By Suzanne Hartmann / OakTara
Let’s Meet Suzanne Hartmann
Suzanne Hartmann is a homeschool mom and lives in the St. Louis area with her husband and three children. When not homeschooling or writing, she enjoys scrapbooking, reading, and Bible study. PERIL: Fast Track Thriller Bk. #1 is her debut novel.
On the editorial side, Suzanne is a contributing editor with Port Yonder Press and operates the Write This Way Critique Service. She has also written and e-book on the craft of writing, Write This Way: Take Your Writing to a New Level
Why NASCAR as a backdrop?
Writers get their ideas many ways. In the case of my first novel, PERIL: A Fast Track Thriller, boredom motivated me to create stories to entertain myself while I sat through my kids’ violin and piano lessons and baseball and soccer practice. Over a couple of years, what started with a simple question— “What if I could…”—eventually became a set of detailed stories revolving around one main character: they mysterious Lady Anne.
The idea for a twist of NASCAR came after my daughter decided she liked watching stock car races and one day announced that she had chosen a favorite driver. I knew nothing about NASCAR at that point, so I had no idea if this driver was someone we should encourage her to root for. I decided I’d better educate myself and started paying more attention when my husband watched a race (instead of taking a nap).
After a few months of watching the races and pestering my husband with questions. I realized that stock car racing was more interesting than I thought. Eventually, I couldn’t resist placing some of the stories I had created at a racetrack. And that naturally led to the addition of a main character who was a NASCAR driver.
At the time I did all of this, I never intended to write a novel. I just had fun thinking about my stories, tweaking them, and adding to them. It wasn’t until I was thinking about one of the stories while taking a walk in our neighborhood one day that a thought popped into my head, “Why don’t you make these stories into a novel?” I fought the idea for a week or so, thinking maybe I was having a premature mid-life crisis or something, but after much prayer, I realized God was nudging me. So in spite of the fact that I had very little experience writing fiction, I set out to weave my stories into a novel.
Although I didn’t do it intentionally, the twist of NASCAR made my novel unique. Not many books incorporate NASCAR into their stories, and most of those that do are romances, not suspense novels. So the blend of NASCAR excitement with the thrills and mystery of the suspense genre that originated with my daughter’s interest in stock car racing shaped my novel into something special. I may not have known what I was doing, but God knew exactly where He was leading me, and it’s something I give Him thanks for daily.
Here’s a little about the book God led me to write. It is my debut novel and published by OakTara.
PERIL: A Fast Track Thriller:
A top-secret agent.
A high-profile assignment.
Danger at a NASCAR track.
A top secret agent with enhanced strength must use her extraordinary abilities during several high-profile assignments, from the White House to NASCAR tracks, while escorting the first Muslim king to convert to Christianity. When unwanted publicity and the attention of a NASCAR champion threatens to expose her secrets, she becomes a terrorist target with danger surrounding her on all sides.
“Plenty of action and unexpected twists.”
Foreword by Jimmy Makar, GM of Joe Gibbs Racing
Thank you for hosting me here today. It’s been a pleasure to visit your blog. If any of your readers are interested in more about PERIL, I have character interviews, reviews, and pictures at my website, Fast Track Thrillers.
Where can people find your book on-line?
At my website: Fast Track Thrillers
Where can people find you on-line?
My Website – FastTrackThrillers
My Blog – Write This Way
Facebook – Suzanne Hartmann – Author
Twitter – @SuzInIL
This story starts out with Lady Anne a woman with enhanced abilities including amazing strength protecting the first Arab leader who has converted to Christianity. My first thought, “Are you serious?!? You expect me to believe an Arab leader becoming a Christian!” Actually what I thought was what an amazing idea. What would our world be like if an Arab leader became a Christ follower. Something to think about and pray about for sure.
This was a very entertaining story. It leans over into a fantasy, but that’s okay. The characters have traits that are familiar to most, if not all of us. Stuart is on top of the world with everything he could dream of having won the NASCAR highest honor, yet he still felt an emptiness. He meets Lady Anne, the beautiful and mysterious escort for the world’s first Christian Arab leader who happens to be a big fan of NASCAR. Lady Ann has her own struggles as she leads a secret life raising her children and being the wife to her wonderful husband.
I found myself laughing at some of the things that happened but I also felt myself being drawn into the struggles for the characters. Jo Anne and her husband, Neil face one of life’s ultimate struggles, Neil has lung cancer. The author does a great job of drawing you into the family’s pain and fear. Yet through it all their faith is steadfast in God. Something Stuart recognizes as different and he wants to know more.
If you don’t mind stories that delve into a somewhat unrealistic scenario you’ll love the story. The author keeps the story moving but also allows you to see some “real” life family times. This story doesn’t have a strong antagonist but I did not see a need for one.
Disclaimer: I purchased a copy of this book, but as in all cases the opinions given are my own.
Give Away: Fill out the form below to enter to win a copy of this book. I’ll pick the winner on January 15 at 9:00PM PST. Must be 18 years of age or older and a resident of the U.S.