How far would you go for someone you love? How much hate would you need to commit murder? Revenge. Hate. Fear. Not exactly traditional wedding gifts. But when convicted killer Ian Patterson escapes from prison, operating room nurse Annie Collins and fiancé assistant district attorney Angel Cisneros are forced to confront these realities head on. Will Ian Patterson’s quest for revenge toward the two people responsible for sending him to prison—Annie Collins and Angel Cisneros—bring them face to face to settle the score once and for all? Find out why Kirkus Reviews calls The Burden of Hate, “A thriller that offers a master class in suspense.”
The Burden of Hate (An Annie Collins Mystery)
by Helen Starbuck
Category: Adult Fiction (18+), 216 pages
Publisher: Routt Street Press
Release date: March 2020
Format available for review: print (USA and Canada), ebook (Gifted Kinde, PDF), audiobook (audible download)
Content Rating: R. Several explicit sex scenes, profanity, medical scenes
Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ Audible
B&N ~ BAM
Helen Starbuck is a Colorado native, former OR nurse, and award-winning author of the standalone romantic suspense novel Legacy of Secrets, and the Annie Collins Mystery Series. She loves mysteries, suspense, romance, and any book that is well written. She’s a huge fan of books with independent, strong, women characters and, as Neil Gaiman says, “…stories where women save themselves.”
Connect with the author: Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~Instagram ~ Pinterest ~ Goodreads
Guest posts by Helen Starbuck
- What was the first book that made you realize reading meant a lot to you?
I’ve read for pleasure since I was a youngster. I realized around the age of thirteen, that reading had the power to take me out of my life and show me different worlds. I was a big fan of the classics—Pride and Prejudice, Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre—and also more contemporary fiction like the Nancy Drew Mysteries and Daphne Du Maurier.
I write mystery and romantic suspense books and I loved that Nancy and the women in the other books were so resourceful, inquisitive, and smart, which is why I write about strong, resourceful, women. I want my heroines to solve problems and not rely on men as rescuers. I want my male characters to be supportive partners, but I don’t want my female characters to need them to get the work done. I like men who are not threatened by strong women.
- What’s the story behind your story?
The story that sparked the idea for, The Mad Hatter’s Son, the first book in my mystery series was a patient that I helped care for many years ago. I’m an operating room nurse and while caring for this young woman, who exhibited puzzling neurological symptoms that took a long time to diagnose, I thought it would make a great story. My novel is not about this patient, but rather the symptoms and the difficulty diagnosing my character.
Annie Collins, the narrator and main character in the series, is an OR nurse too and her friend Libby Matheisen is ill. When her illness is chalked up to postpartum symptoms, Annie must find out why she is ill and commits suicide. Annie does this despite those around her discouraging her.
The decisions we make have consequences that we may not expect. Over the course of the series, the consequences of Annie pursuing answers to Libby’s death ultimately result in Annie and her lover being targeted and nearly killed by the person responsible for her friend’s death. As the last line in The Mad Hatter’s blurb says, “Friends change, love betrays, and the end results are never what you imagine.”
- What are the challenges of the writing life and how you overcome them?
Editing the first draft (and the second and…) is always hard work. I like to send the drafts out to my beta readers to find holes in the plots and issues with the story.
For example, the ending to an early draft of The Burden of Hate (book #3) received a resounding thumbs down from one of my trusted beta readers and my editor, so I changed it drastically. The book was given a stared review by Kirkus. The other challenge is knowing when enough is enough and halting my endless editing. That can induce paralysis and result in the book never seeing the light of day. To overcome both of these, I need and depend on objective feedback.
- What does your desk look like and why?
My desk is often cluttered with research notes, photos that represent both the characters and locations around town that I write about, notebooks that I record interview information from experts with whom I consult and from courses that I’ve taken. There’s the usual scattering of pens and paper, although I write on my laptop not by hand. I have a couple of African violets sitting in the window, which is also often occupied by Bubba, one of my cats. My other cat, Bean, is usually sitting in my lap or lying in front of my laptop, ‘helping’ me write. I suppose the ‘why it looks like this’ is lack of organization and wanting familiar things around me and, in the case of notes, having them readily accessible. Bare, organized desktops intimidate me.
- How do you stay inspired and how can other writers can do the same?
Overhearing a conversation, seeing a photograph, walking and letting my mind wander, listening to music, and attending writing retreats and seminars are all sources of inspiration. Often ideas come to me when I least expect it. I draw from my nursing and writing background, my love of reading, and my counseling psychology degree to flesh out my characters.
You’d be surprised how these things can trigger ideas about your WIP or a new book. That’s what I would recommend to other writers. It’s a matter of paying attention to the world around you and other peoples’ artistic creations.
Follow the Tour
Jan 13 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book review of The Mad Hatter’s Son / giveaway
Jan 13 – Literary Flits – books spotlight / giveaway
Jan 14 – CorinneRodrigues – book review of The Mad Hatter’s Son / giveaway
Jan 14 – She Just Loves Books – audiobook review of The Mad Hatter’s Son / giveaway
Jan 15 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book review of No Pity in Death / giveaway
Jan 15 – Books Lattes & Tiaras – book review of The Mad Hatter’s Son / giveaway
Jan 15 – Bound 4 Escape – audiobook review of The Mad Hatter’s Son
Jan 18 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book review of The Burden of Hate / giveaway
Jan 19 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author blog – book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 19 – – She Just Loves Books – audiobook review of No Pity in Death / giveaway
Jan 19 – Bigreadersite – book review of The Mad Hatter’s Son
Jan 20 – Locks, Hooks and Books – audiobook review of The Mad Hatter’s Son / giveaway
Jan 21 – Olio by Marilyn – book review of The Mad Hatter’s Son / giveaway
Jan 22 – CorinneRodrigues – book review of No Pity in Death / giveaway
Jan 25 – StoreyBook Reviews – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Jan 26 – Bigreadersite – book review of No Pity in Death
Jan 26 – She Just Loves Books – audiobook review of The Burden of Hate / giveaway
Jan 27 – Locks, Hooks and Books – audiobook review of No Pity in Death / giveaway
Jan 28 – Olio by Marilyn – book review of No Pity in Death / giveaway
Jan 29 – Books Lattes & Tiaras – book review of No Pity in Death / giveaway
Jan 29 – Bound 4 Escape – audiobook review of No Pity in Death
Feb 1 – Books and Zebras @jypsylynn – book review of The Burden of Hate / giveaway
Feb 1 – Sadie’s Spotlight – book spotlight / giveaway
Feb 2 – CorinneRodrigues – book review of The Burden of Hate / giveaway
Feb 2 – Bigreadersite – book review of The Burden of Hate
Feb 3 – Locks, Hooks and Books – audiobook review of The Burden of Hate / giveaway
Feb 3 – Pine Enshrined Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Feb 4 – Olio by Marilyn – book review of The Burden of Hate / giveaway
Feb 5 – Books Lattes & Tiaras – book review of The Burden of Hate / giveaway
Feb 8 – fundinmental – book spotlight / giveaway
Feb 8 – Bound 4 Escape – audiobook review of The Burden of Hate
Feb 9 – Adventurous Jessy – book review of The Burden of Hate / giveaway
Feb 9 – Stephanie Jane – book spotlight / giveaway
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