaster. It’s finding that balance of enough but not too much.
4. Keep your story believable - whether it’s in the real world or the fantasy world, you still have to make sure that the events you have occuring have an explanation that ensures the reader can believe it.
5. Giving away too much at the beginning. When writing a suspense/thriller you want to draw the reader in, entice them. So you want to give some hints/clues for several characters, you want to hint there are things that aren’t what they seem. It’s kind of like putting a staircase in front of your reader, you give them enough information that will get them to take the next step to figure out what’s going on. Again it’s finding that balance. In Deceitful Truths I introduce Tarin and I hint at what she’s been through and is going through. She’s at a point she has to find answers as to who was behind the week she lost. You then are introduced to a few people who aren’t the nicest characters, each could be the one that is messing with her life. Sorry I can’t tell you more than that, it would ruin the story for you. :)
A good suspense/thriller will give a lot of information and will lead you down many paths, keeping you guessing, keeping you reading until all is revealed at the end.
What do you like in a suspense/thriller?
Maggie Thom took the challenge and leapt off, leaving a full time twenty year career in management, to write full time. After her initial panic that she might need a straight jacket, she published her first book Captured Lies, October 2012. And now is excited to release her second novel, Tainted Waters, April, 2013. Her third book, Deceitful Truths (sequel to Captured Lies) available fall of 2013. An avid reader and writer her whole life, she decided to break the monotony of wishing to be an author by making it happen. Married to her best friend, she is learning that humor, love and patience help her navigate her way through her twins’ teen years.
Her motto: Escape to read and Read to escape. "Maggie Thom writes a fast paced thriller laced with romance that keeps the reader interested and on edge!" InDtale Magazine
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