Monday, September 21, 2020


We’re planning another great week on the Suspense Sisters. Check out our posts, our interviews, and our awesome giveaways!


On Tuesd
ay MaryEllis will tell us What’s Hot in Inspirational Suspense and Mystery. 

On Wednesday Nanch Mehl will talk about how exciting being a Published Author must be, right? She'll be giving away a Kindle copy of Dead End, Book 3 in her Kaley Quinn Profiler series.

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?

On Friday, Patricia Bradley will follow up with more on the writing life! She will give away a copy of her latest book, Standoff, Natchez Trace Parkway Rangers, Book 1

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.


We Love Books!

Friday, September 18, 2020

Autumn, switching gears, being inspired, plus a drawing for a free book .....Roxanne Rustand

Autumn is settling into the Midwest, with cooler days and chilly nights.  Jacket and sweater weather is what I look forward to during hot summer days!  

With some trees already starting to turn to their fall colors, it's my favorite time of the year for switching gears, too. Something about it--the beauty perhaps, or the anticipation of bringing out the flannel sheets and down comforters, just makes me feels inspired. Is it a remnant of looking forward to the first day of school when I was young?  So much has changed this year, with the uncertainties of Covid. How about you--do you look back at those days and remember that sense of new beginnings each fall?  

This year has has been tough for so many.  The awful news about the pandemic and the horrific weather disasters across the United States has had me in the doldrums.  Though it didn't make national news,  Iowa was hit with sustained 100-140 mph derecho winds--a forty-mile wide swath coming through our area-- that severely damaged or destroyed over 8,000 homes and flattened--destroyed--550,000  acres of corn crops.  

How about you--have you been in the path of the terrible forest fires out west? The hurricanes? Drought? I hope you are safe and well.

Despite it all, there's always hope for new beginnings.  

Being able to attend church online gives me a sense of peace. Reconnecting with old friends on long phone calls is uplifting. What about you--are you finding ways to deal with all that has been going on? Have you found yourself picking up old hobbies, reading more, starting something new?  

During this time spent isolating at home, my dear friend, Lyn Cote, has been spending a lot of time with me on the phone, coaching me on the world of indie (self)  publishing. I'd dabbled a bit before, but I love writing for Love Inspired and didn't keep up with the rapid evolution going on in the world of self-publishing. Thank goodness for Lyn's patience with me!  I now have six Christmas novellas coming out between October 8th and early December.

This is the first one, which is on preorder for 99 cents. Here are its Amazon link and another for the other major online booksellers, in case you'd like to read about it.

Anyone who leaves a comment will be in a drawing for a free copy of The Mistletoe Puppy.

Best wishes to you all,

Roxanne Rustand

Wednesday, September 16, 2020



Today I'm excited to welcome Sally Jo Pitts to The Suspense S
isters! She is a licensed private investigator, and guess what? That's the type of story she writes! And she's giving away a copy of Autumn Vindication (US address only)!

Here's the back cover copy:

A private investigator and amateur sleuth make an unexpected autumn discovery.
Autumn Vindication
Private Investigator Robert Grey, a former state agent with a tarnished reputation, and his intern Jane Carson arrive in Pine Bluff, Alabama. Initially working a voter fraud case, they find themselves in the middle of a homicide and their client, the local sheriff, is the prime suspect.

Challenged with finding a murderer and grappling with career doubts of their own, the PIs are pitted against Robert’s nemesis.

With a man’s life at stake, can this unlikely duo find vindication while untangling the mysterious maze of suspects and motives hidden within the colored cloak of autumn?
 Sally Jo, you’re a private detective in real life. How do that help you with your books.

Knowing the kinds of issues a private investigator is called on to work, and how to go about investigating and reporting a case helps me add realism to dialogue and scene situations. The voter fraud case featured in Autumn Vindication is based on a real case my husband and I worked in a north Florida county sheriff’s race.

Would you be willing to give a few tips on how PI’s work?


These are tips I learned from my husband who was in law enforcement 35 years before opening his private investigations agency. He taught me and I worked for him. Initially, I was a teacher by day and PI by night for many years until I retired and became a PI full time.

Tip #1- Identify the issue and determine if what a person requests is appropriate for a PI rather than wasting a client’s money.

We might get a call to watch someone suspected of making harassing calls. This should be reported to police to take a report. It is not something to hire a PI for. We might receive a call wanting us to watch a spouse to prove they were unfaithful. If it was a divorce situation, then obtaining specifics needed by the attorney was advised rather than wasting the client’s money spending hours collecting data that was of no use.

Tip#2- For surveillance, we gathered not only photos and description of the subject but as much information as possible about the person’s likes, dislikes, habits, favorite places to eat, where they normally parked their car, etc.

Tip# 3- If surveillance, scout the area where subject is to be observed and plan strategy on how to carry it out. A person living on an isolated, deadend street presents a challenge!


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

I was campaign manager for my husband when he ran for sheriff. (I was a complete novice, checked out two books from the library on running a political campaign and he won in spite of me.)

I taught Success in Day-to-Day Living seminars with two other teacher friends when our children were still in elementary school. We learned that the time spent planning and teaching was keeping us from success in day-to-day living!

I am a licensed lie detection examiner.

What genre did you start out writing? Have you changed course? Why or why not?
I first wrote the Autumn Vindication mystery that just came out, as a husband and wife detective story eight years ago. (It has morphed into a younger single guy and girl coworkers team.) But I put it on the back burner to learn more about craft. I attended conferences, learned from My Book Therapy and Deep Thinkers with Susan May Warren. My first published books were romance and I’ve tried my hand at romantic suspense.

Deep Thinkers is where I met you! What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
Tough Criticism- That my protagonists were too old. My team consisted of husband and wife who were in their 60s/70s.
Best Compliment- My romance books should be Hallmark movies.

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

Sally Jo: That everyone has a purpose.

Would you want to be a private detective? Leave a comment with your contact information to be entered in a drawing for Autumn Vindication!  

Here's Sally Jo's bio: 
Sally Jo Pitts has had a career in private investigation, high school guidance counseling, and taught in the field of marriage and family living for over twenty years. Now, she brings her experience in affairs of the heart to the fiction page. 
Writing what she likes to read—faith-based stories—her desire is to inspire and encourage the reader. She is the author of the Hamilton Harbor Legacy romance series and Autumn Vindication is book one in a four-book Seasons of Mystery series. Visit her at

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

What's Hot in Inspirational Suspense by Mary Ellis

 Happy Tuesday, Readers! Wondering what's new in inspirational suspense and mystery? Michelle Shocklee has a brand-new suspense just release from Tyndale House. 

Here's a little about the story: Sixteen-year-old Lorena Leland’s dreams of a rich and fulfilling life as a writer are dashed when the stock market crashes in 1929. Seven years into the Great Depression, Rena’s banker father has retreated into the bottle, her sister is married to a lazy charlatan and gambler, and Rena is an unemployed newspaper reporter. Eager for any writing job, Rena accepts a position interviewing former slaves for the Federal Writers’ Project. There, she meets Frankie Washington, a 101-year-old woman whose honest yet tragic past captivates Rena.

As Frankie recounts her life as a slave, Rena is horrified to learn of all the older woman has endured—especially because Rena’s ancestors owned slaves. While Frankie’s story challenges Rena’s preconceptions about slavery, it also connects the two women whose lives are otherwise separated by age, race, and circumstances. But will this bond of respect, admiration, and friendship be broken by a revelation neither woman sees coming?

Monday, September 14, 2020


We’re planning another great week on the Suspense Sisters. Check out our posts, our interviews, and our awesome giveaways!


On Tuesday Mary Ellis will tell us What’s Hot in Inspirational Suspense and Mystery. 

Wednesday we’re interviewing private investigator turned author, Sally Jo Pitts. She’ll be giving away a copy of her book, AUTUMN VINDICATION.

A private investigator and amateur sleuth make an unexpected autumn discovery

Private Investigator Robert Grey, a former state agent with a tarnished reputation, and his intern Jane Carson arrive in Pine Bluff, Alabama. Initially working a voter fraud case, they find themselves in the middle of a homicide and their client, the local sheriff, is the prime suspect.

Challenged with finding a murderer and grappling with career doubts of their own, the PIs are pitted against Robert’s nemesis.

With a man’s life at stake, can this unlikely duo find vindication while untangling the mysterious maze of suspects and motives hidden within the colored cloak of autumn?

 Buy it here!

Friday, Suspense Sister Roxanne Rustand will write about how autumn means it’s time to switch gears. Summer is leaving and another season is upon us. She will be giving away a copy of her novella, THE MISTLETOE PUPPY!

Kate Larson works as a nurse at a clinic in Mistletoe Falls, a charming small town in northern Minnesota. She also established and manages the area’s only no-kill animal rescue, a cause dear to her warm and loving heart. After a series of romantic disappointments, she’s no longer interested in risking another. She has far more important things to focus on.

Brad Bailey is a former Minneapolis cop who recently moved north for his new job as a deputy. His wife died just before Christmas last year, and that grief is still too fresh to think about new relationships. He hopes Mistletoe Falls will be a place where Janie, his grieving six-year-old daughter, can grow up, and be part of a close-knit community. With few relatives left, he prays that this will happen.

Brad finds an abandoned golden retriever mix and her thirteen puppies, and brings them to the animal shelter, where he meets Kate, the pretty manager. Perhaps visiting the puppies will lift Janie’s spirits? Janie falls in love with the puppies and begs to adopt them all, but given the tiny rental cabin they’re in until Brad can find a home to buy, even one pup is impossible. There’s nothing else available, and the distant, surrounding towns would all mean a long commute. Mistletoe Falls is a perfect place to raise Janie, but will they need to move yet again?

Always ready to take in homeless or abused animals and to help anyone in need, Kate worries about Brad’s sad, motherless child, and invites them both for Thanksgiving dinner. Though neither has any interest in commitment, Kate and Brad’s friendship grows as she tries to help fill the void in Janie’s life. Can a litter of adorable puppies and a lonely little girl bring them together by Christmas?

Buy it here!

The Suspense Sisters

We love books!


Friday, September 11, 2020

Meet Cozy Mystery Author Stephanie Cole with a giveaway!

Today Suspense Sisters are proud to welcome cozy mystery author, Stephanie Cole, who has a new series, Tuscan Cooking School Mysteries. Book one, Al Dente's Inferno, was released in the spring from Berkley/Penguin Random House.

First the interview:

If you had to describe yourself in one sentence, what would you say? I’m a friendly introvert, who loves the arts, enjoys smart and funny books, values kindness above all, and is grateful for the love of friends and family.

What do you do when you’re not writing? Any interesting hobbies? I audit Art History courses, take fiddle lessons, enjoy cooking classes, and practice meditation and yoga daily.

What was your favorite book as a teen or child? As a child, Nancy Drew and Winnie the Pooh, as a teen. . .REBECCA!

Tell us three things about yourself that might surprise your readers. I am a closet egghead and weep in academic libraries; from a theater background, I took a term off from college and went to acting school in Manhattan; I am a hobbit and prefer to stay at home in the shire rather than go adventuring (my greatest adventures of my heart happen in art museums).

What genre did you start out writing? Have you changed course? Why or why not? Literary short stories. Still do them, although less frequently. It takes me quite a long time to “get it right” when a storyline matters enough to me to write it. Suspense imbues my short stories, so there’s that crossover with mystery novels. And as a reader, I love mystery novels that have literary qualities.

Any other genres you’d like to try? If yes, what and why? Not really. Although I might want to try writing about art. (Yes, really.)

If you could go back in time and do something differently at the start of your career, what would it be? I would have cut my losses much sooner and tried a different subgenre. I spent twenty plus years writing and trying to sell two female PI novels, and never getting anywhere. What I thought was admirable persistence seems now a bit like dimwitted stubbornness.

What is the most important piece of advice you’d like to give to unpublished authors? Have a downright honest conversation with yourself. There is a staggering number of people writing, publishing, striving, writing, not publishing, still striving. The competition is formidable. Ask yourself how badly you want to pursue it, given difficult odds.

Here's a little bit about Al Dente's Inferno:
When American chef Nell Valenti is hired to design a cooking school at the villa of renowned Chef Claudio Orlandini, she eagerly moves to Tuscany. But Nell gets more than she bargained for when she arrives. The villa is in shambles, Chef spends all his time on the bocce court, and local dignitaries have been invited to dinner the very next day. Bad enough the filmmaker who shows up to document the affair turns out to to be Nell's ex-boyfriend, but worse yet when he's discovered murdered later that evening. To top it off, Chef has disappeared. Can Nell save the Orlandini family, the villa, and her own job before the accusations of murder shut the school down for good -- before it's even opened?

Here's a little bit about Shelley Costa, writing as Stephanie Cole:

SHELLEY COSTA's work has been nominated for both the Edgar and Agatha Awards. Writing as Stephanie Cole, she is the author of the new Tuscan Cooking School Mystery Series (Berkley/Penguin Random House), which debuted in February with Al Dente's Inferno. Shelley wrote her dissertation on suspense, taught creative writing for many years at the Cleveland Institute of Art, enjoys violin lessons, yoga, plotting murder (pure fiction), and time with friends and family. Her books are available on Amazon, IndieBound, and Barnes & Noble.

Buy the book Al Dente's Inferno here:

Leave Stephanie a comment for a chance to win a signed copy of Al Dente's Inferno. US and Canada only. You MUST leave an email address to win. Drawing in one week.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

It Wouldn’t Be The Holidays Without A Little Snow, Some Mistletoe And... Murder? A Sneak Peek at Mistletoe and Murder: A Christmas Suspense Collection - And A Giveaway!


I’m thinking about the holidays a lot lately. How about you? I know it’s early and the weather is still warm, and the world is well, weird, but I’m looking forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas and all the special things that go along with these holidays, like cooler weather, Christmas decorations, time with family, the holiday meals. 

And murder?

On October 6th, Mistletoe and Murder: A ChristmasSuspense Collection releases. I am so very pleased to be part of this collection with some of Christian Fiction's Most Popular Mystery and Suspense Authors.

Today, I thought I would share with you a little about the individual stories included in Mistletoe and Murder.

Dead of Winter by Mary Alford:  In the Wind River Mountains of Wyoming, a secret that started in the deserts of Afghanistan is about to be revealed, bringing with it a wealth of death and danger this Christmas. The only question remaining is who will be left standing when the dust settles.   


Death the Halls by Adam Blumer: Two strangers join the Henry family Christmas reunion. One wants Lauren for a ransom. The other wants her dead.

Revenge Ignited by Liz Bradford: This Christmas was going to be challenging enough for Aliza Blake now that she's the sole guardian of her nieces and nephew, but when all the Christmas gifts are stolen, she isn't sure what to do. But the situation quickly goes from frustrating to scary. Will Christmas turn around with the help of Police Officer Gabe Jacobs, a true southern gentleman, or will the unknown enemy destroy Aliza's last shred of joy?

The Marked Witness by Vicki Hinze: She’s the woman he wanted but could never have. Sam and Jaycee were forced by circumstances to part—Jaycee and her daughter Lizzie’s life depended on it, twice so far. Now Jaycee has a Christmas Stocking Stalker and calls Sam for help. Events take a dark and dangerous turn, one riddled with risks that come through the most unlikely messenger. . .

Ghost of Christmas Past by Shaen LayleLila Warden thought she was free of her narcissistic ex-husband’s grip... now he’s stolen their only son. What do you do when the past won’t stay buried?”

The Confession of John Doe by Loree Lough: Life was good for cat burglar Iain O’Clery... until it wasn’t…

Killing Christmas by Nancy Mehl: 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 his killing spree will begin again.

Deadly Drive by Cara Putman: When her twin is killed in a failed robbery, Jocie has to go to Washington, DC, to identify him for her family. So she finds herself in a tightening spiral of questions in a race to find the truth.

Dangerous Christmas by Lynn Shannon: When Holly narrowly escapes a vicious attack, she must uncover the identity of her stalker—before this Christmas becomes her last.

Yuletide Protector by Virginia Vaughan: When another woman is killed in her place, stalking victim Jenna Sloan has two options—remain in hiding… or face her attacker before another woman dies.

You can preorder Mistletoe and Murder on Amazon for only .99 cents. 

And I am giving away an eBook copy of Mistletoe and Murder to one person when the book releases on October 6th. To be entered into the drawing, just make a comment! It’s that simple. I’ll announce the winner next Wednesday, September 16th.

Until next time, wishing you many blessings,


Mary Alford  


What's Hot in Inspirational Suspense by Mary Ellis

 Happy Tuesday, Readers! Wondering what's new in inspirational suspense and mystery? Roseanna M. White has a new suspense releasing today from Bethany House, A Portrait of Loyalty, #3 of the Codebreakers series. 

Here's a little bit about the story:

Zivon Marin was one of Russia's top cryptographers until the October Revolution tore apart his world. Forced to flee to England after speaking out against Lenin, Zivon is driven by a growing anger and determined to offer his services to the Brits. But never far from his mind is his brother, whom Zivon fears died in the train crash that separated them.

Lily Blackwell sees the world best through the lens of a camera and possesses unsurpassed skill when it comes to retouching and re-creating photographs. With her father's connections in propaganda, she's recruited to the intelligence division, even though her mother would disapprove if she ever found out.

After Captain Blackwell invites Zivon to dinner one evening, a friendship blooms between him and Lily that soon takes over their hearts. But both have secrets they're unwilling to share, and neither is entirely sure they can trust the other. When Zivon's loyalties are called into question, proving him honest is about more than one couple's future dreams--it becomes a matter of ending the war.

You can buy the book here|1000643#CBD-PD-Publisher-Description

Friday, September 4, 2020

Dangerous Deceptions and Giveaway! by Elizabeth Goddard

Hey friends!


I’m so glad you’ve joined me today. I’m sharing some exciting news, but first want to let you know that I’m giving away an eBook copy of PERIL ON THE MOUNTAIN—the repackaging of Buried and Untraceable (book 1 and 2 in my Mountain Cove series). Please comment and leave your contact information to be entered in the drawing. 

And  now on to my exciting news! 

I’m happy to share that I’ve was invited to join eight romantic suspense writers for a boxed-set collection called Dangerous Deceptions. 

I’m excited to be in the collection because I’ve gotten to know some writers I hadn’t personally known before, and others I have worked with in the past. Can I just say it has been a lot of fun working with this awesome group of writers?

Watch the video to get an idea how much fun. We meet once a month via Zoom. That's how we came up with this idea--you'll see, it didn't quite work exactly right. But still we had a lot of laughs. I thought it would be fun to share with you. 



So this month we’re featuring my interview over on the Dangerous Deceptions website. (I’ll share the link for that later). The exciting news is that you can buy my book Collision Course for .99 and receive seven others novels on top of that! (Just one of many ways to think of it! LOL) 


Collision Course by Elizabeth Goddard

His cover blown, FBI Special Agent Reg Jacobson finds refuge on the other side of the country, but trouble follows him when he faces off with a woman from his past. Private Investigator Nicole Weatherly, hired to catch a thief, suspects Reg. When the bullets fly, Reg and Nicole must escape secrets from their pasts before their futures collide.


Here are the short blurbs for the whole collection. . . .


Lives...and hearts...are on the line in eight brand-new Christian Romantic Suspense novels from the genre’s most explosive authors.

Lethal Outbreak: Lisa Harris & Lynne Gentry

Virus hunter Aiden Ballinger believes the source of the lethal outbreak that decimated a remote Tibetan village came from disturbing the permafrost. Desperate to rebury it before it buries the world, Aiden enlists Rachel Allen, a beautiful epidemiologist. But while Aiden and Rachel pursue the cure—and their feelings for each other—someone is hunting them. Whoever wants them dead will not stop until they are silenced.

Collision Course: Elizabeth Goddard

His cover blown, FBI Special Agent Reg Jacobson finds refuge on the other side of the country, but trouble follows him when he faces off with a woman from his past. Private Investigator Nicole Weatherly, hired to catch a thief, suspects Reg. When the bullets fly, Reg and Nicole must escape secrets from their pasts before their futures collide.

Glimmer in the Darkness: Robin Patchen

When Cassidy learns another child has been kidnapped from her hometown, she's convinced the man who took the girl she’d been babysitting seven years earlier is behind the recent abductions. She alone holds the key to finding him. Though James blames Cassidy for his sister’s death, he’ll help if there’s a chance to save a child’s life. Can Cassidy and James identify the serial killer in time to rescue his latest victim?

Expired Plot: Lisa Phillips

A man after justice. A local crime boss. The woman caught between. Undercover FBI agent Will Briar is working his way to the top of an illegal operation. But when he discovers the identity of the boss, everything changes. Hollis knows nothing is as it seems. Now she must either save her father and doom herself, or take a chance on the man who could be the answer…to everything.

Ice: Lynnette Bonner

Camryn Hunt witnessed a murder. Now she’s under the protection of handsome small-town sheriff Holden Parker. The gorgeous island location, and break from her dreary life, might be pleasant if the sheriff wasn’t so demanding. Determined that no harm come to Camryn, Holden secludes her at his home. He only wishes she didn’t intrigue him so thoroughly. Attraction only complicates things. Especially when the murderers arrive at his door. It’s going to take all his wits to save her. 

Never A Traitor: Jan Thompson

The last thing Private Investigator Earl Young expects is to pose as a fake boyfriend to a whistleblower. His driving need to solve problems forces him to work with paranoid Sienna Halstead as she draws him deeper into her corporate world of secrets and subterfuge. The more time they spend together, the more attraction grows. When another whistleblower is murdered, Sienna knows she's next. How far will Earl go to protect her?

Ben in Love: Luana Ehrlich

Is CIA operative Ben Mitchell really in love with the daughter of a Turkish dissident? Titus Ray, his mentor, isn’t buying it; he thinks Ben needs intel on a Muslim cleric. But when Titus follows Ben to northern Virginia, he discovers Ben’s deception is more dangerous than he thought. With their lives on the line, can Titus convince Ben to abandon his plans before it’s too late?

Liar Like Her: D.L. Wood

When disbarred attorney Quinn Bello discovers a body that inexplicably vanishes, no one in her seaside town believes her—no one, that is, except newcomer Ian Wolfe, who for his own mysterious reasons doesn’t hold Quinn’s past against her. Together they search for the truth, but doubts about Quinn’s sanity and innocence increase as the danger escalates. Will they expose the heart of the deception before Quinn becomes the next victim?


So what do you think? Doesn’t it sound exciting? 


You can pre-order now! Dangerous Deceptions releases in mid-October!








Apple Books





Here’s the Dangerous Deceptions website where you can read my interview as well as others and learn more about the collection.

Dangerous Deceptions 


Last and definitely not least. . . .

. . .  just a reminder this is RELEASE WEEK for Covert Cover-up!!! I shared about this story on my last post. If you haven't gotten your hands on a copy, now's your chance! 

Buy Links:



Don't forget to comment and leave your contact information to be entered in the drawing for the PERIL ON THE MOUNTAIN eBook!


Elizabeth Goddard

Wednesday, September 2, 2020


I love figures of speech like metaphors and similes, malapropos, paraprosdokians--—wait a minute. A para-what?

McMillan Dictionary defines a paraprosdokian as figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected in a way that causes the reader or listener to reinterpret the first part. Here are some famous paraprosdokians:

“If I agreed with you, then we’d both be wrong.” Attributed to Winston Churchill who loved paraprosdokians.

“If there’s a will, I want to be in in.”

“In filling out an application, where it says, ‘In case of emergency, notify:’ I put "DOCTOR."
'In case of an emergency, call:' I put "an ambulance."

“Money can’t buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.”

“War does not determine who is right…only who is left.”

“I used to be indecisive. Not I’m not sure.”

“I’ve had perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn’t it.”

“Mark my words. Seriously, Mark, I need my words."

“A clear conscience is the sign of a fuzzy memory.”

“I’m supposed to respect my elders, but now it’s getting harder and harder for me to find one.”

“You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.”

“The last thing I want to do is hurt you, but it’s still on my list.”

“There’s a fine line between cuddling and… holding someone down so they can’t get away.”

“I thought I wanted a career. Turns out, I just wanted paychecks.”

Now for famous Malapropos or as I knew it, Malaprops:

Here’s the definition of malapropism from Your Dictionary: the act of using an incorrect word in place of one that is similar in pronunciation. The word comes from a character named Mrs. Malaprop in the play "The Rivals" by Richard Brinsley Sheridan. Malapropism is also referred to as Dogberryism, named after Officer Dogberry in Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing." Both characters made these speech errors.

The police are not here to create disorder, they're here to preserve disorder." - Richard Daley, former mayor of Chicago

"He was a man of great statue." - Thomas Menino, mayor of Boston

"Texas has a lot of electrical votes." (electoral votes) - Yogi Berra

"Well, that was a cliff-dweller." (cliff-hanger) - Wes Westrum

"Be sure and put some of those neutrons on it." (croutons) - Mike Smith

"It's got lots of installation." (insulation) - Mike Smith speaking about a new coat

"Create a little dysentery among the ranks." (dissension) - Christopher Moltisanti from "The Sopranos"

"This is unparalyzed in the state's history." (unparelled) - Gib Lewis, Texas Speaker of the House

So what’s the purpose of these figures of speech for a writer? I love to give secondary characters one of these traits. It lightens the story and makes for a memorable character. You don’t have to limit it to the two I’ve mentioned here. A character who always mixes his metaphors is fun to write as well.

So what’s your favorite figure of speech? Can you come up with a paraprosdokian or malapropos? If you can, leave it in the comments and I'll enter you in a drawing for a $10 gift card of your choice. If you can't think of one, just say, hi! :-)