What book should you read next? What words should you write next? Whether you're a reader, a writer, or both, you need look no further for ideas and pointers to help you make up your mind. You might even get your next book for free--and signed by the author!

Sometimes I even give away my own novels. My Inspirational romances and devotionals are pictured below and are detailed on my Books page. You can always count on a trace of humor in my novels and nonfiction. Whether you're a teen or a woman mature in years, I think these stories will ring true.

Read on, and discover some of today's most appealing Christian novelists, their latest books, and their words of wisdom and imagination. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Christy Barritt and Free Books!

A crime scene cleaner/CSI wannabe finds Elvis--dead as a doornail and still wearing his blue suede shoes--and can't resist sticking her nose into police business.

Before we meet today's featured novelist, I want to announce that the winner of Kathleen Fuller's novel, A Clever Disguise, is:

scaramouche9999@. . .

Congratulations! I'll contact you today for your snail mail address, and we'll get your book to you right away. I encourage readers to keep commenting and/or subscribe at right in order to participate in future book give-aways!

And now let's meet novelist Christy Barritt, author of Suspicious Minds, Book 2 in the Squeaky Clean Series (Kregel, 2008)

Photobucket Christy Barritt is the author of several books, including Hazardous Duty, the first book in the Squeaky Clean Mystery Series. She's also a frequent speaker and freelance writer whose byline has appeared on hundreds of articles. She holds a bachelor's degree in communications and psychology from Cincinnati Christian University. She lives with her husband and son in Virginia.

Christy, tell us a bit more about the plot of Suspicious Minds.

PhotobucketIn this smart and suspenseful sequel to Hazardous Duty, crime-scene cleaner Gabby St. Claire finds herself stuck doing mold remediation to pay the bills. But her first day on the job, she uncovers a surprise in the crawlspace of a dilapidated home: Elvis, dead as a doornail and still wearing his blue suede shoes. How could she possibly keep her nose out of a case like this?

Elvis turns out to be Darnell Evans, a down-on-his-luck impersonator whose luck just got a lot worse, and there is no shortage of suspects. When his widow begs her to help, Gabby takes on the case of who-killed-the-King. In the meantime her would-be rival, Chad Davis, is turning into one hunka hunka burnin' love and starting to dish out some serious TLC, which is the last thing Gabby needs right now.

Realizing the futility of running from God and from her responsibilities, Gabby decides to reconsider her priorities her life. But when the ersatz Elvis's killer catches on to her investigation, will she survive long enough to be able to?

Sounds like a fun book! Which character in your novel most interested you while you wrote? Why?

My protagonist, Gabby St. Claire, is fascinating to me. She has so much baggage and so many issues. She's also quirky and I adore quirky characters. And in case you're wondering, yes, I'm known to be a little quirky myself! Gabby has had a rough life--her brother was kidnapped under her watch and later she had to drop out of college after her mother died. She was studying to be a forensic scientist and now she's doing the next best thing: she's a crime scene cleaner. There are just so many layers to Gabby, from her love of flip-flops and sassy T-shirts, to her fondness of quoting music lyrics all the time, to her deep struggles with God and religion.

Why will readers enjoy Suspicious Minds?

Readers who like mysteries and chick-lit will love the combination of the two styles in my books. Also, fans of the television shows Monk and Psych will enjoy my novels--they're mysteries but they're also fun and quirky. There's also a forensic element to the book, very CSI but without the gore.

If you were the casting director for the film version of your novel, who would play your lead roles?

PhotobucketAlyson Hannigan would be cast as my main character, Gabby St. Claire.


Luke Wilson would be Riley.

PhotobucketAnd Keiko Agena would be cast as Sierra.

What facet of the writing craft comes easiest to you? Explain.

Plotting. I love plotting and making life miserable for my characters.

What do you struggle with in your writing?

I'd have to say character development. Once I get into the character's head, I'm there. But it can take me awhile to figure out my character's motivations, backgrounds, goals, what makes them unique and lovable, what they struggle with, etc.

Choose an inanimate object to represent you. Explain what you have in common with that object.

I'm like a guitar. When I know what I'm doing, I can create beautiful music. When I don't, my projects are just random strings that sound like chaos! Okay, that's kind of lame, but I just can't think of anything else!

Not at all. Sometimes the answer to that one fits better than expected, and I remember your playing in the band at American Christian Fiction Writers conferences. So this really fits. Now, other than your writing, what is something about your life, right now, that thrills you?

That's an easy one--my two-year-old son, Eli. He's such a joy. In the Bible, it talks about how God delights in us. I don't think I ever truly understood that concept until I became a mom. Everything Eli does just thrills and amazes me. He's learning his alphabet and beginning to string words together in sentences. He loves to sing (just like me!) and is so curious about everything. To say he thrills me would be an understatement.

I know what you mean, Christy. I never felt such appreciation for what God sacrificed for us until I was a mom. Amazing. What is the last book you read that impacted you? How did it affect you?

Katheryn's Secret by Linda Hall. Linda Hall always amazes me. I'm pretty good at figuring out the ending of a book before it happens. But Linda always floors me. She's so subtle and such a great writer. If I told you how the book affected me, then I'd be giving away the ending. Let's just say she put a hot topic in Christian circles into a new perspective.

What are you working on now?

I have several projects that I'm working on, including the Suburban Sleuth Mysteries, which is a series that centers around life in suburbia--complete with bossy homeowners associations, nosy neighbors, crazy cul-de-sac dynamics. The first book is The Death of the Couch Potato's Wife.

I love it! Where else can readers find you or your writing online? Please include the link for purchasing your book!

Readers can find me at www.ChristyBarritt.com or at http://myblog4fun.com/cbarritt. I also blog monthly at www.Faithchicks.com and http://canblog.typepad.com.

Thanks so much, Christy, for telling us about yourself and Suspicious Minds. Readers, Christy has offered to sign a copy of her book for the winner of our drawing on Thursday, January 15. To enter, leave a comment for Christy, below. Leave your email address, in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com. If you subscribe to my blog, at right (or if you're already subscribed) you'll be entered an additional time to this drawing and all future drawings.

Check back on Monday, when we'll draw the winner of Linore Rose Burkard's, Before the Season Ends. You can still enter for that drawing, below.


Carole said...

I love the description "very CSI without the gore" and definitely want to read Christy's book. Thank you for this contest!

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Mary said...

Suspicious Minds sounds great, add me please. Thanks!

Becky C. said...

I enjoyed the interview, and love the sound of the book.

Please enter me in the contest.

Thank you,

Becky C.


ladystorm said...

Okay, you had me at the little description at the beginning...lol I must read this one!


squiresj said...

Sounds like an interesting book. I would love to win it. I love this blog.
jrs362 (at) hotmail (dot) com

Martha A. said...

I would love to win it! I borrowed if from the library and read it in one sitting, and it is one I would love to own! It was a book you finished and wanted to read more by the author!

Pamela J said...

I was digging through all my sticky notes to make an up to date list of Most Wanted Books and this one was one listed! I am surprised and THRILLED to find a place to comment on it.
That whole paragraph that talked about what this book is like stuck me like glue to the page. Just up my alley of interest, even since I wrote the name of the book on that sticky note.
Please enter me. I'm looking forward to reading the next books you are working on too, Suburban Sleuth Mysteries. I can tell I'm already a fan of yours and haven't read any yet. I plan to remedy that soon!
Pam Williams
cepjwms at wb4me dot com

Jo said...

I love the description of the book and it sounds like such a fun read. I would love to be entered in the drawing to win a copy of the book


perkypaula said...

Would be great to be added to drawing. Reading fiction is my way of escape - with two jobs and a teenager!


Jenny said...

Thanks for the great interview - and the chance to win this book. I *loved* Hazardous Duty.

I have a 2 yo, too - what a fun and amazing age!

eviesmommo at yahoo dot com

Ruth Dell said...


Many thanks for an interesting interview. I would love to win this book, so please enter me in the draw if it's open to international readers.

I love looking after my 2yo granddaughter- it's hard work but great fun.

Best wishes

Ruth Dell
ruthdell [at] mweb.co.za

Katie said...

Please add me in your drawing ... THanks

Theresa N. said...

A guitar.. what a great way to put it.
Theresa N

Anonymous said...

I shy away CSI type mysteries because of all the gore, but this story by Christy would be perfect. Her education is impressive and I like that we will view this story partly through a pyschologist's mind.

Thank-you so much for this opportunity.

Gayla Collins

Anna W. said...

Wow, what a fun interview! I read the first of Christy's books in this series, but I would love to keep reading! Thanks for the giveaway!




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