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Today, I have the singular pleasure of interviewing a great writer and personal friend, Vannetta Chapman. 

Vannetta has a new Amish mystery series. Book one ~ What the Bishop Needs is already out. Book 2 ~  The Bishop Needs an Alibi releases at the end of this month. 

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

VC: I’d say I’m an energetic country girl with a fierce love for good storytelling, friends and family, and the Lord.

What do you do when you’re not writing? Any interesting hobbies? They’re interesting to me! Let’s see—quilting, piano, hiking, gym rat, pets, music, gardening.

What was your favorite book as a teen or child?

No one seems to remember these. I loved reading all the Cherry Aimes books. She was a nurse—an amazing nurse. She did everything from surgical, to baby wards, to triage. I loved those books and devoured them all!

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

I don’t eat white foods, I have a phobia about driving over extremely tall bridges, and I teach English composition at my local community college.

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

I started writing romantic suspense when I first acquired my agent. We switched to Amish romance. From there I went to Amish mystery, then dystopian, and a few inspirational suspense. I still write all of them! Basically, I enjoy telling stories, and I’ll write whatever my editor asks me to write.

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

I was recently told not to write “episodic writing.” After publishing 20 books, I had no idea what my editor meant, so I emailed her back and asked her to explain. She kindly sent me a few articles, and now I understand it means you need constant tension/conflict in your story. Got it! Watch out for lots of tension and conflict in my future releases. 🙂

The best compliment was probably when I had turned in my dystopian series, and my editor kept texting me saying—

“How could you…”

“Oh. It’s okay.”

“It’s NOT okay. How could you…”

I loved that! It showed that she was really captivated by the story, and that’s the best compliment I can receive if I can transport a reader to another place.

Any other genres you’d like to try? If yes, what and why? Oh my. Hmmmm…I tried sci fi and couldn’t do it. I can READ sci fi, but I freeze up when I try to write it. I also don’t think I could write historical, though I greatly admire people who do. Other than that…I’m open to suggestions.

If you could go back in time and do something differently at the start of your career, what would it be? I would worry less. Honestly, I spent nights tossing over a poor PW review (that book won ACFW’s best mystery of 2012), worrying about contracts (they keep coming when it’s all said and done), fearing my career was over before it had begun (it’s not). So I would worry less, and trust the Lord more. An easy thing to say in hindsight.

What is the most important piece of advice you’d like to give to unpublished authors? Keep writing. Too many newbies give up too soon. The first book I had published by a major publisher was the 9th book I had written. Sometimes it takes a few to hit the “slot” publishers have open, and your craft improves as you write. So please…keep writing.

Here’s a blurb about Book 1 What the Bishop Saw: Somewhere in the Embers Lies the Truth. A fire blazes out of control in the San Luis Valley of Colorado, leaving an elderly Amish bachelor dead. Bishop Henry Lapp rushes to the scene, and he learns the fire was no accident. Someone intended to kill Vernon Frey. But who would want to kill Vernon? Well, practically everyone—Amish and Englisch alike. When the police point the finger at a suspect Henry knows is innocent, the bishop must decide whether or not to use his mysterious, God-given gift—one he’s tried desperately to ignore all these years—to try and set the record straight. His close friend and neighbor, Emma, encourages Henry to follow God’s leading.Could the clue to solving the case be locked somewhere deep in his memory? Will Henry find the courage to move forward in faith and put the right person behind bars? Is his friendship with Emma becoming something more? What the Bishop Saw is a story of extraordinary talents, the bonds of love and friendship, and the unfailing grace of God.

Remember, Book 2 of the Bishop Series, The Bishop Needs An Alibi, releases at the end of this month.

If you’re a fan of mysteries and the Amish, look for these two wherever fine books are sold. Available in both print and electronic versions. 

Thanks, Vannetta, for dropping by Home Thoughts. It’s always a pleasure to interview a friend.

~ Mary

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

THIS WEEK:

On our review page, senior reviewer Iola Goulton reviews BENEATH COPPER FALLS by Colleen Coble. Iola says: 

“Recommended for thriller fans. Best read the day before your manicure appointment, not the day after.”   

You can find her complete review HERE.

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

On Wednesday Suspense Sister Roxanne Rustand will share something special with us.

Friday, we’ll visit with Roxanne again as we interview her about her new book, FALLING FOR THE RANCHER. You could win a copy of this great book! 

Darcy Leighton hopes to someday inherit the veterinarian practice she works for. Before she gets the chance, LoganMaxwell buys it and now she may even lose her job. She’ll do anything to convince Logan to let her stay on.  

The Suspense Sisters! We love books!

Will you please join me?

I’m trying to reach 50 reviews each for my last three books, ie. Sunset in Old Savannah, Magnolia Moonlight, and What Happened on Beale Street on Amazon.com. Fifty isn’t just a random number I’ve chosen, it’s the number of reviews required for Amazon to help people who’ve never heard of Secrets of the South Mysteries to find out about them! With fifty reviews, Amazon’s algorithms tell them to start promoting my books.

Here’s how you can help:
1. If you’ve read either Sunset in Old Savannah, Magnolia Moonlight or What Happened on Beale Street (or all three!) and haven’t yet posted a review, please take five minutes or less to do so. This isn’t your fifth-grade book report. No need for a five paragraph essay, unless you’d just like to. All that is required is to identify a number of stars from 0-5 and then a few sentences about what you enjoyed most.

2. When you see posts from me about my books, Like, Comment or Share them on Facebook. This will help spread the word to others!

 

I can’t thank you enough for helping me in this fashion. All I can say is is my next book in the series, set in Charleston, will be well worth the wait.

Thanks, readers! You are the best!  Mary 

If you liked the cover of my book, Sunset in Old Savannah (Secrets of the South Mysteries Book 4), please vote for it for the Cover of the Month contest on AllAuthor.com.  https://allauthor.com/cover-of-the-month/420/

Thanks so much!  Hope you’re having a lovely summer!  Mary Ellis 

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

On our review page, senior reviewer Iola Goulton reviews BEYOND JUSTICE by Cara Putnam. Iola says: “Beyond Justice is the perfect legal thriller—great characters, lots of action, plenty of twists and turns, and enough legalese to set the scene without it starting to sound like reading a court transcript.”  You can find her complete review HERE.

On Tuesday, Suspense Sister Dana Mentink will share What’s Hot in Inspirational Suspense and Mystery.
On Wednesday we’ll hear from Dana again as she talks about “Springing into a New Season” with a crazy spring contest! For details read her post. You could be a winner!
Friday we’re interviewing Suspense Sister Elizabeth Goddard. She’s giving away a copy of her exciting new book, FALSE SECURITY.

 

Arriving at her secluded cabin to find her brother missing, Olivia Kendricks follows his trail into the woods—until two shooters take aim at her. She only escapes when ex-detective Zachary Long, her brother’s friend—and Olivia’s first love—comes to her rescue. Now as they run for their lives in the snowbound wilderness, they must search for her brother while figuring out why someone wants them dead. And though Zach’s police force training may be what will save them, it’s also what once drove them apart when he gave Olivia up to chase his dream. In a freezing landscape as deadly as it is beautiful, they’ll have to let go of the past…and face down powerful men willing to kill to keep secrets buried.

That’s what’s happening this week on the Suspense Sisters. Don’t miss a single day. Sign up through email so you’ll get updates in the exciting world of inspirational suspense and mystery!

We’re planning another great week on the Suspense Sisters. Check out our posts, our interviews, and our awesome giveaways!
 
On our review page, Iola Goulton reviews IF I’M FOUND, by Terri

Blackstock. This is the sequel to Terri’s great novel, IF I  RUN. Iola says this book is: “A must for thriller fans!”

You can find her complete review HERE.
On Tuesday, Suspense Sister Dana Mentink will share What’s Hot

in Inspirational Suspense and Mystery. 

On Wednesday Suspense Sister Mary Ellis is talking about “Lessons Learned From Walks on the Beach.” She’ll be giving away a copy of her new book, SUNSET IN OLD SAVANNAH!  

Friday, author DiAnn Mills shares her thoughts about Pinterest in

an article titled “The Power of Pinterest.” She’s also giving away a copy of her new book, DEEP EXTRACTION!

A pacemaker should have saved oil and gas magnate Nathan Moore’s life. Instead, it provided his killer with a seemingly perfect means of execution.

A bombing at one of Nathan’s oil rigs days earlier indicates his death could be part of a bigger conspiracy, a web Special Agent Tori Templeton must untangle. But her first order of business is separating the personal from the professional―the victim’s wife, her best friend, is one of the FBI’s prime suspects.

Clearing Sally’s name may be the biggest challenge of her career, but Tori finds an unexpected ally in the newest member of the task force, recently reinstated Deputy US Marshal Cole Jeffers. As Tori and Cole dig deeper into Nathan’s personal and business affairs, they uncover more than they bargained for. And the closer they get to finding the real killer―and to each other―the more intent someone is on silencing them for good.

That’s what’s happening this week on the Suspense Sisters. Don’t miss a single day. Sign up through email so you’ll get updates in the exciting world of inspirational suspense and mystery!

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

Suspense Sister and Senior Reviewer, Marji Laine, presents another terrific review on our book page. Iola Goulton reviews STILL LIFE by Dani Pettrey. Iola says: “If fast-paced Christian thrillers are your thing, then you’ll enjoy STILL LIFE.” You can read the rest of her review HERE.

On Tuesday, Suspense Sister Dana Mentink

will share What’s Hot in Inspirational Suspense and Mystery.

On Wednesday we’ll hear from Suspense Sister Nancy Mehl. She’ll be answering several questions from readers. You could win your choice of FATAL FROST, a $10.00 Amazon gift card, or a chance to see your name in one of her upcoming novels!

Friday, I’m interviewing author Ann H. Gabhart. She’ll be giving away a copy of her book, MURDER IS NO ACCIDENT.

One body may be an accident. A second body means murder.
The old Chandler place should be empty. The magnificent Victorian mansion is for sale, even if its aged owner Miss Fonda doesn’t realize it. But when real estate agent Geraldine Harper enters the house on a sunny October day, she’s not alone. Minutes later, there is a body at the bottom of the steep steps leading to the tower room.
Deputy sheriff Michael Keane is called in. At first blush, it looks like the death was a tragic accident, but clues point to foul play. And when a second body is discovered, the race is on to find the culprit . . . before someone else dies.
If you like your small-town America sweet and quirky–with a dash of sinister–you’ll love this latest whodunit from deft storyteller A. H. Gabhart.
That’s what’s happening this week on the Suspense Sisters. Don’t miss a single day. Sign up through email so you’ll get updates in the exciting world of inspirational suspense and mystery!

 

 The Suspense Sisters! We love books!