Wednesday, February 22, 2017

3 Things a Reader Can Do ... Okay, 4!

So, you've finished an amazing book and your heart just glows with justice served, redemption completed, problems resolved, and the hero enthusiastic about the future ... ahhh! What a wonderful feeling when all becomes right in the world of fiction.

And how grateful you are to the author for sending you no this 8-hour vacation from reality. How can you thank the wonderful person who brought you such blissful satisfaction?

Okay, maybe I'm laying it on a little thick, but seriously, there are some special things you can do to thank the authors of the books you love!

  1. Tell them! Most have contact pages or information on their Facebook page or website. Google their name and book title to make sure you have the right person, then drop them a line! (And if your favorite happens to be one of the Suspense Sisters or our Mister, you can find links to their pages in the right column.)
  2. Leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads. These don't have to be articles. Give your favorite authors twenty-five of your best words and 5 stars! It's the nicest thing you can do for an author!
  3. Share! Spread the word about this book. Share the buy link from Amazon on your Facebook profile. You don't have to say much more than, "I LOVED this book!"
That's it; 3 things that can mean so much to any author. I'm telling you, they notice, and they recognize those readers who encourage and support them. 

Oh, wait! There's one more thing: READ! (Like anyone has to urge you to do that, right?) 

And if you need a good suspense all decked out with romance and mystery, leave a comment and you might win a copy of my newest, COUNTER POINT. Here's the short version: 
Someone is determined to finish a murdered hit man's final assignment.
Her father's gone. Her diner's closing. Her car's in the lake. Cat McPherson has nothing left to lose. Except her life. And a madman's bent on taking that away. 
Her former boyfriend, Ray Alexander, returns as a hero from his foreign mission, bringing back souvenirs in the form of death-threats. When several attempts are made on Cat’s life, she must find a way to trust Ray, the man who broke her heart. 
Keeping Cat safe from a fallen cartel leader might prove impossible for Ray, but after seeing his mission destroyed and several godly people killed, he knows better than to ignore the man’s threats. Cat’s resistance to his protection and the stirring of his long-denied feelings for her complicate his intentions, placing them both in a fight for their lives.
Can she survive when ultimate power wants her dead?
When you comment, leave your email and also tell me what you most like to read - suspense or mystery. Random drawing will be held on Tuesday, February 28, 2017.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

New February Release...inspy suspense!









Before Dawn, What Dangers Lurk in the Darkness?
For nine months, ever since a devastating solar flare caused a complete failure of the electrical grid, Shelby Sparks and her diabetic son, Carter, have been living at the ranch of Shelby’s ex-high school sweetheart, Max Berkman.
Mostly insulated from the chaos surrounding them, Shelby and Max discover that the Texas government has fled the capitol and is barely maintaining control of the state. The governor needs volunteers to search for the new federal government, but no one knows exactly where it might be located—if it even still exists—or what perils await those brave enough to take on the mission.
Compelled by Carter’s desperate need for insulin and their God-given sense of duty, Shelby and Max answer the governor’s call and set out on a treacherous 600-mile journey, where they will experience the terrifying effects of unrestrained anarchy. If they have the faith and fortitude necessary to reach their destination, what will they find when they get there?
In this thrilling conclusion to the Remnant trilogy, America is left teetering between total collapse and the dawn of a new and vastly different reality.

Monday, February 20, 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:

Suspense Sister and Senior Reviewer, Marji Laine, presents another
terrific review on our book page. Iola Goulton reviews STILL LIFE by Dani Pettrey. Iola says: “If fast-paced Christian thrillers are your thing, then you’ll enjoy STILL LIFE.” You can read the rest of her review HERE.







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




On Wednesday we’ll hear from Suspense Sister Marji Laine! She’ll tell us “3 Things Readers Can Do - Okay, 4!” She’s also giving away a copy of her book, COUNTER POINT.













Friday, we’re interviewing author Rachel Phillips. She’ll be giving away a copy of her book, SECRETS OF THE AMISH DIARY.

When former Boston lawyer Liz Eckardt buys an Indiana bed-and-breakfast, she yearns to find Amish relatives mentioned in her late
mother’s diary. The other mystery that puzzles her: how Beans, the lazy bulldog she unknowingly purchased with her inn, survives with so much time between breaths.

Then one of her first guests is found dead in the lake behind her B&B, and the prime suspect is the son of Liz’s new Amish friend, Miriam. With the help of the Material Girls, Liz’s quilting buddies, Liz tracks the truth in an entertaining, hair-raising adventure — the first of many.



That’s what’s happening this week on the Suspense Sisters. Don’t miss a single day. Sign up through email so you’ll get updates in the exciting world of inspirational suspense and mystery!


The Suspense Sisters! We love books!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Interview with JULIANNA DEERING and Giveaway!



Welcome to the Suspense Sisters, Julianna Deering!


So glad you could join us. Readers, Julianna is giving away a copy of her book, MURDER ON THE MOOR! This sounds like an intriguing mystery. Please be sure to comment and leave your contact information (very important) for a chance to enter the drawing.


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 (2017) and Death at Thorburn Hall (Coming Fall 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 six contemporary mysteries for Annie’s Fiction. She is represented by Wendy Lawton of the Books & Such Literary Agency (www.booksandsuch.biz).


More about MURDER ON THE MOOR.


MURDER ON THE MOOR

At the urgent request of Drew's old school friend, Hubert "Beaky" Bloodworth, Drew and Madeline Farthering come to Bloodworth Park Lodge in the midst of the Yorkshire moors, a place as moody and mysterious as a Brontë hero. According to Beaky, there have been several incidents of mischief making out on the moor, property destroyed, fires started, streams dammed up, sheep and cattle scattered and, if local gossip is to be believed, the sighting of the shadowy figure of a great black hound. Worst of all, the vicar has been found dead on the steps of the church, and no one can imagine who would want to kill him.

Beaky is obviously smitten with his wife of eight months, the gorgeous and vivacious Sabrina Bloodworth, though it's hard to imagine what she sees in a man as awkward and plain as he. Drew can't help wondering if Sabrina's affections lie more with Beaky's money than himself and, just perhaps, with the fiery Welsh gamekeeper, Rhys Delwyn. Delwyn says poachers are to blame for the recent trouble, Sabrina claims the moor is haunted, and Beaky suspects that Carter Gray, a neighboring landowner with a longstanding grudge against the Bloodworths, is behind the episodes. But when someone else is murdered and the troubling incidents grow more threatening, Drew begins to suspect local ne'er-do-well Jack Midgley of more than poaching. But just how does Midgley fit into the scheme and who is paying him? It's up to Drew to look past his own prejudices, determine what is really going on, and find the killer before it's too late.

And now, to hear more from Julianna.



SS: When did you realize you wanted to be an author?



JD: I’ve been a reader ever since I was a very little girl and I’ve always enjoyed drama, so I guess I was born with a love of story. But the desire to write, especially the desire to be published, came to me comparatively late. When I was a teen, I played at writing “scripts” for my favorite TV shows (early fan fiction?), but I never did anything with it. When I was in college, I started writing scenes just to entertain myself when my classes were boring. Those early scenes eventually grew into my first book, In Honor Bound. It wasn’t until a friend encouraged me to try to get the book published that I really decided I was a writer.



SS: What are some of the challenges you face as a writer? Are there aspects of your life that are hard for family and friends to understand? What are they?



JD: Deadlines are always a challenge for me. I always feel like I’m chasing something, even when I actually have plenty of time. I think some of my family members think that, just because I’m working from home, I have all the time in the world to do anything I want. Besides my writing deadlines, I have a job preparing estate planning documents for an attorney. Time is always short, even if other people don’t see it that way.



SS: What genre do you write and why? Are there other genres you’ve written or would like to try?



JD: Right now, I write historical cozy mysteries set in 1930s England. As DeAnna Julie Dodson, I wrote a trilogy of medieval romances, and I currently write contemporary mysteries for Annie’s fiction. I’m interested in almost anything historical. I’d love to try my hand at some Regency romance or some kind of moody Gothic tale set in a creepy old manor house in England. Anything between the 1400s and the 1940s interests me.



SS: How do you create characters? Are they based on people you know?



JD: I generally create characters that serve whatever story I want to tell. I have in a couple of instances created a character based on a real person, most recently in my mystery Dressed for Death. In this instance, a friend of mine asked to be killed off in one of my books, and I was happy to oblige. But, as always, my friend was just the starting point of the character which grew into an entity of its own because of the story.



SS: Tell us about your current release.



JD: In Murder on the Moor, Drew and Madeline go up to the mysterious Yorkshire moors to investigate a series of strange happenings culminating in the murder of the local vicar on the steps of his own church. There they encounter old grudges, a faithless spouse, a huge spectral hound, and a fiery Welsh gamekeeper who just happens to look like Aidan Turner. Who could ask for anything more?



SS: Where did you get the idea for this book?



JD: All of the books in this series have a literary inspiration. For this one, I couldn’t think of anything better than the atmospheric Yorkshire moors, especially since I threw in just a touch of Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles.



SS: Tell us about your main character.



JD: I love Drew. He’s fun and well educated, loves books and enjoys a bit of playful banter when possible. He’s still trying to figure out his place in the world, despite being the master of Farthering Place and sole owner of Farlinford Processing. He wants to do more with his life than just spend his fortune, though he struggles a bit with figuring out exactly what God wants him to do. I love that he’s such a devoted husband to Madeline, even if he does tease her from time to time. (And, of course, she teases him right back.) He’s a natty dresser, too, and very easy on the eyes.



SS: Is there a spiritual message in your book? If so, what is it?



JD: In this book, Drew sees that some of his own prejudices are keeping him from solving the mystery. He realizes that only God sees people’s hearts.



SS: What are you working on now?



JD: I’m working on the edits for Drew’s next adventure, Death at Thorburn Hall. In this one, Drew and Madeline go to the 1935 British Open in Scotland and find out that an accidental death wasn’t so accidental. Fans of the series will be happy to know that Carrie returns, but I can’t make any promises about whether she’ll end up with Nick. Stay tuned.



SS: Tell us three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.



JD: I used to play oboe and bassoon (a LONG time ago). I used to be a CPA. I really wish I could fly. Ummmm, I guess I’m not a very surprising person.



SS: Favorite TV shows?



JD: I usually don’t have much time for TV, though there are a few shows I’d love to catch up on when I can (Sherlock, Poldark, Victoria). I do watch all of the Dallas Stars hockey games and Dallas Cowboys football games no matter what.



SS: Anything special you eat or drink while you’re writing?



JD: Not really. Okay, chocolate sometimes, but that usually doesn’t last long because I’m pitiful at stopping at one or two pieces. I have to just not have it in the house.



SS: How do you celebrate after completing a book?



JD: I usually try to take some time off to decompress, but since the last two books I turned in were due one day apart, I haven’t had that luxury. I’ve had to do edits and promotional stuff for both books and then immediately get started on planning the next book I have under contract, which is due in mid-May.



SS: Where can readers find you on the Internet?



On the web:

www.juliannadeering.com

www.deannajuliedodson.com

On Facebook:
https://business.facebook.com/AuthorJuliannaDeering/

https://www.facebook.com/julie.dodson.9659

On Twitter:

@DeAnnaJulDodson

On Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6565151.Julianna_Deering

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


JD: I love to hear from my readers. They can contact me at any of the above links or write me at P. O. Box 375, Aubrey, Texas 76227. I have some neat giveaways for my Drew books if they send me an SASE. Also I’m very excited about the cover for Drew’s sixth adventure, Death at Thorburn Hall. It will be revealed exclusively to my subscribers in the next newsletter. It’s not too late to sign up for Drew’s News either on my Julianna Deering website or through the link in my Julianna Deering Facebook page. Thanks so much for letting me visit!

Thank you so much, Julianna, for joining us. Now remember readers--if you'd like to enter the drawing to win a copy of MURDER ON THE MOOR, please leave a comment and your contact information.

Blessings!
Elizabeth Goddard

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

EIGHT THINGS WRITERS AREN'T


By E.E. Kennedy

Ever since I began writing in earnest, I have from time to time encountered people who have a mistaken impression of what an author/writer is like. I am here today to dispel these misunderstandings. Prepare to have your illusions shattered!

1)      We’re NOT amateur sleuths. I blame Murder She Wrote. In this show, mystery writer Jessica Fletcher tools around on her bicycle, tripping over corpses and unveiling villains. The most puzzling mystery I’ve solved lately is: The Puzzle of the Little Black Marks on All Our Light-Colored Clothes. (Spoiler: The culprit was our ancient Maytag dryer, on its last legs. We bought a new one.)

2)      We’re not rich. The word sounds pretty grand, doesn’t it? “Royalties.” So regal. So inaccurate. Whenever someone asks if I make a lot of money from my books, I respond simply: “Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.” But then, how could you know if you don’t ask? Yes, there are people who actually make a living writing books. I even know a few. They work darn hard, let me tell you. They deserve every penny. The truth is, there are literally (see what I did there?) millions of books on the market at any given time. It’s awfully hard to get your name before the public.


Dame Agatha Christie

3)      We’re not geniuses. Some of us are gifted, it’s true. Most of us just love books, love the language and love a good story. And we do what we love. I happen to have a lifelong devotion to the books of Agatha Christie. I have tried to emulate her style. The jury is still out on whether I’ve succeeded, but I can’t imagine myself writing anything else. (A science fiction story, for example, set in the future. Or a fantasy, with unicorns. That requires imagination above my pay grade. I prefer abiding by the timeless rules of terra firma.)

4)      Not all of us have been writing all our lives. How I wish I had been! Years ago, when I was in college, a professor encouraged me to write more, but I was so self-conscious about putting my thoughts on a page for just anybody to read, I demurred and majored in history instead. I did find myself writing commercials after graduation. I joked that I only had a sixty-second attention span. Now, I’m so old, I don’t care what people think of my thoughts!

5)      We’re not particularly glamorous. (See #2) As a group, I find writers to be about as un-glamorous a tribe as anybody out there. I think it’s because so many of us live in our heads, so to speak. Turning out three chapter in a day doesn’t require that we have freshly-applied lipstick or freshly-shaven chins (in the case of men--mostly). I do try, though. I endeavor never to be seen without eyeliner. It’s a thing with me. Otherwise I look like Buster Keaton’s sister. (Look him up. You’ll laugh.)

6)      Not all of us are misunderstood, miserable people with perpetual angst. To be sure, some of us are, but the nearly all writers I know have families, pets and friends and are what might be loosely termed “normal.” I’m not sure one must suffer to be an artiste. But one must have lived—that’s a given. One of the reasons I didn’t like what I wrote as a callow college student was certainly because I hadn’t gained the maturity and perspective that comes after a few years. And the kindness. I wasn’t a particularly kind kid. I like to think I’ve improved with age.

7)      We don’t knock off every day at five. We’re thinking of our stories pretty much all the time. A story idea could come to a person anywhere, as it did for me while I was babysitting my three grandsons. They were playing on the contained playground at the local Chic-fil-A and I was scribbling notes on the plot twist in Murder in the Past Tense, all the while keeping one eye peeled, just in case they started to kill each other. I have read that Agatha Christie (my idol) was inspired to write The Boomerang Clue  when she heard someone on the street say casually, “Why didn’t they ask Evans?” The resulting story was brilliant. I have even awakened from a deep sleep, still thinking in dialogue.

The aforementioned grandsons
8)      We’re not all great at grammar, spelling and punctuation. Nope. I try my best, but I slip occasionally, as my editor quickly points out. To my shame, my first book was chock-full of terrible mistakes, particularly involving commas, colons and quotation marks. Only with practice have I improved. Here’s another state secret: in school, I was utterly terrible at diagramming sentences! I still can make head nor tail of those dizzying charts!

9)      BONUS:  As for the Suspense Sisters, here’s what we ARE! We’re a group of mystery/thriller writers whose base is the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Our faith touches our work and, we hope, touches you—the reader—as well.

What assumptions do you have about writers? Do you think they’re accurate?

Please comment below (including your email address). I’ll try to respond in an accurate and perhaps humorous manner and your name will be tossed in a hat, with a chance to win an e-book copy of my latest mystery, Incomplete Sentence!
____

E.E. Kennedy’s website is missprenticecozymystery.com
She is also the author of TEXAS FIRES, a Christian romance novella in the anthology, ROAD TO DANGER.

This is where you’ll find sample chapters from all her mysteries:

Irregardless of Murder

Death Dangles a Participle

Murder in the Past Tense

Incomplete Sentence

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Hot new inspy suspense!




Raging Storm (The Remnant #2)
Vannetta Chapman
ISBN: 978-0736966559 Publisher: Harvest House
Book Release Date: February 1, 2017
In the Darkness, Anarchy Awakens

When a massive solar flare wiped out all modern technology across the globe, the small town of Abney, Texas, was thrown into chaos. Shelby Sparks and her teenage son, Carter, have found refuge, but Shelby knows she can’t simply remain hidden. Carter is a type 1 diabetic in need of insulin—and Shelby will risk her life traveling to Austin to make sure he gets it.

Shelby’s best friend and high school sweetheart, Max Berkman, won’t even consider letting her make the perilous journey alone. Together, they manage to reach the capital—only to discover that while things are desperate in Abney, Austin has turned into an urban nightmare on the brink of anarchy.

Shelby and Max’s search for medical supplies will lead them into terrifying territory, where the only thing more uncertain than finding what they need is the hope of making it out of the city alive.

In this second book in an eerily plausible, action-packed dystopian series, survival will be threatened and faith will be put to the ultimate test as a raging storm engulfs America.

Monday, February 13, 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:

Suspense Sister and Senior Reviewer, Marji Laine, presents another terrific review on our book page. Iola Goulton reviews STILL LIFE by Dani Pettrey. Iola says: “If fast-paced Christian thrillers are your thing, then you’ll enjoy STILL LIFE.” You can read the rest of her review HERE.





 



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










On Wednesday Suspense Sister Ellen Kennedy shares “Eight Things Writers Aren’t.” She’s also giving away an ebook copy of her novel, INCOMPLETE SENTENCE.  













Friday, we’re interviewing the awesome, Julianna Deering. (If you like Agatha Christie, you’ll love Julianna!) You could win a copy of her book, MURDER ON THE MOOR!

Mystery Awaits on the Mysterious Yorkshire Moors
 
At the urgent request of an old school friend, Drew and Madeline Farthering come to Bloodworth Park Lodge in the midst of the Yorkshire moors, a place as moody and mysterious as a Brontë hero. There have been several worrisome incidents out on the moor--property destroyed, fires started, sheep and cattle scattered--and worst of all, the vicar has been found dead on the steps of the church.

Drew's friend is obviously smitten with his bride of eight months, though it's hard to imagine what she sees in the awkward man. Drew can't help wondering if her affections lie more with the man's money and estate, while her romantic interests focus on their fiery Welsh gamekeeper. As the danger grows ever closer, it's up to Drew to look past his own prejudices, determine what is really going on, and find the killer before it's too late.

That’s what’s happening this week on the Suspense Sisters. Don’t miss a single day. Sign up through email so you’ll get updates in the exciting world of inspirational suspense and mystery!


The Suspense Sisters! We love books!

Friday, February 10, 2017

INTERVIEW WITH MELODY CARLSON By Cynthia Hickey





Melody Carlson is one of the most prolific novelists of our time. With more than 200 books published and sales topping seven million, Melody writes primarily for women and teens. She’s won numerous honors and awards, including The Rita, Gold Medallion, Carol Award and Romantic Times Lifetime Achievement award. Melody has two grown sons and one granddaughter. She makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband. When not writing, Melody likes to travel, bike, camp, garden, and walk her yellow Labrador in the great outdoors.


When did you decide to pursue writing and eventually publication?

I got serious about writing nearly thirty years ago. At the time, it felt like I was arriving late on the scene, which makes me chuckle now. But I’d been writing for my own enjoyment and communication purposes for as long as I can remember. I finally reached the point where I wanted to attack writing as a “career.’ Back then (more than 200 books ago) it seemed like the impossible dream—and that era came with a lot of rejection. But I was stubborn and a bit naïve—plus I loved the writing process.

What is your writing process like? Do you write daily? Are you a plotter or a panster?

Well, as I just mentioned, I loved the process. And I still do. The reason I love it is because I’m a pantser. I love not knowing exactly where I’m going. I like the adventure of discovery, finding answers, being surprised by the unexpected. This is what keeps me going back to my writing studio, where I write almost daily. Usually just on weekdays—and normal office hours. Unless I’m crunching on a deadline, then I’ll put in a few more hours.

What is your favorite part of the writing process? Least favorite?

I love it when the story really kicks into gear, when the pace picks up and I can’t wait to find out what’s going to happen next. Like yesterday (a Sunday) I told my husband that I was eager to get back to my current book because I wanted to find out what is going to happen to the heroine (she and her teenage niece are in great peril). My least favorite thing is having to make an outline for a book (remember, I’m a pantser) and nowadays some publishers insist on outlines before they give contracts. I try not to grumble too loudly.

Please tell us about your latest release.

My latest suspense book is called Against the Tide (Love Inspired Suspense, Harlequin, Oct. 2016).
Set in an Oregon coastal town, Megan McCallister suspects her father (a small town newspaper editor) has
been murdered due to a story he’d been researching. With the help of marina owner Garret Larsson, she attempts to get to the bottom of it—and tries to avoid ending up at the bottom of the sea instead.

Who or what inspired this special story?

The location was actually very inspirational. We used to own a beach cabin in a setting like this one and I’ve crafted several novels in a fictional locale that’s very similar.

Is there anything else you would like to share? What will you be working on next?

I’m working on a suspense proposal right now (I’ve already finished the dreaded outline) and far enough into the story to want to keep going. Interestingly, this story was inspired by a real life situation that happened to me this fall—and at a time when I wanted to take a ‘break’ from writing. It feels like even when I try to escape writing, a story will hunt me down and force me to write it.

Can you tell us something about yourself that a few people may know?

I swam across a crocodile infested river when I was nineteen (more than once!).

What is your most treasured possession?

It depends on how you define “treasured” and “possession.” Excluding living things, it might be an antique rocking chair that my grandfather left me when I was a teen. The chair had been brought to Oregon by his pioneering family in the 1850’s. I consider it a treasure.

If you had to leave your house suddenly, what is the one thing you would grab, other than family and pets?

As much as I’d want to grab my rocking chair, I might have to go for my computer hard drive—it still has a lot of unpublished books on it.

Thank you to much! Where can readers find out more about you and your books?

melodycarlson.com




LEAVE A COMMENT FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A COPY OF AGAINST THE TIDE

 Megan McCallister suspects her father's deep-sea fishing death was not accidental. As owner ofthe local newspaper, Rory McCallister's investigative reporting may have led to his demise. And when Megan picks up where her dad left off, her life is threatened as well. But marina owner and old friend Garret Larsson comes to her aid, helping her through the danger-filled investigation.