Monthly Archives: November 2012

The Happy Challenge

Are you happy? Maybe you struggle to find happiness this time of year? For many people the holiday season can be one of the most difficult times. Have you ever wished you could find some relief or do something to brighten another persons day?

Recently I learned that just the act of complimenting someone or encouraging them not only brightens their day, but also causes the giver to be happier for (I’m going by memory, so cut me some slack if I have the stat wrong) up to five days. That amazes me!

I challenge everyone to brighten someones day today and everyday as often as you think about it.

My “happy” contribution is this verse from the Bible.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you will overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
Now it’s your turn to put a smile on someones face. 🙂

The Bridge

Karen Kingsbury’s new release The Bridge is a sweet love story. The story is told from four points of view, and the theme of hope and the spirit of Christmas shine strong. Romance lovers be warned, this is not category romance.

Molly Allen and Ryan Kelly met in college. There’s was a forbidden romance and ended thanks to her sly father. However that’s where the story begins, not ends. Molly and Ryan spent much of their time together in a bookstore owned by Charlie and Donna Barton. There they grew close to the older couple and to each other.

Charlie and Donna own The Bridge bookstore, but times are bad for the couple. A flood destroyed their inventory and they don’t have the money to acquire new inventory. To make matters worse they are unable to secure a loan. In a moment of despair Charlie considers the unthinkable.

I’d love to share more, but fear it would ruin the book for you.
It’s a little hard to describe this story as it is very different from what I usually read. I had a tough time getting past the first few chapters, but once I did I couldn’t put the book down. I was drawn to The Bridge because of the cover and refused to stop reading since I’d paid good money for it.:) I’m glad I kept going. If you’re looking for a great gift book , I recommend The Bridge. The pages are a tactile dream–they are so cool–think old fashioned paper that has uneven edges. I really love how this small hardback book was put together. Of course the story was pretty good too.

Merry’s Christmas: a love story

Merry’s Christmas by Susan Rohrer is the quintessential Christmas story. It has everything a feel good romance book should have: love, forgiveness, kindness, generosity. I could go on, but you get the idea.:)

Before I tell you about Merry’s Christmas though I’d like to announce the winners of the Double Exposure drawing: Jackie Wisherd, Emily Reynolds, and Maxie Lloyd. Congratulations! I’ll email you shortly for your snail mail address’s.

Merry Hopper is desperate for money to make ends meet, so she goes to the bank for a loan. While there she overhears the handsome loan officer placing an add for a Christmas Coordinator. She talks him into giving her an interview and ends up with the job.

Merry has always longed for a family Christmas and this is her opportunity to put that dream in action while at the same time helping the Bell family learn to celebrate the holiday again.

I would tell you more, but don’t want to spoil the story. Suffice it to say Merry’s Christmas is a book that I didn’t want to put down. In fact I’ll probably read it again next Christmas.:)

A Way to Help Sandy Victims

A group of Professional Writers have come up with a great idea to help raise money for victims of hurricane Sandy. If you are a writer and would like to place a bid on a 50 page critique follow the link or paste the address below for more information. There are several writers offering this, but Miralee is a good  friend, so I’m directing you to her blog. FYI–she gives awesome critiques!

http://miraleesdesk.blogspot.com/2012/11/a-list-of-participating-authors-for.html

Don’t forget to leave a comment on Monday’s post if you’d like a chance to win Susan Sleeman’s book Double Exposure.

Dead Wrong Interview with Susan Sleeman

I’m so excited to have Susan back to tell about her new release Dead Wrong, I am a big fan of Susan’s and must say I loved this book! So without further adieu I give you my interview with Susan Sleeman.

Please give us short summaries of the two books in this series.

My November release, Dead Wrong is the second book in my Justice Agency series. This is a five book series about five siblings with a law enforcement background who now work together in a private investigations agency to help people who traditional law enforcement can’t help.

Dead Wrong features Kat Justice a former Portland police officer. When her client and old college friend is murdered, Kat knows the killer will come for her next. Her survival depends on finding her unknown enemy first…and working with homicide detective Mitch Elliot, her onetime crush. It takes all her professional skills to ignore the sparks between them, but Kat can’t allow the handsome cop to get close. She’s seen too many people she loves die, so she vows just to do her job without getting emotionally involved. Yet keeping her distance may not be the best way to protect her heart—or their lives.

Double Exposure featuring the oldest sibling, Ethan Justice released in June, and I’m thrilled to give away copies of that book today. In this book, photographer Jennie Buchanan unknowingly captures a drug-cartel meeting on film and now she has become a killer’s next target. Even worse, her only protection from the danger that threatens her life is the man who threatens her heart. Dodging bullets almost seems safer than facing the feelings stirred up by seeing former FBI agent and ex-boyfriend Ethan Justice again. Ethan vows to safeguard Jennie from the deadly men on her trail. And for a second chance at Jennie’s love, he’s willing to risk anything to expose the truth—about the drug smugglers, the past and the future together he still wants.

What is the take away from Dead Wrong either spiritual or otherwise?

Dead Wrong is all about worry so I chose the verse, Matt 6: 27 – Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? Kat Justice struggles with worry. Her worry stems from losing family members and worrying about losing another loved one. She has to learn that worrying is a sin. That it’s telling God she doesn’t trust Him to work things out in His way.

What inspired this story?

As often happens with my plots, I came upon the germ of an idea for Dead Wrong’s plot while reading news stories on the Internet. The article that sparked the idea talked about people who keep cell phone accounts active for loved ones who had died so they can call the loved one’s voicemail to hear their voice. As usual, my mind took a weird twist and I asked the question, what if when the grieving loved one called the phone number someone answered the phone? In Dead Wrong, Kat’s friend does just that. Mourning the loss of her brother who committed suicide, she calls the voice mail and a man answers. She knows it’s not her brother on the end of the line, but she’s long thought her brother wouldn’t end his own life, and she’s now certain that the man who answered the phone is her brother’s killer. She hires the Justice Agency to find the man who possesses her brother’s phone.

What are you currently reading and besides this book is there one you recommend? 🙂

I’m currently reading my good friend Elizabeth Ludwig’s romantic suspense book. No Safe Harbor is her first romantic suspense book and it’s wonderful. Though I’m not a big reader of historical novels, hers captured me from page one and I’m not wanting it to end. I just finished reading The Stars Shine Bright by Sibella Giroello. This is one of her Raleigh Harmon novels. I recommend her books for many reasons, but I especially love her prose and her unique look at even the most mundane things in life. She writes beautifully, has created a unique character in Raleigh, and the suspense keeps me turning the pages.

For those aspiring writers who may be reading this interview, do you have one tidbit of advice to offer?

Since you just asked about books I read, I’d like to suggest that aspiring writers who are aiming for publication, read books in their chosen genre. Not just a book here or there, but voraciously devour novels by authors currently being published. This will not only give you a flavor for what publishers are looking for, but it will also help you learn the craft of writing. You can study the books to see what works for you as a reader and also what doesn’t work. This can help you develop your own writing style. And if you are targeting a specific publisher, like Love Inspired Suspense, reading the books can give you a feel for the pacing and style of the books.

Thanks, Susan.

Susan has graciously offered to give away three copies of Double Exposure If you would like to be entered for a chance  to win a copy be sure to leave a comment for Susan and include the answer to the following question. Susan would like to know what your favorite genre of fiction is and why you like reading it. You must answer her question for your comment to be entered into the drawing. The drawing will take place Monday November 19, 2012. I will contact you by email to let you know if your name is drawn.

This drawing is only open addresses in the USA. Void where prohibited.

SUSAN SLEEMAN is a best-selling author of inspirational romantic suspense and mystery novels. Her first romantic suspense title, High-Stakes Inheritance earned a spot on the ECPA bestseller list and her Garden Gate Mystery series, which features Nipped in the Bud, and Read Between the Tines has enjoyed time on Amazon bestseller lists as well. And The Christmas Witness was named a finalist in the 2011 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. In addition to writing, Susan hosts the popular internet website TheSuspenseZone.com.

She currently lives in Florida, but has had the pleasure of living in nine states. Her husband is a church music director and they have two beautiful daughters, a very special son-in-law, and an adorable grandson. To learn more about Susan stop by any of these locations on the web.

To learn more about Susan stop by any of these locations on the web.

Website           www.SusanSleeman.com

Facebook        http://www.Facebook.com/SusanSleeemanBooks

Twitter            http://www.Twitter.com/SusanSleeman

Review Site     http://www.TheSuspenseZone.com

Believe in Yourself

What would happen if everyone believed in themselves? The results could be mind boggling. Can you imagine what accomplishments would be made?

How many of you have never tried something because you believed you’d fail? I think it’s safe to say everyone has done that at least once in their life. I changed my major in college from Elementary Education because I didn’t believe I could pass the entrance exam. Rather than try and fail I just gave up. Don’t feel bad for me. Years later I taught music in a private school for a year and was never so happy that I didn’t pursue that degree. I would have been miserable.

Today I’d like to challenge you to think about something you’d like to accomplish–something that you have avoided because you didn’t believe you would succeed. Remember to stay in the realm of reality. If you are tone deaf, don’t set a goal to sing the national anthem at the next game. But maybe you’ve always wanted to learn to cook–go for it–take some classes.

Remember you haven’t truly failed until you fail to try. Believe in yourself and go for it.

If you have ever accomplished something you were told couldn’t be done or maybe you had your doubts, I love to hear about it in the comment section. Maybe you’ll inspire someone to try something new or follow a dream they’ve always had.

Believe in yourself and go for it!

I just want to quickly let everyone know that Susan Sleeman will be giving away up to three copies of Double Exposure next week. Check back on Monday to read about her new release and to enter to win a copy of the first book in the series she is promoting. Feel free to let your friends know too.:)