Interview with author Alice K Arenz plus Giveway

A.K. Arenz

2010 ACFW Carol Award winning author, Alice K. Arenz, aka A.K. Arenz, has been writing since she was a child. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, her first three novels, cozy mysteries The Case of the Bouncing Grandma (a 2009 ACFW Carol Awards finalist), The Case of the Mystified M.D., book two in the Bouncing Grandma Mystery Series (winner of the 2010 Carol Award), and the more serious mystery/suspense Mirrored Image (a 2011 finalist for the Carol Award) will soon be re-released by Forget Me Not Romances. Visit her at her website www.akawriter.com .

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Alice, welcome! I’m so excited to have you here today.

Hi, Peg, thanks for having me.

My pleasure. Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. Smile

When, or how, did you first discover that you were a writer?

I loved telling stories when I was a kid. I was always making things up. Of course, when you’re small, telling stories can sometimes be equated with not telling the truth. I did exaggerate and expound on things—still do! But it was my daddy who realized that it was more imagination than outright lying. So, in some ways, I guess I was a “writer” even before I could actually write.

(I know someone else who can say the same thing.Winking smile)

How much of yourself do you write into your characters?

Um, that’s a hard one. I don’t really know how to answer that. They’re my creations—with a generous helping from God, mind you—and since they come from my brain, I would imagine that to some extent they all have minute pieces of me. Many of my characters have the same phobias I do. It’s easy to relate something like that. But I don’t believe any of them could have much of me. I’m too boring.

Oh, bosh. I don’t believe that for a minute.

What historical person–besides Jesus–would you most like to meet, and why?

John . . . I’d like to discuss Revelation with him.

Are you a plotter or pantser?

Definitely a pantser. About the only things I know about my story before I begin to write is the title and the name of the main character. AND I have to write in chronological order—no jumping around for me. When I had to add an additional 10,000 words to The Case of the Bouncing Grandma, it took forever to come to grips with it. But encouragement from my daughter Kelly (my editor), my husband Chris, and a long shower of thoughtful prayer, and I finally got what I needed to proceed. I take a lot of showers when I’m writing. Best place to hear what God’s been trying to tell me!

Money being no object, where would be your dream writing getaway?

Location: near family. House, a clean, new one story with easy access to the outside, laundry on the living level, and my not having to go down stairs except in case of a tornado. The old raised ranch we live in is “falling down around our ears,” and so messy for various reasons, that I find it hard to concentrate on anything.

Coffee or tea?

Tea, definitely.

What is the quirkiest thing you’ve ever done?

Um . . . being unable to shut up when I got onstage after winning the Carol in 2010. I still don’t know what I said!

Tell us a bit about An American Gothic and how you came to write it?

american gothicI originally wrote Gothic around 1989 or so. We were down at Lake of the Ozarks in central Missouri & had just been to Ha Ha Tonka State Park. I love that place with the castle ruins and the story behind it—a dream to bring a European Castle and estate to Missouri and the tragedy that destroyed the place. Every time I go there I can’t help but start writing scenarios in my head, and An American Gothic is the culmination of my dream.

As for the story, you actually get two stories in one—the heroine, an aspiring gothic novelist, shares a few paragraphs of her story Craven at the beginning of each chapter. From the pace set in those few lines, you get an idea of the turmoil that is building in Lyssie’s life and those of the residences of the Foxxemoor estate where Lyssie is staying. A kind of modern day gothic/romantic suspense novel like I grew up devouring.

Tagline: She came to Foxxemoor to write a mystery, not to become part of one.

Back Cover Copy: Devastated by the death of a child in her care, Lyssie’s heart strings are tugged when she finds another child in danger. Amid past secrets, lies, and betrayals of an old college friend’s family, she must choose a twin brother to trust. If she makes the wrong decision, she could not only lose her own life, but also the life of the child she’s come to love.

Thank you, Alice, for being a guest on Whispers in Purple. Any parting comments you’d like to share?

Thank you so very much for inviting me to join you today, Peg. This has been fun!

And for those of you out there who want to write but don’t think they can do it because of health issues or whatever, remember that if God is calling you, He will help you find a way. Gothic had been scheduled to be published five years ago, but it didn’t happen. During that intervening time, because of increasing health issues, I not only didn’t/haven’t written, but I didn’t think I would ever be blessed with another published novel. But I was wrong. God opened this door, and as frightened as I am about going through it and embracing it, I’m trying not to let Him or anyone else down. It’s overwhelming and scary, but I hope all of you will find this new book more than worth the effort. Thank you & God Bless. Alice

And God Bless you, Alice. BTW, I’m reading Gothic right now, every chance my own writing gives me.

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The Giveaway:  Alice is offering to give away one paperback copy of An American Gothic to one of you who leaves a comment below. (Lower 48 only. Sorry.)Have a question of your own to ask her? Do it here! Giveaway ends at Midnight Central one week from today. Winner will be drawn the following day and notified via email. Thanks for entering.

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>>>BREAKING NEWS<<<

The Case of the Bouncing Grandma, Book One in Alice’s Bouncing Grandma series, has been redesigned with a new cover and re-released TODAY

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Be sure to check it out! Just click on the cover and enjoy!

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Writing Talk Tuesday with Yours Truly

unhappyAs a writer, have you ever become disenchanted with your work in progress? A work you’ve been totally in love with when…BAM! The love has dimmed and you’re wondering what happened to that spark that got you started?

Then the doubts and self-castigation begin and you start listening to the lies the enemy has been lurking nearby, just waiting for a chance to throw at you:

Your writing really stinks.

You’ll never be good enough.

You should never have started the project to begin with.

This effort isn’t nearly as good as your last one.

What were you thinking?

Give it up. Go crochet doilies or something.

Any of those sound familiar?

I confess. Guilty as charged. I’m at that point right now, one-third of the way through my current work. Oh, I still love the concept of this series. The first two volumes have been well received. And I had fun writing them.

But…

Why am I having so much trouble with Volume 3? I’m procrastinating way too much, reluctant to move forward, and I must. I’m under contract to write this series. Though I’m under no set deadline, I am obligated to submit each volume in a timely manner, and I know I’m pushing it.

When I looked last night at what I’ve written so far, well, I’m not happy with it. It’s…okay. Just…not good, know what I mean?

So I’m curious what the rest of you writers out there do when this happens to you? How do you work through it? Please share in the comment section below.

Or, better yet, write an article to share her for other enquiring minds.

Why? Because this is the inaugural post of what I hope will become a weekly feature here on Whispers in Purple. I’m calling it WRITING TALK TUESDAY, and will be featured once a week on…Tuesday’s! Clever, huh?

So consider this my INVITATION to contribute something…anything…as long as it’s writing-related, to share with others. If you’re interested in this, mention it in your comment; use the CONTACT tab at the top of this page, or email me at peg@peggyblannphifer.com

Hope to hear from you soon!

 

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Author Peggy Blann Phifer, a retired executive assistant after twenty-one years in the Electrical Wholesale Industry, lives in the ‘boonies’ of NW Wisconsin. A late bloomer as far as writing is concerned, Peg’s first published work was a prayer that appeared in 2000 in a Guideposts Book compilation called Prayers for Every Need. Her debut novel, To See the Sun, a contemporary romantic suspense, released in January 2012. A novella, Somehow, Christmas Will Come, contemporary women’s fiction, released in November 2014, re-released in late 2015. Her work has also appeared in numerous anthologies and she is currently writing a series of her own called Sweetwater River. Peg is represented by Jim Hart, of Hartline Literary Agency.

 

Where to find Peg:

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A Northern Wisconsin Lament

The good Lord didn’t create anything without a purpose, But mosquitoes come close. 

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And the CLASH Goes On

A BRIDE AT LAST by Melissa Jagears! Abandoned by his mail-order bride, Silas Jonesey has fought an uphill battle to recover from a pattern of poor choices. Now his prayers for reconciliation have finally come true and his estranged wife has contacted him with her whereabouts. Kate Dawson was supposed to be a mail-order bride, but upon realizing she’d been deceived about her intended groom, she’s now settled into life as a schoolteacher. When the mother of a student passes away, Kate assumes she’ll take on care of nine-year-old Anthony–until two men suddenly show up in town, claiming to be the boy’s father. Silas can see Anthony loves Kate, so he enlists her help in reaching out to the boy and attempting to prove his paternity to the court. When a common interest in Anthony leads to an interest in each other and Silas and Kate begin to think they can overcome their rocky start, neither is prepared for the secrets and past hurts that have yet to come to light. Can Silas, Kate, and Anthony’s wounded souls bind them together or will all that stands between them leave them lonely forever?

 

 

 

 

Here’s what Publisher’s Weekly has to say:

In [Jagears’] latest novel [A Bride at Last], . . . the characters are all well-balanced and engaging: Silas’ struggle with his failed marriage, struggling faith, and dark past makes him sympathetic; Kate’s commitment to Anthony gives her depth and pathos; and their romance develops realistically . . . a memorable read for fans of redemptive historical romances.

Check out her upcoming release, With This Ring?

A historical novella compilation of four award winning authors – Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, Regina Jennings and Melissa Jagears Four top historical romance novelists team up in this new collection to offer stories of love and romance with a twist of humor. In Karen Witemeyer’s “The Husband Maneuver,” Marietta Hawkins decides to grab the reins when the ranch foreman she loves seems to be leaving forever. Regina Jennings offers “Her Dearly Unintended,” where friends stranded by a rising river pretend to be newlyweds when a dangerous stranger arrives. Mary Connealy’s “Runaway Bride” finds a Texas ranger getting more than he expected when he rescues a young woman fleeing a dangerous arranged marriage. And Melissa Jagears’ “Engaging the Competition” finds a young woman forced to assist the man she’s often sparred with after an accident leaves him helpless. Each tale is a fun blend of history and romance that will delight readers.

Find it here on Amazon

 About Melissa:

Melissa Jagears is a homeschooling mom who writes Christian Historical Romance after everyone is asleep. She’s the author of the Unexpected Brides Series with Bethany House. The prequel ebook novella, Love by the Letter is free to try. You can learn more about her, her books, and where she hangs out online at www.melissajagears.com

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Guest Blogger Author Tina Pinson, Article, Book, and Giveaway!

Pinson_Tina_WebsiteImageAward Winning author Tina Pinson resides in Mesa, Arizona with Danny, her husband of thirty plus years. They are blessed to have three sons, and nine grandchildren. Tina started her first novel in elementary school. Her love of writing has caused her to seek creative outlets be it writing poetry, songs, or stories. She also loves to doodle and enjoys gardening.

It is her prayer that her stories, though fiction, will transport you to worlds beyond and touch your spirit and give you a closer insight to yourself and God.

In the Manor of the Ghost, Touched By Mercy To Carry Her Cross Black Rain Then There Was Grace, Black Rain, Christmas in Shades of Gray and the Shadow Series; When Shadows Fall, Shadowed Dreams , To Catch A Shadow and This Shadowed Land are available through Desert Breeze Publishing and major retailers like Amazon, Barnes and Noble and CBD. Then There Was Grace took First Place in the Epic Awards for Contemporary Fiction and Christmas in Shades of Gray was a finalist in the Epic Awards for Paranormal Fiction. Her newest release Betrayed – Trail of the Sandpiper Book #1 placed third in the Genesis in 2003.

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War and Peacestilence

by

Tina Pinson

At the time the US was drawn into the war in 1941 the country was on the tail end of the Great Depression. In truth, it was the war that put the country on the path to financial recovery.

But it sent thousands to their death, many in island places we call exotic paradises, and hope to visit one day for vacation. We can visit these places today, having been vaccinated to hopefully protect us from any virus or disease we might confront.

But that wasn’t true for the soldiers in WWII. In 1942 the US Government vaccinated all personnel for tetanus, typhoid, smallpox, cholera, and yellow fever, which helped eradicate many of the diseases and kept outbreaks from spreading through the ranks like in prior wars.

Having prepared their army with every medical advance in their arsenal, the government sent them to war. Some headed to Europe to fight against the Nazis and others headed to the islands of the Pacific to face the Japanese.

Those fighting in the South Pacific soon found out it was nothing like home. At home they fought Tuberculosis, and Polio, Flu, and other diseases that scared them, but those diseases they understood and knew some precautions to take. In the South Pacific, they marched into jungles ready to fight the Japanese unaware they’d battle extremes of heat and incessant rains that would give them rashes and jungle rot so bad they itched, bled profusely, and could become gangrenous

They fought all kinds of bugs and disease carrying vermin and ended up with; dengue fever, malaria, hepatitis, dysentery, Leishmaniosis (black fever, sand fly disease), cholera and Scrub typhus (brought on by mites).

Living conditions and tainted drinking water caused cholera and dysentery, which would inflict the already fatigued soldier with diarrhea and cause dehydration. Canvas water bags (Lister bags) treated with chlorine were hung around camp to give a fresh supply of water, and many soldiers learned (some the hard way) the importance of a clean canteen and a clean mess kit.

Some soldiers got Dracunculiasis, or guinea worm disease, from drinking water infected with water fleas carrying the guinea worm larva. The soldier would have no symtoms initially, but after about a year they would develop a painful burning feeling, usually on their lower limbs. The matured worm would then come out of the skin over the next few weeks. This disease was usually deadly, but could you imagine trying to figure out why your skin was blistering only to learn it was from a drink of water you took almost a year before.

We know about these diseases, but people today can still get them from visiting countries where these diseases persist.

But in WWII many hadn’t even heard of Dracunuliasis and for every two men saved on the battlefield two or more might die from disease.

Soldiers, especially if taken prisoner and fed a staple of rice, also fought Beriberi, a vitamin B1 deficiency that caused a loss of feeling in hands and feet, vomiting, coma and even death.

Those who contracted Malaria carried it for years after, as there wasn’t much to then to stop the disease from revisiting when it wanted.

Another disease that lasted years after the war, was PTSD, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (or Syndrome,) even then we didn’t talk about it as much as we do today. Like a mental malaria PTSD hung around and attacked uninvited long after the soldier had returned home, leaving soldiers to relive the atrocities of war over and over again. Pulling them from their now quiet existence back to the battlefield. And yes, like today, there were those who took their lives to kill the echoes of war in their heads forever.

In Betrayed — Trail of the Sandpiper Book #1, I write about some of the pests and bugs on the island of New Guinea. And show some of what Trauma does. Lieutenant Tyler Merrick lives with reoccurring dreams from child hood and Pearl Harbor. And Justine Whitcomb is haunted by her own memories. Remember PTSD doesn’t just hit a soldier who’s been to war.

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BetrayedCoverArtBetrayed

Justine Whitcomb, who, after the missionary compound where she lives is attacked, is left to get herself and several children off the island of New Guinea. Escaping might be easier done if she didn’t have to get through Japanese lines and fight Lieutenant Tyler Merrick of the US Navy in the process.

Lt. Merrick is on a mission to find a rogue spy, and Justine’s independent nature and knowledge of the island has him believing she just might be the spy he’s after. Were it not for the children she’s protecting, he would’ve followed his instincts and taken her prisoner already.

Now she wants him to follow her through the jungle. He not certain he’s ready to trust her. But if they can’t put their fears aside and learn to trust one another, they might not get off the island alive.

It’s the summer of ’42. The world is at War and Japan’s Imperial Army is moving across the island of New Guinea.

After their mission is attacked, Justine is left with seven children to lead to safety through enemy lines. She leads them to a cave and goes back for her husband when she is taken captive. Upon her escape with the help of a friend, Virginia, she starts back for the children and runs into Lt. Tyler Merrick. She hopes he will help her. But he’s drunk and doesn’t believe there are children. He thinks Justine is the rogue spy he been sent to find.

Justine goes for the children and returns to an even angrier Lt. Merrick. He wants to tie her up. She hopes to win his trust. Because if they can’t stop fighting one another, they will never get off the island alive.

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Where to find Tina “Out There”:

Book Links for Betrayed

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About the Giveaway:

Tina is giving away a free copy of Betrayed to one lucky winner who visits this blog. Entering is easy: just leave a comment below and your name will be entered into the drawing at Contest End, Midnight (Central) September 3. Winner will be selected in a drawing through random.org the next day and notified via email.

Tina, thank you so much for being my guest here on Whispers in Purple. I really enjoyed reading your article about the so very unpleasant–often deadly–things our brave military men faced, every one of them heroes. even if they didn’t return home. God bless them all.

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Interview with Author Pamela S. Meyers w/Giveaway

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A native of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, author Pamela S. Meyers lives in suburban Chicago with her two rescue cats. Her novels include Thyme for Love, and Love Will Find a Way, contemporary romantic mysteries, and her 1933 historical romance, Love Finds You in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. When she isn’t at her laptop writing her latest novel, she can often be found nosing around Wisconsin and other Midwestern spots for new story ideas.

Welcome, Pam. Let’s chat a bit. Tell us a little bit about you.

Although born in Ohio, I moved to southeastern Wisconsin with my parents at around two years of age, and I consider myself to be a native Wisconsinite. Or Cheesehead, if you will. :-) As an adult I spent about seven or eight months in New York City while chasing my dream but when that relationship imploded I followed my parents to the West Coast. My parents eventually returned to the Midwest but I stayed on in LA for about seven years. The lure of family and change of seasons and just wanted to get back to all things familiar brought me to the Chicago area and I’ve been in the northwest burbs ever since. I rarely venture to Chicago proper and love that I’m a scant more than an hour away from my hometown of Lake Geneva. I’m single and live with my two rescue cats. I was asked to take early retirement from my job about ten years ago and have been writing full time ever since.

Though you now live in Chicago, I know you grew up in Lake Geneva. Tell us about those years. 

The Lake Geneva, WI that I grew up in is a lot different than the Lake Geneva that exists today. Yet there are some things that are the same. Namely the beautiful glacier-carved spring-fed lake. Like most everyone, I took living near a lake like that for granted until I moved away. In the summer it was the gathering spot growing up. Swimming lessons in the morning and swimming and sunning on the beach in the afternoon. I feel very blessed to have grown up in a small town as opposed to a large city.

Have you ever done something so completely stupid you could kick yourself? How did you handle it?

I must do something like that at least once a week if not more LOL. Of course, now that you ask I can’t think of a specific instance. There’s been more than one time that I’ve hit send on an email and what I thought was a private message turned out to have been sent to an entire e-loop. You know that sinking feeling and then a mad dash to read the message to see what I said that will either let people know something they shouldn’t or offend someone. There’s really nothing to do but to apologize and hope people are understanding. I don’t think I’ve ever lost a friend over it.

Do you write in one specific place, or switch off to other locations? Describe your favorite writing area. 

I have a small condo and my dining area has been converted into an office. But I can’t show you a picture because right now it’s now suitable for viewing. LOL. The space is small and I have more in there that there is room for. But when it’s organized and cleaned up it’s quite cozy. If I don’t sit at the desk where I can plug my laptop into a large monitor, I’m camped out on the couch sideways with the laptop on my lap.

What do you do ‘just for you’?

I enjoy my cats, knitting and crocheting, movies and attending rodeos in the summer with a special friend who first introduced them to me about ten years ago.

What sparks your creativity when you feel drained?

When I get stuck with a story I need to be writing, I pick up a novel written by one of my favorite writers and start reading. Reading a good well-written story usually sparks my muse and then when I go back to my own story I’m suddenly able to start writing.

If you were born into the animal kingdom instead of the human race, what would you be, and why?

I love cats and I would have to say a cat. I’d love to be one for just a day to see how they think, how much they understand and find out how much I think I understand about them is correct LOL.

How much of yourself goes into your writing and your characters?

I think the answer varies with each story. I think there is some of me in each of my heroines, but most of all in April Love, the heroine in Thyme for Love, the book that I just republished a couple weeks ago.

How did the title of this book come to you?

I first began writing Thyme for Love (TFL) six or so years ago and was struggling to come up with a good title. I asked people in an online critique group to help me and told them it was about an in-house chef whose ex-fiancé shows up in her life again after eight years of separation. Someone suggested Thyme for Love and that is how it came to be. I can take no credit, but it’s perfect. I can’t remember if I’d already changed April’s last name to Love at that time or not. That also came from a friend. She was originally April Spencer and Ane Mulligan called me one day all excited and said “You’ve got to call her April Love.” Bingo. I have had a lot of fun with that name. Of course readers in their 20s and 30s may not have a clue as to why it’s so clever. I’ll just keep that to myself and let the readers find out when they read the book. I hope to write the third book of the series, which I’m calling the Cooking Up Love Series after I re-release the sequel to TFL.

Finally, tell us a bit about Thyme for Love.

Thyme for Love Front300TFL and its sequel, Love Will Find a Way, were both published by a small press several years ago. I requested the rights be returned to me and received them last January. I have spent the past six months preparing TFL for re-release and it’s now available in both Kindle and print. I completely edited the original version and updated the technology. Here’s the back of the book blurb.

New chef, April Love, has landed her dream job, but she never anticipated her former fiancé and a murdered boss would be on the menu.

When April Love applies for a job as an in-house chef at a century-old lakeshore mansion in Canoga Lake, Wisconsin, she never expected to find her old flame, Marc Thorne working there and looking more gorgeous than ever. He’d left her high and dry weeks before their planned wedding, and last she heard, he was living on the West Coast. Soon, the old attraction heats up. But, April senses Marc isn’t spilling all the beans about his past eight years, and no amount of questioning has him talking. Despite being unable to trust Marc for her future, she’s determined to not let him stand in the way of living out her dream.

Their boss is murdered, and Marc is falsely accused of the crime. He’s about to be indicted, and April has no choice but to turn detective and find Ramón Galvez’s real killer. It isn’t long before she realizes she may be the murderer’s next victim if she doesn’t stop her sleuthing. If she stops now, hopes for a future with Marc will end in a cellblock.

About the Giveaway:

Pam is offering a copy of either the print or Kindle version of Thyme for Love. To enter, just leave a comment in the comment section below. Winner will be selected in a random drawing through random.org and will be notified via email. Giveaway ends at Midnight, September 2, Central time. Winner will be drawn and notified on Thursday, Sept 3.

Where to find Pam on the Internet:

 

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Interview with author Lillian Duncan plus Giveaway

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Lillian Duncan: stories of faith mingled with murder & mayhem!

Lillian is a multi-published writer with several Amazon bestsellers, including The Christmas Stalking and Betrayed. She writes the types of books she loves to read—fast-paced suspense with a touch or two of romance that demonstrates God’s love for all of us

Whether as an educator, a writer, or a speech pathologist, she believes in the power of words to transform lives, especially God’s Word.

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Welcome to Whispers in Purple, Lillian, I’m so glad to have you visit.

Tell us a little about you.

My husband and I live in a small town in Ohio. I mean small—we only have one traffic light. But I love being back. 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 DEADLY INTENT.

Deadly Intent is the second in my Deadly Communications series that features Maven Morris, a speech-language pathologist (SLP) who gets a little too involved with her clients. Okay, a lot too involved.

In Deadly Intent, she becomes a foster mother to an abandoned child who won’t or can’t speak. Then he disappears without a clue! And that’s when things start getting interesting not to mention deadly!

How long did it take you to write this book?

DEADLY INTENT is a novella so it didn’t take anywhere near as long as a full-length novel. I would say I finished the first draft within a month. Then another month to revise and polish before I submitted it.

Tell me a bit about your main characters. Who did you have the most fun creating? Why?

I had a great time creating Maven Morris—a crime-fighting speech pathologist! In many ways, we’re quite similar. I was a speech pathologist for more than 30 years! She’s short just like me, but not as short. She has Bell’s palsy, just like me. But we’re also different. I would never get myself into the trouble she gets herself into. I’m not nearly as adventurous or as fearless as she is!

What’s the setting for DEADLY INTENT?

Maven lives in the city of Wooster, Ohio. Coincidently, it’s a city I’ve lived near most of my life. But, of course, the story is fictional and not based on reality!

How did you come up with the title for the Deadly Communications series?

How could that not be the title? When a speech-language pathologist (SLP) gets involved in a murder mystery, what else could you name it?

Is DEADLY INTENT the first book you published?

I’ve been blessed to have several books published in the past several years. My last release was REDEMPTION, the third in my Sisters by Choice series.

How did the Deadly Communications series come about?

First, my brother asked why I didn’t write a story featuring a speech-language pathologist. To which my answer was that it would be difficult to come up with a suspense story and an SLP. I loved being an SLP, but most people would find the repetition somewhat boring.

Secondly, a few days later I was talking with someone whose daughter had been involved in an accident and was now experiencing communication difficulties.

Thirdly, as writers are prone to do, I was sitting daydreaming and had a vision of a young woman running through the woods and into ongoing traffic.

That’s all it took! My writer mind took over from there and DEADLY COMMUNICATIONS was born.

So, then it sounds as if you were a speech-language pathologist. Tell us a little about that job.

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 still miss it. Mostly I miss the children, not the paper work involved. 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. Fortunately, they weren’t cancerous, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t wreaked havoc on my life.

Oh, my, Lillian. I so admire your courage and determination to keep writing despite this.

What do you want readers to take away from the DEADLY COMMUNICATION series?

Maven has experienced a series of life-changing events that led to depression. Maven chooses to get out of bed and keep moving. It’s not easy when life throws us a curve ball or two, like getting brain tumors.

It may not seem fair, but how we react to those things will determine the quality of our future. As the story moves forward we see Maven struggle with her spirituality but we also see her turn back to God. I want readers to know they can overcome difficult situations in their own life with God’s help.

Was it difficult to write a character with communication problems?

Not at all. In fact, that was part of the fun of writing DEADLY INTENT. When Maven meets her foster child for the first time, he won’t communicate with anyone and shows characteristics of autism. As the story proceeds we see him slowly improve his communication skills.

What is your writing process?

I am not an outliner. I wish I were—it seems easier to me. But my mind doesn’t work that way. 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.

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Book Title: Deadly Intent

Author: Lillian Duncan

Publisher: Pelican Ventures Book Group – Harbourlight Books

Release Date: August 2015

Genre: Mystery & Suspense

TAGLINE: Doing the right thing isn’t always easy. In this case, it could be lethal!

Book OVERVIEW:

Everyone belongs somewhere. The key to happiness is recognizing that place when you get there.

Maven Morris can’t seem to find that place. A childless widow, she has no immediate family. Forced into a medical leave, she has no career. At loose ends, she hasn’t a clue what’s next for her.

Her neighbor, Paul Jordan knows what he wants—to move their friendship to a new level. Maven may not know what’s next, but she does know she has no interest in romance with anyone— not even her handsome neighbor.

When a young boy is abandoned in the city park, he touches her heart. In spite of his obvious special needs, she agrees to provide a temporary foster home for him. She has no idea the impact he will have on her life—or the danger he brings to her doorstep.

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

To celebrate the release of Deadly Intent, I’m having a giveaway on my blog, Tiaras & Tennis Shoes at www.lillian-duncan.com. Grand prize is a $25 Amazon gift cards but that’s not all! Five more winners will get a $5 Amazon gift card. How’s that for a celebration?

All you have to do is hop over to www.lillian-duncan.com and leave a comment on the Deadly Intent announcement. The contest ends September 26. PS. When you leave a comment, be sure to tell me what blog you read about me on. Then check back to see if you’re a winner!

To learn more about Lillian and her books, visit: www.lillianduncan.net. Tiaras & Tennis Shoes is her personal blog at www.lillian-duncan.com.

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