Thursday, December 24, 2020

MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM THE SUSPENSE SISTERS!

 Congratulations to Shelia Hall, the winner of our yearly Christmas contest!

And...a very Merry Christmas to all our friends. We'll be back in January with more interviews from some of suspense and mystery's best authors, reviews of books you'll want to read, and contests too!

We love you!

The Suspense Sisters




Wednesday, November 25, 2020

A SPECIAL DAY TO GIVE THANKS by Mary Ellis

Happy Wednesday, readers, 

As all of you know tomorrow is Thanksgiving and even though 2020 has felt like a roller coaster ride with one wheel off the track, I still have plenty to be grateful for.

~ Although recently I had a major health crisis, I wouldn’t have to look too hard to find people in worse health than me.

~ Although you might not be happy with the end result, the election is finally over and we don’t have to listen to hatred and mud-slinging each time we pick up the newspaper or turn on the TV.

-Although thousands of people are still dying from Covid-19, medical researchers have come up with a vaccine that’s ninety percent effective.

~Although my husband and I will dine alone on Thanksgiving, without the family and friends we love so much, at least we have each other and enough food to eat. Some people will be alone, some will go hungry.

~And although on Sunday we still worship in front of the TV instead of in our beloved country church, at least in this country we’re free to worship where and however we wish.

So tomorrow morning before I start thinking about breakfast or what I plan to wear I’ll get down on my knees and give thanks for my many blessings: I am still alive. I have someone who loves me, a roof over my head, and enough food to eat. And I have a Savior, Jesus Christ, the son of God, and He loves me even more than my earthly father did, and that’s a lot. No matter what happens between now and the end of the year or during 2021, God promises to never leave me or forsake me. And for that I’m eternally grateful. 

Please leave me a comment about what you're thankful for this year. I will pick one winner to send a signed copy of Hiding in Plain Sight. US only. You must leave your address in order to win. 

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! ~ Mary Ellis,  and the Suspense Sisters

If you’re looking for a Christmas novella to get you ready for the season, these two are on sale in Kindle for a limited time:

Sarah's Christmas Miracle .99  Order it HERE 
Amish Christmas Memories 1.99 Order it HERE
The Quaker and the Rebel 1.99  Order it HERE
The Lady and the Officer 1.99  Order it HERE

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

What's Hot in Inspirational Suspense by Mary Ellis

Wondering what's new in inspirational suspense and mystery? Amanda Flower has a brand new mystery, Courting Can Be Killer, #2 in the Amish Matchmaker series, about to release from Kensington.



Here's a little bit about the story: In USA Today bestselling author Amanda Flower's second Amish Matchmaker Mystery, Millie Fisher has plenty to keep her busy through her golden years, whether it's minding a pair of rambunctious goats, meetings with her quilting circle, and matchmaking. But the witty widow always makes time to solve the odd murder...

Some Amish men don't know what's good for them. That's what Millie Fisher told herself when young Ben Baughman set his heart on marrying Tess Lieb. With Tess' father refusing to give his blessing and Tess' ex-boyfriend being a wet blanket, the hapless couple was bound to butt heads more than Millie's Boer goats. But when Ben tragically dies in a mysterious fire, Millie wonders if someone in her hometown of Harvest, Ohio wanted Ben out of the wedding picture altogether...

With the help of her quilting buddies, and her outspoken Englischer friend Lois, Millie is determined to patch together all the clues without even dropping a stitch. She only hopes it won't be the death of her...

You can buy Courting Can Be Killer here: https://www.christianbook.com/courting-can-be-killer-2/amanda-flower/9781496724038/pd/724038?event=Fiction|1000184

Monday, November 23, 2020

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.

 

On Wednesday, Mary will be back with a post titled "A Special Day to Give Thanks." She’s also giving away a copy of her book, HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT.

Introducing private investigator Kate Weller in the first of the brand-new Marked for Retribution mystery series.

On the run from a troubled past, Kate Weller, the newest member of Price Investigations, covers her tracks, changes her name and takes a case in Charleston, South Carolina, where she can hide in plain sight.

Renting a charming room with a waterfront view, Kate sets about trying to locate her adopted client’s natural siblings, only to find more questions than answers when she eventually tracks down a long-lost sister. Meanwhile, her new landlord won’t stop sticking his nose into her case. As far as Kate’s concerned, Eric Manfredi should focus on whatever competitor is bent on ruining his family business. But when petty vandalism turns lethal, and Eric’s father is arrested for murder, Kate determines to prove his innocence. Can she find the real culprit before a killer from her own past tracks her down?

 

The Suspense Sisters

 

We love books!

Thursday, November 19, 2020

A Very Suspenseful Christmas – And A Giveaway!

 


Happy Friday, everyone. Reading Christmas-themed books are part of the holiday experience for me. How about you?

There’s something about settling in with a Christmas book on a winter day with the twinkling tree lights, a warm fire in the fireplace, and maybe a cup of hot chocolate. Sounds perfect, doesn’t it?

When the months before the holiday come around, I look forward to seeing the new list of Christmas novels that are released. As a reader, I love just about every genre with a Christmas theme, but as a suspense author, my favorite is Christmas suspense because you have the added element of danger.

Today, I thought I would share some of my favorite holiday suspense stories and some I’m looking forward to for this Christmas season.

I will be giving away an ebook copy of Mistletoe and Murder to one person. I’ll announce the winner next Friday, November 27th.



So, let’s get started with Delayed Justice, a True Blue K-9Unit: Brooklyn (Book 8) by Shirlee McCoy. Shirlee is a favorite author of mine. I love everything she writes, but I think this True Blue K-9 Unit book is exceptional, and this is the True Blue K-9 Unit Brooklyn series conclusion.  

A closed case brings a new threat.

Detective Bradley McGregor and his K-9 partner, King, come to the rescue when journalist Sasha Eastman’s targeted by a shooter who looks just like her mother’s murderer. But that killer supposedly died years ago in a shootout with the police. Now it’s up to Bradley and King to protect Sasha…but how can they stop a killer who’s already dead?





Sara Blackard is a new author for me this year. Sara’s CelebratingTina: An Inspirational Holiday Romantic Suspense (Stryker Security Force Book3) grabbed my attention right away because it is another K-9 themed story and I love those.

A K-9 handler determined to prove she belongs. A detective with an unwavering plan. Can they overcome their painful pasts and accept the gift of love?

Tina West has spent her life feeling like she stood on the outside, but since taking a job at Stryker Security, life seems to be turning for the better.

Tina never imagined when she took a job as a nanny she’d end up training for search and rescue. Yet, when her boss shows up with a retired military dog and the opportunity to train with him, Tina snatches up the chance to help those who are lost. If she saves enough people, maybe she could find meaning in a life that left her with nothing but a bruised heart and a tarnished picture of family. As holiday festivities loom before her, she wonders if she’ll ever shuck the regrets that haunt her dreams and keep her from connecting with others.

Milo Bishop’s every move has been to take care of his mom and younger brother.

Since his father’s murder, Milo has worked hard to make sure his mom and brother were provided for. He joined the police force straight out of high school, took night classes so he could move up to investigator, and put his life on hold until his brother graduated from college. But when he is rescued on Thanksgiving Day by Tina West, his well-laid plans take a sharp detour.

When a series of kidnappings threaten to ruin the holidays, can Tina and Milo put aside their doubts and find the abducted children before it’s too late?

Can Tina trust her instincts when they’re put to the test or will children being harmed hit too close to her past for her to deal with?

Will Milo put his desires above his family’s needs when a chance at love catches him by surprise?

If you like nail-biting adventure, fascinating characters, and engaging stories of triumph, you'll love Sara Blackard's riveting Christmas romantic suspense.




Healing the Hero (The Heroes of Freedom Ridge Book 3) by Elle E Kay. Elle is another new author for me, but I see her books all over the bestsellers lists and it’s Christmas themed so I tried it, and I’m glad I did. Great storyline.

A dream job. A dreamier boss.

Ashley Castle jumps at a chance to show off her skills as head chef when she lands the job at Liberty Grille in the Freedom Ridge Resort. Before long, she develops a full-blown crush on her boss but ignores her growing feelings. Nothing can happen as long as his nightmare ex-girlfriend remains in the picture, so she keeps her focus on work.

Restaurant Manager, Daniel Winchester hires Ashley and can’t help but be drawn to the new hire. If it weren’t for her faith in a God he stopped trusting while serving in Iraq, he could fall for her. He can’t let that happen, though.

When Ashley overhears a sinister plot, she’s torn between revealing it, which will mean risking her job if Daniel doesn’t believe her, and keeping it to herself. Daniel has a chance to overcome his demons, but will he take the risk and discover love in the process or bury the betrayal beneath his wit and charm once again?

Return to Freedom, Colorado and enjoy the faith, friendships, and forever-afters of the Heroes of Freedom Ridge in this Christian Christmas romance.

Healing the Hero is the third book in the Heroes of Freedom Ridge series, but each of the books can be read as standalones.    



And coming soon…

Arctic Christmas Ambush (Love Inspired Suspense) by Sherri Shackelford doesn’t come out until December 1st, but the cover grabbed my attention right away, followed by the blurb. It’s on my preorder list.

Caught between a killer on the loose and a deadly snowstorm…

A man’s been murdered, and the only witness is Alaska State Trooper Shane Taylor’s ex, Kara Riley—a woman he’s sure has been keeping secrets. Now Shane and Kara are snowbound during a dangerous winter storm—with the killer! Shane’s convinced this has to be tied to Kara’s past, and he needs to find the truth…before they become a murderer’s next victims.



And also coming December 1st - Deadly AmishReunion (Amish Country Justice Book 9) by Dana R Lynn

I’m looking forward to this one as well. I love the cover and the blurb. Who doesn’t like a good amnesia story?

Separated by amnesia…reunited by a lethal holiday threat.

Jennie Beiler’s husband was supposed to be dead, so she’s shocked when he rescues her from an attacker. Although Luke has no memories of his Englisch wife, it’s up to him to protect her from someone who won’t stop until she’s dead. Can the peaceful Amish community he returned to after losing his memory shelter them and their son this Christmas when danger strikes again?

So, these are some of my favorites. What about you? Do you have some holiday suspense favorites that you have enjoyed this year?

Comment with your email address for a chance to win an ebook copy of Mistletoe and Murder. I’ll announce the winner next Friday. 

All the best, 

Mary Alford

www.maryalford.net  



Wednesday, November 18, 2020

A Writer's Life

 by Patricia Bradley

A while back I decided to try my hand at writing a shorter romantic suspense novel for Love Inspired Suspense. So I put together a proposal after reading a couple of LIS books and sent it off to my agent. 

Then I read more LIS book and thought Uh, Oh ...can I catch that proposal before it hits a LIS editor's desk? Nope. It was too late. The chapters I emailed in the proposal did not start off with the hero and heroine in jeopardy. That's a must for a Love Inspired Suspense book.

*Sigh* At least the editor was amenable to me reworking the proposal since I realized my mistake. All this to say, if you're a writer and you're targeting a particular publishing house, be sure to read a LOT of their books. 

What I discovered was, the hero and heroine must meet in the first chapter and be in jeopardy. No cute meet here. They are immediately thrown into danger and the reader is left on tenterhooks as they escape.

And the jeopardy is always there, hanging over the couple. Once they're on their journey to capture the bad guys, they encounter them about every chapter, until the end where they overcome the villain(s). Oh, and while they're battling the villain, they are also falling in love, and battling that as well. The writer needs a good reason why they can't be together, but not such a good reason that they can't overcome it.

If you're like me and targeting Harlequin's Loved Inspired Suspense,  or you're looking for a great suspenseful story, look no further for good examples than the Suspense Sisters! Here are some perfect examples of what LIS is looking for:

A dangerous reunion they may not survive

In this Mount Shasta Secrets novel

FBI agent Tori Peterson intends to find her sister’s murderer, even if someone’s willing to kill her to keep the truth hidden. But that means returning home and working with the lead detective—her ex-boyfriend, Ryan Bradley. Though sparks still fly between them, Tori and Ryan must stay focused on catching a killer…before they are silenced for good.

You can buy it here.


An Amish woman targeted by a serial killer

is the only living witness…

As the sole woman to escape the Dead of Night Killer, Catherine Fisher’s the key to catching him—if he doesn’t kill her first. Now it’s up to FBI agent Sutter Brenneman to protect her. But with her memory missing and all clues indicating the serial killer took her for very personal reasons, it’ll take everything Sutter has to keep her safe.

You can buy it here.



From a dangerous reunion at sea…


To undercover as husband and wife.

Forced to jump ship during her investigation, undercover DEA agent Grace Young’s rescued from criminals and raging waters by her ex-husband, Coast Guard swimmer Dakota Young. Now to save the mission, Grace and Dakota must pose as a married couple to take down a drug ring. But will facing danger together reunite two broken hearts—or place targets on both of their backs?

You can buy it here.

I hope you've enjoyed my journey into publishing. I'll let you know if Love Inspired Suspense likes my new proposal. 

Leave a comment telling me if you've ever ventured into a new area and had to learn a new way of doing something, and I'll enter you in a drawing for a digital copy of one of the LIS books listed. Be sure to leave your contact information.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

What's Hot in Inspirational Suspense by Mary Ellis

Wondering what's new in inspirational suspense and mystery? Jen Turano has a brand new suspense releasing today, To Steal a Heart, in the Bleeker Street Inquiry Agency series, from Bethany House.




Here's a little bit about the story: After a childhood as a street thief, Gabriella Goodhue thought she'd put her past behind her until a fellow resident at her boardinghouse is unjustly accused of theft. In the middle of breaking into a safe that holds the proof to prove her friend's innocence, Gabriella is interrupted by Nicholas Quinn, the man she once considered her best friend--until he abandoned her. 

After being taken under the wing of a professor who introduced him into society and named him as heir, Nicholas is living far removed from his childhood life of crime. As a favor to a friend, Nicholas agreed to help clear the name of an innocent woman, never imagining he'd be reunited with the girl he thought lost to him forever.

As Gabriella and Nicholas are thrown together into one intrigue after another, their childhood affection grows into more, but their newfound feelings are tested when truths about their past are revealed and danger follows their every step.

You can buy To Steal a Heart here: https://www.christianbook.com/to-steal-a-heart/jen-turano/9780764235313/pd/235313?event=Fiction|1000184

Monday, November 16, 2020

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.

On Wednesday,  Patricia Bradley will talk about writing for Harlequin's Love Inspired Suspense. She will give away a digital copy of Elizabeth Goddard's Deadly Evidence.



A dangerous reunion they may not survive

In this Mount Shasta Secrets novel

FBI agent Tori Peterson intends to find her sister’s murderer, even if someone’s willing to kill her to keep the truth hidden. But that means returning home and working with the lead detective—her ex-boyfriend, Ryan Bradley. Though sparks still fly between them, Tori and Ryan must stay focused on catching a killer…before they are silenced for good.




On Friday, Mary Alford will talk about some of her favorite Christmas Suspense books and will be giving away a copy of Mistletoe and Murder to one winner. 






Silent Night, Deadly Night. Welcome to a Killer Christmas!

Danger and suspense await you this Christmas season in Mistletoe and Murder: A Christmas Suspense Collection featuring 10 individual novellas of suspense from some of today’s most talented Christian Suspense authors.

Come with us on a heart-racing journey through the holidays as USA Today, Christian Booksellers Association, and ECPA Bestselling authors Mary Alford, Adam Blumer, Liz Bradford, Vicki Hinze, Shaen Layle, Loree Lough, Nancy Mehl, Cara Putman, Lynn Shannon, and Virginia Vaughan, weave tales of suspense that will have you flipping pages well into the new year.




The Suspense Sisters

 

 

We love books! 

Friday, November 13, 2020

More Than We Remember Review


by Patricia Bradley 

Today I'm excited to review More Than We Remember by Christina Suzann Nelson. It was recently a book of the month in a book club I'm in and I'm thankful! I also got to meet the author at the Public Library Association convention in January this year. I'm giving away an autographed copy to one lucky commenter (US Addresses only, digital otherwise)! 

Here's the back cover copy:

One night changes everything for three women. . . .

When Addison Killbourn's husband is involved in a car accident that leaves a woman dead, her perfectly constructed life crumbles apart. With her husband's memory of that night gone and the revelation of a potentially life-altering secret, Addison has to reevaluate all she thought she knew.

Emilia Cruz is a deputy bearing a heavy burden far beyond the weight of her job. Her husband is no longer the man she married, and Emilia's determined to prevent others from facing the same hardship. When she's called to the scene of an accident pointing to everything she's fighting against, she's determined to see justice for those wronged.

Brianne Demanno is hiding from reality. She was thriving as a counselor, but when tragedy struck a beloved client, she lost faith in herself and her purpose. When her neighbors, the Killbourns, are thrown into crisis, Brianne's solitary life is disrupted and she finds herself needed in a way she hasn't been in a while.

As the lives of these women intersect, they can no longer dwell in the memory of who they've been. Can they rise from the wreck of the worst moments of their lives to become who they were meant to be?

Buy it here! 

I was immediately hooked by this story that looks at three very different women's lives. The story has twists and turns I didn't expect, but then slapping-my-head, I'm thinking, of course!

I liked all three women. They were stronger than they thought they were and what happened in the book tempered them. I'm not sure which one I liked the most...probably Brianne--she was the least like me. I saw so much of myself in Emilia, and I was really glad to see how her story turned out. (Not telling too much--don't want to spoil the story for you)

Lilly stole my heart. So wise for one so young. This is an uplifting, twisty book and I think Suspense Sisters readers will enjoy it.

I'm also reviewing Christina Suzann Nelson's first book, If We Make It Home on my blog, and I'm giving away a copy of that book as well. So, hop over to my blog and leave a comment. Again, US addresses only.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

THE HOLIDAYS ARE UPON US!

Those words either excite us or terrify us. For authors on a deadline, all we can do is count the days, praying we'll get done in time to enjoy Thanksgiving and Christmas! I want to share one of my holiday stories with you. I hope you enjoy it.

My Thanksgiving Story

 When I was young, my mother made Christmas dinner and invited the family over to our house. I treasure those memories. Unfortunately, everyone who used to gather around my mother's table are gone except for me. 

When I was first married, I followed my mother's example and cooked Thanksgiving dinner. I loved having the house full of family. Unfortunately, many years my turkey was...well, dry. I tried all the suggestions about covering it, not covering it, standing on your head while you basted it...blah, blah, blah. And then one Thanksgiving morning, I had my turkey in the pan and was going to slather it with oil while I prayed this year it would turn out okay. I looked in the cabinets for the oil and realized I was out! Frantic, I grabbed the only oil I had: Orville Redenbacher's Butter Flavored Popcorn Oil. (Back then we didn't have microwave popcorn.) In those days all the stores were closed on Thanksgiving. Not having any other option, I poured popcorn oil on my turkey, praying it wouldn't be a disaster.That turkey was the most delicious, tender turkey I'd ever cooked...or even tasted. I accidentally discovered something that has continued all these years. For the last forty years all of my turkeys have been baked uncovered with Mr. Redenbacher's popcorn oil! They're delicious!

I'm sure you have stories about the holidays. Share it here and you'll be entered for a $20.00 Amazon gift card!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Nancy Mehl

What's Hot in Inspirational Suspense by Mary Ellis

Wondering what's new in inspirational suspense and mystery? Ronie Kendig has a brand new suspense, Soul Raging, #3 in the Book of the Wars series from Bethany House.



Here's a little bit about the story: Sometimes, the only hope is the enemy. Leif Metcalfe is done waiting for answers and seizes control, a move that comes with a high price and a deadly risk: teaming up with the enemy. He can only hope that what he uncovers will heal the wounds he's inflicted on those he loves.

Iskra Todorova believes Leif is on a collision course with death and knows firsthand the irrevocable cost of that path to the soul. While trying to protect her daughter and intervene with Leif, Iskra is forced to set her sights on the man behind the evil organization ArC--Ciro Veratti.

Torn apart by injuries and opposing views on how to handle Leif's act of treachery, team Reaper hunts one of their own. The only thing they agree on is not stopping but starting the final battle prophesied in the Book of the Wars.

You can buy Soul Raging here: https://www.christianbook.com/soul-raging-3-ronie-kendig/9780764231896/pd/231896?event=Fiction|1000184#CBD-PD-Publisher-Description

Monday, November 9, 2020

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, author Nancy Mehl talks about Thanksgiving. Hopefully three of you will feel thankful when you win a copy of MISTLETOE and MURDER, an anthology that contains some of suspense’s best authors.

Here’s a blurb from my story, KILLING CHRISTMAS


It’s been almost twenty years since the Arkansas River Strangler terrorized the streets of Wichita, Kansas. But he’s back, and he’s demanding that Pastor Lucas Pembroke, who writes a religious column for the local paper, carry his dark messages to the city…or the Strangler’s killing spree will begin again.

Buy it here!

 

On Friday Suspense Sister Patricia Bradley will review the book, MORE THAN WE REMEMBER by Christina Suzann Nelson. Leave a comment, along with your contact information, and you could win a print copy of this book! (U.S. only)

One night changes everything for three women. . . .

When Addison Killbourn's husband is involved in a car accident that leaves a woman dead, her perfectly constructed life crumbles apart. With her husband's memory of that night gone and the revelation of a potentially life-altering secret, Addison has to reevaluate all she thought she knew.

Emilia Cruz is a deputy bearing a heavy burden far beyond the weight of her job. Her husband is no longer the man she married, and Emilia's determined to prevent others from facing the same hardship. When she's called to the scene of an accident pointing to everything she's fighting against, she's determined to see justice for those wronged.

Brianne Demanno is hiding from reality. She was thriving as a counselor, but when tragedy struck a beloved client, she lost faith in herself and her purpose. When her neighbors, the Killbourns, are thrown into crisis, Brianne's solitary life is disrupted and she finds herself needed in a way she hasn't been in a while.

As the lives of these women intersect, they can no longer dwell in the memory of who they've been. Can they rise from the wreck of the worst moments of their lives to become who they were meant to be?

Buy it here!

 

The Suspense Sisters

 

 

We love books!