ABOUT AUTHOR: LISA HARRIS is a Christy Award finalist for Blood Ransom, Christy Award winner for Dangerous Passage, and the winner of the Best Inspirational Suspense Novel for 2011 from Romantic Times. She has over thirty novels and novella collections in print. She and her family have spent over ten years living as missionaries in Africa where she homeschools, leads a women's group, and runs a non-profit organization that works alongside their church-planting ministry. The ECHO Project works in southern Africa promoting Education, Compassion, Health, and Opportunity and is a way for her to "speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves...the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice." (Proverbs 31:8)

When she's not working she loves hanging out with her family, cooking different ethnic dishes, photography, and heading into the African bush on safari. For more information about her books and life in Africa visit her website at  or her blog at . For more information about The ECHO Project, please visit  

How did you come up with the idea for VENDETTA?

LISA: It started with the idea of doing a missing person series. I really love character driven novels, even with suspense, so I had one of my characters motivated by the fact that her own sister went missing a decade ago. Originally, I was going to focus on different people on the task force, but my publisher wanted me to stick to telling stories about Nikki Boyd. In the end, I love this because it makes for great suspense, but you also really get to know Nikki throughout the series.

Nora: I enjoyed getting to know Nikki and how she went about trying to find the missing person. It was suspenseful and insightful as to how this task force does it's job.

In your author notes you mentioned a few books about parks and hiking the Appalachian Trail and the Smoky Mountains; what surprised when you read these books? What surprised you about hikers?

LISA: As a family, we’ve been able to travel a lot over the past couple decades while living overseas, something I love. What I also love is discovering new places I didn’t know about before both for their beauty and historical significance. The Appalachian Trail was one of these fun discoveries for me. I was completely impressed by the stories I read as well as the endurance it takes to complete the Appalachian Trail. I had no idea just how tough a journey like that really is. We’re talking over two thousand miles of walking! For me the dedication and endurance was incredible. It seems fun and glamorous—at least it did to me at first—but when you read about just how tough it is, it totally gives you respect not just for those who finish, but anyone who even gives it a try.

Nora: I mentioned the Appalachian Trail to a few people I work with. One girl hiked it by herself and another had her husband go with a friend on the trail. It's a very popular place with many hidden dangers. I enjoyed reading about this place.
 Parts of your book VENDETTA were difficult to read. You mention in the author notes, “I tackled the more difficult side of research about what happens when a child goes missing, and how families and friends often respond, along with local authorities.”

QUESTION: In your research were there items you read about that broke your heart? Others you would not put in your book? Where did you draw the line in how realistic and creepy you would go in writing this story?

LISA: Even with all that I read in researching this book, it’s still hard to imagine what families go through in a situation like this. I honestly can’t imagine how frightening it would be to not know where your child was. And with a missing child, until they are found, there can be no resolution, which has to be one of the most difficult things I can imagine. That kind of research is hard, because you’re looking at real people who are dealing with an incredible amount of pain and loss. I felt like I needed to show some of the rawness of the situation, and yet also show justice and resolution in the end as well.

Nora: It is frightening. I remember not being able to find my youngest son for 30 minutes. I had the neighbors kids and ours looking. He was 6 at the time. One of his siblings found him fast asleep under his bed. Wish all parents who have a missing child could be found like this. Grin!

You mention technology and how predators use it to lure young innocents into their web. What advice to you give parents on what to look for or to stay on top of with technology and young children?

LISA: Writing this story was a stark reminder that there is so much evil out there, and yet I also believe that God doesn’t want us to live in fear. We aren’t in control of everything in our lives. We can’t be and we know that. (As tough as that is sometimes!)

All we can really do is be proactive in our children’s lives, especially their online activities and in knowing who their friends are. We have to pray, stay involved in their lives (without smothering them) and pray some more. Because of this, I think it’s also vital to really keep communication open with our children, especially when they become pre-teens and teens. We live in a very different world than the one most of us grew up in as parents. Our kids need guardrails in their lives to keep them safe, but they also need us as parents to take the time to listen to them.

Nora: Things change so much it's hard to keep up with what is being used by kids. You book was informative and helpful as well as a suspenseful, heartfelt read!

You mention people dodging bears in the parks in your new book VENDETTA; what animals have you dodged living in Africa? 

LISA: We’ve been chased in our car by an elephant which was scary. My daughter still doesn’t like being near elephants. I also had a lion walk by my car window close enough I could touch it. At the time I couldn’t decide if I should roll up my window or get some good video. I got some great video, though I’m not sure that was the wisest choice!

And then of course there is the constant dodging of chickens and goats in the road.

Nora: Oh, My!  

Can you give us a sneak peek into what you are working on now? When will it be out?

LISA: Of course! I’m working on two stories right now, actually. One is the third book in my Nikki Boyd series. I’m really enjoying writing it, because it digs deep into what makes Nikki tick as a person—both on and off the job—as she faces some extremely tough challenges.

 I’m also working on the outline of a brand new book for Love Inspired Suspense that is set in the Sahara. What I love about this series (four books planned) is the chance to write stores set internationally. Right now I’m contracted to write one in the Sahara, Italy, Amsterdam, and Brazil.

Nora: Wow, you are one busy lady! I've made a note about these books they sound good!

You’ve talked before about your project; you said, “I’m passionate about our work in trying to bring hope to those we are working with; not just spiritually, but physically as well. That’s why we started The ECHO Project. A lot has happened over the past year that has showed us some serious needs people have who simply aren’t able to help themselves. We have encouraged the churches we work with to get involved and it has been so exciting. We visit the sick/dying, families have taken in orphans, stepped up to build houses for the needy, etc”

QUESTION: Please tell me how you started this project and how it’s going? What are your needs?

LISA: “After we’d lived in Mozambique for a couple years, we realized we were dealing with so many people and their physical needs that we needed to start a non-profit so we could help more people. That was the beginning of The ECHO Project. I’ve often had to remind myself that I still can’t fix everyone’s situation, or help everyone who has a need, but for that one person whose life is changed, that is enough.”

Our dream now is to build a compound where we can bring in people who need hospice care or children/women who need a home. This is such a need. We will have some of the local Christians trained to help them as they run the small compound. I’m also hoping to begin a sewing project to help the single mothers, especially out in the villages, earn money for their families. You can learn more about what God is doing through this project or donate at

Our desire is to “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves…the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.” Pro 31:8” HOW Can people help you in making your dream come true?

Nora: Thank you for sharing your dream and desire with readers. I hope that many can partner with you!

Can you tell readers what you look for when you get to visit the States? A food you desire to eat? A place you like to visit? When get back home to Africa what to you look forward to? Miss when you are in America?

LISA: This is a great question for me especially right now. We are currently home on furlough in the US for the rest of the year, and I’m definitely feeling the cultural shock. I think this is because I often feel pulled between to places when I don’t belong one hundred percent in either. It’s an interesting place to be. J
While in the US I like to get as much Mexican food I can. I also love to see the fall leaves, something you don’t see where we are in Africa, and of course seeing family is important.

When I’m here in the US, I miss the slower pace of life in Africa, the people, and the worship.

Nora: It sounds like you had a similar experience as a close friend of mine (who was a missionary in Africa) tell me that it was harder to adjust to the fast pace of America than it was to adjust to the slow pace of Africa.

What two jobs have you had that would surprise people? Do tell!

LISA: When I was just out of college we were broke and wanted to earn some extra money for Christmas, so I took on a few temp jobs. One was standing all day at a local bank and apologizing to people for the long lines due to some technical problems. 

The worst was delivering phone books (do they even do that any more?) by walking door to door after I’d just dropped a sewing machine on my foot and could hardly walk. Fun memories. J

Nora: It's funny to think about those thick phone books we used to use!! Grin!

We all live busy lives and all of us are in different seasons of life; that as a given what part of your day requires the most patience from you to get through? What causes you to pray the most?

LISA: How about all day? Just kidding. But right now, I am struggling with the fast pace of life here in the US and wondering when it will slow down! The good thing is that it has me praying a lot. All day. And when I wake up at night.

Nora:  I can only imagine Lisa. Thanks for sharing your heart!

When growing up, what movie had a profound effect on your heart, mind? If you didn’t watch movies what book affected you deeply?

LISA: I remember reading Frank Peretti’s Piercing the Darkness and the profound influence it had on me. Evil is clearly real and sometimes we feel surrounded by it, but God and his power are far greater.

Nora: Oh, Lisa, Piercing the Darkness rocked my world in a profound way too! It was a game changer! Wow!

If you had the money and the time what would you love to do if you could?

LISA: I would love to take a cruise around the world. I’d stop and explore every port and enjoy the weeks of no cooking or doing laundry, and hopefully not gain to much weight from being so lazy. J 

Nora: That sounds like fun! It would be tremendous bonus to not gain weight along the way!! Grin!


LISA: Thank you so much for giving me the chance to share and connect with your readers. Love and appreciate the wonderful job you are doing for both readers and authors! 

Nora: Thanks Lisa I always love hearing from you. Readers can find out how to get involved in Lisa Harri's  The ECHO Project clicking this link You can also connect with Lisa at her website 

I’m thrilled about the Giveaway Opportunity at TBCN that started the 20th of OCTOBER at LAST DAY to Enter OCT 30th.

Looking forward to it to reading the participation between you and readers! It’s always so much fun! Everyone has to be a member of TBCN in order to participate. It’s Free and easy. Participate as your schedule allows.


Nora :o)

Nora St.Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins 
The Book Club Network Blog   
Book Fun Magazine  

Interview Sponsored by: Revell Publishers


  1. Interesting interview and I really enjoy reading Lisa's books!