Friday, July 22, 2016

#interview & #giveaway with Lisa Harris!

 I did squeal a little when I found out Lisa Harris was visiting today!! Her books are edge of the seat, don't get to bed before it's over, good! So without further ado ... welcome, Lisa!

Thank you so much for visiting us today here at the CCC blog! Can you tell us about your latest release and what inspired you to write the story?

Thanks so much for having me!! Missing, which was just released this month, is book two in my Nikki Boyd Files, and the character of Nikki, the heroine, was my first inspiration for this series. One of the things I loved right from the beginning was her compelling back story. Her younger sister vanished ten years ago, and because if this Nikki has been searching for Sarah ever since. It was this loss that compelled Nikki to quit her job as a teacher in order to join the police academy, and eventually join a newly formed missing persons task force for the state of Tennessee.

Missing takes places just over ten years after her sister disappeared, and Nikki is still searching for the truth about what happened to her sister. Because of her past, she’s both strong and vulnerable as she works through these missing person cases, while trying to balance life, extended family, and love. She also finds it impossible not to get emotionally involved in her cases. But it’s that very personal scenario with high stakes that gives her the motivation and determination she needs to find her sister’s abductor. It also helps the reader connect and sympathize with her, because it’s not simply a routine case to be cracked or another murder to be solved. For Nikki, it’s personal.

In Missing, Nikki is called in when two bodies are found and a couple goes missing.When the first clues lead her to the boat of her friend Tyler Grant--and another dead body--Nikki must untangle what ties Tyler to the Hudsons. The clues pull her into a deadly maze of counterfeit drugs and a killer who will stop at nothing to silence anyone who threatens his business--including Nikki.

Of all your characters in this story, which one did you enjoy writing the most and why?

I guess it goes without saying that Nikki is my favorite character in this story as well as in the series. I’ve loved having the chance to tell her story over several books as it’s given me the chance to dig deeper into her character, both her vulnerabilities and her strengths. And, of course, I’ve loved watching her romance grow with Tyler, as well as see her love for family as she searches for her sister.  

Can you tell us about a scene that you wrote and eventually deleted? It’s always fun to know of the little details that didn’t make the cut J

While I rarely delete scenes in my stories, I did end up cutting an entire first chapter of Missing. It was actually a scene I really liked, set at Nikki’s parents’ BBQ restaurant. Nikki’s mom, as well as her sister-in-law, are ‘interrogating’ her over a guy she’d been dating in book one. I was looking for a bridge for Nikki’s personal life from book one to book two, but the bottom line was that for the beginning of a fast-paced suspense novel it just didn’t work. Here’s the first paragraph from the deleted chapter.

            “Nikki Boyd stared across her smoked sausage and cheese omelet at her mom and sister-in-law. Eyes widened. Mouth slightly agape. One of Nashville’s up and coming artists played over the restaurant’s sound system, but Nikki barely heard the catchy tune. How in the world had an invitation for breakfast turned into a full-fledged ambush? But that’s exactly what had happened. She’d been ambushed.”

Now the book now starts with a double homicide. J

How did you decide on the setting/location for this novel?

When I started writing my Nikki Boyd Files series, I began thinking through different locations that would not only be interesting to the reader, but that would also help set the tone for the series. I soon decided to set the books in the beautiful state of Tennessee where I once lived.

While book one, Vendetta, is set in the beautiful Smoky Mountains, for book two, I decided to switch the setting to the Nashville area, which gave the book a completely different feel from the sometimes sinister woods of the mountains. Setting the book in the city allowed me to write very different scenes, including a confrontation with a sniper, a frantic boat chase after a possible murderer, and a tense hostage scene on the roof of an apartment building. 

What made you pick these specific names of your main two characters?

I can’t start writing a book until I come up with a name that clicks in my mind. I go through baby names of specific decades and match them to last names that have a certain rhythm I like. So I didn’t chose the names for their meaning, but more for the way they sounded to me.

Moving on from your story, tell us a little about yourself. We’ll help! What’s your least favorite household chore and why?

Seriously, my least favorite household chore? I’m not sure I can narrow it down to just one? Ha! I suppose I’ll go with cleaning toilets. Though on the plus side of chores, those brainless ones, especially washing the dishes, always end up with me coming up with new plot twists.

What are your hobbies outside of writing?

I love photography and trying out new recipes.

Summer is upon us, and full of events. Are you doing anything special this summer season?

This time of year is very busy for us as we typically host short-term mission teams from the states. This year, we have two groups coming, plus my in-laws and another couple they are bringing with them. So I’ll be doing lots of cooking and cleaning, but we’ll also be taking them to Kruger (a game park in South Africa) and to the Indian Ocean which I’m excited about.

We talk a lot about faith and how it weaves throughout our fiction, here at the blog. How has your faith affected/or not affected your writing?

When it comes to spiritual threads in my stories, I find characters often dealing with things that I’m dealing with in my own life. It’s not really something that I plan, but something that is definitely there.

Tell us a little about a day in the life of you? Wake up time? Lounging in your jammies all day, drinking coffee, living the luxurious life of a writer ;)

Hmm. . .luxurious. . .well you decide. I’m usually up by seven when I check emails, read my devotional, then clean up the house. (Getting dressed in there at some point) My daughter is home schooled so the rest of the day is usually helping her when needed, writing, and taking care of things around the house, and any ministry needs. We are ‘off the grid’ so no clothes dryer or dishwasher, plus cooking is almost 100% from scratch, so daily life in this part of the world (southern Africa) takes time.

We have a bit of a war going on here at the CCC blog. Anne and Jaime LOVE coffee and Erica and Gabriella enjoy a joyful cup of tea. What is your preference? Help us break this tie…

Oh, my. . .I always feel like I’m the only person on the planet who rarely drinks either. I avoid caffeine, so that eliminates everything but decaf, so I usually just skip it. Plus I really don’t like the taste of coffee. (I know!) If I do drink coffee it has to be mainly milk and sugar (so what’s the point) and if it’s really cold, I might have a cup of chai. The one tea I’ll never pass up is chai (tea with lots of milk and sugar) in Kenya, especially if it’s been cooked over a fire.

And a few fun and quirky questions always reveal of lot from our authors who visit. So, first, if you were to take a boat down the Amazon river, what would you be most interested in seeing?

Well, I guess I’m kind of cheating, because I’ve been to the Amazon. While we were in language school we flew to Manaus, then took a boat a couple hours toward the rain forests, and yes, it was fantastic! The two most memorable things were fishing for piranha and then eating them, and swimming with pink dolphins.

If you had a choice of living in any era other than the present, what would you choose and why?

I’ve always wondered if I lived back in the late 1800’s if I would have gone west when the settlers. I like to think that I would have been adventurous and would have headed west and started a new life there, but I guess I’ll never know. I think the bottom line is that as much as we romanticize those time periods, I’d hesitate wanting to live back then unless I had a lot of money. LOL

We’d love you have you share a snippet from your novel to entice us and hook us! J Please share something below:

From Missing
8:25 a.m., Thursday
Nashville suburb

Nikki Boyd slid out of her white Mini Cooper as two bagged bodies were being wheeled from the one-story house nestled in one of Nashville’s nicer suburbs. Her stomach clenched. Even
after eight years on the force, the emotional challenges of the job had yet to make her completely calloused. It was impossible not to personalize some of what she saw. The cases she couldn’t
solve. The brokenness she couldn’t fix. But neither could she let her cases become personal.
She started down the walk where half a dozen police cars and the local medical examiner had parked in front of the taped-crime scene, allowing both uniformed and plain-clothed officers
to take over the sleepy, tree-lined street. One of her teammates, Jack Spencer, stood waiting for her on the curb dressed in one of his suit jackets and white dress shirt paired with a typical
blue-and-orange paisley tie.

“Morning,” she said, holding up a takeaway box from her parents’ barbeque restaurant. “I was having breakfast with my mom and Jamie when the call came in. Thought you might like
a couple of my mom’s homemade cinnamon rolls to celebrate your first day back to work.”
Five weeks ago, he’d gotten shot in the middle of a hostage situation that had almost gotten both of them killed.

“You can’t imagine how happy I am to be back on the job,” Jack said. “Though next time, I’d appreciate it if you’d remind me to duck when someone starts shooting at me.”

Thank you so much for visiting today! It was a blast! 
Thanks so much for having me!!

Enter to win not only a copy of Missing but also of Vendetta! This is a two-book deal! :) YAY

Twitter: @heartofafrica

Barnes & Noble:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Another big Lisa Harris fan raising her hand!! Love your books. A thrill to read this back ground info. Okay and as aside, where did you get those blue eyes? Wow.

  2. BTW, coffee all the way, ladies. And chai with espresso is a dirty chai. Love it!

  3. I've not YET read any of Lisa's books, but definitely on my radar for the near future! What I love about suspense fiction? How an author can keep my heart racing, my pulse pounding, my oxygen level low, and my eyes glued to the pages wanting to know what happens next!

    Thanks for the fun interview & TWO book giveaway...whoohoo!!

    Just a side note to Tina, I'll have to see if my local coffee shop can make me a dirty chai 'cause it sounds good!!

  4. I have not read any of Lisa's books yet. The thing I love about suspense novels is the fact that the characters don't know who did the crime and you as the reader thinks its one person but really its the other. I also love how the two main characters try to hide their feelings for each other but then they confess their love from another.

  5. I think I may have read a book in the past but have not yet read this series. Would really like to win these as I have them on my TBR list. I enjoy mysteries that are clean regarding language and sexual content. Mysteries keep my interest and challenge me to work out solve case.

  6. I've read several of your books and really like them. I like the way that you can get completely swept up in the suspense and speed of the story and forget completely what's happening in your own life.

  7. At my age, LOL, I need a few heart pumping jump starts, so suspense helps with that! I love especially when it's such a shocker surprise at the end that I had no clue what was going down.

  8. Thanks so much ladies for having me on your blog! I'm enjoying the comments and love seeing both those who have read my book (Yeah!) and those of you who haven't discovered them yet, if you like suspense, I think you'll love this series. And what great answers. Yes, I love writing suspense, but I also love reading it too! Happy reading all!

  9. I've read one of your Love Inspired Suspense's but would love to win your two Nikki Boyd books! I love the way you mix the love story and the suspense plot together. I love romantic suspense and am just discovering some new Christian authors.

  10. Just finished the first Nikki Boyd book and can hardly wait to get the new one. So glad I discovered Lisa's books--they are not only a great read but also carry a good message.

  11. This is a new Author for me, sounds good thanks for the review

  12. This book sounds so good and very interesting. Thanks for introducing me to another author. Putting this one on my TBR list

  13. This book sounds so good and very interesting. Thanks for introducing me to another author. Putting this one on my TBR list

  14. Lisa Harris is a new author for me. Suspense is my favorite genre. I love the tension that keeps me turning the pages.

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