I always enjoy visiting with Nancy Mehl. 🙂 If you haven’t had an opportunity to meet her, you’re in for a treat today! Her newest novel, Dark Deception, is the second in the Defenders of Justice series. (You can find more about the first in the series, Fatal Frost, here.) Before we visit with Nancy, though, let’s take a quick peek at the story.
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Kate O’Brien’s quiet life in small-town Shelter Cove, Arkansas is shaken when her past suddenly comes roaring back to life. Four years ago, she and her twin sister were attacked by an elusive serial killer. Only Kate survived, and she’s been in witness protection ever since.
When new evidence arises to suggest the convicted man wasn’t the murderer, she’s subpoenaed to testify in the new trial. Afraid to go back into that world, Kate only agrees if Tony DeLuca, the deputy Marshal who protected her during the original trial, escorts her to St. Louis.
Tony readily takes on the assignment; Kate’s beauty and inner strength made more of an impression on him than he expected. But when Kate’s safety is threatened, Tony must race against the clock to keep her alive and put this ugly case to rest before anyone else gets killed.
You can find Dark Deception at the following retailers:
Welcome back, Nancy! What inspired you to write this series or this novel in particular?
I was very interested in the U.S. Marshals. They’re a unique branch of law enforcement – enforcement being the operative word. Marshals don’t investigate. They enforce the law. They also protect those who are willing to testify against criminals even though their lives may be at stake. Most witnesses are actually people involved with various criminal operations. But from time to time, innocent witnesses step up to testify about situations they had nothing to do with. They either saw something or heard something that is valuable to putting a criminal behind bars. After their testimony, if necessary, the Marshals are able to provide witnesses with new lives through WITSEC (Witness Security Program).
I was very fortunate to find a retired Deputy Marshal who was able to guide me through the books in my Defenders of Justice series. Without Paul Anderson’s help, I couldn’t have written these books with any degree of reality.
I am reading Dark Deception right now, and I really appreciate the details you’ve added. I’m thankful to not have personal experience with the work Marshals do, but I do find it fascinating to read! What do you hope your readers take away from this novel?
My main character, Kate, has had tragedy in her life. Instead of dealing with it, she’s internalized it. We can fool ourselves into thinking we’re okay – when we’re not. That’s not God’s will for us. We need to face our feelings honestly. After that, we can conquer them. In Dark Deception, Tony tells Kate: “Deliverance isn’t denial, Kate. And it isn’t delusion. God wants to heal you, but you have to be honest with Him…and with yourself.”'God wants to heal you, but you have to be honest with Him…and with yourself.”Click To Tweet
I hope this speaks to readers dealing with pain from their past. I know from experience that ignoring our pain doesn’t work. Covering it up will only cause it to twist our lives in other ways. Better to give it to God and get true deliverance than to allow it to affect your entire future.
That’s so true, and such an important message to share! Authors are busy people. How do you juggle all of the demands on your time so that you can maintain your sanity?
Discipline is key. I get up early and try to get to my desk by 8:00 a.m. I write in the mornings and do other things (like this interview) in the afternoons – or in the evening if I’m pushed for time. I try not to work on weekends. Everyone needs down time. Time to relax and be with family and/or friends. Although working long hours might sound impressive, if you get too tired, your writing can suffer. Of course, occasionally there are those deadlines that push us further than we’d like, but I’m trying to make sure they’re rare. Just recently, I realized I had to make some changes. I was driving myself too hard. Without God’s help, I don’t know how I would have made it through.
It’s so easy to burn the candle at both ends when you’re in charge of your own schedule. Setting work hours and protecting your down time both sound like excellent strategies to find a good balance. Can you give any hints about what you’re working on now?
Just a hint since the contract isn’t signed yet, but I’m pitching a new series that deals with a topic I’ve wanted to write about for a long time. It will take some study and a lot of help from others, but I am very, very excited about it! I’ll announce it when I can.
Well, that’s a teaser! Now I can’t wait to hear what it is! 😀 How about five fast favorites? What is your:
Favorite color? Purple.
Favorite season? Winter.
Favorite movie? There are so many. Let’s go with Phantom of the Opera.
Favorite ice cream flavor? Butter Pecan.
Favorite animal? My dog, Watson! (And squirrels. I adore squirrels.)
I bet Watson does, too! 😉 If you could offer a word of encouragement to an aspiring author, what would you say?
First of all, make sure you’re called to write. If you just write as a hobby, fine. Enjoy it. Have fun. But if you’re determined to be published professionally, make certain God has gifted you to write. Too many people want to write because they think it’s “cool” or because they see someone else doing it and they want to be like them. This is not the reason to pursue a writing career.
If you’re convinced God has called you to write, then never, ever give up. Understand that the devil won’t just walk away and leave you alone. He will throw everything into your pathway He can to stop you. You may have to be like Joseph who had a word from the Lord – but it seemed as if it would never come to pass. You have to stand your ground and trust God even when it looks as if you’ve missed it. I know quite a few writers who gave up because they couldn’t take the pressure. Writing will challenge you in many ways: your confidence, your patience, your faith… But you’ll grow as you press on and learn that God is faithful. It can be a harsh and disappointing journey sometimes. But oh my. It can also be exciting and incredibly fulfilling if you hang on and stay the course.
I can’t imagine doing anything else.
What sweet encouragement, Nancy! Thanks so much for taking the time to share with us today!
Your turn! Since we all need down time, what is one of your favorite ways to spend downtime besides reading?
More about Nancy:
Nancy Mehl is a best-selling, award-winning author who lives in Missouri, with her husband, Norman, and her Puggle, Watson. She’s authored almost thirty books and is currently writing a new series for Bethany House Publishing based on the U.S. Marshals. The first book, Fatal Frost, in her Defenders of Justice Series, released on November 1st, 2016. The second book, Dark Deception, hit store shelves in June of 2017. Book three, Blind Betrayal, will be released in the spring of 2018. She is also working on a new cozy mystery series for Guideposts.
Readers can learn more about Nancy through her Web site: www.nancymehl.com. She is part of The Suspense Sisters: www.suspensesisters.blogspot.com, along with several other popular suspense authors. She is also very active on Facebook.
Dark Deception Giveaway:
Nancy has generously offered to give away a paperback or ebook copy of Dark Deception (winner’s choice). Giveaways are subject to the Giveaway Policy.