Friday, August 16, 2019

The latest in Amish Romantic Suspense and a chance to win a copy of one of these books!

In June, we begin to explore the ever-changing world of Christian Suspense. Today, I’d like to share one of my favorite Suspense genres with you. Amish Suspense and Amish Romantic Suspense.

Here are some new and upcoming Amish books that you don’t want to miss.

Blurb: When elderly Amish widow, Ettie Smith, was invited to the local fair to help judge the cookie contest, the last thing she expected was to find a murdered woman in the quilting tent. With so many people bobbin about, Ettie didn't want anyone to cotton on to what had happened, so quickly covered the body with an Amish quilt. Ettie forced her sister to inform the local detective, knowing he would only needle her about finding another murder victim.
Can Ettie and her sister stitch the clues together, or will this be one murder that will leave them completely unraveled?

Available now! 

Amish Covert Operation – by Meghan Carver. I loved Meghan’s first venture into Amish Suspense and this one is good as well.  

Blurb: She witnessed a crime
Can an agent in disguise keep her safe?
After Amish widow Katie Schwartz’s search for her reclusive brother results in a shooting and her finding a cryptic message, she must rely on federal agent Adam Troyer to shield her. But, undercover as a Plain man, can Adam save her brother’s life and protect Katie? Trusting the handsome Englisch agent is already dangerous…but falling for him could risk everything Katie holds dear. 

Available now! 

Shattered Silence: An Anthology (Echo Falls Book 3) by Marta Perry. I may have mentioned this before, but I love anything Marta Perry writes.
A woman on the run seeks sanctuary in a peaceful Pennsylvania Dutch community—and finds a protector in the most unlikely of men…
One moment Rachel Hartline is secure in her career and community. The next, she’s in the wrong place at the wrong time—watching her ex-husband commit a crime that puts her in unfathomable danger. Fear and hurt send her home to an Amish farm and the family she’s always trusted. But a private investigator is close behind—and he may be a threat to her in more ways than one…
Cold, calculating Clint Mordan isn’t convinced Rachel is as innocent in her ex-husband’s schemes as she claims, but when her ex’s enemies target Rachel, Clint is driven to keep her safe. Maybe the terror in her beautiful eyes and the target on her back aren’t an act. But as his feelings toward her deepen, Clint realizes he’s the only one who can keep Rachel alive in a game where only the killer knows the stakes.

Available now!

Summer of Suspense. There are several Amish tales of suspense in this anthology.  
Our very own Mary Ellis has a release in this anthology.
Missing - by Mary Ellis
Murder in Sugarcreek – by Serena Miller
Fading into the Night  - by Vannetta Chapman
Wedding Day Revenge – by Rachel J. Good

They all look great, don’t you think? So, leave me a comment for a chance to win a copy of your choice of the books mentioned above. Please leave your email address. Print, when available to US residents only, eBook otherwise. I’ll announce the winner on Friday, August 23th.

Blessings always!

Mary Alford

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

A Review of the mystery THE SCENT OF MURDER by Kylie Logan

Happy August, readers, and the weather is hot and steamy. If there's one thing we all love in summer (or spring, fall or winter!) it's a good mystery. And the book I just finished reading, The Scent of Murder by Kylie Logan, fits the bill to a tee!

Here's what the story is about: The way Jazz Ramsey figures it, life is pretty good. She owns her own home in one of Cleveland's most diverse, artsy, and interesting neighborhoods. She has a job she likes and volunteer work she's passionate about--Jazz is a cadaver dog handler. Jazz is working in an abandoned building with Luther, a dog in training, when Luther signals a find. Jazz is stunned to see the body of a young woman who is dressed in black and wearing the kind of makeup and jewelry Jazz used to see on the goth kids back in high school. She's even more shocked when she realized that beneath the tattoos and the piercings and all that pale makeup is a familiar face. The murdered woman is a former student at the school where Jazz works, the lead detective assigned to the investigation is an old lover, and Jazz finds herself sucked into the case, obsessed with learning the truth.

And here's my review:  I have read and enjoyed every book this author has written, but The Scent of Murder is by far my favorite. I loved how Kylie Logan wove the details of cadaver dog training seamlessly throughout the story. Her research is spot-on, her pacing perfect, and the suspense builds to a satisfying surprise ending. But by far, Logan’s gift lies in creating realistic, multi-layered characters you’ll remember long after the book is done. Feisty Jazz Ramsey won’t rest until she finds out the truth about a young woman’s murder, a young woman you will come to care deeply about. Well done! I can’t wait for the next book in the series.

Kylie Logan is the national bestselling author of the League of Literary Ladies Mysteries, the Button Box Mysteries, the Chili Book-off Mysteries, and the Ethnic Eats Mysteries. The Scent of Murder is the first of a new series.

The Scent of Murder is available in hardcover edition and in ebook, including B&N, Apple and Kindle:

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

What's Hot in Inspirational Suspense?

by Patricia Bradley

Wondering what's HOT in Inspirational Suspense? Here are two Love Inspired Suspense books that released in June!

Her child’s life is on the line

A Roughwater Ranch Cowboys story

After putting his serial killer brother in prison, former US marshal Mitch Whitehorse chooses a solitary country life—until his brother escapes. Now Mitch’s former sister-in-law, Jane Reyes, needs protection…for herself and the toddler she’s kept a secret. Mitch still isn’t sure of Jane’s innocence in his brother’s crimes, but to keep his nephew out of a killer’s grasp, trusting her is his only option.

You can purchase Danger on the Ranch here:

She’s keeping secrets. He must keep her safe.

An FBI: Special Crimes Unit page-turner

Were it not for Tessa Carlson, Special Agent Henry Miller’s daughter would have been abducted. But rescuing the little girl has thrust Tessa—a woman in hiding—into the media’s spotlight…and into a criminal’s crosshairs. Now her survival depends on putting her faith in widowed single father Henry if she wants to live to see another day.

You can purchase Lone Witness at:

Friday, August 9, 2019


FIRE STORM released on August 6th! Hope you've ordered your copy! 

When FBI profiler Kaely Quinn's mother is diagnosed with cancer, Kaely takes time off work to go to Dark Water, Nebraska, to help her brother care for their mother. Upon her arrival, she learns of a series of fires in the small town, attributed by the fire chief to misuse of space heaters in the frigid winter. But Kaely is skeptical, and a search for a pattern in the locations of the fires bolsters her suspicions.

After yet another blaze devastates a local family, Kaely is certain a serial arsonist is on the loose. Calling upon her partner from St. Louis, Noah Hunter, and her brother's firefighter neighbor who backs Kaely's suspicions, Kaely and her team begin an investigation that swiftly leads them down a twisted path. When the truth is finally revealed, Kaely finds herself confronting a madman who is determined his last heinous act will be her death.

Order it here!

SUMMER OF SUSPENSE Anthology also released on August 6th! 

Start your summer off right with 16 gripping and never-before published tales of Christian suspense from today's most popular mystery and suspense authors. 

Join Mary Alford, Christy Barritt, Patricia Bradley, Vannetta Chapman, Mary Ellis, Debby Giusti, Rachel J. Good, Ruth Hartzler, Shaen Layle, Ruth Logan Herne, Loree Lough, Elizabeth Ludwig, Nancy Mehl, Serena B. Miller, Samantha Price, Alana Terry on a dangerous journey filled with mystery, suspense, and faith that that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end!

Order your copy here:


Wednesday, August 7, 2019

PTSD: Fear and Anxiety

First things first, my book is out!!!  

Fight Write: How to Write Believable Fight Scenes with Writer's Digest is available online and with all major bookstores. Buy it with abandon!

Ok, in our last round on we looked at how the PTSD symptoms of intrusive thoughts and insomnia manifest in the behavior of our characters. In this round, we will look at fear and anxiety more closely. 

Fear and Anxiety
Fear and anxiety are sometimes used synonymously and the two are quite different. Fear is an intense physical and emotional response to an impending or assumed impending threat. Anxiety is less intense but sustained feelings of worry, nervousness or unease that arise from impending events or situations. Both fear and anxiety are completely normal. They exist to save us from harm and are in proportion to the threat or impending event.

And, then, there is panic. Panic is uncontrolled fear and anxiety that is not in proportion to the threat. Panic pulls out a shotgun to get rid of a housefly. We'll look at that in our next round. Today, let's focus on fear and anxiety. 

Physical Manifestations of Fear

The great thing about fear is that if you feel it, whatever you're afraid of hasn't happened yet. What do I mean? Well, if you are afraid the plane you're in will crash, it's because it's not falling from the sky yet. Once it starts a wild descent, you are not afraid. You are in "survival mode". And, while survival mode is a very intense feeling, it's not one of fear.

Survival mode is a jet-fueled nothingness. You are completely aware of that moment. Not the second before or after. Just the one your'e in. Though you are fighting hard, you are numb. Pain may register, but it's as if you are feeling it second hand somehow. You can't believe it is you. After the incident, you may remember nothing. The memory is a blur. If you see the incident on film, it may surprise you. You may have no recollection of what you are seeing. Or, you feel suddenly remember every moment and relive the event. But even then, there's not fear so much as shock.

I mention the book The Gift of Fear quite bit when I teach
self defense as well as when I teach fighting to writers. And if you only buy one book the rest of your life, you should buy The Gift of Fear. Unless you don't have a Bible. Bible, then Gift of Fear. Ok, so TWO books! Then, my book third! But, fear is a precious thing. Your character should heed it. However, when the feared thing attacks or moment happens, that fear needs to leave. Fear is a warning. It exists to spare you from what may come. It is not intended to help you survive the coming thing but rather avoid it. It creates a storehouse of adrenaline for you to use to survive the thing you fear. That make sense?

For more on that see my posts on Adrenaline, here's one and here's another, as well as this interview with an assault victim.

Also, I want to add that what you feel in survival mode is not the same as what you feel when in a sanctioned fight. When you are in a fight that you have trained for, there's more clarity. That is one of the purposes of training. You bathe yourself in adrenaline constantly so that you learn to be productive while splashing around in it. You do still feel its effects, such as diminished pain (thank goodness!) but you do not get lost in its fog.

Ok, where were we? Ah, yes, fear and its physical manifestations!

* going pale
* freezing in place
* inability to speak
* goosebumps
* rapid heartbeat
* rapid breathing
* voice tremor
* knees buckling
* fainting
* running away
* sweat above lips or on forehead
* visible pulse
* trembling all over or in regions of body
* body odor (fear makes you stinky)
By the way, according to science, fear does have a smell although, they aren't really sure what it smells like(1). However, when study participants smelled sweat of those who were afraid, the participants also felt fear. Go figure! Also, ew.

Behavior Associated with Fear 

* elbows pressing into sides or cowering to make one's self appear smaller
* looking all around and behind one's self
* clenching teeth
* keeping one's back to a corner or wall
* easily startled
* gripping something so hard the knuckles turn white
* grabbing on to something or someone to feel protected

Physical Manifestations of Anxiety  

* sweating
* fatigue
* dizziness
* headache
* edginess
* shortness of breath
* insomnia
* upset stomach
* muscle aches
* difficulty swallowing
* tingling in limbs

Behaviors Associated with Anxiety  

* rubbing the back of the neck
* crossing arms to create a physical barrier 
* wringing hands
* bouncing foot
* rocking in place
* shifting in seat
* adjusting clothes as if they are tight or uncomfortable
* rolling the shoulders
* clutching an object such as a purse
* working a small item with the fingers
* constantly glancing at clock or door

If your character is anxious or afraid, show the reader their anxiety and fear. Not only will showing these feelings make the moment on the page more realistic, but, anxiety and fear are contagious. You're reader's brain will sink its claws into those emotions and be pulled along with the character.   

For a great, exhaustive reference on the physical and mental effects of emotions, check out The Emotion Thesaurus. It's brilliant.

Until the next round at, get blood on your pages! Oh, and be sure to check out my FightWrite podcast and book!


Tuesday, August 6, 2019

What's New In Inspirational Suspense

Patricia Bradley

What's Hot in Inspirational Suspense

Wondering what's new in inspirational suspense and mystery? Lisa Harris's new suspense releases today ~ Deadly Intentions. 

Research scientist Caitlyn Lindsey is convinced that someone is taking out her team one by one. First, a friend and research partner was killed in a home invasion. Three months ago, her boss died in a suspicious car accident. Four days ago, another partner supposedly committed suicide. And now Caitlyn herself has miraculously survived a hit-and-run. Afraid for her life with nowhere to turn, she reaches out to one of the victim's husbands, Detective Josh Solomon.

Though initially skeptical about Caitlyn's theory, Josh soon realizes that the attack that took his wife's life was anything but random. Now the two of them must discover the truth about who is after Caitlyn's team--and what their end game is--before it's too late.

In this nail-biting thriller, award-winning author Lisa Harris will have you believing that there's no such thing as random.

You can purchase Deadly Intentions at: