Monday, July 31, 2017

Blog Tour: Crazy About Alaska

Blog Tour: Crazy About Alaska


Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

Book title: Crazy about Alaska  
Author: Shannon L. Brown  
Release date: June 30, 2017  
Genre: Sweet Contemporary Romance  

Can she trust love? Holly has her eye on a handsome state trooper. Not on her boring, oh-so-serious, former professor, Adam. Having her toes curl when she’s near Adam must be ignored. Holly just wants a great dad for her twin girls. She’s going to find one, write a novel to fulfill her dreams, and create a happy life. Falling in love isn’t part of her plan.

My Thoughts

Crazy about Alaska is the third book in the “Alaska Dream Romance” series, but it was easily read as a stand-alone. I loved the main characters Holly and Adam. They were realistic, with struggles and issues I could relate to. The book starts off with a bang then lagged for a bit in the middle before finishing strong. Adam’s interaction with Holly’s kids is fun and very natural for a guy not used to being around children; there were several “laugh out loud” and “awwww” moments. Having visited Alaska a couple of years ago, I loved reading about places I had been to or heard of, but the description periodically interrupted the story. The secondary characters (parents and siblings) were well developed, and Adam’s folks reminded me a lot of my in-laws. Being a dog lover and owner, I loved Adam’s relationship with his dog, Emma. The fact that he took her needs into account while house hunting was heart-warming. I look forward to reading other books by Shannon L. Brown.

I received this book for free from Celebrate Lit Publicity, and a positive review was not required. All opinions expressed are my own.

About the Author

Writing books that are fun and touch your heart Even though Shannon L. Brown always loved to read, she didn’t plan to be a writer. She earned two degrees from the University of Alaska, one in journalism/public communications, but didn’t become a journalist. Years passed. Shannon felt pulled into a writing life, testing her wings with a novel and moving on to articles. Shannon is now an award-winning journalist who has sold hundreds of articles to local, national, and regional publications. Shannon was born and raised in Alaska so she enjoyed writing the books in the Alaska Dream Romance series. “The Feather Chase” was her first published book and began the Crime-Solving Cousins Mystery series. The eight-to-twelve-year-olds in your life will enjoy this contemporary twist on a Nancy Drew-type mystery. Shannon lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with her professor husband and adorable calico cat.

Guest Post from Shannon Brown

Open Doors When a character opens the door and steps from her world into mine, writing about her is easier. Holly Harris in Crazy About Alaska is a real estate agent, and I was once one. I’ve driven clients around and shown them houses only to have them go a different direction. My husband and I bought a new house a few years ago, so I have tales to tell from that experience too. (Readers may think the purple shower is made up. Think again.) I chose to bring a college professor into her life as a love interest. I’m married to one. Some of myself always finds its way into a story. Sometimes, it’s just something I might like to do. Holly’s sister Jemma rehabs furniture in Falling for Alaska, book one in the series. The idea for her business came while I was watching HGTV’s Flea Market Flip. Taking trash and making it beautiful sounds like something I’d like to try. Jemma also dislikes coffee and drinks tea. (Here I am again.) But she is not exactly me. She’s cooking challenged, and I’m a good cook. Does the story become about the author when she inserts herself into it? Reality is only a fun fraction of the book. Holly has two men vying for her affections. That never happened. (It might have been fun if it had!) She also has five-year-old twins. I never experienced that. By far the most challenging of the sisters in the series was Bree in book two, Loving Alaska. She’s a doctor, and my knowledge of the medical profession comes from sitting on the exam table, not from doing the exam. I spoke with doctors I knew and brought her to life. But Bree isn’t all made up either. She despises being in nature, especially camping. I’ve camped on a frozen river, beside a lake after canoeing or boating in, and many more places, but I’m with Bree and hotels are greatly preferred. There I am in the story again. Reading the books I’ve written helps you know who I am. I’m a woman with a big imagination who enjoys bringing stories to life. Oh, and that slightly sarcastic sense of humor you may notice with Jemma and Holly? That might be from me as well.

Blog Stops

Here are the remaining stops on Shannon's tour:

August 1: Kat's Corner Books
August 2: Ashley's Bookshelf


To celebrate this tour, Shannon Brown is giving away a grand prize of a book lovers gift basket – a basket filled with book-related things!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Blog Tour: A Name Unknown

Blog Tour: A Name Unknown


Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book


Book title: A Name Unknown  
Author: Roseanna M. White  
Release date: July 4, 2017  
Genre: Historical Romance  

She’s Out to Steal His Name. Will He Steal Her Heart Instead? Rosemary Gresham has no family beyond the band of former urchins that helped her survive as a girl in the mean streets of London. Grown now, they are no longer pickpockets—now they focus on high value items and have learned how to blend into upper-class society. Rosemary’s challenge of a lifetime comes when she’s assigned to determine whether a certain wealthy gentleman is loyal to Britain or to Germany. How does one steal a family’s history, their very name? As Europe moved closer to World War I, rumors swirl around Peter Holstein. Awkward and solitary, but with access to the king, many fear his influence. But Peter can’t help his German last name and wants to prove his loyalty to the Crown—so he can go back to anonymously writing a series of popular adventure novels. When Rosemary arrives on his doorstop pretending to be a well- credentialed historian, Peter believes she’s the right person to help him dig through his family’s past. When danger and suspicion continue to mount, though, and both realize they’re in a race against time to discover the truth—about Peter’s past and about the undeniable attraction kindling between them.

My Thoughts

You've heard of sleeper movies? This is a sleeper book. The story begins slowly, which I struggled with a bit, but probably because of the large number of fast-paced suspense and mystery books I read. I loved the main characters. Rosemary Gresham is a believable mixture of grit, gumption, and insecurities. Peter Holstein stutters and hides behind his articulate author persona. He is oblivious to his strength of character (no pun intended), and I loved him for that. It was fun to follow his writing process. Mrs. Teague's about-face was a bit abrupt for me, but nice to see. I loved the plot twist at the end and didn't see it coming which made it all the more exciting. Peter's faith is strong yet gentle, and I appreciated how he was used to share the salvation message. A book to be enjoyed multiple times.

I received this book for free from Celebrate Lit Publicity, and was not required to provide a favorable review. All opinions expressed are my own.

About the Author

Roseanna M. White pens her novels beneath her Betsy Ross flag, with her Jane Austen action figure watching over her. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two children, editing and designing, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of over a dozen historical novels and novellas, ranging from biblical fiction to American-set romances to her British series. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to make their way into her novels…to offset her real life, which is blessedly boring. You can learn more about her and her stories at

Guest Post from Roseanna White

It’s always a challenge to make a historical setting authentic—especially when it’s set in a region you’ve only ever read about. As I was writing A Name Unknown, I learned so much about Cornwall—all the more when I had the opportunity to visit the gorgeous Penzance region while the book was still in edits! I quickly learned that I had far too many trees in my story, and hadn’t quite captured the uniqueness of the coastal setting. I dove into rewrites with excitement and gusto, ready to make my fictional Cornwall more like the real one. I studied the Cornish accent, Cornish foods, typical Cornish coloring in hair and eyes. I’ve now gotten rather proficient at making pasties (beef hand pies) from scratch, I’ve special-ordered ingredients to make Cornish ginger cookies called fairings, and I’ve spent quite a lot of time listening to videos of people speaking in a Cornish accent. Delving into this rich region and its history was a blast! And I’m so excited to get to share the culture of Cornwall—and a taste of their unique flavors—with you. In a special Celebrate Lit giveaway, I’ll be offering not only a signed copy of my book, but also some homemade ginger fairings! Here’s the recipe I used . . . after special ordering the Mixed Spice (reminiscent of pumpkin pie spice) and Golden Syrup (a thick syrup with a bit of a toffee flavor) from Amazon. 😉 (I have a gram scale so did use the weight measurements rather than volume—also, English teaspoons and tablespoons are a bit bigger than American, so I heaped them, and I turned out deliciously.)

GINGER FAIRINGS RECIPE 100 grams butter, cold and diced 225 grams all-purpose flour ¼ heaping teaspoon salt 2 heaping teaspoons baking powder 2 heaping teaspoons baking soda 1 heaping teaspoon ginger 2 heaping teaspoons mixed spice 100 grams superfine (caster) sugar 4 heaping tablespoons golden syrup Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease baking sheets or line with parchment paper. Combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices in a stand mixer. Add the butter and beat until mixture forms coarse crumbs. Stir in sugar. In a small saucepan, warm the golden syrup until it’s clarified a bit; stir into the flour mixture until a dough forms. Roll the dough into walnut sized balls and put on prepared baking sheets a few inches apart. Bake 8-10 minutes, until golden. Cool a few minutes on the trays and then transfer to a cooling rack.

Blog Stops

Roseanna's Remaining Blog Stops:

July 30: His Grace is Sufficient

July 30: Book Bits, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses

July 31: Reader's Cozy Corner

July 31: Cafinated Reads

July 31: Artistic Nobody

July 31: The Important Things in Life - God, Books, and Chocolate


To celebrate this tour, Roseanna is giving away a grand prize of a paperback copy of A Name Unknown & 2 dozen cookies from Roseanna!!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Talkshow Thursday: Meet Ruth Brown and Varis Gladstone

Talkshow Thursday: Meet Ruth Brown

Today is release day for Under Fire, the first in a trilogy about WWII war correspondent/amateur sleuth Ruth Brown. Grab a chair and get to know this spunky, tenacious gal who gets more than she bargains for when her sister, Jane, turns up missing.

LM: Hello, ladies, and welcome. Why don't you tell folks a bit about yourselves?

Ruth: Thanks for having us. After graduating from college, I got a job with my hometown newspaper as a reporter. Up until Jane's disappearance I mostly wrote for the society pages. A couple of times I managed to stumble on a real story, but I had to fight to hold onto the rights to those. I'm the oldest of three kids. My brother, Chip, is two years younger and in the Army. Jane is two years younger than Chip, and she worked in a factory that was converted to war work.

LM: We don't want to give away any spoilers, but what made you think Jane was still alive after the boating accident, even though her body was not recovered?

Ruth: As sisters, Jane and I have a special connection. Don't you feel that way about your own sister?

LM: As a matter of fact I do. We are very different in many ways, but I can't imagine my life without her. We live far apart and don't get together more than once a year or so, but when we do see each other, we take up right where we left off. Is that how it is with you and Jane?

Ruth: Exactly. Jane is artistic, flexible, and a little scatterbrained. I'm more regimented and can't draw a line with a ruler. But we're like two peas in a pod and can often finish each other's sentences. I thought I would feel it in my heart if she were gone. The police declared her dead after two weeks and closed the case. It was up to me to find out what happened.

LM: You ended up in England because of your investigation. What was that like?

Ruth: Exciting, educational, and nerve-wracking. I had never flown before, so that was an incredible experience. The propellers made lots of noise, but the seats were comfortable, and I met a very nice Englishman who was going home to pick up his grandchildren. When I arrived in London, it was difficult to find my way around because most of the street signs had been taken down in anticipation of an invasion by Germany. I had no idea it is only a little over twenty miles across the Channel at the narrowest part. The bombing was hair-raising, and I spent more than a few nights in Tube stations or air raid shelters.

LM: You had a run-in or two with the IRA. What was that all about?

Ruth: The IRA were quite active during the war. Many saw it as an opportunity to cover up their crimes, and they conducted many underhanded and evil acts. Others collaborated with the Abwehr in an effort to remove Northern Ireland from the UK and unify Ireland. They thought if Hitler won, they would be successful in their efforts. When one of my clues led me to Belfast, I was warned by one of the IRA members, a very creepy man.

LM: Some items were difficult to obtain during the war. What was that like?

Ruth: It seemed that nearly everything in England was rationed. That's probably not the case, but it felt like that. Food was especially dear in the cities. In the rural areas, everyone had gardens and grew their own vegetables. London doesn't have a lot of "green space" for that, so their food had to be brought in. There were lots of tinned foods, which frankly weren't very good. One of the other journalists told me they hadn't seen an onion in months. Can you imagine? Anyway, because things were difficult to come by, the black market was quite robust. If people had the money, they could get their hands on just about anything.

LM: What was it like being one of the few women reporters in London?

Ruth: In some ways, it was no different than at home where I was the only gal on the payroll at The Gazette. Many of the men believed women shouldn't be allowed to cover the war. Some of the men were condescending, others played pranks on us, and a few were downright hostile and tried to sabotage our work. I decided that my writing would prove my worth, and tried not to let their shenanigans get to me. In the end, it turned out okay.

LM:  Thanks for stopping by. Where can readers find Under Fire?

eLectio Publishing:!/Under-Fire-Paperback/p/88329129


Or from your independent bookstore.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Release Day!

Release Day!

Did you ever have something you were waiting for that seemed to take forever to arrive, and when it did it felt like it happened in an instant? That has been a bit what this exciting journey to publication has been like for me.

I have been writing since I was a child. It was only after my husband and I moved to New Hampshire that the idea of seeking publication began to germinate in my mind. I stumbled on some freelance opportunities and became a regular contributor to several regional and statewide travel and lifestyle magazines. I even managed to score an article in the national magazine Writer's Journal.

Around 2005, I decided to try my hand at writing a novel. I used NaNoWriMo as the impetus to get started. National Novel Writing Month is held during November, and participants commit to getting 50,000 words down on paper, on a project they begin on the first of the month. Despite being a rookie, I managed to meet the goal. By early the following year, I had finished the remaining 30,000 words and deemed my story ready for a publisher. Needless to say, it was not, and received numerous resounding rejections.

Fast forward to 2016. By then I had attended ten Crimebake conferences, several NH Writer's Project workshops, graduated from Jerry Jenkins' Christian Writers' Guild, and revised my story countless times. In between there, I had self-published some novellas. Then I was signed by not one, but two publishing companies! I had been waiting eleven years to be traditionally published, and my dream had come true. In many ways I felt every one of those years, and in other way, it felt like overnight success.

Sandra Barela of CelebrateLit Publishing contacted me and asked me to write a novelette that was included in their collection Let Love Spring. She was so pleased with my work, she asked me to write another that will be included in a Christmas collection releasing in November, 2017.

In early December of last year, Under Fire was accepted by eLectio Publishing, and a release date of July 25th was selected. The last six months have been a combination of waiting and work. Thanks to my beta readers, Jessica Baker, Rebecca Peterson, Mary Rowlette, Natalee Stotz, and Connie Tillman for taking time to read the manuscript and give me feedback. Thanks to the design team at eLectio who did such a creative job on the cover. The most common response I've had to it is "striking," and I must say I agree. Thanks to Jesse Greever and Christopher Dixon, who believed in me and my story, and have been such an encouragement during the process.

Please consider picking up your copy of Under Fire. (Hint: books make wonderful Christmas gifts too!)

I am visiting Donna Schlacter's blog History thru the Ages and Peg Bann Phifer's blog Whispers in Purple today. I hope you'll stop by.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Mystery Monday: W. Somerset Maugham-Playwright, Novelist and Spy

W. Somerset Maugham-Playwright, Novelist and Spy

W. Somerset Maugham
Every August, the local hospital conducts a street fair of enormous proportions. It has been held for decades and is greatly anticipated by locals and visitors alike. The book tent, which is of course my favorite, holds thousands of books. I have found countless treasures in the past and am looking forward to this year’s fair.

One of last year’s finds was W. Somerset Maugham’s Ashenden, or the British Agent. A collection of loosely related stories, it follows the career of writer-turned-spy Ashenden who decides his new career is not nearly as exciting as he expected. At one point he complains that his life “is orderly and monotonous as a city clerks.” Despite being surrounded by murder, intrigue, and betrayal, his job is to watch and report back to the “powers that be.”

Set during WWI and the subsequent Russian Revolution, Ashenden is partly based on Maugham’s own experiences. By 1914, he had published ten plays and ten novels. His eleventh book, Of Human Bondage, was released in 1915 while he was serving in France in the British Red Cross’s Ambulance Corp.

During his return to England to promote the book, he was recruited by Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service. His first assignment was in Geneva where he set himself up as a French playwright and acted as liaison between field agents and headquarters in London. The reports were coded into his manuscripts and escaped notice of the Swiss. In 1917, Maugham was sent to Russia to gather intelligence on the German spy network.

Too old to enlist during WWII, Maugham spent the war in the United States, where he was asked by the British government to make speeches to encourage the US to send aid to the UK.

Most consider him to be the first author of spy stories who was actually a spy. He considered his exploits useful for his writing career, but not much else. In Ashenden’s forward Maugham writes, “The work of an agent in the Intelligence Department is on the whole monotonous. A lot of it is uncommonly useless.”

I wonder what today’s spies would think about his words.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Talkshow Thursday: Meet Sandra Merville Hart

Talkshow Thursday: Meet Sandra Merville Hart

Linda:  Your latest book is the second in your Civil War Romance series. Where did you get the idea for your story?

Sandra: I had a feeling that there was a story waiting for me in Gettysburg. My husband and I went there to find it. We started at the battlefield where I found Tennessee regiments that fought the initial battle on the first day and were part of Pickett’s Charge. We attended ranger talks and tours. An idea began to form.

Gettysburg has many wonderful museums—we visited them. We took evening walking tours and walked the town’s streets around the “Diamond” where women and children lived through a nightmare. Then we returned to the battlefield.

Standing on Cemetery Ridge at dusk, I stared at the open field crossed by Pickett’s Charge. Though the land is peaceful now, it still tells a story. I also wanted to show what the townspeople endured. The idea for A Rebel in My House was born.

LM: You are an editor for How does that affect you as a writer?

Sandra: Besides editing the few submissions we receive, I write a lot of historical articles for The three main areas I write for on the site are Adventures in History, God’s World, and Holiday Traditions. This task has honed my skills for writing articles. Even a 200-300 word article requires research; I’ve become a better researcher. Learning where to find free images to enhance the post helped me for my own Historical Nibbles blog.

LM: Your website is full of fascinating historical information. Have you always enjoyed history or did something in your past spark an interest?

Sandra: Thank you! I’m thrilled that you like my blog. I had a great history teacher in high school. She brought history to life. It was the first time I thought of historical figures as people who struggled and triumphed as we all do. Then I took an elective in college for World War I. The teacher grabbed my attention the first night and held me spellbound with fascinating, behind-the-scenes, glimpses of the history.

My fascination with the Civil War began as a child with stories of brother against brother and father against son. I wanted to know more, even when in elementary school.

LM: Do you have an intriguing research story to share?

Sandra: When I went to research in Gettysburg for this novel, I decided to pay for a private ranger tour. I asked our Battlefield Guide, Clay Rebert, if there were any Tennessee regiments in the battle. I told him I was researching for a novel and didn’t have a clear idea of the story line yet. I study the history first and then the story solidifies. Our guide tailored the tour for my research and even missed part of his lunch hour. I had offered him my homemade chocolate chip cookies during the tour. He declined. My husband assured him that my cookies receive lots of compliments. He was very gracious and knowledgeable, answering all the questions I had at the time. When he missed part of lunch because of our tour, he accepted a couple of cookies and a bottled water. I hope that tided him over! 

LM: What do you do to prepare yourself for writing? For example do you listen to music or set up in a specific place?

Sandra: I write in my office. I turn on a box fan to mask background noise. That helps me focus.

LM: You seemed to have done a lot of traveling. If money were no object, what is your idea of the
ultimate vacation?

Sandra: Most of the traveling I’ve done has been for family vacations, conferences, and research. Often I don’t look for inspiration—it finds me. People and places with a history inspire me. Many stories fester for months and years before they enter my conscious thoughts. I’d love to tour Revolutionary War cities like Boston and Philadelphia. I’d also love to travel Route 66 at some point to see some of the family businesses that survived all these years. There’s a story idea there …

LM: What is your next project?

Sandra: Thanks for asking! I am writing a Civil War novel set primarily in Tennessee. A friend told me that a husband and wife served in the Confederate Army together. That sparked lots of research! An idea was born for a very different story. My working title for the new novel is A Lady in My Regiment.

LM: That sounds intriguing! Where can folks find you on the web?

Sandra: Thanks for hosting me, Linda! I’d love for folks to visit me on my blog, Historical Nibbles. I'd love to connect on Social Media too:

Amazon author page:

Watch the trailer here

Buy the book! 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Traveling Tuesday: A bit of inspiration

Traveling Tuesday: A bit of inspiration

Thanks to the internet I was able to visit England without leaving my chair, a necessity if I was going to get locations and other details correct in my novel, Under Fire, that releases a week from today. Because the story is set during WWII, facts such as which Tube stops were unusable due to bombing raids were important. I couldn't have my protagonist Ruth catching the train in the wrong place. When I was able to finally visit London and Hastings in 2015, it was thrilling to walk and stand where Ruth had been.

Ruth's story begins in a small, fictional town on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee, a town very similar to my own.

A view of the mountains from Lake Winnipesaukee

A waterfall on one of the islands

A summer cottage Ruth might have
seen while canoeing with Lill

Then she follows clues to London...

Hyde Park: One of the place's Ruth loved to visit.

The Tower of London

Tower Bridge from outside the Tower.
Ruth would have seen this when she followed Roger
to the docks on the River Thames

Big Ben (which is actually the name of the bell
inside Elizabeth Tower) that Ruth would have
seen while prowling the streets for stories

Victoria Memorial that Ruth would
have seen as she walked past
Buckingham Palace

I hope you've enjoyed your virtual tour of London. Be sure to read about Ruth's adventures in Under Fire, available from eLectio Publishing.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Talkshow Thursday: Meet Mary Ellis

Talkshow Thursday: Meet Mary Ellis

Author Mary Ellis
Today, I am welcoming author Mary Ellis, writer of mysteries, romance, and Amish fiction. Draw up a chair and get to know this busy lady!

Linda:  Mary, thanks for joining me today. Your latest book is the fourth in your Secrets of the South mystery series. Did you set out to write a series or did that just happen?

Mary: I did set out to write a series, because I find the South infinitely more “mysterious” than the beautiful Ohio countryside where I live. But I didn’t figure it would stretch into six books. I started with three favorite cities: New Orleans, Memphis, and Natchez. Then I added Savannah, Charleston, and Pensacola. I’m in the process of choosing a seventh city.

LM: You have published lots of books. What is your favorite part of the writing process?

Mary: Typing the words “The End” at the end of the manuscript. Seriously, I love the creative part, in other words, making up the story. I am definitely not fond of the editing process. But every author must check over his/her work before they send the book to their editor. Lest our publishers discover what bad spellers/grammarians we are.

LM: Most of your novels are contemporary. What made you decide to write the series set during the Civil War?

Mary: All my life I’ve been a history buff, the American Civil War in particular. As a Christian, I’m flummoxed by the fact that officers on both sides were devout Christians and believed God was on their side of the conflict. I’m so glad my publisher allowed me to write three books set during this tumultuous and paradoxical period.

LM: What do you do to prepare yourself for writing? For example do you listen to music or set up in a specific place?

Mary: I always have a candle burning and romantic music playing. I have a playlist of my favorite romantic songs like Evergreen, The Way We Were, The Rose, I Will Always Love You, etc. Love is the basis for almost every story ever written—love for a spouse, love for our children, or the greatest (true) story ever told, The Bible, love for our Lord.

LM: Research plays a huge part in preparing to write any book. Do you have an unusual research incident to share?

Mary:  Around a year ago, while doing a final fact check for Sunset in Old Savannah, my husband and I got separated by dozens of blocks while walking around a crowded city. Armed with bad maps, we had to find each other on foot in a sea of tourists. This might not have been difficult, but I have bad knees and hubby has a horrible sense of direction.

LM: LOL! What skill would you like to master? (e.g. learning a different language, carpentry, etc.)

Mary: I would love to speak French since I plan to go to Paris someday.

LM: Would you rather ride a bike, ride a horse, or drive a car?

Mary: I love riding all three, so I guess my answer depends on the distance. Going around the lake in my town? Horse! Taking the scenic path in the Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area? My twelve-speed! (however, I only use 3…) Going on a research trip down south? I’ll take my car every time!

LM: What is your next project?

Mary: I just finished book five in the series, Night Falls on Charleston. I am about to start the mystery set in Pensacola, tentatively titled Sweet Taste of Revenge.

LM: Where can folks find you on the web?


Thanks again for stopping by! It was such a pleasure getting to know you.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Wartime Wednesday: Those Who Have Gone Before

Wartime Wednesday: Those Who Have Gone Before

As men headed overseas or moved into the defense jobs during WWII, a void was created in every industry from agriculture to manufacturing. Initially, employers were reluctant to hire women, instead using prisoners of war, interned Japanese-Americans, and males too old or too young to go into the armed forces. Eventually, companies realized that without using women, production goals would never be met.

However, there was one industry that seemed to have no shortage of men: journalism. Nearly every newspaper and magazine in the U.S. from tiny weekly periodicals to national publications employed a man who covered the conflict on location. In order to be allowed in a war zone, a reporter had to be accredited. Accreditation was a long, tedious process, but by the end of the war over 1,473 men and 127 women had achieved that coveted status.

Martha Gellhorn and
then husband Hemingway
Despite their approval, many female correspondents faced scorn, derision, and opposition in the form of refusal to transport them to the front, as was part of the “deal” of being accredited. Instead, they had to coerce, bribe, or charm their way onto jeeps, trucks, or ships. Collier’s journalist Martha Gellhorn wrote in a letter to military authorities, “I have too frequently received the impression that women war correspondents were an irritating nuisance. I wish to point out that none of us would have our jobs unless we knew how to do them, and this curious condescending treatment is as ridiculous as it is undignified.”

Dickey Chappelle
Unable to get to Normandy on D-Day any other way, Gellhorn stowed away on a hospital ship. When told by one hard-nosed general that he didn’t want his Marines to have to pull up their pants because she was around Dickey Chappelle responded, “That won’t bother me one bit. My object is to cover the war.” And ex-fashion photographer Lee Miller managed to make her way to Dachau where she captured pictures of the camp’s liberation. These women the other 124 correspondents exhibited grit and grace to get the job done.

My forthcoming release, Under Fire, features War Correspondent/Amateur Sleuth Ruth Brown. It is my hope that her story will honor those correspondents who forged the trail for future generations of women who can now choose to do or be anything they want.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Cover Reveal and Giveaway

Cover Reveal and Giveaway

I am very excited about the upcoming release of Under Fire, the first book in my trilogy about WWII War Correspondent/Amateur Sleuth Ruth Brown. Before I show you the cover and tell you about the #giveaway, let me share a bit about Ruth and what she's going to get herself into...

As a journalist for the newspaper in her small town, Ruth is relegated to writing society columns and other incidental news. She longs to be taken seriously by her editor, so she ferrets out stories where she can. When her sister is reported missing and then declared dead after a boating accident, Ruth is convinced Jane is still alive. Using her investigative skills, Ruth pokes around the company where her sister worked and manages to get herself assigned to report on the union negotiations. When things grow contentious, Ruth decides there's more to the situation than meets the eye.

Following one clue after another, she realizes the trail leads to England, a country in the midst of a war. Convincing her editor to assign her to London as a correspondent, Ruth juggles reporting on the war with getting to the bottom of her sister's disappearance. By the time she uncovers what really happened she has stumbled on black marketers, resistance fighters, and the IRA - all of whom many want her dead.

Sound intriguing? You can find out what happens by picking up your copy on July 25th!

Now...ready to see the fabulous cover?

I absolutely love the design. I hope you do too.

So, about that giveaway I mentioned...I would appreciate your help in spreading the word about Under Fire. By doing so, you can enter a drawing to win a copy of my two historical novellas, Love's Harvest and On the Rails.

To enter, share this post on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or other social media outlet, then leave a comment on the post telling me where you shared it. (You'll receive one entry for each location where the post is shared.) I'll draw a winner on Friday, July 14th. If a U.S. winner is chosen, the prize will be paperback versions. If an international winner is chosen, the prize will be eBook versions.

 Thanks for your help!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Blog Tour: Finding Love

Blog Tour: Finding Love

Purchase your copy here.

About the Book


Book: Finding Love
Author: Toni Shiloh  
Release date: June 28, 2017  
Genre: Contemporary  

Delaney Jones has finally started to pick up the pieces of her shattered life after the death of her husband, Parker. Just as life enters a new normal, in walks Army soldier, Luke Robinson. Just when she makes the decision to trust him, life deals her a heavy blow. Sergeant First Class Luke Robinson can’t get over his part in the death of Delaney’s husband. In hopes to assuage his guilt, he offers to lend a hand. Only, he never counted on the feelings she evokes with just a smile. Will his secrets widen the gulf or will he finally find absolution?

My Thoughts:

Finding Love effectively explores themes of forgiveness, God's mercy, and his plans for people's lives while covering topics of interracial relationships, military service, and widowhood. I loved the main characters, Luke and Delaney, and especially enjoyed the close relationship Delaney had with her brother. I thought the strong attraction between Luke and Delaney showed up a little too early in the story, but the characters are both in their late 30s, so perhaps at that stage in life, you're more equipped to know when that special someone shows up. The dialogue was natural, and I enjoyed the descriptions Ms. Shiloh used such as "his insides felt more twisted up than tangled fishing line." The scenes when Luke interacts with Delaney's sons made me laugh, and I teared up at the moving scene with the three of them near the end. There were a couple of plot twists that were "Oh, wow" moments, and I was anxious to see how they would be resolved. The discussions about spiritual concepts were well-written, serving to encourage and exhort at the same time they pushed the characters' development forward. A highly enjoyable story.

I received this book for free from Celebrate Lit Publishing, and I was not required to provide a favorable review. All opinions expressed are my own.

About the Author


Toni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and Christian fiction writer. Once she understood the powerful saving grace thanks to the love of Christ, she was moved to honor her Savior. She writes to bring Him glory and to learn more about His goodness. She spends her days hanging out with her husband and their two boys. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the president of the ACFW Virginia Chapter.

Guest post from Toni Shiloh

I’m so excited about this book tour for Finding Love. This book holds a special place in my heart. The pathway to writing Finding Love was not as easy as I thought it would be. For the most part, my brain has an idea or characters share their story, and bam, I’m off and writing at my laptop. I decided to write Finding Love when I got the contract for Buying Love, the first book in the series. I figured fans would want to read another story in the fictional Maple Run, Virginia. I also figured that Shorty and Nikki’s story would be the second book, but alas, they refuse to talk to me. The reason I love Finding Love so much is because it’s about what every person is searching for: love. We search for it in families, in friends, and in that romantic ideal of happily ever after. And even greater, it’s a testament of God’s love for us. Sometimes, love is scary. To let another person in our heart, bare our secrets, and hold our breath waiting for them to accept us…makes a person’s heart quake. With Delaney, she wasn’t even trying to find love, but it rode in on Harley seeking for forgiveness. I loved watching Luke and Delaney fall in love and I pray you do as well. Blessings, reader friends!

Blog Stops

Here are the remaining stops on Toni's blog tour:

July 9: A Path to Joy


To celebrate this tour, Celebrate Lit Publishing is giving away three $15 Amazon gift cards!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Talkshow Thursday: Meet Dana Mentink

Talkshow Thursday: Meet Dana Mentink

I'm pleased to have multi-published author, Dana Mentink, with me today. Draw up a chair and your favorite beverage and get to know this interesting lady!

Linda:  Thanks for joining me. Your latest book, Dangerous Testimony, sounds intriguing. Where did you get the inspiration for the plot?

Dana: I'm a huge fan of the 'stuck on a deserted island/remote mountaintop/space station, with only your wits to get you out' kinda story. I'd been reading up on the Channel Islands and it sort of materialized in my imagination.

LM: You have published lots of books. What is your favorite part of the writing process?

Dana: I love that moment when you get the "ah ha!" idea, that special twist or plot reveal that you know is going to thrill your reader! I've been known to get out of the shower just to write it down!

LM: Your novels have featured a variety of locations. When you write, how do you go about choosing which location to use, and do you have a favorite?

Dana: Being a California girl, I tend to default to my own coast, but really any setting that interests me will work.

LM: What do you do to prepare yourself for writing? For example do you listen to music or set up in a specific place?

Dana: I have to have QUIET. To that end, I get up early before the Mentink bear cubs, and in the afternoon I work outside in the garden. Thank goodness for the ipad!

LM: You live in California where you say “the weather is golden.” If money were no object, what is your idea of the ultimate vacation?

Dana: Well, I would like to go to spring training in Arizona and see my beloved Giants prep for the season. I'm saving up my dimes in a 2 liter bottle because someone told me if you fill a 2L all the way up with dimes, it's the equivalent of $500. You know what? It takes a REALLY long time to fill up a soda bottle with dimes!

LM: Ha! I'll be it does. What is the quirkiest thing you’ve ever done?

Dana: Oh my. Well, I'm a third grade teacher so I've been to work dressed as a blue M &M. Does that count?

LM: Definitely! What is your next project?

Dana: I'm deep into a cowboy suspense series for Love Inspired. The first releases in November, I believe, entitled Cowboy Christmas Guardian. I also write lots of ebook mysteries and romances which are available online via Amazon.

LM: Where can folks find you on the web?

Dana: All the usual 'cyber stops' via my website, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc. Right now I'm encouraging people to sign up for my newsletter (I do a lot of subscriber exclusives) and I am usually running a contest via my YouTube channel. Right now we're in the middle of a cross country candy road trip. Yum! Thank you very much for having me. 

Twitter: @danamentink
YouTube Channel: 

Monday, July 3, 2017

Mystery Monday: Under Fire

Mystery Monday: Under Fire

Three weeks and counting until the release of my full-length mystery, Under Fire, featuring War Correspondent/Amateur Sleuth Ruth Brown. The book has been a long time in coming. It was one of the first manuscripts I wrote, and it was awful! Then I stumbled on Jerry Jenkins' Christian Writer's Guild and enrolled in his one year Journeyman course that paired me with multi-published, award winning author Eva Marie Everson. As we worked through the classes, and she gave me specific, encouraging feedback my writing improved and so did the story. I submitted it to several publishers before being accepted by eLectio Publishing last winter.

Combining themes of God's grace, forgiveness, and second chances, Under Fire is set during the early days of World War II when the Allies were struggling to achieve victory on multiple battle fronts. England was suffering the Blitz, European countries were falling by the week, and America had entered a war on foreign soil.

I hope you are intrigued by the "back of book" blurb:

WWII War Correspondents
Small-town journalist Ruth Brown's sister Jane is pronounced dead after a boating accident in the Spring of 1942. Because Jane's body is missing, Ruth is convinced her sister is still alive. A series of events and discoveries raise Ruth's suspicions about Jane's work at the local manufacturing plant, then additional clues send Ruth to war-torn London. By the time their brother contacts her with the devastating news that Jane's body has been found, and evidence suggests she was murdered, Ruth has stumbled on black marketers, resistance fighters, and the IRA-all of whom may want her dead.

Releasing on July 25th, the cover will be revealed soon!