Thursday, January 18, 2018

My Childhood Door

Home. That's a word that has different meanings to different people. To me it was always a good word. Perhaps that's why I don't mind being at home now as an adult. This is the door to my childhood home. I was five months old when my parents bought the house and I stayed until I got married. This door was the entryway to family and love. There are a lot of good memories behind that door. While there are a few negative things I can remember from my childhood, there are really very few.

I remember when my dad told us he had lost his job. Yes, things were uncertain, but we stuck together as a family, and our church family at the time stuck with us as well.

I remember when my mom told me her father, my grandfather, had passed away from a heart attack. This was another sad time, but again, we were together.

There were fights among us siblings. There were also the three day long Monopoly games.

There was the occasional argument with one of my parents. The one that sticks out in my mind the most was not the offense, but the punishment. I was not allowed to watch Little House on the Prairie that night. Whatever I did, I'm sure I never did it again!


Home is where my mom read much of my early writing, giving criticism and encouragement to help me succeed.

Home is where my sisters and I would have food fights after my parents left the dinner table.

Home is where we entertained friends with food and fellowship.

Home is where we laughed.

Home is where we cried.

Home is where we celebrated.

Home is where my mom passed away. 

Home is where I accepted the Lord as my Savior.


Home is a special place to me. Even though someone else lives in "my" house now, I still have all the memories, and no one can take those away.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

New Book Release "Spiritual Insights from Classic Literature: The Wizard of Oz"

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Amazon
As a writer I am always on the lookout for new ideas. Last summer an idea came to me while sitting in church. Our pastor was preaching on the heart. For one of his examples he read from The Wizard of Oz and the backstory of the Tin Man. That was when a light bulb came on in my head.

I love reading the classics. There's something about them that is different from today's writing. As a homeschooling mom for 20 years, I was always looking for things I could incorporate into school, but also looking to double up as there were only so many hours in the day. I wish I had thought of this when my kids were still in school. Oh well! It's here for your kids.

I am starting a new series of books. These are devotional books that go along with classic literature. After reading one chapter of the classic, you would then read one chapter of my book, which is a short devotion.  Reading through classic literature with new eyes, I've discovered there are so many lessons learned, or not, by the characters that we can bring into real life discussion with our kids.

I have many books on the horizon with this series, and I can't wait to see where it goes. The first book is Spiritual Insights from The Wizard of Oz. Coming out in February is Spiritual Insights from Charlotte's Web and then in April I'm looking to release Spiritual Insights from Little Women.  After that the sky's the limit as to what I choose. If you have any favorite classics that you would like to see a devotional companion to, please leave a message in the comments. I'll do my best to accommodate you. There's just so many choices, and I want to read them all!!!

The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

Age Range: 8 - 14 years
      Grade Level: 1 - 8


                                                               





Looking for some new curriculum? Try SchoolhouseTeachers.com. There's a great sale going on through January 31st.                                          

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Doors


Once again, a new year is upon us. A new year that will hold joys and sorrows, trials and triumphs, new opportunities. Each new day will offer a new door for us to walk through. Most of those doors are physical, but some might be symbolic.

That will be the focus of my posts this year – doors. I'll share some doors I have walked through and tell a little story about each one. Some will be happy, some sad, some full of reminiscing. Some doors will be a challenge to walk through, but with God's help, I'll get through all the doors He wants me to if only I take the necessary steps.

While I share my 2018 journey with you, I'd love to hear about yours. Where will doors take you? Feel free to leave comments on any posts that touch you in some way. Make sure to sign up to receive my posts by email if you don't want to miss one. You can find that link to the right of this blog.


I'm looking forward to doing 2018 with you!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Getting to Know Indie Author Claire Banschbach

My last indie author, but certainly not least, during the Indie Authors Sale is Claire Banschbach.

Claire M. Banschbach is a native West Texan. She discovered a deep and abiding love for fantasy and science fiction at a young age, prompting her to begin exploring worlds armed only with an overactive imagination and a pen while obtaining degrees in Kinesiology from Texas A&M and Physical Therapy from Texas Tech University.

She talks to fictional characters more than she should while struggling to find time for all their stories. She currently resides in Arlington, TX where she works as a Pediatric Physical Therapist.

You can connect with her on Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Blog | Instagram


Have you ever named a character in honor of someone you know?

I have not named a character for someone in particular, but I’ve based a few characters off family or real life people before.


At what moment did you feel like you could say, “NOW, I'm an author?”

I got a review a while ago that said “this book got me back into reading after I’d stopped for a long time”. That really made me happy and made me think that maybe I could actually pull this writing thing off. J


What is one of your favorite/go-to writing resources?

I always enjoy checking out KM Weiland’s website/blog for tips. And Janeen Ippolito has some great articles that she shares over on her blog as well that I’d highly recommend.


Have you ever looked yourself up on Google? If so, did you find anything surprising?

Yes, I have. And I think the strangest thing I found was pictures from a horse show I’d done in highschool and halfway forgotten about. Lol!


Do any of your characters sound/look like famous actors in your head?

Actually I’ve never been able to really “cast” my characters. It’s more of a ‘if I took this actor and this actor and somehow combined them, then that’s what this character would be like’.


What book are you currently reading?

Currently in between books. But I think Dune by Frank Herbert is next up since a friend of mine wants to watch the miniseries with me and I haven’t read it yet. (And I usually like to try and read a book before seeing the movie/show adaptation.)


Do you write/read every single day?

I wish! I usually try to write more than I read, I think. The only time I’m consistent is when I give myself monthly challenges to write at least 100 words/day (usually when I’m trying to finish a project).


What is one of your favorite beverages/snacks while writing?

I don’t typically eat or drink much when I write. The one thing I always have on hand is my big water cup. Snacks never last very long around me. ;)


Do you have any furry writing buddies? (Or scaled or feathered?)

Sadly, I just moved and had to leave the doggies at home. But our big Australian shepherd mix wouldn’t let me get much writing done anyway since he labors under the misconception that he’s secretly a lapdog, which makes typing awkward…


Do you keep anything special on your desk when you write?

Usually just my water glass. Although I frequently end up with a pen and paper of some sort for notes or map sketching.


Do you have any other creative outlets besides writing?

I’m currently in the midst of embroidering stocking for my nieces and nephews, which is about as crafty as I get.

Click the cover to go
to Amazon

The Rise of Aredor (The Rise of Aredor Book 1)

Lost in a foreign land and separated from his family, Corin does his best to survive as a slave in the household of a Calorin lord. With newfound friends he fights for survival in ambushes and wars. For one act of bravery, he is awarded his freedom and returns to a home that has been invaded and ravaged by the Calorin armies. When Corin sets foot on Aredor's shores, he has one goal in mind: find his family. He is driven into the forest, where he is reunited with childhood friends. From the shelter of the woods, they begin a spirited rebellion against Corin's former cruel master, who now holds sway over Aredor. Follow Corin's path in his quest to free his imprisoned brother, find a father who has vanished, and ultimately free his country in The Rise of Aredor.



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to Amazon
The Wildcat of Braeton (The Rise of Aredor Book 2)

His term of service to Lord Rishdah now complete, Aiden returns to his home in Braeton. As he travels he hears rumors that trouble plagues Braeton. Clan Canich is being attacked from within. He arrives, determined to save his father, his brothers, and his Clan from the treachery of one man.

A year has passed since the Calorins were driven from Aredor and Corin is struggling to rebuild his country. Despite the peace, a fear haunts him that the Calorins aren’t far away. The Hawk Flight takes to the forest again to defend the borders against a possible attack from the neighboring country of Durna and its Calorin ally.

As Aiden and Corin struggle to adapt to their new lives they know one thing for certain - war is coming to the North!



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to Amazon
Adela’s Curse (The Faeries of Myrnius Book 1)

A curse. A murderous scheme. A choice. A witch and her master capture a young faery and command her to kill their enemy. Adela has no choice but to obey. If she does not, they will force the location of her people’s mountain home from her and kill her. To make matters even worse, the person she is to kill is only a man struggling to save his dying land and mend a broken heart. Count Stefan is a man simply trying to forget the woman he loves and save a land crippled by drought. When a mysterious woman arrives at his castle claiming to be a seamstress, he knows she is more than she seems. Adela enlists the help of Damian, another faery, to try and delay the inevitable. He insists she has a choice. But with the witch controlling her every move, does she?


To see all the great books in the Indie Christian Books sale, visit http://www.indiechristianbooks.com/

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Getting to know Indie Author Lisa Flickinger

I have yet another Indie Author guest that might be new to you. Keep reading to get to know Lisa Flickinger.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and the first time someone complemented you on something you had written?

I live and write along the banks of a river shadowed by the Rocky Mountains. I love walking in the woods, camping, and over the last couple of years, fishing. I remember my fourth grade teacher being impressed with a poem I’d written and sharing it with the class. From that time on, I considered myself a bit of a poet even though I don’t write poetry.


What can a reader expect when they pick up a book written by you?

According to my readers, you can expect a lot of realistic adventure and surprises! You will also find heartwarming characters who struggle with their faith. Elements of humor also creep into my characters personalities and surprise me, too.


What genre do your write and are there any unique challenges to this genre? If so, how have you overcome them?

I write historical fiction, and obviously the biggest challenge is not living during the time frame. I immerse myself in the time period through diaries, novels, biographies, and movies. Sometimes I find it hard to immerge from their world and return to my own quickly. It’s a challenge I’m still trying to overcome.


What were some of your favorite books as a child?

I loved the Nancy Drew series, although I pretty much read my way through the local library. My favorite book as a small child was the Disney Uncle Remus Stories. My dad would do all the different voices and we loved it.


How do you reward yourself once your book is published?

When a book is finished, my husband and I go out for dinner to our favorite steak house. I breathe a big sigh of relief, although by now I know it only means my focus changes to marketing.


With Christmas around the corner, can you tell us the most memorable gift you received growing up?

The most memorable gift would probably be keys which were hidden among the needles and ornaments on our spruce tree Christmas morning. They went to a motorized trike in the front driveway. We kids were so excited!


Do you have any new books coming out in 2018?

I plan to release the first novel in a series about logging camps in the late eighteen hundreds. In this novel a young women, who helps out in the kitchen, struggles with the loss of her child while our hero learns to set aside the rough life he’s known in the camp and put his full trust in the Lord.


Author Bio

Lisa J. Flickinger, author of historical novels Ella, and All That Glitters, lives and writes from the cliff of a river along the majestic Rocky Mountains. When not writing or reading, you will find her scouring antique shops or sipping a maple latte with friends and family. To learn more about her visit www.lisajflickinger.com or her Facebook author page Lisa J. Flickinger.  


1883 California Trail, Kansas

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to Amazon
Missouri mules were the best. Alda grew to love the creatures working side by side with her pa on their farm along the banks of the Missouri River. He would be hopping mad when he realized his wife and daughter colluded behind his back to sell a pack string. It wouldn’t matter that they were trying to save the farm.

Alda struck out on her own to drive the team over fifteen hundred miles. By day three, her lead mule Bessie refused to take one more step. It was a good thing the handsome cowboy Cord stopped by to lend a hand or Alda might still be sitting in the dust.


Now, Alda needed the man to move on so she could continue her journey. Judging by the spark in Cord’s eye … it just might take some convincing. 

To see all the great books in the Indie Christian Books sale, visit http://www.indiechristianbooks.com/

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Getting to know indie author Sarah Holman

Today's guest is Sarah Holman. I thought we'd have a little fun and play 20 Questions with her.



1.) What is your Author name?

Sarah Holman

2.) What is the first book you ever published? 

The Destiny of One

3. What is your publiversary?

March 2011

4.) What is your favorite book you've written thus far? 

I hate to pick favorites. I would probably have to pick A Different Kind of Courage.

5.) What book took you the longest to write? 

The one I wrote between the ages of 11 and 14? Of my published works, probably The Destiny of One

6.) How long did it take you?

The Destiny of One took me two years

7.) What kind of music (If Any) do you listen to while you write? 

I love stuff by Sound Critters, Audiomachine, Two Steps from Hell, and movie soundtracks.

8.) Who is your favorite character from any of your books? 
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go to Amazon

That would be a toss-up between Kate Mayfield (Kate’s Case Files) and Maria Morris (The Destiny Trilogy)

9.) What are you currently working on? 

The third and fourth Kate’s Case Files Book.

10.) Do you have anything you snack on while you write? 

Cheez-It!

11.) What is your favorite quote or line from one of your books? 

“There is a light that can only be found on the other side of darkness, there is a peace that can only be found on the other side of struggle, there is a faith that can only be found on the other side of doubt, and there is a healing that can only be found on the other side of pain.” ~ A Different Kind of Courage

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to Amazon
12.) Are you a self-published or traditional published author?

Self-Published

13.) What is your writing inspiration?

I get my inspiration from a lot of places, but I would say the biggest inspiration is my family.

14.) What genre do you write?

I like to bounce around. I write historical fiction, contemporary mystery, sci-fi, and Kingdom Fiction (fictional medieval location but feels like history)

15.) Do you have any writing rituals?

I try to pray before I start writing for the day. I want each book to be what God wants it to be. I also normally have something to drink at hand, iced or hot tea is a favorite. 

16.) Do you have a specific place you write or time? 

I have a table in my room that I sit at most of the time. You can normally find me there between the hours of 8-6. I treat my writing like a job.

17.) Do you have any advice for aspiring writers? 

Write what you feel God is calling you to write, not what the world tells you is popular. Stay surrendered to Jesus.

18.) What are your writing goals?

That each book impacts at least one life for Jesus. If one person is brought closer to Jesus because of my book, it is worth it. 

19.) What authors inspire you and your writing?

Grace Livingston Hill, Linda Lee Chaikin, Alicia Willis, J. Grace Pennington, and many more

20.) What will be your next release?

I just released a non-fiction book about my family called There Was Always Laughter in Our House. My next release will be the third Kate’s Case Files book.

To see all the great books in the Indie Christian Books sale, visit http://www.indiechristianbooks.com/

Monday, November 27, 2017

Getting to Know Indie Author Kimia Wood

It has amazed me this year to find out how many indie authors were homeschooled. Kimia Wood, my guest author today, is yet another homeschooler turned author.

Tell us a little about your "real" (Non-writing) life -- family, job, church life. Does it give you inspiration for your writing? Does it get in the way of your writing, or are there times when you get help, from people or circumstances?

I work part-time at Hobby Lobby, count offering at my church, and spend my spare time on the internet or talking with my family. We spend a lot of time together, and a lot of my story ideas are hashed out with my father and brother.

I get story ideas from all over – articles I read online, personal stories from other people, even just brainstorming. I've also included people from our church as characters in my books – ssh!


Tell us about things you enjoy -- what you do for fun or personal satisfaction.

I do almost any kind of handcraft involving yarn (knitting, crochet, cross-stitch, weaving), and I'm always considering picking up a new hobby. I also bake a lot of cookies.

My brother and I both live at home still (he's currently in college) so our family does a lot of things together – biking, walking the dog, doing projects/repairs on our hobby farm, and working through story ideas.

We're also big computer gamers, meaning my dad and brother play, and I watch. Top favorites include Halo, Destiny and Destiny 2, and Starcraft.

For my own play time, I love point-and-click puzzle games, and two of the best I have ever played are Ghost Trick (quirky, fun, and profound) and Gemini Rue (dark and dystopian but with an awesomely redemptive ending).


Tell us about working with any people who help you create your books -- Do you use Beta readers? Hire an editor or proofreader? How do you get your covers?

My family is my first sounding board, but it's very important to get outside input, as well. I've had mixed results with beta-readers: the thoughtful ones who will give you an in-depth critique are in high demand, and so have limited time to offer. Some others are eager to offer help, but don't really provide useful feedback…or don't get back to you at all.

As for editors/proofreaders, I've had my grandfather proofread a few of my books (he's ordained with a Masters degree). However, I haven't worried about it too much; consuming lots of quality literature will train your mind to recognize proper usage, and making sure your manuscript goes in front of several beta-readers anyway can help.

I know everyone on the internet tells you to use a professional cover designer – but I never have. It can be very helpful to just examine lots and lots of covers (especially the professional ones, but also the crummy ones) to get a feel for proper form and expectations for classy covers. I have put together the covers for my last three books in GIMP, which is a free alternative to PhotoShop (I love free).


Tell us about your newest book. Make us want to read it.
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directly to Amazon

Fifty years after the collapse of American civilization, the gangs struggle for turf and resources in the waste of the city, while a rising city-state tries to define its own version of “progress.”

Tommy Thaxton is from White Mesa, a community that saw the collapse coming and prepared with a God-centered worldview that values all human life…even the zombies.

He's used to dealing with the anarchic gangs, but when he discovers a settlement with a protected fence-line and plenty of food, he doesn't know whether to celebrate that people are flourishing…or look for the catch.

Even the zombies here are different. Instead of trying to attack whatever moves, they cheerfully obey every order they are given…or do they?


What's your next project?

Book 3 of the White Mesa Chronicles is waiting for beta-reader critique. After that, there are three books in the series waiting to be completed and two book ideas beyond that need finalization.

When I'm done with White Mesa, I hope to either write more books about my modern day private investigator (from Hayes and Hayes), or a science fiction soldier story.


Who do you consider a mentor in your life? What did that person teach you?

My greatest mentors are my parents, which is part of why they chose to homeschool me (wanting to have control over what I learned and how I was raised). However, I also owe a great deal to my grandparents, a Sunday school teacher, pastors, and other people from churches we've attended who encouraged and challenged me in various times of my life.

The Holy Spirit has used all these people to teach me to trust God better – something I'm still learning.


Do you include your own life in your books? Why or why not?

Who I am and my worldview definitely colors my writing, but I have never, for example, included a “self” character or related an actual personal event in one of my books (yet). The closest is a short flashback in the latest White Mesa book, where one of the characters treats his younger brother's nosebleed, and passes out because of the blood (I did that with my foster sister's nosebleed).

I think this is mostly because I want my characters to be as perfect as possible – or if they do have flaws, I don't want to give them my flaws. : ) I also don't feel a need to explore my own experiences directly through my writing.

Perhaps I will grow out of this, and learn to be more honest in my writing…perhaps not.


What's your favorite "treat"?

Food? Chocolate. Specifically, I've been on a kick lately about chocolate chip cookie dough. It's quicker to make than cookies, and it goes with ice cream so 'ummy…!


You have a whole day to go anywhere and do anything. What would that be and why?

Sit home and work on projects. There's never enough time – partly because I am lazy and procrastinate, partly because I always have four or five projects going at once.

I just finished a pair of socks for an Operation Christmas Child box, and am in the middle of a plastic mat for homeless veterans, a hat for a Christmas Child, a log love-seat for my mom, a cross-stitch picture for me, a 50,000 word novel for NaNoWriMo…and that's if I don't decide to just bake a cake instead!


Where can people find you on the Internet?

I have my own domain: KimiaWood.com

I'm also very active on Twitter (find me @KimiaTheAuthor) and just this year joined Facebook (where I'm still getting the hang of things: facebook.com/user/KimiaTheAuthor)

To see all the great books in the Indie Christian Books sale, visit http://www.indiechristianbooks.com/