Get Lost with Author Elise M. Stone & Faith, Hope and Murder

 Please welcome Elise M. Stone to Get Lost in a Story!

When Faith Andersen’s best friend asks her to help a stranger with a legal issue, she has no idea that Ursula’s problem is a fiancé convicted of murder. As a web designer, Faith’s knowledge of law is sketchy at best, but, having just lost her job, she has plenty of hours to fill. 

The victim, a smuggler who brought both drugs and human beings over the Mexican border, had plenty of enemies. And even more dangerous friends. 

Pastor John Menard has problems of his own. His ministry rocked by scandal, he’s already lost his wife and may just lose his congregation. It’s too soon after his divorce to think about another relationship; but there’s something about the pretty skeptic that draws him to her. 

As Faith investigates the murder, she finds herself with more questions than answers. Who killed the coyote? Is Ursula really who she seems? And has Faith gotten herself into more peril than she’s ever imagined possible?
Let's get to know Elise Stone!

DONNELL:  Welcome to Get Lost in a Story, Elise.  I’m honored I get to interview you.  I love Inspirational stories, and this one sounds like you cover some tough issues.  Is this book one? Two? Of a series? 

ELISE: This is the first book of a planned series centering around the members of a church in Tucson, Arizona. I’m currently working on the second book where the main characters go to a dude ranch for a weekend retreat. And, of course, there’s a murder.

DONNELL:  I grew up in New Mexico so I know a little bit about what you’re writing? Drug trafficking, human beings?  How would you categorize your writing? E.g. cozy, mystery?

ELISE:  The problem with categorizing this story was one of the reasons I decided to self-publish. It’s what I call realistic Christian fiction because it doesn’t necessarily fit into the standard inspirational category. The characters aren’t perfect, aren’t always quoting scripture, and they struggle with faith issues in the real world. It’s also a traditional amateur sleuth mystery with a romantic subplot. I hesitate to call it a cozy because I don’t have recipes, which seem to be mandatory in cozy mysteries today.

DONNELL:  Research can be fun; it can also be the bane of an author’s existence.  Talk about the most intriguing thing you’ve learned while researching, and talk about information that has stumped you.  How did you work around it?

ELISE: I grew up in New York and lived eight years in the Boston area before moving to Tucson, so I was fascinated with the different culture in the Southwest. While the border problem, illegal immigration, and drugs being seized in huge quantities are daily news here, I hadn’t previously known in more than an abstract way that those problems existed. I sought out experts to listen to and question.

The most intriguing, or at least surprising, thing I learned was from a Border Patrol Agent’s talk. He was discussing how leaving water in the desert for the illegal immigrants (and that’s the official term according to the Border Patrol) was not a good idea. On the one hand, the coyotes, those who take money from desperate people to lead them across the border, point to the water stations and tell them there’s plenty of water along their path. There isn’t. The water stations tended by volunteer groups are few and far between. On the other hand, the illegals figure that if they know where the water stations are, so do the officials, so they avoid them. As someone who believes in humanitarian efforts, it’s difficult to understand how acts done with the best intentions can be harmful.

DONNELL:  What do you find the most rewarding about being an author; what’s the most difficult?

ELISE:  The most rewarding part of being an author is when the magic happens. There is nothing that matches the high of a new idea coming out of the unknown and flowing out of my typing fingers onto the computer screen.

The most difficult is promoting and selling books. It’s tough to be patient while you build an audience and write enough books to reach that critical mass where readers begin to discover your writing.

DONNELL:  If you could meet anyone, past or present, who would it be and why?

ELISE: It would have to be Jesus because I’d like to be able to hear his teachings updated for the present day. The Bible is a product of its historical setting and the stories in it are aimed at specific audiences at a specific time. It’s like reading Shakespeare’s plays. Shakespeare is hysterical—if you get the jokes, which are only funny in terms of the Elizabethan world. I have a ton of questions for Jesus because I don’t necessarily get what he was talking about.

DONNELL:  If you’re not writing, where will we find you?

ELISE: I’ll probably be walking along a wash in the desert or in Tohono Chul Park, a marvelous hidden gem in the Catalina foothills north of Tucson.

DONNELL:  And here’s the most telling:  What’s in your refrigerator right now?

ELISE: Oh, my. I just went shopping, so it’s pretty full right now. Always milk (for the coffee), usually seltzer and cranberry juice. Salad. Skinny Cow ice cream novelties, lots of frozen meals that cook quickly, eggs, butter. The really bad stuff is in the pantry.

Elise, now it’s your turn.  Time to ask the reader a question, and here you may indicate if you’ll do a book giveaway.  No obligation.  We generally send books to US residents only, digital international.

ELISE QUESTIONS FOR READERS:  What makes an amateur sleuth believable?

I’d be happy to give away a digital copy of Faith, Hope, and Murder. I can supply both epub and mobi.

Contact links:

Elise M. Stone recently retired to write full time in sunny Arizona. She published her first novel, Faith, Hope, and Murder, at the beginning of 2013 and is currently working on the sequel




  1. Welcome to GLIAS and best of luck with your release.

  2. Congrats on your book! :)

    I would say someone smart! :)

    1. I'd agree that's definitely a qualification.

  3. Good morning, Elise! Welcome. I cannot wait to read your book. I'm adding it to my TBR pile which threatens to tumble any day now. What makes an amateur sleuth believable? To me it's if she doesn't do too much outside the law, that she has the right goal, motivation and conflict to solve it and she doesn't do dumb heroine tasks like going upstairs to face a killer without good reason. Thanks for joining us today!

    1. Thanks for having me! I enjoyed answering the questions.

  4. amateur sleuth believable? thinks before acts, mostly works within the laws, doesn't make foolish (as in stupid, far-out, unnatural) moves in following clues or in dealing with people. We all do foolish things, I know, but for the amateur sleuth these foolish things need to be naturally foolish, not overboard foolish. And the sleuth needs to be logical, at least in her own mind -- her assessment of clues need to be practical and again, natural and logical - not off the wall.

    1. Agreed. I think we all recognize the TSTL (Too Stupid To Live) moves by amateurs in some novels.

  5. intelligence

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  6. As long as an amateur sleuth doesn't act in an over-the-top stupid way, I love suspending my disbelief as I read mysteries.

    Congrats on the release! I hope you find great success across genres.

    1. Thanks for your good wishes. Stupidity is a definite handicap for an amateur sleuth.