7 12, 2017

Guest Author – Leeann Betts

By |2017-12-05T13:59:50-06:00December 7th, 2017|Author Interview, Guest author|2 Comments

Welcome guest author, Leeann Betts. She’s here to tell us about herself and her new release, In Search of Christmas Past.

Leeann writes contemporary suspense, and has six titles in her cozy mystery series, By the Numbers, with Petty Cash releasing in December.

In addition, Leeann has written a devotional for accountants, bookkeepers, and financial folk, Counting the Days, and with her real-life persona, Donna Schlachter, has published a book on writing, Nuggets of Writing Gold, a compilation of essays, articles, and exercises on the craft.

Check out her answers to the interview questions:

  • When did you write In Search of Christmas Past?

I started writing this book as part of a proposal for a novella collection about scavenger hunts and Christmas. When the story wasn’t accepted, I decided I liked it well enough to write a full book. I love the setting in the Colorado mountains, and since I love mysteries, a scavenger hunt seemed a fun thing to write about.

  • How did you come up with the idea for this book?

The idea came as a result of a call for submissions, an that’s how I get some of my ideas. At other times, a title or a character comes to mind, or a line from a song or a movie strikes me the right way. Most of the time it’s because I’ve been asking “What if _____?”

  • What will readers find appealing about In Search of Christmas Past?

I think readers will find the idea that two people can fall in love and still have completely different dreams and ambitions. The problems come when these two try to frame their lives based on what they want. Figuring out how to do that is important, and without God, almost impossible.

  • Do you have a favorite time of day for writing?

I like to write first thing in the morning, but that rarely happens, so I write when the muse hits me—NOT! The truth about writing for me is that unless I write every day, I lose the story and waste precious time renewing my acquaintance with where I am. I’ve found that writing a three to five-page synopsis really helps, as well as keeping my teaser and my back cover copy in front of my eyes. It’s hard to go off on a tangent when I have a roadmap.

  • What are you working on next?

Next up will be a synopsis for a Hallmark mystery, which I’m excited to get finished. I have most of it done—just a few plot points to work out. Then I have a couple of finished novels done that need a quick polish so I can send them to my agent and friend, Terrie Wolf at AKA Literary Management.

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In Search of Christmas Past Blurb

Grace Bellows, a senior in college, receives a Christmas card one month after her grandmother’s death, where her beloved Grammie challenges her to an old-fashioned scavenger hunt. Raised by her grandmother after her parents’ death in a car accident when she was eight, Grace has lived a jetsetter lifestyle with her wealthy grandmother. Now all she wants is to settle down and have a normal life.

Luke Fisher manages his family’s Christmas tree farm out of a sense of loyalty to his deceased mother because she gave up her dreams of being an attorney. He doesn’t want to live with any regrets, and longs to escape the confines of loyalty to live a life of adventure in the real world.

Can Grace and Luke solve the clues in her grandmother’s scavenger hunt and uncover the truth about their real feelings, or will the tension and their differences in goals and faith drive them apart?

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Click on either of these links to buy Leeann’s book:

Kindle

Smashwords

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You can also connect with Leeann online with these links:

Her Website (Receive a free ebook just for signing up for her quarterly newsletter.)

Her Blog

Facebook

Twitter

16 11, 2017

Guest Author – Donna Schlachter

By |2017-11-14T13:50:26-06:00November 16th, 2017|Author Interview, Guest author, Guest blogger|3 Comments

Welcome fellow author Donna Schlachter. She’s visiting to tell us a little about herself and answer some questions about her two new releases, The Mystery of Christmas Inn, Colorado and Christmas Under the Stars.

Donna loves history and research, and travels extensively for both. Home is in Denver with her husband, who is her first-line editor and biggest fan. A hybrid author, she publishes historical suspense under her own name and contemporary suspense as Leeann Betts. She’s also a ghostwriter and editor of fiction and non-fiction. Terrie Wolf of AKA Literary Management represents Donna.

And, here are her answers to the interview questions:

  1. How do you balance writing and everyday life?

It’s not easy. I have learned that with anything that’s important in my life, I have to make time. I will never find it. I am very goal oriented, so if I tell myself I have to write at least one chapter today before I can go on to something else, I do it. Check it off the list. Next thing.

  1. Do you listen to music to set the mood for writing?

I don’t listen to music because then I want to sing along, and those words mess with the ones in my head. If I go to a coffee shop—which is where I am as I write this—my mind keeps drifting back to the music playing in the background, and I try to make sense of the lyrics, which, in this case, is impossible. I like to “hear” the story—to me, writing with music is like going to a movie and trying to listen to a baseball game on the radio at the same time. 

  1. What was the spark that gave you the story idea for Christmas Under the Stars?

I ask a lot of “what if” questions, and the question that sparked this story was what if a man was attracted to a woman he thought was married? Then the challenge became how to keep that misinformation from being straightened out too soon in the story.

I had done a lot of research in Echo Canyon, Utah, for another book and loved the setting. There is actually a place in the canyon where early settlers gathered for church services at the base of the palisades. Once I stood in that spot, I knew I needed a story where they could hold a church service in that same spot.

  1. What will readers find appealing about The Mystery of Christmas Inn, Colorado?

I think readers will find the older characters appealing. So many of our reading population have elderly parents or are contemplating being caregivers to their parents. I wanted to show that just because our age increases, our abilities, our faculties, and our longing for love doesn’t decrease.

  1. What are you working on next?

I’m currently working on the seventh in a mystery series that is published under my pen name, Leeann Betts. Next up will be a month of working on some older manuscripts, and then I will begin in January writing a new novella for a romance collection coming out late 2018/early 2019 with Barbour Publishing.

If you want to get into the Christmas spirit, then add either of Donna’s two new books to your library. Just click on the book cover.

Matthew returns to Christmas Inn to celebrate his fortieth anniversary alone, intending to take his own life so he can join his beloved Sarah, who passed on to glory the previous January. Not certain how—or if—he will go on without her, Matthew learns on his arrival that the old inn will close its doors on New Year’s Eve. A developer has purchased the building and intends to tear it down and put up a chain hotel. Determined to keep his memories and his connection to Sarah alive, Matthew embarks on a harebrained scheme to keep the inn open.

Edith Cochrane, a widow, comes to Christmas Inn because she has nowhere else to spend the holidays. Her children are angry with her because she refuses to choose to live with one of them. Edith and her husband enjoyed a long marriage and a long mission-field ministry, but ever since his passing the previous year, Edith has found herself at loose ends. She comes to Christmas Inn to spend some time thinking about her options.

Can Matthew and Edith save the old hotel—and themselves—or will they run out of time?

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November 1858, Utah Territory
Edie Meredith strives to keep her temper and her tongue under control as she heads west with her brother to California. Raised in an itinerant preacher family, she promises she will never marry a man of the cloth.

Tom Aiken, drover of the wagon train, longs to answer his true calling: to preach, and while he realizes not every woman would choose a preacher for a husband, he hopes to soon find his help-meet.

Suspicious ‘accidents’ plague their journey. Is someone trying to keep them from reaching their destination? Or will misunderstanding and circumstances keep them apart?

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