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.

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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. 

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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? 

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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. 


  1. I shared this earlier but now I have time to say hi to you both. What an amazing story.. I'm so glad this collection was a good match for it. Congratulations!

  2. Hi, Debra. I'm so glad you decided to drop by for a visit and for leaving a comment. I'm sure Martha appreciates it, too.

  3. Yes, Debra, I do. It's a fun story for Valentine, but it's also a reminder of what our country has sacrificed for our safety and protection and democracy.