Sunday, April 26, 2015

WarZone by Amryn Cross

By Marcy G. Dyer

Back Cover Copy

Cade Blackwell never came home from the war, at least not the same version of himself everyone remembers. He'd like nothing more than to be that man be normal, but with physical and mental scars, it may not be possible. At least he thinks he wants normalcy until he meets Alexandria Holst--cold, blunt, and an absolutely brilliant detective. What begins as nothing but a chance meeting soon rips him from civilian life and thrusts both of them into a murder investigation that has the police baffled and Alex thrilled at the prospect of the puzzle. He shouldn't tempt death, not after nearly dying in Afghanistan, but he's never felt more alive than when he's running through the streets of Washington D.C. Sometimes toward danger, sometimes away from it, but always with her--a woman who both intrigues and frightens him. The shadows they chase may be nothing compared to the darkness in her head. Cade knows one thing for certain. If he's a soldier, Alex Holst is definitely a warzone.

My Review:

Cade Blackwell is trying to adjust to "normal" life outside of the war when he meets Alex Holst. The quirky woman is far from normal and she throws his life into turmoil. A turmoil he loves and fears. Together they race to solve a murder that has stumped the police department. 

While there is no romantic thread between Cade and Alex, they do have a respect for each other. 

The spiritual thread is faintly interwoven in the story, and I suspect it will increase in intensity in future Alex Holst books. It will fun to see how these characters develop over time.

Cade's character was very likable. I've known men like him. Trying to adjust to civilian life, but not quite knowing how. He's structured and honorable, but doesn't know what to do with himself. When he meets Alex, her quirky, blunt style draws him in even though he's not quite sure about her.

Alex's character is a cross between Sherlock Holmes and Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory. She's engaging and intriguing in spite of her bluntness and lack of social skills. Alex's brilliant mind enjoys the puzzle of figuring out the solution to whatever crime she's solving.

The plot kept me turning page after page, and I would recommend this story to anyone who's a fan of suspense novels. Especially ones with unique, fun characters.

Author Bio:

A tomboy with southern belle roots, Amryn Cross was born and raised in Tennessee where she learned the importance of God, family, Southern hospitality, and football. She’s loved the written word from the time she was a child, convinced the squiggly lines on top of the Hostess cupcake really spelled out a secret message.

From an early age, she loved to write stories of heroines who entered a man’s world and excelled. Though she put writing on hold to pursue her love of science, the stories and characters she created were never far from her mind.

After obtaining degrees in biology, medical technology, and forensic DNA and serology, Amryn finally decided to attempt to marry her love of science and writing into something that would glorify God. Thus, her first completed novel, Breathing to Death– an inspirational romantic suspense–was born.

Working full-time as a forensic scientist, Amryn makes time for writing between spending time with friends and family and working in her church. She is also an active member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and My Book Therapy (MBT) and answers writers’ forensic questions at Jordyn Redwood’s Medical Edge blog.

Find Amryn at:

Monday, April 20, 2015

Interview with Nancy Jill Thames

Debbie: Tell us a little about yourself.
Nancy Jill:  My dad was in the Air Force so we traveled and moved around a lot. I lived in places like Casablanca, Morocco, Valdosta, GA and Las Vegas, Nevada, which gave me a sense of adventure. I'm just an average housewife who loves to entertain, or used to. When the kids started to leave 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 creative outlet. I have a degree in music and love playing classical piano but one can't play 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.

Debbie: Tell us about your most recent book/or the book we are focusing on.
Nancy Jill: Book 1 "Murder in Half Moon Bay" was written as a personal challenge to prove I could write a story like Agatha Christy or Donald Bain ("Murder She Wrote"). Once I saw I could actually do it I decided to write seven more stories centering around Jillian the feisty garden columnist, her clue sniffing Yorkie, and garden club friends. Now I'm on book 10! The books are stand alone, but I like readers to start with Book 1 to see how Jillian began her sleuthing career.

Debbie: Why did you choose this particular genre?
Nancy Jill: Romance bores me, I don't care much for fantasy, dystopian, or Sce-Fi and I love the ability to include fine art, afternoon tea and pet capers in my stories.

Debbie: What was your journey to publication like?
Nancy Jill: I blogged the first 12 chapters of "Murder in Half Moon Bay" as a lark, generated some interest with a Bay Area rag and decided to self-publish through CreateSpace. I stumbled upon Kindle eBooks and published there, made a ton of errors, got  bad reviews for writing about my faith without a disclaimer, which I immediately remedied, and started to sell books. Every article, post, or blog relating to becoming a successful author I devoured. But the best thing I did was to join writing groups in my area.

Debbie: What are a couple of your favorite books and what are you reading now?
Nancy Jill: Loved "Snow Falling on Cedars," "The Poisonwood Bible," and "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" trilogy. I'll read best sellers if they aren't too raunchy. I just finished a memoir by Jemima Pett called "White Water Landings."

Debbie: What are you working on now and can you give us a little peek inside?
Nancy Jill: Book 10 "Murder at the Empress Hotel" is set in the beautiful city of Victoria on Vancouver Island, where a bitter legal and political conflict over fishing rights and the love of one woman turns deadly with the murder of a young attorney. The mystery draws Jillian and Teddy into yet another adventure.

Debbie: What advice would you give authors who are on their own journey to publication?
Nancy Jill: Write a good book. Get lots of feedback. Write a few more books. Hire an awesome editor, proofer, and cover artist.

Debbie: Do you have any books or websites that helped you wit
h your writing that you could share with us?
Nancy Jill: I only read one book on writing "How to write a D... Good Mystery" by James Frey. I checked it out of the library after writing 12 chapters!

Debbie: Is there anything you'd like to tell us we haven't covered?
Nancy Jill: I like what J K Rowling said about writing - "I write what I like to read." It's a good reminder.

Debbie: Please let us know where we can find you on the web.
Nancy Jill: I'd love to: ...enter the world of Jillian Bradley and her Yorkie companion Teddy, where afternoon tea is served and murderers are brought to justice. Amazon Author Central:  Books are available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords and Kobo.

by Deborah Malone
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 2011 and 2012 Georgia Author of the Year in Novel category. She has worked as a freelance writer and photographer, for the historic magazine "Georgia Backroads" since 2001. She has had many articles and photographs published, and her writing is featured in "Tales of the Rails," edited by Olin Jackson, as well as the "Christian Communicator." She is a member of the Georgia Writer's Association, Advanced Writers and Speaker's Association and the American Christian Fiction Writers.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Persephone's Fugitive

Prepare to embark on a fast-paced adventure with Sara and Keegan in Persephone’s Fugitive, the second book in Dianna Benson’s Cayman Islands Trilogy. Once again, Benson has crafted a twist-filled story guaranteed to keep readers on the edge of their seats. I highly recommend this book. 

Persephone’s Fugitive
Book Two
Cayman Islands Trilogy
 Dianna T. Benson

*** SPOILER ALERT *** Reading Persephone’s Fugitive (including the book blurb) before The Hidden Son (Book One in the Cayman Islands Trilogy) will ruin the ending of The Hidden Son. However, both books are standalones. 

When a routine 911 call turns deadly, Paramedic Sara Dyer finds herself held at gunpoint by Jason Keegan, an injured psych-ward patient charged with murder. The situation spirals out of Sara’s control when the confrontation becomes a tense standoff between Keegan and the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service.

As Keegan’s hostage, Sara fights to save them both before he blows them up. She realizes his warning to the Cayman police is no empty threat since he’d rather die than spend the rest of his life in a prison cell. Sara soon discovers Keegan is just as determined to survive as she is - provided he can escape Grand Cayman and disappear forever. As she struggles to trust in God’s protection, help from an atheist turns her struggle into a lure away from her faith.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Interview with Dianna Benson

Recently, I interviewed Dianna T. Benson. 

Dianna T. Benson is the award-winning and international bestselling author of The Hidden Son and Final Trimester. Persephone’s Fugitive is her third release. An EMT and a HazMat and FEMA Operative since 2005, Dianna authentically implements her medical and rescue experience and knowledge into all her suspense novels. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and their three children.

What made you want to become a writer?

I was in fifth grade the day President Reagan was shot. From that real event that day, I developed all sorts of fictional scenes and dialogue, something I did on a continual basis daily. When I asked friends and teachers what scenes and stories they created because of the attempted assassination, none of them had a clue what I was talking about. At that moment, I realized I was the only person I knew who did this sort of thing every day.

As time passed I recognized my zeal to write suspense novels, and like my respiratory system inhales and exhales, each day throughout the day my mind instinctively creates scenes and dialogue, always suspenseful in nature. Being an EMT, being a mom, and being blessed with this writer brain, the stories never stop flowing. Developing a good story, however, is where the real writing occurs. Fortunately, I love the arduous revision process, as it is where I take my shell of a story and make it worth reading (hopefully).

Tell me about your latest release.

Persephone’s Fugitive, Book Two in the Cayman Islands Trilogy 

When a routine 911 call turns deadly, Paramedic Sara Dyer finds herself held at gunpoint by Jason Keegan, an injured psych-ward patient charged with murder. The situation spirals out of Sara’s control when the confrontation becomes a tense standoff between Keegan and the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service.

As Keegan’s hostage, Sara fights to save them both before he blows them up. She realizes his warning to the Cayman police is no empty threat since he’d rather die than spend the rest of his life in a prison cell. Sara soon discovers Keegan is just as determined to survive as she is - provided he can escape Grand Cayman and disappear forever. As she struggles to trust in God’s protection, help from an atheist turns her struggle into a lure away from her faith. 

Your latest release is based on a true story. How can fans find out more about the true story on which the novel is based?

With HIPPA and other privacy laws, I’m unable to reveal the true story about that day during one of my EMS shifts. But I can share that on one of our calls that day, my partner and I were treating and transporting a handcuffed and injured psych-ward patient to the ED (Emergency Department), and per protocol, a LEO (Law Enforcement Officer) was escorting him. I can thankfully report that no one was injured and the situation ended well and quickly—not the makings for good fiction; however, my writer brain visualized the possibilities in that situation and took off writing a fictional story, thus Persephone’s Fugitive was born.      

How many books have you written?

The Hidden Son (released 2013) is my fifth completed book—I signed with my first agent in 2007 with this book. Final Trimester (released 2014) is my sixth. Persephone’s Fugitive is my seventh. I’m currently writing my next book. Someday I may revise at least one of my first four completed books. I also started writing an Amish suspense trilogy and a western suspense trilogy, but neither the Amish nor western genres fit my writing voice.     

How can fans connect with you?

All my books are available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million, etc. (anywhere books are sold).
I’m on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn – all the links are on my website.
If interested in viewing the book trailer to Persephone’s Fugitive:

Thank you for featuring my newest release, Persephone’s Fugitive. I enjoyed my time here on Sleuths and Suspects.  

Persephone’s Fugitive
Book Two
Cayman Islands Trilogy
 Dianna T. Benson

*** SPOILER ALERT *** Reading Persephone’s Fugitive (including the book blurb) before The Hidden Son (Book One in the Cayman Islands Trilogy) will ruin the ending of The Hidden Son. However, both books are standalones. 

When a routine 911 call turns deadly, Paramedic Sara Dyer finds herself held at gunpoint by Jason Keegan, an injured psych-ward patient charged with murder. The situation spirals out of Sara’s control when the confrontation becomes a tense standoff between Keegan and the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service.
As Keegan’s hostage, Sara fights to save them both before he blows them up. She realizes his warning to the Cayman police is no empty threat since he’d rather die than spend the rest of his life in a prison cell. Sara soon discovers Keegan is just as determined to survive as she is - provided he can escape Grand Cayman and disappear forever. As she struggles to trust in God’s protection, help from an atheist turns her struggle into a lure away from her faith.

Hyperlinks for Persephone’s Fugitive

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Kelli Hughett: Red Zone

By Kelly Bridgewater

Back Cover Copy:

There's nothing random about this murder.

When Marcy Farris comes face to face with a murder victim at a high school football game, she's plunged into a game no one wants to play. Despite police conclusions, she knows it wasn't a random murder. Could she be the next victim? To defeat her opponent, she'll have to tackle painful memories of her husband's suicide. He may have made one too many enemies before he died.

Struck down by an injury in his prime, former NFL linebacker, Jack Briggs, wonders if there's life after football. The game changes when he meets Marcy. She's his heart's number-one draft pick. Now, Jack's got to prove to Marcy they're on the same team.

There is no overtime in the game of murder. Marcy and Jack must discover the madman behind the murder before the killer has a chance to score the game-winning drive, and exact his revenge on Marcy.

My Review:

When there came a chance to receive a free book from a fellow writer on Amazon for my Kindle, I jumped on the chance and downloaded it. Many of my writers’ friends have been gushing about this book, so I could not wait to try it out for myself.

The characters of Marcy Farris and Jack Briggs tell the story of the murder and the trouble behind the injuries to the football players.Marcy Farris knew her husband, Peter, checked out of the marriage a long time ago, then she falls head over heels emotionally with Jack Briggs, the former football player, within minutes of meeting him for the first time. I was glad Hughett took a step back and allowed Marcy to realize where she has allowed her heart to go when Jack mentioned he won’t surrendered to God. It was Marcy’s redeeming quality. In a similar vein, Jack liked Marcy kids, but there was nothing to gush about. He hung out with Marcy’s kids all the time and made a difference in Marcy’s son. Jack was the character who changed the most, spiritually, throughout the entire novel.

 The romance and the suspense drew the readers into this widely popular genre. The romance part of this story was too rushed for my taste. Every time Marcy and Jack were together, they were kissing, and their internal dialogue showing their emotions was on full alert. They were acting like teenagers who just discovered their hormones for the first time. As for the suspense, the story had many twists and turns, but as a reader of the romantic suspense, mysteries, and suspense genre, I pay close attention to the behavior of the characters, so I figured out whom the bad guy was about thirty-five percent into the story. As for the story’s pace, it does open with the bad guy’s point of view and starts off at a nice clip, intermingling the romance, the mystery, and football. The middle of the story dragged especially all the events around Christmas. It felt too slow for me. Personally, I wish the suspense was more in-depth while the romance was sprinkled in the story.

The writing was good. Hughett stayed in the each individual point of view, not head hopping around the plot. We understand the explosive emotions from Marcy and Jack along with their struggles and hurts. There was an even amount of prose and dialogue with grammatically sound sentences. The settings were detailed enough that the reader could imagine there were in a car, a hotel room, or a stadium.

Overall, Kelli Hughett’s, Red Zone, invites the readers into a romance story with a suspense aspect, moving the football plot along. It was a sizzling romance with just enough suspense to satisfy suspense lovers.

Kelli Hughett’s Bio:

A good morning at my modern Colorado farmhouse begins with a cup of flavored coffee and a few minutes with my husband. Since our house overlooks a pond, we sit outside and watch nature's effect on the water and chat before we both dive in to our busy day. He's a minister and I spend my time home schooling our three kids and helping him with Church work.

That said, I don't spend my days writing, but I squeeze it in where I can. From my office window, I see barns, the Rocky Mountains, yards of farm fence and wide swathes of green grass surrounded by trees that are just starting to turn this fall. You'd imagine me writing Amish or Prairie Romance, right?!

Many people who know me well have asked me why I chose to write suspense. It is a little out-of-character for me, I suppose. I collect tea cups, read Austen and classics regularly, wear frilly dresses and dote on agricultural landscapes. My favorite book is Anne of Green Gables. So, why suspense?

I guess it taps an unseen part of my personality. What's more exciting than a murder mystery? Suspense is the spice of life, even if we aren't standing over dead bodies all day. It enhances marriages, gives authority to news and announcements, and makes our hearts beat fast. No book, no matter the genre, would be interesting without a little suspense!

And what story is complete without romance?

I hope you'll find my books entertaining without offending your soul. I hope you'll discover the magic of ordinary days and characters in extraordinary circumstances. Maybe you'll find yourself in one of my books. I know you'll find little pieces of me.

Kelli Hughett
Taken from Kelli's Amazon Author Page
Where to connect with Kelli:
Author’s Personal Website:

Where to purchase her books:
Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas

What is your favorite aspect of a romantic suspense that deals with a sport? Do you feel disconnected if you do not know anything about that sport?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Interview with Bethany Macmanus

1. When did you start writing? What inspired you to become a writer? 

I started writing when I was in elementary school. Poetry and two-page short stories were first, followed by a novella in middle school. I think writing was in my genes, because my father wrote skits when I was little, and continues to write plays for church. He writes mostly humor, though. I've never felt I have the knack for humor.

2. Tell us about Nerve, your latest novel. 

Nerve has a lot of medical thriller elements, though technically it's a romantic suspense. Lauren "Wren" Masterson is the environmental photographer heroine, coupled with her small-town cop hero, Lieutenant Justin Breck. Their story goal is to find out who stole her father's medical invention and why he is using it to kill people.

3. How were the writing and publishing processes different this time from your first novel, Six Solitude Road? 

This time I released the book with an online party which included movie trivia, recipes and prizes. It was fun, but a LOT of work. I gained a precious handful of new readers, who I love! However, I don't think I will be doing it again. The return on investment wasn't large enough to warrant a repeat.

Also, this time the book has been released across all platforms: iBooks, Nook, and Amazon (instead of Amazon only). This is also something I'm not sure I will repeat. Being brutally honest here, I can count the ebook downloads from the other platforms on one hand.

4. What made you choose indie publishing over traditional? 

I have a large indie support group, for one thing. Also, I love having control over my book's design and cover. And, if I do it right, I stand to receive a much bigger profit off my books with indie than with traditional.

5. What's coming up next for you? 

I'm currently hard at work on the book following Six Solitude Road, titled Seven Sentinel's Gate. It will follow my character, Allison Reese, to California where she will have to tackle her past head-on. 

I'm also working to drive more blog traffic by doing book cover modeling shoots for independent authors. I know how to sew and do vintage hair and makeup, and I have connections with other models and a wonderful photographer. I'm working to bring all possible options to the table for authors to have AMAZING covers!

You can find Nerve here: 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Interview with Tammy Doherty

Please welcome Tammy Doherty to Sleuths and Suspects.

Tammy, can you tell us a little about yourself?

I live in central MA with my husband and two children. As I write this, we are having the snowiest winter in many years – and all the snow has happened in the last 2 weeks! My favorite season is autumn so all this white stuff is not my idea of fun. Interestingly, the house I live in now was my best friend’s house when we were growing up. I’ve lived in this area all my life. Sometimes I dream of emigrating to Ireland but I wouldn’t really want to give up life in New England.

As a Texas gal, it's hard for me to fathom the snow y'all are having in the New England right now! Do you have a job other than writing?

Yes, I have two in fact (other than being a wife and mother). I work almost full time for  a company that distributes supplies to veterinarians. And my husband and I have a family business of growing and selling perennials. That business takes up a great deal of my time during the spring and summer months. Recently, we expanded into winter sales by offering bird seed.

How interesting! Who do you credit with supporting you the most in your writing journey?

My husband has been my greatest supporter and encourager. When I wrote my first novel, he’s the one who convinced me to self-publish. That was back before eBooks. It was scary, putting out my “baby” for the world to read. My husband also organized a book release party with many of my coworkers and family members attending to celebrate. I sold quite a number of books through my coworkers and their support meant the world to me. Later, I joined American Christian Fiction Writers and met my current critique partner, Nike Chillemi. She drags me, kicking and screaming sometimes, into things that typically turn out to be wonderful ideas.

I can see Nike doing that! She's a great encourager. Do you have any words of advice for novice writers?

Well, the tried and true “write, write, write” is the best advice. I would also recommend reading a lot in the genre you wish to write. And join some groups that will help you hone your craft as well as connect you with fellow writers. Get your work critiqued by people who will be honest (not always what you want to hear, mind you) and people who will encourage while critiquing.

Excellent advice. Are you a plotter, a pantser, or somewhere in between?

I consider myself a pantser but in reality I’m somewhere in between. I don’t outline but I do think a great deal about the plot points, planning out scenes in my head before actually writing them.

I love hearing about how other writers actually do the job of writing. Do you set a writing schedule for yourself?

I’ve never set a writing schedule for myself in the past. However, now that I’m moving forward with the Mystique of Naultag series, I want to get each novel written in a set time frame. That means I need to figure out a schedule for myself. When I first started writing, I worked at night after my daughter went to bed. After my son was born, this schedule vanished. I just can’t do those late nights anymore!

Boy do I understand not being able to do the late nights anymore! What challenges do you face in keeping to your writing schedule?

There are so many demands on my time, with two jobs and a family. If I can find a few hours a week that can be dedicated to writing, I’ll consider myself blessed. Otherwise, I’ll have to keep trying to squeeze writing in wherever each day permits. I also like listening to music as I write and often this clashes with whatever is on television in the other room. Still, I’d rather enjoy my children while they’re still kids than lock myself in a room to write.

So true. Your kiddos are only children for a short while. Do you belong to any writer's groups - online or in person?

I am a member of ACFW and actively participate in the Northeast regional loop. I am also a founding member of Grace Awards, a reader-driven award for faith-based fiction. Each year I’m a lead category judge (which category varies from year to year). I am part of the Christian Indie Authors Facebook group, also, which has given me many opportunities to interact with authors I would probably never have met otherwise.

We're members of many of the same groups. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

Hmm, that’s tricky. I’ve always wanted to be a writer but didn’t work hard at it or take the desire seriously until I was an adult. In 2001, we purchased our first home computer and that’s when I got serious about writing. When that first book was so well-received, I was encouraged to continue writing.

That must've been an incredible feeling! What obstacles have you found in pursuing a writing career?

It’s very difficult to get published with a traditional publisher. My first three novels were self-published print books…which was costly. The advent of eBooks has made Indie publishing easier and less expensive for the writer. Still, indie means all promotional and marketing efforts come solely from the author. This has been very challenging for me but with the release of SHE’S MINE, I have been blessed with doors opening in  places I would never have expected. The biggest challenge for me remains time – finding and/or making the time to sit and write, write, write.

About Tammy:

Tammy Doherty writes Inspirational/Christian fiction. Her first three novels are Western romances set in late 1800s Colorado. After completing this series, she turned to contemporary romantic suspense. The Mystique of Naultag series is set in a small town in central Massachusetts very similar to the town where she grew up. Married almost 30 years, Tammy and her husband have 2 children. When not writing, she works on the family farm, growing and selling perennials.


Sunday, March 8, 2015

Interview With Dana Mentink

Image result for dana mentink author 

Deb: Tell us a little about yourself.
Dana:  Hello, all. I'm Dana Mentink and I'm a writer, teacher, wife and mother. I write Christian fiction for Harlequin's Love Inspired and Harvest House. I also write sweet romance for Harlequin Heartwarming. The Mentink den houses Papa Bear Mike (retired Fire Marshal), and Boo Boo and Yogi, my high school aged cubs. I teach third grade part time as well.
Deb:  Wow, you surely have your plate full. Tell us about your most recent book/or the book we are focusing on.
Image result for dana mentink author

Dana:  My newest release is Secret Refuge, it's the companion book to Hazardous Homecoming. It's the story of Mick Hudson, former parole officer whose actions resulted in the death of the heroine's sister. Old secrets, new dangers, it's a story about revenge and redemption. It releases in April, but you can preorder it on Amazon now.
Deb:  I know you've been writing for a while now. You started with cozy mysteries and have branced out into other genres. What was your journey to publication like?
Dana:  Well, I started writing in earnest after I took leave from my teaching job to have my babies. Infants, as it turns out, are not great conversationalists. My husband urged me to take a writing for publication class. I joined American Christian Fiction Writers group, and I was contacted by Susan Downs at Barbour Books because they were looking to start up a line of cozy Christian mysteries. I wrote three books for them (The Finny series which is now in ebook form on Amazon and
I pitched a romantic suspense to Harlequin's Love Inspired, and was sent a revision letter (demoralizing, but instructive!) I rewrote, repitched, and Love Inspired signed me up. I've written some 20 books for them. Because I have a wacky sense of humor (as my bear cubs will tell you) I wrote a took book series for Harlequin's Heartwarming line. The first is Return to Pelican Inn and the second is Sailing in Style which comes out in August. That was fun to write because it takes place on an historic paddlewheel steamboat. Those are not Christian books, but they are squeaky clean. That led to my latest project, writing a three book, dog related series of lighthearted romances for Harvest House. The first will release in March 2016 featuring Tippy, the geriatric dog of dubious origins. The working title is Sit, Stay, Love.
Deb: Dana, no grass is going to grow under you feet. I'm sure that will be very encouraging to other writers out there. Even though you got a letter for revision, you took that recommendation and turned it into 20 books for Love Inspired! Let that be a lesson for others. Now, tell us a couple of your favorite books and what are you reading?
Dana: Actually, right now I'm judging books for the Romance Writer's of America Rita awards, so that's keeping me away from my personal TBR pile which usually includes mysteries and romantic suspense.
Deb: What are you working on now and can you give us a little peek inside it?
Dana: Golly. Too many irons in the fire at the moment! I guess I would say I'm working on finishing up Coronado Christmas Capture (working title) which is my next book due to Love Inspired Suspense. It features four sisters who must take over their deceased father's private investigation firm to solve his murder. I visited Coronado, California to do some research. Best perk of being a writer.
Deb:  Yes, I love doing the research part, too. Dana, what advice would you give authors who are on their own journey to publication?
Dana:  Read, read, read, read, read in your genre and any other genre that interests you. Join a professional writer's group (like American Christian Fiction Writers) and start getting educated on your craft. If you want to write professionally, you have to start thinking about yourself as a professional. Your work must be critiqued by folks who are not related to you in order to get honest feedback.

Deb: That is some great advice, Dana. Do you have any books or websites that have helped you with your writing that you could share with us?

Dana:  As mentioned, is the best one. I host a blog called Fiction For Readers and Writers and Suspense Sisters has great interviews. Seekerville has a FB page and a blog, I believe, and they are very helpful, as well as Romance Writer's of America.

Deb:  Is there anything you'd like to tell us we haven't covered?

Dana:  I appreciate the chance to share my two cents with you today. Folks are always welcome to email me via my blog, website or Facebook. God bless!

Deb: Thank you so much for being with us today, Dana. I've learned so much about you and your writing. One last thing. Please let us know where we can find you on the web. My website, dmentink.wordpress,com, Twitter is @ and you can find me on Facebook as well.

Monday, February 23, 2015

300 free Christian ebooks

Pelican Books Group is offering 300 ebook titles for free during the 40 days of Lent (ends April 2, 2015). Please visit

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Dani Pettrey: Sabotaged

By Kelly Bridgewater

Back Cover Copy: 

Finally Returned Home, Reef McKeena
Finds His Beloved Alaska Facing Its Greatest Threat

Growing up, goody-two-shoes Kirra Jacobs and troublemaker Reef McKenna were always at odds. Now, working together as search-and-rescue for Alaska's arduous Iditarod race, a growing attraction seems to be forcing aside old arguments. Then Reef catches Kirra sneaking from camp in the middle of the night.

Kirra's uncle, a musher in the race, has disappeared. Kirra and Reef quickly track the man, but what they discover is harrowing: Frank's daughter has been kidnapped. Kirra and Reef, along with the entire McKenna family, are thrown into a race to stop a shadowy villain who is not only threatening a girl's life--but appears willing to unleash one of the largest disasters Alaska has ever seen.

My Review:

Dani Pettrey writes romantic suspense, and as this is my genre of choice. I jumped on Submerged when I came across it at the local Christian bookstore. I have truly enjoyed every one of the five books in the Alaskan Courage series featuring the McKenna’s siblings. One of my favorite things about books is when you have the same characters reoccurring, so as the reader, you can watch them mature and grow. Pet trey writes with such passion that it shows in her stories.

As for the characters of Kirra and Reef, I loved them. We have seen them in other books, but they finally have a time to shine in their story, Sabotaged. Kirra and Reef have known each other their entire lives and have argued just as long. Reef even went so far as to date Kirra’s cousin, Megan, in a previous book. But in this book, Reef, as the hero, has chosen to change his life around and want God’s love to improve his life. After following the destructive path in an earlier book, it was nice to see Reef change and mature in this book. As for Kirra, I enjoyed watching her struggle with an issue in the past and overcome it. Her pain ripped pretty close to home, drawing a little bit of sympathy from the inside as I read how she changed and found God again.

As for the setting, I could feel the bitter cold and enjoy the crackling fire as the characters cozied up next to the warmth offered. Pettrey does a good job at allowing her readers to feel like they are trudging through waist high snow in the Alaskan wilderness.

Pettrey  obtained a good suspense with her plot. It was exciting and kept me on the edge of my seat. I really didn’t want to put the book down and go to sleep. But the alarm at five in the morning comes too soon. I dived right in the next morning while waking my boys and rushing them through their morning rituals before school. I highly recommend this book to readers of any age who love suspense or mysteries. It was great! I can’t wait to read Pettrey’s new series when she finishes writing them.

I received a complimentary copy of Dani Pettrey’s Sabotaged from Bethany House Publishers and the opinions stated are all my own.

Dani Pettrey’s Bio:

Dani Pettrey is a wife, home-schooling mom, and the author of the bestselling romantic suspense novels Silenced, Stranded, Shattered, and Submerged, winner of the 2013 Holt Medallion for First Novel and the Colorado Romance Writers 2013 Award of Excellence. She and her husband reside in Maryland with their two teenage daughters.

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Where to purchase Sabotaged or any of Dani Pettrey’s books:
Barnes and Nobles
Wherever books are sold.