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Interview with J. A. Schneider, author of Embryo 2: Crosshairs


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The heart-stopping ending of Embryo has created a new crisis…

They thought the nightmare was over. Intern Jill Raney and the man she loves, obstetrical resident David Levine, barely escaped death at the hands of a madman on the steep roof of an old part of the hospital. The awful scene, captured by overhead news choppers, became a media obsession, run horrifyingly over and over. Jill and David are now reluctant “celebrities” – and the targets of every wacko who wants to share in the attention.

Including a killer. Someone who begins venting his fury at their “fame” by his hideous assaults on women – assaults which Jill and David discover are also death threats to them, and to a 6-month-old baby who has yet to be born.

Their predator is clever. Haughty. Leaves cryptic “clues” to taunt them and the police, who are at a loss. He knows how to leave no physical evidence behind. No prints, no fibers, no eyewitnesses.

Jill and David must still return to their exhausting hospital duties, knowing that any psycho can just walk into a hospital. Friends beg David, who is a crack shot, to carry a gun, but he doesn’t. “What’s the use?” he asks. “A doctor’s back is always turned.”

Instead, Jill and David join forces to become detectives on their own, helping the police in ways that even forensics experts never imagined; working frantically to uncover an unspeakable secret that dooms their fate and that of a sweet-faced, unborn child…unless they can put an end to an obsessed killer’s twisted quest.

Bring us up to speed; who is Jill?
Jill Raney, obstetrics intern: Smart, vulnerable, stubbornly brave and caring about others, risks her career & her life to investigate wrongdoing.

And David?
David Levine is a 3rd year obstetrical resident originally from Denver, and a crack shot. He learned to shoot as a teen. He was then bright but getting into trouble, so his parents sent him with a youth group for a kibbutz summer in Israel. He grins describing how “everyone else picked grapefruits all day,” while he found an army base nearby, made friends, and did target practice with them. He also taught local kids how to pick locks, which didn’t go over with the authorities, so they sent him back. Now he’s a physician who cares heroically for women patients and their unborn babies, and teaches younger residents and interns. In Embryo he falls quickly in love with intern Jill Raney, and shared trauma binds them. They both admire members of the NYPD, and help cops in ways that police forensics never thought of.

Talking about Embryo, should we read it first or are these stand-alone novels?
I’d read Embryo first. Embryo 2 reads fine as a stand-alone, but you just immediately know the characters & back story better if you read E1 first.

What genre are these books?
Thriller, medical thriller, woman sleuth.

What kind of readers will they appeal to?
Women 25-60 and general audience.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

J.A. (Joyce Anne) Schneider is a former staffer at Newsweek. Once a Liberal Arts major (French and Spanish Literature), she has become increasingly fascinated with medicine and forensic science. Decades of being married to a physician who loves explaining medical concepts and reliving his experiences means that there’ll be medical angles even in “regular” thrillers that she writes.

How can we follow you on social media?

What’s next?
Embryo 3.

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