Intersection Column | Facing Your Fears
by Natalie Walters
Blind Trust finishes up my SNAP Agency series, bringing strong-willed Lyla Fox toe-to-toe with no-nonsense explosives expert Nicolás Garcia in a battle of wills. When Lyla and her family are threatened, she won’t stop until she finds out who’s behind it—even if it puts her life in deeper danger. Nicolás’s work with explosives gives him a personal understanding of risk, but working with Lyla has made him believe bombs might be safer. However, he can’t let Lyla face danger on her own and is committed to keeping her safe even if he has to risk his heart in the process. Together, Lyla and Nicolás battle an enemy whose crimes and willingness to kill reveal a decades old secret that will change everything.
I love story and can sit for hours listening to people tell stories about their personal lives or their jobs. Having been a military wife for nearly 29 years, I’ve had access to a broad group of friends who work in the military, government, law enforcement, federal agency career fields, as well as foreign friends in those same careers who continue to inspire and influence my stories.
I think if there was something in my personal life that sparked the idea or content of this particular story, I should probably write an autobiography! (LOL)
But in all seriousness, this story was almost written as the conclusion to the novella, Initium, I wrote to introduce my SNAP Agency series. I’ve never had that happen before, where I start a story and then realize there’s more to it and I need to figure out a way to finish it. What I loved about this experience was the unexpected development of both characters and plot that stretched across the decades, which I think added an extra element of suspense and intrigue to Blind Trust.
I’ve never experienced writing two characters who were stubbornly cryptic as I developed them on the page. I knew these characters because I’d written them in the two previous books, but when it came time for them to show me their vulnerabilities, neither one of them cooperated! I really had to dig deep to figure out what scared them and force them to show me that on the page. It sounds silly because I’m the author and should be able to force them to do whatever I want, but the reality of writing is that we have to remain authentic to our characters and write them in a way that’s truly genuine to who they are as individuals. They made me cry tears of frustration, but I love the way they showed up for me in the end.
As I was writing this story, I was reading about Elijah and how he was such an advocate for God, going to battle to stand for Truth, and yet he still showed a very human side of fear. In that fear, God addressed him in love and gently reminded him what could be missed if he allowed fear to keep him from doing the hard things.
I saw that in both Nicolás and Lyla’s story—the fear of doing their job, opening up their hearts to love and the risk that comes with that, but also seeing what they’d miss if they let fear keep them from doing the hard stuff.
One of the themes I see coming through in this story is the idea of unconditional love both in a family relationship and romantic one. What does the idea of unconditional love look like when the person you love is “hard” to love? I enjoyed being able to see the development of what it’s like to give that love and to accept it. I hope readers enjoy that too.
About the Author
Natalie Walters is the author of Lights Out and Fatal Code, as well as the Harbored Secrets series. A military wife, she currently resides in Texas with her soldier husband and is the proud mom of three. She loves traveling, spending time with her family, and connecting with readers on Instagram and Facebook. Learn more at www.nataliewalterswriter.com.
About the Book
Lyla Fox knows she has a reputation at the SNAP Agency for impulsivity, but when she receives a threatening letter from a man she helped put in prison, she can't stop herself from going all in to find out why he's coming after her. Unfortunately, she's going to need the help of the one person who questions her reckless choices more than anyone else—explosives and weapons specialist Nicolás Garcia.
Did You Know?
One hundred years ago, Egyptomania swept America in the wake of the opening of King Tut’s tomb. Our craze for all things Egyptian gave fresh inspiration to the Art Deco style in architecture, fashion, jewelry, housewares and more. Other symptoms of King Tut Fever were clear.
Companies branded themselves Egyptian to cash in on the craze, such as Egyptienne Luxury Cigarettes, Egyptian Bouquet Talcum Powder, lemons and dish soap. An advertisement for Palmolive promised: “The Egyptian Princess of 3,000 years ago . . . knew that Palm and Olive oils were mild, beneficial, natural cleansers, as soothing in their action as a lotion. A crude combination was all she could command—today she would use Palmolive.”
Young people danced the King Tut Fox Trot. Popular songs included: “Egyptian-Ella,” “There’s Egypt in Your Dreamy Eyes,” “Moonlight on the Nile,” “Mystic Nile,” “Cleopatra had a Jazz Band,” “Mummy Mine” and “Lady of the Nile.”
Color trends in women’s fashion took full advantage of King Tut Fever by naming their colors with Egyptian flare. Just a few examples from the 1923 fall season include: Antique Bronze, Amulet, Turquoise Green, Old Cedar, Sphinx, Eucalyptus, Papyrus, Cartouche, Mummy Brown, Carnelian, Blue Lotus, Luxor and Beetle.
The decade of the 1920s is most often associated with flappers, gangsters and Prohibition, but Egyptomania was just as much a part of popular culture. King Tut Fever has faded in the last century, but its Art Deco legacy remains.
-Jocelyn Green, The Metropolitan Affair
Why I LOVE My Local Christian Bookstore
“Bookstores offer the pleasure of shopping at leisure in a quiet environment and, at times, the unexpected thrill of discovering a new author.”
-Donn Taylor, Lightning on a Quiet Night