Mississippi writer Patricia Bradley is the best-selling author of Crosshairs and Deception, as well as the Memphis Cold Case novels and the Logan Point series. She is a Christian-themed romantic suspense writer whose novels are "where love and faith cross paths… with murder." Bradley is praised for her sweet and slow-burning romances that have the perfect amount of mystery. She is the proud winner of an Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award, a Selah Award, and a Daphne du Maurier Award.
On May 16th, 2023, Bradley will be releasing another electrifying romantic thriller with Counter Attack. It will kick off her new Pearl River series which is set to have three books. As the first book in the series, Counter Attack follows the new chief deputy of Russell County, Tennessee, Alexis Stone. But as soon as she's sworn in, she’s pulled back to her hometown of Pearl Springs by a serial killer known as the Queen’s Gambit Killer. In the small town of Pearl Springs, Nathan Landry is the chief of police and Alex’s high school sweetheart. As the killer closes in and tensions run high, Alex and Nathan must join forces to find the killer and protect their hometown.
We are lucky to have the chance to interview Patricia Bradley and offer an exclusive look into her writing processes and inspirations before Counter Attack debuts later this month.
Tell us a bit about you and your writing and reading interests to get our audience up to speed!
I have just finished book #16, the second book in the Pearl River Series set north of Chattanooga in the fictional town of Pearl Springs, Tennessee. I’m excited to report that book 1, Counter Attack, releases May 16, 2023! As for reading…I read anything, including the backs of cereal boxes. But my favorite thing to read is romantic suspense.
Now, let’s back up a bit. Tell us a bit about your journey to writing romantic-suspense books. How did it all begin?
It began when I couldn’t sleep and stared at the ceiling night after night. Then one night, a man appeared in my vision. He stood at a window with smoke stacks billowing gray plumes. He turned to me and said, “This isn’t the way my life was supposed to turn out.”
For some reason, I didn’t think this was odd. Instead when I couldn’t sleep, I told myself stories about what went wrong in his life. Soon other people came to live in my head and told me their stories.
They wouldn’t leave me alone until I wrote them down. And because I read romantic suspense novels, that’s what my stories were about.
Faith seems to be an essential aspect of your writing style. Can you share a bit more about that?
A lot of readers think people of faith never have problems, and I wanted to show that they do and how they solve them. Plus, I wanted to tell stories about flawed Christians who struggle sometimes to get it right. People who have trouble depending on anyone besides themselves until they get to the end of their rope and realize that God was there all the time, waiting to help.
I really want to talk about your new book, but before we get to that, I must know more about your rescue kitties! (If you’re open to sharing!)
Suzy and Tux are sweethearts—Suzy maybe more than Tux. lol. I wanted a kitty and went to our local animal shelter. One of the attendants was cleaning out the cages as I went from kitty to kitty. When I reached Suzy, he said, “This is the one you want. She’s a lady—she waits until I finish putting the food in before she goes to the bowl. For some reason, that struck a chord with me and I picked her. Or maybe she picked me.
As for Tux, he just showed up one day. He’s a beautiful black and white tuxedo cat with a bowtie under his chin. Tux just seems to fit him. He’s not as loving as Suzy but has his own personality. He’s an inside/outside cat and just like a kid—comes in and then wants to go out.
Now, let’s talk Counter Attack. This is the beginning of a new series. Can you talk a bit about your thought process when deciding to end or begin a series?
My contract dictates how many books are in a series. The Pearl River Series is for three books…of course, if sales went off the charts, they might want more… With this one, I started with the heroine in Counter Attack, Alex Stone, and she will be in all three–but more as an advisor in the second and third books.
Counter Attack is set in Chatanooga. I’d love to hear more about the importance of setting in your books—and why you chose Chatanooga for this one in particular.
I love the Chattanooga area. My sister lives there and I visit often. The book is actually set about an hour North of Chattanooga in the fictional town of Pearl Springs in Russell County, Tennessee (also fictional).
What can you tell us about Alexis Stone?
First of all, she likes to be called Alex. Second, when the story opens, her goal is to become the first female chief of police in the Chattanooga Police Department. But when her grandfather, who is the sheriff of Russell County, has a heart attack, he asks her to become his chief deputy. She returns to her small hometown of Pearl Springs and Nathan Landry, the man she left behind. When the serial killer she was tracking in Chattanooga shows up in Pearl Springs, she turns to Nathan for help.
And finally, is there anything else you’d like readers to know that I haven’t touched on here?
This was a fun book to write. I learned how to delve into the Dark Web, revisited my love affair with chess, and showed how God can help us forgive others and ourselves.
Featured image via Revell Division