Giveaway & Guest Post: The Identity Factor by James Houston Turner

I am excited to welcome  James Houston Turner to Book’d Out today. The Identity Factor is a fast paced, international thriller. Abu Nazer is the world’s most elusive terrorist. His identity is unknown, his list of crimes unimaginable. But Abu Nazer knows the CIA is closing in. Which is why he must change identities. He devises a scheme involving an ancient stone tablet discovered in the Sinai Peninsula in 1919. The tablet makes a stunning declaration about Jerusalem that has the CIA running scared. They fear he will use it to ignite Armageddon. And Abu Nazer has been using that fear against them because someone at the Agency has been leaking him information. Analyst Zoe Gustaves stumbles onto the leak and begins digging for answers. But all she finds are more questions. Seeking answers can be deadly when everyone has secrets.  Today the author discusses how his experiences gave him the idea for the novel and is offering readers the opportunity to win a copy of both The Identity Factor and his latest novel, Department Thirteen.

Who Are You?

Who are you? Who, who, who, who?  Most of us know this haunting chorus — written originally in 1978 by Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey of the musical group, The Who — from the TV crime drama, CSI. It’s an interesting question around which to build a novel, which is precisely what ended up happening to me. Layered identities is something I lived for many years while operating as a smuggler and courier behind the old Iron Curtain. I recall sitting around a table in Berlin with a bunch of “friends” — all of us used false identities when we traveled — and I began to wonder: what if one of us works for the other side? We’re all supposed to be friends, but what if one of us isn’t?

That’s the kind of situation I created for rookie profiler Zoe Gustaves in The Identity Factor (published originally in Australia in 2007; US edition by Comfort Publishing, 2011). Zoe is young and impetuous — her own worst enemy — as she tries unraveling the identity of a terrorist no one has ever identified. Enter Tyler, a charming Texas journalist with a deeper agenda of his own, which arouses Zoe’s suspicions in spite of the attraction she feels toward him. She then discovers her boss at the CIA is hiding something, and soon, everyone around her is not who they seem.

It’s an old adage to write what you know, and in my case, this has included a costly battle against cancer where I survived against all odds, being on a KGB watchlist, organizing secret midnight meetings with informants, discovering secret mountain bunkers, and researching forgotten tunnels beneath the cobblestones and bricks of some of Central Europe’s most venerated cathedrals. I’ve been beaten up by a man karate legend Bruce Lee called one of the most dangerous men in America. I’ve attended two National Prayer Breakfasts with the President of the United States, but at other times been so poor I had to live on jars of peanut butter given to me by a church. I’ve experienced failed relationships and untimely family deaths, yet was able to marry the woman of my dreams. Life has been anything but predictable and boring.

So when characters in my books feel pain, I’ve been there. When characters die, I’ve almost been there. When love triumphs against the odds — and when it doesn’t — I’ve been there. From the heights of exhilaration to the depths of despair, I’ve been blessed with a spectrum of experiences that add richness to my writing.

The Identity Factor was privileged to scoop finalist awards in four US book competitions, including the National Best Books Awards and The Eric Hoffer Award. Why? I think part of the reason was Zoe, whose headstrong behavior landed her in a fair bit of trouble, just as it enabled her to triumph in the end. She illustrated the flaws and strengths many of us have as she struggled to ferret out who she could trust, who she could love, and who she may have to shoot. She persevered against the odds and reacted to situations impulsively, often at great risk to herself and those around her. When she was suspended from work for again mouthing off to her boss, for example, she hastily decided to follow Tyler to Cairo, whom she believed was the key to locating and identifying the terrorist. On the way, she carelessly allowed her carry-on bag full of documents to be stolen in an airport bar. She then ran down and tackled the thief in the crowded concourse and held him at gunpoint until airport security arrived and threatened to haul her to jail for drawing a loaded weapon.

And yet while Zoe wrestled with the identities of those around her, she was also coming to grips with herself. How well we know or don’t know ourselves is one of the subtexts of the book. Personality strengths and weaknesses, the struggles of life seasoned, the triumph and humor — to me these are what make stories come to life. It’s what I’ve lived. It’s who I am. It’s what I write. Which I guess serves to illustrate one thing: the only truly fictitious part of a novel is found in the disclaimer that says the characters contained herein are fictitious, and that any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

About The Author
James Houston Turner loves writing international suspense thrillers with a good love story at heart. He received his Bachelor’s Degree from Baker University and his Master’s Degree from the University of Houston – Clear Lake. A former journalist in Los Angeles, he turned to writing fiction as a result of his years as a smuggler behind the old Iron Curtain. He and his wife, Wendy, a former triathlon winner, live in Adelaide, South Australia.

Information on his upcoming 2011 USA book tour may be found at

Website  I Facebook  I  Twitter


Enter to Win

1  of 3 electronic editions of

The Identity Factor

Open worldwide

Required To Enter:

Leave a comment

+1 Include your name, email address and country.

For extra entries

+1 Add The Identity Factor to your Goodreads, LibraryThing TBR page, or Amazon wishlist

+1 tweet or facebook this post Use the icons below to make it easier and provide a link OR include @bookdout in the tweet

 Entries close September 9th 2011

Drawn via

Good Luck!


Register to win an additional free copy of The Identity Factor or Department Thirteen (James Houston Turner’s latest thriller, from Comfort Publishing) by visiting their respective Facebook pages and clicking “Like.” Winners will be chosen from those “liking” each page.

Here are the links: Department Thirteen and The Identity Factor.


Purchase The Identity Factor

@ Amazon (print & kindle)

@ B&N

Printed copies of Department Thirteen, (about a retired KGB agent living in Australia who discovers he has unwittingly broken the first rule of survival by falling in love with the woman he must now fall out of love with if he is to save her from a mysterious group of assassins), may be ordered from Barnes & Noble by clicking HERE or Amazon by clicking HERE.

Check out the exciting new two-minute book trailer for Department Thirteen by clicking HERE.

10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. krystallarson
    Aug 31, 2011 @ 09:32:13

    Looks like a really interesting book, I’ve heard good things about this author. Thank you for the chance to win! edysicecreamlover18@gmailDOTcom



  2. Darlene
    Aug 31, 2011 @ 10:24:34

    Please enter me in the draw, and thanks for the giveaway! I’m in Canada.

    darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com



  3. Darlene
    Aug 31, 2011 @ 10:25:20

    +1 I added the Identity Factor to my Goodreads To-Read Wishlist

    darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com



  4. Darlene
    Aug 31, 2011 @ 10:26:17

    +1 for tweeting:

    darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com



  5. winnie
    Aug 31, 2011 @ 17:23:00

    This book sounds awesome, would love to read it. Thanks for the giveaway!





  6. Ruth Hill
    Sep 03, 2011 @ 07:58:56

    Please enter me.
    Ruth Hill
    +1 tweeted:

    +1 added to my goodreads (Ruth Hill)



  7. Marce
    Sep 05, 2011 @ 23:07:11

    Thrillers are my favorite genre, this sounds great adding to Wishlist. Glad to have found you, new follower.

    Marce from Bermuda. I blog over at Tea Time for Marce and my Librarything name is Marcejewels.



  8. Linda Kish
    Sep 06, 2011 @ 15:16:47

    Sounds great. Count me in, please. Linda in USA

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com



  9. Zoey42
    Sep 06, 2011 @ 23:17:01

    thanks for the giveaway,
    twitter follower: zoey_42
    tweeted here:!/zoey_42/status/111061963794165760

    Daniela in Slovakia 🙂




  10. Gwen Lim
    Sep 09, 2011 @ 19:04:01


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