OMG – They took her – The Body Market @dvberkom with Guest Post & Giveaway

First off, I would like to welcome DV Berkom and I will be sharing her novel, The Body Market. She has also written this fantastic guest post and will be awarding a paperback (US & CA) or ebook (International) to one lucky commenter…So…read on and be sure to leave a comment, whether it be about the guest post, the cover, or just to say hi.

I love Leine Basso, a kickass ex assassin and here is what DV has to say about:

Writing a Killer as Your Main Character by DV Berkom

I’ll admit it—I’m not, nor have I ever been, a paid killer. Shocking, I know. But the main character in my Leine Basso Crime Thriller series is. And she’s also a woman.

Why on earth would I want to create a female protagonist who killed people for a living? Aren’t authors supposed to write sympathetic characters? Aren’t we supposed to create someone to root for? To empathize with?

According to readers, I’ve achieved that with Leine. But it wasn’t easy. First, let me explain the why, and I’ll follow that up with the how.

When I initially dreamed up the idea for Serial Date, the first book in the series, the only characters that were fully fleshed out in my mind were the contestants and “bachelors” on the reality show Serial Date. In a parody of the long-running and popular reality show The Bachelor, beautiful women vie for a date with a so-called serial killer. The bachelors aren’t actually serial killers, of course, but it’s implied for the audience’s titillation: Are the contestants safe? Will the audience witness an attempted murder? Better yet, a real one? Of course, the show becomes a blockbuster hit, and we’re off and running. (And yes, there’s a healthy dose of satire and dark humor in the book. How could I resist?)

From there, I imagined the main antagonist; a serial killer who watched the show religiously. The killer becomes incensed at the ineptitude of the show’s alleged serial killers and decides to take things into his own hands. Soon, a contestant is found dismembered inside a prop closet, necessitating better security on set.

Enter former assassin, Leine Basso.

I needed a protagonist who would be a good match against a serial killer, and I love to write strong, [email protected] women. Why not fight fire with fire? A killer versus a killer.

The latest in the series, A Killing Truth, takes place before events in Serial Date, when Leine worked as an assassin for a shadow agency tasked with eliminating terrorists and enemies of the US. I’d had several emails from readers requesting a prequel explaining events that I allude to in the other books. And, since readers rule, I complied. Writing A Killing Truth was a lot of fun and really challenging. Fun, because I got to write Leine’s story when she was at the zenith of her career as an assassin, and challenging because I’d set up events in the other books and had to figure out how to make the story work with what I’d written.

So that’s the why. How does a writer make a character sympathetic when their actions are anything but?

Give the main character a flaw (or ten or twelve).

Leine has baggage. A lot of baggage. In A Killing Truth, not only is her profession getting to her (she can’t sleep, can’t compartmentalize what she’s done), but during a routine job she barely escapes with her life, and is beginning to suspect that she can’t trust her boss. Add to that raising her 12-year-old daughter by herself and worrying about her lover, Carlos (another assassin), and you’ve got a wee bit of stress to throw her off her game.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t stand reading about a perfect heroine who can fight the bad guys without getting a scratch, and then comes home and whips up a gourmet meal, deals effectively with her ornery preteen daughter, and still looks amazing when her lover shows up at the door. Nope. Can’t empathize. I’m lucky if I keep up with the laundry, much less produce seven gourmet meals a week. Or even one J

Yeah, I probably wouldn’t relate very well to that character.

Suffice it to say, aside from killing bad guys for a living, Leine’s got a lot to deal with. Who hasn’t had a bad day? Admittedly, Leine’s bad days are pretty gnarly, but you know what I mean. I like to think of Leine as the kind of person folks would like to know and have on their side. Someone who rarely makes mistakes on her job because the repercussions could be fatal, but a person who has to deal with challenges and heartache, just like the rest of us.

What about you? What kinds of characters really speak to you?  Do you need to be able to identify with them in some way, or do you enjoy characters that are totally different from you? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

***Special bonus: I’m giving away a signed paperback (US & Canada) or e-book (international) of The Body Market to one randomly selected commenter. Good luck!

Thanks so much for the wonderful post, DV. I know you do a lot of research and writing about a killer, not being one yourself, can’t be easy. LOL

This awesome cover for The Body Market by DV Berkom grabbed me and never let me go. It is a story of human trafficking, which unfortunately, is still very active in the 21st Century. I love a strong female protagonist and Leine Basso fits that bill very nicely as she battles them.

The Body Market

Add me to Goodreads now


The Body Market’s title, cover, tagline and DV Berkom’s name as the author, tells me this is a story I can hardly wait to read. The Body Market is one novel in the Leine Basso series, but all the books can stand alone. The characters are ongoing, growing and changing with each book, becoming more complex, with all their foibles exposed.

A rich couple, too busy for their teenage daughter, will learn the pain and anguish of discovering their child is missing, possibly in a foreign county. And, Elliza, the pretty, rich American teenager will pay the penalty for partying in Mexico. She is the ditzy blond you hear about.

I used to read  a lot of Mafia books in their heyday and I love assassins, especially a strong female one, like Leine Basso.

Leine Basso is kicking cartel ass from the opening pages. She is stubborn and will rebel when threatened. She is learning to live a real life instead of always running off to her next assassination. I love that she kite surf’s with her main man, Santiago Jensen. Santiago is new to monogamy and attempts to romance Leine. Don’t you love a man who cooks for you? I am lucky to have one of those too. I love the dialogue between them, at times humorous and fun.

She works for SHEN – Stop Human Enslavement Now and he is an LAPD Robbery/Homicide detective. I lam in favor of her idea of hand grenades and flamethrowers for dealing with sex traffickers.

I was surprised Leine didn’t know about the bad guy…but I cannot say more.

If you are looking for action from the getgo and a story that will have your blood boiling and your emotions running AMOK, pick up The Body Market. Leine Basso will have you kicking ass and taking names as she makes the bad guys pay. Will she be in time to rescue Elize? You will have to find out for yourself.

I received a copy of The Body Market from DV Berkom in return for an honest review

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos  5 STARS

BONUS:  DV Berkom has shared a short story – Privilege. I knew where the story was going, but I loved every word of it anyway. Just shows you should be VERY careful what you wish for. You may get it, but it may haunt you for the rest of your life. 5 STARS

Be sure and comment to enter to win a paperback (US & CA) or ebook (International). The giveaway will run from 3/9/16 – 3/24/16 so spread the word!

Goodreads Blurb:  A retired assassin is called in when a celebration south of the border turns into a nightmare.

Former assassin Leine Basso is hired by a wealthy Beverly Hills power couple to find their missing daughter, Elise, last seen partying with her boyfriend at a club in Tijuana. At first, police believe the two teenagers are the victims of a carjacking. But when Leine finds their missing vehicle with the boyfriend’s mutilated body inside, and the local cartel warns her away, she knows if Elise isn’t already dead, she will be soon, or worse.

In the lethal world of organized crime, there’s always a worse.

As Leine races to uncover the reason behind Elise Bennett’s disappearance, she must also battle the powerful interests fighting to keep her from the truth.

Image of D.V. Berkom ABOUT DV BERKOM

DV Berkom is a slave to the voices in her head. As the author of two popular thriller series (Leine Basso and Kate Jones), her love of creating resilient, kick-*ss female characters stems from a lifelong addiction to reading spy novels, mysteries, and thrillers, and longing to find the female equivalent within those pages.

Raised in the Midwest, she received her BA in political science from the University of Minnesota and promptly moved to Mexico to live on a sailboat. Many, many cross-country moves (and several years) later, she now lives just outside of Seattle, Washington with the love of her life, Mark, an ex-chef-turned contractor, and writes every chance she gets.

I am reading my way through DV Berkom’s The Leine Basso Thrillers:

I am also reading my way through DV Berkom’s Kate Jones Thrillers:

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Be sure and comment to enter to win a paperback (US & CA) or ebook (International). The giveaway will run from 3/9/16 – 3/24/16 so spread the word!


I am very excited to be able to share Leine’s story with you. I have been waiting on pins and needles to learn more about her!

A Killing Truth by DV Berkom

A deadly assassin. A perpetual target. A double-cross she never saw coming…

They say the truth will set you free, but what if it kills you first?

A Killing Truth is the prequel to the award-winning Leine Basso thriller series of crime novels. If you like no-nonsense heroines, page-turning plots, and twists you won’t see coming, then you’ll love D.V. Berkom’s tension-filled series.

eBook Cover 1563x2500 A Killing Thruth