Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Recipe for Suspense...And a Chance to Win a copy of Grave Peril!

There are many ingredients that go into creating great suspense. Without one, the story, like any good recipe falls short.

One of the most important ingredients is having characters that compel the reader to get involved with their lives. A hero and heroine we can fall in love with, empathize with, and root for until the very end.

In Grave Peril, my latest Love Inspired Suspense, my hero and heroine had once been in love until Jamie Hendricks father was accused of killing Gavin Dalton’s father. Years later, when Jamie gets a call from her uncle claiming he knows who really killed Gavin’s father, Jamie drops everything to return to her Kentucky Mountain home. Not only has Jamie reunited with Gavin again, but she must turn to him to help solve the mystery of what really happened all those years ago.   

And every suspense must have an element of danger. Danger and intrigue are the foundations of suspense. The sooner the protagonists are embroiled in it, the better for the reader. For me, I love to get my heart pounding right from the beginning.

Grave Peril’s danger starts on page one with the weather, the mountains, and a mysterious car following Jamie up a deserted mountain road.  

But what would a story be without some conflict? Internal conflict as well as the conflict between the hero and heroine builds tension in the story and makes the pages turn.

Jamie and Gavin have many unresolved conflicts standing between them. The biggest being their fathers were on opposite sides of the law. Both Jamie and Gavin are plagued with internal conflicts as well. Jamie blames Gavin for not believing in her father’s innocence. Gavin is torn between his feelings for Jamie, what he knew about her father, and his own regrets at the way he handled things with Jamie.     

And what would a story be without a fitting location? The perfect location can create intrigue in itself.

In Grave Peril, the mountains of Kentucky along with the coal mines play an important part in the story. Imagine being trapped in a coal mine with limited air and no way out?

No matter what, the story must have a satisfying ending. When we invest our time and money into a story, we want to leave the experience satisfied.

While all these ingredients are so important to a suspense story, it’s the little secret ingredients authors put into their stories that become like icing on a cake.

What are the secret ingredients? Hidden gems that give us a glimpse into the author’s world.

For me, it’s usually a meal prepared and shared by the main characters, (you get to see some of my favorite foods). For example, in Grave Peril the couple share a meal of eggs and bacon. I love having breakfast at any time of the day!

What about you? What are your favorite ingredients in suspense? The characters, the danger or conflict, the setting, or the little secrets parts that make the story unique and special.

Leave me a comment for a chance to win an eBook copy (or print for US residents) of Grave Peril. Winner will be picked in one week!

About Grave Peril:

Reunions can be deadly.

Jamie Hendricks always believed her late father was innocent of murder…and now her uncle claims to have proof. But when she arrives in her hometown, her uncle has vanished—and someone wants her dead. Jamie’s ex-boyfriend, CIA agent Gavin Dalton, is the only person she trusts…even if he believes her dad killed his father. But can he help her uncover a deadly conspiracy that goes deeper than anyone expected?

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

What's Hot In Inspirational Suspense


Wondering what's new inspirational suspense and mystery? Today author Natalie Walters released her debut book, Living Lies from Revell.

In the little town of Walton, Georgia, everybody knows your name--but no one knows your secret. At least that's what Lane Kent is counting on when she returns to her hometown with her five-year-old son. Dangerously depressed after the death of her husband, Lane is looking for hope. What she finds instead is a dead body.

Lane must work with Walton's newest deputy, Charlie Lynch, to uncover the truth behind the murder. But when that truth hits too close to home, she'll have to decide if saving the life of another is worth the cost of revealing her darkest secret.

Debut novelist Natalie Walters pulls you to the edge of your seat on the first page and keeps you there until the last in this riveting story that will have you believing no one is defined by their past.

You can purchase Living Lies here.

Monday, May 20, 2019


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


On Tuesday Pat Bradley will tell us What’s Hot in Inspirational
Suspense and Mystery.

Wednesday we’ll hear from Mary Alford. She’ll share her recipe for suspense! And she’s giving away a copy of her great suspense novel, GRAVE PERIL!

Mountain Ambush

Reunions can be deadly

Jamie Hendricks always believed her late father was innocent of murder…and now her uncle claims to have proof. But when she arrives in her hometown, her uncle has vanished—and someone
wants her dead. Jamie’s ex-boyfriend, CIA agent Gavin Dalton, is the only person she trusts…even if he believes her dad killed his father. But can he help her uncover a deadly conspiracy that goes deeper than anyone expected?


On Friday, Mary Ellis is interviewing Rachel Good! Rachel will give away a copy of her anthology, PLAIN EVERYDAY HEROES!  

An Unlikely Hero by Rachel J. Good

When a stranger arrives and arouses Benuel Miller’s suspicions, the blind shopkeeper doesn’t let his guard down for a minute... until Mari enters the picture. Something sinister simmers under the surface, and Benuel risks his life and hope of love to discover the truth about the stranger.

The Suspense Sisters

We love books!

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

An interview with Loree Lough--and two drawings for a free book!

We are so happy to have award-winning author Loree Lough with us today!  You will enjoy her interview, and if you leave a comment or question for her, you will be in a drawing for a free book--and there will be two winners!  Enjoy!                     Roxanne Rustand

1. Can you tell us a little bit about your journey as a writer?
I started writing in the mid-80s. Back then, it was strictly nonfiction … articles for local, regional, national and international newspapers and magazines. It wasn’t until the mid-90s that I had my fill of editors altering facts to appease advertisers. When I complained about that to my husband, he said, “If you’re gonna write fiction, you might as well write a novel!” And so I did. Hahaha!

It all started with POCKETFUL OF LOVE for Barbour’s “Heartsong Presents” line. Wasn’t I surprised when it won “Readers’ Choice Best Contemporary” that year! This August, I’ll celebrate 25 years as a published novels writer. (Whew. That makes me feel OLD!) During that time, I’ve written historicals, Westerns, contemporaries, Amish, children’s, and women’s fiction for Harlequin, Abingdon, Whitaker House, Kensington, and more.
Most of my titles are Inspirational, and all but a few are romances. If I had to guess, I’d say a dozen or so of the 120 are secular (and even those fall into the ‘clean-and-wholesome romance’ category).

2.  If you could go back in time and  do something differently in your writing career, what would it be?
Hmm…I guess I’d apply for a job with a home and garden center/nursery. I love working with plants, indoors and out, which explains my always-jagged fingernails. Either that, or I’d go to work for a caterer, and make use of my so-called cooking/baking skills … which explain my Lifetime Weight Watchers membership.

 3. Tell us about your writing process.
I’m a plotter. Always have been, always will be. Over the years, I developed what I call a “timeline,” which is the result of reading lots of how-to-write books and attending workshops at a whole bunch of conferences. I’ve shared it with a couple hundred students (who signed up for the writing classes I taught at several local community colleges), and encouraged them to alter it to fit their writing styles.
I also believe in writing as often as possible. Life has a way of interrupting, so it’s a good thing that I’ve never needed the suggested 8 hours of sleep. It’s also a good thing that I’m kinda hyper. The two “talents” demands that I write a To Do list every day.

 4.  What do you enjoy when you’re not  writing?
When I’m not staring at the laptop’s monitor, you’ll find me outside, weeding, deadheading, transplanting, pruning, trimming … If the weather’s ugly, I’ll probably be in the kitchen, whipping up something to cook, roast, or bake. I also love spending time with our 7 “grandorables.” And my husband of 47 years. We have a cozy cabin in the Allegheny Mountains, where we’re surrounded by trees, streams, black bears, coyotes, foxes, fishers, raccoons, porcupines … and noisy bugs. (I like to brag about my ever-increasing abilities to identify critter tracks.)

5.  Tell us something about yourself that might surprise your readers.
Most already know that I spent four years ‘on the road,’ singing and playing guitar in clubs and lounges throughout the U.S. and Canada. My favorite ‘gigs’ were in VA hospitals, where I crooned requested tunes to (at the time) wounded Vietnam soldiers. It was an exciting, weird time that allowed me to meet and perform with some (at the time) famous singers, like Tom Jones, who did NOT like my version of “Danny Boy!” What readers probably don’t know is that I rarely sing any more, mostly because chemotherapy and the after-effects of a stem cell transplant destroyed my vocal cords. I’m not complaining, though, because that’s a small price to pay for being in remission from Multiple Myeloma (incurable bone/marrow cancer)!

 6.  What three pieces of advice would you give to an aspiring author?
a.) Read, read, read, and read some more. The types of stories you read most often will help you identify the genre you’re best suited to write.
b.) Join writers organizations. Sign up for how-to classes. Become a member of a critique group. Attend professional conferences where you can network with people just like you, as well as writers who might be willing to share a few learned-the-hard-way tips and tricks to help you along your way.
c.) Write, write, write, and write some more. Because it’s true what they say: “Those who can, DO; those who can’t, teach.” Except in my case, of course, because I was a terrific writing instructor! Hahaha

 7. You have a new book  out right now, but what are you working on now, and when might that book be out?
I just submitted book #2 in my “A Little Child Shall Lead Them” Amish series for Kensington. While I await the final edits, I’m working on a novella for inclusion in a 16-author anthology called SUMMER OF SUSPENSE. I’m also pulling together the outline for more books in the Amish series, and writing the synopsis for Kensington’s AMISH CHRISTMAS TWINS. Book #2 in the Amish series, HOME TO STAY, is slated for release in late 2019.

 8. Can you tell us about what led you to write your new book?  Tell us about your main characters, and the challenges they face in this story.

BEYOND THE SHADOWS, my most recent release, is the story of Elice Glasser, the widowed mother of 3 young kids and owner of a sign-making business, and Cabot Murray, former Chicago homicide detective. After Cabot loses his wife and little girl in a fiery explosion—an act of vengeance against him—he returns to his home town, hoping to outrun the ghosts of his past.

When he hires Elice to make a sign for his family farm, he’s immediately drawn to everything about her: Kids, house, and naturally, the warmth of her pretty face. As the friendship between them deepens, peculiar—and sometimes dangerous—things begin happening at his farm, and at her house, too. Cabot blames his past, and does his best to keep a distance from her family—for their own safety. But staying away isn’t easy, when her kids, who’ve adopted him as a father substitute. By the time he and the local cops have identified the man responsible, there’s more than enough love to take them all far BEYOND THE SHADOWS.

About the author....

Bestselling author Loree Lough once sang for her supper, performing across the U.S. and Canada. Now and then, she blows the dust from her 6-string to croon a tune or two, but mostly, she writes novels that have earned hundreds of industry and "Readers' Choice" awards, 4- and 5-star reviews, and 7 book-to-movie options. Her 115th book, 50 Hours, is her most personal to date, and released June, 2018. More recently, Beyond the Shadows. Book #1 in Kensington’s “A Little Child Shall Lead Them” Amish series, All He’ll Ever Need releases in September. 

Between now and 2020, additional titles will bring her ‘on the shelves’ total to 120 … and she has contracts for 2021 and beyond.