Happy Launch Day to THE LAST SECOND!

T-Minus 5…4…3…2…1… And liftoff! THE LAST SECOND has cleared the tower and is hurtling toward bookstores today!

This book wouldn’t have happened without a brainiac named Elon Musk whose groundbreaking company, SpaceX, inspired Galactus. When Catherine and I were first tossing around ideas for this story, I told her I wanted to start with a rocket launch. As it happened, when I arrived in California for our initial plotting session, I was just in time to see the very first Falcon Heavy launch. We stood in her office, cheering the monster up, up, up, and with tears in my eyes, I said: “We have to use this.” She indulged me, and we created Neveah Patel, Galactus, Jean-Pierre Broussard, and all the rest of the story that day.

I come from an aerospace family, so I’ve spent a lot of time with my eyes on the heavens. What a treat to indulge this fascination with Nicholas and Mike at the helm.

I assure you, this is the most exciting Brit in the FBI yet. Nonstop action, a terrifying villain, and a nuclear threat, combined with intrigue aboard the International Space Station and a glimpse of the elusive Stone of the Heavens, sometimes referred to as the Holy Grail? Yep. It’s a doozy!

It was a blast to write, and I know you’ll have a great time reading it, too.

Happy liftoff to us! Get yours today, and let me know what you think!


From New York Times bestselling authors Catherine Coulter and J.T. Ellison comes a riveting thriller pitting Special Agents Nicholas Drummond and Michaela Caine against the head of a private space agency who has the power to end the world as we know it. 

It’s Bastille Day in France, and the private French space agency Galactus—France’s answer to Space X, owned by the eccentric treasure hunter Jean-Pierre Broussard—has just sent a satellite payload into orbit. Billed as a “communications” satellite, it harbors a frightening reality: a nuclear bomb capable of creating a massive electromagnetic pulse has been hidden aboard.

In days, when the satellite is in position, Galactus’s head and Broussard’s second in command, Dr. Neveah Patel, will have the power to lay waste to the world with her EMP, and create her own immortality with the Holy Grail––the stones of the heavens and the very treasure Broussard has spent his life searching for.

The countdown has begun, and Special Agents Nicholas Drummond and Michaela Caine will go down to the wire to stop this heinous attack. With their signature “nonstop action with enough realism to keep you thinking and scare the daylights out of you at the same time” (Suspense Magazine), Coulter and Ellison have created a thriller to take you on a breakneck and breathtaking journey.

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THE SIXTH DAY is now available in mass market paperback!

Tomorrow is an exciting day! THE LAST SECOND, the sixth book in the A Brit In The FBI series, releases and so does the mass market paperback of THE SIXTH DAY. To celebrate, here’s a look at what went into the research for THE SIXTH DAY.

*******

Let’s talk about building a book. The research that went into THE SIXTH DAY was astounding. 

For me, writing an international thriller with historical components is sort of like making French onion soup out of apples — in other words, an uphill battle. Or magic. I like the magic analogy better, let’s go with that.

Even though I’m not doing it alone, this magic gets its essence from the minute details. Elizabeth George just did an interview in which she described the moment a piece of her latest book came together for her:

“Seeing the place is really helpful in developing the plot, because if I don’t go, there are things I simply won’t know,” she explains. “For example, for the new book I went to Ludlow, and when I visited the police station, it was closed. There was an intercom and video-camera setup at the building which connected people with the police and emergency services. That became a hugely important plot point in the book.”

For me, physical proximity is the secret behind good research. You can study everything, read all the books, read all the articles, but if you can actually go to the spot you’re writing about, plot points can appear out of the ether. I can give you oodles of moments this has happened to me, book after book. Heck, a trip to Scotland saved WHERE ALL THE DEAD LIE — I had the winter colors all wrong. Trees, grass, flowers, skies… How embarrassing would that have been?

I know travel isn’t always possible, so at the very least, a few hours spent on Google Earth will go a long way. You won’t get all five senses (and trust me, how someplace smells creates all kinds of interesting ideas), but you’ll at least see what people wear, what it looks like when it rains, etc.

And the facts you see in the novel are fractional compared to the work done on the back end. There’s a reason we call research an iceberg, after all. You only see the tip. I’ve literally spent days on certain topics in order to put one single fact into the manuscript. I like to joke I get a Ph.D. on every book, but it really is true. 

I have a somewhat organized way of researching my novels.

If I’m working on research online, as I’m going deep into a topic, any link that I touch that has any sort of relevance to the book immediately gets bookmarked. If I know it’s relevant, it goes into its own folder in Evernote. If it’s possibly relevant, it goes to Instapaper, and then gets shuttled into Evernote if I find anything worthwhile. I also sign up for newsletters, subscribe to online magazines, join Facebook groups. Anything that will allow me hands-on experience with the people who actually do the work or live in the world I’m researching. (Dark Web for hacking info, anyone? 😈)

Once the research is conducted, I usually print it out and put it in a huge Circa binder.That way, if the internet crashes, I have my research. And of course, let’s not forget the books — easy to work with there, just slap a Post-it note and write it up in my notebook. Same for movies and television shows related to the story. I have two massive bookshelves in my office that cover everything from the occult to FBI to falconry. I call it the database.

For THE SIXTH DAY, I have over 200 individual links in my Evernote. From hacking to falcons to the Voynich to hemophilia to LSD, they are a roadmap of memories to building a book. I love that record, too. It’s as evocative as a playlist for me. I can remember the exact moment I saw a certain story and what idea it triggered — and often, I make a note about that in my files, for posterity. 

Hopefully, I get it all right. But as huge as these novels are, sometimes I blow it. A fact gets reversed, or the source material is incorrect, or I just plain read and interpret wrong. Hopefully, those mistakes are minimal. Because ugh! Fingers crossed it’s all perfect in this one.

I hope you enjoy all the crazy research that went into THE SIXTH DAY. Catherine and I had a blast with it. 

Get the Mass Market Paperback—On Sale March 26

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Catch up with the whole series!

THE FINAL CUT: A Brit In The FBI #1

From Catherine Coulter, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the FBI Thriller series, and J.T. Ellison, bestselling author and ITW Award winner, comes the first book in a brilliant new international thriller series featuring a new hero: American-born, UK-raised Nicholas Drummond.

Scotland Yard’s new chief inspector Nicholas Drummond is on the first flight to New York when he learns his colleague, Elaine York, the “minder” of the Crown Jewels for the “Jewel of the Lion” exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, was found murdered. Then the centerpiece of the exhibit, the infamous Koh-i-Noor Diamond, is stolen from the Queen Mother’s crown. Drummond, American-born but raised in the UK, is a dark, dangerous, fast-rising star in the Yard who never backs down. And this case is no exception.  
 
Special Agents Lacey Sherlock and Dillon Savich from Coulter’s bestselling FBI series don’t hesitate to help Drummond find the cunning international thief known as the Fox. Nonstop action and high stakes intensify as the chase gets deadly. The Fox will stop at nothing to deliver the Koh-i-Noor to the man who believes in its deadly prophecy.  Nicholas Drummond, along with his partner, FBI Special Agent Mike Caine, lay it on the line to retrieve the diamond for Queen and country.


THE LOST KEY: A Brit In The FBI #2

Freshly minted FBI agent Nicholas Drummond is barely out of his Quantico training when he and his partner, Mike Caine, are called to investigate a stabbing on Wall Street.  

Their investigation, however, yields more questions than answers. It quickly becomes clear that the victim, John Pearce, was more than the naval historian and antiquities dealer he appeared to be. What Drummond doesn’t know is that buying and selling rare books was Pearce’s cover, and that he had devoted his life to discovering the whereabouts of a missing World War I U-boat concealing a stash of gold bullion, and an unexpected surprise that only raises more questions. When Drummond and Caine find both of Pearce’s adult children have disappeared, the case assumes a new sense of urgency. The FBI agents know their best lead lies in the victim’s cryptic final words—“The key is in the lock.” But what key? What lock?

The search for Adam and Sophia Pearce takes them on an international manhunt, which threatens to run them afoul of an eccentric billionaire industrialist with his own plans not only for the lost gold, but the creation of a weapon unlike anything the world has ever seen.


THE END GAME: A Brit In The FBI #3

FBI agent Nicholas Drummond and his partner, Mike Caine, are deep into an investigation of COE—Celebrants of the Earth—a violent group known for widespread bombings of power grids and oil refineries across the country.

While investigating a tip from a civilian who’s overheard about a possible bombing plot, the Bayway Refinery in New Jersey explodes. Nicholas and Mike race to the scene and barely escape being killed by a secondary device.
 
Returning to the civilian’s home to continue their interrogation, they discover the tipster—and the FBI team left to guard him—dead. While Nicholas calls in the assassinations, COE strikes again, this time launching a cyber-attack on several major oil companies and draining their financial and intellectual assets.
 
But COE has been infiltrated by a deep-cover counterterrorism agent named Vanessa Grace. A bomb-making expert, Vanessa must leave COE and join forces with Nicholas and Mike to stop the organization’s devious plan to assassinate the President. But there’s an assassin on the loose who could tip the scales in COE’s favor, and no one knows his ultimate target, or who has contracted his services.
 
Working with the CIA, the Secret Service, Mossad, MI-5, and even Savich and Sherlock, Nicholas and his team put their lives on the line to prevent another conflagration—and save the President.


THE DEVIL’S TRIANGLE: A Brit In The FBI #4

FBI Special Agents Nicholas Drummond and Michaela Caine are the government’s Covert Eyes—leading a top-notch handpicked team of agents to tackle crimes and criminals both international and deadly. But their first case threatens their fledgling team when the Fox calls from Venice asking for help.

Kitsune has stolen an incredible artifact from the Topkapi Museum in Istanbul, and now the client wants her dead. She has a warning for Nick and Mike: she’s overheard talk that a devastating Gobi desert sandstorm that’s killed thousands in Beijing isn’t a natural phenomenon, rather is produced by man. The Covert Eyes team heads to Venice, Italy, to find out the truth.

From New York to Venice and from Rome to the Bermuda Triangle, Nicholas and Mike and their team are in a race against time, and nature herself, to stop an obsessed family from devastating Washington, D.C.

THE LAST SECOND Giveaway

Who’s in the mood for a giveaway?  1st Place prize: a signed hard copy of THE LAST SECOND and a cool big surprise, 2nd Place prize: a signed hard copy of THE LAST SECOND and a lesser but still cool big surprise, and 3rd Place prize: a signed hard copy of THE LAST SECOND and a little cool surprise. 

About the book:

From New York Times bestselling authors Catherine Coulter and J.T. Ellison comes a riveting thriller pitting special agents Nicholas Drummond and Michaela Caine against the head of a private space agency who has the power to end the world as we know it. 

It’s Bastille Day in France, and the private French space agency Galactus—France’s answer to Space X, owned by the eccentric treasure hunter Jean-Pierre Broussard—has just sent a satellite payload into orbit. Billed as a “communications” satellite, it harbors a frightening reality: a nuclear electromagnetic pulse has been hidden aboard.

In days, when the satellite is in position, Galactus’s head and Broussard’s second in command, Dr. Neveah Patel, will have the power to lay waste to the world with her EMP, and create her own immortality with the Holy Grail––the stones of the heavens and the very treasure Broussard has spent his life searching for.

The countdown has begun, and Special Agents Nicholas Drummond and Michaela Caine will go down to the wire to stop this heinous attack. With their signature “nonstop action with enough realism to keep you thinking and scare the daylights out of you at the same time” (Suspense Magazine), Coulter and Ellison have created a thriller to take you on a breakneck and breathtaking journey.

Giveaway is open to US and Canada residents only. Three winners will be randomly selected. Sweepstakes ends April 1. Good luck!

THE SIXTH DAY - Available Today!

It’s here! THE SIXTH DAY is on sale today at all retailers in all formats!

I’ll be the first to admit, naming the 5th book in the Brit in the FBI series THE SIXTH DAY shows a small lack of foresight on our part, as now that the 6th book is underway, I keep finding myself saving files to the Sixth Day folder. A small price to pay, though, for what I think is the most intricate, intense ride of the series thus far.

Set in London, Nicholas and Mike are up against a villain who thinks he’s a descendent of Vlad the Impaler, and believes the lost pages of the Voynich Manuscript hold the answers to save his twin brother from the grips of severe hemophilia. (Get it - vampires, hemophilia…) Plus, there is some high-tech madness, and a drone army, and falcons named after the original Cabal. Trust me when I say Nicholas and Mike have their hands full. 

You might wonder how Catherine and I cook up these crazy plots. Normally, we meet at her place in California, but for this book, we set up shop in a lovely hotel in Manhattan, with oodles of tea and bacon (the staples of life) being brought by room service, and started throwing ideas against the wall.  We had two basic concepts to start with — the Voynich Manuscript and Vlad Dracul —  and we tossed out plot twists until they began to gel into a plausible story. 

We had so many cool ideas for THE SIXTH DAY I often wondered how we would manage to fit them all in. But we did, and the result is a mind-bending thriller that will leave you breathless. 

A part of this book’s inspiration was a family affair. I have to give props to my dad and my brothers for inspiring the falcons in the book. We were walking on the beach last year and my eldest brother mentioned a documentary he’d seen about a falcon hospital in Saudi Arabia. My dad had forwarded me a story about the French using eagles and falcons to take down drones just days before … and my middle brother mentioned he’d recently seen a story about a Saudi Prince booking seats for 80 of his falcons on board a plane. I was hooked on these ideas and ran to Catherine and said — Roman has to be a falconer. She bought in immediately, for which I will be forever grateful.

In that vein, I also have to give props to Helen Macdonald for her incredible book H IS FOR HAWK (recommended to me years ago by my very first editor, so how’s that for full circle), and Deborah Harkness for introducing me to the Voynich in her incredible DISCOVERY OF WITCHES series. These inspirations truly helped bring this book to life.

Thanks to all!

I hope you enjoy THE SIXTH DAY – let me know what you think!

Get Yours Now!
 

Daily Tao ☯ 5.12.17

Home again, home again, jiggity jig! And let me tell you, I have a couple of very happy cats who’ve been alternately running around in joyful leaps or purring on my lap. Always nice to be wanted, right?

So New York was a monstrous success all the way around. Catherine and I pulled together a solid story and characters for THE BLOOD CABAL. Next week I will take everything we did and put it into a cohesive narrative so we can get this puppy outlined fully. We have the first 6 chapters already set, and wow, this one is so cool! 

Thursday was full from start to finish. Several hours of plotting with CC, then lunch with my publisher and editor at MIRA, which was a blast. I admit, I rather enjoy sitting in a dark wood paneled New York steakhouse plotting world domination. I had a lobster Cobb salad that was divine, too. We are all getting excited for LIE TO ME, and BEA is right around the corner!

I spent part of the afternoon reading a blurb book, then we met up with Catherine for dinner, which was a hoot. Mexican food in New York is interesting, to say the least. I asked for queso and the waiter was confused. Enough said. But the tacos were yummy!

And then we had second dinner with a dear friend who we haven’t seen in months, and that made the trip for us. A long walk back to the hotel, a little blood orange and lemon basil sorbet for dessert, and a well-earned glass of wine topped off a very pleasant evening. I stayed up half the night reading the book I was blurbing—I will absolutely share links when this one comes out. It’s great. 

The flight home was uneventful, happily, outside of the woman who spilled her double vodka on my bag (she was having a VERY bad day). Warm cuddles with the kitties more than made up for that. Tonight, it’s a quick supper party with friends, and then, my dears, I collapse. My doctor (who was my first call upon landing) kindly called in some antibiotics, so this sick puppy should be feeling better in no time. 

Sweet dreams!