Posted in Author Interview, blog tour

“Dandelion Dust” by Faith Potts ~ Blog Tour

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Welcome to one of the many blogs celebrating the release of “Dandelion Dust” ~ Faith Potts’ debut story!! I’m very excited for this today, because not only do I get to share this book with you, but I also have the author herself here for a visit! And don’t forget the fun giveaway at the end. Hope you enjoy, and be sure to check out this book! I know I can’t wait to read it. :)


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Like a speck of dandelion dust riding the tides of a prairie wind, life is fleeting. Though I never realized just how fragile it was until that day . . .

Charity always had a dream. It was simple, really. Find a guy, fall in love, and get married.
The day she met Ryder, Charity knew he was the man God had chosen for her. But she never expected their relationship to be tested and tried through the fires of a freak accident. Suddenly, her world is thrown into chaos, and the bleak, white walls and sterile smells of a city hospital fill every spare minute. And then there comes the dreaded news. It was likely Ryder would never make it out of the hospital bed.
As her carefully laid plans for the future come crashing down around her and the sun seems to set on her dreams, can Charity still find hope in the dark of night?

Like a dandelion, life is beautiful. But treasure every moment. . . for one day, the flower will be gone.

Add on Goodreads

Author Interview!

R: Hello and welcome, Faith! I’m pleased to have you here on my blog today. Would you tell my blog readers a little bit about yourself and your new debut book, “Dandelion Dust”?

F: Hello! I’d be glad to. I’m Faith, a saved by grace, teenage writer who enjoys reading, blogging, and pottery…among other things. As far as genre, “Dandelion Dust” is a contemporary Christian fiction. But to me, it is a book that was actually inspired by a dream. The way God placed this story in my heart still amazes me. 

R: That’s great! I love when God does that. <3
R: Do you have a particular favourite character in “Dandelion Dust” that you liked writing the best? (Don’t worry, I won’t tell the other characters! ;)) 
F: Hehe, that’s a tough one. I really enjoyed Charity, because I could relate to her in so many ways. I didn’t have to review her character or ‘learn her,’ so to speak, to know how she would react in any given situation. Writing her felt natural. I never had to question it, I just knew. 
R: How long did it take you to write, edit, and publish DD from start to finish?
F: From the day I penned…er, typed the first words to the publication date totaled at 6 months and 4 days. Looking back, I’m really questioning how that was even possible, (I mean, half a year?!) but I sincerely believe God has a plan for this story. 
R: Do you have other books in the works for the near future?
F: I do! Aside from my WWII historical fiction novel, which I’m going to start editing soon, I’m planning to write a sequel to “Dandelion Dust” during Camp NaNo July. I’ve also been working on another contemporary on and off for several months. I’m not sure when it will be completed now, but I’m excited for it. :D 
R: Oooh, that is most exciting!
R: And one last question: Can you give a book recommendation for a novel that you feel is similar to or reminds you of “Dandelion Dust”? I can never get enough book recommendations. :)
F: Oooohh, good one. Well, my critique partner did compare “Dandelion Dust” to “This Quiet Sky” by Joanne Bischof. It’s sooo heartbreaking and beautiful. Quite the compliment to be compared to something so amazing, for sure. :) 
R: How sweet! I will have to read that book too now! :) Thanks for joining me today, Faith! So excited for this release of yours – congratulations!!
F: hank you for having me today, Raechel! :D 

About the Author

Displaying image3.PNGFaith Potts is a teenage writer, living with her family and beloved yellow labs in the southeastern US. When she’s not writing stories, consuming large amounts of coffee, reading books, or creating pottery, she can be found laughing harder than is healthy, daydreaming, and – of course – blowing dandelions.

Writing blog: Stories by Firefly

Faith blog: Chosen Vessels

Social media: Goodreads // Pinterest // Instagram



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Because my blog never seems to want to show the actual giveaway gadget, I have a link instead—

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Other Blogs Involved in “Dandelion Dust” Blog Tour:


  • Wednesday, June 28th

Olivia @ Living for the Other Side // Book Spotlight   

Soleil @ ReviewsbySoleil // Book Spotlight & Review

Liv @ Liv K. Fisher // Book Spotlight & Author Interview

Mikayla @ Ordinary Girl Extraordinary Father // Book Review

Kaitlyn @ Twin Thoughts // Character Interview


  • Thursday, June 29th

Rebekah @ RebekahAshleigh // Book Spotlight

Angela @ The Peculiar Messenger// Author Interview

Raechel @ Gods Peculiar Treasure Rae // Book Spotlight & Author Interview

Lydia @ Lydia Therese // Book Review

Rebekah @ Rebekah’s Remarks  // Book Spotlight & Author Interview

Faith @ The Writer’s Song // Book Review & Author Interview


  • Friday, June 30th (Release Day!)

Rebekah @ RebekahAshleigh// Book Review

Anika Joy @ This Journey Called Life  // Book Spotlight & Review

Laura @ Books and Chapters // Book Review

Olivia @ Living for the Other Side // Book Review

Jesseca @ Whimsical Writings for His Glory // Book Spotlight, Review, & Author Interview

Bethany @ A Great God and Good Cocoa // Book Spotlight & Review

Micaiah @ Adventures Beyond the Horizon // Author Interview


Posted in Author Interview, blog tour, Books, Give-aways, Questions/answers, reading, Writing

“All Our Empty Places” by Alicia G. Ruggieri -Spotlight, give-away, and Author Interview!

Release Tour banner - All Our Empty Places

I am so delighted to be sharing about this newest book in the A Time of Grace series by the lovely Alicia G. Ruggieri! I had read the first book in this series, “The Fragrance of Geraniums” just earlier this year and was immediately drawn in. And so when I heard that “All Our Empty Places” had a release date, I couldn’t have been more thrilled! You most likely have already seen my review of this lovely book, and thus you can see just how much I adored it. :) So, now it is my utmost pleasure to share about this book with you, along with an interview with the author! And don’t forget that giveaway. :)




Book cover - All Our Empty Places

In 1935, when the bank calls in her mortgage, Sarah Picoletti – now a penniless widow – finds herself and her children on the brink of homelessness. Sick at heart, she plans to beg her brother in New Jersey to take her family in.

Then Doctor Samuel Giorgi knocks on her door. Godly and well-off, Sam seems to have put the careless ways of his youth behind him, and he also appears to have one desire: to make Sarah his wife, two decades after he broke their engagement.
However, nothing prepares Sarah for the storm that breaks once she makes her decision. Everywhere she turns, the errors of her former choices confront her, insisting on her inferiority and the irreparable brokenness of her past. Sarah begins to wonder if Christ really can bring true redemption or if He is limited by her frailty.
Meanwhile, her daughter Grace faces new challenges in her own life. When her relationship with Paulie changes unexpectedly, Grace realizes that she must make a decision with the potential to alter both of their futures.
Compassionate and intensely poignant, All Our Empty Places paints the portrait of a mother and daughter with broken pasts, who dare to step into a future overflowing with the grace of the Cross.



Author photo - Alicia G. Ruggieri

Alicia G. Ruggieri writes Christ-centered fiction that speaks of redemption. She received her B.A. in Communications and History from Rhode Island College and lives with her husband and their emotionally-disturbed pug on the New England coast.



Twitter: @aliciaruggieri



PURCHASE LINKS (And I, Raechel, do suggest this.. ;) Hehe!) :

All Our Empty Places (A Time of Grace, Book 2) –

The Fragrance of Geraniums (A Time of Grace, Book 1) – ON SALE for $0.99 through October 31, 2015 –


Release Tour - giveaway

One winner will receive – a signed softcover of All Our Empty Places; a mug with 2 Corinthians 12:9 inscribed on it; Caramel Apple Biscotti; and Harvest Spice Pumpkin White Hot Chocolate mix. (Open to U.S. residents only due to shipping costs.)


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Author Interview!

Welcome, Alicia! I am delighted to host you on my blog. :) Your books have made such an impact on my life and deeply echo in my heart. Congratulations on this newest release!

I’m glad to be here, Raechel. Your blog has been an encouragement to me since the first day I came across it.

Thank you so much for saying that, Alicia! That really blessed me. :)

  1. When did you first begin writing, and knew that it was ‘for you’?

I’ve always written something or other for as long as I can remember. The first “story” I can recall was a sequel to The Little Mermaid (before there was a sequel!) when I was probably five years old. My mom and some of my school teachers really encouraged me to keep writing as I grew up, and I’m so thankful for that. My writing now is just a continuation of that, as God opens doors.

  1. How did you get the inspiration for A Time of Grace series?

Well, the A Time of Grace series branched out of The Fragrance of Geraniums, which is now book 1 in the series. I’d had the idea for many years for a book that somehow involved an upstairs room full of the scent of geraniums – which is a spicy, almost-bitter fragrance. And that idea came from a real-life room in an elderly woman’s house that I visited as a child. The woman had brought me upstairs to her library room so that she could water her geraniums. The room made such an impression on my childhood self; I’ve always known that a story hid there, somehow, amongst the fragrance of geraniums.

Now I’m going on to writing a trilogy – called A Time of Grace collectively – both because there was positive reader feedback for The Fragrance of Geraniums… and also because I felt that the story wasn’t finished for Paulie, Grace, Sam, Sarah, and the rest of the Chetham, Rhode Island folks. My prayer is that the trilogy helps people to see that God truly can and does bring beauty out of our brokenness – that He wants us empty so that He can fill us with Himself.

How cool. I love when stories come about that way. :)

  1. Having read “All Our Empty Places”, I am curious – do we get to hear anymore from Ben in the third book?

Oh, Ben, Ben! Yes, you will hear a lot more from Ben in book three. I shouldn’t have favorite characters any more than a mother should have favorite children, but *if* I did, Ben would certainly be a contestant. Book three will also hold the conclusion (for now) of Grace and Paulie’s story, as well as bits and pieces of other characters that I’ve grown to love. So there’s a lot ahead in book three.

Oh yay!! Book three sounds so exciting and I can barely wait. :)

  1. Do you have a character that you relate best to in this series?

This is a little hard to answer because I don’t know if I could write a character that I couldn’t relate to in some way. Yes, even Charlie from Fragrance, terrible as that sounds. As John Proctor says in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, I know how black my own sins are! So I can usually relate to a character’s struggles in one way or another.

But I can definitely relate strongly to Sarah and Grace in All Our Empty Places – not to their particular struggles but to the general idea – that we as believers have to find our sufficiency in Christ alone. It’s so easy for me to try to make it through the days, through my life, in my own strength, in my own power. I’m so thankful for the Lord God bringing my focus back to Him and making me realize that I can only find my power to overcome through in Him.

I agree with that; there’s a little piece of us that goes into every character – no matter how ‘bad’ the character may be. And amen! I am also thankful that our Lord brings us back to Him over and over. <3

  1. And lastly, would you mind sharing one instance where you’ve experienced God’s great grace in your life?

The longer I live, the more I realize how much I’m dependent on God’s great grace in every single little area of my life. As Francois Mauriac says, “All is grace.”

But there is one circumstance that potently showed God’s great grace to me. A number of years ago, my family went through a time of extreme personal difficulty – a time of severe spiritual testing in many ways. God upheld us when we cried out to Him – He was our Rock “in a weary land,” as the hymn-writer says. He gave us the grace to step forward in faith, to stake our all on Him, individually and as a family. As a result of staking our all on Him, there was tremendous loss in this world, but there was also tremendous gain spiritually. The circumstances of receiving that grace still sadden me to think of, but I testify to you that our God does indeed give “grace and glory.” (Psalm 84:11) He will be a shield to those who trust in Him. So we need not be afraid to, as Jim Elliot says, “give what we cannot keep to gain what we cannot lose.”

Wow, thank you for sharing that. The hardest times usually reaps the most grace!

Thank you again so much, Alicia for doing this! I pray your books get into the hands of many!!

Thanks for having me, Raechel. It’s been a joy! 


And readers, I hope you’ve enjoyed this interview as much as I did! Be sure to enter the giveaway and check out all of Alicia’s books – they are remarkable!! (If you like medieval type setting, check out her book “The House of Mercy” – I adored that one too!).

And be sure to check out the other blogs participating in this blog tour!



Release Tour Schedule



God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae


TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2015 (release day)

Ready to be Offered

Rachel Rossano’s Words

Letters from Annie Douglass Lima



Seasons of Humility



Writings, Ramblings, and Reflections

Christian Author A.M. Heath



With A Joyful Noise

The Overactive Imagination

Iola’s Christian Reads

A Writer’s Heart



Tour wrap-up @ A Brighter Destiny



Congratulations on the new release, and may many read it! :)

Posted in Author Interview, Books, God's Lessons

Author Interview with MacKenzie Morganthal, author of “Not Abandoned”

Hello Readers! I hope you had a good Independence day and weekend. =) Did any of you get to see any fireworks? I was house-sitting, so I didn’t see any on the 4th, but our town puts on fireworks this next weekend along with their parade. So I’ll see those, most likely! :)

Today I have a special treat. My lovely and talented kindred spirit, MacKenzie Morganthal, has agreed to do an author-interview with me today! Isn’t that exciting? I am really glad you guys can get to know this gal – she is someone I hold as dear as a sister to me. So, without further delay, please enjoy this interview with…MacKenzie Morganthal, author of her newly released, “Not Abandoned”!


Welcome back to my blog, Miss MacKenzie! I’m truly delighted to have you here for this interview. :) I know you’ve been here before, and have thus shared a bit about yourself, but in case anyone is reading this for the first time, would you please introduce yourself?


Thanks for having me back, Rae! :) Sure, I’d love to. I’m an eighteen year old, homeschool graduate, and I love to write pretty much anything. I love the Lord with all my heart and have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ. When I’m not writing, I love to keep busy as a worship leader and Creative Artist. My debut novel “Not Abandoned” just came out at the end of May, and that was a huge dream come true for me! :)

Amen! It is a dream come true indeed, and I am so happy for you!

How long have you been writing for and what first spurred you on to write?


I’ve been writing for around eight years. My Mom is actually the one who first encouraged me to write. She gave me an assignment in about 4th grade to write a short story about what I was learning in history. If you can believe it, I didn’t really want to do the assignment at first! But my Mom kept encouraging me to do it, and once it was completed, I fell in love with writing. So I’ve been writing ever since and I have my Mom to thank for that ;)


Your new debut book, “Not Abandoned” is about the heavy subject of human trafficking; where and how did you first find out about this terrible crime?


I first found out about human trafficking from my sister. She had read a book discussing this topic and then had shared the information with me. While the news was heartbreaking to hear, it wasn’t until awhile later when I heard an interview with a trafficking survivor that God placed the burning desire in my heart to do something about this atrocity.


Do you have any ‘tips’ for people about how to get involved in putting a stop to this modern-day slavery?


Well, the first tip I would say is definitely to educate yourself. Take time to learn about trafficking and make yourself aware of what is actually happening in the world around us. The first step in stopping modern-day slavery is prevention, and you can’t have prevention without awareness and education. Another tip I have is to get involved with one of the many great organizations fighting against human trafficking. That’s what they’re here for, and they’d love to help get you involved in the fight to end this! One of my favorite organizations is the A21 Campaign. :)

These are really good tips of help – thank you! 

How long did it take you to write “Not Abandoned”?


Haha, ya know, I actually can’t remember the ‘exact’ date that I started writing it. How terrible of me. :P When I first started writing it, I didn’t really think it would go anywhere or I would ever even finish it. But a few months after that is when God really placed the desire in my heart to continue with this story. So it was around mid-January of this year when I really started working devotedly on this story, and I completed the first draft on February 23rd. :)

That’s not terrible of you, worry not. I have projects like that. And wow, that’s a fast write, Kenzie! Although, I already knew you were a super fast writer – you got talent girl! God-given talent, and what a blessing it is that you use it for His glory!

Do you have a favourite character from it that you relate to most?


Definitely Haley Hampton, the college student/police officer in training. She’s strong-willed, and very determined. When she sets her mind to something, not much can stand in her way! She’s got a kind heart, and can be a bit daring. She also has a habit of jumping into things without always thinking them through. Most of my friends, especially you Rae, can attest to the fact that I tend to do that too, more often times than not. ;)

Haha, funny. ^.^ And also, Haley’s my favourite character too – she’s a great character!

You self-published: did you experience any troubles going that route, or are you entirely happy with it?


There were definitely some bumps in the road, but in the end I’m entirely happy with my decision. In the beginning of my self-publishing journey, I was trying to mostly go through the process alone and figure everything out myself, and I don’t ever recommend doing that, haha. I got in touch with some awesome authors who have already gone through the process and they were able to help tremendously, which I am so thankful for! So my advice to anyone else going the self-publishing route would be to ask lots of questions and seek help from others who are in the business. It makes it a much better experience than trying to figure it out alone. :)

Good idea – I’m definitely keeping that in mind when I publish too. :)

What are your writing plans for the future?


Right now I am in the process of writing a sequel to “Not Abandoned”. I’m about 72 pages and almost 18,000 words in, so we’ll see where this one goes. :) I also regularly enjoy being a monthly magazine columnist for my sister’s e-mag, and also a bi-monthly columnist for a friend’s e-mag.

Yes!! I cannot wait for this sequel. I love it already (yes, be jealous readers, because I’ve already read some of it! ;)).

Thank you so much for visiting and taking the time to answer these questions, MacKenzie! I wish you a heart-felt congrats on your new release and look forward to many more of your splendid, God-filled books!
Thanks so much, Rae! :)


That was fun, wasn’t it? Below you will find more information about the author and her book. Please do check it out!


Human trafficking… These two words will change four different lives forever. Especially for Haley, a police officer in training, who is thrust right into the heart of an organized human trafficking ring when a family friend is mysteriously abducted. Once the problem hits even closer to home, Haley will stop at nothing to see justice prevail. With no way out once trapped inside the trafficking ring, is there any hope for rescue? When trouble arises and Caryn’s life is compromised, will she be able to survive or will help come too late? Strength is tested and trust is broken in this mystery of seemingly impossible rescue and God’s loving redemption. After hearing those words, human trafficking, these girls will never look at their lives the same way again… and neither will you.”


MacKenzie Morganthal is an eighteen year old, Christian, Homeschool graduate. She loves writing, music, and most importantly Jesus. She resides in Pennsylvania where she keeps busy as a freelance author, worship leader, and creative arts director. She also loves going to concerts, and all things chocolate. While some people say she can be a little crazy, she always takes that as a compliment. She has been writing stories for eight years, and “Not Abandoned” is her first self-published novel.

CreateSpace estore:




Facebook: Click THIS for link.


Posted in Author Interview, Books, Writing

Author Interview: Featuring Faith Blum

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Today we’ve got an author review! How exciting is that? Author, and friend, Faith Blum has graciously answered my questions and now I get to share them with you as part of her blog tour celebrating her newest book, “Amazing Grace”! Following the interview, below you will also find info about the book, the author, where to add it on GoodReads, and the other stops on this blog tour, so without further ado, enjoy!



  • First of all, welcome to my blog, Faith! I’m delighted to have you here! Would you like to introduce yourself a bit?

Thanks, Raechel! I’m excited to be here! I’d love to. I’m a twenty-something stay at home daughter. I recently resigned from my day job so I can write full time. I love to write, read, play piano, and do pretty much anything crafty.

That’s very exciting that you’ll be writing full time! I hope that goes really well for you. :)

  • For how long have you been writing and what first spurred you on to write?

I’ve been writing since I was about ten, maybe even earlier. I don’t really remember. I loved writing stories whether it was about our family camping trip or something made up.

  • Your books are all related to Hymns – how did you come to decide that? And do you have a favourite hymn you’d like to share?

When I was editing the first book in my series, A Mighty Fortress, I noticed that the hymn was quoted and/or sung quite often in the book and the title for that book was born. After that, when I decided to make it into a series, I decided to name the series “Hymns of the West” and weave the hymn into the story however it works best. My favorite hymn. That is hard. I think I would say “Lily of the Valley” right now, but that’s probably just because that’s the book I’m working on at the moment. ☺

  • How long did it take you to write your newest “Hymns of the West” book, “Amazing Grace”?

Good question. I started it in the summer of 2014 and published it in April 2015. I don’t remember exactly when I started actually writing it, but the actual writing (not counting editing) probably took me about four months, the least amount of time thus far. Editing took longer, of course.

That’s nice. And yes, editing does take a while, doesn’t it?!

  • Do you have a favourite character from it that you relate to most?

I really like Rachel. She’s only ten, but she has so much personality, it was fun writing her scenes. I don’t really relate to her that much because we are so different, but it was still a really fun experience to write her story.

  • You self-published: did you experience any troubles going that route, or are you entirely happy with it?

The hardest part about being independently published is the marketing, but I have recently found out that even if you are traditionally published, you have to do your own marketing now. So I am entirely happy with being independently published. This way I can control exactly what the cover looks like, what goes inside the book, and everything else. I don’t necessarily always like control, but when it’s the story God gives me to write, I don’t want anyone else except Him and me messing with it.

Oh really? Good to know! And I completely agree with you regarding not wanting anyone else in charge but God and you!

  • What are your writing plans for the future?

In the near future, I have three novellas I plan to publish this summer that are very slightly related to Amazing Grace. I will be doing a cover reveal for the novellas on my blog on Thursday. Lord willing, I will also publish book four, Lily of the Valley this fall.

After that, I have at least three more novels planned in the Hymns of the West series and a very tentative plan to write a contemporary fiction trilogy, eventually. There are also a few other stories I have floating around that I would like to polish and publish someday, including a retelling of the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale set in the time of King Solomon.

I guess my writing plans for the future are just to write the stories God wants me to write and publish them when they are ready. I hope that answers your question. Thanks again for having me today!

Great answers, Faith! I really enjoyed this, and I hope you did too, readers! Thanks for coming, Faith, and congrats on your book release! :)


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About the Book


Caleb hurried to the post office. He had to get in and out before his sister finished at the general store. “Any mail for the Stuarts?” he asked the postmaster.

The postmaster took a lazy look at him over the top of his eyeglasses and gave a heaving sigh as he turned around to check. “Yep. Somethin’ from Ohio and somethin’ from Montana.”

Tapping his foot, Caleb waited until the large man put the letters lazily in his hand. As he left he wondered why Anna had written someone in Montana and who she knew in Montana. It was really none of his business, but he was still curious. He folded the Ohio letter in half and stashed it in his back pocket. It would get wrinkled, but at least Anna wouldn’t know about it.

As Caleb struggles through some inner battles, he secretly starts a correspondence with a widow and her daughter. Their unabashed faith in God convicts him and increases his inner struggles.

Unable to find a steady job, Maggie places an advertisement to become a mail-order bride. Her daughter, Rachel, is her motivation and encouragement, but if Maggie doesn’t find a job or husband soon, Rachel might not survive through the next year.

Can Caleb learn to trust God despite his past? Can Maggie and Rachel hold onto their faith despite all their trials? What will happen when they meet in person?


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About the Author

An avid reader, Faith Blum started writing at an early age. Whether it was a story about the camping trip that summer or a more creative story about fictional characters, she has always enjoyed writing. When not writing, Miss Blum enjoys reading, crafting, playing piano, Captaining on the Holy Worlds Historical Fiction Forum and playing games with her family (canasta, anyone?).

As a history enthusiast who has been fascinated for years with the Old West, Faith has endeavored to create a clean, fun, and challenging Western story. Faith lives with her family on a hobby farm in the Northern Midwest, where she enjoys the many cats they have.

You can find Faith on her Website, Blog, Facebook, and Twitter



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April 27………Faith Blum……………….Introducing the Tour

April 30………Jess Strong……………….Book Spotlight

May 4…………Annie Douglass…………..Character Interview

May 7…………LeAnne Douglas…………Book Review

May 11……….Shanna Hatfield………….Character Interview

May 14 ……….Dee Strawbridge…………Book Spotlight

May 18 ……….Dawnita Fogleman………Book Review/Author Interview

May 21 ……….Elizabeth Kaiser…………Author Interview

May 25 ……….Emily Kopf………………Book Review

May 28 ……….Kathryn Fogleman……….Author Interview

June 1…………Raechel…………………..Author Interview

June 4…………Faith Blum……………….Novella Cover Reveal

June 8…………Carlene Havel……………Book Spotlight

June 11 ……….Amanda Tero……………Book Review/Author Interview

June 15……….Jaye L. Knight……………Character Spotlight

June 18 ……….Claire Banschbach………Author Interview

June 22 ……….Tricia Mingerink…………Book Spotlight

June 25 ……….Karilyn Putt………………Book Spotlight

June 29 ……….Morgan Huenke…………..Book Review/Author Interview

July 2…………Faith Blum………………..The Wrap Up

Posted in Author Interview, Books, Questions/answers, Writing

Author Interview with Sarah Holman

I am happy to be sharing another author interview, this time with the self-published author, Sarah Holman! She is celebrating the release of her newest book, “Brothers and Betrayal” the second book in her “Tales of Taelis” series. I reviewed the first in the series (here) and will be sharing my review of “Brothers and Betrayal” on Tuesday the 24th. :)
Welcome to my blog, Miss Holman, I’m delighted to have you here! Would you like to introduce yourself a bit?
Hi! I am twenty-four years old and still live with my amazing parents and siblings on five acres of wooded land in the heart of Texas. You can find my most day tapping out stories on my computer, or reading stories someone else has written.
How long have you been writing for and what first spurred you on to write?
I have been writing novels since I was eleven (so I guess that makes it fifteen years). I started writing because I was frustrated that I couldn’t find books that I wanted to read. So, I decided to make my own stories. It kinda took off from there.
-I love hearing things like that. Writing is such a gift. :)
Your Tales of Taelis Series is very faith-filled and inspiring, were any of the lessons shown in the book from your personal walk with God?
All my books have a lesson within the pages, mostly ones that God is trying to get though my thick head.  For instance, Adventure and Advertises was written when I was going through a very hard time in my walk with God and out of that came the lesson that God cares and is there for me, even when I couldn’t feel him.
-That’s really cool. I love when God teaches through writing.
How long did it take you to write your newest Tales of Taelis book, “Brothers and Betrayal”?
It took me about three weeks to write the first draft. That is a new record for me.
-That’s impressive!
Do you have a favourite character from it that you relate to most?
Brianna, the Princess, is my favorite, even though we don’t have a lot on common. However, we both do try to stand up for those who are in need of help, even when others think they are not worthy.
You self-published: did you experience any troubles going that route, or are you entirely happy with it?
Yes and yes. I had some troubles, but I am completely happy with my decision. I really felt that this was what I was supposed to do and I have never regretted it. When I do hit snags, I have a huge community of other indi-authors that I can ask questions of.
 -Good to know, and yes, I’m sure that’s a blessings!
What are your writing plans for the future?
Currently, I am in the middle of editing the first book in a new series for adults about and FBI team that I plan to publish this summer. I also am planning to publish the next book in the Tales of Taelis series this fall. If that wasn’t enough, I also have a bunch of short stories I plan to release.
 Thank you for visiting, Sarah, and congratulations on this new book of yours!
More about Sarah Holman….
The Destiny of One – her blog
Sarah Holman is a not so typical mid-twenties girl: A homeschool graduate, sister to six awesome siblings, and author of three published books and counting. If there is anything adventuresome about her life, it is because she serves a God with a destiny bigger than anything she could have imagined.
Posted in Author Interview, Books, Questions/answers, Writing

Author Interview with J.A. Marx!!

Hello, and welcome to this blog’s first author-interview! As I said in a recent post, I am very excited about this! So, shall we begin?


J.A. Marx

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J.A. Marx, author of suspense that mends souls


Welcome Mrs. Marx! I’m so happy to have you here. Would you like to introduce yourself and perhaps share a bit about you?

Thanks for inviting me into your virtual world, Raechel. I’m grateful to be here.

As a happy empty nester, I write from the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. However, I grew up in Colorado (my heart’s home), and then lived in Nashville and Cleveland before moving to Texas. I’ve got two grown children, one grandson, and a granddaughter soon to arrive. I’m still married to my college sweatheart.

What a blessing that you’re still married to you college sweetheart! 

What first spurred you on to write these particular kind of books? They are so beautifully unique and healing.

The way you state this question brings a tear to my eye because my heart’s desire is to mend souls through stories. I’ve experienced healing, physically, spiritually, emotionally, and relationally—and that’s contagious. Something so divinely and genuinely life changing begs to be passed on to others. As far as the genre itself, author Frank Peretti was my inspiration.

I completely agree – it really is contagious! God’s healing is so powerful and so thrilling – and humbling – to experience.

What do you hope your readers will take away from your books?

My prayer is that readers will experience healing and/or insight along with the characters.

Fantastic prayer and goal.

How many years have you been writing?

I started writing in October 2001

Would you mind sharing your background – where you learned the deep spiritual healing that is revealed in your Destiny Series?

I was saved at 18. Long story short, I later had a powerful encounter with the Holy Spirit at a Vineyard Church in Colorado and realized the Third Person of the Trinity was the missing link in my life—the gasoline for my tank, if you will. Through pastoring and mentoring, I was healed, equipped, and empowered to pass on what I received.

Nothing satisfies me more than when I’m with someone and pray, “More of You, Lord,” and then sit back and witness God do a miracle in the person. Even though He uses willing vessels, it is all Him!

 Amen to that. And beautifully spoken.

Of your Three Destiny books, do you have a favorite – one that is particularly special in your heart? (I know, not such a nice questions!)

I like them all . . . but after I finish the bountiful amount of final edits on any book, I’m totally sick of that one and ready to move on.

Haha, I can imagine that. Editing can be tedious work.

What is your writing routine like – do you outline at all, plot it, or just write as you go?

I’m a seat-of-the-pants writer (aka pantser). But after the first 5-6 chapters, I have to stop and establish personalities, setting, a theme, and a moral premise. Then I revert to pantser mentality, and let the characters take over.

Which came first – characters or the idea for the story?

Always the character. For The Destiny Series, my mind’s eye saw a woman washed up on a beach, unconscious. I had to do something with her. Who wouldn’t?

Of each of your characters, was there one you related to most?

Ha! That’s a tough one. Probably, Dr. David Young, introduced in book 2, Destiny Delivered.

How long did it take you to write each book?

I wrote all 6 in the series within two years, but they were horribly written. I head-hopped, floundered with passive writing, and I had an addiction to adjectives. It took me almost a decade to learn and perfect the craft.

That’s pretty good, even if you did have to go over it a bit.

Do you have any favorite books you’d like to recommend to my readers?

One of my current favorites is Demon: A Memoir, by Tosca Lee. I believe every Christian would benefit from reading this profound work of biblical-fiction. You’ll come away with a deeper impression of God’s amazing love.

For non-fiction, I’d suggest my current read, How to Stop the Pain, by Dr. James Richards. Another phenomenal read. Could be life changing.

I’ve heard good things about all of Tosca Lee’s books, though I haven’t read them yet, nor the other one you mentioned. Thanks for sharing.

What are your writing plans for the future? Any more books featuring Chiara and the group?

I’m editing book 4, but who knows.

What was fact and was fiction? Was any of it based on real life experiences, or purely imagination?

A few minor scenarios came from real life, but it’s essentially all my imagination. There are, however, many news articles, and such, that endorse the relevancy of the storyline. In fact, the devious and ugly situation in book three came straight from a newspaper.  

I heard about that fact in the third book – I can’t wait to read it.

Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?

Yikes! My genre is not super popular with editors/agents. So I’ll sum my experience with a true story. I pitched The Destiny Series (for the zillionth time) at a writer’s conference in 2014. The acquisition editor read Destiny Defied (book 1) then had a couple of people above her read it because she liked it. She sent me an email saying, “We love your story, and your writing is amazing. But we can’t sell this genre of book.”

I said, thank you for the feedback. Oh, and by the way, if you’re interested, I also have a romantic suspense—  And within two minutes of sending that email, she replied, “Send it!” Within a couple of days, she offered a contract after reading only the first 5 chapters. That book comes out later 2015 (or 2016). I’m not a romance writer, so go figure! So I self-pubbed the first 3 books of The Destiny Series.

If you had to go back and do it all over again, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you would have changed?

Ten years ago? Yes. Otherwise, not really. A decade of re-writing/editing/rewriting was enough to drive me insane. LOL



Now just for some fun questions:

Are you an animal person? If so, what is your favorite animal?

Penguins rock! My love for them is well known among family and friends, and my writer’s critique group often teases me: “What would Mr. Penguin say about that?” So I surprised them one night and showed up with a penguin puppet.

Haha, good to know! And I love that you brought a penguin puppet one night! That’s great.

Do you prefer hand-written letters or emails?

Depends on the sender. I love when my children give me homemade, hand-written cards & letters.

That’s sweet. :) handwritten cards and letters from those you love is so special!

What are your hobbies/what you like to do when you’re not writing?

I enjoy painting. I turn on worship music, find a picture I like, and attempt to put it on canvas. My other hobbies are nutrition and fitness; I work out 6 days a week.

Above all else, I seek to start and end every day in the word and in prayer. That’s not a hobby, of course, but some might consider the amount of time I spend in the word hobby-esque.


Thank you so much, Mrs. Marx, for visiting and sharing your time! I really enjoyed it.

And readers, thank you for reading too! Be sure to check out J.A.Marx’s books. She has these two out currently:











Destiny Defied and Destiny Delievered