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