Friday, November 25, 2016
With a number of authors of suspense, mystery, and thrillers on the list of "suspense sisters," we can usually find one of them with a book about to release. In this case, I'm pleased to host author Marji Laine.
Q. Marji, it looks to me as though you constantly perform a juggling act—family, writing, teaching, your involvement in the publishing industry, and goodness knows what else. Want to let us in on the secret of how you do it?
A. I make a lot of lists. SERIOUSLY! I have a weekly schedule (meals included) posted on the fridge that is a duplicate of the more extensive one on my internet calendar. I also have a task pad dry erase board next to the calendar to list details that would otherwise fall between the cracks. The highpoints of both the calendar and the to-dos are also on a sticky note on my computer desk top. I highlight the “must get dones” for every day. I know … I’m a little over-the-top about planning. I’m even giddy over the aspect of getting a new desk calendar. All those empty boxes just waiting to be filled. I think I’ll get a set of colored pens to use on it!
Q. I honestly didn’t realize there was a business in scrapbooking, but apparently you were quite successful at it. What made you go from that to your involvement in writing?
A. Scrapbooking became the “new quilting bee” in the 90’s and through most of the first decade. I love working with my hands, and with 4 kids all needing graduation books for their receptions, it was an easy choice of jobs. I did enjoy it, especially all of the folks I got to meet. But when my mom asked me what I would do if time and money were no issue, I said, “Write.” I surprised myself, but I didn’t surprise Mom. She knew I’d always loved to create stories. A month later, I actually pushed through and completed my first novel. From then on, I knew the path I needed to pursue and jumped into writing with all of my energy.
Q. You’ve been the Suspense Sister who deals with reviews and “what’s new” in the genre for some time now. Doesn’t that take a lot of your time? Why do you do it? And how?
A. I have learned so much from reviewing and critiquing other books. What better way to see what works in romantic suspense than to analyze and go deep into what I loved about the last book I read? It does take a lot of time, but I tend to listen to books when I’m driving. (And with teenagers, I’m driving a LOT!)
Q. Your latest novel, Counter Point, released October 30. Can you tell us a bit about it?
A. It’s my latest and also my first full novel, almost five years in the making. I had a weird dream one night with a pretty gruesome scene in it. I realized that my dream-self had come upon the crime scene where a hit man had been murdered. Well, the plot just ballooned after that, though the scene itself didn’t actually make it into the book.
My main character, Cat, is in the midst of life-changing lost. The final straw is the news that her former boyfriend, now a missionary, has gone missing. Not only is the man, Ray, on the run from revengeful drug lord, he learns that the cartel leader intends to kill the people he cares about the most, the first being Cat.
Q. And what message would you like to give the readers of this blog?
A. The folks that frequent the Suspense Sisters’ site have always been so gracious and supportive to all of the authors who visit. I would give a big thank you, first. I’d also encourage readers to give the authors they love a special gift. A positive review. It’s the nicest five minutes you can give an author if you’ve enjoyed his or her book.
And thanks to you, Doc Mabry, for hosting me and supporting my journey! Blessings on yours!
Marji will provide a copy of Counter Point to a person whose comment is randomly selected from those left here. Please don't forget to include your email address with your comment so we can contact the winner. And remember, books are a great Christmas gift.
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Monday, November 21, 2016
It’s another great week on the Suspense Sisters. Watch for a special announcement next week. The Suspense Sisters will be sharing something exciting – just in time for Christmas!
To see her complete review, go HERE.
On Tuesday, Suspense Sister Dana Mentink will share What’sHot in Inspirational Suspense and Mystery!
Friday, we’re interviewing Suspense Sister Marji Laine! She’s giving away a copy of her book, COUNTER POINT!
That’s what’s happening this week on the Suspense Sisters! Don’t miss a single day. Sign up through email so you’ll get updates in the exciting world of inspirational suspense and mystery!
The Suspense Sisters! We love books!
Posted by Nancy Mehl at 1:51 PM
Friday, November 18, 2016
Today, we have an interview with author Roxanne Rustand, who writes inspirational romance and romantic suspense. She'll be giving away an e-copy of her new book, An Aspen Creek Christmas, in a drawing from the names of those leaving a comment on the blog
If you had to describe yourself in one sentence, what would you say?
I‘d say that I’m a devoted wife and mom, whose dreams came true when I sold my first book back in 1998.
What do you do when you’re not writing? Any interesting hobbies?
We live in the country on ten acres, where I have three horses. I also love to cook and collect cookbooks, enjoy photography and travel, and especially enjoy time with family.
What was your favorite book as a teen or child?
As a child, the Black Stallion series. As a teen, Mistress of Mellyn and Nine Coaches Waiting.
Tell us three things about yourself that might surprise your readers.
I started out writing secular fiction for Superromance, Heartwarming and Everlasting, but switched to inspirational fiction as of 2007 and really love where I’m at right now. My switch to inspirational fiction is thanks to encouragement and advice by a dear friend, Lyn Cote, and I thank her every day for her help back then!
Second, I left college for a while and rode as a demonstration rider for Monte Forman, a traveling horse trainer who put on horse training clinics in various towns across the USA. He was the first person to do this sort of thing, and he was amazing. What an adventure that was! I then returned to college, and finished a master’s degree in nutrition.
Third, I worked as a registered dietitian for a residential psychiatric facility for ten years. The staff was wonderful, every day was fascinating, and not a day went by without at least one resident warbling the first words of Roxanne to me—the song by the Police. If only that song wasn’t about a woman of the night! J
What genre did you start out writing? Have you changed course? Why or why not?
I started with romantic suspense for Harlequin Superromance. When I switched to writing inspirationals, I continued in that vein for Love Inspired Suspense, but have evolved into romance instead. I love both worlds—but initially it was a bit of a challenge to write a novel without plot points filled with danger!
Any other genres you’d like to try? If yes, what and why?
I co-wrote a mystery, Orchestrated Murder, as a fundraiser for Iowa Public Radio a number of years ago, and it was great fun to dabble in another genre. Currently, I’m doing some indie publishing of light romantic suspense ,but I still I enjoy writing inspirational romance!
If you could go back in time and do something differently at the start of your career, what would it be? I would start much, much sooner!
What is the most important piece of advice you’d like to give to unpublished authors?
Work with a critique group and/or enter writing contests, so you can receive feedback on your work. And follow your dream—don’t give up!
USA Today Bestselling Author Roxanne Rustand is the author of thirty-five novels, She lives in the Midwest on an acreage with her husband, two rescue dogs, three horses and an assortment of friendly barn kitties.
Her newest book, An Aspen Creek Christmas, is a December, 2016 Love Inspired release.