Do you like a good thriller? A book that takes you by surprise, grabs you and doesn’t let go? Then Jacqui Murray has a book for you!
Jacqui Murray is the author of one of my favorite blogs, WordDreams. She is the author and editor of over 100 books on integrating tech into education. She shares “must-know” tech advice for anyone who likes to use a computer. This, along with her popular thesaurus style posts which offer a ton of different ways to describe things in your writing, is why her blog is so popular—especially with writers.
So, I jumped at the chance to get a sneak peek at Jacqui’s first novel. For me, a thriller has to have a special quality to grab me. Within the first two pages of To Hunt a Sub, I was hooked.
Here’s a short summary of the book:
An unlikely team is America’s only chance
A brilliant Ph.D. candidate, a cynical ex-SEAL, and a quirky experimental robot team up against terrorists intent on stealing America’s most powerful nuclear weapon, the Trident submarine. By all measures, they are an unlikely trio–one believes in brawn, another, brains, and the third is all geek. What no one realizes is this trio has a secret weapon: the wisdom of a formidable female who died two million years ago.
Here’s my interview with Jacqui Murray:
Q: How did your daughter’s experience of at the US Naval Academy influence the writing of this book?
Jacqui Murray: My daughter has been a huge influence on my writing. My very first book–Building a Midshipman–was about her struggles to transform herself from a lost high school student to a USNA Midshipman. Then, as I got to know her new friends and their families, I started blending their knowledge into both To Hunt a Sub and the sequel (due out next summer), Twenty-four Days.
Q: What prompted you to move from tech writing to memoir style writing, to writing a novel?
Jacqui Murray: Good question–what did motivate me? I’ll have to blame my muse. Each book popped into my consciousness. I had no choice but to write them.
Q: What was the hardest thing about that transition?
Jacqui Murray: The hardest thing about moving between the writing styles was adapting my style to the needs of the genre. Thrillers don’t include opinions and long personal reflections (which were fine in Building a Midshipman). Thrillers also is cohesive from beginning to end where my tech books are topical–I use images and To-do steps and then move on. The tech writing is so different, I use it as a break from my fiction writing, and vice versa.
Q: Will you continue to write novels?
Jacqui Murray: Yes, I love fiction writing. I have ideas for my next three–we’ll see if they survive being put onto paper!
Q: Who’s your favorite character in To Hunt a Sub?
Jacqui Murray: I do love my strong, gutsy female lead, but my favorite character is Otto, the artificial intelligence. Part of that reason–probably a big part–is because I know where he’s headed. In the next novel, he will become a fascinating, talkative character who adds a lot of levity to the thrills.
Q: What sets this book apart from other thrillers?
Jacqui Murray: What sets this story apart from other thrillers is the edgy science used to build the drama, the creative thinking that unravels the deadly plot, and the captivating prehistoric female who unwittingly becomes the guide and mentor to Kalian Delamagente as she struggles to stop a madman from destroying her life.
Here’s the long summary of To Hunt a Sub:
The USS Hampton SSN 767 quietly floated unseen one hundred fifty-two feet below the ocean’s surface. Despite its deadly nuclear-tipped arsenal of Trident missiles, its task for the past six months has been reconnaissance and surveillance. The biggest danger the crew faced was running out of olives for their pizza.
That all changed one morning, four days before the end of the Hampton’s tour. Halfway through the Captain’s first morning coffee, every system on the submarine shut down. No navigation, no communication, and no defensive measures. Within minutes, the sub began a terrifying descent through the murky greys and blacks of the deep Atlantic and settled to the ocean floor five miles from Cuba and perilously close to the sub’s crush depth. When it missed its mandated contact, an emergency call went out to retired Navy intel officer, Zeke Rowe, top of his field before a botched mission left him physically crippled and psychologically shaken. Rowe quickly determined that the sub was the victim of a cybervirus secreted inside the sub’s top secret operating systems. What Rowe couldn’t figure out was who did it or how to stop it sinking every other submarine in the American fleet.
Enter and Unlikely Hero
Kali Delamagente is a struggling over-the-hill grad student who entered a DARPA cybersecurity competition as a desperate last hope to fund a sophisticated artificial intelligence she called Otto. Though her presentation imploded, she caught the attention of two people: a terrorist intent on destroying America and a rapt Dr. Zeke Rowe. An anonymous blank check to finish her research is quickly followed by multiple break-ins to her lab, a hack of her computer, the disappearance of her three-legged dog, and finally the kidnapping of her only son.
By all measures, Rowe and Delamagente are an unlikely duo. Rowe believes in brawn and Delamagente brains. To save the America they both love, they find a middle ground, guided with the wisdom of a formidable female who died two million years ago.
Title and author: To Hunt a Sub by J. Murray
Release Date: August 15, 2016 by Structured Learning
Cover by: Paper and Sage
Available on Amazon Kindle HERE
Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for TeachHUB, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.