Audio Book Give Away of Make a Wish - $25.00 value



My second book, Make a Wish is an audio book. You can download the book and save it to CD Rom to play on your car stereo (it takes 9 discs). It is 10 hours of inspirational short stories that will  bless your heart. If you would like to win a free download this is what you have to do:

1) Tweet the link to my page on Audible.

2) Post the link on your Facebook page(s).

3) Share on your blog.

4) Post the link anywhere else you are socially connected.

5) Send me a private email with links to all your postings.

Each above posting is worth a point.  If you have read the paperback version of Make a Wish and include a review you have written (or write a new one for this event) that will count as 2 points.

Copy and paste the link below into all your social media.

LINK: http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Make-a-Wish-Audiobook/B00EEEKTJ0/ref=sr_1_1?qid=1379276659&sr=1-1

video

I will choose a winner by September 28th.

Here is my email: thevictorbook@sbcglobal.net

Do You Have a Deep, Heartfelt Wish?




        The stories in “Make a Wish" had a very innocent beginning.  A good friend of mine, Henry, who has been a quadriplegic since the age of 14 (and is now in his early 50s at the time of this writing), was really down in the dumps. He had been stood up for a fishing trip and because of his condition; he is subject to the schedules and whims of others. He wouldn’t get out of bed, wouldn’t do anything and his wife Vicki had given up trying to coax him. Henry and I had become good friends ever since Vicki reviewed my book, The Victor, on her blog.
        I had already spoken with Henry several times before this so I was distressed when I heard how low he was feeling. But what could I do? I lived on the west coast and he lived on the east coast. How could I possibly cheer him up? Then a light bulb went on over my head and I thought, “I can write him a story”…and that’s exactly what I did. I wrote “A Gift for Henry” in about one hour and then emailed it to them that night.  The first thing the next morning I checked my email to see what the response was.  Well…it was amazing!  Vicki had written me and told me that they had wept for 20 minutes after reading it. That it had truly been inspired of God because of the details I put in that I were not aware that were perfect for Henry.  Such as the smell of orange blossoms being his favorite, how he was always trying to wiggle his toes to see if they had started working and that all he wants to do when he gets to heaven is to run, run, run for the Lord.
        All of these stories were written as gifts for others either because I was inspired to do so or because they were requested.  Some are deeply emotional, heartfelt and inspirational while others are just fun.
        Each story is preceded by a brief paragraph which gives a little bio on the person for whom it was written and why.  Each person appears in their own story as the “star”.
        If you would like your own story, all you have to do is contact me via email and… “Make a Wish”!


Make a Wish is available in both paperback and Kindle edition and was just released as an audio book at:
Audible

Check out the reviews on Amazon, you will be blessed!

The Reunion We Thought Would Never Happen Just Did





We adopted my daughter, Karina, when she was 4 years old from Orange County Adoptions in August of 1998. Her older brother, Benjamin, had been adopted out to a different family a couple of years earlier.  Shortly after we got Karina, I wrote a letter to Benjamin's adopted family through the case-worker, telling them all about us, where we lived, who we are and how Karina and Benjamin, being full siblings, would want to know each other. I never got a response to my letter. That was in 1997.
Karina has always known that she had a brother and longed to find him. When she turned 18 a year ago, she started filing papers with Orange County adoptions to locate him. She ran into one brick wall after another and was basically told she was out of luck. Her birthday wish last year was to find her brother.
Two weeks ago, Karina called me on the way to work in shock. She told me that her brother had just found her through Facebook. His name was now Couper and his parents had just given him the letter I wrote 16 years earlier. Up until that moment he didn't even know he had a full sister even though he knew he was adopted. 

Couper and I began messaging each other and I told him that the following week was Karina's 19th birthday and would he like come down from San Luis Obispo and surprise her for her birthday? He immediately agreed and made arrangements to come on the train. Karina knew nothing of these arrangements and Couper pretended that he had to work when she invited him in order to keep it a surprise.
We met in front of PF Chang's for Karina's birthday dinner this past Friday, August 9th and that was when she saw her brother for the first time in over 17 years. I put the footage of their reunion into a music video (link below) along with photos I had of Karina growing up and the few that Couper had sent me through email before he arrived. My daughter has a very mild form of reactive nonattachment disorder, is very non-emotional and rarely ever cries. The moment she recognized her brother she threw herself into his arms, wept and clung to him. It was an incredibly poignant moment that we were able to capture on film. Couper spent the rest of the weekend at our home, met all of Karina's friends, participated in all her birthday plans and even stayed an extra day so he could be present at our extended family birthday party. He is a wonderful young man and new addition to our family. I made this video of them as a gift to both of them and they got to see it along with all of her friends and our family. Just about everyone who has watched it has wept and to my surprise, Karina the most of all.



This was truly a happily ever after fairy-tale ending for my daughter who has had a piece of her missing heart filled in. I would be remiss if I did not pause and give thanks and praise to the Lord for arranging this happy meeting by moving on the hearts of Couper's parents to tell him about his sister. Thank you Lord!

Grab your Kleenex before watching the video below:


Author Interview with Robert Bertram



Today I'm very pleased to present Author Robert Bertram. Let's show him support by leaving a comment about his interview!

Where did you get the idea for your latest book?

It was whilst doing research for another project that I came across the letters and diaries of some women who had lived through the trauma of the Great War. What I read in them was so moving that it  inspired me to write my debut novel “Dance The Moon Down”. The title comes from an article in The Nation June 1914, written by John Galsworthy the author of the Forsyth Saga. Basically, it was a critique of the younger generation. He said of them that “they had been born to dance the moon down to ragtime”. The irony of that statement impressed me so much that I took it for the title of my novel.

What do you want readers to take away from your writing and this book in particular?

Hopefully a sense of satisfaction in having read an engaging novel, and perhaps a more acute sense of what faith and courage can achieve, not just on battlefields, but also in everyday life.


What kind of research did you do for this book?

It took two years of research to complete this novel. Most of that time was spent in libraries, scouring text books (I had no computer then) There were also endless visits to the Imperial War Museum.


What part of this book did you enjoy writing the most and why?

I think that has to be the time that Victoria spent working on the farm. It was her greatest time of testing. It gave me the chance to illustrate her strength and adaptability and how, when her faith was tested, she came through. In fact this whole section is all about friendship, loyalty and faith and that’s what I particularly like about it.


How does your faith play into your writing?

Naturally I have to believe in what I’m writing. I feel that faith is what motivates and guides me to make one decision against another, it being the right one. Curiously, after a time, I began to feel as if I was the servant of the book and that it was a story that demanded to be written. I simply wrote it down.


What is your favorite book by another author and why?

Definitely “Moby Dick” by Herman Melville. It’s an outstanding novel (In my opinion written before it’s time) that deals brilliantly with the subject of obsession and paranoia. Sadly it wasn’t  well received in it’s own time, but now is rightly acclaimed as a classic work of literature.

Favorite childhood book?

“Winnie The Pooh” by A.A. Milne. I used to read them all the time. I still do occasionally. 



Click here to purchase his book on Amazon

Acceptance


Acceptance
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.” – Ephesians 1:3-6
As long as I can remember I’ve always had a problem with feeling “accepted”. Although I had good and decent parents they had a habit of leaving me home alone all day with babysitters while they went out, placed me with my grandmother while they went on expensive vacations, shuffled me off to an all-day day camp and/or for weeks away at sleep-over camps during the summers or dropped me off to spend all day at the ice-rink or in ballet class. Don’t get me wrong, I actually liked all these things but underlying all of it was the feeling that I wasn’t wanted “underfoot”.  My older sister, Susan, left the house when I was 8 (we are 12 years apart) but before that time I got the distinct impression she wanted nothing to do with me. I don’t ever remember her babysitting me and after she had gotten married and lived in her own place with her husband, visits with her were painful. The more I wanted to be close to her the way I thought sisters “ought” to be, the less she wanted anything to do with me. This culminated one day in the most painful, emotional “face slap” I had ever received when I was 21. She was the mother of 2 toddler boys and was going to be coming to my area to take them for their first visit to Disneyland. I wanted to be there to witness my nephew’s wonderment and joy only to be told by my sister that she didn’t want me there. I was blindsided. I felt like I had been kicked in the gut…and then I totally lost it. I think I must have cried alone in my apartment for 3 hours I felt so hurt and rejected. My own mother couldn't even believe my sister had said such a thing to me.

Couple all this with long years of being bullied, teased and never being accepted into the “cliques” at school and you have a lonely girl who is always on the “outside looking in” whether it be in actual reality or as a self-imposed exile. The worst has been the rejection I have experienced from the daughter I adopted when she was age 3. She felt incredibly hurt and abandoned by the teenaged parents who had her out of wedlock and were incapable of being good parents and as any psychologist will tell you, the adoptive mother gets the brunt of this. I was never told much less prepared for a child with reactive, nonattachment disorder and suffered emotionally for years until I just let all my hopes and dreams die a lonely death. We have never bonded emotionally, have almost no relationship and I feel like the ultimate failure at the most basic, and seemingly most natural thing a woman can be: a loving mother. The emotional dynamic between my daughter and me is too similar to the one that existed between my older sister and my younger self and triggers a lot of emotional pain and rejection which comes out as anger; God forgive me. 
The funny thing is, when I finally got to the place where I no longer cared or pursued having any kind of relationship with my sister, she became the one who now calls me and seems to enjoy my company and even says I love you to me on her phone calls. To be honest, it feels weird because even though I appreciate it, I feel no emotional affection in return. My sister’s acceptance of me came too little and way too late, long after I had steeled my hurting heart from the constant pain of her earlier rejections. I detached as a defense mechanism…just like my daughter.
To this day I still struggle with feeling “accepted”. I often become paranoid and worry that if people really, really knew the real me they would end up disliking me. Despite knowing the scriptures (like the one I posted above); this has transferred over into my relationship with the Lord despite my best efforts to focus only on what His word says instead of my feelings and lack of self-esteem.
I am frequently on End Times and other Christian message boards and constantly read accounts of fellow believers who claim to have dreams, visions and two-way conversations with God on an almost daily basis and this makes me paranoid and leads me to wondering, what is wrong with me? I don’t and have never had these kinds of experiences and as I have gotten older in my faith, my two-way interaction with the Lord seems to have become almost nonexistent despite my constant pleas to hear from Him, have His desires in my heart and to die to myself and live for Him. I frequently lay on my bed at night after my intercessory prayers are done and try to quiet my soul; straining to “hear” His still small voice only to fall asleep disappointed and wondering if I really am saved or if I am the one person in all the universe He really doesn’t want in His kingdom. As Woody Allen famously once said in one of his earlier movies: “I never join a club that would allow a person like me to become a member.” I’m not saying this to garner sympathy…I really have begun to worry about it on a serious level and on an almost constant basis.
If the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom then I must be a very wise person because I have a lot of fear. I struggle with my Christian life not being enough of “serving the Lord” on a daily basis and feeling useless and wondering if that is why He doesn’t speak to me.  Then I resign myself to resolve just living off my “faith fumes” and clinging to the scriptures that say that we are only saved by faith through the grace and mercy of God and realize that it’s a miracle I even believe in the first place.
I wonder if there is something short-circuited in my soul that prevents me from being spiritually attuned or if it’s just the way the Lord wants to deal with me? Kinda like Bella in The Twilight Saga whose mind no one could read and which later became the saving mechanism when her family was threatened. The Bible does say that it is only “faith” that pleases God and that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” – Hebrews 11:1-3
I have no choice in the matter. I can’t make God speak to me. I can’t make Him allow me to “feel” His presence like so many others claim to have experienced. I’ve had enough answered prayer in my life in year’s past to know that He is real but to be honest, I long for more. There has to be more to this Christian life than what I am experiencing. I pray for it daily, I live my life as much in accordance with His known will that I possibly can but at the end of the day, I’m still left feeling like a second class Christian and wondering….am I truly accepted into the beloved? I’m hanging on to this promise for dear life by my fingernails!
Do any of you go through this?

Interview and Review of August Moore and Extreme Cruelty




"This story is true. I debated long and hard whether to share it publicly. My Extreme Cruelty journey led me from the highs of a wonderful job with significant leadership responsibilities, respect, confidence, trust, and moderate wealth to the lows of unproductivity, unemployment, multiple deaths, isolation, depression, financial ruin, and utter humiliation. Did I really want to openly share this with others?"After August Moore finds himself divorced and lonely, a budding online romance with a woman named Crystal reignites his lust for life. She is everything he wants—beautiful, professional, and willing to explore the adventurous side of life. The only problem is that her job places her thousands of miles away, and for months their plans to meet are mysteriously thwarted. In a state of love-induced naïveté, August is willing to go to outrageous lengths for the woman he loves.Discovering that she comes as a "package deal" with her best friend Leona, August becomes entangled in a web of duplicity and compromised values. Blinded by his new-found love, he is led down a path that yields bizarre experiences with every step. And at the end of the path, Crystal is not all that she seems…A true-crime story of love, deception, and redemption, Extreme Cruelty serves as a warning that professional con artists are actively seeking to take advantage of those who are vulnerable and willing to compromise their entire lives for the sake of love. Part I details how August falls into this elaborate con and the loss he experiences as a result. His story is real… and it could also happen to you.

Tell us first how you came to faith in Jesus.
I didn’t truly come to know the Lord until recently when I reached the lowest point in my life, addressed in my sequel, Extreme Cruelty II.  Oh sure, I prayed occasionally in my past for really important things like not getting caught at something when I was a teen, winning the lottery, getting a corvette, or the Seahawks winning the Super Bowl.  None of those prayers were answered. This time it was different.  My prayer was a desperate, sincere cry out to God to help me in my darkest hour.  Within sixty seconds He answered my prayer, I kid you not, but you’ll have to read the sequel to find out what happens.

How old were you when you wrote your first real story and what was it about?
Actually, this is my first real story and it only took me five decades to achieve it.  I’ve never even written a short story before, even though I’ve always had a desire to write a book one day.  When my son was very young, I would make up long stories to tell him before bedtime instead of read the same old books.  I made him the hero in most of them.  I think it was equally fun for the both of us.

Where did you get the idea for your latest book?
Well, this book is a story of love, deception, and redemption that actually happened to me.  It’s my testimony, told in a true-crime format.  To be honest, I didn’t want to share my testimony publicly, let alone write a book about it.  However, I truly believe the Holy Spirit kept nudging me to proceed.  “We” wrestled round after round over this.   I lost.  So here I am, sharing this Extreme Cruelty journey and hopefully prevent others from becoming a victim as I was.

What do you want readers to take away from your writing and this book in particular?
In addition to the last response, there are two other key lessons to take away from my book.  First, never compromise your values for love… or what you think is love.  I’ve had a lifetime of instilled values, attending a private Missionary school for most of my childhood, nearly 30 years in the service with Army values, and a strong sense of right and wrong.  I chose wrong because I thought it would gain me the heart of a certain woman.  Secondly, don’t think for a moment that you are immune from being the victim of a scam or con.  It happens every day to people from all walks of life.  Even Churches get scammed.  Be wary of those you communicate with over the internet.

What part of this book did you enjoy writing the most and why?
It would have to be the Epilogue in the sequel, signifying I was finally done.  You see, writing this story has been incredibly challenging at times.  It forced me to relive many horrible memories and emotions.  I was surrounded by utter bizarreness, multiple deaths, deception, and devastating losses on multiple fronts, not to mention a legal war.  I was raised to believe that real men don’t cry.  The only time I ever saw my father cry was on his death bed.  While writing the book, I found myself crying… a lot.  At least there is some good news in the Epilogue, although some will be alarmed when reading the last few sentences.  We all should be.

What is your favorite Bible verse?
Jeremiah 29:11.  I have it hanging in my living room to serve as a reminder of Gods plan for my life, and to never go looking for love in the wrong places again.

What is your favorite comfort food?
Chinese and chocolate, 24/7/365.  Having been raised overseas with an integrated Chinese family, I would choose a bowl of rice over a slice of bread most any day. 

What are your hobbies other than writing?
I love to hike until my legs give out on me.  There is something about the solitude of hiking in the hills or mountains that really appeals to me.  It frees my mind and relaxes me, enjoying beautiful scenery.

How does your faith play into your writing?
Being a relatively new Christian, I really struggled with how to write this story.  I didn’t want to offend anyone or be an embarrassment to Christians.  At the same time, I felt led to share this story more from a secular perspective while playing the role of the “farmer”, planting seeds along the way to give the reader pause and at least think about God here and there.  Already some have rushed to judgment based on the book title alone.  Just as I predicted, some have been quick to judge me personally or label me, based on my story.  However, I’m not that man anymore.  I try not to concern myself with those ready to cast the first stone.  I’ve been saved, renewed, redeemed.  Never again will I abandon God.

My Review:

If I hadn't spoken to the author himself I would be tempted to write this story off as a work of pure fiction but knowing that these were real events made reading it that much more heart-rending. I found myself wanting to jump through the pages and warn August that he was being manipulated by a very evil and conniving woman.  Extreme Cruelty should be a must read for anyone entertaining thoughts of finding love through social media or even online paid services. This book will have you on the edge of your seat and ends on what has to be the mother of all cliff-hangers! Hang on to your pantyhose  because Book Two is coming out soon! Five stars!

You can buy Extreme Cruelty directly from the author (autographed) here 
Or from Amazon here


Interview and Book Give Away with Matthew R. Horn




Tells us first how you came to faith in Jesus. 
My parents raised my sisters and I in the church.  I was baptized when I was nine, and have never looked back.  I think nine years old might have been a bit early for me, because it wasn’t really until college that I started reading and praying daily.  I’ve always had a relationship with him, and I plan on keeping it that way.

How old were you when you wrote your first real story and what was it about? 
Of course I had always tried my hand at writing stories, but never got anything real until 2009.  I was 29.  I’m not sure why the Lord had me ready at that point, but I had a powerful inspiration and ended up writing a 700 page epic fantasy novel titled Heroism.  It is as of yet, unpublished along with its sequel.  My main goal was to write a story where the hero is who he is because of God.  The world they are in is a future/past earth where certain men have special abilities.  The main characters ability comes directly from God and spends his time discovering what God’s purpose is for his life.  The symbolism is, as always for me, indirect allowing the reader to see it or not see it for themselves.



Where did you get the idea for your latest book? 
My latest book, Nothing Good is Free, is the sequel to The Good Fight published by Brighton Publishing in September 2011.  I got the idea for the series sitting with my wife and our church youth group at the 2009 Indiana Christian Youth Convention.  I was listening to the keynote speaker and was immediately hit with an idea to write a story about a young hero coming of age with the help of a mentor.  I wanted to use his story to symbolize how hard it is for a Christian to mature in Christ and make the right decision day in and day out.  My wife helped me tweak the storyline by adding some conflict with the mentor.  Three months later I had The Good Fight.  Since then I’ve added the second title, Nothing Good is Free, and am now working on the third installment, The Price We Pay.

What do you want readers to take away from your writing and this book in particular? 
First and foremost I want my readers to enjoy a solid adventure.  I hope they are simply happy to read about Jeff.  However, I also hope that Christian readers can see past the surface and into the symbolism of our Christian walk with Christ much in the same way that CS Lewis captured in his Chronicles of Narnia series.  It’s there for those who want to see it, and for those who don’t it’s still a wonderful read.

What part of this book did you enjoy writing the most and why? 
In the first book, the city’s vigilante is my hero’s troubled mentor.  He had no real relationship with the Police because he didn’t trust them.  My hero, Jeff, on the other hand builds a relationship with a detective.  As a result, Detective Martell, while not even having a name in The Good Fight, has an expanded role in Nothing Good is Free.  He is put at odds with Jeff by the department, and the conflict and resolution were both enjoyable and fully satisfying for me as an author.  

What is your favorite Bible verse? 
My favorite verse, and this is not a plug for my book, is I Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight for the faith. Keep holding on to eternal life, to which you were called and about which you gave a good testimony in front of many witnesses.”
I think it applies in a wonderful way and is very uplifting.

What is your favorite comfort food? 
Hands down, pasta.  I’m not sure how that happened, but I love it plain with some Parmesan Cheese or as a part of a dish. 

What are your hobbies other than writing? 
I’m a pretty active fellow.  I grew up on a lake so swimming and skiing are big hobbies.  I love playing basketball and tennis as well.  All in all, I think reading is my biggest hobby though.  I’m always in the middle of a good book.  I love to read before I go to bed and I always try to get time in the mornings to read the Bible.

How does your faith play into your writing? 
I like to write books where God exists.  My characters may not pray to him religiously or even profess to know him, but he exists and works on them none the less.  I think it’s important to create worlds like that as an author because readers that don’t know Christ can be exposed to him in a fulfilling and unobtrusive way. 

What is your favorite book by another author and why? 
Currently, because this has been known to change, my favorite book is Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.  I loved it and I think it’s truly amazing how that book single-handedly built the publics perception of pirates, incorrect as it may have been.  It’s a wonderful tale and truly well written. 

Favorite childhood book? 
I started really reading when I was in the 6th grade.  My father was reading Clive Cussler books at the time and I read his book, Pacific Vortex.  I went on to read all 19 of his Dirk Pitt books, but Pacific Vortex remained my favorite.

Which movie has inspired you the most and why?
I really like the recent Batman movies.  I like to think that my hero, Jeff, is a less broken hero and more realistic, but along the lines of Batman.  I think the way Christopher Nolan advanced the storyline and the way he ended it were very well prepared and thought out.  I hope to be able to achieve some of the same things just in different ways.

Where do you get most of your ideas for your books? 
Inspiration comes from strange places.  I am the type to keep a journal close by because the smallest things often create the largest ideas, and I try to write them down as they come.  Dreams, songs, commercials, anything really can stir an idea.  It’s a compilation of experiences and senses that come together.  The only other explanation is that God wanted me to write something down, and I want to be able to say that I did.

Out of everything you have written, do you have a favorite and why? 
My favorite is my first work, Heroism.  The hero, Mark, is based off of me and my experiences and dreams.  I used friends and family members for my characters and I simply love having done that.  It’s like telling your life story in Christ, but getting to do it in a fantasy book with special abilities.  It was so much fun.  It’s just such a large and special project that it’s taking me forever to get it read.

Have you ever had a mentor when you were first starting out? Who was it and how did they encourage you? 
If I had a mentor then it was my mother.  She has her Master’s in English, and although she never knew I was planning to write a book, she always encouraged me to do things like this.  It’s hard for her to read for anything other than content because I’m her son, but I usually push all my chapters past her desk for approval before I move on.  


Matthew R. Horn, Author
www.matthewrhorn.com

Nothing Good is Free Now in E-Book




Book Give-Away - The Moses Quilt by Kathi Macias




Where did you get the idea for your latest book?
 
The Moses Quilt is the first book in the three-book Quilt Series from New Hope Publishers. Each is a contemporary story told against the backdrop of a woman in American history who is known for her courage and faith. In this case, it is about one of my own longtime heroines, Harriet Tubman, known as the “Moses of her people” because of her courageous work with the Underground Railroad. Not only did she manage to escape slavery herself, but she went back 19 times to lead hundreds of other to freedom as well, including her elderly parents. She later served as a nurse and a spy for the Union Army and after that fought for women’s right to vote. All this from a woman born a slave, penniless and illiterate, and yet used by God in mighty ways. Because I so admire this woman I always thought it would be great to write a book about her. I also love writing contemporary issues books, and this seemed the perfect way to blend the two. The next two books will follow this basic “pattern” of a quilt pulling together the past and the present.

What do you want readers to take away from your writing and this book in particular?
 
I want them to see what Harriet Tubman (and the two historical women in the sequels) were able to accomplish because they choose to believe God. They all felt He had called them to do something special with their lives, and they all acknowledged their inability to do so. But they also believed that if God had called them, He would give them the strength and courage to fulfill His calling. If women overcame such hardships in the past by calling on God for strength and courage, there is no reason we can’t do the same today.



What kind of research did you do for this book?
 
Quite a bit about Harriet Tubman, of course. I knew about her but learned so much more in the process of researching her life. All of it served to strengthen my admiration for her. I also did research about the famous Gee’s Bend Quilters in Alabama, as they play an integral part in the book.

What part of this book did you enjoy writing the most and why?
 
I enjoyed the contemporary portions of the story, of course, but I most enjoyed bringing Harriet’s story to life in a fresh new way, which I hope will encourage readers.

How does your faith play into your writing?
 
It is at the heart of all I do. Apart from my writers’ workbook, all of my books (40 of them), both fiction and nonfiction are written from a Christian worldview. I spent 26 years of my life as an unbeliever, seeing life through the skewed lens of secularism. I’ve spent the 39 years since then re-learning everything from God’s perspective, and that’s what I want to convey in my writing.



What is your favorite book by another author and why?
 
I have several, but I have to say Cry the Beloved Country by Alan Paton is at the top. It’s a book I reread often. It has deeply influenced the type of writing I do today, as well as the causes and ministries I’m involved in. Second would be Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers, another book I read often to remind myself of the amazing, unconditional, never-ending love of God.

Favorite childhood book?
 
I loved everything by Louisa May Alcott, the Nancy Drew mysteries, and The Box Car Children stories. I spent more time at the library than any ten kids I knew, but there was nowhere I’d rather be (then or now).

To be entered to win an autographed copy of Kathi's book, you must be a follower of this blog and leave a comment.

An Interview with Krystine Kercher





Tells us first how you came to faith in Jesus.
I trusted Christ as my Savior when I was four. I had a friend over for night; she was all of seven, and I thought she was very grown up. When Mom read Bible stories to us at bedtime, my friend asked lots of questions about faith, and God, and I got to listen in. I think it was the first time that I had ever heard it all put together quite like that, and understood that I had a choice to make, too. When she said she wanted to ask Jesus to be her Savior, I realized that I wanted to as well, so we asked Jesus into our hearts together.

What a wonderful moment!

We lost touch with her family shortly after that, when they returned to Australia and were assigned to a new post. So, somewhere, out there, on the other side of the world is my spiritual twin. I don't know if I'll ever see her again on this earth, but if I don't, I look forward to meeting her again one day in heaven.

How old were you when you wrote your first real story and what was it about?
I think I wrote my first book when I was in third grade. It was a tiny little story on scraps of paper smaller than a notecard about a bee. I drew pictures to go with it. Mom saved it for me. I think I found it again among my keepsakes a little while ago, but, knowing me, I've likely misplaced it again.



Where did you get the idea for your latest book?
I had this truly horrible dream, and woke up with my heart pounding in terror and in a cold sweat. To exorcise that dream, I wrote it down, and then realized that I had a pretty good story kernel, so I expanded upon that beginning and wrote a book about it.
The first book was truly terrible as only first books can be, but it introduced a character named Bjorn. When I was done writing that book, I began writing stories about him.  A Shadow on The Land grew out of those stories.

What do you want readers to take away from your writing and this book in particular?
The loving care and provision of God for them; and that God knows them by name and has a plan for their lives; that they are of infinite worth to Him, just as Bjorn is.

What part of this book did you enjoy writing the most and why?
Oh, that's a hard choice! I really enjoyed writing the dream sequence in Chapter 3, but the end of the book was my favorite, because I really liked how it all came together...and the tantalizing glimpses of something more to come that I was able to work into it.

What is your favorite Bible verse?
I have a lot of favorites, but if I have to pick just one, tonight it's Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV):
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. "
This is definitely one of Bjorn's favorite verses, too.

What is your favorite comfort food?
Chocolate? :-)

What are your hobbies other than writing?
I garden, sew, read books, do crafts, and hang out with my kids and my niece and nephew.



How does your faith play into your writing?
My faith informs and infuses my writing. I try not to be preachy with it, but show my characters living out the Christian walk.

What is your favorite book by another author and why?
I have too many favorite books to pick just one.

Favorite childhood book?
There's A Monster At The End Of This Book (A Sesame Street Golden Book)

Where do you get most of your ideas for your books?
I've gotten some ideas from dreams I've had; but others grew out of creative collections of odd bits and pieces; a little bit of "what if," a set of fantastical maps; drawings of possible characters, and journaling ideas.

Out of everything you have written, do you have a favorite and why?
My favorite book so far is the one that I've just published: A Shadow on The Land, although a prequel I've been working on for some time promises to take Shadow's place in my affection.

Have you ever had a mentor when you were first starting out? Who was it and how did they encourage you?
The best advice I have ever received about writing was from Donita K. Paul. She invited me to attend a critique group that she was leading in the Springs. One of the things she taught me early on was that if I wanted an audience for my books, I needed to concentrate on writing in the everyday English that I spoke. This is a lot harder than most readers might suppose--

Unfortunately, her health quickly deteriorated after I joined her group, so she wasn't at most of the meetings, but when she was there, I learned so much, and she really encouraged my writing.

The other critiquers in the group picked up where she left off, and helped me to grow by leaps and bounds as a writer, and I will always be grateful to them for the many lessons they taught me, but I still really treasure Donita's advice. 

To purchase the book on Amazon: click here

An Interview with Joshua FitzGerald - a teen author!


I met Joshua and his mom at the Modesto Home schooling Convention a few years ago. He came by my booth and just could not seem to take his eyes off my book, The Victor (which his mom eventually bought for him). At the time he was still writing this book and now it is here! 

Tells us first how you came to faith in Jesus.
I grew up in a Christian home but didn’t understand what it meant to follow Christ until I was 12 years old.  It was then that I understood that I had rebelled against God (Romans 3:23), and that because of this, I deserved death (Romans 6:23).  There was no question in my heart that Jesus was the answer to my dilemma.  He had died for my sins so that I could be saved from the eternal punishment that I deserved.  As soon as I realized that, I asked Him to become my Lord and Savior, knowing there was nothing I had to nor could do to earn salvation.  All I needed to do was believe that He had died and had conquered death with His resurrection.  Romans 10:9-10 puts it so plainly, “if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”  And so I did!
How old were you when you wrote your first real story and what was it about?
When I was in the 2nd grade, I entered the Reading Rainbow Young Writers and Illustrators Contest in the San Francisco Bay Area with a short story titled “My Brother the Peanut-Butter Ball.”  I won 2nd place.
The following year I entered the contest again, and I won 1st place for another work titled “The Adriatic Adventure.”  I almost got disqualified because the judges couldn't believe a 3rd grader could write that well.  They inteviewed me on the radio later, and the reporter found out for himself I had the imagination and vocabulary of a good story teller.




Where did you get the idea for your latest book?
My, my…where to begin? Well, I'd have to say that I spent my childhood dreaming up stories, a small percentage of which I actually wrote – and that was just for writing class. The Eighth Dimension as a collaboration of various story ideas that I patched together. Interestingly enough, it had started out as a sci-fi series – in my mind anyway – much like Star Wars … only with a Christian message instead of Eastern Mysticism. I had eight books all planned out, but I didn't know how to write them, so they gathered dust on my mental shelf.
A little while later, I reconfigured the story to take place in a sort of steam-punk setting – sort of like Treasure Planet. I actually got bits and pieces of it written down, including maps, and even a prologue. But again, I didn't have the know-how to create even one novel from it.
Then my mom found a curriculum for homeschoolers that taught how to actually plan out and write a novel. Feeling that I wasn't ready to take on sci-fi or even steam-punk, I chose a medieval setting – although the concepts within the story is kind of a Narnia-meets-The-Matrix. The Eighth-Dimension, which used to be a parallel universe, became something entirely different and came to refer to the Spiritual Realm.
While my first book – The Eighth Dimension: A Symurell Rises – is set against a medieval backdrop, I plan to expand the story into a series that spans different genres. The first three books are medieval, but in the third book, gunpowder will be introduced, heralding a progression in civilization. Each of the books that follow will be set in another period in a history of this fictitious world similar to our own history.

What do you want readers to take away from your writing and this book in particular?
It's hard to say. I strive to make my characters as real as possible. I want my readers to want to come back to this world again and again. Also, when they come to the end, I want them to feel a sense of euphoric completion, as if they themselves have taken a long, dangerous journey and are finally coming home.
While my future books will contain teasers meant to stir within the reader the desire to know what happens next, I do intend for each work to stand alone so that each ending will maintain the sense of completion. In short, it is my goal to create a gentle tug-of-war between closing one book with satisfaction and opening the next with anticipation.
Most importantly, I want the gospel message communicated in my books to be clear and understandable, but as a backdrop or frame of reference, which is true of a Christian’s life. The action and adventure is a vehicle for the message. I hope that the quality of the story will draw in even people who do not yet know for themselves about God’s saving grace.

What part of this book did you enjoy writing the most and why?
I don't really have one favorite part. There are parts of my book that seem to have written themselves and I'm discovering it.  Any part that seems to flow naturally is basically my favorite, but I especially enjoy writing action scenes and other scenes where my characters are interacting with dialogue.
As much as I enjoy writing, I view it as a means to an end, which is telling a story people can appreciate. I especially love it when a scene no longer becomes a series of words, but a picture in your mind … where you can actually see the characters interacting as if they're actually standing right in front of you!

What is your favorite Bible verse?
If I had to pick one, it would be Joshua 24:15 because it reflects the main theme of my book.

What is your favorite comfort food?
Food? I write the same whether I'm hungry of full. I prefer to write when full, but if I'm working on an especially important scene, I don't have to eat. When you read my book, you'll discover what kinds of food I really like.

What are your hobbies other than writing?
Composing music is another outlet for my creativity, so I find myself playing freestyle on the piano quite a bit. I also enjoy hanging out with my friends and my college groups activities.

How does your faith play into your writing?
It's the best story I could tell. The Bible is filled with tales of heroes of great renown, all of whom served their Creator, of good triumphing over evil, and of God’s direct power over the laws of nature to accomplish His will. What is more, while this novel is a mere work of fiction, I believe with all my heart that the stories in Scripture are true ... no mistranslations and no metaphors. The Red Sea’s waters were held back by seemingly nothing at all. The walls of Jericho did fall to seemingly nothing more than a band of soldiers and priests shouting at the top of their lungs and blasting away on their ram’s horns. Jesus did die, stayed dead for three days, and then was raised to life. Whatever portrayal of God I have painted in my novel, it will always be but a fragment of the real Creator of the universe.

What is your favorite book by another author and why?
I'm stuck between Frank E. Peretti's This Present Darkness and Ted Dekker's The Circle. Both are a genre similar to mine and have been a strong inspiration for my endeavors.

Favorite childhood book?
C.S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia were the most influential. When I first heard about them I was apprehensive because of the White Witch, but I grew to love the series and understand their deeper meanings.

Which movie has inspired you the most and why?
Like I said before, The Eighth-Dimension is sort of a Narnia-meets-The-Matrix, but the movie that gave me the most inspiration was Lord of the Rings. Peter Jackson turned Tolkein’s loquacious books into an epic adventure. The trilogy has everything I would want for my book: a nostalgic beginning, edge-of-the-seat action, relatable characters you want to care about, breathtaking scenery, and a euphoric ending.

Where do you get most of your ideas for your books?
I write my book like a movie. I find books to be the easiest medium for my creativity – easy being, of course, a relative term. But my ultimate goal is to make movies, because they are the most effective story-telling device in today's culture. A picture is worth a thousand words, and movies are a series of billions of pictures and sounds.

Out of everything you have written, do you have a favorite and why?
My favorite work is whatever I am working on at the time. It is important to devote your affections to one work at a time. If you don't, some works will be great successes while others will be complete flops because you didn't enjoy writing them as much. One needs to enjoy writing each work equally for all of them to be successful.

Have you ever had a mentor when you were first starting out? Who was it and how did they encourage you?
I credit my mom for imparting to me her sage knowledge about the English language and sparking in me a love for words. My dad encouraged me to step beyond my comfort zone. He told me, when I first started thinking up worlds, “You should get this down on paper.” Both my mom and my dad have been inspirational and deeply involved in my endeavors in fiction.