Midnight is My Time by Mike Dellosso

If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you know that I am a Mike Dellosso fan. I’ve written a review of his book, Centralia, and some of his books have been listed in my old Top Ten Tuesday posts. I have also done an author interview with him here on my blog.

So I was excited to be able to read his latest release, Midnight is My Time. I read it in two evenings because it grabbed my attention right at the start and held my attention until the very end. Midnight is My Time is filled with action and suspense, and yes, some violence. There is a mystery that also runs through the book in regards to the two main characters, Andy and Missy — are they freaks or something special?

Ten years after an Apocalyptic event, Andy and Missy meet and decide to travel together. They travel from the southeastern United States to the northeastern United States. But why are they being pursued and threatened? What is their purpose? Will they reach their destination in one piece?

Mike Dellosso’s descriptions paint a vivid picture of people and places. The action scenes are intense and keep the pace of the story moving, just as you catch your breath, another crisis wrenches your breath away again.

This book was an easy read, and as I mentioned above, it was a real page-turner that kept me on the edge of my seat. Mike Dellosso has produced another great read and I highly recommend it.

Author Interview with Lillian Duncan

Today, I am taking a break from Flash Fiction Friday to bring you an author interview with Lillian Duncan, Christian Mystery/Suspense writer, who has a new book out, Game On.

Tell us a little about you.

My husband and I live in a small town in Ohio. I mean small—we only have 1 traffic light. But I love being back home. I grew up in the area, but moved to the big city of Cleveland for many years. Like Dorothy, I love being home again.

What is your favorite genre to read? To write?

The answer to both is Christian mystery and suspense with a little horror thrown in from time to time. I guess writing is sort of like eating. You are what you read, and for me that means I’m a suspense/mystery writer.

Tell us about GAME ON.

Game On by [Duncan, Lillian]

Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean that someone’s not out to get you!

That’s the premise behind GAME ON. Politician Lucas McMann believes he’s the victim of an elaborate stalking game. Since he has no proof, his friends and colleagues believe he’s being paranoid.

He needs someone to help him get the proof and that’s when he turns to Nikki Kent, someone from his past. She’s a private investigator now, but the last person she wants in her life is Lucas McMann. He deserted her years ago when she needed him most, but her new found faith won’t let her say no to him.

And that’s when the game begins!

Tell me a bit about your main characters.

Lucas McMann is a politician with a big problem–actually two. First, he believes he’s the victim of an elaborate stalking game. His second problem is that no one believes him because there’s no proof. He can’t move forward until he stops the game. He can’t stop the game until he discovers who’s behind it. To do that he needs someone who will believe in him enough to help him get the proof he so desperately wants.

And he knows just the person, if only she’s put their troubled past behind her.

Private Investigator, Nikki Kent makes a living finding out other people’s secrets, but she has one of her own. When Lucas shows up asking for her help, she refuses. She can’t take the chance of her secret coming to light. But her new-found faith won’t let her turn her back on someone who is desperate for her help—even if he was the first man to break her heart!

What’s the setting for GAME ON?

Most of the story takes place in Maiden, North Carolina which is a real place. But that’s the only thing that’s real. The specific places talked about in the story are a figment of my imagination.

Who is your favorite secondary character in this latest novel, and do you think you’ll include that character in a future story?

Lucas’s mother is my favorite secondary character. She’s a gun-toting Southern belle who believes in being able to protect herself.
Do you have personal experience with any of the events in your story, and if so, could you share about that?

Not in the least! My suspense stories are just that—stories I create.

 

What inspired you to write this series, or this novel in particular?

Actually I was watching a TV talk show. This particular guest believed that many of his “friends” were actually stalking him. My writer’s mind took over from there and I created Lucas McMann, a politician who believes he’s being stalked but nobody else does. And it went from there.

What do you want readers to take away from GAME ON?

I think there are several lessons to be learned. One of the most important is that forgiving others isn’t letting them off the hook. It’s letting go of your own anger and bitterness so you can have the life God wants for you.

What is your writing process?

I never know what is going to happen in my story on any given writing day. It’s as if my mind is a movie screen and I watch that day’s events and then I write it.

When I start a new story I usually have a clear picture of the main character in mind and what obstacle he/she will face, but anything goes after that. If I’m writing and start to feel bored—then I kill someone or blow something up. And that way it’s a surprise to me and to my readers.

Do you know who the bad guy is when you begin your story?

Not usually. Most of the time I have several characters who it might be and as the story comes to a conclusion, I’m surprised right along with my readers.

Most people don’t think of murder mysteries and suspense novels as Christian Fiction. What do you say to them?

I can certainly understand their point of view. And for some readers my stories might be a bit too graphic or edgy and that’s okay, I would say my readers are those who like traditional suspense and mystery novels but are tired of all the explicit language and sex scenes that aren’t necessary to a good story.

I don’t promote or glorify violence in my stories and show characters experiencing the natural consequences of their bad choices and bad actions. My characters are usually on a spiritual journey as well—but some are further along than others.

What are you working on now?

I just finished the final edits on the third in the Deadly Communications series. Its title is DEADLY SILENCE. In it, Maven will be back and facing some very difficult life circumstances.

Along with that, she’s working with a late-deafened adult as a client. A subject near and dear to me since I’ve lost all my hearing in one ear and a significant amount in the other because of the brain tumors.

I also have several other stories in various stages that I’m working on.

If you could offer a word of encouragement to an aspiring author, what would you say?

DON’T GIVE UP! It took me 15 years to get a traditional contract, and now I have almost 20 books published! If I can do it, so can you. But not if you give up. KEEP WRITING!

HOW CAN READERS FIND YOU ON THE INTERNET?

My website is www.lillianduncan.net and I have a devotional blog at www.PowerUpWithGod.com My blog is TIARAS & TENNIS SHOES at www.lillian-duncan.com. I’m also on Twitter as @LillianDuncan and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/lillian.k.duncan

Paper or e-reader? There are certainly pros and cons to each. Which is your favorite?

I prefer a “real” book with paper. Unfortunately, I don’t read them that way very often because of my eyesight. So, I use an e-reader almost exclusively these days.

Do you have a favorite or “life” verse? Why is that one important to you?

Romans 8: 28: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.

In 2012, I was diagnosed with brain tumors. The treatments and the side effects wreaked havoc on my health! I was very sick but I kept repeating this verse over and over. It kept me trusting God and it kept me in peace and joy in spite of how bad I felt at the time.

What’s your day job? Tell us a little about it.

I retired as an SLP from a large city school district in Ohio, then spent several more years working part-time in smaller, rural districts near where I live. Between the two jobs, I don’t think there is any type of child I haven’t worked with at least once.

I loved my job and miss it. Mostly I miss the children, not the paper work. If it weren’t for serious health issues, I would still be working.

What sort of serious health issues?

In 2012 I was diagnosed with bilateral brain tumors and subsequently a genetic disorder called Neurofibromatosis Type 2. A long name that basically means I can develop tumors at any time on my nerves but especially in the brain.

It’s been a long, long journey but God is good. There’s a lot I can’t do these days, but I can still write!

 

How did your education or previous career impact your journey to publication and where you are now?

My day job was as a school speech pathologist, better known as a speech therapist. So for more than 30 years I listened…and listened…and listened some more. I think it helped me in a lot of areas but certainly with writing dialogue of my characters.

Anything else you need to tell us?

To celebrate the release of GAME ON, I’m giving away a virtual basket of goodies on my blog, Tiaras & Tennis Shoes including Amazon gift cards. For all the details, just click on that link. Simply leave a comment on the blog post GAME ON and you’ll be entered.

Also, my publisher outdid herself when she created this GAME ON book trailer

And lastly, thanks for having me.

BLURB for GAME ON

Game On by [Duncan, Lillian]
Politics is no game when a stalker nears and there’s nowhere to hide.

A run for the senate is just a step on the road to the White House for Congressman Lucas McMann. But his public profile has put him in the middle of a crazed gunman’s twisted game of stalking. If he wants to win the election and reclaim his life, he’ll need the help of the one person who’d rather leave their past behind them.

Private Investigator Nikki Kent knows how to dig up secrets and discover those who exist in the shadows. She should. She’s good at hiding secrets of her own. Can she risk her own discovery for someone so desperate for her help? For the first man who broke her heart?

With new-found faith, she’ll help Lucas search for the answers. But with the truth comes a danger they must face together.

BIO:

Lillian Duncan

Lillian Duncan…Stories of faith mingled… with murder & mayhem.

Lillian is a multi-published author who lives in Ohio Amish country with her husband. After more than 30 years working as a speech pathologist for children, she believes in the power of words to transform lives, especially God’s Word.

Lillian writes the types of books she loves to read—fast-paced suspense and mystery with a touch of romance that demonstrates God’s love for all of us. To learn more about Lillian, you may visit her at www.lillianduncan.net or www.lillian-duncan.com. She also has a devotional blog at www.PowerUpWithGod.com.

Mermaid Moon by Colleen Coble

I received a free copy of this eBook to write a review (my personal opinion) for BookLook Blogger.

This is the first romantic suspense novel I have read by Colleen Coble.  I read her “Journey of the Heart” series last year and thoroughly enjoyed it.  You can read my reviews of each of those by searching for “Book Reviews” under Categories on the right sidebar of this blog.  They were western romance stories.  They had a bit of suspense, but not like Mermaid Moon.

Mermaid Moon is a Sunset Cove novel by Colleen Coble.  I have not read Inn at Ocean’s Edge which is the first book of this series.  But that is one thing I really like about Ms. Coble’s writing.  Even when she writes a series, you can read them out of order, or read one from the series and not the rest, and because of the information she includes in each book of the series, you do not feel lost or confused about the characters or the plot line.

Mallory Davis left her home on Mermaid Point in Maine years ago and never looked back. But when she receives a mysterious call from her father and later is informed of his death, she heads back to Mermaid Point immediately.

She suspects that her father was murdered, and a Downeast Maine game warden, Kevin O’Connor, confirms her suspicions.  Mallory doesn’t want to spend too much time with Kevin, but he wants to help her find out what happened to her father.  Mallory broke Kevin’s heart when she left Maine 15 years ago, and the history between them is something she believes cannot be repaired.

Mallory’s friend and neighbor, Carol brings her daughter, Haylie to Mermaid Point much sooner than planned and informs Mallory that someone showed up at her house in Bangor, Maine looking for her; someone who seemed quite threatening.

As the story continues, more questions arise and more suspicious characters emerge.  Whenever I thought I knew who was guilty, something else would show me I was wrong.  The story kept me guessing almost to the end.

Colleen Coble did a great job creating deep characters that made me care for them and cheer for them right for the start.  The plot line was suspenseful and kept me guessing.   The plot line kept me turning pages.  I look forward to reading more romantic suspense by Colleen Coble.

I recommend this book to all Colleen Coble fans, to anyone who enjoys a real page turner, to anyone who enjoys romantic suspense, and to anyone who likes a story with rich characters and a fast-moving plot line.

 

 

One-Day Super Saturday Writers’ Conference

A writers’ conference is a great place to learn more about writing techniques and marketing and publishing opportunities and possibilities.  It is also a great place to meet other writers and make connections and form bonds, which is a wonderful thing since writing is a lonely business.  You can make lifelong friends who can help and encourage you and you can do the same for them as you walk your writing journey.  I attended this event last year, and cannot wait to attend this Saturday.  If you are anywhere near Lancaster County, I invite you to come and see what this one-day conference has to offer, and if you like, I can meet you face-to-face if you let me know you are coming so we can connect.

LANCASTER CHRISTIAN WRITERS HOSTS ONE-DAY CONFERENCE ON APRIL 11, 2015, AT LANCASTER BIBLE COLLEGE

For a bargain of excellence and price, no writer, whether beginning or advanced, within driving radius will want to miss Lancaster Christian Writers’ Super Saturday 2015!! to be held April 11th, 2015, from 8:30am.-4:30pm at Lancaster Bible College, 901 Eden Road, Lancaster, PA 17601.

This one-day writers conference offers a full slate of workshops taught by top industry professionals in both fiction and non-fiction fields. An early registration price of $50 is due by Wednesday, April 8, and includes soup/sandwich buffet lunch (think Panini!) and LCW membership. Registrations after April 9 and walk-ins day of the conference are $60.

A fiction track will be taught by award-winning novelists Dina Sleiman and Kelly Long along with children’s author Brenda Hendricks. Non-fiction faculty include TV/radio speaker, marketing expert, award-winning author of 19 books Karen Whiting, professional memoir and ghostwriter Shawn Smucker, journalist/social media experts Lisa Bartelt and Alison McLennan.

Keynoting the opening session will be linguist, missionary, and author Grace Fabian. Workshops cover such topics as: 

Market Yourself Now! Learn Tools to Develop Press Kit, Bio, Website, and Other PR Products.

Writing Blockbuster Scenes: How To Keep Readers Flipping Pages and Asking For More.

 Transformed Manuscripts: Repackaging Your Ideas (Sold or Rejected) to Expand Marketability.

 The Unfortunate Truth in Fiction: Addressing Hard Issues Without Pulling Down Your Story.

 A Story To Tell: Surefire Do’s and Don’ts to Write a Gripping True Life Story or Memoir.

 Myers-Briggs for Your Protagonist: Applying Personality Types to Create Characters with Distinctive Qualities, Motivations, and Voices.

 Let’s Ride the Seesaw: Recruiting Your Inner Child to Communicate with Young Readers.

 100% Guaranteed (Oh, Yeah?) Secret to Blogging Success Beyond Your Wildest Dreams!

A conference bookstore will offer a wide variety of writer resources and faculty titles. Conference attendees can get personal consultations with faculty on a first-come, first-serve basis. Lancaster Christian Writers welcomes writers of all churches and denominations, all levels and genres. Monthly meetings offer opportunities for manuscript critique, networking with other writers, workshops and guest authors.

River’s Edge by Terri Blackstock

This is Book #3 in the Cape Refuge Series.  If you remember, I already reviewed Book #4 of this series here.  I know, I seem to be reading this series in reverse, but it still makes sense and is still very suspenseful and enjoyable.  I received a copy of River’s Edge free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program.  I am not required to write a positive review.  The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Official Book Description

The man Lisa Jackson loved most may have betrayed her.

Another used deception to manipulate her.

But did one of them kill her?

Ben Jackson is sure to defeat Jonathan Cleary in Cape Refuge’s mayoral race, until his wife turns up missing the day before a major debate. Suspecting foul play, Police Chief Cade launches an island-wide search. But it takes a psychic’s “vision” to point police to the riverside-and Lisa’s body.

The evidence implicating Ben in his wife’s murder is convincing. But as a local scandal escalates into a national media circus, Cade’s instincts tell him to dig deeper. And he’s not the only one. Blair Owens of the Cape Refuge Journal is using her investigative skills to uncover a rat’s nest of dirty secrets-and more than one person with a motive for murder. But Blair’s methods are jeopardizing her relationship with Cade, and an unsolicited prediction from the psychic only adds to her troubles. Is the man’s so-called gift truly from God, as he claims?

Did Lisa’s murder have anything to do with the mayoral race, her husband’s alleged affair, or her decade-long struggle with infertility? Whoever the killer is, he’s about to take his evasion of justice to the next, lethal level. And someone else is going to die.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

This story is well-written and deals with some difficult issues like infertility.  It is realistic and the characters are people who will draw you into the story and make you care about them from page one.  The suspense of who killed Lisa Jackson will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end, and there are enough suspects to keep you guessing.  I love to read suspenseful novels and try to solve the crime and figure out who the guilty party is before it is revealed, but Terri Blackstock in the Cape Refuge series (the two that I have read so far) always surprises me, and to me, that says the author did a great job with the story because it was intricately woven in a way that I thought I knew who dunnit, but I didn’t.

This series also includes a recurring group of townsfolk who keep you coming back to each book of the series.  Their storylines include suspense and romance as well as real-life issues.  Blair Owens’s walk of faith is a joy to watch as it grows and she faces some of the spiritual struggles we all deal with.

I would recommend this novel to anyone who loves a well-written story about realistic characters dealing with realistic issues.  I also recommend this novel to anyone who loves a fast-paced suspense novel, as well as a mystery that keeps you guessing until the very end.

Breaker’s Reef by Terri Blackstock

I have been a Terri Blackstock fan for some time.  Her books always keep me turning pages and Breaker’s Reef was no exception.  I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program, and I must admit that when I received the book and saw that it is book four of the “Cape Refuge Series”, I thought I might be lost because I hadn’t read the first three books in the series.  However, that was not the case.  I’m sure that many of the characters are part of the first three books as Cape Refuge is a town, but Ms. Blackstock wrote this book in such a way that I could read it and not feel like I was reading a book from a series where I had missed a lot of important information.  She gave enough information on the characters that I understood them and the connections between them, and the plot line seemed independent.

Breaker’s Reef is the story of Sadie, a young lady who has lived a difficult life, whose mother has recently straightened out her own life though she has a secret that is soon revealed — she had another daughter before Sadie, one she gave up for adoption. When a murder takes place, Sadie’s mom thinks she may have information as to who may have done it.  Then, another young girl turns up dead and another missing.  Danger seems to lurk around every corner as Sadie decides to try to find the missing girl.  In between all of the murders and abductions, the Police Chief is trying to propose to the woman he has loved for a long time, but the case seems to grow more tangled and time consuming every day.

Breaker’s Reef is suspenseful and gripping with a touch of humor and romance.  It definitely kept me turning pages.  The young ladies in this book were impressive characters in the way they showed compassion and wanted to help other young girls in trouble.  They encouraged others to take a step to change their lives.  The story and its characters were inspiring.

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a good mystery with an inspirational message.  If you love a story that grabs your attention and holds it until the very end, Breaker’s Reef is a book you’ll want to read.  I can’t wait to read the first three that came before Breaker’s Reef in the “Cape Refuge Series”.

A Special Giveaway!

Hello everyone, I hope you are having a blessed Christmas.  I am having a quiet, relaxing Christmas at home with my family.

I am having a special giveaway because this post is my 100th post on this blog, AND today is Christmas day, therefore I am giving away two books!  They are older books, but they are good stories with a Christmas theme.  One is All Through the Night by Mary Higgins Clark and the other is Dashing Through the Snow by Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clark.  I enjoyed them both, but Dashing Through the Snow is my favorite of the two.

I would have liked to give away a writing resource since I am a writer and that is the main focus of this blog, but I really didn’t have anything to offer at this time.  Maybe I can do that for a future giveaway.

To be the recipient of these two books, please leave a comment in the comment box below and tell me how long you’ve been following my blog, what you like about it and what you’d like to see here.  Those comments will be greatly appreciated and considered as I begin a new year of blogging here.

I will determine a winner by December 31st and announce the winner of this giveaway here on the blog in my New Year’s Day post.  That gives you one week to decide on a comment to post here to take a chance at winning two good books by a well-known author.  I can’t wait to read what you have to say!