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I am excited to welcome back Susan Page Davis today! (A few previous reader-favorite visits with Susan include The Seafaring Women of the Vera B., River Rest, and Mountain Christmas Brides.) Susan’s new book The Priority Unit takes us into a different genre. Romantic suspense fans, this one’s for you! Before we visit with Susan, let’s take a quick look at the story.
A missing man, a mysterious computer program—Even the people constructing it don’t know what it will do.
Detective Harvey Larson was good at keeping his personal life out of his professional life—until he met Jennifer Wainthrop. The beautiful software designer was the last person to admit seeing Nick Dunham alive. Can Harvey find out what happened to her missing coworker before someone else gets killed? The killer has learned who is stalking him, and everyone associated with Harvey is in danger. He struggles for the strength he needs to protect Jennifer from the grim fate that claimed Nick, while serving up Maine Justice.
Welcome back, Susan! What inspired you to write this series, or this novel in particular?
I loved watching police and legal dramas, but I was frustrated when nearly all of them ignored the spiritual side of life. Most television shows and movies present faith and spirituality in a negative manner. I would think, what if that story ended differently? What if they weren’t all so apathetic toward God? I wanted to write about a cop who discovered that God is real, and that He is in control.
Many of them do know the truth, despite what the movies portray. I’m sure they’re glad to be represented in a better light. Do you have a favorite character from this story? Why is this character your favorite?
Probably Harvey, the hero, who has been through some rough times. He’s a crime-solving near-genius, but he keeps a low profile and simply does his job, despite all the difficult things thrown his way. He reaches an emotional and spiritual low in his life when his ex-wife commits suicide. People in his life, including his partner Eddie, the heroine Jennifer, his ex-wife’s grandmother, his captain, and the pastor at a church Harvey picks out of the Yellow Pages help him navigate troubled waters. This man, who finds change excruciating, starts to listen and try to reshape his life. That makes him my hero.
He sounds very human, and yet admirable in his decisions. Who is your favorite secondary character in this latest novel, and do you think you’ll include that character in a future story?
My favorite supporting character is Eddie, Harvey’s French-Canadian detective partner. He’s a very sweet young man, but sowing some wild oats. Harvey taught him everything he knows about investigating crime—and a few other things he regrets having divulged. Eddie’s rock solid, and if you’re in a gun fight, you want him at your back. He’s not so great at keeping embarrassing secrets, however, and if he’s trying to be funny–or if he’s in love–he’s apt to break into French. He’s devastatingly handsome, and as Jennifer says, all the women want to mother him or marry him. This is not always an asset to his police work!
He sounds like one to keep an eye on! Did you do any traveling for research? If so, could you tell us about it?
When I wrote the first draft of this book, I lived in Maine and visited Portland fairly often, so it wasn’t difficult to find the information I needed. A Maine state trooper very graciously read the book and gave the stamp of approval to the police procedure.
Have you given any of your own personality quirks to your characters? If so, would you be willing to share about it/them?
I find that I am like Harvey (or he is like me) in this way: Any major change to his life is accepted with great pain and resistance. Yet he is good at learning new things and adapting when it’s necessary. He can study up on any subject he needs to master quickly for his job, but several books later he still carries the key to his old car that blew up in Book 1. His wife took most of their furniture when she left him, and he lived without a kitchen table for ten years. I am not that extreme (I hope), but I have some of those tendencies.
Change can be hard… Can you give us any hints about what you’re working on now?
I write historical romance, as well as romantic suspense. So, while I’m working on a novella for the upcoming Seven Brides for Seven Texas Rangers collection, I’m also continuing to publish books in the Maine Justice Series. Book 2, Fort Point, is next. The e-book is out, and the paperback will release April 1, to be followed by Book 3, Found Art. At least six books are planned in this series.
Very fun! Thanks for taking the time to visit with us, Susan!
Your turn! Do you adapt to change easily, or do you find it challenging to adjust?
An ill-fated class reunion at Fort Point. . .
Maine’s most famous author is murdered the night after the reunion. A classmate turns up dead a few days later.What does a cold case burglary have to do with the deaths? And did a third classmate really commit suicide?
The Priority Unit solves its most challenging case, relying on wits, hard work, and faith. Meanwhile, Jennifer Wainthrop plans her wedding but manages to hand the detectives some important clues. Detective Harvey Larson is offered a job he doesn’t want, until he learns the police chief has had a tragic accident. Captain Mike Browning is on vacation in Maine’s far north, and proves to be a difficult man to track down.
Harvey and Jennifer continue their faith journey and romance while untangling the evidence. Despite many obstacles, the Priority Unit is once again serving up Maine Justice.
Iris Perkins is told she will be married soon to a man she despises. A chance visit by two brothers and a beautiful woman from the other side of Echo Canyon gives her hope. For Edward Sherman, venturing into Utah with his brother to buy horses is risky. He only wants to find the livestock they need and get back to Fort Bridger, until he meets a frightened young woman in need. He’ll do anything he can to save Iris, even race against the man determined to marry her.
More about Susan:
Susan Page Davis is the author of more than seventy romantic suspense, mystery, and historical romance novels. She’s a winner of the Carol Award, the Will Rogers Medallion, and the Faith, Hope & Love Readers’ Choice Award, and a finalist in the WILLA Literary Awards. A Maine native, she now lives in Kentucky. Visit her website at: www.susanpagedavis.com.
You can connect with Susan online:
‘The Priority Unit’ Giveaway:
Susan has generously offered to give away the winner’s choice of either The Priority Unit or Echo Canyon. Giveaways are subject to the Giveaway Policy.