Welcome to the 2013 Summer Scavenger Hunt!


This hunt has 32 stops and runs 5/17-5/19/13. You can make the loop, reading unique content from 31 different authors. If you complete the loop and fill out the Rafflecopter form at Stop #32, you’ll be in the running for an iPad Mini (loaded with all our books), or one of two runner-up prizes—all 31 of our new releases in paperback. In addition, some authors are offering additional prizes, so be sure to read each post thoroughly to be in the running for all that are available. The contest is open internationally.

If you’ve JUST discovered the hunt, I recommend you begin at the beginning, Stop #1, found at But you can also begin here, and keep on rolling. Just be aware that you have to have the COMPLETED phrase in order, which you construct gathering the clue (IN RED) at each stop, within 24 hours of email notification from Lisa Bergren that you won. If Lisa doesn’t hear back from you with the correct phrase within the time limit, she will move on to the next winner Rafflecopter draws. Ready? Here we go…

Author Susan Sleeman

It’s my great pleasure today to be hosting Susan Sleeman on my blog. You can tell Susan Susan Sleemanhas a quirky sense of humor by visiting her blog (just read the description of Nipped in the Bud, Book 1 in her Garden Gate Mysteries). She also knows how to poke fun at herself by revealing funny/embarrassing things that have happened to her.

SUSAN is a best-selling author of inspirational romantic suspense and mystery novels. Her first romantic suspense title, High-Stakes Inheritance earned a spot on the ECPA bestseller list and The Christmas Witness was named a finalist in the 2011 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. In addition to writing, Susan hosts the popular internet website To learn more about Susan visit her Website  –, Facebook: or Twitter  –

Haven’t you ever wondered how authors come up with their characters? Today, Susan is going to take us on her journey of story characters:

How Story Characters Are Born

No Way Out by Susan SleemanMany people ask me how a character is born so I thought I’d share my process using the main characters of my May release, No Way Out.

This may sound odd, but I begin by interviewing my characters to discover their personality. Some of the characters, like Cole Justice in No Way Out, don’t readily share and I have to get bossy and really pry. But once I know what makes them tick, I search the Web for pictures of actors whose appearance best represents the character. To make that easier, as I watch TV and movies, I keepCole a list of actors by the personality type that I think they embody, locate their pictures on the Web, and put them in a file for a handy reference.

For an example, let’s look at No Way Out

Cole Justice is rebellious, strong-willed, and—as I mentioned above—not one to share his feelings. He’s former military and a former U.S. marshal, where he hunted down and arrested fugitives from the law. That means he has to be rugged and tough. It also means I didn’t want a man who was a clean-cut Mr. GQ. I needed a guy who looked a bit scruffy and tough. One who could stare down a fugitive in a dark alley and not blink. I chose Martin Henderson for this role. Ignoring the fact that he’s playing a doctor in this picture, how’d I do? Does he fit the character?

AlyssaAlyssa Wells is his opposite. Though she’s running for her life in No Way Out, she’s still the quintessential mother of seven-year-old twins. She bakes cookies, puts her children first, and is warm and kind. She’d be a stay-at-home mom if her husband hadn’t died and left her to raise the twins. I see her as the girl next door and think Rachel McAdams in this photo very much fits that part. Can you see her in that role? I hope so.

If you’d like to see how well I succeeded in choosing my characters, check out my BONUS prize on my blog (it’s your next stop!) I’m giving away FIVE sets of the first three books in The Justice Agency series, (Double Exposure, Dead Wrong and No Way Out).


Write down this clue: test
Have it written down? Great! Now head on over to Susan Sleeman’s site, Stop #12 for the next clue! Thanks for stopping by!


If you’d like to be entered to win a copy of my, Ruth Axtell’s, latest book, Moonlight Masquerade as well as a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card–(your preference), just sign up for my newsletter using the Rafflecopter form below. This prize is open to USA residents only. NOTE: FOR SOME REASON RAFFLECOPTER HAS SAID THIS ENTRY IS OVER, BUT IT’S NOT YET!! NOT TILL MIDNIGHT TONIGHT (SUNDAY MAY 19) EDT. SO, JUST ENTER YOUR NAME IN THE COMMENT SECTION IF YOU WOULD LIKE A CHANCE TO WIN MOONLIGHT MASQUERADE & AN AMAZON OR B&N GIFTCARD.a Rafflecopter giveaway
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  1. Shelley Morris says:

    Keep up the good work. I admire your writing & would like to add some to my bookshelf.

  2. Debbie Mitchell says:

    No Way Out sounds like a very good book.

  3. Barbara says:

    Too funny! Not at all what I imagined Cole to look like. But, I’ll bet my image of my own characters has nothing to do with how the readers see them, either.

  4. shantelle says:

    I love your books, Ruth!! Would love to win a copy of Moonlight Masquerade! 🙂

  5. Cherie Kasper says:

    Thank you Ruth, am really enjoying the scavenger hunt, and all the extras.

  6. Linda Finn says:

    Loving this treasure hunt !
    Linda Finn

  7. Beth Rumbaugh says:

    I love the Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunts. I learn of new authors and revisit the ones I already read and love.

  8. Elizabeth Dent says:

    I love this hunt and all the new authors. Would love to be a winner in this giveaway.

  9. Teresa Mathews says:

    Thanks for taking part in this exciting Scavenger Hunt!!

  10. Karla Akins says:

    Can’t wait to read your new books. Nice to discover you via the hunt!

  11. Pam K. says:

    Thanks for this giveaway, Ruth! I’d love to win your new book. This is quite a fun scavenger hunt. Thanks for participating.

  12. Norma Stanforth says:

    Hi, i wanted to thank you for giveaways and the lesson on how you find your characters for your books in “No Way Out”. I like the way the book sounds. God bless you.
    Norma S.

  13. Barbara Thompson says:

    I cannot access the Rafflecopter when it’s posted to a page. I would love to receive your newsletter, so please sign me up for it. Enjoyed the posting!! Thank you for the opportunity to participate in a giveaway!
    Barbara Thompson

  14. Wanda Barefoot says:

    Love this hunt! Thank you for participating and thank you also for the giveaway!

    Wanda Barefoot

  15. Ruth Smith says:

    I would love to win to read one of your books. May God continue His blessings upon you.

  16. I like your idea of interviewing your characters. I like to build a dossier on each character and do character journaling to help me know them. : )

  17. Beverly says:

    Your books are right up my alley.. I would LOVE your new series.

  18. kay gerwert says:

    love this game so much fun

  19. Jorie says:

    Ms. Axtell,

    I am so very happy that your taking part in the Hunt!! 🙂 And, also that you made participating a bit easier, as some authors are requiring social media whereas I appreciate the ones who encourage a blog comment or to sign up for a newsletter — unless of course, I already subscribed to the NL! Laughs. I’ve read about Moonlight Masquerade throughout the past months since January — I think it would be a complete delight to read! 🙂 It’s a such a lovely community of writers and readers spread out across this Hunt! Blessings to you! 🙂 And, thank you for offering a book and a giftcard, that is especially kind! 🙂 I’d take Barnes & Noble! 🙂

  20. chris granville says:

    Great writing
    Thank you and God bless you

  21. Charlotte says:

    I would like to read Moonlight Masquerade. Thanks for being part of the Scavenger Hunt.

  22. Ruth this interview was good. I signed up for you newsletter. Maxie

  23. Cara Putman says:

    I really enjoyed this book, Ruth!

  24. Kristie Truett says:

    Loving the Scavenger Hunt!! I’d love to win a copy of Moonlight Masquerade!! Sign me up. Thanks for the opportunity.


  25. Bonnie says:

    Enjoyed reading how Susan comes up with her characters – I guess they would begin to become “real” people to an author after spending so much time developing them, have heard numerous authors say they miss their characters when they have finished writing their book – also that the characters have a “mind of their own”.

    Am using Chrome & tried to sign up for the giveaway & newsletter, but form wouldn’t accept any info & states the contest is over? Can I please sign up through my comments? Thanks!

  26. Debbie Karlin says:

    Looks I get to add another author to look for books to read. Glad to have this opportunity to find new authors when you run out of books from your favorites.

  27. Patricia says:

    I can definitely see myself reading your books…and I WILL.

  28. Susannah Christopherson says:

    I am really enjoying this scavenger hunt! Thanks for being a part!

    Susannah Christopherson

  29. Merry says:

    I’d love to win Moonlight Masquerade and an Amazon GC. Thanks!
    worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

  30. Monica H says:

    I’d love to be entered into the contest! I loved your cypher!

  31. Becky B says:

    Thanks for the chance to win. I am excited to read your new book.

  32. Meagan says:

    I would love to win this book!

  33. Marianne says:

    Thanks for the heads up,,,i wasn’t sure when the hunt ended, until i read your post today. i’ve been busy farming…we farm small in this area, only 2567 acres compared to those that farm 20,000. all dry land farming, no cattle, so Sunday is my day to rejuvenate, which i am doing with this hunt. Thanks

  34. Chrystiana says:

    I love the whole idea of interviewing the characters. and I would love to be entered in your giveaway 🙂 Thanks

  35. Anita says:

    Whew! My heart dropped when I saw the rafflecopter “the contest is over” message! I’m glad it’s not really over, because I’d love to be entered!

  36. Michelle Pietzyk says:

    Love this hunt and am writing down all these authors’ names so I can get some new books to read for the summer. God Bless You!!

  37. Sara Elizabeth says:

    Thanks for the opportunity to additional giveaways and for participating in the scavenger hunt, this is fun! Sara Elizabeth

  38. Sapphire says:

    I’d love to be entered to win Moonlight Masquerade; thanks! 🙂

  39. Michelle says:

    I haven’t read any of your books (yet) but they sound great and I look forward to doing so this summer!! 🙂

  40. Kim v says:

    Please enter me in the giveaway! 🙂
    Kim v

  41. Janet Dowell says:

    Hi Ruth! I enjoyed reading how Susan comes up with characters. I would love to read your book! Thanks for the chance to win!

  42. Andrea says:

    I would love to win a book! I love discovering new (to me) authors! Can’t wait to read one of your novels. Thanks for hosting this scavenger hunt!

  43. Amy says:

    Very interesting. I haven’t read any of these books.

  44. Sarah Penner says:

    I would love to be entered in the bonus draw! Thanks for participating! 🙂
    Sarah Penner

  45. Mandy Watson says:

    Interested in entering raffle. Thanks! 🙂

  46. Lydia Thebeau says:

    always enjoy being introduced to a new author. Discovered Ruth through the scavenger hunt…looking forward to getting to know her through reading some of her books.

  47. Margie Mijares says:

    Rafflecopter didn’t accept my entry…just like you said!!! Would love an opportunity to win your bonus book…Thanks!!!
    Thoroughly enjoyed the scavenger hunt…Big Thanks to ALL the authors who generously gave of their time to do this…Y’all are GREAT!!!!!

  48. Jen Fleming says:

    Hi! I’m really excited to read your books, they sound great 🙂 I think it’s fun that you interview your characters, ask some hard hitting questions, it’s fun and gives us a different glimpse of you and your characters. Thanks for sharing! And I would love to receive your newsletter 🙂

  49. Melissa ONeal says:

    I can’t wait to read your books!

  50. Deb Kastner says:

    I would love to win the book! Deb Kastner debkastnerbooks(at)gmail(dot)com

  51. Wilma DeCamp says:

    I have been a fan for quite some time and would love to win some of your books…Thanks for your ministry!

  52. Veronica Sternberg says:

    Thanks for the giveaways! I enjoyed your newest book Ruth and I look forward to reading Susan’s.

  53. Bri says:

    I would love a chance to win and have signed up for the newsletter! I’ve had “Moonlight Masquerade” on my Amazon wish list since the last Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt and I’m hoping to get it for my birthday this year. Thank you for the contest!

  54. Audra Silva says:

    Phew – thought I’d missed the giveaway! Thanks for letting us enter in the comments. This scavenger hunt is giving me some awesome ideas for summer reading. 🙂

  55. Brenda says:

    Please enter me in your give away.
    bveinotte at juno dot com

  56. Sarah Stewart says:

    Would love to win. I would like amazon gift card! thanks

  57. Hi…I wanted to enter your rafflecopter giveaway…but it was closed at 11:35 pm. I know I’m cutting it close…but your book looks amazing! : ) Hope I can still be in the giveaway! ~Stacey

  58. Robyn Conners says:

    I wanted to enter, but it is telling me it is closed. I know it says midnight but what time zone?

  59. Glenda says:

    I would love a copy of your new book. Thanks for the offer.

  60. Bethany B. says:

    I would love to win! 🙂 Bethany Baldwin

  61. anncan2 says:

    can’t wait to read this.

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