Shannon here: Delores Topliff shares her inspiration for her debut Historical Romance, Books Afloat. This is one of my editing babies and I’m excited it’s actually in book form. Comment or answer the question in any post, dated Jan 12 – 15 to enter the drawing for winner’s choice of print or Kindle copy, U.S. readers only, please. Deadline: Jan 26th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Delores!
Tell us about the featured book?
When I was a little kid, we lived in a housing development across the street from a small library. Our community librarian in our corner of Vancouver, Washington nourished my love for books. I read a book a day and two books on many days. After I finished reading all the children’s books, I started on grown-up fiction and non-fiction. When I turned ten, she told me I read more books than any other member and asked what I wanted to do when I grew up.
I loved the nearby Columbia River and felt bad for people along its banks who had no reading materials. “Start a floating library houseboat for folks along the Columbia who don’t have books,” I said. I never forgot that idea and the adventures it could bring.
For fifty years after WWII, they didn’t tell Washington and Oregon State residents that in June 1942, a Japanese submarine like the I-25 that attacked Pearl Harbor had actually entered the Columbia and fired on a military installation because they didn’t want the public to panic. I combined both narratives and Books Afloat was born.
Books Afloat is Book I in the three-book series, Columbia River Undercurrents, is based on true WWII events when a Japanese submarine did enter Columbia River. Readers are saying Books Afloat has something for everyone. That’s music to my ears!
About Delores: Growing up in Washington State, Delores married a Canadian so enjoys U.S. and Canadian citizenship. She teaches online classes for the University of Northwestern-St. Paul, Minnesota near her two doctor sons and families. She brags on five amazing grandchildren and is something she didn’t think she’d be—a snowbird now spending fall and winter in Northeastern Mississippi.
She began writing rhyming stories in the third grade. Her classmates’ approval established her love of writing. Two of her four award-winning children’s books are rhymed adventures.
About the book – Books Afloat:
Anne Mettles never imagined that bringing books to Columbia River residents in wartime would make her a spy for her country.
Anne Mettles has loved books from a young age. Raised during the Oklahoma Dust Bowl, she adored her hard-working grandfather. When a tragedy claimed his life, Anne refused to forgive herself. She relocates to the Columbia River to start a new life, but soon, war changes everything, including Anne’s dream of gifting books to river families without libraries. A challenge from Washington’s governor offers hope. If Anne uses Books Afloat to monitor the river for enemy submarine activity, the government will fund her floating library. Forced to leave her mentor behind, Anne’s crew includes a substitute pilot and a top-notch mechanic. They’re soon joined by a story-hungry reporter, an eccentric island-dweller, and a young man determined to impress Anne. Should Anne be more concerned about the Japanese or the threat of a possible saboteur on Books Afloat? Can Anne release the guilt from her past and embrace God’s peace? Will she realize she truly loves the man who adores her before another tragedy strikes? Discover the answers in Books Afloat, a historical romance novel by Delores Topliff, published by Scrivenings Press. Available January 12, 2021 at Amazon.com and other booksellers, Books Afloat is Book One in the Columbia River Undercurrents series.
Based upon a historical event—a network of undercover volunteers plot to prevent Japanese saboteurs from invading the Columbia River during World War II. Oklahoma Dust Bowl survivor Anne Mettles creates a floating library to provide books and materials for Columbia River residents. But wartime budgets slash funding, and Washington’s governor can only find money if Anne will conduct secret military surveillance along the river to monitor and report any enemy activity. Anne wants to operate Books Afloat alone but must accept help to pilot the boat. Mechanic Ted Vincent insists on being onboard and discovers that unusual boat damages are not accidents, but sabotage. A young man who will do anything to win Anne’s affections and an ambitious reporter writing public interest stories also ride along, complicating matters. Anne and team hazard their lives to save the nation they love and discover newfound courage, giving her and Ted a chance at love—if they can survive.
Watch the trailer: https://youtu.be/-aBLrSSkjF8
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Question for Readers: What big dream did you have as a child?
Come back Jan 19th for Kathleen Fuller!