Elizabeth Goddard has sold over one million books and is the award-winning author of more than fifty novels and counting, including the romantic mystery The Camera Never Lies—a 2011 Carol Award winner. She is a Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery and Suspense finalist for her Mountain Cove Series—Buried, Backfire, and Deception—and a Carol Award finalist for Submerged. Now Goddard offers readers another riveting adventure in her newest novel, Present Danger, book one in her new Rocky Mountain Courage Series.
FF: Can you give a brief synopsis of your newest novel, Present Danger?
Detective Jack Tanner is responding to a search-and-rescue callout when he comes across a body in the national forest. He also runs into his old flame, USFS Special Agent Terra Connors. A murder investigation ensues, and as they dig deeper, Terra discovers evidence to suggest artifact trafficking, for which her expertise is especially needed. In the hunt for clues, the body count grows and the stakes rise, bringing Terra and Jack to unexpected places and much too close to home. During his time as an FBI special agent, Jack failed to save someone, and he fears he’ll fail again, in which case he and Terra will lose more than their hearts. They could lose their lives.
FF: Present Danger is the first book in your new Rocky Mountain Courage Series. What ties the books in the series together?
All three stories take place in a fictional county in the southwest corner of Montana near the gateway to Yellowstone National Park. Main characters in each book shared a tragedy that drew them together when loved ones were killed by an avalanche during a SAR mission. This team of searchers made the ultimate sacrifice to help others. A memorial was established commending their “rocky mountain courage” and remains near the base of the mountain on which they died.
FF: Can you tell us a little more about Jack Tanner and Terra Connors, the main characters in this book?
Terra loves the outdoors, and it’s her job to investigate offenses against natural resources. She’s a take-charge person, though she struggles to live up to her mother’s heroism—her mother died on the mountain conducting a SAR mission, and a memorial plaque at the base of the mountain serves as a reminder of her mother’s sacrifice.
Jack Tanner is a former FBI special agent who worked undercover and is now a county detective. He comes back to stay with his aunt who raised him and who is in the early stages of dementia. He struggles with his family legacy and is driven to prove he’s better than his father. He doesn’t want to let anyone down like his father let him down.
FF: Jack and Terra have a complicated past. Without giving away any spoilers, what can you tell us about their relationship?
Love is complicated, and their breakup left them both reeling, but they have each moved on . . . or have they?
FF: This book features criminals who traffic valuable archaeological finds. What kind of research was required for you to write this story?
I spent many hours reading, though the subject has always fascinated me. In fact, I’ve long wanted to write a story featuring this particular archaeological looting incident. I won’t say more because I don’t want to spoil the story.
FF: What do you hope readers take away from reading Present Danger?
As always, I hope readers will experience a roller-coaster ride full of twists and turns, and the story will resonate as they think about the characters for hours, even days, after finishing the story. But I also hope they’ll get a glimpse into the artifacts-trafficking world they hadn’t previously experienced.
FF: What is the most challenging part of the writing process for you?
The challenges have shifted over time, and lately I’m finding the hardest part is making sense of the first draft, which is always messy!
FF: What do you love about writing romantic suspense novels, and what do these kinds of books offer readers?
I love reading romantic suspense. So when I’m writing a romantic suspense, I simply write the story I want to read. I love the genre because it offers double the tension—romantic tension and the suspense plot tension. If good mystery is included, then that’s even better. In the case of Christian romantic suspense, the spiritual thread is another huge benefit.
FF: What other projects are you working on right now?
I’m working on book two in the Rocky Mountain Courage Series.
Hidden crimes. Open threats. Long-buried secrets.
They’ll be fighting for the truth–and their lives.
Former FBI Special Agent Jack Tanner is working as a detective in Montana when he comes across a body in the national forest during a search and rescue mission. He’s committed to finding the killer, even if it means working alongside his old flame, US Forest Service Special Agent Terra Connors.
When Terra discovers that the murder victim had ties to a powerful and dangerous trafficker of archaeological artifacts, the investigation takes a deadly turn–one that hits too close to home. As Terra fears she lacks the courage to face what comes next, Jack is more determined than ever to protect her. But he’s failed her before.
If he fails this time, it will cost them far more than just their hearts.
Rocky Mountain Courage #1
Genres: Suspense, Romance
Release Date: April 6, 2021
ISBN-10 : 0800739671
ISBN-13 : 978-0800739676
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