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Are you a cozy mystery fan? Not quite as intense as suspense, but with a bit of danger and a puzzle to solve, cozy mysteries can be quite fun! I am happy to have Mary (ML) Hamilton visiting with us today to share about her new cozy mystery, Pendant. Before we visit, though, let’s take a quick look at the story.
Haunted by a teacher’s worst nightmare for more than a decade, Elaine finally stumbles onto a vital clue–and discovers someone will do anything to keep the truth buried. When her life is threatened, she allows the one person she trusts to whisk her away to safety in Texas. But assuming a false identity and hiding among the quirky residents of a retirement home is not what she had in mind.
Now Elaine must solve the mystery from afar, as soon as she figures out if her friend is keeping her from danger…or keeping her from the truth.
Welcome, Mary! Would you tell us a little about yourself? What is your:
Favorite season? Autumn.
Favorite writing snack? Chocolate
Favorite animal? Dog
Favorite vacation destination? Wisconsin or Minnesota to visit my family
Favorite ice cream flavor? Mint chocolate chip
It’s getting a bit chilly to think about ice cream… 😉 Tell us about this new story. What inspired you to write Pendant?
Years ago, I ran across an article in an urban newspaper about a 93 yr. old woman who was dropped off at a care facility by an acquaintance. The woman carried only her purse, a jacket, a cane, and a medical card as her ID. She was alert and pleasant, enjoyed talking, but refused to reveal anything about her background, other than to mention her husband who had died years earlier. The owner of the care home and other officials were trying to find out where she’d come from and why.
I immediately thought, “There’s a story!” It stayed with me until I was finally able to write it, with a few modifications.
What a fun place to begin! Do you have a favorite character from this story? Why is this character your favorite?
I think my favorite character is Maxine, one of the ladies of the care home. She’s brash, flirty, doesn’t take care of herself, a little earthy at times. But you see her heart in her devotion to her daughter and grandchildren. She’s struggling with her self-image and loss of independence after losing part of her leg to diabetes. She’s my favorite because she was fun to write.
It sounds like you haven’t shied away from some challenging realities in this story. Do you have personal experience with any of the events in Pendant, and if so, could you share about that?
In Pendant, Elaine has given up on God and prayer because when her student disappeared, her fervent prayers for the girl’s safe return were never answered. While I was writing this story, a close family member experienced a very serious health issue. I prayed scripture and pleaded with God for healing, but my prayers too seemed to go unanswered. So I experienced the same discouragement and doubt as Elaine, wondering what was the point of prayer if I didn’t see any results. I don’t remember writing the answer Elaine receives from another character, but when I went back and read it, I knew the Holy Spirit had been writing through me.
How encouraging that answer must have been to discover! What do you hope your readers take away from this novel?
I write mainly for entertainment, so I hope they enjoy the story and fall in love with the characters like I did. After that, I hope they take to heart the message that our suffering is never the point, but rather God’s purpose that can be accomplished through our suffering. We need to know Him and have a close enough relationship with Him that when hard times come, we are still confident of His love and concern for us.
He doesn’t leave us during those hard times, even when we sometimes feel alone. Can you share about a time when you knew that God was in control and/or had your back?
Years ago, we took our daughter on a college tour during spring break. As we started toward home, I suddenly became seriously ill with a stomach virus. We spent at least half an hour pulled over to the side of the road, and another 20 minutes or so in a convenience store bathroom. I couldn’t be upright without feeling faint, and my husband eventually took me back up the road to a hospital where I was admitted overnight. As horrible as I felt in the ER, I had a strong sense that God was with me, watching over me. It was such a comfort to have that confidence.
I love that! What an encouragement to us, too! Thanks for taking the time to share with us today, Mary. 🙂
Your turn! With Thanksgiving this week (in the US), share something you’re thankful for in the comments. (I’m thankful for so many wonderful authors taking time from their busy schedules to share their stories with us, and I’m thankful that YOU took the time to visit, too!)
More about Mary:
Monsters under the bed never bothered author M L Hamilton. What kept her awake was the man hiding in her closet. She never did figure out who he was or how he managed to hide in that mess. But since then, she has imagined all sorts of other scary situations, which she hopes will provide the basis for more mystery/suspense stories.
When not writing, she enjoys non-scary activities like knitting, spending time with her family, and a little amateur photography. She and her husband live in Texas.
You can connect with Mary online:
Mary has generously offered to give away a copy of Pendant — either in paperback or digital (winner’s choice). Giveaways are subject to the Giveaway Policy.