Please join me in welcoming Suzanne Bratcher to the blog to chat about her romantic suspense novel The Silver Lode!
A mystery fan since her first encounter with Nancy Drew, Suzanne Bratcher, PhD, lives in central Arkansas in a village with more trees than houses. A retired English professor from Northern Arizona University, she writes mysteries and romantic suspense set in the Southwest. The Silver Lode is the second book in her Jerome, Arizona Mysteries. To sign up for her quarterly newsletter, visit her webpage at www.suzannebratcher.com.
THE SILVER LODE
SERIES: The Jerome Mysteries #2
GENRE: Inspirational Romantic Suspense
PUBLISHER: Mantle Rock Publishing
RELEASE DATE: October 8, 2019
billion-dollar copper camp alive with rags-to-riches tales
Beneath the ghost town that clings to the side of Cleopatra Hill, a labyrinth of abandoned mine tunnels hides a vein of silver ore mixed with pure gold. The discovery of that silver lode caused a murder decades ago. More are coming.
Historian Paul Russell is about to lose his job and the woman he loves. He doesn’t have time to search for the legendary silver lode. But when a student drops a seventy-year-old unsolved murder on his desk, a murder connected to the silver lode, the mystery offers Paul the perfect opportunity to work with Marty and win her back.
Antiques expert Marty Greenlaw is in love with Paul, but marrying him isn’t an option, at least not a good one. She’s trying to push him away, but when he tells her finding the silver lode will save a dying child, she wants to help. Years ago Marty lost a little sister, and she’ll do everything she can to save Aurora, even work shoulder-to-shoulder with Paul.
As Paul and Marty search for the silver lode, suspicious deaths begin to happen. When Paul’s son disappears, the stakes become personal.
Hi Suzanne! Welcome to the blog!
Suzanne: Winter. I have Multiple Sclerosis, and I have more energy when the temperatures are cool.
Carrie: I have more energy in cooler temps too – though most people are completely opposite us lol.
Suzanne: Both. Years ago when I was active, I always had a dog. Now that I walk slowly, I’ve discovered the joy of watching my totally unpredictable cats.
Carrie: Pets provide so much entertainment, don’t they?
Suzanne: Tea. I enjoy the wide variety of herbal teas. Right now my favorite is Lemon Ginger with a dollop of honey.
Carrie: ooo my husband would love the ginger!
Suzanne: Hallmark Channel. I have an overactive visual memory so that even stumbling into a violent movie scene can give me nightmares for weeks.
Q: Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?
Suzanne: Napping! Because of my MS and the chronic fatigue that goes with it, I’ve learned to take mini power naps. It’s amazing how much energy I gather in a twenty-minute nap. I take at least two or sometimes three power naps a day.
Carrie: oh i wish that was a superpower for me LOL! My own chronic Lyme Disease also brings a lot of fatigue with it but even though my body may be exhausted my mind refuses to shut off for quick power naps. It takes me at least 30 minutes just to fall asleep … so annoying!
Q: Which books are ‘on your nightstand’?
Suzanne: The Voice New Testament, The Cost of Betrayal by Dee Henderson, Dani Pettrey, and Lynette Eason, Lord Peter (a collection of all the Lord Peter Wimsey mystery stories) by Dorothy Sayers, and The God Who Sees: Immigrants, the Bible, and the Journey to Belong by Karen Gonzalez. I always have more than one book going at a time. Depending on how the day has gone, I may decide to read a new book (The Cost of Betrayal), a book I’ve read so many times I know what’s coming next (Lord Peter), or a book that challenges me (The God Who Sees). The last thing I read before I turn out the light is scripture. Right now I’m reading Philippians, trying to memorize key verses.
Carrie: <adding that Karen Gonzalez book to my TBR>
Q: Writing spaces are as diverse as authors and books. Where is your favorite space to write?
Suzanne: I write in a corner of my bedroom behind a blue and white fabric screen where my computer, reference books, and research notes share space with two plants and a rattan file cabinet that holds my pueblo storyteller figurine, a small kaleidoscope, a sparkly black crystal I found at a rock shop, and a small copper box.
Carrie: that sounds like the perfect inspirational spot to write the Jerome Mysteries!
Q: What surprised you about The Silver Lode or your characters as you wrote their story?
Suzanne: I’m an outliner by training, so I had a complete outline of the plot before I started writing The Silver Lode. But two characters surprised me so completely I had to go back and rewrite the outline.
The first character to surprise me was a walk-on character from The Copper Box (the first book in my Jerome mystery trilogy). I hadn’t planned for B.T. to even be in The Silver Lode. But he answered the phone when Scott Russell was looking for a friend to go prospecting with him. From that moment, B.T. stepped into the story with such force he added a new subplot. He has continued to surprise me because he insisted on taking the lead in The Gold Doubloons, the Jerome mystery I’m writing now.
The second surprise I got was when the character I’d cast as the villain refused to cooperate. I slammed into writer’s block, and the story came to a standstill. It was one thing to add a subplot, quite another to figure out who the villain was. One afternoon after a power nap, I woke up with the answer. That unexpected turn required a second rewrite of my outline. I had an outline for The Gold Doubloons, but I’ve already had to change it once. So it looks like my writing has entered a new phase.
Carrie: oh wow! I love how characters just take over lol
Q: What do you most want readers to take away from The Silver Lode?
Suzanne: I hope readers will realize that when the plans we make don’t work out, if we turn the outcome over to God, God will make something new for us. Each of the main characters experience this reality during the course of the story, and I experienced it myself as I wrote from an outline that wouldn’t cooperate. God is good, and if we take that leap of faith to trust God, surprising things happen.
Carrie: So true – and an important reminder for all of us in these crazy times we’re living in!
Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.
Suzanne: I’m in the middle of writing The Gold Doubloons, the third mystery in the Jerome trilogy. While the characters carry over, each book is a standalone story that grows out of a different aspect of the real town Jerome, Arizona. The plot for The Copper Box came out of Jerome’s claim to be the “largest ghost town in America.” The Silver Lode came from Jerome’s title “billion-dollar copper camp.” The Gold Doubloons originated from a legend that developed about the actual march of Cortez through the Verde Valley looking for the Seven Cities of Gold. I’m researching all sorts of facts about the Spanish in the American Southwest and the Ancestral Puebloan inhabitants of Montezuma Castle National Monument. I’m also recording Kokopelli’s Song, (a YA fantasy ) to post chapter by chapter on my website beginning Monday 4/27. I’ve never tried reading my own work before, and it’s turning out to be fun. It’s free because I think the story will be something a little different for kids with cabin fever.
Carrie: how fun!! (And I have never heard of Jerome, Arizona, but will have to look it up because it sounds fascinating!)
Suzanne Bratcher is offering a copy of The Silver Lode to one of my readers! (print or ebook, winner’s choice. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What interests you most about The Silver Lode and/or my Q&A with Suzanne Bratcher?