Friday, March 24, 2017

Forensic Friday: Forensic Psychology

Forensic Friday: Forensic Psychology

Modern police forces use a wide variety of techniques to solve crimes. Some methods are high-tech such as chemicals used to find traces of blood not seen by the naked eye or the use of various world wide databases to search for fingerprint matches, facial recognition, or lists of identifying marks on suspects or victims. Other methods are not so high-tech such as plaster casts of foot or tire prints or good old deduction.

Forensic psychologists can help solve a crime or be used as expert witnesses to determine such things as the suspect’s competence to stand trial, child custody or visitation, workplace discrimination, or jurisdictional considerations such as the credibility of a defendant’s insanity plea.

Over the years, there have been many famous cases that were solved thanks to the skills of forensic  psychologists:

Ted Bundy is considered one of the United States most notorious criminals. Good-looking, successful, and well-educated, he kept his twisted, murderous deeds hidden for years. Psychologists created a profile of the potential killer, and when combined with information provided by Bundy's former girlfriend, authorities were able to track him down and prove his guilt.

Another serial killer named John Wayne Gacy murdered more than thirty young men. When he was caught, he tried to use an insanity plea for his defense, claiming he was not in control of his actions. After extensive interviews, psychologists proved Gacy had full use of his faculties and each of the killings was premeditated.

A third case involved a series of explosions that occurred at Radio City Music Hall between 1940 and 1950. As with the Bundy case, psychologists created a profile for the criminal nicknamed the Mad Bomber. Because of the sophistication of the devices, experts determined the suspect was most likely an engineer and probably an employee of Con Edison. That information combined with letters written to the newspapers led police to George Metesky who was living with his sisters in Connecticut. Like Gacy, Metesky was interviewed to determine his competency. Unlike Gacy, he was found guilty by reason of insanity and committed to a state mental hospital.

Forensic psychology did not become a recognized field until 1962, but thanks to television shows such as “Profiler” and “Law and Order: Criminal Intent,” it is growing in leaps and bounds

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Talkshow Thursday: Meet Best-selling author Sarah Sundin!

Talkshow Thursday: 
Meet Best-selling author Sarah Sundin!

I'm pleased to sit down with fellow WWII author, Sarah Sundin whose books combine romance, drama, and daring. Grab your favorite beverage and read on!

Linda:  The third book in your Waves of Freedom Series has recently been released. You have three series under your belt. Do you prefer to write series rather than stand-alone books or does that just happen?

Author Sarah Sundin
Sarah: I do enjoy writing in series. First, a series allows me to get to know a cast of characters in more depth. Although each book stands alone, readers can follow the hero and heroine from book 1 as side characters in books 2 & 3, and get a preview of the hero and heroine from book 3 as side characters in books 1 & 2. I especially enjoy seeing how characters perceive each other and how they can perceive the same event in a different way.

Another benefit of a series is being able to explore history on a larger scale. For example, the Waves of Freedom series follows the US naval role in the Battle of the Atlantic, from escorting convoys in pre-Pearl Harbor 1941 (Through Waters Deep) to the U-boat battles off the US East Coast in 1942 (Anchor in the Storm) to the climax and turning point of the Battle of the Atlantic in 1943 (When Tides Turn). Bonus: a series makes research a bit easier too!

LM: Where did you find your inspiration for this story?

Sarah: While researching the first two books in the Waves of Freedom series, I kept reading about the climactic sea battles of 1943—and I wanted to put one of my heroes smack-dab in the middle! I also had two side characters who needed to have their stories told. Lt. Dan Avery is the single-minded, no-nonsense oldest brother in the series, a man determined to not let anything stand in the way of making admiral—especially feminine distractions. And Quintessa Beaumont is the fun-loving glamour girl who caused a bit of drama in the first two books—and she needed to step outside of herself and find purpose. It was SO much fun putting those two together!

LM: You obviously have a love for the WWII era. Your website says that drama, daring, and romance are what draw us to that time period. Which of those three is the strongest draw for you and why?

Sarah: That’s hard to say because I want all three in my stories. The romance is what fuels my stories, the growing relationship between two people who need each other but might not necessarily know it. I adore writing those scenes. But the drama and daring of history gives the characters a field to play on, to challenge them and cause them to grow.

LM: Lots of research goes into each story to ensure historical accuracy. What is your method for researching a story, and how much time goes into that before you begin to write?

Sarah: I start general and work my way down to specifics, often following bibliographies to lead me to great resources. By now I have a pretty good idea where to start for each novel, and I’m getting more creative and bold in seeking information.

As for time, I do some preliminary research when I’m writing a proposal to make sure the story will even work. The bulk of the research is done during the outlining phase (I’m a heavy-duty “planner” type of writer), which lasts about three months for me—and during the rough draft, which lasts about six months for me. But I do mop-up research all through the editing phase as well. I’m always in the middle of a research book.

LM: Have you ever experienced writer’s block, and if so, what did you do to push through it?

Sarah: Because I’m an outliner/planner, by the time I write my rough draft I know exactly what will happen in each chapter, so I don’t have the classic “what will I write next?” writer’s block. Sometimes I’m not sure how to start a chapter, and I’ll stare at the screen for a while. To break through, I do three things—read my notes for the chapter, reread the previous chapter or two to get a “running start,” and then give myself permission to write garbage. Once I get past the opening lines, I know the scene will flow—and then I can go back and edit those opening lines. 

LM: What is your next project?

Sarah: I just finished my publisher’s edits for The Sea Before Us (Spring 2018) the first book in the Sunrise at Normandy series, which follows three estranged brothers who fight on D-day from the sea, in the air, and on the ground. And I’m just starting to outline the second book, The Sky Above Us—yay! Character charts! My favorite part.

LM: Where can folks find you on the Web?


Here's Sarah's bio: Sarah Sundin is the author of nine historical novels, including When Tides Turn. Her novel Through Waters Deep was a finalist for the 2016 Carol Award, won the INSPY Award, and was named to Booklist’s “101 Best Romance Novels of the Last 10 Years.” A mother of three, Sarah lives in California, works on-call as a hospital pharmacist, and teaches Sunday school. She also enjoys speaking for church, community, and writers’ groups.

More about When Tides Turn: When Quintessa Beaumont learns the US Navy has established the WAVES program for women, she enlists, eager to throw off her frivolous ways and contribute to the war effort. Lt. Dan Avery employs his skills in antisubmarine warfare to fight U-boats at the peak of the Battle of the Atlantic, but the last thing he wants to see on his radar is fun-loving Tess. As Dan and Tess work together in Boston, the changes in Tess challenge his notions—and his heart.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Blog Tour: Murder for the Time Being

Blog Tour: Murder for the Time Being


Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book


Book: Murder for the Time Being  

Author: Joanie Bruce

Genre: Christian Suspense/Romance

Release Date: November 29, 2016

“You’ll pay for this. I’ll get you both.”

Computer expert Lexi Wynn is frightened. Someone is after her, but she doesn’t know why. Is it because of her past or because she was thrust into a deadly bank robbery and might identify the ones responsible? Escaping a failed kidnapping attempt and not sure who to trust, she hopes her specialized skills with computers might flush out the name of the killer. When a tall, dark, and handsome stranger rams into her truck with the hearse he’s driving and puts his life in danger to save hers, can she ignore the attraction she feels for him to concentrate on the killers? Or is God the only one who can save her now?

Drew Sheffield is irritated when a cute lady stops abruptly in front of him and he plows into the back of her pickup. After their initial confrontation, flashbacks of honeysuckle and sassy green eyes linger in his thoughts. When Lexi is threatened, he steps in to help the feisty young woman, in spite of agonizing over a past relationship.

Can Lexi and Drew forget the tragedies of the past and embrace the feelings between them or will ghostly memories snub out the promise of a future together?

My Thoughts

Murder for the Time Being is the first in Joanie Bruce’s “Murders in Madison” series. A contemporary romantic suspense, the story centers around Lexi Wynn, a young woman whose family is party of the Witness Security Program (WitSec), also known as the Witness Protection Program. Murder for the Time Being begins with Lexi and her folks running for their lives and doesn’t let up until the last page. Drew Sheffield is drawn into the situation whether he wants to be or not and must confront his own past while helping Lexi escape hers. The characters are likable and believable, and I enjoyed following the clues alongside Lexi and Drew to figure out who was responsible for the crimes. Medical technology is at the core of the story, and Ms. Bruce does a good job of explaining the concepts through dialogue and description without sounding condescending or lecture-like. The faith message is also woven throughout as Drew searches for answers. A highly enjoyable, fast-paced read.

I received this book for free from Celebrate Lit Publicity. A positive review was not required, and all views expressed are my own.

About the Author


Joanie has a strong passion for reading, and her love for books with nail-biting suspense, inspires her to write contemporary suspense books. Thankful that God has given her the ability to write from her home in the country, she strives to use that opportunity to honor Him in all of her writing. Joanie and her husband, Ben, live in a country home near Madison, Georgia, right in the middle of a pasture full of beef cows. There they raised and homeschooled their three children. She enjoys cooking, taking long walks, painting oil portraits, and caring for their home in the country.

Guest Post from Joanie Bruce

Have you ever been devastated by a certain event in your life, and later it turned out to the best thing that ever happened to you? That’s what happened to Lexi Wyn in this book, “Murder for the Time Being.” Something unthinkable happened to her family, but in the end, it changes Lexi’s life forever and introduces her to the love of her life.

In this story, both Lexi and Drew have things in their past that discourage them from seeking a lasting relationship. However, God has a plan for them both, and through His Divine engineering, they are thrown together in circumstances that nurture a growing appreciation and affection for each other.

This book was fun to write because I anchored the story in my sweet little town of Madison, Georgia. I wasn’t raised in Madison, but I’ve called it home for much longer than any other place I’ve ever lived. While growing up in the big city of Memphis, Tennessee, I had definite plans for my future. All I ever wanted was to “marry a country boy and live in the country.” The Lord heard the desires of my heart and gave me what I wanted … a country boy, born and raised here in Morgan County on a dairy farm.

After we married, I adopted Madison as my home, and I love it so much that I wanted to feature some of the fun spots in Madison as the backdrops for the scenes in my books. I hope when you read through the pages of my book, you will get an idea of what a sweet little town Madison is and enjoy reading about Lexi and Drew and how they let God guide them in discovering that murder CAN be “for the Time Being.”

Blog Stops

March 15: autism mom
March 17: A Greater Yes
March 18: Radiant Light
March 20: Karen Sue Hadley
March 24: Pause for Tales
March 24: 2014 and Beyond!
March 26: Carpe Diem


To celebrate her tour, Joanie is giving away a Kindle Fire!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Wartime Wednesday: Give Up Your Home

Wartime Wednesday: Give Up Your Home

Although Americans had to tighten their belts during WWII and learn to feed themselves by growing their own food to supplement rationed items, most citizens in the U.S. did not have to leave their homes. (This does not account for the Japanese-Americans who were forced to move to internment camps). Some people chose to relocate to work in one of the highly paid defense jobs or some other wartime opportunity, but most continued to live in their houses for the duration of the war.

Not so for many of Britain's upper crust.

When the Blitz began, the British government quickly realized they needed to relocate as many of their operations outside of London as possible. The challenge was to find facilities large enough to fit the workers. Most of the towns and villages outside the cities in England were comprised of homes and small public buildings, nothing of any size.

The War Department soon turned their eyes on the rambling estates of the Dukes, Earls, Viscounts and other members of the England's peerage. Located all over the country, these stately manors were massive-often many thousands of square feet in size and set amidst hundreds of acres. Perfect for military installations, hospitals and other organizations requiring that amount of space to spread out.

Owners often received very little notification to vacate their premises and were expected to comply with no questions asked. If the home was not going to be used by the military, the owners were sometimes given permission to remain in one of the "outbuildings" such as servant quarters.Staff were often asked to stay and work for the requisitioning organization.

An interesting piece in The Daily Mail, talks about the toll on some of these beautiful ancestral places. According to the article over 1,000 homes had to be torn down as a result of "wartime mistreatment." Certainly an unfortunate historic loss for the country, but even more tragic as a personal loss for the families who had lived in these homes for generations.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Mystery Monday: Sisters in Crime

Mystery Monday: Sisters in Crime

On Saturday, I worked the Sisters in Crime booth at the Women’s Expo in Manchester, NH. I was surprised at the number of visitors who were unfamiliar with SinC, although I guess I shouldn’t have been. There are myriad industry groups from transportation to retail and certainly lots of writing organizations.

An international organization, SinC currently has forty-eight chapters world-wide. The goal? “To promote the ongoing advancement, recognition, and professional development of women crime writers.” (Just so you know, we do allow male members and have lots of “brothers.”) A thirtieth anniversary event is being held in Boston on March 25th.

A full history can be found on the Sisters in Crime website but here’s a brief synopsis:

In the mid-1980s 82-year-old author Phyllis Whitney wrote a letter to the Mystery Writers of America noting that it had been fifteen years since a woman had won an award for Best Novel. She then asked if they felt free from discrimination. That incident started a lot of “buzz” from the younger female writers. In response, Sara Paretsky (author of the V.I. Warshowski series) talked to a number of women at the 1986 Bouchercon conference, they agreed to meet the following year. (Interestingly enough they met during Edgars week)

Their initial mission was “Sisters In Crime is committed to helping women who write, review buy, or sell crime fiction. Our ultimate goal is to become a service organization to address issues of concern to everyone involved in the mystery field.” As a member of the main organization and the New England chapter, I can tell you they have met their goal resoundingly. Personally, I would not be a published author were it not for SinC.

Do you love to read mysteries? Visit SinC’s website for a list of member authors. Find everything from romantic suspense and thriller to cozies and traditional mysteries.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Blog Tour: Murder on the Moor

Blog Tour: Murder on the Moor


Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book


Book: Murder on the MOOR, A Drew Farthering Mystery  

Author: Julianna Deering  

Genre: Historical Mystery  

Release Date: February 2017

At the urgent request of an old school friend, Drew and Madeline Farthering come to Bloodworth Park Lodge in the midst of the Yorkshire moors, a place as moody and mysterious as a Brontë hero. There have been several worrisome incidents around those lonesome rolling hills–property desecrated, fires started, sheep and cattle scattered. Worst of all, the vicar has been found dead on the steps of the church, a crime for which Drew can discern no motive at all.

Few in the town of Bunting’s Nest seem like suspects, and Drew can’t keep his suspicions from falling on his friend’s new bride. Do her affections lie more with her husband’s money and estate, while her romantic interests stray to their fiery Welsh gamekeeper? As the danger grows ever closer, it’s up to Drew to look past his own prejudices, determine what’s really going on, and find the killer before it’s too late.

My Thoughts

Murder on the Moor is the sixth book in Julianna Deering’s Drew Farthering series. Over eighteen months have passed since Drew and his wife Madeline solved a murder, so when one of Drew’s former schoolmates comes calling, they can’t resist following him to Yorkshire to help the local police. As with the rest of Ms. Deering’s books, the dialogue is witting and engaging, in the flavor of William Powell’s and Myrna Loy’s Nick and Nora Charles. Drew and Maddie have a fun, loving relationship without being “slurpy.” A sense of the era is given through dialogue and description, reminding the readers where and when we are. Clues are sprinkled throughout the book, and I enjoyed trying to solve the crime along with the Fartherings. Murder on the Moor is not overly religious, but a faith message is presented through Drew’s handling of the situation and discussion between him and other characters. There is periodic violence, but it is not graphic or gratuitous.

About the Author

Julianna Deering is the creator of the acclaimed Drew Farthering Mystery series. She has always loved British history and is a particular fan of the writings of Dorothy Sayers and Agatha Christie. She graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas with a degree in business administration and spent several years as a Certified Public Accountant. She lives outside Dallas, Texas. For more information visit

Blog Stops

March 6: Splashes of Joy
March 11: Book by Book
March 12: Radiant Light
March 12: Bigreadersite
March 13: Carpe Diem
March 14: Pause for Tales
March 15: Back Porch Reads
March 15: Baker Kella


To celebrate her tour, Julianna is giving away a set of the A Drew Farthering Mystery (5 Book Series)!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Mystery Monday: Mignon Eberhart, A Storied Career

Mystery Monday: Mignon Eberhart - A Storied Career

Author Mignon Eberhart is a distant memory for many and unheard of by many more. However, at one time she was the third highest paid mystery writer behind Agatha Christie and Mary Roberts Rinehart. Not bad for a girl who didn't finish her degree.

Spanning over sixty years, Mignon's career is one of the longest among the major mystery writers. Her first book, The Patient in Room 18, was published in 1929, and her last book Three Days for Emerald was published in 1988 when she was 89 years old! She wrote one series with Nurse/amateur sleuth Sarah Keate, but the majority of Mignon's books were stand alone novels. A prolific writer, she published novellas, short stories, and plays as well as over sixty novels, nine of which were made into movies.

Romantic suspense is a well-known sub-genre in literary circles, and there are many modern-day writers of note. But when when Mignon was publishing, romantic suspense had not yet come into its own, and she had a strong hand in developing it.

Critics of Mignon's writings have noted that her heroines are usually somewhat silly and her plot devices somewhat repetitive (her protagonists get knocked out quite often), but most agree that her settings are inventively eerie, and her prose vivid and evocative:

"The room was bare and hot and bright with electricity. Mina, in that incongruous ivory satin, sat down at her tall desk and drew a fat checkbook forward."  (The Dark Garden, 1933)

Solving the mystery is only a portion of Mignon's books. The other is finding true love against all odds. For Mignon, apparently it was not only about the good guys winning, but for love to find a way. With any luck your local library will have some of this author's gems in their fiction section.