Under Cover: Stories Behind the Story — Linda Matchett

Today I’m happy to welcome author Linda Matchett as she shares about her latest release and the story behind it.

Do you consider yourself brave? When I was a younger woman, I would have say yes. Now, not so much. Among other things, I’m claustrophobic and acrophobic, although I take exception with the definition of the latter (“irrational fear of heights”). One can get hurt or killed in a fall from a high place. Just saying.

But I digress.

Research for my historic novels has unearthed countless stories about ordinary people performing extraordinary deeds. A large percentage of those folks have gone unnoticed, and most don’t want any attention. Because of my background as a Human Resources professional, I’m fascinated with the history of women in the workplace, especially holding jobs previously only available to men. An area of particular intrigue for me is, well, intrigue. The world of cloak-and-dagger, codes, disguises, and fake identifications.

In the United States, more than 4,000 women worked for the Office of Strategic Services, precursor to the CIA created in June 1942. These ladies came from all walks of life: high society, Hollywood, middle class housewives, teachers, doctors, lawyers, and prison.

A high percentage of the women were secretaries and file clerks. Still others were math sharks or cartographers. A few were seamstresses tasked with creating clothing that would look “of the country” where the outfits would be worn. A tiny number of the gals went into occupied territory to perform reconnaissance, collect intelligence, and wreak havoc on communication and rail lines.

Virginia Hall is perhaps one of the most well-known spies. Called the Limping Lady by the Germans, Virginia wore a prosthetic leg as a result of an injury she sustained as a young adult. In 1940, she became an ambulance driver in France until the country fell to the Germans. She escaped to Spain where she met a British intelligence officer who was impressed with her enough to give her the telephone number of a “friend” in England who could get her a job. Her new “job” sent her back to France where she created agent cells until her cover was blown. Early in 1944, she transferred to Britain’s SOE and slipped back into France disguised as an elderly peasant. Over six months, she recruited, trained, and armed three units of more than 300 agents who performed sabotage against the Germans.

Czechoslovakian Maria Gulovich stumbled into the underground when her sister brought home a Jewish woman and her five-year-old son who were fleeing from the Nazis. Maria hid them in her apartment until they could be moved. It wasn’t long before she quit her teaching job and joined the Slovak national uprising. As things fell apart in the country, Maria was recruited by OSS agent James Green to help him evacuated downed airmen. Captured, she maintained her OSS cover through twelve hours of interrogation. During her transfer to a prison camp, she escaped, making it out of the country safely and performing several assignments in Austria before the end of the war.

Two brave women whose routes to service as spies were as unique as they were. I repeat…do you consider yourself brave?

About the book:

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

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

Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/31ju3I6

 

About Linda:

Linda Shenton Matchett writes about ordinary people who did extraordinary things in days gone by. A volunteer docent and archivist for the Wright Museum, Linda is also a trustee for her local public library. She is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and has lived in historic places all her life. Now located in central New Hampshire, her favorite activities include exploring historic sites and immersing herself in the imaginary worlds created by other authors. 

Social Media Links:

Website/blog: http://www.LindaShentonMatchett.com

Newsletter signup (receive a free short story): https://mailchi.mp/74bb7b34c9c2/lindashentonmatchettnewsletter

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LindaShentonMatchettAuthor

Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Linda-Shenton-Matchett/e/B01DNB54S0

BookBub: http://www.bookbub.com/authors/linda-shenton-matchett

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author_linda_matchett

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/lindasmatchett

Twitter: @lindasmatchett

Chapter One

A scream pierced the air. Ruth Brown’s head jerked up at the sound, halting her rush through London’s lunchtime crowds on Old Street.

There was a motion from above. A body hurtled to the ground from the brick building across the street. Her eyes widened, and a wave of nausea swept over her.

She turned toward her best friend, Varis Gladstone, whose blue eyes bulged in her whitened face. Murmurs rose from the throng who pointed to the open window in the building, one of many manufacturing plants that had been converted to war-material production two years ago after Hitler declared war on England. A canvas shade flapped in the breeze.

From amidst the mob, a shout rang out. “Is anyone a doctor? We need a doctor!”

Ruth tugged at Varis’s arm. “Come on. They need our help.”

Varis pulled away. “No they don’t. We’re not medical professionals.”

Surely we can do something of value. I’m going over.”

Ruth threaded her way through the mass of people. A lanky, dark-haired man bullied his way toward her. His shoulder slammed into hers, and he scowled when she stumbled. She glared at his retreating back then broke through the circle that had formed around the lifeless figure lying on the concrete walkway. Ruth froze at the sight of the familiar face and flowing red hair of her friend Amelia Harrell. A sob sounded from behind her, and Ruth turned. Varis stood with her arms wrapped around her middle, tears streaming down her cheeks.

##

The Message of Taming Julia — Jodie Wolfe

I believe many Christians are familiar with the Footprints in the Sand poem by Mary Stevenson. One of the most poignant lines I feel is when the Lord said, “The times when you have seen only one set of footprints, is when I carried you.” I’m sure you’ve had time in your life when you feel like you’re hanging on by your fingernails to the side of the boat in the midst of a storm-tossed sea. We don’t always feel God’s presence in our life, but that doesn’t mean He isn’t with us, often carrying us.

For a good chunk of my novel, Jules Montgomery has no idea what it means to follow the Lord. Throughout her story she learns more about God and who He is. She finds that each step of her life, the Lord has been calling her, wooing her to Him.

When her past catches up with Jules and she’s forced to confront it, she must make a choice about protecting her family. Through a series of events she learns that she can trust God even in the midst of a scary situation. She can trust God’s working in her life even when the outcome doesn’t have any hope of getting better. We also can trust God to work in our life. It’s important to seek Him with our whole heart. We can take comfort in Psalm 61:1-2 (KJV) “Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”

How about you… what circumstances in your life have stirred you to seek the Lord? Do you trust Him to work in your life? If you’d like to learn more about what it means to follow the Lord, to trust Him, to put your faith in Him, I’d love to talk with you. Please leave a comment so I can know how to pray for you!

Behind the Scenes of Taming Julia — Jodie Wolfe

Taming Julia is set in Burrton Springs, Kansas. No, it’s not a real place, but I based it on the area of Burrton and Pleasant Grove, Kansas. Over twenty-four years ago my in-laws moved there so my father-in-law could serve as a pastor for two small churches – one in the country and one in the small town of Burrton. We visited them several times during the years that they lived there. Each visit we got to tour around the area and view a lot of the historical sites. I fell in love with this area of the country.

My heroine, Jules Walker moved to Kansas from Texas to be a mail-order bride, even though she didn’t know what that was at the time. She helped her brother track outlaws in Texas as part of his job as a deputy US Marshal.

As part of the story she has to come to terms with a traumatic event in her past. I won’t share more so I don’t spoil it for you, but I needed somewhere in Texas for this incident to take place. Because my husband’s aunt and uncle live in Texas, they were a wealth of resources when it came to accurately describing the area. One place in particular is called the Narrows and it’s situated close to them, but it’s on private property.

A couple years ago I had the opportunity to travel and visit them. We received special permission to go on the private ranch and see the Narrows. It’s an unexpected area with sharp limestone rocks, and a deep cavern carved out by the Blanco River. Most times, it’s a sleepy waterway, but when the area has a flash flood, water rushes through the cavern and often to the top. When this happens, you can hear the water gushing from far away.

I so enjoyed being able to see the area first-hand. There are places where the water is shallow and others that are extremely deep pools. It has such a distinct beauty. At some point I hope to use this setting in another book.

Have you ever had the chance to travel to Kansas or Texas? What all did you see?

 

A Glimpse into Taming Julia — Jodie Wolfe

I’m happy to welcome author Jodie Wolfe back to the blog today to celebrate her new release. Learn more about her story below.

It’s release day! Always a fun day in the life of an author. I thought I’d give you an excerpt from the first chapter. Let me first start by sharing my back cover blurb:

In 1875, Kansas bachelor Drew Montgomery’s sole desire is to serve God, but his congregation’s ultimatum that he marry or leave, forces him to advertise for a wife by proxy.

Jules Walker strides into Drew’s life wearing breeches and toting a gun and saddle–more cowboy than bride. After years on the trail, she’s not exactly wife material, but she longs for home and family, and will do anything to ensure Drew never discovers what she really is.

This story was such fun to write. Here’s a brief look into my new historical romance:

Matrimony News, February 6, 1875 edition

Minister bachelor aged 27, height 5 feet 10 inches seeks genteel, honest and first-rate homemaker with a desire to serve God. Must be willing to marry by proxy and arrive in Burrton Springs, Kansas by May 1.

~*~

Burrton Springs, Kansas, Saturday, May 1, 1875

Dear Lord, please don’t let that creature be my new wife. Drew Montgomery swiped the sweat trickling a path down his neck and shoved the new hat back on his head. He squinted, taking in the lone passenger stepping from the stagecoach. At least, he thought it was a woman. He shielded his eyes from the sun, taking in the britches.

Britches? A gun belt strapped to a slim waist. He gulped. A rifle rested on her shoulder, and she wore a Stetson situated low on her brow. The figure shifted sideways, and Drew groaned, fearing his proxy mail-order bride had arrived by the look of all the curves. He squared his shoulders and crossed the street.

“Are you Montgomery?” Her coffee-brown gaze seared through him.

He snapped his gaping mouth shut and nodded. “Y-yes.”

“Name’s Jules Walker.” She shoved her hand into his and shook it so hard his teeth clattered. “I reckon, Jules Montgomery since we’re hitched.” She waved a slip of paper in his face. “Got the paper here to prove it. So are you my husband or not?”

Drew caught a whiff of dirt. He coughed and cleared his throat.

She peered at him as if he were a chicken with one leg.

“I’m Drew.” He managed to choke the words out. “Isn’t your name Julia?”

She scrunched her face, pushed her Stetson from her head, and allowed it to dangle from the string around her neck. Her brown hair scattered in disarray, slipping from a shoulder-length braid. “I can’t remember the last time I’ve been called Julia. Like I said, name’s Jules.”

“But…” Drew let the word hang between them. No matter. “Where’re your things?”

“Got my knapsack and that there.” She pointed to the top of the stagecoach. He expected to see a trunk, but a saddle rested there instead. What kind of woman brought a saddle into a marriage? What kind of woman showed up dressed like a man? No. No. Something was terribly wrong.

Are you ready to read more? 🙂 Be sure to check it out here:

Purchase Links for Taming Julia:

https://www.amazon.com/Taming-Julia-Jodie-Wolfe-ebook/dp/B083L8MDD5/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=taming+julia&qid=1578503989&sr=8-1

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/taming-julia-jodie-wolfe/1136004491?ean=9781522302711

https://pelicanbookgroup.com/ec/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=37_46&sort=&filter_id=671&alpha_filter_id=0

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Jodie_Wolfe_Taming_Julia?id=FH7IDwAAQBAJ

Tune in tomorrow to learn more about the setting for Taming Julia.

Interview with Jules Montgomery — Jodie Wolfe

I’m so excited to welcome author Jodie Wolfe and share this fun interview with her character from her new release, Taming Julia.

Welcome, Jules. That’s an interesting nickname. What is your given name?

Name’s Julia Walker, make that Julia Montgomery. I reckon I haven’t gotten used to the bein’ hitched part yet. I don’t like all that fancy name callin’, so just call me Jules.

I’ve been told you’re a mail-order bride. How did that happen?

I don’t rightly know. My brother told me it was somethin’ I had to do. I trust him on account of his always keepin’ me safe through all the years we’ve been livin’ along the trail. So when he had me marry that Drew fella by proxy, I went along with it.

What were your first impressions of Burrton Springs?

It was my first time to see a town. I was surprised to see a heap of buildings tossed in one place. I never seen that afore. I liked seein’ all the shops. I don’t think I’ll ever get my fill glimpsin’ what’s in each of them.

Were you raised in one place or did you move around?

When I was a wee tyke, before my parents and sister died, we all lived in one place. But then my brother took me on the trail. We never stayed in one place for very long. Haven’t seen many folks until I came to Burrton Springs.

What’s your brother’s name and what’s he like?

Josh Walker and he’s a deputy with the US Marshals. He and I have tracked outlaws for a number of years now. We’ve gotten pretty good at it. He’s always been protective; makin’ sure no harm came to me. I reckon all big brothers are like that.

What kind of losses have you experienced?

Like I said, both my folks and sister died when I was young. And uh, there’s somethin’ else that happened… I don’t rightly feel comforble talkin’ about it though. You can find out about it in my story.

Speaking of your story, I understand Taming Julia releases tomorrow. Can you tell us a little bit about it?

Sure. Here’s what the author came up with on something called a back cover.

In 1875, Kansas bachelor Drew Montgomery’s sole desire is to serve God, but his congregation’s ultimatum that he marry or leave, forces him to advertise for a wife by proxy.

Jules Walker strides into Drew’s life wearing breeches and toting a gun and saddle–more cowboy than bride. After years on the trail, she’s not exactly wife material, but she longs for home and family, and will do anything to ensure Drew never discovers what she really is.

Why should people read your story and find out more about you?

I reckon they can learn more about me and my husband, Drew. It takes some doin’ for us to figure each other’s way,s and we have all kinds of misunderstandings along the way. You’ll find laughter, tears, and adventure in our story. And of course, love too. 🙂

Sounds like a lot of fun. Thanks for stopping by today, Jules.

My pleasure. Thank you kindly for havin’ me.

Be sure to tune in tomorrow for an excerpt of Taming Julia.

January 2020 New Releases!

January 2020 New Releases

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

Contemporary Romance:

A Rancher to Trust by Laurel Blount — After learning his ex-wife isn’t so ex after all, rebel turned rancher Dan Whitlock is determined to prove he’s a changed man…but Bailey Quinn is just as set on finally ending their marriage. When tragedy makes Dan the guardian of little orphaned twins, he and Bailey are drawn back together. But can she forgive the past and open her heart to the family she’s always wanted? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired (Harlequin))

Star Rising by Janet W. Ferguson — Star Youngblood tries to protect her employer, Mrs. Priscilla Kelly, from the woman’s neglectful son, an aspiring flight instructor who has issues with religion, but finds her own heart is at the greatest risk. (Contemporary Romanc, Independently Published)

A Promise to Keep by Melony Teague — Savannah, a widowed research librarian, goes to her twenty year class reunion and gets reacquainted with Michael, a former troublemaker who is now a professional technical rescuer. Before the night is over, a pact between these two old friends will lead them on an adventure into uncharted emotional territory where Michael must confront his past regrets and find the courage to reveal the truth. But can Savannah fly from her sheltered nest and risk her heart on a real-life hero? (Contemporary Romance from Anaiah Press)

General Contemporary:

A Long Time Comin by Robin W. Pearson — To hear Beatrice Agnew tell it, she entered the world with her mouth tightly shut. Just because she finds out she’s dying doesn’t mean she can’t keep it that way. If any of her children have questions about their daddy and the choices she made after he abandoned them, they’d best take it up with Jesus. There’s no room in Granny B’s house for regrets or hand-holding. Or so she thinks. Her granddaughter, Evelyn Lester, shows up on Beatrice’s doorstep anyway, burdened with her own secret baggage. Determined to help her Granny B mend fences with her far-flung brood, Evelyn turns her grandmother’s heart and home inside out. Evelyn’s meddling uncovers a tucked-away box of old letters, forcing the two women to wrestle with their past and present pain as they confront the truth Beatrice has worked a lifetime to hide. (General Contemporary from Tyndale House)

Historical Romance:

Freedom in the Mountain Wind by Misty M. Beller — A young woman faces overwhelming odds to make her father’s dream come true before he dies of lung cancer, but paddling upriver through fierce rapids and fighting hungry grizzlies to follow the Lewis and Clark trail isn’t what terrifies her the most. Beaver Tail endured more than he can stand from the women in his Blackfoot camp, but the last disaster gave him the final shove he needed to join this band of brothers searching for one of their group who’s gone missing. The last thing he expected was to find a white woman and her sick father stranded at the base of a massive waterfall. His plan is to help them carry their oversize canoe and supplies, then leave them to their strange mission. Yet, the more he learns about the pair, the more he realizes his life is about to be derailed—again. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)

Uncharted Promises by Keely Brooke Keith — Sybil Roberts uses the warmth of delicious meals to lift the spirits of road-weary travelers at The Inn at Falls Creek. Her life at the inn would be perfect if she could just get her brothers and mother to move back home. And if she could see Isaac Owens again. He visited the inn once when he interviewed for the farm manager job, and she’s dreamed of his return to Falls Creek ever since. Isaac Owens knows how to run a farm. His family might not have faith in him, but if he succeeds at Falls Creek, he’ll prove them wrong. He arrives at the inn thinking the job is his, but the inn’s senile owner offered the position to another man too. Isaac must spend the winter competing if he wants to win the job… and Sybil’s heart. It will take more than warm meals on cold nights for Sybil and Isaac to find love while working at the isolated inn. (Historical Romance from Edenbrooke Press)

Forever Hidden by Kimberley Woodhouse, Tracie Peterson — Sybil Roberts uses the warmth of delicious meals to lift the spirits of road-weary travelers at The Inn at Falls Creek. Her life at the inn would be perfect if she could just get her brothers and mother to move back home. And if she could see Isaac Owens again. He visited the inn once when he interviewed for the farm manager job, and she’s dreamed of his return to Falls Creek ever since. Isaac Owens knows how to run a farm. His family might not have faith in him, but if he succeeds at Falls Creek, he’ll prove them wrong. He arrives at the inn thinking the job is his, but the inn’s senile owner offered the position to another man too. Isaac must spend the winter competing if he wants to win the job… and Sybil’s heart. It will take more than warm meals on cold nights for Sybil and Isaac to find love while working at the isolated inn. (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])

The Gray Chamber by Grace Hitchcock — On Blackwell Island, New York, a hospital was built to keep its patients from ever leaving. With her late father’s fortune under her uncle’s care until her twenty-fifth birthday in the year 1887, Edyth Foster does not feel pressured to marry or to bow to society’s demands. She freely indulges in eccentric hobbies like fencing and riding her velocipede in her cycling costume about the city for all to see. Finding a loophole in the will, though, her uncle whisks Edyth off to the women’s lunatic asylum just weeks before her birthday. Do any of Edyth’s friends care that she disappeared? At the asylum she meets another inmate, who upon discovering Edyth’s plight, confesses that she is Nellie Bly, an undercover journalist for The World. Will either woman find a way to leave the terrifying island and reclaim her true self? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

Romantic Suspense:

Secret Mountain Hideout by Terri Reed — Staying hidden has kept her alive… But now she’s been found. A remote Colorado mountain town and a fake identity have been Ashley Willis’s safe haven since fleeing after she witnessed a murder—but now the killer has found her trail. Desperate and terrified, she’s prepared to run again…but Deputy Sheriff Chase Fredrick won’t let her. With the lawman by her side, can she face danger head-on…and live long enough to bring a murderer to justice? (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

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

50-50 by Roger Bruner, Contemporary
Shattered Treasure by Cindy Patterson, Romantic Suspense
The Contessa Is Missing by Linda Siebold, Romantic Suspense
The Forever Sky by Janalyn Voigt, Western Romance
Northern Hearts by Laurie Wood, Romantic Suspense

Double Jeopardy — RELEASE DAY ( + Giveaway!)

Welcome to the ninth and final day of fun and excitement, Book Launch Day. So often authors think that writing and publishing a book is a solitary endeavor, but I’ve learned through this process that isn’t the case.

I’d like to give a special shout out to some amazing people who’ve stuck with me through the past year and in recent months.

First, and foremost, to God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Without Him, no story is worth telling.

TimHimo Terrie Wolf, my amazing editor. This has been a learning curve for both of us, and I am sure glad she was on my team.

Denise Weimer, my editor at Smitten Historical Romance, was a gem when it came to getting this book into good shape, helping me trim the word count while bringing the characters alive on the page like they are in my head.

To the interior designers and cover designers at Smitten—thanks! You did a great job.

To my Launch Team, thank you. I couldn’t have gotten the word out nearly as well by myself. Thanks to Janine Wills, Marilyn Turk, Patti Shene, Deb Ledford, Elaine Ferguson, Susan Mathis, Karen Whalen, Ruth Miller, Sandy Berg, Ann Ferri, Kordee Rose, Ilene Harris, Barbara Harrison, Paula Shreckhise, and Sarah Taylor.

To my Launch Team Leader, the fearless Suzanne Norquist—blessings! You have been a true answer to prayer. Always so organized, so willing to do whatever I asked, no matter what.

To those who blessed me early on by reading and reviewing my book, and providing me with an endorsement, thank you. Your words were so kind and so valuable: Tiffany Amber Stockton, Suzanne Norquist, Margaret Mizushima, Mary Davis, Lena Nelson Dooley, and Susan G. Mathis.

To my critique group, Word Crafters, who read the earlier chapters and told me how to fix them. Thanks.

To my husband Patrick, who helped keep me sane when I thought my brain would explode; who cooked when I was under deadline; who did the laundry so I didn’t have to stay up until midnight; who drove me to the far corner of Colorado for research—twice. My undying gratitude and love.

And, of course, to you my followers and hopefully soon-to-be loyal readers: I would write, even if I never sold a single book, because the stories are in there and they have to come out. But taking this journey with you in mind has been a blast, and made the journey even more wonderful. Feel free to contact me anytime at Donna@HiStoryThruTheAges.com

Just because the book has released doesn’t mean the fun is over. Watch for mentions of all the places I’ll be blogging this month and the opportunities to win a free ebook. And look for the book where you buy—email me a picture, and I’ll send you a free ebook.

I will randomly draw from all who leave a comment during the nine days of this promotion to win a print (US only) copy of Double Jeopardy. Which means, even if you missed a day, go back and read the previous posts and leave a comment. You can be entered up to nine times. entries.

 

Available at https://shoplpc.com/double-jeopardy/ Amazon.com, and fine booksellers in your area.

Don’t forget to join us later today, January 7th, at our Facebook event to win more prizes: FB event

About Donna:

Donna lives in Denver with husband Patrick. As a hybrid author, she writes historical suspense under her own name, and contemporary suspense under her alter ego of Leeann Betts, and has been published more than 30 times in novellas and full-length novels. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Writers on the Rock, Sisters In Crime, and Christian Authors Network; facilitates a critique group; and teaches writing classes online and in person. Donna also ghostwrites, edits, and judges in writing contests. She loves history and research, and travels extensively for both. Donna is represented by Terrie Wolf of AKA Literary Management.

www.HiStoryThruTheAges.wordpress.com

www.HiStoryThruTheAges.com Receive a free ebook simply for signing up for our free newsletter!

Facebook: www.Facebook.com/DonnaschlachterAuthor

Twitter: www.Twitter.com/DonnaSchlachter

Books: Amazon: http://amzn.to/2ci5Xqq and Smashwords: http://bit.ly/2gZATjm

What Can Be Online University: https://what-can-be-online-institute.teachable.com/

Double Jeopardy — WHY THIS STORY WILL CHANGE YOU AS A READER ( + Giveaway )

Welcome to the eighth of nine days of fun and excitement leading up to the book launch on January 7th. During this time, you’ll learn more about the book, the characters, and, hopefully, me, too. If you missed the previous posts, check back. There’s a great recipe for biscuits and some fun insights into Zeke and Becky and the villain, as well as my inspiration, history, and setting behind the story. Plus you can still leave a comment each day to get in an extra entry on the drawing.

If you make the biscuits, leave a comment and let us know how they turned out.

Now, on to the reason why this story will change you as a reader.

As readers, we all like to read a good book. One with complex characters, a compelling premise, and a plot woven into the story like spaghetti. Books like that are written and published every day. But for a book to really stick in our heads, to get our hearts racing when we think of it, something else is needed.

I believe that something else is what changes us as readers.

When I think about a book from my childhood, I recall books like Black Beauty and Call of the Wild. Yes, the characters were great, the setting was exciting, and the writing was superb. But what really sticks with me is both told stories of heartbreak and joy, of separation and reunion, or defeat and victory. Throughout these two books in particular, bad things happened for no good reason. People got sick. Died. Animals were mistreated. Lives were shattered.

But then. . .

In the end, all was set right with their world.

When I sit down to write a book, I ask myself, “How bad can things get?” And then I set out to do just that. Putting my characters into more and more danger physically, while also straining their moral judgment, their emotional well-being, and their spiritual journey. Not every character gets off scott-free. Sometimes the journey seems to impair them more than make things right. But that’s life.

In Double Jeopardy, I took a city girl completely out of her element. Or did I? Becky Campbell didn’t really fit into society life in New York, either. She was much more like her father, who she adored. Zeke Graumann believes that his family’s ranch is worth everything, until he meets a girl who shows him that home is where the love is.

And we see other characters who are changed, too. Matilda Campbell, the controlling matriarch of the family, figures out that she can’t always direct every situation, no matter how much money she’s willing to throw at the problem. Even the land title clerk has a change of heart from the ruthless businessman (think of the tax collector’s in the temple during Jesus’ day) to a man with a compassionate heart.

The theme of this book is that we are never truly alone, if we’re willing to give God room in our lives. But that takes a conscious decision. It won’t happen by osmosis. It can’t be forced. It must be a voluntary decision, not because we have nowhere else to turn, but because we do, but we choose God anyway. It took me a lot of years to figure that out, and our second—and third—and fourth-chance God patiently waited for me.

So next time you don’t know what to do or where to go next, remember: The God who pursues is still there.

 

I will randomly draw from all who leave a comment over the next nine days to win a print (US only) copy of Double Jeopardy. Which means, if you stop by every day and leave a comment, you’ll have nine entries.

Available at https://shoplpc.com/double-jeopardy/ Amazon.com, and fine booksellers in your area.

Don’t forget to join us on Launch Day, January 7th, at our Facebook event to win more prizes: FB event

About Donna:

Donna lives in Denver with husband Patrick. As a hybrid author, she writes historical suspense under her own name, and contemporary suspense under her alter ego of Leeann Betts, and has been published more than 30 times in novellas and full-length novels. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Writers on the Rock, Sisters In Crime, and Christian Authors Network; facilitates a critique group; and teaches writing classes online and in person. Donna also ghostwrites, edits, and judges in writing contests. She loves history and research, and travels extensively for both. Donna is represented by Terrie Wolf of AKA Literary Management.

www.HiStoryThruTheAges.wordpress.com

www.HiStoryThruTheAges.com Receive a free ebook simply for signing up for our free newsletter!

Facebook: www.Facebook.com/DonnaschlachterAuthor

Twitter: www.Twitter.com/DonnaSchlachter

Books: Amazon: http://amzn.to/2ci5Xqq and Smashwords: http://bit.ly/2gZATjm

What Can Be Online University: https://what-can-be-online-institute.teachable.com/

Double Jeopardy — THE SETTING FOR THE STORY ( + Giveaway )

Welcome to the seventh of nine days of fun and excitement leading up to the book launch on January 7th. During this time, you’ll learn more about the book, the characters, and, hopefully, me, too. If you missed the previous posts, check back. There’s a great recipe for biscuits and some fun insights into Zeke and Becky and the villain, as well as my inspiration for the book and the history behind the story. Plus you can still leave a comment each day to get in an extra entry on the drawing.

If you make the biscuits, leave a comment and let us know how they turned out.

Now, on to the setting of the story.

When trying to decide where to set the story, I really had three criteria: it had to be in Colorado, because I wanted to be able to enter it into local writing contests that required a state-based setting; it had to be based on a place I’d actually visited and liked; and I didn’t want it set in a place that others had written a lot about.

When it came to silver in Colorado, many books have been set in and around Leadville, Cripple Creek, or Pike’s Peak. I wanted something different. A place with character that mirrored my characters. A setting that would actually be a character in the story, putting constraints and pressures on my characters and on the plot.

As I do with most of my books, I made up the town and the geographic area. But when I visited the Alamosa area, saw the great palisade mountains, the wide open valleys with green grass and trees, and met some of the folks who live in the area, I knew I’d found my setting.

Travel up a box canyon or two and follow its winding trail to a place that absolutely could be a silver mine. Imagine riding through the belly-deep grasses when the sun is shining down, and you’ll be where Zeke is going to build his house. Wander along a stream and imagine some old timers panning for gold. And that cluster of buildings over there? No doubt a ghost town long since abandoned.

So the next time you take a trip and find yourself off the beaten path, stop, look around, and ask yourself, “Could I set a story here?”

 

I will randomly draw from all who leave a comment over the next nine days to win a print (US only) copy of Double Jeopardy. Which means, if you stop by every day and leave a comment, you’ll have nine entries.

Available at https://shoplpc.com/double-jeopardy/ Amazon.com, and fine booksellers in your area.

Don’t forget to join us on Launch Day, January 7th, at our Facebook event to win more prizes: FB event

About Donna:

Donna lives in Denver with husband Patrick. As a hybrid author, she writes historical suspense under her own name, and contemporary suspense under her alter ego of Leeann Betts, and has been published more than 30 times in novellas and full-length novels. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Writers on the Rock, Sisters In Crime, and Christian Authors Network; facilitates a critique group; and teaches writing classes online and in person. Donna also ghostwrites, edits, and judges in writing contests. She loves history and research, and travels extensively for both. Donna is represented by Terrie Wolf of AKA Literary Management.

www.HiStoryThruTheAges.wordpress.com

www.HiStoryThruTheAges.com Receive a free ebook simply for signing up for our free newsletter!

Facebook: www.Facebook.com/DonnaschlachterAuthor

Twitter: www.Twitter.com/DonnaSchlachter

Books: Amazon: http://amzn.to/2ci5Xqq and Smashwords: http://bit.ly/2gZATjm

What Can Be Online University: https://what-can-be-online-institute.teachable.com/

Double Jeopardy — THE HISTORY BEHIND THE STORY ( + Giveaway)

Welcome to the sixth of nine days of fun and excitement leading up to the book launch on January 7th. During this time, you’ll learn more about the book, the characters, and, hopefully, me, too. If you missed the previous posts, check back. There’s a great recipe for biscuits and some fun insights into Zeke and Becky and the villain, as well as my inspiration for the book. Plus you can still leave a comment each day to get in an extra entry on the drawing.

If you make the biscuits, leave a comment and let us know how they turned out.

Now, on to the history behind the story.

When most people think about opening up the Wild West, they picture cowboys, wagon trains, and, of course, the gold rush. And all of those would be true and very important to the reasons why folks left the relative comforts of the East—that being everything east of the Mississippi—to head into the Great Unknown.

Sure, there were many other reasons for the Westward Migration, including the promise of cheap land—or land at all, since so many lived in sharecropper or tenement situations in the east. There were also those scoundrels on the run from the law, and in the years just prior to the setting of my story, 1880, the country went through a civil war. So folks headed west in hope of maintaining slaves, in hopes of escaping slavery, and simply in hopes of escaping the whole war thing.

Some were adventurers, like Becky’s father, who simply couldn’t let a horizon stay in front of him but wanted to see beyond every mountain and every body of water separating him from “over there.”

The Colorado Gold Rush started in 1858 and lasted until around 1861, and brought thousands of miners, ancillary workers such as drovers, liverymen, blacksmiths, prostitutes, saloon keepers, and swindlers. However, apart from a few areas such as Cripple Creek, which saw its biggest mining deep into the 1890s, most of the gold petered out as quick as it was found.

An interesting tidbit is that silver was discovered because so many were looking for gold. Exactly twenty years after gold was first discovered, silver was found in the area of Leadville and covering a three-hundred-mile swath from the San Juan Mountains to the Foothills west of Denver.

Robert Campbell, in the book, learns of this find, and heads for southwest Colorado, intent on getting in on the ground floor of silver mining in the area. Little did he know that the wealth he counted on would evaporate less than fifteen years later when the government stopped minting silver dollars, a decision that increased gold prices and sent silver prices into the basement.

 

I will randomly draw from all who leave a comment over the next nine days to win a print (US only) copy of Double Jeopardy. Which means, if you stop by every day and leave a comment, you’ll have nine entries.

Available at https://shoplpc.com/double-jeopardy/ Amazon.com, and fine booksellers in your area.

Don’t forget to join us on Launch Day, January 7th, at our Facebook event to win more prizes: FB event

About Donna:

Donna lives in Denver with husband Patrick. As a hybrid author, she writes historical suspense under her own name, and contemporary suspense under her alter ego of Leeann Betts, and has been published more than 30 times in novellas and full-length novels. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Writers on the Rock, Sisters In Crime, and Christian Authors Network; facilitates a critique group; and teaches writing classes online and in person. Donna also ghostwrites, edits, and judges in writing contests. She loves history and research, and travels extensively for both. Donna is represented by Terrie Wolf of AKA Literary Management.

www.HiStoryThruTheAges.wordpress.com

www.HiStoryThruTheAges.com Receive a free ebook simply for signing up for our free newsletter!

Facebook: www.Facebook.com/DonnaschlachterAuthor

Twitter: www.Twitter.com/DonnaSchlachter

Books: Amazon: http://amzn.to/2ci5Xqq and Smashwords: http://bit.ly/2gZATjm

What Can Be Online University: https://what-can-be-online-institute.teachable.com/