Sins of the Past Mystery and Mayhem Tour

Readers, I have some shocking news for you, something that’s never before happened to anyone at Bethany House. Take a look at the letter below that Dani Pettrey received in the mail, just before the launch of Sins of the Past.


Enclosed with the note was a list of profiles of these three authors’ characters. Apparently Anonymous has been stalking their books for quite some time. We can only assume the “clues” Anonymous promised to reveal will help rule out some of the characters below.

Potential Victims

EvieBlackwellFrom: Traces of Guilt by Dee Henderson
Occupation: Illinois state police detective
Most Likely to be Found: Solving puzzles, watching classic movies, trying new restaurants

JillianCarterFrom: When A Secret Kills by Lynette Eason
Occupation: Investigative reporter
Most Likely to Be Found: Hiding from a killer who wants her dead, spending time with her daughter Meg

KirraJacobsFrom: Sabotaged by Dani Pettrey
Occupation: Veterinarian, owner of a shelter for rescued sled dogs
Most Likely to be Found: Caring for animals, snowshoeing, or cross-country skiing

DavidHackettFrom: No One To Trust by Lynette Eason
Occupation: Former Special Forces
Most Likely to Be Found: Doing something for his wife, Summer, or helping someone in need

CharlotteGrahamFrom: Unspoken by Dee Henderson
Occupation: Artist
Most Likely to be Found: Selling old collectible coins, drawing, attending sporting events

MaceyAdamsFrom: Blackout by Lynette Eason (novella in Sins of the Past)
Occupation: Paramedic
Most Likely to Be Found: At work or driving an ambulance

MarkBishopFrom: Undetected by Dee Henderson
Occupation: Navy commander
Most Likely to be Found: At work on a submarine, reading a good mystery

PiperMcKennaFrom: Shattered by Dani Pettrey
Occupation: Co-owner of Last Frontier Adventures
Most Likely to be Found: Reading a mystery novel, traveling, planning a party with friends

OliviaEdwardsFrom: Always Watching by Lynette Eason
Occupation: Bodyguard
Most Likely to Be Found: At work since she doesn’t know what it means to relax

GriffinMcCrayFrom: Cold Shot by Dani Pettrey
Occupation: Gettysburg park ranger
Most Likely to be Found: Hiking, watching a baseball game, or making homemade trail mix

GageMcKennaFrom: Stranded by Dani Pettrey
Occupation: Co-owner of Last Frontier Adventures
Most Likely to be Found: Cooking, kayaking, practicing the trumpet or the piano

What Can You Do?

Sins of the PastMy name is Amy Green, the fiction publicist at Bethany House, and I’m appointing myself the investigative lead on this mystery. I can’t do it alone, though. It’ll take a team to solve the mystery, rescue the character, and bring the kidnapper to justice. That’s why we want you, dear readers, to join us. We’ve already recruited the help of bookstore owners and book review bloggers to help us find clues to determine which character is being held hostage and how we can rescue him or her. The stops on the tour are listed below. Make sure you don’t miss a single step of the investigation!

The Mystery and Mayhem Tour

Clues will be revealed at each stop to help you figure out which character has been kidnapped. (If you can’t make it in person to the bookstore events, don’t worry—Dani and Lynette will post the clue from the events on their Facebook pages within 24 hours of the event.)

Friday, April 29, 4 PM
LifeWay Christian Bookstore
3726 E Franklin Blvd
Gastonia, NC 28054

(You can find the clue here.)

Saturday, April 30, 1 PM
Christian Supply
1600 John B White Sr Blvd
Spartanburg, SC 29301

(You can find the clue here.)

Wednesday, May 4
Just Commonly with Annie

Saturday, May  7
Just Romantic Suspense

Wednesday, May 11
Reading is My Superpower with Carrie

Saturday, May 14, 1 PM
His Way Christian Bookstore
Southdale Shopping Center
8 Mountain Rd
Glen Burnie MD 21060

(You can find the clue here.)

Sunday, May 15, 2 PM
Barnes & Noble
620 Marketplace Dr.
Bel Air, MD 21014

(You can find the clue here.)

Wednesday, May 18
Finding Wonderland with Rissi

Saturday, May 21
Will Bake for Books with Bekah

Wednesday, May 25
The Suspense Zone

Thursday, June 2, 7-9 PM Eastern
Sins of the Past Mystery and Mayhem Facebook Party


Be sure to RSVP to the Facebook party on June 2—if enough concerned readers show up, we’re hoping Anonymous will make an appearance as well so we can solve the case. Don’t worry: with a team of loyal readers like you, we’re sure we’ll get the character back safe and sound!

Ask BHP: So You Want to Work in Publishing

This month’s question: “I would like to work with a publishing company, such as Bethany House, someday. What steps would you recommend I take in order to pursue this career?”

First of all, it’s always exciting to see people who are interested in working in publishing! Whether you’re a student considering the next step after college or a person thinking about a career change, this is a relevant question. The advice we give here is influenced by our own experiences in interviews and job searches, and might not universally apply, but hopefully you’ll find some points you can take away.

And no, sadly, even a job in publishing isn't getting paid to read novels. We wish!

And no, sadly, even a job in publishing isn’t getting paid to read novels. We wish!

From me, Amy, BHP’s fiction publicist:

  • If you’re applying for a job, be familiar with the publishing company’s books. This may seem obvious, but it’s very clear when an applicant hasn’t done any research. It’s great, of course, to ask questions about how a company operates, but having some basic knowledge going in is helpful. Along with that, knowing something about how the publishing world works would make you stand out. You can get this knowledge by reading publisher, agent, and author blogs (especially posts that talk about behind-the-scenes aspects like different stages of editing, how contracts are negotiated, and so on), or by setting up a phone call with someone you know who works in publishing or a related field.
  • Know what relevant skills you have and how to present them. I didn’t have a degree in marketing, but I had written press releases, managed multiple projects at once, worked with WordPress, used Photoshop and InDesign, and done a good amount of freelance writing for magazines. Some of these were through college classes (community colleges often offer continuing education courses on skills like these), while others were self-taught. My marketing skills ended up being more important than having a marketing degree.
  • Be aware that publishing can be difficult to break into. This isn’t to discourage you from trying, just to let you know that there aren’t a lot of publishing companies out there (and even fewer if you’re just thinking of Christian publishing companies), so there will be a lot of competition for jobs. If this is something you really want to pursue, keep at it, but just know that you may not find a good fit for you right away. (Also, don’t forget about related industries like freelance publicity groups or literary agencies.)

From Elisa, one of our copy editors:

  • Find as many possible ways to gain experience now. This could include working on a school newspaper or literary journal, doing freelance proofreading for a local magazine (this is how I started), volunteering as a writing tutor, proofreading newsletters for an organization or ministry, doing an internship or informational interview in the industry, and taking editing, proofreading, and writing classes.
  • Look for opportunities to develop the skills you will need as an editor, even if the tasks may not seem to directly correspond to editing. In college I worked for over two years as an assistant to our band director and managed our music library, learning about Excel, data entry, organization, and how to manage stacks and stacks of paper all around you (all of which are still applicable in my job today).
  • Be very familiar with whatever style the publishing house uses. Bethany House and many others rely on Chicago Manual of Style. Buy a copy and learn the rules—there are even official online quizzes you can take to test your knowledge! During the application process, some publishing companies may have you complete an editing sample based on CMS to see if you’re a good fit.

Be sure to check out our past Ask BHP posts to see if the question you’re wondering about has already been answered. If not, send it our way and we might use it in a future blog!

Question for you, readers: if you had to pick a new career right now, what would most interest you? (Feel free to be wildly impractical—if you want to say jelly-bean taste tester, that’s just fine with me!) Follow-up questions about jobs in publishing are also fair game.

See What’s New From Bethany House This Month!

I’m excited to introduce our April Bethany House books to you this month—and there are a lot of them! Be sure to click on the cover if you’d like to read an excerpt of the first few chapters. You can also click on the author names to visit and “like” their Facebook pages. It’s such a great way to connect with authors and be the first to hear about contests, upcoming releases, and behind-the-scenes trivia!

Counted With the Stars by Connilyn Cossette


Kiya, a young Egyptian slave, leads a miserable life. When terrifying plagues strike Egypt, she’s in the middle of it all. Choosing to flee with the Hebrews, Kiya finds herself reliant on a strange God and developing feelings for a man who despises her people. Facing the trials of the desert, will she turn back toward Egypt—or find a new place to belong?

The Inheritance by Michael Phillips


In Scotland’s Shetland Islands, a clan patriarch has died, and a dispute over the inheritance has frozen an entire community’s assets. When a letter from the estate’s solicitor finds Loni Ford, she is stunned. Orphaned as a child, Loni has always wanted a link to her roots. She sets out on a journey of discovery, but is this dream too good to be true?

King’s Folly by Jill Williamson


Prince Wilek’s father believes the disasters plaguing their land signal impending doom, but he thinks this is superstitious nonsense—until he is sent to investigate a fresh calamity. What he discovers is more cataclysmic than he could’ve imagined. Wilek sets out on a desperate quest to save his people, but can he succeed before the entire land crumbles?

Like Never Before by Melissa Tagg

Like Never Before

When Logan Walker returns to Maple Valley to ponder a big career move, the former reporter is enlisted to help save the town paper by Amelia Bentley. Intrigued by Amelia, he joins her pursuit of a story that could turn things around. As they work together, sparks fly–but Logan has a choice to make and a daughter to consider. Where will that leave Amelia?

The Midwife’s Dilemma by Delia Parr

Midwife's Dilemma

Midwife Martha Cade has decided. When Thomas Dillon returns to Trinity, she’s going to marry him. But everything feels like it’s changing too fast, from her daughter’s new love interest to the realization that she’s ready to pass on her role as midwife. She’ll need courage and faith to face the challenges that arise as she sets a new course for her life.

The Reluctant Duchess by Roseanna M. White


After a shocking attack, Rowena Kinnaird is desperate to escape her family and her ex-fiancé. She finds an unexpected protector in the Duke of Nottingham, but will she ever be able to trust him—let alone fall in love—when his custody of the Fire Eyes jewels endangers her once more?


Any new or soon-to-release books that you’re excited to read next?

From the Archives: You Know You’re a Bookaholic When…

Due to a busy week preparing for a fiction strategy meeting later this month and the Beverly Lewis book tour I’m on right now, I’m pulling this blog post from the archives—one of my favorites! Enjoy!

Readers, what can we say? We love our books. And that love can sometimes be borderline obsessive. See how many of these signs of bookaholism apply to you. It might not be too late to get help.

One: You find yourself referring to fictional characters as if they were real. This isn’t too bad. But if you complain that you weren’t invited to Cole McKenna’s wedding or ask around for Katie Lapp on your next vacation to Lancaster County, I suggest an intervention.

Two: If you stacked up all the books on your To-Be-Read pile, someone would have to send in a search-and-rescue crew to dig you out of your house. (And you’d probably tell them, “Go away! Can’t you see I’m reading?”) Continue reading