Inspirational Journeys Presents: How God called former engineer Lisa Betz to become a Historical Mystery writer

In today’s episode, my special guest Lisa Betz shares the story of how God called her to write, in spite of her love of science. As we discuss how God called her to become  a writer, her writing process, her books and writing tips she’s learned along the way, she shares a valuable resource entitled Overcoming Writer’s Block: The Writer’s Guide to Beating the Blank Page written by Marcy Pusey. Be sure to have a method for taking notes, because there are some nuggets you’ll want to hang onto as you follow God’s calling in your writing life.


How God called Former Engineer Lisa Betz to Become a Historical Mystery Writer


I’m proud to announce the following guest for your listening pleasure.

Please be sure to read onward after the following message to learn how you can be my guest here on INSPIRATIONAL JOURNEYS.

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Lisa Betz


Friday, February 17, 2023


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Podcast episode


Lisa E. Betz is an engineer-turned-mystery-writer, entertaining speaker, and unconventional soul. She inspires others to become their best selves, living with authenticity, and purpose, and she infuses her novels with unconventional characters who thrive on solving tricky problems. Her Livia Aemilia Mysteries, set in first-century Rome, have won several awards, including the Golden Scroll Novel of the Year (2021).

She and her husband reside outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with Scallywag, their rambunctious cat—the inspiration for Nemesis, resident mischief maker in her novels. Lisa directs church dramas, hikes the beautiful Pennsylvania woods, eats too much chocolate, and experiments with ancient Roman recipes. Visit

Lisa’s featured series is entitled Livia Aemilia Mysteries including: Death and a Crocodile and Fountains and Secrets

Book Descriptions:


Death and a Crocodile

In ancient Rome, sensible women don’t investigate murders, but Livia’s father is dead, and her innocent brother accused of murder. What’s a girl to do?

Find the criminal herself, obviously. Livia and her spunky maidservant pound the ancient Roman pavements in search of the killer, with the help of a reluctant lawyer, a lovelorn merchant, and a handful of loyal servants. Will she find the killer in time, or will her meddling lead her into deadly peril?

You’ll love this fast-paced mystery set in first-century Rome, featuring a feisty amateur sleuth, a touch of humor, a glimpse of the early church, and an unrepentant, sausage-snatching cat.

Fountains and Secrets

Nancy Drew meets ancient Rome. Spunky Livia Aemilia can’t resist a mystery, even when Avitus, her husband warns her not to get involved. Maybe this time she should have listened?

While searching for Avitus’s missing mentor, Livia stumbles upon corruption within Rome’s water system, and now Avitus’s old enemy is out to get them. Will her sleuthing ruin her marriage or possibly even her life? 

Fountains and Secrets, book 2 in the Livia Aemilia Mysteries, is quirky, fast paced, and clever, showing readers that trust and honesty are more important than winning the battle of the wills.

Purchase links:

Death and a Crocodile

Fountains and Secrets

Excerpt (optional):

Meet some of the characters who grace the pages of the Livia Aemilia Mysteries. (Most appear in Death and a Crocodile. A few are introduced in Fountains and Secrets.)

Livia (the sleuth): An intelligent, free-spirited young lady who’s always up for a good challenge like solving a crime.

Roxana (the sidekick): A spirited maidservant from the wrong part of town with a snarky attitude highly inappropriate for a proper lady’s maid. Exactly the assistant Livia needs.

Avitus (sometime ally): An aloof, annoyingly logical aristocrat with a good heart and more courage than most people realize. Could he and Livia learn to become a team?

Placida (the mentor): A simple baker’s wife whose gentle wisdom always puts a finger on Livia’s attitude problems.

Grim (the protector): Livia’s dour bodyguard, who might not be as unpleasant and unreasonable as he seems.

Nemesis (the cat): A feline troublemaker who stalks the pages of the Livia Aemilia Mysteries to steal food and otherwise cause mischief. 

Curio (an ally): Livia’s rascally brother, who is trying to build a reformed reputation as a respectable landlord. He has useful friends in low places.

Fabia (a willing confederate): Livia’s bubbly friend who is more interested in handsome gladiators, silk merchants, and crime than in her father’s business dealings.

Auntie Livilla (the role model): Livia’s widowed aunt. An independent, delightfully eccentric lady who encourages Livia to try her hand at solving crimes (within the bounds of propriety, of course).

Sorex (an unexpected ally): Avitus’s hulking bodyguard, who occasionally helps his master see things that need to be seen. 

Sentia (a test of patience): Livia’s proper mother, who does not think well-brought-up Roman ladies should meddle in crime investigations.

Hortensia (another test of patience): Livia’s ambitious, snooty sister-in-law who is always happy to dispense her expert advice on any subject.

Connect with Lisa at the following links:





Amazon author page:

Goodreads author


As authors, creative artists and entrepreneurs, we often find it hard to stand out above the constant chatter on the internet. If that sounds like you, I’d like to help you boost the visibility of your brand. My name is Ann Harrison-Barnes and I run a podcast called Inspirational Journeys. On my podcast I post solo episodes of value to my listeners, led by the Holy Spirit. I also talk to authors, creative artists and entrepreneurs who want to share their inspirational journeys with the world. If you’re interested in being a guest on my show, please send an email to with Inspirational Journeys in the subject line of your email, so I can send you my featured book questionnaire.

 Thanks for listening to Inspirational Journeys and have a Blessed Day.

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