Today I am pleased to be able to participate in the blog tour for Rogue by J B Turner. My thanks go to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours and the publishers Thomas and Mercer.
About the Book
A deep-state US organization has a top-secret kill list—and a popular senator is on it.Nathan Stone was killed in action while serving as a covert CIA operative. Or so everyone thought. In reality he’s become a ghost, a black-ops asset with a new identity and controlled by a secret government organization. The Commission has one aim: to hunt down and assassinate anti-establishment enemies of the state.
Its number-one target is Senator Brad Crichton, an ambitious politician with growing support. Stone is ready to take him out, but his plan is soon compromised when the Commission’s kill list is leaked to a journalist—whose own name is on the list too. And when the journalist tries to alert the senator, he is found dead in suspicious circumstances. Stone is closing in on Crichton, but must act swiftly to reach him before the truth does.
He knows that one wrong foot will put him in the firing line. But where national security is at stake, the hunter can quickly become the hunted.
To tempt you even further if the description above wasn’t enough I have a guest post from the author. Check out his thoughts and how he feels about opening lines of a new book and then the first paragraph.
It begins with nothing. Not a word. Just staring at a blank page. Blank computer screen. That’s how it starts. That’s how it always starts. Trying to find the right words.
I tend to obsess over the opening sentences in my thrillers, trying to figure out not only the right words in that opening sentence, but at what point the story shall begin.
Authors can be like that: obsessing. Horror maestro Stephen King famously obsesses over his opening sentences and paragraphs. Days, weeks, months apparently. He’s right of course.
“But there's one thing I'm sure about. An opening line should invite the reader to begin the story. It should say: Listen. Come in here. You want to know about this.”
Stephen King, On Writing
Stephen King, On Writing
I love great opening sentences. I love simple opening sentences. Here’s a few of my favourites. See what you think:
The village of Holcomb stands on the high wheat plains of western Kansas, a lonesome area that other Kansans call ‘out there'.
Truman Capote, In Cold Blood
It is cold at six-forty in the morning on a March day in Paris, and seems even colder when a man is about to be executed by firing squad.
Frederick Forsyth, The Day of the Jackal
When a fresh-faced guy in a Chevy offered him a lift, Parker told him to go to hell.
Richard Parker, The Hunter
Richard Parker, The Hunter
They’ve got one thing in common: they grab you. They make you want to read on. You’re intrigued.
When I sat down to write the opening sentence for my first Jon Reznick book, Hard Road, I must have written, re-written and re-written again the opening line what seemed like a thousand times:
The call came from a man he knew only as Maddox
J.B. Turner, Hard Road
And from there, it led naturally, to the first paragraph. Here’s what it looks like:
‘The call came from a man he knew only as Maddox. Jon Reznick was sitting on his freezing deck as darkness fell over Maine, nursing a bottle of beer, staring out over the ocean. He let his cell phone ring a few times, knowing what lay ahead.’
In my mind, and hopefully in the reader’s too, they can picture the scene. I want them to read on. To find out more about Jon Reznick. More about exactly ‘what lay ahead’. And also, why did he know the man only as Maddox? When I wrote the opening sentence of that book, I was still forming the storyline, the narrative arc, whatever you want to call it. It evolved. Word by word, page by page. It took on a life of its own. The story unfolded as I thought it should as I was writing it.
It began with a broadbrush idea about an assassin who, for whatever reason, doesn’t carry out the hit. And from there, it snowballed.
So, from the opening paragraph, we have the beginning of the story, the beginning of the intrigue, and a reason to read on. And yes, it’s an invitation to go on a journey. Where it leads, no one knows. I certainly didn’t. It will unfold as slow or as fast as you want it to.
Next time you open a book, check out the opening sentence. And remember, before that there was nothing. Just a blank page. A blank computer screen. Nothing.
About the Author
J.B. Turner is the #1 Amazon international bestselling author of the Jon Reznick® thriller series. His latest book, Hard Fall (Thomas & Mercer), was published on 8 February 2018. His influences and favorite authors include: James Ellroy, Richard Stark, Hunter S. Thompson, James Lee Burke, George Orwell, Jack Kerouac, Henry James, Harlan Coben, Thomas H. Cook, John Grisham, James Patterson, John Buchan, John Grisham, and Michael Connelly.
He also wrote the forthcoming American Ghost® thriller series. The new series features protagonist Nathan Stone, a former CIA covert operative who had been critically wounded, and everyone thought was dead. But behind closed doors, he was rehabilitated by a highly secretive government organization known as the Commission, given a new identity and appearance, and remoulded into a lethal assassin. His brief: to execute kill orders drawn up by the Commission, all in the name of national security. The Commission owns him, but Stone knows one wrong move could turn him from loyal asset to hunted man. The first book in the new American Ghost series, Rogue (Thomas & Mercer), is out 7 June 2018. The follow-up is Reckoning (Thomas & Mercer), is out 2 August 2018. Requiem is out November 2018 (Thomas & Mercer).
He wrote the Jon Reznick novella, Gone Bad (No Way Back Press), and the Deborah Jones crime thrillers, Miami Requiem (No Way Back Press) and Dark Waters (No Way Back Press).
His books have conspiratorial elements and themes throughout them. His work can often be described as thrillers; his books cover sub-genre categories including assassination thriller, suspense thriller, political thriller, crime fiction, military thriller, and, in the case of the Deborah Jones books, mysteries.
He has a keen interest in geo-politics.
He loves music and drinks dangerous levels of coffee (and a fair bit of red wine). He occasionally blogs. He listens to everything from Beethoven to The Beatles, The Cure to Bach. And everything in between. Occasionally writes. Loves films. Well, good ones. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Heat, The Godfather, The Offence, The French Connection, Payback, It’s a Wonderful Life, Manhattan, Annie Hall, Sideways, As Good As It Gets, Wonder Boys, The Deer Hunter, All the President’s Men, Babette’s Feast, and a personal fave, Animal House (what’s not to like?).
He was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. He is married with two children.
He is represented by Mark Gottlieb of Trident Media Group, New York.
Social Media Links
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My thanks to JB Turner for my spot on the blog tour.