Tag Archive | thrillers

The Master of Thrills-Steve Berry


NEW Steve_Berry_3242 (1)  Meet author Steve Berry.  His trademark is a mix of history and suspense, 90% fact and 10% exciting speculation. He takes this combination and creates riveting thrillers. Some of our readers may not know that he is a founding member of International Thriller Writers—a group of more than 2,600 thriller writers from around the world.


We are so excited to have Steve Berry as our visitor today. To welcome him we have prepared a Mocha Morning Drink. 

mocha morning drinkexps17904_QC10250D56

6 cups hot brewed coffee, ¾ cup half-and-half cream, 6 tablespoons chocolate syrup, 7 teaspoons sugar, 6 cinnamon sticks, whipped cream (optional). 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.

Read more: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/mocha-morning-drink#ixzz3WT8Z2ak3


Good morning Steve, welcome to Authors Visit. Your newest book, The Patriot Threat just released. Tell us a little about the book. 

Patriot Threat - final  The 16th Amendment to the Constitution is why Americans pay income taxes. But what if there were problems associated with that amendment? Secrets that call into question decades of tax collecting? In fact, there is a surprising truth to this hidden possibility. 

My protagonist Cotton Malone, once a member of an elite intelligence division within the Justice Department known as the Magellan Billet, is now retired and owns an old bookshop in Denmark. But when his former-boss, Stephanie Nelle, asks him to track a rogue North Korean who may have acquired some top-secret Treasury Department files–the kind that could bring the United States to its knees–Malone is vaulted into a harrowing twenty-four hour chase that begins on the canals in Venice and ends in the remote highlands of Croatia.

I’ve read the book, and I have to tell you, it was riveting. It has your non-stop adventure trademark. It was a great thriller…and the question you posed about income tax being illegal left me dumbfounded. I really liked the appearances of Franklin Roosevelt, Andrew Mellon, and the painting that hangs in the National Gallery of Art. The part with the $1 bill…well, I immediately went to get a $1 bill and looked…I won’t give that away right here. We’ll let others find it as they read your book. And it is a must read.

You obviously have a passion for history as it lies at the heart of your novels.

Yes, it is my passion, one I share with my wife, Elizabeth. It led us to create History Matters, a foundation dedicated to historic preservation. Since 2009 we have crossed the country to save endangered historic treasures, raising money via lectures, receptions, galas, luncheons, dinners and writers workshops. To date, over 2,500 students have attended those workshops and we’ve raised nearly a million dollars for preservation.

In 2012 and 2013 your devotion to historic preservation was recognized by the American Library Association, they named you the spokesperson for National Preservation Week. Among his other honors are the Royden B. Davis Distinguished Author Award; the 2013 Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award given by Poets & Writers; the 2013 Anne Frank Human Writes Award; and the Silver Bullet, bestowed in 2013 by International Thriller Writers for his philanthropic work. A 2010 NPR survey named The Templar Legacy one of the top 100 thrillers ever written.

I know your books are research intensive. Can you tell us a little about it?

I utilize many second-hand volumes, visiting old bookshops around the world.  I use around 200-300 sources for each novel. Sometimes on site research is necessary in order to fully develop the story.  With The Patriot Threat, I went to Venice, Croatia, And Washington D.C.  I flew to Russia for The Amber Room and The Romanov Prophecy and to Rome for The Third Secret. Time in France was necessary for The Templar Legacy. A visit to the abbey at Belem, in Portugal, helped complete The Alexandria Link. Trips to Venice for The Venetian Betrayal and Germany for The Charlemagne Pursuit were also productive. For The Paris Vendetta  I spent four days in the city of lights. To create The Jefferson Key, I visited Virginia, North Carolina, Washington D.C., and New York City. The Columbus Affair required a few days in both Prague and Jamaica, where I discovered an interesting link between those two locales.  For The King’s Deception, I made two trips to London and its surrounding communities.

Patriot Threat - final    AmberRoom-cvr-thumb     Romanov-cvr-thumb   ThirdSecret-cvr-thumb   TemplarLegacy-cvr-thumb (1)   Alexandria-cvr-thumb   venetianbetrayal-cvr-thumb   TheCharlemagnePursuit-cvr-thumb   TheParisVendetta-cvr-thumb   Jefferson-Key-cvr-thumb   ColumbusAffair_MM_flat-thumb   KingsDeceptionMM-cvr-thumb2 (1)


I have heard that it is a possibility that your Cotton Malone books may come to TV in a series.  Without giving too much information, can you comment on that?

The Cotton Malone series has been bought by Alcon Entertainment. So there is interest in a television series focused around the books and Cotton. Hopefully, that development effort will prove successful and Cotton might come to life on the small screen.

I have to tell you, I for one would be thrilled. I love the Cotton Malone character. I know you have many reader fans that would be watching that series. I hope you will keep us posted on that as it moves along.

Cover March 2015 medYou were just interviewed in Southern Writers Magazine’s March/April issue and you were on the cover. I really enjoyed learning about your writing techniques. I especially learned a lot about your character’s voices–– in how you keep them from getting lost amid the other voices. 

It’s important that the characters not sound the same.  You achieve this through a careful use of diction and syntax — the choice and order of the words.

I appreciated you sharing that technique with us on how you accomplish this. For writers who are interested in checking this out just click on the magazine above. 

What’s next for Steve Berry?

Cotton Malone will be back in 2016 and 2017 with more exciting adventures.  The 2016 novel is finished and I’m writing the 2017 book.

I want to thank you for joining us today. Again, I really enjoyed your new book. So did my husband. I like your writing style, especially since it keeps me interested all the way to the end. Thank you for such interesting books.

Please come back and visit soon.

Be sure and check out Steve Berry’s website and learn more about him. 


Until Next Time-Happy Reading!




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.