Friday, October 6, 2017

New Release from Susan Foy

Susan started writing novels in her mid-thirties at the encouragement of her twin sister, who said, "Write something for me, and I'll read it." She has completed five novels and has currently published three of them. The first two are contemporary Christian fiction and the other three are historical fiction, all with serious themes but with a dash of romance.

Ellen's Endeavors


Life with the Huguenots

My fifth novel, Ellen's Endeavors, was just released last Saturday. In many ways, this book was the most labor-intensive of all of them. It occurred not just in a historical setting, like its prequel Johanna's Journey, but with a specific group of people that many Americans know little about - including myself before I started researching them!

 The Huguenots were French Protestants in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century France, followers of Jean Calvin (aka John Calvin). Although theologically they resembled the Puritans in England, they differed from the Puritans in the fact that they lived in an overwhelmingly Catholic country and had relatively little political power. As a result, they suffered severe persecution at different points in their history, to the point where there were nearly eradicated in France. Many Huguenots fled the country during these persecutions, ending up in Switzerland, England, Holland, and America.

Ellen's story takes place in America, when Ellen escapes her broken heart by traveling with her friend to a small town in New York settled by Huguenots. (This town, although fictional, was based on New Rochelle, NY.) Although the characters have left France, several flashback scenes describe their trials and persecutions in their home country, which become relevant as the story progresses. To research this time period, I traveled to New Paltz and New Rochelle, both towns settled by the Huguenots in America, and also read several books, one about the first-hand experiences of a French galley slave!

I also needed to research various medical procedures, since Ellen as an aspiring midwife helps to deliver a baby and also amputate a leg. I read a whole book about smallpox in order to describe a case in the story.

Writing Ellen's Endeavors was a lot of work, but also fun and educational as well. I hope that my readers will learn something about history while reading a great story!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Appreciating the “Greatest Generation"

The Greatest Generation
By Author Linda Ellen

As I was writing my first novel for publication, I wanted an angle or trademark to set mine apart. Since my first story took place in Louisville where I reside, I decided to make my future stories take place in the ‘Ville as well.

Once I finished my first series, which was centered on my own parents’ love story (Once in a While is book 1 of that series—the Cherished Memories series), I looked around for a theme on which to build a new series of books. One thing that kept coming to mind was one of our local landmarks, Fort Knox, so I started tossing around ideas for how I could use the famous army base prominently in a story.  The answer, of course—since I wanted to keep it historical—was a WWII tale.  From there, it took off. 

Fort Knox is literally a household word, and “Locked up tighter than Fort Knox” is a common saying.  The name embodies the stuff of legends, and it has always fascinated me—especially, of course, the famous “Gold Vault”. If you’re one of the millions who have seen the 1964 James Bond spy film Goldfinger—parts of which were filmed at Fort Knox—you probably think that’s what the interior of the vault is like... don’t feel bad, for years, I did too, lol.   The reality, however, is far different, because Hollywood was told, “Absolutely not,” when asked if they could film inside.  It is one of the most secret and guarded places on the planet—a Presidential order is required to even gain access. 

By the way—the correct title for that auspicious building within the grounds of the renowned army base is the United States Bullion Depository, and it’s located, literally, at the juncture of Gold Vault Road and Bullion Boulevard—how cool is that??
A few tidbits I uncovered...
Did you know that in 1933, during the height of the Great Depression, President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 6102, forbidding the hoarding of gold coins, gold bullion, and gold certificates by American citizens, and forced them to sell these to the Federal Reserve?  That sounds barbaric, but to clarify, armed treasury agents did not confiscate it, and not all gold was subject to the law. Gold coins of small denomination were exempt, as was gold used in manufacturing, dentistry and jewelry production—and each person in a household could retain up to five troy ounces of gold bullion coins.  The order was issued, basically, to help shore up the country’s sagging economy. Citizens all over had been stockpiling gold since the Crash, the result of which was an alarmingly dwindled reserve in the banks. Things had gotten so bad that the survival of our great democracy was at risk.

As a result of the order, however, it wasn’t long before the federal government needed a large gold depository in which to store it all. So, in 1936, the U.S. Treasury Department began construction of a massive fortified structure at Fort Knox, which was 1,000 miles inland and would be well protected. The first gold shipments began in January of 1937. The transfer took six months and used 500 rail cars!  By the end of 1937, the vault contained $12 billion of gold, consisting of old bullion, new bars made from melted gold coins, and some intact coins, as well.  (And by the way—that is $430 billion in today’s money). Then, during WWII, the depository held the original Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, key documents from Western history, original copies of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, three volumes of the Gutenberg Bible, reserves from European countries, and a portion of the Hungarian crown jewels, to prevent them from falling into Soviet hands.  The repository also held one of four copies of the Magna Carta, which had been on display at the 1939 New York World’s Fair.

Would you be surprised to learn that during the war and even into the Cold War—until the invention of different types of synthetic painkillers—a supply of processed morphine and opium was kept in the depository as a hedge against the US being isolated from sources of raw opium?  Who would have thought a “gold vault” protected items such as those?

There are many more interesting tidbits about the vault included in my story, such as minefields, alarms, electric fences, and layers of artillery. No one person knows the complete combinations required to unlock the vault. The fortress includes a separate emergency power plant and water system. The vault’s main door weighs 20 tons, is blast-proof, and there is an escape tunnel from the lower level to be used by anyone who might accidentally become locked in—I wonder if that’s ever happened... J

For more exciting tidbits, check out this Wiki page:

My Soldiers of Swing Series 

In order to write my Soldiers of Swing series, I had to really dig in and learn not only facts about the base, but its early history as well.  Taking a trip out there (30 minutes from my home) and touring the Patton Museum was the highlight of my research.  The gold vault is not the only fascinating aspect to this huge (109,000-acre) military post.  Many of the facts I discovered about the infamous Fort Knox are included in my story, Her Blue-Eyed Sergeant.

Ahh, but our beloved Kentucky/Indiana area has so many more intriguing places.  Like the Indiana Army Ammunition Plant, located in Charlestown, which I feature prominently in the second book of the series, Her Blue-Eyed Corporal.  That 10,000-acre, now-defunct facility with 1,700 buildings and 30 miles of fencing was a story unto itself! The details of its record-setting speedy construction and production are nothing short of mind-boggling.  It was the world’s largest smokeless powder/rocket propellant plant, owned by the federal government, but operated by the E.I. DuPont Company. In my research, I found accounts of visits by a real spy for Hitler, as well as attempts at sabotage, which I embellished in my novel. ;)  

And then I needed one more location, so I chose our wonderful Bowman Field as one of the army bases featured in book #3, Her Blue-Eyed Lieutenant.  Some of the things I discovered in my research for this book will make your mouth drop open with shock or laughter. J

Louisville and its surrounding environs are rife with history, mystery, and even scandal that will no doubt provide me with fodder for stories for years to come.  I’m thinking about researching what Louisville was like during WWI or the Civil War, or even before that, like when it first became a city, and use that in a future series. The possibilities are endless.

Let the adventure begin!

Linda Ellen, Author
Amazon Author page:
Pinterest with boards for each book:

Linda Ellen is the author of the Cherished Memories Series (based on her own parents’ 1930’s romance) and the Soldiers of Swing Series (WWII soldiers stationed state-side who fall in love with local girls).  She writes 20th Century (30’s & 40’s) Historical Romance rich with history, love, heartache, and plenty of period music and style.  Her stories are clean with no profanity or graphic sex. She’s an active member of the Facebook groups Clean Indie Reads, The Rumor Mill, Second World War Club, Christian Indie Authors, and Kentuckiana Authors.  Linda resides in Louisville, Kentucky with her husband of 36 years. 

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Audio Review

Audio Book Review Barbara Goss

We will have different reviews as often as time allows thanks for dropping by. 

Drawn from Darkness: Hearts of Hays, Book 4 Barbara Goss 

Hays, Kansas, 1897. Nellie, a devout Christian, meets Nicholas, a devout womanizer, and sparks fly when their two worlds collide. Nicholas, the rich son of a hotel's owner, can't control his attraction to Nellie, one of the hotel maids. Nicholas pursues, and Nellie retreats. Her own pristine reputation is endangered as a result of Nicholas' undisciplined actions. Nicholas finally pretends to join her world by requesting Bible lessons from her. This ruse may change his life forever. Yet danger surrounds them in the form of a jealous stepbrother. 


What brought you to the decision to listen to this book? The cover. It drew me in. The male model on the cover is one of my favorite models so I just had to read it, well listen to it.

What did you love best about Drawn from Darkness?
My husband and I share the same account and this is one of my Reads. I liked that it was historical and clean and the cover drew me into the story. I like a happy ending and the mystery inside the novel, kept me wanting to hear what happened next.

Which scene was your favorite?
These are hard to do without giving away the story so stop reading if you don't want a spoiler. I liked the way he got saved and come to know the Lord by reading with her and studying the Bible.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?
God's divine healing, Romance and love the way He intended

Any additional comments?
This is my first book by Barbara Goss, but I'm going to listen to some more soon. I love clean novels but those that are filled with Romance are my favorite. This was a great listen and I'm so happy that there are authors out there that put clean works out for us to listen too. Thanks Mrs. Goss 

Today's review comes from 
Samantha Fury
Facebook Group
Contact Us
Samantha Fury is the author of  the Street Justice Series.  
She's written many articles on book covers, for Indie Authors.
She operates several Indie Groups. Editing Services, Cover
Artist, Helpful Indie Facebook Groups.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Audiobook Lovers (new Facebook group)

New Facebook Group  Helps Educate, Network, Promote Your Craft


The rise in popularity of Facebook Groups and Pages

Over the past few years, Facebook has grown to be much more than a fun place to post your cute pet pics. Facebook Groups - community meeting grounds for people who share common hobbies and interests, and Facebook Pages - individual "fan" sites for people, businesses, bands, etc. have, in many cases, replaced special interest blogs simply by their one-stop convenience. You’re on FB; your friends are on FB - why not put all your interests in one place so that you don’t leave Facebook? You get the picture. Love it or hate it - Facebook HAS value… if you know where to find it.

Welcome to Audiobook Lovers - Listeners, Authors, Narrators

A new FB group, which seems as if it was constructed specifically for independent authors, is Audiobook Lovers. Audiobook Lovers was started by author, Barbara Goss in late April of 2017, and, in just three short weeks, has grown to 230 members. The group's description says it best,
Welcome to the place where listeners of audiobooks meet the narrators and authors. Feel

free to post any Audiobook deals and promotions. Tell your Audiobook friends about us so we can grow. All genres except erotic welcome. Please ask questions, and don't forget to introduce yourself! :)

That smiley at the end sets the tone for the whole group. It's rare that I find a FB group that is so welcoming and friendly. While many FB groups greet new members with strict rules that exclude any kind of self-promotion, Audiobook Lovers actually ENCOURAGES promotions and asks that you tell the group about yourself, your business, hobbies. You’ll even get a welcome message that asks you to introduce yourself and tell a little about what you do. Again, refreshing and nice to see in an age where social media doesn’t always seem all that social.  

What does all this mean to you as an author?

First off, the fact that the site encourages promotions from your very first posting should be reason enough to jump on over to the Group and join.  No need to warm up to the group, shmooze with the moderators - just say howdy and write a post about a book you want to promote. How many conversations have you had with fellow authors about "Where can we promote our books for free?" Audiobook Lovers combines listeners - your main audience, other authors, AND... audiobook narrators. 

Audiobooks - The next big thing

As an author, you probably fit into one of two camps: 
You're either thinking about turning your books into audiobooks or already have. Truth is, sales of audiobooks rose 47% from November 2015 to November 2016, and there's no sign of the industry slowing. The good news? - it's so much easier to get your books into audio form than you may think. Audiobook Lovers has dozens of well-established audiobook narrators who are just waiting to help answer your questions. In fact - I'm one of them! :)

Audiobook Lovers - Welcome Home

The next time you're on Facebook... oh, it's open in another browser tab right now? Head on over to Audiobook Lovers and join in on the fun. Introduce yourself, kick off your shoes, and stay for a spell. Oh... and don't forget to promote your books there! Trust me - it's perfectly okay.

About Tom Jordan

My name is Tom Jordan and I'm a voice actor, audiobook narrator, and writer living in Orange County, California. I'm currently narrating Barbara Goss's wonderful Shadow Series of historical Christian romance novels. The first audiobook from that series, Shadow of Shame will be on in June. You can hear a sample of me narrating that book here. Feel free to contact me directly for voiceover work, audiobook narration -  

Images thanks to Pixaby Images