Category Archives: Uncategorized

What Kind Of Research Did You Have To Do? — Tisha Martin

Today I’m happy to welcome author Tisha Martin as she shares talks about her writing research.

Historical research is intimidating. Imagine sifting through pages and pages of information, not knowing what to put in or what to leave out.

When I was doing research for my WWII historical fiction novel, I ran into the necessity of needing to know what school-age students ate for lunch. I didn’t think it would be too much different from today (minus the fast food), but I was unprepared for some of the surprising facts surrounding the school lunch.

As I was perusing a cookbook from the 1940s, I was amused to see how precise each section was, and especially the chapter on “The School Lunch.” According to The American Woman’s Cookbook of 1940, published for the Culinary Arts Institute, a child’s school lunch should contain all of the essentials so that he/she will be able to properly attend to schoolwork. On page 60, the American Woman’s Cookbook states:

1. [The school lunch] should be abundant in amount for a hungry, healthy child. A little too much is better than too little.

2. It should be chosen with regard to the nutritive needs of the child and in relation to the whole day’s food.

3. It should be clean, appetizing, wholesome and attractive.

Attractive? Now that was an interesting detail! Each lunch item was wrapped individually in wax paper, with the heavier items on bottom, and placed inside the lunch box in the order the food was to be eaten first. I wonder, did students eat what was on top first? Would you?

What stood out to me was that this small chapter devoted to the school lunch emphasized the value of the meal, made “carefully and well” (60). Mothers packed one of every food group in each school lunch. Fruits and vegetables, the book said, “are not always easy to include in the school lunch, yet if the child is to be well nourished, some way must be devised to get them in” (61). Perhaps it was hard to get fresh fruits and vegetables during the winter time, but that’s why Victory gardens and canning were vital to the wartime American families. I appreciated the determination presented in this chapter to find a way no matter what.

It may seem strange to learn a lesson from reading a chapter about preparing a student’s school lunch, but I’m glad there was a time in history when people cared about even the smallest details. And that’s also why I write historical fiction.

Even though our lunches may not be wrapped in wax paper and placed in a tin box, I think we’re getting back to the organic way of eating, but would you want to try a peanut butter and onion sandwich? Or how about a peanut butter and pickle sandwich?

 

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About Tisha Martin

Tisha Martin is a writer, editor, and owns way too many vintage hats. When not writing or editing, she’s connecting with friends on social media and blogging for others and on her website http://www.tishamartin.com. She’s also excited to serve on faculty at Breathe Writer’s Conference in October.

 

 

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The First Men to Deliver Mail Through Dust Storms, Pouring Rain, Winter Blizzards, and Other Dangers — Kelly F. Barr

Today I’m happy to welcome author Kelly F. Barr as she shares some fascinating history and insights about her upcoming novel.

In 1860 as settlers stretched from east to west across the United States they longed for words from loved ones living across the country. William H. Russell of the freighting company of Russell, Majors & Waddell came up with an idea to advertise their business. They had vast experience hauling cargo and passengers, and they already provided mail and stagecoach services between the Missouri River and Salt Lake City, when Russell’s idea was born.

Russell thought that a horse relay, a Pony Express, would promote the company and gather congressional support to win the mail contract for a central overland route. He received backing from Senator Gwin, a California Senator.

Much to the dismay of Russell’s partners, he committed to opening the express mail service on the central route in April 1860, and so the three partners started a new firm, the Central Overland California & Pike’s Peak Express Company (C.O.C.&P.P.) – the official name of the Pony Express.

C.O.C.& P.P. established home stations every seventy-five to one hundred miles (to house riders between runs) and smaller relay stations every ten to fifteen miles (to provide riders with fresh horses).

Many were upgraded from existing stagecoach stations, but some stations were built from scratch. The operation expanded from eighty-six stations on the Pony’s first run to one hundred forty-seven stations by mid-1861.

Hired riders ranged in age from teenagers to about forty, though the preference was for fellows not over eighteen who were orphans. Riders faced many dangers from extreme weather to trouble with wild animals to Indian attacks.

I got the idea to write a story about a Pony Express rider when our youngest son and I were reading books about the Pony Express because he was assigned to write a Historical Fiction story for a writer’s group he was part of. I loved the idea of the Old West and cowboys and remembered how much I loved the “Young Riders” television show that ran from 1989 – 1992. And so a story idea was born.

In my work in progress (WIP), which will be my first novel, my main male character is a Pony Express rider, Johnny Reason, who not only faces the dangers of riding for the Pony Express, but also the dangers of falling in love. He meets his lady love, Erin Byrne, in St. Joseph, Missouri and is taken aback by her strong will and bold talk. Could a relationship between the two of them work? Does he stand a chance against the other men of St. Joseph who would like to win her hand?

Though loosely based on a real-life Pony Express rider, there is not enough information available on any of the Pony Express riders to write an entire novel about one particular rider. Therefore I have taken artistic liberties in writing my story, which I hope to have completed and published by late summer 2019. However, because of my love of history, I promise history lovers will not be disappointed. I do my best to include as much true history as I possibly can.

 

About Kelly F. Barr

Kelly has published poetry, homeschool articles, and a devotional. She is a member of LCW and ACFW. Kelly is also a freelance editor. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, three sons, and their Labrador Retriever.

Links:

Website: https://kellyfbarr.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/historicalfiction1/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KellyFBarr

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/

 

 

Sharon Rene — Author Spotlight

Today I’m happy to welcome author Sharon Rene for an author spotlight.

— What genre(s) do you write in and why?

I enjoy writing in a variety of genres, and A Mixed Bag of God’s Grace gave me the opportunity to do just that. The short stories are a combination of biblical, historical and contemporary. I write because I enjoy creating a unique world and escaping reality for a few minutes. In all my writing, fiction or non-fiction, children or young adult I strive to honor God and to shine His light in a world that desperately needs Him. But I know this can’t be done if the book is not entertaining and fun for children to read.

— Who is your ideal reader?

When writing this book, I pictured a parent with three children of various ages and genders. The oldest boy liked historical, but the girl preferred contemporary, while the little one loved the excitement of the Bible stories. My ideal reader is a child who loves all three genres, but my ideal parent is one who realizes that this book will please every child in the house.

— What are you currently working on?

I am currently writing a Young Adult Speculative series. In 2062, a group of teens are embroiled rescuing kidnapped Christian students and stopping a politician’s assassination. I got hooked on Young Adult the minute I read The Hunger Games. My books are not nearly as violent or sensual as some of the secular YA books, but they are just as exciting. I hope this series will make an excellent alternative for teens who enjoy reading intriguing dystopian novels but do not enjoy the immoral themes in some of the popular YA fiction.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

A Mixed Bag of God’s Grace is a collection of short stories for children ages six to eleven. Children will witness the confusion at the Tower of Babel and the apostle Peter’s miraculous rescue from prison as told by a charming cat and mouse duo. The reader travels to England where they encounter Queen Elizabeth I, Grania the she-pirate and a young boy who does not want to become a knight. In the contemporary section, several young Christians deal with the challenges of our modern society.

Thanks to an excellent suggestion by one of my critique partners, I’ve included a short devotion after each story. This also provides a time for parents to minister to their children.

I would love for you to comment now and tell me what you think of the concept of “something for every child” in this book. Will this help supply a “reading” need for families or not?

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sharon Rene

Sharon Rene’s book, A Mixed Bag of God’s Grace, is a collection of short stories for children, biblical, historical and contemporary. Currently she’s working on a Christian Young Adult series. She’d love for you to connect with her on her website www.sharonreneauthor.com to learn more about her Divine Destiny series. Sharon Rene strives to honor God in all her writings and help people know Him better.

Links:

Purchase Link for A Mixed Bag of God’s Grace

https://www.amazon.com/Mixed-Bag-Gods-Grace/dp/1946920436/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1527540028&sr=1-1&keywords=a+mixed+bag+of+god%27s+grace

Website: www.sharonreneauthor.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/sharonreneauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SharonRene4

June 2018 New Releases!

June 2018 New Releases

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

 

Contemporary Romance:

The Sleuth’s Miscalculation by Kimberly Rose Johnson — Librarian Nancy Daley loves a good mystery and enjoys moonlighting as a consultant for the sheriff’s department. When license plates go missing in Tipton County, she’s on the case. But she’s been partnered with the new deputy, Carter Malone, and he’s not interested in her help. When the minor case they are working morphs into something more, things quickly go from harmless to scary. Can they solve the mystery before it’s too late, and more importantly, what will they do about their growing attraction? (Contemporary Romance from Mountain Brook Ink)

Falling for the Cowgirl by Tina Radcliffe — Hiring Amanda “AJ” McAlester as his assistant at the Big Heart Ranch isn’t foreman Travis Maxwell’s first choice—but his sisters insist she’s perfect for the job. And AJ’s determined to prove she’s just as qualified as any man. But with money on the line, AJ and her innovative ideas could put him at risk of losing everything…including his heart. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Enduring Love by Toni Shiloh — Belle Peterson is hiding a secret. Seeking sanctuary in the small town of Maple Run, she’s intent on starting her life over—one she hopes honors Christ. The plan was going great until an undeniable attraction to Micah Campbell has her wondering if she’s changed at all. Can love really conquer all or will Belle’s past be too much for Micah to handle? (Contemporary Romance from Celebrate Lit)

General Contemporary:

A Firm Place to Stand by Lori Altebaumer — Out of options, Maribel takes a safe enough seeming job, but soon finds herself in the middle of a murder, a search for a missing girl, and a race to find a lost treasure. (General Contemporary, Independently Published)

Kuwaiti Seeker by Jim Carroll — A young Kuwaiti Muslim searches for truth in Islam, but God finds him anyway. (General Contemporary, Crosslink Publishing)

General Historical:

Where the Fire Falls by Karen Barnett — Watercolorist Olivia Rutherford has shed her humble beginnings to fashion her image as an avant-garde artist to appeal to the region’s wealthy art-collectors. When she lands a lucrative contract painting illustrations of Yosemite National Park for a travel magazine, including its nightly one-of-a-kind Firefall event, she hopes the money will lift Olivia and her sisters out of poverty. After false accusations cost him everything, former minister Clark Johnson has found purpose as a backcountry guide in this natural cathedral of granite and trees. Now he’s faced with the opportunity to become a National Parks Ranger, but is it his true calling? As Clark opens Olivia’s eyes to the wonders of Yosemite, she discovers the people are as vital to the park’s story as its vistas–a revelation that may bring her charade to an end. (General Historical from Waterbrook/Multnomah [Random House])

Historical Romance:

Orphan Train Sweetheart by Mollie Campbell — Spring Hill is the orphan train’s last stop—a final chance for Simon McKay to find homes for his young charges. When his fellow placing agent quits, Simon enlists help from the frontier town’s pretty schoolteacher. Cecilia Holbrook is as intriguing as she is independent, yet Simon’s devotion to his mission will soon call him back to New York. Long overshadowed by her flirtatious sister, Cecilia is done with waiting for a man to choose her. She’s already fighting the school board to keep her position. Now she’s struggling not to lose her heart to Simon. Could their shared concern for the children show them how to follow a new dream, together? (Historical Romance Love Inspired [Harlequin])

A Love Restored by Kelly Goshorn — She was nothing like the woman he’d envisioned for his bride, but he was everything she’d ever dreamed of-until a promise from his past threatened their future. (Historical Romance from Pelican Book Group)

The Road to Magnolia Glen by Pam Hillman — In 1792, Quinn O’Shea leaves Ireland for Natchez, Mississippi, ready to force his oldest brother to reclaim the role of family guardian so Quinn can be free to pursue his own adventures. While aboard ship, a run-in with tenacious yet kind Kiera Young and her two Irish sisters lands him in the role of reluctant savior. Upon arriving in the colonies, Kiera realizes her intended groom never existed and a far more sinister deal has been negotiated for her and her sisters. Quinn offers to escort his charges safely to Breeze Hill Plantation and his brother’s care, fully intending to seek his freedom elsewhere. But the longer he remains, the greater his feelings toward Kiera grow and the more he comes to realize true freedom might be found in sacrifice. (Historical Romance from Tyndale House)

A Defense of Honor by Kristi Ann Hunter — When Katherine “Kit” FitzGilbert turned her back on London society more than a decade ago, she determined never to set foot in a ballroom again. But when business takes her to London and she’s forced to run for her life, she stumbles upon not only a glamorous ballroom but also Graham, Lord Wharton. Graham, intent on finding his friend’s missing sister, is convinced Kit knows more about the girl than she’s telling. After meeting Graham, Kit finds herself wishing things could have been different, but long ago, she dedicated herself to helping women escape the same scorn that drove her from London and raising the innocent children caught in the crossfire. As much as she desperately wishes to tell Graham everything, revealing the truth isn’t worth putting him and everyone she loves in danger. (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])

More Than Meets the Eye by Karen Witemeyer — Many consider Evangeline Hamilton cursed. Orphaned at a young age and possessing a pair of mismatched eyes–one bright blue, the other dark brown–Eva has fought to find her way in a world that constantly rejects her. She’s made a safe haven with Seth and Zach, two former orphans she now counts as brothers. Seeking justice against the gambler who stole his birthright and destroyed his family, Logan Fowler arrives in 1880s Pecan Gap, Texas, to confront Zach Hamilton, the hardened criminal responsible for his father’s death. Instead, he discovers a man not much older than himself with an unusual family. When Zach’s sister, Evangeline, insists on dousing Logan with sunshine every time their paths cross, Logan finds his quest completely derailed. Who is truly responsible for his lost legacy, and will restoring the past satisfy if it means forfeiting a future with Evangeline? (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])

Romantic Suspense:

Justice Betrayed by Patricia Bradley — It’s Elvis Week in Memphis, and homicide Detective Rachel Sloan isn’t sure her day could get any stranger when aging Elvis impersonator Vic Vegas asks to see her. But when he produces a photo of her murdered mother with four Elvis impersonators–one of whom had also been murdered soon after the photo was taken–she’s forced to reevaluate. When yet another person in the photo is murdered, Rachel suddenly has her hands full investigating three cases. Lieutenant Boone Callahan offers his help, but their checkered romantic past threatens to get in the way. Can they solve the cases before the murderer makes Rachel victim number four? (Romantic Suspense from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group)

A Vast and Gracious Tide by Lisa Carter — After losing his closest friends and now his girlfriend to the ravages of war, Caden Wallis arrives on the Outer Banks for one final mission–to thank the woman who sent him a quilt while he was recuperating at Walter Reed Army Hospital. McKenna Dockery knows about loss. She juggles the family business, her ailing father, and an aging grandmother. Much to Caden’s surprise, she–not some elderly lady–is the quilter. The quilt was something she’d begun for her future husband but shipped to the military hospital after the tragic death of her fiancé. When a man is found snared in a net and murdered on McKenna’s property, she and Caden must work together to bring the killer to justice. (Romantic Suspense from Gilead Publishing)

Ransom of the Heart by Susan Page Davis — Police Captain Harvey Larson’s exhausting day takes a big detour when a teenaged girl approaches him at the diner, announcing that she is his daughter. When Harvey is on his way home from work a few hours later, his sister-in-law Abby calls him. She went to meet her husband for a dinner date and found a dead man on the floor at his place of business, and Peter has vanished. Harvey calls in his detectives and turns his car around. It’s going to be a long night, too. Once again, Harvey depends on his wits, his faith, and his squad, the Priority Unit, to solve a tough case and carry out Maine Justice. (Romantic Suspense from Tea Tin Press)

Speculative:

Song of Leira by Gillian Bronte Adams — Reeling from her disastrous foray into the Pit, Birdie, the young Songkeeper, retreats into the mountains. But in the war-torn north, kneeling on bloodstained battlefields to sing the souls of the dying to rest, her resolve to accept her calling is strengthened. Such evil cannot go unchallenged. Torn between oaths to protect the Underground runners and to rescue his friend from the slave camps, Ky Huntyr enlists Birdie’s aid. Their mission to free the captives unravels the horrifying thread connecting the legendary spring, Artair’s sword, and the slave camps. But the Takhran’s schemes are already in motion. Powerful singers have arisen to lead his army—singers who can shake the earth and master the sea—and monsters rampage across the land. As Leira falters on the verge of defeat, the Song bids her rise to battle, and the Songkeeper must answer. (Speculative High Fantasy from Enclave Publishing)

Jodie Wolfe — Author Spotlight

Today I’m happy to welcome author Jodie Wolfe for an author spotlight. Read through to the end to find out how you can enter to win the giveaway.

— What genre(s) do you write in and why?

I predominantly write historical romance, although I also have written homeschooling articles and devotions. I guess I fell in love with historical romance when I was a young girl reading and watching Little House on the Prairie. At the time, I wasn’t crazy about history, but I guess it still got into my blood. 🙂

— What is your favorite part of writing?

My favorite part of writing is the creating process. Researching, breathing life into characters, and watching the story unroll. It’s a real joy to write and create a story world.

— What is your least favorite part of writing?

Most definitely the editing process! I’d much rather write than edit. 🙂

Thanks for allowing me to visit today. I’d love to give away an ebook of my new book, To Claim Her Heart. I mentioned that I wasn’t crazy about history when I was a kid, do you have a certain time period you really enjoy? If so, why?

ABOUT THE BOOK:

In 1893, on the eve of the great race for land, Benjamin David prays for God to guide him to his ‘Promised Land. Finding property and preaching to the lost are his only ways of honoring his deceased fiancée. He hasn’t counted on Elmer (Elsie) Smith claiming the same plot and refusing to leave. Not only is she a burr in his side, but she is full of the homesteading know-how he is sadly lacking.

Obtaining a claim in the Cherokee Strip Land Run is Elsie Smith’s only hope for survival, and not just any plot, she has a specific one in mind. The land’s not only a way to honor her pa and his life, but also to provide a livelihood for herself. She’s willing to put in whatever it takes to get that piece of property, and Elsie’s determined to keep it.

Her bitterness is what protects her, and she has no intentions of allowing that preacher to lay claim to her land . . . or her heart.

Chapter One

Competition should be relegated to the male species. Proper young ladies should avoid a situation which permits rivalry, particularly involving the male species. If unavoidable, allow the gentleman to win. Be above reproach in this manner.

Mrs. Wigglesworth’s Essential Guide to Proper Etiquette and Manners of Refined Society

September 15, 1893, Kiowa, Kansas—Border of the Cherokee Strip

“Elmer Smith?”

For once in all of her days, Elsie welcomed the name Pa had insisted on when her life began and Ma’s had ended.

“Is that you, son?”

“Ain’t your son.” Ain’t no one’s son. Elsie shifted her Stetson lower to ward off the man’s scrutiny.

“There’s no need to get your prickles up. Do you testify you’re at least twenty-one years of age and head of your household?”

Elsie nodded and bit back a retort.

“Then sign here.” The man shoved a paper across the makeshift desk. Beads of moisture dotted his upper lip.

She scrawled her name on the line. The page crinkled when she folded and shoved it into her shirt pocket, along with the copy of The Homestead Laws and Pa’s hand-drawn map.

“Get out of the way, kid.” A scraggly looking fellow jabbed into her shoulder.

Elsie stepped out of line, glaring at him. He ignored her and turned his attention to the clerk.

She elbowed through a crowd of men. How had her small town swelled to so many folks? Thankfully there were few she recognized, or, more so, who could recognize her. The less who knew her gender, the better. She certainly didn’t need no man to help her get the land she and Pa had dreamed about.

Elsie scooted her hat up and swiped at the sweat on her forehead before dropping it back into place, scrunching the thick braid she’d pinned up three days prior. Hefting her saddlebags to her opposite shoulder, she hiked the short distance to the livery and retrieved Buster. A short ride would clear her head and prepare her for what lay ahead.

Dust swirled and nearly choked Elsie as she rode in the opposite direction of the throngs, to see the old farm one last time.

Acrid smoke filled her lungs. Nearby fires, to deter Sooners from entering the strip before the race began, burned in the west, but not out of control.

Elsie urged Buster, careful not to tire him. Everything hinged on finding the land tomorrow.

Everything.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jodie Wolfe

Jodie Wolfe creates novels where hope and quirky meet. The power of story to influence lives and change hearts is what motivates her to weave tales that tell of the Savior’s faithfulness and forgiveness. She’s been a semi-finalist and finalist in various writing contests and is a member of ACFW and RWA. When not writing she enjoys spending time with her husband in Pennsylvania, reading, walking, and being a Grammie. Learn more at www.jodiewolfe.com.

Links:

Purchase Link for To Claim Her Heart: https://www.amazon.com/Claim-Her-Heart-Jodie-Wolfe/dp/1946016470/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1525790723&sr=8-1&keywords=to+claim+her+heart

Website: https://www.jodiewolfe.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Jodie-Wolfe-553400191384913

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JodieAWolfe

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/JodieAWolfe

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15220520.Jodie_Wolfe

Purchase Link for Mrs. Wigglesworth’s Essential Guide to Proper Etiquette and Manners of Refined Society:https://www.amazon.com/Wigglesworths-Essential-Etiquette-Manners-Refined-ebook/dp/B07CMWB8KB/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1525963859&sr=8-4&keywords=jodie+wolfe

A Legend Brought to Life — Patti Shene

Today I’m happy to welcome author Pattie Shene as she shares some fascinating history about a legendary man.

On Christmas eve 1809 in Madison County, Kentucky, a child was born to Lindsey and Rebecca Carson and given the name Christopher Houston Carson. This young man would grow up to be one of the most notorious legends in the west, the famous “Kit” Carson.

Kit encountered tragedy at a young age when his father was killed by a falling tree when Kit was barely nine.. He had a price on his head while still in his teens, when he ran away from an apprenticeship with a saddle maker who offered a reward of one-cent for the return of the boy in a local paper.

He probably never saw the notice, for he had joined a wagon train that took him to the west he yearned to explore. Kit’s many occupations in his younger years included cook, interpreter, and teamster for a copper mine, but his notoriety stems from his skills as a trapper, mountain guide, Indian agent, and United States Army Officer. He was the subject of many dime novels that launched him to legendary fame.

Kit was unable to read or write for most of his life, but his ability to master languages was extraordinary. He knew some French, but was fluent in Spanish and ten Indian languages, including Indian sign language.

His first marriage to an Arapahoe Indian woman, Was-nibe (Singing Grass), ended in tragedy when she died in childbirth with their second child. The child died tragically at a young age when she fell into a kettle of boiling soap. A second marriage to a Cheyenne woman was short-lived with no children involved. Kit later married a socially prominent woman from New Mexico, Josefa Jaramillo. Although Kit was in his early thirties and his bride barely into her teens, the two enjoyed a happy marriage that produced seven children.

John Carson, a park ranger at Bent’s Fort near La Junta, Colorado for the past twelve years, is the grandson of Kit’s youngest son. He admits to a degree of fascination for the history that surrounds him at Bent’s Fort, knowing his great grandfather hunted for the fort some 175 years ago.

When asked what characteristic he admires most about his great grandfather, John expresses pride in Kit’s fierce independence and his undying loyalty. He relates how Kit, upon completing scouting duties for two expeditions for Lieutenant John C. Fremont, told the Lieutenant “all you have to do is holler” if Fremont ever needed him again. When Fremont sent word by way of a messenger from Bent’s Fort, requesting his services for another expedition, Kit sold the ranch he had built up near Cimarron, taking a considerable loss on the sale, to keep his word.

John’s great grandfather, the famous Kit Carson, did not meet the stereotype of many tough and crude mountain men of the era. He enjoyed a smoke, but seldom drank, never to excess, and exercised a gentle tongue that never produced curse words.

Kit and his wife Josefa made their final home in Boggsville, Colorado, where he served as Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the Colorado Territory. He was in poor health when he traveled to Washington D.C. to negotiate a treaty for the Ute Indians. Shortly after his return home, his wife died unexpectedly, devastating Kit. He sought medical care at nearby Fort Lyon for his own ailing condition and died 150 years ago today on May 23, 1868, in the quarters of Surgeon General Tilton.

The quarters where Kit Carson died was a rock and wood building at the time of his death. Several years later, when the former western frontier U.S Cavalry Fort became the property of the Veterans Bureau, designated as a neuropsychiatric Veterans Administration hospital, the rocks were used to construct a museum, which later became the Kit Carson Chapel. Many weddings and funerals were performed there, but the chapel eventually fell into disrepair.

In 2007, after local support of the project and assistance from a Colorado state senator, the chapel was reopened to visitors. Fort Lyon now serves homeless men and women, but the chapel can be easily located just inside the Fort Lyon gate at the end of Highway 183, just off of Highway 50, about 85 miles east of Pueblo, Colorado.

The legacy of Kit Carson lives on in this area of Colorado through the pride of his descendants and the restoration of the historic building that preserves his memory.

About Patti

When Patti Shene brought a flaming “36” home on a report card for a mid-term exam history grade in High School, she decided to hate the subject forever. However, since her move to Colorado over forty years ago, she has slowly developed a fascination for the rich history of the old west that permeates the southeastern corner of the state where she resides.

Patti maintains two blogs, Patti’s Porch and The Over 50 Writer on her website www.pattishene.com and hosts a blog talk radio show, Step Into the Light.

 

Waiting… Not for the Faint of Heart — Linda Shenton Matchett

Today I’m happy to welcome author Linda Shenton Matchett as she shares about her new release, Love’s Harvest, and some lessons she’s been learning.

As I write this I’m sitting in the car by the bay with my dog. It’s a warm, sunny day, but I’m having trouble concentrating on the beauty because the reason we’re here is that prospective buyers are looking at my house. For the second time.

My thoughts are swirling. Will they make us an offer? If so, when? Will it be acceptable? Will we be able to find an affordable house we like? Will we be able to get everything packed up in time to relocate? Will we find a mover?

Do you see how quickly my mind skipped to the end? That happens with me a lot. I get so focused on the destination that I fail to experience the journey, to learn from the waiting.

Our home has been on the market for just under ten months. Fortunately, I’ve been so busy with my day job and my writing career, I haven’t had time to obsess about the house. But school (where I work) is winding down, and I don’t have as many deadlines, so now I have time to indulge in worrying. 🙂

Are you like me? Do you run ahead of God and beckon for him to catch up? Do you complain about your current situation? Do you fret because something isn’t fixed or doesn’t happen when you think it should? Because of my personal struggle with worry and impatience, I like to explore those themes in my writing.

Love’s Harvest is a modern retelling of the book of Ruth, a story filled with waiting. First, there is a famine that sends Naomi’s family to another country. How patient were they waiting until they could go home? Then Naomi’s husband and boys pass away. How patient was she in looking for a solution? Then she and Ruth return to Israel, but there is more waiting while the women figure out how to support themselves. Then there is the whole scheme in getting Boaz to marry Ruth, and the ladies again had to wait while Boaz worked out all the kinks to the situation. But in the end, God was glorified, and Ruth and Naomi found joy.

My prayer for you is that you will learn to rest in God’s will and His timing, knowing everything will work out for the best, even if it’s a best you don’t understand.

“But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31 (ESV)

About her book:

Love’s Harvest

Noreen Hirsch loses everything including her husband and two sons. Then her adopted country goes to war with her homeland. Has God abandoned her?

Rosa Hirsch barely adjusts to being a bride before she is widowed. She gives up her citizenship to accompany her mother-in-law to her home country. Can Rosa find acceptance among strangers who hate her belligerent nation?

Basil Quincey is rich beyond his wildest dreams, but loneliness stalks him. Can he find a woman who loves him and not his money?

Three people. One God who can raise hope from the ashes of despair.

 

About Linda

Linda Shenton Matchett is an author, journalist, and history geek. A native of Baltimore, Maryland, she was born a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry and has lived in historic places most of her life. A member of ACFW, RWA, and Sisters In Crime, Linda is a volunteer docent at the Wright Museum of World War II, and a trustee for her local public library. Receive a free book Devotions from a Writer when you sign up for her newsletter: http://lindashentonmatchett.us14.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=d17baf6b86956d1e6c82ecc6d&id=0680bc17a9

Social Media links:
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May 2018 New Releases!

May 2018 New Releases

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

 

Children’s:

Feebs to the Rescue by Kathy J. Perry — Feebs the kitten is new to the farm. She’s a long way from the farmhouse and doesn’t know her way home in the dark. Her new friend, Ollie the dog, needs help. Can she find the courage to lead a night rescue? (Children’s from Chickadee Words, LLC)

Nibbler and Captain Make Peace by Kathy J. Perry — Nibbler the beaver works hard to keep his lodge and dam perfectly patched. A river otter knocks a hole in his great work. Now he’s so angry, he could almost spit nails. Can he learn how to handle his anger? (Children’s from Chickadee Words, LLC)

Rascal’s Trip by Kathy J. Perry — Rascal the raccoon is sorry he ignored the warning signs He’s surprised by a whirlwind and he’s taken for the ride of his life. Now it’s up to the Bandana Buddies to help him learn the importance of thinking ahead. Can he stay out of trouble long enough to get back home? (Children’s from Chickadee Words, LLC)

Contemporary Romance:

Solo Tu: Only You by Narelle Atkins — Can two high-school teachers, a girl from Tuscany and a boy from Australia, risk everything for love? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

The Theory of Happily Ever After by Kristin Billerbeck — According to Dr. Maggie Maguire, happiness is serious–serious science, that is. But science can’t always account for life’s anomalies, like why her fiancé dumped her for a silk-scarf acrobat and how the breakup sent Maggie spiraling into an extended ice cream-fueled chick flick binge. Concerned that she might never pull herself out of this nosedive, Maggie’s friends book her as a speaker on a “New Year, New You” cruise in the Gulf of Mexico. Maggie wonders if she’s qualified to teach others about happiness when she can’t muster up any for herself. But when a handsome stranger on board insists that smart women can’t ever be happy, Maggie sets out to prove him wrong. Along the way she may discover that happiness has far less to do with the head than with the heart. (Contemporary Romance, Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group)

Hometown Reunion by Lisa Carter — Widowed former Green Beret Jaxon Pruitt comes home to face his toughest battle: reconnecting with his toddler son. He also makes an unwitting enemy of childhood friend Darcy Parks when he takes over the kayak shop Darcy hoped to buy! For little Brody’s sake, she’ll stay until summer’s end. But could a growing connection turn their temporary truce into an unexpected forever? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Room on the Porch Swing by Amy Clipston — When her best friend Savilla dies, Laura steps in to help Allen raise his infant daughter. She soon finds herself coping with the jealousy of her boyfriend Rudy, and her own growing attraction to Allen. Have Laura and Allen been brought together to console and support one another…or is there an even deeper purpose they must fulfill? (Contemporary Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

Cowboys of Summer by Mary Connealy, Tina Radcliffe, Lorna Seilstad, Sherri Shackelford, Cheryl St. John, and Missy Tippens — Six of Christian fiction’s most beloved authors join forces to bring you a collection of humorous, romantic and heartfelt novellas set against the sultry heat of summer. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Bella Notte by Heather Gray — As a photographer who works primarily with fashion, Piero Carter is used to having his pick of beautiful women who want to be seen by his side. Felicity von Wolff is a makeup artist whose job takes her around the world. That’s all the adventure she craves. She has little use for Piero the Playboy. But when Felicity peeks over the wall she’s built to protect herself, she discovers there’s more to the people around her than she ever realized. What will it take for Piero and Felicity to stop hiding from life and open their eyes to the rich beauty God has in store for them? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Honeysuckle Dreams by Denise Hunter — Regardless of what any blood test says, Brady Collins will go to any lengths to keep his son. Even pretend his friend Hope is his fiancée. Local radio celebrity Hope Daniels has finally been offered her dream job. But if the truth comes out about her arrangement with Brady, she may miss the chance of a lifetime and stand in the way of a dear friend’s dreams. As Brady and Hope make sacrifices to help each other in their times of need, they risk uncovering a truth neither of them expects to find. (Contemporary Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

Finding Love on Bainbridge Island Washington by Annette M. Irby — A “broken” therapist with PTSD finds a fresh start at her family’s beach cabin, but when her parents hire her ex-boyfriend to finalize repairs on the place, they’re forced back into close proximity. He’s falling for her again. But can anything heal the past? (Contemporary Romance from Mountain Brook Ink)

And Cowboy Makes Three by Deb Kastner — Coming home with a baby and no wedding ring was just what everyone in Cowboy Country expected from bad girl Angelica Carmichael. But she’ll brave their scorn to fulfill Granny Frances’s dying wishes, even if it means ranching with Rowdy Masterson…her jilted ex-groom. Rowdy’s still bitter but this new, softer Angelica—paired with a precious baby—might be too lovable to resist! (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Falling for You by Becky Wade — A thoughtful rule-follower by nature, Willow threw caution to the wind four years ago when she entrusted her heart to Corbin — then suffered the consequences when their relationship fell apart. Now that a decades-old mystery has brought them together again, they’ll have to confront their past and the feelings they still harbor for one another. (Contemporary Romance from Bethany House [Baker])

General Contemporary/Women’s Fiction:

Long Way Home by Brenda S. Anderson — Stuck on a six-day road trip with the man who once bullied her, can Lauren Bauman learn that love keeps no record of wrongs? (General Contemporary, Independently Published {ACFW QIP Author})

The Hidden Side by Heidi Chiavaroli — The Hidden Side is about a family that is torn apart by the unspeakable actions of one of its members and how a woman from the past helps them to heal. (General Contemporary from Tyndale House)

Things I Never Told You by Beth K. Vogt — It’s been ten years since Payton Thatcher’s twin sister died in an accident, leaving the entire family to cope in whatever ways they could. No longer half of a pair, Payton reinvents herself as a partner in a successful party-planning business and is doing just fine—until her middle sister Jillian’s engagement pulls the family back together to plan the festivities. As old wounds are reopened and the family faces the possibility of another tragedy, the Thatchers must decide if they will pull together or be driven further apart. (Contemporary Women’s Fiction from Tyndale House)

Where Hope Begins by Catherine West — Savannah Barrington has always found solace at her parents’ lake house in the Berkshires, and it’s the place that she runs to when her husband of over twenty years leaves her. Though her world is shaken, and the future uncertain, she finds hope through an old woman’s wisdom, a little girl’s laughter, and a man who’s willing to risk his own heart to prove to Savannah that she is worthy of love.
But soon, Savannah is given a challenge that she can’t run away from. Forgiving the unforgiveable. Amidst the ancient gardens and musty bookstores of the small town she’s sought refuge in, she must reconcile with the grief that haunts her, the God pursuing her, and the wounds of the past that might be healed after all. (General Contemporary from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

General Historical:

Faithful by Carol Ashby — When a foolish choice lands one man in a fight for his life, unlikely friendships are born, love blossoms, and broken relationships are restored as his best friend’s faith and courage guide the quest to rescue him. (General Historical from Cerrillo Press)

Historical Romance:

All for Love by Mary Connealy, Kristi Ann Hunter, and Jen Turano — Three of Christian historical fiction’s beloved authors come together in this romantic and humorous collection of novellas featuring prequels to their latest series. Mary Connealy’s “The Boden Birthright” journeys to the Old West, where ranch hand Chance Boden’s determination to be his own boss is challenged by his employer’s pretty daughter. Kristi Ann Hunter’s “A Lady of Esteem” follows a Regency-era young lady whose chance at love and reputation in society are threatened by a nasty rumor. Jen Turano’s “At Your Request” tells of a young woman who is humbled at her newly lowered status in society when she is reunited with the very man whose proposal she rejected. (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])

The Perfect Bride by Debbie Lynne Costello — Avice Touchet has always dreamed of marrying for love and that love would be her best friend, Philip Greslet. She’s waited five years for him to see her as the woman she’s become but when a visiting lord arrives with secrets that could put her father in prison, Avice must consider a sacrificial marriage. Philip Greslet has worked his whole life for one thing—to be a castellan—and now it is finally in his grasp. But when Avice rebuffs his new lord’s attentions, Philip must convince his best friend to marry the lord against his heart’s inclination to have her as his own. (Historical Romance from Forget Me Not Romances)

Backcountry Brides Collection by Angela Couch, Debra E. Marvin, Shannon McNear, Gabrielle Meyer, Carrie Fancett Pagels, Jennifer Hudson Taylor, and Pegg Thomas — Travel into Colonial America where eight women seek love, but they each know a future husband requires the necessary skills to survive in the backcountry. Living in areas exposed to nature’s ferocity, prone to Indian attack, and cut off from regular supplies, can hearts overcome the dangers to find lasting love? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

Rebecca’s Song by Dawn Kinzer — A small-town teacher who lost hope of having her own family, and a big-city railroad detective driven to capture his sister’s killer, must do what’s best for three young orphans who need them both. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)

Love’s Silver Lining by Julie Lessman — A soft-hearted suffragist incurs the wrath of a bull-headed bachelor when she reforms his favorite girl at the Ponderosa Saloon. (Historical Romance (Western), Independently Published)

Redeeming Light by Annette O’Hare — While Sarah weathers the deadly storm inside the lighthouse, her prayers are for Frederick, caught in the midst of the tempest. (Historical Romance from White Rose Publishing [Pelican])

To Claim Her Heart by Jodie Wolfe — Elmer Smith didn’t need a man when she competed in the Cherokee Strip Land Run and she sure as shootin’ doesn’t need one to keep her land either. (Historical Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)

Romantic Suspense:

No Safe Place by H. L. Wegley — A young man returning from the far country trying to regain his honor, and a young woman with a heart broken by her parents’ rejection because of her newfound faith, each have what the other needs, but will the assassin who put them on his hit list allow them enough time to discover what they have in each other? (Romantic Suspense from Trinity Press International)

Speculative:

No Less Days by Amanda G. Stevens — As far as David Galloway knows, he can’t die. He wonders where he fits in the world, in God’s plan for the past and the future. He believes himself to be the only person on earth who hasn’t aged in over a century. He’s wrong about that. (Speculative from Barbour Publishing)

Young Adult:

Porch Swing Girl by Taylor Bennett — Left at her grandma’s house in Hawaii after a family tragedy, sixteen-year-old Olive Galloway is desperate to fly home to Boston and stop her father before he does anything drastic. (Young Adult from Mountain Brook Ink)

Researching and Writing “A Love Not Forgotten” — Linda Shenton Matchett

Today I’m happy to welcome author Linda Shenton Matchett as she shares about her new release, A Love Not Forgotten.

I must admit I’m a research geek. I absolutely adore digging through books, magazines, videos, and artifacts to discover the tidbits that make up history. When I was approached by CelebrateLit Publishing to be part of their Let Love Spring collection of romance novellas I was excited about the project, yet unsure what I wanted to write about.

Because WWII is my favorite era, I knew the story would take place sometime during the war, but that was all I knew. Then I saw a sitcom where one of the main characters got hit on the head and ended up with amnesia. That was my “aha” moment. I decided my story would revolve around a young man who sustained injuries that resulted in amnesia and the single clue to his identity would be a love letter that held his only first name. (I had him lose his dog tags in the accident.)

In order to ensure accuracy I researched amnesia and more importantly what doctors and medical professionals knew about amnesia in the early 1940s. The answer is not much, but more than I thought. I scoured medical journals, diaries, and newspaper reports from the era which sometimes supported each other, but often gave conflicting data.

Ultimately, I found there are 8-10 types of amnesia (it depends on whether similar types are combined), although not all had been discovered by WWII. Some amnesia is a result of injury, some due to psychological trauma, while others are related to malnutrition or long-term alcoholism. Treatments vary, but interestingly there were a lot of resources that discussed coping mechanisms suggesting that perhaps more often than not, amnesia is permanent and thus must be assimilated into one’s life.

I fully outline each book I write and did so for A Love Not Forgotten. However, the one element I let the characters determine for themselves was how much, if any, of Chaz’s memory would return by the end of the story. I enjoyed watching their relationship unfold. I hope you do too.

About her book:

A Love Not Forgotten:

Allison White should be thrilled about her upcoming wedding. The problem? She’s still in love with her fiancé, Chaz, who was declared dead after being shot down over Germany in 1944. Can she put the past behind her and settle down to married life with the kindhearted man who loves her?

It’s been two years since Charles “Chaz” Powell was shot down over enemy territory. The war is officially over, but not for him. He has amnesia as a result of injuries sustained in the crash, and the only clue to his identity is a love letter with no return address. Will he ever regain his memories and discover who he is, or will he have to forge a new life with no connections to the past?

Here is the purchase link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XVZB38Y

 

About Linda

Linda Shenton Matchett is an author, journalist, and history geek. A native of Baltimore, Maryland, she was born a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry and has lived in historic places most of her life. She is a volunteer docent at the Wright Museum of WWII and a trustee for her local public library. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, SistersInCrime, and Romance Writers of America, she writes History, Mystery & Faith at www.LindaShentonMatchett.com.

 

 

 

Excerpt:

England, Highlands Hospital, March 1946

Prologue

Perspiration trickled down the sides of Chaz’s face as he gripped the letter and stared at the looping script on the page. Not that he had to read the words. He had memorized them months ago. The two-year-old paper crinkled in protest as he tightened his hold.

January 1944

Dear Chaz:

The moon is full and lights up my room with an eerie blue glow. It’s nearly three o’clock in the morning, and I’ve barely slept. I miss you desperately. What are you doing? Are you safe? Are you looking at the moon, too? Today’s casualty list included two more lads from the neighborhood. Giles and Vincent Thompson. Can you believe it? Two different battles, but they are both gone. Mrs. Thompson is beside herself with grief.

Mother says I should only send you cheerful, newsy letters, but our relationship is deeper than that. We’ve always been able to talk about everything, the good and the bad.

Food is dearer than ever, so even if one has points for an item, it’s impossible to find. But I shouldn’t complain, since you are probably eating tinned meat and haven’t seen a fresh vegetable since you went away.

Work is good. I enjoy what I do, although I can’t tell you anything about it. All very hush-hush. But as much as I love my job, I love you more, and I can’t wait to become your wife.

There. I’ve said it. I want to marry you. I know you didn’t propose before you left, because you didn’t want me to feel beholden, but that doesn’t change how I feel. I’ll wait for you forever. Hurry home, my darling.

Your best girl,

Allison

Chaz! I’ve been looking for you. Are you going to sit out here all day?” The sound of boots crunching on the gravel grew louder as the owner of the voice approached. “You’ll be fried to a crisp.”

Shoving the missive into his pocket, Chaz turned toward the voice and squinted at the figure hurrying across the circular driveway.

Come inside and have some tea.” Hospital orderly, Ian Kellogg, had to shout to be heard over the thundering surf. “The quack said sunshine would do you good, but you’re already red as a beet. Besides, you can’t avoid the lads forever.”

Chaz bit his lip. Forever. She said she’d wait forever. But who was she?

Ian’s shadow blocked the sun’s glare. Hands on his hips, he tilted his head, his usual mulish expression painting his face. “We’ll play chess. You like that.”

Don’t coddle me. And I’m not avoiding the lads.”

Sure, you’re not. And I’m Princess Elizabeth.”

Heaving himself to his feet, Chaz stiffened his spine. The scar tissue on his back pulled against the healthy skin and shot knife-like pain across his shoulders. He winced and swayed against the chair. He was lucky. At least he hadn’t lost a limb or damaged his face during the plane crash.

A crash he didn’t remember.

Grand Ole’ Opry — Sheila Ingle

Today I’m happy to welcome author Sheila Ingle as she shares about the history of the Grand Ole’ Opry in the 1940’s. Read through to the end to find out how you can enter to win the giveaway.

The families who lived in Ingle Holler outside of Union, South Carolina enjoyed country music. On Friday nights, after a long week of work in the cotton mills, they gathered on porches to sing and visit. Country music was a favorite, as fiddles, banjos, dulcimers, spoons, and a piano would lead all ages celebrated life.

 

The Grand Ole Opry was first broadcast from the Ryman Auditorium (above) on June 5,1943 and originated there every week for nearly 31 years. It was the birthplace of Bluegrass Music.

This half-hour Prince Albert Show segment, which had been carried regionally on the WSM radio network, went national, carried by more than 140 stations.


Opry stars like Red Foley, Eddy Arnold, Grandpa Jones, and Minnie Pearl became ambassadors for country music, traveling throughout the nation during the week and returning home to the Opry stage on weekends.

Grandpa Jones

Minnie Pearl/Sarah Ophelia Collie

As the gossip from Grinder’s Switch, Minnie Pearl opened each of her performances with a rousing, “How-w-w-DEE-E-E-E! I’m jes’ so proud to be here!” and “I love you so much it hurts!”

Colley’s cheerful hillbilly get-up — a frilly gingham dress with puffy sleeves, white stockings under Mary Janes and a straw hat decked out in plastic flowers — was a costume she dreamed up herself, inspired by clothing she picked up for less than $10 one afternoon in a South Carolina thrift store. “I dressed ‘Minnie’ the way I thought a girl would look who came to town from the country on a Saturday to do a little tradin’ and a little flirtin’,” Colley would explain.

This female comedian catered to the audiences with quips like, The doctor must have put my pacemaker in wrong. Every time my husband kisses me, the garage door goes up.

The price tag of $1.98 hanging from her hat was from the flowers she bought to go on her hat. New audiences loved the detail, so she kept the tag. Colley would later have this to say about that tag: “The price tag on my hat seems to be symbolic of all human frailty. There’s old Minnie Pearl standing on stage in her best dress, telling everyone how proud she is to be there and she’s forgotten to take the $1.98 price tag off her hat.”

Since I live in South Carolina, this fascinates me that her outfit was bought in my state. I remember meeting Minnie Pearl in Greenville, SC, where she was signing her autobiography. She was delightful and greeted everyone with a sincere smile. As a celebrity, she reached out to all of us as if we were celebrities, too.

 

The Grand Ole Opry brought crowds of music lovers to downtown Nashville. Many men and women wore hats for the occasion. Trucks, laden with mattresses and people, delivered scores to the front door. (One person said that these trucks were the first tour buses.) The wooden pews of this auditorium were jam-packed every week. It was the place to be on Saturday nights in the 1940’s.

Wearing farm clothes (Grandpa Jones above) and speaking often in Appalachian dialect established a rustic flavor over music that was already down-home. Much of this Opry’s simple image was contrived. Many early cast musicians were urban tradespeople who had learned their instruments from friends and family.

The Grand Ole Opry was a favorite of the cotton mill families. Friday night was all about gathering together to pick and sing religious and country songs; Saturday night was spent listening to the show on the radio.

The influence and pride in the Opry has not changed. Performers today continue to admire and exalt the Grand Ole Opry.

Garth Brooks, “I’ve said it for the record a thousand times. I’ll state it again a thousand times. This is the pinnacle of what I do. Nothing has ever touched being a member of the Grand Ole Opry.”

Brad Paisley, “Pilgrims travel to Jerusalem to see the Holy Land, and the foundations of their faith. People go to Washington, D.C. to see the workings of government, and the foundation of our country. And fans flock to Nashville to see the foundation of country music, the Grand Ole Opry.”

Loretta Lynn, (remembering her first Opry performance, “I came out the back of the building and I was hollering, ‘I’ve sung on the Grand Ole Opry! I’ve sung on the Grand Ole Opry!’”

Don’t you love to see history continuing?

Leave a comment below to enter for a chance to win a copy of “Tales of a Cosmic Possum”.

About her book:

 

Tales of a Cosmic Possum is a group of short stories based on the history of eight women in my husband’s family who worked in the cotton mills of SC. They worked together in the mills, shared their gardens, attended church, and enjoyed the playing and singing of the songs from the Grand Ole Opry. When five of the brothers went off to war, those who couldn’t fight took care of their families. The Ingles stuck together, just like they were taught in the Appalachia.

 

This book is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Indie Book Stores.

 

 

About Sheila

A graduate of Converse College with both bachelor’s and master’s degrees, Sheila Ingle is a lifelong resident of S.C. Her undergraduate degree was in English, with minors in psychology and religion. Besides taking various graduate courses at Wofford College, she also received her master’s degree in humanities at Converse.

Her second career of writing began after her retirement from teaching at USC Upstate. There she taught English and education courses, as well as supervising student teachers, for 22 years.

She loves to tell the stories of South Carolina history. The Class that Never Was relates the story of her father’s class at the Citadel. In 1943, his class was taken out of school their junior year and sent to serve in World War II. Finding Mr. Wright is the story of two  audacious sisters who asked Frank Lloyd Wright to draw plans for their home in Greenville, SC, and he did.

Her published books, Courageous Kate, Fearless Martha, Brave Elizabeth, and Walking with Eliza focus on the bravery of Patriot women living in Revolutionary War South Carolina.

Tales of a Cosmic Possum, not only shares Ingle family history, but also South Carolina and cotton mill history. Continuing to focus on unknown women of South Carolina, this book spotlights eight women who worked in the upstate cotton mills during the early twentieth century. Three generations of her husband’s family on both sides become characters in these short stories.

As past vice regent and regent of the Kate Barry Chapter, she is currently serving as the Registrar of Kate Barry, the South Carolina State Chairman of Constitution Week, and District II Director SCDAR. Sheila also is a member of the Piedmont Chapter Daughters of the American Colonists and the National Society of the Magna Charta Dames and Barons. (She is waiting on approved papers for the Colonial Dames XVII.)

She enjoys speaking to community, church, genealogical, and school groups.

Serving on the board for eight years of Children’s Security Blanket (a 501c3 organization that serves families that have children with cancer), she is the Board Chairman. She is also a member of Chapter D PEO, where she served as vice president and chaplain; Circle 555(a local women’s giving group), where she has served on the grant committee; and a board member of Spartanburg County Historical Association, serving on the Walnut Grove Committee.

In her church, First Baptist Spartanburg, she was a Sunday School teacher for the youth for fourteen years, served as a discipleship leader for girls, and as chaperone for retreats. Besides leading a women’s Bible study for twenty-seven years, she has substituted as an adult teacher. For five years, she led the women’s ministry of her church.

Married for thirty-eight years to John Ingle, they have one son Scott. Besides being avid readers, the South Carolina beaches are their favorite spots for vacations.

EXCERPT FROM “LOIS” IN TALES OF A COSMIC POSSUM

Their Saturday night routine was hurried, and the minutes flew by,

It was time for the Grand Ole’ Opry. Oliver had strung a wire clothesline in the backyard. It was also the antenna for the Crosley radio that sat in the kitchen on a table. He ran another wire to the clothesline, and the reception was high-quality. Once, when turning to another station, Oliver picked up a shortwave station in Europe; the unknown language amused everyone.

On Saturday nights, a cast of regulars regaled their listeners on a live radio show. The Grand Ole’ Opry show was divided into thirty-minute segments. Produced at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee, the music and comedy lasted for four hours. When Uncle Dave Macon, also called the Solemn Old Judge, blew into his brown, whiskey jug, then it was time for a new segment. Live commercials for the sponsors of that segment were then sung and narrated; there were no silences.

The Duke of Paducah, Roy Acuff, Minnie Pearl, and Bill Monroe were favorites for Lois and Oliver. Their sons loved the whole show.

The Duke of Paducah and Minnie Pearl were stand-up comics. The Duke had a crazy laugh and ended his routine with “These shoes are killin’ me. I’m goin’ to the wagon.” He often created comic scenarios that he found himself in with his wife.

Minnie Pearl was Lois’ favorite; Minnie’s contagious “How-DEEE! I’m jes so proud to be here” always brought smiles to Lois’ face. With her signature straw hat and its dangling $1.98 price tag, Minnie was a man-chasing single woman who lived in Grinder’s Switch, Tennessee, onstage, but was actually a graduate in theater from Belmont College in Nashville.

Kissing a man with a beard is a lot like going to a picnic. You don’t mind going through a little bush to get there,” commented Minnie Pearl one night. Every time Lois thought of that line she laughed. Oliver was clean-shaven, so she was content that it wasn’t an issue in their home.