Intersection Column | Beauty from Ashes
by Elizabeth Goddard
I’ve spent a lifetime traveling either with family or for my previous job. I love to travel and experience new locations. My love of beautiful landscapes has been the main inspiration behind so many of my novels and influenced me to write action and adventure stories to take advantage of all that nature can offer, as well as showcase God’s creation.
Cold Light of Day is set in the fictional town of Shadow Gap located in a fjord in southeast Alaska. Police Chief Autumn Long is fighting to keep her job when a crime wave suddenly hits the small community. She puts her trust in a mysterious newcomer who has the required skills and training to meet this new demand, and she might just be falling for him too. Grier Brenner landed in a remote town to keep a low profile, but unfortunately, he’s managed to become the town hero in a short time. Finding a new hiding place in Alaska might be best, but he can’t leave the beautiful police chief during this dangerous crisis—a deadly predicament for which he could be responsible.
The idea for a series called Missing in Alaska came about when I was researching for my book Deadly Target (Book 2 in Rocky Mountain Courage). My main character had a criminal podcast about missing people, and during that research, I came across a podcast called “Missing in Alaska.” At that moment, I got chills! I knew that would be a great series if my editor would go for it.
I had already been mulling over setting another series in southeast Alaska after my Mountain Cove series did well. Plus, I missed visiting that region of the country (in my mind!) and wanted to go back. So when the “Missing in Alaska” podcast came up, I believed the Lord was leading me in that direction. I shared this with my editor, and she was on board with me. So, in a way, the “something from my own life” was simply a matter of my research process regarding missing people kindling a brand-new idea.
With more research, I learned about the high rate of people who go missing in Alaska. I wanted my series to reflect people who disappear for various reasons. Some want to disappear, others come to harm because they’re killed or by accident through the harshness of the rugged terrain, and then others vanish for reasons unknown.
Almost every novel I write has the ability to change me by giving me a deeper understanding of human nature. I live vicariously through my characters, if you will. I found myself rooting for Autumn as she battles criminal activity she’d never had to face while also standing up to those who wanted her gone on the city council, and at the same time, being a pillar to support her struggling father.
Writing the novel encouraged me in my own life with everything I must juggle—of course, none of it on the dramatic scale of a suspense novel! But facing challenges in our lives requires fortitude, and though the characters in Cold Light of Day continually emphasize Grier’s mettle, it’s Autumn who faces life head-on to win. I found her character encouraging to me in my own life.
Micah 6:8 says, “To act justly and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” Autumn keeps this Scripture up in her office at the local PD to ground her and keep her focused. Grier uses a similar verse to keep him focused on his mission in life. “See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone” (1 Thessalonian 5:15). Both Autumn and Grier are about doing good to others and making sure that justice is served. I loved the characters can rely on these Scriptures to keep them on track, and I was inspired by the verses both as I wrote the novel and in my own life.
I hope readers will find encouragement to keep up the good fight, walk humbly with God, to love and act justly. I also hope they will be inspired to keep going when times are hard and too many things are coming at them from all aspects of life. Maybe they will be encouraged with the fact that sometimes when the worst possible outcomes happen—it’s for a reason and God can use it for good and make beauty from ashes.
About the Author
Elizabeth Goddard is the USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of more than 50 novels, including the Rocky Mountain Courage and Uncommon Justice series. Her books have sold over 1 million copies. She is a Carol Award and Reader’s Choice Award winner and a Daphne du Maurier Award finalist. When she’s not writing, she loves spending time with her family, traveling to find inspiration for her next book and serving with her husband in ministry. For more information about her books, visit her website at www.elizabethgoddard.com.
About the Book
Police Chief Autumn Long is fighting to keep her job in the quiet Alaska town of Shadow Gap when an unexpected string of criminal activity leaves her with a wounded officer, unexplained murders and even an attack on her own father. Despite her mistrust of outsiders, she turns to Grier Brenner, a newcomer who seems to have the skills and training Autumn needs to face this threat to her community. But his presence in her life could be a deadly trap for them both.