The World Beneath nominated for International Thriller Writers award!

Rebecca Cantrell : April 9, 2014 12:20 am : Joe Tesla, Rebecca Cantrell, Recent News, The World Beneath


“The World Beneath” was nominated for the Best Ebook Original Novel award by International Thriller Writers. The winner will be chosen at Thrillerfest in New York in July.

I’m nominated with a wonderful group of writers and books: J.G. Faherty for “The Burning Time, “ Joshua Graham for “Terminus,” James Lepore and Carlos Davis for “No Dawn for Men,” and  Luke Preston for “Out of Exile.” Congratulations to all!

International Thriller Writers has always had a very special place in my heart. I was part of their Debut Author program when my first novel was published, and I’ve made many friends through the organization over the years.  For me, it’s been the best writing organization I belong to. I’ve been constantly struck the by kindness and generosity of the writers there–some of the biggest names in writing and some of my literary heroes. And to actually be nominated for one of their very prestigious awards has knocked my socks off!

Sure, my feet are cold without socks, but it’s worth it!

Leave a response »

Paperback version of A City of Broken Glass!

Rebecca Cantrell : January 7, 2014 2:40 am : A City of Broken Glass, A Game of Lies, Rebecca Cantrell, Recent News
City of Broken GlassToday I’m happy to announce the paperback release of the fourth book in the Hannah Vogel series, A City of Broken Glass! It’s a later release than usual, but I think it was worth the wait. This is my current favorite in the series (I always love the last one best).
A City of Broken Glass got some critical nods when it came out in paperback, getting nominated for the Mary Higgins Clark award, the Sue Federer Macavity award, and the Bruce Alexander award.
In this book, Hannah Vogel and her adopted son Anton are forced into Germany during the events that would be later known as Kristalnacht (and now Reichspogromnacht). And Hannah meets back up with Lars and…well, you’ll have to read it to finish that sentence. Suffice it to say that it made some hardcover readers very happy and others very angry. It’s not easy being Lars. Or Hannah.
Lately, I’ve been getting worried emails asking about the next Hannah Vogel book. I know I’ve been writing other things (The Blood Gospel, Innocent Blood, and The World Beneath), but don’t worry! Hannah Vogel is still very close to my heart. I’m outlining the fifth book in the series, The Aftermath of War, set in 1945 where Hannah will go into Berlin in the last few days before the surrender to the Russians as part of an American strike force tasked with bringing out Andreas Huber (remember him from A Game of Lies, the scientist?). It will be be based on the real-life Operation Paperclip–where American teams went into Germany ahead of the troops to find and capture German scientists. The most famous scientist brought to the United States under that program was Werner Von Braun (head of NASA’s Apollo moon missions).
In other news Hannah Vogel: this July I’m working with Shalom European Travel to lead an exciting tour of Hannah’s haunts in Berlin.  (Here’s more information). I hope to see you on her cobblestone streets!

What Lurks Under The World Beneath?

Rebecca Cantrell : November 29, 2013 8:07 am : Joe Tesla, Rebecca Cantrell, Recent News, Uncategorized

The World Beneath (Medium)My latest novel, The World Beneath, came out just a few days ago. It’s a brand new series, and I’ve been getting some questions about how and why I came up with it, so: here you go!

The novel follows Joe Tesla into the tunnels under New York City, since he lives in a Victorian house buried deep underneath Grand Central Station. I started writing it not long after I moved to Berlin a year and a half ago, and for months all I had was the first line “Subway tunnels breathe.”

Every time I rode the subway around Berlin I wondered whose story was hidden in that first line, and over time Joe Tesla appeared.  At first, I wrote his story in between stops, thumbing it into my iPhone. I quickly realized that he lived down there full time. Unlike me, he wasn’t passing through. His world was in the in-between spaces that we all ride through without thinking about.

Why was he there? Was he homeless? The more I learned about him, the more I realized that he was just the opposite. He wasn’t in the tunnels because he had nowhere else to go, he was in the tunnels because he couldn’t leave them. If he could overcome that, nowhere in the world would be denied to him. But he can’t.

I’ve visited New York City many times and was always fascinated by the beauty of Grand Central Station with its iconic clock. When I learned that the pillar inside the information booth has a door that leads to a secret room, I knew that it must lead to an elevator that would spirit Joe down to his house.

Joe stayed in the back of my mind while I wrote Innocent Blood with James Rollins, adding a scene or two to Joe’s story while I chased vampires around the world. James, being a former veterinarian who just got a pair of puppies, suggested that Joe have a dog and thus he acquired Edison, Joe’s best friend and his psychiatric service dog. A dog who looked similar to one I saw riding the Berlin subway with his owner.

I found Edison in that train car because I wrote big parts of this book while sitting on a subway seat, watching who got on and off, missing stops because I was too immersed in my story to notice.

The Berlin subway is a great place to writ e a book, because of the ring line that  circles the city center. This means that I can board, find a seat, and ride around for hours without ever having to leave the car. Also, there’s no Internet, so I can write in a focused cocoon without any e-distractions. Every time I’m stuck, I pack up my laptop and walk to the subway, ready to ride around until Joe’s next adventure is revealed to me.


Top 10 Movies Set in Berlin

Rebecca Cantrell : October 28, 2013 12:35 am : A City of Broken Glass, A Game of Lies, A Night of Long Knives, A Trace of Smoke, Rebecca Cantrell, Recent News, Uncategorized


It’s no secret that Berlin is my favorite city. After all, I’ve written four Hannah Vogel novels set here. It captured my imagination when I was a teenager here in the 1980s, when the wall was still up, and it’s never let me go. Here’s a list of movies that show the city that inspires me.

1. Wings of Desire.

Aka Der Himmel Über Berlin (1987), directed by Wim Wenders and starring Bruno Ganz and Peter Falk. This takes you on a gorgeous aerial view of Berlin as you follow an angel who falls in love with a human and gives up his immortality for love. This one I watched when I’d moved back to the states and missed Berlin desperately.

(I couldn’t find a clip that I could embed, so you’ll have to click here to watch it. Sorry!)

2. Berlin: Symphony of a City.

Directed by Walter Ruttman (1927). Warning: this one’s a silent film. It depicts scene after scene of Berlin in the 1920s. Fascinating and gorgeous. I watched this over and over when I wrote “A Trace of Smoke.” (this clips shows  the full movie)

3. Valkyrie.

Released in 2008 and directed by Bryan Singer and starring Tom Cruise and Bill Nighy because this is where Claus von Stauffenberg died after his involvement in the plot to assassinate Hitler was uncovered.

(sorry about the ad at the beginning. It doesn’t seem fair to make you watch and ad to see a movie ad)

4. The Lives of Others.

Released in 2006 and directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck and starring Ulrich Mühe, Martina Gedeck, and Sebastian Koch (my actor pick for Boris in A TRACE OF SMOKE).

5. Conspiracy.

Wannsee is known inside of Berlin as a wonderful beach and place to take your kids in the summer. My high school prom was held on an island in the Wannsee. But outside of Berlin the name is forever linked with the Wannsee Conference—where Nazi leaders met to come up with the Final Solution to the Jewish Question and made plans that would result in the death of millions of Europe’s Jews.

Directed by Frank Pierson and starring Kenneth Branagh and Stanley Tucci and released in 2001.

6. Cabaret.

From 1972, directed by Bob Fosse and starring Liza Minelli and Michael York. This shows another world just before it would be systematically destroyed by the Nazis—Germany’s gays.

7. Rosenstrasse.

This tells the story of Jewish German men married to German women and what happened when they were rounded up for deportation. This one has subtitles, but is worth the extra reading.

8. Judgment at Nuremberg

The next film deals more with the aftermath,  (1961) directed by Stanley Kramer and starring Burt Lancaster, Spencer Tracy, and Berlin’s own daughter, Marlene Dietrich.

9. Olympia (1938, two parts)

The Nazi Olympics were covered in full in  this film directed by Leni Riefenstahl and starring the athletes (including Jesse Owens). If you want to see the whole Olympics, this is the film for you.

(the entire film, part 1)

10. The Jesse Owens Story

Who was the hero of the 1936 Olympics? Jesse Owens. I’m putting The Jesse Owens Story (1984) on my list, even though it’s mostly not set in Berlin. It was directed by Richard Iriving and stars Dorian Harewood. I might switch this out if I really love the upcoming “Jesse and Me.” I couldn’t find this on YouTube, but here’s a half hour documentary that also talks about the problems he faced as a black man after he returned:

(sorry about the ad at the beginning, and the last few minutes become and ad for Ohio State University)

This list was hard to make because there are simply so many cool movies set in Berlin (here’s a list of more:

I’m thinking another list of Top 10 Berlin Thrillers is in order soon!

What movies do you think should be added to this list? Pipe up in the comments below.


Blood Brothers released!

Rebecca Cantrell : October 24, 2013 2:49 am : Innocent Blood, Rebecca Cantrell, Recent News, The Blood Gospel

BloodBrothersCoverJust in time for Halloween, James Rollins and I have a new short story out called BLOOD BROTHERS that follows two brothers joined by more than blood. In the next novel in the Order of the Sanguines series, INNOCENT BLOOD, we’re going to introduce a new Sanguinist named Christian. He was a funny, fascinating, and modern guy–an irritating breath of fresh air for Rhun Korza (we love to torture Rhun).

By the time we finished the novel, we realized that we wanted to know more about Christian and his history, so we looked back to the time when he was born to the blood, when the Summer of Love was turned into a Summer of Death. We hope that you have as much fun spending time with Christian as we did.

What’s his story about? It starts with his brother, Arthur Crane.

As a young reporter, Arthur Crane exposed the secrets behind the Orchid Killer, a cult murderer from the late ’60s whose crimes blackened the end of the Summer of Love. Half a century later, Arthur wakes to find an orchid resting on his pillow: a symbol of death from a killer connected to his estranged younger brother, Christian. To discover the horrifying truth, Arthur will risk all—even his very soul—for Christian may not be the brother that Arthur remembers…

After the story is a sneak peek at the sequel to THE BLOOD GOSPEL–namely INNOCENT BLOOD.

BLOOD BROTHER is an ebook only story right now, but you don’t need a Kindle or Nook to read it. You can download free Amazon viewing software to read it right on your computer (hopefully while looking over your shoulder nervously).


« Page 1, 2, 3, 4 »