A PROMISE TO PROTECT
by Liz Johnson
Published by Love Inspired Suspense
ABOUT THE BOOK
Navy SEAL Matt Waterstone knows about keeping people safe. When his best friend’s sister is attacked, Matt promises no harm will come to Ashley Sawyer–not on his watch. But Matt’s not the only protective one. Ashley will do anything to safeguard the residents of the battered women’s shelter she runs. She’s sure she can handle the threats she gets in return. What she can’t handle is the way Matt scales the walls around her heart. Yet when she falls prey to a crime web more sinister than she’d realized, trusting Matt could be the only way to survive.
Readers, buy your copy of A Promise to Protect today!
AND NOW A WORD FROM OUR FEATURE AUTHOR
Characters in the Flesh by Liz Johnson
There I was, minding my own business, running—well, actually, strolling—on the treadmill at the Y when I glanced at the teenage kid running on the treadmill next to mine. I gasped. My toe caught on the track. And I nearly flew backward. A firm grip on the handrails was the only thing that kept me upright.
What surprised me so much that I nearly biffed on the treadmill in front of a room of would-be-athletes?
I’d just laid eyes on the character from the book I was reading. There, right next to me, was twelve-year-old Morris from Allison Pittman’s Stealing Home. An African-American baseball prodigy from 1905—albeit in modern gym attire and sneakers—was pumping his arms and legs like he’d just leaped from the pages of the book I was reading into my world.
Running into characters in real life. It’s a hazard fiction readers—and writers—take.
For writers, sometimes that real face to go along with a name comes before the character isn’t much more than a name. That is not how it was for me with Matt Waterstone, the hero in my newest book, A Promise to Protect. Matt had a name and an occupation. He’s a U.S. Navy SEAL. He even had a best friend—Tristan. But I couldn’t find a face for him.
I’m often guilty of making a SEAL in my mind look more Rambo than regular guy. More Stallone than standard. But the truth is that most SEALs fall into a “normal” appearance. They have to be able to blend into a crowd, have to be able to move without notice. Their training, strength, and endurance set SEALs apart. But you might not be able to pick those traits out just by looking at them.
I’ve seen Matt Wertz perform live, and while he’s a wonderful artist, sometimes he grins and moves the very opposite of any SEAL I’ve ever imagined, all gangly limbs and adorable dance moves. But sometimes—every now and then—he smiles that lopsided smirk and he transforms into the Matt of my book, into my Matt.
It’s the risk of loving fiction. Seeing a character in person. It’s also one of the great rewards. For me, it adds another—a special—dimension to a story that I clearly loved so much.
Reader Question: Have you ever seen a character in the flesh? Who was it, and what did you do? Here’s hoping you managed to stay on your feet better than I did when I saw Morris on the treadmill.
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Thank you, Liz, for sharing with us today.
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