Monday, December 2, 2013

Writing on the Edge

Congratulations to "Brooke", the winner of Tiffinie's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!

I love not knowing what's going to happen when reading a book, and sometimes in life. There is nothing that makes me glued to the page, or keyboard, than not knowing how characters are going to get out of deadly situations. Have you ever talked out loud to the TV or at the book you are currently reading? "Oh, no, don't go there!" is a statement I always directed at the writer of a particularly good suspense when I can't conceive of how the writer is going to get the characters out of the situation.  Yet, when the writer "goes there" I love it!

I'm one of those annoying people who always know who the killer is way before everyone else. My family hates to watch movies with me. I am sworn to keep my mouth shut during the movie or I don't get any popcorn.

When I write, I have a general (very loose) idea of where we're going, but not how we're going to get there or how to survive the journey—and many of my characters don't survive the journey. That's right, I kill people for a living. It's my favorite thing to do. I'm awful, horrible, downright nasty, and my characters (the smart ones) quake in my presence. At least, I like to think so. In reality (what's that?) they are really the ones who toy with me.

Speaking of games: My latest book, DEATH CACHE, was released on Black Friday and plays very well into what I'm talking about here.

The blurb:

She shouldn't have played… 
Gallery owner Tern Maiski has always had a way with men, but the one she gave her heart to disappeared without a word. Now he's competing alongside her and four others in a high-tech treasure hunt, and her pride isn't the only thing on the line. So is her life.  

He doesn’t play by the rules… 

Geophysicist Gage Fallon's relationship with Tern has been cataclysmic from the beginning. He cared too much, too fast and their passion threatened to consume him. Now he's back on firmer ground and competing in a game that will risk more than his heart.

Once their group is dropped off in a remote area near the Arctic Circle, it quickly becomes clear that instead of hunting for treasure, they're the ones being hunted. And the killer is dead serious about caching them in.

This book is my most thillerish. When I started DEATH CACHE, I had the characters and the premise. I didn't know who was going to live or who was going to die, let alone who the killer was. I was just as surprised as the reader hopefully will be. It kept me pounding away on the keyboard, excited every day to write this book and find out whodunit. Also, how in the world were my hero and heroine going to get together if they did actually survive.

Now this writing process is not only exciting, but it's frustrating as hell. There are times when not having a clue, stumps me and I can't write at all. Those are very dark days, my friend. My agent is trying to get me to move into the camp of the plotters so she can sell me on proposal. That sounds great (in theory) but takes the fun out of writing on the edge.

Here is snippet of DEATH CACHE:

He pulled her to her feet and kept pulling until she was pressed up against him. “And you’re right. You scare the shit out of me.” His hand came up and framed her face, the other anchored behind her back keeping her close. “But I scare you too.”
Before she could protest, his lips seared hers. Heat erupted between them and flushed her body with enough warmth to melt the glacier they stood precariously on.
Oh God, she’d missed him. The way their bodies naturally curved together, the way her insides liquefied in readiness for him, and the way his body hardened to steel. She’d loved his body, the way it was roped with muscle, how his strength made her feel feminine and protected. She’d loved lavishing attention on his body for hours on those lazy days when they didn’t get out of bed. Her fingers itched to touch his skin again, feel his flesh hot under hers as he—
“I’m not the only one who wants to do wicked things,” he murmured, his voice husky with arrogance. He nipped the skin below her ear, and licked the sting.
Her fingers curled into his shirt for a moment, and then she pushed him away. He slipped on the ice and fell on his ass at her feet. She stood over him, part of her enjoying the view, the other part already missing the heat of his hands.
“The wicked things I want to do involve sharp imple­ments.” She brushed her hands over her clothes as though that would erase his touch and how he made her feel. “I found the cache. You can carry it back to camp.”
Trying to look as if she wasn’t running away, Tern took her time and carefully watched her footing as she de­scended the ice. She could hear Gage cursing behind her as he struggled with the cooler and his slippery toehold on the glacier.
Served him right for putting the moves on her, like he had to disprove her earlier statements. There was no way in hell she was afraid of him.
A shiver caught her by surprise.

DEATH CACHE is set in a very remote part of Alaska, which is saying something as most of Alaska is remote. I would like to hear about the most remote place you have ever visited and what your impressions were. 

I will be giving away a digital copy of DEATHCACHE to one lucky commenter.

You can find Tiffinie's books at the following places:

Author Bio:
USA Today Bestselling Author Tiffinie Helmer is always up for a gripping adventure. Raised in Alaska, she was dragged "Outside" by her husband, but escapes the lower forty-eight to spend her summers commercial fishing on the Bering Sea.

A wife and mother of four, Tiffinie divides her time between enjoying her family, throwing her acclaimed pottery, and writing of flawed characters in unique and severe situations.


Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST Dec. 3rd. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email with a subject title of JRS GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.


  1. Good morning! Thank you for the excerpt and the giveaway. :)

    Devil's Kettle waterfall in Judge Magney State Park (extreme northern Minnesota near the BWCA) is the most remote area I have ever hiked into. The waterfall is only accessible on foot and although it is only a little over a one-mile hike, it is difficult terrain, requires climbing up/down a couple HUNDRED stair steps and is packed with wildlife. You pass wolf and bear scat and feel like you are hiking in an earlier time era. The waterfall is a natural anomaly and there is currently no satisfactory geological explanation for the Devil's Kettle, which heightened the "spookiness" of being so far from civilization for me!! It is beautiful and well worth the hike . . . but frightening, too.

    You are a new author for me, Tiffinie, and I am excited to read your stories!

    Enjoy your day!


    1. Kimberly, Devil's Kettle sounds like my kind of place! I also love Minnesota and the people who live there. Thank you for the new place to check out and I hope you enjoy my books.

  2. This sounds like a great book.I love getting on here and finding new authors and there books.I wanted to take a moment to thank you all and for the giveaways.It's great love this site.Debra Stolhand (

    1. Hi Debra,
      This is a great site to find new authors. I've picked up a few that are now on my auto buy list!

  3. I love reading her books and can't wait for the newest!

  4. I enjoy her writing style and the right amount of humor and romance. Keep up the great work.
    Roxanne (

  5. Sometimes I can figure out the killer or bad guy early on... I love it when it takes me to the end of the book to finally see who is behind it all! Thanks for sharing a bit about DEATH CACHE!

  6. I haven't been to any really remote places. Thanks for the excerpt. Sounds like a great book. I will definitely put it on my "to be read" list. Thank you for the opportunity!
    rachaelybrown at att dot net

  7. Re-reading Shiver now. I would love to complete my collection with Death Cache. Reading Tiffinie's books makes me want to visit Alaska -- in the summer, though.

    1. There is beauty to be found in winter! Nothing compares to the magic of the Northern Lights, and the snow stays white and pretty with all the cold. It doesn't get a chance to melt. :)

  8. I had the great pleasure of reading an arc copy of this fabulous book. It kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. I love a book that lets me keep guessing until the very end. There are some wonderfully tender moments in this book also. And of course all the smexiness that Tiff brings to each of her books. One of her best!

  9. This book is fantastic on so many levels. Love story is hot! The suspense will have you on edge both anxious and dreading the turn of the page!!!
    Love love it!

  10. The most remote place I have been was back in the 50s to the Rocky Mountains in BC Canada. Then, the road was narrow and the rocks huge, and my Uncle's house was the only one for miles.


  11. I like to be surprised when I read. I am one of those annoying people who often believes a book or movie to be interactive.


  12. Great interview! You are a new to me author, love finding them!! Your new book sounds really great, I can't wait to read it. Will be putting it on the ever growing wish list. Thanks for the chance to win.

    mlawson17 at Hotmail dot com

  13. The most remote place I've been is outside of Green Ricer, Wyoming. Two friends and I ventured out to the Wild Horse Loop. That isn't so remote... what was remote was when we decided to go off the main road on a two track. The land wasn't near as flat as it looked. For almost four hours we were lost in an area that looked just the same as the next. After about three hours we made it to a high enougg point to make a call to my hubby to let him know our general area and to call for help if he didn't hear from us by nightfall. We weren't too worried as we had blankets, water and snacks if we had to spend the night in the truck. Just before dusk we suddenly popped back out on the road. It was a great adventure and I was able to get some amazing photos of the horses and landscape.

    Death Cache is now on my TBR list. It looks like a great read. Thank you for the giveaway and introducing yourself to us.

    Julie O (a fellow movie talker)
    jo1963jo at gmail dot com

    1. Julie, I have been to Green River, Wyoming! A lot of people get lost in that area. At least you were prepared with supplies. So many people venture into these remote areas and aren't prepared and it turns out badly for them.

    2. Isn't it beautiful out there? And one should always be prepared and if not at least stay with the vehicle. I always feel badly when I read a news report about someone injured, or worse, when simple supplies and knowledge could have kept them safe.

    3. So very true! My grandpa told me (growing up in Alaska) that if I broke down in my car, I was 15 minutes from dying. I never go anywhere without survival gear in the trunk of my car. But then I did grow up a little different. It's come in handy more times than it should.

  14. Wonderful excerpt...thank you for sharing!

    brookeb811 at

  15. Interesting blurb

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  16. Sounds good, I would love to win...thanks for the


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