Author * Speaker * Editor

Excellent storytelling, accurate historical reporting, and gritty, persevering characters

The Story behind Pendant by Mary Hamilton

This week, join me in welcoming Mary Hamilton to our blog. Mary has a new release, Pendant. Here’s a little bit about the book.

A field trip gone awry.

A student gone missing.

Haunted by a teacher’s worst nightmare for more than a decade, Elaine finally stumbles onto a vital clue—and discovers someone will do anything to keep the truth buried.

When her life is threatened, she allows a trusted neighbor to whisk her away to safety in Texas. But assuming a false identity and hiding among the quirky residents of a retirement home is not what she had in mind. Now Elaine must solve the mystery from afar, as soon as she figures out if her friend is keeping her from danger…or keeping her from the truth.


Oh, that sounds good! What inspired you to write the book?

Years ago, my local newspaper reported on an elderly woman who was dropped off at a retirement home by an acquaintance who said she knew nothing about the woman’s family history. The 93-yr. old woman arrived with only a jacket, a purse and a cane. A medical card provided her only identification. Although she was alert and chatty, the woman refused to give any information about her background other than to speak of her husband who had died many years before.

At the time of the article, I was just beginning to learn how to write fiction. But after reading it, I immediately thought, “Now there’s a story!” I filed the article in my idea folder, returning to it every so often to try out ideas for motivations and reasons why someone would show up at a care facility with so few possessions. And why was she so reluctant to reveal any information about herself?

I never did find the answers, but the idea simmered for many years until I decided to give it the attention it deserved. The story became my first foray into adult fiction, which felt so much more complicated than the middle grade stories I’d written previously. The suspense genre was also a surprise to anyone who knows me. You can imagine my husband’s reaction when I quizzed my hunter son-in-law about guns. Such as, what type of gun would you use to shoot someone inside a restaurant if you were driving by on the street? How accurate would it be? Would the window deflect the bullets at all?

Since my son-in-law is also an EMT, I quizzed him on how emergency personnel would manage such an event. Who would likely arrive first? How would you handle a woman whose husband has been shot?

I’m sure you can understand why my husband’s request. “Can we please talk about something else? This is Thanksgiving dinner.”


Monsters under the bed never bothered author M L Hamilton—it was the man hiding in her closet, waiting for her to fall asleep so he could jump out and harm her. She never did figure out who he was, how he managed to hide in her messy closet, or why he was waiting until she fell asleep to harm her. But since then, she has imagined all sorts of other scary situations, which she hopes will provide the basis for more mystery/suspense stories.

When not writing, she enjoys knitting, reading, spending time with her family, and amateur photography. She and her husband live in Texas, but you can connect with Mary in these places.





Ebook available for pre-order at Amazon and other retailers (coming soon in print). Delivery on November 8th.



Thanks for joining us, Mary! She’s giving away either an ebook or paperback version of the book. Enter below. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you to everyone who stopped by and entered!


  1. This looks like a great book. Why would someone choose not to come forward,___fear? Retailiation? Laziness? Stupidity? Or, was she somehow involved

  2. Maybe her family was abusive & she didn’t want them to know where she was. Or she had witnessed a horrible crime & was afraid of retaliation. Does sound awfully strange though!

  3. I think the woman in the story had a very large skeleton in her closet, LOL. You know, there was a recent story about a woman who had been missing for over 20 years. She was found in a retitrement home. This story sounds like a good read. Thank you for the giveaway opportunity.

  4. I wonder if the woman in the nursing home had committed a crime or was a victim somehow of a crime. It’s rather sad that she didn’t want anyone to know about her or evidently, know where she was. Pendant sounds like a very good book. Thanks for letting us know about it and for the giveaway.

  5. There must have been a good reason for her to refuse to share her history. When I think back to people I’ve heard about that refuse to talk about their past, it’s almost always been traumatic in some way – living through a war, or fighting a war, or being abused, etc.

    Maybe her kids were treating her badly – stealing from her until her bank account was almost dry and so she had to move so they couldn’t find her and take the little she had left??

  6. That was my first thought, too, Arietta. It seemed feasible that she’d be hiding from other family members that she either didn’t like or didn’t trust.

  7. “A field trip gone awry.
    A student gone missing.”

    I need to read the first few chapters to get a foundational clue, hint, hint 🙂 Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House

  8. The news story that sparked this story, Mary, sure is interesting! Wow, wouldn’t you love to know? 🙂 The first theory that popped into my head is that she didn’t want her children to know about where she had gone. Maybe they were abusive or just wanted her money.
    I can’t wait to read Pendant!

  9. Intriguing.
    The depths of the quiet lady with the beautiful smile that I sit next to sometimes…proud of you! This is definitely going to be one for my TBR shelf.

  10. OH.MY.GOODNESS! I am intrigued! The woman may be in WitSec, a very private person, suffered abuse etc.

    I’m following Mary on Facebook.

  11. Hi Caryl! Thanks for following me, and for joining us here.

  12. That is a fascinating back story. Depending on the time period in which the newspaper story was written, it could be the woman was a refugee here after WWII and didn’t want to divulge any background. Or perhaps she was a citizen and there were other aspects requiring secrecy. 93 years old would be a “fit” for age of a young girl/woman then. I am going out on a limb here with my imagination! Thanks again to Liz for an interesting interview!

  13. Sounds like a interesting book! I love me a good mystery!