Posted in Author Interview, Dreams, Writing, Writing Wednesday

My journey as an indie author – Guest post by Kellyn Roth

Hello everyone!

I’m so excited to have Kellyn Roth guest posting about indie publishing as part of her blog tour for Souls Astray. So without further ado, here’s Kellyn:

Hey readers!

Kellyn Roth here. I’m the author of Souls Astray as well as the rest of the Kees & Colliers series (and some other books, but they’re not the ones we’re talking about). I independently publish these books—which basically means I’m the publisher.

I’m in charge of writing and revising the book like every author … but I’m also in charge of hiring editors and cover designers, formatting it, deciding on the pricing, picking publication dates, and all the media stuff that comes along with it.

Being an indie author is far from simple—nor is it easy or immediately lucrative. But it’s also a very real form of publication that’s becoming more and more popular.

So today I’d like to share a bit about my journey to becoming an independent (or indie) author! It’s not much of a story, I’m afraid, but it might be helpful if you’re considering traveling down this path yourself.

Well, I started writing when I was six or seven, but I only got into it when I was twelve and finished my first longer project. Since then, I’ve been writing like a maniac.

Then I decided to publish my first novel, The Dressmaker’s Secret through Createspace (now Kindle Direct Publishing for both paperback and ebook). Now, I did this in a highly unrecommended way—with no professional cover designer and no editor and no preparation. I put the book out on January 10th … and realized that I’d missed a lot.

The first thing that hit me was marketing. Putting my book out there. Getting on social media. Sharing about my book. If you don’t build a platform, you won’t sell books—that’s the simple truth of it.

I was pretty stressed. There was a lot for me to go over! But perhaps, thought I, it’s doable. So I dove in and got started.

I primarily had my blog, Reveries, to start with, and that was a good start to my marketing. Writing for Reveries gave me a good idea of what I wanted to say, what my writing voice was like, and how I could talk to people (both through the posts and comments).

This first social media I got was Goodreads, a site for readers which allows you to rate, review, and otherwise keep track of the books you read. I got signed up for an author profile, and I primarily used it to connect with other readers—no book marketing involved. Just to share my love of reading with the world. That’s the only way to go about it. You can find my profile here.

After that I got Facebook. Now, remember this for Facebook: always create a professional author page and use that for marketing instead of your personal profile. Mine can be found here. It took some convincing, but my parents eventually came to understand how vital it was for my chosen career.

Next came Twitter followed by Instagram. Both are very useful platforms, though I’m still figuring out how to use them, I’ll admit. I love Instagram but will never be very professional on there. I’m still playing with Twitter. Honestly, it might not be for me.

Another important form of marketing is … email marketing! I use MailChimp to put together an email list/newsletter (you can subscribe to mine here) and offer some free ebooks to subscribe. Then I get to send info about my books straight to their inboxes!

Then there are street teams. A “street team” is a group of people who agree to help you share about your novels (usually in exchange for free ebooks or along those lines). My street team is called Readers of Reveries.

So those are some of the things I did to launch my career as an indie author. But a lot of it is just hard work, being a good citizen of the writer community and trusting people to help you out in return, and sticking to it.

A couple other things you can do is find a group of indie authors who write in your genre and get to know them and learn from the pros as well. But of course perseverance is the most important thing. Stick with it, keep learning, and you’ll succeed!

Thank you so much Kellyn for your awesome tips!

Be sure to check out the rest of the blog tour here and read her books😊

Here’s a quick teaser of her book, Souls Astray:

Advertisements
Posted in Book Reviews, Writing, Writing Wednesday

Sex, Purity and the Longings of a Girl’s Heart

Hello everyone!

This spring, I’ve been so honoured this month to be part of the launch team for Girl Defined’s third book, Sex, Purity and the Longings of a Girl’s Heart.

And, oh my goodness, it’s a book that every woman, young and old, should read.

So without further do, here is the blurb of the book.

About the book:

For the modern Christian woman living in today’s sexually charged society, embracing God’s design for sex and purity can often feel like an impossible pursuit. As the culture seeks to normalize things such as pornography, erotica, and casual sex, both single and married women of all ages feel immense pressure to conform. With alluring temptations constantly inviting them to join in, they might even begin to question whether God’s design is truly good. They wrestle with questions like

– What is the purpose of my sexuality?
– What does it mean to pursue purity?
– Are my sexual longings good or bad?

In this encouraging book, Kristen Clark and Bethany Beal share honestly about their own struggles and victories, and invite women on a personal journey to discover and reclaim a biblical vision for their sexuality. Kristen and Bethany help women understand why God’s design for sexuality is good, relevant, and leads to true hope and lasting freedom

My review:

Oh. My. Goodness! There were so many questions I had about where to learn about sex and purity in the Bible, but I never knew where to begin. Kristen and Bethany not only showed where to read about those topics, but also EXPLAINED what it means.

Talking about sex and purity on church can be awkward at times because you don’t know people’s past stories, and people can be very frightening about the whole thing . Kristen and Bethany clearly knew this because they made their book a very comfortable space to ask questions and get them answered.

Having them open up about their own past sexual struggles was really inspiring and comforting, because knowing that they, who are now huge inspirational figures for Christian women, had dealt with sexual struggles meant that I along with others will never be alone with overcoming issues.

And finally, how can I talk about this book without mentioning the amazing message of grace and redemption. Even as a Christian girl, when I mess up, sometimes it takes a while for me to realise that God has truly forgiven me, and I don’t have to live with my head down because I’ve repented. This encouraging message is talked about so well, and I know that other girls will be blessed by this too.

So who is this book for? It’s for any Christian girl and woman 12/13 +( with parental permission if you’re under 14 simply because of the topics that are covered, e.g. lust, sex etc.) who want to go deeper into God’s Word, and also get their questions about sex and purity answered from other Christian women who’ve been there. And most importantly, it’s for Christian girls and women who need a reminder of God’s amazing grace and forgiveness.

So go and order the book! You’ll be very blessed by it. And check out Kristen and Bethany’s website Girl Defined for more articles on what God’s design for women is, and how we should deal with issues in the 21st century.

Note: I received this boom free in exchange for an honest review

Posted in Author Interview, Writing, Writing Wednesday

Faith Alone Blog Tour- Author Q&A

Hello everyone!

Today, I’m interviewing Ruth Meyer on her latest release, Faith Alone.

1. When did you start writing with the hope of becoming an author?
It wasn’t until I was in my 30’s that I even considered becoming an author. I majored in music in college and didn’t have to take a single English class the entire time! About six years ago, a class project for my son inspired my first book, Our Faith From A to Z. That was a perfect place for me to start, because it’s an alphabet book, and I had very specific guidelines to follow: one term for each letter of the alphabet, written in the form of a poem with a specific meter and cadence, and a brief explanation of each term at the bottom of the page. Fiction is a whole new ball game, but once I started writing it, I couldn’t stop. One might say it’s more of an addiction for me.


2. What is Faith Alone about?
Faith Alone continues the story begun in my first novel, Grace Alone. It follows the lives of the Neunaber family as they’re adjusting to a new member of the household after their mother gets remarried. Of course there are tensions as everyone adjusts, but these tensions pale in comparison to the decision the oldest daughter, Faith, is forced to make.


3. What inspired Faith Alone?
After I finished writing Grace Alone I was sad—almost depressed—to be done with their story. I moped around for about a week, complaining to my family about it until my oldest son said, “Why not just write a sequel?” A day or two later, the idea for the central conflict of the book came to me while I was on a walk, and I stopped right there in the road as I considered it. Then I raced back home to start writing.


4. Who is the book for?
I like to say it’s for anyone who’s ever been faced with a seemingly impossible decision. Let’s face it—life is messy, and the lives of my characters are messy as well. I strive to paint as realistic a picture as possible so people can relate to the characters. Yes, most of my characters are Christian, but Christians make mistakes too, and my characters are no exception. Because of the subject matter, however, I wouldn’t recommend it for readers under the age of 12. As my blog tour host says, “This squeaky-clean novel deals with a few tough themes in an honest but godly and undetailed way.” I don’t write anything I wouldn’t want my teenage kids to read.


5. What do you want readers to gain from your book?
Above all, I hope readers hear the message of forgiveness and hope through Jesus. I once had a lady tell me she identified with my character Grace so much that she felt like she was reading her own life story in Grace Alone, and that she was reassured of God’s love for her. That’s the reason I write. If God can use my writing to reach even one person with that message, it’s completely worth it.


6. Have you written any other books and where can we get them?
Both my children’s book, Our Faith From A to Z, and the first novel of this series, Grace Alone, are published by Concordia Publishing House and are available on their website, cph.org. They are also available on Amazon. There are more books to follow in this series—eight total—so readers can follow my author page on Amazon, follow my blog, or sign up for my newsletter to stay up-to-date on that information.


7. What kind of books do you enjoy reading?

Just about anything except hard-core romance. I especially love mysteries, a genre I have no interest in venturing into for my own writing. I also like historical fiction, Christian fiction, young adult novels, real-life stories, autobiographies, and the occasional dystopian novel.


8. What Christian contemporary books would you recommend to new contemporary writers?
I’m a big fan of Terri Blackstock’s writing, especially her Restoration series, which delves into the scenario of a worldwide blackout, and also her Intervention series, which deals with addiction.


9. Where can we connect with you?
My website is ruthmeyerbooks.com, and I blog at TruthNotes.net. I’m also on Facebook under Ruth E. Meyer, Author, and I have author pages on Amazon, Goodreads, and BookBub. There are links on my website to each of those, plus a link to sign up for my monthly newsletter.


10. What tips you have for young aspiring writers?

First, read, read, read! I’ve heard it said that you can learn something from every book, even if it’s how not to write a book! Readers tend to make the best writers, because they know what makes a compelling story and what doesn’t. They also naturally pick up on grammatical rules like punctuation because they see it so often.


Next, practice, practice, practice! As with anything, you have to spend time working at it in order to get better. My first attempts at playing hymns in public were pretty slow and laborious, but I improved over time and with practice. So it is with writing. My first drafts of fiction were pretty painful, but I’ve improved with practice and experience.


Lastly, welcome constructive criticism. It can be painful, yes, but this is a crucial step. Many other areas of life require a teacher or coach, so why should writing be any different? I couldn’t have learned to play the organ well without taking lessons for years. Young writers should find a writing coach—an English teacher, a more experienced writer, peer writing groups, and eventually an editor. It was only through the help of a very kind and patient editor that I was able to publish a decent novel in the first place. I’m still learning things, and I would encourage aspiring writers to keep an open mind about constructive criticism. Editing is not meant to discourage, but to offer suggestions on how to improve your writing; an editor is your own personal teacher. It’s easy to get defensive about their suggestions, but the vast majority of those suggestions really will help you improve your writing skills.

 

Thank you so much Ruth! If you want to learn more about the book and Ruth, then read on 😊

Grace Neunaber has finally found happiness. After struggling for years as a single mother of four, she’s thrilled about her newfound faith and her marriage to a strong Christian man. But as David is added to their family of five, her enthusiasm is quickly dampened by her older children’s open hostility and resentment toward their new father.

For Grace’s daughter, Faith, having a principal for a step-dad is only one of the downsides. Her parents are nosy, restrictive, and most of all embarrassing. But Faith’s issues with her parents are quickly shoved aside when she’s faced with a decision that will change the course of her future.

Each member of the Neunaber family will have to rely on their faith in God if their strained relationships are going to knit them closer together instead of tear their family apart.

GOODREADS | AMAZON

Ruth Meyer graduated from Concordia University in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with a degree in church music and no plans whatsoever to become an author. But a student of the week project for her son inspired Our Faith from A to Z, a children’s picture book. After that, it was only a matter of time before she tried her hand at fiction. As both the daughter of and the wife of a pastor, Ruth has moved around a lot, and her experiences provide many ideas for her writing. Currently, she resides in rural Texas with her husband, their five children, and two dogs. It is her hope that through her writing, readers are assured of God’s grace through His Son, Jesus.

AUTHOR WEBSITE

I hope you guys check out the rest of the blog tour!

https://wp.me/p9ULWc-8m7

Posted in Book Reviews, Writing, Writing Wednesday

Sand Castle Dreams-Review

Hello everyone!

I’m so sorry for being absent this month, but I think I’ll have to only post around 2 posts per month until June due to life’s craziness.

Today, I’m so excited to share with you a book that I’ve been part of the launch team of!

Introducing Sand Castle Dreams, the sequel to Porch Swing Girl.

Sometimes we have to face our greatest fears in order to become whole again.

Returning to Maui after one of the most challenging summers of her life, sixteen-year-old Olive Galloway is ready for things to return to normal—or, at least, a new normal. But even though she and her sister are back on the island they love, nothing is the same since they left for Boston a few months ago. Olive’s friend Jazz is hiding a secret—possibly something even worse than the cancer diagnosis she received earlier in the year. Can Olive ever stop running from memories of all they’ve lost?

When their friend Brander suggests Jazz attends the church’s teen support group, Olive thinks it’s a great idea—until Jazz insists that Olive join her. While the group is the perfect place for Olive to share her struggles, she wants nothing to do with it. Instead, grief threatens to roll over her like the ocean waves, and tiny fibs turn into looming secrets. When a scruffy puppy and one viral video send another storm rolling into Olive’s life, she ends up face-to-face with her biggest fear. And the only way to make it out of the tempest is to go straight through.

Age: 12/13 +, only because it does mention about alcohol addiction and abuse, in a clean way of course.

What I liked:

Wow. Just wow. Taylor has just blown me away again with her stories. They’re so powerful, and so uplifting, and I really hope that you can read her books soon 💕

Olive is definitely more likeable and more caring in this book, which was great especially how she took the lead in helping Jazz and a few others with their problems.

I loved the fact that there were so many situations being tackled with, and seeing how Olive and her friends’ faith helped them through each one: from bullying at school to sorting out addictions, homelessness, and fear in general. I think there is something for everyone to take away from this book.

One thing that I’ve absolutely loved about this series so far is the idea of dealing with situations with faith and community.

Book links:

Amazon( UK Kindle link):

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sand-Castle-Dreams-Tradewind-Book-ebook/dp/B07NXMQQ54/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?keywords=taylor+bennett&qid=1553719811&s=books&sr=1-2

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44023835-sand-castle-dreams

Note: I received this book in exchange for an honest review

Posted in Author Spotlight, Book Reviews

Live Without You Book review

Hello everyone!

I’m super excited to be reviewing Live Without You as part of Sarah Grace’s celebrations for her debut book release!

About the book

Piper Redding is a loner, but lonely. Everyone she loves has abandoned her and opening her heart to others is just asking for more pain. She can’t help but blame herself for her brother’s tragic death six years ago, and in her guilt, she shuts herself off from the world. No one could love her—not even the God who promised to be there for her but wasn’t.

For paramedic Ezra Bryant, failure is not an option. He’s had enough of it, and only by God’s grace is he able to put it behind him. But when a traumatic event brings Piper’s greatest fear and Ezra’s failures to light, can they use that event to allow God to mend their broken pieces? Can love triumph over fear, and grace over guilt?

My review

4.5 stars

Eeek! This book made my heart ache so much! This has been one of my favourite romances ever!!!! It had so many amazing lessons. What stuck with me was how God can strengthen your faith through hard times and how important it is to surround yourself with Christian friends who support you and encourage you through that season, which is was Ezra did for Piper.

I highly recommend this book to any teen upwards who loves a bit of romance or anyone that is going through a hard time and needs some encouragement.

Book Links:

Purchase: https://www.amazon.com/Live-Without-Sarah-Grace-Grzy-ebook/dp/B07MBHCJLP/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42417561-live-without-you

Sarah Grace Grzy is a voracious reader, and if it weren’t for this crazy thing called ‘Life,’ she’d be tempted to spend all her days in front of a wood stove, book in one hand, coffee mug in the other.

A lover of learning, she finds enjoyment in many things and has more hobbies than she knows what to do with. Sarah Grace is a freelance web and graphic designer, and when not working, spending time with her ever-growing family, or reading, she can be found painting, playing the piano, or fangirling with her sisters and friends. She inhabits the State of Great Lakes, and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else—unless it meant she could have a baby penguin, in which case, she’d gladly move to the South Pole.

I hope you enjoyed this review and I hope that you will check out this book soon! And make sure that you follow the book party Here and keep an eye on the schedule

Posted in Author Interview, Writing, Writing Wednesday

Live Without You Author Interview

Hello everyone!

I’m so excited to be interviewing Sarah Grace Grzy on her debut novella Live Without You, which I will review tomorrow!

1. When did you start writing with the hope of becoming an author?

I started writing during the summer of 2017. But to be honest, I didn’t actually start writing with the hope of becoming an author. I just started writing . . . for me. And then that turned into publishing, which has been a wild, crazy awesome journey.


2. What is Live Without You about?

Put simply, Live Without You at its core is about real people dealing with real issues. But here’s the official synopsis:

Piper Redding is a loner, but lonely. Everyone she loves has abandoned her and opening her heart to others is just asking for more pain. She can’t help but blame herself for her brother’s tragic death six years ago, and in her guilt, she shuts herself off from the world. No one could love her—not even the God who promised to be there for her but wasn’t.

For paramedic Ezra Bryant, failure is not an option. He’s had enough of it, and only by God’s grace is he able to put it behind him. But when a traumatic event brings Piper’s greatest fear and Ezra’s failures to light, can they use that event to allow God to mend their broken pieces? Can love triumph over fear, and grace over guilt?

3. What inspired Live Without You?

There was no specific event or thought that I can think of that inspired the story. One day out of the blue the idea for the first scene flashed into my head, and the story just sort of flowed from there

4. Who is the book for?

Humans, mostly, but surprisingly I’ve also gotten feedback from a few penguins that enjoyed it as well. 😉 In all seriousness though, my target audience is fans of clean Christian fiction, age 16 and up, although there is nothing inappropriate that would make it unsuitable for younger readers.

5. What do you want readers to gain from your book?

My greatest hope is that readers will come away with a greater knowledge of their heavenly Father’s unfailing, unending, unfathomable love for them.

6. Have you written any other books and where can we get them?

I have not. Live Without You is my debut novel.

7. What kind of books do you enjoy reading?

All kinds! I truly do love a smorgasbord of all different genres. Contemporary fiction, historical fiction, and suspense would be at the top. I’m not really a fan of speculative fiction, but there are a few I love, and I’ll give almost anything a try. 🙂

8. What is your favourite romance novel?

Oh, good question. I just discovered the Walker Family series by Melissa Tagg, and it has quickly become a favorite! I can’t decide whether I like All This Time or Like Never Before better! Life After by Katie Ganshert would be another favorite, although I don’t think that’s technically in the romance genre.

9. Where can we connect with you?

I am on many of the social medias: Instagram at @sarahgracegrzy, Twitter at @esteticodesigns, and Goodreads at http://goodreads.com/sarahgraceg. My author profile is separate from my personal Goodreads account, and you can find that at http://goodreads.com/sarahgracegrzy , also have a web and graphic design business which you can find at a http://www.esteticodesigns.com/

10. What tips you have for young aspiring writers?

Find your people! Whether they be family, friends, other writers\authors, or some combination thereof, create for yourself a “support team” who know you and know your goals. People who will encourage you to push through, but also remind you not to push yourself too hard. People who will pray for you. People who can give you writerly advice and critiques. Having people there to support me throughout writing and publishing has been crucial, and I truly don’t think I could have done it without them. Don’t feel like you have to go it alone

Thank you so much for interviewing me! It was a pleasure! 🙂

Thank you so much Sarah for letting me interview you! Be sure to read Sarah’s novella because it is amazing, and it is packed with so much truth. If you want to know more about Sarah, just read her bio below:

Sarah Grace Grzy is a voracious reader, and if it weren’t for this crazy thing called ‘Life,’ she’d be tempted to spend all her days in front of a wood stove, book in one hand, coffee mug in the other. 

A lover of learning, she finds enjoyment in many things and has more hobbies than she knows what to do with. Sarah Grace is a freelance web and graphic designer, and when not working, spending time with her ever-growing family, or reading, she can be found painting, playing the piano, or fangirling with her sisters and friends. She inhabits the State of Great Lakes, and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else—unless it meant she could have a baby penguin, in which case, she’d gladly move to the South Pole.

Posted in Book Reviews, Writing

Sarah’s Search for Treasure Book review

Welcome to the circulating blog tour and giveaway for The Searchers series of middle grade historical fiction by Bertha Schwartz, hosted by JustRead tours!

You can find the tour schedule Here

About the book

It’s 1849, and when Sarah’s papa and brother strike out for gold, she is stuck at home to help take care of the family and farm. This task quickly turns dangerous as the Gold Rush rises in frenzy around them. Neighbors abandon their livestock and the family must fend off half-started miners ready to steal everything they have. Sarah decides to turn her circumstances into a business—feeding the miners in exchange for gold and labor.

Sarah’s ingenuity and leadership are tested as she faces thieves, mysteries, and violent miners. Trouble closes in on all sides, and Sarah must make tough decisions on her own. 

Soon Sarah learns that true treasure is not always gold, and that the greatest adventures can happen without even leaving home.

Sarah’s Search for Treasure is the third book in The Searchers series and contains thought-provoking discussion questions for young readers.

My review

This was so interesting seeing the Gold Rush from a child’s point of view, and it was a great reminder of how young people can influence older people.

So far, this series has been really good, and I wish I had something like this when I was a tween. But hey, I’m reading it now😊

I can’t wait for the next book to come out!

Where to buy the book

You can buy the book Here

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bertha Schwartz is a Swiss Amish transplant to the beautiful farmland of Nappanee, Indiana. She loves spending time with family and friends, including fifty-two nieces and nephews. Her hobbies include scrapbooking, sewing, and reading. Raised near the lovely Swiss city of Berne, Indiana, Swiss is her mother-language. Languages and different dialects are a special interest of hers.

Note: I received this book free in exchange for an honest review

Posted in Book Reviews, Writing

Kelly’s Search for Family Review

Welcome to the circulating blog tour and giveaway for The Searchers series of middle grade historical fiction by Bertha Schwartz, hosted by JustRead tours!

You can find the tour schedule Here

About the book:

It’s 1880 and Kelly lives alone with her Papa, a lighthouse-keeper in Massachusetts. She longs to know more about her Mama, and Papa has finally promised to tell her the truth on her fourteenth birthday. Before Kelly can learn much though, dangerous men the notorious Blackburn Brothers arrive unannounced and take Papa away. Kelly is left alone and responsible for the lighthouse. 
Granny, a former slave and family friend, learns of Kelly’s plight and decides to help find the answers to her questions. Mysterious letters, snow storms, and violence threaten Kelly’s safe haven as new friends help unearth old secrets in Kelly’s lighthouse home. How can she bring her papa back? Who is her true family?

My review

Oh. My. Gosh! I loved how intense it was, and how everything weaves into each other so well! Even though this is aimed for tweens and teens 11-14, I still enjoyed it as an older teen. It was really encouraging to see how kindness and faith can have a big impact on people and how by fighting for what’s right, you end up helping more people than you anticipate.

Where to get this book:

You can find a link Here

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bertha Schwartz is a Swiss Amish transplant to the beautiful farmland of Nappanee, Indiana. She loves spending time with family and friends, including fifty-two nieces and nephews. Her hobbies include scrapbooking, sewing, and reading. Raised near the lovely Swiss city of Berne, Indiana, Swiss is her mother-language. Languages and different dialects are a special interest of hers.

Note: I received this book free in exchange for an honest review

 

Posted in Book Reviews, Writing

The Searchers Tour-Daisy’s Search for Freedom Spotlight

Hello everyone!

I’m just quickly posting to highlight that there is a blog tour going on for The Searchers series!

Welcome to the circulating blog tour and giveaway for The Searchers series of middle grade historical fiction by Bertha Schwartz, hosted by JustRead tours!

You can find the link to the tour Here

In the meantime, you can find the link to my review of Daisy’s Search for Freedom Here

You can also but the book Here

Posted in Dreams, Monthly R and R

Winter 2019 Goals

Hello everyone

I thought that I’ll share my winter goals that I made earlier this month with you before January ends😊

1. Have one verse to memorize a week and one Psalm to study a month

2. Sing a translation of one worship song that I know in another language during my quiet time

3. Start exercising 10-20 minutes in the weekend

4. Write prayers in my prayer/devotional journal

5. Do well in my mocks and highlight areas to work on afterwards.

6. Start outlining/brainstorming for two novelette/novella ideas

7. Start writing a devotional a week

8. Write a chord progression and melody for a piece

9. Write some ideas for songs

10. Write in my language journal once a week

11. Plan to meet up with people in February and/or March.