Very excited to welcome crime novelist, Angela Wren, to the blog. Her latest book just released today. Welcome, Angela!

Author Name: Angela Wren

Book Title: Montbel

Book Genre: Cozy Crime

Release Date: November 13th

Publisher: Crooked Cat Books


Please tell us more about Montbel.

A clear-cut case?  Jacques Forêt comes up against an old adversary and needs to find all the answers before it’s too late.

What sparked the idea for Montbel?

I returned to the Cévennes one year to find that a favourite restaurant of mine had closed.  It set me thinking and I spent an hour or so asking myself the question what if? That gave me the principle plot line.  But, when I was in La Ferté-Macé, about 10 years ago, an elderly gentleman shared with me some of his memories, and recalling that incident inspired me to create one of the characters in the book.

How long did it take for you to write the book? Did you do have to do any research?

Overall I think Montbel took me about 9 months to write.  Unfortunately I’m not able to write full-time as I work in a theatre, so my writing has to be scheduled in whenever I have a spare morning, afternoon or evening.  But I am getting very good at sticking to my scheduled writing time each week.

As for research, in some respects I’ve been doing that ever since I was a teenager and made my first visit to France.  I’ve kept journals for all of my trips to France and I often consult them for information about a place or location or an incident that has remained in my memory.  I’m also a book collector and I have shelves full of books on France that I also consult when I have a question and I use on-line forums as necessary.  As for how long this all takes – well it varies greatly depending on the plot.  In Montbel, (book 3), for instance, I had to spend quite a bit of time researching the world of professional chefs.  That was most interesting and took whatever spare hours I had over a month before I’d got everything I needed noted down.

The world of professional chefs sounds like fun research! Tell us why someone who isn’t familiar with your writing why they might want to check out your books?

I would hope that they had an interest in France and that they would want to read books that are set there.  The countryside in the Cévennes is spectacular and I try to give a flavour of that through my writing.  I would also hope that they would want to meet my central character, Jacques Forêt, who is a great guy.  He’s steely and determined and always gets the criminal he’s after.  But he has his little quirks; he never uses lifts, for instance.  He also has a grudging acceptance of computers, but he’s a great team leader and he respects his staff and works hard for them and with them.  And if that doesn’t entice someone to read my stories then, perhaps knowing that there is a crime to solve might encourage them.

What’s one piece of advice you would offer your younger writer self?

Never give up.

Great advice! OK, so where can readers find you online?

Amazon : AngelaWren

Website :

Blog :

Facebook : Angela Wren

Goodreads : Angela Wren

Contact an author : Angela Wren

Thank you, Angela! Montbel is out now.

A clear-cut case? 

A re-examination of a closed police case brings investigator, Jacques Forêt, up against an old adversary. After the murder of a key witness, Jacques finds himself, and his team, being pursued.

When a vital piece of evidence throws a completely different light on Jacques’ case, his adversary becomes more aggressive, and Investigating Magistrate Pelletier threatens to sequester all of Jacques papers and shut down the investigation.

Can Jacques find all the answers before Pelletier steps in?


Having followed a career in Project and Business Change Management, I now work as an Actor and Director at a local theatre.  I’ve been writing, in a serious way, since 2010.  My work in project management has always involved drafting, so writing, in its various forms, has been a significant feature throughout my adult life.         

I particularly enjoy the challenge of plotting and planning different genres of work.  My short stories vary between contemporary romance, memoir, mystery and historical.  I also write comic flash-fiction and have drafted two one-act plays that have been recorded for local radio.  The majority of my stories are set in France where I like to spend as much time as possible each year.

Please join me in welcoming Suanne Schafer to the blog today. She and I are part of #Authors18, a group of debut authors of traditionally-published adult fiction coming out during 2018. Her novel A Different Kind of Fire was just released on November 1. Hello, Suanne!

Author Name:  Suanne Schafer

Title:  A Different Kind of Fire 

Genre:  Historical Women’s Fiction

Release Date:  November 1, 2018

Publisher: Waldorf Publishing

Let’s start off by hearing a bit about your book.

Torn between her childhood sweetheart, her forbidden passion for another woman, the nobleman she had to marry, and her dream of becoming a painter, Ruby Schmidt’s choices mold her in ways she could never have foreseen as she balances husband, family, lovers, and ambition against the backdrop of 19th century America.

Wow, that sounds fascinating. What was the spark for A DIFFERENT KIND OF FIRE?

A Different Kind of Fire was intended to be my grandparents’ love story, but as I wrote, I recognized that the story belonged to Ruby who went off to art school and was exposed to many different things that influenced her while Bismarck, her childhood beau, remained in West Texas, doing what he loved—ranching and raising horses—so there was less change in his milieu to write about. As a result, the book, which I’d planned to be a romance with alternating points of view, switched to only Ruby’s POV. And, as I researched the 1890s I realized that women were challenging their place in history by advocating for the vote, for the Free Love movement, for the right to own property, for the right to their own bodies—and those slipped into the book for Ruby to experience. Though I fictionalized my grandparents into Ruby and Bismarck (Ruby as a young woman dreaming of becoming a famous artist and Bismarck as the archetypal laconic cowboy), I wove real people into the fabric of my novel. Victoria Woodhull was an American leader of the women’s suffrage movement who, back in 1872, was the first woman to run for President of the United States. Colonel William F. Cody—aka Buffalo Bill—also makes a cameo appearance when he commissions Ruby to make etchings of his star attractions like Annie Oakley and Sitting Bull.

How long did it take for you to write the book? Did you do have to do any research? 

I goofed around with writing before realizing how much I didn’t know, so in 2012 I enrolled in the Stanford Creative Writing Certificate Program and started A Different Kind of Fire then. I was working full-time as a physician and writing when I wasn’t wiving and mothering. I finished the Stanford program in 2014 and spent a year polishing the manuscript and started querying in 2015. Finally, after sixty-six rejections and me rejecting three contracts, it won a literary contest with a publishing contract. Now, it’s finally be released. Because the story was family-based, I thought I wouldn’t have to do much research, but ended up doing tons on clothing, social mores, the women’s suffrage movement, Buffalo Bill, and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and its women painters.

Did your occupation influence your book at all?

In my 66 years of life, I’ve held multiple jobs. Growing up in West Texas, I picked cotton with migrant farm workers. As a precocious young artist, I was selling paintings in an art gallery by the time I was fifteen and also made and sold beaded necklaces to the local head shop. I painted and roofed houses, worked in a bookstore (a great job except that my dad’s friends were embarrassed when they came to buy porn), and was an aide in a nursing home. In college, I worked in a small factory that made “clackers”, the toy that was popular in the early 1970’s. A stint at a credit bureau writing their newsletter made me realize the worth of having good credit. After that, I was a medical secretary until I went overseas as a travel photographer. I journeyed around the world, lived three years in Milano, then returned to the States and became a medical photographer. At that point, I decided to go to medical school. I worked as a family practice physician until I inherited an oil lease and no longer had to work. Thus I became a full-time author. Doing manual labor gave me a healthy respect for those folks who do that work in this day and age. World travel helped me respect different cultures and religions (and those people who immigrated to the States). A Different Kind of Fire combines both my pioneer ancestors, my love of art, and my feminism. Novel #2, Hunting the Devil reflects some of the challenges of raising a biracial son. It is set in Philadelphia, Brussels, Rwanda, and Tanzania, and incorporates my travel bug.

What a varied and interesting collection of experiences! Were you able to take any time to celebrate when you learned A DIFFERENT KIND OF FIRE was going to be published?

 I didn’t do much other than telephone my closest friends and email the entire world. No champagne, no nothing. I was already deep into my second book, Hunting the Devil.

If you were speaking to someone who hasn’t read your writing before, why should they want to read A DIFFERENT KIND OF FIRE?

Compared to the thousands of male-centric books written on the Old West—from penny-dreadfuls to Zane Gray to Philipp Meyer’s The Son (now a TV series)—relatively few books have been written on the women’s life in the old West. A Different Kind of Fire, written in close third person point-of-view, is solidly from the gaze of the protagonist, Ruby Louise Schmidt, who dares to break with societal conventions and forge her own way.

What’s one piece of advice you would offer your younger writer self? 

With writing, I am on my third or fourth career. So I truly believe it’s never too late to reinvent one’s self. So any time you feel ready, just start.

Where can readers find you (website, blog, social media, etc.)? 

You can follow me at:

Thank you, Suanne! A Different Kind of Fire is available through:


Suanne Schafer, born in West Texas at the height of the Cold War, finds it ironic that grade school drills for tornadoes and nuclear war were the same: hide beneath your desk and kiss your rear-end goodbye. Now a retired family-practice physician, her pioneer ancestors and world travels fuel her imagination. She planned to write romances, but either as a consequence of a series of failed relationships or a genetic distrust of happily-ever-after, her heroines are strong women who battle tough environments and intersect with men who might—or might not—love them. Suanne’s debut women’s fiction novel, A Different Kind of Fire due out November 1, 2018, explores the life of a nineteenth century artist who escapes, then returns to West Texas. Her next book, Hunting the Devil, due out in September 15, 2019, explores the heartbreak and healing of an American physician caught up in the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

A Different Kind of Fire

Torn between her childhood sweetheart, her forbidden passion for another woman, the nobleman she had to marry, and her dream of becoming a painter, Ruby Schmidt’s choices mold her in ways she could never have foreseen. A woman who doesn’t belong in 19th century America, she finds herself as she—and our country—move into the 20th.


Previous Interviews:

October 30, 2018: Jess B. Moore Q&A

October 23, 2018: Lorraine Reese Q&A

October 9, 2018: Laura Heffernan Q&A

October 2, 2018: Melissa Sercia Q&A

September 25, 2018: Joan Livingston Q&A

September 18, 2018: Alan Rubin Q&A

September 4, 2018: Lizzie Chantree Q&A

August 28, 2018: Heidi Catherine Q&A

August 21, 2018: Jennifer Klepper Q&A

August 14, 2018: Megan Mayfair Q&A

August 7, 2018: Lissa Linden Q&A

July 31, 2018: Diane Freeman Q&A

July 24, 2018: Willa Ramsey Q&A

July 17, 2018: Rachel Dacus Q&A

July 10, 2018: Randee Green Q&A

July 3, 2018: Carolyn Walker Q&A

June 26, 2018: Joy Norstrom Q&A

June 19, 2018: Joan Livingston Q&A

June 5, 2018: Elizabeth LaBan Q&A

May 22, 2018: Dawn Ius Q&A

May 8, 2018: Alice Castle Q&A

April 24, 2018: Isabella May Q&A

April 14, 2018: Margarita Montimore Q&A


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