Mackenzie Hanson’s special set of skills opened the door to a successful career as a professor of cybersecurity at a Michigan university, allowing her to put her criminal past behind her. But when a long-ago partner in crime delivers a cryptic message about her father’s tech company being under cyberattack, she heads for Montana to secure exposed assets, close security breaches, and protect her father’s company. Diplomatic Security Services special agent Alex Knight is back home in Montana to decompress from a mission gone wrong. But even as he’s trying to relax, he’s drawn into another mystery, complete with suspicious deaths, lethal threats, and whispers of espionage that all have one thing in common–a beautiful cybersecurity expert with a dark past. When the situation turns deadly, Alex and Mackenzie will have to work together to find the answers they need–before someone silences Mackenzie for good.
Elizabet Goddard recently spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing her latest thriller, CRITICAL ALLIANCE:
Was there anything new you discovered, or surprised you, as you wrote this book?
I had never listened to a crime podcast before, but several friends are fans and suggested my character’s role in the story. So I started listening to various podcasts and was so surprised by all the amateur sleuths out there who are still trying to solve crimes or find missing people. I found it extraordinary and fascinating. One particular podcast I listened to about a young girl who had gone to a “fake” baby-sitting job and has been missing for 45 years brought me to tears. The crime podcasts informed and guided me in developing my character and her podcast in Deadly Target.
What attracts you to this book’s genre?
I’ve always been a fan of romantic suspense in its many forms, including historical romantic suspense. Intrigue, suspense and mystery elements keep me engaged and coming back for more. Throw in the romantic angle and you have a genre that has it all. In my books, I love to add an adventure angle in as well, setting my stories in stunning locations—mountains, rocky coastlines, national forests, and more.
Which took shape first: plot, character, or setting?
For me it’s usually setting. A stunning nature setting usually inspires me, and then I go from there to the initial character development. I usually don’t know much more about the characters until I start living the story with them, and they grow from there as does the plot. I will usually have a general idea of the plot, but that too grows in the writing.
Elizabeth Goddard is the USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of more than 50 novels, including the Rocky Mountain Courage and Uncommon Justice series. Her books have sold over 1 million copies. She is a Carol Award winner and a Daphne du Maurier Award finalist. When she’s not writing, she loves spending time with her family, traveling to find inspiration for her next book, and serving with her husband in ministry.
To learn more about the author and her work, please visit her website.