Monday, July 30, 2012

Interview and Giveaway with Nancy Jill Thames


Please welcome Nancy Jill Thames to Sleuths and Suspects. She has graciously agreed to give one of her paper back cozy mysteries to one person who leaves a comment. The winner will be chosen by Without futhur ado here is our interview with Jill.

Interview Questions/Sleuths and Suspects Blog
1.       Tell us a little about yourself. My dad was in the Air Force so we traveled and moved around a lot. I lived in places like Casablanca, Morocco, Valdosta, Georgia and Las Vegas, Nevada, which gave me a sense of adventure. I’m just an average housewife who loves to entertain, or used to. Now that the kids have flown the nest, I decided to finish a book I’d started writing years ago, “Murder in Half Moon Bay” and do a series – just for kicks. I needed a needed a creative outlet. I have a degree in music and love playing classical piano but one can’t play the piano all day! My faith in God has led me all my life and He’s been so faithful. Traveling with my husband on his business trips gives me the ideas to base my books on.
2.       Tell us about your most recent book/or the book we are focusing on. “Pacific Beach” is a mystery based on my family reunion that has been going on for 19 years. We’ve met in Pacific Beach for at least 14 of those. My protagonist, Jillian Bradley, is a gardening columnist for the San Francisco Enterprise. Her nephew, Chase Campbell, is accused of murdering a young starlet and her mother. The detective is based on my brother who is a retired sheriff. Teddy, Jillian’s Yorkie companion, uses his instincts to help her solve the homicides as he does in all of her adventures. There will be eight books in the series; “Pacific Beach” is number five.
3.       Why did you choose this particular genre? Actually, truth be told, I got bored with reading the same author over and over. Ten years ago, I wasn’t aware of any other cozy authors except for Agatha Christie. I’d read all 80 of her books, two or three times each and believed I could come up with a sleuth, settings and plots. And I did.
4.       What was your journey to publication like? I tell people if you want to publish a book, go to CreateSpace on and follow the yellow brick road. Because I didn’t know anything about publishing, I simply learned by doing. It started with doing a blog posting a chapter a week for “Murder in Half Moon Bay” until a local paper got wind of it and did an interview about me. After that, I raced to get it finished and published it 7 months later. I laid out a plan to publish a book every 6 months for 4 years until the series was complete.
5.       What is a couple of your favorite books and what are you reading now? Loved “Snow Falling on Cedars,” “The Poisonwood Bible” and “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” trilogy. Just finished C. L. Ragsdale’s Reboot series, which I loved and “The Saucy Lucy Murders.”
6.       What are you working on now and can you give us a little peek inside it? “Waiting for Santa” is a mystery about a Santa Jillian hired for Christmas Eve, who turns up dead at a power station during a power outage. The police find a note with Jillian’s name and address inside his pocket. A double entendre occurs, as Jillian has to decide between two suitors as well. Who will be her “Santa?”
7.       What advice would you give authors who are on their own journey to publication? Get about $4,000 together and use either CreateSpace or another reputable vanity press. Write the book, send it to beta readers for input, rewrite the book, pay a content editor to give you feedback, rewrite the book again, pay a proofreader to edit for typos, and pay someone to do a dynamite cover. When it’s PERFECT, get about five great reviews from other authors and work up a launch promotion. After you’ve done all that, upload your file to Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, Nook and Smashwords. CreateSpace puts it for sale on Then the real work begins. Posting, tweeting, blogging and emailing the fire about your book while appearing to be casually making comments mentioning your masterpiece. You also want a great bio and book blurb to generate interest in what you’ve written.
8.        Do you have any books or websites that have helped you with your writing that you could share with us? I think the best ones are “Dollars & Sense” by McCray, Scott, and Thompson and The Writers Guide 2 E-Publishing Blog are the best two sources I know. The last one’s blogger has sold over 100,000 books so far.
9.       Is there anything you’d like to tell us we haven’t covered? As my husband keeps telling me, just write good books. Books that you would like to read. Easy to say – difficult (but not impossible) to do.
10.   Please let us know where we can find you on the web. My web site is From there you can find my blogs, Amazon author page and basic information.
Thanks for having me over Deborah!
Here's what you need to do to be eligible for an entry:
1) Leave a comment about cozy mysteries. Have you heard of them before? Do you read them, etc.
2) Leave an email address so we can contact you.
3)Sign up as a follower of Sleuths and Suspects.
4) Sign up to get blog posts by email.
Thank you so much for stopping by and we look forward to seeing you again!
Deborah Malone

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Interview with Anne Greene

Recently, I interviewed author Anne Greene.

ANNE GREENE delights in writing about wounded heroes and gutsy heroines. She and her hero husband, Army Special Forces Colonel Larry Greene, have visited twenty-five countries. A visit to Scotland resulted in her award-winning Scottish Historical, Masquerade Marriage. A Texas Christmas Mystery set in her hometown in Texas released in December. Anne is contracting with B & H Publishing for her World War11 novel. She makes her home in McKinney, Texas. Two of her four children live nearby. Tim LaHaye led her to the Lord when she was twenty-one and Chuck Swindoll is her Pastor. Anne graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Literary Studies from the University of Texas, Dallas. Her highest hope is that her stories transport the reader to an awesome new world and touch hearts to seek a deeper spiritual relationship with the Lord Jesus. To learn more of Anne and to view pictures from her extensive travels and her art work, visit her at

photo of author Anne Greene

WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO START WRITING? I have always wanted to write. For childhood when I played with dolls, I wrote stories with them as the characters. During boring classes at school, I always had a book I liked hidden by the textbook. I was a dreamer. My husband encouraged me to attend my first writers conference and I was hooked on full-time writing.


WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO ASPIRING AUTHORS? Absolutely join American Christian Fiction Writers. I attended their second conference and found them to be extremely helpful. Also enter contests and receive valuable feedback. And I advocate joining a critique group as well. 

WHAT DOES YOUR WRITING SCHEDULE LOOK LIKE? Awake at 6:00. I clean, work, run errands, and exercise in the mornings. Usually at my writing desk from 1:00 to about 7:00 each day. I seldom have the luxury of working on one book at a time. I’m often interrupted by sending out new proposals, doing edits, and also marketing. I usually work six days a week.

HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU SPEND IN RESEARCH BEFORE YOU WRITE A STORY? I write both historical, historical romance and contemporary suspense/mystery. So I do a great deal of research on each story. Usually to get into the historical time frame, I read several books set during that era, then I research the main parts of things I expect to add to the story. Then as I write, I often run across small items I need to look up and make certain happened in that time period. If I’m writing a contemporary, it’s usually a suspense or a crime novel, so I need to look up numerous things to do with the crime. Both time an enormous amount of research. I set my books in foreign and domestic locales, but never write about a place I haven’t visited for the right ambiance.  

WHAT IS THE MOST INTERESTING THING YOU HAVE LEARNED FROM YOUR RESEARCH? I’ve done so much research over the years, I have no idea how to answer this question. I’ve always loved research and tend to delve in deeply on any topic that interests me, and I have a wide range of interests. 

HOW MANY BOOKS HAVE YOU WRITTEN? I have had three books published, Trail of Tears, Masquerade Marriage, and A Texas Christmas Mystery. I’m under contract for a fourth book. My dear agent is shopping several other books at the moment, and I’m trying to finish the second in the Scottish Historical Marriage Trilogy. I have four other books in the proposal stage.

text on cover reads: A Secret List, A Fugitive Warrior, and One Life-Saving Option.  There is a red and black plaid pattern in the foreground and an older building, perhaps a church, in the background.

HOW DO YOU LIKE TO SPEND YOUR TIME WHEN YOU’RE NOT WRITING? I love to travel. You can see my pictures on my website. I enjoy painting. You can see some of my pictures on my website. I love to spend time with family. I sing in two choirs at my Church. Like every other woman, I enjoy shopping and lunching with friends. Since writing is such a lonely calling, I love being with friends.

HOW CAN A READER CONTACT YOU AND/OR LEARN MORE ABOUT YOU AND YOUR WRITING? I have a website and a blog at www.http:/ You can learn all about me there.

Review of Dying to Read

I just finished Dying to Read by Lorena McCourtney (published by Revell), which is the first book in the Cate Kincaid Files series.

While young Cate Kincaid has no experience as a private investigator, she does need a job, and so she takes one working for her uncle's PI agency. Cate sets out to complete a simple task for her uncle, but instead she encounters a dead body and a women’s book club. Against her uncle’s wishes, Cate decides to investigate what she believes to be a murder.

The story contained likeable characters, and the novel progressed at a good pace. This book should appeal to readers who enjoy mystery books with a touch of romance. I’m already looking forward to the release of the second book in the series.

*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.

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.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Review of Proof

In addition to providing excellent medical advice on her medical blog, Jordyn Redwood has written a fast-paced suspenseful tale about Dr. Lilly Reeves. In Proof (published by Kregel Publications), the first book in the Bloodline Trilogy, Dr. Reeves is the victim of a serial rapist and sets out to prove her rapist’s guilt. In addition to suspense, Proof also contains a touch of romance and a little supernatural flair.

Proof should appeal to men and women who enjoy fast-paced fiction. While the book does deal with a serious subject (rape), the topic was handled delicately.

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.

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.