Thursday, May 5, 2016

It's Book Launch Party Day

Welcome! I thought we'd do things a little bit different today to celebrate the release of my new novella. Here I am holding the first copy. :) It went to my husband who faithfully supports my writing dreams.

Hearts Tightly Knit is set in Calder Springs, Texas in 1875. Here's the back cover blurb:

Orphaned at age ten, Ellie Stafford and her twin sister Mae made a vow—to stick together and never marry. Nothing will ever come between them. Now in their mid twenties, they are bucking convention in Calder Springs, Texas, as women with respectable occupations who can take care of themselves. Ellie works at the Good Fixin's Diner and spends her evenings knitting garments for The Children's Aid Society. When a handsome local rancher shows up searching for a cook, she's hardly even tempted.

Luke Rogers owns a spread just outside of Calder Springs. It was running as smooth as cattle going through a chute until his cook up and marries the local widow and high-tails it back east. With no cook and a bunkhouse full of ranch hands ready to revolt, he persuades Ellie to temporarily fill-in until he can hire someone else. He should have known better than to get tangled up with another woman. 

I had a lot of fun writing this novella although it also was hard work too. :) I'd love to have you participate in my launch party tonight from 6-9 PM EST. You'll find it here:
Jodie's Novella Launch Party  I'll be giving away prizes every half hour. How's that for motivation to come hang out with me? 

The book can be purchased here: Purchase Link

Question for today: How do you celebrate something good in your life?


Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Knitting with Ellie Stafford

Hi, Ellie Stafford here. Jodie Wolfe asked me to fill in for her and talk a little bit about knitting. Jodie's getting busy for her book launch party tomorrow evening. They'll be talking about me and my twin sister Mae. Be sure to contact Jodie if you are interested in attending. My sister and I are featured in Hearts Tightly Knit, Jodie's new novella that came out on Monday.

I'm working on a scarf as a giveaway for Jodie's party. I'm enjoying using something called Fun Fur yarn from Lion Brand Yarns. The balls come in 1.75 oz. and you'll need two of whatever color you like. :)

Scarf Knitting Pattern
Using size 101/2 size needles (we called them pins in the 19th Century), cast on 20 stitches. Knit until you run out of yarn. :) Join second ball and kit until desired length. Bind off stitches and weave in ends.

Simple pattern. Hope you try it out. Let me know if you have any questions. Hopefully Jodie can help me figure out this thing called a computer.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Bletchley Park: Would you have made the grade?

I recently finished reading The Debs of Bletchley Park by Michael Smith. I was familiar with the Park and its inhabitants because of other research I’ve done into the “undercover” part of the war. Somewhat repetitive because he interviewed many women who held the same job, the book gives a personal account of life there. For those who don’t know, Bletchley Park was the central codebreaking location for the British.

As a former Human Resources professional, I was particularly interested in the selection process for the jobs. Advertisements were placed in the Daily Telegraph announcing a contest for crossword puzzle lovers. Contestants were instructed to complete the puzzle in under twelve minutes! Why would that be a successful test of skill? Telegraph columnist Tom Chivers said it best in his October 10, 2014 blog:

“What people who don’t do them don’t realise about cryptic crosswords is that they’re a battle. They are mental combat between the setter and the solver: there are strict rules of warfare, but within those rules the setter will do anything to mislead and confuse the solver. That’s why a crossword is superior to Sudoku; a computer can set a Sudoku, and a computer can solve it, but a crossword is human ingenuity versus human ingenuity, wit verus wit."

On our flight to Florida this week, my husband and I amused ourselves by doing the crossword puzzles (one labeled easy, the other labeled hard) in the onboard magazine. It took us approximately twenty minutes to do the “easy” one, and an embarrassing forty five minutes to do the “hard” one. Apparently, neither one of us would have been a Bletchley candidate.

How about you? Would you have made the cut?

A freelance writer for over ten years, Linda Shenton Matchett novella Love's Harvest is available on Amazon. She is currently seeking a publisher for her series about WWII war correspondent Ruth Brown. Visit her at