Romantic suspense author Amy Wallace returns with Hiding in Plain Sight, the first in her new Place of Refuge series. Look for it now from Harvest House.
In a quiet town with a thriving Mennonite community, police officer Ashley Walters finds her threadbare faith and way of life challenged by the Plain people whose simple dress and welcoming manner open her eyes to a God she left behind. Peace eludes Ashley until she realizes the answers she seeks aren’t found in starting over but in returning to the simple truth that it’s God who overcomes the world, not her.
Written for women who desire action-packed suspense, romance, and an escape into the peaceful world of the Mennonites, Hiding in Plain Sight delves into the painful struggle to fit in and the search for peace that so often eludes our fast-paced lives.
Enjoy meeting Ashley & Patrick
Police Officer Ashley Walters stole the show for me. She walked on scene with her long black hair pulled into a no-nonsense ponytail and a timid, tender place inside that intrigued me. I loved the juxtaposition of a tough cop who prefers being home with Jane Austen movies and caramel corn. She’s almost thirty, five feet eight inches, athletic, and wears a gun all the time.
Marriage and Family Counselor Patrick James is a good Irish son born into a loving, small town family. He’s tall with brown hair and thoughtful blue eyes that break through some of Ashley’s iron walls right away—a reality she doesn’t appreciate at all. Patrick is a few years older than Ashley, a distance runner, and an All-American kind of guy.
After meeting my first fiction character one Sunday at church and stammering like a schoolgirl, I decided having a picture of my story people wasn’t such a great idea. But I was asked early on by my publisher to provide pictures, so I scrambled and found actors that came close to Ashley and Patrick.
Ashley favors actress Angie Harmon but with fiery green eyes. And straight hair. Too many bad guys to catch, not enough time for curling irons.
Patrick resembles David Boreanaz from Bones but with blue eyes. And a tad less ego and marksmanship skills.
Strengths and weaknesses
Ashley is an amazing artist. Through painting she tries to make sense of the evil she sees on a daily basis at work. She’s a tough cop, a good friend, and someone you’d definitely want on your side or watching your back. But her hero armor has kinks. She can’t escape the cold case that her big brother’s life was reduced to, and her need for justice often eclipses all else in her life.
What I love about Patrick is his quiet strength and tenacity. He loves deeply, and because of his counseling background tends to express himself with honesty and openness. He’s also a sports nut and full contact basketball player~ like Kentuckians play b-ball. As for weaknesses, Patrick spends all day helping others face the lies they believe about themselves while he can’t shake the sense he’s always on the outside and unwanted. He’s also a huge analyzer—which can get annoying quick when he’s digging into a problem to fix it and the recipient would rather leave the past in the past.
Quirk (if any)
Ashley is a chocoholic like her creator. The only difference is that Ashley can’t eat the sweet stuff without a smudge of chocolate always winding up on her face. Her creator doesn’t have that happen. Ever.
Your inspiration for the character
The depth of Ashley’s inner struggles versus her outer persona grew out of an imagery item I picked for her early on in the development of the story. The item is a painting by Ron DiCianni entitled The Weight of the World. In it angels hold the weight of the globe, but the woman looks as if she’s still burdened by it.
All the good things that make up who Patrick is came from two counselor friends who taught me about lies and truth and about how what you believe yourself—true or not—drives every one of your actions.
Background to the story
This story was birthed as a challenge from my agent to try something new. Then it grew and grew from two questions: Who is in control? Can I trust Him?
But what brought the idea to life was visiting the small town of Montezuma, Georgia and how God led me to the exact people, places, and impressions that mixed together to become Hiding in Plain Sight.