Friday, June 23, 2017


Roxanne Rustand, here---delighted to introduce you to prolific, award-winning author Margaret Daley, who has graciously consented to be featured here on the SuspenseSisters blog.

If you had to describe yourself in one sentence, what would you say?  
Dedicated to God, family and country.

What do you do when you’re not writing? Any interesting hobbies?
I love to spend time with family and friends and read in my free time.
What is your writing schedule, and how do you manage to be productive despite everything else in your life?
I don’t always manage to be productive when a lot of different things are going on. I try to write six days a week. I’m trying to take one day off each week, which isn’t always easy. By working at least a little each day, I stay in my story world, and it doesn’t take much time to get back into the book I’m writing.

What was your favorite book as a teen or child?
All the Nancy Drew stories.

What genre did you start out writing? Have you changed course? Why or why not?
Historical romance. Yes, I’ve changed quite a bit over the thirty-seven years I’ve been writing. The first book I sold was a contemporary romance. Soon that was all I was writing, although I have published 3 historical romances over the course of my career. Now I’m mostly writing Christian romantic suspense. That is what I enjoy reading the most—and writing.

Any other genres you’d like to try? If yes, what and why?

If you could go back in time and do something differently at the start of your career, what would it be?
Being part of a continuity series with my first publisher—I’ve done many since then and I’ve really enjoyed doing them.

Beyond just telling them to keep at their writing, what is the most important piece of advice you’d like to give to unpublished authors?

Read what you want to write.

For those who leave a comment, Margaret is offering a drawing for an ebook giveaway of her box set for her  Strong Women, Extraordinary Situations Series (a 3 book box set).

Margaret Daley, a USA Today’s Bestselling author of over one hundred books (five million plus sold worldwide), has been married for over forty-six years and is a firm believer in romance and love. When she isn’t traveling, she’s writing love stories, often with a suspense thread and corralling her three cats that think they rule her household. To find out more about Margaret visit her website at

From USA Bestselling Author Margaret Daley--another romantic suspense novel you'll love!

Second Chances.

A saboteur targets Alexia Richards and her family company. As the incidents become more lethal, Alexia must depend on a former Delta Force soldier, Cole Knight, a man from her past that she loved. When their son died in a fire, their grief and anger drove them apart. Can Alexia and Cole work through their pain and join forces to find the person who wants her dead?
Amazon Buy Link:

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Interview and a giveaway with Jill Elizabeth Nelson!

Let's welcome author Jill Elizabeth Nelson! Leave a comment to be entered to win a copy of her new book!

Tell us a little about yourself and your newest book.

Since grade-school age, I’ve been writing as a creative hobby outside of the classroom in one form or another—poetry, short stories, articles, essays. Becoming a published novelist was always my dream, but many times it felt foolish to believe I might actually succeed. In fact, the dream died for many years, especially when my four children were growing up. As they began to need my attention less, God relit the writing fire within me. Within a few years after that, I received my first novel contract. I was so excited! Still am.

That was in 2005, and my newest release, Rocky Mountain Sabotage, is my fourteenth novel with a mainstream, royalty-paying publisher. I’ve also self-published a couple of books on the craft of writing. Rivet Your Readers with Deep Point of View is on the popular topic of writing in deep POV, which is a skill my very first editor taught me to master. The Art of the Edit lays out some editing techniques that I’ve found valuable over the years.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?

In Rocky Mountain Sabotage, my heroine is a newly minted physician’s assistant named Lauren Carter. Aside from her career, which is all about helping others, she is strong and courageous and a keen judge of character. Her insights into people play a key role in keeping her and her fellow passengers alive under intensely challenging circumstances. The crash landing of the charter jet, in which she and her mother are passengers, and the harsh environment of the abandoned Rocky Mountain mining town provide her with a number of patients who need every bit of her medical expertise, improvised without the amenities of a modern hospital.

Abandoned by her father at a tender age, Lauren sees in the hero, Kent Garland, the sort of man her father never was. However, she is reluctant to trust any man with her heart—even the ex-Special Forces pilot who successfully landed the sabotaged plane and now seems committed to sticking around, doing anything he can to ensure everyone’s survival.

What are you working on at the moment?

I just finished the manuscript for a book that is scheduled to release in January 2018, entitled Duty to Defend. I’m excited about the story because it explores a difficult but important topic for awareness and discussion—Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Hopefully, you dear Suspense Sisters will invite me back for an interview about that book at the end of the year. Bless you for hosting me for Rocky Mountain Sabotage!

What is the hardest thing about writing?

“How do you come up with your ideas?” is one of the most frequent questions I hear from people. I’m not sure I can give a scientifically precise answer. Ideas pop out at me all over the place—from people-watching, ordinary excursions to the grocery store, overheard conversations, newspaper or magazine articles, new interests and hobbies, etc.

I think a person has to have a certain type of brain to process these mundane facets of life into the stuff of suspense novels. Apparently, I have that sort of brain. So, getting the ideas is not the difficulty; it’s choosing which one to develop at any given time. Right now, I’m sifting through a bunch of different title and story ideas in order to develop my next book proposal for my publisher. Pray for me!

What is the easiest thing about writing?

 Getting to do what I’ve dreamed of doing all my life, rather than clocking in at a day job.

Anything else you'd like to share.

I’m going to be a grandma again! Just found out today. Our youngest is expecting her third child. “Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him.” Psalm 127:3 (NLT) Grandchildren are like a reward from a reward!


Award-winning author and writing teacher, Jill Elizabeth Nelson, writes what she likes to read—tales of adventure seasoned with romance, humor, and faith. Jill enjoys speaking at conferences, writer’s groups, library associations, civic and church groups. She delights to bring the “Ahah! Moment” to students as they make new skills their own. Her bestselling handbook for writers, Rivet Your Readers with Deep Point of View, is available at Visit Jill on the web at: or look her up on Facebook:

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Hot New Inspy Suspense!

A daughter, a cult, a secret.

When Ron Fields heard the news his only daughter Emily had joined the new age cult Lighthouse, he was devastated. Ron decides to keep quiet on his feelings about his daughter’s choice, a decision which changes his life forever…

The lies we tell are often thought to be innocent…
…but the lies we believe can sometimes be deadly.

From the best-selling Christian suspense author T.K. Chapin comes a story that will keep you turning the pages late into the night.

Monday, June 19, 2017


We’re planning another great week on the Suspense Sisters. Check out our posts, our interviews, and our awesome giveaways!


On our review page, senior reviewer Iola Goulton reviews ENEMY ACTION by Mike Hollow. Iola says: “Yes, there were plenty of red herrings, and the end managed to both surprise me and make perfect sense. That's always the sign of an excellent mystery.”

You can find her complete review HERE.

On Tuesday Dana Mentink will share What’s Hot in Inspirational Suspense and Mystery.

On Wednesday we’re interviewing author Jill Elizabeth Nelson. She’s giving away a copy of her new book, ROCKY MOUNTAIN SABOTAGE.

When the plane Lauren Carter is traveling in crash-lands near an abandoned mining town, pilot Kent Garland is convinced the charter jet was sabotaged. And one of the other injured passengers may be responsible. Struggling to keep their group safe, Lauren and Kent fight the elements—and the ill-timed feelings they are developing for each other. But as a string of "accidents" pit survivors against each other, exposing a deadly traitor means looking beyond appearances. Who can be trusted? With someone determined to kill off all the plane's passengers, they must catch the murderer in their midst if they hope to leave this town alive.

Friday, we’ll talk to Margaret Daley. You could win a copy of her book, DEADLY FIRES!

A saboteur targets Alexia Richards and her family company. As the incidents become more lethal, Alexia must depend on a former Delta Force soldier, Cole Knight, a man from her past that she
loved. When their son died in a fire, their grief and anger drove them apart. Can Alexia and Cole work through their pain and join forces to find the person who wants her dead?

The Suspense Sisters! We love books!

Friday, June 16, 2017

SUSAN Lantz SIMPSON: Up-Lifting Amish Romantic Suspense and a GIVEAWAY!

Interviewer: Mary Ellis  
Amish Romance still continues to sell well in the world of Inspirational fiction. If you still haven't tried one, now is a good time to do so. Susan Lantz Simpson combines the Amish, romance, and mystery, along with the faith element. It's my privilege to interview Susan on her debut novel. Please leave a comment for Susan for a chance to win a signed copy of Plain Haven.

ME) If you had to describe yourself in one sentence, what would you say?  

(SS) I am a mother, a writer, a teacher, and a nurse whose desire is to serve God and to bring hope and happiness to my readers. 

(ME) What do you do when you’re not writing? Any interesting hobbies?

(SS) When I am not writing or thinking about writing or listening to the characters talking in my head, I enjoy reading, walking, needlework, and hanging out with my daughters.

(ME) What was your favorite book as a teen or child?

(SS) As a child, I loved the Little House books and Nancy Drew mysteries. As a teenager, I discovered and was inspired by Catherine Marshall’s Christy.

(ME) Tell us three things about yourself that might surprise your readers.

(SS) I write my first drafts in longhand.
I have a cat who has spent her entire life (ever since I adopted her as a kitten) running from me, no matter how many treats I offer. It’s a good thing she likes my daughter!
I can be at the beach or the mountains within a few hours of leaving my home and never step foot outside of Maryland where I have lived my whole life.

(ME) What genre did you start out writing? Have you changed course? Why or why not?

(SS) My first published book was a middle-grade children’s novel, but I always wrote adult stories as well. My love of romance and suspense and my long-term interest in the Amish led me to write in my current genre.

(ME) What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

(SS) Thankfully, the criticism I’ve received so far has been constructive—things I can use to make my writing better. The best compliment came from a writer I greatly respect and admire who said my characters were well-crafted and she couldn't believe my book was a debut novel.

(ME) Any other genres you’d like to try? If yes, what and why?

(SS) I think it might be fun to try a cozy mystery series. I like the amateur sleuth idea—maybe from my Nancy Drew years! 

(ME) If you could go back in time and do something differently at the start of your career, what would it be?

(SS) I would probably obtain an agent sooner. Agents know the ins and outs of publishing that I can’t pretend to comprehend. I’m so thankful my wonderful agent took me on.

(ME) What is the most important piece of advice you’d like to give to unpublished authors?

(SS) My advice to unpublished authors would be to keep writing. Don’t ever give up on your dream. Write at least a little every day, and read as many books as you can in your chosen genre.

Here's a little bit about Plain HavenLilly Brandt was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Now she is running for her life—straight into a small, obscure Amish community in Southern Maryland. Now as Hannah Kurtz, she vows to remain aloof since she doesn’t expect to be in Cherry Hill long enough to form any attachments. But her head has neglected to inform her heart of this plan. She hadn’t counted on meeting and being attracted to the kind, young man with the amazing blue eyes.

Jacob Beiler, a skilled young furniture maker, has made a vow of his own. After being jilted by the girl he trusted right before he was about to propose, he decides to focus strictly on honing his craft and guarding his heart from any future injury. When Hannah Kurtz drops into his world, she drops into his mending heart as well, thawing the wall of ice he has meticulously erected. Against his better judgment, he allows himself to care again and to trust another woman. When the Amish community discovers Hannah is not really Amish and that she is not even Hannah Kurtz, Jacob feels betrayed yet again. Will he be able to forgive Hannah’s necessary deception, or will he walk away from love forever?

Here's a little bit about Susan: Susan Lantz Simpson has been writing stories and poetry ever since she penned her first poem at the age of six. She has always loved the magic of words and how they can entertain and enlighten others. Her love of words and books led her to earn a degree in English/Education. She has taught students from Prekindergarten to high school and has also worked as an editor for the federal government. She also holds a degree in nursing and has worked in hospitals and in community health. She writes inspirational stories of love and faith and has published a middle-grade novel (Ginger and the Bully). She lives in Maryland and is the mother of two wonderful daughters. She is a member of ACFW and Maryland Christian Writers Group. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys reading, walking, and doing needlework. 

Leave a comment for Susan for a chance to win a signed copy of Plain Haven. You must leave an email address with your comment in order to win. Drawing will be in one week. 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

A Venture into Southern Gothic: My Visit to the William Faulkner House—Linda Kozar


Last week, my husband and I had the opportunity to visit the home of one of my favorite Southern Gothic writers, William Faulkner. My husband knows I love writing and writers, so he planned the trip just for me! In that spirit, I decided to share facts and memories of the visit, as well as personal photos with you, our Suspense Sister friends!—Linda

Nestled in over twenty-nine acres of an area known as Bailey's Woods in Oxford, Mississippi, Rowan Oak, also known as the William Faulkner House, is a primitive Greek Revival style home built in the 1840s. An impressive alley of tall cedar trees lines the walkway to the front door.

Rowan Oak, the William Faulkner House
The home was built in the 1840s, and the hand-hewn studs were of 4 by 4 cypress. Faulkner bought the home in disrepair in the 1930s and did many of the renovations himself.

Rear of the home
The "Rowan Oak" is a mythical tree, but there are many trees and plants on the property that hearken back to antebellum times.

Though it is unclear whether Faulkner was a man of faith, his wife's bedroom bookcase contains many books of Christian inspiration, which might indicate that she was a  woman of faith.

The wall of his writing room, or study, like many the wall of an author, is decorated with an outline of his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, A Fable, scrawled in graphite and red on the plaster wall. His desk faces a window and a large floor fan is aimed at the desk. There is also a twin bed in the room.

A portrait painting of a stoic Faulkner above the fireplace
Faulkner once said that the only tools he needed for his trade were paper, tobacco, food, and a little whiskey.

"I have just written such a beautiful thing that I am about to burst—2,000 words about the Luxembourg gardens and death. It has a thin thread of plot about a young woman, and it is poetry though written in prose form. I have worked on it for two whole days and every word is perfect. I haven't slept for two whole nights, thinking about it, comparing words, accepting and rejecting them, then changing again. But now it is perfect—a jewel. I am going to put it away for a week, then show it to someone for an opinion. So tomorrow I will wake up feeling rotten, I expect. Reaction. But it's worth it, to have done a thing like this."

Reading that quote from the same writer's perch, made me feel a kindred spirit with the man. All writers feel that way at some point. Although I have to say I have never declared my work to be perfect. But oh, to reach that pinnacle!

A few of many famous authors who paid a visit to the house are: John Updike, Alice Walker, Salman Rushdie, and even the Coen brothers. Writer Mark Richard once took it upon himself to fix a faulty doorknob on the French door to Faulkner's study.

The original curator of the house, Bev Smith, was responsible for finding many of Faulkner's original manuscripts hidden within the home.


A cool retreat from the summer sun

Massive old tree near the servant's quarters.
If only old trees could tell stories. I'm sure this one would have many to tell.

Farm animals
Faulkner was an avid horseman, and although I did not take a picture of the stables, the building was undoubtably, one he visited frequently. He was badly injured in a horse riding accident in 1959, and in 1962 he suffered a serious injury from a fall from his horse, which led to a fatal thrombosis-related heart attack.

Some of Faulkner's books:

The Sound and the Fury, As I lay Dying, Light in August, Absalom, Absalom!, Go Down, Moses, Intruder in the Dust, The Hamlet, If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem, Sanctuary, A Rose For Emily, A Fable, Sartoris, The Mansion...



Linda Kozar, is a successful author of over 16 traditionally-published and indie-published books, speaker, and podcast host of Chat Noir Mystery & Suspense and Network Coordinator for the Along Came A Writer Network on BlogTalk Radio. Recipient of ACFW’s Mentor of the Year award 2007, she founded The Woodlands Texas chapter of ACFW, is currently on the board of the Christian Authors Network and is a member of Chi Libris, ACFW, RWA, AWSA. Linda and her husband of 28 years, Michael live in The Woodlands, Texas and enjoy spending time with their two grown daughters, wonderful son-in-law and their spunky Jack Russell Terrier, Gypsy.