When the Smoke Clears, Deadly Reunions Series #1When the Smoke Clears, Deadly Reunions Series #1
Lynette Eason
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As a member of the North Cascades Smokejumpers, Alexia Allen always takes care of the equipment that keeps her safe. So when she nearly dies in a fire due to equipment failure, she knows something is up. Ordered to take time off while the investigation continues, Alexia makes a last-minute decision to recuperate at her mother's home and attend her high school reunion. Yet trouble seems to be following her, and within hours of arriving home she's involved with murder, arson--and a handsome detective. But the conflicts ahead are nothing compared to the ghosts of her past. As she strives to remember and forgive her family history, she must also decide if the secret she's been guarding for the last ten years must finally come to light.
     

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Lynette Eason Lynette Eason is the author of the Women of Justice series and several other romantic suspense novels. She is a member of American Fiction Christian Writers and Romance Writers of America. A homeschooling mother of two, and she has a master's degree in education from Converse College. She lives in South Carolina.

Favorite Verse: Proverbs 3:5-5: Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.


 

 Our Interview with Lynette Eason: When the Smoke Clears


 

Would you please tell us a bit about yourself?

I am a wife, mother of two and live in South Carolina. I spend most of my time taking care of my family and writing. BUT, when I take a day off, I love to snuggle up with a good book, hang out with the girlfriends and drink Strawberry Smoothies from Panera Bread.

How did you come up with the concept for When the Smoke Clears?

I wanted an occupation for a woman that was mostly a man’s world. I saw a movie about smokejumpers and thought that would be perfect for Alexia (the heroine in the story.) However, when someone messes with her equipment, she’s suspended from her job and decides to go home to mend her past and attend her high school reunion. Only trouble keeps following her and she finds herself in a fight for her life. I just kept asking myself “what if” questions and then answering them. Then asking some more.

Have you ever been involved in smoke jumping?

No way. I’m too chicken to actually do something that dangerous.

Have you lived near or visited the Cascades?

Nope, but after all the research I did, I felt like I’d been there. 

Where do your inspirations for a story come from?

I see story ideas everywhere. Television, movies, newspaper headlines, a random comment from a friend. All of those can spark an idea.

Do you have a favorite character in When the Smoke Clears? Why?

I like the hero, Hunter Graham. Mostly because he seems to have a lot of patience and he’s loyal to those he loves. He puts up with his troublesome brother a lot longer than I would have.

How much research did When the Smoke Clears take? 

A lot at first. I had to research the equipment and gear that a smokejumper uses and I had to figure out how to sabotage it. THAT was hard! There are so many safety features on firefighter and smoke jumping gear that I thought it was going to be impossible to use that in the story. Then I talked with a firefighter and he told me one possible scenario. He said it would be stretching it, but it MIGHT work. So, I used it.

What are the most interesting facts that you learned while researching and writing When the Smoke Clears?

That smokejumpers and firefighters are completely different professions. You can be a smokejumper without being a firefighter and vice versa. But most smokejumpers are former firefighters. The training is very different for each profession, too.

 

What are some of the challenges you face as an author?

Finding time to write without feeling like I’m neglecting my family is a big issue for me. I also tend to over extend myself helping other writers in their quest for publication. I just love to help and encourage and sometimes I get myself in a bind with helping someone and meeting a deadline. Then I have to apologize and promise to help after the deadline. Which can be kind of awkward.
 
What clubs or organizations are you involved with helping with your writing?
 
The big organization that I’m involved with is ACFW – American Christian Fiction Writers. There are over 2,000 members and growing daily. It’s an amazing organization with loads of experience. I learned tons from this group before I was published.

Do you have a critique partner?

I have a buddy who lives in Oregon. His name is Jim Hall. He’s a police officer there and he reads a lot of my stuff before I send it off. He mostly corrects my police procedural stuff.  I also have a friend, Ginny Aiken, who likes to catch my goofs. And lately, I’ve had my daughter read the rough drafts. She caught a timeline error today! So, yes, I always try to find someone to read through the manuscript before I send it off.

 

When you meet someone who has a passion for books and writing, what advice do you give them?

Keep writing. Don’t give up. If this is truly your passion, and you continue to pursue it and wade through the rejections, you WILL come out on the other side a published author. Keep learning, keep honing your skills and develop a really tough skin. If you do all this, you will be fine.

What were your favorite books as a child?

I loved to read Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, Trixie Belden, and Sweet Valley High. I loved anything with a mystery.

Are there any other new projects on the horizon?

Absolutely! I’m working on another proposal in my spare time. Which means it’s nowhere near finished yet, but is in the works. 

What message would you like your readers to take from When the Smoke Clears?

That things aren’t always what they appear to be. That God will chase you to bring you back to Him. And forgiveness heals broken hearts.

What is your greatest achievement?

My children.

What do you do to get away from it all?

Take a trip up to the  mountains, hang out with some friends and just talk girl stuff or go hibernate at the local coffee shop and play on facebook.

 


 

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