Wednesday’s Writer with Judy DuCharme

Judy Ducharme

 

Today I have author Judy DuCharme answering some questions for us. Welcome, Judy!

When you were young, did you ever see writing as a career or full-time profession?

I always wanted to write. I don’t know if I considered it a career possibility, but I saw myself writing a book. In high school I wrote short stories and poetry. However, I never thought I could tuck myself away for eight hours a day and write – I was too social, so I didn’t pursue it until later in life.

Have you ever won any awards for your writing?

Yes, for my first book The Cheesehead Devotional Kickoff Edition I won my first award: Best New Writer 2013 at the Write-to-Publish Conference. A year later I entered the Guideposts Workshop Contest. This is every other year and has three or four thousand entries. Twelve winners are selected and sent to New York for a week of training. I was one of the winners in 2014. My first novel and first novella did not win awards, but my next Cheesehead Devotional . . . the Hall of Fame Edition has won six awards. My latest novel, Blood Moon Redemption, has won five awards. Christmas Ivy, my short story, has won two awards.

Have you ever received a rejection?

Oh my, yes. I’ve received several. It’s part of the writing and publishing journey. It’s tough, but you have to develop thick skin and trust God for placing you exactly where you should be.

What is one piece of advice you’d give to an unpublished writer?

Get to a conference. This is the place you meet publishers, agents, and acquisition editors. It is also where you can hone your craft and learn to fix the areas where you’re weak. It’s where you meet authors right where you are, those ahead of you that can offer advice, and those behind you that you can assist.

Do you take time to plot and outline your books? Or do like to write by the seat of your pants?

I am a pantster. In many ways, I feel very undisciplined. When deadlines hit, I can be pretty disciplined, but I’ve found that much of my writing occurs in 45 minute sections of time. I do pray for inspiration and often find I write longer than 45 minutes once I get going and if the characters take over the story which does occasionally happen. I do need to plot out some transitions and events at certain times.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I love the outdoors, so I love to walk in the woods, walk the beach, and just be outside. I love to be on the water – on a jetski or a boat. Our daughter gave us our first grandchild, a beautiful boy, a year ago, so I spend as much time as I can with him. We are very involved in our church and prayer group, and we’re part of an organization that works with international students that come here for summer employment. And we have a fairly large extended family and there are many family events.

Is there a message in your book you hope readers will relate to?

My passion is that my readers will become strong in the Lord. All my books have this heart embedded in them.

Do you have a mentor author or a particular author whose work inspires you?

I think the main author that inspired me incredibly, and I sought to follow her style, is Bodie Thoene. I just love all her books with history and inspiration combined, not to mention such engaging, insightful writing. My next favorite author is Joel Rosenberg. I love his suspense along with such Biblical truths in history and prophecy. My book Blood Moon Redemption was greatly influenced by his style. I also enjoy Colleen Coble’s mysteries and wish I could craft a story with so many twists and turns. Lynn Austin is another I enjoy reading – she writes inspirational historical stories so well.

What kinds of research do you do for your books?

Whatever is needed. You need to make research your friend. I’ve spent a great deal of time in non-fiction books getting background information, newspapers and google searches for current events, videos and youtube snippets, boat tours and lighthouse tours (for my current WIP). In doing all my research for Blood Moon Redemption, I had to look up distances between Syria and Israel, ISIS information, Muslim and Jewish practices and backgrounds. Our daughter lives in the Washington DC area, so all my friends were sure I’d never make it through security when I flew out to visit.


It was just a relic, and hers, just a name. Who knew what time it really was?

The blood moons were always surrounded by great persecution and great provision, great trial and great triumph.

When the Jews were expelled from Spain and traveled with Columbus, only a tassel from a prayer shawl remained with them to signify their faith. That tassel, handed down, stolen, and hidden, became a marker of God’s protection and now is the focus of a terrorist scheme and a young woman’s destiny.

Blood Moon Redemption is an end-times thriller that will keep you riveted until the very last moonrise.


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Find Judy online

Judithducharme.com

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@PackerJudy

judyducharme7@gmail.com

Tuesday’s Teaser with Judy DuCharme

Blood Moon Redemption

by Judy Ducharme

 

Tassie is driven. She’s an up and coming lawyer, and though she loves her parents, she wants no part of her mother’s study of Columbus and a relic for which she was named. Omar is charming and smooth. Although Tassie senses something underneath Omar’s charm, she ignores it to her hurt. Hector is a strange, unkempt little man that comes into Tassie’s life at the most inopportune times until she’s desperate.

Tassie is kidnapped and may well be a pawn in a terrorist plot. How does she alert others to the danger and why can she not just shout it out? How will she escape? Will she escape? Her brother comes to the game late – will he be able to find her? Can they stop the plot?

Tassie and her family need to come to grips with the reality of the blood moon prophecies and what God has planned for their lives. Omar must face the One who pursues him.


Read an excerpt

CHAPTER 3

PRESENT DAY, CHICAGO

“Tassie, this man asked for you.”

Tassie held up one finger as she finished writing her closing remarks. I need to practice this. Almost have this thought down.

“Miss Stevens?”

“Uh-huh, Uh-huh.” Tassie nodded. Satisfied she had the wording correct, she looked up. “Yes?”

“I do apologize, Miss Stevens. The man insists he wants you to represent him.”

“Certainly, send him in.”

“You may want to come out, Tass.”

Tass? Tassie frowned. Normally Teresa maintained proper decorum and called everyone Mr. or Ms. To call her Tass? Something must be wrong. “What is it?”

“See for yourself, Ms. Stevens. Please.”

Tassie sighed. So focused on her closing arguments, but always willing to add a client. Why in the world did she need to go out there? Tassie smelled him before she saw him. She raised her eyebrows as she looked at Teresa. Teresa ran her hand over her face and returned to her desk.

“Aah, Miss Stevens. Thank you for seeing me.”

Tassie wanted to run. This was not the type of client her firm attracted or serviced. The older man ran his fingers down his long gray beard.

Oh, no, his eyes twinkle like Santa Clause in Miracle on 34th Street. She had watched that movie every year with her mom while growing up. It was a Christmas movie, but her parents always taught her to appreciate the culture she lived in. But the man in the movie didn’t wear a plaid shirt and she doubted he smelled.

She glanced over to Teresa’s desk, hoping she would intervene. Teresa smiled, winked, and looked down. Then it dawned on Tassie: this was a trick to embarrass the rookie. Okay, I’ll play along.

“How may I help you, sir?”

“I would like to discuss a case with you. I’ve met your mother.”

Sure you have.

Tassie kept seeing images of her cousin’s farm, and she was reminded of the smells of cows, pigs, and sheep. It didn’t fit in this high-class office. But this must be her initiation. They would all have a laugh over drinks about what a good sport she was.

“Certainly, please come to my office, and we’ll talk.” Okay, Tass, don’t sound too cheery. Everyone is looking, big eyes, smiling, some even holding their nose. Well, it was fun at my cousin’s farm.

Tassie opened her office door and held out her arm inviting Santa Claus from the farm into her office. She paused before following him in, smiling at everyone observing her. Trying not to chuckle, knowing she was passing the initiation test with flying colors, Tassie started around her desk. She hesitated, then grabbed her legal pad from her desk, rolled the pages to an empty sheet, and sat down facing the man on the same side of the desk. I’ll be kinder, be at his level.

Picking up her pen, she smiled. Hope I can get the smell out of my office. “So, you know my parents, Mr. . . . I’m sorry, I didn’t get your name.”

“Hector, Hector Woodley.” He reached out and patted her arm. Tassie fought not to recoil. “Your father is a very kind man.”

“That, he is,” Tassie agreed. “You know him well?”

Mr. Woodley rubbed his chin. “He may not recall me. Your mother probably would though.”

“Oh.”

“Your mother and I visited many years ago, but enough of that. Today is your day.”

“My day?” Tassie crossed her legs and wrote Hector Woodley at the top of the page. “Yes, you need to pay attention to your mother’s interest in the blood moons.”

“What?” Tassie leaned back in her chair and looked straight at Hector. “Who are you and why are you here?” Her face heated.

“Tassie, don’t get upset.” “Mr. Woodley, you may call me Ms. Stevens. You said you needed to speak to me about a case.”

“Yes, yes.” He leaned forward. “There is a very strong case for you to play an important part in keeping this nation safe.”

Tassie stood up. “Mr. Woodley, I will convey your greeting to my parents. I do believe our conversation is over.” Trying not to march, she strode to the door and opened it. Hector remained sitting. “Have a nice day, Mr. Woodley.” She tipped her head toward him.

Nodding, he stood up, ran his hand down his beard again and smiled sweetly. Santa Claus.

“Don’t forget, Tassie.” He walked out the door and down the hall. She stood with her hand on the door knob for a minute, shook her head, and shut the door.

What was that? How did he know my mom was into blood moons? Wait, maybe he’s a security breach. Tassie started to open the door and call for security. Wait, get a grip, Tass. This is not a company issue. She walked around her desk and sat down.

How did he know? Is he a hacker? That doesn’t even make sense. I’ve never written down the words ‘blood moons’. Did my mother put him up to this? Mother drives me nuts at times, but she is too classy to send smelly Santa to my office.

A noise brought Tassie out of her musings. Teresa stood in front of her desk. “Ms. Stevens, are you okay? I’m so sorry I let him in.”

Tassie looked hard at Teresa. “This wasn’t a rookie lawyer initiation? A good laugh for everyone?”

“That has never happened here, Ms. Stevens. Did he scare you?”

“No, he just made no sense. Must have wandered in from the street.”

“I won’t let it happen again. So sorry.” Teresa excused herself, leaving Tassie to her thoughts.

Walking over to the window, Tassie studied the gray sky. Well, no blood moons tonight. A knock came on the door. Tassie turned. The glass window revealed it was the senior partner. She quickly put Hector Woodley out of her mind and opened the door. “Mr. James, I have my closing arguments almost complete. Would you like to look them over?”


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