Monday, June 30, 2014

A Warm Welcome to Annslee Urban

Is there a story behind your book Smoky Mountain Investigation?

I live in North Carolina and love the Smoky Mountains, so I couldn’t imagine a better place to stage this story. My story centers around Asheville, a small but bustling mountain town.

What started you on your writing journey?

After my older children started into their high school years I became aware of the type of television, books and entertainment that was directed at teens today. My love of reading and writing inspired me to pass on a legacy of values through stories inspired by God. I wanted my stories to both entertain and remind them that forgiveness and grace are the Lord’s promises for those who love HIM.

What kind of books do you enjoy reading?

Inspirational romance and romantic suspense. I also enjoy a good biography.

What makes you smile and/or laugh out loud?

My grandchildren. They are so bright and witty and fun to be around!

What is your favorite season of the year? 

Spring. I love watching the scenery spring to full bloom. And being an Arizona girl at heart, I love the return of warm sunny days.

What do you like most about the area where you live and/or grew up?

I grew up in Tucson, Arizona. It is situated in a high desert valley surrounded by mountains. The sky is the richest blue and the sunsets are incredible. I was fortunate to grow up with a large family in close proximity; grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, parents and siblings. Every holiday we had large family gatherings, serving everything from my grandmother’s Italian cuisine to traditional holiday food. Memorable times I’ll never forget.

Where is your favorite place to travel/vacation in?

I love to travel and we’ve been to some awesome places, but I think my favorite spot is Italy. The food is awesome. The people are the warm and friendly. There’s so much to see, so much culture and history and it’s a part of my roots. I’ve been there twice and would love to get back there again.

What's your favorite meal with family and friends?

I always bake bread for the holidays. This is a great recipe and also can be used for cinnamon rolls. Great holiday tradition for my family!
2 cups warm water
4 tsp yeast
1 Tbs sugar
1/4 cup oil
5 cups flour
2 tsp salt

In large bowl put 2 cup almost hot water in a bowl, add 4 teaspoons yeast, next add 1 tablespoon of sugar, stir and let it sit 5 minutes.

Add 5 cups of flour, oil and salt. Pour in yeast and mix with dough hook on low until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl and all ingredients are incorporated into a ball.

Let rise in greased bowl until doubled, about 25 minutes.
Roll out and shape. Let rise another 20 minutes.
Cook at 350° for 20 minutes or until done.

Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?  

Trust, forgiveness, God’s grace are themes in all my stories.

Where do you escape for some quiet time to reflect, pray, read, etc?

My office. I have a cluttered desk, a comfortable chair and my laptop. If I’m missing, my family knows where to find me.
Share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you.    

The Lord gave me this verse on September 11, 2001. My husband is an airline pilot.The airline industry had struggled for years, teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. Now I had equal concerns, safety in the cockpit and my husband losing his job. Before my despair could consume me, I sat down to read God’s word.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world”—spoke to me loud and clear, and a gentle peace settled in my soul. God has overcome the world.

Back Cover

A mysterious caller taunts journalist Kylie Harper with details about a decade-old death, leading her to a new trail of murder. Who is this deranged person…and what does he want from her? Ex-Delta Force captain and Kylie's former love Nick Bentley fled their Smoky Mountain hometown after the murder of their classmate. When family duty calls him back, Nick comes face-to-face with Kylie…and the past he's tried to forget. Now Nick must put everything on the line to save Kylie before she becomes the next victim of a madman.

To buy Annslee's book:
Amazon Kindle
Barnes & Noble

About Annslee:
Multi-published author, Mary Annslee Urban grew up watching old-time romance movies, which she attributes to her passion for sweet romance, true love and happy endings. A daydreamer at heart, Mary began her writing journey when the youngest of her five children started school. For several years she worked as a freelance writer for newspapers in her community and has written for magazines and online publications.
Smoky Mountain Investigation, Mary’s first book with Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, will be released July 1, 2014.
Raised in the foothills of Arizona, she survived temperature shock when she and her husband moved to Western Pennsylvania before settling in North Carolina. Aside from writing, Mary works as a Registered Nurse part-time in the Behavioral Health field. She is a member of ACFW, and has served as co-president and vice-president for Carolina Christian Writers. She has two published novels with White Rose Publishing and another book, In Love's Defense, won 2nd place in the Write Integrity Press Books of Hope Contest in 2012. Mary writes under Mary Annslee Urban and Annslee Urban.

When she isn’t writing, Mary enjoys cooking, traveling to faraway places, spending time with grandbabies and all things chocolate! You can visit Mary on Facebook or at

To connect with Annslee:

Mary Annslee Urban is giving away a copy of Smoky Mountain Investigation.  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


Library Lady said...

My two favorite words are "Smoky Mountain" and "Investigation".
Your book is "right up my alley". Thanks for entering me in your giveaway.
Janet E.

Amy C said...

What a great interview with a new to me author. Thank you for the introduction.
Campbellamyd At gmail dot com

Merry said...

The Smokies are a great setting for a suspense filled story. Please include me for Smokey Mountain Investigation. Thanks!
worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

Melissa Oldaker said...

Love the Asheville area and suspenseful reads. Thanks for the giveaway!

Diana Flowers said...

OMGosh, I grew up in Tucson, AZ as well! How cool is that? But now I live in SC (a lot greener than Tucson-lol!) I have been to Asheville and it is beautiful! Getting my TBR stack ready for post surgery on July 8th! I love cat and mouse stories and I'm not talking Tom and Jerry! lol The scarier the better! I just finished one the other night and we had a thunderstorm while I was reading it--perfect.


Mary Annslee Urban said...

Thanks to all who entered the giveaway! I hope you all get a chance to read the book even if you don't win! The Smoky Mountains is a great setting and beautiful place to visit. Blessings to you all!!

Anonymous said...

I love mystery stories! I love reading.
Joyce Guard

Anonymous said...

Bread, Etc, Mystery, Investigations,
all things I love.
Joyce Guard

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