Friday’s Feature with Donna Schlachter

Interview, Excerpt, and Giveaway!

Leave a comment to enter a random drawing for a print (US only) or ebook copy of Time Will Tell.

Question: What other kinds of non-traditional businesses might a woman own in 1889?


Welcome, Donna! Thank you for coming back to share your new Christmas story.

What is the theme or message of your book?

Thanks for having me here today. Time Will Tell releases December 14th, and the theme is that God makes everything difficult that we go through beautiful—in His time.

What is your favorite genre of books to read?

I absolutely love reading Christian historical romance, particularly those set in the 19th Century. I guess that makes sense since it’s also what I write. I also love reading cozy mysteries, especially anything that remotely resembles Agatha Christie-like stories.

Who are some of your favorite authors? 

As I said, Agatha Christie, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Mary Davis, RL Ashly, Davalynn Spencer, and Toni Shiloh.

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

Never give up. If people hate your stuff and can give you specifics to work on, then do that. But don’t let the story die within in.

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

If you define glamorous as having more stories than time to write, or always second-guessing whether your last book was any good at all, or blushing when a reader writes a review and you wonder if they are talking about your book because it’s wonderful, then sure, being published is glamorous.

If, however, you define it as providing a lavish lifestyle and joining the Vacation-of-the-Month club, not so much. But I wouldn’t trade it for any other job.


Excerpt from Time Will Tell:

Sadie sank onto the ancient leather chair behind her father’s workbench. Correction. Her workbench, now. She huffed, her breath raising the errant strands of hair at the center of her forehead. Her trembling hand gripped the official-looking envelope neatly addressed to her father. Not her. Although he died a month ago, still his loss created an ache in her throat. 

Bitter tears burned at the back of her eyes, blurring her vision, making the words dance. All around her, reminders of him. That ratty old sweater, holes in the elbows and all the buttons long gone, hanging on the coat rack inside the door. His cold pipe in the ashtray in front of her, a faint whiff of his favorite tobacco hanging on. At her elbow, the sign she’d placed on the front door alerting customers to a death in the family. She must open the shop, generate income, and save her father’s—correction—her business and livelihood.

She set her reticule on the table and sat back in the chair. Surely no good news ever arrived in a linen wrapper from a law firm. Sadie picked up a jeweler’s file, its length and span in stark contrast to the task she now assigned it. Slipping the pointed tip beneath the seal on the rear of the envelope, she eased the brittle red wax from the stark white. 

Inside, a single sheet of paper. She inhaled, then breathed out through her nose.

Stop wasting time. Read it.


About Donna

Donna writes historical and contemporary mystery, and has been published more than 50 times in novellas, full-length novels, and non-fiction books. She is a member of several writing communities; facilitates a critique group; teaches writing classes; ghostwrites; edits; blogs regularly; and judges in writing contests. She lives in Denver with her husband and two cats, finding mysteries wherever she travels. You can find her books on Amazon under both her name and that of her former pen name, Leeann Betts.

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Friday’s Feature with LoRee Peery

Christmas Trinkets

Hayley Wolfe shares a kinship with the lost and lonely. Growing up without a father taught her that you can’t always count on people. Her strong faith in God taught her that her Heavenly Father is unshakable. When she meets Kameron Kohl at her antiques and coffee shop, she’s immediately drawn to his warmth and charm.

After being abandoned on the steps of a church as a baby, Kameron Kohl has spent his life rejecting God and meaningful relationships. After all, his own mother didn’t care for him, so why should anyone else. But Kameron never expected to meet Hayley Wolfe. Her faith in Christ, her inner beauty and selfless openness towards strangers, has Kameron falling for her hard.

When Hayley notices a connection between Kameron’s keychain and the locket passed down to her from her mother, she wants to investigate further. Kameron refuses. But when a pastor turns up dead, both Hayley and Kameron are forced to discover the truth. As friendship turns to love, Hayley will have to rely on God to soften Kameron’s heart and protect them both from danger.

Will the connection between their Christmas Trinkets lead them to love or peril?

Available now! Get it on sale for Christmas!

Amazon.com

Pelican Book Group


About the author

Christian romance author LoRee Peery writes to feel alive, as a way of contributing, and to pass forward the hope of rescue from sin. She writes of redeeming grace with a sense of place. LoRee clings to I John 5:4 and prays her family sees that faith. She has authored the Frivolities Series and other e-books. Her desire for readers, the same as for her characters, is to discover where they fit in this life journey to best work out the Lord’s life plan. She is who she is by the grace of God: Christian, country girl, wife, mother, grandmother, sister, friend, and author. She’s been a reader since before kindergarten.

Connect with LoRee through these links:

www.loreepeery.com

Twitter

Facebook

Pelican

Wednesday’s Writer with LoRee Peery

Thank you so much for being here today, LoRee. I know this is such a busy time of the year so I’m so grateful for you taking the time to stop by. It’s also a great time for a heartwarming story to curl up by the fire with. Speaking of those heartwarming Christmas stories you write, let’s get started.

Some people listen to music when they write. Some people write outside, near a window, etc. What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

I have to brainstorm away from my study. That means I take my ideas file, list of potential titles and names, character sketches, etc. to the kitchen table. I’ll put on soft music, instrumental so I’m not tempted to sing, and get busy. I also have to edit on paper rather than computer screen.

How long does it take your to write a book?

There’s no pat answer to this question. Each story has been different. I try to write the Christmas Extravaganza novellas in a month. Some stories take a year (or longer). Sage and Sweetgrass took 90 days. If life doesn’t interfere, which it often does because we have a large family, I’ll log 20,000 words a month.

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

Number one is read. I like to take walks, watch birds, do Bible study, sew, sing, and play cards or board games. I favor Hallmark movies, oldies or westerns over TV, except for “The Voice.” I enjoy historical museums, antique shops, and I get antsy to hit the road for viewing wide open spaces. I love time spent with loved ones, but prefer intimate chats with one up to a handful rather than a houseful.

Where do you get your ideas for your books?

Ideas are everywhere. The last story I brainstormed, which I’m eager to get into, sparked with the squeal of a pig. I added something my husband told me that his uncle said. Real life, an interesting rumor or family story, and overheard conversations catch my attention. My hairdresser mentioned something hard to believe not too long ago. I couldn’t wait to write it down and hope to use it.

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

Hope is a gift to all who put their faith in Jesus. All of us have growing to do. As Christians, God never lets us go once we’re His. Life is hard. We need to focus on the message of that hope. I like the saying “If God leads us to it, He’ll take us through it.”

Knowing where my strength comes from enables me to face anything. I want my heroes and heroines to have that same hope.

What are your future projects?

I’m working out the last scene in “Courting Country.” Then I’ll go through the whole story, layering in details and emotion.

My next Christmas novella is a seed right now that will be fleshed out soon. I’m waiting for a sign like that pig’s squeal to get me going.

What kinds of research do you do for your books?

I’ve heard historical authors say they get lost in doing research. In a way, Google at a keystroke away took out the adventure of research. I interviewed professionals regarding jobs for my first two books; a volunteer fireman for Moselle’s Insurance, and a stained glass artist for Rainn on My Parade. Since my stories are mostly set in Nebraska, I have a state map near my desk. I know weather and wildlife and small towns and country. Well, you get the picture. Nebraska is home.

Did you always want to be a writer?

The writing bug bit me when my two youngest children were in elementary school. One of my fondest mementoes is the plaque I won for best adult prose in Waverly Arts Foundation contest. My sixth grade son also won for the poem he wrote about a pretty girl.


She was looking for coffee and conversation. He was looking for a quiet place to write. What they found was a connection that would make this Christmas unforgettable.

Hayley Wolfe shares a kinship with the lost and lonely. Growing up without a father taught her that you can’t always count on people. Her strong faith in God taught her that her Heavenly Father is unshakable. When she meets Kameron Kohl at her antiques and coffee shop, she’s immediately drawn to his warmth and charm.

After being abandoned on the steps of a church as a baby, Kameron Kohl has spent his life rejecting God and meaningful relationships. After all, his own mother didn’t care for him, so why should anyone else. But Kameron never expected to meet Hayley Wolfe. Her faith in Christ, her inner beauty and selfless openness towards strangers, has Kameron falling for her hard.

When Hayley notices a connection between Kameron’s keychain and the locket passed down to her from her mother, she wants to investigate further. Kameron refuses. As friendship turns to love, Hayley will have to rely on God to soften Kameron’s heart.

Will the connection between their Christmas Trinkets lead them to love or unanswerable questions?

Turn on the Christmas lights, grab a blanket and curl up by the fire with your own copy of Christmas Trinkets.

Available at: Amazon http://tinyurl.com/yccznlb6

Pelican http://tinyurl.com/yb7eh3h2


Read a excerpt here first!

Christmas Trinkets

Chapter Two

Hayley took a step back. “My necklace?”

He fingered a matching chain attached to his keys, and pulled it from his pocket.

“Oh, my goodness. Look at that! It’s the exact same design. I’ve seen a lot of interesting pieces through the years, but none like this. Looks like a short watch fob. May I hold it?”

He slid it off the keyring and offered it to her. Their fingers touched. An arrow shot straight to his chest. He’d always chalked that kind of spark to romance authors. Imagine that. To experience such a thing for the very first time. No way. Ignore it. He pulled back and stuck his hand in his pocket.

“One of the features of gold is that it absorbs body heat. Do you know what the bar is for?” She ran her thumb and index finger over the T-shape at the end of the chain.

What would it be like to have those long white fingers touch him in exploration? Craziness.

Was it wrong to crave a woman’s touch? He’d missed out on the nurturing cuddles of a natural mother. Same old refrain.

“This chain looks like a watch fob, where the tee fits into a buttonhole, but it’s different somehow, not as long as the norm. Where did you get it, Kameron?”

“Pastor Gregg gave it to me. The shop is your inheritance. This chain is the only inheritance I have.” However, not from a blood relative. No way would he tell her that. Someone as secure as Hayley, safe at home in this tiny town, couldn’t identify with a guy who’d been left on the church steps.

Abandoned like an old shoe tossed in the street.

“Did Pastor say where it came from? Someone in his family, maybe?” She laid his chain on top of an antique curio cabinet, flipped her hair to the front, and unhooked her necklace. Laid side by side, there was no mistaking the pieces were made to match. “I have goose bumps. They had to have been created by the same artisan. And you know what? Since I found my necklace amongst my mother’s belongings, I didn’t think about taking a magnifying glass to it.”

“Why should you?”

“For identity purposes. Mom never got into old jewelry deep enough to use a loupe, so I never have either. I’m guessing the pieces were designed to go together. The necklace made for a woman and the chain for a man. Did you grow up around here?”

He took the knuckle he’d been gnawing out of his mouth. “The first home I remember was in a drafty old parsonage near the Kansas border. Pastor Gregg moved from town to town about every five or six years. At least I was in the same school from ninth to twelfth grade.”

“I know Pastor is single. How long has he been a widower? Oh, I apologize. That means you’ve been without a mother that long.”

He frowned in an attempt to follow. Gregg was right. He’d have horrid forehead wrinkles if he didn’t stop scowling. “Pastor’s never been married. His sister Teresa lived with him and took care of cooking and cleaning. She adopted me, raised me. I don’t talk about my past.”

“I apologize if I’ve stepped on your toes. I’m too curious for my own good. I get it because I don’t like to talk about what’s in my past either.” She smiled and held out the chain. “Pastor Gregg’s dogs are no doubt waiting for their romp.”

“For a few minutes there, I forgot about the dogs.” He stuffed the laptop in his bag, shrugged into his coat but didn’t close it. “You seem to enjoy this old stuff. Don’t know how the jewelry is connected, but if there’s a way to find out, I’m sure you’ll be able to. Now I need to make tracks so I don’t get back to a mess in the house.”

He jogged the two short blocks to the parsonage without noticing a thing around him, thanks to the lovely woman he’d just met. Why did she get to him?

She ran an old-lady kind of business in an aged brick bank building. Did she live above the shop?

He hadn’t put his mind on the abandonment word for a long, long time. Instead, he poured out the hate, anger, his own sense of worthlessness, into his characters. Boys forever lost without knowing home.

None of that helped. He’d still been tossed aside.

Summer’s barks resounded with his first step on the porch. He opened the door. “OK, OK. I’ll let you out back to do your thing.”

Winter did the growl sound that Gregg liked to put words to.

He swiped his feet on the mat, just a little snow, then jogged through the lower level to let out the dogs.

In the spare room, his bag knocked over a tiny bust of Jesus that he’d molded and painted in sixth grade. It had gone unnoticed since his arrival the day before. Authors were supposed to notice details. Maybe he was as much a fake writer as he was a fake son. He straightened the statuette on the small table, and bit his knuckle. Ungrateful fool. Pastor Gregg thought enough of Kameron to keep the silly thing all these years.

Winter’s teeth on the doorknob and Summer’s yaps pulled his dark thoughts to the present task.

Keys in hand, he fingered the fob chain. Dare he snoop in Gregg’s cedar-scented room?


About the author

Christian romance author LoRee Peery writes to feel alive, as a way of contributing, and to pass forward the hope of rescue from sin. She writes of redeeming grace with a sense of place. LoRee clings to I John 5:4 and prays her family sees that faith. She has authored the Frivolities Series and other e-books. Her desire for readers, the same as for her characters, is to discover where they fit in this life journey to best work out the Lord’s life plan. She is who she is by the grace of God: Christian, country girl, wife, mother, grandmother, sister, friend, and author. She’s been a reader since before kindergarten. Connect with LoRee through these links:

www.loreepeery.com

https://twitter.com/LoreePeery

https://www.facebook.com/LoReePeery

Pelican http://tinyurl.com/kwz9enk