Barnes & Noble
Published by: Bell Bridge Books
Release Date: February 16, 2015
Everyone laughs at what Southerners call a “snowstorm.” A half-inch of the white stuff, and Atlanta panics.
No one’s laughing this time.
For Atlanta executive J. C. Riggins, the epic storm is only one of the killers he’ll have to face as he undertakes a desperate journey. There’s also conflict behind the scenes at The Natural Environment Television Network (NE-TV) in Atlanta.
Do they go public with a prediction of a historic snowstorm (social media is already atwitter)? Or do they follow a more conservative, meteorologically responsible route?
The tension in BLIZZARD builds until the very end, hurling the reader through surprising twists and turns.Add on Goodreads
"A terrific book."
—Deborah Smith, New York Times best-selling author
" . . . made my toes tingle with frost bite."
—Jeanie, a reader
"Full of twists and turns."
—readers on Amazon
Behind the Scenes
I never set out to write a trilogy.
But after the success of Eyewall, my debut novel in 2011, I began to think about it. I wasn’t contemplating a trilogy in the sense of having the same characters in three different books, but of using three different major weather events as the settings for the books.
Eyewall centered around a Category 5 hurricane smashing into the Georgia coast. I figured the next logical step from that was into “severe weather”--severe thunderstorms and tornadoes. Thus was born Supercell, a drama set against tornado chasing on the Great Plains. The novel did well and became a finalist in the 2015 Electronic Publishers Industry Coalition eBook award competition.
With hurricanes and tornadoes out of the way, the remaining big weather event that jumped out at me was a blizzard. I mentioned the idea to an editor at BelleBooks, Deborah Smith. “I’m going to have my hero battling his way from Point A to Point B through a big New England blizzard,” I said.
“Why New England?” she asked. “Blizzards are nothing new to folks there. They’re used to them. Why not set the novel in the South where a storm like that would be truly unique?”
Duh. Why didn’t I think of that? I guess because I’d spent twenty years in New England and was comfortably familiar with “blizzard country.”
But setting the story in the South where snowstorms are rare--and blizzards even rarer--made a lot of sense. Atlantans go crazy at the mere mention of snow flurries, so imagine what fun a novelist could have with a Southern blizzard! Besides, I’ve now lived in the South longer than I did in New England.
As it turns out, had the novel been set in New England, it likely would have been buried by the reality of the record-setting snowfalls that slammed the region at the same time the book was released in early 2015.
So, on a couple of levels, the southern setting worked out better
By the way, while the books I write are fiction, they are not science fiction or fantasy. They’re grounded in real meteorology. The events depicted, while improbable, are not impossible. As I novelist, I’m just stretching the envelope of reality to the ripping point.
I hope you enjoy my “weather trilogy”
— Blizzard, Supercell and Eyewall.
American-International Systems Solutions, Inc. (AISSI)
North Metro Atlanta, Georgia
Wednesday morning, December 28
JONATHAN CARLTON Riggins, J.C. to his friends and family, stepped out of the elevator on the
tenth floor of corporate headquarters. He checked his watch. Eight a.m. Right on time. He stopped
at the desk of the CEO’s assistant, Mary Hawthorne.
“Good morning, Mary. Hope you had a pleasant Christmas.”
She nodded but didn’t return the greeting. In fact, she appeared strangely dour.
“FedEx should be here around ten o’clock to pick up the proposal,” J.C. said, deciding not to
probe into Mary’s personal feelings. “Eight copies. Mr. Billingsly will sign them out—”
“He’d like to see you.” Something flashed in her eyes. A warning. A prophetess bearing a dire
Her tacit alert seemed so palpable J.C. actually glanced behind him, wondering if someone
dressed as the Grim Reaper might be creeping up unseen.
“I just need to stop by corporate communications first—”
“Now,” she said, her voice low. “He wants to see you now.”