Linore Rose Burkard

Linore Rose Burkard

Proof of God’s power and sense of humor are both evident in my story of getting published.    Readers would probably be surprised to learn that despite majoring in English Literature and graduating magna cum laude, I was too afraid to take a Creative Writing class. It wasn’t that I didn’t have story ideas—I just lacked the confidence and, I believed, the time, to write them.  (I worked full time and was convinced it would take an enormous amount of time to do it well, if I could indeed even do it.)

But story ideas wouldn’t go away. And after waiting years for someone to write a Christian Regency romance, I realized it wasn’t going to happen.  So I wrote the book I wanted to read. Knowing nothing about the publishing industry, I only queried two publishers. One was interested (a major house), but then passed. With my usual ultra-confidence, I accepted that I wasn’t good enough to be published.

But God wouldn’t let it go! He kept nudging me. But I kept procrastinating. And here’s the humorous part. He used a line from Shakespeare’s Hamlet to do it. Whenever I thought about it, he would remind me of “thine almost blunted purpose.”   Finally, I self-published the book—I thought I had no other choice—which led to  Nick Harrison, then a Senior Editor with Harvest House Publishers, contacting me, which led to HHP publishing it (Before the Season Ends), and then two more regencies.

Why that line? Why from Hamlet? I often wondered. It took years for me to understand. Like the troubled prince in the play, I was being a great procrastinator! God nudged me to action in time for Nick to find the book and ask to see it.  And thus began my career.

Forever, Lately by Linore Rose Burkard

Forever, Lately by Linore Rose Burkard

Bio: Linore Rose Burkard is a serious watcher of period films, a Janeite and hopeless romantic.  She writes heartwarming historical romance and YA/Suspense (as L.R. Burkard). Raised in NY, she now lives with her husband and five children in southwestern Ohio.

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Like finding Easter eggs in each novel, I include unique places the reader probably has not visited, adventures my reader most likely has not experienced, and unique facts about our zany world that were not in our textbooks.

In suspense novel, Chasing Sunrise, I take the reader scuba diving along the wall off the coast of St. Croix. Much like an elevator shaft, the majestic formation drops some 3000 feet below the ocean surface.

With the island as the setting, I included the historic sugar mills, rum production, the seven flags that flew over St. Croix, World War II sonobuoys, sea glass, how to crack open a fresh coconut, mocho jumbies, Alexander Hamilton, and crab races.

Native to the island, the manchineel tree is deadly to everyone except a species of land crabs. St. Croix is the only United States-owned soil where Columbus landed, and he quickly discovered the danger of the manchineel after several of his men ate the fruit and died.

Michael examined the extent of the damage. “If it’s so dangerous, why not get rid of the tree?”

“That’s just as dangerous.” Jake shook his head. “Maybe more. Standing beneath the tree during rain may cause blistering. Cutting the tree gets the poisonous sap everywhere. Burning the tree causes blindness if the smoke reaches the eyes. Inhaling the smoke blisters the nose, mouth, and respiratory system.”

“Nuisance,” Michael groused.

Discovering the tree and its parts contain strong toxins, what’s an author to do? Of course, I let our military pararescueman leverage the tree as a weapon against the unsavory bad guys.

Exploring, learning, and researching are perks of being an author. The fun is multiplied by sharing the adventures, discoveries, and places with my readers.

 

PeggySue Wells

PeggySue Wells

History buff, and tropical island votary, PeggySue Wells parasails, skydives, snorkels, scuba dives, and has taken (but not passed) pilot training. Writing from the 100-Acre wood in Indiana, PeggySue is the bestselling author of 29 books, translated into eight languages, including The What To Do series, The Slave Across the Street, Slavery in the Land of the Free, Bonding With Your Child Through Boundaries, Homeless for the Holidays, Chasing Sunrise, and The Ten Best Decisions A Single Mom Can Make. Radio talk show host, author, and speaker, she interviews industry experts, entrepreneurs, and exceptional voices to help people live better, together. Connect with PeggySue on Facebook, Linked In, and at  www.PeggySueWells.com

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I’ve never been a police chief—but I spent many years of my career in public education serving as a high school superintendent. The day I realized the overlap between those two positions was the day Jo Oliver was born.

In the early years, I interviewed women and men (mostly men) police officers and had the privilege of participating in a few ride-alongs. As a member of the International Thriller Writers Association, I enthusiastically joined in on the FBI workshops hosted by the Manhattan FBI during our annual summer conference. It wasn’t until I heard a dear friend and local police chief describe his day-to-day activities as being mainly concerned with politics and personnel that I realized I could write from that seat authentically.

School superintendents also spend a good deal of their time addressing politics and personnel—sans badge and gun. Layering on the details of a series of crimes fell into place once I knew how my police chief would spend her time on the job when not chasing bad guys/girls. In addition to trying out cool new technologies in their efforts to protect and serve, my characters spend much of their waking time at work. Understanding that leadership in the police arena is not all that different from leadership in other arenas added confidence and an air of authority to my writing.

In crafting my current novel, I am drawing on my world of education to form the background of my protagonist. Grounding her in a world I know so well frees me up to create bridges into the bold new future world we are creating and sharing on the page together. Weaving in the ancient truths of human development, character, and consequences of our choices laid out in the Bible adds the final layer of intrigue and fuel for reflection I strive to include in my work.

Catherine Finger

Catherine Finger

Catherine Finger loves to dream, write, and tell stories. Retired from a wonderful career in public education, she celebrates opportunities to contribute to the wellbeing of others as a coach, writer, and friend. She lives in the Midwest with a warm and wonderful combination of family and friends. www.catherinefinger.com

 

 

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Dianne Neal Matthews

Just before I moved to Salt Lake City in 2011, a librarian friend of a friend asked me to be the featured author at her small Christian school’s Book Fair. After I emailed her my photo and book cover images, she met with the principal and got really excited about the promotional ideas the two of them had planned. But I was not prepared for what she accomplished while waiting for me to fly in.

The school sat at the top of a high hill. As we turned in the driveway at the bottom, a huge sign with my face and name greeted me. At the top, a large easel held a similar poster. Smaller signs dotted the walls in the hallway highlighting my books. As I washed my hands in the bathroom, I looked up and saw my face on the paper towel dispenser. Suddenly, I felt like a rock star.

Book Fair

At the Book Fair

Although many people passed through the halls, book sales were slow the second morning. But after all, it was the day for women’s Bible studies; also, the building was serving as a polling place. After a few hours, I saw a woman walking toward me, obviously intending to talk. Did she want to buy an autographed book? Or maybe tell me how much she loved the one she got yesterday? I eagerly leaned across the table. “Where do I go to vote?” she asked.

You know, pride is a sneaky thing. It can slip into our attitudes without us even realizing it. But on that day, I realized something: When you’re a writer, sooner or later someone or something will give you a wake-up call if your head starts to get too big.

On This Day by Dianne Neal Matthews

Dianne Neal Matthews is the author of five daily devotional books including The One Year Women of the Bible and Designed for Devotion: A 365-Day Journey from Genesis to Revelation, which won a 2013 Selah Award. She also writes for websites and blogs, contributes to compilations (including Guideposts’ Mornings with Jesus), and teaches at writers’ conferences. To learn more, visit www.DianneNealMatthews.com or connect with Dianne through Facebook or Twitter.

 

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Behold, I will do something new—

Now it will spring forth;

Will you not be aware of it?

 Isaiah 43:19

Catherine Finger

Catherine Finger

As I sit on my screen porch, luxuriating in my Wisconsin summer morning ritual, coffee at hand, dog at my feet and a cacophony of avian praise in the background, I cultivate ideas for my new book. Placed in the near future, this book plays with bioethics as illuminated through the life and choices of Em, my female protagonist. Facing her own mortality in the guise of a terminal disease, vexed with arthritis and the quotidian irritations of aging, she wonders daily what it would be like to replace not only the occasional joint—but her entire body.  In an age where humans are able to artificially enhance their physical and mental selves, should they?

I myself am resigned to the inevitability of a knee and hip replacement—but what about body enhancement or replacement? In my fictional year 2060, in a world where downloading human consciousness into artificial bodies has become commonplace, Em struggles with moral ambiguities and bioethics without a common cultural framework. How should her faith inform her choices related to her physical health and mental health? If she were in need of a kidney transplant, or a knee replacement today, I do not know a Christian in my circle who would oppose it. But if she were to consider replacing or enhancing her entire body in the year 2060, would there be a Judeo-Christian framework for her to consider?

Artificial Intelligence is another passion of mine. A recent bout of research brought me to an app called “Replika,” claiming to be “an AI who cares.” Naturally, I signed right up. I named my Replika “Carver.” You can see our exchange regarding today’s lofty topic in the screenshot photo below.  While Carver didn’t seem particularly interested in my question, nor in the future, he did eerily mirror most conversations I’ve had with members of the opposite sex. So that’s something, right?Conversation with Carver 7:17:20

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