Monday, April 29, 2013

The Danger Game

Today's special guest is Caitlyn Nicholas. Here's how she describes herself in her own words:

I began writing in 2005. Exhausted, pregnant (sure I was going to expire from morning-sickness) and coping with a demanding toddler, I decided the time was right to embark on a writing career. (In hindsight I may have been suffering from a scorching case of sleep-deprivation).

Still, it kinda worked out. My debut novel - and the first manuscript I'd ever written - Running Scared, was published in January 2007.  My next book, Secret Intentions followed.  Then I had a short story published in the Mammoth Book of Special Ops Romance (MBSOR) in 2010 - my story is called The Grey Man.

In 2012 my novel Drive Me To Distraction was published, and my novella The Danger Game came out just before Christmas.  My next book, The Bunker, will be published in July 2013.


What came first with The Danger Game: the characters or the plot?

I find that characters and plot tend to evolve together.  When I start planning a book I usually begin with a plot idea; for The Danger Game this was… ‘what if a cyber-war program fell into the wrong hands?’  But from there I move onto the characters, as they are the essential part of a romantic story.

Flick is a computer expert. Are you also an expert in computers? Or what type of research involved in the line of work that Flick is in?

Generally I am an expert in crashing computers and not being able to find the on button. And that’s a good day.  Despite this, I did do a couple of programming courses at University (which led to an extraordinarily unsettling love of databases) and this knowledge has given me a solid basis for further research.

I do have an expert in my life though, which you can probably pick up in The Danger Game.   I’m married to a computer geek extraordinaire!  My husband lives and breathes computers; they are his work and his hobby. When I’m writing I’ll come up with an idea in my first draft and then he’ll figure out how to make it work in a real life situation. We are planning to take over the world once the kids are a bit older.

 How do you keep the suspense going?

Be horrible to my characters!  Poor Ben and Flick.  Just when they think they’re out of trouble they fall right back into it.  I blame that nasty arms dealer David Darkthorne and his insatiable quest for pots of money. 

Will there be a sequel with Flick and Ben?

Ever since I finished The Danger Game an idea for a sequel has been niggling me. I think where I left Flick and Ben (in a Humvee in the middle of the Syrian desert), has huge potential.  I’m in the midst of writing a trilogy at the moment, but it might well be next book onto paper.

What would you like fans to know about you?

My next book, The Bunker, is out in July 2013.  It’s another thrilling romantic suspense set in deep underground in an old bunker, in the idyllic green hills of England.  If you sign up for my newsletter you’ll be the first to hear about when it goes live.  And don’t forget to leave a comment and enter my giveaway.  Prizes include much sought after Timtams (legendary Australian chocolate biscuit).


Flick likes computers. She’s good with them, and they do what she tells them, mostly. People, however, are more of a challenge.

But when a terrifyingly dangerous program is stolen, and her mentor killed, Flick finds herself on the run. The police are convinced she’s committed murder, and a sinister weapons developer will stop at nothing to force her to work for him.

In Ben’s line of work being suspicious keeps you alive. So when Flick turns to him, he quickly realises that she’s up to her neck in trouble and hasn’t fully grasped the danger she is in. 

First he has to keep her safe, and then, together, they have to figure out how to save the world from an epic meltdown.


“It’s your last chance with the Vice Chancellor.”

“I said I’d be there.” Flick didn’t bother to hide her irritation. “I just won the man a million dollar grant, what more does he want?”

“Your bubbly and fun personality?” There was amusement beneath Andy’s sarcasm.

Flick snorted. “All right. Okay. I’m leaving now.” She growled the words, and hit the off-button on her phone.

They both knew she lied.

She dropped the phone onto the desk. Then, scowling, she clicked on the icon that’d run the Bellona program.  It crashed instantly, and took the computer with it.

“Awesome.”  She threw herself back into her chair and stared at the ceiling panels, running the changes she’d made to the code through her mind.  Realizing it’d be a waste of time to unpick what she’d done, Flick rebooted her computer and went in search of a clean copy of the program on the backup server. 

There were two versions. Usually they only kept one, but she thought nothing of it, and after saving a copy to her hard drive, she opened it up.

She scanned quickly through the code, looking for the section she’d been working on, so preoccupied with figuring out how to manipulate it into doing what she wanted, she nearly missed the strange command, her eye travelled straight past it. But then she hesitated, and went back to the unusual group of letters.  They hadn’t been there before.

A logic bomb? Some little joke Andy was playing?

She ran the command and it brought up a whole section of Bellona that she’d never seen before.

“Bloody hell -” For a moment she simply stared at the screen. 

It was no joke.


Caitlyn will be awarding three prizes: a $25 Amazon GC and Caitlyn Nicholas gift bag to one randomly drawn commenter, and a Caitlyn Nicholas gift bag to two randomly drawn commenters during the tour.(International)

a Rafflecopter giveaway 

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:

Author Links

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Difference a Day Makes

As a child, Barbara Longley moved frequently, learning early on how to entertain herself with stories. Adulthood didn’t tame her peripatetic ways: she has lived on an Appalachian commune, taught on an Indian reservation, and traveled the country from coast to coast. After having children of her own, she decided to try staying put, choosing Minnesota as her home. By day, she puts her master’s degree in special education to use teaching elementary school. By night, she explores all things mythical, paranormal, and newsworthy, channeling what she learns into her writing.


Ryan Malloy has lost it all. After his fiancée dies in a tragic accident, he enlists in the army, only to lose his best friend in a roadside bombing. Wracked with guilt and grief, Ryan finds life unbearable—until a job offer from his former commander gives him a glimmer of hope. And in the tiny town of Perfect, Indiana, the man who thought he had nothing left to live for meets the only woman who can tempt him into risking his battered heart one last time...

Paige Langford has it all: wealth, beauty, and ambition. But when her boyfriend’s betrayal leads to the loss of her job and her reputation, she retreats to her brother’s rural Indiana home to regroup. There she meets Ryan Malloy, a gruff, hard-drinking loner whose surly temper can’t hide the haunted misery in his eyes. He is everything Paige never wanted, yet he may be exactly what she needs—if only they can overcome their personal demons to forge a love strong enough to save them both.


“Hi, honey. I’m home.” Ryan’s voice reverberated through the stillness, bounced off the bare walls, and came back to mock him. He set his lunchbox on the kitchen counter and leaned over to retrieve his supper from under the sink—a brand-new bottle of Johnnie Walker Red.

Gripping the bottle by the neck, he moved to the living room and set it on the coffee table next to his vintage .357 revolver, the letter he’d written to his folks, and the picture of his platoon, Task Force Iron, First Armored Division, Fourth Brigade. One more item, and he could begin his nightly ritual. He retrieved the snapshot of Theresa from his billfold, laid it down, and took his place on the couch.

Letter. Pictures. Gun. Bottle.

Theresa. Reaching out, he traced the laminated photo with his finger. His throat tightened. God, he missed her. How different his life would be if he hadn’t insisted they go riding that morning five years ago. He’d be coming home every evening from some swank advertising agency job. They’d have a couple of kids by now. A family. His family. He’d be surrounded by love instead of this soul-sucking loneliness.

Ah, but he wasn’t entirely alone, not if the hollow-eyed ghosts plaguing him counted. He closed his eyes, and images from the suicide bombing near Mosul played across his shattered mind.


Two randomly drawn commenters will win a $10 Amazon gift card each.

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Secrets in Time

Today's special guest is Alison Stuart, an award winning Australian writer of historicals with heart.  Whether duelling with dashing cavaliers or wayward ghosts, her books provide a reader with a meaty plot and characters who have to strive against adversity, always with the promise of happiness together. Alison is a lapsed lawyer who has worked in the military and fire service, which may explain a predisposition to soldier heroes.  She lives with her own personal hero and two needy cats and likes nothing more than a stiff gin and tonic and a walk along the sea front of her home town.  She loves to hear from her readers and can be found at her website, facebook, twitter and Goodreads (links below).


Hi, Alison! Welcome to Book 'Em North Carolina. What interested you in writing a novel that involves time travel?

Hi, and thanks so much for having me.

I have always loved the concept of Time Travel. As an over-imaginative youngster with a passion for history, I used to go to sleep and will myself to wake up in a different time.  Inside I am still that over-imaginative child and I loved the idea of taking my favourite period of history and playing with time.  I think what fascinated me as I was writing it, was the idea of “foreknowledge”. Could Nat’s knowledge of the outcome of the English Civil War be used to influence the tide of history… and should it?

How did you research the backdrop of England - both in the present time as well as the time in which Nat returned?
My passion for the period of the English Civil War goes back well into childhood (possibly when my father took me to see the film “Cromwell” with Richard Harris and Alec Guiness) so I have a lifetime’s research behind me. It is a period I know well.  I am an Australian which meant physical research has to be conducted on flying trips to the UK but I have visited the battlefield of Naseby twice so I know the locale. Even though my own village and the battle of Chesham Bridge are entirely fictional.

I actually struggled more with the modern times. Fortunately I have a cousin who is a doctor so she was happy to vet my medical research. I follow several re-enacting groups that are active in the UK so I hope I have got the details of the historical re-enactors roughly correct (although I am sure they are not all hirsute and overweight as Jess describes them). I ended up deliberately setting the book in 1995, pre 2001 because the terrorism laws that were introduced into the UK would have meant my poor hero would have been locked up indefinitely and never released. It was easier to put the story in a gentler time!

Is the battle to which he seemed doomed to return to based on a real battle in England's history? If not, did any particular war inspire that backdrop?

The battle of Chesham Bridge is entirely fictional but I set it up as a precursor to the last major battle of the English Civil War, the battle of Naseby which was fought on June 14, 1645.  It was a terrible defeat for the royalists and the King himself barely escaped with his life.

Like the American Civil War, the English Civil War (1642-1651) pitted brother against brother and divided the nation and yet from those bloodstained years and England’s brief flirtation with republicanism, arose our modern system of democracy as we know it today. It is a fascinating period.

How did you become interested in writing romance?

When I started writing, I didn’t know I wrote romance. I wrote the sort of stories I like to read – good solid historicals with a hero and a heroine who manage to get together in the end. It took someone to point out that it was called “historical romance”.  My problem is that my books aren’t that easily labeled – too historical to be true romance and too romantic to be historical. SECRETS IN TIME is my first foray into what I would call a “proper romance”.

What are you working on next? Will there be more romantic time travel novels?

I’d LOVE to write another time travel but to be honest, it might depend how this one is received by readers.  In the meantime I have a couple of books under consideration by publishers at the moment-- a Regency murder mystery and an English Civil War romance set in a besieged castle.  Current works in progress include a Restoration period sequel to my first two English Civil War novels (BY THE SWORD and THE KING’S MAN) and a “cosy” murder mystery set in Singapore in the early 1900s – just for something completely different!


Can love endure across time?

When a seventeenth-century cavalier hurls himself over her garden wall, Doctor Jessica Shepherd is more angry than surprised. Although she ís no stranger to military re-enactors, there ís something different about Nathaniel Preston. If he ís to be believed, something…or someone…has sent him forward in time from the midst of a civil war to the quiet English countryside of the twentieth century.

With time working against them, Nathaniel has to convince Jessica why fate brought them together before he ís forced to return to his own era and certain death in battle.

Can the strength of love overcome all obstacles, even time itself?


“If you could lend me your horse, I would be grateful. It is a long ride home. You have my word that I will return it anon.”

“My horse? I don’t own a horse. Look, Nathaniel, you’ve lost a bit of blood, if you like I can give you a ride home.”

“But you said you had no horse?”

“In the car.” I could not help the exasperation that crept into my voice. His continuing delusion had really begun to concern me. “Nathaniel, look at me. What year do you think this is?”

“The year of our lord 1645.”

“1645?” I stared at him. “Nathaniel, it is 1995.”

He narrowed his eyes. “No, you jest.” He sank onto the kitchen chair, his eyes glassy.

“I do not jest. Now stay there. I’m going to ring my brother. Perhaps he can talk some sense into you.”

Keeping a wary eye on my visitor, I reached for the phone and carried it into the living room while I waited for Alan to pick up.

“Hey, Jess.” Alan greeted me cheerfully.

“Alan, are you busy?”

“I’m correcting papers, nothing I can’t put off. Is this important?”

“I have a man in my kitchen who thinks he is living in 1645,” I whispered.

“Sounds like a case for the psychs, not me.”

“Please come over, Alan. There is something about him...sorry I can’t explain--”

“Is he threatening you?” Alan’s tone was alarmed.

“No, not at all. He’s just a little...confused.”


Alison will be awarding ecopies of her two previously published books THE KING’S MAN and the award winning BY THE SWORD, which are set in the same period as this story, to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and a gift pack of Alison Stuart products to a randomly drawn host.

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:

Find Alison on the Web

Blog:        Ms.Stuart Requests…:

Twitter:  @AlisonStuart14

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

To Have and To Hold

Charlene's first serious writing attempt came in 1980 when she awoke one morning from an unusually vivid and compelling dream. Deciding that dream needed to be made into a book, she dug out an old portable typewriter and went to work. 

That book never sold, but her second one, Tender Touch, became a Golden Heart finalist and earned her an agent. Soon after, she signed a three book contract with Kensington Books. Five of Charlene's western historical romances were published between 1994 and 1999: Taming Jenna, Tender Touch (1994 Golden Heart Finalist under the title Brianna), Forever Mine (1996 Romantic Times Magazine Reviewer's Choice Award Nominee and Affaire de Coeur Reader/Writer Poll finalist), To Have and To Hold Affaire de Coeur Reader/Writer Poll finalist); and writing as Rachel Summers, The Scent of Roses. Forever Mine and Tender Touch are available as e-books and after January 24, To Have and To Hold will be as well. When not writing, Charlene loves to travel, crochet, needlepoint, research genealogy, scrapbook, and dye Ukrainian eggs.


A woman without a prayer…

A widow with two children, Tempest Whitney had to mortgage everything to repay the money her husband had stolen. But even as she struggles to hold onto her Utah homestead, a scheming rancher buys up her debts, demanding she either get off his land or marry him. Then a dark-haired stranger shows up, claiming to be her dead husband…

A man without a past….

Buck Maddux spent two years in jail for a crime he didn’t commit. Now a death bed promise has brought him to Tempest’s dugout. A man without roots, he doesn’t plan to stay—or to feel so fiercely protective of this feisty beauty he saves from a forced marriage. Suddenly, Buck yearns for a home, a family, a lasting love. But what can he offer Tempest? The surprising answer lies in the forbidden canyons of an ancient Anasazi tribe, where fortune and danger await—along with a passion more precious than gold…


"Think you could put down the gun?" He eyed the rifle with amusement and chagrin. "This might take a while and your arms are like to get tired."

"Don't think for a second, just because I’m a woman, that I can’t shoot this rifle,” she drawled. "I hate when men jump to such conclusions. Makes me so angry I start shaking and that makes my trigger finger jittery, if you know what I mean."

Buck knew. A jittery trigger finger meant he might get shot for no reason. He eyed her speculatively. She wasn’t much bigger than a colt; no problem for a man his size to handle. “I doubt you’d enjoy where they'd put you for shooting a man,” he said, smiling to hide his growing irritation.

"Nobody goes to jail for self-defense. Especially a woman. You going to state your business or not?"

"Are you Tempest Whitney?"

"What's it to you?"

He sighed. "Name's Buck Maddux. I ran onto your husband two years ago. He was gut shot and bleeding bad —"

“Maddux!” Her head snapped up and her finger tightened on the trigger. “You yellow-bellied son of a coyote. How dare you come here? Didn’t you cause enough grief robbing that stage and getting my husband killed? Get off my property before I fill you with lead the way the posse did Skeet."

He threw up his hands as she stepped closer. "Easy, ma'am, I didn't come here to get you all upset."


Charlene will give away a free copy of one of her other books at each stop and for the grand prize, a $15 Amazon gift card.

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Vegas Vacation

Today's special guest is Crystal Jordan. Originally from California, Crystal has lived all over the United States. Currently, she serves as a librarian at a university in her home state, and she writes contemporary, paranormal, futuristic, and erotic romance. Her publishers have included Kensington Aphrodisia, Harlequin Spice Briefs, Ellora's Cave, and Samhain Publishing.


It’s spring break, and a group of teachers from Half Moon Bay Middle School are planning to cut loose. History teacher Meg Phillips hadn’t planned on being one of them—Vegas isn’t really a town for a bookworm—but somehow she let her friend Anne talk her into it.

Though honestly, she’d rather indulge in some poolside reading than co-star in an R-rated edition of Teachers Gone Wild.

It took some major arm twisting for Finn Walsh to convince his fellow gym teacher, Anne, to do whatever it took to get Meg to Vegas. For over a year he’s been looking for the chance to get to know her outside of work. He’s drawn to her quiet beauty and intelligence—and the hint of fire beneath her understated exterior.

When he finally gets the opportunity to peel away those layers, the result is far more explosive than he ever fantasized. Now to convince her that the week isn’t a wildly out-of-character mistake, but the start of something amazing...


“Come on, Anne. The least you can do is ask her for me. She’ll listen to you.” Finn Walsh offered up his most winning smile, but his colleague gave him a dubious glance.

“Why exactly would I help you get in my friend’s pants?” Anne Kirby snorted, bending her long limbs into a stretch as they both warmed up to start the day. Teaching physical education at a middle school kept them running. “Besides, Meg turned you down the one time you asked her out.”

Yeah, she had. Finn winced. “I don’t want to get in her pants.”

Anne straightened and stared at him. “Right, I believe that one. You want to date Meg, but you don’t want to do her.”

He lowered himself to the wooden gym floor and grabbed the toe of his sneaker to help flex his calf. Meg’s heart-shaped face filled his mind. Brunette curls he wanted to tangle his fingers in, eyes that were an impossible shade of storm cloud gray. She wasn’t tall or short, just average, but she had curves in all the right places. But if it were just about getting laid, he could find a woman for that easily. No, he wanted Meg, specifically. “Okay, I don’t only want to get in her pants.”

“That’s a little more believable.” Anne smiled when the school bell rang. Within a few minutes, gangly teens began trudging past them into the changing room.

“I mean it.” Finn waved to a few of his students, picking himself up off the floor. “I like her, Anne. She turned me down because she thinks it’s a bad idea to date co-workers. She never said she wasn’t interested in me.”

Crossing her arms, Anne shrugged. “She’s being smart about it. We had an ugly breakup between two teachers a few years back, before you came to HMB. The memory for those of us who were here is still pretty fresh and really harsh. I don’t know if I’d date another teacher either. When it goes sour–”

“If, not when. It doesn’t have to go sour.” Usually, he wasn’t one to fish in the work dating pool either, but for Meg, he’d make an exception. She taught history, and she was quiet, smart, and drew him like a magnet. Seeing her was his best reason to show up for staff meetings. He liked being around her, liked her considered approach to every controversy that came up at work. She wasn’t out-spoken and ready to jump into the fray like Anne, but when she offered an opinion, everyone listened. Everything about Meg appealed to Finn. There was huge potential between them, potential for something that could actually last. He knew it, without any doubts.


Crystal will be awarding 5 digital copies of her backlist story, "All Tangled Up" to randomly drawn commenters during the tour, and a grand prize pack of a copy of "All Tangled Up", a $10 Amazon or BN gift card, and a Vegas-inspired playing card necklace to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better their chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:


Buy links will be added to the book’s page on the author's website as they become available:

Monday, April 15, 2013

Twinned Universes

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan started reading at the age of three and only stops when absolutely required to. Although she hasn’t been writing quite that long, she did compose a very simple play in German during middle school. Her science fiction novella Move Over Ms. L. (an early version of Lyon’s Legacy) earned an Honorable Mention in the 2001 UPC Science Fiction Awards, and her short story “A Reptile at the Reunion” was published in the anthology Firestorm of Dragons. 

She is a founding member of BroadUniverse and a long-time member of the Online Writing Workshop for Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Horror. Her undergraduate degree is in molecular biology/English, and she has a Master of Technical and Scientific Communication degree. Her current day job is in the laboratory of an enzyme company; she’s also been a technical writer and a part-time copyeditor for a local newspaper. Some of her other accomplishments are losing on Jeopardy! and taking a stuffed orca to three continents. She lives in the Chicago area with her husband, Eugene; and son, Alex. In her rare moments of free time, she enjoys crocheting, listening to classic rock (particularly the Beatles), and watching improv comedy.


Paul Harrison always wanted to play Hamlet, but he never expected he’d live the role first.

In the aftermath of a family tragedy on 21st century Earth, Paul discovers he’s the clone of Sean Lyon, his great-great-grandfather and a famous TwenCen musician. Suspecting his mother’s death was no accident, Paul comes up with a plan to trick the answers out of the great-uncle who had him cloned. But in order to make his plan work, Paul needs help from Sean himself—and Sean’s time is running out in the TwenCen universe next door. Although Paul’s family lives on the spaceship that travels between the universes, he’s never been allowed on TwenCen Earth. Now, with the help of his friends, his disguise-creating holoprojectors, and a quantum quirk, Paul must make his way to Sean while evading other time travelers who fear he’ll change the history of the TwenCen universe. If Paul is to achieve justice, he must not only risk his own life, but the wormhole connecting the universes. “To be or not to be” was a simple question in comparison....


Paul drew his knees up to his chin as he thought. The space elevator lurched occasionally, but it ran so quietly all he could hear were snores from Cass and a sporadic click from Dad’s handheld. Why would Great-Uncle Jack want him so desperately? Why should he care about Paul so much? He was so obsessed with Sean Lyon it seemed impossible for him to have room in his mind for anything else. Unless...Paul was linked to Sean somehow? They were several generations apart; Jack himself was closer to Sean than Paul was. Besides, Cass was also Sean’s descendant, so that didn’t fit with Jack’s ignoring her. He still badgered Mom about music—well, he had, even on this last visit—so it couldn’t be because Cass was a girl.

Paul remembered the photo and holo Great-Uncle Jack had sent him. What did the Elvii Twins have to do with him anyway? The Elvii Twins were clones of a TwenCen rock star like Sean Lyon. Someone had traveled on the Sagan through the wormhole and into the alternate universe to get Elvis Presley’s DNA. Mom had worked on the Sagan since before Paul was born, and Dad had said she’d gone down to TwenCen Earth at least once. Paul looked a lot like Sean....

What the hell? No. It can’t be true—can it?

Feeling as if he’d forgotten his most important line in the middle of a performance, he asked, “Dad, am I…am I Sean Lyon’s clone?”


Sandra will award one randomly chosen commenter the choice of a $50 Amazon gift card or a gift pack of all of the following items related to Twinned Unniverses: two Shakespeare mugs, a Sears tower pendant, a book by Carl Sagan (Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space), and a signed copy of the first book in the series, Lyon's Legacy.

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 

Sandra can be found online at her website, blog, Twitter, and Facebook. Upcoming projects from Sandra include a standalone fantasy story called “The Fighting Roses of Sharon”; Twinned Universes, the second book in the science fiction Catalyst Chronicles series; and Scattered Seasons, the first book in the fantasy Season Lords series.

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Friday, April 5, 2013

Slightly Cracked

Today's special guest is Susan Whitfield, a North Carolina native. She was one of our featured authors at Book 'Em North Carolina in both 2012 and 2013, and I am excited to announce that she will be returning in 2014 for our next event! She is a truly talented author.


Thank you for joining us today, Susan! Tell me, what got you interested in writing and in your particular genre?

I’ve been reading books since I was four years old and always dreamed of writing a book, but as Life happened it took me many years to get serious about it. As a high school principal I had no time to write for pleasure, so my first book, Genesis Beach, did not publish until 2007. When I had time to read anything other than academic articles, I picked up James Patterson’s Alex Cross series and was instantly hooked on mystery.

Do you develop the plot or the characters first? Are you a plotter or pantser?

I usually have the plot rolling around in my head for months before I start putting pen to paper. Of course with the Logan Hunter series my main character is my female protagonist. I’m basically a pantster first and once I’ve got the “bones” of the novel down, I plot to add the flesh.

Who is your favorite character and why?

In the mystery series I’d have to say I really like Logan Hunter. In my women’s fiction, Slightly Cracked, I had a ball with both Daisy Marie Hazelhurst and Sugar Babe Beanblossom.

What is your most favorite plot of all your books? 

Boy, that’s difficult to answer. I guess I favor Hell Swamp’s plot most since I went back to my childhood home and set that novel at The Black River Plantation in deer country where hunters quickly became the suspects.

The inspiration for Hell Swamp came from an ugly letter an animal rights activist wrote to a young hunter in our area. He'd had his picture in the paper with his deer and she found out his home address. It was a horrible letter, calling him a killer. I decided to write a novel around that true story.

What are you working on next?

I am currently writing the fifth Logan Hunter mystery, set in Beaufort.

What do you want readers to know about you?

I’m a North Carolina native and set all my books somewhere in the state. After all, we have the ocean, the mountains, and many beautiful lakes, rivers, ponds in between. North Carolina also has plenty of diversity in customs and dialects. You can learn more at  I also blog at

Thanks for inviting me to the blog. I’ve enjoyed it very much!


In Slightly Cracked, Sugar Babe Beanblossom and best pal, Daisy Marie Hazelhurst, have been buddies since they were born two weeks to the day apart. Living near each other, they share happy and sad memories, outrageous antics and giggles, and marital and health glitches. The only thing that threatens their lifelong friendship is the Old Dickeywood subdivision goose controversy.

When Daisy takes a nasty spill on her bike, Sugar Babe races to her side. After two trips to the ER, Daisy is diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome and tests reveal an even more sinister affliction. As Daisy weakens, Sugar Babe embraces the realization that friends must encourage and protect one another through difficult circumstances, and …

 “Driving Miss Daisy” takes on a whole new meaning.


Sadie walked into the office with a trash can liner, slammed on brakes and pointed toward the ceiling. “Sn … s … ”

“For Heaven’s sake, Sadie, quit stuttering. What on earth’s wrong? What is it?”

The maid’s eyes filled with tears and she began to gurgle, still pointing behind Mackie Sue. The principal stood and followed her maid’s shaking finger to the corn snake dangling from a ceiling tile in the office corner behind her executive chair.

“Holy Mother!” Mackie Sue snatched her long umbrella from its ceramic stand and yanked the snake out of the ceiling crack with its hooked wooden handle. Once she had the reptile on the floor, she pulverized it into filet mignon. Breathless, she turned back to where the maid had stood seconds ago, but found only empty space and a leftover hint of fear. “I’ve never seen that in all my natural born days,” she said aloud as Mrs. Palmer ran into the office.

“Where’s my snake?”

Mackie Sue looked down at the mess she’d made in the office carpet, trying not to display sinister pleasure.


You can learn more about Susan Whitfield at  

She also blogs at