Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Interview and Giveaway with Linda Kozar


Interview Questions/Sleuths and Suspects Blog

  1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a multi-published author. My agent is Wendy Lawton with Books & Such Literary Agency. My husband Michael and I will celebrate our 24th wedding anniversary this year and we have two lovely daughters in college. Our oldest graduates this year! Besides writing, I enjoy painting in oil and sometimes watercolor and acrylic. Also I love to bead and do other crafts when I have the time. I’m getting pretty good with making my own pie crusts—building success on many failures. (Some of my piecrusts were as solid as sheetrock).


  1. Tell us about your most recent book/or the book we are focusing on.
My most recent book is Strands of Fate, the first in a series written by different authors for the Creative Woman Mystery series.

Right now I’m working on another (inspirational) historical gothic romance. The first is complete, proposal as well and is in my agent’s hands.


  1. Why did you choose this particular genre?
My mystery series, “When The Fat Ladies Sing” is out on Kindle via Spyglass Lane Mysteries and I’m also working on another mystery series. Strands of Fate, was a work-for-hire, with the characters, setting, etc. already patterned out for me.

  1. What was your journey to publication like?
I started out working for local newspapers, though I’d always wanted to write a book. I made that decision in second grade. The process of writing a book can be so daunting! Which is why I was able to talk myself out of it for a while. But then I quit the newspaper and decided it was time--now or never. The first book I worked on was a nonfic and I sent it out with a lot of newbie chutzpah after attending a writer’s conference. But it went to three different pub boards! It was rejected of course—mainly because I didn’t have a name for myself. Soooo, I shelved it and turned my attention to fiction. I wrote part of a book, though I wasn’t sure where I was going with it. Then I took a writing challenge from one of my crit partners, Marian Merritt, to write “X” number of words a day. I finished writing the book, which turned out to be a mystery, in two weeks. On a whim and a prayer, I sent a query to Editor Susan Downs (Heartsong Presents—Mysteries/Barbour Publishing) and she was interested! That’s how my first book, Misfortune Cookies, made it to print. I also received a contract for the second book in the series A Tisket, A Casket. A month after the first book came out in print (Nov. 2008) , the mystery line was cancelled by the publishing house.

In 2010, I received a contract from Howard/Simon & Schuster for a book of devotions titled Babes With A Beatitude—Devotions For Smart, Savvy Women of Faith (released in Dec. 2011).

Then, a year later, the mystery line was revived! I was told that the second book (which had to be renamed), would make it into print (August of 2011) and I was thrilled. They were even interested in a third book. However, a few months before Just Desserts was released, they cancelled the Hometown Mysteries line as well. THEN, in 2012, the MacGregor Literary Agency decided to ePublish the entire mystery line (for those authors who chose to participate), under Spyglass Lane Mysteries. So that in a nutshell, is the history of my mysteries and other books.
5. What are a couple of your favorite books and what are you reading now?

I am a big fan of gothic mysteries. My favorite book is Rebecca. I just finished The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson—loved the homage to Rebecca. I’m reading The Orchid House now and enjoying it and will soon move on to another book.

  1. What are you working on now and can you give us a little peek inside it?
The book my agent is shopping now is called Alligator Pear. Here’s the blurb and a few lines from the book:
Beautiful young artist Fleur D’Hemecourt returns home to the family estate in post WWII New Orleans to attend the funeral of an aunt, and meets Louis Russo, the young man she once had a crush on, now a promising young attorney home from the war. But a sudden series of accidents and near misses convince the two that someone is trying to take Fleur’s life before she inherits the estate on her twenty-first birthday. Her Uncle Bernard, a man of flamboyant vice, is her guardian and would profit the most from her demise, though the foreboding home on St. Charles Avenue hides even darker secrets that begin to surface, painting shadowy images of family, friends and the man she dares to love. 

(From Alligator Pear—by Linda Kozar)

Family and friends of the deceased gathered like black clouds before a storm. Near the gilded ironwork cross at the entrance to Saint Louis Number One, they whispered prayers, consoling one another. But discreet voices faded to reverent silence as the priest approached, followed by a young acolyte bearing a crucifix.

Breathless and flustered, Fleur D’Hemecourt paused to smooth her dress and hair, tousled from the hurry-scurry carriage dash. Young and attractive, her honey-hued curls bounced along the curve of her elegant shoulders as she inched ahead to take her place with the immediate family.  But all heads turned in response to the sudden arrival of the hearse, its roof festooned with a pleasing array of saffron-colored lilies, red roses and fragrant jasmine. (From Alligator Pear—by Linda Kozar)

  1. What advice would you give authors who are on their own journey to publication?

If you are on the road to traditional publication, get yourself a thick hide. Learn how to handle one rejection and persevere to the next one. Be patient. Be bold. Be stubborn. Study to show yourself approved (as the Bible says) and praypraypray. But these days, there are other options. Indie publishing is an option many authors are taking advantage of. It is just as attractive to traditionally published authors because of the monetary return and creative control. Decide which route is best for you or be open to both.

  1. Do you have any books or websites that have helped you with your writing that you could share with us?
I have a page on my website with those writing resources “For Writers,” and I invite your readers to visit my website for that info. I update it regularly. Here’s the site:
9. Is there anything you’d like to tell us we haven’t covered?

Most writers I know start out journaling or writing poetry, but if you are really serious about getting published, you’ll have to take a step beyond that and put yourself out there. Decide what you want to do and do it. It’s very difficult and frankly, not marketable to publish a book of poetry unless you indie pub it. Is that your goal? Or do you want to write a book? Decide if the book in your heart is fiction or nonfiction and then start writing. Learn as much as you can about the craft of writing. Read what other writers write. Join a critique group. Go to writing conferences and dream big!

  1. Please let us know where we can find you on the web.
I co-host a radio show on the Red River Writers Network on BlogTalk Radio, once a month (3rd Thursday) called Gate Beautiful. We interview four authors per show, from NY Times Bestsellers to Debut authors and industry professionals. GATE BEAUTIFUL RADIO SHOW ARCHIVES

Readers can find me on Facebook where I have a regular Page and Author Page: Writers On The Storm/ACFW Chapter
To win a three ebook(Misfortune Cookies, A Tisket, A Casket and Dead As A Doornail)set of Lindas cozy mysteries please:
1) be a follower or become a new follower
2) leave your email address
3) sign up for blog posts by email
4) tell us what your favorite mystery genre is




Friday, October 26, 2012

Interview with Clare Revell

Clare Revell


I've always written. From when I was five, when I rewrote fairy tales, through fan fiction, and finally, my own stories. If I don't write, I get frustrated.


Probably Tom Clancy and Rosamunde Pilcher. As I write a mix of crime/mystery/romance all rolled into one.


Don't give up. You'll get plenty of rejections—I did, still do, at times. Read the publishers guidelines carefully before you submit. Read lots in the genre you want to write in. And enjoy what you do. If you don't cry over a really sad scene, or get scared when the villain suddenly appears at the window when the heroine pulls back the curtains, then your readers won't because the emotion just isn't there.


A lot. I also do it as I go along, depending what the plot throws up. For Tuesday's Child, I watched a lot of TV without the sound on. I also consulted with one of the police officers from church. And Granddad was deaf, so I drew a lot on things I remembered from talking with him. For Sunday's Child, I visited a lifeboat station and spent three hours asking questions. Other ones are done by email. I've found people are only too eager to help me get the facts right.


The fact that UK cars driven by detectives don't have flashing lights in them. They are also pool cars. I knew none of our cops were armed, with the exception of CO19, but didn't realise just how little protection uniformed officers took on the beat with them each day. Just a baton and pepper spray. Sometimes a taser, but that's still relatively new, and most officers prefer not to carry them.


14 that have been contracted :) When I got the last contract, I still reacted the same way as when I got my first. It never wears off. (And 5 that sit in the "never to be opened again" folder from where they got rejected.)


I have 3 kids of my own and 1 extra so there is lots of cooking, cleaning, laundry to do. But I also read a lot. I do cross stitch, watch crime drama, and love walking.

Tuesday's Child cover - a blonde woman and a dog are shown.


Tuesday's Child tenders direction...

Deaf from the age of five, Adeline Munroe operates a hospital for injured dolls, but lately her quiet life is disturbed by violent, haunting visions. Perhaps it's just her unspoken fear--a serial killer has struck in Headley Cross. But Adeline soon realizes she's seeing each murder just before they happen and reluctantly contacts the police.

Detective Sergeant Nate Holmes has enough to deal with between caring for his orphaned niece and his current assignment--the Herbalist killings, so when a woman comes forward who claims to be "seeing" the crimes in dreams, he isn't hopeful she'll be of any help. But he knows her from church, and she inexplicably describes how each crime is committed. Is God answering his prayers through Adeline?

Adeline assists the police, yet more women die and she becomes the prime target of the killer. Will Nate crack the case before the Herbalist can complete his agenda--or will the next murder Adeline foresees be her own?


All of Nate’s senses kicked into action, his copper’s antennae twitching.

She knew something, or at least thought she did.

“What is it?”

Adeline sucked her lower lip into her mouth, worrying it with her teeth. “This is going to sound stupid, but…” She took a deep breath. “I saw them. All of them. They all had their hair tied back or up.” She picked up the top clipping. “She was playing on a swing and wearing a red jacket. This one was walking the dog and wearing blue.”

Nate jolted as if he’d been struck by lightning. Those details hadn’t been released. Was he wrong about her? Was she somehow involved with the murders? “Wait  a minute. How did you know any of this?”

Adeline carried on speaking as she shifted through the papers. “She was on her way to dance class in pink. This one was jogging in a gray toweling track suit and the first one…”

Nate put a hand on her arm, cutting her off.

She jerked her head upwards in surprise.

He held her gaze. “How do you know all this?”

“I told you, I saw them.”


Guilty of love in the first degree, a deaf witness who 'sees' the murders and a cop torn between doing his duty and going out in faith.


Clare lives in a small town in England with her husband, whom she married in 1992, and her three children. Writing from a early childhood and encouraged by her teachers, she graduated from rewriting fairy stories through fanfiction to using her own original characters and enjoys writing an eclectic mix of romance, crime fiction and children's stories. When she's not writing, reading, sewing or keeping house or doing the many piles of laundry her children manage to make, she's working part time in the breakfast club at one of the local schools.

She has been a Christian for more than half her life. She goes to Carey Baptist where she is one of three registrars.

Other titles by Clare Revell:

Season For Miracles
Saving Christmas
Cassie's Wedding Dress
Time's Arrow
Kisses From Heaven
After The Fire
Monday's Child

You can find Clare here:

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Not This Time by Vicki Hinze

This story starts out fast and furious when Detective Jeff Meyers arrives at a wedding and the guests all appear to be dead. If you like Christian suspense, I think you'll like Not This Time. Beth Dawson and Sara Jones-Tayton have been close friends for year. Beth feels protective toward her friend. When Sara meets Robert Tayton their friendship is strained because of Beth's distrust of the man. Robert is kidnapped, and Beth is the cops' prime suspect. Sara has health issues forcing Beth to come up with the ransom. When an act of terrorism strikes Seagrove Village, Beth is not sure who to trust. A man from Beth's past reappears. She knows her heart is too fragile to fall in love with him, but the bond is too strong to ignore. This book has it all. Suspense, tension, love and a thread of redemption. Hinze tells the story at a brisk pace, and you won't want to put the book down once you begin. I encourage you to get your own copy of Not This Time.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Interview with Author Eric Wilson

By Jeff Reynolds
Halloween's right around the corner, but you're having a hard time finding a Christian vampire novel to read? Is there such a thing? (Okay, I'm talking about a vampire story written by a Christian, not one about vampires who are also Christians.)
This month, I have the honor of interviewing Eric Wilson. Wilson has several novels and novelizations out, including Jerusalem's Undead Trilogy, which you've probably guessed is the Christian vampire stories I'm telling you about.
Jeff Reynolds: While my focus is more on the Jerusalem's Undead Trilogy, I can't neglect that three of the books you've written have titles that some people might recognize, like Flywheel, Facing the Giants, and Fireproof. (You also wrote the novelization for October Baby, which came out September 1st.) First, how did you get that gig? Second, did it require a lot of contact with the Kendrick brothers? Or was it more like being in a room after all the other kids left and having the toys all to yourself?
Eric Wilson: My publisher put me in contact with the Kendricks, knowing that they wanted novelizations of their films. After a long interview process, I was chosen to do the books. I had a blast. The Kendricks gave me lots of freedom. As long as I kept everything in the films in the books, I could add subplots and backstories. They were great to work with. We brainstormed and laughed, then I tucked myself away and wrote like crazy (with each book being completed in 4-6 weeks).

JR: I've read the first of the Jerusalem's Undead Trilogy, Field of Blood. (The other installments are Haunt of Jackals and Valley of Bones.) What inspired this series?
EW: I was, and still am, annoyed with the amoral view of vampires in current culture. Traditionally and symbolically, they represent evil. They are a counterfeit of Jesus's blood providing immortal life. I wanted to write a trilogy for the mainstream market, without Christian lingo, that would go back to historical and biblical foundations for the concept of vampirism. My foundation for the stories started when I saw an article from Jerusalem, describing a 2000-year-old family grave discovered in the same field where Judas hung himself. What if Judas's blood had seeped into those graves? I had to explore the idea. I've traveled in Romania and Israel, so those countries were great inspiration for the setting.

JR: On your website (address given below), you wrote in a letter to critics: I've always aimed to reach those on the fringes of faith--ones who have wandered from the church, but still have a seed of belief; and ones who are too nervous to come through our doors, yet have a desire to know more about the God we serve. How has God used your books in general and the Jerusalem's Undead Trilogy specifically in reaching those you've described?
EW: Sadly, the Christian market is more intent on providing "safe" alternatives than world-changing art, whether in music or literature. That means it is very difficult in this market for a writer to reach those outside the church. Many Christian consumers want tidy stories with easy lessons and black and white morals, though in the real world, life doesn't always work that easily. I've tried to write stories (aside from the novelizations) that are nuanced in character development and biblical ideas. They're not tied up with pretty bows. I've found a core readership of Christians who love the multifaceted elements of my books.

With the Jerusalem's Undead Trilogy, I also found a core readership of nonbelievers. I've received numerous emails about the powerful symbolism of the thorns (sin) in the veins. I've had people say they were about to go feed their own addictions (fill in the blank), then thought of those thorns and chose not to do so. I've had others tell me they had never read a Bible, but went and bought one after reading the trilogy so they could learn more about the Nazarene Blood. It's been a great launching point for dialogue about sin, infestation, and the power of redemption and grace versus the attempts to find freedom on our own good efforts (such as Gina tries to do at the end of book one).

JR: Last year we had a speaker at the ACFW Indiana Chapter talk about branding. It seems having both Facing the Giants and Field of Blood in your bibliography isn't a textbook example. How do you/your publisher effectively market books intended for two distinct and not necessarily compatible audiences? 

EW: I've never cared a whit for branding. I care about writing what God puts in my heart, but my ideals tend to get in the way of practical concerns. To my detriment, that has affected my sales. Some people doubt that the guy who wrote Fireproof could write a good vampire story. Others wonder why a guy who wrote a highly original vampire trilogy would waste his time with preachy storytelling like Facing the Giants. The reality is that I'm an out-of-the-box thinker, constantly wrestling through scriptural issues, but I'm also deeply committed to the Bible being the truth. Both aspects are part of who I am. I try to be true to that.

JR: Christian vampire stories sound a bit unorthodox (though it's clear the Collectors in your series technically aren't vampires; in Field of Blood one mentions they like the taste of garlic). How controversial has this trilogy been? If so, how do you use the controversy to your advantage as an author?
EW: Vampires are a demonic representation of evil, always have been traditionally. In that sense, my Collectors are very much vampires. And most novels nowadays have played with those old standbys--garlic, mirrors, and such. I didn't ever write this as a "Christian vampire" trilogy. First, it's not Christian vampires. Second, I wanted it to reach nonbelievers.

The controversy only came from those who hadn't read it and assumed I was "of the devil" or I was trying to "cash in on the
Twilight books by fleecing the Christian flock." If people don't do their research and know a little about me (I'm a deeply devoted Christian, husband, with a Bachelor's degree from an accredited Bible college), then I don't worry too much about their jabs. But, the reality is that the trilogy would've sold much better outside the Christian market.

When Thomas Nelson first signed me for the trilogy, they had an imprint called WestBow that was aimed at mainstream readers. That imprint folded soon after I came on board, and that meant the trilogy got bogged down in an Amish-driven market of that time.

JR: More recently, in addition to the October Baby novelization, you've written a novella and have released the first two installments of a new series. Would you like to tell us about these?
EW: For my own career survival, I've tried to be more aware of branding. My more recent books have been more specifically written for the Christian market, while still dealing with complex issues.

One Step Away
is about a modern family targeted by a shadowy figure from their past. When they get $6,000,000, they don't realize they are part of an experiment. On a twist of the story of Job, they are blessed instead of cursed to see if they will turn their backs on God.Two Seconds Late is a modern twist on the story of Esther. A young woman is dating a state politician, and she discovers a conspiracy to get human tracking implants legalized, for the safety of children and the elderly. She has no idea that big business, politics, and even a Russian assassin have stakes in this, and she alone has been raised up for "such a time as this."October Baby was a blast to write. Based on the screenplay by Theresa Preston and the Erwin brothers, it is a nuanced story. about a 19-year-old girl who discovers that her parents are not her birth parents. In fact, she was an abortion survivor. This sends her on a coming-of-age quest to find her birth mother and the facts surrounding her birth. I was able to add subplots and layers. The book will make you laugh and cry. It's full of humor, drama, a bit of romance, and somehow avoids getting preachy on this delicate subject. The abortion-clinic nurse is one of the heroes of the story, for example.

JR: Thank you for your time, and have a blessed day.
EW: I appreciate it, Jeff. Thank you. May all of us discover the power of the Nazarene Blood, and be free from the thorns that try to entangle us.

Here's the link to Eric Wilson's Webpage:

And if you'd like to see the trailer for either Field of Blood or One Step Away?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Giveaway of "Death in Dahlonega" by Deborah Malone


I thought it was time to do a giveaway so here goes. I'm offering a signed copy of my cozy mystery "Death in Dahlonega" as a giveaway, just follow the instructions below!

How to enter:
1) leave a comment and tell us what is your favorite kind of mystery
2) be a follower or sign up as a follower (on the right side)
3) follow by email (at the top)
4) leave an email address so we can contact the winner
Author Bio: Deborah Malone’s first novel Death in Dahlonega, finaled in the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Category Five writing contest! Deborah was also nominated for 2012 Georgia Author of the Year in First Novel category. She has worked as a freelance writer and photographer, for the historic magazine “Georgia Backroads.” She has had many articles and photographs published, and her writing is featured in “Tales of the Rails,” edited by Olin Jackson. She is a member of the Georgia Writer’s Association. As a current member of the American Christian Fiction Writer she has established a blog where she reviews Christian Fiction.