Thursday, February 18, 2016

THERE WAS A CROOKED MAN - Leeann Betts - One Free Book or Ebook

Bio: Leeann Betts writes contemporary suspense, while her real-life persona, Donna Schlachter, pens historical suspense. No Accounting for Murder and There Was a Crooked Man are books 1 and 2 in her By the Numbers series. Book 3, Unbalanced, released in January, with plans for Book 4, Five and Twenty Blackbirds, due in April, with more planned for later dates. Leeann and Donna have penned a book on writing, Nuggets of Writing Gold, and Donna has published a book of short stories, Second Chances and Second Cups. You can follow Leeann at and Donna at . All books are available at in digital and print, and at in digital.

Welcome back, Leeann. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I guess I write them because I like to read the same kind of stories. I want a story that will entertain, perhaps inform, not keep me awake with nightmares, but make me care about the characters. And I particularly like series. Once I find an author I like, I want to read everything they’ve written. But I hate waiting a year for the next book.

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
When I married my husband Patrick and my father was able to walk me down the aisle (double blessing).

How has being published changed your life?
I think other people take me more seriously because I take myself more seriously. I used to cringe when people asked what I did and I said I wrote novels because I knew the next question was, “Are you published?” I hated saying no because I know how lame that sounds. Now I can say yes.

What are you reading right now?
Donna is reading Separation by Charles Patricoff. It’s a Civil War piece about two families on opposite sides of the conflict. She’s the history buff.

What is your current work in progress?
I am currently working on Book 4 in the By the Numbers series, Five and Twenty Blackbirds. Carly joins hubby Mike at his 25th college reunion in Arizona, and it’s no time at all before there’s a dead body and she’s involved.

What would be your dream vacation?
Somewhere warm. And not humid.

How do you choose your settings for each book?
Usually because we travel there and I think, “This would make a cool setting for a book.” Or because I want to go there, and hubby asks, “How can we make this a business trip?” and I say, “I’ll set a book there.”

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why? Donna says she’d like to spend time with the oldest living survivor of World War 2, but if I had my choice, I’d choose Donald Bain, the writer of the Murder She Wrote television series, to pick his brain about developing a long term successful series.

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I like watching movies and television series on DVD because I hate commercials. I also like knitting, cooking, and coming up with more items for hubby’s Honey-Do list.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
My most difficult writing obstacle is focusing on one story and writing it, because I have about four books floating around in my head and many more titles, characters, and plots that I have to keep in files so they don’t overwhelm me. I overcome it by committing to write every day to keep the current story alive in my head.

What advice would you give to a beginning author?
If you truly feel you are called by God to write, then be obedient. Sit down, ask Him to dictate the story so you can transcribe it, and thank Him for letting you be the first person to hear and see this story. You’ll be amazed how freeing that will be.

Tell us about the featured book.
There was a Crooked Man is Book 2 in the By the Numbers series. In this one, Carly and Mike travel to a dude ranch in New Mexico on a working vacation—working for him, vacation for her. However, she can’t even get off the plane before she spots a suspicious death, and Mike knows he’s going to have his hands full keeping her out of trouble. He’s right, because soon she overhears veiled threats, learns of missing stock and money, finds a mysterious note in a Bible, and, when a body turns up, is hot on the trail of the killer, in the middle of a snowstorm which strands them at the ranch. Can Carly reveal the murderer, or will she be put in cold storage forever?

Please give us the first page of the book.
If not for all the turbulence in Carly Turnquist’s life, she might have enjoyed the flight.

All she really wanted was to stand on solid ground again. Air travel had never been her favorite mode of transportation, and the last couple of bumps had only served to confirm her previous opinion—flying was dangerous.

Still, there was no way she would have passed up this chance at a working vacation. Working for her husband Mike. Vacation for her. Not to mention getting to spend some quality time with her stepson—son of her heart—Tom. And, of course, getting to meet Sarah, the woman Tom said he hoped to spend the rest of his life with. Carly settled back in the high-backed jet liner seat and sighed. After two hectic weeks of preparing for this trip, she was more than ready to relax.
Fingers still gripping the armrest tightly, just in case another sudden drop came, she closed her eyes, envisioning the vacation part—sleeping, eating, reading.

She opened her eyes again, and smiled at the man seated next to her. Mike’s eyes were closed as he took another of his famous catnaps. Somehow, he could recharge his energy for hours with a five-minute nap. She squeezed his hand and was delighted when he returned the gesture.

He turned to face her. “Are you okay?”

Carly readjusted the small flight pillow behind her neck. “If you mean am I scared, I am.”

“Nothing to be scared of, you know.”

“I know. It’s all in my mind.”  She looked out the window beside her. “Still, the ground is a long ways down.”

“I guess I shouldn’t have asked you to come. I know how you feel about flying.”

Carly sat up abruptly, folding her arms across her chest. “Like you would have just come here without me?”

Mike chuckled as he pulled her into a one-armed hug. “Not if I valued my life, right?”

“Right.”  She started to pull away. “Not if you want to see your grandkids finish school.”

He tightened his grip and whispered into her ear. “Lean into me, and you’ll be safe.” 

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Leeann and Donna are active on Facebook and Twitter, and we also hosts blogs at and

Thank you, Leeann, for sharing this book with us today. 

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
There Was A Crooked Man: Book 2 (By the Numbers) - paperback
There Was A Crooked Man (By the Numbers) - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. If the winner is in the US, it will be a print book. If the winner is not in the US, it will be an ebook. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:


Leeann Betts said...

Hi Lena and loyal readers: Thanks for stopping by today. Don't forget to leave a comment to be entered into the drawing for a free copy of There Was a Crooked Man. This was a fun book to write, and it was inspired by a former pastor who has since passed into the arms of Jesus. He was considering buying a ranch in New Mexico and turning it into a retreat center for pastors. So, while not exactly the same concept, similar. Do you get ideas from other people like this? If so, leave a comment and tell us how and where.

Linda Kish said...

I would love to read this book.

Linda in CA

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Leeann Betts said...

Hi Linda: thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

Anonymous said...

would love to win Angela in KY

Melanie Backus said...

Wow! What a story! I would love to know more.

Melanie Backus, TX

Leeann Betts said...

Hi Angela: Thanks for stopping by. Good luck with the drawing!

Mary Preston said...

I love the title & cover & everything...

Mary P


Leeann Betts said...

Hi Melanie: Yes, it is quite a story. Particularly when you consider Carly isn't even on the ground in New Mexico yet. Good luck in the drawing.

Leeann Betts said...

Hi Mary: Thanks. At one point I thought of titling the series after nursery rhymes or puns on nursery rhymes, but I ran out of ideas. Five and Twenty Blackbirds (not a pun on 4 and 20 blackbirds but using the numbers as they relate to the story -- set around Mike's 25th college reunion where the team mascot is a black bird -- a raven) will be coming out in November, and the third in the series, Unbalanced, just released in January. My husband and I design the covers, and since I don't like covers that mislead, we try to stick to what's actually in the story. Good luck in the drawing.

Beth Gillihan said...

Sounds like a good read. Thanks for the chance to win!

Beth in Montana

Kim Amundsen said...

Nice interview. kamundsen44ATyahooDOTcom. north platte nebraska.

Leeann Betts said...

Hi Beth: Thanks for leaving a comment. Good luck in the drawing.

Leeann Betts said...

Hi Kim:
Thanks for stopping by. I really enjoyed doing this interview. Lena asks some tough questions that gets a girl to thinking:)

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me for the book copy!!
Conway, SC.

Brenda Arrington said...

Sounds like a great read. Thanks for the chance to win a copy of "There Was a Crooked Man".
Brenda in VA

Leeann Betts said...

Hi Sharon: Consider yourself entered. And thanks for stopping by.

Leeann Betts said...

Hi Brenda:
Thanks for stopping by, and good luck in the drawing. Whoever wins, I just ask for an honest review on Amazon. So thanks, all, in advance.

Connie said...

Lee Ann, i enjoyed reading the first page of There Was a Crooked Man and also learning about your life and your approach to writing. Thank you for sharing.
Connie from KY

Leeann Betts said...

Hi Connie:
Thanks so much for your kind comments, and for stopping by. I really enjoyed digging deep to answer Lena's questions, and I think it might have sparked some more ideas for trouble to get Carly into. Good luck with the drawing.

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a fun, exciting read!
-Melissa M. in TN

Leeann Betts said...

Hi Melissa: Thanks for stopping by and good luck in the drawing.

Stella Potts said...

Sounds like a really good book.
Stella in Indiana