Monday, April 03, 2017

ALICE'S NOTIONS - Tamera Lynn Kraft - One Free Book

Welcome back, Tamera. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
That is an understatement. I know God has blessed me with my writing. I have two novellas published already through Pelican Book Group and Desert Breeze, and my first full length novel, Alice’s Notions, is set to be released any day now. The horizon holds more historical novels that show God at work in people’s lives.

Tell us a little about your family.
I have been married to the love of my life, Rick, for 38 years. He is a wonderful Christian and the best man I know. I have two grown married children. My son is living in Tennessee with his wife and has two sons. My daughter is finishing graduate school in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She and her husband plan to start a family soon. My greatest joy is my entire family loves the Lord.

Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
Writing has changed my reading habits in two ways. First, I’m more intentional when I read to discover how good novels are crafted. Second, I’m so busy writing, I don’t have as much time to read. I wish I did. I have about fifty books on my to-be-read list at the moment.

What are you working on right now?
At the moment, I’m writing the first of a three book series about women who came to Jamestown Colony to become brides. These women, our founding mothers, faced many hardships and were as every bit as important to forging this nation as their husbands.

What outside interests do you have?
Of course, reading, but I also love classic movies, knitting, and ministering to children.

How do you choose your settings for each book?
Truthfully, the setting chooses me. I get my story ideas from events in history. I start wondering what it would be like for the people living through that event in time, then the story starts to take shape.

If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
That’s a difficult question because there are so many. I don’t know how to choose only one. I think might choose George Washington as president because he started so many of the American traditions we now take for granted. Also George Whitefield, the Great Awakening Preacher, was the most popular man in the American colonies during the First Great Awakening, and God used him to form this nation on Biblical principles. Then there’s Abraham Lincoln, Charles Finney, Abigail Adams, Jim Eliot. No, I can’t choose one.

When I wrote curriculum for The School of Tomorrow, I did a lot of research on Jim Eliot, because they wanted me to write about him. Very interesting life, well lived. What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
I wish I knew how long it takes to succeed. So many writers are in too big of a hurry to “make it” and take shortcuts on the way to publication. It’s a long process, but through that process, I have become a better writer.

Amen to that. What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
The Lord is teaching me that when I spend time gaining my satisfaction in Him and yielding my life to His, the stress and problems of this life become dim. I am learning to abide more in Him.  

Ah, yes, the great blessing of abiding in Him. What a wonder! What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
Read a lot – not only writing books. Reading a variety of good books is one of the best ways to learn to write. Read intentionally and pay attention to how authors tell their stories. Then decide how God wants you to tell yours.

Patience is essential. I read somewhere the average author write seven book before he or she is published. This is not an overnight success business. The authors who succeed are not always the ones who are the best writers. They are usually the ones who never give up.

Learn the business. Writers like to write good stories, and they need to learn how to become better writers, but the successful ones also learn about publishers, agents, and marketing. Even though this is a creative business, it is still a business. The more you learn, the more successful you’ll be.

Tell us about the featured book.
Alice’s Notions is a post World War II romantic suspense. Here’s the blurb.

In this quaint mountain town, things aren't always what they seem.

World War 2 widow Alice Brighton returns to the safety of her home town to open a fabric shop. She decides to start a barn quilt tour to bring business to the shop and the town, but what she doesn’t know is sinister forces are using the tour for their own nefarious reasons.

Between her mysterious landlord, her German immigrant employee, her neighbors who are acting strange, and a dreamboat security expert who is trying to romance her, Alice doesn’t know who she can trust.

Please give us the first page of the book.
January 1945
Fifty miles outside Berlin
OSS Sergeant Joe Brighton wished he was fighting Nazis in Belgium instead of hiding in the shadows waiting to meet a double agent. He paced the length of the small barn, illuminated by a partially shaded lantern. The man should have been here an hour ago.

An owl hooted, but nothing indicated anyone was around. Soldiers could be hiding in the woods during this cloudy, moonless night; after all, they were in the heart of Germany. Most likely he would hear them coming. Their Russian informant knew how to be invisible until he gave the code word and stepped inside, or he wouldn’t have survived this long.

The Soviets, of course, were considered allies fighting to defeat the Nazi war machine, but after the intelligence he gathered, Joe had a hard time believing they were on the same side. The war in Europe would be over soon, and he couldn’t seem to shake that nudging in his gut they were as much of a threat to the free world as Hitler had been.

“Will you light somewhere?” Bear leaned against the wall with his arms crossed. Joe’s lieutenant hated the nickname, but since he’d growled his first order at the men, it stuck. “What’s got you so jumpy? You know Krysov is on the up and up. He’ll be here.”

“I know.”

Joe sat on a nearby hay bale and blew in his hands to warm them. The information the Soviet agent had given them made him edgy. It was hard to swallow Burning Bush, the small town in West Virginia where he’d grown up, had been infiltrated by Soviet spies. He had considered dismissing it at first, until his commanding officer reminded him Burning Bush was only an hour’s drive from at least five important military targets.

Colonel Myers had ordered Bear and Joe to find out as much as they could. The colonel had chomped on his cigar as he spouted out orders. “Find out who the Soviet agent in Burning Bush is. Who are his associates? What is his target? How does he plan to communicate with his fellow agents? General Command needs answers before they risk relations with the Russians by letting Krysov defect.”

If the report checked out, Joe’s orders were to take charge of this operation in Burning Bush. He’d make up some story about being discharged early. His past relationship with the town would alleviate any suspicion about why he was there.

Alice wouldn’t be happy about moving back home. Even though they’d been born and raised in the small town in West Virginia, she’d fallen in love with big city life. They moved to New York City after he’d been recruited by COI, Coordinator of Information. He could imagine her turning up her nose and giving him that look. His chest tightened. It would be good to see her again. He missed her so much.

“What’s that?” Bear stepped away from the barn wall and tilted his ear toward the door.

Joe started toward the crackling sound.

“Wait for the signal.”

The barn door burst open, and three Soviet soldiers surged through with SVT-40 rifles. Two Russian sergeants moved behind to encircle them. Joe took a step toward the door, but the captain stood in front of the opening, rendering it impossible for them to make a run for it.

“Drop your veapons,” the soldier to his right said in a thick Russian accent.

Joe set his Colt .38 Army special on the ground, not daring a side glance to see if Bear would try to make them heroes. The Soviet captain lowered his rifle, closed the barn door, and smiled under his big bushy mustache as if Joe had just told him a joke. “Commander Krysov won’t be coming.” He said it in Russian, but both Joe and Bear had been trained in Russian, German, and a number of other languages. “We executed the traitor this morning.”

Joe swallowed the lump in his throat and tried to remember Russian verb tenses. “Who is this Krysov you speak of? Why do I care what you do with your men?”

“Come now, Sergeant.” The captain patted him on the shoulder as if they were best friends. “What did Krysov tell you? Give us what we want to know, and you and your friend can live to fight another day.”

The image of Alice and their lives together flashed through his mind. He wouldn’t betray his country no matter how persuasive their techniques, but as he pictured his wife getting a telegram from the war department and considered the future they would never have, a profound sadness came over him.

You have me hooked. How can readers find you on the Internet?
You can contact me at these sites:
Word Sharpeners Blog:
Newsletter Link:

Thank you, Tamera, for sharing this new book with us. 

Readers, leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

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Barb D said...

This is definitely on my "must read" list! I LOVE Tamera's books! She does an excellent job w/ her historical research!

rubynreba said...

Love the World War II books!
Beth from IA

Connie Porter Saunders said...

This first page is very intriguing. Thanks for sharing it along with Tamara's interview.
Connie from KY

Unknown said...

I haven't seen your books until tonight but I love the description of your book. I believe. I would enjoy your books. Enjoyed your interview tonight.
Thank you,
Barbara Thompson from West Monroe, LA

Cindy W. said...

I enjoyed the first page and would love to win a copy. I love reading books set during WWII.

Thank you for the chance to win.

Cindy W. from Indiana

countrybear52 AT yahoo DOT com

Tamera Lynn Kraft said...

Thanks so much for having me, Lena. I'm happy everyone came out to enter the contest.

Abigail Mitchell said...

This story looks great! Love stories during this time period. :)
Abigail in VA

Melanie Backus said...

Sounds like a must read! Thanks fir sharing! Melanie Backus, TX

Tamera Lynn Kraft said...

Thanks everyone. I hope you enjoy it.

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me in your awesome giveaway!!
Conway SC.