Hi Danele, I'm so happy you could stop by my blog. Lots of writers loved reading as a child. How about you? If so, what did you read?
I LOVED reading when I was growing up! I simply couldn’t get enough books--my room was crammed with them. I walked the prairie with Laura, solved mysteries with Trixie, and I considered Anne (spelled with an e) to be one of my very best friends. I felt like life wasn’t worth living when Beth died, and I cried buckets when Old Yeller was shot. I explored a magic wardrobe and walked with my hands snuggled deep in Aslan’s soft, glossy mane. (He’s not a tame lion, you know). I figured out tesseracts with Meg, trapped monkeys with Jay Berry, and I tried to hide long underwear with Ellen. I mourned the fate of perfectly lovely pickled limes with Amy, and I shivered my way through Mirkwood. I loved both the Evergreen Castle and the Blue Castle, and I emptied a whole tube of toothpaste into a sink with Ramona. I wandered the Limberlost with Freckles, and I searched for a new home with Fiver and Bigwig. I found a secret key with Mary Lennox, and I wrote to Daddy-Long-Legs and the Dear Enemy. And in between my “serious” reading, I faithfully looked for where the Sidewalk Ends with a friend named Hobbes.
Ahh, that's great, and it sounds as though these books provided you with a magical childhood.
Let's talk about your writing. In three words describe your style.
Flying. Dreaming. Speeding.
Do you put yourself in your books?
I think there’s a little bit of me in each of my characters. When I became ill, one of the things I experienced was partial amnesia. I put together over forty scrapbooks filled with memorabilia to rediscover who I was. I think that exploring the inner thoughts of my characters was another way for me to “find” myself.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Enjoy yourself. Be real. Don’t worry about what other people think. Love yourself. Love what you write. Treat people kindly. Honor God with your talent.
What is the coolest, wackiest, most risk-taking thing you’ve ever done?
Before I became ill, I did many wacky things, but by far my coolest adventure was a missions trip to Uruguay, South America. The Uruguayan people were incredibly nice, and I really enjoyed myself. Some things were very different from the USA, for example, it was common to see five people riding on the same motorbike, and I also saw people drinking tea out of hollowed out cow hooves.
I’m a terrible klutz, and on an earlier missions trip to Mexico, I accidentally sat on a rock that housed a nest of scorpions. I also sat on an anthill and ended up with my pants full of ants. When I went to Uruguay, I was DETERMINED to be more careful. I managed to do pretty well until one chilly Sunday morning. I was dressed for church, and I stood too close to a heater and melted a huge hole in the back of my velvety skirt. I’m lucky I didn’t set myself on fire! I tend to do silly things, and one day, the mission’s team visited an elaborate tomb in Montevideo. It was dark, and I got nose-to-nose with a life-sized wax figure to inspect it. The craftsmanship was incredible! I was studying its face when it blinked at me! It nearly scared me to death. The wax figure was a real soldier.
While I was in South America, I fell in love with dulce de leche—literally. I kept buying bottles of the yummy stuff to take home as souvenirs. When I went home, my suitcase weighed a ton. I nearly died lugging it through four different airports! I’m usually VERY meticulous when it comes to packing, but I was so exhausted by the end of the trip that I tossed everything into my suitcase while in a half-comatose haze. My bag was a sloppy, jumbled mess. I figured it didn’t matter--but wouldn’t you know--my hideously, messy suitcase was opened up and inspect in Uruguay, Argentina, AND the United States. I never thought I fit the profile of a dangerous international smuggler, but I obviously do.
LOL. What is the most embarrassing thing that’s happened to you?
Oh, Gail! If I told you every embarrassing experience, we’d be here for a week—maybe two. But here’s one example of a typical klutzy “Danele” moment. One day, I was carrying a bowl of curdled milk outside. Since my hands were full, I tried to close the door with my foot. My ankle turned beneath me, and I fell down the porch stairs and landed flat on my back. The door slammed shut behind me, trapping my long hair beneath it. The icky sour milk splashed all over my face making it impossible to see, and since I was trapped by my hair, I couldn’t reach the doorknob to open the door. I was stuck in that undignified position until someone rescued me! The story of my trapped hair became legendary in my family, and I’ve used it as a funny episode in Time Search, the third book in The Time Counselor Chronicles.
It's great you were able to use the mishap.
Danele Shares a Favorite Family Recipe from her grandmother
Cooking plays a part in most of my books because nothing brings people together like preparing a meal. Cooking has always been an important part of my family’s history. I can remember hearing stories about my great-grandmother Anna spending each Saturday baking bread for her fifteen children. I also heard stories about my great-grandmother Katherine’s ingenuity during the Great Depression. Since she didn’t have many ingredients, she ended up making eggless, milkless, butterless cakes.
Today, I’m going to share a recipe from Winnie—yet another of my great-grandmothers. Winnie grew up in Kansas where her husband ran a threshing crew. Later they moved to Colorado where they mined for gold in the Rocky Mountains. They never struck it rich with gold, but they sure struck it rich with Winnie’s recipes. Our family still uses them. Here’s Winnie’s sugar cookie recipe. It’s a family favorite!
Mama’s Sugar Cookies:
½ c. Shortening
½ c. Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 ½ c. Flour
¼ tsp. Baking Soda
½ tsp. Salt
Mix the shortening, sugar, vanilla, and egg. Sift the dry ingredients together. Combine the sugar and flour mixture. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Cookies may be frosted or eaten plain.
Yum. Yum. There's nothing better than hot sugar cookies.
And to Nourish the Soul—One of Danele's Favorite Bible Verse
I have many favorite Bible verses, but the one I tend to cling to is Jeremiah 29:11: For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
I cling to this verse because my life hasn’t turned out the way I envisioned it. I never expected to be poisoned by carbon monoxide from a faulty furnace. I never planned on developing Multiple Chemical Sensitivity or spending seven years locked away in quarantine. During my dark days, Jeremiah 29:11 gave me hope. God has a perfect plan worked out for each of our lives—sometimes it’s just an unexpected road that takes us there.
About Time Tsunami (Book 1 of The Time Counselor Chronicles)
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?
Time Tsunami is a fast-moving Christian thriller with time travel twists that keep the reader guessing until the very last page.
Gil sprinted into the dark hall. The broken rubbish on the floor crackled beneath her feet, making her easy to find. Grabbing at her, Rick tossed her into the kitchen. She fell against the sink and reached for the window. She tugged on it until she realized it had been nailed shut. Shrinking back against the counter, she knew with sudden clarity that Rick had made the kitchen a trap with only one exit—an exit he was blocking. Standing absolutely still, she forced herself to calm her rapid breathing. She had to be quiet, very quiet. Sooner or later, Rick would leave the kitchen doorway, and when he did, she would sneak past him.
“All ye, all ye, outs in free,” Rick sang in an eerie voice that sent chills racing down her spine. “Come out, come out, wherever you may be.”
Gil shivered and choked down a whimper. She saw Rick’s eyes flicker. Peering from side-to-side, he whispered, “Why don’t you come out and play?”
With baited breath, she watched as he slowly advanced. She knew he was trying to draw her out. If she moved prematurely, she’d give away her location. Her muscles tensed and a mist of perspiration beaded her brow. As he made his way deeper into the kitchen, she made a sudden lunge for the doorway.
What people are saying about Time Tsunami
5 Stars! "Incredible book! Fast paced and captivating. A thrill ride that keeps you guessing til the last page." –Barnes & Noble Review
5 Stars! "Hang on to your hat with this one – the novel takes you into the future, reverts back to the past, and has you holding your breath willing the time traveler’s safe return." – Amazon Review
5 Stars! "Wow!!! Fabulous book!!! Couldn't put it down! Great characters. Super plot twists. Fun time travel. Suspense. Humor. Romance. It's all there! Don't miss it!"
-- iBooks Review
Time Tsunami is available on Amazon
and Barnes and Noble
Danele Rotharmel grew up with a love of the literary word, and by age five, she knew she wanted to be a writer. However, her life took an unexpected turn when a mysterious illness brought her close to death. Eventually, she learned that a low-level carbon monoxide leak from a faulty furnace in her home was slowly poisoning her. This poisoning triggered severe Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and partial amnesia.
During this time, the hardest thing she faced was a crisis of faith. She had to quit her job and stop going to church. She couldn’t write, couldn’t drive, and could barely remember who she was. To say she was upset with the Lord was an understatement. She began reexamining her faith in light of her illness, and eventually, she came to the firm conclusion that God is real, God is good, God is interested and involved, and God is trustworthy regardless of tragedy.
When her illness became even more severe, she was put into quarantine and could only talk to friends and extended family through the glass of a window. This quarantine lasted for seven years. During this time, she wrote the first six books in The Time Counselor Chronicles.
Danele currently lives in Colorado where she continues to write. Although her journey back to health was long and difficult, it provided her with the opportunity to grow closer to God and to write her books. For that, she is forever thankful.
Learn more about Danele and her books on her Web site
and at Prism Book Group
Gail, I’ve had so much fun talking with you today! Thank you for allowing me to be here! I really appreciate it!
It's my pleasure.