Wednesday’s Writer with Ann Brodeur

Interview and Excerpt

Today I have award-winning author of Christian Fiction, Ann Brodeur. Ann is here today to share her book, Snowbound in Winterberry Falls and tell us a little about the author behind the story. Welcome, Ann!

SNOWBOUND IN WINTERBERRY FALLS

Get your copy!

Ebook Canada: https://amzn.to/3529fZe 

Ebook US: https://amzn.to/3p48B5y

Paperback: https://bit.ly/36aKN7h


Unwrapping their past – one secret at a time.

Owning her own PR firm is all reporter Stephanie Clark wants for Christmas, but the idea of running a prestigious election campaign in the country’s capital throws her stomach into knots. A last minute vacation road trip to focus and seek God’s direction for her life ends up in disaster when she gets caught in the worst snowstorm to hit Vermont in over a decade, crashing her into a small town and the one person she’d rather forget.

Former photojournalist Jason Miller hadn’t planned on being solely responsible for saving his family business from financial ruin. He’s barely keeping the newspaper in print, his News Editor has gone AWOL during the town’s most celebrated holiday festival, and reports of missing Christmas decorations have everyone on edge. 

When a desperate knock at the newsroom door brings a ghost from Christmas past back into his life, can Jason make up for his prior behavior without breaking his promise to Stephanie’s father? Will Stephanie’s quest to solve the town’s Christmas caper—and uncover the truth about Jason’s disappearance—cost her everything she’s ever wanted? 

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

I recently discovered my diary from when I was ten years old. We moved this summer and I found it in a box of my childhood books. In it, one entry simply states that someday I wanted to be a famous Christian author so I could tell others about Jesus.

Have you ever won any awards for your writing? I have. The piece that kicked off my writing pursuits, was an article I wrote about Childhood Apraxia of Speech. It received an honorable mention in the published category of Writer’s Digest Magazine’s Writing Contest in 2017. Two different novels I’ve written placed first and finaled in contests: RWA Indiana Golden Opportunity 2019, ACFW First Impressions 2019, TARA Award 2020, and RWA Orange County Emerging Writers Contest 2020.

Have you ever received a rejection?

I have. And let me tell you, it really sucks. BUT some of those rejections came with a lot of advice I took to heart. When an editor or judge takes the time to give feedback, writers should consider the points. I applied the criticism and was surprised at how much stronger my writing became.

How long does it take you to write a book?

I’ve been able to write a 50K draft in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Write in a Month), but it was a very rough draft and took lots of editing and re-writing to get a polished manuscript. I’m not eager to do that again!

How long it takes to write a book depends on family life. I have four littles at home and I homeschool all of them at the moment. If I can get thirty minutes of concentrated writing time, I’m having a great day. I can get a lot down on the page if I turn off all the distractions and focus on the story. It takes about three months to write a 60K story, and then two to edit it to the point I’m satisfied and ready to send it off.

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

I love to read! But I also like to crochet and play Blokus with my kids. We camp in the summers, so I love traveling with our family and exploring new areas. 



About Ann

ANN BRODEUR is an award-winning novelist who writes inspirational and contemporary romances offering sweet hope and happy endings. 

When she’s not reading, writing, chasing after her kids or enjoying long chats with her husband, Ann can be found drinking coffee. That’s been reheated several times throughout the day. She aspires to drink a hot beverage in one sitting.


Find Ann Online

Join other readers in finding out the latest news from Ann and for bookish fun, by signing up for my newsletter on my website: https://brodeurwrites.org/

Check out novel inspiration, book reviews and more on my Pinterest page: https://www.pinterest.ca/brodeurwrites

Follow and Like my author page: https://www.facebook.com/annbrodeurauthor

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20786619.Ann_Brodeur

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/ann-brodeur

Amazon: https://www.amazon.ca/Ann-Brodeur

Library Thing: https://www.librarything.com/author/brodeurann

Wednesday’s Writer with Sharee Stover

Today I have an interview with Love Inspired Suspense author, Sharee Stover.

Welcome, Sharee.

Theresa: Out of all the characters you’ve written about, is there one that is your favorite?

Sharee: The heroine in Grave Christmas Secrets is my favorite character (so far). Dr. Taya McGill is a forensic anthropologist with quirks and fears but she’s incredibly brave and authentic.

Theresa: That sounds like a very interesting profession to write about!

Have you ever won any awards for your writing?

Sharee: Yes! I am a triple Daphne du Maurier finalist, winner of the 2017 Wisconsin Fabulous Five Silver Quill Award, and my debut, Secret Past, won Best First Book in the 2019 National Excellence in Romance Fiction Awards.

Theresa: That is an impressive list! And well-deserved!

Do you take time to plot/outline your books? Or do you just jump right in?

Sharee: I really wanted to believe I was a pantser for a long time…alas, I have come to accept that I am a plotter to the nth degree. However, this proves beneficial on those days when I’m struggling to write. I have a very thorough synopsis that acts like a playbook and gives me the ‘what happens next’ boost I need.

Theresa: I can relate. I think I’m a mix of the two, also. What kinds of research do you do for your books?

Sharee: Research depends totally on the story, but I’ve done everything from hiking the Manitou Springs Incline in Manitou Springs, Colorado to interviewing a real forensic anthropologist with my one hundred and one questions. I’ve had the privilege of talking with police K9 handlers and ATF agents. And I’ve attended many writers’ conferences where FBI, ATF, and other law enforcement entities were present to answer questions. One of my favorite conferences is the Writers Police Academy which is a huge knowledge base. And of course, there’s always Google searches. I also do a lot of reading both fiction and non-fiction.

Theresa: I have always wanted to attend the Writer’s Police Academy. I tend to rely on Google and books, too.

Share something fun your reader wouldn’t know about you.

Sharee: I’m not sure it’s fun, but one unique thing about me is that I am a two-time cornea transplant recipient. It’s been over 15 years since my last surgery, and I’m grateful every single day for my vision!

Theresa: What a blessing! Thank you for sharing that with us and for being here to answer questions. It was great having you today!


Read on to Sharee’s new release, Grave Christmas Secrets

Three can keep a secret if two of them are dead. Forensic anthropologist Taya McGill disagreed with Benjamin Franklin’s famous quote. In her experience, the dead were horrible secret keepers. Rather, she’d dub them mysterious pirates hoarding a treasure trove of clues. And as a general rule, far more reliable than most living people she’d encountered.


Chapter excerpt

Taya cherished the incredible honor of speaking for the dearly departed, even when an active crime scene overtook her nonexistent Christmas plans. The excavation freed her from the holiday hustle and bustle she detested more than the insufferable game and parks officer reigning as security over the site.

He’d gone, for now, but if his previous behavior was any indicator, there’d soon be more rounds in futility. Those who misjudged Taya’s petite five-foot, ninety-pound stature for weakness learned the hard way that her stubbornness came packaged like dynamite and equaled her determination.

Dr. Taya McGill would never again succumb to a uniformed bully.

“It’s just you and me, friend. You’re safe to share your secrets,” Taya said, brushing back dirt from the exposed skull. Her coworkers mocked the unconventional method of talking aloud to the victim, but the process worked for her. And since she spent the majority of her time alone, who did it bother, anyway?

Unpredictable weather had hindered the recovery of the human remains, hindering the dig’s progression. The frigid winter temperatures had banked at a high—if that was a relative term—of negative four degrees. The radical increasing wind speeds over the past hour had further complicated things. No overhead streetlamps illuminated the onyx sky. Rolling hills and the occasional farm nestled in an endless snow-covered landscape surrounded over three hundred acres of Ashfall Fossil Beds State Park in the northeastern corner of Royal, Nebraska.

She shivered and tugged the zipper of her down-alternative parka as high as it would go, tucking her nose in the warmth. It was after midnight, but Taya’s ongoing battle with insomnia provided her the excuse to continue working. The victim buried in the shallow grave deserved justice. As did those mourning her.

Taya leaned down and paused with her brush midair. She’d already exposed most of the skeletal form and prepared to collect the remains for transport to her laboratory at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. Something red near the thoracic vertebrae peeked through the earth. With a delicate swipe, she uncovered the object. A small deflated latex balloon.

Taya sighed. The find wasn’t unusual. Addicts ingested the balloons as a method of muling illegal drugs. Was that this victim’s story?


Get your copy:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Wbyyn5

Amazon Author Page: https://amazon.com/author/shareestover


Find Sharee online

Website: https://shareestover.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/shareestover

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

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

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/sharee-stover


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