I remember a particular time I flew out to visit my sister and her family. While I was there, I took one of my teenage nephews out to lunch. He is very shy and had mentioned to his mom that he was afraid he wouldn’t know what to talk about. She reassured him that it wouldn’t be a problem with me. Yeah. I’m sure she meant because I’m so good at drawing people out, not that I talk too much!
Let’s go with that answer.
Getting back to the point, we had a lovely visit aside from getting slightly lost. Knowing he loves movies, I started us on that topic. And we got to talking about superheroes and which are our favorites. I suppose if I was a really wonderful aunt I would remember who his favorite is but what I remember was his reaction to hearing about my favorites, Superman and Captain America.
“So, you like the all-American superhero, then.”
Um, yeah. How can you not pick the handsome, non-creepy ones? Are there any women out there attracted to the Hulk? Or Demon-Boy? I doubt it!
Then again, I’m positive my nephew doesn’t pick his superheroes based on their looks!
No Safe Place
Published by Love Inspired Suspense
Publication Date January 1, 2019
Genres: Suspense, Christian Fiction, Clean Romance
Setting: Illinois, Minnesota Contemporary
Main Character Ages: 25-34
Written for: Adults
He lives by the law.
She’s running for her life.
After forensic accountant Beth Greenwood uncovers a money-laundering scheme tying her company to the organization that murdered her mentor, she knows she needs to go into hiding. With ruthless killers in pursuit, she’s forced to rely on homeland security agent Corbin Ross’s protection—even as his investigation suggests Beth is complicit in embezzlement. Can their uneasy alliance develop into something deeper—and keep them alive?
I received a complimentary copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
Corbin didn’t even realize he resembled Clark Kent, with his ice-blue eyes, dark hair, and glasses. It was enough that the women in the office nicknamed him Clark and even accidentally called him that. He thought they just forgot his name.
Sprinkling just enough wit throughout the story to keep it from being overly suspenseful, author Sherri Shackelford has Corbin and Beth fleeing from one place to another in an attempt to elude their pursuers. She provided just enough clues to keep things interesting without blatantly giving away who was behind the money laundering and how the goons kept finding them as they ran.
I really liked the way that the author wove her faith throughout the pages of the story. Both Corbin and Beth were Christians and yet both struggled with their faith.
The suspense was at that perfect level for me, and the violence was not emphasized so the story was not gory. I will say that I made a mistake going to bed before I finished the book, though, because it did end up affecting my dreams last night. Oops!
Interview with Sherri
Sherri, you write in several different genres, historical and contemporary, suspense and romance. What is your favorite genre to write, and why?
I really enjoyed writing historical novels, but I have to say, writing suspense is a new challenge—and I love a challenge. Make no mistake—romance is the hardest genre to write. The author has two protagonists and each character has an arc. The two arcs must be in perfect conflict with each other. There is internal conflict, which is the mental anguish we put our characters through, and an external arc—the plot that drives the book.
That’s hard stuff! You have to make the reader think that there’s NO POSSIBLE WAY the hero and heroine can be together, but still get them together. You basically set an impossible goal with each book, and then attain that goal.
As an aside, the romance industry often gets a bad rap for the mandatory HEA (Happily Ever After). My father-in-law read one of my books and said, “I knew they were going to get together.” Well, of course they are! No one reads a mystery and then shoots off an angry email to the author saying, “Why do you always solve the mystery at the end of the mystery?! I knew they were going to figure it out.”
That’s why we love the romance community! Romance readers get it.
I love that analogy!
Who is your favorite book or character (of those you have written) and why?
Since I’m promoting No Safe Place, I know I’m supposed to say that Beth is my favorite heroine, etc, etc, etc. And then you’ll desperately want to read the book. Don’t get me wrong, Beth is awesome, I love her! But my favorite heroine is Georgie, nicknamed ‘Gigi’ from Winning the Fireman’s Heart in the Legacy of the Heart Novella Collection.
A few of us put together the Legacy collection, and no one read it. I don’t think my mom read it. Which is too bad, because Georgie was a ferocious character. If you’ve got $3.99 and a quiet afternoon, check out Legacy of the Heart. There are some great, undiscovered novellas in that collection.
But first read and love No Safe Place! (This is why authors should never be put in charge of their own promotion.)
Oh, I remember her! I thought she was pretty great, too.
If you had the opportunity to live anywhere in the world for a year while writing a book that took place in that same setting, where would you go?
Barrow, Alaska. Hands down. It’s perpetually dark. It’s perpetually light. It’s desolate. It’s the northern most point of the United States. Communities that live in cold climates are fascinating to me. I mean, I could go to Tahiti and sip Pina Coladas, but where’s the challenge in that?! For me, the environment is always a part of the story, and I like to make my characters suffer!
Hmm. I love the idea of visiting Alaska but my plan has always been to go in the summer when it isn’t iced over and always dark. . .
Which person (living or dead) would you most want to be able to interview? What is one question you would ask them?
Jimmy Carter. I’m fascinated by him. I was the only kid in the fourth grade (sorry, showing my age) who voted to re-elect him. He gave a speech during his presidency about America’s growing toxic fascination with consumerism. He challenged the morality of basing a person’s worth on their wealth. Not only did he preach his values, he lives them. The guy builds latrines, for heaven’s sake. He seems to have a rock-solid inner peace, and I’d like to talk with him.
I may have been in fourth grade in his first election. 🙂
According to your bio, you were a naval reservist with top-security clearance. First of all, thank you so much for your service! How has your experience there affected your writing? Are you able to use your experiences in your stories?
What I use most from my military experience is the comradery of the people I worked with and knew during that time. I served in the Navy, and our experiences tended to be isolating. The sailors often worked on ships or at remote bases. Because of my job, I worked mostly in an underground location without windows.
My group also worked an unusual shift -five in the evening until midnight. We stayed up late and slept late because that’s what we had to do. I remember waking up one morning and realizing I hadn’t seen a sunrise or a sunset in months. When your world is that concentrated, the relationships you have become incredibly intense.
Can you tell us a little about what inspired No Safe Place?
I really enjoy stories about regular people who are forced into extraordinary circumstances. I liked the idea of someone with a very ho-hum job in a boring office building who is thrown into incredible danger. I also like stories where people are ‘on the run’.
Beth, the heroine of No Safe Place, is a forensic accountant. Are you a numbers person, or was it a challenge to write about this side of her? And what else can you tell us about her?
I am not a numbers person, which is why Beth doesn’t get much of a chance to show us her skills in accounting! When the story starts, she is forced away from her job and on the run. Most of the accounting that got her there in the first place happens before the story starts.
So tell us about Corbin? What do you like about him and what do you dislike?
Corbin was a great character to write! He’s very sweet, but he has some trust issues, poor guy, that he has to work through during the course of the story. He’s very conflicted because the evidence is telling him not to trust Beth, but he’s falling in love with her. Not a great place for him to be.
What else can you tell us about No Safe Place?
I wanted to make No Safe Place incredibly realistic. This isn’t James Bond. Corbin doesn’t have a watch that turns into a laser gun. I wanted the reader to feel as though she could be in the same situation. (Not driving around in a blue convertible like Nancy Drew! Nothing against Nancy….)
Corbin and Beth are basically two good people trying to do the right thing and coming into conflict with each other. I think most of us can relate to that!
1 winner will win “A Little Bit More Romance Box,” which includes the following items in a Decorative Box (pictured):
- Romance Bubble Bath
- Classic Cover Harlequin Notebook
- Collectible Addition Book of Romance Poems
- Romance Bath Bomb
- Scented Candle
- Fuzzy Socks
- Books: No Safe Place and His Substitute Mail-Order Bride by Sherri Shackelford, and Undercover Memories by Lenora Worth
Ends January 23, 2019