Tell us a bit about you and your background.
Hello, Linda! It’s so nice to have a chance to talk with you and your readers! I grew up with a love of the literary word, and by age five, I knew I wanted to be a writer. As I was growing up, I was always scribbling stories and perfectly ghastly snatches of poetry. (I’m not kidding about the ghastly part—my poetry is pretty awful!) However, my literary dreams seemed to die when my home’s furnace malfunctioned and I became ill from carbon monoxide poisoning. This poisoning triggered Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, partial amnesia, and the worst case of writer’s block imaginable.
For years, I couldn’t write a word. Zip. Nada. Nothing. I would try incredibly hard, but my sentences were as flat as a deflated balloon. My illness worsened, and I was put into quarantine to keep me away from the perfumes and other chemicals that are so prevalent in today’s society. My quarantine lasted for seven years. As my health gradually improved, my writing ability was restored. I began spending massive amounts of time at the computer, and eventually, I had penned the first six novels in The Time Counselor Chronicles. The first book in the series, Time Tsunami, has just been released.
What are your hobbies away from the computer?
I enjoy many activities, but walking while listening to music is my favorite. I absolutely love to go for long, leisurely strolls. I also enjoy gardening, baking, cooking, and drawing.
Is your writing style planned or freestyle?
Although I use a loose outline, my books were written as a way to escape quarantine and to distract myself from physical pain. Because of that, my writing is definitely more freestyle. Sometimes the pain I was experiencing was incredibly intense, and on those horrible days, it helped to let my imagination roam far beyond the walls of my home. I loved mentally wandering the fascinating world of TEMCO. I’ve found that writing a book is even more enjoyable than reading one. And writing is definitely more fun than watching TV or trying to nap. Napping drives me bananas.
If you use music while writing, name your favorite types.
I’m easily distracted, so I wear ear plugs while I write—the green squishy kind that you roll up and stick in your noggin. Sometimes that’s not enough, so I put on noise-reduction earmuffs too. Needless to say, I miss a lot of phone calls. However, I do use music in another way. My characters have become very real to me, and most of them have their own theme song. For instance, in my fourth book, Time Awakening, Phoebe’s song is “Held” written by Christa Wells and sung by Natalie Grant. Phoebe goes through something awful, but she learns that God was with her—holding her—the whole time. In my opinion, certain songs just seem to belong to different characters. They seem to define who they are and express what they are going through.
I suppose that’s the same for me. My current theme song is “I Will Not Be Moved” written and sung by Natalie Grant. When I became ill, I felt like my life had been totally destroyed. I questioned everything about God and my faith, and in the end, I came to the firm conclusion that God is trustworthy regardless of tragedy. When I hear my song, my whole soul rises up and shouts, “Amen!”
Have you traveled to any locations that appear in your books?
Actually, I have. Time Tsunami takes place in two locations: Washington D.C. (where TEMCO headquarters is located) and a small mountain town in Colorado. I visited Washington D.C. in 2000, and I loved it. It’s such a beautiful city. There’s something so grand and awe-inspiring about our nation’s capital. When I was trying to come up with a location for TEMCO, Washington D.C. seemed to be the perfect fit. My other location, Charlesberg, is a fictional town created from a conglomeration of Colorado towns I’ve visited. I’ve lived in Colorado my whole life, and the Rocky Mountains are in my blood. I can’t imagine living anywhere else.
Can you share a tip about what you do when you get stuck in creating a story?
You mean besides pulling out my hair, rending my garments, and wailing loudly? I go for a walk around the lake behind my house and listen to music. For me, staring at a blank computer screen is deadly. I need to feast my eyes on blue skies, colorful flowers, and the sun sparkling on the water. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always work in the wintertime. It’s hard to gaze soulfully at nature during a blizzard. On those days, I watch something funny on TV and try to relax. One good thing about my books is that I split the action between several different characters and locations, so if I’m stuck in one area—the other areas are usually still flowing. I think that helps.
In what genre do you read?
I read anything I can get my hands on. If I’m bored and don’t have a book available, I’ve been known to read canned-food labels, toothpaste boxes, and even VCR manuals. I simply love to read. I always have. The only thing I don’t like to read is anything sexy or demonic. Those types of books make me uncomfortable and give me nightmares. But other than that—bring it on!!!
What do you hope readers gain from your stories?
I hope my readers will completely lose themselves in the pages of my novels. I hope my books will provide them with the sweet escape that they have provided for me. When I became ill, I totally lost my ability to write until God restored it. Because of that, I want to honor God with my books. In a very real way, my novels catalogue my journey back to faith. I hope that my readers feel God’s presence as they read. I hope they sense His fingerprints on every page.
Thank you so much for interviewing me, Linda! I enjoyed answering your questions, and it was an honor to talk with your readers.
To stop a cruel serial killer, she must travel twenty-four years into the past…
Gil Montgomery, a cadet in the Temporal Counseling Program, can’t wait to pass her field exam and become a professional time surfer. The TEMCO program targets death-row offenders for time-based counseling while they’re children. For her exam, Gil will travel twenty-four years into the past to counsel ten-year-old Danny Winston before he murders his abusive babysitter, Rick Olsen. Preventing the stabbing should stop the chain of events leading to Danny’s eventual execution. Gil’s assignment seems simple until her adviser, Dr. William Ableman, learns that Rick is a serial killer targeting Danny’s mother. If Gil stays and protects the Winstons, she might not survive.
William wants the woman he loves to be pulled from the field, but if Gil fails to complete her assignment, it will unleash a Time Tsunami and destroy the timeline. As TEMCO undergoes an emergency lockdown, and Gil’s fellow cadets try to figure out what’s happening, Gil and William learn the importance of faith and the price of true love. Everyone’s fate is resting in Gil’s hands, but does she have the strength she needs to defeat a ruthless serial killer intent on annihilating everyone in his path?
Will she return from the deadly mission?
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As a blue glow filled the room, Gil looked through the time portal at William and Director Matthews. Her heart missed a beat. She didn’t know what was going on, but judging by the men’s tense expressions, it wasn’t good.
“Hi, guys, what’s up?” she asked in a deliberately casual tone.
“We’re thinking of pulling you from the field,” William replied.
“Rick’s more dangerous than we thought.”
“I don’t care if he’s Jack the Ripper,” she said flatly. “I’m staying.”
Director Matthews picked up a handful of printouts. “He isn’t Jack the Ripper, but he might as well be. I’ve found evidence that he’s killed at least ten women.”
“I don’t care.”
“You’re facing a serial killer,” William said. “You must realize the seriousness of the situation.”
“I do realize it. You don’t. Today’s Danny’s D-day. If I abandon him, he’s gonna die on death row. I love that kid, and I’m not about to let his life be destroyed. Where’s Dr. Nelson? She’d agree with me.”
“She said it was our decision,” the director replied.
“It’s my decision too, and I’m not about to abandon—”
“It’s not abandonment,” William interrupted. “GAP’s only predicting a fifty percent chance that it’ll make a difference to Danny’s future if you stay. Regardless of your hard work, Daniel Winston may be destined for death row. We’re not risking your life over a hopeless—”
“There’s no way you’re getting me out of here! If there’s a fifty percent chance that Danny can be saved, I’m taking that fifty percent chance. It’s my life I’m risking. Not yours.”
William ran a hand over his face. “We’re all risking a lot.”
“I don’t care. I’m not—”
“Enough of this!” William said harshly. “Let the director speak. When he finishes, we’ll discuss things.”
“Here it is, Gil,” the director said. “Bald facts. Fact number one: Rick’s a serial killer. He strangles women with a red cord and hangs their bodies to mimic suicide. He does his murderous work so well, that unless a coroner’s an expert, the homicide is missed. At this time, it’s impossible to know how many murders Rick’s committed.
“Fact two: Rick’s meticulous and methodical—that means he’s dangerous. He’s undoubtedly been planning to kill Sue for weeks. He’ll already have things set in motion.
“Fact three: GAP’s predicting a 98.8 percent chance that if you stay, you will be hurt. Since Danny has only a fifty percent chance of escaping death row, you’ll be risking your life on a gamble.”
Gil sat quietly for a few moments. “I’ve heard what you’ve said and understood it. Will you respect my decision?”
“Yes,” William replied. “It’s your decision to make.”
“Then my answer’s the same as it was from the beginning. I’m staying. Now, give me all the information you can about what I’m facing, and please do it fast. I don’t have much time, and I need all the help I can get.”
To one lucky person who comments on this blog post goes the spiral bound journal “Trust In The Lord With All Your Heart”, 10 purple butterfly notecards with envelopes, and purple-flowered tea cup and saucer seen below:
Snippets from 5-star reviews on Amazon:
“Fascinating story! So drawn in by the characters and I could relate with them easily.”
“Full of action, suspense, drama, and romance. Would recommend it to anyone.”
“Loved this book! I could not put it down. Definitely worth reading!”
Danele Rotharmel’s life took an unexpected turn when a mysterious illness brought her close to death. Eventually, she learned that a carbon monoxide leak from a faulty furnace was poisoning her. This poisoning triggered Multiple Chemical Sensitivity causing her to be put into quarantine. For seven years, she could only talk to friends and extended family through a windowpane. During this time, she wrote the first six books in The Time Counselor Chronicles. Although her journey back to health was difficult, it provided her the opportunity to grow closer to God and write her books. For that, she’s forever thankful.