Thursday, February 23, 2017

Interview with author Martha Rogers

It's great to have a re-visit from author Martha Rogers who shares about her newest release, Faces of Her Past. She was gracious enough to answer a few interview questions, so sit back and enjoy the next few minutes.

Hi, Martha, I’m so excited to have you back to talk about your book “Faces of Her Past.”

Peg: You mentioned in the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) email loop a while back that this was a departure from your usual writing genre. I suspect there’s a story behind this, so . . . what made you decide to dip your toes into the waters of Romantic Suspense?

Martha:  It was something I started years ago as an entry for a short story contest. It did well, and I put it aside to work on something else. In 2013 I picked it up again and decided to expand it to a novel. I love romantic suspense and mysteries, so I decided to give it a go. When Cynthia [Hickey] asked if I had such a manuscript, I jumped at the chance to finish it.

Peg: Tell us about your main character, Claire Dennison. Where did she come from?

Martha: Several friends of mine have adopted daughters who searched for their birth mothers. One turned out well, one didn’t. I started with the “what ifs” and came up with the initial story.

Peg: What about your male lead, Grant Warren?

Martha: LOL. He’s entirely a figment of my imagination, but I wanted a love interest who had known Claire most of her life and would go to any lengths to help her.

How much research was required to write this story? I mean, you’ve got the FBI involved. Smile That can be somewhat tricky, I would think.

Martha: Author DiAnn Mills and my former critique partner, Kathleen Y’Barbo Turner helped me with that. I also live ½ mile from the Houston FBI headquarters, and a clerk there answered some questions for me.

Peg: Oh wow, how fortunate for you!
I’m always curious about other writers’ work space. Describe your writing area for us.

Martha: You really don’t want to know. Smile I’m the most disorganized person you could know. It’s a wonder I can ever find anything. Two walls are floor to ceiling bookshelves crammed to overflowing with books. I have stacks of them on the floor as well. I keep giving them away, but they keep multiplying like rabbits. Thank goodness for my Kindle or I’d be drowning in books.

Peg:I can so relate to that! Now, about that book:

Faces of Her Past
  • Title: Faces of Her Past
  • Author: Martha Rogers
  • Publisher: Winged Publications
  • Release Date: January 2017
  • Genre: Romantic Suspense
  • Purchase Link: Amazon

  • Give us the back-cover blurb or synopsis for Faces of Her Past.
Martha: When a young woman, adopted as a child, goes looking for her birth mother, she finds much more than she bargained for. With the FBI involved, and her childhood sweetheart determined to help her, mishaps and mistaken identities almost cost Claire Denison her life.
Peg: Will this be a stand-alone book or do you see it as part of a new series?

Martha: Right now it’s a stand alone, but I could see writing the stories of the two secondary female characters.

Peg: After writing THE END, and looking back, did you enjoy writing this story? Would you write another?

Martha: I loved writing the story, but not sure I could do another romantic suspense. Love reading them, but they’re hard to write and do it well.

Peg: Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Martha: I’m working on another story right now that has a concert pianist with a secret love of Elvis Presley music and plays them for her own enjoyment. It’s to be part of a collection to commemorate the life and death of Elvis.

Peg: Ooh, that sounds fun and exiting, Martha. I’m an Elvis fan, too, and love it when I run across a video or two on Facebook or elsewhere. I hope you’ll keep us updated on this!

♦ ♦ ♦
About Martha:
martha-rogers-HR-3Martha Rogers is a free-lance writer and multi-published author from Realms Fiction of Charisma Media and Winged Publications. She was named Writer of the Year at the Texas Christian Writers Conference in 2009. She is a member of ACFW and writes the weekly Verse of the Week for the ACFW Loop. ACFW awarded her the Volunteer of the Year in 2014. Her first electronic series from Winged Publications, Love in the Bayou City of Texas, debuted in the spring of 2015. Martha is a frequent speaker for writing workshops and the Texas Christian Writers Conference. She is a retired teacher and lives in Houston with her husband, Rex. Their favorite pastime is spending time with their eleven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Thank you so much for sharing your new writing adventure with us, Martha. I’m eager to read it.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Birth of A Love Song for Kayla ♦ Kimberly Rose Johnson ♦ Giveaway

Once again, I’m pleased to bring you another story-behind-the story guest blog post. I love these glimpses into the making of a story, don't you?

 This time my guest is Kimberly Rose Johnson.

Oh, and there’s a giveaway, too. See details below

♦ ♦ ♦

The Birth of A Love Song for Kayla
by Kimberly Rose Johnson

I haven’t been a fan of Valentine’s Day since I was a young child when it was fun to decorate a shoebox for my classmates to slip cards into. As I grew older and didn’t have a special someone it became a day that reminded me I didn’t have a boyfriend. What teenage girl doesn’t want a boyfriend? J As a married woman it wasn’t any better since my husband, although very loving and kind, doesn’t have a romantic side and days like Valentine’s pass unnoticed.

All those feelings culminated on Valentine’s Day in 2014 when I was sick of seeing happy posts on Facebook about all the wonderful things my friends’ husbands were doing for them for Valentine’s Day. That day I sat down at my computer and created a character who felt exactly the same way I did about the day, but made it even harder for her. She owns a florist shop where she can’t escape her least favorite day of the year.

That was how A Love Song for Kayla came to be. In short it was me working through my own feelings through my character. Kayla is a true romantic and even though she finds Valentine’s Day to be a let down, she rejoices in the pleasure others get from it. After all, she’s in the flower business. I’m happy to say, writing Kayla’s story was cathartic for me. I no longer have such strong feelings about Valentine’s Day. Kayla’s tune also changed when she met Derek.

Title: A Love Song for Kayla
Author: Kimberly Rose Johnson
Publisher: Sweet Rose Press
Release Date: Feb. 2, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Book one--series is untitled
Target Audience: Women ages 18-60

Here is a little bit about the story:

Ever since she was sixteen Kayla Russell has dreamed of her perfect man. She even went so far as to make a list of desired qualities. The list has proven to be a bust since no man is that perfect, at least until she meets Derek. But will his secrets come between them and destroy what could have been something wonderful?

When music superstar Derek Parker comes to small town Oregon to escape the paparazzi, he goes incognito as a deliveryman. He wants to leave his old life behind, but it proves to be harder than he realized when his past finds him. Now the woman he has come to care for feels deceived and no longer wants anything to do with him.

For all of you who don’t enjoy the take, take heart, it’s only one day. J For the rest of you, I hope you have a wonderful day with your sweetheart.

About Kimberly:

Kimberly Rose Johnson married her college sweetheart and lives in the Pacific Northwest. From a young child Kimberly has been an avid reader. That love of reading fostered a creative mind and led to her passion for writing.

She especially loves romance and writes contemporary romance that warms the heart and feeds the soul.

Kimberly holds a degree in Behavioral Science from Northwest University in Kirkland, Washington. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.

You can sign up for Kimberly's newsletter via her website at:

About the Giveaway:
Kimberly is offering an eBook copy of A Love Song for Kayla to one of my readers. To enter, simply leave a comment below with your contact information–your email disguised. For example: you (at) abczyz (dot) com. This is so we can contact you should you turn out to be the winner in a drawing through

Giveaway runs from today, February 16, 2017, ending at Midnight CST, on February 23, 2017. Winner will be notified via email on Friday, February 24.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A Peek Into the Writing of Amish Fiction ♦ Laura V. Hilton

Amish Country

Hi, dear reader. Please welcome author Laura V. Hilton to Whispers in Purple. Laura was willing to share the "story behind the story" about her latest release The Amish Wanderer. Thanks, Laura, for being my guest today.

♦ ♦ ♦

I didn’t intentionally set out to write an Amish story loosely based on a true story. If fact, when people asked me if I would write my maternal grandparents’ story, I told them no.


But when time came to write Bethany’s story, all I knew was a short paragraph blurb about it. Bethany and her once-upon-a-time boyfriend Silas who left that particular Amish district and her before their relationship became serious. I didn’t know their backstories, really, and had no idea how the story would proceed. And since I don’t plot, I spend a lot of time praying about the story, because really, I want to write what He says to write. He knows who He wants it to reach.


So I sat down to pray about it. And God gave me a verse. Which is unusual at the beginning of the story. Usually, for me, it’s at the middle when God reveals His theme for the book. But this time, it was at the beginning. The verse is:

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39 (KJV)
And the verses caused more prayer. What am I supposed to do with it?

I was driving to Melbourne (Arkansas, not Australia) to pay property taxes and get my vehicle tags renewed, listening to the radio as we (my three daughters and I) drove down Larkin Road (that’s not the real name, just what everyone calls it—we have a lot of those around here: Day Road, Moko Road, etc—because there are ghost towns on these roads so they are called by the name of the ghost town). A song came on the radio and I don’t remember the name of it, or even who the singer was, but when I arrived in Melbourne, I had the opening line to my story.

The sky is falling and I’m searching for somewhere to hide.

I’m sure the people at the county clerk’s office might have been a little concerned about the state of my mental health when they saw the words scribbled at the top of my bill. I did get a strange look. I didn’t offer an explanation. And they didn’t ask.

When I got home, I started writing and paying close attention to Bethany’s mental clues (and Silas’s) to figure out what their stories were. And how they tied into the verse God had given me.

And then, without even realizing it until it hit, I knew who’s story I was writing.

My grandmother’s. My grandfather’s.

Except they are different. My grandmother wasn’t date raped. It was a member of her own family. And she wasn’t in love with my grandfather. She just discovered he was leaving the Amish and she wanted—needed—to escape.

Neither were Christians at the time. My grandfather was saved on his death bed. My grandmother’s youngest child was a teenager when she was saved. My mother, her sister, and all their girlfriends went to a tent meeting for a United Brethren Church and my grandmother attended one of the meetings with her daughters and was saved as a result. And their testimonies ultimately led to the salvation of my uncle and my grandfather. 

Both of my grandparents had a lot of issues to work through as to why God allowed the bad things in their lives to happen. That they eventually came to Christ is a miracle but I’m glad they did, as I was raised in a Christian home.

Why does God allow bad things to happen to people? The short, pat answer is: because sin entered the world. Yes, God could stop them. But what if He uses the bad thing to refine a person’s faith, to draw them closer to Him as a result?

How a person reacts to the bad things directly ties in to how they affect them. In my story, Silas chose to trust God even though he feared for his life. No, he didn’t like what had happened, but even though he didn’t see how, he trusted God was working behind the scenes to bring Silas to where he needed to be, spiritually and physically. On the other hand, Bethany believed God had rejected her. Pushed her away and didn’t care about her. If He didn’t care for her, why should she care about Him? So she went into a stand-off with God.

The lessons ultimately learned, for both my grandparents and my characters, brought them to their knees before the living and holy God who was, and is, and is to come. And I trust God will use this story to help a reader out there who might be questioning something terrible that happened in their life.

You might not see how now and may not know why until eternity, but God has this. Keep praying. Keep trusting. Keep believing. 
"For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39 (KJV)

The Amish Wanderer

Bethany Weiss has been fascinated by Silas Beiler since he spent a couple of years in Jamesport, Missouri, before he and his family moved to another Amish community. They hadn’t kept in touch, but she hasn’t forgotten the friendly young man who brought her lemonade and took her home once from a Singing years ago. When she finds a man sleeping in her family’s barn, like Jesus sleeping in the hay, she is stunned to recognize Silas. He’s left the Amish and is backpacking across the country. She talks him into staying, at least until after Christmas.

Silas’ family has never been happy living in one area for long, and their vagabond ways are wearing on him. He’s lived in Amish communities all over the nation, moving whenever his daed became disgruntled with the leaders, and he’s looking for some sense of stability. His intentions are to make it back to Pennsylvania and stay with his Englisch onkle and his family—and pursue an education. Will Bethany be the one to bring Silas in from the cold? Or will he continue on his way to his extended family and become Englisch? 

♦ ♦ ♦

About Laura:

Laura V. Hilton is an award-winning, sought-after author with almost twenty Amish, contemporary, and historical romances. When she’s not writing, she reviews books for her blogs, and writes devotionals for blog posts for Seriously Write and Putting on the New.

Laura and her pastor-husband have five children and a hyper dog named Skye and currently live in Arkansas. One son is in the U.S. Coast Guard. She is a pastor’s wife, and homeschools her two youngest children.

When she’s not writing, Laura enjoys reading, and visiting lighthouses and waterfalls. Her favorite season is winter, her favorite holiday is Christmas. 

You can find Laura's books here:

And you can find Laura here:

Thursday, February 9, 2017

"Be True": Behind the Story ♦ Martha Rogers

I'm thrilled to welcome author Martha Rogers to Whispers in Purple today. Please join us as she shares about her book Be True, and the story behind the writing of it.

♦ ♦ ♦

Behind the Story of BE TRUE
by Martha Rogers

This past December marked the 75th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack. I was only five years old, but I vaguely remember sitting around the radio waiting for President Roosevelt to come to speak to the country. Everyone was very solemn and talked in low tones about war after the broadcast was over.

Those days following our entry into the war remained very vivid in my mind.  In 1961, when my husband and I were expecting our first baby, we moved in next door to a family who took us under their wing. I learned that the father, John Elam, was a navy veteran of WWII and was at Pearl Harbor. He didn’t want to talk much about it, so I didn’t press him.

His wife, Dorothy, told me how they met, and a love story began brewing in my head. I wrote a synopsis of a love story set in Hawaii, but didn’t do anything with it until years later when I had an agent and wrote it as a novel. She submitted it several times, but it was never accepted, so I put it away and forgot about it.

Then Cynthia Hickey put out a call for Valentine stores with the titles to be based on Valentine candy hearts. When I realized this was a big anniversary for Pearl Harbor, I immediately thought of this love story and decided to use it.

I brought it up to date and set it at the time of the celebration that went on for several weeks. I did research on all the events to take place and made them events in my story. The hero is a Navy officer assigned to my heroine’s family as their official escort for the various events including one that would honor the heroine’s great-grandfather as a hero of Pearl Harbor.

John and Dorothy Elam remained friends until their deaths several years ago, and I even taught their grandson seventh grade English. When his daughter mentioned to me he would have been 95 on his birthday in 2017, I knew this book would be dedicated to him and his years of service. 

♦ ♦ ♦

About the Book:

Kari Benson’s Marine fiancé died in Afghanistan and she is determined that won’t happen again. Even though her great-grandfather, grandfather, father and brother are all military, she vows to stay away from any man associated with the military.

While in Hawaii to commemorate her grandparents’ anniversary in the same chapel where they married and Pearl Harbor Memorial recognitio
n of her great-grandfather, she meets Lieutenant Spencer Langston who is the public affairs Navy officer assigned to escort them to all activities.

When his kindness and attention to detail for the family begins to rock her boat of resolve, she flees back to New York. Spencer is determined to break down the walls of her heart. When he shows up on Kari’s doorstep on Valentine’s Day, she remembers her grandmother’s advice to be true to her heart and God’s will.

 Will she be willing to fall overboard to be rescued by Spencer or grab her life-jacket and hang on to the past? 

♦ ♦ ♦

About the Author:

Martha Rogers is a free-lance writer and multi-published author from Realms Fiction of Charisma Media and Winged Publications. She was named Writer of the Year at the Texas Christian Writers Conference in 2009. She is a member of ACFW and writes the weekly Verse of the Week for the ACFW Loop. ACFW awarded her the Volunteer of the Year in 2014. Her first electronic series from Winged Publications, Love in the Bayou City of Texas, debuted in the spring of 2015.  Martha is a frequent speaker for writing workshops and the Texas Christian Writers Conference. She is a retired teacher and lives in Houston with her husband, Rex. Their favorite pastime is spending time with their eleven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. 

You can find Martha at:

Twitter: @MarthaRogers2

Thank you so much for sharing, Martha. I love "story behind the story" articles.

Dear Readers: If you've enjoyed this post, be sure to mark your calendars for February 23, when Martha returns to spotlight another book, this time with an interview, so you can get to know her a little better. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Author Gail Kittleson Has a New Book Coming Out!

Hello, Whisperers! It is my pleasure to welcome author Gail Kittleson as she shares her thoughts and information about her soon-to-be-released new book: With Each New Dawn.

Welcome, Gail, tell us about this book.

With Each New Dawn has been through the mill! Writing this historical women’s fiction, the sequel to In Times Like These, has taken years,  required a LOT of research, some drastic revisions, and sooooo much editing. But oh my—I have learned so much, and really LOVE this story!

It used to be titled A Purpose True, which is what the heroine, Kate, seeks. But With Each New Dawn fits her wild story perfectly—the kind of saga she must take only one day at a time, even though she’s an adventurous, inquisitive sort. 

If only she could learn more about her parents, who died when she was young. Not likely, since she’s in London during the Blitzkrieg…but that not likely becomes unexpected reality when she meets a mysterious Frenchman who says she’s the spitting image of her mother, whom he met in the Great War. He produces photos to prove his claim, and for the first time, she glimpses her father, who served as an Allied spy. 

            Kate thought she had plenty on her plate, grieving her Royal Air Force pilot husband’s death and facing motherhood alone. But little did she know that war hadn’t finished turning her world upside down. Her story will pull readers into the dangers of wartime London, and even further, into the suffering of simple French peasants.

            During such trials, we ask interminable questions. But we can also grow and deepen in our faith. Come along with Kate into an era of uncertainties and great peril, the era of our parents and grandparents, the Greatest Generation.   

About the book: 

American Kate Isaac grieves her husband, awaits their child’s birth, and welcomes her best friend Addie to war-torn London. But after her miscarriage, a meeting with mysterious Monsieur le Blanc launches her into Britain’s Secret Operations Executive(SOE). In late 1943, Kate parachutes into Southern France to aid the Resistance.
Domingo, a grieving Basque mountain guide-turned-saboteur, meets her parachute drop, tends her injured ankle, and carries her to safety. Reunited a few months later, they discover the injured Monsieur le Blanc who with his dying breath reveals his familial connection to Kate.
In the shadow of Waffen SS atrocities, Domingo and Kate find his younger brother Gabirel missing. While Domingo seeks Gabirel, Domingo’s parish priest, Père Gaspard, creates a new identity for Kate.
United once again, Kate and Domingo subject their mutual attraction to the cause. But can mere human will and moral courage change the war’s tide and forge a future for them?
Available for preorder at 
About the Author: 
Gail Kittleson taught college expository writing and English as a Second Language before writing women’s fiction—it took a loooong time to believe she could do this. She facilitates writing workshops and women’s retreats from northern Iowa, where she and her husband enjoy their grandchildren and gardening. In winter, the Arizona mountains provide new novel fodder, and she’s a proud member of Christian Writers of the West (CWOW)  

Connect with Gail: 

Gail, thank you so much for being my guest today! This new release sounds fascinating and I'm looking forward to reading it soon!