Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Mistaken by Nancy Thompson: Interview and Excerpt: Partners in Crime Tour Stop


How did you start your writing career? 

My writing career began rather abruptly and wasn’t something I ever aspired to.  It was March 2010; I was 47 at the time—yeah, I’m turning the big 5-0 this year.  I was cruising around in my car when a Thirty Seconds To Mars song I’d never heard before began to play.  The lyrics “Tell me, would you kill to save a life, would you kill to prove you’re right?” struck a chord.  I wondered what could make a truly good man commit a violent crime, and viola, The Mistaken was born.  


Tell us about your current release.

The Mistaken, from Sapphire Star Publishing, is about a man, Tyler Karras, who tries to secure his brother’s freedom from San Francisco’s Russian mafia by promising the sex-traffickers a woman in payment for his brother’s debt.  The woman he pledges is the reckless stranger responsible for his pregnant wife’s death, so Tyler will be killing two birds with one stone, gaining revenge and freeing his brother.  In a haze of rage and alcohol, Ty mistakes the wrong woman for his intended victim, and now he must protect her from the very enemy he’s unleashed, but the Russians are holding his brother as leverage to force Tyler to complete their deal.  Caught in a no-win situation, Ty must find a way to save himself, his brother, and the woman, but with the Russian mafia, even two out of three makes for very long odds.


Tell us about your next release.

My next book is a sequel, tentatively titled Leverage.  Like The Mistaken, it’s a revenge story, but the tables are turned, and, this time, one of the Russians seek revenge against Tyler for the destruction of his organization and the loss of the powerful position he was supposed to inherit.    


What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing your book?

The Mistaken is a very emotional story, so it’s no wonder I experienced the dramatic highs and lows of my characters’ ordeal.  I was surprised, however, by the strong theme of forgiveness that emerged, probably because writing The Mistaken made me deal with a lot of pent up anger and resentment I’d been carrying around for the last thirty years.  In the end, that’s what the book is all about, forgiveness.


What was the scariest moment of your life?

I’ve had several scary moments, including once being in a mall when a plane crashed into it.  But as frightening as that was, there was another even worse, one that spawned the idea for the villains in The Mistaken.  I’d attended a bachelorette party at a suites-style hotel in San Francisco.  Later that night, after all but two of the guests had left, the bride-to-be partook of the evening’s entertainment and had sex with the male stripper.  A week later, I attended her wedding at a Russian Orthodox church in San Francisco’s Little Russia.  At the reception that followed, I was alone in the women’s bathroom when three men entered and cornered me—one was the groom and the other two were his rather large, intimidating “friends”.  The groom informed me that he had heard rumors of his bride’s party the week before and wanted to know what I knew and saw.  I admitted nothing, feeling the need to protect my friend, but he intimated we’d have another conversation if he ever found out I knew more than I’d told him.  That left me quite shaken.  I later told my friend, but I never saw her again after that, choosing to protect my own neck from that point on rather than hers.

Tell us about the absolute BEST fan letter you have received.

So far, I’ve been fortunate enough not to have received any bad reviews.  I did, however, receive an awesome fan letter from Pam Wyse, a reader who “friended” me on Goodreads after reading The Mistaken.  It read in part:  


“What a fantastic novel! I loved it! My eyes are red and swollen from crying. I started it yesterday afternoon and just kept on reading till I was done. I look forward to your next novel.” 

I was blown away that someone would take the time to drop me a line and tell me how much she had enjoyed it and how much it had affected her.  I did a little happy dance after I read it!

Use no more than two sentences. Why should we read your book?


More than just a nail-biting romantic thriller, The Mistaken digs deep and makes you wonder how far you would go for a loved one in the name of personal justice and vengeance.  It also deals with the dilemma of breaking one’s moral code and the value of acceptance and forgiveness, all while riding a wild rollercoaster of emotional and physical peril.


Is there one passage in your book that you feel gets to the heart of your book and would encourage people to read it?  If so, can you share it?


It’s hard to boil it down to one passage, but if I had to, it would be this:


I paced the floor around me, unable—perhaps unwilling—to process the reality of what I had just done—what I almost did—the severity of the mistake I had made, and the dire consequences that now faced me, my brother, and the wounded woman cowering in fear and humiliation in the corner. The reality was that through the hazy cloud of alcohol and pills, I believed delivering a degrading punishment would somehow empower me, fulfill my need for revenge, and expunge the hate, grief, and rage that filled me. I thought my mind might be rewarded with a sense of balance, my soul a thread of justice, and my heart a measure of peace.

But I despised myself for the act. Though I knew the woman must hate me with every fiber of her being, to the very core of her soul, I hated myself more. I was not the man I thought I was. The true measure of a man reveals itself during the darkest moments, and I had proven false to the man I always believe myself to be, to the man Jillian believed me to be. I was an abomination, a monster…

            Whoever said vengeance is sweet was wrong. It’s the thought of vengeance—filtered through memories that haunt and torment—that is sweet. Not the act itself. The act is vile and bitter



Nancy S. Thompson makes her fiction debut with The Mistaken.  She is an interior designer and now an editor with Sapphire Star Publishing.  She and her husband have a college-age son and currently live on Seattle’s Eastside. 

You can find Nancy here:

Blog   Goodreads   Amazon   Twitter   Facebook     

Genre: Psyshological Thriller
Published by: Sapphire Star Publishing
Publication Date: October 18, 2012
Number of Pages: 409
ISBN: 978-1-938404-13-9
Purchase Links:        
Video Trailer: 
Note: Excessive strong language, Graphic violence


Tyler Karras is an honest man, a transplanted Brit living the American dream, but his charmed life takes an unexpected turn when his brother, Nick, is coerced into joining ranks with San Francisco’s Russian mafia. Ty intervenes to secure Nick’s freedom, yet only succeeds in incurring their wrath. With no choice but to accept Nick’s new life, Ty returns to his own, but his dreams are dashed when his wife—pregnant with their first child—is killed, the victim of a reckless crime.

Despondent and bitter, Ty macerates his grief in alcohol. From the depths of the bottle screams a voice, howling for vengeance. His target is a stranger, the woman who drew his wife toward her death. He doesn’t know her, but he’ll find her, and when he does, he will make her pay, for a deal has been struck with Nick’s Russian associates, enslaving her into a life of bondage. But as Ty moves forward in a cloud of alcohol, he mistakes the wrong woman for his intended victim and now all his plans have gone straight to hell.

With his eyes made clear by the stark reality of his mistake, Ty is driven, compelled by remorse and a relentless sense of guilt to make amends and protect Hannah Maguire, the innocent woman whose life he has derailed. He vows to keep her safe and out of the Russians’ hands, but they’re holding Nick as leverage to force Ty to complete their deal and turn over the girl. Once again, he must fight to free his brother, miring all three lives in further jeopardy. But Ty can’t do it all: Save the girl, his brother and his own soul. One of them must make the ultimate sacrifice.

God, I didn’t want to do this. Just thinking about it had my gut tied in knots, but I was out of options. My brother had given me no choice. I was tired of his promises, sick of his attitude, of everything always being someone else’s fault, never his. While my fiancée, Jillian, and I had discussed what I should say to him, I continued to rehearse, point by point, during my short commute home. But who was I kidding? I knew damn well, no matter what I said, my brother would throw every word right back in my face, like he always did. But I didn’t care anymore. After four long weeks, he had overstayed his welcome, and now it was time for Nick to leave.

The confrontation loomed only minutes away, and I was dreading it. And if that wasn’t enough, there was the fog. Cold and persistent, it clung to the road like a drowning man to driftwood. It was the one thing I’d never grown accustomed to here in San Francisco, the summer fog burning off each afternoon only to reappear a few hours later, denser than ever. Add to it the waning twilight and you couldn’t see much at all, just indistinct shapes of black and grey. I could barely make out the colorful Victorian facades standing shoulder to shoulder along my street. The painted ladies simply faded into the mist.

I pulled into my driveway and shifted into park, a long sigh escaping at the thought of what waited for me inside. As I grabbed the roll of blueprints next to me, a movement outside caught my eye, a dark shape on the sidewalk a few doors down, writhing about in the murky shadows. I strained to see what it was, an injured animal perhaps, though it seemed too large for that, at least in this part of The City. Golden Gate Park maybe, but that was blocks away. I snatched my keys from the ignition, shut the door to my truck, and ambled up the front walkway, my gaze fixed on the squirming silhouette. There were no noises or crying that I could hear, but then again, the fog had a way of deadening all sound. After wrestling in the dark with the deadbolt, I shot one last glance over my shoulder then pushed through my front door.

“Nick?” I called out, my keys jingling as I worked them from the lock. “Why are all the lights off?” I switched on the hall light and kicked off my shoes as I waited, but I heard no reply, so I tried once more, only louder. “Nick, you hear me? Where are you?”

A disturbing silence hung in the air, uncomfortable and creepy. Unexpected since my brother was supposed to be home, day and night, no exceptions. He'd recently gotten himself into a heap of trouble, and now there were some large men gunning for a little payback. Par for the course for my little brother. He was always getting into one scrape or another. But this time was different. Nick was scared. Really scared. Scared enough to ask if he could hide out at my place while he tried to straighten out the mess with the men he’d crossed, a gang of Russian thugs from his neighborhood in the Outer Richmond District here in The City. One wrong step, like out the front door, and Nick might not see the light of another day, or so he told me.

I glanced upstairs, but it, too, stood dark and quiet. Something definitely wasn’t right. The hair pricked on the back of my neck, and the knots in my stomach morphed into a swarm of butterflies, all battling to escape. I threw down my keys and blueprints and walked through the house, turning on lights in my path.

“Nick, answer me! Where the hell are you?”

I don't know why I expected a response that third time. Maybe I was just praying for one instead, but the silence was all the answer I received. I stood still, deep in thought, worried about what might have happened. He wouldn’t have left the house, would he? I turned toward the entry hall. Oh God, no. I dashed back out the front door, pausing on the porch as I scanned for the dark form. It was still squirming on the sidewalk, but it appeared even larger now.

The streetlight out front was just beginning to dance to life. Sporadic bursts of pale pink light illuminated two feet as they kicked and twisted in the hazy air. The single shape expanded into three distinct forms—all human—one prone on the ground and two bent above, their arms sawing up and down and back and forth with hands clenched tight into fists.

“Oh, God. Nick!” I sprinted toward them in a panic, anxiety blossoming into fear.

“Tyler!” he wailed, but his cry was cut short by pounding thuds.

The other two men—both built like bulls and panting in exertion—stood up straight. They turned toward me with their fists pulled back. And as the streetlight overhead finally flickered on for good, the one inside my head flashed bright then flamed out.


Tour Participants 
March 1st:  Review & Giveaway~Kate @ Read 2 Review
March 2nd:  Guest Post~Jo @ Writers and Authors
March 4th:  Reviews~Tammy & Kim @ Reviews by Tammy and Kim
March 6th:  Showcase & Interview~Laurie @ Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews
March 7th:  Showcase~Ashley @ Dr. Pepper Diva
March 8th:  Showcase & Interview~Jean @ JeanBookNerd
March 9th:  Showcase~Cheryl @ CMash Reads
March 9th:  Review & Giveaway~ Kristi @ Reading is my Time Out
March 11th:  Showcase @ Omnimystery
March 12th: Review & Interview by Stacy @ Literary Mania Reviews
March 13th:  Review & Giveaway~Nicole @ Bless Their Hearts Mom
March 14th:  Review & Giveaway~Tammy & Michelle @ The Nook Users Book Club
March 15th:  Review & Giveaway~Athena @ The Stuff of Success
March 18th:  Review, Guest Post & Giveaway~Vicky @ Deal Sharing Aunt
March 22nd:  Review & Giveaway~Brittany @ Britt's Book Nook
March 23rd:  Showcase~Gina @ Hott Books
March 25th:  Review & Giveaway~Debra @ The Book Enthusiast


CMash said...

Fantastic interview and post. I found this quite interesting. Thank you for sharing.

Ashley Montgomery said...

Wow! I don't blame you for cutting ties with that friend.

And what a passage! I can't wait to read this.

Nancy Thompson said...

Thanks so much for having me over & allowing me to discuss my book & writing experience. :-)

Mike said...

I actually got to start reading, and after just one chapter, my editor sent me a round of edits. Now my life is on hold again. :( It sounds so intriguing!