Hush by Leanna Sain
She dreams a murder before it happens.
A young woman is strangled while her killer sings the words from the lullaby “Hush, Little Baby.”
Lacey Campbell’s life is full, but not idyllic. As head chef for a chic restaurant and primary caregiver to a mother with Alzheimer’s, she doesn’t have time for the nightmare and at first she tries to deny it. But the next day, she discovers it’s a disturbing reality. When she dreams the second heinous murder she knows it’s time to tell the police.
Detective Ford Jamison is called back to the little coastal town to help with the case and soon notices an alarming trend: the killer is using the lullaby as a “blueprint” to target women who resemble Lacey. This doesn’t slow the killings and now Lacey is afraid to fall asleep at night because the next face she sees in her dream might be her own.
As a hurricane churns ever closer to the little coastal town, danger and suspicion spin out of control. Time is running out. Can they stop the killer before the last verse of the lullaby?
About the Author
North Carolina author, Leanna Sain, earned her BA from the University of South Carolina, before moving back to mountains of NC. Her Southern suspense or “GRIT-lit,” showcases her plot-driven method that successfully rolls elements of best-selling authors Mary Kay Andrews, Nicholas Sparks, and Jan Karon all together, making it her own. Her writing accolades include: Foreword Magazine’s Book-of-the-Year; nominations for the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award and the Global Ebook Award; and the Clark Cox Historical Fiction Award from the NC Society of Historians for her time travel trilogy (Gate to Nowhere; Return to Nowhere; Magnolia Blossoms.) She loves leading discussion groups and book clubs. For more information or to contact her, visit: www.LeannaSain.com
Website and blog: http://leannasain.com
I had the pleasure of interviewing Leanna Sain. Please enjoy getting to know her better through this interview.
Interview with Leanna Sain
Tell the us about yourself.
I live on five of the most beautiful acres you’ll see in the mountains of western NC with my husband of 34 years. I home schooled two sons who are now successful young men and I have 1 grandson who loves coming to Grammy and Poppa’s house. I love to garden and if I had time, I’d crochet and quilt like I used to, but I used any spare time on writing. My husband and I own a furniture store and I am occasionally commissioned to paint a portrait.
How did you get started writing?
I’ve loved to write since I was a little girl, but it was always short stories and poetry. When my kids were young, I would write little books for them, complete with illustrations. It wasn’t until 2004 that I wrote my first novel and it all started with a gate. Let me explain.
That journey began with a gate. We were at a friend’s house for a Halloween party and were on our way back to the house after a hike out to a spooky cemetery. My flashlight glanced to the right and landed on an old wooden gate. Of course, a gate isn’t that unusual of a thing to see on a farm, but this one was different. There was no fence—just the gate—sitting at the edge of a big pasture.
“Why on earth do you have a gate with no fence?”
“I don’t know. It was here when we bought the farm.
“Dum, dum, DUUUUUM…the gate to nowhere.” I said in my spookiest voice.
She laughed and said, “That sounds like the name of a book. Why don’t you write it?”
“Maybe I will.”
That was the beginning of my trilogy: Gate to Nowhere, Return to Nowhere, and Magnolia Blossoms. And the stories keep coming.
What is your writing process? (Examples Write early mornings, late in evenings? )
I don’t have a specific time when I write. With things as busy as they are in my life, I write whenever I get a chance. The only time it’s “scheduled” is when I get my writing week. That’s when I head off to a little mountain cabin all by myself and write from morning until night for the whole week. I love those times. I’m usually able to churn out 20-30K words before I go home.
Are you a outliner? Pantser?
I’m definitely not an outliner. I generally know sort of where I want to start, sort of where I want to finish and a few things that need to happen along the way. Sometimes the characters take hold of the reins and go galloping down a path I never intended, one that I didn’t even know was there. I love it when that happens. I call it “magic.”
What genre do you write? What attracted you to the genre?
Romantic suspense. I write it because that’s what I like to read. Edge-of-your-seat suspense combine with happily-ever-after ending. Good stuff.
Tell us about your newest release? When and where will it be available?
My newest novel’s title is Hush. Here’s the premise in an 30-second nutshell:
Lacey Campbell dreams murders before they happen, but when she realizes the victims all look like her, she knows she’s in trouble. Now she’s afraid to fall asleep because the next face she sees could be her own. Can she stop the killer before joining the other bodies in the morgue?
The release is scheduled for November 19th. It’s available on Amazon in either paperback or Kindle. https://www.amazon.com/Hush-Leanna-Sain/dp/1645262502/ref=sr_1_1?
Where did the idea come from?
I’d had the idea for a story with a serial killer who used the “Hush, Little Baby” lullaby as a sort of blueprint for his murders knocking around in my head for a while, but I didn’t start writing it until my mother entered the final stages of her Alzheimer’s disease.
I guess I used the writing as a kind of therapy…a way to rid myself of some of the negative emotions. It worked. After reading the first murder scene aloud to my husband, he looked at me with the strangest expression on his face and said, “Sometimes you scare me.” Good. My goal in my writing is to make my readers feel every emotion, from laugh-out-loud to crying like their heart is breaking, and everything in between.
I decided to give my main character’s mother Alzheimer’s. I hated to do it, in a way. Even in fiction, it seemed like a mean thing to do, but it allowed me the ability to weave some of the things Mama said and did right into the story, and that was cathartic. It gave me a little control over something when the rest of my world seemed to be spinning out of control.
How long did it take to write?
About a year.
What research (if any) did you do?
I try to include accurate history of the setting into my books simply because I love history so much, so I did research on that. But most of the stuff about Alzheimer’s I learned first hand, because of my mom. I usually love the research part of writing a novel, this time, not so much.
Who are some of your favorite authors? Reads?
Sarah Addison-Allen, Mary Kay Andrews, Sue Grafton, Jan Karon, Jude Deveraux, Janet Evanovich; the list goes on and on. My favorite book is Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux.
What do you do to unwind?
Sit out by the fire pit with a glass of white wine, talking with my husband.
What is some advice for those looking to write in your genre?
Some say, “Write what you know.” I say, “Write the kind of book you like to read.” And don’t give up. Tenaciously hold onto the dream of becoming an author.
How do you get the word out about your work? (Which social media is best for you?)
Facebook is the best for me. I’ve never quite gotten the hang of Twitter, probably because I don’t understand it. I guess you could call me “technologically challenged.”