Thursday, May 15, 2014

Seeds of Inspiration Mystery Author Susan Bernhardt, Giveaway


Welcome mystery author Susan Bernhardt to the Seeds of Inspiration Spring Event!. Susan is giving away her mystery, the Ginseng Conspiracy. I read this book this winter and it certainly kept me guessing. Lots of twists in it. If you like to figure out a mystery puzzle, you'll enjoy this read. Be sure to leave a comment to enter the drawing to win the book! Deadline for entering is Sunday at 12:01 a.m. EDT.


Susan Bernhardt is an author living in Wisconsin. Like Kay Driscoll in her cozy mystery, The Ginseng Conspiracy, Susan is a retired public health nurse who volunteers at her local free clinic. An avid reader of mysteries, she is a member of Sisters in Crime, Inc. Her other published works include "October 31st", "Midsummer", and "John and Madeline."


 Susan's town in northern Wisconsin was an inspiration for the quaint setting of her novel. She lives with her husband, William, and has two sons, Peter and David.
When not writing, Susan loves to travel, bicycle, kayak, and create culinary magic in her kitchen. She works in stained-glass, daydreams in her organic garden, stays up late reading mysteries, and eats lots of chocolate.

Visit Susan on the web at the Susan Bernhardt Website.
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A Personal Challenge by Susan Bernhardt
I have been an avid reader of mysteries from the time I was a young girl reading the Nancy Drew series. One of my favorite cozy mystery authors is M.C. Beaton. She writes the Agatha Raisin and Hamish MacBeth series. Several years ago while reading one of her novels, I thought I could do this...I could write a cozy mystery. And that moment was my seed of Inspiration. It was a personal challenge.

I came up with the idea of writing about ginseng. Ninety-five percent of American cultivated ginseng is grown in Wisconsin where I live. Living close to a college, I decided that a professor who was researching the local ginseng crop, would discover some alarming findings in the analysis of the ginseng samples resulting in his murder.

I draw from real life experiences so I decided that the protagonist would be Kay Driscoll a newcomer to Sudbury Falls who volunteered at her local free clinic, much like I was a newcomer to an insular town in northern Wisconsin and also volunteered at the local free clinic.

When I decided to indeed write this cozy mystery, I took several writing courses over two years. I joined writing groups and wrote a manuscript that I revised five times before enlisting my son, Peter and friend, Lorenzo to be co-editors of my cozy mystery. I queried a number of agents and then decided to go directly to publishing houses. I queried MuseItUp Publishing. They accepted my manuscript, and the rest is history.
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Back of the Cover of The Ginseng Conspiracy:
On her way to attend a Halloween Ball, Kay Driscoll, a newcomer to town, witnesses the murder of a local professor. When the official coroner's report rules the cause of death to be accidental and the community accepts the judgement, Kay decides to uncover the truth for herself. Through her personal investigations, Kay exposes a complex conspiracy, woven deep within the thriving local ginseng industry, that involves some of the more prominent figures and families of Sudbury Falls.
With her new friends, the free-spirited herbalist Deirdre and the untamed modern woman Elizabeth, Kay discusses new clues over tea and pastries at Sweet Marissa's Patisserie, their crime-fighting headquarters. As Kay gets closer to the heart of the conspiracy, additional murders happen in quick succession. Before long, Kay learns that the villains are gunning for her, too. Phil, her musically talented but preoccupied husband, determined to keep her safe, withholds from her the one thing she needs most: the truth.
Buy Links for The Ginseng Conspiracy by Susan Bernhardt:
Amazon:  
I had no idea ginseng was grown in Wisconsin. Did you? Do you have a crop, a product, a landmark, a famous person (besides you) in your area? Leave a comment here and tell us about it. Your comment will automatically enter you in the drawing to win Susan's cozy mystery.

34 comments:

Meg Amor said...

Aloha JQ and Susan.

Thanks for the blog read this morning. Currently reading The Ginseng Conspiracy - it's great. A terrific set of characters. I like all their wee quirks. I am a huge fan of cosys. :-). Love MC Beaton and her series. And loved Nancy drew as a kid. So this is very appealing. I love Susan's energy and freshness in her writing. So nice to know more about you Susan reading this blog. :-)

Aloha and thanks Meg. :-)

Susan Bernhardt said...

Aloha, Meg! Great to hear from you, Meg! I'm glad you're enjoying The Ginseng Conspiracy. It was a fun book to write. Kept me entertained...lol.

Thanks for visiting.

Aloha, Susan!

Susan Bernhardt said...

Janet, thank you for having me on your "Seeds of Inspiration" blog today. It's great being here.

Also thank you for your wonderful review of "The Ginseng Conspiracy".

Susan

Suzanne de Montigny said...

Wosconsin. Now that's a place I've never been.

Matthew Peters said...

Hi JQ and Susan,

Thank you for the blog post this morning. Susan, it sounds like once you decided to write a mystery, you took it very seriously. So kudos to you. I cannot wait to read The Ginseng Conspiracy. In fact, all this talk about it makes me want to read it now, so I am going to start it today.

Best,
Matt

Susan Bernhardt said...

Hi Suzanne. Thanks for visiting. Wisconsin is wonderful! I'm from eastern Wisconsin which I absolutely love and grew up on Lake Michigan. Presently I live in western Wisconsin.

Susan

Susan Bernhardt said...

Hi Matt. Thanks for visiting and commenting. When I decided to write a novel, I did take it very seriously. It started as a personal challenge (Which I have done often in my life.)and now I write because I love writing. I'm not a natural writer by any means. It doesn't come easy, but I love the characters in my series. They've become friends...lol. And so I write. And hope I have a long career of writing... this series and other novels.

Susan :)

helenafairfax.com said...

Thanks for a really interesting blog post, Susan. Wisconsin sounds a fascinating place to live, and it was wonderful to hear some of the history behind The Ginseng Conspiracy. Great post!

Susan Bernhardt said...

Thank, Helena for visiting and commenting. My story on how I began writing is different from most authors, but I love writing just the same.

Ginseng is a pretty fascinating topic to write about and lately it has been in the news quite often, crime-wise. It sells at outrageous prices, something like $700-800+ a pound and there is a lot of poaching going on in the state.

Lisa Brown said...

My area is gold and apple country - very historic. Maybe there can be a mystery based on those? I hope I get a chance to read this book, looks great! Thank you for the chance :)
jslbrown2009(at)aol(dot)com

Susan Bernhardt said...

Thanks, Lisa for visiting and for your comment. Gold and apple country sounds like a great setting of a cozy mystery.

Susan

J Q Rose said...

Hi Susan, so happy to host you this week. Looking forward to spreading the word about your great cozy mystery and you.

J Q Rose said...

Aloha, Meg--I enjoyed all the characters. I could see myself sitting around the table at the patisserie (however you spell that) with friends and trying NOT to eat every one of those sweet treats. Thanks for stopping in.

J Q Rose said...

Suzanne, Wisconsin is a beautiful state. Susan lived on the west side of Lake Michigan and I live on the east side in Michigan. When you stand on the beautiful beaches here, you'd swear you are looking at an ocean. The lake is huge! But NO SALT!

J Q Rose said...

Hi Matt, yes you'll get caught up in the conspiracy and want to read it all day! Enjoy.

J Q Rose said...

Hi Helena, I was surprised to learn about ginseng being grown in Wisconsin of all places. I thought it was a far east specialty. We learn something new every day!

J Q Rose said...

Hi Lisa, we live in apple country, but no gold, except Golden Delicious apples here in West Michigan. Thanks so much for stopping by.

Heather Brainerd said...

I'm so glad you decided to accept your personal challenge, Susan - the result is a great book! Looking forward to your next one.

Mikki said...

Hi Susan,

Good interview! I didn't know you were once a public health nurse. As you know, I read your book..I started it just because we are friends, then found myself so enthralled with the characters, and the setting you put them in, that I couldn't put it down. So much for "not" being interested in cozy mysteries! I am eagerly awaiting the next one in your series, and I think you should just keep writing them!

Cheers!
Mikki

Susan Bernhardt said...

Thanks, Heather for commenting. I'm glad that you enjoyed The Ginseng Conspiracy. I enjoyed writing it. Sometimes, I would just type away on my keyboard laughing. :)

Susan Bernhardt said...

Mikki, I'm happy that you picked up The Ginseng Conspiracy being a friend and even happier that you enjoyed it. Makes me feel good! Hope you like the next mystery as well. :)

Marsha said...

Hey, JQ, you always come up with nifty themes for your blogs. Hey, Susan. I, too, love the folks in your charming book. You really make the area come alive. I've only been in the tip of Wisconsin once several years ago. My daughter was performing a bus & truck tour north of Chicago. We spent the night in something like a Hampton Inn. All I can remember is how spectacular the cheese tasted at breakfast! I'll be sharing about the blog. Don't put my name in the drawing,since I've read and enjoyed it already. :) Looking forward to reading your next book.

Susan Bernhardt said...

Thanks, Marsha for visiting and for your comments. Yes, Wisconsin is noted for their cheese and their cheeseheads at the Green Bay Packer games. Lol! I'm glad you enjoyed The Ginseng Conspiracy. Murder Under the Tree, the second Kay Driscoll mystery will be out this autumn.

Enjoy your celebration tomorrow!

J Q Rose said...

Heather, I'm looking forward to the next book too! Thanks for stopping.

J Q Rose said...

Hi Mikki, so you weren't a cozy mystery reader? I'm glad you expanded your reading.I did too. I love mysteries due to Janet Evanovich and Sue Grafton's great series. Now I write them! Thanks for leaving a comment!

J Q Rose said...

Hi Marsha, my first encounter with Wisconsin was when my husband and I took our first tent camping trip with friends up to Dorr Co. to pick cherries. It was memorable for sure. Decided tent camping wasn't for us! LOL, but oh those cherries...deeee-licious!

J Q Rose said...

Susan, I'm excited to know your next book will be out this fall. Love that title!!

Susan Bernhardt said...

Thanks, JQ. This was a fun day, being on your blog! I was looking at some of your other posts and photos. You have a great website!

Susan

J Q Rose said...

Awww...Thanks, Susan. I really love blogging and having guest authors and events on the blog. Giving away books is so much fun!!!

Melody said...

This book sounds interesting.

Susan Bernhardt said...

Thanks, Melody! I hope you'll read my cozy. There is a lot of mystery, adventure, and humor in it.

Susan

J Q Rose said...

Hi Melody, The book IS iteresting. Glad you stopped in today!

Joylene Nowell Butler said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Hi Janet!!

Susan, I love cosy mysteries. Yours sounds great. Best of luck with sales and marketing. Your road to publication sounds like plenty of hard work.