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Friday, June 30, 2017
The Freedom Broker
by KJ Howe
KIDNAP & RANSOM
IN-DEPTH RESEARCH FOR CANADIAN AUTHOR’S DEBUT INTERNATIONAL THRILLER
There are twenty-five elite kidnap negotiators in the world. Only one is a woman. And she’s the best in the business. Meet Thea Paris in THE FREEDOM BROKER.
With over 40,000 reported kidnappings every year—which translates to five people every hour—the world of kidnap and ransom is taking on a newsworthy role across the globe. Displaced military and police in third world countries have no way to put food on the table, but they do have security skills, so they have turned to kidnapping as a way of making a living. Also, terrorists are using kidnapping as a fundraising enterprise, filling their coffers with over 125 million dollars since 2009. Kidnappers used to only abduct high net-worth individuals and executives of multi-national organizations. Not anymore. Journalists, aid workers, and family members of executives have now become high value targets.
Kidnapping is a growing international crisis. What tools do we have to fight against this increasing threat? There are twenty-five elite kidnap negotiators who travel to the globe’s hotspots to bring hostages home, through negotiation or recovery, and they are called response consultants or freedom brokers. Local to Toronto, author K.J. Howe has immersed herself in the world of kidnapping for the last three years, interviewing kidnap negotiators, former hostages, kidnap and ransom insurance executives, hostage reintegration experts, psychiatrists specializing in the captive’s mindset, and the Special Forces soldiers who deliver ransoms and execute rescues.
Howe’s research culminates into her debut thriller, THE FREEDOM BROKER, published by the Hachette Book Group under the Quercus imprint in the US, Canada, U.K. and many foreign territories. The book has reached attention North America wide, and has led to reviewers such as #1 NYT Bestseller James Patterson calling it “fact and fiction at its best.”
K.J. Howe’s novel has received positive and international acclaim from some of North America’s most influential mediums and authors including:
TIME Magazine called the book a “Dark Delight.”
#1 NYT Bestseller Lee Child endorses the book: “Razor sharp and full of you-are-there authenticity—a superb thriller.”
NYT Bestseller Linwood Barclay shares, “Breathless action, great characters, and convincing details make Howe’s debut a surefire rocket to the top of the lists.”
In The Providence Journal, USA Today Bestselling author Jon Land reviews, “The Freedom Broker is a blisteringly original, superbly crafted thriller that promises to be one of the major debuts of 2017. K.J. Howe’s gut-wrenching foray into the world of hostage negotiation turned upside down propels her straight into the league of Linda Fairstein, Tess Gerritsen, Lisa Scottoline, and Karin Slaughter, thanks to a tale framed by an emotional complexity and structural elegance both rare for the genre. As riveting as it is bracing, this is reading entertainment at its absolute best.”
500 feet above Kwale, Nigeria
Thea Paris knew the drill.
If the mission failed, no one would retrieve her body. She’d be left to rot in the jungle, unidentified and forgotten. And that wouldn’t do. She couldn’t miss her father’s 60th celebration.
Her gloved hand glided over her flak jacket and M4 with practiced ease. Night vision goggles, flares, grenades, extra magazines—all easy to access. The weapon had been tested, cleaned and oiled, ready to combat the humidity of the jungle. Pre-mission checks done.
The hypnotic purr of the resurrected Hughes 500P helicopter set the tone for the operation. Black, in every sense of the word. Sound, movement, light, all kept to a minimum. They were flying Nap-of-the-Earth; low, utilizing the terrain to stay below the radar.
As operational commander, she’d led her seven-man team through endless rehearsals, using a model of the targeted area. Now it was time for execution. Brown listened to Hendrix in his earbuds, his way of psyching up. Johansson stared into space, probably thinking about his pregnant wife who wasn’t happy he’d accepted this mission. Team A, following behind in the other gutted chopper, consisted of twin brothers Neil and Stewart—yep, born in Scotland—and a wizened former French Foreign Legionnaire named Jean-Luc who could outshoot them all. She’d handpicked each one from the pool of operatives at Quantum International Security.
Born in Toronto, Canada, K.J. enjoyed a nomadic lifestyle during her early years, living in Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and the Caribbean, which gave her an insider’s view into many different cultures. While abroad, she read every book she could find, which triggered in her a desire to create her own stories.
She attended Salzburg International Preparatory School, Neuchâtel Junior College, and Albert College before earning a Specialists Degree in Business from the University of Toronto. K.J. found success in the corporate world, but her passion for travel, adventure, and stories drew her back to school where she earned a Masters in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She also won several writing awards, including three Daphne du Maurier Awards for Excellence in Mystery and Suspense.
While honing her fiction skills, K.J. worked as a medical, health, and fitness writer. She then became involved with the International Thriller Writers as the executive director of ThrillerFest, the organization’s annual conference held every July in New York City.
In preparation for writing THE FREEDOM BROKER series, which focuses on elite kidnap negotiator Thea Paris, K.J. spent extensive time researching the dark world of kidnapping. She has interviewed former hostages, negotiators, hostage reintegration experts, Special Forces operatives, and K&R insurance executives.
K.J. is an avid tennis player, cyclist, and swimmer. Travel and adventure still rank high on her priority list. She has had the pleasure of riding racing camels in Jordan, surfing in Hawaii, zip lining in the Costa Rican jungle, diving alongside Great White Sharks in South Africa, studying modern combat in the Arizona desert, and working with elephants in Botswana. Home is in Toronto, Canada, but she is often missing in action.
K.J. Howe is available for interviews and appearances along with presentations about kidnapping and travel safety. For media appearances, interviews, speaking engagements, and/or book review requests please contact email@example.com by email or by phone at 403.464.6925.
Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts and a giveaway!
for exclusive excerpts and a giveaway!
Thursday, June 29, 2017
Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Monday, June 26, 2017
by Norman Green
GENRE: Mystery (Detective)
PI Marty Stiles was shot and paralyzed and is now in rehab, trying to decide whether to fight to recover. Meanwhile, his agency is being run by two women: the street-smart and savvy Alessandra Martillo, who’s the muscle, and Sarah Waters, a naïve, single mom, new to the job but who quickly becomes the brains. Though the two women grew up only a few miles from each other in Brooklyn, it might as well have been worlds apart. Now they’re partners, and for all their differences, are committed to their joint venture. When Sarah’s deadbeat ex-husband gets into trouble, Al would rather let him suffer, but she agrees to help Sarah figure out where he is and why another man has ended up dead.
This follow-up to The Last Gig features a tough and edgy, one-of-a-kind heroine—an entirely fresh take on the hardboiled women private investigators who dominate so many crime fiction classics.
Guy in a stocking hat sitting across the aisle stared at her, she stared back until he fi nally looked away. Your own fault, she thought, the dress was the shortest one she owned, but she had her reasons for that. This dress don’t wake Marty up, maybe he’s better off dead after all. Still, it was late, it was dark, and she and Mr. Personality were the only two passengers in the car. One other guy riding between cars, he peered through the dirty door glass, made eye contact with Mr. P, then looked away.
Al felt a flutter somewhere between her stomach and her throat.
So it’s like that.
Well, baby, you ain’t gonna outrun anybody in those high heels . . .
She picked up the camera bag she used in lieu of a purse. Not heavy enough for a weapon, she thought, nothing in there to stab someone with or shoot them or otherwise inflict bodily harm. Shove a lipstick into his eyeball, maybe . . .
Al got up, walked over and stood in front of the center set of exit doors. Mr. Personality got up, too, stood smirking at his reflection in the glass of the rear exit doors.
You could lose the shoes and run, she thought.
Buck eighty for those babies, yo. How long’s it take you to clear a buck eighty to piss away on a pair of shoes?
The train slid into the empty station and stopped with an echoing jerk, and then all the exit doors rattled open simultaneously. Al stepped out, watched as Mr. Personality did the same. She stood, waiting, and he stayed by his doors, too, just in case she decided to try and jump back in when they began to close. Al guessed that Mr. Personality’s associate, the guy who’d been riding between the cars, had gotten off , too, but he had to be a bit farther away and so she focused on the first guy.
The doors closed behind her, the train lurched into motion.
The guy turned to her and smiled. “Hey, chica,” he said. “Where you goin’, baby? All dress up nice like that? You like to party?”
She turned her head to look at him. “Yeah, I do,” she said. “I’m going to a party at my cousin’s house.”
He took a step in her direction, patted his rear pocket unconsciously before spreading his hands out wide. Probably got a knife there, she thought. “You don’t got to go no place, chica. We gonna party right here.”
She heard unhurried footsteps coming from the other direction, but they weren’t close yet. “Don’t you wanna know who my cousin is?”
His smile faded. “So? Who is he?”
“Rocco Parisi,” she said. Parisi, a mobster with a well- earned reputation for violence, was known from one side of Brooklyn to the other.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Norman Green is the author of six crime novels, most recently Sick Like That. Born in Massachusetts, he now lives in New Jersey with his wife.
What are your 10 favorite songs?
‘Twice as Hard,’ the Black Crowes.
‘New Year’s Day,’ U2.
‘I’m Your Man,’ Leonard Cohen.
‘Back in Black,’ as done by Santana and Nas on Guitar Heaven.
‘After Midnight,’ Clapton, the version on Crossroads.
’Freddie’s Dead,’ Curtis Mayfield.
‘Gangsta’s Paradise,’ Coolio.
‘Inner City Blues,’ Marvin Gaye.
‘Je Sui De’Sole, Mark Knopfler.
‘Cult Of Personality,’ Living Colour.
Norman will be awarding an digital copy of Sick Like That to 3 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour.
a Rafflecopter giveaway