Thriller Writer Tj O'Connor

37 Days and Counting . . . The Hemingway Deception

Feb 19, 2023

37 Days. Are you ready for it? Think about it . . . What if 37 days before the Chicxulub asteroid hit the dinosaurs knew they would be wiped out? What if Gene Hackman knew that the SS Poseidon was about to be capsized by a tidal wave? What if Scooby Doo knew Shaggy was stealing his snacks during commercial breaks?  Chaos would ensue. Pure chaos, I tell you.

That’s just part of what’s coming your way. No, not an asteroid, tidal wave, or stolen snacks. Sorry. Pure chaos. Dangerous pasts. Intersecting histories. Betrayal . . . Deception.

So, it’s good that I warn you that in 37 days, The Hemingway Deception hits the bookshelves. Ana Karras and Cat Reyes will begin their tumultuous missions toward each other. Ana, trying desperately to outrun her past; Cat fighting to reclaim hers to survive. Both women are getting ready. Both are preparing for the struggle, the fight, the mission. Both are willing to do whatever it takes to win. But only one can.

Damn, I wrote it and I can’t wait to find out what happens!

I’ve sent The Hemingway Deception out to a fistful of authors, intelligence-folk, and various experts for their review. Here’s a brief snapshot of some of their comments: (their full texts are on my website at

“Great characters, non-stop action, a twisted plot, and exotic locations . . .”—DP Lyle, Award-Winning Author of the Jake Longly and Cain/Harper Thriller Series.

The Hemingway Deception is a rollercoaster ride of international intrigue, governmental deception and the meaning of family. . .”—Matt Coyle, Author of the Bestselling Rick Cahill Crime Series.

“There are no wimps in this fast-paced thriller, male or female. The relentless action will have you flying through the pages, eager to know what happens next. . .” —Terry Shames, Author of the Award-Winning Samuel Craddock Series.

“A riveting ‘ripped from the headlines’ international thriller: Two women fighting for what they believe; a horrifying assassination plot; deadly enemies, including some in our own government; and a mysterious operative named Hemingway who must be found. . .” —R.G. Belsky, Award-Winning Author of the Clare Carlson Series.

“Subterfuge reigns supreme in Tj O’Connor’s latest page-turning thriller, The Hemingway Deception. With government operatives and assassins at every turn the stakes literally couldn’t be higher. Highly recommended!” — Bruce Robert Coffin, Award-Winning Author of the Detective Byron Mysteries.

“A wildly imaginative non-stop twisting thrill ride. Tj O’Connor’s The Hemingway Deception reels you in from the start. Full of suspense and surprises right to the end, this is a page turner you won’t be able to put down. O’Connor nails it!” —David Sears, Retired USN, Former SEAL and Author of Smarter Not Harder.

“From the plush offices of Washington, D.C. to the steaming jungles of Central America; from Havana to the U.S. border, Tj O’Connor proves he is an author with a clear handle on his terrain, and the expertise to craft a first-class spy thriller. O’Connor deftly weaves a plot that pits powerful domestic political alliances against Latin American ideologies that erupt in sudden and unexpected violence as both factions compete in the hunt for a nearly-mythical covert operative code-named ‘Hemingway.’ The Hemingway Deception is a genuine spy novel with all the trimmings: there is treachery, intrigue and violence aplenty…and of course, deceit. It has a plot that’s whiplash-quick, and moves faster than the speed of deception itself.” —Baron R. Birtcher, Award-Winning Author of Reckoning.

“Tj O’Connor brings together his background as an intelligence officer and consultant with deep experience in the field of counterterrorism for a riveting story that takes the reader on a trip through the urban ghettos and steaming jungles of Latin America—not to mention those in Washington, D.C.—that have become the playing fields of modern terrorism, narco-trafficking, and nasty geopolitics. . .” —Bill Rapp, CIA Veteran and Author of the Cold War Thriller Series with Coffeetown Press.

“ . . . a fast paced political thriller that grabs the reader early and won’t let go…a masterfully written political thriller the reader will devour.” —Larry Enmon, U.S. Secret Service (Ret.) and Author of Worst Case Scenario.

“Tj O’Connor does it again  . . . His action-packed writing is founded in real-world experience with anti-terrorism and threat analysis consulting. This time, he adds kick-ass women to the mix, building in multiple layers of complexity often overlooked in thrillers.”—Dawn Brotherton, Author of the Jackie Austin Mysteries and Eastover Treasures.

“. . . a fast-paced journey of international intrigue, laced with the dangers of criminal cartels and hostile intelligence operatives, overlayed with the even more despicable actions of American politicians. . . a story that twists and turns and navigates through the jungles of Central and South America, as well as the halls of government agencies in Washington, DC. . . —Gregory Olmstead, Retired U.S. Military Intelligence Officer, Federal Law Enforcement Officer, and Former USG Senior Advisor on Anti-terrorism.

Oh, please, stop it . . . ya’ll are embarrassing me. Not.

Forgive the shameful self-promotion. Please don’t think my post is a bit off. It’s been four years since my last publication-all for a variety of delays and issues. Now, though, I’ve landed with an amazing publisher who has embraced me and brought me in to participate with the entire publishing process. For those of you in this business, you understand the importance of that. Suspense Publishing is amazing. So, I’m a bit giddy with excitement, anticipation, and relief that Ana and Cat are here in just 37 days.

As promised before, I’m going to drop a few excerpts into my blogs beginning with this little tease on who Ana Karras is . . . From Chapter 21:


June 13, Late Afternoon—The Caverns, Bayonne, New Jersey

“So, you’re Ana Karras.” McLaren stood across the dimly lit room with a scowl on his face. “You’ve caused a lot of trouble for such a pretty lady.”

“Only ugly women cause trouble?” Ana said with an edge in her voice.

Trane laughed. “What he means—”

“I know what he means.” She stood from behind the interview table. “He’s a sexist asshole who cannot believe dainty, lil’ ol me could be a problem for him.” She spun on Trane. “You rescued me from Cabrera two months ago and the police this morning. Now, you hold me here? Do you want a real problem?”

“At least we agree you’re a problem,” McLaren snorted. “That’s progress.”

“Where am I?” she demanded. “CIA?”

“Great guess.” Trane’s voice was easy, calm. “Relax. We won’t hurt you. We need your help.”


37 Days folks. Don’t be like the dinosaurs or Gene Hackman. You know it’s coming. Prepare yourselves…

PS: Soon, I’ll be on a virtual book tour bringing wit, charm, and my story to the ether. I’ll also be having some giveaways and such, and out on the road doing talks and signings across the world (okay, maybe not the world, but doing a lot). If I’m not nearby and you want a signed book, reach out through my Facebook or contact email on my website and I’ll make arrangements.



I first fell in love with writing while in grade school and over the years continued to dabble with characters and stories whenever life allowed. Lately, I've focused my energy on pursuing this dream—interrupted only by life as a security consultant and the demands of two Labrador retrievers.

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