Thursday, November 30, 2023

Talkshow Thursday: Welcome Patti Shene!

Talkshow Thursday: Welcome Patti Shene!

I'm thrilled to welcome Patti Shene to my blog today. She has generously hosted me several times over the years. Grab a cup of your favorite beverage and learn about this interesting lady and her books.

What was your inspiration for the story?

I never had any interest in writing a Christmas story, but when I was invited into a MAP (multi author project), I decided to accept the challenge.

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

Those of us in the multi-author Christmas Ridge Romance series project agreed to choose different age groups for our characters. Since I am a widow, I wanted to create older characters and share a message of hope for those who struggle with the Christmas season while grieving a loss.

Cathy works as a church secretary, and although I never held that position, I prepared and printed our church bulletins every week for a few years. As David’s character shaped up in my mind, I could picture him as a retired math teacher who enjoys home repair projects and keeps physically fit.

When I shared the original name I chose for my male character with my sister, she informed me it was the most unromantic name ever! That led me to a google search of common first names from the decade in which my characters were born.

Have you ever considered writing under a pseudonym? Why or why not?

I do write under a pseudonym, more or less. My real name is Pat Gonzales, but I write under the name Patti Shene. The main reason is that my married last name is very common, especially in this part of the country, but my maiden name is not. I published Cathy’s Christmas Confession under the name Patti Shene Gonzales.

How are your characters like you? Different?

Funny you should ask! A friend told me after reading my novella that Cathy reminded her of me. They say your first published work is somewhat autobiographical.

I am a widow, and I also tend to be short on common sense like Cathy at times. I put simple things off
Pixabay/Scott Donald
that should be done, which can get me into trouble. Cathy’s failure to change the battery in her garage door opener leads to problems that might have been avoided. That is so me.

Cathy and I are not alike in that I have not met my David Martin! After seven years of widowhood, I doubt I will, but only God knows the answer to that!

If you were to write a spin-off book about one of your secondary characters, which one would you choose and why?

I would write about Officer Greenwald, the police officer who appears briefly near the beginning of the book. He is surly with no compassion and certainly no sense of humor whatsoever. He is hiding a deep wound and I’d love to match him up with someone who would love him and make him aware of how much God loves him too.

What is your process for writing? (do you outline, have a special place or time of day you write, etc.) What is your favorite part of the process?

I wish I could say I create wonderful outlines that direct me step by step, but I just don’t. I start out with a basic idea and I know how the story is going to end. It’s getting there that requires a lot of trial and error, deleting and rewriting.

My favorite time to write is in the evening, when I feel I have accomplished whatever tasks needed to be done that day. Then I can relax and enjoy writing, but I sometimes get carried away and end up staying up way too late!

My favorite part of the process is putting sentences together to paint a vivid picture for my reader. I like to create dialogue that expresses emotion and brings my characters to life.

What is your advice to fledgling writers?

Study the craft. Attend writers' conferences and learn all you can from other authors. Join a critique group. Don’t let rejection discourage you. If you have a passion in your heart for a certain theme, subject, or message, God has probably put it there for a reason. It may take a while to get published, but His timing is always perfect! Above all, write for God’s glory.

What writers or books have influenced you?

The Oregon Encyclopedia
I have been a fan of westerns, both on the old TV shows and in books since I was young. My great aunt and uncle had a collection of Zane Grey books, and when I would go visit in the summer, I’d spend hours reading those books. In fact, when my aunt said, “tell me what you want from this house after I’m gone so I can be sure you receive it,” I told her I wanted her Zane Grey books! My folks brought them out here to Colorado over forty years ago when they visited from New York. They have been on my bookshelf ever since. Every few years, I get on a Zane Grey binge and read four or five of his books in a row.

What is your next project?

I enjoyed writing Cathy’s Christmas Confession, but as you may have guessed from my previous answer, my true passion lies with the western genre! I have a completed novel now in the process of editing, with the help of my excellent and supportive critique group. I plan to send it out for professional editing before submitting to a couple of publishing houses that have expressed interest.

First page peek:

Cathy Fischer chiseled at the thick ice encasing the windshield of her gunmetal gray Dodge Ram. Snow blew in her face, slithered down her neck, and crunched under her feet.

Why spend time today on what could be put off until tomorrow? Or the next day. Six decades of this philosophy that had caused her grief more than once was playing havoc again.

Ice wouldn’t have formed under a foot of snow blanketing her truck if a dead garage door battery hadn’t prevented her from putting the vehicle in the garage. That’s where it belonged during an overnight Colorado winter storm. She’d intended to replace the battery days ago.

By the time she cleared the windows, the defroster had left a peephole in the windshield.

Snow covered the roof. Should she stand on the running board and clear it?


That frozen icing would stay right where it was on this metal cupcake.

She backed down the driveway and waited as a black SUV crept up the road. The white stuff fell in a heavy curtain, reducing visibility to less than a quarter of a mile. Wind whipped the shards of icy precipitation against her windshield. She kept a safe distance from the vehicle ahead and tested her brake.

Just in case.

Sure enough.

Slick pavement.

About Cathy’s Christmas Confession:

Christmas is not a time of joy for the hurting.

During a snowstorm, widow Cathy Fischer creams a stop sign on her way to work at the Christmas Ridge Community Church. Acquaintance David Martin stops to help. Cathy sees signs of deep grief in David, a recent widower. She reaches out with support to help David through this most difficult first Christmas without his beloved wife.

David Martin struggles with grief over the death of his wife. He blames God for her rapid demise after her cancer diagnosis. Cathy reaches out to him with compassion and support and soon enlists him in her mission to bring joy to others at Christmas. Will their joint quest restore David’s faith? David needs to turn loose of the past and embrace his future. Cathy has a confession to make to the entire community that may give David a different perspective of who she really is. Will her confession set her free?

Does God have plans in mind for the two of them they did not anticipate?

Social media links:

(sign up for my two blogs, Patti's Porch and The Over 50 Writer and podcast Step Into the Light or just one of the three or any combination as you prefer)
Facebook Step Into the Light:
Facebook personal:
Twitter: @pattishene
Linkedin: @Patti Shene
Amazon Author Page

BIO: Patti Shene Gonzales hosts Step Into the Light, a weekly interview-style podcast, where guests share their journey out of darkness or ways they lead others out of darkness. She hosts writers on her two blogs, Patti’s Porch and The Over 50 Writer. Patti enjoyed a thirty-year career as a psychiatric nurse and has always harbored a desire to write. Cathy’s Christmas Confession released in November 2022 and is her first full-length published work. Patti enjoys writing, reading, critiquing, and spending time with family and friends. She lives in Colorado with her devoted feline companion, Duncan.

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Wartime Wednesday: Nurses in the Army and Navy Medical Corps

Wartime Wednesday: 
Nurses in the Army and Navy Medical Corps

Fewer than 1,000 nurses comprised the Army Nurse Corps when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. The Navy Nurse Corps had only 800. Both corps had been created in the early 20th century as auxiliaries to established branches, but were not officially part of the armed forces, nor were their ranks equal to those held by men in service.

To serve in the Army Nurse Corps, women had to be 21-40 years old (later in the war this would be raised to aged 45), unmarried (married nurses were accepted beginning in October 1942), a high school graduate, a graduate of a 3-year nursing training program, licensed in at least one state, and a U.S. citizen or citizen of an Allied country. Interestingly, there were height requirements, and nurses could only be 5’0” to 6’0” tall. Applicants must also have a physician’s certificate of health. And as with many of the women’s organizations during the war, the individuals had to provide a letter testifying to moral and professional excellence.

The Cadet Nurse Corps was created during the summer of 1943 and allowed women ages 17-35 to
Wiki Image
receive free nursing education, room and board, and uniforms. Applicants had to hold at least a high school diploma. The program’s accelerated curriculum aimed to get nurses into hospitals to fill the shortage in public facilities as well as army and navy facilities. The program lasted from July 1943 to December 1948 and trained nearly 125,000 nurses.

Army and Navy nurses served in all types of hospitals from field stations to evacuation and convalescent hospitals as well as on ships, trains, and aircraft. They also served in every theater of the war, some of whom were taken prisoner, such as those in the Philippines and Guam.

It was not until the summer of 1942 that nurses in both the Army and Navy Medical Corps received full military service recognition. A Congressional act gave them pay and allowances equal to that of male officers. Additionally, Congress authorized the promotion of nurses to relative ranks of Major and Lt. Colonel (previous advancement was limited to Captain). Two years later, on June 22, 1944, nurses were granted full officer status which included full retirement privileges, dependents’ allowances, and equal pay.

National Women's
History Museum
Unfortunately, discrimination played a large role in the Corps. Male nurses were not allowed in the Army National Corps, and only a small quota of African-American nurses was admitted. Fewer than five hundred were allowed to service, and then only to care for black patients or POWs. The quota was lifted in July 1944.

More than 59,000 women served in the Army Nurse Corps and 11,000 in the Navy Nurse Corps. Through their diligence, the mortality rate for Americans wounded in action was less than four percent. With the Army-Navy Nurses Act, the Army Nurse Corps was made a full branch of the regular U.S. Army, and the Navy Nurse Corps a full branch of the Navy on April 16, 1947.


War’s Unexpected Gift (part of A Merry Heart anthology)

Love and war don’t mix. Or do they?

Eager to do even more for the war effort, nurse Gwen Milford puts in for a transfer from a convalescent hospital outside of London to an evac hospital headed across Europe. Leap-frogging from one location to the next, nothing goes as expected from stolen supplies to overwhelming numbers of casualties. Then, there’s the handsome doctor who seems to be assigned to her every shift. As another Christmas approaches without the war’s end, can she find room in her heart for love?

Purchase link:

Friday, November 24, 2023

Fiction Friday: An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving

Fiction Friday: 
An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving

Holidays can create myriad emotions depending on one’s experiences. For me, Thanksgiving brings many cherished memories. Despite living several hours away from family, my mother and father packed us four kids into the car and made the trek to Maryland every year to see my maternal grandparents. Countless aunts, uncles, and cousins would join us, and food was plentiful. As an adult, I look back and wonder how many days it took my grandmother and great-aunt to prepare everything for that many people. Fortunately, after the meal, they were able to put up their feet while we kids took care of clean up (without the help of a dishwashing machine – horror!).

Because of my love of the holiday, I also enjoy Thanksgiving stories (books or films), so I was pleased
to recently discover Louisa May Alcott’s short story, “An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving,” published 140 years ago in 1882 as part of Aunt Jo’s Scrap Bag. An added bonus is that the story is set in the “New Hampshire hills.”

The plot line is simple and tells the story of Farmer and Mrs. Bassett and their eight children who are“poor in money, but rich in land and love.” It is the day before Thanksgiving, and Mrs. Bassett and her girls are busy inside the house while her husband and the boys are “chorin’ away outside.” A man arrives from Keene with the announcement that Mrs. Bassett’s mother is “failin’ fast, and she’d better come today.” With a few instructions and a wave to the kids, Mr. and Mrs. Basset jump into the wagon to see about Gran’ma.

Lots of description immerses the reader into the sights, sounds, and smells of the foibles and successes of the children in handling the tasks of keeping the homestead going and preparing for Thanksgiving despite having never made a turkey with stuffing or cooking plum pudding. In the midst of everything, a bear arrives, which means he was late getting into his cave to hibernate, but perhaps Miss Alcott didn’t have the research materials available to authors today! The parents return having discovered that Mr. Chadwick being “deaf as an adder,” got the message wrong, and Gran’ma was “sittin’ up chirk as you please,” and not ill as previously surmised. The family enjoys their Thanksgiving dinner, although some of the dishes weren’t quite up to snuff.

A charming story that can be read in a few minutes, An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving, is the perfect escape for challenging and difficult times. You can read it complements of The Gutenberg Project here:


Francine's Foibles

She's given up hope. He never had any. Will they find it together?

World War II is finally over, and America is extra grateful as the country approaches this year’s Thanksgiving. But for Francine life hasn’t changed. Despite working at Fort Meade processing the paperwork for the thousands of men who have returned home, she’s still lonely and very single. Is she destined for spinsterhood?

Grateful that his parents anglicized the family surname after emigrating to the United States after the Great War, first-generation German-American Ray Fisher has done all he can to hide his heritage. He managed to make it through this second “war to end all wars,” but what American woman would want to marry into a German family. Must he leave the country to find wedded bliss?

Purchase Link:

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Traveling Tuesday: Medical Treatment During WWII

Traveling Tuesday: 
Medical Treatment During WWII

With war comes the need for medical facilities. The main character in War’s Unexpected Gift, is Gwen Milford, a nurse in an Evacuation Hospital that starts out in Belgium, then moves into Germany as the Allies gain ground in Europe (loosely based on the 96th Evac Hospital). During my research, I learned about the U.S. system of care and the intricate logistics that ensured efficient and effective patient treatment.

Casualties were given emergency treatment at a series of medical installations. Clearing Stations, Field Hospitals, Evacuation Hospitals, Convalescent Hospitals, and Surgical Hospitals were established in combat zones. General Hospitals, Station Hospitals, Hospital Centers, and Convalescent Camps and Centers were set up in what was referred to as the Zone of Interior and the Communication Zones.

Clearing Stations (AKA Dressing Stations) are located just beyond the front lines and perform triage and immediate care to stabilize the individual.

Field Hospitals: are usually located from three to eight miles from the front line, depending upon enemy range of fire, the roads, fuel, water, the presence of buildings, and the location of Evacuation Hospitals. Whenever possible, they were grouped in a village or at an intersection of roads for the convenience of ambulances and movement of patients.

Evacuation Hospitals: are mobile units designed to provide facilities for major medical and surgical
treatments as well as the beginning of a definite treatment for the individual, the sorting of casualties, the return of men fit for duty sooner rather than later, and for extended evacuation of certain patients to General Hospitals. There were two types of evac hospitals: 400-bed semi-mobile and 750-bed mobile.

Surgical Hospitals: were also mobile units as far forward as practicable that provided major surgical procedures for serious injury cases. They occasionally served as substitutes for evac hospitals in the case of emergency.

General Hospitals: were facilities located in the rear of the theatre with a capacity of up to 2,000 patients, although half that was the norm. Once situated, a General Hospital remained in that location and performed the most difficult and specialized procedures.

Station Hospitals: were typically located at posts, camps, and stations for hospitalization of local personnel. Housed in buildings their bed capacities ranged from 25-900.

Drawn by Pfc. Don J. Anders in 1945
Map of the route taken by the 96th Evac
Hospital Centers: were comprised of a headquarters and service company, central laboratory, and convalescent camp. All were housed in permanent or temporary buildings if in the Zone of Interior, and in tents with concrete floors in Communication Zones.

During the early months of 1942, many hospital units were sent overseas from Australia to the Central Pacific and from Northern Ireland and England to Iceland. By March of 1943, 140 stations, 27 general hospitals, 14 field hospitals, 2 convalescent hospitals, 3 surgical hospitals, and 23 evacuation hospitals were overseas. By 1945, there were and additional 189 general hospitals, 74 field hospitals, 61 station hospitals, 35 field hospitals, and 8 station hospitals creating a peak of 335,000 foxed beds and about 87,000 mobile beds in all theaters.


War’s Unexpected Gift (Part of A Merry Heart Anthology)

Love and war don’t mix. Or do they?

Eager to do even more for the war effort, nurse Gwen Milford puts in for a transfer from a convalescent hospital outside of London to an evac hospital headed across Europe. Leap-frogging from one location to the next, nothing goes as expected from stolen supplies to overwhelming numbers of casualties. Then, there’s the handsome doctor who seems to be assigned to her every shift. As another Christmas approaches without the war’s end, can she find room in her heart for love?

Experience the magic of Christmas in this heartwarming anthology featuring ten talented authors, as they weave enchanting tales of clean and Christian romance. Delight in the spirit of the season, where love, faith, and miracles come together to create unforgettable holiday moments. 

Purchase Link:

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Talkshow Thursday with Donna Schlachter

Recipe for Disaster
By Donna Schlachter

Equal measures of love and mutual trust are always the best foundation on which to build a marriage. One without the other will dissolve even the most passionate of love or the deepest trust.
So what happens when a woman finds herself falling in love with a man who can’t even remember his own name? Or when a man has feelings for a woman he senses is lying to him?

Sounds like a recipe for disaster.

Hope, the heroine of the story, feels like she’s been set on a shelf and forgotten. When a man practically falls into her lap—okay, into her stream—she doesn’t even stop to think. He needs help. So she takes him in, tends his wounds…then learns he has amnesia. Worse yet, he thinks she is his wife Julia. And that the three orphans she’s caring for are his children. She doesn’t want to lie to him, and doesn’t want the children trying to keep up pretenses—but how can she not startle his memory, since the doctor says he should remember naturally. Besides, she doesn’t want to build any possible relationship on lies.

Walter remembers his first name, and his wife’s, and his children’s—but what are those pecan trees
doing over there? Why doesn’t the house look familiar? And why won’t his wife let him even touch her? Having fought in the Civil War and then wandering the country looking for his family, he isn’t certain what is true anymore. If this woman isn’t Julia, then who is she? And who is he? And if he has feelings for her, what does that say about him? About his marriage?

This book is set in 1784, a time I wasn’t familiar with prior to writing the story. So I had to do some research. Online, in books, reading other blogs. This time following the War for Independence left a lot of families broken, separated, and confused. In much the same way as the Civil War would eighty years later, this war required individuals to assess what they believed about this country and the community of states who called themselves Americans.

Change is never easy, and this sort of monumental change that redefined who we were and what this country stood for ripped at the very fabric of our country. In some ways, things haven’t changed much. We look at what’s happening now, and we think we are facing unprecedented division, but in reality, that’s how this country was born, how it redefined itself, and how it continues into the future.

Recipe for Disaster, book 1 of The Recipe Box Series: 1784:

Check out the series page:

About Donna:
A hybrid author, Donna writes squeaky-clean historical and contemporary suspense. She has been published more than 60 times in books; is a member of several writers' groups; facilitates a critique group; teaches writing classes; ghostwrites; edits; and judges in writing contests. She loves history and research, traveling extensively for both, and is an avid oil painter.

Connect online: Stay connected so you learn about new releases, preorders, and presales, as well as check out featured authors, book reviews, and a little corner of peace. Plus: Receive 2 free ebooks simply for signing up for our free newsletter!
Books: Amazon:
The Purpose-Full Writer:
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Thursday, November 9, 2023

Talkshow Thursday: Welcome back, Jodie Wolfe!

Talkshow Thursday: Welcome back, Jodie Wolfe!

What was your inspiration for the story?

Thanks for having me today, Linda. My heroine for Wooing Gertrude is Gertrude Miller. She made a few cameo appearances in book one of the series, Taming Julia. Then in the second book, Protecting Annie, she befriends the heroine of that story. After getting to know Gertrude better through writing book two, I wanted her to have a happily ever after as well.

What sort of research did you do for your story, and was there an exceptionally interesting tidbit you knew you had to include?

When my sons knew I was writing a book with the character name of Gertrude, they encouraged me to include guinea pigs. This stems back to a family story about a fictitious ‘Aunt Gertrude’ and her love of guinea pigs. I started researching to see if it was feasible historically to have these critters as part of the story. I learned guinea pigs came to America as early as the 1600s and even Queen Elizabeth I, had one as a pet. I had fun sprinkling some of the antics from guinea pigs our family has had through the years.

If your book is part of a series: Did you set out to write a series? Why did you decide to write a series?

Wooing Gertrude
is part of my Burrton Springs Brides Series set in Kansas in the 1870s. When I wrote the first book, I knew it could easily lend itself to being part of a series.

Why do you write in your particular genre?

I fell in love with the 19th century as a kid reading the Little House on the Prairie Series. I opted for
writing romance as a means of conveying the way God pursues us – of His incredible love for us.

What writers or books have influenced you?

Some of my favorite authors are Jen Turano, Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, and Jody Hedlund. They all typically write close to the time period that I write, so it helps me to stay current in my genre.

What is your next project?

The final book of the series, Convincing Lou, is currently at my publisher being considered. Since the completion of it, I’ve started a new series set in Shippensburg, PA. The first book, tentatively titled Abigail’s Pursuit takes place during the Civil War. I opted for this time period after receiving two personal diaries from 1864 that stated the daily weather and what was happening in town.

About Wooing Gertrude

The seamstress with a knack for trouble wasn't who the deputy envisioned.

Enoch Valentine has given up finding peace for his past mistakes. He throws everything he has into being the new part-time deputy in Burrton Springs, Kansas while maintaining the foreman position at a local horse ranch. But when trouble stirs on the ranch, he questions whether he's the right man for either job.

Peace has been elusive for most of Gertrude Miller's life, especially under the oppressiveness of an overbearing mother. She takes matters into her own hands and sends for a potential husband, while also opening her own dress shop. Gertrude hopes to build a future where she'll find peace and happiness.

Will either of them ever be able to find peace?

Social Media Links


First Page Peek

AUGUST 4, 1877
Gertrude Miller’s life couldn’t get any better. She grinned, patting her pocket. Her fingers traced the two skeleton keys. After months of planning and preparing she finally had moved into her own place a week ago, away from the overbearing reach of her mother. In two days, she’d be opening the clothing shop beneath her apartment.

She studied the trail leading into town hoping for a wisp of dust indicating the stagecoach was on its way, but saw none. Smoothing the light blue flowered fabric of her skirt, Gertrude’s hand settled against her churning stomach. What would George Witt think of her when he arrived? Would he see past her faults and still find her loveable? Would he like the place she picked for them to live? The many letters he’d written to her crinkled in her reticule, as she clutched it close to her heart. His last missive declared he planned to marry her shortly after arriving. Mama would have a conniption, which was why Gertrude hadn’t breathed a word to her mother that she’d marry tomorrow after the church service. Mama would try to do everything in her power to prevent it. Gertrude didn’t plan to say anything to her until they were sitting side by side in the church. No use creating a stir ahead of time.

Her dress hung from a hook in her new place waiting for the blessed event. She’d spent hours sewing it and adding yards of intricate lace she’d crocheted.

About Jodie

Jodie Wolfe creates novels where hope and quirky meet. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), and Faith, Hope, & Love Christian Writers (FHLCW). She's been a semi-finalist and finalist in various writing contests. A former columnist for Home School Enrichment magazine, her articles can be found online at: Crosswalk, Christian Devotions, and Heirloom Audio. When not writing she enjoys spending time with her husband in Pennsylvania, reading, walking, and being a Grammie. Learn more at

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Release Day: A Merry Heart!

Release Day: A Merry Heart!

Grab your copy today!

I'm honored to be part of this anthology with nine other authors. Available for a limited time (11/7/23-1/31/24), the collection features clean and Christian holiday stories of happily ever after. All proceeds from the sale of the anthology will benefit the True Care Women's Resource Center in Wyoming. 

Here is the blurb to my contribution War's Unexpected Gift:

Love and war don’t mix. Or do they?

Eager to do even more for the war effort, nurse Gwen Milford puts in for a transfer from a convalescent hospital outside of London to an evac hospital headed across Europe. Leap-frogging from one location to the next, nothing goes as expected from stolen supplies to overwhelming numbers of casualties. Then, there’s the handsome doctor who seems to be assigned to her every shift. As another Christmas approaches without the war’s end, can she find room in her heart for love?

Friday, November 3, 2023

Fiction Friday: New Releases in Christian Fiction

November 2023 New Releases

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

Contemporary Romance:

12 Days of Mandy Reno by Regina Rudd Merrick -- Law student Amanda Reno is stuck in her tiny hometown in Kentucky for Christmas and work part-time at the Clementville CafĂ©. Her parents are stuck in Brazil, leaving Mandy to celebrate Christmas without them. Young Sheriff Clay Lacey takes matters into his own hands, devising a plan to take Mandy’s mind off her crushed expectations. She is no longer his classmate’s tagalong kid sister, but a young woman he is increasingly attracted to. How will Mandy react when she finds out Clay is the one working to make sure she has a memorable Christmas? Will she be pleased? Or will she cringe as she thanks the man who may be falling in love with her? (Contemporary Romance from Scrivenings Press)

A Family for the Orphans by Heidi Main -- Three little hearts have been broken. Now they must find a way to heal them…Tragedy turned Walker McCaw from bachelor cowboy to guardian of his late best friend’s three children. Now they’re living on a new horse farm—and it’s a disaster. Trisha Campbell’s arrival couldn’t come at a better time. Together, they’ll need to work to save the struggling farm. But it takes more than hard work to make a family. It takes courage and love… (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired/Harlequin)

Muskoka Holiday Morsels by Carolyn Miller -- Muskoka Christmas Morsels is a collection of short romance stories with holiday and Christmas themes, perfect for a cozy read. Meet some new friends and catch up with some Muskoka favorites, and discover romance in the holiday season in this collection of bite-sized stories filled with hope, heart, humor, and all the feels. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Repairing Hearts by Julie Arduini -- Ryan, the independent, brooding second oldest of the Hart sextuplets, can’t enjoy the solitude he craves when he agrees to star on a reality show. The plan is to discover a project manager to renovate his hole of a property. The show reveals that it's more about Ryan’s dating life. Can he keep his guard up when everything around him is falling apart faster than the shingles on his roof? BJ Wallace loves her quiet life in Wisconsin that she’s created far from her traumatic childhood. Everything changes when she learns she's competing on Repairing Ryan's Heart. As the show focuses more on Ryan than the house, BJ falls for him. Will she win the show and destroy Ryan with her secret, or sacrifice her heart to protect Ryan? (Contemporary Romance from Surrendered Scribe Media)

The Cowgirl’s Last Rodeo by Tabitha Bouldin -- She left home to chase her dreams. Now she’s back seeking a second chance…When Callie Wade’s horse goes blind, there's only one man who can save her barrel racing career. Brody Jacobs is the best horse trainer she knows—if he’s willing to help. She broke his heart when she left him behind to go after rodeo stardom. This time, will they put their hearts on the line to reach the championship…and a future together? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired/Harlequin)

Wooing the Widower
by Elle E. Kay -- Margie, a successful Colorado realtor, finds herself looking for a change of scenery and a dash of adventure after her only daughter embarks on a missionary journey, so she heads to Redemption Ranch to fulfill a long-held dream: learning to ride horses. Meanwhile, Chaz, having swapped his tailored suits and executive boardrooms for the 'aromatic' allure of horse manure, relishes his new life at Redemption Ranch. The retired businessman and former CEO of Freedom Mountaineering now assists his brother on the ranch, his days filled with hard work, peaceful solitude, and bittersweet memories. When Margie arrives at Redemption Ranch, their lives intersect in the most unexpected of ways. Amid horse rides and starlit conversations, they discover companionship and the tender buds of love in their twilight years. As Margie explores this unexpected turn of her adventure, will she find a love she hadn't planned for? And can Chaz see Margie as a vibrant woman with shared passions and dreams rather than simply his son's mother-in-law? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

General Contemporary:

Carol of the Rooms by Diana Leagh Matthews -- Driven. Divisive. Dissonant. Terri Neely is propelled by greed and ambition. She refuses to let anyone—except for her beloved Gramps—past her hard exterior. Long ago, her faith waivered, and her love of music turned to hate. That is until an accident forces her to view the soundtrack of her life as she visits her past, present, and future. Can the songs in Terri’s life change her heart and restore her faith before it’s too late? (General Contemporary from Elk Lake Publishing)

General Historical:

Crushed Hopes and Hopeful Beginnings by Carol Ashby -- Can God work all things for good if you don’t even think he’s real? Lusario was content in Cyrene as part of the Philandros household. After he returns from serving the youngest son, Diokles, while he studies in Alexandria, Lusario expects to become a paid tutor for his master, earning the money to buy his freedom. But when Diokles uses him to pay a gambling debt, he must go to Carthago as the slave of a man who hates him. His once-bright future is gone forever. So why does his Christian friend Timon insist things will turn out so much better than he expects? But Carthago brings new people, like Caelus Martinus, and new possibilities into Lusario’s hopeless world. Could Timon be right? When Lusario sees a chance to escape his fate, will going for it give him a future again, or only hasten his death? (General Historical from Cerillo Press)

Historical Romance:

The Lamp by Edwina Kiernan -- Beatrice Beckwith is an orphaned young lady living with her aunt. On the brink of her deepest wish coming true, her plans unexpectedly collapse. Then, a startling discovery and an outbreak of cholera set in motion a series of catastrophic events, plunging her into even bleaker darkness. Isaac Taylor is forced to leave Miss Beckwith just as he's arranged a meeting to propose. His deceased great-uncle's derelict house needs restoration. But dust is not his only enemy, and a web of secrets soon entangles him. Kept apart against their wills, Beatrice and Isaac must navigate deadly illness, family deception, and scheming neighbors, yearning for the time they’ll be reunited. But as they each face their darkest moments, they’ll endure more devastation than ever before. Can joy once again be found, or will dangerous circumstances extinguish its light—and their very lives? (Historical Romance from Moliant Publishing)


Six Days Spent by Luana Ehrlich -- When private investigator Mylas Gray gets a call from the wife of a high-powered Pentagon official, he assumes it’s about her appointment to discuss a possible stalker. It’s not. It’s about her husband – he’s just been murdered. Mylas agrees to investigate the murder, even though he's supposed to help Whitney find a place to live in the next six days. Can he do both? As it turns out, finding a murderer and finding a house have a lot in common. (Mystery, Independently Published)

True Blue Christmas by Susan Page Davis -- New neighbors, cryptic Christmas cards, and jury duty. What next? Campbell McBride is juggling her new role as a private investigator with her slightly wacky personal life. Can she and her dad figure out who stashed a valuable painting in their client’s attic? And is the murder of an egocentric landlord somehow connected? (Mystery from Scrivening’s Press)


Gifts of the Season by Deborah Raney -- THEN: Inspired by a family Christmas tradition of the author’s family, "Circle of Blessings" is set in Dakota Territory in 1864. Stella Bradford is determined to win the love of James Collingwood, her English professor at the university where Stella is studying to be an architect. But the object of Stella’s affection hides a dark secret from his past. And even if Stella could capture James's attention, she is certain her father would not approve of the match. But neither James nor Stella has an inkling that his secret is woven into her own past in a way that will ultimately bring blessing to them both—if only he dares to reveal it. NOW: “Measured with Love” is a contemporary tale set in a Mississippi River town in Southeast Missouri. Benjie Gabriel believes the chef’s position she’s just taken at an award-winning bed and breakfast is temporary—only a stepping stone to greater things. The B&B’s owner, Trevor Keye, thinks the same and—given the haughty attitude of his new chef—that’s fine with him. Will five months be long enough for them to figure out that what they’ve each been longing for, praying for, is right beneath their noses? (Romance, Independently Published)

The Hope of Christmasa> by Carol James -- Cameron Blake has everything a man could want. Or so it appears. But in the dark of night, the contents of an old manila envelope remind him that the one thing he truly wants is beyond his reach. Kristin Hansen returns home after a messy break-up. While her parents think she' s returned to recuperate after surgery on a broken arm, she' s actually escaping from an abusive relationship. When the pastor of a local church recruits Kristin and Cameron to supervise the building of the church' s float for the upcoming Christmas parade, their hidden secrets are exposed. Cam sees in Kristin what he truly desires... but knows he can never have. As Christmas nears, can Kristin help him find the thing that' s eluded him all these years? The one thing his heart truly desires? Hope (Romance from White Rose Publishing/Pelican)


12 Days by Heidi Glick -- Scott Newton retires from the sheriff's office after a fellow officer is killed. Wracked by sorrow and the need for justice, Scott grows distant from his girlfriend, aspiring crime writer, Lindsay Billings. But, when Lindsay goes missing, and Scott discovers her research on the missing person cases thought to be the work of a serial murderer known as the Christmas Killer, Scott vows to find her at all costs. Police have never found the bodies of the people who went missing many Christmases ago, and Lindsay won't become just another statistic. Then, someone kills again in Blanchardville. Police locate a corpse atop one of seven inflatable swans on a pond, and another body in a pear tree. Scott receives odd texts from Lindsay's phone and deduces they're from the killer. In order to save Lindsay, Scott agrees to meet the madman and play his game. As time runs out, Scott must learn to trust in God again, no matter what. (Thriller/Suspense/Romantic from Harbourlight Books/Pelican)

Beneath the Surface by Melanie D. Snicker -- As the county's chief medical examiner, many of the bodies coming into the morgue hold a mystery that Genevieve "Eve" Marks is determined to solve. In discovering what happened to the victims in her care, she can be their voice when they are no longer able to speak for themselves. Until one particular body includes a message challenging her to examine the past and solve a puzzle before the killer strikes again. Detective John Paris is leading a murder investigation that's going nowhere. What he desperately needs is a break in the case. Unfortunately, that break comes in the form of another body that is obviously tied to the first. Even more disturbing than the idea that he may have a serial killer on his hands is the fact that the beautiful Eve Marks seems to be a target. (Thriller/Suspense/Romantic, Independently Published)

Deadly Sabotage by Elizabeth Goddard -- A fatal explosion hides a lethal conspiracy. After barely escaping a lab explosion that kills her boss, microbiologist Kinsley Langell discovers that the blast was no accident—someone intentionally set off a bomb. With a target on her back and the police compromised, Kinsley must rely on her ex, protection specialist Brett Honor, to help investigate the crime. But someone won’t stop until she’s silenced—this time permanently. Can Kinsley and Brett uncover the culprit before hired killers finish the job? (Thriller/Suspense/Romantic from Love Inspired Suspense/Harlequin)

K-9 National Park Defenders by Sheree Stover and Katy Lee -- Peril at Christmas awaits… in these gripping Pacific Northwest K-9 Unit novellas. A Christmas skiing retreat turns treacherous when Pacific Northwest K-9 Unit officer Veronica Eastwood’s sister is kidnapped—and only rival officer Parker Walsh can help her in Katy Lee’s Yuletide Ransom. And in Sharee Stover’s explosive Holiday Rescue Countdown, K-9 officers Dylan Jeong and Brandie Weller must race against the clock when they face a Christmas parade bomb threat…and a killer from Dylan’s past. (Thriller/Suspense/Romantic from Love Inspired Suspense/Harlequin)

Young Adult:

Rise of the Y by Angela D. Shelton -- In a world on the brink of revolution, where the iron fist of the Imperium orchestrates every destiny...Seventeen-year-old Lexi refuses to bow to a future with an assigned spouse and a dictated profession. A fiery spirit of defiance burns within her, ready to ignite a revolt. But destiny has other plans. When tragedy unveils a hidden diary—a legacy of secrets and rebellion—Lexi is thrust into the perilous shadows of the elusive rebel group Y. In a whirlpool of danger, deceit, and forbidden alliances, every revelation blurs the lines between friend and foe, making trust the ultimate weapon in a battle for truth. Caught between duty and a yearning for freedom, Lexi navigates a treacherous path where love and loyalty are tested at every turn. Who can she trust in a world where betrayal lurks in the shadows? As the foundations of the Imperium tremble, Lexi battles not only for her world but for the person she is destined to become. (Young Adult, Two Oaks Publishing)

Plus check out these recent additions to Fiction Finder published within the past month:

A Country ChristmasLisa Carter, When a series of disasters threaten to derail their grandparents’ big day, will these two opposites put aside their differences…and find their own happily-ever-after? (Contemporary Romance)

A Mistletoe ChristmasDavalynn Spencer, When writer Georgia Andrew’s handsome, widowed pastor takes more than a passing interest in her, she wonders if there is hope in her real life for a second-chance romance. (Contemporary Romance)

A Morgan Family ChristmasRuth Kyser, A Morgan Family Christmas is a peek into the past of Samuel Clemens Morgan, Jackson and Mary Byrd, and the rest of the Morgan family. (General Contemporary)

Beneath a Michigan Moon Candice Sue Patterson , Will they open their hearts and give in to the stormy attraction brewing between them, or will illuminated secrets tear them apart? (Historical Romance)

Hashtag Hitched at ChristmasCathe Swanson, Who knew that meeting of their minds would spark a meeting of the lips? (Contemporary Romance)

Holiday MenaceSarah Hamaker, et. al., Lives are in danger when menacing pressures threaten to derail Christmas in this heart-pounding suspense—plus a little romance—collection of 10 brand-new novellas from some of the genre's most popular Christian romantic suspense authors! (Thriller/Suspense/Romantic)

Julia Monroe Begins Againa>Rebekash Millet, It seems inevitable that the man who was hard to forget might just be impossible to resist. (Contemporary Romance)

OffsidesLori Z. Scott, When an older man seems to be grooming Dani's neighbor, Dani determines to do whatever she can to keep the girl safe. But she must watch her back, or she could become the next victim. (Young Adult)

The Kidnapped GroomSusan Page Davis, Can Sam help the Piner family? And might God have a future planned for him that is far different from what he imagined? (General Historical)

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Talkshow Thursday: Welcome Edwina Kiernan!

Talkshow Thursday: 
Welcome Edwina Kiernan!

What was your inspiration for the story?

The main theme of this novel is joy.

So, as I reflected on that, I realized that the best way to tell the story of Beatrice and Isaac would be to make sure the lamp of joy would shine brightly amidst the darkness of sorrow. In 1849, England was experiencing another outbreak of cholera, so it all seemed to tie together well, and from there, I plotted each character’s circumstances, trials and triumphs.

If your book is part of a series: Did you set out to write a series? Why did you decide to write a series?

Yes, I planned out the series overview before I started writing the books. For this series, Victorian Virtues, each novel has as its central theme one of the aspects of the Fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

I decided to write a series so that I could explore each of these themes in the context of the overarching theme, and because I, as well as most of the readers I know, enjoy spending time in multiple books featuring shared settings and characters.

Through this series, readers can visit a large cast of characters (a lot of whom recur in each book), in the fictional setting of Lindenfell, England, in the late 1840s and early 1850s. Even though the reading experience will be richer for those who read the whole series, each book can also be read as a standalone.

What draws you to the time period about which you write?

I love the fortitude and milieu of the mid-Victorian era. It was a time filled with great innovation and
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invention, yet it did not have all the bells and whistles -- and downright distractions -- that our world has today.

Whether it be clothing, art, architecture, or indeed most aspects of life at the time, more care was taken to do things well, and to communicate the beauty and sincerity that reflects how society ought to be.

Why do you write in your particular genre?

I’ve always been a fan of period dramas, historical literature and happily-ever-afters, so it was quite a natural fit. But the main reason I write Christian historical romance is because I believe that the true hero of all our stories is Jesus, and there is much scope both in historical fiction and romance in which to explore the big questions of life, love and loss, and to discuss and display the truth of God’s word and the atonement which only Jesus can offer.

What is your process for writing? (do you outline, have a special place or time of day you write, etc.) What is your favorite part of the process?

Once I have an idea for a story, I work out the characters first: who they are now, what happened to them in the past, where they want to be in the future. Once I’ve answered those questions, I’ll plot out the major plot points and then the minor plot points, then start writing. Sometimes, events and characters change a little as I write, but I usually stick relatively closely to the plot work I’ve done, and I spend a fair bit of time working the story out before writing anything, which allows me to write the drafts quite quickly. I homeschool in the mornings, so after lunch I head up to my office and write until it’s time for dinner. I’m not sure if I have one particular favorite part of the process — I really enjoy each stage!

What is your advice to fledgling writers?

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Figure out your ‘why’ — why do you want to write at all? Why do you want to write in your genre? Why do you want to tell a particular story? If you can answer those questions, you will be more likely to endure the inevitable doubt and disillusionment that can creep in when things get tough. Also, practice makes perfect — keep writing. Get feedback from someone who knows what they’re talking about and who understands all the ins and outs. Take their advice on board. Never think that you can do it all alone — you can’t, and you don’t have to. The writing community is a friendly place, and those of us a little farther along are always happy to advise and encourage those who are just starting out. And, if you’re certain that writing is what you’re supposed to do — do it, and never give up.
What writers or books have influenced you?

Too many to list! But some of the big ones are Anne Bronte, C. S. Lewis, Charles Dickens, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Anthony Hope — each of their stories are masterclasses in plot, characters and prose!

What is your next project?

I am currently working on a top secret novella which is part of a multi-author series (details to be revealed soon), and am also working on Book 3 of the Victorian Virtues series, The Library. The best way to keep up to date with my projects is to sign up for my weekly newsletter, which also features book recommendations, giveaways, fun stuff, freebies, encouragement and a free book! Sign up at:


Will God hear their cries and grant them a future together, or will deadly occurrences tear them apart forever?

England, 1849. Beatrice Beckwith is an orphaned young lady living with her aunt. On the brink of her deepest wish coming true, her plans unexpectedly collapse. Then, a startling discovery and an outbreak of cholera set in motion a series of catastrophic events, plunging her into even bleaker darkness.

Isaac Taylor is forced to leave Miss Beckwith just as he's arranged a meeting to propose. His deceased great-uncle's derelict house needs restoration. But dust is not his only enemy, and a web of secrets soon entangles him.

Kept apart against their wills, Beatrice and Isaac must navigate deadly illness, family deception, and scheming neighbours, yearning for the time they’ll be reunited. But as they each face their darkest moments, they’ll endure more devastation than ever before.

Can joy once again be found, or will dangerous circumstances extinguish its light—and their very lives?

Brimming with faith and intrigue, this Christian Victorian romance from award-winning author Edwina Kiernan will encourage and delight you long after you turn the last page.

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Edwina Kiernan is the Christian author of six novels, four of which are award-winning. An enthusiast of classic novels and history, Edwina combines her faith, imagination and research in hope-infused tales set in times past. A lifelong word admirer, with Welsh and Irish heritage, she started writing stories early in childhood. She is a committed follower of Jesus (the Living Word), and endeavors to use her pen to point others to Him. When she’s not writing, Edwina loves spending time with her dashing husband and lively little son, reading and studying the Bible, getting lost in a captivating novel and drinking more types of tea than most people realize even exist.



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