Monday, March 29, 2021

Mystery Monday: Golden Age Detective Father Brown

 Mystery Monday: Golden Age Detective Father Brown 

Have you ever devoured a series of books by an author only to discover you’ve reached the end of the line? That the author has either retired or passed away and no more stories would be forthcoming? 

 That happened to me quite a few years ago with G.K. Chesterton’s Father Brown series. I was making my way through Golden Age detective fiction when I stumbled on his short stories. I was devastated when I learned he’d been long gone by the time I started reading his works. (Yes, John Peterson has written over forty additional Father Brown stories, and as good as they are, they’re not the same.

Vastly different from Graham Greene, Dashiell Hammett, S.S. Van Dine, and Raymond Chandler, Chesterton was a prolific writer. He penned around eighty books, several hundred poems, more than two hundred short stories, four thousand essays, and several plays. Long before he began to delve into fiction, he was a columnist for a variety of publications including his own G.K.’s Weekly. He even wrote articles for the Encyclopaedia Britannica. 

Chesterton was born on May 29, 1874 in Kensington, London and baptized into the Church of

England, even though his family was Unitarian. Somewhere during his youth, he and his brother became interested in the occult and dabbled with Ouija boards. He credits his wife Frances with leading him back to Anglicanism after their marriage in 1901. By 1922, he’d converted to Catholicism. 

The first Father Brown story, The Blue Cross, was published in 1910. Described as a short, stumpy Roman Catholic priest, “with shapeless clothes, a large umbrella, and an uncanny insight into human evil,” the good father is loosely based on the Rt. Rev. Msgr. John O’Connor, a parish priest who was involved in the author’s conversion. Father Brown is often assisted by the reformed criminal M. Hercule Flambeau. 

Rather than deductive like Sherlock Holmes, Father Brown tends to solve the crimes with intuition, saying in The Secret of Father Brown, “You see, I had murdered them all myself...I had planned out each of the crimes very carefully. I had thought out exactly how a thing like that could be done, and in what style or state of. Mind a man could really do it. And when I was quite sure that I felt exactly like the murderer myself, of course I knew who he was.” After nabbing the killer, he would then wander off to exercise his priestly role. 

Father Brown has appeared in film, including two German adaptations, radio, and television, the most recent of which ran from 2012 to 2019 and starred Mark Williams. 

Are you a fan? 


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?

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Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Traveling Tuesday: The Vast State of Wyoming

Traveling Tuesday: Wyoming 

In honor of the release of Rayne’s Redemption, we’re going to visit the vast state of Wyoming. The tenth-largest state by area, it is the least populous and least densely populated state in the contiguous United States. Its borders are Montana to the north and northwest, South Dakota and Nebraska to the east, Idaho to the west, Utah to the southwest, and Colorado to the south. 
The western half of Wyoming is mostly covered by the ranges and rangelands of the Rocky Mountains, while the eastern half of the state is high elevation prairie called the High Plains. The Continental Divide spans across the central portion of the state, and intriguingly rivers to the east of the Divide drain into the Missouri River Basin and eventually the Gulf of Mexico, and rivers to the west make their way to the Pacific Ocean. 
Almost fifty percent of the land in Wyoming is owned by the federal government, including two national parks (Grand Teton and Yellowstone), two national recreation areas, two national monuments, and several national forests, historic sites, and wildlife refuges. 
Before the Europeans came, the area was populated with numerous native American tribes including
the Arapaho, Bannock, Blackfeet, Cheyenne, Crow, Gros Ventre, Kiowa, Nez Perce, Sioux, Shoshone, and Ute. The southwest portion of Wyoming was claimed by the Spanish Empire, then as Mexican territory until ceded to the U.S. in 1948 at the end of the Mexican-American war. In the 1830s, traders and explorers traveled regularly through the territory, creating a route that would later become known as the Oregon Trail. By 1847, the Mormons blazed the Mormon Trail, and between 1840 and 1859, more than 350,000 emigrants would take one of these two trails to Utah, Oregon, and California. When gold was discovered in Montana, even more would come through the territory. 
Unfortunately, the influx of settlers led to encounters with the Natives, resulting in an increase in military presence along the trails. Eventually, military posts were established to maintain order. Fort Laramie was one such post, at which the first Treaty of Fort Laramie was signed between the U.S. and representatives of the Indian nations. Between 1866 and 1868 (also called the Bozeman War), the Lakota, Arapaho, and Cheyenne rose up against the settlers, but lost the conflict and were forced onto reservations. 
The Homestead Act brought more settlers, especially after Wyoming granted women the right to vote in 1869. The law was an attempt to attract women to the territory in which males outnumbered females six to one. By 1870, over thirty-five percent of the population was foreign-born, coming primarily from Ireland, Germany, and England. 

In 1890, Wyoming became the forty-fourth state to join the Union. 

About Rayne's Redemption 

Will she have to lose her identity to find true love? 
Twin sisters Rayne and Jessica Dalton have been swapping places their whole lives, so when Jessica dies on the eve of heading west to become a mail-order bride, Rayne decides to fill her sister’s shoes. The challenge will be faking Jessica’s faith in God. Can Rayne fool her prospective groom without losing her heart...or her soul?

Flynn Ward fled England to escape his parent’s attempts at marrying him off, but locating a woman to love in the Wyoming mountains is harder than finding a hackney in a rainstorm. Then the Westward Home & Hearts Agency offers him the perfect match. But when his prospective bride arrives, she’s nothing like she seemed in her letters. Is he destined to go through life alone? 

Can two desperate people overcome their differences to find common ground...and love?

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Thursday, March 18, 2021

Talkshow Thursday: Welcome Alice H. Patron

Talkshow Thursday: Welcome Alice H. Patron

Linda: Welcome to my blog. The premise for your story Rachel’s Valley is intriguing. Where did you get the inspiration for the book? 
Alice: After reading the book Love Comes Softly, I knew I wanted to write a clean romance that took place in the 1800s in the mountains of the west. 
LM: What sort of research was required to prepare you to write the story, and did you find any tidbit(s) you knew you had to include? 

Alice: I had to do some research about what exactly was around in the west in the 1800s and what occupations were common. I chose ranching because I've visited ranches and farms and thought it would be a perfect setting and lifestyle for Rachel and Clint. I had to search for information about ranching in the 1800s, but there are a few things I learned firsthand that I wanted to include in the story. When I was visiting a friend's ranch in Idaho during my college years, one of their cows was having trouble birthing a beached calf. I got to watch as a couple of tough cowboys tugged with their might until the little calf finally was born. It left quite an impression on me, and I knew I wanted to include that scene in my book. 
LM: Tell us a bit about your journey to publication and what lessons you learned along the way. 

Alice: I'd always thought it would be amazing to write a book, but I finally found the gumption to do it
when my sister announced she was getting a book published. I didn't even know she had been writing a book! We started a family writing group, and the four of us family members that were most serious about attending the meetings and writing have all been published or are under contract to get published. I'm pretty sure a couple other family members will get books written and published when they can find a little more time for writing. The writing and publishing process has taught me how much I didn't know about writing a book, mainly. It's a lot of work, but so rewarding. I learned it helps - a lot - to have support and advice along the way. Especially if you're meeting every week with published authors. I also learned not to give up. Like most published authors, my first manuscript was not accepted for publication. 
LM: How do you balance your writing with the other parts of your life (family, work, etc.)?

Alice: I haven't been able to write much recently. As a stay-at-home mom, I have to constantly adjust to the ebbs and flows in our family schedule and the level of neediness of my children. I look forward to writing in more than just my journal someday! 

LM: What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing? 

Alice: I love going on walks and hikes, being with my family, watching movies, and playing board games. 
LM: Here are some quickies: 

Lakes or Mountains for vacation: Mountains 
Dog or cat as a pet: Cat 
Favorite shoes: boots or high heels or something in between: Running shoes in cooler weather and flip-flops in the summer. 

LM: What is your next project? 
Alice: I've started a couple books with sisters that I'm really excited about. We'll hopefully have them ready to send out to the world soon! 

LM: Where can folks find you on the web? 

About Rachel's Valley: 

Not long after saying “I do,” Rachel Wood finds herself abandoned by her husband in a mining town in the West. After a year and a half of waiting for his return, she needs to move on. She responds to an ad in the newspaper and becomes the caretaker for two girls in the small town of Breckenridge, Colorado. 

The moment he sees the beautiful young woman climbing into his wagon, widower Clint Harvey second-guesses his decision to hire someone to teach his daughters. But Rachel Wood is just what his girls need. And it doesn’t take long to realize that she is exactly what he needs, too—if only she didn’t keep holding him at arm’s length. 

Clint is the only man who has ever shown Rachel true love and friendship, and it becomes almost unbearable to not let herself fall for him. But she doesn’t want to cause a scandal in such a small town, so she keeps her marital status under wraps. But when she finally receives a threatening letter from her “husband,” she beings to question whether her marriage was even legally binding in the first place. 

Now, she must unravel the status of her supposed marriage before her chance of happiness with Clint has passed—and follow God’s law no matter that outcome, which just might be the most difficult thing of all."

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Talkshow Thursday: Meet Sherri Stewart

Talkshow Thursday: Meet Sherri Stewart

Linda: Thanks for joining me today. Congratulations on your recent release, A Song for Her Enemies Where did you get the inspiration for the story? 

Sherri: I have been a fan of Corrie ten Boom since I was a teenager and read The Hiding Place. The atrocities that happened in Europe during World War II have always bothered me—that one man could rally a country to annihilate the Jews. Most of the survivors of the Holocaust have died now, and I’m afraid we’ll forget and become complacent, so I wrote this fictional account of a Jewish opera singer in Haarlem, a small town in the Netherlands. 

LM: Research is an important part of writing a book. How did you go about researching A Song for Her Enemies and did you unearth a particular fun fact you knew you had to include in the story? 

Sherri: I read every Corrie ten Boom book available. The two that I used the most in my book
were The Hiding Place and A Prisoner and Yet. I visited the Netherlands, stayed in Haarlem for a week, and toured Vught, which is one of the labor camps. I also toured Corrie’s house to get a feel for what houses were like in the book. One of the coolest things that happened was the fact that a block from Corrie’s house was a corner bakery and right across the street was a jewelry store. My book is about a girl who lives above a corner jewelry store, and who misses the aroma of freshly baked bread from the bakery across the street because the owners of the bakery vanished in the middle of the night. What are the chances that I’d find a bakery across from a jewelry store so close to Corrie’s? This was a sign from God to me that I should write this book. 

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

Sherri: Writing The End. Finishing the rough draft is hard. I’m a plantser, which means I write a synopsis of the book and then just glance at it from time to time. So each day when I open my computer to write, I’m not quite sure what will come out, and that makes me nervous. What if I don’t know what to write? What if the story isn’t logical or worse, what if it’s boring? 

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

Sherri: You’re not going to believe this, but I need noise to write, so I always grab a coffee, sit in my big brown chair, and turn on the television. I don’t want the background noise to distract me so I choose cooking or travel shows, lectures on archeology or world history—that kind of thing. Then I make myself write 500 words. 
LM: What is your next project? 
Sherri: I am writing the sequel to A Song for Her Enemies. The book takes place four years after the war ended. Tamar is married and the mother of twins, and she’s living back in Haarlem, trying to live a normal life. But someone else is living in the house she grew up in, and they’ve turned her parents’ jewelry store into a dry cleaner. Tamar’s mother had told her years before that she’d hidden some of the family valuables behind a wall grate in the house, so Tamar breaks in. What she finds changes everything. 

LM: Where can folks find you on the web? 


About A Song for Her Enemies:

After Nazi soldiers close the opera and destroy Tamar Kaplan’s dream of becoming a professional singer, she joins the Dutch Resistance, her fair coloring concealing her Jewish heritage. Tamar partners with Dr. Daniel Feldman, and they risk their lives to help escaping refugees. When they are forced to flee themselves, violinist Neelie Visser takes them into hiding. 

Tamar’s love for Daniel flowers in hardship, but she struggles with the paradox that a loving God would allow the atrocities around her. When Tamar resists the advances of a Third Reich officer, he exacts his revenge by betraying the secrets hidden behind the walls of Neelie’s house. From a prison hospital to a Nazi celebration to a concentration camp, will the three of them survive to tell the world the secrets behind barbed wire? 
A Song for Her Enemies is the story of a talented young opera singer and the bittersweet love that grows amid the tyranny and fear of World War II. Set against the backdrop of neighbors willing to risk their lives in the German-occupied, war-torn Netherlands, A Song for Her Enemies is an inspiring and beautiful novel celebrating the resilience of the human spirit and the determination of Christians in the face of persecution. It is a novel for everyone seeking to understand the pain of the past and be inspired to embrace hope for the future. 


Friday, March 5, 2021

Fiction Friday: New Releases for March 2021

March 2021 New Releases More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website
Romantic Suspense/Thriller:

Hours to Kill by Susan Sleeman -- Just as Homeland Security Agent Addison Leigh reaches the pinnacle of her cyber investigation into a firearms smuggling ring, she's attacked and left for dead. Her estranged husband, ICE Agent Mack Jordan, is notified that she's at the hospital in a coma. He may have let his past military trauma ruin their short marriage, but she never gave up on their relationship, and he remains her next of kin. hen a second attempt to take her life is made, it's clear something very sinister is going on, and Mack and Addison are in for the ride of their lives. (Romantic Suspense from Bethany House)

Unknown Threat by Lynn H. Blackburn -- US Secret Service Special Agent Luke Powell is lucky to be alive. Three of his fellow agents have died in unusual circumstances in the past ten weeks. Luke is devastated by the loss of his friends and colleagues, and his inability to locate the killer feels like a personal failure. He and his team are experts at shielding others, but now the protectors are in need of protection. (Romantic Suspense from Revell)

Abducted in Alaska by Darlene L. Turner -- Saving a boy who has escaped his captors puts Canadian border patrol officer Hannah Morgan right into the path of a ruthless child-smuggling ring. Now with help from police constable Layke Jackson, she must keep the child safe. But can they rescue the other abducted children and bring down the gang…all while protecting a little boy and keeping themselves alive? (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired/Harlequin)


Braced for Love by Mary Connealy -- Left with little back in Missouri, Kevin Hunt takes his younger siblings on a journey to Wyoming when he receives news that he's inheriting part of a ranch. The catch is that the ranch is also being given to a half-brother he never knew existed. Turns out, Kevin's supposedly dead father led a secret and scandalous life. (Western from Bethany House)


Miriam’s Song by Jill Eileen Smith -- In her eventful lifetime, Miriam was many things to many people: protective older sister, song leader, prophetess, leper. But between the highs and the lows, she was a girl who dreamed of freedom, a woman who longed for love, a leader who made mistakes, and a friend who valued connection. (Biblical from Revell)

General Contemporary:

Facing the Dawn by Cynthia Ruchti -- While her humanitarian husband Liam has been digging wells in Africa, Mara Jacobs has been struggling. She knows she's supposed to feel a warm glow that her husband is nine time zones away, caring for widows and orphans. But the reality is that she is exhausted, working a demanding yet unrewarding job, trying to manage their three detention-prone kids, failing at her to-repair list, and fading like a garment left too long in the sun. (General Contemporary from Revell)

Contemporary Romance:

A Brother’s Promise by Mindy Obenhaus -- He didn’t realize he wanted a family… Until he suddenly became a single dad. After his sister’s death, rancher Mick Ashford’s determined to ensure his orphaned niece, Sadie, feels at home. And accepting guidance from Christa Slocum is his first step. But just as Christa and Sadie begin to settle into Mick’s heart, Sadie’s paternal grandparents sue for custody. Now Mick must fight to keep them together…or risk losing the makeshift family he’s come to love. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired/Harlequin)

General Historical:

A Tapestry of Light by Kimberly Duffy -- Ottilie Russell is adrift between two cultures, British and Indian, belonging to both and neither. In order to support her little brother, Thaddeus, and her grandmother, she relies upon her skills in beetle-wing embroidery that have been passed down to her through generations of Indian women. When a stranger appears with the news that Thaddeus is now Baron Sunderson and must travel to England to take his place as a nobleman, Ottilie is shattered by the secrets that come to light. (General Historical from Bethany House)

The Rose Keeper by Jennifer Lamont Leo -- July 1944. Chicago nurse Clara Janacek has spent her whole life taking care of other people. Grumpy yet loveable, all she wants now is to live out her life in peace, tending her roses and protecting her heart. But beneath the gruff exterior lies a story, and when new neighbors move in and shake up her quiet world, Clara must grapple with long-buried realities. (General Historical, Independently Published )

Historical Romance:

Rayne’s Redemption by Linda Shenton Matchett -- Will she have to lose her identity to find true love? Twin sisters Rayne and Jessica Dalton have been swapping places their whole lives, so when Jessica dies on the eve of heading west to become a mail-order bride, Rayne decides to fill her sister’s shoes. The challenge will be faking Jessica’s faith in God. Can Rayne fool her prospective groom without losing her heart...or her soul? (Historical Romance from Shortwave Press)

The Curator’s Daughter by Melanie Dobson -- 1940. Hanna Tillich cherishes her work as an archaeologist for the Third Reich, searching for the Holy Grail and other artifacts to bolster evidence of a master Aryan race. But when she is reassigned to work as a museum curator in Nuremberg, then forced to marry an SS officer and adopt a young girl, Hanna begins to see behind the Nazi facade. A prayer labyrinth becomes a storehouse for Hanna’s secrets, but as she comes to love Lilly as her own daughter, she fears that what she’s hiding―and what she begins to uncover―could put them both in mortal danger. (Historical Romance from Tyndale House)

My Dear MISS DUPRÉ by Grace Hitchcock -- Willow Dupré never thought she would have to marry, but with her father’s unexpected retirement from running the prosperous Dupré sugar refinery, plans changed. The shareholders are unwilling to allow a female to take over the company without a man at her side, so her parents devise a plan—find Willow a spokesman king in order for her to become queen of the empire. Willow is presented with thirty potential suitors from the families of New York society’s elite group called the Four Hundred. She has six months to court the group and is expected to eliminate men each month to narrow her beaus. (Historical Romance from Bethany House)

Sing in the Sunlight by Kathleen Denly -- Richard Stevens isn't who he thinks he is. Neither is the woman who now claims his last name. Disfiguring scars stole Clarinda Humphrey's singing career, her home, and her family, but she refuses to let her appearance steal her future. While attending The Young Ladies Seminary in 1858 Benicia, California, she finds a man who promises to love and cherish her. Instead he betrays her, leaving her with child, and Clarinda must take drastic measures to ensure her child doesn't suffer for her foolishness. (Historical Romance from Wild Heart Books)

Plus check out these recent additions to Fiction Finder published within the past month:
Hunt for Grace by Tammy F. Kirty, Can two people find peace in the present when faced daily with their pasts? (Historical Romance)

Starstruck in Willow Falls by Pat Nichols, Heartwarming, emotionally charged saga of a small Southern town's struggle for survival and two women's challenge to balance family and career. (General Contemporary)

A Texas Bond by Shannon Taylor Vannatter, Learning he’s an uncle shocks Ross Lyles—but after years of handling his brother’s bombshells, at least this surprise is a blessing. A pair of five-year-old blessings Ross is determined to meet, if he can convince their aunt to give him a chance. (Contemporary Romance)

Matched Hearts by Cathe Swanson, She’s looking for one date. He’s looking for “Happily Ever After.” Is it a computer error or a match made in heaven? (Contemporary Romance)

Seasons of Love by Joan Deppa, The beautiful, western Upper Peninsula of Michigan, with snow covered hills in the winter; Lake Superior, as well as inland lakes and numerous waterfalls in the summer; and colorful leaves in Autumn, are the setting for three couples who discover new adventures and enjoy the nature that surrounds them. (Contemporary Romance)

Kate’s Quest by Seralynn Lewis, Sparks fly in this opposites attract journey when a my way or the highway soldier collides with a determined woman on a mission to find her family. (Contemporary Romance)

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Talkshow Thursday: Welcome Back Rose Spiller and Chris Paxson

Talkshow Thursday: 
Welcome Back Rose Spiller and Chris Paxson!

Linda: Welcome back! It’s been about eight months since your book No Half Truths Allowed was published. Can you tell us a bit about the road to publication and how has the book changed things for you? 

ROSE & CHRIS: Thanks so much for having us, Linda! We are honored to be on your site! It’s always a little embarrassing when we get asked about the road to publication, because honestly, it was an incredibly easy road, and we know that is not the norm. No Half Truths Allowed – Understanding the Complete Gospel Message was born out of a Bible Study we wrote for a church we were attending and teaching a women’s Bible Study class at. Coming from years at a PCA church, we were surprised when we arrived at this church how little people really knew their Bible, including the complete Gospel message. We had been teaching ladies’ Bible Studies for about 15 years at that time and had a passion to teach these wonderful ladies. 
LM: Research is an important part of the writing process. What sort of research did you do for No Half Truths Allowed? Did you unearth anything that was totally unexpected that you knew you had to include? 

ROSE & CHRIS: When we decided to start writing our own Bible Studies, we knew we wanted to further feed our education, so we enrolled in Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary’s Dimensions of the Faith Program. We graduated in 14 months and continue our seminary education by taking online classes from Reformed Theological Seminary and through Biblical Training’s Institute Program. We also read and study many commentaries from Solid Biblical Theologians and listen to an insane amount of sermons from Reformed Pastors. I don’t know if we unearthed anything new, but while researching and writing this book, the absolute sovereignty of God over salvation and over everything hit us hard. It’s one of those Truths that once you see it, you can’t unsee it. And that is what we wanted our readers to come away with when reading our book. When it comes to our salvation, we bring nothing to the table but our sin and our need to be saved. When we get that, everything else seems to fall into place. 
LM: You have an upcoming publication Bible in Six. Can you tell us a bit about that? 

ROSE & CHRIS: Actually, our publisher recently suggested changing the name of The Bible in Six.
They thought the title did not convey what the book was actually about, so we collaborated and came up with, “The Bible Blueprint – A Guide to Better Understanding the Bible from Genesis to Revelation.” And that’s pretty much what the book is about. We have divided all 66 books of the Bible into six parts – The Foundation, The Law, The Kings, The Prophets, The Gospels, and The Epistles. We give an overview of each of the books of the Bible, flesh out some of the more complicated passages, and show how, ultimately, everything in the entire Bible points to Jesus. The goal of this book is to arm people with the basic understanding of each of the books of the Bible, and help them to see that the Bible is one continuous story. Our prayer is that this gives people confidence and makes them hungry to dive into God’s Word for themselves. For the more seasoned Christian, it is a help with some of the complex passages and with doctrine. 

LM: You also co-host a podcast, and are co-founder of the Proverbs 9:10 Ministries. How do you balance your writing with your other responsibilities? 

ROSE & CHRIS: We do co-host the podcast, No Trash, Just Truth, which has weekly 20 – 30 minute episodes. Honestly, it is crazy! We each spend about 30 + hours a week between our ministry, podcast, research, classes, social media, and trying to get our 3rd book completed. We work as much and as often as we can, but we both know that we have other responsibilities that need our attention – namely, our husbands, children, parents, and grandchildren. So we work whenever we can, but understand that at any time, our time may be hijacked. Haha! Thankfully, God works it all out, and we always somehow get what we need done when we need to get it done. 

LM: What has been the most challenging part of the road to publication for you? What advice do you have for fledgling writers? 

ROSE & CHRIS: First, we want to encourage writers, keep plugging away. If your passion is writing, then write! If you are writing solo, get someone very competent to read through your manuscript with you before you submit it anywhere. Make sure it is formatted to the correct publisher standards, and make sure your book is good – fluent and easy to understand with proper grammar and sentence structure. Some publishers won’t even look at a manuscript that is not formatted properly. And almost as important, understand that writing your book is the easy part! Once you are accepted by a publisher, or begin self-publishing, understand there is hard work ahead. There are 2,700 books published every day. You need to get your book out there in front of people. There are a lot of different strategies to do that, but they all require a lot of time and a lot of work. 

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

ROSE & CHRIS: This is easy! We both wish we were more technologically savvy! Everything new thing we do – social media sites, our podcast, videos, live events, our website, and other things, all come with a huge learning curve for us. We are in our 50’s, so we are right in between the younger, tech pro, generation, and the older, tech-challenged generation. We are amazed at what God has enabled us to learn and accomplish so far, but we have a long, long way to go!! 
LM: What is your next project? 

ROSE & CHRIS: Definitely, continuing in our classes and studying. We are currently working on our 3rd book, on the Book of Revelation. We are hoping that as things open us, we can go back to speaking and teaching at women’s events. But, as always, everything is prefaced by God willing; and if God has other plans, we will go with them. Our goal is always to serve and glorify God however He deems us to. 

LM: Where can folks find you on the web? 

BOOK BLURB: The Bible Blueprint – A Guide to Better Understanding the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. 

Have you ever wanted to read the Bible, but found it intimidating? Have you ever read parts or all of it, but have come away more confused than ever? Does it seem like there are contradictions in the Bible? Why is there an Old Testament and New Testament? Does the Old Testament even matter to Christians today? How do the sixty-six books of the Bible fit together? Is there an overarching theme? If you have asked yourself any or of these questions, or others, you are not alone! The Bible Blueprint – A Guide to Better Understanding the Bible from Genesis to Revelation divides the entire Bible chronologically into six easy-to-read sections. It provides a basic understanding of Scripture as a complete story that links all the various books together. It gives an overview of each book, touching on highlights and some of the amazing and significant events in each, without getting bogged down in the more difficult sections. 
There is no substitute for the actual Bible! It is not only fascinating, it is the life-giving, life-saving, life-transforming Word of God! The Bible Blueprint is not a replacement for the Bible, but it will whet your appetite to dig deep into God’s Book for yourself while giving you the confidence to do so!

Monday, March 1, 2021

Mystery Monday: Meet Philo Vance

Mystery Monday: Philo Vance

“Philo Vance 
Needs a kick in the pance.” 
So wrote comic poet Ogden Nash about the wildly popular fictional detective created by S.S. Van Dine, the pseudonym for Willard Huntington Wright. Wright was born in Charlotte, North Carolina, but his parents soon moved to Santa Monica, California where his father purchased a hotel. His brother Stanton Macdonald-Wright was one of the first American abstract artists and co-founded the school of modern art known as Synchromism. 
At the age of 21, Wright secured a job at the Los Angeles Times as literary editor where he gained a reputation for scathing book reviews and irreverent opinions. He was particularly critical about romance and detective fiction. After being fired for “intentionally provoking the paper’s middle-class readership with his interest in unconventional and often sexually explicit fiction,” with help from friend H.L. Mencken, Wright found a job as editor with the New York literary magazine The Smart Set. 
The mid-1920s found Wright bedridden for two years as the result of a nervous breakdown. Ironically, he devoured mystery fiction (after having derided it years earlier) and found it entertaining and intriguing. In fact, after his recovery he would write an essay that explored the history, traditions, and conventions of detective fiction as an art form. 
Having exhausted the market of reading material, he decided to try his hand at writing in the genre. Embarrassed at turning from what he termed “intellectual fiction” to mass market fiction, Wright created the pen name S.S. Van Dine. In the books, Van Dine, referred to as Van acts as narrator much like Sherlock Holmes’s Dr. Watson. 
Described in the first publication, The Benson Murder Case, Philo is “what many would call a
dilettante, but the designation does him an injustice. He was a man of unusual culture and brilliance. An aristocrat by birth and his manner there was an indefinable contempt for inferiority of all kinds.” A cynic, Vance was flippant rather than bitter, interested in human reactions, almost as a scientist. A Renaissance man, he had courses in the history of religions, the Greek classics, biology, civics, political economy, philosophy, anthropology, literature, psychology, and modern and ancient languages. 
The book goes on to describe Vance’s physical features: “He was unusually good-looking, although his mouth was ascetic and cruel...a slightly derisive hauteur in the lift of his eyebrows. His forehead was full and sloping...his cold grey eyes were widely spaced. His nose was straight and slender, and his chin narrow but prominent, with an unusually deep cleft.” 

A dozen Philo Vance novels were published between 1926 and 1939, with nearly all of them made into films with ten different actors taking the lead role. William Powell appeared in four of the movies; the other actors only once or twice. Vance also appeared on radio between 1945 and 1950 with Jose Ferrer, John Emery, and Jackson Beck each taking a series. Interestingly, in 1974, an Italian mini-series came out featuring Giorgio Albertazzi in the lead role. With scripts very close to the novels, the episodes were based on the first three books. 
Wright died April 11, 1939 at the age of 50, leaving behind a novelette that was published posthumously as The Winter Murder Case. Wright’s portrait, painted by his brother, hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC. 
Are you familiar with Philo Vance? 

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? 
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