Rummanah Aasi
  Even though I'm on a blogging break, I wanted to take some time and introduce to you a suspenseful read by D.A. Bale. Before I let D.A. talk about her expectations of what makes a good suspense/mystery book, check out the cover and synopsis for her book, Running into the Darkness, and be sure to check out the cool giveaway at the end of the post.

Death follows Dr. Samantha Bartlett throughout her life until it claims everyone close to her. There's one powerful man responsible on whom Samantha sets her sights for revenge. The price is her soul. For centuries, sex has been the weapon of it's her turn.
“I never intended to kill the President. As a doctor, I swore an oath to protect life – not take it. But that was before...”

Second year resident, Dr. Samantha Bartlett, is swept from the frigid New York winter to once again confront the sting of death back home – and face those she left behind. But she’s not alone. A strange man she dubs Shades haunts her every step as she seeks answers to the inferno which claimed her grandmother, an eerie reminder of her parents’ deaths. The secrets Samantha uncovers forever changes her image of those she only thought she knew.

Confronted by Shades, Samantha joins a secret underworld known only as the Elite, where a web of power and control is woven deep within governments worldwide. Their sights are set on the power structure of the United States, and Samantha becomes the unlikely key to infiltrating the White House at its most intimate levels. 
The quest for blood threatens to destroy Samantha. From the darkness there is no escape.

D.A. on what makes a good suspense/mystery read
  Have you ever picked up a novel and got what you expected?  Now let me ask another question.
Was this a good thing? Call me weird – and yes, I’m okay with that designation – but I’m not necessarily happy with the expected when I read.  Don’t get me wrong here; there are certain anticipations with every genre. When you read romance, you know the guy will eventually get the girl.  With mystery, you’re trying to figure out who did it.  Horror, you expect to pee your pants when the boogeyman jumps out from under the bed.  Readers are typically perusing the shelves for something familiar from their genre of choice.

 But what if you were surprised?  Pleasantly surprised? Thrillers and suspense are some of my favorites:  action, adventure, and the bad guys getting their butts kicked by the good guy/girl.  However, when I figure out pretty much the entire plot in the first few pages, it turns what could have been an interesting read into a real letdown. So in my opinion, what makes a good thriller?  I’m glad you asked.
   Thrillers are usually known for action, action, and lots of action, but I also like moments woven into the story that allow me to get to know the primary characters.  What is it in their backgrounds that play into motivation for why they make the choices they do throughout the novel?  How have their choices led them to where they are?  These tidbits give them purpose, help me determine whether their actions have merit and make them feel three-dimensional – like real people.  I need to feel connected to them in some way.

 Layers to the storyline add depth and dimension, keeping me guessing as to what potential direction(s) the novel could take.  It’s a good book when I am not sure what happens next or how a character or event ties into the main arc.  Many stories are very linear:  point A leads to point B, to point C, and so on until we get to point Z.  That works for a lot of people.  But I love the novels that take me from point A to point M, back to D and so on.  That’s rather the way I write too!  But the important thing is that all of these little loose ends eventually tie together somehow.  If secondary or tertiary characters and situations are tossed in willy-nilly and never meet the main arc somewhere, it just seems more like unnecessary filler.

 What about the bad guys?  They need to be REALLY bad!  Not caricatures, mind you, but nasty, sick, twisted, and messed up characters who don’t give a rats-rear-end about anyone but themselves and the power they crave.  If you have any knowledge of history, it’s full of super nasty individuals (Hitler anyone?).  You many have experienced a few bad guys of your own in real life – I have too.  When there’s a really good bad guy, it makes their comeuppance that much sweeter.

Believe it or not, a dose of humor makes for a good thriller read too.  Humor gives another element of depth to people, as long as it is still true to the character and isn’t too disruptive to the story flow.  It also allows for a bit of a breather in the midst of non-stop action and when the stakes ramp up and threaten to spin out of control.

So give me a good thriller to read any day, as long as it keeps me on my toes, on the edge of my seat, and still guessing about what’s coming when I turn the page.  This, in my opinion, is what takes the expected into the realm of pleasantly surprised.  Happy reading!

 Thanks for the enlightening post, D.A.! If you would like to purchase a copy of the book, it is available at Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords.

To learn more about D.A., please visit her website, on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.

Tribute Books is kindly giving away a $25 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash to one lucky reader! To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter below:
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6 Responses
  1. D A Bale Says:

    Thanks so much, Rummanah, for hosting me on your blog and letting me write about one of my favorite genres. I hope you have some time to relax with your favorite genre during the summer break. :-)

  2. VEry interesting post! I totally agree getting a read that is what you expect is a bit boring, but picking up a great thriller or suspense and finding crazy twists that boggle your mind is so much fun. I love a good thriller!

  3. I agree that unexpected turns, characters that seemingly have no place in the story and then finally connect to the story make for a better thriller. And a truly evil bad guy, that's what makes a thriller for me! And yes, humor is always great, no matter what type of book I'm reading. I might just have to read your novel. I love murder and politics!!

  4. Thank you, Rummanah for sharing this wonderful post by D A :)

  5. D A Bale Says:

    Heidi - I'm so glad you like being surprised too! I usually remember those kind of stories for a long time afterward. :-)

  6. D A Bale Says:

    Heather - It is a great book that keeps you on your toes, yes? Thank you for stopping by on my tour.

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