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New York Times bestselling author Lee Child and the International Thriller Writers, Inc. present a collection of remarkable stories in First Thrills.  From small-town crime stories to sweeping global conspiracies, this is a cross ...

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First Thrills: Volume 2

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Overview


New York Times bestselling author Lee Child and the International Thriller Writers, Inc. present a collection of remarkable stories in First Thrills.  From small-town crime stories to sweeping global conspiracies, this is a cross section of today’s hottest thriller-writing talent. This original collection is now split into four e-book volumes, packed with murder, mystery, and mayhem!

First Thrills: Volume 2 contains stories six original stories by:

Stephen Coonts

Heather Graham

Wendy Corsi Staub

Kelli Stanley

Grant McKenzie

Ken Bruen

At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.


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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Fan Letter by Lee Child

They say the past is another country, and in my case it really was: provincial England at the end of the fifties and the start of the sixties, the last gasp of the post-war era, before it surrendered to the tectonic shift sparked by the Beatles. My family was neither rich nor poor, not that either condition had much meaning in a society with not much to buy and not much to lack. We accumulated toys at the rate of two a year: one on our birthdays, and one at Christmas. We had a big table radio (which we called "the wireless") in the dining room, and in the living room we had a black and white fishbowl television, full of glowing tubes, but there were only two channels, and they went off the air at ten in the evening, after playing the National Anthem, for which some families stood up, and sometimes we saw a double bill at the pictures on a Saturday morning, but apart from that we had no entertainment.

So we read books. As it happens I just saw some old research from that era which broke down reading habits by class (as so much was categorized in England at that time) and which showed that fully fifty percent of the middle class regarded reading as their main leisure activity. The figure for skilled workers was twenty-five percent, and even among laborers ten percent turned to books as a primary choice.

Not that we bought them. We used the library. Ours was housed in a leftover WW2 Nissen hut (the British version of a Quonset hut) which sat on a bombed-out lot behind a church. It had a low door and a unique warm, musty, dusty smell, which I think came partly from the worn floorboards and partly from the books themselves, of which there were not very many. I finished with the children's picture books by the time I was four, and had read all the chapter books by the time I was eight, and had read all the grown-up books by the time I was ten.

Not that I was unique - or even very bookish. I was one of the rough kids. We fought and stole and broke windows and walked miles to soccer games, where we fought some more. We were covered in scabs and scars. We had knives in our pockets - but we had books in our pockets too. Even the kids who couldn't read tried very hard to, because we all sensed there was more to life than the gray, pinched, post-war horizons seemed to offer. Traveling farther than we could walk in half a day was out of the question - but we could travel in our heads ... to Australia, Africa, America ... by sea, by air, on horseback, in helicopters, in submarines. Meeting people unlike ourselves was very rare ... but we could meet them on the page. For most of us, reading - and imagining, and dreaming - was as useful as breathing.

My parents were decent, dutiful people, and when my mother realized I had read everything the Nissen hut had to offer - most of it twice - she got me a library card for a bigger place the other side of the canal. I would head over there on a Friday afternoon after school and load up with the maximum allowed - six titles - which would make life bearable and get me through the week. Just. Which sounds ungrateful - my parents were doing their best, no question, but lively, energetic kids needed more than that time and place could offer. Once a year we went and spent a week in a trailer near the sea - no better or worse a vacation than anyone else got, for sure, but usually accompanied by lashing rain and biting cold and absolutely nothing to do.

The only thing that got me through one such week was Von Ryan's Express by David Westheimer. I loved that book. It was a WW2 prisoner-of-war story full of tension and suspense and twists and turns, but its biggest "reveal" was moral rather than physical - what at first looked like collaboration with the enemy turned out to be resistance and escape. I read it over and over that week and never forgot it.

Then almost forty years later, when my own writing career was picking up a head of steam, I got a fan letter signed by a David Westheimer. The handwriting was shaky, as if the guy was old. I wondered, could it be? I wrote back and asked, are you the David Westheimer? Turned out yes, it was. We started a correspondence that lasted until he died. I met him in person at a book signing I did in California, near his home, which gave me a chance to tell him how he had kept me sane in a rain-lashed trailer all those years ago. He said he had had the same kind of experience forty years before that. Now I look forward to writing a fan letter to a new author years from now ... and maybe hearing my books had once meant something special to him or her. Because that's what books do - they dig deeper, they mean more, they stick around forever.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429948999
  • Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
  • Publication date: 6/7/2011
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 45,984
  • File size: 453 KB

Meet the Author

Stephen Coonts

STEPHEN COONTS is the author of fifteen New York Times bestsellers, the first of which was the classic flying tale Flight of the Intruder.

Stephen received his Navy wings in August 1969. After completion of fleet replacement training in the A-6 Intruder aircraft, Mr. Coonts reported to Attack Squadron 196 at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Washington. He made two combat cruises aboard USS Enterprise during the final years of the Vietnam War as a member of this squadron. His first novel, Flight of the Intruder, published in September 1986 by the Naval Institute Press, spent twenty-eight weeks on The New York Times bestseller lists in hardcover. A motion picture based on this novel, with the same title, was released nationwide in January 1991. The success of his first novel allowed Mr. Coonts to devote himself to writing fulltime; he has been at it ever since. He and his wife, Deborah, enjoy flying and try to do as much of it as possible.

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author HEATHER GRAHAM was born somewhere in Europe and kidnapped by gypsies when she was a small child. She went on to join the Romanian circus as a trapeze artist and lion tamer. When the circus came to South Florida, she stayed, discovering that she preferred to be a shark- and gator-trainer.

Not really.

Heather is the child of Scottish and Irish immigrants who met and married in Chicago, and moved to South Florida, where she has spent her life. She majored in theater arts at the University of South Florida. After a stint of several years in dinner theater, backup vocals, and bartending, she stayed home after the birth of her third child and began to write. She has written over 150 novels and novellas, including category, suspense, historical romance, vampire fiction, time travel, occult, horror, and Christmas family fare.

She is pleased to have been published in approximately twenty-five languages, and has had over seventy- five million books in print, and is grateful every day of her life that she writes for a living.

The bestselling author of more than seventy novels, WENDY CORSI STAUB has penned multiple New York Times bestselling adult thrillers under her own name and more than two dozen young adult titles, including the current paranormal suspense series Lily Dale, which has been optioned for television. Her latest thriller, Live to Tell, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly and launches a suspense trilogy that will include sequels Scared to Death and Hell to Pay. Under the pseudonym Wendy Markham, she’s a USA Today bestselling author of chick lit and romance.

Industry awards include a Romance Writers of America Rita, three Westchester Library Association Washington Irving Awards for Fiction, the 2007 RWA- NYC Golden Apple for Lifetime Achievement and the 2008 RT Book Reviews Career Achievement Award in Suspense. Readers can join her online at www.WendyCorsiStaubcommunity.com.

KELLI STANLEY is an award-winning author of two crime fiction series. City of Dragons (from Thomas Dunne/Minotaur Books in February 2010) continues the story of Miranda Corbie—private investigator in 1940 San Francisco—ex-escort, and the protagonist of Children’s Day. Kelli’s debut novel, Nox Dormienda, set two thousand years earlier in Roman Britain, won a Macavity Award nomination, and the Bruce Alexander Award for best historical mystery of the year. Kelli lives in foggy San Francisco and earned a master’s degree in Classics. Discover more about Kelli and the worlds she writes about at www.kellistanley.com.

GRANT McKENZIE was born in Scotland, lives in Canada, and writes U.S.-based thrillers. As such, he wears a kilt and toque with his six guns. His debut novel, Switch, was lauded by author Ken Bruen as “Harlan Coben on speed” and quickly became a bestseller in Germany. It has been published in seven countries and three languages so far.

KEN BRUEN was a finalist for the Edgar, Barry, and Macavity Awards, and the Private Eye Writers of America presented him with the Shamus Award for the Best Novel of 2003 for The Guards, the book that introduced Jack Taylor. He lives in Galway, Ireland. To learn more about Ken and his novels go to www.kenbruen.com.


Biography

One of America's premier authors of action-adventure thrillers, Stephen Coonts broke into publishing in 1986 with his national bestseller Flight of the Intruder, hailed as one of the best novels ever written about flying and the camaraderie of men at war.

A veteran naval aviator who flew the A-6 Intruder during the Vietnam War, Coonts has followed his debut smash with many more novels featuring his protaganist Jake Grafton, each full of the riveting action and page-turning suspense that has gained him a legion of loyal fans.

In addition to his Jake Grafton books, Coonts also has written stand-alone thrillers, a smattering of sci fi and nonfiction, and the Deep Black series, which is co-authored with Jim DeFelice.

Good To Know

Coonts once held jobs as a taxi driver, a police officer, and an attorney.

He was a trustee of West Virginia Wesleyan College from 1990-98 and was inducted into the West Virginia University Academy of Distinguished Alumni in 1992.

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    1. Date of Birth:
      July 19, 1946
    2. Place of Birth:
      Morgantown, West Virginia
    1. Education:
      B.A., West Virginia University, 1968; J.D., University of Colorado, 1979

Interviews & Essays

The Fan Letter by Lee Child

They say the past is another country, and in my case it really was: provincial England at the end of the fifties and the start of the sixties, the last gasp of the post-war era, before it surrendered to the tectonic shift sparked by the Beatles. My family was neither rich nor poor, not that either condition had much meaning in a society with not much to buy and not much to lack. We accumulated toys at the rate of two a year: one on our birthdays, and one at Christmas. We had a big table radio (which we called "the wireless") in the dining room, and in the living room we had a black and white fishbowl television, full of glowing tubes, but there were only two channels, and they went off the air at ten in the evening, after playing the National Anthem, for which some families stood up, and sometimes we saw a double bill at the pictures on a Saturday morning, but apart from that we had no entertainment.

So we read books. As it happens I just saw some old research from that era which broke down reading habits by class (as so much was categorized in England at that time) and which showed that fully fifty percent of the middle class regarded reading as their main leisure activity. The figure for skilled workers was twenty-five percent, and even among laborers ten percent turned to books as a primary choice.

Not that we bought them. We used the library. Ours was housed in a leftover WW2 Nissen hut (the British version of a Quonset hut) which sat on a bombed-out lot behind a church. It had a low door and a unique warm, musty, dusty smell, which I think came partly from the worn floorboards and partly from the books themselves, of which there were not very many. I finished with the children's picture books by the time I was four, and had read all the chapter books by the time I was eight, and had read all the grown-up books by the time I was ten.

Not that I was unique - or even very bookish. I was one of the rough kids. We fought and stole and broke windows and walked miles to soccer games, where we fought some more. We were covered in scabs and scars. We had knives in our pockets - but we had books in our pockets too. Even the kids who couldn't read tried very hard to, because we all sensed there was more to life than the gray, pinched, post-war horizons seemed to offer. Traveling farther than we could walk in half a day was out of the question - but we could travel in our heads ... to Australia, Africa, America ... by sea, by air, on horseback, in helicopters, in submarines. Meeting people unlike ourselves was very rare ... but we could meet them on the page. For most of us, reading - and imagining, and dreaming - was as useful as breathing.

My parents were decent, dutiful people, and when my mother realized I had read everything the Nissen hut had to offer - most of it twice - she got me a library card for a bigger place the other side of the canal. I would head over there on a Friday afternoon after school and load up with the maximum allowed - six titles - which would make life bearable and get me through the week. Just. Which sounds ungrateful - my parents were doing their best, no question, but lively, energetic kids needed more than that time and place could offer. Once a year we went and spent a week in a trailer near the sea - no better or worse a vacation than anyone else got, for sure, but usually accompanied by lashing rain and biting cold and absolutely nothing to do.

The only thing that got me through one such week was Von Ryan's Express by David Westheimer. I loved that book. It was a WW2 prisoner-of-war story full of tension and suspense and twists and turns, but its biggest "reveal" was moral rather than physical - what at first looked like collaboration with the enemy turned out to be resistance and escape. I read it over and over that week and never forgot it.

Then almost forty years later, when my own writing career was picking up a head of steam, I got a fan letter signed by a David Westheimer. The handwriting was shaky, as if the guy was old. I wondered, could it be? I wrote back and asked, are you the David Westheimer? Turned out yes, it was. We started a correspondence that lasted until he died. I met him in person at a book signing I did in California, near his home, which gave me a chance to tell him how he had kept me sane in a rain-lashed trailer all those years ago. He said he had had the same kind of experience forty years before that. Now I look forward to writing a fan letter to a new author years from now ... and maybe hearing my books had once meant something special to him or her. Because that's what books do - they dig deeper, they mean more, they stick around forever.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

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4 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2012

    Good short stories

    Entertaining - quick reads. Worth my time.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 28, 2012

    Good

    Was ok

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2014

    N

    Not very interesting.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2012

    Need More Thrills!

    The story by Stephen Coonts was excellent. The others were mediocore at best. There wasn't much of a plot for some of them and others were not engaging. Need more stories well written like Coonts.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2012

    I would not buy either one of these again.

    So bad I din't even read the second one, just not my style.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2011

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    Posted January 5, 2013

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    Posted September 12, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted December 22, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2012

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