Wednesday, January 22, 2020

A LOOK BACK AT JOHN D. MacDONALD


Today I’m in a nostalgic mood. I don’t know if it’s because January is usually the month I look back or because I’ve discovered Anne of Green Gables and I’m reading through that series.

I’m also rereading John D. MacDonald’s books which include the popular Travis McGee series. I read his books, not just to be entertained, which they certainly do, but for craft. MacDonald coined his writing stye as “unobtrusive poetry.” Unobtrusive, because no author wants to draw attention to his style of writing. Here’s an excerpt from a Travis McGee book, Darker Than Amber:


She sat up slowly, looked in turn at each of us, and her dark eyes were like twin entrances to two deep caves. Nothing lived in those caves. Maybe something had, once upon a time. There were piles of picked bones back in there, some scribbling on the walls, and some gray ash where the fires had been.

You know you’re reading about a woman who has lost her way. 


One more example from The Empty Copper Sea: 
Van Harder was a lean, sallow man. Tall, silent, and expressionless. I had never seen him without a greasy khaki cap with a bill. Florida born for generations back, from that tough, tireless, malnourished, merciless stock which had scared the living daylights out of the troops they had faced in the War Between the States. His eyes were a pale, watery blue. He was about fifty, I guessed.

I can just see the man.

Lee Child of the Jack Reacher series said this of MacDonald:

I read the Travis McGee novels five years before beginning my own Jack Reacher series and for the first time I was given a sense of "the skeleton beneath" the writing. I could see what MacDonald was doing, how he was compelling me to read on. I was left with the impression that if I needed to write a book, I could.

If it works for Lee Child... 


I read craft books, then I read examples of what the craft books teach. And John D. MacDonald has some of the best examples of description around. And a pleasure to read.

By the way, while he’s known for the Travis McGee books, he also wrote The Executioner. It was later turned into a movie starring Gregory Peck and Robert Mitchum—Cape Fear.

If you’re a fan of mysteries, then I think you would enjoy a John D. MacDonald novel. They are general market and while mostly clean, especially the later books, they are secular in nature. 


 Leave me a comment, telling me if you’ve ever read one of his books, and I’ll enter you in a drawing for one of his novels--The Empty Copper Sea. (Or if you prefer, a $10 Amazon gift card) This one features a born-again Christian as his client.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

WHAT'S NEW IN INSPIRATIONAL SUSPENSE






January has been a great month for suspense releases! Today we're featuring our very own Mary Alford!

Amish Country Kidnapping

For this Amish widow, nowhere is safe...

Unless she trusts the Englischer she once loved.

Waking up to a man trying to kidnap her is Amish widow Rachel Albrecht’s most terrifying moment—until she discovers he’s already taken her teenaged sister. Now Rachel’s life—and her sister’s—depends on her first love, Englischer deputy Noah Warren. But the danger of rekindling their forbidden love is the least of Rachel’s worries with her family in a killer’s sights…

You can purchase Amish Country Kidnapping at:
Amazon
B&N


We Love Books!

Monday, January 20, 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 Patricia is back with an article about author John D. McDonald. She’ll also let a winner pick their choice of one of his books. The excerpt below is from his novel, THE GIRL, THE GOLD WATCH AND EVERYTHING

Once an ordinary math teacher, Omar Krepps developed a knack for gambling, amassed a fabulous fortune, and spent the rest of his life traveling the world and giving away his millions. Upon his death, however, Krepps bequeaths nothing to his nephew and only living blood relative, Kirby Winter—nothing, that is, except an antique watch and a sealed letter to be opened after one year.

But Kirby has much more in his possession than he realizes. The watch has the power to manipulate time. Not only does this revelation shed light on the mystery of his uncle’s life, it puts Kirby on the path to unimaginable wealth and a new lease on love—as well as a whole host of deadly troubles. Even in a universe where time is no issue, Kirby must tread carefully to stay one step ahead of danger.

You can find it here.

Friday, Nancy Mehl will tell us about the third and final installment in her Kaely Quinn Profiler series, DEAD END.

When a body is discovered in a field in Iowa, the police uncover fourteen additional corpses ranging from 20 years old to recent. The remains point to a serial killer with an MO the authorities have seen before--Ed Oliphant, a man who has been in prison for over 20 years . . . and is Special Agent Kaely Quinn's father. After several failed interview attempts to discover if Ed has been training someone to be a copycat killer, the police turn to Kaely in St. Louis.

Kaely promised herself she would never step foot in her hometown or set eyes on her father again. She's always refused to confront her past, but if she wants to prevent any more deaths, she must come face-to-face with the man she's hated for years. 

As more bodies are discovered, Kaely races against time and her own personal turmoil to uncover the killer. Will this most personal case yet cost Kaely her identity and perhaps even her life?

Buy it here.

 
The Suspense Sisters


We love books!

Friday, January 17, 2020

Review of Rosanna's Gift ~ Win a free copy!

Happy New Year, Suspense Sisters' readers! While taking a break from my own writing, I had the pleasure of reading Susan Lantz Simpson's latest book, Rosanna's Gift. Here's my review:



I have read books about the Amish by this author before and found them to be accurate in detail, heartwarming, and romantic in a family-friendly way. This one is no exception. In Rosanna’s Gift, the author tackles the complex issue of adoption across cultural lines. Her central character struggles with the new responsibilities of motherhood while her still-single heart is pulled in two directions. Susan Lantz Simpson has developed rich, multi-layered characters that you will come to love while turning the pages. I enjoyed my mini-vacation into the lives of these gentle Christians and feel mystery readers will enjoy Rosanna’s Gift too.

Here's a little about the story: In Southern Maryland’s serene Amish country, one young woman’s life is changed by an unexpected request . . .

“She’s yours.” Until now, Rosanna Mast’s hopes for the future have all revolved around handsome Henry Zook. But when a young Englisch girl places her newborn daughter in Rosanna’s arms and utters those words, shock quickly turns to fierce, protective devotion. Between helping her midwife mamm and caring for her own siblings, Rosanna has plenty of experience with babies. And who wouldn’t love a sweet-natured boppli like little Mollie? Yet to her dismay, Henry has no intention of ever taking on another man’s child. Instead, it is steady, thoughtful Paul Hertzler who becomes Rosanna’s staunch supporter.

Paul knows he should have acted sooner on his feelings for Rosanna. Now, as her dream of adopting Mollie meets unexpected hurdles, he sees a way to help. Rosanna would do anything to keep baby Mollie—perhaps even agree to marriage. But will Rosanna continue to hold him at arm’s length, or see that he longs to offer her the love and family she deserves?


To win a free signed copy of Rosanna's Gift, please leave Susan a comment, along with your email address. Sorry, US readers only. Drawing in one week. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

New Year – New Book, and a Giveaway!



Hi everyone. I’m sure by now you’re tired of hearing, “Happy New Year”, so I won’t say it. 


But I am happy that we’ve flipped the page from 2019 into the roaring twenties. Starting a new decade is exciting, isn’t it? 

And there’s just something about January that fills me with so much hope. Having a brand new year filled with 365 days of opportunity reminds me that no matter what happened in the previous year, anything is possible for 2020. 

It’s also kind of exciting that I have a new brand new book out during this first month of the New Year. It’s a first for me in that it’s the first Amish Suspense I’ve written for Love Inspired Suspense, and it kicks off what will be a series of Amish Suspense stories set in the West Kootenai, Montana Amish Community. 

So, what about you? What are you most looking forward to in this new decade? 

Leave a comment, and you'll be entered in a drawing for a copy of AMISH COUNTRY KIDNAPPING. Print copy to US residents. E-book to those outside of the US. I’ll announce the winner on January 22. 

Many, many blessings to you and your family this new decade!

All the best…

Mary Alford
www.maryalford.net  

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

WHAT'S HOT IN INSPIRATIONAL SUSPENSE






 


Wondering what's new and hot in inspirational suspense and mystery this week? Check out End Game by Rachel Dylan!


When elite members of the military are murdered on the streets of Washington, DC, FBI Special Agent Bailey Ryan and NCIS Special Agent Marco Agostini must work together to bring the perpetrator to justice. Unfortunately, all evidence points to a Navy SEAL sniper whom Bailey refuses to believe is guilty.

When Bailey and Marco start to connect the dots between the victims, including a link to a powerful defense contractor, they wonder if there's a deeper cover-up at play. Then Bailey is targeted, and it becomes clear that someone is willing to kill to keep their dark secrets.

With the stakes getting higher by the moment in a twisted conspiracy, there's a rush against the clock to determine whom they can really trust. As allies turn to enemies, the biggest secret yet to be uncovered could be the end of all of them

You can purchase End Game here:

We love books!

Monday, January 13, 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 author Mary Alford. She’ll be talking about the past decade and the new decade before us. She will also introduce her new book, AMISH COUNTRY KIDNAPPING.

For this Amish widow, nowhere is safe...

Unless she trusts the Englischer she once loved.

Waking up to a man trying to kidnap her is Amish widow Rachel
Albrecht’s most terrifying moment—until she discovers he’s already taken her teenaged sister. Now Rachel’s life—and her sister’s—depends on her first love, Englischer deputy Noah Warren. But the danger of rekindling their forbidden love is the least of Rachel’s worries with her family in a killer’s sights…


Friday Mary Ellis will interview Susan Lantz Simpson. Susan is giving away a copy of her book, ROSANNA’S GIFT.

In Southern Maryland’s serene Amish country, one young woman’s life is changed by an unexpected request . . .

“She’s yours.” Until now, Rosanna Mast’s hopes for the future have all revolved around handsome Henry Zook. But when a young Englisch girl places her newborn daughter in Rosanna’s arms and utters those words, shock quickly turns to fierce, protective devotion. Between helping her midwife mamm and caring for her own siblings, Rosanna has plenty of experience with babies. And who wouldn’t love a sweet-natured boppli like little Mollie? Yet to her dismay, Henry has no intention of ever taking on another man’s child. Instead, it is steady, thoughtful Paul Hertzler who becomes Rosanna’s staunch supporter.

Paul knows he should have acted sooner on his feelings for Rosanna. Now, as her dream of adopting Mollie meets unexpected hurdles, he sees a way to help. Rosanna would do anything to keep baby Mollie—perhaps even agree to marriage. But will Rosanna continue to hold him at arm’s length, or see that he longs to offer her the love and family she deserves?


 
The Suspense Sisters


We love books!

Friday, January 10, 2020

What I'm Reading . . .



by Elizabeth Goddard


Hi, friends!

I'm late to post this morning.

Hope you had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I cannot believe we’re already into 2020.

The really awesome news about this coming year is that there are fantastic romantic suspense novels releasing for your reading pleasure.

What I'm reading and highly recommend . . . 



Second to Live by Susan Sleeman


When cybercriminals hack into the US Marshals' Witness Protection database and auction off witnesses' personal details to the highest bidders, the RED Team led by FBI Agent Sean Nichols begins a high-stakes chase to find the hacker. But before he can even get started, the first witness is targeted and barely escapes with her life. Sean believes Phantom, an obsessed hacker who previously outwitted the top minds in the field, is behind the attack, and Sean needs this witness's help, as she's the person who has come closest to discovering Phantom's identity.

Trouble is, she's a witness under the care of US Marshal Taylor Mills, and Sean is reluctant to work with the captivating marshal who knows his deepest secrets. But Phantom claims he knows where the witness is hiding and will kill her, so to stop the hacker, Sean and Taylor must work through their personal pain and learn to trust each other. . . . The seconds are ticking down before someone dies.





End Game by Rachel Dylan


When elite members of the military are murdered on the streets of Washington, DC, FBI Special Agent Bailey Ryan and NCIS Special Agent Marco Agostini must work together to bring the perpetrator to justice. Unfortunately, all evidence points to a Navy SEAL sniper whom Bailey refuses to believe is guilty.

When Bailey and Marco start to connect the dots between the victims, including a link to a powerful defense contractor, they wonder if there's a deeper cover-up at play. Then Bailey is targeted, and it becomes clear that someone is willing to kill to keep their dark secrets.

With the stakes getting higher by the moment in a twisted conspiracy, there's a rush against the clock to determine whom they can really trust. As allies turn to enemies, the biggest secret yet to be uncovered could be the end of all of them.


One Final Breath by Lynn Blackburn


When investigator Gabriel Chavez had his cover blown by an aggressive reporter, the silver lining was being able to rejoin the dive team. The downside? Dive team captain Anissa Bell--a woman who both fascinates and frustrates him.

Anissa grew up as a missionary kid on the Micronesian island of Yap and always planned to return after college. But she remained stateside, determined to solve the case that haunts her--the murder of her best friend and the disappearance of a three-year-old child.

When Anissa's fractured past collides with Gabe's investigation into the tragic shooting death of a teenage boy in Lake Porter, they'll have to put their complicated history with each other aside in order to uncover the identity of a killer. What they'll discover is that revenge has no statute of limitations.

Award-winning author Lynn H. Blackburn closes out her nail-biting Dive Team Investigations series with a story that will have you wondering how long you can hold your breath.



I’ll be making recommendations in my monthly newsletter as well. I’d love for you to sign-up if you’re not already a member. You can sign up on my website at ElizabethGoddard.com

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

New book release...with a free book give away!

Happy New Year!

I hope this finds you all in good health, with great goals and a happy outlook for the coming year.


Have you set any goals for 2020?  I don't mean New Year's resolutions, but concrete goals. A newsletter from a local doctor's office suggested the following:


1. Make five short-term goals. Write "due dates" for each one on your calendar. Add five more when those are done.

2. Make five long-term goals.

3. For each goal, list three action steps that you can take.

4. Print a document listing all of these goals and post it where you can see it every day.

I've been working on two short-term goals already--decluttering the house after the holidays, and clearing out and organizing our cupboards.  One of my long-term goals will probably take me until the end of summer--reaching the healthier weight I was at when I was thirty.  :)  Thirty pounds gone, but still far to go.

What are some of your own long-term or short-term goals for the coming year?

 On another note,  I am so excited about the release of my new Love Inspired novel, SNOWBOUND WITH THE COWBOY, which appeared in Walmarts, book stores, and online on January first.


I so loved writing this one and was sad to say farewell to the characters when I typed "The End."  And I adore the cover.  I always have dogs and/or a variety of other animals in my books, and perhaps it was just a subconscious thing when I added a golden retriever mix and a stray border collie to this one--but it was a poignant moment when I first saw my author copies a month or so ago.


I proved some generic dog photos from a photo site online, as an example. The cover artist painted two dogs that look exactly like our two rescues...and those books arrived just a day or so after we had to say a heart-wrenching farewell to our beloved border, Elmo. I will treasure this cover forever!


Best wishes to you all for a wonderful year!  Leave a comment, and you'll be entered in a drawing for a free e-copy of SNOWBOUND WITH THE COWBOY!


Wishing you a year of happiness,
Roxanne Rustand