Multi-published author Tara Grace Ericson recently stopped by my blog to share some about her writing life.
Why do you like writing romantic suspense? I wrote 15 romance novels before I ventured into suspense. I love the added complexity of the plot—the external challenges and high stakes for the characters. I love the way the romance and the suspense weave together into a multidimensional story that keeps you on the edge of your seat but also delivers the swoony kisses and emotional connection between the characters. I love that romantic suspense is such a wide range of books from pure romance with a dash of suspense to fast-paced thrillers with just a light thread of romance.
How do you ensure your books are accurate? An engineer by training, I love learning about topics of all kinds. Research for me includes everything from internet (including YouTube!), visiting locations, or talking to people who have expertise. In my book Hostile Intent, the main character is the CEO of a pharmaceutical company doing cutting edge Alzheimer’s treatment research. I ended up having to change the story when I found some of the current promising research was actually in gene therapies, not medication!
What does your family think of you reading romantic suspense? Well, my husband loves it. He hadn’t read any of my romance novels, but he’s read my romantic suspense books! I also found out that my mom was a forensic radiographer before I was born (she took X-rays of murder victims), something she hadn’t shared with me until I was writing about my own mysteries.
About Tara Tara Grace Ericson writes clean, contemporary romance and suspense with an emphasis on Christian faith and living. Her stories of faith, hope, and happily ever after encourage readers from all walks of life with their memorable characters and uplifting plots. Tara lives in Missouri with her husband and three sons. She studied engineering and worked as an engineer for many years before embracing her creative side to become a full-time author and mom.
A presidential assassin is on the loose, and Hannah is the key to unlocking his identity.
But it’s her own identity that is going to blow up the entire operation—and her future with the hero who saved her.
Ex-special forces commando Will Gilbert is leading a black op tasked with bringing down the presidential assassin. When his team rescues a woman who witnessed the fatal shot, protecting her becomes just as important as finding their target and keeping the entire thing under wraps. Behind those scared eyes, this woman has the answers they need to finish the mission.
Struggling journalist Hannah Stone was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Or was it the right time? A Pulitzer is practically guaranteed if she can manage to escape without being killed. All she has to do is help Will and his team capture the shooter—without revealing her own identity as a reporter. Or just why she was at the hotel that day in the first place.
Pursuing the shooter and targeted by a powerful enemy, Will and Hannah face impossible odds. While her heart is quickly becoming tangled with his, Hannah hides her identity from the man trying desperately to save her.
During this episode of “The Romantic Side of Suspense” podcast, you’ll hear from six authors about their romantic suspense books available this month. Here’s the list of authors and books for July 2023, with the book’s release date if not available now.
Multi-published author Jerusha Agen recently stopped by to share some about her writing life. Plus, she’s giving away one print copy of her most recent romantic suspense, Unseen Danger, exclusively for my newsletter readers. See below for details.
Why did you start writing romantic suspense novels?
I started off writing contemporary romance—the Sisters Redeemed Series—but I found that I kept adding more and more suspense to each book I wrote. I couldn’t help myself! I realized that I seem to be wired for suspense, so I switched to writing romantic suspense from then on and haven’t looked back.
What’s the hardest part of writing romantic suspense?
To be honest, the romance is the hardest part! It can be a challenge to describe the “same old” feelings of attraction and falling in love in fresh and creative ways. I find the best way to achieve unique lines and romantic moments is to dig into the characters. Originality comes out of the meeting of two very real people who react differently and say different things than all the characters I’ve written before them. And that’s where it gets fun and surprising!
What’s your go-to when you need a pick-me-up to keep writing?
Watching movies! I find that relaxing while watching a great movie—or even a mediocre one—is the best recharge for my creativity.
What is one of your favorite ways to connect with readers?
Through my Fear Warrior Suspense newsletter! I love corresponding with readers that way and emailing back and forth about books they enjoy, their lives, and prayer requests.
What is absolutely essential for you to write?
A quiet space, headphones for listening to movie soundtracks, and chocolate. Lots of chocolate!
Jerusha Agen imagines danger around every corner, but knows God is there, too. So naturally, she writes romantic suspense infused with the hope of salvation in Jesus Christ. Jerusha loves to hang out with her big furry dogs and little furry cats, often while reading or watching movies.
This woman and her K-9 protect others. Now who will protect them?
After a brutal attack, it took Nevaeh Williams six years to rebuild her life. Now a security specialist at the Phoenix K-9 Security and Detection Agency, she faces danger nearly every day. But when an old friend is targeted, her fragile stability begins to crumble.
Celebrity bodyguard Branson Aaberg could lose more than his career if he fails to end the mysterious threat against his client. Soon he’s more concerned with rescuing the tough but vulnerable woman who joins his security team.
Nevaeh is there to protect her friend, but what if she needs protection? What if the feeling she’s being watched isn’t the result of her traumatized imagination? If the danger is real, Nevaeh’s only hope for survival may be the God powerful enough to defeat her worst enemy—the one she doesn’t see before it’s too late.
Operation Find a Guy by Amy R. Anguish — Skye Jones has one goal for the summer—keep her father from taking away her convertible. That’s the only reason she agrees to work at her sister’s bridal shop in Boulder, Colorado, while she searches for a non-boring job. Why else would she have anything to do with weddings when she has no interest in marriage? Benjamin Smith somehow ended up as a groomsman in two weddings over the summer, so he’s spending a lot of time at Happily Ever After events. Falling for a blonde with no dreams of settling down wasn’t in his five-year plan, yet the more he sees Skye, the more he wants to figure her out. But all she sees him as is a boring attorney−her complete opposite. Besides, romance is supposed to be for Skye’s friends, not her. And she’s in Colorado to get a job, not a guy. Right? (Contemporary Romance from Scrivening’s Press)
A Green and Vibrant Hope by Valerie Comer — Arleigh O’Neill gambles on starting her own flower farm with a tight budget on leased land…and loses when the river overflows its banks, demolishing the rented greenhouse, drowning her fields, and destroying her mobile home. She needs both a home and a job, but no one in Galena Landing seems to be hiring. Widowed farmer Mitchell Ackerman is at wit’s end with his two rambunctious sons, but his brother’s suggestion he hire Arleigh to nanny the boys is a nonstarter. He can’t afford to pay anyone, and besides, she annoys him with her hippie-flower-painted van and independent attitude. Arleigh thinks he’s arrogant. Mitchell thinks she’s frivolous. What will it take to get them to see into each other’s hearts and grasp a green and vibrant hope? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)
Love Like No Other by Tabitha Bouldin — Alicia Gray wants one thing: to prove her capabilities as a doctor. Maybe then she can escape the feeling that her mother’s abandonment was deserved. She’s never felt worthy and grew up in foster home after foster home, always being told that if she did better, if she was more amenable, she’d find her place. When she came to Suamalie, the last thing she expected to find was a man whose grumpy personality conflicted so piercingly with her sunshine demeanor. Colin Tremblay was dishonorably discharged from his army medic position and sent home in disgrace after his twin brother stole from his clinic. Back on the islands, he’s bounced from job to job, never finding anything that satisfies him. To make matters worse, his twin niece and nephew convince him to spend his summer overseeing their camp activities while working alongside Little Miss Sunshine herself. (Contemporary Romance from Celebrate Lit Publishing)
Love Somebody Like You by Carolyn Miller — For Lexi Franklin, returning to Trinity Lakes feels a little like running home with her tail between her legs. But what’s a girl to do, when her life has been turned upside down on the other side of the world? She needs a place to regain hope and healing – just didn’t count on meeting a cowboy whose own battered heart might need nursing back to health too. Jackson Reilly has his own set of troubles, between caring for his ranch, his mom, and the black hole of finances. So when a pretty redhead with a sassy tongue offers some distraction – and a potential solution to one of his most pressing concerns – he’s not going to say no. But as they spend time together, questions soon rise about their future, and whether faith can truly win over fears. Will Jackson be able to save his ranch, and his hopes and heart, before Lexi returns to Australia? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)
And Then There was You by Nancy Naigle — Reeling after falling prey to a Romeo con-artist who just waltzed away with the better part of her belongings, Natalie Maynard works closely with the detective assigned to her case, only the few leads have led nowhere. Detective Randy Fellowes can’t promise Natalie restitution, but he’s determined to find the culprit and serve up justice. Married to his work, he’s caught off guard when Natalie has his thoughts wandering to more than the case. Natalie soon seeks refuge in the one thing she still owns ― an old fishing cabin in the mountains of Chestnut Ridge. She quickly falls in love with the town and the eccentric people who are teaching her so much about the area and its heritage. Through these people, and the determination of Detective Fellowes, she rediscovers her courage, self, and a reason to risk love again. (Contemporary Romance from St. Martin’s Press)
To Calm a Storm by Heather Day Gilbert — For years, Kadhrin has anticipated marrying her betrothed, Vikarr, who is now second in command only to the king. As she settles into married life, she becomes increasingly convinced that her husband would make a far better ruler than his distracted cousin, and she urges him to heed advisors calling for an overthrow. Vikarr is honored to marry such a noble bride, but he hasn’t bargained for Kadhrin’s boldness. Although pleased by the growing passion between them, he struggles to understand her motivations. As rumors of an insurrection build, Vikarr is torn between the captivating woman who has laid claim to his heart, his loyalty to his king, and his growing desire to seize the kingship so he can unify his country against looming threats. Caught up in a web of political intrigue and personal betrayal, Kadhrin and Vikarr must choose not only which war to wage, but also which side to stand on, even if it means sacrificing everything they hold dear. (General Historical, Independently Published)
Beneath a Peaceful Moon by Debby Lee — Mary Wishram, an orphaned Yakima tribal member, aches for her brother who suffers in a POW camp in the Philippine Islands. Her Japanese friends languish in a relocation center. Determined to end the war by any means necessary, she employs her language skills to become a spy. She leaves Camp Pendleton for the South Pacific and faces escalating threats of peril to help bring her loved ones home. John Painted Horse, a proud Navajo, struggles with the loss of his father who died in WWI for a country that didn’t consider him a United States citizen. Though his home state doesn’t offer him the right to vote, he joins the Code Talker program at Camp Pendleton. Thrust into mounting danger in the South Pacific, he hopes to bring long overdue recognition and honor to his people, no matter the cost. Will these two wounded souls find healing from their past traumas and a deeper relationship with God, before it’s too late? Or will they lose their chance at love, and everything they hold dear? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)
Love Most Certain by Penny Zeller — Can newfound love heal a broken heart? Genevieve Amsel is recovering from a canceled engagement when her dear friend, Tillie, invites her to move to Ellis Creek for a fresh start. While she settles into life in the friendly Montana town, one thing is for certain: Genevieve will never fall in love again, no matter what marriage prospects come her way. Becoming the new postmaster in Ellis Creek is not for the faint of heart. Attempting to do his best to replace the popular Mr. Norman who recently retired, Oliver Bessell relocates from Bozeman and attempts to win the hearts of Ellis Creek residents, especially one in particular. Can he prove to Genevieve he’s nothing like the man who broke her heart? Soon Oliver makes it his mission to encourage and brighten Genevieve’s day by leaving her notes at the breakfast table at the boarding house where they both reside. And when a mysterious letter arrives at the post office, will the solving of the puzzle draw him and Genevieve closer? (Historical Romance from Maplebrook Publishing)
Backstory by Susan Page Davis — A hurricane lashes the Novel Inn, forcing guests to remain when they’d hoped to leave. Add an elderly neighbor, Kate’s ex-fiancé, and a clandestine thief. When a guest is found dead in the Hercule Poirot Room, it’s time for the Gage siblings and the local police to go into action. (Mystery from Scrivenings Press)
Blue Ridge Mountain Escape by Loretta Eidson — The firefighter rescued her once…But can they outrun the dangers?
A peaceful vacation is what Haley Gordon needs to put her troubles behind her. Instead, she finds herself fighting for her life against a raging forest fire. Forest Service firefighter Kendall Simpson vows to protect Haley—although he has questions about her story. But with the firestorm out of control and news of escaped convicts on the mountain, can Haley and Kendall trust each other enough to survive? (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired/Harlequin)
Hold for Release by Heidi Glick — Carlotta Hartman’s life is falling apart. Although Carlotta desperately wants a child, her journalist husband just wishes their marriage would go back to the way things used to be before infertility treatments took over their schedule. While volunteering at an animal shelter to fill the void, Carlotta stumbles upon dead animals and a human body. Days later, Jake confesses to an affair with a co-worker. Hurt and confused, Carlotta moves in with her sister. And then things go from bad to perilous. As Jake receives counsel from a pastor, he pledges to woo Carlotta again and piece together their shattered marriage. But as Carlotta rushes out of Jake’ s arms, she runs straight into danger. Like the articles Jake writes and holds for release, a psychopath, bent on revenge, vows to hang onto Carlotta until the time is right. In the end, a secret from the past threatens to kill all hopes of a happy future. (Romantic Suspense from HarborLight Books/Pelican)
The Laws of Attraction by Mary Connealy If widowed town seamstress Nell Armstrong has to make one more pair of boring chaps for the cowboys in her tiny Wyoming town, she might lose her mind. So meeting Brand Nolte, a widower father struggling to raise three girls, seems like her dream come true. Brand has no idea how to dress the girls, and Nell finally has a chance to both create beautiful dresses and teach the girls to sew. But Nell is much more than a seamstress, and the unique legal and investigative skills and knowledge she picked up alongside her late lawman husband soon become critical when a wounded stagecoach-robbery survivor is brought to town. As danger closes in from all sides, Nell and Brand must discover why there seems to be a bull’s-eye on their backs. (Western Romance from Bethany House/Baker)
Plus check out these recent additions to Fiction Finder published within the past month:
Multiple award-winning author Laurie Winter recently stopped by my blog to share some about her writing life.
When do you find time to write? I carve out time for writing every day, either before or after my day job. Sometimes I’ll write in the morning and evening if I’m on a tight deadline. I find having a daily word count goal helpful in keeping me on track.
What did you want to be as a child, and did that dream come true? I wanted to be an Egyptologist when I was young. I loved all things ancient Egypt and dreamed of discovering a tomb with a mummy. Unfortunately, I never pursued it as a career but I still love history, especially about Egypt.
How do you research ways to kill someone for your books? I Google some very strange things for my writing, including methods of killing or incapacitating someone (strictly for my books, of course). I also watch a lot of true crime shows and listen to true crime podcasts.
Multiple award-winning author Laurie Winter is a true warrior of the heart. Inspired by her dreams, she creates authentic characters who overcome the odds and find true love.
Kayla Swartz’s return to Snowberry, Montana, has been a living nightmare. She found her estranged father murdered, and unless she retrieves some missing jewels, Kayla and her three-year-old sister could be next. With nowhere else to turn, Kayla entrusts their lives to bodyguard Nicholas Galanis. But is hiding at a remote cabin in the mountains their best chance to survive…or the perfect opportunity for an ambush?