Happy Wednesday! Continuing through Saturday (culminating with a list of winners), I have the privilege of sharing mini interviews with nearly all of the 2019 ACFW Carol Award Finalists! Today I’m covering the mystery/suspense/thriller & romantic suspense categories, including Janice Boekhoff and her Carol Award nominated book Cascade! You can check out a list of all the finalists HERE.
FYI – There will be several posts per day, and a week-long giveaway, so make sure you catch them all!
Award winning author Janice Boekhoff is a former Research Geologist who pours her love of science and the outdoors into her suspense novels. She writes from Eastern Iowa where she enjoys living among the cornfields with her wonderful hubby, three feisty kids, and one adorable Vizsla. Visit her at http://janiceboekhoff.com
SERIES: Earth Hunters #3
GENRE: Inspirational Suspense
PUBLISHER: Lost Canyon Press
RELEASE DATE: July 18, 2018
The men around Volcanologist Lenaia Talavera have a habit of dying. As she struggles to process the tragedies, she pulls away from God and her boyfriend, Paleontologist Travis Perego. So when she’s called back to Mt. Rainier and the small town of Mayim to investigate an act of sabotage, she jumps at the chance to avoid her problems and solve the puzzle. Someone on the mountain has tampered with the early warning system for rising magma, but who would want to risk an eruption that could kill an entire town?
Lenaia soon discovers that two women from town have disappeared. When she finds one of them dead on the mountain, she suspects the murder is related to the sabotage.
As she digs deeper, the evidence leads her to a deserted part of the mountain and an explosive secret. Unsure of who to trust and with time running out, Lenaia must stop a deadly plan before a killer buries the town of Mayim in a cascade of evil.
Hi, Janice! Welcome to the blog!
Q: Why do you write fiction? And, why specifically Christian fiction?
Janice: I fell in love with writing after I became a stay-at-home mom. My hands stayed busy all day with three kids under five, but my brain grew bored. I started writing to entertain myself. I didn’t have a lap top at the time, so I hand wrote my first novel during stolen moments—while waiting in the carpool line at preschool or during the rare times when at least two of my kids were napping together. Writing Christian fiction just happened naturally for me because the themes I personally relate to come from my Christian worldview.
Carrie: I love that you hand wrote your first novel!
Q: Other than the Bible, what are a couple of your most cherished books and why?
Janice: The first Christian fiction series I ever read was the O’Malley series by Dee Henderson where a group of seven orphans create their own family. Those continue to be some of my favorites, but I also love weird, mind-bending stories, so I’m a big Ted Dekker fan as well.
Carrie: The O’Malley Family series is one of my absolute faves – and I always feel a certain friendship with others who love it too. So we’re pretty much besties now, ok? 😀
Q: What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever Googled while researching a book?
Janice: That’s hard to narrow down because I’ve researched so many crazy things while writing, but I’d have to say the weirdest one that comes to mind happened during the writing of my first published book when I typed this in the search bar: How many people have been decapitated while searching for the Lost Dutchman Mine? I felt a little creepy about it, but for me, curiosity always wins over creepy.
Carrie: haha! oh boy! If search histories could talk… lol
Q: If I asked your characters to describe YOU as an author, what would they say?
Janice: They would definitely say I’m brutal. When a character or plot line is growing stale, it’s time to create some serious trouble and often that includes death. If it’s the main character of the book, then their life is probably safe, but by the end of the novel they may be seriously injured or missing body parts. I don’t make the journey easy for them. In fact, if they survive, probably all they want to do is take a nap.
Q: Which of your main characters (either in Cascade or over all you’ve written) is most like you?
Janice: Like most authors, I would say there is a part of me in all of my characters, but the one who’s most like me is Jayna Rowan (the owner of the geological firm that is a thread through all three Earth Hunters books). She’s a geologist (and I used to be one) who is trying to prove herself in a male-dominated field. I have always related to her drive to succeed and her desire to explore the world.
Carrie: She sounds like a character I’d enjoy getting to know 🙂
Q: What is something God taught you while you wrote Cascade?
Janice: The main character of Cascade, Lenaia Talavera, struggles with God’s sovereignty and timing. This is a lifelong struggle for me, and one where God often drags me along kicking and screaming. When I jumped on this journey with Lenaia, it was the first time I’d ever willingly agreed to explore that part of me with God. It surprised me to discover most of my control issues are about fear. Most often, I’m afraid to trust in God’s plan. I think of myself as a trusting person, but when the controlling part of me takes over, I’m amazed by my lack of faith sometimes.
Carrie: oh i hear that… I think most women can probably relate to this struggle.
Q: What is one of your favorite quotes from Cascade & why do you love it?
Her fear of a future she couldn’t control had led her to the point where she was facing no future at all.
Janice: It’s my favorite quote because it illustrates to me how I can end up down the wrong path by shutting God out at the very times I need Him most. When I deny His sovereignty in my life, I destroy my trust in Him, leaving me feeling alone and even more fearful. It’s alarming to realize, my fear has the power to steal all of my joy and rob me of my best future. I’m so grateful God is patient in leading me down the path He has planned for me.
Carrie: oh wow! that’s powerful! I’ll be thinking about that one for a while…
I am offering one reader any TWO books (print copies) that finaled in the 2019 Carol Awards! (open internationally as long as Book Depository ships to your address) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What interests you most from Janice Boekhoff’s Q&A or the mystery/suspense/thriller Carol Award finalist Cascade?