Review of Code Name Scorpion by Donna Gustainis Fuller ~ Published by Walnut Springs Press

Be sure and visit my Facebook page to enter the book giveaway for a chance to win a new copy of Code Name Scorpion – deadline July 18th!

Trevor Willis, an FBI consultant, has a huge target on his back. Having put one of the most powerful heroin dealers in the country behind bars, Trevor has the dealer’s father—drug lord Don Francisco Morales—after him and pretty much anyone he’s ever said “hi” to. This ruthless vendetta on the part of the Morales Cartel begins a fast-paced sequence of events that keeps Trevor, and the reader, on their toes.

Fuller captures the chaos one would image would come about when a drug lord is really ticked off, at times feeling like a Jason Bourne don’t-blink-or-you’ll-miss-something experience. The reader is taken to the cool climes of the Pacific Northwest and then plunged into the mysterious, dank jungles of South America—indicative of the abrupt about-faces Trevor must make to avoid Morales and those paid to kill him.

Woven through the telling of this frenzied pursuit, though, is a tender love story between Trevor and his assistant, Dani Carpenter. Few couples are required to test their loyalty as Trevor and Dani, and their relationship provides both poignant and humorous moments of relief in this fast moving tale. Other loyalties are tested as both Trevor and Dani must learn who they can trust and who they must protect at all cost—namely the young daughter of one of Trevor’s employees. With guidance from the Spirit—something Trevor is newly acquainted with as a recent convert to the LDS church—Trevor learns a lesson even all his FBI training hasn’t taught him . . . how to trust God.

If you are left wanting to know more about the interesting characters in Code Name Scorpion—good news! Though this is a stand-alone novel, many of these characters are introduced in Fuller’s previous novel, A Strand of Doubt. But will Trevor and Dani have more adventures? I hope so—they don’t seem the type to just settle down to a quiet life.

I’m so happy to have Donna visit my blog and answer a few questions:

1. What was your inspiration for this novel and these interesting characters? [Having been bitten a few times by a scorpion, I’d have to say “Scorpion” is the perfect name for Morales] Many of the experiences with the Scouts and the police officer stopping Trevor were based on real events (but definitely fictionalized). Along with that, I would have to say that much of the inspiration for this novel came from places that I love. My husband and I just moved from the Pacific Northwest and fell in love with the area. We spent time in Puerto Vallarta and love the people there. There are so many who have so little, but give so much. Finally, Pine is a magical place for my family. My husband’s great grandfather settled the small town on the Mogollon Rim in Northern Arizona. The home that Trevor and Dani find themselves at is modeled after the old family homestead.

2. I have to ask—do you know someone who works for the FBI? No, but there are unsubstantiated rumors flying around Scout troops in two states that my husband may be working for the FBI, but he assures those scouts that he is not, nor has he ever been, employed by the Bureau. ; )

3. With several characters in Code Name Scorpion having been introduced in your previous novel, A Strand of Doubt, was this novel a planned continuation or simply characters that wouldn’t “leave you alone?” A Strand of Doubt started as a short story I wrote many years ago. By the time the book was finished, the characters took on a life of their own and almost demanded a continuation of the adventures. Code Name Scorpion is the continuation of that story. So, I would have to say that my characters wouldn’t leave me alone until I wrote their story. In fact, one way that I advance the plot is by interviewing the characters.

4. As an award-winning author, what advice would you give beginning writers? It’s never too late to follow your dream. Learn what you can from others and get as many people to critique your work as possible. Take advantage of writing conferences and retreats such as LDStorymakers and ANWA. Most of all—keep writing, writing, writing!

5. Will Trevor and Dani settle down or will we get to experience another story involving these two great characters?
I am contemplating a third novel in the series, but I also have a very rough draft of a historical fiction novel (with some suspense thrown in there). If people want a continuation of the story, let me know and I’ll do my best. I’m pretty sure Trevor and Dani would be glad to share their next adventure.

Thank you, Donna, and we all look forward to your next project – and I, for one, would like to know what happens next for Trevor and Dani.

You can find Code Name Scorpion at Amazon and Deseret Book. And be sure to visit my Facebook page for a chance to win a new copy of Code Name Scorpion – deadline is July 18th!

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