Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt Stop #19

Welcome to the Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt! If you’re just joining us, the hunt begins at, with Stop #1. If you complete the loop of 26 stops, writing down the clue on each author’s site, you can enter to win all 25 books
as well as Amazon gift cards, an iPad and more! 

Without further ado, it’s my pleasure to introduce you to my guest for the Scavenger Hunt, Susan Sleeman! Not only does Susan write fantastic romantic suspense, she also runs a great website for suspense readers, TheSuspenseZone. If you love romantic suspense, she should definitely be on your go-to list of authors!

Here’s her professional bio:

SUSAN SLEEMAN is the bestselling author of over thirty-five novels with more than one million books sold. She writes romantic suspense novels that are clean with inspiring messages of faith. Readers love her series for the well-drawn characters and edge-of-your-seat action. She graduated from the FBI and local police citizen academies, so her research is spot-on and her characters are real. In addition to writing, Susan also hosts

Here’s the summary of her latest book:

Fleeing from her dangerous ex-boyfriend, on-the-run single mother Nicole Dyer takes refuge in a cabin—and is discovered by the ranch owner, Deputy Matt McKade. It’s easy to fall for the handsome lawman and his kind family, but staying at the ranch endangers them all. When everything Nicole loves comes under direct fire, can Matt keep her—and her heart—safe?

You can purchase her book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CBD, Apple, or your local bookstore.

And here’s her EXCLUSIVE content that you’ll only find in this hunt!

Christmas Memories and Traditions
My most recent book release, Christmas Hideout is—surprise, surprise—a Christmas themed book. I have now written six books that occur at Christmas time, and I have to say it’s fun to add the Christmas element to a story. It’s such a wonderful festive time of year that adding those elements to a book give me great joy and readers love the holiday themed books. 
However, I also have to say that it can be challenging to make the Christmas part of the story unique and interesting. So as I was thinking about the book, I started thinking about Christmas traditions and memories. 
My fondest Christmas memory is the birth of our youngest daughter, Emma. She was born on December 20th, and she was so tiny that she fit in her Christmas stocking that a friend made for her. I love this picture and cherish the memory.
As for traditions, one of my favorites was going to church on Christmas Eve where the Sunday School classes did their Christmas program. Santa arrived at our house while we were at the service. My grandfather was in charge of putting out the presents, and we always thought he was habitually late for church. When we got home, we celebrated Christmas with my dad’s family. Christmas Day was always celebrated with my mother’s family, and I knew that during the year my grandmother was busy knitting sweaters for all of her grandchildren. We all loved opening that package, putting on the sweaters, and posing for the annual sweater picture. I knew these things would happen every year. No question in my mind.
Another favorite was that my mother always made cut out sugar cookies. My sister and I helped decorate them, and I remember playing with the last bits of dough with my child-sized rolling pin. 
But as an adult, these are not traditions I could carry on except baking the cookies and going to church on Christmas Eve. I bake the cookies with my children’s help but our Christmas Eve was a bit different. You see my hubby was a church music director so his responsibilities always came first, and we had to find a way to celebrate Christmas around his busy schedule. The only time he had available on Christmas Eve was an hour between services and after the late service which was often a late-night candlelight service—way too late for children to be up. 
So a tradition of eating appetizers and Christmas cookies during that one hour of free time was born. All the prep work was done in advance. The appetizers were quick and refrigerated, and the meal could be pulled out at any time he arrived home. He would rush home to have as much time with us as possible, and we would share this meal along with opening one present. Here’s one of our favorite recipes.

My hubby may now be retired, but we still have appetizers and Christmas cookies on Christmas Eve. It just doesn’t feel like Christmas without them. So how about you? Do you have any interesting or unique Christmas traditions at your house or favorite memories?

Thanks for stopping by on the hunt! Before you go, make sure you WRITE DOWN THIS CLUE:
Secret Words: and now

Got it down? Great! Your next stop is # 20, Susan Sleeman’s site. And if you get lost, a complete list of the loop with links can be found on Lisa Bergren's website.


My book for this scavenger hunt is A Secret To Die For which is a stand-alone romantic suspense novel set in Texas. Because of the setting, I'm giving away a Texas mug right here on my blog as an extra bonus! 

If you're already signed up for my newsletter, just leave a comment below with a way for me to contact you. Let me you're signed up, and that you'd like a chance to win the mug. 

If you're not signed up for my newsletter, there's a link on this blog (right hand, side bar toward the top) where you can sign up. Not only will you get updates on my book releases, you'll also get a free ebook copy of Blood Ransom, a Christy-nominated suspense novel! Let me know you've signed up and be sure to leave a way for me to contact you!

Enjoy the hunt!

Lisa Harris


1. Only one entry per person per giveaway is allowed.
2. Giveaway open to residents of the 50 United States and D.C. Void where prohibited.
3. Winner provides shipping address.
4. Giveaway ends on October 28th, 2018 at midnight mountain standard time.
5. One winner will be selected at random by to receive the Texas mug pictured above.
6. The prize winner will be notified by email on October 29th, and posted on this page after they respond to my email notification. If I do not receive an email response from the winner within 48 hours of notification, another winner will be drawn.
7. You must have access to the Internet and a valid email address in order to enter or win.
8. Your chances of winning depend on the number of entries.
9. No purchase is necessary to enter.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

You won't want to miss this. . .

And there's less than a month left! 
No. . .it's not my next book, but it is something very close to my heart.
We're getting super excited about our upcoming Banquet and Silent Auction where we will be sharing about our ministry in Mozambique. If you're in the Houston area and would like tickets to the event, be sure to check this out. There will also be an online auction that anyone can be a part of!
It's going to be a wonderful evening, and I'd love to see you there!
African Outreach ministries is a 501 (c) 3 organization serving Southern Africa since 1990

For more information, please visit our ministry website.
If you have any questions, please email me or Jennifer.

Thursday, October 04, 2018

The Therapy of Story

No matter who we are or where we come from, we all have at least one thing in common. At different points in our lives—maybe even right now for you—we experience loss. It might be the loss of a job, of a marriage, or of a dream. It might come as a phone call in the middle of the night, or the exhausting reality of watching a loved one slowly slip away. It has a way of making us vulnerable, and yet it’s also what makes us human, because no one is untouched by loss. 

While I love a happy ending in a story—and of course just as much in real life—our journey is not only full of different seasons, it’s also rarely void of pain. The first book I wrote was from a deep place of hurt while dealing with infertility. The characters I wrote about helped me deal with that pain and was a catalyst in helping me heal. As a reader, this can also happen when we pick up a book. Readers have told me how they’ve connected with a character because of similar circumstances they’ve faced, and in turn have been challenged spiritually. And it makes sense. When we connect with a character because of something he or she has gone through, the story impacts us and stays with us long after the last page is read. 

In A Secret to Die For, Grace Callahan is a psychologist. On a day to day basis, she deals with the pain and loss of her patients, but she also understands grief on a very personal level after the death of her little girl four years ago. Detective Nathanial Quinn has recently experienced trauma with the loss of his partner in an explosion and is dealing with PTSD. When Grace is thrown into a life and death situation with Nate, she finds herself able to relate to him on a deeper level because their shared understanding of loss.

While loss and trials are never easy, God has reminded me over and over throughout the years that he never promised us a life free from pain. In fact, the opposite is true. John 16: 33 tells us that difficulties will come. But there’s another promise he’s given us as well that we can hold onto when hard times hit. Isaiah 43: 2 says, “When you go through deep waters, I will be with you.” 

Did you hear that? We are not alone. He will walk through the pain with us.

He also asks us to put our trust in him—not in our circumstances. Is that always easy? Definitely not. But though him we can find hope no matter what is happening around us. In the story, Grace discovers this same profound truth in her own life.
Somehow, though, in the middle of feeling as if no one understood, she’d begun to discover there was One who did understand this journey of grief. Sometimes she’d hear God’s quiet voice in the wind. Feel his presence in the words of a song. She realized that he could feel her pain and that he understood the depth of her loss. Because he’d watched his own Son die as well.

For Grace and Nate, their losses play a large role in bringing them to a place where they discover unexpected love with each other, and together they are able to help each other find peace through Him. It’s not a peace that makes any earthly sense. Instead, it’s a peace that “exceeds anything we can understand.” Philippians 4:7 (NLT)

May you find peace in Him!

Lisa Harris

(This blog post was first published on the MTL blog.)

Grab your copy today!