Charissa Stastny was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada...but she has never gambled and can’t shuffle cards to save her life. She is married, has four kids, and loves writing, reading, hiking, and imitating monkeys (although when she tried it at the zoo, one of the monkeys spit at her). She currently lives in Idaho, where she doesn’t have to be embarrassed by her poor card shuffling skills nor worry about being attacked by monkeys. Secret Keepers is her 2nd book available in the Eyes of Light trilogy.
Welcome back to my blog, Charissa. This book is the second in a series. Please tell us about your new book.
Secret Keepers has lots of suspense, clean romance, and gripping action as the past, with its powerful secrets, collides with the present, threatening to destroy all Suvi, James and Austan hold dear. Suvi flees to Israel, the land of her youth, to lure threatening forces away from James, and to seek help from her estranged father. James crosses an ocean to find her, but his discoveries may jeopardize his life and love. Austan returns as self-appointed guardian of Suvi when evil forces combine to destroy her. From Idaho to Israel, and with madmen, ruthless drug cartels, and Mossad assassins as key forces, the fight for light that began in Book 1, Eyes of Light, continues as perilous events lead Suvi to reevaluate her feelings and choose between the two men who love her.
My husband read your first book and loved it. He’s excited to read the second one now. Where did you get your inspiration for this novel?
My inspiration for this story started with a door-to-door salesperson. An Israeli girl named Suvi with a nose ring and a vivacious personality knocked, charmed me into buying one of her oil paintings, and then talked to my daughters and me for an hour. After she left, a story started to form around her in my mind. As I wrote my imagined story for Suvi, I wanted to help my own daughters be aware of hidden secrets people carry so that they would be more merciful in their judgment of others. We never know what awful circumstances and experiences have led someone to act in certain ways.
What a wonderful lesson! What kind of research did you do for this book?
I researched the NCS (National Clandestine Service—CIA), and the Mossad’s kidon (assassins). The workings of the Mossad (Israel’s version of the CIA) fascinate me. There are some great stories out there as I read up on it. I didn’t get to use much of the information in this book, but great books could be written about it, and I would love to read anything on this subject (although it would probably be quite brutal).
You love to write suspenseful romances. What intrigues you most about writing these stories?
I love reading romance (if it’s clean), and writing it is even better. My Eyes of Light series is intense and drags my characters through some very rough waters to test their faith and resilience. The most intriguing aspect of writing these books has been to watch my characters grow. I am always wondering what I would do in the same situations, and I feel that helps me grow as well to have to make choices in my mind as my characters make them on the written pages.
Thank you, Charissa, for this wonderful interview. My husband was so impressed with your first book. I know this one will be equally as good.