Story Spark: Deadly Echoes by Nancy Mehl (And Giveaway!)

Deadly Echoes final cover

Today’s special guest is author Nancy Mehl who answers a few questions about the creativity behind her novel, Deadly Echoes.

What sparked the idea for your story?

Actually, it wasn’t the suspense element that I considered first in Deadly Echoes. I’d been thinking about jealousy and competitiveness. Why sometimes we feel threatened by someone else’s success, looks, or possessions. I was wondering what causes us to compare ourselves to others in the first place. Jealousy is like a slow poison that can work its way into every area of our lives if we open the door to it. It weakens us and steals our joy. I believe a lack of knowing who we are in Christ makes us susceptible to the green-eyed monster. Addressing this problem inspired my story.

My main character, Sarah Miller, was orphaned at a young age. Her sister, Hannah, was adopted, but Sarah wasn’t. Even though her life has turned out well, She’s never lost her belief that Hannah was adopted because she was prettier and more worthy of love. Sarah would never admit to being jealous of Hannah. She truly loves her sister, yet she lives under Hannah’s shadow, accepting a false reality based on her own feelings of inadequacy. As my story unfolds, Sarah will not only have to deal with threats from the outside, she will have to look inward and deal with her own demons.

What surprised you most as you wrote the story?

I suppose I was surprised by having to slow down the romantic pace so much. Sarah is very protective of her feelings since she’s been through a lot of trauma. And her insecurity is a problem for her as well. It’s difficult for her to believe she’s loveable. My editors encouraged me to tone things down, and they were right. I got a couple of bad reviews from people who wanted more romance. They didn’t understand that Sarah isn’t the usual romantic heroine and that it would have been inappropriate to hurry her relationship with Paul. It goes to show that some readers / reviewers want romance whether it fits the story or not. In the end, I’m happy I was true to Sarah’s personality.

What is something unexpected one of your characters did?

One of my characters bucked years of “playing it safe” to do the right thing – even though it endangered him personally. I liked watching him evolve and face the poor choices he’d made as a younger man. I won’t say who it is because I don’t want to give away the plot.

Nancy - Promotional Picture - smallMeet Nancy

Nancy Mehl lives in Festus, Missouri, with her husband, Norman, and her very active puggle Watson. She’s authored twenty books and just finished a new series for Bethany House Publishing. The first book in her Finding Sanctuary series, Gathering Shadows, was released in May of 2014. The second book, Deadly Echoes, became available in February. The third book, Rising Darkness, will release late in 2015. She is also working on an Amish cozy mystery series for Guideposts.

Readers can learn more about Nancy through her Web site: She is part of The Suspense Sisters:, along with several other popular suspense authors. She is also very active on Facebook.

Book Giveaway

Nancy is graciously giving away one copy of Deadly Echoes to one lucky reader. Please leave a comment (and your email address) by 11:59 p.m. (Central), Sunday, February 22, 2015. After a random drawing, the winner will be announced on Monday, February 23rd.

Your Turn

Nancy writes that “Sarah isn’t the usual romantic heroine.” Who is your favorite unusual heroine and why?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete offensive or off-topic comments.

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18 thoughts on “Story Spark: Deadly Echoes by Nancy Mehl (And Giveaway!)

  1. My favorite unusual heroine? Someone who is soft-spoken and good-natured but has a spine of steel! Thank you for this great interview and giveaway!
    cps1950 at gmail dot com

    • Connie, your description of your favorite heroine reminds me of Melanie from Gone With the Wind. She may not be the “heroine” of the story, but her role is so important. Who would have ever thought she could be so courageous? Thanks!

  2. In trying to think of an unusual heroine, I remember at Christmas I read a book by Melody Carlson called The Christmas Shoppe. Matilda was really strange, but in a nice way. It’s an unusual story, but very uplifting and thought-provoking.

  3. Not sure I could name an unusual heroine. But I like to read about strong-willed women on the outside who are tender & vulnerable on the inside. Who rely on God above all 🙂 Nancy, thank you for the chance to win a copy of “Deadly Echoes” & a great interview!
    teamob4 (at) gmail (dot) com

    • I’m trying to think of a well-known heroine that fits your description, Trixi. I guess I’m on a Gone With the Wind kick because of course I thought of Scarlett. Sadly, though, she didn’t rely on God but more on her own wits and inner strength. Thanks for sharing your favorite heroines.

  4. I can’t think of a specific heroine off hand, but I love those that step up and become the unexpected hero when they didn’t think it was possible.

  5. I have been a fan of your books starting back with Ivy Towers series. I have enjoyed every book. You are a gifted story teller. Looking forward to reading Deadly Echoes. I am anxiously waiting future books to come, i.e. the third installment of this series, the Guidepost Amish mystery and the Miss Bitty series.
    Thank you for the many hours of reading enjoyment.

  6. I sure would like to read your book, “Deadly Echoes”, I do hope I win but I do want to wish everyone GOOD LUCK to all who enters. Thank you for allowing me to enter your contest, I sure do appreciate it very much. God Bless You,