The author shares her favorite recipe for inspirational romantic suspense.

Lynette Eason is the bestselling author of the Women of Justice and the Elite Guardians series. She’s won three ACFW Carol Awards, the Selah Award, and the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award, among others. Her Blue Justice series continues with Code of Valor (Revell), which sends readers on a race for the truth in this heart-stopping story of risk, regret, and redemption. In this interview, Lynette shares what drew her to these leading characters, explains what inspired the financial crimes angle, and reveals what it’s like working with other romantic suspense authors…

Lynette, Code of Valor revolves around Detective Brady St. John and financial crimes investigator Emily Chastain. What about these two characters drew you to write their story?

Brady St. John is one of the brothers of the St. John family and I’ve really been looking forward to writing his story. He’s on the dive team for the police department that he works for so I knew his story would revolve around water.

As for Emily, I wanted her to have overcome a rather difficult past. The truth was, I wasn’t sure she was the right person for Brady—until I had him save her life. She needed that. She needed a rescuer. More than that, she needed someone she could trust in order for her to truly allow herself to love. Turns out, Brady was the perfect guy for her.

What inspired the plot in Code of Valor?

I don’t know that there was one thing that inspired the plot. I was interested in an occupation that took place in a bank and I needed someone who could spot financial crimes. That’s how Emily’s occupation came about.

Because I knew the story would take place on/under water, I worked the plot to make that happen. In truth, I tend to just make my plots happen, I’m not really “inspired” by one thing or another other than an interest in making something work around a particular occupation that I want to research. LOL. Not always, but in this case, yes.

What kind of research do you have to do when your characters have “official” law enforcement jobs? (As opposed to stories about a bystander getting pulled into it.)

Fortunately, I have so many friends and online groups that I can turn to when I need to make sure I’ve gotten it right. Since law enforcement isn’t my background, I was a little terrified of trying to write it.

But it was my interest. It was something that fascinated me, so, with a pray on my lips, I started a story about ten years ago and God just sent the right people at the right time to give me feedback and teach me.

He also sent the Writers Police Academy. I can’t even begin to tell you all of the fabulous research opportunities and contacts available at this conference. It’s hands-down the best law enforcement conference on the planet for writers.

Killer Nashville is a very close second. I also have two FBI agents who read each story and give me feedback. I’ve learned a lot in the ten-plus years I’ve been doing this and I’m told that I’m getting better with the law enforcement stuff with each book I write. LOL.

What does Lynette consider the essential qualities of a leading lady and leading man? Click through to find out!

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