Even though Dangerous Inheritance is the second book in Sherri Wilson Johnson’s Jeopardized Reunions series, it’s the one I read first. But it doesn’t matter. Each one functions as a standalone. Last time I introduced Desolate Escape.
Reading this novel reminded me why I shouldn’t read romantic suspense at bedtime. But too late—I was hooked. And ended up forfeiting a few hours of sleep for several nights.
This is the second of four in the Jeopardized Reunions series—Christian romantic suspense with a southern flair.
After psychologist Naomi Summers becomes legal guardian of her murdered best friend’s daughter and estate, her dreams for a restorative retreat seem achievable. But someone has other plans for her. When her former boyfriend, Detective Max Lexington, is her only hope of survival, Naomi has to trust him. But can he ever trust the woman who abandoned him seven years ago?
This action-packed romantic suspense novel captivated me with its real, down-to-earth characters in a small town setting. From the outside looking in, psychologist Naomi Summers appears to live a charmed life—residing on an elegant estate that she can turn into a retreat and counseling center. She’s also adopting sweet seven-year-old Violet, beneficiary of the estate and her deceased friend’s daughter.
But all is not well. Someone is targeting Naomi. After her first scare, she comes face to face with former longtime boyfriend Detective Max Lexington who becomes her self-appointed protector, 24-7. Naomi broke his heart seven years ago when she left him.
As each day brings new dangers, suspects, and confusion, the stakes are raised. Not only do they have to unravel the mystery of the attacks, Naomi must keep herself from unraveling around Max. As he tries to protect her from further harm—and while she is forced to depend on him—they are both determined to protect their hearts from each other.
Join me for some Q & A with Sherri Wilson Johnson.
Questions about Dangerous Inheritance
What was your inspiration for writing Dangerous Inheritance? What’s your personal connection to the story or setting?
Sherri: Dangerous Inheritance originally started out as a story where a girl inherited her great-grandfather’s house and was going to turn it into her business. But a developer was coming through and creating large high-rises with work down/live up communities. She refused to sell and the neighbors were threatening to do harmful things to her if she didn’t.
The book was originally written targeting a contemporary romantic suspense publisher. Through a very long and exhausting process, the book morphed into what it is today. Although the publisher rejected it, I did some changes to it and went ahead and published it. And by the time that came about, I already had the other three books in the series ready to go!
How did you create your heroine Naomi and hero Max and their particular situations?
Sherri: This was a long process. Initially, both the hero and the heroine had different jobs that continued to change over the three rewrites of the story. The characters didn’t hijack the story this time because I was working hard to gain the attention of the publisher I mentioned earlier, so they had to obey and listen to me as the writer.
If you had lunch with Naomi, where would you eat and what would she want to tell you?
Sherri: We would definitely eat at a pizza place and she, as a therapist, would remind me of how important it is to keep moving forward and to not look back unless you’re going to do it with fond memories. Regret only wastes time.
What unusual things did you have to do or research to make this story authentic?
Sherri: I interviewed therapists to make sure that Naomi’s character was believable and appropriate for her position as a mental health professional. Also, I had to do a lot of timeline construction to make sure all the moving parts of the characters’ lives lined up and made sense in the story.
How does this series (Jeopardized Reunions) compare to your Intertwined series?
Sherri: My Jeopardized Reunions series is much more suspenseful than the Intertwined series. It is also a second chances series where every hero and heroine has had a past together in some way or another.
This series is targeted more toward the reader who might not necessarily pick up a Christian novel as opposed to some of my earlier works being written expressly for the Christian reader.
I have come to realize that I don’t want to preach to the choir, so to speak. I want to spread the message of faith and grace and forgiveness to those people who may not understand it. I want to be able to light the way to show people how to find God. So my new series, while still very faith-based, doesn’t have perfect characters who never make mistakes.
Back to Laura . . . On a different note . . .
If you like southern fiction, you might enjoy my recently re-launched novel All That Is Hidden, Set near North Carolina’s Smoky Mountains in 1968 rather than contemporary Alabama, the story highlights the bond of family and the connections of a tight-knit community. Northern exploitation threatens as a father’s hidden past catches up to him and tests family ties. Learn more and watch the trailer here.
In June, I was named a semifinalist in Serious Writer’s Book of the Decade contest for All That Is Hidden. Additionally, in August, All That Is Hidden became the winner of the Artisan Book Reviews Book Excellence Award.
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Sherri Wilson Johnson Bio
Sherri Wilson Johnson is an Inspirational Romance novelist, graphic designer and lover of all things book related. She’s always been a sucker for a good love story—whether it’s real life or fiction (both historical and contemporary). Completing her first novel at the age of eighteen, and later burning the only copy in the fireplace, she continued learning the craft of writing and now writes Contemporary Romantic Suspense and Historical Romance with a splash of suspense and/or mystery. When not writing, she’s usually assisting other publishing professionals or helping authors realize their dreams of becoming published. Sherri and her husband are empty-nesters and live in Georgia with their two dogs. She loves spending time with family, vacationing at the beach, curling up with a good book or working on her current work-in-progress. She dreams of a second home on some beach somewhere some day, where she can plot and write romantically suspenseful novels. Learn more on her website.
Join me next time for one more visit with author Sherri Wilson Johnson.
Meanwhile, have you read Dangerous Inheritance? Have you read any romantic suspense lately? Answer in the comments below.
I’m always in awe of authors like Sherri (and you, Laura) who can tear apart and rewrite stories so drastically. Sounds like the end result is wonderful–I’ll have to check it out–but that process of recreating characters and stories at the behest of someone else–ouch!! It feels like deciding to trade my child in for another. Of course, this is the author who threw her own book in the fire. 😉
The whole process reminds me of one of my daughter’s high school teachers who had students write a piece. My daughter received an A with a few comments for improvement. She made those changes, and at the appointed time, turned it in again. That time, the teacher gave her a C.
What the teacher hadn’t told them was that they should always operate on the assumption that their first draft couldn’t really be all that good–even if it was well-received. They were expected to deconstruct the whole piece and recreate it. I do wish she’d told them that ahead of time, and, unfortunately, the end result was the students started doing pathetic jobs on their first drafts because they now knew the final had to be 90% different, proving the teacher’s point was lost.
All that said–again, I so respect authors who can write one story well and still have the ability to slash and burn and come out with another winner. With the proper heads up and explanation–it would be a great writing exercise. Take four points of a story (two characters, a problem, a setting, etc…) and write three different stories with them, very much like what you, Laura, had readers do on Journey to Imagination with telling what was happening in pictures. I’ve seen it done in a class where each person writes one. I haven’t had it where one person has to write all three.
But just the thought has me itching to brainstorm. 🙂
Thank you for an excellent interview that not only introduced me to an intriguing book but also got my own creative juices flowing.
Wow, I wish that teacher had told the students ahead of time what the plan was. Doing it her way certainly backfired!
Your brainstorming idea intrigues me–makes me wonder how I would handle writing 3 different stories from the same set of fictional elements. Let me know how it goes for you!
Glad your creative juices are flowing and I hope you enjoy the book, too!
Thanks for the kind words! I cannot believe that teacher did that to her students, but it is kind of funny that it backfired on her!!
I like the idea of not necessarily writing to the choir. As believers we want to encourage one another, but also be winsome—and intriguing—to those readers just looking for a good story.
Sherri, don’t be embarrassed, but you look like a romantic-suspense author! And that honestly is a bonus because it is a tough, crowded field.
Hope you get that home on the beach someday!