New births . . . new release!

Remember the mama bird sitting on her nest in my last post? Well, things happen quickly once they begin.

This week, I’ll be doing my best to honor Dorothy Woebbeking’s World War II service. On Wednesday the 19th at 1 p.m., I’ll be at the Hiawatha Public Library sharing about Until Then.

Late that afternoon, Lyn Vande Brake, Carol Hedberg and I will join six other creative participants at Our Lady of the Prairie retreat center near Wheatland, Iowa. REVITALIZE…the Art of Writing…this’ll be a fun, meaningful time.

The center, set on rolling hills with oak groves, makes a perfect place for some time away in nature.

Then on Friday night, I’ll be at the White Oak Library in Romeoville, Il for the launch of Dorothy’s story. As you already know, she shares the stage in this novel with a London policeman who faced a nearly impossible task during the war.

There’s such a lot to do to prepare a book for publication, and then comes the big day…this time, my “big day” is spread over a couple of weeks. There’s still a lot to do–this mama is now busy feeding her babies . . . and I’m promoting Until Then in the best ways I know.

It never seems like enough, though, so I greatly appreciate you sharing the word with your own networks. Every review you post gives would-be readers another take on what Until Then has to offer.

Thank you so much for your support and encouragement through this entire process. If you are near Hiawatha, Iowa on Wednesday or Romeoville IL on Friday, I’d love to see you. And may you enjoy the beauties of this lovely season!

A WACKY WORLD

It’s summer, and we all need some laughs, right? You’ll find them here, courtesy of Elizabeth Calwell, and in her memoir, Dear Passenger: Welcome to My Wacky World as a Flight Attendant.

Some readers will want to know this book contains some mild “language,” because that’s part of the life of a flight attendant. Having said that, I think you’ll still enjoy her true stories. And she is offering a giveaway–one free paperback book to a commenter. Now, enjoy!

Hey y’all, I’m a “High Altitude Safety Technician”. That’s a highfalutin way of saying I’m a flight attendant. 

It’s just not possible to get trained for all the bizarre things that happen on airplanes these days. You’ve watched the stories on the TV news from the comfort of your recliner, but I’m locked in with this insanity going on.

If you all think this inflight craziness has only been happening the last few years, let me tell you about my very first international flight over twenty-five years ago.

We were on the way to Jamaica. I was standing in the galley with several of the flight attendants when a woman tapped me on the shoulder and yelled, “You need to do something about that thing.”

“I’m the brand new flight attendant here but is there something I can help you with?”

She said, “I’m not kidding. That thing’s waking my baby.” 

Then we heard a strange noise. “Cock-a-doodle-doo.”

Cock-a-doodle-doo?” We all looked at each other then rushed to investigate.

A Jamaican man had snuck a rooster on board in a brown-paper bag and shoved it under the seat in front of him. Do you know what a cock does when it wakes up? “Cock-a-doodle-doo. Cock-a-doodle-doo!” 

Everyone was laughing and all the passengers were pointing at the man, who didn’t understand all the excitement. He said, “Hey Mon, No problem here. It’s my dinner.” 

Speaking of dinner, back when we regularly served meals on flights we hustled as fast as we could to get the passengers served as quickly as possible. Each new row, we repeated in rapid succession, “Beef? Or chicken? Beef or chicken? Beeforchicken?” 

When I moved the cart forward to the next row, a man sitting next to the window declared in a booming voice, “I think I’ll have some of that thar’ beaver-chicken.” 

“Excuse me?” 

“Yeah. Beaver-chicken.” 

There are things that just don’t bear explaining. I served him the chicken without a word. After all, doesn’t everything taste like chicken? 

When we got closer to the back of the plane, we ran out of chicken. I asked a passenger, “Would you care for the beef for dinner?” 

He demanded, with a Spanish accent, “I require cheeken.”

I said, “I’m so sorry, but we don’t have any more chicken, all we have is beef. 

            “I require cheeken. My ticket say I require cheeken.” 

            “Really! OK, show me your ticket.” 

Sure enough, he pulled out his boarding pass and pointed to where it was printed in bold letters, CHECK IN REQUIRED. 

Why couldn’t that man have been on my very first international flight?  I could have handed him some really fresh poultry in a brown paper bag!

###

You’ll find lots of amusing situations like these in my comedy memoir, Dear Passenger: Welcome to My Wacky World as a Flight Attendant. It’s humorous, light-hearted and entertaining with some vital information about air travel slipped in. My small town upbringing has given me a unique Southern perspective on the antics of passengers and unusual happenings while traveling.

Have you ever wondered about the life of a flight attendant? Or maybe you’ve had a hard day at work and need to escape your on the ground job. Well, fasten your seat belt and join me at 35,000 feet. I can tell you all about it.

Welcome aboard!

Elizabeth Calwell

Purchase Dear Passenger at:https://www.amazon.com/s?k=books+Dear+Passenger&ref=nb_sb_noss

You may contact Elizabeth at: Elizabeth@elizabethcalwell.com

Full Cover Wrap – Final Edition!

Monday evening, June 10 . . . I promised to share more information about UNTIL THEN as soon as possible, so here is the full cover for your perusal. Now you can read the back cover description and get a feel for the two stories interwoven in this book.

I’m so delighted with the careful work of Mike Parker, my publisher at WordCrafts.

And…the paperback should be available on Amazon.com in approximately 48 hours. As soon as it is, I will send out the purchase links. Thank you so much, dear readers, for waiting with me!

As soon as has come: here’s the address: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1948679582/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=kittleson+until+then&qid=1560273024&s=gateway&sr=8-1 

Sitting on my nest…awaiting that first “craaaack…”

How can we begin to imagine life for those men who stormed the beaches at

Normandy? Or the work/collapse/work/work/work/collapse routine of a surgical nurse

assigned to an Evacuation hospital somewhere in North Africa, at Anzio, or the Battle of the Bulge?

It helps to read the real-life stories of a real-life Americans who survived the war, and

that is what I did in researching the service of Dorothy Woebbeking of Waterloo, Iowa.

She and her three brothers contributed an immense amount to the cause of freedom.

Read more at https://lighthouse-academy.blogspot.com/2019/06/guest-post-by-gail-kittleson.html

I’m visiting this blog today in anticipation of the release of Until Then. And you can be sure I’ll be chortling the news when this release goes live on Amazon!

It’s JUNE?

Not complaining, but where did May go? All of a sudden, Memorial Day is already over–and the seventy-fifth anniversary of D-Day is upon us.

I’ve been enjoying the fabulous photos my husband Lance brings me from the great outdoors, and getting ready for the release of my next World War II novel, UNTIL THEN. Some of you may remember that old song…well, our heroine LIVED it.

A Waterloo, IA native, Dorothy served for five years. At the Battle of the Bulge, during D-Day, at Anzio, and in a lot of other places you’ll recognize. What an incredible Greatest Generation woman–I’m so pleased to be able to honor her by telling her story.

Here she is during some of her training. Be watching, we’ll be revealing the cover of Until Then for you one of these days.

Like this mother robin Lance captured in her nest, I’m waiting for my new book chick to hatch. Just FYI, I also am having a stem cell procedure in my hip, so am also waiting/praying for healing. Now, enjoy rural Iowa through Lance’s lens.

Lord of Her Heart

Welcome to Sherrinda Ketchersid with her debut novel. Sometimes, the timing for our projects change. This happened with Lord of Her Heart , the novel Sherrinda started about a decade ago, and many authors can relate. Sherrinda is offering an e-copy of this novel to one commenter.

I began my writing journey late in life. I had turned forty and still had teens in the house, but decided I wasn’t going to grow old and regret not writing a book. Since historical romance is my genre of choice, I began researching women from the middle ages and learned wealthy girls were sent to convents for an education. They learned to read, write, spin, weave, etc. to prepare them to run large estates after they were married.

The question ‘what if?’ kept running through my mind. What if a girl were abandoned at a convent? What if she was forced to either take her vows or marry an old man willing to pay money to the convent? These questions gave me Jocelyn’s story in Lord of Her Heart. 

It took several years to write the story, and by then I had learned to edit the manuscript, and worked to polish it as best I could. The novel finaled in a few contests and won the TBL Contest back in 2011, but I couldn’t find an agent. It was a frustrating time. 

Then in 2014, I felt led by the Lord to set aside my writing. It had become an idol in my life and I knew I had replaced my focus on God with a focus on writing—or at this point, publishing. This was not easy, but it was the right thing to do. I quit writing and blogging, worked an outside job and focused my free time on my family and church.

During this time I learned an important lesson. There is nothing in this life—no pursuit, no love, no career … nothing—more important than our journey with God. Anything that pulls us away from our relationship with the Lord needs to be re-evaluated.

When our focus is on God and His will, everything else in life falls into proper order. Now that I’ve taken up writing again, I’m learning that it is not about the success of my book—it is about my journey with God throughout the whole process.  

I had set aside Lord of Her Heart and begun writing a second medieval romance when I heard about #FaithPitch on Twitter. On a whim I pitched Lord of Her Heart in March of 2018 and got a request to submit to Smitten, the historical line for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas.

Within a few weeks I was offered a contract. It’s been a whirlwind of editing and marketing, and I feel so blessed to have been offered this opportunity. This truly is a dream come true.

Author’s Back Cover Copy

Lady Jocelyn Ashburne suspects something auamiss at her family’s castle 
because her father ceases to write to her. When she overhears a plot to 
force her into vows—either to the church or a husband—she disguises 
herself and flees the convent in desperation to discover the truth.

Malcolm Castillon of Berkham is determined to win the next tournament 
and be granted a manor of his own. After years of proving his worth on 
the jousting field, he yearns for a life of peace. Rescuing a scrawny 
lad who turns out to be a beautiful woman is not what he bargained for. 
Still, he cannot deny that she stirs his heart like no other, in spite 
of her conniving ways.

Chaos, deception, and treachery threaten their goals, but both are 
determined to succeed. Learning to trust each other might be the only 
way either of them survives.

Author Bio

Sherrinda Ketchersid is a lover of stories with happily-ever-after endings. Whether set in the past or present, romance is what she writes and where her dreams reside. Sherrinda lives in north-central Texas with her preacher husband. With four grown children, three guys and a gal, she has more time and energy to spin tales of faith, fun, and forever love. 

Connect with Sherrinda:

Website:www.sherrinda.com

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

Twitter:https://www.twitter.com/sherrinda

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

Pinterest:https://www.pinterest.com/sherrinda/

Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19022507.Sherrinda_Ketchersid

Book Bub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/sherrinda-ketchersid

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Sherrinda-Ketchersid/e/B07Q5Y8QHF/

BUY LINK: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Q4R9L8Z/

Freedom River

WELCOME to Claire Sanders, award-winning inspirational fiction author. Claire tells us about her latest CIVIL WAR release here, and is offering a paperback copy of FREEDOM RIVER to one commenter. 

I know the following statement is an open confession that I am a book reading nerd, but I’m going to admit how excited I get when I find a new author I love.  Right away, I look up all of her publications and dive in.

I hope you’ll feel the same way about my newest release, Freedom River.  It is a historical romance set during the time of the Underground Railroad. Several of the characters and events are based on actual people and real situations.

Stories of people who fought evil with goodness have always intrigued me. The abolitionists who participated in the Underground Railroad knowingly broke federal law.  They risked imprisonment in order to follow the dictates of their conscience.  I sometimes wonder if I have the same courage of my convictions that they did.

There are four main characters in Freedom RiverConstance has joined the abolitionist movement in Ripley, Ohio, but has done little more than write pamphlets and attend meetings. But her minor role changes drastically when she is the only person available to help a runaway slave.

Micah, once a student of Reverend John Rankin, one of the chief architects of the Underground Railroad, spurned abolitionist teachings and became a slave catcher.  He’s sure he’s found sufficient justification for hunting runaways, until an escapee gives him reason to doubt.

Opal was born a slave.  She never considered escaping across the nearby Ohio River until her master gave her no choice.  Will risking her life and the life of her baby for an unknown future be worth it?

Charlie was born free.  Nevertheless, he helps runaways move to the next safe station or employs the men on his farm.  But what will he do with a beautiful woman who crossed the river with a baby on her back?

I’m sure you’ll find Freedom River to be an exciting and engrossing story.  Be sure to connect with me at any (or all) of the online sites below.

Click here to buy.

Claire Sanders is an award-winning author of inspirational novels.  Her attention is always drawn to stories about someone fighting for what’s right in the face of overwhelming resistance.  That, and a life-long interest in history led to an appreciation for the abolitionists who dared to break mankind’s law in order to uphold God’s law.

Claire writes about Christians in conflict. Never one to preach, she lets the plot reveal how the characters’ faith sustains them through the struggle. To find out more and see an complete list of her novels, visit her website –   www.clairesandersbooks.com.

Click here to signup for Claire’s newsletter

Connect with Claire through Social Media

Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/clairesandersbooks/?ref=bookmarks

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Bookbub  https://www.bookbub.com/profile/claire-sanders

Dreams Deferred

Wow…if ever a cover provoked interest, this is it! And how fun to be able to bring to life story from your own family history. Readers, June is offering an e-book to one fortunate commenter, so please leave your response for a chance to embrace June’s unique plot!

 

The Story Behind the Story

Dreams Deferred is inspired by the true-to-life story of my great grandfather and great grandmother. I chose to set it in contemporary times, nevertheless, I borrowed many of the story elements from the true story.

Frances Mathew Halbedl grew up in the European Austrian Empire and followed tradition in which the oldest son became a priest in his family’s Catholic faith. After being ordained in Moravia, he immigrated to the United States in 1866 to serve in a parish in the state of Louisiana.

My aunt and mother always told the story of how one Sunday while saying mass, he spotted a young teen, much younger than my Mary Louise. He waited several years for her to grow up, then stepped down from the priesthood to marry her. I wish I knew some of those rich details of their courtship, but since I don’t, I fictionalized their romance.

They later moved to San Antonio, Texas, and had five children, three girls and two boys—Ida, Mamie, Alice, Roy, and Clifton, who was my grandfather. Just for fun in one scene, I imagined that Matt had a dream he was riding in a car with Mary Louise and the three youngest kids. In my story, the dream helped him realize how much he loved Mary Louise.

Mathew taught music both in the public school and privately. Later he became the first principal of a high school in San Antonio. In December of 2005, my husband and I visited San Antonio and looked up Matthew and Mary Louise’s house. The large, two-story home is still there on Roseborough Drive. We weren’t able to go in because it’s a private residence. But I had so much fun envisioning Matt and ML’s lives as they lived there with their children.

We also visited Clifton Halbedl’s home, which I remember from childhood. I also had the address for Mamie’s home, and we were able to go inside. A gracious lady who spoke no English invited us in. I have tons of pictures and hope to share them on my blog.

In the story, Matt gets a job at Jefferson High School. This is patterned after Thomas Jefferson High School where my mother went to school. Her name was Mary Louise, as well, named for her grandmother.

If I’ve learned anything from writing this book, I wish I’d probed for more information when my mother and aunt were still alive, but I’m grateful for what I do know.

You may contact June here: 

junefoster.com

https://www.amazon.com/author/junefoster

https://twitter.com/vjifoster

https://www.facebook.com/authorjunefoster

 

 

Purchase Link:   https://tinyurl.com/y3g555tz

From South Africa to Canada…a writing journey

Our guest this week has the unique history of moving from South Africa to Canada a couple of decades ago. That’s a long way–and Melony’s writing journey proves as exciting as such a long trek…probably more!

Discovering Purpose Through Writing

Who would have thought I’d be in my thirties when I decorated my first gingerbread house? I was even older when I discovered there were different kinds of snow. This South African girl had no idea.

Getting on a plane in 1999 to start a new life in Toronto, Canada with my husband was one of the best and hardest things I have ever done. It’s difficult leaving your familiar life, friends, and family to venture into the unknown. Yet Toronto was, and still is, where I am meant to be. Now I have two beautiful Canadian teenagers.

When I left the beloved shores of Durban, South Africa, I also had no inkling I would finally discover on the shores of Lake Ontario, Canada, what I wanted to be when I grew up. What started out as a private blog about my health and fitness journey on SparkPeople.com turned out to be the start of another journey—becoming a writer. Blogging taught me the discipline and habit of making time each day to tap away at the keyboard. Those ramblings paved the way to a more public blog about food, fitness, and nutrition. To be honest, I thought if I wrote a book it would probably be a cookbook.

God had other plans.

One day, at an event packed with artistic and gifted people, I came face to face with the fact that I too could follow my dream to create art. I realized for the first time I could do whatever I set my mind to do.

The Lord showed me that the only thing stopping me was, well… me.

I wanted to be a writer. Therefore, I did my research. E. B. White was one of my biggest inspirations and I realized that I wanted to be a nonfiction writer. E.B. White was a contributor to The New Yorker magazine and a co-author of The Elements of Style.Natural curiosity led me to want to ask questions, interview people and uncover the good news and meaningful stories within my community.

I read somewhere that you should start local and begin as soon as possible to collect rejection letters. They said that those would bring you closer to an acceptance. Therefore, I submitted my first article to my local newspaper, and did not get that rejection I thought I’d secure. So much for that.

That first article, published in our town’s newspaper in July 2010, had me hooked on writing. Since then, my writing journey has led me to interview sports and Hollywood celebrities, local philanthropists and authors.

Aside from my published work, I also started a blog on my new author website, interviewed Christian authors, and reviewed Christian Fiction. My world expanded in ways only God could accomplish.

Along the way, someone invited me to join a brand new writer’s group, which led to co-authoring a devotional for Christian writers and speakers. These women are now my dearest friends and loudest cheerleaders. The local Christian university uses the devotional, As the Ink Flows, as a resource and part of their curriculum. God is faithful to provide people to support us in our dreams. My husband has been a pillar of strength through it all.

Aside from doing communications for various non-profit organizations and freelance clients, these days I am focusing on my fiction work.

Looking back on that day when I said, “Hey, I want to be a writer”, I did not understand then where this wonderful profession would lead. I could never have imagined how God would use it in my life.

There is nothing more fulfilling than discovering your purpose and God’s will for your life.

Has it always been easy? No.

Has it been worth it? You bet.

Melony Teagueis a freelance writer who believes everyone has a story to tell and each story is unique and sometimes wilder than fiction. She loves to uncover the good news in society and writes human interest and community pieces. As co-author of As the Ink Flows, she loves to inspire and motivate others through her written words. In her spare time, she reviews books and interviews authors on her website. She also teaches seniors in her local community to write their own personal story. She writes Contemporary Romance with a dash of humor. Member of ACFW. Melony Teague was born in South Africa and now lives in Toronto with her husband, their two children and two cats.

WEBSITE: https://www.melonyteague.com/

FOLLOW ON TWITTER: https://twitter.com/MelonyTeague

FOLLOW ON FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/melonyteague/

FOLLOW ON GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14249646.Melony_Teague

“Whether beginners or seasoned pros, writers and speakers of all types will find inspiration and gentle encouragement within the pages of As the Ink Flows. It’s a breath of fresh air for the creative soul!” — Carla Laureano, RITA® Award Winning Author

Grab your free sample copy of the e-book here: https://bookgrabbr.com/books/38096-as-the-ink-flows

GET THE BOOK:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2NmyU4v

Christianbook.com: http://ow.ly/6Z7K30nNIig

Judson Press: https://www.judsonpress.com/Products/J237/as-the-ink-flows.aspx?bCategory=JPBKS!JPINSP

Barnes & Noble: http://ow.ly/A0EP30nNIzZ

Personal Best

Another great day at the track for our granddaughter. Her team took first overall, her 4 X 100 team won their relay, and she set a new record in the 100 meter race for this meet.

Here’s her heat, just before the race starts. She’s paying attention…she wants to do her personal best. As she told me about her self-talk before the long jump, “Grandma, I told myself, ‘Jump as if your life depended on it!'”

During World War II, many individuals rose to their personal best. We could say that for Twila Fae Brunner, the heroine in All For The Cause.

Some of you have already read how she discovered her vocation and honed her skills to contribute to the war effort. She experienced some bumps along the way, but don’t we all?

Today I’ll be at the Algona, Iowa POW Museum for this book launch. It’s exciting to think that my labors have come to fruition–it was about four years ago when I discovered the museum and began researching this novel.

I can say I did my personal best in this endeavor, and also in my next novel, Until Then. This Waterloo, Iowa nurse’s story is truly a saga–five years of service in six different war theaters. You’ll be seeing more about this book during the month of May, and won’t be surprised to learn that it debuts on D-Day. Fitting.