Gail's Book Nook

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Looking Out the Window: Astronomy Buff and Sweet Romance Author Larry Hammersley Talks about His Newest Outer Space Novel, Higher Mission. He'll Give Away an Adobe Copy and a Free Read to a Short Story.

A Warm Welcome to Larry Hammersley

What a treat! Larry not only talks about his new book, Higher Mission, but he shares his favorite Bible verses and a recipe for whole wheat bread plus the cute story behind it.

He offers a free read of his short story, "Ice Rink Romance," and will give away an adobe copy of Higher Mission. To enter to win the copy of Higher Mission leave a comment and an e-mail address. To read the short story, click on the FREE READ link below.

First, tell us a little about yourself. I am 76 years old, married, have two children and five grandchildren. I have a BS in chemistry from Purdue University and MS in chemistry from Indiana University. I grew up in Williams, a small town in southern Indiana, and attended high school there. I worked forty years as a civil service chemist, now retired. I am active in the Church of Christ at Oolitic, IN, am an amateur radio operator, call sign WA9FFZ, jog, do a little woodworking, collect old chemistry and astronomy books, and have been writing fiction for forty years.

Tell us about your latest book. Higher Mission was released in October 2013. It features widower, Joe Cramer, whose higher mission is to continue care for his ill daughter, Cindy, who is in a hospital on Mars. Paired with Mona Watson they take on dangerous jobs in the solar system. Brad Whitherspoon, the solar system’s tycoon has another mission for them: a first ever trip to the star, Sirius. Cramer refuses but is shanghaied for a trip at sub light speeds that will take several years to complete. Will he ever see his daughter again? To complicate things he is falling in love with Mona who is along on the trip.  

What inspired you to write this particular book? My love for astronomy, sweet romance and the theme of an ill daughter who is permanently ill like our first born child was. Cindy is healed, a dream I had wished for our dear departed daughter, Tisha.

What do you love about this book? And what do you hope readers will tell others about it? The upbeat theme of healing, sweet love, adventure and the research required in astronomy. I want readers to tell of the clean romance between a man and woman, the love between father and daughter, and the determination of a man and woman to overcome all odds to survive.

What themes do you write about? I write about a hero and heroine who must overcome obstacles to find love. The theme of the main character that must fight all odds to survive and benefit others in the process is a favorite of mine.

Does your faith affect your writing? How? Yes. My hero and heroine remain pure in their actions toward each other. There is no sordid agenda like we see these days. My short story Motorcycle Woman featured a woman who was persuaded to go to church with the hero, Johnnie. My Smashwords story, Runner’s High had the hero preaching a lesson one Sunday and his love interest attending and looking up scriptures.

What are you working on right now? A new science fiction novel, The Silver Dart needs one more read through. It is about Jade Cromwell and his dog, Spike, who travels in the high tech ship Silver Dart to locate his wife, Darla, and daughter, Missy, who have been taken captive by a race in a distant galaxy. I am about finished with a short science fiction story entitled "Sagittarius Bound."

Introduce us to the main character in your new book. (the one we’re featuring this time) My novel, Higher Mission features Joe Cramer who is a widower and mining expert in solar system missions. Mona Watson is a single woman who is also expert in space exploration in the solar system.

Faith:  Larry Shares Some of His Favorite Bible Verses

Ruth 1:16-17
V 16: And Ruth said, Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:

V 17: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if aught but death part thee and me.

These wonderful words were uttered by Ruth to her mother-in-law, Naomi, as they left the country Moab, Ruth’s homeland, to go to Bethlehem. She journeyed with Naomi and left her own land to a land foreign to her. She proclaims her love for Naomi who had suffered so much in the loss of her husband and two sons. She proclaims her love and faith in God through this action.

These words are often used in a marriage ceremony.

2 Kings 4:12-13
V 12: And he said to Gehazi his servant, Call this Shunammite, And when he had called her, she stood before him.

V 13: And he said unto him, Say now unto her, Behold, thou hast been careful for us with all this care; what is to be done for thee? Wouldest thou be spoken for to the king, or to the captain of the host? And she answered, I dwell among mine own people.

This is the prophet, Elisha, who has been dealt kindness by the Shunammite woman and he wants to do something for her. It is in his power to seek favor from the king or captain of the host for her. She has been described as a great woman in an earlier verse.

Many interpret the term “great” as being rich. I’m not so sure of that but she is great in her character as she and her husband built an extra room on their house for Elisha so he can stop there on his frequent journey from his home in Abel-meholah to Mt. Carmel.

It was her that instigated the kindness shown to Elisha. It was in her power to ask Elisha if she could have something done for her by the king or captain of the host, both men who could give her anything she might desire. Her simple reply was that she dwelled among her own people. What an unselfish woman she was as this shows. The rest of the story about her is in 2 Kings 4 and 2 Kings 8.

Food -Larry's Favorite Recipe and the Cute Story Behind It

Whole Wheat Bread

2 ½ cups warm water (125-130)
Add: 4 Tablespoons margarine
4 teaspoons salt
4 Tablespoons syrup, honey or brown sugar
Mix dry 2 cups whole wheat flour
4 cups gold medal flour
Take 1/3 of flour mix and mix 2 pkg. active dry yeast.
Add water mixture to this and beat 2 minutes.
Add remaining flour and beat.
Let rise in warm place 30-40 minutes or until doubled.
I put the bowl in the oven with a pan of hot water underneath it to provide the warmth. I cover the bowl with a dish cloth.
Beat 25 strokes, divide into 2 greased pans.
Pan size 8 ½ x 4 ½ x 2 ¾ or 9x5x3 inches.
Let raise to top of pan or 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 F, bake 40 minutes or until done.
Insert a toothpick into bread to make sure there is no dough on it or tap on the bread and note if it is pulled away from the pan to determine if it is done.

Permission to print this recipe was received via email dated May 30, 2012 from Kelly Gross of General Mills and Betty Crocker. The recipe comes from an old cookbook called Betty Crocker New Picture Cookbook from page 105. The email was actually signed by Donna.

I made two loaves of this bread one time when my wife was in the hospital with the birth of our last child, Lisa. I entered the bread in the open class at the Lawrence County 4H Fair and won a blue ribbon on it. The woman who notified me thought it something that a man won a blue ribbon on a baking entry. Truth was I had to try a couple of times before I got the results I wanted. The first loaves had cracks in the top. There was an article in the local newspaper about it but I seemed to have misplaced that article. At least the blue ribbon and entry tag have survived.

A Brief Excerpt from Higher Mission Takes Us to Outer Space

Simultaneously, the rover driver jumped out his door and Dirk reached across in front of Cramer for the passenger side handle, but Cramer beat him to it. He opened the door and leaped for the snowy surface just as the canon emitted a scarlet beam in their direction. The blast exploded the pirate’s rover into a thousand pieces, the debris striking Cramer and sending him tumbling in space away from the blast. During his somersaulting he spotted Dirk flying above him, frozen entrails trailing his lifeless body. Cramer couldn’t see the other man among the tiny pieces of metal and plastic from the exploded rover. He felt his own suit losing pressure. The self sealing mechanism kicked in and barely managed to handle the small leak.

He lost consciousness as his oxygen pack provided him its last gasp of air. At the point of blackout he saw Europa’s icy surface coming up to meet him. His whole life seemed to flash before him like the time on Earth when he fell into the old fishing hole and almost drown forty years ago. The last image burnt into his mind before oblivion struck was Cindy’s face in the Martian hospital.

Buy links for Higher Mission

Champagne Books
Barnes and Noble

Larry's Other Stories and Books

Visit Larry's page on Wild Rose e-Books here
Photo Beauty
Runner's High
A Change of Heart
FREE READ - Short Story - Ice Rink Romance Here


Miss Mae said...

How awesome to have Larry on your blog today, Gail. :) I love his sweet reads and to know that a man enjoys pure clean romance (so many don't!)

Kudos on that whole wheat bread recipe too, Larry. You have many talents. :) Keep on writing and cooking!

Sonja said...

Fun looking book! I will have to try the recipe! Thanks for that.

Finbar said...

As to some common minerals this may be a real possibility if you follow the study of objects floating around in space. Great idea to write a book and advance this idea as fiction now... it might just happen!

Larry Hammersley said...

Miss Mae: Thank you as always for your support and kind words. I hope you enjoyed the excerpt. Was it too gross?
Sonja: Beating the whole wheat dough really takes a strong hand and arm. Hope you try it. The bread is really great with jelly smeared on it.
Finbar: Thanks for coming by and entering your thoughts on floating rocks in space. I encourage you to also read my explanation of the dark markings on the surface of Europa. That seems to baffle astronomers at this point but of course I have it all figured out. LOL.

June Foster said...

Larry, So touching - that you wrote an ill character who was healed into your story in remembrance of your own daughter. Best wishes with book sales and thanks for the recipe.

Larry Hammersley said...

Hi June: Thanks for your thoughts. Yes, that fact of life has inspired another science fiction story as well, but I've been unable to get representation on it. Hope you like the bread produced from the recipe.

Linda Weaver Clarke said...

Hi Larry. I love your stories. They are great. I know this book will most certainly be a great read.

Danielle Thorne said...

I don't know which sounds better--the recipe or the book! Great interview, thank you!

Larry Hammersley said...

Hi Linda: Thanks for the compliments on my stories. I have read two of your novels. You sure crank out a lot of them. How do you find the time?
Danielle: Well, the novel is a sweet romance in space and the recipe has either syrup, honey or brown sugar so there's a similarity in that respect. I always appreciate hearing from you. Thanks so much for stopping by.

Laurean Brooks said...

Larry, you never cease to amaze me. You bake prize-winning bread? Wish I had some of it right now. LOL.

Wonderful interview. I've read the Ice Rink story. Loved the characters and the plot.

Still say, Larry writes authentic description. Pulls you right into the story. Science Fiction and romance are both good.

Larry Hammersley said...

Hi Laurie: Thanks, as always for your support. Coming soon is the short story, Marcy's Struggle which will be pulled out of Rebecca's 2014 Summer Anthology. It will be at Smashwords for 99 cents. Marcy is a minor character from my lone romance novel A Change of Heart. She finds romance with the quarterback after losing the battle for Leroy's heart to Jody.

Anonymous said...

Larry, you are a star! This book sounds fantastic. Your background is amazing and I love your Bible verses and recipe. Thank you for a great interview.
Gail, your blog is stellar as always!

Larry Hammersley said...

Hi Regina: Thanks so much for your wonderful comments. That novel grew out of a short story which is the first chapter. I had to do a lot of reading to make sure I was up to date especially on the conditions at the surface of Saturn's large moon, Titan and also the star system of Sirius. Pretty wild conditions on planets and sun systems.