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The Writing Life — Linore Rose Burkard ( + Giveaway )

Today I’m happy to welcome author Linore Rose Burkard for an interview about the writing life. Read through to the end to find out how to enter her giveaway.

Linore, welcome. Please tell us more about yourself as a writer.  I understand that you feel very purpose-driven in your vocation. How did you come to know your purpose as a writer?

A writer needs to be humble enough to accept what they’re giftings are–and aren’t. It took me awhile to recognize that what I most wanted to write first, was Inspirational, and that it was romance.   To my mind, having been schooled in many of the classics, both British and American, this is a relatively humble calling. Georgette Heyer, a writer I greatly admire, once said she ought to be shot for what she writes. Because there’s this perception among the literati that romance literature is less than respectable.  But Heyer has avid fans all around the globe to this day, though we lost her in 1974. So I had to accept that a) I was not going to be the next Pulitzer Prize winner, and b) wholesome romance is worthy in itself, whether it is overtly evangelistic or not, and whether English professors would agree or not. I believe that all romance begins with a God-given desire to be loved, and not only loved, but loved unconditionally. Besides Heyer, think of all the Jane Austen books and screen adaptations; how grateful are we that she wrote what she did? While I am not comparing myself to Jane, readers have written to me with such gratitude that it really showed me that what I write is no less valuable –to those who will be blessed by it—than the classics.

How did you get started?

I’ve been an avid reader all my life and was always was drawn to write, even as a child. But I saw a need for something specific that wasn’t out there–Regency Romance that included a Christian worldview.  I wanted to read that book, but it didn’t exist.  So that’s what I started out writing. My first three novels published with Harvest House are Inspirational Regencies, and the first one was, to my knowledge, the first of its kind. A genuinely well-researched Regency with a distinctly Christian theme.  The genre since then has grown by leaps and bounds, which I think is great. But after doing that trilogy, I came to believe that my purpose as a writer was broader. I have since written a young adult series in a completely different genre, apocalyptic suspense.  (The Pulse Effex Series). I’ve done a Regency time travel, called Forever, Lately. (Which has turned out to be hugely popular, as well as winning two awards). I’ve written contemporary romance and am now writing a Regency series called The Brides of Mayfair which is for the general market, though it contains implied Christianity.

How does your Young Adult suspense series fit in with your brand?  

So, my brand is “Romance to Warm the Heart;  Fiction to Stir the Soul.” The Pulse Effex Trilogy is in that 2nd category–soul-stirring fiction. It’s about three teens and their families who must survive after a catastrophic EMP (that is, an electromagnetic pulse)  takes down the grid, and all electonics.  It’s like the COVID pandemic times ten; EVERYTHING shuts down—the internet, all technology.  I wrote the series not only because something like this is actually possible, but quite frankly, to stir people out of complacency. We always think the disaster can only happen to someone else.  Our society as a whole—and the COVID pandemic really showed us this—is not prepared for long term disruptions.  So is it soul-stirring? Well, I just got an email from a reader yesterday—and these books have been out for a few years now—that she read the whole trilogy non-stop, which she’d never done before for any series. And that it kept her reading all night long when she should have gone to sleep. Numerous other readers have written to me saying similar things. Many of them have actually changed the way they shop and especially that they’ve started to store food and other supplies , so that if—God forbid—an EMP should happen, they will be better prepared.  The books give a lot of information in the course of the story that people can emulate. I interpret these notes from readers as they’re way of saying that yes, they’ve been soul stirred!

Another word about branding:  I did use only my first initials and last name for the YA series, so that my readers would know at a glance it isn’t my usual “sweet romance”.    So  my romance novels are written under my full name, Linore Rose Burkard, whereas for the  Pulse Series I use L.R. Burkard.

Would you like to give a tip for any writers who may be listening?

It’s important to write the book on your heart, not the one you THINK you SHOULD write because it will make money, or because it’s what people want.  A lot of gurus are out there saying you should research the audience before putting pen to paper to make sure your book will be marketable.  Well, there is some truth in that—if you write a book about some obscure dog breed that only 200 people own, you’re not gonna have  a bestseller. But there’s a big danger in that method, too. The book on your heart, the story that won’t go away, is most likely the one that will help point you to your purpose in writing. It’s probably the one the Lord is directing you to write; and it will be the one that most resonates with other people.

 

GIVEAWAY: Writers aren’t the only ones on a journey of discovery to know their purpose. Tell us, in a sentence or two, what you believe your purpose is, either personally or professionally. Ultimately, we all seek to glorify God, but how do you that? One commenter will win a copy of any of my books. (Print for US only, sorry, and as available.) You can see all my books at this link:   https://www.amazon.com/Linore-Rose-Burkard/e/B001JSC7H6

Or on my website at: http://www.LinoreBurkard.com

Readers can HEAR this interview (a shortened version) live here if they prefer: https://anniejenningspr.com/authorexpertwire/specialty/insights-into-the-writing-life/

 

About Linore

Linore Rose Burkard is a serious watcher of period films, a Janeite, and hopeless romantic. An award winning author best known for Inspirational Regency Romance, her first book opened the genre for the CBA. Besides historical romance, Linore writes contemporary suspense (The Pulse Effex Series, as L.R. Burkard), contemporary romance (Falling In), and romantic short stories. Linore has a magna cum laude English Lit. degree from CUNY which she earned while taking herself far too seriously. She now resides in Ohio with her husband and family, where she turns her youthful angst into character or humor-driven plots.

 

Author Spotlight & Character Interview with Terri Wangard

Today I’m happy to welcome author Terri Wangard for an author spotlight and character interview.

Our guest today is Rosaleen Bonnard, a survivor of the tragic sinking of the Lusitania last May. She traveled with her husband, Geoff, who was badly injured in the disaster. Tell us, Mrs. Bonnard, how is he doing?

He is so much better, thank you. Every day we walk, sometimes for as long as an hour. We’re frequently interrupted though. Geoff collaborated with our neighbor, a reporter for the Sentinel, so he’s well recognized and folks seem to think that having touched the war, he’s now an expert. They’re always asking for his insights.

How did you meet your husband?

We were classmates at school and he invited me to attend an ice cream social at church. When I told my mother he’d asked, she quizzed me about him. I told her it was just ice cream, and she said, “Yes, and your father and I met at a church ice cream social.” After that night, I knew I would marry him.

The Cunard Line upgraded you from second class to first, is that right? [Rosaleen nods.] What was that like for you?

At first, I was thrilled. We had a beautiful stateroom with a window. Oh, excuse me, a porthole. That was special. And we had access to the Saloon Writing Room and Library and the Saloon Lounge and Music Room. They were exquisite. The two-tiered first-class dining room was a gorgeous setting to eat in, but I must admit, I would have been more at ease in second class. I didn’t feel comfortable with the first-class passengers. Even the food was unfamiliar.

Did you go shopping specifically for your voyage?

Oh, yes. Two of my sisters went shopping with me at Gimbels. I found two beautiful gowns. My grandmother gave me $10, making it possible to buy both. Plus a traveling outfit, a couple of new skirts and blouses, shoes, hats. Had I known we’d be in first class, goodness, I don’t know what I would have done. The ladies in first class wear a different gown to dinner every night.

Did you note much panic after the ship was torpedoed?

At first, everyone was stunned. After hearing all week about the likelihood of being attacked, when it actually happened, it was hard to believe. The sudden listing to starboard was alarming. Then the power failed and people were trapped in the fancy grillwork elevator. The lifeboats were so chaotic; some spilled out their passengers or dropped down on other lifeboats. So frightful. The ship sank in eighteen minutes, less time than it takes to bake a cake. So many people were still aboard.

What was it like in the lifeboat?

Numbing, sitting on hard wooden benches. We would have loved fresh drinking water. We pulled in many survivors from the sea, and they were so cold. Many people died from hypothermia. We saw them lose their grip on whatever they clung to and slip under the water.

As 1916 dawns, what are you looking forward to?

We hope the war doesn’t pull in the United States. Geoff and I both have brothers who would be affected. In our own home, we’re busy decorating a nursery.

Congratulations! And thank you for joining us today.

 

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT:

  • What is your current work in progress?

In Roll Back the Clouds, Geoff and Rosaleen’s next door neighbors are Peter and Maren Bloch. Peter and Maren are the stars of The Sun Still Shines, which follows them in World War One. Geoff and Rosaleen appear frequently.

  • What would be your dream vacation?

Somewhere on a western Florida beach where there are sea shells. I love shelling.

  • What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?

When I was on cruises, I took part in adventures I wouldn’t otherwise have had, like parasailing, helicoptering onto glaciers or around Hawaiian cliffs, horseback riding on the beach, going to the Arctic Circle. Maybe not quirky, but definitely out of the ordinary.

Reader question: Do you like to cruise, or would you like to? What would your destination be?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Terri Wangard grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin, during the Lombardi Glory Years. Her first Girl Scout badge was the Writer. These days she writes historical fiction, and won the 2013 Writers on the Storm contest and 2013 First Impressions, as well as being a 2012 Genesis finalist. Holder of a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in library science, she lives in Wisconsin. Her research included going for a ride in a WWII B-17 Flying Fortress bomber for her WWII series. Classic Boating Magazine, a family business since 1984, keeps her busy as an associate editor.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorTerriWangard

Twitter: @terriwangard

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

Instagram: @terriwangard

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/terriwangard/

Website: http://www.terriwangard.com

Buy links for your book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1659679842

Fascinating Sixteenth Century – LeAnne Hardy ( + Giveaway )

Today I’m happy to welcome author LeAnne Hardy as she shares how she got the idea for her series. Read through to the end to find out how you can enter her giveaway.

Father Dunstan turned his face toward the steeply rising Tor. ìLike a pilgrimage to Jerusalem!î he said. (p. 87)

Ever since reading Tennyson’s Idylls of the King and hearing the Broadway recording of the musical Camelot in high school, I have loved all things King Arthur. Mary Stewart’s series, beginning with The Crystal Cave, shaped my concept of my own faith as I saw Arthur as a type of Christ, the great King to whom I owed my full devotion.

On a trip to England my husband and I visited Glastonbury, the traditional site of Avalon where Arthur received his sword Excalibur from the Lady of the Lake and where he went for the healing of his wounds following his last battle. From there (according to legend) he will return at Britain’s greatest hour of need. Sound familiar?

For almost a thousand years a Christian monastery was located at the foot of Glastonbury Tor, a strange conical hill, reported to hold the gate to the Celtic underworld. King Henry VIII closed that monastery and all the others in England as part his reformation of the church—more an excuse to divorce Queen Katherine who had failed to give him a son than any doctrinal commitment. The final days of the monastery were full of drama, and on that visit to Glastonbury, a story began to form in my mind that had little to do with King Arthur!

In Glastonbury Tor, book one in the resulting Glastonbury Grail series, Colin flees home after trying to kill his abusive father. In the abbey treasury he discovers an ancient olivewood cup that just might be the Holy Grail, brought from Jerusalem by Jesus’ tin merchant uncle, Joseph of Arimathea, after Jesus’ death and resurrection. The cup reveals the power and glory of God in those tumultuous days as the king attempts to crush the abbey. In book two, Honddu Vale, Colin returns home to reconcile with his father, but the cup remains dull and empty as Colin experiences God’s silence and his father shows no sign of repentance. At the end of the book, an old witch pulls the cup from the ruins of a fire.

When I wrote that final scene, I meant it as a suggestion that Colin’s faith had grown to a point where he no longer needed the physical manifestation of God’s presence. But one of my readers wrote, “I can’t wait to find out what God is going to do with Teg.” The more I thought about it, the more excited I got about writing the witch’s story.

Black Mountain, book three in the Glastonbury Grail series and my most ambitious work yet, released June 1. The series is carefully researched historical fiction. Glastonbury Tor was a finalist for a Christy Award in that category. But you will love how the supernatural is made real as God pursues his wayward daughter.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Ol’ Teg o’ the Hills is determined to master this thing of power, but it may master her.

Teg has the cup that Colin Hay brought back to Wales from Glastonbury Abbey in England. When the Grandmother spirit she has served since childhood rejects both the cup and Teg, the old witch sets off on a journey to find the origins of the cup and learn the secret of its power.

Alice Thatcher is eager to wed her Colin. When the old woman she knows as Goody Tegwyn appears in Meare, Alice takes her under her wing and adopts her as the mother she has never known. Alice loves Colin with all her heart, but love may not be enough to fulfill her duties as the wife of a gentleman. How far will Alice go to give Colin an heir? When Goody Tegwyn returns to Honddu Vale, can Alice save her from her enemies?

Drawing:

If you were forced to flee, where would you go? Comment below to be included in a drawing for a free copy of Black Mountain. (Electronic only if you live outside the US) Come back tomorrow to find out more about the role of books and the skill of writing in this story and comment again to double your chances.

About LeAnne

Bio: LeAnne Hardy has lived as a missionary librarian in six countries on four continents. Her inspirational fiction comes out of her cross-cultural experiences and her passion to use story to convey spiritual truths in a form that will permeate lives. Click here to hear her speak about the significance of King Arthur in her spiritual formation and read from the first two books. Links to first chapters of all her books can be found here.

Links:

Amazon.com

Website: LeAnne Hardy, author and editor

Blog: My Times and Places

Facebook: Birch Island Books

 

 

 

 

June 2020 New Releases!

June 2020 New Releases

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

Contemporary Romance:

Forever Home by Amy Grochowski — A Canadian Amish farmer proposes a convenient marriage to a Lancaster Amish businesswoman so they can join a new community welcoming married couples only. They are both surprised when a Prince Edward Island foster child finds her way to them in need of a home. Yet what will happen when the English world and the Amish world collide? (Romance from Ambassador International)

Start With Me by Kara Isaac — A professional woman and her old flame, who doesn’t remember her, are forced to work together when the companies they work for merge. (Romance, Independently Published)

A Father’s Promise by Mindy Obenhaus — Is he ready for fatherhood? He doesn’t think he deserves a family… But now he has a daughter. Stunned to discover he has a child, Wes Bishop isn’t sure he’s father material. But his adorable daughter needs him, and he can’t help feeling drawn to her mother, Laurel Donovan—a woman he’s finally getting to know. But can this sudden dad overcome a past tragedy that has him convinced he’s not meant to be a husband or a father…and make a promise of forever? (Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Historical:

Until June by Barbara M. Britton — When a young seamstress agrees to take care of a WWI amputee in a remote Alaskan lodge, there’s enough friction to melt a glacier. (Historical from Inspired [Prism Book Group])

A Cord of Three Strands by Christy Distler — As 1756 dawns, Isaac Lukens is torn between loyalty to his Lenape heritage and a childhood friend who needs to marry in order to raise her siblings after her father was killed by his people. (Historical from Avodah Books)

Persuaded: The Story of Nicodemus by David Harder — From the prison colony on Patmos, the Apostle John entrusts Nicodemus with manuscripts for the Christian fellowships increasing throughout the Roman Empire. While transcribing the manuscript, Nicodemus is prompted to recall his former life and his encounter with Yeshua – a man of mystery, a healer, a teacher, and a prophet. An encounter that changed everything. Under the cover of darkness, risking his reputation and endangering his life even further, it is here that Nicodemus realizes the world-changing power of the Good News . . . and what being a follower of Yeshua truly means. (Historical from Ambassador International)

Historical Romance:

Love’s Mountain Quest by Misty M. Beller — When a Rocky Mountain widow returns home from work to find her son and the woman watching him missing–and the sheriff dead–she enlists a man she prays has enough experience in this rugged country to help. (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])

The Damsel’s Intent by Mary Davis — Washington State 1893. Nicole Waterby has lived her whole life in the hills away from town due to her grandfather’s mistrust of people. But now he’s passed away, and Nicole is left to care for her two younger cousins. Feeling inadequate to handle the responsibility, she heads down the mountain to fetch herself a husband. She doesn’t realize women don’t wear trousers, buckskins, or carry a gun. She has a lot to learn about being a lady if she’s going to catch a husband. And the quilting circle is just the group of women to help her. Rancher Shane Keegan has drifted from one location to another to find a place to belong. He longs to have a family of his own but feels doomed to live a life alone. When Nicole crosses his path, he wonders if he can have love, but he soon realizes she’s destined for someone better than a saddle tramp. Even though he knows there’s no future for him with the intriguing mountain girl, he still steps in to help her at every opportunity. Will love stand a chance while both Nicole and Shane try to be people they are not? (Historical Romance from Mountain Brook Ink)

Line By Line by Jennifer Delamere — Since she was young, Alice McNeil has seen success as a telegrapher as the best use for her keen and curious mind. Years later, she has yet to regret her freedom and foregoing love and marriage, especially when she acquires a coveted position at an important trading firm. But when the company’s ambitious junior director returns to London, things begin to change in ways Alice could never have imagined. For Douglas Shaw, years of hard work and ingenuity enabled him to escape a life of grinding poverty. He’s also determined to marry into high society—a step that will ensure he never returns to the conditions of his past. He immediately earns Alice’s respect by judging her based on her skills and not her gender, and a fast camaraderie forms. However, when Alice accidentally angers a jealous coworker and his revenge threatens both their reputations, Alice and Douglas are forced to confront what is truly important in their lives. Will their growing bond give them the courage to see the future in a different light? (Historical Romance from Bethany [Baker])

An Appalachian Summer by Ann H Gabhart — After the market crash of 1933, the last thing Piper Danson wants is to flaunt her family’s fortune while so many suffer. Although she reluctantly agrees to a debut party at her parents’ insistence, she still craves a meaningful life over the emptiness of an advantageous marriage. When an opportunity to volunteer with the Frontier Nursing Service arises, Piper jumps at the chance. But, her spontaneous jaunt turns into something unexpected when she falls in love with more than just the breathtaking Appalachian Mountains. (Historical Romance from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group)

The Widow & The War Correspondent by Linda Shenton Matchett — Are a new life and new love possible in a country devastated by war? Barely married before she was widowed after Pearl Harbor three years ago, journalist Cora Strealer travels to England where she’s assigned to work with United Press’s top reporter who thinks the last place for a woman is on the front lines. Can she change his opinion before D-Day? Or will she have to choose her job over her heart? A sought-after journalist, Van Toppel deserves his pick of assignments, which is why he can’t determine the bureau chief’s motive for saddling him with a cub reporter. Unfortunately, the beautiful rookie is no puff piece. Can he get her off his beat without making headlines…or losing his heart? (Historical Romance from Shortwave Press)

An Impossible Price by Davalynn Spencer — With no husband of her own, midwife Sophie Price lives to keep others calm in their hour of need. But when a handsome horse handler steps off the train with a fiery stallion, he brings anything but calm as he looks her dead in the eye and clear through to her soul. Clay Ferguson returns to the place he once called home, hunting a fresh start and the one woman who could draw him back. If he can hide his battered heart and the brutality of his past, maybe she’ll take another look and give him a second chance. Both bear scars from their fathers. Both fight for life. Together, they may learn that love is worth its impossible price. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)

Mystery:

Pride and Pettiness by Elizabeth Ludwig — A hairdresser fears she may lose her business when appointments go terribly wrong. (Mystery from Guidepost Publications)

Romantic Suspense:

Don’t Keep Silent by Elizabeth Goddard — Investigative reporter Rae Burke will do anything to find her missing sister-in-law, even if it means facing Liam McKade, a man who almost lost his life saving hers. (Romantic Suspense from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group)

Closer Than She Knows by Kelly Irvin — Court reporter Teagan O’Rourke thinks her job taught her everything she needed to know about murder until a serial killer decides to teach her a new lesson–up and personal. (Romantic Suspense from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

Direct Threat by Kimberly Rose Johnson — One little girl. Two bodyguards. Only one chance to guard their hearts. Protection Inc. co-owner, Carissa Jones, an ex-cop turned bodyguard, has one goal—keep her young client safe. When her business partner brings in a new guy to help, she discovers her heart desires more. Can she still do her job and follow her heart without compromising her client’s safety? Marc Olsen, a former Military Police officer, struggles to find his way as a civilian. He agrees to help out an old friend for the summer. He gets more than he bargained for when he’s assigned to work with the feisty co-owner of Protection Inc. When sparks fly faster than bullets, will the bodyguards be distracted from their task, or will they work together as an even stronger team? (Romantic Mystery, Independently Published)

Imminent Threat by Kimberly Rose Johnson — The Protection Inc. team is growing, and so is their client list. Former cop and new team member, Peter King, seeks to solve the mystery surrounding threatening notes being sent to Jenna Walsh. Facing an uncertain future, Jenna is afraid for her life. Will the team at Protection Inc., specifically Peter, be able to stop the threats before things escalate, or will tragedy strike before Peter is willing to face his growing attraction to Jenna? The team must divide and conquer when two big cases present themselves at the same time. Carissa Jones and Marc Olsen work to protect a young college student who is staying in the home of a federal judge. All work and no play has put a strain on their relationship. Can they find balance or will their fragile bond be extinguished? (Romantic Suspense, Independently Published)

Plain Refuge by Dana R. Lynn — On the run from hired gunmen, can she find safety in Amish country? After overhearing an illegal weapons deal, Sophie Larson knows two things: her uncle’s a dangerous criminal…and he wants her dead. Now undercover cop Aiden Forster has no choice but to blow his cover and protect Sophie by hiding her and her deaf sister in Amish country. But with a mole in the police force, danger isn’t far behind. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Speculative:

Evocatus by Burke Speed — Jamie is a young veteran with a painful history. He’s done battling for others…until the whole “fight for your life in a mini-mart” thing. Without warning, Jamie is attacked by a sword-wielding man and warned to stay away. From what, he’s not sure. Unexpectedly, he is invited to join a covert band of brothers that fights to keep these evil beings, called Malum, at bay. To accept their invitation is to add death matches against evil to his resume. To decline is to live . . . at least for a while. Kate is a beautiful barista and an important member of this undercover organization. She just might have the key to victory over the Malum but is kidnapped before she can tell what she knows. Everything hinges on a timely rescue of Kate as Jamie’s past and present collide. Now an Evocatus, a veteran called again to duty, Jamie must decide how far he’s willing to go to fight-and love-again. (Speculative from Ambassador International)

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


Three Steps Away
by Luana Ehrlich, Romantic Suspense
Perfect in His Eyes by Linda Goodnight, Contemporary Romance
Cross Shadow by Andrew Huff, Thriller/Suspense
That Place Called Home by D. L. Lane, Romance
Then There Was You by D. L. Lane, Romantic Suspense
The Same River Twice by Mark Medley, Adventure
Fade to White by Tara Ross, Young Adult
Doubly Dead by Lisa Wessel, Cozy Mystery

 

The Story Behind The Green Dress — Liz Tolsma

Today I’m happy to welcome author Liz Tolsma as she shares the story behind The Green Dress.

Becky, the acquisition’s editor at Barbour Publishing and the inspiration for the True Colors Crime series, was the one who found this true crime and asked for someone to write about it. When I started reading what happened to the Robinson family, I couldn’t believe what I read. How could eight members of one family die in the manner in which they did? Why did it take the authorities so long to discover the culprit?

Usually, I try to avoid using historical characters in my books. I’m afraid I’m going to get the characterization wrong and offend my readers. This book, however, left me no choice but to use mostly historical characters. With the exception of the heroine, Harriet Peters, and the hero, Michael Wheaton, and a few minor characters, everyone in the book is drawn from real life. This was a real challenge for me. By reading the transcript of the trial for the villain, I did manage to get an idea of what some of the characters were like. 

There was very little information on this string of crimes. No one has written a full-length book about it. When I searched Wikipedia and several crime blogs, I found a good deal of the information to be incorrect. That meant that I had to fill in a good deal of the details with my imagination. To me, that’s the best part of writing. 

For the spiritual thread, I drew on my own faith walk. With death surrounding her, Harriet is afraid of dying. She isn’t sure she’s good enough to get into heaven. She must walk through the valley of the shadow, put aside her fear, and trust in Christ’s saving work alone.

ABOUT THE BOOK

When Harriet Peters came to Boston in 1882, the Robinson family took her in like one of their own, and Harriet became closer to Lizzie Robinson than her own siblings. Now, four years later, Lizzie is deathly sick, failing quickly just like several others in her family have done over the past few years. How can so many in one family die from the same mysterious illness? Harriet doesn’t have answers, but she is determined to help the family, bringing in a new-to-the-neighborhood doctor, Michael Wheaton.

As Harriet and Michael close in on the answer, putting their own lives at risk, can the cause be found before anyone else dies?

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Green-Dress-True-Colors-ebook/dp/B081GJN448/

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-green-dress-liz-tolsma/1133754931?ean=9781643524757

Christianbook.com: https://www.christianbook.com/the-green-dress-liz-tolsma/9781643524757/pd/524757?product_redirect=1&search_term=The%20Green%20Dre&Ntt=524757&item_code=&Ntk=keywords&event=ESRCP

About Liz:

Liz Tolsma is the author of several WWII novels, romantic suspense novels, prairie romance novellas, and an Amish romance. She is a popular speaker and an editor and resides next to a Wisconsin farm field with her husband and their youngest daughter. Her son is a U.S. Marine, and her oldest daughter is a college student. Liz enjoys reading, walking, working in her large perennial garden, kayaking, and camping. Please visit her blog, The Story behind the Story, at www.liztolsma.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter (@LizTolsma), and Pinterest. She is also a regular contributor to the Midwest Almanac blog.

 

 

 

 

Prairie Roses Collection Book 7 Kate: Meet the Villains and Learn the History – with Giveaway

One tip every writer is encouraged to follow through on is to create a villain worthy of the hero and heroine. In Kate, I created two villains, one fictional, and one based in fact.

Clem, the owner of the saloon and the pimp for the saloon girls who work for him, is a bully. He runs his bar and his brothel with an iron glove, which he uses liberally to keep drunks, deadbeats, and floozies in line. Mess with Clem, and he messes with you.

He makes his money in two ways: he waters down the rotgut, and he buys women. Most of his girls are immigrants from Ireland and other impoverished countries where families cannot afford to raise their children. Kate’s mother came to America with the promise of a good job, only to find herself indebted to Clem for her passage, her clothing, and then her room and board, as well as lost work when she falls pregnant with Kate. When her mother dies, she still owes Clem money, at least according to him, and he expects Kate to step into her mother’s place. However, Kate has other ideas. Dreams planted in her heart and mind by her mother, of living somewhere wide open and free.

The other villain is Lame Johnny, the leader of the stagecoach robbery gang. A lot has been written about him, including that his early attempts to live a righteous life were thwarted because of a deformity caused when he was young that gave him a permanent limp. At one time, he worked for the Homestake Mine, and it’s supposed that he knew the schedule and route of the stagecoach carrying gold and gold products to the bank in Deadwood.

As with most crimes, there are conflicting reports about exactly what happened during the stagecoach robbery, but what is known for sure is that Lame Johnny and several others escaped and hid out in the Badlands.

In Kate, Tom, the hero, helps the law locate two bandits. When Johnny hears about this, he vows revenge, and comes after Tom. Without spoiling the ending, suffice it to say Tom and Kate live another day, and the epilogue wraps up Johnny’s change of heart.

Whether Johnny managed to spend any of the loot in real life is not known. He was later captured, but on his way to Deadwood to stand trial, vigilantes hijack the stage, haul him out, and hang him from the nearest tree. A bad end to a bad man. Although my story makes him out to be slightly better, he still faces the same end.

Basing a fictional story on real history can be tricky. The time and setting have to be the same, but details related to where the real life characters go and what they do can be adjusted. I found this story so compelling because of the aftermath of the robbery, which included outlaws trying to spend the gold and then getting caught, as well as the fact that most of the loot was recovered. The largest ingot, weighing in at over 16 ounces, was never found. Some accounts wonder if it was ever in the stage. Perhaps it was stolen before it ever got on board. Or maybe one of the guards took it. Or could be it never existed, and the mine simply collected the insurance. We will likely never know.

Leave a comment, and I will randomly choose the winner of a print (US only) or digital copy of Kate.

And, if you’d like a copy of a cookbook Kate could have used along the trail, containing recipes that can be prepared on a wood stove, over a fire, or in a Dutch oven, email me: donna AT Historythrutheages DOT com

About Kate:

A prostitute’s daughter, an outlaw’s brother, and a stagecoach robbery—can anything good come out of Deadwood?

Kate Benton, daughter of a saloon floozy, runs away days before her official introduction into that sordid life, straight into the arms of Tom McBride, fleeing from his outlaw brother’s past. Can these two young people, damaged and labeled by life experiences, tear down the walls of guilt and mistrust that separate them? Will they allow God to change them forever from the inside out? Or are they destined to remain alone forever?

https://www.amazon.com/Kate-Prairie-Roses-Collection-Book-ebook/dp/B084VTBGF2

About Donna:

Donna 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, full-length novels, and non-fiction books. She is a member of ACFW, Writers on the Rock, SinC, Pikes Peak Writers, and CAN; facilitates a critique group; teaches writing classes; ghostwrites; edits; and judges in writing contests.

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: online courses on the craft of writing: https://what-can-be-online-institute.teachable.com/

Etsy online shop of original artwork, book folding art, and gift items : https://www.etsy.com/shop/Dare2DreamUS?ref=search_shop_redirect

May 2020 New Releases

May 2020 New Releases

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

Children’s:

The Edge of Everywhen by A.S. Mackey — Begin with an ancient, mysterious, self-aware book. Add two heartbroken children, reeling from the loss of their mother. Mix in a cantankerous aunt, dreams that see the future, and a father trying to make his way home and you get “The Edge of Everywhen,” a captivating tale of loss, hope, revelation, and unexplained mystery. “The Edge of Everywhen” is a book-lover’s book, a story of intrigue in which two children embark upon a life-changing journey of faith. (Middle Grade from B & H Publishing)

Contemporary Romance:

A Mother’s Homecoming by Lisa Carter — Charmed by the two-year-old twins in her toddler tumbling class, Maggie Arledge is shocked to learn they’re the children she gave up for adoption. And when Bridger Hollingsworth—the uncle caring for the boys—needs an emergency nanny, she fits the bill. But with sparks flying between her and Bridger, can she let herself get attached…and risk exposing secrets from her past? (Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Love is in the Air by Tanya Eavenson, Candee Fick, Kathleen Friesen, Laura V. Hilton, and Kathleen Rouser — This collection of five brand new Christian romances is sure to send your heart soaring. Journey from Canada to Georgia and Colorado to Paris by way of Michigan as these couples find love is in the air. All they had to do was look up. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

The Trouble With Love by Toni Shiloh — I, Holiday Brown, have it all. A platinum record. Multi-million dollar home in Manhattan that I share with my two best friends. Life is looking fantastic until my roommate’s brother decides to bunk in our guestroom while his house gets renovated. W. Emmett Bell has always been the bane of my existence. He’s annoying, stubborn, a know it all, and just might be the most gorgeous man I’ve ever laid eyes on. But I refuse to fall for him. But when his sister’s threatened by a stalker, dynamics change. His unwavering faith isn’t quite as self-righteous as I’d always thought, and maybe he has a good side I’ve overlooked all these years. Or maybe it’s all too much trouble. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Hadley Beckett’s Next Dish by Bethany Turner — Hadley Beckett became the star of the Culinary Channel following hot-tempered celebrity chef Max Cavanagh’s public fall from grace. But when Max returns, career in shambles, his only chance for redemption is to work alongside the beloved host of “At Home with Hadley.” Will these two polar opposites burn down the kitchen—or fall in love? (Contemporary Romance from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group)

Stay with Me by Becky Wade — When acclaimed Bible study author Genevieve Woodward receives an anonymous letter referencing her parents’ past, she returns to her hometown in the Blue Ridge mountains to chase down her family’s secret. However, it’s Genevieve’s own secret that catches up to her when Sam Turner, owner of an historic farm, uncovers the source of shame she’s worked so hard to hide. (Contemporary Romance from Bethany House [Baker])

General:

Within Golden Bands by Norma Gail — Newly married Bonny MacDonell finds the transition from American college professor to Scottish sheep farmer’s wife more difficult than she expected. When her miracle pregnancy ends in a devastating miscarriage, she fears her husband’s reaction will hurt more than the loss of their child. But Kieran never shows up at the hospital. When found, he is beaten and unconscious. The only memory of his attacker is the words, “Get off my land.” Reeling from the threat to her husband and the loss of their child, Bonny struggles to hold her marriage together. When faith in love is not enough, where do you turn? (Contemporary, Independently Published)

The Society of Second Chances by Deborah Raney — The Society of Second Chances faces a real challenge, as they try to uncover a way to help Harmoni Branaham—a young woman just released from prison. (Women’s Fiction from Guideposts Publications)

Unveiling the Past by Kim Vogel Sawyer — Newlywed cold-case detectives Sean Eagle and Meghan DeFord struggle between past wounds and their desire for a family when one of them takes on a case involving parental abandonment. (Women’s Fiction from Waterbrook/Multnomah [Random House])

Historical:

Moondrop Miracle by Jennifer Lamont Leo — Chicago, 1928. Pampered socialite Connie Shepherd lives the kind of glossy life other women read about in the society pages. Engaged to a handsome financier, she spends her days and nights in a dizzying social round. When eccentric Aunt Pearl, an amateur chemist, offers her an unusual wedding present—the formula for a home-brewed skin tonic—Connie laughs it off. But when the Great Depression flings her privileged world into chaos and rocks her marriage to the core, will Aunt Pearl’s strange gift provide the key to survival for Connie and her baby? (Historical from Mountain Majesty Media)

Tranquility Point by Pamela S. Meyers — Hannah’s life couldn’t be sweeter—a marriage proposal and law school. Then the Great War intrudes and everything sours. (Historical from Mantle Rock Publishing)

Historical Romance:

A Mosaic of Wings by Kimberly Duffy — A driven entomologist travels to India in an attempt to win a coveted scholarship and save her late father’s scientific journal. But in this enchanting land, she discovers that there are some things more important than success. (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])

Rocky Mountain Redemption by Lisa J. Flickinger — Fleeing a broken engagement, Isabelle Franklin joins her aunt to feed a camp of lumberjacks in the Rocky Mountains. She doesn’t expect to fall for camp foreman Charles Bailey, nicknamed “Preach,” who is struggling between his hard past and his newfound faith. When the ghosts from her past return to haunt her, the choices she will make change the course of her life forever—and that of the man she’s come to love. (Historical Romance from Wild Heart Books)

Pretending to Wed by Melissa Jagears — It’s a match made in heaven…as long as they don’t fall in love! The ranch Nolan Key has spent decades working for, even lost a leg for, is now his—or at least it should be. But an absurd clause in his father’s will means he’s in danger of losing the place to his lazy, undeserving cousin. Nolan finds himself scrambling to save his home—by proposing marriage to the town laundress. Corinne Stillwater’s hands have betrayed her. Numb from hours of doing the same work over and over, her hands will only heal, according to the town doctor, if she gives up the laundry and marries. But she’s been stung repeatedly by love before, so that is one remedy she can’t swallow. When Nolan offers Corinne a marriage in name only, how can she refuse? Such a partnership could give them the security they seek, but what if the ranch isn’t as secure as they believe, and their lives—and dreams—aren’t quite as compatible as they thought? (Historical Romance, Independently Published)

The Sinner in Mississippi by D.L. Lane — The story of Mississippi Singletary, born to a fearful mother and an abusive father in a rundown shack outside of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Historical Romance from By Faith Publishing)

The Mechanic & The MD by Linda Shenton Matchett — Woman mechanic Doris Strealer has a hard time finding love until she joins the Red Cross Motor Corps and comes face to face with her past in the form of Van Toppel, an old classmate. On the brink of a successful career as a surgeon, Van’s plans crumble when he’s drafted and assigned to an evacuation hospital in England, the last place he expects to run into a former schoolmate. The gangly tomboy who was four years behind him in high school has transformed into a statuesque beauty, but a broken engagement in college leaves him with no desire to risk his heart ever again. Will the hazards of war make or break a romance between this unlikely couple? (Historical Romance from Shortwave Press)

Masquerade at Middlecrest Abbey by Abigail Wilson — In this new Regency romance, Elizabeth knows she must protect her heart from the charm of her new husband, Lord Torrington. She is not, however, prepared to protect her life. (Historical Mystery from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

Romantic Suspense:

Standoff (Natchez Trace Park Rangers) by Patricia Bradley — The Natchez Trace National Parkway stretches 444 miles from Nashville to Natchez, the oldest town on the Mississippi River. It’s the perfect road for a relaxed pleasure drive. Unfortunately for park ranger Luke Fereday, lately it’s being used to move drugs. Sent to Natchez to infiltrate the organization at the center of the drug ring, Luke arrives too late to a stakeout and discovers the body of his friend, park ranger John Danvers. John’s daughter Brooke is determined to investigate her father’s murder, but things are more complicated than they first appear, and Brooke soon finds herself the target of a killer who will do anything to silence her. Luke will have his hands full keeping her safe. But who’s going to keep him safe when he realizes he’s falling–hard–for the daughter of the man he failed to save? (Romantic Suspense from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group)

Untraceable Evidence by Sharee Stover — Someone’s after a deadly weapon…and only she can stop them. It’s undercover ATF agent Randee Jareau’s job to make sure the government’s 3-D printed “ghost gun” doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. So when someone goes after scientist Ace Steele, she must protect him…before she loses the undetectable weapon and its creator. But with a mole inside Ace’s company and everyone a suspect, this assignment could become Randee’s last. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Medieval Fantasy:

The Story Hunter by Lindsay A. Franklin — In this epic conclusion to The Weaver Trilogy, Tanwen and the Corsyth weavers must rescue the queen and rid Tir of the Master once and for all, but the success of their hunt depends upon an ally no one trusts, and the fate of the kingdom rests in the hands of a volatile, shattered girl. (Medieval Fantasy from Enclave Publishing)

Suspense:

Purgatory, A Progeny’s Quest by T. M. Brown — A teenage girl arrives in Shiloh seeking to reconnect with her estranged mother, the only remaining family member she has ever known, only to learn she too has died, but she learns of family she never knew about. All the while a limo with a dark past arrives in town along with unwanted interest by a stranger that puts lives at risk. (Thriller from Southern Fried Karma LLC/Hearthstone Press)

Young Adult:

You’re Brilliant by Julie Arduini — Amazing things happen when a group of high school students and women discover they are more than competent. (Young Adult from Surrendered Scribe Media)

 

 

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

Lost Down Deep by Sara Davidson, Romantic Suspense
Son of Mary by R.S. Ingermanson, Biblical
Then There Was You by D. L. Lane, Romantic Suspense
Love’s Silver Bullet by Julie Lessman, Historical Romance
Tug of War by Brenda C. Poulos, Thriller/Suspense
The Scholar’s Quest: The Way by Brad Rucker, Adventure
Illusions by Jennifer Sienes, General Contemporary
The Lost Lieutenant by Erica Vetsch, Historical Romance
A Beautiful Arrangement by Beth Wiseman, Amish Romance

Prairie Roses Collection Book 7 “Kate”: Visit the Setting and Explore the Theme ( + Giveaway )

Two key aspects of a story which are often overlooked are the setting and the theme. In many cases, the setting can become like a character in the book. If this same story was told in a different time period or place, it would be different. The theme encapsulates ultimately what the story is about. Not its plot, but its core meaning.

Kate begins in Fort Laramie, Wyoming Territory, in September 1878. This is important for several reasons: wagon trains with emigrants from the Prairies heading west often began here; the city was at a major crossroads of trails, so there were more choices on which destination to choose; the city was big enough to supply wagon trains of all sizes; although the Westward migration had slowed by 1878, wagon trains continued west into the 1920s; and it was a direct run from Deadwood, Dakota Territory to Fort Laramie.

The Oregon Trail to Oregon City, California, remained open late in the year, and although most wagon trains departed in the late spring, giving six weeks of warm and dry weather, it’s possible a train left in September. The train in my story is a small one by comparison, comprising only seven wagons. Some trains could be as large as 200 wagons. However, the couple-only requirement of the train leader would keep the numbers small, as would his strong Christian morals and insistence on observing a day of rest each week, and of holding weekly church services.

The theme of this story is that we may be victims of our past through no fault of our own, but that doesn’t mean we are prisoners of what happened to us. So many folks struggle with overcoming their childhood, bad marriages, poor choices, and outright attacks from others. I wanted to tell a story with two characters desperately seeking a new start in life, a second chance, and they learn that comes only through a resurrected life in Jesus Christ.

Since no two people’s stories are the same, I chose characters with unlikely backgrounds. The daughter of a prostitute, and the brother of a stagecoach robber, aren’t likely to be people readers live next-door to. Giving my characters diverse and unusual pasts might help readers understand that there is nothing that surprises God, nothing that He can’t overcome, and no sin too great that He can’t use us.

This story has basically the same theme all my stories do: that God offers us second, and third, and fourth chances to find our way to Him. I know this for a fact. If I was a cat, I’d be borrowing another life from the pampered kitty in the high rise down the street

Leave a comment, and I will randomly choose the winner of a print (US only) or digital copy of Kate.

And, if you’d like a copy of a cookbook Kate could have used along the trail, containing recipes that can be prepared on a wood stove, over a fire, or in a Dutch oven, email me: donna AT Historythrutheages DOT com

About Kate:

A prostitute’s daughter, an outlaw’s brother, and a stagecoach robbery—can anything good come out of Deadwood?

Kate Benton, daughter of a saloon floozy, runs away days before her official introduction into that sordid life, straight into the arms of Tom McBride, fleeing from his outlaw brother’s past. Can these two young people, damaged and labeled by life experiences, tear down the walls of guilt and mistrust that separate them? Will they allow God to change them forever from the inside out? Or are they destined to remain alone forever?

https://www.amazon.com/Kate-Prairie-Roses-Collection-Book-ebook/dp/B084VTBGF2

About Donna:

Donna 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, full-length novels, and non-fiction books. She is a member of ACFW, Writers on the Rock, SinC, Pikes Peak Writers, and CAN; facilitates a critique group; teaches writing classes; ghostwrites; edits; and judges in writing contests.

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: online courses on the craft of writing: https://what-can-be-online-institute.teachable.com/

Etsy online shop of original artwork, book folding art, and gift items : https://www.etsy.com/shop/Dare2DreamUS?ref=search_shop_redirect

Travel West in a Covered Wagon — Vicariously! ( + Giveaway )

Several years ago, hubby and I visited a museum that offered a virtual Covered Wagon ride. We sat inside a wagon bed, and looked ahead of us where the driver and oxen or horses would normally reside. Then a short film played about the wagon going down over the river bank and across a fat-flowing river. The wagon bed we sat in rocked and rolled according to the view on the video, and about the only thing missing was we didn’t get dunked.

That was a lot of fun, and gave me a whole new insight into the struggles and hardships faced by westward emigrants. Sometimes the stories we read tend to gloss over the deprivations we now take for granted: a hole in the ground for a privy; food cooked over a fire; little privacy; dust, dirt, smoke, and sweat everywhere; lack of medical care; close quarters for months on end.

But if you can’t go to a museum to experience the realities of life on the trail, you can get the next-best thing: read a book. Allow your imagination to run wild—or not, if you prefer a touch more civilization—as you travel alongside the half million or so folks of all ages, classes, and colors who headed westward.

The “Prairie Rose Collection” released last year with four titles, and returns this year with the next three. Each stand-alone book tells the tale of a young woman traveling west for many different reasons: fleeing an arranged marriage; in search of employment; running from a mistake in their past; looking for a husband; seeking her fortune in California—each lass has their own reason as well as their own story to tell.

My contribution this year, Kate, is based in a real-life stagecoach robbery that happened in Deadwood, South Dakota Territory, and my hero was one of the bandits, forced into a life of thievery in order to save his brother’s life. My heroine is running from the brothel where she was raised to avoid being made into a saloon girl following her mother’s death.

Books from last year are available right now, and Kate is available for preorder, too: https://www.amazon.com/Kate-Prairie-Roses-Collection-Book-ebook/dp/B084VTBGF2

Leave a comment, and we will randomly select a winner to receive a print (US only) or digital copy of Kate.

About Kate:

A prostitute’s daughter, an outlaw’s brother, and a stagecoach robbery—can anything good come out of Deadwood?

Kate Benton, daughter of a saloon floozy, runs away days before her official introduction into that sordid life, straight into the arms of Tom McBride, fleeing from his outlaw brother’s past. Can these two young people, damaged and labeled by life experiences, tear down the walls of guilt and mistrust that separate them? Will they allow God to change them forever from the inside out? Or are they destined to remain alone forever?

 

About Donna:

Donna 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, full-length novels, and non-fiction books. She is a member of ACFW, Writers on the Rock, SinC, Pikes Peak Writers, and CAN; facilitates a critique group; teaches writing classes; ghostwrites; edits; and judges in writing contests.

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: online courses on the craft of writing: https://what-can-be-online-institute.teachable.com/

Etsy online shop of original artwork, book folding art, and gift items : https://www.etsy.com/shop/Dare2DreamUS?ref=search_shop_redirect

 

Prairie Rose Collection — Patricia PacJac Carroll

Today I’m happy to welcome author Patricia PacJac Carroll as she shares about her new book, Susan.

Susan traveled to Missouri as a mail-order bride. Not that she was leaving anything behind, but she wasn’t sure what she was walking into. When she arrives at the broken-down hotel, she learns that Dan, the man she was to marry, is dead. Then finds out that he’s left her a wagon and supplies to travel to Oregon.

John, Dan’s friend, helps her and takes her to the wagon train where the wagon master suggests she marry as he doesn’t like to have unmarried women on his wagon trains. He points out John to her.

Susan figures she didn’t know Dan much better than John and agrees to marry him. After John cleans up, and she changes into her wedding dress, the wagon master begins the wedding. John says his, I do. Susan is just about to seal the marriage with her, I do, when a gunshot shatters the peace

A stranger steps forward and claims the wagon as his.

Susan is faced with a decision.

You’ll enjoy this clean and wholesome story of people on the journey of their lives. A gentle historical western romance combines choices, fun, and faith as their stories unfold along the Oregon Trail.

ABOUT PATRICIA:

Patricia PacJac Carroll  ~  I am blessed beyond my imagination, and I get to do what I love ~ write stories. I write Christian Historical Western Romances with some fun and faith and always a happily-ever-after.