Wednesday, July 30, 2014

YANKEE IN ATLANTA - Jocelyn Green

Welcome back, Jocelyn. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
Oh my, has He ever! Right now I’m finishing up the manuscript for the tenth book in five years, and I’m nearly gasping for breath. This is the first time in several years that I don’t have another deadline looming. I’m looking forward to a bit of a break from writing to spend time with my family and to re-evaluate where I should invest my writing energies in the future. I’ve done six nonfiction and four novels (the fourth is coming March 2015), and I can honestly say I love both genres, but for very different reasons. I’m not ready to give up either one of them.

I want to schedule that book on my blog, too. Tell us a little about your family.
I’m married to the most supportive husband a writer mama could ever ask for. J Rob is the Web developer for the University of Northern Iowa library (starting August 11!) and is also in grad school for a master’s in Instructional Technology. Our 8-year-old daughter loves to read, ride her bike, write stories, and play violin. Our 5-year-old son loves anything with wheels on it and is more athletic than my husband and I combined. I home school the kids, and we are looking forward to a great school year ahead!

Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
Yes. I read a wider variety of genres and authors now, looking for new and different ways to tell stories. It also broadens my vocabulary! I underline and scribble in the margins of whatever I’m reading, normally in appreciation for a shining passage. If I’m reading on Kindle, I’ll highlight whatever strikes me. I also read more with a view to get a better grasp on human psychology and character motivations. I’m very blessed that reading good books is professional development for my career as a writer.

I love that part of writing as well. What are you working on right now?
Right now I’m writing the final chapter of Spy of Richmond! It’s the fourth and final book in my Heroines Behind the Lines Civil War series, and will release in March.

What outside interests do you have?
I enjoy gardening, baking, knitting, and scrapbooking, although I haven’t had much time to do those things these last few years. Maybe after Spy is turned in! But as a home schooling mom, I’m also very invested in my kids’ education. I’m excited to teach a history class to girls this fall through our home school co-op, and I’m also on the board of a new troop of American Heritage Girls we’re starting in our area.

How do you choose your settings for each book?
With my Civil War series, I chose the roles women played during the war first, and the settings fell into place. Wedded to War was about the first band of trained professional nurses, so that took place in New York City and Washington. I wanted to also show how civilian women were affected by battles close to home, so Gettysburg was a great setting for book 2. Yankee in Atlanta combines two different roles—that of the female soldier, and the secret Unionist in Atlanta. I chose Richmond for the setting of Spy of Richmond because the most famous spy for the Union lived there on Church Hill. My heroine, Sophie Kent, works in that spy network.

If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
Abigail Adams. She was such a strong woman, and influenced her husband and thereby the country during an extremely tumultuous time, while mothering her children.

What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
That it would require far, far more time and energy than any nonfiction book I’ve ever worked on!

What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
Yesterday I told someone that I really hate conflict, and I feel awful when I have to do something really mean to my characters. Sometimes I even feel physically ill, and once I cried. “But,” I explained, “the characters would have no need to rely on God if their lives were easy. Or they need the trials to refine their character and strengthen their faith.” After that conversation, I realized how much this sounds like God. He never throws disaster at us just for fun, and I believe He weeps when we weep. But He doesn’t waste the valleys. The pain is for a purpose. He knows the end of our story, and He is faithful to take us through the steps to get us there.

That is so true. I spoke on that at the North Texas Indie Christian Authors meeting this weekend. What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
Read, read, read. Work on your craft even when you’re not in the mood. Find creative ways to market—and one way to do this is by joining associations that foster cooperative efforts.

Tell us about the featured book.
In Yankee in Atlanta, Caitlin McKae hides from her past to find a future—and lands on enemy soil. When Caitlin wakes up in Atlanta after being wounded in battle, the Georgian doctor who treats her believes Caitlin’s only secret is that she had been fighting for the South disguised as a man. In order to avoid arrest or worse, Caitlin hides her true identity and makes a new life for herself in Atlanta as a governess for the daughter of Noah Becker—on the brink of his enlistment with the Rebel army. Though starvation rules, and Sherman rages, she will not run again. In a land shattered by strife and suffering, a Union veteran and a Rebel soldier test the limits of loyalty and discover the courage to survive.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Saturday, May 31, 1862
The Virginia Peninsula
Not now. Please, not now. Rebel bullets ripped through the sulfurous fog hovering above Caitlin McKae’s head. Her middle cramping violently, she prayed her anguished bowels would not betray her. Not now.

“Don’t let them take my leg, please! I’d rather die on the field!”

“We’re getting you out of here, Marty!” Caitlin fairly shouted as she and the other three stretcher bearers carried the wounded soldier a quarter mile to the rear. Sweat poured from beneath her kepi and itched across her tightly bound torso. River water from the rain-swollen Chickahominy soaked through her brogans, and she faltered more than once in the red clay quagmire.

Head pounding like a fusillade, Cailtin slogged back through the mud to pluck more wounded comrades from the spongy earth. She scrambled after the other stretcher bearers and wondered how long this desperate battle for Richmond had lasted so far. Had an hour passed? Two hours? Three? Suddenly spent, Caitlin doubled over, gripping her knees. Her stomach heaved, though it had no contents to vacate.

But her body wasn’t through. Her insides churning, Caitlin was left with no choice but to break away to the furthest pine tree she could make it to and find relief in relative privacy behind its trunk.

Before she could reach it, a lead ball tore through her arm. The twisting pain in her middle paled as fire blazed through her right bicep. The bullet had ripped completely through.

As she dropped to her knees, Caitlin’s thundering pulse dimmed the sounds of battle. With fumbling fingers, she unbuttoned her jacket with her left hand, wriggled free of it, and wrapped it around her bloody shirtsleeve. I could go back. I can still hold the stretcher with my left hand. But she couldn’t. Strength sapped from her body, her limbs felt as though they’d been filled with lead.

Flat on her back now, Caitlin tried to steady her breathing. The sky is still blue, she told herself. Somewhere, far above me, where bullets cannot reach and cries cannot be heard, the sky is still blue. The haze of gunsmoke thinned, and she caught a glimpse of Professor Lowe’s balloon Intrepid hovering in the sky, with Lowe inside, reporting Confederate troop movements to General McClellan. Her eyelids drifted closed and she imagined herself there. But if I were, I would cut the lines tethering it to the ground and sail away, far away from war and disease and death. If only it weren’t for Jack. Her thoughts trailed away, into a blank expanse as welcoming as the sky.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
www.pinterest.com/jocelyngreen77

Thank you, Jocelyn, for sharing this new book with us. I will start reading it today.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Yankee in Atlanta - Christianbook.com
Yankee in Atlanta (Heroines Behind the Lines) - Amazon
Yankee in Atlanta (Heroines Behind the Lines) - Kindle


Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:
Http://lenanelsondooley.blogspot.com

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great read! Would love to win this!
J.C. -Indiana-

KayM said...

I really enjoyed The Widow of Gettysburg and I'm looking forward to reading this one, also.
Tennessee

Lisa Stifler said...

I love reading Historical Fiction especially ones about the Civil War. Can't wait to read this one! Thank you for sharing and a chance to win. I am living in Virginia.
~ Blessings ~
lisastifler(at)yahoo(dot)com

Rebecca said...

Oregon

Anonymous said...

Your book sounds interesting! Shelia from Mississippi

Britney Adams said...

I adore historical fiction and would be thrilled to win a copy of YANKEE IN ATLANTA! Thank you so much for sharing this great interview and giveaway.

Britney Adams, TX

Jocelyn Green said...

Thanks so much for hosting me today, Lena, and hello to all of you who have commented so far! I'm delighted to see some familiar names and some new ones. Good luck to each of you in the drawing!

Anonymous said...

I would be so pleased to win Yankee in Atlanta. Thank you.

After reading about your family life and your writing career, I don't know how you get it all done. Your homeschooling must be a priority, and you teach others, too. I am so impressed.

Jocelyn Green said...

To the previous commenter: I only get it all done through the grace of God. Practically speaking, however, I make good use of my parents, husband, friends, and Vacation Bible Schools (my kids are attending their fifth week of it right now!). Still, some things just don't get done. The house isn't as clean as I'd like it to be. I don't cook as much on deadline (but I do try to stock up between using freezer meals). Saying yes to home schooling and writing means saying no to a lot of other things. I am constantly re-evaluating my priorities and time management. :)

Lynda E. said...

What a wonderful interview! I love the Civil War time period and am looking forward to reading this book as well as the next one; even though I live in Colorado, my husband is from Richmond and there is so much fascinating history there. Thanks for the giveaway and for the wonderful stories! danandlyndaedwards (at) msn (dot) com.

Lane Hill House said...

Turn the next page, please! Hope I win to continue reading. Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House ~ MO

Karen G. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karen G. said...

Heard this is a really good book. Would love to win and read it. Thank you for the chance.

Karen G, Troy, NY
kmgervais(at)nycap(dot)rr(dot)com

Deanna Stevens said...

This sounds like a great read. would love to win a copy.
SE Nebraska says HELLO....

Deanna Stevens said...

Hello from SE Nebraska, would love to win this book!

Deanna Stevens said...

Hello from SE Nebraska, would love to read this book!

BJM said...

Hello from South Carolina. I would love to read this book.

Gabrielle E. said...

I'm an avid reader and fan of Jocelyn Green's books. I've read all three of hers and own the first book. I'd love to add Yankee in Atlanta to my collection. It is through her work that I have cultivated a desire to learn more about the Civil War. I live in WI.

Pam K. said...

Wedded to War and Widow of Gettysburg are fabulous books! I very much want to read Yankee in Atlanta. Jocelyn's books are very well researched, which adds so much to the story. Thanks for this interview with her and the chance to win her book.

pmk56[at]sbcglobal[dot]net
Kansas

Melanie Backus said...

Yankee In Atlanta sounds like a winner to me. Thank you for your interview and giveaway. It's great, Lena!

Melanie Backus, TX

beckie said...

Kansas!

Diana Gardner said...

Portsmouth, VA

Mary Preston said...

This sounds like such a fabulous read. A great first page.

Mary P

QLD AUSTRALIA

Bonnie Roof said...

Thanks for the interesting review, Jocelyn and Lena!!

I love novels about the Civil War and "Yankee in Atlanta" sounds very exciting. I love the story line!!

I haven't read any of Jocelyn's books and would love to read "Yankee in Atlanta" - thanks for the opportunity to win a copy!!

bonnieroof60(at)yahoo(dot)com
Kentucky

Vera Godley said...

When I saw Jocelyn Green as the author, I knew it would be a good read and this first page introduction sounds fantastic.

Vera in NC

Peggy D said...

I've read Widow of Gettysburg and have Wedded to War on my list. I would love to add Yankee in Atlanta to my collection too. Jocelyn Green is a terrific writer and a lovely person as well.

Lynn Grier said...

Been trying to win and read Yankee in Atlanta.

Lynn in Lakeland Florida says Hello!

Patty said...

I love historical fiction, would love to win.

Patty in SC

Sierra Faith said...

I have been wanting to read Yankee in Atlanta for awhile!!! It look like a really good book!

Indiana

Karen R said...

Sounds like an exciting story! Really like historical fiction.
From N. Kitsap Peninsula, WA,

Amada Chavez said...

Such a great and deep series!!! At the end of each book Jocelyn always leaves me wanting more!!!! :) Thank you for the opportunity to win the next one!

Amada (pronounced: a.m.a.t.a) from NM

Holly I. said...

Wow! Sounds like a great book! First page, and I'm hooked! :)

~Holly in Morehead, KY

A Cooking Bookworm said...

A woman spy in the Civil War -- love it!! Can't wait to read it! Loved Wedded to War!

Stephanie
Binghamton, NY

mybabyblessings AT gmail DOT com

Melody said...

I also enjoyed The Widow of Gettsburg - would love to read this one also!

Donna, TX

SmithMom said...

I'm a Yankee in Virginia, and I'd love to read this! Already enjoyed the Widow of Gettysburg.

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me!!
Sharon Richmond Bryant
Conway, SC.
sharonruth126@gmail.com

Danielle Hull said...

Looks good! I'm a homeschool mom, too, in Indiana!

sm said...

Looks like a great adventure in this book and I'd love to win it. sharon, CA wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

Jocelyn Green said...

So great to see all of you here! Thanks so much for all the kind words. I love that some of you have been more interested in the Civil War after reading these books. :) I felt that way about Tudor England after reading Philippa Gregory's books, and I loved that she included bibliographies with her novels. I've done the same, so whoever wants to learn more can go straight to my own sources. Good luck to all in the drawing!

Anna Weaver Hurtt said...

Love Jocelyn's books!

Anna Weaver Hurtt in FL

rubynreba said...

Yankee in Atlanta looks very good. I would enjoy this!
Beth from Iowa

KayLee from NY said...

Yankee in Atlanta sounds really great. I would love to win a copy. Thank you for the opportunity.

KayLee from NY
msbookwormlady(at)aol(dot)com

Abigail Richmond said...

Please enter me!
Blanch, NC

Tonja Saylor said...

I love your book's cover. I've seen reviews on several blogs and this sounds like a very good book.
Tonja in VA