During this episode of “The Romantic Side of Suspense” podcast, you’ll hear from four authors about their romantic suspense books available this month. Here’s the list of authors and books for October 2023, with the book’s release date if not available now.
Multi-published author Linda J. White recently stopped by my blog to share some about her writing life and her latest romantic suspense, Winter Flight.
Why did you start writing romantic suspense novels? I actually started out writing straight suspense. My husband made video training films for the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. I had the idea for a story, and Larry encouraged me to write it. He connected me with a bunch of agents and instructors at the academy, who taught me all kinds of things about the FBI. My first books, written with my husband looking over my shoulder, were straight suspense, almost procedurals, because I was so focused on accuracy. Gradually, over time, I began incorporating more romance. Even so, my books are not typical romantic suspense stories. They’re stronger on the suspense side.
Where do you get the inspiration for your plots? I was the assistant editorial page editor at a daily newspaper for over a decade. So keeping my nose in the news was a requirement, and I found many plot ideas there. For example, in the Fredericksburg, Virginia, area, there was a series of murders of young women committed by someone dubbed “The Route 29 Stalker.” I got a lot of ideas out of those news stories. The Beltway Sniper case in 2002 gave me a whole book plot. Other ideas have come from subject matter experts: FBI agents, search-and-rescue volunteers, and police officers.
How do you pick the location/setting of your romantic suspense novels? All of my books are set in the Mid-Atlantic region. I’ve lived here all my life (except for three years in LA). I understand the flora, the fauna, the weather, and generally the culture of this area. One of my books, Seeds of Evidence, is set in Chincoteague, Virginia, where my grandparents lived when I was a kid. I remember telling a friend, “I don’t care if this books sells or not. I want to evoke this place!” The book did sell. It was traditionally published in 2013 and is still selling today.
What is absolutely essential for you to write? First of all, prayer. I pray that the Holy Spirit will guide my writing and keep me in the truth. Having done that, I open my laptop. I usually need to write in the morning when I’m freshest. I need coffee (black), as well as freedom from distractions (like Facebook and email). I turn on the soundtracks of two of my favorite films: “Pride and Prejudice” and “Sense and Sensibility.” Something about that music lures the Muse out of hiding and off I go. I write for three or four hours, and then turn to other work. I may go back later and edit, depending on my schedule.
Linda J. White writes FBI and K-9 search and rescue thrillers. Her late husband, Larry, was a video producer/director at the FBI Academy for nearly 30 years. Her 2013 book, Seeds of Evidence won a HOLT Medallion. A former assistant editorial page editor for a daily newspaper, Linda now lives in Yorktown, Virginia, near three of her five grandchildren.
Reply to this email between today and October 3 for a chance to win a copy of Winter Flight by Linda J. White!
Winter Flight After two years of pandemic, people are touchy. Violence is everywhere. Fear and anxiety run wild. Jess has a scary encounter with a man in the woods and then a blow-up that threatens her closest friendships. Her husband, FBI Agent Scott Cooper, investigates a school shooting he thinks might be the start of a bigger terrorism campaign. A lead in that case takes Scott and Jess to the mountains of western Virginia as a snowstorm moves in. While there, a school bus disappears. The driver is found dead by the road, but where is the bus and, more importantly, the kids? Jess and Scott, along with Jess’s dog Luke, join the sheriff in the hunt. The elderly Miss Etta provides a clue but is she reliable? Scott’s intelligence, Jess’s grit, and Nate’s wisdom all must come into play to save the kids. In the end, Nate’s comment that “People ain’t always what they seem,” proves dead accurate.
A Louisiana Christmas to Remember by Morgan Tapley Smith, Betsy St. Amant, Lenora Worth — Three heartwarming, interconnected stories of faith, love, and restoration, brought to you by three Louisiana-native authors. Will a rare snowy Louisiana Christmas bring restoration and hope to the hometown and hearts of three women from the town’s founding family? In A Louisiana Snow by Morgan Tarpley Smith, meet Mattie: A passionate visionary who learns to forgive and finds love in unexpected places… In Restoring Christmas by Betsy St. Amant, meet Jolene: An artist and prodigal daughter who discovers love exists in the very place she once called home…
In A Christmas Reunion by Lenora Worth, meet Adale: A beautiful widow who finally dares to love again… (Contemporary Romance from Barbour Publishing)
Redeeming the Cowboy by Lisa Jordan — Five years ago, bull rider Bear Stone lost everything. His best friend. His fiancée. His career. And Piper Healy, his best friend’s wife, never forgave him for the rodeo accident that killed her husband. Now they’re working together to save his family’s ranch. But can this cowboy choose between his last chance at the rodeo…and the woman he’s falling for? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired/Harlequin)
Where Love is Planted by Dawn Kinzer — A beautiful horticultural therapist.A handsome social worker in a woman’s prison. Will their loyalty to others cost them their own happiness? Or will something beautiful grow where love is planted? (Contemporary Romance from Morningview Publishing)
A Counterfeit Betrothal by Denise Weimer — A frontier scout, a healing widow, and a desperate fight for peace. At the farthest Georgia outpost this side of hostile Creek Territory in 1813, Jared Lockridge serves his country as a scout to redeem his father’s botched heritage. If he can help secure peace against Indians allied to the British, he can bring his betrothed to the home he’s building and open his cabinetry shop. Then he comes across a burning cabin and a traumatized woman just widowed by a fatal shot. (Historical Romance from Wild Heart Books)
Francine’s Foibles by Linda Shenton Matchett — World War II is finally over, and America is extra grateful as the country approaches this year’s Thanksgiving. But for Francine life hasn’t changed. Despite working at Fort Meade processing the paperwork for the thousands of men who have returned home, she’s still lonely and very single. Is she destined for spinsterhood? Grateful that his parents anglicized the family surname after emigrating to the United States after the Great War, first-generation German-American Ray Fisher has done all he can to hide his heritage. He managed to make it through this second “war to end all wars,” but what American woman would want to marry into a German family? Must he leave the country to find wedded bliss?? (Historical Romance from Shortwave Press)
The Legacy of Longdale Manor by Carrie Turansky — In 2012, art historian Gwen Morris travels to England’s Lake District to appraise the paintings and antiques of an old family friend, hoping to prove herself to her prestigious grandfather. When Gwen stumbles upon a one-hundred-year-old journal and an intricately carved shepherd’s staff similar to one in a photo of her parents, she’s left searching for answers. In 1912, after her father’s death, Charlotte Harper uncovers a painful family secret she can only confess to her journal. As Charlotte grows closer to shepherd Ian Storey and rebuilds her shattered faith, she must decide whether she will ever trust in love again. (Historical Romance from Bethany House)
Wooing Gertrude by Jodie Wolfe — Enoch Valentine has given up finding peace for his past mistakes. He throws everything he has into being the new part-time deputy in Burrton Springs, Kansas while maintaining the foreman position at a local horse ranch. But when trouble stirs on the ranch, he questions whether he’ s the right man for either job. Peace has been elusive for most of Gertrude Miller’s life, especially under the oppressiveness of an overbearing mother. She takes matters into her own hands and sends for a potential husband, while also opening her own dress shop. Gertrude hopes to build a future where she’ ll find peace and happiness. Will either of them ever be able to find peace? (Historical Romance from White Rose Publishing)
The Wind Blows in Sleeping Grass by Katie Powner — After years of drifting, fifty-year-old Pete Ryman has settled down with his potbellied pig, Pearl, in the small Montana town of Sleeping Grass–a place he never expected to see again. It’s not the life he dreamed of, but there aren’t many prospects for a high-school dropout like him. Elderly widow Wilma Jacobsen carries a burden of guilt over her part in events that led to Pete leaving Sleeping Grass decades ago. Now that he’s back, she’s been praying for the chance to make things right, but she never expected God’s answer to leave her flat on her face–literally–and up to her ears in meddling. (Literary/Contemporary from Bethany House)
Fall Back and Find Me by Sarah Hanks — Two resilient women separated by over 150 years are linked forever by their challenges, values, and determination. (Split Time from SonFlower Books)
Facing the Enemy by DiAnn Mills — When the long-awaited reunion between Risa and her brother, Trenton, ends in tragedy, Risa is riddled with guilt, unable to cope with the responsibility she feels over his death. On leave from the FBI, Risa returns to her former career as an English teacher at a local college, only to see her past and present collide when one of her students, Carson Mercury, turns in an assignment that reads like an eyewitness account of her brother’s murder, with details never revealed publicly. Alarmed by Carson’s inside knowledge of Trenton’s death, Risa reaches out to her former partner at the FBI. Special Agent Gage Patterson has been working a string of baby kidnappings, but he agrees to help look into Carson’s background. Risa and Gage soon discover their cases might be connected as a string of high-value thefts have occurred at properties where security systems were installed by Carson’s stepfather and children have gone missing. There’s a far more sinister plot at play than they ever imagined, and innocent lives are in danger. (Thriller/Suspense/Romantic from Tyndale House)
Seeking Justice by Sharee Stover An agent and her K-9 partner risk their lives in the ultimate mission.
With her partner gravely injured in the line of duty, FBI agent Tiandra Daugherty has one shot to complete her mission. She’ll have to convince her partner’s twin brother, Officer Elijah Kenyon, to take his place undercover in a deadly drug ring. Together they must find justice for his brother and dismantle the gang. But the target is now on them, and the mission could prove fatal. (Thriller/Suspense/Romantic from Love Inspired/Harlequin)
The Text by Julane Fisher — In 2048, 25 years after a pandemic killed one-third of the world’s population, America is flourishing under the department of Safety Threats and Reinforcement (STaR). STaR keeps citizens safe and healthy STaR’s social media app, Allicio, boasts two billion users. The a power outage shuts down STaR’s health monitors and disables millions of mobile phones. Sixteen-year-old Rami Carlton earned a starting spot on the varsity volleyball team. For fun, she races tech-genius Finley Drake to decipher the online identities of their techie friends. The game is harmless. So they thought. Rami receives a chilling text message that she’s being watched. That night, her mother disappears. Despite thousands of city-wide monitors, STaR’s Reinforcement Division cannot locate Rami’s mom. And Rami’s stalker threatens to kill her brother if she talks to Reinforcement Officers. When Finley hacks the nation’s cellular provider, Connect Mobile, he discovers STaR has a secret. STAR isn’t just watching. They’re manipulating Allicio. And Rami is their next target. (Young Adult from Infinite Teen)
Plus check out these recent additions to Fiction Finder published within the past month:
The Last Laird of Sapelo by T.M. Brown — Based on the tragic story of Randolph Spalding, the youngest son of Georgia’s most well-known antebellum-era coastal planter and influential political figure, Thomas Spalding. (General Historical)
During this episode of “The Romantic Side of Suspense” podcast, you’ll hear from five authors about their romantic suspense books available this month. Here’s the list of authors and books for September 2023, with the book’s release date if not available now.
The Heart’s Bidding by Kelly S. Irvin — Together, schoolteacher Rachelle Lapp and auctioneer Toby Miller must face their hardest battle yet: trusting God’s plan for their uncertain future. As their families matchmake, Toby and Rachelle realize their jobs may not be all that’s holding them back from a future together. They both must learn not only to trust each other, but also trust God’s plans for them. But do those plans involve a lifetime together or them going their separate ways? (Amish Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)
Bold and Brave by K.A. Cummins — Sometimes courage is loud like an elephant, and sometimes it’s quiet like a llama. Lily, a young autistic girl with a vivid imagination, wants to sing the solo in the school’s choir show, but the thought of standing at center stage turns her heart a gloomy grey. School is overwhelming enough. Now all eyes will be on her, and she can’t wear the red polka dots she needs to be bold and brave. (Children’s/Picture Book from Eleonora Press)
Window of the Heart by Amy R. Anguish — Lennox Malone may not believe in love, but she’s determined to do the best job she can as her friend Sara Beth’s maid of honor. Problem is, the man in charge of fixing up the chapel doesn’t match her determination. Fighting against preconceived notions, a past that catches up to her, and an attraction she wants nothing to do with, this wedding is turning into more than she can handle. Ty Dunne might be laid back and easy-going, but he’s determined to make sure the chapel is ready for his cousin’s wedding. Not only is it his duty as best man, but he wants to preserve the family’s history in the building. If only he could live up to his family’s other expectations—or those of Lennox Malone, the fiery redhead he can’t stop thinking about. Before he can go any further with her, though, he has to convince her that love is real and worth the risk. Lennox has built her walls high and sturdy, but Ty is determined to find a way in—even if it’s a window. (Contemporary Romance from Scrivening’s Press) Her Cowboy Blind Date by Narelle Atkins — He’s a small-town guy, a cowboy at heart. She’s a city girl from the other side of the world. Will a blind date lead to a love that lasts a lifetime? Since Becky is only in Gilead until June, a blind date with a suitable plus-one before the wedding seems like the perfect solution for Sam. No strings and no commitment. But the blind date turns into a not-so-fake relationship when Sam and Becky must work together on the passion play. Can they overcome past emotional wounds and geographical distance to create a future together? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published) A Surprise Wedding for the Cowboy by Valerie Comer — Everything hit all at once. Tate Sullivan became the guardian of his young nephew after his brother’s death, and now Grandfather has bought a failing guest ranch in Montana. Tate’s used to handling Fortune 1000 companies, but moving halfway across the country and learning an entirely new, rural business is a challenge, especially with a toddler in tow. Nice girls finish last… or that’s what it seems like to Stephanie Simpson when her ex-boyfriend, a pastor, proposes to a former bad girl. It’s not that Stephanie wants her ex to rethink his life choices, but would it be so wrong to move on as quickly as he has? A quick wedding to that cute but faltering cowboy with the adorable toddler might get her what she wants. After all, it’s clear Tate needs a helping hand. He’s a Christian, just like she is. What could possibly go wrong? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published) To Protect His Brother’s Baby by Linda Goodnight A stranger in his house…Could be the family he never knew he needed? After he spent six months on the road, the last thing cowboy Wilder Littlefield expects to come home to is a pregnant woman living on his ranch. Taylor Matheson not only believes the house is hers, but she’s carrying his estranged late brother’s child. Tied together by blood, Wilder lets Taylor stay as his housekeeper. But as they learn how to be a family, could obligation turn to love? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired/Harlequin) His Heart Renewed by Cynthia Herron — Three choices. Two dreams. One path. A girl from his past. The woman who holds his future. Will a wrong detour lead to the right destination? As the couple navigates blunders and heartaches, a new season emerges—one that taps into Erin’s and Mike’s deepest longings and desires—the spring that holds their future. At last, it seems their happily-ever-after is within reach… But in the bat of an eyelash, a memory from Mike’s past emerges in an unexpected way. Will this change in circumstance hinder what he has with Erin or will truth prevail by way of a divine appointment? (Contemporary Romance from Mountain Brook Ink) Muskoka Spotlight by Carolyn Miller — Jackie O’Halloran never expected her actions at a friend’s wedding in Muskoka to go viral. Even less did she expect to gain the notice of a famous actor, Lincoln Cash, and all the temptation his handsome presence provides. But she’s a good Christian girl, so a man like him has to be out of the picture. Or so she thinks. Linc’s visit to see his ailing grandfather was supposed to be a quick visit to Muskoka. He hadn’t counted on meeting a forthright young lady whose courage made headlines around the world. But as he gets to know her he’s tempted to stay, which just might prove dangerous for his agent’s peace of mind, and for Linc’s own heart. Can these two opposites push past mere attraction to find real love? And what does faith have to do with it at all? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published) The Friendly Disaster by Dineen Miller — He waited too long to admit how he feels and now she’s found a perfect match. Will this triangle of passion end in calamity or kisses? As Calen’s plan to attract visitors to Emma’s show pales in comparison to her new boyfriend’s connections, the besotted man fears he’ll never be enough. But when Emma’s eyes are opened to her platonic pal’s extreme efforts, she wonders if it’s wrong to keep him in the friend zone. Can a bashful barista prove to a struggling artist that he’s soulmate material? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published) The Cowboy Bargain by Tina Radcliffe — A little competition…Brings a change of heart. Sam Morgan never thought he’d see his ex-fiancée again after she skipped town days before their wedding. He certainly didn’t expect to find her opening a restaurant on his property—in the building he’d intended to sell his crafts from. This time Olivia’s sticking around, forcing Sam to strike a deal: work together and see whose products sell best. Could their business venture lead to a surprising reunion? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired/Harlequin) The Love Script by Toni Shiloh — Hollywood hair stylist Nevaeh Richards loves making those in the spotlight shine but prefers the anonymity of staying behind her stylist chair, where no one notices her. But when a photo of Nevaeh and Hollywood heartthrob Lamont Booker goes viral for all the wrong reasons, her quiet life becomes the number-one trending topic. Lamont Booker’s bold faith has gained him a platform, and the authenticity of his faith is well known . . . until the tabloids cause the world to question everything he claims to be. With his reputation on the line, he finds himself hearing out his agent’s push for a fake relationship–something he never thought he’d consider in a million years. With their careers at risk, Nevaeh and Lamont have to convince the world that their scripted romance is more than just an act. But when fake seems to turn into something real, can Nevaeh trust her heart in a world where nothing is ever as it seems? (Contemporary Romance from Bethany House) An Unexpected Gift by Melissa Wardwell — Cruising around the island on a Moped in a business suit may seem incongruous, but wedding planner Kiana knows how to blend practicality and professionalism, a strong work ethic and relaxation. With no time for mistakes or changes in plans, she’s also decided to forgo romance (for herself). There just isn’t enough time in the day. That is until the early arrival of one of the groomsmen of Something Suamalie’s first booking throws everything off balance, including her thoughts on long distance dating.
Beau was perfectly content with his job and the growing attraction to a girl back home; however, he hadn’t figured in the sassy and sometimes unprofessional wedding planner. Seeing her world begin to unravel while she and her partners fumble with their first weddings tugs at his heart strings and leaves him second guessing his choices in the romance department. (Contemporary Romance from Celebrate Lit Publishing)
Where the Wings Rise by Ashlyn McKayla Ohm — After years of disastrous choices, Addisyn Miles has a second chance with the person she once betrayed—her older sister, Avery. Moving from Whistler, Canada, to Avery’s home in the Colorado Rockies seems like the perfect opportunity to not only rebuild her fragile relationship with her sister but also distance herself from the past she can’t forget. But adjusting to Avery’s life is harder than she expected, especially with her heart drawing her back to the chance at love that she left behind in Canada. When she begins helping her sister care for an injured hawk, Addisyn is forced to confront the fears that have left her just as wounded—or to allow her darkest enemy to sabotage her future. The second book in the Climbing Higher series, Where the Wings Rise is a story of the scars that keep us earthbound, the choices that lead to healing, and most importantly, the faith that allows us to always fly free. (General Contemporary, Independently Published)
The Girl From the Papers by Jennifer L. Wright — Beatrice Carraway has dreams. Although she’s aged out of the childhood pageant circuit, she’s intent on carrying her talents all the way to the big screen―if only she can escape the poverty of West Dallas first. But as the Great Depression drags the working class further and further under, Beatrice struggles just to keep herself, her mother, and her younger sister afloat. And then in walks Jack Turner. Though Beatrice is determined to pull herself up by her bootstraps, Jack has decided on a different path out of the gutters. It isn’t long before Beatrice is swept into an exciting and glamorous life of crime beside the man she loves. Keeping one step ahead of the law, she sees her dreams of fame come true when her name and picture are plastered in newspapers across the country. Yet as their infamy grows, the distance between them widens. While Jack begins seeking bigger payouts and publicity, Beatrice starts to long for a safe, quiet life and something deeper to fill the emptiness in her soul. But when the danger of Jack’s schemes ratchets up, Beatrice fears her dreams―and her future―will end up going down in a hail of bullets (General Historical from Tyndale House)
Beryl’s Bounty Hunter by Linda Shenton Matchett — Orphaned as a child, Beryl Atherton has lived on the streets of London for as long as she can remember. Reduced to stealing for survival, she is arrested. During her incarceration, one of her cellmates shows her a newspaper ad for an American mail-order bride agency. But all is not as it seems, and moments after landing in Boston, she must run for her life. Will things be no different for her in the New World? Working as a bounty hunter since The War Between the States, Lucas Wolf just needs a few more cases before he can hang up his gun, purchase a ranch out West, and apply for a mail-order bride from the Westward Home & Hearts Mail-Order Bride Agency. While staking out the docks in Boston, he sees a woman fleeing from the man he’s been tailing. Saving her risks his job. Not saving her risks his heart. (Historical Romance from Shortwave Press)
Hunting the Witness by Kate Angelo — Attacked in the mountains with no memory of why…She’s the only witness to see the face of a killer, but a deadly attack leaves Belinda Lewis unable to remember even her own name. She’ll have to rely on her rescuer, FBI special agent Jonah Phillips, to survive repeated attempts on her life—but she doesn’t know he’s in hiding because his description matches the killer’s. Can they unmask the true criminal to clear Jonah’s name and save both of their lives? (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired/Harlequin) Mountain Abduction Rescue by Darlene L. Turner —
A wildfire threat…becomes a missing person search. A serial arsonist is out for revenge in the Canadian Rocky Mountains—and kidnaps park warden Hazel Hoyt’s son and his camping troop. Now Hazel must team up with the man who broke her heart, firefighter Mitchell Booth, to find the missing boys as wildfires blaze around them. But someone has no intention of letting the pair get off the mountain alive… (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired/Harlequin)