Bio: Born and raised in
Linda loves the salt water, the sun and the swamp lands.
Linda has always loved reading—especially mysteries and romantic suspense novels. Years ago, she found authors Agatha Christie and Mary Stewart thrilling. Today, she reads different types of Christian fiction, but romantic suspense is still her favorite.
Linda taught at a Christian school, worked for the Pregnancy Center of Pinellas County as a Center Director, and as a financial aid assistant at Trinity College of Florida. Now she speaks and works against human trafficking with the
Campaign Against Human Trafficking Task Force (now called FREE). Her blog at
lindarodante.wordpress.com highlights human trafficking, sexuality in Tampa
Bay America, commitment to Christ, and her mother’s
missionary trips to Israel
Linda gave her life to Christ at twenty-six and discovered the miraculous love and existence Jesus has to offer. Her life has not always been easy but has included wonderful friends and family, joy, laughter, and even the miraculous.
As a young teen, Linda wanted to write, but it wasn’t until she was in her fifties that God opened the door. Linda’s writing has won finalist and semifinalist awards with the American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis and First Impressions Contests. The fourth book in her Dangerous Series just came out in June.
She and her husband live in
Florida. They have two grown sons—one is
following his grandmother’s example—he and his family are missionaries in Botswana, Africa.
Her other son works at the National Institutes of Health in . Washington, DC
Welcome, Linda. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I think all authors put some of their quirks and frailties into their characters. My protagonist, Sharee Jones in Amber Alert, has a couple of mine—being uncertain of herself next to someone else who is obviously more sophisticated is one that jumps to mind.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
At age 13, my friend talked me into playing a joke on drivers by pretending to be dead in the street. When they stopped, I would leap up and run into the woods. We had one man chase us. He yelled at us and threatened us. I was terrified and never let her talk me into anything that crazy again!
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
In middle school. I finished reading the books by authors that I liked and thought I guess I’ll have to write my own. However, when I became a Christian, I threw everything away. It wasn’t until thirty years later that I began to write again.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
The genres that I like to read for enjoyment are limited. My favorite is Christian romantic mystery or suspense. I also like British mysteries, British police procedurals, Christian historical romance or historical romantic suspense. I don’t enjoy graphic sex, cursing, or explicit violence in my reading (or movies, TV), so I don’t venture outside Christian novels much these days. Even though my own novels deal with some hard subjects (domestic abuse, rape, etc), I write so that the story is still a “clean read.”
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
At one point, I said often that I felt overwhelmed, then God showed me not to be overwhelmed by anything but Him. I purposely stopped saying I was overwhelmed and gave my books, the marketing, and everything that goes with it to Him. When I get flustered, I remind myself it is in God’s hands.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
Wow. That’s hard sometimes. Some names come as soon as I start writing, others I struggle with. Once I asked friends on facebook for a name for my main character and used the name that was most recommended.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Although I don’t know if this qualifies as an “accomplishment,” giving my life to Christ was the best decision I ever made. Now, I have two sons who know Him. Ranking right up there is my husband of 40 years. We’ve stayed together through tough times and good and are seeing the blessings from that.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
A horse! Because I love them—the way they run, head up, manes flying. They represent freedom to me.
What is your favorite food?
Tacos or spaghetti. It depends on the day.
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I assumed I’d never be published or that anyone would like my books. However, I love Christmas, and I wanted to write something that would lift up Jesus. So, I wrote a short story about Christmas and sent it to members of my family. They all encouraged me to keep writing. A friend who read it told me I should expand it into a novel. When I prayed and asked God if He wanted me to do that, I felt He did. So, I just jumped in and just kept on keeping on.
Tell us about the featured book.
Amber Alert is the novel from that short story above. I wanted to glorify Jesus, and I wanted readers to come away from the story feeling loved. Sharee Jones has waited years for the right man to come along—a man with whom she could share her love of God and of missions. John Jergensen bears little resemblance to the person she’s prayed for. He’s a loner working at the church as a maintenance man, and he wants nothing to do with God. But Sharee needs his help to build the sets for her Christmas program. As they work together, Sharee discovers John’s creativity, his penchant for amusement, and the tragedy that underlies his anger and aloofness. Neither realizes that someone is planning to use the program to terrorize a new mom and kidnap a baby. Sharee’s faith is tested, John’s past life exposed, and God’s healing power forms the backdrop as they work together to find the kidnapper.
Please give us the first page of the book.
Sharee Jones stalked over the dark field away from the church. Moonlight yellowed the area in front of her and a breeze tossed her mass of curls.
Calm down, Sharee. The teen didn’t push your loyalty buttons by design. Abbey Somers had no idea she’d trampled the character of a woman who supported you after a broken engagement two years ago—all while facing a tragedy of her own.
Sharee inhaled and caught the scent of jasmine mixed with damp earth. She just needed a few minutes of peace. No one would miss her. Ahead, the inky blackness of the pond reflected the moon’s light, and the cypress trees stood like sentinels against the sky. Bushes clung to the bank except where the church’s maintenance crew of one had cleared them.
She crossed the last few feet to the pond, put a hand against the tree’s trunk and stared at the moon’s cold presence.
A growl rose from the darkness. Her heart lurched, and she froze.
She strained to see through the dark, but black foliage obscured her view. She inched her head around. A bear? Not this close to the city, but… Someone had reported a panther the other day. Her heart gave an erratic jerk.
Come on, Sharee, don’t freeze. Move backwards. A step at a time...
Clouds raced past the moon. The night shadows shifted, revealing the animal. Whatever stood there was huge.
A third growl rose, and her throat constricted.
God, I need your help.
She glanced over her shoulder. The church lights glowed fifty yards away. A long fifty yards. She swallowed. Stay still. Don’t move.
The creature snarled and shook its head. Recognition hit, slid over her.
It should have brought relief, but her throat closed. The scar under her hair constricted. She gave a quick look at the church. People filled the fellowship hall there. The baby shower proceeded without her. No one would come looking for her. Not for a while.
Wow! That leaves us wanting more. How can readers find you on the Internet?
I’m on facebook at Linda K. Rodante. My author website is lindarodante.com. I also have a blog at lindarodante.wordpress.com where I blog about human trafficking and commitment to God. I’m on twitter @lrodante, on pinterest and on linkedin.
Thank you, Linda, for sharing this book with us. I'm eager to read it, and I'm sure my readers are, too.
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.Amber Alert: Christian Contemporary Romance with Suspense (Dangerous Series) (Volume 1) - paperback
Amber Alert: Christian Contemporary Romance with Suspense (Dangerous Series Book 1) - Kindle
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