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Author Interview,  Giveaway,  Hope-filled Fiction

Linda J. White: Suspense, K-9 Search & Rescue, a Giveaway & More

On this first interview of 2023, I have the privilege of introducing you to a new to me Mystery/Suspense author, Linda J. White. Linda has offered a paperback or ebook copy of All That I Dread as a giveaway. Be sure to comment below by January 10 for your chance to win! (US residents only)

Welcome, Linda! Let’s start off with learning a little about you and your family.

I’m a mom of three grown kids and a grandmother to five little ones. My husband died in 2017. We’d been married forty-seven years. For most of that time, we lived near Quantico, Virginia—Larry was a video producer/director at the FBI Academy, while I worked as an editorial writer and columnist at a daily newspaper. A couple of years ago, I moved to Yorktown, Virginia to be near one of my daughters and her family. I love all the history around here, and am very active in the church where my son-in-law is a pastor.

I’m so sorry about your husband, but thankful you found a new home near family. You live just over the bridge from me down here in South Hampton Roads, so we’re neighbors. I’d love to hear about how and when you started writing.

I was a stay-at-home mom for many years. When my youngest went to kindergarten I prayed that God would show me what to do with the rest of my life. Part-time professional jobs were non-existent and I wasn’t ready for full-time work. I knew I was a pretty good writer so I started trying to write articles for publication. I had a little success at that before I turned to writing novels. I eventually also worked for a daily newspaper.

So, you’ve been at this for quite a long time. That’s great. What genre do you write and what inspired you to write that particular genre? 

I write mystery/suspense. Back then I was reading Grisham and Clancy and Patricia Cornwell and people like that. They all have a worldview or a philosophy woven into their books, and I wondered, “Where are the Christians? Why have they abandoned the marketplace of ideas?” I knew a lot of Christian FBI agents and that, combined with the access I had to FBI procedures, made mystery/suspense a natural for me.

I love that you saw something spiritual missing in the books you read and wanted to fill that gap. How do you incorporate Christ and hope into your writing?

We live in a broken world. We all bump into that truth—repeatedly—and we struggle with questions like “Where is God?” and “Why is this happening to me?”  I put my characters in those situations and make them wrestle with Him. Eventually, some of them see the truth that He is sovereign, He is good, and we can trust Him, even in the midst of difficult, painful situations. Christ is our hope!

Amen! What is your current novel’s setting? Is it a real location or fictional? Tell us about it.

All That I Dread is the first book in my K-9 search & rescue series. It’s set in the foothills of the Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains, around Charlottesville and Madison County. My husband and I lived near there for many years. It’s a beautiful area, full of farm fields and woods and scenic hikes, with some suburbs and towns mixed in. 

The Blue Ridge Mountains are gorgeous. A perfect setting for a suspense story. Share with us the premise of All That I Dread.

Fresh from a traumatic incident, former police detective Jessica Chamberlain begins volunteering as a search-and-rescue dog handler. The training director, Nate, a war vet with wounds of his own, can tell two things: Luke, her rowdy German shepherd, is a natural, and Jess has hidden trauma. On their first SAR test, Luke discovers the body of an actual murder victim in the woods, triggering Jess’s PTSD. Now, can she overcome it and help find the murderer?

Your book sounds like one I’d enjoy reading. Which character in All That I Dread was easiest for you to write and why? Which character presented the biggest challenge?

Although I wrote my first six books in third person, I decided to write this one in first person. That made it easy to slide into deep point of view, making Jessica’s character highly authentic and grabbing readers with the emotional and spiritual struggles she was having. I loved writing Jess so much when Dread was finished I just kept going. I’m currently working on the fifth book in the series.

Nathan Tanner was a challenge. He’s from far western Virginia, up in the hills, and he’s a high-school graduate with a hick accent. But he is the Sage in the story, the wise man who comes across as uneducated. I wanted to use dialect to differentiate him from the more educated characters. I used words and expressions I’d heard around our own country home, dialect from movies set in the hills, and I even read Hillbilly Elegy to get ideas. Some people think I nailed it, and others don’t. I just write Nate the way I “hear” him in my head. Most of my readers love him.

Has a reader ever blessed your socks off? How?

Readers tell me my stories encourage their faith. I love that. I had emails from a woman in South Africa who lives on a macadamia nut farm far from town. She and her husband couldn’t go to church during COVID and she said my books helped her stay close to Jesus. Another, a missionary in Peru, wrote something similar. My purpose is to move people closer to Christ, whether they’re Christians being encouraged in their faith or nonbelievers being introduced to it. So when I get feedback like that, it blesses me.

Wonderful words of encouragement every Christian author longs to hear! Thanks so much for sharing on the blog today, Linda. I look forward to reading your work. May the Lord bless you as you continue bringing light into the world through your stories.

Join the conversation. Are you a mystery/suspense fan? Have you ever visited the Blue Ridge Mountains or read a novel set there? Do you enjoy FBI and/or K-9 Search & Rescue stories?

Be sure to comment below by January 10 for a chance to win a paperback or ebook copy of All That I Dread. (US residents only)

All That I Dread by Linda J. White

Click the book cover for purchase link

Jessica Chamberlain and her German shepherd, Luke, volunteer with the Battlefield Search and Rescue group in Virginia. Called out to help an FBI team investigating a series of abductions, Jess discovers she’s not finished with the past she thought she’d escaped.

Linda J. White writes FBI thrillers from her home in rural Virginia. Her husband, Larry, was a video producer-director at the FBI Academy for over twenty-seven years. Linda’s books have won the HOLT Medallion, HOLT Award of Merit, and have twice been finalists for the RWA National Readers Choice Award. Mother of three grown children, Linda is also a nationally award-winning journalist, a Bible study teacher, and a speaker. When she’s not writing, she can be found playing with her Sheltie, reading a book, or dreaming of the beach.

Connect with Linda: Website / Twitter / Facebook

Please share Linda’s interview on social media to help spread the word about her books!

If you missed my post last week about my top reads for 2022, you can find it here.

As a Jesus girl for more than thirty years, Deena Adams understands how important hope is to daily life, which fuels her passion to inspire others through hope-filled fiction based on true to life stories. She is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency and is a multi-award-winning writer, an active ACFW member, and ACFW Virginia president. Connect with Deena through her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


  • Paula Shreckhise

    I love the setting of this book and I enjoy K-9 books. That must have been very interesting living near all the action near Quantico. I love history and on our vacations to see grandparents in Pennsylvania every summer, Mother would plan trips to historical places. Great memories.

    • Linda White

      Hi, Paula,
      Quantico was fascinating! When my husband started working there in 1983 it was pretty open for FBI families to tour and participate in family events. We got to see some pretty cool demonstrations and informational exhibits. Eventually we made friends with a lot of FBI agents, many of whom are still friends. They are an accomplished bunch of people, for sure.
      Thanks for your comment!

  • Cherie J

    I do enjoy mystery and suspense. I have never been to the Blue Ridge mountains but would love to someday. I enjoy K-9 search and rescue stories as well. Your book sounds great! I enjoyed the interview.

    • Linda White

      Thank you, Cherie! The Blue Ridge Mountains seem “friendly” to me, like I could survive in them, unlike the Rockies. That’s probably not true, but that’s what they look like to me. I’ve been around them my whole life, just about. I’ve been loving what I’ve learned about K-9 Search and Rescue. The volunteers’ dedication and the dogs’ passion for the work are really inspiring.
      Have fun reading!

  • Jackie Lehman

    Sounds like a great read!! My teenage daughter and I read romantic suspense. She is trying to decide what to study in college and is really interested in the K-9 side. Going to check this one out for both of us!!

    • Linda White

      It’s neat the two of you read the same genre! i have many happy memories of sharing Jane Austen and Shakespeare stories with my younger daughter–usually in the form of movies, since she was a student and had a mountain of reading to do for that. She was just up visiting with her family, and after she left, I binge-watched Pride & Prejudice (both the movie and the BBC mini-series) just to re-capture a bit of those moments.

      I think your daughter will find the K-9 search and rescue element in my books is pretty authentic. I’ve had dogs all my adult life, and have trained and showed them. And my friends in volunteer SAR have been very generous with their knowlege. I really admire their commitment to the community.

      Enjoy your reading!

  • Lisa Harness

    Yes to all the questions. Linda, My heart goes out to you at the death of your husband, but blessed to hear you have relocated by your children and continue writing. My husband died in 2011. God has been so good in carrying me through. I look forward to reading your book.

    • Linda White

      Lisa I’m sorry we’re in the widow sorority together! But like you, I’ve found the Lord is faithful. It’s a blessing and a privilege to be with one of my daughters and her family. I hope you enjoy my books if you end up reading them. Thanks for the comment!

  • Linda Kish

    I haven’t visited the Blue Ridge mountains since the late 50’s but I do remember what a beautiful area it was. Boy, that was a long time ago. I love reading mysteries. And this sounds like one I would enjoy.

    • Linda White

      Thanks, Linda, for your comment. So much of the Blue Ridge has been preserved through parks not much has changed since the ’50s! They’re still beautiful, still full of wildlife, still a wonderful place to get out into nature. Glad you like mysteries–that’s about all I read on the fiction side, although once in a while a really good historical will captivate me. Happy reading!

    • Deena Adams

      Hi, Linda. The mountains must have made a big impression on you for you to remember their beauty even now. I really enjoy myseries too. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  • Jeanette Davis

    Wow this sounds like a wonderful book! We do all have times we questions ‘where are You?’ even though a believing Christian who’s faith is in God, still at times I have wondered…. So sorry about your husband’s passing. Good that you are close to family and active in church where your son-in-law is the Pastor! What a gift. If I am chosen, I would like a paperback copy of this fantastic book. Thank you for this opportunity.

    • Linda White

      Thanks for commenting Jeanette. I love being here in Yorktown even though I miss my friends back near Quantico. We can’t have it all, can we?

      If you like dogs, I can pretty much guarantee you’d like “All That I Dread.” Of course, I had to promise the young people in my family that no dogs would die in my books. I’ve really had a good time researching K-9 Search and Rescue. Some volunteers graciously allowed me to sit in on meetings and some of their training days. Two of them have read all my manuscripts for accuracy. I appreciate them so much!

      Until I got to know the SAR folks I had no idea how much time they donate to searching! Over once a week, on average, they get called out, often at night, or in the evening. Sometimes it’s a child who wanders off, other times it could be a lost hiker or hunter, or a dementia patient confused about the way home.

      I feel privileged to portray what they do!

  • Yvonne Groen

    I loved this interview with Linda J. White @rytn4hm

    I have her book All That I Dread.

    My favorite books of hers is Words of Conviction!!
    #giveaway #amreading

    • Linda White

      Thanks, Yvonne! My source for “Words of Conviction” was a good friend who was the Bureau’s only forensic psycholinguist at the time. I learned so much from her! Language is fascinating. I had no idea experts could tell so much just from the words we use.

      Thanks for reading my work!

      • Amy

        I love that you were a stay-at-home mom turned writer. That describes my current journey – stay-at-home mom, newly divorced, and turned to freelance writing to support my kids. I love mystery/suspense stories and just started reading Christian fiction for the same reasons you mentioned. Secular stories were missing hope. I felt empty after reading them (and reading is my favorite pastime!). Christian fiction is so uplifting and encouraging. I’d love the chance to win a copy of this book. I came across this blog post when it was shared in the Avid Readers of Christian Fiction group on Facebook. ☺️

  • Faith D. Cox

    I enjoyed the interview! As a fellow Christian, I appreciate Christian authors putting novels into the world to share Jesus’ light. I have never been to the Blue Ridge Mountains, but it seems a place I would like to visit one day. I look forward to reading “All That I Dread” and learning more about K-9 Search and Rescue. Thank you for the opportunity of entering a giveaway! I pray you both have a very blessed new year!

    • Linda White

      Thanks, Faith! I try really hard not to get preachy in my books! But I see life through a Christian framework, and that’s the way I write. Some people have asked why I write mystery/suspense. Partly because that’s what I like to read, and partly because we walk through a broken world and learning to navigate it with faith is a process. Jess’s struggles in “All That I Dread” are a lot like my own many years ago. God bless… and thanks for the comment!

  • Betti

    This sounds like a book I certainly would enjoy. Thanks so much for the giveaway! God bless you as you continue to write from a Christian point of view.

  • Linda J. White

    Thanks for the shout-out, Deena! I love dogs and I’ve so enjoyed writing this series. And by the way, anyone who signs up for my newsletter through my website will get a free short story detailing just how Jess and her dog Luke got together! Blessings!

  • Janette Jackson

    I have never been to the Blue Ridge Mountains. I am putting this book on my TBR list.

  • Lual Krautter

    Would love to win a print copy of All That I Dread! Sounds like a real in-depth, intriguing CF/RS book–the kind I enjoy and prefer reading! So, I “discovered” a new-to-me CF author, and would love to learn more about Linda J. White, plus win any books by her 🙂 Thanks so much for the opportunity to enter a giveaway! God bless and Happy New Year!

    • Linda White

      Lual, I’ve been blessed by the willingness of real-life K-9 search-and-rescue volunteers to help me learn what they do. I am so impressed by their dedication and their willingness to commit their time and money to serving the community this way. It’s a honor to share that through my stories.

  • Dana McReynolds

    It’s been a long time since I visited the Blue Ridge Mountains. What a great setting! And I love K9 search and rescue stories.

    • Linda White

      Dana, I lived near the Blue Ridge Mountains for nearly my whole life. In fact, my husband and I camped in the Blue Ridge on our honeymoon! (We were young and poor and loved camping.) They are so beautiful.