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Showing posts tagged: Jon Land click to see more stuff tagged with Jon Land
Jul 30 2017 9:05am

Jon Land Excerpt: Dark Light: Dawn

Jon Land

Dark Light: Dawn by Jon LandDark Light: Dawn by Jon Land is a heart-pounding supernatural thriller about a deadly, global epidemic and the man who holds the power to either save the world or destroy it (available August 1, 2017).

Since the dawn of time good and evil have challenged the free will of man. Now the time has come for one man to choose for all human kind.

With an uncanny ability to survive any combat situation, Max Younger has built a heroic life for himself as a Navy SEAL. That is, until a rogue rescue operation plunges him back into a past he thought he’d escaped forever.

Waiting for him back home in New York are terrible, long-hidden truths rooted in the tragic death of his father. But the origin of those truths lie even further back than that, and Max finds himself ensnared in a sinister plot involving nothing less than the biblical apocalypse.

The explosive conflagration of events reunites him with the only woman he ever loved: Victoria Tanoury a brilliant infectious disease specialist working for the World Health Organization, who’s on the front lines in a battle to stop the spread of a deadly pestilence threatening the planet. Max’s reunion with Vicky comes amid a combat mission, in which their dual quests merge in a desperate fight for survival against forces of unspeakable evil.

Across the globe, inexplicably diabolic events are rising, sparked by a fearsome plan to visit the End of Days upon civilization in horrific form, as the lines between science and superstition become increasingly blurred. Max finds himself mired in a titanic struggle within his own soul, between love and hate, unsure whether his ultimate fate is to help fight the evil. . . or embrace it in the shadow of the Dawn of a Dark Light.

[Read an excerpt from Dark Light: Dawn...]

Jul 17 2017 1:00pm

2017 Thrillerfest Wrap Up

This year's Thrillerfest was a blast! Hosted at the Grand Hyatt in New York City, it was five glorious days of meeting authors, hearing their stories, getting advice and writing tips, and schmoozing with authors, industry, and fans alike.

Criminal Element was lucky enough to be there for it all, and in case you missed it, we streamed a few of the best panels on Facebook Live! Watch some great interviews with authors like Lee Child, Steve Berry, Kathy Reichs, Lisa Gardner, Karin Slaughter, and more:

[Videos, pictures, and winners, oh my!]

Jan 18 2017 12:00pm

5 New Books to Read this Week: January 17, 2017

Every Wednesday, we here at Criminal Element will put together a list of Staff Picks of the books that published the day before—sharing the ones that we are looking forward to reading the most!

This week, we get new thrillers from Gregg Hurwitz, Heather Graham and Jon Land, and James Patterson and Candice Fox. See what else the week brought for books!

[See this week's Top 5...]

Jan 11 2017 10:00am

The Rising: New Excerpt

Heather Graham and Jon Land

The Rising by Heather Graham and Jon LandThe Rising by acclaimed thriller-suspense novelists Heather Graham and Jon Land is a story of action, mystery, and the endurance of young love (available January 17, 2017).

Twenty-four hours. That's all it takes for the lives of two young people to be changed forever.

Alex Chin has the world on a plate. A football hero and homecoming king with plenty of scholarship offers, his future looks bright. His tutor, Samantha Dixon, is preparing to graduate high school at the top of her class. She plans to turn her NASA internship into a career.

When a football accident lands Alex in the hospital, his world is turned upside down. His doctor is murdered. Then, his parents. Death seems to follow him wherever he goes, and now it's after him.

Alex flees. He tells Samantha not to follow, but she became involved the moment she walked through his door and found Mr. and Mrs. Chin as they lay dying in their home. She cannot abandon the young man she loves. The two race desperately to stay ahead of Alex's attackers long enough to figure out why they are hunting him in the first place. The answer lies with a secret buried deep in his past, a secret his parents died to protect. Alex always knew he was adopted, but he never knew the real reason his birth parents abandoned him. He never knew where he truly came from. Until now.

[Read an excerpt from The Rising...]

Dec 14 2016 3:30pm

The Rising by Heather Graham & Jon Land: A Visual Guide

GIFnotes: Giving you the basic plot summary of an upcoming book with the help of the Graphics Interchange Format.

This week, from acclaimed thriller-suspense novelists Heather Graham and Jon Land comes a story of action, mystery, and the endurance of young love in The Rising—take a visual tour with GIFnotes!

[Like CliffsNotes, but more fun...]

Oct 7 2016 3:30pm

“Strong Cold Daiquiri” Cocktail

The powers of science can can be used to good ... or for evil. 

Thankfully, the powers of flavor have come together for delicious in this week's Pick Your Poison—where we create a cocktail inspired by a recently published mystery, thriller, or crime novel—the “Strong Cold Daiquiri,” inspired by Jon Land's 8th Caitlin Strong novel, Strong Cold Dead!

[Check out the recipe below!]

Oct 5 2016 11:00am

5 New Books to Read this Week: October 4, 2016

Every Wednesday, we here at Criminal Element will put together a list of Staff Picks of the books that published the day before—sharing the ones that we are looking forward to reading the most!

This week marks the return of Aurora Teagarden after a 13-year hiatus as well as a new Vera Stanhope mystery and Caitlin Strong novel! See what else you'll be reading this week:

[See this week's Top 5...]

Sep 30 2016 12:30pm

The 12 Best Book to Film Adaptations

Read this exclusive guest post from Jon Land, author of Strong Cold Dead, and make sure you're signed in and comment below for a chance to win the latest Caitlin Strong novel, a bookmark, and a beverage coozy!

Since this is Criminal Element, after all, let’s confine our list to thrillers: action, crime, psychological, political, and horror.

[See what made the list!]

Sep 27 2016 9:00am

Strong Cold Dead: New Excerpt

Jon Land

Strong Cold Dead by Jon LandTexas Ranger Caitlin Strong returns in Jon Land's Strong Cold Dead, a thriller with heart-stopping action and a high-stakes terrorist plot (Available October 4, 2016).

The terrorist organization ISIS is after a deadly toxin that could be the ultimate weapon of mass destruction. The same toxin holds the potential to eradicate cancer. There is a frantic race to see who can get to it first, even as Caitlin Strong begins to assemble the disparate pieces of a deadly puzzle.

At the center of that puzzle is an Indian reservation where a vengeful tycoon is mining the toxin, disguising his effort as an oil-drilling operation. This is the same reservation where Caitlin’s great-great-grandfather, also a Texas Ranger, once waged a similar battle against the forces of John D. Rockefeller.

In her highest-stakes adventure yet, Caitlin Strong faces off against a host of adversaries that just might include the beautiful Comanche girl with whom the son of her ex-outlaw boyfriend Cort Wesley Masters has fallen in love, along with a mythic monster culled from Native American folklore that the tribe believes has risen to protect its land. The lives of those Caitlin loves most are threatened by the villains she’s pursuing; her own moral code is challenged. The fate of both the country and the state she loves are dangling on the precipice of a strong cold death.



“What ’xactly you make of this, Ranger?”

Texas Ranger Steeldust Jack Strong looked up from the body he was crouched alongside of—or what was left of it. “Well, he’s dead all right.”

The male victim’s suit coat had been shredded, much of the skin beneath it hanging off the bone. He’d worn his holster low on his hip, gunfighter style, and his pearl-handled Samuel Walker Colt was the latest model, updated from the one Jack Strong had used since joining the Texas Rangers after the Civil War.

[Read the full excerpt from Strong Cold Dead...]

May 26 2016 11:00am

Now Win This!: True Crime Thursday Sweepstakes

Sometimes, real life is scarier and stranger than fiction—find out how by registering to win these 8 true crime tales for True Crime Thursday, here at CrimeHQ!

Click here to enter for a chance to win!

This is NOT a Comments Sweepstakes. You must click the link above to enter.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. A PURCHASE DOES NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING. Sweepstakes open to legal residents of 50 United States, D.C., and Canada (excluding Quebec), who are 18 years or older as of the date of entry. Promotion begins May 26, 2016, at 12:00 pm ET, and ends June 9, 2016, 11:59 am ET. Void in Puerto Rico and wherever prohibited by law. Click here for details and official rules.

[Register to win 8 great titles!]

Mar 7 2016 12:30pm

Takedown: New Excerpt

Jeff Buck, Jon Land and Lindsay Preston

Takedown: A Small-Town Cop's Battle Against the Hells Angels and the Nation's Biggest Drug Gang by Jeff Buck, with Jon Land and Lindsay Preston, is the harrowing account of one cop's work to uncover a complex chain linking the Hells Angels biker gang to the Russian Mafia in a plot to use Native American tribal land to smuggle billions of dollars of drugs (Available March 8, 2016).

Jeff Buck thought he'd seen it all. Twenty years working undercover in the netherworld of drugs had left him burned out and grateful to assume the quiet job of police chief in the small town of Reminderville, Ohio. That is, until a simple domestic assault case turns out to have links to the murder of a drug runner in upstate New York and a syndicate smuggling billions of dollars in drugs across the U.S.-Canada border.

As Buck reluctantly plunges back into his old world of death and deceit, he uncovers a complex chain linking the Hells Angels to the Russian Mafia in a plot to use Native American tribal land to smuggle their deadly wares into the United States. From grow houses set ablaze in Quebec to the insular St. Regis Mohawk Indian Reservation, from board rooms and biker wars to the frozen rivers that serve as private turnpikes for the drug gangs, Buck opposes a serpentine criminal enterprise that has every reason to want to end his crusade in violence and bloodshed.

Ultimately, his efforts lead to an unprecedented slew of indictments on both sides of the border and prison terms for even the kingpins, toppling an empire once deemed invincible. Takedown spans the period of December 2007 to June 2009.

[Read an excerpt from Takedown here...]

Oct 13 2015 10:00am

Strong Light of Day: New Excerpt

Jon Land

Strong Light of Day by Jon LandTexas ranger Caitlin Strong is involved in an international plot rooted in secrets from the Cold War in Strong Light of Day, the seventh installment of Jon Land's New York Times bestselling Caitlin Strong series.

Caitlin Strong is a fifth generation Texas Ranger as quick with her wits as she is with her gun. Over the years she's taken on all manner of criminals and miscreants, thwarting the plans of villains to do vast damage to the country and state she loves. But none of that has prepared Caitlin for an investigation that pits her against ruthless billionaire oilman Calum Dane, whose genetically engineered pesticide may have poisoned a large swath of the state.

How that poisoning is connected to the disappearance of thirty high school students from a Houston prep school, including the son of her outlaw lover Cort Wesley Masters, presents Caitlin with the greatest and most desperate challenge of her career. As if that wasn't enough, she also has to deal with a crazed rancher whose entire herd of cattle has been picked clean to the bone by something science can't explain.

The common denominator between these apparently disparate events is a new and deadly enemy capable of destroying the US economy and killing millions, a foe it will take far more than bullets to bring down. There's yet another player in the deadly game Caitlin finds herself playing: Russian extremists prepared to seize an opportunity to win a war they never stopped fighting.

Caitlin's race to save the United States weaves through the present and the past, confronting her and Cort Wesley with the most powerful and dangerous enemies they've ever faced, human and otherwise. The Cold War hasn't just heated up; it's boiling over under the spill of a strong light only Caitlin can extinguish before it's too late.



Caitlin Strong stopped her SUV at the checkpoint on Route 83 heading toward Crystal City. The sheriff’s deputy approaching her vehicle seemed to recognize her as soon as she slid down her window, well before he could see her Texas Ranger badge. He was an older man, long and lean, with legs crimped inward from too much side-to-side stress on his knees while riding horses.

“You got no call to be here, Ranger,” the deputy said, having clearly been warned to expect her, his light complexion a rosy pink shade from the sun and heat.

[Continue reading Strong Light of Day by Jon Land!]

Oct 8 2015 3:00pm

11 Must-See Thrilling Movie Scenes

Join author Jon Land for his 11 must-see thrilling movie scenes, and after you've read and watched, comment for a chance to win a finished copy of Strong Light of Day, Jon's 7th mystery featuring Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong, which is due in stores on October 13, 2015! 

1) True Romance: How can a scene that opens with Christopher Walken deadpanning “I’m the anti-Christ and you got me in a vendetta kind of mood” not be brilliant? But what follows is actually classic, one of a kind stuff. Two great actors going head to head with as drop-dead great dialogue as Quentin Tarantino has ever written, trading barbs until Dennis Hopper goes one up on the man he knows who is going to kill him no matter what. He wins by losing, turning the tables on his tormenter in a scene that feels fresh no matter how many times to watch it. 

[What's next?]

Jul 10 2015 11:00am

CraftFest: Day Two

The second day of CraftFest is technically CareerFest, with two tracks: one for independent (self) publishing and the other for traditional publishing. As I am yet unable to split myself in twain like a liver fluke and inhabit two spaces at once, I visited the first panel of the indie track and the second panel of the traditional track and found both very engaging. The indie track panel was moderated by Jon Land and included Liliana Hart (NY Times bestselling writer of the J.J. Graves series) and Dan Slater (Amazon Publishing) among the panelists. The audience was smaller and less savvy, asking more basic questions, mostly about promotion and the ever elusive “how do I reach readers who want to read my book?”

As given by the panel, the correct answer was: if you can figure that out you’ll have every author and publisher eating out of your hand, because it’s the most difficult part of publishing, whether you are an independent or one of the Big Five. Liliana Hart laid it down best: when you publish independently, you are the CEO of your own small business. You’re in charge of publicity, design, editing, and so on, unless you hire out for those responsibilities. She doesn’t do blog tours, for example, because she decided that her time was better spent writing. You’re your own boss, but you’ll only succeed if you push yourself. That will sound familiar later…

The traditional track panel had R.L. Stine (Goosebumps), Kathy Reichs (Bare Bones and the Bones TV series), Heather Graham (author of over 100 novels and novellas), and Steve Berry (The Templar Legacy among others). Four publishing powerhouses who didn’t have good news for the audience. “Write what you love,” Steve Berry said, “because this is a miserable experience. There’s a lot of negativity.” He mentioned that it took 12 years and several rejected novels before he was published. One of the best things about ThrillerFest is that there is no frontery here, and writers freely talk about the grim realities of the business of writing, and if you want to succeed, it is certainly a business. All four panelists said agents are a must for a traditionally-published author, and even if you manage to get a deal without one, you should have one to negotiate your contract. Steve Berry, who's also a lawyer, said that publishing contracts are among the most “onerous and one-sided” he’s ever seen, but can be tilted in the author’s favor… if you ask. You need to know what to ask for, and how to ask, so having someone experienced on your side is a must.

Both career tracks concentrated on the work, and the idea that writing commercial fiction successfully is a full-time job. The indie publishers said they were finishing books in 3 months. That felt rushed, until Kathy Reichs said that she writes a script, a YA novel, and an adult novel every year, which gives her about 4 months per work. There’s no gravy train with biscuit wheels for the writer.

However, there is plenty of fun to be had at ThrillerFest. For example, if you have questions only an FBI Agent can answer, there’s one staked out in a lounge ready to hear them. Agent Jeff McCrehan was fielding questions from Brad Parks (author of the Carter Ross mysteries and general bon vivant) and others, and we chatted about my hometown of Nutley, New Jersey's famous crooks, such as the wily Martha Stewart (last year’s agent specialized in securities fraud, and had worked her case). Tomorrow, join me for the first day of ThrillerFest!

Thomas Pluck writes unflinching fiction with heart. He hosts Noir at the Bar in Manhattan. You can find him online at and on Twitter as @thomaspluck.

Apr 1 2015 10:30am

Black Scorpion: The Tyrant Reborn: New Excerpt

Jon Land

Black Scorpion: The Tyrant Reborn by Jon Land picks up five years after Michael Tiranno saved Las Vegas, and now he's tasked with bringing down a international human trafficking organization (available April 7, 2015).

Five years have passed since Michael Tiranno saved the city of Las Vegas from a terrorist attack. And now a new enemy has surfaced in Eastern Europe in the form of an all-powerful organization called Black Scorpion. Once a victim of human trafficking himself, the shadowy group's crazed leader, Vladimir Dracu, has become the mastermind behind the scourge's infestation on a global scale. And now he's set his sights on Michael Tiranno for reasons birthed in a painful secret past that have scarred both men.

Already facing a myriad of problems, Michael once more must rise to the challenge of confronting an all-powerful enemy who is exploiting and ravaging innocents all across the globe and has set nothing less than all of America as its new victim. Black Scorpion has also taken the woman Michael loves hostage: Scarlett Swan, a beautiful archaeologist who was following the dangerous trail of the origins of the ancient relic that both defines and empowers Michael, a discovery that could change history and the perception of mankind's very origins.

With the deck and the odds stacked against him, Michael must come to learn and embrace his true destiny in becoming the Tyrant reborn as a dark knight to triumph over ultimate evil and stop the sting of Black Scorpion from undermining all of the United States and plunging Las Vegas into chaos and anarchy.

[Start reading Black Scorpion: The Tyrant Reborn...]

Mar 31 2015 2:00pm

Now Win This!: Unleash the Beast Sweepstakes

It’s all about survival of the fittest, and if you want to make it out alive, you’ll heed caution to these seven wild books!

Click here to enter for a chance to win!

This is NOT a Comments Sweepstakes. You must click the link above to enter.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. A PURCHASE DOES NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING. Sweepstakes open to legal residents of 50 United States, D.C., and Canada (excluding Quebec), who are 18 years or older as of the date of entry. Promotion begins March 31, 2015, at 3:00 pm ET, and ends April 14, 2015, 2:59 pm ET. Void in Puerto Rico and wherever prohibited by law. Click here for details and official rules.

[Hear me roar!]

Oct 3 2014 9:00am

Villains in Fact and Fiction

The world changed seismically for thrillers on 9/11.  All of a sudden, the dastardly plots and cunning villains that had been a staple of the genre dating back to Ian Fleming had been outdone by reality. Although both Thomas Harris and Tom Clancy had written books foreshadowing that fateful day, nothing could prepare for us the actual sight of watching the Twin Towers fall. Other factors surely contributed to the genre’s decline in popularity (that was reversed abruptly with the publication of The Da Vinci Code in 2003), but watching what had previously been confined to our imaginations in fiction unfold as fact certainly played a major role. 

Reality, after all, is a tough act to follow.

And now another set of villains of the type normally confined to our imaginations has surfaced in the form of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), a terrorist army whose brutality knows absolutely no bounds and whose appetite for depravity is utterly startling. ISIS and their shadowy leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, encapsulate our worst fears while maintaining the kind of ironic hypocrisy more typical of fictional villains. Al-Baghdadi’s thugs proudly behead American journalists to punish the much-hated West, while al-Baghdadi himself preaches to the faithful wearing a Rolex watch.

So what’s a thriller writer to do? How do we match in fiction what has become the daily lead story in fact?

[How can we stand out and also blend in?]

Sep 24 2014 10:30am

Fresh Meat: Strong Darkness by Jon Land

Strong Darkness by Jon Land is the sixth mystery featuring the gunslinging Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong (available September 30, 2014).

I used to read Robert Ludlum novels and marvel when I reached the end of them that every word of fiction I’d just read could have happened. That’s exactly the way I felt when I finished Strong Darkness by Jon Land. Describing it brings to mind all kinds of book-review clichés, but it’s a really good book so I won’t bore you with that.

This is the sixth book in a series that features a character who’s resilient enough to carry it through many more books. A fifth-generation Texas Ranger, Caitlin Strong is beautiful, mean, a great shot, and hates bad guys enough to pursue them to their finish. She embodies her last name. To her boss’s deep regret, she like gun battles and frequently finds herself dodging bullets and emptying clips.

[Once upon a time in Texas...]

Apr 6 2013 8:30pm

2013 ’s Thriller Award Nominees

The International Thriller Writers (ITW) have announced their shortlists for 2013's Thriller Awards to be announced at this year's ThrillerFest.

Best Hardcover Novel

The Trinity Game by Sean Chercover
Spilled Blood by Brian Freeman
Catch Me by Lisa Gardner
The Survivor by Gregg Hurwitz
Defending Jacob by William Landay

Best First Novel

Don't Ever Get Old by Daniel Friedman
The Professionals by Owen Laukkanen
The Expats by Chris Pavone
The 500 by Matthew Quirk
Black Fridays by Michael Sears

[See the Rest of the Shortlist!]

Jul 15 2012 12:00pm

Strong Vengeance: New Excerpt

Jon Land

Strong Vengeance by Jon LandStrong Vengeance by Jon Land is the fourth Caitlin Strong, Texas Ranger thriller (available July 17, 2012).

1818: In the Gulf waters off the Texas coast, the pirate Jean Lafitte and his partner Jim Bowie launch an attack on the Mother Mary, a slave ship carrying an invaluable treasure.

The Present: Fifth-generation Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong finds herself investigating the murder of the oil rig crew that had found the long-lost wreckage of the Mother Mary. The crew also uncovered something else beneath the surface of the sea—something connected to a terrorist attack about to be launched by a mad American-born cleric who has recruited an army of homegrown terrorists.

Gulf waters off the coast of Texas, 1821

“Give me our bearings, Mr. Jeffreys,” Alfred Neal, captain of the Mother Mary, asked his first officer.

Jeffreys met Neal’s gaze with his hooded eyes, then once more con­sulted his map in the light shed by a lantern hanging from a pole. “The fog’s waylaid my direction, but  we’re steering on course, Captain.”

The massive four-masted schooner creaked through the murky night, clumsily negotiating the Texas coast’s swampy channels. Low-hanging cypress branches scraped at the multidecked galleon’s sails, as gators darted back up on sodden land to avoid her lumbering menace. The fetid heat and stagnant air left the sweat to soak through the woolen jackets and cotton breeches of the men standing on the bridge, further attracting hungry mosquitoes fat with blood. The buzzing, blood-crazed swarms hung over the deck, thickening as the night wore on, perhaps having summoned more of their hungry brethren from the nearby shores.

“We’d best hope so,” Captain Neal grunted and rotated his spyglass again. But the night yielded nothing through the dense fog other than stagnant water the color of tea from fallen leaves both clinging to the surface and lining the bottom. Besides the gators, packs of swimming nutria, and an occasional night heron, the only signs of life the Mother Mary had encountered since nearing the Texas shores was an Indian paddling an old pirogue carved out of a tree trunk. And that was precisely the point, given the nature of the cargo now contained in the hold be­low. That much Neal had fully expected; it was the passenger who had boarded at the same port that had taken the ship’s captain by surprise.

“This is the right channel, sir,” Jeffreys resumed, returning his map to his belt pouch. “I’m sure of it.”

“You’d better be,” came the voice of that passenger from the other side of the bridge. Both Neal and Jeffreys watched the squat bulbous form of the man who said his name was Quentin Cusp step into the thin light cast by the lantern. “It’ll mark the end of your days on the seas if you’re wrong. Both of you.”

[Read the full excerpt of Strong Vengeance by Jon Land]