Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Interview and Giveaway with Sherri Wilson Johnson


Let's welcome Sherri Wilson Johnson to Sleuths and Suspects. She's going to tell us about her new book "Song of the Meadowlark." She is also offering a free ebook to one person chosen from those who leave a comment and follow steps listed below. Without further ado, here's Sherri!

1.             Tell us a little about yourself.

I am a writer, speaker and former homeschooling mom. I am from Georgia and live with my husband, two kids and two dogs. I love writing about faith, hope, and purity. When I'm not writing, I'm hanging out with my family or church friends, reading or dreaming up new romantic ideas for books. I love to vacation at the beach but I also find the mountains enjoyable.

2.       Tell us about your most recent book/or the book we are focusing on.

Song of the Meadowlark is a Contemporary Romance full of hope, forgiveness, and second chances at life and love set in South Georgia on a ranch with an ornery cowboy.

Here is the synopsis:

When trusting others only leads to pain and rejection, and loving ends only in loss, what will it take to restore hope again?

Shunned by the uncovered truth about her missing husband’s secret life, Cora Buchanan sets out on a road trip for home to mend her broken relationship with her parents. When her car breaks down, she’s stranded in a small Georgia town.

While staying at the struggling Southern Hope Ranch, she meets little Susie O’Reilly, who unexpectedly fills a void in Cora’s heart. But Rex, Susie’s rugged cowboy father who lost his wife a year earlier, seems to go out of his way to either confront or avoid Cora. It doesn’t help her comfort level that the news continues to report missing and murdered women in the area.

Cora has no idea just how close to home the crimes will hit…or how much the sweet sound of the meadowlark’s song at the ranch will impact her future.

3.       Why did you choose this particular genre?
I had written Historical Romance (To Dance Once More) and wanted to try my hand at Contemporary. The characters I had in mind worked best in a Contemporary romantic setting.

4.       What was your journey to publication like? 

I guess the short version of this story would be that I dreamed, plotted, prayed, researched, wrote, rewrote, edited, submitted, got rejected, cried, gave up writing, prayed some more, took a two-year writing course, and did it all over again until I finally heard the magic words: “We think your story is a good fit for our line.” If you want to read the long version, here’s the link:

5.       What is a couple of your favorite books and what are you reading now?

I thoroughly enjoyed Twice Promised by Maggie Brendan, Short-straw Bride by Karen Witemeyer, and For Such a Time as This by Ginny Aiken. Those are at the top of my romance list right now. I also love Pride and Prejudice, The Screwtape Letters, Of Mice and Men, The Great Gatsby, and Thr3e by Ted Dekker. Currently I am reading Be Still My Soul by Joanne Bischof.

6.       What are you working on now and can you give us a little peek inside it? 

My current WIP, After the Raging Storm, is part of my New Hope Series, set in drought-stricken Georgia in 1894. Annabelle is engaged to the son of the town's copper supplier but feels uneasy about the whole thing. She's searching for the meaning of her life apart from this relationship. When she runs into an old friend from school and compares him to her fiancé, she begins to doubt her chosen path in life even more. As the storm rages inside her heart, a storm of a natural kind threatens to destroy her family home and the neighboring farms. What will it take to calm the raging storm inside Annabelle? 

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

Don't ever give up on your dream. Practice your craft. Step through open doors only after much prayer. Be ready for rejection because it’s part of the path to publication. Always write what God puts on your heart and even if you don’t find a publisher for that story, it will honor the Lord.

8.       Do you have any books or websites that have helped you with your writing that you could share with us?

Yes! The Element of Style by William Strunk, Jr., Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself Into Print by Renni Browne and Dave King, and Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell. I have a list of links to websites that have been helpful here at this link on my website.

9.       Is there anything you’d like to tell us we haven’t covered?
I am thankful for readers and also for authors who are willing to be mentors. We’re all in this together and I wouldn’t be where I am if it weren’t for the Lord and my family support but also if it weren’t for readers and mentors.

10.   Please let us know where we can find you on the web.

To qualify for Sherri's free e-book please.
1) Leave a comment
2) Sign up to follow and to receive posts by email
3) Leave your email address

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Interview with author Stephanie Guerrero

By Jeff Reynolds

Can you believe Christmas is right around the corner? If you're in the mood for a seasonal story, you might try three, in the anthology Christmas Romance at Dickens on Main. I have the honor of interviewing one of the collaborators, Stephanie Guerrero. She also has written … oh, I'll let her tell you.

Jeff Reynolds: Tell us a bit about the anthology you're involved in, and especially your contribution.

Stephanie Guerrero: Thanks, Jeff. The anthology is written around a real life event in Boerne, Tx the weekend after Thanksgiving called the Dickens on Main Event. The event itself involves a town wide, Charles Dickens theme (think Tiny Tim and Mr. Scrooge). There are arts and crafts, wassail-making contests, costumed re-enactments and more. With this as the backdrop, I was tasked with creating a romantic mystery that would weave in the events of the weekend. It was a lot of fun, in fact, the real-life event is coming up in a couple of weeks. Wish I could be there.

A wearing a top hat is shown next to a woman.

As for my story, I had so much fun rocking Gabe and Angelika's world. These two FBI partners are jerked out of vacations that never get off the ground when the FBI uncovers a terrorist plot going down in Gabe's home town the weekend of the Dickens Event. Thrown undercover as a couple out to enjoy the event, the plot thickens as, unexpectedly, the Secret Service show up with President-Elect and his V-P, a vital piece of intel left out of the FBI's briefing. Amidst the jolly Christmas event, someone is not who he seems. Gabe and Angelika must uncover the mole, stop the terrorist plot and sort out their untimely feelings for each other all while learning to practice that we are not to worry about tomorrow. Impossible, right? You have to read it to find out! :)

Shh! (Inside scoop, I had a little fun with their names. It's Christmas, so Angelika is for "Angel" and Gabe is for "Gabriel"!)

JR: How did you get invited to contribute to an anthology? Also, did you have much interaction with your partners-in-crime (i.e. fellow contributors)?

SG: I am part of a writer's email loop and was told of an opportunity to submit a novella. I sent in a sample chapter and a synopsis and, to my delight, was given the opportunity. One of the authors was the lead author and main editor, but we all editted each other's work for technical errors. It was fun to read the different approaches we had taken. One story is definately more romance, one is a balance, and mine leans toward a more complex, suspense plot with the romance intertwined.

JR: Normally, I don't think of Christmas and suspense together. How did you come up with your idea?

SG: It was a difficult jump for me as well, so I tried to pull from current events or rumors to make it believable. There has been a lot of buzz lately, that terrorists are planning events within the heartland and recruiting people who look more like Americans to pull it off. We are also in an election year. It occurred to me that hitting our government officials during their Christmas recess in their home towns would really shake us up. I hope such a thing never happens, but if it does, how would a believer in Jesus Christ cope with such a senario? Once the idea blossomed, the story began to write itself.

JR: Earlier this year, you also had a novel published. Could you tell us about that? And is there a sequel in the works?

Yes, thanks for asking.
Shades of the Orient is an action packed suspense where no one is who they seem... It's classic tale of good versus evil:spies, smugglers and betrayal. Here is the back cover:

What appears to be mountains are shown on the cover.
The Smuggler
Black Jade is many things… Hiding behind a prominent name by day and a Chinese mask by night, he can be anyone, just not the man he wants to be. Trapped in an ever tightening web of deceit, and pursued relentlessly by the White Dragon (Major Montero) he must choose which man he wants to be. When a way out is offered from a surprising source, will he choose power or let it go?
The Spy
A Spanish officer, a black market dealer, a shipping executive…
Intelligence officer Philip Montero is skilled at wearing masks to defeat the enemy, but this time he must face the enemy within. When his body betrays him with night terrors, he must unlock the past in order to survive, but time is running out and Black Jade has targeted the woman of his heart.
Betrayed by his family, his fiancé, and his fears, WHO can teach him how to trust again?
The Senorita
Shipping heiress turned missionary nurse, Francesca McRae is a target everywhere she turns. Desired as an heiress by power-hungry men and hated by the Chinese Boxers for her interference in the culture… she is surrounded by betrayal and hatred. None of her suitors are who they seem, yet one has stolen her heart. When loving others becomes more than she can handle, WHO can she trust?
Where do you turn when life is too much to handle?
There is a God… Who is waiting to be your answer…
The sequel to Shades of the Orient will be coming out in 2013! I'm so excited!!

JR: How do you approach the faith element in your stories? Did you write with a specific theme in mind, or did the theme enter as you developed your story?

SG: I always write with a specific theme in mind, and more often than not, it is something I have personally come through. I LOVE a good book, but for me, it has to have a great message too. Reading is the area I allow my mind to let down it's guard for a while. Knowing that I can write a great plot, real characters, heart-pounding yet God-centered romance, all rolled into a message is my goal.

With Shades of the Orient, the topic of how to experience betrayal as a Christian and yet move beyond the anger, the bitterness to being able to actively love my enemies, is a real topic I've dealt with in my life. It's one thing to say we forgive and another to act on that forgiveness and continue to love. An added undercurrent in the story is the contrast between romance God's way and the world's way. Purity before marriage is not a lack of passion... it is a valuing and saving of our passions for something beautiful waiting for us inside God's plan of marriage. Passion God's way is the most beautiful, rich blessing. The world's way is always a poor shadow of the real thing.

In Time for Christmas, ( my novella in the anthology Christmas Romance at Dickens on Main), I address being in the middle of overwhelming events and walking moment by moment without worry. Why? Because, I have a tendency (I'm getting better) to want to plan out and fix tomorrow. I love when Jesus says that each day has enough trouble of its own, but seek God first and He'll take care of things.

In the next few weeks, I have another new novella coming out: The Christmas Village of Joy, in the anthology Christmas Village Miracles. The topic is how God takes can trade our sorrows for comfort and JOY! I'm usually the calm, collected one. Shouldn't I be writing about peace or hope? LOL Those two villages were already taken in the anthology. To write about joy was a God-given challenge. He makes me smile, and I'm so glad for the chance to write about it. (My love of fruitcake comes through!)

JR: Thank you very much for your time. Have a blessed and Merry Christmas. (Though I try to have a Joseph Christmas instead of a Merry one.)

SG: LOL, Isn't God amazing! That He would give up everything and be born as a baby, live a sinless life that I can't achieve no matter how hard I try, take my punishment by dying on the cross, resurrect, and turn around and offer me eternal forgiveness and life with Him... I'm blown away by His love! Have a very Merry Christmas! God has blessed us, everyone!
Feel free to follow my blog: or find my author page on under Stephanie Guerrero. God bless you. Thanks, Jeff.

*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.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Oldest Enemy by Michael J. Webb

Today I'd like to welcome Michael J. Webb. Let me share his bio with you from Risen Books. Michael J. Webb graduated summa cum laude from the University of Florida and obtained his J. D. from the same university. Over the past forty years he has travelled the world in search of adventure. He is a history buff, both ancient and modern, and is fascinated by the intersection of the scientific, supernatural, and Biblical world views, and has studied and taught from the Bible extensively for more than twenty-five years. He is also intrigued by recent discoveries in quantum physics that are now providing extraordinary insights into the reality of the spirit realm, especially as it relates to the study of Light. He incorporates all of the above into his supernatural thrillers.
JL: Michael's newest book is Oldest Enemy. Michael, thanks for visiting with us today. Where is the most exotic place you haven’t been and would like to visit?

MW: There are several, actually. I’m just finishing up my sixth thriller, and much of the final action takes place in Antarctica. I’d really like to visit there. In my fifth novel, one of the exotic settings was in a fascinating place in southern Africa, Gamkaskloof. It’s kind of like the “Lost World’ from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s writings. I did all the research on the Internet and would love to see it firsthand. While I’m in Africa, I’d like to do a photographic safari, see Victoria Falls, and climb Mt. Kilimanjaro with a copy of Hemingway’s “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” in my backpack. (Before I leave I’ll watch Gregory Peck, Susan Hayward, and Ava Gardner in the 1952 film version several times to get my adrenalin going.) Finally, I’d love to dive The Great Barrier Reef and The Red Sea, hike New Zealand, climb Mt. Sinai and watch the sunrise, and climb to the Base Camp of Everest. Guess I got carried away with the question.  I do have a few more things on my bucket list, but that will have to do for now.

JL:  How did you decide to write thrillers? Is it your favorite genre to read?

MW: Yes, my favorites are thrillers. I’ve read everything Daniel Silva has written, enjoy Dan Brown (even though I don’t agree with his worldview), James Rollins, Boyd Morrison, James Byron Huggins, Frank Peretti, and others. Having said that, I read eclectically. I look for a fascinating premise that captures my attention, intriguing and unique characters, and a fast-paced story with lots of action. I especially like thrillers that blend history, emerging technology, and little known facts with the story line. I love to be educated by authors who’ve done lots of research, and I hope I return the favor to my readers.

JL:  How did you decide to have a parrot for a pet?

MW:  I didn’t, my wife did. When I met her she’d had a Nanday Conure for over 20 years. I almost didn’t marry her because of that darn bird.  At the time, birds were definitely not on my list of desired --or approved--pets. I love dogs, horses, cats, and most other animals. However, Carlitos was so special I eventually fell in love with him. He died at the ripe old age of 28. By then there was no question that we were going to have another bird. My wife chose a Sun Conure, and his striking, bright colors exemplify his breed. He’s extremely smart, very talented (my wife taught him to poop on command, which is very helpful!), and we’re convinced he can see angels, especially when they show up during praise and worship in our home. It’s a good thing I learned to love small parrots, because our current “child” will live 35-40 years!

JL:  Tell us a little about your story. How did you come up with this idea?
MW:  I wrote The Oldest Enemy in ’98-99 and tried to find an agent/publisher to no avail, so it went into the drawer (figuratively). It stayed there until, on a whim, I submitted it to a contest sponsored by Risen Books last August. I’m still stunned that it won! Interestingly, many of the exciting events portrayed in the story are now actually unfolding on the world stage, especially in the Middle East. Talk about art imitating life and the prophetic timing of God, not to mention the publisher’s name! I got the idea while reading two divergent books--one about exorcism and the other about art and gold stolen from the Jews by the Nazis. My protagonist, David Lighthouse, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter turned assistant pastor, gets caught up in solving the gruesome murder of one of the new members of his church. He becomes entangled in a demonic plot by a reclusive German billionaire to overthrow America and destroy Israel. Eric Reinhardt develops an intricate plot to attack Israel with biological weapons of mass destruction, take control of Russian oil fields in the Caspian, and assassinate both the Venezuelan and American presidents along with the Saudi Oil minister. Add more than a dash of sinister supernatural forces, a few unexpected twists and turns, and a fascinating ex-Mossad agent who survived Auschwitz as a boy and you have the kind of thriller that will keep you turning pages late into the night. Just make certain all the lights in your house are on while you’re reading it!

JL:  I think I'll also make sure I'm not home alone. Thanks so much for sharing with us today!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Interview with Kathryn Bain


I kept hearing these voices in my head saying I could do that. At first I was going to do screenplays but realized I needed to move to either L.A. or New York. Since I didn’t want to move and I was bad at it, I decided to do children’s stories. After all, how hard can it be to write a story in thirty pages? Boy did I get a lesson with that one. Once I realized I should write what I read, it became a lot easier.


I love Janet Evanovich, Sue Grafton, and Dean Koontz.


I’m up at 5:30 each morning, exercise, then by 6:15 I’m writing for an hour before I go to work as a paralegal. At about 5:30 in the evening, I work on editing or marketing, then take a break for Judge Judy. Yes, I’m a fan.

A woman's face is shown with her mouth open.


My latest release is titled Catch Your Breath. It’s inspirational romantic suspense. It’s the sequel to my book Breathless. My hero is Sheriff Riley Owens who lost his fiancé in a bank robbery years before and has shut himself off from caring for any woman since then. Calley Regan is my pregnant unmarried heroine. She comes from a staunch Christian family. Someone attacks her, and she comes to stay in Lincolnville, Georgia.


I have a book coming out in 2013 called Beautiful Imperfection. It’s another inspirational romantic suspense book where my heroine is dealing with the aftermath of breast cancer. While researching the affects of breast cancer on a woman I realized I knew nothing about the topic. I figured, I’m a woman, I would know how it feels. I was wrong. The depression can occur anywhere from one week to a year after your surgery. It’s amazing what these women go through for the rest of their lives. They are very courageous. It just blew me away.

A woman is shown on the cover. Text reads: Would God pull her through cancer only to die at the hands of a killer?


I have completed nine (9) full manuscripts and have five (5) under contract. This doesn’t include the children’s mystery I wrote or the awful screenplay I mentioned at the top.


What time? I take Sundays off completely from writing. A lot of times I sit back and watch mysteries from England. Things like Midsomer Murders. Right now I’m going through all the episodes of A Touch of Frost. I enjoy those more than American movies because the people are so real. Here in the United States the actors and actresses have to look perfect. In movies from England, they look like real people. No fake breasts, no perfect white teeth.


You can learn more from my website at or contact me by e-mail to

*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.