Meet author Jodi Artzberger

Jodi Artzberger writes inspirational romantic suspense stories that are Gospel centered and intertwined with God’s love and plan of redemption. She has a passion for the Word and loves to study the Bible, especially with her kids. She’s also a homeschool mom and loves most minutes of it. She lives in beautiful Colorado with her wonderful husband, two awesome boys, and rescue dogs. In her spare time, you can find her playing with her latest kitchen gadget and exploring where God has graciously placed her in Colorado.

 

Tell us about your newest book.

Don’t Give Up on Me is a romantic suspense story about God’s redemption and a second chance at love. Amanda is left for dead. She’s found by the man who walked away eight years ago. As the threats continue, Amanda has to decide if she will accept help from the only man she’s ever loved and who left Otter Bay without explanation. Ryker’s going to have to use his skills as a trained Army Ranger if he’s going to keep the only woman he’s ever loved alive. It’s a Gospel-centered story about the power of God’s love and redemption.

 

What inspired you to write “Don’t Give Up on Me”?

A contest. I entered a contest with a publishing house. They didn’t take my title but asked me to submit again. They liked what I wrote but said it wasn’t a good fit for them. So, I finished the book myself and published it.

 

What genre do you focus on?

Christian Romantic Suspense. It’s my all-time favorite. I love strong heroes. And I love strong heroines. And I’m a sucker for a happily ever after! The world we live in is crazy enough so when I escape (or help someone else escape), I want to enjoy the ride and know the happy ending is coming.

 

Why do you write?

God. We all need the gospel. My prayer is that I convey that in my writing. Jesus does change lives.

 

What is the hardest part of being an author?

Never enough time! There seems to always be more I could do and want to do. I just need more time and a lot of it.

 

What’s the best part of your author’s life?

It’s fun, it’s flexible, and you’re always meeting other wonderful writers and readers!

 

What’s one unusual fact about you?

When I was in the eighth grade, I wrote a book for my best friend. She wanted to star in a popular horror movie of the time. So, I wrote it for her! She loved it!

 

How have you changed or grown as a writer.

This is one of the craziest most fun careers I have ever had! And that’s saying a lot since I had my own wedding business in Las Vegas a number of years ago. But I love it! This business has allowed me to use my creative side and my analytical side. It has taught me to be flexible and I’m always learning.

 

What is your favorite pastime?

Reading. But I homeschool and love that! I also enjoy studying with my sons and playing around in the kitchen – everything from my Instant Pot to canning!

 

Do you have other books?

I have a novelette available, for free, that can be found on my website. It’s a prequel to Don’t Give Up on Me.

 

What are you working on now?

I am working on the next book in my Otter Bay series and planning out a new series. I’m excited about both!

 

Website: www.JodiArtzberger.com

Link to book: www.JodiArtzberger.com

Social media links:

Facebook.com/JodiArtzberger

Instagram.com/JodiArtzberger

Meet author Debi Nottingham

Debi Nottingham is a four-time cancer survivor of over 30 years. She loves to hike, especially in Colorado and has hiked in all 50 states. She plays the piano, writes, paints, and leads Bible studies. Debi is a graduate of Indiana University with a BS in Medical Technology and the University of Houston with an MBA. She worked in healthcare in sales and marketing for thirty years and is the author of two books.

Tell us about your newest book.
Remarkable Journey: Breast Implant Illness and Cancer details the illnesses and the healing physically, spiritually and emotionally of one woman with two different breast cancers and reconstruction defective implants over a 28-year journey.
It is the story of her breast cancers and the subsequent illnesses from a ruptured silicon implant and a mold-filled saline implant. From her journals, she documents the strange and spiraling illnesses she experienced with no idea they came from her reconstructed breast implants.
The book is written in two voices. The earliest writing is taken from her journals and is a raw expression of her journey from being bucked off a horse and rupturing an implant through her decision to explant or take out her implant. Four years after the explant, she wants to bring help to women in their physical, spiritual, and emotional health journey.

What inspired you to write Remarkable Journey?
My improvement in health has been remarkable after removal of my breast
implant and yet, 300,000 women per year have implants. There are 85,000 women searching for answers on Facebook sites dedicated to the issue of implants and illness.

How would you describe this book to someone in a 30-second blurb?
My 32-year journey surviving breast implant illness and four cancers.

What genre do you focus on?
Non-Fiction. I enjoy reading true stories of other people’s lives and how God has impacted them.

Why do you write?
People constantly told me I needed to write a book about my life experiences. So, I did write the story of finding out my Christian husband was bisexual after twelve years of marriage. Now I have written my secondbook about breast implant illness. Both were very personal stories that may help someone else.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing a book?
I write the rough drafts and getting words onto paper for about four hours 4-5 days a week until the project is finished. After it goes to the editor – the marketing process begins. During the whole project, I am connectingwith readers through a blog, website, Facebook, etc.

What is the hardest part of being an author?
Having to settle my mind in order to go into the story or relive hard times. It requires a reexamination of a time past that I really would like to forget.

What’s the best part of your author’s life?
People’s comments are a joy. “I didn’t know you went through that. If you can survive with your faith intact, I can.”

What’s one thing your readers should know about you?

Hiked all 50 states. I have written blogs about Hiking Devotionals

How have you changed or grown as a writer?
Understanding of the industry and I have only touched the surface with one hybrid and one self-published.

What is your favorite pastime?
Hiking in Colorado

Do you have other books? We’d love to know.
Deception: Revelation to Release published 2019

What are you working on now?
Hiking blogs and deciding if I want to put them into a travelogue book.

Website: DeborahNottingham.com
Facebook.com/deceptionrevelation
https://www.amazon.com/Deception-Revelation-Release-Response-Christian-ebook/dp/B07WWKN2ZK/
Instagram: DebDaysDeborahNottingham
Twitter: @Dnottingham

Meet author Janet Grunst

Janet Grunst is a wife, mother of two sons, and grandmother of ten living in Williamsburg, Virginia. Her debut novel, A Heart Set Free was a Selah Award winner. A Heart For Freedom was a Christian Indie Award winner. Her novella is The Highlanders. Her love of history and writing fiction grew out of a desire to share stories that communicate the truths of the Christian faith, as well as entertain, inspire, and encourage readers.

Tell us about your newest book.

Donald Duncan joined the Patriot cause for noble reasons, battling the British while enduring deprivation and hardship on every side. The war has changed him, and now the battle is internal. Returning home to Virginia is in sight where a new life and his Mary wait for him. Mary Stewart spends the war years with her family at Stewarts’ Green, helping them operate their ordinary. Daily, she prays for Donald’s safe return, eagerly waiting for him … until that day the evil side of war touches her. Two hearts changed by a war that dragged on for six years. Two hearts left hurting and struggling to find the love and trust they once knew. Is there a path for them to rekindle what was lost, Setting Two Hearts Free?

What inspired you to write Setting Two Hearts Free?

Trauma, either from war or other events, can leave people with invisible wounds that need to be addressed mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. This book is dedicated to those who suffer from trauma and those who love them.

How would you describe this book to someone in a 30-second blurb?

This is the third book in my Revolutionary War Series and is primarily about the next generation. The Revolutionary War is winding down but the danger and challenges the characters face haven’t—and some will last long after leaving the battlefield. Donald and Mary have both survived significant trauma. Would their love survive the invisible wounds of war?

What genre do you focus on?

Historical Romance. Most people experience romance. I find history fascinating and instructive. Sadly, not enough attention is given to teaching the truth about history in our schools. “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” George Santayana

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing a book?

I reread what I wrote at the last sitting to get back into the storyline as well as to edit.

What is the hardest part of being an author?

Marketing and… I’m an introvert and I find social media and promoting my own work very challenging.

What’s the best part of your author’s life?

I’ve gotten to know some wonderful and inspirational people, other authors, editors and my agent. Why? I learn so much from them and I’ve enjoyed the friendships even though we are geographically distanced.

What’s one unusual fact about you?

I lived in Spain as a young child when there were very few other Americans. Since the DOD schools were just being instituted then starting with the upper grades, I was educated in a convent, the only blue-eyed, blonde, Protestant there.

Do you have other books? We’d love to know.

A Heart Set Free ~ Selah Award for Historical Romance

A Heart For Freedom ~ Christian Inspy Award for Historical Fiction

The Highlanders: A Smitten Historical Romance Collection

What are you working on now?

A story about a woman who migrates from Ireland to America during the potato famine.

Website:  https://janetgrunst.com/

Link to book: https://www.amazon.com/Setting-Hearts-Free-Janet-Grunst-ebook/dp/B085DRXFZY/ref

Social media links:

​https://JanetGrunst.com                                                                                                                                                                      https://www.facebook.com/Janet-Grunst-Author-385405948228216                                                                                                                                                    https://colonialquills.blogspot.com/                                                                                                                                      https://www.instagram.com/janetgrunst/                                                                                       https://twitter.com/janetgrunst                                                                                           https://www.pinterest.com/janetgrunst/

 

 

Meet author Carol James

Carol James writes redemptive romance. She lives in a small town outside of Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband, Jim, and a perky Jack Russell “Terrorist,” Zoe. Having always loved intriguing stories with happy endings, she was moved to begin writing to encourage others as she’d been encouraged by the works of inspirational fiction writers. Carol enjoys spending time with her family, traveling with friends, and serving in the production department at her church.

 

Tell us about your newest book.

Season of Hope is set during and immediately after the Vietnam War. It’s the story of a young, unmarried mother whose life is frozen in a winter of guilt, deceit, and fear. Hope believes the mistakes she’s made have not only separated her from God’s love but also have brought about His wrath. She’s lost everyone she holds most dear, except Mattie, her young son. And she will do anything to make sure he is not taken from her. When a handsome young pastor, Josh Lewis, comes to serve in her church, she wonders if she can trust him with her secrets. But Josh has secrets, too. Will he be able to help her find the answers to the questions that have been buried in her heart for years? Or will his own secrets drive them apart and prevent him from helping Hope find her spring of forgiveness?

 

What inspired you to write Season of Hope?

Season of Hope was first manuscript I wrote. Hope bears a universal burden—regret. She wants to find forgiveness, but her shame prevents her from feeling worthy enough to even ask. The plot was born out of the strife, rebellion, and uncertainty of the late nineteen-sixties and early nineteen-seventies (my college years). A wise author friend told me to pack it away for a few years and work on other manuscripts while I waited. So, ten years later, I brushed it off, tweaked it, and here it is. Just like Hope, I had to wait for the right season.

 

How would you describe this book to someone in a 30-second blurb?

Season of Hope is the story of two people with broken hearts and painful pasts who are searching for peace and the one redeeming hope.

 

What genre do you focus on and why?

I like to write Redemptive Romance. When I first felt called to write romance, I cringed. I believed romance authors were often not taken seriously—that stories of romance are viewed as fluff. But then God reminded me that the greatest story of all time is a romance, the story of a loving Father chasing after the hearts of His children. In that revelation, the idea of Redemptive Romance was born. My novels focus on developing not only the relationship between the hero and heroine, but also their relationships with their heavenly Father.

 

Why do you write?

For me, writing is a ministry. It’s not something I ever aspired to do. In fact, a few years ago, not much would have sounded less appealing than being a writer. But the journey of life led me into the desert. I was teaching part-time at a Christian school. I loved my work and considered it my personal ministry. Then my husband suffered a health issue and lost his job. With two daughters in college, I needed to find full-time work. But leaving the school meant leaving my ministry. Yet God promised me He was doing a new work in my life. I just needed to trust. I clung to Isaiah 43:18-19. I searched for His new work. God led me to a new job where my boss was a…guess what?? Writer. She became my mentor, my critic, my encourager. And once I typed the first words of Season of Hope, I knew this was what God had called me to do.

 

Who is your main character, and how did you choose that name?

The main character in Season of Hope is, believe it or not, named Hope. Choosing character names can be a challenge. When I first began writing, I felt God was leading me to write three novels in which the heroines were named Faith, Hope, and Charity. So, here we have Hope in Season of Hope. Faith is featured in Rescuing Faith. And Charity is still in manuscript form.Most of the time, I give the heroes Biblical names. They’re classic and timeless. Here, Joshua is our hero’s name. Even though Josh is flawed, he exhibits the grace of Jesus.

 

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing a book?

I wish I could say I write for three or four hours every morning, or that I log a certain number of words a day, but I’m not that organized. I am a slow writer, and I spend a lot of time just thinking the plot through before I ever put the first word into my laptop. I usually determine 3-4 plot points and let the characters fill in between. I’ll write a bit, and think a bit more, write, think, write, think, write.

 

What is the hardest part of being an author?

For me, the most difficult part of writing is not the actual creation of the story, but not comparing myself and my “successes” to other authors around me. It’s easy to get tied up in the reviews and comments—both good and bad—and forget the true purpose of my writing. When even one person tells me one of my books ministered to them, that’s the greatest success I could want.

 

What’s the best part of your author’s life?

I have always loved imagining and reading happily-ever-after stories. My favorite part of being a writer is putting the stories onto paper (or my computer screen). I love being able to place my characters in dire situations, watch them struggle, and then help them overcome the trials. And all the time I know what’s around the next corner.

 

What’s one thing your readers should know about you?

I am a huge fan of British Premier League soccer. In addition to absolutely loving the game itself, I really enjoy the commentary by the announcers. In what other sport would you hear the announcer say, “That brilliant pass gave Klopp’s side a massive victory.” Perfect for a wordsmith.

 

How have you changed or grown as a writer?

That’s a great question. And my answer has to do with questions. A popular phrase among writers of fiction is “Deep POV” (Point of View). The idea behind this is to write in such a way so the reader honestly feels as if he or she is able to perceive the action through the character’s eyes. The reader should actually be in the mind of the character. This involves, in general, eliminating words like thought, wondered, felt, hoped. And that can be hard. When I first started writing, I would use questions to get around this. I couldn’t say, “She wondered what he thought of her.” So I’d write, “What would he think of her?” An editor explained that internal questions generally pull the reader out of the story thereby placing distance between the reader and the character and impeding Deep POV. I’ve come to agree with that. Most of the time, the character has an opinion or idea about a situation. So, unless the character honestly doesn’t know the answer, doesn’t have an opinion, I’ve learned to avoid internal questions.

 

What is your favorite pastime?

(Besides reading?) I have many, but I just recently learned how to loom knit, and I am loving it! There are three of us in our little “pod” who enjoy knitting, and we’ve started getting together about once a week to talk and knit (emphasis on the “talk”). Plus, I can do it while I watch my soccer games.

 

Do you have other books? We’d love to know.

Full length novels: Rescuing Faith, The Waiting, No Longer a Captive (coming soon)

Novellas: Mary’s Christmas Surprise, The Unexpected Christmas Gift, Redeeming Christmas (Christmas 2020)

 

What are you working on now?

I am currently finishing up the manuscript about Charity. The working title is A Time for Singing. It’s the story of a man and woman who are both recovering from heart-breaking rejections and learning to trust and love (themselves and God) again. The two write secret, anonymous letters back and forth, and leave them in the drawers of an old inn. The idea is based on the Secret Drawer Society at Longfellow’s Wayside Inn. My husband and I stayed there a few years ago. When we discovered the drawers filled with letters, I knew I’d include that in a novel one day.

 

Website: www.carol-james.com

Link to book:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/30mNHV9

Pelican Soft Cover: https://bit.ly/2MGgewZ

Pelican Ebook: https://bit.ly/2MGe28A

Barnes and Noble Soft Cover: https://bit.ly/2BIhkGo

Barnes and Noble Ebook: https://bit.ly/30lXZF9

Link to promo video by Pelican:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZJwf2m98HE

 

Social media links:

Facebook.com/CarolJamesAuthor

https://www.instagram.com/caroljamesauthor

https://twitter.com/CarolJamesAuth

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19149238.Carol_James

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/carol-james

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3duHqKc

 

Meet author Holly DeHerrera

Holly DeHerrera grew up as a military brat, traveling the world with her family. The Amish and Mennonite branches of her family tree inspired her Middlebury Mysteries series, highlighting the old stories and recipes of her salt-of-the-earth heritage. Her novel entitled, The Orphan Maker’s Sin, grew out of her experiences in Turkey during the Gulf War. Holly teaches creative writing at a local public school and lives with her husband and five kids in Colorado.

Tell us about your newest book.

The Root Cellar Mystery, book 1 in the Middlebury Mysteries series is the story of Old Order Mennonite cousins, Poppy and Sadie, who suspect “a re-e-a-a-al criminal” is staying at Aendi Hannah’s bed and breakfast. Then a missing dog, a mysterious code, creepy creaks, and a floating light in the dark of night only make Poppy and Sadie more jumpy and suspicious of their strange, elderly guest. Even trusting Aendi Hannah wants to keep an eye on her snowy headed guest. After spotting wads of green bills in Ms. Lindy’s large trunk, the sleuthing cousins wonder: Was Ms. Lindy just released from prison and is she a thief? To figure out what this little old, Mennonite grandmother is up to, the junior detectives spy on their mysterious guest. Why has Ms. Lindy come to Middlebury, Indiana, and what is the puzzling stranger searching for in Aendi Hannah’s root cellar? Will Poppy and Sadie’s snoopery solve the mystery surrounding Ms. Lindy’s past in this cozy mystery in the Middlebury Mystery series?

What inspired you to write “The Root Cellar Mystery”?

This story, the first in the series, was inspired by an old, crusty recipe box from my Grandma Yoder.  I loved the idea of weaving old family recipes into a mystery where the actual memories of times spent together, sharing food, became part of a multi-generational story.  I’ve always been drawn to the old ways still held firmly by Mennonite and Amish people, some of whom make up the branches of my own family tree.  Their focus on hard work, the value of family and putting God first inspire me. 

How would you describe this book to someone in a 30-second blurb?

This is a mystery involving two Old Order Mennonite girls who stumble on a mystery when they spot the elderly guest at the bed and breakfast sneaking around in the root cellar late at night.  What is she looking for and is the family in danger?

What genre do you focus on and why?

Gosh, I seem to hop around! My middle grade mystery series is quite different, written for 7-11 year olds and set firmly in the midwest! My first mainstream fiction novel, geared toward women and a YA audience, takes place in Turkey.  And the novel I’m currently writing is in that same genre, but takes place in another amazing place in the world, Cornwall, England. And then I’ve written a writing curriculum to be released early next year.  So, basically, I’m a bit scattered.  

Why do you write?

It makes me feel like me.  Writing calms my spazziness and makes me happy.  I also love the idea that something I’ve written might comfort, encourage or simply entertain another human.  I often think of the one to whom the story is written, picturing them sitting there, curled up with my book.  And I want to make that person laugh and cry and feel hope.

Who is your main character, and how did you choose that name?

My main character in “The Root Cellar Mystery” is Poppy.  Her name is my husband’s nickname for me, and honestly, when I think of how Poppy thinks, I remember my own childhood adventures and my own overactive imagination and desire to help people. Inside, Poppy feels a lot like my little-girl self.  

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing a book?

I wish I could say I am super disciplined and write every day, but that would be a lie.  I try to write regularly but I am always pulled in different directions as a mom, wife and teacher (directions I LOVE but still, they pull me away from writing).  And so I try to at least write once a week and make it a goal to push through several chapters at a time.  

What is the hardest part of being an author?

Just finding time and space to write and tap into that creative part of myself can be a challenge.  Also, marketing.  That part isn’t my favorite.

What’s the best part of your author’s life?

The writing itself fills me up and grounds me.

What’s one unusual fact about you?

I have lived in six different countries and absolutely adore meeting people from other places and diving into their unique cultures.  I was a member of the African American dance troupe in college—despite being white.  The group was very kind and never made me feel dumb for joining.  Aside from loving to dance, I wanted to make a point in a fairly segregated community, that racism and staying separate from other people just because of race causes us to miss so much beauty, opportunity for growth and deep, stretching friendships. I still treasure those memories and the lessons I learned.

How have you changed or grown as a writer?

I am always learning and growing!  As I repeatedly tell my students, if you’re open to it, you don’t ever stop learning.  And the learning really hinges on making the effort and applying lessons, versus sitting back and being passive.  

What is your favorite pastime?

Reading, writing and watching cooking shows.

Do you have other books? We’d love to know.

Yes. The Orphan Maker’s Sin.  Also, books 2 and 3 in the Middlebury Mysteries series will be coming out in September and October.  I’m so excited!  My multi-genre writing curriculum is in the beginning editing phases and should release in 2021.  It is entitled, “Unleash the Pen!”

What are you working on now?

I’m currently about two-thirds of the way through my newest novel about a young woman who buys an English castle on the internet.  I’m having so much fun!  Are you picking up on a theme?  I tend to live out my dreams through my characters.  

Website:  https://hollyyoderdeherrera.wordpress.com

Link to book:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/1683550269

Social media links:  

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorHollyYoderDeherrera

https://twitter.com/HollyYDeHerrera

Instagram:  @hollyyoderdeherrera

 

 

 

 

The Thrill of the Win!

Recently, I opened my email and found that I’d won not one—but TWO—book awards. Sara’s Surprise won the 2020 American Book Fest Fiction Award, and Katelyn’s Choice was a finalist in the same award contest. Moreover, a month or so before that, Katelyn’s Choice won the 2020 Illumination Book Awards bronze medal! My first two books were also winners. The Fabric of Hope and Christmas Charity were five-star winners in the Readers’ Choice awards and finalists in the Indie Excellence Book awards. So, it’s been quite a ride—just three years, five books, and the thrill of the win at every turn.

It’s not easy being an author. On the road to getting published, there’s a ton of rejection, criticism, negative input, and dire warnings of failure. There are twists and turns, ups and downs, and days, weeks, or even years of little feedback. And rarely is it financially rewarding. Then, after spending hundreds of hours alone with your computer, cranking out 80,000 words or so, and wondering whether anyone will appreciate what you write, having your work recognized is a life-changing experience. It’s simply no small thing to compete against dozens, even hundreds, of amazing authors who are nominated for these awards and becoming a winner, or even a finalist. It makes all the hard work worthwhile.

With each award announcement I’ve shed tears of joy, trembled in humility, and danced around my house like a two-

year-old on Christmas Day. Each is a precious gift, an incredible experience which reminds me that what I do matters.

Yet I don’t write to win an award; I write to touch lives.

I write because I love to share stories of the Thousand Islands, stories of history and the times past. I care about my readers and want to encourage, enlighten, and edify them. I want to connect with each person who takes the time to delve into the world of my novels. They become so much more than “fans”; they become friends.

Yes, winning an award is validating, encouraging, and edifying. The awards help me find new readers and encourage current readers to keep on reading my books. Receiving such accolades is also humbling, unexpected, and thrilling—all at the same time.

So thank you, my fans and friends, who take the time to read my stories, pass them on to others, write reviews on Amazon or other online stores, and care. At the end of the day, it’s not the awards that matter. It YOU!