Thursday, July 18, 2019

Talkshow Thursday: Meet Daphne Self


Talkshow Thursday: Meet Daphne Self


Linda:  Thanks for joining me today. You formerly wrote under the pen name D.M. Webb. What made you decide to use a pen name and why did choose to begin using your real name?

Daphne: When I wrote under D.M Webb, that was my name at the time. I was a widow when my first book was published. When I remarried, I did publish one book under D.M Webb, but when I met with readers or vendors, they addressed me as “Mrs. Webb”. That felt odd because I was no longer a Webb. To me, it honors my husband to claim his name in all that I do, so I switched to Daphne Self.

LM: The age old question for writers – are you a planner or a “pantster,” and what is your favorite part of the writing process?

Daphne: I’m a hybrid. I will plot out certain guidelines, such as where I want my character to go, what I want him/her to do, what kind of conflict will they meet and at what time in the story. The rest is pure organic writing. I write as the story develops in my head.

LM: You write children’s and adult fiction. What is different about the two genres and what is the same?

Daphne: I’ll start with what is the same: I have to capture and keep their attention. The difference is that with children, I don’t need a lot of details. Their imaginations fill in the gaps. And I also don’t show the nitty-gritty side of life. My children’s books are meant to be fun and engaging to the readers. As for my adult fiction, they can be read by teenagers, too. Depending on the story, I will show the consequences of sin, but never the graphic part of sin. I like to bring hope and healing to my stories. And because my life is centered around Christ, it is only natural for me to have that in all my books.

LM: How do you decide which project/genre to work on?

Daphne: It depends on which one is calling out to me the loudest. I’ve already submitted my nonfiction book that chronicles the daily ups and downs of being diagnosed with a chronic illness. And now I’m working on another novel that is set in South Carolina. Their story calls to me because it deals with a lot that we see in the world today. My side projects are the next children’s book of the series, a sci-fi novella, and a romantic comedy.

LM: What’s the quirkiest thing you’ve ever done?

Daphne: My life is quirky, but honestly, I can’t remember anything that is the quirkiest. I guess you could say I surprise people on the elevator when I strike up a conversation with them. I’m a southern gal living in the Midwest. Apparently, people up here don’t understand that Southerners know no strangers. They are taken aback by me doing this, but they eventually relax, chat, and leave with a smile. Oh, there are times on social media that instead of a post, I tell my how my day went by using GIFs. I like to emoji talk.

LM: Here are some quickies:

Daphne:
Sweet or salty foods? Give me a combo!

Ocean, lake, or mountains for your vacation? I love the ocean but have found a fondness for the mountains. Been on vacations at the Gulf of Mexico and at various lakes, so I think I would like to try the mountains next.

Spring, Summer, Fall, or Winter as your favorite season? I love fall, the crispness of the air and the change that can be felt. The world prepares to sleep, and it all seems quieter. Winter is my next favorite. I think because my favorite holiday happens during that season.

LM: What is your next project?

Daphne: I have two releases that will happen next year: Alabama Days and Journey On. And I’m working on Sons of Carolina, a 3-part story about brothers. Then I am writing The Case of the Vanishing Teddy Bear. This is the second book in my children’s series The Adventures of Wilhelmina. And I’m working on a romantic comedy, which is the first time I will write in 1st person.

LM: Where can folks find you on the web?

Daphne: I have a blog turned website: www.authordaphneself.blogspot.com
Instagram: @authordaphneself
Twitter: @DaphMichele
I can also been found on Goodreads, Amazon, and The Book Club Network (bookfun.org)

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Wartime Wednesday: Under Cover of Darkness

Wartime Wednesday: Under Cover of Darkness


“I stood on the footway of Hungerford bridge across the Thames watching the lights of London go out. The whole great town was lit up like a fairyland, in a dazzle into the sky then one by one, as a switch was pulled, each area went dark, the dazzle becoming a patchwork of lights being snuffed out here and there until a last one remained, and it too went out. What was left us was more than just a wartime blackout, it was a fearful portent of what war was to be. We had not thought that we would have to fight in darkness, or that light would be our enemy.”
So said Daily Herald journalist Mea Allan 1939 when she witnessed Britain's blackout on September 1st, two days before the outbreak of WWII.
Total darkness overtook the country. The Blackout was absolute, down to the smallest glow of a cigarette. Breaking the blackout brought fines and jail time. Without the aid of lights, nighttime became confusing, frightening, and even dangerous. The number of car accidents spiked, and pedestrians bumped into each other as well as street lamps, telephone booths, and mailboxes. They also fell off curbs into the street or off bridges into rivers or ponds. Sometimes they drowned. Sales of walking sticks, flashlights and batteries shot up.
The British government ensured there was enough Blackout material for everyone-even the poorest folks. By all reports, hanging the material was difficult and time consuming. Many of the window frames were stone or metal, so it was not a simple matter of pinning the material to a wooden frame.
The Blackout was “policed” by the more than 300,000 citizens who volunteered to be trained as Air Raid Precaution (ARP) Wardens. They patrolled the streets, and notified homeowners of any light seepage. It was not uncommon to hear a knock on the door followed by a shout of “Put out that light!”
I live in a small village in New Hampshire where we choose darkness. It is not mandated such as was London’s Blackout. And we have a few streetlamps, just enough to light our way. What a difference that makes. Recently we lost power for several hours. It was a moonless night, and the town was pitch black. We couldn’t see the garage that sits fifty feet from the house, let alone anything down the street. It gave me a bit more understanding of the hardships of the British during the war.
What memories do you have of a dark night or blackout?

_________________________


With most U.S. boys fighting for Uncle Sam in far off countries, Rochelle Addams has given up hope for a wedding in her future. Then she receives an intriguing offer from a distant relative to consider a marriage of convenience.

Conscientious objector Irwin Terrell is looking forward to his assignment at Shady Hills Mental hospital to minister to the less fortunate in lieu of bearing arms. At the arrival of the potential bride his father has selected for him, Irwin’s well-ordered life is turned upside down. And after being left at the altar two years ago, he has no interest in risking romance again.

Despite his best efforts to remain aloof to Rochelle, Irwin is drawn to the enigmatic and beautiful young woman, but will time run out before his wounded heart can find room for her?

Inspired by the biblical love story of Rebekkah and Isaac, Love’s Allegiance explores the struggles and sacrifices of those whose beliefs were at odds with a world at war.

Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/2jStfc7

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Traveling Tuesday: Alabama's Wartime Service


Traveling Tuesday: Alabama's Wartime Service

Like with many states in the U.S., by the time World War II rolled around, Alabama had begun its recovery from the Great Depression. However, the war brought an explosion of industrial expansion, and as a result, creating boomtowns from the influx of new employees. On the Gulf of Mexico, Mobile welcomed more than 90,000 job seekers.

Because land in Alabama was plentiful and inexpensive, and the climate temperate, the government realized the state was ideal for military bases. Fort McClellan, already in place, became a major induction center, and Camp Rucker, constructed in 1942, was the state’s second largest training center. Chemical warfare training was done at Camp Sibert. Known as “The road to Tokyo,” Maxfield Army Air Base trained thousands of pilots and air crew. Perhaps the most well-known base was the Tuskeegee Army Airfield where more than 1,000 African-American men earned their wings.

On the home front, the Red Cross was active making bandages, knitting sweaters, and collecting clothing for people injured or displaced by the war overseas. Montgomery’s Soldier’s Center, later known as the Army-Navy USO Club, was the first civilian-run servicemen’s club in the U.S.

Manufacturing and shipbuilding were major industries in Alabama, and the state contained two of the nation’s five plants that produced aluminum, a crucial component in aircraft. By 1943, the Mobile facility was producing 34% of the country’s output. So important was this location that it became a target for German saboteurs, who were fortunately arrested in 1942. Other plants produced gunpowder, weapons, and textiles for uniforms, tents, bedding, and sandbags. Two arsenals were built in Huntsville.

Agriculture was also impacted by the war. Cotton saw an increase because of the textile mills, and forest products were used for lumber and paper products. As with the rest of the country labor shortages were an issue, but usage of POWs from one of the four camps in the state solved the problem. One report states that nearly 4,000 German and Italian POWs saved the 1944 peanut crop.
Although residents of the state didn’t know it at the time, the waters off their shores were some of the most dangerous places for shipping. German U-boats sank about fifty freighters and tankers in the Gulf of Mexico. Explosions could be heard, and ships could sometimes be seen on the horizon.

More than 6,000 Alabamians gave the ultimate sacrifice, and lost their lives during the war. Twelve of the 469 Medal of Honor recipients were either born in the state or entered service there.
________________________

Love's Allegiance now available for pre-order!

With most U.S. boys fighting for Uncle Sam in far off countries, Rochelle Addams has given up hope for a wedding in her future. Then she receives an intriguing offer from a distant relative to consider a marriage of convenience.

Conscientious objector Irwin Terrell is looking forward to his assignment at Shady Hills Mental hospital to minister to the less fortunate in lieu of bearing arms. At the arrival of the potential bride his father has selected for him, Irwin’s well-ordered life is turned upside down. And after being left at the altar two years ago, he has no interest in risking romance again.

Despite his best efforts to remain aloof to Rochelle, Irwin is drawn to the enigmatic and beautiful young woman, but will time run out before his wounded heart can find room for her?

Inspired by the biblical love story of Rebekkah and Isaac, Love’s Allegiance explores the struggles and sacrifices of those whose beliefs were at odds with a world at war.

Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/2jStfc7


Monday, July 15, 2019

Pre-order Day: Love's Allegiance

Pre-Order Day: Love's Allegiance

I hope you're as excited as I am for today. After several months of writing, editing, and polishing, the final book in my Wartime Brides series is finished! Now available for pre-order at the special price of $0.99, Love's Allegiance will be released on August 15, 2019. Isn't the cover fabulous? It's my new favorite.

Check out the book trailer and description, then click on your favorite retailer to reserve your copy today:




With most U.S. boys fighting for Uncle Sam in far off countries, Rochelle Addams has given up hope for a wedding in her future. Then she receives an intriguing offer from a distant relative to consider a marriage of convenience.

Conscientious objector Irwin Terrell is looking forward to his assignment at Shady Hills Mental hospital to minister to the less fortunate in lieu of bearing arms. At the arrival of the potential bride his father has selected for him, Irwin’s well-ordered life is turned upside down. And after being left at the altar two years ago, he has no interest in risking romance again.

Despite his best efforts to remain aloof to Rochelle, Irwin is drawn to the enigmatic and beautiful young woman, but will time run out before his wounded heart can find room for her?

Inspired by the biblical love story of Rebekkah and Isaac, Love’s Allegiance explores the struggles and sacrifices of those whose beliefs were at odds with a world at war.


Thursday, July 11, 2019

Talkshow Thursday: Meet Love's Allegiance Rochelle Addams


Talkshow Thursday: Meet Rochelle Addams


I love the research aspect of writing a novel. Not surprising. I’m a huge history geek. The more factoids I can find the better. My next favorite part of writing is developing my characters. In fact, I typically create an entire biography for all primary and secondary characters; from birthdates and physical attributes to hobbies and fears. Love’s Allegiance was no different, but this time, I found the perfect photograph that encapsulates my vision of Rochelle Addams, my female protagonist.


Now, you get to meet her, too.

LM: You are from Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. Can you tell us a bit about what it was like to grow up there, and how was that different from life at Shady Hills?

Rochelle: It is a lovely small town, with just under 6,000 people living there. Did you know the town was named for the mechanics who made and repaired Conestoga Wagons in the 1800s? Railroad tracks go through the town, so there is a constant stream of trains which makes it a bit noisy, but it’s fun to see all the lines going through on their way to delivering everything from fruit and coal to newspapers and ice. There are lots of troop trains that pass through as well. The boys usually yell out the windows and waves. Some of the girls go down to the station and blow kisses and wave back. We also have a small amusement park called Willow Mill, and they added a new carousel, a whip, and a couple of new kiddie rides.

LM: With just about all the guys your age off at war, what was the social scene like?

Rochelle: In one sense, it was very dull because there were very few boys my age or even a little older around; no one to date on a steady basis. However, because of the Naval Supply Depot coming in 1942, there were lots of sailors coming and going. Some of our friends volunteered as junior hostesses with the USO, but that wasn’t for me. It was hard knowing they were going overseas to fight and maybe lose their lives.

LM: Everyone “did their bit” for the war effort. How did you serve before going to Shady Hills, and what was your favorite activity?

Rochelle: I was part of the local pen-pal club. A bunch of us would get together once a week and answer all the letters we received from local boys who’d gone into the service. I enjoyed that the most because I liked sharing news of what was happening in town or at church. I also rolled bandages for the Red Cross, and of course, collected scrap like everyone else.

LM: Do you consider yourself brave or foolish leaving everything you knew to pursue a potential marriage of convenience?

Rochelle: A little of both, I suppose! I made the decision quickly and agreed to move immediately so I couldn’t change my mind. Here I was one day complaining to Claire that there was no one to marry, and only a few days later I’m in an expensive car being chauffeured to meet a prospective husband. But I didn’t feel I had anything to lose by exploring the possibility.

LM: What were your first impressions of Irwin?

Rochelle: That he was uncertain and unhappy. He is a handsome man, someone any girl would think was attractive, but he was frowning when I stepped out of the car, and his expression didn’t change must for most of my first day.

LM: What was it like working at Shady Hills?

Rochelle: Initially, it was very difficult. Many of our coworkers didn’t like Irwin because of his conscientious objector status, and I was guilty and unlikable by association. But Lester was a nice man, and he befriended both of us. Eventually, most people accepted us. The work was very rewarding, working with people less fortunate than ourselves. The patients were dear, and I grew to love quite a few of them.

LM: Where can readers find your book?

_______________________________

COMING SOON!

Cover Reveal Coming
Love’s Allegiance: With most U.S. boys fighting for Uncle Sam in far off countries, Rochelle Addams has given up hope for a wedding in her future. Then she receives an intriguing offer from a distant relative to consider a marriage of convenience.

Conscientious objector Irwin Terrell is looking forward to his assignment at Shady Hills Mental hospital to minister to the less fortunate in lieu of bearing arms. At the arrival of the potential bride his father has selected for him, Irwin’s well-ordered life is turned upside down. And after being left at the altar two years ago, he has no interest in risking romance again.

Despite his best efforts to remain aloof to Rochelle, Irwin is drawn to the enigmatic and beautiful young woman, but will time run out before his wounded heart can find room for her?

Inspired by the biblical love story of Rebekkah and Isaac, Love’s Allegiance explores the struggles and sacrifices of those whose beliefs were at odds with a world at war.


Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Wartime Wednesday: DIY Apple Corn Muffins


Wartime Wednesday: DIY Apple Corn Muffins


Let’s face it: America has a sweet tooth. We love our cookies, cakes, pies, and ice cream. Sugar rationing during WWII put a damper on desserts until folks started to experiment with recipes to find substitutions for the difficult-to-get sweetener. Honey, corn syrup, and maple syrup were common swaps.

Food companies took the opportunity to publish cookbooks and flyers that included recipes that omitted or reduced rationed items. All touted to be the answer for frustrated homemakers.
The following was on the back of the Rumford Sugarless Recipes pamphlet:

“When you view your half-empty sugar bowl with alarm…when your sugar ration runs short…when you pine for a good Rumford cake, shortages or not – that’s the time to dip into this little treasury of Rumford Sugarless Recipes. There’s not a spoonful of sugar in any of them – but they taste mighty good just the same! Baking without sugar is no secret of the wizards; it’s a little different, that’s all.”
The leaflet cautioned cooks to:

“Follow the recipes given here exactly. The experts have worked out just what happens when you switch to syrups, etc. and you will have the best results if you follow directions to the letter. Generally speaking, you can replace one-fourth the sugar in any recipe with corn syrup (although our recipes here use no sugar). Another thing to expect is slightly different texture from what you’re used to.”

Rumford Apple Corn Muffins
¾ C sifted flower
1/3 C cornmeal
3 t Rumford Baking Powder
½ t salt
¼ C sliced raw apple
1 egg, well beaten
1/3 C milk
¼ C honey
3 T melted shortening (remember butter was also a rationed item)

Sift together flower, cornmeal, Rumford Baking Powder, and salt. Wash, pare, and cut apple into eighths. Remove core and cut crosswise in very thin slices. Combine egg, milk, and honey. Add to dry ingredients, stirring only enough to dampen well. Stir in melted shortening. Fold in apple. Fill well-greased muffin tins 2/3 full and bake in a moderately hot oven (400 degrees) for 25 minutes Makes 12 medium sized muffins.

Enjoy!

_________________________

Set in 1942 and taking place in London, Under Fire tells the story of Ruth Brown, whose missing sister Jane is declared dead. Following clues from her tiny New Hampshire town overseas to England, Ruth stumbles resistance fighters, the IRA, and smugglers, all of whom want her dead for what she has discovered. 

Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/31E8Qs6

Monday, July 8, 2019

Mystery Monday: Who was Virginia Rath?


Mystery Monday: Who was Virginia Rath?


Despite her short life, Virginia Rath managed to publish thirteen mystery novels that comprised two series. Both set in Northern California outside San Francisco where she was from, featured Sheriff Rocky Allan. The second series of eight books featured an unusual amateur sleuth. Fashion designer Michael Dundas and his wife Valerie appeared between 1938 and 1947. In his books readers could count on observation and commentary of the women’s outfits.

Born Virginia McVay in 1905, she graduated from the University of California and initially taught high school in a California mountain railroad town. She then married Carl Rath, a railroad telegrapher. While working in a railroad telegraph office herself during the war, she apparently took a break from writing as there is a publishing gap from 1942 to 1947.

The only photo I could find of Rath
(from https://mwa2017berkeley.wordpress.com/)
Her last publication was under the pseudonym of Theo Durrant. She penned a chapter in the round robin novel (a book in which multiple authors write one chapter) The Marble Forest that came out in 1951 (a year after her death).

Neither cozy nor hard-boiled, Rath’s books are more traditional murder mysteries. She is well-known for her street chase scenes that use genuine locations. Embedded in her novels are studies of base human motives and the corruption of mankind as well as views on cultural and social mores of the times. In Murder on the Day of Judgment, she also explores issues of race and prejudice.

Her novels are difficult to find, but with any luck, you’ll find one or two in your local public library.

Have you ever heard of Virginia Rath?

_________________________________


Set in 1942 and taking place in London, Under Fire tells the story of Ruth Brown, whose missing sister Jane is declared dead. Following clues from her tiny New Hampshire town overseas to England, Ruth stumbles resistance fighters, the IRA, and smugglers, all of whom want her dead for what she has discovered. 

Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/31E8Qs6