Featuring Linda Bennett Pennell...
"I have been in love with the past for as long as I can remember," Pennell tells us. "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." "
Pennell resides in the Houston area with one sweet husband and one adorable German Shorthaired Pointer, who is quite certain she’s a little girl. Her favorite quote regarding her professional passion: "History is filled with the sound of silken slippers going downstairs and wooden shoes coming up." Voltaire
That said, Linda shows that she is very multifaceted. "Casablanca: Appointment at Dawn" is one example of her multidimensional persona. Other than her love of the past, she obviously loves the written word, but she can sure pen it. Here's a little about "Casablanca: Appointment at Dawn":
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 and the fate of the First Allied Conference—perhaps the outcome of the war—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 protection and 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.
Pennell gives us a taste or two of this novel:
Kurt watched in dismay as the man in gray picked up his fedora and rose from the table next to the one recently vacated by the two women. This had to be his contact. The man had watched Kurt on the sly since he arrived at the restaurant. Moreover, the guy matched the description right down to the red pocket square in his suit breast pocket and the thin, pale scar running along his left jawline. Making a quick decision, Kurt pushed his chair back and tossed some cash on the table.
"It's been interesting guys, but I'm calling it a night. Use this to cover my tab."
"What's the rush, Heinz? We haven't even ordered dinner."
"I guess my sins are catching up with me. It's return to quarters and bed for me."
"You headed back with us on the return flight tomorrow?"
"Nope, I'm here with the Old Man for the duration. You boys have a good trip."
The street was nearly deserted when Kurt stepped out onto its glistening concrete surface. Misty rain created halos around the sparse street lamps and obscured most objects more than a few feet distant. Only the two women, Sarah and Agnes, stood under an umbrella waiting for a taxi. Kurt watched them from the restaurant's portico. Focused on their conversation, they seemed oblivious to anyone behind them.
Glancing to his right, Kurt saw his man in gray scurrying toward the cross street. He stepped onto the sidewalk and crept along a good twenty paces behind. When his quarry slowed at the corner and looked back over his shoulder, Kurt stepped into the shadow of a doorway behind the taxi stand and waited. If this guy didn't want to make contact, he wouldn't appreciate being followed.
“I’m Heinz. What do you want?”
“Oh. It’s you.”
“From the restaurant on New Year’s Eve.”
Kurt was silent for a moment, then it came back tohim. “I remember. Sarah, right? You’re the girl who refused to dance with me.”
A red flush crawled from her throat onto the apples of her cheeks. “Yes. I’m sorry if I was rude.”
“I’ve been cut dead before. I got over it.”
The girl’s eyes glittered. “I’m sure you did. Are you going to keep me standing here on the doorstep for everyone to see?”
“Why? I’m not expecting company. Would it be a problem?”
“It certainly might if the people who tore my apartment apart followed me here.”
Kurt looked into her eyes with complete attention for the first time since opening the door. Whatever had happened to this girl, she looked terrified and angry.
Not a particularly good combination for the covert activities he and Phelps were up to.
Kurt made a quick decision. He stepped back and pulled the door wide while raising his voice. “You better come inside and tell me why you think what happened to your apartment has anything to do with me.”
When they stepped into the living area, Phelps had disappeared. Kurt gestured toward the sofa and the girl sat down.
Propping himself on the sofa’s arm, he looked down into her frightened eyes.
“Now tell me how I can help you, Miss, uh…”
“Barrett, Sarah. US Army. RN.”
“Well, Nurse Barrett, what can I do for you?”
The girl stuck her hand in her coat pocket and whipped out a scrap of paper that she waved in his face.
“By telling me what’s on this paper and why it’s so important that somebody took a knife to my furniture.”
Books by Linda Bennett Pennell:
Al Capone at the Blanche Hotel from Soul Mate Publishing
Confederado do Norte from Soul Mate Publishing
When War Came Home from Real Cypress Press
Casablanca: Appointment at Dawn from The Wild Rose Press August 28
To learn more about Pennell and her works:
Buy link for Al Capone at the Blanche Hotel: http://amzn.to/16qq3k5
Buy link for Confederado do Norte: http://amzn.com/B00LMN5OMI
Buy link for When War Came Home: http://amzn.com/B010RXNZRO
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