Christine Young

I am a writer and avid reader of romances particularly historical romances. Please join me on my journey through time

Casablanca by Linda Bennett Pennell ~ Christine Presents

Please welcome Linda Bennett Pennell author of Casablanca.

Linda will be awarding $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn host.


Casablanca: Appointment at Dawn

by Linda Bennett Pennell


GENRE: historical fiction with romantic elements



  1. What or who inspired you to start writing?

When I was a senior in high school, I enjoyed my creative writing class very much. Once I got to college, however, I got caught up in writing research papers for my degree in history and later for my degrees and certifications in education. I ultimately retired from public school administration. It was the best gift I have ever given myself, but the sudden release from having a life lived by the school bell left me somewhat adrift and uncertain at first. If I wasn’t the school administrator, then who was I? Traveling full circle to the creative writing that I had so briefly loved in high school gave me the answer.

  1. How did you come up with ideas for your books?

Ideas for stories are everywhere. One must simply be open to them. A picture, a casual conversation, a heretofore unknown fact discovered while reading, anything can light the spark of imagination.
What expertise did you bring to your writing?

I write historical fiction filled with suspense and spiced with a touch of romance. I hold a B.A. in US and English history, as well as an M.Ed. and several certifications. All of my university work required long hours of research and writing. In addition, it may seem odd to those who have not done the job, but my time as a secondary assistant principal gave a lot of experience investigating mysteries – everything from stolen gym shoes to felonies. I worked closely with law enforcement on the serious criminal issues.

  1. What would you want your readers to know about you that might not be in your bio?

I write for my own pleasure. Writing is not just a job or career choice, but a passion for me.

  1. As far as your writing goes, what are your future plans?

My goal is to publish at least one well researched work of historical fiction every year until I am no longer having fun doing so.

  1. If you could be one of the characters from any of your books, who would it be and why?

I think I would want to be university professor Dr. Liz Reams, specialist in the history of American crime. At one time, I wanted to teach college history.

  1. If you were the casting director for the film version of your novel, who would play your leading roles?

I would suggest for the following actors.

For Kurt:

Chris Hemsworth – He looks the part, has the right personality, and is the right age.

Josh Holloway – Although he is too old for the part, he comes from Freehome, GA where I started my teaching career. I think I taught one of his older brothers! He also has a Southern accent and looks right for the part.

For Sarah:

Rachel McAdams or Emma Stone – They are the right age, have red hair, and possess the right personalities for the part.

  1. Do you belong to a critique group? If so how does this help or hinder your writing?

I have a wonderful critique partner, Wareeze Woodson, who has an unfailing eye for where I need to make improvements. With regard to writing, she is the yin to my yang and vice versa!

  1. When did you first decide to submit your work? Please tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step?

When I decided to become a writer, I always knew that I would eventually submit my work. My greatest encouragement was being a finalist in the 2009 Writer’s League of Texas Manuscript Contest. That validated for me that publication was a possibility.

  1. What is the best and worst advice you ever received? (regarding writing or publishing)

The best advice I’ve received is what I also pass on to emerging writers. Understand from the get go that rejection is a necessary, albeit painful, part of the road to publication. Learn what you can from negative feedback and move on. Dwelling on the negative is a creativity killer!

  1. Do you outline your books or just start writing?

Yes and no. I am a plotter with pantser tendencies. I have a general outline, know how the story will end, have major scenes in mind, and often the title before I begin writing. Everything else simply reveals itself through the writing process.

  1. Do you have any hobbies and does the knowledge you’ve gained from these carry over into your characters or the plot of your books?

Choral singing is my main hobby, and yes, my understanding of the Masterworks has from time to time made its way into my novels.

  1. Do you have an all time favorite book?

It’s a toss up between To Kill A Mockingbird and The Help. As a child of the South, both speak to me ways that are deep within my soul.

  1. Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your book?

My work in progress is set in Miami and Havana. It features my history professor from Al Capone at the Blanche Hotel. This time she is chasing Meyer Lansky, a.k.a. the Mob’s accountant and a founding member of Murder Incorporated.

  1. Who is your favorite actor and actress?

One could look a long time before finding more talented and versatile actors than Kenneth Branagh and Jeremy Northam. I also adore Emma Thompson. Yes, I am a complete Anglophile!

  1. Can you tell us a little about the black moment in your book?

I’ll try to do so without creating a spoiler. There are several low points for both of my main characters, but for me the most difficult was when Kurt had to make a decision about whether to kill someone or to not do so and defy his orders. Remember he is an OSS officer. The OSS was the precursor of the CIA.

  1. What is your favorite reality show?

None. I can’t stand them. What is “real” about putting people into contrived situations with predictable outcomes?

  1. Can you tell us a little bit about what it was like to write a series.

I have not completed a series yet, but I can say from my work in progress that it is important to create a balance between including important information from the first book while not becoming completely redundant. Each book should be able to stand alone and that can be a tricky balancing act!

  1. Anything else you might want to add?

Nothing more than to thank you for being a gracious and welcoming host!!


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.



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.



AUTHOR Bio and Links:

I have been in love with the past for as long as I can remember. 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.”

I reside in the Houston area with one sweet husband and one adorable German Shorthaired Pointer who is quite certain she’s a little girl.

“History is filled with the sound of silken slippers going downstairs and wooden shoes coming up.” Voltaire


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 available 8/28/15 from the Wild Rose Press



Twitter: @LindaPennell

Buy link for Al Capone at the Blanche Hotel:

Buy link for Confederado do Norte:

Buy ink for When War Came Home:

Buy link for Casablanca: Appointment at Dawn



Linda will be awarding $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn host.″


10 comments on “Casablanca by Linda Bennett Pennell ~ Christine Presents

  1. Goddess Fish Promotions
    September 25, 2015

    Thank you for hosting

  2. Mai Tran
    September 25, 2015

    Characters often find themselves in situations they aren’t sure they can get themselves out of. When was the last time you found yourself in a situation that was hard to get out of and what did you do?

    • Linda Bennett Pennell
      September 25, 2015

      Thank you for dropping by, Mai. I am afraid my life is not nearly as exciting as the ones my characters lead. Situations that I find hard to get out of usually involve someone wanting me to organize something, be responsible for getting done, etc. I have learned the importance of the word no without guilt!

  3. Linda Bennett Pennell
    September 25, 2015

    Thank you for hosting, Christine!!

  4. Eva Millien
    September 25, 2015

    Great interview and excerpt, sounds like a really good book, thanks for sharing!

  5. Victoria
    September 25, 2015

    Really great post, thanks for sharing!

  6. Ree Dee
    October 11, 2015

    I really enjoyed the excerpt and the interview! Thank you.

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This entry was posted on September 25, 2015 by in Uncategorized.

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