Saturday, October 19, 2013 | By: Lynn

Happy KDD, Nancy C. Weeks!

Congratulations to Nancy C. Weeks! Her book, In the Shadow of Greed, is a KDD today!

In celebration of this opportunity, Nancy is sharing a bit about why she wrote about cyber crime. Nancy, take it away!

Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Nancy C. Weeks, and in writing In the Shadow of Greed, I dredged into the complex world of cyber crime. While I don’t feel I have a technical bone in my body, I have a great respect for those who do. My heroine, Dr. Sarah Tu, epitomizes the dedication the field of cyber security requires to protect information and systems from the growing threat of cyber terrorism, warfare and espionage.

Sarah’s character also represents the struggle all of us have balancing our professional lives with our personal lives. I wanted the readers to not only fall in love with her heart, but be in awe of her mind. I knew I wanted her to be as comfortable in her chosen field as she was breathing. But like most of us, I wanted her personal life to be completely out of control. I also wanted to throw her ordered professional life right smack into the middle of her personal life and see what would happen.

In order to do that, I needed an external conflict, an enemy.

To find my conflict, I began an extensive search in science magazines and news releases from F.B.I and the Department of Homeland Security websites, researching everything from the threat of robotics in international espionage to the code breaking threat of quantum computers. Then one day, my son, who was beginning his master’s degree in cyber security, told me about botnets. He said that they were one of the greatest threats to our national security today and the one thing we are ill-prepared to defend.

Of course, I had never heard of a botnet, but the word intrigued me. I crawled into my research cave and read everything I could find on botnets and malicious malware. I found my enemy.

What took me completely by surprise was that by developing Sarah’s character for In the Shadow of Greed, I discovered that I had been completely ignorant of an entire culture of people, who like Sarah, work tirelessly to make my world safe.

In Sarah’s line of work as one of the leading cyber security analysts in the world, she has dedicated her life to helping the United States government discover hidden messages, decrypt secret codes, help the military communicate in secret, provide anti-terrorism intelligence, and insure that the internal network of Noran Defense Systems is protected. Sarah would be very familiar with concepts like IT security, secure authentication methodologies, and encrypted network communications.

My heroine is a fictitious character and Noran Defense Systems doesn’t exist. However, there are brilliant computer scientists, cyber security and intelligence analysts, and engineers who dedicate their lives minding our fences, constantly monitoring our virtual perimeters, and holding back potential threats to our identities, to our data integrity, and to our national security. They may not fight on a soldier’s familiar battlefield, but left undefended, the battlefields they defend can ruin lives and hold the world's economy hostage.

So the next time you ask someone what she/he does with the government, and they say they work with computers, don’t roll your eyes because you think they have the most boring job on the planet. Thank them for to keeping you safe. In my mind, they are our new unsung heroes.

This post is reposted from the Crimson Romance editor's blog.
Now for a book blurb:

Brilliant cryptologist Dr. Sarah Tu races against time to block the most dangerous Internet malware ever created, a botnet called QUALNTO. While Sarah is closed off in her computer lab, her sister, Hanna, is brutally attacked and left in a coma. As Sarah reels with guilt over not being there for her sister, a web of deception closes in threatening her and everyone she loves.

Hanna’s condition is misleading. In her coma state, she is able to build a psychic bridge with FBI Special Agent Jason McNeil. Her cryptic messages plague Jason to keep Sarah safe.

Tough and street-smart Jason McNeil doesn’t believe in visions or telepathic messages, and he fights the voice inside his head. His first impression of Dr. Sarah Tu is another stiletto wearing ice-dragon on the war path―until he witnesses her façade crumble after seeing her sister’s bloody, tortured body. Jason’s protective instinct kicks in. He falls for Sarah―hard.

When an extremely dangerous arms dealer and cybercriminal discovers that Sarah blocked his botnet, he kidnaps Sarah. Placed in an impossible position, will she destroy the botnet to protect national security or release it to save the man she loves?

Find In the Shadow of Greed at


Nancy Weeks said...

Lynn and HiDee,
Thank you so much for having me back on your wonderful blog to celebrate this exciting moment. I love sharing how I came up with the premise for In the Shadow of Greed. I learned so much researching this book.

ML said...

Nancy, As a technical person "who works with computers" and usually would not be caught dead or alive reading a "romance" novel or actually a novel of any kind, I was totally enthralled with your book. I loved the heroine. The absolutely most fascinating part of the book for me was the description of the ballistics analysis. Where did that come from if you claim you don't have a technical mind? I have used that threaded analysis concept many, many times since reading your book to describe some of my thought processes to others. Great job. (And your In the Shadow of Evil book was even better.) ML

Nancy Weeks said...

Wow, ML, thanks so much for your very kind words.
I really don't have a technical mind, but I have a very good imagination. Maybe they are one in the same. The ballistic analysis I researched. In fact, I think I researched everything about Greed even what a computer server looks like. I have never been in a computer lab like Sarah's. So much for writing about what you know. LOL! Ballistic analysis fascinates me. I'm in awe of those who do that kind of work. As for the thread analysis, I'm a believer that there is very little that hasn't been done before. All I can say is that I must have seen something similar somewhere, stored it away until I needed it. That whole scene came to me in one of my 3:00 a.m. sleepless nights and my imagination somehow created the rest.

I'm so glad you enjoyed both books. It is such a wonderful thing to hear from a reader. Thank you!

Anna said...

This is such a fab read!