Friday, September 19, 2014

INTERVIEW WITH LYNETTE EASON


Lynette Eason grew up in Greenville, SC. She attended Converse College where she obtained her Masters degree in Education. During this time, she met the man she would marry—the boy next door! She and Jack have been married 18 years.They have two children. Lynette’s books have appeared on the ECPA and CBA bestseller lists and have won several awards including the prestigious Carol Award in 2013. Lynette is a member of RWA (Romance Writers of America), FHL (Faith, Hope, and Love) and ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and teaches at writers conferences all over the country.


INTERVIEW WITH LYNETTE EASON

S.S: How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing for about 15 years. I got THE CALL in 2007 from Harelquin’s Krista Stroever that she wanted to buy my book.

S.S: Do you write full time? If the answer is no, what else do you do? If you are a full time author, what other jobs did you have in the past?

I write full time and I teach full time. Fortunately, I teach from home with an online school so it’s not quite as time consuming as if I had to leave the house and go to a brick and mortar building to teach. I also put in about 30-40 hours a week on my writing. No, I don’t sleep much.

S.S: Tell us about the moment you finally felt like a “real author”?

February 16th, 2007 when I got the call that my book had sold.

S.S.: Who has been your greatest supporter as an author? 

My family. My mother most of all, probably. She and my dad are super proud. My husband is also crazy supportive and handles a lot of my PR stuff.

S.S:  Do you write in any other genres?

If so, what? Nope, I’m strictly a Romantic Suspense girl.

S.S: How does your faith play into your writing?

My faith comes through in my characters, I believe. Since I write for the Christian market, there’s always a faith element in the stories. But even if I didn’t write for the Christian market, I think I would still have the faith element there. I can’t leave Christ out of anything I do.

S.S: If you couldn’t write, what else would you want to do?

Curl up in to a ball and die? LOL. No, I wouldn’t, but I have no idea what else I would want to do. I don’t think about it.

S.S:  Tell us about your current release.  

My current release is Nowhere To Turn. It’s the second book in the Hidden Identity series from Revell. Here’s the back cover copy:

The day Danielle Harding takes her 11-year-old son, Simon, and flees from her abusive husband, is the same day Kurt Harding dies. A relieved Dani believes she and her son are finally safe--but in reality, the danger has just begun. When Kurt was alive, he took something important to a mysterious person. That person wants the item back and believes Dani now has it. As she and her son run for their lives, they have nowhere to turn, until she hires Adam Buchanan of Operation Refuge and goes into hiding. Unfortunately, she won't be able to hide for long . . .

From the first breathless scene, this tension-laced story will hold readers in its iron grip. Bestselling author Lynette Eason propels readers along at a breakneck pace in a race to discover the truth and a better future.

S.S: Where did you get your inspiration for this book?

My editor, Andrea Doering, gets most of the credit for this series. She sent me the idea in a short blurb of an email and asked me if I could do something with it. I took it and that became the first book. Adam, the hero in this current release, showed up and demanded his own story.

S.S: What is the main thing you hope readers remember from your story?

I hope readers take away the love God has for people. I hope they remember that even when hard times hit, God hasn’t abandoned them and that he’s right there in the midst of the storm.

S.S: Who is your favorite character in this book and why?

I adore Simon. He’s just a great kid with a huge heart. He’s been hurt, wounded in a way that no child should ever have to suffer, but he’s a survivor and is going to grow up to be an amazing man of God.

S.S: Who is your least favorite character in this book? Why?

I didn’t like the final villain, the one who was sneaky and friendly to your face, but as soon as you turned your back, you found a knife in it. I can’t stand those kind of people. LOL.

S.S: What are you working on now?

I’m now working on the next book for Harlequin and also the next one for Revell. The one for Revell is the first in the next series which is about a team of female bodyguards. The one for Harlequin is the second in the Wrangler’s Corner series.

S.S: Any writing goals you still hope to achieve?   

I’d love to win a Christy, write a book for the ABA, see one of my books turned into a movie. Sure, there are a lot of things I’d love to see happen with my writing.

S.S:  Now let’s get a little personal. Name two things on your “bucket list” that you haven’t done yet.   

1. Travel to Greece and Italy. 2. Win a Christy. (Ha)

S.S:  What is the silliest thing you have ever done? 

I can’t think of anything. I don’t really do silly. (That makes me sound so boring, doesn’t it??)

S.S: What is the hardest thing you have ever done?

Write a book.

S.S.: Where can readers find you on the internet?

I’m on Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/lynette.eason
Twitter: @lynetteeason
Pinterest: Lynette Eason
My website: www.lynetteeason.com

S.S.: Anything else you’d like to share with us?

Thank you so much for having me on the Suspense sisters. I have three books to give away! So if you’re interested in being entered to win, leave a comment answering this question: What kind of suspense stories do you like to read the most?

Lynette is giving away three copies of Nowhere to Turn! For your chance to win, leave a comment, along with your contact information.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

INTERVIEW WITH COLLEEN COBLE


USAToday bestselling author Colleen Coble's novels have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Best Books of Indiana, the ACFW Carol Award, the Romance Writers of America RITA, the Holt Medallion, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers' Choice, and the Booksellers Best. She has over 2 million books in print and writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail. Colleen is CEO of American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives with her husband Dave in Indiana. Visit her website at www.colleencoble.com and connect at Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/colleencoblebooks?ref=hl



S.S: How long have you been writing?

I’ve seriously been writing since 1990. However, I wrote my first story in first grade and have had the dream all that time. When my brother died in a freak lightning accident, it was a wakeup call that I needed to follow my dream.

S.S: Do you write full time? 

Yes, full time! I love getting to settle into my recliner and enter my dream world every day.

S.S: Tell us about the moment you finally felt like a “real author”?

I think it was when my first mystery, Without a Trace, came out from Thomas Nelson. I’d had 18 novels and novellas with Barbour before that, but they were shorter and weren’t on the shelves very long. Without a Trace came out in 2003 and has never been out of print. I really wanted to write romantic mysteries, and it was a dream come true when I finally reached that goal!

S.S.: Who has been your greatest supporter as an author? 

Oh definitely my husband, Dave! He has carted me all over the country to book signings, speaking events, and everything you can imagine. In the early days when I would want to give up hope of publication, he kept encouraging me. I’d be nowhere without Dave.

S.S:  Do you write in any other genres? If so, what?

I’ve written one children’s picture book for my granddaughter titled The Blessings Jar. And I’ve written 2 middle grade books with Robin Caroll set in Rock Harbor. But my main love is romantic mysteries. I’ve written both contemporary and historical in that genre, but mostly concentrate on contemporary stories.

S.S: How does your faith play into your writing?

I write stories with how I look at the world so my faith always makes its way into my books.

S.S: If you couldn’t write, what else would you want to do?

I’d be a naturopath. I am a health nut and am always dispensing health advice, much to my husband’s dismay!

S.S:  Tell us about your current release.

In Seagrass Pier after a heart transplant, Elin begins having flashbacks of her donor’s murder. When she goes to the police, the story is leaked and hits the news. The killer targets Elin, and she turns for help to FBI investigator Marc. It’s set in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, and readers have been loving it.

S.S: Where did you get your inspiration for this book?

I have a couple of friends who have had various organ transplants. With one of them, I noticed some personality changes and happened to run across an article about cell memory. The stories are incredible! Things like knowing the lyrics to a song the donor wrote and changes like suddenly liking different music. I got to wondering about what would happen if a recipient started remembering a donor’s murder.

S.S: What is the main thing you hope readers remember from your story?

I wanted to discuss identity in the story. Women in particular sometimes struggle as our roles in life change. In Seagrass Pier, Elin is also caring for her mother who is suffering from Alzheimers. Elin is worried about losing who she is as she notices some changes in her personality, and her mother is going through changes too. I want readers to remember that who we are at our core doesn’t change. God has us securely.

S.S: Who is your favorite character in this book and why?

I loved Elin and her courage to get to the truth and protect her daughter.

S.S: Who is your least favorite character in this book? Why?

I dislike people who hide behind a mask so sometimes I wanted to shake Kalianne.

S.S: What are you working on now?

I am putting final touches on The Inn at Ocean’s Edge, book 1 in the new Shadow Bay series set in Maine. It’s a bigger, more complex story than I’ve ever attempted, but it was super fun to write!

S.S: Any writing goals you still hope to achieve?  

Just to make every book a little better than the last!

S.S:  Now let’s get a little personal. Name two things on your “bucket list” that you haven’t done yet.   

I so want to see Australia and New Zealand. Someday!

S.S: What is the hardest thing you have ever done?

Get up the nerve to send my book out to publishers. It’s tough to expose your baby to criticism.

S.S.: Where can readers find you on the internet?

Colleencoble.com

If you'd like to win a copy of Colleen's book, Seagrass Pier, leave a comment, along with your contact information.


Friday, September 12, 2014

INTERVIEW WITH VICKIE McDONOUGH



Best selling author Vickie McDonough has penned 34 novels and novellas. Her books have won multiple awards including the 2012 Booksellers’ Best Award, the Inspirational Reader's Choice Contest, Texas Gold, the ACFW Noble Theme contest, and she has been a finalist in ACFW’s BOTY/Carol Awards eight times. Vickie and her husband live in Oklahoma. They have four grown sons, one daughter-in-law, and an eight-year-old granddaughter.


   
Interview with Vickie McDonough

S.S: How long have you been writing? 
 
13 ½ years.

S.S: Do you write full time?

Yes, for the most part. I’m also primary caregiver to my 84 yo mom, and I pick up my granddaughter from school and watch her once a week.   If the answer is no, what else do you do? If you are a full time author, what other jobs did you have in the past? I’ve been a bookkeeper and an administrative assistant and have worked for a community college, a financial advisor, an interior decorator, several banks and a church.

S.S: Tell us about the moment you finally felt like a “real author”?

I think it was probably the day I held that first book in my hands and saw my name on the cover. That was an exciting day.

S.S.: Who has been your greatest supporter as an author? 

With no doubt, it’s been my husband, Robert. He believed in me as a writer long before I ever did and has cheered me on through my whole writing journey. He’s been a great, positive supporter. We’re on a research trip as I’m writing this. J

S.S:  Do you write in any other genres?

Historical romance is the main genre I write.

If so, what? I have also done several contemporary romances, and now I’m excited to have added a suspense book, Rancher Under Fire, to my list of novels.

S.S: How does your faith play into your writing?

Faith is an integral part of each of my books. There’s always a faith message in my stories. One thing I honestly believe is that God dreams bigger dreams for us than we dare dream for ourselves. This is a common theme running through my books. Another theme is that no matter how bad your circumstances are, God is ready to help you, if you’ll only turn to Him. God is good, and I want my readers to know that—and that he cares for you as much as He loved his own son, Jesus.

S.S: If you couldn’t write, what else would you want to do?

I’d probably be working in the accounting field again, but if I had the talent and knowledge, I’d like to be a graphic artist and animator. That seems like a fun job.

S.S:  Tell us about your current release.

Rancher Under Fire is the story of Jackson Durant, a man who was a high-profile pro quarterback who fled the limelight when his daughter was born—the same day his wife died. He will go to any lengths to protect his young daughter and his ranch. Weird thing have been happening at his ranch, and he knows the puzzling incidents are not accidents. Someone is after him…but who? And why? Reporter Mariah Reyes is determined to find out. She never expected her pursuit of a story on the reclusive rancher would endanger her life—nor that she'd fall for the cowboy. But when Jackson's daughter is kidnapped, she'll do anything to help save the little girl—even if it means becoming a target herself
 
S.S: Where did you get your inspiration for this book?

This may sound awful, but I honestly don’t remember. I wrote Rancher Under Fire over six years ago, but it didn’t find a home until recently. I know I wanted to write a contemporary with some suspense and set it in my home state and that I wanted a Hispanic heroine. I needed a heroine who’d challenge the quiet life my hero had established around him and his daughter. A inquisitive reporter seemed just the thing to stir up his life.

S.S: What is the main thing you hope readers remember from your story?

Life can get crazy and unexpected things happen, but God is always the same. He’s always there, waiting for us to call on Him and to seek Him for help.

S.S: Who is your favorite character in this book and why?

I really like my hero, Jackson. He was a hotshot bad boy when his life went spinning out of control. He left the game he loved for the sake of his child, who he loved more. Then he became a Christian, and his life took on a new meaning. When his ranch and family are threatened, it takes every bit of his faith to hold on and trust God and not take things into his own hands.

S.S: What are you working on now?

I’m working on a new book called Joline’s Redemption, which is book 2 in my Land Rush Dreams series. This series is set in OK during the land runs days, and my heroes and heroines find themselves swept up in the exciting times. The first book, Gabriel’s Atonement, releases in January. It’s the tale of a gambler who is jumped in a dark alley by a man with a gun. Gabe kills the man in self-defense. In the man’s shirt pocket, he finds a picture of a woman holding a baby, and he proceeds to alleviate his guilt by tracking down the man’s widow and giving her the money that her husband had lost to Gabe. But Lara Talbot doesn’t believe her worthless husband had any money—and she doesn’t want Gabe’s help. But Gabe can’t walk away. The woman needs his help, whether she wants it or not—and somehow he must make amends—he must atone for what he did.

S.S: Any writing goals you still hope to achieve?  

I’ve gotten the rights back on several novellas, and I hope to get them online this month. I also have several books I never finished and a couple that didn’t sell that I’d also like to post as indie books. And my husband is still praying that one of my books is made into a movie. J And I’m considering taking a screenwriting class next year.

S.S:  Now let’s get a little personal. Name two things on your “bucket list” that you haven’t done yet.  

I’m not sure this counts as a bucket list item, but I want to downsize our home and move somewhere that is in the country but not too far from town. I want a place to write where I can look outside and see nature or a pond and not streets and other houses.

Last year, I got to check one thing off my bucket list—I took a stained glass class and have made several small projects.

Most of my other bucket list items include travel. There are so many places I’d love to see before I get too old: Alaska, Hawaii, the New England area, Ireland, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, some of the Caribbean Islands we haven’t been to.

Probably another thing would be to have my dream office. One with a big window with a scenic view, a compfy recliner for me to write in, with all of my research books handy, and a small fridge of Coke nearby.

S.S:  What is the silliest thing you have ever done? 

My dad was a big prankster, and I’ve pulled my share too. Probably one of the stupidest things I’ve done was a prank I pulled on one of my old bosses. Do you remember those little firecracker poppers that you toss down and they make a loud pop? They used to look like Trix cereal but now they’re just plain white. I worked in a large room with lots of desks and our boss’s desk was in one corner. He’d come marching in each day, plop down in his desk chair and roll backwards about three feet. One day, I taped poppers to the wheels of his chair. Yep, I did. He came strolling in, plopped down and—Pop! Pop! Pop! He arched up, belly in the air, then jumped up and marched out of the room to the snickers of all the workers. While he was gone, I re-armed the chair. The same thing happened when he strolled in thirty minutes later. It sure was funny, but I’m not sure how I kept from getting fired.

S.S: What is the hardest thing you have ever done?

I think the hardest thing I’ve done was to move to Israel for a year. I grew up in the same town I was born in and had never left it except for short vacations. My dad had recently had his 2nd heart attack, and though he was home and doing well, there was always the fear of him having another one. Plus my husband and I had only been married six months, so we were still newlyweds. Going to Israel was a huge leap of faith, and yet we believed it was one God had ordained for us. Three days before we left the States, the main bus station in Jerusalem was bombed. The kibbutz we were going to was only eleven miles from Jerusalem. There was plenty of upheaval in the country, but we had peace it was where God wanted us. We had an incredible time there, getting to know the Jewish people and making friends with some of them and learning of their culture and history. We also got to tour the country and went to most parts of Israel, including a swim in the Dead Sea, a visit to Mount Sinai, and a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. No, Israel wasn’t the safest place in the world, but it was where God wanted us, and He protected us.

Here’s a fun story: Everyone on our team was excited to buy a Hebrew Bible in Jerusalem. We attended church at Jerusalem Baptist Church one of the first Sundays after arriving in Israel. After the service, they had a small store that was open, and most of the members of our team bought Hebrew Bibles. As we’re riding the bus back to the kibbutz where we stayed, everyone was thumbing through their Bibles. Me, being left-handed, started at the back of the book, and lo and behold, I found the words: Printed at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which is where most of us were from. We all had a good laugh at that. What an irony it was—to travel half way around the world to purchase a Bible that was printed 3 miles from my parents’ house.

S.S.: Where can readers find you on the Internet?

Website: vickiemcdonough.com (There’s a sign-up link for my newsletter on the Home page. I hope you’ll sign up and keep up with my news)

Heroes, Heroines & History, formerly known as the Christian Fiction Historical Society – HHHistory.com

S.S.: Anything else you’d like to share with us?  

Song of the Prairie, book 3 in my Pioneer Promises series released Aug. 15th. The series features the three Harper brothers who help their parents run a stage stop on the Santa Fe Trail in northeastern Kansas in the 1870s. Each book in the series is stand alone titles, but they is best read in order. You’ll love the rugged, honor-bound, god-fearing Harper brothers and will enjoy seeing them carve our their own niches in history.

I also have several novellas in Christmas Collections releasing this month and next month:
The Westward Christmas Brides Collection
A Christmas Brides Collection
And
Heartland Christmas Brides, which is part of The 12 Brides of Christmas Collection

Thanks so much for hosting me on the Suspense Sisters!

Leave a comment, along with your contact information, for a chance to win a copy of Vickie's book, RANCHER UNDER FIRE!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Interview with VANNETTA CHAPMAN and Giveaway!



We're pleased to have Vannetta Chapman with us today! Vannetta is giving away one print or ebook copy of her new suspense, HIDDEN. To enter to win, simply post a copy below!

Vannetta Chapman holds a BA and MA degree in English and has published over one hundred articles in Christian family magazines, receiving over two dozen awards from Romance Writers of America chapter groups. She discovered her love for the Amish while researching her grandfather’s birthplace in Albion, Pennsylvania. She published a novel with Abingdon Press called A Simple Amish Christmasin October of 2010. Her first Quilt Shop Murder Mystery, Falling to Pieces (Zondervan) was released in September of 2011 and received the 2012 Carol Award for best mystery. She currently lives in the Texas hill country.


 And now. . . let's hear from Vannetta!

SS: How long have you been writing?
15 years. My first book was published in 2010. Hidden will be my 11th release.

SS: Do you write full time? If the answer is no, what else do you do? If you are a full time author, what other jobs did you have in the past?
I do! I taught high school and college for 15 years, but I’ve been writing full time for 3 years now. I loved teaching, and it was a tough decision to give up the job—but I had a lot of books due and found myself locked in my office every spare moment. I missed my family and decided I needed to quit one of the jobs. Writing won.

SS: Tell us about the moment you finally felt like a “real author”?
I suppose it was when I held my first book in my hands. I felt like a “real writer” long before that, but “author” speaks to sharing what you’ve done with others. I was a pretty happy gal—picture snoopy dancing, but in jeans and boots.

SS: Who has been your greatest supporter as an author?
Definitely my husband. He’s willing to cart boxes of books, cook dinner, vacuum the house, whatever he can do to help. That’s worth more than I can possibly explain. All of my family is very supportive.

SS:  Why suspense? Do you write in any other genres? If so, what?
My first 10 books were Amish—both romance and cozy mystery. However, I love reading suspense, and I had a trilogy that was 2/3 finished. We shopped it around and were offered a contract. In the end, I decided it made more sense for me to publish it independently. I’m still writing for Zondervan/HarperCollins as well as Harvest House and I adore both of those companies. However, it’s also exciting to step out into a new genre and a new publishing route.

SS: How does your faith play into your writing?
Faith is a very important part of my story. I like to think of it as something that I weave in—without it the picture wouldn’t be complete. It wouldn’t be true to my characters or authentic to what they’re going through to leave out this aspect of who they are. Many times the faith thread of my books is simply my characters struggling with their beliefs in a fallen world. Life is terribly difficult sometimes, and it’s hard to understand how God’s love transcends what is happening around us and to us. That is what I like to write about—fiction full of grace.

SS: If you couldn’t write, what else would you want to do?
I’ve thought about being a bowling instructor—I’m KIDDING. I suppose I would teach again. I really do miss the energy of my students and teaching them a love for reading and writing.

SS:  Tell us about your current release.
Hidden takes place in Taos, New Mexico—the place I visited on my honeymoon
. It’s the story of Dana Jacobs. She has scars from her childhood, but has risen above them, or at least hidden them deep inside. She is now head of the Taos office of Homeland Security. When Ben Marshall comes to work for her, she tries her best to get rid of him, but Ben is determined to stick. Then they are pulled into a case which challenges and frightens Dana. She must protect the town, her staff, and herself from Chance Drogan, a man filled with bitterness inside and willing to go to extremes to right the wrongs he has endured. In the end, Dana must deal with her own past before she can move forward.
 
SS: Where did you get your inspiration for this book?
We honeymooned in the area—hiking, fishing and soaking up the beautiful mountains and streams. It’s a land of dramatic extremes, and I thought it would be an ideal place to set a suspense story.

SS: What is the main thing you hope readers remember from your story?
That the things we keep hidden can be healed by God’s love, and when we allow that to happen we’re a stronger person for it.

SS: Who is your favorite character in this book and why?
I want to say Dana, and I do adore her, but … it’s actually Ben Marshall. This is the kind of guy that is quiet, but straight and true. He doesn’t back down and he doesn’t run. And when he feels that God has placed him somewhere for a specific reason, you can be sure that he’s going to give the job, and the people, his very best.

SS: Who is your least favorite character in this book? Why?
Oh, I don’t like Drogan at all. He does some truly terrible things. He’s allowed bitterness to completely wreck his life. I’d like to shake the man and make him see the error of his ways.

SS: What are you working on now?
Book 2 in this series is Protected and will release next year. Erin Jacobs lives in Texas and runs a rescue facility for animals. One night she is called out to a rescue, only to find something she never would have expected. This is a story of the power of God’s love and the breadth of God’s reach. I also have two more Amish mystery releases, Murder Tightly Knit (December 2014) and Murder Freshly Baked (June 2015)

SS: A tough question: Where do you want to be career-wise in five years? Ten years? 
Well. I have goals. J I’d like to have hit most of the bestseller lists in the next five years, and in 10 I would like to have a small staff and be reaching an even broader audience. I know that God is in control of these things, and so who knows if this will happen. But I’m going to work as hard as I can toward those goals because I think it’s important to share stories that bring people hope.

SS:  Now let’s get a little personal. Name two things on your “bucket list” that you haven’t done yet.   
Only two? I love to travel, so I’m going to say visit Alaska and Scotland.

SS:  What is the silliest thing you have ever done? 
I do a lot of silly things, so that is hard. I climbed into my dog’s kennel with her. She’s an 83 pound rescue lab, and I think she’s the sweetest thing.

SS: What is the hardest thing you have ever done?
Starting over as a single mom at the age of 34. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. It was a terribly difficult time, but God turned my trials into blessings—a real miracle. I’ve been remarried for 15 years, and our children are grown and doing well.

SS: Where can readers find you on the internet?


SS: Anything else you’d like to tell or share with us?  
Thank you for welcoming me into the suspense community. I’m super excited to be here and look forward to spending time with readers and writers who love an action-packed story.

Thanks for joining us!