Monday, April 29, 2013
I just read The Oldest Enemy by Michael Webb.
From the very first page the reader is pulled into the action of a Catholic priest trying to perform an exorcism in Dresden Germany as the city burns from the Allied forces.
Fast forward to the eve of the new Millennium. David Lighthouse is Assistant Pastor of Living Waters Fellowship, and he's ensnared in a web of political intrigue and supernatural confrontation. A young lady is murdered and the blood is drained from her body. David becomes the prime suspect in Beth Barkley's murder. Lauren Barkley, Beth's sister, wants answers, and the police aren't answering her questions.
David meets Lauren at Beth's funeral and offers to meet with her to discuss the murder. Lauren had noticed a good change in her sister but didn't really understand her religious beliefs. David tries to share with Lauren that he thinks supernatural forces are at work wreaking havoc on their world.
David's father turns out to be Michael, the former priest who tried to perform the exorcism. He's never gotten over his failure.
And now weave into the story, Eric Reinhardt, an ex-Auschwitz guard with no memories of his past. And, oh yeah, how about a group of men who make a pact with Satan?
This story is an exotic tale of terror and dark forces. Good versus evil. Who will win?
This is an amazing story that I don't think you'll want to miss.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on The Oldest Enemy.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
by Jeff Reynolds
Today, my guest is Lynette Eason. She is the author of several books -- I'll let her tell about them. I'm enjoying reading one of her books, When A Heart Stops (book two of her Deadly Reunions series). And at the end of this blog is a book giveaway for book three -- When A Secret Kills.
CONGRATULATIONS TO BOOK GIVEAWAY WINNER
Jeff Reynolds: Welcome to the blog, Lynette. I trust you’re having a blessed day. If I read correctly, did you publish your first book in 2007? What got you interested in writing?
Lynette Eason: Thanks for having me, Jeff. And I am having a great day. You read correctly. I got the call on February 16th, 2007 that Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense editors, Krista Stroever and Emily Rodmell, wanted to publish what would become Lethal Deception. Lethal Deception released in February 2008. It was a LONG year! LOL.
As for what got me interested in writing, I was a stay-at-home mom and my husband travelled with his job. Needless to say, I was lonely quite a bit of the time and so I decided to keep myself company with my imaginary friends. <G> My daughter was nine months old when I started writing, so when she slept, I wrote. And with my husband gone quite a bit, I had a lot of time to pound out the story. At first, I wrote just because it was something to fill the hours. Then I started learning more about what writing a novel was all about thanks to a mentor named Dee Henderson and by the time I finished the first book, I wanted to see if I could get published. Eight years later, it happened.
JR: While math is usually a good subject for me, I lost count. How many books do you have currently published? Do you work on just one book at a time?
LE: LOL. I’ve kind of lost count, too. And I don’t mean that in an arrogant sort of way. I really don’t bother to keep up with the number because it’s not very important to me. BUT, for those who want to know, I’ll figure it out. I have six books out with Revell (counting WHEN A SECRET KILLS releasing May 1) and fourteen out with Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense line. I also have a short ebook out with Revell called GONE IN A FLASH. It’s a continuation of the Women of Justice series. I have six more books still contracted with Revell that I need to write and I have eight more books with Love Inspired Suspense (I’ve already written two which will be out later this year.) I also just finished a 10,000 word short read for Harlequin which will be a free online read. It will span a period of four weeks, one chapter per day for twenty chapters. So, yes, if you want to read the whole thing, you have to log in every day for twenty days. Ha. So, how many is that? 6+14 = 20 books out, 14 in the pipeline, 1 short ebook and the online read. I think that about covers it.
I’m usually writing at least two books at a time—one for Revell and one for Love Inspired Suspense. And I’m working on something that’s just fun for me (not very often and not usually for very long due to my paying obligations, but…) so right now, it’s two books and a third upon occasion. I also fit the online read in the schedule last month.
JR: You have finished the Women of Justice series and Deadly Reunions series and currently are working on the Hidden Identity series: Could you tell us about your latest offering? Also, do you have any other recent releases?
LE: Yes, I’m so glad to have those two series finished. The last book in the Deadly Reunions series releases on May 1, 2013! Woohoo! I’ve gotten a lot of hate mail for the cliffhanger endings in the first two books! LOL. I’m very glad to wrap everything up and satisfy my readers’ curiosity.
Then the first book in the Hidden Identity series will release in the spring of 2014. The title is No One To Trust. It will deal with the Witness protection program and the lives of those are affected by crime and the effort to stay alive while putting the bad guys behind bars. There will be two more books in the series after that. I’ve also just sold another series to Revell to be release in the coming years. I’m very excited about that series that will deal with female bodyguards. The research has been so much fun.
On the Love Inspired front, I have two books coming out this year. One in August called Hide and Seek and one in December called Christmas Cover Up.
JR: Your website mentions you are a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), the Romance Writers of America (RWA), and Faith, Hope, and Love (FHL). How do each of these groups help your writing, and what is your involvement with them? Also, I'd like to hear about what FHL is.
LE: They are all professional writers groups. Each group has different advantages and offerings. One being they all offer contests for published and unpublished authors. In 2006, I placed second in the Touched By Love contest offered by Faith Hope and Love group. FHL is a part of the Romance Writers of America organization and is the Inspirational division. RWA has the prestigious RITA contest for published authors and the Golden Heart contest for the unpublished. All are just really great organizations with members who are fabulous about helping new authors get off the ground.
JR: Your husband Jack has an interesting sounding ministry. Could you tell us about him? How do your ministries complement each other, and how do you manage to keep from heading in two (or more) different directions all the time?
LE: Jack is multi-faceted. It’s hard to know where to start. LOL. He is a professional fundraiser for Christian radio stations all over the country so his job entails a lot of travel. He also is the director of the Pursuit conference (http://www.pursuehiscall.blogspot.com ) which is a conference for high school to college age students who believe God is calling them into full time ministry. The conference has ministers from all areas of ministry there to answer questions and empower these young people to be present and future ministers.
However, to answer your next question, because of his many contacts in radio, he’s able to get radio interviews for me, etc. He takes at least several copies of my books to every radio station he goes to and hands them out. Sometimes they even use them as giveaways in order to entice people to make a donation to the station. Jack also has me share at his conferences about how writing is a ministry and what to expect if you want to write full time and be published.
Jack’s also very involved in music himself. He played keyboard in a band and is often asked to do music for youth groups and camps. As far as making sure we’re on the same page (pun intended), we simply make time to sit down and discuss what needs to be discussed. We do the bills on Saturday or Sunday afternoon before he has to be somewhere on Monday. We Skype a lot, email, text, chat online, etc. We just make the time. It’s just making the effort to keep it all together, you know? Sometimes it’s crazy (okay, most of the time), but we manage to make it all work. To put it simply: It’s a God thing.
JR: Between your writing, you and Jack's ministry, and your involvement with the three groups, I'm sure you have an occasional opportunity to minister. Have your readers let you know what impact your stories have, or any ministry you've had with the members of your groups (such as being hostess for ACFW's Romantic Suspense loop?
LE: I consider my writing the full time ministry God has called me to. It’s a different ministry, as opposed to serving in a church or on the mission field in Africa or something, but it’s still definitely ministry. I get emails all the time about how my books have touched lives or just kept a lonely person company. It’s a real blessing to hear those comments from readers.
JR: Thank you very much for your time. Please pass along your webpage so we can follow you.
LE: My website is: www.lynetteeason.com and I’m SO EXCITED that it’s going to be getting a complete overhaul soon! Readers can also find me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lynette.eason and twitter: @lynetteeason.
Jeff Reynolds, addressing the reader: I hope you enjoyed this interview. Is Lynette's prolific bibliography something that intimidates you as a writer, or an encouragement to keep plugging? Like Lynette's writing, do you see what you're doing as full time ministry? Any other source of inspiration through this interview?
And now for the book giveaway. To win her latest book, leave a comment with your e-mail address and share with us how a suspense or mystery novel has had an impact on your life. (And yes, of course that includes romantic suspense and mysteries.)
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
CONGRATULATIONS TO MERRY
WINNER OF "STRAND OF DECEPTION"
Loved, loved, loved this book. Robin is a new author for me and you can be sure I'll be reading more of her books. I've just ordered another one for my Nook. Can't wait to get started on it. I wanted to share a little info on this book for you and if you'll leave a comment and be sure you're a follower then you'll be added for a chance to win an autographed copy of "Strand of Deception."
When the daughter of a prominent Tennessee politician goes missing from the University of Memphis a week after another girl was murdered on the same campus, police call in the FBI. Married to his job as Special Agent in Charge, Nick Hagar is assigned to the case, and when the girls body is found her father demands justice.
Maddie Baxter is the forensic expert running DNA tests from the crime scene. When they come back without a match Nick asks her to do a familial DNA run that yields a shocking result; the prime suspect is someone from Maddie's past.
But do scientific advancements tell the whole story. Strand of Deception offers romance, suspense, and a lively debate about the impacts of DNA testing- for better or worse - on the Untied States justice system.
Posted by Deborah M at 12:30 AM
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
WE HAVE A WINNER!
Congratulations to Zippy Mom
There are so far two individuals whom I've had the opportunity - make that privilege - to interview twice. The first was Ojo (aka Joey) Taylor, keyboardist/bassist/songwriter for the Christian alternative band Undercover. The second is today's interviewee, Donna Fletcher Crow. Maybe they're gluttons for punishment?
Donna has just released An Unholy Communion, the third in her Monastery Murders series. In my last blog, I said that my favorite series is Amy Wallace's Defenders of Hope trilogy, and I'm sticking to that story. But the Monastary Murders is right behind it. Also, if I made a list of my favorite fiction characters, Father Anthony would be near the top of the list. Also, my all-time favorite book cover is for A Darkly Hidden Truth -- the most beautiful cover I've seen.
At the end of this blog, we'll be giving away a copy of An Unholy Communion.
Jeff Reynolds: Welcome to Sleuths and Suspects, Donna. How long have you been writing, and what got you interested?
Donna Fletcher Crow: Hi Jeff, I’m delighted to be here. Looking back I think I’ve written all my life. I've been writing for publication for about 30 years. My writing grew out of my reading. I’ve always loved to read— as an only child growing up on a farm books were my only companions. Well, books and my horse. A minor character in a novel I read got hold of me and demanded that I tell the rest of his story. That first novel became Brandley’s Search, later republished as Where Love Begins. It set the theme for my six-book series the Cambridge Chronicles about the Evangelical Anglican movement.
JR: How many novels have you written? I'll be getting to the Monastery Murders series in a minute, but what other series have you written, and what makes these series unique?
DC: I keep losing count, Jeff, but I think it’s about 43 books. Most of them have been series, like The Cambridge Chronicles. I currently have 3 series going. Lord Danvers is a Victorian true-crime series. My most recent title in that is A Tincture of Murder where I use the work of the Oxford Movement slum priests to get into some really grotty areas of Victorian York and see how these dedicated ministers changed the lives of the poorest of the poor. Http://ning.it/10E1Epq A Jane Austen Encounter will be next in my Elizabeth & Richard Mysteries. English professors Elizabeth and Richard are on sabbatical in England visiting all the places Jane Austen lived. This follows a trip I took last year— except I didn’t have to cope with dead bodies. This book emphasizes the importance of her Christian faith in Jane’s writing.
JR: Please tell us about the Monastery Murders, and especially your new release, An Unholy Communion.
DC: Thank you for asking! The Monastery Murders are contemporary clerical mysteries set in a monastery in Yorkshire. The monks run a theological college— coincidentally exactly like the one where my daughter studied. Felicity Howard is a young American woman in her first year of study. She has a lot to learn, but she’s a quick study— as well as being rather rash and headstrong. Felicity and her church history lecturer (who, fortunately, isn’t a monk) somehow keep getting involved in mysteries that require investigations into the lives of holy men and women from ages past, so you get a lot of church history along with a murder mystery and a love story.
An Unholy Communion is book three in the series. When a body plummets from a tower and lands at Felicity’s feet Antony convinces her to join him in leading a group of young people on a pilgrimage to visit ancient holy sites across Wales. It is idyllic until shadowy figures start dogging their steps. Then they find a dead body face down in a holy well. . . Http://ning.it/ZnSEcF
JR: I love the emphasis on church history in that series. What inspired you to work on those themes, and what would you like to see happen as a result of this series?
DC: My passion, Jeff, is to see spiritual renewal in England— and subsequently in our own country. I believe one of the factors contributing to a loss of faith is the lack of appreciation of our spiritual heritage. I want my readers to gain a new understanding of what people have endured in times past for us to be able to enjoy our comfortable worship today. I also believe that in an attempt to be relevant we are in danger of losing traditions that have been important to Christians for 2000 years. I want my readers, both in the church and in the world, to realize the validity of traditional Christianity.
JR: Hope you don't mind a more philosophic question. From your study of church history and your observance of what's going on today, do you have any advice on how we should be living in these days of danger? Besides reading plenty of Donna Fletcher Crow novels, that is?
DC: Great, Jeff! What a wonderful place to start! The basic message hasn’t changed in 2000 years. Live in fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ and in openness and obedience to the Holy Spirit. Aside from the obvious things like Bible reading and prayer, how that is lived out will be different for each believer. For me, getting back to the basics such as frequent Holy Communion has been essential. Reading John Wesley’s “The Duty of Constant Communion” might be a good start ( http://ning.it/ZnEad1 )
JR: What other ministries and hobbies do you have besides writing?
DC: I am active in our local church— teaching children, altar guild, whatever needs doing, really. We’re a small congregation, so everyone pitches in. As to hobbies, reading is tops, then growing roses (pictures here http://ning.it/ngWoAU ) and traveling to visit my grandchildren in Los Angeles, Boston, Calgary and Kentucky.
JR: What's next on the writing end? Any new Monastery Murders ready to depart the cloister?
DC: A Muffled Tolling, which takes place in Oxford, has bell-ringing in the background, and tells the story of the Oxford martyrs, is next on my agenda. I’ll be on to that just as soon as I finish one more rewrite of A Jane Austen Encounter. I’d also like to mention that my Arthurian epic Glastonbury, The Novel of Christian England, has just come out in an all-new print edition http://ning.it/ZnPky9 Last year it was released in ebook format as Glastonbury, The Novel of The Holy Grail http://ning.it/ZnRLkv .
JR: Thank you again for your time, Donna, and I hope you have a blessed day.
DC: Thank you so much, Jeff, it’s been delightful visiting with you. I would also like to invite your readers to visit my website at http://www.donnafletchercrow.com/ and to follow me on Facebook at: http://ning.it/OHi0MY
Jeff to the reader: Thanks for taking the time to read this. Have you had the honor of reading any of Donna's books? What are your thoughts on church history and its relevance to today?
And if you'd like a copy of An Unholy Communion, we'll pick one lucky reader next Wednesday. Just leave a comment and include your e-mail. Feel free to spell it out like mine would be mendingnets at yahoo dot com. (Does that mean I'm entered into the Giveaway?!)
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
I want to share with you about a book I recently read.
It had everything I like in a book romance, suspense, great characters and God all woven into a great story.
Coleen Coble is a best selling author with over two million books in print. She's won or finaled in many awards including Daphne du Murier, the ACFW Carol Award and the Romance Writers of America RITA.
Historic preservationist, Libby Holladay inherits Tidewater Inn and begins to learn about her family history. Her best friend and business partner, Nicole, is kidnapped before her very eyes while they have a conversation over the computer.
By the time Libby reaches the Hope Beach where the inn is located and her business partner was kidnapped, she is the suspect.
Coast Guard lieutenant, Alec, helps Libby search for her missing friend.
While there she discovers her extended family she never knew and tries to understand her own family history.
Vultures want to buy her area of the island for millions of dollars. The inn will cost more money than she has to restore it properly, and she learns her father did everything he could to keep the beach from being bought up by developers. The police think Libby killed her partner and friend, and as the days pass she becomes more discouraged that Nicole is still alive.
If you pick up Tidewater Inn, you won't be disappointed. I can't wait to hear what you think about it.
Posted by Jackie at 6:44 PM