Dianne G. Sagan – Best Selling Author

Christian and Women's fiction, with a little mystery thrown in for good measure


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Nancy Drew Turns 85!

(copied from post on Facebook by “A Mighty Girl”) I just had to share this with you. I read and loved Nancy Drew as a girl and so did my daughters.

 

Nancy Drew's 1st book in seriesHappy 85th birthday to Nancy Drew! The first volume in the long-running girl detective series, “The Secret of the Old Clock,” was published 85 years ago this week under the pseudonym Carolyn Keene. In a tribute on The Mary Sue, author Theodore Jefferson writes, “Agency. It is that which forms the foundation for any hero’s ability to save the day. In America, agency for teenage girls in literature made its debut in 1930 in the person of Nancy Drew.” This original Mighty Girl character paved the way for many more heroic female characters and inspired generations of real-life girls and women.

Ghostwritten by Mildred Wirt Benson and later revised by Harriet Stratemeyer Adams, the first volume of Nancy Drew had a huge influence on young readers. Jefferson writes, Nancy Drew provided them with “stories of someone like themselves who had a positive effect on the world instead of passively sitting at home… She is a character with that magical ‘what if’ question woven into her identity, and one that effortlessly captures the imaginations of readers by allowing them to participate in a world where the answers to that question are just as entertaining as the stories themselves.”

Jefferson adds that the “echoes” of Nancy Drew can be seen in “Gidget, Wonder Woman, The Bionic Woman, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Katniss Everdeen, Black Widow, Jessica Halloran and numerous other literary characters, television stars and comic heroes.” She also was at the forefront of a new literary idea: “the character upon which a universe could be created” for a series of related stories. For the first time, a whole world could be built around the adventures of one character, an idea that Jefferson notes was “powerful enough that Nancy Drew unseated many leading book series for boys in the process.”

At the time, some viewed Nancy Drew as a poor role model, “contradicting adults while she squared off with the villains… she is mechanically inclined and at the same time doesn’t act like most people in the 1930s would have expected a teenage girl to act.” In fact, many libraries and bookstores refused to carry the Nancy Drew stories. Despite — or because of — that disapproval, kids collected the books voraciously, and in the midst of the Depression, used copies were shared and traded like trading cards are today. As a result, “any kid, even those who couldn’t afford new books, would very likely get to read every adventure starring their favorite character.”

The tremendous influence of Nancy Drew continues to this day asserts Jefferson: “It is difficult to overstate how powerful Nancy Drew’s presence remains in literature and in other media. She has influenced film, comics, video games and animation for 85 years, and will continue to do so as long as teenage girls take the lead as our heroes in the imaginative worlds of adventure.”

Did you grow up reading Nancy Drew? Tell us about your favorites in the comments below. You can read Jefferson’s essay in honor of 85 years of Nancy Drew on The Mary Sue, visit http://bit.ly/1bk0r1o

To introduce a new generation to this classic girl detective, the Nancy Drew Starter Box Set featuring the series’ first six books, recommended for ages 8 and up, visit http://www.amightygirl.com/nancy-drew-box-set

Nancy Drew’s stories have also been brought to life in a wide range of Nancy Drew Video Games athttp://bit.ly/1c37uNp

Nancy Drew is also featured on a “Twisted Candles” t-shirt for teens and adults (http://www.amightygirl.com/nancy-drew-shirt) and in a Nancy Drew Paper Doll Set at http://www.amightygirl.com/nancy-drew-classic-paper-dolls

For more mysteries starring Mighty Girls — all for readers ages 8 to 12 — we recommend “The Case of the Missing Moonstone” for ages 8 to 12 (http://www.amightygirl.com/the-case-of-the-missing-moonstone), “The Fairy Tale Detectives” (http://www.amightygirl.com/the-fairy-tale-detectives), “Ruby Redfort Look Into My Eyes” (http://www.amightygirl.com/ruby-redfort), and “Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief” (http://www.amightygirl.com/sammy-keyes-and-the-hotel-thief).

To discover more Mighty Girl mysteries for readers of all ages, visit our “Mystery & Suspense” section athttp://www.amightygirl.com/books/fiction/mystery-suspense


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Welcome my Guest Lillian Duncan

Christian fiction author, Lillian Duncan, writes stories of faith … mingled with murder and mayhem.

Lillian is a multi-published writer who writes the type of books she loves to read—suspense with a touch of romance. Whether as an educator, a writer, or a speech pathologist, she believes in the power of words to transform lives, especially God’s Word.

To learn more about Lillian and her books, visit: www.lillianduncan.net.  She also has a devotional blog at: www.PowerUpWithGod.com  as well as her personal blog, Tiaras & Tennis Shoes at www.lillian-duncan.com

I am very excited to have Lillian as a guest, you know how I love a good suspense. Her book Betrayed is one of those that will keep us turning pages and begging for more. To tweak your interest –

Our heroine is hiding in the Witness Protection Program that claims they can keep anyone safe if only they follow the rules so Maria follows the rules–every rule. She’s given up everything–her friends, her family, her past, even her name to ensure her daughter has a future.

Reborn as Veronica Minor in the sleepy little town of Sunberry, Ohio, she struggles to rebuild their life amid the beauty of her flower shop. She hopes for a life where her daughter can have a happy normal childhood and never know that her father was a monster.

When a child disappears, Veronica prays it has nothing to do with her past, but what if she’s wrong? Not knowing who to trust, she trusts no one…and that’s her first mistake.    Betrayed_h11347_300

 

I asked Ms. Duncan a few more questions that I thought would interest you. Tell us a little more about BETRAYED.

BETRAYED is the second book in my Sisters By Choice series and will be released in January 2014. In DECEPTION (the first in the series), there is a terrorist. I kept wondering what kind of woman could be married to a terrorist and not know it.

BETRAYED is the answer to that question. It is Maria’s story and her struggle to get past the betrayal of her husband and create a new life for her daughter.

What’s the setting for BETRAYED?

Most of the story takes place in or around a small fictional town in Ohio called Sunberry. Coincidentally, we have a small town in Ohio called Sunbury that is very similar to the fictional setting!

What do you want readers to take away from BETRAYED?

Bad things happen to all of us. How we react to those things will determine the quality of our future. We can make the choice to stay in the past and be angry and bitter, but a much better choice would be to forgive and move on with our own life.

Does BETRAYED have a theme?

Beauty for ashes is a phrase that comes up several times throughout the book and I consider it the theme. It comes from Isaiah 61: 3. A second theme is about honoring God with our choices and our actions even in the midst of a crisis.

What’s the SISTERS BY CHOICE series about?

This series definitely has romance in it, but I also wanted to explore the strong bonds that form between women—through blood or through the choices we make. Each story focuses on a relationship between two women that becomes as important to the story as the romantic plot.

DECEPTION was the first in the series and it focused on the broken relationship of identical twin sisters, Patti and Jamie. The lesson from DECEPTION was don’t waste time arguing with those you love—you may not get a second chance to repair that relationship.

In BETRAYED, it focuses on two strangers bonding and becoming friends as they face a crisis together.  One of the characters teaches Maria about how to honor God by her actions even in the most horrible of circumstances.

Thank you for visiting my blog and sharing your new book with me and my friends and visitors. You also have a giveaway going on this month. Could you tell us about it?

To celebrate the release of BETRAYED, I’m giving away a virtual gift basket at Tiaras & Tennis Shoes at www.lillian-duncan.com. The virtual gift basket includes a copy of my books, SERENITY SPRINGS, OHIO; DARK ALLEYS; and GEESE MATE FOR LIFE.  Along with the books, a $25 Amazon gift card is included plus a few books from some writer friends. To enter the contest, simply hop on over to Tiaras & Tennis Shoes at www.lillian-duncan.com , leave a comment on the post titled CELEBRATION! Winner will be chosen and announced on February 14.

 

 


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Mystery Writers Conferences

Many of you enjoy a good mystery. I know I do. I found out about these opportunities and wanted to share them with you.

Mystery writers & fans:

The SW chapter of Mystery Writers of America is sponsoring a wonderful workshop with top writers as instructors.

MWA University – New Orleans – Saturday, October 1, 2011

Location: Hotel Monteleone
Vieux Carre Room
214 Royal St
New Orleans, LA 70130

Class/Instructor: After the Idea – Jess Lourey
Dramatic Structure & Plot – Hallie Ephron
Setting & Description – David Morrell
Character & Dialogue – Julie Smith
Writing as Re-Writing – Reed Farrel Coleman
The Writing Life – Hank Phillippi Ryan

A rate of $159/per night at the hotel (includes a continental breakfast). The rate will cover the following date range: September 29 – October 2, 2011. Reservations must be made by September 23, 2011. Details and registration forms – http://www.mysterywriters.org/?q=MWA-University

 

For information about other events and workshops around the country go to  Mystery Writers . If one of these is near you, then mark your calendar and enjoy.


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Spring Reading

We’re all spending more time outside with spring and summer activities. Gardening. Baseball. Picnics and time at the park with our children or grandchildren.

Some of the great new reads include:

Mystery & Thrillers –

I’ll Walk Alone, Mary Higgins Clark

The 6th Man, David Baldacci

10th Anniversary, James Patterson

Romance:

Southern Comfort, Fern Michaels

Smokin’ Seventeen, Janet Evanovich

Texas Blue, Jodie Thomas