New Book! New Book!

on June 21, 2017

TWO TO DIE FOR is out this week in ebook! Yeah me!

There’s a story behind these stories … and it starts with SHATTERED.

SHATTERED is my fourth Maxine Revere cold case mystery. More than a year ago, I’d started writing a book I called THE EX-WIFE which had a completely different plot concept. I initially liked the idea, but I couldn’t get into the story. Then a series of small things happened.

First, I saw an episode of some television show. I honestly can’t remember what show, probably SVU or NCIS, but it was a common enough plot for a crime show, a twist on the Strangers on a Train theme. SHATTERED has nothing to do with any twist on STRANGERS, but remember, I was thinking about my current story THE EX-WIFE where I was having trouble figuring out the killer’s motivation.

The original story also dealt with being wrongly accused of a crime. Max originally was investigating two cases, one where the suspect was innocent and one where the suspect was guilty. But Max deals with cold cases, and I was having a difficult time getting her involved in an active police investigation. Because she’s a reporter, and the police would totally freeze her out. So I was writing and re-writing the set-up trying to get a grip on the core story.

Shattered-3At this point in writing, I had to put the story aside to work on copyedits for a Lucy Kincaid book. I realized how totally different Lucy and Max were, but they were still motivated by the same core values: that justice must be served, that victims needed closure.

Then I received (another) email from a reader asking if the Kincaid family would ever find out what happened to Justin, Nelia and Andrew’s son, who was murdered when he was seven. My answer is and always has been, “I don’t know. There are many crimes that go unsolved, and Justin’s murder illustrated what can happen to a family when a loved one is killed.” The Kincaid’s were all changed the day Justin died, and it impacted how they grew up and who they became — for better and worse.

Finally, I read a tragic true crime story about a child who was murdered. And I realized that the best person to solve Justin Stanton’s murder would be Maxine Revere. At that point, I only had a spark of the idea — that Max gets drawn into a case where a friend’s son has been murdered and his wife is on trial for the crime. I didn’t know if she was guilty or innocent, but Max was interested because there were several other similar crimes, starting with Justin Stanton.

So I emailed my editor and asked her if I could totally change the story and incorporate Lucy into a Max book. She told me to go for it. And SHATTERED was born.

AllisonBrennan_TwotoDieFor800But this blog isn’t about SHATTERED, it’s about TWO TO DIE FOR.

After I finished SHATTERED, I realized that some of my readers may not have read any of Max’s books — or Lucy’s books. Though the Lucy Kincaid series is longer and has a bigger audience, some people have only read Max. I wanted to introduce readers to both characters, but they couldn’t work together because they don’t meet until SHATTERED. SHATTERED takes place at the end of January … so I wrote a novella with Sean and Lucy on their honeymoon the first week of November before, right after MAKE THEM PAY ends. As my long-time readers know, whenever Sean and Lucy try to get away for fun and relaxation, trouble follows! In “Spiral” their elderly neighbor disappears and when they search for him, they make a shocking discovery.

But what could I do with Max?

Max has a very interesting backstory. She’d been an investigative reporter long before her cable crime show, “Maximum Exposure.” I’d already dealt with how her show began in a novella of the same name, and I didn’t have any ideas that really sparked me for a “new” story. But several of her old cases that I alluded to her in her books intrigued me, especially the story about the “Killer Nurse” which was the subject of her fourth and last true crime book. I had some parameters I had to stick to because of what I said in the previous books: Lois Kershaw was the 86 year old in an active-living retirement community who pretended Max was her granddaughter in order to catch a killer. The killer was a nurse. And Max and her ex-boyfriend Marco Lopez were together as a couple. Other than that? Anything could go! And “Retired” blossomed. It’s a great introduction to Max and you don’t want to read the other books to “catch up.” (Though why wouldn’t you? Ha ha ha.)

TWO TO DIE FOR is a 2-novella ebook — two thrillers for the price of one! I hope you’ll check it out.

Where to buy?

Two to Die For – iBooks

For more about SHATTERED, visit my website.