Monday, January 27, 2014

Review of Rescue Team

Rescue Team by Candace Calvert is a medical thriller. In this second book of the Grace Medical series, Kate Callison is the acting ER director of Austin Grace Hospital. Her job is a tough one, as the previous director has disappeared, the hospital has been receiving bad press, and Kate's popularity among the staff is waning. As a result of her job, Kate’s path crosses with search and rescue volunteer, Wes Tanner. Both carry baggage from their pasts, which comes into play as the plot unfolds. Calvert does a good job of interweaving the past with the present and tying together the subplots. This book should appeal to those who enjoy romantic suspense and/or medical thrillers. 

To learn more about the author, please visit her Website, Also, consider reading a free preview on Amazon. 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Parchmen Preacher Interview

Please welcome Michael Thompson, author of The Parchmen Preacher. I stayed up until 2 in the morning reading this book. Like Michael says it's a combination of cozy and suspense. It's set during a time when living was much simpler and I found that refreshing. Without further ado let's get on to the interview with Michael. Check out Michael's book on It is on special now for $3.49.

author photo

1.           Tell us a little about yourself.

I was born in my mother’s own bed in a farmhouse in the middle of nowhere, Yazoo County, Mississippi. Four older brothers, no sisters. My best friend was my horse, Missy.

Graduated from Ole Miss. Married Tempe Adams. Military intelligence duty followed, and then graduate school—University of South Carolina, for a masters degree in mass communication. Founded Thompson & Company ad agency in 1977. It grew to 87 employees and two cities over thirty years, while we added three boys to our family. Tempe and I have been married for forty-four years. I sold the agency in 2011, anxious to write Christian novels full-time. DAVID—The Illustrated Novel, Volumes 1 & 2 were the first. (Vol 2 was awarded Best Graphic Novel of 2011 by the INTERNATIONAL BOOK AWARDS, USA Book Awards). I also love to paint—oils and acrylics mostly. I’m a licensed large sailboat captain, having sailed to most all of the Caribbean Islands. I’m part of Kairos Prison Ministry, and recruit for Cuban door-to-door evangelism short-term mission trips.

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

Martha, Mary Magdalene, John the Baptist, Satan, and Jesus are key figures in this 1950s small town, good-versus-evil allegory of Christ’s ministry—The Parchman Preacher. This is the first in my Solo Ladies Bible Study series. It’s a cross genre of cozy mystery with a southern female amateur sleuth; comic relief in the midst of malevolent schemes, murder and suspense are prevalent themes. Underneath it all is an allegory of Christ’s ministry.

3.           Why did you choose this particular genre?

It came to me in a dream. The morning after, I dropped the sci-fi novel I had been working on and began to write The Parchman Preacher. (True story!)

The Parchman Preacher

4.           What was your journey to publication like?

Sort of like Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress … like Christian’s search for the Celestial City, wrought with plenty of despondent sloughs and consternations along the way. In my case, it has culminated in no agents; finally, I settled on a “Pay for Play” publisher. Frankly, it was and still is a humbling journey. And an experience that brought reality front and center. There is a plethora—more like a glut—of writers, each seeking to promote their work to potential agents. The agents? They’re overwhelmed by the fifteen-queries-a-day routine. (My manuscript still hasn’t been read by a potential agent.) Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not whining. This is just the way it is in the publishing industry. It’s important to face reality. To face facts. And then, if you’re resilient enough, have enough perseverance and talent, and with work that can speak for itself, it might just find a home with an exuberant agent who’ll work to sign you up with a traditional publisher. I’m still searching for an agent. Even then, we authors will need to execute our platforms in order to reach that proverbial tipping point where some event, some endorsement, some article, some breakthrough, takes our work to a wider audience.  Like all of us, Bunyans’s Christian needed many helpers along the way.

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

Life of Pi, and several of Sue Grafton’s Alphabet series. Grafton is an excellent writer. Right now I’m reading a lot of cozy mystery series: Teri Blackstock, Stephanie Bond, Ellery Adams, Brandilyn Collins, et al. 

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

The sequel to The Parchman Preacher. It’s a 75,051 word completed manuscript. It’s called The Parchman Redeemer. Not sure what you mean by a “little peek inside,” so let me just use an excerpt from one un-paid reviewer (ForeWord Clarion Reviews): “The Parchman Redeemer offers a tantalizing murder mystery filled with chilling explorations of hypocrisy, true faith, and small-town secrets. It’s about sin and redemption. It’s about the search for truth, in both the physical and spiritual realms. And it’s all wrapped up in a puzzle that keeps even skeptics on their toes. The writing is compelling with a plot that grows ever thicker and offers even ardent mystery fans delightfully unexpected twists and turns. The intrigue is well developed with well-placed clues and cliffhangers. The characters are multidimensional and fascinating. The faith themes are so masterfully woven in that those who aren’t religious should simply find the novel to be top-notch suspense.” ~~ Diane Gardner, ForeWord Clarion Reviews. The complete review, along with other unpaid reviews can be found on my web site—

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

Find an established author who’ll read your ms; ask them to introduce it to an agent who specializes in your genre. If that’s not possible, ask them the write a blurb for the back cover and self-publish the work through one of the “Pay for Play” off-shoots of the large traditional publishing houses. Take the book to writing conventions where agents are in attendance. Network. Keep writing. Keep promoting. Keep the faith.

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

Sign up with Media Bistro’s Master Novel Writing Courses. Also, James Scott Bell’s site has a wonderful little program called Knockout Novel. It’s almost as if he were there with you as you contemplate characters, plots, settings, etc. His little software program pushes you to make your writing better. There are other helpful sites. Search, and you shall find. 

9.           Is there anything you’d like to tell us we haven’t covered?

Buy Blake Snyder’s Save The Cat book. While it’s written mostly for screenplay writers, it’s an excellent little book that’ll help with ACT I, II, and III. Novels are very similar to movie scripts.

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

Monday, January 13, 2014

Meet the Sleuths And Suspects Contributors!

by Jeff Reynolds

For my first blog of the year, I thought you might like to get to know the people who contribute regularly. True, you have gotten to know a little bit of Heidi from my interview with her and the four interviews of Deborah Malone (one by me, the other three by Deborah), but you might want to know a little more.

So here is my interview with the Sleuths and Suspects Angels. I'll let them decide who fits in each role, and I'll of course take the John Bosley role (I always loved his portrayal by David Doyle).

Q. Tell us a little about yourself: Area you live, marital status, how you came to Christ, how long you've been blogging with Sleuths & Suspects,  and what you'd be doing with your freetime if you weren't writing? 
Heidi Glick:  My husband and I live in a Cincinnati, OH suburb. We've been married for 14 years and have a son. I came to Christ at en early age after hearing the Gospel at Sunday School. I've been blogging at S&S since the very beginning. If I wasn't writing, I'd be spending time with my family.
Jackie Layton:  I live in Wilmore, KY. I have one terrific husband, two wonderful sons, a super daughter-in-law and two beautiful granddaughters. If I wasn't writing, I'd exercise more, read more, and probably golf with my husband. 
Deborah Malone:  I'm the youngest of three children. I have two older brothers, Curtis and Bill. My Dad was born in Opelika, Ala. and when he was a young man moved to Cincinnati, Ohio to work for General Electric. Then he met my mother. After having the two boys, Dad was transferred to North Georgia in 1953. I was born in 1954. I often wonder what my life would have been like if we'd stayed in Cincinnati. I have a ton of cousins who lived there. However I'm happy to be a born and bred Southerner. My parents both attended church and I can't remember a time we didn't go. It was natural I'd follow in their footsteps. If I wasn't writing I'd be taking photographs. I love macro photography!  
Jeff Reynolds: My wife, Becky -- we celebrated our 30th last July -- have lived in Orange County California, Phoenix Arizona, Valley Nebraska (a 2000 person town 20 miles west of Omaha), Bowling Green Kentucky, and Nashville Tennessee before moving to Indianapolis in '95. I became a Christian in '79 at a 2nd Chapter of Acts concert during my third semester at a Bible College in Phoenix: yes, that school taught the true Gospel, but I needed the gospel presented a little different for the Spirit to work. I've been blogging with S&S since last September. If I wasn't writing -- there's a lot I might be doing. Besides being a writer, I'm a songwriter, an ordained minister, a closet politician who's considered running for office, a Distinguished Toastmaster who's thought of starting a radio program, and an unabashed zoo-oholic -- Becky and I have been to over 40 zoos/wild animal parks.
Q. What is your writing genre, and what do you have published? 
HG: My genre is suspense. My debut novel, Dog Tags, was released in June 2013. I also have written two technical writing articles for Intercom. Currently, I'm working on a contemporary fiction short story set in Georgia.  
JL:  My favorite genre is romantic suspense. I'm not published. Biggest writing accomplishment was coming in second place in the romance section of the Category 5 contest.  
DM:  My genre is Cozy Mysteries. Cozies are a subgenre of Mysteries and are light in nature. The murder takes place off stage and the sleuth is an amateur person. I have three books published: Death in Dahlonega, Murder in Marietta, and Terror on Tybee Island. 
JR:  Fiction-wise, I'm an unpublished mystery writer, thought I've tried my hand at suspense recently and while younger have tried writing adventure and science fiction. I do have ideas for some novels that would be historical romance, science fiction, and fantasy, as well as mystery and suspense. However, I have had several letters to the editor published in both the Nashville Tennessean and the Indianapolis Star.
Q. Name your writing heroes both in and out of your genre. 

HG: Frank Peretti seems like a down-to-earth guy. I'd like to meet him sometime. I've enjoyed his novels. In terms of my style, Ted Dekker has influenced my writing the most. As for writing heroes, I look up to Sarah Sundin, who writes outside of my genre. I love her novels because she ensures every word is purposeful. I read a lot of books, and even with bestsellers, I tend to skim certain parts. But not with Sundin's writing. Also, she does a great job with character arcs.  
JL:  Writing heroes? Brandilyn Collins without a doubt. She is so kind and encouraging. I really admire her talent and always look forward to her next book. 
DM:  The writer that influenced me most was Anne George who wrote southern cozy mysteries. 
JR:  In genre, my hero definitely is Agatha Christie, with honorable mention going to Ellery Queen in print and to the Ellery Queen, Nero Wolfe, and Murder She Wrote TV series. Outside of genre, my heroes include Peretti (Christian speculative), Allistair MacLean (adventure), John R. Cooper (young adult baseball stories from several decades ago), Randy Singer (Christian legal suspense), and Kathy Tyers (Christian speculative).
Q. Which of your S&S blogs have been the most memorable, either because of how much fun it was writing it or because of how much fun it wasn't writing it? 
HG: My review of the last book in the Discarded Heroes series was memorable because I was sad the series ended but also because Ronie Kendig commented on the post. That was very cool. I have to admit; I was pretty excited.
JL:  I've met some great people through S&S, but I enjoyed posting about Tina Russo's story, The Rosetti Curse. 
DM:  I don't know if this is appropriate, but I enjoyed the ones where I interviewed myself:) Our readers are going to know me for sure, but I love doing giveaways. 
JR:  I'll share a couple that hit the most memorable. The first was when I interviewed Randy Singer last February. That interview was as enjoyable as reading one of his books. The second wasn't as fun -- it was hearing the times of testing Wanda Dyson has been through recently.
Q. What is your greatest concern in your life/society/etc., and what would it look like if you wrote a novel on that theme? Would you be crossing into another genre to write it? 
HG:  I can only choose one? I don't know that I'd say it's my greatest concern, but a concern of mine is human trafficking. I started a suspense novel set in Mexico that deals with the topic. Also, at some point, I'd like to incorporate the topic of infertility into my writing because I've experienced it firsthand and I'd like to encourage others.

JL:  My greatest concern is spreading the message of Jesus Christ. If I wrote a novel with this theme, I'd want to do something different than traditional missionary. I think I'd like to have a character travel to Europe for another purpose and go from there.

DM:  I miss the simple way of life we had when I was growing up. I'd love to write a story in that setting and yes, I'd probably go outside my genre.

JR:  I have a two-fold concern that is not completely unrelated. The first is for Christians to be more rooted in Scripture, trusting God's Word more than man's interpretations of God's Word. The second -- partially sparked by Becky's and my involvement with Voice of the Martyrs -- is that Christians in the United States are well on the road to persecution. Actually, my first mystery book focuses on the first issue by looking at the field of apologetics (defending the faith), and the follow up would be looking at persecution.
Q. What does 2014 look like for you, writing (including blogging) and otherwise? 
HG: Family life is keeping me busy, which is good. I write a little here and there as I can. I'm hoping to finish my contemporary short fiction story and another suspense novel this year.  
JL:  I hope to write the third story in my Kentucky Suspense trilogy. I plan to enter more contests this year, and I'd love to have an agent. 
DM:  Wow - this is a great question. I've been contemplating this myself. I've already wrote a fourth book in the Trixie Montgomery series, so this will be coming out in the fall of 2014. I'm working on a brand new series with new characters. It will also be a cozy mystery series. It is hard to go from one series to another, so I've been struggling with this.
JR:  That is a good question. Currently, the fiction writing fire is very low if not extinguished for the moment, so the above mentioned persecution mystery may be a fatality.  I still will be blogging here. I do have a thought for a non-fiction book. I'm still involved some with Toastmasters, want to start a men's prayer group, and Becky and I are talking about a mission trip. I did think of running for office, but I don't feel that's what I should be doing.

Q. I'd like to thank the three ladies for their time. The other guy? I'm not so sure about him. 
HG:  This was fun!  
JL:  Jeff, I can't wait to learn more about you all. This is a great idea!  
DM:  Oh we love our Jeff:) Thank you for being a part of Sleuths and Suspects. 
JR: I'm grateful to be a part of this blog. It's a nice thing to be doing when I'm not working or sleeping.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Rosetti Curse by Tina Russo

I just finished reading The Rosetti Curse by Tina Russo, and I wanted to share my thoughts with you.

I met Tina Russo Radcliffe on Seekerville a few years ago. She cares about others who want to become published authors and is generous with her time.

Tina writes romantic comedy as Tina Russo and inspirational romance as Tina Radcliffe. She lives in Phoenix, Arizona. She served our country as a Specialist 4th Class in the U.S .Army. She is a woman of many talents doing everything from a registered nurse to a library cataloger to a pharmacy clerk, and now she writes full-time at home. You can reach her or

The Rosetti Curse is a pure delight if you like romantic suspense. The characters are believable and likeable. The chemistry between the hero and heroine is electric. I was pulled in from the first page. This story will make you smile frequently and maybe cry once or twice.

If you want an enjoyable read with a touch of authentic Italian ambiance, this is the book for you. The love the characters have for each other will draw you in, and you'll cheer for the hero and heroine through the book.

Tessa Rosetti has lived under the shadow of a curse placed on her family three generations earlier. Three generations of women buried the men they love and confirmed Tessa’s belief in the Rosetti Curse.

Thomas Riley, a cop from Los Angeles, arrives home to settle his grandmother's estate in Silver Ridge, Colorado.
The first night home he breaks his leg in an explosion at the local biscotti factory that belongs to Tessa's new step-father.

Riley and Tessa grew up across the street from each other and renew their bond. Together they battle a curse that leads them on a journey of true love.

Here's a link to make it even easier for you to read this wonderful book. I don't think you'll be disappointed!