Donna Gustainis Fuller talk about A Strand of Doubt her new novel

Donna, where are you from?



I have ping-ponged across the country, but I’m currently living in Newberg, Oregon.

If you could travel to any time in history, when would you visit?

After researching my Italian roots, I would visit Marsicovetere, Italy in the earlier part of the 1800s. I have uncovered some haunting questions that I would like to ask my 3rd great grandfather Rocco Bruno, such as why did he change his name—twice! I f you could have dinner with any of your characters, which ones would be? What food would you serve? I would put Jana, Jared and Trevor in the same room and enjoy the fireworks as the two men both tried to impress Jana. In A Strand of Doubt, I tell the Pacific Northwest Legend of two chieftains who fought over an beautiful maiden. The maiden was turned into Mt. St. Helens and the chieftains were turned into Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams who continue to throw fire at each other to this day. I think this dinner would have all the makings of a volcanic fire fight. I might even play the devil’s advocate to egg them on. Since the men are trying to impress Jana, I’d serve Chinese food with cheesecake for dessert. I would definitely NOT serve enchiladas. (I wouldn’t mind enchiladas, but Jana is still recuperating from an enchilada incident from her high school years.)

If you could travel anywhere, on earth or off, where would you go?

I’ve already mentioned my fascination with family history. I would love to visit Lithuania and see where my Grandpa Gustainis lived as a boy. His family farmed in the Šakiai region of Lithuania.

How interesting. Describe your dream writing spot.

My dream writing spot would be in the mountains of New Hampshire on a screened-in east-facing porch with a beautiful view of the sun peeking over the mountains. (The screens provide protection from the mosquitoes and black flies.) I would be swaying gently on a white porch swing.

Love the image. How did you find enough commitment to complete your book?

I had the “perfect storm” of a writing group. We pushed, encouraged, critiqued, and loved each other through the writing process.

What is the name of your book?


The name of my book is: A Strand of Doubt.

Give us a back blurb of your book.

Jana Clawson has a propensity for Chinese food, M&M’s, chocolate chip cookies and deals with opposition with a wry sense of humor. She is caught up in a whirlwind known as Trevor Willis, the most eligible non-Mormon bachelor in Portland. He is perfect in every way, but will his secrets be too much for their relationship? While Jana escapes to the Oregon Coast to make a decision about Trevor, a car accident stirs Jared Carpenter—a physical therapist who never turns down a homemade meal—into the mix. Unknown to Jana, events set in motion six years ago threaten everything she holds dear, and her life depends on one or both of these men. Combining suspense, intrigue, action, and understated humor, this book will keep you turning pages until the exciting conclusion.

Sounds so good. What kind of research did you do for this book?

The book is loosely based on an actual FBI case involving restricted technology, and so I researched that case. I did a lot of research on Mount St. Helens, volcanoes, and Northwest Native American legends. I had the opportunity of traveling to Mount St. Helens. It was one of the most awe-inspiring experiences of my life and I would recommend visiting the site if you ever get an opportunity. I am so fascinated by the subject, that my family swears I should have been a volcanologist.

I learned about physical therapy for shoulders and actually went through shoulder therapy recently. It was very interesting to realize that I was doing the same things Jana did in the book! In a combination of the internet and our minivan, I toured the Oregon Coast, including Seaside, Tillamook, and Astoria. Although I’m not a native, I have learned to love Oregon with its amazing landscape and beauty.

I have been at Mount St. Helen’s. Any special appearances or events coming up that you want to mention?

None at the momemt.

Where can we find your books?

A Strand of Doubt will be available in August anywhere LDS books are sold. This includes Deseret Book, Seagull Books and independent stores.

It is also available right now on Deseret It will also be available at

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