7/7/7 Writing Challenge

Power of Words

I was nominated by Lauren Gunter to participate in the 7/7/7 Writing Challenge. It looks like fun, and I think you all will enjoy it!

The rules of the 7/7/7 Challenge are:

  • Go to page 7 of your WIP
  • Scroll down to line 7
  • Share the next 7 sentences in a blog post.
  • After the excerpt, tag 7 other writers to continue the challenge.

I’m actually working on three works-in-progress right now. Um, yeah. Not doing too great on my whole stick to one project until I finish it resolution. In my defense, all the projects are at least in one series. That’s an improvement from where I was at a few years ago.

Currently, I’m editing Deny (Book 2), writing the first draft of Book 4 (title yet to be released), and *drum roll* I started on a prequel short story that I hope to release as an ebook sometime in August (to tide you guys over until Deny releases).

I’ve decided to give you guys TWO sneak peeks: a seven-line snippet of Deny and a peek at Deal, the prequel short story.

First up, seven lines from Deny: 

Jamie stretched out, keeping his feet planted as far from Leith as possible, while he helped Leith remove the bandage. Jamie bit his lip only once, as if puzzled. Had he realized the bandage was neater than Leith would have been able to manage by himself with only one arm? Was he questioning how Leith had gotten the bandage on if he couldn’t get it off without help? Thankfully, the boy was only a trainee. He wouldn’t dare say those questions aloud, especially not to the First Blade.

As they reached the final layer, Leith gritted his teeth.

Anyone excited yet?

Next up, a sneak peak at Deal: 

Orn turned to the dealer, but the man just shook his head. “Sorry, Torren. You’ve already used the limit on your tab tonight.”

The stranger’s fingers drummed a rhythm on the table and the inside of Orn’s skull. “Do you call or do you fold?”

“No, I…” He scanned the crowd for someone—anyone—who would loan him some money.

The fingers stopped tapping. “You have a son, don’t you?”

“Yes.” Worthless brat that he was. 

Can you guess what is happening in this sneak peak? 😉

My nominations for the challenge:

Shantelle Hannu

Claire Banschbach

Angie Brashear

Jaye L. Knight

Kim Moss

Jason Hein

E. Rawls

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Tag

I’ve been tagged again! This time, Shantelle tagged me in the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award tag.

Here’s how this works:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you, linking back to their site.
  • Put the award logo on your blog.
  • Answer the ten questions sent to you.
  • Make up ten new questions for your nominees to answer.
  • Nominate ten blogs.

On to the questions! Shantelle came up with some really fun questions!

What genre have you read most of this year?

I’ve read mostly Christian YA fiction this year, especially speculative and indie titles. I just discovered a whole community of Christian YA authors, and I’m slowly working my way through all their books.

A few books you hope to read soon?

I’m currently reading Of the Coldblooded by Angie Brashear. How can you not want to read this book after looking at the cover?  Once I’m done with this book, I have a stack of books to read, and I haven’t decided which one to pick up next!

OtC - eBook Cover

Favorite book of the year?

Seriously? I have to pick one? And I have to remember all the books I’ve read this year? So far, I’ve read nearly one book a week, so it starts to add up after a while!

Since I have to pick, it would probably be Resistance by Jaye L. Knight. I read it in one day in January when I was home sick from work with a bad cold. I absolutely loved it and immediately began shoving the book at all my friends and family and ordering them to read it because it was amazing. Luckily for me, The King Scrolls (book 2) came out a month later, but now I’m stuck waiting with all the rest of you Ilyon fans!

What was your favorite blog post this year?

Probably the character chats I did for Dare‘s blog tour, especially the second one I did. I had a few of the early readers ask some great questions that really got the characters squirming!

Favorite Dessert?

Um, I have a confession. I have a sweet tooth. I love a lot of things, especially donuts, ice cream, and my dad’s homemade chocolate shakes.

Summer or Winter?

Winter. While I like warmth, I don’t like it when it gets too hot or humid, and I’m not a beach person. Give me three feet of snow and a pair of cross country skis any day!

One Goal You have?

Publish book 2 in my series The Blades of Acktar before the end of the year, hopefully sooner rather than later!

Do you enjoy fairy tales? Which ones do you like the most?

I love fairy tales! Beauty and the Beast was always my favorite. When I was little, my grandparents gave me a large, beautifully illustrated book of fairy tales (I still have it on a specially place on my shelf). I especially loved the book because the illustrations for Beauty and the Beast were on the cover, and Beauty and the Beast was the first story in the book.

Which Disney princess are you most like, and why?

After all my ramblings about Beauty and the Beast, it’s probably no surprise that it was also my favorite Disney movie growing up (Tangled wasn’t out yet!). I think I loved it so much because Belle is a lot like me. She loves to read, she adores her father, she isn’t impressed by the hunky guy with no brain, and she dreams of doing something important. She also had a horse, and I desperately wanted one at that time.

Though, I look nothing like her. She has brown hair and darker eyes, while I have curly blond hair.

Which Disney prince do you consider the most dashing?

Ha! I should have guessed this question was coming from the line of questioning. I’m going to have to go with two:

Flynn Rider, because, well, he’s Flynn Rider. He’s the perfect mix of adorably sweet and good looks beneath his bad boy exterior:

Li Shang from Mulan, because he is kind of the opposite of Flynn Rider. Shang is the straight-laced, by the books guy who finds out he needs to bend a little bit. And he is absolutely sweet when he stutters.

So what about you? How would you answer these questions?

Amazing Grace Blog Tour – Book Spotlight

AG Blog Tour Graphic

This spotlight is going up a little later than I meant to. A crazy weekend (fun, but crazy) meant I barely turned my laptop on the entire weekend.

While I have yet to read any of Faith Blum’s Hymns of the West, she graciously was a part of my blog tour for Dare. I also recently learned she’s a big Louis L’amour fan, so now I have to check out her books. 😉

So without further ado, here is a spotlight on Faith Blum’s recent release Amazing Grace.

AG 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?


Excerpt from the Book:

Rachel waited outside the schoolhouse with James while their teacher talked to John and Tobias. Neither of them spoke, even in sign language.

They waited almost a half hour before John stepped out the door.

“What happened?” Rachel asked. “Are you in trouble?”

“Nah,” John said. “He just told me to watch my attitude and I shouldn’t be so willing to pick a fight, even if I was defending a girl.”

Rachel let her breath go rushing out of her nose. “I’m glad. I wouldn’t have wanted you to get in trouble because of me.”

John looked at her with confusion in his eyes. “Even if I would’ve gotten into trouble, it would’ve been my own fault because I knew exactly what would happen when I stepped in. I would have gladly taken a punishment if it meant he wasn’t hurting you. Speaking of which, how’s your arm?”

Rachel shrugged. “I’ll live.”

“You should have your ma check it when you get home.” He looked up at the sky. “And you’d better hurry home before she starts to worry sick about you being so late.”

Rachel put her right hand to her hip and glared at John. “What are you trying to be? My conscience? Mum will be fine.” She spun on her heel and looked over her shoulder. “See you two tomorrow.”

John watched her stride away with her nose slightly in the air and grinned. It was so easy and fun to get her mad. He looked over at James who was staring at him. “What?” he asked.

“Why do you treat her like that?” James signed.

John’s grin grew. “I dunno. It’s fun. Race ya home!”

John waited two seconds to give James a head start before he tore off after his brother.

Faith with Rikki-croppedAbout 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

If you’d like to check out the rest of the tour (please do, all the interviews have been awesome!), here’s the tour schedule:

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

Favorite Screen Characters Tag

I was tagged by Jaye L. Knight for the Favorite Screen Characters Tag. Narrowing down to 10 Favorite Screen characters is hard! Not to mention, I pretty much wanted to say ditto to every character on Jaye’s list. So here is my list (In no particular order).

Eowyn (Lord of the Rings)

While Aragorn has a very special place in my heart, I decided to feature Eowyn here since Aragorn was already featured in Jaye’s post. Eowyn is a horse-riding, sword-fighting maid of Rohan, and what’s not to like about that? Plus, her hair! Seriously, I want her no-frizz product. Somehow she goes through a full-tilt gallop, falling off her horse, and fighting the Witch King and somehow her curls remain in beautiful waves. I step out in the rain for two seconds and my hair starts to look like I touched an electric fence.

But what really clinched her as one of my all time favorite screen characters was the scene in the extended edition where Eowyn attempts to make soup (if you haven’t seen the extended editions, the extended edition of The Two Towers is worth watching just for that moment!) I’m an awful cook myself, so I can totally relate to this moment in the movie! The sequence below doesn’t capture the look on Aragorn’s face when he tries to swallow a mouthful.

Westley/Dread Pirate Roberts (The Princess Bride)

Dread Pirate Roberts, The Princess Bride

Before Pirates of the Caribbean and Once Upon a Time‘s Captain Hook, Westley/the Dread Pirate Roberts is to blame for my crush on pirates. After all, he’s like pirate meets Zorro. Totally awesome! Plus the whole not-staying-dead-thing? Yep, he’s my first love when it comes to on screen pirates.

Captain Hook/Killian Jones (Once Upon a Time)


While we’re talking pirates, I couldn’t help but include Killian Jones/Captain Hook on this list. That grin! And those intense eyes! Argh! There are times I just want to slap Emma and tell her to get with it girl and not let a guy like Killian get away.

Captain America (Captain American: The First Avenger, etc) 


Just to make sure you guys weren’t getting too worried with my obsession with pirates and bad boys, here’s a really good guy to make the list. I might be in the minority, but Captain America has been my favorite Avenger since the first film with him. He’s just such a nice, old-fashioned, principled guy. His principles are tested, and his struggle is in trying to live out his principles in a complicated world. His personality actually reminds me a lot of Shadrach Alistair in my recent release Dare. 

White Witch (The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe BBC version)

Okaaaaaaay, so what does that have to do with Frozen?

I’d like to include a villain on this list. The White Witch in the old BBC version of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is the ultimate villain. The White Witch in the new Disney version can’t come close to capturing the truly scary White Witch that the old BBC version had. No one does a witch the way Barbara Kellerman did in that movie!

Maximus (Tangled)

You had to know this one was coming, right? I absolutely adore Tangled! Flynn Rider is awesome and Rapunzel is so sweet! But, Maximus makes my list mostly because I own Maximus. Don’t believe me? Compare the pictures below:

Maximus is soooo cute too.


Looks aren’t the only things that are similar. Let’s just say I’m keeping my horse well away from my sword…

Merida (Brave) 

... young merida appeared in brave brave stories merida 01 02 2512 views

Because, well, she has a horse, she can out-shoot just about everybody, and that hair! Rocking those curls! Plus I love the mother-daughter story line. Both the mother AND the daughter have to change, which shows the complicated relationship that a lot of mothers and daughters have. On top of that, she’s a princess and she ends the movie single, which (being single myself) I can appreciate.

Maria (The Sound of Music) 

I love The Sound of Music! It is based on a true story, though the movie does change a few of the details. I actually did read the book that the real Maria Von Trapp wrote because I loved the movie so much.

Anne Shirley (Anne of Green Gables)

Anne of Green Gables Anne & Gilbert

Another childhood favorite. Since I knew I wanted to be a writer, I always connected with Anne. And her mishaps! As I grew older, I began to appreciate the love story part with her and Gilbert. So adorable! I heard people are talking about doing a remake, but I fear Megan Follows will always be Anne to me!

Gilligan’s Island

Okay, I’m cheating. I’m picking the entire cast of the old TV show Gilligan’s Island. My family watches of a lot of the old TV shows, and Gilligan’s Island was always a favorite. Yes, it’s a little corny and you have to suspend disbelief. But the jokes are actually funny, not just body jokes masquerading as humor.

It’s a show where very different characters always came together in the end. They always stuck together as a family in spite of their differences (and whatever problem Gilligan caused to keep them still stuck on the island).

So there’s my list of ten of my favorite on screen characters. I could keep going, but I’ll have to cut it off at 10 otherwise this could get to be a really long blog post.

I think this is the point where I’m supposed to tag ten more bloggers. Looking through the list of people that have already been tagged for this post, it looks like the bloggers I know who’d want to be tagged have already been tagged…so I’m going have to pass on tagging more people.

What about you? Who would your Favorite Screen Characters be?

Bailey Baxter Series – Fun Stuff Part Two

Today, I’d like to introduce you to three of the main characters from the Bailey Baxter series by Kim Moss.


Bailey Baxter

Physical characteristics

Medium height, straight blonde hair, blue eyes, skinny but not athletic, olive skin tone


Bailey is very introspective and mature for her age.  Some people might call her an old soul. She’s creative and sometimes gets lost in her own daydreams.  She’s very trusting and kindhearted to her friends, and she’s full of compassion for others.  She’s also adventurous and can be a risk-taker when it comes to matters of the heart.


She loves to climb trees.  She loves to curl up with her leather-bound journal or a good book. She’s read Pride and Prejudice & Romeo and Juliet.  She’s a wistful romantic, a lover of poetry and stories.  Perhaps she’s a sucker for star-crossed lovers or impossible situations.  She plays the guitar and writes poetry.  She hates all things algebra.


Bailey’s biggest strength is her faith in God. Throughout life’s tragedies, she’s able to trust in Him.  She’s optimistic and hopeful.  Bailey’s also stubborn.  Yet her biggest weakness is probably her indecisiveness.  She’s a typical teenage girl, whimsical in her decisions.  Sometimes this can be to her disadvantage, especially where her love life is concerned.

What Draws You to Bailey

She’s your typical all-American girl, which makes her very relatable to many young people.  She’s not the most popular girl in school.  She’s not an athlete, she’s not the captain of the cheerleaders.  She’s not remotely wealthy or even all that beautiful.  She’s real, just like your little sister or your best friend, and you want to root for her.  Even when she makes mistakes, you cheer her on because you might have even made the same mistakes yourself.


Bryce Hall

Image courtesy: http://s1.favim.com/orig/8/boy-cute-eyes-guy-Favim.com-169605.jpg

Physical characteristics

Medium height, wears glasses sometimes, brown hair, hazel eyes, athletic build, adorable dimples and a smile that makes you weak in the knees


Bryce is a perfect gentleman.  Both quick-witted and charming, he’s absolutely brilliant and makes good grades in school.  He’s also very sensitive to other people’s feelings. He’s a risk-taker when it comes to extreme sports, but he guards his heart carefully.  Bryce is the kind of guy that all the girls want to date (but don’t because they don’t think they meet his high standards.)


Bryce is a lover of Shakespeare and the X-Games.  He spends a lot of his time at the skate park. He’s also very athletic, which makes him very good at almost anything he tries.  Although he’s very athletic, his deepest love is reading and writing.  He loves science fiction and poetry.  He’s not a huge fan of team sports.


Bryce’s biggest strength is his likable personality.  He’s a flirty, funny guy, and everyone wants to be friends with him.  He’s a people pleaser, which can also be a weakness.  He has a hard time making decisions, and despite his popularity and outward zeal, deep down, he’s a bit unsure of himself.  Sometimes he gives up when he’s afraid he’ll fail.

What Draws You to Bryce

Bryce’s dad died when he was younger and he was raised by his single mom, so you’re immediately drawn to his sensitive side.  You root for him because he’s been through a lot of the same things that Bailey is currently going through.  You like it that he’s not afraid to be affectionate with those he cares about. Whether it’s giving his mom a hug or taking Bailey by the hand in English class, his boldness draws you to him.  You’re always waiting to see what he’s going to do next.  Despite his affectionate side, he’s never kissed a girl.  He’s a romantic dreamer who saves his first kiss for someone he loves.


Max Martin

Image courtesy: http://img15.imageshack.us/img15/5433/mrhedlunddotcom1721.jpg

Physical characteristics

Tall, short blonde hair, blue eyes, boy-next-door


Max is a Southern sweetheart.  Having grown up with Bailey in Louisiana, he’s known her his entire life and has a deep-rooted interest in her well-being.  He’s very quiet and can be passive aggressive.  He’d rather pick on Bailey than tell her he’s crazy about her.  He’s not a risk-taker, which makes him very patient.


He loves the Baxters.  He feels like they’re a part of his family. He likes to play pool and spend time with the people he cares about.  Whether it’s wakeboarding or jet-skiing, Max loves getting out on the lake.  He’s athletic and very good with little kids. He doesn’t like seeing Bailey get hurt, so he’s very protective of her.


Max’s biggest strength is his caring heart.  He’s good with the little boys he works with at camp in My Summer Storm, and he’s very intuitive when it comes to Bailey’s feelings.  However, he’s not always sure about his feelings for Bailey, so he sends her a lot of mixed messages.  One minute he treats her like a little sister and the next he flirts with her like he wants more.  His patience is a strength, but it could also prove to be a weakness, too.

What Draws You to Max

Max is the perfect guy to have a crush on.  He’s good-looking and funny.  He’s Bailey’s knight in shining armor.  He’s the one who has always been there.  You love it that he knew and loved her mother and shares memories with Bailey.  You enjoy imagining them together as children playing in the backyard together.  You look toward the future and wonder if Max could be Bailey’s “someday.”  The thing you love most about Max is that he loves Bailey from a distance and seems to always have her best interest at heart.

To read more about these characters, check out Leaving Nelson and My Summer Storm: 

leaving-Nelsonv coverNow available. Click to order.

Also, my giveaway is still running through Friday. Click on this link to enter:a Rafflecopter giveaway

Bailey Baxter Series – Book Reviews, Interview, and Other Fun Stuff

As most of you know, I was a part of Jody Hedlund’s influencer team for her recent release An Uncertain Choice (an awesome book by the way!). It was a rewarding experience, especially in getting to know the other influencers. One of the influencers, Kim Moss, emailed me asking if I’d be willing to read her books and review them.

Of course I said yes. And I am super glad I did! Not only did I get to read two wonderful books, I also got to know a fellow Christian author. Before I knew it, I had two book reviews, an author interview, and character spotlights and way too much stuff for one blog post. This blog post will have my reviews and my interview with Kim. Tomorrow I’ll have character spotlights with three of her characters. And, to top it all off, I’m having a giveaway for ebooks of Leaving Nelson and My Summer Storm. Look for the Rafflecopter entry form at the bottom of this post.  

So let’s get the fun started.

Leaving Nelson – Bailey Baxter Series Book 1

leaving-Nelsonv cover

About the Book: 

Bailey’s ninth grade year couldn’t possibly get any worse.

After losing her mother to cancer, her father decides to move the family back to his hometown in Tennessee.  Leaving Nelson, the only home she’s ever known, is the icing on the cake. Uprooted from the familiar, with wounds left unhealed, Bailey attempts to hide in the shadows of strangers. However, as the daughter of Fulton’s hometown hero, she catches the attention of many—foiling her plan to simply blend in. Worst of all, the biggest jerk in school has decided to make her his special project.  Then Bailey runs into the cute, shy boy from her English class. His charm and lopsided grin give Bailey a reason to smile again even in the midst of her pain. Could he be the one putting poetry in her locker?  As new friendships take shape, Bailey’s bitterness and resentment begin to slowly melt away. Just as her faith is restored, a secret is discovered. A painting of a young girl that dates back years before her birth now threatens to ravish the relationships with those she has grown to love.On a quest to reveal the truth, Bailey discovers that, though she had a difficult time leaving Nelson, what she finds in Fulton may just be what she has been searching for all along.

My Review

The beauty of this book is not in its fast-paced action scenes or heart-thumping danger. Normally, that is the type of book I pick up. Leaving Nelson is the story of an ordinary, fourteen-year-old girl, Bailey Baxter, who has lost her mother and forced to move several states away from the place where she has grown up. She has to start over with new friends in a new place while trying to heal from the pain of losing her mother. The writing drew me in until I couldn’t put the book down while I held my breath over Bailey’s inner growth and freshmen in high school drama.

The thing that impressed me most about this book was the characters. The characters sounded like fourteen and fifteen year olds in high school. They had drama and bursts and anger and irrational decisions, but it all felt natural to the characters. It is hard to write fourteen-year-olds that don’t sound too young or too old.

I felt like the beginning of this book spent a little too much time on back story and revealed some of the early information in infodumps that could have been worked into the story better. Once I got past the first couple chapter, the rest of the story flew by so fast that the beginning didn’t detract too much from the rest of the book.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All comments in my review are my own.

My Summer Storm – Bailey Baxter Series Book 2

Now available. Click to order.

About the Book

Nestled deep in the breathtaking mountains of Virginia, Camp Golden Meadows is the ideal place for summer romance.

At least that’s what 17-year-old Bailey Baxter thinks when she makes the trip with her childhood friend, Max Martin.  A summer away is the perfect escape from her father’s budding romance, and it just might be her chance to kindle a romantic fire of her own with Max.  Bailey packs all of her hopes and wishes for summer love in her suitcase next to a photo from her past.  But when an unexpected turn of events bring old feelings to life, jealousy and betrayal unpack their bags.  At odds with one of her roommates and haunted by feelings she can’t ignore, the summer isn’t turning out the way Bailey had planned.  In the mountains, where storms are intense and often unpredictable, Bailey learns that love often behaves the same way—with great power and the potential to cause damage.  Will Bailey find happiness in the midst of this perfect storm, or will it drown out the fire between her and Max?

My Review

I loved My Summer Storm even more than Leaving Nelson. The writing of this book is even better than the first book. In this book, Bailey is now seventeen. Once again, the characters sound their age. Bailey sounds like a seventeen-year-old. Her decisions are more thought-out. Her faith plays more of a role in this book than book 1. In book 1, Bailey was just beginning to grasp what faith means for her. In this book, she depends on her faith to help make decisions in her life.

Although this book covers an entire summer, I never got bored. Once again, the ups and downs of Bailey’s life were written in a compelling manner that kept me reading.

In the interest of full disclosure, I bought this book myself since I loved the first book so much. All my comments are my own.

About the Author

Kim Moss is a wife, mother, teacher, and author. She lives in Dallas, Texas with  a very amazing husband and two young “super hero” boys who inspire her daily. She’s been writing ever since she could hold a pencil.  She actually wrote her first YA novel on a yellow legal pad in junior high school, and she hasn’t stopped writing since!  She is a teacher by day, and a novelist by night. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her family in the great outdoors.

You can connect with her on her website kimmosswrites.com


What inspired you to write Leaving Nelson? What about My Summer Storm?

Leaving Nelson was inspired by the death of my mother when I was fifteen-years-old.  She was an incredible woman, just like Bailey’s mom.  She always wanted to write a book about surviving cancer, but she never got the chance.  I feel like God gave me this story to write for kids out there who may have lost a loved one.  It’s for them to see that He can use both the good and the bad things in our lives for a bigger purpose.

My Summer Storm was written because a few of my beta readers begged me to write a sequel after reading Leaving Nelson.  They wanted to read more about Bailey’s budding romance with Bryce and her confusing feelings for Max.  I chose to send Bailey to summer camp because (let’s face it) summer camp is the perfect place to fall in love!  I spent several summers as a camper and as a camp counselor, and many of my favorite memories were made on the shores of a lake in the hot summer sun.  I also wanted to write a true love story, one that’s not just focused on romance, but on how God ultimately brings two people together who value each other and His plan for purity.

Your mom sounds like she was a wonderful person. Your emotion over your mom comes through in the books. I’ll admit, I cried a couple of times in Leaving Nelson when Bailey described her mom. 

You mentioned these books are part of a four book series. When is the next book coming out?

I’m so excited about Chasing Secrets.  It is the third book in the series, and it is set to release late this summer.  It picks up right after camp, so those of you who are waiting to know what happens next with Bailey and her friends will not have to wait much longer.

Including me! I’m counting down the days until summer! 

You’re an indie published author. What made you decide to pursue indie publishing?

It was a very hard decision.  I guess it all boils down to creative control.  I honestly didn’t want anyone to change Bailey’s story in Leaving Nelson.  It was such a personal project for me.  I’m not opposed to traditional publishing in the future. I would eventually like to find an agent and have my next series (written in the perspective of one of Bailey’s friends) published through a Christian publishing house.

You did a great job! Best wishes with whatever route you go in the future!

What is the hardest part of indie publishing?

Marketing.  Hands down.  It’s hard to get the word out without “selling yourself” all the time.  That’s my biggest problem as an indie publisher.  It’s hard for me to tell people, “Oh yeah, read my book!” without feeling awkward.  I’m just not that kind of person.  My hope is that people will read about Bailey and her friends and spread the word—that people will want to introduce these lovable characters to their friends, students, and family members.  That’s been my biggest reward so far.  It’s been really neat to see how readers have responded to these characters.

I’m glad I could help get the word out! 

One last question: Chronicles of Narnia or Lord of the Rings?

Chronicles of Narnia

I say that simply because I’ve read them several times with my students.  I teach elementary school, and we love spending our fantasy unit with C.S. Lewis.  I must admit, though, I’m currently reading The Hobbit with some of my advanced readers.

I was in elementary school when I first read The Chronicles of Narnia. It is an experiences that sticks with a person. 

Thank-you so much for spending some time on my blog, Kim! 


To help get the word out about Leaving Nelson and My Summer Storm, I’m giving away ebooks of both books to one person. Follow this link to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway:a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check back tomorrow for character spotlights on three of the characters from Leaving Nelson and My Summer Storm! 

#Tell One Person


Authors do a lot of things to get their book out there. They write blogs, hang out on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and any other social media site they can think of. They host giveaways. They beg for reviews of their book. While a lot of those things help, the single best way to get the word out there still is…

Word of Mouth.

Yep. Something the author has no control over except for writing an awesome book that readers will want to talk about.

That puts the real power behind marketing a book on you, the readers. You are the ones who make or break an author’s career. If you love an author’s book, then you are the one who can support them so they can write more books. This doesn’t have to be hard. Reviews are super helpful. Emails to the author are nice to let them know how much you liked the book.

But, if you can’t do anything else, the best thing you can do is simply tell one person. Just one. But tell them and tell them until they read it. Tell them to pass the word along. Beg them to tell just one person.

I found Jill Williamson’s Safelands trilogy a while ago and loved it. I told my sister-in-law about them and kept telling her until she read them. She loved the books so much that she passed them along to her sister and mom. She was so excited about the books she posted about them on a mom group on Facebook.

All because I told one person.

What about you? Who is going to be your one person? Can we start a trend going? #telloneperson Let’s see how many people we can reach if we simply tell one person and they tell one person and they tell one person.

Got a favorite author? What book are you going to tell a friend about today?

The King’s Scrolls Blog Tour: Author Interview & Book Review

TKS Blog Tour Header

Today I welcome Jaye L. Knight as part of her blog tour for The King’s Scrolls, book two in the Ilyon Chronicles. Ever since I read Resistance, Jaye has become one of my favorite Christian Fantasy writers. Today is the last day of the blog tour, but you can find the rest of the posts on the tour here.

Jaye Author Photo

About the Author

Jaye L. Knight is a homeschool graduated indie author with a passion for writing Christian fantasy and clean new adult fiction. Armed with an active imagination and love for adventure, Jaye weaves stories of truth, faith, and courage with the message that even in the deepest darkness, God’s love shines as a light to offer hope. She has been penning stories since the age of eight and resides in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.

You can connect with Jaye on her website, blog, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Etsy.

Hi, Jaye! Welcome to The Pen of a Ready Writer. Let’s get things started with a fun question: Chronicles of Narnia or Lord of the Rings?

I’m a Lord of the Rings girl, most definitely. I adore the trilogy and The Hobbit (books and movies). I probably wouldn’t be writing fantasy if I had not gotten into LOTR. I’ve read a couple of the Narnia books, but I just never really got into them. *hides from Narnia fans* I do like the movies though . . .

*Gasp* The Narnian in me is heading off to cry in a corner…

Lord of the Rings girl. The Ilyon Chronicles is a huge series. Six epic fantasy novels! What gave you the idea for such an ambitious project?

Well, it sort of forced itself on me and demanded to be written. It started out as only three novels, but quickly outgrew them. The initial idea came while I was reading DragonQuest by Donita K. Paul. I had just read a scene where you discover one of the main characters is a half-blood. This wasn’t a new topic for me since I’d written about half-elves before, but they were always accepted by society. DragonQuest got me thinking, what if I wrote about a half-blood who wasn’t accepted by society? And taking that a step further, what if one half of his blood was a race everyone considered monsters and soulless? Talk about conflict. That’s how my character Jace came to be. The rest of the series grew around him. I have to give all the credit to God for that. I really have no idea how it morphed from one character into such an involved series of books.

I absolutely adore Jace! I wanted to give him a hug so badly in Resistance.

You dealt with a lot of weighty themes in Resistance: treatment of those who are different, persecution, forgiveness. Does The King’s Scrolls continue those themes or develop a few of its own?

I’d say those themes continue, though some aren’t as much a focus as they were in Resistance. Persecution is definitely still a major theme, though. Trust is a big part of The King’s Scrolls, specifically trusting God even when things don’t make sense and it seems like everything is going wrong. I’d say that is the central theme of this book—learning to trust that He has a plan even when it is impossible to understand.

I love how the theme plays out in the book!

One thing that really impressed me about Resistance and The King’s Scrolls is the quality of the writing, editing, and formatting. It is even more impressive because you’re an indie author who did all of that yourself! What made you decide to pursue indie publishing?

Well . . . impatience? *sheepish look* I was young and impatient to have my book in my hands when I first decided to self-publish. Plus, I had absolutely no idea how I’d get published otherwise, and wasn’t anywhere near ready for such a thing. But now, with the way indie publishing has exploded since then, I’ve come to love it. There are so many more resources available now than there were when 18-year-old me decided to first pursue it. I would have a hard time being convinced to try traditional publishing now.

Sounds like something a lot of us young writers can relate to! What is the hardest part of indie publishing?

Having to do absolutely everything. It’s a TON of work. Many times, I don’t even have enough time to write. It’s kind of hard to be an author if you’re not actually writing. 😛 It would be nice to have others doing certain work like formatting. Now, I could hire someone to do that, but I prefer to save the money and do it myself. The sheer amount of work can be overwhelming sometimes, but, in the end, it’s worth it.

Well, you’ve done a great job of it, and I can’t wait to read your next book! (Hint, hint! Please hurry!)

Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions!

TKS CoverAbout the Book

Following the harrowing events that brought them to Landale Forest, Jace and Kyrin have settled comfortably into their new lives and the mission of protecting those under the emperor’s persecution. The fast approach of winter brings with it the anticipation of a quiet few months ahead. That is until the arrival of four mysterious, dragon-riding cretes who seek aid in a mission of great importance—not only to their own people, but to all followers of Elôm.

Hidden in the vast mining valley north of Valcré, a faithful crete has spent years sharing his knowledge with the destitute miners and their families and is known to possess what may be Arcacia’s last surviving copies of the King’s Scrolls—the Word of Elôm. Joining the cretes, those in Landale must find the crete teacher and bring him to safety, but it is a race against time. Should Daican’s men find him first, execution and the destruction of the Scrolls is certain.

When disaster strikes, all seems lost. Could Elôm have a plan even in the enemy’s triumph?

Available on Amazon!

Buy Now

My Recommendation

READ THIS BOOK! Seriously! Read it!

The King’s Scrolls pick up where Resistance left off, but it also introduces several new characters. I adored Timothy and the other crete characters. The Altair family dynamics play a much bigger role in this book, and we finally get to meet all of Kyrin and Kaden’s brothers. Liam is so sweet and Marcus…well, there’s nothing like the conflict of duty and family to tear a person apart. All the characters are well-crafted, which makes the events in the book more poignant.

I’ll admit it. I cried. There is one part of the book…but I can’t give that away. My advice is keep a box of Kleenex handy.

New characters, new tests, new adventures, and dragons! A book doesn’t get better than this!

TKS Giveaway

To top off all the excitement, Jaye is giving away this awesome prize!

Prize pack includes an autographed copy of The King’s Scrolls, a CD by Future World Music (some of Jaye’s favorite writing music), a dragon bookmark, a stone hawk pendant (much like the ones mentioned in the book), and a few packages of Twining’s Winter Spice tea to sip while you read! (Giveaway is open to US residents only. Cannot be shipped internationally.)

This is your last day to enter!
Click here to enter!

Goals for the New Year

Antique pen and inkwell

This is a time of year for looking back at the past year of goals and looking toward new goals. After the holidays punctuate the end of the year in celebration, its time to get back to business. Back to the grind and the hard work that it takes to achieve goals.

This past year, I wrote 3 books and edited 3 books. I sent out 11 query letters and received 11 rejections. I finally established a writing routine and stuck to it for over nine months. I started this blog. All goals checked off a list.

This year, I have a new list of goals. I’d like to write 4 books and edit 3 books. I’d like to improve this blog by making it more reader friendly. I have other goals that I can’t reveal quite yet, but they’re exciting.

The long list of goals can be overwhelming. Shoulders can sag under the weight of goals needing to be checked off lists upon lists. Even exciting goals can be wearisome if they seem too big.

But they needn’t be too big. Yes, I have goals, but I must ultimately bow to God’s will. His will for my life trumps all my goals.

I hope, as you set out on your goals, that you are sustained as you tackle them this year.

Looking forward into this new year of blogging, what would you as readers like to see in this blog? More book reviews? More posts on writing? Other things?

Things to be Thankful For

Snoopy Thanksgiving

By now, you’ve probably read plenty of blog posts about thanksgiving and what people are thankful for. This is a good time of year to pause, look back, and reflect, and I guess this blog post isn’t going to be any different.

I could go on and on about how I’m thankful for nice clothes, a car, my family, etc. Those are all good things to be thankful for, and I am thankful for them. But here I would like to focus on five writing related things that I’m thankful for this year:

1. I’m thankful I wasn’t published this year. That sounds like a strange thing to be thankful for, but I’ve learned so much that I wouldn’t have learned if publication had come when I’d thought it would.

2. I’m thankful for the community of writers that I’ve discovered. This year, I commented on a few authors’ blogs and discovered that published writers are people too. I’m so thankful for Nadine Brandes, Angie Brashear, Gillian Bronte Adams, Jill Williamson, and other authors who have replied to my comments and encouraged me even though they have never met me in person. I still squeal in excitement when I see an author replied to one of my emails or my comments.

3. I’m thankful for my critique partners, whether they are ones I just met this year or friends I’ve had since high school. You all are so amazing, and I wouldn’t know how to write without your encouragement every step of the way.

4. I’m thankful for Go Teen Writers even though I’m no longer a teen writer. I’ve met so many unpublished, young authors through that blog, and I look forward to getting to know everyone there better next year. The community there is wonderful.

5. Finally, I’m thankful for you, my readers. I don’t even have a book published, but I have 49 likes on my Facebook page and 74 followers on my blog. I never would have thought that possible when I started this blog a few months ago! Thank you so much!