Thursday, September 29, 2022

Talkshow Thursday: Welcome BD Lawrence!

Talkshow Thursday: Welcome BD Lawrence!

LM: Thanks for joining me today. Congratulations on your recent publication Killer Redemption. What was your inspiration for the story?

B.D.: Since becoming a Christian in 2000, I’ve had a fascination with redemption. I am also a student of the apostle Paul. I thought who is a modern-day equivalent of Paul? Who is someone that would seem beyond redemption? A hitman. From one perspective, Paul was a hitman. He was sent out to kill and capture Christians. How does a hitman get to redemption? He falls in love with a Christian woman.

LM: Your first book, An Angel and a One-Armed Man is crime fiction. What made you try your hand at a romantic suspense book?

B.D.: First of all, let me clarify. Killer Redemption is what I consider romantic suspense, not necessarily what the market considers. That is, a suspense novel with a romantic element. The romantic suspense I’ve read should be called suspenseful romance, as they tend to be romances with some suspense. Killer Redemption is a crime novel, but the romance between Cora and Hardgrave plays a huge part. It was the juxtaposition of that life of crime Hardgrave has and the Christian life Cora has that was the inspiration.

LM: What sort of research did you have to do for your story, and was there a particular tidbit you knew had to be included?

B.D.: This book didn’t require the same rigor of research that many do. One reason is that I made up
the city the story takes place in. I borrowed that from one of my favorite crime writers, Ed McBain, who has a fictional city that’s similar to New York City in his 83rd precinct novels, but it’s not. Same with my city. It’s similar to Boston, but it’s not. I did have to do research on jazz artists, guns, police / FBI procedure.

LM: You’ve written more than two dozen short stories. How was the process of writing a full-length novel different? The same? Do you find one easier than the other?

B.D.: This is always a fun question to discuss. Many newbie writers ask “how long should this story be?” My answer is that a story is as long as a story needs to be and no longer and no shorter. Therefore, for me, ideas come to me and I plot them out in my head. This tends to dictate what the story is, short story, novella, novel. The big difference in the process for me is for short stories, I write them. From beginning to end. Generally, I don’t need to make notes. I don’t scene them out. I just write them. For a novel, I tend to know the beginning, the ending, and the main characters. Much of the rest evolves. Even ancillary characters pop up as I go. For a short story, I know the characters to start with. For novels, I write 5 – 10 scene outlines ahead. I try not to confine myself too much so that’s why only that many scenes forward.

LM: What is one thing you wish you could do?

B.D.: Write full-time. I still have a full-time job, so writing doesn’t get the attention I’d like.

LM: What is your advice to fledgling writers?

B.D.: One exercise I learned from a writing workshop instructor that is valuable for new writers is write your story. Now, rewrite it but cut it in half. Then do that again. Finally, do that one more time. Now, you have the essence of your story. This teaches a writer to recognize what is necessary. Another piece of advice is when you get feedback from neutral readers (not your mom, in other words), if one person suggests something, consider it. If more than one, consider it strongly.

LM: What is your next project?

B.D.: I’m working on book two of my One-Armed Detective series. It’s currently called The Coyote and a One-Armed Man. Lefty Bruder and Eileen go to Phoenix to rescue a girl sold into trafficking and end up also trying to save a twelve-year-old Mexican girl sold to a cartel boss.

LM: Where can folks find you on the web?

Twitter: @bdlawrence3. 
About Killer Redemption:

Lyle Hardgrave is a gentleman, a poet, a jazz lover, and a hitman.

And he’s fallen in love with Cora Wilson, who is energetic, unrestrained, passionate, and devout.

Hardgrave is known to the criminal underworld as the Gorgon. See his face. Die. He’s lived a life of anonymity, a life in which he has total control and where emotions are a handicap. Years ago, he chained them and buried them, then threw away the key.

A series of events threatens his anonymity and his control. He’s forced to kill the son of the top mob boss. His best friend, and the only one that knows his identity, disappears. The FBI closes in. The mob hunts him. All part of the lifestyle he’s chosen.

Except, there’s Cora Wilson. She fills a void he’s ignored for decades. Cora possesses the key to his shackled emotions. One by one she unlocks them. But Cora doesn’t know Hardgrave’s secret. Hardgrave must choose. Leave his criminal life or leave Cora. Even if he chooses Cora, will she accept who he really is? Can he have love from this amazing woman and find redemption from his past? Lyle Hardgrave battles organized crime, the FBI, and unchained emotions to keep himself and the love of his life alive.

Purchase Link:

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Wartime Wednesday: Tennis star Alice Marble

Wartime Wednesday: Alice Marble

How does one go from being the winner of eighteen Grand Slam tennis championships to an editor for DC Comics to a spy running, or rather driving, for her life?

Life for Alice Irene Marble began on September 28, 1913 in Beckwourth, California as the fourth of five children to a high climber lumberjack and his wife, a former nurse. When she was five years old, the family moved to San Francisco where her father passed away two years later. As a result, her older brothers left school to find jobs.

She did well in academics, but where she really excelled was athletics, and eventually played seven sports in high school, including basketball and baseball. Preferring that she pick up a more “ladylike” sport, her brother Dan gave her a tennis racket. At first, she had little use for the game, but within a short time fell in love with it, going on to win local then several California junior tournaments. By the time she was twenty-three, she’d won the singles title at the U.S. Championships as well as the mixed doubles title with Gene Mako. For the next four years she’d win every match she played. In 1940, she went professional and earned the equivalent of $2 million.

Her abilities and fame led her to hobnobbing with Hollywood’s elite from movie stars to industry
leaders. In 1941, she met publisher Max Gaines at a cocktail party where he proposed a new character for his All American Comics universe – Wonder Woman. Would Alice be willing to endorse the effort? She agreed with the caveat that he include stories about real female heroes from history such as Clara Barton, Dolly Madison, and Eleanor Roosevelt. By the end of the evening, she was an associate editor with the company.

Within a year, she was chafing at the bit. She wasn’t making a difference. In her mind, she wasn’t sacrificing anything or giving enough. A few months before, she’d received a tuberculosis diagnosis which meant she couldn’t enlist. She spoke to youth groups encouraging them get involved and entertained the troops at military bases, but she still felt a void.

Then in 1942 she met Captain Joe Crowley. The handsome pilot spoke five languages and worked for Army intelligence. After a whirlwind romance, the two married, but then the dreaded telegram came eighteen months later informing her that he’d been killed in action after being shot down over Germany. Depression settled over her, and she attempted to kill herself. When friend and widower of Carole Lombard, Clark Gable heard what happened, he sent a card saying “If I can do it, so can you.”

While in recovery, Colonel Linden of Army intelligence showed up. Would she be willing to play a tennis exhibition in Switzerland, and by the way, also renew acquaintance with an old boyfriend so they could learn about his Nazi connections and investors. With nothing to lose, she said yes and was soon headed over the ocean. “Hans,” whose real name was never released, welcomed her with open arms, and she was able to infiltrate her way into his life. One night while collecting evidence, her cover was blown, and she raced out the door, a Nazi agent on her heels. She jumped into Hans’s Mercedes and barreled down the road. The German followed her in his own vehicle and eventually caught up with her. She tried to flee on foot, was shot in the back, and left for dead. Sometime later, she woke up in a hospital, the evidence gone. But at least she was alive. And she would go on to live another forty-five years.


About Estelle's Endeavor

Will a world at war destroy a second chance at love?

Estelle Johnson promised to wait for Aubry DeLuca, but then she receives word of his debilitating injuries. Does she have the strength to stand by him in his hour of need?

Aubry DeLuca storms the beaches at Normandy, then wakes up in the hospital, his eyes bandaged. Will he regain his sight? Will the only woman he’s ever loved welcome him home or is he destined to go through life blind and alone?

Purchase Link:

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Traveling Tuesday: Hawaii's Home Front 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.

Estelle's Endeavor

Will a world at war destroy a second chance at love?

Estelle Johnson promised to wait for Aubry DeLuca, but then she receives word of his debilitating injuries. Does she have the strength to stand by him in his hour of need?

Aubry DeLuca storms the beaches at Normandy, then wakes up in the hospital, his eyes bandaged. Will he regain his sight? Will the only woman he’s ever loved welcome him home or is he destined to go through life blind and alone?

Purchase Link:

Monday, September 26, 2022

Release Day: Estelle's Endeavor

Release Day! Estelle’s Endeavor

I am thrilled to be part of this year’s Thanksgiving Books & Blessings series spearheaded by Caryl McAdoo. The theme for 2022 is Thanksgiving Through the Ages, and unsurprisingly, I selected the WWII era. I wanted to explore what it would be like to celebrate the holiday during a time of deprivation, loss, and grief. How is it possible to be thankful in spite of our circumstances rather than because of them?

Because my knowledge of the era centers around the home front, I needed to conduct research into the combat side of the war, specifically the push by the Allies to head to Germany by first making their way up the “boot” of Italy and then into France. I love libraries and librarians (and know quite a few!), so I couldn’t resist making my female protagonist a librarian. I hope you’ll enjoy this slice of history.

Here’s the book blurb:

Will a world at war destroy a second chance at love?

Estelle Johnson promised to wait for Aubry DeLuca, but then she receives word of his debilitating injuries. Does she have the strength to stand by him in his hour of need?

Aubry DeLuca storms the beaches at Normandy, then wakes up in the hospital, his eyes bandaged. Will he regain his sight? Will the only woman he’s ever loved welcome him home or is he destined to go through life blind and alone?

Purchase Link:

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Talkshow Thursday: Welcome Cindy Stewart

Talkshow Thursday: Welcome Cindy Stewart

LM: Thanks for joining me today. Congratulations on completing your novel Abounding Hope. Before we chat about that, tell us about what draws you to the World War II era?

Cindy: I love reading stories about characters who overcome great odds during turbulent times, and I especially enjoy stories based on real historical events. Although WWII was a terrible time in history, so many ordinary people accomplished extraordinary feats, defying all reason.

LM: You’re a teacher by vocation. How did your job prepare you to be a fiction writer?

Cindy: Actually, I had to forget almost everything I had learned about writing from my school days and learn how to write fiction from scratch. It’s so different from non-fiction. In order to advance in my profession, I earned a master's in Secondary Education/History. My grad class in Research taught me how to dig for details and to search for primary sources. I love teaching history and utilize my writing research to tell my students little-known tidbits of information, especially from the WWII time period.

LM: As a regular contributor to the Heroes, Heroines, and History blog, you have an opportunity to share intriguing stories about the past. How do you decide what topics to write about, and do you have a favorite area of interest?

Cindy: Because I’ve been researching WWII for the past 10+ years, I’ve uncovered many interesting stories to share from this time period. Most of my posts are about events that happened during the war.

LM: Readers who sign up for your newsletter receive a collection of true WWII stories. Please tell us about the book and where to sign up.

Cindy: I’ve compiled an e-book of true short stories of escape from WWII, and it’s available as a free
download to anyone who signs up for my newsletter. Readers can find the simple signup form on my brand-new website at:

LM: What is the plot for your novel Abounding Hope?

Cindy: Abounding Hope is a romance set in Poland and Hungary at the beginning of WWII in 1939. The main characters and some of the secondary characters are American citizens who’ve grown up in Europe and attended a Christian boarding school in France between WWI and WWII. At graduation, they pledged to come to each other’s aid if any member was in trouble—so the Circle of Hope was born. WWII brings lots of trouble. Abounding Hope is the story of two of these characters who must make their escape and find love in the process, but they find a little help along the way.

LM: How did you come up with the characters for Abounding Hope?

Cindy: I wanted a strong, vivacious female protagonist who loved children and was dedicated to her ministry. One who was married to that ministry and wouldn’t want to flee at the first threats of war. I wanted a strong male protagonist who would bring out the worst and the best in her. Someone who had to learn he couldn’t always be in control.

LM: You’ve accomplished quite a lot. What is one thing you wish you could do?

Cindy: Cook. I can follow a recipe, but who has time?

Edi Nugaha

LM: What is your next project?

Cindy: I have three projects in the works—a prequel novella set in Germany, the sequel to Abounding Hope set in Norway and France, and the first book in a spinoff series set in Belgium and France.

LM: Where can folks find you on the web?

Cindy: Folks can find me at—

Book Blurb:
1939. Lvov, Poland. After the Germans invade, American teacher Irena Simmons must leave her family behind and flee with German children wanted by the Nazis.

American shipping magnate Jonathan Huntwell returns to Eastern Europe to meet Irena, but she and the little ones are missing.

For fans of WWII Christian romance comes a sweeping novel of two Americans caught in the sudden onslaught of Nazi aggression in Eastern Europe . . .

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Wartime Wednesday: War Brides

Wartime Wednesday: War  Brides

Ever since there have been wars, there have been war brides. World War II was no different. One source I found indicates that between 1942 and 1952, approximately one million American soldiers married foreign women from fifty different countries. About 100,000 brides were British with another 150-200,000 from continental Europe. Somewhere between 50,000 and 100,000 servicemen married women from the Far East and Germany. Remember these numbers are just American troops!

Why were these women willing to marry and leave the country of their birth? Some would say proximity—the “Yanks” were available. Native men were not. Others might say it was the generosity exhibited by American soldiers. To the women of war-torn countries where deprivation and the struggle to survive were a way of life, the food, personal items such as stockings, and money, offered by the Americans had to be tantalizing. Perhaps these women simply want to raise their children without the threat of war.

In anticipation of this issue, soldiers, sailors, and airmen were issued a 38-page handbook instructing them on how to handle being guests in various countries (whether it was ally or foe). The rules encouraged friendliness, but discouraged “special relationships.” An article in Yank Magazine touted “Don’t Promise Her Anything – Marriage Outside the U.S. is Out.”

The story’s title may not have been officially correct, but the process for American servicemen to marry foreign wives was a complex requirement that included up to fifteen forms, and it could take up to a year before permission was granted or denied. A regulation from the War Department required overseas troops to obtain permission to wed, on the threat of court-martial.

Until Congress passed the War Brides Act in 1945, these women were part of the limited number of immigrant aliens allowed to enter the U.S. each year, potentially leaving them stuck in their home countries for months or years. Six months later, Congress enacted the Fiancées Act which granted fiancées of servicemen three-month visas as temporary visitors. If the couple didn’t marry during the ninety days, the fiancée would be returned home.

The women were eligible for free transport to the U.S. via former troop or hospital ships but were told the ships might not be available for a year or more. Protests were conducted in front of the U.S. Embassy in June 1945. Then upon hearing that former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt was in London that November, a group of brides gathered outside her hotel carrying placards that read “We Demand Ships” and “We Want Our Dad.”

The pressure worked, and by January, the first shipment in Operation War Bride was on its way across the Atlantic. The ladies were met with excitement by the press and suspicion by some American women who declared them nothing more than gold-diggers. Many of the brides formed social clubs that served as emotional support as they adjusted to their new homes.


Estelle's Endeavor

Will a world at war destroy a second chance at love?

Estelle Johnson promised to wait for Aubry DeLuca, but then she receives word of his debilitating injuries. Does she have the strength to stand by him in his hour of need?

Aubry DeLuca storms the beaches at Normandy, then wakes up in the hospital, his eyes bandaged. Will he regain his sight? Will the only woman he’s ever loved welcome him home or is he destined to go through life blind and alone?

Pre-order link:

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Welcome Gretchen Carlson!

Welcome Gretchen Carlson!

LM: Thanks for joining me today. Congratulations on your debut novel More Than Grit. For those people who haven’t visited your website, please share your inspiration for the story.

Gretchen: Thank you for inviting me! My book was inspired by true events from my grandmother’s life, in rural Kansas during the Great Depression, and how her farm family got electricity. Through her story, I want others to be encouraged to never give up.

LM: How do you develop your characters? (e.g. decide on their vocation, names, etc.)?

Gretchen: I create characters who aren’t perfect, and I know what motivates them to act as they do. I don’t just develop personalities, but I flesh out each character’s unique strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes I use nicknames. The main character is Sissy because she is not a weak-kneed sissy. The gnarly, eccentric Great War veteran is Old Man. Many readers have told me they “know” this man whose tough shell hides a soft heart. I also use names from the era such as Homer, Arvid, and Verl.

LM: Why did you decide to tell the story as a YA book rather than adult fiction?

Gretchen: From middle grade, through my teen years I devoured books and many had a big impact on
Pixabay/Jill Wellington
me. My main character is a spunky twelve-year-old girl, and through her, I want to inspire teens that their lives have an impact. They can make a difference in their homes, school, and their community. On a different note, I’ve been concerned with content trends in middle grade and YA. Many parents had asked me for book recommendations that have Christian values. More Than Grit is not preachy, but it is a fast-paced book that readers enjoy and see the power of friendship and forgiveness.

LM: You’ve been a journalist. How was the process of writing fiction different than reporting? The same? Do you find one easier than the other?

Gretchen: My journalism background taught me how to cover the facts and make every word count. I’m the queen of chop-chop-chop in critique groups with wordy writers. Writing fiction challenges me to write beyond the plot or facts and to show, not tell, characters’ emotions and feelings. Writing dialogue is easy for me because as a reporter I learned to select the most interesting statements for direct quotes.

LM: You’ve accomplished quite a lot. What is one thing you wish you could do?

Gretchen: I want to give back. Other writers have given me time and counsel, and I would like to engage with teens and create fun writing clubs. I respond to readers with encouragement and hope.

LM: What is your advice to fledgling writers?

Gretchen: Join a writing or critique group. Interact on a regular basis with other writers.

Pixabay/Gisela Merkuur

LM: What is your next project?

Gretchen: I’m halfway through a sequel called I Be Brave. This coming-of-age novel centers around guilt and forgiveness in a mother-daughter relationship.

LM: Where can folks find you on the web?

More Than Grit:

When do secrets become lies? When is grit not enough?

A story of broken lives and deep friendship, inspired by true events from1939, when the shadows of World War II lengthened.

Scarred by burns from a kerosene lantern, twelve-year old Sissy knows electricity is more than her farm family’s dream. It’s vital. She also knows they can’t afford the required deposit to be connected to electric lines, so she wrangles a secret deal to help her parents. As she faces danger and sacrifices to support her family, Sissy’s best efforts fail. She’s blind to what she needs most, and when she tells her secrets, she fears it’s too late.

Set in Kansas farmland, More than Grit is an unforgettable story of determination to succeed against all odds that will appeal to middle-grade and teen readers, their parents, and anyone who roots for the underdog.

Award-winning author Gretchen Carlson fills her characters with grit and grace as she shares the story her grandmother kept secret.

Purchase Link:  

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Traveling Tuesday: Fort George G. Meade

Traveling Tuesday: Fort George G. Meade

Library of Congress
After college, my mom got a job at Fort George G. Meade working with departing servicemen to fill out their DD-214s. She talked often about the men she met and her admiration for them, so when it came time to select a military base associated with my upcoming release, Estelle’s Endeavor, I knew where to go.

Located between Baltimore, Maryland and Washington, DC, Fort Meade is about a twenty-minute drive from the state capital of Annapolis. Originally an army installation, the base is now home to all five branches of military service as well as government agencies and organizations (over 115!) such as the National Security Agency, Defense Information Systems Agency, and United States Cyber Command. Over 186 miles of roads crisscross the eight square miles that comprise the base.

Fort Meade was authorized by an act of Congress in May 1917 as one of sixteen camps constructed for troops drafted for The Great War (as WWI was known at the time). The site was selected because of its proximity to the nation’s capital, Baltimore ports, and the railroad. Built at the staggering cost of $18 million, the post was named for Major General George Gordon Meade whose victory at the Battle of Gettysburg was a turning point in the American Civil War.

Meade was the eighth of eleven children born into a Pennsylvanian Irish-Catholic family. His father
was a well-to-do merchant stationed in Spain as a naval agent at the time of Meade’s birth. However, the family lost most of their wealth because of his father’s support of Spain in the Peninsular War. They returned to the U.S. in 1817. Interestingly, his older brother became a naval officer and several of his sisters married military men. In 1831 he entered West Point and graduated 19th out of 56 cadets four years later, commissioned as a brevet second lieutenant.

After fighting the Seminole Indians in Florida, he resigned his commission and worked a variety of civilian jobs. Unfortunately, steady work was hard to find so he re-entered the army in 1842 where he would remain for the rest of his life.

The Fort named in his honor saw more than 400,000 soldiers pass through its gates – a training site for three infantry divisions, three training battalions, and one depot brigade. It was also a remount station that collected over 22,000 horses and mules. Meade’s nephew, Major Peter F. Meade as in charge of the remount station. Additionally, the “Hello Girls,” bilingual telephone-switchboard operators of the U.S. Army Signal corps were stationed here. In 1928, the base was redesignated Fort Leonard Wood, but one report indicates a Pennsylvania congressman held up appropriations until the name reverted permanently to Fort George G. Meade on March 5, 1929. (Who says money doesn’t talk??)

Like many other bases around the nation, Fort Meade saw heavy activity during WWII. As a training center, the base was used by more than 200 united and was home to more than 3.5 million men between 1942 and 1946. Over 150,000 women in the Women’s Army Corp (WAC) also passed through. The wartime peak of 70,000 men and women was reached in March, 1945. In addition to serving as a troop installation, Fort Meade was home to German and Italian prisoners-of-war. The first shipment of 1,632 Italian and 58 German prisoners arrived in September 1943. One of the more highly decorated Germans was submarine commander Werner Henke.

An important base, Fort Meade is Maryland’s largest employer and has the third largest workforce of any Army installation in the continental United States.

Estelle's Endeavor

Will a world at war destroy a second chance at love?

Estelle Johnson promised to wait for Aubry DeLuca, but then she receives word of his debilitating injuries. Does she have the strength to stand by him in his hour of need?

Aubry DeLuca storms the beaches at Normandy, then wakes up in the hospital, his eyes bandaged. Will he regain his sight? Will the only woman he’s ever loved welcome him home or is he destined to go through life blind and alone?

Pre-order Link:

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Welcome back, Pam Desmond Wright!

Welcome Back, Pam Desmond Wright!

LM: Thanks for joining me today. Congratulations on your recent release Finding Her Amish Home. Before we chat about that, tell us what draws you to writing about the Amish?

Pamela: I grew up playing in an authentic log cabin on my grandparent’s farm. It was wonderful, complete with a woodburning stove! I love everything old-fashioned, like oil burning lamps, a crackling fire, and simple pass-times like needlepoint.

LM: What was your inspiration for the story?

Pamela: I really can’t say what inspired it, just that like so many of my stories it just popped into my mind and I knew I had to write it.

LM: What sort of research did you have to do for this particular book?

Pamela: Since I am in Texas I do a lot of research online, through Google. Many of my readers are
Pixabay/David Mark
astonished I do not live in Amish country or ever even met an Amish person. It’s all research.

LM: You were a prolific writer in the 1990s, then took a break and came back to the industry in 2013. How are things different in publishing? The same?

Pamela: It is pretty much the same. Deadlines and delivery dates rule a writer’s schedule.

LM: How do you decide your characters’ names, what they look like, and their jobs?

Pamela: I love looking for unusual names and once I have a name, I can “see” what they look like in my mind.

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

Pamela: Really disappearing into the story so much that I forget the outside world.

LM: You’ve accomplished quite a lot. What is one thing you wish you knew how to do?

Pixabay/S. Hermann
Pamela: I wish I was more mechanical and could repair things like cars and other kinds of engines. That would be a handy talent to have nowadays.

LM: What is your next project?

Pamela: I am presently working on the second book in my Texas Amish Brides series. This is the sequel to The Cowboy’s Amish Haven and is Rebecca’s story.

LM: Where can folks find you on the web?

Pamela: http://

About Finding Her Amish Home

What she wants more than anything Could also be the most dangerous… After her twin sister’s death, Maddie Baum flees to Wisconsin Amish country with her nephew in tow in the hopes of protecting him from his criminal father. Befriending Amish shopkeeper Abram Mueller gives her a glimpse of the happiness she’s been yearning for all along. Can she find a fresh start with Abram—or will old sins tear them apart?

Purchase Link:

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Wartime Wednesday: The Office of Civilian Defense

Wartime Wednesday: The Office of Civilian Defense

Author photo
Because aviation was still in its infancy, the United States didn’t have to worry about attacks from other countries during World War I. However, the government established a Council of National Defense to coordinate resources for national defense and to boost public morale. The organization helped set up local defense councils to direct efforts in health, welfare, and other activities, but the volunteer needs were small.

By the second world war, that changed. Airplanes were advanced enough to be able to reach the United States. Air raids and other attacks in populated areas of Europe gave rise to fear that similar attacks could happen in the US. More than six months before America entered the war and prompted by a letter from New York mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, President Franklin Roosevelt set up the Office of Civilian Defense (OCD) to coordinate state and federal measures to protect citizens in war-related emergencies.

Roosevelt appointed LaGuardia as the organization’s director. The four operating divisions were as follows:

  • Federal-State Cooperation: provided a link between the federal government and local governments to foster communication in order to handle individual needs that resulted from war such as health, housing, volunteers, recreation, welfare, and child care.
  • Protection Services: trained and organized volunteers in the efforts required to protect citizens such as organizing evacuations, blackouts, auxiliary police and fire services, and outfitting protective buildings.
  • Protective Property: loaned protective property and equipment purchased by OCD to local communities.
  • Industrial Protection: helped protect industrial plants against dangers such as fire and enemy sabotage.
There was only seventy-five paid staff in the OCD. The rest of the work was done by the more than
eleven million volunteers that made up 14,000 local defense councils around the nation. In order to volunteer, individuals had to meet age, citizenship, and training requirements, then volunteers were given positions based on their skills and interests. Once accepted, the volunteer was required to take an oath of loyalty. Youth under the age of sixteen could join the Junior Citizens Service Corps.

People could volunteer in fire protection (responsible for extinguishing incendiary bombs), communication (air raid drills, blackout, relaying messages by bicycle and radio in the event the telephone system was disabled), evacuation (coordination with the army to move people to safety), shelters (distributed flyers explaining the different types of bombs, designed shelters, and trained in tunneling and other protective techniques), and gas (distributed gas masks and protective clothing, taught the public how to identify different gases and instructed people on emergency decontamination measures).

In addition, the OCD had efforts in place to restore transportation, communications, and other services after an attack, prepare emergency hospitals and mobile medical teams, and keep watch for enemies in the sky.

After the attack at Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt replaced LaGuardia with Harvard Law School professor (and New Dealer) James Landis to head the organization. He reorganized the agency, moving what he saw as “superfluous” departments to other agencies, and recruited new personnel. After a year of no air raids or enemy threats, Landis recommended that the organization be abolished. The president didn’t agree, but Landis resigned, so Roosevelt appointed Deputy Director John Martin as acting director. Upon his resignation in 1944, Lt. General William N. Haskell was put in charge until the agency ceased operations in 1945.

Check out this promotional film from 1942:


Estelle's Endeavor

Will a world at war destroy a second chance at love?

Estelle Johnson promised to wait for Aubry DeLuca, but then she receives word of his debilitating injuries. Does she have the strength to stand by him in his hour of need?

Aubry DeLuca storms the beaches at Normandy, then wakes up in the hospital, his eyes bandaged. Will he regain his sight? Will the only woman he’s ever loved welcome him home or is he destined to go through life blind and alone?

Pre-order link:

Friday, September 2, 2022

Fiction Friday: New Releases!

September 2022 New Releases

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website

Contemporary Romance:

Breath of Heaven by Deborah Raney -- After a joyful wedding in Kansas, Natalie Camfield Chambers is back in the village of Timoné in South America with her beloved husband, David Chambers. But the adjustments to married life while serving on the mission field in a remote Colombian village along the Rio Guaviare are more than either Natalie or David bargained for. The growing unrest in the country only adds to the challenges they face. When the village is invaded by guerrilla soldiers and one of their Timoné neighbors, a young mother, goes missing, Natalie and David find themselves caring for her small daughter, even as Natalie has begun to suspect that she is carrying their own child. When a trip by boat on the Guaviare turns treacherous and ultimately deadly, Natalie and David face the fight of their lives. Their faith—and their love—will be tested in ways they never dreamed, and the decisions they make will echo for generations to come. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Harvest Moon by Denise Hunter -- When a tragedy leaves a divorced couple with guardianship of their friends’ little girl, Laurel and Gavin drop everything for the sake of the child. While searching for a more permanent arrangement, the estranged couple move into their friends’ home to provide temporary care for Emma and manage the on-property apple orchard. As they work together to comfort the grieving child and manage the busy harvest, tempers flare—as does the passion they both remember so well. But will the seeds of love, still growing inside them, thrive and flourish? Or will grief and regret strangle the feelings before they can fully blossom? (Contemporary Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing/Thomas Nelson and Zondervan)

Love in Any Season by Amy Anguish, et. al. -- Spring Has Sprung – by Regina Rudd Merrick: What does he want more—for Laurel to fall in love with his favorite season? Or him? The Missing Piece – by Amy R. Anguish: With each stitch taken, they work toward more than just a completed blanket. A Sweet Dream Come True – by Sarah Anne Crouch: Can Mel and Isaac trust in God’s provision and make a leap of faith? Will their partnership end in disaster, or will it be a sweet dream come true? Sugar and Spice – by Heather Greer: With gingerbread and Ryker together, can Emmie make it through the festival with her mind and heart intact? (Contemporary Romance from Scrivenings Press)

Midnight Blue by Suzie Waltner -- A series of heartbreaking setbacks behind her, Scarlett Sykes is now focused on creating the best life possible for her daughter. One where innocence and joy is not colored by rejection or loss. While finances are tight and Scarlett’s job isn’t ideal for a single mother, her child will always know she’s loved. Especially since Harmony’s father wanted nothing to do with them. As lead singer and the face of a successful country band, Jake Turnquist’s closest friends depend on him, but life in the spotlight is quickly losing its appeal. At a party celebrating another accomplishment, he’s stunned to discover Scarlett assisting the caterer. Almost ten years have passed, but he’s never forgotten his first love. In the hours after a surprise revelation, Jake scrambles to orchestrate a way to spend time with Scarlett and Harmony—the family he’s always wanted but never knew he had. He once gave her up to pursue his music. What will he have to surrender to win her back? (Contemporary Romance, from Anaiah Press)

Muskoka Shores by Carolyn Miller -- Serena Williamson loves working at Muskoka Shores, the fancy resort on Lake Muskoka, and making couples dreams come true. But after returning from a celebrity wedding to find her own hopes crumbling to dust, she sets out for self-improvement, and to prove her ex was wrong. But when a misunderstanding concerning the new assistant church minister leads to more self-doubt, can she ever really trust a man again? Joel Wakefield is looking forward to a fresh start for himself and his sister in this beautiful small town beside Lake Muskoka. He hadn't counted on meeting a curvy cutie with a gift for hospitality and a gracious heart. Can he show her that it's what is inside that truly counts? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Off the Record by Susan Page Davis -- Wynne Harding is just doing her job. Wynne is new at the newspaper, and she deals with some challenging assignments. Sent to report on a farm accident, she learns a little girl has been injured in a fall. The father, Andrew Cook, has cause to hate reporters. His farming grandparents want Wynne in the family, and she adores Andrew's four-year-old twins, but she isn’t comfortable around him. When her assignments get tougher and troubles surface at the farm, the two need to seek God's guidance ... but can they overcome their differences? (Contemporary Romance from Tea Tin Press)

The Baby’s Christmas Blessing by Meghann Whistler -- Nothing will be merry about Steve Weston’s Christmas if he doesn’t find a nanny for his newborn nephew fast. But the best choice is Chloe Richardson, the woman he pushed away years ago. He has a second chance at making the season’s joy last for a lifetime—unless he allows old wounds to separate them once more... (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired/Harlequin)

To Win a Prince by Toni Shiloh -- As a fashion aficionado and best friend of the queen of the African island country Oloro Ilé, Iris Blakely dreams of using her talent to start a business to help citizens in impoverished areas. But when she discovers that Ekon Diallo will be her business consultant, the battle between her desires and reality begins. Ekon Diallo has lost everything: his princely title, his material possessions, his friends, and the respect of his countrymen. To pay for his actions against Oloro Ilé, he's forced to assist the charismatic Iris Blakely--but he can't allow his heart to distract him from regaining his status. As Iris strives to get her business off the ground while keeping her heart intact, will her dreams of happily ever after survive the challenges she faces? (Contemporary Romance from Bethany House)

Historical Romance:

As Silent as the Night by Danielle Grandinetti -- Chicago, 1933―Lucia Critelli will do anything for her ailing grandfather, including stand in a breadline to have enough food to make him a St. Nicholas Day meal. When she catches the eye of a goon who threatens her grandfather, she discovers the end of Prohibition doesn’t mean the end of the mafia’s criminal activity. Retired Marine Scout Giosue “Gio” Vella can find anything, especially if it helps a fellow Italian immigrant, so he has no doubt he can locate his neighbor’s granddaughter, who has gone missing from a local church. Keeping her safe is another matter. Especially when he chooses to hide out with his Marine buddy in Eagle, Wisconsin, the site of a barely-held truce among striking dairy farmers. Will Christmas bring the miracle they all need or will Gio discover there are some things even he can’t find, particularly when he stumbles upon the most elusive gift of all: love. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)

Calm in the Mountain Storm by Misty M. Beller -- his epic journey will test his ability to protect his children—and they’re all he has left. Missionary Elise Lane returns with her team to the Rocky Mountain native tribe they serve to discover the entire village—including the children she’s come to love—has been massacred. A fierce brave standing at the edge of the devastation has taken the only surviving child. Goes Ahead returns home with his son to find his worst fears have come true—his entire village has been slaughtered, including his wife. Only their infant daughter has survived. But there’s no time for grief or vengeance. He must get his children across the mountains to the protection of his family. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)

Estelle’s Endeavor by Linda Shenton Matchett -- Will a world at war destroy a second chance at love? Estelle Johnson promised to wait for Aubry DeLuca, but then she receives word of his debilitating injuries. Does she have the strength to stand by him in his hour of need? Aubry DeLuca storms the beaches at Normandy, then wakes up in the hospital, his eyes bandaged. Will he regain his sight? Will the only woman he’s ever loved welcome him home or is he destined to go through life blind and alone? (Historical Romance from Shortwave Press)

Heart’s Journey by Linda Hoover -- In June, 1880, newlyweds Jacob and Julia go to Iowa to fulfill Jacob’s dream of having his own farm. Their original plans fall apart when they get there, and Jacob wonders, will he be able to keep the promise he made to Julia and her family? Jacob and Julia spend much time in prayer, and God provides a better plan. Now, upper-class Julia allows herself to consider her role. She’s never been in a kitchen, let alone on a farm. How will she manage their home? After many mishaps, Julia asks a neighbor for help, and gains confidence as she learns to cook, garden and handle other household duties. Jacob and Julia grow closer, but a personal loss for Julia triggers a disagreement leading to estrangement and deeper issues Jacob must confront. Can their faith in God bring forgiveness and reconciliation? (Historical Romance from Linda Hoover Books)


A Night to Remember by Danny & Wanda Pelfrey -- With her college friend arriving, Riley is anticipating a reprieve from the rigors of law school. Then one of her Sunday School girls is kidnapped. The circumstances that follow put Riley and her friends through a series of fast paced, dangerous episodes as they scurry to rescue the child. (Mystery from CrossLink)


Covert Danger by Jerusha Agen -- An assassin is on the loose in the Twin Cities, aiming to kill FBI witnesses the Phoenix K-9 Security and Detection Agency is hired to protect. Rogue CIA agent Amalia Pérez and her protection K-9 must get the edge on this deadly opponent before he kills her childhood best friend—the only man who knows her true identity. Investigative journalist Michael Barrett can’t believe his eyes when the woman he’s spent years searching for walks back into his life. But he soon fears the woman he loved is lost forever beneath the secrets Amalia wears like armor. As the assassin closes in, Amalia will risk anything to keep Michael safe—anything except believing in the God he trusts. When the layers of deception become as dangerous as bullets, can Amalia and Michael uncover the truth in time to stop the assassin from completing his lethal mission? (Thriller/Suspense/Romance, Independently Published)

Grace Immeasurable by Gina Holder -- She’s a modern-day damsel. He’s her self-appointed knight. Who will rescue whom? Kylie just wants to run her café without people thinking she’s a damsel-in-distress. That proves difficult when a man claiming to be her half-brother reveals buried family trauma and forces Kylie to face the scars of her childhood. Peter doesn’t mean to be a knight in shining armor, but as her proverbial big brother, he decides to uncover the truth about Kylie’s semi-sibling, while trying to make peace with his own mistakes. Unearthing the past leads to a danger greater than either ever expected. In the end, who will rescue whom? (Thriller/Suspense/Romance, Independently Published)

Two Believe by Luana Ehrlich -- It was no ordinary robbery. The suspect is no ordinary thief. The investigator is no ordinary detective. He’s Silas McKay, head of operations for Discreet Corporate Security Systems in Dallas, Texas. Silas doesn’t usually investigate stolen merchandise, but when his boss asks him to look into a jewelry heist at Gadise Diamonds, a high-end store in the Dallas area, he makes an exception. When Silas learns this was no ordinary robbery, and the suspect is no ordinary thief, he enlists the help of Ashley Davenport, who’s no ordinary woman. (Thriller/Suspense/Romance, Independently Published)

Sinister Secrets by Paige Edwards -- 3 Novellas: Secrets of St. Augustine: FBI Special Agent Doug Valdez is in France looking for money launderers. The last thing he expects is to find a young girl fleeing for her life or the deadly game of cat and mouse that ensues. Hounded: Recently retired Army Ranger Renn Huitt has found the perfect job. Working for Bob, a private investigator nearing retirement, should be easy. But Bob has put a lot of people behind bars--people who hold a grudge. And now they are coming for him. In Plain Sight: Jaclyn Girard was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and now she's caught in the middle of a deadly investigation. With danger mounting, she must work alongside FBI operative Cody Ackert if she hopes to survive. (Thriller/Suspense/Romance from Covenant Communications, Inc.)

Plus check out these recent additions to Fiction Finder published within the past month:
A Fallen Sparrow by <844href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Lynn Basham Tagawa, Three very different people, a printer's daughter, a Shenandoah valley farmer, and a British spy, must deal with questions relating to the time of the Revolution: when is it biblical to resist tyranny? (General Historical)

Lily’s Mechanic by Seralynn Lewis, Sometimes you have to go home again and find the one who loved you first. (Contemporary Romance)

She Gets July by Susan Page Davis, Things come to a head at the cottage, where he gets June and she gets July. (Contemporary Romance)

Tracking a Killer by Elizabeth Goddard, Can an officer and her furry partner survive a killer and the wilderness? (Thriller/Suspense/Romance)