Friday, February 28, 2014

Interview with Cajun Series Author, Winter Austin

Your Cajun series has really taken off. What do you see on the horizon for your writing?

More of the same in regards to the genre type, the romantic suspense/mystery/thriller I’ve become known for. My Cajun series, or The Degrees of Darkness series, following my main characters Detective Remy LeBeau and Cody Lewis has wrapped in four books. The final book, Reckoning, releases March 31 during a special promotional event for my second book, Retribution. It was bittersweet to finish this series, since the characters have been with me for a long time and I spent many years trying to sell the series idea. When my publisher Crimson Romance picked it up in late 2012, they wanted all four books, which shocked me and made me happy, too. Now it’s all over and it’s time to move on. Though I do have an idea or two for some of the secondary characters in the series, but right now they’re going to wait.

I’m moving on to another book that is really pushing me out of my comfort zone, but not so much. I’ll tell you more about later.

Tell us a little about your family.

I’m the wife of a National Guardsman turned Ag teacher/FFA advisor, teaching, ironically, in the same school where I went to school. I’m the mother of 4; two of which happen to be teenage boys; a daughter, who I call Cowgirl in Training; and our youngest son, who is the copycat of his father. Add in the bevy of pets we have and that’s us.

Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?

Not as much. If anything about it has changed, it’s that I seek out authors who write in the same genres as I do, and I glean from them.

What are you working on right now?

A new book for a possible new series. Right now I’m calling it Atonement, same mix of romance/suspense/mystery/thriller as my Degrees of Darkness series, but the focus is more on the heroine this time. I’m really stretching my writing muscles on this book because I’m delving deeper into something I’ve only scratched the surface of in past books, and that’s the topic of PTSD. And I’m playing with the idea of someone taking it to the extremes when you break the Ten Commandments.

What outside interests do you have?

Well, in my other life I’m a volleyball coach, which I really enjoy doing. Working and training my players is fun for me, too. I enjoy watching some great movies and TV shows with my husband, we’ve gotten into Doctor Who and Justified. I LOVE to cook and bake. While it tends to be time consuming it’s therapeutic for me, especially since I have to make everything we eat from scratch and with whole/real/organic foods. On any given day you can find a slow-cooker prepping homemade yogurt or different foods fermenting in my kitchen, or some kind of meal being made in a crockpot or the stove/oven.

When I can I ride horses. And it appears this summer I’m about to delve deeply into the life of a 4-H/FFA mother/wife and spend many days and nights at county fairs and other shows.

How do you choose your settings for each book?

My characters usually do it for me, with their background and who they are. For instance my hero, Remy LeBeau is a Cajun, which meant I went to Louisiana. Heroine Cody Lewis was from the Fort Worth area of Texas. But with this new book, I’m going home, literally. Atonement is set in rural Iowa in the very area where I grew up and have returned to live. It’s kind of freeing setting a book here because I don’t have to do as much research.

If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?

Simply because I’m watching him now, but I’d love to spend an evening with Red Skelton. I’ve always loved watching that man, he could make me laugh so hard I couldn’t breathe and I enjoyed watching him laugh at his punch lines before he even delivered it.

What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?

How to better schedule myself. It’s taken too long to figure this out and getting on a good writing rhythm. It would have been helpful when the deadlines started looming and all the editing that took place in-between. I’m getting the hang of it now—among my personal and working life—and the schedule is working itself out.

And if there was one other thing, having a good idea how to market my own books. It wasn’t until after I signed with my agent, Amanda Luedeke, that this all feel into place, but she was able to teach me how to get it all up and going before the first book released.

What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?

1.) Do not box yourself into one kind of genre or market. I started out with the intent of being an author in the Christian market, and that never turned out how I expected. My agent and I decided to switch to the general market, and BAM! contracts. You can still be Christian in the general market, I’m still able to sprinkle in my character’s faith and it was well received by my readers.

2.) Write what you love, not what the trend tells you. Had I listened to people telling me to stop writing my romantic suspense books and do X Y or Z I’d hate it. You don’t have to limit yourself to one genre, if you like to write in others shoot for it. But just remember …

3.) Never stop learning and growing. Pay attention to things going on in the industry. Those set in their ways are the ones left in the dust. And arrogant people seal their fate the moment they claim they don’t need this or that, or that they’re brilliant writers. Oh, and forget what people say, you NEED an agent if you have bigger plans. Good luck trying to get a good contract without one.

Tell us about the featured book?

Relentless is book 1 of The Degrees of Darkness series. Backcover blurb says it all:

Dallas homicide detective Remy LeBeau trusts no one. He hides from a past that could kill him and anyone involved with him. What he’s not prepared for is the return of an elusive serial killer . . . and an unwanted desire to protect a witness at all costs.

Professional barrel racer Cody Lewis’s dream of being top in the nation is within reach until she discovers a murdered woman in her horse trailer. The event pulls her into the sickening world of the Rodeo Sweethearts serial killer—a madman who terrorized Dallas’s rodeo circuit five years prior and is now back for more. But what’s worse is that Cody fits the profile of the Rodeo Sweetheart victims. . . .

As Remy dives into the investigation, he uncovers secrets of a botched investigation and a tight-lipped boss, while attracting unwanted attention from the killer. Battling his partner, his attraction to Cody, and the demons of his past, catching the killer could cost Remy everything. Even Cody’s life.

Please give us the first page of the book.

Of all the witnesses, in all the homicides, in all of Dallas, she would have to be one.

Detective Remy LeBeau stared at the cowgirl sitting in a chair in the far corner of the Stanton Enterprise Stadium meeting room. Cody Lewis hugged her body, gnawing on her lip. A coiled red lock slipped from her right ear and fell against her cheek. Lifting a trembling hand, she tucked the strand behind her ear and let her hand fall limp in her lap.

This wasn’t the same confident woman who strode into the homicide offices three days ago to hand him a pair of tickets to the Dallas Roundup. A rodeo that had now become a crime scene. Remy hated off-duty calls. The lieutenant better have a good reason for dragging him away from a hot bowl of gumbo and out of his dry condo.

Cody bowed her head and seemed to curl up on herself. Remy knew the disjointed sensations she was experiencing, the need to withdraw from the real world in order to maintain some kind of control.

He tugged the detective cloak about him and inhaled a long breath. No need to return to that place and time. Exhaling, he approached the unfortunate redhead.

His partner, Detective Heath Anderson, glanced up, fatigue circling his blue eyes. Another late night on the job. He combed his fingers through his sandy-blond hair, making a mess of it. “LeBeau.”

Cody’s head snapped back like she’d taken an uppercut to the chin. Pink stained her cheeks. “Detective?”

“Hello, Ms. Lewis.” He looked at Anderson. “Grab a coffee, I’ll take it from here.” When they were alone, Remy crouched in front of her. Close up, he compared her features to those of the victim’s. Why hadn’t he noticed the freckles on her nose and cheeks when they first met? Her scent, a mixture of spice and sweet — vanilla maybe — combated with the sharp odor of wet men and manure.

Her green eyes locked with his. “Guess you didn’t need those tickets.”

What is your book rated? Who is your target audience?

For this one, I’d say it’s a PG to PG-13, depending on your level of comfort with the violence and language. It is a book written for the general market, so treat it as such, but it’s intended for those who like a grittier edge to their romantic suspense and like continuancy series.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Winter Austin was once asked by her husband if he could meet some of the people who took residence in her head. She warned they weren’t all characters he wanted to meet, as killers walked among them. Needless to say, that conversation ended abruptly.

A lifelong Mid-West gal, Winter swears she should have been born in the South, Texas or Louisiana preferably. But then she’d miss the snowy winters.

Dividing her day between her four children and their various activities, a growing pet population, and her Beta-with-Alpha-tendencies Hero, Winter manages to find time to write chilling thrillers between loads of laundry.

Don’t worry. You won’t find any of her mouthwatering culinary dishes poisoned. Unless you’re one of her fictional creations.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


Writing is such an interesting business!   I loved being in school.   I spent many years in college, changing majors several times along the road to a Master's Degree in nutrition.  Ahhh, you say.  Nutrition---an ideal background for a inspirational romance writer.  <g>

But it was, in a way.   All that studying was helpful for becoming a writer, because with each book I write, there's a whole new world to research while I try for accurate, evocative settings.  Ranch settings, the Rocky Mountains and the Northwoods of the upper Midwest are some of my favorites, and our travels often end up as settings for my books.

I’m looking forward to the Romantic Times Convention in New Orleans this May, not only for the chance to be a speaker, and to schmooze with old friends, but because the French Quarter and tours through the lovely bayous will provide such a great opportunity for research.

Writers  not only strive to get their settings right; there are also the details and vernaculars of different professions and hobbies to consider.  Believable behaviors of ranchers, or cops, or children, or even someone slipping into the murky mental depths of Alzheimer's all take either personal experiences or careful research.

I love using a variety of pets and other animals in my books--but that "research" often comes from our family menagerie.  In fact, our son's favorite slithery pet had a key role in my very first SuperRomance back in 1999.   I still wish I'd gone to vet school (a lesson in “following one's heart”  that I've reiterated to our children many times over!)    But now, I can slip into that world, sometimes for months at a time if writing about characters who are veterinarians and vet techs. 

When you browse through books at your favorite bookstore, or online, what do you zero in on first? 
Author names, eye-catching titles, back cover blurbs or cover art?  The type of story?  Do any particular story settings intrigue you--or conversely, make you put the book back on the shelf?   Let's talk!  

 One of the people who comment here will win an e-book copy of my  Summer at Briar Lake.

Roxanne Rustand

Monday, February 24, 2014

WRITING TIPS By Cynthia Hickey

Ooops. I almost forgot I'm schedule to give y'all a writing tip today, so I'm going to keep it short and sweet. Keep your rear in the chair and your fingers on the keyboard.

Even if what you write is garbage, you're writing. You can always go back and improve the words. It's much harder to make up the time lost. Remember: Every word written is one more toward the glorious The End.

I push myself to write 2,000 words a day, five days a week. Most of the time I'm successful. I believe this is because I've grown used to the time I spend writing. Not everyone has the luxury of writing full time, but most people can squeeze out 500 words a day. Set a goal, stick to it, and soon it becomes second nature. HAPPY WRITING!

Multi-published and Best-Selling author Cynthia Hickey had three cozy mysteries and two novellas published through Barbour Publishing. Her first mystery, Fudge-Laced Felonies, won first place in the inspirational category of the Great Expectations contest in 2007. Her third cozy, Chocolate-Covered Crime, received a four-star review from Romantic Times. All three cozies have been re-released as ebooks through the MacGregor Literary Agency, along with a new cozy series, all of which stay in the top 50 of Amazon’s ebooks for their genre. She has several historical romances releasing in 2013 and 2014 through Harlequin’s Heartsong Presents. She is active on FB, twitter, and Goodreads. She lives in Arizona with her husband, one of their seven children, two dogs and two cats. She has five grandchildren who keep her busy and tell everyone they know that “Nana is a writer”. Visit her website at

Friday, February 21, 2014

Interview with Donn Taylor -- Deadly Additive Giveaway

Donn's books are packed with gut-clenching action and nail-biting suspense. Blog readers who comment after the post will be in a drawing to win a copy of Deadly Additive.

How did you get started in the mystery/suspense genre?

After I retired from college teaching I joined a local writers’ group. It was difficult to change from academic writing to fiction, but with the help of colleagues I managed to do it. The result was a suspense novel, The Lazarus File (spies and airplanes in the Caribbean), which has just been re-issued as an e-book. Why suspense and mystery? Those genres seemed to come most naturally. I’ve always loved watching people prevail against seemingly overwhelming odds—and I’ve seen quite a lot of them do just that—so it came naturally to write about things I admire. My military experience led to the quasi-military plots of Lazarus and Deadly Additive; my time on college faculties provided the setting for my mysteries, Rhapsody in Red and its contracted sequel.

What was your favorite book as a child? 

I liked the Zane Grey westerns and the Sherlock Holmes stories, but overall I'd have to pick Mark Twain's Life on the Mississippi. I still remember his expurgated oaths of the riverboat pilots.

Do you have a favorite from the books you've written and if so, why? 

No favorite. Each novel has its own quality. I like the flight scenes in Lazarus, particularly the night flight scenes. But then I like the night-fighting scenes in Deadly Additive and the wacky faculty meeting scenes in Rhapsody.

Did you have an imaginary friend as a child and if so, do you think that "friend" influenced your desire to write? 

No. As a child I was too busy tearing around the yard and neighborhood all day and getting into trouble. I didn't have time to conjure up an imaginary friend.

Is there a living person who influenced your writing? How? 

I have to name two. My father, Dr. Walter F. Taylor, Sr., was an American literature scholar. He read to my brother and me much of the Mark Twain canon when we were still in grammar school. Later, he never compromised on what was true or beautiful in literature, and he insisted on the importance of sound in poetry. The other person is my wife of sixty-one years, Mildred, who loves to read. I can only write things that are pleasing to her. (We figure sixty-one years is a good start.)

What was the best writing tip you've ever received? 

No contest on this: read, read, read, not only in your chosen genres but anything that broadens your knowledge and perspective. Lately I've been reading Thomas Sowell's Basic Economics, though I never plan to write on that subject. Before that it was Mark Moyar's brilliant history of the early Vietnam War, Triumph Forsaken. Recently I've read a treatment of George Washington's spy rings in the Revolutionary War and I'm about to tackle Dr. Ben Carson's America the Beautiful. I mention these to make the point that something good is going to fall out of that kind of reading, usually at an unexpected time, to enrich my next novel or two.

What is the best tip you can give someone new to the adventure of writing? 

Two important items. The first is patience: it always takes longer than you think it's going to. Second, learn the craft: don't be too proud or too stubborn to learn basic rules of grammar and punctuation. (I was stubborn, but college freshpersons sent me to the grammar books so often that I finally learned.)

What is the best "life" advice you've ever received? 

Something that is very simple in theory and very difficult in practice, what with all the everyday distractions from things that at the time seem so critically urgent. "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added unto you." It's hard to keep that perspective.

What rating would you give your books (G, PG, etc.) 

All in all, I think I'd rate them G. But that doesn't mean that they're bland. They confront problems of good and evil head-on and without pulling any punches. They have references to sexual evils, but I never ask the reader to enjoy anything vicariously that he shouldn't. They have portrayals of violence, but I don’t ask the reader to enjoy the bloody details. They are designed mainly to entertain (which should be the purpose of commercial fiction), but they also have solid backgrounds of theology and philosophy. 

About Deadly Additive:

To soldier-of-fortune Jeb Sledge it seems like a simple job: Rescue an heiress and her journalist friend Kristin Halvorsen from their kidnapping by Colombian guerrillas and collect a sizable paycheck. But Kristin has other plans. After stumbling onto a mass of dead bodies, she won’t leave Colombia without the proof she needs for the story of a lifetime. While she and Jeb wrangle over her obstinacy, they discover a hidden factory where the guerrillas build a new and deadly type chemical weapon for the international black market. Their discovery triggers a raid on the factory, followed by a desperate search through the Caribbean and the U.S. to prevent a catastrophic attack by weapons the factory has produced. But who is behind that attack, and what are the planned targets? Finding out brings Jeb and Kristin again into peril for their lives. But more than that, it launches them on an unexpected spiritual odyssey.

Go to Deadly Additive on Amazon

About Donn Taylor:

Donn Taylor led an Infantry rifle platoon in the Korean War, served with Army aviation in Vietnam, and worked with air reconnaissance in Europe and Asia. Afterwards, he completed a PhD degree at The University of Texas and taught English literature at two liberal arts colleges. His mystery novel Rhapsody in Red and his suspense novel The Lazarus File (spies and airplanes in the Caribbean) received excellent reviews. The poems he published in various journals are collected in his book Dust and Diamond: Poems of Earth and Beyond. He is a frequent speaker for writers' groups and has taught poetry writing at the Glorieta and Blue Ridge conferences. His current teaching crusade is to promote the writing of good-quality poetry that's accessible to ordinary readers. He and his wife live near Houston, TX, where he writes fiction, poetry, and articles on current topics.

Visit Donn Taylor's Web Site

Remember to leave a comment, along with your contact information, for a chance to win a copy of Donn's book, Deadly Additive!

Monday, February 17, 2014


Nancy Mehl lives in Festus, Missouri, with her husband Norman and her very active puggle, Watson. She’s authored fifteen books and is currently at work on her newest series for Bethany House Publishing.  

All of Nancy’s novels have an added touch – something for your spirit as well as your soul. “I welcome the opportunity to share my faith through my writing,” Nancy says. “God is number one in my life. I wouldn’t be writing at all if I didn’t believe that this is what He’s called me to do. I hope everyone who reads my books will walk away with the most important message I can give them: God is good, and He loves you more than you can imagine. He has a good plan for your life, and there is nothing you can’t overcome with His help.”

Book Signings…Sigh.

Let’s talk about book signings. I can still remember the days when I toted my print-on-demand book to the local Borders and tried to convince them why they should carry it in their stores. Actually, I didn’t have a lot of trouble because I was writing book reviews for our local newspaper and actually sending business their way. But some of my friends didn’t fare quite as well. And even though the bookstores would usually accept my books, albeit grudgingly, there was still the stigma of not being “good enough” to make it out of the “local interest” area and onto the main shelves. Back then, we were convinced the way to “make it” was to get Barnes and Noble to allow us to have a book signing amid their hallowed halls. Heck, we would have been happy if Bubba’s Used Bookstore set aside an hour for us while Bubba took his daily nap. Book signings were directly related to your success as an author, right?

Okay, now let’s leave the Twilight Zone world of newbie authors and enter reality. I’m Nancy Mehl, and I’ll be your host.

My first real book signing was at Waldenbooks. I had a book published by a small press, and I also had a publicist. And…the folks at Waldenbooks actually wanted me! (You like me, you really like me!) I showed up, nervous as a calf at a new gate (what does that even mean?), but ready to greet my adoring fans. Waldenbooks had a table set up in the entrance to the store, facing the interior of the mall, with my beautiful books on display. As I sat down, I expected the line of eager readers to snake down the mall and block entrances to other nearby stores, I was…well, let’s just say…surprised. No one was there. Even worse, as people walked past me, I began to wonder if I was trapped in one of those dreams where you begin to realize you’re invisible and no one can see you. (Thankfully it wasn’t the one where you also realize you’re naked!) Now I’m not saying no one stopped. I directed several people to various places in the mall, including the bathrooms. I would say that particular request was the most frequent. Those who actually stopped to see what I was doing and picked up my book, looked at me like I was trying to sell them tickets to a rattlesnake rodeo. After a while I felt guilty about the whole thing. Not sure why, but I did. Thankfully, several friends and a few family members stopped by, had pity on me, and bought a copy of my book. After my very painful two hours had passed and I’d only sold twelve books, I expected the folk at Waldenbooks to tell me to never darken their door again. But they seemed happy!

“Good signing,” the gal said when I dragged myself inside the store, ready to admit defeat. I’m sure my jaw dropped, but I quickly regained my composure and tried to look triumphant. Her reaction should have given me a clue to the reality of book signings, but being extremely sharp, it took me a while to figure it out.

Yes, now that I’m with a large publisher, book signings are much better. I had a great kick off celebrating the release of one of my books. The store went out of its way to support me. Sent out postcards, put my name on the store marquee, had flyers from my publisher on the doors. In fact, they even made a cake with my book cover on it and served food! What more could anyone ask? And we sold lots and lots of books! Unfortunately, a lot of them still went to friends and family.

But my last signing in this same store…and let me emphasize LAST signing…was awful. The store did…well, nothing. No name on the marquee, no postcards, they didn’t even bother to put my posters on the door. I may have sold ten books. Thanks again to familiar faces that were starting to show signs of book buying weariness.  

Last year I went to a book signing for an author who is very well known. Same store where my LAST book signing was held. They managed to find her posters and put them on the doors – but little else was done. In fact, they hadn’t even gotten the books in for the signing. There she stood, one of Christian fiction’s top authors, without the minimal support the store should have provided.

And in conclusion…no more signings unless the store specifically asks me or it’s a multi-author event. (See picture below!) It ain’t worth it. It doesn’t make you enough money to take the family to McDonalds. In fact, if you want to sell books yourself, sell them outright to your friends and family and pocket the money. Your friends will be relieved since it will save them a trip. Sigh repeated. (Getting a little light-headed, here.) I’ve learned that my publisher can get my books out better than I can. So, I’ll stick to the writing and let them do the book selling.

Oh, one interesting note: The same day of that LAST lousy signing, I first visited a store in a nearby small town. This store put out some real effort and it was a nice signing. Yes, some friends came, but there were also other people who showed up! People I didn’t even know! Some stores know how to set up a book signing. Imagine that…

So, for those of you just starting out, take my advice. Unless your ego needs a beating, put your energy into writing a great book and don’t worry about book signings.

Your friends and family will probably salute you.

Here’s a fun video about book signings.

 *Not all book signings are terrible. Here's a picture from a wonderful book signing with authors Kim Sawyer and Deborah Raney. Sharing the spotlight with these gracious ladies made the event fun, exciting, and worth every minute.



Congratulations to all the winners. Stayed tuned to the Suspense Sisters for more great interviews, articles, and contests. 

Thanks for your participation!

$100.00 Amazon Gift Card - Carrie

Inescapable, Unbreakable and Unforeseeable by Nancy Mehl - Beth Rumbaugh

Jungle Fire, Force of Nature and Race for the Gold by Dana Mentink - Tammy Federspiel

Dangerous Passage, Stolen Identity and Deadly Safari by Lisa Harris - Rae

Irregardless of Murder and Death Dangles a Participle by Ellen Kennedy along with a T-Shirt and a Coffee Cup – Judy Strunk Burgi

Irregardless of Murder and Death Dangles a Participle by Ellen Kennedy along with a T-Shirt and a Coffee Cup - Gayle Hogelin

Treacherous Skies, Riptide and Wilderness Peril by Elizabeth Goddard and Frame Up by Jill Nelson - Diane D

Fudge-Laced Felonies and Candy-Coated Secrets by Cynthia Hickey - Wendy

Frame Up and To Catch a Thief Series: Reluctant Burglar, Reluctant Runaway and Reluctant Smuggler by Jill Nelson - Jessica

Comeback Cowboy and Summer at Briar Lake by Roxanne Rustand (Ebooks) - Kara

Friday, February 14, 2014


Bestselling author Kathleen Y’Barbo is a Carol Award and RITA nominee of fifty novels with almost two million copies of her books in print in the US and abroad and nominations including a Career Achievement Award, Reader’s Choice Awards, Romantic Times Book of the Year, and several Romantic Times Top Picks. A proud military wife and tenth-generation Texan, she now cheers on her beloved Aggies from north of the Red River. Find out more at

Interview with Kathleen Y'Barbo 

S.S: How long have you been writing?
I typed the first word of my first novel on April 21, 1996. It was a weekday, and I had just dropped my youngest child off at preschool.

S.S: Do you write full time? If the answer is no, what else do you do? If you are a full time author, what other jobs did you have in the past?
I do. I am a certified paralegal and a former member of the Texas Bar Association Paralegal Division. I’ve also worked as a literary publicist.

S.S: Tell us about the moment you finally felt like a “real author”?
It was August of 1996 when I attended my first Romance Writers of America meeting. Standing up and introducing myself then talking about what I wrote was daunting, but when I left that meeting, I felt for the first time like I was actually a writer.

S.S: Do you write in any other genres? If so, what?
I write contemporary and historical romance in both novel and novella length. I have also co-written two nonfiction books on divorce and empty nest with the fabulous Janice Thompson.

S.S: If you couldn’t write, what else would you want to do?
Something that involves reading, preferably in a beach chair with my toes in the sand!

S.S: Tell us about your current release.
SADIE’S SECRET is the third in a series of 1890s Southern romantic suspense novels called The Secret Lives of Will Tucker series. Each book stands alone, and all of them follow the charming career criminal Will Tucker. In SADIE’S SECRET, Tucker finally finds his match with a Louisiana planter’s daughter turned lady Pinkerton who reluctantly teams up with Tucker’s twin brother, a London-born Scotland Yard detective whose family roots dig deep into Alabama soil. Here’s the blurb:

Louisiana, 1890—Sarah Louise “Sadie” Callum is a master of disguise, mostly due to her training as a Pinkerton agent but also from evading overprotective brothers as she grew up. When she takes on a new assignment with international connections, she has no idea her new cover will lead her on the adventure of a lifetime.

Undercover agent William Jefferson Tucker is not looking for marriage—pretend or otherwise—but his past is a secret, his twin brother has stolen his present, and his future is in the hands of the lovely Sadie Callum. Without her connections to the world of upper-crust New Orleans, Jefferson might never find a way to clear his name and solve the art forgery case that has eluded him for years.

S.S: Where did you get your inspiration for this book?
I’ve had a character like Sadie on my mind for awhile. I loved writing about the spunky heroine Eugenia Cooper in my novel THE CONFIDENTIAL LIFE OF EUGENIA COOPER, but I’ve always wanted to turn that type of character into a detective. With Sadie, I had my chance.

S.S: What is the main thing you hope readers remember from your story?
When I set out to write the series, I had no idea the theme of redemption would be repeated throughout. However, looking back on these books, SADIE’S SECRET in particular, I believe that the knowledge that no one is every too far away from God is the overarching message here. Redemption is always possible, but it comes only through the Lord.

S.S: Who is your favorite character in this book and why?
Sadie is my favorite character for so many reasons. She’s a spunky heroine who manages to carry out her Pinkerton duties while eluding the prying eyes of her five overprotective brothers.

S.S: Any writing goals you still hope to achieve?
Of course! I’ve surpassed the 50-book mark, so now I have set my eyes on publishing 100 books. It took almost 15 years to get to 50, but I’m hoping it won’t take as long to reach 100.

S.S: Now let’s get a little personal. Name two things on your “bucket list” that you haven’t done yet.
It’s funny you should ask because I just admitted one of these to someone on social media yesterday. I have always wanted to visit the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Smithsonian in Washington DC. Having all four of my grown children—who are currently spread out between two foreign countries and two different cities in another state—in the same room at the same time is another bucket list item.

S.S: What is the hardest thing you have ever done?
The hardest thing I have done is raise my four children, not because it was difficult (I adore them all), but because the responsibility of sending four well-adjusted and independent adults off into the world was so very daunting. I made many mistakes, but oh, how I loved those years parenting my three sons and daughter.

S.S.: Where can readers find you on the internet?
To download a first chapter of SADIE’S SECRET:

S.S.: Anything else you’d like to share with us?
Yes. Thank you so much! I love this blog and am thrilled to be featured on it! 

Leave a comment, along with your contact information, for a chance to win a copy of Sadie's Secret by Kathleen Y'Barbo!