Monday, January 15, 2018

Priscilla J. Krahn on Mission of a Lifetime.


Priscilla, welcome to Homeschool Authors! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I graduated from Krahn Homeschool in 2015 and am currently living on our family farm, helping where I can and writing in my free time. Growing up as the youngest of seven, I took advantage of my older siblings' books and reading became a part of me at a young age.  My first book was self-published when I was seventeen, and now, at the age of twenty, I have six books self-published, and one traditionally published through Ambassador International. Personality wise, I like to describe myself like my purse, bling on one side, camo on the other side, and the cross in the center. Depending on what settings you know me in, you might think of me as a loud tomboy who likes ice hockey, hunting and fishing, or you might think of me as a shy girl who likes bling, shopping, and coffee drinks.

Everyone’s homeshooling experience is different. What do you think made yours unique?
One thing that really sticks out to me about my homeschooling experience, was how organized it was. My mom would write out lesson plans for us that went through the whole year, and kept us on schedule. Also, growing up on a farm, we got lots of 'field trips'. My parents took our farm, and in my high-school years, the family corn maze, and used them to teach us about running businesses, and having employees. A lot of the lessons in my school were backed by real-life hands-on experiences. I also feel that my parents did a great job with making time to incorporate travel into our schooling. Through different competitions and conventions, I had the opportunity to travel all over America learning things that I would never have learned from behind a desk.

How did being homeschooled prepare you to write?
My mom knew that I liked to write when I was still pretty young, so all through my homeschool years, she made sure to have me do a lot of curriculum geared towards writers. When I was thirteen, she got me the One Year Adventure Novel high-school writing curriculum, and that's what really started helping my writing improve. I'm very grateful that my parents didn't make me stick to the traditional education and schooling hours, but instead, they customized our school experience, to help us in what we were interested. For some of my brothers, it was taking extra mechanic classes, and for others, it was taking intense music classes. For me, it was allowing me to have the time I needed to write, and the material to help me improve.

What caused you to start writing?
I've always like to write, and even my earliest childhood notebooks have stories scribbled in them. I always dreamed of being published some day, but I knew it probably would never happen. Then, one day, one of my brothers told me I would never get published. He went so far as to say that if I ever did get published, he would help with the expenses. That's when I KNEW that I was going to get published. I had him write out his promise and sign it, and when I was seventeen, I returned the note to him stamped 'Paid in Full'. I can honestly say that I would not be where I am today if it weren't for my supportive family. They all encourage me, inspire me, and help as much as they can.

What inspired Mission of a Lifetime?
This sounds kind of funny, but I actually got the inspiration for Mission of a Lifetime through a dream I had! The dream, while NOTHING like the book, got me thinking about the intense and dangerous situations that missionaries face, and ideas began flowing. I was working on some other books at the time, but I knew I was eventually going to write Mission of a Lifetime.

Would you give us a synopsis?
A missing airplane . . . Hostile tribes . . . Mysterious kidnappings . . .
Responsibility falls upon twenty-one-year-old William Rodriguez when his missionary parents disappear in the hostile jungles of Columbia. Willie knows that he has to go find them, but what will it cost him? When his dreams and his very life are on the line, Willie doesn’t know who to trust. Will he be able to overcome his past mistakes and the present failure that seems set on destroying his mission?
When Willie finds himself in the midst of a drug smuggling ring, difficult decisions are thrust upon him. Can he escape his captors before his family is killed? Can he find forgiveness in his heart for the very people who ruined his life or will it only bring back more painful memories? Will he be able to survive the mission of a lifetime?

Who will enjoy Mission of a Lifetime?
If you enjoy intense drama, and adventure, you will enjoy Mission of a Lifetime. It is specifically written for 14-25 year old guys, but has been enjoyed by both men and women of all ages.

Do you plan to write more books?
Yes! As a writer, I'm ALWAYS writing something, and I'm currently working on a trilogy of mystery adventure novels for ages 9-14.

Where can people connect with you online?
I blog at - www.priscillajkrahn.com
My business Facebook page is - https://www.facebook.com/PriscillaJ.KrahnAuthor/
I can also be found on Goodreads, Google+, and my Amazon author page.

Do you have any final thoughts?
The world of writing is both difficult, and rewarding. If you're a beginning writer, or a parent trying to encourage a young writer, don't give up. Keep at it! Even if you never get a word published, don't get discouraged. One of the things that has kept me going over the years is my favorite verse, 1 Thessalonians 5:18 "In EVERYTHING give thanks, for this IS THE WILL OF GOD; in Christ Jesus concerning YOU." When we realize that God's will for our lives is to be thankful in EVERYTHING, then whether we're writing or not, we can have the joy of the Lord, which is my strength.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Maggie Joy on The Star Under the City



Maggie, welcome to Homeschool Authors! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I'm just a Christian girl who loves humans and to write their stories down ;)
I can often be found spending time with people I love, reading WWII stories, in the thick of a mud fight, writing, staring at the night sky, or dancing in the occasional rainstorm we get.
I love Christmas and ice-cream (i'm still looking for someone who will let me put those two things together btw..) and I love to sing.
I couldn’t be more thankful for my wonderful life and the ones in it.♥
With my writing I long to glorify God, capture the special beauty, joy, tears, stories, and moments of life, speak the truth --even when ugly, and inspire others to hope again.

Everyone’s homeschooling experience is different. What do you think made yours unique?
I think one thing that made my homeschooling experience unique and priceless was the extreme focus on God and His word. It put the schooling into perspective and along with every single subject, we were being taught to live more like Christ.

How did being homeschooled prepare you to write?
One of the ways that homeschooling prepared me to write was all the great literature that I always had access to. Along with the fact that I ALWAYS had at least one of my six siblings around to get inspired with and bounce dreams and ideas back and forth. (priceless btw!)

What caused you to start writing?
I found out I loved writing through creative writing school assignments. That coupled with the fact that I soon realized there were hundreds of amazing stories all around me that needed to be told.

What inspired The Star Under the City?
Well, I think I've always loved WWII stories and as I grew to love writing, I wanted to write one from that time period. Then I got the idea for the two main characters in The Star Under the City, and basically everything progressed pretty quickly from there! Finding the Bible verse, Psalm 147:2-4 really got me going and I couldn't stop. :)

Would you give us a synopsis?
When Ellen is suddenly orphaned and dropped alone into a strange city under tight Nazi control, she struggles to survive form day to day.

Her life takes an unexpected turn when she finds a mysterious, metal six-point star that is slightly different from the "Star of David" all the Jews are forced to wear.

Not only does the star feel like a sign of hope, but it sets her on a mission to find out what it really means. As she begins to wonder if she'll ever find answers, she meets Lenz, and her life is flung into a whirlwind of Danger and hardship, new friends and new enemies, and opportunities to learn trust and true sacrifice.

As she attempts to find her place in the conflict, she discovers she is part of something so much bigger than she could ever imagine.

Who will enjoy The Star Under the City?
Readers from all ages have enjoyed The Star Under the City and I was thrilled to get such enthusiastic responses from so many. But it was originally written for teens.

Do you plan to write more books?
I do plan to write more books and will begin on my next novel, currently titled, Alexis Accepted, this November!

Where can people connect with you online?
You can contact me through my blog https://myatticcorner.wordpress.com/, Generation Rising, or on Goodreads. :)

Do you have any final thoughts?
I've also written a companion short story called, A German, which you can find for FREE on Amazon (or other places like, Google Play, Barnes & Noble, etc) through my Pronoun page.

Thank you, Sarah, for the interview.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Interview with Kelsey on Suit and Suitability


Kelsey, welcome to Homeschooled Authors once again. What have you been up to since last time you were here?
Thank you for having me! The last time I was here was over two years ago, after I had published England Adventure (Six Cousins Book 2). Almost that entire time, I was working on Suit and Suitability. I’ve traveled to some interesting places (England and Prince Edward Island, for two), gotten into freelance copyediting, and been enjoying a new member of the family (a nephew).

How did you become involved with the Vintage Jane Austen Project?
One day, Hannah Scheele (the series’ cover designer) and Sarah Holman (the author of Emmeline) were talking and somehow formed the scheme for the Vintage Jane Austen Project. Knowing me well as a Janeite, they asked if I wanted to write one of the books. I have hardly ever felt more excited to say yes!

What was your favorite part about moving an old story into a new time period?
I think it was discovering how personalities from Regency England (c. 1811) could be adapted into 1930s versions of themselves. For example, responsible, hardworking, organized Elinor Dashwood (who is Ellen Dashiell in my novel) made a perfect secretary, one of the steadiest jobs available to women during the Great Depression. Romantic, passionate Marianne Dashwood, her sister (aka, Marion Dashiell), would unequivocally be an aspiring actress in the days when girls like her dreamed of becoming Hollywood or Broadway starlets.

What was your favorite part of this project?
Can I pick two? One of them was working as a team to write a series of books we’re all excited about. The other was getting to write a retelling of one of my favorite novels, Sense and Sensibility, by one of my favorite authors, Jane Austen, using one of my favorite fictional characters, Elinor Dashwood!

What was the most challenging part of this project?
Well, besides the normal frustrations of tying up all the threads and actually weaving Suit and Suitability into a cohesive, satisfying novel, I would say Marion’s character was the most challenging. (Which is quite appropriate, as she is the most challenging person that her family knows, too.) I wanted her to be liked by at least some readers, but I also didn’t want to diminish her personality. Writing her was a tricky balancing act. Also, some of her interests, such as the way Broadway worked in the 1930s, were rather difficult to ferret out details for accurate portrayal. But she and I made it through okay, and I love her as much as I love Ellen, even if I still don’t relate to her as well.

What Jane Austen character are you most like?
I’d like to think I’m most like Elinor Dashwood, but maybe that’s because I just want to be! I do share a few traits with her, such as her carefulness and her reserve, but I also see myself in Fanny Price, who is shy and unsure of herself sometimes.

Which one of the characters in Suit and Suitability are you most like?
Since this narrows down the options, I can unhesitatingly say Ellen Dashiell. Even then we aren’t extremely alike; she’s more competent, more organized, and more of a workaholic. But I used large pieces of my personality to inform hers.

Tell us the synopsis for Suit and Suitability.
The mystery surrounding their father’s criminal accusations is almost as hard to solve as the many puzzles springing on their hearts.

Canton, Ohio, 1935. Ellen and Marion Dashiell’s world crumbles when their father is sent to prison. Forced to relocate to a small town, what is left of their family faces a new reality where survival overshadows dreams. Sensible Ellen, struggling to hold the family together, is parted from the man she’s just learning to love, while headstrong Marion fears she will never be the actress she aspires to be. When a dashing hero enters the scene, things only grow more complicated. But could a third man hold the key to the restoration and happiness of the Dashiell family?

Where can people get it?
Suit and Suitability is available from Amazon as a paperback or eBook.

To leave us off, please share a quote from your story.
May I share two quotes? One is a quote (out of Ellen’s thoughts), the other is more of an excerpt (out of Marion’s thoughts).

“Fictional mysteries were well and good, but in one’s own life they were a nuisance.”

“Marion slipped slowly, purposefully, from room to room of the house, her footsteps echoing on the wood floors and every door opening and closing with a heightened click. The emptiness was eerie, like her childhood memories had been burglarized and she was left with only their ghosts. Her room seemed a stranger, all of its furniture gone: her little-girl vanity, her bookshelf, her dresser, her reading chair. It had been a dream house…”

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The Treasure Hunt



Buy it Here
Description: They were silent a moment each thinking of the strange clue and even stranger signature. Anna was first to speak. "It seems like some sort of treasure hunt."
A boring summer vacation turns into an exciting adventure when Anna and her brother David discover a mysterious note. Soon they are hunting for clues, solving puzzles, and cracking codes--all on their own farm!

This story was so much fun! This is the kind of book that I wanted around when I was younger. It was a fun story about siblings on a treasure hunt that lasts a few days. What is not to love?

The style was charming. There was nothing deep in this book, although faith is mentioned. It’s one of those books that would make a delightful summer afternoon read for a kid. Although, they might start making treasure hunts themselves.

The characters were defined enough that I never mixed up siblings, which is impressive for a first book. Well done Kate Willis!

I highly recommend this for younger readers who like contemporary mysteries and stories about happy siblings.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Woodcutter Quince


Description: In the depths of Black forest, strange creatures are rumored to exist. Casperl isn't sure he's seen any of them, but he does know that there is a princess trapped on top of an enchanted mountain. Only a true prince can free her. He's certainly not one.

It’s been a while since I’ve read any of the Bookania stories, but I’ve had this story my Kindle a while. I found that this story was easily enjoyed all on its own. While it wasn’t long, is still found myself adoring the characters.

Casperl is a sweet hero. I love how he is so kind to the princess who is trapped in the enchanted castle, and how he always hoped the next prince would rescue her. The princess is also a good character. I enjoyed her old-English way of talking, and her kindness to others.

While there were mentions of the princess being under a spell, there wasn’t a lot of magic. I really enjoyed it from beginning to end. The ending was perfect!

I recommend this for those who like fairy-tales, short stories, and sweet heroes.