Get to Know Rebekah A. Morris (+Giveaway!)

Get to Know Rebekah A. Morris (+Giveaway!)

As summer comes to a close, I’d like you to meet one last favorite indie author of mine…

Today I’d like to welcome author Rebekah A. Morris! Rebekah, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hi Kate! You already know my name, so let’s start with something different. I’m an Indie Author with over 60 published titles between my novels, novellas, and short stories. I was homeschooled my whole life and spent a lot of time reading, being read to, or listening to audiobooks. I play the piano and violin and sing soprano, and I have 8 wonderful nieces and nephews who are almost all bookworms.

You’ve written quite a few books and short stories (how many is it now?). How did you get to this point in your writing journey?

Let’s see, I believe it’s over 60 short stories if you count all the stories in my collections. That’s a good question. How did I get from hating writing when I was in school, to having so many stories published? After I had graduated and discovered how much fun it was by writing “pretend letters” to some friends for a few years, I started writing my first book Home Fires of the Great War. This was a long book which took six years. During that time I knew I needed to try different writing styles and to learn to use different techniques, so I started writing short stories for practice. Some turned out better than others. I think that was the start. I’ve enjoyed the challenge of writing stories that fit specific word counts, or of writing with specific guidelines. I still write short stories because it’s fun. And I can finish it sooner.

(Later this week, we get to hear more from Rebekah about writing short stories, so look out for that. 😉 ) What projects, writing or otherwise, can you share about right now?

Oh, the projects! Kate, I hope you and your readers aren’t too busy because I have many writing projects to share!

Summer Light (known before as Lawrence & Lenexa) is hopefully going to be released next month. Sorry, I don’t have a synopsis or a cover to share yet.

A Homewood Christmas – This collection of Christmas stories by 6 different authors (and includes my story He is Still Emmanuel) is set to be released October 24th. We’d love to have a few more people sign up to join the Blog Tour and help promote it. (Sign up here!)

The Christmas Key – This is the 2022 Christmas Collection story that will be released sometime before December. Date unknown.

Bessie’s Candles just got published the beginning of this month and is a short Christmas story.

Then we go to my projects that aren’t scheduled for release yet.

“Kate & Kylie” (working title) – is a story mostly about Kylie, a young woman living with her pregnant twin sister and trying to learn to be content with where God has her.

Unknown Title – this is a story that got started by accident. I mean, I really wasn’t supposed to be starting a new story, but I just couldn’t help it and now it’s over 10k words long. What happens when three children show up in a small town and the six-year-old boy picks you as their new Daddy? That’s what happened to Clint Younger.

“Monday’s Mystery” (working title) – Logan Lucas Kent receives a postcard from his baby sister asking for his help. He knows two things: one, she hasn’t called him “Key” since they were kids, and two, she would never ask for help unless she was desperate. I’m still trying to find the sister and figure out why she is asking for help.

There you are, Kate. I said I had a few projects. And that doesn’t count all the other stories that are started or the King’s Daughters’ Writing Camp which will be opening its gates again at the end of October, or the 24-Books-before-Christmas blog posts which I’m working on for my blog.

[Rebekah also recently published book 5 in her Woodbreak series. In honor of this, the prequel is free on Amazon this week!]

Wow, I knew you were prolific but I’m impressed by all you have going. How long have you been an author? What advice would you give to newer/breakout authors?

I’ve been a published author since March of 2011, so coming close to 12 years. My advice would be:

  1. Remember that you are to do all things for the glory of God, and that means writing stories that honor Him.
  2. Remember that not everyone will like your stories. That’s okay. Learn to give all negative reviews to God.
  3. Remember to enjoy your story as you write it!

I love these. Thanks for sharing! What is your favorite way you’ve seen God make your ordinary life beautiful?

He lets me tell stories of ordinary people who let God use them to influence others for Him. I never would have dreamed I would be an author much less that God would use my ordinary stories to bless and encourage others.

Thank you so much for coming!

Thanks so much for having me! I enjoyed it.

Enter Here

A Conversation with J. Grace Pennington

A Conversation with J. Grace Pennington

(sorry I’m late–I broke down on the way here 😉)

Today I’d like to welcome author J. Grace Pennington! Grace, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hello! Thank you so much for having me on the blog. I’m a self-published Christian author who writes while my three baby girls are napping, which means I have to try to use small amounts of time effectively! I’ve been writing my whole life and publishing for the past decade – a little bit of everything, but primarily young adult science-fiction novels. I also love reading (of course), playing with my girls, crocheting, and coloring (ideally all while listening to a good audiobook).

Congrats on your latest release, Eleftheria! You’ve decided to release it in a serial format on Kindle Vella. Can you tell us more about that and how we can read it?

Thank you! I’m new to Kindle Vella, but I’m finding it a very exciting way to publish – it’s a bit reminiscent of the olden days when novels such as Charles Dickens’ were published serially in the papers! Eleftheria is releasing three chapters a week, and will wrap up early in September.

Readers can purchase tokens with which to buy episodes (though the first three episodes of all Vella stories are free) and read them on their Kindles, phones, computers, or however one reads ebooks. So it’s a bit like getting multiple episodes a week of your favorite show! I also include a poll at the end of each chapter where readers can share their opinions or give their guesses as to what happens next.

What are your long-term plans for the Firmament series?

I’m currently working on book eight, Humanoid, and am nearly finished with the first draft. I’d love to be more consistent in getting the books out (it’s taken me ten years just to release these first seven!) so building a system of writing and publishing into my days is important to me. I have plans for eighteen books total, all of which have been planned since before the first book was written, so the big-picture events of the series are pretty much set in stone, but there’s so much room for experimentation and exploration within that framework. And I honestly just enjoy spending time with my characters and experiencing their world as I write!

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

I wrote a novel called “Shows” last year that I am starting to get beta feedback on before I edit and possibly try to get a publishing agent for it – it’s very different from my series. It’s a general Christian fiction book about a young girl who moves to the big city and finds herself participating in a church’s twelve-step program as she searches for answers to life, faith, and dealing with mental illness.

There’s also a book I’m starting to think about outlining for this year’s National Novel Writing Month in November, a cyberpunk adventure called “Chroma” that deals with virtual reality, consequences, and the tension and loyalty between a father and son.

Otherwise, I have a weekly podcast entitled Improbable Things where I share six reading and writing related thoughts before my kids wake up in the morning. It’s a great way to give updates about my projects, share tidbits about my kids and their love of reading, discuss my current reads, and go on rants and rambles regarding my observations on storytelling. The podcast can be found on Anchor, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts.

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

The first time I remember writing anything was a very short book when I was five years old, and I’ve never stopped since then! But despite starting several dozen stories, I never actually finished one until I was almost twenty. (And that book was absolutely terrible, of course, but at least it showed me I could finish something!) The second book I completed was Firmament: Radialloy, the first book in my series, and I published it shortly afterwards.

The number one piece of advice I always give writers is to push through writers block. You can always get words out on the page, even if they are terrible, but if you don’t push through the hard places then you’ll never finish your story and have the chance to fix and polish it. For your first draft, just get the words out. Editing comes later. The first important thing is to finish your story.

For your first draft, just get the words out. Editing comes later. The first important thing is to finish your story.

What is your favorite way you’ve seen God make your ordinary life beautiful?

At the current stage of my life (stay-at-home motherhood with a four-year-old, a two-year-old, and a one-year-old) the most beautiful thing I experience is getting to see my daughters discover the world. To witness their delight at the ordinary – the exuberance over a weird bug, shock at their first ever rainstorm, or breathlessness when my rhinestone sandals catch the light and throw sparkles all over the room – brings a freshness and glory to all those mundane parts of life I take for granted. It shows me a perspective on old concepts and ideas turned new through their beautiful eyes and constantly-inquiring minds. There’s nothing like it in all the world.

Thank you so much for coming!

Thank you for having me! It’s been great chatting with you!

Follow Grace everywhere, and don’t forget to enter the 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.

Meet Kellyn Roth // Interview

Meet Kellyn Roth // Interview

Today I’d like to welcome back author Kellyn Roth! Kellyn, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hi there! I’m Kellyn Roth, though you’re welcome to call me Kell. I’m a Christian historical women’s fiction and romance author who loves writing about the dark places where hope shines brightest—because, after all, God is a God of hope!

About me personally—I live in the Pacific Northwest with my nerdy husband, Matthew, and hopefully soon, our puppy, Stanley. (Right now, he’s staying with my parents, who own his parents, until we can figure out renting situations.) Oh, and we have a fish, but he keeps pretending to die, so … we’ll see how long Philip Harriot, The Duke of Ridgewell, services. *winces*

Anyways, I love writing and reading—I love a lil’ bit of hiking (not hardcore, but it looks like hiking if you squint)—I love getting into weird conversations with my friends—and I love Keira Knightley. Well, okay. Love may be a strong word. But I LIKE her. And I will die on the hill of … well, I won’t mention the most controversial movie adaptation ever. Let’s not start a fight today on someone else’s blog, eh? 😉

Congrats on your novel A Prayer Unanswered! May we have a brief introduction?

Of course! This is book 5 in my series, The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy, though if you want to, you can just think of it as book 3 in Alice’s series. I even have a handy graphic to illustrate this point!

The series is about two sisters, of course, named Alice and Ivy. They live in Victorian England, and throughout their lives, they experience a variety of complicated but fairly everyday situations. This series is my heart project. I love tackling tough topics in a sensitive, godly way through my characters.

The stories do feature tough themes. A Prayer Unanswered is not a safe read for those struggling with infertility or child loss (though I guess that means it’s not a safe read for me? … I guess it just depends on the individual!). But I keep praying that God will use my writing in the way He sees best, and I do my best to be sensitive and yet realistic in my portrayal of the tougher subjects.

Back in 2019, you rebooted the first two books of The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy and since then there have been three more books released. Can you tell us more about your journey with this series and future plans for it?

Well, there’s been a lot of rebooting, certainly! However, I’m finally releasing new projects, and that makes me super excited! I’m so glad to have the first five books out…

But I have five more to do, not counting spin-offs.

Thankfully, I’ve structured the series to have several entry points. You can just read the Alice stories — or just read the Ivy stories — or you can join in at book 3 and read about their adult lives — or you’ll eventually be able to hop in at any of the spin-off series and just keep going from there.

So there’s definitely a lot going on!

For now, I’ll be releasing book 6 (Ivy’s story) this autumn—and after that, I’ll be setting the main series aside for a time to work on a spin-off!

More details to come soon. 😀

What led you to write in this genre? What do you enjoy most about it?

You know, I’m never sure! My mother definitely gave me a thorough grounding in history as a child, and I definitely have always loved this type of story. However, it’s a combination of things.

Loving the old-fashioned world. Enjoying a place where all the debates about this and that (except for the bigger world matters) are largely concluded by now, leaving me to sort through opinions and thoughts of the time with a certain level of detachment. It’s also interesting for me to try to mimic, as carefully as I can, the way people actually would’ve thought back then—because in some ways it’s different, but in a lot of ways, it’s the same.

In terms of what I write once I’ve settled on the setting, I like to write about emotional and deep topics because I really need to sort through them myself. It helps me to think deeply and process the real-world applications of the things I theoretically know.

Besides, I struggle to understand people, to have empathy, to relate on a deeper level to the human beings around me. And through writing, I explore different personalities, relationships, etc. People often ask me how someone practical and no-nonsense can write romance; I say that I write it well (or decently well) because God has given me the gift of being able to break things down and analyze them. If you know how people work, you can write just about anything they do with a level of reality—and that’s ever been my goal!

If you know how people work, you can write just about anything they do with a level of reality—and that’s ever been my goal!

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

God has come through for me so often in unexpected ways. Usually, He figures out my job situations for me before I have to, which is super nice. I just have to have patience and leave Him room to work!

Another thing is that He really came through for me for my launch last summer. I was getting married in a couple weeks and put so little effort into marketing … and yet somehow, my book did really well. It gave me so much faith that I am in the place I need to be, and God is going to do what He will with my gift of writing … whatever that looks like!

Thank you so much for coming!

Thank you for having me! It was so fun!

Follow Kellyn on her Blog // Instagram // Goodreads

In celebration of her newest release, Kellyn Roth is giving away (1) paperback copy of A Prayer Unanswered, (1) bracelet, and (1) locket.


(All images except header image provided by Kellyn Roth and Jen’s Author Assistance)

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.)


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

(All images and cover mockups provided by Sarah Holman)

An Interview with E.K. Seaver

An Interview with E.K. Seaver

Today I’d like to welcome author E.K. Seaver! Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hi! Thank you for having me today. I’m an indie author of two books, who’s been
learning how to juggle all the chaos of running a small publishing house and still having a life. I want to honor God as I pursue a good use of the gifts He has given me.

Can we have a brief introduction to your new novel, The Reflections?

Absolutely! The Reflections is about thirty teenagers who are summoned to compete in
what is essentially a futuristic entrance exam for the world’s last university. It tests physical, mental, and emotional strength, and those who are deemed “weak” by failing the tests are executed. It’s a Christian Dystopian novel, and deals with the characters questioning why God would let such horrible things happen, and then realizing that He is the only foundation they can have when the evils are happening. (Sorry, that was kind of long.)

No worries! Love the concept. What led you to become an indie author?

A lot of things! I’d queried The Reflections for a while before actually doing research into
publishing traditionally versus indie. I’d always been under the implication that indie publishing meant people had given up or didn’t care enough about their work to try to go traditional. This was very incorrect, and when I actually started researching indie, I realized it would be a better fit for me– both personality and literary-wise. It truly was God’s hand guiding me through those
decisions, and has opened up doors and dreams I didn’t even realize I had.

That’s awesome. If you could change one thing about your journey, what would it be?

Obviously there were parts of it that were hard. I don’t wish I could have changed them, but there certainly are some things I went through while writing The Reflections that, if I had a better emotional support system, would have been easier. (Check up on your friends, guys. And if they’re not doing well with something you’re too mature to struggle with, please remember that God has given people the grace for the situation they’re in. Walk alongside them, don’t get mad at
them struggling.)

Timely thoughts, there. Lastly, what is your favorite aspect of the “ordinary” life God has blessed you with?

Honestly, I wouldn’t call my life super “ordinary,” and I’m super thankful for that. God’s blessed me with a lot of opportunities to travel and experience things outside of my comfort zone. Being stretched and having to expand my views on the world is both the hardest and one of my favorite aspects of my life.

Thanks so much for coming and sharing with us! And congrats on your book!

Follow E.K. Seaver on Instagram and her newsletter

About the Book

Everyone in the Alliance knows about the Reflections. It’s the opportunity to get into the University, the only government-recognized form of education, and those accepted are guaranteed success and comfort for the rest of their lives. Thus, when Em Gades receives the silver invitation, her future is secured. The worst that could happen is she gets sent home, right?

Until she arrives, and the rumors about the Reflections prove true. The only way to live is to get into the University, and to do that you must be one of the four remaining Chosens at the end of the competition. Although she was warned beforehand to trust no one, Em quickly forms attachments to her fellow teammates with the hope that as many of them can survive as possible. However, as Chosens are rapidly executed for failing competitions, Em struggles to understand that, if God is real, why he would let something so terrible happen to a group of mostly innocent teenagers. With likely no more than a few days left to live, she and the other Chosens must navigate life or death situations and find answers to the question:

Are their lives worth the deaths of others?

Add on Goodreads // Pre-order on Amazon

Meet Makenzie Gray! (+Book Spotlight)

Meet Makenzie Gray! (+Book Spotlight)

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

I’m so excited to be here! Thanks for having me. Well, I’m an animal lover, a huge bookworm, and perpetually fascinated by the truth we can weave into fiction. I’ve actually been a published author since my teens, but recently decided to move into writing grittier fiction/the dystopian genre, which has been equally difficult and exciting!

Can we have a brief introduction to your new novel Those With Ears?

Those With Ears is my first dive into the dystopian genre, and it’s based around the book of Revelation. It blends sibling dynamics (my favorite part of writing it) with heartbreak and the hope that God can offer us even in the worst of situations.

What led you to become an indie author?
Mainly because of the freedom being an indie affords me! A lot of traditional publishers (not to bash them or anything) usually have guidelines that go against what I write, so it was an easy choice to make. A lot of work, granted, but I think it’s definitely worth it!

If you could change one thing about your author journey, what would it be?
I would learn a lot more about marketing before diving headfirst into publishing, for sure! While this is my debut under Makenzie Gray, I’ve also published a smattering of books under another name, and trial-and-error marketing ideas were the bane of my existence, haha.

What is your favorite aspect of the ordinary life God has blessed you with?
He continually surprises me with the extraordinary circumstances He places me in, despite my limitations and fears. I’ve been on a bit of a rollercoaster in the past couple of years, but I can also see how He’s using me in some surprising ways (and how He uses other people to reach out to me when I start doubting). It always amazes me that He can use absolutely anyone, and equips them as they move forward.

Thank you so much for coming!

Thanks so much for having me! It’s been a blast.

Follow Makenzie Gray on Instagram and Facebook as @authormakenziegray

About the Book

What will Takvi do when the End begins?

In the blink of an eye, Takvi’s guardians disappear into thin air, along with thousands more. When the government swiftly moves to cover up the Disappearing, she and her siblings grapple with the truth behind what happened. They’ve been government loyalists their whole lives, but a split in opinions threatens to upend their lives permanently.

And Takvi is trapped in a vacuum where no solution leaves her or her family unscathed, which is the one thing she can’t bear.

The illegal book their guardians left them has answers that agree with her siblings, but Takvi struggles to accept it. When the newly-formed government tightens its grip in eerie prophetic fashion, will she stand up or will she fold? Will any of it matter in the end of the world?

A compelling apocalyptic story on redemption, sibling bonds, and seeking truth in a corrupt world, Those With Ears is the first novel in the Midnight Hour series.

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Oceane McAllister Interview (+Book Spotlight)

Oceane McAllister Interview (+Book Spotlight)

Everyone, give a big welcome to debut author Ocean McAllister. 😀 Oceane, tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m a speculative fiction writer from New England. I love thunderstorms, black olives, and sad endings. I also hate love triangles with a passion and avoid watching rom-coms. (There’s literally NO point to them) I’m also the oldest of eight, which is pretty cool!

Agreed on the love triangles. XD

May we also have an introduction to Rose’s Wrath?

Well, it’s a fairytale retelling combining Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty’s stories. The idea first came to me when I wondered how cool it would be to have fairytale characters have magical capabilities that corresponded to key elements from their story. For example, Verre (Cinderella) being able to manipulate glass.

Wow, that sounds like a really cool concept. What first made you decide you wanted to be an author?

I’ve loved to write for most of my life and I can barely remember a time where I didn’t. It was when I finished writing my first full-length novel that I realized I could pursue publishing at some point. And so from then on, I did!

Congratulations! And for one last question… what is your favorite aspect of the ordinary life God has blessed you with?

The little things, I think. Like writing, coffee, siblings, and having the privilege to read my Bible without fear of persecution. It’s things like that which make my life enjoyable, even though they’re rather mundane. It’s definitely a gift from God. 

Thank you so much for coming!

About the Book

“Have you ever heard Red Riding Hood howl at the moon?”

When Cerise, Verre, Blanca, and Aura are captured and forced to complete a near-impossible task, it seems certain that their loved ones’ lives are as good as over.

“Or seen Cinderella kill a man with just a shard of glass?”

And despite meeting a dragon, internal disputes, and the fact that they’re all most likely going to die, they grow close. Too close.

“Snow White has vanquished more with her poisoned breath than her beauty.”

For secrets will come to light that have the power to change everything. There is a traitor in their midst; one who could potentially save or destroy them all.

“And Sleeping Beauty? She will bring slumber with but a touch of her hand.”

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Sarah Grace Grzy Interview

Sarah Grace Grzy Interview

Sarah Grace is an amazing friend, booklover, and reviewer, and now I can add author to that list! Today I have the privilege of interviewing her about her debut novella Live Without You!

Join me in welcoming author Sarah Grace Grzy to Once Upon an Ordinary! *applause*
Thank you thank you! It’s an honor!

Sarah Grace, tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a Jesus-loving, coffee-drinking, bookerly kind of girl from the Midwest! I am a web and graphic designer, and in my spare time, I love hanging out with my ever-growing family, painting, playing music, or eating pizza. 🙂

Congratulations on publishing! May we have an introduction to Live Without You?
Live Without You is a contemporary Christian romance novella, and explores themes of fear and love, guilt and grace. It’s got some humor, some tear-jerker moments, and some sweet, clean romance. But mostly, it’s about real people dealing with real issues.

You’ve been in the book community for a while, but not always as an author. What first made you decide you wanted to be an author?
Well, anyone who has known me for any length of time knows I’ve always adamantly said I’m not a writer. But then out of the blue, that changed and I found myself with a novella on my hands. Even after that, I didn’t plan to publish until I started getting a ton of positive feedback and I found myself incredulously asking my sister, Victoria Lynn (who is also a published author!) “Should I publish???” She just looked at me and said “Yes! I thought you were!” So I prayed about it and determined that publishing was where God wanted to take me and my little novella next. 🙂

What is your favorite aspect of the ordinary life God has blessed you with?
The ability to walk through this wonderful, beautiful journey God has for me with my favorite peoples in the whole wide world: my family. I love that they are my best friends, my biggest supporters, and they do a fabulous job of keeping my feet on the ground. 😉 I feel so blessed to have such an amazing “built-in support group”!

Thank you so much for coming!
Thank YOU, Kate!

Live Without You blurb…

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?

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Buy on Amazon

Be sure to check out the rest of the tour and the sweeeeet giveaway here! 😀

And just for fun… here are two of my favorite quotes from the book. 😉

So good…
Reason #600 Tyler is my favorite.

That’s all, folks!