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Happy November Readers!

Will you be having house guests for Thanksgiving this year? It’s not too early to think about a simple breakfast to enjoy while the turkey bakes.

Orange Pecan French Toast

Cover and refrigerate the following overnight –

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 2 Tbs light corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 12 slices French bread
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1 cup orange juise
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 Tbs white sugar
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 eggs

In a small bowl, mix brown sugar, butter and corn syrup. Pour into a greased 9×13 dish and spread evenly. Sprinkle pecans over the mixture and arrange the bread slices on top of it – in a snug single layer.

In a medium bowl, whisk the orange zest, orange juice, milk, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, egg whites and eggs. Pour over the bread, pressing to make sure the liquid is absorbed. Cover and refrigerate.

In the morning, preheat the oven to 350. Remove the cover and stand for 20 minutes.

Top with a sprinkling of pecans, and bake for 35 minutes. Mix the 1 Tbs confectioners sugar and 3 Tbs orange juice and drizzle over the toast before serving.

Hope you enjoy!!!

 

Mary Ellis

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We’re planning another great week on the Suspense Sisters. Check out our posts, our interviews, and our awesome giveaways!
THIS WEEK:
This week we’ll introduce you to a brand new Suspense Sister! We’re thrilled that Linda J. White has joined us. If you’ve never read one of her books, you’re missing out! Friday, you can learn more about Linda. Stop by and say, “Hello!” Someone will win a copy of her newest book, SNIPER! One word of warning: You’ll stay up later than you want to because it’s hard to put down!
On Tuesday Dana Mentink will share What’s Hot in Inspirational Suspense and Mystery.
On Wednesday Suspense Sister Mary Ellis talks about writer’s block. You’ll enjoy her article “When the Words Won’t Come….aka Writer’sBlock.” Mary’s giving away a $25.00 Amazon gift card to someone who leaves a comment on the Suspense Sister’s blog. (Don’t forget to leave your contact information or you cannot win).
Friday, you’ll get to know our new sister, Linda J. White. Someone will win a copy of her great suspense novel, SNIPER!
Shocked by the murder of a friend, FBI Special Agent Kit McGovern vows to bring the killer to justice. Then the shooter kills again, and again … and again.
Saddled with an unpredictable partner, forced to put her personal life on hold, Kit doggedly pursues the sniper. Quantico sends a geographic profiler to help identify him, but the killing of a young woman outside the probability zone casts doubt on that technique. As panic grips the Hampton Roads area, pressure mounts, and Kit soon finds herself in the crosshairs of failure—and defeat.
Mary Ellis from the The Suspense Sisters! We love books!

Today Home Thoughts welcomes Susan Page Davis, whom I had the pleasure of interviewing.

MZ: If you had to describe yourself in one sentence, what would you say?
SPD: I’m an ordinary person who tells stories.
What do you do when you’re not writing? Any interesting hobbies?
SPD: I enjoy reading, solving logic problems and codes, genealogy and embroidery. One of my favorite activities is doing things with my family—it doesn’t matter what we do, as long as we’re together.
What was your favorite book as a teen or child?
SPD: So many to choose from! As a child, I loved the Miss Pickerel books by Ellen MacGregor. As a teenager, one favorite was A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith.
Tell us three things about yourself that might surprise your readers.
SPD: I’m a horrible cook. I know how to shoe horses, but I haven’t done it for forty years. I am a book magnet, and books come to me, but I have an awful time trying to get rid of any.
What genre did you start out writing? Have you changed course? Why or why not?
SPD: The first books I wrote were romantic suspense, but my first published books were historical romance. I still write both, and cozy mysteries. I love variety. I don’t get bored that way.
What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
SPD: The worst criticism is when a reader doesn’t feel I’ve done the job well—haven’t finished the story, or haven’t made them believe it could happen that way. The greatest compliment is when the reader says she feels as though my characters are her family.
Any other genres you’d like to try? If yes, what and why?
SPD: Well, I’ve done a lot of genres—from fantasy (Feather) to military suspense (Frasier Island), with lots of romance, historicals, mysteries, and romantic suspense. I have a horse story (Sarah’s Long Ride) for middle-grade kids. I’m the sort of writer that, if it occurs to me, I write it. So, no, I don’t think there’s any other type of book I’m longing to write.
If you could go back in time and do something differently at the start of your career, what would it be?
SPD: I would start writing fiction seriously much sooner, and I would connect with other authors sooner.
What is the most important piece of advice you’d like to give to unpublished authors?
SPD: Get a good edit before you submit your work, whether to a traditional publisher or to be self-published.
Here is a summary of The House Next Door:
Susan Page Davis is the author of more than 70 novels and novels. A Maine native, she now lives in western Kentucky. She’s a two-time winner of the Will Rogers Medallion and the Inspirational Readers’ Choice Contest and a Carol Award winner.
Find Susan at: Website: www.susanpagedavis.com
Twitter: @SusanPageDavis
Sign up for Susan’s occasional newsletter at https://madmimi.com/signups/118177/join
Have a great week of reading, readers ~  Mary Ellis 

Good morning, readers,

I recently returned home from a two-week trip where a condo had been booked in beautiful, historic Charleston. Only that nasty Hurricane Irma had other plans for us. My heart breaks for all the people living in the state of Florida, coastal areas of Georgia and South Carolina and the several Carribean islands severely impacted. For a week we stayed in the mountains of NC, waiting to see which way Irma would head. Then we headed to Memphis and a friend’s house in Kentucky. Yes, we were out money and a chance to put final touches on my next book, Night Falls on Charleston. But so many people lost their homes, possessions, and some even their lives.  They are the ones heavy on my mind and they will remain in my prayers for a long time.

The first thing I did when I returned home was to send a check to the American Red Cross. This country has experienced one disaster after another. Please remember the Red Cross and Salvation Army with whatever you can afford to give. Thanks!

On Friday, please drop by the Suspense Sisters blog where I will be interviewing Susan Page Davis. She’ll be giving away a copy of her book, THE HOUSE NEXT DOOR, or any of the earlier books in the current series. Kindle or paperback, but a signed paperback is for U.S. only.  Please leave your comment after the interview to be entered in a drawing.       http://suspensesisters.blogspot.com/

THE HOUSE NEXT DOOR
The charming stone house next door is for sale! How could there be a downside to that?

As his wife Jennifer’s due date approaches, Captain Harvey Larson decides to invest in real estate, unaware of the terror this will cause his family. The neighboring house seems ideal for Jennifer’s brother Jeff and his wife. A hidden cupboard isn’t so bad—in fact, it’s almost fun to try to solve the little mystery inside it. But will any of their loved ones want to live next door after they learn what’s in the basement? The men of the Priority Unit might be wasting their time, trying to prove one dead man killed another. Or is the murderer still alive, and ready to strike again? Join them on their latest case as they deliver Maine Justice.

Thanks, readers!  Mary 

 

  on

SUSPENSE SISTERS


We’re planning another great week on the Suspense Sisters. Check out our posts, our interviews, and our awesome giveaways! On Tuesday Dana Mentink will share What’s Hot in Inspirational Suspense and Mystery.

Single mother Penny Potter has spent months in hiding to keep her toddler from his father, a rogue FBI agent turned fugitive. But he’s determined to flee the country with the child, and she can’t dodge him forever. When he corners Penny in the Montana wilderness and gets away with their son, she’s forced to trust his brother, handsome FBI K-9 agent Zeke Morrow. And Zeke must decide where his loyalty lies: with his sibling or the woman he wasn’t supposed to fall for. As the bullets fly and family ties are tested, Penny and Zeke will fight to save the boy who brought them together.
On Wednesday Suspense Sister Elizabeth Goddard reviews Rachel Dylan’s new book, DEADLY PROOF.
In the biggest case of her career, attorney Kate Sullivan is tapped as lead counsel to take on Mason Pharmaceutical because of a corporate cover-up related to its newest drug. After a whistleblower dies, Kate knows the stakes are much higher than her other lawsuits.

Former Army Ranger turned private investigator Landon James is still haunted by mistakes made while serving overseas. Trying to forget the past, he is hired by Kate to look into the whistleblower’s allegations and soon suspects that the company may be engaging in a dangerous game for profit. He also soon finds himself falling for this passionate and earnest young lawyer. 

Determined not to make the same mistakes, he’s intent on keeping Kate safe, but as the case deepens, it appears someone is willing to risk everything–even murder–to keep the case from going to trial.

Friday, we hear from Elizabeth again! You could win a copy of her book, DOUBLE EXPOSURE! 

Epidemiologist Tara Blackburn is investigating an illness in an African village when she hears rapid gunfire and barely escapes with her life. What she witnesses terrify her and she flees home to the States to take refuge at a wolf sanctuary where no one will find her until she knows whom she can trust.

When Grant McCall arrives at the sanctuary to photograph the wolves, he knows Tara is wary. But he can’t reveal that he’s working undercover to learn who’s behind the carnage in Africa. An image surfaced that exposed the truth—The epidemiologist believed dead had survived, like a ghost image in a double exposure on film exposed to light.

The killers will stop at nothing to find the woman who witnessed their crimes. But even more deadly is the illness to which she was exposed.

The Suspense Sisters! We love books!
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 Suspense Sister E.E. Kennedy writes about “Agatha and Me!” Don’t miss this great post! She’s also giving away a copy of one of her great cozy mysteries. Your choice! 

Friday, the Suspense Sisters interview the incredible Patricia Bradley! She’s giving away a copy of her brand new book, JUSTICE BURIED!  
In an effort to get her security consulting business off the ground, Kelsey Allen has been spending a lot of time up in the air, rappelling down buildings and climbing through windows to show business owners their vulnerabilities to thieves. When she is hired to pose as a conservator at the Pink Palace Museum in order to test their security weaknesses after some artifacts go missing, she’s ecstatic. But when her investigative focus turns from theft to murder, Kelsey knows she’s out of her league–and possibly in the cross hairs. When blast-from-the-past Detective Brad Hollister is called in to investigate, Kelsey may find that he’s the biggest security threat yet . . . to her heart.
Have a great week, readers! Mary Ellis, proud to be one of the Suspense Sisters! We love books!

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