Another visit with Donna Schlachter

I interviewed Donna Schlachter last week and learned a bit about her writing journey and her December release, Missing Deposits. It is a contemporary mystery written under Leeann Betts her pen name. Here’s more about her journey and her upcoming January release, Double Jeopardy.

God often teaches us something through our writing. What did you learn about life, faith, or yourself in the process of writing these books?

Donna~ I’ve learned three important things:

  1. The books are the mechanism the message gets to the reader, but the author is the message. The Lord once showed me that the stories are the packaging around the product, which is the author. He works through the stories, but not unless He’s already worked through and in the author. Which means we have to make ourselves available to him.
  2. The One True God gives us second, and third, and fourth—and more—chances to make the best decision. He never stops chasing us down.
  3. Never, never quit. Whatever gift you’ve received from the Holy Spirit isn’t yours to pick and choose how it’s used. It’s a gift from God to reach others. Use it to its fullest to reach the many.

You have written novels and novellas. Do you prefer one format over the other?

Donna~ Novellas are nice because they are much quicker to write. With a main plot and one subplot, they aren’t as technically difficult.

Novels give an author plenty of space to develop characters and introduce more subplots.

I like both—at first, I found novellas restrictive because I wanted more subplots, but now I like a break from a book that takes six months to write to one that takes two months (or less).

Please tell us about Double Jeopardy.

Donna~ My next release is January 7th, Double Jeopardy. It’s an historical mystery, set in southwestern Colorado.

In May of 1880, Becky Campbell leaves her wealthy New York lifestyle in search of her father, only to learn he was murdered in the small town of Silver Valley, Colorado. Unable to return to her mother in humiliation and defeat, she determines to fulfill her father’s dream—to make the Double Jeopardy profitable. Zeke Graumann, a local rancher, is faced with a hard decision regarding his land and his dream. After several years of poor weather and low cattle prices, he will either have to take on a job to help pay his overhead expenses or sell his land. He hires on with this Easterner for two reasons: he can’t turn his back on a damsel in distress. And he needs the money. Becky isn’t certain Zeke is all he claims to be, and after a series of accidents at her mine, wonders if he isn’t behind it, trying to get her to sell out so he can take over. Zeke finds many of Becky’s qualities admirable and fears he’s losing his heart to her charms but also recognizes she was never cut out to be a rancher’s wife. Can Becky overcome her mistrust of Zeke, find her father’s killer, and turn her mine into a profitable venture—before her mother arrives in town, thinking she’s coming for her daughter’s wedding? And will Zeke be forced to give up his dream and lose his land in order to win Becky’s heart?

What is your current work in process?

We are thinking ahead to June 2020 when the last installment of the By the Numbers series will release.


Donna, thanks again for being my guest.

Thank you, Janet, for hosting me. I always love connecting with readers, and I appreciate your sharing yours with me.


Where can readers find your books?

Double Jeopardy is available at as well as at

My other books are available at and


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