Introducing Justice Delayed by Patricia Bradley

Looking for a new romantic suspense series to read? Or a book to discuss in your book club? 

Justice Delayed might be just what you’re looking for.

Back Cover Blurb:

In one week, the wrong man will be executed for murder.
Let the chase for the real killer begin.

Eighteen years ago, TV crime reporter Andi Hollister’s sister was murdered. The convicted killer sits behind bars, his execution date looming. But when a letter surfaces stating that the condemned didn’t do the crime, Detective Will Kincaide of the Memphis Cold Case Unit will stop at nothing to help Andi get to the bottom of it. After all, this case is personal: the man who confessed to the crime is Will’s cousin. Andi and Will must find the real killer before the wrong person is executed. But what can happen in only a week? Uncovering police corruption, running for your life, and, perhaps, falling in love?

My Review:

I really enjoyed Bradley’s last series and this introduction to the new “Memphis Cold Case” series is equally promising. Bradley incorporated more investigators/sleuths in the case than we typically get to see. Some even enjoyed scenes from their own point of view. It made for an interesting multi-faceted book, although occasionally it meant the reader was hearing similar information two or three times and I found myself flipping back to find out who already knew something and who didn’t. On the flipside, I am now really interested in all of these characters and hopeful that future books in the series will spotlight each in turn.

Bradley does a great job of showing the reactions of family members coming to terms with learning the man they’ve believed guilty of their loved one’s murder for the past eighteen years may be innocent, as well as facing truths about her they couldn’t believe. While I didn’t love the heroine Andi, I did find her actions believable given that she was under the influence of too many painkillers. It is a good wakeup call to how easily and quickly addiction can happen. By the end Andi does start to see the folly of her choices and I like that Bradley doesn’t make Andi “all better” unrealistically quickly to tie the ending in a neat bow. Hopefully we’ll glimpse Andi’s continued growth in future books, especially with the positive influence of Will, who I really like. <grin>

This would make a good book club book as it presents several issues worthy of discussion. The book itself doesn’t delve deeply into the spiritual side of them, but it offers a great springboard from which to launch the discussion

My Questions for Patricia:

What inspired you to give your heroine a growing pain med addiction?  

A good friend has just gone through drug rehab after a thirty-five-year addiction. It started when she was twenty and was prescribed hydrocodone after having her wisdom teeth extracted. I wanted to show just how easy and quick it is to become addicted

I didn’t have to do a lot of research since I had lived through the addiction and rehab with my friend. But there is a lot of information on the web about drug addiction. It is an insidious disease that destroys families. 

What’s next in the series? Will we see these characters again?

Andi will be back in book 4 and more of her journey will be discussed then.

The second Cold Case Novel is set at the Pink Palace in Memphis and opens with the heroine, Kelsey Allen breaking into a building. The hero is Brad Hollister. Here’s the blurb:

In an effort to get her security consulting business off the ground, Kelsey Allen has been spending a lot of time up in the air, rappelling down buildings and climbing through windows to show business owners their vulnerabilities to thieves. When she is hired to pose as a conservator at the Pink Palace Museum in order to test their security weaknesses after some artifacts go missing, she’s ecstatic. But when her investigative focus turns from theft to murder, Kelsey knows she’s out of her league–and possibly in the cross hairs. When blast-from-the-past Detective Brad Hollister is called in to investigate, Kelsey may find that he’s the biggest security threat yet . . . to her heart.

About Patricia Bradley:

Winner of the 2016 Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award in Suspense, Patricia Bradley lives in North Mississippi with her rescue kitty, Suzy. Her books include the romantic suspense Logan Point Series and sweet romances with Harlequin Heartwarming. Justice Delayed, a Memphis Cold Case Novel, released in January.  

 

Patricia loves connecting with readers on her blog every Tuesday where she has a Mystery Question for them to solve: www.patriciabradleyauthor.com/blog

Twitter: @ptbradley1

FaceBook: www.facebook.com/patriciabradleyauthor

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/ptbradley/

Silence in the Dark by Patricia Bradley with Giveaway

I really enjoyed Patricia Bradley’s newest release,Silence in the Dark. This the fourth book in her Logan Point series, but you don’t have to have read the previous books to follow it at all. But if you have, it’s fun to revisit many of the characters you’ve met in previous books.

Silence in the Dark 

Here’s the book’s back cover blurb:

When Bailey Adams left Logan Point two years ago for the mission field of Chihuahua, Mexico, she thought she was getting away from her problems. Running into her ex-fiancé Danny Maxwell was not part of the plan—neither was being chased through the city by the local drug cartel, the Calatrava. Now despite her best efforts, Danny is her only chance of escaping the people chasing her and getting back to Logan Point safely. Can Bailey find the strength to face what’s coming? And in the midst of the chaos, can she keep herself from falling in love with her rescuer all over again?

My thoughts:

This fast-paced suspense kept me turning pages late into the night. It was a perfect blend of mystery, suspense and romance. Reunion romances make the idea of a romance blossoming in such a short time in such dire circumstances so much more believable. And I love that Danny got a second chance to prove his love. Pat did a fantastic job of believably portraying Bailey’s struggle to put God’s will for her life ahead of the desires of her heart. The spiritual thread is nicely woven through the story. And I love how Bailey’s parents show their love and support to her (but I won’t tell you how, because I don’t want to give anything away).  5 stars!

I asked Pat to answer a couple of questions about the book:

First where did you get the idea for this book?

Funny thing about that. Bailey came out of nowhere in a conversation between Ben Logan and Danny Maxell when I was writing the second book, A Promise to Protect:

“Have you heard from Bailey?” Ben asked when he caught up with him.

“A letter every now and then.” Danny’s clipped words warned Ben away from the subject.

I had to know why he hadn’t heard from her and where she was.

That’s too funny. Non-writers must get a chuckle over how little we sometimes know our own characters until the words spill out of their mouths. Now the first part of the book was set in Mexico. Did that present challenges for you?

A little. Since I’ve never been to Mexico, I had to talk to a lot of people who had, particularly to Chihuahua. From all the photos I found on the web, it is a beautiful area.

Hmm, it’s not a place I’d be in a hurry to visit after reading your novel! Too scary. 

Readers, I’m giving away a copy of Patricia’s book to one randomly selected commenter. I’ll pick the name after midnight EDT Saturday. So…

Your Turn: Do you have a question for Pat? About the book, the series or her writing?

If you’d like to connect with Pat, you can find her at: PT Bradley (1)

www.patriciabradleyauthor.com

www.facebook.com/patriciabradleyauthor
https://twitter.com/PTBradley1;

http://www.pinterest.com/ptbradley/

And her Silence in the Dark can be purchased at:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

CBD

Introducing Rising Darkness by Nancy Mehl

RT Book Reviews calls Nancy Mehl‘s newest release “Romantic suspense at its best, with an engaging plot that’s not overpowering. Mehl is an amazing author who writes believable stories, knows what fans expect and does not disappoint.”

 Rising Darkness And who could resist that cool cover?

It was Nancy’s covers that first drew me to her books, when my publisher asked me to provide examples of the type of covers I’d like for my Port Aster Secrets series. At the time, Nancy had another series out with similar type covers, depicting the hero or heroine at the top of the page and a scene at the bottom.

I love them! And I was happy that my publisher did to and produced something similar.  😀

But back to this cool book. I asked Nancy if there was anything unique or unusual about it and this is what she had to say:

“Yes, there is! My main character, Sophie Wittenbauer, actually appeared in a different series–UNBREAKABLE, book two in my Road to Kingdom series. I always felt her story was left hanging, and I wanted to bring her full cycle. My editors allowed me to move her into this new series and give her new life!”

That is so fun!

Gathering Shadows and Deadly Echoes are the first two books in this Finding Sanctuary series. But don’t worry, each book is a standalone romantic suspense.

Here’s the Back Cover Blurb for Rising Darkness:

Sophie Wittenbauer left her strict Mennonite hometown under a cloud of shame and regret. After a rough childhood, her teenage poor choices harmed others, leaving her with no choice but to change her life. Her entry-level writing job at a newspaper puts her in the right place at the right time to overhear office gossip about a prisoner who has information on a decades-old unsolved crime. While the other reporters write off the tip as the ravings of an angry criminal, Sophie can’t ignore it because she knows the name of this prisoner from her old life.

Upon learning from the man that one of the other suspects is hiding out in the Missouri town of Sanctuary, she takes on a false identity to investigate and meets the young pastor of a local church–the very man she’d loved as a troubled teenager. As she gets closer to finding the suspect, will the truth of her own past come out before she discovers the identity of the criminal–or the very person she’s seeking puts a fatal stop to her investigation?

Are you intrigued?

All of Nancy’s novels have an added touch – something for your spirit as well as your soul.

“I welcome the opportunity to share my faith through my writing,” Nancy says. “God is number one in my life. I wouldn’t be writing at all if I didn’t believe that this is what He’s called me to do. I hope everyone who reads my books will walk away with the most important message I can give them: God is good, and He loves you more than you can imagine. He has a good plan for your life, and there is nothing you can’t overcome with His help.”

Nancy MehlLearn more about Nancy and her 20 books at: www.nancymehl.com.

She is also part of The Suspense Sisters: www.suspensesisters.blogspot.com

And on Facebook

 

Reading & Writing Romantic Suspense

HQN Quiz RS

For the next two weeks, Harlequin is hosting a Romantic Suspense Event.

And starting at 12:01 PM EST today, if you hop over to their Facebook page, you can take their quiz to find out which series is your perfect read for a chance to win a full year’s subscription!
Of course, I hope you’ll choose the series I write for:
Love Inspired Suspense.
LIS Books Collage

Then join us next week at the Love Inspired Suspense forum at Harlequin.com for a variety of discussions:

      Mon will be the continuity and favorite dogs/hero dogs.
Wed will be characters you’d like to see/character name suggestions.
      Fri will be suspenseful settings/settings you’d like to see.
[I’ll add links here once their live]
OR…

IF YOU HAVE A HANKERING TO WRITE ROMANTIC SUSPENSE

Read on…
First of all, if you aspire to write a romantic suspense, it’s important to understand that it is not simply a romance with a suspense thread. Romantic suspense readers want both a satisfying romance, and a suspense plot that is complicated enough that she won’t easily figure it out or, worse, become annoyed with your characters when they don’t.

So make it your goal to write a novel that is 100% suspense AND 100% romance–two strands of a rope inseparably intertwined throughout the story.

My editors want the danger to be evident from the start, ideally from the first line, or paragraph, definitely before the end of the first page.

For Love Inspired Suspense, both the hero and heroine need to be introduced and connected to the suspense within the first chapter. In single title romantic suspense, depending on chapter lengths, you might introduce the heroine and suspense plot in the first chapter, the hero and his connection in the second, each with clear goals, and bring them together in the third, perhaps clashing over opposing goals or opposing means of reaching the same goal.

I personally prefer to see both the hero and heroine introduced, and if possible to meet, in the first chapter. But either way, jumping right into the suspense is key. If you spend the beginning writing set-up or only writing about the romance, you will lose your reader before the suspense starts.

Although not essential, I also personally like to keep the bad guy a mystery to both my reader and my hero and heroine. That means, I tend not to include scenes in the villain’s pov (point of view)  unless they are anonymous or ambiguous and invite more questions than they answer. To me, keeping the villain a mystery adds more interest and tension to the plot, since the reader will only see things unfold from the hero and heroine’s viewpoint, and therefore share their emotional reactions to what’s happening on the page. Moreover, it keeps the romantic tension center stage, instead of detouring to a few pages where the hero and heroine might not even be on the page.

What is essential, however, is that the heroine be in jeopardy throughout the novel, and that both the hero and heroine have a stake in the outcome.

Let me repeat that another way.

The suspense plot shouldn’t simply be something the hero and heroine stumble into, which thereby puts them in danger, until they find a way out. It shouldn’t be a situation with which they have no personal connection other than being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Not that that can’t make a compelling story. My Daphne DuMaurier Award winning manuscript was a compelling read to the readers, agents and editors who gave it high scores. However, publishers turned it down precisely because the hero and heroine had no personal stake in the outcome of the jeopardy they’d happened into…well, besides getting out alive.  😀

There was tons of romance. There was lots of suspense of the “oh, no, what’s going to happen next?” variety, and the two were tightly intertwined. But aside from survival, the outcome of the suspense plot had no personal consequences to either of them.

Do you understand the difference?

Another important thing to keep in mind as you devise your suspense plot is to play fair with your reader. You can’t pull a convenient explanation or twist out of the blue; you have to set it up first.

Details are the key to setting up suspense and having fun with the reader. As a writer you leave all kinds of toys on the floor in a scene, use them.

But keep in mind that you can’t slow down for many home and apple pie romance scenes or deep spiritual introspection or discussions in the middle of a fast-paced suspense. They’re fine in a straight romance. But need to be utilized sparingly in romantic suspense.

Lastly, don’t wrap up your suspense too early and leave the reader with only the romance to support the end of the book. Or vice versa.

Remember the image of the rope. Romantic suspense readers want both romance and suspense all the way through the novel. And… inspy readers want to also see a satisfying spiritual growth or realization in the characters.

Being forced together via the suspense plot, forges a positive change in the hero’s and heroine’s characters; growth that must take place before the romance can culminate in a happy ending.

Read that last paragraph again.

It is the bare bones blueprint of how the essential elements of a romantic suspense are inextricably connected.

Your Turn: I hope this brief overview has provided a better grasp of areas of your story that might need some attention. Feel free to ask questions. I’ll be happy to try to answer them.

Introducing Hidden Agenda by Lisa Harris + A Giveaway

I’m very excited to introduce you to Hidden Agenda, the third book in Lisa Harris‘ Southern Crimes romantic suspense series from Revell Publishing.

Hidden Agenda

Michael Hunt is alive–and on the run. Presumed dead by friends and family, the undercover assignment he’s been working for the past eight months has just been blown. With a hit out on his life and corruption inside the Atlanta police department, Michael finds himself hunted by both the cartel and the law. His only hope is the daughter of the man who wants him dead.

I had the privilege of endorsing the first book in the series, Dangerous Passages, which went on to win the Christy Award. Book 2, Fatal Exchange, also did not disappoint.

Fatal ExchangeDangerous-Passage-662x1024

Romantic Times Review called it “a thrill ride from start to finish.”

So I’m eager to read this final installment in the series!

I asked Lisa what inspired the series and what she’s working on now. Here’s what she had to say:

The whole Southern Crimes Series was inspired by my desire to write a romantic suspense series based around a close-knit family of cops. For this story in particular, I loved the idea of an undercover cop having to be saved by the daughter of the man who wants him dead. It brought up lots of trust issues and conflict that I had a lot of fun working with. If you haven’t read books one and two in the series, I don’t want to give too much away, but Michael’s story just had to be told!

While Hidden Agenda will be the last in this series, I just turned in a book to my editor that will kick off my next series with Revell, and I’ve just started writing book two. While I can’t say much yet, it’s another fast paced romantic suspense series that deals with a missing person task force and a heroine (and romance) that I can’t wait to reveal!  The first book will release in October!

Great to hear! For those who are “meeting” Lisa for the first time, here is a little more about her, then be sure to answer the blog question for a chance to receive a copy of Hidden Agenda. Lisa Photo

LISA HARRIS is a Christy Award finalist for Blood Ransom, Christy Award winner for Dangerous Passage, and the winner of the Best Inspirational Suspense Novel for 2011 from Romantic Times. She has over thirty novels and novella collections in print. She and her family have spent over a decade living as missionaries in Africa where she leads a women’s group, and runs a non-profit organization that works alongside their church-planting ministry.  When she’s not working she loves hanging out with her family, cooking different ethnic dishes, photography, and heading into the African bush on safari. For more information about her books and life in Africa visit her website at www.lisaharriswrites.com.

Your Turn: What books are you eagerly awaiting to read in 2015?

(The recipient of a complimentary copy of Hidden Agenda will be randomly chosen from comments made before midnight EST Saturday, January 17th)

Desperate MeasuresP.S. The preorder price for Desperate Measures, the final book in my Port Aster Secrets mystery series is still under $5 at Amazon (but I’m not sure how much longer it will last)

Evolution of a Novel – Part 4 – Symbolism

I hope you’ve been enjoying this series on the development of my newest release, Perilous Waters, as much as I’m enjoying writing it.

Today, I’d like to talk about the heart of why I love writing Christian fiction–the opportunity to share spiritual truths and to show my characters working through troublesome obstacles to their faith.

Serenity-Sunset

The use of symbols is a powerful way to touch the heart and mind of a reader at a subconscious level.

As hopefully, you’re immediate internal reaction to the sunset photo above demonstrated.

I always get ridiculously giddy if a particularly appropriate symbol presents itself as I write.

Not every reader registers the deeper meaning of symbols. And that’s okay.

I tend to watch for them in movies, which drives my family a little crazy. For example, in the movie Australia, the big tree in the middle of the desert is used as a symbol for the blossoming relationship. I was sure of it!

So…when the movie appeared to be over after they got the cattle to the ship and my family prepared to call it a night, I said, “It can’t be over. They have to go back to the tree!” 🙁

For those who’ve seen the movie, you’ll remember that I was half-right. I won’t share the significance here, because I don’t want it to be a spoiler, but watch for the tree scenes if you watch the movie. Once you examine such symbols on a conscious level–remember those high school English classes?–you really begin to appreciate their power.

While writing Perilous Waters, “discovering” the particular stolen work of art that the heroine Jennifer Robbins would find in her family’s art gallery, seen depicted below on the FBI’s National Database for Stolen Art, was a total God moment for me. It immediately resonated with me as a powerful symbolic depiction of several elements of the story. 

Screenshot Duel after a masked ball

Screenshot 2014-03-04 09.42.40

It is called Duel After a Masked Ball, and the title alone conveys two elements significant to the story–the idea of a duel, and the masks people wear. So even if the reader can only visualize the piece from my paltry description, I hope they appreciate that the selection wasn’t a random choice.

Throughout the story the heroine finds herself in figurative duels with herself, her sister, her “uncle” and even the hero who she doesn’t realize is secretly investigating her connection to ongoing art thefts involving her gallery. Which…

leads to the second element of masks. Not everyone is whom they seem in the story.

Of course, making people not be what they seem is my favorite pastime to keep my readers guessing. 😉

But the deeper truth comes in shedding the mask that hides us from our true selves.

My heroine Jennifer is a twin sister, a believer, while her sister thumbs her nose at religion. To me, one of the most powerful lines in the story is when her sister says: “I don’t know why you cling so tightly to that Bible. It doesn’t seem to make you any happier.”

It forces the heroine to take a good, hard look at herself, her faith and the perception she conveys to others, however unwittingly, of what being a believer looks like. And what it could look like if she trusted God completely, instead of only trusting him with pieces of her life here and there. 

Your Turn: How have you been impacted personally by a fiction book you’ve read? Or…what’s a favorite symbol you remember from a book or movie?

 

Interview with Heroine of Shadows of the Past by Patricia Bradley & Giveaway

I am delighted to introduce you to author Patricia Bradley and her debut romantic suspense, Shadows of the Past.

Shades_of_the_Past

I had the privilege of reading an advanced copy of this wonderful book for endorsement. Here’s what I thought:

“In Shadows of the Past, Patricia Bradley has created the perfect kind of mystery-novel-hero—emotionally wounded with a heart of gold. Add in a determined criminal-profiler heroine, an unknown stalker, and an eclectic collection of wonderfully developed secondary characters (aka suspects), and Bradley had me totally hooked. An outstanding first book in the Logan Point romantic suspense series. Looking forward to the next installment.”

Since I enjoyed Patricia’s characters so much, I invited her to drop by and interview one of them for us. But first some background on story: 

Psychology professor and criminal profiler Taylor Martin prides herself on being able to solve any crime, except the one she wants most desperately to solve—the disappearance of her father twenty years ago. When she finally has a lead on his whereabouts, Taylor returns home to Logan Point, Mississippi, to investigate. But as she is stalking the truth about the past, someone is stalking her.

Nick Sinclair pens mystery novels for a living, but the biggest mystery to him is how he can ever get over the death of his wife—a tragedy he believes he could have prevented. With his estranged brother the only family he has left, Nick sets out to find him. But when he crosses paths with Taylor, all he seems to find is trouble.

Okay, take it away, Pat.

Thank you so much for hosting me on your blog, Sandra. I thought your readers might enjoy an interview with Taylor. This character literally popped into visit one morning during my quiet time and she told me someone one was stalking her.

Patricia: So, Taylor do you always startle people?

Taylor: Not on purpose, but I do seem to have that knack.

Patricia: What do you think of Nick Sinclair?

Taylor: Nick? At first he made me uncomfortable, the way he defended his brother. After all, I did accuse his brother of stalking me. But then I got to know him, and his loyalty to his brother touched my heart. I would have reacted the same way if someone accused my brother Chase of stalking.

Patricia: You seem so sure of yourself and your opinions. Are you always right?

Taylor: Usually. (she grins). Really? Not always, but enough that I’ll stick to my guns until I’m proven wrong.

Patricia: enough talk about guns. Valentine’s Day is coming up. What is your idea of a perfect date for that special day? And with whom?

Taylor: Hmmm. The last question is a no-brainer. Nick. He is one exciting man! Just thinking about him makes my heart beat faster. Not that I wanted to like him at first. Seems like when we first met, all we did was argue.

And for where? If it’s one of those rare warm days we sometimes get in Logan Point, Mississippi in February, a picnic would be sweet. But since that probably won’t happen, I think I’d like for Nick to take me out to eat at the Blues Espresso. We could listen to some really good jammin’, and he could play his harmonica.

Patricia: That sounds like a great Valentine’s date! Do you want to tell the readers if you and Nick have a future?

Taylor, smiling mysteriously. Nope. But the answer is in the book…

That was great! Thanks so much, Patricia and Taylor for joining us.

Blog Readers: I’m giving away a copy of Shadows of the Past. If you’d like your name thrown into the hat, please scroll to the bottom of this post and ask Patricia or Taylor a question about the story, or about herself, or her next book in the series…whatever you’re curious about. And click through the rafflecopter options for additional opportunities to enter, and…a chance to win an advanced copy of my next Love Inspired Suspense, Perilous Waters.

open+heartWinner will be drawn on Valentine’s Day!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Goodreads members can also enter a giveaway there which ends Feb 18th: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/78819-shadows-of-the-past-a-novel

 

Patricia Bradley

Here’s a little more about Patricia to whet your curiosity. 😉

Patricia Bradley lives in North Mississippi and is a former abstinence educator and co-author of RISE To Your Dreams, an abstinence curriculum. But her heart is tuned to suspense. Patricia’s mini-mysteries have been published in Woman’s World, and her debut novel, Shadows of the Past, is the first of three set in Mississippi and will release February 4, 2014. She will present a workshop, Writing 50,000 words in 30 days, at the Midsouth Christian Writer’s Conference in Collierville, TN on March 8, 2014

Patricia’s Website: www.patriciabradleyauthor.com

Blog: http://mbtponderers.blogspot.com/

Twitter Handle: @PTBradley1

 

Introducing Dangerous Passage & Giveaway

Revell Publishing has added romantic suspense author, Lisa Harris, to their September lineup, and I was thrilled to get a sneak peek of her new release, Dangerous Passage, to write an endorsement.

Dangerous-Passage

What a compelling read!

I finished it in two days and have been looking forward to introducing it to you ever since.

My Review:

In this compelling and emotionally-charged read, Harris exposes the alarming state of human trafficking in the U.S. and the incredible challenges faced by law enforcement to stop it. The intriguing plot, lightened with a sweet romance, kept me reading late into the night. Looking forward to the next in this series.

Back Cover Blurb:
When two Jane Does are killed on the outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia, detective Avery North discovers they share something in common—a magnolia tattoo on their shoulders. Suspecting a serial killer, Avery joins forces with medical examiner Jackson Bryant to solve the crimes and prevent another murder. But as they venture deep into a sinister criminal world, Avery and Jackson are quickly taken to the very edge of their abilities—and their hearts.

I asked Lisa what prompted her to write a suspense centered around human trafficking. Here’s what she shared with me:

Several years ago, I wrote Blood Ransom, a novel that focused on human trafficking in Africa. At the time, I had no idea this was an issue in the US. With this new series, I decided that setting this story in the US, the backdrop of human trafficking would not only make an exciting story, but would also help people become aware of this very real issue. 

Thank you, Lisa. It is frightening how widespread this problem is here in Canada as well–and a serious challenge for law enforcement.

Lisa Photo

If you’re wondering why Lisa wasn’t aware human trafficking was an issue in the US, it’s because Lisa and her family have spent almost ten years living as missionaries in Africa where she leads a women’s group, and runs a non-profit organization that works alongside their church-planting ministry. The ECHO Project works in southern Africa promoting Education, Compassion, Health, and Opportunity and is a way for her to “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves…the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.” (Proverbs 31:8)

Lisa is a Christy Award finalist and the winner of the Best Inspirational Suspense Novel for 2011 from Romantic Times. She has over twenty novels and novella collections in print.When she’s not working she loves hanging out with her family, cooking different ethnic dishes, photography, and heading into the African bush on safari. 

For more information about her books and life in Africa visit her website at www.lisaharriswrites.com or her blog at http://myblogintheheartofafrica.blogspot.com. For more information about The ECHO Project, please visit www.theECHOproject.org.

Your turn: I’m giving away a copy of Dangerous Passage to one randomly selected commenter. Please ask Lisa a question about her new series or ECHO Project or about her life in Africa or the writing life etc. and/or share why you’d especially like to read this book. (Lisa will be traveling as of Tuesday, but will check in when she can)

The winner will be notified by email on Sunday, September 1st. Can you believe it?!! Only one more week until September is here!

 Sept 1 Update: Thank you so much to all who contributed such great questions! Our giveaway winners (chosen by random.org) are Sybil Bates McCormack, Robyn Conners and rlee. Check your inboxes/spam folders for my email. 

 

Join me…

at Margie Lawson’s Alumni Blog today where she’ll be dissecting samples of Deep Cover using her deep editing methods and talking about (I hope!) how I empowered my character’s emotions using the methods she teaches.

Jessica Nelson also has a profile of the book up on her blog called Booking It. Thanks Jessica!

And Susan Sleeman of Suspense Zone wrote a review. Yee! This is a cool site for lovers of Suspense.

And…I missed announcing an interview of my HERO this past Sunday. I’m so ashamed. Poor Rick. You’ll find it here: http://craftieladiesofromance.blogspot.com/2011/09/featured-book-deep-cover-by-sandra.html 

WHY SOME TITLES ALMOST ALWAYS SELL WELL

For the past week, my editor and I have been mulling over title ideas for the third book in my undercover cops series. 


Killer Bunnies
We all know that titles are meant to hook readers into picking up the book. Some titles shock, others offer an intriguing play on words, some tug at our heart strings. What many readers don’t realize is that oftentimes, an author’s suggested or preferred title is not what goes on their book.

A lot of factors play into this. The publisher may have already published a book with that title—a common issue with Love Inspired since they publish so many books. Or there may be another title slotted for the same month with a word in the title common to the second author’s choice. Or perhaps, too many recent releases have already shared the word in common.

Her Only Protector
In addition to those factors, my publisher wants the title to convey what the story is about. So for example, my original title for Deep Cover was Shades of Gray. I liked this on a couple of levels, because the hero’s last name was Gray and he’s an undercover cop living different lives (shades of his life). He also must tell half truths and lies of omission to do his job—more shades of gray. And ultimately, he learns that while he may have to lie to do his job, there is no room for shades of gray in his heart. 

The problem with the title is that it didn’t convey what the story was about. 

Since no requests for new title suggestions were made for my third book at the time of contracting, I thought yay! I get to keep this title, too. The book is about an undercover cop who poses as an IT consultant in a hospital to determine if a string of mysterious deaths were murders, as an outspoken nurse insists–a nurse who soon finds herself a target.

I called it Dose of Deception, thinking that “dose” hints at the medical setting, and that “deception” hints at the role of the undercover cop and the villain. But alas…last week, I was asked to suggest alternatives.

With suspense on my mind, I proposed titles that included words like: killer, murder, lethal, mystery etc. To my surprise, I learned that books with those words in the titles don’t sell as well for Love Inspired Suspense. It made sense, once I thought about it. Readers are looking for “romantic” suspense.

Lone Defender
I, too, tend to gravitate to the titles that have words like protector or guardian or hero in them. The problem is the line has already used almost every possible combination of great hero descriptors like that. So I’m stumped…

Your turn: What key words in a “romantic suspense” title grab your attention?