I was a journalist for about twelve years with a daily newspaper in the Midwest and am now the author of the Emily O’Brien series. When I’m not writing, I enjoy reading, hiking, cooking, gardening and spending time with my family.
How did the Emily O'Brien series come about?
Actually, I started writing the books just for the fun of it. I never intended to let anyone else see them. I'm an avid reader, always have been. But I found myself increasingly in a tough spot when it came to choosing my next book. I love female detective novels, but so many of the secular books go overboard with the bad language, sex and violence. But I also get tired of Christian books that are nowhere near realistic. I found myself either settling for a book I really didn't want to read or holding my nose while I picked up a book with a good story but horrible values. I started writing something that I would like to read, realistic Christian fiction. Once I got going, I found I couldn't stop. Soon, I'd finished book one, three, four and six. (No, I did not write them in order. If I had an idea, I ran with it.). After much persuasion from my husband, I decided to finish book 2 and start publishing my own books.
What is your writing process?
I usually write on a laptop in the living room. My family is watching TV or playing video games, just hanging out. Years of working in a newsroom made me very good at tuning things out and concentrating on writing. But long before I actually write a story, I'm thinking about it a lot. I tend to plot out the major points in my head, then start writing the story, thinking about it along the way to see if I like the way it's going before I ever type a word. Once I have the whole thing worked out, then I can really push through to the end -- then the challenge is finding enough hours in the day.
Winston High School is under cyberattack. Online videos of students and staff expose secrets and threats that begin to tear the school community apart. Reporter Emily O’Brien is assigned the story. As the media attention grows, the threats begin to escalate and Emily attracts the attention of an intelligent, but disturbed, individual working from the shadows.
Christopher Potter pleads guilty to two grisly murders in the sleepy town of Clarkstown, then requests an interview with Winston Chronicle reporter Emily O'Brien from his jail cell. The tale he spins calls into question what happened that night and whether he's actually guilty. But not everyone wants the truth to come out. And someone is willing to kill to keep the secret.
Everyone thinks Holly Brennan ran away from her problems, the biggest one being her mom’s creepy boyfriend. But reporter Emily O’Brien isn’t so sure. She sets out to find out where Holly has gone. But as Emily picks up her trail, she finds hints something more sinister may have happened. But can she prove it? Putting her life on the line, Emily is determined to find out, no matter what it takes.
Carolyn Mercer is desperate. Backed into a corner, she can think of only one person to help her escape her situation – someone who doesn’t even like her, reporter Emily O’Brien. While the two may not have been friends, Carolyn’s problem isn’t one Emily can leave her to face on her own. But Emily’s intervention leads to deadly repercussions, for her, for Carolyn and for the people they love.
Reporter Emily O’Brien is back on the crime beat – and under the worst of circumstances. Her colleague is found dead, and the police arrest a friend for the murder. Emily is determined to clear Whit’s name, but she also has to cover the story of a man missing from a Caribbean cruise.
Now Emily is following two murder investigations, but her questions could make her the next victim.
Two hunters find a corpse in a forest preserve, but no one can explain how Adam Wheeler died. Driven by guilt to attend a funeral in her hometown, reporter Emily O’Brien learns of his death and sets out to find out who killed her former friend and teammate. As she begins unraveling Adam’s secrets, her discoveries paint a tale of love, control and revenge – and possibly a motive for murder.
Life could be better for small-town reporter Emily O'Brien. Her love life is lousy, her bills are piling up and she barely survived the holidays. When she picks up a teaching gig, she figures it will help her finances. Instead, her faith is challenged as she joins her ex on a hunt to find research that went missing after a professor’s suicide. And someone wants to make sure the truth stays buried.
Emily O’Brien is slowly putting the pieces of her life back together after her husband, a state trooper, is killed during a traffic stop. But an envelope she finds behind his desk convinces her his death was no random act of violence. Drawing on her years working the crime beat for a major Chicago newspaper, Emily begins asking questions about Alex’s death. Soon she finds she's also a target.