A new author I found a few months back, Amy Wallace, sent me her newest book free as an "influencer copy". My part of the deal is to write a blog about it today, and I also interviewed the author by email. I hope that everyone will take the time to read this post.
I know I am supposed to review that book, but I am really impressed with the whole series, Defenders of Hope. The series revolves around some FBI agents in a Missing Children's Unit. The books have suspense, intrigue, excitement, and deal with issues. The first book deals with loss of family members & grief. The second, among others, deals with cancer, and going through the treatments.
The third book, Enduring Justice, goes to a couple of different issues. Racism & child molestation. The story centers around a white supremacist group who is bent on doing away with any non-white people they can, while the FBI does all they can to stop them. Also, at the heart of the story, is a young woman dealing with child molestation, which is addressed in a very tasteful manner.
Here is a description of the story, sent to me by the author:
Secrets Can’t Last Forever
A PAINFUL PAST
Hanna Kessler’s childhood secret has remained buried for over two decades. But when the dark shadows of her past threaten to destroy those she loves, Hanna must face the summer that changed her life and the man who still haunts her memories.
A RACIALLY-MOTIVATED KILLER
As a Crimes Against Children FBI Agent, Michael Parker knows what it means to get knocked down. Difficult cases and broken relationships have plagued his entire year. But when the system fails and a white supremacist is set free, Michael’s drive for retribution eclipses all else.
A LIFE-ALTERING CHOICE
A racist's well-planned assault forces Hanna and Michael to decide between executing vengeance and pursuing justice. The dividing line is the choice to heal. But when the attack turns personal, is justice enough?
Amy Wallace is a wife, home school mom, author, speaker, and avid chocoholic. She loves crafting high-action suspense that delves deep into heart issues, but who she really is can be summed up in a few short words: Amy is a daughter of the King learning to live and love with laughter.Amy is also the author of the Defenders of Hope series: Ransomed Dreams, Healing Promises, and Enduring Justice, a contributing author of Chicken Soup for the Soul Healthy Living Series: Diabetes, and God Answers Moms’ Prayers. Visit Amy at www.amywallace.com and join the Dark Chocolate Suspense newsletter http://www.amywallace.com/Newsletter.html
And now, the interview - my friend Cindy came up with a few of the questions, to give credit where credit is due. :-)
1) Why do you write Christian fiction?
I write Christian Fiction because it’s exactly what I’ve wanted to do since I dreamed about my first story. My passion in life is to connect people with the God who heals broken hearts and never gives up on them. Fiction is a fun way to go past the mind and into the heart of readers to share truth in a non-confrontational way. My characters and I are who we are and we struggle with the things every other person struggles with. Many of my characters, not all, find the only way to handle the struggles is with Christ.
2) Do you consider your writing a ministry?
Very much so. It’s my prayer that readers will connect with the characters and that the story will touch wounded hearts and help them take another step toward healing and hope. I enjoy getting to be a small part of that healing process beyond the pages of the novel when readers email me and we can talk.
3) What got you interested in writing suspense novels?
To answer that question, I have to tell you about my best friend and how we shop. My best friend and I are both writers. She likes to shop and I really don’t. But when we go to the mall, she looks at shoes. I pay attention to all the exits and make sure all the kids I can see are safely with their parents. So it’s probably no surprise that my friend writes chick lit and I write suspense. I guess it’s just how God wired us.
4) Your first book began with a tragedy. What prompted you to start your series in that way?
That tragedy was the inciting incident that drove Gracie to action. Originally, the first chapter was a dream. But it worked so much better putting it in real time so that readers could experience Gracie’s past with her and understand her drive for answers. While it was far harder to write and read that way, I think the beginning adds depth to Gracie’s character and her journey to forgiveness.
5) Did you get any rejection slips from publishers?
Plenty. And I’ve kept them all. At first, those rejection slips hurt. But I knew God had put me on this journey and He’d take me where He wanted me to go. My favorite rejection letter said I was melodramatic and clichéd. I now love that one because a majority of reviewers talk about the real-life, unique stories I’ve written and the characters who breathe. That letter reminds me that I write for an audience of ONE and that He will do with the stories what is best and will touch the hearts and change the lives He planned to speak to through the stories.
6) Besides your 3 novels in the Defenders of Hope series, have you written anything else?
I have a file cabinet full of notes, ideas, partial stories, a full novella, a fairytale I wrote for my children, and one or two full novels that I worked on in between writing my first story, Ransomed Dreams, and it being published. I hope one day to take my favorite of those filed-away stories and created a new series.
7) Are there plans for more books? And if so, will you stick with the suspense genre?
I’m not sure what I’d do with all the voices in my head and story ideas that hit me all the time if I didn’t write. So, yes, as long as God gives me ideas, I’ll write. All of the series I’m working on now are suspense. It’s just how I comprehend life, I guess.
8) What do you enjoy reading in your spare time?
My favorite author is Sharon Hinck, so anything she writes, I’m reading. I also love reading Trish Perry, Mark Mynheir, Claudia Mair Burney, and Robin Jones Gunn.
9) I noticed that your characters are very flawed. Do you have a reason for that?
Sure! Every person I’ve met and the lady in the mirror are all flawed. If I want people to connect with my characters, I can’t make them perfect with perfect circumstances. There wouldn’t be a story or anything to learn. And I love stories where a flawed character learns something about God and themselves and it changes them for the better. I want my stories to inspire people to look to God and find hope through the journeys my characters take.
10) What is your favorite Bible verse, and why?
1 Thessalonians 5: 23-24 “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.”
I love these verses because they remind me that God is always at work in me to make me more and more like Him. I especially love that, “He is faithful and will do it.”
End of interview
If you like good clean suspense, you should check out this author. In addition to a really good & exciting story, her characters struggle, as I often do, and yet find God to be the solution to their problems & issues, not in a tacky way, where suddenly everyone becomes a Christian in a mass conversion at the end of the book, yet there are characters, fictional, I know - who are imperfect & flawed, yet help to show that this Christian walk is worth it, and God is the answer to whatever problem we may face.
Thanks, Amy for writing 3 great books so far, and for graciously answering my questions. I hope to see more from her in the future.
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1601420145 Amazon link for Enduring Justice
http://www.amywallace.com/ej_chapter.htmlRead the first two chapters of Enduring Justice
http://www.amywallace.com/ej_chapter.htmlDark Chocolate Suspense Newsletter