Heather Lawrence’s long-awaited vacation to Salzburg wasn’t supposed to go like this. Mere hours into the transatlantic flight, the Houston FBI agent is awakened when passengers begin exhibiting horrific symptoms of an unknown infection. As the virus quickly spreads and dozens of passengers fall ill, Heather fears she’s witnessing an epidemic similar to ones her estranged husband studies for a living—but this airborne contagion may have been deliberately released.
While Heather remains quarantined with other survivors, she works with her FBI colleagues to identify the person behind this attack. The prime suspect? Dr. Chad Lawrence, an expert in his field . . . and Heather’s husband. The Lawrences’ marriage has been on the rocks since Chad announced his career took precedence over his wife and future family and moved out.
As more victims fall prey days after the initial outbreak, time’s running out to hunt down the killer, one who may be closer to the victims than anyone ever expected.
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Published by: Tyndale House Publishers
Publication Date: September 8th 2020
Number of Pages: 400
ISBN: 1496427173 (ISBN13: 9781496427175)
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Goodreads
Read an excerpt:
DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She is a storyteller and creates action-packed, suspense-filled novels to thrill readers. Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests.
DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. She is the director of the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference, Mountainside Retreats: Marketing, Speakers, Nonfiction, and Novelist with social media specialist Edie Melson where she continues her passion of helping other writers be successful. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country.
Q&A with DiAnn Mills
Welcome and thank you for stopping by CMash Reads.
On Writing and Reading:
What was the inspiration for this book?
The story line for Airborne came to me three and a half years ago. All I had was a what-if: a virus unleashed on an international flight. While I have an ongoing relationship with the FBI to ensure my facts are straight, this idea went beyond my normal romantic suspense. The search to find experts who were willing to give me accurate information took another year. Along the way, the right people entered my path:
1. A woman and new friend whose doctorate is in microbiology and immunology.
2. A man who trains flight attendants for the airline that I envisioned in my story. I learned guidelines and procedure.
3. A pilot who not only flies for my designated airline but is also a suspense and thriller writer.
4. The amazing people and resources of the CDC. They offered insight and protocol for those in quarantine.
5. The wisdom and guidance of the FBI to locate the right people with solid answers.
Do you draw from personal experiences and/or current events?
Usually current events. Regarding Airborne: the idea came to me as a what-if, and I had no idea what to do with it. While the idea simmered and throughout the research process, I read recommended articles, and watched documentaries and movies about virus outbreaks.
I have a vivid imagination. Some of the steps taken seemed logical to keep people safe from contagion. Later I learned I was right—a weird realization.
Broad research was needed to include exploration of worldwide viruses, quarantine restrictions, the work of the CDC, the involvement of government agencies during times of health crisis, testing requirements, and the courageous work of first responders and medical personnel,
After my book was edited and a cover designed, the coronavirus broke out. One of the results of my research is that I’m not afraid during the current COVID19 crisis. The precautions were expected as though I’d been there before. Eerie at times, yet other times comforting to draw upon insights I’d learned. I have confidence in the guidelines to keep the US as contagion free as possible.
Are any of your characters based on people that you know?
No. I have a lengthy process for characterizing a hero or heroine based on two criteria:
1. Who has the most to lose if the situation is not brought under control.
2. Who has the most to gain if the situation is brought under control.
Your routine when writing? Any idiosyncrasies?
Besides being a bit quirky and needing lots of strong, black coffee?
I’m an organic writer, which means I’m a character-driven panster. I spend hours getting to know a character so I can create authenticity in his/her physical, mental, and spiritual behavior. I may have an idea for a few of the scenes, but mostly the process is discovery.
My best writing is early in the morning … sometimes I prop my laptop on the treadmill. Other times I edit, take notes, or research while exercising.
Tell us why we should read your book?
Airborne is for the reader who enjoys suspense with a thread of romance. The unexpected happens when a deadly virus is unleashed onboard an international flight. Readers will identify with the characters’ fears and emotions. Who is infected? Was it deliberate? What will happen to the people who hope to survive the painful death?
My mission then and now is to show a story that weaves hope, reality, and the sacrificial work of first responders when a deadly virus spreads through innocent people. I want readers to experience God’s presence and peac during our current global crisis.
Are you working on your next novel? If so, can you tell us a little bit about it?
Yes! I’m finished with the first draft of Shadows of the Past – a working title. A woman spends fifteen years in a Texas prison for a murder she didn’t commit to protect her sister. Now someone wants the ex-con dead.
This sounds like a book for me.
What are you reading now?
Great Stories Don’t Write Themselves – Larry Brooks
Darkest Fear – Harlan Coben
Prayer – Timothy Keller
Your novel will be a movie. Who would you cast?
FBI Agent Heather Lawrence – Emma Stone
Dr. Chad Lawrence – Chris Pine
Thomas Powell – Daniel Craig
Favorite leisure activity/hobby?
Roasting my own coffee beans
Salad with lots of veggies
Hot apple pie topped with vanilla ice cream
What a great meal!! Now I’m craving it!!!
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Enter The Giveaway!:
This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for DiAnn Mills. There will be 2 winners of one (1) Gift Card each (winner’s choice of Amazon or B&N). The giveaway begins on September 1, 2020 and runs through October 2, 2020. Void where prohibited.