Thursday, July 30, 2020

Talkshow Thursday: Meet Alexis Goring

Talkshow Thursday: Meet Alexis Goring

Linda:  Welcome to my blog! Thanks for joining me today. Congratulations on your latest release Stories and Songs of Faith: My Journey with God. You’ve been a fiction writer. What made you decide to jump into the nonfiction genre, specially a devotional?
Alexis: Thanks for inviting me to be a guest on your blog, Linda! Thanks for the “congrats” on the publication of my first devotional book. Yes, I started out as a fiction writer but I’ve also been writing devotionals since age 16. I decided to move into the nonfiction genre by writing my first devotional book because God put it on my heart. Writing devotionals comes naturally to me. I’d say it’s one of my spiritual gifts from God. He called me to it.
LM: How did you find writing the devotion different from fiction? The same?
Alexis: Writing and editing my devotional book was much easier for me than writing and editing fiction. God downloaded the devotional ideas into my mind and then the words just flowed out of me. It only took between 15 to 60 minutes for me to write and edit each devotional whereas it would take months and sometimes a year or more for me to write and edit fiction stories.
LM: How did you get started as a writer, and how did you decide to seek publication?
Alexis: I wrote my first “story” at age 9. It was called “Sisters” and really was only about 10 or 20 pages long. I credit my late maternal grandfather for inspiring me to be a storyteller with an impromptu storytelling game he played with my brother and I one day when we were kids. I loved my story so much that I spent that entire summer typing it out on the family computer. I then printed it out, bound it like a book with staples then illustrated each blank page to the left of the story on the right pages. After I completed that process, I knew that I wanted to be a writer. Since then, I felt a strong desire to learn everything I could about writing and to take every opportunity to train my talent as a writer. So I joined the newspaper staff in high school and I studied Print Journalism in college. I sought publication all along the way and God allowed those dreams of my heart to come true! I am so grateful.
LM: In addition to writing, you support authors as a virtual assistant, social media marketer, and editor. How do you balance the various aspects of your career?
Alexis: I balance everything by the grace of God. He enables me to spend just the right amount of time on each creative project and He enables me to work hard and effectively for my clients. During times when I don’t have many clients, I focus more on my own work like my blogging and writing. It all works out perfectly, as God gives me grace and wisdom.
 LM: If you could tell your younger writing-self one thing, what would it be?
Alexis: I would tell my younger writing-self to be patient. God knows what He’s doing and everything will happen according to His plan and in His perfect time.
LM: What is one thing you wish you knew how to do?
Alexis: I wish I knew how to start a successful, award-winning photography business! It’s another dream of my heart.
LM: Here are some quickies:
Favorite childhood book: Anne of Green Gables
Favorite food: Vegetarian Filipino cuisine
Favorite vacation place: Barbados

LM: What is your next project?
Alexis: I’m not currently working on a project. I’m taking a break from writing books.
LM: Where can folks find you on the web?
About Stories and Songs of Faith: My Journey with God
Stories and Songs of Faith: My Journey with God is a 52-week devotional that will bless your heart, soothe your soul, encourage your mind, and strengthen your God-given spirit.
Join Alexis A. Goring on an inspirational journey. Each devotional builds from real-life experiences that impart many faith lessons learned along the way.
Easy day is built on the foundation of a Bible verse or edifying quote, followed by Goring's personal story and reflection questions for a personalized experience.
All of the devotionals are tied to a song in order to go a little deeper into the heart of the message. A song directory at the end of the book connects the reader with music online to further enhance the study experience and glorify God.
Spend a year on a journey growing closer to the Lord through Stories and Songs of Faith, and discover personal transformation as time with Jesus Christ changes you heart to look a little more like His.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Traveling Tuesday: Madison Square Garden

Traveling Tuesday: Madison Square Garden

Growing up in New Jersey, I often traveled into New York City with my family and on school trips to sightsee and attend events. One of the venues, I visited was Madison Square Garden and have many fond memories. While researching one of my books, I discovered that famed aviator Charles Lindbergh spoke at a rally at the Garden in 1941 and knew I had the kernel of an idea for another book. What I didn’t realize until I dug deeper is that there have actually been four Madison Square Gardens, and the one I visited is not the one where Lindbergh spoke.

Here’s a bit more about the famous facilities that bear the name:

The first Madison Square Garden was the former train depot of the New York and Harlem Railroad. Owned by Commodore Vanderbilt, the building remained vacant from 1871 to 1874 when it was leased to P.T. Barnum. He renovated to create an open oval arena with benches and seats. Named Great Roman Hippodrome, the facility was used for Barnum’s circus performances as well as other events. Subsequent lessees used it for flower, dog, and beauty shows, temperance meetings, concerts, revivals, and boxing matches. After Vanderbilt’s death in 1879, his nephew took back control and renamed the building Madison Square Garden.

Ten years later, he sold to a syndicate that included J.P Morgan, Andrew Carnegie, and W.W. Astor who chose to demolish the building and have a new one designed by well-known architect Stanford White. With a minaret-like tower that rose thirty-two stories, the Garden was the city’s second tallest building. The main hall had permanent seating for 8,000 people and floor capacity for thousands more. In addition a “small” theatre held 1,200 and a concert hall 1,500. In addition, there was a restaurant and roof top cabaret. Unfortunately, the cost to build was nearly three million dollars, and never provided the success and financial gain anticipated, so it was torn down in 1925.

The third Madison Square Garden, the one in which Lindbergh spoke, was located between 49th and 50th street on 8th Avenue, and not located on Madison Square. Construction costs are estimated at just under five million dollars, and the facility was constructed in a little over eight months. Groundbreaking occurred on January 9, 1925. Seating was available on three levels with a capacity of 18,496 visitors. The facility hosted several noteworthy events:

  • Although the Garden never hosted a national political convention, a rally was held to support Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s bid for president in 1932. In 1936, he delivered his last campaign speech before the election there.
  • Five years later, in 1937, a Boycott Nazi Germany rally was held sponsored by the American Jewish Congress and the Jewish Labor Committee. New York City mayor Fiorello LaGuardia was one of the speakers.
  • In February 1939, the pro-Nazi organization German American Bund held a rally with 20,000 participants. The group was outlawed by the U.S. government by December 1941.
  • On May 23, 1941, Charles Lindbergh spoke at the America First Committee rally.

Nearly thirty years later, the building was demolished after the current Garden was constructed at One Worldwide Plaza.

About Murder at Madison Square Garden:

The dream of a lifetime becomes a nightmare.

Photojournalist Theodora “Teddy” Schafer’s career has hit the skids thanks to rumors of plagiarism. With any luck, a photo spread with Charles Lindbergh at the America First Rally will salvage her reputation. After an attempted assassination of Lindbergh leaves another man dead, Teddy is left holding the gun. Literally. Can she prove her innocence before the police lock her up for a murder she didn’t commit?

Private Investigator Ric Bogart wants nothing to do with women after his wife cleaned out their bank account and left him for another man, but he can’t ignore the feeling he’s supposed to help the scrappy, female reporter who is arrested for murder at the America First rally. Can he believe her claims of innocence and find the real killer without letting Teddy steal his heart?

Purchase Link:

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Talkshow Thursday: Meet A.S. Mackey

Talkshow Thursday: Meet A.S. Mackey

Linda:  Thanks for joining me today. Congratulations on your debut middle grade book The Age of Everywhen. Where did you find your inspiration for this story?

AS: It all started with a social media post! I saw a random post early in 2015 in which someone wished that there was such a thing as a book that automatically knew what kind of story you needed to hear right at that moment. What a concept! I decided to craft a story about a mysterious book that knows what story each reader needs to hear, and the book’s power is derived from God. As a Christian, I believe that the story we need to hear is the one God is telling us about who we were meant to be, so that’s the path I took.

LM: You’ve written lots of children’s stories. What made you decide to move into the middle grade fiction genre?

AS: For some reason, my natural, unplanned reading level when I write, according to the Flesch-Kincaid scale, is about 5.5 to 6.0. Also, though I haven’t studied childhood or tween development, I believe that there truly is a “Golden Age of Reading.” A ten- or twelve-year-old is in that between-time: not a child, and not an adult. They’re becoming more aware of the world around them, wondering about their place in that world, and hoping they fit in. They’re becoming independent thinkers who can handle more abstract concepts than their younger counterparts, beginning to question their beliefs and ask hard questions. 

But at the same time, most readers this age haven’t yet developed that cynical thick skin that often comes with teens and adults, so their imagination allows them to suspend disbelief and accept a story at face value. This was the age I truly fell in love with reading on my own, and I love to create Christ-centered wonder for middle-grade readers. Also, adults aren’t bored by books in this genre, because the reading level isn’t childish, so it’s a level that appeals to readers of many ages.

LM: What is your favorite part of the writing process?

AS: The beginning! I love to do research about names and places, and I love dreaming up new story lines to see if they have the makings of a full-fledged novel.

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

AS: Speak French fluently! Years ago I was fluent enough to actually dream in French, and to teach it as a substitute teacher in high school, but I’ve gotten so rusty! I just downloaded Duolingo, a
language app, so that I can practice more.

LM: Some quickies:

AS: Favorite color: Sage green

Favorite food: oooh, that’s a tough one! I love ALL food, so if I have to pick one, it has to be dark chocolate.

Favorite time of year: Fall!

LM: You live in Alabama, a beautiful area of the U.S., many people visit. If money were no object, where would you vacation?

AS: Ireland, no doubt! My husband is a red-head with ancestors in Ireland, so I would love to spend a month there going from village to village, meeting the local people, and seeing Celtic history.

LM: What is your next project?

AS: I am busy creating additional content for this new release, such as an 8-week Bible study guide and chapter vocabulary lessons. I hope that the publishers at Lifeway will offer me contract for the sequel to The Edge of Everywhen, of course. But even if they don’t, I always have a book going! I’m writing a young adult medieval allegory, sort of like Lord of the Rings meets Pilgrim’s Progress. I’m writing a young adult speculative fiction piece about a girl who is a modern-day Philip. And I have some character names that are just begging for a middle grade series like Artemis Fowl, but those are just sort of percolating.

LM: Where can folks find you on the web?

AS: My website is – and I can be found on Twitter, FacebookGoodreads, and Instagram. (Haven’t made it over to Pinterest just yet!) To purchase a copy of the book (paperback, Audible, or Kindle,) click here.

About The Edge of Everywhen

A unique middle-grade novel, The Edge of Everywhen tells the story of Piper, a. 13-year-old self proclaimed book nerd who world has been upended after the death of her mother. She and her autistic little brother (and best friend) Phoenix cling to one another as they are forced to move a thousand miles away from everything familiar and live with their rich, estranged aunt.

Piper reached to the books on her shelf for comfort, but it is one unique book, Novus Fabula, who offers true guidance as the omniscient narrator in the story. It watches them arrive at their aunt's home, with tired hearts and stones in their stomachs, and now its whispered voice must point the children to depend upon the sovereignty of God during the most dire times as they await word of their missing father.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Traveling Tuesday: A Guest Post by Kathleen Bailey

Traveling Tuesday: “Wagon Train”: What They Got Right

Ah, television, the medium that brought the world into our living rooms. In the 1950s and early 60s the small screen abounded with Westerns, reflecting a fascination with that part of our country’s past. TV offered us a rich smorgasbord of Westerns, from a lone-wolf bounty hunter to a straight-up U.S. Marshal to a hunky single dad sharpshooter. There were sheriffs, cowboys on perpetual cattle drives and hired guns. Some were humorous, like James Garner’s iconic Maverick, and some were family sagas, “Bonanza” and “The Big Valley.”

And there was “Wagon Train.”

The show premiered in 1957, in black and white, and was one of the first one-hour Westerns. It starred Ward Bond as the crusty wagon master Seth Adams, and Robert Horton as scout Flint McCullough.  It looped in many of the top stars of its day, including Bette Davis and Ronald Reagan, for guest shots. The format, focusing each week on the story of one family or passenger, allowed the show to go on, well, forever. When Bond died and Horton took off for the musical stage, John McIntyre and Robert Fuller took over as wagon master and head scout.  The show went to color, gave longtime bit players Frank McGrath and Terry Wilson co-star status, and expanded the staff to another young man and a teenage boy they picked up somewhere. It also went to 90 minutes, allowing for more complex plots and sometimes two story threads at a time.

But it was a Hollywood production, as accurate in its way as Cecil B. DeMille’s Bible epics. That is to say, it had its moments.

Let’s begin with a small point. Yeah, the women, especially the ingenues, always looked as if they had fresh makeup on, that’s a given. But the young single women, and the younger married ones, also wore their hair loose, in freefall down their backs. Not the most practical way to face torrential rains, drought conditions, the desert, cooking over a campfire, washing clothes in a stream or carrying your little brother when the wagon got too heavy. Still, these girls were always immaculately dressed and coiffed. The scouts and wagon master dressed for the trip in sturdy pants, boots, shirts and vests. But their passengers, especially the professional men, wore suits and the occasional string tie. Like the young girls, they were always “ready for my closeup,” even when repairing a broken axle or helping to shoe a horse. But the trail got messy, people. Staying alive trumped how you looked.

I was also amused to watch the social mores, when a “fancy lady from the East” had her maid set a dinner table with a cloth and china. After sixteen hours of travel under the blazing sun, sometimes walking, sometimes carrying those who couldn’t walk, a supper of beans and cornbread, on tin plates at the campfire, was what most people could hope for and what most women could produce.

The wagons themselves drew my attention, if not my ire. Like Snoopy’s doghouse or the Tardis, they somehow became larger when you got inside, holding everything from brass beds to pianos. But the wagons that crossed the prairie were a mere 4 feet wide and 10 feet high. I made mine wider for “Westward Hope,” a conscious choice which I addressed early on, so some of my people would have something to throw out when they got to the mountains. You do what you have to do.    

And “Wagon Train’s” wagons were pulled by horses, while the more durable oxen were the beast of choice.                        
What did “Wagon Train” get right? A lot.

In both iterations, the writers and producers weren’t shy about showing the rigors of the trail. Axles broke, wheels came off, people died from cholera or snake bites or gunshot wounds. Water, and the lack of it, was crucial, and both shows feature episodes where people almost died in the desert.
The show gave a more nuanced portrait of Native Americans than some of its era, with Bond, Horton, McIntyre and Fuller showing respect for the Indians’ traditions and customs. Horton’s Flint, raised by Mountain Man Jim Bridger, could speak some of their dialects.  The show presented Indians who wanted to live in peace and Indians who, for whatever reason, didn’t. Sometimes they were more cartoonish than at other times, but so were the whites.

“Wagon Train” also captured the nuances of life on the trail, throwing together up to 100 strangers to endure appalling conditions. They had different traditions, customs, languages and reasons for going West. They had different religions or no religion. And for six long months they formed a small town of their own, bickering and gossiping, fighting each other under the hot desert sun because they couldn’t give voice to their real fears. Passions boiled over, and the wagon master usually had to intervene. There were threatened lynchings. 

In the Ward Bond years there’s a wonderful two-part episode where a young man is accused of murder, and a retired law professor agrees to defend him. Seth Adams acts as judge. The producers bring us through a full murder trial, in the midst of the desert, with a few good men standing against hysteria and half-truths. When the young man is finally acquitted, a beaming Seth Adams says it proves that justice will be served, even on a wagon train.

And the show captured the spirit behind the Great Emigration, especially in the early years. Ward Bond has several speeches in which he holds forth on the reasons for this kind of trip: everyone on his train is looking to make a new start.   It’s a place where people can be free. McIntyre’s Chris Hale speaks for every emigrant when he says in one episode, “You’re going where the only time you have to look down is when you tie your boots.”                                                                    
About Settler’s Hope

After years of wandering, Pace Williams expects to find a home in the Oregon Country. He doesn't expect is to fall in love with a fiery Irishwoman bent on returning home to avenge her people.
Oona Moriarty expects one thing: to exact revenge on the English overlords who took her home. She doesn't expect to fall in love with a man who looks like he's been carved from this Western landscape.
Together they vow to trust the unexpected and settle into a life, but when Pace's ancient enemies threaten to destroy the life they're building, Oona must choose between helping the man she loves and seeking the revenge she craves.

About Kathleen Bailey: Kathleen Bailey is a journalist and novelist with 40 years’ experience in the nonfiction, newspaper and inspirational fields. Born in 1951, she was a child in the 50s, a teen in the 60s, a young adult in the 70s and a young mom in the 80s. It’s been a turbulent, colorful time to grow up, and she’s enjoyed every minute of it and written about most of it.

Bailey’s work includes both historical and contemporary fiction, with an underlying thread of men and women finding their way home, to Christ and each other. Her first Pelican book, ‘Westward Hope,” was published in September 2019. This was followed by a novella, “The Logger’s Chrsitmas Bride,” in December 2019. Her second full-length novel, “Settler’s Hope,” was released July 17, 2020.

She lives in New Hampshire with her husband David. They have two grown daughters.
For more information, contact her at; @piechick1 on Twitter; Kathleen D. Bailey on Facebook and LinkedIn; or at

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Welcome back, Julie Arduini!

Welcome back, Julie Arduini!

Linda:  Thanks for stopping by. Congratulations on your newest release, You’re Brilliant (Book 3, Surrendering Stinkin’ Thinkin’). What was your inspiration for the story? Is this an ongoing series you plan to continue for the foreseeable future?
Julie: Thank you, Linda! The series is the brainchild of our teen daughter, Hannah. She has some health issues that make life a little more challenging than for most, and when she finished middle school, we were both drained from the experience. She was processing it by sharing how she wished there was a way to encourage girls younger than her before things start that make girls believe lies about themselves. As she shared, I realized she was sharing a story. It was good. I told her if she continued, I’d work with her and get it published. You’re Brilliant is the last book in the series. We started with You’re Beautiful, and there was also You’re Amazing. I’m really proud of the series, and of Hannah.
LM: How long does it take you to write a book? Do you write lots of drafts or does the manuscript just need some “tweaking” and editing to be ready?
Julie: It depends on the book. For You’re Brilliant, it took a few months. The quarantine really helped us as we were both home to work on it. When I write romance, that definitely takes me drafts and drafts.
LM: Does your writing energize or exhaust you?
Julie: Yes. Seriously, when I am in that zone where I know where the story is going and I’m deep in the character world, it energizes me. That doesn’t happen as often as I wish. Typically I’m drained because I’m in that gap between plot points and I need to fill it, and the characters aren’t talking to me!
LM: You co-author young adult books with your daughter and write contemporary romance for adults. How do you balance the two careers, and how is writing in the two genres different? The same?
Julie: I thought when I started the series with Hannah I could write both genres, but that did not work. I pushed the current romance series I’m working on, Surrendering Opinions, out until I finished the series with Hannah. I don’t have what it takes to juggle more than one book at a time, or different genres. I think what’s the same about writing in two genres is the process---creating characters, plot, writing, revising, editing, publishing, and marketing. What’s different is the story world. With You’re Brilliant, I observed the teens in my life and was intentional about knowing their world. What triggered them. What issues come up for them that my age might not notice. When I write romance, I’m still in a story world, but the characters are older and their goals are different.
LM: If you could tell your younger writing-self one thing, what would it be?
Julie:. Don’t let the fear of what others think hold you back. That fear kept me from writing for decades. God healed me from that, and a wise mentor encouraged me to have the “skin of a rhino and heart of a dove.” It has helped me overcome and move forward.
LM: Here are some quickies:
Walk, bicycle, or drive: Drive. The other two aren’t bad options, but my favorite moments are when I visit my mom and have 300 miles to drive alone.
Cookies, pie, or cake: That’s hard! That answer could change by the minute. Overall, I’ll never turn down a good piece of cake.
Favorite shoe style: Flat and comfortable. I have bad knees and have never worn heels. Shoes aren’t my thing, I’m pretty low-key about footwear.
LM: Can you tell us what writing projects are on your plate right now?
Julie: I am writing a new contemporary romance series called Surrendering Opinions about a group of sextuplets who stay in the national spotlight because of tragedy. Now that they are adults, they are each trying to find a love that was as strong as what their mom and dad shared. Each sibling will have their own book, and it starts with the oldest, Jordyn Collins, and the title is Anchored. My hope is for a winter release.
Linda: Where can folks connect with you?
Julie: I love when readers connect!
About You're Brilliant:
Amazing things happen when a group of high school students and women discover they are more than competent.
Bethany's not excited to start high school in a new community where she doesn't know anyone. She quickly befriends KJ, a popular sophomore, and it looks like the transition will go well until Bethany discovers KJ's boyfriend is a bully. With a strong sense of justice, Bethany challenges Brent Sullivan, and he's determined to make her suffer.
Cheri takes on an additional job in a school to help pay for Sabrina's wedding. It's a different atmosphere than at the church where she feels more comfortable as the pastor's wife and mentor with the Linked ministry. After several mishaps, Cheri feels like she's found an assignment where she can make a different until a teacher belittles her work.
Can Bethany and Cheri resist the lies about their competency and hold on to the fact they're brilliant?

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Release Day: Murder at Madison Square Garden

Release Day: Murder at Madison Square Garden

Every author is excited when a new book releases, however, Murder at Madison Square Garden holds a special place in my heart. I spent many of my growing up years in New Jersey. We were close enough to New York City, that my parents often took us to visit. I also went on numerous field trips with school groups. One of the places I went on several occasions was the Garden, so it was very fun to have the facility be the main setting of my latest mystery novel, a traditional whodunit.

I hope you enjoy Murder at Madison Square Garden that features a couple of cameo appearances by famed aviator Charles Lindbergh.

Here's a bit about the story:
The dream of a lifetime becomes a nightmare.
Photojournalist Theodora “Teddy” Schafer’s career has hit the skids thanks to rumors of plagiarism. With any luck, a photo spread with Charles Lindbergh at the America First Rally will salvage her reputation. After an attempted assassination of Lindbergh leaves another man dead, Teddy is left holding the gun. Literally. Can she prove her innocence before the police lock her up for a murder she didn’t commit?
Private Investigator Ric Bogart wants nothing to do with women after his wife cleaned out their bank account and left him for another man, but he can’t ignore the feeling he’s supposed to help the scrappy, female reporter who is arrested for murder at the America First rally. Can he believe her claims of innocence and find the real killer without letting Teddy steal his heart?
Purchase Link:

Monday, July 13, 2020

Mystery Monday: Dame Margaret Cole

Mystery Monday: Dame Margaret Cole

British mystery writer Margaret Cole who co-wrote over thirty detective stories with her husband G.D.H. Cole was a prolific author. Part of the Postgate family from the North York moors, Margaret also penned poetry and several nonfiction books. She later went into politics and was awarded a DBE. Her ancestor’s land grant was awarded in the year 1200, and through the centuries the family was notable in many fields including science, music, education, journalism, and entertainment. Film and stage actress Dame Angela Lansbury is Margaret’s cousin.
Margaret attended the Roedean School where she was very unhappy, later saying, “Roedean was, emphatically, the wrong sort of school for me. But I would go further and say it was not a good sort of school at all. It was very expensive; I only got in as the winner of the single annual scholarship.” She later attended Girton College (part of Cambridge), and finished all the requirements for a degree. (At that time most universities did not grant degrees to women.)
She and her family were staunch socialists and became pacifists during WWII. Her brother was jailed after his exemption as a conscientious objector was denied and he refused military orders. Her poem “The Falling Leaves” is one of her most famous works and is one of the first anti-war poems from a woman’s perspective. When Hitler began to overrun Europe, Margaret abandoned her pacifism, however she continued to be active in the socialist cause.
During a campaign against conscription, she met and married G.D.H. Cole. They joined the Fabian Society, an organization whose purpose is to advance the principles of democratic socialist via reformist efforts rather than revolutionary overthrow. The couple eventually moved to Oxford where they taught and wrote. Their first mystery novel “The Death of a Millionaire” was published in 1925. Published in 1948, their final novel was “The Toys of Death.” Series characters were Superintendent Henry Wilson, Everad Blatchington, and Dr. Tancred.
Their book “Murder at the Munition Works” was published in 1940, and the story is woven around wartime production, shop stewards, and walk-outs. Because of its topic, one scholar theorizes that Margaret’s husband wrote the book in its entirety rather than as a collaboration with her, however, there is no proof. Most readers agree that the Cole’s early works are their better novels with ingenious ideas, complex characterizations, and sharp satire.
And despite being considered as good as Agatha Christie’s stories, the Coles and their books have faded into obscurity.


About Murder at Madison Square Garden
The dream of a lifetime becomes a nightmare.
Photojournalist Theodora “Teddy” Schafer’s career has hit the skids thanks to rumors of plagiarism. With any luck, a photo spread with Charles Lindbergh at the America First Rally will salvage her reputation. After an attempted assassination of Lindbergh leaves another man dead, Teddy is left holding the gun. Literally. Can she prove her innocence before the police lock her up for a murder she didn’t commit?

Private Investigator Ric Bogart wants nothing to do with women after his wife cleaned out their bank account and left him for another man, but he can’t ignore the feeling he’s supposed to help the scrappy, female reporter who is arrested for murder at the America First rally. Can he believe her claims of innocence and find the real killer without letting Teddy steal his heart?
Purchase Link:

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Talkshow Thursday: Author Johnnie Alexander

Talkshow Thursday: Author Johnnie Alexander

Linda:  Thanks for stopping by. Congratulations on your recent release The Mischief Thief. I absolutely loved the story. What was your inspiration for the plot?
Johnnie: I’m so glad you enjoyed the story, Linda. The reviews have been very encouraging. (And that makes me smile big-time! LOL!!)
Very early on, I hit upon the idea of a Les Miserables meets Leverage story.
Most people are familiar with the powerful scene in Les Mis when the bishop gives the silver candlesticks—and amazing grace—to Jean Valjean. The television show, Leverage, is about a team of reformed criminals who help people in need of justice.
I enjoy stories of “bad guys doing good” so it was fun to write about a con artist with a conscience.
LM: Through your book, I learned a great deal about the horse racing industry as well as other interesting topics? How did you conduct your research, or did you already have a knowledge base?
Johnnie: The internet was definitely my friend! Since you’ve read the story, you know that part of the con (slight spoiler alert here!) involves a claiming race. My sister told me about there was such a thing, then laughed because I looked up the legislation for such races in the Florida Statutes. I also looked up information about the racing industry and what’s known as the Horse Murders.
LM: In addition to writing and publishing, you support authors through your podcast Novelists Unwind. How did that come about, and how do you balance the different parts of your writing life?
Johnnie: Oh, wow! I’m in my third year of interviewing inspirational authors for Novelists Unwind. It’s a joy to talk about writing journeys and characters and whatever else happens to come up in the conversation.
I was already cohosting a weekly show called Writers Chat. Interviewing authors seemed like a natural next step. Thanks to you, Linda, for being one of my recent guests!
Balance is not one of my favorite words. I prefer to think in terms of ebb and flow. As writers, we have responsibilities that go beyond imagining stories. For me, that includes scheduling two to three Novelists Unwind interviews a month, a monthly newsletter, mentoring responsibilities, and other platform-building interactions.
I usually have weekly word count goals to meet, too.
It may sound like a lot, and sometimes it is overwhelming. But I’m so grateful for the opportunities God gives to me. Writing stories is my dream!
LM: Turnabout is fair play. What do you do to unwind?
Johnnie: I love this question! Right now, I’m in a season where I’m starting a new story almost before I’ve finished the current one. I love going to the movies which isn’t possible right now. So I unwind by stretching out in the recliner with either a book or a binge-worthy TV show.
LM: If your story was going to be made into a movie, who would you like to see play the main characters?
Johnnie: I rarely cast characters as I’m creating them, but this story was an exception. Early on, I searched for someone to “be” Adam Thorne, the male protagonist who is a minister without a ministry. He’d be played by Liam Hemsworth who played Gale in the Hunger Games movies.
I also found a photo of a cute pixie-like girl with short blonde hair and trendy glasses to be Chaney Rose, my con artist with a conscience. AnnaSophia Robb would be a great choice to play her!
LM: Here are some quickies:
Coffee or tea? Neither! Strange as it may seem, I don’t like coffee or tea. But I love cocoa!
Walk, bicycle, or drive a car? I don’t have a bike right now, and I love road trips!
Lake or ocean for vacation? A lake—as long as there are also lots of trees.

LM: Can you tell us what writing projects are on your plate right now?
Johnnie: I’m writing a romantic suspense novel for Annie’s Fiction Sweet Intrigue Series, planning a WWII novel, and keeping my eyes open for another Rose & Thorne story.
Linda: Where can folks connect with you?
Johnnie: One of my favorite places to interact is through my newsletter which features updates and a monthly Let’s Chat giveaway. Readers can sign up at my website:
Here are a few other links:
Amazon Author Page:
Facebook Author Page:
Facebook Profile:

About the Mischief Thief
Two wrongs don’t make a right...except when they do. For con artist Chaney Rose, life hasn’t been easy. In desperate need of cash, she readily agrees to find Mischief, a stolen racehorse. Hunting for clues, she breaks into the suspected horse thief’s home only to be caught—with a few pilfered items in her pockets—by the police detective who’s tailing her. By-the-book Adam Thorne was fired from his church because of his father’s involvement with the valuable thoroughbred In a burst of Les Miserables-inspired grace, Adam tells the detective that he gave Chaney the stolen items. Adam wants Chaney to find his missing father. When Chaney learns that Mischief’s owner intends to kill the racehorse, she needs Adam’s help to expose the cruel plan before it’s too late. Will a con artist with a conscience and a minister without a ministry risk imprisonment to do the wrong thing for the right reason?

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