Friday, October 9, 2015

Called to Speak Blog Hop: Silence Isn't The Answer

Today's post is part of a Blog Hop! This hop is to spread the word about Nadine Brandes’s new dystopian novel, A Time to Speak, releasing on October 16th. It is also to encourage myself and others to speak out for our passions and against injustice.

I'm taking a little bit of a different approach to this post and not talking about a typical injustice. Hopefully you'll forgive me, but this topic is something I'm passionate about.

I will speak out against...silence. 

Before moving to Washington, DC I lived in sunny Southern California and worked for a church. During my time there, I also volunteered with our awesome youth group (Souled Out) for just over six years. There aren't words enough to say how much I loved (and still love) those students. Even now I get teary just thinking about them and how much they impacted me. I know, it's supposed to be the other way around and Lord willing I did have a positive affect on them too...but they taught me a lot about fun, faith, and what it looks like to love someone.

The reason I'm speaking out against silence is simple: there's too much of it.

I know, I know...we live in a world that's clogged by noise. Texting, television, radio, music, the internet, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, movies, Netflix, SnapChat....yeah I could go on. That is noisy. We've become deaf to the language our hearts were made to speak. To the language of conversation. (tweet this)

The reason I bring up my youth group experience is because I look back on my days spending time with my students (yes, mine - I'm quite possessive of them hehe) and the amazing conversations we had. We talked about everything. Deep things. Hurtful things. Happy things. Real things. And you know what? Our friendships were (and still are) stronger because of it.

I look around me at what our society is becoming and I mourn for the loss of depth. The allowance we make for living on the surface. This isn't just an issue with Jr. High and High School students, its and issue with adults too. We talk about things like sports, fashion, the latest Netflix episodes we've watched, but we're afraid to jump into things that go beyond what's socially acceptable.

Silence isn't the answer. 
(tweet this)

We can't let silence be go-to, the easy thing we turn to when we don't know what to say. I'm not saying "surface" things are bad, but they can't be all we have. When we will post more on Facebook than we will say to the person sitting next to us on the Metro or in line at the grocery story or sitting at the dentist office...what does that make us? Disembodied voices in a sea of faceless cyber people who forgot that they are living in a real world. A beautiful world fashioned for us by our Creator.

It's time to speak up. To break the silence. To enter into vulnerability with those around us. Yes, it's scary, but you will be better for having been known. To realize that you are not alone in this world and that there is solid reality to your friendships. To your life.

Lastly, I have a challenge to parents and anyone who has input into a youth's life. Speak the real things to them. Tell them the truth and be honest. As I dived in deep with the girls in my small group I opened up who I am to them. I didn't sugarcoat my life. I admitted I struggle to find time to read my Bible and pray. I admitted when I messed up. I offered them a look into my imperfect life and I've never regretted that.

Be brave. Be bold. Speak. (tweet this)

I definitely recommend the Out of Time series by Nadine Brandes! Book two comes out October 16th and is on pre-order now {find it here} should probably go get that ;) PLUS she's got an awesome party planned on October 20th with some fantastic giveaways (trust me, I know what they are hehe!). Join the Facebook Party!

A Time To Speak
Book Two in the “Out of Time” series.
What happens when you live longer than you wanted to?

Parvin Blackwater wanted to die, but now she’s being called to be a leader. The only problem is, no one wants to follow.

The Council uses Jude’s Clock-matching invention to force “new-and-improved” Clocks on the public. Those who can’t afford one are packed into boxcars like cattle and used for the Council’s purposes.

Parvin and Hawke find themselves on a cargo ship of Radicals headed out to sea. What will the Council do to them? And why are people suddenly dying before their Clocks have zeroed-out?
Read about the first book, A Time to Die, here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here's the blog hop schedule for you as well - follow along!

9.28.15 – Gretchen Engel
9.30.15 – Nadine Brandes
10.01.15 – Jason Joyner
10.05.15 – Gretchen Engel (part 2)
10.06.15 – Tricia Mingerink
10.08.15 – Gretchen Engel (Scriblerians)
10.09.15 – Emilie Hendryx
10.11.15 – Janeen Ippolito
10.12.15 – Zachary D Totah
10.14.15 – Brittany Valentine
10.15.15 – Andrew Swearingen
10.17.15 – Megan Besing
10.19.15 – Angel Roman
10.20.15 – Charles Franklin
10.21.15 – Lisa Godfrees
10.23.15 – Shantelle Hannu
10.27.15 – Natalie Walters
10.29.15 – The Artist Librarian
11.02.15 – Rosalie Valentine
11.17.15 – Amanda Fender

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Dawn Crandall {Writer Wednesday}

A little bit about Dawn...

Dawn Crandall is an ACFW Carol-nominated author of the award winning series The Everstone Chronicles from Whitaker House. The series consists of three books: The Hesitant Heiress, The Bound Heart and The Captive Imposter.

Without a doubt about someday becoming traditionally published, her husband encouraged her to quit working in order to focus on writing The Hesitant Heiress ​from​ 2010 ​to 2012​. It didn’t take her long to realize that writing books was what she was made to do. Dawn is represented by Joyce Hart of Hartline Literary. Apart from writing books, Dawn is also a first-time mom to a precious little boy (born March 2014) and also serves with her husband in a pre-marriage mentor program at their local church in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

How to connect with Dawn...

Twitter: @dawnwritesfirst
Purchase: The Hesitant Heiress, The Bound Heart, The Captive Imposter 

Author Interview | Dawn Crandall

You and Writing

Tell us a little bit about yourself: How did you start writing? What has kept you writing?

...I started writing in 2010 when my husband found out about my desire to write a novel. He had complete confidence in me--probably more than I had in myself. I joined ACFW in 2011 and landed a great agent later that year when I attended conference for the first time. My proposal went out in 2012 and I continued to write the other two books in the series. There were a lot of times I felt like giving up while waiting for a book contract, but I'd always semi-final or Final in the ACFW Genesis contest—and later the ACFW Carol Awards—so that's been a real affirmation whenever I needed it most! In 2013, things got a little complicated as I finally got pregnant after seven years of trying! I signed my book contract when I was 6 months pregnant, and then all three of the books were released as eBooks before my son’s first birthday! It was crazy! And now that the books are releasing in paperback, and I have an 18 month old little boy... now is the real test for when it comes to “how do I keep writing?” We will see! I don’t plan to stop, but it's definitely different now!

Do you have a favorite book or work that you’ve written? If so, why?
...It’s always the case that the last book I’ve finished is my favorite. Since I’ve only written these three manuscripts-turned-novels, they have all taken their turn in my heart. But to be honest, it’s even difficult for me to say that. I love all three of them like they’re my children. I love them all equally.

If published, what was the hardest thing about publishing? The easiest?
...Waiting. Even though everything happened relatively fast in my case, there was still a lot of silent waiting going on. Waiting for my agent and I to hear back from publishers, waiting for the book contract to come though (after 18 months from first submitting!), waiting for the releases, waiting for the paperbacks….  :) Lots of waiting.

Your Writing

Tell us a little bit about your book or what you’re working on currently?

Here’s the back copy blurb for The Cautious Maiden, (Book #4 of the Everstone Chronicles):
Violet Hawthorne is beyond mortified when her brother transforms her deceased parents’ respectable country inn into a brothel to accommodate the lumberjacks nearby—but then her reputation is compromised and she finds herself forced to enter into an engagement with Vance Everstone. Can she trust this man she hardly knows who has a scandalous reputation in his own right? Soon Violet finds out that Vance has become a Christian and that her brother had lost her hand to Rowen Steele, one of the vilest poker sharks in Northern Maine, and that the mess they've found themselves in is likely his way of saving her from landing in Steele’s hands.

Getting to know Vance as her valiant protector while also trying to understand his past, Violet eventually comes to realize she wants no other life than one with her now-reformed fiancé. Only now, despite his obvious attraction to her and the society wedding being planned by his family, Vance is determined to send her off to Kentucky to become the wife of a missionary friend of his. Will his plan work? Or will Rowen Steele kidnap Violet before Vance has a chance to claim her heart for good?

* It will probably be a while before my next books are published and available though. I’ve had a crazy last year having a baby and launching The Hesitant Heiress, The Bound Heart and The Captive Imposter. They were the only three books I’d written, and now I have to play catch-up! 

Check out the first chapter of The Hesitant Heiress:

Do you have a favorite character in this work? If so, why?
...My favorite characters are always the heroines; it’s so fun getting to know them and to see them fall in love with their hero. I always make their hero the last person on earth they’d ever think of falling for… so it’s especially fun to change their minds. 


Where do you find inspiration for your story/characters? Are they based on real life or pure imagination or both?
...For the most part, they aren’t based on real people. I just really like to develop characters and then put them into trying, yet interesting and entertaining situations. I’ve always like to study people, and I think I’m really good at understanding why they do the things they do… which translate into creating believable characters in my books.

When you write, what is your overall intention with your stories?
...I want the reader to better understand the main character, and perhaps people they might know who are like the main character. I do love it when a reader/reviewer finds themselves in one of my characters. I love how much evident emotion can be found by simply reading through a story about a past struggle from such a deep first person point of view.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors for writing and/or publishing?
...Join ACFW. I wouldn’t be published right now if it weren’t for joining ACFW in 2011.

In honor of the fall, what’s your favorite fall treat?
...Pecan Pie.
When you were a child, what did you dream of growing up to be?  
...I wanted to write novels.
Will you participate in National Novel Writing Month? If so, what’s your plan to keep your writing on track?
...I’m seriously thinking about it. I won once, and it turned out to be The Bound Heart after much rewriting and rearranging, and adding another 40,000 words. :)

Thanks so much for joining me on the blog today Dawn!

I was super excited to meet Dawn at the end of the ACFW Conference and she gave me a copy of The Hesitant Heiress (I know, you're all jealous hehe). It's been added to my TBR pile and I'm looking forward to when I can sit down and enjoy it. Make sure you all go look into these fantastic books!

Check out this awesome giveaway she's offering: a Rafflecopter giveaway


Loved having Serena Chase on the blog last week! The winner of her latest release The Sunken Realm is...

 Anna Clark

Congrats Anna! Contact me to get your copy :)

Monday, October 5, 2015

JC Morrows & Laura V. Hilton | New Novel News + GIVEAWAY

A Reluctant Assassin
by JC Morrows

September 29, 2015
S&G Publishing
Purchase: A Reluctant Assassin

Her mission was simple — get close to the Prince, and kill him. . .
Kayden entered the palace under a lie, one designed to get her close to the Prince. On the outside, she may look like a princess but beneath the mask, a killer lays in wait — for the perfect moment.

Dvarius was not ready to take the crown, nor was he ready for a wife . . . But due to his father’s unexpected death and an archaic law — he must find a bride before he is allowed to take his rightful place on the throne.

And the one woman he wants — just might be the one who is there to kill him…  

Get to know JC...

What are the names of your pets? 
We have a kitty who adopted us - the kiddos named her Sophie. First thing in the morning (I'm talking 5 am), she cries until we go out to feed her - then she glares at us because the kids aren't up yet, and sticks her nose in the door looking for them.

Coffee or tea? 
Coffee... ALWAYS coffee.

Which of your characters do you secretly have a crush on? 
But it's a secret... OK fine, Dvarius. He IS my Prince Charming!

The Birdhouse
by Laura V. Hilton

October 1, 2015
Whitaker House
Purchase: The Birdhouse

Twenty–year–old Greta Miller's daed has been injured in a farming accident during the summer. The supportive Amish community tries to help out, but Greta and her sister must work outside the home to make ends meet, and so Greta rents a booth at the farmers' market. Because Greta is still in her rumspringa and free to explore the world, her family selects her to sell her homemade jams, jellies, and preserves to Englischers.

Josh Yoder wants to court Greta, but years ago, he made the mistake of rejecting her during a seemingly innocent game; which resulted in him leaving the Amish. Three years later, he's back, but Greta wants nothing to do with him. Josh struggles to fit in and rebuild relationships he destroyed. Knowing Greta's family needs help, he steps in, hoping to win her back.

When Greta admires one of his birdhouses, he gives it to her, hoping that it will open the door to more. But as their friendship begins to grow, a series of unfortunate events pull Greta away from the Amish, leaving her rejected by those she loves. Will Greta get beyond her family's distrust and return home? Will she prove her innocence? Or will she remain outside her Amish community?

Get to know Laura...

Favorite place you’ve traveled to? My favorite place I’ve traveled to is the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We enjoyed Su St. Marie, Copper Harbor, Marquette, and other areas on the north shore—or the south shore of Lake Superior. I would love to take the trip again sometime.

Coffee or tea? 
I have two cups of coffee a day and otherwise, unsweet tea. I love flavored tea. My favorite is licorice spice.

Favorite dessert? 
Cheesecake! With or without toppings, but love both blueberry or cherry.

 Had two great authors on the blog last week!
{see the post here} Congratulations to....

Cherie Kasper
for The Sweetest Rain
Jeanie Dannheim
for Miracle Drug
Contact me to claim your copies!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

NaNoWriMo: Why We Write

The first of November will bring an odd phenomenon. Thousands of people across the nation (and beyond?) will join together in a Herculean effort. They will attempt what may appear impossible...

Writing 50,000 words in 1 month. 

Take a moment for your brain to wrap around that number. 50,000 words. And yes, I can tell you what that is in pages... 125.6 pages single-spaced, 206.4 pages double-spaced, and roughly 142-166 pages in a published novel (though this varies a lot). Yep, that's quite the feat for 30 days.

Let me guess...your next question is WHY?

It's simple. If you are a writer you are likely to shrug at this and say, "Why wouldn't I want to do that?" If you're not a writer but think you might want to be, you may say, "I guess I could try..." and if you aren't a writer you're probably thinking, "That sounds like torture."

All of those are perfectly reasonable responses, but let me explain from my personal perspective. As someone who has participated in NaNoWriMo (or National Novel Writing Month for the newbie) for 7 years now and "won" 6 of those 7 years, I've been NaNo-ing for quite some time and have experienced the range of emotions that flow through those 4 weeks.

Excitement. Exuberance. Thrill. Determination. Apprehension. Tiredness. Commitment. Fear. Discernment. Terror. Exhaustion. Mania. Doubt. Success!

It goes something like that and yet every year I look forward to November like a child does to Christmas morning. It's my time. Not only is it during my favorite season of Fall, but it's centered around something I love: writing. Because of that love, I've decided to highlight 5 benefits to participating in NaNoWriMo on the blog today. 

The 5 Why's of NaNoWriMo

1. Because you have a novel to write.
If you're a writer, you have to write. It's not an option. If that's the case, then there's an idea in there waiting to be born. Why not use NaNoWriMo as an excuse to get it out?

2. Because you're already busy. 
I've heard it all before. But I'm busy. But there's this...that...or the other--going on. Sorry, but you'll always be busy so that's no excuse NOT to write a novel in a month. (See what I did there?)

3. Because everyone needs a little healthy competition.
I'm not typically competitive, but I have found that racing against a month-long clock with an impending word-quota per day has been excellent motivation to get my novel out--and I mean now

4. Because...November.
What better time to write a novel in a month? I mean, it's perfectly acceptable to lounge in sweats (or PJs) all drink massive amounts of coffee/tea/apple wrapped in blankets...and to eat all things pumpkin. Talk about perfect conditions for novel-creation.

5. Because...Why not? 
At the end of the day, it doesn't harm anyone (except maybe the ultra-competitive) to start a novel and not finish the 50k in a month. I'm by no means encouraging slacking off, but there's no harm in trying it. Who knows? You may just find that success.

That's why we do it. We may be crazy, but we're writers. It comes with the territory. We spend hours a day arguing with non-existent people who talk back to us, but hey--that's how we work. We create and we like challenges. NaNo is the perfect challenge.

I'll be posting some tips and tricks for NaNo during this month, but they'll be helpful for all writers regardless or not if you are joining the insanity that is NaNoWriMo. I also promise to making them entertaining so you non-writers can still enjoy! Hey, maybe I'll convince YOU to write a novel? ;-)

Looking for like-minded writers to join in this fight with? Request to join my NaNoWriMo Support Group on Facebook. It's a lot of fun!

If you're interested in more NaNoWriMo tips check out my posts from last year:

7 Suggestions | NaNoWriMo Prep (Part 1)
The 7 Snacks of NaNo | NaNoWriMo Prep (Part 2)
What to do when you're not feeling the NaNo | NaNoWriMo (Part 3)
NaNoing to Success | NaNoWriMo (Part 4)

Friday, October 2, 2015

Our Response When Bad Things Happen: The Umpqua Shooting

Bad things happen. Unfortunately, this is a reality in the world that we live in.

If you've followed the news recently I'm sure you heard about the shooting at the Umpqua Community College yesterday. It's heartbreaking. I find myself wondering how anyone could do what the shooter did. How could anyone take innocent lives?

Sitting here on a rainy day in Washington, D.C. I feel at a loss. Helpless and ineffective to convey adequate compassion to those affected by this man's heinous crimes. The wake of his destruction will affect more than those injured or killed, it will ripple out to family, friends, and the community.

It comes back to two things for me. The actions I can take. I can pray. And I can watch.

Prayer. It can sometimes feel inactive, but it is the best and most effective response. It suffices to calm me and remind me who is really in control. It also focuses my heart on the One who has the power and the might to bring wisdom into the situation, no matter how bleak it may look.
At times when things appear darkest, the light of the Lord shines the brightest.
Watching. This may sound odd, but hear me out. A line from one of the blog posts that's allegedly associated with the shooter caught my attention:

"People like him [talking about another recent shooter] have nothing left to live for, and the only thing left to do is lash out at a society that has abandoned them." (source)

Nothing excuses the shooters actions, but this statement gives us a window. When I read this, I think about the fact that the person who wrote it (shooter or not) needs the love of Christ. That's obvious, but what is also clear is the fact that they were seeking acceptance in a "society" that abandoned them. They were looking in the wrong place. What they thought would satisfy--fame, notoriety, recognition, acceptance from others--would only suffice to leave them empty again.

In the wake of this tragedy, and in light of the fact that there are others in the world who feel this way, I urge us to watch and to act. Aside from prayer, an action we can take is to love. To have our eyes seeking out those who feel abandoned--whether by society, their family, their friends, or their community--and to show them that the Love of Christ is more than able to transform their lives.

Let us remember to love. To love everyone. To love always. And to love well.

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. - Romans 12:9-10

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. - 1 John 4:7

But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. - Luke 6:35

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Love in the Details by Becky Wade | RE:View

Could lost love find itself again?

I jumped into Love in the Details not sure what to expect (as usual, I didn't read the book description). I was definitely pulled in right away wondering what was going to happen. Since it was a novella, I was able to find out pretty quickly and definitely enjoyed the journey.

Holly was easy to relate to for me since she is a writer and living in a small town. Both things I can identify with. I enjoyed seeing the side of her life that involved her writing, but also her routine's in the town. I would say her friend Sam was...interesting? I didn't agree with her advice to Holly most of the time, but Holly was strong enough to make her own decisions.

Josh, on the other hand, was a little harder to identify with. At times I was surprised by the motivation of some of his actions since we weren't able to get a look into how he made some of the decisions he did, but I understand time (and word count) is limited in a novella.

Overall, I enjoyed the story, though I would have liked to see more of Holly and Josh together on the page. What pulled me toward the end the most was the fact that they had more interaction and we could see the internal workings of their hearts. All those lovely things that make you swoon! That said, I still enjoyed the story a lot and could easily recommend it to lovers of romance and weddings.

This novella would be a perfect "take a break" read from the busyness of life.

Rating: 4*
Purchase: Love in the Details

Book Description
(from Becky's website)

Eight years have passed since Holly last saw her high school sweetheart Josh. Now the wedding of Josh’s best friend has brought Josh back to Martinsburg, Texas. His duties as best man and Holly's as the church's volunteer wedding coordinator link them together. As they work behind-the-scenes to plan a beautiful November wedding for their friends, they're forced to confront painful reminders of what might have been.

Holly broke up with Josh all those years ago in an attempt to ensure his future success. However, she never told him the true reason behind her actions and now must decide whether to keep her secret hidden. She's terrified of letting herself fall for him because she barely managed to piece her life back together after losing him the last time.

Not a day's gone by since Josh parted from Holly that he hasn't thought about her. The pain of the past eight years has been too much to bear and he doesn't want to make himself vulnerable to her again. But the more time he spends with her, the harder it is to deny the love he still has for her.

I received a free copy of this book for review purposes, but was under no obligation to read the book or post a review. I do so under my own motivation and the opinions I have expressed in this review are honest and entirely my own.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Serena Chase {Writer Wednesday} + GIVEAWAY

A little bit about Serena...

Serena Chase lives in Iowa with her husband, two teen daughters, and a big white dog named Albus. A frequent contributor to USA Today's Happy Ever After blog, Serena is an avid reader of young adult fiction and inspirational romance and has become a respected influencer within those communities. When not engaged in her varied roles within the publishing industry, Serena can be found watching action movies and dreaming about someday living in a cottage by the sea.

How to connect with Serena...

[visit her website to subscribe to her newsletter to gain access to exclusive, subscriber-only content]
Twitter: @Serena_ChaseOther
Instagram: @Serena_Chase
Purchase: The Sunken Realm

Author Interview | Serena Chase

You and Writing

Tell us a little bit about yourself: How did you start writing? What has kept you writing?
...I can’t remember a time I wasn’t writing something, whether it was poetry or short stories or song lyrics. As far as what keeps me doing it . . . I guess I don’t know how to stop!

Do you have a favorite book or work that you’ve written? If so, why?
...The Ryn (Eyes of E’veria, book 1) will probably always be the “book of my heart” -- it was the fulfilling of a calling for me; but I do enjoy re-reading The Seahorse Legacy (book 3.) And once I have a little more distance from The Sunken Realm (book 4), I think it will be fun to revisit. Those last two books read kind of like movies, so that makes them fun to visualize while reading.

Your Writing

Tell us a little bit about your book. Why did you write it?
...Ah, The Sunken Realm. You see, I left poor Erielle in a bit of a bad way at the end of The Seahorse Legacy, so I had to resolve that. *winks* It’s the series ender… at least for now… so I had no choice but to write it or risk a lynching from my readers.

Do you have a favorite character in this work? If so, why?
...Cazien! I love that snarky pirate. He’s just . . . there are no words. That’s not true. There are a lot of words. Tons. But you’ll have to read the book to see them.

What is one take-away from your book that you hope readers identify with?
...There is no mistake beyond redemption.


You are an indie author. Tell us a little bit about what went into making the decision to self-publish?
...I had a story to tell. At the time The Ryn was ready to go, no one in CBA was buying YA Fantasy. I hadn’t planned on indie publishing, but it was a spiritual decision, in a way. I felt a deep urging to get that book out in the world, as if there was one person that needed to hear what it had to say. I honestly published it for that one person. But it turns out there were more. I know it was the right thing to do, because of the letters I’ve received from readers. The Ryn needed to be published exactly when it was published, and indie publishing was the only way to see it happen.

What are some challenges you face by being independently published? Some benefits?
...Win, lose, rise, or fall on my face, it’s all on me. And it is expensive! Marketing, editing, cover design . . . These days, anyone can self-publish whatever they want (and many do), but I believe in striving for excellence, and there’s a lot that goes into putting a quality book out there in the world. That’s a lot of pressure. Mentally, sometimes physically (chiropractor and massage therapist on speed dial, anyone?) and certainly financially. My book production budget comes out of our family budget a lot of the time and it is sometimes difficult to justify even necessary expenses. Sometimes the money isn’t there to do all you want to do and you have to wait. That’s hard. On the other hand, I am a certifiable control freak, and . . . I AM IN CHARGE! *LOL* I can’t imagine not having a say in my cover art or marketing plan. I’m my own boss, and if I fail, I fail. But no one else will sink with my ship. That’s a comfort, in a strange way.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors for indie publishing?
...Hire quality editors, both developmentally and for line/copy editing. I cannot stress that enough. And for the love of monkeys, study relevant cover art in your genre and make your book covers competitive and eye-catching! If you don’t have the skills (I don’t) then save up and hire out your design needs. No more stupid clip art covers, k?


When you get an idea for a novel, what is the first thing that you do?
...I write down my ideas using the Evernote app--and I also have a Word doc where I keep random ideas. I also daydream. A lot. And I annoy my children by talking about my imaginary friends too much.

September is Classical Music Month (who knew?). In keeping with that theme, do you have a favorite character from a classical novel?
...My favorite classical literature is in play form. I love Shakespeare’s comedies, specifically Much Ado About Nothing. Readers may see a Beatrice & Benedick/Erielle & Cazien parallel or two in The Seahorse Legacy and The Sunken Realm! Even in The Remedy one particular character (Taef) was created in homage to one of The Bard’s Much Ado characters. But in classic novels, I’ll go with Elizabeth Bennett from Pride & Prejudice. She’s classy and spunky.

What is your favorite fall snack food?
...Pumpkin bread! Delish.


Emilie here: Eeikk! I'm so excited to have Serena on the blog today. So, fun story about how we met. We were both at the ACFW Conference last year and attending the post session with amazing teacher and writer Randy Ingermanson. During one of the breaks I turned around and started talking to Serena. She was warm, welcoming, and supremely funny! Since then we've connected over social media-everything and I've been drooling over her books. I haven't yet had the chance to jump into her Eyes of E'veria series but you better believe it's on my list (and my Kindle hehe).

Not only is she my guest today, BUT it's her release day!!! How lucky am I to have her? So, please leave her a ton of awesome comments of congratulations which will also get you entered in to win an eBook copy of the coveted last book of the series.


I had Katie Ganshert on the blog last week and offered an eBook giveaway of An October Bride. The lucky winner is....

Bonnie Roof

Congrats Bonnie! Contact me using the form to the right and I'll get your eBook sent to ya. 

Thanks again everyone :D