Wednesday, October 30, 2019

REVIEW of Nancy Mehl's latest book ~ Win a free copy of FIRE STORM

Good morning, suspense readers, Mary Ellis here. Today I have the honor of reviewing FIRE STORM, the latest book by fellow Suspense Sister, Nancy Mehl. I am not exaggerating when I say I couldn't put this book about a serial arsonist down!

First my review: Few books that capture a reader’s attention on page one can maintain a strong pace throughout the story. But Fire Storm, book two in the Kaely Quinn Profiler series, did just that. I couldn’t stop turning pages until I’d finished the book in two sessions, which is rare for me. This author kept me guessing as to whodunit. Although I thought I’d figured it out several times, the ending completely surprised me. Plus, Nancy Mehl did a great job of portraying a less-than-ideal mother-daughter relationship, which happens too often in our hectic society. Mehl wove the Christian themes of forgiveness and grace expertly throughout her story, giving readers exactly what they’re looking for in Christian suspense. I highly recommend this book.


Here's a bit about the story: When FBI profiler Kaely Quinn’s brother asks for help caring for their unwell mother, Kaely finds herself headed to Darkwater, Nebraska. When she arrives, she learns the small town has been facing a series of fires. While the fire chief attributes them to the misuse of space heaters in the frigid winter, Kaely identifies a pattern that makes her suspect they were no accident. After yet another blaze devastates a local family, Kaely’s suspicions turn to certainty. Together with her partner from St. Louis, Noah Hunter, and her brother’s firefighter neighbor, Kaely and her team begin an investigation that swiftly leads them down a twisted path. When the truth is finally revealed, Kaely finds herself confronting a madman who is determined his last heinous act will be her death.


Nancy Mehl is the author of more than thirty books. She writes from her home in Missouri, where she lives with her husband, Norman, and their puggle, Watson. To learn more, visit NancyMehl.com.

Please leave a comment to this review for a chance to win a print copy of Fire Storm. Sorry, US only. And be sure to leave your email address in order to win.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

What's HOT in Inspirational Suspense by Mary Ellis

Wondering what's new in inspirational suspense and mystery this week? Steven James has a brand new suspense just released from Thomas Nelson, Synapse.



Here's a little bit about the story: Thirty years in the future, cognizant robots, called "artificials," live alongside humans. And Kestrel Hathaway must work out what they know---and believe. After witnessing a terrorist attack, she and her artificial, Jordan, must untangle a world of conspiracies and lies to prevent a second tragedy. But the clock's ticking---and Jordan's asking questions androids weren't meant to consider.

Synapse is available in paperback, e-book, audio CD, and audio MP3.

Order Synapse from CBD here:
https://www.christianbook.com/synapse-steven-james/9780785225256/pd/5225256?event=Fiction|1000643#CBD-PD-Description

Monday, October 28, 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. 

Then on Wednesday, you're in for a treat when Mary will review Nancy Mehl's newest release, Fire Storm. One lucky commentor will receive a print copy of Nancy's book! (US Addresses only)

And on Friday, Roxanne Rustand will join us and talk about family vs writing commitments. She'll give away an e-copy of Comeback Cowboy!

The Suspense Sisters




We love books!

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

The Writing Life



by Patricia Bradley




A month ago, my alarm went off at 6:03. Once I silenced it, I lay in bed and planned my day:

· Quiet time.
· Blog posts.
· Time to start the next book in the Natchez Trace Park Ranger series.

You see, life had interfered with my writing schedule for about six weeks. I now have less than three months to write a 90,000-word book...


What does a writer do when that happens? Pray. A lot. Then get to work.

An hour later, I opened Scrivener, clicked on Patricia’s Fiction template and named the new project--Crosshairs. At least I had a title, not one I came up with, but my publisher is great at titles, among many things. Then I stared for the next hour at the blinking cursor… How did I do this the last time?

It happens every time, and I know I’m not the only one who goes through this. And it’s not that I think I can’t do it again. Or is that a fairy tale that I’m telling myself? No. God has given me the seed of a story, and I’m confident He will give me the rest of it. I.can.write.this.next.book. I just have to remember how to do it.

When I first started writing, I made elaborate character charts, plot boards, outlined…the whole nine yards. How’s that for a cliché? But that’s another post.

I don’t outline now. Or make plot boards. And the character charts I make are more about conflicting values, motivation, and goals than what kind of car a character drives. I still log the basics—age, height, and eye and hair color, etc—because I’m apt to forget. 

Instead of plot boards and outlines, I get out my artist sketch pad, the one with the spiral wires at the top because I'm lefthanded and I don't like dealing with the spirals on the side. However, it's too early for plotting. I can't know the story until I know why my characters act the way they do. I have to figure out what makes them tick.

To do that, I have to know the lie the hero and heroine and villain believe about themselves. How do those lies affect them? What actions do they take because of the wound the lie causes? I brainstorm all of this on my sketch pad. Why a sketch pad? I don't like lines. A blank page frees my mind to go in any direction.

Once I have that, I discover these characters' core values and the motivation for their goals. That way I can sabotage those goals. Hehehe. Then I figure out why the hero and heroine should be together but aren't. Learning who my characters are is almost as much fun as putting them through the torture rack!

Once I kindofsorta know my characters—and I say kindofsorta because I really don’t totally know them until I start writing—I let all my research and noodling percolate. As scenes come to me, I jot them down. I play the what-if game. What if this happened? By knowing my characters, I now know how they will react.

I now have a little over 17,000 words written. Most of them are good words that I'll keep. And tomorrow when I open Scrivener I will begin with someone trying to kill my heroine...

I really need to write my steps down while I’m working on this new book. 
If you have any tips you want to share, leave a comment and I'll enter you in a drawing for a $10 Amazon gift card!

Oh! Before I go, I want to share the cover of Standoff, my first Natchez Trace 
Ranger book!

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

What's HOT in Inspirational Suspense by Mary Ellis

Wondering what's new in inspirational suspense and mystery this week? Irene Hannon has a brand new suspense just released from Revell Publishing, Dark Ambitions, book 3 in Code of Honor Series.


Here's a little bit about the story: Former Army Night Stalker Rick Jordan usually has his camp for foster children to himself during the winter months. But someone has visited recently--leaving a trail of blood. One of the two clues left behind tips Rick off to the identity of his visitor, who soon turns up dead. The police deem it an accident, but Rick isn't convinced. With the help of private investigator Heather Shields, he sets out to decipher the remaining clue. Except someone doesn't want them to succeed--and will stop at nothing to keep them from finding the truth.


With her trademark psychological suspense ratcheting up the tension on every page, bestselling and award-winning author Irene Hannon takes you on a search for a cold-blooded killer with an ambitious goal and deadly intent.


To get your copy of Dark Ambitions from CBD, click on this link:
https://www.christianbook.com/dark-ambitions-softcover-3/irene-hannon/9780800727703/pd/0727703?event=Fiction|1000643#CBD-PD-Description

Monday, October 21, 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 Patricia Bradley will share a peek into a writer’s life. You’ll love her insight. She’s also giving away a $10.00 Amazon gift card that you can use to buy her newest book (if you want), JUSTICE DELIVERED!

JUSTICE DELIVERED

Carly Smith came by her trust issues honestly. A victim of sex trafficking, she's been at the mercy of merciless men, ignored by law enforcement officers who should have helped her, and seemingly rejected by her family. She can't even trust herself to do
the right thing. Though she escaped her captors and is working hard on building a new life, the past continues to haunt her when she discovers that the man she couldn't bring herself to report to police for fear of reliving her captivity is still out there, luring vulnerable girls under the guise of being a modeling agent.

When her own niece is kidnapped, Carly must overcome her fears and come forward with the information she has before it's too late. When that proves to be not enough, she'll have to go after the perpetrators herself.

Award-winning author Patricia Bradley keeps the suspense taut and the stakes high in this fast-paced story that will have readers turning pages long into the night.



The Suspense Sisters


We love books!

Friday, October 18, 2019

HALLOWED GROUND release and Giveaway! By Mary Alford



Hi everyone! I’m so excited to share with you my new release, HALLOWED GROUND, Book 1 in The Cost of Redemption series.

I’m giving away a print copy of HALLOWED GROUND to one winner (U.S. Only), or an eBook copy to those outside of the US. All you have to do is comment if you want to be entered in the drawing, and please leave your contact information.

When we’re little, we all have things we want to be when we grow up. Some we may accomplish. Others we simply let go.

As a child, I went through the normal career choices of my generation. I wanted to be a teacher, then I wanted to work in a large office, (I’m not sure what that was about!), followed by my desire to become a nurse. But when I was around seven years old, I decided I wanted to be a spy and go behind enemy lines to protect my country. It just kind of came to me out of the blue with no particular inspiration.

You can imagine the look on my mother’s face when I told her this. Thankfully, I later decided I wanted to be a writer. I’m sure my mother was relieved by that decision. But it was many years later before I finally realized I wasn’t equipped for the world of espionage.  


Though I didn’t become a spy, I still love living out my childhood fantasy in the books I write about them. There’s just something about serving your country by going behind enemy lines, and knowing that your next mission might be your last. The heart-pounding life and death decisions spies must make every single day they are undercover. Not to mention the possibility of having your cover blown at any minute. For a suspense author, this is a virtual treasure trove of ideas.

What about you? What was your childhood career choice? Did you accomplish it, or decide on something else?

Comment below for a chance to win!



HALLOWED GROUND is a spy story that starts with the death of CIA agent Erin Sandoval’s partner, and leads Erin and Agent Jax Murphy on a tangled journey through lies and misdirections as they seek to find out the truth behind their fallen partner’s death, and soon learn nothing is as it seems.

I hope as you read HALLOWED GROUND, you’ll come to enjoy the shadowy world of spies as much as I do.

Here’s the blurb:
After a terrorist attack claims the life of her best friend and partner, CIA Agent Erin Sandoval finds herself caught in a nightmare that won’t end.

When the killer’s trail suddenly turns ice-cold, Erin’s unit is deployed to Afghanistan to find the elusive terrorist the CIA believes responsible for taking Blake’s life. Yet from the start, the mission proves to be a setup.

As the only survivors of a bomb attack, Erin and Agent Jax Murphy must stay one step ahead of the unknown threat stalking them if they stand a chance at finding the real killer’s true identity. Yet cutting through the wealth of lies surrounding the mission proves nearly impossible while running for their lives, and the biggest threat to their survival might just prove to be their growing feelings for each other.

Can Erin and Jax escape the shadow world's deadly undertow and find their happiness together in the sun? Or will they be silenced forever by a threat that runs much deeper than anyone imagined?

Thanks so much for joining me here today. I hope you’ll stop by my website at MaryAlford.net and sign up for my newsletter to receive updates and behind the scenes exclusives.

What reviewers are saying about HALLOWED GROUND:

“Wonderfully written tale of adventure, suspense and never knowing who is the good guy. On the run in Afghanistan is only part of the problem as they are running from an unknown enemy who is closer than they know. It will keep you on the edge of your seat.”-Gina Johnson

“Another great book by Mary Alford that has you guessing until the end. The CIA has someone gone dirty in the team. But is it someone in the team or not? You will have to find out.”- Muriel Brumley

You can buy the book on Amazon.

Until next time, 

Blessings always!


Mary Alford 



Wednesday, October 16, 2019

It's a little early for Christmas, but.... Holiday fiction, and a free novella Roxanne Rustand


It seems strange, talking about the holidays in mid-October.
Yet I just opened the latest People magazine, and discovered a glossy three-page insert on the upcoming Lifetime Christmas TV movie schedule--and those movies start the end of October!

I'm up for a romantic movie any time, but some stores are already putting up their Christmas displays!  If anyone needs a Christmas tree before Halloween, our local Home Depot has their entire Christmas department already set up in full, twinkling display. I don't know about you, but I guess I feel like a bit of an old fogey in wishing that we could get through one holiday at a time in the stores, instead of rushing the commercialism--and muting the true reason for the season beneath all of the tinsel.

Something I do love, though, is seeing all of the beautiful snowy, Christmas-y book covers suddenly appearing on bookstore shelves. I was crushed when our local Super Walmart closed its small book section by the front cash registers...until I discovered that they had opened up a far larger book department in the back.  Whew!  Just this week the dozens of holiday book covers there were so enticing that I wanted to scoop them all up and put them in my shopping cart. My towering To Be Read stacks of books hardly need additions, but oh, those gorgeous covers...

This season, I won't have a new full-length inspirational romance or romantic suspense novel out to join all of those books on the shelves, but I will have something different--a series of five Christmas season novellas, taking place in Paris, London, a quaint village in Ireland, the Scottish Highlands and in Montana ranch country. The first, A London Christmas, will be out at the end of October.

Do you enjoy reading fiction that is set in a specific season? And, since we're talking about Christmas, has anyone here started their planning for a family celebration? I am so dedicated to very traditional holiday meals, like my own mother made...but now I hear everyone in the younger generation wants beef brisket and a turkey on the pellet grill. Should be an interesting combination with all of the Scandinavian favorites!   :)
Leave a comment and be entered in a drawing for a free e-copy of  A London Christmas.

I hope you are enjoying a wonderful autumn!

Roxanne Rustand

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

What's HOT in Inspirational Suspense by Mary Ellis

Wondering what's new in inspirational suspense and mystery? Davis Bunn has a brand new suspense just released from Revell Publishers, Unscripted.



Here's a little bit about the story: Young line producer Danny Byrd is well-known in Hollywood for being someone who gets things done on time and under budget. But when his reputation takes a beating after his partner--and former best friend--makes off with their investors' money, Danny has but one chance to redeem himself and restore his ruined career.


LA lawyer Megan Pierce has sacrificed years of her life proving herself to her impossible bosses only to find herself disgusted at their snobbery and their specious business practices. When an opportunity to actually make a difference comes her way, she knows she has to grab it--even though she's not entirely clear what "it" is. Danny and Megan are each other's best hope for redemption. What they never could have imagined was that they might also be each other's best hope for love.


Unscripted is available in hardcover, paperback and eBook.


Order it here from CBD: https://www.christianbook.com/unscripted-softcover-davis-bunn/9780800727871/pd/727870?event=Fiction|1000643#crossboxTab-1

Monday, October 14, 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 Roxanne Rustand will talk about holiday fiction. As many of you know, Christmas stories are very popular as we
near this important holiday. She’s also giving away a Christmas novella! Check out her post to find out how you can win!

 
Friday Mary Alford will share her exciting new release HALLOWED GROUND! She will be giving away a print copy to someone in the U.S. or an ebook to anyone who lives outside the states.
 

HALLOWED GROUND
 

She’ll stop at nothing to find her partner’s killer. On the run behind enemy lines, the most dangerous place for him to fall is in love.

After a terrorist attack claims the life of her best friend and partner, CIA Agent Erin Sandoval finds herself caught in a nightmare that won’t end.
 

When the killer’s trail suddenly turns ice-cold, Erin’s unit is deployed to Afghanistan to find the elusive terrorist the CIA believes responsible for taking Blake’s life. Yet from the start, the mission proves to be a setup.
As the only survivors of a bomb attack, Erin and Agent Jax Murphy must stay one step ahead of the unknown threat stalking them if they stand a chance at finding the real killer’s true identity. Yet cutting through the wealth of lies surrounding the mission proves nearly impossible while running for their lives, and the biggest threat to their survival might just prove to be their growing feelings for each other.

 

Can Erin and Jax escape the shadow world's deadly undertow and find their happiness together in the sun? Or will they be silenced forever by a threat that runs much deeper than anyone imagined?
USA Today Bestselling author Mary Alford returns with a new series that will take you from the hallowed halls of Langley to the rugged and desolate mountains of Afghanistan in a tale that will leave you guessing until the very end.

 

Buy it here!


The Suspense Sisters 


We love books!

Friday, October 11, 2019

INTERVIEW WITH GAYLA HISS



Award-winning author Gayla K. Hiss began her writing journey painting landscapes. In her imagination, characters and scenes came to life as she painted beautiful natural settings. Her inspiring novels combine her love for the great outdoors with romance, suspense, and adventure. Her book WILDFIRE recently won the Faith, Hope, and Love Reader’s Choice Award for romantic suspense. Gayla and her husband often tour the country in their RV, visiting many state and national parks. She enjoys hiking, camping, and traveling, and lives in the Pacific Northwest. She’s excited to announce the recent release of COLD PURSUIT, book 4 in her Peril in the Park series, which can be purchased on Amazon at: https://amzn.to/2kl3qSo

Visit www.gaylakhiss.com to learn more, and connect with her on Facebook, Amazon, and Goodreads.
 

INTERVIEW

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

I travel quite a bit and enjoy taking road trips with my husband. We like to camp in state and national parks in our RV. I also enjoy hiking and attending music concerts.

Tell us three things about yourself that might surprise your readers.

I used to be a software engineer and worked for NASA on the Space Station program. I also worked for the Navy a few years.

I eat a pretty strict diet due to my food sensitivities and make almost everything from scratch, including things like mayonnaise. When I was younger, I wasn’t very interested in cooking, but now food preparation has become a big part of my life out of necessity. As a result, I’ve become much more knowledgeable about nutrition and the importance of eating a healthy diet.

I’m a Bible prophecy buff and have attended several prophecy conferences and have an extensive Bible prophecy library.

What genre did you start out writing? Have you changed course? Is there another genre you’d like to try someday? What is it?

I started with contemporary romance but kept adding mystery and suspense to my stories until I realized that the romantic suspense genre was a natural fit for my style of writing.

Because Bible prophecy intrigues me, I’d like to write a story set in the future that ties in with that.

If you could go back in time and do something differently at the start of your career, what would it be?

Since I was a software engineer for 22 years and a writer for 10 years after that, I can’t think of anything else I would want to do. Writing was my dream when I was a software engineer, so I’m living the dream right now. I’m blessed to have experienced the best of both worlds.

Do you have any writing goals you haven’t met yet? What are they?

Writing screenplays would be interesting. It would also be fun to see my books become movies one day since they have a lot of action and adventure.

What are you working on now?

My first book, AVALANCHE, is being made into an audiobook, so I’m involved with that as well as the release of my new book, COLD PURSUIT.

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

A common theme in my books is getting back to the simple things in life like faith, family, and the land. I feel like we’ve become so busy and distracted we’ve lost touch with those three basic things. To me, there’s nothing more enjoyable and restorative than going camping outdoors and connecting with God, the Creator. We are so blessed to have our state and national park system. I want future generations to value and enjoy them too.

Anything else you’d like to share? 


My book, COLD PURSUIT, is the fourth and final book in my Peril in the Park series and is set in Yellowstone National Park in winter. In writing the story, I drew from my own experiences from a tour I took one winter in Yellowstone that was a very unique trip. By sharing the beauty and wonder of that amazing national park, I was a able to relive my own adventure there.

COLD PURSUIT

Can they elude the relentless danger before it’s too late?

A December tour of Yellowstone National Park sounded like the perfect escape from Faith Chandler’s problems at home—until she

discovers her tour guide is her jilted childhood sweetheart, Jake Mitchell. Faced with guilt from her past mistakes, plus a disturbing pattern of suspicious incidents, Faith has second thoughts about staying on the tour.

Despite her misgivings, the serene splendor of the winter wonderland provides a much-needed respite from her stressful life and gives her a fresh perspective. After a little soul-searching, she wants to come clean with Jake. But can he forgive her for the heartache she caused—or the truth she’s withheld from him? Meanwhile, Jake wants to keep Faith at a distance, yet he must protect her from the menace stalking his tour group.

As her enemies close in like ravenous wolves, Faith is the only one who can stop the mayhem by finding the missing piece of the puzzle. Is it a smoking gun—or a trap set to destroy both her and Jake?


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