Tuesday, March 22, 2016

NBTM Tour: Jump Cut by Libby Fischer Hellmann

Jump Cut
by Libby Fischer Hellmann


GENRE: Mystery



Chicago video producer, Ellie Foreman, has been absent from thriller author Libby Fischer Hellmann’s repertoire for almost a decade. Now she’s back...and soon entangled in a web of espionage, murder and suspicion that threatens to destroy what she holds most dear. Hired to produce a candyfloss profile of Chicago-based aviation giant, Delcroft, Ellie is dismayed when company VP Charlotte Hollander, the architect of a new anti-drone system for Delcroft, trashes the production and cancels the project. Ellie believes Hollander was spooked by shots of a specific man in the video footage. But when Ellie arranges to meet the man to find out why, he’s killed by a subway train before they can talk. In the confusion, she finds a seemingly abandoned pack of cigarettes with a flash drive inside that belonged to the now dead man.

Ellie has the drive’s contents decrypted, but before long she discovers she’s under surveillance. Suspecting Delcroft and the ambitious Hollander are behind it, she’s unconvinced when Hollander tells her the dead man was a Chinese spy. Ellie and her boyfriend Luke try to find answers, but they don’t realize how far into the dangerous echelons of hidden power they have ventured. When Ellie’s daughter is kidnapped and Charlotte Hollander disappears, it becomes terrifyingly clear that Ellie is in way over her head, and more lives are on the line, including her own.

Excerpt One:

Chapter Two


Before my gangstah-rap neighbor emptied his AK-47 into his buddy, the most exciting thing to happen in our village was the opening of a new grocery store. The store hired a pianist who played Beatles tunes, no doubt to persuade shoppers to part with their money more easily. My neighbor, rapper King Bling, was helping his fans part with their money too, but the shooting ended all that. Once he made bail, he moved and hasn’t been heard from since.

And so it goes in my little corner of the North Shore, about twenty miles from downtown Chicago. There are benefits. The King, as he’s known to his disciples, gave our cops something to do besides ticket speeders. And the new grocery store gave me the chance to buy prepared dinners so I could dispense with cooking.

Both of which come in handy when I’m producing a video, as was the case now. We didn’t finish the shoot until seven. I raced up the expressway toward home, dropped into the store, and was eyeballing a turkey pot roast—the only one left—when my cell trilled. I fished it out of my bag.

“Mom, where did you get the shoes?” I heard chatter and giggles in the background.

“What shoes, Rachel?”

“The ones you gave Jackie.” My daughter, Rachel, had successfully, if unbelievably, graduated from college and lived in an apartment in Wrigleyville. Jackie was her roommate. “Everybody thinks they’re awesome.”


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Libby Fischer Hellmann left a career in broadcast news in Washington, DC and moved to Chicago 35 years ago, where she, naturally, began to write gritty crime fiction. Twelve novels and twenty short stories later, she claims they’ll take her out of the Windy City feet first. She has been nominated for many awards in the mystery and crime writing community and has even won a few. *

With the addition of Jump Cut in 2016, her novels include the now five-volume Ellie Foreman series, which she describes as a cross between “Desperate Housewives” and “24;” the hard-boiled 4-volume Georgia Davis PI series, and three stand-alone historical thrillers that Libby calls her “Revolution Trilogy.” Her latest release, The Incidental Spy, is a historical novella set during the early years of the Manhattan Project at the U of Chicago. Her short stories have been published in a dozen anthologies, the Saturday Evening Post, and Ed Gorman’s “25 Criminally Good Short Stories” collection.

* She has been a finalist twice for the Anthony, twice for Foreword Magazines Book of the Year, the Agatha, the Shamus, the Daphne and has won the Lovey multiple times.


Early reviews for "Jump Cut":

"Exceptional... As Hellman’s convincing, conflicted characters face impossible choices, the tension is real and memorable."
Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Hellmann's writing sparkles...plenty of suspense in this richly detailed thriller, but Hellmann’s characteristic wit and warmth are evident, too."

"From spies to drones and hackers, Jump Cut is a heart-stopping tale of corporate espionage that will have you snapping on your seatbelt. The tangled web of international intrigue is riveting. Hellmann is a renowned master of suspense, and her great talent shows in the story’s many rich characters, the beautifully honed paragraphs, and the sweep of her provocative story. A keeper!"
Gayle Lynds, New York Times best-selling author of The Assassins

"With spooks, spies, sudden death and double-crosses, Jump Cut hits all the right notes for a top-notch action thriller. Once again Ellie Foreman is a thoroughly likeable real-world heroine, fiercely protective of those she loves, thrown in at the deep end and swimming for her life. Don’t miss it!"
ZoĆ« Sharp, author of the Charlie Fox series and The Blood Whisperer

"Welcome back Ellie Foreman! Jump Cut rockets to a stunning but thrilling climax… Another winner from the standout Chicago novelist Libby Hellmann."
Paul Levine, author of Bum Rap

"After a long hiatus, Hellmann returns to her Chicago-based sleuth with a chilling tale that may be all too close to the truth."
Kirkus Reviews

Author of Compulsively Readable Thrillers



Interview with Libby Fischer Hellmann

As a kid did you write or make up stories?

I did! I used to go to a playground that had a grassy area. I would collect sticks and stones and build a house with a fireplace in front, and make up all sorts of stories about the people who lived in the house and tended the fire. I was a voracious reader, but I never thought about writing… until I was about 45.

Where does most of your Character inspiration come from?

Do some qualities of your characters come from real people?

I’m sure they do, but I’m not conscious of it. When I begin a new novel, if the characters are folks I don’t know, I write their backstories. It’s all in my imagination, but I know there are pieces of different people I’ve come across. The only character I took from real life was my protagonist’s best friend, Susan. She was my best friend when I started the Ellie Foreman mysteries, but she passed from breast cancer when I wrote the 4th book. After that I sent Ellie on vacation for 10 years. Hmm… now I’m wondering whether there was a connection. Hadn’t thought about it before. Thanks!

What was the inspiration for your book?

I’ve written 13 novels, but the newest one, Jump Cut, is an espionage thriller set in what I call the post-Snowden era. Between 2002 and 2005 I wrote four Ellie Foreman mysteries, Ellie being a Chicago video producer who finds herself investigating murders. After #4, I set the series aside and wrote a number of other novels, including a trio of historical novels and another crime series featuring PI Georgia Davis. Last summer I dipped my toe into World War Two and spy literature with THE INCIDENTAL SPY. It turned out well (you can find it with all the “usual suspects”) so I decided to try a modern day espionage thriller set after the NSA revelations and Edward Snowden’s actions. What brought me back to Ellie, aside from fan requests, was the story. As soon as I knew I was going to write a “post-Snowden” espionage thriller, it was clear Ellie would be the character to anchor it. The fact that she could produce a video for a giant aviation company in Chicago that also manufactures military attack drones and had close ties to the US Defense community sealed the deal.

What is your favorite spot to write?

I write pretty much anywhere, but it feels most comfortable when I’m in my office. Here’s a pic of me doing research on the phone:

What advice would you give budding writers?

  1. Place butt in chair and write for 45 minutes at a time – do not edit.
  2. Edit after 45 minutes. Then edit again.
  3. Join a writers’ group and park your ego at the door.
  4. When you have a finished product, wait a month. Then edit again.
  5. Hire a developmental editor to edit it again.


Libby will be awarding $50 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


  1. Enjoyed reading your interview, thank you!

  2. Are there vocabulary words or concepts in your book that may be new to readers? Define some of those.

  3. Enjoyed the interview! Who designed your cover art? Why did you go with that particular image?

  4. loved the interview and excerpt!

  5. Sounds like a fascinating and intriguing story. I really enjoyed the excerpt.

  6. Really great post! I enjoyed reading it - thanks for sharing :D

  7. Thanks, everyone for your comments. It's a pleasure to be here... Mayor, my cover designed does pretty much all my books; I went with the image of the subway train because it triggers the entire plot. (When you read it you'll see).. Mat T" I dont think I introduce any concepts you haven't heard of before, but you might not have given them much thought. Would be interested in what you think after you read it. "T" -- thanks so much for hosting me. And for the interview questions! Hope you all check it out more closely.

  8. Fun interview, and good luck with the release!


  9. Sounds like a great read, thank you for sharing!

  10. Enjoyed the post, sounds like a great read, thanks for sharing!

  11. Best of luck to you and your book

  12. I love the excerpt. Sounds like a great book

  13. Thanks for being a part of my favorite form of entertainment

  14. Thanks for a great interview

  15. Excellent interview! This book sounds like a very interesting and intriguing read! Can't wait to read this book!

  16. Congrats on the new book and good luck on the book tour!

  17. Happy to be a part of this tour, thank you for sharing!

  18. I have added this book to my TBR list and look forward to reading this book!

  19. Happy Memorial Day! Hope you have a fabulous holiday! Can't wait to read this book!