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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Motive for Murder...Preview

About the book:
Meet Erica Coleman: a gifted and quirky private investigator with a penchant for sleuthing and a passion for chocolate.

Erica imagined that her trip to Florida would be a slice of heaven—a chance to get away from it all and catch up with her best friend, Wendy. But a mere day into her idyllic vacation, all hope of fun in the sun is dashed with a shocking discovery: the body of an unknown man on the driveway. A failed second homicide attempt hits even closer to home when Wendy’s fiancé barely survives poisoning. There’s no way to sugarcoat it—a murderer is on the prowl, and no one is above suspicion.

Unsettled by the proximity of foul play, Wendy asks Erica to investigate. Erica is convinced that the near double-murder was no coincidence, so she accepts her friend’s request—with her skill, solving the mystery should be a piece of cake. But as she sifts through mounting evidence, one thing becomes clear: everyone had a reason for wanting both men dead. And as the plot thickens, it appears that Erica may have bitten off more than she can chew . . .

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About the author:
I'll give a short biography first of all. I was born in Salt Lake City, Utah and grew up in Sandy, Utah. After attending Dixie College and Utah State University, I graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelor's degree in English. I married Kelly R. Sullivan and have seven children. My hobbies are gardening, camping, and reading. Writing has always been a great love of mine. I started writing stories in elementary school and was blessed with a teacher in junior high school that encouraged me, so I kept on writing. My dream of writing was put aside for a time when I married and had children, which kept me very busy. I did manage to carve out a little time though, and wrote magazine and newspaper articles. I honed my craft over the years and have been published in quite a number of magazines and newspapers. I opened my own floral shop at my home--renovating my garage, in order to help support my family. After nine years, a health scare convinced me to sell my shop so I could pursue my dream of writing full time--thanks to a husband who was willing to support us all. I began by writing non-fiction books. I loved doing research and digging for interesting stories. I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and have concentrated on writing for members of that church. I write clean, inspirational books that testify that God loves us and is always there for us.

My first book was Latter-day Saint Heroes and Heroines, which was soon followed by Latter-day Saint Heroes and Heroines, Volume Two. Both books are compilations of true stories about people in early Church history who risked their life in defense of the gospel. These are stirring, true experiences that touched my heart. I love all of these stories--they are so inspiring and faith-promoting. All of these experiences have been carefully researched and are fully documented.

My next three books are about angels and are compilations of true stories in the lives of Latter-day Saints who had angelic experiences. The first book in this series is, And There Were Angels Among Them. As I started researching for this book, I found thousands of stories about angelic visitations and knew I had to narrow them down somehow. I decided to select only those experiences when a person actually saw or heard an angel. The second book in this series is called Visits From Beyond the Veil and the third is, By the Ministering of Angels. Researching and writing these books was a marvelous experience. It made me realize how much Heavenly Father truly loves us and that He is very aware of us and our lives. People often ask me where I found all these stories. I did most of my research at the LDS Church Archives and the Church History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. I also did a lot of research at the libraries at BYU and also at the library at Utah State University. In addition, I researched materials at the University of Utah and other public libraries. Most of the experiences in these books were gleaned from personal histories, letters, and various records and documents, along with newspapers and magazines such as the Elder's Journal, Times and Seasons, The Millennial Star, Young Woman's Journal, and many others.

My next book is Brigham's Boys. It tells the story of sixteen men who worked closely with Brigham Young and helped him bring the Saints across the plains and colonize the Great Basin area. The men who worked alongside Brigham were amazingly devout and hard working. They were always willing to serve, no matter how difficult the challenge.

I had always wanted to try writing fiction, but was scared for a long time--scared I wasn't good enough. I worked many years on my next book, a novel, Light on Fire Island, and was sooooo happy when it became a best-seller.

Light on Fire Island is set in 1921, on Fire Island, New York. I suppose it's the researcher in me that made me decide to have the settings for this and all subsequent novels totally accurate. To do research on the setting for this book, my husband and I traveled to Fire Island, which is just south of Long Island. I snapped lots of pictures, talked with people at the lighthouse, and took many notes. I also corresponded with the people who are in charge of the Fire Island Lighthouse and they graciously answered my many questions. All of the details about the setting are accurate, from the number of steps in the lighthouse, to street names, to the names of plants and trees. I work very hard on my writing, for many reasons. First of all, it is simply what I do. I can't imagine not writing. With my non-fiction, I want to inspire people and build their faith and testimonies. With my novels, I want people who ready my books to be entertained and not have to worry about questionable scenes, swearing or things like that. As an LDS author, I feel a great responsible to write clean, uplifting novels that carry good, underlying messages, which will enlighten and inspire and help people cope with real life.

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Thanks to Cedar Fort for the opportunity to preview this book.  You can learn more about Marlene Bateman here.  You can purchase your own copy here.

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