Hush – by Leanna Sain
She dreams a murder before it happens.
A young woman is strangled while her killer sings the words from the lullaby “Hush, Little Baby.”
Lacey Campbell’s life is full, but not idyllic. As head chef for a chic restaurant and primary caregiver to a mother with Alzheimer’s, she doesn’t have time for the nightmare and at first she tries to deny it. But the next day, she discovers it's a disturbing reality. When she dreams the second heinous murder she knows it’s time to tell the police.
Detective Ford Jamison is called back to the little coastal town to help with the case and soon notices an alarming trend: the killer is using the lullaby as a “blueprint” to target women who resemble Lacey. This doesn’t slow the killings and now Lacey is afraid to fall asleep at night because the next face she sees in her dream might be her own.
As a hurricane churns ever closer to the little coastal town, danger and suspicion spin out of control. Time is running out. Can they stop the killer before the last verse of the lullaby?
I got reconnected with this local author recently. She weaves quite a suspenseful tale and can't wait for this new one. She graciously answered these questions for my blog:
1. When did you decide to become a writer? In other words, what made you actually sit down and write something?
A Halloween party was the catalyst. We were at a friend’s house—a recently purchased, 100 yr. old farm—and after supper we hiked out to a spooky cemetery. It was the perfect Halloween scenario, complete with the big full moon. On the way back my flashlight glanced over to the right and spotlighted an old wooden gate. While one sort of expects gates at a farm, this one was hardly ordinary. There was no fence—just a gate—sitting all by itself at the edge of a pasture.
“Um, Lisa? Why is there a gate with no fence?” I asked my friend.
“Dunno. It was like that when we bought the place.”
“Dum, dum, duuuum,” I sang in my scariest voice in an effort to maintain the Halloween spirit. “The gate to nowhere.”
We both laughed, then she said, “That sounds like the name of a book.”
“Yeah, it kind of does, doesn’t it.”
“Why don’t you write it?”
“Hmm,” I replied, my mind suddenly taking the idea and running. “Maybe I will.”
And that was the story seed for my trilogy: Gate to Nowhere; Return to Nowhere; and Magnolia Blossoms.
2. Every writer is eventually asked this question, but where do your ideas come from?
I call them “story seeds,” and they can come from anywhere. I keep a little notebook in my purse to jot down whenever something strikes me. Those get added to a Word document on my laptop. Right now the list of story ideas is so long, I’ll have to live forever to get them all written.
3. Why do you write what you do?
It’s what I like to read. I love a good edge-of-your-seat story with a dash of history and sometimes a touch of magic realism stirred in. And a love story…there must be a love story.
4. What is the hardest thing about the creative process of writing?
Having enough time to get it all done. I don’t have a problem with the actual writing. It’s the “marketing part” that gives me fits.
5. If you’re a Christian, what are the challenges you believe Christian writers face now and in the future?
I’ve heard a Christian man—a Sunday school teacher, no less—say you have to include the sex, and bad language if you want to sell books. That comment floored me! I disagree. For a Christian, your writing is part of your testimony. And I think people are desperately looking for books and TV shows that don’t include all that. The problem is they’re hard to find. I’m doing what I can to remedy that.
6. If you would, please tell us what was the hardest thing about writing your last book?
My latest book, entitled Hush, is different that the rest of my book. I wrote it while watching my mother struggle through the final stages of Alzheimer’s disease. I used the writing as a sort of therapy, a way to get rid of some of the hard emotions I was dealing with. As a result, this book is a little edgier than my others. I created a minor character suffering with the disease, which allowed me to weave some of the things my mother said and did right into the story. I dedicated the book to Mama to honor her, but that didn’t seem to be enough, so I decided to donate half of what I make on sales to Alzheimer’s research. There’s not a cure for this horrible disease and there’s a 100% mortality rate. We need to find a cure.
7. What are you reading now, and who are a few of your favorite authors and why?
Sue Grafton: I love how her mind worked. Amazing mysteries. I hate that she never got to finish her “Z” book.
Sarah Addison Allen: I love the magic realism she weaves through her stories.
Frank Peretti: What a great story teller.
Ted Dekker: consistently able to produce those “edge-of-your-seat” books I mentioned earlier.
I hope everyone will check it out and how awesome you're donating half to Alzheimer's research.
Leanna Sain, earned her BA from the University of South Carolina, before moving back to mountains of western NC. Her Southern suspense or “GRIT-lit,” showcases her plot-driven method that successfully rolls elements of best-selling authors Mary Kay Andrews, Nicholas Sparks, and Jan Karon all together, making it her own. She loves leading discussion groups and book clubs. For more information or to contact her, visit: www.LeannaSain.com
Social media links
Twitter: Leanna Sain@Leannasbooks
Website and blog: http://leannasain.com