Why I Write Christian Thrillers

Cortez LawAuthor Cortez Law III writes:

I’ve always loved the cat and mouse hunt that are thrillers, suspense, and mysteries that paint heart-thumping, complex puzzles. Christian thrillers, suspense, mysteries present opportunities to analyze the evil of a man’s heart as it relates to biblical truths.

Romans 6:23 states, “For the wages of sin is death . . .”; Proverbs 23:7, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he . . .” and Matthew 15:19, “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.” 

Many of our policemen and policewomen are Christians. I want to depict them as everyday people punching the clock like the rest of working America.

As the investigation progresses in my novels, so does the spiritual journey of the characters. Some become more enlightened; others may not. Man is a spirit, he possesses a soul and lives in a body. Many crime stories in the general trade don’t acknowledge the spirit or inner man’s journey. They tend to focus on the mind, will, emotions, imagination, and memory of the soul.

A similar focus targets the body’s five senses of sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch. It’s difficult to pepper the spiritual element in these stories without seeming to proselytize. However, it’s also difficult not to include the biblical element as a Christian writer. It’s who I am. In addition, I can reflect my African-American heritage within these stories for even greater depth.

About Cortez Law III:

Cortez Law III is the author of five independently published books. The romance novel, My Brother’s Keeper (2001), the Atlanta X-Men Homicide Squad suspense, mystery, thriller novels Kremlin Tide (2014), Cold Lick (2015) the just released Serial Rites (2017), and the science fiction thriller S.Y.P.H.E.N. (2015). He resides in the Metro Atlanta, Georgia area.

Contact Cortez here: metrobbb@windstream.net

Find Cortez online here:

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Just Released:

Serial RitesAtlanta Homicide Sergeant Malcolm Hobbs’ strength: Acute intuition into human nature. His weakness: Loss of faith in God. Despite his immense ability, he’s on the edge and contemplates quitting. The mystery of Hobbs is his sanity. Will his spirit and soul unite in time to resolve his trauma or will they divide too late to stop him from experiencing the peace of God as they rage a live or die war?

In the psychological thriller, SERIAL RITES, a prequel to KREMLIN TIDE (2014) and COLD LICK (2015), Hobbs’ detective skills encounter one of the most compelling cases in his career, but there’s a big problem. A precarious Hobbs isn’t at full strength and he’s breaking in a new Detective to his team in former Columbus, Ohio hotshot, Shepard Cush.

When Hobbs and his elite team of investigators nicknamed, The X-Men, discover the catalyst to the murders, they must decipher the puzzling schematic from the cold heart of a psychopath known as, The Profiler.

Atlanta’s confidence in the high-profile detectives is on trial against this meticulous and motivated predator with a macabre M.O. The question is will The Profiler’s blood-lustful vision satisfy him enough not to include The X-Men themselves?

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Why I Write Christian Fantasy

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jim-fox-2Author Harry James Fox writes:

The truth is, I am not sure that my novels are actually “Fantasy” as the genre is usually conceived. The Fantasy genre usually includes magic and fantastic creatures, or, if not that, then at least vampires or something of the sort. My books have none of that. This is because these things make me uncomfortable. So, I don’t write about them.

Nevertheless, my novels are often called “Fantasy,” because they depict a future world very different from ours. The Bible, when speaking of the last days, uses language that sounds like battles being fought with ancient weapons. (Rev. 14, Ezekiel 38-39) I realize that these references may be symbolic, but I decided to take them literally. That would mean a loss of technology; a kind of dark age, lies in the future. This seems fantastic, so my novels are placed in the Fantasy genre.

All that aside, I write the kind of books I like to read. I like novels that are clean reads. I avoid bad language, graphic violence, and explicit sexuality. I like tales of bravery, honor, love, courage and redemption. I like books that appeal to both men and women. I try to make the characters real people, with all the frailties common to mankind, but I also want a tale that one could give to a teenager without embarrassment. Finally, I want a tale that honors God without being preachy.

Somehow, that seems to fit well with a future Colorado that looks very much like the Medieval past, with a main character that has spent his formative years studying the ancients (us, in other words). That has resulted in tales that are part action/adventure and part romance, even though called “Christian Fantasy.”

About Harry James Fox:

Harry James Fox was born in the mountains of western Colorado, an area featured in his novels. He has worked as a cowboy, an intelligence officer with the US Army, and had a career in natural resource management with the Bureau of Land Management, US Department of the Interior.

He served a wartime tour of duty in Vietnam, working closely with Australian forces there. His training in the biology of natural wild-lands is reflected in the imagery of his writings. In fact, the landscape of his books have been likened to a major character in its own right.

He makes his home in the deserts of southern New Mexico, but usually spends part of the year in North Carolina to be close to his grandchildren.

He enjoys horses, the outdoors, elk hunting, long walks in the desert, and story-telling. He loves the local cuisine, particularly green chiles. He likes a cup of hot tea with friends. patriotic parades and bluegrass music. He dislikes chocolate, long speeches, and the need to wear reading glasses.

Jim’s Book Awards:

BRONZE MEDAL winner in the 2016 Global Ebook Awards in the Fiction – Fantasy/Alternate History category.

Winner of the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award for Summer, 2016 “Best Book in the Category of CHRISTIAN FANTASY.”

Award-Winning Finalist in the “Fiction: Religious” category of the 2015 International Book Awards

Contact Harry James Fox here

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Why I Write Christian Thrillers

Luana Ehrlich 200pxAuthor Luana Ehrlich writes:

I’ve been reading books in the mystery/suspense/thriller genre since I was eleven years old. Beginning with Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys all the way up to Joel Rosenberg and Daniel Silva, I’ve read them all–or most of them!

When I decided to write my own set of thrillers, I knew I’d have to write in this genre. While I was certain about my genre, I wasn’t as certain about whether my characters would be involved in a Christian type of storyline. I wrestled with this question, because, as a Christian, my faith permeates every aspect of who I am.

I settled that question when I heard about the plight of Christians in the Middle East who were being persecuted for their faith. I wondered what would happen if a CIA officer got caught up in a botched mission inside Tehran and encountered some of these Iranian Christians. What if he became a believer after living with them for several months? How would his conversion change his lifestyle and his ability to continue working as a covert operative?

Shortly after asking these questions, I started outlining the plot of One Night in Tehran, a story about a recently converted CIA officer named Titus Alan Ray, who heard the gospel for the first time from some Iranian Christians  while hiding out from the Iranian secret police in a safe house in Tehran. After being smuggled out of Iran by these same Christians, Titus struggles to understand his newfound faith while staying one step of an assassin and meeting a beautiful detective who considers him a suspect in a murder case.

When I reached the end of One Night in Tehran, I realized there was so much of this quirky CIA agent’s story left to be told that I began developing a series of Titus Ray Thrillers. After doing an extensive amount of research on best publishing practices, I decided to publish my print copies through Amazon’s CreateSpace and my eBooks through Kindle Direct Publishing. I based my decision on royalty payments, the  worldwide reach of Amazon, and the testimonies of other authors who have had great success publishing through this venue.

While there was a slight learning curve to the process, I received a tremendous amount of help and support from Amazon’s customer service. What I especially loved was never having to wait in a telephone queue, plus their knowledgeable representatives. I even ended up having CreateSpace design my book covers for me, and later, I used their audio book site, ACX for my audio books. (The process of choosing one of their narrators for the project was super fun!)

Needless to say, I highly recommend Amazon as the way to go for indie publishers! You can even create your own publishing arm–like I did with Potter’s Word Publishing–and list it as your publisher.

My second book in the Titus Ray Thriller series, Two Days in Caracas, was published in 2015, and the third, Three Weeks in Washington, was released in August 2016. Right now, I’m working on Book IV, Four Months in Cuba, which will be released in late 2017.

Titus Ray Thrillers are available in print, Kindle and Audiobooks on Amazon here.

About Luana:

Read Luana’s biographical information here.

To learn more about Luana Ehrlich, visit her website: Luana Ehrlich Website.

You can learn more about Titus Ray Thrillers here.

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Why I Write Regency Romance

WendyAndrewseditAuthor Wendy May Andrews writes:

Here are my top ten reasons for writing Regency Romance:

10.  All the Books I get to read in the name of Research – as the Regency era is my favorite period to read about, and a writer really must keep abreast of what is current on the marketplace, it could actually be considered a tax deductible expense.

9.  The Settings – Regency era England had spectacular decor and architecture. I find it a challenge to sufficiently describe these but they are a great pleasure and one of the reasons I love Regencies.

8.  The Clothes – I am sure wearing all those layers regularly would be wearying today, but everything a Regency lady wore was so elegant. And there was a specific, appropriate gown to be worn for each occasion. A lady could change her clothes up to six times a day! Gentlemen, too, had elaborate, spectacular wardrobes. I would have loved to see that time with my own eyes. It is a pleasure to write about.

7.  The Manners – the lords and ladies of Regency England had such impeccable manners. They were so proper and there were quite rigid rules involving any social interactions. But it’s so fun to read how the characters either circumvent these rules or accomplish their ends within them.

6.  The Vocabulary – connected with the correct manners, Regency lords and ladies were very well read and had a much more extensive vocabulary than most people today. And they had hilarious expressions for things, like bosky, foxed, or disguised means drunk and blunt, brass, and ready refer to money.

5.  The Conflicts – Since the Regency era also coincides with the Industrial Revolution there were so many changes taking place. Women were gaining rights, and many members of the ton were gaining or losing their wealth based on various inventions. It is a fascinating time period.

4.  The Research – There are reams of information available about the Regency era. I spend hours researching. So many fascinating things were taking place politically with the Napoleonic wars and then all the negotiations when the war ended. Fashions were changing. Industrialization brought modern conveniences.

3.  . Jane Austen – really, need I say more? Who doesn’t love her? Austen’s writings were contemporary for her but they have stood the test of time.

2.  The Excitement – Regency romances always hold such an edge of excitement. The lords and ladies were so sly with their speech. There are so many subtleties; most Regencies need to be read carefully to catch the nuances. The conflicts and developments of the times lead to many exciting twists and turns to the story.

1. Georgette Heyer – the number one reason why I love Regency Romances. Georgette Heyer, the godmother of the genre, was amazing. Her comedic timing and use of tension and conflict keep readers coming back for more. I love to read and reread her books over and over.

Visit Wendy’s website here

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/WendyMayAndrews

Twitter:  http://twitter.com/WendyMayAndrews

Instagram:  http://www.instagram.com/wendymayandrews

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Why I Write Cozy Mystery and Romantic Suspense

Judy Nickles Author Judy Nickles writes:

Mystery mesmerizes me. The secrets of an abandoned building/house/school, the reasons behind a person’s emotions/aberrant actions, the who-why-how-what-if of a person who catches my attention in a public place, the strange events of another era, a photograph, a scrap of paper, a buried news story, a ghost tale told only half in jest–all of these combine to send me combing through the archives of time to ferret out answers. Barring answers, of course, we have a mystery. And everybody loves a good mystery.

In grade school, whenever weather threatened outside the tall windows of our vintage school, the teachers would let me spin a mystery to keep eyes focused on the front of the room rather than beyond. I’m sure these tales were pretty pointless and droned on and on and on, but they seemed to work.

Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden were my best friends for a time, replaced later by Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt, and even John Grisham (to a point). Perhaps I’ve always had a a too-vivid imagination, but old anything–houses, pictures, oral and written tales, dusty antiques–send my mind into overdrive. Despite Detective Sgt. Joe Friday’s cryptic, “Just the facts, ma’am”, I’ve always believed (or hoped for) something beyond cold logic.

Even my first two vintage romance books published with The Wild Rose Press had elements of mystery. Another book with a separate publisher began my spiral into more mystery than romance. Then I met Penelope Pembroke and, six books later, realized I’d plunged into the world of Cozy Mystery. Trixie Blake, billed as Romantic Suspense, followed with less verbosity (only three books!)

Are there more mysteries lurking on my computer? Of course! A beta reader suggested multiple sequels to one in particular, and I groaned…but it may happen.

So why mystery beyond the simple fact it catches and holds my imagination? Well, despite the “real world” preferring to deal in hard cold fact, life itself is a mystery, isn’t it? We are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:4). How? Why? We’re told we’ll know someday, but for now we see through a glass darkly (1 Corinthians 13:12).

I choose to rejoice in the promise of mysteries I can’t explain–and to have fun with the ones I create for myself. A person finds joy in giving an apt reply–and how good is a timely word. (Proverbs 15:3)

Join me on my writing journey:

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Website: Someday Is Here

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Why I Write Suspense

D.L. WoodAuthor D. L. Wood writes:

As a child, I was one of those kids who had a tattered, dog-eared library card (yes, from the days when we had paper library cards) who whiled away the summers reading more books than were good for my eyesight. Or at least that’s what one optometrist told my mother. From that time a dream was planted in my heart—to be like those writers I enjoyed so much and create something that others could hold in their hands and enjoy. I wanted to whisk others away to another world and take them on a ride too.

From those days of reading Boxcar Children books, to my adult years and reading Grisham and James Scott Bell, the suspense genre has always been my favorite. Like so many readers I am drawn to stories with that element of tense unknowing, with that “you-have-to-turn-one-more-page-to-find-out” quality. It’s what drives me to the books that I read for entertainment and what I want my readers to get as well. Sometimes the suspense I write comes in the form of a traditional thriller with a “catch-me-if-you-can” storyline. Sometimes it’s more of a whodunit. But the suspense is always there, hopefully along with three-dimensional, likable (or ‘hate-able’) characters that are flawed, just like you and me, and sun-dripping, snow-capped, cricket-chirping locales that suck readers in.

When I got serious about writing I realized that I wanted my books to do a bit more than just entertain. Over time I discovered that what I truly enjoyed were books that not only entertained me, but left me with something more. Yes, I wanted to go on a thrill-ride, but I also loved it when I set the book down only to find that I carried something from it with me. Hope. Encouragement. A new perspective. Perhaps even a challenge to my faith. This realization inspired me to want to do the same thing for readers of my books. I wanted my stories to be multidimensional in scope. So I began writing CleanCaptivatingFiction™—fiction that not only entertains, but also uplifts. Fiction that gives the reader a great story and a take-away that somehow encourages them.

The most encouraging thing in my life is the hope I have in Christ. So in fashioning a plot I strive to somehow, through some character, portray faith in Christ in a way that is relevant, real and hopeful in the context of a solid storyline. The idea is to hearten those who already have faith in Christ, and to shine a light on Christ for those who may not have considered what He offers. I hope I’ve managed to do this by giving people quality fiction with just a little something extra, insuring it’s a good read for everybody, no matter what your faith background or stance may be.

So if you’re a suspense junkie looking for mystery, exciting action, nail-biting cliff-hangers and maybe even a romantic subplot now and again, check out Unintended Target, the first book in the Unintended Series. It was awarded the 2016 Illumination Awards Gold Medal for Christian fiction ebook and is available on Amazon in ebook and paperback. And keep an eye out for Unintended Witness, the next book in the series that I’m hard at work on right now.

ABOUT D.L. WOOD:

D.L. Wood is an award-winning author who writes CleanCaptivatingFiction™ that entertains and uplifts. Wood loves the art of storytelling, particularly any tale involving suspense or the epic struggle of good versus evil. Wood tries to give readers the same thing she wants in the novels that she reads: a “can’t-put-it-down-stay-up-till-3am-story” that stays clean without sacrificing an iota of quality, believability or adrenaline. If she isn’t writing you’ll probably find her behind the keyboard getting ready for next week’s worship service or curled up with a cup of tea bingeing on the latest Sherlock series. Wood lives in North Alabama with her husband, twin daughters and Westies, Frodo and Dobby.

www.dlwoodonline.com

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Why I Write Mysteries

SAMSUNG CSCAuthor Joy DeKok writes:

My writing dream started when I was around four years old. The words in my story books fascinated me, and even newspapers were recreation.

Perhaps because of my age, I thought I’d write for kids. I do have three children’s books out there and loved the process, but after writing the last one, I was done. Then, writing mentors encouraged me to write non-fiction. So, I wrote a devotional and a book on writing memoirs. And blogging about my life, faith, nature, and books is one of my favorite things to do.

But along the way I caught the novel-writing bug.

It started out with Rain Dance – a contemporary, issue-based, Christian novel for women. When the idea came, I prayed someone else would write the book, and I promised that if they did, I’d buy it. Instead, the story grew in my heart and demanded to be put on the pages. I obeyed the growing desire, wrote it, and published it.

For a while, I thought I might be done writing. Except for this other idea that started the same way Rain Dance did. I could see the characters, knew their names, voices, hearts, habits, and story. There were a few days I resisted writing a mystery with an unlikeable main character, but again the only way to get the story out of my head was to put it on the pages. I was sure there was only one book in Olivia Morgan’s story.

I was wrong. There will be at least three in The Northern Lights Series. The raw draft of Behind the Lies is done and I’m editing as fast as I can while outlining book three, Beyond the Lies.

And there’s another mystery series (five or six books) in the works too. They’re all outlined which is a good thing because not long ago, another novel idea crossed my mind the same way all of the others have.

This time, I’m not resisting. Instead, I’m diving into each story idea with enthusiasm and am outlining, writing, editing, and rewriting with more excitement than ever.

I was asked what I was doing when my ideas came. With Rain Dance, I was doing dishes. With The Northern Lights series, I was vacuuming. Louisa Mae Alcott wasn’t kidding when she said, “Housekeeping ain’t no joke.”

With the new series, The Mississippi Queens, I was in a coffeeshop working on Between the Lies. The newest idea crossed my mind and made itself at home there on a walk near one of our wildflower gardens.

You’ve probably heard the saying, “Life happens.” For me, ideas happen followed by books.

I hope you’ll stop by my website and find out how you can get a free copy of Between the Lies for your eReader.

About Joy:

Joy prefers writing in the solitude of her office, but can also be found in area coffee shops now and then where the voices and energy of the real world infuse the words on the page.

She’s been married to Jon for 39 years. They live on 35 acres of woods and field between Pine Island and Rochester. Joy loves riding their John Deere Gator with her dogs, Sophie & Tucker, taking pictures and enjoying God.

Website: www.joydekok.com

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