Monday, June 30, 2014

Genesis Beach

Today's special guest is Susan Whitfield. Award-winning multi-genre author Susan Whitfield is a native of North Carolina, where she sets all of her novels. She is the author of five published mysteries, Genesis Beach, Just North of Luck, Hell Swamp, Sin Creek and Sticking Point. She also authored Killer Recipes, a unique cookbook that includes recipes from mystery writers around the country.  Slightly Cracked is her first women’s fiction, set in Wayne County where she lives with her husband. Their two sons live nearby with their families.

Susan’s a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, Coastal Carolina Mystery Writers, and North Carolina Writers Network.  Her books are available in print and ebook formats. Susan is currently researching a medieval ancestor for an historical mystery. Learn more at
and please stop by Book 'Em North Carolina on Saturday, February 28, 2015 and chat with her!


Why did you choose the SBI for Logan Hunter?

You may laugh at my answer. As high school principal, I spent countless hours behind closed doors interrogating someone about something. I was “the law” on campus and it was my responsibility to get to the bottom of things. It just seemed natural to build a female character who investigated crimes. Thank goodness I had only minor “crimes” to deal with but Logan had some horrendous situations that I never could have handled in my wildest dreams in real life.

Tell us about the locations used in the series.

Genesis Beach, the first Logan Hunter Mystery, is fictional, a weaving of several beaches along our North Carolina coast. Just North of Luck is set in Madison County where the communities of Trust and Luck are only a few mountain miles apart. I went back to my childhood roots to write Hell Swamp, the third novel in the series. Sin Creek is set along the Cape Fear River in Wilmington, one of my favorite places. Beaufort is the setting for the fifth mystery, Sticking Point.

Just North of Luck, as I said, is set in the community of Luck. When I found the names Trust and Luck on the North Carolina map, I was inspired the whole novel, and I decided to challenge Logan with a serial killer. There really is a Hell Swamp down Black River but I moved it up to Beatty’s Bridge where a horrific crime occurred in The Black River Plantation which still stands in a picturesque location. I passed that house many times as a child. I wanted to showcase the Riverwalk in Wilmington so I used that setting for Sin Creek even though the story is fiction.            

How do you get your ideas for your plots?

Sometimes setting a story in a particular place drives the plot and I always think of my setting as one of the characters. Quite often my ideas come from billboards, commercials, newspaper articles, or overheard conversations. I also have a large family and there’s always something interesting going on that can take me off into my own world. For example, my husband and one of his brothers use malapropisms all the time, quite innocently I might add. I could write a book just about that but I did use quite a few in my women’s fiction, Slightly Cracked.

How did you get into writing?

I started reading when I was four-years-old and I’d rather have a book than a doll. I remember so well how excited I was every time I saw the Bookmobile coming. I’d get the max number of books allowed. I jotted notes and ideas on scraps of paper and actually wrote a 40-page outline for a book when I was in high school. It’s still in a drawer somewhere. I majored in English, as you might have guessed.

What did you do before you began writing?

I didn’t begin to write seriously until 2004 when I was contemplating retirement from education. I taught English for thirteen years and was a high school administrator for seventeen years. I had little time to write anything other than required reports and articles.

How many books have you written? Genres?

I have written seven books, five of them in the Logan Hunter Mystery series. I also wrote Slightly Cracked, a women’s fiction and authored a unique cookbook called Killer Recipes.

What are you working on?
I am currently writing a historical fiction about Geoffrey Plantagenet, my medieval ancestor who started the Plantagenet lineage in Europe It’s the biggest challenge I’ve faced in writing because I want the period to be as accurate as possible. I have to admit, though, that I’m enjoying the research and excited that I can twist the facts if I want to.

What would you like readers to know about you and your writing?

The books are all set in North Carolina, even Slightly Cracked. This is home and I love showcasing different parts of the state. The only exception is the historical, of course. I am happily married for 46 years and have two fantastic sons and daughters-in-law who blessed me with three wonderful grandsons. I’m living the dream! Life is good!

 Is there anything else you'd like to add?

Yes, I’d like to thank you, Trish, for organizing Book’Em NC into such a great event. I hope people will continue to support this worthy cause for literacy. I’m honored to be a part of it. The Lumberton community and its leaders are an impressive and generous bunch of folks. I hope those reading this article will plan to attend next year’s event and pick up an armful of great books of all kinds. It’s nice to have so many genres and author backgrounds represented.


When the lifeless body of millionaire Rick Teater is discovered, Logan Hunter is thrust into a high-profile crime scene. The inexperienced intern for the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, working alongside the local police, needs to prove herself. She embarks on a quest for justice.

The search for Teater’s killer is complicated by a hurricane and Logan’s battle with personal demons, including a recurring nightmare. The investigation comes to a frustrating standstill until her intense search for the prime suspect leads her to a new and shocking discovery.


“Don’t tell nobody nothin’, little darlin’”, the raspy voice whispered close to my ear. I jerked away, but the long bony hand grabbed me, and the long nasty green nails bit into the skin on my arm. I could feel hot breath in my hair as my earlobe was licked. I bit a finger, and the hand released me. I screamed at the top of my lungs as I ran outside in a storm and could barely stand up. Something hit me in the face, but I continued to try to run. The hand—no, two hands now—began shaking me hard, and I fell to the ground.

            I awoke to Pepper pulling at me. We were both beaten by the storm’s wrath and soaked by torrential rain. Pepper wrapped herself around me so I couldn’t run anymore. I stared at her for a moment and then began to shake violently.

            “Logan! My God! You scared me half to death. What is it? What the hell is going on?” I could only blink at her. She pulled me to my feet, and together we made the laborious trip back to safety.

            Once inside, Pepper breathlessly told me I’d screamed out several times—a lot of nonsense—and the only words she made out were “stay away” and I bolted for the door, somehow unlocked it, and ran out into the hurricane. I’d been hit in the ear by piece of shingle, and I’d bitten her finger when she grabbed me. We dried off and sat quietly for a while, Pepper watching me as she doctored her bite. I rocked on the floor and tried to recover….This bony hand was driving me mad. I wanted relief from the overwhelming feeling of impending terror I couldn’t explain. I felt totally wiped out. And I’d stressed Pepper with my behavior, but there was nowhere to go.




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Friday, June 27, 2014

The Thin Veil

Today's special guest is Jodi McIsaac. Jodi grew up in New Brunswick, Canada. After stints as a short-track speed skater, a speechwriter, and fundraising and marketing executive in the nonprofit sector, she started a boutique copywriting agency and began writing novels in the wee hours of the morning. She currently lives with her husband and children in Calgary.


It’s been seven years since the love of Cedar McLeod’s life left with no forwarding address. All she has left of him are heart-wrenching memories of happier times and a beautiful six-year-old daughter, Eden. Then, one day, Eden opens her bedroom door and unwittingly creates a portal that leads to anywhere she imagines.

But they’re not the only ones who know of Eden’s gift, and soon the child mysteriously vanishes.

Desperate for answers, Cedar digs into the past and finds herself thrust into a magical world of Celtic myths, fantastical creatures, and bloody rivalries. Teaming up with the unlikeliest of allies, Cedar must bridge the gap between two worlds and hold tight to the love in her heart…or lose everything to an ancient evil.

The first in the Thin Veil series, Through the Door is a pulse-pounding adventure that takes readers across the globe and deep into the hidden realms of Celtic lore.


Cedar McLeod would like nothing more than to return to Tír na nÓg, help rebuild the mythical kingdom, and start a new life for herself and her daughter, Eden. But peace isn’t what Cedar finds after being reunited with her little girl.

Nuala—who kidnapped and terrorized Eden in her previous bid for power—has returned and is making a persuasive claim for the vacant throne. The devastation such a ruler would bring upon both the kingdom and the human world is unthinkable. With no one else to stake a convincing counter-claim, Cedar steps forward...but first she must prove her worth beyond a doubt.

Her opportunity comes when she is charged with finding an ancient treasure, the Stone of Destiny, and returning it to its rightful home. It is a quest that will lead her to question her beliefs, and push her loyalties to their limits. If she succeeds, Cedar could grant her new world and her new family a chance to flourish again. If not...destruction may be the only path ahead.

Into the Fire, the second book in the Thin Veil series, is a captivating blend of Celtic myth, mystery, and adventure that delves deeper into the ancient world first explored in Through the Door.


Life just keeps getting more complicated for Cedar McLeod. As the recently crowned queen of Tír na nÓg, she’s trying to understand her magical new kingdom, even as she misses her life back on Earth. It doesn’t help that a dear friend has just betrayed her—a betrayal that almost cost Cedar and her family their lives. And things aren’t easy at home, either, as Cedar’s seven-year-old daughter, Eden, lost and lonely in Tír na nÓg despite her special powers, has become painfully distant.

Cedar vows to do whatever it takes to protect her family once and for all, and starts rounding up those who plotted against her. But then a new disaster breaks out: a mysterious sickness is plaguing the Unseen, Ireland’s magical creatures, including those Cedar knows and loves. With enemies still on the loose and not knowing whom she can trust, Cedar must race against time to reverse an ancient curse, in a journey that will take her from Tír na nÓg to Earth…and beyond.

Brimming with page-turning adventure, Among the Unseen—the exciting conclusion to Jodi McIsaac’s Thin Veil trilogy—weaves an enchanting, captivating spell.





The Thin Veil Series on Amazon:

Jodi will award signed print copies of all three books in the Thin Veil series to one randomly selected winner, and one set to one randomly selected host (International Giveaway).

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway