Author Spotlight- Gina Holder

Gina Holder

I’m so excited to introduce you to an amazing author and my good friend, Gina! Her books are full of vivid characters, amazing suspense, and strong faith elements and they keep me up way past my bedtime and stick with me after I’ve read the final sentence. If you haven’t read her books yet, I highly recommend her work.

Author Bio: Gina Holder dreamed of being a writer from her early teen years and lives in Colorado with her husband and daughter. When she’s not homeschooling her daughter or working on her next novel, she enjoys reading, watching movies, cooking, singing, and playing the piano and organ. Her indie published debut novel released in 2017.

Now let’s dig in and learn more about Gina and her writing process.

  1. What’s the last book that had a significant emotional impact on you? It might be a story that made you cry or one that had you delirious with laughter. Why do you think it had that impact?

The last book that had a significant emotional impact on me was Unveiling the Past by Kim Vogel Sawyer. It definitely made me cry! Kim’s books always touch my heart in both emotional and spiritual ways. I love the biblical applications I garner through the lives and struggles of the fictional characters.

2. What books are on your nightstand (or in a Kindle queue) right now?

I am dying to read The Love Note by Joanna Davidson Politano. She’s one of my top favorite authors! Also, in my queue is Minutes to Die by Susan Sleeman, Backlash by Rachel Dylan, and the entire Harbored Secrets series by Natalie Walters.

3. We all have projects that are a real bear! Which book of yours was the toughest to write? Why?

Forgiven Again, my newest release was the toughest to write. For several reasons. During the editing process, my husband (who is my “editor”) found major plot holes and inconsistencies in the story. And this was after I had gone through the book multiple times and it had been read by six beta readers! I had to do some major rewriting. 

Also, this book was hard to write because my main character, Kathleen Phillips, is not a likeable character. She’s selfish and often downright rude to those in her life. I kept wanting to soften her, to make her likeable, but she refused. In the end, I hope that readers will give her a chance. Her personality and prickles make for a strong redemptive “prodigal-son type” story.

4. In the Bible, do you have a “life verse” that’s significant to you? Do you find yourself exploring this theme often in your work?

My life verse is Ephesians 3:20. “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us…” This verse definitely showed up as the theme in my debut novel, Whither Shall I Go. Maybe someday in the future I will explore it further in another novel.

5. Which character in your books is most like you?

I like to think there’s a little bit of me in all my characters. They do come from my imagination after all. But I would say that Ellie from Whither Shall I Go is the most like me. 

Forgiven Again Blurb:

She’s running for governor. He’s a pastor. 

Will they risk their lives to keep a secret?

Annie Staten, now known as Kathleen Phillips, has dreamed of pursuing a political career and following in her father’s footsteps. But Richard was a hated man during his tenure as governor and now his enemies will stop at nothing to prevent his daughter from winning the election. 

Ryan Whitestone has loved Annie since high school, but his heart is broken by the woman she has become. When the daughter she gave up for adoption comes back into her life, can he help her heal from her pain and remind her of who she used to be? 

Will Kathleen be able to forgive herself, put the past behind her, and find love again?

The continuing story of No Greater Love. 

How to connect with Gina on social media:

Author Spotlight- Andy Brodrick

I’m so excited to introduce you to my friend Andy Brodrick! He’s an award-winning author who is posting chapters of his work on Facebook every Thursday and Sunday. You’ll want to follow him and keep with the story.

Let’s get crackin’ with the interview questions.

We all have books that make a special impression on us and change our view of the world around us. What’s the last book that had a significant emotional impact on you? It might be a story that made you cry or one that had you delirious with laughter. Why do you think it had that impact? 

 Andy: I loved Iscariot by Tosca Lee. That book had me in tears several times. Not only did it present the life of Christ from a unique perspective, it gave me a Savior who was both strong and kind at the same time. It was the first time I’d seen Jesus presented so well in a novel.

Sounds amazing. My TBR list just got longer. As far as your personal writing journey goes, all writers have projects that are a real bear. Which book of yours was the toughest to write? Why?

Andy: My novel Sober was a challenge on several levels. It was the first story I wrote where I took on the killer’s first-person perspective, and that was very uncomfortable. The main character is an alcoholic, so the ups and downs of his recovery were emotionally taxing. His troubled marriage is also a central focus and was very heavy to write. If I had known what I was getting into beforehand, I probably wouldn’t have written it. I’m glad I did though. That book taught me the beauty of redemption.

I can’t wait until it’s published! Sounds like a powerful story.

Do you have any quirky writing habits?

Andy: I have to have a good supply of Cheez-Its nearby when I’m writing. And a steady stream of coffee (though not at the same time). I write better in silence and get too easily distracted in a coffee shop atmosphere. Most people are surprised to learn I’m pretty disorganized when it comes to writing. I’m organized in every other area of my life, so I kinda drive myself crazy with that one.

Gotta have that brain food. What do you love about the genre you write?

Andy: I mainly write suspense, and I honestly just love the thrill of it. Everyone loves a movie that keeps you on the edge of your seat, but books are always ten times better at that. I like a well-written climax that keeps me frantically turning pages. I respect a book that keeps me up past my bedtime, and I want to give other readers that same experience.

How do you think your writing style has changed over the years?

Andy: I’ve learned to trust my characters. I don’t try to control them as much anymore. Any time I do, they fight back. And they are almost always right. Trusting the characters more has led to trusting the story more, and that’s when things flourish.

Bio: Andy Brodrick is a licensed mental health counselor by day and a writer by night. He makes his home in the Ozarks and loves hiking in the scenery they provide. Though he isn’t published yet, Andy has written several novels and short stories. One of his novels recently won the 2020 ACFW Genesis Award in the Mystery/Suspense/Thriller category. He’s an introvert who will almost always choose a good book and a cup of coffee over going out. A lot of people think Andy is quiet, but that’s only because they haven’t asked him about Superman, the Lord of the Rings, the Legend of Zelda, or his next writing project.

Where to Andy Find Online: Right now, the best places to connect with me are my author pages on Facebook and Instagram — @authorandybrodrick

Author Spotlight- Shaen Layle

I’m so excited to have my lovely friend, Shaen here for an interview! She’s one of the sweetest, most encouraging people I know, and her cozy mysteries are amazing! Seriously, check them out. You’ll thank me later. 🙂

After the interview, I’ll give you a few ways to connect with Shaen and purchase her upcoming release. There may or may not be a drawing for one of her mysteries down there too.

We’ve all had funny experiences, and that’s no different for a writer. What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever had happen to you as a writer?

I don’t know if this one is funny, or just a near miss! Last summer, I was asked to take part in a suspense anthology with quite a few well-known authors. I was the new kid on the block and had never written suspense before. Needless to say, I was a little intimidated. I went over my story with a fine tooth comb, yet the day before I was supposed to submit it, I realized that one of the other author’s stories featured a main character with the same name as one of mine. I felt like I needed to change it so there wouldn’t be any overlap, and in my panic to find the right name, I ended up mistakenly changing my villain’s name to my editor’s! Luckily, I caught my slip up right before I was sending the email to my editor and changed it again. I can only imagine he wouldn’t have appreciated me immortalizing him as a killer in my story, after all his hard work beating my manuscript into submission, lol!

Oh, my goodness! Keeping fictional characters names from being offensive to a friend or acquaintance can get a bit hairy sometimes. Do you have any quirky writing habits?

Kind of? This is just something I’ve started doing recently, but painted fingernails help me be more productive! Seriously, I know you’re laughing, but for me, it’s the equivalent of Jo (from Little Women) and her askew writing cap. I can look down and see my hands on the keyboard and just feel more professional and put together.

Maybe my chipped nail polish explains my writer’s block. Need to paint my nails tonight. In the Bible, do you have a “life verse” that’s significant to you? Do you find yourself exploring this theme often in your work?

I do! Like a lot of authors, I write about what I’m trying to learn myself, and a verse I often explore, over and over again, from different angles, is Romans 8:28… “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.”

In Waves of Doubt, Priscilla has to learn to trust God’s plans and stop doubting His prompting. In A Slowly Developing Story, as a mystery falls together at a frustratingly slow pace, Elizabeth learns to rest in God’s provision. In Bird’s Eye View (my most recent cozy mystery release from Guideposts), Martha discovers her impatience and desire to control her situation don’t serve her well. It’s only when she lets go and submits to God’s overarching plan for her life that the mystery falls into place. I hope everyone who reads my books can take comfort in that truth: God is good and in control, even when things look like they’re falling apart.

In the times we’re in, it’s a comfort to know that God’s in control. That’s one of my favorite themes to read, for sure. Which part of the book creation process do you like best– brainstorming, writing, editing, marketing?

This is going to sound bad coming from a writer, but I actually enjoy the marketing part most! Is that a shocker? Let me clarify by saying that, of course, I enjoy the other parts of the process, too– I wouldn’t be a writer if I didn’t like writing! But crafting the actual book is often an arduous process for me. I’m super detail oriented and have to fight tooth and nail with my tendency to over-work a document. Marketing doesn’t have the same pressure associated with it… I guess it’s like birthing a baby versus sending out birth announcements!

Interesting! But it makes sense. How do you think your writing style has changed over the years?

Hmm, this is an interesting question… I think I’ve found my unique writing voice more as I’ve gotten older, probably because I’ve gotten to know my own self better. My natural voice (which I sometimes adapt based on the genre in which I’m writing) is very focused on crafting beautiful language– a holdover from my days writing poetry in college. When I was younger, I didn’t cultivate this part of my style as much, but now, it’s the part of writing that brings me the most joy 😊

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions and giving us a peek into your process!

Here is the blurb for Shaen’s upcoming release.

Shaen’s Author Bio:

I’m a USA Today Bestselling author who writes inspirational cozy mystery from my home in the Midwest, where I live with my artist husband, Danny, and our two rambunctious, but adorable, little boys. Trained as a literary novelist and with a decade of librarianship under my belt, I love discussing all things bookish with my readers on my website and on social media.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorShaenLayle

Twitter: https://twitter.com/shaenlayle

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/shaen_layle/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/shaenlayle/

I want to give one of you lucky duckies a copy of A Slowly Developing Story. It’s a fabulous cozy mystery that I’m sure you’ll love! Comment below to be entered in the drawing. I’ll contact the winner on September 10th.

Author Spotlight- Virginia Vaughan

I’m thrilled to introduce you to my friend, Virginia Vaughan! Just last week I finished her newest release, Texas Twin Abduction, and I enjoyed it so much. There were twists and turns until the very end!

Let’s get right into the interview, then I’ll let you know how you can connect with Virginia and win your very own copy of Texas Twin Abduction.

  1. What are your favorite books from childhood and why?

When I was a child, I fell in love with Gothic romances and authors like Phyllis A. Whitney and Willo Davis Roberts. For me, the combination of romance with danger and suspense was so exciting! It was the beginning of my love affair with romantic suspense.

2. Do you have any quirky writing habits?

I have a couple of quirky writing habits. I love to listen to 70s disco music when I write and you might even catch me dancing along to it, too, lol. My writing process is also kind of wacky. I write my books completely out of order. Sometimes when I’m writing a scene, I don’t even know where it will go in the book. Once I finish writing, I then have to put all the pieces together like a giant jigsaw puzzle. It’s a crazy process, but it works for me.

3. What do you love about the genre in which you write?

I am a fan of true crime and obsessed with digging into unsolved murder cases and mysteries. I love knowing that I can combine that passion into the stories I write and even draw ideas and create my own mysteries. Also, I get to kill people with little or no consequences. What could be better than that, lol?

4. In the Bible, do you have a life verse that is significant to you? Do you find yourself exploring this theme often in your work?

My go-to Bible verse is Jeremiah 29:11. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” There have been so many times in my life when circumstances have knocked me to the ground and I didn’t know if I even wanted to get back up. But when I think on this verse and realize that God has plans (plural!) for my life, it gives everything meaning. It gives me a reason to continue on despite the difficult times. I cling to this verse whenever things go wrong and am reminded that I’m supposed to be living for God’s will and not my own. Because many of my characters are like me and have made mistakes, they often also need this reminder.

5. Which part of the book creation process do you like best– brainstorming, writing, editing, or marketing?

I love brainstorming new ideas! My favorite thing is to wipe my whiteboard clean and start with a fresh, new story. I get as excited about starting to plan out a new story and imagining scenes in my head as I do plunging into a good story to read. I also enjoy the actual writing process. I’m a pantser at heart so this is the time when I really get to know my characters.

Comment below to win a copy of Texas Twin Abduction! I’ll be drawing on Monday, August 10th.

This twin’s past is a blank…

And she might not have a future.

Waking up in a bullet-ridden car with a bag of cash and a deputy insisting she’s his ex-fiancée, Ashlee Taylor has no memory of what happened—or of Lawson Avery. But with her twin missing and someone hunting her down, she must trust him with her life. Can Lawson save her and her sister—even as Ashlee’s forgotten secrets become an inescapable trap?

Buy Links for Texas Twin Abduction:

Amazon link —  https://amzn.to/39PN6g3

Barnes and Nobel link — https://bit.ly/2RgPx4

Harlequin — https://bit.ly/2ZZK5Ip

Author Bio:

Virginia Vaughan is a multi-published author of inspirational romantic suspense. Blessed to come from a large, southern family, her fondest memories include listening to stories recounted by family and friends around the large dinner table. She was a lover of books even from a young age, devouring gothic romance novels and stories of romance, danger, and love. She soon started writing them herself. A former investigator for the State of Mississippi, Virginia utilizes her criminal justice background with her love of writing to transform words into powerful stories of romance and danger. Connect with Virginia through her website www.virginiavaughanonline.com or her email list at http://eepurl.com/dtFeVP.

Social Media links:

Connect with Virginia:

Email Newsletter:   http://eepurl.com/dtFeVP

Website:  www.virginiavaughanonline.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ginvaughanbooks

Twitter: www.twitter.com/gin_vaughan

 Amazon: www.amazon.com/author/virginiavaughan

Bookbub: www.bookbub.com/profile/virginia-vaughan

Instagram: www.instagram.com/virginiavaughanauthor

Author Spotlight- Connie Queen

Connie Queen- Author of Justice Undercover

I’m so excited to introduce and amazing author and my personal friend, Connie Queen! Her debut novel, Justice Undercover released on June 1st, and it was amazing! Read to the end, because there is a free copy up for grabs!

Here’s the blurb to whet your appetite for the amazingness that is Justice Undercover:

Going undercover as a nanny brings presumed-dead ex-US Marshal Kylie Stone closer to catching the man who murdered the witness in her protection—and also killed Texas Ranger Luke Dryden’s sister. When someone tries to kidnap the twins in her care, Kylie must tell their uncle the truth…and convince Luke to help her. But will revealing her identity put all their lives at stake?

Now that you’re dying to read the book for yourself, lets dig into the interview, then I’ll let you know how to get your hands on a copy of your own.

First of all, I want to thank Connie for taking the time to answer these interview questions. I’ve been looking forward to this since last month. Now, what unfinished writing projects do you have gathering dust in a drawer? Do you think you’ll ever try to publish them, or were they just part of the learning process?

I have multiple writing projects hidden away. I have three completed western historical romances and a few more that are not finished. I grew up on westerns, notably John Wayne, and enjoyed reading Louis L’Amour. I absolutely loved writing my cowboy stories but after many rejections, I realized my style of western historicals didn’t really fit the publishers I was targeting. Unless I want to totally change the stories (and I don’t) they will remain part of the learning process.

I watched John Wayne growing up too. He’s the epitome of a cowboy as far as I’m concerned. And I totally understand not wanting to change the stories you worked so hard on. We all have projects that are a real bear! Which book of yours was the toughest to write? Why?

I just turned in a synopsis and the first 3 chapters to a romantic suspense. The idea of A 911 dispatcher receives a call from her sister who’s presumed dead, should’ve been simple. But alas, it just wouldn’t come together. I continued to write myself into a box. Finally, I just kept writing scenes whether they made sense or not, and only then was able to write the synopsis.

That sounds like an intriguing premise for a book. I’m already looking forward to reading it! Do you have any quirky writing habits?

Yes! See the answer to question 2? This is not uncommon for me. I want to plot, but I’m more of a panster. If I can’t figure out what comes next, I jump ahead to a scene that I know is needed. I do realize this is not the most time-efficient way to write a novel.

If it makes you feel any better, I’m the same way. I want to plot, but it just doesn’t work for me. Skipping ahead can really get the creativity flowing again. Where did you grow up, and do you use this setting in your novels?

I grew up on a farm/ranch in Texas. Even though I use fictional towns in my novels, I base it on north Texas and the county I grew up in. Justice Undercover, my debut, has a quarry scene. About 20 miles from my home, there is a private quarry where the teenagers go swimming even though the landowner has No Trespassing signs posted. Also, as a child, my dad rented a pasture for cattle that had a small lake. I remember Daddy complaining about the kids taking his gate off the hinges after he had put a lock on it. Kind of hard to keep the cows up with no gate.

Isn’t this an amazing cover?

Knowing the scenes from your book are based on real life places is really neat! Makes me want to read Justice Undercover again. If you could choose, which book of yours would you want adapted for the silver screen? Who would play the main characters?

I have a time-slip story called Jackson’s Fury that is about an 80-something year-old preacher who is giving his last sermon. As the congregation settles back in the pews for a boring speech, they are knocked off their feet when the little old man begins to tell about “the great sinner of our time” –the personal drinking/mob/murdering prodigal son story of the preacher during his younger days.

This is an older story of mine and I had pictured Clint Walker who stood at 6’6” tall  to play the part of the old preacher, but sadly Clint passed away a couple of years ago at age 90.

Well, I would have definitely wanted to see that movie! Thank you again for giving my readers a chance to get to know you!

I’m attaching Connie’s social media links below, so you can keep in touch with her and get information on her upcoming novels. Drop a comment below, and I’ll enter you in a drawing for a paperback copy of Justice Undercover. I’ll be holding the drawing on Friday, July 10, 2020.

Facebook: Connie Queen@heartthrobbingsuspense

Twitter: twitter.com/conniesuequeen

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Justice-Undercover-Love-Inspired-Suspense/dp/1335402896/ref=tmm_mmp_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Harlequin: https://www.harlequin.com/shop/books/9781335402899_justice-undercover.html

Connie Queen spent her life in Texas where she met and married her high-school sweetheart. Married for 34 years, they’ve raised eight children and are enjoying their grandchildren.

As a child, Connie remembers her mom and sisters reading, but she preferred to be outside. It wasn’t until later, she found the joy of being whisked away into another world. 

Today she resides in Nebraska with her husband, and Nash, her Great Dane, where she’s working on her next suspense. 

Author Interview and Giveaway- Nancy Mehl

Nancy Mehl

I’m beyond excited to introduce you to one of my all-time favorite authors, Nancy Mehl! Not only is her Kaely Quinn Profiler series one of the best I’ve read, but she’s been a personal blessing to me over the last few months. Without further ado, let’s dig into the interview.

  1. Are any events/people in your books based on reality, or is it pure imagination?

A combination. I believe we put some of ourselves and our life experiences in our stories. It’s what we know and what we understand.

2. Have you visited any of the locations in your books?

Yes. When my stories were based in Kansas, I almost always visited the places I wrote about. Most of the towns weren’t real, but I wanted to make certain they could exist in areas where I put them. When working on a series set in Sugarcreek, Ohio, I actually traveled there and was able to visit local shops and places I’d written about. It was a lot of fun.

3. Who was your favorite character to write and why?

Kaely Quinn, the main character in my Kaely Quinn Profiler series. She is so unique I loved writing about her.

4. What is your favorite genre to read?

Mystery and suspense. I’ve always loved it since I was a little girl. Still do.

You absolutely have to read this one! And isn’t the cover beautiful?

5. Do you hide secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

Sometimes I put the names of friends in my books without telling them. I love it when they find themselves in my story.

6. What is your most unusual writing quirk?

I can’t think of anything that’s really unusual. I do listen to music when I write. My dog is always in the room with me. I have a bird feeder outside my window and like to watch the birds while I’m writing. Not sure those are very unusual. Sorry.

7. What do you most hope your readers take away from Dead End?

Of course, I want them to enjoy the book. I’ll be wrapping up Kaely’s story so I pray they will be satisfied with the way I did it. I think Dead End offers a lot of hope. My prayer is that they’ll take that away with them.

Another winner

8. What is your favorite word and why?

My favorite word? That’s easy. Jesus.

9. If you had the opportunity to live anywhere in the world for a year while writing a book that took place in that same setting, where would you choose?

Alaska! I dream about taking a cruise there. I want to see the northern lights and watch a whale swim past the boat. Anyone who knows me knows I love snow. I think I could be happy there for a year!

10. Is there anything you would like to say to your readers and fans?

Thank you for buying my books and for all your kind comments to me. They mean more than you will ever know. Their encouragement is almost as good as chocolate!

Releasing 3/31/2020

I’m so thankful Nancy took the time to give us a peek into her process and her life.

In honor of her newest release, Dead End, I’m hosting a giveaway. Comment below (with your email address) to be entered for a chance to win one of three e-book copies of this amazing story! Be sure to drop your comment before midnight Saturday, April 4th. I’ll draw names on Sunday! To be honest, I’m a low key jelly of whoever wins. I pre-ordered a paperback, and Amazon said I won’t get it until April 30th. That is way to long to wait, considering I’ve been rather impatiently biding my time since December to find out how the series ends . . . But, I’ll take the moral high ground and be over the moon happy for the three lucky winners!

Author Interview and Giveaway- Tom Threadgill

I’m so excited to introduce you to my friend Tom Threadgill! He’s authored the Jeremy Winter trilogy and, most recently, Collision of Lies. All four ebooks will be up for grabs, but I’ll get to that part later. Hope you enjoy reading Tom’s responses to my questions as much as I did.

1. Are any events/people in Collision of Lies or the Jeremy Winter series based on reality, or is it pure imagination?

When I look back on the Winter series, I can see a lot of myself in the main character, particularly as far as his opinions and sarcasm. I didn’t plan that, but I think it’s impossible to write without including part of yourself in there somewhere. A lot of the banter in the story is typical of conversations my wife and I have. Oh, and Maggie’s penchant for mangling idioms is based loosely on my wife. “Loosely.”

2. Have you visited any of the locations in your books?

I have, but not specifically for research purposes. West Tennessee, St. Louis, and San Antonio are all on that list.

3. Who was your favorite character to write and why?

I enjoyed writing Amara in Collision of Lies a lot, but I think my favorite was the Medical Examiner, Douglas Pritchard. I still haven’t figured out what the deal is with that guy. I love his quirks but not sure I could ever tolerate being around him for long. He’s kind of a combination of Monk, House, and Quincy (you youngsters will need to look that one up).

4. Did you have to edit any fun scenes from Collision of Lies before publication?

Not really. Collision is my fourth novel and I’ve pretty much learned when something isn’t going to work. If I can’t figure out a way for the scene to move the plot forward, it won’t be in there. Plus, my first drafts are almost always way shorter than the final manuscript, so there’s not a lot to cut. I prefer to flesh out the story in the edits rather than fret about what needs to go.

5. Do you hide secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

Nah. I mean, there may be inside jokes that only certain friends or family will recognize, but nothing earth-shattering. I did have several readers comment about a cameo in Collision that they enjoyed, but that’s not really a secret.

6. One of your characters in Collision of Lies is a Downton Abbey buff. Did you watch the series for research, and if so, did you love it?

I do research a lot of things in my stories, but I have my limits. That said, I have been exposed to second-hand Downton Abbey (which I believe the Surgeon General has issued a warning about) because my wife loved it. But I had to Google the information on the show’s scenes that are mentioned in my novel.

7. How long on average does it take you to write a book?

About a year, although the sequel to Collision is taking a lot longer due to life getting in the way. My goal for 2020 was to finish the sequel as well as another novel before the year ended. Not sure I’m going to make it.

8. Do you personally eat Cheetos with chopstick or know someone who does?

I’m way too uncoordinated to use chopsticks and I’m not a fan of Cheetos. Cool concept though, right?

9. What are your five favorite movies and why?

That’s such a hard question because I tend to have favorite scenes rather than movies. Like Infinity War when Thor shows up in Wakanda or the final battle in Endgame (the unforced parts of it). I do like all the John Wick movies and most of the Jason Bourne ones too. The LOTR movies are good (skip the blasphemy that is The Hobbit), but can be quite slow in parts.

10. When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Ah, the old “what did you want to be” question. I’ll give the same answer I always do. When I was a kid, I wanted to be an adult. Now I want to be a kid again. 😊

11. Which of your characters do you most relate to?

I think it’s still Jeremy Winter. There’s a lot of his character still to be explored if I ever decide to go back there.

12. How long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

None. I don’t plot at all. I work out the first chapter from whatever idea I’m using and go from there. All research is done during the writing phase.

13. Is there anything you would like to say to your readers and fans?

Please leave reviews when you read books! It helps authors in lots of ways. And writing can be lonely, so don’t be afraid to fire off an email to your favorite writer and let them know you enjoy their work. Nothing brightens our day/week/month more!

Thank you all for joining me as I interviewed one of my favorite authors! Now to sweeten the pot. On March 1st, I will be drawing names, and one lucky winner will receive all three Jeremy Winter books and Collision of Lies in ebook format. I’m sure you’re dying to know how to enter, and it’s simple. Just comment below and tell me why you love reading suspense. Be sure to include your email address so I can contact you if your name is drawn.

Be sure to subscribe, since I’ll be conducting giveaways every month, and I’d hate you to miss anything!

Author Spotlight- Sharee Stover

Meet my good friend, Sharee.

Happy Friday, Friends and Neighbors! Hope you all are doing fantastic. I’d like to introduce you to a great author and an even better friend, Sharee Stover. She also lives in my town, and I’ve been to lunch with her, so . . . yeah. I know a real-life celebrity. Her newest release, Silent Night Suspect, will his the shelves on December 1st. Can you believe that’s only nine days away?!? I can’t.

If you’re like me, you prefer your romantic suspense with a realistic amount of romance. Not the ooey-gooey, fall-in-love-with-a-stranger-you-know-literally-nothing-about in two days stuff that I can’t seem to escape. That was a major run-on sentence. My apologies. Anyhow. I absolutely loved the realism in Silent Night Suspect. Everything about this story was on point, and I highly recommend. Also, I have a little surprise at the end for you, my faithful readers.

I won’t waste anymore of your valuable time with my drivel. Let’s get on to the main event, shall we. Here was my interview with Sharee for your reading pleasure.

1. What is your favorite under-appreciated novel? My all-time favorite novel is Safely Home by Randy Alcorn. It’s the kind of book that stays with you. I own it in multiple formats. Ebook, Paperback, Audio…yep, it’s that good. Definitely one I’d recommend to anyone.

2. Are any of your characters based on real people? All names have been changed to protect the innocent. Giggle. Just kidding. Actually, all of my characters have certain features or characteristics of people I know. I think it helps to write a better character when I can picture or hear him/her in my mind. I might pick a friend or foe and take features from them to develop the dialogue.

3. Which of your characters do you most relate with? Asia Stratton from Silent Night Suspect is the most relatable for me. She’s raw and honest with her scars. I love that she’s still healing and though she’s come a long way, she’s willing to work on that healing. Asia is far more courageous than I would be too. There’s a line (NO SPOILERS) where she believes it’s the end and prays for courage to face it.

4. What kind of researching do you do, and how much time to you spend researching before beginning a book? Research is often done throughout the book especially as I come upon situations where I need more information, or like in Silent Night Suspect, needing to know drug actions/reactions. I’m always plotting several books at a time so if I see things that apply to a particular story I’m working on, I’ll tuck those away in my Scrivener folder or print them out and keep a file to reference later.

This is Sharee’s debut novel. You’ll want to check this one out too 🙂

5. Stephen King advises authors to ‘Kill their darlings.’ Have you edited any scenes out of your books that you particularly loved? If so, would you give an example? Editing and deleting things isn’t much an issue for me. I know I have a lot to learn and I want to maintain a teachable spirit, so I trust if I’m told something’s gotta go, it’s the best decision for the book. I can’t think of any particular scenes, but I do have a couple of books (yes, entire books) that are my darlings and I hope they’ll someday get their limelight.

6. How do you select your character’s names? I absolutely LOVE naming characters and I keep a spreadsheet of all my books to try and ensure that I don’t use the same name twice. One huge factor is checking that the name isn’t a famous person. Especially an infamous person. I use lots of different references, websites, and sometimes football players or credits from movies. I like unique names so I’m always on the lookout. I even keep a list for future reference. I’m a total name nerd.

7. Do you read your book reviews?

Book reviews are tricky things. I write many reviews myself for books I read so I appreciate the time and effort that goes into them. I’ve heard repeatedly at writing conferences that authors shouldn’t read our reviews. Especially the mean ones. I’m amazed sometimes at how cruel people can be. They forget there is a person behind that book.

However, it is a lot of fun to see how a book affected a reader and what things they especially liked. In the words of Mark Twain, I could live two months on one good compliment. Unfortunately, the reverse means those bad reviews also stick and can be discouraging. My husband runs interference for me by reading them first.

8. How long does it take you to write a book? Because I start plotting books way in advance, I usually write an entire book within a couple of months but then I need another two months to edit, re-edit, and re-re-edit my edits. I have trouble letting go.

9. Do you believe in writer’s block? Yes, but not for ideas. I always have too many of those bouncing around in my brain. I do have times when I just can’t seem to get my brain and fingers cooperating to put words on the page. When that happens, I take a break, Netflix binge and then try again.

10. What was your favorite childhood book? Rainbow Garden by Patricia M. St John. It’s the first book I specially ordered. I think I was

11. What is your favorite genre to read and why? I read almost all genres but my favorites are women’s fiction and suspense/mystery. Women’s fiction has deep characters that stick with me and I appreciate the changes they must endure. But I also need suspense/mystery because I get antsy for the plot action and nail-biting, page flipping that must happen.

12. How many drafts of you book do you generally write before publication? Depends on how many revisions I have to do. Giggle. There’s always a least two, but sometimes it’s a major overhaul.

13. If you had the opportunity to live anywhere in the world for a year while writing a book that took place in that same setting, where would you choose? I would love to go to South Korea and travel the country.

14. Do you have an unusual writing quirk? Not really. I always keep a glass of ice water beside me and generally speaking I’m chewing cinnamon gum. It helps me think.

15. What is your favorite word and why? I do love the word juxtaposition and try to put it in at least once in every book. It’s such a fun word to spell and I love the definition. For quick reference, dictionary.com says: an act or instance of placing close together or side by side, especially for comparison or contrast. I don’t know why it’s my favorite, it’s just groovy.

Sharee, thank you so much for answering my burning questions! I can’t wait to read your next book, Untraceable Evidence!

Would you like to win a free copy of Silent Night Suspect? That’s the only stupid question I’ll ask today, I promise. Receive an entry into the drawing for every comment on this post. Winner will be drawn on November 30th, so comment, comment, comment. You’ll thank me later!