My Guide to the Indie Black Friday Booksale!

My Guide to the Indie Black Friday Booksale!

So I’ve been a bit M.I.A. lately due to flu and holiday season, but I’m popping in to let you know…

INDIE BOOK BLACK FRIDAY SALE IS HERE!!!

This year there are over 600 titles for free and $0.99, and yes, I’m freaking out. 😉

Historically, I’ve picked up a lot of good books through this sale, and a ton of my most recommended books (everything by Hope Ann, Gift from the Storm, etc.), as well as a few popular series I haven’t tried yet (Ilyon Chronicles and Blades of Acktar, anyone?), are available, so definitely scroll through.

(A few authors like myself might be offering discounted paperbacks through their own sites, I hear. 👀)

Below are just a few recommendations to get you started (but also go buy all the books that I’m always title-dropping), and then I’m sharing my personal shopping list. 😉

(Prices aren’t live yet! And these are not affiliate links.)

The Kate Reading Fiend Recommends…

Two of my new favorite finds this year Should We Tell Her? by Lillian Keith and The Toymaker’s Doll by E.G. Bella, both perfect for all ages.

This humorous and sweet fairytale retelling, A Twist of Adventure by Kendra E. Ardnek (and she has a ton more ENTIRE SERIESES I didn’t know about that I simply must try someday?!!)

I know I’m constantly talking about Hope Ann’s fairytale retelling, but you must simply check out her empathy-superhero standalone Healer’s Bane.

And of course, the first five books in the Kate’s Case Files series by Sarah Holman (there’s even a Christmas one). Perfectly bingeable for winter break. *wink, wink*

The Perry Kirkpatrick’s pen name’s mermaid trilogy with mental health rep, and deep things, and ADORABLE SHIP. Ahem.

Also, of course, all The Accidental Cases of Emily Abbott by Perry Kirkpatrick, particularly the darling Christmas special. 😉

The Kate Shopping Fiend Is Eyeing…

So I actually already have a copy of The Blue of Torches: Ignited by C.R. Kelchner cause we know the author and bought a paperback during release week, but I convinced the author to join so just had to mention this here. 😉

I read the short story version of Last Wish by Valerie Howard when it first released but it looks like she expanded it into a novel??! More to love, I guess, so I’ll be checking this out. 😉

I somehow missed getting this book (take my superfan card) and want to read the next of Hope Ann’s Legends of Light, so I’m going to fix this oversight.

I really enjoyed my first Mrs. Meade Mystery by Elisabeth Grace Foley, so I’ll definitely be buying another one or three. 😉

Ahhhhhhh, literally one of my most anticipated new releases of all time, and I was super surprised to see it show up on the sale this year. I. will. be. snagging. 👏

Whether or not any of these books are up your alley, there’s really something for everyone (including all my books) so off you browse! (HERE)

Happy reading!

I’m in Love With This Cover…

I’m in Love With This Cover…

Today I have a very special cover to share with you… 💙✨

Brooke Riley is finishing up her dystopian trilogy with the final book Here We Stand!

Before I show you the gorgeousness, here’s the synopsis.

Whose side are you on?

War is on the horizon. The resistance is at its weakest. Peter, now forced to be a soldier for the government, tries to feed information to Andre. But when it becomes too dangerous to hide what he’s doing from the watchful eyes of the guards— and Evan— he must decide what he’s willing to risk for the rebellion.

Raegan is fighting hard for healing— physically and emotionally. After losing Peter, her entire world has shifted. But she’s determined now more than ever to get stronger and fight for the truth she believes in. But the battle to heal isn’t easy. She’s faced with a choice; give up, or fight?

A couple of years later, Raegan’s and Peter’s worlds collide once more. As everything is falling apart at the seams around them, they have to decide whose side they’re on. Everything they’ve ever known hangs in the balance.

The gripping finale to the How We Rise trilogy!

And now for the cover…

Prepare yourself…

3…

2…

…1,

Voila!

Okay, but the tree roots, the lighting, the silhouettes. 👏👏 I am so intrigued, and I can’t wait to binge this series when it’s complete. 💙

Follow Brooke on Instagram // Goodreads // Amazon

Mostly Reading, Chance of Writing

Mostly Reading, Chance of Writing

I took a hiatus last week from Instagram and Facebook, and between that and finishing up a job, I had a nice time of rest and creativity. 🧡

I finally finished the book I’ve been stuck in for two months (wowza!), then discovered my reading slump was quite over and started reading through some of the indie books I’ve picked up on Kindle.

Crook Q and its supplemental novella Prisoner 120518 (both by Rachel Newhouse) reignited my love for the Red Rain series and kept me up late a couple nights. 😉

For Elise by Hayden Wand was a really cute read for spooky season, and I finally got to experience Should We Tell Her? by Lillian Keith. (*sobs*)

I also started this deep and beautiful remix of Little Women called So Many Beginnings by Bethany C. Morrow. 😍👏 It’s one I need to really savor, so for now it hangs out with the fall decorations a little. 😉

In my plan for the week, I promised myself that I must write, but each day passed with no new words. Until Saturday rolled around and my writing plans were further encouraged by a lovely rainy day, and I completed an outline of my new project. 🧡

How was your week?

Five Fall Favorites // Top 5 Historical Fiction Reads (But I Went with an Alternate)

Five Fall Favorites // Top 5 Historical Fiction Reads (But I Went with an Alternate)

Day 5 of Five Fall Favorites, and likely the genre you’ve all been waiting for. 😉 Dun, dun, dun…

Today is about Historical Fiction! Historical fiction transports us back in time to people and situations very much like our own but inspiring, entertaining, and sobering in their differences. There’s so much to celebrate, mourn, learn from, and enjoy as we look back on history, and fiction is one of the most powerful ways to do this. 🧡

Today the bookish bloggers are sharing their top 5 historical fiction reads…

(Please note: Anything I link out to is not an across-the-board endorsement from me. Each blogger is responsible for their own recommendations.)

Sit back in your time machine, and enjoy!

Katja 🍁 // Abigail 📚 // Kelsey ☕️ // Lillian 🍂

Sarah🧣// Bella 🥧 // Jana ☕️ // Ryana Lynn🧣// Mac 📚

Sophia Ellen 🍁 // Heaven 📚 // Hannah 🥧 // Mikayla 🍂

We also have two fabulous guest bloggers who decided to join the fun!

Rebekah🧣and Katie ☕️

I’m actually one of the bloggers who chose an alternate genre today (since I don’t read that much historical fiction currently), and I went with Indie!

I am a huge fan of independently published books! The creativity, variance of thought and perspective, genre-busting, and opportunity for faith content are absolutely wonderful. Not to mention the supportive community that has sprung up around it. 🧡

I’ve read 150+ indie books, so choosing these was not an easy feat, but I went with some I love and haven’t mentioned already this week. 😉 If you’d like to see more indie books I’ve read, check out my Goodreads shelf.

My Top 5 Favorite Indie Inspirations

1. Ignite by Jenna Terese

I love everything about this book. 🧡 The cover, the paperback quality (like why does it open so beautifully?!), the concept, themes, and heart I know is behind it, the epic characters (and those scenes near the end 😭)… This was one of the first books I bought last year when I re-entered the indie world, and the. hype. is. real. It’s probably the best indie debut novel I’ve ever read, and that’s saying a lot. 😉 (Read my review.)

2. Gift from the Storm by Rebekah Morris

I mention this one on my blog constantly (like, it’s been less than a month), and I’m not stopping any time soon. 😁 Fall vibes, found family, amnesia trope, cozy holidays, a great mystery. What more do I need to say to convince you? 😉 (Read my review.)

3. Not Write Now by Kyle Robert Shultz

The best (and probably only) satirical writing book I’ve ever read. There are some legitimately good tips in here, but it mainly serves the great purpose of making writing fun again and providing inspiration and laughs when you’re feeling burnt out. (Read my review.)

4. Emmeline by Sarah Holman

I am not generally a Jane Austen fan, but I do have a soft spot for Emma (particularly the 2009 BBC miniseries). So it was incredibly fun to see one of my favorite authors take inspiration from this story and bring her own writing style and faith elements to the table. I really enjoyed this one, and I need more people to read it. 😉 (Read my review.)

5. Healer’s Bane by Hope Ann

I’m a huge fan of the author’s fantasy series, so when I heard about this dystopian novella, I snapped it up. 😉 It’s such a dark world, yet the power and cost of empathy really spoke to me, and I think this may be my favorite book by this author. I mean, I did turn right around and buy a paperback copy, so… 😉 (Read my review.)

Last day to enter the giveaway!

Just a quick reminder of what the prize includes…

  1. Decorative fall items (pumpkins, gnomes, and blanket scarf)
  2. A fall mug (there will be tea!)
  3. Annie’s Life in Lists by Kristin Mahoney
  4. Hedgehog journal
  5. Kiera by Kate Willis (hardcover)
  6. Brothers and Betrayal by Sarah Holman (paperback)
  7. Should We Tell Her? by Lillian Keith (paperback)
  8. The Road to Bremen by Kelsey Bryant (paperback)
  9. Anthology including a story by Abigail Harris (paperback)

Most books are contributions by participating authors. Ships to contiguous US only. Winner will have 48 hours to respond after being contacted.

ENTER HERE!

Today’s FREE ebook is…

Grab on Amazon!

What are your favorite historical (or indie 😉 ) books? Have you read any of these?

I can’t believe the party is almost over! It’s been so fun getting to hang out with you all, and I hope you found some good books to read. 😉

Keep an eye out tomorrow for the giveaway winner, more free ebooks, and the bonus genre! 🧡

A Very Exciting Cover Reveal!

A Very Exciting Cover Reveal!

(First things first, thank you to everyone who helped celebrate Rebekah last week and entered the giveaway! A winner has been chosen and displayed on the Rafflecopter, and Rebekah will be contacting her soon. 😉 )


Lately, there have been some very exciting things in the works. Some very bookish pastel things. 👀 I’ve been getting to experiment with graphic design for the best reasons possible, and today I finally get to share one of the projects with you. *squeals and dances like a small chipmunk*

Are you ready?

You may think you’re ready, but are you actually sure? 😉

Okay, I’ll stop teasing…

A Very Bookish Easter anthology arrives early 2023! (Go mark it as TBR on Goodreads. 👏) Five classics-inspired stories set during Easter with themes of hope and redemption from some of my favorite indie authors ever. 😉

Yours truly also gets to participate this time around, and absolutely can’t wait to share my story with you. 😉 It’s inspired by Heidi by Johanna Spyri and my own experiences growing up in a small, rural town. I don’t have much to spill about the story yet, but the characters are absolutely adorable and I hope you love it. 😁

Have a great week!

Guest Post // Seven Short Story Secrets

Guest Post // Seven Short Story Secrets

Today Rebekah has a wealth of experience to share about writing short stories…

When Kate first asked me to share some tips on writing short stories, she mentioned something about me being the “queen of short stories” which I thought was odd, because I hadn’t written that many of them. Had I? I looked up the length of “short stories” and found some say they are 1,000 to 7,500 or so words while others say up to 10k. So let’s say any stories that are at least 1k but under 9k will qualify.

How many have I written and published?

Okay, I just counted my short stories that are published. I have over 50. I guess I have written a few.

But all that aside, here are my 7 secrets for writing short stories.

1. Stick with 1-3 Main Characters. The more main characters you have, the harder it will be to write a short story. You can have more minor characters, but don’t try to make them all important. Some of my short stories have a large cast, but most characters aren’t even named. Others have very few characters.


2. Keep the Plot Simple. Seriously, if you have a complex plot, chances are you are going to end up with a novel, not a short story.

3. Stick to One Theme not Many. If you try to weave in more than one theme in a short story, it can get confusing and will either end up too long and complicated, or it will end up a mess. You can have a setting be different than a theme. (My Christmas stories are set at Christmas time, but the themes aren’t always just Christmas.)


4. Try to have Few Scenes. If you are writing a really short story keep your scenes to as few as possible. Maybe everything happens in one place with no changing scenes. Or maybe your scenes are short. Many scenes means more words.

5. Describe Your Characters in as Few Words as Possible. If you don’t have a lot of room for words, don’t spend a lot of time describing each character and what they are wearing and how their hair looks, and the exact shade of their eyes unless that is vital to the plot of the story. Try to give your readers a sense of things without a lot of words.


6. Practice Cutting and Tightening. Try writing some short stories with a word limit and don’t let yourself go over them. If you are more than 5 words over the limit, go back and see what you can tighten or cut out. Can you make a sentence have seven words instead of ten?

7. Practice Expanding Your Story. If your stories are falling short of the goal, go back and see what you can add. Drop a little more detail, a few extra words here or there. If you are really needing more words, add another scene or some thoughts from the MC.


Something that I found to be extremely helpful when I first started writing short stories was enlisting the help of my family and friends. I picked a handful of pictures and put them in page protectors in a notebook. (They can be from calendars, magazines, Pinterest, wherever you want.) Then I asked friends and family to help me by giving me a word count that the story must be (ie. 4,250 words, no more than 5k, 7,500 words), and how many characters I could have.

I wrote the info on scraps of paper and slipped each one into the page protector with the picture. Sometimes I’d let my friends pick the picture, other times it would simply be the next one in the notebook. (I would also let them give me special instructions if they wanted like, include ice cream, or make the main character a girl my age, or describe emotions without saying “they were angry, sad, happy, etc.”.) Then I would write.

Tip: Never let your story get more than 5 words over or under the limit.

And there you have it. My seven secrets for short stories.

~Rebekah


Rebekah A. Morris has lived her entire life (as of now) in Missouri. Being home educated during her school years was great, except for writing. That was the worst subject (along with math) that she had to do. It wasn’t until after she graduated that she discovered the joys and wonder of writing. Now she can’t write enough. After spending six years in research and writing, she completed her first book, “Home Fires of the Great War,” a 500+ page, historical fiction about home life in the United States and Canada during the First World War. Since then, she has been an avid writer and always has more than one story going on at once because only one story at a time got tiring and dull.

(Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!)

All supplementary images from Pixabay.com

Gift from the Storm by Rebekah A. Morris // A Review

Gift from the Storm by Rebekah A. Morris // A Review

(admit it, you knew I had to talk about this book)

One cold, dark evening a young stranger appears outside the Morgan home with two small children. Injured and on the verge of complete exhaustion, she will only say that her name is “Amy.”
Where did she come from? Who is she? And what has she been through? Dr. Justin Morgan and his family look for answers as they struggle to minister life and health to the needy ones in their midst.
(from Goodreads)

My Review

I fell in love first with the author’s writing style, then with the vibey cover, and then with the story. (I even read it aloud to a sister right after finishing it, it was that good. 😉 ) Since then, it’s become one of my top favorite indie books, and I talk about it often on my blog and to anyone who will listen.

The cozy, sometimes Christmassy (yes, I’ve chosen to obsess over that part 😉 ) mountain cabin setting was so accurate and beautifully descriptive, it made this country girl right at home. I loved all the characters (Justin the most of course), and Danny was hilarious.

Amy was a very interesting main character. I hadn’t read many books with the amnesia trope (still haven’t) at this point, so I was completely drawn in by her struggles and the slowly unfolding mystery. I loved seeing the Morgan family support her so well and how their ordinary faithfulness and family culture was used by God to bless her so mightily.

My favorite scene was when Amy is holding a glass of water. *chills*

CW: danger, amnesia, grief, off-screen death, speculation about if a character is an unmarried mother.

This intriguing, cozy, and wonderful Christian mystery is forever a favorite. 😉

Add on Goodreads // Buy on Amazon

(Don’t forget to enter the ebook giveaway!)

Meet Lillian Keith!

Meet Lillian Keith!

Today I’d like to welcome author Lillian Keith! Lillian, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hi, Kate! Hi everyone! I’m so blessed to be here. So, I’m a Christian, homeschooled grad. I hail from the sunny West Coast, and I grew up reading a lot of children’s and middle grade books (it will forever be my favorite genres *lol*). Aside from that, I really enjoy archery (when time allows), needle-felting dolls, or hiking. I’ve always loved stories, though, and being able to write them down has been a wonderful gift from God.

May we have a brief introduction to your novel Should We Tell Her?

Absolutely! It’s a summer story about three sisters whose mom is in a coma. However, the youngest, who’s only two, can’t understand what happened or why Mom is gone. So the older sisters try to help her cope with Mom’s absence by ‘writing’ postcards from Mom, then sending them to their little sister.

Congratulations on your second book! Tell us a little bit about your author journey.

Thank you! Well, I didn’t take my writing journey seriously until after highschool, when I was trying to figure out what path I wanted to take. After realizing my calling as a writer, I started taking writing classes and researching publishing routes. It didn’t take long to realize I wanted to go the indie/self-publishing road because I loved the idea of creative control. I read that it was a hard road to travel, but I really wanted to try it. So far, despite the hard work, I’m really enjoying it.

What inspired you to write this book?

My mom and my sister, Amy, actually. I was trying to figure out what to write next, and they helped me brainstorm this idea, believing I could write this. I’m also very close with my sisters, so I think that helped shape the story too.

What is your favorite way you’ve seen God work in a seemingly ordinary moment?

I think one of my favorite ways is when He sends a cool breeze right when we’re in the middle of a major heat wave (summer time lasts way too long in our state *lol*. Temperatures can go well over a hundred degrees, in some places!) But when a breeze comes, it’s such a blessing and reminder that He sees us and remembers us, and lovingly provides what we need.

I can relate to that so much, and I love that you brought it up. Thanks for sharing with us, and thank you so much for coming!

Thank you so much for having me!

Follow Lillian on her Blog // Goodreads // Amazon

(And don’t forget to visit her kick-off post and enter the giveaway!)

All images (except header) courtesy of Lillian Keith.

A Conversation with Victoria Lynn // Interview

A Conversation with Victoria Lynn // Interview

Today I’d like to welcome author Victoria Lynn! Victoria, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hi! *waves excitedly* I’m a Jesus loving, truth telling, story-obsessed writer who loves to tell stories of God’s grace, mercy, and goodness in broken circumstances and characters. I love sewing, have started a fashion line, and would prefer to be on the beach or in the mountains at all times.

May we have a brief introduction to your novel Once I Knew?

Once I Knew is a story about hope and healing in dark circumstances and environments. How to fight physical and spiritual battles in the strength of the Lord. It’s about a soldier with a missing memory, the farmer’s daughter who puts her life at risk to save him, and the corrupt government trying to snuff the life out of both.

You’ve mentioned before how you took a break from writing for a while (and we’re so glad to have you back!). Can you tell us a little bit about that journey?

Yes! To be perfectly frank, it was really hard, but one of the best experiences of my life. It’s so funny how the Lord mingles healing and sorrow together. Writing, as much as I loved it, and as many stories were dancing around my head at all times, became really hard. Life got really hard for a while. I was going through a lot with family, the world in general, and an incredibly stressful work life. Writing just dried up. It was like pulling teeth to get words on a page, but I kept trying anyway.

It had, in many ways, become an identity to me and there came a point where God kind of pried my clutched fingers open and asked if I would give him the dream of writing and publishing. He didn’t give me an end date, or even really a “for now” qualifier. At the time, I truly didn’t know if it would be forever, but I wanted Him more than I wanted my writing. So with many tears and a lot of heartache, I told Him that I trusted Him with it. That even if I never got it back, I trusted Him to hang onto that dream for me.

After about 3 years of nothing, some things in life changed suddenly and God handed it back. It was a beautiful lesson in surender, but also a huge turning point in my life because I feel like it truly healed so much in me and taught me about what it looks like to walk hand in hand with God with your dreams, as well as how much He TRULY treasures me and my dreams even more than I do.

…as well as how much He TRULY treasures me and my dreams even more than I do.

It’s been about a year since that time, and Once I Knew is the fruit of those years of walking in the wilderness.

What led you to write in the kingdom adventure genre? What do you enjoy most about it?

I’ve honestly always loved it. It was something I always wanted to read, but could never find. There are very FEW books out there and I was tantalized by books like Jaye L. Knights and Tricia Mingerink that came out eventually… And I wanted more. So much of the fantasy in the world is full of absolute trash and immorality. There are no sweeping, epic series for Christians, let alone ones who enjoy clean content, so I wrote what I’ve always wanted. Looking back to the first attempt I made in the genre at age 13, I’m super proud and excited for the little girl who wanted to write books she couldn’t find.

What is your favorite way you’ve seen God work in a seemingly ordinary moment?

Oh my gosh… just one??? I have so many. LOL! It’s like a treasure hunt looking for all the ways God works in the little things… One example that comes to mind is how he connected the books in my series. Book 3 is actually the book I mentioned earlier that I wrote when I was 13. I will be rewriting it, but so much of what happens in that story, unintentionally tied back into book one and it blows my mind still to realize that God had this planned all along. All those years ago, little 13 year old me was writing the book that would one day turn the tide of my series. And it makes me so unbelievably happy and excited to see what He has ahead!

Thank you so much for coming!

Thanks for having me! It was so lovely getting to chat with you today!

Once I Knew is available wherever books are sold.

Interview with Sarah Holman

Interview with Sarah Holman

UPDATE: Congratulations to Amelia S. for winning the giveaway! Thank you everyone who entered.

Today we get to catch up with one of my absolute favorite indie authors, Sarah Holman, and I couldn’t be more excited. 💛

Welcome back, Sarah! Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hi Kate! It’s so fun to be back here! 

Nine months ago, I married my best friend and moved to the big city. I’m loving married life more than words can say. It’s pretty amazing to be married to Scott, who’s been my best friend for years. It’s worth it even if I do miss living in the middle of nowhere.

(Look at these precious people!)

I’ve been an avid reader from a young age and started writing down my own stories around eleven. I love writing and sharing the truths God teaches me in a story form. I’m passionate about encouraging my fellow believers, especially my sisters in Christ, through stories and in my life.

When not reading or writing. I can often be found hiking at Texas State Parks with my husband, hanging out with my awesome family (both the one I was born into and the one I married into), or working on some sort of craft project.

Congrats on your latest release, Kate’s Informant! May we have a brief introduction?

Of course! In this story, the team members are trying to determine if the threat of terrorism is real or just talk. As in real life, they struggle with sorting who is telling the truth and who is telling lies – who’s a friend and who’s a foe.

As a loyal fan of the Kate’s Case Files series, I’m always excited to hear more about the series. What is your inspiration for it, and what are your long-term plans?

The original inspiration was Sue Thomas FBEye, which was a pretty cool show based on a true story of a deaf woman who went to work for the FBI. I also wanted to write a series that delved into how complicated friendships and relationships can be, but still be good. 

My long-term plans are to get the next book out ASAP (I’m working on a rewrite at the moment). I have a total of 10 books planned in the series and my hope is to have the last book come out in late 2023 sometime. We shall see if life cooperates with that goal. 

What other projects, writing or otherwise can you share about right now?

I have a lot of fun projects in the works. I’m currently editing my epistolary novella I wrote for my newsletter readers and plan to put it on Kindle Vella. I’m also hoping to release my 4th of July story that was part of A Very Bookish 4th of July last year on its own in the next couple of weeks. Also in the works is the next A Very Bookish collection and a new story for my newsletter subscribers. 

How long have you been an author? What advice would you give to newer/breakout authors?

I started writing when I was 11 which was twenty-one years ago. I published my first book in 2011.  Time flies! 

Here are my best pieces of advice for writers:

  1. Read all the time – both fiction and non-fiction
  2. Be willing to see some of your work as unpublishable stepping stones. You probably won’t write an amazing story on the first try (or maybe even the 5th time). Keep writing and improving.
  3. Find people who will be encouraging and honest with you about your stories. You want people to both build you up, but also help you improve.
  4. Most of all, stay connected to The Author. God is writing your life story. You want to make sure you are listening to Him.

What is your favorite way you’ve seen God work in a seemingly ordinary moment?

Ooo, what an awesome question, but a hard one. It happens so often. I think maybe it’s when someone finishes one of my stories and then tells me how God used it in their life. Or maybe it’s when I share something God has been working on in my life and it impacts someone else. Or maybe it’s the conversations I’ve been able to have with others just because of a simple act of kindness. 

I love this answer. Thank you so much for coming!

Thank you for having me. This has been so much fun!

Follow Sarah on her Blog // Instagram // Goodreads

In honor of her newest release, Sarah is giving away two (2) signed paperback copies from her Kate’s Case Files series! Winner gets to choose from books 1 – 5. (Alternate international prize is audiobook codes.)

ENTER HERE

Stay tuned for my reviews of the series and more from Sarah. 💛

(All images and cover mockups provided by Sarah Holman)