Thursday, December 26, 2019

WE HAVE A WINNER!

Ginny Mobley is the winner of our Christmas contest this year. 

Congratulations, Ginny!


Thursday, December 5, 2019

CHRISTMAS FUDGE

I posted this recipe last year, and it was a hit! Sharing my mother's Million Dollar Fudge recipe again. Hope you try it. It's the best fudge I've ever tasted. 

Merry Christmas!


My Mother’s Million Dollar Fudge

Ingredients:

4 ½ cups of sugar
1 can of evaporated milk
½ cup of butter
Pinch of salt

9 oz Hershey’s chocolate bars
12 oz of semi-sweet chocolate chips
7 oz of marshmallow cream
1 tsp vanilla
1 ½ cup chopped nuts (I use walnuts)
Butter to grease pan


Directions:

Combine sugar, milk, butter and salt in a heavy pan. Bring to a boil. (Be careful not to scorch the bottom of the pan. I don’t turn the burner up all the way, and I stir once in a while as it heats up.)

Let it boil for 6 minutes. Stir constantly. *The timing is very important.

Remove from heat and add all the additional ingredients. Pour into buttered 8 x 8 pan. Chill. When ready, cut into squares.

*One important note: I make two batches for Christmas because I use this for gifts and take some to Christmas parties. DO NOT double the recipe when cooking. The fudge won’t set right. If you want to make two batches, you will have to make the recipe twice.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving!



Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and one of the things I love about this holiday is that it ushers in a season of kindness. Already, as I shop for the items I need to make Thanksgiving dinner, people smile and speak. How I wish this atmosphere would stay with us all year long! 

I am so thankful for all of you, our readers! So, if you would, leave a comment telling me what you're thankful for this year and I'll enter you in a drawing for another $10 Amazon gift card. Winner will be announced Friday in time for Cyber Monday! :-)

Winner of last week's drawing for a $10 Amazon gift card is...Diana Flowers!

Now for a recipe for Thanksgiving!



Grape Salad Ingredients


· 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened

· 1 cup sour cream

· 1/3 cup sugar

· 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

· 2 pounds seedless red grapes

· 2 pounds seedless green grapes

· 3 tablespoons brown sugar

· 3 tablespoons chopped pecans

Directions

· In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar and vanilla until blended. Add grapes and toss to coat.

· Transfer to a serving bowl. Cover and refrigerate until serving. Sprinkle with brown sugar and pecans just before serving.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

What's Hot in Inspirational Suspense by Patricia Bradley




Wondering what's new and hot in inspirational suspense and mystery this week? Check out Natalie Walters' latest book!





Independent and tenacious journalist Vivian DeMarco is back in Walton, Georgia, for one reason--to do her job and get out. When her boss suddenly dies under suspicious circumstances, Vivian's only hope for finding the truth--and the next big story--is small-town law enforcement's lanky poster boy, Deputy Ryan Frost. 

But the deeper they dig, the more twisted the truth becomes, and Vivian finds herself fighting for not only answers but also her life. False leads, incriminating emails, and someone called The Watcher force Vivian to confront the secret of her past and decide: How much is she willing to risk for the sake of a headline?

Author Natalie Walters welcomes you back to Walton, Georgia, where everyone knows your name--but no one knows your secret.

You can purchase Deadly Deceit at:

Monday, November 25, 2019

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 Patricia Bradley will tell us What’s Hot in Inspirational Suspense and Mystery.  And then she'll be back on Wednesday with a Thanksgiving post and the winner of last week's $10 Amazon gift card...and a drawing for another $10 Amazon gift card! Those cards can come in handy for gifts!

On Friday, Nancy Mehl will have a surprise for everyone! Well, since it happens every December, it might not be a surprise, but don't miss it!

Friday, November 22, 2019

INTERVIEW WITH ABBY L. VANDIVER

Today Suspense Sisters welcomes cozy mystery author, Abby L. Vandiver, who has a brand new book. Leave Abby a comment at end of interview for a chance to win a copy of Secrets, Lies, and Crawfish Pies. Isn't that an intriguing title! First, the interview:

If you had to describe yourself in one sentence, what would you say? “Here, let me help you.”

What do you do when you’re not writing? Any interesting hobbies? I have no interesting hobbies! When I’m not writing, I’m usually watching murder mysteries or romantic comedy movies on Hallmark. But one thing that takes up a lot of my free time is googling. I googled everything! People who know me always say, “Go ahead and google it, I know you want to.” Um, maybe it’s more an addition than a hobby . . . 

What was your favorite book as a teen or child?
The Mirror by Marlys Millhiser. I think it started my fascination with time travel. That book has stayed with me through the years even though I only read it once . . . I think I might have to go back and read it again!

What genre did you start out writing? Have you changed course? Why or why not? I think everything I write has a mystery element to it. My first book was sort of sci-fi-ish, but still the story was infused with puzzling unsettlement until the end.

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment? Compliment: I write good dialogue. Criticism: It’s hard to say. I don’t take criticism in a bad way, I use it as a learning experience, so it has all been useful and help me grow as a writer. I think though, if I had to choose something, I would say that it may be writing in my own voice—interjecting my culture, experience, colloquiums—and being denigrated for it.

Any other genres you’d like to try? If yes, what and why? Rom-com! I want so much to write a romantic comedy, I think I could write a good story. The only problem is I blush just writing flirty scenes. I don’t know how I’d write the kissing parts!

If you could go back in time and do something differently at the start of your career, what would it be? I fell into my career as a writer, it wasn’t a planned path and I really don’t have anything I’d do differently because, I was lucky, things just fell into place.

What is the most important piece of advice you’d like to give to unpublished authors? Get an editor! 



Here's a little about Secrets, Lies & Crawfish Pies: Romaine Wilder, big-city medical examiner with a small-town past, has been downsized and evicted. With few other options, she’s forced to return to her hometown of Roble in East Texas, leaving behind the man she’s dating and the life she’s worked hard to build. Suzanne Babet Derbinay, Romaine’s Auntie Zanne and proprietor of the Ball Funeral Home, has long since traded her French Creole upbringing for Big Texas attitude. She’s a member in a number of ladies’ auxiliaries and clubs, including being in charge of the Tri-County Annual Crawfish Boil and Music Festival. Hanging on to the magic of her Louisiana roots, she’s cooked up a love potion or two—if she could only get Romaine to drink it. But her plans are derailed when the Ball Funeral Home, bursting at the seams with dead bodies, has a squatter stiff.

Dead Guy is a problem. Auntie Zanne can’t abide by a murderer using her funeral home as the dumping grounds for their crimes, and Romaine doesn’t want her newly elected cousin, Sheriff Pogue Folsom, to fail on his first murder case. Together, Romaine and Auntie Zanne set off to solve it.
With a dash of humor, a dollop of Southern charm, and a peek at current social issues in the mix, it’s a fun romp around East Texas to solve a murder mystery of the cozy kind.

Here's a little about Abby: WALL STREET JOURNAL AND USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR, Abby L. Vandiver has always enjoyed writing, combining that with her gift for telling stories and love of mystery she became an author. A hybrid, she has written as an indie as well as a traditionally published author. Abby has penned more than twenty-five books and short stories. Additionally, Penguin Berkley will publish the first book in her new cozy mystery series, An Ice Cream Parlor Mystery, beginning spring 2020. Abby has a bachelors in Economics, a master’s in Public Administration and a Juris Doctor. A former lawyer and visiting college professor of Economics, she resides in Cleveland, Ohio and enjoys spending time with her grandchildren and facilitating self-publishing classes at her local library.

Please leave Abby L. Vandiver a comment for a chance to win a print copy of Secrets, Lies, and Crawfish Pies. You MUST leave your email address. Sorry, US only. 

Find her here: Website: www.abbyvandiver.com

Buy it here: Amazon: bit.ly/myamzpg

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Favorite Line Wednesday

by Patricia Bradley

Birds on a line





This is going to be favorite-line-Wednesday!

What’s your favorite first line of a novel, novella, or short story?

What’s your favorite first line of a movie?


Leave your answers in the comments section, and I'll enter you in a drawing for a $10 Amazon gift card!

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

What's Hot in Inspirational Suspense This Week by Patricia Bradley


Wondering what's new and hot in inspirational suspense and mystery this week? Check out Dana Mentink latest Love Inspired Suspense!




A cowboy to her rescue…

but she’s not who he thinks she is.

Posing as her sister for Christmas is the only way to save her, but Maggie Lofton needs help—even if it means working with her twin’s cowboy ex-boyfriend, Liam Pike. But between the bull’s-eye on her back and the dangerous connection she’s forming with Liam, Maggie’s mission is harder than expected. Will their tenuous partnership be enough to shield her when the killer closes in?

You can purchase Deadly Christmas Pretense at:



Monday, November 18, 2019

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 tell us What’s Hot in Inspirational Suspense and Mystery. 
 


Wednesday we’ll hear from Patricia Bradley. She wants to hear your favorite line from a book or movie. Share your thoughts and you could win a $10.00 Amazon gift card!

Friday we’re interviewing cozy mystery writer, Abby L. Vandiver. She’ll be talking about her new novel, SECRETS, LIES AND CRAWFISH PIES. (Don’t you just love that title?) Someone will win a copy of this intriguing book!

SECRETS, LIES AND CRAWFISH PIES

Romaine Wilder, big-city medical examiner with a small-town past, has been downsized and evicted. With few other options, she’s forced to return to her hometown of Roble in East Texas, leaving behind the man she’s dating and the life she’s worked hard to build.


Suzanne Babet Derbinay, Romaine’s Auntie Zanne and proprietor of the Ball Funeral Home, has long since traded her French Creole upbringing for Big Texas attitude. She’s a member in a number of ladies’ auxiliaries and clubs, including being in charge of the Tri-County Annual Crawfish Boil and Music Festival.

Hanging on to the magic of her Louisiana roots, she’s cooked up a love potion or two—if she could only get Romaine to drink it. But her plans are derailed when the Ball Funeral Home, bursting at the seams with dead bodies, has a squatter stiff.

Dead Guy is a problem.

Auntie Zanne can’t abide by a murderer using her funeral home as the dumping grounds for their crimes, and Romaine doesn’t want her newly elected cousin, Sheriff Pogue Folsom, to fail on his first murder case. Together, Romaine and Auntie Zanne set off to solve it.

With a dash of humor, a dollop of Southern charm, and a peek at current social issues in the mix, it’s a fun romp around East Texas to solve a murder mystery of the cozy kind.


The Suspense Sisters


We love books!

Friday, November 15, 2019

Tis the season for suspense! And a giveaway!


It’s almost that time. The holidays are right around the corner, filled with time with family and friends. Parties and gift shopping. Baking and…well, you get the picture. A busy yet joyous time for us all.

While I love the holidays and can’t wait to start decorating, one of my favorite ways to sneak in some quiet time is by reading.

There are so many wonderful Christian suspense stories out there that my Kindle is overflowing with them, but when it gets near the holidays, I love to read books that have a festive thread to them. 

Today, I’ll be sharing my reading list for the upcoming holidays and I'll be giving away a copy of one of these books to a commenter.  

Ready? Here we go!

First up - Laura Scott's Soldier's Christmas Secrets (Justice Seekers) 




He’ll do whatever it takes

To protect his family

When a plane crash leaves special ops soldier Hawk Jacobson with amnesia, all he knows is that the plane was sabotaged and he has a target on his back. His survival depends on letting everyone—including his wife, Jillian Wade—believe he’s dead. Until gunmen come after Jillian and the daughter he never knew existed. Can Jillian help him regain his memory in time to expose a killer?
And how about a little Amish mystery for Christmas in Laura Bradford's A Killer Carol (An Amish Mystery Book 7)
 
Heavenly, PA has been transformed into a Christmas wonderland and Claire is delighted to celebrate the season...but a fiendish killer has other plans in this all-new installment in the national bestselling series.

As the owner of Heavenly Treasures, the local gift shop, Claire is busier than ever helping her English customers (and even a few of her Amish friends, like Esther and Ben) find the perfect gift for the special people on their shopping list.

Claire makes sure she has time for her boyfriend, Detective Jakob Fisher. But the man, who was raised and then shunned by the Amish over his choice of career, has been unusually secretive lately. She tries not to worry, to trust their relationship, but trying and doing aren't exactly matching up.

Before she can figure out what's going on with Jakob, word comes that Ruth and Samuel Yoder are being questioned in the death of an elderly Amish couple, found murdered not long after the newlyweds were seen leaving the victims' farm. Ruth, in turn, seeks Claire's help in convincing the police that she and Samuel had nothing to do with what happened. But when Claire comes across a cryptic note tucked inside the wedding gift the victims had given the newlyweds no more than an hour before their murder, she finds herself in dire need of a little convincing as well.

Can Claire get to the bottom of things in time to ensure a merry Christmas for all?

I'm a huge Lisa Harris fan. I love the stories she writes for Revell and can't wait to read Christmas tale.
Lisa Harris - Christmas Witness Pursuit (Love Inspired Suspense)



Running for their lives at Christmastime…

Can a lawman keep a key witness safe?

Deputy Griffin O’Callaghan has a situation on his hands—two dead FBI agents, criminals on the loose and Tory Faraday, a witness with no memory. With a blizzard moving in and killers hunting them down, Griffin must keep Tory safe. But even his family’s ranch can’t provide a haven when a dangerous criminal escapes from custody with one goal: finding Tory.

CC Warrens is a new author for me, but this one looked interesting.

CC Warrens - Holly Jolly Christmas: ChristianSuspense (A Seeking Justice Christmas Story)


Beneath the twinkling lights and neatly wrapped packages lay bitter memories and carefully-kept secrets . . .
Three decades have passed since Marx last set foot in his family's Georgia home. The house has faded over the years, but the haunting memories contained within its walls remain crisp and unforgettable.
If not for the girl asleep in the passenger's seat of his car, Marx would turn his car around and head back to his life in New York City. But it's time to face his demons.

This novella is a Seeking Justice Christmas novella that falls between "Injustice for All" and "Imperfect Justice."

And Christy Barritt is one of my favorites!

Christy Barritt - Home to Chestnut Grove



A heartwarming, small-town Christmas story about restoring broken hearts and remembering those you love.

When Faith Winters returns to Chestnut Grove, Virginia, for the community’s annual Christmas celebration, she’s determined to make amends. She’s failed at making it on Broadway and is certain everyone hates her for decisions she had no control over.

Jake Whitmire is the sheriff in Chestnut Grove, but keeping the area free of crime is the least of his worries. Most days are filled with trying to keep the community’s spirits up as jobs have disappeared. He never expected to see the woman who broke his heart return home to lead up the town’s Christmas concert, nor is he sure he can ever forgive her.

As someone in town begins sabotaging the community’s celebration, Faith and Jake work together to find the person responsible and ensure their friend Jenny’s last request is fulfilled. Can holiday hope heal the broken spirit afflicting Chestnut Grove residents? Or is it time for everyone—including Faith and Jake—to treasure the memories of the past but to move on?

Well, these should keep me busy until the new year. What about you?

What’s your favorite way to grab some quiet time and relax around the holiday season?

Leave me a comment for a chance to win an e-book copy of your choice of one of these books mentioned above. Please include your email address. I’ll announce the winner on Friday, November 22nd.

Blessings always!

Mary Alford


Wednesday, November 13, 2019

It's Good to be Back

As Nancy said in my introduction about me posting today, I was a suspense sister years ago but had to give it up for a while due to the death of my husband. April will mark six years since his death. We were married for almost 27 years. The long road back to normal...well, actually I'm still on the road back to normal and will probably never arrive there. You see, grief and loss changes a person. And you just don't go back to the way it used to be. Losing my husband to cancer is and will be the defining event of my life. It has changed me.

What mattered to me before his death, achieving and striving, doesn't seem as valuable as sitting by river or watching a rainstorm move in across a lake. I'm learning to walk in gratitude for every gift I'm given from relishing the first sip of coffee in the morning, to the way my dog cocks his head when I talk to him (he's such a good listener) to how warm and comforting it feels to pull the clothes from the dryer on a winter's day. My relationships with my kids and with my family of origin matter in a much deeper way. Now when if I am thinking that I love a person, I don't just think that, I say it to them.

Though I could not write for almost nine months after he died, I would say that the experience has changed my writing as well. I write from a deeper place. I understand loss and trauma not just in theory but in practice. I can relate that to what my characters go through. I will say that the trauma of losing my hubby after taking care of him for four years caused what I can only call brain damage. I used to say nothing would keep me from writing. I wrote when I had a hectic schedule. I wrote when I had little kids. I wrote when I only had an hour to write. But after he died, I could not make my mind put ideas together. It was scary. So I journaled and I did word puzzles. The first word puzzle I did took me a week to complete. I knew my brain was getting better when I could complete a puzzle in a single setting.

The grief that followed the loss was like nothing I have ever experienced before.  I lost the ability to make a decision or a plan. I was freefalling. I was like a leaf being carried down a river or a balloon floating in the air. In the future when time permits I want to write and study trauma and grief in depth. In the mean time, I find over and over that bits of what I have been through sneak into my fiction writing through my characters.

All of this is just to say, it is good to be back. Everyone has a watershed moments in their lives, not just with loss but other events as well. The amazing thing is that my watershed moment happened later in life at age 49. How about you? What events in your life define and shape you?

I am giving away a copy of my newest release Courage Under Fire which recently hit the USA Today bestseller list. It is part of the K9 True Blue series. So leave a comment down below. I would love to hear from you


Tuesday, November 12, 2019

What's Hot in Inspirational Suspense by Patricia Bradley


Wondering what's hot in inspirational suspense and mystery this week?


Check out Terri Blackstock's latest.




One father was murdered, and another convicted of his death. All because their children fell in love.


Fourteen years ago, Nate was in love with the preacher’s daughter. When Pastor Strickland discovered Brenna had defied him to sneak out with Nate, the fight between Strickland and Nate’s drunken dad was loud—and very public. 

Strickland was found murdered later that night, and everyone accused Roy Beckett. The events of that night set Brenna’s life on a bad course. She’s barely hanging on, and she’s turned to alcohol to cope. As they deal with the present—including new information about that fateful night and a wildfire that’s threatening their town—their past keeps igniting. 

Nate is the steady force Brenna has so desperately needed. But she’ll have to learn to trust him again first.

You can purchase Smoke Screen at: