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Thursday, April 11, 2024

The Scariest Part of Suspense - Villains and Why We Love Them!

 


Okay, I confess, I love reading about villains who keep me up at night and stay with me long after I’ve finished the book.

In suspense, the villain is every bit as important as the hero and heroine. We need a bad guy to create conflict and set the story into motion. Villains unite the main characters in a single cause. Defeating the bad guy.   



Have you ever read a villain that’s just a level above normal bad guys? One that really gives you the creeps. There have been many villains who have accomplished this for me. One that comes to mind is the villain from Linda Castillo’s, Sworn to Silence. This is the first book in the Kate Burkholder series. If you haven’t read the book, it’s good, but it is hard to read.



Villains come in all different forms. Some are the person most trusted by the protagonists like the killer from Don’t Close Your Eyes, book one of my Hallowed Halls series. Angel was someone close to the FBI team searching for him and it came as a complete surprise when his true relationship to Megan was revealed.

Other villains are strangers with motives that range from revenge, to covering up another crime, to someone seeking financial gain such as a drug smuggler or a trafficker in stolen goods or human lives.



In my upcoming Love Inspired Suspense, Ambush in the Mountains, the villain is a human trafficker. The heroine has escaped, and he wants her back. He will stop at nothing to accomplish that.

But some villains have far more twisted motives. Such as Embalmer, the serial killer in my upcoming book, The Last To Know. 



So, what’s your favorite type of villain? Is there one you think is overdone, or maybe just too creepy.

I’ll be giving away a copy of my upcoming release, THE LAST TO KNOW, to someone who comments. Be sure to leave your email address. I’ll announce the winner in a few days!

Here’s a little about THE LAST TO KNOW:

An FBI agent with a dark secret.

A killer on a mission.

A murderous past that unearths an unexpected connection.

BAU Special Agent Hannah London’s troubled past reminds her that life is fragile. And hers has an expiration date that can’t be denied.

When the bottom drops out of Hannah’s world, and a killer ramps up his victim count, Hannah and fellow agent, Cooper Delaney are in a race against time to catch the killer. A bombshell revelation has Hannah and Cooper reeling after the killer’s cryptic messages seem to hint at a connection. . .to Hannah.

As Hannah’s feelings for Cooper deepen, her head tells her to end things before Cooper gets hurt. But her heart, the one that threatens to betray her, doesn’t want to walk away.

PREORDER IT HERE

 

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Ten Years Gone

 by Sharon Dunn

Our first date was a motorcycle ride, a concert, food at a diner and then another motorcycle ride. He was fun, had a sense of humor and adventure and was interested in me as a person. We weren't that couple that broke up and got back together and wondered if we were right for each other. From the beginning we clicked. He became my best friend. The person I most liked to travel with. The person who celebrated the good parts of me and loved me even when I was unpleasant. My biggest cheerleader when it came to my writing. He was an engaged and hands on father to our three children. Michael could connect to anyone and make them laugh. He accepted people where they were at without judgement. 

On April 6, 2014, he died of cancer after having battled it for four years. He was 58. I am grateful for the nearly 27 years of marriage we had together and for the three children that share many of his quirks and personality traits.  I am grateful to have known what it was like to be loved unconditionally. 

Losing Michael when I was 49 and living as a widow is the hardest thing I have faced in my life. I don't ever stop missing him, and I think about him everyday. Sometimes it's a joyful thought when a good memory of us together comes back to me or I hear a song or meet someone and I think Michael would have loved that song or that person. Sometimes the thought is a sad one where I feel his absence. If our kids have a great victory or a struggle, I wish he was here to experience it with me. I miss the way he could talk me off of any emotional ledge I got myself onto with a hug and saying, "It'll be alright." The photo is of Michael on our wedding day. 


We all face hard things sooner or later in our lives. It is not a comfortable life where everything goes as planned that brings us closer to God. It is in our suffering and our loss that we identify more clearly with Jesus. A hard sell in America where the prosperity gospel infuses most church teaching to one degree or another. I don't know what people without Jesus and the hope of heaven lean on when this kind of loss happens. How about you? What loss has most affected you?  

Please leave a comment and your email address. I will be giving away copies of my soon to be released book Kidnapped in Montana

What's HOT in Inspirational Suspense by Mary Ellis

Wondering what's new in inspirational suspense and mystery? Joanna Davidson Politano has a brand new suspense, The Elusive Truth of Lily Temple, releasing today from Revell Publishing.




Here's a little bit about the story: Lively and charming silent-movie actress Lily Temple is everything private investigator Peter Driscoll is not. So he enlists her help, hoping to solve more cases. But Peter's also been searching for the Briarwood Teardrop. When he discovers Lily's in possession of the legendary missing sapphire, will a sleuth become a suspect---and will the truth imperil them both? 400 pages, softcover from Revell.

You can buy The Elusive Truth of Lily Temple HERE from Christianbook.com

Have a great week of reading, lovers of inspirational suspense and mystery! ~ Mary Ellis 

Monday, April 8, 2024

THIS WEEK ON THE SUSPENSE SISTERS


We have exciting things planned for you this week on the Suspense Sisters!


On Tuesday, Suspense Sister Mary Ellis will tell us what’s hot in inspirational suspense and mystery.

Wednesday, author Sharon Dunn will talk about the tenth anniversary of her husband’s death. She’s also giving away a copy of her upcoming release, KIDNAPPED IN MONTANA.

A case of mistaken identity leads to a lethal wilderness chase.


Believing he’s tracked down his missing informant in a gem-smuggling investigation, FBI agent Ryan McCloud unwittingly leads deadly assassins to Catherine Reed’s mountain hideout. As the informant’s identical twin, and already hiding from her abusive ex-husband, Catherine now has two threats to her life. With danger at every turn, can Ryan protect Catherine and find her missing sister…before it’s too late?

From Love Inspired Suspense: Courage. Danger. Faith.

PREORDER IT HERE 

Friday, Suspense Sister Mary Alford will talk about villains and why we love them! She’s also giving away a copy of her upcoming release, THE LAST TO KNOW!

An FBI agent with a dark secret.

A killer on a mission.

A murderous past that unearths an unexpected connection.

BAU Special Agent Hannah London’s troubled past reminds her that life is fragile. And hers has an expiration date that can’t be denied.

When the bottom drops out of Hannah’s world, and a killer ramps up his victim count, Hannah and fellow agent, Cooper Delaney are in a race against time to catch the killer. A bombshell revelation has Hannah and Cooper reeling after the killer’s cryptic messages seem to hint at a connection. . .to Hannah.

As Hannah’s feelings for Cooper deepen, her head tells her to end things before Cooper gets hurt. But her heart, the one that threatens to betray her, doesn’t want to walk away.

PREORDER IT HERE 

Don’t forget to enter our monthly contest! You could win your choice of a $100 gift card from Amazon, Walmart, Barnes and Noble or Christianbook.com.



THE SUSPENSE SISTERS


WE LOVE BOOKS

Friday, April 5, 2024

LOOKING AHEAD WITH NANCY MEHL

COLD PURSUIT, the first book in my Ryland and St. Clair series, released last July. The second book, COLD THREAT came out in January. The last book, COLD VENGEANCE, will make its debut on July 16th. This book will bring an end to River Ryland's and Tony St. Clair's story. It will also finally answer the question about the Salt River Strangler's partner. Who is he? And where is he? Here's something about COLD VENGEANCE.
When a renowned crime podcaster vanishes without a trace, former FBI behavioral analysts turned private investigators River Ryland and Tony St. Clair are called upon to track her down. As they wade through the evidence she left behind, they unearth a startling connection--she may have discovered the existence of an unknown killer, and he will stop at nothing to carry out a deadly plan.

As the pair delves deeper, they soon find themselves the targets of a relentless enemy determined to silence them. With their lives--and hearts--on the line, can they confront the evil that threatens them before it consumes them both?

Nancy Mehl presents pulse-pounding suspense with . . .

"A little of everything . . . plenty of intrigue, dangerous moments, deadly scenarios, and romance."--The AR Critique on Cold Threat

"Plot twists you won't see coming."--Tosca Lee, New York Times bestselling author on Cold Pursuit

Right now, I'm working on a new series. The main character is Erin Delaney, a police officer who lost her partner and the man she loved in a gang shooting. The same night, while defending her own life, one of her bullets pierced a building and killed a sleeping child. Erin, who is drowning in guilt and grief, leaves the police department and uses her time to write a novel, living her life in the pages of a story, rather than facing people or even leaving her apartment.


While working on her book, a friend on the police force connected Erin with an ex-FBI behavioral analyst, Kaely Quinn. She and Erin become close friends. In attempting to get Erin out of her apartment, Kaely recommends a week in the Smoky Mountains just to talk and relax. But when they arrive, the local police chief of Sanctuary Tennessee, pulls them into a strange murder investigation where all their lives will be in danger.

This book has already been written, and I'm beginning on the second book which will take Erin to Quantico, Virginia, where a killer is copying murders from successful suspense novels - including Erin's. But it will become clear after a while that the killer's real target is Erin Delaney.

I hope you're enjoying my Ryland and St. Clair series and will like COLD VENGEANCE when it releases.

Leave a comment for a chance to win your choice of COLD PURSUIT, COLD THREAT, or COLD VENGEANCE when it releases!