Marji Laine

I Love a Good Mystery!



People ask me all the time where I get the ideas for my books. Well, since I write about murders, I make sure they know that I don’t “write what I know”! LOL!

Most of the time, I’m inspired by things I’ve seen. My grown daughters laugh at me when I point to something and commet on how it would be a perfect place to hide a body.

Seriously, I’ve scared a grocery clerk with on of those conversations once.

I saw this funny image the other day and I had to show it to you. What does it make you think? In case you can’t read the little sign, it says, “Not a body – I promise.” Then, “Broken pool liner.”

Really? Sounds to me like the perfect way to cover up a murder.

But what do you think? What sort of situation might this be if it isn’t JUST a broken pool liner? What’s inside the roll, how did it get there, and why was it left to be discarded?

Most everyone who ventures onto this blog are either writers or readers, and both can stir up a story from a scene like this. Leave a comment – what sort of story does this image create in your mind?

Share in the comments your story thoughts for an opportunity to win a free book from me. Don’t forget to leave your email address in your comment!

Celebrating the Fourth… and other things!

GB12x1831Happy Fourth weekend! I hope you’ve got great plans for celebration.

Here in North Texas, it’s HOT HOT HOT! (And not in any sort of good way!) My girls are returning from a retreat in the mountains where they’ve been bragging about the cool climate. My only consolation about the heat is that they’re coming back to the hottest temperatures so far this summer.

Yeah, I’m gonna figure out a way to blame them for it. 🙂

The truth is, I have more than the Fourth of July to celebrate this month! My 4th book in the Grime Fighter Mystery Novella Series releases sometime around the 15th! Woohoo! In honor of GRIME FAMILY I’m offering GRIME BEAT (book 1 of the series) for free this weekend! If you haven’t read it, download the ebook and enjoy!

And be sure to share about this freebie. I’d be happy to never sell another copy of GRIME BEAT again if folks will take full advantage of its “free-ness”!

Your turn: Aside from reading an outstanding book, what do you enjoy doing on the Fourth of July?

Dog Days of Summer are coming!

Wake Walk Naptime“It isn’t the heat that will get you, it’s the humidity!”

Either way, the dog days of summer are those breathless days when the pool and iced drinks are bigger lures than chocolate. (Is that even possible?) When air conditioning becomes your best friend.

The daily walk gets Continue reading

Author Chat with Cynthia Hickey

PartyCynthia Hickey is a fellow Suspense Sister and a publisher as well as a “hybrid” author, both traditionally and independently published. She’s recently released the final book of her “Nosy Neighbors” series, A Good Party Can Kill You, and one lucky person commenting here will win a copy of the first book of her “Nosy Neighbors” series, Anything for a Mystery.

I’m so pleased to have Cynthia visiting Faith Driven Fiction!

First, I so appreciate you sharing your book with me! This story deals with Stormi as a bride-to-be. Since we’re right before Valentine’s Day, what would she consider her perfect date? Matt and Stormi haven’t had a lot of luck with their dates. Because of Stormi’s snooping, every time they let their guard down, something happens!

Ha! That happens in real life,too! I know this book closes out your Nosy Neighbor series. Are you sad to see it go? What unique challenges come with writing a seven book series? It’s sad to leave characters you’ve spent two years with. The challenge in writing seven books was keeping each fresh, original, and quirky. My readers would let me know if I slacked on this.

What would you say was the oddest thing you came across while you wrote this series? The jellyfish I used as a murder weapon in Poison Bubbles. The size of a fingernail, they would be easy to hide in a bubble bath and wash down the drain when done.

If you were to choose another character from your book to be the star of another series, which character would you choose and why? Either Stormi’s mother, Anne or her best friend, Maryann. Both are fun and would add hilarity to a story.

I liked them both, but I could certainly see Maryann taking up where Stormi lets off! What new books or series are on your horizon? What are you most looking forward to about the project? I’m in the process of writing Beware the Orchids, the first in a new cozy series, Shady Acres. The heroine is a gardener and event planner for a retirement community. I’m having a blast writing it.

How do you balance your writing career with the rest of your life? What challenges get in the way of your writing? How do you avoid distractions? What does your day look like? I’m at the stage in my life where I’m home alone during the day. Since I also own a small press, I MUST set working hours. I work five days a week from six a.m. to 2 p.m. and often on the weekends.

I’m a little jealous, though I do love having my girls around me, still. What is your favorite thing to do when you aren’t writing? (Alone? With friends? With family?) I love crocheting, hanging out, having coffee, and coloring in adult coloring books with my vibrant gel pens. These are the things that help me relax.

What is something you’ve never done but would love to try? Zip-lining! It’s on my bucket list J

Thanks so much for sharing with us! I’m looking forward to learning more about your new Shady Acres Series. Here’s the short version of A Good Party Can Kill You.

Stormi Nelson and her bridesmaids party hard in New Orleans. The only thing marring the bachelorette party is the appearance of Stormi’s fiancĂ©, Matt’s ex-girlfriend. When Stormi returns home to Arkansas and right into another murder mystery, she’s also the recipient of some not so nice gifts: a voodoo doll and a black cat. Refusing to believe in superstition, Stormi continues to dive headfirst into her latest case and comes across her wackiest suspect list yet.

What she doesn’t expect is the final, life-altering, gift from Matt’s ex-girlfriend. A gift that will change both Stormi’s and Matt’s lives forever.

155126_508450599182497_734971298_n copyA Good Party Can Kill You introduces the reader to some fantastic characters and closes out the best-selling Nosy Neighbor series

About the Author:

Multi-published and Amazon Best-Selling author Cynthia Hickey had three cozy mysteries and two novellas published through Barbour Publishing. Her first mystery, Fudge-Laced Felonies, won first place in the inspirational category of the Great Expectations contest in 2007. Her third cozy, Chocolate-Covered Crime, received a four-star review from Romantic Times. All three cozies have been re-released as ebooks through the MacGregor Literary Agency, along with a new cozy series, all of which stay in the top 50 of Amazon’s ebooks for their genre. She had several historical romances release in 2013, 2014, 2015 through Harlequin’s Heartsong Presents, and has sold half a million copies of her works. She has taught a Continuing Education class at the 2015 American Christian Fiction Writers conference. She is active on FB, twitter, and Goodreads, and is a contributor to Cozy Mystery Magazine blog and Suspense Sisters blog. Her and her husband run the small press, Forget Me Not Romances, which includes some of the CBA’s well-known authors. She lives in Arizona with her husband, one of their seven children, two dogs and one cat. She has seven grandchildren who keep her busy and tell everyone they know that “Nana is a writer”. Visit her website at

Your Turn: One comment-leaver (who leaves their email address) will receive an E-copy of Anything for a Mystery. And tell me about the last time you were stumped by a cozy mystery! 


Author Chat with Nancy Mehl

Nancy MehlToday, I have one of the Suspense Sisters, Nancy Mehl, visiting. I just finished her most recent book from her Finding Sanctuary series, Rising Darkness. I can’t wait to share my review of that book on Thursday, but I can tell you that I have a free copy to give away to one of you. Keep reading for more information about that! Continue reading


Interview with Author Margaret Brownley

Calico Spy V3In keeping with the new format for Faith Driven Fiction, author Margaret Brownley is joining us today. She has a large repertoire of publishing credits, and I was blessed to find her with her latest “Undercover Ladies” series.

I’ve now gotten to review all three: Petticoat Detective, Undercover Bride, and (today at Suspense Sisters) Calico Spy. I’m so delighted to host her here on Faith Driven Fiction, and even more blessed that she’s offering a copy of Calico Spy (either print or e-book) to one lucky comment-giver. Continue reading


Interview with a new favorite: Sandra Ardoin!

pay-706798_1280I’m doubly excited to interview one of my fellow Suspense Sister reviewers, Sandra Ardoin today. First because she’s downright delightful, but second because she’s Continue reading


Interview with Best-selling Author, Margaret Daley

Deadly NoelAs I mentioned last week, I hope to share some insight about some of my favorite authors of Christian Fiction, but I have a special treat today! Margaret Daley is offering an e-copy of her gripping suspense, Deadly Noel, right here! Answer the question at the bottom of the article in the comments to enter. Drawing will be held 1/19/16. And you can check out my review of Deadly Noel at the Suspense Sister Review Page, today, too! Continue reading

30 Days

child-with-hiking-stick-1432735Thirty days. I know that isn’t that much time, but depending on my season, they can blur past like a NASCAR racer on the final lap, or lumber past like the tractor on a two lane road. And the busier I am, the faster the days fly. No joke. Our three-month volleyball season ends like a
sharply hit spike and I’m looking back on it thinking, “That just happened.”

It’s so easy to get caught up in the battles of daily days. Putting out “fires,” making a plan, checking off list items. Much to do. Much to do. Yet my walk with the Lord isn’t Continue reading

How Do You Give It Away?

file7411252893790There’s an old clichĂ©: One good turn deserves another.

A more recent one is like it: Pay it forward.

Among authors, I hear about “giving it away.”

The “it” being the writing itself. And why not? I’ve Continue reading