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Little Known Facts About TEMPEST TOSSED

How Three Strand Cord came to be

Diamond smuggling, insider corruption, suspicious deaths, and a reporter’s obsession. What could possibly go wrong?

I really enjoyed writing this entire series, but like most of my books, it didn’t happen overnight! The THREE STRAND CORD Series has been in the making for a number of years.

Of course, it all starts with an idea, but to be honest, I can’t quite recall where this one came from! The series revolves around three friends who met at boarding school and maintained their relationship into adulthood. Tempest, Stella, and Cherise are the backbone of the series, and the first letter of their names also becomes an acrostic for “Three Strand Cord”. I wrote much of the first book during a “Nanowrimo” session. (National Novel Writing Month happens every November. Writers sign up and pledge to write 50,00 words during that month.)

I remember sending the finished book off to my then agent, Steve Hutson. He came back with valuable feedback, so I rewrote some parts, and he took it on, pitching it for about a year. One of the challenges, as he explained, was the fact that there were three points of view. As well, some of the so called ‘edgy’ content isn’t as easy to sell to mainstream Christian publishers. Anyway, nothing was happening, and by that time I had decided to try branching out on my own, so we very amicably parted ways. (I learned a lot from my time with him and do not regret the experience. However, I also do not regret going indie, but that is another story for another day.)

Almost immediately after finishing the first book, I started thinking about more that needed to be told. Stella’s story had wrapped up nicely by the end of Book 1, but the other two character’s arcs were more open ended. Thus BLOOD TIES took shape. I wrote the bulk of it one summer during my break from teaching high school. Originally I called it “The Tie That Binds” in keeping with the ‘Cord” theme and the inspirational verse, “A three strand cord is not easily broken.” That title just didn’t sit well, though, so I came up with “Blood Ties”. Not only does it follow the theme, but it also speaks to the blood relationships highlighted in Book 2 (two sets of siblings). Plus, it also sounds mysterious and dangerous – a good thing since it is a suspense series.

Which brings me to Book 3, TEMPEST TOSSED, the book releasing at the end of this week! I actually had not planned on writing a third book. But once the first two were done, it seemed as if Tempest’s story was not as developed as the other two. Stella and Cherise had found their mates, and even though Tempest got ‘her man’, their love story was quite underdeveloped. I ‘tossed’ ideas around for quite awhile (pun intended). The title seemed like a no brainer since Tempest was the lead. It needed a criminal/thriller element similar to the other two books in the series, but I didn’t know what that would be at first. Finally, I also wanted to keep it consistent with the other two by having the story told from three points of view. Tempest and her boyfriend Ryan made sense, since their love story was an important part of the plot, and their careers as an FBI agent and a journalist lent themselves well to the suspense side of the story.

But who should be the third person in the triangle? Then it came to me. Anne-Marie, the nurse introduced in Book 2 as the love interest for Cherise’s brother Dirk, needed more attention, as did their love story. As a nurse missionary, how could I involve her in the plot? I have a close friend who has worked for many years as a respite nurse in remote northern communities. This seemed like the perfect place for Anne-Marie to land. The North West Territories also became a great backdrop for a diamond smuggling operation. Once I made these decisions, the story just wove itself together! I wrote the bulk of it during another Nanowrimo extravaganza.

On a side note, I visited Yellowknife last summer and was so excited to use my personal knowledge of this unique city to my advantage in the book. Also, besides doing a fair bit of research, two of my own children have worked at diamond mines in the NWT, so I had first hand resources to consult during the editing.

In any case, I had one beta reader tell me that TEMPEST TOSSED was her favourite of the three books. Obviously, I love the entire series, but I think that this book is the most spiritual in that all three of the main characters are already Christians, so it isn’t about them coming to faith. It’s about them maturing in their faith. (Amidst the murder and mayhem!)

On that note, check out the pre-order purchase options below, the back cover blurb, and more fun memes I created for the launch. 

Back cover blurb: When journalist Tempest Ross encounters suspicious circumstances surrounding her parents’ death, she just can’t let it go, but pursuing the truth turns out to be deadlier than she realized. Her boyfriend, FBI agent Ryan O’Toole, has survived many dangerous missions, but this time the stakes are even higher as he tries to crack a diamond smuggling operation amidst insider corruption. Now both their lives – and their relationship – are at risk. Anne-Marie Fletcher may be a capable nurse, but personal insecurities make her flee to the NWT, where she inadvertently gets mixed up in the diamond heist. Once again, follow the lives of three separate, but connected people as they navigate danger, corruption, and international intrigue. Tempest Tossed, Book 3 in the Three Strand Cord Series, reacquaints readers with characters from Books 1 and 2, bringing their story arcs to a close while reaffirming that unconditional love – including that of the heavenly Father – is worth more than diamonds.

Purchase links: (so far)  Amazon.com; Apple/iTunes; Kobo; B&N/Nook; Smashwords


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