Thursday, May 20, 2021

Booklist Review: The Slow March of Light

Thank you to Booklist for the wonderful review of The Slow March of Light

Full review can be read here (p. 37).

Amazon pre-order:

Coming soon to other retailers. Official release date: September 7, 2021.

Summary from the publisher:

Based on a true story. Inspired by real events.

A riveting and emotionally-gripping novel of an American soldier working as a spy in Soviet-occupied East Germany and a West German woman secretly helping her countrymen escape from behind the Berlin Wall. 

In the summer of 1961, a wall of barbed wire goes up quickly in the dead of night, officially dividing Berlin. Luisa Voigt lives in West Berlin, but her grandmother lives across the border and is now trapped inside the newly- isolated communist country of East Germany. Desperate to rescue her grandmother and aware of the many others whose families have been divided, Luisa joins a secret spy network, risking her life to help bring others through a makeshift, underground tunnel to West Germany. Their work is dangerous and not everyone will successfully escape or live to see freedom. 

Bob Inama was an outstanding university student, with plans to attend law school when he is drafted into the US Army. Stationed in West Germany, he is glad to be fluent in German, especially after meeting Luisa Voigt at a church social. As they spend time together, they form a close connection. But when Bob receives classified orders to leave for undercover work immediately, he does not get the chance to say goodbye.

With a fake identity, Bob's special assignment is to be a spy embedded in East Germany. His undercover job will give him access to government sites to map out strategic military targets. But Soviet and East German spies, the secret police, and Stasi informants are everywhere, and eventually Bob is caught and sent to a brutal East German prison. Interrogated and tortured daily, Bob clings to any hope he can find from the sunlight that marches across the wall of his prison to the one guard who secretly treats him with kindness to the thought of one day seeing Luisa again.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Publisher's Marketplace: next book announced!

 I'm excited to announce my next historical novel, which will be based on Princess Louise Duchess of Argyll. She was the fourth daughter, and sixth child, of Queen Victoria. I'm building a Pinterest page for my research. I could spend years on this book, but I have about six months to draft, so it's a full-time job right now. 

Here's the announcement from Publisher's Marketplace:

Now back to work!

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Cover Reveal: The Slow March of Light

 I'm thrilled to share the final cover for my historical novel, The Slow March of Light. Coming September 7, 2021.

From the publisher:

Based on a true story. Inspired by real events.
A riveting and emotionally-gripping novel of an American soldier working as a spy in Soviet-occupied East Germany and a West German woman secretly helping her countrymen escape from behind the Berlin Wall.

I'm looking forward to sharing more about this book in the coming months. 
Add to your Goodreads list here.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Exclusive Notes on Goodreads: The Paper Daughters of Chinatown


Check out Goodreads here to read my exclusive insider notes on the highlights that Kindle readers have marked!

And my book The Paper Daughters of Chinatown is currently in the semi-finals for the #GoodreadsChoice awards in the Historical Fiction category. Vote on Goodreads by November 15! 

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Bob Inama: Our First Meeting

 Today I met Bob Inama. Our first conversation was March 19, 2020 over a Skype video call. After a few technical difficulties, we were able to finally speak in a meeting with Bob, his wife Diane, and Shadow Mountain director, Chris Schoebinger. In this first initial meeting, Bob told us about his experiences working undercover for the US Army in the early 1960s in Soviet-occupied East Germany. He was eventually betrayed by an East German and arrested. The story that unfolded is not what you might expect. Yes, he was imprisoned. Yes, he was beaten daily. Yes, he was traumatized. But Bob's light never dimmed. He left behind his shackles and the depths of a tiny cell and built a life of hope, love, and family. Over the past several months, Covid-19 kept any chance at meeting slim since we live in different states. Since March 19, up until this past week, I've been working on Bob's story so that more people can read and be inspired by a life well lived. If all goes well with my publisher and the production, the book will be available Fall 2021. But right now, my heart is full for having met this man in person. At last. 

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Praiseworthy Award Honorable Mention

 I'm excited to announce that Deborah Prophetess of God was given the Praiseworthy Award Honorable Mention by the LDSPMA. I love that the award recognizes everyone involved in the production of the book! 

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Tien Fu Wu: A Dedicated Life


In 2019, I visited the Cameron House in San Francisco for the first time. Founded in 1874, originally established as the Occidental Mission Home for Girls, the Cameron House has a long history of bringing aid and relief to the community of Chinatown, ( My purpose in visiting was to learn more about the remarkable women who worked as volunteers in the early years, including former mission home director Donaldina Cameron, in preparation for writing the historical novel, The Paper Daughters of Chinatown (September 2020, Shadow Mountain). But one visit to the Cameron House, and I was deeply touched by the life and service of Tien Fu Wu.

“Auntie Wu” or “Tien” as the residents of the mission home called her, was brought to Chinatown as a paper daughter in the late 1800s. A loophole in the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 created a dubious opportunity for slave owners or members of the criminal tong to bring Chinese women into the country under false identities supported by forged paperwork. In this forged paperwork system, the young Chinese woman would memorize her new family’s heritage and claim to be married or otherwise related to a Chinese man already living and working in California, and the paper daughter was allowed into the country. “Upon arrival in San Francisco many such Chinese women, usually between the ages of sixteen and twenty-five, were taken to a barracoon, where they were either turned over to their owners or stripped for inspection and sold to the highest bidder” (see Unbound Feet by Judy Young, 27).

Such was Tien’s experience. In the records from the Cameron House, we learn that Tien was called Teen Fook or Tai Choi before her rescue. In an entry dated January 17, 1894, her rescue is detailed: “Tai Choie alias Teen Fook was rescued by Miss Houseworth, Miss Florence Worley and some police officers from her inhuman mistress who lived on Jackson St. near Stockton St. The child had been very cruelly treated—her flesh pinched and twisted till her face was scarred. Another method of torture was to dip lighted candlewicking in oil and burn her arms with it. Teen Fook is a pretty child of about ten years old, rosy cheeked and fair complexion” (see Chinatown’s Angry Angel by Mildred Martin, 46).

Adjustment to new life and expectations in the mission home wasn’t a simple road for any of the girls and young women, especially for Tien. She harbored deep resentments for anyone who was in a position of power over her, but through the months and years of love and consistency, Tien flourished and became an integral part of the mission’s work. She served as a translator for the mission home director, Donaldina Cameron, when they went on rescue work. Tien wanted to continue contributing, to give back, and to serve those in need. She was determined to get a college education so that she could open more doors and serve in greater capacities in the mission home and throughout the community.

The mission home found a sponsor for Tien’s education, and she spent four years in Germantown, Pennsylvania, and two years in Bible Training School in Toronto, Canada (Martin, 153). Before leaving San Francisco, she promised Donaldina Cameron that she would return to the mission home and continue to work for the cause. True to her word, Tien returned to San Francisco and spent the remainder of her career as a champion for the women and girls of the Chinatown community. She truly lived a dedicated life in service, faith, and love as she persevered through extreme challenges, while lifting others with her along the way.