DARK IS THE NIGHT BLOG TOUR | AUTHOR INTERVIEW with MIRRIAM NEAL

I’m back with another blog tour post but this one is unlike any I’ve done before. Why? Because Dark is the Night is an urban fantasy, something I rarely read, though I’d like to. So this will probably be one of my first novels in the genre when I read it. Exciting, right?

I’m also pals with Mirriam so obviously, an author interview was in order. Let’s get right to it!

ALSO: I read this book in a day, spur of the moment, so you can find my review here!

BLURB

Skata only has one goal in life—to seek out the vampire who turned his wife and kill it. When he finally tracks the vampire to the small nowhere town of Salvation, South Carolina, he realizes he has stepped foot into something bigger than himself. He’s going to need help—and that help may come in many forms. Between the vampires, werewolves, shape-shifters, and an unusual preacher, Skata may be in over his head.

AMAZON | GOODREADS

AUTHOR BIO

MIRRIAM NEAL is an author frequently masquerading as an artist. When she’s not scrubbing paint off her hands, she’s thinking about writing (actually, if she’s being honest, she’s always thinking about writing). A discovery writer, she tends to start novels and figure them out as she goes along and likes to work on several books at the same time—while drinking black coffee. She’s a sucker for monsters, unlikely friendships, redemption arcs, and underdog protagonists. When not painting fantasy art or writing genre-bending novels, she likes to argue the existence of Bigfoot, rave about Guillermo del Toro, and write passionate defenses of misunderstood characters. 

To learn more about her fiction and art, visit her website: https://mirriamneal.com/, where you can find a full list of all her social medias, or join the Citadel Fiction newsletter: https://www.subscribepage.com/b1h5v9

 

AUTHOR INTERVIEW

MIRRIAM NEAL

Disclaimer: Thoughts and opinions shared by the following author are not my own and I do not necessarily endorse them. Thank you.

Welcome to The Peculiar Messenger, Mirriam, I’m honored to have you here. Let’s break the ice, yeah? Tell us a bit about yourself. 

I love ice but I also enjoy breaking things. I’m an author (obviously) but also a full-time artist and the book I reread every autumn is Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury. I’m extremely (extremely) attached to Frankenstein’s Creature, and if you haven’t seen the BBC Miniseries, you have to. It’s a requirement. All due respect to Boris Karloff, but that’s not Adam.

Dark is the Night sounds insanely intriguing. In your own words, what is this novel about? Why should I read it? (Besides, y’know, the snark and the fact you wrote it…) 

It’s full of my favorite elements: preternatural happening/creatures, moral questions, life-threatening situations, unlikely friendships, redemption, and brotherhood. If you like any of these elements, I’m gonna suffocate you with them because they are what I, personally, like being suffocated with.

OK, you’re not being funny, you know I love those things as much as I love coffee. *grabby hands*

Everyone asks, “What inspired you to write *book title*”, so I’m asking, “What about this novel brings fire to your spirit?” 

I wrote it because I felt there was an enormous gap in the market. Christians were either completely avoiding vampires, werewolves, etc. for whatever reason, or they were, occasionally, writing a really bad one. Generally tying it back to Cain somehow (which frankly I find as offensive as some people find the idea of ‘vampires in Christian fiction’). The ‘secular market’ (air quotes) was providing supernatural vampire fiction in the forms of True Blood (excessive sexual content), The Vampire Diaries (lots of sketchy spirit-communication elements), or Twilight (which, while it has a very fond place in my heart, is achingly stupid). I wanted to write a good vampire book, as a Christian author, without turning it into a sermon or being preachy. Writing good fiction, especially good fiction which is unexpected from a Christian author, is something I’m incredibly passionate about. I often go back to the Martin Luthor quote where he claimed that a Christian shoemaker’s calling isn’t to put tiny crosses on shoes, but to make good shoes.

Popping in to say (well, first, you forgot Hemlock Grove so, *nervous chuckle*…) YEP. Dracula is one of my favorite classics, honestly, and the elements of Christianity in it were quite spiffy. It’s the only “vampire” novel I’ve read because of the very reasons you mentioned. There are few novels about shifters/etc that aren’t 1.) trashy 2.) awful. I’m grateful you’re helping fill that gap!

Let’s chat about “shifters”. As a Christian, how do you deal with these elements in your fiction, while many Christians title such things as sacrilegious? Is it a struggle? And, since we’re on “hot topics”… I’ve noticed it isn’t easy to be a Christian who doesn’t write what the Christian market prefers, so do you have encouragement for authors struggling with their peers? 

I’ve never had a problem with the concept of shifters. I think people who do have a problem with the concept are coming from a fundamentalist viewpoint that’s taking things wildly out of context. Therefore I’ve never really ‘struggled’ with that element in my fiction. There are things I used to firmly believe were Not to be Touched, but as I matured (not only in my faith, but as a person) I realized I was way off-base, and responded accordingly—many ‘fantasy elements’ being one of them! Your second question is trickier, though. I’ve never had an issue being a Christian author who doesn’t write what the Christian market prefers. I have more of an issue with many fundamentalist Christian readers who fall in the ‘Harry Potter is Straight From Satan’ camp (and yes, as a kid, I was one of them—despite the fact I was also reading myths, watching the Twilight Zone regularly, and ingesting heavy doses of Narnia). I’m fine with publishers—and readers—not wanting my books if they’re not your cup of tea; I only get frustrated when they approach it from an unfounded or fearful viewpoint. We are, as Tolkien coined it, sub-creators. If you’re concerned about werewolves putting a dent in your faith, maybe you should check your faith; not the werewolf.

 

Writing takes a lot of discipline. How do you stay motivated? (Pst, Five Finger Death Punch often does the trick, does it not?) 

Five Finger Death Punch is definitely the icing on the cake. Honestly, for me, writing doesn’t normally feel like a discipline. My art is a discipline; it’s what I do for a living, it’s a ‘have to.’ Writing remains in the ‘get to’ part of my mind, and since I can’t write full-time, I’m always excited about it in one way or another. I suppose the discipline really comes into play when I don’t necessarily feel like writing for long periods at a time, in which case I have to sit down and make myself work that muscle whether I want to or not. The right music is key.

How long have you been writing, and did you ever think you would be where you are today? 

I’ve been writing as long as I can remember, but the first time I took it seriously, I was twelve. I wrote a short story about a Pegasus for a site called Girls Horse Barn, and then I forgot about it. When I finally checked back, I was notified that I had won the contest, and that kicked off my desire to write not only for myself, but for other people, too. I’m an extremely private person by default, and writing has always been a way for me to communicate more than I could ever say in a conversation.

From what I’ve heard, DitN has a good dose of humor. Do you laugh or cry easily while writing (or reading)? 

I laugh while reading all the time, but I almost never cry while reading. I’m trying to remember the last time I shed any tears while reading a book and nothing is coming to mind. It’s pretty rare. I don’t laugh or cry while writing; I feel deep emotions, but it’s more encompassing and less reactive.

Do you enjoy the Indie publishing community, or are you secretly begging the agent gods to drag you into Traditional Land? What are some things you like best about being an Indie author?

 I’m bizarrely inactive in the Indie publishing community. I write books, I publish books, but my knowledge of the Indie publishing community is secondhand. I would like to be dragged into Traditional Land, absolutely, but I love having control over what happens with my books. There’s a certain amount of freedom in being an Indie author that you don’t get as a Traditional author, or so I hear.

Last, but not least… what is one of your future publishing dreams?

 Absolutely to see one of my large-cast novels turned into a TV show. Does that count as a publishing dream? Because that’s essentially the Best Thing I can imagine. That would really throw me over the moon.

OK but now you have to tell us who you would CAST personally for said show… because… reasons.

~~~

While I wait in agony to see if Mirriam returns and tells me the List Of People, let’s give her a hearty thanks for being here! I’m super excited to read Dark is the Night, and I hope y’all enjoyed this interview.

God bless, and may you always carry a stake (or wolfsbane)…

Angela

13RW BLOG TOUR | AUTHOR INTERVIEWS

Today, in honor of the 13 Reasons Why blog tour, I will be interviewing Faith Potts and Kaitlyn Krispense. These two have released their novels during Suicide Awareness Week. If you’re curious about the blog title, here’s an explanation…

“13 Reasons Why is a Netflix TV series centered around a young girl’s suicide. There’s debate about whether it promotes suicide or simply raises awareness, but the undeniable fact is that this show has persuaded others to take their own lives. Each episode explains a reason for the girl’s suicide—13 episodes, 13 reasons. Since both Freedom and Beloved deal with the topic of suicide, we decided to name our blog tour the 13 Reasons Why tour—but each day, we are giving reasons to choose life. We are fearfully and wonderfully made, loved beyond measure by our Creator. And that makes every day worth living.” ~ Kaitlyn Krispense

I don’t know about you guys, but the glorifying of suicide needs to end, and to do that, we must speak up. I’m honored to be part of this blog tour in effort to show life as the precious gift it is.

REASONS TO LIVE…

New song releases.

Seeing happy dogs while out in town. 

Funnel cakes during festival seasons.

Bringing a smile to a stranger’s face in the store.

To learn to do something new.

To see another sunset and another sunrise.

Saving the turtles who wander into the road.

Laughing over silly things till your stomach hurts.

Late night conversations with the stars.

;

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FREEDOM

Having just returned to American soil from the desert sands of the Middle East, James Greene is done with his life. ‘Double amputee’ doesn’t seem like a strong enough phrase to label the physical and emotional pain he bears. Add the lack of love and communication with his family members, the demons that haunt him day and night, and he can find nothing worth living for. Ending it all is the only way out. 

Alexandria Lorance is a not-so-ordinary physical therapist, content with aiding in her patients’ recoveries. Her work gives her fulfillment, but alone in the silence, she still endures the hidden scars of a past, unhealthy relationship. Reminding herself that true healing is found in Christ alone, she seeks to show kindness and love to everyone she meets.

When these two broken ones’ paths intersect, the spark of friendship is ignited, bringing hope and joy to both. Can they step out of the darkness of suffering and into the freedom of grace? 

A Marine, broken by war. A therapist, scarred by words. A chance meeting in a parking lot bonded them together. But can love grow in these two hurting hearts? Or are they truly too broken to ever find lasting happiness? 

Amazon

Goodreads

 

ABOUT FAITH POTTS

Saved by God’s grace, Faith Potts is a teenage writer and homeschool graduate, living with her family and beloved yellow labs in the North Carolina mountains. When she’s not weaving stories, consuming large amounts of coffee, reading stacks of books, or studying American Sign Language, she can be found laughing harder than is healthy, daydreaming, and—of course—blowing dandelions.

Blog

Goodreads

Facebook

Instagram

 

AUTHOR INTERVIEW WITH FAITH

Welcome to the blog, Faith, I’m super excited to have you here. Let’s jump right to it… Have you always wanted to write about harder topics, or are these subjects something God slowly presented to you over your author career?


Writing about the difficult topics is something that I didn’t plan on. A few years ago, I never would’ve expected to be publishing a book centered around suicide and the heartache that accompanies it. I started playing around with a story of a suicidal veteran, having no clue where it was going. And over the course of the very wild, very messy first draft, I realized that this was the story God wanted me to tell—regardless of how much it hurt and even when I cried through entire scenes. No matter how it’s accepted, I know this is the story that He wanted me to write. ❤

What part of Freedom most resonates with you? Have you ever related to certain elements in the story?


The element dearest to me—and one I can personally connect with—is the worthlessness and purposelessness experienced by several of the characters. Whether it’s thinking you “don’t deserve better” because of past mistakes or feeling like your life has no purpose or value, it’s a crippling mindset and a painful place to find yourself in.

Publishing a novel that tackles hard topics is not easy. What has pushed you on this far, despite the backlash and/or ignorance from others?


Although I love this story from the bottom of my heart, I would still be okay if no other soul on this earth found it to be worth their time. Why? Because I didn’t write this story for them. I wrote the story God placed on my heart. I said early on that if just one person realizes how serious and massive the suicide epidemic is because of this story, then it was all worth it. But now I can look back and see that that’s already been accomplished. Without writing this story which forced me to dig deep into the darkness of suicide, I never would’ve realized for myself just how horrible it is.

Writing a novel like this one isn’t easy, either. What did you do to ensure you didn’t wipe your emotions out? What kept you focused on the hope of the story, too?


I have been wiped out, beat down, and discouraged. But I’ve also prayed more over this book than any other story I’ve written. Jesus has kept me focused on the Hope, the Light, and the greater purpose. Reading stories of people who’ve lost loved ones to suicide and seeing how they’re able to cling to grace and push on through unimaginable pain—those people have unknowingly kept me mindful and grounded.

What can readers expect from the books to come in this series?


More hard topics. More pain. More Faith-tears… *ahem*  Lord willing, there will be two (maybe three?) more books in this series and each will deal with harsh realities that Christian fiction prefers to steer clear of. Abortion, teen pregnancy, drug addiction, doubting your faith… and whatever else God throws at me.

I absolutely loved this interview, Faith, you are right on the mark. I’m so grateful you shared this story with the world and continue to be on fire for Chris. ♥

 

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BELOVED

Life without love is hopeless.

Foster teen Cara Richards is unloved. With nothing left and nowhere to go, she is determined to find peace, no matter the cost. But despite her intentions, she’s tossed into another foster family and this time, there’s no going back to who she used to be. To make matters worse, one of her five new foster brothers is a Jesus freak, and she refuses to believe that God actually cares.

Her world is thrown upside down in a way she never expects. Though she prides herself on a resilient heart, her mind is lost adrift among a sea of questions: Is death really the answer? Does God care about someone as unworthy as me? Can everyone truly be loved, no matter what?

Amazon

Goodreads

 

ABOUT KAITLYN

Kaitlyn is a farmer’s daughter and a born-again believer in Christ with an obsession for books and music. It is these obsessions that led her to write her own stories. Psalm 46:10 gives her inspiration, her brothers make her laugh, and there’s nothing quite like the excitement of opening an unread book for the first time. Her passion is to share the steadfast love of her Savior through the writing that takes up much of her free time, whether actual writing takes place or writer’s block, in which case she’s probably browsing Pinterest.

Blog

Goodreads

Instagram

 

AUTHOR INTERVIEW WITH KAITLYN

 

Welcome, Kaitlyn! I’m glad to have you here. I’ll avoid asking “what inspired you” to write this novel… How about the tougher version. What made you tackle the tough topic of suicide and actually finish the novel despite the difficult element?

Thanks . . . I think?! So, when I first got the inspiration for this story, I was going through a time of depression. I wasn’t suicidal myself, but when I started the story, it just kinda . . . went that way? Honestly, the suicide aspect didn’t bother me as much as it probably should have.

What part of Beloved resonates with you the most? A character or a certain aspect..?

The message. The fact that we are loved by our Creator, and that makes us utterly priceless. Many people—including me—need to be reminded of this fact over and over. And if I can have a part in helping spread that, then this will all have been totally worth the hours I agonized over poorly-structured sentences.

How long did you have the idea for Beloved before you wrote it, and how long have you been writing before? What made you decide to publish this specific project?

About two hours. I actually would’ve started it sooner but I was working in the garden, haha! Before that, I’d been writing for . . . three years? Give or take. I was into writing fan fiction back then, and then I wrote my first novelette—one that will stay locked up forever, muahahaha. But yeah, that got me into really loving it.

What is your opinion of the “stigma” behind suicide? Do you still see it in existence, or do you think we have surpassed a healthy awareness, perhaps even become a society who worships the heartbreak?

We live in a fallen world. There will be people who see suicide as a sad a heartbreaking thing, and others as the opposite. But I can only speak for myself—life is a precious gift from God, and when we take that away, it’s going against everything that He created us to be. What’s important is that we never forget the seriousness of it, and that we spread the love of Christ to everyone. Who knows? A simple hug could keep someone from ending it all.

What can readers expect from you after Beloved? Do you have any more novels in store for us? I hope so!

I’ve got a couple of ideas that I’ve been working on off and on . . . one in particular being an urban fantasy that I’m rather excited about. Not sure where it’ll go, or if it’ll get published—we’ll have to wait and see! I’ve also written several flash fiction stories that I’m thinking about compiling into a collection.

Amen, Kaitlyn! Life is a precious gift and I pray Beloved inspires someone to choose life. ♥ Thank you!

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GIVEAWAY

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY HERE!

Three lucky winners will wrap-up the party with anywhere from a ebook copy of one of the books to paperback copies of both.

Giveaway closes midnight September 13th, winners will be announced on the 14th. International entrants are welcome, but should they win first or second place, ebooks will be substituted in place of paperbacks.

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That’s all for today, folks! Check out Faith and Kaitlyn’s blogs for the full HUGE schedule! I hope this post encouraged you and PLEASE comment at least ONE reason to live below. ♥

God bless,

Angela

KEES AND COLLIERS SERIES by KELLYN ROTH | AUTHOR INTERVIEW

I’m late with this post. And I’m sorry for that.

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(Look, Kell! ^ just for you)

HOWEVER, since I missed the first week of July, I thought, why not go a bit dramatic with the post? So, you will get an epic AUTHOR INTERVIEW with Kelly and… a walk down memory lane. Because the Kees and Colliers are fabulous. We’ll do the interview first so I don’t bore y’all straight off. 😉

KEES AND COLLIERS

The Lady of the Vineyard

Is it too late for Adele to return to her daughter’s life?

When her ex-husband reappears in her life determined to spend more time with their child, Adele Collier allows him to take Judy to France for the summer. As the summer goes by, an internal battle rages in Adele’s heart. Can she give up her glamorous lifestyle to win her daughter’s heart?

Six-year-old Judy is more than happy to trade Adele’s neglect for her father’s adoring care. She loves his vineyard and wishes she could stay there forever, but someday she must return to England. Can Judy trust her mother again?

“A great story about love, emotional turmoil, and the desire to set things right.” ~Long and Short Reviews

“A whimsically beautiful and heartwarming story.” ~Faith L. Potts, author of Dandelion Dust

Flowers in Her Heart

Can Adele change her entire lifestyle to be a mother to her babies?

When her husband goes off to war, Adele feels lost and confused. In a new, less-than-ideal place in a frightening, less-than-ideal time, she flees to the garden with her daughters, determined to make their new house a home, even if it is from the outside in.

Battered by her own inner turmoil and scoffed at by those close to her, Adele seeks to make something beautiful amidst chaos. But can even the most beautiful flowers cover the years of scars?

“So sweet, so true, and so downright good.” ~Angela R. Watts, author of Seek

“A fantastic story about family, faith, and a search for beauty and truth.” ~Goodreads Reviewer

From Now ‘Til Forever

The war is over, but it’s not as easy coming home as he anticipated.

Troy Kee doesn’t know how he’ll settle back into life with his family after WWII, but he’s determined to do so. He feels that if he can just get his family back to their vineyard in France, everything will be all right. But his wife has other plans.

This charming novelette finale to the Kees & Colliers series highlights the difficulties of returning home after a war.

Souls Astray

Adele has been lost for a long time now …

Adele Collier has sought a carefree lifestyle ever since her tragic childhood. Determined to never allow anyone or anything to control her life or emotions again, she consistently seeks distraction in gaiety. But shaking her ghosts isn’t as easy as she’d like.

Troy Kee has been alone in the world since the Great War took his parents and left him in care of his younger sister. When she marries, he’s left to seek after his goal of a healthy, complete family. But how can he focus on his dream when trouble plagues his family vineyard?

When Adele and Troy meet, a whirlwind romance begins—but can two lost souls have a healthy relationship?

“A tragic, well-crafted story of romance, family dynamics, and pain in the years between WW1 and WW2.” ~Jana Tenbrook

Souls Astray is a heartrending novel, full of poignant themes and topics that are important even today. It is a captivating read and will leave you wanting more.” ~Michaela Bush

 

FIND ALL OF THE BOOKS ON AMAZON OR KELLYN’S WEBSITE!

 

AUTHOR INTERVIEW

KELLYN ROTH

What inspires you to write historical fiction?

 
I’ve always loved historical eras – there’s just such coolness to it! I really don’t know why I do it – I suppose ’cause all my ideas are historical?
 

What kind of romance do you enjoy writing most?

 
Hmm, I think romance where they get to slowly be friends and have to conquer things together even while denying that they’re going to get married? Stupid trope, really, as who is that unaware of their feelings/the opposite matchyness? But I enjoy it.


What character do you relate to the most in the Kees and Colliers series?

 
Probably Harrington. Leave me alone with my books, for crying out loud. 😛
 
I also like Troy a lot, though he’s a lot better than I am. He’s a good guy.


What was your biggest internal struggle while writing this series?

 
I think the biggest problem was Adele. I had to make her likable, yet I didn’t like her, and then I did like her slightly (or at least understood what was going on with her), but she was still unlikable to most people …
There were times when I wanted to just kill her off and have done with it. But I didn’t, and even though she’s never going to be perfect, at least she’s semi-bearable.


What do you pray readers walk away with after reading these books?

I hope they’ll realize that new beginnings are a thing, taking responsibility for your actions is important, and no one’s perfect but that doesn’t give you an excuse for being a brat.
I also love the themes of fatherhood and motherhood I got to weave in. Too many people nowadays undervalue children.
Thanks for interviewing me!

AUTHOR BIO

Kellyn Roth, Author: insightful fiction, unhesitating truth

Kellyn Roth is a Christian & historical author from North-Eastern Oregon. Kell is a ranch girl, homeschool graduate, proud sister of four, proud auntie of five, and owner of two goofy border collies, two presumptuous cats, and a very active betta fish. Check out her website, kellynrothauthor.com, for more info.

Author Website: http://kellynrothauthor.com/

Blog: http://kellynroth.blog/

Reveries Co: http://reveriescompany.com/

Coach Kell: http://coachkell.com/

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest: @ReveriesofRuby

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It is always a pleasure to interview and review Kelly’s books. She’s a dear friend. A sister in Christ. A pal, if you will. Now, it’s time for memory lane. (You had better have read that in a VeggieTales voice. #sorryKelly #Oldhabitsman)
The Lady of The Vineyard came out years ago (I haven’t finished my coffee so don’t expect me to do math) and I had the honor to read it as a beta. I loved it. Then Kellyn published a compilation of short stories, more recently, containing all the tiny, original stories.
I read Goldfish aloud and my little nieces adored it! So from the start, the series has been utterly adorable. Then I hear Kelly was relaunching and rewriting. So, I’m totally pumped I have the original… And I already enjoy the current new books!

Souls Astray was a great step into the series and I read Flowers In Her Hair and adored it. I can’t wait to buy the whole series.

HUGE congrats to Kelly for this series release. She deserves all the hugs. And coffee. BUT she DOES NOT GET Harrington. ;P So there.
God bless,
Ang

SOULS ASTRAY by KELLYN ROTH | AUTHOR INTERVIEW

My dear friend and Indie author, Kellyn Roth, is releasing her novel Souls Astray today! The blog tour is going to be bundles of fun and I am honored to interview Kellyn, right here and now! As a beta reader, I gave Kellyn two promotional quotes about Souls Astray. Before we begin, take a look….

“This book deserves a reward for: 1.) A Heroine you like but wanna murder with a stick. 2.) A Hero who deserves a 1000 puppies. 3.) PAIN.” ~Angela R. Watts

 

Souls Astray contains characters who will tug your heartstrings, a story that engages on the first page, and leaves you hungry for more.” ~Angela R. Watts

Still think you’re ready? Let’s do this!

 

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BLURB

Adele has been lost for a long time now …

Adele Collier has sought a carefree lifestyle ever since her tragic childhood. Determined to never allow anyone or anything to control her life or emotions again, she consistently seeks distraction in gaiety. But shaking her ghosts isn’t as easy as she’d like.

Troy Kee has been alone in the world since the Great War took his parents and left him in care of his younger sister. When she marries, he’s left to seek after his goal of a healthy, complete family. But how can he focus on his dream when trouble plagues his family vineyard?

When Adele and Troy meet, a whirlwind romance begins—but can two lost souls have a healthy relationship?

Amazon ~ Goodreads ~ A Special Review Defining the Content Level ~ Website

Enter the giveaway to win a signed paperback copy of Souls Astray and a $20 Amazon gift card. Open to international entries. This giveaway will close for entries on the 11th of May, which means your followers will be able to enter even after the tour is over!

GIVEAWAY (CLICK TO ENTER)

 

AUTHOR BIO

Kellyn Roth is a Christian & historical author from North-Eastern Oregon. Kell is a ranch girl, homeschool graduate, proud sister of four, proud auntie of five, and owner of two goofy border collies, two presumptuous cats, and a very active betta fish. Check out her website, kellynrothauthor.com, for more info.

AUTHOR INTERVIEW with KELLYN ROTH

What started your passion for writing historical fiction? 

Well, once upon a time, I decided I was going to write a book which I never named but which was a really stupid, cheesy romance. It was based off my favorite novel, A Girl of the Limberlost, which I’d just finished reading for the first time, and involved a crazy love triangle that turned into a love square (two guys fell in love with one girl and then a different girl fell in love with the second guy) and … wow. It was insane. (But Colin is still goals as far as “tasteful ways to approach a woman you are attracted to.” *cough* *people won’t get that*) And it inspired basically my whole The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy series (which is my other big historical universe) (even though you can find two small connections in a person and a place to the Alice and Ivy series in SA … I’ll give a free paperback copy to the first person who points it out to me).
But anyways, I started writing it late one summer night, and I remember running downstairs to where my mom was sleeping with the boys in the living room ’cause of the heat. I whispered, “Mom, what era is AGOTL set in??” And she said, “1910.”
Boom. Started writing historical.
Of course, I didn’t term it that until I explained one of my stories to a writing friend, and they diagnosed it as such! 😛

What makes Souls Astray different than your previous novels?

Pain. Like, really. The book is start to finish pain with very few breaks for Troy/Adele’s cuteness and Holt’s awkwardness and Harrington’s stoicness.

What was the hardest part about writing Souls Astray?

What do you think, m’dear? Do you think it was easy writing the inevitable?
We all know what’s going on in the first book in the series, TLOTV. Writing the prequel, writing the cute Troy/Adele scenes at the beginning of their relationship … it’s hard because I’m writing about a doomed couple. Which sounds dramatic, but you know it’s right. You know that this isn’t a romance.
I also struggled a bit with one of my least favorite tropes … insta-love. I HATE books that feature insta-love … yet that is exactly what Souls Astray had to feature. Because the point of the story is, well, if you fall in love with a girl based solely on her physical appearance, if you get caught up in nothing but a man’s charm and willingness to bend to your opinions, your relationship is going on a downward spiral. Give up morals for “romance”? Even worse!
So that was tough. I had to portray a bad thing to point out a worse one! But it took a while to get there, and both Troy and Adele were caught up in the “inevitability” of their relationship in the meanwhile. Ugh. Get a brain, you two!

How do you celebrate a book release? (You definitely deserve a big celebration!)

*coughs* Well, normally I just … work really hard on blog posts … and work really hard on making sure everything goes all right … and um …
Yeah, I won’t do much. I’m writing this interview ahead of time so I’ll say launch day plans in future tense: sister is coming with her family, and my mom has a birthday including a birthday party. I’ve never been a big “celebrate launch day” person, haha!
I actually have a couple indie books from my favorites arriving from Amazon on launch day, haha, sooooo???

What is one message you hope readers will walk away with after reading Souls Astray?

Brother-in-laws are evil.
Wait, no, that’s what TROY wants you to take away from SA. What want you to take away is … don’t rush into romance and listen to God. LISTEN TO MCFRICKEN GOD THE CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE AND YOU AND THE PLANNER OF YOUR LIFE.
God says not to be unequally yoked? Don’t marry a non-Christian. God says to stay married? Stay married. God says to be faithful? Be faithful. God says to treasure children? Treasure children. God says you’re one with your husband/wife? Be one. God says marriage is between one man and one woman? Follow the model (or remain celibate).
And that’s just stuff in the Bible, not stuff He’ll show you about your personal life!
So yep. I care very much about people bringing God into their lives, as evidenced by some of my other books, but I believe this book has the most “listen to God when you’re thinking about marriage you whackadoo” theme of them all. 😛

Thank you for an amazing interview, Kelly, and I agree vehemently about listening to what God says. It’s a bold move to write a novel that speaks strongly of the truth. Rock on!

BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

Saturday, May 4th

Intro // Kellyn Roth @ Reveries

Review & Interview with Troy and Harrington // Amie W. @ Crazy A

Review // Abigail McKenna @ Novels, Dragons, and Wardrobe Doors

Review // Jes Drew @ Agency of Books and Spies

Interview // Angela R. Watts @ The Peculiar Messenger

Guest Post by Adele // Merie Shen @ Imperial Scribis

Review // Bella Putt

Sunday, May 5th

Interview with Adele // Michaela Bush @ Tangled Up In Writing

Review // Hannah Gridley @ The Heart of the Rose

Guest Post // Rose K. @ Adventurous Bookworm

Interview // Joshua Reid @ Take Up My Cross

Monday, May 6th

Character Takeover Day // Kellyn Roth @ Reveries

Guest Post by Troy // Liz Franklin @ Home with the Hummingbirds

Interview // Marianne Sciucco

Guest Post // Faith Blum

Tuesday, May 7th

Guest Post // Esther Jackson @ We’ve Got Pockets

Review // Jana T. @ Reviews from the Stacks

Review & Guest Post by Troy // A. Kaylee Harrison @ Kaylee’s Kind of Writes

Wednesday, May 8th

Wrapup // Kellyn Roth @ Reveries

Review & Guest Post by Troy // Dawn Dagger @ Rosy Dawns and Radiant Musings

Guest Post // Medomfo @ Writings from a God Girl

Review // Ruth O’Neil @ Real Life is Better Than Fiction

Interview with Harrington // Isabel Olivetti @ Chasing Fantasia

Facebook Party

Main event: May 8th (10:00-3:00 PST)

Minor giveaways, excerpts, links, and more will be posted throughout the week.

https://www.facebook.com/events/2222588961327506/

 

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I had such fun interviewing Kell and yes, I’ve read Souls Astray as a beta and I’m ecstatic about it being PUBLISHED so I can buy a pretty copy! 😀

Be sure to follow Kell and check out the tour.

God bless,

Ang

 

 

A QUESTION OF LOYALTY by JESSECA WHEATON | AUTHOR INTERVIEW

Jesseca Wheaton, author of the Questions of War series, joined us today for an author interview. The third and final book of this series, A Question of Loyalty, is launching and this blog tour is close to moving me to tears. I can’t quite grip the series ending.

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BLURB

A Man. A Brother. A Traitor.

The war has taken everything Micah Wilson has ever held dear, and with all his being he wishes he could do something to stop the heartache. But he often wonders if he’ll ever be able to move on after the war, or forget the brother who left six years before. How can God still have a plan when it seems that the world around him is falling to pieces, to say nothing of his own heart?

Ann Sullivan has seen two brothers changed by the war. And she’s resolved to do something to stop the pain she sees in their eyes from becoming a reality for so many others. The world is on the brink of Normandy when her nursing unit is shipped to England and, while there, an unexpected encounter promises to change her own life . . . forever. But it’s only the beginning. As the war in Europe rages on, Ann is caught in the crossfires. And when the unthinkable happens, she comes face to face with the evil of the Third Reich. Is it possible that the reality of it all is more deadly than even her worst nightmares?

Erich Essler never questioned his duty to his country. All his life he’s struggled to live up to his father’s expectations, and bring honor to the Essler name. But when the man he thought of as his only friend turns out to be the enemy, he can no longer rid himself of the questions that continue to torment him. Is what he’s doing really honorable? And does he owe his loyalty to his country . . . or a higher power?

Freedom for Europe dawns on the distant horizon. But in the midst of the fight, four lives will be forever changed, and their loyalty to God and Country brought into question.

https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!

AUTHOR BIO

Jesseca is a daughter, sister, and a child of God. Her days are spent reading, cooking, spending time with siblings, or playing piano. And writing, of course! At an early age words fascinated her, and her love for the printed page has only grown. She lives with her parents and seven siblings in the sunny state of Kansas, and she’s convinced there’s no place like home.

Goodreads

Author’s Blog

Amazon

 

AUTHOR INTERVIEW

What inspired you to write historical fiction?

I have a passion for making sure the stories of those who have gone before us never become forgotten. Those who don’t learn from the past are destined to repeat it, it is said, and I believe it. I wanted to be able to use my passion for history to tell the stories of those who have gone through so much for our freedom. It’s those stories that should never be forgotten.

How do you maintain a writing schedule while keeping on top of life activities?

Haha, awesome question. Right now I really don’t, and I’ve kind had to be okay with the fact that writing is not going to be a priority in life right now. Back when it was a part of my routine, I’d try and set aside a certain amount of time each day to write something. A blog post, poem, story, chapter, etc. Didn’t matter what, just something to make sure I had written. It helped a lot with writers block and such, because I was never super strict about what I was writing, just that I wrote. And often times I’d be writing something totally different, and get inspired to write something in the scene I’d been stuck in.

Biggest tip for finding a reading audience?

Blogging. Blogging and connecting with those in your community who have the same passions as you do. I’ve attended several WWII events and had the opportunity to share about my books with others who would enjoy that kind of writing. And of course, the writing blogging community is amazingly supportive, no matter the genre. Writers just get each other regardless of the subject matter. 😉

What is one lesson A Question of Loyalty taught you as you wrote it?

Not everything is black and white. And it’s when you’re dealing with those grey areas that things become hard. It’s been something I’ve been learning a lot in life as well and it’s been hard, because I like things that are clear. I like knowing exactly what is right and what is wrong. But learning to navigate those in between areas guided by God’s Word … it taught me a lot about that. And it’s something I’m still working on.

What is one message you pray readers will walk away with after reading this novel?

Stay true to God, to His truth and Word, and the rest will become clear. It’s not an obvious message in the book, but it’s there. It’s so much harder then it sounds, but it’s worth it every time.
Thanks so much for having me!

BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

Tuesday, April 23rd:

Laura Guenot – Review –  Beautiful Things

Kaylee Harrison – Review – Kaylee’s Kind of Writes

Wednesday, April 24th:

Soliel – Review – Reviews by Soliel

Abby G. – Review – Photos by Abby Rose

Libby May – Review – Geoturtle

Thursday, April 25th:

Faith P. – Book Spotlight + Review – Stories by Firefly

Victoria G. – Book Spotlight + Interview – Victoria’s Book Nook

Friday, April 26th: (Release Day)

Molly Anne – Review – Set Apart for Him

Kaitlyn S. – Review – Maidens for Modesty

Saturday, April 27th:

Kellyn Roth – Review – Reveries

Angela Watts – Book Spotlight + Interview – The Peculiar Messenger

Ryana Lynn – Review – Life of Heritage Corner

Kaitlyn K. – Book Spotlight – Twin Thoughts

 

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Thank you SO much for the interview, Jesseca. You’re an inspiration to many! Congrats on publishing such a moving, God-honoring series.

I strongly suggest y’all add this series to your to-be-read stack. You don’t wanna miss them.

God bless,

Angie