Wednesday, August 15, 2018




Susan Foster wants to retire. Her boss wants her dead.

After decades as Victor Kemp’s off-the books killer, Suzanne finally quits. Not until five years later does Kemp discover how thoroughly she’s deceived him. Determined to punish her, he tracks her to Wales to watch her die. Instead, he walks into a trap.

Believing themselves safe at last, Suzanne and her family relocate to London, where she hopes to find the peace that has eluded her for so long. Her son is engaged to a nobleman’s daughter; her husband has a good job with British Intelligence. Yet she still struggles with restless dreams and the premonition that her nemesis has survived.

He has: Kemp, though severely injured, is rebuilding his empire and plotting revenge. He’s prepared to risk everything to end the former assassin. He may not be the only one.

Suzanne has no choice: to protect those she loves, she will be forced to kill again. Assassins, it seems, can never retire.


Title: The Former Assassin

Author: Nikki Stern

Genre: suspense thriller

Publisher:  Ruthenia Press (January 8, 2018)

Print length: 304 pages


Q: Nikki, where’s home for you?

A: I’ve lived just outside Princeton, New Jersey for the last twenty-five years. It’s been good to me but I can’t predict where I’ll end up.

Q: What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned?
A: Not to rush.

Q: What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done?
A: I dared myself to get up and out of the house after my husband was killed. Then I dared myself to get active and advocate for less mobile survivors.

Q: What’s one thing you wish your younger writer self knew?
A: That I’d still have moments of anxiety so that I might have started meditation earlier in life. Maybe I’d be better at it.

Q: What makes you bored?
A: Preachy movies, talky books. I love snappy dialogue as much as action; I just don’t want to be lectured.

Q: What choices in life would you like to have a redo on?
A: I would like to have lived abroad more than three weeks one summer. I mean, I’d have liked to spend a year or two years away from the states.

Q: What makes you nervous?
A: The anger and hate leaking out into the world. I have to remind myself that plenty of people are still propelled by generosity, not animosity.

Q: What makes you happy?
A: My relationship with my sister, my friends, my dog, my extended family.

Q: What makes you scared?
A: Willful ignorance.

Q: What makes you excited?
A: A breakthrough moment when writing (or rewriting) when I can suddenly see how it goes together and where it’s headed (“it” being whatever I’m writing.

Q: Who are you?
A: At the end of the day, a work in-progress. Guess what? That keeps me going when my body and even my spirit flag.

Q: If you could only save one thing from your house, what would it be?
A: Easy: my dog.

Q: What brings you sheer delight?
I like laughter: anytime, anywhere. Wait, I have to add a caveat. It has to be laughter that sounds joyous, that comes from people who are being amazed or delighted or applauded or entertained or loved. Malicious laughter—and I can hear that as well—turns me blood cold.

Q: What’s your favorite line from a book?
“Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.” ~ Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut.

Q: Are you like any of your characters?
A: I have some things in common with Suzanne. We’ve both known loss. We’ve both been rendered temporarily helpless by ill-advised choices and worse, choices denied to us. We’ve experienced the redemptive power of love, the frustration of trying to move beyond our history, the unbidden rage that lies just beneath the surface, and the ever-present awareness of our own mortality.
And we both know what it feels like to get off a good shot.

Q: What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received about your writing?
A: One fan wrote that my writing is truthful, accessible, entertaining, quietly instructive and always thought-provoking. Another said “always original.” Those comments mean a lot.

Q: What are you working on now?
A: I’m working on a mystery about a small-town sheriff with a serial killer hunting in her rural county and a childhood trauma in her past that haunts her in ways even she doesn’t fully understand. We’ll see if it becomes a series.

Excerpt | The Former Assassin by Nikki Stern



Nikki is the author of two works of non-fiction: Hope in Small Doses, a 2015 Eric Hoffer finalist for books that provoke, inspire and redirect thought, and Because I Say So. She’s also contributed essays to three anthologies and had several short stories published. She is co-author on the Cafe Noir interactive murder mystery series, published by Samuel French. Nikki is working on a mystery series starring an unorthodox crime fighter named Samantha Tate. When she's not writing about strong, complex women, Nikki is working with several non-profits, taking Pilates classes, and attending to the needs of her dog, Molly.

Connect with Nikki:
Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads

Buy the book:
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