Sunday, December 13, 2020

Book Blitz and Giveaway: A Shattering Glimpse by Nicole Putter

Title: A Shattering Glimpse
Author: Nicole Putter
Publication Date: December 10th 2020
Genre: Romantic Thriller

The dreams: For years, Claire Baxter has been haunted by ceaseless dreams of an FBI Agent.

The dilemma: She has no idea who he is or if he even exists.

The death: Right before she’s set to graduate from college, a dream reveals him dying in a brutal explosion.

One touch and not-so-normal Portland girl, Claire Baxter, can get a glimpse of your nearby future. She considers nothing about her clairvoyance a gift, it’s a curse, to say the least. Her parents raised her with the rule that she is to keep the secret at all cost, leaving little room for relationships of any kind. As if the burden isn’t enough, FBI agent Byron Black becomes the phantom of a series of sinister dreams.

The night before her final college exam, she has another dream, except in this one, he dies in a nuclear explosion. Does he exist? Will she find him? If so, can she save the countless lives affected by a blast that can crush steel like it’s a piece of paper, or… is this something her lost, psychic mind conjured up? 

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The moment Claire’s break started, she slipped into the booth beside Leanne. Her roommate now knew about her superpower, too. One night during sophomore year, after one too many glasses of sweet wine, she had dragged the secret out of Claire. Being a great friend, Leanne had appointed herself a fierce protector of the clandestine information. Claire had never told Ted, though, but she couldn’t wait any longer. “I dreamt of him again last night.” 

“What’s new?” Brent chuckled.

“No, this time was different.” Claire’s chin dropped to her chest. “I saw him dying.”

Brent and Leanne’s eyes widened. Ted frowned.

“I’m going to find him. I always knew there was a reason that I kept seeing him, and I think this is it. I have to warn him.” She kept her voice low to prevent the other customers from overhearing. Question marks appeared in their eyes. Yes, it was a potent bomb to drop out of the blue.

“How did he die?” Leanne asked.

“Wait,” Ted interrupted. “Can someone please explain to me what’s going on here?” 

“Clairy,” Brent ignored his boyfriend, “you don’t even know if he’s real.” 

“He is real,” Claire argued.

“Honey,” Leanne pulled her into a side hug, “it might seem real to you, but that’s only because he’s been such a big part of your life for so long. Maybe you want it to be real.” 

“Have you ever found him on Facebook or Instagram?” Brent asked.

“Can someone please explain to me what the hell is going on here?” Ted threw his arms in the air.

“Sshhh… Keep your voice down.” Leanne glared at him.

“Claire can predict the future,” Brent whispered. “When she touches you, that is. Not more than a day or two. Since she was 14, she has been dreaming about Byron Black. Her theory is that they are all visions of his future, but she has no idea who he is, or if he’s real.”

“What?” Ted exclaimed, followed by a loud yelp. “What was that for?” He glowered at Leanne who gestured with her hand to lower his volume. Leaning closer, he continued, “Sorry. So, you wanna tell me if you’ve seen into my future?”

“Well, not really, I have a few times. I saw you and Brent kissing before it happened.” Claire winked. “Have you never noticed how I avoid touching people?”

Ted nodded. “Yeah, I always thought you were a germophobe. Now it all makes sense… Why you’re not good with people ‒ I mean, other than us… Why you shy away from big crowds and parties…. Hell, I would do that, too, if I saw the future every time I touched someone.”

“It doesn’t happen every time,” she clarified. “I don’t befriend people because I don’t want anyone to know about my gift.” She turned to face Brent. “Anyway, to answer your earlier question: No, I’ve never found him on social media. He’s an FBI agent. I doubt he wants to be visible anywhere, but…” She pursed her lips. “I think I’ve found his sister.”

“Claire,” the manager called, gesticulating to his watch. “Break’s over.”

“Okay, I have to go, but I’ll see you guys tonight. I’ll come to your place.” She excused herself and returned to the counter.

Time dragged by at the speed of a tortoise with a limp as Claire worked her shift. On any other day, she enjoyed her job since she loved cooking and experimenting. Technically, she wasn’t a cook, only a barista, but she knew exactly which drink complimented which pastry, and she often assisted in the kitchen.

Every five minutes she checked the minute arm on the wall clock behind her, which didn’t seem to move at all. And it didn’t quite help that the place was a ghost town, given most students had already gone home for the summer. At a nearby table, a professor was reading a newspaper, sipping his coffee. While she restacked the cups, her eyes scanned the cover: 

President Cahill’s Opinion on Ballistic Missiles 

The headline spurred an urge to grab it from his hands. It was too related to her dream to ignore. She neatened her apron, slowly squashed the impulse and decided to search for it online after her shift.

How Close Is a Cure for Cancer?

Space and Time Travel: Literary Devices or Reality? 

Tech Genius Edward Tomb explores
Nicole Putter is the author of the Shattering Series and several short stories. She completed four creative writing and journalism courses with honours between a successful career in finance. When she’s not writing fiction, she blogs about her passion for books and writing. She’s also happily married, and a proud mom of one son and a Jack Russel Terrier named Striker. 

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Why a romantic thriller?
by Nicole Putter

Is romantic thriller even a genre or is this a meta genre? Romantic suspense seems to be the more accepted term but even that doesn’t have a perfect definition. I have scoured the internet and I couldn’t really find a definitive answer. Most would agree that the plotline should include equal parts love story intertwined with mystery and intrigue.

Iconic romantic suspense writer, Sandra Brown, tells Novel Suspects in an interview that the heroes should be reluctant allies against a common threat or enemy who desire each other, badly. Some underlying truth, such as fireman vs arsonist, should make it impossible for them to act on the desire. She says that the suspense is posed as a question early on which goes unanswered for as long as possible. 

This definition from a trained hand in the genre sheds a little more light on the structure. I agree with her, but I have to add that I don’t think romantic thrillers and romantic suspense are necessarily the same thing. Here’s my personal take on it and the reason why I chose this genre.

The romance

I’ll admit, I’m been a sucker for a budding attraction since I can remember. Whether in books, movies or television, I can’t resist. But romance plots can sometimes feel unoriginal when it’s a simple love triangle or forbidden due to classism or emotional unavailability. This is where I like to add the element of surprise and uncertainty. The reader should feel a constant ambiguity due to components other than the norm.

In ‘A Shattering Glimpse’ Claire has been dreaming about this man since she was fourteen years old. Due to her psychic condition she doesn’t pursue many relationships and forms a bit of an obsession with the man from her dreams. She has no idea if he’s real or if it’s something she dreamt up out of utter loneliness and boredom. 

A romantic suspense constitutes equal parts romance and suspense while romance takes the passenger seat in a romantic thriller. The romantic plotline should still form an integral part of the story, but the thriller should dominate. Also, a happily ever after is not a certainty.

In many ways I think ‘Gone Girl’ by Gillian Flynn could also qualify. A large part of Amy’s diary entries in part I of the story, tells a romantic tale without a definite conclusion. In the 2010 film ‘The Tourist’, starring Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie, the romance is seamlessly woven into the thriller plot where spies rope an unsuspecting tourist into their search for a thief.

The thrills

In all the abovementioned examples, the story is told through the eyes of an unreliable narrator that keeps the reader guessing about both plots for as long as possible. Unreliable narrators are remarkable literary tools for grabbing and retaining attention.

As mentioned, I love a good romance, but I can’t deny a twisted and suspenseful thriller that will keep me reading through the night. Whether it’s a whodunnit or the perverse life of a serial killer, there’s nothing more satisfying than getting swept up into shocking twists and turns.

While thrillers come in a wide variety, certain elements should be present to qualify: Danger, excitement, suspense and mystery. In my opinion, this should be the focus of a romantic thriller. As Brown suggested, in romantic suspense novels, the heroes will work together in trying to solve the mystery or defeat the threat. This is not necessarily the case in a romantic thriller, in my opinion.

Love can often be the cause or give rise to the thrilling events as is the case in the novel ‘Verity’ by Colleen Hoover. ‘A Shattering Glimpse’ follows somewhat of the same recipe but I can’t say too much without giving anything away. 

This testimonial from award-winning thriller author, Andrew Salomon will give you more or less of an idea: “The novel deftly manages to combine both thriller and fantastical genres, along with a good dollop of romance, and without resorting to clichés and sentimentality. This is a significant achievement, and the reader is skilfully drawn into a love story intertwined with murder, interwoven with a special agent thriller.”

Deviating from the norm

To create something a little more original, I had to deviate slightly from the norm of romantic suspense and fast paced FBI thrillers. It was a risk but so far, the response has only been positive. I tried to combine both genres in way that could fulfil both readerships without overcompensating. I enjoy romance and thrillers and I felt a lack of stories that effortlessly merge the two. As Toni Morrison once said, “If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.”
Win a $20 Amazon gift card and an eBook of both A Shattering Secret and A Shattering Glimpse by Nicole Putter!
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  1. I like the cover. It has very nice artwork.

    abfantom at yahoo dot com

  2. I love novels surrounding a secret.

  3. Cool book cover and the book sounds great. Thanks.

  4. I like the cover and would love to read it . It sound like an exciting story.

  5. The cover is pretty neat!

  6. How long did it take you to write your book?

  7. Fantastic cover! It suits the description of the book well. I have a feeling that I will love this book.

  8. Thank you so much for sharing sounds great!

  9. sounds like a fun one

  10. Sounds great! Love the cover - very unique!

  11. Sounds like a great read 😀. Happy holidays.

  12. I like the beautiful artwork on the cover. Thanks for the giveaway!

  13. The cover is dark and mysterious.