Wednesday, April 29, 2020

ACTIVITIES FOR SHELTERING-IN

by Patricia Bradley


These days it's so easy to fall into the trap of worry in this sixth, seventh, or eighth week of sheltering in (depends on when you started).  So this scripture reminds me that everything passes, even winter and COVID 19! 

One worry for me has been that I can't focus!  I actually can focus, but not on what I want to. I've written umpteen blog posts, created a PowerPoint for staff development, did a video on silver linings to the COVID 19 sheltering-in, another video for Family Fiction reading the prologue to Standoff, made masks, worked in the yard, cleaned the house, and cooked, but until Friday not one usable word for the book I should be working on. But at least Friday, I did write a beginning paragraph I'm decently happy with. And had more revelation on how the story will go.

Are you having a problem focusing? But it hasn't been all bad. At least I've had time to learn how to draw animals using the alphabet, and I can't draw! Doing something with my hands besides typing really helps to center my mind. Meet Larry:



He doesn't look much like the dinosaur he's supposed to me, more like a hippo. lol. But he was fun to draw. You can find directions on the internet--just put drawing using the alphabet into a search engine and you'll get plenty of tutorials! 

Another thing I've been doing is a LOT of Zoom. If you haven't tried this app, you might want to give it a try. I use it to brainstorm with other authors, and we even have a Zoom Pilates class three times a week. It's really simple to do and you can even record your sessions. That way if you're brainstorming, you have something to go back and look at and listen to after you've forgotten what was said...anyone else with that problem? 

So now you know what I've been doing. How about you? How have you passed the time? Leave a comment and I'll enter you in a drawing for the subject of another blog post--a handmade porcelain cross from my pottery room. 


And be sure to join us Friday when Nancy Mehl interviews me about my latest book, Standoff! I'll be giving away a copy of the book, too!

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

What's Hot in Inspirational Suspense by Mary Ellis

Wondering what's new in inspirational suspense and mystery? Cara Putman has a brand new suspense, Flight Risk, just released from Thomas Nelson.


Here's a little about the story: Savannah Daniels has finally built her law practice and is on the right path by surrounding herself with good people and being the best aunt to her troubled niece. Jett Glover’s father committed suicide over a fake newspaper report that ruined his reputation. Jett is writing the story of his journalism career—an international sex-trafficking scandal; that will bring down a celebrity baseball player and the men closest to him, including Savannah’s ex-husband.

When Jett’s story breaks, tragedy soon follows. Then a commercial airline crashes, and one of Savannah’s clients is involved in the crash. Men that were connected to the scandal, including her ex, begin to die in mysterious circumstances, and Savannah’s niece soon becomes a target. Against their better instincts, Jett and Savannah join forces to sort the facts from fiction. But can Savannah trust the reporter who threw her life into chaos? And can Jett face the possibility that he’s made the biggest mistake of his life?

Buy it here: https://www.christianbook.com/flight-risk-cara-putman/9780785233275/pd/233277?event=Fiction|1000643#CBD-PD-Description

Monday, April 27, 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 Patricia Bradley will tell us what she's been doing this past month.


And you'll hear from her again on Friday when Nancy Mehl interviews her about her latest release, Standoff, Natchez Trace Park Rangers, Book 1. She'll be giving away a print copy of the book! (digital for the outside US)


The Natchez Trace National Parkway stretches 444 miles from Nashville to Natchez, the oldest town on the Mississippi River. It's the perfect road for a relaxed pleasure drive. Unfortunately for park ranger Luke Fereday, lately it's being used to move drugs. Sent to Natchez to infiltrate the organization at the center of the drug ring, Luke arrives too late to a stakeout and discovers the body of his friend, park ranger John Danvers.

John's daughter Brooke is determined to investigate her father's murder, but things are more complicated than they first appear, and Brooke soon finds herself the target of a killer who will do anything to silence her. Luke will have his hands full keeping her safe. But who's going to keep him safe when he realizes he's falling--hard--for the daughter of the man he failed to save?

Award-winning author Patricia Bradley introduces you to a new series set in the sultry South that will have you wiping your brow and looking over your shoulder.

The Suspense Sisters




We love books!



Friday, April 24, 2020

An Interview with Kelly Irvin ~ Win a copy of Over the Line!

Today suspense lovers, I have the honor on interviewing Kelly Irvin, an author that Patricia Bradley and I consider a friend, besides a beloved colleague. Kelly has a new book about to release on June 9th, Closer Than She Knows. But first, the interview:
ME: If you had to describe yourself in one sentence, what would you say?

KI: I’m an introverted Christian novelist, wife, mother, and grandmother who never lost her childlike imagination.
ME: What do you do when you’re not writing? Any interesting hobbies?
KI: For the last two years I’ve been writing novels in two genres with overlapping deadlines so I haven’t had much free time. I belonged to a bible study that meets once a week, attend church, and Sunday school, but mostly I write. If I do have free time, I read mysteries and romantic suspense. If I had more time, I’d like to do a genealogy of my family and take up birdwatching, lol. But I love my life just the way it is.

ME: What was your favorite book as a teen or child?
KI: We were just posting about this on my Facebook page. A reader sent me a first edition Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzugh. I loved that book as a kid—still do. I also loved the Nancy Drew mysteries, Little House on the Prairie books, The Changeling, The Oregon Trail, and a ton of other books. I couldn’t get enough!

ME: Tell us three things about yourself that might surprise your readers.
KI: I never watched a single episode of “Game of Thrones.” LOL. Let’s see, I speak Spanish after spending three semesters at the University of Costa Rica as an exchange student in college. I hate kale. I’m deathly afraid of snakes—don’t try telling me they’re good for the environment, okay?

ME: What genre did you start out writing? Have you changed courses? Why or Why not?
KI: My first two books, A Deadly Wilderness and No Child of Mine, were romantic suspense novels. I was having trouble breaking into the Christian market, so my agent suggested I try Amish romances. I was very hesitant, but I did my research and started writing To Love and to Cherish. My agent sold it to Harvest House before I finished writing it. Since then I’ve published 16 Amish romances with more to come. Two years ago my sweet editor at HarperCollins Christian Publishing went to bat for me and pitched my proposals for new romantic suspense novels to the pub board. Publishers are leery about trying new genres because they’ve poured so many resources into building audiences for the first genre. I feel very blessed to be able to do both. It gives me a chance to stretch my writing muscles and keeps me fresh.

ME: What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author?
KI: I once had an acquisition editor tell me his publishing house only published extraordinary writing and mine didn’t rise to that level. It was devastating, but it also motivated me. I eventually published with that house, when he was no longer an editor there. The best compliment is when readers tell me they feel like they are in the story with the characters because they seem so real. One reader bought my books for her mother and she said they would talk on the phone about the characters like it was a soap opera they’ve been watching or gossiping about friends. I love that.

ME: Any other genres you’d like to try? If yes, what and why?
KI: I have a manuscript I wrote a long time ago that involves a middle school age girl living in a small town in Kansas during the Vietnam era in the 1960s. So it’s middle grade and historical. I’d love to spend some time reworking it someday.

ME: If you could go back in time and do something differently at the start of your career, what would it be?
KI: I’d start earlier. For several good reasons, I didn’t seriously start writing fiction until I was 45. I could’ve learned more and polished my craft more earlier, but I think this was God’s plan for me and it’s worked at really well so I’m not complaining.

ME: What is the most important piece of advice you’d like to give to unpublished authors?
KI: Polish your work and polish it some more. Join critique groups. Attend writing conferences. And then submit your very best work to agents who represent your genre. For me signing with an agent opened doors that were otherwise closed to me. For writers who want to be traditionally published, this is a vital step.

Now, here's a bit about Closer Than She Knows: 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 . . .


Here's a little bit about Kelly: Bestseller Kelly Irvin is the author of eighteen books, including romantic suspense and Amish romance. Publisher’s Weekly calls Closer Than She Knows a “brisk, smoothly written thriller.” She’s also the author of Tell Her No Lies and Over the Line. The two-time ACFW Carol finalist worked as a newspaper reporter for six years writing stories on the Texas-Mexico border. Those experiences fuel her romantic suspense novels set in Texas. A retired public relations professional, Kelly now writes fiction full-time. She lives with her husband, photographer Tim Irvin, in San Antonio. They are the parents of two children, three grandchildren, and two ornery cats.






Closer Than She Knows releases on June 9th from Thomas Nelson. It can be pre-booked here: Amazon


If you leave Kelly a comment, you will be entered in a drawing for a copy of her previous suspense,



Over the Line. US readers only. You must leave your email address. Drawing in one week.
Have a wonderful, suspenseful week, readers!! Mary Ellis

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

A Gem And A Giveaway!



Do you love discovering new authors as much as I do? It’s like finding a hidden gem and a wonderful feeling when you discover a new author that just pulls you in from the very first line. . . like this one:

Danielle Lake was fifteen years old the first time she saw a dead body.

Secrets She Knew - A Secrets and Lies Suspense Novel by D.L Wood did that and then some. This was the first book by D.L. Wood that I’ve read, but I can say I’ve become a fan.     

A Decade-plus old Murder. A killer behind bars. A detective that can’t let the case go. It has it all.
As a teenager, Dani Lake finds the body of her friend, Jennifer Cartwright and her life is forever changed. 

The incident shaped Dani’s future career as a police officer and later as a detective. Dani never believed the sweet man convicted of Jennifer’s death was guilty. Through the years, the case has called out to her. Dani is determined to find out the truth behind the murder no matter the cost.

When Dani accidentally stumbles onto Jennifer’s diary, the case that was once closed tight suddenly is blown wide open, and the identity of the killer will take you by surprise. I loved the mystery, the suspense, the characters, and the sleepy little town that has held a secret no one ever expected. If you like edge-of-your-seat suspense and an ending that will keep you guessing throughout the entire book, then this one is for you. I loved it.

What about you? Have you discovered any new authors lately that made you want to read more of their books? If so, leave a comment with your email address for a chance to win an e-book copy of Secrets She Knew.

Here’s a little about Secrets She Knew:


Boston police detective Dani Lake dreads returning to her small hometown of Skye, Alabama, for her ten-year high school reunion--and not just for the normal reasons.

At only fifteen, Dani tragically discovered the body of her murdered classmate, setting in motion the process that led to the unjust conviction of her dear friend and an unshakable burden of guilt she carries to this day. So when new evidence surfaces during her trip home which suggests the truth Dani's always suspected, she embarks on a mission to expose the real killer, aided by Skye detective Chris Newton--who happens to be the man Dani's best friend is dying to set her up with, and also the only person who believes her.

But when Dani pushes too hard, someone pushes back, endangering Dani and those closest to her as she unearths secrets deeper and darker than she ever expected to learn--secrets that may bring the truth to light, if they don't get her killed first.





D.L. Wood is an award-winning author, attorney and worship leader who writes Clean Captivating Fiction that entertains AND uplifts. She loves the art of storytelling, particularly any story involving suspense or the epic struggle of good versus evil. In her faith-laced suspense novels, Wood tries to give her readers the same thing she wants: a “can’t-put-it-down-stay-up-till-3am-story” that stays clean without sacrificing an iota of quality, believability or adrenaline. If she isn’t writing, you’ll either catch her practicing behind the keys or curled up with a cup of tea and her Westies, bingeing on the latest Sherlock series. She lives in North Alabama with her husband, twin daughters, and Westies, Frodo and Dobby.

All the best...

Mary Alford
www.maryalford.net  


Tuesday, April 21, 2020

What's Hot in Inspirational Suspense by Mary Ellis

Wondering what's new in inspirational suspense and mystery? Michelle Griep has a brand new mystery, House at the End of the Moor, recently released from Shiloh Run Press.




Here's a little about the book: When a powerful politician threatens to ruin opera star Maggie Lee, she flees to the wilds of the moors. Escaped convict Oliver Ward is running to prove his innocence---until he's injured and Maggie takes him in. When they discover she has the jewels Oliver's accused of stealing, can they clear his name without revealing hers? 320 pages, softcover from Shiloh Run.

But it here: https://www.christianbook.com/house-at-the-end-of-moor/michelle-griep/9781643523422/pd/523422?event=Fiction|1000643





Monday, April 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 Mary Ellis will tell us What’s Hot in Inspirational Suspense and Mystery. 


Wednesday Mary Alford will be interviewing D. L. Wood on her new release, Secrets She Knew. She'll be giving away an e-book copy!

Boston police detective Dani Lake dreads returning to her small hometown of Skye, Alabama, for her ten-year high school reunion--and not just for the normal reasons.

At only fifteen, Dani tragically discovered the body of her murdered classmate, setting in motion the process that led to the unjust conviction of her dear friend and an unshakable burden of guilt she carries to this day. So when new evidence surfaces during her trip home which suggests the truth Dani’s always suspected, she embarks on a mission to expose the real killer, aided by Skye detective Chris Newton--who happens to be the man Dani’s best friend is dying to set her up with, and also the only person who believes her.

But when Dani pushes too hard, someone pushes back, endangering Dani and those closest to her as she unearths secrets deeper and darker than she ever expected to learn—secrets that may bring the truth to light, if they don’t get her killed first.

On Friday, you don't want to miss Mary Ellis and a visit from Kelly Irvin on her newest release, Closer Than She Thinks. And since Kelly hasn't received this latest book, she will be giving away a copy of Over the Line.


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.



The Suspense Sisters




We love books!



Friday, April 17, 2020

LEARN from Lynette Eason and GIVEAWAY



Lynette Eason is joining us today for a guest post, AND she's giving away a Kindle copy of Her current release, COLLATERAL DAMAGE! Remember to comment and include your contact information to be entered in the drawing!


And now, let's hear from Lynette!

Hi Friends, thanks for letting me stop in today and share something I’m kind of excited about. I’ve been thinking long and hard about developing a program that helps writers grow in the craft of writing romantic suspense. As a result, I’ve developed the LEARN Program.


Lynette Eason’s Aspiring Romantic-suspense Network


(My hubby came up with that I liked it! J)

Here’s the pitch:

Are you an aspiring writer of romantic suspense who’s been working toward publication for a while now? Are you interested in writing category romantic suspense? Have you received a few rejections and don’t understand why? Are you targeting a certain publishing house? Are you an Indie author interested in making sure you’re putting out a well-done story?

I’m happy to say that I’m now offering a 7-month writing intensive that will help move you closer to publication. Please understand that I’m in no way GUARANTEEING publication with a traditional house. I’m not an acquisitions editor, etc, but if you will commit yourself to this course, you will definitely make strides in the right direction. If your genre is not Romantic Suspense, I can still help you, (the story elements are either there or they aren’t) however, keep in mind that my expertise is in the Romantic Suspense/thriller arena.

Here are just a few of the benefits you’ll receive throughout the course.

-A contract signed by both parties to protect your investment as well as mine.

-Monthly one-hour TEAM meeting (for anyone who is interested and currently enrolled in the course) for Q & A and encouragement as well as a publishing topic that is relevant to publisher-worthy writing.
-Monthly one hour zoom sessions with one on one coaching and check-in
-Daily email access with prompt responses from me for questions along the way between the interactive sessions. (Yes, you can email me daily if you need to, but no more than two a day, please.)

-Synopsis review (multiple times) and chapter by chapter feedback on your manuscript.
-A final in-depth review/developmental edit of manuscript before submission.

What it IS:
-It is mentoring and coaching process with Lynette Eason to LEARN how to write category romantic suspense and the elements necessary for an effective storyline.
-There will be monthly WORD COUNT deadlines. I understand life happens, but the deadlines are there for a reason. You may complete your manuscript early, but I will not be able to work ahead with you.

-If you stop working or find yourself unable to complete the course in the time allotted, there are NO refunds. However, you will have up to a year from date of signup to finish and will accept that my schedule may not permit immediate or daily feedback, etc. Although, know that I will do my best to respond in a timely manner in order to allow you to finish before the year is up.

Pre-requisites:
-This is not a class on writing. I am assuming that you already know how to write.
-You should already have a good grasp of the basics of plot, point of view, characterization, deep point of view, backstory, grammar, punctuation, etc.
-This is not for a beginning writer.

-You should have a story in progress.

-You should have read at least 10 books in the line you are targeting.

If this sounds like something you’re interested in, come join the fun at 1:00PM EASTERN TODAY (FRIDAY the 17th). Click on this link to register and then join me on a zoom call to learn more.

https://www.theheartsharegroup.net/lynette-easons-learn


Have a blessed weekend!


Remember to comment if you would like to be entered in the giveaway for Lynette's Collateral Damage.

Back Cover Copy:


Honorably discharged from the Army after an explosion nearly killed her, former military psychiatrist Brooke Adams has set up shop to help others--but her days of helping military personnel are over. She's got her own battles to fight from her time overseas, and she's not equipped to take on more. Former Army Special Ops Sergeant First Class Asher James could handle anything that war sent his way--terrorists, bombs, bullets. The only thing that scares him now is sleep. As the shadows close in, the nightmares begin.

Finally convinced that he needs help, Asher makes an appointment with a counselor, and Brooke is pressed by her boss to take him on. When he arrives at her office she isn't there--but a dead body is. Brooke is devastated when she walks in, and Asher is a conveniently strong shoulder to cry on. But she can't take him on as a client after sharing such an intimate and unprofessional moment, can she? And he's not sure he can handle sharing his deepest fears with such a beautiful woman.

When it becomes clear that Brooke was the real target of the attack--and that her secrets go even deeper than his own--Asher vows to protect her no matter what.

Bestselling author Lynette Eason is back with a new series that spans the globe and will have your heart working overtime.






























Tuesday, April 14, 2020

What's Hot in Inspirational Suspense by Mary Ellis

Wondering what's new in inspirational suspense and mystery?
Steven James has a new mystery, Synapse,
which releases today from Thomas Nelson.



Thirty years in the future, when AI is so advanced that humans live side by side with cognizant robots called Artificials, Kestrel Hathaway must come to terms not just with what machines know, but with what they believe. Soon after experiencing a personal tragedy, Kestrel witnesses a terrorist attack and is drawn into a world of conspiracies and lies that she and Jordan, her Artificial, have to untangle. With a second, more brutal attack looming on the horizon, their best chance of stopping it is teaming up with federal counterterrorism agent Nick Vernon. But the clock is ticking—and all the while, Jordan is asking questions Artificials were never meant to ask.

Deftly weaving suspense and intrigue into a rich, resonant tale that explores faith and what it really means to be human, Steven James offers us a glimpse into the future—and into our own hearts.

Buy it here from Christianbook.com: https://www.christianbook.com/synapse-steven-james/9780785225270/pd/22527X?event=Fiction|1000643#CBD-PD-Publisher-Description

Friday, April 10, 2020

Whatever you say, don't mention the virus

I really tried to come up with a post that didn't in some way reference Corona virus. I know everyone is probably tired of thinking, reading worrying about it. I wanted to provide you with an escape in this post, but every idea I came up with seemed to circle back to what the whole world is experiencing right now. I thought I would share some pictures that maybe help us get some perspective, shift our focus to the good things that surround us.

This photo is a place I like to hike taken at a time before the world was under siege and we were dealing with so many unknowns. When I look at it, I feel a sense of peace. And I am reminded that God is in control. I can hear the mumbling hum of the river and feel the mountain breeze on my face. Not far from here is a trail that leads up to a waterfall. As. you take the winding trail up the mountain, you can hear the waterfall way before you see it.


 This is a painting I did of a cat at a window. I have
done four so far. When I walk or drive through my neighborhood
there is something reassuring about seeing cats at
windows. The message seems to be that all is well with the world. The cat isn't stressed about anything. Just watching, just waiting. Finding the warm spot, the sunbeam and settling in. We could learn something from cats.


Finally, I leave you with the quote from that wise philosopher Winnie the Pooh. When my husband was dying of cancer six year ago, this was the saying that I repeated to myself. I know things are hard and there are so many unknowns right now. But God is faithful and he is the constant in our lives when everything else is shifting. We are all braver, stronger and smarter than we realize and God is way bigger than all of this.






I know Easter will look very different for everyone this year. I would be curious to hear how people will be celebrating. Or share with me what you have found lifts your spirit as we deal with life in these strange times. Leave a comment with your email address. I will be giving away two copies of  my romantic suspense Mistaken Target.



Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Dealing With Stress

by Patricia Bradley


This too shall pass. 

We're going into the fourth week of 'sheltering-in' in Mississippi. It's hard to believe just a short while ago I had plans to get on a plane and fly to Florida for Easter to visit my family in the West Palm Beach area. And now I'm making masks for them! Photos and a link to the directions are below.

That trip is off, of course, and while it's not the same, we're keeping in touch by phone. And we'll plan a few zoom meetings. Have you tried Zoom yet? It's a fantastic way to get your people fix. When it became evident we didn't need to keep meeting in person, my Pilates teacher learned how to do Zoom, and we're getting together virtually. 

Also, I'm picking up groceries for my neighbors across the street. They are in their late eighties and they've self quarantined themselves--I don't even go in, but leave the groceries on the steps, and she cleans everything with wipes before taking anything inside. 

So how about you? I pray you're coping and maybe reconnecting with family. I had one guy tell me he'd seen more of his wife these past few weeks than he had in years. I've seen other positive out-comes from sheltering-in. 

Several authors, me included, have banded together to offer our services to off to do interviews for teachers who are having on-line classes. If you're a writer, perhaps you can reach out to a teacher in your area.

This is a great time to get creative with our kids. I met young Juliette Gaudrault at a book signing. I was there with my books and she was there with a book she'd written. She printed the story in pencil and drew the pictures, and her mom had the pages printed and put it together in a booklet. I thought it was cute and it's something you can do with your own children or grandchildren. 



I think kids would love to do something like this. And now for the link to the masks. https://leahday.com/pages/how-to-make-a-face-mask-free-pattern

Do you have any suggestions for activities or ways to help others in this pandemic? Leave a comment and I'll enter you in a drawing for a $10 Amazon gift card!

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

What's Hot in Inspirational Suspense by Mary Ellis

Wondering what's new in inspirational suspense and mystery?
Sean Dietrich has a brand new suspense, Stars of Alabama.
Set during the Great Depression, Stars of Alabama releases today from Thomas Nelson.



During the Great Depression people find themselves uprooted. Marigold loses her baby in the forest and discovers she has an inexplicable power. Later migrant workers Vern and Paul find a violet-eyed baby girl. And as Kansas dust storms rage, 14-year-old preacher Coot is on the run. As these stories intertwine, discover how healing and hope come alive! 352 pages, softcover from Nelson.

Buy it here from Christianbook.com: https://www.christianbook.com/stars-of-alabama-sean-dietrich/9780785231325/pd/231328?event=Fiction|1000643#CBD-PD-Description

Monday, April 6, 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 we’ll hear from Patricia Bradley about activities to do during these 'sheltering-in' days. She'll also be giving away a $10 Amazon gift card!

On Friday, you don't want to miss Sharon Dunn as she brings us signs of spring and talks a little bit about Easter. 





The Suspense Sisters




We love books!



Friday, April 3, 2020

INTERVIEW WITH ANGELA RUTH STRONG



Angela Ruth Strong sold her first Christian romance novel in 2009 then quit writing romance when her husband left her. Ten years later, God has shown her the true meaning of love, and there's nothing else she'd rather write about. Her books have since earned TOP PICK in Romantic Times, been optioned for film, won the Cascade Award, and been Amazon best-sellers. She also writes non-fiction for SpiritLed Woman. To help aspiring authors, she started IDAhope Writers where she lives in Idaho, and she teaches as an expert online at WRITE THAT BOOK. Find out more at www.angelaruthstrong.com.

INTERVIEW
 

If you had to describe yourself in one sentence, what would you say?

I’d like to think I’m a good balance between whimsical and sensible, but I probably err to the side of whimsy.

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

My jobs are my hobbies. I work at an airline, so I can travel, and I teach yoga so I get paid to stay in shape. Besides that, I love scrapbooking and going on Harley rides with my hubby.

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

1. I’ve ridden on the shoulders of a unicyclist. 2. I won a TV and Xbox in a  hamster ball race where I was the hamster. 3 I broke my ribs cheerleading when a basketball player dove out of bounds and knocked me into the bleachers. I wrote about it and sold the article to a national magazine when I was seventeen. Easiest money I’d ever made at the time, and I decided to become a writer.  

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 studied journalism in college but then started my family early, so I began with writing picture books, which I absolutely love but never sold. Some of them got published in magazines like Hopscotch, which was pretty cool. As my kids grew, I wrote a middle grade novel series for them. And I’m really glad I write clean romance novels because my kids read those too. They range anywhere from rom/com to cozy mystery to romantic suspense.

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

I don’t know. I made a lot of mistakes, but I’d like to think I learned from them all. Of course, there are some editors and agents that I hope don’t remember the other name I wrote under before marrying Mr. Strong.  

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

Always. I’m learning to write screenplays now, so all those mistakes I made as a newbie novelist, I get to make again.

What are you working on now?

Book #4 in my CafFUNated Mysteries, A Mug of Mayhem. This one is set at a retirement center, so I’ve got former CIA agents, spies with dementia, and a cancer patient who may or may not be using her wigs as a disguise. Tee-hee.

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

I believe what sets Christian fiction apart from mainstream fiction is hope. As for my books in particular, I don’t want the romance to be only about a woman falling in love with a man but for the woman to find out how loved she already is by God. That’s what changed my life, and I believe love is what changes the world.

Anything else you’d like to share?

In my latest novel, A Latte Difficulty, I’ve planted two “Easter Eggs” where I reference other Christian mystery/romantic suspense series. Any avid readers who find at least one of them in the month of April can enter to win an Easter basket with a $25 Starbucks gift card inside. Here’s the link to enter


A LATTE DIFFICULTY
 
Can two baristas track down a gunman after the espresso shot heard ‘round the world? 

When Marissa witnesses an attempted murder during the 4th of July parade, it starts a battle for her independence. She is forced to hide out in a safehouse, leaving her co-owner, Tandy, to run their coffee shop, track down the criminal, and, worse, plan Marissa’s wedding. Thankfully Tandy has help, but can she really trust the P.I. in a bow tie, her new deaf barista who acts more like a bartender, or a wedding planner who’s keeping secrets?

The threat on Marissa’s future goes from bad to worse when her bridal gown is covered in blood. Though her fiancĂ©, Connor, agrees to give up his identity to join her in the Witness Protection Program, Marissa refuses to wave the white flag. Instead, she enlists Tandy to help her fight for truth, justice, and the Americano way.

Angela is giving away a digital copy of A LATTE DIFFICULTY. Leave a comment and your contact information for a chance to win!