It's my pleaser to have Susan Page Davis, a fellow ACFW member and author on Monthly Smiles. Her latest novel, Found Art is part of her Maine Justice Series.
Susan Page Davis is the author of more than seventy published novels. She’s a two-time winner of the Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award and the Will Rogers Medallion, and also a winner of the Carol Award and a finalist in the WILLA Literary Awards. A Maine native, she now lives in Kentucky.
Susan, What do you enjoy doing when you not writing?
I love doing things with my family, traveling, and reading. I also enjoy family history and needlework, though I haven’t had much time for those lately.
What inspired you to write Found Art?
Found Art is the third book in my Maine Justice series. I wanted a mystery for the hero’s detective unit to solve, but one that his new bride could also get involved in. The series began when I saw a film that I thought ended “the wrong way.” I thought how it could have gone in a totally different direction. The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to write a story that took the direction my mind took, and The Priority Unit (book 1) was born.
How did you choose the title of your book?
The expression “found art” means art pieces created from everyday materials or items not usually considered to be items from which art is made. But in this case, it has a double meaning when the Priority Unit finds a painting in a shipment of smuggled cargo heading for the Canadian border.
Detective Harvey Larson and his wife, Jennifer, settle into their idyllic home life as newlyweds, but things take a terrifying turn when they dig too deeply into a case concerning a ring of art thieves. Meanwhile, Jennifer’s sister Abby comes to stay with them, and Harvey finds himself sorting out her suitors. Should he lift his ban on his young partner Eddie when it comes to dating his sisters-in-law? In the heat of the investigation, Harvey struggles with feelings of vengeance when Jennifer’s abusive ex-boyfriend crosses his radar. Just when he thinks he’s put it aside, he and Neil Daniels come face to face.
Susan, will you share a little from your book? What is your favorite scene?
Excerpt from Found Art
I jerked awake and lay there, not breathing, listening, trying to determine what had made my heart race. It was too dark for Abby to be home. I looked at my watch. 3:20 a.m. I heard a stealthy sound in another room, not one I recognized. Another sound, like something being moved on the carpeted floor, then soft footsteps. I looked toward the door, but I’d closed it the night before. A tiny gleam of light flickered momentarily at the crack beneath the door.
Reaching out with my right hand in the moonlight, I carefully picked up my phone from the nightstand. Star-two.
The dispatcher was loud in my ear.
“This is Captain Larson,” I said quietly. “I’ve got a burglary in progress at my house. Send a unit here immediately, please.”
“Yes, Captain.” A pause. “137 Van Cleeve Lane?”
“Yes.” I put the phone down and sat up on the edge of the bed. Jennifer slept on. No time for clothes. I had on a pair of boxer shorts. I heard another sound, and I thought it was in the study, where our computers were. I stood up slowly, willing the bed not to creak. It didn’t. I went quietly across the rug to the dresser. I could just make out my gear, where I laid it out every night. Badge, handcuffs, keys, gun. I drew my Beretta from the holster, then tiptoed to the door.
I listened. Muffled sounds. Slowly, I turned the knob. I thought the tiny noise I caused could be heard throughout the house, but nothing changed. I drew the door toward me. When it was open a crack, I looked out into the dark sunroom. I had drawn the drapes over the patio door. I waited while my eyes adjusted, absorbing every smidgen of available light.
Another sound, this time from the living room. I waited. I thought I heard a low voice, but I wasn’t sure. Someone walked away, from the living room, through the study, into the kitchen. By looking out through the sunroom toward the kitchen, I could see a beam of light, and a shape moving toward the entry. But someone still moved stealthily in the living room. I waited. The unit should arrive soon.
The person came back through the kitchen, and instead of turning into the study, shined his light into the sunroom. I ducked back beyond the door frame. The beam of light swept around the room outside. Across from me, I could see the doorway between the sunroom and the living room, and suddenly a dark bulk obscured it.
“Anything in here?” The whisper was so loud I jumped. They were both in the sunroom. Could they possibly not know there was a bedroom so near? They thought the family was asleep upstairs. The add-on master bedroom wasn’t in their plan.
I braced myself. They were shining a flashlight on Jennifer’s Van Gogh.
“Want that?” asked one.
“Nah, it’s a fake.”
The thief nearest me swung his flashlight around and focused it on the bedroom door and me.
“Hey!” He raised a pistol. The barrel gleamed.
I pulled the door open and dropped to one knee.
I got one round off and dodged behind the door frame. Three bullets went past me, into the door and the room beyond.
Jennifer jerked upright on the bed.
“Get down!” I cried.
She dove over the side of the bed, onto the rug.
Awesome excerpt. Is there a message in this novel, you want readers to grasp?
This book has a theme of forgiveness and letting go of jealousy. The main character has to decide not to track down a man, who once hurt his wife, but it’s very hard for him to leave it alone and lot God handle it.
Are you working on a new project you can tell us about it?
Yes! I’m finishing up a novella for the upcoming Seven Brides for Seven Texas Rangers collection, and I’m also preparing the fourth Maine Justice book for publication. It’s called Heartbreaker Hero: Eddie’s Story.
Detective Eddie Thibodeau is a main character throughout this series. In book 4, Eddie’s in love. The problem is, his girlfriend isn’t the only one who loves him. It seems half the women in Portland want to marry Eddie! A dead man is found in Chief Mike Browning’s back yard in a snowstorm. It’s up to the Priority Unit to find out what brought him there and protect the chief. Meanwhile, Eddie rescues a toddler, and an old girlfriend starts tabulating how many women have cried over him. Find out what happens when Eddie goes viral.
Susan, Thank you for sharing your latest book.
Here's where you can find Susan, and her novel, Found Art.
Purchase link for Found Art: http://amzn.to/2rgPN7H
Find Susan at:
Sign up for Susan’s occasional newsletter at https://madmimi.com/signups/118177/join
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