Tag Archive | suspense

Jordan Dane-Wrapping Us In Suspense


Meet Jordan Dane, author of  suspense. She knows how to develop those gritty plots that keep you turning the pages. We are delighted to have Jordan here today to learn more about this new book, The Last Victim.

To welcome Jordan we are having one of her favorite coffee drinks, (she loves chocolate like so many of us do) a Mocha Morning coffee. Here is the recipe, fix you a cup and join us.

  • 6 cups hot brewed coffee
  • 3/4 cup half-and-half cream
  • 6 tablespoons chocolate syrup
  • 7 teaspoons sugar
  • 6 cinnamon sticks (3 inches)
  • Whipped cream in a can, optional

Directions: In a large saucepan, combine the coffee, cream, chocolate syrup and sugar. Cook and stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved and mixture is heated through. Ladle into six large mugs. Stir with a cinnamon stick. Garnish with whipped cream if desired. Yield: 6 servings. (http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/mocha-morning-drink)

Thank you Susan.

Tell us a little about your newest book, The Last Victim.

last victim51z0j3LWBlL._UY250_A hunting guide from a remote island in Alaska is found  murdered, FBI profiler,  Ryker Townsend and his specialized team investigate. A nightmarish clue brings Ryker closer to a killer who knows how to hide in plain sight and will see him coming.

Wow. Sounds like a book you want to curl up with in the winter for sure.

What brought about the writing of this story? Is there a purpose behind the story that you want your readers to know?

 I’ve never written a psychological thriller or a story about a serial killer, so I took it as a challenge. (I like writing books that keep me off-balance and slightly unsure.) I chose this story-line to put my spin on it and set the novel in one of my favorite settings – Alaska – where I lived for ten years. Many of my main character’s experiences (FBI profiler, Ryker Townsend), a city guy in the remote wilds of Alaska for the first time, were drawn from my own experiences. I was an urban goddess who is lucky to have survived. While in Alaska, I camped and backpacked, climbed mountains, kayaked, fished, and flew in very small planes, often taking off and landing on iced rivers and lakes. I was a checkpoint operator on the Iditarod Trail in the dead of winter for the International Iditaski Cross Country Ski & Snowshoe race.  I  experienced many close encounters with bears and moose. So I wrote my thoughts and feelings into Ryker but added the frightening layer of hunting a serial killer on foreign turf. Personally, facing a grizzly might be a better bet.

What was the most challenging part in writing this story?

The biggest challenge was trying to even remotely understand the evil human beings can inflict on one another. I tend to write novels that seem ripped from the headlines because I want my books to read as authentic. In The Last Victim, for example, I write about a software app that is frightening when put into the hands of a criminal. That app is real, unfortunately. (I only changed the name.) I discovered the app in my research and asked the important writer question “what if…”. Scary to think of something so innocent could be used for such a heinous purpose, or that someone posting to social media could put themselves in the path of a killer.  Crime fiction authors have fertile minds for mischief and mayhem. I scare myself often. We should all give serious consideration to therapy.

Did it require a lot of research and if so what kind?

I did quite a lot of research in profiling and serial killers, focusing on non-fiction authors with a long successful career in FBI profiling. I even attended a lecture from a former FBI profiler (turned Criminology professor) who had shared his haunting interview with Charles Manson. Such insights helped me mold the darker elements to my story. It’s not easy delving into the sinister side of the human mind. I have much respect for real profilers who have to unleash their dark side to hunt such evil.

What’s next?

I’m focusing on the next book in the Ryker Townsend series. I’m getting great response from this first book with readers wanting more. I had an American version of Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock Holmes (Masterpiece Theatre/BBC America) and actor Tom Mison’s Icabod Crane from Fox’s SleepyHollow in mind when I developed my main character (Ryker Townsend) but added a psychic twist to the character that made him a tortured soul driven to keep his secrets. I love him being in my head. No matter how crazy that makes me sound, at least I’m never alone.


I’m Calling The Doctor

RLM headshot 2  That’s just what I did. Dr. Richard Mabry is visiting with us today.  Richard is an award-winning author of some great books. USA TODAY said, “Mabry combines his medical expertise with a story that will keep you on the edge of your seat.”  And folks, that means literally!     

To welcome Richard for his visit, I’ve prepared a holiday special. You will find the recipe below, so grab you a cup and join us.

Holiday Wassail  Holiday Wassail

4 cups hot brewed tea, 1 cup sugar, 1 bottle (32 ounces) cranberry juice, 1 bottle (32) ounces) apple juice, 2 cups orange juice, ¾ cup lemon juice, 2 cinnamon sticks (3 inches each), 24 whole cloves and  1 orange slice. Directions: In a large kettle, combine tea and sugar. Add the juices, cinnamon sticks and 12 of the cloves. Bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Serve warm or cool. Garnish punch bowl with orange slices studded with remaining cloves. Yield: 12-16 servings. Go to their website and try not only this one but others. http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/holiday-wassail

Richard, we are so glad you dropped by today. I am so excited to talk to you about your writing as well as the behind the scenes of Dr. Richard Mabry.

Thanks for having me Susan.

First, please tell us a few fun facts you learned while researching some of your books.

Mainly I’ve learned more about guns and poisons than any peace-loving individual should know. For instance, revolvers hold 5 or 6 cartridges (4 or 5 if you leave an empty chamber under the hammer) while a Glock semiautomatic pistol can fire 19 rounds without reloading. And chrysanthemums can be poisonous if ingested by humans (and some animals).

You weren’t kidding. I know the types of books you write require you to do research. 

Yes,  although many of my readers figure  since I’m a physician, medical details in my books come easily, there’s a significant amount of research involved in the writing of each one. Every medical area of specialization has its own knowledge base, and the science is constantly changing.  I keep up with things as much as possible, because I want the medical scenarios I write to be up to date but I do research every medical aspect of each new novel.

What’s the scariest research you’ve encountered?

The scariest research came recently. I wrote Miracle Drug (to be published this fall) before the recent Ebola epidemic, so I had to imagine how a doctor and hospital would react in trying to avoid transmission of a dangerous infection. I had no idea that what I wrote months ago would become today’s headlines. We used to take freedom from catastrophic illness for granted, but now we’ve learned that no one anywhere is safe.

Tell us something you would like your readers to know about you they don’t.

I never set out to be a writer…at least, not a non-medical one. While I was still practicing medicine (26 years private practice, 10 years a professor at a prestigious medical center), I wrote or edited eight textbooks, most of which are still in print. Then, after the death of my first wife, friends urged me to write a non-fiction book (The Tender Scar).

tender scar3514392  It stems from the journaling I began shortly after the death of my first wife. Each of the twenty-five chapters covers a situation, an emotion, or a challenge I encountered during my journey through grief. I have been amazed at the way God has used this book to minister to many thousands of those who have lost loved ones.

How wonderful of you to write this book that can and has helped so many through this process. The book is available wherever books are sold.

While attending a writers’ conference, hoping to get a handle on crafting that book and getting it published, I was challenged by a couple of the faculty to try my hand at fiction. After four years and four novels that garnered forty rejections, I got my first contract. The rest, as they say, is history.

The location settings in your books are they real places are places you’ve created?

My first novel is set in a fictitious Texas town that’s an amalgam of the small town where I grew up and the somewhat larger one where I went to college. After that, I used either Dallas or make-believe Texas towns (often based on where I currently live) as locales for my novels.

In your  prior life, you were a doctor and after retiring you began writing? What was that like for you to retire and continue with your writing?

I practiced medicine for thirty-six years before retirement. I was still learning how to craft a novel when I retired, and for a while it was really difficult to go to my computer instead of to the hospital and the medical center each morning. I still thought of medicine as my profession and writing as my hobby. But the longer I’m away from medicine, the easier it gets to reverse the way I think of the professions. However, I still keep up my continuing medical education and maintain my license. I don’t ever want to totally give up medicine, even though I may not be practicing.

Critical Condition cover 1revised  Critical Condition  was published this year.  This would make a good movie. I would love to see it on TV as all of them world.

Thank you. This one is about the murder of a stranger on her front lawn which is only the first in a string of events that have Dr. Shannon Frasier’s life teetering on the edge of chaos.

This book does keep you on the edge of your seat. The voice on the phone, knowing he’s coming for her, not sure who to trust on the police force.

01 SW Cover March 2013 You wrote an article for us at Southern Writers Magazine and it was published in our March/April 2013 magazine. The title was “A Shot of Accuracy”.  The article was about injecting medical details into stories. It was a fantastic article for writers. You gave them options to use to hold the attention of their readers as well as reasons why they should add medical problems. One of course was it provides acute tension. For writers who would like to see that article you can find it here: Backissues   just scroll down to the March/April 2013 magazine.


Heart failure2536554 Heart Failure, another excellent book. Tell us a little about it.

Dr. Carrie Markham’s heart was brokenby the death of her husband two years ago. Now, just as her medical practice is taking off, her fresh engagement to paralegal Adam Davidson seems almost too good to be true . . . until a drive-by shooting leaves Carrie on the floor of his car with glass falling around her.

Your other books include

Stress test4671642  Stress Test  Lethal Remedy  Lethal Remedy   Diagnosis death  Diagnosis Death  and of course there

was Medical Era and Code Blue. 

Does coincidence sometimes play a role in your books?

In writing, something coming together at the end with no input from the principals is called Deus ex machina, or God from the machine. This refers to the way some of the older Greek plays ended, with a god coming out of the clouds (scenery) to set things right. I try to avoid this, but I have stretched the reader’s “suspension of disbelief” in a few cases.   I want the reader to be surprised by the ending of my novels, but not to say, “That’s too much of a coincidence.”

What are you working on now that you can share with us?

Fatal Trauma  Writing is just one step in the rather long process that ends in publication. That’s why I’m just finishing writing the last of a three book contract with Abingdon Press, yet the first of those books won’t be published until May. It’s Fatal Trauma, and it begins when a man enters the emergency room, accompanied by a nurse pushing a bleeding man in a wheelchair. The intruder brandishes a gun and tells the ER doctor he has to save the life of the wounded man…or everyone dies, starting with the nurse, who is the doctor’s girlfriend.

The next book is Miracle Drug, due out next fall. It involves an ex-president of the US and a nurse who is dating the treating doctor. They have been infected with a rare and universally fatal disease, and it’s up to the doctor to find a way to save them.

Love the cover on Fatal Trauma, can’t wait to read this new book. Hopefully when I finish this one the other will be released. Richard, please let us know the minute they release.

With all the writing you do, do you have a hobby that you still pursue and has that hobby had an impact on your writing?

Other than being a voracious reader (mainly mysteries and police procedurals), I suppose my hobby is golf. I’ve long since come to realize that I’ll never be a great golfer, so my long-time golfing partner and I don’t keep score, award ourselves endless Mulligans (second shots if we don’t like the first), and only remember the good shots we make. This hasn’t made its way into my writing, but now that you mention it, what about a doctor who encounters a dead body when playing an infrequent but richly deserved round of golf? Thanks for the idea.

You are welcome, glad I could be inspiration for one of your novels.

I thank you so much Richard for dropping by Authors Visits and talking with me about your writing and letting our readers get to know you better. Don’t forget, let us know when those new books are released.

 I hope all of you enjoyed our visit with Richard Mabry today.  Be sure and drop by his website and his blog. Also tweet him on Twitter and friend him on Facebook. He will be delighted to hear from you.

Richard’s books are thrillers that will keep you glued to your seats. You won’t put the books down until you finish them. 





See you soon  for another visit.