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 www.AllBettsAreOff.wordpress.com and Donna at www.HiStoryThruTheAges.wordpress.com . All books are available at Amazon.com in digital and print, and at Smashwords.com 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 www.AllBettsAreOff.wordpress.com and www.HiStoryThruTheAges.wordpress.com
Thank you, Leeann, for sharing this book with us today.
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There Was A Crooked Man: Book 2 (By the Numbers) - paperback
There Was A Crooked Man (By the Numbers) - Kindle
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