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.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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/

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Getting to Know Indie Author Livy Jarmusch

Please welcome, Livy Jarmusch to the blog today. She is another indie author you need to meet.

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hi there! So, my name is Livy, I'm in my twenties, and I'm just a liiitttllleee bit obsessed with writing. (But I'm sure you already guessed that, hehe!) I love creating pure, lovely, uplifting Christian fiction for teen girls, most of which is contemporary. (So far, anyway ;)). I love Disney, castles, glitter, and pretty much all-things-girly. I enjoy singing, playing guitar, and writing songs. I'm 50% introverted and 50% extroverted (yep, I'm split exactly down the middle), which makes for an interesting life (half the time I crave human interaction, and the other half of the time I'm locked upstairs in my room! hehehe...), but the most important thing about me, no, the only thing that truly matters about me, is my relationship with Jesus! Jesus is my Savior and Best Friend, and I love Him SO very much! <3 br="">
2. Do you have a job other than writing?

I work from home, so I do a variety of things; freelance web-design, planning Blog Tours for other Authors, and write, of course! :) Even though writing takes up the majority of my time, I also blog, which I'm able to use as an income source as well.

3. Who do you credit with supporting you the most in your writing journey?

The Lord, and His Holy Spirit, has been absolutely my biggest cheerleader in all of this. I know for a fact that I never would've started writing without Him! I didn't think my stories mattered. For many, many years, I pushed my desire to write fiction on the back-shelf, thinking it was too "selfish" or not "spiritual-enough" to make an impact. I had no idea that the enemy was fighting so hard to try to keep my creativity locked-up. Then one day, the Lord spoke a word to my heart that changed everything, and I suddenly felt free to write! 

Writing can sometimes feel like a lonely journey, so the Lord's been faithful to give me friends and family to cheer me along as well. My best friend, even though she isn't a writer, is always encouraging me, and challenging me to keep pressing forward. I also have a lot of friends who write, which is a HUGE blessing, and we're able to Text one another and keep offering one-another encouragement for those dry spells. 

I also have to give credit to my lovely readers. Oh my goodness, they're incredible! Getting texts, emails, or Instagram messages from them, just seriously MAKES my day. It encourages me to keep going, and when I hear that they're enjoying the stories, it definitely gives me that extra spark to keep going!

4. Any words of advice for novice writers?

Yes! First of all, TURN OFF your inner critic. That nasty voice that keeps saying you cannot do this. Shut it down. It's nothing but lies. You can do this. You can write! Your writing isn't going to be perfect, but that doesn't matter. Write anyway. And write, everyday! The more you write, the better you'll get. This I have learned from personal experience! When I look back at something I wrote even a year ago, I'm amazed at how much I've learned and improved from writing every single dayfor a year. It might sound overly simplistic, but the best way to get better at writing is to write. Yes, reading books, attending conferences, and listening to PodCasts are great...but at the end of the day, you have to sit down and actually get those words out. That's what makes all the difference.

5. Are you a plotter or a pantser, or somewhere in between?

I am what you call a pantser-in-recovery! Haha! I am trying to mend my wayward, non-plotting ways, but goodness, I love the suspense of not always knowing what's going to happen! In my first novel, The Coronation, I plotted the first half of the book, up until the dramatic climax, and then I had seriously no idea what was going to happen next. I got my characters into a massive, massive mess, then I stopped typing, rolled my chair away from the computer and thought, "Huh...now how in the world are we going to get out of this disaster?" It was a big of an enigma, but it was also majorly exciting! I was really able to place myself in my characters heads and think through everything, as if I were living in the story with them, which I think made the ending feel so much more genuine. But, I've learned a lot about writing since I wrote The Coronation, and decided to exercise my plotting-mussels with the sequel, The Rebellion (not yet released), and I really enjoyed the simplicity of having everything pre-planned! I was able to fly through each scene so quickly, and didn't run into any plot snags, so there's obviously something to be said for plotting. I do love pantsing though, so I'm working on finding a happy medium between the two extremes, haha.

6. Do you set a writing schedule for yourself?

No, I don't have a specific schedule, but I do have goals. For example, I try to write five pages a day on my current project, unless of course I'm editing, doing promo for a new release, or have another non-writing project eating up my time.
https://schoolhouseteachers.com/dap/a/?a=28362


7. What challenges do you face in keeping to a writing schedule?

The five pages a day goal used to be really hard for me. It was exhausting to write that much, but now, I find that sometimes I'll crank out ten or fifteen pages, and be like, 'Wow, I remember when I used to struggle through just one!' I'm not sharing this information with the purpose of tooting my own horn, but rather to encourage you with the fact that I used to struggle to meet my goals. It was like weight-lifting..it was uncomfortable, tiring, and I had to just press through it...but with time, it got easier, and easier. And you can do the same thing! Anyone can write, anyone can set goals, and anyone can improve if they just stick to it! So no matter what, don't give up!

8. When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer?

I've loved writing, ever since I was a little girl. In Kindergarten, I declared that I wanted to be an Author. The desire to dream and tell stories has always been in my blood! But as a teenager, that fire got extinguished, and I put my dream of writing on the back-burner. It wasn't until just two years ago, when the Lord revived that dream, and showed me that the world needs my creativity...just like it needs yours! We all have something special go give, and even though it might feel like everyoneis writing, you have to remember that nobody is writing with YOUR unique heart and perspective. So don't be discouraged...share your gift, pursue your dream, and change the world through your pen!


The Coronation
Prince Addison is only several weeks away from inheriting the Kingdom of Tarsurella. The entire Palace is ablaze with excitement, as the Royal Family prepares for the event of a lifetime. Despite the exciting event which is near at hand, Addison and his younger siblings (all seven of them!) must carry on with their daily activities.

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Addison’s sisters, Princesses Bridget, Chasity, and Hope, have their struggles with being iconic European starlets of a modern day monarchy. The teen heiresses grace magazine covers, smile for photoshoots, and gracefully glide through important interviews–until a certain American popstar arrives on the scene. Kennetic Energy, the wildly popular band from the United States, is chosen to play at Addison’s Coronation. David Carter, the band’s handsome lead singer, fumbles through awkward moments with Princess Hope–in front of the cameras. When an embarrassing rumor sparks that Princess Hope is dating the young fellow, she is determined to get the band fired from their Royal gig.

Meanwhile, Princess Chasity is dealing with her own fragile affairs of the heart. Her new security guard, Hanson Fletcher, is completely captivating, yet entirely frustrating. She attempts to keep the entrance of her heart firmly protected, while following the wisdom of Proverbs 4:23. But can she be successful in guarding her heart, from her security guard?

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Regal Hearts: The Unlikely Story of a Princess, a Popstar, and Amish Girl, and an Average Girl


Following the dramatic birth of her royal daughters, the Queen of Bella Adar is murdered by the merciless sword of an evil usurper. The helpless princesses are placed in the care of the URIA, an undercover organization who safely extracts and protects the girls from a tragic fate. Sixteen years later, Lena Bodner encounters a stranger who uncovers secrets from her past...






Secrets of Royalty

Welcome to the Worthlessness Camp. A nightmarish place where helpless captives are held by chains. Here, an orphaned girl grows tired of her tears and desires to escape from the place of her fears. But the powers of darkness are far too strong for her. Suddenly, a glimmer of hope is seen on the horizon. Who is this Prince on a white horse, galloping in to save the day? As you dive into this allegorical fairy-tale, experience the relentless love of a passionate Prince, who rescues this helpless captive and sweeps her into the royal courts of His Kingdom. But happily ever after has not yet arrived, and this grand rescue is only the beginning. Does this orphan have the makings of a Princess inside of her? Will she become everything the Prince says she can be, and rule by His side? Or will the wicked villain continue to control her mind, her heart, and destroy her destiny?

As you travel throughout this story, you'll uncover the hidden Secrets of Royalty and rediscover what it truly means for you to be a Chosen Daughter of the Most High King! Following this epic tale is a 31 Day Devotional that will powerfully transform the way that you think about yourself, your relationship with God, and the world around you!

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

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Getting to Know Indie Author Erika Mathews

Today's Indie Author is Erika Mathews.

Erika Mathews is an editor and the author of Promise's Prayer (squeaky clean Christian kingdom adventure fiction and book one in Truth from Taerna) who lives in farm country with her husband and daughter. She’s a homeschool graduate with a Bachelor’s in Communications, a Master’s in Biblical Ministries, and a passion for sharing Jesus Christ and His truth. When she’s not working with books, she enjoys reading, outdoor activities, piano and violin, organizing, and using the Oxford comma. You can connect with Erika at restinglife.com.


Having a little fun with Erika Mathews

Nickname or “wannabe” name (If you don’t have a nickname, you can choose one you’d like, that tells us a little bit about who you are): 

I don't have many nicknames, but one friend nicknamed me "Smiley." Another friend calls me "St. Erika the Commentator" because of my love of writing lengthy works.

My best trait:

abiding in Jesus Christ. :)

My bad habit: 

succumbing to laziness

Qualities I admire: 

loyalty, passion for God, a vibrant prayer life, organization, gentleness, love for people

What I like to read: 

Christian books written in the 1800s, books by homeschooled authors, books on a radiant Christian life, any books with strong Christian themes

What I write: 

Christian fiction and nonfiction: Kingdom adventure, Children's fiction, spiritual living, poetry, devotionals

What I watch: 

home movies and organization videos on YouTube

My family: 

I have a wonderful husband and a precious toddler daughter. I grew up as the oldest of eight siblings.

My favorite food, snack, or beverage: 

I enjoy hamburger dip and certain kinds of chicken pot pie, Mexican, and Chinese.

What I love to do: 

spend time with God, edit, read, write, declutter/organize, play piano and violin, spend time outside, and spend time with family

What I admire: 

God's creation

What makes me happy: 

my husband and daughter, cleanness and neatness, writing inspiration, warm sunny days, autumn, Christmas, deep conversations

What makes me sad: 

feeling overwhelmed

I believe: 

that Jesus meant what He said when He said, "If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you shall ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you," and "He that hath my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me, and he that loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself into him." (John 14:21)


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Erika's Book:

Kaelan is restless for adventure and relentless in his efforts to bring the land of Taerna back to the blessings of Adon Olam and the prosperity of the days of his ancestors. Fueled by a solemn promise and his mother's secret, he finds himself in the forefront of a desperate scheme that is crucial to Taerna’s future. Can he keep his promise? Can he save the people of Taerna from the corruption and rampant lawlessness that threaten them with extinction? Shy and quiet Carita knows she possesses what Taerna’s people so desperately need. But how can she help them when her own soul is simultaneously tormented by witnessing unmet needs and handicapped by her own paralyzing fears? When Kaelan and Carita come face to face with the true nature of Adon Olam's call, will they each choose to embrace Adon Olam's plan for Taerna—and for their own lives?

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

Friday, November 24, 2017

Getting to know Indie Author, Priscilla Krahn


I always enjoy meeting new authors, and the Indie Christian Books sale has been a great opportunity for me to do that. So,
for every day during the sale, I thought I would invite one of them to stop by for an introduction.

Today's guest author is Priscilla Krahn.

Can you tell us a little about yourself? 

I’m twenty years old, I live on a farm, and I’m the youngest of seven kids. Personality wise, I like to describe myself like my purse, bling on one side, camo on the other side, and the cross in the center. Depending on what settings you know me in, you might think of me as a loud tomboy who likes ice hockey, trapping and fishing, or you might think of me as a shy girl who likes bling, shopping, and coffee drinks. I enjoy spending time with my nieces and nephews, visiting with friends, and of course, writing.

When you were a child did you have a favorite book or books?

When I was little, my favorite books were Amelia Bedelia books. I learned to read with those books, and now, I enjoy reading them to my nieces and nephews.

Do you have a favorite Genre to both read and write?

Definitely adventure novels. Whether historical or modern, I love reading and writing adventure novels.

Did you have favorite authors growing up who have influenced you?

I was influenced by a lot of amazing authors as I grew up, but one that really sticks out to me is Lois Walfrid Johnson. I remember pouring over her Adventures in the Northwoods series trying to analyze her writing style, and when I met her in person, she was so encouraging.

When did you know you wanted to be an author?
When I was younger, I liked writing, but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be an author or not. One of my brothers told me that I would never get published, and that’s when I decided that I was definitely going to become an author! He even went so far as to sign a note for me saying that if I ever wrote a book, he’d help pay for the first box of books! When I was seventeen, I had the privilege of returning that note to him stamped ‘Paid in Full’.

How did you go about becoming an author?

I wrote a lot when I was younger, but I didn’t get serious about my writing until I was thirteen. At that point in my life, Mom bought me the One Year Adventure Novel curriculum for me to do for school. That curriculum taught me so much and gave me confidence that I could write. When I was seventeen, I started submitting my first book to publishers. After getting a pile of rejection letters, I was getting discouraged, but decided to self-publish. Self-publishing was great because I learned how to do my own formatting, cover design, editing, and marketing. Yet, despite all my work, my books weren’t taking off the way I’d hoped. When I got the idea for Mission of a Lifetime, I knew that it had potential, so after editing it the best I could and getting all the advice and help I could, I began submitting it to publishers. I got my publishing contract from Ambassador International Publishing House at nineteen. I would have to say that the two things that got me published, were plain hard work, and prayer. Lots of prayer. I’m amazed at how much God has used my writing journey, to teach me and draw me closer to Him.


If you were not a writer what would you like to be?

Honestly, I have no idea! I’ve wanted to be a writer for long enough that I can’t imagine my life without writing. I suppose I’d probably be doing more work on the family farm.

Outside of reading and writing what do you like to do?

I enjoy watching a good movie, experimenting in the kitchen with new recipes, and playing piano. Living in northern MN, where we have more cold weather than hot, I also enjoy playing some ice hockey, hunting, and visiting with friends over a cup of coffee.
Do you have a place you love to visit or would love to visit?

I love to visit coffee shops! I worked at one for a short time and have enjoyed visiting them ever since. In the States, I think Silver Dollar City has to be one of my favorite places. Outside of the country, I would love to visit Israel and see the places the Bible takes place.

If you could have a meal with three living people who would you choose and why?


I’d probably pick three close friends! Outside of my family and friends, number one would be Daniel Schwabauer. He’s the one who did the One Year Adventure Novel curriculum that got me seriously writing. He’s impacted my life in huge ways, and I would love to meet him. Number two would probably be President Trump. It would probably turn into a fight, but I would love to have a conversation with him about politics. Just imagine the writing ideas I could get from a conversation with the president! Number three would be Queen Elizabeth. I’d probably scare her away with my manners, but I’d love to have a conversation with her. If I didn’t learn anything interesting from the conversation, she could at least help refine my backwoods etiquette.

Finally, can you tell us about your current books and/or any that will be coming out soon. Also where we can find you on the web.

My most recently published book, is Mission of a Lifetime.

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go directly to Amazon
MISSION OF A LIFETIME - A missing airplane . . . Hostile tribes . . . Mysterious kidnappings . . . Responsibility falls upon twenty-one-year-old William Rodriguez when his missionary parents disappear in the hostile jungles of Columbia. Willie knows that he has to go find them, but what will it cost him? When his dreams and his very life are on the line, Willie doesn’t know whom to trust. Will he be able to overcome his past mistakes and the present failure that seems set on destroying his mission?

When Willie finds himself in the midst of a drug smuggling ring, difficult decisions are thrust upon him. Can he escape his captors before his family is killed? Can he find forgiveness in his heart for the very people who ruined his life or will it only bring back more painful memories? Will he be able to survive the mission of a lifetime?

Mission of a Lifetime is available from CBD, Barnes and Nobles, Amazon, and other online stores.


COMING SOON – The Ty Carson series.

There’s nothing like spending the summer with a grandpa that you don’t remember ever meeting . . . especially when he’s murdered the day you arrive. Fourteen-year-old Ty Carson wants nothing to do with the boys’ home he’s placed in, but with his mom travelling, he has no choice. Searching for clues to the alleged murder brings him across questions that should be answered, but no one will answer them. As he tries to unravel the clues, he wants to know why he’s not allowed to talk about the police hero who had died ten years before. The man that he had called ‘dad’. Accused and alone, Ty realizes that the answers have to be nearby, but can he understand them? Can a baseball game, a figure dressed in black, and an old gun collection be the things that he needs to find friendship and bring him closer to God?

Book one and two in the Ty Carson series should be released in early February.

My website is www.priscillajkrahn.com

I blog at www.priscillakrahn.blogspot.com

My Facebook business page is https://www.facebook.com/PriscillaJ.KrahnAuthor/

You can also look me up on Google+, Amazon Authors, and Goodreads.

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


Friday, October 13, 2017

Guest Post with Laura V. Hilton

Glass Blowing and The Christmas Admirer
 By Laura V. Hilton


Right before my youngest son joined the Coast Guard we went on a short mini-vacation to Springfield, Missouri, actually going farther north almost to Kansas City to see another Amish community near there in Osceola. There is a cheese factory there and my son wanted to try some of their cheeses – such as a ghost pepper cheese. Too spicy for me.

But upon the return to Springfield, Steve read about a glass blowers shop in the downtown area. We found the address and went to visit it. It is owned by an older gentleman and his son. They had a display area set up where people could see their wares and buy them and then a work area where the son mostly worked, and talked about how the fire needed to be so hot, and showed us how he worked and made things. As we watched, he made a lovely flower, a lily, in different colors of glass, green, white, pinks.

It was fascinating.

And I got to thinking what if… 

So I did some more research. Asked questions. Probably drove them nuts. But when Whitaker House indicated they’d be interested in a Christmas novel, I proposed one about a glass blower.

The story is set in Jamesport, Missouri, and while completely stand alone, it does have some continuing characters from other books I’ve written set in Jamesport. If you are interested, the books set there are:

Amish Books set in Jamesport, Missouri:

The Snow Globe
The Postcard
The Birdhouse
The Amish Firefighter
The Amish Wanderer
The Kissing Bridge (part of Springs of Love collection)
The Christmas Admirer
Gingerbread Wishes (part of A Plain Thanksgiving collection--November 2018)
Love by the Numbers (February 2018)

I haven’t read any books about an Amish glass blower, but that’s not to say they aren’t out there. I haven’t read all the Amish books available. Jamesport is an area that is more tourist-oriented than the books set in Seymour / Webster County Missouri. They give buggy tours, have bed and breakfasts, open their homes for visitors to eat supper with them, and have businesses.

All Amish districts are different and the rules vary depending on the bishop and preachers. Some are more liberal and some more conservative. Some keep themselves distant and don’t welcome attention from non-Amish and some embrace it. While Jamesport is not as touristy as some districts in Lancaster Pennsylvania or in Ohio, it is much more so than others.




The Christmas Admirer

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to go to Amazon
Benaiah Troyer has loved Susanna King for as long as he can remember, but other than a lone summer filled with romantic buggy rides, marrying her remains an elusive dream. When his parents died in an accident a year ago, he broke up with her—for her own good. After all, they left him as the sole caregiver for his three younger sisters and his grandparents. What woman wants to step into a ready-made family like his? Still, he leaves her monthly gifts from “A Secret Admirer,” hoping she’ll know that someone loves her, even though he isn’t free to step forward.

Susanna has never gotten over losing Benaiah, and hopes he’s her secret admirer, but now the clock is ticking. Susanna’s father is remarrying in January and his wife-to-be doesn’t want to leave her Amish community and family in Iowa. So when Susanna’s daed sells his glass-blowing business to his right-hand man, Benaiah, she’s left with three options: 1) Go with Daed to his new home with a new frau and step-kinner, 2) Flush out her mysterious secret admirer, or 3) Resign herself to life as an old maid. She doesn’t want to follow Daed where his new frau is leading him. And number three isn’t happening. Marrying Benaiah is her greatest desire—but he broke her heart, and now he treats her like a pesky younger sister. Can she make him see her as a woman, one who could stand by his side as he cares for his family?

As Christmas approaches, Susanna and her friends start making gingerbread houses for select members of the community. Susanna plans for hers to go to Benaiah’s family. But while her gingerbread may find a home—will her heart?




Laura V. Hilton is an award-winning, sought-after author with almost twenty Amish, contemporary, and historical romances. When she’s not writing, she reviews books for her blogs, and writes devotionals for blog posts for Seriously Write and Putting on the New.

Laura and her pastor-husband have five children and a hyper dog named Skye. They currently live in Arkansas. One son is in the U.S. Coast Guard. She is a pastor’s wife, and homeschools her two youngest children.

When she’s not writing, Laura enjoys reading, and visiting lighthouses and waterfalls. Her favorite season is winter, her favorite holiday is Christmas.


twitter: @Laura_V_Hilton

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Guest Post with Lillian Duncan


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to go to Amazon
A Different Sort of Book

My usual books are fast-paced suspense and mystery novels but my newest release, Puzzle House is a different sort of book than I usually write. However, that makes sense. I’ve been living a different sort of life for more than five years. My life was turned upside down when I was diagnosed with brain tumors and a genetic condition known as Neurofibromatosis Type 2 (NF2) in 2012.

During these past several years, I’ve come to understand that nothing can be taken for granted. Except for God and his faithfulness. God has been there with me—every step of the way on this journey I didn’t want to take.

After all who wants to get brain tumors? 

In many ways PUZZLE HOUSE is the book I never wanted to write because I know had I never been diagnosed with the brain tumors, I would never have written this particular story.

Like me the main character, Rachel, has NF2 but that’s not the main point of the story. The focus is that Rachel stepped up in obedience to what God wanted from her. And just like many of us, she thought that because it was what God wanted her journey would be an easy one.

Wrong!

Instead Rachel had many lessons to learn on her way to becoming all that God created her to be—as do all of us. As the story proceeds she shares her experiences and those lessons with Nia, a young African-American girl who is dying as they work on a puzzle together.

Why did I choose a puzzle theme? Because in many ways life is like a puzzle—not a box of candy! There’s lot of pieces that have to be put together before you can see the whole picture. Many times we don’t understand why we need a particular piece but God always does.

It’s not easy to keep trusting when we are suffering, whether it be from a physical condition like brain tumors or it be some other difficulty like losing a loved one. But when we trust God with all the puzzle pieces of our life, He will use them to create a thing of beauty, such as a book called Puzzle House.

After all I’ve written about NF 2 you might think it’s a sad and depressing story, but you’d be wrong. The tagline for Puzzle House is a novel of healing and hope and that’s what I want people to take away from the story—that no matter what circumstances they find themselves in God promises that he will work all things out for the good of those who love him (Romans 8: 28). 


Maybe not the way we want it to work out as Rachel discovers in Puzzle House but then again God’s ways are not our ways. Puzzle House is a good example of that. I hate my brain tumors but I would never have written Puzzle House without them. So God took my difficult circumstances and worked them out for my good by inspiring me to write a different sort of book than my usual suspense and mystery.

GIVEAWAY INFO: To celebrate the release of Puzzle House, I’m having a very special giveaway on my blog, Tiaras & Tennis Shoes at www.lillian-duncan.com. Leave a comment on one of my Puzzle House posts and you’ll be entered to win. 

Thanks!

PUZZLE HOUSE BLURB:

Life isn’t a box of candy—it’s a puzzle!

Rachel Summers is all about Rachel Summers…until the day she crashes headlong into a semi-truck. As her life hangs in the balance, she has a visitor who asks a very simple question.

Does she want to be healed or to be a healer?

She makes her choice, but the journey doesn’t go quite the way she expected.

And so Rachel now runs Puzzle House. Every guest is different and yet the same. They all come to the Puzzle House for one reason and one reason only—to be healed, usually from a life-threatening illness. Sometimes they receive their miracle, and sometimes they discover there’s more than one kind of healing.

Nia is a fifteen-year-old African-American girl who is dying. The doctors have told her there is nothing else to be done. No more treatments. No more hope. No more life. And she’s angry about that. Very angry. Against her wishes, Nia’s aunt brings her to The Puzzle House.

Together, Nia and Rachel will take a journey that will change both their lives.


Lillian Duncan…Stories of faith mingled… with murder & mayhem.

Lillian is a multi-published author who lives in the middle of Ohio Amish country with her husband and a menagerie of pets. After more than 30 years working as a speech pathologist for children, she believes in the power of words to transform lives, especially God’s Word.

Lillian writes the types of books she loves to read—fast-paced suspense with a touch of romance that demonstrates God’s love for all of us. To learn more about Lillian, you may visit her at www.lillianduncan.net or www.lillian-duncan.com. She also has a devotional blog at www.PowerUpWithGod.com.


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Guest Post with Natalie Brenner

This Undeserved Life: Uncovering The Gifts of Grief and The Fullness of Life


EVERY FRACTURED HEART ACHES FOR GRACE TO JUST BE

Is it okay to grieve? What about loss other than death? Can I be sad and still trust God?

Have you ever had the walls of your life shatter and feel you weren't allowed to be upset? Me too. The phrases, "This must be God's plan" and "It was meant to be this way" are often thrown around as encouragement but only deepen the wound.

Loss after loss, I felt these fix-it phrases stripped my consent to grieve and acknowledge sorrow.

This Undeserved Life invites you to honestly grieve your losses. You will recognize loss and brokenness are not a part of God's plan. It isn't weak to grieve; it takes courage and strength to choose to give loss the space it demands.

"This is the story of how I surrendered my sorrow by grabbing ahold of it, leading me to unearth an immense amount of grace. My sorrow created in me an undeniable hunger for Jesus. I found Him sitting with me in my darkest nightmares. My prayer is to offer a voice to the unseen aches in your soul."


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Natalie Brenner is wife to Loren and mom to two under two, living in Portland, Oregon. She is the author of This Undeserved Life. She likes her wine red, ice cream served by the pint, and conversations vulnerable. Natalie believes in the impossible and hopes to create safe spaces for every fractured soul. She's addicted to honesty. You can love Jesus or not, go to church or not: she'd love to have coffee with you. Natalie is a bookworm, a speaker, and a wanna-be runner. Connect with her at NatalieBrennerWrites.com and join her popular email list.


Read an excerpt from This Undeserved Life:

“He fired me.”

Loren’s words were quiet and desperate. His face was painted with shades of sadness and shock.

I dropped my mascara into the sink, my mouth gaping as I stared at my husband in disbelief. Putting on makeup was now the last thing on my mind. Sadness registered over Loren’s face. “What? Can he even do that? Doesn’t he need to consult the elders?” I asked.

“I don’t know, but I’m fired. He’s sending my termination letter by email. Oh, and we are banned from the church; we have to cancel youth group tonight.” Loren’s words pushed through gritted teeth and furrowed brows.

Youth Group was our favorite part of this church since helping plant it over four years ago. It was our whole heart, filled with teens so brave and tender. We considered it a high honor to speak into their life, to be considered a part of their safe space. We found ourselves left without the chance to say goodbye. We were being ripped away from them without preparing an exit plan. It was sudden and unexpected.

Staring at each other, the air filled with betrayal and hurt. It was only two weeks ago we found out I was pregnant for the second time this year. Our adoption was moving along. We were active with multiple agencies and awaiting our match. The week before this abrupt dismissal, Loren and our boss, Matthew, held a conversation. We were nervous about sharing our hearts with him regarding moving on to another church and youth ministry position. We feared he would take it personally, so for months we prayed and struggled to find the most opportune moment to tell him. Loren felt the conversation went well, providing hope for a smooth transition. Our journey to gracefully transition from our current church to a new one within a year abruptly became painful.

“In Matthew’s words, we are ‘unhealthy, toxic, and detrimental to the health of this church,’” Loren said. “So much for a smooth transition,” he muttered. Rubbing his eyes with one hand, he lowered his chin to his chest and avoided eye contact with me. It was clear this knocked him off his feet. Nausea gripped me and that morning’s oatmeal landed in the toilet.

As we sat on our bed tensely searching the internet for answers, the termination letter came through with flesh-tearing words felt purposefully to rip our hearts. Gentle tears turned into sobs reading the letter. It was filled with lies, stripping us of our dignity, and erasing our integrity as we were planning to shift our growing family to a new church, city, and ministry. Frantically searching for something stable to hold onto, we called Bill who was close to the situation and understood its complexity. He knew how messy the entire staff was, how tired, and off the leadership team was. It had been a long few years and he intimately knew.

Church planting was ridiculously fun the first year, but became increasingly harder and demanded more than all of us in the continuing years. It wore us thin, especially in the most important parts of us. It was justified by helping so many people uncover God for the first time. Releasing my sanity for someone’s salvation? It seemed like an easy decision for a while.

Furious, Bill told us he would try to figure out how to fix some of the broken pieces. The termination letter stated very clearly we could not speak of the avalanche of unhealthy events leading to this moment, at least not with truth because the truth painted a poor picture of those involved. If we painted poor pictures of the church’s leadership—even if that’s what the truth revealed—our two months of severance pay would be withheld. I now knew what a gag order felt like.

The day’s plans were drastically changed since we were no longer preparing for middle school youth group. Unexpectedly released from planning weird games, picking up snacks, and practicing the prayed-through message, our minds filled up with insecurities and lies. Matthew’s words and intense labeling of “unhealthy, toxic, and detrimental” fabricated themselves into the quilt of our identity, leaving us later the taxing work of uprooting it. Battered at soul level, wondering if he was right—if we were the problem—we sought out safe people who could help us process the bomb that just blew up our world.

The shock of such betrayal and damage clung to us like leeches on a mound of raw flesh. Loren and I ping-ponged hurt driven questions as we drove our car to some trusted friends, people who knew us. Questions consumed our minds on our drive over: how could Matthew spew such hateful words; did he mean them and really not care for the lies he was sewing into the quilt of our identity? How could he say we were toxic, unhealthy, detrimental, slanderers? We had given years of ourselves, built our entire marriage and life around this church plant, but suddenly we are so toxic we must be banned?

What was Matthew going to say to people who asked about us? We couldn’t even say goodbye to our youth group? They meant the world to us. They hold chunks of our hearts. It isn’t like us disappearing was going to delete the imprint we left, our legacy, or the love people had for us. Dismissing us immediately wasn’t going to expunge the dysfunction we participated in. How was his story of firing my husband going to unfold for others? Would Loren be depicted as the gracious, teachable leader I knew him to be, or made out to be a horrible, godless person who doesn’t know how to communicate? And what about our adoption? Do we tell the adoption agencies we are currently jobless and unsure of when we’ll be receiving income again? This baby inside of me. Would the stress wear on me and cause another miscarriage?

Do we continue pursuing a position as youth pastors, or make a career change? Do we move across the country to somewhere new, or Idaho where Loren’s family is, or Portland where it is a bit more diverse? How do we confidently move forward when everything feels so tender, broken, and confusing?

Pulling into our friend’s driveway, the car sat idling as we gathered enough pieces of ourselves to walk through Jesse’s door. Enough pieces, that is, only to drop them and fall apart again before Jesse and her husband. This situation felt unfair and I was furious. “I will never be the same again,” I thought as a burning fury formed into a profound amount of pain. I felt it searing, piercing my heart in a way that would change me forever.