Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Elizabeth Heiter | Meet Rebel: The K-9 Star of K-9 Defense
Author Guest / February 12, 2019

In the opening chapter of my upcoming book, K-9 DEFENSE, Rebel – a five-year-old Malinois-German Shepherd mix – saves the life of my heroine, who’s come to the wilds of Alaska in search of her long-lost sister. Rebel doesn’t need to be told what to do – when she sees a car sliding out of control through the town’s snow-covered streets, she leaps on the heroine, knocking her out of the way. It’s a role she knows well – that of a hero. Before coming to Desparre, Alaska, with ex-Marine Colter Hayes, she served beside him as a military Combat Tracker Dog. After serving together for two years, she saved his life during a sniper attack. Both man and dog were injured that day, ending their military careers. Since then, Colter has been hiding – and trying to heal from his emotional wounds as much as his physical ones – and Rebel has stayed by his side. When Harlequin approached me about writing a romantic suspense with a K-9, it didn’t take me long to agree. I’d never written a dog into a main role in a novel before – primarily because in all of my previous mysteries, my hero…

Elizabeth Heiter | Reflecting on Holiday Traditions and Looking Forward to the New Year
Author Guest / January 2, 2019

‘Tis the season for family, friends, and fun traditions. If you’re like me, you’ve got some that have lasted since childhood and others that morph every year. This time of year can be frantic and sometimes overwhelming, but I always love it. For me, the season starts at the beginning of December with a newer tradition: high tea surrounded by Christmas lights. Each year, I do it twice: once with a group of friends I’ve (mostly) known since elementary school, then again with my fiancé. Then, the season kicks into high gear with a long-time favorite: holiday shopping for my family. Next up is a newer one: tree and ornament shopping with myfiancé. The way that tradition is going, I’m going to have to buy a bigger tree each year to hold all of the ornaments! Next up are a few traditions that you might expect for a suspense and romantic suspense writer. First is something I do with my critique partner: the annual watching of our favorite holiday movie: DIE HARD (yes, it’s a holiday movie!). Then is a newer tradition – since I sold my first novels in 2012, I’ve either had a book due in December or…

Elizabeth Heiter | Writing Strong, Modern Heroines
Author Guest / November 27, 2018

Strong heroines. Deadly villains. Killer suspense. That’s my brand – three things I promise to deliver readers with every book. But what does it take to create a strong, modern heroine? Sometimes, it’s a FBI SWAT agent, a woman who’s as deadly with her bare hands as she is with an MP-5 submachine gun, like Maggie Delacorte, the heroine of SWAT SECRET ADMIRER. Other times it’s a socially awkward FBI profiler, a woman who struggles with simple small talk but can tell you what a serial killer will do next before he even knows it himself, like Evelyn Baine, the heroine of my Profiler series. Like real women, strong heroines are as varied as the individuals themselves. Yes, I’ll admit it: I have a soft spot for a woman like Maggie, whose teammates get a kick out of letting her “initiate” the new guy – by going to shake his hand and then promptly flipping him over her shoulder and down to the ground. But even the strongest heroines have vulnerabilities. For Maggie, it’s trusting anyone with the truth about her past and what led her to the FBI: being abducted and raped by a serial criminal who’s still out…

Elizabeth Heiter | When Life Imitates Art: Romantic Suspense in My Life
Author Guest / October 15, 2018

You’ve probably encountered a character in a book who’s one hundred percent convinced she won’t end up with a particular person (or type of person). And as soon as she said it (especially if the book was shelved in the romance section), you probably thought to yourself, “I know who you’ll end up with by the end of the book!” In my Profiler series, FBI profiler Evelyn Baine is extremely talented at her job and extremely serious. She got into it because her best friend went missing as a child and was never found. Now, all these years later, she sees every case as a chance to bring someone else the kind of closure she never got for herself. So, of course, FBI Hostage Rescue Team agent Kyle “Mac” McKenzie is someone she immediately dismisses as an impossibility: not only is dating a teammate forbidden by the FBI (and Evelyn would never put her career in jeopardy), but he also never seems to be serious. But as the series progresses, that “impossibility” becomes reality. In my latest romantic suspense trilogy, The Lawmen: Bullets and Brawn, every set of heroes and heroines has someone who thinks “this could never happen” about…

Author/Reader Match with Elizabeth Heiter
Author Guest / September 4, 2018

Writes: Elizabeth Heiter writes both psychological suspense and romantic suspense. Her books feature strong heroines, chillingly realistic villains, and psychological twists. She believes every hero or heroine has the right plot waiting for them (and she believes in making them work hard for their happy ending!). About: Elizabeth doesn’t know how to be bored, so she’s had ten books in two genres (plus three short stories) published in the past four and a half years. She can usually be found with a mocha next to her laptop, writing her work-in-progress, editing the book she’s just finished, and researching the one up next. That research has taken her to the FBI’s firing range, the CIA’s headquarters, and a police academy. What I’m looking for in my ideal reader match: Loves the twists and turns of a good mystery. Appreciates a heroine who can take down a man twice her size. Longs for a hero who can charm a strong woman, without being intimidated by her. Wants their heart to pound relentlessly during a great action scene. Believes that anything worth having is worth fighting for. Knows the best villains are as unwilling to give up as the heroes. Craves a book…

Elizabeth Heiter | Top 5 Reasons to Write (or Read!) a Series
Author Guest / July 16, 2018

In the past five years, I’ve published books in three distinct series: The Profiler (a psychological suspense series featuring FBI profiler Evelyn Baine, whose job is to get into the heads of killers), The Lawmen (a romantic suspense series about three friends who make a pact to join the FBI after violence tears apart their lives, and what happens ten years later when that violence returns) and The Lawmen: Bullets and Brawn (a romantic suspense series about three foster brothers ripped apart as children, who are determined to unravel the secret of their past). What is it about series that keeps me coming back? As a writer, it’s many of the same reasons that I can’t stay away from series as a reader: I can’t wait to revisit the characters: My Profiler series features one primary character, who returns book after book with new cases to profile for the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit. While the plot of each story revolves around her work as a profiler, part of what I love about her series is the character growth. In the first book in the series, HUNTED, Evelyn was socially inept and purposely isolated. By the time book four, STALKED, rolls…

Elizabeth Heiter | Don’t forget to chase your dreams!
Author Guest , Suspense / June 21, 2018

For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a writer. As a child, before I could write words myself, I used to tell my mom stories and then ask her to do the same for me.  I liked everything about fiction, whether it came from books or off the cuff from someone’s imagination. As I got older, I loved how stories could transport me away from challenges, how they could inform and inspire.  By the time I finished high school, I’d co-written my first completed novel with a friend who’s my critique partner to this day. After college, the journey toward publication began.  And it was quite a journey. There was so much I didn’t know at the beginning about the business side.  Back then, my goal was simple: write a book I loved and then find a literary agent who could sell it to a publishing house. Of course, the goal was easier said than done.  I joined a writer’s organization, which helped me learn how to write stronger query letters – pitches to try and get someone interested in my book.  Eventually, I found an agent and we started shopping my novel. But by then,…

Elizabeth Heiter | An Interview with FBI Profiler Evelyn Baine
Author Guest , Interviews / May 28, 2018

Today, I’m sitting down with the heroine of The Profiler series, Evelyn Baine, to find out more about how she balances her job with the FBI and the rest of her life: So, Evelyn, what exactly do you do for the FBI? “I’m a criminal investigative analyst – what you might call a profiler – for the Behavioral Analysis Unit. If you’ve got a crime where everything you’ve tried has failed to find you the perpetrator, you call my unit. We don’t need forensics or obvious suspects. What we do is look at the crime scene and read the psychology behind it. What caused the perpetrator to do this? What kind of person is he? How do you find him?” That sounds really complicated. How did you get into this line of work? “Sometimes it is complicated. I don’t really like to talk about my personal life, but I learned about profilers when I was twelve years old. My best friend disappeared and an FBI profiler came to town to find her. He never did, so it became my life’s mission to join the FBI, learn how to profile cases myself and one day figure out what happened to her.”…

Elizabeth Heiter | How I Write Suspense
Author Guest / April 9, 2018

At every new book launch, certain questions pop up again and again: “Where do you get your ideas?” “What’s the process of writing a book?” It’s different for every writer, and while my process has evolved some over the years, fundamentally it’s stayed the same through ten published novels: The Big Idea: For me, every book begins with a big idea, something that gets me excited. Usually, it comes in the form of “What if…” In STALKED, my latest psychological suspense, it was “What if a teenager disappeared, leaving behind a note that said if anyone was reading it, she was already dead?” That first idea bloomed into more questions: “Was she really dead? Why would she leave a note like that instead of trying to get help before she disappeared? Was it really the teenager who left the note, or someone else?” The big idea stage can take a while: I may discard a lot of ideas before I find one that both excites me enough as a hook (something compelling enough to intrigue a reader to want more) and has enough depth and possibility to it to sustain an entire novel (100,000 words!). Once I’ve settled on that…

Five Reasons to Avoid Everton, PA
Author Guest / March 12, 2018

Everton, PA is the fictional setting for my latest release, NIGHT OF THE FLOOD – a collaborative “novel in stories” featuring contributions from Rob Brunet, Gwen Florio, J.J. Hensley, Jennifer Hillier, Shannon Kirk, Sarah M. Chen, Wendy Tyson, E.A. Aymar, Jenny Milchman, Angel Colon, Mark Edwards, Alan Orloff, Hilary Davidson, and an introduction from Hank Phillippi Ryan. Here are a few reasons you might want to steer clear of Everton: The dam broke – and it wasn’t an accident: After Maggie Wilbourne became the first woman in modern times to be executed in Pennsylvania (for killing her rapists), a group of activists protested her execution by blowing up the dam. “The Daughters,” as they’re known, wanted to send a message – and they did, because now the whole town is going underwater. Things are scarier in the dark: As the water slowly submerges the town over a period of twenty-four hours (during which all the stories are set), the electricity is going out, too. The residents of the town have two choices: hunker down and try to wait it out, or make a break for it, in canoes or kayaks or even a big-rig truck. But without electricity, it’s harder…