Wednesday, May 22, 2019

The Story Behind the Story ~ Linda Shenton Matchett ~ Love's Belief


It's Wahoo Wednesday again, this time with author Linda Shenton Matchett, and "The Story Behind the Story of "Love's Belief."
Go, Linda ... I'm eager to hear about this new book from you.
~ ~ ~

Late last year, I read a book called German Voices, written by a man who was born in San Francisco, German immigrants, and then moved to Germany with them in 1933, just as Hitler was coming into power. He was unable to return to the U.S. to reclaim his citizenship until 1949. Reading his story was a moving and eye-opening experience, making me realize how uninformed I was about the German home front during WWII.

When it came time to consider the next volume in my Wartime Brides series, I knew I wanted to locate the story in Germany but was uncertain what aspect of life to explore. Each book in the series is a retelling of a biblical story set during WWII, so I searched my Bible for an appropriate story. During my investigation, I discovered a six-verse narrative in Exodus about Shiprah and Puah, two Hebrew midwives who disobeyed Pharaoh’s laws to kill male Jewish babies. These women had no shortage of imagination. When he asked them why they let the babies live, they said, “The Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are vigorous and give birth before the midwife can get there.” (NASB).

Because of German Voices and additional reading I knew there was a cadre of people within Germany who protected and saved Jewish people and others considered “undesirables” according to the Nuremberg laws. Some who helped were part of the German Resistance, while others simply followed their conscience and did what they could when opportunities arose.

Further research led me to Nanna Conti, head of the German Midwives Association. Despite her extreme anti-Semitic views, she made great improvements to the midwife profession and pre-natal care for mothers, and she was highly placed within the Nazi organization, unusual for a woman. She played a large role in ensuring “her” midwives” adhered to the laws.

The final piece came together when I read about the Rosenstrasse protest that occurred in Berlin between the end of February and the middle of March in1943. A group of Jewish men who had previously been protected because of being married to Gentile women were arrested and targeted for deportation. They were held at a facility on Rosenstrasse (Rose Street) awaiting transportation. Their wives showed up in droves and demanded the return of their husbands. They faced down soldiers and stood for hours in the freezing weather. Word got out of Germany, and Goebbels realized he had no choice but to release the men.


Combining actual events from the war with inspiration from the story of Shiprah and Pual, Love’s Belief shows how one person can change the world.


About Love’s Belief:
Midwife Pia Hertz and her mother Sabine have been delivering babies long before the Nazis came to power. Now, the Third Reich has implemented mandates that require Jewish babies and other “undesirables” to be killed as part of The Final Solution. Is Pia’s new faith in Christ strong enough to defy the laws of man?

Despite the agony of the injury at the Battle of Drøbak Sound that took his arm, Dieter Fertig is relieved he’s no longer part of Hitler’s army. He returns to Berlin and discovers Jews are being deported by the thousands. When he realizes the Nuremberg Laws require his best friend’s baby girl to be killed, he must find a way to spirit the child out of Germany before the Nazis discover her existence. 

Inspired by the biblical story of Shiprah and Puah, the midwives who saved Jewish babies during Pharaoh’s reign, Love’s Belief shows how one person’s actions can change the world.

Available from:
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2V6ShRg

About the Author: 
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 at the Wright Museum of WWII.

Linda's Social Media:



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



Wednesday, May 8, 2019

ANOTHER WAHOO WEDNESDAY ~ Johnnie Alexander ~ 'Match You Like Crazy


It's Another Wahoo Wednesday, that's what's up!!

Please welcome author Johnnie Alexander with her answer to some interview questions.

Welcome, Johnnie!

How long have you been writing?
That’s a hard question to answer. My poetry was published years and years ago. But I had my first “I love this—I can do this” moment about writing fiction after first participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in 2003. Still, I was working full-time and raising my family. Writing wasn’t always a priority even though it was the dream of my heart. Eventually, though, I quit my job, attended writers conferences, won the American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis contest in the historical category, and my debut novel was published in 2013.

How do you go about finding names for your characters?
Sometimes the names just come and they’re right. When that doesn’t happen, I check out the popular names in the decade the character was born, watch TV and movie credits for ideas, or use the name (only the first or the last, not both) of a favorite book or screen character. Sometimes I use the names of friends or family.

The protagonists of “Match You Like Crazy” are named for my son, Nate, and his girlfriend Bre. I gave them different last names and have them both living in Florida where Nate was born and raised (he’s a Flo-Grown boy!). One of the other characters is from Oklahoma, where Bre has lived all her life.

Besides writing, what other hobbies or pastimes do you enjoy?
Most writers are avid readers, and I’m no exception. I read a variety of genres, both fiction and nonfiction. I also love going to the movies or having a “movie day” at home with family and friends. My sister and I have managed to take a trip together the past three years and we’re doing our best to keep that tradition going.

What is your typical writing day like?
I’m more of a night owl than an early bird. So mornings are for quiet time, email, social media connections, and the to-do list. I write in the afternoons and into the evening hours if needed. 

What take-away value do you want readers to gain from your novella?
“Match You Like Crazy” is a lighthearted, fun story about two twenty-somethings, Nate and Bre, whose families are longtime business competitors in the box manufacturing industry. Nate and Bre are loyal to their families but feel stifled by their jobs. Turns out they both have similar dreams, but will they have the courage to achieve them?

What can we expect to see from Johnnie Alexander in the future?
My next novel, To Choose His Love (Hearts of Amish Country Series), releases from Annie’s Fiction in August. I’m currently writing another historical novella for Barbour called “Blue Moon” for the Hometown Heroines Collection. Next May, I’m releasing a novel with the Mosaic Collection, a group of international authors teaming up to write contemporary stories that share God’s timeless truths.

Back cover blurb:
They have everything in common. So why aren’t they a perfect match?
Bre Fisher wishes she’d said no when her grandmother gave her a trip to Matchmaking Week, especially when Nate Hunter takes the seat beside her on the puddle-jumper to Joy Island. He’s the last person she expected to see.

Nate figures he can’t go home if Bre is his match. The longstanding business rivalry between their families makes romance with a Fisher impossible. 

Yet in addition to the same family expectations and obligations, Bre and Nate have the same interests—maybe even the same dream. 

Will a week on Joy Island spark another feud? Or prove they’re a crazy perfect match? 

 Author info:
Johnnie Alexander creates characters you want to meet and imagines stories you won't forget in a variety of genres. Her award-winning debut novel, Where Treasure Hides, is a CBA bestseller and has been translated into Dutch and Norwegian. 

Her first indie novella, “Match You Like Crazy,” (Resort to Romance Series) released in April 2019. She's part of an international group of authors writing the Mosaic Collection, a series of contemporary novels releasing in 2019-2020.

 An award-winning, best-selling novelist, Johnnie serves on the Serious Writer, Inc. executive board, co-hosts Writers Chat, and interviews inspirational authors for Novelists Unwind. She lives in Oklahoma with Griff, her happy-go-lucky collie, and Rugby, her raccoon-treeing papillon. Connect with her at www.johnnie-alexander.com and other social media sites via https://linktr.ee/johnniealexndr. Sign up for Johnnie’s newsletter on her website for updates and special giveaways.


LINKS:
Purchase “Match You Like Crazy” on Amazon
For exclusive content and the chance to win fun prizes, please subscribe to my newsletter at Johnnie-Alexander.com.



Wednesday, May 1, 2019

JARM DEL BOCCIO~ The Road to Publication ~ The Heart Changer


Welcome to another Wahoo Wednesday with author Jarm Del Boccio

My Long and Winding Road to Publication: 

Desire, Dedication and Doubt

By Jarm Del Boccio

What makes a writer want to write?

I love to express myself with the written word, and with those words, inspire others. I’ve kept a journal off and on since my middle school years, writing in it especially during troubled times. 

In my thirties, while I was a short term missionary in an isolated village of Papua New Guinea, I wrote a children’s book I titled, “God’s Rainbow of Promises”. It was during that time I began writing articles about my experiences in the bush, and those of other missionaries I worked with.

None of these were published, but I was honing my skills. When my mother died, just short of her 100th birthday, I panicked, because she was the keeper and recorder of our family’s history, and I was afraid I’d forget all she had told me, so I began to write down my earliest memories of my childhood. That’s where I thought I was headed. But soon afterward, I came across an online challenge for picture book writers, and my interests took a turn.

Since my mom instilled in me a love of history and culture, I began writing historical and biblical fiction picture books. But, I  tended to use many more descriptive words than necessary for that genre, eliminating the need for illustrations! I was disappointed my manuscripts were rejected time and time again until an author friend encouraged me to turn my attention to middle-grade novels, where I had 25,000 to 50,000 words to play with. And there, I found my niche.

Since I am a former elementary and high school teacher, school librarian, and Sunday school teacher, and home educated our son and daughter, my life has revolved around kids.

Children are at the beginning of life’s journey and need guidance and inspiration, especially in this troubled world. Yes, it’s good to laugh and be entertained at times, but when difficulty comes, in whatever form, kids need to hang on to what really matters — that which can carry them through the struggles.

I came across this quote by C.S. Lewis which expresses perfectly why I write:

“Since it is so likely that (children) will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage. Otherwise, you are making their destiny not brighter but darker.”

I have a heart for kids in Scripture and history that have had a huge impact in the lives of those around them, but have no name or backstory — so I give them both! I delight in the ‘what-ifs,’ then bring the story to life so children can relate to historical characters in a fresh way. Breathing new life into the pages of history is a passion of mine.

Kids need real heroes to guide them — not superheroes whose skills and exploits are unrealistic and unattainable. Now, I have to admit, I do enjoy superhero films. And they do have their place. But they can’t help me navigate the world I live in.

My debut middle-grade historical fiction, The Heart Changer, deals with loss, heartache, worry, and angst. The main character, Miriam, is bitter and holds a grudge against the commander of the Syrian army who captured her from her home in Israel to serve his wife.

But, as the Heart Changer woos Miriam through challenging circumstances, her selfish and stubborn heart melts. Through her forgiveness of her master’s deed, she changes many lives around her. It’s so important for kids to realize it’s not all about them. In focusing on others, they become the heroes of their own stories.

Last week, The Heart Changer was released into the world. I had worked hard for months on my book launch. Not for financial gain, but so Miriam’s story would reach young readers all across the world.

I know we are not to rely on feelings since they can lead us astray. But I was worried.

Does anybody really care?

I've poured my heart and soul into my novel, based on a historical event. I want my young readers to fill with hope after reading it. Life is too short and full of hard times. Will my book reach those who need hope?

What about my writerly friends and family. Do they like it enough to pass the word about my debut novel? Will I get 50 reviews within a month of publication or less, which brings my book up in ranking on Amazon? Or more troublesome - will I get any reviews?? What if my readers don't like it?

Am I being too pushy — too 'in your face' with my social media posts? Have I done enough? Too little? In the best way possible to make my book seen? Will people find it on Amazon with such an obscure tag?

Did I express myself with the right words? Did I misused a word, get a fact wrong? Will someone find fault with it?

My word of the year is PERSEVERANCE. Perseverance to push through the gloom of insecurity and hopelessness, and move towards HOPE. Because this one thing I know for sure — I have a great God. He wrote my story, and therefore, I needn't worry. All those readers who need hope will find my story. I will get as many reviews as He sees fit. And I will make just the ‘write’ connections to share my story with classrooms and libraries.

Because, you, see — He is the Heart Changer!


 

From the book back cover::

Can an Israelite captive, wrenched from all she loves, serve the very man who destroyed her village?

Miriam is asked to do the impossible: serve the wife of Naaman, commander of the Syrian army. Clinging to treasured memories of home and faith, Miriam faces captivity with worry and bitterness. Little does she know the Heart Changer is wooing and preparing her for a greater mission—far beyond what she could imagine.

This middle-grade historical novel reflects the heartache and angst of a young refugee in a foreign land where all hope seems lost.





About the author:
 
Jarm (‘J’ pronounced as a 'Y') Del Boccio finds her inspiration in everyday life, but in particular, when she travels the globe, observing the quirky things that happen along the way. Focusing on lives of characters from the past, Jarm is devoted to breathing new life into the pages of history.

Jarm has a background in elementary and high school education, and served for seven years as a school librarian. Grateful for the opportunity, she taught three missionary kids in an isolated area of Papua New Guinea. She is part of SCBWI and American Christian Fiction Writers and has published articles in "The Old Schoolhouse" magazine.

“The Heart Changer,” her debut MG historical/biblical fiction, releases with Ambassador International April 26th, 2019. Jarm is content with the journey God has placed her on, and lives with her husband, adult daughter and son (when he lands at home) in a tree-lined suburb of Chicago. You can connect on her author’s website/blog at: https://www.jarmdelboccio.com/

"My Passion is to Make Scripture and History Come Alive for my Readers: Illuminating the Past. Making Sense of the Present. Offering Hope for the Future

My author’s website/blog: https://www.jarmdelboccio.com/

Signup for my author’s newsletter: http://bit.ly/jarmsnews
            Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/JarmDelBoccio/
            Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jarmdelboccio/
            Twitter: www.twitter.com/JarmVee
            Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jarmdelboccio/

The book can be purchased:
Ambassador International: http://ambassador-international.com/books/the-heart-changer/ (teacher’s guide available here)
Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/2DYqQ5L

Reviews are MUCH appreciated ... the best gift you can give an author!







Friday, April 26, 2019

ALLEN STEADHAM ~ Interview ~ Mindfire ~ Giveaway


Hello Whispers in Purple readers, Author Allen Steadham is my guest today and has graciously consented to answer a few interview questions for us. So pull up a chair, grab your favorite beverage, and join us. Oh, yeah, there's a giveaway, too. 

WELCOME, Allen. Are you ready?

How long have you been writing?
I have been writing since I was ten years old. I began by writing and drawing my own original comic books. I continued this through my adult years. In 2013, I entered National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and created the first draft for Mindfire within three weeks, with the help of the Lord. I’ve been writing novels ever since and no longer have the time to make comics.

How do you go about finding names for your characters?
That depends on the novel. If it’s a story based on Earth, it’s not too hard to make up names. But I have a trilogy of novels set on an alien world. That required some online dictionary-diving to make sure I wasn’t making a name that meant something I didn’t intend in some Earth language. I had to make more than a few changes to make sure that didn’t happen.

Besides writing, what other hobbies do you enjoy?
I play electric bass guitar and sing backing vocals with a Christian band called “First Light.” My wife and I have been a part of that band since 1997 (she sings and plays viola and violin).

In addition to that, I like to take pictures of the sky (sunrises, sunsets, pretty or unusual cloud formations, etc.) with my iPhone. I post the pictures on Facebook and Instagram.

What is your typical writing day like?
I get up early (anywhere from 4:00 am – 5:00 am) and pray, then study a chapter or two in the Bible, then I write for anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes. Then I help my youngest child, my daughter, get up and ready for elementary school. Then I go to work. If I get more time to write in the day, that’s a plus. But it doesn’t always happen, so I make the best of my mornings.

What take-away value do you want readers to gain from your novel?
In Mindfire, the takeaway value is that Jesus Christ is the first and ultimate superhero. He died on the cross for our sins and was resurrected to bring salvation and hope to the world. We can’t find the answers to everything on our own. We need Him.

What can we expect to see from you in the future?
This summer, Jordan’s World will be released. It is the first book in a Christian science-fantasy trilogy. When Jordan Lewis was seventeen, she and her mother were abducted by extraterrestrials and marooned on an Earth-like world in another part of the galaxy. They were taken in by a tribe of friendly locals but had to start over, learning a new language, culture and more. Four years later, Jordan learns that the beings who took her may be on the other side of this world, she and a few friends set out on a quest to find answers and maybe a way back home. But is Earth really home anymore? And what is the will of God, who reigns over all the universe, for her life?

About Mindfire:
 
Back cover blurb:

"For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required." Luke 12:48 [KJV]

Leia Hamilton can move things and set them on fire with her mind.

Leia's father and step-mother tried to hide their past: a time when they were part of a team of superheroes. But despite being disbanded for over twenty years following a series of tragedies, their problems were passed to their children and Leia finds that her future collides with their past.

In the diverse world of human and superhuman, heroes and villains, friends and enemies, some of Leia's choices have terrible consequences. For Leia, this leads to a personal crossroads and a search for redemption.

Not your normal superhero novel, Mindfire isn't about secret identities, costumes, or evil plots endangering the world. Instead, self-discovery and adaptation is at the forefront as the reader follows the lives of the characters who are unafraid to show love and explore spirituality. 

Can redemption and renewed grace weather the flames of absolute power and superhuman strength?

Author info:
Allen Steadham created comic books and webcomics before he started writing novels. He has been married to his wife, Angel, since 1995 and they have two sons and a daughter. When not writing stories or drawing comics, Allen and his wife are singers, songwriters, and musicians. They have been in a Christian band together since 1997. They live in Central Texas.

LINKS:
Buy Mindfire at Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Ibm7SN

The Giveaway
Allen is offering to give away a free eBook copy of Mindfire to one of my readers of this post. Entering is easy. Just leave a comment below with your name and contact information and your name is in the drawing. Contest runs for one week from today, ending on Friday, May 3, at Midnight, Central Time. 




Wednesday, April 24, 2019

KATY PISTOLE ~ Interview ~ Jubilee, The Love Story ~ Giveaway


Welcome to Wahoo Wednesday!

Today we're sitting down for a fascinating Interview with guest author Katy Pistole (Pssst ... there's a giveaway involved, too. Details below.)


 Hi, Katy, thanks for being willing to spend some time here on Whispers in Purple. So, tell me  . . .  How long have you been writing?

I began writing when I was three years old. The name of my first novel was The Turtle and it was about … a turtle. I painstakingly cut out the construction paper cover and my mother stapled the binding. I still have that little book, some 53 years later. It reminds me that I have always loved words. My mother still helps me with my books. She is nearly 80 years old and is my best editor.

What a cute story! How do you go about finding names for your characters?

The names for my characters are often given to me by Jesus. In my most recent novel, Jubilee The Love Story, the name of the horse (Jubilee) was delivered before I recognized the significance. It was not until I read the story through the first time that I realized that the horse leads my hero (Clay) to his father’s house 49 years after Clay’s last visit. I re-read Leviticus 25: 10-12 with pounding heart and teary eyes.

"You shall thus consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim a release through the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you, and each of you shall return to his own property, and each of you shall return to his family. You shall have the fiftieth year as a jubilee; you shall not sow, nor reap its aftergrowth, nor gather in from its untrimmed vines. For it is a jubilee; it shall be holy to you. You shall eat its crops out of the field." [NASB)]

That's quite an interesting parallel, Katy. I like the symbolism. 

Moving on ... besides writing, what other hobbies do you enjoy?

I love horses. I jokingly say that I have loved horses since I could see. I love the way Jesus shows me His heart for me through my horses. When I was 12 years old, my parents bought me my first horse. Black Jack was everything I had ever dreamed of. Around the same time my folks purchased Black Jack, they also received Jesus as their Lord and Savior. They wanted me to join them in their faith but I felt no need for Jesus. I had a horse! What else did I need?

Black Jack contracted a fatal illness and was dying. Now I had a need. My mother suggested a prayer meeting and I had no other option. I agreed. The next morning I raced to the barn to find my horse healthy and eating hay. The veterinarian had no explanation. But my little girl heart knew at that moment. I knew that Jesus is real. Jesus is powerful and good. He has remained faithful to me my whole life, even when I was not aware of His goodness or presence.

Today horses continue to serve me as a modern-day Good Shepherd/sheep metaphor. I incorporate rescued horses in my ministry. One of the questions I love to ask my students is, “if I have rescued Scooter, how rescued is he? If Jesus has rescued you, how rescued are you?” This question is a great way to begin a discussion about the very real pain and suffering this life often brings. Where is God in all of my pain? This is a question that must be grappled with.

AGREED! Switching focus again ... What is your typical writing day like?

I am an early riser so when I am working on a writing project, I am often up by 4:00. I love the quiet sunrise, and when I home-schooled my children, the early mornings were often my only time alone. I finished Jubilee last summer and logged over 1000 hours in 14-weeks. I was very grateful for the summer and wanted to make the most of it. When deadlines loom large I am up early, writing until around 10:00 AM. Then I run to the barn to feed the six ministry horses. I race back to the house to work until lunchtime. After lunch, I release my ancient pony (Dreamsicle is about 45 years old) from his stall because it takes him about 4 hours to eat all of his feed. Then I am back at my desk until 4:00 when I try to rush through barn chores and evening feed time. I will eat a bowl of salad for dinner and crash by 8:00 PM. When I have a book in me I spend every second I can on it. I am very grateful for the time to focus on writing projects.

All right, now let's talk about your book.
Retired horseman, Clay Westin, has suffered terrible loss and turned his back on God. His only connection to life is his son's horse, Jubilee who has been lost on Clay's vast drought-stricken ranch for the past year. Can Clay find Jube before it's too late? Will Clay find peace in the process?
Is there a theme verse that holds this story together?

The theme of Jubilee, The Love Story is Romans 8:28
"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." (NASB)
As a Bible teacher and pastoral counselor, I often speak with folks who are in great pain and angry with God. This verse, in particular, sounds trite and irrelevant and they are often sick of hearing it. I LOVE helping them see the Heart of The Shepherd. I love helping them find healing in His Words. I love walking with them into wholeness.

What can we expect to see from Katy Pistole in the future?

My next book is called Having Joy. It is the story of a woman who has struggled with abuse and pain her whole life. Everyone, from her mother to her ex-husbands, has attempted to make themselves whole through her. She finally has a personal encounter with Jesus who helps her make sense of what it means to belong to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith.


About the Author
 Katy Pistole is an award-winning author and speaker who is passionate about sharing the Shepherd heart of Jesus. Katy is also the Founder and Executive Director of Beautiful Brokenness, a horse-themed discipleship and teaching ministry. You can find out more about Katy at www.KatyPistole.com  and more about her ministry at www.BeautifulBrokenness.org

About the Giveaway;
Katy is offering a free copy of Jubilee, the Love Story to one of my readers of this post. Winner's choice of an autographed print copy (US Residents only) or an eBook. (Non-US folks, if your name is drawn, will receive the digital copy. To enter, leave a comment in the section below with your name and contact information. The contest will run for one week, ending next Wednesday, May 1, at Midnight, CDT, Winner will be drawn Thursday and notified via email,