Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Thursday's Author Spotlight...Mr. Steven Freeman

The Creative Muses are very happy to welcome mystery/thriller Author,  Mr. Steven Freeman to our blog...

A little about today's Author:
Author Steve Freeman is former member of the US Army's Signal Corps, a twenty-six year employee of a large American technology company, and an avid traveler who has visited five continents. The novels of The Blackwell Files draw from his firsthand knowledge of military service, the tech industry, and the diverse cultures of our world.

He currently lives near Atlanta, Georgia with his wife and daughter.
Steven's Website
Books and Purchase Information

TCM: What inspired you to become a writer? Why do you write your particular genre?
SF: I only started writing a little over a year and a half ago. A few family members encouraged (read bugged) me for several years to put pen to paper, but my personal schedule only recently evolved in a way that freed up enough time to begin writing. I have had a wonderful time embarking on this career. Once I started, I realized how much I enjoyed it, and I haven’t looked back. I’ve finished two books, have a third complete except for a few edits, and I’m working on a fourth. All my books complete a series entitled The Blackwell Files.
I write in the romantic mystery/thriller genre: romantic because it’s a great way to engage the reader on an emotional level, and mystery/thriller because it’s a great way to engage the reader with an interesting plot. So my hope is that readers get double the fun. 
When Army Communications Captain Alton Blackwell takes a hit to the leg while on active duty in Afghanistan, his self-confidence and  leg are equally shattered in the explosion. Assigned to a desk job while recovering, Blackwell nonetheless manages to prove his resourcefulness as he matches wits with Al-Qaeda operatives in the dangerous regions of Kabul. Unable to fully heal, he resigns himself to the abrupt end of his military career as well as any hope to win the affections of the beautiful and intelligent Lieutenant Mallory Wilson.

Upon returning state-side, the quiet civilian life is quickly left far behind when Blackwell’s colleague Zach Lambert calls him from a weekend camping trip in the throes of a devastating illness with forbidding implications.

In a story out of today’s headlines, Blackwell and now-FBI Agent Wilson explore the possible diversion of a biotech’s project to develop an improved vaccine, scouring leads at the CDC and biotec company, putting their Army and professional skills to the test, and narrowly escaping agents with a murderous agenda at every turn. The closer they come to the truth, the quicker the bodies pile up, along with the suspects. To get to the bottom of the sinister scheme, can Blackwell still use wits when his body has failed him? And will he survive long enough to tell his colleague of the feelings for her he has long kept secret?

TCM: What’s your strongest point as a writer?
SF: I believe one of my greatest strengths as a writer is crafting characters about which the reader cares deeply. My characters aren’t perfect, but as they struggle against truly evil people and against their own flawed natures, readers can’t help but cheer for them.

A disabled ex-Army officer...a beautiful FGI agent...and a ruthless murderer on the loose in Atlanta.
A heartless killer ambushes and guns down ex-mobster Jay Mancini. Days later, the killer disposes of Mancini’s live-in girlfriend in cold blood. Desperate to identify the culprit, Jay’s niece Chelsea convinces work colleague and amateur detective Alton Blackwell to help investigate the seemingly run-of-the-mill professional mob hits. 
Alton and his girlfriend, FBI Agent Mallory Wilson, race to sequester Chelsea away from wrathful mob gangsters intent on silencing anyone with knowledge of “family activities.” But the investigation spirals out of control as a series of new events with no apparent mob connection serves to confound their efforts to identify the assassin. As Alton and Mallory struggle to make sense of scant evidence, unseen danger marches inexorably closer to them and Chelsea, who seems to lie in the vortex of the mayhem. Will Alton and Mallory unravel the mystery in time to avoid becoming the killer’s next victims? And will their growing relationship survive the presence of the beautiful Chelsea Mancini? 

Combining edge-of-your-seat psychological thrills with a side of romance, RUTHLESS keeps readers guessing until the final clue is revealed.
TCM: advice would you give new authors that have been newly published?
SF: My biggest advice would be to join a critique group so you can meet with other writers with the goal of regularly reviewing each other’s work and giving feedback. Obviously, receiving feedback on your own writing is helpful, but even giving advice to other authors will help improve your own abilities as a writer. I would also advise promoting your work in social media, especially Goodreads and Facebook.
TCM: What new projects can we look forward to from you and where, when will they be available?
SF: I’m currently wrapping up T Wave, a medical mystery/thriller and third book in The Blackwell Files series, which features many of the protagonists introduced in Nefarious, my first book. I’m also working on the first draft of the fourth book in the series, Havoc, a thriller set in Italy.

When FBI Forensic Accountant Mallory Wilson begins investigating the potential theft of narcotics at a local hospice, the routine case quickly escalates as she and boyfriend Alton Blackwell uncover a series of questionable patient deaths.

The case takes on even greater urgency as  the investigators themselves fall under attack. For their own safely as well as that of potential victims, they must race to get to the bottom of the crime spree.

As they strive to resolve the perplexing case, their struggle to maintain a long-distance relationship faces a new challenge as Alton is forced to leave Georgia and relocate to a new office.

Will they unravel the mystery in time to prevent further homicides, and will their relationship survive this latest challenge?

TCM: Where else cam we find you

TCM: Is there anything else you would like to tell our readers?
SF: Like my main character, Alton Blackwell, I’m a former member of the US Army's Signal Corps. I’m also a twenty-six year employee of a large American technology company, and an avid traveler who has visited five continents. My novels draw from my firsthand knowledge of military service, the tech industry, and the diverse cultures of our world. I currently live near Atlanta, Georgia with my wife, daughter, and two dogs.
I have incorporated a quick from background: One of my secondary characters share my proclivity for telling groaner jokes. I suppose almost all writers confer aspects of their own personalities into their characters. I do, too, but this particular characteristic is near and dear to my heart.

Excerpt from Nefarious

Alton awoke with a start, his heart pounding almost as loudly as the battering ram crashing into the front door. How had they found him so quickly? Why hadn’t the diversion worked? Attempting to balance silence with speed, he rose from the couch, glided through the connecting door into the neighboring apartment, and approached the side window.

Thank God Mallory’s place is on the ground floor.

He climbed through the window, closed it with a quiet snick, and—thankful for the cover provided by a dusk rapidly turning into night—limped across the lot to his vehicle, a late-model Explorer stashed behind a couple of low-rider pickups. As he slid into the seat, he could see dark jackets and flashlights huddled around the front door, which was beginning to buckle. Two more agents guarded the back exit.

Patience… patience.

Alton waited for the agents to break through the door and storm the apartment. Only then did he drive away with the headlights off.

Once he cleared the parking lot, he called Mallory. “Don’t go home.”

Don't forget to visit Steven Freeman's website for more information about where you can get these amazing books!

Happy Reading!

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