Please join me in welcoming Kathi Oram Peterson. She's joined us today to talk about her latest book, Cold Justice--a thrilling combination of suspense and romance.
MK: You have a few books under your belt now, but not all of them suspense like River Whispers, your last book. You have some heartwarming stories and one that involves time travel – what led you to venture into romantic suspense?
KP: I actually wrote romantic suspense novels that didn’t publish before I wrote my YA time travels (The Forgotten Warrior, 2009; The Stone Traveler, 2010). I love both genres.
Romantic suspense was my first love. I read a ton of gothic mysteries when my children were young. But I loved romantic suspense because most of them show ordinary women rising to the occasion by becoming strong and feisty heroines.
The reason I tried writing young adult novels was I worked a lot with the young in my Church so I decided to give YA time travels a try. I found I really liked writing them. I have two more YA time travels that haven’t been published as yet, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed they’ll find a home.
MK: Your new book, Cold Justice just came out. Will you share with us a short preview?
KP: I’ll give you the back cover blurb. It says it better than I can.
After overcoming missed connections, murder accusations, and years of living lives apart, Regi Bernard and Samuel Tanner’s happily ever after is finally within reach. On the eve of their wedding, however, Samuel disappears, and Regi wonders if once again he has run away from both a life with her and a membership in the Church.
Quite the opposite; Samuel has been kidnapped by the Raven Clan, a powerful Alaskan tribe, and is en route to stand trial in front of their justice council for a puzzling crime that happened years ago.
When Regi and Samuel’s close friends suspect a kidnapping, Regi—with the help of her sister, Claudia, and friend Wakanda—resolves to follow Samuel to Alaska but soon learns secrets about her fiancé she hadn’t bargained for.
While Samuel struggles with his faith and with understanding why he has been accused, Regi risks life and love to set him free.
MK: Cold Justice is set in Alaska, River Whispers in Idaho – how do you choose the settings for your stories?
KP: I set River Whispers in Idaho because I’m familiar with the area where it takes place. I was born and raised in Idaho. Cold Justice has the same characters and because Samuel had spent time in Alaska that’s where I knew I had to set this book. The problem I encountered was researching travel by boat and plane. Many hours were spent finding out what the ocean was like in that area and routes bush pilots would fly.
MK: Do you have a favorite character you’ve written? Who and why?
KP: My favorite tends to be the main character of the book I’m writing on at the time. But for Cold Justice and River Whispers I loved writing Regi’s character. She had some of my sister, some of me, and some my daughter in her. And also I enjoyed writing Wakanda, Regi’s friend. Wakanda had a rough life and because of that she was rich with experiences that came out during the book.
MK: I was recently asked to give my input on the direction romance books are heading in terms of content. Your books are all clean reads (which this reader appreciates). Have you ever found it difficult to appeal to an audience?
KP: I haven’t because my publisher only publishes clean reads and my target audience expects that from me. I have had fans tell me that they enjoy my books because they don’t have to worry about an explicit sex scene or swearing.
MK: What has been your greatest challenge as a writer? Have you been able to overcome it?
KP: After I wrote my first novel (years ago) I called a published author and asked for his advice on what I needed to do to get it published. He asked me if I had had any articles published. When I told him no, he said, “What makes you think you can have a book published?” I was devastated. BUT after a while, I became determined. It took me years of hard work, taking many writing classes, and fielding many rejections, but I finally made it. I’m still shocked that I will have five books out with the release of Cold Justice. Writing has become part of who I am. I’m still learning. And I hope to always keep learning about this crazy business of writing.
MK: What has been your greatest pleasure since that first book was published?
KP: By far it has to be receiving email from fans who love my books. That’s what it’s all about, writing stories that others will enjoy. And second has to be to actually hold a published novel that I’ve written in my hand. All those years of hard work paid off.
MK: What are some non-writing pastimes you enjoy?
KP: I love going to the movies. There’s something magical about the big screen and becoming absorbed into another world. When I have the time, I like to go golfing with my husband. I haven’t been as often as I used to because of deadlines, but we go at least a couple of times every summer.
MK: We’re going to time-travel a bit – any place and time in history. Where would you like to go? If you had to write a book on your experience there, what would be the title?
KP: There are so many. This is hard. I’d love to have been in Bethlehem when Christ was born. I actually wrote a book, yet to be published, set at that time. The title is Chasing the Star.
I’d also like to meet George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and Abraham Lincoln. I’d like to meet their wives the woman’s side of history. For the most part, their stories have not been told. I’d like to do a patriot series someday. But I’ve yet to think of titles.
MK: What can readers expect from you in the future? More romantic suspense? More YA?
KP: I’m hopeful the sequel to The Forgotten Warrior will be released as well as Chasing the Star. Both are YA time travels. Right now, I’m working on another romantic suspense with the working title, Wanted. Faulkner was wrongly convicted of killing his step-brother. When he learns that his ex-wife, Jo, plans to marry the man Faulkner believes is the real killer, he breaks out of jail in the hopes of stopping the wedding and saving her life.
Kathi is giving away two copies of Cold Justice through Goodreads. http://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/25006-cold-justice
Hurry and sign up because it ends June 30th!
Kathi is also giving away two very cute and cuddly toy bears from Build-a-Bear. To be included in the drawing for the bears, followers need to leave comments on each blog of the tour. They have until midnight on July 1st to go to each blog and leave a comment. I'll then put their names in the hat and have two winners picked.
She'll announce the winners July 3rd.