Police Chief Autumn Long is fighting to keep her job in the quiet Alaska town of Shadow Gap when an unexpected string of criminal activity leaves her with a wounded officer, unexplained murders, and even an attack on her own father. Despite her mistrust of outsiders, she turns to Grier Brenner, a newcomer who seems to have the skills and training Autumn needs to face this threat to her community.
Grier is in Alaska for the same reason so many others are—to disappear—when Chief Long enlists his help. He emerges from the shadows and proves his mettle, but his presence in her life could be a deadly trap for them both. If his secret is exposed, all will be lost. And he’s not sure even Autumn could save him.
As the stakes rise and the dangers increase, Autumn and Grier must rely on each other to extinguish the deadly threats.
Elizabeth Goddard recently spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing her latest thriller, COLD LIGHT OF DAY.
Was there anything new you discovered or that surprised you as you wrote this book?
I extensively researched Interpol and learned what the agency is all about as opposed to how it’s often depicted in movies. In addition, I learned about all the various colors of notices—red, yellow, blue, black, green, orange and purples—and I really had no idea about any of it before researching for the novel. Recently, a local reader approached me and whispered, “After reading your book, I realized just how much writers must know.” That made me smile—writers carry volumes of dangerous knowledge in their heads. Ha!
What authors or books have influenced your career as a writer, and why?
I’ve read widely for decades, and I think all those books have influenced me as a writer—there’s really too many to include in this post. I love James Rollins for his creativity in combining real science and real history into a fictional form, not to mention he writes with clarity, and he knows how to create a great chapter hook. I credit Bodie Thoene novels for enticing me into the Christian fiction market early on, in general, with her historical romantic suspense novels. Sandra Brown is a contemporary romantic suspense author who has influenced me along with Lisa Gardner. When I get stuck, I will often read one of their novels to pull me out and get me writing again.
What was the biggest challenge this book presented? What about the biggest opportunity?
Writing Grier Brenner’s character was a huge challenge because writing in the romantic suspense genre, readers expect to know some of the hero’s background at the start—at least enough to root for him. Like—was the hero in law enforcement before, and who is he now? I had to endear Grier to readers without giving them anything. For the story to work, readers can’t know who he was or who he is, but they can read about his actions. In the end, what we do as people in real life is what defines who we really are. Likewise, in a novel, characters are best defined by what actions they take. I leaned heavily on this philosophy to create and write about Grier as I slowly released information and yet still hoped to keep readers guessing about who he really is.
The biggest opportunity this book presented—at least beyond the characters—was to showcase Southeast Alaska/Alaska Panhandle—which is rarely depicted in novels about Alaska. The region has a rich history, and I enjoyed showcasing at last some of that history along with the stunning landscape.
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. For more information about her books, visit her website at www.elizabethgoddard.com.
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