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 Cantore and her Carol Award nominated book Lethal Target! 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!
Janice Cantore is a retired Long Beach police officer who now writes suspense novels to keep readers engrossed and leave them inspired. Her twenty-two years of experience on the force lend authenticity to her stories. She has penned eleven romantic suspense novels: the Cold Case Justice series, the Pacific Coast Justice series, Critical Pursuit, and Visible Threat. Crisis Shot and Lethal Target are the first two books in the Line of Duty series. Cold Aim finishes out the series. Visit her at https://www.janicecantore.com
SERIES: Line of Duty #2
GENRE: Inspirational Romantic Suspense
PUBLISHER: Tyndale House Publishers
RELEASE DATE: October 9, 2018
Police Chief Tess O’Rourke thought she’d taken care of her small town’s drug problem last year. But now Rogue’s Hollow residents are up in arms over a contentious vote on legalizing the sale of marijuana within city limits. And when an eighteen-year-old is found dead of a possible overdose, Tess wonders if the local pot farms might be involved and begins to fear that a new, deadlier drug supply chain has cropped up. As tempers flare and emotions boil over, Tess faces the possibility of losing the town’s support.
With her relationship to Sergeant Steve Logan on shaky ground, Tess could really use a friend, and she feels drawn to Pastor Oliver Macpherson’s quiet presence. But the anger she holds over her father’s death prevents her from embracing his faith and finding peace.
Battling storms within and without, Tess is shocked when a familiar face from her past shows up in town to stir up more trouble. And his threats against Tess may prove lethal.
Hi, Janice! Welcome back to the blog!
Q: Why do you write fiction? And, why specifically Christian fiction?
Janice: First of all, I love to read. The strongest memory I have of myself as a child was the day my class—first grade, second grade, not sure which—was taken to the library and we were shown our way around and how to check out books. For me, it was as if I’d won the lottery. Oh, my goodness, the wonders and stories that lay before me! I read book after book, all genres, and never stopped.
After I became a Christian, three authors truly impacted my life with their novels: Catherine Marshall and Christy, Randy Alcorn and Deadline, and Francine Rivers’s Mark of the Lion series. I saw a well-crafted novel as the way to get the gospel out to people who might never go to church. My favorite aunt was one of those people. She would never pick up a Bible, but she loved to read. Writing a book for her—something that would not be preachy and that she would read and enjoy—was the goal that kicked off my writing career.
Carrie: I love this so much – from the memory of the library unlocking the world of books for you to those authors who impacted you to the story about your favorite aunt & your heart for sharing the gospel with people who wouldn’t read the Bible or go to church. This is my heart too ♥
Q: Other than the Bible, what are a couple of your most cherished books and why?
Janice: Just about anything by Francine Rivers. She gets the message out there about God and grace, redemption and forgiveness, hope and faith, better than just about anyone.
Deadline by Randy Alcorn. The theology is so rich in that book and the story so riveting—I wish I could write like that.
Demolition Angel by Robert Crais. Not a Christian novel, but a story of redemption for a police officer who is broken by the loss of her partner. Authentic police work and well-written, three-dimensional characters make this one of my favorites.
Carrie: I love Deadline too – and I agree about Francine Rivers! And I’m adding Demolition Angel to my TBR 🙂
Q: What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever Googled while researching a book?
Janice: People who died climbing Mt. Everest, and what happens to their bodies, is probably the most macabre thing I’ve googled. The story of one poor man with green boots appears in my novel Crisis Shot. I often google weird stuff: serial killers, bomb making, domestic violence stats. Definitely the saddest thing I ever researched was the number of police officers killed in the line of duty year by year. Sobering stuff.
Carrie: I bet that was sobering – i can’t imagine. So thankful for the men & women who sacrifice so much – even their own lives – to keep us safe.
Q: Which of your main characters (either in Lethal Target or over all you’ve written) is most like you?
Janice: I don’t consciously write myself. I know that I would like to be like Tess, fearless and assertive. If there is a character that is like me, I didn’t write her that way on purpose.
Carrie: Tess is a good character to aspire to be like, for sure!
Q: What is something God taught you while you wrote Lethal Target?
Janice: Ironically, I had the hardest time writing this book. It was the first (and only, I hope) book I was ever late to deadline with. I don’t know if it was writer’s block or what. I remember turning it in and knowing Jan Stob would hate it. She did. But she gave me grace and let me rework it. When I turned in the next draft, she was surprised that I’d actually just about rewritten the whole thing. But she was happy with it, and so was I. To have it nominated was such a surprise! I had truly wrestled with the story, but I kept at it. I suppose God taught me that ripping up a story and starting all over again is not a bad thing and sometimes has to be done. So humbled and thankful to be a finalist with this novel.
Carrie: Karen Barnett shared a similar story in her Carol Awards Q&A too – I love how God redeems even what we think is a lost cause or what we struggled the most to bring to life!
Q: What is one of your favorite quotes from Lethal Target and why do you love it?
Janice: It’s from Oliver:
“God has a greater knowledge of everything than I will ever have. I can’t question his will or resent circumstances over which I have no control. All I can do is live my life the way I’m called to live it.”
I like it because when I get anxious or fearful, the sentiment expressed in the quote helps steady and calm me. God is always in control no matter how things are going. He has my back.
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 Cantore’s Q&A or the romantic suspense Carol Award finalist Lethal Target?