Q: What inspired the idea for your book?
A: The Varsity Blues scandal that was splashed all over the news at the time, and all the “what if’s” that sprung from it.
Q: Tell us about a favorite character from the book.
A: It’s always the Forensic Instincts team. No matter how much I empathize with and/or bond with new characters in each book of the series, I just love the FI team. They’re brilliant and complex and have become dear friends to me. They’re fascinating both as individuals and as a whole.
Q: What was the most surprising thing you learned in writing this book?
A: I learned a great deal about the mind of a high-functioning sociopath—some of which creeped me out for days!
Q: If you were friends with a character in this book, what would you do together?
A: I’d do different things with each FI team member. I’d hang out and talk with Casey. I’d try extreme sports with Marc. I’d troll the dark web with Ryan. I’d delve into the mind of a claircognizant with Claire. I’d drink in a lifetime of FBI experience from Patrick. And I’d try my hand at pickpocketing with Emma. Oh, and Hero—I’m in awe of his skills, too. I’d focus on his keen olfactory sense and shake my head in amazement. And, yes, I’d spoil him, too!
Q: If you had your own talk show, what would the topic be and who would be
your first guest(s)?
A: My topic would be “the fascinating mind of a high-functioning sociopath” and my guest would be my brilliant FBI source who was a superstar in the BAU.
Q: What comes first for you — the plot or the characters?
A: It varies with each book. Sometimes a thought or a tidbit I see on the news starts my imagination going. But oftentimes, it’s a character that crystallizes first, along with his/her story. It’s so hard to run with both things at the same time, intertwine them, and make the full concept an A+ for my readers.
Q: As an author what do you think makes a good story?
A: Meaningful, relatable characters and a gripping plot. I feel the same way as a reader. The characters must draw me in and make me either care about them or hate them. And the plot has to keep me turning pages, speeding me along to an exciting ending. Believe me, that’s a tall order—one I always strive to attain.
Q: What has been your favorite reader feedback?
A: I love getting emails from my readers saying they couldn’t put my book down and that it kept them up all night. I also love when they bond with my characters the way I do. Those are both tremendously satisfying.
Q: How do you interact with your readers?
A: Through my author email list, through individual emails, and via social media (Facebook, Twitter). My readers are the best ever!
Q: Do you have any quirky writing rituals?
A: I need dead silence in order to write. I’m sealed up in my office like a cocoon and my family knows better than to disturb me when I’m in work mode. I remember when my daughter was young and she brought home a friend after school. I’d hear her whisper: “Remember, unless there’s fire, flood, or blood, don’t bother my mom.” She never knew how many times I checked on the two of them at play, even though they were respectful about my need for quiet.
Q: How do you avoid or defeat writer’s block?
A: The first thing I do is to freak out. Even though writer’s block is part of the creative process, it never gets easier to bear. Sometimes I do as much research as I can to break the mind freeze. Sometimes I do something completely unrelated to writing or reading so I divert my mind for a while. And sometimes I just plow through, even if I write something I end up deleting entirely, just so I exercise my creative muscles.
Q: What is the first book that you remember reading?
A: I was a big Nancy Drew fan. I think I read every book in the original series. I even remember reading Golden books when I first learned how to read. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t read. I’ve loved it forever.
Q: Aside from writing or reading, what are your hobbies or interests?
A: My life has changed a lot in the past several years and I now have a granddaughter I adore and who I love playing with and reading to. That’s a top priority in my life. I’ve also just discovered color by number apps. They’re both challenging and relaxing. So are the word games I play. They’re all part of my downtime when I’m not writing, reading, or being Grandma.
Q: What advice would you give to a writer working on their first book?
A: Love what you do. That will be the basis for all your hard work, your need to toughen up and develop a thicker skin, and the ability to surmount the numerous bumps in the road.
Q: What is your author spirit animal?
A: That would have to be a dolphin. They’re curious, outgoing, and they talk a blue streak!
Q: Describe yourself in as few words as possible.
A: A sensitive, creative, intense perfectionist.
Q: What would your dream library look like?
A: It would be floor to ceiling shelves that spanned the room like the library in Beauty and the Beast. It would also be organized and uncluttered (which is the opposite of what I have now!)
Q: What would the title of your autobiography be?
A: Probably “The Agony and the Ecstasy”.
Q: If you could have lunch with any 3 authors who would they be?
A: Another tough call. Definitely Daphne du Maurier. Agatha Christie, as well. And last (but not least) Harlan Coben. Three of my favorite authors who all tackle suspense differently and with entirely different voices. I’d soak up every word.
Q: What does it mean to you to be called an author and how do you define success as an author?
A: It’s still an honor after all these years. It’s a part of who I am. It’s one of the hardest jobs I’ve ever had (surpassed only by parenting!). It’s a precious gift that I never take for granted, especially when I read the emails of my readers. It’s a lifelong challenge—love and agony rolled into one. Mastering my craft and providing pleasure and excitement to my readers is what success is all about for me. And I have to please my toughest critic: me!
Q: Name three fun facts about you or your work.
A: (1) I’m super competitive with myself. Whatever I do always has to be bigger and better than the one before it.
(2) I love junk food, but I never snack when I’m writing. I have to be locked into what I’m doing at all times.
(3) I’m a diehard Disney fan. I currently find myself watching Encanto or singing its brilliant musical score even when my granddaughter is at preschool!
Q: If you had a secret room that opened by pulling a book on a shelf, what book would you choose?
A: Probably the Wizard of Oz. It would be like opening a door to a magical new world of people and possibilities.
Q: What is something you can do better than anyone else you know?
A: Read people and worry. I’ve got a great track record of both those things!
Q: If you knew you could not fail, what would you do?
A: Audition for a Broadway show. How cool would it be to perform in front of a theater audience who loved and respected your gift?
At Any Cost
by Andrea Kane
March 21 – April 15, 2022 Virtual Book Tour
Aimee Bregman had the perfect life. She had an enviable job as head of marketing for an up-and-coming CBD-infused beer that was taking the tri-state area by storm. She had cultivated a massive social media following that showcased the beer at college campus parties and alumni events―and had fun doing it. She had an attentive, steady boyfriend and friends who believed in her. Everything was going right.
But when her long-time mentor, Rita, sets up a business meeting with an important influencer―her life crashes all around her. The casual meeting over drinks suddenly devolves into a shouting match between all parties, and any chance of a new business relationship is over before it begins. Hours later, when the NYPD shows up at Aimee’s apartment, questioning her about Rita’s abrupt disappearance―foul play suspected―Aimee realizes she’s in way over her head.
Fearing that Rita has been murdered, and that she may be next, Aimee hires Forensic Instincts to keep her safe and figure out what’s really going on.
Forensic Instincts, a brilliant investigative firm who walks the fine line between legal and illegal, solves challenging and high-profile cases when the bureaucratic restrictions imposed on law enforcement get in the way of achieving results. But neither Aimee nor Forensic Instincts realize how ruthless, how connected, their adversaries are. As dangerous and powerful people are threatened with exposure, anyone is fair game for elimination. And when multiple victims die at the hands of a sociopathic serial killer, it gets harder and harder to tell where the battle lines are drawn… and who might die next.
Genre: Suspense Thriller
Published by: Bonnie Meadow Publishing LLC
Publication Date: March 22nd 2022
Number of Pages: 384
ISBN: 168232043X (ISBN13: 9781682320433)
Series: Forensic Instincts #9 | Each Can Be Read as a Stand Alone Novel
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads
Read an excerpt:
Birchmont, Westchester County, New York
Eight years ago
A kill for a kill.
Weeks of watching and waiting. Plans devised. Soon to be meticulously executed. Mid-November. Football season nearing its peak. Thursday night. Nine p.m. Campus in early-weekend party mode. Undergrads drinking. Smoking up at the frat houses. Athletic building deserted.
His target was there. Alone. Thursday night was his late night during football season. That’s when he reviewed his game strategy and player weaknesses. That’s when he targeted the next eager kid to torture until he broke.
The bastard wouldn’t be breaking anyone ever again. Not the way he’d broken Hank.
As the star quarterback in high school, Hank had gotten a full-ride Division 1 scholarship. Since he’d come from a dirt-poor family, this was the opportunity of a lifetime. A first-rate college education with a shot at the NFL. It was supposed to be a life-changing event.
Instead it turned out to be a death sentence.
His executioner had been Pete Rice. Football coach? Bullshit. Rice hadn’t coached Hank; he’d tortured him, driven him—until he’d blown out his knee on a rain-soaked football field junior year, ending his college career, his dreams. And in the end, his life.
It was first down and goal.
Rice was about to find out the true meaning of payback.
The campus grounds were soggy, leftover patches of wet leaves and an endless span of slick grass, made worse by the cold, steady rainfall. The bare trees swayed as rain pounded their branches. A wet mess. Treacherous, like a wet football field.
Slugging through the debris, he approached the athletic building, pausing yards away to don the black ski mask. He then tugged his hood back into place. No point in taking chances. Security cameras were everywhere. He didn’t need his face to be captured. Other than the mask, he could be any college student. A waterproof parka that swallowed up his body. Jeans and combat boots. Standard college garb.
He reached the building and slid Hank’s ID card into the entry slot. The card still worked. Too soon for it to be deactivated.
He was in. He wriggled into his latex gloves.
The office door was unlocked. Rice was at his desk, files spread across it. He was scribbling something on one of them, brows knit in concentration, totally focused on his work.
Clueless that he was about to die.
In one fluid motion, he was inside the office, the door closed behind him. Rice leapt to his feet, snatching the heavy football trophy on his desk as he rounded the front of it to defend himself against the intruder.
Without a word, the killer whipped out a pistol and fired two bullets, one into each of Rice’s kneecaps. Rice howled, collapsing to the floor in pain. The trophy hit the floor beside him with a thud.
The assailant moved quickly—four long strides until he was behind Rice, dragging him back to his chair and heaving him into it. He shoved a rag in the coach’s mouth to stifle his screams, then moved behind him, wrapping a strong arm in a choke hold around Rice’s throat. He pocketed his pistol, pulled out a zip tie, and leaned down to cinch the writhing man’s ankles together. That done, he slapped a digital voice recorder on the desk, with the record feature on. He yanked the rag out of Rice’s mouth, tossed it aside, and anchored his forearm against the left side of the coach’s neck, using his free hand to pull as tight against the carotid artery as he chose to—for now.
A rush of power surged through him. He could taste victory.
But there was work to be done before the final play.
“You killed Hank Bishop,” he growled. “I want details.”
When he got no answer, only a violent trembling of Rice’s body, he tightened the pressure around his neck. “Talk.”
“Car crash…” the coach gasped. “I didn’t…”
“Wrong answer.” His grip tightened still more, enough so Rice was on the verge of losing consciousness. The coach struggled in vain, his struggles weak and fading.
His soon-to-be executioner eased the pressure the tiniest fraction. He knew just what it would take. And he wasn’t ready. Not until he got what he wanted.
“Wanna die?” he asked in a flat tone that was chillingly devoid of emotion.
Terrified, blood oozing down his legs, Rice gave a feeble shake of his head.
“Good. Because this is what it will feel like.”
He increased the pressure until Rice passed out. Slowly, he eased the choke hold until the scumbag came to.
“Now I’ll ask my question again,” he said calmly. “Why is Hank dead? Why was he in that car crash? This is your last chance. I want to hear it all—what you did, how you did it, what you drove him to.”
Rice was drenched in sweat, his entire body shuddering, choking sounds coming from his throat.
No further coercion was necessary.
Between gasps for air, the coach spilled his guts, revealing everything he’d done, everything that had happened—plus a whole lot more that was happening still.
Interesting stuff. Some of which he knew about. Still more of which he didn’t. It was even bigger than what he’d come here to learn. But frankly, he didn’t give a shit. He’d originally planned to take the voice recorder with him to relive Rice’s agonized confession whenever he chose to. But it really didn’t matter. He’d committed the bastard’s words to memory. So instead, he’d leave the recorder here, let the cops hear the entire confession, including the big-picture part that had nothing to do with Hank but that would send their investigation in the entirely wrong direction—a direction his employer wouldn’t appreciate, but that was his problem.
His adrenaline pumping, he tightened his choke hold into a death grip, pressing against the carotid artery, closing it off and squeezing the life out of his victim.
A minute later, Rice was dead.
Excerpt from At Any Cost by Andrea Kane. Copyright 2022 by Andrea Kane. Reproduced with permission from Andrea Kane. All rights reserved.
Andrea Kane is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of thirty-one novels, including seventeen psychological thrillers and fourteen historical romantic suspense titles. With her signature style, Kane creates unforgettable characters and confronts them with life-threatening danger. As a master of suspense, she weaves them into exciting, carefully-researched stories, pushing them to the edge—and keeping her readers up all night.
Kane’s first contemporary suspense thriller, Run for Your Life, became an instant New York Times bestseller.
She followed with a string of bestselling psychological thrillers including No Way Out, Twisted and Drawn in Blood.
Her latest in the highly successful Forensic Instincts series, At Any Cost, showcases the dynamic, eclectic team of investigators as they square off against a criminal organization with a serial killer as a hit man. The first showcase of Forensic Instincts’ talents came with the New York Times bestseller, The Girl Who Disappeared Twice, followed by The Line Between Here and Gone, The Stranger You Know, The Silence That Speaks, The Murder That Never Was, A Face To Die For, Dead In A Week, No Stone Unturned and At Any Cost.
Kane’s beloved historical romantic suspense novels include My Heart’s Desire, Samantha, Echoes in the Mist, and Wishes in the Wind.
With a worldwide following of passionate readers, her books have been published in more than twenty languages.
Kane lives in New Jersey with her family. She’s an avid crossword puzzle solver and a diehard Yankees fan.
Catch Up With Andrea Kane:
Instagram – @authorandreakane
Twitter – @andrea_kane
Facebook – @AuthorAndreaKane
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03/10 Interview via podcast @ Blog Talk Radio
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03/21 Guest post @ Fredas Voice
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03/25 Guest post @ Novels Alive
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03/28 Interview @ I Read What You Write
03/29 Review @ flightnurse70_book_reviews
03/30 Review @ Avonna Loves Genres
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I have read a few Nancy Drew books back in the day. 🙂