Saturday, August 30, 2014

Author Interview with J.E.B. Spredemann

About the Author...

Born and raised in California, J.E.B. Spredemann now resides in beautiful southern Indiana Amish country and writes Christian fiction. Since Amish by Accident (J. Spredemann) was first released in November 2012, the author has held a steady spot in Amazon's Top 100 Authors in Religion & Spirituality, by the goodness and grace of God.

Joanna's Struggle, in the Amish Girls Series, was the first of several books written by the author(s). The Amish Girls Series was primarily penned for teen girls, but has been enjoyed by readers of all ages/genders. Lovers of the ever-popular Amish fiction genre are sure to enjoy these books as well, even though they are geared toward a younger audience. The characters in the stories will soon become endeared to your heart, especially the mischievous Jonathan Fisher.

An Unforgivable Secret, book 1 in the Amish Secrets series, was given a 5-STAR Review Rating by Readers' Favorite and was nominated in Goodreads' Best of Amish Fiction pole.

Note: J.E.B. Spredemann is Jennifer, Emily, and Brandi Spredemann. Together, they have penned the Amish Girls Series books. The other books, although the author name (J.E.B.) was kept, were written solely by J. Spredemann.


Let's Chat!

 - What inspired you to be an author that writes Amish fiction? Was this the original genre you set out to write?

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16407571-amish-by-accident
I kind of stumbled upon it, in a way. I love reading Amish fiction and felt compelled to begin writing it when my daughter mentioned the lack of Amish books for girls her age. My response was, "Why don't we write some?" So we did, and haven't stopped since. While the first series (Amish Girls Series), written for teens, was penned by two of my daughters and I, the other adult-age books were written primarily by myself.
 

- If you had to live in an Amish community for at least 6 months, what are some things you would enjoy living as Amish? Some things you would miss?


I think I would enjoy the buggy rides, learning how to quilt and bake, and living a simpler lifestyle. I'd miss modern technology. I couldn't imagine writing a book by hand. :o


- Do you do a lot of research concerning the Amish community when writing a new novel? What are some of the most interesting/fascinating things you have learned?

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17209342-joanna-s-struggle
Yes, I definitely do a lot of research! I couldn't imagine writing about the Amish without researching. With that said, one of the most fascinating things I've learned is how much diversity there is between the individual Amish groups. For example, most communities require a young man to remain clean-shaven until marriage, while others insist the men grow their beard as soon as they're able. A former-Amish friend, who lives in Indiana, had never heard of the term 'mud sale', whereas in Lancaster County, PA the Amish are quite familiar with the term. Each ordnung (set of community rules) is different and there are no two communities the same.


- One of my favorite things about reading Christian novels is the Biblical message that is weaved into the lives of the characters. Is there something special that God taught/showed you while going through the process of your latest novel?


One of the blessings of writing is learning and growing in the process. My latest novel deals with the subject of mercy. If I were put in the same situation as my protagonist, would I be able to show mercy? Challenging, for sure.


- You have written quite a few novels. How has your writing changed and do you find it easier or harder as you write now?

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19046506-cindy-s-story
I hope my writing has improved since I first began over two and a half years ago. Some aspects are more difficult, such as finding new ways to phrase things. Others are easier. When I sit down to write, I usually have a general idea how the plot will unfold. However, my characters take on personalities of their own as soon as my fingers hit the keyboard. I often sit back after I've written something and say, "Wow, I was not expecting him to do that!" Hopefully, my readers will be surprised as well. :)


- What advice would you give aspiring authors?


Write about what God lays on your heart. You don't know who is out there that might need to hear your message. Educate yourself so you can be the best writer possible and put your best work out. Keep moving forward, even if it's just one scene at time. Don't give up!


- What's next for you in the writing world?


I have a book signing coming up in early September. It'll be at The Whoopie Pie Festival in Strasburg, PA. I'll be there with several other Amish fiction and non-fiction authors. Come out and say hello!
As far as writing goes, my latest book, A Secret of the Heart, will release the fifteenth of September. Lord willing, the girls and I will have an Amish Girls Christmas book out in fall and I'm writing another Amish Fairly Tale novelette loosely based on Beauty and the Beast. The Cinderella-based story was released last year and has been well-received.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18675337-an-unforgivable-secret

- Lastly, where can readers connect with you online? 


I'm most active on Facebook www.facebook.com/jebspredemann. Our website is www.jebspredemann.com. Readers can sign up for our monthly newsletter there and be eligible for the monthly giveaway as well. We are also on Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6691513.J_E_B_Spredemann, Pinterest www.pinterest.com/jebspredemann/, and Twitter @amishjeb.



 


Thank you so much for by  J.E.B.! It was a pleasure having you on Crafty Booksheeps and I'm looking forward to reading one out of many of your novels! 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Book Review: Jupiter Winds by C.J. Darlington

In 2160, a teenager becomes the bait to capture her missing revolutionary parents she thinks are long dead.

Grey Alexander has one goal—to keep herself and her younger sister Orinda alive. Not an easy feat living unconnected in the North American Wildlife Preserve, where they survive by smuggling contraband into the Mazdaar government's city zones. If the invisible electric border fence doesn't kill them, a human-like patrol drone could.

When her worst fear comes true, Grey questions everything she thought she knew about life, her missing parents, and God. Could another planet, whose sky swirls with orange vapors and where extinct-on-Earth creatures roam free, hold the key to reuniting her family?






My Thoughts/Review 

Let me first say that this is my first scifi kind of novel that I have ever read and didn't know what to expect! I only knew that people were giving it 5 stars and I completely agree with them! Jupiter Winds was epic!

I absolutely loved everything about this novel! The characters, environment, an technology (well maybe not ALL of the technology)! From the first page I was hooked and easily related to Grey and Rin! The way they survived on their own and had such loyalty to each other even if they were potentially deadly consequences was amazing as well as inspiring!

The storyline was really good! The entire concept of Jupiter was fascinating! The description of the places Grey was really helped bring the story to life on top of very fleshed out characters!

There wasn't a huge, overpowering Gospel message, but I did like how there was one! It really hit me as it did Grey in how God has watched over my family and I through many situations! It left me feeling appreciative as well as recognizing the many blessings I do have!

If you enjoy a story that has a scifi edge with no romance and plenty of action as well cliffhangers (at the end of the chapters, not the end of the novel of course) this story is for you! I hope that C.J. will continue to write more novels in this genre because she can deliver a story that sticks in all the right places!
 


I give Jupiter Winds a 5 out of 5 stars!

*(I received this novel from the author in exchange for my honest review! All thoughts expressed are my own and I was my required to write a positive review!)*

____________________

About the Author

C. J. is the award-winning author of the contemporary novels Thicker than Blood, Bound by Guilt, and Ties that Bind. Her new novel Jupiter Winds is a YA/space adventure/dystopian. She is a regular contributor to various websites. In 2013 C.J. co-founded Mountainview Books, LLC, an indie publisher of Christian fiction. She makes her home in Pennsylvania with her family and their menagerie of dogs and a paint horse named Sky.

Visit her website http://www.cjdarlington.com for more info.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Blog Tour (with Review and GIVEAWAY): The Hesitant Heiress by Dawn Crandall

After being unjustly expelled from the Boston Conservatory of Music, Amaryllis Brigham sees her dreams of founding a music academy disappearing before her very eyes. Now the only way to achieve her goal comes with high stakes for someone set on avoiding men as much as possible: marry within the year to inherit her grandmother’s fortune. Amaryllis reluctantly takes part in her aunt’s society, intent on getting to the west coast on her own… and without a husband.

Despite her own misgivings, she soon finds herself falling in love with the most unlikely of men, Nathan Everstone, whose father not only had a part in her expulsion, but whose ominous presence has haunted her dreams for a decade since her mother’s tragic death. Nathan turns out to be much more than he seems and everything she never knew she wanted. But just as everything Amaryllis has recently hoped for comes to fruition, it all falls apart when she finds that the real culprit who has been “managing her life” isn’t who she thought at all.



My Thoughts/Review

It has been a while since a book has had me so entranced like The Hesitant Heiress did! It was the first time that I had no desire to do anything, but finish this novel and see what would happen! I consistently kept telling myself "Just one more chapter"!

I have seen Dawn mention online that she spent at least 2 years working on this novel and I could see the fruit of her labor! I absolutely loved the characters! Amaryllis and Nathan made me giggle more then once with their conservations! Plus not to mention Nathan's dashing smile that shined through the pages! The second hand characters even captured my heart!

The spiritual message was beautiful and weaved throughout the entire story! I was so glad that God was center of it all even if it took a character or two to actually see that!

I am very much looking forward to the rest of the novels in this series and am more then grateful to have discovered a new author! There is amazing character growth and spiritual depth with of course some suspense/mystery mixed in to leave you on the edge of your seat! Also can't forget all that romance that leaves you breathless!

Definitely a 5 star novel!

*(I received an AFC copy from the author in exchange for an honest review! All thoughts expressed are my own and I was not required to write a positive review!)*

http://whpub.whitakerhouse.com/dawncrandall/heiress.html

 About the Author

 A graduate of Taylor University with a degree in Christian Education, and a former bookseller at Barnes & Noble, Dawn Crandall didn't begin writing until her husband found out about her long-buried dream of writing a book. Without a doubt about someday becoming traditionally published, he encouraged her to quit her job in 2010 in order to focus on writing The Hesitant Heiress. It didn't take her long to realize that writing books was what she was made to do. Dawn is represented by Joyce Hart of Hartline Literary.

Apart from writing books, Dawn is also a first-time mom to a precious little boy (born March 2014) and also serves with her husband in a premarriage mentor program at their local church in Northeast Indiana.

Dawn is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, secretary for the Indiana ACFW Chapter (Hoosier Ink), and associate member of the Great Lakes ACFW Chapter.

The Everstone Chronicles is Dawn's first series with Whitaker House. All three books composing the series were semifinalists in ACFW's prestigious Genesis Writing Contest, the third book going on to become a finalist in 2013.


Giveaway Time!

Dawn is doing five weekly prize packages throughout this blog tour on a variety of blogs! Each prize consist of a $10 Amazon Gift Card, an eBook of The Hesitant Heiress, a mug with all three book covers and a moleskin journal!

She is also giving away a grand prize at the end of week six which is a Kindle Fire, PLUS a $10 Amazon Gift Card, an eBook of The Hesitant Heiress, a mug with all three book covers and a moleskin journal!

If you want to enter for either of these packages, click HERE for the schedule as well as the blog the giveaway will be held on!
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