Monday, May 9, 2016


The Murder That Never Was Banner


Given the opportunity, would you assume someone else's identity and leave your old life behind? A serendipitous crossing of paths between Lisa Barnes, a down-on-her-luck job seeker, and Julie Forman, a personal trainer to an Olympic hopeful, forever changes the course of both women's lives. One winds up dead and the other finds herself a fugitive, hiding behind one lie after another as a cold-blooded killer methodically hunts her. Desperately trying to stay alive, the terrified woman enlists the help of Forensic Instincts, a rogue investigative team that clandestinely operates in the gray area between legal and illegal. Safeguarding their client's deception, Forensic Instincts digs into dangerous territory as they try to find out who's after their client and why. Meanwhile, bodies are piling up in Chicago, New Jersey, and Vermont as a megalomaniacal genius will stop at nothing to eradicate anyone who threatens the success of his medical breakthrough. With an unhinged client and a monstrous criminal enterprise as its adversary, Forensic Instincts is forced into uncharted territory to protect their client and save one of their own from becoming the next corpse. Forensic Instincts is an unorthodox, criminal investigative team that carefully navigates the fine line between legal and illegal. The team consists of a behaviorist, a former Navy SEAL, a techo-wiz, an intuitive, a pickpocket, a retired FBI agent, and a human scent evidence dog."


Andrea, how did you get started writing?

I don’t think I ever officially started writing. I’ve been telling stories in my head since I was two, and acting them out with my stuffed animals since the same time. The stories were always about family and friends, and the adventures they shared. Two-year-old stories grew with me, and I began writing them down as soon as I was able. I loved keeping journals and diaries, and I entered (and actually won!) a writing contest when I was in my early teens. All this time, I was a voracious reader, and sometimes I’d find myself thinking, “I’d do this a little differently.  What if . . .?” That reaction got stronger as I became an adult and so did the books I was reading. And finally came the inevitable: “I want to try this myself. I have so many stories inside me that I want to share.” So I did. I’m very fortunate to do what I love every day, and to receive such wonderful feedback from my readers.

What's your favorite thing about the writing process?
That indescribable feeling when I get a scene just right and I feel it in my gut. It’s like my birthday and Christmas all rolled into one!

What do you think is hardest aspect of writing a book?
For me, it’s getting just the right balance of suspense and character development. I must write strong, memorable characters—characters my readers can relate to and either love or hate. On the flip side, establishing a powerful storyline with escalating suspense is what makes a great thriller. The balance is delicate, and extremely difficult to pull off. I don’t stop until I do.

What do you think makes a good story?
For the psychological suspense thrillers that I write, it starts with a great “what if?” From there, it requires characters you care about (or detest) that draw you in, whether they’re the protagonists or the antagonists. Next you need a super-compelling storyline filled with twists, turns, and believable red herrings. The goal is to take those strong characters you’ve connected with on a circuitous journey that keeps the reader glued to the pages. It’s a great recipe. But, now that I’ve shared it with you, let me conclude with the most crucial part: It’s unbearably difficult to do all this!!

What do you know now that you wish you knew then?

I wish I’d known how many creative blows (like rejection, editing, and negative reviews) comes along with this career, and how to better cope with them. This is a tough business (and, yes, despite the creative process, publishing is a business), and when you’re a sensitive person, as most writers are, it’s hard to handle the negatives. But what I’ve learned is that, while you must toughen your skin, you do grow from those negatives (some of which are positives in disguise, like editorial work), and, ultimately, they often lead to some great successes. So don’t succumb to the negative; embrace the positive. It’s a crucial part of a career in writing, and one I wish I’d known from the start.

Is writing your dream job?

Absolutely. I truly love what I do and can’t imagine doing anything else. However, let me clarify that by telling you that there are days when I wish my calling had been anything but writing. Those are the days when I stare at the blank screen and the blinking cursor and press the down arrow repeatedly in the hopes that my writing muse has come up with a great chapter overnight. Unfortunately, no such luck. So I use those frustrating days to research, edit, and sometimes reread the entire ongoing book from Page 1. Even a dream job can have a nightmare here and there.

What is the worst job you’ve ever had? What did it teach you?
My first two jobs out of college were as editorial assistants. I adored the second one. I loathed the first. At Job #2, I got to read manuscripts, give comments, and learn about the publishing industry. At Job #1, I spent my entire day proofreading the indexes of medical texts. Sounds like a blast, huh? I didn’t work there for too long, because I actually started getting bad migraines from painfully focusing on tiny medical-ese words. But what I did learn (and had no idea how much it would help me in the future) was every copyediting symbol and what it stood for. I’ve used that knowledge for over twenty-five years. To me, that means my worst job yielded some invaluable results.

If you could only watch one television station for a year, what would it be?
It would have to be the YES network so I could watch every one of the New York Yankees games. But, since baseball season only lasts half a year, I’d probably choose USA for my full-year station. I’m a huge Suits fan, and I also loved White Collar when it was on.  USA has great original shows.

How do you feel about Facebook?
Like everyone else, I have mixed feelings about Facebook. But, overall, I love interacting with my readers and Facebook provides me with the ideal medium in which to do it. Twitter is great for informational posts, but Facebook has an interactive element that’s unique and so very important to an author. I try to post daily, and I check my profile and my page twice a day, morning and night.

For what would you like to be remembered?
For making a difference in people’s lives, whether it’s the love of my family, the ties of my friendships, or the reactions of my readers who, thankfully, let me know how my novels have impacted them.

What’s one thing you never leave the house without (besides your phone).

My day planner. Much as I rely on my cell phone’s electronic calendar, I need to make notes about appointments, jot down ideas as I think of them, and write down the must-do’s like “empty the dishwasher” or “do the laundry.” Some things are just better on paper.

What’s your favorite fast food?

Pizza, pizza, pizza!

What’s your favorite beverage?
Orange Crush soda. I’ve loved it since I was a kid, so I guess I’m still a kid!

What drives you crazy?

Complacency. I think you should always care about what you’re doing and strive to be better and better. I’m a passionate person. I can’t relate to people whose attitude is: “whatever.”  It drives me nuts!

What do you wish you could do?
Write faster without compromising on quality.

What is one of your happiest moments?
The day I sold my first two novels. My daughter was in first grade. I got the phone call from my agent just before I ran out to pick her up at the bus stop. She saw my face, flew off the bus, and started jumping up and down with me in the middle of the street. It was a priceless moment and memory.

What do you like to do when there’s nothing to do?

I love watching movies with my family, sometimes the same favorites over and over. I love doing crossword puzzles and playing word games. I’m very self-competitive, so I yell at myself a lot. And I love watching Yankees games. Sometimes I think I’m more involved than the players are. I certainly scream louder!

What’s your least favorite chore?
I hate dusting. I’m firmly convinced that the dust you wipe off hangs in the air and then resettles itself the moment you’re done.

What’s one of your favorite quotes?
“If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything” — Mark Twain

How do you like your pizza?
Thin crust, crispy, and with lots of cheese. I’m also a big fresh mushroom fan, so having those on top is a big plus.

What is the wallpaper on your computer’s desktop?
My Pomeranian, Mischief, who’s my furry baby.

What are you working on now?
I’ve already started writing my next Forensic Instincts novel. It’s a double-mystery, and it stretches my FI team in new and dangerous directions.


Lincoln Park

Chicago, Illinois

May 17th

Lisa opened the front door and peeked down the street. The sun was starting to dip down toward the horizon, and there was still no sign of her benefactor.

The May evening was still warm enough to sit outside, and Lisa needed the air anyway. After a full day of waiting on rich women and a few hours of deep house cleaning, she was ready to relax.

She poured herself a glass of ice tea and went out to the front porch, sitting on the top step to enjoy the evening and wait for Julie to arrive.

About a half hour later, she spotted Julie coming down the street. She was striding angrily, gripping a bag in her hands. Even from a distance, Lisa could see that something was very wrong. As she approached, Lisa could see that she was shaking.

This wasn't a bad mood. This was bad.

Lisa's stomach clenched. She rose and put her ice tea on the small outdoor table.

She was just about to hurry down to see what was wrong when a car sped down the street, stopping right next to Julie. The passenger door flew open, and a barrel-chested man with tattoos on his arms stepped out. He was holding a gun.

Julie turned, startled, and dropped the bag she was carrying to the sidewalk.

She didn't even have time to scream.

It happened in two seconds. Pop. Pop. Two muffled gunshots, straight into her head. The killer grabbed the bag off the sidewalk and jumped back into the car, which then screeched off.

Julie had crumpled to the street, blood gushing from her skull, the contents of her purse spilling out around her. Cosmetics, wallet, cell phone—everything rolled onto the street.

For an instant, Lisa froze, bile rising in her throat.

Then, she raced down the stairs and straight to Julie's lifeless body.

She squatted down. No pulse. No sign of life. Julie was gone.

Had those bullets been meant for her? Had they found her after all these years?

Lisa's head flew up, and she looked all around. The block was deserted. The killer had used a silencer, and no one had heard the shots but her.

It was just her.

What the hell should she do? If the drug ring was after her, they'd come for her again as soon as they realized they'd killed the wrong girl.
Unless they never found out.

Self-preservation took over. Lisa reached over and grabbed Julie's wallet, cell phone, checkbook, keys—anything that could identify her as Julie Forman.

Digging into her own pocket, Lisa pulled out her ID wallet and dropped it next to Julie's purse.

That's all the time she had. She could already hear sirens approaching, which meant that someone had heard the screech of tires, and maybe even seen Julie's body, and called for help. She prayed they hadn't spotted her. She couldn't wait around to find out.

Shaking violently, with tears of sorrow and panic splashing down her cheeks, she glanced one last time at Julie's body.

Then she took off.

The foregoing is excerpted from The Murder That Never Was by Andrea Kane. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced without written permission from Bonnie Meadow Publishing LLC.


Andrea KaneAndrea Kane's psychological thriller, The Girl Who Disappeared Twice, became an instant New York Times bestseller, the latest in a long string of smash hits. With her acclaimed signature style of developing unforgettable characters and weaving them into carefully researched story lines, Kane has created Forensic Instincts, an eclectic team of maverick investigators. Recruited because of their special talents and dynamic personalities, the high-energy members thrive on blatantly disregarding authority. Armed with skills and talents honed by years in the FBI and Special Forces, and with training in behavioral and forensic psychology, this unstoppable team solves seemingly impossible cases while walking a fine line between assisting and enraging law enforcement. With a worldwide following and novels published in over twenty languages, Kane is also the author of numerous romantic thrillers and historical romances. She lives in New Jersey with her family, where she is busily crafting a new challenge for Forensic Instincts.

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