Friday, October 20, 2017

A Chat With Author Janet McHenry-By Linda Kozar

Annie's Attic Antique Shop Mysteries
Author Janet McHenry


                           See below for today's giveaway!






All About Janet...After Janet graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, with a degree in journalism, she married her high school sweetheart Craig and worked as a newspaper reporter and editor.  They eventually settled down in the Sierra Valley in northern California, where Craig is a rancher and where there is not a single stoplight in the entire county. In their town of 700+ folks, she says they have raised four pretty good children – all done with college and married – and are now enjoying the grandkids, all of whom are perfect. Visit the Family GalleryAs a busy writer, speaker, prayer coordinator at her church, and board member of The Sierra Schools Foundation, Janet says the only pastime she has time for is friends!  And she looks forward to knowing you better! Find her on Facebook or her Looking Up! blog.


1.    I read about the story behind what inspired you to write Prayer Walk. What is prayer walking? Prayer walking is praying for whatever God puts within your eyesight. I live right on Main Street in my little town in the Sierra Valley. So, as I walk past businesses, I pray that God will favor the owners and workers in their business and families and that they will know that blessing is coming from God and serve them with their lives. 

2.     What are your favorite elements of mystery and suspense? I love quirky characters with secretive pasts. It's fun bringing them into a story, each with means, motive, and opportunity--and then let the sleuth do the digging to better understand that person. I believe characters should always drive a story--even with the mystery form.

3.     Who is your favorite or most memorable character in one of your books? If you could, would you want to meet that character in real life? I really like Maggie Watson, the sleuth in the Antique Shop Mysteries, published by Annie's. She's a 40-some widow who inherits her Aunt Evelyn's estate on the Maine coast, complete with an antiques shop on the property. I love hunting for antiques, and I love the stories behind them. I can picture myself doing what she does in her stories.

4.    Do you incorporate settings in your books from your real-life travels? I did travel to the Maine coast before writing Bride and Seek, the mystery I wrote for the Antique Shop Mysteries series. I wanted to take in all the sights, sounds, and smells of the area. I particularly loved the small towns, the lighthouses, the beaches, and the fresh ocean air. 

5.    Tell us your favorite book signing or book launch story. For one of my books on prayer, the local newspaper in my small town hosted a signing for me. A friend bought a couple books and then said, "Oh, pray for 'John.'" This was a person I HAD been praying for for several years, so I said, "Wow! I have been. What's going on?" She said, "Well, he's been coming to church and reading the Bible all the way through." This good news truly touched my heart, because I knew he had had a troubled past. That he was now seeking a personal relationship with God was good news indeed. 

6.    What advice would you give to a beginning author? Go to a writers' conference--a good one of many days. It's the best investment I made in my writing career. In fact, I went to THREE of them the first year I sensed the call to write. At those conferences I began to understand the various forms of writing--both articles and books. I kept going to the Mt. Hermon Christian Writers Conference for at least 15 years. At those conferences you not only get professional instruction; you also get to rub shoulders with agents and editors and to get professional critique and help so you can get better as a writer. 

7.    Name one of your favorite classic books or authors.  This is a great question for a former high school English teacher! The quintessential American classic, I believe, is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. In fact, we should all read it again and again. It encourages us to put ourselves in other people's shoes before we judge them or think ourselves superior. The novel not only deals with racial prejudice, but also delves into social class discrimination, religious intolerance and hypocrisy, and sexual discrimination. A contemporary Christian novelist I'm especially enjoying right now, though, is Cynthia Ruchti. She weaves strong thematic ideas through her beautiful prose. I want to be like her when I grow up.  

8.    Tell us about the book you're giving away to one lucky reader on Suspense Sisters today. I will be delighted to mail a copy of The Secret of the Locked Trunk, the second in the Annie Shepard Mysteries that I wrote for Cook Publishing years ago. It's a fun little series for juvenile girls--sort of a Christian Nancy Drew read. 


TODAY'S GIVEAWAY!


LEAVE A COMMENT TO ENTER!



Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Fun Autumn Facts, plus a giveaway!




Yes, I know you're all busy reading, reading, reading out there in cyber land, but take a break. Here's a list of super cool autumn fun facts with which you can dazzle your friends and neighbors. Say! Here's an idea! How about you all add a fun fact about fall in your comments? I'll pick one commenter to win a copy of Cowboy Christmas Guardian! Ready? Let's go. 


Did you know.....?

1. The Arctic Tern prepares for winter by flying a whopping 11,000 miles each way on its annual migration route?

2. During the fall, more people change their Facebook status from single to "in a relationship" or "engaged" than in any other season?

3. Babies born in autumn are statistically more likely to live to 100 years old than their counterparts born during other seasons?

4.  Autumn is the time when monarch butterflies begin to migrate to Southern California and Mexico? They can fly 12-24 miles per hour.


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

New suspense for October!




Aurelie Harcourt inherits her father’s last manuscript and decides to complete it. She finds he has written his family into the story. She reads and learns about her mother, Lady Jane, and her mysterious disappearance from Lynhurst Manor, the home Aurelie is now living in. There are more secrets about her relatives to be uncovered.

Monday, October 16, 2017

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

On Wednesday we'll hear from Dana again when she shares some Fun Autumn Facts! Add your own “fact” and you could win a copy of herbook, COWBOY CHRISTMAS GUARDIAN! 

Someone is dead set on stopping Shelby Arroyo from doing her job: assessing mineral rights in a mine in gold country. But after rancher Barrett Thorn rescues her from an attack, the handsome widowed cowboy seems to feel responsible for her. That is, until he discovers she's from the family that he'll never forgive for his wife's death. As the threats against Shelby escalate, cowboy honor and an unexpected attraction keep Barrett by her side, even at his own risk. And since Shelby won't back down, Barrett must protect the brave, loyal woman he has no business falling for…a woman someone wants to kill by Christmas.

Friday, we’re interviewing author Janet McHenry. Someone will win a copy of her YA book, SECRET OF THE LOCKED TRUNK. Anyone who loved Nancy Drew will enjoy this great story!   

 When thirteen-year-old Annie finds an old trunk in the attic, she begins to unravel the mysteries surrounding it and in the process learns lessons about family love.









The Suspense Sisters! We love books!


Friday, October 13, 2017

Interview with Rachel Dylan and GIVEAWAY!


Please join me in welcoming romantic suspense author Rachel Dylan! 

Rachel is giving away one print copy of DEADLY PROOF to one lucky winner! Please comment below and leave your contact information. You are not entered in the drawing if you do not leave contact information.



Rachel Dylan writes Christian fiction including legal romantic suspense. Rachel has practiced law for over a decade including being a litigator at one of the nation’s top law firms. She enjoys weaving together legal and suspenseful stories with a romantic twist. A southerner at heart, she now lives in Michigan with her husband and five furkids—two dogs and three cats. Rachel loves to connect with readers. You can find Rachel at www.RachelDylan.com.





Now let's hear from Rachel.

What do you do when you’re not writing? I still work full time as an attorney, so that takes up a big chunk of my time. I spend the weekends writing, and I’m currently trying out software to see if I can use my commute time to work in the car more productively.


Any interesting hobbies? I love to sing and peck around on my keyboard. I would prefer a piano, but since I don’t have one, I use the keyboard. I also am a huge animal lover and love spending time with my two dogs and three cats. My husband often says if it wasn’t for him, I’d be a crazy cat lady. Some people think I already am! But don’t let cats fool you. The idea that cats are low maintenance does NOT apply to my crew. They are all divas.


Speaking of music—do you write to music or silence? I like to write to music. There are sometimes when I have to turn on opera or classical music so I won’t be singing along with the words as I try to write.


Tell us three things about yourself that might surprise your readers. This is fun! 1) I was a national debate champion in college, 2) I was recruited by the NSA (didn’t take the job); and 3) I was a high school cheerleader.


What are you working on now?
I’m working on line edits for LONE WITNESS, book 2 in the Atlanta Justice series. I’m also writing Book 3 in the series.


Any other genres you’d like to try? If yes, what and why? I’m really enjoying writing legal suspense with a bit of romance right now. I think I could do suspense without the romance. What I don’t think I could do is contemporary romance! I’ll leave that to others much more capable than me.


What is the most important thing you’d like readers to take away from your books? I don’t think there’s just one thing. But I’d like readers to not only be entertained but to take away a message of faith and hope even in the dark times. Just like my tag line—faith in times of fear.


What is the most valuable piece of advice you’d like to give to unpublished authors? Don’t give up. Hard work and perseverance go a long way. If writing is something you truly find joy in, then don’t get discouraged. And on the flip side, if you find yourself being frustrated with writing, know when to take a step back and refresh. 

Thank you so much for the interesting interview, Rachel! I loved Deadly Proof and recently reviewed it on Suspense Sisters. 

Here's more about DEADLY PROOF and buy links if you don't want to wait for the drawing!

DEADLY PROOF

Riveting New Series Offers Legal Suspense with a Romantic Twist

In the biggest case of her career, attorney Kate Sullivan is tapped as lead counsel to take on Mason Pharmaceutical because of a corporate cover-up related to its newest drug. After a whistleblower dies, Kate knows the stakes are much higher than her other lawsuits.

Former Army Ranger turned private investigator Landon James is still haunted by mistakes made while serving overseas. Trying to forget the past, he is hired by Kate to look into the whistleblower's allegation and soon suspects that the company may be engaging in a dangerous game for profit. He also soon finds himself falling for this passionate and earnest young lawyer.

Determined not to make the same mistakes, he's intent on keeping Kate safe, but as the case deepens, it appears someone is willing to risk everything--even murder--to keep the case from going to trial.

Buy Links: Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iTunes

Remember to leave a comment with your contact information to enter the drawing for DEADLY PROOF. 

Thank you for joining us!

Elizabeth Goddard










Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Seven Tips for Book Signings

by Patricia Bradley
Me @ B&N with two author friends
Book signings. You either love 'em or hate 'em. 

A few weeks ago I had back-to-back book signings at two Barnes and Noble bookstores, and I thought I'd pass along what I learned. 

  • Wear something comfortable, especially shoes if you plan to walk around the store greeting people. I wore heels. Believe me, it doesn't look good when you walk like Chester from Gunsmoke. 
  • Make sure your chair is the right height. I tried a stool first and had to bend over to sign books. Then I tried a chair that was too low. Now I know how little kids feel when they are in a grownup chair trying to reach the table. I ended up putting the books in my lap to sign.
  • Make eye contact with the customers. Did you know there were some customers who never turned their head as they walked by, totally absorbed by a stand of dictionaries to their left?  
  • Don't feel bad when customers go way out of their way to the coffee shop by circling behind you even though walking in front of you is a  shorter and more direct path.
  • Pray for a downpour that lasts at least an hour. Pretty soon, customers get bored and decide to go talk to the author. Some even buy books.
  • Always smile. And be sure to tell passing customers you are the author. You would not believe the people who, when you say you are the author, will stop in their tracks and actually look at you and say, "You wrote those?" while pointing to your stack of books. Most of the time, those customers will buy your book.
  • Take tea cakes. Especially take tea cakes. Older readers remember tea cakes from their childhood and younger ones get to try something new. Be sure to check out the recipe below.
And those are my tips for book signings. 

Now I'd like to hear from you. As readers, when you go to a bookstore and an author is signing books, do you stop and talk?

And authors, do you have any additional tips? 

Old Fashioned Tea Cakes


Tea Cakes

1 cup sugar
1 stick butter, softened
¼ cup oil
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 ½ cups self-rising flour
I always add a dash of nutmeg. Cinnamon can also be added.

Combine sugar, butter, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Mix well. Add flour gradually. Drop by spoonful onto ungreased cookie sheet. Press out, using a piece of wax paper sprayed with cooking spray and a glass. Bake at 375° until browned.

Icing (For a book signing, I usually leave the icing off)
Vanilla:
1 box Confectioners sugar
1 stick of butter, melted
1 Tablespoon vanilla
Mix well and add heavy cream (I often used Pet Milk) one tablespoon at a time until smooth and spreading consistency.

Lemon:
1 box Confectioners sugar
1 stick of butter, melted
1/3 cup lemon juice, more if needed to thin
Mix well and beat until spreading consistency.

Leave a comment to be entered in a drawing for a $10 Amazon gift card.