Thursday, August 30, 2018

Talkshow Thursday: Author of Biblical Fiction: Barbara Britton

Talkshow Thursday: 
Author of Biblical Fiction-Barbara Britton

Linda:  Welcome to my blog. It’s such a pleasure to have you. I read your books and love the way you bring Old Testament stories (and lesser known characters) to life? How did you decide to write biblical fiction?

Barbara: Thanks for having me on the blog today, Linda. My first book came from a series of chapel lessons I was teaching on young people in the Bible who did great things. I included the servant girl in II Kings 5, the story of Naaman. The servant girl gave me the idea for Hannah in “Providence.”

LM: Research is an important part of writing any book. How do you go about doing research for your stories?

Barbara: Very carefully! I don’t want to mess with theology. I’m married to an ordained minister, so my basement is filled with Bible commentaries, maps, and dictionaries. I check several sources and also Google the section of Scripture I am researching for original documentation. Occasionally, new archaeological discoveries hit the newspaper.

LM: What do you do to prepare yourself to write (e.g. listen to music, set up in a certain location)?

Barbara: I love music. I have a theme song for all my books and sometimes a song for a particular character. Music helps set the tone to my story. Lounging in a chair with a hot drink, is how I write my chapters. My typing skills aren’t good, so I write in cursive on a notepad and type the scene into my computer later.

LM: You also write romantic adventures for teens. What is your favorite childhood book or author? 

Barbara: The books I read as a teen are probably tame by today’s standards. Two of my favorites were “Where the Red Fern Grows” by Wilson Rawls (I cried at the end) and “The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I hit my teen years in the late 70’s. Yikes!

LM: "The Secret Garden is one of my favorites too! What is something you have always wanted to learn how to do?

Barbara: I wish I could sew my own clothes. With my height, I have a hard time finding pants that are long enough. I also prefer skirts and dresses with a longer length.

LM: Here are some quickies:

Favorite Season: Fall
Favorite Movie: “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” (the original).
Favorite place to visit: Hawaii

LM: What is your next project?

Barbara: My next project releases in October of 2019. I know. Traditional publishing is slow. “Lioness: Mahlah’s Journey” tells the story of the daughters of Zelophehad. I will follow the oldest sisters into the land of Canaan in subsequent books.

LM: Ooh, sounds interesting! Where can folks find you on the web?

Barbara: I have a website,, and I am on Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads.

Jerusalem Rising: Adah’s Journey: When Adah bat Shallum finds the governor of Judah weeping over the crumbling wall of Jerusalem, she learns the reason for Nehemiah’s unexpected visit—God has called him to rebuild the wall around the City of David.

Nehemiah challenges the men of Jerusalem to labor on the wall and in return, the names of their fathers will be written in the annals for future generations to cherish. But Adah has one sister and no brothers. Should her father who rules a half-district of Jerusalem be forgotten forever?

Adah bravely vows to rebuild her city’s wall, though she soon discovers that Jerusalem not only has enemies outside of the city, but also within. Can Adah, her sister, and the men they love, honor God’s call? Or will their mission be crushed by the same rocks they hope to raise.

Barb’s bio: Barbara M. Britton lives in Wisconsin and writes Christian Fiction for teens and adults. She has a nutrition degree from Baylor University but loves to dip healthy strawberries in chocolate. Barbara brings little-known Bible characters to light in her Tribes of Israel series. She is a member of RWA, WisRWA, SCBWI and ACFW.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Wartime Wednesday: Miss Fury

Wartime Wednesday: Miss Fury

As with many industries in the 1930s and 1940s, women struggled to be considered serious contenders. In the magazine and newspaper business, if it was difficult to get articles published, it was even harder to have illustrations and photographs accepted. The Saturday Evening Post seems to be the front-runner in using female illustrators, many of whom created covers as far back as the early 1900s. Over the next several months, I’ll be spotlighting the various women who managed to successfully break into the field by creating many of the well-remembered covers during WWII.

June Tarpé Mills was born in Brooklyn, New York on February 25, 1918. Her childhood was challenging in that her mother was widowed early and her sister died, leaving several children to care for. As a way to help support the family and save money for art school tuition, June worked as a model, but her first love was painting. She initially worked as a fashion illustrator (where most women were stuck), but moved on to the fast-growing comic book industry in 1938.

In an effort to hide her gender, June used the pseudonym Tarpé Mills and worked with titles such as Catman and the Purple Zombie. In 1941, she created a strip called The Black Fury (later changed to Miss Fury). Described as equal parts high-fashion and high-adventure, the strip introduced readers to socialite Marla Drake who when she discovered her masquerade party costume was the same as a rival’s, changed to a witch doctor’s ceremonial cat suit. On the way to the event, Marla runs into to a couple of bad guys who she handles with panache, flair, and stylish kicks.

A star was born!

At its height, the strip was published in over 100 newspapers. Miss Fury ran for ten years, and during the war, Marla/Miss Fury comes into contact with criminals, spies, and Nazis. She had romantic entanglements and an on-again/off-again fiancé. In addition, she rescues and adopts a toddler as a single woman – unheard of in the day. The image of the super-feminine hero, Miss Fury was painted on the nose of three B17 and B24 bombers. In addition, her cat Perri-Purr became the unofficial mascot of the Allied troops.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Mystery Monday with Bob Hope and Paulette Goddard

Mystery Monday with Bob Hope and Paulette Goddard

As most of you know, I love movies from the 1930s and 1940s. Fortunately, many of them are available so I can watch to my heart's content. I did a significant amount of research about the USO for my upcoming release, Murder of Convenience and found quite a bit of information about Bob Hope and his association with this wonderful organization. As a result, I decided to binge-watch some of Bob's earlier/lesser-known films.

Teaming Bob with actress Paulette Goddard, The Ghost Breakers was released in 1940. The movie is an adaptation of a 1909 play called The Ghost Breaker. The film was remade in 1953 as Scared Stiff starring Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. Hope made a cameo appearance. Despite being billed as a horror-comedy and featuring voodoo, zombies, and lots of fog, the 1940 movie comes off as a cozy mystery sprinkled with one-liners.

The plot is simple: Mary Carter (Goddard) inherits a castle in Cuba, but is warned to get rid of it because "the ghost will kill her" if she visits. Lawrence Lawrence (Hope), whose name is an opportunity for more than one jibe ("My folks had no imagination"), ends up linked to Mary through a series of mishaps including the murder of Ramon Maderos. Lawrence wonders "if a man can go to jail for accidentally killing a stranger." As anticipated, Mary travels to Havana and Lawrence tags along to keep from being arrested. Twists and turns abound as the pair try to determine if the ghost is real and who is trying to keep Mary from staying and claiming the castle.

As it turns out, The Ghost Breakers has more than one villain, and the ending arrives with a bang. I had a great time trying to solve the mystery and only got it half right.

Sound intriguing? Watch it here.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Appalachian Strength by Sheila Ingle

Appalachian Strength by Sheila Ingle

“I’m glad there’s some folks getting’ interested in the old ways. This new generation don’t know such things, but when they find the old songs and the tales, they’ll delight in them.” Granny in Grandfather Tales by Richard Chase

The women of Appalachia stood tall beside their husbands. Whether it was felling trees to build cabins or defending their homeplaces from marauding Indians, their everyday lives were severe. In the 1700’s, survival was one of endurance. For these mountain women, it was endless toil-that sun up to sun down kind.

When the Scots-Irish emigrated to our country, they settled in the Appalachian hills and hollers. The mountainous landscape reminded them of home, and many gravitated to those small valleys between two mountains or hills.  Since most families traveled with their kin, they also planted crops together, raised cabins, barns, and children together, sewed in quilting bees together, and even worked stills together. “Feelin’ poorly” was not an excuse for not getting the work done, even if a woman was “wore slap dab out,” and there was always work. “Lollygagging” (dawdling) was not tolerated either.

Since neighbors weren’t within hollering distance, it was a solitary life. Music was a solace, as the sounds of a dulcimer, fiddle, or dobro pushed the wilderness walls away. From Germany, Scotland, and Ireland, 18th century immigrants brought their ballads with them. This oral tradition finally was written down, though some songs were lost. Both the lyrics and tunes were plaintive, and mostly told of sadness and loss. “Barbara Allen” was a popular one.

In Scarlet town where I was born
There was a fair maid dwelling
And every youth cried well away
For her name was Barbara Allen

'Twas in the merry month of May
The green buds were a swelling
Sweet William on his deathbed lay
For the love of Barbara Allen

He sent a servant unto her
To the place she was dwelling
Saying you must come to his deathbed now
If your name be Barbara Allen

Slowly, slowly she got up
Slowly, slowly she came nigh him
And the only words to him she said
Young man I think you're dying

As she was walking o'er the fields
She heard the death bell knelling
And every stroke it seemed to say
Hardhearted Barbara Allen

Oh, mother mother make my bed
Make it long and make it narrow
Sweet William died for me today
I'll die for him tomorrow

They buried her in the old churchyard
They buried him in the choire
And from his grave grew a red red rose
From her grave a green briar

They grew and grew to the steeple top
'Till they could grow no higher
And there they twined in a true love's knot
Red rose around green briar

In Scarlet town where I was born
There was a fair maid dwelling
And every youth cried well away
For her name was Barbara Allen.

Radio programs in the 1930’s, like the Grand Ole’ Opry, helped to keep this music alive.

Being independent was important, and children were taught the skills needed for this rural life. All family members had their chores to help the family survive. As President Eisenhower said about America’s fight in WW II, “Our pleasures were simple-they included survival.”

Have you read Christy by Catherine Marshall? 

This is an honest portrayal of Appalachian life in Cutter Gap, Tennessee in the 1900’s. During this early 20th century, there had been little change from the 1700’s, especially when it came to faith, family values, and mountain traditions. This primitive life in the holler was not very different from when Mary Ingles lived in the neighboring state of Virginia.

During the French and Indian War, the Shawnee Indians attacked and captured families at a settlement called Drapers Meadows in Virginia. Mary Ingles and her two sons, four-year-old Tommy and George, age two were captured, along with others. It was July, 1731, and all three survived a forced March to Ohio. Her sons were adopted into the tribe, and she was given to a French trader. In October, she and another woman planned their escape, taking two blankets and a tomahawk. Living off the land, Mary traveled 800 miles in forty days to reach home. Naked, skeletal, and white-haired, she arrived with the will to start life again.

Here is a map of the trail she followed.

The Appalachian women of Mary’s time had indescribable strength. I believe it was a life more than can be born. The more I read about the Appalachian hill life, see the photos of it, and remember the stories of privation and doing with what they had, there was a factor of impossibility there. It was a “can do” attitude based on faith, and it was bigger than they were. She literally fought with all her being to get home; hope pushed her.

Cabin Mary lived in with husband William after
she returned home. Nearby today is the
Virginia Tech campus.
Minnie Ethelene Hefner Justus stood a mere 5 feet 3 inches, but she was a tall as a tree in my eyes. Here skin was weathered by years of working; her eyes were water-blue, and her hands tough. Her back was hunched from constant work. Whatever the task was, Granny did the next thing. I remember her remonstrating my cousin with a "I'm going to snatch you bald-headed."

Born October 14, 1877, my great grandmother was a dear. Her smile lit up her face, and her just-because hugs were coveted by her grands and great grands. She was the one who gave me slices of lemon to rid my stomach of the upheavals caused by mountain curves on the way to her house.

She could wring the neck of a chicken in the back yard and have it fried and on the table an hour later. Her wringer washing machine sat on her back porch, leaning toward the yard, and in the living room her pump organ greeted her guests. Until she was ninety, she tended her own garden, put up the vegetables, and baked biscuits that would melt in the mouth. Living through the Depression, she and Pop lost all they had, so she opened a boarding house in Laurel Cliff. Seeing to her eight children and as many boarders, Granny had busy days.
She was a woman of the mountains who made her way on Sundays to Pleasant Hill Baptist Church to worship each week until she moved into a nursing home. Her Bible was well worn, and her actions to family and friends proved it lived deep in her heart. No one left her home empty-handed or without knowing they were important to her.

In researching Appalachia and its families for my latest book, Tales of a Cosmic Possum, I was fascinated by the sayings. Since I chose to write it in dialect, many are included. Memories of Granny using so many of them made me smile, and I reckon that I might as well admit, my speech is sprinkled with them, too!

Connect with me!

Twitter: @sheilaingle1

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Traveling Tuesday: New Mexico and WWII

Traveling Tuesday: New Mexico During WWII

Most students of WWII know that New Mexico was home to the famous (infamous?) Manhattan Project, the government project centered around developing nuclear weapons. However, the forty-seventh state made other contributions to the war effort.

With nearly 50,000 men in the armed forces, New Mexico had both the highest volunteer rate and the highest casualty rate of the forty-eight states that were then in the Union. In addition, hundreds of men from the New Mexico National Guard were in the Philippines at Clark Field and Fort Stotsenburg manning anti-aircraft guns when the area was bombed by the Japanese only ten hours after the attack at Pearl Harbor.

Many of the famed Navajo code-talkers came from New Mexico. Philip Johnston, a WWI veteran who was fluent in the Navajo language, helped recruit the “original twenty-nine,” as they were called, who developed the code that was modified as the war progressed. About 540 Navajos served in the Marine Corps, of whom 400 served as code-talkers.

New Mexico was home to nearly sixty military installations from Airbases and Gunnery Ranges to Army Hospitals and Camps. The most prominent airbase was Kirtland Field in Albuquerque. Originally an advanced flight school for Air Corps pilot, the base was converted to a major base used to train B-24 crewmen, B-29 pilots, A-11 pilots, glider pilots, mechanics, navigators, and other air personnel.

Like many western and southwestern states, New Mexico was home to internment camps, mostly holding individuals of Japanese descent. Unfortunately, there was a shooting death in 1942 at Camp Lordsburg and a riot at Camp Santa Fe in 1945 that marred the otherwise peaceful existence within the camps. There were also POW camps in the state that imprisoned German and Italian soldiers. An escape from Camp Stanton occurred in November 1942, but the four prisoners were quickly caught and returned.

Have you ever visited the beautiful state of New Mexico?

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 She has a passion for helping women discover, embrace, and live out who they are in Christ. As the found of Wholly Loved Ministries ( 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 ( or Instagram (
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


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:

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?

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.