Guest Post: You Can’t Tell a Book by Its Cover, But You Can Tell a Thriller by Its Villain

February 6, 2012
Giveaway: One signed paperback of Death Wish Three pdf ebook versions of Covert Dreams – enter at the end of the post No one likes villains — or, at least, no one admits to it. But if an author crafts villains carefully, imbuing them with disturbing ambitions, giving them access to the tools and resources they need to wreak their own, personal havoc, and notches their peculiar, twisted natures in just the right way, then we have no choice but to love to hate them. And a great thriller is born. James N. Frey, novelist and writing instructor, explains the villainous nature and the essential role villains play in story structure, in his book, How to Write a Damn Good Thriller.“The villain in a thriller is not just evil,” Frey writes. “The villain is evil right down to the soles of his or her feet.” But he adds, “the villain creates the plot behind the plot — the plot that has to be foiled by the hero — and that… is what thriller writing is all about.”
Dani Author 2 Thumbnailabcefa31913b0a7e9d9afb.l. v155573954_sl200_
Danielle Blanchard BensonMike MarkelMichael Meyer

Today, three indie authors: Danielle Blanchard Benson, author of the paranormal thriller, Death Wish; Mike Markel, author of the detective novel, Big, Sick Heart; and Michael Meyer, author of the internationally set thriller,Covert Dreams will introduce us to the villains who darken the pages of their books and compel their narratives forward. All three authors are featured in “The Last Way Station Mega Book Tour,” a new concept in virtual book touring that showcases indie authors and then involves them in tag-team guest blog appearances, like this one. The tour, named in honor of founder and sponsor, Jon Reisfeld’s book, The Last Way Station, is sponsoring a Sweepstakes that will award a Kindle Fire to its grand-prize winner and a series of ebook bundles to runners up. Click here to learn more about today’s featured authors and the other indie writers on the tour and Click here to enter your name in the Sweepstakes! And now, let’s meet our three villains. Death WishBook Summary. In the very near future, vampires rule the world. They control the pharmaceutical industry, the gaming industry and the world’s six largest economies. But dangerous rifts are forming within their power structure as Day Walkers, a new breed of vampire that can tolerate sunlight and has a dimished taste for mortal blood, begins to displace their sun-shy cousins. As vampire civil war is about to break out, Manon Mourey, a let it ride casino card dealer, discovers she has the ability to turn herself and her newly acquired, extremely powerful, boyfriend, Mikkel into Day Walkers. Author Danielle Blanchard Benson Introduces … Death Wish Villain Zahara Damgaard Zahara Damgaard, Mikkel Damgaard’s former lover, serves as president of the incredibly powerful International Vampire Council. She is a cruel and inhumane creature, who gets off on seeing others suffer. Her often over-the-top behavior and bravado, Danielle Benson says, adds to her villainous appeal but also may cover up a lot of pain. “I want the audience to wonder what has happened in her life to make her so evil,” Danielle says. “I believe there is a wounded aspect to Zahara that may give the audience reason to speculate about what drives her, but not nearly enough to stop loving to hate her. Finally, Zahara never seems to get her ‘just deserts,” further adding to the sense of injustice surrounding every outrageous thing she does. Excerpt From Death Wish: Book I (The Vamp Saga) She glared at me with the most beautiful pale green eyes before turning to Zahara for assistance. “Ignore her, she’s a mortal as well…well, half, at least. Don’t you dare allow her to think she isbetterthan you.” “I am. I have Mikkel, and what do you have? Who is your companion for the night? Your ‘evening snack,'” I replied haughtily. Mikkel chuckled under his breath. “Priceless.” Andrine smiled coldly. “Looks like you have been training her well, brother. She will be quite the formidable adversary when she is turned.” “Don’t bet on it!” Zahara exclaimed harshly. “Don’t forget your place, girl. You are nothing and therefore no one gave you the permission to speak freely. You are in the company of greatness, as is myhuman companion. You’re no different than she is. You are merely a living, breathing blood bank for one of the cruelest vampires who has ever been brought into existence. You aren’t special by a long shot, no matter how much he has tried to convince you differently.” I glared at the woman I had grown to hate in the short time we’d known of one another. “If that is so true, why are you bothering to even argue with a ‘small fry’ like me? I thought I was a bug you could easily squash. Stop treating me like your equal if I’m so insignificant, Zahara. It makes you look foolish and petty. Aren’t you getting a little long in the fangs to be acting like an adolescent bitch?” Her eyes paled and she unsheathed her fangs. “Mikkel, shut your human up before I do it for you.” “Retract your fangs and act like the President you are,” a gentleman with a deep French accent cut in. “This is a civilized vampire function, not a cheesy movie based upon a Bram Stoker novel. That kind of behavior won’t be tolerated from anyone-whether you are President of the IVC or merely a guest.” “Hervé, you know I meant no offense,” Zahara exclaimed, bowing her head in shame.

Big Sick HeartBook Summary. Police Detective Karen Seagate is having a rough time with her family, the police department, and her drinking. A high-profile murder has the Chief breathing down her neck is the last thing she needs, especially when she has a brand new partner, fresh from uniform rank, to break in. The victim, Arlen Hagerty, created plenty of enemies as he clawed his way to the top of his Soul Savers organization. But who would kill a man who was dying anyway? Author Mike Markel on … Big, Sick Heart Villain Arlen Hagerty Arlen Hagerty is the president of Soul Savers, an evangelical organization that saves people, one soul at a time. Where does he find these people? Mostly in the Colorado Springs area, near his organization’s headquarters. Who are they? Mostly runaway girls who need a place to sleep. What does he ask in return? Not that much, really, considering he’s giving them room and board. A little more if he finds them attractive. Excerpt From Big, Sick Heart “Arlen Hagerty laughed all the time, usually right afterhe said something. It was a big, braying, spit-launching cackle. He was a toucher, always grabbing an arm, poking a chest, or slapping a back, like a salesman who was running out of month and hadn’t made his quota. Even with his expensive dark suit, there was no way he was ever going to look like anything other than what he was: a five-four, two-eighty troll with a sweaty scalp shining through a dyed comb over.”

Covert DreamsBook Summary. COVERT DREAMS is an international thriller that roars through London, Rome, Munich, and Saudi Arabia. It is the story of a murder mystery that collides, head-on, with an international conspiracy as elements of parapsychology blur the lines between what’s “real” and “imagined.” Author Michael Meyer Introduces Dr. Harry Folsom, Villain of Covert Dreams “Dr. Harry Folsom, alias Parker, is such a great villain because he believes very strongly in his work, not realizing its pure evil nature. He is committed to what he has been assigned to do, completely oblivious to its diabolical nature. He sees things only through the prism of following directions and performing at his very best. He is meticulous at what he does, fully prepared for any contingency. Hidden from prying eyes in his state-of-the-art facilities in Saudi Arabia, he is able to do what he does best, blindly unaware of its horrifying implications. He is totally committed, and that is what makes him such a scary villain. Excerpt From Covert Dreams Dr. Harry, also known in some circles as “Wholesome” Folsom, but only behind his back, was trembling slightly as he hung up the phone. The call he had just completed to the unknown person in the unknown office of the American embassy in Jeddah had been terse, brutally so. Dr. Harry had put his life into his work, but he now had visions of his project dying a quick death. With all the preparation that had gone into it, the elaborate precautions and concealment, could it be revived elsewhere, if need be? Would the so many meticulous hours of research and practical application and further study and modifications and then rethinking the entire process over, again and again, be lost forever? Or could it be regenerated again, probably back in Munich, despite the shudders that thought brought?

Thank you, Man of La Book, for allowing us to give your readers a peak under the hood of these three, distinctive thrillers. – Jon Reisfeld


  • Give­away ends: Feb­ru­ary 14, 2012

  • US/Canada Ship­ping Addresses Only (for signed copy only)

  • No PO Boxes

  • Win­ners will have 24 hours to write back with their address, oth­er­wise an alter­nate win­ner will be picked

Congratulations: lilchan@, lomazowr@, ritesh.kala@

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  • Maegan MorinFebruary 7, 2012 at 12:41 am

    Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

  • Ritesh KalaFebruary 7, 2012 at 9:59 am

    Great giveaway and post!

  • rhondaFebruary 7, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    thanks for another great giveaway.

  • Lilian ChengFebruary 10, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    thanks you so much for the giveaway!
    my email:
    lilianxcheng AT

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