Review post for “Ludwika” on http://rachelmcgrath.net/blogs/books-to-read

Christoph Fischer is one of my favorite Indie Authors. He’s just released Lukwika, the story of a real woman and her struggles during and after World War II Nazi Germany. Check out this important work of historical “faction.”

writerchristophfischer

Re-blog from http://rachelmcgrath.net/blogs/books-to-read/2015/12/ludwika-by-christoph-fischer/

Christoph Fischer is one of the most talented and gifted writers I have come across. Many of his books could almost certainly pass for non-fiction with their realistic portrayal of characters, well researched plots and more so, the way he tells the story, keeping you thoroughly engrossed from cover to cover.61b5f-christoph2bfischer2bcover2bludwika

Having just finished Ludwika: A Polish Woman’s Struggle to Survive in Nazi Germany, I was truly moved; left with a lump in my throat and a sadness for a time in history that many of us will never truly understand.

Ludwika Gierz was a real person, and whilst parts of the story are fictionalised, the essence of this Polish woman’s story through world war two in the midst of Nazi Germany is very real. Where racism was rife, and Hitler’s Mein Kampf dictated the treatment of many nations outside of German, the author portrays…

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AUTHOR WEDNESDAY – NANCY RADKE

 

DSC03109It’s the holiday edition of Author Wednesday, and what better way to celebrate this season than to feature an author with a sweet Christmas romance! Welcome to Nancy Radke who’s going to tell us about her novella, Christmas on Cougar Mountain, which is on sale for $0.99 through the whole month of December.

 

May you be blessed with peace and love during the holiday season.

Christmas on Cougar Mountain  and How It Came To Be

By Nancy Radke

A lot of folks can’t believe that anyone can help a person with dyslexia in just a week. This skepticism furnished the conflict for this romance, as the heroine is a Davis Facilitator, and the hero’s son is dyslexic. The hero, Kellen, thinks that Zoey is running a scam, and he only agrees to let her help his son because they are stuck on the mountain at her home (road washed out). He resists falling in love with her, not wanting to love a scam artist.

This book was a lot of fun to write. My favorite scene was when Kellen, an electrician who claimed that ladders liked him, had a ladder tip over and drop him upside down in a holly tree. His dog, Sam, is an escape artist, who never stays where he is put. It also required a lot of research into dyslexia, some of which I knew about as I had already helped children using the Davis method. A Davis employee read my rough draft and made suggestions to keep the story accurate. The message for this book is about giving someone a second chance.

A one-sentence pitch for this book:  An escape artist collie brings a lonely woman and a troubled man together on Christmas.

I changed the title as my first few tries were not interesting enough. I usually don’t get a title until my book is almost finished, as then I can see what it is about. I start a story and build on it as I go, so usually don’t know where it is headed. When I first started writing, I plotted everything, but now I find plotted stories boring to write, as I know where they are headed. I much prefer to start and enjoy the adventure along the way. When I re-write, I drop in the items needed to foreshadow events and link it all together. Christmas on Cougar Mountain started with a stray dog on the freeway, rescued by the heroine. I had no idea where it was going from there, and spent a week at a loss, until I thought of the dyslexia angle. Then it almost wrote itself.

This book took around four months to write. I am currently writing one western historical and one mystery thriller. I write on the one that I happen to be interested in that day. As a child, I used to read three to four books at a time, so guess it works to write several at a time, too.

I self-publish books, as it gives me complete control. My first book, Turnagain Love, was published by a traditional publisher. They got the cover all wrong, as it took place in the San Juans (islands in Washington state), where the tidal change is over five feet, and the docks are built to float. The cover artist had a lake with a regular dock.  The dock and the tides made up a large part of the humor of that book. I like being able to choose my cover and title. They wanted more of my stories, but they also wanted sex scenes in them, and I told them I didn’t write that way, and got my rights back.

I use my son as my proofreader, and I proofread his novels. Both of us were English majors, and we wrote one thriller together, Height of Danger, and are working on a second one, Terminal Pursuit, which is about halfway written.

Here’s a review of Christmas on Cougar Mountain.

“Besides just enjoying the story I was impressed with how much I learned. It isn’t just fluff. I don’t want to give away the plot. I’m hoping I can get it in book form someday to share with many friends who would benefit from the wisdom that is shared in the story!”

After seeing the feedback on Christmas on Cougar Mountain, I asked if anyone was interested in teaching a four-year-old how to read, as I had taught all my children and grandchildren at that age. They all were reading at first- and second-grade level when entering kindergarten.  I had a huge response, so am taking a month away from writing to put together a reading program. It will also have some home school help on different subjects.

The website for this project is under construction at www.raisinggiants.net.  If interested, write to me at romauthorN@yahoo.com.  Put RAISING GIANTS in the subject line, so I don’t delete you.  It is taking me some time to put it all together, as I am putting the first part on video, and I keep thinking of things to add. So it will probably take longer than a month, as I have gathered an impressive inventory of ideas and techniques over the years.

During my down time I watch sport–football and baseball–and I do math and logic puzzles. Right now, I have no real down time.

Thank you, Nancy, for stopping by and sharing. I’m very impressed with the way the book led you to your worthwhile project. My best to you and this new endeavor.

Author Wednesday will be on hiatus until January, when I return with Diane Rapp and her new book. Happy New 2016!

91ltx318ynl-_ux250_About Nancy: Author Nancy Radke, started out writing full-length, modern romance and suspense stories, then switched to novella length for her western series, The Traherns, and now writes both, usually two or three books at the same time. She has published ten Sisters of Spirit books, including Christmas on Cougar Mountain, thirteen Trahern books, and one book of a new Brothers of Spirit series. A former special education teacher, her teaching background shows when she includes history in her books, or in the case of Christmas on Cougar Mountain––reading problems. Her books are G-rated, no sex, no swearing.

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AUTHOR WEDNESDAY – STACY JUBA

cropped-cropped-typewriter.jpgHello and welcome to Author Wednesday. Today the wonderfully talented Stacy Juba joins me to talk about her new release, Fooling Around with Cinderella, a sweet chick-lit romance. Fooling Around With Cinderella 600x900

 

 

Welcome, Stacy. I’m excited to hear about your new romance, which looks like the perfect book to relax with over the holidays. Rachel Carson (Silent Spring) said she never chose a subject because as a writer, the subject chose her. Describe a time when a subject chose you.

A few years ago, my family and I were at a fairy tale theme park. We had just gone to visit Cinderella. I think Cinderella was on my brain as a couple weeks earlier, we had all gone on a princess lunch cruise. Anyway, I stopped short in the middle of the theme park and my husband stared at me. He said, “You have an idea for a book, don’t you?” He recognized that gleam in my eye. This idea had popped into my head about a reluctant theme park Cinderella. Details were coming so fast that I was scribbling on napkins at the hotel in the middle of the night. And Fooling Around with Cinderella was born!

That’s a great story. My family has come to recognize that look in my eyes as well. Do you have certain themes that appear in all of your books?

All of my books have the theme of characters at a crossroads – characters who are at a fork in the road in their lives. They can either continue on the same safe, but unfulfilling, path, or take a risk and venture in a new direction.

Fooling Around with Cinderella is the first book in a series you’re creating. What made you decide to write a series? 

I have chosen to write the Storybook Valley series, a series of chick lit novels set at an amusement park, as I love visiting theme parks. It’s as if the real world fades away and you’re in some alternate vacation reality. I wanted to share that experience with my readers, providing them a place where they can take a mental vacation and revisit familiar characters from time to time.

Who’s your favorite character from your books?

I love Jaine in Fooling Around with Cinderella. Like Cinderella, Jaine has a couple annoying sisters, and she is often taken advantage of. She is nurturing and tends to take care of others, usually putting herself last. But she is also determined, ambitious, and sassy. I love how she evolves in the book and how she learns to find more balance in her life – and love.

Since you’ve set the book in an amusement park, I assumed setting is very important to the plot. Tell me about the importance of setting.

Setting is important in all of my books, but I have had a great deal of fun developing my latest setting, the Storybook Valley theme park. I went to several theme parks, read books and blogs by former princesses and theme park employees, watched employee recruitment videos and read employee manuals all geared toward theme parks, created my own rides and attractions, and brainstormed what kinds of quirky characters might choose to work at a theme park. In this series, the people who work at Storybook Valley have real life problems, but there is always a happy ending.

Wow! I’m very impressed. You’ve created an entire world for this series. What’s your one sentence pitch for your book?

What happens when the glass slippers pinch Cinderella’s toes?

The title (and cover) are very catchy. How did you choose the title?

I chose the title, Fooling Around with Cinderella, because of the double meaning of “fooling around.” Dylan Callahan, the young general manager of the theme park, has been dealing with a string of incompetent Cinderellas and is tired of fooling around with this job position. Since it is a romantic comedy, “fooling around” has a double meaning as he will become romantically involved with his latest Cinderella, Jaine.

Perfect. I love it when the title can mean several things. How long do you estimate it took you to take the book from an idea to a finished, published?  

This one took me a few years, but the other books in the series should be written much quicker now that I have developed the setting and secondary characters. Launching a series means making a great deal of big decisions so I spent lots of time on the first book, making sure I got it right.

I would imagine creating the whole theme park concept took quite a bit of time. I’m sure the rest of the series will go quickly now that the characters have a place to live. Is the book traditionally or self-published?

It is self-published. I’ve had lots of success with my other self-published books and just wanted to get this series out to readers without holding it up for a couple years, as the submission process to traditional publishers can take a long time, and then if gets accepted, it can take another year before the book is published.

That’s so true. Wise choice. What is the best thing someone could say about this book?

That they love it and can’t wait for the next one!

Who  is the antagonist in your book? 

The antagonist is named Gabrielle, the beautiful, intelligent and conniving director of support staff. She is also an old high school rival of Jaine’s and Dylan’s ex, so she has an ax to grind with both of them.

Without giving us a spoiler, tell us a little bit about your favorite scene in this book.

The last scene. That’s when the double meaning of the title comes full circle!

Stacy, thank you so much for stopping by today and sharing your new book. It sounds delightful.

Butch Adams

About Stacy:  Stacy Juba got engaged at Epcot Theme Park and spent part of her honeymoon at Disneyland Paris, where she ate a burger, went on fast rides, and threw up on the train ride to the hotel. In addition to working on her new Storybook Valley chick lit/sweet romance series, Stacy has written books about ice hockey, teen psychics, U.S. flag etiquette for kids, and determined women sleuths. She has had a novel ranked as #5 in the Nook Store and #30 on the Amazon Kindle Paid List. When she’s not visiting theme parks with her family, (avoiding rides that spin and exotic hamburgers) Stacy helps writers to strengthen their manuscripts through her Crossroads Editing Service. She is currently writing the next book in the Storybook Valley Series, Prancing Around With Sleeping Beauty.

Click below to purchase Fooling Around with Cinderella:

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#NaNoWriMo

NaNo-2015-Winner-Certificate-Full (1)I’ve been in shock since November 30. On that date, sometime around nine in the evening, I did something I’ve been wanting to do for years.

I not only participated in National Novel Writing Month (November), but for the first time, I actually completed a 50,000-word novel in thirty days.

Whew.

As the hour approached signifying the end of November, I sat in my recliner, laptop burning up, typing faster than my normal ninety words per minute. Then I typed, “THE END,” fairly certain that what I’d written in the final hour was gibberish.

It was not. That’s not my opinion. My beta readers confirmed it. I’d really written it that quickly, and it still made sense. It confirms what I’ve known since the days of mind-numbing newspaper deadlines. Just sitting the rear end in the chair and writing gets the job done, and it sometimes does a better job of getting it done than when we agonize over every single word, sentence, and paragraph.

So I may be a week late in announcing it, but I thought I should mark the occasion with something here. I even wrote a post yesterday, mentioning the book, but forgetting to mention how it came to be.

Again, the shock that I’d done it blocked some arterial flows to the brain.

MISTY_MOUNTAIN_medIn the past week, I’ve made edits to the manuscript and sent it off yesterday to my proofreader. Misty Mountain is available for pre-order now and will be released January 19, 2016.

Here’s an excerpt from the first chapter of Misty Mountain, a sweet Smoky Mountain romance. I hope you enjoy.

CHAPTER ONE

Lacy Schumacher picked up a tray filled with hot chicken wings from the kitchen window. When she turned to head to a booth in her section, “Your Cheating Heart” blasted from the stage at the front of the bar. Suddenly, her feet went out from under her when she slipped on the puddle of beer spilled by one of the customers. Chicken wings flew in the air and the small cup of blue cheese dressing landed on top of her head and rode with her on her descent to the floor. A celery stick landed on her chest.

She heard the laughter all around her, making the humiliation complete. Then a hand appeared and helped her stand. She felt the growing wetness on the back of her jeans from the beer, as she pulled the container from her head. Blue cheese dripped down her long brown curls. George grabbed some napkins from a nearby table and started dabbing at her hair. That’s all she needed. They’d only been dating a few months, but now any doubt he had about her abilities to do anything gracefully were probably dashed.

“It’s all right,” she said, as she took the napkins from his hand. “I’ll be right back.” She headed for the bathroom, hoping she could clean up well enough to continue her shift at Misty Mountain, the bar where she’d worked for several years.

Misty Mountain hopped on a cold Thursday night in January, and Lacy longed to go home and soak her aching feet in a hot bath as she used a wet paper towel to dab at her hair. Too bad her house didn’t have a hot tub like so many of the rental cabins in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains surrounding the small North Carolina town of Murphy.

The economics of the town depended on the tourists whose visits to the mountains were as unpredictable as the weather during the winter months. Locals accounted for a fraction of the crowd most of the time, and the part-timers were scarce from Christmas to Easter. But tonight, the restaurant was enjoying the first busy night of January.

“It’s the winter festival in Blue Ridge.” Julie Cole had told Lacy when she’d come in for her shift a few hours earlier. “We could have a big crowd tonight.”

Julie and Lacy had started working at Misty Mountain about the same time several years earlier. Julie, more outgoing than Lacy, gravitated to bartending. She loved teasing and laughing with the customers. Lacy enjoyed her job, but she was quieter.

“The band from Nashville will draw a crowd, too,” Lacy had said. “I can use the tips, and I bet you and Johnny could use the business.”

“That’s for sure. It’s been a slow month so far.” Julie had stopped washing glasses and put her elbows on the bar. “So have you two talked yet?”

Lacy tied a black apron around her waist. She knew Julie meant well, but she didn’t want to talk about George. Julie, and her husband Johnny, owned Misty Mountain, and George was Johnny’s brother. Even though she and Julie were good friends, she felt uncomfortable discussing George with her. Small towns bred familiarity—she knew that all too well.

Lacy shook her head. “It hasn’t come up.”

“It will. Especially if Becca ever finds out the two of you are dating.”

Becca, George’s ex-wife, still lived in Nashville, where the two of them had moved twelve years earlier. She knew Julie was right. Maybe it was time to just end it with George before it went any further. It was inevitable that Lacy would be left heartbroken when George came under pressure from Becca, if they kept dating.

“George is buying into the bar,” Julie had said as she poured the pitcher of beer. “Did he mention it to you?”

Lacy shook her head. George had moved back to Murphy after his divorce, but his son still lived with Becca in Nashville, four hours away. Last time they’d talked about it, he said he wasn’t sure what he was going to do. He’d been handling the music end of the bar for a month, bringing bands in from all over the south for live music on the weekends. Maybe he’d decided to stay. He certainly didn’t need to tell Lacy about all his decisions.

“He sure has been bringing in some good music.” Lacy had said. “I guess he’s decided to stay in Murphy for a while.”

She’d been burned too many times in the past by men she fell for who hadn’t fallen for her in return, so she tried not to think about George’s sandy brown hair that fell softly over his collar or his brown eyes that sparkled whenever he talked about music and his passion for finding just the right sound. She didn’t think about his broad shoulders or the way he looked in his solid-colored flannel shirts rolled up halfway on his forearm. She most certainly didn’t think about those things or about the way he kissed her good night when he walked her to the door of her house. So far that was as far as the relationship had gone, and that was fine with her. She liked George and enjoyed spending time with him, but that was it. She didn’t need another relationship to turn out like the last one—with her boyfriend engaged to another woman.

“George has lots of connections back in Nashville,” Julie had continued, as she put wine glasses in the racks above her head. “It must have been awful with Becca for him to leave his career. He was making a name for himself as an agent, at least that’s what Johnny says. George doesn’t mention Nashville very much.”

“I can tell by the names of some of his clients that he was doing well. Sometimes when life gets difficult, it’s best to make it less complicated. So he came home to Murphy.” She headed to her first table of customers, anxious to stop talking about Julie’s brother-in-law.

George, six years older than Lacy, left Murphy for good after he graduated from college. He and Becca married a few months after George finished school in Atlanta. They left right after the wedding. Lacy knew why Becca wanted to leave Murphy. And Lacy approved, and only felt relief when she left. She vividly remembered Becca and her nastiness after the accident that killed Becca’s father and Lacy’s sister, but Lacy didn’t remember much about George. He faded into the background behind Becca’s monstrous personality.

When George returned home two months before for all the activities surrounding Johnny and Julie’s Christmas wedding, she noticed him immediately. He’d divorced Becca, and when he turned up in town, single and handsome, all the single women noticed him, too. When he entered Misty Mountain, the women didn’t hesitate to tell Lacy what they’d like to do with him. George was handsome, no doubt about it, but she wasn’t going to fall for his rugged good looks. When he’d asked her out his second week back in Murphy, she’d been surprised, but she agreed. Neither one of them were looking for anything serious, since both were coming off broken relationships. They’d been casually dating ever since, but they hadn’t discussed Lacy’s sister and her connection to Becca’s father. And Lacy had never met George’s nine-year-old son. Casual and easy—just what she needed.

Julie and she had stopped talking as people began to fill the bar. Lacy hadn’t had a chance to even think or stop moving, until she fallen on her rear end, sending chicken wings flying through the air. In the bathroom, she attempted to clean herself up so she could finish her shift with a little more dignity. She dabbed at her face and pressed towels against her backside, hoping to lessen the obvious beer stain. Fluffing her hair, she gave herself a pep talk so she could finish out the night. When she returned to the floor, the band played “Crazy” as a female singer with died black hair held the microphone close and channeled Patsy Cline to the stage of Misty Mountain. The song carried her back to the bar, where she almost ran into George when he turned around abruptly. He’d been talking to Julie at the wait station.

“Lacy, you clean up nicely,” he said. “How do you like the band?”

“They’re good. Julie, I need a pitcher of Bud and two shots of Yaeger.”

“I wish we could get together later, but I have Jed tonight—he has a long weekend off school so Becca met me halfway.”

“Where is he?” Lacy asked, looking around for an eight-year-old boy.

“I dropped him off at the Johnson’s to play with Gracie for an hour while I checked in down here. You know Nick’s mom loves kids.”

“I know, she’s adopted Gracie. I’m sure she’ll do the same with Jed.”

“Jed may be more of a challenge, I’m afraid.”

Lacy looked at him, waiting for him to explain. But instead he gave her shoulder a pat, and headed to the small office next to the bathrooms in the back.

Small towns bred their own soap operas. Brains not occupied in noble pursuits dipped into the depravity of the human condition. Lacy knew it very well. Nick Johnson had been her boyfriend up until four months ago. He said he wasn’t ready to commit. But then just two months after making that declaration, he asked Molly Parker to marry him. Molly had returned to Murphy in the fall with her ten-year-old daughter Gracie. And despite the engagement of Molly and Nick, Lacy chose to forgive them both. She and Molly had been childhood friends, and Lacy had fallen in love with Gracie. She didn’t believe in holding grudges, but she knew that placed her in the minority. She knew plenty of people still talked about her sister, and now they probably talked about her friendship with Molly and her relationship with George. She squared her shoulders while she waited for the drink order.

“Becca is a real bitch,” Julie said as she set two full shot glasses on the tray. “She called George at the last minute today and made him drive two hours to pick up Jed. Johnny and I both were happy when George left her. It’s just too bad Jed lives so far away. He needs his father. Wait until you meet him, and you’ll know what I mean.”

“I have a feeling Becca might not be too keen on me having anything to do with her son.”

Julie raised her eyebrows. “That’s why I’ve been telling you the two of you need to talk about it. Julie holds her father’s death against you, even though you didn’t have a damn thing to do with it.”

Lacy’s ‘elephant’ in the room, sat on her chest, suffocating her. The secret. The scandal. The shame.

“It’s been twelve years,” Lacy said, while Julie poured the pitcher. “Can’t she just move on?”

“You don’t know Becca,” Julie said. “She never forgets anything. She still remembers the first time Johnny brought me home for Thanksgiving dinner, and I refused to eat her pecan pie.”

“Aren’t you allergic to nuts?”

“Exactly. But try telling Becca that. She said I had offended her and her mother’s recipe.”

Lacy shook her head. Becca seemed to forget that the accident killed someone else besides her father. It also killed Angel, her sister. Angel—that’s what her mother named Angela and that’s how both of Lacy’s parents treated her, especially after her death. When the wheels of the town’s gossip truck began, the Schumacher family retreated into the cocoon of their mountain home.

Angel was Lacy’s elephant, the favored child of her parents, until that night, that awful night of revelations and death. The town didn’t give the Schumachers any room to mourn Angel’s death because as soon as news of the two riding in the car together on the road to Cherokee became public, the rumors of Richard Perry and Angel Schumacher’s affair began. Angel received the brunt of the scorn, while Mr. Perry became the victim. Becca, one year older than Angel, never forgave the Schumachers, who she loudly proclaimed raised a whore of a child.

Lacy spent her last years of high school taking online courses to graduate, living in a house devoid of any emotion or love, except for that devoted to the shrine of Angel set up in the bedroom next door to Lacy’s. But Lacy knew better. She heard the fight the night Angel left to meet her lover. Her parents had finally seen the Angel others had seen all along. But she still didn’t deserve to die, and she certainly didn’t deserve blame for the accident.

Julie set the pitcher down on the tray, and Lacy brought herself back to the present.

“George and I will talk, but not tonight. I’m praying it won’t even be an issue. After all, it’s not like we’re serious or anything.”

“Don’t count on Becca changing.” Julie grabbed Lacy’s hand. “And you don’t think George is serious about you? Have you seen the way he looks at you, the way he watches you as you wait on tables? George likes you. And I’m pretty sure you like him, too.”

“I do like him, but that doesn’t mean we’re getting serious about one another. I just want to have some fun.” Lacy turned away before tears developed and showed how much of a lie her words were. She stopped crying a long time ago, and she’d be damned if Becca Parker Cole would make her cry now. And she was even more determined that George not make her cry, either.

She had work to do, although she cringed when she saw Don and Kathy enter Misty Mountain. She sighed in relief when they took seats at the bar. Julie, as the owner of Misty Mountain, made more money than Lacy did, so Lacy felt comfortable with the most difficult of customers sitting in Julie’s section, not hers. Besides, Julie handled obnoxious easily. Not only were they obnoxious, they were lousy tippers. She even saw Don scoop up a tip on the table after Kathy had gotten up to leave one night. A real jerk.

“Hi, Lacy,” Kathy yelled out as she passed them on the way to a table. “We’re just having drinks tonight, or we would have sat in your section.”

Lacy smiled and went to wait on a new table. It’s not that Don and Kathy weren’t nice people. They were very involved in several projects around town, always generously giving both money and time to various fundraising projects. They’d even started the Bear’s Den, a nonprofit organization that raised money and did community service wherever needed. Don had been a pilot for Delta, and he never let anyone forget it. Kathy, a flight attendant until she married Don, never let anyone forget that, either. The two made for one condescending team. They also knew everything about everything. And if they didn’t, they changed the subject.

Lacy tried her best to accept everyone she met, but sometimes folks made it difficult. But at least for tonight, miserable in her beer-soaked jeans and tragic memories, she’d be spared their arrogance.

 

Holiday News and Warm Wishes

 

Here we are once again, right in the middle of the holiday season. It’s been a transitional year for me as my husband and I head into an entirely new life. He’s retiring, and I’m not. We’ve been in the process of moving for six months, but I’ve still managed to write several books. It’s my release from a chaotic life.

Since it’s the holiday season, here’s my holiday offering to you – my sweet Christmas novella, Minty’s Kiss. This is my first work set in the Smoky Mountains, where I’ve recently relocated.

 

Following up on the Smoky Mountain Romance theme, I’ve written a full-length romance, which follows the same characters from Minty’s Kiss. Misty Mountain is now available for pre-ordering, with a release date of January 19, 2016.MISTY_MOUNTAIN_med

 

 

 

 

 

I’m also very excited about another project. Trails in the Sand, one of my Florida fiction books, is being made into an audible book and will be available soon. Trails in the Sand follows the saga of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill as the main characters deal with disasters in their own lives. For the next three days, Trails in the Sand may be downloaded on Kindle for free.

Click here to get your copy.

 

 

 

AUTHOR WEDNESDAY – PAULETTE MAHURIN

cropped-typewriter.jpgWelcome to Author Wednesday. We’re headed into the holiday season full blast, so I hope you’re all staying safe and sane. Today, I welcome Paulette Mahurin, the author of The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap, which has been described as a women’s Brokeback Mountain. In her latest novel, To Live Out Loud, she chronicles another historical persecution, this time of an innocent Jewish military officer, Alfred Dreyfus, who was unjustly sentenced to life imprisonment on a desolate island. Emile Zola, a popular journalist determined to bring the truth to light, undertook the challenge to publicly expose the facts surrounding the military cover-up. This is the story of Zola’s battle to help Alfred Dreyfus reclaim his freedom and clear his name. And here’s something else very special about all of Ms. Mahurin’s books:  All profits go to various animal shelters. See the links below for more information.To Live Out Loud FRONT PROMO copy

Welcome, Paulette. It’s wonderful to have you visit today. You write novels that could be considered faction–you take real events and write about it in novel form. That’s quite an undertaking. Are there particular themes that you hope to convey to your readers through your books?
What I do to you, I do to me. When I hurt you, I hurt my own heart. This goes for any act that is unkind and hurtful, whether it is homophobia, anti-Semitic, racist, neglect, abuse, or an unkind word. The injustice done to Alfred Dreyfus in 1895 is a historical example of how an action, by the military and supported by the Church in France, divided the nation and lead to much unrest. The ripple effect of hurtful acts can never be known during the act or historically. The thesis is this:  Do what you want with your life, live it how you want, as long as you do not intentionally hurt another along the way.

That’s a powerful message, and one that should drive all of us. Since To Live Out Loud is about a journalist, let’s imagine that you are the reporter writing about your the book. What would the article say? 
In 1895, France was torn asunder by a scandal that rocked the nation and divided the country. An innocent Jewish military officer, Alfred Dreyfus, was unjustly sentenced to life imprisonment on a desolate island. The news that could exonerate him was leaked to the press, but was suppressed by the military. Anyone who sought to reopen the Dreyfus court-martial became victimized and persecuted and was considered an enemy of the state. Émile Zola, a popular journalist, determined to bring the truth to light, undertook the challenge to publicly expose the facts surrounding the military cover-up. This is the story of Zola’s battle to help Alfred Dreyfus reclaim his freedom and clear his name. Up against anti-Semitism, military resistance, and opposition from the Church of France, Zola committed his life to fighting for justice. But was it worth all it cost him, to those around him, and to France? This is a narrative of friendship, courage, and love in the face of the adversity and hatred. It is a story of how one man’s courageous actions impacted a nation. From the award-winning author of The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap and His Name Was Ben comes a book that will leave you examining your notions about heroism, courage, and your role in social change long after you read the last sentence.

I admire your ability to write about these powerful and painful events to bring to light the harm done through prejudice and injustice. What are you writing now? 
While I was in college, I rented a room from a woman who had been in a concentration camp. She wore the same dress for seven years. The next story I’m working on is called, The Seven Year Dress, based on her story of the unthinkable. It’s written with the backdrop of my time as a nursing student on the oncology floor of the hospital I was training in. Surrounded by death, as she had overwhelmingly been, I learned from her what it was to be alive and about the light that shines within the human spirit and the will to live despite all temptation to want to give up.

That sounds like a powerful book as well. What knowledge have you acquired recently that might assist other writers?
There’s no mystery to writing or being a writer. All it takes is to sit down in the chair and do it. A writer writes. Ignore the critic in your head, which is never accurate anyway, and vomit out words on the page before you. Then when it’s done get an editor to help with the finishing touches–this is the hardest part. It doesn’t matter if you write for a minute a day, every day for eight hours, or once a week/month, etc. What defines a writer is the writing, not the quality of the finished product. It’s a process. So sit down and write. And enjoy. And tell that voice in your head that’s saying “it’s no good” to “SHUT UP.”

I want to take a minute to thank the most generous Patricia Zick for this most kind and generous opportunity to feature my book and write a few words at her great site. All my profits from all my books go to help get dogs out of kill shelters. The efforts here have helped that. I am most grateful.

Thank you, Paulette. Your words for other authors echo what I preach. No excuses, just sit the rear end in the chair and write. Your work is important and powerful, and I’m grateful you stopped by my blog today to share a part of your journey. And I certainly hope you’ll return when The Seven Year Dress is published.

An image posted by the author.About Paulette:   Paulette Mahurin lives with her husband Terry and two dogs, Max and Bella, in Ventura County, California. She grew up in West Los Angeles and attended UCLA, where she received a Master’s Degree in Science.

While in college, she won awards for her published short stories. One of these stories, Something Wonderful, was based on the couple presented in His Name Was Ben, which she expanded into the novel, The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap, in 2014. Her first novel, The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap, made it to Amazon bestseller lists and won awards, including best historical fiction of the year 2012 in Turning the Pages Magazine.

Semi-retired, she continues to work part-time as a nurse practitioner in Ventura County. When she’s not writing, she does pro-bono consultation work with women with cancer, works in the Westminster Free Clinic as a volunteer provider, volunteers as a mediator in the Ventura County Courthouse for small claims cases, and involves herself, along with her husband, in dog rescue.

Profits from her books go to help rescue dogs.

Click on Links below to purchase books and to find out more about Paulette:

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To Live Out Loud

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All profits from this book go to multiple rescue groups throughout the U.S. working diligently to get dogs out of kill shelters.

The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap 

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All profits from this book go to: http://sparcsaveslives.org/

His Name Was Ben

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All profits from this book go to: http://sparcsaveslives.org/