A bookstore owner who used to be an elite government agent working on deadly covert missions. She has left all that behind and become someone else, found a new, fulfilling life, even a new family. Then, when least expected, her past comes knocking on the door with an order to kill her.

Eric J. Gates recently spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing his latest anthology collection, DEATH MASK: Now released as the first book in a new series.

What do you hope readers will take away from this book?

The Notorious Minds box set contains 20 original crime, mystery, and thriller tales that explore many different manifestations of the thriller genre. My own contribution, DEATH MASK, is a techno-thriller which examines the precipitous use of cutting-edge technology by the intelligence comm…


The Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference is Going VIRTUAL this year! 

Registration Is Open for GPCWC’s June 24-26 Conference!

Because of the ongoing pandemic and the new mutations, and out of an abundance of caution for everyone’s safety, GPCWC will be virtual in 2021.

JoinGPCWC faculty online June 24-26.

Save $$$ – NO cost for travel, lodging, and meals!

This highly INTERACTIVE and virtually AMAZING conference includes:

  • Faculty of over 55 agents, editors, authors, and other professionals!
  • 5 LIVE challenging Keynotes
  • Choose 1 of 8 LIVE Continuing Sessions
    (6 hours each plus 90 minutes in small group breakouts)
  • 6 LIVE Workshops
  • 36 pre-recorded video Workshops
  • LIVE Editors, Agents, and Indie Publishers Panels
  • Lunchtime Q & A Breakouts
  • Dinnertime Breakouts with Autho…


I had a wonderful time this week as the featured author of the month for BingeBooks Book Club. Chatting about Little Girl Lost, the first book in my new mystery series, and answering questions from readers, was a great experience. 

Here's the video of yesterday's book chat:

In Little Girl Lost, retired detective Georgiana "Gigi" Germaine has been living off the grid, until today, when she hears some disturbing news that shakes her. Georgiana's brother-in-law has been murdered, her seven-year-old niece kidnapped. As the hours waste away, Georgiana races back to a town she left behind, and a former life she's still not ready to face.

As a native of California (I was born in Covina and also lived in Tehachapi for several years), I set this series in Cambria, a quaint coastal town that f…


Not that I do this with every novel, but when I have time, when I'm in my right mind or not too far into the Jesus Juice, I follow this simple formula for scene progression:

State the goal of your Lead at the beginning of each scene.

  • What does she want?
  • What does he need?
  • How does he plan to acquire the thing he wants?
  • What will she give up for the thing she wants?
  • This “want” is your Lead’s stake in the ground.

Promise pain through foreshadowing (tears, heartache, physical discomfort)

Deliver pain through action (show your Lead suffering)

Progress from:

  • Goal
  • Conflict
  • Disaster
    character development (growth)

Suspense is anticipation, so announce the reward for your Lead early in the scene. Restate your Lead’s goal as necessary. Halfway through is a good spot for reminde…


I am enjoying my second book in a row from Donna Andrews. I just recently read Lark! The Herald Angels Sing, which is book #24 in this thirty book series, and have returned to book #1, Murder with Peacocks, to where it all started. All of the books in this series are named with bird names, as you might have guessed, and nearly every second book appears to have a Christmas theme.

So what’s with the “Get Hitched” in my blog title? Well, in this book, sleuth Meg Langslow is the maid of honor for three different weddings, so I just went with it. Not to be a spoiler, but I suspect that not all of these weddings are going to go off without a hitch. (Or with one!)

Fun, zany characters, a down-to-earth protagonist with a planner (the book that tells her “when to breathe”) and something mysterio…


I just finished The Last Train to London. It’s a pretty heart-wrenching book, as you’ll probably guess when you read the description below. It is a fictionalization of Truus Wijsmuller‘s (Tante Truus’s) efforts to smuggle Jewish children out of Germany and Austria during WWII. Truus and those she worked with are credited with helping to save more than 10,000 children, and she was an amazing woman. The Last Train to London a slow build, with no graphic violence and while it is tense, you are not usually on the edge of your seat. But I will tell you, the scenes of the parents saying goodbye to their children as they were put on the train, knowing that they would quite likely never see them again had me pretty choked up.

She turned the ruby to catch the light, saying, “They’re more precio…


I had a lot of fun appearing on Chat With the Author,” the live video event put on by the BingeBooks Book Club each month. We spent some of the time discussing Rising Moon (the book club’s Book of the Month),  the 19th novel in my Jesse McDermitt series. It’s set in a somewhat fictional Grassy Key — part of the Flordia Keys — and covers the disappearance of a local girl.

For those who couldn't attend, here's the video of the event:

I saw a few friends' faces, and it was great putting a face to the many readers who attended and who I knew through email and social media interaction. I've done a lot of interviews, but nothing like this, with so many attendees and such insightful questions. Most interviewers know a little about me and scratch the surface of my books for questions, but it…


I am currently reading Shed No Tears by Caz Frear, book 3 in the Kat Kinsella series. I haven’t read any of the other books in this series, but had no problem getting into it or following the storyline. I am definitely curious about the other books in the series and will pick them up as I see them. Shed No Tears is a UK police procedural, an investigation into a cold case. The victim was previously assumed to be the victim of a serial killer who had been caught and convicted, but when the body surfaces some years later, there are enough doubts raised to question whether it was actually one of the serial killer’s or not.

Good character development; I feel for Kat and some of the other characters that she works with. Kat has a bit of a dodgy past, through we don’t know all of the details o…


It can be fun to write about historical figures everyone knows, but I find it extra exciting to resurrect real people history has forgotten.

Some of these are regular people who cause enormous scandal around their actions, some are notorious criminals overlooked by modern history. All are absolutely fascinating.

My latest short story, “The Wrong House”, is based on the notorious criminal Dr. C. L. Blood, whose life was not well documented, but the parts that are recorded are shocking. I was lucky enough to find that some articles from the time period (the two most detailed articles I found were from 1883 and 1890) had solid descriptions of what Dr. Blood looked like and how he acted. If I’m lucky enough to find that information on a historical figure I’m writing about, I love bringing t…


What can you tell us about your new release, Just Curious?

This is my second MMF story and the first that is not connected to any of my previous books. I dreamed up characters I’d like to know and fell in love with all of them. Willa is a writer, so that was an easy persona to identify with. Jackson is the successful brainiac who has a strong, protective spirit. Casey is the artistic one who tends to go a little overboard now and then. They were so much fun! In order for the book to sound plausible, I consulted with a leading authority in web security who also owns a Tesla. So, while a few reviewers have intimated that the plot is a bit far-fetched, it’s truly not that crazy. I think readers will be hard-pressed to not get sucked into the drama as it unfolds.

I grew up in the town where…