Wednesday, December 7, 2011

It's Gonna Be a Suspenseful Season with this Newbie to the Blog (and First Giveaway of the Blogfest!)!

Oh happy day! It's Wednesday! We are halfway through, people! This is one of the hardest days of the week, but with the help of my special guest, I'm hopefully going to make it a little better for you! Stick around to find out about the giveaway at the end : )

I met this wonderful woman in Seekerville last winter, I think it was, wasn't it? She is going to be pretty busy during this holiday season with her husband, two daughter, son-in-law, and grandson! Not to mention writing away at her next novel. Yet, she managed to find the time to come spend some time with us today :D She spends her days murdering and protexting people, sounds fun! Please give a kind welcome to Susan Sleeman with her first time on the blog!

Hannah: Susan! Welcome : ) Thanks so much to stop by today, everyone will be excited to see a new face! When does the Christmas season officially start in your household? What is the first thing done that marks the start (i.e. putting up Christmas tree, baking first gingerbread men, etc)?
Susan: There are a lot of preparations I do for Christmas. I’m one of those annoying people who likes to get my shopping done in November or early December. I do a lot of baking and send the baked goods to family members and mail out the Christmas cards early, but the season or the feeling of Christmas doesn’t really begin for me until my youngest daughter arrives home from college 3000 miles away. That’s when we put up the tree and spend time playing games, laughing and talking. We or my mother has given her a dated ornament every year of her life and we take the time to look at each ornament and remember that year. It’s a wonderful way to remember what is important in life. I’m getting all weepy just writing this and can’t wait until she comes home.

H: Awwww that is so sweet! You can tell how important that mother-daughter time still is for you two. How very special that is : ) I see my mom every weekend; she doesn't miss me very much :P Why is it special for you to have written a Christmas novel?
S: The Christmas Witness is a romantic suspense book and it may deal with revenge, murder and kidnapping, but underneath it all is a message of hope. Hope for a better future. Hope for relief from bleak medical issues. Hope for love. And to me, there is no better time to focus on the message of hope than the birth of our Savior.

H: Wow.....that description really makes you stop and think. Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
S: I’m going to choose a supporting cast member, Jessie Morgan. Jessie first made her appearance in High-Stakes Inheritance, book one in the Morgan Brothers series when she was just eight years old. She’d recently lost her mother to cancer and she was struggling with coming to grips with that loss and forging a new life with just her father. In The Christmas Witness we see her again, but now she’s ten and has found a way to use her grief to help others. She has trained her dog to be a therapy dog and visits children in the hospital who are battling cancer. I love seeing the change in her and the reader can see how the loss has made her grow up and made her wise beyond her years and how she embraces her faith in her life.

H: Ohhhh! She sounds great! I'm so glad you chose her to talk about : ) By the way, I love the cover of the book! It's fabulous! In a Christmas fantasy land – who would be the famous figures, past and/or present, at your dinner table and why?
S: I would love to have Jesus, Mary and Joseph to dinner to talk about their journey for Jesus’s birth, about how it was to raise him, and find out what their family dynamics were like.

H: Very well put. I think most of us would want that, don't you? However, I really like your reasons. What did you ask Santa for Christmas this year? *wink*
S: Nothing will beat the twirler uniform I received when I was little, but I asked him for an Asus Zenbook. Since it’s very expensive, I’m pretty sure I won’t get it, but I am drooling over it.

H: HA! I love your uniform! You look so professional! So cute :) What have been the highlights throughout 2011 for you?
S: So many wonderful things have happened to me in 2011. I have had two books Behind the Badge and The Christmas Witness, release, I contracted another series with Love Inspired Suspense called The Justice Agency and I am super excited about these books that feature five adopted siblings, I signed with a fabulous new agent, and though it actually happened in 2010, I didn’t hear until 2011 that High-Stakes Inheritance made the ECPA’s best seller list. I am so incredibly blessed and seeing this all right here in one small paragraph makes me realize it will be hard to top 2011.

H: Oh wow! I guess it has been a good year for you, congratulations! High-Stakes Inheritance was really great! You should ALL check it out for sure ; ) Do you have any New Years resolutions for the upcoming 2012?
S: My husband and I have just become members at a fitness center. So in 2012 I hope that I will be exercising on a regular basis. Time will tell. : )

These are some “short answer” questions. You can answer them in as few words as possible – even simply one word.

Favorite Christmas book read this year? Movie seen?
I haven’t read a Christmas book yet, but I’m sure I’ll be reading The Grinch Who Stole Christmas to my grandson. Ditto for movies, but I have recorded a few Hallmark Christmas movies and will watch them when the mood strikes me.

Last Christmas song you heard? It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Favorite food to make or eat during the season? Cookies. Cookies. Cookies.

Briefly describe your favorite ornament. Many years ago a friend gave me an ornament made from dough. It’s four snowmen (people) connected to each other and the names of each family member are on the individual snowmen. It reminds me of how precious family is and the many years of incredible Christmas’s we have spent together. (I love this! How cool to have an ornament so full of memories!)

Anything else you would like to say? : )
Thanks for inviting me to talk about my Christmas. I would love to hear about your reader’s Christmas favorites, too.

You heard her! She wants to hear about YOUR Christmas! This brings us to....

Rules for our Giveaway! Susan is graciously donating one copy of her newest book, The Christmas Witness, that she talked about today!
~ Leave a comment for Susan including ONE of your favorites from the list above (movie, music, book, etc)
~ Must have a US mailing address for this giveaway
~ Make sure to leave a valid email address so that I can contact you if you win!

+1 If you become a new follower of my blog
+2 If you're an old follower : )

Contest is open until December 27, 2011. Winners will be drawn randomly from the List Randomizer at by December 30, 2011.

Today's song isn't an as well known one, I don't think. Let me know what you think of it : )

Have a great day today! Come on back by tomorrow! Another amazing author who's giving you the choice of any of her books :O Don't miss it!


  1. Thanks for hosting me today, Hannah on your wonderful blog. It's so great to see your Christmas background. Puts me in even more of a Christmas mood!

  2. Woohoo! I really like this background too : ) It does indeed! Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer the questions and stop by today.

  3. Great interview, ladies! And Susan, CONGRATS on that 2011 aweseomeness! I hope 2012 is just as wonderful for you. :-)
    My fave Christmas movie is Prancer. Another story with a Jessie in it. Heehee.

  4. Thanks, Jessica! I am truly blessed!!! I haven't seen Prancer, but I'll watch for it this Christmas season.

  5. Awesome interview. I love how you talked about looking at each ornament one by one as they each represented a year. Also, it seems like you like spending time with your family during the holidays, especially when decorating. I think that is an awesome idea.

  6. Thanks for stopping by AJ. I do think family is so important and I have a really special one!

  7. thanks for the opportunity to read this wonderful novel :)

    i'm a follower, too.

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  8. I love Hallmark Christmas movies. One of my favorites is Undercover Christmas.

    Old follower (from yesterday)

    frequentreader19 (at) gmail (dot) com