Tuesday, May 17, 2016

LOVE'S HARVEST - Linda Shenton Matchett - One Free Ebook

Welcome, Linda, Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
Probably more than I’d like to admit. I have a lot of curiosity—I want to know how or why something happened. This is typically a trait I include in my protagonists.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?  
My husband and I left our Washington, DC, careers behind and moved to central New Hampshire to run a bed and breakfast for twelve years.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I have been writing since I was in elementary school. I filled lots of notebooks with stories. I also published a weekly “newspaper” for my family in which I made up all the news. It even included an editorial column!

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I read a lot of books about WWII—fiction, memoir, biography—for research. For pleasure, I read historical novels, mystery, suspense, and romantic suspense. I like any book from which I learn something.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I try to take at least 15 minutes a day just for me—having a cup of tea, reading a few pages in a book, or sitting on the sun porch. It doesn’t sound like a lot of time, but it makes a difference.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
I write historical novels, so the names need to be tied to that particular era. There are several websites that list popular names by era or decade. I picked up a 1946 high school yearbook at a book sale, and I use that. Recently I needed a snooty sounding name for my antagonist, so I asked my FaceBook followers. They came up with Thurgood Wellington Mayfield, III.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
I was a Human Resources professional, and early in my career I took a job with a small manufacturing company. Six weeks after I joined the company, the CEO announced the company had been acquired by another and the plant was closing. I worked with the 68 people who were not going to the new company to create their resumés, teach the employees interviewing skills, and find them jobs. I was able to place all but five of the employees at the end of the six weeks. Then I set about trying to find a job for me.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
A dog—I like the comforts of home way too much to be a wild animal.

What is your favorite food?

Me, too, but I don’t eat many these days and then only a tiny portion. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I am a research-aholic. I love to dig, and dig, and dig. In my early writings I included way too much of the research material. With the help of my critique group and an excellent freelance editor, I learned how to sprinkle the information throughout the story rather than pour it on.

Me, too. And my books have become much stronger after I learned that lesson. Tell us about the featured book.
Love’s Harvest is a fictionalization of the biblical book of Ruth set from 1923 through 1946. It tells the story of Noreen Hirsch, an English woman who meets and marries a young German man who suffers ill health because of a mustard gas attack during WWI. Rosa Hirsch is Noreen’s daughter-in-law who accompanies her back to England after the women are widowed. Basil Quincey is the Boaz character who runs a large farm where Rosa becomes employed as part of Britain’s Land Army.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Volga Region, Russia, 1923
“We’ll die if we don’t leave this place. Pack only what you can carry.” Edmund Hirsch poked his bony arms into the sleeves of his wool coat that sported more holes than Swiss cheese. A paroxysm of coughing gripped his body, the result of a mustard gas attack on his German platoon nine years ago during The Great War.

After several minutes the coughing ceased, and he mopped the sweat from his forehead with a dingy, gray handkerchief. “Be ready. We set out tomorrow at first light.”

“Where will we go, Vati?” Five-year-old Conrad’s voice trembled.

“Don’t be a baby, Conrad.” Older by two minutes, Conrad’s twin brother, Manfred, finished tying his boot laces and jumped off the chair, his shoes clomping against the bare wood floor. His bright blue eyes blazed above his hollow cheeks.

“Hush, children.” Noreen stroked Conrad’s white-blond hair and met her husband’s terse look with one of her own. “You heard your father. There’s no time to waste.”


Noreen yanked the zipper closed on her over-stuffed canvas satchel. Always resourceful, Edmund had attached straps to the moss-green bag so she could wear it on her back. She would also carry a suitcase in each hand. The journey promised to be arduous.

Interesting. How can readers find you on the Internet?

Thank you, Linda, for sharing this novella with us.

Readers, here’s a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
Love's Harvest

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Connie said...

I have always loved the story of Ruth and the special love between her and her mother-in-law Naomi. I'm sure that this will be an enjoyable read!
Connie from KY

Linda Shenton Matchett said...

Thanks for your feedback. The love between Ruth and her mother-in-law means a lot to me too. I was blessed to have a very special mother-in-law until we lost her to cancer in 2000. Maybe that's why I love the story so much.

J.C. said...

I love Biblical novels and retellings. I've always had a special place in my heart for the story of Ruth, though. Imagine the kind of faith and courage to leave everything she's ever known and change her entire way of life out of loyalty and love for her mother-in-law!
J.C. -Indiana-

Heather said...

I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your mother-in-law, Linda. I look forward to reading your book.
Heather, Michigan

Mary Preston said...

Very interesting how you choose names.

This sounds like a fabulous read.

Mary P


Linda Shenton Matchett said...

JC: You're right about the faith it took to leave everything she knew. I had a chance to visit England last year, and even though it is an English speaking country there were lots of unfamiliar things to figure out. Unsettling, sometimes. I can't imagine what Ruth experienced.

Linda Shenton Matchett said...

Thank you for your kind words, Heather. My mother-in-law was a special lady. She never knew a stranger.

Linda Shenton Matchett said...

Thanks, Mary. If you want to hep choose names or help in other ways feel free to join my Book Brigade on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1698256213774772/

Caryl Kane said...

Linda, I love the story of Ruth! The story of love that is steadfast never gets old. Your book sounds wonderful!

Caryl K in TEXAS

Brenda Arrington said...

I love the story of Ruth. I never tire of reading it. Am so looking forward to reading this book. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.
Brenda in VA

Becky Smith said...

I love Christian historical fiction that maakes the stories in the Bible come alive! And the stories of Ruth & also Esther are 2 of my favorites.

Linda Shenton Matchett said...

Thanks Caryl. I agree that the concept of a steadfast love never gets old!

Linda Shenton Matchett said...

Brenda, I never tire of reading Ruth either. Thanks for your comments.

Linda Shenton Matchett said...

Becky: I like Esther too, and have toyed with the idea of fictionalizing that one too. I haven't figured out which era to use. Maybe you have a suggestion?? :-)

Trixi said...

Linda, that's so interesting that you and your husband gave up your careers, moved to New Hampshire to run a B&B! I bet that was a lot of fun. My husband & I have often thought of doing that same thing over the years, buying a B&B or renovating an old house to turn it into one & make our retirement years fun. My husband has worked in the motel industry for many, many years so he has the experience & I love cooking! It would be interesting meeting new people from all over and getting to know them, maybe even making new friends to boot! What an adventure that must be :-)

Thanks for the author interview! I love meeting new-to-me writers, learning of their journey in both life and writing. Thank you also for the book giveaway.

Trixi in OR