Monday, May 12, 2014

A Warm Welcome to Sylvia Nash

Is there a story behind your book BENJAMIN’S GHOSTS?
Actually, there is. But it’s the smallest of kernels. In one of my ancestral lines, a son came home from fighting in the Civil War to find himself in the middle of a land dispute over property that was his when he left to fight in the war. As a result of the dispute—and the handling of his property—he left West Tennessee, never came back, and never had further contact with his family. I only learned about this after one of his descendants and I connected a few years ago. Neither of us has any idea what the dispute was—yet. That’s nothing like any of the results for the events in BENJAMIN’S GHOSTS, but it gave me an idea.

Having the sleuth be the director of genealogy followed naturally from my own family sleuthing. The stories of our ancestors are very much like mysteries, and we are very much like sleuths as we try to follow their lives. Fortunately, most of our family history research doesn’t lead to murder or mayhem!

What kind of books do you enjoy reading?
U-m-m. Would you believe—mysteries? Seriously, I love anything with a mystery to it. I also love other genres: fantasy, science fiction, and historical fiction. I could go on and on. If you can mix in a little mystery and a catastrophe that only the couple in love can prevent, I can even enjoy a good romance.

What makes you smile and/or laugh out loud?
Children. I believe they are God’s second greatest gift to mankind, second only to Jesus Himself. Children see the world with awe, joy, and amazement. They love to laugh and giggle. They trust completely. Of course, that makes destroying that innocence one of the greatest sins an adult can commit.

Where is your favorite place to travel/vacation in?
That’s easy. Of course, I haven’t traveled that much or lived in that many places—Tennessee, Michigan, Texas, Kentucky, Louisiana, and California in the U.S. and Mexico, France, and England outside the U.S. However, of those where I have traveled on vacation, England would have to be at the top of the list. When I first arrived, I felt like I was coming home. The feeling was so real. No doubt at some point, I will find my elusive English ancestors. I just wish they wouldn’t be so difficult to find!

What's your favorite meal with family and friends?
Mama’s cooking—period. I miss that so much. We didn’t have a lot growing up, but Mama was a Southern cook, and she knew how to stretch the dollars and make everything taste perfect. She fried the best chicken and made the best chicken and dumplings. Her peach cobbler and chess pie added the perfect finish to many a meal.

Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?  
This is a good—and bad—question for me. I consider myself a Christian fiction writer. For many Christian fiction writers, this means they write redemption fiction. I’m certainly not anti-redemption! I’ve been redeemed! In fact, BENJAMIN’S GHOSTS gave me a wonderful opportunity to include a bit about God’s grace quite naturally. However, I tend to write more about justice and the consequences of sin. I’m certainly not straying from the Bible. It holds many examples of the consequences of sin! I do give my characters the opportunity to seek forgiveness, but it is up to them, just as it is up to us, what they do with that opportunity.

Where do you escape for some quiet time to reflect, pray, read, etc?
Because I’m older and don’t have children running around, this isn’t much of a problem. If the sound of the television isn’t too loud, I just insert earplugs. If it is too loud, I go to my workroom, earplugs intact, and close the door. In times past, I have gone to the WalMart parking lot!

Share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you.   
Romans 10:13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” That’s the scripture that settled my eternal destiny.

When is your next book due out and what can you tell us about it?

I would like to have another book out before the end of this year, but I have to wait until one project is finished before I can begin another, and I can’t make up my mind which I want to do first: Write the second in the Enid Gilchrist series, the second in the Millicent Anderson series, or a standalone. I have ideas swirling around for all three. I’ll have to see what settles after the swirling stops!

Back Cover Blurb

Benjamin Alexander dug into the past to uncover its secrets. His housekeeper guarded his secrets with her life.

Now Enid Gilchrist must draw on her years of experience as a genealogist to duplicate that search and protect those secrets while she unravels the clues to crimes whose consequences have crossed the years to spawn a new criminal and threaten those she loves.

Moreover, she must draw on her strength of will to prevent her feelings for Chief of Police Patrick Mulhaney from hindering their mutual efforts to solve the mystery, bring peace to the dead, and protect the living.

To buy Sylvia's book:

About Sylvia
Sylvia A. Nash lives in West Tennessee. She holds a B.A. in Liberal Arts with a major in English and a minor in philosophy from The University of Tennessee at Martin. She is an amateur genealogist who has spent hours pouring over old records in search of some of her more elusive ancestors. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Sisters in Crime, and Mystery Writers of America. To learn more about the author and her other published works, visit her website at

To connect with Sylvia:
Amazon Benjamin’s Ghosts Kindle:
Amazon Benjamin’s Ghosts Print:
Amazon Author Page:
Twitter:  @SylviaANash –
Website:  The Mystery Begins in the Past
Blog:  Past and Present 

Sylvia Nash is giving away a copy of Benjamin's Ghosts.  The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You may enter the book giveaway twice -- once on each spotlight post. (It's not too late to go back and leave a comment on yesterday's post.)

Off to read another great book!
Sandra M. Hart


cjajsmommy said...

I have thought so many times about delving into our genealogy. But I am afraid I would become consumed by it! I already spend too much time on the computer. But I sure would love to find out what happened to my mom's father, who disappeared from her life when she was 18. Did he remarry? Did he have other children? Was he really the grandson of an Native American princess? Was there really a letter from the head of the FBI saying he was in the witness protection program? What secrets did he hold when he disappeared? I'd love to read your book to see how your characters' present is so influenced by their past. cjajsmommy [at] gmail {dot} com

Sylvia A. Nash said...

Good morning, cjajsmommy! You are absolutely right in thinking genealogy can become consuming! It's fascinating, and it's about your own family. I'm not sure if you could overcome the witness protection program to find out about your mom's father, but there are other ways. Depending on his age and whether or not he might be deceased, you could begin with the Social Security database. If he's old enough and probably still living, you could begin with the 1940 census (the most recent available to the public). Good luck and thanks for stopping by! Sylvia

Anonymous said...

I enjoy mysteries that have genealogy in them but as my maiden names is at it's final and last stage, not particularly interested in doing mine! I did attempt to do it a couple times but couldn't find enough records to even get past great grand parents. I do know how time consuming this can be! Thanks for most interesting article!

Sylvia A. Nash said...

Hi, Lynn. I think that's actually what drove me into genealogy. With no children to connect to and to carry "my line" forward, I decided to connect backward. Finding graves of ancestors gave me an odd sense of belonging to a family beyond my immediate family. Of course, as my immediate family would tell you, I've always been a little odd. :-)

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