Wednesday, January 17, 2018

What are you reading this year?

by Patricia Bradley 

Can you believe Christmas has come and gone and January is half over? It won’t be long until it’s June and we’re shaking our heads about how fast the year is flying.

Have you made any New Year’s resolutions? I’ve made the usual…lose ten pounds, exercise more…well, I actually didn’t resolve to exercise more—I already go to the gym for an hour a day six days a week most of the time. I did resolve to get better organized, and if you have any suggestions, I would greatly appreciate it.

Last year I made a concerted effort to read more. But, alas, I didn’t keep up with how many books I read. This year will be different! Know why? Because I signed up for the Goodreads Challenge. And I committed to reading 100 52 books. (I don’t know what I was thinking when I originally signed up for 100!)

How about you? Are you up for a challenge? To be entered in a drawing for a $10 Amazon gift card, leave a comment telling how many books you plan to read this year. And if you’d like an easy way to keep up with them, go to Goodreads and sign up for their challenge.

And if you're looking for something to read, a couple of my books are on sale right now. My first book Shadows of the Past is free! And the second book in the Memphis Cold Case series is on sale for $1.99. You can find the purchase links here.

Don't forget to leave a comment to be entered in the drawing!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Hot new inspy suspense!

More than a year has passed since seventeen-year-old Payton Brave’s twin sister went missing; and Payton, in her desperate attempt to hold on to what’s left of Dylan’s memory, is starting to crack.

Lost in the mystery and turmoil of her sister’s disappearance, Payton must overcome the aftermath of being the one left behind. She’s unable to remember even the smallest piece of what happened the day Dylan vanished. When sudden and reckless outbursts throw her from the graces of popularity to the outskirts of high school society, her new status attracts a crowd of friends she never anticipated—including a troubling romance with her sister’s boyfriend, Cole.

New clues unearth about the circumstances of her disappearance when another missing girl’s body is recovered from a nearby lake, the victim’s features eerily similar to Dylan’s. The more Payton pries open the clenches of her blocked memories, yielding to her need to know what happened, the further down the path of danger she goes. The darkness around her sister’s disappearance grows and the truth becomes more and more unbearable. And what she finds might just cost her her life.

Monday, January 15, 2018


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


On Tuesday Dana Mentink will share What’s Hot in Inspirational Suspense and Mystery.

On Wednesday, Patricia Bradley asks what you’re reading this year. Do you have a goal? Take her challenge and you could win a $10.00 gift card!   

Friday, we interview author Lyn Cote. You could win a copy of her book, MISTLETOE AND SAGE!

New deputy in town, a single mom, two wounded hearts with a puzzle to solve together--will love spark under the mistletoe?

Sage Dietz lost her first love and must now raise little Tucker alone. Garrett Connolly thought he'd found a lasting love, but instead has left his home for a new start. Fellow deputies, Sage and Garrett find themselves working side by side to solve escalating vandalism aimed at the influx of affluent residents in their small northwoods town. Who is targeting the homes of new people who bring so many needed jobs and fresh cash to the struggling community? On the personal side, can Sage feel love again? Is Garrett chancing a rebound romance, a big mistake? And should fellow deputies be feeling more than friendship?

Welcome to Steadfast, Wisconsin, a town with people and mysteries you may never forget.

The Suspense Sisters! We love books!

Friday, January 12, 2018

An Interview With Leeann Betts ~ Win a copy of Petty Cash!

Today Suspense Sisters welcomes cozy author, Leeann Betts, who has a new release, Petty Cash. If you leave a comment after the interview, you'll be entered in the drawing for a free copy. 

If you had to describe yourself in one sentence, what would you say?  I am cute and perky and all the things my real-life persona, Donna Schlachter, isn’t. (At least, that’s what she always says J)

What do you do when you’re not writing? Any interesting hobbies? I wear several hats, including wife, mom, grandmother, accountant, and proofreader. I also love to help writers move their story to the next level, so I judge in writing contests, facilitate a critique group, and offer editing/critique/publishing services.

What was your favorite book as a teen or child? Anything with animals, particularly horses. Think Misty of Chincoteague, Black Beauty, Call of the Wild.

Tell us three things about yourself that might surprise your readers. I am a Canadian by birth, an American by choice, and I once danced with a gold medal figure skater.

What genre did you start out writing? Have you changed course? Why or why not? I started out writing children’s stories, because I stupidly thought that would be easier. Not. Then I started writing devotions and greeting cards for the same reason. Not. Short stories. Not. Once I asked myself if I had at least one book in me and set out to prove or disprove that, I found my favorite writing place.

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment? I was once told nobody wanted to read about accountants because accountants are boring. The best compliment was one of my recent books, Hidden Assets, reminded the reader of Agatha Christie on her best day.

Any other genres you’d like to try? If yes, what and why? I’ve written contemporary suspense, cozy mystery, and historic suspense. I’d love to try my hand at an historical mystery series a la Murdoch Mysteries.

If you could go back in time and do something differently at the start of your career, what would it be? If I could go back in time, I’d start writing sooner and listen less to the critics.

What is the most important piece of advice you’d like to give to unpublished authors? Keep writing. Keep submitting to contests and critique groups. Listen to what folks are saying. Don’t take it all to heart, but look for a pattern.

Tell us about Petty Cash
Carly Turnquist, forensic accountant, is headed off for another mystery. Or two. Or three. She and hubby Mike head to Cape Cod as emotional support for their daughter Denise and her dentist husband Don who finds himself in the middle of a potential practice dissolution. But when their host fails to make an appearance, and a tropical storm blows through the area, things are topsy-turvy. Then when their host's body washes ashore, Don is suspected. After all, they'd had several arguments witnessed by a number of people, not to mention a sizable partnership life insurance policy--with Don as sole beneficiary in the event Mo pre-deceases him. Add into the mix a local ghostly legend that keeps appearing in a haunted lighthouse, a local fisherman with a costly secret, and a blossoming friendship between her grandkids and a local named Sammy, and Carly has her hands full. 

Tell us about yourself:
Leeann Betts writes contemporary suspense, while her real-life persona, Donna Schlachter, pens historical suspense. She has released six titles in her cozy mystery series, By the Numbers, and Petty Cash released in December. In addition, Leeann has written a devotional for accountants, bookkeepers, and financial folk, Counting the Days, and with her real-life persona, Donna Schlachter, has published a book on writing, Nuggets of Writing Gold, a compilation of essays, articles, and exercises on the craft.

Website: Receive a free ebook just for signing up for our quarterly newsletter.
Twitter:   Books: Amazon 

Leave Leeann a comment for a chance to win a signed print copy of Petty Cash. You must leave your email address in order to win the drawing.

Thanks, readers, for dropping by Suspense Sisters.   ~  Mary Ellis 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018


JULIANNA DEERING has always been an avid reader and a lover of storytelling, whether on the page, the screen or the stage. This, along with her keen interest in history and her Christian faith, shows in her tales of love, forgiveness and triumph over adversity. A fifth-generation Texan, she makes her home north of Dallas with three spoiled cats and, when not writing, spends her free time quilting, cross stitching and watching NHL hockey. Her series of Drew Farthering mysteries set in 1930s England debuted from Bethany House with Rules of Murder (2013) and is followed by Death by the Book and Murder at the Mikado (2014), Dressed for Death (2016), Murder on the Moor and Death at Thorburn Hall (2017). Also, as DeAnna Julie Dodson, she has written a trilogy of medieval romances (In Honor Bound, By Love Redeemed and To Grace Surrendered) and several contemporary mysteries for Annie’s Fiction and Guideposts. She is represented by Wendy Lawton of the Books & Such Literary Agency ( Find out more about Julianna by visiting her website.


What made you decide to be a writer in the first place?  

I think it’s what I was created to do. I never even thought about writing when I was growing up, though I always loved to read. But I got to the point where I wasn’t finding the kind of stories I was looking for on the bookstore shelves. I wanted something romantic and set in a historical time period as well as something that didn’t go against my Christian principles. At the time, I particularly wanted something medieval, and I just couldn’t find it, so I began writing it myself. That eventually became my first book, In Honor Bound (written as DeAnna Julie Dodson). I haven’t stopped writing since.

What is the hardest part about writing?

Thinking of new things for my characters to do and new places for them to go. Readers (and publishers) usually want something brand new but just like what you’ve done before. Yes, I know that seems contradictory, but it’s true. They want something just as entertaining as your previous books, something that involves the characters they’ve come to love, but something new and different, but not too different. It’s quite a task to keep figuring out what to do, but it’s also a challenge I enjoy.

Which author’s work do you admire most?

Oh, there are so many! But I’ll narrow it down to just the cozy mystery shelf and choose Dame Agatha Christie, the writer of my most favorite mystery books: And Then There Were None and Murder on the Orient Express. I can never decide which one is my favorite, so I always choose both. My favorite mystery series would have to be Margery Allingham’s Albert Campion books. They’re all so amazingly plotted. I want to write like her when I grow up!

Why did you choose to write about a male main character?

I like to read historical romance and historical mystery with a Christian worldview. For some reason, that seems to almost always mean a female main character. I like doing something a little different. Plus, if I create a swoon-worthy main character, then I get to swoon over him as a reader. And, since I created him, he’ll be just the kind of guy I want to spend time with. Jackpot!

I do love Drew Farthering. He’s handsome and charming and has an Oxford education and the lovely British accent to go with it. He loves to read, especially mysteries, and has a natural interest in solving puzzles, namely the unsolved murders he’s always running into. He has a good sense of humor and sometimes uses it to help him find the truth, but he’s also humble enough to admit when he’s wrong and that he has a deep need for God. I wish I could meet him in real life.

If you weren’t writing historical cozy mystery, what would you write?

I think, at least for now, it would be Regency romance. I’m a great fan of Georgette Heyer’s Regencies (with a few exceptions), and I’d like to try my hand at one. I have a brief outline done, and I plan to start work on it as soon as I have time. I also have plans for a fantasy, too, but that has to wait as well. For now, I have contracts that will keep me busy until the spring of 2019.

Do you ever think about quitting the writing business?

All the time. Not because I don’t love it (or, at least, I love having written), but because I am such a slow writer. There are so many things I’d love to write and read and watch and sew and experience, but it seems I’m always rushing just to meet my deadlines. I could never quit writing though. All I need are paper and pencil to create any kind of world I want to visit and any kind of person I want to visit it with. How fun is that?


Drew Farthering arrives in idyllic Scotland for the 1935 British Open at Muirfield hoping for a relaxing holiday, but he soon finds a mystery on his hands. Lord Rainsby, his host at Thorburn Hall, fears his business partner may be embezzling and asks Drew to quietly investigate. Before Drew can uncover anything, Rainsby is killed in a suspicious riding accident.

Thorburn Hall is filled with guests, and as Drew continues to dig, he realizes that each might have had a motive. Together with Madeline and Nick, he must sort through shady business dealings, international intrigue, and family tensions to find a killer who always seems to be one step ahead.

For a chance to win a print copy of DEATH AT THORBURN HALL, leave a comment, along with your contact information. U.S. only, please.