Friday, March 25, 2016

UNBALANCED - 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, books 1 and 2 in her By the Numbers series, released in the fall of 2015 Book 3, Unbalanced, released in January. Book 4, Five and Twenty Blackbirds, is due in April, with more planned for later dates. If you like accountants or are an accountant, check out Counting the Days: a 21-day devotional for accountants, bookkeepers, and financial folk. 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. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon? 
From where I’m sitting right now, more book ideas than I have time. But that’s a good thing. It seems that every morning when I sit down for my quiet time, another idea comes during prayer or scripture reading. But for the short term, I’m investing some time in learning social media. I’ve decided to focus on blogging, for myself and for others, Twitter, and Facebook. In that order.

Tell us a little about your family.
My real-life persona, Donna Schlachter, is the oldest of five siblings and the daughter of a nurse and engineer. Rather a standard family, actually. However, Leeann would be the youngest of three, with two older brothers. Donna would love to have an older brother.

Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
Absolutely. Now I read with a red pen and a highlighter—not really, but mentally, I do. I pick out typos, passive language, and so on. And I note beautiful passages that I wished I’d written.

What are you working on right now?
Right now I’m working on getting my fourth book in the By the Numbers series, Five and Twenty Blackbirds. Release date is slated for April 30th. Next will be Book 5, Broke, Busted, and Disgusted which is scheduled to release November 30th. And after that—who knows?

What outside interests do you have?
My husband and I are very involved in an international ministry whose goal is to reach the lost for Christ through prayer, personal witnessing, and scripture distribution. Apart from that, we love to travel.

How do you choose your settings for each book?
With the By the Numbers series, I decided to base my main character in a small east coast town, since I grew up in a place full of small east coast towns. But I didn’t want her to get stuck there, so I try to alternate each book with one set at home, the next set somewhere I’ve visited that I thought would make a great setting for a story. Book 3, Unbalanced, is set back in Bear Cove, Maine, and Book 4, Five and Twenty Blackbirds, is set in a town in Arizona similar to where my father and stepmother, who I dearly loved, were married.

If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
I would love to spend an evening with Agatha Christie, to pick her brain about the stories she didn’t write and why, because I expect she had a hundred of them, at least.

What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
I wish I’d known that the process didn’t stop with the writing, that I couldn’t simply write the book and someone else would take it from there.

What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
He is teaching me stick close and listen for His voice. I’m reading Jesus Calling as part of my quiet time, and this point is reiterated every single day. I guess I’m a slow learner.

What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
The first thing is to have a teachable heart. Be willing for the Lord to work in your life, in your writing, in your learning. Attend conferences. Submit to a critique group. Enter contests. And listen to the feedback.  The second thing is to connect with others. Join a writer’s group. Write in a community. Reach out to both readers and writers. Care about people. And the third thing is to write. You can spend all your time at conferences, learning. You can spend your day on Facebook and Twitter. You can guest blog all over the place and never write one word of the story or book that God has given you to write. You are the only person who can pen what He has called you to write. And always remember: writers write.

Amen to that. Tell us about the featured book.
Unbalanced is the third book in the cozy mystery series featuring Carly Turnquist, forensic accountant. She finds herself knee-deep in wedding preparations and preparing to testify in a court trial, when she spots the town’s bank being robbed. However, nobody else seems to notice, and when she starts investigating, people start avoiding her—again. Then her husband’s long lost brother turns up on her doorstep, only to disappear shortly after, leaving his young son behind. And then somebody seems determined to keep the wedding from happening. Carly’s sleuthing alarm goes into overtime as she tries to save her credibility and her family in the bargain.

Please give us the first page of the book.
If not for her son's wedding, this would be the happiest time of Carly Turnquist's life.

She loved her career as a forensic accountant, tracking down assets, including cash, bank accounts and stocks, and proving legitimate ownership. For most people, working all day collating the evidence file for her last client, a brokerage firm that suspected one of its account managers of embezzling funds, would have left them tired and cranky.

But Carly Turnquist, snoop extraordinaire, was on the case. She successfully unwound the convoluted trail of fraud and deceit, confirmed that the account manager was indeed guilty of stealing over a million dollars in the past year. She made recommendations for improved internal audit practices to ensure this didn't happen again. The result was the trial was on the court docket, and Carly had been served a subpoena to testify less than a week after the wedding.

No, work was invigorating. What really got her goat was she was stuck preparing dinner by herself. Mike was still working in their basement office on a program for a client. Her stepson Tom and his fiancée Sarah had pulled into the driveway just minutes before she was ready to put the food on the table. The handsome couple walked toward the house, hand in hand. Sarah tossed back her hair, laughing at something Tom said to her. The peaceful and happy picture they made brought a smile to Carly's lips.

Tom burst into the house, his nose in the air as he sniffed for evidence of what was on the menu for dinner. His exuberance made the front door slam open in the same boyish manner that had driven her crazy for years.

Before she could stop herself, those all-too-familiar words flew from her lips. “Don't slam the door.”

Tom laughed in the same way that melted her heart when she’d first met him over ten years before. “Sorry, Carly.”

How can readers find you on the Internet?

I have a blog where I promote other authors who write contemporary books: and I’m on Facebook and Twitter. 

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

Readers, here’s a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
Unbalanced (By the Numbers)

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book or 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.

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Anonymous said...


Melanie Backus said...

I am intrigued by Unbalanced. Thank you for sharing, Lena.

Melanie Backus, TX

Anonymous said...

Oooh! This sounds exciting! Can't wait to read this series!
J.C. -Indiana-

Leeann Betts said...

Hi Angela: Thanks for stopping by. Good luck in the drawing for a free book.

Leeann Betts said...

Hi Melanie: Thanks for stopping by. I had a lot of fun writing this book. Good luck in the drawing.

Leeann Betts said...

Hi JC: Thanks for the excitement. I am having a lot of fun writing about Carly's adventures. Good luck in the drawing.

Connie said...

Thanks for sharing the first page of this book. I enjoy cozy mysteries and this sounds very good!
Connie from KY

Caryl Kane said...

UNBALANCED sounds like a fabulous page turner! Thanks for the giveaway.

Caryl K in TEXAS

Leeann Betts said...

Hi Connie: I like cozies, too. When I first started writing about Carly, a lot of editors said it was boring because there wasn't enough blood and guts. But I just knew there had to be readers out there, like me, who didn't want to read about blood and guts, but who wanted more than a story about a missing hymn book or a bounced check. Good luck in the drawing.

Leeann Betts said...

Hi Caryl: Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. I believe the book is a page-turner. Good luck in the drawing.

Mary Preston said...

A curious first sentence.

Mary P


Kim hansen said...

Sounds like a good read. north platte nebraska.

Loraine Nunley said...

Being an accountant myself, I am intrigued by the main character doing forensic accounting. Thanks for the interview and giveaway!

Loraine in TX

Leeann Betts said...

Hi Mary:
That's a good reaction to get from a reader. Hopefully that means you'd like to read more. Good luck in the drawing.

Leeann Betts said...

Hi Kim: Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Good luck in the drawing.

Leeann Betts said...

Hi Loraine: Greetings, sister accountant :) I haven't seen many mystery series out there with any kind of accountant as the main character. As an accountant, I think we're wonderfully imaginative, intuitive, and intelligent. :) Thanks for stopping by, and good luck in the drawing.

Bakersdozen said...

I love a good mystery. I will look out for the other books by Leann also.


Edward Arrington said...

I studied accounting years ago but never heard of a forensics accountant until the past year or two. This book sounds quite interesting. Although I spent my career in IT, I frequently used what I learned when I studied accounting.
Edward A in VA

Linda Kish said...

I would love to read this. I just got There Was A Crooked Man last week. This would be the perfect addition. Linda in CA

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

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

Brenda Arrington said...

'Unbalanced' sounds great. Also enjoyed the interview.
Brenda in VA

Leeann Betts said...

Hi Michelle: Thanks for the encouragement. The first two books are available on Amazon in print and digital. Unbalanced is book 3, and book 4 comes out in April. Good luck in the drawing.

Leeann Betts said...

Hi Edward, Thanks for dropping by. Forensic accounting has come up a bit in recent years, and I think the craze for all things forensic might have sparked it. While most forensic accountants never deal with a dead body, Carly has a nose for mysteries that just won't let her quit! Forensic means "for open forum" and really has nothing to do with dead bodies but everything to do with the legal process and providing authoritative evidence and information for proving a case. I am also an accountant, and, like Carly, I love numbers! Good luck in the drawing.

Leeann Betts said...

Hi Linda: Thanks for the kind words. Hope you enjoy There Was a Crooked Man, and don't forget to post an honest review. Good luck in the drawing.

Leeann Betts said...

Hi Sharon: Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. Good luck in the drawing.

Leeann Betts said...

Hi Brenda: You're too kind! Thanks for leaving a comment, and best of luck in the drawing.