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Month: February 2019

Interview with Linda Shenton Matchett and a Giveaway!


Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! This week, I am excited to have Linda Shenton Matchett as my guest. Ya’ll know how much I love WWII stories – Linda has combined inspiration from the Biblical story of Rahab with WWII spies! Gasp! I love this so much! Read on to see how you can enter to win a copy of this fascinating story!

Tell us a bit about yourself: Linda Shenton Matchett is an author, speaker, and history geek. A native of Baltimore, Maryland, she was born a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry and has lived in historic places all her life. Linda is a member of ACFW, RWA, and Sisters in Crime. She is a volunteer docent and archivist for the Wright Museum of WWII and a trustee for her local public library.
About my book – Love’s Harvest:
A prostitute, a spy, and the liberation of Paris.
Sold by her parents to settle a debt, Rolande Bisset is forced into prostitution. Years later, shunned by her family and most of society, it’s the only way she knows how to subsist. When the Germans overrun Paris, she decides she’s had enough of evil men controlling her life and uses her wiles to obtain information for the Allied forces. Branded a collaborator, her life hangs in the balance. Then an American spy stumbles onto her doorstep. Is redemption within her grasp?
Simon Harlow is one of an elite corps of American soldiers. Regularly chosen for dangerous covert missions, he is tasked with infiltrating Paris to ascertain the Axis’s defenses. Nearly caught by German forces moments after arriving, he owes his life to the beautiful prostitute who claims she’s been waiting for the Allies to arrive. Her lifestyle goes against everything he believes in, but will she steal his heart during his quest to liberate her city?
Inspired by the biblical story of Rahab, Love’s Rescue is a tale of faith and hope during one of history’s darkest periods.

What’s the first major news headline you can remember and what do you remember? I remember the moon walk. My family and I were in Ocean City, Maryland on vacation. My grandparents were in one condo, and we were across the pool in another condo. My grandparents brought their tiny black and white television from home and set it up on a metal tray table. We all crowded around the TV in their living room to watch. I remember that it was an incredibly hot day and how warm it was inside the condo. There was a huge box fan in the window, but all it did was blow hot air.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers? Write, write, and write some more. As with any skill, a person only gets better through practice. Read everything you can get your hands on about craft. Also read lots of fiction, and not just in your genre, so you can see what other authors do. It is a great time to be an author. The options are more extensive than ever before. There is no one right way to have a writing career. If someone tells you there is, they are selling something. You have it in you to be successful.

Who were some of your favorite authors as a child? I loved Curious George and Babar books as a child. I read every single one of them multiple times. As a pre-teen I discovered Madeline L’Engle and Betty Smith (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn), and those two books are what created the desire to be an author. Both those books made deep impressions on me, and I wanted to write stories that had that kind of impact on others.

Do you keep a story journal with lots of ideas for future books? I have a file folder stuffed with ideas. The ideas are on napkins, sticky notes, and scrap-paper of all sizes, shapes, and colors. I also have copies of magazine and newspaper articles, and photographs. Ideas come to me at all kinds of crazy (inopportune) times, so I write them down on whatever is handy. As organized as I am with all my other writing associated tasks, I’ve never created a journal.

I’ve often wondered…when you sit down to write that first line/paragraph in a new book/novella, is it difficult to get that started or do the words flow easily? I outline all my stories, so all of the scenes are mapped out extensively. I generally know how I want to start the book, but the first sentence doesn’t always come easy. I write and rewrite it until it feels as perfect as it can be, then I move on to the rest of the first chapter. I revisit the sentence as I progress through the book and continue to tweak it if needed. Often it doesn’t resemble the original.

At what age did you know you wanted to write? I’ve been writing since I was a very young child. My parents must have seen some spark of imagination, because they gave me a writing tablet and suggested I fill it. I still have that pad full of stories. When I was around eight years old I created a family newspaper called “The Good Times.” I was reporter, editor, and weather girl. Writing during my teen years mostly consisted of angst-filled diary entries, but I also wrote for the school newspaper and yearbook.

How hard is it to come up with names for your characters? What are some of the sources you use? I love coming up with character names. It’s one of the first things I do with a new project. The bulk of my writing is set during WWII, and I have several high school yearbooks from that time period. My maternal grandparents had lots of siblings with unusual names, and I have used some of those. There are also websites that indicate popular names during certain eras and countries.

Here is where you can find Linda online:

http://www.LindaShentonMatchett.com

http://www.facebook.com/LindaShentonMatchettAuthor

http://www.twitter.com/lindasmatchett

Linda is giving away an ebook copy of her new book, Love’s Rescue to a reader! See below how you can enter to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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Interview with Judy DuCharme and a Giveaway!


Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! This week, I have mystery/suspense author and brand new grandma Judy DuCharme as my guest. Her latest release sounds FASCINATING – I love the idea behind it. Check out how you can enter to win yourself a copy!

Tell us about yourself. I live in northeastern Wisconsin on the Door Peninsula with my husband and son. Our daughter and her husband are near Washington DC and have recently given us our first grandbaby, a beautiful boy with whom I’m totally smitten. We are active in our church and community. I’m a retired 5th grade teacher and love to jet ski, hike, worship, teach Bible Studies, and cheer on the Green Bay Packers. We winter for three months in Florida.

Six of my books have been published and I’ve won numerous awards. The Cheesehead Devotional: Kickoff Edition (LPC 2012) won Best New Writer 2013 at the prestigious Write to Publish Conference. In 2018, The Cheesehead Devotional: Hall of Fame Edition (LPC September 2017) took Second Place Nonfiction in the Serious Writer Awards, also at Write to Publish. That same book took Third Place Nonfiction in the 2018 Wright Awards and was a Finalist in Sports in the 2018 National Indie Excellence Awards. The NIEA had over a thousand entries. In 2014 I was one of twelve winners of the Guideposts Magazine Workshop Contest, which had 3000-4000 entries, and have had seven pieces published in their magazines and two more are contracted to be in one of their books due out in the next year.

My short story, Christmas Ivy (Prism/Pelican BookGroup 2016), was a winner in the 2018 National Indie Excellence Awards and took First Place Short Story at the 2016 Florida Christian Writers Conference.  At that conference in 2018, my novel Blood Moon Redemption, was awarded Honorable Mention Mystery/Suspense.

My first novel,Society of the L.A.M.B., was published by Prism/Pelican BookGroup in 2016, as was my novella, Run With the Wind.

 Tell us about your current release Blood Moon Redemption is a riveting novel following suspenseful and gripping journeys the characters must travel to find their true destinies. An ancient relic, a puzzling prophecy, and a young woman tied together through the ages . . . It was only a relic, and hers just a name, but who knew what time it really was? Blood Moon Redemption is an end-times thriller that will keep you riveted until the very last moonrise.

My sixth book was released October 31, 2018. A few years in the making, the novel is, in the words of the publisher, Ambassador International, ‘gripping and suspenseful from start to finish’.

Tassie, named for a lost religious relic, has her sights set on her career and love, and she doesn’t have time for silly children’s stories. Dismissing the blood moons as circumstance, her unbelief threatens to keep her from her destiny. When Tassie finds herself in the center of worldwide turmoil and a terrorist plot, can she accept her family history and fulfill her place in the future of Israel? Or will the country of her heritage finally fall to its many enemies?

My husband encouraged me to write the book and gave me the idea for the relic and Hector. We both love Israel and Biblical prophecy. We were intrigued by the information surrounding the Blood Moons and the end-times. My husband reads nonfiction exclusively whereas I love fiction. I wanted to draw the reader into their own research concerning all these events by weaving them into a fictional story with historical background, current events, and end-time prophecy. That started Blood Moon Redemption and then the characters took over and I felt God’s hand in the writing. Our son is also in the book doing just what he would do.

For those interested, I’ve also put together a 7 week Bible Study entitled Blood Covenant, Israel, and the End-times. It’s on my website.

With all those characters in your head screaming to get out, how do you write fast enough to get it all down? It’s tricky, but fun. Sometimes it’s like watching a movie and I’m just transcribing and I pray I’m fast enough and don’t forget anything.

How do you push past the fear of your writing being average and be bold enough to sell it to a publisher or agent? As my friend once told me when I was so nervous to have her read the manuscript I was working on: “Judy, isn’t the idea for people to read it.” So, you just go for it. BUT, take the time to learn some things at conferences, workshops, books, etc. Be open to suggestions and critiques – it’s so hard at first but it will improve your writing. Pray!!! AND, don’t quit when someone is critical of your writing. Imitate other styles as you search for your own and practice by writing, writing, writing. 

What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? I always wanted to write but thought to be a writer, I’d have to cloister myself away for 8 hours a day and I’m much too social for that. I wrote short stories and poetry in high-school and college, took a writing correspondence course when my children were babies, then went into teaching and loved it. As I neared retirement, the desire to write again began to stir in my heart and I felt it was a calling from the Lord. I rarely spend hours writing – unless I have a deadline. I write here and there for 45 minutes to a few hours. I’m what you’d call a panster. I try to make myself adhere to a schedule but it doesn’t work.

How did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher? Even though a teacher and a good grammarian, I didn’t trust myself to put together a book ready to self-publish. I just felt being published by a traditional publisher was better vetting for me. I have considered it from time to time, but I’m just happier with the ‘approval’ of a traditional publisher.

Do you have your plot line and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write? I have ideas, a direction, but often no idea where it will continue and end. Sometimes the characters take over and I just follow their lead. I certainly pray and feel the Lord gives me direction and ideas as I go. It’s a little crazy at times and sometimes it just flows. I have ideas and scenarios swirling in my head all the time. My friends laugh at me as they can almost see the gears of my imagination taking off when we encounter different situations.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers? Go to a writers conference. That’s where you meet publishers, agents, editors, and other writers who are serious about writing. There are so many workshops on every aspect of writing and opportunities to be critiqued, learn to pitch, and network with other writers. And pray about your writing. Let God speak to you and trust Him. Realize that just because you have a calling doesn’t mean you don’t need to hone your craft. And we all need editors.

Here is where you can find Judy online:
https://www.facebook.com/judy.ducharme.18
http://judithducharme.com/

Judy is giving away a signed copy of her book to a reader! See below how you can enter to win!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

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Don’t, Do, and a Promise

Philippians 4:6 tells us: Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God…

Be anxious for…NOTHING
Pray for…EVERYTHING.

But, it doesn’t stop with don’t and do. Notice the ellipsis at the end of that verse. It is only half the sentence. Beyond “don’t do this thing that is in human nature and do this thing that you have to consciously do all the time with thanksgiving in your heart even if times are really super hard,” there is the promise of a beautiful gift.

Philippians 4:7 says: …and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

The PEACE of GOD which surpasses ALL understanding will GUARD our hearts and minds through CHRIST Jesus.

I know I want that peace. I know I cling to the promise that I will receive that peace that passes all understanding. I know even in the depth of the valley when I’m sinking and overcome with despair, I can seek God, open that line of communication with Him, and receive HIS peace.

What burdens are on your heart, friend? How can I pray for you today?

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Monday Morning Coffee and Chat 2/19/18 – An Appeal for Readers’ Help!

 

Hello! Welcome to Monday morning coffee and chat!

I really appreciate all of the questions that I get from my readers. Today I’m appealing for reader’s help with an upcoming book.

Join the discussion and get entered to win the prize!


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Release Day for Courting Calla!

Courting Calla was originally one of the books contained in the Out of the Blue box set. But, as of today, it is officially released out of the set and on its own!

You can find all of the information on its page here: http://www.halleebridgeman.com/books/courting-calla/

Can Ian and Calla find love together, or will the secret she is keeping rip them apart?

CALLA VAUGHN has spent the last three years desperately trying to get her life in order so that she can go back to culinary school. No matter how hard she works, though, she feels like she is just treading water and can’t see any way out of the hole dug for her by a con artist who stole her identity.

When flowers she sends to her best friend with a dinner invitation accidentally get delivered to IAN JONES, she decides to cook him the best meal he’s ever had. By the time she admits that the flowers were never for him, he is as convinced as she is that God orchestrated the mistake in the first place.

Ian knows God has chosen Calla as the woman for him, but Calla is hiding something big. Will Ian understand her situation, or will the deception surrounding Calla destroy any trust he has in her?

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Interview with Sharon Leaf and a Giveaway!

Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! This week, I have author Sharon Leaf as my guest. I LOVE THIS INTERVIEW! Sharon is SO inspiring to Christians of all ages and I cannot wait for you to see what she has done! I love that her travels are so Christ-centered, and that she’s taken her experiences and turned them into a novel. Seriously – read on. You’ll be so thrilled to get to know her, too. She’s giving away a copy of her book Lady and the Sea. Read on to see how you can enter to win!

Tell us about yourself.  I was born in South Carolina and raised in Southern California.  Since turning forty, my husband Rob and I have traveled to over twenty countries, lived in Sweden for a year, traveled through fourteen cities on the Trans-Siberian Railway to give clothing, hospital needs and share the gospel of Christ, and volunteered on a WWII ship whose sole purpose was to transport Russian Jews from the Black Sea to Israel.  I received a degree in theology at sixty, proving that it’s never too late to fulfill another dream.  When I turned seventy, my husband and I—on a whim—bought a 40-foot motor home and have been traveling the USA for the past three years and volunteering with first-response organization Christ In Action (CIA).  We have recently downsized to a cozy condo on Lake Murray in South Carolina.  Who said retirement is boring?

 Tell us about your current release.  Lady and the Sea is a novel inspired by my true story:

After two failed marriages, forty-eight-year-old Rosie Atkisson struggles through the painful process of rebuilding her life with her husband, Jesse, in Southern California.  But the settled rhythm of her newfound comfort is interrupted by a tug in her heart when she encounters a haunting photo of another aging lady, the World War II vessel MS Restoration.

A special mission to transport Russian Jews from the Black Sea to Israel means an adventure of a lifetime.  Does she dare pass up this dangerous assignment that will take her thousands of miles from her family and comfortable life?  In spite of her fear of water and the unknown condition of the ship, Rosie thinks this might be the opportunity she’s been waiting for to serve God.

After surviving fourteen months on board the old ship—from a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico to a heart attack in Greece, and now being held at gunpoint in the Haifa Harbor—Rosie wonders if she will ever return to her own safe harbor.

 What inspired you to start writing?  My personal experiences.  In the ’70s when I joined the running craze and I taught a running class at my church, I was inspired to write a book to encourage women how to enjoy running their physical race and their spiritual race—at their own pace.  I typed many drafts and final manuscript on my Smith-Corona typewriter as a non-fiction; however, Lady on the Run will be published as a novel in 2019.  Fast-forward to the ’90s.  After traveling to over twenty countries, living in Sweden, and volunteering on a WWII ship for fourteen months, I was inspired to write Lady and the Sea, a novel based on my true story.  Since its publication, this book has encouraged women of all ages that it’s never too late to follow their dreams.

Do you have a plotline and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write?  I write a rough draft of my plot line and the characters.  As I continue writing, the plotline develops and the characters come alive in my mind and jumps on the pages.  You might be surprised and fascinated how your story ends.  I certainly was.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?  Write what you know.  Write what you care about.  Follow your heart and see where it leads you.  Don’t stay discouraged (I guarantee that you will experience this negative feeling now and then).  Don’t give up!  Keep writing.  Most important, pray.  And don’t forget to make time for your family and friends because writing can be demanding and isolating.

What is your inspiration for writing?  I’m inspired when readers write or tell me personally how much the message of Lady and the Sea meant to them.  My inspiration for writing is to encourage readers to follow their dreams.  It’s never too late for those dreams to come true … in God’s timing.

Do you remember where you were or what you were doing when you started this story?  Yes, I remember because I was living this story.  The thought crossed my mind after living fourteen months on the WWII ship.  I learned so much about me and about living in such close quarters with people from different countries.  “How in the world did I get here?” I asked myself as I scrubbed the concrete halls of the old ship.  After much prayer, I decided to write my story to encourage readers that as we follow God’s leading, He will direct our path in a journey that we could never imagine.  Just hold on tight and go for it!

 What is the farthest location you traveled in order to research this book?  Russia, Siberia, Israel, Greece, Scandinavia, England.  Like I mentioned, I live my research.  I lived this amazing story that took me to places that I’ve only dreamed about.

 How hard is it to come up with names for your characters?  What are some of the sources you use?  Not hard at allI don’t look for strange names.  In this book, Lady and the Sea, I used names that sounded familiar to some of the original characters in the story.  In my upcoming book, Lady on the Run, it was easy to come up with names because my sources were mostly friends of mine.  My true friend, Debbie, told me, “Make sure I’m in your next book, and make me the gorgeous blond!”  So, the antagonist is Debbie, the sultry new neighbor!  Unfortunately, my true friend Debbie went to heaven three years ago so she didn’t get to laugh and cry at her character.  I’ve dedicated Lady on the Run to her because she was a strong, courageous woman of God who fought cancer with a vengeance.

Here is where you can find Sharon online: https://www.sharonleaf.com https://www.facebook.com/sharonleafwrites

Sharon is giving away a signed hardback copy of Lady and the Sea to a reader! See below how you can enter to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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