Monday, March 25, 2019

Mystery Monday: Who was Moray Dalton?


Mystery Monday: Who was Moray Dalton?


In my ongoing search to find long forgotten authors from the Golden Age of Detective Fiction, I recently discovered Moray Dalton. The pseudonym for Katherine Mary Dalton Renoir, she wrote nearly thirty novels.

An only child of a Canadian Father and English mother, Katherine grew up in Stratford, St. Mary, Suffolk. Her father Joseph Dalton, an adventuresome sort as a young man, tried his hand at gold mining in British Columbia during the Cariboo Gold Rush. He “struck it rich” as the saying goes, and a few years later left for England. It is unknown how Joseph met Katherine Mary’s mother, but it occurred somewhere in London. After a quick courtship, the couple married, and three years later, Katherine Mary was born. She lived with her parents, and then with her mother after Joseph passed away, finally marrying at the age of forty, to Louis Jean Renoir.

Worthing, England where Dalton lived
A year later she had a son, and shortly thereafter, Renoir disappeared from her life. They remained married in name, and Katherine Mary made her own way, finding success as an author. Having already published poems and short stories since 1910, she turned to mystery novels. The Kingsclere Mystery came out in 1924, and she continued to release at least one book per year until 1951.

In 1929, she create Hugh Collier, a Scotland Yard Inspector and Hermann Gilde, Private Investigator. The pair was popular with readers, and Dalton wrote fifteen novels in this series. Her books are filled with evocative description, strong characters, and plenty of surprising plot twists. Reminiscent of Dickens who used his work as a platform for social commentary, Dalton explores themes of gender and class during the 1930s and 1940s.

She passed away in 1963, and her books slipped into obscurity. Fortunately for mystery lovers, several of her titles have been reprinted. See if you can’t get your hands on one or two.

__________________________________________

A prostitute, a spy, and the liberation of Paris.

Sold by her parents to settle a debt, Rolande Bisset is forced into prostitution. Years later, shunned by her family and most of society, it’s the only way she knows how to subsist. When the Germans overrun Paris, she decides she’s had enough of evil men controlling her life and uses her wiles to obtain information for the Allied forces. Branded a collaborator, her life hangs in the balance. Then an American spy stumbles onto her doorstep. Is redemption within her grasp?

Simon Harlow is one of an elite corps of American soldiers. Regularly chosen for dangerous covert missions, he is tasked with infiltrating Paris to ascertain the Axis’s defenses. Nearly caught by German forces moments after arriving, he owes his life to the beautiful prostitute who claims she’s been waiting for the Allies to arrive. Her lifestyle goes against everything he believes in, but will she steal his heart during his quest to liberate her city?

Inspired by the biblical story of Rahab, Love’s Rescue is a tale of faith and hope during one of history’s darkest periods.

 Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/2U5z9qp





Thursday, March 21, 2019

Talkshow Thursday: Welcome Debut Novelist Heather Norman Smith

Talkshow Thursday: Welcome Heather Norman Smith!

Linda:  Thanks for joining me today. Congratulations on your debut release, Grace and Lavender which is wrapped around the topics of foster care and adoption, causes near and dear to your heart. How closely is your journey in becoming a foster parent tied to the novel?

Heather: Thank you! My husband and I have felt called to foster/adopt ever since we got married thirteen years ago. Our three biological children are now old enough to be engaged with the process, and we felt that the time was right to start pursuing this calling in late 2017. We met with a licensing agency and applied to take the necessary class. Training started in January of 2018, and after all the requirements were met, we were officially licensed as a foster care family in October 2018. We are currently waiting on our first placement! Even though I haven’t had the opportunity to provide a home for a child in foster care yet, I can give a voice to these children through my stories.

LM: You are also a poet and song writer. How do you balance your creativity with the hectic schedule of raising a family?

Heather: Not always very well. With a middle schooler and two elementary schoolers, plus ministry responsibilities within our church, my husband and I are pretty busy. But God has been gracious to help me carve out time to work on my creative passions. I love to drink coffee late at night, and I often stay up very, very late. Plus, my husband, Alex, is very supportive, and sometimes does household tasks just so I can write.

LM: What made you decide to write a novel and seek publication?

Heather: I feel like I didn’t really decide to do it. This first novel was a surprise to me. The characters showed up “out of nowhere” in July of 2017 and told me their story. I fell in love with it and wrote it down. Then I just felt like I had to share it.

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

Heather: My couch is my favorite writing place. I just grab my laptop and type away whenever I can find a few moments.

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

Heather: Nothing too quirky comes to mind, but last October at our harvest festival at church, I did put on an inflatable gorilla suit and walk around for a bit to entertain the kids.

LM: Here are some quickies:

Favorite season: Spring.
Favorite place to vacation: Oak Island, North Carolina
Favorite Actor or Actress: I don’t watch a lot of television or movies, but I’ll say Vivien Leigh since I’ve always been such a Gone With the Wind fan.

LM: What is your next project?

Heather: My second novel, “Where I Was Planted” will release sometime in the summer. I’m not sure on the date yet. It’s set in 1961 in the Great Smoky Mountains and told from the perspective of a ten-year-old boy.

LM: Where can folks find you on the web?

Heather:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/heathernormansmith
Instagram: www.instagram.com/heathernormansmith

Twitter: www.twitter.com/hnsblog

Book Blurb:

Recently retired Colleen Hill is always busy, constantly on a quest to make life more interesting. When the ladies' group at her church partners with the local children's home, Colleen jumps in as usual, volunteering to share her passion for cooking with a troubled teenager named Grace. /But Colleen must balance the new project with her pursuit of becoming a contestant on a television game show, along with all the other ideas her brain continually spins out.

Colleen's daughter Melody is quite different. She lives a calm, simple life, and is content with who she is. That is, until an unexpected opportunity to work with Grace, too, pushes her to reevaluate her life and dare to take on bigger dreams. The path starts with a newly-found interest in soap-making and leaders her to responsibilities she didn't even know she wanted.

Grace and Lavender is a book for all audiences, a heart-warming story that reminds us to seek God's purpose for our lives.

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

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Wartime Wednesday: Mt. Vesuvius Erupts


Wartime Wednesday: Mt. Vesuvius Erupts

As if war were not enough for the residents of San Sebastiano, Italy, they were subjected to an eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Over the span of nearly two weeks, the volcano (active for centuries) spewed rocks, ash, lava, and debris.

Reports indicate the rocks were the size of basketballs, and layers of ash measured more than a meter deep. Lava and debris crushed and burned everything in its path while the earth rumbled, shimmied, and shook as evacuees tried to maintain their footing. According to a New York Times reporter, “The sound was exactly like artillery fire.” I imagine he was in a position to know that!

Because of the Allied invasion of Italy, continued combat, and chaos in the Italian government, the U.S. military took command of public safety and evacuation. In a major understatement, and April 1944 article in Life Magazine commented that the incident “has compounded the complexities of fighting a war and of merely existing in southern Italy. The eruption has given the Allied Military Government several thousand more refugees to look after and brightened the night horizon as far north as Anzio beachhead.”

On the other side of the volcano, the U.S. Army Air Force’s 340th Bombardment Group initially thought they wouldn’t need to evacuate. However, as the lava began to flow on their side of the mountain, plans changed, and the men moved to a nearby airfield where they spend the night in a tobacco shed. The $25 million worth of planes, equipment, and supplies left behind were lost.

Sgt. Robert F. McRae recorded the experience in his diary. “As I sit in my tent…I can hear at four- to ten-second intervals the loud rumbling of the volcano on the third day of its present eruption. The noise is like that of bowling balls slapping into the pins on a giant bowling alley. To look above the mountain tonight, one would think that the world was on fire. The thickly clouded sky glows like that above a huge forest fire. Glowing brighter as new spouts of flame and lava are spewn from the crater. As the clouds pass from across the top of the mountain, the flame and lava can be seen shooting high into the sky to spill over the sides and run in red streams down the slopes.”

Frightening? Absolutely, but according to the Professor Guiseppe Imbo, Director of the Mt Vesuvius Observatory at the time of the 1944 eruption, “A marvelous thing, my Vesuvius. It covers land with precious ash that makes the earth fertile and grapes grow, and wine. That’s why, after every eruption, people rebuild their homes on the slopes of the volcano. That is why they call the slopes of Vesuvius the “compania felix”—the happy land.”

There were no military casualties during the eruption, but twenty-six Italian civilians were killed and nearly 12,000 displaced. However, the village of San Sebastiano was rebuilt.

See a recording of the eruption on YouTube
_____________________________________________

A prostitute, a spy, and the liberation of Paris.

Sold by her parents to settle a debt, Rolande Bisset is forced into prostitution. Years later, shunned by her family and most of society, it’s the only way she knows how to subsist. When the Germans overrun Paris, she decides she’s had enough of evil men controlling her life and uses her wiles to obtain information for the Allied forces. Branded a collaborator, her life hangs in the balance. Then an American spy stumbles onto her doorstep. Is redemption within her grasp?

Simon Harlow is one of an elite corps of American soldiers. Regularly chosen for dangerous covert missions, he is tasked with infiltrating Paris to ascertain the Axis’s defenses. Nearly caught by German forces moments after arriving, he owes his life to the beautiful prostitute who claims she’s been waiting for the Allies to arrive. Her lifestyle goes against everything he believes in, but will she steal his heart during his quest to liberate her city?

Inspired by the biblical story of Rahab, Love’s Rescue is a tale of faith and hope during one of history’s darkest periods.

Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/2TbUKJ5

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Traveling Tuesday: Tiny Delaware Does Its Bit


Traveling Tuesday: Tiny Delaware Does Its Bit

Bordered by Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and the Atlantic Ocean, Delaware is named for Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr, an English nobleman and Virginia’s first colonial governor. The second smallest state at only 1,954 square miles, it is divided into only three counties, the lowest number of any state. Because Delaware was the first colony to ratify the Constitution of the United States, it is known as “The First State.”

Despite its tiny size, Delaware played a major part in World War II.

Out of nearly 270,000 residents, approximately 8,500 served in the armed forces. With the men gone, women and children picked up the slack by harvesting asparagus and bean crops during two week shifts that rotated so the students could keep up with their schooling. As with other states, women also joined the workforce, producing nylon at DuPont, building ships at Pusey and Jones, and creating explosives at Hercules Powder Company.

Home to military installations in New Castle and Dover, Delaware trained over fifteen different squadrons from observation and bombardment to ferrying and fighter planes. The municipal airport in Dover was renamed Dover Army Air Field mere weeks after the attack in Pearl Harbor.

Over 3,000 prisoners of war were housed in the state. In May, 1944 a camp was set up at Fort DuPont, near Delaware City.  Eventually satellite camps were constructed near Lewes, Slaughter Beach, Georgetown, Harbeson, and at the Kent and Sussex Fairgrounds.

But perhaps the biggest contribution made by the state was its eleven concrete towers.

In 1938, the Cape Henlopen Lighthouse Reservation was turned over to the War Department who renamed it Fort Miles. Constructed for $22 million, it was highly secure and highly secretive. A huge fortress, bunkers were buried deep in the sand dunes and equipped with seven different guns from 3-in to 12-inch and nearly everything in between. Some weaponry was mobile while others were set upon swivel carriages, railroad cars, and cement batteries. The fort was guarded by approximately 2,000 troops.

However, even with all guns and ammunition, not a single shot was ever fired in defense. So why build this fort at this particular location?

The major reason was to keep Germany from mobilizing along the beach as the U.S. and British did at Normandy. Another reason was to protect the great wealth of manufacturing, shipyards, and oil-refineries up north. The industries were crucial to the war effort, and Cape Henlopen was the perfect place from which to guard the shipping channel.

Expected to last roughly ten years, the towers still stand today.
_________________________________________

A prostitute, a spy, and the liberation of Paris.

Sold by her parents to settle a debt, Rolande Bisset is forced into prostitution. Years later, shunned by her family and most of society, it’s the only way she knows how to subsist. When the Germans overrun Paris, she decides she’s had enough of evil men controlling her life and uses her wiles to obtain information for the Allied forces. Branded a collaborator, her life hangs in the balance. Then an American spy stumbles onto her doorstep. Is redemption within her grasp?

Simon Harlow is one of an elite corps of American soldiers. Regularly chosen for dangerous covert missions, he is tasked with infiltrating Paris to ascertain the Axis’s defenses. Nearly caught by German forces moments after arriving, he owes his life to the beautiful prostitute who claims she’s been waiting for the Allies to arrive. Her lifestyle goes against everything he believes in, but will she steal his heart during his quest to liberate her city?

Inspired by the biblical story of Rahab, Love’s Rescue is a tale of faith and hope during one of history’s darkest periods.

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


Thursday, March 14, 2019

Talkshow Thursday: Welcome Jarm Del Boccio!

Talkshow Thursday: Welcome Jarm Del Boccio!


Linda:  Thanks for joining me today. Congratulations on the release of your debut novel The Heart Changer. What made you decide to write biblical fiction geared toward teens, and how did you decide which story to write?

Jarm: Thanks, Linda! I would say I wrote the original (which was chapter book length) then realized the story was geared more towards lower middle grade (publishing industry definition)— ages 8 to 11 —depending on their reading level.  I have a heart for the kids in Scripture that have made a huge impact in the lives of those around them, but have no name or backstory — so I give them both! Since my passion is to ‘breathe new life into the pages of history’ I delight in the ‘what-ifs’ and bring the story to life so children can relate to the Bible characters in a fresh way.

LM: How did your former careers as teacher and librarian aid you in the writing process? How were they an impediment?

Jarm: That’s an interesting question, Linda! Come to think of it, my years in education, along with my resolve to bring truth into my writing has impeded my progress in finding a secular publisher for my works. They avoid traditional, didactic stories, but that type of writing comes naturally to me. After reading a plethora of books to my students during story time back in the 70’s and 80’s, and as a homeschool mom from 2001-2011, all that great literature has seeped into my pores! This is a good thing, but not what the general public is seeking — fantasy and sci-fi are big in the market right now, along with historical novels peppered with elements of fantasy. So, I have learned (and am still learning) to ‘show’ my stories instead of ‘telling’ them, knowing my readers can be impacted without being preachy.

LM: Lots of research goes into writing a book. Did you unearth a particularly interesting tidbit you just knew had to be included in the story?

Jarm: Actually, Yes! As I was finishing the final edits with my publisher, Ambassador International, one of my endorsers questioned how my MC would know the Syrian language, since I had her conversing easily with foreigners. When I did the digging, I discovered in those days, the Syrians would have spoken Aramaic (presently it’s Arabic) while the Israelites native tongue was Hebrew. The “ah-ha” moment came when I understood the two languages were derived from the same root, so they would have been able to understand each other, just as an Italian could understand a Spanish-speaking person. Then, I realized Jesus spoke Aramaic in the first century AD, which is why he could communicate with so many Gentiles. I love those connections!

I also was blessed with input from a missionary mom and her three daughters who lived in that very area close to the Syrian border.

LM: What is one thing you wish you knew how to do?

Jarm: I wish I had the voice of an angel. Although my voice is passable, and I can sing in tune, I’ll need to wait until I get to heaven to realize my dream!

LM: Some quickies:

Jarm:
Favorite color: Growing up, I would always say ‘blue’, but now that I’m older, a color somewhere between lime green and neon — the color of new life — is my favorite.

Favorite food: I have extreme food intolerances, so my choices have been reduced by 75%, but if I could eat anything? Hmmmmm. Fresh cinnamon rolls or Beignets with a cappuccino would be a pleasure!

Favorite time of year: Since my (full) first name, “Jarmila” means ‘lover of spring’ in the Czech language, it’s truly my favorite season. Spring to me is like a promise of good things to come — a fresh start.

LM: You have traveled extensively. What has been your favorite place to visit thus far?

Jarm: That is a tough question, since I’ve been to six continents. Each city and country has its own flavor which makes it unique. Oddly, I fell in love with Istanbul, but Israel (Joppa in particular) is also a favorite. In Europe? Well, it’s the tale of two cities — or rather, countries — The Cotswolds in England, and the French countryside both captured my heart! Although I try not to visit the same place twice, sometimes it’s unavoidable. Next on my bucket list? Living in a yurt drinking yak milk as a nomad the Mongolian desert. But only for a couple of weeks. ☺

LM: What is your next project?

Jarm: I have three other middle- grade novels, (set in England, Spain, and the 1893 World Columbian Exposition) The latter novel I’ve been submitting to publishers and agents, so I would be blessed if it was in God’s plan for it to be snatched up in 2019!

LM: Where can folks find you on the web?

Jarm: 


Book Blurb: 
Can an Israelite captive, wrenched from all she loves, serve the very man who destroyer her village?

Miriam is asked to do the impossible: serve the wife of Naaman, commander of the Syrian army. Clinging to treasured memories of home and faith, Miriam faces captivity with worry and bitterness. Little does she know the Heart Changer is wooing and preparing her for a greater mission far beyond what she could imagine.

This middle-grade historical novel reflects the heartache and angst of a young refugee in a foreign land where all hope is lost.

Pre-order now: https://amzn.to/2TbKxkT

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Wartime Wednesday: SACO


Wartime Wednesday: SACO


During WWII, most of European countries had some sort of resistance system in place. The U.S. Office of Strategic Services (OSSO and Britain’s Special Operations Executive (SOE) both played a large in coordinating those systems within and between the countries. However, neither organization found success in working with their Chinese allies in the Far East.

Fortunately in 1939, U.S. Navy Commander Milton E. Miles and China’s military attaché Major Xiao Bo met in Washington, DC to determine strategic plans if, in fact, they found themselves drawn into the war. Not long after the attack on Pearl Harbor, those plans became reality.

Miles jumped on a plane and flew to Chungking, China where he met with Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek (the understood leader of Nationalist China), General Dai Li, and Major Bo. The purpose of their meeting was to discuss preparations for a large-scale amphibious assault, the creation of a global intelligence network, and interestingly, remote weather stations in the Pacific.

Candid from the beginning, Li is reported to have said, “The United States wants many things in China. Weather reports from the north and west to guide your planes and ships at sea, information about Japanese intentions and operations, mines in our channels and harbors, ship watchers on our coast, and radio stations to send information. I have 50,000 good men. If my men could be armed and trained, they could not only protect your operations, but work for China, too.”

Details were hammered out, and in June 1942 Miles and Li signed the treaty that formed the Sino-American Cooperative Organization (SACO-pronounced “socko”). The men shook hands to seal the deal, often referred to as one of the best-kept secrets of WWII. Li became the director, and Miles was deputy directory. Each had the power to veto the other’s plans.

Trusted sailors were appointed to create camps and units where Americans trained Chinese guerillas in the art of espionage, small arms, hand-to-hand fighting techniques, demolitions, scouting, and patrolling. Each camp had difference responsibilities from ambushes, sabotage, and coast watchers to construction of radio stations, breaking of codes, and prediction of weather patterns.

What was most unusual about the situation is that Miles and Li required their men to adopt each other’s cultures, judge each man by his actions, and use every asset no matter how irrational it appeared on the surface. Highly successful, the units rescued seventy-six downed aviators, erected over seventy weather stations, provided highly effective intelligence, and built an army of nearly 100,000 Chinese guerilla fighters, some of whom when ton to serve with the famed Merill’s Marauders in Burma.

Not bad for an organization created over a cup of coffee.
_____________________________________________________

A prostitute, a spy, and the liberation of Paris.

Sold by her parents to settle a debt, Rolande Bisset is forced into prostitution. Years later, shunned by her family and most of society, it’s the only way she knows how to subsist. When the Germans overrun Paris, she decides she’s had enough of evil men controlling her life and uses her wiles to obtain information for the Allied forces. Branded a collaborator, her life hangs in the balance. Then an American spy stumbles onto her doorstep. Is redemption within her grasp?

Simon Harlow is one of an elite corps of American soldiers. Regularly chosen for dangerous covert missions, he is tasked with infiltrating Paris to ascertain the Axis’s defenses. Nearly caught by German forces moments after arriving, he owes his life to the beautiful prostitute who claims she’s been waiting for the Allies to arrive. Her lifestyle goes against everything he believes in, but will she steal his heart during his quest to liberate her city?

Inspired by the biblical story of Rahab, Love’s Rescue is a tale of faith and hope during one of history’s darkest periods.


Thursday, March 7, 2019

Talkshow Thursday: Welcome back, Amanda Cabot!


Talkshow Thursday: Welcome back, Amanda Cabot!

Linda:  Welcome back! Congratulations on releasing A Tender Hope, third in the Cimarron Creek Trilogy. In talking about the book on your website you comment that “the road to happily-ever-after isn’t an easy one.” How hard do you find it to subject your characters to difficulties and obstacles? Wouldn’t you rather make life easy for them?

Amanda: Oh, Linda, I hate making life difficult for my characters. I literally cry when I put them into tragic situations, but I know that if I didn’t, the books would be boring and would have little relevance to my readers’ lives. After all, much as we wish it were otherwise, no one’s life is perfect. I agree with Tolstoy when he said in Anna Karenina, “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” It’s the difficulties characters surmount that make their stories interesting.

LM:  You write historic fiction. Are any of your characters or plots based on real people or events?
Amanda: Short answer: no. Longer and more accurate answer: sometimes things that have happened to real people provide the germ for a story and start me asking “what would I have done differently?” or “what could be worse?” I also use historical facts to add authenticity to my stories, but the basic plots are not based on true events.

LM: What do you do to prepare for writing? (Do you have a set schedule or place, listen to music, etc.?)

Amanda: I’ve been accused of being OCD, and while I deny that vehemently, I do have a fairly rigid schedule for writing. As soon as I’ve finished breakfast (which follows exercise and a shower), I head for my office and write until noon. That’s my primary writing time, although I do sometimes write in the afternoon if I haven’t finished my scheduled chapters for the week.

LM: What is something you wish you knew how to do, and do you plan to try to learn whatever it is?

Amanda: I wish I were more expert in Photoshop, so yes, some Photoshop tutorials are on my “should do” list. When I’ll actually make the time to take them remains to be seen.

LM: You’ve got over thirty books in publication. How has writing and the industry changed for you since you began? What has stayed the same?

Amanda: I can hardly believe that A Tender Hope is my thirty-sixth book and that I’ve been writing for … well, let’s just say “decades.” So much has changed in that time. When I first started writing, I hired a typist for my manuscripts and sent paper copies to my editor. Revisions were literally cut and paste. Now everything is electronic, which I greatly prefer.

Another major change has been in promotion. I used to do many, many booksignings in brick and mortar stores. Remember when every mall had at least one and sometimes two or three bookstores? Now the majority of my promotion is done online. While I miss the personal contact with readers, I’m grateful for the opportunity to reach readers throughout the world via the web.

What hasn’t changed is the desire for each book to be better than the previous one and the need to ensure that the historic details are accurate.

LM: Here are some quickies:

Amanda:
Favorite actor or actress: Meryl Streep
Favorite Bible verse: Joshua 1:9
Favorite place to write: My office

LM: When we spoke last year, you were working on a book headed for publication in 2020. Is that still in process or are you on to something else?

Amanda:  I finished that book in late December and am excited to tell you that I have a final title for it. (For those who aren’t familiar with the process, working titles are often changed to be more marketable.) Anyway, this book, which is the first of the Mesquite Springs trilogy, is going to be called Out of the Embers. I absolutely love the title and can’t wait to see the cover art for it. 

Meanwhile, I’m hard at work on the second story in the trilogy, which will be released in 2021.

LM: Where can folks find you on the web?

Amanda:  
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amanda.j.cabot
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AmandaJoyCabot/
Blog: http://amandajoycabot.blogspot.com/

Thanks so much for inviting me to be your guest, Linda. I’ve enjoyed it!

Book Blurb:
As far as Thea Michener is concerned, it’s time for a change. With her husband murdered and her much-anticipated baby stillborn, there is nothing left for her in Ladreville. Having accepted a position as Cimarron Creek’s midwife, she has no intention of remarrying. So when a handsome Texas Ranger appears on her doorstep with an abandoned baby, Thea isn’t sure her heart can take it.

Ranger Jackson Guthrie isn’t concerned only with the baby’s welfare. He’s been looking for Thea, convinced that her late husband was part of the gang that killed his brother. But it soon becomes clear that the situation is far more complicated than he anticipated—and he’ll need Thea’s help if he’s ever to find the justice he seeks.


Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Traveling Tuesday: Oklahoma During WWII


Traveling Tuesday: Oklahoma During WWII

One of the last states to enter the union (46th), Oklahoma was created by merging the Oklahoma and Indian territories, and is a major producer of natural gas, oil, and agricultural products. The state’s name is derived from the Choctaw words “okla” and “humma” meaning “red people.” It is nicknamed the “Sooner State” because of the non-Native settlers who jumped the gun in staking their claims before the official opening date of land grants.

As with most of the United States, Oklahoma suffered during the Great Depression despite receiving federal assistance through President Roosevelt’s New Deal. With the advent of WWII, life changed for the state. The number of clear days made Oklahoma a prime location for flying. Even before the US entered the conflict, programs for training British Royal Air Force pilots were created. Between them, the Darr Flight School and the Spartan School of Aeronautics taught over 13,000 students how to fly.

Not long after Pearl Harbor, federal funds poured into the state establishing military installations and constructing wartime production facilities. Douglas Aircraft provided employment for nearly 50,000 who built C-47 “Gooney Bird” cargo planes, and medium and heavy bombers. At Rogers Field, personnel were trained as members of bomber crews and for photoreconnaissance. Manhattan Construction Company built hangars, barracks, aircraft plants, and other military facilities. Oklahoma Ordnance Works used hydroelectric power from a dam on the Grand River to produce gunpowder, and 10,000 Dupont employees produced explosives. Oklahoma A&M College (now Oklahoma State University) became the location of a WAVES training facility.

Thirty-two POW camps around the state housed approximately 20,000 German prisoners. Many earned wages on local farms, replacing the thousands of men who left the fields for the armed services.

Nearly 5,500 Oklahomans died during the war, and nineteen received Congressional Medals of Honor. A National Guard Unit drawn from Oklahoma, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona was called to service under Major General William Key as part of the 45th Infantry Division. As participants in the invasion of Sicily, they fought for 511 days, captured more than 120,000 prisoners, and suffered 3,650 casualties. They fought in eight campaigns and made three additional amphibious landings.

Oklahoma truly did its bit.

____________________________________________

A prostitute, a spy, and the liberation of Paris.

Sold by her parents to settle a debt, Rolande Bisset is forced into prostitution. Years later, shunned by her family and most of society, it’s the only way she knows how to subsist. When the Germans overrun Paris, she decides she’s had enough of evil men controlling her life and uses her wiles to obtain information for the Allied forces. Branded a collaborator, her life hangs in the balance. Then an American spy stumbles onto her doorstep. Is redemption within her grasp?

Simon Harlow is one of an elite corps of American soldiers. Regularly chosen for dangerous covert missions, he is tasked with infiltrating Paris to ascertain the Axis’s defenses. Nearly caught by German forces moments after arriving, he owes his life to the beautiful prostitute who claims she’s been waiting for the Allies to arrive. Her lifestyle goes against everything he believes in, but will she steal his heart during his quest to liberate her city?


Inspired by the biblical story of Rahab, Love’s Rescue is a tale of faith and hope during one of history’s darkest periods.

Available from AmazonKoboApple Books (iTunes), and B&N

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Talkshow Thursday: Welcome back Julie Arduini!


Talkshow Thursday: Welcome back Julie Arduini!

Linda:  Welcome back. I can’t wait to hear about your latest release, You’re Amazing, the second in the Surrendering Stinkin’ Thinkin’ series. As with the first book, you co-authored the story with your daughter. How was this experience different than the first time?

Julie: Hi, Linda! Thanks for having me back! The biggest change for You’re Amazing is that Hannah created a plot around dance, something I have zero experience or knowledge about. The whole concept of the book for Jazmin’s story was having her struggle in dance for the first time, so I could relate! I have to thank our dancing friend, Alanis, who went over the dance aspects and edited me for accuracy.

LM: It’s obvious you have a heart for young people, and this series seems geared to help them deal with the issues of growing up. What do you think is the biggest challenge for teens today?

Julie: My passion is for young people, girls especially, to embrace the truth that as Stasi Eldredge wrote, that they are “Captivating, the masterpiece in creation.” If that truth doesn’t reach them, they will go find a way to be captivating in ways that will scar them. Young people have so much stress and little encouragement. That was Hannah’s heart for the series, to encourage girls younger than her so they wouldn’t struggle as much.

LM: You’ve written both fiction and non-fiction. How is the process different?

Julie: I think the research for fiction is harder. In the Surrendering Time series, it was important to get the setting right because I love the Adirondacks so much I wanted to honor the people and place. The non fiction writing I have done has been about my infertility experience, so that was something I knew very well, too well.

LM: You are a self-professed chocolate lover. What is your favorite chocolate treat?

Julie: Pretty much anything milk chocolate with almonds. I received Cadbury bars for Christmas and they didn’t last long!

LM: How do you prepare yourself for writing? (e.g. set up in a certain place, listen to music)

Julie: Great question! I have found I’m in a better frame of mind if I workout first, doing a walking workout on YouTube followed by a quick yoga program. Then, I spend time in Bible study. I turn on my candle warmer, usually with a Christmas tree scent, and have Alexa play instrumental music. I tend to write in the bedroom because my husband is often in the office and our college aged son also has online classes he takes downstairs.

LM: Here are some quickies:

Julie: Favorite Actor or Actress: Ryan Reynolds
Favorite Season: Fall
Favorite Biblical character: Esther

LM: What is your next project?

Julie: This fall I will release Restoring Christmas. It was part of the A Christmas to Remember boxed set, but now that novella will also be available in print form.

I’m also finally writing the first book in my next Christian romance series, Surrendering Opinions. I’ve tried Anchored three times and put it down. I finally feel like everything in my head will finally make it to paper. For those that enjoy the show, This is Us, Surrendering Opinions will be a series I think they will enjoy.

LM: Where can folks find you on the web?

Julie: My site is at http://juliearduini.com, where they can also receive my first romance, Entrusted, as a gift when they subscribe to my newsletter. I’m everywhere on social media between Facebook and Snapchat as @JulieArduini. I’d love readers to follow me on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00PBKDRSQ and Goodreads, https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9819114.Julie_Arduini.  Don’t be shy to reach out. I enjoy connecting with readers.

Thank you, Linda!

Book Blurb: 
Jazmin’s a natural at dance until a series of changes make her wonder if she should even keep up with her favorite hobby.

Lena’s a mom with young children overwhelmed with her schedule when a woman remarks that what Lena does isn’t even important.


Both Jazmin and Lena belong to Linked, a mentoring ministry where all ages encourage each other and build friendships. Can these two surrender the lies they are believing and realize they are amazing?
            
A novella for tweens, teens, and women of all ages by mother and daughter team Julie Arduini and Hannah Arduini.

Purchase Link:  https://www.amazon.com/Youre-Amazing-Surrendering-Stinkin-Thinkin-ebook/dp/B07M7D6HSV

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Wartime Wednesday: From Italy to Oswego

Wartime Wednesday: From Italy to Oswego


In August 1944, one hundred and eighty five years after its construction by the British, Fort Ontario, on the Canadian-U.S. border in Oswego, New York, would find itself repurposed as an emergency shelter for 982 European refugees. The individuals, predominantly Jewish and from eighteen different countries ranged in age from a new born baby to an eighty-year-old man. Some has escaped from or been liberated from concentration camps and ghettos.

Called “Safe Haven,” the project was operated by the War Relocation Authority (the same organization responsible for the Internment Camps created after Executive Order 9066 was implemented). War Refugee Board Representative Leonard Ackerman traveled to Italy to determine who would be selected for transport to the U.S. Part of the criteria established was that the refugees for whom no other havens were available. Roosevelt also included the group should include mostly women and children. However, there were some rabbis, doctors, and a few skilled workers to maintain the camp. The President managed to circumvent immigration laws by referring to the refugees as his “guests.”

Visions of a life of freedom were dashed, when the refugees arrived after their seventeen day journey on the U.S. Army transport ship Henry Gibbons (later used to transport war brides). The travelers were deloused then placed under quarantine, forbidden to leave the fort. Visitors were also not allowed. And the worst of it was the chain-link fence that circled the camp, reminding the refugees of what they had left behind.

The city of Oswego welcomed the refugees, often lining up at the fence to shake hands and pass food and other gifts through the holes. Eventually restrictions were lightened, and the “guests” were granted six-hour passes to explore the city.


After the war, there was trepidation from the refugees who had signed documents agreeing to return to their countries of origin. But most has nothing to return to. Many organizations offered to take displaced families and help them begin a new life. Fortunately, not long after President Truman took offer, he decreed the refugees could stay. 

To make it official, they were bussed across Rainbow Bridge to Niagara Falls, Canada, where they were presentation with the necessary immigration papers, then returned to the for where they were officially admitted to the United States.

_______________________________________________________


A prostitute, a spy, and the liberation of Paris.

Sold by her parents to settle a debt, Rolande Bisset is forced into prostitution. Years later, shunned by her family and most of society, it’s the only way she knows how to subsist. When the Germans overrun Paris, she decides she’s had enough of evil men controlling her life and uses her wiles to obtain information for the Allied forces. Branded a collaborator, her life hangs in the balance. Then an American spy stumbles onto her doorstep. Is redemption within her grasp?

Simon Harlow is one of an elite corps of American soldiers. Regularly chosen for dangerous covert missions, he is tasked with infiltrating Paris to ascertain the Axis’s defenses. Nearly caught by German forces moments after arriving, he owes his life to the beautiful prostitute who claims she’s been waiting for the Allies to arrive. Her lifestyle goes against everything he believes in, but will she steal his heart during his quest to liberate her city?

Inspired by the biblical story of Rahab, Love’s Rescue is a tale of faith and hope during one of history’s darkest periods. Available on Amazon.