LEANNA OPENS HER HEART AND SHARES HER THOUGHTS
Hush is my seventh suspense novel. I’d had the idea for a story with a serial killer who used the “Hush, Little Baby” lullaby as a sort of blueprint for his murders knocking around in my head for a while, but I didn’t start writing it until my mother entered the final stages of her Alzheimer’s disease. In my opinion, Alzheimer’s is straight from the blackest pit of hell. It’s a death sentence, but it’s the worse kind of death. It wasn’t satisfied with just killing my mother, it was intent on stealing away everything that made her the person she was, leaving an empty shell that lookedlike her, but that was where the similarities stopped.
I guess I used the writing as a kind of therapy…a way to rid myself of some of the negative emotions. It worked. After reading the first murder scene aloud to my husband, he looked at me with the strangest expression on his face and said, “Sometimes you scare me.” Good. My goal in my writing is to make my readers feel every emotion, from laugh-out-loud to crying like their heart is breaking, and everything in between.
I decided to give my main character’s mother Alzheimer’s. In a way, I hated to do it. Even in fiction, it seemed like a mean thing to do, but it allowed me the ability to weave some of the things Mama said and did right into the story, and that was cathartic. It gave me a little control over something when the rest of my world seemed to be spinning out of control.
I dedicated the book to Mama, but I wanted to do more, so I decided to give any royalties I make to Alzheimer’s research. It’s my hope that it will help them to find a cure for this awful disease so that others won’t have to experience the pain, frustration, confusion, and sadness that my family did.
A summary of the book…
Lacey Campbell can dream murders before they happen. The problem is her dreams are in fragments—bits and pieces—not enough clues to allow her to stop the murders from happening. She dreams flashes of a man singing “Hush, Little Baby” while he strangles a young woman. When she awakes, she tried to convince herself it doesn’t mean anything, but the next night she dreams a second murder—same scenario—the lullaby... another strangulation. It’s time to tell the police.
State Bureau of Investigation sends in their man, Detective Ford Jamison, to help the local police which results in the typical territorial skirmish between the two forces. Ford soon has a two-part working theory: the killer is using the lullaby to stage his murders and he’s targeting women who look remarkably like Lacey. That knowledge doesn’t slow the killings, though and the police are always one step behind. Now Lacey is afraid to go to sleep because the next face she sees in her dreams might be her own.
As a hurricane churns ever closer to the little coastal town, danger and suspicion spin out of control. Time is running out. Can they stop the killer before the last verse of the lullaby?
North Carolina author, Leanna Sain, earned her BA from the University of South Carolina, before moving back to mountains of western NC. Her Southern suspense or “GRIT-lit,” showcases her plot-driven method that successfully rolls elements of best-selling authors Mary Kay Andrews, Nicholas Sparks, and Jan Karon all together, making it her own. She loves leading discussion groups and book clubs. For more information or to contact her, visit: www.LeannaSain.com
Buy link: https://www.amazon.com/Hush-Leanna-Sain/dp/1645262502/ref=sr_1_1?
Website and blog: http://leannasain.com
In Sara’s Surprise, her boss abuses her in lots of ways, as was all-too common in 1873. Women had no recourse and often feared they’d be blamed and dismissed from their jobs, so they kept silent. Back then, women were often devalued and unappreciated, under paid and treated poorly. And men took advantage of the cultural norms of the day.
As a single mom in the early 1990s, I was treated poorly too, and I regret that I was afraid to speak up and expose the nasty man who threatened, teased, and tormented me. As a leader in the organization, that should never have occurred, but it did. Thankfully, today’s climate is more open to reporting such abuse.
Have you ever been harassed by an employer? I have, and it’s pretty traumatizing. In this “Me Too” movement, lots of women are speaking up about their trials and tribulations in the workplace, so I decided to explore the topic from several angles. But in the midst of Sara’s trials, she falls in love and learns a lot about the art of baking French pastries.
In researching how to make pastries that’ll delight your palate, I learned way more than I’d ever dreamed. Like how to properly break an egg and how to cream sugar and eggs the right way. And did you know that you laminate Pain au chocolat? There’s much to learn about French baking, to be sure.
Want to know more about Sara’s Surprise? Here’s the back cover copy:
Sara O’Neill, works as an assistant pastry chef at the magnificent Thousand Islands Crossmon Hotel where she meets precocious, lovable, seven-year-old Madison and her charming father and hotel manager, Sean Graham. But Jacque LaFleur, the pastry chef Sara works under, makes her dream job a nightmare.
Sean Graham has trouble keeping his mind off Sara and Madison out of mischief. Though he finds Sara captivating, he despises LaFleur and misreads Sara’s desire to learn from the pastry chef as affection. Can Sean learn to trust Sara and can she trust herself to be an instant mother?
I hope you’ll pick up a copy and give some for Christmas gifts as it’s a lovely Christmas story as well. And if you ever get harassed, please speak up. You’ll be glad you did.
Susan G Mathis is a multi-published author of stories set in the beautiful Thousand Islands, her childhood stomping ground in upstate NY. Katelyn’s Choice, the first in The Thousand Islands Gilded Age series, is available now, and book two, Devyn’s Dilemma, releases in April, 2020. The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family Legacy, Christmas Charity, and Sara’s Surprise are available now. Visit www.SusanGMathis.com for more.
Susan is also a published author of two premarital books with her husband, Dale, two children's picture books, stories in a dozen compilations, and hundreds of published articles. Susan makes her home in Colorado Springs, enjoys traveling globally with her wonderful husband, Dale, and relishes each time she gets to see or Skype with her four granddaughters.
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Susan G Mathis
author of a thousand stories including Katelyn's Choice, Christmas Charity, and The Fabric of Hope
vice president of Christian Author Network (CAN)
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