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

Johnnie Come Lately Short Listed for Somerset Book Awards

February 11, 2017

My second novel, Johnnie Come Lately, moved up from finalist to the short list and is in the final rounds of judging for the 2016 SOMERSET Book Awards novel competition for Literary, Contemporary, and Mainstream Fiction. The Somerset Book Awards is a division of Chanticleer International Book Awards and Novel Writing Competitions.

The sequel, Seven Wings to Glory, releases from Camel press April 1, 2017. The novel can be read as a standalone story.

As an American novelist, I realize it’s a privilege to write fiction. I never want to take my freedom of expression for granted.

 

 

Johnnie Come Lately showcased in 2016 Holiday Catalog from Southern Writers Magazine

Updated Dec. 1, 2016johnnie-featured-in-2016-southern-wrtiers-magazine-holiday-catalog

Books make great gifts for any occasion. Check out all the books featured in the 2016 Holiday Catalog from Southern Writers Magazine. The online catalog is free. Click here to grab your copy.

Happy Reading!

Kathleen

seven_wings_300Seven Wings to Glory releases April 1, 2017 from Camel Press

Johnnie Kitchen is finally living her dream, attending college and writing a column for the local paper. She adores her husband Dale and chocolate Labrador Brother Dog, and they reside in a comfortable home in the small town of Portion in North Texas. Their three children are thriving and nearly grown.

But Johnnie is rattled when her youngest boy Cade goes to fight in Afghanistan. The less frequent his emails, the more she frets for his safety. On the home front, Johnnie learns that Portion is not the forward-thinking town she believed. A boy Cade’s age, inflamed by a liberal bumper sticker and the sight of Johnnie’s black friend Whit, attacks them with the N-word and a beer bottle. After Johnnie writes about the incident in her column, a man named Roosevelt reaches out with shameful stories from Portion’s untold history. More tears and triumphs will follow, as Johnnie’s eyes are opened to man’s capacity for hate and the power of love and forgiveness.

The sequel to Johnnie Come Lately

 

Johnnie Come Lately named finalist for literary fiction in the 2016 Kindle Book Awards

October 2, 20162016-kindle-book-review-finalist-johnnie-come-lately-by-kathleen-m-rodgers

What a thrill to learn that my second novel, Johnnie Come Lately, is now a finalist in the 2016 Kindle Book Awards. Many thanks to Camel Press for believing in my story about family secrets, redemption, second chances, and scars of war.Johnnie Come Lately kathleenmrodgers, camel press 300

To see the complete list of finalist and semi-finalist, click here.

Winners will be announced November 1, 2016

 

Johnnie Come Lately is a semi-finalist for literary fiction in the 2016 Kindle Book Review Awards

July 3, 20162016-KBR-SemiFinalist

An hour before I attended my 40th high school reunion in Clovis, NM, my agent notified me that my second novel, Johnnie Come Lately, is a semi-finalist for literary fiction in the 2016 Kindle Book Review Awards. What a thrill to learn of this honor in the town where my writing roots took hold my junior year on the high school newspaper, The Purple Press.

Thanks to every person over the years who believed in me as a writer.

To see the complete list of semi-finalist, click here.

Oct. 1 ~  Finalists announced

Nov. 1 ~ Winners announced

Johnnie Come Lately kathleenmrodgers, camel press 300To read more about Johnnie, visit my Amazon detail page.

Grammy®Award-winning vocalist Leslie Ellis narrates the audio edition of Johnnie Come Lately by Kathleen M. Rodgers

June 1, 2016Version 2

To order the audio, click here.Johnnie Come Lately kathleenmrodgers, camel press 300

Press Release from Camel Press

Grammy® Award-winning vocalist Leslie Ellis has sung with many artists including as a featured vocalist with Celine Dion on “My Heart will Go On” and Thomas Dolby on his latest album “Forty.” She sang the original soundtrack “Six Times Around the Sun” for the CBS mini-series, “Perfect Murder, Perfect Town,” and she’s done countless TV/radio jingles and song demos for SONY Music.

In 2007, her self penned “The Flyer Song” was adopted by the US Navy and made into a video tribute to the troops and their families. She’s had dozens of cuts by other artists including The Bellamy Brothers and NYC based singer/songwriter David Ippolito.

As an actress, Leslie has appeared on television and the Broadway stage including leading roles in CATS, LA CAGE AUX FOLLES, and CITY OF ANGELS. She’s performed roles in the films “My Name Is Wallace” (2007) which was invited to the Cannes Film Festival; “The New True Charlie Wu”; The feature film “Unconditional” and “Happy New Year Mr. Kates.” She won a best actress award for her roll as Tiffany in “My Name Is Wallace.”

Audio book narrating and production are a part of her world as well, so look for her on Audible.com. Leslie has released three solo albums, “Standing at the Moment”, “Leslie Ellis,” and “Making the Best” available on Working Jane Records. Leslie performs live across the USA and Europe with hit songwriter Casey Kelly.

www.LeslieEllis.com

Johnnie Come Lately published by Camel Press.

Artist Jenny Zovein creates watercolor depicting key scene from Johnnie Come Lately, an award-winning novel

March 28, 2016

Mama at war memorial by Jenny Zovein (Johnnie Come Lately, published by Camel Press).
Mama at war memorial by Jenny Zovein (Johnnie Come Lately, Camel Press)

 

Author’s note: In the following passage from my novel, Johnnie Come Lately (Camel Press), the protagonist, Johnnie Kitchen, is standing at the kitchen sink reflecting on her mother who’s been missing for twenty-three years. Johnnie’s husband, Dale, spotted Mama at the war memorial the day before. 

Chapter 16

“Go Army”

Her mind drifted to the empty bench in front of

the war memorial a few blocks to the west. She imagined a

woman, limber and lithe, making her way to the bench. Once

seated, the woman tilted her head and said something to the

soldier. Then the birds scattered and the woman rushed away,

leaving nothing behind. As if she’d never been there.

“What are you thinking so hard about?”

Startled, Johnnie turned from the window and caught Dale

gazing at her.

The cherry tomatoes were still cupped in her hands. Water

dripped everywhere. She swallowed. “Mama.”

Amazon & B&N

 

bio for artist Jenny Zovein for Kathleen M. Rodgers' novel, Johnnie Come Lately (1)A note from the artist:

My name is Jenny Zovein. Colorado has been my home for the last 47 years. I was born in Pennsylvania in 1949. Shortly before my first birthday, my family moved to Colorado. During my childhood I lived throughout the United States in Pennsylvania, Colorado, Utah, California, Alabama, and Maryland. Doing a full circle brought me back to Colorado in 1969. I am retired and spend many hours doing my artwork. I started when I was a little child but only started watercolor painting in 2014. 

I am the mother of two grown children. My son and his wife live in San Francisco and my daughter lives near me. They both give me inspiration to continue what I love doing.  

I was fortunate to travel to Europe and visited Holland, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, France, and England. This trip was a big factor in my love for art and culture.

To see more of Jenny’s work, click on the following links:

Jenny’s art page on Facebook

Jenny at Paintings I Love

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Johnnie Come Lately Wins First Place for Women’s Fiction in Texas Association of Authors 2016 Best Book Awards

March 1, 2016womens fic

 

We are pleased to announce that Johnnie Come Lately wins another book award, this one for Women’s Fiction from Texas Association of Authors 2016 Best Book Awards. To date, the novel has garnered four awards: three for content and one for cover art. The other awards are: Gold Medal for Literary Fiction from Military Writers Society of America 2015 Book Awards, Bronze Medal for Women’s Fiction from Readers’ Favorite 2015 International Book Awards, and 2015 Best Covers Contest from Southern Writers Magazine. To see the complete list of winners click here or watch a brief video. Buy Johnnie Come Lately at Amazon or B & NTexas Best Book Awads 2016 First Place Women's Fiction, Johnnie Come Lately by kathleenmrodgers

 

My Ode to the Jonquil

Posted February 13, 2016

Jonquils, photo courtesy Ms. Starlene DeBord
Jonquils, photo courtesy Ms. Starlene DeBord

Jonquils

I saw the first jonquils yesterday.
Maybe six to a cluster,
dressing up an otherwise
barren garden in late February.
I was just passing by
on my way to the house
when I looked up from the road
and was taken back by this sudden gold.
Buttery trumpets
turned up to the sun,
a subtle sign that spring had come.
They’re the jonquils!
Some call ‘em daffodils.
The first to sprout forth
after winter’s kill.
From gnarled old bulbs
planted deep in the earth,
come these bright sunny jonquils
to welcome in spring.
But they’re more than just pleasing
and pretty to me.
They’re proof that life,
though harsh as it seems,
still gives us a flower
to rekindle our dreams…

Kathleen M. Rodgers 

Author’s note: Jonquils make an appearance in my 2nd novel, Johnnie Come LatelyThis poem holds special meaning because I wrote it in 1986, three years after losing my youngest brother and months after giving birth to my first son.

“Book Club” welcomes author Kathleen M. Rodgers

January 26, 2016

L-R: Susan Wright, Shawna Shlock, Kathleen, Elizabeth Tessler, and Beth Moore.
L-R: Susan Wright, Shawna Ashlock, Kathleen, Elizabeth Tessler, and Beth Moore.

A book club founded ten years ago in North Texas (and still going strong) invited me to their January meeting to discuss both of my novels. Many thanks to Elizabeth Tessler for selecting Johnnie Come Lately and The Final Salute for a two book discussion in the warm surroundings of La Madeleine in Arlington, TX. The group was genuinely interested in my writing process, and they seemed pleased that I’m working on a third novel. When I told them I have a tight deadline, they cheered me on with words of encouragement and asked lots of good questions that will help me as I complete Seven Wings to Glory.

Club member Shawna Ashlock gifted me with this beautiful bookmark at the end of the evening.
Club member Shawna Ashlock gifted me with this beautiful bookmark at the end of the evening.

Our cashier’s face lit up when she discovered I’m an author. Turns out she’s an aspiring writer with dreams to publish one day. I gave her my card and invited her to contact me. We writers need all the encouragement we can get. Thanks again to “Book Club” for investing your time and emotion in my stories.

 

 

 

Johnnie On the Spot: Family Magazine features Kathleen M. Rodgers in the January 2016 issue

January 2016

Terri Barnes, author of the book Spouse Calls and a former columnist for Stars & Stripes Newspapers, was shopping at the commisary this morning at Charleston Air Force Base, SC when she spotted the article in Family. She says she stopped by the peanut butter and jelly section to snap this photo.
Terri Barnes, author of the book Spouse Calls and a former columnist for Stars & Stripes Newspapers, was shopping at the commisary this morning at Charleston Air Force Base, SC when she spotted the article in Family. She says she stopped by the peanut butter and jelly section to snap this photo.

So honored to be featured in the January 2016 issue of Family: The Magazine For Military Families. The magazine is distributed free at U.S. commissaries worldwide the middle of each month (500,000 circulation). Family and I have been around since 1958. In 1988 (the magazine’s 30th anniversary), they published two of my short stories, “Happy Landing” and “On Top Of the World.” In 2009, they interviewed me about my debut novel, The Final Salute.

This past July, my husband and I were thrilled to meet the executive editor, Dina Santorelli, and feature writer, Barbara Jarvie Castiglia, when they came to see some of my work on display at the Cradle of Aviation Museum on Long Island, New York.  I’m blessed to have such support from a top-notch publication that gives back to military families by providing valuable coupons for items in the commissary.  This is another full circle moment in my writing career.Dina and Kathleen

With NJ based writer Barbara Castiglia (L) and Long Island based editor/author Dina Santorelli at the Cradle of Aviation Museum, Long Island, NY. Barbara and Dina have known each other for years and we are all Facebook friends, but this is my first time to meet them both in person. Barbara drove two hours both ways to come see me.
With NJ based writer Barbara Castiglia (L) and Long Island based editor/author Dina Santorelli at the Cradle of Aviation Museum, Long Island, NY. Barbara and Dina have known each other for years and we are all Facebook friends, but this is my first time to meet them both in person. Barbara drove two hours both ways to come see me.

https://www.facebook.com/familymagazine

http://familymedia.com

 

 

Thank You for reading my work!

January 1, 2016

Dear Friends and Family,Thank You from a writer

From reading passages of my latest novel, Johnnie Come Lately, on “The Author’s Corner” on Public Radio, to seeing my work on display in a museum on Long Island, New York, 2015 proved good to me as a writer. Thanks to each one of you who invested your time and emotion in my writing. I appreciate all the reviews, interviews, blog posts, word of mouth recommendations, book club selections, and sharing your copies of my books with your family and friends. I’m  working away on my third novel, Seven Wings to Glory, due at my publisher by July 1, 2016. 

Happy New Year and Blessings to All!

Kathleen

 

To read my full bio, click here.

Colleyville Book Club welcomes Johnnie Come Lately author Kathleen M. Rodgers

December 9, 2015

FR L-R Kathleen M. Rodgers, Tari Sanchez Bauer, Shirley Miller, Top R L-R Patricia Dede Larmon (holding portrait of Mandie Bauer), Shelley Stults, Tuula Westlake, Julie Moore, Sharon Nunez Couch. Photo by Mandie Bauer
FR L-R Kathleen M. Rodgers, Tari Sanchez Bauer, Shirley Miller, Top R L-R Patricia Dede Larmon, Shelley Stults (holding portrait of photographer Mandie Bauer), Tuula Westlake, Julie Moore, Sharon Nunez Couch. Photo by Mandie Bauer

 

Many thanks to members of the Colleyville Book Club for their warm welcome and lively discussion about my second novel, Johnnie Come Lately. As an author, it’s so gratifying to be invited to a serious book club where the members show up having read your book, some with notes in hand, and are eager to meet you and discuss a story that took six years to bring to life.

Hostess Tari Sanchez Bauer @ Colleyville Book ClubA big round of applause to hostess Tari Sanchez Bauer for selecting my novel for the December book club pick and a special thanks to her daughter and cohost, Mandie Bauer, for taking the photos. Deep into the discussion, Tari brought an element of magic to the evening when she shared a powerful and personal story about why cardinals are so meaningful in her life. The framed cardinal and centerpiece on her table is a gift from her daughter, Mandie.Hostess Tari Bauer' table for Johnnie Come Lately (1)

Not only were the members eager to discuss my novel, they also wanted to learn more about how the city of Grapevine, TX influenced the setting for my fictional Portion, hometown to protagonist Johnnie Kitchen and her family.

Everyone is excited that I’m working on the sequel to Johnnie, titled Seven Wings to Glory. Kathleen M. Rodgers signing Johnnie Come LatelyThanks to this great group of readers, I came away from the evening with a renewed sense of faith in my work and a whole new set of friends.

 

New Book Trailer for Johnnie Come Lately by Kathleen M. Rodgers

November 5, 2015

I’m excited to share the new book trailer for my second novel, Johnnie Come Lately, released by Camel Press