Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Heroes in LIES IN WAIT: BOOK 2 A Jake Bernstein FBI Thriller

The sequel to my espionage thriller, A BODYGUARD OF LIES, is called LIES IN WAIT. My hero, FBI agent Jake Bernstein, goes deep undercover to stop and capture a Muslim terrorist cell in Silicon Valley. In doing so, he not only risks his new relationship with Meg Larsen (from A Bodyguard of Lies), but his life as well. Thousands of lives are at stake, however, and Jake’s devotion to duty trumps everything else. When, in order to be admitted into the terrorist cell’s inner circle and discover the details of their plot, he must do the unthinkable, Jake faces a  shocking and heart-wrenching choice, one that shakes his very core of values and makes him question his choice of career.

Here are the most frequently asked questions about the characters I create: 

Is there anything specific you did when creating your main characters that you knew would immediately give readers a sense of who they are?  

I look around me and choose traits from various people I know and admire. Jake Bernstein is a composite character, a blend of the most important and admirable qualities a man can have. He’s great! A strong, wonderful man! A former Navy SEAL with a mixed German-Jewish and Irish-Catholic background, he has a strong sense of duty to his country and his family’s heritage. Also, he is protective towards civilians and is mindful of their vulnerabilities when on the job. However, he’s human and carries with him the guilt of a failed marriage and a sense of hopelessness about ever living a normal life, with a wife, children, a regular job. As an FBI undercover specialist, he has foreign language talents that few others have and is fluent in Hebrew, German and Arabic. Because of his dark good looks, he can blend in among a variety of ethnic groups. Jake has a sarcastic sense of humor that belies his deep humanistic faith. I hope I do him the justice he deserves.

Choosing Meg Larsen’s traits was both easy and difficult. Of course, she’s blond and beautiful, loves to jog and swim like Jake, and is fluent in several foreign languages. But I wanted her to represent a professional civilian occupation, and so she is a high school foreign-language teacher. Abandoned by her parents and raised by a grandmother, who was loving but mysterious, and a strict but dedicated military grandfather, Meg has grown up with her own personal baggage. What Jake reveals to her in A BODYGUARD OF LIES sends her reeling emotionally, rocking her very foundation. But, like her grandparents, Meg is strong and resilient, which she proves in LIES IN WAIT. I like her very much! I think she’s the best a young woman can be.

How do you follow a favorite character into a series?  

When I find a character that I really admire and love, I think writing a series with that character is a lot of fun. The Jake Bernstein FBI mystery-thriller series was an idea that just sprang up at the end of A Bodyguard of Lies. Jake and Meg were such compelling characters, I had to explore them further and take them on several journeys. I needed to test Jake’s integrity and devotion to duty, which is what the plot of LIES IN WAIT does.  And, of course, Meg’s strength is tested in ways that are perhaps shocking.

How much research do you encounter with writing thrillers?  

I read, read, read and take notes like crazy. Then I do “boots on the ground” research. That’s the fun part. For LIES IN WAIT, I spent months researching Islam, the religion and political ideology. What I discovered about Islam in America was shocking and deeply disturbing.


  1. Sounds like a great read!!! I'm going to read A Bodyguard of Lies first!

  2. Sounds like a very interesting series. As long as it is written as a HEA and the 2 main characters are together I will continue to read the series.

  3. Your books sound intriguing! Thanks for the post.


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