It’s so nice to have you on my blog today. Thank you for giving us time for an interview. I am looking forward to learning a little more about you and your writing. Can you tell us what genre you write and a little of your writing journey?
I started my journey by writing Christian Children Fiction. I have one book in a series published and two more on the verge of publication. My children’s blog, where over a hundred and fifty stories centered on Biblical character lessons, is very popular with families and schools. On my other blog, I have a few fantasy children stories along with articles and Flash fiction stories I’ve written in their entirety. My Christian Historical Romance novella as well as a Flash Fiction I wrote have both won awards.
What book are you featuring today and what story can you tell us that has something to do with your book?
My book, Rosita Valdez and the Giant Sea Turtle (http://amzn.to/2efalam), is the first book in a series for children third through sixth grade. I visited the Cayman Islands a while ago and had the opportunity to snorkel. Also while there, I visited a turtle farm and held young giant sea turtles. I believe those two things became part of my story of Rosie.
Can you give us a short summary or back copy blurb about the book you are featuring today?
Come on an adventure with eight year old Rosie and her friends as she meets a giant sea turtle in a cove of the Pacific Ocean. Watch and learn with Rosie as she struggles with truthfulness and as she jumps into action when crisis comes to the cove.
What do you do when you sit down to write? Do you listen to a certain type of music or eat chocolate or exercise? Anything special?
I normally go to my cozy office with a cup of tea and play soft music. The music is chosen to enhance the vivid pictures in my mind to produce the mood of the scene or character or the energy level I needed to evoke the feelings of my character. I can’t write a frightening or dangerous scene with mellow music. My blood needs to pump, so I rev up the beat but still keep it as background to not distract me but enhance my experience that I hope is conveyed to the reader.
What is something unique or amusing about yourself or your life that we would like to know?
Well, I have a dozen things but I’ll concentrate on two. I collect giraffe figurines and pictures. They are all over my house in nooks and crannies and out in the open. The big thing in my life—I have dyslexia where my brain doesn’t connect the dots like other people’s do. That’s why writing is not what I would have chosen. The Lord said He would work through my disability. I can’t take the credit for making the words develop into pictures on the page, He enables me.
Give us a short biography about yourself and tell us how we can contact you (fb, twitter, website).
I live in Rifle, Colorado, with my husband Jimmy. Together, we celebrate with seventeen grandchildren. Grand Prize winner for romance and People’s Choice for flash fiction, I am multi-published and write a blog for children and their parents and teachers. I’m a member of ACFW, Vice President of ACFW Colorado Western Slope, and member of John316 Marketing Network. I enjoy leading a Bible study group and singing in two community choirs.
A few years back, my late husband and I went to Russia and Ukraine to help teachers learn new techniques in sharing God’s word through their local church and Awana program. I love to have company and challenging my young guests to explore and discover the many giraffes in the obvious and hidden nooks and crannies of our home.
You can find me:
*GIVEAWAY!* One free paperback of this same title will be given to the winner of a drawing. Anyone who makes a comment on this post on my blog (lindarodante.com) or on my facebook author page (Linda K. Rodante) will be put in for a drawing. On Monday, following this blog, a winner will be drawn and their name will be given to the author who will contact them and arrange for the book to be sent.
Please give us the first chapter of your book:
Rosita Valdez likes to be called Rosie. She has two best friends, Jade and Belita. Rosie likes to call Belita “Lita” for short and she feels special because she is the only one Lita allows to do this. Rosie lives on an island, in the Pacific Ocean, in the 1950’s. She comes from a big family which includes Grandpa, Grandma, Papa, Mama, three older brothers, a baby sister named Mora, and a black dog named Chico.
Rosie’s family works hard on the island. Her grandpa and papa own a big plantation that grows fruit and coffee. They have many people working for them, including Jade and Belita’s papas. Many duties are expected of Rosie at home. She helps Mama clean the house, cook, and watch baby Mora. Rosie likes to help watch baby Mora most of the time, but sometimes Mora cries too much and smells funny. When Mama or Grandma changes Mora’s diaper, she smells better!
After Rosie gets all her chores finished for the day, she can go play with her friends. Rosie’s favorite thing to do is play in the ocean. Rosie has been playing in the ocean since she could walk. She is a very good swimmer for an eight-year-old. Jade’s mama goes with them when they go to the big cove at the ocean. Rosie, Jade, and Lita like to snorkel so they can see all the animals and fish in the cove. While snorkeling, they play hide and seek or chase each other. Sometimes they go exploring underwater, finding shells, fish, and great hiding places.
Rosie has had many adventures. Her favorite adventure started when she was snorkeling in the cove. One day, while Rosie, Jade, and Lita were playing hide and seek, something wonderful happened. Jade was counting very slowly, “one…two…three…four…” while Rosie and Lita swam away to hide. Right away, Lita found a good place to hide behind some thick seaweed. Rosie kept on swimming, looking for a place to hide. She swam and swam before she finally found a small space between two rocks in which she hardly fit. Seaweed was all around to hide in. She crawled in and waited, but Jade didn’t come.
Looking around her, Rosie thought things looked different than they do on other days. The pretty shells and fish were much brighter, and something was odd about the big rock on her left side. She didn’t remember seeing it before. It felt smooth and different than the rock on her right, which was rough and familiar. The one on her left had algae growing on it like the other rocks, but it still seemed different. Rubbing her hand across it, she thought, why is it smooth? As she was touching it, it suddenly moved! She jerked her hand back! It moved again and turned! It blinked! She was looking into a face with two eyes that were looking at her. Finally she knew what it was. It wasn’t a rock, but it was a giant sea turtle! The turtle appeared to be smiling, and then it winked at her! Rosie reached out to touch it again, and it didn’t swim away! The turtle reached out its leg and Rosie took hold of it.
Off they went swimming together. Rosie never had so much fun! Moving its head, the turtle indicated for Rosie to climb on its back. She climbed up and held on to its shell. Swish! The turtle flew through the water faster than she had ever gone before. It swam all over the place, with Rosie giggling and hanging on tight. She was not afraid at all because she knew she could hold on and not fall off. Rosie saw fish and animals she’d never seen before. She saw many colors, and so many fish and animals she hadn’t known were in the whole ocean! The turtle took Rosie farther than she had ever gone. She was having so much fun, she almost lost track of time. She knew she needed to get back, since it was getting late. Rosie slid off the turtle’s back, so it stopped and turned. Rosie pointed behind her. The turtle seemed to understand what she meant, so she climbed on again. Swish! In no time at all she was right back to where she had been hiding. She got off its back, and it winked at her before swimming away.
Rosie waved goodbye then went looking for Jade and Lita. After finding them, they all swam to shore. Jade and Lita wanted to know where she had been hiding, since they couldn’t find her. Rosie said she went swimming with a giant turtle. They just laughed and said, “Rosie, you always have a great story!” Rosie smiled, and they walked home.
That night, as Rosie helped Mama set the table for supper, she hummed a little song. Mama asked Rosie why she was so happy. Rosie said it was because she had so much fun with a giant turtle in the cove. Mama laughed and shook her head saying, “Rosie, you and your stories! Now, go call Papa, Grandpa and your brothers for supper.” Rosie ran out the back door and rang the big bell. Bong! Bong! The big bell told her family that supper was ready. She wondered how loud the bell sounded at the far end of their plantation. She would like to find out someday.
Supper was always a fun time for Rosie, because the whole family was together eating, talking, and laughing. Papa and Grandpa talked about the crops, but her brothers ate so fast they hardly talked at all. Mama and Grandma talked about what they and baby Mora did all day. Mora had started crawling and was getting into everything. The boys were so busy eating, that Papa didn’t ask them any questions about their day. He would ask them later, after they were finished. Papa asked Rosie how her day was. Rosie told him she finished all her chores then after lunch, went to the cove with Jade and Belita. She told them about playing hide and seek while snorkeling and meeting a giant sea turtle that took her swimming. Her brothers’ eyes grew big, they stopped eating, and everyone grew quiet. Then Papa started laughing and said, “Rosie, you always have great stories and you have a good imagination!” Rosie smiled her big smile.
Rosie helped Mama wash the dishes, and after a while, it was story time. Every night before bed, Grandma would read stories to the children, while Mama sat and held Mora. Grandma read exciting stories, and when Mora was quiet, it meant the story was especially good. She was very quiet during the story about a faraway place where Nomads lived with camels, around an oasis in the desert. Rosie loved story time, because she loved to imagine herself in a faraway place full of adventure. Before long, it was time for bed. Rosie hugged Grandma, Papa, and Grandpa. She told her brothers and Mora goodnight, then brushed her teeth and combed her long black hair. She loved to crawl into bed where she could lie and think about things. Mama tucked her into bed, helped her say her prayers, and kissed her good night. Her dog Chico jumped up on the bed. She hugged him to herself as she remembered the great fun she had with the turtle. She thought about everything she’d seen and hoped she would see it again. She just knew the turtle was a boy and decided he should be her turtle. Rosie wondered if she should name her turtle, then fell asleep thinking about names for him.