Christmas mysteries are always a treat to read around the holidays, and Lillian Duncan is a master at writing a good mystery story. So, I’m delighted to be interviewing her about this suspenseful and delightful novel.
Unlike the Prodigal Son, Chloe Sullivan knows she can’t go home for the Christmas holidays or ever—not if she wants to stay alive.
She’s resigned to the fact she must stay in hiding to keep herself and her family safe. Lonely and desperate for God’s presence, she’s drawn to a nearby church.
Ex-FBI agent turned preacher, Colton Douglas, mistakenly identifies Chloe as the person breaking into local churches. A midnight chase ensues that ends with him snapping her photo. When the photo goes public he learns more about the mystery woman than he bargained for. . .And that changes everything!Nike: What is your favorite genre to read? To write?
Lillian: The answer to both is Christian mystery and suspense with a little horror thrown in from time to time. I guess writing is sort of like eating. You are what you read, and for me that means I’m a suspense/mystery writer.
Nike: Tell us about NO HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS.
Lillian: NO HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS is a Christmas-themed story. It’s part of my publisher’s annual Christmas Extravaganza. Each year, they release twenty-five novelettes (meaning short novels) that all have a Christmas theme in all different sorts of genres. So there’s something for everyone, no matter what you enjoy reading. I love finding a way to mix suspense into a Christmas story. There’s always so many possibilities for what the characters can learn as they journey through the story. And, of course, I love all the Christmas symbolism available during my favorite time of the year. In NO HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS, Chloe Sullivan needs a miracle but has given up on getting it. As sad as it is, she’s resigned to the fact that she has to stay in hiding if she wants to remain alive as well as keep her family safe. Ex-FBI turned preacher, Colton Douglas believes in helping others. When Chloe enters his life, he’s sure God has put her in his path for a reason—to help her. And that’s just what he plans to do, whether she likes it or not. Both Colton and Chloe learn a great deal about themselves and about life as they face death.
Nike: How long did it take you to write this book?
Lillian: NO HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS is a novella so it didn’t take anywhere near as long as a full-length novel. I would say I finished the first draft within a month. Then another month to revise and polish before I submitted it to my publisher.
Nike: Tell us a bit about your main characters. Who did you have the most fun creating? Why?
Lillian: Chloe Sullivan is a good girl gone bad who wants to be good again. So she was a lot of fun to get to know more about as I wrote the story. Colton on the other hand is your classic hero, wants to help anyone and everyone, except himself.
Nike: What’s the setting for No Home? The story starts in the city of Wooster, Ohio. Coincidently, it’s a city I’ve lived near most of my life.
Lillian: But, of course, the story is fictional and not based on reality! But that’s just the beginning, they travel to Akron and then on to the state of California.
Nike: Is NO HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS the first book you published?
Lillian: I’ve been blessed to have several books published in the past several years. My last release was DEADLY INENT, part of the Deadly Communications series that features a crime-fighting speech pathologist. . NO HOME is actually my second Christmas story with the first being THE CHRISTMAS STALKING. It features a country singer with a stalker, of course!
Nike: What do you want readers to take away from NO HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS?
Lillian: I want everyone to know that they always have a home with God. He never turns anyone away if they’re sincere. Just like the prodigal son, he’ll always welcome you home.
Nike: Do you know who the bad guy is when you begin your story?
Lillian: Not usually. Most of the time I have several characters who it might be and as the story comes to a conclusion, I’m surprised right along with my readers. Sometimes, I think I know who the killer is through most of the book, but then throw in a shocker at the end.
Nike: Most people don’t think of murder mysteries and suspense novels as Christian Fiction. What do you say to them?
Lillian: I can certainly understand their point of view. And for some readers my stories might be a bit too graphic or edgy and that’s okay, 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 and show characters experiencing the natural consequences of their bad choices and bad actions. My characters are usually on a spiritual journey as well—but some are further along than others.
Lillian Duncan: stories of faith mingled with murder & mayhem!
Lillian is a multi-published writer with several Amazon bestsellers, including The Christmas Stalking and Betrayed. Lillian writes the types of books she loves to read—fast-paced suspense with a touch or two of romance that demonstrates God’s love for all of us. Whether as an educator, a writer, or a speech pathologist, she believes in the power of words to transform lives, especially God’s Word.