Susan Spann Finds Her Muse High Atop Mount Koyasan [GUEST POST]

Konpon Daito Pagoda

Structures like the impressive two-storied Konpon Daito Pagoda elicit quiet contemplation and meditation from even the most experienced traveler. (Photo by Susan Spann)

Most of the time, the plot of each new novel drives my research, but in the case of Trial on Mount Koya, a sacred mountain turned that process upside-down. Each Hiro Hattori novel features a crime in a different setting, and a victim from a different social class or niche, allowing me to keep the series fresh and interesting. Read more of this post

The Brambles on the Branches of a Family Tree [GUEST POST]

Looking up at the branches of a leafless tree against the sky

Every family tree has its secrets. But some just won’t stay hidden, especially when there’s a writer among its branches. (Photo by Jathan Fink, Jadeworks Entertainment)

For as long as we can remember, we’ve loved reading romantic suspense fiction, especially novels filled with deeply buried family secrets. Recently, award-winning author Linda Hughes appeared on our radar, and she’s fearless when it comes to throwing open tightly sealed closet doors and digging up old family skeletons, which makes stories like Secrets of the Island, the second volume in her Secrets trilogy, so delicious. In today’s guest post, find out how her own family tree inspired her to write her latest novel. Enjoy! —J&H


Read more of this post

A Letter to My Pre-Published Self [GUEST POST]

Tools of the trade

Historical mystery writer E.M. Powell offers words of encouragement to unpublished authors everywhere, including her younger self, in this candid letter. (Photo by Chris Blakeley, Flickr)

If you enjoy reading mysteries just as much as you like historical fiction, we bet you’re really going to take a shine to the work of E.M. Powell. Her new novel, The King’s Justice (published under Amazon’s Thomas & Mercer imprint) starts a thrilling new series of medieval mysteries you won’t be able to put down. But like many writers, Powell’s career wasn’t an overnight success. Find out what she overcame on the road to publication in her guest post, “A Letter to My Pre-Published Self.” Enjoy! —J&H Read more of this post

On A Good Marriage [GUEST POST]

Randy and J.T. Ellison on New Years Eve 2017

Randy and J.T. Ellison on New Years Eve 2017. (Photo courtesy J.T. Ellison)

As I write this, I am three days shy of my 22/25th anniversary. We share our wedding date with the date of our first kiss, hence the dual year celebrations. We’ve had a long and happy life together, and anticipate many more years to come. I fell hard the night we met, and those feelings haven’t gone away. Read more of this post

Finding the Strength to Persevere [GUEST POST]

Lark

Some people, like birds, can be small but mighty. (Photo by David Mitchell, Flickr)

In the past seven years living and working abroad with a faith based organization, I have been struck over and over by the beauty and resilience of the human spirit. So many people in the world are suffering from grinding poverty, institutional oppression, and personal pain and loss. The history of Central Europe, where I’ve been living in Budapest for the past 5 years, is a long series of wars, subjugations, even genocide. Read more of this post