Friday’s Feature with Donna Schlachter

Giveaway ~ Win a FREE copy by commenting on this blog! Winner chosen 5/6/2022!

Calli

I always like to have a theme verse for every book I write. I find it helps keep me on track for the story I have in mind. For Calli, I chose:

The Lord preserveth the strangers; he relieveth the fatherless and widow…

Psalm 146:9

This story has both the fatherless and a widow. Calli’s husband recently died in an accident while on military duty, and she’s not completely recovered from that. Bot does anybody, really? However, as we know, most don’t want to be reminded of death, so she feels both alone and scared, as if she’d never known and loved her husband. Is that what his death meant? That this was it? She’s angry with God and cannot reconcile the notion of a loving God with One who would take her husband.

Here’s the short description of the story:

Calli works as a nurse with the US Army at Fort Bridger, Wyoming in 1880. When a wagon train full of discouraged emigrants passes through on its way east, a pregnant widow delivers her baby then dies. Bradley Wilson, leading this train, has few options. He asks Calli to travel with them until they find a relative to take the child in St. Joe, Missouri. Calli, drawn to both this dark and quiet man and the child, resists. But when she disappears, he wonders if she’s run away or been kidnapped. Can these two put their pasts behind them and move into a new future together? Or will Calli insist on having things her own way?

I set this story in 1870, a time when wagon trains were still heading west, but now some were straggling back, not having found what they’d hoped for. Unofficial estimates put these “returners” in the tens of thousands. I felt that was a story I wanted to tell.

I’ve visited the historic Fort Bridger site, and as I wrote the story, I envisioned the buildings as they were then and are today. That’s a great benefit for me as an author, because I immerse myself in the story and can focus on the characters and what’s going on.

Here is where you can find out more about Calli: 


About Donna

A hybrid author, Donna writes squeaky clean historical and contemporary suspense. She has been published more than 50 times in books; is a member of several writers groups; facilitates a critique group; teaches writing classes; ghostwrites; edits; and judges in writing contests. She loves history and research, traveling extensively for both. 

www.DonnaSchlachter.com Stay connected so you learn about new releases, preorders, and presales, as well as check out featured authors, book reviews, and a little corner of peace. Plus: Receive a free ebook simply for signing up for our free newsletter!

www.DonnaSchlachter.com/blog

Check out previous blog posts at www.HiStoryThruTheAges.wordpress.com and www.AllBettsAreOff.wordpress.com

Facebook: www.Facebook.com/DonnaschlachterAuthor

Twitter: www.Twitter.com/DonnaSchlachter

Books: Amazon: http://amzn.to/2ci5Xqq

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/donna-schlachter

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&query=donna+schlachter

Etsy online shop of original artwork: https://www.etsy.com/shop/Dare2DreamUS  

Thursday’s Throwback with Pat Jeanne Davis

Excerpt and Giveaway!

After fleeing impending war in England, nineteen-year-old Abby Stapleton works to correct her stammer and to become a teacher in America, only to discover this conflict has no boundaries and that a rejected suitor is intent on destroying her name, fiancé, and fragile faith.

When Valleys Bloom Again

As war approaches in 1939 Abby Stapleton’s safety is under threat. Her father, a British diplomat, insists she go back to America until the danger passes. Abby vows to return to her home in London—but where is home? With her family facing mortal danger so far away and feeling herself isolated, she finds it hard to pray or read the Bible. Did she leave God behind in war-torn London too? Then Abby becomes friendly with Jim, a gardener on her uncle’s estate.

Jim can’t get Abby out of his mind. Did she have a sweetheart in England? Was it foolish to think she’d consider him? He curses his poverty and the disgrace of his father’s desertion and drunkenness haunts him. Can he learn to believe in love for a lifetime and to hope for a happy marriage?

Abby couldn’t know the war would last a long time, nor that she would fall in love with Jim—soon to be drafted by the U.S.Army—or that she’d have to confront Henri, a rejected suitor, determined by his lies to ruin her reputation and destroy her faith in God’s providence. Will she discover the true meaning of home and find happiness with Jim?


Read an Excerpt

December 7, 1941

After attending church with her aunt and uncle, Abby parked the car, ran into the house and raced upstairs. She would meet Jim on the river bridge for a walk, then they’d attend the concert in the park. Perfect weather for a perfect Sunday.

She switched on the radio and sat at the vanity dressing table, half listening. Even before that mad dash a few minutes ago, she was breathless. Tugging at the snags in her long hair, she replayed that enchanted scene in the conservatory, unable to take in fully the rapid turn of events. First, she was friendly with Jim, then forced to be aloof, then more than friends, and—who knows what next? She still couldn’t believe it.

At the full-length mirror on the door, she turned sideways. “Best I can do,” she said out loud, before glancing at the clock. It would take ten minutes to reach the bridge.

Dropping on all fours, she rummaged beneath the bed for her walking shoes.

The symphonic music stopped, followed by a burst of staccato speech. Cocking her ear, she caught one sentence.“The Empire of Japan has attacked the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor.” It was enough. Her spine stiffened and she sucked in her breath. It’s here.

In her stocking feet, she ran down the hall to her uncle’s office.

He sat at his desk, head resting in his hands.

She tapped on the door, trembling.

He looked up. “You heard, then?” He sighed. “I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised. All the signs were there. Still …”

She dropped into the chair beside him. “Does this mean America will go to war?”

He stared out the window “Nothing short of it.”

“Where is Pearl Harbor?”

He eased himself out of his seat, shuffled to a large world map mounted on the wall and peered at it through a magnifying glass. “Right here.”

Abby went over to where he stood.

“See. Hawaii,” he said, stepping aside for her. “A big naval facility.”

Abby turned away. “Do you think Aunt heard?”

“I’ll go and break the news to her myself.” Uncle Will put his arm around Abby’s shoulder, and they walked across the room.

At the door he stopped and half-turned, his voice quivering. “I’m sorry for all you young people. I think our generation has let you down.” He shook his head. “The sins of the fathers are visited upon the children once more.”

Taken aback and unable to think of anything to say, she watched him disappear down the hallway.

She whirled around and caught sight of her parents in the photograph her uncle kept on his desk. It was an old one, early 1920s, taken when their own bitter memories of the Great War were probably still fresh. Now she would be a comrade with them in their present suffering back in England. But even this meager consolation yielded to a fear closer at hand. What would all this mean for Jim?

End of Scene


            Eighty years ago this week on December 8, 1941 in the chaotic hours after radio bulletins alerted US residents of the attack, President Franklin D. Roosevelt on a national radio broadcast went before a joint session of the U.S. Congress and began with the following words: “Yesterday, December 7, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.” The President requests a declaration of war against Japan.  Link to Newspaper with Headline: https://www.newspapers.com/clip/21590665/japan_declares_war_on_us_and/

This horiffic act by the Empire of Japan and the President’s course of action that swiftly followed would forever have a significant impact on the life of Abby Stapleton, daughter of a British diplomat, and her future with Jim Wright, the man she loves. 


Get your copy!

When Valleys Bloom Again can be purchased here: Amazon.com


More about Pat

PAT JEANNE DAVIS  has a keen interest in 20th Century United States and British history, particularly the period of World War II. Her longtime interest in that era goes back to the real-life stories she heard about family members who served during the war. When Valleys Bloom Again is a debut inspirational romance set in WWII. She enjoys flower gardening, genealogy research and traveling with her British-born husband. She writes from her home in Philadelphia, PA. Pat has published essays, short stories and articles online and in print. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Faith, Hope, & Love Christian Writers. Please visit her at https://www.patjeannedavis.com 

Social Media:   

Website:  https://www.patjeannedavis.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pat.j.davis.7

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

MeWe:  https://mewe.com/i/patjeannedavis

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18797403.Pat_Jeanne_Davis

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

LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/pat-jeanne-davis-34290422/                    

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/patjeannedavis/    

Thursday’s Throwback with Kelly Goshorn

Giveaway and Excerpt!

Post a comment to Kelly and get entered to win a free ebook of A Love Restored!

A Love Restored

She was nothing like the woman he’d envisioned for his bride, but he was everything she’d ever dreamed of—until a promise from his past threatened their future.

Determined to rise above his meager beginnings, Benjamin Coulter’s reputation as a fast learner and hard worker earn him the opportunity to apprentice with a surveyor for the railroad—a position that will garner the respect of other men. After a chance encounter with Ruth Ann Sutton, Benjamin is smitten with her pretty face, quick wit, and feisty personality.

With pert opinions and a less-than-perfect figure, Ruth Ann Sutton doesn’t measure up to society’s vision of a perfect lady. When she accepts a position teaching in a Freedman’s School, it threatens the only marriage offer Ruth Ann is likely to receive. She’s forced to choose between life as a lonely spinster or reinventing herself to secure a respectable proposal.

When others ridicule his choice, will Benjamin listen to his heart or put ambition first?


Buy Links

Amazon https://amzn.to/2Zx8Vg5

Barnes & Noble https://bit.ly/3qJg25u


Excerpt from A Love Restored

Loudoun County, Virginia

August 1873

Benjamin Coulter cringed as the shrill tune hung in the air. That woman sure knew how to ruin a Sunday afternoon. Sounded like something was dying and needed to be put out of its misery. 

He shook his head. All he wanted to do was rest a while longer. His decision to go around his headstrong superior and talk to Mr. Farrell directly about his boss’s inaccurate measurements had made for a nerve wracking week. That decision could have cost him his job. Thankfully, his discovery had been received well, saving the struggling railroad both time and money. 

Benjamin leaned against the sycamore tree and tossed his line into the creek. A slight hint of remorse nicked his conscience. He now sat poised to guide the construction of the Washington & Ohio Railroad through the town of Catoctin Creek and over the Blue Ridge Mountains to Winchester, but he hadn’t intended to get his boss fired. If only the man hadn’t refused to admit he’d made a mistake. 

Yep, it was all coming together. Just the way he’d hoped it would when he agreed to leave Texas and take this apprenticeship in Virginia. All he had to do was pass that examination next spring and… 

He shuddered. The woman’s screeching escalated to a bone-grating pitch. She’d frighten the fish away for sure. Like most folks, Sunday was his day off, and he didn’t intend to spend it listening to her sing off-key. 

Wedging his pole in the mud of the creek bank, he set off to investigate. Her ear-piercing slaughter of The Merry, Merry Month of May led the way. He spied his first glimpse of the lyrical assassin through the thin limbs of a dogwood tree. Perched on a large, flat rock at the edge of the creek, she swirled her bare feet in the water. Behind the rock sat a pair of woman’s boots—fancy ones. Too bad she hadn’t spent some of her shoe allowance on singing lessons. Her voice cracked. “The skies were bright, our hearts were light, in the merry, merry month of May…” 

Benjamin winced. That was the fourth time in a row she’d sung that part. For the love of Pete, didn’t Miss Fancy Boots even know the words? He needed to put a stop to this so he could continue fishing—and napping. He stepped forward then stopped. The woman reached up and removed a pin from her hair, then another. Mounds of long chestnut brown ringlets spilled over her shoulders into the middle of her back. 

Curls. He groaned. Why’d she have to have curls?

“The skies were bright. Our eyes were light…” 

Never mind. Curls or not, the woman’s voice could haunt the dead. 


About Kelly

Kelly Goshorn weaves her affinity for history and her passion for God into uplifting stories of love, faith, and family set in nineteenth century America. She earned her B.A. in Social Studies Education from Messiah College and her M.Ed. in History from The Pennsylvania State University. Her debut novel, A Love Restored, won the Director’s Choice Award for Adult/YA fiction at the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference in 2019, and earned recognition as both a Selah Award finalist in the Historical Romance category and as a Maggie Award Finalist for Inspirational Fiction. When she is not writing, Kelly enjoys spending time with her young adult children, binge-watching BBC period dramas, board gaming with her husband, and spoiling her Welsh corgi, Levi.

Find Kelly Online

Her website: http://kellygoshorn.com/

Newsletter: https://kellygoshorn.com/my-writing/newsletter

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kelly.j.goshorn/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KellyGoshorn

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18023325.Kelly_J_Goshorn

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/kelly-goshorn

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/KellyGoshorn/

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