Tuesday, January 5, 2016


Elizabeth Heiter likes her suspense to feature strong heroines, chilling villains, psychological twists, and a little bit (or a lot!) of romance. Her research has taken her into the minds of serial killers, through murder investigations, and onto the FBI Academy’s shooting range.

Heiter applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, Seized, and reported the following:
Seized is the third novel in my Profiler series featuring FBI profiler Evelyn Baine. In Seized, Evelyn finds herself on the wrong side of a hostage situation – and in the middle of an emerging terrorist threat.

Here’s what happens on page 69, when Evelyn is inside the cult full of survivalists, being led through the compound for the first time:
“Keep moving,” Rolfe said instead of answering her question, and she had to increase her pace to keep up with his longer stride.

She followed him back down the dim hallway, toward the room where she and Jen had seen the supplies and weapon lockboxes. As he stopped in the doorway, she discovered that the room was now filled with cultists.

There were about twenty of them, and they were all men. Evelyn did a double take, looking for any women or children, but saw none. A cult without women or kids was unusual. And although survivalists could be loners, they were equally likely to prepare a bunker for an entire family. Did this cult not have any families or were they somewhere else?

The men ranged in age, but otherwise they looked the same to her. They were all white, their eyes glued to Ward Butler, who stood facing them, radiating power.

There was plenty of camouflage in the room, and a lot of weaponry, casually slung over shoulders. Everything from AK-47s to shotguns to bows and arrows. Most of the men wore thick facial hair and had rough, weathered skin and angry expressions.

The anger seemed to intensify as Ward Butler announced, “Here she is, our own personal symbol of government tyranny who thought it was her right to enter uninvited into our refuge.”

Twenty faces sung her way, and all that fury directed solely at her made Evelyn instinctively take a step backward.

“Kill her,” someone shouted and, as one, the group surged toward the doorway. Toward her.
At this point in the book, Evelyn is stuck inside the cult alone, unsure exactly what has happened to fellow agent Jen Martinez, who brought her here. She’s a biracial federal agent in a room full of anti-federalist, white supremacists, so her life is already in danger. Things get worse as she begins to suspect Jen Martinez was right – this is more than a simple cult hiding out in the remote Montana wilderness. This group is a threat – and if Evelyn doesn’t find a way to get a warning to the FBI agents surrounding the compound, the group may unleash a deadly attack.
To learn more about Seized, read chapter one, and watch the book trailer, visit Elizabeth Heiter's website.

My Book, The Movie: Vanished.

The Page 69 Test: Vanished.

--Marshal Zeringue