Sunday, December 31, 2017

Weird Christmas Doings at Mentink Manor



I would like to tell you that here at Mentink Manor, we experience the picture perfect, Martha Stewart  Christmas. I’d like to tell you that...but I’d be lying. Here in my cozy home, we have two teenage bear cubs coming and going. Add to that a naughty terrier, a crusty box turtle and a schedule that will boggle the mind and you’re beginning to get the picture. So let me just take a moment to share my top three Mentink Christmas factoids.

#1) Our tree is weird. It’s artificial, the same one next to which Papa Bear proposed to me some twenty three years ago. It’s sentimental...but it’s not pretty. As a matter of fact, it’s got a decided lean to the left. We don’t put on the rear branches because it takes up too much room, so it’s a little...um...unnatural looking. Add to that the fact that we only put ornaments on the top half because Junie the Terrier has been known to eat ornaments and the Jesus candle, and you get an idea. Not pretty....but the source of many Christmas memories.



#2) If you’re a friend of mine, you’re getting one cent stamps for Christmas, and the wrapping isn’t going to be grand. I’ll just let this video explain how I happen to come into possession of 20,000 one cent stamps. http://bit.ly/2AjWA6e

#3) Watch out for appliance crashes. Making Christmas Eve pizza is a tradition here at Mentink Manor and we go all out. Papa Bear makes the dough in a bread machine while we’re at church. You know what we learned? That bread machines wiggle...they do this shimmy thing and even at times launch themselves off the kitchen counter. Uh huh. Bye bye bread machine and hello therapist for the traumatized dog.

So you see, we don’t have the picture perfect Christmas here at Mentink Manor, but our home is filled with love, fur, frolic and faith and that’s the most important thing, don’t you think? God bless you and your family, all!







Friday, December 29, 2017

Mary Ellis's Christmas Memory and Favorite Cookie Recipe

When I think back to Christmas as a child, I remember gathering at the home of one of my aunts on Christmas Eve. We would enjoy a potluck dinner and catch up on family news—coming babies, recent graduations and other milestones. Before the families separated to attend church services, the children anxiously awaited the arrival of one special guest—Santa Claus. My uncle would dress up in full costume and arrive with great fanfare down the staircase. He carried a velvet sack filled with gifts for good girls and boys from infants through college-aged. Since I was the youngest of my generation, I was the last child who still believed in Santa Claus. When I finally discovered the truth about the man-in-red, I played along with the subterfuge for years. I didn’t want to spoil the fun for my mother and aunts. Finally when I was in the sixth grade and Santa passed out his gifts, I said, “Hi, Uncle Louie. Thanks for the gift.” My mother and aunts looked broken-hearted, but all good things must come to an end.
Looking back, I’m grateful for the joy they preserved for me because of their love. And because of God’s unending love and the gift of His son…once again I have something to believe in. Merry Christmas! May God’s blessings rain down on your family during this special season.

Snickerdoodles
1 cup butter, softened (do not use margarine)
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
¼ cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
3 ¾ cups flour
¾ tsp. baking powder
cinnamon sugar

Cream together the butter and sugar. To this mixture add the eggs, milk, and vanilla, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift together the flour and baking powder; then add the creamed mixture. Roll dough into little balls and then roll in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and flatten slightly. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes.


Need a Christmas novella to get you in the Christmas spirit? Sarah’s Christmas Miracle is available in all electronic formats for $2.99.


Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Merry Christmas and Texas Christmas Defender



Hope you had a wonderful Christmas! We're repeating some of the posts made for Christmas. After the first of the year, the Suspense Sisters will be back with great new posts, interviews, book reviews and contests! We're looking forward to a wonderful 2018!

Here is Elizabeth Goddard's post about her exciting Christmas book. If you got a Kindle for Christmas, this would be a great addition!

Merry Christmas, friends!


I'm so honored to have been part of the Suspense Sisters blog since its inception years ago. (I'll have to check on how many years we've been together and get back to you.)


Since we have such an excellent contest going for you, our readers, I'll make this post short and sweet.


Do you love Christmas books? How about a Christmas story with romance, suspense and a Texas Ranger? Ha!


Well, Texas Christmas Defender released this previous weekend. I hope you'll grab yourself a copy and one for a friend as a Christmas gift, as well. Thank you for your encouragement over the years--and for supporting authors by buying our books! It's what keeps us going (and writing!)



TARGETED AT CHRISTMAS

After earning the wrath of her brother, a notorious drug kingpin, Adriana Garcia has been in deep hiding on a remote Texas llama ranch. But when Texas Ranger Brent McCord manages to find her—leading her brother’s men right to her—Adriana discovers she’s a suspect in the murder of a border patrol agent. The handsome, principled ranger, whose life she once saved during a dangerous sting operation, intends to bring her in for questioning…and protection. To prove her innocence, Adriana has to trust Brent with the truth, her heart and her life. Because her brother and his henchman have the ranch surrounded, and Brent’s all that’s keeping this Christmas from turning deadly.

To see purchasing options go HERE! 

Be very blessed and have a Merry Christmas! 






Sunday, December 24, 2017

MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM THE SUSPENSE SISTERS!


Thank you for being part of the Suspense Sisters in 2017. We're looking forward to a great 2018!

Praying you will have a blessed, blessed Christmas and a very happy and prosperous New Year!

God bless you. 

The Suspense Sisters

Friday, December 22, 2017

WE HAVE A WINNER!


CONGRATULATIONS TO CAROL ALSCHEFF! SHE'S THE WINNER OF THE SUSPENSE SISTERS CHRISTMAS CONTEST!

Friday, December 1, 2017

THE 2017 SUSPENSE SISTERS CHRISTMAS CONTEST!






Here’s a list of prizes one person will win: 

A gorgeous handmade Christmas lap quilt
$75.00 in Amazon gift cards
Candy
Christmas ornaments
A variety of teas
A Christmas mug

And…lots of books!


From E.E. Kennedy: A 4-Book set of Miss Prentice Mysteries
From Patricia Bradley: Justice Delayed and Justice Buried
From Nancy Mehl: Fatal Frost and Dark Deception
From Elizabeth Goddard: Wilderness, Inc. Series (4 books)
From Dana Mentink: Cowboy Christmas Guardian
From Roxanne Rustand: A trilogy of Christmas novellas: An Irish Christmas Blessing, A Scottish Christmas, and A London Christmas

From Mary Ellis: Magnolia Moonlight
From Dr. Richard Mabry: Cardiac Event
 
                                 
                                 Enter below. We’ll pick a winner on December 22nd!


Merry Christmas from the Suspense Sisters!




Wednesday, November 29, 2017

ANNOUNCING THE SUSPENSE SISTERS 2017 CHRISTMAS CONTEST!



Through the month of December, we will run our annual Christmas contest. This year, prizes include lots and lots of books (of course), Amazon gift cards, Christmas ornaments, candy and tea! Oh…and a beautiful Christmas quilt.

One winner will walk away with it all.

The contest opens on Friday, December 1st, and the winner will be drawn on the 22nd!

We will also have some great Christmas posts during the month, so once you enter, come back to find stories, recipes and more.

The Suspense Sisters love Christmas! And we love our followers!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

What IS it about cowboys?





I am knee deep in cowboy boots, saddles, horses and Stetsons. I don’t know how this happened, but somehow as I’m busily completing a four book cowboy suspense series, I got a yen to write another. So what is the appeal, anyway? Why have generations of readers and movie goers fallen in love with cowboys? I’ve come up with three main reason. See if you agree or disagree. Comments get you entered to win a Kindle or Nook copy of Cowboy Christmas Guardian.

1. Cowboys stand for justice. Yep, John Wayne wasn’t going to mess around worrying about what was politically correct or not, or whom he might offend. He acted on what he knew deep down to be right or wrong, his internal moral compass. Don’t you just find that kind of moral certainty appealing?

2.  Cowboys work close to the land. Okay, I’ll admit that I can’t even grow a proper tomato, so the idea that someone would partner with a 2,000 pound animal to work their ranch, grow their crops, raise their cattle or whatever, is a mind blower to me. It hearkens back to a time when people had real life practical skills (of which, sadly, I have none!)

3. Cowboys are God loving champions of their families. I know, this is a romantic view, but golly, it’s attractive, isn’t it? That cowboy in chapter one isn’t going to let anyone or anything hurt his kin, his wife, his town and he doesn’t care what rules he has to break to protect what’s worth loving. Ah me. Who wouldn’t love a hero like that?

So what do you think? Agree? Disagree? Want to add anything to the list? Gallop on in and add your comment. I’ll pick a winner soon.

https://www.amazon.com/Cowboy-Christmas-Guardian-Country-Cowboys/dp/037345743X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1511883835&sr=8-1&keywords=Cowboy+christmas+guardian 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Hot new mystery release!






Paul Ruckland, a school teacher with no known enemies, known as a pacifist and a member of the Peace Pledge Union, was found stabbed to death in a public air-raid shelter. Detective Inspector Jago finds a revolver in the man’s apartment. Why would a pacifist carry a revolver? What was the motive for murder?

Monday, November 27, 2017

THIS WEEK ON THE SUSPENSE SISTERS!






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

THIS WEEK:

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


 



On Wednesday, we’ll have a big announcement. Stayed tuned for details of our Christmas contest!



 






The Suspense Sisters! We love books!


Friday, November 24, 2017

INTERVIEW: SUSETTE WILLLIAMS, Author and eBook Impresario



Interviewed by: E.E. Kennedy

Interviewer's note: It was around the turn of this century and I had just started my writing journey when I happened to make the acquaintance of the very talented and generous author and eBook impresario, Susette Williams. Over the years, she has been so gracious in helping me navigate the treacherous waters of the publishing world. Currently, I'm honored to be included in her latest eBook anthology (see below) and other earlier ones. 
I treasure her friendship. 


1.       Susette, how long have you been writing? 
I began writing when our twins were only around ten months old. They’re twenty-one years old now. So… over twenty years. (I’m not as old as I look… Okay… I’m older.)

2.       When did you know you wanted to write/publish?
When I was in 7th grade, I began reading Harlequin romances. My mother read them. After reading around fifty of them in a year, I felt like I could write one. I never attempted to write romance until around sixteen years after that.

I did start writing poetry in 7th grade and in high school, I had a poem accepted for an anthology.

3. I know you’ve written a huge number of books. Tell us how many and in what genres? What are your favorites?

Honestly, I know a lot of authors who count how many books they’ve written. I’m not one of those authors. When I started writing, I wanted to have over a hundred books published in my lifetime. I know I’m not there, so I will keep on writing. J

I love writing humorous stories the most, no matter what genre. Most authors write in one or two genres, I love writing in various genres. I write everything from mystery, suspense, inspirational romance, historical western romance, and children’s books.

4.     Tell us about your children’s books. How did you find an illustrator?

I looked to see who the illustrators were on some other books I liked, and contacted the illustrators. One thing I have learned about illustrators is that they each have their own style of illustrating, just like authors have their own style of writing.

5.     You have a large family. How have you had time to write?

I think it is hard for most authors to get their families to understand that even though they’re working from home (to write) they are working! When my children were younger, it seemed easier to write with all the noise and activity. Now, I feel like I need more peace and quiet to focus.

For me, writing is like getting into the head of my characters. I see the story play out in my mind, and write it from there. I think that is why people say my dialogue is so realistic, because I am hearing their voices in my head.

I mainly write during the night now, while hopefully everyone else is sleeping. One of our twins likes to be up all night too, so when he is home, as long as were in different rooms, we don’t disturb each other. J

6.     How has your Christian faith impacted your writing?
I like to have a ‘light’ message or thought to give readers something to think about. Hopefully, my writing encourages people and makes them smile, or think.

7.     I consider you a computer genius. Where did you learn so much about E-publishing?
My husband is a computer genius, not me. E-publishing does take some computer knowledge, depending on how much of the publishing side of things you want to handle. Not all software programs are user-friendly. Photoshop is one example. If I hadn’t learned a couple minor things to help my husband with his work, I would have never have been inspired to learn more to create my own book covers.

I honestly hadn’t realized how much was involved with self-publishing until I offered to help a couple friends. Then I realized how much I really knew, and had learned over a relatively short period.

The best way to learn is to join online writing groups and read—learn from others mistakes, research what advice they give, and track your results to see what promotions work best for you. I always tell people that your friends and family are your network, not your market. Don’t hound people you know to ‘buy your book’ or you’ll find them turning and walking the other direction when they see you coming. A lot of people I go to church with don’t even know that I write! To me, the world is my audience and I want people to read my books because they want to, not because they feel compelled to. I love to entertain people and I’m thrilled when they enjoy my stories as much as I enjoy writing them. J

8.     How do you find the authors for your anthologies? 
I’m more prone to using authors I have critiqued with, so that I know the quality of their writing. I also try to give a few friends who are less established a chance to build a following, so I invite them into some collections. On a few occasions, I have used authors I am in Christian writing groups with that I haven’t read their work before.

9.     What did you wish you knew when you first started all this?
I wish I had completed more stories, instead of primarily doing proposals for traditional publishers. I feel like I lost a lot of time because of that. I’m thank that I did move toward self-publishing because I am in control, and I’ve found I can make a better living at it than writing for traditional publishers.

10.    Have you any advice for would-be writers?
Study, learn, revise your work, don’t be afraid to let others read your work, and don’t take criticism personally. You have to be willing to make your stories better. A lot of new authors are afraid of criticism. Learn from the feedback given and make your stories better. Eventually, you’ll learn the rules (grammar, storytelling, using the five senses in storytelling, etc.) and then you’ll only need to focus on editing what you’ve written.

11.     Tell us about your current project(s). Where can we learn more about them?

My newest release is a story in THE MYSTERY OF CHRISTMAS 2. You can find it here:


Amazon Author Page: http://ow.ly/URIY30gIeaP

Subscribe to my Newsletter: http://ow.ly/JHac30gIebO


Leave a comment below (WITH your email address) for a chance to win an eBook copy of THE MYSTERY OF CHRISTMAS 2! She's giving away 3!