Friday’s Feature with Rhonda Starnes

Love Inspired author, Rhonda Starnes hit the Publisher’s Weekly Bestsellers List with her Debut novel, Rocky Mountain Revenge. Read more about her novel and find out about this new Love Inspired Author.

Rocky Mountain Revenge

To survive her deadly homecoming she’ll need to trust a man from her past…

Temporarily home to help at her family’s vet clinic, Grace Porter has no intentions of staying—but someone’s determined she won’t live long enough to leave. With both Grace and her sister in the crosshairs, her ex-boyfriend, Police Chief Evan Bradshaw, must protect them. But can the single dad lawman uncover the truth about why a killer’s out for vengeance before time runs out?


Read an excerpt of Rocky Mountain Revenge

A truck came speeding up behind them. He couldn’t be sure because they were out in the country and there weren’t any streetlights, but it looked a lot like the truck that had tried to push them into the oncoming train the night Chloe had been attacked. Evan sped up. He had to lose them before they reached the turnoff to the cabin.

Grace twisted in her seat to look out the rear window, but didn’t say a word.

Evan’s phone rang. He hit the answer button on the steering wheel. “Chief Bradshaw here.”

“We lost Avery Hebert.” Agent Ingalls’s voice sounded over the speaker.

Evan glanced at Grace, her eyes still focused on the vehicle tailing them. “I think we found him.”

“Where are you?” Ingalls asked.

“County Road 11. About fifteen miles north of the Flying V Ranch.”

Grace screamed, “He’s going to hit us!” She twisted around in her seat, facing the front as the truck rammed into the back of Evan’s vehicle. Metal crunched against metal, and his tires skidded on the wet pavement.

“Bradshaw, what’s happening?” Ingalls asked urgently.

“He’s trying to make us crash.” Tightening his grip on the steering wheel, Evan spared a brief glance at Grace. “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine. But how are we going to stop him?” She looked over her shoulder and then back to him again. “Can I hold the steering wheel, and you shoot his tires or something?”

“Don’t do anything reckless,” Ingalls yelled across the speakers. “We’ve notified the sheriff’s office, and I’m on my way.” The call went silent.

Evan sped up, putting a little distance between him and the truck, but the other driver soon closed the gap, ramming into them again. This time the impact shattered the back window, but Evan had been able to hold the Jeep steady without skidding.

Evan raced away again, driving dangerously fast on the wet road. His headlights flashed on a bright yellow diamond-shaped road sign, and an eerie, sinking feeling settled in the pit of his stomach. A quick glance in the rearview mirror showed the truck was still barreling down on them—and they were fast approaching the Hangman’s Noose curve.


Get your copy today!

Buy links:

Amazon

Harlequin

Barnes and Noble

Walmart


About Rhonda

Rhonda Starnes is a middle school language arts teacher who has dreamed of being a published author since she was in seventh grade. She lives in North Alabama with her husband, who she lovingly refers to as Mountain Man. They enjoy traveling and spending time with their children and grandchildren. Rhonda writes romantic suspense with rugged heroes and feisty heroines.

Social Media Links:

Facebook

Twitter

Blog

Instagram

Wednesday’s Writer with Linda Shenton Machett

Linda Shenton Matchett


Today I’m interviewing Linda Shenton Matchett, author of the Christian novel, The Widow & The War Correspondent.


Thank you for being here today, Linda. It’s always great to have you.

When you were young did you ever see writing as a career or full time profession? My parents must have seen something to indicate an ability to tell stories, because when I was about seven or eight years old, they gave me a large notepad and a package of pens and told me to write to my heart’s content. They continued to supply writing materials, and I scribbled my way through childhood. Reading Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn list the fire of desire to become a published author.

Do you have a special place you like to write? I have a dedicated office to writing that looks into our backyard which is heavily wooded. Lots of birds call the area home, so there’s lots of activity. I find the view soothing and inspiring.

Have you ever received a rejection? Lots! 🙂 But my favorite, and one of the earliest rejections I received was from one of the major Christian publishers. The acquisitions editor took time to write that she saw lots of potential in my manuscript, gave examples of what worked and didn’t work, and suggested ways I could improve my craft.

What is one piece of advice you’d give to an unpublished writer? Read, read, read. Read books in your genre, but in other genres as well because seeing the difference will help you hone your particular genre.

Do you take time to plot and outline your books? Or do you like to write by the seat of your pants? I am definitely an outliner. I create a character bible first, then use a spreadsheet to outline each scene including date, weather, location, chapter hook, and research topics required. I complete the research before I start writing. My characters sometimes wander off the outline.

Where do you get your ideas for your books? I get my ideas from numerous places: newspaper and magazine articles, books I thought should have been done or ended differently, a twist on a book, and television shows or movies. I’ve gotten several ideas from museum exhibits. Many of my ideas come from true stories or anecdotes.

What kinds of research do you do for your books? I read a lot of autobiographies and memoirs, and I’m blessed to have access to information, artifacts, letters, and documents at the Wright Museum of WWII which is in my town. I also use YouTube a lot, mostly for oral history interviews, but I recently watched a video that was recorded from inside a BT-13 plane during a flight as research for a book on the Womens Air Service Pilots.

Do you have a full time day job? If so, how do you find time to write? I have a full time day job, so I make time to write before I leave for work each morning. I work a night shift on Wednesdays, so am able to write until noon on those days. Saturdays is focused on marketing, and Sundays before church is devoted to social media.


The Widow & The War Correspondent

Chapter Excerpt:

Cora Strealer threw back the covers and jumped out of bed. The wooden floor was cold on her bare feet as she hurried to the closet to select her outfit. The smell of pancakes filtered from the kitchen. Moving back home after her husband was killed with so many others during the attack at Pearl Harbor, she slept in the bedroom that had been hers since childhood. Her gaze went to the framed photograph of Brian. After two-and-a-half years, his death still seemed unreal. Trapped in the USS Arizona when the ship went down, his body hadn’t been returned.

No body. No casket. No viewing. When would she stop looking for him to come through the door?

She closed her eyes for a long moment searching her heart. Sure, she missed Brian, but with their whirlwind courtship and even shorter marriage, she hardly felt like a widow. Was she wrong to have those feelings? Her mother would be horrified.

Opening her eyes, Cora continued to run her hands over the clothes hanging in her closet. What did one wear when meeting a famous celebrity? Especially someone as elegant and refined as Miss Hayworth.

Her fingers fell on the sage-colored silk suit she’d worn for her wedding. Heart hammering, she pulled the outfit off its hanger and walked to the full-length mirror in the corner. She held the suit in front of her, studying her reflection in the glass. Blonde hair fell past her shoulders in a tangled mass, and her blue eyes picked up the green from the suit and seemed almost turquoise.

“Ugh. I look like a teenaged cheerleader with these freckles. No one would guess I’m thirty-one years old.” Rubbing her eyes that burned from lack of sleep, she yawned. How many times had she awakened with another idea for the interview? She glanced at the illegible scrawl on the top sheet of her notebook.

Time was wasting. She hurried to the bathroom and fifteen minutes later was dressed, ready to go. She stuffed the steno pad and extra pencils into her pocketbook and skipped down the stairs.

A car horn beeped outside, and she opened the door to wave at Amanda. Racing into the kitchen, she kissed her mother on the cheek and grabbed a piping hot pancake. Rolling it up, she blew on the hot cake before taking a bite. She snatched a napkin from the table. “Yummy as always, Mom. See you later.”

“Have fun, honey.”

“Thanks.” Cora bit off another piece of the pancake as she left the house and rushed to Amanda’s car. Considered an essential war worker, she was assigned a C gasoline ration sticker, giving her more than the usual four gallons per week that most people were allotted.

Nearly out of her own rationed amount of fuel, Cora was thrilled when Amanda offered to pick her up. Bicycling to the plant in her suit hardly seemed like an option. She wiped her fingers on the napkin then opened the door and climbed inside the back seat of the car. Her jaw dropped, and her breath quickened.

Seated beside her, Miss Hayworth smiled and held out her hand. “Mrs. Strealer? A pleasure to meet you.”

Cora’s heart threatened to jump from her chest, and she took a deep breath as she shook the movie star’s hand. “Uh, it’s Miss Strealer. I use my maiden name for my byline, but you can call me Cora.”

“Perfect, and please call me Rita. We don’t need formalities with just us girls here.” She smoothed the skirt on her emerald-green dress then straightened the pillbox hat set on her gleaming titian-colored hair, orange highlights glinting in the early morning sun. Her smile was genuine as she patted Cora’s knee. “How long have you been a newspaperwoman?”

“Since high school. I got my degree in English then moved to Hawaii when my husband was assigned there. I wrote for the Honolulu Star Advertiser, but after he was killed, I moved back home, and now I write for the local paper.”

“I’m sorry to hear about your husband.”

Cora shrugged. “It was a long time ago.”

From the driver’s seat, Amanda gestured over her shoulder. “Cora’s a great writer. I think she should apply to become a war correspondent. Especially with her experience at Pearl.”

Face heating, Cora shook her head. “Amanda, Miss Hayworth…Rita…doesn’t want to hear about my life.”

“On the contrary.” Rita smiled. “It will be nice to focus on someone other than myself. I appreciate what my celebrity status can do for the boys in the service and the country’s morale, but being the center of attention is fatiguing. Tell me about the opportunity.”

Licking her lips, Cora gulped. “In order to be a war correspondent overseas, I need to receive accreditation from the government which involves a lengthy background check and a physical. Working for such a tiny newspaper, I’m not sure I’ll pass.”

“How about the Associated Press or United Press?” Rita cocked her head.

“Don’t they have plenty of staff already?”

“This war spans the globe. There can never be too many reporters. I’ll write you a letter of introduction to the London bureau chief for the UP. Will that help?”

Cora’s eyes widened. “Well…uh—”

Amanda clapped her hands. “You’re a peach, Rita. A recommendation from you should get our girl in.”

“I’m happy to help. We gals need to stick together.”

“Thank you, Miss—Rita. I appreciate the offer. I haven’t decided to pursue going overseas.”

“You can’t let this pass you by, Cora. You’re stagnating here in this one-horse town. Nothing is keeping you here. Certainly not this newspaper that doesn’t appreciate your talent. I say you go for it. Don’t you agree, Rita?”

Rita turned to Cora. “What do you want? Are you happy with your current position? You need to make the decision that’s right for you, but I will say that if I hadn’t made some changes in my life, I wouldn’t be the star I am today. Sometimes shaking things up is good. Perhaps being a war correspondent will be the best thing to happen to you. Maybe not, but you won’t know unless you try.”

Cora slumped against the seat. “You’re right. I’m stuck in a rut. Here in town, everyone feels sorry for me. They tiptoe around, afraid to talk about the war or my husband. A fresh start where no one knows about Brian might be just the ticket.” Grinning, she straightened and crossed her arms. “Look out, world. Here I come.”


Get your copy now!

https://books2read.com/u/m2ZXZG


Find Linda online:

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

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

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/lindasmatchett

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

Goodreads: http://goodreads.com/authorlindamatchett

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Linda-Shenton-Matchett/e/B01DNB54S0

BookBub: http://www.bookbub.com/authors/linda-shenton-matchett

Friday’s Feature with Connie Queen

Justice Undercover

Keeping her true identity a secret

is the only way to stay alive.


Going undercover as a nanny brings presumed-dead ex-US Marshal Kylie Stone closer to catching the man who murdered the witness in her protection—and also killed Texas Ranger Luke Dryden’s sister. When someone tries to kidnap the twins in her care, Kylie must tell their uncle the truth…and convince Luke to help her. But will revealing her identity put all their lives at stake?


Thank you for being here today, Connie. Your new book sounds very intriguing.  I have a few questions for you so let’s get started.

Tell us about your favorite character in your new book.

I love my villain. To me, it’s creates a slew of challenges when the bad guy is someone the community loves, especially if he’s respectable in many aspects of his life. Hal Alcott is a businessman who donates to charities, well-dressed and friendly. You know, someone you’d like to have as a neighbor. But he has a dark side that my heroine knows all too well.

How important are reviews to authors?

Since this is my debut, I’m not certain, but I’ve heard they are important to reaching readers. I don’t know if the number of 5-star ratings is as important the total number of reviews.

Do you read the reviews and comments of your readers?

I have so far… After I receive my one-star review, I may change my mind.

How much of yourself do you put into your books?

Well, I’m afraid of heights so I won’t be scaling the side of a cliff like my heroine. But my husband was reading a scene the other night and started laughing. I asked him what was funny and his response, “That sounds just like something you’d say.”

Some people believe being a published author is glamorous, is that true?

This week is the release of my debut book, so yeah, I’d say it’s extremely exciting. Today, I gonna go to the store and see my book for the first time which is surreal.

But the frustration, self-doubt, and rejection are also a part of that package.

Who are some of your favorite authors?

Most of the authors I read today are Love Inspired Suspense so I can get the feel/tone of the books. I started off reading Catherine Coulter, Jude Devereaux, and Phyllis Whitney.

If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?

There are not short cuts. Keep writing. Keep learning. Keep submitting.

What is your writing schedule like?

I’d like to say I sit down at the same time everyday to write, but it’s not true. I’m still learning what works best for me. So far, mornings are more conducive to critiques, blogs, and research. Mid-to late afternoon I’m more energetic and my brain is more cooperative to write the story.

If you could do anything else, what would it be?

I’m happy with staying at home writing. But if I ever wanted to do another career, I would do it. Maybe one day I’ll decide to build houses.

What is your favorite genre of books to read?

I love suspense and westerns by Louis Lamour.

 


 

Get your copy today!

Harlequin.com

Amazon.com


About Connie

Connie Queen spent her life in Texas where she met and married her high-school sweetheart. Together they’ve raised eight children and are enjoying their grandchildren. As a child, Connie remembers her mom and sisters reading, but she preferred to be outside. It wasn’t until later, she found the joy of being whisked away into another world. Today she resides in Nebraska with her husband, and Nash, her Great Dane, where she’s working on her next suspense.