Friday, November 20, 2009
Title: DOUBLE CROSS
Author: James David Jordan
Publisher: Broadman & Holman
Taylor Pasbury’s day started ordinarily enough. Prominent televangelist Simon Mason was dead, and as Simon’s body guard, Taylor feels compelled to investigate the reason behind the half a million dollars that has vanished from his ministry account. The logical place to start is with Simon’s top assistant, Elise. But when Taylor and Simon’s daughter, Kacey, arrive at Elise’s house, they discover she’s committed suicide, and even left a note that makes sense. Still, something doesn’t feel right.
Not more than a few hours after leaving the scene, Taylor’s mother reappears after abandoning Taylor as a child. But Taylor doesn’t have much time for niceties. She is more interested in the disappearance of the money, of a company owned laptop, and the strange feeling she has about Elise’s death. But when Taylor begins to investigate, shots begin to fly.
Now, Taylor with her mother in tow, is headed down a twisting trail of danger and deceit, and is discovering that nothing can be taken at face value. Will she discover the truth leads to revelation and restoration…or disaster?
DOUBLE CROSS is the first book I read by James David Jordan, but I’m sure it won’t be the last. This book was exciting, fast-pasted, and the story started with the changing moment, as all good books should. Written in first-person, it was easy to get to know Taylor, and to grow to care about her and her friend, Kacey.
DOUBLE CROSS grabbed my interest from the beginning and held it all the way through. I wanted to find out if Elise’s death was in fact a suicide, as appearances suggest, or if she was murdered. Where did the laptop go? And where is the money? I also hoped that Taylor and her mother would work out their relationship issues. Don’t miss DOUBLE CROSS. $14.99. 387 pages.
Q: Double Cross is your third novel, but writing is not your full time job. You are a successful business attorney. Tell us how and why you started writing.
A: I’ve always enjoyed writing and always considered it a challenge to write a novel and get it published. Like most beginning writers, I was naïve and didn’t know how much I didn’t know about writing. I knew that when I did write, I wanted to write about life’s "big" issue which, at least in my mind, is faith.
Q: How much of your inspiration for writing novels comes from your true life experiences as an attorney?
A: Very little really. I don’t want to write about work because it would be too much like being at work. Writing and sports are what I do to get a break from being an attorney.
Q: Your latest book is a follow-up to Forsaken in which your main characters were presented with what seems an almost impossible dilemma. Can you share what that situation was and why you chose to address this thought-provoking topic for your book?
A: In Forsaken, a famous televangelist is forced to decide between his faith and his daughter’s life. It’s a dilemma that is perfect for a Christian suspense thriller. I chose it because of the Bible verse that says that if we don’t love Jesus more than our family members, we’re not worthy of him. That’s a tough rule, and I wanted to explore what it would be like to be faced with that choice.
Q: Double Cross continues the story of Taylor Pasbury. Tell us about Taylor and what makes her tick.
A: Taylor was raised by her father, a former Special Forces officer, after her mother ran out when she was a child. Taylor knows how to take care of herself and did stints on a Dallas SWAT team and in the Secret Service before opening her own security agency. She’s the person you want next to you in a crisis, but she is terribly insecure on a personal level which makes her attractively vulnerable. Her father was murdered when she was seventeen, and she’s been adrift. She’s not someone anyone would describe as a religious person which makes her an interesting narrator for a novel with a Christian theme.
Q: You have a knack for weaving deep spiritual truths into intriguing story lines. What’s the secret to making a spiritual point without creating a plot that seems too contrived?
A: The trick is to find a story idea in which the characters would naturally be expected to think about spiritual angles. Let’s face it. Despite what the popular press and Hollywood would like us to believe, the average person in this country does think about spiritual issues—not necessarily daily or even regularly—but not just rarely, either. Some events in life naturally focus the ordinary American’s mind on the spiritual. Even people who don’t consider themselves religious are generally willing to consider spiritual issues as long as they’re not presented as part of an evangelical bludgeoning.
Q: This book deals a lot with abandonment. Was there anything in your own life or in the lives of others around you that made you take on this difficult subject?
A: Perhaps, but Double Cross is not a book about me or about anyone I know. My characters tend to be composites, with characteristics of many different people I’ve met.
Q: In Forsaken, Taylor Pasbury deals with the pain of losing her father. In Double Cross, she is set alongside her eccentric mother. What do you hope comes across to readers through Taylor’s relationship with her mother?
A: In many ways Taylor’s mother is remarkably self-absorbed, but Taylor comes to understand, at least to an extent, why it is so difficult for her mother to give unconditional love. She also learns some important things about how faith and forgiveness work. Most importantly, she learns that grace can never be earned.
Q: Taylor, like so many young adult women, has difficulty finding men that she can trust. Talk about the connection between a young woman’s relationship to her father, and how that translates to her relationship with other men. Is there a connection there that you hope will penetrate your readers?
A: First, I don’t pretend to have any unique insight with respect to a twenty-nine-year-old woman’s dating relationships. I didn’t even understand that when I was twenty-nine myself. But I do know that Taylor is hyper-critical of men, perhaps because she believes that none of them can measure up to her father (who made a terrible sacrifice for her when she was young). She has difficulty identifying a good man, even when he’s right in front of her. Like many young women, I think, she’s attracted to the bad boys. For Taylor, part of dealing with the many problems her background has created for her is learning that there are some good men out there if she’ll just cut them some slack.
Q: You write about characters who are very flawed and sometimes self-destructive. Why have you chosen to present a message of faith through such messy characters?
A: I don’t think anyone gets much out of reading about religious super heroes. We’ve all got our faults and our problems, and Christians don’t have to be perfect people. In many ways, I almost think God likes us better when we don’t try to act so perfect and instead acknowledge our own flaws.
Q: Is this the end of the road for Taylor Pasbury, or will we see her again?
A: Right now, it looks as if Taylor is going to appear again in a Michael Crichton-style techno thriller. She is going to walk the border line between science and religion when she’s hired to protect an orphan boy who has a baffling ability that causes a lot of powerful world players to want to get their hands on him. I just need to find the time to write it.
From Suicide to Sacrifice
In James David Jordan’s new thriller, Double Cross,
an ex-Secret Service agent deals with the truth about her past
“The day my mother came back into my life began with a low December fog and a suicide.” So begins James David Jordan’s latest novel, Double Cross, which follows the exploits of Taylor Pasbury, a young ex-Secret Service agent with a checkered past and a penchant for finding trouble. Even as a high school kid, Taylor knew she was not like most other girls. Raised by her father, a retired Special Forces officer, she learned to camp, shoot, and most of all, take care of herself. Now a young adult, Pasbury opens her own security agency and finds herself in the middle of a mysterious case full of danger and intrigue.
When the top assistant of her former client turns up dead, all signs point to embezzlement and suicide. But in the world of Taylor Pasbury, nothing is as it seems. A trail of clues leads to Taylor’s mother, who abandoned her when she was nine. What begins as a suicide investigation becomes a personal quest to find the truth about her past.
Double Cross is an action-packed story that provides thrilling twists and turns as well as a thought-provoking look at the personal and spiritual struggles of characters who are as complex as they are flawed. Ultimately, it’s a story of self-examination that describes Taylor’s journey toward the conclusion that some sacrifices can never be earned.
James David Jordan is a successful business attorney in Dallas, Texas, and was named by the Dallas Business Journal as one of the most influential leaders in that legal community. Jordan followed his aspirations of becoming an author, taking five years to create his first book, Something That Lasts, which was well-received by both critics and the public. His second book, Forsaken, won the Reader’s Choice award from RelzReviews and The Suspense Zone.
Jordan writes with a commitment to tell page-turning stories that challenge readers to explore and grow in their faith. With gripping authenticity, Jordan examines subjects of family and faith and skillfully draws readers into the crisis faced by Taylor Pasbury. Along the way, readers will find ample opportunity to re-assess their own life situations and wrestle with their own thoughts about forgiveness and grace.
Double Cross by James David Jordan
B&H Publishing Group October 2009
ISBN: 978-08054-4754-5/softcover/302 pages/$14.99
Visit the author’s website to view the trailer - www.jamesdavidjordan.com
Thanks to the publicist for providing a copy of this book