by | Nov 28, 2016 | Chris Goff, The Writer's Life | 8 comments

by Christine Goff

Rogue Women Writers at ThrillerFest

With Thanksgiving behind us and the holidays fast approaching, I want to take time out to say how grateful I am for my fellow Rogue Women. Writing is at times a lonely business, and it’s even lonelier when you’re a woman writing espionage and political thrillers. In a genre dominated by men, its true there is strength in numbers. I’m thrilled to be counted among them!

The best news is—everyone has great books out, available for holiday gift-giving!

Gayle Lynds is not only a New York Times bestselling author, she is one of the most generous and genuine women you will ever meet. We first met bobbing around the Biltmore pool at the inaugural ThrillerFest, held in ’06 in Phoenix, Arizona. I was published in traditional mystery, but wanted to transition thrillers. I will never forget how she helped me brainstorm that day, or mentored me over the years, or how she stepped right up and offered to read my book for a cover quote. The Associated Press aptly called her “a master of the Modern Cold War spy thriller.” Her latest novel, THE ASSASSINS came out in hardcover and e-book in 2015, but the paperback just hit the stands in June.

Former spy Judd Ryder is walking home when he spots a man wearing his clothes and who looks just like him. Moments later the imposter is killed in a vicious hit-and-run that’s no accident. Was the double the intended victim, or Judd himself?

Karna Small Bodman is always quick to step up and pitch in to help in the success of Rogue Women Writers, and she’s a tremendous resource for Washington “insider” information. Her books are inspired by the six years she served in the White House, first as Deputy Press Secretary, and later as Senior Director and Spokesman for the National Security Council where she was the highest-ranking woman on the White House staff. As Nelson DeMille said, her work is “frightening with the crystal ring of truth.” Her latest novel, CASTLE BRAVO, deals with a threat to national security that was and still is very real.

White House Director of Homeland Security, Samantha Reid, receives intelligence about a possible new threat to the country’s national security: a hostile enemy intends to detonate a small nuclear device over the U.S. that would literally send shock waves across the country, knocking out the electricity grid and setting us back to the year 1910!

Jamie Freveletti has taught me a lot about the business end of writing—something for which my husband is eternally grateful. This Barry award winning and internationally bestselling author of the Emma Caldridge series, Jamie also writes for the Estate of Robert Ludlum’s Covert One series, is smart, creative and often the voice of reason. According to Book, her “grasp of fast-action suspense and understanding of international politics, as well as martial arts combat training, brings real-life action to a continuance of Robert Ludlum’s original creations.” It’s high praise for her latest novel, THE GENEVA STRATEGY.

On one evening in Washington, DC, several high-ranking members of government disappear in a mass kidnapping, including Nick Rendel, a computer software coding expert in charge of drone programming and strategy. Armed with his knowledge, the kidnappers could reprogram drones to strike targets within the United States.

Francine Mathews has been a friend for—well, a really long time! When our children were little, we lived in the same small mountain town and our kids attended the same school. Several years before we met, I had discovered her Nantucket Mystery series and fell in love with her writing. She has always been supportive, encouraging and she sets the bar high–inspiring me to be a better writer. A former intelligence analyst at the CIA, she brings an authenticity to her work that is beyond compare. Her Nantucket series is being re-released, while her latest standalone, TOO BAD TO DIE, received a starred review in Publisher’s Weekly and was a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice pick.

November, 1943. Weary of his deskbound status in the Royal Navy, intelligence officer Ian Fleming spends his spare time spinning stories in his head that are much more exciting than his own life…until the critical Tehran Conference, when Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, and Josef Stalin meet to finalize the D-Day invasion.

Sonja Stone writes the kind of books I wish were around when I was a young adult. I feasted on Nancy Drew before graduating to Agatha Christie and Helen MacInnes, but Sonja’s book DESERT DARK is totally kick-ass. And Sonja is the most daring of us all. To get her facts right, she attended survival school (the same one where Tom Hanks prepared for Cast Away. While there she learned to throw knives, fire guns and navigate the desert—all while raising two covert agents masquerading as teenagers. She’s my hero!

Blacklisted by her ex-boyfriend, sixteen-year-old Nadia Riley transfers to an elite boarding school hidden deep in the Sonoran Desert. Turns out, it’s a top-secret training facility for the Black-Ops Division of the CIA. When she’s framed for treason, Nadia’s situation takes a deadly turn: the real double agent will stop at nothing to remain concealed—including an attempt on Nadia’s life.

K.J. Howe has to be the most organized of all of us. She not only is launching her debut thriller, THE FREEDOM BROKER, in February, but she is the Executive Director of ThrillerFest and RWW’s liaison to all thing tchotchke—hats, mugs—and she knows everybody! #1 New York Times Bestseller James Patterson says, “THE FREEDOM BROKER combines terrific thriller writing and fascinating research about hostage rescues. This is fact and fiction at its best.” I couldn’t agree more. This book is out in February, but it’s available for pre-orders.

There are 25 elite professionals who travel undercover to the deadliest spots in the world to bring hostages home safely by any means necessary. Only one of those 25 elite response consultants is a woman. She brings everything a man does to the job as well as her intuition. She is the inspiration behind professional kidnap negotiator Thea Paris. 

S. Lee Manning brings ideas and enthusiasm. She has embraced her fellow RWW members as family and keeps us on task, providing the much needed ideas for our blog posts and giveaways. Formerly the managing editor of Law Enforcement Communications, she worked as a lawyer before tackling her first in the Kolya Petrov series, TROJAN HORSE. Orphaned when her publishing house closed pre-publication, she has great quotes from the likes of Gayle Lynds and Steve Berry, and we can’t wait until this book finds a home.

And me—my thriller, DARK WATERS, featuring DSS Agent Raisa Jordan is still on the shelves. Set in Israel in the midst of the Palestine-Israel conflict was called “Absolutely masterful” by Manhattan Book Review. The sequel, RED SKY, will be hitting the stands in June 2017. It is available to pre-order today.

More than anything, all of us are so grateful for all of you. Thank you for reading the Rogue Women Writers blog. Thank you for coming out and supporting us at events and signings. And, most of all, thank you for reading our books. We hope you’ll keep coming back. We have some great things in store for you in 2017!

What has been your favorite blog topic this year? Anything you’d like us to talk about?

Don’t Miss a Thing!



  1. Karna Bodman

    Chris – What a wonderful tribute to the Rogue group — thank you so much for reviewing all of our books, especially now before the Holidays. We are all waiting for the release of your new novel, RED SKY, which I know will be just as terrific as your former endeavor. It's been an exciting and rewarding experience to be a part of this Rogue group of writers – and as for favorite blogs (in addition to recipes, which are always fun to share), I've learned so much about various weapons, strategy and research as various thrillers are put together, and I look forward to reading and sharing many more adventures with this group in 2017!

  2. Jamie Freveletti

    Thank you Chris! Congratulations on all the great nominations for DARK WATERS and Happy Holidays!

  3. Gayle Lynds

    Wow. What a terrific description of our Rogue Women and our work. I'm so proud to be a member, too — and delighted we're friends!

  4. KJ Howe

    I'm very touched by the effort and care you put into everyone's details, Chris. You are such a kind and warm person, and I'm honored to have gone Rogue with you. Thanks for all your kind support!

  5. S. Lee Manning

    Thank you, Chris. I'm also so thankful to be a member of Rogue Women Writers. It is an honor to be with such great writers.

  6. Francine Mathews

    Let's put all these books into a holiday gift basket, Women, along with some stocking stuffers, and have a Giveaway!
    Merry, merry!

  7. Chris Goff

    I meant every word, and I love the HOLIDAY GIFT BASKET idea, Francine.

  8. Sonja Stone

    Aww, thanks, Chris! I too am flattered and honored to be part of this amazing group of trailblazing women!