Vicki Hinze Interview with the Suspense Sisters

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Here is the text from a recent interview with the Suspense Sisters…


SS: How long have you been writing?

Since grade school. I started with political essays as a game with my dad. We’d read the front page of the newspaper, then I’d write taking a position, and we’d discuss it. From there, I went into poetry, decided I lacked the disposition for it, so I tried a few short stories, but felt too confined. I need room to sprawl out, so I tackled writing a book.


SS: Do you write full time? If the answer is no, what else do you do? If you are a full time author, what other jobs did you have in the past?

I am a full-time author and have been for many years. Before then, I was Director of Operations for a corporate chain, and before then a Certified Escrow Officer handling commercial transactions. Before that, I worked for a Congressman, a legal firm handling escrow real estate transactions, and earlier still, I worked in a department store. I got trained as a Cosmetologist while in high school so I could pay my way through college.


SS: Tell us about the moment you finally felt like a “real author”?

When the very first printed book arrived at my house—it was dedicated to my mother—and I placed the book in her hands. Before then (I’d been writing a long time), I felt like a writer, but that was the defining moment when I felt like an author. My mother loved books and read all the time. I passed her that book and she burst into tears. That was the most memorable moment for me. I still get choked up, recalling it.


SS: Who has been your greatest supporter as an author? 

Until her death, my mother. From my earliest scribbling forward, she was steadfast in her faith and support. There’ve been many who have helped me along the way, but she’s the one that glued me back together with the, “Try one more time. Just one more time.”


SS: Why suspense? Do you write in any other genres? If so, what?

I write in many genres because I like many genres, but all my stories have suspense. Without it, I don’t love the story, and my one rule is to never write a story I don’t love. Suspense fascinates me. Especially taking innocuous things or situations and cloaking them in suspense. It proves that emotion is in the heart of the beholder. Anything can be suspenseful, given the right circumstances and conditions. As an author, that spells fun, interesting explorations and that’s entertaining. It also dovetails well with my author theme which is healing. Every book I write has a healing theme, and suspense is a wonderful vehicle for it.


SS: How does your faith play into your writing? 

I don’t think faith can be separated from a person. It’s ingrained. It governs perception down to the tiniest details. We notice what we notice through our personal prism and our lens is one seated in faith. We process what we see and translate it into our stories, all from within. So if we’re people of faith, we can’t divide ourselves into segments and remove parts of us. It’s not just what we see and sense, but how we see and sense it. Why we notice that specific thing and deem it worthy of space in our book. So for me, whether I’m writing a book specifically for the inspirational reader or one for readers of general market fiction, seeds of faith are always in the stories and the people.

I’m a bridge-walker. I have one foot in the Christian world and one foot in the secular world; I walk the bridge doing what I can where I can. Like so many other authors, my goal is to shine light in dark places so those stumbling in the dark can see that there is light and find a way to it. That’s my hope for each book. So faith, overt or subtle, infuses everything, especially my writing.


 SS: If you couldn’t write, what else would you want to do?

Honestly, I became a writer because I wanted to do so many things, and I refused to choose just one. Lawyer, teacher, ambassador, social services, doctor, scientist—you name it. It all fascinates me. But my dream job? Well, years ago, I saw a sign and I loved it. So it’s on the wall in my office. It reads: When I grow up, I want to be a Fairy Godmother. Wouldn’t that just be the best job? To help make other people’s dreams come true?


SS: Tell us about your current release.

 My newest book is Down and Dead in Dixie. It’s the first book in my Down and Dead, Inc. series. Light suspense, heavy topics, but I’ve introduced a humorous element for balance. This is a clean read, and while there is a Christian perspective, it’s not an inspirational novel. In it, the heroine is in real trouble through no fault of her own. She happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. And she’s alone, beside herself, and in her series of foster homes, she never really learned to pray. A classmate once had told her if she prayed wrong, God would get angry with her. But as a woman, she’s been exploring her spirituality and she’s quickly overwhelmed by circumstances. She needs God, and so she dares to pray. I just love that part of this book. And of course, she realizes what we know, that the Father who created her, created her exactly as she is, and He loves her unconditionally. I love that, too. And the colorful, wacky cast of characters. They’re endearing.


SS: Where did you get your inspiration for this book?

 It was a gift book. One of those where the whole thing—plot and characters and everything comes to you in a flash. That was in 2008. It didn’t fit with what I was writing so I made detailed notes and put it aside. From time to time, I would think about it, and so I began writing a few pages here and there. I laughed and so enjoyed my time on the book. Then last October I had some medical issues and it occurred to me that some things shouldn’t be postponed indefinitely—whether or not they fit your current plan—and if a story keeps nagging at you, you really need to write it. So I pulled Dixie off the shelf and read what I’d done. I ended up throwing out all but three or so of the roughly hundred pages of the story I’d written, but I still loved the story and the characters, so I wrote the book.

I had such fun that I wrote a second project, a short story in the series, too. And I’m now working on a third one.

NOTE:  Daisy Grant, the lead character in Dixie, disclosed she nagged me into writing the book.  You can read her account of it HERE.  Silly me.  I actually thought I chose to write it.  You’d think I would know better by now…


SS: What is the main thing you hope readers remember from your story?

What I mentioned about the heroine. She wasn’t raised with faith, but needed it and she knew it. She sought God and found Him. That nothing about you is a surprise to Him. He created you exactly as you are and loves you exactly as you are—warts and all. And you might feel alone and think you’re alone, but you’re never alone, and what you need will be provided.


SS: Who is your favorite character in this book and why?

I would have to say the heroine’s senior next door neighbor, Lester. He’s hilarious. A brick short and yet wise. Not all together but fragmented and yet constant and steady. He’s a wonderful character and even just writing about him now, I find myself smiling.


SS: Who is your least favorite character in this book? Why?

I’m torn on this—because the villains are grieving and fearful for their children and that touches my compassion and my mother’s heart. But there is a female character who is referenced in the book that is my least favorite due to her actions toward the heroine. Yet even with her, I find myself wondering why she did what she did the way that she did it. I can not like her actions, but I can’t not like her. I don’t know if I like her. But she is my least favorite character because the consequences of her actions are far-reaching, and she might be paying a price for that, but so are two others. The costs to them were and are very steep.


SS: What are you working on now?

I’m working on another Down and Dead, Inc. book, Down and Dead in Fern. I’m being self-indulgent and working my way down the alphabet in the titles. Dixie, Even and now Fern. These are the names of places in the stories. You first meet the lead character in Fern in Even. She . . . intrigues me.

I’ve also just finished rewriting Duplicity and Her Perfect Life. Both novels were original written for the general market.  When I got rights back on them, I decided to rewrite them as Clean Read Books.  So those will be available within the next week.


SS: A tough question: Where do you want to be career-wise in five years? Ten years?

In five years, I want to be content wherever I am. I believe that things work out the way they’re supposed to work out. So you look at what is in your path, seize opportunities presented and discovered, and then do your best wherever you are. Same answer for ten years. Writing. Walking the bridge. Doing my best for something I hope holds value.


SS: Now let’s get a little personal. Name two things on your “bucket list” that you haven’t done yet.

In small ways I’ve tried to be a fairy godmother to others. But I would love—LOVE—to be a full-fledged fairy godmother to someone. It appeals to my desire to help others fulfill their dreams, to encourage them to dare to dream. And that appeals to the whimsy in me. If I could do those things anonymously, all the better. For me, that’s the ultimate dream.

The second thing on my bucket list? To repeat the first thing on my bucket list.   I’m not being glib. It’s just that in the bucket-list kind of way, this most matters to me.


SS: What is the silliest thing you have ever done?


Now that would take a book! Maybe a series! When I sold my first book, I told the editor I was very happy, I’d always wanted to write for her publisher. Only instead of her company I named a competitor. That was pretty silly and ranks right up at the top of the list.

But at the very top of the list was when I taught my little granddaughter how to spit. We were on a walk in the woods, she asked, so I taught her. When we got back to her mom, she was so excited, she had to show her “something.” She spit right in her mother’s face.

We got punished. Time-out in those little bitty chairs. Thirty whole minutes. I remember sitting there, thinking: Note to self. When teaching the angels to spit, remember to tell them when they show their parents to turn their heads. No spitting in their faces. And: Note to self. Probably ought to buy some bigger time-out chairs…

My daughter did let me off, though I couldn’t not do the hard time with my angel. I’d done the crime, and what kind of example would that be? But I have to tell you, I couldn’t wait to get out of that tiny chair.


SS: What is the hardest thing you have ever done?

Planning my brother’s funeral. I was thirteen. My dad had a heart attack that day and my mother was in shock. I had to be the rock and I was barely a pebble. But we got through it. Wait. No. That wasn’t hardest. Hardest was watching my mother grieve my brother and my dad, and then her suffering a long illness and watching her die day-by-day and minute-by-minute.   That was definitely the hardest.


SS: Where can readers find you on the internet?

 On my website: On Facebook: On Christians Read: On Clean Read Books:

SS: Anything else you’d like to tell or share with us?

Thank you for inviting me to spend some time with you today. I appreciate your interest very much. And thank you for the thought-provoking questions. You made me laugh and cry. Not sad cry, but bittersweet cry. Memories, even hard ones, are good.

I hope you’ll give Down and Dead in Dixie a try and join me on the bridge!





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Daisy Grant, Star of Down and Dead in Dixie

How I Nagged Vicki Hinze into Writing Down and Dead in Dixie


Daisy Grant, Heroine


I’m Daisy Grant, the heroine in Down and Dead in Dixie.  I’ve been hanging around, waiting for Vicki to get with the program and write my story since 2008.  But because I’m quirky, she didn’t think I’d fit in with the serious stuff she was writing.  I had to persuade her.

No way was I going to tell her that my book was the start of a new series.  She’d still be balking. I had to have patience and persistence.  I learned a lot about patience when I was little and my younger brother Jackson and I got out of our mother’s car at the Piggly Wiggly for her to go park and she never came back.  We waited all day. I knew she wasn’t coming back.  Still, I waited.  And I waited for Vicki, too.

I kept zapping thoughts of me into Vicki’s mind.  She’s receptive, and if you spark her interest, you might wait, but she does come back—usually on Sunday afternoons.  That’s when she writes books for the sheer love of story.  That’s where I wanted my story written.  So I perfected my aim and zapped her, and before she knew what hit her, she had a hundred pages of my story written!

Then she got sick, so I zapped her again.  I know.  I’m awful to hit her when she was already down, but I’d waited a long time—from 2008 to 2013.  So I lasered her, and I can’t say I’m sorry.  She thinks the story came to her all at once with everything in place.  Actually, that was me.  I’ve been planting story seeds in her head all along.  She finally sat still long enough for them to snag her attention.

When she pulled out the hundred pages, I was so excited, I gathered the entire character cast and everyone began zapping her.  We were elated—until Lester got over zealous and zapped her hubby–it wasn’t on purpose; he just doesn’t have great aim.  Then she started throwing out pages.  And the grumbling started.  The cast was in an uproar.

Some thought it wasn’t Lester at all.  They thought we’d hit her too hard, ganging up on her, and we’d fried her gray cells.  I knew we hadn’t. From watching her work a long time, I knew exactly what she was doing. Sloughing the fluff, looking for the heart of the story. She’s brutal at that, but I didn’t want the others discouraged, so I just said, “Trust her.  We’ll be okay.”

Of those hundred pages, about four pages made her cut.  She ditched the rest.  Four out of a hundred?  That rattled even me.  Honestly, we were all despondent.  Mark Jensen, amazing chef and so much more, made us some comfort food to munch on while we waited to see what the woman was going to do with us.  Everyone was worried sick we’d get the boot.  She has that rule, you know, about refusing to write a story she doesn’t love and on it, she does not for anyone, anytime, for any reason.  It’s an ethics and purpose thing.  I don’t know the details, really, but she’s a brick wall on that; I’ve seen it.

We waited. . . and waited . . . and waited.   I have to say, our hope frayed and shriveled to a thread, but then her imagination fired up and stepped forward.  It took courage after all those years of her shutting us down, but it did it.  And the next thing we knew, she picked up the pen.  We held our breaths . . . anticipating, hoping, praying.

Every fear and failure I’d ever made flashed before my eyes.  (Hey, when it takes practice for you to die right, you know you’re a serious work-in-progress, so I’m not kidding when I tell you, I was terrified.  Everyone knew it was make or break time; she’d write us now or never!)

She studied the pen.  Sighed. The air crackled with tension, and Mark squeezed my fingers so tight I thought he’d snap my bones.  “What is she doing?” he asked.

“Muddling through it,” Lester said.  He’s my absent-minded neighbor.  Well, sort of.

“She’s not.”  His companion Emily told Lester.  “Plain as day, the woman is fighting between ought to and needs to.”

“Which one are we?”  I asked.

“Don’t matter,” Lester said.  “She’s gonna do what she thinks she’s supposed to do.”

“Well, that’s us,” I whispered, wondering if I should zap her again.  Just to be sure I had her full attention, you know?

But then she did it.  She reached for the neon orange journal.

We all knew what that meant, and cheered.

Mark hugged me.  “You did it, Daisy!  You got her!”

“We all did.”  I laughed.  “I think Lester’s getting arrested for getting his mail out of the mailbox and me bailing him out of jail is what got her.”

“Naw, Daisy girl,” Lester said.  “That ain’t what done it.  It was what you did to keep me from getting arrested what done it.  She laughed.  Out loud, I tell ya.  I heard it myself.”

And that secret—making her laugh—is how I, Daisy Grant, Character-in-Waiting, nagged Vicki Hinze into writing my story.  I didn’t tell her Down and Dead in Dixie was the start of a new series, Down and Dead, Inc.,  until she was almost at the end.  By that time, I knew we all had wiggled our way into her heart and, I have to say, she gave in pretty gracefully even if she did mutter, “Well, I guess we all do need a few more laughs to go with our bites of food for thought.”

I—we, all of us characters, I mean—happen to agree…


As the author, I just want to add one thing.  I knew I was being had.  But as determined as these zany characters were, I figured if they wanted their story told that badly, then there had to be something special in it.  Now, on the other side, having written it, I believe there is, and so I’ve put the Kindle version on sale for $2.99–to thank Daisy for zapping me (but, man, I hope that doesn’t start a trend)!

vicki hinze, down and dead in dixie, down and dead inc., fiction,

New Release!





posted by | on Default, My Kitchen Table |

Spring Scavenger Hunt, Vicki Hinze, Robin Lee Hatcher, Lisa Bergren, Elizabeth Goddard, James L. Rubart, Kathi Macias

2014 Spring Scavenger Hunt

It’s Spring Scavenger Hunt time!  I participated in the hunt last season and you readers loved it, so I’m participating again. My hope is you’ll enjoy it even more this time. I know you’ll love the goodies along the way and for the winner and runners-up.  Please note that this hunt is open to international entries and there is a special, second entry just on this site.


The 2014 Spring Scavenger Hunt officially begins on April 4th at noon Mountain Time.  It begins and ends on the website of Robin Lee Hatcher.  Don’t feel you have to rush through the hops because you have all weekend to complete them.  The hunt doesn’t officially end until midnight on April 6th.  So take your time and enjoy the journey!


1.  Visit each stop on the blog hop beginning with Stop #1:  Robin Lee Hatcher.

2.  Find and write down the clue in the post at each stop.  It’s written in red.  (You’ll combine all the clues from the hop stops.  That’s what you need to enter.)


 Prizes include a Kindle Fire HDX + $100 gift certificate, and two runners-up will receive all 31 of our books!

There are also individual bonus prizes being offered on some of the hop stops.  On mine, if you subscribe to my newsletter, you’ll be entered for a $20 Amazon gift card drawing.  Enter here.


Carol Cox, Truth Be Told, 2004 Spring Scavenger Hunt

Carol Cox
Author of Truth Be Told

It’s such a pleasure to host Carol Cox today.  I’m sure you know Carol is the author of thirty (30) novels and novellas, but did you know that she’s a 3rd generation Arizonian?  That she’s fascinated (and always has been) with the Old West and, through her books, works to make it live again in the hearts of her readers?  I respect that about her so much.  Purpose writing to preserve bits of our history is admirable.

Carol Cox's Truth be Told

Carol did foster that preservation in her historical romance, TRUTH BE TOLD.  In it, Amelia Wagner takes over the running of her father’s newspaper in Granite Springs, Arizona, and she vows to carry on the paper’s commitment to reporting only the truth. But Amelia soon learns that even the truth can have consequences.

To discover what those consequences are, pick up a copy of TRUTH BE TOLD at your favorite local bookseller or at one of these stores:

 amazon_long barnes_long christina_books




 Carol was kind enough to share a post with us on historical printing.  I enjoyed reading it, and I hope you will, too!





When it came time to edit a hard copy of my latest novel, I opened the file on my laptop and hit a few keys to send it to my printer. In just a few minutes, I the entire manuscript had been printed out, ready for me to read through with an eagle eye. How different that process is from the printing of yesteryear!

Hand-Setting Type One Letter at a Time

Hand-Setting Type
One Letter at a Time

The work of putting together a weekly newspaper—like the Granite Springs Gazette in Truth Be Told—seems mind-boggling by today’s standards. Every letter on every page had to be set in a form by hand, one piece of type at a time. After the page was set, the form would be locked in place. If it broke loose, thousands upon thousands of pieces of type would fall out…and the typesetter would have to start all over again.

During each week, time was divided between composing pages for the upcoming issue and redistributing all the individual bits of type from the previous edition into their compartments in wooden type cases. When it came time for the actual printing—often a two-man operation—the ink man would spread ink evenly over the form while the press man fastened one sheet of newsprint in place on the printing press. With the turn of a crank, the bed of the press was rolled forward under the platen, where the press man would haul on a lever to make the impression. Then the sheet of freshly-printed paper would be stripped out and hung on a line to dry, and the whole process would start all over again.

Printing Press

Printing Press

With two people working in a steady rhythm, they could turn out copies at a rate of two impressions a minute. For a frontier newspaper with a distribution of 200 copies, the first side of the pages would be finished in a couple of hours. After the papers had time to dry, they were taken down so the back pages could be printed.

 Compared to earlier times, when dozens of scribes would labor in a scriptorium to produce the written word, that was a tremendous advance in technology.  But what a leap we’ve made in the last few decades, where my printer can spit out a full 350-page manuscript in less than half an hour!


 Thank you to Carol for sharing with us, and to readers for stopping by my site on the scavenger hunt.   Before you move on to Stop #22, Author Carol Cox’s site ( please note that you can join Carol on Facebook at: Carol.Cox.

Ready for #22 stop in the hop?, to pick up your next clue, be sure to write down this Stop #21 clue: “tells us.”



On this site onlySubscribe to Vicki Hinze’s newsletter and you’ll be entered in a drawing for a $20 Amazon gift card.  Enter here

Winner will be announced after the official end of the 2014 Spring Scavenger Hunt!

Enjoy the hunt!



And lastly, we have prepared a page with direct links to each author’s post in case a site goes down or a link gets broken. We’ll be working on getting all of the links prior to the start of the hunt, but sometimes there are still issues even after the hunt starts, so should a problem occur, make a note of the URL ( for the Participating Authors & Stops page so you can check back and be able to complete the hunt.




posted by | on Default, My Kitchen Table |

Mark your calendars–The 2014 Spring Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt is on April 4-6!

2014 Spring Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt, vicki hinze, robin lee hatcher, lisa bergren, kathi macias, elizabeth goddard, james l rubart, carol cox,

2014 Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt

You could win a Kindle Fire HDX.

And if you don’t, you could win one of two prize packs, including all of the books shown on the left!

And if you don’t, you could win one of the prizes being offered on select sites!

Lots of ways to win and tons of fun doing it–now that’s a Rx for a fun scavenger hunt!

And–this is one of my favorite parts of this hunt–you don’t have to make a mad dash to collect clues.  You have all weekend to read the posts, gather clues and enter the contest.  Whether you do so in a dead run or in a leisurely stroll doesn’t matter.  You have all weekend.  Lovely, isn’t it?

This hunt is also open to international readers as well as those here in the U.S.


You’ll start at Robin Lee Hatcher’s site and visit these participating authors to gather clues:

(Not posted in hunt order)

Vicki Hinze, James L. Rubart, Elizabeth Goddard, Rachel Hauck, Lisa T. Bergren, Stephanie Whitson, Mesu Andrews, Lynette Eason, Olivia Newport,  Melanie Dobson, Tamera Alexander, Judith (Judy) Miller, Marta Perry, Carol Cox, Richard Mabry, Carolyne Aarsen, Leslie Gould, Donita K Paul, Cynthia Ruchti, Anne Elisabeth Stengl, Lisa Harris, Margaret Daley, Susan Sleeman, Ruth Axtell, Suzanne Woods Fisher, Jill Williamson, Lorna Seilstad, Tricia Goyer, Cara Putman, Ronie Kendig and Tracy Higley, and Robin Lee Hatcher.


So mark your calendars and set your reminders and alarms.  The hunt is on and it begins April 4th!


To Have a Friend


posted by | on My Kitchen Table |


To Have a Friend


Vicki Hinze

When I was a little girl, I lost a friend over something silly.  My dad and I talked about it and he said that, if at the end of your life, you can count your true friends on the fingers of one hand, you’ve been blessed.  Most people have fingers left over.


Back then, I thought he was being cynical.  But as the years pass and life unfolds, I realize he wasn’t; he was being painfully honest.


To everything there is a season…


People come into our lives for purposes.  Sometimes we know the purpose, sometimes we don’t.  But they are there with us for a season—as genuine friends.  Remember that best friend in high school?  In college?  That neighbor next door three moves ago?  These friends stay in our lives until the purpose that brought us together is served.  And then, when the purpose is fulfilled, the season is done, and in a natural way—maybe time or distance or interests—moves everyone off into a new season.


The friendship can be a sudden break or a drifting away.  There isn’t necessarily a disagreement or anything.  The season has just changed.  We have changed.  Some friends change with us, and some move in different directions.  It’s the natural way of things.


Sometimes old friends reemerge in our lives and it’s as if the friendship never skipped a beat, or a year or a decade.  We seem to pick up right where we left off, and we move forward through another season that might be for a short time or a lifetime.  Again, I’ve learned that what governs the length of the friendship is the purpose of the friendship.


We have likely and unlikely friends.  Ones with whom we have much in common, shared interests.  But we also have unlikely friends.  One of my dearest friends for the past six years is a person I met face-to-face one time. It was an unlikely meeting and strange to others that the bond between us was immediate and strong.  How long will this friendship last?  I can’t say, looking at a calendar.  I can say, as long as the season lasts.  It’s hard to imagine this friendship won’t be forever.  Will I physically ever see this friend again?   I doubt it, but I might.  Yet, you know, that doesn’t matter.  We both know the purpose in our friendship is spiritual growth.  That is what matters.


Some friendships last a lifetime, as in the case of Teri and me.  We met as young mothers of military spouses who worked together and quickly bonded over those shared interests.  Military life was new to us, unfamiliar, and we learned the ropes of it together.  She moved in and out of my life but never out of my heart.  She became one of my oldest and dearest friends.  We were young wives, mothers and then became grandmothers together.  We were both writers, wives of military men often away.  We shared the challenges and joys of raising children, growing ourselves, our faith.  When she passed away a few years ago, I felt as if a piece of me went with her.  I still miss her.  I still look back on our adventures fondly.  We had “Lost Days” with our children, spent holidays together, and she had a sense of humor that never quit.


I’ll never forget the Thanksgiving she wanted me to make the gravy and when I asked for the giblets, she was stunned and appalled to discover they came in the cavity of the turkey.  The next year, she was so proud of herself for remembering to remove them—and handed them to me last-minute to make the gravy.  They were raw.  The third year, we got it right.  We laughed over that many years, and I recall all three occasions vividly every Thanksgiving.  Endearing qualities, fond memories that touched my heart.  That still touch my heart.


We endured our husbands’ long absences, relied on each other for help, reassurance, backup.  We laughed and cried together through whatever life threw at us.  When her father was dying, he made her call me to come make his bed.  He liked the hospital corners I put in his sheets, and when my dad died, she was right there with me, helping me do all that needed doing.  We celebrated and mourned.  We shared our lives;  the good, bad and indifferent.   She was a finger on my hand of friends in life, and remains one in death.  My memories of what we’ve been through often get me through new challenges upright.  Often, I still hear her voice . . . and her laughter.


Many seasons of friendships fall in between short seasons and life-time friends.  Some we develop friendships with move away, and as time passes and life moves on, the season of friendship does, too. Or we’ll be friends for many years and changes occur in one or both of us and we grow apart.  The season is over.  That is sometimes painless, sometimes painful, but either way, change is inevitable and we come to accept it.


I’ve learned many things about friends.  At the top of the list in significance is that friends are a blessing.  Whether the friendship season is short or long or it lasts a lifetime, we needed that friendship.   It doesn’t matter if we see each other every day or every five years or only once.  That truly is insignificant.  What is significant is that we connect when we need to connect for the purpose we need to connect.  Friends are there when needed for friends.

To Have a Friend . . .


Emerson said—and I’m paraphrasing—to have a friend, you must be a friend.   I have a wonderful friend who has been a wonderful friend for more than two decades.  Maybe closer to three decades now.  We have a lot in common.  We talk through everything.  Our successes and failures, our families, our surgeries, our faith and fears—our everything.  Little happens in either of our lives that we don’t discuss.


When one of us is down, we immediately turn to the other.  When up, we immediately share with the other.  We are there when needed and grant leave when not.  We see each other a few times a year, but we talk nearly every day.  And we look for ways to help each other, professionally and personally.


Good or bad, we face things together, rely on each other, and if we put our feet in our mouths, we know each other well enough to know what was meant, not said.  Our motives aren’t suspect.  Our imperfections aren’t mysteries.  We disagree often, but we respect each other’s opinions and value each other’s judgments.  I admire my friend immensely, but I do not doubt for a second if she felt I was wrong, she would say so, or that if she felt I was right, she’d defend me.  I welcome either call she makes because I trust her.


Friends tell friends the truth.  They care enough to hear and listen, to advise.  To hold your hand when you’re hurting and listen when you need to vent. They act as your second moral compass, and don’t freak out when you say, “Is this ethical?”


Friends bother to know the real you.  They see your flaws and love you anyway.  They are aware of your soft spots and tread lightly around them.  When life gets dark and you can’t see your way, your friend doesn’t walk away.  No, she comes in carrying a flashlight and candles and matches and, if needed, a blow torch.  And she does it knowing, situations reversed, you’d do the same for her—or you have done the same for her, or you will do the same for her again if needed.


These are some of the attributes of the kind of friend my dad talked about being on the one hand.  And he was right about that.  We know and have seasons with many people who are true friends, but few of those friendships endure long enough to remain on the one hand over a lifetime.

The saving grace in that is you don’t need a handful.  If you have one, you are truly blessed.


A see-saw goes up and down.  In life, so do we.  Sometimes in a friendship, you’re the needy one and sometimes your friend is needy.  If you’re on one end of the see-saw and your friend is on the other, you can both meet in the middle and handle those ups and downs with less trauma and drama and more balance.


I’ve learned a lot from friends.  What a treasure they are in your life.  How rich and full they make life.  How, even dead or met but once, they influence you indefinitely.  I’ve learned that friendship is powerful, meaningful, and that my dad and Mr. Emerson were right.  One good friend is an amazing gift.  And to have a friend, you must be a friend . . .



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© 2014, Vicki Hinze. Hinze is the award-winning, USA Today bestselling author of nearly thirty novels in a variety of genres including, suspense, mystery, thriller, and romantic or faith-affirming thrillers. Her latest release is Down and Dead in Dixie. She holds a MFA in Creative Writing and a Ph.D. in Philosophy, Theocentric Business and Ethics. Hinze’s online community: Facebook. Books. Twitter. Contact.



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beyond the misty shore, vicki hinze, amazon big deal, kindle

Amazon Big Deal! Kindle. General Market version.

Amazon Big Deal!

Now $1.99.  (Save $12.96)

beyond the misty shore, vicki hinze

Beyond the Misty Shore is the first book in the Seascape series.  The version on sale is one written for the general market (versus inspirational or clean read market).  Here’s more about the story:

All the summer’s guests are gone from Seascape Haven, all except artist Tyler MacGregor who captured it on canvas. But Tyler cannot step off Seascape land without mysteriously blacking out. A mystical force is determined to hold him at the inn. Help arrives in the form of Maggie Wright, whose mission begins as one of revenge and turns to one of love.

 Classic Paranormal Romantic Suspense

Note:  There are two versions of this book.  The original, which is general audience,
and a “Clean Reads” version which is suitable for all audiences. 
Please be sure you’re obtaining the version you want before purchase.

Romantic Times Recommended Read
Five Star Rating, Affaire de Coeur
Excellent Rating, Rendezvous

“[Hinze]‘s vivid imagination is contagious, and her clever fusion of humor, mystery and romance makes the story almost believable.”  –Publishers Weekly

Read the first chapter here.

Read more reviews here.

Get your Amazon Big Deal copy:  beyond the misty shore, vicki hinze


Seascape Novels

Beyond the Misty Shore

Upon A Mystic Tide

Beside a Dreamswept Sea

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vicki hinze, book fun magazine, deeper calling media, to have a friend

Book Fun Christian Magazine


I now have a monthly article in Book Fun Magazine, the official publication for Deeper Calling Media.  This month the article is, To Have a Friend.

You can read it at:

If you aren’t already a subscriber to the magazine, I highly recommend it.  There’s a variety of articles each month that will lift you up!




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There’s a New Contest Going On…  With Prizes!

Cliffside Rose Flash Fiction Contest

Bayard & Holmes “Research”
The Mystery of the Cliffside Rose

Fellow Authors Bayard & Holmes are sponsoring a Flash Fiction Contest:  The Cliffside Rose.  You can read about it here.

We thought it would be fun for you to tell us the story in the above photo.  You’ll see the specifics on the site.  (If you don’t enter you can’t win–and we’ve got prizes.)  So enter on their site and then next week the world votes–and we give out prizes.

Visit the Bayard & Holmes site here for details.

The top three vote-getters will receive a copy of Down and Dead in Dixie.  And the highest voted entry will also receive . . . it’s a secret surprise!



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A Lesson in Proverbs 2:2

A Lesson in Proverbs 2;2, vicki hinze, my faith zone So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding” Proverbs 2:2 (KJV)

I’m focusing on humility this year.  It is the path to wisdom, and I’m seeking wisdom in all things.  I’ve learned a lot in a short time and I’m doing my best to put all I’ve learned into context with all else I’ve learned.  That takes patience and effort and it is apparent that this wisdom quest is a lifelong journey.


This morning I came upon Proverbs 2:2 and was struck by several things.  It’s three-dimensional, in that the verse applies to the physical, emotional and spiritual.  To incline one’s ear a physical act.  To incline one’s ear to wisdom is physical and spiritual.  To apply one’s heart to understanding is emotional and spiritual.  To both incline and apply is physical, emotional and spiritual.


To find something you must seek it.  To seek it, you must know and believe it exists.  I know wisdom exists just as I know we don’t always exercise it or apply it.  But it is there.  So if we incline an ear to it, what does that mean?


Maybe it’s to listen to that small voice inside us that says, “This is right” or “This is wrong.”  Maybe it’s the bubble in your stomach you get when you know you’ve heard or come upon something profound or important.  But hearing that voice alone, or feeling just the bubble isn’t the all of wisdom.  Wisdom must also be applied to be realized.  The stove is hot.  We recognize it, but if we don’t understand what hot means, that it carries consequences, we’re not getting the full grasp on the wisdom in the warning or the knowledge.  See what I mean?


Apply the heart to understanding.  That might have read to apply the mind.  But it doesn’t.  Why is that?  There is a reason, to be sure.  What is it?


It could be that the mind is easier to deceive than the heart.  Easier to mislead or misdirect.  The mind can rationalize, gloss over—and the heart can, too.  The difference is the mind can convince us it isn’t.  The heart recognizes the truth.  You might choose to ignore it, but the truth is there, telling you that you’re making excuses, acting in compassion perhaps, but the truth remains the truth.  Not so with the mind which might or might not admit to being aware that the truth is being skewed.


A big lesson I see in seeking wisdom is this:  Bend your ear to wisdom to hear.  But also to listen.  Hearing is great, but if you don’t listen to the message you hear and process it internally, then you’re not going to get the wisdom in that message.  For wisdom to convey its fullest to you, you need to do both.  To hear and listen.  Then you get the whole message.  But that’s not all of it.  Until you apply the heart, you can’t understand the whole of the message.


You run that message past the mind, apply logic and reason.  But logic and reason, while important, can cloak the truth or obscure nuances in it.  The heart knows.  So the message must be run through the heart and withstand the truth test, the test for veracity to seek understanding.  You might think you understand a message.  Might think it’s logical and reasonable, but until it goes through the heart so that the emotional aspects weigh in, the whole of the message hasn’t yet been processed.  Until it is, it can’t be understood.  Not fully.


So we hear and listen, we process the message through the mind for reason and logic, and then through the heart because truth is the path to understanding.  When we consider the physical, emotional and spiritual, then we have engaged the whole of us.  With the whole of us engaged, then we are capable of grasping the whole of the message and understanding it.


Working through this, I looked at other translations of the verse.  Some resonated and honestly some did not.  Some seemed profound and others shallow.  Why is that?


I wondered, and pondered on that also.  And the little voice inside me stirred.  We’re all on different paths for different purposes.  We grasp and understand what we need to know when we need to know it.


I’m content with that explanation.  We’re unique and universal and we do have different purposes and different perspectives because they’re needed to aid us in defining our distinct purposes.  So whether or not something resonates with me is insignificant.  What resonates with me is significant to me and my purpose.


For another’s path and purpose, something else might resonate.  A different translation.  And it might carry an entirely different interpretation.  Even a single person who reads the same exact verse at ten, at twenty, at fifty interprets that verse differently. That, I believe, is God talking to us in ways we understand.


For the best message is sincerely lost in translation if the intended person for it doesn’t understand it.  So  in this, too, the spiritual element reigns supreme.  That which is understood can be adopted and embraced wholly.  To get there from where we are now requires the spiritual.


A child might sum this verse up in short order.  Listen to God.  He’s wisest and He’ll make sure you understand His message.


And so the adult and the child get to the same place.  The child, with child-like faith, gets there a lot quicker than the adult.  I’m sure there’s a basketful of messages in that also…



An Exercise

Some different translations of Proverbs 2:2 follow.  (Courtesy of Bible Gateway)

Which of them speaks to you?

Proverbs2-2-1Proverbs 2-2-2 Proverbs 2-2-3 Proverbs 2-2-4



Fred St Laurent of Book Fun Network, posted last night that my new release, Down and Dead in Dixie has been nominated for Book of the Month.  This is an honor and I’m grateful.

 Now the nominees are being voted for, and if you are so inclined, I would appreciate your vote.  The voting polls are open and here are your nominees:

Burning Sky by Lori Benton
Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay
Captured by Moonlight, by Christine Lindsay
A Talent for Trouble by Jen Turano
What Once was Lost by Kim Vogel Sawyer
The Dance, The Restoration Series #1 By Dan Walsh & Gary Smalley
Ryan’s Father by June Foster
Dangerous Passage by Lisa Harris
Elusive Hope by MaryLu Tyndall
Sky’s Bridal Train By Margo Hansen
A Miracle of Hope (The Amish Wonder Series) by Ruth Reid
Down and Dead in Dixie by Vicki Hinze
Deep in the Heart by Staci Stalling
Poison Town by Creston Mapes

Thank you, and thanks to Book Fun (the Book Club Network) and to the nominator!

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Dixie has two contests this month.  Enter one or both!

1.  Goodreads                2.  Romance Junkies