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Thursday, February 4, 2016

5-Year Blogoversary Celebration! Day 4 | Interview with Susan Sleeman & 3-Book Giveaway!

Welcome to Christian Bookshelf Reviews, Susan! Will you share a little about yourself and your latest book?

I’m a wife, mother, grandmother, and Christian. I have lived in nine states, two of them twice, and I currently live in the beautiful state of Oregon. I write romantic suspense and mystery books for both the Christian market and the general market. I am a computer nerd at heart. I love to work on my websites, and I host the Christian/clean read mystery and suspense book review site, www.thesuspensezone.com. And I love to garden.

My latest book is High-Caliber Holiday, which is book three in my First Responder seriesFirst Responders is a six book series about a fictional elite First Response Squad in Portland, Oregon. The team includes two hostage negotiators, a sniper, a bomb technician, an EMT, and a commanding officer. The team members not only work together, but they also live together in a remodeled historic firehouse donated to the county.

High-Caliber Holiday features team sniper Brady Owens. When ex-lawyer Morgan Thorsby is held hostage on a train, she finds her powers of persuasion failing her for the first time. Former marine sniper Brady Owens is her only hope—but his split-second hesitation on the trigger leaves her wounded. Yet when an obsessed stalker threatens Morgan, Brady steps up and hopes to catch the culprit in time for Christmas.

What do you hope readers come away with after reading your newest story?
The entire First Responders series is about finding peace in the midst of struggles. So often, when hardship sets in, we lose our peace. To be on such a high-pressure first response team, member must have great self-control and not get flustered or react to events in a highly emotional way, which means they bury their personal turmoil and conflict and are in need of peace in their lives. I hope their search for peace helps readers find that they can be peaceful in times of need, too.

Do you find it more fun to write stand-alones or series? 
I love to write series. In fact, I have never written a stand-alone book. I love to write families, or characters who are part of a pseudo family, like in my First Responders series. I love the interaction between the characters connected in a series. I think it adds depth to the books and to the characterization of the characters.

Who are some of your favorite authors whose books have never disappointed you?
Great question, but asking me to list my favorite authors is like asking me to choose between my children. I have so many favorites, I just can’t do it. J

What's the last thing you celebrated, not including birthdays or holidays?
That would have to be contracting a new series with FaithWords, an imprint of Hachette publishing. This is a series about another special team, an FBI Critical Incident Response Team. All team members are former military and they stand ready to deploy within four hours, anytime and anywhere, to mitigate the highest-priority threats facing our nation. Book 1 is tentatively titled Fatal Mistake and is scheduled to release in April 2016. Here’s a description of the book.
Each day could be her last…
Tara Parrish is the only person ever to survive an attack by the Lone Wolf Bomber. Scared and emotionally scarred by her near death, she goes into hiding with only one plan. To stay alive for another day, because she knows he’s coming after her, and if he finds her, he will finish what he started.

But not if he can help it.
Special Agent Cal Riggins has had only one goal for the past six months—to save lives by ending the Lone Wolf’s bombing spree. To succeed, he needs the help of Tara Parrish, the one person whose unforgettable memory can lead them to the bomber. Cal puts his all into finding Tara, but once he locates her, he realizes if he can find her, the Lone Wolf can, too. Now Cal’s goal changes. Protect Tara at all costs and make no mistakes while hunting down the bomber, as one wrong move could be fatal.

Were you an avid reader as a child? If so, what was your favorite book growing up?
Again, I don’t have a favorite, but I read and reread every Nancy Drew mystery I could get my hands on. I was the first in line at the library when a new book released. I like to think this is what gave me a love for mystery and suspense books.

Do you have any card/board games that you like to play? 
Our family loves to play games, both cards and board games. The top of my list for card games includes Uno and Skipbo, and in board games, there’s a really fun old game that my daughter has called Mall Madness. We often have great fun joking around in this game. Oh and the game, Sorry. We played that last night and laughter rang through our house.

Some this-or-that questions:

Snowstorms or Thunderstorms? Snowstorms all the way. I am from Northern Wisconsin so I miss snow. I don’t want it all the time, but a weekend snowed in is wonderful.
Brownies or Cookies? Yes. Both please!
Call or Text?  Depends on the person and the reason for the call or text. If it’s a discussion that will take several text messages then I’d rather call.
Early-bird or Night-owl? Early bird. I used to be a night-owl, but that has changed over the years.
Introvert or Extrovert? Neither, I think. I fall in the middle or skew to one side or the other depending on the situation.
Facebook or Twitter? I do both, but much prefer Facebook so I’m not restricted by the number of characters. Guess this must be the writer in me!
Mystery or Romance? Again, I say, yes please. I want both in the books I read.

Are you currently working on any new novels? If so, could you give us a hint? 
I am working on the final books, book 5 and 6, in the First Responder series. Book six is titled Silent Sabotage and features team negotiator, Archer Reed and book 6 is tentatively titled Deadly Rescue and features team leader Jake Marsh. I am so glad to have finally written each of the First Response Squad’s stories, but I am going to miss the team when the edits are finished. And as I mentioned above, I am now writing Fatal Mistake.

Enter for a chance to win the first three books in the First Responders series! Silent Night Standoff, Explosive Alliance, and High-Caliber Holiday by Susan Sleeman. Giveaway is only open to the US. Ends 2/15/16

How to enter: Sign into the Giveaway Tools form below (it might take a moment to load) and submit each entry you complete. Commenting alone will not get you entered – you must click enter on the form. Happy entering!

Open only to those who can legally enter. Winning entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Giveaway Tools and announced here as well as emailed and will have up to one week to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Giveaway Tools or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. I am not responsible for any packages lost or damaged in the mail. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.


  1. Oregon is one of the few states I have yet to visit, and it's at the top of that list. Love the covers on these books. Would love to read all of them, because: a) I'm all over a good mystery and b) I'm all over a clean read as well.

  2. I would love to read these books by Susan. They sound great!!

  3. The first responder series looks really good. I definitely could use the reminder about not losing peace through hardships. It is hard, but it is possible, throigh His strength.

  4. These sound like great books. I have several of Susan's books on my TBR shelf. I will have to move them up.

  5. Hi Susan! Great interview here! Thanks! So you have a green thumb? How are you with indoor plants? I was just wondering, my dracena plants started feeling thin. They were gorgeous, still are, but the leaves are getting thin, and I'm wondering if I need to change locations during the winter. It's currently by the window, so not sure if draft can affect it. Sorry for rambling, I'm new at this and don't know what to do!

    Back to books. Your books sounds exciting! So do you write only suspense? Do you have any thoughts on writing other genres?

    Have you tried Taboo? Great family game! lots of great memories when we play that! =)

    Thanks for a great giveaway! Annie JC

  6. Great interview and I prefer snowstorms over thunderstorms any day! I love to read suspense novels.

  7. I love Susan's books - would love to read these - thanks so much for the chance! truckredford(at)gmail(dot)com

  8. Love Susan's books!! Great giveaway

  9. I love to read a series! Sticking with characters for several books lets me get to know them so much better.

  10. Would love to read these books! I love anything with suspense & romance combined, so you sound like the perfect author for me! :)

  11. I love Susan's books! Suspense always is a good read. ;)

  12. I so need to read these right now. I need to find more ways to find peace in the midst of my struggles. The last year has been extremely stressful for me. And I need to be less emotional in the midst of these struggles. fishingjan[at]aol[dot]com

  13. I already own Silent Night Stand-off. I look forward to the next two in the series. If by chance, I were to win, I have many friends who would love a copy. :)

  14. Love Inspired Suspense books are some of my favorites! Silent Night Standoff sounds like one that would be a favorite of mine!

  15. "asking me to list my favorite authors is like asking me to choose between my children." --- EXACTLY how I feel. I break into sweats when forced to name my favorite book, because I don't want the other books' feelings to get hurt.

  16. The First-Responder Series sounds great. I'd love to have the chance to win/read these books.

  17. I love suspense. I've never read any books by SS, but I'd like to.

  18. I prefer snowstorms also and I tend to text instead of calling. I like people but I am content to be by myself so I am a mixture of introvert/extrovert! Thanks for a great interview and giveaway!


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