Thursday, May 24, 2018

On the Way to Publication ~ Linda Shenton Matchett ~ Giveaway

Nostalgia

By Linda Shenton Matchett

My birthday falls in the month of May, and each year I become more nostalgic on that day, remembering previous celebrations and other heartwarming memories. This year my husband and I went away for the weekend to a cozy cabin in the White Mountains. Every morning was spent writing my latest work-in-progress. It is nearly complete, and I got to thinking about the fact that the manuscript is the ninth one I’ve written, six of which have been published.

I began to reminisce about my writing odyssey. It has been two years since my first book, Love’s Harvest, was published, but putting pen to paper started long before that. I made up stories in elementary school and a little bit in junior high, but I put writing in high school. I didn’t return to it until we moved to New Hampshire fifteen years ago to operate a B&B. As we pulled out of the driveway in Virginia, I wrote my first journal entry. 

Capturing our experience reignited my love of the craft, and I’ve been writing ever since.
Twists and turns littered my path: some freelance writing in travel and lifestyle magazines, a few guest blog posts, and an opportunity to write a monthly devotion for my church’s regional association. I enjoyed the non-fiction work, but telling stories is my first love, so I set out to write “The Great American Novel.” I wrote it, but great it was not! However, I didn’t know that and submitted it to several publishers, one of whom took the time to tell me she saw great potential but that I needed to improve my writing.

To make a long story short (which as a novelist is tough for me!), I took classes, attended conferences, and joined ACFW,[American Christian Fiction Writers] which connected me with a group of authors who decided to create a collaborative blog at www.stitchesthrutime.blogspot.com  

Three years ago, one of the authors suggested we band together and publish a collection of romance novellas. I was alternately excited and terrified of the opportunity. I had never written a romance before. Could I do it? Would anyone read it? If so, would they like it?

The questions continued, including the most important: what in the world could I write about? When the answer came to me, I couldn’t get to my computer fast enough. The biblical book of Ruth is one of my favorites. While I was growing up, my family moved quite often, so I appreciate that Ruth chose to leave her family and all that she knew to follow Naomi to a land where she may not have even spoken the language. Having read Francine River’s book Redeeming Love which is a retelling of the book of Hosea set in the American Old West, I decided to set Ruth during the WWII era. Research helped me find a famine (like the one in Ruth’s story) and the British Women’s Land Army, and a story was born!

It was a long trek to publication, but as I look back I see God’s perfect timing. I wish I had paid attention more during the journey. I think I may have missed some blessings. Are you waiting on God? Instead of chafing at the bit to reach the destination, ask Him what He would have you learn along the way.
About the Book
Noreen Hirsch loses everything including her husband and two sons. Then her adopted country goes to war with her homeland. Has God abandoned her?

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

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

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

 About Linda:
Linda Shenton Matchett is an author, journalist, and history geek. A native of Baltimore, Maryland, she was born a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry and has lived in historic places most of her life. A member of ACFW, RWA, and Sisters In Crime, Linda is a volunteer docent at the Wright Museum of World War II, and a trustee for her local public library.

Linda's Social Media links:


About the Giveaway:
Sign up for her newsletter (https://bit.ly/2DDLmI2) to be entered in a raffle to win a paperback (US, or ebook international winner) copy of Love's Harvest. Once you've signed up, post "done" in the comments. The winner will be selected on May 31st.



Monday, May 21, 2018

Looking Back With Ada Brownell ~ Peach Blossom Rancher

Please Welcome author Ada Brownell as she joins us for the Monday Everything Old is New Again feature here on Whispers in Purple. Take it away, Ada!

The Peach Blossom Rancher,
 an historical romance

 By Ada Brownell


A handsome young man with a ranch in ruin and a brilliant doctor confined to an insane asylum because of one seizure. Yet their lives intersect. How will they achieve their dreams?
John Lincoln Parks yearns for a wife to help make the ranch all it should be after his uncle, a judge, ravaged it before he was murdered. John has his eye on his sister Jenny’s elegant matron of honor, Valerie MacDougal, a young widow. But Valerie, a law school graduate, returns to Boston to live. John and Valerie write, but while in Boston Valerie and one of her father’s law partners try to get three patients wrongfully judged as insane out of the Boston asylum—and they spend a lot time together.
Will John marry Valerie or Edwina Jorgenson, the feisty rancher-neighbor who has been in love with John since they were in grade school? Edwina’s father is in a wheelchair and she’s taking care of their ranch. John tries to help and protect this neighbor who has a Peeping Tom whose bootprints are like the persons who dumped a body in John’s barn. But John and Edwina fuss at one another constantly. Will John even marry, or be hanged for the murder?

Purchase Link: http://amzn.to/2arRVgG 

 Excerpt from Chapter 28 of Peach Blossom Rancher.
At the seed and feed store Charlie’s smile showed a gap missing two front teeth. “You must have rabbits everywhere.”
“You said it,” Stuart chirped. “Some got loose this mornin’, but we caught most of ’em.” He held up his poster. “I have a poster in case we need to try to get customers somewhere else.”
Charlie shook his head. “I have one customer who buys all the rabbit pelts I can give him, and kids probably will snatch up the little ones. How much you want for ’em?”
John stepped forward. “How much will you give us?”
Stu’s eyes bugged when Charlie quoted what he’d pay. John and Stu unloaded the critters, and Stu had his pockets full of money.
“You did a great job with those bunnies,” John said as he approached sheriff’s office. “It wasn’t your fault they got loose.”
Stuart’s chin went up as he stared at the blue sky. “Thanks. I really liked those bunnies, but I knew I couldn’t keep ’em all.”
John stole Stu’s hat off his head. “You’re growin’ into a man, boy.”
As usual, boots propped on the desk, the sheriff snoozed when Stu and John entered his office. John slammed the door shut again, this time rattling the jail. He had a notion to shout, “Jailbreak!” but controlled himself.
The sheriff almost fell out of his wooden desk chair. The wheels started rolling, and he hit the back wall head on.
The man blinked. Then he blinked again and stared. He touched his skull where it hit the wall. Stuart held his hand over his mouth so his giggles wouldn’t escape. 
John leaned down to Woody’s red face. “Hello.”
“You’re lucky I didn’t shoot you two.”
“Guess so.” John touched the gun on his hip. “Although I don’t think you would’ve got me until you opened your eyes.”
One of Stuart’s giggles escaped. Woody frowned at him. Then a smile crept under the huge mustache. “What you two boys need? Come to turn yourself in for the murder of Billy Joe?”John jerked his head negatively. “Brought something to show ya.” He set the box of rat poison on the sheriff’s desk.
Woody’s feet hit the floor. “Don’t you go putting poison on my desk. I eat off that desk!”
“Isn’t there somewhere you can put it for evidence?”
Woody bobbed his head back and forth. “Anywhere I put it in here, some mouse or rat would eat it. If it’s evidence, maybe I can lock it in a cabinet. Where’d ya get it?”
“I found it under a big lilac bush in the back yard. Nobody at Peach Blossom Ranch ever uses rat poison. We depend on the barn cats. This stuff would kill chickens and Stu’s rabbits, and if I got another dog, it would kill him too.” John shoved it toward the sheriff. “It’s a fairly new box of poison, only half gone, and not weathered much.”
“Well, that’s mighty interestin’,” Woody drawled. “Wellington and his pa came here a few days ago and said they discussed B.J.’s murder with Charlie at the feed store. According to them, he said you’d bought rat poison a few days before Billy was killed.”
 Meet Ada Brownell:
The sixth redhead in a family of achievers, Ada Nicholson Brownell writes with stick-to-your-soul encouragement from her Missouri home where she lives with her handsome husband. They have five children—not one of them with red hair or freckles. One is in heaven.

Ada gained experience before becoming a writer and newspaper reporter. The youngest of her parent’s eight children, she was the family tattle tale!

Her career started when she was age 15, when as a youth leader she wrote ideas for a leadership magazine. She expanded to articles for youth and then to full-length stories in Christian magazines and Sunday school papers. Her first news job was as a correspondent for the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel—from Thompson, Utah, population 98.

The author of eight books, she loves inspirational historical suspense. She’s in the middle of her latest plot against her leading characters in the third book in her Peaches and Dreams series, Love’s Delicate Blossom. Plot is all about putting challenges and disaster into the lives of fictional characters, and it sometimes hurts her as well.

 She retired from her “real job” at The Pueblo Chieftain, but still writes occasional op-ed pieces for newspapers as well as devotions for a teen magazine, articles for Live, blogs and does other freelance writing.

Her Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001KJ2C06



Tuesday, May 15, 2018

A Devotional Book for Youths ~ Terry Overton




How I came to write a devotional book for youths

by Terry Overton



One day I was chatting with my granddaughter about a devotional book I was writing. She thought it was pretty cool, so I told her to send me topics and I would write devotionals for her. In a couple of days, my other grandkids joined in sending me all kinds of topics. Within a week, their friends began to send me texts of devotional topics. The texts became real time requests, with the teens asking for advice about dating, challenging people, participating in sports, peer pressure, bullying, and a host of other topics. After a couple of months, I collected the devotionals and found a publisher. 


The result was released in April: Devotionals for Youths: Growing up in Christ. This experience taught me something that parents may not know: kids think about God a lot! They want to know, from a Christian perspective, how to deal with day-to-day problems. I was surprised at the seriousness of some topics such as talking to friends about Christ, keeping steadfast in your faith, using kind words, and explaining the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. For those who want to open a dialogue with their middle schooler or high schooler, this devotional can provide a conversation starter for hard topics. The English Standard Version is used for Scripture.


Below is an example of one devotional in the book.

Your Personal Faith

“But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect” 1 Peter 3:15

 

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” John 14:6


Your mind and heart, or soul, are amazing. One study found that we have about 86 billion brain cells and that each one connects to as many as 10,000 others which gives us nearly 1000 trillion connections. Our physical brains are astonishing. But what is more important than the brain is the mind. The mind is your brain functioning as a thinking organ. This is where you understand everything that goes on and where you understand what you read and learn. Part of our brain also processes our feelings, and this is what we may call our soul or “heart” or where we feel things like emotions. This is where our thoughts and feelings about God are kept.

 

Having your own personal faith is a wonderful way to think about keeping Jesus in your life always. We are instructed to always honor Jesus in our hearts and by keeping Him there; we should be ready to tell others about Him and even defend our belief in Him for those who do not understand. Scripture also tells us that when we defend Jesus, we should do this with kindness. This reflects how Jesus wants us to treat all other people, with kindness.


“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” Ephesians” 4:32

Know this: your own personal faith is something that is always in your heart just like the Holy Spirit. You use your personal faith and the Holy Spirit to understand Bible verses, to think about what Jesus wants you to do, and to pray. Prayer is something else that God believes is very personal. Jesus told us how to pray:

“But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you” Matthew 6:6

Jesus wants us to live our lives with Him inside of our heart and mind. He says that we should use our personal faith every day as we interact with people. We should perform acts of kindness and not expect to receive any reward for doing so because We should not perform kind acts, so others will see us doing so. God knows when we are doing these kind acts. He is watching and will reward us in heaven. These acts of kindness need not be large or noticeable. It can be as simple as helping your parents or brother and sister. It can be as small as doing something for a teacher or friend that they may not notice until later or they may never know who did the kind act.

 “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven” Matthew 6:1


About Terry:


 Terry Overton is a retired university professor of educational and school psychology. She has an Ed.D. in special education and a Ph.D. in psychology. She has two children and six grandchildren.  Her writing and publication experiences include textbook and journal articles in the fields of special education and psychology. She seeks to answer God’s call to share the good news and grow the church by writing Christian books and devotionals. She and her husband live in the southern tip of Texas where they enjoy the semi-tropical weather and spending time with their friends and family.


Monday, May 14, 2018

New Release

I'm thrilled to announce the release of  Whispering Hope, my Historical Romantic Suspense Novel!

It's now out on Kindle! You can find it by clicking on the book cover image below. 


Monday, May 7, 2018

One Brave Woman ~ Carole Brown


 Please welcome author Carole Brown to Whispers in Purple's  "Everything Old is New Again" feature as she takes us back to a look at her debut novel The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman.

Image courtesy Pixabay.com

 One Brave Woman

by Author Carole Brown

What would you do—how far would you go—to protect your children? To protect the abused?

That's a strange question, you say? We'd do anything—everything—to protect them.
But let's take that thought to a different, deeper level.

·  What if your child child had a devastating illness and all methods of treatment had been exhausted in your country? What if there was a verified, proven treatment that your country would not use (for whatever reason) but was available in this other country? Would you sell everything you own to gain that treatment for your child?
·  What if you visit a friend and while there, you see a child you suspect is being abused. How far would YOU go to protect that child? Look the other way—it's not your business, and after all, it's just a couple unusual bruises and some noises coming from the other house. Call the authorities?
·  What if your sister, your mother, your friends are being abused, and you know it, or even have a thought that it might be so? What would you do to stop it? Encourage them to contact the authorities, abuse centers?
·  What if your child was literally ripped from your arms...
In today's world abuse is everywhere! If you don't believe that, listen to the news, and you'll hear more than you want about the subject.
·  Most days, domestic violence hotlines across the country receive approximately 20,800 calls
·  Violence is often accompanied by emotionally abusive and controlling behavior which is a much larger pattern of dominance and control
·  Approximately, 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys are victims of sexual abuse

And there are tons more statistics!

So back to our question: what would you do to protect your children, your friends, your family?

In my debut novel, The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman, I deal with this very difficult and touchy subject. Creating an abusive cult who hid their hideous abuse behind modern habits and today's conventionalities, I raise up one woman who takes on an abusive cult to protect her daughters and her friends.

Did it take a Joan of Arc personality?
Maybe a little, but mostly it took a woman who was afraid, but determined. A woman who had to make hard decisions. Sometimes they were the wrong ones. Somethings, right. A woman who put the lives of others ahead of herself. A woman—a mother—who defied evil and won!

Mothers, Grandmothers, Sisters, Women everywhere, are you brave enough to read this fictional story that will open your eyes to ONE real and serious world issue?  Men, do you want to get an in-depth perspective of abuse and the courage it takes to stand against it? View the short trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSMWFgpOS9k

ABOUT the BOOK:
Brown's debut novel--The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman—is an award winning book:
·USA Best Books Winner
·2015 Christian Small Publisher Winner in the Inspirational General Category
·RWA International Digital Award finalist
·Clash of the Titles Laurel Awards finalist
·Selah finalist
·Genesis semi-finalist) debut novel



About Carole:

Besides being an active participant of many writing groups, Carole enjoys mentoring beginning writers. She loves to weave suspense, tough topics, romance and whimsy into her books, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?

Connect with Brown here:





Tuesday, May 1, 2018

"You're Beautiful" ~ Julie Arduini


 Peg here: It is my pleasure to welcome back author Julie Arduini, and to welcome her teen daughter Hannah Arduini. Together, this mother-daughter writing duo have published an amazing book presenting a touching look into everyone's struggles with bruised self-worth and battered self-esteem. Sit back and enjoy.


Title: You're Beautiful
Author: Hannah Arduini & Julie Arduini

  • Publisher: Surrendered Scribe Media (January 6, 2018)
    • Publication Date: January 6, 2018 



    The Unique Characters Behind You’re Beautiful
    by Julie Arduini

    I had just finished my contemporary romance series Surrendering Time when I was talking with our teen daughter with slight special needs about her school year. Middle school is never fun, and seventh grade was no exception. We discussed what went right and how we could improve things on our end for eighth grade when Hannah shared her heart. She didn’t want to see any girl go through the hard things she had.

    As Hannah continued to talk, she formed a story about a group of girls who would each go through a trial. The more she shared, the more I realized she was onto something. I promised her that if she worked on this and not hand it all over to me, I’d publish it and give her a co author credit. Hannah not only plotted what became You’re Beautiful, she created a three-book series.

    The Surrendering Stinkin’ Thinking series is a unique concept for girls 10-100. It doesn’t have to be moms reading with daughters, although we think that’s an amazing idea. Women can read it, college girls could be inspired, as can high and middle school students. Each book features two sets of characters—a group of middle school girls, and women who serve as mentors for a new ministry the girls participate in called “Linked.” Each book uses a character from the younger and a character from the mentors to tell their stories. Both characters have their own journey where they are believing a lie they need to surrender. In You’re Beautiful, they need to let go of the lie they believe about being ugly.

    Hayley Atkinson is in middle school and Linked is a new activity she isn’t too sure about. With her best friends, Bethany and Jazmin, they encourage her to give it a try, even though her long time “frenemy,” Jade Green, is also attending. Hayley enjoys Linked and even finds the courage to suggest a coffee time with everyone at their favorite hangout, Mugs. Jade responds that the idea is terrible because Hayley should never go to Mugs. The reason? “You aren’t just ugly, you’re pretty ugly.” That was all Hayley needed to hear to withdraw from everyone and start making choices that were ugly.

    Sabrina Wayson is a recent college graduate who agrees to be a Linked mentor because the pastor’s wife, her aunt and the closest thing to a mother she has, believed Sabrina would be a great addition. Although nervous, Sabrina gives it a try and loves being around the energetic and chatty girls. However, a run-in with her biological dad opens old emotional wounds. Sabrina isn’t sure she can be a mentor when she lacks self-esteem in the very areas she’s supposed to encourage the girls.

    Hannah crafted a story that touches on a lie all girls can relate to. If we didn’t fight feeling ugly, the cosmetic industry wouldn’t be so profitable. It also addresses bullying, family, friendship, and the power of our words.

    This summer we’ll write her concept for the second book, You’re Amazing. This will feature Hayley’s friend, Jazmin, and the Linked mentor Lena, who is a mom of young children. Like You’re Beautiful, Hannah will create any new character names and personalities, oversee my writing to make sure it stays close to her vision, and design the cover. I’ll write the story, take it through the editing and revision process, and get it published.

    How about you? Have you ever participated in a mother-daughter project? Have you battled feelings of unworthiness? How did you combat it?

    From the back cover:


    Hayley Atkinson withdraws from her friends and new opportunities with the new mentoring group, Linked, after she is told a lie that she believes is true about herself. Sabrina Wayson is a mentor in Linked who feels she can’t help encourage girls because she’s struggling as much as they are. Can they surrender the lies and find freedom?

    Purchase:


    Hannah Arduini
    Hannah Arduini is in the eighth grade and lives outside of Youngstown, Ohio. She loves fashion, Starbucks, and serving at church. She has a brother who lives at home, and siblings that live in Wisconsin. She also has two nephews. You’re Beautiful is her first published book.


    Julie Arduini

    Julie Arduini loves to encourage readers to surrender the good, the bad, and ---maybe one day---the chocolate. She’s the author of the contemporary romance series Surrendering Time, featuring ENTRUSTED, ENTANGLED, and ENGAGED. FINDING FREEDOM THROUGH SURRENDER is her 30-day devotional using the surrender themes and characters from the series. She shares her infertility story in A WALK IN THE VALLEY. She blogs every other Wednesday for Christians Read, and also is a blogger for Inspy Romance. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two children. Learn more by visiting her at http://juliearduini.com.



    Friday, April 27, 2018

    Fearfully and Wonderfully Made ~ Donna Schlachter ~ Devotional


    Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

    A Devotion from Donna Schlachter

    Image courtesy Pixaay.com
    Read: Psalm 139:14 NASB 

    “I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.”

    It can be very easy to let the things of life get us down. There is not one of us who 
    hasn’t had a heartache, a friend who stopped calling, a shortage in our bank account, a call from a doctor that we weren’t expecting.

    Living in this world, as Jesus promised us, would bring troubles.

    The difference is in our response.

    When we choose to see things through God’s eyes, we choose to see the good that comes from the bad. In the Old Testament, Joseph has his whole life ahead of him, and suddenly, it is all gone. And yet he lives through it, choosing to make the best of a bad situation. And in the end, he even tells his brothers that what they intended for bad, God turned to good.

    And he was right. His brothers’ selfish response to God’s plan did not change God’s plan. Just as Joseph’s dream had prophesied when he was a child, he would be the saving of his family, and they would serve him.

    Most of us are not faced with our siblings kidnaping us and throwing us in a pit. Although it might feel like that, when they won’t talk to us or they tell lies about us. Most of us are not thrown in prison for doing the right thing, but we still manage to build our own prisons out of bricks made up of offenses, hurts, and fears.

    And even if we are in a pit or a prison, we can still choose to make the best of it. Joseph did. Paul and Silas did, when they were thrown into prison. They sang and praised, and the doors flew open. And someone met Jesus that same night, and his family with him.

    We don’t know when our next trial will be the saving moment for someone else. We don’t know when our example of climbing out of the pit will be what another needs to climb out of their own pit. And we don’t know when we escape from our prison who we might take along with us.

    God has made each of us for a specific plan. He didn’t make any mistakes – you are who you are supposed to be. He didn’t make any bad choices for you – and He won’t let you perish. You are fearfully and wonderfully made in His image, for His plan, for His purpose.

    And that your soul knows very well. Now tell your heart and your mind, and let the wonder of the Creator of the Universe permeate your very being. Allow Him to do with Him what He wills.

    Prayer: Dear Lord, I’m sorry that I’ve sometimes let my circumstances get me down. Show me what You think of me, remind me that I am a part of Your plan. And help me to show others Your presence every day. Amen.

    About Donna:
    Donna lives in Denver with husband Patrick, her first-line editor and biggest fan. She writes historical suspense under her own name, and contemporary suspense under her alter ego of Leeann Betts. She is a hybrid author who has published a number of books. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Sisters In Crime, and Writers on the Rock; facilitates a local critique group, and teaches writing classes and courses. Donna is also a ghostwriter and editor of fiction and non-fiction, and judges in a number of writing contests. She loves history and research, and travels extensively for both. Donna is proud to be represented by Terrie Wolf of AKA Literary Management.


    www.HiStoryThruTheAges.com Receive a free ebook simply for signing up for our free newsletter!
    Books: Amazon: http://amzn.to/2ci5Xqq and Smashwords: http://bit.ly/2gZATjm