Leslie Tentler – Romantic Thriller Author
Leslie Tentler and I are swapping blog spots today! Here, you’ll get to know more about Leslie, her cool genre, her latest awesomely chilling release that I can’t WAIT to squeeze into my reading schedule and you’ll get a chance to WIN Book 3 in her Chasing Evil trilogy. Then, you can hop over to Leslie’s blog and enter to WIN a copy of FEVER.
I’ve been hiding in my prerelease cave, that’s my excuse for being ignorant of the rise in pupularity of this fabulous genre–Romantic Thrillers. Nothing could suit my personal reading preference better. I have to admit, in my free time, I prefer to read thrillers. I like their dark nature, the way the law enforcement characters dig into the uglier side of human behavior. I’m just…odd like that. But as much as I enjoy those elements, I find myself inevitably disappointed over the lack of a romantic element.
Then…I met Leslie, and I discovered this fabulous emerging genere: 75% thriller, 25% romance.
*the heavens open*
*the angels sing*
*my 4 hr drive to work just became a thing of audiobook beauty*
First, let me tell you about Leslie’s latest release.
The writer becomes the story when crime reporter Mia Hale is discovered on a Jacksonville beach—bloodied and disoriented, but alive. She remembers nothing, but her wounds bear the signature of a sadistic serial killer. After years lying dormant, The Collector has resumed his grim hobby: abducting women and taking gruesome souvenirs before dumping their bodies. But none of his victims has ever escaped—and he wants Mia back, more than he ever wanted any of the others.
FBI agent Eric MacFarlane has pursued The Collector for a long time. The case runs deep in his veins, bordering on obsession…and Mia holds the key. She’ll risk everything to recover her memory and bring the madman to justice, and Eric swears to protect this fierce, fragile survivor. But The Collector will not be denied. In his mind, he knows just how their story ends.
Now, a little about Leslie.
Leslie Tentler is the author of the critically acclaimed Chasing Evil trilogy from MIRA Books. Her third novel in the series – Edge of Midnight – was released February 1. Leslie worked in PR as a writer and editor for nearly two decades before pursuing her love of writing fiction. Her Chasing Evil trilogy of romantic thrillers includes Midnight Caller, Midnight Fear and Edge of Midnight. She lives in Atlanta.Leslie, your Chasing Evil trilogy is under the Romantic Thriller genre. This is intriguing to someone like me who loves both thrillers and romance – something a little more intense, a little darker than the typical Romantic Suspense. Does that correlate with the Romantic Thrillers you write? Can you tell us more about this interesting genre?
I’m not sure if “romantic thrillers” are a genre completely different from romantic suspense, but in my mind the stories are definitely dark and intense. And while romance is a strong secondary subplot in all of the Chasing Evil books, the primary focus is on the criminal investigation – the case – that each federal agent is handling. I think the books come close to crossing over into mainstream mystery/suspense, but there is definitely also a romantic entanglement and passion between the two main characters.I do love an FBI hero or heroine, and your Chasing Evil trilogy has three sexy FBI heroes. What intrigues you about writing this type of hero? Can you tell us a little about each of your heroes: Trevor, Reid and Eric?
I’ve always been enthralled with law enforcement heroes. I’m a big fan of good police-oriented dramas and always love it when the police officer or FBI agent’s personal life becomes a part of the story. In the Chasing Evil books, I’ve really tried to create a balance between the procedural investigation aspect and the agents’ emotional lives.
All three heroes – Trevor, Reid and Eric – are intelligent, courageous men, but each is facing his own personal crisis while also handling a high-profile serial murder investigation. Trevor’s story (Midnight Caller) revolves around his painful past and the family he’s forced to reunite with as part of a New Orleans serial killer case. Agent Reid Novak (Midnight Fear) comes from a much more stable family situation, but is recovering from a personal health crisis when he’s called back to duty early to tangle with the copycat of a killer he put away two years earlier.
Agent Eric Macfarlane (Edge of Midnight) is a man on a mission, bent on finding the serial killer who murdered his wife before vanishing. When the same killer resurges in another state nearly three years later, Eric has to balance his drive to capture “The Collector” with the growing feelings he has for the only woman who has ever escaped him, and whose lost memories of her trauma could be the break Eric needs.Reviews for your Chasing Evil trilogy have been stellar, repeatedly declaring it as fast-paced, riveting, chilling and terrifying. These accomplishments take great skill in the areas of storytelling and writing craft. What techniques do you employ to achieve these difficult but necessary elements of an awesome thriller?
Thank you, Joan. I’m so proud of the Chasing Evil trilogy and genuinely appreciative and humbled by the critical praise it’s received. I truly put everything I had into these books.
I honestly believe that for any story, the most important aspect is having characters the reader really cares about. If you don’t have that – no plot or dialogue or action sequence will save you. I have to fall in love with a character before I can truly pour all those hours and effort into a manuscript. I have to care about what happens to them, and if I don’t, well, I’ve got a big problem.
While that’s the most critical aspect, the second part of it is testing them, putting these characters you admire and love into dangerous, unimaginable situations. Especially when it comes to thrillers and suspense, I believe readers want to see characters overcome great obstacles so they have someone and something to root for.
By the way, since each book is about a different agent and a different investigation, it’s perfectly fine to read them in any order.You worked as a public relations writer and editor for many years prior to delving into fiction. How do you feel that aided you in your current career?
I believe that I’m very good at editing myself – I’ve edited others for years – which I think leads to a much cleaner manuscript being turned in to a publisher. And while my past experience has been in non-fiction – developing press materials and ghostwriting countless business articles for executives – you’re still working with words, learning how to create a compelling story. I also learned the “butt in chair” discipline a long time ago, since it’s how I made my living. No typing, no paycheck!Can you give us any little peek into any new projects?
I’m currently working on another romantic thriller that revolves around a homicide detective in Atlanta and his ex-wife, who is an ER physician at a large downtown hospital. While the story focuses on a high-profile case the detective is handling, it is also about what happened to this couple – their shared tragedy – to tear them apart. The story might be a little slower paced than the breakneck speed of the Chasing Evil trilogy, but it also packs a pretty big emotional punch. It’s proving a tough one to write, but I think these characters’ stories are worth telling.Where can we find you online?
Where can we pick up your fabulous books?
Edge of Midnight was released Feb. 1 and is in bookstores now. Here are the links to the books online:
Thanks for having me today, Joan! Best of luck on your upcoming debut!My pleasure, Leslie! So great to meet you and SO looking forward to your books!
You, lucky readers, can WIN a copy of Leslie’s latest release! She’s giving away a copy of Edge of Midnight to one lucky commenter in winner’s choice of ebook or tree-book (tree-book available to US addresses only).
Enter for your chance to win!