On this episode of “The Romantic Side of Suspense,” my guest is Liz Tolsma, the author of several WWII novels, romantic suspense novels, prairie romance novellas, and an Amish romance. She is a popular speaker and an editor and resides next to a Wisconsin farm field with her husband and their youngest daughter. Her son is a U.S. Marine, and her oldest daughter is a college student. Liz enjoys reading, walking, working in her large perennial garden, kayaking, and camping.
“It seems in these days, many people feel so hopeless and so helpless,” Liz says. “That’s why I do what I do very intentionally to show that even in the most terrifying circumstances, … we’re never truly alone in that. God has promised that he’s going to walk through the fire with us. So no matter what happens, he’s always going to be there. Then he promises that he works everything out to our good. There’s that hope that I do bring to the stories and that I hope the readers will pick up on and we’ll be uplifted by it. Even a romantic suspense can be an uplifting book when it’s written from a Christian perspective.”
Listen to the podcast for more from our interview, plus an excerpt from Liz’s The Silver Shadow.
Tanya Stowe is a Christian Fiction author with an unexpected edge. She is a Publisher’s Weekly Bestselling Author who fills her books with the unusual…mysteries and exotic travel, even a murder or two. No matter where Tanya takes you…on a train down a mountain or a suspenseful journey packed with danger…be prepared for the extraordinary.
Why did you start writing romantic suspense novels? Tanya: Because I have a naturally devious mind!
What’s the hardest part of writing romantic suspense? Tanya: I love creating action and suspense scenes so I think the toughest part is making it believable and real enough to really be suspenseful.
When do you find time to write? Tanya: My husband and I are full RV’ers so we travel quite a bit. I have to write very early in the morning before we get out and about. It’s a schedule I try to maintain even when we are not traveling.
What’s your go-to when you need a pick-me-up to keep writing? Tanya: Travel. I always come up with new ideas when I see a new place and think about it was settled or an interesting person who lived there. It always gives me inspiration and spurs me one.
Why do you like writing romantic suspense? Tanya: I love to write action and adventure and challenging situations…how people’s faith pulls them through. Romantic suspense gives me the most opportunities to do that.
What’s the weirdest way someone has died or been killed in your novels? Tanya: So far one of my villains fell into an open grave and cracked his head on a metal bar around the grave on the way down. He was a really bad guy so I wanted his ending to be perfect. But like I said before, I have a really devious mind. I’m sure other ways will come up!
Where do you get the inspiration for your plots? Tanya: News stories or history. Life is stranger than fiction. I often say that I could never write some of the things I’ve read and heard because people wouldn’t believe it was true. I have to tame some things down for my books!
Have you ever regretted killing off a character? Why? Tanya: No. Anyone I’ve killed off in my books needed to go. My villains always hurt or betray innocents and need to be stopped.
What did you want to be as a child (and did that dream come true)? Tanya: I wanted to be a writer, so I think I’m livin’ the dream!
Vanished in the Mountains by Tanya Stowe A search for missing women leads to a deadly pursuit.
When domestic violence counselor Dulcie Parker uncovers evidence of a human trafficking ring in the Four Corners area, she’s determined to stop it or die trying. With corruption all around her and killers on her trail, Deputy Sheriff Austin Turner’s the only one she can trust. But can they work together to expose the crime ring before she becomes the next victim?
On this episode of “The Romantic Side of Suspense,” I’m chatting with Jerusha Agen, who imagines danger around every corner, but knows God is there too. So naturally, she writes suspense infused with the hope of salvation in Jesus Christ. With a B.A. in English and a background in screenwriting, Jerusha is a speaker, writing instructor, and Fear Warrior who sounds the call to battle against fear in our everyday lives. Jerusha loves to hang out with her big furry dogs and little furry cats. You’ll often find her sharing irresistibly adorable photos of them in her newsletter and on social media.
“Sometimes our writing kind of tells us what to write,” says Jerusha Agen. “Writing suspense fits tendencies of my personality because I do tend to be a fearful person. … I have a hyperactive imagination. So I’m really always imagining worst-case scenarios and danger. In a way, I think writing romantic suspense gives me a healthy channel for the tendencies instead of just freaking myself out in my daily life. I can actually put it in a book, and have more control over it and have a positive lesson come out of it as well.”
Listen to the podcast for more from our interview, plus an excerpt from Jerusha’s Rising Danger.
The Cowboy’s Amish Haven by Pamela Desmond Wright — Her home and her heart are on the line…On the same day Gail Schroder’s faced with losing her Amish family ranch, her old crush Levi Wyse shows up on her doorstep. He doesn’t know that when he left ten years ago he’d taken Gail’s heart with him. Now Levi’s her only hope of keeping a roof over her head. But can this cowboy teach Gail the ropes in time to save her home? (Amish Romance from Love Inspired (Harlequin))
An Amish Schoolroom by Amy Clipston, Kathleen Fuller, and Shelley Shepard Gray — From three bestselling authors of Amish fiction come three charming stories of new school years and new romance. (Amish Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing (Thomas Nelson and Zondervan))
To Bring You Back by Emily Conrad — He’s determined to confront the past she’s desperate to forget. When Adeline Green’s now-famous high school crush descends on her quiet life, a public spotlight threatens to expose her deepest regret. After eight years of trying to bury her mistakes under a life of service, she’s broke financially and spiritually. The last thing she can afford is feelings for the man who took center stage in her past—even if he does claim to know the secret to her redemption. But when Gannon’s fame and their mutual regrets jeopardize their relationship anew, will grace be enough to bring them back to God and each other? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)
Cornerstone by Nancy J. Farrier — She’s been hurt one time too many—can his patience and love heal her empty places? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)
Beyond the Tides by Liz Johnson — When Meg Whitaker’s father decides to sell the family’s lobster-fishing business to her high school nemesis, she sets out to prove she should inherit it instead. Though she’s never had any interest in running the small fleet–or even getting on a boat due to her persistent seasickness–she can’t stand to see Oliver Ross take over. Not when he ruined her dreams for a science scholarship and an Ivy League education ten years ago.
(Contemporary Romance from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group)
The Cottage on Seagull Lane by Patti Jo Moore — Mindi Kirkland hopes her move to the quaint town of Ocean Mist, Florida, will help her move forward in her life. The widowed introvert is happy to live closer to her grown daughter, and has no interest in romance after enduring a painful marriage to an alcoholic. (Contemporary Romance from Winged Publications)
A Mother’s Strength by Allie Pleiter — Will finding her son a friend lead to forever love? Single mom Molly Kane will do anything to help her son overcome his anxieties—including enlisting former police officer Sawyer Bradshaw to give him golf lessons. Sawyer’s a loner, yet he quickly forms a bond with little Zack. And with Molly. But protecting Zack means Molly must keep her heart off-limits from Sawyer, even as her little boy draws them together…(Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired (Harlequin))
A Warrior’s Heart by Misty M. Beller — Brielle Durand is a key defender and hunter for her people’s peace-loving French settlement in the Canadian mountains. When a foreigner wanders too near to their secret homes, she has no choice but to disarm and capture him. She won’t allow another massacre like the one that killed her mother a dozen years before. But now, what to do with this man who looks at her in a strange way? (Historical Romance from Bethany House (Baker) Publishing)
The Debutante’s Secret by Mary Davis — Will Geneviève open her heart to a love she never imagined? Geneviève Marseille, a French socialite, has only one purpose in coming to Kamola—stopping her brother from digging up the past. She has reluctantly journeyed alone to the quaint college town in central Washington State. Kamola is so different from her beloved Paris that she is tempted to abort her mission, but the kindness of a handsome deputy tempers her desire to flee. (Historical Romance from Mountain Brook Ink)
Beyond These War-Torn Lands by Cynthia Roemer — The War brought them together ~ Would it also tear them apart? While en route to aid Confederate soldiers injured in battle near her home, Southerner Caroline Dunbar stumbles across a wounded Union sergeant. Unable to ignore his plea for help, she tends his injuries and hides him away, only to find her attachment to him deepen with each passing day. But when her secret is discovered, Caroline incurs her father’s wrath and, in turn, unlocks a dark secret from the past which she is determined to unravel. (Historical Romance from Scrivenings Press)
Rose Among Thornes by Terrie Todd — War might be raging overseas, but Rose Onishi is on track to fulfill her lifelong goal of becoming a concert pianist. When forced by her government to leave her beloved home in Vancouver and move to the Canadian prairie to work on the Thornes’ sugar beet farm, her dream fades to match the black dirt staining her callused hands. Though the Thorne family is kind, life is unbearably lonely. In hopes that it might win her the chance to play their piano, Rose agrees to write letters to their soldier son. Will Rusty survive the war only to encounter the Japanese on his own doorstep? Can Rose overcome betrayal and open her heart? Or will the truth destroy the fragile bond their letters created? (General Historical from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)
Into the Unknow by Daphne Self, Daniel Peyton, Lauren Smyth, Eric Landfried, Allen Steadham, P.S. Patton, and Jake Tyson
— Humanity has spread and colonized regions of the galaxies. As their reach expanded, countries, colonies, and planets joined to form the Federated Nations, providing a centralized government among the stars. Along with the Science Conglomerate—who explores and researches the unknown regions—and the Judicial Clerical Court—purveyors of truth, history, and justice—humanity discovers new beings, wondrous worlds, old temptations, and strength in horrendous trials. (Speculative from Ambassador International)
One Hundred Proof Murder by Mary Ellis — Travel writer Jill Curtis is in Louisville, Kentucky, on the next stop of her bourbon tour assignment, and is keen to explore the local distilleries with her videographer, Michael Erickson – especially since her new beau, Lieutenant Nick Harris, lives in the city. But the night before Jill’s first tour at Parker’s Distillery, she is shocked to learn that the master distiller, William Scott, has died suddenly of a heart attack – and even more shocked when she discovers William’s daughter, Alexis, suspects foul play. Is there more to William’s death than meets the eye? Jill is soon drawn into a deadly blend of rivalry, jealously, and cold-blooded murder as she attempts to uncover the truth behind William’s unexpected demise. (Cozy Mystery from Severn House)
Exile by Brian Shotton — Gone for three years, Scott returns home to find Aurora in decay. A curse has descended on the small Kentucky town. Someone is convincing the young to take their own lives, and with each suicide, the death-cycle grows stronger, entangling all it touches. Scott and Father Stan must find the source of the evil if they hope to heal and restore community. Meanwhile, Dee and Tim find their own trouble at the Order of the Third Sister. A demon has infiltrated the Sisters, hellbent on discovering the truth behind the prophecy of the Scion and secretly ushering in the destruction of the enclave. (Thriller/Suspense/Biblical, Independently Published)
Plus check out these recent additions to Fiction Finder published within the past month:
The Fire Within Us by Greg N. Ford, About to turn thirty, Tom Barton’s life as a fireman/farmer is turned upside down when he meets a beautiful, intriguing woman and someone starts attacking him. (Action/Adventure/Contemporary)
Justice at Dawn by Valerie Massey Goree, When a training exercise turns deadly, can Agent Callahan save the rookie, the abducted family, and himself? (Thriller/Suspense/Romance)
Betrayal of Genius by Robin Patchen, Join Jacqui and Reid as they navigate this pulse-pounding, faith-filled adventure into the high-stakes world of medical research, innovation, and greed. (Thriller/Suspense/Romance)
Mendicant by Brian Shotton, In the shadows of New Orleans, evil hunts children. And Dee, a one-time Voodoo princess, has discovered why. (Thriller/Suspense/Biblical)
Sweet Summer by Christina Sinisi, Can Shelby let her sisters, Tyler, and even more importantly, God, show her in one Sweet Summer, that love is worth taking the risk? (Contemporary Romance)
On this episode of “The Romantic Side of Suspense,” my guest is Jennifer Crosswhite, who’s favorite thing is discovering how much there is to love about America the Beautiful and the great outdoors. She’s a mom to two navigating the young adult years while battling her daughter’s juvenile arthritis, exploring the delights of her son’s autism, and keeping gluten free. A California native who’s spent significant time in the Midwest, she’s thrilled to be back in the Golden State. Follow her on social media to see all her adventures and how she gets inspired for her books.
“You’re always sort of riding that fine line of believable, but pushing the edge of it,” Jennifer says. “You want to put people in really strange and difficult situations, and you want the stakes to escalate. You want things to get more challenging. … People have to get lost in the story world and feel like it can happen. … One of the questions we ask ourselves as writers is what’s the worst thing that could happen right now?”
Listen to the podcast for more from our interview, plus an excerpt from Jennifer’s Off the Map.