Between the Lines

Supernatural thriller

Author, Erica Spindler

By: Yohana de la Torre, Chief Editor

Terrifying and suspenseful, Triple Six is a masterclass in thriller storytelling.

Terrifying and suspenseful, Triple Six is a masterclass in thriller storytelling.

The countdown continues and Detectives Micki Dare and Zach Harris are back in Erica Spindler’s, Triple Six, the second adventure in the supernatural thriller series The Lightkeepers.

It’s been three months since that night— the night that Micki almost died.  Physically, she’s healed but the nightmares remain, and she can’t shake the feeling that more happened that night than Zach is telling her.  The only thing she can do is try to carry on as normal and solve the latest case she and Zach have been assigned to.

A string of brutal home invasions are rocking New Orleans and the families targeted seemingly have nothing in common.  Why were these victims chosen?  The deeper Micki and Zach go into the case, the more they realize something isn’t right.  There’s something familiar about the person doing this, though— and it’s a familiarity Micki has been trying to forget.  Suddenly, this case is hitting too close to home and Micki has to decide if she really wants to learn the truth about that night.

Terrifying and suspenseful, Triple Six is a masterclass in thriller storytelling.  GCT checked in with Erica Spindler about the novel and here’s what she had to say:

YD: Tell us more about the inspiration behind The Lightkeepers series.

ES: “I think of my inspiration for The Lightkeepers like the ingredients in a well-seasoned gumbo.  It’s this mixture of where I’ve been, who I am, and what I believe. I grew up listening to stories of the supernatural—of ESP, hauntings, demonic forces, of good and evil and spiritual warfare.  Then as an adult, those tales met and melded with ones from the Bible—of angelic messengers, Jesus’ temptation in desert, his casting out demons and other miracles.

“The world around me is part of the inspiration recipe as well, one wracked by evil and humanity’s capacity for it.  One in desperate need of kindness and love for fellow man.  The final ingredient in the gumbo pot is my belief that we each have the power to change the world and that love is the greatest power of all.”

YD: New Orleans is as much a character as any in Triple Six.  What do you love most about writing about your hometown?

ES: “New Orleans is a city of extreme contrasts. It’s old and crumbling, new and shiny. It’s a place reveres both its Catholic and Voodoo history; we are known for our joie de vivre and our cities of the dead.  Rich and poor, beautiful and the ugly, joy and despair, New Orleans calls to me creatively and spiritually.  I can’t imagine setting this series anywhere else.”

YD: Embedding supernatural elements within the book allows for a lot of creative flexibility as a writer.  How did you maintain a strong plot when incorporating supernatural flair?

ES: “The supernatural elements are fun, no doubt about.  But good fiction is about characters on a journey toward something.  The plot is what gets them there and the supernatural elements help the plot do that.  So, I remind myself that if I allow the supernatural flair to become the focus, the story’s lost. It’s a constant, creative juggling act.”

YD: With that said, how did you approach character development for this series? 

ES: “Truthfully, character development in Triple Six was the same as any of my previous novels. Who is this person? What’s made them who they are? What do they believe and why? What are their fears, goals, dreams? The difference is these characters either have a special gift or are thrown into a relationship with someone who does. How does that gift or association affect them? How has it changed their life, for better or for worse? It’s the pebble-in-the-pond ripple effect, the pebble being the gift and the pond the character’s life and psyche.”

YD: Good versus evil and dark versus light are primary themes throughout your series. Tell us more about the origins of the Dark Bearer, the Sixers Program and The Lightkeepers. How do these groups act as a foundation for The Final Seven and Triple Six?

ES: “As I talked about in the question of the inspiration for this series, I accepted the notion of miracles, angels and extrasensory phenomenon from an early age. About ten years ago, I heard about the Book of Enoch, apocrypha ascribed to Enoch, the great grandfather of Noah. In it he writes of The Watchers, sent to earth by God to watch over humankind but who themselves turned against God and fell to sin. That fascinated me and became the final piece of the puzzle for this series. I thought: Angels but not. Beings sent to guard the light but some who fall to evil

and become one with darkness. The ultimate battle between good and evil, peace and chaos.”

“However, ‘otherworldly’ that premise sounds, I wanted this series to be very grounded in the real world we live in. Enter the Sixers program, specially ‘gifted’ agents paired with regular cops. The here and now, New Orleans, crimes that could happen anywhere; current forensics techniques and crime scene investigation, people like you or someone you know. But are they?”

YD: Are there any go-to locations for spotting potential Light Keepers in New Orleans?

ES: “Everywhere! We’re talking New Orleans here!”

YD: Can you hint at what to expect from your next book in the series?

ES: “The next in the series is Fallen Five and as the title suggests, there are some big turns coming for Micki, Zach and The Lightkeeper team.”

– Triple Six hits the shelves on November 11.  For more information or a schedule of signings visit: www.ericaspindler.com.

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The return of the beloved heroine

Author Randy Wayne White’s new adventure

Seduced reintroduces Randy Wayne White’s beloved heroine, the star of three previous critically acclaimed bestsellers.

Seduced reintroduces Randy Wayne White’s beloved heroine, the star of three previous critically acclaimed bestsellers.

On October 18, Hannah Smith returns in Seduced, the stunning new adventure in the New York Times–bestselling series by the author of the Doc Ford novels, Randy Wayne White.  A fishing guide and part-time investigator, Hannah Smith is a tall, strong Florida woman descended from many generations of the same. But the problem before her now is much older even than that.

Five hundred years ago, Spanish conquistadors planted the first orange seeds in Florida, but now the whole industry is in trouble.  The trees are dying at the root, weakened by infestation and genetic manipulation, and the only solution might be somehow, somewhere, to find samples of the original root stock.  No one is better equipped to traverse the swamps and murky backcountry of Florida than Hannah, but once word leaks out of her quest, the trouble begins.  “There are people who will kill to find a direct descendant of those first seeds,” a biologist warns her—and it looks like his words may be all too prophetic.

Hannah has always been someone who knows how to take care of herself.  However, that certainly doesn’t mean she always makes the best choices.  To wit: When her mother’s married lover—who just happens to be the ex-lieutenant governor of Florida—drops dead in flagrante delicto, Hannah agrees to help the late Mr. Chatham’s personal valet move the body to a less scandalous setting: his vacation cottage.  The secluded lakefront property should be empty, giving Hannah and her newfound partner in crime (who knows all—and we mean all—of the dead man’s many secrets) ample opportunity to set up a serene, peaceful scene that would suggest the official died peacefully while taking a nap in his favorite armchair.  If only things ever went according to plan for Hannah.

Unfortunately, Hannah will run into two interlopers on the deceased’s property.  The first: that aforementioned married man, Kermit Bigalow, who also happens to manage the late lieutenant governor’s citrus groves (and wouldn’t you just know that Hannah’s been having some trouble with her orange trees lately?).

The second: the late Mr. Chatham’s wife, a former beauty queen who seems to be having some secret dalliances of her own. In fact, Kermit spied her with a much younger man just that afternoon…on the very property where the governor’s body has just been stashed.

And all of that is just the beginning of Hannah’s problems.  It turns out the former beauty queen has a history of entertaining gentlemen callers— and more than one of them is no longer around to spill the beans.  Is Mrs. Chatham a cold-blooded killer?

Seduced reintroduces Randy Wayne White’s beloved heroine, the star of three previous critically acclaimed bestsellers.  As for Hannah’s relationship with Doc Ford?  Let’s just say that remains complicated.

– Randy Wayne White will be hosting Seduced book signings on the following dates: October 16 from 11:30 am – 3 pm at Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille in Sanibel, Florida; October 21 at 7 pm at Barnes & Noble Fort Myers, Florida; and on November 1 from 11:30 am – 3 pm at Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille in Fort Myers Beach, Florida.

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Read Between the Wines

Finder will bring this mysterious and exhilarating political thriller to this year’s Read Between the Wines.

Finder will bring this mysterious and exhilarating political thriller to this year’s Read Between the Wines.

Critically-acclaimed best-selling author Joseph Finder coming to Fort Myers

  The author hailed as “the CEO of suspense”, Joseph Finder, is back with a new thriller that is equal parts adrenaline-fueled entertainment and ripped-from-the-headlines commentary.

Guilty Minds showcases the New York Times bestselling author at his best— weaving together a story that masterfully explores the junction of political deceit, online media, and corporate interests in a tale made all the more chilling by its immediate relevancy. 

Private intelligence operative Nick Heller has built his career on lies—specifically, on uncovering the dirty secrets that powerful people want to keep hidden.  In Guilty Minds, Heller is called to Washington, DC to face his toughest – and most politically explosive – challenge yet.

The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is about to be defamed by a powerful gossip website.  The site’s top reporter has written an expose that would destroy the Justice’s career and reputation— a damning story claiming he had liaisons with an escort, paid for by a wealthy casino mogul in whose favor the Justice had ruled in a recent case.  Desperate to save his career, the Chief Justice’s powerful friends are prepared to use any means necessary to stop the story in its tracks, and call upon Heller. 

An Iraqi Vet and former Defense Department Intelligence expert, Heller has never played by the rules.  He has just forty-eight hours to disprove the story and clear the Chief Justice’s name, or the American political system as a whole will feel the reverberations of his failure.  But when the escort is found murdered, and Heller infiltrates the secret ownership of the gossip site, the case quickly turns from damage control to a full-fledged rogue investigation.

Finder will bring this mysterious and exhilarating political thriller to this year’s Read Between the Wines.  The event will begin with a wine reception and silent auction followed by a Boston-themed buffet and conversation with the author himself. Guilty Minds and Finder’s previous novel, The Fixer, will be available for purchase and signing.

“We are thrilled to have such an acclaimed author for Read Between the Wines,” festival coordinator Margie Byers said.  “Joseph Finder is one highly educated author with an intriguing background and riveting stories to tell and write.”

Tickets include appetizer, dinner, dessert and a glass of wine. Advance open seating tickets are $45 and advance ticket sales close October 1. Beginning October 2 tickets are $50 and ticket sales close November 1 or when sold out.

Proceeds from Read Between the Wines will benefit the Southwest Florida Reading Festival.  The festival is a free community event, scheduled for March 18, 2017, to showcase the Lee County Library System’s programs and resources and promote reading and literacy.

– Catch up with Joseph Finder at Read Between the Wines is Monday, November 7 from 5 – 9 pm at Club at Grandezza, 11481 Grande Oak Boulevard, in Estero, FL.  Tickets are currently on sale and can be purchased at www.readbetweenthewines.info.