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Fall Spotlight: A.J. Scudiere

A.J. Scudiere blends suspense with riveting tension and mesmerizing twists and turns. PHOENIX reinvents the ashes it rises from, as the story brings readers full circle in its revolution.

Jason Mondy’s world is unraveling.

His seemingly secure job as a fire fighter is suddenly thrown into chaos.
The bright spot in his week is that he rescued two children from a house fire,
but he returns home that night to find all his furniture is missing.
His girlfriend has left him without warning and his nightmares keep him from sleeping. Even just a simple trip home to find some rest leads his adoptive mother to sit him down and tell him that maybe his troubles aren’t quite as innocuous as they seem.
Then she divulges a secret she’s kept for over twenty-six years . . .

Jason has a brother he doesn’t remember existed.

He doesn’t remember his life before he was adopted at age seven.
He only knows that he was rescued from the fire that took his birth mother’s life.
But the story is deeper than that, and the foundation on which he built his world is now cracking. The brother he doesn’t remember it out there somewhere, left behind.

Armed with only this stunning new piece of information,
Jason embarks on a quest to find the truths buried deep in his past. As he searches, one by one the pieces of his life fall like dominoes. And the more he uncovers, the more everything he thought he knew about himself and his past
begins to turn to ash.

His truth isn’t true at all . . .

Do you choose your stories or do they choose you?

Both! The stories themselves seem to mostly form organically. They are just ‘there.’ But right now I have at least eight more fleshed out stories in my head and about seven more partial ideas. I choose which one to write next!

When did you first consider yourself a writer? An author? Were the two synonymous?

I was first a writer when I was eight—just me, a papermate pen, and eighty pages of cursive. But I never considered myself an author until I was published—until other people were reading what I’d written.

If you had to live inside one story for the rest of your life, what would it be? Why?

Oh wow. I don’t want to live inside any of my stories forever! They are dark and intense. But I guess if I had to, I’d be in Phoenix or Vengeance. The characters there are the best equipped to deal with what happens to them.

What is the most important lack in your life?

Sleep. Definitely sleep!

Reading is a subjective beast, and inevitably you can’t please all the readers all the time. What has been the toughest criticism you’ve been given as an author? What has been the best compliment?

The toughest criticisms are the ones that come from someone I respect. I don’t mind getting a bad review from someone who reads romance novels normally—I understand that I’m not her thing. But when it’s someone who loved all the other books, that can be hard.

The second best compliment is when I’m out and someone comes up and says, ‘I need the new book.’ Those fans make my day.

The best (bestest?) compliment is when someone who knows about the research (i.e. a firefighter (Phoenix) or a martial artist (Vengeance)) says ‘You got it right.’ That’s amazing to me.

Bonus round:

Chocolate or vanilla? Definitely chocolate. With extra chocolate.

Dogs or cats? Ooh. Tough. I own 3 dogs and 2 cats. No call.

Hard/paperback or eReader? Ouch. Both. (I’m losing the Bonus Round, aren’t I?) I still like both. I love my Kindle, no need for a book light, all my books in one place. But I love paperbacks. I like the feel of them, and seeing where I am in the book (not the 79%, but SEEING it.) Hardbacks, never. They hurt if you read lying down like I do and you fall asleep while reading.

Tea or coffee? Coffee. Coffee Bean Mocha Iced Blended.

Light side or dark side? Dark side. (that’s a question?)

AJ Scudiere is the author of three thrillers, Resonance, Vengeance, and God’s Eye. The fourth book—Phoenix—is due out this fall. As a writer, AJ’s motto is “It could happen. It wouldn’t. But it could.”