Thursday, January 23, 2014

Today we continue our visit with Lillian Duncan, author of stories of faith mingled with murder & mayhemLillian 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. Lil, tell us a little about your newest release, 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 answers 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!

Yes, I've been there! It's a nice little town. Does the title of the book have to do with Maria's betrayal by her husband?
In part, yes. But as the story continues, Maria begins to believe she’s been betrayed yet again. But by whom?

Is Betrayed the first book you published?
No, I’ve published several others in the past few years, including Deception and Pursued also published by Pelican Book Group along with a novella, The Christmas Stalking.

I read Pursued and enjoyed it. What's the history of this latest title?
I had actually written much of Maria’s story in Deception, but it was taken out of that book. Maria wasn’t happy about that and begged me to write her story, so I did.

That's funny! But I completely understand. What do you hope readers will 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.

You say this is the second book in a series, Sisters By Choice. What's the connecting theme for the series?
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.

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

What is your writing process?
I am not an outliner. I wish I were—it seems easier to me. But my mind doesn’t work that way. I never know what is going to happen in my story on any given writing day. It’s as if my mind is a movie screen and I watch that day’s events and then I write it.

When I start a new story I usually have a clear picture of the main character in mind and what obstacle he/she will face, but anything goes after that. If I’m writing and start to feel bored—then I kill someone or blow something up. And that way it’s a surprise to me and to my readers.

Love it! Next time I'm bored, I'll try blowing up something. Do you know who the bad guy is when you begin your story?
Not usually. Most of the time I have several characters who it might be and as the story comes to a conclusion, I am surprised right along with my readers. Betrayed was no exception. I wasn’t sure who it was until the very end.

Many people don’t think of murder mysteries and suspense novels as Christian fiction. What do you say to them?
I can certainly understand their point of view. Some readers might find my stories a bit too graphic or edgy, and that’s ok, I understand that. I would say my readers are those who like traditional suspense and mystery novels but are tired of all the explicit language and sex scenes that aren’t necessary to a good story.
I don’t promote or glorify violence in my stories, but I show characters experiencing the natural consequences of their bad choices and actions.

Then what makes your stories Christian fiction?
They always have an element of faith in them. How that plays out depends on the individual plots of each specific story. My main characters are always on a spiritual journey, though some may be further along than others.
Incidentally, Christian fiction has changed dramatically over the past ten years. Other than erotica, readers can find their favorite genre as Christian fiction as well as mainstream fiction. There are Christian fiction books out there for every book lover—historical; romance; regency; science fiction; even horror novels.

If Betrayed were made into a movie, who would you like to see play your main characters?
Oh, I can see Angelina Jolie playing Maria. In Deception, Maria was a bit of a wimp, but life has changed her. She’s tough now—like Angelina. I think Mark Harmon, better known as Gibbs, would make the perfect male lead.

What are you working on now?
I have a devotional blog POWER UP WITH GOD’S WORD: Secrets For a Better Life, at I was diagnosed with bilateral brain tumors this past year and so many of the devotions focus help others who are facing a crisis—physical or spiritual.
Along with that, I'm in the process of rewriting the third book in The Sisters By Choice series, Redemption. I’m also working on a new mystery novella series, Deadly Communications. It features a crime-fighting speech pathologist. Having been a speech pathologist for almost 35 years, this story was so much fun for me to write.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
My website is and I have a devotional blog at My blog is Tiaras and Tennis Shoes at I’m also on Twitter as @LillianDuncan and on Facebook.

Thank you, Lil, for taking the time to speak with us today.
My pleasure, Yvonne! But may I add one more thing?

Of course! Have at it!

To celebrate the release of BETRAYED, I’m giving away a virtual gift basket at Tiaras & Tennis Shoes at It 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 and leave a comment on the post titled CELEBRATION! Winner will be chosen and announced on February 14.

Great! Thanks for sharing that.

Readers, in addition to the above opportunity, don't forget to stop by The Borrowed Book tomorrow, when you can enter to win a free copy of Betrayed!


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