Thursday, February 27, 2020

Talkshow Thursday: Welcome back, Barbara Britton!


Talkshow Thursday: Welcome back, Barbara Britton!

Linda:  Welcome back to my blog. I’m a huge fan of your work. Congratulations on Heavenly Lights: Noah’s Journey that released just last week. How did you decide to write about this particular biblical character?

Barbara: Thank you for having me back on the blog, Linda.

In Heavenly Lights, I follow the daughters of Zelophehad into the first chapters of the book of Joshua. I was going to leave the brave girls after they crossed the Jordan River and settled in Canaan, but they didn’t have their inheritance of land. I couldn’t leave them yet. Noah is front and center in this novel, but her four sisters are still around to support and encourage her.

LM: What is something you learned about Noah during your research that really stuck with you?

Barbara: As the daughters of Zelophehad travel into God’s promised land, they are confronted with the sin of Achan and its ramifications on the whole Israelite camp. Thirty-six men perished in the battle for Ai because Achan stole from God. Achan must not have thought much of God to believe God wouldn’t know that he had hidden gold, silver, and an ornate robe in his tent. I always thought the stoning of Achan and his family was a harsh punishment until I studied the Scripture. Achan caused the death of others and put the entire camp in peril. He thumbed his nose at God’s sovereignty after seeing God’s miracles. One interesting fact is that the Scripture mentions Achan’s children, but not a wife (Joshua 7:24-25). Perhaps his wife had died in the desert. If she had lived, maybe she would have told him to stop digging in her tent and seek forgiveness from God.

LM: If Heavenly Lights was going to be made into a movie, who would you like to play the main characters?

Barbara: Oh, Jeremiah is easy. I would cast Nyle DiMarco as my silent shepherd. Nyle amazed me on Dancing With The Stars when he won the competition. Nyle is deaf like my character Jeremiah. I don’t know how Nyle kept time with the music. I enjoyed Madeline Carroll in the movie I Can Only Imagine and think she would handle the role of Noah well.

LM: How do you get your ideas about which characters from the Bible you’d like to write about?

Barbara: I heard about Jesus in the third grade, but I didn’t hear about the daughters of Zelophehad until a few years ago when a friend mentioned them in Bible Study. How had I missed them? Their account is mainly in the book of Numbers and they are mentioned briefly in the book of Joshua. I read the Scripture and decided to write their groundbreaking story.  I enjoy writing about Bible characters that readers haven’t heard much about. I love learning about these inspiring characters as I write my story.

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

Barbara: I would like to be a seamstress that could create dresses and pants. I am fairly tall, and I always have trouble finding pants and skirts that are long enough. I prefer my dresses on the longer side too.





LM: Here are some quickies:

Barbara:
Ideal vacation spot: Hawaii
Favorite childhood book: The Borrowers
Favorite food: Dark or mint chocolate

LM: What is your next project?

Barbara: I am currently working on another Biblical story, but I have a Historical releasing in June called “Until June.” My tag line for the story is: When a young seamstress agrees to take care of a WWI amputee in a remote Alaskan lodge, there’s enough friction to melt a glacier. If you liked “Me Before You” but disliked the ending, then “Until June” is for you.

LM: Where can folks find you on the web?

Barbara: I have a website (http://www.barbarambritton.com) and I am active on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.

You can find the daughters of Zelophehad in Numbers 26:33, 27:1-11, chapter 36, and in Joshua 17:3-6.

Book blurb:
Noah bat Zelophehad might have broken tradition by being able to inherit her father’s land, but her heart’s desire is to have the finest herds in all of Israel, something an orphaned and unmarried woman has never achieved.

Jeremiah ben Abishua cannot speak, nor hear. God has made his thoughts captive to his mind. But he can communicate with one shepherdess, a woman who sees his skill with animals and treats him like a man worthy of respect.

When their people disobey God and incur his wrath, Noah and Jeremiah must overcome tragedy in order to change perceptions in the tribes of Israel. Will their kinship desire to care for one another and the four-legged creatures God has placed in their care, be able to flourish in a land filled with enemies of the One True God?

God gave Noah bat Zelophehad four sisters, a way with four-legged creatures, and a strong spirit. She will need all three gifts to thrive in the Promised Land of God and find love with a special shepherd.


Thursday, February 20, 2020

Talkshow Thursday: Welcome Shannon McNear

Talkshow Thursday: Welcome Shannon McNear

Linda:  Thanks for stopping by. Congratulations on your recent release, The Rebel Bride which is part of the Daughters of the Mayflower series. What was your inspiration for the story and how did the opportunity come along to be part of the collection?
Shannon: Ohh…the story of how I came to be part of the collection is a little long and rather fantastical, but the short version is that a very dear friend and critique partner of mine—Michelle Griep, author of #3 in the series, The Captured Bride—recommended me to our editor Becky Germany, who then invited me to submit a proposal. That resulted in The Cumberland Bride, the title and essential concept of which was actually Becky’s. The Rebel Bride concept came a little later, and appealed because yes, I have a bit of a soft spot for the Confederacy. (Which I hope is apparent, especially after reading the story, is not the same as sympathy for slavery. . .at all.) Becky and I chatted back and forth about story ideas, and when she said she didn’t want a “plantation story,” well, then the ideas began to flow. I chose the Battles of Chickamauga and Chattanooga because it’s a lesser-known aspect of the Civil War and yet so pivotal—and the setting worked for my story idea.
LM: Your books are set in early America. What draws you to that era?
Shannon: Can you believe, the social and political complexity that is not so unlike what we face today? If only people knew … ahem. ๐Ÿ˜Š Anyway, living near Charleston, South Carolina, gave me ready access to all sorts of colonial and Revolutionary history, again from a lesser-known angle. I’m not sure why that era draws me more than, say, Civil War or later, but I find Civil War particularly difficult, emotionally.
LM: Do you have a set routine to prepare for writing (e.g. listening to music, etc.) and is there a time of day you are more productive?
Shannon: I used to be more productive in the evening, but that isn’t always so, anymore. I am so not a morning person, but there’s something about getting up before the kids (I have only mid-to-older teens at home now, and we homeschool, and you bet I let them sleep in if they don’t have work or whatever because, well, the house is blessedly quiet!) As far as routine—morning, I get up, make sure dogs/bunny/cats are fed (the teens and I switch off on those depending upon the day/schedule), grab my coffee, do some Bible reading and prayer to center myself if I didn’t the night before. Essential oils can work wonders if I’m feeling stressed and/or uninspired. Sometimes I do listen to music, other times not. I had a couple of particular playlists that helped a lot with this story and the one I wrote after—the deadlines were back to back and pretty tough to get through. It used to be that I could really only write to instrumental music but weirdly enough that has changed somewhat, too.
I really like having long blocks of time where I can alternate between laying down some good word count and taking a quick social media break, or to do laundry or straighten something in the house. Days when I have appointments or errands are terrible for writing momentum.
LM: If your story was going to be made into a movie, who would you like to see play the main characters?
Shannon:  I really don’t know! I chose random photos from Pinterest for my character models, and I can’t think of any current actors who fit how I picture either of them…got any suggestions?? LOL
LM: What is one thing you’d like to learn how to do?
Shannon:  Properly execute a palm-mute strum on my guitar. Isn’t that silly? I’m one of those clichรฉ guitar-playing worship leaders, and … suffice it to say that between focus on different musical styles and lack of time to devote to every area of interest during my busiest years as a mom (we have only 3 teens at home now, out of a total 8 children), I never learned it. And at my age, picking up newer techniques is, well, harder! But I’m trying. And annoyed that it doesn’t come easily. ๐Ÿ˜Š

LM: Here are some quickies:
Favorite Season:  Spring and fall, although summers in North Dakota are exquisitely beautiful!
Favorite author: C.S. Lewis
Favorite Bible verse:  For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us. Romans 8:18

LM: Can you tell us what writing projects are on your plate right now?
Shannon: I’m nearly done with a novella that’s part of a generational collection centering around a Nativity set. (By the time you post this interview, I’ll have turned it in, but—yeah.) The set is titled Love’s Pure Light and features Susanne Dietze, Janine Roche, and Deborah Raney. My story is The Wise Guy and the Star and is set in December 1919, right after WWI. After that, well, I’m praying about what’s next!
Linda: Where can folks connect with you?
Shannon:  
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Shannon-McNear/462336880012
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/shenandoahdawn/

About The Rebel Bride:

Can love form amidst tension of war?

During the clash between Union and Confederacy, quiet Tennessean Pearl MacFarlane is compelled to nurse both Rebel and Yankee wounded who seek refuge at her family's farm. She is determined to remain unmoved by the Yankee cause--until she faces the silent struggle of Union soldier Joshua Wheeler, a recent amputee. The MacFarlane family fits no stereotype Joshua believed in; still he is desperate to regain his footing--as a soldier, as a man, as a Christian--in the aftermath of his debilitating injury. He will use his time behind enemy lines to gather useful intelligence for the Union--if the courageous Rebel woman will stay out of the line of danger.ut of the line of danger.



Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/2O80aFB

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Traveling Tuesday: Weather Stations


Traveling Tuesday: Weather Stations


Most civilians don’t pay attention to the weather unless poor conditions may impact their plans such as outside chores, commuting, or vacations. However, throughout history, weather has made a difference during crucial moments. The scorching heat of summer and the frigid cold of winter during Napoleon’s Russian campaign destroyed his Grand Armee, and torrential rains on the battlefields at Waterloo contributed to his final defeat. When Kublai Khan tried to overtake Japan, his fleet was destroyed by a typhoon. You can bet that both those generals wished they’d had accurate forecasting abilities.

During World War II, every nation involved in the conflict (and perhaps many that were not) had apparently learned from history and paid close attention to the weather. Aircraft could be grounded by bad weather or targets obscured by fog or clouds. Sea convoys needed clear weather to delivery cargoes, and land offenses also depended on knowing what sort of weather was around the corner.

Modern devices such as satellites were unavailable in the 1940s, so meteorologists depended on barometers and other tools. Even with the “crudity” of their devices, weathermen could make fairly accurate predictions up to seventy-two hours in advance. In Europe, weather patterns form in the Arctic regions of the Northern Hemisphere, then drift west to east. Because of their lack of colonies in that area to use as reporting stations, Germany was at a disadvantage, but quickly set out to change their situation.

Greenland, Jan Mayen Island (a Norwegian island about 600 miles north of Norway), and the Svelbard Archipelago (a Norwegian island halfway between Norway and the North Pole) were three prime weather-reporting locations, but all part of neutral nations. The good news for the Germans was that Greenland’s and Jan Mayen’s stations transmitted their weather data in plain international code.

An interesting twist occurred to Hitler after he invaded Denmark and Norway in early 1940. When their home countries became occupied, the island colonies had to fend for themselves and chose resistance, cooperating with the British and Americans. Weather information from these stations was now only provided to the Allies.

As a result, Germany sent U-boats to the area to act as weather-reporting stations. However, the General in charge felt that gathering meteorological data came behind sinking enemy ships, so information was sporadic, and by January 1941, the submarine’s full time weather duties ended. The Luftwaffe then became responsible for weather reconnaissance, but was also more intent on battle. Eventually, a program to use weather “fishing” trawlers was thought to be a better solution.

However, that plan ended in disaster because the British were able to intercept the transmissions to such an extent that any element of surprise was lost, but more importantly captured many of the trawlers, each of which was carrying an Enigma Code machine. The Germans realized land-based stations were the best way to go and managed to set up facilities in remote areas of Greenland and several of the tiny islands scattered throughout the Arctic sea.


________________________________



In the year since arriving in London, journalist Ruth Brown has put a face on the war for her readers at home in the U.S. Thus far, juggling her career and her relationship with Detective Inspector Trevor Gelson hasn't proven too challenging. The war gets personal for Ruth when her friend Amelia is murdered, and Trevor is assigned to the case.

Life gets even more unsettling when clues indicate her best friend, Varis, is passing secrets to the enemy. Convinced Varis is innocent, Ruth must find the real traitor as the clock ticks down toward Operation Husky-the Allied invasion of Sicily. Circumstantial evidence leads Trevor to suspect her of having a part in Amelia's death, and Ruth must choose between her heart and her duty.


Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/2wnfhF1



Friday, February 14, 2020

Forensic Friday: The Hard-Boiled School of Detective Fiction

Forensic Friday: 
The Hard-Boiled School of Detective Fiction


With the release of Under Cover, this week, I'm taking a look at the various styles of crime fiction. On Monday, I talked about The Golden Age of Detective FictionAnother genre that arose around the same time, but remained popular well into the 1950s is the Hard-Boiled School of Detective Fiction, published in “pulp magazines,” so called because of the cheap wood pulp paper that was used. These inexpensive magazines were successors to the penny dreadfuls (early 19th century) and dime novels (late 19th century/early 20th century).

The typical protagonist in these novels are private investigators who witnessed the violence of organized crime during Prohibition and its aftermath, as well as corruption in the legal system that was nearly as deadly. The result was a
cynical, antihero in the likes of Sam Spade, Lew Archer, Mike Hammer, and Philip Marlowe. Author Carroll John Daly is credited with creating the style that Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler perfected.

Tough, single-minded, and loners, the PIs in these stores have a code of honor and justice that may not be strictly legal, but it is moral. They may be threatened or beaten, but they refuse to give up a case or betray a client. They are fast talking smart-alecks who use lots of slang, and show little respect for police officers. His attire of choice is a trench coat, fedora, and spectator shoes. And he won’t be caught without his pistol.

The story is nearly always told in first person, and the formula includes a client who’s in trouble, frequently a “dame” who doesn’t give the PI the whole story. She can’t get help from the police, so he takes the case. After digging around, interviewing lots of people, he’s typically been betrayed at least once and more murder have occurred.

Numerous hard-boiled detective stories were made into movies: The Thin Man series, Philo Vance series, The Maltese Falcon, etc. What is your favorite?
___________________

In the year since arriving in London, journalist Ruth Brown has put a face on the war for her readers at home in the U.S. Thus far, juggling her career and her relationship with Detective Inspector Trevor Gelson hasn't proven too challenging. The war gets personal for Ruth when her friend Amelia is murdered, and Trevor is assigned to the case.

Life gets even more unsettling when clues indicate her best friend, Varis, is passing secrets to the enemy. Convinced Varis is innocent, Ruth must find the real traitor as the clock ticks down toward Operation Husky-the Allied invasion of Sicily. Circumstantial evidence leads Trevor to suspect her of having a part in Amelia's death, and Ruth must choose between her heart and her duty.


Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/37dA36J

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Talkshow Thursday: Judy Ducharme

Talkshow Thursday: Judy Ducharme

Linda:  Welcome to my blog and congratulations on your latest release, Blood Moon Redemption. It sounds intriguing. What was your inspiration for the story?

Judy: I listened to a tremendous amount of information and teaching about the blood moons and how they related to the end-times. It was all in the non-fiction genre. I wanted to weave a story to entice people to learn and then study it for themselves. I knew so many would never just read the non-fiction books about it. My husband then gave me the suggestions for two very key factors of the book and really encouraged me to get writing. While writing so much of the book, I felt I was watching it on a screen and just trying to write fast enough to keep up – I know the Lord assisted me at every juncture.

LM: You’ve written fiction and non-fiction (devotionals). How do you approach the genres differently to research and write the books? The same?

Judy: With non-fiction I must really keep track of every single source. On my first devotional, The Cheesehead Devotional Kickoff Edition, I took tons of notes and researched and double-checked my details even if it was a game I attended, but I didn’t write down the pages and dates of all the sources. I had to go back and find it all. For the Hall of Fame Edition, I made sure I documented better. I used very similar methods for fiction – books, online, newspapers, personal experiences – and I kept those close at hand so I could verify if questioned. So, my research is similar whether fiction or non-fiction and often extensive.

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

Judy: I’m a pantster – writing by the seat of my pants. I tend to write when I feel inspired or have deadlines ๐Ÿ˜Š. Taking walks is a good place for my imagination to take control of a story. I pray and ask for ideas, organization, and the discipline to get it done. When I try to schedule myself, I don’t always comply with that plan. If I have a deadline, I sometimes take myself by the ear and set myself in front of the computer. But I don’t have a specific method or place.

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

Judy: I know my friends will tell you I’m just rather quirky, but what comes to mind is the time I forgot my name when I met Mrs. Nixon at the White House. At the time I worked as an announcer at a Christian radio station. Three of us were privileged to attend the National Religious Broadcasters Convention in Washington DC. We attended the National Prayer Breakfast and then had a visit to the White House. We went through a reception line to greet Mrs. Nixon with strict instructions not to say anything religious or political (it was around the Watergate time). My friend was ahead of me in line and proceeded to tell Mrs. Nixon all about where we were from and what we did. So, when I got to her, ready to simply tell her my name and that I was pleased to meet her, she engaged me and told me how impressed she was with what we did. It totally threw me off. I nodded, gulped, and started to tell her my name. It was gone. I finally found it, told her my name, and thanked her.

LM: Here are some quickies:

Favorite season: summer                   
Favorite Bible verse: Micah 6:8 He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.
Favorite childhood book: Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling

LM: What advice do you have for fledgling authors?

Judy: GO TO A WRITERS CONFERENCE!! It’s where you meet publishers, agents, editors, accomplished authors, and those right where you are. Everyone there is willing to listen to you and help you. Workshops help you hone the skills you already have and learn those you need.
LM: What is your next project?


Judy: Right now I’m wrapping up my recent novel – I’m almost done with all my editing. I have publishers who are interested. That doesn’t guarantee a contract but it’s the first step. I hope to send it out in the next week or so. I have a children’s book I need to rework a bit before I can send it out. I have ideas for other children’s books. I have a novel I started several years ago that I need to finish. And I really need to get better on social media and do a lot of marketing. (Pray for me please.)

LM: Where can folks find you on the web?

Judy:
Twitter: @PackerJudy

About Blood Moon Redemption:

It was just a relic, and hers, just a name. Who knew what time it really was?

The blood moons were always surrounded by great persecution and great provision, great trial and great triumph.

When the Jews were expelled from Spain and traveled with Columbus, only a tassel from a prayer shawl remained with them to signify their faith. That tassel, handed down, stolen, and hidden, became a marker of God's protection and now is the focus of a terrorist scheme and a young woman's destiny.


Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/2w3brRk

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Wartime Wednesday: Book Publishing During WWII


Wartime Wednesday: Book Publishing During WWII


Saturday’s release of Under Cover, the third book in my Ruth Brown mystery series, I’m focusing on mystery fiction in the U.S. and Britain. The two decades prior to WWII were considered the Golden Age of Detective Fiction, and up until the 1950s the Hard-Boiled School of Detective Fiction was also popular. But what happened to books during the war.

In England, the publishing industry nearly became extinct. Like almost everything else in the country, paper was rationed beginning in 1940. When France fell in June of that year, the UK lost access to the raw materials used to make paper, so publishing houses were limited to 65% of their 1939 usage. By the following year, that amount dropped to 35%. After all the government needed the paper. Ration booklets, signs, pamphlets, armed forces training manuals, memorandums, and orders. By the end of the war, the government used twice as much paper as the commercial industry.

The U.S. was in the same position.

Yet both countries recognized the importance of reading, especially for the troops. Initially, the United States collected hundreds of thousands of books through their Victory Book Campaign, but issues of size, weight, and unsuitable titles made the program unfeasible. In 1943, the nonprofit Council on Books in Wartime was formed and came up with idea for paperback books designed to fit into soldiers’ pockets. Named Armed Service Editions, over 1300 titles were printed.

Penguin Books, co-founded in 1935 by Sir Allen Lane with his brothers Richard and John played an integral part in the war effort. Not only did they publish important wartime manuals, they supplied books for the Armed Services and the British POWs through the Red Cross through the Forces Book Club. The company printed six hundred titles and began nineteen new series over the course of the war. As part of the Book Production War Economy Agreement, Penguin eliminated dust jackets, trimmed margins, and replaced sewn bindings with metal staples.

Despite the challenges, these two Allied nations ensured their people continued to have the opportunity to read. 

What is your favorite book?

_______________________

In the year since arriving in London, journalist Ruth Brown has put a face on the war for her readers at home in the U.S. Thus far, juggling her career and her relationship with Detective Inspector Trevor Gelson hasn't proven too challenging. The war gets personal for Ruth when her friend Amelia is murdered, and Trevor is assigned to the case.

Life gets even more unsettling when clues indicate her best friend, Varis, is passing secrets to the enemy. Convinced Varis is innocent, Ruth must find the real traitor as the clock ticks down toward Operation Husky-the Allied invasion of Sicily. Circumstantial evidence leads Trevor to suspect her of having a part in Amelia's death, and Ruth must choose between her heart and her duty.


Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/37dA36J

Monday, February 10, 2020

Mystery Monday: The Golden Age of Detective Fiction

Mystery Monday: The Golden Age of Detective Fiction


Agatha Christie, Margery Allingham, Dorothy Sayers, Freeman Wills Croft, Ellery Queen, John Dickson Carr, and John Rhodes. Some of the names you recognize, many you don’t, but they are all part of a cadre of writers who published mystery fiction during the time period known as the Golden Age of Detective Fiction.

Most scholars agree the Golden Age occurred between the early 1920s and 1939, with noted crime fiction historian Julian Symons indicating that Philip Van Doren Stern’s article “The Case of the Corpse in the Blind Alley, published in 1941, “could serve as an obituary for the Golden Age.”

Classic tropes of the Golden Age fiction include dying message clues, locked rooms, red herrings, closed circles of suspects, least likely culprits, and upper-class inhabitants in a secluded English house. 

Ronald Knox, a Catholic priest who also wrote mystery fiction, created what has been referred to as the Ten Commandments of Detective Fiction:
  • The criminal must be mentioned in the early part of the story, but must not be anyone whose thoughts the reader has been allowed to know.
  • All supernatural or preternatural agencies are ruled out as a matter of course.
  • Not more than one secret room or passage is allowable.
  • No hitherto undiscovered poisons may be used, nor any appliance which will need a long scientific explanation at the end.
  • No Chinaman must figure into the story (This is a reference to common use of heavily stereotyped Asian characters in detective fiction of the time.)
  • No accident must ever help the detective, nor must he ever have an unaccountable intuition which proves to be right.
  • The detective himself must not commit the crime.
  • The detective is bound to declare any clues which he may discover.
  • The “sidekick” must not conceal from the reader any thoughts which pass through his mind: his intelligence must be slightly, but very slightly, below that of the average reader.
  • Twin brothers, and doubles generally, must not appear unless we have been duly prepared for them.

Most of Golden Age writers have faded into obscurity with their books falling out of print, but thanks to several projects by publishers and authors around the globe, these novels are making a comeback and available in digital format. “Cozy” mysteries are said to be greatly influenced by the Golden Age, but in sheer sales numbers, modern detective fiction has never approached the popularity of the Golden Age writing.

What is your favorite Golden Age novel?




_____________________________


In the year since arriving in London, journalist Ruth Brown has put a face on the war for her readers at home in the U.S. Thus far, juggling her career and her relationship with Detective Inspector Trevor Gelson hasn't proven too challenging. The war gets personal for Ruth when her friend Amelia is murdered, and Trevor is assigned to the case.


Life gets even more unsettling when clues indicate her best friend, Varis, is passing secrets to the enemy. Convinced Varis is innocent, Ruth must find the real traitor as the clock ticks down toward Operation Husky-the Allied invasion of Sicily. Circumstantial evidence leads Trevor to suspect her of having a part in Amelia's death, and Ruth must choose between her heart and her duty.


Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/37dA36J

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Talkshow Thursday: Welcome Kathy Howard

Talkshow Thursday: Welcome Kathy Howard

Linda:  Thanks for joining me today. Congratulations on the recent release of Clear Confusion. What was your inspiration for the plot?
Kathy: Hey, Linda! Thanks so much for having me. I’m excited to be here. Inspiration for the plot? To be honest, I didn’t really have an inspiration for the actual plot. Pine trees and hunters surround me at home. I liked the idea of a story unfolding with those elements at the center. So I guess you could say this story was setting-inspired. ;)
LM: Your story is romantic suspense. What draws you to that genre? 
Kathy: I usually write inspirational romance. I’m probably a romantic at heart so I enjoy the creativity of that side of it. The inspirational part is heartfelt and can be emotional to put into words at times. Clear Confusion is my first attempt at romantic suspense. I love that the suspense part throws a little twist into the romantic “formula” of writing. It was truly fun to write.
 LM: Research is a large part of any book. How did you go about researching Clear Confusion and did you discover any extra special tidbits of information that you just knew had to be included in the story? 
Kathy: I talked to law enforcement and others, as most probably do. That helped with the criminal terminology. But I also talked to a local veterinary clinic. I was looking for a specific drug for pets that their owners might use and abuse themselves. In the end, with the present opioid crisis our country is going through, I decided to go that direction instead.
LM: Do you do anything specific to prepare yourself for writing? Do you have to be in a specific place or are you able to write anywhere?
Kathy: I’m a big fan of movies and books, anything with a story. So, I tend to watch and read until the juices flow. ;) As for where to write – in my parked car where God’s creation can inspire me or in a recliner with complete silence seem to work best.
LM: What is one thing you wish you knew how to do?
Kathy: Cook! I constantly burn toast and struggle to remember how long to boil an egg. Bless my poor family! LOL!
LM: Here are some quickies:
Favorite actress: Audrey Hepburn
Favorite food: Chocolate chip cookies & Chick-fil-a chicken sandwich (no pickle) ;)
Favorite childhood book: The Monster at the End of This Book 
LM: What is your next project? 
Kathy: A while ago, I started a story about two friends and their faith-growing journey. It is based around Jeremiah 29:11. However, I’ve decided to put it on hold for a bit. My two daughters are in high school and I want to enjoy every minute I have left with them before the fly the coop. 
LM: Where can folks find you on the web?
Kathy: Twitter: @kathymhoward1
______________________
About Clear Confusion
What am I going to do, God? Who am I?
Charlotte Hallaway needs to come to terms with her father's death. He had been her only family, and she wasn't handling her grief well. It was just supposed to be a few weeks of peace and quiet to process it all, but then she saw them-a drug deal and a murder within seconds of each other.
And they saw her.
Now running for her life, Charlotte boards a bus to escape her pursuers and wakes up the next morning in the woods of Jennings, Georgia, without a memory of how she got there or of who she is. All she knows is an underlying fear she can't seem to shake.
What two hunters find her battered and scared, can she put aside the clear confusion she's experiencing to trust them? She wants to trust them, especially Nicholas, but fear is holding her back. Trust is incredibly hard when one is so clearly confused. Could it be he and his friend are n to who they claim to be?
Who are they really...and who is she?
Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/37P4elC

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Traveling Tuesday: Hawaii after Pearl Harbor


Traveling Tuesday: 
Hawaii’s Home Front After Pearl Harbor

The December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor forced the United States into war with Japan. The following day, Germany declared war on the U.S., and the country became embroiled in WWII. Within hours of the attack, the Territorial Governor stripped himself of his administrative powers, and Hawaii (still a territory at that time) was put under martial law.

Under military law, the normal judicial process is suspended, therefore courts, witnesses, and juries are unnecessary. Instead, a military tribunal handles all violations and metes out punishment as it sees fit. With more than a third of the residents being of Japanese descent, the government was in a quandary about what to do with them. Interning the individuals, as was being done on the mainland, was impractical for numerous reasons, therefore it was hoped that martial law would take care of the situation.

All residents over the age of six were fingerprinted and issued identification papers that were to be carried all times and produced upon demand. Curfews and blackouts (including electricity shutoff after sundown) were implemented, the media and mail were censored, and food, gasoline, and other items were rationed. Business hours were assigned and alcohol was prohibited. Traffic was monitored and special garbage collection was administered. 

Civilians were banned from photographing coastal locations, but they were also used to dig holes for bomb shelters and place barbed wire around beaches, water pumping stations, electrical installations, and government buildings. Gas masks were issued and regular drills were held to prepare for gas attacks or air raids.

Waikiki’s beachfront hotels were closed to the public and taken over for the exclusive use of the military (whose five branches all had a presence on the islands). Seven POW and internment camps were located on Oahu, the big island, Maui, and Kauai.

Hawaii was forever changed as a result of WWII, and many scholars feel the statehood that followed fourteen years later had a direct correlation to the war.
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Under Cover (Ruth Brown mystery series, book 3) In the year since arriving in London, journalist Ruth Brown has put a face on the war for her readers at home in the U.S. Thus far, juggling her career and her relationship with Detective Inspector Trevor Gelson hasn't proven too challenging. The war gets personal for Ruth when her friend Amelia is murdered, and Trevor is assigned to the case.

Life gets even more unsettling when clues indicate her best friend, Varis, is passing secrets to the enemy. Convinced Varis is innocent, Ruth must find the real traitor as the clock ticks down toward Operation Husky-the Allied invasion of Sicily. Circumstantial evidence leads Trevor to suspect her of having a part in Amelia's death, and Ruth must choose between her heart and her duty.

Available for pre-order: https://amzn.to/31ju3I6