Sunday, April 29, 2018

Blog Tour: Presumption and Partiality

Blog Tour: Presumption and Partiality

About the Book

Title: Presumption and Partiality  
Author: Rebekah Jones  
Genre: Historical Christian Fiction
Release Date: November 27, 2017

Among the cotton fields and farmland of Gilbert, Arizona in the early years of the Great Depression, Mr. and Mrs. Bailey live a simple, but happy life with their five daughters on a cotton farm. When the wealthy Richard Buchanan moves to town, bringing his family, a friend, and a desire to learn about cotton, Matilda Bailey is convinced that he is the perfect candidate to marry her eldest daughter, Alice. Richard is cheerful, friendly, and likable. His friend Sidney Dennison doesn’t make such a good impression. Eloise Bailey decides he’s arrogant and self-conceited, but when Raymond Wolfe comes to town, accusing Sidney of dishonorable and treacherous conduct, Eloise is angered at the injustice of the situation. When the Buchanan household leaves town, Alice must turn to the Lord and face, perhaps, her most difficult test in trust, while Eloise takes a trip to visit her friend and may well discover a web of deceit that she doesn’t really want to believe exists.

Click here to purchase your copy.

My Thoughts

I enjoy “retelling” books and thought the premise of Presumption and Partiality (love the title) being set during the Great Depression was interesting and unique. The author kept very close to the original Pride and Prejudice plot points, which gave the book credibility, but I was disappointed at some of the execution of the story. In the beginning I struggled to keep up with which character in the retelling was supposed to be which character in the original, but it got easier as the story progressed. The writing style and dialogue felt more like the Georgian/Regency era than the American 1930s, and I had trouble feeling the Depression era. The occasional references to Sidney’s Navajo heritage felt more like an aside than an integral part of the story. I would have liked to have seen this aspect developed more fully. Eloise’s mother was closely aligned with Austen’s original character, but I would have preferred the use of fewer exclamation points in her dialogue. I liked how the Collin’s character was portrayed, and also Eloise’s and Jane’s work with the poor and needy. It gave them extra depth and introduced an opportunity to explore Christian service. The other characters were also true to the original which I liked. The situation with the “Lydia” character had a creative slant to it, and the subject matter handled with sensitivity.

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

About the Author

Rebekah Jones is first and foremost a follower of the Living God. She started writing as a little girl, seeking to glorify her King with her books and stories. Her goal is to write Bible-Centered, Christian Literature; books rich with interesting characters, intricate story lines, and always with the Word of God at the center. Besides writing, she is an avid reader, songwriter, pianist, singer, artist, and history student. She also loves children. She lives with her family in the Southwestern desert.

Guest Post from Rebekah Jones

Why is he a Navajo?

I’ve had more than one person ask me why I chose to make Sidney Dennison, the “Mr. Darcy” of my novel Presumption and Partiality, a Navajo Indian.

When I commenced planning and research for placing a retelling of Pride and Prejudice in the 1930’s United States, I found myself drawn to the desert of Arizona rather early on. Specifically, the tiny farm town of Gilbert. I knew, however, that few rich people lived in that area; certainly not enough to create social rifts large enough to recreate the social differences of the original novel.

I experimented in my head with a few different ideas, but the idea of Sidney as a Native American came to me one day and just clicked. I knew that I couldn’t fully pull off a Navajo who lived on the reservations. As much as I researched, I couldn’t quite get the feel. Yet, a man whose ancestry included a white man as a grandfather, who lived outside the reservations, though with relatives who clung to some of the old traditions, I thought I could do.

I used to wish I were an Indian, in part because I wanted to have great tracking skills, live in a tee-pee, possess superb bow and arrow abilities, and I wanted to ride a horse. True, most of that did not enter a 1930’s novel, despite my Navajo cowboy, because the eras are different. Though, Sidney did get a horse. Or technically, several.

Further, something about the silent, good-looking Indian appealed to me, much as I tend to shy away from writing about handsome and beautiful people, since they feel so common in fiction. The minute I began imagining the man with his Navajo ancestry, he just felt perfect.

By the end, Sidney turned out to be one of my favorite characters. (I can’t ever pick just one in my novels.) I think I made a good choice and I hope my readers will agree!

Blog Stops


To celebrate her tour, Rebekah is giving away a grand prize of the complete set of the Vintage Jane Austen Collection!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Talkshow Thursday: Meet Author Rachel Good

Talkshow Thursday: Meet Author Rachel Good

Linda:  Thanks for joining me today. Congratulations on your latest release The Teacher’s Gift. The book explores themes of forgiveness and second chances. Where did you find your inspiration for this story?

Rachel: The idea for the story came to me when I was playing with my Amish friend’s daughter, who is on the autism spectrum. Then I met a young hearing-impaired girl with Down syndrome at an Amish secondhand store. I wondered about their schooling, which led to researching and attending Amish special needs schools and centers. Once I started meeting these students, along with their parents and teachers, my heart was touched. The Amish live their belief that each child is a precious gift from God by encouraging their children to live up to their potential and making them a vital part of the Amish community.

As for the forgiveness theme, years ago the Nickel Mines shooting in PA was devastating. A man entered an Amish schoolhouse and shot children. The Amish not only forgave the man, but also reached out to his family. Although as Christians, we’ve experienced the power of God’s forgiveness, the secular world couldn’t believe the way the Amish opened their hearts and embraced those who had hurt them. That tragedy taught me a lot about forgiveness, and that forgiveness can be the key to healing so many hurts. I wanted my Amish characters to live out that truth in the pages of my story.

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

Rachel: I used to be a planner. I had meticulous charts and sticky notes with plot points, but once I had so many deadlines close together, I didn’t have time to do all the planning. Now I write a brief synopsis before I began, so I have an idea of the beginning, middle, and end. Then I plunge in and write.

For me, the best part of the process is the creative part of coming up with ideas for new books. Actually writing them is much harder. Another favorite part of writing is suddenly getting a brainstorm in the middle of the story or realizing that an item or scene I included earlier that didn’t seem particularly important at the time is, in fact, an important element to resolving the plot. That happens often, and I know then that my writing has been led and my inspiration is coming from outside of me.

LM: Research is a large part of any book. How did you go about researching The Teacher’s Gift and did you discover any extra special tidbits of information?

Rachel: I spend a lot of time with Amish friends – doing chores on their farms, babysitting their children, and participating in special events. I try to be as accurate as possible when I choose my storylines and do a lot of research. For The Amish Teacher’s Gift, I spent time with parents and teachers of special needs children, visited schoolhouses, and toured the Community Care Center that teaches Amish and Mennonite children with special needs.

The thing that surprised me most was how up-to-date the Amish are in teaching children with special needs. In the Community Care Center, they had a multi-sensory environment—a room with dark walls and only a small string of Christmas lights twinkling. They’d added a recliner, a hammock, a ball pit (with those plastic balls they have at fast-food restaurants), and headphones for blocking out noise. It was such a peaceful place, I didn’t want to leave, and it works well to calm autistic children. They also used letterboards and many other teaching aids that have been shown by cutting-edge research to be the best. I tried to give the flavor of this in my book, but I wish everyone could tour the center and see it for themselves.
LM: How did you get started as a writer, and how did you decide to seek publication? 

Rachel: When my 5 children were ages 8 and under, I needed to do something to help me keep my sanity. 😉 That’s when I started writing. I began by taking the Institute of Children’s Literature course, which was very helpful. My instructor encouraged me to send one of my articles out, and that led to my first published piece in Highlights for Children magazine. Next, I wrote stories that were published in Sunday School take-home papers and Christian women’s magazines.

From there, I began writing articles and books for educational publishers. Then at the Oregon Christian Writer’s Conference once summer, I met my agent, Mary Sue Seymour, who encouraged me to write Amish novels for adults. She sold my first series, but she died before it came out. That was heartbreaking for me. Nicole Resciniti took over the agency, and she has been wonderful about selling my other series. I’m really grateful to all the people along the way who encouraged and mentored me.

LM: You live in a beautiful area of the world, a place many people visit. If money were no object, what is your idea of the ultimate vacation?

Rachel: I love to travel the world. My goal is to visit every continent. I’ve been to all of them except Australia and Antarctica. For me, the ultimate vacation would be seeing penguins in Antarctica. 😊

LM: Here are some quickies:
Favorite movie: Confession time here. I don’t go to the movies or watch TV, so I probably haven’t seen one in ten or more years. I’ve probably seen a dozen in my lifetime. The only one I really remember is Sound of Music.
Favorite author: Madeleine L’Engle
Favorite childhood book: The Little Princess

LM: What is your next project?

Rachel: I’m always working on several projects at once, so I’m working on the next book in this series, The Amish Midwife’s Gift (Nov. 2018) along with two books due to Love Inspired in June—Gift from Above and Big-City Amish. I’m jotting down ideas for an Amish Christmas anthology, and writing two children’s books.

LM: Where can folks find you on the web?


Book Blurb: 

Widower Josiah Yoder wants to be a good father. But it's not easy with a deaf young son who doesn't understand why his mamm isn't coming home. At a loss, Josiah enrolls Nathan in a special-needs school and is relieved to see his son immediately comforted by his new teacher, a woman who sweet charm and gentle smile just might be the balm they both need.

With seven siblings to care for, Ada Rupp wasn't sure she wanted to take on teaching, too. But the moment she holds Nathan in her arms, she realizes she'll do all she can to help this lost little boy. Plus, it gives her a chance to spend more time with Josiah. Falling for a man in mourning may be against the rules, but his quiet strength is the support Ada never knew she needed. And, together, they could have the loving family she'd always hoped for.

Purchase Link:

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Wartime Wednesday: Making your Own Clothes

Wartime Wednesday:  Making your Own Clothes

I once lost the button on a pair of pants, but my sewing skills are so abysmal I ended up using a decorative lapel pin in place of the button. The last thing I had made for myself was a poorly executed blouse in 9th grade Home Ec., so I didn’t keep needles or thread in the house. To be fair, to make the repair I would have had to go to the store and purchase the items, only to be left with a huge spool of thread I would never need again. Seemed like a waste, and the solution I came up with was fast and easy.

My mom made all our clothes while we were growing up, and I have a friend who is a professional seamstress. Meanwhile, I still can’t sew.

Several times a month, I conduct speaking engagements about a variety of World War II topics, and as part of the event I wear one of two costumes that I had made from vintage patterns. The first is from Vogue and is for a jumpsuit that was worn as a uniform for the Women’s Land Army and some factories. The other is a Hollywood brand pattern and is for a day dress.

A fascinating discovery my seamstress friend and I made is that the craft of sewing has changed over the years. Some supplies had different names in the 40s such as the zipper that was called a slide closure. And techniques have also changed. When I was in school, we were taught to sew seams “right side together.” Simple enough, right? Apparently, that approach was developed later. The dress pattern I purchased advised the seamstress to create the skirt and top separately, rolling the seams and then connecting them. What?

The tissue paper pieces of the Vogue pattern are also vastly different than pieces sold now. Modern patterns are imprinted with indications for seams, darts, and button holes. The vintage pattern pieces are blank with small holes punched in various locations to indicate sizing, and small triangle cutouts to indicate darts. Talk about confusing.

But as usual the government set out to help its citizens and issued helpful films. Sewing Simple Seams is from 1947, but there were plenty other movies created during the war.

The more I learn about what women did to provide for themselves and their families, the more in awe I am.   

Monday, April 23, 2018

Mystery Monday: Drew Farthering Mysteries

Mystery Monday: Drew Farthering Mysteries

This spot has typically been reserved for information about writers from The Golden Age of Detective Fiction or other similar topics. Today I want to introduce you to Juliana Deering's Drew Farthering Mysteries that I discovered a couple of years ago as a review blogger.

The books are set in 1930s England, and Amazon describes the series as Downton Abbey meets Agatha Christie, but I would have to disagree. To me the books are a mixture of Dorothy Sayers (Lord Wimsey) and Dashiell Hammett (Nick Charles without the liquor). Dapper and dashing, he is young enough to be cool, but as a titled, English gentleman who comes from a long line of English Lords, Drew is proper when the situation calls for it.

The author, interestingly, is a fifth generation Texan, yet has obviously done her research, because the dialogue is decidedly British with no anachronisms or Americanisms (which I find too often in historical or books set in England). The descriptions of dress, social customs, and day-to-day life are vivid and sprinkled throughout, effectively evoking the era. The mysteries are clever, and red herrings, Macguffins, and clues abound, as to the possible suspects.

I enjoy historical fiction that informs and educates in addition to entertaining, and the Drew
Farthering series does that. With every book, I have come away with new knowledge which is tough to do, considering the amount of reading and research I've done for my own books.

Thus far there are six books, and I'm looking forward to the next installment of this delightful set.


Thursday, April 19, 2018

Talkshow Thursday: Meet award winning author Amanda Cabot

Talkshow Thursday: Meet award winning author Amanda Cabot

Linda:  Thanks for stopping by my blog, and congratulations on your latest release A Borrowed Dream. I appreciate that your books can be read in any order, even those part of a set. What was your inspiration for this particular story?

Amanda: I’m delighted to be here, Linda, and thank you for the opportunity to be part of your blog.  As for the inspiration for this book, if you’ve read the last of my Westward Winds trilogy, With Autumn’s Return, you know that I’m interested in nineteenth century medicine, especially the advances that occurred when the horrors of what was called Heroic Medicine (techniques like bleeding and purging) were replaced by more modern theories such as cleanliness. I still shudder when I think about those leeches, not to mention the bleeding cups!

Since I’d already created a heroine who was a doctor (Elizabeth in With Autumn’s Return), I didn’t want to repeat that. That would be boring for you and for me. Instead, I decided to pair a woman who’s seen just how barbaric Heroic Medicine can be and who has a justifiable mistrust of all physicians with a highly skilled surgeon. You can imagine the conflict that caused.

LM:  Wow! You're right - I can only imagine the conflict! How do you decide where to set a story?

Amanda: The short answer is: carefully.  The full answer is a bit longer.  First of all, the setting needs to be someplace I’ve actually visited.  While I know some authors are comfortable doing their research about places online, I believe it’s important to know what the air smells like, to see and touch the plants that are growing there, to listen to residents’ accents, to taste the local cuisine.  In other words, I need all my senses engaged before I can begin to write a book.  It also has to be a place that ignites my imagination, and it’s an easier sell to a publisher if it’s a reader favorite.  The Texas Hill Country meets all those criteria, which is the reason the majority of my books are set there.

LM: Lots of research goes into each story to ensure historical accuracy. On your website you indicate that a great place to start researching is the children’s section of the library. What is an “aha” or “wow” moment you had while conducting research for one of your books?

Amanda: When I started thinking about what became my Texas Dreams trilogy, I knew I wanted to set it in the Hill Country and expected my fictional town to have been settled by Germans like so many of the Hill Country communities.  But as I was reading T.R. Fehrenbach’s Lone Star (not something I found in the children’s section!), I found a reference to a town whose settlers came from Alsace and were both French and German.  That was a definite aha! moment, because it gave me a readymade conflict based on the centuries-old enmity between those two countries.

LM: I love that! Have you ever experienced writer’s block, and if so, what did you do to push through it?

Amanda: I’ve never had a full-fledged attack of writer’s block, but there are times when I’d rather be doing anything – even cleaning house, which is my least favorite thing in the world – than writing.  When that happens, I take a walk.  I’m a firm believer in the therapeutic effects of exercise, not only for burning calories but also for releasing endorphins and breaking through mental barriers.

LM: Great advice! What is your least favorite part of the writing process?

Amanda: Without a doubt, it’s the first draft.  I refer to them as the skeletons.  Like real skeletons, first drafts are essential, because they’re the framework on which everything else rests, but they’re ugly.  I’m always thrilled when I finish that first draft and can start adding the flesh and blood, which is my term for the second draft.

LM: Here are some quickies:

Favorite childhood book: Little Women
Favorite season: Spring
Favorite place to vacation: Yellowstone

LM: What is your next project?

Amanda:  The publishing cycle is so long that you may not be surprised to know that I’m currently working on the first book in a new series.  This one, which has only a working title at this point, will be released in 2020.  Like the Cimarron Creek books, it’s set in a fictional town in the Texas Hill Country, but unlike them, it takes place in an earlier time, specifically 1856.  Meanwhile, A Tender Hope, which is the last of the Cimarron Creek trilogy, has been through its first round of edits, and the cover is being designed as we speak.  That book will be released in March 2019. 

LM: Where can folks find you on the web?


The first place to start is my web site,  That’s the go-to spot for information about each of my books, including excerpts, discussion group questions, and – new for A Borrowed Dream – bonus features.
You can also find me on Facebook at either my author page or my personal one
If you prefer Twitter, I’m there too.

And, if you’d like to learn a bit more about my adopted home, be sure to look for my Wednesday in Wyoming posts on my blog

Book Blurb: 
There is no such thing as an impossible dream . . .

Catherine Whitfield is sure that she will never again be able to trust anyone in the medical profession after the local doctor’s treatments killed her mother. Despite her loneliness and her broken heart, she carries bravely on as Cimarron Creek’s dutiful schoolteacher, resigned to a life where dreams rarely come true.

Austin Goddard is a newcomer to Cimarron Creek. Posing as a rancher, he fled to Texas to protect his daughter from a dangerous criminal. He’s managed to keep his past as a surgeon a secret. But when Catherine Whitfield captures his heart, he wonders how long he will be able to keep up the charade.

With a deft hand, Amanda Cabot teases out the strands of love, deception, and redemption in this charming tale of dreams deferred and hopes becoming reality.

Purchase Links: 

Amanda's Bio: Amanda Cabot is the bestselling author of more than thirty novels including the Texas Dreams trilogy, the Westward Winds series, the Texas Crossroads trilogy, A Stolen Heart, and Christmas Roses. A former director of Information Technology, she has written everything from technical books and articles for IT professionals to mysteries for teenagers and romances for all ages.  Amanda is delighted to now be a fulltime writer of Christian romances, living happily ever after with her husband in Wyoming.  

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Wartime Wednesday: A book review

Wartime Wednesday: A book review

Today's Wartime Wednesday post is a review of Tamera Kraft's Resurrection of Hope set immediately following WWI (also known as The Great War). I'm not as familiar with this era as others I've heavily researched so I enjoyed the author's ability to set the stage and educate me without being dry or textbookish. I highly recommend this book - read on to find out why.

Resurrection of Hope started out with an attention-grabbing beginning and kept me turning pages late into the night. I finished the book in two sittings. The story was set immediately following WWI (The Great War), a time period I’m unfamiliar with, so I enjoyed the details and descriptions that educated me as well as helped immerse me into the era. Vivien and Henry both have so many issues, which frustrated me at some level, but created exquisite tension between them. Childhood baggage, misunderstandings, insecurities, and an inability to effectively communicate made their marriage a rocky road that seemed doomed to failure. Wounded by inept and cruel parents, both struggled to understand how God could care about them, and I wept for them as they sought answers to the difficult questions of life, especially why God allows those we love to be taken from us too early. The minor characters were not as well developed as I would have liked, and some of the solutions a little too pat, but the climax at the end was absolutely gripping. A story of grace and forgiveness, especially of ourselves. Highly recommended.

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

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Traveling Tuesday: Wyoming and WWII

Traveling Tuesday: Wyoming and WWII

Situated in the Mountain Region, Wyoming is the least populous state and the second least densely populated state. At 253,600 square kilometers, Wyoming is about half the size of Spain and slightly larger the UK. Bordered by Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, and Idaho, the state had a population of about 250,000 people in 1940.  

About ten percent of the Wyoming’s men served in the Armed Forces, but the state played many more roles during World War II.

Army Air Bases: The Army Air Force (the Air Force separated from the Army in September 1947) established numerous airfields for training fighter and bomber pilots and air crews. The two major fields were located in Casper and Cheyenne. The fate of the bases is varied. Some became municipal airports while others were retained by the Air Force. Some were left to go back to the agricultural fields they had been. Meanwhile, the hundreds of “temporary” buildings still survive.

Camp Douglas POW Camp: From 1943 to 1946, the camp of 180 buildings housed Italian and German prisoners-of-war. Very few of the buildings remain, but the Officer’s club still stands. Inside the walls are covered in murals depicting western life and folklore. Painted by three Italian prisoners, the murals are now on the National Register of Historic Places with the National Park Service. The installation of the camp created a housing shortage for military personnel (not housed in the camp), so most residents of the city rented out rooms. In addition, because of the number of men who left to serve, there was a shortage of workers in the agricultural industry. Therefore, the some of the prisoners were used to fill the void. At its peak, the camp housed more than 3,000 inmates.

Heart Mountain Relocation Camp: Many people are aware of the internment of Japanese citizens from the west coast states, but did you know there was a large population of Japanese, Italian, and German folks in Wyoming? Forced to register and carry photographic identification cards after the attack on Pearl Harbor, many of these people eventually lost their jobs. According to one article, railroad employees were fired, but miners continued to work. (Did no one else want the job? Did the government decide they couldn’t do any harm working deep in the mountains?) Eventually the Japanese were evacuated to the Heart Mountain Relocation Center located between Cody and Powell. Japanese from California were also transported there. The camp closed November 10, 1945, more than three months after the end of the war.

Mining: Coal mining in Wyoming commenced in 1867 with the arrival the Union Pacific Railroad. Coal was necessary to power the locomotives. Working this hard, dangerous job thousands of miners lost their lives from explosions and fires. In the early 1900s laws were passed to ensure worker safety. Coal had many uses, and its demand skyrocketed during WWII. Wyoming also mined iron and produced oil for the war effort.

A beautiful state with a proud history. Have you ever visited?

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Blog Tour: Treacherous Trails

Blog Tour: Treacherous Trails

About the Book

  Title: Treacherous Trails  
Author: Dana Mentink  
Genre: Inspy Romanctic Suspense  
Release Date: March, 2018  
Falsely accused… Can she escape the real killer? In this second installment in the Gold Country Cowboys series, farrier Ella Cahill is accused of murder—and only former marine Owen Thorn, her brother’s best friend, can help clear her name. Now with someone trying to kill Ella, Owen must protect her…despite his promise to her brother to stay away from her. But can they work together to find the true killer before she becomes the next to die?

Click here to purchase your copy.

My Thoughts

Treacherous Trails is the second book in Dana Mentink’s Gold Country Cowboys series, and if possible, is better than the first which is excellent. The intrigue and suspense kept me turning pages and were deftly woven with the romantic thread of the developing relationships between Luke and Ella. Each struggled with insecurities and doubts in realistic and relatable ways. Luke’s family was warm and hospitable without being contrived or cliché. I felt Luke’s and Ella’s frustrations as they hit dead-end after dead-end while trying to prove Ella’s innocence. The plot twist at the end was a surprise, yet as I thought about it realized the author had laid the groundwork for it. Highly recommended.

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

About the Author

Dana Mentink is a two time American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award winner, a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award and a Holt Medallion winner. She is a national bestselling author of over thirty five titles in the suspense and lighthearted romance genres. She is pleased to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, Harlequin Heartwarming and Harvest House. Dana was thrilled to be a semi-finalist in the Jeanne Robertson Comedy With Class Competition. Besides writing, she busies herself teaching third grade. Mostly, she loves to be home with Papa Bear, teen bear cubs affectionately nicknamed Yogi and Boo Boo, Junie, the nutty terrier, a chubby box turtle and a feisty parakeet. You can connect with Dana via her website at, on Facebook, YouTube (Author Dana Mentink) and Instagram (dana_mentink.)

Guest Post from Dana Mentink

Howdy, friends! I am so thrilled to be galloping into the second book in the Gold Country Cowboy series with you. This book was a hoot to write. It’s got a nice twisty mystery and plenty of danger! Our hero, twin Owen Thorn, is a Marine doing his darnedest not to fall in love with his brother’s little sister, but you know how these things go, don’t you, partners? There’s trouble ahead in cowboy country and this story will take you on a wild gallop to the happy ending! God bless and thanks for coming along!

Blog Stops

Here are Dana's remaining Tour Stops:

April 15: C Jane Read
April 15: The Power of Words
April 16: Among the Reads
April 16: Genesis 5020
April 18: Carpe Diem
April 18: Cafinated Reads
April 19: Maureen's Musings
April 20: Pause for Tales
April 22: A Greater Yes
April 23: Texas Bookaholic
April 23: Artistic Nobody
April 24: Kat's Corner Books
April 24: Big Reader Site
April 25:  Remembrancy


To celebrate her tour, Dana is giving away a grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card, Cornbread Mix, and Cowboy Caviar Salsa!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Talkshow Thursday: Introducing TM Brown

Talkshow Thursday: Introducing TM Brown

I'm pleased to welcome author TM Brown today. It is always fun to discover new authors, so I hope you'll take some time and get to know this interesting writer!

Linda:  Thanks for joining me today. Congratulations on your latest release Testament: An Unexpected Return (Shiloh Mystery Series, Book 2). Did you set out to write a series or did that just happen? Where did you find your inspiration for this story?

TM: Nope. I ventured down this road facing the formidable task of writing my first full-length novel. It wasn’t until the BETA reads did someone suggest I consider doing a sequel. By that point, my writing coach encouraged me to do so also. Thankfully, Testament proved to come together much smoother compared to the time and effort invested in creating Sanctuary.

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

TM: Okay. Sanctuary was written literally as a “panster.” Without an outline I allowed the characters to develop and share their story. Ergo, the final version of Sanctuary emerged after several rewrites and story tweaks consulting with my editor and writing coach. By the time I began creating Testament's story, I had attended a writing workshop and learned about the value of plotting and outlining before any writing begins. I became sold and now I am a planner. Of course, an occasional twist or turn occurs in all creative writing, but creating a preset outline and organizing the scenes prevents the characters from taking me down rabbit trails.

LM: Research is an important part of the writing process. How did you go about researching Testament: An Unexpected Return and did you discover any extra special tidbits of information?

TM: Being old school I have hundreds of printed out setting details, character profiles, and photos that I have used throughout the development of my stories. Yes, my stories are fiction, but I want readers to buy into the plausibility of the setting, characters, historical links used to create the backstory for time-lost Shiloh. The most satisfying feedback I received from readers came when they asked how accurate my story was? Was it based on actual events? And, where is the real Shiloh located? A smile always accompanies my responses.

LM: You started your writing career after a full career in the business world. What prompted you to start writing?
TM: My grandkids! I wanted to leave a legacy of love to them. However, my wife gets the credit.
She told me plainly that my grandkids are unlikely to read the hundreds of devotions, bible studies, and sermons I’ve written, but they would likely read a story written by their Poppy. So I reminded myself that Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables to relay truths and they followed him wanting to hear more. I just expanded the concept into a novel idea. I pray that long after I am kicking up cloud dust, my grandsons and granddaughter will slide a dusty copy of one of my books and read some of it to their kids.

LM: Who are your literary heroes?

TM: John Steinbeck and Ernest Hemingway from my younger days. In recent years, John Grisham, especially his earlier books, influenced my love for writing about the South, just like he wrote about Ford County, Mississippi as the setting for many of his novels. The Painted House likely sparked my belief I could write my Shiloh stories. I would be remiss not to include Charles Martin - When Crickets Cry struck a chord in me and inspired me to write my own contemporary, heart-wrenching story about a time-lost Georgia small-town with links to Atlanta.

LM: Here are some quickies:

Favorite food: Any sit-down meal that might include, "pass the black-eyed peas and fried okra please.” In other words, any country meal shared with family around a dining room table.

Favorite vacation spot: A mountain cabin overlooking a lake or river where laughter and giggles fill the air around an open-fire as S'mores get passed around.

Favorite place to write: Alone at home, scooted beneath my desk at home tapping on my iMac keyboard after several hours scribbling notes and sketching scene ideas into my notebooks.

LM: Book three in your series is slated for publication in 2019. What other projects do you have in the works?

TM: After these three books I have a couple more ideas floating around in my head, but I am also enjoying the recent opportunity of helping aspiring authors. I have already conducted workshops and spoken in front of groups about “Authorpreneurship.” Today it takes more than writing a good story to get your book read, and I try to help authors understand how to confidently market and promote their books. My wife and I also have plenty of plans to travel and spoil our grandchildren, which will take precedence in setting my writing calendar in the months ahead.

LM: Where can folks find you on the web?


About the book: In this sequel to Sanctuary, A Legacy of Memories, Theo and Liddy are finally sinking deep roots into their new hometown of Shiloh. Friendships are blossoming as Liddy ponders an offer to become the new art teacher at Shiloh High while Theo sends off his manuscript for Jessie's Story to be published. Life appears to be settling down,  but ominous shadows from the town's past herald more tragedy in little old Shiloh.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Wartime Wednesday: What to do with the Women?

Wartime Wednesday: What to do with the Women?

As a former Human Resources professional, I am fascinated with the societal and cultural impact due to the flood of women into the workforce during WWII. Women had always worked, but in very specific, allowable roles such as nurses, teachers, childcare providers, and clerks, and certainly not in the numbers they did during or after the war.

Men made up the majority of supervisors and didn’t seem to know how to manage the women who accounted for as much as fifty to seventy-five percent of their staff. The Federal Government and many industry organizations responded with pamphlets and articles to aid the men with their “new normal” of handling female employees.

In 1943, the War Department issued a pamphlet titled “You’re Going to Employ Women” and included such advice as:

  •        “A woman worker is not like a man. She is a substitute-like plastics instead of metal-she has special characteristics that lend themselves to new and sometimes superior uses.”
  •       “Industrially inexperienced, women make up for their unfamiliarity with the procedures and demands of factory work with their desire to win the war-to shorten it by even a minute.”

The pamphlet went on to inform managers that the women’s former occupations as housewives made them good at repetitive tasks and “fine color and material observants.”


That same year Transportation Magazine published an article with “Eleven Tips on Getting More Efficiency Out of Women Employees.” Here are just a few:

  •       “Pick young married women. They usually have more of a sense of responsibility than their unmarried sisters. Older women who have never contacted the public have a hard time adapting themselves and tend to be cantankerous and fussy.”
  •       “General experience indicates that ‘husky’ girls – those who are just a little on the heavy side – are more even tempered and efficient than their underweight sisters.”
  •       “Give the female employee a definite day-long schedule of duties so they’ll keep busy without bothering management for instructions every few minutes. Numerous properties say that women make excellent employees when they have their jobs cut out for them, but that they lack initiative in finding work for themselves.”

And my personal favorite:

“Give every girl an adequate number of rest periods during the day. You have to make some allowances for female psychology. A girl has more confidence and is more efficient if she can keep her hair tidied, apply fresh lipstick and wash her hands several times a day.”

Your turn, ladies! What was your experience during your “work outside the home” years?

Monday, April 9, 2018

Mystery Monday: The Forgotten Works of Rupert Croft-Cooke AKA Leo Bruce

Mystery Monday: The Forgotten Works of Rupert Croft-Cooke AKA Leo Bruce

I have recently discovered yet another prolific writer of detective fiction whose books are mostly out of print and long forgotten. Born in 1903, Rupert Croft-Cooke apparently knew he wanted to be an author early on. By the age of 22, he had founded a journal called La Estrella and was working as a freelance journalist.

His work appeared in numerous publications, including the American based magazine Poetry. He was a radio broadcaster for a short time during which he discussed the field of psychology. The year 1930 found him living in Germany, and in later life he spent time in Morocco, Tunisia, Cyprus, West Germany, and Ireland.

By the time WWII began, Croft-Cooke had published dozens of novels, plays, and poetry selections, and his career was well on its way. However, duty called, and despite his age in 1940 (37), he joined the British Army and served in North Africa and India. He continued to write, penning quite a few pieces of nonfiction about his experiences during the war as well as some short fiction.

He wrote two mystery series under the pseudonym Leo Bruce. The first features police office Sergeant Beef, and the second amateur sleuth/senior history master at the fictional Queen’s School Carolus Deene.

Croft-Cooke wrote for television, including an episode for Alfred Hitchcock presents. In 1957, his novel Seven Thunders was made into a movie. Starring Stephen Boyd (of Ben-Hur fame), the film is set in 1943 and tells the story about two British escaped prisoners of war.

He passed away in 1979 having published his last book The Green, Green Grass two years prior.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Talkshow Thursday: Meet Georgiana Daniels

Talkshow Thursday: Meet Georgiana Daniels

Linda:  Thanks for joining me today. Congratulations on your latest release Shadows of Hope. The book explores a difficult and emotionally charged topic. Where did you find your inspiration for this story?

Georgiana: First of all, thank you so much for having me on your blog, Linda!
The inspiration for Shadows of Hope came from several places over a long period of time. The issues challenging the heroine are some of the hardest situations a woman can face—infidelity and infertility. By confronting her with these issues, I really wanted to see how her faith would hold up.
Even though we may not face what Marissa in Shadows of Hope does, as Christians we will all, at some point, face the worst thing we can imagine. Will we find our faith or lose it?
I hope readers walk away with a sense of knowing that there is hope on the other side of trials, and we can become more like Christ if we allow God to shape us in the process.

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

Georgiana: Is “plantser a thing”? My process is a hybrid of plotting and pantsing. I go into a story knowing details about the first third of the story, and a general idea of where it may go from there. But with Shadows of Hope, for example, I wasn’t exactly sure how Marissa’s marriage would turn out when I started writing, and that was the interesting part! I kept writing to see what would happen.
My favorite part is the first draft when the story is fresh and anything can happen. I love exploring the possibilities! Of course layering in themes and deepening the spiritual threads are fun too.

LM: Research is a large part of any book. How did you go about researching Shadows of Hope and did you discover any extra special tidbits of information?

Georgiana: There were some things I had no clue about when I started this book, such as the path to tenure in a university. Then there were tidbits I’d long forgotten about being pregnant and ultrasounds, but those were fairly easy to pick up again. It sure brought back some memories!
To be honest, research is the hardest part for me, probably because I like to make stuff up! But in some instances, it’s absolutely crucial because new information might take the story in a whole different direction or make what seemed plausible at first completely illogical.

Sometimes I research before I really start, and sometimes I dig for information along the way. It’s a skill that I constantly have to hone while battling my desire to keep running ahead in the story.

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

Georgiana: Being a published author was always a goal from the time I was in 7th grade and wrote Death on Penthouse Avenue. Of course, the manuscript was never finished, but I took it all very seriously!

I didn’t get serious about writing for publication until I started staying home when our 2nd daughter was born, 13 years ago. Man, there was a ton of trial and error! But after a couple of years I joined American Christian Fiction Writers, and all of a sudden it all seemed….possible. Prior to that, being a published author felt like a far-off dream.

Of course my journey has been anything but smooth, and I honestly don’t know what’s going to happen next. Whatever comes in my career, I’m at peace with it. God has shown me there is so much to this big beautiful life that I don’t have to peg happiness on one thing. Believe it or not, I was stuck in that mindset for years. Praise God, He has shown me differently!

LM: You live in a beautiful area of the world, a place many people visit. If money were no object, what is your idea of the ultimate vacation?

Georgiana: Such a great question! Hubby and I love watching all the travel shows on Sunday night, so I have a long list of places to see and things to do.

I’d love to visit all the great historical sites, the Parthenon, Stonehenge, and the pyramids, just to name a few. But I’m always up for bobbing in the waves at the beach. Maybe we’d go back to our honeymoon spot in St. Lucia. Mmmmm… I’m dreaming….

LM: Here are some quickies:

Favorite movie: My Best Friend’s Wedding
Favorite author: Elizabeth George
Favorite childhood book: Are You My Mother?

LM: What is your next project?

Georgiana: You stumped me! Isn’t that a hoot? I do have another women’s fiction I’m working on, but the research has me in a holding pattern. (There’s that whole research bit again!) The medical and legal questions I’m digging into will definitely affect the outcome, so I can’t rush ahead.

LM: Where can folks find you on the web?


Shadows of Hope:

A story of hope in the aftermath of inconceivable betrayal and broken dreams.

What it…
…you struggled with infertility but unknowingly befriended your husband’s pregnant mistress?

What if…
…the woman you were seeing behind your wife’s back gets pregnant, threatening your job and marriage?

What if…
…your boyfriend never told you he was married and you discover you’re pregnant?

Crisis pregnancy worker Marissa Moreau suspects her husband is cheating, but little does she know how close to home her husband’s infidelity hits. College student Kaitlyn Farrows is floundering after a relationship with her professor leaves her pregnant. Soon she lands a job and a support system at the local pregnancy resource center and things seem to be turning around But when Marissa and Kaitlyn become friends, neither one knows they share a connection-Colin, Marissa’s husband and Kaitlyn’s former professor. When their private lives collide, the two women must face the ultimate test of their faith and choose how to move forward as they live in the shadows of hope.

Purchase link: