https://promosimple.com/ps/fb79/the-lost-lieutenant (enter giveaway here)
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I blog about books, Jesus and life.
SUSAN SLEEMAN is the bestselling author of over thirty-five novels with more than one million books sold. She writes romantic suspense novels that are clean with inspiring messages of faith. Readers love her series for the well-drawn characters and edge-of-your-seat action. She graduated from the FBI and local police citizen academies, so her research is spot-on and her characters are real.
In addition to writing, Susan also hosts TheSuspenseZone.com. She has lived in nine states but now calls Oregon home. Her husband is a retired church music director, and they have two beautiful daughters, a very special son-in-law, and an adorable grandson.
To learn more about Susan’s books sign up for her monthly email that includes exclusive excerpts, giveaways, and other goodies. http://www.susansleeman.com/susans-newsletter/
Or stop by any of these locations on the web.
Website – http://www.susansleeman.com
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Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Susan-Sleeman/e/B003ANF6Z8
Review Site – http://www.TheSuspenseZone.com
I am just absolutely thrilled and honored to have as my guest today Ann B. Ross, the New York Times bestselling author of the wildly popular Miss Julia series of books. I have loved Miss Julia since the very first book and with the publication of the current book, ‘Miss Julia Knows a Thing or Two’, and the books in the series number 22! I first met Ann many years ago at a book signing in Forest City, NC, and we have kept in touch all these years. Ann insists she is not the least bit funny, yet her Miss Julia books will have you falling off your chair laughing! Miss Julia has brought me many hours of wonderful entertainment and I highly recommend this series of books. So, let’s get started. Ann, I am so happy you agreed to join us today and I know my readers are going to enjoy hearing your answers to my questions.
1. When you wrote the first Miss Julia book, did you have any idea how popular she would turn out to be?
Not at all! I could hardly believe it when a literary agency agreed to represent that first book and even more thrilled when it was accepted for publication by a major publishing house. But I quickly came down to earth when I learned that not only did they want the first book, they wanted three more Miss Julia books. And I wasn’t sure that I could write even one more. I thought I had said all I had to say in the first book which just goes to show how little I knew my own character. That woman started talking and she hasn’t stopped yet.
2. How did you come to write the books?
I always thought that I would write some day after, that is, I had found a class or a book that would tell me how to do it. Well, I never found either one, but I did find a lot of books and a lot of classes that told me how others had written. So if I may offer a little advice to those who’re thinking of writing, it is this: Read! Read and see how it’s been done and is being done. Looking back now, I can see that the hardest part for me was finding Miss Julia’s voice. Not that I was looking specifically for her, but I had dallied with the voice of a nurse, of a young girl of the 19th century, of a detective, of a damsel in distress, and none of them had worked very well. So when I began to ‘see’ a mental image of an older woman who was fired up over something as she walked down a sidewalk, holding the hand of a little boy, I wondered who they were, where they were going, and, most of all, how they were related. Then, Miss Julia began to tell me.
3. Can you share with my readers how you get ideas for the books?
I get ideas from any and everywhere! From overheard conversations, from memories that go back to my own childhood, from television news, from chit-chat at the hairdressers, from local gossip, and from taking a mental stroll along the streets of Abbotsville. The easiest books to write are those for which I have a clear picture of the ending—I can write ‘toward’ that. But I’ve often started a book with absolutely no idea at all as to what it will be about. But each time that’s happened, one or more of the characters comes up with a problem (because, of course, a novel has to have a problem to solve), and then the book is off and running.
4. Do you have more Miss Julia books planned?
I rarely think beyond whatever book I happen to be working on. In fact, I finished the current new book, MISS JULIA KNOWS A THING OR TWO, last summer. Since then I’ve been working on the next Miss Julia book, due to be released in April, 2021, title not yet confirmed.
5.How old is Miss Julia now?
She won’t tell me, and I don’t have the courage to ask. All I know is that she thinks it is rude beyond belief that some twit of a secretary or receptionist asks her date of birth. Let us just say that she is the age that each reader thinks she is.
6.And one last thought: I sure do wish Lillian would write a cookbook. Her dishes make me hungry, especially her chicken salad.
Ha! I think it might be her making and serving it that makes it so good. But, you know, I made a stab at a cookbook of sorts in MISS JULIA STIRS UP TROUBLE which included recipes from many of the characters. I was quite proud of it until a newspaper reporter made the remark that all authors wrote a cookbook when they’d run out of other ideas. There have been seven additional books since that one, so he was wrong.
There you have it, folks. I’m sure we all loved hearing Ann’s answers to these questions regarding her Miss Julia books. If you’d like more information about the books, including tour events, contest winners, etc., I encourage you to visit the MissJulia.com website. It’s full of great information.
Thanks so very much for visiting with us today, Ann. It was my great pleasure to have you as my guest today. We all look forward to hearing more from Miss Julia.
A few years ago, someone recommended to me the very first Lady Darby Mystery book, The Anatomist’s Wife. The cover intrigued me a lot, so I bought it. And was hooked! I love discovering a new author and love even more that they have a back log of books I can binge on. So I set out to read everyone and I have! Each year I eagerly anticipate the next book in the series.
I am absolutely thrilled to have the author of the Lady Darby series, Anna Lee Huber, as a guest on my blog today! She has graciously consented to answer a few questions for us. So, settle in and visit with us a while. Hopefully, you’ll decide to begin the series. (I will say that these books need to be read in order.)
1. Can you tell us how the Lady Darby books were birthed?
Lady Darby actually began as a voice inside my head. I was working on another book at
the time, but this ‘person’ kept prodding at me in my subconscious, demanding I tell her
story. The first chapter of THE ANATOMIST’S WIFE is essentially me just letter her talk to
me. Then I had to stop and figure out who she was before I could go on. I wanted to
write a 19th century female sleuth who had skills to bear, in particular, medical know-
ledge, and I had to figure out a way for her to have acquired that expertise. Which is
how her backstory with her horrid first husband–a great anatomist—was born, as
well as her skill as a portrait artist.
2. Tell us what a writing day looks like for you.
Pre-pandemic, my optimal average day starts with getting my kindergartner up
and off to school, a short walk or run, and then diving into writing and other work.
I’m at my desk from around 8 am until 2:30 pm, with my husband and our babysitter
taking care of our 3 year old all morning until nap time. Then I get my 6 year old off
the bus and spend the afternoon with my girls. Mid-pandemic, I’m squeezing in writing
time however and whenever I can.
3. Are you a plotter or a by the seat of your pants writer?
I’m a bit of a mixture. I definitely plot. I can’t get past a few chapters without figuring
out where I’m going. But I do a relatively rough outline, hitting all the major points, and
a few minor ones between, as well as clues and red herrings. I figure out all of my
characters’ psychologies and their goals, motives and conflicts. Then I dive in and let
the story take me where it will. I’ve learned not to be afraid of letting things slide
in a different direction than I’d initially planned. Often those turn out to be the best
parts of the book.
4. How long does it take you to write a book?
It takes me approximately 5-6 months, including research time. Then the rounds of
edits from my publisher come in later. And I’m often working on multiple projects
at once. Not writing the first drafts, but researching, plotting, editing, etc
5. A lot of authors have a picture in their minds how their characters look. Do you?
I do. Well, I have a very clear view of everyone except my heroines. I think because
I write in first person, so I’m writing from ‘inside their heads.’ They don’t often stand
in front of a mirror staring at themselves for me. So I know more what they feel like.
But I definitely have a clear view of the heroes and other characters. However, they
rarely, if ever, fit a known person’s appearance exactly. They’re largely made-up
whole cloth in my imagination. So I can say that Gage looks like a cross between
Rupert Penry-Jones and Simon Baker, and Sidney looks a bit like Aidan Turner,
but that’s about as close as I can get.
6. Will there be more Lady Darby books? Because I’m an addict.
Yes, Book 9–A WICKED CONCEIT- will release next spring. I’m working on it now.
It takes Kiera and Gage back to Edinburgh, and Bonnie Brock plays a major role. And I’m
contracted to write Books 10m and 11 for the following years. So there will be more
Lady Darby at least through 2023. My story in the DEADLY HOURS anthology releasing
on September 1st is also a Lady Darby novella, so readers will get more Kiera and Gage
(and Bonnie Brock) this autumn.
Oh thank goodness! And I loved Bonnie Brock’s character, so that’s great to hear. Thank you so much, Anna Lee, for joing us today and letting us into your head for a little bit.
I can’t wait for September.
About A Stroke of Malice:
Lady Kiera Darby and her husband Sebastian Gage are looking forward to celebrating with new friends at an exciting yearly soiree, but they soon learn that murder never takes a holiday in the latest riveting installment in this national bestselling series.
January 1832. After enjoying a delightful few weeks with her family, expectant mother Kiera and Sebastian Gage have been invited to the Duchess of Bowmontʼs Twelfth Night party in Traquair, Scotland. Though she normally avoids such fashionable, rambunctious events, Kiera is ready to join in the festive merrymaking. But upon their arrival at the opulent estate, it becomes obvious that all is not merry in their hostess’s home. The family appears to be under a great strain, and someone seems determined to cause mayhem among the guests with a series of forged notes.
Matters swiftly turn from irksome to downright deadly when the partygoers stumble upon a decomposing body in the castle’s crypt. The corpse is thought to be the duchess’s son-in-law who had purportedly traveled to Paris more than a month earlier. It is evident the man met with foul play, and Kiera and Gage soon realize that a ruthless murderer walks among them—and may well be a member of the duchessʼs own family. And when the investigation takes a treacherous turn, Kiera discovers just how deep the killer is willing to dig to keep their secrets from ever seeing the light of day.
Publication Date: April 7, 2020
Buy it here:https://www.amazon.com/Stroke-Malice-Lady-Darby-Mystery-ebook/dp/B07V111W1F/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8
Misty M. Beller is a USA Today bestselling author of romantic mountain stories, set on the 1800s frontier and woven with the truth of God’s love. For a limited time, you can get one of her bestselling novels FREE here: https://www.subscribepage.com/s8n2o1
She was raised on a farm in South Carolina, so her Southern roots run deep. Growing up, her family was close, and they continue to keep that priority today. Her husband and children now add another dimension to her life, keeping her both grounded and crazy.
God has placed a desire in Misty’s heart to combine her love for Christian fiction and the simpler ranch life, writing historical novels that display God’s abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters.
Writing is a dream come true for Misty. Her family–both immediate and extended–is the foundation that holds her secure in that dream.
Learn more at http://www.MistyMBeller.com.
My Rating: 5 Stars!
‘She longed for a God she could live for. A purpose for her life.’
Misty Beller just keeps getting better and better. With each book of hers I read, I love her writing more. This time she brings us book two in her Call of the Rockies series. It is full and rich, wonderful characters, plenty to keep any reader captivated and with a wonderful ending. Yet that ending teases of more to come in this series and this reader can’t wait!