2019 Carol Award Finalists Q&A (and a Giveaway!): Linda Thompson & The Plum Blooms in Winter

Posted September 28, 2019 by meezcarrie in 2019 Carol Awards, Author Interview, awards, Christian, giveaway, historical, Linda Thompson / 35 Comments

Happy Saturday! All week, I have had the privilege of sharing mini interviews with nearly all of the 2019 ACFW Carol Award Finalists! Today I’m wrapping things up with the debut novel & romance categories, including Linda Thompson and her Carol Award nominated novel The Plum Blooms in Winter! You can check out a list of all the finalists HERE.

➡ Make sure you’re following me on Instagram (@meezcarrie) as I post the winners there tonight, starting around 8PM Eastern. You can also watch the live stream of the awards gala on Facebook.

Linda Thompson stepped back from a corporate career that spanned continents to write what she loves–stories of unstoppable faith. Her debut novel is an A.C.F.W. Genesis winner, a Cascade Award winner, and a Carol finalist. Linda writes from the sun-drenched Arizona desert. She’s married to a third-generation professional aviator. Visit her at http://www.lthompsonbooks.com

Brands from the Burning #1
GENRE: Inspirational Historical Fiction
PUBLISHER: Mountain Brook Ink
RELEASE DATE: December 1, 2018
PAGES: 366

A Prostitute Seeks Her Revenge–In 1942, Miyako Matsuura cradled her little brother as he died on the sidewalk, a victim of the first U.S. bombing raid on Japan. By 1948, the war has reduced her to a street-hardened prostitute consumed by her shame.

A WWII Hero Finds His True Mission–Dave Delham makes military aviation history piloting a B-25 in the audacious Doolittle Raid. Forced to bail out over occupied China, he and his crew are captured by the Japanese and survive a harrowing P.O.W. ordeal. In 1948, he returns to Japan as a Christian missionary, determined to showcase Christ’s forgiveness.

Convinced that Delham was responsible for the bomb that snuffed out her brother’s life, Miyako resolves to restore her honor by avenging him–even if it costs her own life. But the huntress soon becomes hunted in Osaka’s treacherous underworld. Miyako must outmaneuver a ruthless brothel owner, outwit gangs with competing plans to profit by her, and overcome betrayal by family and friends–only to confront a decision that will change everything.


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Hi, Linda! Welcome to the blog!

Q: Why do you write fiction? And, why specifically Christian fiction?

Linda: The Plum Blooms in Winter was my labor of love for six years, and what I learned is that a novel really has to be a calling. I can’t imagine expending so much blood, sweat and tears for any reason other than to transform lives with spiritual truth. What kept me going through all the rewrites was my confidence that the Lord had called me to write this specific book. The novel is based on a gripping true story from World War II. My husband showed me the story in a history book, and I felt that the way the Lord redeemed these two lives deserved to be known by a broader audience than would read it there.

Carrie: I always tell my author friends to write the story God has placed on their hearts – you did exactly that! ♥

Q: Other than the Bible, what are a couple of your most cherished books and why?

Linda: I didn’t discover C.S. Lewis’ Narnia books until I was an adult and a newly minted Christian. My wonder at his gift for creating deep analogy that illuminates spiritual truth is probably what inspired me to become a writer. We enjoyed the whole series tremendously with our kids as well. I still think about images from those stories today, even though our kids are in their twenties.

Carrie: The Narnia books are stories that stick with you forever – such a great series!

Q: What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever Googled while researching a book?

Linda: Oh gosh! As an author of historical fiction (and a compulsive researcher), that’s a long list! I guess I’d put down childbirth and bathing practices in samurai-era Japan as a recent example for my current WIP. Weirdest thing I learned? They would smash piles of clay dishes in the birthing chamber to ward off evil spirits. For the same novel, I also read up on 1930s baseball in Japan. Who knew the Tokyo Giants trounced an American all-star team that included Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and many other greats?

Carrie: wow! I didn’t know either of those facts – how fascinating!

Q: If I asked your characters to describe YOU as an author, what would they say?

Linda: I think my characters are probably furious at me for putting them through so much! But God’s grace always pierces through in the end, in spite of the dark places I take them—which, come to think of it, is another way to express why I write.

And it’s really not my fault. It’s their history.

Carrie: Totally not your fault – I mean you can’t change history, after all 😉 And oh i love that – “But God’s grace always pierces through in the end.”

Q: What is one of your favorite quotes from The Plum Blooms in Winter & why do you love it?

“Nothing had changed in his circumstances. But something hard to define had changed in him.

He was still in solitary, but he wasn’t alone.”

The bomber pilot in The Plum Blooms in Winter, Dave Delham, was inspired by a true story of how God’s Word rescued the soul of a man held captive in brutal conditions. If we don’t know the Lord, we’re all held captive by something. To me this quotation sums up his dramatic, life-saving conversion, and the heart of my own transformation as well. It also reflects the promise God extends to each of us.

Carrie: That’s such a powerful part of the story, too!

I am offering one reader any TWO books (print copies) that finaled in the 2019 Carol Awards! (open internationally as long as Book Depository ships to your address) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.

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What about you? What interests you most from Linda Thompson’s Q&A or the Carol Award finalist The Plum Blooms in Winter?

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35 responses to “2019 Carol Award Finalists Q&A (and a Giveaway!): Linda Thompson & The Plum Blooms in Winter

  1. Paula Shreckhise

    I loved this book! I was an early reader and it is so well written and interesting! Linda deserves to win this award! Can’t wait for the next book!

    • Hi, Beth! Thanks so much for the kind words. This is my first book…so you haven’t missed anything (yet). If you do put this one on your TBR list I hope and pray the story will bless you. 🙂

  2. Rachel Taylor

    Thank you for telling this story. I enjoy fiction based on true events. I’m interested in the spiritual side of the war in Japan.

    • Hi, Rachel! I’m so sorry for the slow response! Wonderful, crazy times at the conference. 😉 Honestly, the true story that inspired this novel still makes me tear up! Thanks for reading. Blessings, Linda

  3. Becky D.

    Interesting to learn about the Japanese baseball team. What an intriguing plot for a story. Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi, Becky! Well, to be clear, the novel isn’t “about” baseball, per se. But a couple of characters, an American and a Japanese, bond over the game. Thank YOU for reading and commenting. I’m sorry for the slow response but the conference was busy! In His love, Linda

  4. Hi, Carrie! I just wanted to say a BIG thank you for this mini-interview. You ask great questions, and I really appreciate that this gets to the heart of my “why” for writing. Blessings!

  5. Perrianne Askew

    It grabs my attention that the main character returned to Japan as a Christian missionary. My great uncle did the very same thing after the war! One daughter and a granddaughter of his still live in Japan.

  6. Anne L. Rightler

    Linda is a new to me author. Thankyou for sharing this interview and the info about her book. I look forward to reading this one!

    • Hi, Anne! I’m so sorry for the slow response. Thank you SO much for reading and commenting. 🙂 If you do opt to read the novel, I sincerely hope it blesses you. In His love, Linda

  7. Melissa Andres

    Linda is a new-to-me author and this story sounds fantastic! Such an intriguing plot… and I love that it’s based on a true story!

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