Monday, August 20, 2018

Mystery Monday: The Elusive Francis Vivian


Mystery Monday: The Elusive Francis Vivian

Because writing is my second career, I appreciate learning about other authors who came to writing later in life. Enter Englishman Ernest Ashley, who was born in 1906 and until 1932, worked as a sign painter. Having dabbled in writing while working his “day job,” he became a successful short fiction writer for newspapers and magazines. Five years later, he created his pseudonym Francis Vivian, and a crime fiction novelist hit the streets.

His first book, a detective story, was Death at the Salutation. Five more books quickly came out, and in 1941 he wrote his first Inspector Gordon Knollis novel, The Death of Mr. Lomas. Ten more Knollis books would follow. All Vivian’s books were well-received although his work is largely forgotten today.

Apparently he was a research geek like me and enjoyed learning about any number of different fields.  Much of what he learned ended up in his books. According to one colleague, “But what plots. He couldn’t write a straightforward tale of A killing B for complex motives and call it a day. A and B would also be involved in archery or black magic, or some subject which Ernest had researched to the nth degree, and you could be sure the denouement would depend on some fine point of archery or black magic.” Sounds like a fun read to me!

Vivian’s books are difficult to find (as his any photo of him), but the good news is that Dean Street Press has plans to publish the Knollis books (and with any luck some of the author’s other writings!)

Have you ever heard of this member of the Golden Age of Detective Fiction?


Thursday, August 16, 2018

Talkshow Thursday: Meet Michael Ackerman

Talkshow Thursday: Meet Michael Ackerman

Michael Ackerman is one of the protagonist's in Jennifer Slattery's novel Dancing in the Rain. Pull up a chair and get to know this fascinating character:

Michael looks around nervously, adjusts his Stetson. Wonders if he should take it off, for manner’s sake. Though his mugshot had been filled the local news years ago, he’d never willingly embraced the media.

But to grant a one-on-one interview, an exclusive? Maybe this was a bad idea.

The green room door crashes open and Tressa, the talk show host, enters wearing a peachy summer dress with teal jewelry and heals. “Michael!” She approaches him with an outstretched hand. “So glad to have you on the set. We’ll start in …” She checks her watch then glanced around the green room. “Exactly two minutes and thirty-five seconds. You ready to wow the ladies with that dashing smile of yours?”

“I … uh …” How had he allowed Reba to talk him into this?

“Relax.” Tressa looped her arm through his. “You’ll do great.” She tugged him out the door and onto the set. “Just answer the questions. And remember, be real. Don’t stifle your emotions. The more drama, the better. Viewers eat it up.”

Michael stiffens. “Like I told you when I accepted this interview, my goal’s to defuse drama, Ms. Reynolds. Not feed it.”

She flashes a smile, motions to one of two plush leather chairs then sits in the other one. She hands him a steaming mug of coffee with the show’s logo printed on it. “In case you need something to do with your hands. Plus, it’ll make our conversation appear more relaxed.”

He sat and shot a glance toward the live audience. Had to be at least two hundred folks, mostly women. Probably half of which were waiting to hear him flub things. God willing, some of them were longtime camp supporters who came to hear his side.

He wanted to give them that, but knowing his luck, he’d get his words all twisted, make things worse. Camp Hope couldn’t afford that. If they lost their donors, the ministry would go under. Staff would be laid off.

Life changing ministry halted, maybe for good.

“Four, three, two …” A large, bearded cameraman began counting down.

Before Michael could catch his breath or gather his thoughts, they were on.

“What do you say we cut to the chase, Michael?” Tressa scooted to the edge of her seat and shifted so that she partially faced him and the camera. “You’ve seen the pictures that have surfaced, and I’m sure you’ve heard what people are saying.”

“About my dad?”

“And your past. Did Camp Hope’s board of directors know about your record—your struggles with alcohol—when they hired you?”

“I didn’t hide anything. Not then or now. And I don’t drink.”

“But you did.”

He swallowed. “That one night.”

“A temporary laps of judgment, then?”

“I guess you could call it that.” Stupidity born in a burst of rage at watching his dad beat his mom one too many times.

“Let’s talk about Martha. She came in on scholarship, correct?”

He nodded and rubbed his thumb knuckle.

“You checked out her family history?”

“Of course.”

“Were any of your staff trained in dealing with kids with trauma?”

“Our staff are well trained. But more than that, they’ve got a heart for those kids. They love them like Jesus would.”

“Love is enough, then?”

“It’s got to be. It’s the driving force for everything we do.” Everything he was. Had become. He wasn’t that enraged felon anymore. Christ had grabbed a hold of him, made him new. Whether this talk show host and all her scandal-loving viewers cared to see that or not.

“Tell me about Loni.”

He frowned. “What about her?”

“She’s blind, correct?”

This wasn’t about her. It was one thing for the media to hound him. He could take it. Probably even deserved it. But he wouldn’t let them turn on Loni or make this about her blindness.

“Have you ever attended a church camp, Ms. Reynolds?” If he threw questions at her, kept her talking, maybe he could direct the conversation onto all the good Camp Hope had done over the years, all the lives transformed.

And away from Martha and Loni.

“I can’t say that I have. Your counselors—how do you select them?” She glanced at the cameraman then straightened with a beauty pageant smile. “We’re going to take a short break to hear from our sponsors. We’ll pick up this conversation when we get back.”

No, they wouldn’t. Obviously Tressa was looking to profit from a scandal, regardless of whose life and ministry she destroyed. Had he really expected any different?

He stood. “Listen, I’d love to—” No sense lying to the woman. “If you need anything else, I suggest you connect with our public relations department.”

Murmurs rippled through the audience, and Tressa immediately started back peddling.

Michael quickened his step, and with a quick nod to the cameraman, Michael left.

Whoever said all publicity was good publicity had clearly never been to prison nor had anyone try to entangle their story with the death of a troubled teen.


Dancing in the Rain:
On the verge of college graduation, Loni Parker seeks employment as a music teacher, but no one will hire her since she's blind. Or so she thinks. To take her mind off her troubles, her roommate invites her to spring retreat at Camp Hope in the gorgeous North Carolina mountains.

Unbeknownst to Loni, Michael Ackerman, the director, is an ex-con responsible for the accident that caused her blindness. When Loni warms up to camp and wants to return as a summer counselor, Michael opposes the idea, which only makes Loni want to prove herself all the more. Though she doesn't expect to fall for the guy. Still, her need for independence and dream of teaching win out, taking her far away from her beloved Camp Hope...and a certain director.

Camp director Michael Ackerman recognizes Loni instatnly and wants to avoid her at all costs. Yet, despite the guilt pushing him from her, a growing attraction draws him to the determined woman. She sees more with her heart than the average person does with his eyes. But her presence also dredges up a long-buried anger toward his alcoholic father that he'd just as soon keep hidden. When circumstances spin out of control, Michael is forced to face a past that may destroy his present.


Jennifer Slattery Bio: Jennifer Slattery is a writer and international speaker who's addressed http://jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com. She has a passion for helping women discover, embrace, and live out who they are in Christ. As the found of Wholly Loved Ministries (http://whollyloved.com) she and her team partner with churches to facilitate events designed to help women rest in their true worth and live with maximum impact. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband. Connect with her on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/JenSlatte) or Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/slatteryjennifer/).
women's groups, church groups, Bible studies, and other writers across the nation. She's the author of six contemporary novels, maintains a devotional blog found at

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Wartime Wednesday: Morse Code and WWII


Wartime Wednesday: Morse Code and WWII


I recently watched a miniseries called “Churchill’s Secret Agents.” It is a reality show in which fourteen individuals go through the actual application and training process used by the Special Operations Executive (SOE) during WWII. One of the skills the prospective agents are taught is Morse code, a language made up of dits and dahs (called dots and dashes by laypeople) that is sent via radio. A light turned on and off can mimic the code.

As with all wars, technology advances as combatants seek better ways to overcome their opponents, so I was surprised that Morse code was still in use during WWII. I was sure something else had come along. Further research indicated an alternative had been devised called RATT or Radio Automatic Teletype, but because it relied on a lot of heavy and unreliable electro-mechanical equipment to produce the signal rather than one man with a mechanical Morse key, RATT was set aside. In addition, voice radio systems were limited in range and security, therefore could not be counted on.

In partnership with physicists Joseph Henry and Alfred Vail, Samuel F. Morse developed an electrical  telegraph system in 1836 that used electrical currents to send pulses across the wires. A code was needed to enable the pulses to transmit “natural language.” By 1844, Morse code was “finalized,” and later adapted to radio communication.

Susan Hannaway of Britain volunteered her services in 1942 and was taught Morse code because of her proficiency in the German language. According to Susan, “The training was very intense, and during the training we were taught to use four different wireless receivers. The code itself was taught in blocks six, letters, or numbers.”

She was posted to Harrogate, Yorkshire where along with other trainees, “I lived in Nissen huts in the grounds of a girls’ school. We had bunk beds to sleep in and stone hot water bottles to keep up warm. We were transported to work at the radio station in trucks, still to this day I do not know where I worked as we were transported in secret. We would work in rolling shifts, with one and a half days off in every four days. At the start I was given a particular frequency to scan, as I became more experienced in my work I was allowed to scan the airwaves for messages…Toward the end of the war we knew the enemy was on the run as the messages started to come through in what we called “plain language.”

Back to “Churchill’s Secret Agents:” Of the fourteen individuals, one applicant (a graduate student in math) becomes a whiz at the code almost immediately. Another candidate did fairly well in sending, but struggled to receive the code.

How about you? Are you good at languages? Do you think you could learn Morse code?


Sunday, August 12, 2018

Blog Tour: Chaos: In the Blink of an Eye

Blog Tour: Chaos: In the Blink of an Eye


About the Book


  

Book Title: Chaos: In the Blink of an Eye
Author: Patrick Higgins  
Genre: Christian Mystery/Suspense  
Release date: September, 2015

It was the weekend before Thanksgiving. More than 100,000 fans were jammed inside Michigan Stadium, on their feet, to witness a heated football rivalry that had spanned more than 100 years. As the football was kicked into the snow-filled sky, they were about to get the shock of their lives, as long-foretold Bible prophecy came to pass before their very eyes, causing many to vanish into thin air without a trace. But what they soon realized was that it reached far beyond Michigan Stadium. Chaos of unimaginable proportions ensued worldwide. Shock, fear and panic filled each heart and mind. It was just the beginning of things to come, as life as humanity had known it was forever changed in the blink of an eye…

Click here to purchase your copy.

My Thoughts

I don’t read a lot of prophetic fiction (I’m probably one of the few people who didn’t read the entire Left Behind series), but I expected more from this book. I enjoyed getting to know the characters, although would have preferred if it was done through dialogue and interaction with others rather than the lengthy exposition used by the author. The characters are unique, and I like that they seem to represent a cross-section of contemporary America. I’m an avid NFL fan and rarely watch college level football, but I was able to relate to the excitement that led up to such an important college game. The rapture doesn’t occur until well into the book which may disappoint some readers. Being a prequel, the book seems to be primarily about introducing the characters. I appreciate that the author doesn’t use a lot of “churchy” words in the book, but rather seems writes toward seekers and those not necessarily familiar with the Bible and Jesus’ return.

I received a copy of this book for free from CelebrateLit, and a positive review was not required. All opinions expressed are my own.

About the Author


Patrick Higgins is the author of The Pelican Trees, Coffee In Manila, the award-winning The Unannounced Christmas Visitor, and the award-winning prophetic end-times series, Chaos In The Blink Of An Eye. While the stories he writes all have different themes and take place in different settings, the one thread that links them all together is his heart for Jesus and his yearning for the lost. With that in mind, it is his wish that the message his stories convey will greatly impact each reader, by challenging you not only to contemplate life on this side of the grave, but on the other side as well. After all, each of us will spend eternity at one of two places, based solely upon a single decision which must be made this side of the grave. That decision will be made crystal clear to each reader of his books. Higgins is currently writing many other books, both fiction and non-fiction, including a sequel to Coffee In Manila, which will shine a bright, sobering light on the diabolical human trafficking industry.

Guest Post from Patrick Higgins


What started the Chaos in the Blink of an Eye series for me stems from my deep love of sports, which, I admit has diminished considerably over the years. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy watching and attending sporting events whenever I have the time. But these days I view them from an entirely different perspective than when I wore a younger man’s face and displayed a weaker man’s faith in God.

This slow but gradual shrinking away started soon after the Lord impressed upon my heart that the fastest growing religion in America, and the world for that matter, wasn’t Christianity or Islam, but “sports”. Every day of the week—including Sundays—millions of fans fill stadiums and arenas (or shall I say cathedrals?) worldwide to worship their heroes.

Whatever the sport, fans show up in droves to cheer on mere mortals as if they were gods. When their teams win life is good. When they lose life is miserable.

As a once-guilty participant for many years, I should know.

The passion most fans have for their favorite players and sports teams is the same passion they should have in pursuing the One who saw their unformed bodies from the foundations of the world, the very One who knit them together inside their mothers’ wombs.

Tragically, this is not the case. Hence, the reason for the CHAOS series. The sporting event chosen for this story was the famed Michigan-Ohio State college football rivalry.

Prior to writing the prequel, I traveled to Ann Arbor, Michigan to attend the game. I admit I was just as caught up in the mass hysteria as everyone else. It was impossible not to be swept up into the vortex that had completely engulfed the vibrant college town.

The energy was quite palpable. So much so that I had to remind myself more than once that I was there to research and observe everything connected to the game, then put it all into words for my readers. The sporting event itself was secondary.

Though the prequel initially centers on the football game, in no way is this a sports series. This will become quite clear to you when Bible prophecy comes to pass inside Michigan Stadium, and many vanish into thin air, leaving everyone still inside the stadium utterly panic-stricken.

It was just the beginning of things to come, as life as humanity had known it was forever changed in the blink of an eye…

Enjoy reading…

Blog Stops

Here are Patrick's remaining blog stops:
August 12: Mary Hake
August 13: Blogging with Carol
August 15: Jeanette's Thoughts
August 16: Ashley's Bookshelf
August 17: Cherylbbookblog
August 17: Big Reader Site
August 21: Texas Book-aholic
August 22: Godly Book Reviews

Giveaway



To celebrate his tour, Patrick is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Talkshow Thursday: Laura Hilton

Talkshow Thursday: Laura Hilton

I'm pleased to welcome author Laura V. Hilton to my blog today. Draw up a chair and get to know this fascinating lady!


Linda:  Thanks for joining me today. Congratulations on your newest release Firestorm.Where did you find your inspiration for this story?

Laura:  My son is stationed in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and he started sending me photos he snapped of Amish in the U.P.  I love that part of the country and wanted to set a story there, so I went to visit my son – and revisited the areas I grew up visiting and seeing where Amish live (they didn’t live there when I was a child.)

LM: You write in a variety of genres. How did you get interested in writing Amish fiction?

Laura: My maternal grandparents left the Amish. I thought it would be fun to learn about part of my family history.

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

Laura:  I’m very definitely a Pantster and I love the discovery of the story and the moment it all comes together.

LM: Research is important for any book. How did you research Firestorm and did you discover any extra special tidbits of information?

Laura: I visited my son in Michigan and my daughter-in-law and son helped some with the research before I came up.

LM: How did you get started as a writer, and how did you decide to seek publication?

Laura:  I always wanted to be a writer.   Always. And seeking publication seemed like a necessary step if I wanted to be published J  And I did.

LM: Here are some quickies:

Laura:
Favorite Food:   whatever I’m in the mood for at the moment.  J
Favorite Season:  Winter since I love winter sports and Christmas
Favorite woman in the Bible:   Abigail

LM: You are an author and a book reviewer. How do you balance the two roles?

Laura:   I have a set amount of words I want to write every day and I read at night before bed or on Sundays between church services, usually.

LM: What is your next project?

Laura:  I am currently writing The Amish Candy Maker which releases February 2019, I have a historical novella due the end of September, and another Amish novel due the end of December.  

LM: Where can folks find you on the web?

Laura:  
Twitter: @Laura_V_Hilton

Purchase my books:


About Firestorm:
Bridget Behr and her family migrate from the bustling Amish community where she grew up in Ohio to the mostly unpopulated Upper Peninsula of Michigan after a stalker breaks into their home. While her father and brother try to find work in the area, the family is forced to reside in a borrowed RV until the house and barn are rebuilt. While Bridget is hoping for a fresh start, she’s afraid to trust anyone—even Gabriel, the overly-friendly Amish man who lives nearby. Bridget thinks he’s a flirt who serial dates and doesn’t even remember the girls’ names.

Due to not enough construction work in his Florida community to keep him out of trouble, Gabriel Lapp has been sent to Michigan to work. His father is desperate for his son to settle down. When the family walks into Gabe’s home in the middle of a thunderstorm and he discovers their circumstances, he offers to help with construction. For Gabe, the beautiful girl he teasingly calls “the recluse” once he discovers she doesn’t attend youth events, confuses him like none other.

As Gabriel and Bridget grow closer, they realize there is more to a person than meets the eye. Just as Bridget is finally settling into her new life, and perhaps finding love, tragedy strikes. Now Bridget and her family must decide if they should move to another Amish community, or dare to fight for the future they’d hoped for in Mackinac County.


Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Wartime Wednesday: Women in Uniform


Wartime Wednesday: Women in Uniform

During WWI, thousands of women served in auxiliary military units, such as the “Hello girls” attached to the U.S. Army Signal Corps in France, but by the time WWII was over, hundreds of thousands of women had donned uniforms to serve at home and abroad.

Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps (later the Women’s Army Corp): This organization was instituted by Congress in May, 1942. In July, 1943 the group was converted to active duty status, able to receive full military benefits. Headed up by Oveta Culp Hobby, a prominent Texan who later became the first secretary of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, the WAACs were modeled after comparable British units such as the ATS. Initially, the women were trained in three specialty areas: switchboard operators, mechanics, and bakers. Eventually, training would expand into dozens of specialties. Over 150,000 women served in the WAACs, most of them stateside.

Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Services (WAVES): Created in July, 1942, the WAVEs were led by Mildred McAfee, on leave as President of Wellesley College. WAVEs served on one of 900 U.S. naval stations, the only “overseas” post being the territory of Hawaii. Female officers took over positions formerly occupied by men such as physicians and engineers, while enlisted women served in jobs from administrative and clerical to parachute riggers. Just under 90,000 women served in the WAVEs.

United States Coast Guard Women’s Reserve (SPARS): Created in November, 1942, the SPARS, whose name was taken from the motto “Semper Paratus” (always ready), were recruited as part of a joint effort with the Navy and Marines. The partnership did not work out, and the Coast Guard withdrew from the agreement in July 1943. The leader was Dorothy Stratton, on leave as Dean of Women at Purdue University and a lieutenant in the WAVES. She was promoted to Lieutenant Commander and later Captain. The SPARS were assigned to every USCG district except Puerto Rico serving as general duty officers, drivers, clerks, parachute riggers, and a select few worked with LORAN (a top secret radio navigation system) at monitoring stations. About 11,000 women served in the SPARs.

US Marine Corps Women’s Reserve: The only women’s group not to feature a catchy name or acronym, the WR was authorized by Congress and signed into law by President Roosevelt in July 1942, but the Marine Corps delayed formation of the group until February 1943. The group’s purpose was to release men for combat – their recruiting mantra: “Free a Marine to fight.” A graduate of Bryn Mawr College and already part of the Reserve, Ruth Cheney Streeter, was chosen as their leader and sworn in as a major. The Marine Corps listed over two hundred specialties, but over half of the WR members served in clerical positions. Until 1944, the WR were prohibited from serving outside the continental United States, and then only in the Territory of Hawaii. At its peak, the Women’s Reserve had over 19,000 members.

Women’s Airforce Service Pilots (WASPS): Created in August, 1943 by the merge of the Women’s Flying Training Detachment (WFTD) and the Women’s Auxiliary Flying Squadron (WAFS), the WASPs was a civilian organization whose members were U.S. Federal Service employees. Over 25,000 women applied, but only 1,830 were accepted, and 1,074 competed the training. Working with the U.S. Army Airforce (the two were still one organization at this time), WASPs freed men for combat or other military duties and transported military aircraft, towed targets for live-ammo training, simulated strafing missions, and transported cargo. Serving only in the U.S., the women were stationed at one hundred and twenty two air bases. The program was disbanded in December 1944. In 1977, a bill signed by President Jimmy Carter awarded the WASPs military status.

U.S. Army Nurse Corp (ANC): Formed in 1901 by Congress, the ANC is one of six branches that make up the Army Medical Department, and is comprised entirely of Registered Nurses who are commissioned officers. At the start of WWII, there were fewer than 1,000 women in the ANC. Recruiting efforts targeted single, white women between the ages of 22 and 30 who received their training from civilian schools. Members who got married or became pregnant were discharged. It was not until February 1944 that ANC nurses received actual military ranks. Approximately 54,000 women served in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps.

U.S. Navy Nurse Corp (NNC): Congress formed the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps in 1908, however multiple sources indicate that women had been serving unofficially for decades, perhaps even a century. In addition to regular nursing duties, NNC members training Hospital Corpsmen who were sent to work aboard fighting ships and on invasion beaches, because women were not yet assigned at those locations. NNC nurses were also trained in surgery, orthopedics, anesthesia, contagion, nutrition, dietetics, physiotherapy, and psychiatry. Serving on six of the seven continents and islands around the globe, the Navy Nurse Corps had nearly 12,000 members.


Which group would you choose to serve?

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Blog Tour: A Promise Forged

Blog Tour: A Promise Forged



About the Book

  

Book Title: A Promise Forged  
Author: Cara Putman  
Genre: World War 2 Romance  
Release date: Originally released in 2010, Re-released in 2017

Kat transformed in front of him. Her chin came up, her fingers stopped twitching with the fabric of her gown, and a real sparkle bubbled in her eyes. It was like watching Snow White come to life when the prince kissed her. A heartwarming WWII historical from award-winning author Cara Putman: Kat Miller has dreamed of playing baseball her entire life. When she earns a spot on a team in the All-American Girls Professional Softball League, she finds that things aren’t as glamorous as she imagined. She struggles with long road trips, grueling practices, and older teammates who are jealous of her success. And to top it all off, an irritating reporter is constantly getting under Kat’s skin. Events in Jack Raymond’s career have left him cynical and distanced from God. He never wanted to write at a small paper, and he certainly didn’t want to be assigned to something as inconsequential as a women’s softball team. Then Kat walks into his life. The fiery, young softball player somehow climbs the walls around his heart and makes him want to hope again. When lies fly and the league appears to fail, will Kat and Jack’s new love survive?

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts


A Promised Forged is a charming story that effectively captures the flavor of WWII in the American Midwest. I am familiar with the All-American Girls Professional Softball League, but enjoyed experiencing the league through the eyes of one of its players. Kat and Jack are well-developed and interesting characters, but I struggled to relate to them – however, that may be a result of my being a few decades older. Slang from the era and periodic historic tidbits add dimension to the story. Jack’s struggle to reconcile his faith with the difficulties and unfairness of life is realistic without being preachy or contrived. Although they didn’t play large roles in the book, Kat’s parents were enjoyable characters. They obviously care for her, and the three have a close relationship. An easy read, I finished A Promise Forged in two sittings.

I received a copy of the book for free from CelebrateLit Publicity, and a positive review was not required. All opinions expressed are my own.


About the Author


Since the time she could read Nancy Drew, Cara has wanted to write mysteries. In 2005 she attended a book signing at her local Christian bookstore. The rest, as they say, was history. There she met a fellow Indiana writer Colleen Coble. With prompting from her husband, Cara shared her dream with Colleen. Since those infamous words, Cara’s been writing award-winning books. She is currently working on book 30 and 31. Cara Putman is an active member of ACFW, and currently serves on its Executive Board. She has also been the Indiana ACFW chapter president and served as the Area Coordinator for Indiana. Cara is also an attorney, lecturer at a Big Ten university, active in women’s ministry, and all around crazy woman. Crazy about God, her husband and her kids that is. She graduated with honors from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Go Huskers!) and George Mason Law School, and Krannert School of Management. You can learn more about Cara at www.caraputman.com <http://www.caraputman.com/>.

Guest Post from Cara


Each of my books starts with a hook that engages my interest, and then as I play with it, I think it will engage readers. A Promise Forged was no different. For this book I was writing a series of three World War II novels for Barbour. I already had two historical hooks that fascinated me: children evacuated from London to Ohio, a top secret project to break Engima in Dayton, but I needed one more. I knew the lead characters were going to be siblings, but I wasn’t sure what to do with the kid sister. Then I remembered the All-American Girls Professional Softball/Baseball League.

And I started thinking.

What would it have been like to desperately want a chance to play a sport you loved professionally?

And to be part of the nascent league when no one was sure whether it was a good or bad idea?

I decided that was the perfect place for Kat. She was the kid sister with fire and passion. She wanted a chance to prove herself, and this would be the perfect place. Then she needed a hero worthy of her. One who could go toe-to-toe with her and still see who she could be.

He came in the form of Jack, a cynical reporter who is disappointed to be assigned to cover girls’ baseball. But then he gets to know Kat and some of the others. And he sees something in her that she doesn’t see in herself. It’s the beginning of fireworks that he doesn’t think can go anywhere because she has to go home to her senior year of high school. As I began researching the history of the league, I learned that the AAGPS/BL archives were kept at a small museum in South Bend, a couple hours from where I live. I spent a day there talking with the curator and exploring all the records. Because the league wasn’t expected to last there weren’t many records from the first year. That meant I had to guess about some things like schedules based on what happened in the years after.

A Promise Forged became a book I loved writing. Kat was feisty, Jack was cynical, and baseball provided a great setting. I can’t believe this football loving woman can admit that!


Blog Stops

Here are Cara's remaining blog stops:

August 4: Among the Reads
August 4: The Power of Words
August 5: C Jane Read
August 5: Texas Book-aholic
August 6: Genesis 5020
August 7: Kat's Corner Books
August 7: Carpe Diem
August 8: Mary Hake
August 9: By The Book
August 10: Lighthouse Academy
August 10: Remembrancy
August 10: Jeanette's Thoughts
August 11: 100 Pages per Hour
August 11: Luv'N Lambert Life
August 11: Big Reader Site
August 12: Godly Book Reviews
August 12: Cafinated Reads
August 13: A Reader's Brain
August 13: Book by Book
August 14: All of a Kind Mom
August 14: Maureen's Musings
August 14: Daysong Reflections
August 15: The Morning Chapter
August 15: Amanda in PA
August 16: Bibliophile Reviews
August 17: Pause for Tales

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Cara is giving away a grand prize that includes the movie League of Their Own, a box of cracker jacks, M&Ms and a $20 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d2ac/a-promise-forged-celebration-tour-giveaway