Meet Sara Davison, Author of On the Edge Suspense

Meet Sara Davison, Author of On the Edge Suspense

I love how this blog allows me the opportunity to meet so many other authors that I might not have otherwise. Sara is a new-to-me author (at least with the release of her previous book), and I’m so excited to get to talk to her here. Also, Sara is generously giving away a copy of The End Begins. Check out the details at the end of this post.

If you haven’t met her yet, here is a bit about Sara:

Sara Davison is the author of The Night Guardians, The Rose Tattoo, Two Sparrows for a Penny, and In the Shadows series, as well as the standalone, The Watcher. A finalist for more than a dozen national writing awards, including the Christy Award, Davison is a Holt Medallion, Cascade, and two-time Carol Award winner for romantic suspense. She lives in Ontario with her husband, Michael. Like every good Canadian, she loves coffee, hockey, poutine, and apologizing for no particular reason. Get to know Sara better and subscribe to her short, monthly newsletter at www.saradavison.org.

You can connect with her through:  Website |  Facebook  |  Instagram  |  Amazon  |  BookBub  |  GoodReads

Now for the fun stuff! I have to admit I am partial to my Fast Five. 🙂 So settle in as I hit Sara with rapid-fire.

 

CC: Pineapple pizza or candy corn?

SD: Candy corn! (I don’t do fruit on pizza)

CC: Test the waters or dive in the deep end?

SD: Test the waters.

CC: Guacamole or salsa?

SD: Salsa if I have to choose, both if I don’t. Plus sour cream.

CC: Silly hats or silly socks?

SD: Silly socks. All hats look silly on me.

CC: Passwords or secret handshakes?

SD: Ooh, secret handshakes. I can’t remember a password to save my life.

LoL, isn’t that why password apps exist? I know I’d be lost without mine. So let’s dive into getting to know you a little more.

What fiction book has most impacted you?

SD: So many novels have impacted me and my writing, but I’d have to say the one that impacted me most was likely Love Comes Softly by Janette Oke. Oh, and A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle. Can I say two? Love Comes Softly because, as a Canadian, I was impacted by the idea that a fellow Canadian author could have such an impact in the writing world. I was also deeply moved by the storyline, which demonstrated to me the power of a well-written romantic novel. A Wrinkle in Time because it showed me that an author can push boundaries and write something completely different than what is out there and despite that (or maybe because of it) produce a story that continues to resonate and shape and influence stories in multiple genres. Those two books ignited a spark in me to write powerful, action-packed, romantic, boundary-pushing stories that have an impact on readers’ lives.

CC: I love that! It never fails to astonish me just how impactful fiction can really be.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

SD: Two things happened when I was around nine years old that I look back on now as evidence that the desire to write has always been in me. First, we went on a class trip in fourth grade and had to do a write-up on the experience afterwards. Mine was chosen to go in the school newsletter, and to this day I remember how it felt to see my words in print and know others were reading them. I knew then that was what I wanted to do with my life. Secondly, we moved a lot when I was growing up, and the first thing I would do in my new town (and still do) was find the library. I have a clear memory of walking up and down the aisles one day, running my fingers along the spines and thinking, all these people wrote a book. It can be done. I can do this. So that was the pivotal year that really set my course for this career that I love and am so blessed to have (even when it drives me crazy).

CC: I love that. My library was a safe-haven for me. There is just something refreshing and comforting to be surrounded by books. 

What is your writing Kryptonite?

SD: Definitely discouragement. Like most, maybe all writers, I struggle with feeling as though nothing I write is good enough. No one is reading it and, if they are, they probably don’t like it. It’s not having an impact. Why am I doing this to myself? So often putting stories out into the world not only feels like the most terrifying, vulnerable thing to do, it feels like shouting into some deep, black void. I truly believe God uses writers and words and stories to change lives, which the enemy does not want, and discouragement is the tool he wields most often in an attempt to get them to give up and stop writing. So, it’s a mental, emotional, and deeply spiritual battle to keep going. I have to remind myself daily (hourly, sometimes) that my job is to be obedient to the calling, to produce work that is as excellent as I can make it, to market and promote that work to the best of my ability, and then to leave the results to God. I know He gives me the stories and that, therefore, He has a plan for them, so I can trust that if I do my part, He will do His and get them into the hands of the people He wants to read them. That may be five people or five hundred thousand people – that’s up to Him. Every Christian writer needs prayer that they will not give in to discouragement and give up but will be faithful and obedient to do what God has called and gifted them to do.

CC: Oomph. I cannot tell you how much I needed that reminder right now. This truly is a mental, emotional, and deeply spiritual battle. Sometimes I have to remind myself of that in order to keep moving forward.

Do you have any advice for those who want ot write their own stories?

SD: If you believe in your story, never give up on it. Study and learn and accept feedback and constantly strive to get better with your writing, as excellence honours God. And find your community – other writers who understand what you are going through, people who will support, encourage, and pray for you, and readers who need the message God has laid on your heart to weave into your stories. And did I mention never give up?

CC: Amen. And maybe add, prepare for spiritual battle. You need God’s protection with you every step of this journey.

Now I’m excited to talk about The End Begins.

Which of them is the prisoner and which one is free?

Bookstore owner Meryn O’Reilly and Army Captain Jesse Christensen are on opposite sides of a battle. After a series of terrorist attacks in 2053, martial law has been declared in Canada and the military has taken over. When a radical Christian group claims responsibility, Jesse and his platoon are sent to Meryn’s city to keep an eye on the Christians and ensure they are not stepping outside the confines of the law.

Fiery and quick-tempered, Meryn chafes under the curfew and other restrictions to her freedom. Jesse is equally amused, intrigued, and terrified by her spirit, knowing she could end up in prison if she shows defiance to the wrong soldier, namely Lieutenant Gallagher.

Jesse watches out for Meryn when possible, although she wants nothing to do with him. His worst fears are realized when she commits a crime he cannot protect her from. Now they both face an uncertain future and the very real threat of losing everything, including their lives.

With time running out, Jesse works feverishly to convince the authorities to show leniency—and to convince Meryn that love can overcome any barrier that lies between them.

Purchase your copy at  Amazon (US)  |  Amazon (Canada) 

CC: Where did you get the idea for The End Begins?

SD: Often, I’m not able to answer this question, but in the case of The Day Draws Near Series, I can pinpoint the moment the seeds for the stories were planted. Our pastor was teaching an excellent series on the book of Revelation, and I came to deeply love that book of the Bible. The End Begins, The Darkness Deepens, and The Morning Star Rises came out of that teaching, as it ignited in me a deep desire to write stories that paint a picture of what very well might be coming for believers in a society increasingly hostile to Christianity. To ask the question, are we ready? And to instill, not fear, but a deep joy and hope in the knowledge that, whatever we face, we will never be alone. God is sovereign and in control and everything that will happen in the end days will happen according to His plan. He will be with us and give us the courage and strength to persevere to the end. And one day all will be set right, and we will be in His presence forever.
CC: It is both a terrifying and encouraging concept. I do pray that I am ready, for it really does feel like it is drawing near. 
What about this story drew you to it?

SD: The fact that this story drew me so strongly surprised me, as I grew up in those years when terrifying books and movies about the end times were coming out, and I never thought I would want to write about anything remotely like that. What I hope and pray I have done, with God’s help, is create stories that clearly convey that the end is drawing near and that instill a sense of urgency in believers to prepare themselves and to share the gospel at every opportunity while offering a deep sense of hope (not fear). As my heroine, Meryn, says to the hero, Jesse, when he asks why God is allowing all this to happen: “To show himself to us. To call people – and nations – who have turned their backs on him to return to Him… We may feel as though we are being beaten and tossed around by the overpowering wind and waves right now. If we keep our eyes on that distant light, though, on the promise that we are not alone and that, whatever happens, the one who created the wind and the waves will bring us home to that safe harbor, the storm has no real power over us.”

CC: Wow. That is immensely powerful. Seriously, it just took my breath away and I slowed down to reread it.
What do you hope readers will take away from your story?
SD: Hope. I put my characters through some terrible things, and my stories can be challenging or heartbreaking (while, hopefully, interspersed with banter, humour, and strong relationships – always the main thing for me). What I always desire for readers take away from any of my stories is the hope – the absolute, rock-hard conviction – that whatever they have gone through, whatever they have done or has been done to them, whatever they might face in the future – they never have been and will never be alone. The world of The End Begins is speculative but, I have been told, highly plausible. My prayer is that, as they experience the story, readers will be reminded that hard times are coming for believers and they need to be prepared for that, but they don’t have to be afraid. God is on his throne and has promised to be with us always, giving us the strength and courage to persevere to the end with hope and joy.

CC: This interview has totally convinced me to buy the entire series in paperback, and I’ve really dialed back in what I purchase in print. Wow. Such a powerful message. Unfortunately, we’re out of time, so I’d like us to end with one more fun question:

 

You are in the back of a police car on your way to jail. What did you do, and is anyone with you?
SD: I have no doubt that I will one day, likely soon, find myself in this exact situation. When I do, it will one hundred percent be for what I have in the search history on my computer. For recent novels, I have done in-depth research on types of guns and ammunition as well as how to treat gunshot wounds with items found at home. I’ve looked into what is involved in becoming a drug lord and how gang initiations work. Most recently, I learned online how to make and to defuse homemade bombs. Even if I don’t get arrested, I’m positive I’m on numerous watchlists in North America and quite possibly beyond.
CC: LoL, sounds like it might be in your best interest to not travel internationally.
Readers, I hope you’ll check out The End Begins and then leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads, and/or BookBub. You wouldn’t believe how important that is to an author.  

Giveaway Info

Sara is graciously providing one U.S. resident, 18 years and older, with a signed copy of The End Begins. Use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Entries open until 11:59 p.m. EST on July 17.

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Reader, what do you know of the Asian front during WWII? What things interest you about this story?

Meet Angela Carlisle, Author of Secondary Target

Meet Angela Carlisle, Author of Secondary Target

I’m not sure I’ve ever been more excited to introduce an author to you. Angela Carlisle is one of the Mayhemmers, a core group of friends who have been walking this writing journey together for several years now. You’ve already met Liz Bradford, or at least one of her characters. But today it is Angela’s turn to claim the spotlight. TODAY is her debut release of Secondary Target, a romantic suspense published by Bethany House. I’ve had the blessing of seeing this story “grow up” since its infancy. It’s truly one you don’t want to miss. Before I dive in, let me give you a proper introduction to my friend and fellow Mayhemmer. Oh, and she’s generously providing a giveaway, so be sure to go to the bottom to enter.

Angela Carlisle is a writer and editor by day and prefers to spend her free time reading, baking, and drinking ridiculous quantities of properly steeped hot tea. Whether reading or writing, she loves stories with heart-pounding suspense, permeated with the hope found in Christ. She resides in the hills of northern Kentucky with her family and preschool-age sourdough starter. Learn more at AngelaCarlisle.com.

You can connect with her through:  Website Facebook  |  Instagram  |  BookBub  |  GoodReads

Now for the fun stuff! I have to admit I am partial to my Fast Five. 🙂 So settle in as I hit Angela with rapid-fire.

 

CC: Pineapple pizza or candy corn?

AC: Pineapple pizza, lol

CC: Test the waters or dive in the deep end?

AC: Test the waters

CC: Guacamole or salsa?

AC: Guac all the way!

CC: Silly hats or silly socks?

AC: Yes. Find, if I have to pick one, we’ll go with silly hats.

CC: Passwords or secret handshakes?

AC: Passwords. I’m much more coordinated in my brain than my hands. lol

Says the woman who can knit a pair of fingerless gloves without looking . . . LOL 

What does your writing process look like?

AC: First thing that comes to mind is a hot mess. I am so much a seat-of-the-pants writer that I literally cannot plot, so while I might know the ending and bits and pieces of my story, I find out how to get there as I go and do much of my research as I go. I also don’t always write in order. If I can “see” a scene, I often go ahead and write it, even if it’s the climax and I only have the first chapter written already! I will say though, that I like to get to know my characters beforehand, and that helps with figuring out the story because then they can help drive my story by reacting to things naturally.

CC: One must never fight the characters, or they will completely derail the writer. LOL I still can’t wrap my head around writing out of order, but you do it so well! 

What has been the biggest challenge for you on your writing journey?

AC: Honestly, it’s been my health. I deal with chronic illness and work full-time in addition to my writing, so having the energy and brain power to put out words is often difficult. But I love story, and I serve a God who is strong even when I’m weak.

CC: Amen. And we’ll all be praying for improved health and more brain space. (Right readers?)

How have you seen God work through your writing journey?

AC: Do we have time for that answer? Lol. I could cite so many instances of closed doors, open doors, decisions made that weren’t entirely logical (so I can’t take credit for them) but ended up being the best thing I could have done, providential delays, etc.

God has also grown me personally and brought so many wonderful people into my life through the writing world that I may never have met otherwise. For example, several years ago, I prayed for a group of close female friends, and he supplied that through my writing group, the Masters of Mayhem (of which Crystal is a member). I absolutely love writing and doing life with these three amazing ladies. 

CC: So similar for me. You know how I prayed for 15 years for God to provide me a close Christian friend. He provided several through the writing journey, but you were the first, and what a blessing that has been. God has been so good to bring us together.

Do you have any advice for those who want to write their own stories?

AC: Be patient. Be teachable. Be determined.

Writing (especially if you’re writing for publication) is a long road. No matter how good a writer you are at the beginning of your journey, you have a lot to learn. And that’s okay—learning is good for us. But even once you have a great, super-polished story (or two or three), it’s probably still going to take a long time to get published, and then there will be many more edits! That’s just part of the game. But the rewards for sticking it out and refusing to give up are so worth it.

CC: So true and encouraging to hear.

Now I’m excited to talk about your debut release, Secondary Target.

A ruthless murderer. A deadly secret. An unbreakable love.

After the brutal murder of her mother and brother twelve years ago, Corina Roberts built a new life in Kentucky. But then strange things begin to happen, and she is thrust into a perilous game of life and death. With nowhere else to turn, her best hope of survival depends on her ex, army veteran Bryce Jessup.

Recently returned from service, Bryce has every intention of staying away from Corina, but when threats close in around her, he isn’t willing to leave her safety to chance. As their search for answers uncovers lethal secrets her detective father kept hidden, Bryce and Corina must untangle the mystery of the merciless killer intent on terrorizing and eliminating Corina’s family before it’s too late.

Purchase your copy at  Amazon  |  Baker Book House  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Christianbook

CC: Where did you get the idea for Secondary Target?

AC: It sounds cliché, but the idea for Secondary Target initially came from a dream sparked by a conversation with my brother. The final story is much different than what I first envisioned, but some of the key pieces remain.
CC: Good ol’ dream sparks. 🙂 
Who do you think will most love this book?

AC: Readers who enjoy Lynette Eason, Lynn H. Blackburn, and Jessica Patch are probably right in that sweet spot. Secondary Target is heavy on the suspense and lighter on romance (but the romance is most definitely there!) and features a cold case, small-town setting, and reunion romance.

CC: So many fun elements. I highly recommend it to any suspense reader, though. 😉
Which character was the most fun to create?
AC: Probably Allye. She’s the “little” sister and best friend to the book’s main characters, and she’s just a tad bit feisty. She’s a bit of a mother hen and the type to take care of you whether you like it or not, but she’s not afraid to engage in some good-natured teasing too. Readers can expect more of her in book two.
CC: Allye is a hoot. I do so love her quirkiness . . . and her pieces of you in her.
How did this story affect you as you wrote it? Did God teach you anything through the writing?
AC: In a way, I think it was more a processing of a time he had already brought me through—a time of learning to trust him even when I couldn’t feel him. To cling to the promises of Scripture that he is always faithful and doesn’t just leave his children to walk through their trials alone. 
CC: Amen. Sometimes, the processing of it is just as important as the initial learning of it. Okay, one last fun question.
You are in the back of a police car on your way to jail. What did you do? And is anyone with you?
AC: I was probably testing something for a story, and someone called the police thinking I was really tossing a body in the trunk or some such nonsense. Crystal is most definitely in that back seat with me . . . if she managed to get out of the trunk, that is.
CC:  LOL, that is way too close to the truth. Should you be sharing our secrets with them? LOL
Readers, I hope you’ll check out Secondary Target and then leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads, and/or BookBub. You wouldn’t believe how important that is to an author.  

Giveaway

Angela is graciously providing a signed print copy of her debut novel to one U.S. Resident over the age of 18. This giveaway will run until 11:59 p.m. on May 14.

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Reader, what are your favorite elements of a suspense story?

Meet Morgan Zalman from Out of the Ashes by Liz Bradford

Meet Morgan Zalman from Out of the Ashes by Liz Bradford

I love it when I get to interview characters. You just never know where things will lead. Today, I get the honor of introducing you to Morgan Zalman, a woman who (based on insider knowledge) took over an entire series that wasn’t supposed to be about her at all. And what a story she has to tell. So first, we’ll dive into a blurb about the final book in the Knoxville FBI series, but just so you know, this is definitely a series you want to read in order. Links to each of the books will be after the blurb below.

Out of the Ashes by Liz Bradford

Free at last. But will an unknown past imprison her future?

Thanks to her friends at the FBI, Morgan Zalman is now free from the trafficking life. But how can she, as broken as she is, ever find a hope-filled life and have the family she once dreamed of? Gio Crespi has promised her forever and, though she believes he loves her as much as humanly possible, will their families accept her and all the baggage she comes with?

As Morgan and Gio move forward into the future together, strange dreams and haunting memories of a forgotten past begin to plague Morgan’s mind and threaten to pull her under. Furthermore, the one man from her past she still fears finds her and says that he is the key to unlocking her missing memories. Is he telling the truth or only trying to manipulate her? Does she even need to know what happened during that missing year? Can she rise out of the ashes of her past life and soar into the future?

You aren’t going to want to miss this final installment of Liz Bradford’s Knoxville FBI series.

Purchase Links: Into the Flames  |  Under Fire  |  Smoky Escape  |  Out of the Ashes

Now for our interview with Morgan.

CC: I’m so excited to get to introduce you to my readers, Morgan. Would you mind telling them a little bit about yourself?

MZ: Hi, I’m Morgan. My story isn’t for the faint of heart. Honestly, just introducing myself isn’t for the squeamish. I don’t know how to describe myself very well. After years of being trafficked, I’m still learning who I am. I’ve been described as spunky and have always had trouble controlling my snark. As far as my role in the book Out of the Ashes, more of my story comes to life, even parts of my story I don’t remember. My best friend, Jacqui gives me a hard time that I hijacked the entire series, but this book is truly mine … no, not really, it’s God’s story and shows how He works in our lives, in big and small ways.

CC: Your hijacking was exactly what we needed. You give us a look into a world we’d like to ignore and help us to empathize with you and those who are like you. I cannot wait to see how God continues to show up in your story. How do you think others view you? Do you feel this is an accurate representation of yourself?

MZ: Now that’s a loaded question. There are plenty of people in the world who think I’m the bottom of society. But Gio and Jacqui don’t see me that way. We’re headed to meet Gio’s parents and then see my extended family … I don’t know what any of them think of me. I really don’t. As nervous as I am about meeting Gio’s parents, if they are anything like Gio (which I think they are), I’m actually more nervous about seeing my family. My brother keeps trying to reassure me that it’ll be fine–and seeing him will be–but everyone else? I just have a really bad feeling about how that will go.

CC: Oh, I can see where that would be hard. I know it’s been a long time since you last saw your family, and that time has been filled with a lot of unsavory history. Sending you hugs. What is your biggest struggle or fear? 

MZ: I’d say my biggest struggle is remembering that I’m not the same person I was before. God has changed me. I have to remember that I am His, and He is at work in my life. I still feel so broken, but He is healing me. It’s gonna take time, and I’m learning to be okay with that. But my biggest fear is that I’ll mess it up. That I’ll never be enough. See, here I am back at that biggest struggle. The truth is I won’t ever be enough. I won’t. I’m not. But God is! He is enough, and He’s the one changing me.

CC: That being changed into a whole new creature is such an experience, and one the devil likes to cast doubts and shadows over. Cling to that truth that God is enough and He is the one changing you. We can’t do any of it on our own. Who is your favorite person?

MZ: Gio, of course. That man has done nothing but love me unconditionally since the moment I met him. Sure, he’s not perfect, but he’s done an amazing job at pointing me straight to Jesus.

CC: A man who points to Jesus is a true hero. Tell us a little bit more about your hero, Gio.

MZ: Gio is the bravest, strongest, most humble man I’ve ever met. Goodness knows I’ve met more than my share. Gio’s love for the Lord is unwavering. I strive to have a relationship with the Lord like Gio does.

CC: Can I just say, happy sigh? A man of faith is always swoonworthy. Unfortunately, your life hasn’t had many of them. Could you describe the villain of your story?

MZ: I feel like I’ve faced enough horrible things in my life to not be afraid of much, but there is one thing I am afraid of, and it’s Duke. He’s the only one I’m afraid might show back up and cause problems for me. This sounds stupid, but the truth is I don’t know why I’m so afraid of him. But something in my gut tells me I should be. He’s smart and cunning and has tried to manipulate me in the past. I hope and pray he never finds me again.

CC: Oh, my sweet Morgan. If only Duke would stay in your past, but I have a feeling that God is going to have you face your fears, and He alone will be able to bring beauty out of the ashes.

Readers, I highly recommend this series. However, it is not for the faint of heart. It isn’t graphic, but it is gritty and gives a realistic view of the trafficked life. It’s a series that needs to be read.  

Reader Question: What other books have you read or seen that deal with trafficking?

 

About Liz Bradford:

Liz Bradford didn’t always know she was a writer, but story ideas have always been a part of her life. When she finally took an idea seriously, she started writing and hasn’t been able to stop. She is a member of ACFW and ACFW-Louisville Chapter. Even though Liz’s heart yearns to live in the mountains of North Carolina, she and her husband live in southern Indiana where she homeschools their three daughters.

Connect with Liz: Newsletter  |  Website  |  Pinterest  |  Facebook  |  BookBub  |  GoodReads  | Amazon

 

 

Meet Tane Temauri from The Color of Sky and Stone by Sara Davison

Meet Tane Temauri from The Color of Sky and Stone by Sara Davison

We’re kicking the new year off with a new character to interview. Sara Davison’s hero comes from book one of her new series, In the Shadows. The Color of Sky and Stone is in my Kindle and on my TBR pile. So settle in, and let’s get to know Tane Temauri and the suspense novel that shakes his world.

The Color of Sky and Stone by Sara Davison

She is the only one who truly sees him.

Which makes her his greatest threat.

Undercover cop Tane Temauri has made it his life’s mission to stay out of sight. Given the dangers inherent in his job, the last thing he can afford is to step into the open and become a target. Again.

Then a letter from a mysterious stranger changes everything. Although the letter was not meant for him, somehow, on a greater, cosmic scale, it feels as though it is.

But answering it will make Tane vulnerable. How can he emerge from the shadows and risk everything for a woman he has never met? If he does, more than his heart could be on the line. So could his life.

And hers.

Purchase Links: Amazon.US  |  Amazon.CA

Now for our interview with Tane.

CC: I’m so excited to introduce you to my readers, Tane. Would you mind telling them a little bit about yourself?

TT: I shouldn’t really be telling you this, but confidentially, I am a deep undercover agent for a black ops organization called DAG. This isolated underground life suits me, as living in the shadows, staying below the radar, is a skill I honed as a child after a traumatic experience left me deeply scarred – in more ways than one.

CC: Oh, that is very ominous, and it must be a hard, isolating job to be working deep undercover. Who are you closest to in life? 

TW: As much as I can be close to anyone, when I have intentionally built walls around myself to keep everyone out, I’d have to say Beck and Johnny. We met the first day of high school and became friends and eventually brothers. At least, they were my brothers. Now Johnny is gone, and I’ve betrayed Beck in such an egregious way I’m not sure our friendship will survive. I’ve even walked away from the younger brothers I basically raised, something I never would have believed I could do. So now I am really and truly alone in the world. Except for a letter I found from a complete stranger. A letter not meant for me but that, as crazy and dangerous as it would be, I am seriously considering answering …

CC: Answering a stranger sounds dangerous, intriguing, and possibly life-altering. Speaking of life-altering, what is your darkest secret?

TW: I can’t tell you that. I’ve kept my deepest, darkest secret from everyone, even Beck and Johnny. They know parts of my story, but I’ve never been able to bring myself to share all the details with them, the trauma of the night that left me scarred, body and soul. Although, this stranger I wrote remarkably wrote me back, and she wants to know more about me. Already, from the beautiful words she has written, I feel more drawn to her than anyone I have met. All I know is her first name – Lia – and that she is as alone in the world as I am. She suggested that us writing to each other could be like her turning a light on in her window and me turning a light on in mine. That way, when one or the other of us is out wandering in the cold and dark, we can see that light and know we are not alone. What I am feeling for her, for this picture she has created in my mind of a light in the darkness, is so powerful it terrifies me. I can’t let down my walls, even on words written on paper to a stranger. It’s far too dangerous. For both of us. I need to end this now. If I tell her my secret, share everything with her, I have no doubt that will be the end of it. We will both be free to let go of whatever this could have been between us and move on with our lives. Safe. And alone.

CC: Because sharing secrets with a stranger is always a good idea . . . even if you’re trying to push them away. Somehow, I don’t think this is going to go like you plan. Why are you able to open up in letters in a way you never have been able to to anyone face to face?

TW: From childhood, I have hidden in the shadows. Even before that night, the other kids were cruel. My brothers and I didn’t look like anyone else in our small town, which made us targets. And after what happened, well, that only got worse. A lot worse. I learned fast that it was safer to stay out of sight, to not allow anyone to see me. On paper, though, and to a stranger I will likely never meet in person, it’s easier. She can’t see me. Can’t see the color of my skin. Can’t see the scars on my face and body. Can’t look into my eyes. Which means that I can, finally, fully open up to someone. Spill my secrets, my pain, my fears across the page. It’s so much safer than revealing myself in person. Except, with every letter, every word she writes, she reveals that she can see me. That she is starting to know me. Really know me. Who I am at the very core. And I’m beginning to realize that what we’re doing is not safe at all. In fact, with her, I may be in greater danger than I have ever been. To protect her, to protect us both, I need to stop writing and let her go.

CC: With an answer like that, I think I know the answer to this next one but . . . What is your deepest fear?

TW: I always thought my deepest fear was being seen. Really seen. My face, my scars, who I am deep inside. Only now, since I have caught a glimpse of how it feels, what it means when another human being truly sees you, sees who you are, sees the very worst parts of you, and doesn’t walk away, my biggest fear has become not being seen. Not having this person in my life who knows everything about me and cares about me anyway, loves me, even. With Lia, I have seen what that light turned on in the darkness can do. If I lose her, if I let her go like I absolutely should, for both our sakes, I will be plunged into that darkness again. But what will happen if I don’t?

CC: Oh, that is a scary question. Discovering that we need people, need relationships, just as God designed us, is transforming, both in the best and the scariest of ways. How DO you feel about God?

TW: There’s no simple answer to this one. My mother took us to Sunday school as kids, and I was all in. I loved the stories and songs and I loved Jesus. After what happened, I clung to my faith for a while. I laid in that hospital bed and cried out to him night after night, asking him to help me, to let us move away to a place where no one knew us, where no one knew what had happened. When he didn’t answer my prayers, eventually I stopped clinging to that faith. I didn’t think I would ever be able to get it back. I didn’t even know if I wanted to.

Then, when Lia and I started writing, she talked about God. When I told her what I’d been through, how I believed God had abandoned me, she told me this: What can separate us from the love of God? Nothing. And what can tear us out of his hand? Nothing. Those are promises straight from the Word of God, and he cannot break his promises and still be God. Until you are able to believe those promises one day, I will believe them enough for both of us. And if, after everything I have revealed to her, Lia hasn’t abandoned me, then maybe, maybe I can believe that God hasn’t either.

CC: Sounds like a very wise woman that you shouldn’t let out of your life. I look forward to reading your story and finding out exactly what happens and if you to ever get that face-to-face meeting and what dangers lurk to keep you apart.

Readers, tell us in the comments: Do you think it is easier to be open with a complete stranger through letters that you think you’ll never meet or not?


About Sara Davison:

Sara Davison has a passion for writing stories that keep readers on the edge of their seats—and maybe swooning a little. A finalist for more than a dozen national writing awards, including the Christy Award, Davison is a Cascade, Word, and two-time Carol Award winner for romantic suspense. She lives in Ontario with her husband, Michael. Like every good Canadian, she loves coffee, hockey, poutine, and apologizing for no particular reason. Get to know Sara better and subscribe to her short, monthly newsletter at www.saradavison.org.

Connect with Sara: Website  |  Facebook  |  Instagram  |  GoodReads  |  BookBub  |  Amazon  |

 

 

Under Fire by Lynn Blackburn

Under Fire by Lynn Blackburn

Under Fire

by Lynn Blackburn


Review:

This was my first series from Lynn Blackburn, and I loved it so much that I bought physical copies of the book after borrowing the audiobooks from the library. The Defend and Protect series was a great mix of suspense and romance, and it focused on the Secret Service. No surprise there why it intrigued me. With all the underlying tension between Tessa and Zane throughout books 1 and 2, I couldn’t WAIT to read their story.

While I did really enjoy the book, it ended up not being my favorite of the three. The suspense and action were a lot slower for the most part, and the romance was way up. It was perfect for those who love the will-they or won’t-they get together books, with special looks, pet names, and kisses. I tend to prefer suspense over romance and this book was definitely a romance over suspense. I still really enjoyed it, and I really appreciated the touching on alcoholism. Overall, it is a book I recommend and will probably enjoy again in the future.


Genre:  Romantic Suspense

Plot:

USSS Special Agent Zane Thacker has landed his dream assignment protecting the president of the United States. When the president plans a fundraiser at the exclusive estate of a political supporter in Raleigh, Zane is thrilled to be working again with Special Agent Tessa Reed, his best friend–and the woman he desperately wishes could be more.

Though Tessa almost lost everything, she battled her demons and came out on the other side healthy and healed. But when her role as the liaison between the Raleigh office and the president’s protective detail wrenches her past back into the present, her greatest failure threatens to come to light.

Zane refuses to let Tessa go through this alone. But can he stand by the woman he loves and protect the president from a mounting threat at the same time?

Sparks fly as award-winning romantic suspense writer Lynn H. Blackburn closes out her Defend and Protect series with this explosive tale of secrets kept, lies exposed, and relationships restored.

Lynn Blackburn’s Website: https://www.lynnhblackburn.com/

Purchase Link: Amazon |  Baker Book House  | Christianbook


Have you read the series? Which book was your favorite? Have you read any of Lynn Blackburn’s other books? Recommendations for a next read from her? Or if you haven’t read her yet, are you intrigued?

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