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.


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 or her blog at For more information about The ECHO Project, please visit

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 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: 


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?

The Real Story…

Thank you to everyone who hazarded a guess yesterday as to why my daughter was duct taped to a chair. I loved your creativity! I decided to share the answer here, but if you’d like to read the rest of the post on Five Ways to Improve Your Characterization, you can check it out at Jaunty Quills

The real story…the other night my daughter and son were sitting in the room below my office when my teenage daughter started squealing about how thrilled she is with the characters in the novel she’s writing. The next thing I know, she’s calling for help.

Preoccupied with my own writing, I called down, “Can’t your brother help you?”

More cries rose from the floor below. Muffled this time. Something like, “He did it.”

None to happy about being interrupted, I tromp downstairs, to find out what’s going on. Imagine my glee when I find my daughter duct-taped to her desk chair!

“Wait, don’t move,” I exclaimed, and ran back upstairs for my camera. You see, the heroine in the book I’m working on gets duct-taped by the villain to a chair. I’m seeing … research opportunity!!
I want to know how her muscles feel straining against the tape; the yow of ripped hair when its tugged off; the sensation of the scream building in her throat; the taste of panic when she realizes she can’t get herself free. And just how loud can she shout with a piece of duct tape on her mouth?

Our dear pup even decided to get in on the action and play the hero, doing the courtesy of ripping her free!

By this time, my daughter is getting right into the “research”, and my son is rolling his eyes, no doubt thinking that instead of quieting his nutty sister, he’d created two monsters!

Fun Friday – Getting into Character?

Let me start by assuring you that I DID NOT duct tape my daughter to the chair. Honest! 

And isn’t Bella a true hero–um, heroine–to try to free her? 

Before I tell you what’s going on at the whacky author’s house, I want to give all of you a chance to guess. Let’s have some creative fun. 

Your turn: What do you think is going on? 

Then…join me tomorrow at Jaunty Quills where the answer will be revealed, and one lucky commenter will receive a signed copy of Deep Cover. 

Also until Sunday, at Margaret Daley’s blog, tell me what undercover cop assignment you would find most intriguing to read about for another chance to win a copy.