We are delighted to help host the blog tour for what I think is one of THE most exciting releases of this year! LEVERAGE, by Nancy Thomson continues the tale begun in THE MISTAKEN, A Dark Romantic Thriller par excellence. Read on for the book synopsis, a substantial excerpt and teaser. You can also enter the author’s giveaway where e-books of both THE MISTAKEN and LEVERAGE are up for grabs alongside some SIGNED PAPERBACKS. Don’t forget to read my interview with the author where she answers questions about her writing and ideas for future works. Tina 🙂
Four years ago, Tyler Karras’ quest to avenge his wife’s
death led to all out war with San Francisco’s Russian Mafia. With the Bratva’s collapse and its king, Dmitri
Chernov, long dead, all Ty wants now is to put it behind him and enjoy a second
chance at life with his new bride, Hannah, and the child they’re expecting any
day. But Chernov’s heir, Grigory Dmitriev, has returned, bitter and determined.
He wants his kingdom back, and he’s more than willing to leverage Ty’s new
family to get it. First he targets Conner, Ty’s brooding nineteen-year-old
stepson, manipulating the boy into a vortex of sex, drugs, alcohol, and
gambling. Then he turns his sights on Hannah. At eight months pregnant, she’s
the ultimate bargaining chip. With both their lives in jeopardy, as well as his
unborn child, Ty has little choice but to do as Grigory commands—even if that
means assassinating the new leadership resurrecting within the Bratva.
swore he’d never kill again. He buried that monster four years ago and means to
keep it that way. Grigory, however, makes that vow impossible to keep.
With his new family on the line, Ty will cross further into
the dark side than he ever has before, challenging everything he believes about
himself, and forcing him to face the ghosts of his past. Only then will Ty
discover if he has the strength to do the unspeakable, to sacrifice his last
chance at redemption and save the lives of those he loves most.
The discomfort, as bothersome as it was, couldn’t chase away the unease that flittered through my stomach like butterflies. That feeling had become a permanent fixture in my core as of late, like there was all this extra room inside me now. I felt incomplete, half of me missing, and what remained couldn’t function on its own. It wasn’t an unfamiliar sensation. I’d been here before, and all the old habits and cravings associated with that came into sharp focus, while everything else pushed to the periphery and blurred.
I kept a small collection of liquor in the corner of my construction trailer, for those times when the client came by to celebrate the completion of a project or the granting of a long-embattled permit. I kept one bottle half-filled with water, my own little secret. No one ever questioned it. They all assumed it was vodka. But tonight, it stood empty, while the others danced temptingly before me like harem girls beckoning me to peek beneath their veils.
Come to me. I’ll help you forget. You know I can. I’ve done it so many times before. It doesn’t have to hurt anymore. Just take a drink, one small sip…
That voice clamored so loud, I couldn’t even remember pulling the stop from the decanter, or pouring the tequila into the stubby lowball glass. But there it was, my old friend, the amber devil, staring me in the eye after all this time.
How many times had I heeded its call, had I given in to the temptation to simply not feel? Because that was it, really, what brought me to this point, that pain, that loneliness, that undeniable knowledge that I had destroyed everything most precious in my life.
I feared that knowledge and ached to reject it in the quickest way possible. The amber devil had always granted me that wish, and oh, how I wanted it to yet again. For just one moment, just an hour, just this single evening. I wanted that drink. I needed that drink.
I peered down into the devil’s face and saw my past reflected back at me, all the weeks and months I’d spent drunk, scheming my vengeance, releasing my wrath against an innocent woman—Hannah. And then there was Nick, my troublesome little brother, who’d kept everything a secret in order to protect me. He’d sacrificed his life in our father’s name so that I might live.
And that pretty much summed it all up. I was half a man without Jill. I was half a man without Nick. And now, half a man without Hannah. What did that make me but a speck of humanity?
I tried to reconcile that with the man I once was, before I ever married Jill or Hannah. I relished my independence back then, which was why I’d tried so hard to disengage my brother from my life. I’d wanted to find out what it was like to be just me, on my own, with no one else to shape the boundaries of who or what I was. But over time, Nick and Jill had become enduring components in my life, and most certainly maneuvered the tools that cut and contoured the man I’d become.
After dealing with the crap that had consumed my world following their deaths, I thought I’d finally pulled myself together, and with Hannah a daily reminder of both my failings and my resurrection, I believed I’d come full circle. But no, I hadn’t. I was living, breathing proof you could never truly leave your past behind. It clung like a shadow, at times unseen, but never farther than my reach, always dark, forever uncontainable.
That’s what looked back up at me from that glass—that shadow.
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INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR NANCY S. THOMPSON
1. When did you start to write and what prompted you to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard?
I started writing my debut, The Mistaken, in March 2010. I was inspired by Jared Leto’s lyrics to “Hurricane” for his band Thirty Seconds To Mars: “Tell me, would you kill to save a life? Tell me, would you kill to prove you’re right?” It made me wonder what could make an otherwise good man commit a violent crime and could he ever return to the man he used to be. Those issues continued in the sequel, Leverage, as well.
2. Where do you find the inspiration for your writing?
In music mostly, from my favorite bands like Smile Empty Soul, Three Days Grace, Alice in Chains, Red, and Staind, all of whom produce very emotionally charged songs. But I also take some liberties with my own life experiences. It’s that whole “write what you know” thing.
3. How do you carry out your research to ensure that your writing reflects the people and the places you portray in your novels as accurately as possible?
As far as characters, it’s mostly just observation and pulling from my own life. Same with setting. I write about the places I’ve lived most of my life, San Francisco and Seattle predominantly. My villains are based on someone I had a little run in with a long time ago. Pretty scary, that one. I will admit to doing a great deal of research on the Bratva, or Russian Mafia, their presence in both San Francisco and Seattle, their businesses, their structure as an organization, their members, including prison life, and the meanings behind their notorious tattoos.
4. Your current series falls into the category of dark romantic suspense. Do you see yourself writing in any other categories in the future?
They’re more thriller than suspense, with emphasis more on a ticking clock and less on “whodunit.” The reader pretty much knows that up front. While I love every aspect of the thriller, I don’t do cops or detectives or political conspiracies. I prefer using everyday-type people. But as far as other genres, yes, I do have a more classic contemporary romance planned out, though, of course, it will have a very dark element to it. I can’t seem to stay away from the darkness.
5. Describe your writing process in three words. Planned, organized, & structured.
What have you found is the best thing about being a writer? I’d have to say it’s a toss up between having the freedom to express myself creatively, and meeting and becoming great friends with so many other writers and authors. It’s a tight community where most everyone pays it forward.
6.What have you found the most challenging aspects of being a writer?
That’s easy, the marketing. I hate promoting. I’m terrible at it. I don’t really know how to do it effectively, nor do I have the money and time to sell, sell, sell. But mostly, it bothers me to have to toot my own horn all the time, a necessary evil.
7. Have you any immediate plans for a future novel and if so are you able to share anything about it with us?
I have several brewing, but two in particular won’t leave me alone. One is the contemporary romance I mentioned earlier. It’s about a young woman, age sixteen to about thirty or so, and the three men in her life, her first love, a man who hurts her terribly, and the great love of her life, all whose lives intersect in one devastating event. The other is about an author who pens erotica. She finds herself the object of a madman’s obsession, a man who thinks the women who write and read BDSM actually invite violent sexual encounters.
8. Have you any advice to anyone who is thinking about becoming an author?
I could fill a book with advice, but I’d say the most important thing is to learn the craft. With self-publishing so easily accessible, there’s been a glut of hastily written books with poor writing, erratic structure, and very little editing. While the current market may be able to bear this, it won’t for long, so if a writer wants staying power in a sea of mediocrity, learn how to write well.
9. What do you like to read when you are not writing?
I’ve become so very picky lately, mostly because I’m an editor, as well as a writer, which means, when I’m not writing, I’m usually editing. When I do have time to read for pleasure, I’ll often pick up ten books before I find one that grabs and holds my attention. It’s typically a thriller with a strong romantic element running through it, but I do enjoy contemporary romance, too, as long as it’s not predictable and formulaic, a real problem in the genre as a whole. Whatever I read, it must be well-crafted and edited, and, most importantly, believable, even time travel books, which I LOVE!
Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions Nancy and good luck with LEVERAGE and your future releases!