A Salute to Libraries Around the World Carrying the Large Print Editions of Johnnie Come Lately & Seven Wings to Glory

May 20, 2018

Featured on page 2 in the March/April 2018 issue of Southern Writers Magazine.

A salute to libraries across the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand: Thank You for carrying the hardcover Large Print editions of my latest novels, Johnnie Come Lately and Seven Wings to Glory.

I am most grateful to Thorndike Press, the leading large print publisher in the United States, for releasing these lovely new editions, and to Camel Press for first saying “YES” to my main gal, Johnnie Kitchen, and her loyal companion, Brother Dog. And a big virtual hug to readers who’ve invested their time and emotion in my stories.

When I was a little girl growing up in Clovis, New Mexico, my big sister and I used to ride our bicycles across town to visit our local library. We’d prop our bikes on kickstands and step into a world infused with the sweet aroma of old books and magazines. A friendly librarian greeted us over the rim of her spectacles, and sturdy tables and chairs offered us a quiet place to read and rest before we checked out a week’s worth of books and pedaled toward home. While my selection mostly consisted of picture books, my sister, Laura, was already devouring chapter books by then. 

When I declared myself a writer in high school, I could only imagine what it would be like to see my byline in a national magazine or on the cover of a book. Nearly forty-five years later, I can look back and see how every story I wrote and got published served as a steppingstone to the next level. 

Today, I’m grateful for every opportunity that’s come my way in the publishing world, from my bylines in Family Circle Magazine and Military Times, to the publication of my three novels, which all portray military families in contemporary settings. As I work to complete my fourth novel, a story that deals in part with the family of a MIA Vietnam War pilot and also the mysterious death of a lecherous cad, I’m reminded that hope and hard work and lots of good people have helped me along the way.

Take care and happy reading,

Kathleen

  • My original plan was to compile a list of the libraries who’ve ordered the large print editions and publish it here on this blog. But to my amazement, I soon discovered that the list far exceeded a hundred and counting so I stopped counting, too. It’s a glorious feeling as an author to know my work is getting out there and into the hands of readers.  Worldcat.org, the world’s largest library catalog, features a listing of many of the libraries carrying both titles in large print, but also trade paperback and e-book. Not all of the libraries carrying my books are listed on Worldcat. I found many other libraries simply by searching the Internet.  Both titles are available from Thorndike Press under their clean reads program.

Johnnie Come Lately

Seven Wings to Glory

Seven Wings to Glory releases in hardback large print from Thorndike Press

March 21, 2018

A woman whose son is fighting in Afghanistan uses her newspaper column to expose a shameful legacy of racism in her small Texas town.

Seven Wings to Glory releases today, March 21, 2018, in hardback large print from Thorndike Press, the leading large print publisher in the United States. As an author, it’s exciting to know this latest edition will be arriving in libraries around the country (and Canada). Although this book is a sequel to Johnnie Come Lately (which released from Thorndike Press in large print last month.), it can be read as a standalone. 

On March 20 (yesterday), I learned Seven Wings to Glory has been named a Finalist in Foreword Reviews prestigious 2017 #ForewordINDIES Book of the Year Awards. 

Thanks to Camel Press for releasing the print and e-book editions April 1, 2017. Johnnie Come Lately originally published Feb. 1, 2015.

Both hardcover copies are available at most online booksellers, including Amazon, B&N, BAM, & Indie Bound. Libraries can order directly from Thorndike Press.

My writing roots are planted deeply in the soil of eastern New Mexico where I grew up. I’m working on my fourth novel and grateful for the opportunities that have come my way.

Take care,

Kathleen

Seven Wings to Glory wins Honorable Mention in 2017 Foreword Indies Book of the Year Awards

Update: June 15, 2018

Seven Wings to Glory wins Honorable Mention for War & Military in the 2017 Foreword Indies Book of the Year Awards.

Over 2,000 entries were submitted in 68 categories, with Foreword’s editors choosing the finalists, and a panel of over 150 librarians and booksellers acting as judges to pick the winners.

A round of applause to the judges for selecting my book, to Camel Press for launching this story and the prequel, Johnnie Come Lately, into the world, and to Thorndike Press for releasing both novels in hardcover large print.

#honorablemention

#warandmilitary

 

Books can take you places,

Kathleen

The complete list of winners can be found here.

 

#ForewordINDIES

About Foreword: Founded in 1998, Foreword Magazine, Inc. is the only media company completely devoted to independent publishing. Publishers of a Folio: award-winning bi-monthly print review journal, special interest products, and daily online content feeds, Foreword exclusively covers university and independent (non “Big 5”) publishers, the books they publish, and their authors. Foreword is based in Traverse City, Michigan, USA, with staff based around the world.

Thorndike Press, the leading large print publisher in the United States, releases Johnnie Come Lately in hardcover

February 21, 2018

Thorndike Press calls Johnnie Come Lately “contemporary, issues-driven women’s fiction featuring warm and spunky Johnnie Kitchen and her family.”

The hardcover large print edition releases today, February 21, 2018, and received top billing under the publisher’s “Clean Reads” line on page 22 in the February 2018 catalog

Many public libraries carry large print books. Check with your local library to see if they’ve ordered the large print edition of Johnnie Come Lately. Make sure you mention the book is available from Thorndike Press.

You can order the hardcover edition at the following booksellers:

Thorndike Press

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Books-A-Million

Target

Walmart

Indie Bound

Thanks to Camel Press, the original publisher, for believing in my work. The book is available in paperback, e-book, and audio.

 

Seven Wings to Glory gets top billing in Thorndike Press’s March 2018 Catalog!

January 19, 2018

At the top of page 30 in the March 2018 catalog from Thorndike Press.

My third novel, Seven Wings to Glory, gets top billing in Thorndike Press’s March 2018 catalog. Thorndike Press is the leading large print publisher in the United States. The book releases in hardcover large print March 21, one month shy of the anniversary of the original publication in 2017 from Camel Press. 

 

I wrote this novel under contract on a tight deadline. I’m thrilled that Thorndike bought the rights for the new edition, and I’m equally thrilled to see the blurb from Southern Writers Magazine.

Thorndike Press will release the prequel, Johnnie Come Lately, in hardcover large print on February 21, 2018. I posted about it here. Both hardcover copies are available at most online booksellers, including Amazon, B&N, BAM, & Indie Bound. Libraries can order directly from Thorndike Press

Meanwhile, back at the writing desk, I’m working on my fourth novel which deals in part about the family of a military pilot missing in action since 1972. 

Thorndike Press to release Johnnie Come Lately & Seven Wings to Glory in hardcover large print editions

December 15, 2017

Dear Readers, Friends, and Family,

I’ve been sitting on a secret since May. I’m thrilled to announce that Thorndike Press, the leading large print publisher in the United States, will release my second novel, Johnnie Come Lately, in hardcover large print library binding February 21, 2018. The sequel, Seven Wings to Glory, will follow on March 21, 2018. This is a dream come true and will help my books find a whole new audience. Thorndike Press calls both novels “contemporary, issues-driven women’s fiction featuring warm and spunky Johnnie Kitchen and her family.”

Johnnie Come Lately received top billing under the publisher’s “Clean Reads” line on page 22 in the February 2018 catalog. To view the catalog, click here.

To pre-order either title, please visit the publisher’s website

Check with your local library to see if they carry large print books. Ask them to order both books.

I am deeply grateful to Camel Press, the original publisher for Johnnie Come Latelyand Seven Wings to Glory, for making all of this possible. Both books are available in paperback and e-book. Johnnie is out on audio.

Season’s Blessings,

Kathleen

Colleyville Book Club discusses controversial issues in Seven Wings to Glory

October 4, 2017

With members of Colleyville Book Club (Standing L-R): Michele, Hostess Tari Sanchez Bauer, Shelly, Co-hostess Mandie Bauer, and Joan. The club hosted me two years ago when they read my second novel, Johnnie Come Lately. Such a warm group of readers.

Members of Colleyville Book Club welcomed me for a lively discussion about my latest novel, Seven Wings to Glory. We talked about the characters and how they each dealt with issues of war, racism, and family secrets in the town of Portion, Texas, a fictional suburb located near Dallas/Fort Worth Airport.

After I read a brief excerpt from chapter two (the inciting incident), we each opened up and shared our own experiences dealing with discrimination and intolerance. A big thanks to hostesses Tari Sanchez Bauer and her daughter, Mandie Bauer, for selecting my novel for their October pick. The club will donate their copies to the library as a “book club kit.”

Thanks to all of you who’ve read my books and offered your support. Thanks to Camel Press for believing in my work.

Take care,

Kathleen

 

Building a new book

July 30, 2017

In late January of 2017, Diane Nine, President of Nine Speakers, Inc., an established literary agency based in Washington, D.C., offered to represent my future work. At the time, all I had to offer Diane was a one paragraph premise describing the novel I planned to write. I am forever grateful to Deborah Kalb, an author and journalist I admire and respect, for recommending me to Diane.

My work in progress is my fourth novel (if you don’t count the two half-baked manuscripts in a bottom drawer). I hope fans of my first three novels, The Final Salute, Johnnie Come Lately, and Seven Wings to Glory, will embrace my next story starring a brand new cast of characters in a contemporary setting I’ve longed to write about, my native New Mexico. 

I’m about a third of the way in, and I hope to have the story complete by the end of this year or shortly thereafter. Because I’m building this new book from scratch, it’s taken me a while to get to know my characters. I’m finally at that point in the story where my characters are waking me up in the middle of the night or nudging me in church to scribble notes in the margins of the bulletin. Don’t tell the preacher. 😉

Thanks to all of you who’ve followed my career over the years, whether you’ve read my books or my work in Family Circle Magazine and Military Times. Every day when I sit down to write, I remind myself that I live in a country where I have the freedom to explore controversial subjects and to express my imagination.  

Thanks for reading,

Kathleen

2017 Purple Pride Alumni Hall of Honor Award for “Sports & Entertainment”

 

 

Senior Circle Book Club in Granbury, TX welcomes Seven Wings to Glory author Kathleen M. Rodgers

July 14, 2017

Last September I was invited to Senior Circle Book Club in Granbury, TX to discuss my second novel, Johnnie Come Lately. When I mentioned that my third novel was releasing a few months later, they invited me to come back with the new book.

Today I had the pleasure of speaking to this warm and attentive audience. After I read a few passages from the opening pages of Seven Wings to Glory, several members asked questions about my writing process and how long it took me to write my third novel. One lady was curious about the title. I got a kick sharing how the title came to me in a dream.

I enjoyed telling the group how my first novel, The Final Salute, was a sixteen year effort and ended up being featured in USA Today and The Associated Press.

We also talked about two of my favorite subjects: dogs and the military. A few of the women in the group came up to me later to tell me about their loved ones who’ve served in the Armed Forces. One lady who’s not pictured in the photo remembers her early childhood when her family lived on land which is now part of Fort Hood, the massive Army post located in central TX.

After my talk, I signed books and we enjoyed some delicious refreshments. Many thanks to Cory Johnson, Director of Senior Circle, for making the arrangements to have me back for the second visit. 

 

                                                               Happy reading,

                                                                   Kathleen

Second Thursday Book Club discusses Seven Wings to Glory

July 13, 2017

With members of The Second Thursday Book Club at Mary Lou Reddick Library, Lake Worth, TX. Director Lara L. Strother is second from left. Three members at the discussion are missing from the photo.

Members of the “Second Thursday Book Club” at the Mary Lou Reddick Library in Lake Worth, Texas, rolled out the red carpet and welcomed me for a lively discussion about my third novel, Seven Wings to Glory. We also talked about its predecessor, Johnnie Come Lately. After I read a couple of brief passages from both novels, I took questions from the members. As an author, it’s thrilling to be in the company of a group of readers and listen to them discuss your characters as if they are real people. 

Two of the members, Dolly and Emma, both have close ties to the Grapevine, TX area where I set my fictional town of Portion. Emma grew up on a farm which is now buried under Lake Grapevine (Portion Lake in the story). Dolly remembers attending barbecues as a child on land now under water. Several members of the book club went back and read my first novel, The Final Salute, after reading the other books. 

With Barbara who originally hails from Roswell, NM

As a native New Mexican now living in Texas, I was thrilled to learn that one of the members (Barbara) is from Roswell, NM. I was presented with a bouquet of flowers after the discussion. 

A huge thanks to Lara Strother, Director of the Mary Lou Reddick Public Library, for the invitation. I appreciate my dear friend,  Drema Hall Berkheimer, author of Running on Red Dog Road, for recommending me.

 

 

Happy Reading,

Kathleen

 

 

Dogs of Summer

July 8, 2017

Jav and Denton drinking from the same source.

Dogs play an important role in my life and in the lives of my fictional characters. All of my dogs have served as inspiration for my canine characters in my last two novels, Johnnie Come Lately and Seven Wings to Glory

I’m working on my fourth novel and soon a new canine friend will appear to show my characters the way. 

Pets and books: they’re always there for you.

Happy reading!

Kathleen

Walking in the footsteps of my grandmother (a Harvey Girl) at the Castaneda Hotel in Las Vegas, New Mexico

May 20, 2017

The Castaneda, a Fred Harvey hotel, opened in Las Vegas, NM 1899.

For years I longed to visit the historic Castaneda Hotel located next to the railroad tracks in Las Vegas, New Mexico. My maternal grandmother, Olga Berg, left the security of her Iowa home in 1928 and came to Las Vegas, NM to work as a Harvey Girl for the Fred Harvey Company. She spent two years at the Castaneda before transferring to the Harvey House in Belen, NM, now home to the Harvey House Museum. She also worked special functions at the La Fonda in Santa Fe and the Alvarado in Albuquerque.

In the lobby of the historic Castaneda Hotel with Kathy Hendrickson of Southwest Detours
Hotel lobby. Train passengers entered from the doors on the far right.

 

 

 

 

 

Grand staircase in lobby

 

 

 

Thanks to Kathy Hendrickson of Southwest Detours, I got to walk in Olga’s footsteps and imagine what it was like to be a young girl far from home, donning the starched black and white uniform, and serving hungry train passengers at all hours of the day and night. With my husband Tom by my side, we entered the hotel lobby with our tour guide and stepped into the past.

My grandmother, Olga Berg, sixth from left. Look for the deep-set eyes.

While Tom and Kathy Hendrickson chatted at the long counter, I was pulled across the room by a lone black and white photograph hanging on a wall to my right.

Olga Berg, second from left.

 

 

 

As I approached the photograph, my heart began to race as I honed in on the Harvey Girl with deep-set eyes and a quiet smile in the center of the photograph.

 

Dining hall awaiting renovation.

I knew instantly it was Olga, my beloved grandmother! But just to be sure, I whipped out my cell phone and took a picture and sent it to my mother back in Clovis, NM. Within seconds, Mother texted back and said she was certain the young woman was her mother. I also sent the photograph to my two sisters and both of my grown sons. We all agreed the young woman had to be Olga.

Dining hall from days gone by. Note the hardwood floors.

I spent the rest of the tour thinking about my grandmother and wishing I’d asked her more questions about her days as a Harvey Girl before she married a railroader and became the mother of a daughter and two sons.

Lunchroom where train passengers stepped off the train and were served immediately by attentive Harvey Girls.

 

 

 

Olga Berg Lamb passed away on March 17, 1978. Until her last breath, she was always waiting on others and she knew the proper way to set a table.

Back staircase used by staff.

As we walked up and down stairs and entered quiet rooms now occupied by ghosts of the past, I tried to tap into the Harvey Girl spirit. These women were more than glorified waitresses working at trackside lunchroom counters and dining halls across the west. They were risk takers! I wish I had half their gumption.

 

In the kitchen. Check out that giant mixer!

 

Author’s note: The Castaneda is currently under renovation. One day soon, this grand dame will shine again and welcome travelers looking for comfortable lodging and a link to the past when passenger trains ruled.

On the veranda after we took our private tour.

Olga’s younger sister Nellie Berg answered the Fred Harvey call and came to New Mexico and Arizona years later to work as a Harvey Girl. A large photo of Nellie graces the museum in Belen, NM.

On the veranda leading from the tracks to the hotel lobby.

To learn more about the young women who worked for Fred Harvey, I highly recommend The Harvey Girls: Women Who Opened the West, by Lesley Poling-Kempes and Rosa Walston Latimer’s series of books, starting with Harvey Houses of New Mexico (Kansas, Texas, and soon-to-be Arizona).

Former Clovis resident Kathleen M. Rodgers to read from her latest novel at Clovis Carver Public Library

Update: June 5, 2017

 

Date: Friday, May 12, 2017

Time: 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.

Location: Clovis Carver Public Library

Location Address: 701 N. Main St. Clovis, NM 88101

Event Description: I’ll give an informal talk, read a brief passage from my latest novel, Seven Wings to Glory, and host a Q&A session. 

While I’m not allowed to sell books on the premises, readers can order online in advance, and I’ll be happy to sign their copies. Books are available at Amazon, B&N, Target, and Indie Bound. I also hear that a fella in a big white Suburban out in the parking lot may have a few copies on hand. 😉

On Saturday, May 13, I’ll be receiving The Purple Pride Hall of Honor Award for “Sports and Entertainment” from the Clovis Municipal School Foundation. This is a huge honor, and I’m grateful to be nominated. My writing career began my junior year as a student writer on the high school newspaper, The Purple Press

Hope to see you at the library,

Kathleen 

(CHS Class of 1976)

“A nuanced portrayal of military connectedness…. Rodgers writes convincingly of relationships, foibles and struggles. Johnnie’s worry over her son is particularly tangible, informed by Rodgers’ experiences as the mother of a deployed soldier…. In Seven Wings to Glory, the author has created a satisfying story, one that reveals the variety of military family experiences.” 

—Terri Barnes for Stars and Stripes

 

“Passing 50” Radio Host Robin Boyd chats with Kathleen M. Rodgers about writing

April 13, 2017

“Why worry about each passing decade? Let’s celebrate our voices of experience!” ~ Robin Boyd, host of Passing 50

Join Robin and me for a lively discussion about the writing process and my latest novel, Seven Wings to Glory, on her new radio talk show, Passing 50. It’s always an honor when the person conducting the interview has read your work. To listen to the interview, click on the show’s homepage and our interview appears to the right under the title Seven Wings to Glory

Have a great day.

Kathleen