Hi, Ladies of Mystery, I’m crime novelist Debbie Burke. Thank you to Paty Jager for her gracious invitation to chat with you today. Here’s a little about my main character.
Montana widow Tawny Lindholm is swept up into a terrorist plot when she trusts the wrong man.
After Tawny receives a new smartphone as a gift, she’s baffled. This instrument of the devil behaves as if possessed and she dubs it Lucifer. Enter a dashing widower who offers to help her untangle its mysteries. Lonely and vulnerable after her husband’s death, Tawny falls prey to his charm. She doesn’t realize he is a terrorist who sent her the device as part of his plot to destroy the electrical grid. His target: Hungry Horse Dam where Tawny is a longtime seasonal employee. He sets her up as the scapegoat to take the fall for his crime.
Soon she’s being followed. When she can’t explain large cash deposits, the bank and suspicious feds freeze her money. She’s broke, her family is threatened, and she’s on the run.
Can she turn the devil back on himself to save her own life and prevent a blackout affecting millions?
Are there autobiographical elements?
Tawny’s struggles mirror my own experiences with a frustrating new smartphone.
Fortunately, though, I haven’t met any charming terrorists!
When I was writing the book, news stories about the vulnerability of the power grid kept surfacing. Documentaries exposed how easily a smartphone could trigger a cyberattack that would disrupt electricity to vast swaths of the U.S.
I was onto something timely…and scary.
Tawny may seem like an unlikely thriller hero—an everywoman like your neighbor or coworker—but, with technology intruding into all aspects of today’s life, this scenario could happen to anyone…even you.
Instrument of the Devil is the first book in the Tawny Lindholm Thrillers with Passion series. Toward the end of the book, a larger-than-life lawyer named Tillman Rosenbaum comes on scene to defend her. He’s brilliant, arrogant, and sexy. Their gasoline-and-match chemistry leads into the second book, Stalking Midas, where Tawny goes to work for Tillman as an investigator.
Each book is written as a standalone and can be read in any order but there is an ongoing arc of their stormy relationship.
The series is meant to be entertaining, with fast-moving action, surprise-twist plots, and quirky characters. But it also examines timely issues like terrorism, racism, elder fraud, teen suicide, and a justice system that rarely gives justice.
Please stop by my website: debbieburkewriter.com
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