Friday, June 22, 2012

Interview and Giveaway for Southern Superstitions by B. J. Robinson


 I am so excited to welcome B. J. Robinson to Sleuths and Suspects for an interview. She has graciously offered to give a copy of her book "Southern Superstitions" for a giveaway, just follow the instructions at the end of the interview. Here we go!


1.            Tell us a little about yourself. I'm an avid reader and passionate writer, and I've been writing and publishing since my first story about my pet dog was published in the third grade in a local newspaper. My husband and I live in Florida with our two girls, Honi, a golden retriever, and Sunflower, a golden cocker spaniel. Sunflower is a character in Last Resort, my 2011 debut inspirational romantic suspense novel. My work includes dogs and pets for animal lovers. I love both dogs and cats, and we have a shelter cat named Frankie. I believe books bring people together, and I treasure my wonderful readers, critique partners, and friends I've met through my love of writing and books. My children are all grown and have made me a grandmother multiple times. I am blessed with children, grandchildren, pets, a husband, and faith. Writing is my passion, and Jesus is my best friend. To God be the glory.

2.            Tell us about your most recent book/or the book we are focusing onSouthern Superstitions is my most recently published novel, a romantic suspense set in Louisiana. A Favorite Line: It was faith in God that would bring her husband home. Even a lucky penny or a dime declared, In God we trust. It's getting great reviews on Amazon. Here's a short blurb:

Prayer versus Southern superstitions when a woman's husband mysteriously disappears in the swamp on a deer-hunting trip. As steamy as the hot, thick, sticky heat of Louisiana, this page-turner will keep readers in suspense, as the author spins a tale of love, loss, superstition, pain, heartache, and faith in God. Reviewer Kathy Boswell says, "Very good! She never gives up hope that Andy will return to her someday. She puts it all in God's hands like she's done every crisis in her life. She knows He will take care of this for her." God and the power of prayer versus Southern superstitions. Through belief, faith, hard work, the power of prayer, and God's help, this powerful, moving story is a thought-provoking Christian romantic suspense about a young couple who fall in love, but have to change her mother's mind in more ways than one, if their relationship is to survive. Can Andy convince June there's more to their relationship than friends? Will he win the approval of Mrs. Myrtle, her mother, and can love survive strawberry season and an April flood? Will June be able to give Andy a child?

3.        Why did you choose this particular genre? I write inspirational romantic suspense because I grew up on Nancy Drew mysteries and have always been a romantic. This genre allows me to combine the mystery, suspense, intrigue, and romance.

4.         What was your journey to publication like? It's been a long, hard road. I've always loved books, reading, and writing, and I've published lots of shorter works like poems, short stories, articles, and devotionals, but Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc. out of California is the publisher who was willing to accept my work without an agent. Thanks to their wonderful team, I will have a total of four novels published by October 2012. One Rainy Summer, a YA novel releases October 11. The other three are all inspirational romantic suspense novels. If readers are interested, they can check out my Desert Breeze Author Page for a complete bio that provides information about my publishing history.

5.       What is a couple of your favorite books and what are you reading now? A favorite new read is Everglades by Petie McCarly. I just reviewed it on my blog. I'm reading Eva Marie Everson's new Cedar Key title Waiting for Sunrise. I've read the first in the series Chasing Sunsets, and I enjoy her novels. She also wrote This Fine Life and Things Left Unspoken. I've read and reviewed them all. Another favorite author is Naomi Musch. I love her historical novels The Green Veil and The Red Fury.

6.            What are you working on now and can you give us a little peek inside it? I just finished editing Whispering Cypress. It releases August 11 and is a romantic suspense set in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Here is a short blurb: You'll never have peace here. Leave the past where it belongs, or it will ruin you.

Spring Showers stared at the cutout newspaper letters pasted on a sheet of typing paper. Her heart pounded harder than any nail gun, and she placed her hand over her chest as if to still it. Nothing about the rundown campground prepared her for such a threat. Who could possibly care if she restored it?

After a decade of no contact, she purchases the campground a man from her past dreams of owning and hires him to repair and remodel the cabins. She still has feelings for him, and the sparks are still there -- smoldering like embers from a left-over campfire. A male friend from the city visits and trouble brews. A girl is attacked. Hackett is arrested. Did authorities arrest the right man? The girl is pregnant -- who is the father?

7.            What advice would you give authors who are on their own journey to publication? Learn all you can from those who've gone before you. Join a good critique group. You can learn as much from them as from taking writing classes, and it's lots cheaper. Do take writing classes if you can afford it and want to improve your skills and hone your craft. I've taken a couple classes through Long Ridge Writers Group and the Apprentice and Journeyman classes with Christian Writers Guild. I've honed skills through American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and my critique groups. I've also gained so much knowledge by working with my in-house editors through my publisher, Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc. in California, such as formatting and editing to meet deadlines. Another tip is to take advantage of all the wonderful writing books on the market. I have a list on my blog of ones I've used.

8.       Do you have any books or websites that have helped you with your writing that you could share with us? There's an entire lists of books I used and would recommend on my blog if you scroll. To break writer's block, I recommend Natalie Goldberg's WRITING DOWN THE BONES. She has two others as well. Donald Mass has a book and a workbook Writing the Breakout Novel. There are many excellent books to help you hone your skills and craft. Check them out at my blog. I've used them.

9.            Is there anything you’d like to tell us we haven’t covered? June from Southern Superstitions would say, "It was faith in God that would bring her husband home. Even a lucky penny or a dime declared, In God we trust." Rod, June's son in Southern Superstitions would say, "The way those cypress knees stuck out of the shallow water, like protruding nubs, they reminded him of his grandmother's warning finger wagging in his face. They could tear a hole in the bottom of a boat. Thank God my boat survived the lick. Maybe that's what happened to Dad."

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Death in Dahonega

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Review of Love in Disguise

In Love in Disguise, Carol Cox skillfully weaves description throughout the novel with just enough detail that moves the story forward; I could easily picture the setting and didn’t feel the need to skim over description. Cox’s characters were likeable, and she maintained conflict throughout the story. 

Love in Disguise is set mainly in Arizona. Young Ellie Moore takes a job with the Pinkerton Detective Agency and must solve a case involving stolen silver from local mining. Along the way, Ellie must disguise her identity, which complicates her interactions with handsome mine owner, Steven Pierce. 

This story will appeal to those who enjoy historical fiction and mysteries.
For more information on giveaways related to this novel, please visit

If you would like to read the first chapter of the novel, please visit

Please note that I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my review. However, I was not required to write a positive review. The opinion expressed here is my own.

 The authors of this blog are affiliates. Sometimes, we will include links in our blog posts. When visitors to this site purchase items from using links in our posts, the authors of this blog earn a percentage of the sales.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Today I'd like to welcome Traci Hilton to Sleuths and Suspects. She graciously agreed to let me interview her. Here we go.

I guess you like living in Portland since you set your story there. I love Portland! I live just across the river from Portland now (housing costs being what they were when we were house hunting.). I set the stories here because it is so easy to write what you know. Mitzy’s Portland rings true for locals and folks who have visited, but it is fictionalized to suit my story.

If I were to visit you, where's the first place you'd take me? Powell’s City of Books, without hesitation. It is the best book store in the whole world. It’s also becoming a pretty popular online bookstore. ( We would be very Portlandy about the trip too and take the light rail. When I was a teenager Portland had Yellow Bikes. I can’t remember what patron paid for them, but some kindly soul bought dozens of bikes, painted them yellow, and left them all over downtown for people to ride for free. Of course they were just vandalized and stolen. But for while they lasted, they were a blast. When I think of a true Portland experience bikes, mass transit, downtown, and Powell’s all come immediately to mind. There is also a series of trails that skirts downtown, gorgeous uphill forest hiking in the middle of the city. It leads to our town’s one historically preserved mansion, the Pittock Mansion. That’s a great bit of Portland to share with visitors as well. Okay, last thing to visit in Portland…I’d probably have to take you to the Columbia River Gorge. It’s as beautiful as anything you saw in The Lord of the Rings.

  What's your favorite thing to do on a rainy day? Curl up in a blanket with a cup of tea and a good book—even better if there is bread baking! Of course if I did that every time it rained I’d never get anything done.

Where's your favorite place to visit when you leave town? I had the good luck to marry a Midwestern boy. I highly recommend the practice. When I leave town it is almost always to go back to Kansas to visit family. I really love the blue skies and wide open spaces. My husband is from a town called Buhler that has an adorable Main Street. Great shops, a gallery, and a fantastic cafĂ©. His family actually lives on Main Street so we can leave the kids in the sunshiny back yard with the menfolk while we girls go shopping. If I can name drop just a little bit, Buhler is a hop and skip over to Hutchinson where my family goes to church with Kim Vogal Sawyer. She’s a great friend of my mom-in-law, and was the first person to tell me about the fantastic ACFW!

How did you pick being a real estate agent for your character? When I was brainstorming ideas for a mystery I knew I wanted three things: a theme that would hit a nerve with readers. I wrote Foreclosed in 2009 so what better than a housing crash tie in? I also wanted an amateur sleuth who had a natural reason to run into people in crisis. In this economy it seems like a for sale sign and a family crisis go hand in hand. I also wanted something that could easily develop into a series. Nothing better for a series than a job where you are constantly meeting new people.

Tell us a little about Mitzy. Right before I wrote Foreclosed I read every early Agatha Christy that was in my library. I really loved her spunky, confident heroines of the 1920’s and wanted Mitzy to be something like that. She’s been criticized for being not entirely likeable, since she is rich, tall, blonde, and beautiful. But she does have faults. She has a tendency to mouth off to the wrong people at the wrong time. She’s also about a decade behind the curve style-wise, but doesn’t notice. Her real struggle comes with trying to solve her problems in her own strength rather than relying on God.

Tell us about your new story. The Tangle Saga will be released in just about a month. It’s a whodunit in space and I am sooo excited about it! I’ve always wanted to write sci-fi but am frankly too girly. I don’t know about rail guns and fighter ships. But my brother does, and since he can write me under the table, I convinced him to collaborate. In a nutshell, The General’s daughter is charged with finding her underage brother and sister who have disappeared from the space station at the edge of the galaxy. The fourth Mitzy Neuhaus Mystery should be coming this winter as well. Thanks so much for letting me talk with you about the two towns I love, my dear Mitzy, and The Tangle Saga!

You're welcome. So glad you visited us at Sleuths and Suspects. Bio Traci Tyne Hilton is an award winning playwright from Portland, Oregon. Traci earned a degree in History from Portland State University and still lives in the rainiest part of the Pacific Northwest. She has written grant proposals, blogs, essays on etymology, Bible studies, Sunday School curriculum, novels, short stories, history essays, and plays. She hopes to do many more of the above, God willing and the creek don't rise. More of Traci's work can be found at About Foreclosed Mitzy Neuhaus is the top selling Realtor in Portland, but even her office is dead in this economy. Foreclosed is the word no homeowner wants to hear and Mitzy is determined to save the incredible mansion on her street from that fate. But with the homeowner desperate to keep Mitzy away from his property and Alonzo, the dangerously hot rival investor trying to snatch it out from under her, Mitzy knows she has to work fast, or the economy won't be the only thing dead... Foreclosed is available as an ebook and paperback at

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Review of Double Exposure

Double Exposure by Susan Sleeman is a well-thought out romantic suspense story, published by Harlequin (Love Inspired Suspense). The heroine, Jennie Buchanan is a photographer with a big heart and a past she’d like to keep secret. When Jennie receives death threats, Ethan Justice, Jennie’s ex-boyfriend enters her life. While dealing with past feelings, the two race to discover and stop the person behind the threats. 

While anyone who enjoys romantic suspense will like this book, I really felt a deep connection to the story because the topic of adoption is mentioned, and my husband and I recently became certified to foster-to-adopt. Susan handled the topic well. 

For a chance to win Susan’s book, please visit
To learn more about the author, please visit her Web site,

Please note that I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my review. However, I was not required to write a positive review. The opinion expressed here is my own. 

 The authors of this blog are affiliates. Sometimes, we will include links in our blog posts. When visitors to this site purchase items from using links in our posts, the authors of this blog earn a percentage of the sales. 

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Interview with Jordyn Redwood and Giveaway of Proof

JR: Heidi, thanks so much for hosting me here today. I'm looking forward to getting to know your readers!


JR: I don't know if I ever made a conscious decision to start writing. Storytelling has always been a part of me. An outlet to keep the characters quiet in my mind. Now, the decision to pursue publication was a very conscious one and born out of frustration at not achieving what I wanted to in my nursing career.

JR: I'm a huge Dean Koontz fan and would really love if he could write another book on writing. I would love to have his descriptive authority. I like the suspense style of James Patterson, Harlen Coban and Linwood Barclay. If at any point I was compared to one of these authors, I will melt into a puddle of tears.


JR: Early in my writing journey, I found it hard to find my own sense of discernment. I would constantly ask others to review my work and then feel like I had to change everything that they wanted changed. Well, at that point, it wasn't my story anymore and I was essentially a ghost writer. For years, I was perpetually stuck on the first 30,000 words and never making any forward progress. What I eventually did was decide that the first draft was all mine. No other eyes would see it. It would simply be about getting the words on the page and having a finished book. After that, then it is the time to seek the advice of a few trusted people, to strengthen what you have. It takes time to learn which elements should be kept (regardless of who is telling you to cut them out) and which are good to let go.


JR: Redwood's Medical Edge is designed to help contemporary and historical novelists write medically accurate fiction. When thinking about building my author platform, I really struggled with what I could do that would be unique. There were so many voices, much better than mine, doing extremely well with blogs on writing, blogs on faith and blogs on the Christian (insert topic of choice here).
What I found myself doing was answering medical questions for other writers, a lot, and loving it. Not only have I been in nursing for nearly 20 years, but I've been a long time teacher of advanced resuscitation classes and love reading medical stuff for fun. Hence, a blog was born that I felt could really help writers ferret out these medical issues.


JR: Currently, I work as a pediatric ER nurse. I don't know if I could do one job without the other. Nursing gives me fodder for the stories I tell and writing gives me an outlet for the tough emotional situations I encounter on a daily basis. 


JR: I don't have a set writing schedule because my work days are never the same two days a week. Yes, I still work weekends and holidays. So, I do a monthly word count goal. I designate certain days to be writing days to help meet that goal. Also on writing days, I'll try to do one-three blog posts and one marketing activity.
At night, I'm generally reading two hours before I go to bed. This may be research but is generally the fiction books on my TBR list.


JR: Proof examines the real life possibility of DNA testing actually setting a guilty criminal free. Lilly Reeves is the fifth known victim of a merciless serial rapist. Though she correctly identifies her assailant to the police, DNA testing clears him. Lilly knows to regain her life she must prove his guilt by unraveling his DNA mystery.


JR: I am a research nut. I love to research and can get easily sidetracked looking up information or reading more books than I probably need to get all the nuances right that I want to. I find it hard to say I'm going to spend this much time researching and then just write the novel. I research before and during and probably don't stop until the book is with the publisher for their edits.


JR: So many things are interesting to me. The DNA mystery in my first novel is very intriguing-- especially knowing that it could actually happen. Also, the current research into medical applications for spider venom is amazing. I know-- I'm a little strange.


JR: Great question and a little hard to answer. I wrote two "books" in high school. Looking back, they may be termed more novellas as I'm sure the word length is not what would be required of a novel. I'd written a partial novel early in my adult writing career that was very much a learning piece. The idea was soundly rejected as being too controversial and the plot was an utter mess and I put it on the proverbial back burner. I was just trying to accomplish too much. That being said, I've written two full length novels that are scheduled for publication and actively working on a third. 


JR: I do have a very creative spirit. I'm also a quilter and a cross-stitcher. I love to make handmade gifts for my friends and family and am looking forward to passing down these skills to my two, beautiful daughters. I am a book junkie so if you're in a hurry-- quilt stores and books stores are a bad place to take me.


JR: They can find me at I love to hear from readers and you can reach me via e-mail at

author Jordyn Redwood standing in front of a tree.

Jordyn Redwood is a pediatric ER nurse by day, suspense novelist by night. Her debut medical thriller, Proof, examines the real life possibility of DNA testing setting a guilty criminal free. It has been endorsed by the likes of Lynette Eason, Dr. Harry Kraus, and Rick Acker to name a few. You can find out more about Jordyn by visiting her blog: and website:

Bloodline Trilogy 1, a blue-eyed woman's face is shown on the book cover

Dr. Lilly Reeves is a young, accomplished ER physician with her whole life ahead of her. But that life instantly changes when she becomes the fifth victim of a serial rapist. Believing it's the only way to recover her reputation and secure peace for herself, Lilly sets out to find--and punish--her assailant. Sporting a mysterious tattoo and unusually colored eyes, the rapist should be easy to identify. He even leaves what police would consider solid evidence. But when Lilly believes she has found him, DNA testing clears him as a suspect. How can she prove he is guilty, if science says he is not?

Jordyn is giving away a paperback copy of her book, Proof

To enter the giveaway, 
(1) be (or become) a follower of Sleuths and Suspects  
(2) leave a comment for Jordyn
(3) be a resident of the U.S.

The giveaway ends on June 16th. A winner will be announced on June 17th.