Sniper! Based on a true story ...

Sniper! takes place in Hampton Roads, the area in southeast Virginia that includes Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Portsmouth and several other communities. FBI Special Agent Kit McGovern (you know her from Seeds of Evidence) is standing next to her friend, a federal prosecutor, on the steps of the courthouse in Norfolk when the prosecutor is gunned down.

Over the days that follow, victim after victim falls in a series of apparently random shootings. As panic grips the Hampton Roads area, pressure mounts, and Kit soon finds herself directly in the crosshairs of her worst nightmares: failure, even death.

A special thank-you to my husband, Larry, who produces my Indie books. He has the ability to attend to detail that I completely lack. He adds features that I wouldn't have thought of, and patiently deals with computers, programs, and me.

Sniper! is a story I needed to write. First, I remembered all too well the tension that grips a community when random violence strikes. Second, I needed closure on the story of Kit and David from Seeds of Evidence. Whatever happened to them? 

Sniper! is the result and now I'm excited to share this story with you.

 

 

 

 

Presenting ... THE TIGER'S CAGE

Ever have a dream walk into your life, out of the blue, and refuse to leave? That's the story of my newest book, The Tiger's Cage. 

Let me explain: In December 1992 I had some minor knee surgery. One night, while I was recovering (and no, I didn't take anything stronger than Advil), I had an idea in the middle of the night: WHAT IF a 47-year-old, door-kicking FBI agent found his life spinning out of control because a bad guy kidnapped his son? What would he do? 

With my husband's encouragement, and the help of many agents at the FBI Academy where he worked, I began fleshing out the story. Soon, Tom Donovan began coming to life on my computer. His struggles, his passion, his grief took center stage in what would become a 325-page novel. 

Probably no one was more surprised than I was when, a year later, I had a pretty good book. I began trying to sell it, got many rejections, a few nibbles, and one big bite. But a fluky drop on the stock market scared that publisher off of an unknown author (me!) and I was back at Square One.

I didn't quit marketing that book or writing. I wrote the sequel to Tiger and one other book before my fourth book, Bloody Point, was picked up by River Oak, an imprint of David C. Cook. Success at last. Two more books by Abingdon Press followed. Then I Indie-published the sequel to Bloody Point.

Then, some 23 years after I first wrote Tiger, I decided it was time to send it off into the world--with the help of my husband, who does all the technical work. Why? Because some stories just won't leave you alone.

Interestingly enough, as I was editing it, I began to see significant themes and metaphors in Tiger that I'd never seen before. That's amazing! I can only assume this book will speak to someone about persistence, faith, and a father's strong love. I pray that it will. Because all these years later, it's still speaking to me.

Lori Benton’s “The Woods Edge”

Lori Benton’s “The Woods Edge”

I write contemporary suspense fiction, but every once in a while, I like to immerse myself in a good historical read. Lori Benton has become one of my go-to authors when I’m ready to do just that. “The Wood’s Edge” transports you back to upstate New York in the mid-1700s, to conflicts between English settlers, Indians, and the French, and the struggle to survive in a hostile world. In an impulsive moment, a British major makes a decision that will affect the lives of many people. Love, hatred, fear, and hope play out on the pages like pieces of a mosaic. In the end, the picture that emerges is both thought-provoking and satisfying.

How’d he die?

How’d he die?

Forensics, or forensic science, involves the application of scientific methodology in gathering information to be used in a court of law. Forensic comes from the Latin, forum, which in Roman culture was the public place for political discussion or debate.  Today, what we call “forensics” includes information from a broad range of scientific specialties, including botany, entomology, serology, ballistics, and even psychological analyses.

Butterflies at Easter

Butterflies at Easter

EASTER SUNDAY morning a few years ago, I sat next to my mother in her Methodist church in Rockville, Md. I grew up in that church. I learned in those Sunday school classrooms, married under the arching wood ceiling of that sanctuary and mourned my father sitting in those familiar pews.

Demographics in the community have changed and mainline churches, including my home church, have lost population. So over the years, the church lovingly began to share its spacious facilities with other congregations—Korean and Latino churches among them.

Code-Talkers

Code-Talkers

Some of you have told me how much you liked the character John Crowfeather in “Words of Conviction.” This Navajo agent walked into my manuscript unannounced and soon became a favorite of mine. I made him the grandson of a Navajo Code Talker.

This summer, on June 3, the last of the original 29 World War II Code Talkers died. Chester Nez was 93. He told CNN’s Larry King that he joined the Marines in 1942 to “defend the country and my people.” Despite the injustices heaped on Native Americans, he bore no bitterness.

Welcome, 2015!

Welcome, 2015!

How was your 2014? If your year was anything like mine, it was full of twists and turns, high spots and low places, successes and failures. You may not be a writer, but you may identify with some of the things I learned in my chosen profession last year:

1. In 2014, I retired as an opinion writer for a daily newspaper. After studying and commenting on politics, disasters, international horrors, and more for over a dozen years, I concluded the world needed more gospel and less government, more grace and less political sniping. That’s my focus now, through writing, speaking, and teaching.