Showing posts with label #suspense. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #suspense. Show all posts

Saturday, May 21, 2016

James Callan, Slavery in 2016, and A Giveaway

Once before, I introduced you to my fellow author, James Callan. I've recommended his books before. Now I'm delighted to tell you about a new release for him called A Silver Medallion. James, tell us about it.


Could You Walk Away?

On numerous occasions I have been asked why I wrote A Silver Medallion.  A few years ago, I read a brief story in the L.A. Times about a woman held a virtual slave. She was not held by chains, but by threats to harm her family left behind in a foreign country.  I found this a difficult concept.  Slavery? In the U.S.? In the twenty-first century?

I put the idea aside, but it kept popping back up in my mind.  So, I did a little research and to my dismay, I learned that this was not an isolated case.  It was rampant in the U.S. but most went unreported to authorities because of fear that harm would come to those left behind.

Every time I pushed this thought aside, it returned. Finally, I decided I had to write a book about it. I would not write a documentary.  It would be a fiction story. That was as close to the subject as I could force myself.

Bright, unadventuresome Crystal Moore discovers a young mother, Lucita, who is a virtual slave in Dallas, held by threats her two young girls will be killed if she escapes or even tells anybody of her situation. Crystal goes to the house where Lucita is held and while trying to get Lucita to talk to her, encounters the man enslaving Lucita.  The conversation with the man is brief and non-threatening, but Crystal leaves the place terrified.

She attempts to put this out of her mind. But she identifies with the two girls. Crystal's parents were killed when she was only seven. Now, she is plagued with nightmares about the children and after awhile, she sees three girls held captive and recognizes one of the three is herself. When she cannot forget it, she tries to find various ways to resolve the situation. None are acceptable. If she can get Lucita away, or the police rescue her, the children would be killed.

If becomes clear to Crystal that the only way to free Lucita is to rescue the two young girls first. Only when the girls are free and safe will Lucita dare to escape.

This means going into the jungles of Mexico and spirit the girls away from a ruthless drug lord. While Crystal knows this is not a smart thing to do, her heart will not let her turn away and she embarks on a dangerous mission to help a woman she has met only once and to rescue two young girls she has never met.

As I could not ignore the story in the newspaper about the virtual slave, Crystal could not ignore the plight of Lucita and her children.

A Silver Medallion will release in early June. But, since Janet has been gracious and allowed me to tell you why I wrote this, I will send the first chapter to any of her readers who sends an e-mail address to with "First chapter" in the subject line.

A Silver Medallion - A Crystal Moore Suspense

James R. Callan

In 2015, young, naive Crystal Moore encounters a slave in Dallas, Texas -- a slave held not by chains, but by threats her two girls held hostage in the jungles of Mexico will be killed if she escapes.

To Crystal, it's clear. The children must be rescued first, or the mother will never escape.

Crystal will need the help of mysterious Juan Grande. If she succeeds, mother and children will be free -- and Crystal will have two powerful and ruthless men, one in Texas and one in Mexico. who will want her dead.

James R. Callan had a successful career in mathematics and computer science, receiving grants from the National Science Foundation and NASA.  He left the technology field to pursue his real love, writing.  He has had four non-fiction books published, but his passion is mystery and suspense novels. 
His eleventh book is scheduled to be published in 2016.



Be sure to take advantage of James' offer and be one of the first to read a chapter in his new book. Thank you, James, for giving us this great opportunity. The book sounds fascinating.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Insights into Writing with Author, Leeann Betts

Today, I wish to introduce multi-published Christian author, Leeann Betts. Her insights into writing ministered to me. I think this will inspire you, as she asks "Is my book fit for The King?"


I wrote my dad’s memoirs a couple of years ago. Because we don’t live near each other, we spent time together at Christmas or Thanksgiving working on the book. I used a digital recorder and had a list of questions I needed answered. Once I got the story down, I’d send him several chapters at a time for him to review. Then I sent the final book, printed out in a binder, and he called with changes and corrections. Even once we sent it to a printer, we found errors in the galleys which we corrected.


My father held his book in his hand a month before he passed away.


He boasted to several people about his life story. The intake counselor at the hospice he went to was astounded he had a book, saying that many people came to this point in their lives wishing they’d written a book. She said she’d never known anybody who had.


I was so pleased to have been part of that process, to give my dad a book he was proud to hold in his hand. A book he was proud to have his name on.


Which got me to thinking about my other books. Would my Heavenly Father be proud to hold my other books in His hand? Would He be proud to have His Name on those books?


That changed the way I looked at my books. Because I realized they weren’t mine at all. He is the author. I simply transcribe the stories for Him.


And as such, it’s my job to be as accurate as I can. To show up for work every day. To do the best I can to listen and not inject myself into the story.


God’s job is to create the stories. To communicate them to me. To correct me when I get off track.


I like the partnership I have with Him. It takes a lot of pressure off me. When I’m staring at the blank page, I simply pray, “Lord, thank You for letting me be the first person you’ve ever shown this story to. Help me hear You correctly and do the work of transcribing.”


Knowing what I need to do and what I don’t need to do makes the job a lot easier which means I’m having a lot more fun. I’m working on the next book in my dad’s memoirs, and although he’s with Jesus now, I hope he’d be just as proud to hold this book in his hand as he was with the first one.


And I pray God would be proud to have His name on every book I’ve written.


Leeann Betts writes contemporary suspense, while her real-life persona, Donna Schlachter, pens historical suspense. No Accounting for Murder and There Was a Crooked Man, books 1 and 2 in her By the Numbers series, released in the fall of 2015 Book 3, Unbalanced, released in January. Book 4, Five and Twenty Blackbirds, is due in April, with more planned for later dates. If you like accountants or are an accountant, check out Counting the Days: a 21-day devotional for accountants, bookkeepers, and financial folk.
Leeann and Donna have penned a book on writing, Nuggets of Writing Gold, and Donna has published a book of short stories, Second Chances and Second Cups. You can follow Leeann at and Donna at . All books are available at in digital and print, and at in digital.
Thank you, Leeann. I love the thought of God letting us see the words first. We pen His Words. Great thought.
I recently received my copy of Nuggets of Writing Gold and am anxious to read it. Watch later for my review. It looks like just what I need.
Any questions or comments for Leeann Betts/Donna Schlachter?