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DISCLAIMER:

I do not read every book/author I spotlight or book tour I host!
Readers, Please research and use wisdom before buying

Saturday, September 22, 2018

#SaturdaySpotlight is on Paul McDermott!

Good Morning Friends!

Paul McDermott returns with another peek into his novel.

Born in the Year of the Tiger, Paul’s natural curiosity combined with the deep-seated feline need to roam has meant that over the years he’s never been able to call any one place home. His wanderlust has led him from one town to another, and even from one country to another.

“I can’t remember a time when I didn’t write - my father claims to possess a story I wrote when I was six, which filled 4 standard school exercise books! What I do remember from that time was being told off for doing the Liverpool Echo crossword before he got home from work!”

While Paul was living in Denmark, he allowed himself to be persuaded to write for a purpose instead of purely for his own amusement. Perhaps it was the catalyst of breathing the same air as Hans Christian Andersen.

Paul’s IT guru (aka his talented daughter) has recently constructed a website for him:
www.paulmcdermottbooks.webs.com
Paul frequently lurks at:  www.thewriterschatroom.com  (Sundays & Wednesdays)

So very nice to meet you, Paul....now let's here more about your novel, Spear of Destiny......

In 1945, U-boat Kapitän Herbert Nollau must deliver a weapon which will turn the war in Germany’s favour. His orders are delivered verbally. There will be no written records... and no witnesses.

Alone, far from home, hunted by the Danish Resistance and the might of the Allied Forces, he must obey either his final Orders…or the inner voice of his conscience.

Excerpt:

Überlojtnant Herbert Nollau stood with his Zeiss nightglasses glued to his eyes, impervious to the rain whipped across his cheeks by half a gale. This howled almost exactly at ninety degrees to the tide, which had just reached the full but had not yet begun its retreat. His command craft, U-534, sat uneasily at anchor, dipping at bow and stern in the current, yawing appreciably as frequent Force Ten gusts buffeted her broad flanks. Low, heavy rainclouds hunkered closer, seeming to settle on the upper branches of the natural pine forest which spread untamed, unculled, across the low hills of Schleswig-Holstein.

An identical pair of black Opel staff cars bracketed a canvas bodied Mercedes half-track transport wagon, all three vehicles picking their way carefully along an unmarked country road. The headlights were taped down to the size and shape of a feral cat's vertical slits, acknowledging the strict rules governing all traffic during the hours of darkness. The road to the harbour just outside Lübeck was neither tarmac’ed nor enhanced with any form of lighting. The drivers were obliged to steer cautiously around every twist, using the gears and brakes more frequently than the accelerator.

"Amateurs!" he thought to himself, as the three sets of headlights crawled slowly closer.

He blanked the thought as soon as it intruded on his consciousness, forcing himself back into State-approved Wehrmacht thinking, based on purely practical matters directly related to carrying out current instructions, with maximum efficiency, without question. He pulled the collar of his oilskins closer around his throat in a futile attempt to prevent the rain from seeping through, soaking his uniform. Raising his night glasses once more, he cursed the weather, the Wehrmacht and the world in general, feeling more exposed and vulnerable with every minute that passed as he waited for the convoy of lights to crawl closer, carrying the equipment which he had been ordered to collect. It bothered him that he was expected to set sail immediately, and await orders concerning his destination by radio once he had cleared the bay and entered Store Bælt: technically, that section of the North Sea was neutral Danish waters, and if he were to remain on the surface for any length of time in order to receive orders …

As the lights snaked around another pair of curves and began their final descent to the shoreline and the jetty where U534 was waiting, Herbert Nollau realized that he had on board a much more powerful sender/receiver than any other U-boat: in fact, not just one but two radios equipped with the Enigma cryptographic programme had been installed, ostensibly for testing. With a sudden jolt, the deceptively young-looking Überlojtnant realized that this technology was far more sophisticated than that which had previously been regarded as the best in the world: apart from being guaranteed unbreakable as a code, it could also send and receive radio signals without his craft needing to surface.

He shook his head to clear the worst of the pools which had formed in the upturned brim of his sou’wester and made his way down the ladder bolted to the side of the conning tower, aiming to be waiting on the quay before the three vehicles wheezed to a halt. His mechanic’s ear analysed and diagnosed a list of faults he could clearly identify from the laboured chugging of each engine. Furious at this indication of inefficiency, a corner of his mind decided that he would have had the senior officer responsible for each vehicle court-martialled, if the decision had been up to him. In spite of the horrors he had witnessed in three years of naval warfare, he shuddered. His orders, distasteful though they might be, were crystal clear …

Two gaunt, silent shadows slid with simultaneous choreography from the rear seat of each of the Opels: their sleek black trenchcoats almost touched the planks of the jetty, glistening in the starlight as if the officers wearing them had been marching for hours in the rain rather than just stepping out of a warm, dry car. Nollau fired off his most formal salute: the four SS-officers responded with a world-weary, bent-elbow half-salute and pointedly refrained from returning Nollau’s “Heil, Hitler!” One detached himself for a moment and gave a hand-signal to the driver of the canvas-sided truck.  The driver immediately hammered his fist twice on the bulkhead behind his seat. Four soldiers appeared over the tailgate of the wagon and began to manoeuvre something long and heavy out of the cargo space.

Turning to face his command meant that Herbert Nollau had to turn his back on the four staff officers. Somehow he managed to do this with an insolence which stated quite clearly that, as far as he was concerned, they were barely worthy of his contempt.

He placed a small, shrill whistle to his lips and blew, one long (but not overloud) blast. Within ten seconds, the deck was populated by about twenty matelots, standing at ease, who somehow contrived to arrive from nowhere and in total silence. Close to the bows, and just for’ard of ’midships , cables were deployed from two small jib cranes. Within seconds, the submariner crew were on the jetty, taking the unidentified cargo from the shoulders of the four soldiers and hoisting it with ease onto the foredeck, thence by some lightningfast legerdemain out of sight below decks. The crew had followed, leaving Überlojtnant Nollau as the only member of the Senior Service still on the jetty. At a silent gesture from one of the anonymous black trenchcoats the four soldiers climbed back over the tailgate, into the truck. After about four attempts, the driver managed to coax the engine into life and began to back and fill, facing back the way he had come.

As he completed the manoeuvre and gunned the engine to set off up the hill, the four SS officers opened their trenchcoats to reveal the muzzles of rapid fire MP40 machine pistols. With one accord they raised their weapons and sent round after deadly round of ammunition into both the cab and the rear of the vehicle, holding the triggers steady. Before the hail of bullets ceased, the fuel tanks of the wagon exploded, sending flames soaring high into the night sky, setting small fires in the tree tops as they lost their intensity and curled back towards the ground.

Suddenly, Herbert Nollau’s orders seemed fractionally less dishonourable.

Having emptied their weapons, the four executioners appeared to have rediscovered some of their habitual swagger and pride. Crashing the butts of the now-empty weapons against the rough wooden planking of the jetty they raised their right arms to the fullest, and screamed: “Heil, Hitler!” as their heels crashed together in perfect unison.

Sick to his stomach at the pleasure his countrymen took from the callous murder of fellow Germans, it was all Herbert Nollau could do to raise his arm, bent-elbowed, in the less formal salute he would never under normal circumstances have accepted from others nor used himself.


Spear of Destiny is available from the publisher’s website, www.classactbooks.com, as well as on amazon.com.

Hope you enjoyed today's guest and that you'll check back often for Tuesday Treasures, Thursday Thoughts and Saturday Spotlight.

Until next time, take care and God Bless.
PamT

Thursday, September 20, 2018

#ThursdayThoughts with Zoe McCarthy!

Good Morning Friends,

It's been quite a while since my guest today has visited us. Back in 2015 Zoe was in our spotlight with her book, Calculated Risk. Today she is sharing some thoughts with us and a peek into how her newest book, The Putting Green Whisperer came about so please give her a great big WELCOME!

Thank you, Pam, for hosting me on your blog.

Why Would Anyone Who’s Indifferent to Sports Write a Sport Romance?

Ten years ago, I knew I would write romance stories. But I’d have laughed if anyone had asked if I’d write a romance with a golf backdrop.

As a child living in Haiti, I dreamed only of being a cowboy. Living in the tropics, I was a good swimmer, so in middle school, my mom forced me to swim on Miami, FL summer swim teams. As a teen, I lived on the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba Naval Base and in Westfield, NJ. In both places, romance filled my mind more than sports. At the University of South Florida, I was crazy about a guy on the golf team, so I took a golf class. I made a C in the course and my crush fizzled.

Then when my boys were in pre-school in Lynchburg, VA, my friends played tennis. I latched on to the sport for social reasons. I became a good player. So, if I was to write a sports romance it should have had a tennis backdrop.

I preferred most anything over watching sports. The only time I showed interest in football was when I joined an office pool. I’d pick teams by whether I’d lived in their state or had another connection. For example, I’d choose the Seattle Sea Hawks, because I’d sat through one of their games when I lived in Topeka, KS. I won the pool twice on this strategy. Basketball? I shuddered at the sneaker squeaks when my husband watched Wake Forest basketball on TV.

So, why did I write a golf romance?

Part of the answer comes from the writer’s advice, write what you know. My husband loves golf. My sister-in-law is a director of children’s golf programs. My father-in-law still plays golf in his eighties. My sister and my brother-in-law play lots of golf. Every spring, we join them at what is now the Wells Fargo Championship golf tournament. Golf is the one sport quiet enough that I’ll watch it on TV with my husband. I own clubs and have played the sport. I’ve learned a lot about the sport and the pros, and I admit I’ve grown to enjoy watching the sport—while I crochet or knit.

But here it the real reason I wrote The Putting Green Whisperer.

John and I joined my sister and my brother-in-law at a PGA seniors golf tournament in Conover, NC. My sister and I watched the over-age-fifty golfers putt on the fifteenth green. In one group, a male and a female caddy stood side by side on the edge of the green with their backs to us. The two tanned caddies talked quietly while their players prepared to putt. He was tall, and she was petite with her blond ponytail protruding from her pink ball cap. My heart experienced a sappy moment, and romantic what-ifs cluttered my mind. I turned to my sister, pointed at the caddies, and said, “My next book will be about those two caddies.”

Wow....it's always amazing how stories come about isn't it! Thanks for sharing Zoe.
About Zoe:
A full-time writer and speaker, Zoe M. McCarthy writes contemporary Christian romances involving tenderness and humor. She is the author of The Invisible Woman in a Red Dress, Gift of the Magpie, and Calculated Risk. Believing opposites distract, Zoe creates heroes and heroines who learn to embrace their differences. Zoe and her husband live in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Find out more and connect with Zoe by visiting her website. The Putting Green Whisperer can be found at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Hope you enjoyed today's post and that you'll check back often for more Tuesday Treasures, Thursday Thoughts and Saturday Spotlight.

Until next time take care and God bless.
PamT


Tuesday, September 18, 2018

#TuesdayTreasures with Laura DeNooyer

Good Morning and Welcome!

Well this year is moving right along. Before you know it, 2019 will be here. I know this because there are Christmas decorations and items already appearing in stores everywhere and Hallmark Channels are already advertising their "Countdown to Christmas" and that's just weeks after their "Christmas in July."

We all love romantic stories set at Christmas but seriously folks.....I truly understand why my heroine in Keri's Christmas Wish had the "bah humbug" attitude LOL!

Enough about that already....as you know I LOVE to bring to you an brand-new-to-me author and today's guest is one of those so please welcome Laura DeNooyer as we find out what she treasures....

       Years ago, when I was a college sophomore, a group of fellow education majors and I headed to Mars Hill College in western North Carolina for an interim class. We hailed from Calvin College in Michigan. What we expected was three weeks of teacher aiding in the mountain schools. What we didn’t expect was being mesmerized by college’s resident storyteller.

In the evenings, we sat around listening to his lively renditions of “Jack and the Northwest Wind” and “Sody Sallyraytus.” This bearded, white-haired man, Richard Chase, spun his yarns with bewitching blue eyes, dramatic tones, and perfect timing.

Years earlier, in the 1940s, author Richard Chase had gathered the southern Appalachian Jack Tales and Grandfather Tales into two books, finally putting the oral tradition into written form for all to enjoy. 

 

In January, 1978, he brought these tales to life in the college lounge for us unsuspecting students held captive by his storytelling magic.

He didn’t merely make the stories come alive. He thrust us into a time when oral tradition was valued, when it was the only way stories were passed down through the generations.

Back in those days, stories weren’t just fanciful ones, such as when Jack uses magic words to produce a hearty meal. Folks also told family anecdotes about frugal Great-grandma, eccentric Uncle Billy, or flighty third cousin Ruby Mae. Both adults and youth were happy to sit for hours at the feet of elderly storytellers, soaking in their wit and wisdom. This suggests a time of family ties, conversation, joy in one’s work, and valuing one’s simple heritage. And contentment. A far cry from nowadays.

Visiting North Carolina was life-changing for me. Not only because of Richard Chase’s stories, but because of local people we interacted with, folks who epitomized these attitudes. We met Mr. Woody, a woodworker who so enjoyed making chairs that he couldn’t tell you how much time it took to make one chair. Or five. Or ten. Not interested in competing with assembly line furniture factories, he still made chairs the way his family had done it for generations.

We met the blacksmith, who took time to demonstrate his craft while sharing the ways that Christ is like iron, emphasizing the Bible’s claim that Christ will rule with a rod of iron. We learned mountain clogging, loitered at the general store, and hiked the Appalachian trail. Everywhere we turned, we met content and joyful people, a far cry from those who chase after the rags-to-riches American Dream, stumbling up the ladder of success.

Back at home, I read all the Jack Tales and Grandfather Tales from the library. Later, I purchased those two books as a memento of January, 1978. They remind me of lessons learned in North Carolina.

Also, as I reflected on my time there, I wondered, “What if there was a clash between big-city northern values and southern Appalachian culture?” This led me to write a short story inspired by people we met on our trip. It won first place in my college magazine.

Eventually, I developed it into a novel. Strategically placed in each section is a family story told by one of my characters, stories that embody and accentuate each part of the plot.

That’s my nod to Richard Chase. That’s my effort to recapture the stirring moments when he placed a group of college students under his spell.


“All of God’s earth to my brother Nick and me were the streams for fishing, the fields for planting and harvesting, a world snugly enclosed by the blue-misted Smokies. . . . Other than the seasons, nothing ever changed. . . .”

Until the summer of 1968.
Ten-year-old Tina Hamilton’s life changes forever. Trouble erupts when a proposed theme park threatens her tiny Appalachian town. Some folks blame the trouble on “progress,” some blame the space race and men meddling with the moon’s cycles, and some blame Tina’s father. A past he has hidden catches up to him, his family, and the entire town. Suddenly, the clash of a father’s past and present becomes the microcosm of the clash between progressive ideas and small town values.
Tina struggles with her shaken confidence in a father who, in hiding his past, has made a string of choices that shape her childhood. Gradually, Tina gains insight into her father through seemingly unrelated circumstances: her feud with a fellow ballplayer, her friendship with Old Joe who lives alone on the mountain, a gift left to her father by a neighbor fourteen years dead, and a broken promise.
Meticulously researched, this moving and engaging coming-of-age tale is a delightful, richly-textured tapestry of family stories woven with the timeless wisdom of generations past, all of which guide Tina and create the fabric of a journey to forgiveness that will warm your heart.
Tina is forced to answer a difficult question: are secrets worth the price they cost to keep?
Pour yourself a cup of tea, settle in, and come along. Then you decide.

About Laura: Award-winning author Laura DeNooyer lives with her husband Tim near Milwaukee, Wisconsin. They have four adult children. On either end of child rearing, she taught middle school and high school English, creative writing, and/or art. She currently teaches writing to home schooled students, participates in writers conferences and critique groups, and hosts a blog that celebrates creativity: Journey to Imagination. Laura has a young adult fantasy series underway, as well as historical fiction for adults. Find out more and connect with Laura through her BlogFacebook and Amazon.


Hope you enjoyed today's post and that you'll check back for more Tuesday Treasures, Thursday Thoughts and Saturday Spotlight.

Until next time, take care and God bless.
PamT