Today I’m so happy to welcome fellow Rose, Linda Bennett Pennell with her brand new release CASABLANCA: APPOINTMENT AT DAWN. Congratulations, Linda
Thank you so much for having me here today, Barb!! I really appreciate the chance to talk about my latest release. Here is a little taste of what it’s about.
Will seven days be enough time to save the Allied war effort and the girl he loves?
Casablanca, 1943: a viper’s nest of double agents and spies where OSS Officer Kurt Heinz finds his skill in covert operations pushed to the limit. Allied success in North Africa and the fate of the First Allied Conference—perhaps the outcome of the war—hang on Kurt’s next mission. The nature of his work makes relationships impossible. Nonetheless, he is increasingly torn between duty and the beautiful girl who desperately needs his protection and help.
Sarah Barrett, U.S. Army R.N., is finished with wartime romance. Determined to protect her recently broken heart, she throws all of her time and energy into caring for her patients, but when she is given a coded message by a mysterious dying civilian, she is sucked into a vortex of danger and intrigue that threatens her very survival. The one person who can help Sarah is Kurt Heinz, a man with too many secrets to be trusted.
Goodness, Linda. This sounds exciting! This isn't your first book.What others have you published?
This is actually my third book to be published. I have one in the drawer that needs work and a work in progress, as well. My first release was AL CAPONE AT THE BLANCHE HOTEL. My second was CONFEDERADO DO NORTE.
Quite a variety of interest, although each looks suspenseful. What draws you to this genre?
I have been in love with the past since I was a small child. Anything with a history fascinates me, whether it is a castle or a hovel, if it has a history, I am all over it!
Oh, so am I, Linda. What inspired you for this particular story?
I have always been interested in World War II history. If there has ever been a clearer battle between good and evil, I cannot think of what it would be. I originally thought I would write a story about a ninety day wonder, as WWII Army Air Corps pilots in training were known, and an army nurse stationed at the Hialeaha, Florida training facility, but it just wasn’t working for me. During my research, I was in communication with a WWII pilot who mentioned a friend who had flown in North Africa and was stationed in Casablanca. I read up on the Casablanca Conference and found my premise. My guy morphed into an OSS officer and my problem was solved!
It's a terrific premise.You said you are working on something else. What’s your next project?
My work in progress returns to my contemporary main character from Al Capone at the Blanche Hotel. Liz is a university professor who specializes in the history of American crime. The novels in which she is featured are told in alternating timelines from her contemporary POV and the POV of the historical figure she is researching. My WIP is entitled MIAMI DAYS, HAVANA NIGHTS.This time, Liz is following the trail of a low level Meyer Lansky associate. She believes that history comes alive through telling the stories of how ordinary people were affected by the powerful gangsters of American history.
You've chosen a creative way of telling that series of stories. It must be challenging. What one tip would you offer writers?
I really have nothing new to add to the advice given already by so many. It may seem trite, but things become trite and/or clichés because there is so much truth in them. If I were limited to one thing, it would be this: be kind to yourself. There are many, many opportunities for hurtful experiences, like rejection by agents and editors, on the road to publication. Negative self-talk has never done anyone any good. It also kills creativity. Learn what you are able from all feedback and then move on!
Ignoring negativity is difficult, but so important to do, especially for writers. We must have confidence in ourselves. Thanks so much for being here today. I hope you’ll come back again.
Here's an intriguing peek at Linda's new work.
“I’m Heinz. What do you want?”
“Oh. It’s you.”
“From the restaurant on New Year’s Eve.”
Kurt was silent for a moment, then it came back to
him. “I remember. Sarah, right? You’re the girl who refused to dance with me.”
A red flush crawled from her throat onto the apple of her cheeks. “Yes. I’m sorry if I was rude.”
“I’ve been cut dead before. I got over it.”
The girl’s eyes glittered. “I’m sure you did. Are you going to keep me standing here on the doorstep for everyone to see?”
“Why? I’m not expecting company. Would it be a problem?”
“It certainly might if the people who tore my apartment apart followed me here."
Kurt looked into her eyes with complete attention for the first time since opening the door. Whatever had happened to this girl, she looked terrified and angry. Not a particularly good combination for the covert activities he and Phelps were up to. Kurt made a quick decision.
He stepped back and pulled the door wide while raising his voice.“You better come inside and tell me why you think what happened to your apartment has anything to do with me.”
When they stepped into the living area, Phelps had disappeared. Kurt gestured toward the sofa and the girl sat down. Propping himself on the sofa’s arm, he looked down into her frightened eyes. “Now tell me how I can help you, Miss, uh…”
“Barrett, Sarah. US Army. RN.”
“Well, Nurse Barrett, what can I do for you?”
The girl stuck her hand in her coat pocket and whipped out a scrap of paper that she waved in his face. “By telling me what’s on this paper and why it’s so
important that somebody took a knife to my furniture.”
I have been in love with the past for as long as I can remember. Anything with a history, whether shabby or majestic, recent or ancient, instantly draws me in. I suppose it comes from being part of a large extended family that spanned several generations. Long summer afternoons on my grandmother's porch or winter evenings gathered around her fireplace were filled with stories both entertaining and poignant. Of course being set in the American South, those stories were also peopled by some very interesting characters, some of whom have found their way into my work.
As for my venture in writing, it has allowed me to reinvent myself. We humans are truly multifaceted creatures, but unfortunately we tend to sort and categorize each other into neat, easily understood packages that rarely reveal the whole person. Perhaps you, too, want to step out of the box in which you find yourself. I encourage you to look at the possibilities and imagine. Be filled with childlike wonder in your mental wanderings. Envision what might be, not simply what is. Let us never forget, all good fiction begins when someone says to her or himself, "Let's pretend."
I reside in the Houston area with one sweet husband and one adorable German Shorthaired Pointer who is quite certain she’s a little girl.
My favorite quote regarding my professional passion: "History is filled with the sound of silken slippers going downstairs and wooden shoes coming up." Voltaire
Visit Linda at
Buy link Casablanca: Appointment at Dawn: http://amzn.com/B0121Q6S88
Buy link for Al Capone at the Blanche Hotel: http://amzn.to/16qq3k5
Buy link for Confederado do Norte: http://amzn.com/B00LMN5OMI
Buy link for When War Came Home: http://amzn.com/B010RXNZRO