Sunday, September 7, 2014

Civil War Repercussions With Linda Pennell

The Blog Tour rolls along this week, lineup is at the right. Also, play along on The Romance Reviews  site all month long for fabulous prizes and a good time.

But before you head off to visit the blogs, pull up a chair and get to know Linda.

My good friend Linda Pennell is visiting me today, all the way from Texas. Linda's a fellow Soul Mate author, and another historic author. Her book, Al Capone at the Blanche Hotel, was released July, 2013 and her most recent, Confederado do Norte, came out in July of this year. It is set after the Civil War, and is based on an actual event--a repercussion I did not know about until reading her book. I had a few questions to ask this lovely lady. Here we go!

   What is your current project about?

I’m so glad you asked! My recently released historical is entitled Confederado do Norte. Here’s a taste of what it’s about.

Set during the aftermath of the American Civil War, Confederado do Norte tells the story of Mary Catherine MacDonald Dias Oliveira Atwell, a child torn from her war devastated home in Georgia and thrust into the primitive Brazilian interior where the young woman she becomes must learn to recreate herself in order to survive.  

October, 1866.
Mary Catherine is devastated when her family emigrates from Georgia to Brazil because her father and maternal uncle refuse to accept the terms of Reconstruction following the Confederacy’s defeat. Shortly after arrival in their new country, she is orphaned, leaving her in Uncle Nathan’s care. He hates Mary Catherine, blaming her for his sister’s death. She despises him because she believes Nathan murdered her father. When Mary Catherine discovers Nathan’s plan to be rid of her as well, she flees into the mountain wilderness filled with jaguars and equally dangerous men. Finding refuge among kind peasants, she grows into a beauty, ultimately marrying the scion of a wealthy Portuguese family. Happiness and security seem assured until civil unrest brings armed marauders who have an inexplicable connection to Mary Catherine. Recreating herself has protected Mary Catherine in the past, but this new crisis will demand all of the courage, intelligence, and creativity she possesses simply to survive.   

 What’s next for your readers?

Great question! I have a World War II novel out on submission. It’s entitled Casablanca: Appointment at Dawn. Here is a taste of it, too.
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, perhaps the outcome of the war, may 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 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.

Keep your fingers crossed for me that it gets picked up soon!  

  What’s your favorite part about writing? Least favorite?

My favorite part of writing is the creative process that comes with getting to play “let’s pretend” and then seeing the product of my imagination appear on the page. As a child, I had a big imagination and loved to take on new personas and characters during play. Writing is my adult version of that.

 Why do you write in the genre you do?

I love history – pure and simple!

 Have you ever written a character based on someone you know?

Having grown up in the Deep South where storytelling has a long and honored tradition, the people and places I’ve known and the experiences I’ve had cannot help but creep into my writing. Sometimes this is a conscious choice, other times I don’t realize the similarities until the work sits for a while.

 Where do you rank in the family hierarchy? First child? Only child? Baby? Somewhere in between?

I’m an only child who has always longed for siblings. Since I don’t have any, I create my own brothers and sisters through friendships and connections with cousins.

 Are you a dog or cat person?
Both! A pet parent, just like a mom to human children, isn’t supposed to have favorites!

 Sun or fog?

I love both. There is something lovely and ethereal about a foggy day spent curled up with a good book or by the fire. Since I live in Texas, I better like sun or move to a cooler climate!

Bio, Social Media, Buy Links, etc.:

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.

Twitter:  @LindaPennell

Buy link for Al Capone at the Blanche Hotel:
Buy link for Confederado do Norte:


  1. Thank you so much for hosting me today, Becky! It was so great meeting you and other Soul Mate authors at RWA2014. This was a fun post to write. :-)

  2. Great interview, Linda! Thanks for the peek into your upcoming book. It's now on my list!!

    1. Super, Larynn! Hope you enjoy reading it as much as I loved writing it!

  3. Thanks for visiting, Larynn! Both of Linda's books are in my TBR pile now, too. They both sound great, and I love the way Linda uncovered mostly forgotten nuggets of history and crafted a book around them.

  4. Excellent interview, Linda!

  5. A wonderful post Linda. I also love history. The best of luck with your book.

  6. Thank you, JoAnne!! Appreciate the support. :-)

  7. I Read Al Capone at the Blanche Hotel and truly enjoyed it. I love researching history too. One of my favorite parts of writing Time and Forever was doing the research,Great interview, Becky and Linda.

  8. Thank you, Susan!! Time and Forever is on my TBR list! So many books, so little time, as I'm sure you can relate! Thank you for your support and friendship!

  9. Linda, Confederado do Norte was a great read. I too found the little-known episode in our history very interesting. Good luck with it and with your submissions.

    1. I'm sooo glad you enjoy it, Caroline!! Thank you for commenting!