Meet author Carole Towriss

An unapologetic Californian, Carole Towriss now lives just north of Washington, DC. She loves her husband, her four children, the beach, and tacos, though not always in that order. In addition to writing, she binge-watches British crime dramas and does the dishes for the fourth time in one day.

Tell us about your newest book.

The Dearly Beloved is book #24, the last book in Guideposts’ “Ordinary Women of the Bible” series. The series is 24 books written by 17 amazing biblical fiction authors.

What inspired you to write The Dearly Beloved?

The practice of abandoning babies was common in ancient Greece and Rome. Many were girls since boys were so heavily favored. They were known as expositi – exposed ones. Nearly all of them were taken in as free slaves by the poorer residents of the city, but I wanted to explore what might happen if one were taken in as a daughter.

How would you describe this book to someone in a 30-second blurb?

A young widow, Apphia’s life changes the day she finds a precious exposita—an abandoned baby girl—on the steps of the temple. She names her Kalyani. But Kalyani is only three when Apphia’s brother declares that the child is his slave, as Apphia cannot legally adopt her. Apphia flees with Kalyani to Kolossai where they are welcomed by a house church and treated as family. She becomes a follower of the Way, but still fears that her brother may one day locate them. Can she trust the church to protect her? Or will her brother’s greed steal away her daughter and the happiness they have found?

What genre do you focus on?

I write biblical fiction. People learn and remember stories more than lessons and sermons. Jesus taught by telling stories.

Why do you write?

I write about people in the Bible who are consider “minor characters” – not the Davids and Esthers but the people who are unknown to most – some who aren’t even named. I like to look at the common Bible stories from a different perspective.

Who is your main character, and how did you choose that name?

I had no choice! The Dearly Beloved is the story of Apphia, who is mentioned only once in Scripture, in a greeting in the letter to Philemon, where Paul addresses her as “the beloved Apphia.”

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing a book?

I try to do as much research before I start as I can, though I still end up doing a good amount as I write. Then I try to write 1000 words a day.

What’s the best part of your author’s life?

The best part is when a reader tells me my story touched them, drove them to seek God. That’s why we write as Christians, isn’t it? To draw people closer to God.

What is your favorite pastime?

Watching British crime mysteries. Especially the ones set in the past. I love the history of it.

Do you have other books? We’d love to know.

I have six books I published independently, and two others I wrote for Guideposts.

What are you working on now?

I’m currently writing book #2 of my “Planting Faith” series. These books follow Paul in the various cities he visited. The first was set in Philippi and features the slave girl whom Paul delivered from a spirit of prophecy, and the jailer whom Paul led to Christ after the earthquake. This one is set in Thessalonica and is about one of the “prominent women” who came to faith, and Jason, Paul’s host during his visit.

Website: caroletowriss.com

Link to book: https://www.shopguideposts.org/fiction-books/biblical-fiction/ordinary-women-bible.html

Social media links: Twitter: https://twitter.com/caroletowriss

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NovelistCaroleTowriss

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/ctowriss

Email: carole@caroletowriss.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/caroletowriss

Amazon Author page:  http://www.amazon.com/Carole-Towriss/e/B009ZVHM8I/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meet author Linda Shenton Matchett

Linda Shenton Matchett writes about ordinary people who did extraordinary things in days gone by. A volunteer docent and archivist for the Wright Museum of WWII, Linda is a native of Baltimore, Maryland. She was born a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry and has lived in historic places all her life. Now located in central New Hampshire, she enjoys exploring historic sites and immersing herself in the imaginary worlds created by other authors.

Tell us about your newest book.

After the death of her father, Daria Burke is thrust into the role of a servant by her stepmother. Locked in her room one night, Daria watches as the woman and her daughters sashay from the house wearing her mother’s gowns and jewelry. Realizing she’ll never be accepted as family, she flees the house and applies to be a mail-order bride. Then the sheriff arrives on the eve of her wedding with an arrest warrant. Can she prove her innocence or will she go to jail and lose her one chance at happiness?

Ewan McKay’s father was stripped of his title, property, and wealth, and sent to prison for crimes he didn’t commit. The stain of his father’s incarceration prevents Ewan from finding a woman willing to be his wife, so he uses a matrimonial agency to secure a mail-order bride. But when she’s accused of stealing, he wonders if he is destined to go through life alone.

What inspired you to write Daria’s Duke?

I get my ideas from lots of places including overheard conversations and intriguing personal-interest stories. When I was considering the plotline for Daria’s Duke, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were in the news about their decision to step away from royalty duties. I wondered what it would be like to have to/want to make that vs. having the choice made for you. So Daria’s groom is a former Scottish Duke whose title is unjustly stripped. On top of that Daria is from the privileged area of Newport, Rhode Island, so Daria must learn to live in the rustic West. I love a “fish out of water” theme. But there is also Cinderella aspect to her life because her father has died and her stepmother and stepsisters are making her life miserable.

How would you describe this book to someone in a 30-second blurb?

Will a stolen inheritance and false accusations thwart the chance for happily-ever-after?

What genre do you focus on?

I love Christian historical fiction. Truth be told, I might have been born a few decades too late. Whether mystery or romance, all my books have a happily ever after. I love learning about the people and events that shaped our history, and I enjoy passing along that knowledge through stories rather than textbooks. History is often more palatable when it comes alive through the characters. I also enjoy showing how God is part of our everyday lives, and how He is there during the good and the bad times.

Why do you write?

I can’t remember when I wasn’t writing. My parents gave me a notebook and package of pens when I was around 7 or 8 years old, and I’ve been scribbling ever since. Writing feeds me. It’s my happy place. I’m an extrovert, but I can spend hours at the keyboard with my imaginary friends. I would write even if I couldn’t/didn’t publish. The process of putting together a story makes my heart sing.

Who is your main character, and how did you choose that name?

Daria Burke was chosen by looking at registers of people who lived in Rhode Island during the 1840s when she was born. I combined a couple of names to come up with hers. For Ewan I went to Scottish sites to find him.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing a book?

I have a full-time job, so most days I’m at my writing desk by 6:00 AM, having showered and done my devotions. I write for about ninety minutes, then head to work. I’m an outliner, which helps me get writing as soon as I sit down. I don’t have to spend time thinking about what to write. One day a week I work a late shift, so I’m able to write until almost noon that day. My research and social media are done over the weekends.

What is the hardest part of being an author?

Balancing all of the administrative parts of being a writer is challenging, from book production to marketing and everything in between. I’m not as good at those sorts of things, so they take longer. I have help from editors and cover designers, but there are lots of decisions that must get made and sometimes I feel ill-prepared to make them.

What’s the best part of your author’s life?

The writing community, both authors and readers, is the best part. As mentioned, I’m an extrovert, so I love the fact that social media has allowed me to meet like-minded (booky) people from all over the world. I have friends whom I may never meet in person, but we are incredibly close. I love interacting with readers, because I’m also a reader (probably first and foremost), so I get to discover new-to-me authors. FB parties are one of my favorite activities. We play games, talk about everything and nothing. True fellowship without agenda. Readers are encouraging and supportive and a blessing to me.

What’s one thing your readers should know about you?

I moved several times while growing up and attended three high schools, meeting my future husband at the last one.

What is your favorite pastime?

Doing just about anything outside, but my favorite activities are kayaking in the summer and snow shoeing in the winter.

Do you have other books? We’d love to know.

Daria’s Duke is my twenty-fifth book. My twenty-sixth, A Family for Hazel is coming out in October 2021. Fifteen of my novels are set during WWII, one of my favorite eras to set a story. The others are primarily set in the 1870s in the western territories, some mail-order brides, some marriage of convenience, and a couple in a series about female gold prospectors.

What are you working on now?

I finished my last manuscript for 2021, so I’m preparing my 2022 books. Early in the year I have two Mail-Order Bride books coming out, then toward the end I’m in two multi-author projects, one of which features runaway brides, and the other is Thanksgiving through the ages. I’ve only just started planning, so I have lots of snippets of ideas floating around in my head and on paper. I’d like to corral at least one of the stories by October so I can begin writing.

Website/Blog: http://www.lindashentonmatchett.com/

Link to book: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B09BLSX7KL

Social Media Links:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LindaShentonMatchettAuthor

Newsletter signup: https://mailchi.mp/74bb7b34c9c2/lindashentonmatchettnewsletter

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/lindasmatchett

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/linda-shenton-matchett

YouTube Moments in History: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4b-o_6cD8HkHNyFP-wZwJg?view_as=subscriber

 

 

 

Meet author Linda Kozar

Linda Kozar is an award-winning multi-published author of traditional and indie-published fiction and nonfiction books with a Southern flair. Linda and her husband Michael live in The Woodlands, Texas, and enjoy spending time with their two grown daughters, their wonderful son-in-law, granddaughter Eden, and Gypsy, their rascally Jack Russell Terrier.

 

What inspired you to write Sunshine for the Soul?

My daily time with the Lord is my greatest inspiration for writing devotional books. Almost every devotion I have ever written was composed from such dedicated time in God’s Word.

How would you describe this book to someone in a 30-second blurb?

Start each morning with a powerful devotional mixed with 90 heart-warming devotions, delicious recipes, fun anecdotes, and hope-filled Scriptures with a little humor and lighthearted Southern flair that will bring joy to your soul. Each devotion also includes a Faith Check with a daily reflection for personal application to inspire your day. So, grab a cup of coffee, enjoy the new sunrise and take a quiet moment with God as you reflect on God’s promises and His love for you. Sunshine for the Soul is the perfect devotional gift book to encourage anyone in your life.

What genre do you focus on?

I haven’t met a genre I don’t like, at least so far. I’ve written cozy mysteries, historical romance, contemporary romance, speculative fiction and plenty of nonfiction titles as well.

Why do you write?

That question depends on the day. On good days, I love to write and there’s nothing I’d rather be doing. On bad days, the very thought of writing is like a dead albatross hanging around my neck. And there are some days when I read something brilliant by another author and I wonder why I even bother.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing a book?

Frenetic, but systematic. When writing fiction, if I can write a chapter a day, I’m happy.  When writing nonfiction, if I write five to ten pages, I’d call that a good day.

What is the hardest part of being an author?

Marketing. Most authors hate that part of it. But marketing can be as creative as the writing part of it. Just a different application.

What’s the best part of your author’s life?

When a new fan finds you and tells you how your book made a difference in their life. Smile time.

What’s one unusual fact about you?

I am obsessed with black licorice. I keep my licorice stash next to wherever I’m writing. Helps me think. Helps me focus. Helps me fuel my serious licorice addiction.

How have you changed or grown as a writer?

Recently, I went back to read some of my notes and unpublished works and I see two things: creative promise and unrefined work. Since I started this writing journey in 2005, I have grown in dozens of ways. The main way, however, is not to be so desperate. To wait on God and trust Him for my writing career opportunities and future.

What is your favorite pastime?

Love/Hate pastime is writing. Second, painting in oils, acrylics, or watercolor.

Do you have other books? We’d love to know.

Until the Fat Ladies Sing Mystery series, Food Baby, Calliope’s Kiss, and more. PLUS, my nonfiction devotionals: Babes With A Beatitude, Sweet Tea For the Soul, Biscuits, Butter and Blessings, Sunshine For The Soul.

What are you working on now?

A historical romance based on a true story set in Texas close to where I live. Also, a new devotional and a book on caregiving. My agent’s going to be so busy.

Website: www.lindakozar.com

Link to book: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=linda+kozar&ref=nb_sb_noss

Social media links:

Website  | Facebook | Facebook Author Page | Twitter | Pinterest | Audible |

| Radio | LinkedIn | Bookish Desires Blog | Beatitude Blog | CAN Author Page |

| Amazon Author Page |Podcasts on iTunes | Chat Noir Mystery and Suspense |

 

 

Halley’s Comet 

Think the world is coming to an end? In February 1910, astronomers announced that the Earth would pass through the cyanogen-laced tail of Halley’s Comet. Poisonous gas, Cyanide, would snuff out all life and end the world as they knew it on May 19, 1910.

The New York Times ran the story of the French astronomer Camille Flammarion’s theory which reported that poisonous gas, Cyanide, would snuff out all life and destroy the earth! Most astronomers in the scientific community rejected this theory but thanks to this article, the frenzy had begun.

Does it sound like today? Hmmm…

The press took advantage of the people’s concerns and fed on their fears—and papers flew off the shelves creating more and more fear, even suggesting the comet might crash into the earth and obliterate it. People feared for their lives and went into hiding.

People bought “comet pills” and gas masks. Telescope sales rocketed; at least if they were going to die, they might as well see something wonderful. Newspapers, drug dealers, and gas mask makers got rich, but the terror that was instilled in many cast a pall on the world for several terrible months. I tell all about it in my novel, Devyn’s Dilemma.

On May 19, 1910, Halley’s Comet spent six terrifying hours passing through our atmosphere. One Oklahoma group actually planned to sacrifice a virgin to appease the gods, but thankfully they were stopped. A man in California nailed a hand and his feet to a cross. Churches around the globe held prayer vigils.

But the comet came and went and nothing happened. No one got sick. No one died—except England’s King Edward VII. This led to superstitious Britons connecting the two events for generations. Later, few of these crooks were held to account for their fraud, and it was discovered that the anti-comet pills were merely quinine and sugar.

In my latest novel, Devyn’s Dilemma, Devyn and the Bourne family live through these events, buying a telescope and viewing Halley’s Comet for themselves.

 

 

Meet author Sarah Hanks

Sarah Hanks wrote fiction on the side until deciding to pursue writing professionally with The Mercy Series. She and her husband have eight children, a couple of whom seem to have inherited their mother’s love for playing with words and crafting stories. Though Sarah dreams of a cabin by the beach, the family of ten lives jammed together in beautiful chaos in St. Charles, Missouri. She buys ear plugs in bulk.

What inspired you to write Mercy’s Song?

When Ferguson started burning, I lived about fifteen minutes away. What the news coverage didn’t show was worship and prayer going on just down the street from the fray. In a tent, believers from various churches and denominations came together to seek the Lord and praise His name in the midst of the chaos. People were saved, healed, and set free. The seed for The Mercy Series dropped into my heart during this time.

How would you describe this book to someone in a 30-second blurb?

DeAndre’s past continues to haunt him, even as he and his new love seek to piece the broken shards of their lives together. Soon, a shocking discovery sends DeAndre reeling and forces him to choose between the woman he loves and his integrity. Will he end up losing everything or can he cling to hope despite it all?

What genre do you focus?

The Mercy Series is timeslip fiction with duel modern day and historical storylines. I enjoy writing both contemporary and historical fiction. Historical is more work but is extra rewarding for me. There’s so much we weren’t taught in school and many echoes from the past still reverberate through the present. If we can learn from the tragedies and triumphs of history, we can create a more just and loving world for those who come after us.

Why do you write?

I write because I love to co-create with God. During the planning and plotting stage, I get up and say “Where are we going with this, Lord?” It’s a blast.

Who is your main character, and how did you choose that name?

Natassa is one of the main characters in The Mercy Series. I used to do mystery shopping for hotels, where I would stay at various hotels and rate their customer service. I had to pay attention to everybody’s names and exactly what they said. One time I forgot a hotel clerk’s name and I needed it to write my report. I knew it was an unusual name, so I went up to the front desk and asked them who had been working earlier that had a unique name. I told them I was a writer and wanted to use the name for one of my characters, so I did! It wasn’t until afterward that I found out the name Natassa means resurrection—a perfect fit for the theme of this series.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing a book?

It’s only been for the past year that I’ve had the privilege of writing full time. I spent years writing during nap times and at night after the children went to bed. Being able to focus on writing is thrilling. Truly a dream come true. After the children go to school, I spend 2-3 hours writing. I aim for between 1-2,000 words a day, depending on my current deadline (5-10k a week). The afternoons are spent critiquing other peoples’ work for a critique group, planning out social media posts, etc., but when my children come home, I’m all in for them.

What is the hardest part of being an author?

Editing. I’m more of a big picture person. Minute details? Who needs them? When I get down to line editing, I’ve been known to drag my feet a bit. I want every sentence to be tight and to sing, but I’d rather do most anything else than make myself sit in front of the computer and work it through.

What’s the best part of your author’s life?

The best part over the past few years has been traveling to various places my novels have taken place in for research. Entering into the world of my characters is an experience like no other.

What’s one unusual fact about you?

I have eight children, all sixteen years old or younger, and we’re in the process of adopting again.

How have you changed or grown as a writer?

I used to be a solid “pantser”, or a writer who wrote from the seat of her pants. That has changed over the years, and I’ve actually come to enjoy plotting. I find that I can avoid blankly staring at the screen when I have a vibrant outline in front of me. Sometimes my characters throw me a curve ball and we end up in an unexpected place, but even then, I don’t often panic because I know where we’re going. There’s a lot of freedom for me in that scaffolding.

What is your favorite pastime?

Reading! It’s horrible, but I hardly ever pick up a paperback and flip through good old-fashioned pages anymore. Most of my “reading” is actually listening to audiobooks, which I can do while driving, cleaning, cooking, and falling asleep. I do miss the feel and smell of a good book. Maybe when my children are older.

What are you working on now?

I’m currently finishing up book 3 of The Mercy Series (Mercy’s Legacy). My next novel will be a historical, but I haven’t landed all the details yet.

Website: www.sarah-hanks.com

Link to book: https://sarah-hanks.com/mercysong/

Social media links:

www.facebook.com/AuthorSarahHanks

https://www.instagram.com/authorsarahhanks/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meet author Terrie Todd

Terrie Todd is the award-winning author of three historical novels and the soon-to-be-released Rose Among Thornes(August) and The Last Piece (November). She’s a playwright, a newspaper columnist, a blogger, and the recipient of the 2018 Janette Oke Award from Inscribe Christian Writers Fellowship. Terrie and her husband Jon are parents of three adults and grandparents to five boys. They live on the Canadian prairies where her novels are set.

Tell us about your newest book.

War might be raging overseas, but Rose Onishi is on track to fulfill her lifelong goal of becoming a concert pianist. When forced by her government to leave her beloved home in Vancouver and move to the Canadian prairie to work on the Thornes’ sugar beet farm, her dream fades to match the black dirt staining her callused hands. Though the Thorne family is kind, life is unbearably lonely. In hopes that it might win her the chance to play their piano, Rose agrees to write letters to their soldier son.

When Rusty Thorne joins the Canadian Army, he never imagines becoming a Japanese prisoner of war. Inside the camp, the faith his parents instilled is tested like never before. Though he begs God to help him not hate his brutal captors, Rusty can no longer even hear the Japanese language without revulsion. Only his rare letters from home sustain him—especially the brilliant notes from his mother’s charming helper, which the girl signs simply as “Rose.” Will Rusty survive the war only to encounter the Japanese on his own doorstep? Can Rose overcome betrayal and open her heart? Or will the truth destroy the fragile bond their letters created?

What inspired you to write Rose Among Thornes?

For years, I tried to let the idea go. A story about a Japanese Canadian girl relocated from Vancouver to a Manitoba sugar beet farm during World War II was obviously not my story to write. I’m not Japanese. I’m not a history major. I don’t have the experience required to do the copious research. When I realized this fictional girl would start writing letters to the farmer’s son, imprisoned in a Japanese POW camp—I knew for sure the story was not mine to tell. Good fiction must be historically accurate and believable. I’d be in so far over my head, I wouldn’t be able to see the sun. In June of 2018, I learned about a documentary called “Facing Injustice” in which my friend Terry Tully and his mom, Osono, appear. Osono was one of 20,000 Canadians interned during WWII because of her Japanese heritage. God was certainly all over this project and I am so humbled and grateful.

How would you describe this book to someone in a 30-second blurb?

Rose Among Thornes is about a young Japanese Canadian girl who is relocated from her home in Vancouver to a Manitoba sugar beet farm during WWII. It’s also about a young Canadian soldier who spends most of the war in a Japanese POW camp, wishing more than anything he was back on his family’s sugar beet farm in Manitoba. And yes, their stories collide.

What genre do you focus on?

Historical Christian fiction. When I first began trying to write a novel, I picked historical because I figured it would be easier to get my characters into trouble with no modern technology to come to their rescue. Turns out there’s nothing easy about historical fiction, but I’ve come to love it—including the copious research. I always learn something new, if not for the current book, for another project.

Why do you write?

God’s given me this gift and I’ll never know what He might do with it if I sit on it. I keep going because I want to see what happens if I don’t give up.

What is the hardest part of being an author?

For me, it’s hammering out that first draft. I’m a pantser, so often just getting down that next scene feels like pulling teeth. Once I’ve got that done and can go back and start editing, I love it.

What’s the best part of your author’s life?

Getting to stay home. I retired two years ago after decades of working outside my home and I love not having to go anywhere besides the pretty office I’ve been able to set up at home.

What’s one thing your readers should know about you?

I’m a Canadian and my novels are set in Canada.

What is your favorite pastime?

Reading, of course. And movies.

Do you have other books? We’d love to know.

I have three other historical or split-time novels out: The Silver Suitcase, Maggie’s War, and Bleak Landing. In November, I’m releasing The Last Piece. In 2020, I released a collection of the faith and humor columns I’ve been writing for my hometown newspaper since 2010, called Out of My Mind.

What are you working on now?

My current work in progress is called Even If We Cry. It’s about the British Guest Children who were shipped to Canada during WWII.

Website:  www.terrietodd.blogspot.com

Link to book:  https://www.amazon.com/Rose-Among-Thornes-Terrie-Todd/dp/1645263045/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Social media links:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/tjtodd2

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/terrie.todd.31/?hl=en

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/12530691.Terrie_Todd