Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Author Interview ~ Allison Wells ~ War-Torn Heart

It's time for an Author Interview! 
Today I'm pleased to bring you Allison Wells who so graciously consented to this online interview. 
It sure would have been fun if we could have done this in person outside at a cafe in Clemson, right?

Picture courtesy

Hi, Allison, welcome to Whispers in Purple! I’m so excited to be hosting you and your debut book, War-Torn Heart. I have all kinds of questions to ask about it, but first, let’s find out a little bit about you.

Tell us five random things about you.

1.              My family has been in South Carolina since the 1640s.
2.              I was a wedding photographer from 2005 to 2011.
3.              I was a trombone player and now my daughter is playing as well.
4.              I have 8 tattoos and would love more.
5.              I wrote War-Torn Heart in 2005 when going through a time of infertility.

I’m always curious about other writers’ habits, quirks and such: background music or complete silence? snack while you write? Share a few of yours.

I have four children, so my writing habits have to be adaptable. What I would prefer often has to give way to what I can manage. Right now my preschooler is watching a show in the living room while I’m trying to work in the dining room. I would love quiet or era-appropriate music when I write, but usually, it’s kids television shows. I’ve learned to tune most of it out.

Describe your favorite writing space.

Right now it’s the dining room table. I wish I had a “she-shed” to escape to, but I don’t. I have to be accessible for the little people in the house. But my dining room table is a good height for me type at, and it is away from the television but still where I am easy to find.

What’s your typical writing day like?

I don’t think I have one! I have to write when I have time. It’s hard from home because then I have piles of laundry looking at me, or kids who need help with homework. They are my priority. I do try to write while my youngest is in preschool during the morning, or after everyone is in bed at night.

World War II stories never seem to lose their popularity, and I am no exception. So, tell us … how did you come to write War-Torn Heart? In other words, why did you choose this genre and this era?

            War-Torn Heart is set in Clemson, South Carolina where our hero Harvey is a cadet at the then all-male military Clemson College. The entire Clemson class of 1943 left to join the war effort after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, so it was only natural to place him as a cadet.
            I was a journalist for a local newspaper and covered a small town just a few miles from Clemson, and was intrigued by the local history and how families interacted with the college.
            As a Christian myself, it was only natural to write a story where my characters were believers and who wrestled with their faith after heartache.

Other than the fact you live in South Carolina, is there some special significance to setting this story there?
            I am a Clemson alumnae, and here in Clemson we have a saying -- “There’s something in these hills.” And it is so true. There’s something magical about the Upstate of South Carolina and Clemson in particular. The people are friendlier, the sky is brighter, and the Blue Ridge Mountains proclaim God’s glory every day. I hope my readers come to love this area as I do.

How much of you is in Abigail?
            So much of Abby is me! I definitely wrote Abigail’s appearance based on my own. Dark, curly hair and a softer body. She has some self-doubt, but her faith and her family are the most important things to her, just like me. I like to think that Abigail is the 1940s version of Allison. I also based Harvey off my husband with almost black hair and green eyes.

One of your reviewers on Amazon used the word “bittersweet” which makes me wonder. Without giving anything away … did you cry while writing War-Torn Heart?
            I’ve often said that my characters write their own stories, I just record them for everyone to read. So when certain things happen in the story, yes -- I am crying right along with everyone else. I will argue with the characters about things that happen, but they tell me this is how is it. I try to write realistically, and life is not all sunshine and roses. When readers cry, please know I was sobbing as well.

What takeaway value do you hope readers will gain from this novel?
            I sincerely pray that my readers will find a story that’s not just a romance about finding love, but a story that is about finding faith. I want them to see that life will try to knock you down and give you more lemons than you can count, but if you would just give your troubles to God, He will hold you up and restore you.

What can we expect to see from you in the future?
            The sequel to War-Torn Heart should be out by the end of the year. When Waves Break follows the twin daughters of Abby and Harvey as they experience their own heartache and learn to grow in their faith just as their mother did.

About the book:

                   TitleWar-Torn Heart
                   PublisherAmbassador International
                   Release Date20 March 2019
                   GenreChristian Romance
                   Stand alone or seriesIt’s the first in a series!

Back Cover: Abigail Walker, a young woman from rural South Carolina, is on the cusp of womanhood, aching to be able to run wild as the younger children do, yet yearning for things she has yet to understand. 

Awkward and unsure of herself, Abby is flustered when she meets Harvey Nicholas, the nephew of a family at her church and a cadet from Clemson College. As summer begins, Abby finds herself constantly in the company of Harvey and falling quickly in love with him.

As rumors of war begin to reach the States, Abby begins to fear what may come for her older brother and Harvey. Once Pearl Harbor is bombed, the boys are eager to protect their home and the women they love. But will Abby and Harvey's love be able to withstand distance, rumors, loss, and hurt? Or will the war be what tears apart Abby's heart?

War-Torn Heart is a Kleenex-box book with a story of hope, of love, and of perseverance through World War II, which will make readers cry, scream, and long for more.

Allison Wells:

Twitter: @OrangeAlli
IG: @OrangeAlli  

Thank you so much, Allison, for being my guest today and agreeing to this interview. I’ve really enjoyed having you here.

Friday, May 24, 2019

God's Family ~ Devotional ~ Alexis A. Goring

God’s Family: A Forever Place to Belong
A devotional by Alexis A. Goring

We all want to belong. 

Sororities and fraternities are a big deal for college students in the United States of America. There’s a whole, grueling, sometimes embarrassing process that young men and women go through just to belong to one.

People go to great lengths and do all sorts of things (good and bad) just to get in because they want to belong to a support system that’s like family consisting of their peers.

But what they fail to realize is that they are already invited to be part of God’s Family where they truly belong and are loved unconditionally.

Best of all, God’s Family is for life not only on this Earth but forever.

Beth Moore, a famous Bible teacher and writer, said something in her book Breaking Free that resonates with me. She wrote,

“God is not only the answer to a thousand needs, He is the answer to a thousand wants. He is the fulfillment of our chief desire in all of life. For whether or not we’ve ever recognized it, what we desire is unfailing love.”

Unfailing love can only come from the heart of God. Not sororities. Not fraternities. Not gangs. Not high school cliques. Not memberships to prestigious organizations. Only God.

I love the song “Your Love Never Fails” by Jesus Culture. It’s about how God’s love never fails or gives up on us. He is our Creator, Lord, Savior, Redeemer and truest Best Friend. He loves us with all of His divine heart and He wants us to love Him too. But He will never make us love Him because He wants us to love Him out of the free will that He gave us, not because we’re scared of going to hell or have ulterior motives about making it into Heaven.

God is love. He embodies the word and His love for His creation is present in nature all around this world! He is our Heavenly Father and when we accept His Son Jesus Christ into our lives, we become a permanent part of His forever family!

The best part is that we don’t have to do anything drastic to belong to God’s Family. We just have to trust Him, believe in Him and accept the free gift of salvation that He offers humankind through His Son Jesus Christ. According to John 1:12 (ESV), this is how we become part of God’s family after we accept Jesus Christ into our hearts: “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”

It’s simple. No strings attached. Only hope eternal knowing that when our life here on Earth ends that we have the promise of spending eternity with Him when Jesus Christ returns to Earth again to take His faithful followers to Heaven.

God’s Family is global. When you join His forever family, you gain brothers and sisters in Christ from around the world. Just think how grand our big, diverse family reunion with our brothers and sisters in Christ, will be when we make it to Heaven!

Belonging to God’s Family is something we should all seek before seeking acceptance from any social or prestigious organization here on Earth. Remember, your worth does not come from what your fellow man thinks of you. Your worth comes from God! Focus on what He says about you. Believe what He knows is true about you. Let Him be your mirror. Listen to His Truth. Don’t allow what mankind says to define you, good or bad. Let your sense of self ... your core identity ... come from God! He thinks you’re amazing because He made you. As one of His children, you are loved!

Yes, I know that as mortals, even when we have the Creator of the Universe lavishing His divine love upon us, we still may want to seek acceptance from sororities, fraternities or other prestigious organizations that are safe (gangs and cliques are NOT safe). I’m not saying to not seek after those things. I’m just saying to keep God as your primary focus and seek Him first. Find out what He wants you to do and ask Him for wisdom to make good decisions that will help you, not hurt you. Also, as you journey through life, remember who you are (your identity as a follower of Jesus Christ) and whose you are (you belong to God) and refuse to let the opinions of people deter you from remaining a part of God’s Family.

In closing, I’d like to share a prayer from Beth Moore about unfailing love that is from her book, Breaking Free. She wrote, 
“Oh, God, awake our souls to see—You are what we want, not just what we need. Yes, our life’s protection, but also our heart’s affection. Yes, our soul’s salvation, but also our heart’s exhilaration. Unfailing love. A love that will not let me go!”

God’s Love for you will never let you go. Stay close to Him and allow Him to direct your destiny. Remember, you are loved and part of His family!

Author Bio: Alexis A. Goring is a passionate writer with a degree in Print Journalism and an MFA in Creative Writing. She loves the art of storytelling and hopes that her stories will connect readers with the enduring, forever love of Jesus Christ.

Visit her blog at:

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:

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):

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 and other social media sites via Sign up for Johnnie’s newsletter on her website for updates and special giveaways.

Purchase “Match You Like Crazy” on Amazon
For exclusive content and the chance to win fun prizes, please subscribe to my newsletter at

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:

"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:

Signup for my author’s newsletter:
            Facebook Page:

The book can be purchased:
Ambassador International: (teacher’s guide available here)
Barnes & Noble:

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