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!

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 Inspirational novelists, their latest books, and their words of wisdom and imagination. Enjoy!

Monday, January 20, 2020

Lorena McCourtney and Free Books!

Ivy and Mac had planned a honeymoon. Instead, they’re up to their ears in mystery and mayhem as they search a desert ghost town for a missing dead body.

Before we meet today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the free copy of Donna Schlachter's historical mystery novel, Double Jeopardy, is:


Congratulations! I'll be in touch with you via email, and we'll get your book right out to you. I encourage readers to keep commenting and/or subscribe at right (above my list of books) in order to learn about new releases! U.S. subscribers are entered in the drawings a second time when they comment.

And now let's meet novelist Lorena McCourtney, author of the cozy mystery, Desert Dead (Rogue Ridge Press, October 2019).

Lorena McCourtney has been writing for almost as long as she can remember. She started out using a degree in agriculture to work for a magazine published by a national meat-packing company, but she quickly realized a career writing about raising hogs and making sausage was not for her. She left that for marriage and motherhood, and when she returned, she knew she wanted to write fiction.

She started with short stories for children and teenagers, went on to romance short stories, then romance books. She has finally settled into what she thinks is her real calling: writing mysteries with a foundation of faith – and a dash of fun.

Lorena is married and has one son, Bill, and one granddaughter, Sabrina. Now she also has a great-grandson, Aiden. (Which always brings her the surprise realization that her son is now a grandfather.)

Lorena has lived in southern Oregon for some sixty years now, with occasional travel into the southwest and Baja.

Please tell us one random thing we might not know about you.

I’ve been married to Jim for 46 years – working on 50!

Congratulations. Enduring marriages are certainly something to admire. 

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Desert Dead.

Seniors Ivy and Mac are in their motorhome, headed for their delayed honeymoon. Baja! Beaches and romance, sunshine and shrimp tacos! But a phone call from an old friend changes their plans. Magnolia has found a dead body. Magnolia has lost a dead body. Magnolia is in a panic.

Ivy and Mac decide a side-trip to a desert ghost town to help their friend won’t take long.


Because in addition to a missing dead body, there’s an old cowboy trying to revive a faded movie career. An ex-model writing the Great American Novel. Her artist boyfriend, disgruntled that his great art doesn’t sell, but his roadrunner paintings do. There’s also a two-million-dollar insurance policy, possible blackmail, and a hungry roadrunner named Harry. Plus a killer determined to put Ivy and Mac into the category of the missing dead.

That sounds like a lot of fun in one novel! 

What is it about Ivy that will make your readers care about her?

LOL (Little Old Lady) Ivy was dismayed when she first realized she seemed to have aged into invisibility, but she’s decided “invisibility” can be a handy asset when a killer is after you.

Novelist Orson Scott Card (Ender’s Game) once said, “Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don’t see any.” How does that quote affect you as a writer?

I see ideas everywhere; the problem is turning an idea into a full-blown story.

You're so right. The idea is just the seed, and a lot of work is required to get that seed to blossom fully!

What is the last novel you read that you would recommend?

Elizabeth Goddard’s Always Look Twice. A great mystery and suspense story from an exceptional author.

What are you working on now?

Book #4 of the Mac ‘n’ Ivy Mysteries series, tentatively titled That’s the Way the Cookie Crumbles.

Where else can readers find you online?

My website www.lorenamccourtney.info

The book can be purchased online via the following button:

If you would like to read a sample of Desert Dead, you can find it by clicking "Look Inside" HERE

Finally, what question would you like to ask my readers?

If you’re reading romantic suspense, which is more important to you, the romance or the mystery/suspense?

Thank you, Lorena, for visiting and telling us about yourself and your book. Readers, Lorena has offered to give away a free copy of her book. To enter, leave a comment and your email below in answer to her question, above. "Please enter me" won't get you entered. Remember that U.S. subscribers are entered an additional time in each drawing. The drawing is done by email, so leave your email address, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com.

Only United States residents are eligible for the drawing, but anyone can subscribe to the blog posts via the GDPA-compliant Feedblitz box above my list of books, at right.

Also readers, I'd love it if you'd connect with me on Facebook. Just click on my name at the right of today's post title.

Annoying legal disclaimer: as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases; drawings void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents; the odds of winning depend upon the number of participants. See full disclaimer, GDPA notice, and my Disclosure of Material Connection HERE


Anonymous said...

This sounds like a fun mystery/romance. I just returned from a trip to the southwest dessert area so it strikes me as something I'd enjoy reading. I prefer the mystery part of a mystery/romance. I like the character development in the romance, but I don't necessarily read the book for that part. Anyway, both aspects make the book interesting. I'd enjoy reading Dessert Dead.

kim hansen said...

New author for me. cheetahthecat1986ATgmailDOTcom

Lori Smanski said...

this is a wonderful cover. I love the bit about the hungry roadrunner. I love animals in the books I read. This sounds like a fun book. I like it when the mystery/romance are entwined and there is just a hint of romance that either builds with the series or if it is a stand a lone book, that it is more mystery. quilting lady 2 at comcast dot net

Melanie Backus said...

What a great book! I love a nice balance of mystery and romance with a tiny edge in the romance department.
mauback55 at gmail dot com

Gail H. said...

To me the mystery and suspense is more important. I can use my own imagination for the romance part if I have to but I’d have a hard time with the mystery and suspense. Heavy on the mystery and suspense, lighter on the romance.

GrandaddyA said...

The answer to Lorena's question is quite simple for me. The mystery/suspense is always most important. If there's a little romance included, that's okay with me. However, I don't really care for the romance to overshadow the mystery/suspense. grandaddya[at]comcast[dot]net

Trish Perry said...

I'm like you, Gail, in this answer. I love romance in a novel, but if I'm reading a romantic suspense, I like to be unnerved by the suspense. I like trying to figure out what's happening without actually being able to figure it out until the end. The romance is icing on the cake.

SandyJ said...

For me, the mystery/suspense is more important in a story. I've read ALL of the Ivy Malone and all of the Mac 'n Ivy books! They are wonderful. I also like her Andi McConnell series.

Pam K. said...

If I'm reading romantic suspense, the suspense is most important to me. I enjoy the romance too but it doesn't have to be the focal point.
I've read a few of Lorena's mysteries and enjoyed them.


smarch said...

Mystery/suspense is most important. Can’t wait to read more Mac and Ivy!

Lorena McCourtney said...

Thanks for all the great comments! I'm pleased to know that the mystery part of a mystery/romance is most important to you. Helpful information!

Paula Shreckhise said...

I like a bit more mystery/suspense to my romantic suspense books. I like to keep my brain active figuring out the puzzles.
Thanks for the chance. paulams49ATsbcglobalDOTnet

Patricia said...

I like both Romance and mystery equally.

Alice said...

I like both romance and mystery but the plot and characters win every time. So mystery it is!
Alice Myers Myersalicem@gmail.com

Lorena McCourtney said...

More interesting comments on mystery and romance!


I Love the mystery/suspense when it comes to a great book! I Love to read. Thanks for the chance SARAHTAYLOR601973(at)YAHOO(dot)COM

Anam Cara said...

I am also drawn to the mystery. I’d like to know if you have visited all the places Ivy has gone.

Libby Hall

Oceanbrzzz said...

I’ve read all your Mac and Ivy books, they have been a fun escape!

Unknown said...

Cara asked if I've visited all the places Ivy has gone. I haven't been in Missouri or Arkansas where the first two Ivy Malone books were set. But I've visited the others (actually lived in several of them), including all the areas in the three Mac 'n' Ivy books. Going there is certainly my favorite way to do research!



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