A PAINFUL PAST
Hanna Kessler’s childhood secret has remained buried for over two decades. But when the dark shadows of her past threaten to destroy those she loves, Hanna must face the summer that changed her life and the man who still haunts her memories.
A RACIALLY-MOTIVATED KILLER
As a Crimes Against Children FBI Agent, Michael Parker knows what it means to get knocked down. Difficult cases and broken relationships have plagued his entire year. But when the system fails and a white supremacist is set free, Michael’s drive for retribution eclipses all else.
A LIFE-ALTERING CHOICE
A racist’s well-planned assault forces Hanna and Michael to decide between executing vengeance and pursuing justice. The dividing line between the two is the choice to heal. But when the attack turns personal, is justice enough?
WendyK: Welcome Amy to my blog. For readers who are new to you please tell us just a bit about yourself. (Ie married, kids, homestate, etc.)
Amy Wallace: It’s great to be here, Wendy! A bit about me? For starters, I’m married to an awesome guy who’s my biggest encourager and together we homeschool three wonderful children. I’m also a speaker, co-leader of a children’s writing group, president of an ACFW writer’s group, and avid chocoholic. I live in Atlanta, Georgia, but my home is Louisville, Kentucky where all my family still resides.
WK: You write Christian Fiction that I feel should appeal to all readers, do you set out to make your stories open to everyone or do you set out to target a set group within the world of fiction readers?
Amy: Thank you for that, Wendy! I set out to write novels that engage readers in an exciting story with real-life characters who face fears, wrestle with pain and suffering and yet find hope, as well as tackling questions common to all humans. I thought my “target audience” was moms, but have found through reader mail that I have male and female readers as young as 16 all the way up to 70s and 80s. I’m thrilled to know the Defenders of Hope books appeal to so many!
WK: Your series is titled the DEFENDERS OF HOPE can you tell my readers a bit about this series and where the idea for it came from?
Amy: The Defenders of Hope series started with a literal dream about an FBI agent with a wounded heart and a mom on a dangerous quest for answers. That dream became the book Ransomed Dreams. During the research for Ransomed Dreams, I met with a federal agent and asked the question—what would happen if an FBI agent found out he had cancer? His answer became the second book, Healing Promises. And the third book in the series, Enduring Justice, grew out of a secret one of the characters, Hanna Kessler, struggles to keep hidden.
WK: Amy how did you come to writing?
Amy: My writing journey started with library books and my husband’s figurative boot on my backside to start writing. He was convinced I could write far before I found the courage to step onto this path and pen a novel. After I’d critiqued about seven novels I found at the library, my husband told me to write my own. I ignored him until I had a dream I couldn’t forget. Telling my dear hubby earned me an interview with a federal agent David set up to be sure I actually started writing. I did tons of research and then met with this incredible federal agent. He helped me with details I’d have never gotten from research, and after that I had a plot hammered out. Then I started writing.
After almost four years of learning the craft and going to writing conferences, I got “The Call” and signed my first book contract. And I’ve been writing ever since.
WK: What was it like to hold that first published book in your hand?
Amy: It was the most amazing mix of elation and fear~ I danced for joy, had a few silent moments of prayer and awe, then I wanted to throw up for all the responsibility and vulnerability I felt in thinking about how readers might respond.
WK: Do you have a set idea you’d like readers to come away “feeling” after having read your books?
Amy: Each of the Defenders of Hope books has a different primary theme that influences how I pray for readers as I’m writing and what I hope they take away from the stories. For Ransomed Dreams, I hope readers experience the healing power of forgiveness through the main characters’ lives and contemplate how to apply the truths about forgiveness explored in the book.
My hope for readers of Healing Promises is that they’ll experience a deeper sense of the goodness and trustworthiness of God, even when life doesn’t go as planned.
And for Enduring Justice, I hope the story challenges readers to look deeper into what they believe about God, themselves and others and wrestle with the truth that in the end, it’s what we believe—not what we’re supposed to believe—that determines the course of our lives.
WK: Your current release is ENDURING JUSTICE, first let me ask if you feel readers should read all the books in order or if you feel the books can be read as stand alones or out of order?
Amy: I’ve been told by many readers and reviewers that any of the Defenders of Hope books can be read as stand-alones. The cases and suspense story-lines are self-contained, no cliffhanger endings until the next book. But the characters’ friendships and relationships grow and are challenged in each book, so I’d say it’s best but not necessary for the stories to be read in order.
WK: Can you tell my readers in your own words what ENDURING JUSTICE is about?
Amy: In Enduring Justice, Hanna’s past threatens to destroy the people she loves, forcing her to face the summer that changed her life and the man who still haunts her memories. Crimes Against Children FBI Agent Michael Parker wants to help. But when the system fails and a white supremacist is set free, Michael’s drive for retribution eclipses all else. A racist’s well-planned assault forces Hanna and Michael to choose between vengeance and justice. The dividing line is the choice to heal.
WK: Where will the DEFENDERS OF HOPE series go after ENDURING JUSTICE?
Amy: Hopefully, the series will get talked about over and over in reader circles and book clubs and the characters they love will live forever in their minds and hearts as they will in this author’s mind and heart.
As of now, the series is completed with Enduring Justice. But if readers love the characters so much they write the publisher, I’m all for revisiting the CACU in DC and its star agents, Steven, Clint, Michael and Lee.
WK: Amy who is your favorite author, favorite book, favorite song, favorite hero/heroine?
Amy: My favorite author is Sharon Hinck and her book, The Restorer, is my all-time favorite novel. As for a favorite song, I’ll have to go with a few favorite singers: Steven Curtis Chapman, James Taylor, and Dobie Gray. Favorite hero and heroine? That one was a little harder to come up with, but I landed on Marcus O’Malley and Shari Hanford from Dee Henderson’s O’Malley Series.
WK: If you could met any real person from history who would it be and why?
Amy: I’d love to spend time with Teddy Roosevelt, our twenty-sixth president. My kids and I have been studying American history from 1815 to the present and Teddy stands out as the most strong-minded, faithful, good-hearted, family-first man we’ve studied. I’d love to spend time listening to his stories, watching him interact with his beloved children, and just glean wisdom from this super intelligent and deep thinking man.
WK: If you could leave one comment, one idea, one thing for people to always remember when you are no longer here what would it be?
Amy: To live with passion. That idea finds its way into every bit of public speaking I do. It’s also how I teach my children and write novels~ with passion and with the hope that my children and my stories will inspire people to live passionate lives that make a difference for good.
WK: Who is the biggest inspiration in your life? Why?
Amy: My three children are hands down my biggest inspiration. They love life, think deep, and challenge me to live what I teach every day. They inspire me with their forgiveness, honesty, and curiosity. I want to be a better person every time I think about them following in my footsteps.
WK: Amy what advice would you offer for anyone who would like to be published?
Amy: Write with passion to the best of your ability and keep improving on your craft and pouring your heart into your work. Right alongside of that, enjoy the journey. Don’t race to the “Finish Line” for a book contract. Because the challenges of not being published have siblings on the other side of a contract. But if you’re passionate about your subject and your craft, if you pour yourself into your work and enjoy the journey, then you can rest in the fact that you’ve done your best for the Lord and He’s well pleased.
WK: Amy as a Christian author what do you want readers of secular stories to most understand about Christian stories?
Amy: The vast majority of Christian authors I know and whose books I enjoy are penning exciting, thought provoking, deep stories that capture readers’ imaginations and keep them hooked until a satisfying ending without preaching, cussing, or relying on sex to keep a story interesting. Not using crass language or sex isn’t a sign of weak writing. It’s often a sign of skillful craft, imaginative storylines, and engaging, real-life characters.
WK: As an author of Christian fiction do you feel that readers often overlook inspirational stories with the misconception that they will be preachy? Do you see a way for this to be changed?
Amy: As an avid reader of fiction, I’ve found that the vast majority of Christian fiction is no where near as preachy as some folks claim. Instead, Christian fiction takes an honest look at real life and real questions all people wrestle with and leaves readers with hope. Because of this, I think the misconceptions are changing as more and more people give Christian fiction a try.
WK: DEFENDERS OF HOPE is an outstanding series with suspense, romance, faith and great characters. Did you set out for this series to have all of those elements or were you surprised where it went?
Amy: Thanks so much for that great compliment! I set out to tell exciting stories and fell in love with the characters, wanting to tell their stories as raw and honest, yet hopeful, as I could. All the themes, the romance, and faith grew out of knowing the characters. The suspense plots typically grew out of the characters’ deepest fears and back-stories. And because I did a lot of outling, research, and getting to know the characters, I wasn’t too surprised where the stories went. I have, however, been pleasantly surprised at how much the characters have resonated with readers.
And if folks want to know more behind the scenes stuff about the books and real-life circumstances that influenced the Defenders of Hope stories, stop by my Dark Chocolate Suspense site: www.amywallace.com. You can also read the first two chapters of Enduring Justice in a cool online book format: http://www.amywallace.com/ej_chapter.html
Thank you Amy for visiting with me. I have truly enjoyed this whole series and do hope we see them all again in the future, maybe something about their kids.
If you’d like to order a copy of ENDURING JUSTICE and I really suggest you do, here is a direct link to the book:
Also please visit Amy’s Defenders of Hope site at www.DefendersofHope.com
And if you’d like to recieve or learn more about Amy and her great newsletter, Dark Chocolate Suspense please visit here:
I’d love to know what others think of this series and if you have a question for Amy please post it.
Thank you again to Amy for visiting with me.