Author Interview: Linda Shenton Matchett

Welcome to the Celebrate Lit Book Tour for The Widow & The War Correspondent by Linda Shenton Matchett!

About the Book

Book: The Widow & The War Correspondent

Author: Linda Shenton Matchett

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: June 15, 2020

Are a new life and new love possible in a country devastated by war?

Barely married before she’s widowed after Pearl Harbor three years ago, journalist Cora Strealer travels to England where she’s assigned to work with United Press’s top reporter who thinks the last place for a woman is on the front lines. Can she change his opinion before D-Day? Or will she have to choose her job over her heart?

A sought-after journalist, Van Toppel deserves his pick of assignments, which is why he can’t determine the bureau chief’s motive for saddling him with a cub reporter. Unfortunately, the beautiful rookie is no puff piece. Can he get her off his beat without making headlines…or losing his heart?

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Linda Shenton Matchett

Linda Shenton Matchett writes about ordinary people who did extraordinary things in days gone by. A volunteer docent and archivist for the Wright Museum of WWII, Linda is a former trustee for her local public library. She is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and was born a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry. Linda has lived in historic places all her life, and is now located in central New Hampshire where her favorite activities include exploring historic sites and immersing herself in the imaginary worlds created by other authors.

More from Linda Shenton Matchett 

Dear Readers:

I’ve been intrigued by female war correspondents since I first saw a museum exhibit about Therese Bonney, a WWII photo journalist. Further investigation turned up Martha Gellhorn, Margaret Bourke-White, Dickey Chapelle, Toni Frissell, and Lee Miller.

Of the more than 2,000 accredited U.S. correspondents who traveled overseas to cover World War II, only 127 were women. Accreditation acted as a contract: The Army or Navy transported correspondents into war zones, fed and sheltered them, and sent their dispatches home. In return, correspondents followed military law and censorship. Correspondents who defied rules lost credentials. They received a pocket-sized “Basic Field Manual” of accreditation rules. Frighteningly, it included a waiver of liability for injury or death.

Correspondents carried a green accreditation card and wore uniforms without symbols of rank, to indicate they would neither give nor take salutes. War correspondents wore green “WC” armbands, which evolved into “U.S. War Correspondent” patches. They were treated as captains, a rank that allowed them to eat with officers and facilitated POW exchanges if taken prisoner. Women correspondents wore skirts with male uniform blouses.

Nearly every commander in the Allied forces refused to allow women near combat. They feared women breaking under pressure (a fate that befell many men), balking at lack of women’s latrines, or influencing soldiers to take risks to protect them.

Still, accredited women saw combat. Sometimes the front shifted, catching women in the thick of action, as was the case with Ruth Cowan in North Africa. Some asked officers to write letters of introduction to combat zones, as did Bourke-White in Italy. Still others got their by hook or by crook.

Female journalists fought a double war: a war against evil and a war against the system. They fought red tape, ridicule, derision, lewdness, and downright hostility to do the job they were hired to do. The grit and gumption of these women enabled them to provide eyewitness accounts to the harrowing events of WWII. Political-reporter-turned-war correspondent May Craig summed up their achievements in a 1944 speech at the Women’s National Press Club: “The war has given women a chance to show what they can do in the news world, and they have done well.” BBC Correspondent Lyse Doucet agrees, “They did it, not just because they were exceptional women, but because they were great journalists.”

I wrote The Widow & The War Correspondent to honor these brave women in some small way, and I hope you enjoy Cora’s story.


Linda Shenton Matchett

An Author interview with Linda Shenton Matchett

What is your favorite book that you have written (Published or Unpublished), and why?
My favorite book is Love’s Harvest. It is the first story I wrote with the intent of publication, and the opportunity came when a group blog I was part of decided to issue a series of books. The book is a retelling of the biblical story of Ruth set during WWII. The research was grueling because of the Bible study required, and I loved learning about the British Women’s Land Army. The story flowed like no other book I’ve written since.

How do you pick your characters’ personalities, or looks?
The stories determine what my characters look or act like. For example, I have three books that revolve around a Norwegian-American community the Old West, so I researched what the “typical” physical characteristics are of Norwegians. In Gold Rush Bride Caroline, I wanted the main character’s issue to revolve around being accepted for who she is, so I gave her physical scars. 

Once an idea takes root, how long does it take you to write it down?
I outline my stories which usually takes two to three weeks, but I can pull together the main premise and plot points in a couple of hours.

What inspires you the most? 
I’m inspired by real-life stories of people in the past. I love to read autobiographies and memoirs because they delve into the how and why of a person’s life experiences, not just the what and when. I also watch oral history interviews which enables me to see the person’s expression as they’re reminiscing.

Do you have a genre that you would never write? (In the Christian genre sphere i.e. speculative, historical, contemporary, etc.)
I would never write speculative fiction because of the challenge of world building. I’m overwhelmed just thinking about the work J.R.R. Tolkien did to create The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Rings with languages, and people-groups, and locations. Most of my stories take place in real places.


To celebrate her tour, Linda is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Visa Gift Card and signed copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

And be sure to stop by these other blogs to see more about Linda Shenton Matchett!

Texas Book-aholic, June 7

Beauty in the Binding, June 8 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 8

Inklings and notions, June 9

Betti Mace, June 10

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, June 11 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, June 12

For Him and My Family, June 13

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 14

Splashes of Joy, June 15 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, June 15

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 16

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 17

Connie’s History Classroom, June 18

Artistic Nobody, June 19 (Author Interview)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, June 20

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  1. What a great interview! Thanks so much for sharing this. That is so cool how the author also did a WWII retelling of Ruth; I’ll have to check that one out.

  2. Thank you for sharing your interview and book details, I have enjoyed reading about you and your work and I am looking forward to reading your story

  3. Fantastic interview, The Widow and the War Correspondent sounds like a great book to read! Thanks for sharing it with me and have a sunshiny day!

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