Sunday, January 25, 2015

Review: The English Girl

A few years ago, before I began writing novels of my own, I used to jump on every thriller that hit the bestsellers list. Vince Flynn became a fast favorite, as did James Patterson, Joel Rosenberg, Lincoln Child, and Tess Gerritsen. But only Flynn captured my attention like Daniel Silva.

This month I returned to Silva by reading The English Girl and found it every bit as riveting as The Messenger, Moscow Rules, and The Rembrandt Affair. Centered around Israeli intelligence officer Gabriel Allon, the novel, Silva’s sixteenth, is perhaps his best.

When the English girl in question, the mistress of the prime minister, goes missing in Corsica, Allon is called in by his British counterpart to assist with her return. Before long, he finds himself racing around France and Britain to beat a seven-day deadline imposed by the victim’s abductors.

As in his earlier books, Silva weaves a tale that is both intricate and straightforward. Old friends and adversaries meet in familiar places to resolve a mystery that kept me on edge almost to the very end.

Silva also takes an extra step in humanizing his sometimes colorless and mechanical protagonist. We see Allon not only as a master spy but also as a friend and a family man.

Though sometimes drawn-out, particularly in the middle, the book held my interest throughout. I am glad to see that Silva has not lost his touch and look forward to reading his latest work. Rating: 4/5.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Three Things on HEA

Of all the bloggers I've worked with in the past three years, few have been more helpful than Joyce Lamb. The curator of USA TODAY’s Happy Ever After blog published a review by Kathy Altman just weeks after The Mine’s release in February 2012, a guest post of mine in 2013, and four promotional blurbs about The Fire and The Mirror in late 2013 and early 2014.

For September Sky, Lamb, an award-winning author of romantic suspense novels, invited me to participate in the blog’s "Three Things" feature. My answers to three questions about what inspired my latest release, the first book in the American Journey series, can be found here in USA TODAY’s online edition. Authors Cathleen Armstrong and Rhenna Morgan are also featured.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

A news series for a new year

Author Sally Koslow once compared writing a book to "giving birth to an elephant."

Even as a father who has seen the inside of a delivery room, I can’t fully relate. There is only so much understanding ANY male can gain from the process of childbirth. (Let me repeat that three times.)

As the author of six full-length novels, however, I can at least appreciate Koslow’s sentiment. And as the author of a 125,000-word historical epic, I can say I get the "elephant" thing too.

Writing can be . . . well . . . laborious. But in this case, the labor was worth it.

Say hello to September Sky. Nine months in the making, it is my newest, largest, and most spirited baby, a multi-genre work that launches the American Journey series.

Like the novels of the Northwest Passage series, September Sky follows a contemporary time traveler to the world of a twentieth-century relative. Like the other books, it features history, romance, humor, adventure, and multiple points of view.

Unlike the other books, it does not feature a protagonist named Smith, Vandenberg, Preston, or Johnson. It does not take place in the Pacific Northwest.

September Sky is a literary child that remembers its roots but heads in new directions.

It is the story of a remorseful, unemployed San Francisco reporter who tries to rebuild a relationship with his estranged, college-dropout son by taking him on a cruise to Mexico.

Once on board, however, Chuck and Justin Townsend do more than mend fences. They meet a lecturer who has discovered the secret of time travel. Within days, the Townsends find themselves on a 1900 train to Texas, intent on saving a distant relative from being hanged for a crime he did not commit.

Set against the backdrop of one of the deadliest hurricanes in history, September Sky is the first of a planned five-book series. I hope readers will enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

The novel is available as an ebook on