Friday, September 28, 2018

Interview with Angela Ruth Strong and GIVEAWAY


by Elizabeth Goddard

Today I'm interviewing Angela Ruth Strong. She is giving away a copy of A CAFFEINE CONUNDRUM to one winner (US only). Please comment and leave your contact information to enter the drawing!


Bio
Angela Ruth Strong published her debut novel, Love Finds You in Sun Valley, Idaho, in 2010, which became the first in her Resort to Love Series. She’s gone on to publish with Harlequin and have a book selected as TOP PICK by Romantic Times and become an Amazon Bestseller. This Idaho Top Author and Cascade Award winner also started IDAhope Writers to encourage other aspiring authors. She currently lives in Idaho with her husband and teenagers where she teaches yoga and works as a ticket agent for an airline when not writing. You can find out more at www.angelaruthstrong.com.


If you had to describe yourself in one sentence, what would you say?


According to my daughter, I’m more happy than most people. Coming from a teenager, this is not a compliment, but I’m, ya know, happy with it. 😊

What do you do when you’re not writing? Any interesting hobbies?

I teach fitness classes, and I work for an airline. Basically I like to get paid to exercise and travel.

What was your favorite book as a teen or child?

I loved reading the Mandie series by Lois Gladys Leppard so much that halfway through the year, my 4th grade teacher refused to let me use them for book reports anymore. This broke my heart because there were no other stories as exciting as a rich 12-year-old and her cat solving mysteries in the south during the early 1900s.

Tell us three things about yourself that might surprise your readers.
I have a bad ear, and a couple years ago my good eardrum ruptured so that I could barely hear for a month. I had to get a tube put in as an adult. Without corrective lenses, I’m legally blind. I’ve worn contacts since 6th grade. I didn’t take swimming lessons until college.

What genre did you start out writing? Have you changed course? Why or why not?

Since you asked…

The first novel I sold was a sweet romance in the Love Finds You line of books. The crazy part is that I sold Love Finds You in Sun Valley based on having only written three chapters if it. This isn’t normal. I honestly believe this happened because God wanted to give me some encouragement that I could do this.

See, right after I sold that book, my first husband left me. I quit writing romance since I didn’t believe in love anymore. I even ended my relationship with my agent, and the publisher went out of business.

So I wrote a series for ages 8-12, starting with The Water Fight Professional. It’s super fun and I love it, and I’m so glad I had this opportunity.

But then I fell in love with Mr. Strong, and I realized that love changes lives, and there’s nothing else I’d rather write about. Plus, my debut novel had been optioned for film. Though I’d ended my relationship with my agent and the publisher had shut down, God breathed new life into the book.



A new publisher helped me get my rights back and write love stories for my hero’s brothers in the Resort to Love Series. There is an audio book now, and Finding Love in Big Sky is in development with a producer.

After that, I decided to try romantic suspense. A lot of my local writing friends wrote for Love Inspired Suspense, and I thought that would be fun. So I wrote Presumed Dead. And I joined two book sets with other romantic suspense novels.

I like romantic suspense, but the genre pulled me away from what I enjoyed about writing sweet romance—quirky small town characters. To blend those genres together, I ended up with a new cozy mystery series. The CafFUNated Mysteries focus on two female leads—a tea lover and a coffee lover—who run a business together and solve murders. I would compare it to the television show Psyche.

Writing in various genres like this goes against everything my agents have ever told me to do. I don’t recommend it, but I also don’t regret it. Maybe eventually I’ll find a genre I want to stick with.

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

Criticism—More than one editor has liked my ideas but not my finished product and said, “I wish you wrote better.” And I’m like, “So do I!” I’m working on it.

Compliment—I like it when my stories are considered delightful and charming despite dealing with tough issues. To quote an old agent, “You make the tragic entertaining.”

Any other genres you’d like to try? If yes, what and why?

I just wrote my first screenplay. And I have a non-fiction book proposal under consideration. Why? Because God opened doors. And it makes me happy. Tee-hee.

If you could go back in time and do something differently at the start of your career, what would it be?
I would lay my selfish ambition to rest.

What is the most important thing you’d like readers to take away from your books?

Life is a divine romance. Love and be loved.

What is the most valuable piece of advice you’d like to give to unpublished authors?


Your writing is never as good or as bad as you think it is. It’s worth pursuing AND it can always improve.

Connect with Angela!

Website: angealruthstrong@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1557213161269220/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AngelaRStrong
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Caffeine-Conundrum-CafFUNated-Mysteries-Book-ebook/dp/B07FRXWSVM/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1537499543&sr=8-5&keywords=Angela+Ruth+Strong
B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-caffeine-conundrum-angela-ruth-strong/1129283276?ean=9781943959471
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40945129-a-caffeine-conundrum
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1557213161269220/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AngelaRStrong


Back Cover Copy of A CAFFEINE CONUNDRUM

Sassy city girl Tandy Brandt moves to the small town of Grace Springs to start a coffee shop, never imagining she'll be competing with local beauty queen Marissa Alexander and her dream of running a tea house. Unfortunately, the current store owner dies before selling the location to either of them, and they both become murder suspects.

The unlikely pair team up in an attempt to discover the real killer, though with the secrets in Tandy's past and Marissa's infamous clumsiness, they could be their own worst enemies. Despite their differences, they follow clues to question a sweet, apple pie baking antique store owner, a GQ Santa in the retirement center, and a hipster millionaire with no social skills. Will they be able to figure out whodunit and prove their innocence before one of them goes to jail...or worse? 

Remember to comment to enter the drawing for A CAFFEINE CONUNDRUM! 






Wednesday, September 26, 2018

A Recipe for Romance by Mary Ellis, win an advance reader copy of new Amish mystery


Gourmets and cooking-show fanatics will shake their heads at this post, but I must share the story of the first dinner I cooked for my boyfriend (now my husband of many years). We were sophomores in college and had only been dating for several months. Yet, somehow we both knew this was the one. Keep in mind, any time my mom tried to teach me to cook I would run in the other direction. Even chemistry homework appealed more than anything in the kitchen. But when Ken asked me to fix him dinner during Christmas vacation, what did I say? Sure, why not? After all, how hard could it be? I packed all the ingredients from grocery store into my car and drove to his house. The rest of his family would be out for the evening. Did I take a cookbook? Of course not, since my mother didn’t own one. She’d learned everything from Grandma Ellis who also never wrote anything down. Ken chose fried chicken and potato salad as his favorite meal. I added iceburg lettuce with bottled dressing and green beans straight from the can—no butter or seasoning—to round out the meal. I breaded and fried the chicken, then kept turning the pieces in the skillet until I set off the smoke alarm. After all, I had no idea when they were done. But the extra crispy chicken turned out better than my potato salad. Since I had no idea when the potatoes might be cooked, the result resembled mashed spuds with tiny pieces of celery, onion and hard-boiled egg. But Ken loved my dinner. He not only cleaned his plate but raved about everything. Maybe it’s not surprising since I was cute-as-a-bug and he was enchanted. But here’s the best part: When his parents and sister returned from the movies, they all took plates and ate the leftovers. In fact, my late mother-in-law’s exact words were: “Oh, my, you better not let this one get away. Any girl who cooks like this is a keeper.”

I went home that night thinking I was a good cook. It would be some time before I found out the truth. But Ken proposed that Christmas and we marred six days after college graduation. I still miss my mom and my mother-in-law. They both taught me that unconditional love is more important than anything that goes into your stomach. Before she passed away, my mom did teach me to cook a few of her special recipes, but every now and then I still set off smoke alarms…just for old times’ sake.  


Please leave a comment telling me how you learned to cook for a chance to win an ARC of my Amish mystery novella, Nothing Tastes So Sweet, included in the anthology, The Amish Sweet Shop, that will release in December. USA only, please.  ~ Mary Ellis, Suspense Sisters 

You may also pre-book at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Amish-Sweet-Shop-Emma-Miller-ebook/dp/B07BVGY2HD/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1536951371&sr=8-1&keywords=the+amish+sweet+shop&dpID=5143TwRcd%252BL&preST=_SY445_QL70_&dpSrc=srch

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

HOT NEW INSPIRATIONAL SUSPENSE

What's new in inspirational suspense and mystery this week?
Laura Scott has a brand new mystery, Battle Tested, which releases October 1st from Love Inspired Suspense



Keeping guard--because a killer lurks. A Military K-9 Unit novel. When Captain Isaac Goddard saves Vanessa Gomez from a vicious attack, he discovers the feisty military nurse is the Red Rose Killer's next target. With help from Vanessa's guard Doberman, the former pilot makes it his mission to protect Vanessa and her young brother. But when the danger closes in, can he overcome the post-traumatic stress that haunts him and stop a ruthless killer?

Available at Christianbook.com: 
https://www.christianbook.com/battle-tested-laura-scott/9781335490643/pd/490640?event=EBRNL

and Amazon.com:  https://www.amazon.com/Battle-Tested-Military-K-9-Unit/dp/1335490647/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1535321153&sr=8-1&keywords=battle+tested+by+laura+scott







Monday, September 24, 2018

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 Mary Ellis will share What’s Hot in Inspirational Suspense and Mystery. (Picture of

Wednesday, we’ll hear from Mary again. Her post is titled: A recipe for Romance. She’s giving away a copy of THE AMISH SWEET SHOP! e pHhhhh

It’s almost Valentine’s Day, the busiest time of the year at Beechy’s Sweets, where the Amish gifts of love and faith are even sweeter than the home-made candy.

THE SWEETEST COURTSHIP National Bestselling Author Emma Miller
 At age thirty-six, Jacob Beechy is a rarity—a master candy maker, and a bachelor. His mother, however, still hopes for grandchildren. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, she convinces Jacob he will need extra help in the shop and interviews a string of applicants—for his
 future wife . . .
 
THE SWEETEST TRUTH  National Bestselling Author Laura Bradford
 Sadie Fischer has accepted that she will never marry. Her scars from a barn fire are a daily reminder of why. So when she receives
mysterious gifts leading up to Valentine’s Day, including chocolate from Beechy’s, she’s bewildered—yet curious. Sadie may not think she’s pretty, but there’s a young man who sees only sweetness when he looks at her . . .
 
NOTHING TASTES SO SWEET Award Winning Author Mary Ellis
 Pregnant and suddenly widowed, Hannah must give up the dreams she once had. But when she learns that her longtime English employer plans to sell his hardware store, she’s determined to buy it. She doesn’t realize that will mean following a clue from Beechy’s to clear a man’s name—and finding a partnership in work, faith, and love . . .
He’s her undercover bodyguard—but she can’t know.

Friday, Elizabeth Goddard interviews Angela Ruth Strong. She’s giving away a copy of her book, A CAFFEINE CONUNDRUM!

Solving a murder mystery is harder when you don't trust your partner...or their taste in beverages.

Sassy city girl Tandy Brandt moves to the small town of Grace Springs to start a coffee shop, never imagining she'll be competing with local beauty queen Marissa Alexander and her dream of running a tea house. Unfortunately, the current store owner dies before selling the location to either of them, and they both become murder suspects.

The unlikely pair team up in an attempt to discover the real killer, though with the secrets in Tandy's past and Marissa's infamous clumsiness, they could be their own worst enemies. Despite their differences, they follow clues to question a sweet, apple pie baking antique store owner, a GQ Santa in the retirement center, and a hipster millionaire with no social skills. Will they be able to figure out whodunit and prove their innocence before one of them goes to jail...or worse?
 

The Suspense Sisters


We love books!


Friday, September 21, 2018

Book Review ~ Web of Secrets by Susan Sleeman

By Patricia Bradley

This past week I read Web of Secrets a gripping story by Susan Sleeman. It's from her Agents Under Fire series and was released back in 2016, but for some reason I missed it. I'm giving away a $10 Amazon gift card. All you have to do is leave a comment!

Here's the back cover copy:

A nightmare come true . . .

Years ago, a fifteen-year-old girl was abducted by a monster. Although she managed to escape, her tormenter was never caught. So the girl was given a new home, a new name . . . and the determination to save other foster kids from suffering similar horrors.

FBI Agent Becca Lange is in the middle of a credit card fraud investigation when she's faced with her worst nightmare: a serial killer, van Gogh--given the name because he removed his victims' ears--has resurfaced. Back in the nineties, van Gogh tortured, then killed several young foster girls. Becca was almost one of them.

Over the years, Becca's been keeping her own investigation going. So when the police come to her for help, she's more than ready to do what it takes to put van Gogh behind bars--even if it means working with Connor Warren, the easy-going cop whose attentions she's been avoiding. Connor is too charming, too good-looking, too . . . tempting. He makes Becca want things she can never have. And might never have . . .

Because van Gogh isn't finished with Becca yet. He's been searching for her all these years. And now that he's found her, he's got a plan to keep her . . . forever.

"An absolutely incredible romantic suspense novel!"--TheSuspenseZone.com

"Web of Shadows is another winner from Sleeman. Highly recommended!"--Edits and Reviews by Leslie

My Take:
Wow! This story was intense. Susan did a great job with all the technical stuff like how to identify remains and tell age, gender, and race without it sounding teacherly. She also kept raising the stakes with van Goh getting closer and closer.

The story between Becca and Conner was gripping as well. Both were wounded in their pasts and were not looking for a relationship, but sometimes things like that are out of our hands. The two were opposites and the conflict that caused kept the reader engaged. And Conner definitely was swoon worthy!

Susan did a great job of writing about foster children. I loved the way Becca tried to help these children. She'd been a foster child herself so she knew what they needed.  

If you missed this book when it first released like I did, do yourself a favor and check it out! And then check out the other books in the Agents Under Fire series. I am! Her books are available on her website.


Susan Sleeman is a best-selling author of clean read and inspirational romantic suspense books. Awards include the 2013 Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Best Book Award. In addition to writing, Susan also hosts the popular website TheSuspenseZone.com. She currently lives in Oregon with her husband. They have two daughters, a son-in-law, and an adorable grandson. To learn more about Susan stop by any of these locations on the web.


You can connect with Susan at:
Susansleeman.com; 
Facebook.com/SusanSleemanBooks;
Twitter.com/SusanSleeman

And don't forget to leave a comment to be entered in a drawing for a $10 Amazon gift card.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

HOT NEW INSPIRATIONAL SUSPENSE

What's new in inspirational suspense and mystery? 
Award-winning author, Lisa Harris, releases A Secret to Die For today from Revell



Psychologist Grace Callahan has no idea that she has a secret--one worth killing for. But when she finds out one of her clients has been murdered, she quickly realized that the computer security specialist wasn't simply suffering from paranoia.

Detective Nate Quinn has just been cleared for active duty after a bombing killed eighteen people, including his-partner, and left him dealing with PTSD. His first case back on the job involves the murder of Stephen Shaw, and his only lead turns out to be an old friend, Grace Callahan--and her life is in grave danger. Someone believes Shaw gave his psychologist information before he died. Information they are willing to kill for. 

Available September 18th from Christianbooks












Friday, September 14, 2018

JUSTICE BETRAYED BY PATRICIA BRADLEY




A 2018 Carol finalist and winner of an Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award in Suspense and Mystery, Patricia Bradley lives in North Mississippi with her rescue kitty, Suzy. Her romantic suspense books include the Logan Point series and the Memphis Cold Case Novels. When she has time she likes to throw mud on a wheel and see what happens.

To learn more, visit Patricia's website
Contact her on Twitter.


JUSTICE BETRAYED

It's Elvis Week in Memphis, and homicide Detective Rachel Sloan isn't sure her day could get any stranger when aging Elvis impersonator Vic Vegas asks to see her. But when he produces a photo of her murdered mother with four Elvis impersonators--one of whom had also been murdered soon after the photo was taken--she's forced to reevaluate. Is there some connection between the two unsolved cases? And could the recent break-in at Vic's home be tied to his obsession with finding his friend's killer?
 

When yet another person in the photo is murdered, Rachel suddenly has her hands full investigating three cases. Lieutenant Boone Callahan offers his help, but their checkered romantic past threatens to get in the way. Can they solve the cases before the murderer makes Rachel victim number four?

My Review:

Author Patricia Bradley knocks it out of the park again with a well-crafted suspense novel that will keep you guessing until the very end.


Homicide Detective Rachel Sloan gets a visit from an old friend of her mother’s, an Elvis impersonator who calls himself Vic Vegas.
Since it’s Elvis Week in Memphis, at first it might not seem all that odd. But when Vic brings up an old case that he claims is connected to her mother’s murder, Rachel begins to peel back layers of lies and deception that will lead readers to a
shocking conclusion.

This third offering in Bradley’s Memphis Cold Case series, JUSTICE BETRAYED, will keep you turning the pages. Just don’t forget to breathe!

BUY JUSTICE BETRAYED

Leave a comment, along with your contact information, for your chance to win an eBook copy of JUSTICE BETRAYED!