My Books!

Friday, September 26, 2008


Last week I had the good fortune to have Beth Trissel stop by the blog, and today I have a fabulous group of authors called MurderX5. The ladies in the group are Nancy Lindley-Gautheir, Norma Seely, Marie Held, Billie Williams, and Linda Suzane.

How'd they get that name? I'll let them tell you.

Thanks for reading!
Elaine Cantrell
Hope. Dreams. Life... Love

1. I understand that you are all working together to promote
your books, how did that happen?

LINDA: I sent out a request on a writer’s loop for help on
promoting. Nancy was one of the authors that responded. I
noticed from her sig line that she had a book coming out in
September, just as I did. I wrote her and we decided to work
together if possible to promote our books. Then we emailed
our editor to find out if there were any more mysteries being
published in September and it turned out that there were 5
of us, so we started emailing back and forth. We debated
about what to call ourselves and finally decided on

MurderX5 included Nancy Lindley-Gautheir - Offshore
Threat, Norma Seely - Maze of Secrets, Marie Held -
Savannah’s Secret, Billie Williams - Ancient Secrets, and
Linda Suzane - The Murder Game

2. Today Norma, Linda and Billie join us. Tell us a bit more
about MurderX5.

LINDA: We are a very varied group. Marie is a new writer,
Savannah’s Secret is her first book. As Billie says, she is
probably the most prolific author, most experienced at
promotion. Norma has been published for a long time with
major publishers, Doubleday and Avalon. Maze of Secrets is
her first book with an ePublisher. Nancy and I have several

While we are all mysteries, we vary there as well.
Savannah’s Secret and The Murder Game are romantic
mysteries. While Maze of Secrets is definitely a cozy. And
Offshore Threat is a suspense thriller. Ancient Secrets is a
paranormal mystery. Maze of Secrets and The Murder
Game both take place on the West Coast and involve old
mansions. Offshore Threat and Savannah’s Secret take
place of the East Coast and involve sailing. And Ancient
Secrets goes to deepest and definitely darkest Africa. I
thought it was interesting that three of the titles include the
word secret. We tried to think up a clever slogan and came
up with “Secrets, not a Game, definitely a Threat, one
Secret leads to more Secrets. Wings September Mysteries:
Maze of Secrets, The Murder Game, Off Shore Threat,
Savannah’s Secret, and Ancient Secrets.” Not really catchy,
but. . .

3. Did you always want to be a writer? How did you actually
get started?

NORMA: The first thing I remember writing was a play
performed in the 4th grade. As I recall it had something to
do with a missing pearl. The first step I took toward actually
being what I considered a writer, was to take a
correspondence course in writing.

BILLIE: I always told stories and made up scenarios for
playing games etc. I didn’t start writing seriously until I took
some college courses later on in life and found out I wasn’t a
grammar/creative writing failure after all. {smile} I had my
first piece of work published in 1998- Dandelion With Angel
Wings about my youngest daughter. Then I wrote Death by
Candlelight and got it published in 2001 – since then I have
twelve books with Wings ePress as well as others with other
publishers and a dozen or so more under a pseudonym I
use for romance writing.

LINDA: No, I didn’t always want to be a writer. It wasn’t until
after I was in college and married that I began writing. As a
child and young adult, I spent hours in my fantasy worlds.
Once I was married, in 1968, I thought I was too old and
mature to waste time just fantasizing, but writing legitimized
what I really enjoyed doing. When my husband was in
ministerial school, I started writing nonfiction and had my
first article published in Unity Magazine. Then after my
daughter was born in 1978, I began thinking about
becoming a professional writer, focusing on writing
romances, but the first novel I finished was a Star Trek
novel, The Addonian Affair, in 1983.

4.For you, what's the hardest part of writing? What's the

LINDA: Copy editing is probably my least favorite part of
writing. Since I am a perfectionist, it takes me a really long
time to finish the book and by the time I do, I am sick of it.
Easiest is when the creative flow takes over and the story
almost writes itself. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does
it is absolutely a wonderful experience.

BILLIE: I can’t say that any part of writing is hard –
marketing is hard for me because I’m intensely shy – but
writing I love it. I love to be paid to do what I love. Deciding
on characters to people my stories and doing their character
charts is the most fascinating part and my stories have a
tendency to hinge on them as much as, if not more then, plot
itself. So that is probably the easiest part, because I enjoy
doing it so much.

NORMA: The hardest part of writing? Sitting down at the
computer and not being side tracked. What's the easiest?
Telling stories.

5.Who are some of your favorite authors? Did any of them
influence your writing?

BILLIE: I have so many authors I admire for different
reasons. Stephen King is the world’s best at characterization
– and making you believe this person would do this thing.
Dorothy Branden, Elizabeth George, Marcia Golub, and
others make the how to of writing seem easy; Rachel Ballon
PH D shows you how to breathe life into your characters;
Patricia Cornwell, gets you to understand how a body
trauma reacts in time and space, Mary Higgins Clark will
show you a killer trail and make it an easy read, Dean
Koontz – shows you how to crank up the fear equation, Jude
Deveraux will give you an appreciation for the beauty of the
written word. As I said there are so many authors I love to
read that give me a handle on the craft of writing. And all of
them have influenced my writing to one degree or another. I
think the single best writing instructor is reading other
authors; the good, the bad, the downright ugly.

NORMA: So many of my favorite authors are long dead.
D.E. Stevenson, Agatha Christie, Clifford Simak. After just
having seen the Lipizzaner stallions perform I'm re-reading
Mary Stewart's "Airs Above the Ground". Did any of them
influence your writing? Both Christie and Stewart, because
I like to write both cozy mysteries and romantic suspense.

LINDA: Wow. I recognized some of the names, but not a lot.
More authors to go explore. For me, Frank Herbert’s DUNE
was one of the books and authors that most influenced me.
DUNE was the first adult book, the first science fiction I ever
read. The power of the writing created the world of Dune
and made it so vivid, so real. That has always been my
writing goal, to create worlds that the reader feels they are
living there and they don’t want to leave. Anne McCaffrey is
another world creator that I love. The Murder Game is a
case of trying to write about what I know, building the story
world through reality. I explore how we deal with grief and
disillusionment, as well as how to writer a murder mystery

6.Everyone thinks writers live glamorous lives. Describe
you typical writing day.

LINDA: As I spent a 6 year hiatus from writing due to ill
health, I am just trying to find a working pattern. My daughter
and son-in-law and 2 grandchildren live with us. Draven is 9
and Adrianna is 2. Unfortunately, that means I do a lot of
babysitting. And even when I am not actually babysitting,
since my so-called office is a corner of what used to be the
dining room, there is the constant noise of kids. I am finding
that earphones and loud music is my life savior. Because of
the pain of arthritis, my computer time is limited. Some days
are much better than others. The major problems is the pain
medications I must take. They numb my mind and stop my
ability to think or create. So when I have an arthritis flare up,
I can’t think to write, so I focus on tasks that don’t require
creativity. It is all a balance act. There is no way to plan,
there is no typical writing day. And it definitely isn’t

BILLIE: Up at 5 a.m. to write first in my journals, then on my
current WIP until 8 or so when hubby gets out of bed. Then I
fix breakfast for him. He goes and picks up the mail and I
spend half hour to an hour going through it. Then I type up
the writing I did long hand in the wee morning hours. Then I
check email; do laundry or whatever household or garden
chore needs to be done. By then it’s lunch time. After lunch I
usually spend more writing and marketing time on the
computer. Until about 3 or 3:30 when I take a break and
watch Judge Judy and the news and do supper/diner.
Evenings are more writing or marketing since I have several
publishers I need to spend time on those author’s loops,
chats, marketing and promotion for each. It takes the rest of
my day. I’m an early to bed person so by 10 p.m. if I didn’t have
to go to work that day I’m in bed. I work part time which can
be from 41/2 to 40 some hours a week.

NORMA: Breakfast, walking the dogs, 45 minutes of
exercises to keep me mobile and then I sit down at the
computer and write. That is on the days I don't work part

7.What genre do you write in? What are you working on

NORMA: What genre do I write in? Mostly mystery.
Although I'm currently polishing a children's fantasy and a
non-fiction article on ghost-hunting.

LINDA: Right now I am focusing on learning how to market
myself and my books. I had just gotten my 3 books
published when I got sick six years ago. I did no publicity
and as a result the sales of the books were dismal, so
dismal my two other publishers dropped my books, so I
approached Wings ePress about reprinting them. THE
MURDER GAME is my first romance, and probably my last. I
don’t like having to fit into the strict romance mold, although
I enjoy writing about romantic relationships and I’m pretty
good at sex scenes. But I definitely like writing mysteries.
EYES OF TRUTH is a fantasy mystery, one of a series of
stories based in an oriental style fantasy world, the Kingdom
of Naj, and will be reprinted in January 2009. CAPTIVITY,
DARKHOUR VAMPIRES VOL 1, also published by Wings
ePress, is the first in a series of vampire novels. I have just
begun working again on the second in the series.
FREEDOM is pretty close to being finished and hopefully
will be accepted for publication by Wings ePress, too.

BILLIE: I write in many genres, from mystery/suspense, to
adventure, YA, Poetry, Romantic Suspense, paranormal
suspense non-fiction — I haven’t tried Sci Fi or Fantasy yet
though I admire writers who can do that whole world building
thing and I would like to write a children’s book. Right now
I’m working on two novels. Mansfield Park Secrets for my
secrets series with Wings, as well as a book 5 in the Zodiac
series for Wings both of these are mystery/suspense. I am
working on the second book in the Purple Feather Murders
series, a Romantic Suspense with a bit of sizzle for

LINDA: I would classify Ancient Secrets as fantasy, what
they call urban fantasy, which deals with magic in the
modern world. The necklace in Ancient Secrets is definitely
magical as is the Goddess Ebony. So you can’t say you
don’t write fantasy. But I admit, it doesn’t have any dwarfs or
dragons or sword fighting.

8. Tell us more about your books. Do include a buy link for
your new release.

All 5 books can be bought from They
will eventually be available from and But buy them direct from Wings ePress.
They cost less and we poor authors don’t have to split our
royalties with middlemen.

Nancy Lindley-Gautheir
Offshore Threat (Thriller)
A coast guard officer must find who killed a young girl
as well as protect national security. Mysterious adventure on
the high seas.

Norma Seely
Maze of Secrets (Cozy)
Irmajean Lloyd, volunteer gardener at historic
Rosewood Estate, thinks there's nothing more deadly in the
garden than black spot on the roses. The murder of the
estate's director soon changes her mind.

Marie Held
Savannah’s Secret (Romantic Suspense)
Curiosity about an explosion in an old house in
Savannah leads Serena to do a title search which draws the
deadly attention of others.

Billie Williams
Ancient Secrets (Paranormal Mystery)
Sorcery, jealousy, legends rivaling an Indiana Jones
tale drags three unlikely adventurers to the South African
jungles, where there is no guarantee of survival.

Linda Suzane
The Murder Game (Romantic Mystery)
Gwen loved creating murder mystery games until
someone used her game to commit a real murder and left
her the prime suspect.

6.Give us your links so we can find you on the web

You can find MurderX5 at On Wings of Murder

Linda Suzane’s homepage
Billie A. Williams homepage
Norma Seely homepage
Nancy A. Lindley-Gauthier homepage
Marie Held homepage (none)

Ladies, thanks for stopping by. I think it's great that you're doing promotions as a group, and I'm looking forward to reading your work.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Interview with Beth Trissel

Hi readers! You're in for a treat today. Please welcome author Beth Trissel to the blog.


1.Tell us a little bit about youself, including how you came to be a writer.

Thank you for having me as a guest! To answer your question, research into family genealogy, my early English/Scots-Irish forebears, and a deep-seated fascination with early America and the Shawnee Indians inspired my initial writing journey.

2.What genre do you prefer? Would you ever write in something else?

I love historical romance and have a tendency to mix in paranormal elements. Increasingly so, and am also writing light paranormal with historical elements. Depending on which element is the strongest, determines which romance genre a story falls into. I write for both the American and Faery Rose lines at the Wild Rose Press. If I wrote something else, it would probably be mystery. Somewhere My Love has a lot of mystery in it.

3.Tell the readers a little bit about your writing day.

Ideally, I write. Summer has been insane with the demands of family. I’m eager for fall and a return to my routine.

4.I'm always surprised at how many people ask me about my work space. (It's a mess.) Tell us about yours, please.

My bedroom, at this point. You definitely don’t want to ‘go there.’

5.How long does it take you to write a book? How many books do you produce in a year?

Writing time for me can vary from three-six months to five years because each novel is so different. Enemy of the King was my toughest novel to complete. I would like to average at least one book a year.

6.What's the hardest part of writing for you?

Writing. J Actually sticking with a project no matter what and finishing the story.

7.Most authors are also avid readers. Is this the case with you? If so,

Not lately, aside from research. I love reading but suspect I may have to take early retirement in order to have the time to really read. My TBR pile is up to my chin or would be, most if it’s in the form of digital downloads.

Who are some of your favorites? Have any influenced your writing?

Going back in the distant recesses of time, I’d have to say Jane Austen, Baroness Orczy, who wrote The Scarlet Pimpernel, Daphne Du Maurier…to name just a few. I was brought up reading the classics by my English professor father, then I discovered people don’t actually write like that anymore. I had years worth of learning ahead of me after I crafted that first rough draft.

8.Please tell us about your new release, including where we can buy it.

Somewhere My Love is a murder mystery/ghost story romance with flashbacks to early nineteenth century Virginia. The idea for the story came to me after I toured old plantation Homes along the James River, the setting for ‘Somewhere.’ This Faery Rose novel will be available at the Wild Rose Press starting Sept. 26th.

The trailer for ‘Somewhere’ is getting a lot of hit on YouTube:

I’ve also signed for three other novels to be released in the not too distant future. Please check my website for details.

An excerpt from Somewhere My Love:

A cold finger laid its icy touch on Julia and ran
down the length of her spine. “How did it happen?”
“He’s said to have been run through by the very
man who made that mark on the door. A Mr.
Cameron. Scottish fellow he was, back in...” Mrs.
Hensley pursed her thin lips, blue eyes distant. “Ah,
yes, 1806. Some fuss over a woman.”

“How dreadful. What about Mr. Cameron?”

“The friend of a neighbor, I believe. He escaped
and was never found. No justice was ever done in the

Julia hesitated, then asked, “And the woman?”

“Heartbroken, poor thing. She returned to
England. She was a guest of the Wentworth family
and greatly enamored of Cole. All the young ladies
were, but he had a particular fascination with this

“Why was she so special?”

“Apart from her legendary beauty? She had an
angelic quality about her. Or so the story goes.”

An irrational jealousy twanged a jarring note in
Julia. In the space of a few short minutes she’d
fallen in love with the man in the portrait—typical
of her impractical nature and unlikely to advance
her nonexistent love life. And yet, she couldn’t help
plunging into this sweet madness.

She tore her eyes from the painting. “Do you
recall the lady’s name?”

Mrs. Hensley gave a little laugh. She tapped a
finger to her furrowed forehead. “Isn’t that odd? It
was Julia something...hmmmm.”

Was Mrs. Hensley teasing her? She had to

“I’ve got it. Julia Maury,” the guide continued
and arched graying brows. “You’re from England,
aren’t you, Miss Morrow? Tread with care here, my
girl. We don’t want you stirring up any ghosts.
Foxleigh has enough already.”

For those of you who didn't know, Beth was a Golden Heart finalist. Yes! What a thrill. I finaled with the lead story in my colonial frontier trilogy, Through the Fire, coming to the Wild Rose Press, release date TBD.Thanks for doing the interview, Beth. I'll send you an email when it's posted.

Thanks for having me!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Character Interview Rachel Amos

Good morning, viewers. I’m Elaine Cantrell, legal reporter for WYXA. The jury in the Clint Hayes case just returned a guilty verdict which certainly isn’t a surprise, but the judge’s sentence is the reason for all the commotion on the court house steps. Judge Lowe just sentenced Hayes to six months under the care of Reverend Neal Amos, the pastor of Saved By Grace Community Church. Reverend Amos will in effect be Hayes’ jailor.

For those of you who haven’t been following this story, Hayes accidentally burned down Saved By Grace back in April when he stopped in the parking lot to throw away a beer can and have a cigarette. At first the police charged Hayes…wait a minute. I see Rachel Amos the minister’s daughter coming this way. Rachel, Rachel, Elaine Cantrell of WYXA here. Could you give us a comment on Judge Lowe’s sentence?

Rachel: What is there to say? My parents and I discussed it at home, but we never expected the judge to go along with it.

Elaine: So, this was your parents’ idea, not the judge’s?

Rachel: That’s right. My father’s a minister, so he believes in second chances, and thinks he can help Mr. Hayes. He intends to let Mr. Hayes help us rebuild the church.

Elaine: Isn’t your father worried about Hayes’ background? He’s a high school drop out who works for Bud’s Private Club, right?

Rachel: Yes.

Elaine: The club doesn’t have the greatest reputation.

Rachel: No, it doesn’t.

Elaine: Excuse me for saying so, but you don’t look thrilled over the sentence.

Rachel: I loved the church. It’s been there for a hundred years, but in one careless, drunken moment the building goes up in flames. I don’t understand how any responsible person could…I’m sure things will be fine. If you’ll excuse me I have to go now.

Elaine: What do you think, viewers? Will Reverend Amos be able to turn Hayes’ life around? Will Rachel forgive him for what he’s done? We’ll keep watch on this story for you and report when we have more news. Now, back to Lisa in our studio.

Curious about what this desperado looks like? Click on the following link and work a quick puzzle to find out.

The Sentence will be available in October from By Grace Publishing.

Thanks for reading!
Elaine Cantrell
Hope. Dreams. Life... Love

Monday, September 8, 2008

Welcome To The Blog Train Scavenger Hunt

Welcome to the Blog Train Scavenger Hunt, chugging from url to url. I hope you enjoy this brief stop at my blog. Somewhere on this page, you'll find a hidden word, plainly labeled, that is part of a famous saying...not too famous though, so you'll have to use some brain power to assemble all the words you find during your travels--there are 16, total. The hunt will end on September 13th, so you'll need to forward your final entry to by midnight on the 13th. All correct entries will be entered into a drawing, but you never may be the only person who gets it right.

While you’re here I hope you’ll look around and enjoy yourself. If you’ll look at the August 9 entry you’ll find a link to my last two video trailers. On August 30, I also have an excerpt from my upcoming release The Sentence. (secret word-Churchill) This blog is new, so I still have some work to do on it, but I think it’s coming along. For plenty of excerpts and other contests, go to my web site at

As soon as you finish perusing my site and find the word here, please get back on the train and visit for your next word. Remember, although this is fun and there are prizes involved, we are all authors doing this as a promotion for our blog sites. We hope you will bookmark us and visit often. Thanks for joining the Blog Train and have a happy trip. Remember, you can be the winner of 16 wonderful downloads. :)

Thanks for reading!
Elaine Cantrell
Hope. Dreams. Life… Love

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Contests Everywhere

After nine weeks of summer vacation, I’m back at work with an entire group of new students. So far everything is going really well. The students are pleasant, and most of them are diligently doing their work. I am been busy, though. In fact, I’ve been so busy I forgot to mention a couple of things I’m involved in, things you might like to know about.

First, Two Lips book reviews is celebrating their second anniversary with a scavenger hunt. Lots of authors are participating, so there are a good many prizes up for grabs. For information on the hunt, go to Be sure to check my web site too. I’ve cleverly hidden the secret icon in an interesting place.

I’m also participating in another scavenger hunt, this one involving my blog. This hunt doesn’t begin until September 8. The winner of this hunt wins sixteen books. To participate, go to on September 8 and follow the Blog Train instructions.

Thanks for reading!
Elaine Cantrell
Hope. Dreams. Life… Love