Tuesday, July 14, 2020

ANOTHER GREAT SUMMER RECIPE

Today I'm sharing another super summer recipe. I love corn relish. Here's a super recipe with just a little kick!


CORN RELISH

Ingredients

1 can (15 1/4 ounces) whole kernel corn, drained, or 2 cups frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
2 tablespoons chopped green bell peppers
1 tablespoon finely chopped onion  
1 jar (2 ounces) diced pimientos, drained
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup white or cider vinegar  
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon mustard seed
1/4 teaspoon red pepper sauce

Directions

1.      Mix corn, bell pepper, onion and pimientos in medium heatproof glass or plastic bowl.

2.      Heat remaining ingredients to boiling in 1-quart saucepan, stirring occasionally. Boil 2 minutes. Pour over corn mixture.

3.       Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours to blend flavors but no longer than 5 days. Black Bean-Corn Relish: Stir in 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained. Makes 3 1/2 cups relish.

Hope you're enjoying your summer. And don't forget to enter our contest! We have some great prizes lined up!

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Delicious 4-bean salad for the Sum-Sum-Summertime! by Mary Ellis

Happy July, Suspense Lovers!!
Here's one of my favorite summertime recipes. I pair this with hot dogs or burgers on the grill, fried chicken, or cold cuts for an easy supper on the porch or patio. Enjoy....and keep on reading!! And don't forget to enter our awesome summer contest!!


Four Bean Salad
Combine in large bowl:
1 can green beans
(note: all beans can be either home-canned or store-bought)
1 can yellow beans (wax beans)
1 can kidney beans (light red or dark)
1 can garbanzo beans
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped peppers-sweet (green, red or yellow or combination)
½ cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped black olives (optional)

Add only enough dressing (recipe below) to lightly coat salad, then chill in refrigerator several hours or overnight. Before serving, if desired, drain off any runny dressing and add fresh. (1 or 2 tablespoons, or to taste)

Dressing:
2 cups oil (I prefer olive)
1 1/3 cups cider vinegar
2 cups sugar
2 1/2 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
2 tsp. prepared mustard
1 tsp. celery seed
1 tsp. Hungarian paprika
1 tsp. parsley (fresh or dried)

Heat oil and vinegar together, stirring in sugar and seasonings. Heat only until sugar is completely dissolved and seasonings are blended. Do not boil. Let cool and stored in a sealed jar in the refrigerator to use as needed. Shake well before using. This can be used on coleslaw and lettuce or spinach salad too.

Suspense Sister, Mary Ellis



Saturday, July 4, 2020

HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!




WISHING YOU A WONDERFUL 4TH OF JULY!
THE SUSPENSE SISTERS!

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

WHAT'S HOT IN INSPIRATIONAL SUSPENSE by Patricia Bradley

Wondering what's new in inspirational suspense and mystery?
Elizabeth Goddard has a new mystery, Don't Keep Silent which releases today from Revell.




Investigative reporter Rae Burke will do anything to find her missing sister-in-law, even if it means facing Liam McKade, a man who almost lost his life saving hers. A former DEA agent, Liam thought he could find peace at his Wyoming ranch, but he just doesn't feel at home anywhere anymore. When the reporter who blew his cover on an important investigation inserts herself back into his life, he's less than thrilled. But Rae's keen investigative skills have led her down the right path--and directly into the dragon's mouth--leaving Liam no choice but to protect her. As the danger increases, the past they both tried to flee catches up to them, along with the feelings they once had for each other.

Bestselling and award-winning author Elizabeth Goddard plunges you into a fast-paced, high-stakes story of honor, forgiveness, and justice.

Monday, June 29, 2020

ANNOUNCING OUR YEARLY SUMMER OF SUSPENSE CONTEST!



Wednesday, July 1st, the Suspense Sisters will kick off our yearly SUMMER OF SUSPENSE Contest! 

Check back to find out about the great prizes (along with lots of exciting books!) you could win.

This year we have a surprise for our readers. A prize we've never offered before. What is it?


You'll find out on Wednesday.

 

Friday, June 26, 2020

Moving forward....or not Roxanne Rustand

I hope this post finds you and your loved ones safe and in good health. We live in a rural state, on a little dead-end country road,  so it is quiet here in any event. 
But we've also been trying to follow all of the protocols about staying at home, and social distancing when we can't.  How is all of this going for you?


Have you found yourself tackling projects around your home that you might have been putting off for ages, or just didn't think of?  Are there some "positives" in your life now, given how life might have changed in your part of the country?

For me,  my work is always at home, at my computer,  But I've been reading a lot more, cooking more (who dares go out yet, for dine-in experiences?) And to support some locally owned small restaurants we've done something we'd never done before: now and then we pick up some take-out from a small but wonderful Thai restaurant and take it to a picnic shelter at a shady park.  It has been such fun. Why haven't we been doing this all along? 

We've also been doing a lot more gardening. Do you garden? I've always been a failure--at least back when we had a large garden.  Towering weeds were my specialty. But now, we have a number of 10x12 raised bed vegetable gardens, perennial gardens, and also have herbs, tomatoes, and strawberries on our deck.

There too I have a question for myself--why haven't I been growing herbs on the deck for years?  Last night I made chicken and used sprigs of fresh rosemary and thyme in the sauce.  It was so much better than with the dried herbs I usually add. 

With the extra time you might have at home, have you found yourself developing new interests or pursuing old favorites during this time of pandemic? Have you discovered new authors, or do you have any great books to recommend? 

Leave a message and be in a drawing for a free ecopy of  A Montana Legacy

All my best, Roxanne



Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Americans thrown a curveball by a pandemic by Mary Ellis


The Covid-19 epidemic has affected everyone during 2020. Many have seen family members fall ill and in some cases, die from this insidious virus. Others have lost jobs and are suffering financial hardship through no fault of their own. Even if your family wasn’t as direly impacted, no one has gotten away unscathed. Graduations, baptisms, showers and weddings cancelled, dreams put on hold. We’re no longer allowed to play proper respect at funerals. Schools have been closed with the responsibility for education thrust upon parents. Parks, playgrounds, pools, amusements, theaters, and sports facilities shuttered. We haven’t been allowed to meet a friend for lunch, get a haircut, or attend our place of worship. I am not implying the shutdown wasn’t necessary, especially since my husband and I are “of a certain age” with serious medical conditions. But now that restrictions are lifting, I’ve come to three observations about American personalities.

We are impatient by nature. We can follow the rules for only a certain length of time. After that we want everything to go back to normal, myself included. We might be able to survive three months without a haircut, but not six. My British friends are still under lock-down and thriving better than my neighbors here. A summer without block parties? A fall without football? No hayrides, no Christmas caroling, no taking grandkids to see Santa at the mall? Enough is enough.

We don’t mind suggestions, but please don’t tell us what to do. We are far more independent than the rest of the world. If you observed the streets of Paris or Rome after lockdown was imposed, not a “creature was stirring.” Not the case in many parts of the US.

We don’t like living with uncertainty. We want definite answers and solutions to our problems. We don’t like all these ideas being tossed around regarding treatments or possible vaccines. Are masks good or bad or somewhere in-between? Everyone has an opinion but no one seems to have an answer.

God has the answer. God knows how this will play out and asks only that we trust Him and be patient. Not just for the month or June or the rest of summer, but until we feel safe again. And I know just how hard that can be.

These were my opinions. Please leave me a comment with yours.  You will be entered in a drawing for a copy of The Amish Sweet Shop, recently nominated for a National Readers’ Choice Award. You must leave an email address, US or Canada only. Happy Reading, Mary Ellis

Mary’s latest book is Island of Last Resorts. : Cut off from the outside world on a private island, can a crack team of investigators solve a cold-case murder before a rich madman picks them off one-by-one?


Tuesday, June 23, 2020

WHAT'S HOT IN INSPIRATIONAL SUSPENSE AND MYSTERY

by Patricia Bradley



WONDERING WHAT'S NEW IN INSPIRATIONAL SUSPENSE AND MYSTERY THIS SUMMER? Kelly Irvin's latest released this month ~ CLOSER THAN SHE KNOWS. It's one you won't want to miss!


A serial killer bent on revenge . . . and striking too close to home.

Teagan O’Rourke has always loved murder mysteries. In her job as a court reporter, she has written official records for dozens of real-life murders. She’s slapped evidence stickers on crime scene photos. She’s listened to hours of chilling testimony. But she’s never known the smell of death. And she never thought she might be a victim.

Until now.

A young police officer is murdered just inches away from her, and then a man calling himself a serial killer starts leaving Teagan notes, signing each with the name of a different murderer from her favorite mystery novels.

Panicked, Teagan turns to her friend Max Kennedy. Max longs for more than friendship with Teagan, but he fears she’ll never trust someone with a past like his. He wonders how much of God’s “tough love” he can take before he gives up on love completely. And he wonders if he’ll be able to keep Teagan alive long enough to find out.

As Teagan, Max, and Teagan’s police officer father race to track down the elusive killer, they each know they could be the next victim. Desperate to save those she loves, Teagan battles fears that once haunted her in childhood. Nothing seems to stop this obsessed murderer. No matter what she does, he seems to be getting closer . . .

You can purchase CLOSER THAN SHE KNOWS here:

Monday, June 22, 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 Patricia Bradley will tell us What’s Hot in Inspirational Suspense and Mystery.



Wednesday we’ll hear from Suspense Sister Mary Ellis.  She'll be talking about Americans thrown a curve-ball by the pandemic. Leave a comment and you could win an ebook copy of The Amish Sweetshop! (Canada and US only)


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 . . .
 You can purchase The Amish Sweeet Shop at 

Amazon
B&N

And, on Friday, Roxanne Rustand will talk about Moving Forward. She'll be giving away an e-copy of her Romantic Suspense A Montana Legacy!





In A Montana Legacy, burned-out cop Kate Rawlins must deal with a stubborn Montana rancher...she claims her inheritance, and he claims her heart.

Prior to being sold to an editor, this book won First Place in the West Houston Emily, The Golden Rose, Haunted by Love, and We Dare You (Saskatchewan) contests. As a published novel, it placed in the WisRWA Write Touch Reader’s Award and the Golden Quill. Romantic Times magazine said: (FOUR STARS) “Strong and engaging characters…emotionally charged storyline.”

You can purchase A Montana Legacy at Amazon!

The Suspense Sisters




We love books!

Friday, June 19, 2020

INTERVIEW WITH SARA DAVISON

By Patricia Bradley

This week I'm so pleased to welcome author Sara Davison to the Suspense
Sisters! She hails from Canada, and I first 'met' Sara a couple of years ago. Actually, we've never met face to face, but have connected through social media and email ~ that's the way it seems people meet nowadays. 

Anyway, I read her book, Vigilant, and was blown away by it. Then this past week I read Guarded and reviewed Vigilant on my blog last week. She's featuring her latest book, Lost Down Deep today, and will be giving away a print book to someone who leaves a comment. (US and Canada only)

But let's get to the interview and learn more about Sara!

What was your favorite book as a teen or child?

I have so many books that I remember loving while growing up. My favorite as a young child was a picture book called Where’s Willy? about a lost kitten. I can still close my eyes and see the pictures in that book. When I got older, I loved the Bobbsey Twin mysteries, Encyclopedia Brown books, and The Great Brain series. My absolute favorite was A Wrinkle in Time, which I still love. Janette Oke’s Love Comes Softly introduced me to Christian Fiction as a young teen, and I’ve loved that genre ever since (as well as the fact that she’s a fellow Canadian author!)

I read the Bobbsey Twin mysteries as a kid! Tell us three things about yourself that might surprise your readers.
I’m an omnivert, so pretty much equally an introvert and extravert, depending on the day (or the hour). I get pumped up by being with people, especially people who share my faith and passions, so my book clubs (I belong to two) and writer’s groups (three) and Bible study groups. However, I also need time alone to recharge and to be at peace. Both energize me and keep me going.

I’m a nervous flier. My mother has never liked flying so we didn’t do it when I was growing up. The first flight I took, to the west coast with a friend after we graduated from university, was an anxiety-riddled trip in which the fog was so thick the pilot couldn’t land the plane without going out over the ocean and circling back. My next couple of flights included sitting on the tarmac while they searched the plane for a bomb and landing in a tornado and the plane almost tipping over when it hit the runway. Since then, I will fly when I have to, but I am always uneasy until I get off the plane. Thankfully, my husband and I are not big travelers and are generally content with road trips or staying at home.

My claim to fame is bumping into Donny Osmond (literally) on a sidewalk in Toronto one day. He kept going—less affected by the encounter than I was for some reason—but I stood on the sidewalk gaping after him for at least a full minute.

I'd be a nervous flier, too, Sara! And I'd never heard of an omnivert--and guess what? I'm just like you described! 
What genre did you start out writing? Have you changed course? Why or why not?

I don’t remember ever making the conscious decision to write suspense and romantic suspense, but when I started seriously writing, that’s what came out. Likely because that has always been one of my favorite genres to read. I love the edge-of-your-seat excitement of flipping pages to see what is going to happen next and the added intensity of a love interest, which gives the main characters so much more to lose. I often find other genres too slow for me since I am used to action and tension-filled suspense. I did recently write a prequel novella to my book Lost Down Deep though—Ten Bottles of Sand (in the anthology, Before Summer’s End)—that is not suspenseful, more like women’s fiction. I loved writing that as well, and was very happy with the end result, so maybe I will branch out a little more in the future.

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
The best compliment, hands down, is that my writing drew readers closer to God and strengthened their faith. As I say in the dedication of most of my books, “To the One who gives the stores – it is all from you and for you.” I mean that. Writing is a deeply spiritual experience for me. Like Eric Liddell, I feel God’s pleasure when I write, and I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that he is the one giving me the stories. And if he gives them to me, he has a purpose for them. Whether or not I sell a lot of copies or receive much acclaim, I put out the best work I can, market it as much as time and resources will allow, and then trust that God will use it to fulfil whatever purpose he has for it. So when I receive feedback like that, I know that’s exactly what is happening.

The hardest feedback for me is a 3 rating and a comment like, “this book was okay for me”. That “meh” reaction is far harder for me than an outraged rant and a 1 or 2 rating. At least a rant means my words sparked something in the reader, made them feel something. Having readers feel little or nothing when they read my work is the worst possible reaction, to me, anyway.

I know exactly what you mean! What is the most important thing you’d like readers to take away from your books?

The theme of all my books is that, whatever you go through in life, you are not alone. People will always let you down, but God will never leave you or forsake you. While other themes and issues are also covered, I hope and pray that one comes through loud and clear, and that readers take it to heart and find encouragement in that truth when they are going through difficult times in life.

What is the most valuable piece of advice you’d like to give to unpublished authors?
I have my own editing business and specialize in mentoring new writers. I always offer them three pieces of advice. The first is to be teachable. We have no idea what we don’t know when we’re starting out. Even now I learn new things about the craft of writing and hope to always keep learning so that every book I put out is better than the one before. I can tell early on if a writer will do well or not by how willing they are to accept constructive criticism and make necessary changes. 

Secondly, to writers who are Christian, I encourage them to define success differently than the world does. I believe God has a purpose for everything I write. That purpose may be for five people or fifty thousand or a million to read it and be impacted by it, I don’t know. If I produce a work of excellence and market it to the best of my ability, I have to leave the rest in God’s hands. If I do my part, God will do his, and the book will be a success no matter how many copies it sells. 

And finally, if you believe in your work, never, ever give up on it. Look at every rejection as confirmation that either it didn’t get into the right person’s hands or the timing wasn’t right. Consider the possibility that it could be improved and seek wise, professional advice on that. Then keep going until the book does get into the right hands at the right time.

Excellent advice, Sara! 

Here's the cover of Lost Down Deep--Don't you just love it! And don't forget that Sara is giving away a copy! Just leave a comment with your contact information.




She is the only one who can tell the police who attacked her in her home. If only she could remember …

Summer Velasquez is on the run from a man she has no recollection of after an attack she can’t recall. Every face in the crowd is a potential suspect, so how is Summer supposed to know who is a threat to her and who isn’t? After fleeing her assailant and the parents who lied to her about what happened, she changes her name and seeks refuge in Elora, Ontario. 


The small town feels familiar, although she has no memory of ever having been here. Even in what should be a safe place, she can’t shake the feeling that she is being watched. When Ryan Taylor strolls into the Taste of Heaven Café where she works, Summer is immediately drawn to him. However, he may not be who he says he is either. As her suspicions grow, Summer prepares to run again. But at least one person is determined to stop her. Permanently. And if she can’t remember who he is, this time he may succeed.

Sara Davis bio:

Sara Davison is the author of three romantic suspense series, The Seven Trilogy, The Night Guardians, and The Rose Tattoo Trilogy. She has been a finalist for ten national writing awards, including Best New Canadian Christian author, a Carol, a Selah, and two Daphne du Maurier Awards for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. 
She is a Word and Cascade Award winner. 

She currently resides in Ontario, Canada with her husband Michael and their three children, all of whom she (literally) looks up to. Get to know Sara better at www.saradavison.org (where you can sign up for her monthly newsletter), on Twitter: @sarajdavison, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/authorsaradavison/.

You can purchase Lost Down Deep at Amazon and can read it on KU.

And leave a comment to be entered in a drawing for a print copy of Lost Down Deep. (US and Canada mailing addresses)

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Evidence of a Life Lived






After twenty eight years, I am selling the house my late husband and I raised our kids in and the house my husband died in six years ago. I knew after he died I could not maintain an acre of land, a dirt driveway and an aging septic system etc. It has taken six years to down size and deal with the clutter. When the stager came over to give me feedback on how to make the house look for prospective buyers. She used and interesting phrase, she told me I needed to turn my home into a house. All evidence of who had lived there (personal photographs, any artwork or dust collectors that weren't generic or even hinted at my taste had to be put away) I understand that it needs to be done, but it was the exact opposite of what I had done for twenty eight years. The house is evidence of the lives that were lived there. There is a board between the kitchen and living room where my husband measured and marked how much the children were growing. The concrete by the garage that we poured has our names written in it including one that says "pink dinosaur" because that was what my daughter wanted to be called when she was little. All the pictures on the walls are either ones that have a story behind them or photographs my husband took. And then there is the framed map of Australia with the pen line around it. Right after we were married, my husband and I took a four month trip around Australia on a motorcycle. It was the trip of a lifetime. There are framed pictures of my first books. Good memories, sad memories...evidence of a life lived.  And so I take the memories and the photographs with me. Things like our names in the concrete remain for the next owner to wonder who pink dinosaur was. I have such mixed emotions. Looking forward to having a house that will not feel like a part time job but also feeling like I am losing something very important. Still trying to sort through that. How about you? What would where you live say about who you are as a person? Have you sold a house after being there a long time? What about your childhood home?

Leave a comment with your email address I will be giving away two copies of my book Hidden Away. The main character is a woman who prepares second homes for owners to arrive and ends up caught in a theft ring.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

WHAT'S HOT IN INSPIRATIONAL SUSPENSE AND MYSTERY

by Patricia Bradley


Wondering what's new in inspirational suspense and mystery?
Carrie Stuart Parks released Relative Silence on June 14th!  This one sounds amazing!



Here's the back cover copy:


Fifteen years ago Piper Boone’s only child died in a boating accident, and Piper’s almost perfect life came to an end too. After living through a divorce and losing her job, she retreats to Curlew Island and her childhood home—a secluded mansion for the politically powerful Boone family, who are practically American royalty.

But Piper’s desire to become a recluse is shattered when a mass shooter opens fire and kills three women at a café where Piper is having lunch. The crisis puts her family in the spotlight by dredging up rumors of the so-called Curlew Island Curse, which whispers say has taken the lives of several members of the Boone family, including Piper’s father and sister.

Forensic artist Tucker Landry also survives the shooting and is tasked with the job of sketching a portrait of the shooter with Piper. They forge a bond over their shared love of movies and tragic pasts. But when police discover a connection between the shooting and two more murders on Curlew Island, they face a more terrible lineup of suspects than they could have imagined: Piper’s family.


You can find purchase links here.

Stay tuned for more new releases next week!