Friday, September 22, 2017

Interview with ELIZABETH GODDARD



Elizabeth Goddard, Scientist, Mom, Writer


Elizabeth Goddard is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than ​thirty novels and counting, including the romantic mystery, THE CAMERA NEVER LIES--a 2011 Carol Award winner. Four of her six Mountain Cove books have been contest finalists. Buried, Backfire and Deception are finalists in the Daphne Du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery and Suspense, and Submerged is a Carol Award finalist. A 7th generation Texan, Elizabeth graduated from North Texas State University with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and worked in high-level software sales for several years before retiring to home school her children and fulfill her dreams of writing full-time.
Her website is: http://elizabethgoddard.com

Interviewer: E.E. Kennedy

1)      How long have you been writing? Have you always wanted to be a writer?

I’ve always had the writing gene or gift, if you will, so as far back as I can remember I was writing stories or attempting to journal or write novels. Decades of my life passed before I decided to get serious and hone the craft and pursue actual publication. In my case, I really did answer God’s call to write. But that’s another story. 

2)    I see that your background is in computer science. How has this knowledge influenced your work? 

My computer science degree is much too old to be very useful or even influential. I could say that writing software programs taught me a degree of structure and I use that same structured approach when creating my stories. I’m one of those people who uses equal parts left and right brain, meaning though I’m structured when writing, I also allow significant creative freedom to impact that structure. That said, the computer science degree propelled me to my career as a regional account executive for a software firm and I traveled the entire country, including Canada. Here’s where the real impact came—I love to travel and have experienced many places and I use that knowledge in my stories. 

3)    You write in both romance and suspense. Which is the most challenging? Which is your favorite?  

Even my romances have a suspense thread, so I’d have to say I enjoy romantic suspense. The romance writing came about as an avenue to publication. I love a good romance don’t get me wrong, but it’s even better when the heroine is danger and there’s a puzzle to solve. 

4)    Where are some of your favorite settings to write about? 

Setting is literally where I begin a story. I love amazing, beautiful, exotic settings. They inspire me. Once I’ve chosen a setting, then I figure out the characters and the story. I love the Pacific Northwest where I lived for five years. I love the Rockies--Montana and Wyoming where my husband grew up. I took a research trip this summer to prepare for a three book series set in Wyoming—the first book releases in 2019.

I’ve written stories set in the redwoods of northern California and along the rocky northwest coast and the panhandle of Alaska. See what I mean? Setting is usually a character in my stories. Funny, though, I have NOT written a story set in my home state of Texas until recently when my Harlequin editor asked me to participate in a continuity series. That series, Texas Rangers Holidays, is set to release the first book this October. The books are as follows, Thanksgiving Protector by Sharon Dunn, Christmas Double Cross by Jodie Bailey, and Texas Christmas Defender by yours truly. 

5)    How do you determine the names for your books?

Harlequin requires me to come up with a list of titles and rarely do they pick my original title. They like the titles to be story hooks. 

6)    You began writing in earnest when you had three small children at home! Wow! Most writers would find that challenging if not impossible! How did you do it? 

I think I was easier when they were younger honestly. Hey, I was younger too! Ha! Seriously, part of it, I think, has to do with the fact that I’m very entrepreneurial. Think about it. I spent my whole life preparing to be a professional in the work force. Got my degree. Had a great career. Then suddenly I find myself at home with children. I quit my job because I believed I needed to be there for them. At the same time something was missing in my life. I thrive on work so I found a way to be home with my children and even home school them while pursuing my writing career. I think there’s a huge percentage of Christian writers who are also home schooling moms. Now I actually make a living at writing and I couldn’t be more blessed that God gave me this dream, He wouldn’t let me get away from it, and now He’s hugely blessed me in it.

7)    You’re quite prolific, in my opinion. Here’s the age-old question: where do you get your ideas? 

I love this question. It was my first question to friends I met at my first writing contest. Their answer to me – “What if. Just start asking, what if.” After all these years I’ve super-charged my brain to come up with ideas and the problem is shutting them off. Sometimes I don’t want everything to be an idea for a book. Though everything around me can be turned into a story, not everything is commercially viable, so that’s where the real work comes--choosing the best ideas to turn into stories.  
8)    How does your Christian faith enter into your books?

Since my Christian faith is integral to who I am, I don’t think much about it while writing. It just flows organically. I pray and believe the words flow as they should and often a spiritual message or theme will come out that I hadn’t even considered. Usually it’s a reflection of where I am in my own journey with God, and perhaps writing helps me through.  Readers write me about the spiritual thread more than anything. How it was just what they needed to hear that day. I couldn’t be more blessed that God can use the writing He gave me to speak to others. 

9)    Do you draw from actual experience in your books? Some of the scenes are pretty vivid! 

If I have an actual experience I can use—you bet I draw from it, but even if I haven’t personally experienced something, I do my best to make it as vivid and raw as possible by interviewing others, doing extensive research. 

10)   Have you found something special and fascinating during your research? 

I learn something interesting while researching and often I have to pull myself back from research in order to write the book. My biggest issue with research has to do with the suspense angle of my stories. Sometimes the research takes me into dark places I don’t want to go or read about. I won’t even talk about it here. 
11) Sometimes my characters seem so real to me. Have you found yourself thinking of them in three-dimensional terms, too? 

Oh, definitely. I continually layer my characters and as I get deeper into their stories and lives I keep pulling back more layers to find out who they really are. I’ve never had anyone complain that my characters weren’t deep enough.

12) What are some things you try to avoid in your work? 

Gratuitous sex or violence are the obvious two. I don’t think foul language is necessary. A good well-developed story can be written without having to be rated R.

(13) Tell us about your latest projects. What’s in the future for you?  

The last book in my Wilderness, Inc. series released in July, Wilderness Reunion. This series was set in one of the places I lived and loved, and I enjoyed revisiting it through the eyes of my characters. Coming up next, in December, is the third book in the Texas Ranger Holiday series, which I already mentioned—Texas Christmas Defender. Then in early 2018 the first book in my new series, Coldwater Bay Intrigue, releases. Thread of Revenge was great fun to write and includes a CGIS hero—Coast Guard Investigative Services—and a marine biologist heroine. It’s set on the Washington coast, of course! Then in 2019, my first trade novel for Revell releases, featuring an ex-FBI hero and a forensic geneologist—they join forces to find out what happened to a baby abducted hours after her birth twenty-one years ago. 

I’ve also dipped my toes into the “indie” world writing a short novella and publishing it on my own. Double Exposure is the first book in the Exposure Series—Exposed and on the Run. I’m venturing out and writing a few stories that probably wouldn’t get picked up by my publishers and it gives me more freedom to write what I want. Double Exposure is a novella—meaning it’s short—because it was written to be included in Targeted for Danger—a romantic suspense collection including eight top Christian romantic suspense writers. (Susan May Warren, Lynette Eason, Susan Sleeman, Christy Barritt, Ginny Aikin, Jan Thompson, Margaret Daley, Elizabeth Goddard)


                                                                                ~0~

Please leave a comment WITH YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS below for a chance to win a free e-copy of DOUBLE EXPOSURE!

She is also participating in another contest. To check it out, go here: https://booksweeps.com/enter-win-two-boxed-sets-15-christian-suspense-novels-september-17/






Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Feed Your Addiction by Elizabeth Goddard



Your Romantic Suspense addiction, that is. I confess, I’m a literary addict and right now I’m hooked on romantic suspense, which is well and good considering I write in the genre. Ha!



That said, I want to share about my recent reads.



I just finished reading Deadly Proof by Rachel Dylan. Rachel is a new-to-me author even though we share the same publisher in HQ Love Inspired Suspense. She’s an attorney who has practiced law for over a decade and by the details in her stories, you know she knows what she’s talking about. Let me just add, her stories are edge-of-your-seat romantic legal thrillers.



Deadly Proof is her debut novel with Bethany House Publishers and the first book in the Atlanta Justice series. The premise intrigued me so I picked up the book and started reading, and I was hooked. I read for a while every evening after my own writing and work is done. Once I started Deadly Proof, I looked forward to my reading time so I could get back into the twists and turns of this legal thriller.


I’m not going to give much away here. There’s nothing I hate worse than spoilers in reviews or even knowing small things about the plot. In fact, I don’t often read the back cover blurb if it gives too much away. So I’ll simply say that Rachel has weaved an intriguing high stakes, legal plotline with the right amount of romance to keeping you hooked in the story.

Here's the back cover copy:

Riveting New Series Offers Legal Suspense with a Romantic Twist

In the biggest case of her career, attorney Kate Sullivan is tapped as lead counsel to take on Mason Pharmaceutical because of a corporate cover-up related to its newest drug. After a whistleblower dies, Kate knows the stakes are much higher than her other lawsuits.

Former Army Ranger turned private investigator Landon James is still haunted by mistakes made while serving overseas. Trying to forget the past, he is hired by Kate to look into the whistleblower's allegation and soon suspects that the company may be engaging in a dangerous game for profit. He also soon finds himself falling for this passionate and earnest young lawyer.

Determined not to make the same mistakes, he's intent on keeping Kate safe, but as the case deepens, it appears someone is willing to risk everything--even murder--to keep the case from going to trial.

You don’t want to miss this one.

Want a chance to win a copy of Deadly Proof? I’m interviewing Rachel on the Suspense Sisters blog, October 13th, so stop by again and you’ll get your chance.


But if you're like me and can’t wait to get your hands on a copy? Here’s the KINDLE link. That should get your going.



Up next is author Sibella Giorello. A friend recommended her Raleigh
Harmon series.  I finally read her book—The Stones Cry Out. (It won a Christy Award for best first novel.)

Oh. Wow. To think I have wasted all this time when I could have been reading this author! Raleigh Harmon is a forensic geologist working for the FBI. Her character is utterly captivating—so interesting and not your ho hum kind of character. Giorello also adds in so much detail about life as an FBI agent. I haven’t been able to stop reading the series and I’m almost done! NO. Say it ain’t so! Add to all this, Giorello's lush writing voice. I'm entertained by that all on its own. 



I’m currently reading The Moon Stands Still, Book 7 of the series, and so far the last of the adult Raleigh Harmon series. Giorello branches off into YA with her Raleigh Harmon Prequel Mystery Series and I’m sure I will read those next.



The great news for you is that you can get her first book in the Raleigh Harmon series, The Stones Cry Out, for FREE. Absolutely FREE. Get the Kindle version here, though I'm sure the book is available on other venues, i.e. Nook, Kobo, iBook.



This isn’t your run-of-the-mill free book. This is an amazing first book that will launch you into many weeks of reading enjoyment!


I hope you try these authors and I know you will enjoy them as much as I have! 

Now it's your turn. What series are you reading?

Now that my post is done, I'm digging back into The Moon Stands Still. 

Ciao
Beth




Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Hot new inspy suspense!



Single mother Penny Potter has spent months in hiding to keep her toddler from his father, a rogue FBI agent turned fugitive. But he’s determined to flee the country with the child, and she can’t dodge him forever. When he corners Penny in the Montana wilderness and gets away with their son, she’s forced to trust his brother, handsome FBI K-9 agent Zeke Morrow. And Zeke must decide where his loyalty lies: with his sibling or the woman he wasn’t supposed to fall for. As the bullets fly and family ties are tested, Penny and Zeke will fight to save the boy who brought them together.

Monday, September 18, 2017

THIS WEEK ON THE SUSPENSE SISTERS!




We’re planning another great week on the Suspense Sisters. Check out our posts, our interviews, and our awesome giveaways!

THIS WEEK:




On Tuesday Dana Mentink will share What’s Hot in Inspirational Suspense and Mystery.





On Wednesday Suspense Sister Elizabeth Goddard reviews Rachel Dylan’s new book, DEADLY PROOF.

In the biggest case of her career, attorney Kate Sullivan is tapped as lead counsel to take on Mason Pharmaceutical because of a corporate cover-up related to its newest drug. After a whistleblower dies, Kate knows the stakes are much higher than her other lawsuits.

Former Army Ranger turned private investigator Landon James is still haunted by mistakes made while serving overseas. Trying to forget the past, he is hired by Kate to look into the whistleblower's allegation and soon suspects that the company may be engaging in a dangerous game for profit. He also soon finds himself falling for this passionate and earnest young lawyer.

Determined not to make the same mistakes, he's intent on keeping Kate safe, but as the case deepens, it appears someone is willing to risk everything--even murder--to keep the case from going to trial.



Friday, we hear from Elizabeth again! You could win a copy of her book, DOUBLE EXPOSURE! 

Epidemiologist Tara Blackburn is investigating an illness in an African village when she hears rapid gunfire and barely escapes with her life. What she witnesses terrifies her and she flees home to the States to take refuge at a wolf sanctuary where no one will find her until she knows whom she can trust.

When Grant McCall arrives at the sanctuary to photograph the wolves, he knows Tara is wary. But he can’t reveal that he’s
working undercover to learn who’s behind the carnage in Africa. An image surfaced that exposed the truth—The epidemiologist believed dead had survived, like a ghost image in a double exposure on film exposed to light.

The killers will stop at nothing to find the woman who witnessed their crimes. But even more deadly is the illness to which she was exposed.


The Suspense Sisters! We love books!


Friday, September 15, 2017

Interview and a giveaway with Jodie Bailey!







We are thrilled to welcome suspense author Jodie Bailey! Comment to win a print or digital copy of her newest release...Christmas Double Cross!

Tell us a little about yourself and your newest book.

So this question always throws me for a loop. I’m a Jeep driving, beach loving, Carolina bred, Army wife who’s a mom, a writer, and a high school yearbook adviser (although my teaching heart lies in middle school literature). And I’m still looking for a hobby since writing is now my career. Who’d have thought? The latest book is Book 2 in the Texas Ranger Holiday series I was privileged to write with Elizabeth Goddard and Sharon Dunn. My part of the story involves Ranger Colt Blackthorn, who is protecting Danielle Segovia, a dead ringer for the sister of a ruthless cartel leader who is out for revenge. Colt believes he is responsible for his brother’s death years ago, so when Danielle’s brother is thrown into danger, Colt has to fight his own failings as well as rescue Danielle and her brother.



Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?

Colt is a Texas Ranger and a former soldier. He has a fierce protector streak that is born out of his past failings. Since his brother’s death years ago, he’s fought to keep others safe, particularly kids walking the gang line the way his brother did. He’s always kept his emotions locked up tight, but when he encounters Danielle and her brother, his whole world is tilted.



What are you working on at the moment?

I am SO EXCITED about this latest series I’m working on. It’s set in the fictional small town of Mountain Springs, North Carolina. Book one involves a female firefighter and a soldier who were once secretly married but are now divorced. They find themselves pushed back together when a killer comes after the spouses of the soldiers in his unit. These are some very intriguing characters to write, because she’s a grown child still dealing with an abusive parent, and he’s a soldier who needs to deal with childhood abandonment as well as a serious incident that nearly wiped out his team overseas. When this outside danger gets thrown at them, it blows everything in their lives wide open.



What is the hardest thing about writing?

Sitting still by myself. I can be very social. Too much time to myself and I’m trolling Facebook like my life depends on it, just to see what everyone else is up to. I’ve had to put an app on my computer that locks me out of the internet while I’m working. Sad, but true.



What is the easiest thing about writing?

Coming up with characters. I love getting to know them. They are so complex and there is so much backstory to them that never ends up on the page. It’s creating these people who have so many stories and hang ups and habits… Allen Arnold wrote an amazing blog post and prayer about what a privilege it is for writers to share in the work of creation with our Creator. That’s amazing!



Anything else you'd like to share.

If you’d like to visit, I’d love to see you at www.jodiebailey.com! You can sign up for the newsletter and get links to social media where I sometimes ask you for story input and give away prizes! Thanks for letting me hang out today! This was fun!