Strong heroines. Deadly villains. Killer suspense. That’s my brand – three
things I promise to deliver readers with every book. But what does it take to
create a strong, modern heroine?
Sometimes, it’s a FBI SWAT agent, a woman who’s as deadly with her bare hands as
she is with an MP-5 submachine gun, like Maggie Delacorte, the heroine of
SWAT SECRET ADMIRER. Other times it’s a socially awkward FBI
profiler, a woman who struggles with simple small talk but can tell you what a
serial killer will do next before he even knows it himself, like Evelyn Baine,
the heroine of my Profiler series. Like real women, strong heroines are as
varied as the individuals themselves.
Yes, I’ll admit it: I have a soft spot for a woman like Maggie, whose teammates
get a kick out of letting her “initiate” the new guy – by going to shake his
hand and then promptly flipping him over her shoulder and down to the ground.
But even the strongest heroines have vulnerabilities. For Maggie, it’s trusting
anyone with the truth about her past and what led her to the FBI: being abducted
and raped by a serial criminal who’s still out there, still a threat. What makes
her strong isn’t just the fact that she can take down a man twice her size, but
that she’s willing to face her worst fears in order to save others.
But strong heroines come in much less obvious packages, too, like Kensie Morgan,
the violinist in my upcoming book K-9 DEFENSE. When she was just a child, her
little sister was abducted right in front of her. All these years later, Kensie
hasn’t given up on finding her. She dedicates her spare time to working with
cold-case groups and following leads on her sister’s kidnapping. And when one of
those leads pops up in the remote wilderness of Alaska, Kensie hops on a plane.
Although she has no law enforcement background or self-defense training, not
even multiple attempts on her life will shake Kensie from her quest to rescue
her little sister.
When it comes to my heroines, what they do have in common is determination – and
not just for their own personal goals, but the willingness to do whatever it
takes to help someone else. None of them are just cardboard action heroines;
they have fears and often face seemingly insurmountable obstacles. What makes
them strong is their commitment to struggling forward anyway. What makes them
heroines is that they make the tough choices, and even when they fall down, they
Read on for an early sneak peek at what Kensie Morgan is willing to do when she
reads three simple words left behind in a note in the wilds of Alaska:
“I’m still alive.”
Three simple words in a note. A note signed by the sister Kensie Morgan hadn’t
seen in fourteen years had sent her in a frantic rush across 3,500 miles. Kensie
had left a brief message on her boss’s voice mail, telling him she needed some
time off, then called her family. They’d been less supportive.
But this time, Kensie had to believe, the lead could be real.
The hope had buoyed her from one layover to the next, warmed her as she stepped
off the plane in Alaska.
For early October, the temperature was way colder than she’d expected, and it
had only gotten worse as she’d paid for her rental pickup truck and headed north.
Desparre, Alaska, was the kind of place you came to to drop off the map. The
sort of place no one would think to look—and even if they did, they might never
make it out.
Critically acclaimed and award-winning author ELIZABETH HEITER likes her
suspense to feature strong heroines, chilling villains, psychological twists,
and a little bit (or a lot!) of romance. Her research has taken her into the
minds of serial killers, through murder investigations, and onto the FBI
Academy’s shooting range. Her novels have been published in more than a dozen
countries and translated into eight languages; they've also been shortlisted for
the Daphne Du Maurier award, the National Readers' Choice award and the
Booksellers' Best award and won the RT Reviewers' Choice award.
The heroine of Elizabeth's Profiler novels was called "one of the most amazing
characters created in print" by Fresh Fiction. Her novels have received praise
from Lee Child, J.T. Ellison, Jeffery Deaver, Tess Gerritsen, R.L. Stine,
Allison Brennan, Laura Griffin, Suzanne Brockmann, Hank Phillippi Ryan and Zoë
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