By Joe Moore
Today is launch day for my new thriller, THE BLADE (co-written with Lynn Sholes). This is our first venture into indie publishing. After 5 novels written together and released through a traditional publisher, we decided to try something different—sort of like a tennis player moving to a clay or grass court after years on hardcourt. The game is the same—write the best book you can—but becoming a “hybrid author” brings new challenges. Suddenly, we are the publisher making all the decisions that were left to our traditional publisher in the past—editing, cover design, marketing, budget, advertising, promotion, and on and on. So far, it’s been fun. Now we’re laying it out there for the taking. Like a science experiment, we’re either going to prove we can do it or blow up the lab.
So what is THE BLADE about, and how did we come up with the concept? First, here’s the elevator pitch.
While investigating the theft of a 4000-year-old biblical artifact, a federal agent finds herself hunting an international fugitive who threatens Las Vegas with a nuclear device if a ransom from all the casinos is not paid.
After writing 5 supernatural apocalyptic novels, we decided we wanted to tackle a “straight ahead” thriller—no “woo-woo” as we like to call it. We also wanted to write a book in first person. THE BLADE is the result—all the protagonist’s chapters are in first person.
But how did the concept come about? As I’ve blogged about before, we started with “what if” questions. What if the Nazis had developed an atom bomb? What if they were ready to use it but time ran out because the war ended? What if the weapon was hidden away in a secret Austrian mountain bunker and eventually forgotten? What if 65 years later, it was found and fell into the wrong hands?
The second part in developing the concept was our new main character Maxine Decker. During an attempted recovery of stolen artifacts in Iraq, Max is critically wounded. After 20 years as a federal agent for the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (OSI), she decides to call it quits and retire to her Colorado cabin to enjoy a life of not getting shot at. Of course, just when she thinks she’s out, something pulls her back in. Her ex-husband, a computer forensics expert also with the OSI shows up to inform her that a stolen biblical relic, one she has deep emotional attachment to, may have surfaced on the black market—the 4000-year-old Blade of Abraham. The news entices her back into temporary service as an OSI consultant. What she doesn’t realize is that from that moment, everything that happens is a planned setup motivated by hatred, revenge and a big dose of deception.
How does all this tie into the Nazi atomic bomb? You’re just going to have to read the book. But, as Lisa Gardner said, "THE BLADE completely kept me guessing. As fast as you think you know what's going on, you're wrong. An absolute thrill ride.” David Morrell called THE BLADE, “a dark, chilling cat-and-mouse game to stop an unimaginable act of terrorism.” Suspense Magazine calls it “One incredible suspense thriller.” And Doug Preston said, “From the opening scene in Iraq to the final explosive climax in the mountains of Colorado, this is one hell of a thrill ride.”
Starting tomorrow, Feb 21 through Saturday, Feb 23, you can download THE BLADE for free at Amazon. Also included is an excerpt from our #1 Amazon bestseller, THE PHOENIX APOSTLES. I hope you get a chance to read and enjoy our latest thriller. Let me know what you think, and forgive me for this shameless promotion.