Friday, October 23, 2020

Interview with Luana Ehrlich, and giveaway of TWO DAYS TAKEN!



Join Suspense Sisters in welcoming Luana Ehrlich! Luana is giving away an  ebook copy of her upcoming release, Two Days Taken, a Mylas Grey Mystery. To enter the drawing, comment on the post! 


Meet Luana Ehrlich:



Luana is the author of award-winning Titus Ray Thrillers and Mylas Grey Mysteries. Her novels are clean reads with intriguing plots, fascinating characters, jaw-dropping twists, and occasional touches of heart-warming romance.

Besides being a USA Today Bestselling author, Luana is a minister's wife, former missionary, and, of course, an avid reader.


She developed her passion for reading, as well as writing, while still in elementary school, but she didn’t begin writing fiction until her husband retired from the ministry. She claims she didn’t start writing novels so she could avoid making lunch for him. She insists she writes her mystery/suspense/thrillers to fulfill a lifelong dream of writing entertaining stories while sharing her faith. Luana and her husband are residents of Norman, Oklahoma, and it just so happens that’s where her two grandsons live.



I understand you wanted to become a writer almost as soon as you learned to read. Tell us about that, and tell us why you dedicate all your spy books to your father.


You’re right. As soon as I learned to read, I started dreaming of becoming a writer. I even decided I would write under another name. I chose the name Pam Black because I thought Luana was too difficult for people to remember. Now, I love my slightly unconventional first and last name, but I did include Pam Black as a minor character in one of my novels.

I dedicate all my espionage thrillers to my father because when I was only eleven, I got bored reading the books appropriate to my age, and when I asked my father if I could read some of the books he was bringing home from the library, he said yes, and thus was born my love of the mystery/suspense/thriller genre. I might add that my father is 95-years old, and he still reads mystery/thrillers.

You wrote seven books in the Titus Ray Thriller Series before you started your new Mylas Grey Mystery Series, tell us a little about both series and why you added a mystery series.


My idea for the Titus Ray series came when I was listening to the news one morning, and I heard a story about a group of Christians in Iran being persecuted. I began asking several questions, and the answers eventually became the backstory of Book I, One Night in Tehran. I later wrote about the Iranian Christians in the prequel to the series, One Step Back. After hearing the news story, I found myself wondering what would happen if a veteran CIA intelligence operative in Tehran encountered a group of Iranian Christians and became a believer. How would his conversion affect his career? How would a man trained to lie and deceive others be able to follow the teachings of Christ in the real world?

After I wrote One Night in Tehran, not only was I surprised at how well it was received, I knew the story of Titus Ray as a covert operative trying to live out his newfound faith had to continue. I knew I had to keep the story going. Now, I’ve recently branched out and included his partner, Ben Mitchell, in his own series along with Titus, and the first book in that series is Ben in Love, which was just published in the boxed set, Dangerous Deceptions. The next book, Ben in Charge, will be published in Spring 2021, and the next Titus Ray book, Four Steps Missed, will also be available in 2021.

As far as my new mystery series is concerned, I hadn’t planned on writing anything but Titus Ray Thrillers, but when I was at the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference in Nashville, TN, where I was a finalist for the Carol Awards, I met an agent who suggested I might want to develop a new series of mystery novels to expand my reader base.

I found the idea appealing, and within a few days, the character of Mylas Grey, a private investigator in Washington, D.C., was born. One Day Gone, Book I in the Mylas Grey series, was published last October, and next week, on October 29, Two Days Taken, will be released.


In One Day Gone, Mylas Grey is investigating the disappearance of a senator’s daughter and during his investigation, he meets photographer Whitney Engel, who causes him to question his lack of faith. Their story continues in Two Days Taken, and, of course, the story includes an exciting mystery.


Tell us about the plot of Two Days Taken, and why you chose to have the Mylas Grey Mystery Series centered in Washington, D.C.

I’ll answer the second part of your question first. I’m a news junkie, and unlike some people, I love all the drama and intrigue that takes place on Capitol Hill. When I decided to write a mystery series, I knew I wanted to write about a private investigator, but I also wanted him to be a complex character who didn’t do run-of-the-mill investigations. That’s the reason Mylas Grey is a private investigator in the office of Senator Davis Allen, and I believe readers will find how Mylas arrived at that point in his career a fascinating story in and of itself.

Senator Davis Allen is head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, so Mylas not only runs investigations for the President’s judicial appointments, he also looks into other matters for Senator Allen, which is why Mylas investigated the senator’s missing daughter in One Day Gone.


In Book II, Two Days Taken, the senator asked Mylas to do a favor for another senator. The favor is only supposed to take two days, which bothers Mylas because Whitney Engel, a woman he met in One Day Gone, is coming to visit him in Washington, and he doesn’t want anything to interfere with that.


Here’s a short blurb for Two Days Taken:



Two days. That’s all the investigation was supposed to take. Mylas only has to spend two days investigating a matter for a senator, and then he’ll have the rest of the week to entertain Whitney Engel. Two days later, Mylas discovers the man he’s investigating has a dark side to him, putting Whitney’s life in grave danger. Can their relationship survive? Can his faith survive?






What has been the most challenging and/or the most rewarding aspect of your writing career thus far?

Beyond a doubt, the most challenging aspect of my writing career has been the need to promote my writing. I never imagined I would have to market myself or my books, yet that takes up about half of my time each day. On the other hand, having dialogue with my readers is the most rewarding aspect of my career as an author. I get emails from readers on a daily basis, and it’s such a joy to hear from each of them. I write a personal email to each fan who writes to me, and they’re my motivation to stay up writing past midnight.

One last question. Tell us a little about your writing process. Do you just start writing or do you make a detailed outline?

The writing process for me is like watching a movie and just describing it to someone by writing down everything that’s occurring at that moment. I don’t make much of an outline—just a couple of important points about the story. Occasionally, I’ll expand on that as I go along so my main character will be where I want him to be at the end of the book in order to continue the series.

Thanks for joining us, Luana! Don't forget to entering the drawing for Two Days Taken! 


You can order Two Days Taken from Amazon here. It releases next Thursday, October 29. http://getbook.at/TwoDaysTaken.


All Luana’s books are on Amazon here: http://author.to/TitusRayThrillers



You can find Luana’s online presence here:



Personal Website: http://www.LuanaEhrlich.com

Amazon: http://amazon.com/author/luanaehrlich

Book Website: http://TitusRayThrillers.com

Book Website: http://MylasGreyMysteries.com

Publication Site: http://www.PottersWordPublishing.com

Devotional Blog: http://www.hisglorymyjoy.wordpress.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LuanaEhrlichAuthor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/LuanaEhrlich

Twitter: https://twitter.com/luanasbooks

You Tube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJP4CyNkyS7tQ4u-UB7cRDQ

Book Bub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/luana-ehrlich

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorluanaehrlich

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/Luanasbooks/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/luana-ehrlich/b3/391/8a5





















Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Interview with Gina Holder

 

Good Wednesday! Today I'd like you to meet an author I recently discovered when I read her Shadows over Whitman series, starting with No Greater Love and then Forgiven Again. Gina is giving away a copy of No Greater Love! And I'll give away a digital copy of Forgiven Again. By the way, you can read my review of both books here and here.

So, let's get started.
What do you do when you're not writing? Any interesting hobbies?  



When I'm not writing, I spend my time reading and reviewing other Christian fiction. I also love spending time with my family. We love playing board games and watching TV together. 

Our new favorite game is Ticket to Ride. It's great for people of all ages. The initial concept is simple to understand but not too simplistic for more advanced players. 

 As far as hobbies, I collect key chains and have collected fifty or so. 

 My husband and I love to participate in Escape Games both virtually and in person. We've done six of them. I love trying to solve different types of puzzles. They really get my adrenaline pumping. For her 13th birthday, we are taking our daughter and her friend to experience their first escape room.

 No wonder you have such interesting twists in your books, Gina! What was your favorite book as a teen or child? 

When I was a child, my favorite book was If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. As a teen, my favorite book was The Measure of a Heart by Janette Oke. That book touched my heart on such a deep emotional level that I desired to do the same with my stories. It made me want to write in a way that as my characters overcome personal hardships that my readers can embrace the lessons they learn and apply them to their own lives. 

Tell us three things about yourself that might surprise your readers. 

I'm a fairly picky eater. There is a long list of foods I won't eat, and the older I get, the list seems to be lengthening. I love playing video games. But I'm not particularly good. One of my favorite dates with my hubby is going to places like Dave and Buster's. (Arcades) I don't play them much anymore, but I enjoy them whenever I can. I'm not competitive. At all. I feel bad when I win because my opponent lost. I prefer to make others feel good rather than win. That doesn't mean I don't put my heart into whatever I do; it just means I don't mind losing. 

What genre did you start out writing? Have you changed course? 

My debut novel was a historical romance titled Whither Shall I Go? I love history and historical novels; however, to write them well involves not only a lot of tedious research but also the ability to use that research without bogging down the story. 

And while I still love the idea of crafting historical novels, contemporary fiction was simpler. I don't have to worry about whether a particular word was used, whether they had wall to wall carpet, and how long did it take to cross the Atlantic Ocean in a steamer ship. 

 But I didn't set out to write romantic suspense, either. I'm a fearful person and get frightened easily. However, when I started No Greater Love, book 1 of the Shadows Over Whitman series, I was just writing along. (I'm a definite pantser.) Suddenly, this man is watching my protagonist leave the bookstore where she worked, and I thought, "Oh, hello. What are you doing there?" 

Since the male protagonist was a police officer, it just made sense to include a crime spree. And before I knew it, the crimes and the characters were all intertwined, and I had a romantic suspense novel. I found that I love leaving clues throughout the story plot and revealing details along the way. I can do it in a way that isn't gory or frightening but intriguing and page-turning. I write suspense in the way that I want to read them. 

If you could go back in time and do something differently at the start of your career, what would it be? 

As a teen and young adult, I spent most of my time writing and bettering my craft, but when I married in 2007, I stopped and instead spent most of my free time watching movies or reading. It wasn't until I was homeschooling our daughter eight years later that I began writing again to have something to do while she did her classwork. I took the story that I had started as a twenty-year-old and reworked it until it became my debut novel. 

I wish I would have used my free time in those early years more productively. What is the most valuable piece of advice you'd like to give to unpublished authors? The most valuable piece of advice I'd like to give unpublished authors is something that I had to learn recently. If you believe God has called you to write stories, then write. And even if your book only ever touches one life, you have obeyed Him. And that's all He asks of us 

I so agree, Gina! Here are the two books in the Shadows over Whitman Series:

She's looking for her birth mother. He's looking for a thief.
Will each find what they are searching for?

Paige McDonald, an avid book collector, discovers a forgotten Bible. When the Bible reveals that she was abandoned on the steps of a fire department, she begins a journey to search for her birth mother.

Hamilton Bryant, a Patrol Officer, has sworn off romance, reserving his passion for the town he's sworn to protect. When Paige's arrival in Whitman coincides with random thefts and threats against the mayor, Hamilton is compelled to investigate the newcomer.

When the danger gets personal, can Paige save her reputation before she ends up in jail for crimes she didn't commit?

Forgive Again
She’s running for governor. He’s a pastor.
Will they risk their lives to keep a secret?


Annie Staten, now known as Kathleen Phillips, has dreamed of pursuing a political career and following in her father’s footsteps. But Richard was a hated man during his tenure as governor and now his enemies will stop at nothing to prevent his daughter from winning the election.

Ryan Whitestone has loved Annie since high school, but his heart is broken by the woman she has become. When the daughter she gave up for adoption comes back into her life, can he help her heal from her pain and remind her of who she used to be?

Will Kathleen be able to forgive herself, put the past behind her, and find love again?   The continuing story of No Greater Love.

Gina Holder dreamed of being a writer from her early teen years and lives in Colorado with her husband and daughter. When she's not homeschooling her daughter or working on her next novel, she enjoys reading, watching movies, cooking, singing, and playing the piano and organ. 

Her indie-published debut novel released in 2017. You can purchase both books for 99¢ each at Amazon.

I'm giving away a digital copy of Forgiven Again, and Gina is giving away a print copy of No Greater Love to one random-drawn commentor. (US Addresses only for print book) In the first book, Paige is seeking the mother who gave her up at birth. If you didn't know who one or both of your parents were, would you search for them? 

Be sure to leave your contact information!

Readers can contact Gina at:

Blog: http://storiesbygina.wordpress.com Facebook: http://facebook.com/storiesbygina Instagram: http://instagram.com/storiesbygina Twitter: http://twitter.com/storiesbygina Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Gina-Holder/e/B074HC9SHX Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/gina-holder Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17074375.Gina_Holder

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

What's Hot in Inspirational Suspense by Mary Ellis

Happy Tuesday, Readers. Wondering what's new in inspirational suspense and mystery this week? Susan May Warren has a brand new suspense, The Price of Valor, #3 in the Global Search and Rescue series from Revell.



Here's a little bit about the story: Former Navy SEAL Hamilton Jones thought that the love of his life was dead. But when a girl claiming to be his daughter shows up with a dire message from his wife, Ham knows he will stop at nothing to find her and bring her home. Kidnapped by rebels while serving as an interpreter in Ukraine, Signe Kincaid has spent the past decade secreting out valuable information about Russian assets in the US to her CIA handler. Fearing for her daughter after being discovered as an operative, Signe sends her to Ham for safekeeping. She's ready to give her life for her country, and she can hardly expect Ham to rescue her after breaking his heart over and over.

When Ham discovers the reason Signe has kept her distance, he must choose between love for his wife and love for the nation he has vowed to protect. Will he save the many? Or the few? USA Today bestselling author Susan May Warren takes you on a global search and rescue mission where the stakes are higher than ever in this final installment of her popular series.

Here's where to buy The Price of Valor: https://www.christianbook.com/the-price-of-valor-3/susan-warren/9780800735869/pd/735866?event=Fiction|1000184#CBD-PD-Publisher-Description

Monday, October 19, 2020

THIS WEEK ON THE SUSPENSE SISTERS

 


We’re planning another great week on the Suspense Sisters. Check out our posts, our interviews, and our awesome giveaways!

THIS WEEK:


 

On Tuesday Mary Ellis will tell us What’s Hot in Inspirational Suspense and Mystery. 



Wednesday we’ll interview Gina Holder, author of the Shadows Over Whitman series. You could win copies of her books NO GREATER LOVE and FORGIVEN AGAIN.

She's looking for her birth mother. He's looking for a thief.
 

Will each find what they are searching for?


Paige McDonald, an avid book collector, discovers a forgotten Bible. When the Bible reveals that she was abandoned on the steps of a fire department, she begins a journey to search for her birth mother.

Hamilton Bryant, a Patrol Officer, has sworn off romance, reserving his passion for the town he's sworn to protect. When Paige's arrival in Whitman coincides with random thefts and threats against the mayor, Hamilton is compelled to investigate the newcomer.

When the danger gets personal, can Paige save her reputation before she ends up in jail for crimes she didn't commit?


Buy it here!


On Friday we’ll hear from author Luana Ehrlich about her upcoming new release, TWO DAYS TAKEN: A Mylas Grey Mystery. You might win a copy of the first book in this exciting series, ONE DAY GONE!


Private investigator Mylas Grey is anticipating photographer Whitney Engel's visit to Washington.

He's been planning their itinerary, looking forward to spending time with her, and wondering if the spark between them will ignite into a roaring fire.

He isn't anticipating having to do a favor for Senator Allen.

However, the favor isn't supposed to take more than two days. All he has to do is take a trip up to Baltimore, spend a couple of days investigating a matter for another senator, and then he'll have the rest of the week to entertain Whitney.

But then . . .

He wasn't anticipating having an encounter with a psychopath.

When Mylas realizes the man he's investigating has a dark side to him, and he starts digging into his background a little further, it sets off a series of events that puts his own life, as well as Whitney's, in grave danger.

Which means . . .

He must rely on his faith to overcome the danger.

Mylas is a smart man, a highly skilled investigator, and a man of means. Yet, when he's confronted with a threat he never imagined, he must depend on his fledgling faith or he could lose everything.

Book II in the Mylas Grey Mystery Series is a clean, nail-biting mystery, involving complex personalities, developing relationships, and a man learning about his newfound faith.

If you enjoy an engaging, multilayered mystery with a vulnerable, endearing hero, someone who will make you cry one minute and laugh the next, you'll love this book!

Buy it here!


The Suspense Sisters



We love books!

 

Friday, October 16, 2020

Back to the Beginning!

 

My writing career has changed quite a bit down through the years. I’m starting my third series based on law enforcement. But I started out writing cozy mystery and then went to Mennonite-themed suspense.

Today I’m sharing a couple of my cozies and my first Mennonite-themed series. These are all available as eBooks. I’m featuring the first books in each series.

Leave a comment. If I pick your name you will win a copy of any of these books! Your choice!


Samantha "Ivy" Towers returns to Winter Break, Kansas, where she spent her summers as a child, to make funeral arrangements for her Aunt Bitty. While there, she begins to suspect her aunt's death, which resulted from a fall in her bookshop, wasn't an accident after all. Childhood friend Amos Parker, now sheriff of Winter Break, seems anxious to get Ivy out of town. A missing book, a message scrawled by an unknown person, and an extra coffee cup leave Ivy with more questions than answers.

Buy it here!



Watch the tangled mess a Kansas hairdresser gets herself into when she reports to the funeral home that the body she is to work on is not the same as in her reference photo. Is she being punished when the director accuses her of stealing a diamond ring? Will Hilde Higgins’s former boyfriend help her unravel the issue or only bring more trouble to her life?

Buy it here!




 

Graphic designer Gracie Temple wants it all: the big city lifestyle and a successful job in advertising. And it looks like her life is on the right track when she takes a job at a struggling, midsize firm in Wichita.

But when Gracie inherits a house from her unknown uncle in the mostly Mennonite town of Harmony, Kansas, she's not sure what God's trying to tell her. Especially once she discovers the house comes with a dark legacy and a cast of eccentric neighbors. Will Gracie shake off the dust of this town, or will its secret charms pull her in to stay?

All Sam Goodrich wants is to get married and start a family...and he thought he'd do it with his fiancรฉe. But he can't bring himself to agree to a wedding date. When he meets Gracie Temple, Sam discovers she's everything he doesn't want. He loves his fruit farm, and he loves Harmony. So why does he feel so drawn to an outsider?

When someone tries to keep Gracie from discovering the truth behind the town's collection of secrets, will Sam and Gracie cling to their faith to help them decide what's most important -- before it's too late?

Buy it here!

 

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

A Crash Course in Self Publishing. Help!! (with a drawing for a free e-book) ....Roxanne Rustand


I’m thrilled...and just a bit exhausted!  

The Mistletoe Puppy, released last week, is the first of my six-novella Christmas series titled “Coupled by Christmas.”  And now the second, A Montana Christmas, is out this week.  

I loved to travel until the pandemic hit, and was able to use that as hands-on research for each of the novellas in this series. Oh, how I wish I could go back to those places again! It probably won’t happen, now that my husband has retired.  But I can still "re-visit" them when I sit down to write a book and immerse myself in locations that I love. 

If you’d like to learn more about the novellas shown to the left, just CLICK HERE.  

Which brings me to the subject at hand.

I had all of these novellas written before starting the publishing process, but still.  Wow, is there ever a lot to learn when one decides to try self-publishing! 

I've published around forty books and novellas, most with my traditional publisher and some with several publishing services that did all of the work for me, but this Christmas novella series is my first effort at doing it all myself. There are so many steps along the way...from actually publishing an e-book, to getting the word out about it!

Just yesterday, I learned how to create hyperlinks (which means the reader of a blog post can click on words that are highlighted (like the CLICK HERE  a few lines up), and be taken somewhere else. Perhaps to the author's web page, or a place where s/he can find out more about a book.  The other authors here will probably laugh at my naivete, but the revelation of learning how to do these links was a great delight to me!  

The process of "putting a book up" on Amazon and Draft2Digital (which can cover most online retailers, though I chose to do Amazon separately) was new to me as well. All those blanks to fill in,  decisions to make...with the potential of making major errors looming like chasms along the road ahead.  My head was reeling.  I admit it--it was quite a learning curve, which involved reading books on self-publishing, watching Youtube videos, the printing of online how-to guides, and the tremendous patience (and kindness) of my long-time friend Lyn Cote. I really owe Lyn and her husband dinner--plus lots of favors! ๐Ÿ’—

I also needed to find a proofing editor to hire for each manuscript. A  cover artist.  And--because my website was out-of-date and had nothing to do with my brand  (country and small-town life, and books about warm, family relationships, in both romance and romantic suspense)  I needed the patience of my web designer.  We are still working on it, but if you'd like to see the progress so far, Click Here. Yes--here's another hyperlink!  ๐Ÿ˜    

Even though the process is called self-publishing, I discovered that, for someone who is not tech-savvy,  I sure can't do it all alone.  It has taken many hours to learn the basics, and then to implement that knowledge, but it has also been great fun. And knowing there's so much more to learn makes it exciting!   

What do you prefer to read--ebooks, or hard copy books? Do you have any comments or questions about publishing that you'd like to ask?  I'll be drawing a name from those who leave comments, and that person will receive a free e-book.

Here are the release dates for the six Coupled by Christmas novellas ($0.99 each through December): 
October 8th       – The Mistletoe Puppy
October 15th     – A Montana Christmas
October 29th     – An Irish Christmas 
November 4th   – A London Christmas
November 18th – A Scottish Christmas
December 2nd   – Christmas in Paris

Our fall colors are turning brilliant shades here in the Upper Midwest, and this week our temperatures will be dropping into the 30's at night and 50's during the day. I love sweater and jacket weather!  Our horses are all putting on their winter jammies (winter coats) now and our hummingbirds have gone south.  Signs of the season!  Wherever you are, I hope you have been safe from the fires and hurricanes on our east and west coasts, and that you are enjoying a peaceful day.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. I hope you'll come again!

Blessings,
Roxanne 

If you'd like to subscribe to my newsletter, Click here.  ๐Ÿ˜€