Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Plot Thickens...On Vacation

We just returned from twelve days in Iceland, a dream-come-true trip and probably the last big one we'll take now that my husband has retired. I love traveling to other countries...not just to enjoy the scenery, but for the chance to learn more about other cultures, quirky and unique aspects about the country (or even an area of the United States)  and oh, yes--take lots of photos!

As a gal born and raised in the Midwest, for instance, I never realized just how many jellyfish there can be in the Chesapeake Bay (perhaps a device for a dangerous chase in a suspense--if we already know that the protagonist is allergic to those creatures.) Nor had I considered the possibilities that the huge medieval crypt under Christ Church in Dublin might be a place to hide(even if only in my imagination) if my protagonist slips away from the other tourists before the doors are locked.

In Iceland, I took over 1,200 digital photos, plus lots of notes, imagining how unique details about the country, the residents and their customs, and the wide variety of international tourists could add verisimilitude to the scenes in a book. Never have I seen bottles of cod liver oil on every breakfast buffet, for instance, complete with shot glasses, for instance, until going to Iceland. :) The country has tremendous geothermal activity, and a sign by a geyser warning tourists not to touch the surrounding pool of water because the nearest hospital was 64 km away. A rather pointed message! 

The Icelandic ponies, the rugged Eastern Fjord country, the endless waterfalls...and even the interesting food and snacks there would also be fun to use for details. I finally had to ask about the big displays of dried, flattened fish hanging in almost every gas station/convenience store. I was told that they eat this dry (rather like fish jerky) by peeling the edible flesh off the skin...and the packages of smaller pieces (without the skin still on) might be eaten like potato chips while watching TV. Fish, anyone? :)

So how about you...have you ever caught yourself thinking about possible stories when you've visited new places? Imagined the possibilities of suspense plots?

Best wishes to you all!
Roxanne Rustand
USA Today Bestselling Author

Falling for the Rancher, LI Out now! 6/2017
An Aspen Creek Christmas, LI 11/2016
The Single Dad's Redemption, Love Inspired 7/2016

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Hot new inspy suspense!

Traces of Guilt, by Dee Henderson

Gabriel Thane is the sheriff and lifetime resident of Carin County Illinois, committed to upholding the law and keeping the residents safe. Lieutenant Evie Blackwell is a State Police Detective skilled at investigations. She launches a new task force to reexamine unsolved crimes across the state. She begins work with the sheriff’s department on a few of its most troubling missing-persons cases, a deputy, his wife and eleven-year old son’s disappearance, and in an unrelated case involving a six-year-old girl abducted from a hotel. As she examines old evidence, she finds a connection to a third cold case.

Monday, May 29, 2017


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


On our review page, senior reviewer Iola Goulton reviews WEAVER’S NEEDLE by Robin Caroll. Iola says: “Weaver’s Needle was an excellent thriller, with lots of questions, lots of plot turns, an evildoer I didn’t see coming (although I might have if the novel hadn’t been so fast paced), and a real twist ending.”   

You can find her complete review HERE 

On Tuesday Suspense Sister Dana Mentink will share What’s Hot
in Inspirational Suspense and Mystery.

On Wednesday we’ll hear from Suspense Sister Roxanne Rustand.

Friday, we’re interviewing author Jill Elizabeth Nelson. You could win a copy of her new suspense novel, ROCKY MOUNTAIN SABOTAGE.

When the plane Lauren Carter is traveling in crash-lands near an abandoned mining town, pilot Kent Garland is convinced the charter jet was sabotaged. And one of the other injured passengers
may be responsible. Struggling to keep their group safe, Lauren and Kent fight the elements—and the ill-timed feelings they are developing for each other. But as a string of "accidents" pit survivors against each other, exposing a deadly traitor means looking beyond appearances. Who can be trusted? With someone determined to kill off all the plane's passengers, they must catch the murderer in their midst if they hope to leave this town alive.

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!

Friday, May 26, 2017

An Interview with Sandra Orchard by Patricia Bradley

I am so excited to bring Sandra Orchard back to The Suspense Sisters. Sandra is a multi-award-winning author of mysteries and romantic suspense. When not plotting crimes, Sandra likes to play make-believe with her grandchildren or hike with her hubby near their home in Niagara, Canada. Learn more about Sandra's books and bonus features at or connect at Orchard.

Her third book in the Serena Jones Mysteries series, Over Maya Dead Body, releases July 4 – Who will Serena choose?

FBI Special Agent Serena Jones arrives on Martha’s Vineyard with her family, ready for a little bit of R&R and a whole lot of reminiscing as they celebrate the engagement of an old family friend. But crime doesn’t take a vacation, and she’s soon entangled in an investigation of a suspicious death tied to an antiquities smuggling ring. 

When her investigation propels her into danger, Serena must stay the course and solve this case before anyone else dies. But just how is she supposed to do that when the two men in her life arrive on the scene, bringing with them plenty of romantic complications–and even a secret or two?

I've enjoyed the competition for Serena's affections between Nate and Tanner in A Fool and His Monet and Another Day Another Dali. Will she really choose one of them in Over Maya Dead Body?

It's interesting that I never thought of the situation as a love triangle, and was surprised when readers started calling it that. But now that I reflect on it, your description of it being a competition for her affection, rather than her choosing is far more accurate. And yes, Serena does make a choice.

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

A wife, mother and grandmother who loves the Lord and her family with all her heart and who feels truly honored when others enjoy the stories I write.

I truly agree with your description, Sandra. What do you do when you’re not writing? Any interesting hobbies?

Play with my grandkids. As for hobbies, after years of restricting creative free time to reading and writing, I’ve finally resumed crocheting and painting. Of course, my first projects have been grandchild related—truck and car pictures using their footprints as the template and crocheting a knight’s uniform.

Oh, wow. A knight’s uniform. That is neat. Once I made a grandchild an 1800-style general’s coat. He wore it until it wouldn’t fit. What was your favorite book as a teen or child?

I didn’t have a favorite. But I remember enjoying the Trixie Belden mystery series as a preteen.

Trixie Belden…I know I read those. Tell us three things about yourself that might surprise your readers.

-       I’ve never lived more than 40 miles from where I was born
-       I’m eagerly anticipating my fifth grandchild
-       For years, I didn’t think I had enough imagination to be a fiction writer

All three of those surprised me! What genre did you start out writing? Have you changed course? Why or why not?

I started writing romantic suspense and when new ideas I had didn’t fit into the romantic suspense genre, I added mysteries to the mix.

I love all of your books. J What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

The funnest compliment is hearing I’ve kept someone up all night reading. I try not to dwell on criticisms, except when they’re helpful in improving manuscripts in progress since it’s too late to change the book that’s already out there.

Totally agree. Any other genres you’d like to try? If yes, what and why?

Not at the moment.

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

I wouldn’t have kept the fact I’d starting writing a novel a secret from my dad. I’d wanted to surprise him with a published book dedicated to him and to my already deceased mom. Unfortunately, he died unexpectedly about a year into my writing journey, without ever knowing.

Oh, that’s hard. I’m so sorry you lost your dad that way. But I totally understand wanting to wait. It would have been a wonderful surprise. What is the most important thing you’d like readers to take away from your books?

Several enjoyable hours of entertainment and hopefully some inspirational food for thought.

What is the most valuable piece of advice you’d like to give to unpublished authors?

Don’t be in a rush to get published or to publish yourself. Take time to enjoy the journey. Persevere in learning the craft.

Excellent advice! 

To celebrate Sandra joining us today I'm offering a copy of the 2nd book in the series--Another Day Another Dali.  (Print version to a Continental US address or e-book outside the Continental US) 

To be entered in the drawing, leave a comment answering one of two questions. 

1. If you've read the other two books in Sandra Orchard's Serena Jones series, which man do you want Serena to choose? Nate, the building supervisor, or Tanner, her boss at the FBI? 


2. Which mystery genre do you like best?

Leave your answer to one of the questions in the comment section. The drawing will be Wednesday, May 31 and I will contact the winner by email, so be sure and leave your email addy.

 And here's a description of Another Day Another Dali.

Another Day Another Dali

When a valuable Salvador Dali painting belonging to her grandmother’s friend is mysteriously replaced by a forgery, FBI Special Agent Serena Jones is called in to investigate. Serena hopes finding the thief will also mean finally measuring up to Nana’s expectations. But when the evidence points to members of the owner’s own household, it becomes increasingly clear that Serena won’t be winning any popularity contests.

The Dali isn’t the only painting that’s fallen prey to the forgery-replacing thief, raising the specter of a sophisticated theft ring–one with links to dirty cops, an aspiring young artist, and the unsolved murder of Serena’s grandfather.

With plenty of edge-of-your-seat moments, Another Day, Another Dali gives the plucky Serena Jones–and readers–a new high-stakes case to crack.