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Book Excerpt: When Shmack Happens by Amber Neben

When Shmack Happens coverTitle:  When Shmack Happens: The Making of a Spiritual Champion
Author: Amber Neben
Genre: Christian nonfiction/inspirational stories/sports autobiography
Paperback: 172 pages
Publisher: Neben Px4 (March 18, 2014)
ISBN-10: 0991303008
ISBN-13: 978-0991303007

Purchase at:

Amazon USA:   http://www.amazon.com/When-Shmack-Happens-Spiritual-Champion/dp/0991303008/

Book website: www.whenshmackhappens.com

Amazon UK and Amazon EU

Have you ever been through a hard time in life? Ever wondered why bad things happen? Amber Neben has you covered. The 2x Olympic cyclist for Team USA knows a thing or two about shmack- her word for describing adversity that comes our way in life. Follow Amber’s journey as she overcomes major obstacles both on and off the bike-and encourages you to join her in developing the perseverance, patience, perspective, and power than only Christ can give us. Very few people may know or understand what road cycling is, but everyone knows what it means to be an Olympian. The champion road cyclist chronicles her disappointments and failures, as well as amazing comebacks and victories-while thrilling audiences along the way with gripping stories of faith and hope. After reading When Shmack Happens, you’ll feel equipped and encouraged to face life’s tough moments, and find yourself cheering for Amber to get back on the bike…one more time. Learn what it means to be a spiritual champion in God’s eyes.

Excerpt:

From Chapter 10

Fear gripped me as I skidded to a stop against the guardrail and looked up at the entire peloton riding toward my head. Another rider had just slid into my front wheel, causing it to turn violently sideways, ripping the handlebars out of my hands, and instantly halting the bike’s forward momentum. Since my body was still carrying the 30-plus mph speed and energy, I launched with my arms out like superman until I hit the pavement. Hard. The combination of the friction of my body on the road followed by the impact with the guardrail spun me around, so I could see what was coming at me. For a few seconds more, I was terrified of being run over until the peloton had passed.

After this immediate danger was gone, I realized my finger was screaming at me. I hadn’t initially noticed it, but now it hurt like nothing I had ever felt. Fear grabbed me again as I connected the pain with the blood and the massive gash on it. I thought for sure I was going to lose the tip of it if I didn’t get help fast.

I had no idea what had just occurred. We had crested a climb and started an easy downhill. I was still up front on the outside of the group. The corner was sweeping to the left, and I was looking far down the road…when suddenly I was tossed. It wasn’t until later that night that the rider who was behind me explained what had happened, and why I had no chance to react or had any sense that it was coming.Amber Neben photo

I was in the middle of the 2009 racing season, coming off of the World Championship win the previous year. Only two days prior, I had won the time trial stage in this race, the women’s Giro d’Italia. The win had catapulted me into the General Classification (GC) lead, and although I had cramped the next day and lost it, I was still close enough to fight back. There were enough hill-top finishes remaining, and I wasn’t planning on giving up the race so easily. However, in an instant, everything changed. I went from being in contention, to being bloodied on the side of an Italian road in the middle of nowhere, waiting for the race ambulance and a doctor.

Amber Neben is a decorated international road cyclist with victories in 11 countries and multiple UCI Category 1 stage race wins. She is a 2x Olympian, 2x World Champion, 2x Pan American Champion and 2x National Champion. She holds a B.S. from The University of Nebraska and an M.S. from UC Irvine. Amber and her husband, Jason, reside in Lake Forest, CA. For information on speaking engagements or coaching visit amberneben.com.

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Interview with Jermaine Gadson, Author of Tactics, Trends, and Traits of the Enemy

Jermaine Gadson headshotJermaine Gadson is the Senior Pastor of Faith Ministries, Inc., a non-traditional church located in Birmingham, AL. Prior to starting Faith Ministries, he served as an associate minister, youth minister, and pastor for local churches and ministries in the greater Birmingham area.  While, growing up in the Baptist church, he gave his life to Christ at an early age, and is a third generation minister of the Gospel. 

He holds a B.A. in Religion with a Concentration in Congregational Studies and a Minor in Classics from Samford University, and a Master of Divinity from Beeson Divinity School of Samford University.  He is currently a Doctor of Ministry student at Beeson Divinity School.  

Gadson enjoys reading, writing, sports, outdoors, movies, and spending time with his family. He is happily married to his wife Kristy and they have one beautiful daughter, Khloe. 

Visit Pastor Gadson online at www.JermaineGadson.com.

Thank you for this interview, Jermaine. Can you tell us what your latest book, Tactics, Trends, and Traits of the Enemy, is all about?

Yes, Tactics, Trends, and Traits, of the Enemy is about equipping people with the knowledge and wisdom to overcome various struggles in life that are a direct result of spiritual adversity. This book takes the spookiness out of spiritual warfare by exposing the Enemy’s strategies that present themselves in struggles that people face every day, that they may not be aware of as demonic attacks.

How did you come up with the idea?

The idea for the book came from reflecting on my own life and some of the experiences that I have had, thinking about questions and concerns that I have encountered in providing pastoral counseling to others, as well as gleaning from a Bible study series that I taught at my church.

What kind of research did you do before and during the writing of your book?

Most of the research for the book came from studying the Bible, and looking at various stories, passages, and illustrations that dealt with the various topics that are dealt with in the book.  A person who is interested in the Bible or who enjoys Bible study material will enjoy this book.  Those who are familiar with the Bible, as well as those who are not as familiar, will be challenged to look at certain passages of Scripture in a new way.  The material in this book is not what you would find in a typical Sunday school lesson. You will be inspired, encouraged, enlightened, and even surprised by what you will find.

If a reader can come away from reading your book with one valuable message, what would that be?

One valuable message that a reader can come away with is the understanding that knowledge is power.  People are destroyed because of a lack of knowledge. The more we know about the Enemy and his strategies, the better we are equipped to identify his tactics, and ultimate defeat him.

Can you give us a short excerpt?Tactics, Trends and Traits of the Enemy Cover

As human beings, we are not just flesh and blood. We are spirit beings also. Our lives are shaped and impacted by the reality and intertwining of two realms: the spirit and the natural. The natural realm is the one that we are the most familiar with. However, our lack of familiarity with the spirit realm does not negate its existence, nor render powerless its influence in our lives. The spirit realm is just as real and impactful as the natural, and even more so. For everything that you see and experience in the natural, there is something that corresponds to it in the spirit.

With that being said, we have to understand that we have an enemy: a real enemy, a spiritual enemy. This enemy is an adversary against God, humanity, and everything that God has created. His name is Satan. He and his army of countless devils will stop at nothing to destroy God’s great creation, namely the human race.

In this book, I am sharing insights that I have gained from my study of the Bible, personal experiences as a believer, and nearly ten years of experience as a pastor and fifteen years as a minister. God’s people are being destroyed from a lack of knowledge. It is not God’s will for His people to be ignorant of Satan’s devices. It is God’s will that His people be equipped to stand strong and boldly against the Enemy and his devilish schemes. The purpose of this book is to equip the body of Christ to be prepared to recognize demonic tactics and attacks, resist the Devil and his forces, and stand firm in the victory that is already ours in Jesus Christ.

In your own experience, is it hard to get a nonfiction book published today?  How did you do it?

This is my first book, and it is self-published.  Self-publishing is hard work, but if you are willing to do the work to get your message out it won’t seem so bad.  Trying to get published by a traditional publisher has different dynamics, and may be more difficult for some than for others, depending on the topic, genre, publisher, and current market.

What’s a typical day like for you?

A typical day includes getting my family ready to leave home in the morning, spending time in prayer and devotion, writing, blogging and posting for my social media sites, preparing the media presentation and message for Sunday service, run errands or attend to business affairs, picking my daughter up from school, preparing and eating dinner with my family, enjoying some downtime or playtime with my daughter, debrief the day with my wife, and finally, get ready for the next day.

What’s next for you?

Next, I plan to work on a curriculum to accompany the book.  I am also preparing to write a second book to be released later this year or next year.

Thank you so much for this interview, Jermaine.  We wish you much success!

Thank you, so much for this interview. I appreciate it!

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Interview & Giveaway with Donna McDine, Author of ‘A Sandy Grave’

Donna McDine Headshot

Donna McDine is an award-winning children’s author, Honorable Mention in the 77th and two Honorable Mentions in the 78th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competitions, Literary Classics Silver Award & Seal of Approval Recipient Picture Book Early Reader, Readers Favorite 2012 International Book Awards Honorable Mention, Global eBook Awards Finalist Children’s Picture Book Fiction, and Preditors & Editors Readers Poll 2010 Top Ten Children’s Books ~ The Golden Pathway.

Her stories, articles, and book reviews have been published in over 100 print and online publications. Her interest in American History resulted in writing and publishing The Golden Pathway. Donna’s 2013 releases of Powder Monkey and Hockey Agony and the 2014 release of A Sandy Grave will be joined by an additional book to be published by Guardian Angel Publishing, Dee and Deb, Off They Go. She writes, moms and is a personal assistant from her home in the historical hamlet Tappan, NY. McDine is a member of the SCBWI, Children’s Literature Network, and Family Reading Partnership.

Visit Donna online at www.donnamcdine.com or her blog at www.donna-mcdine.blogspot.com

Connect & Socialize with Donna!

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About the Book:A Sandy Grave cover

Title: A Sandy Grave
Author: Donna M. McDine
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing
Pages: 24
Language: English
Genre: Tween chapterbook
Format: Paperback, hardcover & eBook

The anticipation of summer vacation can put anyone in a great mood with the excitement of adventures to be had–especially at the beach. But what is a group of friends to do when they discover mysterious men poaching whale teeth at the beach?

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Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE

Can you tell us what your book is about?

While three young girlfriends are vacationing with their families they discover a dead washed up whale on the beach. The realization that poachers often times attempt to steal whales’ teeth, sets a mystery into motion.

Why did you write your book?

While reading the newspaper I came across a story about a dead washed up whale on a California beach and what the authorities had to do to protect the whale before being able to bury it.

Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters?

The trio of girlfriends is a curious bunch and enjoy their friendship immensely. They often times tease each other, but respect and love is apparent in their friendships.

Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel or do you discover it as you write?

I typically start with a story outline and character profiles and then the plot evolves during my writing process.

Your book is set at the beach. Can you tell us why you chose this setting in particular?

The topic of poachers and the Endangered Species Act and the Mammal Protection Act are directly related to the beach and ocean.

Open the book to any page.  What is happening?

After discovering the washed up whale and hearing what the authorities were doing to protect the whale, the main character, Leah, immediately gets a creepy feeling about two filthy men, looking on from a sand dune.

Is it hard to get a children’s book published?

In my experience, the road to publication with any genre is not an easy path. We often hear write what you love, but it’s important to study the markets to learn what publishers are interested in and make your best attempt in creating a manuscript that adheres to their guidelines.

Is it hard to promote a children’s book and where do you start?

An author wears many hats and promoter is one of them. Even before one’s book is published it is imperative you market yourself and your writing on at least a weekly if not daily basis. I’m not saying, you should be jumping up and down and saying hey look at me. I feel it’s more important to become involved with online and in-person writer’s groups and become an active member of discussions and not just tooting your own horn. Visit libraries and schools through author visits, with a combination of volunteer opportunities and select events profiling you and your books.

Have you suffered from writer’s block and what do you do to get back on track?

If I feel a block I often times go out for a walk, meditate, or make a hot cup of tea and read the paper or the book I’m currently reading.

What would you do with an extra hour today if you could do anything you wanted?

Visit with my parents and father-in-law and have a nice leisurely chat without having the world intrude.

Which holiday is your favorite and why?

Memorial Day. It’s a time of renewal of our gardens and everything green. The weather is usually at a terrific temperature for getting that first barbeque off to a great start with friends and family.

If we were to meet for lunch to talk books, where would we go?

The Barnes and Noble café at our local mall or Panera.

What do you like the most about being an author?

Engaging with students in lively conversation during school or library visits. Since children are becoming more and more visual with all the technology around them, I find that starting off with a brief introduction and then the showing of my latest book video trailer gets the conversation going faster.

What kind of advice would you give other fiction authors?

Fiction writers need to conduct their research so that their stories are accurate. For instance, if your story is based around a particular sport, you need to make sure anything involving the sport is accurate.

Donna McDine is giving you a chance to win a $50 Barnes and Noble Gift Card.

Terms & Conditions:
• By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
• One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $50 Barnes and Noble Gift Card
• This giveaway begins March 3 and ends on April 25, 2014.
• Winner will be contacted via email.
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Dreamer by Phillip L. Davidson

Dreamer coverIs the Dreamer good or evil? As war looms between Britain and Argentina over the barren Falkland Islands, Major David Elliott is having nightmares. Long ago, in a dark jungle near Cambodia, he failed to do his duty. That duty was to execute a member of his team. David’s weakness eventually led to his team’s capture. Tortured by the Viet Cong, they revealed the dark secrets of the CIA’s Phoenix program. Forced to leave the service in disgrace, his men now live in the ‘darkness’. What do the dreams mean for them? David’s wife, Sonia, sees them as harbingers of evil things to come. A revolutionary in Argentina before the war, she escaped to America and became a citizen.

Now, Captain Alvarez, head of the Argentine Secret Police, wants her back. He devises a plan that lures her into returning to Argentina where she is imprisoned on Los Estados Island. Meanwhile, a mystical creature has summoned David and his former team to gather once more to honor the ‘covenant,’ a pact they made with each other when they believed their lives were coming to an end. Together, with an errant priest, Father Perez, they reluctantly agree to assault Los Estados and free Sonia. As they travel across Mexico, Central and South America, they encounter the CIA, Contras in Nicaragua, the M-19 narco-terrorist group and the United States Navy; while all along being shadowed by the mystical entity. Is the entity God or Satan? Will submitting to the will of the entity allow David and his men to stand in the light of men once again? Is the Dreamer good or evil? You decide.

Dreamer is a tale of redemption, honor, courage, belief in God and betrayal! If you enjoy military fiction, this book is for you.

Excerpt:

CHAPTER 1

Alexandria, Virginia – March 1, 1982 

In the black void of his mind, David could see them again.

Like hunted animals, they scurried through the knee-deep rice paddy water, slipping and falling, cursing, and gasping for breath. Above, unseen in the darkness of night, fast-moving clouds unleashed a torrent of monsoon rain that fell across them in heavy rippling waves.

Suddenly, they froze. Overhead, sizzling noises broke the dull drone of the rain as the sky became filled with yellow flickering candle flares. He dove into the filthy water and fitfully pawed his way along the muddy bottom of the paddy until he reached an earthen dike. Lying with his face against the muddy slope, he could only sense the desperate gathering of the gray silhouettes of his men as they one by one pressed up against the dike.

He looked down at the luminous dial of his Rolex. They were fast running out of night. Before the sun came up, he had to lead his men across this vast expanse of flat rice plain to an obscure island of jungle where they could hide during the day and then escape as night fell.

One by one, the flares died out and the sky became dark once more. Cautiously, he raised his head. Had they been quick enough? Or had they been seen, caught in the open dark statutes framed against the paddy waters’ sparkle.

He turned to his men. He knew they were exhausted. For the better part of an hour they had been moving at a dead run. In the distance behind them, the fires from the burning village gave of a faint shimmering glow.

But it was not how exhausted they were, or the barrage of the rain, or Keaton’s labored breathing that most troubled him. It was Jude’s haunting face. Even in the darkness, he could see it, could feel Jude watching his every move, waiting for what he knew was coming, for what he knew David would soon have to do.

“Where am I?” he asked the darkness.

On course,” answered a voice, powerful and alluring. He reached out to touch the voice, but could feel nothing there.

Dai Uy, why did you have to bring him with us?” Force asked as he crouched next to him in the filthy water.

He grabbed Force’s shoulder strap and pulled him close to his face. “Get the hell back, Sergeant. We couldn’t just leave him there,” he hissed.

“I was afraid we were lost,” he said to the darkness.

He lifted the lensatic compass that was securely tied around his neck and flicked open its cover. The rain was coming down so hard it was impossible to read its dial, so he took of his beret, held it against his forehead, and brought the compass up close to his face. He smiled. The two illuminated dots had nestled correctly between them the compass’s arrowhead indicating that he was guiding the team in the right direction. He closed the compass, let it fall, and climbed to the top of the dike. In the darkness, he could hardly make out the huddled figures of his men who had spread themselves along the dike in various dark contortions

“It felt good,” he explained to the darkness.

It did feel good. He could feel the ooziness of the rice water inside his jungle boots and the trickling rain water flowing inside his tiger fatigues, uninhibited by useless underwear.

His web gear was hooked securely across his back and chest and carried everything he needed to survive in the jungle: knife, first aid pouch, flashlight, and grenades. His canteen was half full and his Webley was resting securely in its holster. Across his chest was strung his faithful Car-15 still awaiting his command. He had forgotten how good it felt to be on a battlefield.

“Keaton?” He quickly turned over. Keaton was too old for his now. Why was he here? “Keaton?”

Even above the incessant drone of the rain, he could hear Keaton’s heavy breathing. He sloshed his way to the end of the formation where Keaton was guarding their rear. As he squatted down breathlessly beside him, Keaton’s rock face turned and he spoke. “Dai Uy.” Keaton’s voice was deep and gravelly. After he spoke, he coughed and spit. “How you holding up, Sergeant?” he asked, getting his wind. “My Ranger tabs keepin’ me warm,” Keaton said under his breath.

“Yeah. Can you see anything out there?” he asked, squinting into the rain.

“They can’t be too far behind. My guess is they’re fanning out, hoping to get a scent or to hear something.”

“Has Jude been talking to himself,” he said, dropping his head.

Dai Uy, I didn’t know,” Keaton said as if trying to explain, but he stopped him.

“It’s not your fault. It’s nobody’s fault,” he said evenly, trying not to meet Keaton’s eyes. No. It’s my fault, he thought. I’m their leader. I’m responsible for everything. Then he returned his attention to the moment. “How far away you guess the jungle is?” he asked.

“Not far . . .” Suddenly, red tracer rounds flew over their heads like a swarm of mad hornets followed the sound of random drum-roll bursts of gun fire. He chuckled, and Keaton coughed again.

“They’re recon’n by fire. They don’t know where we are,” Keaton said with a raspy laugh, hope evident in his voice.

“Let’s don’t let them get lucky,” he quipped. “I’ll get us moving.”

Phillip Davidson - Author

He made his way back to the head of the formation, and grabbing Force by his arm said, “Help Jake carry him.” Force and Jake lifted Jude by the shoulders and with the rest of the men followed him into the gray mist that had begun to rise off the paddy water.

Behind them, not far, fierce warriors pursued. Men with different moralities, different truths, different needs. Men who had forsaken emotion and inhibition. Men who understood the meaning of sacrifice. Men who would stop at nothing until they had killed them all. 

Purchase information:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Dreamer-Phillip-Davidson-ebook/dp/B00EZVKPFU/

About the Author:

Phillip L. Davidson is an attorney who lives in Nashville, Tennessee with his wife, Karen. He is a former infantry Captain who commanded a group of Cambodian and Vietnamese Kit Carson Scouts on a night ambush team in the Mekong Delta. Phil’s life in the military has provided him with a wealth of war stories.  He has used his creative insight to produce a military action adventure of epic proportions. Dreamer is a must read book. He is currently at work on a second novel.

Visit the author online at http://www.phildavidsonbooks.com/.

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Interview with Ronald W. Kirk, Author of Thy Will Be Done

RonKirk-photo-SAM_1429

Jesus Christ graced Ron with salvation late in his college career at the University of California, Berkeley, graduating in 1974. In entering his first church ministry, a lack of a Biblical material on education led him to the Christian History Movement and the works of R.J. Rushdoony. Since 1980, Ron has studied and taught the Biblically and historically identified applied-faith theology and philosophy outlined in this book.

God gave Ron a voracious appetite for learning about everything. Ron studied math and physics in college, and then pursued professional landscape architecture—design is a central component to his calling. He gained a passion for education after finding that a full-orbed Biblical treatment of education was nowhere to be found in contemporary literature.

Ever since about 1977, Ron devoted his life to understand God’s earthly and eternal purposes for mankind, to help others know them, and to derive and spread a thoroughly Biblical system of education aimed toward God’s ends for His people.

Ron’s success in pioneering day and home schools has long proven the effectiveness of systematic Biblical thinking. His work has been published internationally and translated into Spanish. Gloriously married since 1971, Ron and Christina have five children, five more sons- and daughters-in-law, and eleven grandchildren, all walking with Christ. American Heritage Christian Church ordained Ron in 1984.

Ron’s educational and worldview ministry website is www.getwisdom.us. He’s also on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/GetWisdomMakingChristianHeroesOfOrdinaryPeople.

Q: Thank you for this interview, Ron. Can you tell us what your latest book, Thy Will Be Done: When All Nations Call God Blessed, is all about?

A:  Some might consider the book an earth shaking premise. What if the Father answered Jesus’ prayer and mankind obeyed God on earth as all do in heaven? What would we see? We all want to go to heaven, but what if God gave us a substantial glimpse of heaven in our earthly lives, not to replace the eternal goal, but to encourage us by His real grace of blessing?

This is no utopian dream. Thy Will Be Done is an eager, popular speculation on the answer in terms of Scripture, best expressions in history and personal experience. It is a culmination of a lifetime of research and thought upon the potential of life in Christ, in every area of life.

Q: How did you come up with the idea?

A: God planted the seed of this book early in my life. As a new believer interested in child education, I could not believe that God wanted Christians to base their views on evolutionary psychology, which was all I could find in the mainstream literature. Discovering God’s providence in what Verna Hall called the chain of Christianity moving westward, prompted learning from the best examples of history tested in light of the Word of God.

My life’s work has been to share the notion that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is far more comprehensive, exciting and real than accepted. Christian life should be an adventure of faith.

In the end, my publisher suggested this particular expression of those ideas.

Q: What kind of research did you do before and during the writing of your book?

A: The draft of this whole book came as a kind of stream of consciousness writing, though it covers many topics important to us all. We have collected over several decades what I like to call a Biblical body of wisdom.

This effort, then, flowed out of long held, ever refined and corrected understanding, based upon long Biblical and historic research and study, crafted and corrected educational activity, and other personal experience. Jesus says you know a tree by its fruit. We have been quite encouraged by the fruit we have seen.

For some topics, I needed to go back for a bit of new research to fill in gaps. But I tried to stay with a presentation of Biblical ideas in an accessible manner. I tried to avoid overly technical or academic language.

Q: If a reader can come away from reading your book with one valuable message, what would that be? TWBD larger cover

A: In the last two hundred years or so, Christianity has suffered increasingly from a severely shriveled vision for this life. We have settled far short of God’s intent, merely holding out for eternity until we die or are raptured. Church leaders have told believers not to get involved in the world except merely to get people saved because it belongs to Satan. We have been very pessimistic regarding the power of God so often revealed in His Word.

On the other hand, the mainstream of the historic faith, reflecting the whole counsel of Scripture, speaks of an optimistic redemption of the world “as far the curse is found!” At the least, the church has been somewhat derelict of the foundations that support the Gospel work, namely a prosperous economy with generosity, and civil justice and liberty. Jesus bought back the world on the cross. While there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, I believe it is time to return to the big view of the Gospel where the government is on His shoulder, and the ministry of the Holy Spirit is successful. 

Therefore, I hope the reader will take away a sense of individual purpose and vision for a heroic Gospel life, along with some fundamental educational tools for learning to live it in reality.

Q: Can you give us a short excerpt?

A: From Chapter One:

God gave man an imagination. The imagination provides a faculty for conceiving of things that do not exist or go unseen. Using this imagination, we can envision and design new things as if they already exist in reality. We call this creativity. The fact that the Bible denounces vain imagination (Genesis 8:21)—the selfish, sinful, God-usurping, human one—does not mean that the imagination is solely evil. In fact, the great evangelical, Yale University president Timothy Dwight (1752-1817), claimed that the Bible does not primarily appeal to intellect or emotion, but to the imagination. Consider the lilies…. The Kingdom of God is like….Accordingly, this essay seeks to pique godly imaginations to conceive and formulate a fulfilled Biblical Christianity in the world. We wish to reach every serious Christian, to encourage stirring up every gift, upon obedience, toward the fulfillment of Christ’s instructive prayer.

Q: In your own experience, is it hard to get a nonfiction book published today?  How did you do it?

A: Yes, it is very difficult to publish on traditional terms. Jerry Nordskog established Nordskog Publishing to fill a needed niche in Christian thinking at the urging of our mutual friend and my pastor the late Chris Hoops. My dad worked for Jerry Nordskog’s dad from the time I was baby. He is thus a life-long friend, and has long supported my educational ministry work. We share the Christian worldview to a very high degree. For the past six years I have served as Jerry’s theology and manuscript review editor. Jerry actually suggested I write this book. I have worked and am working hard to honor his investment.

Q: What’s a typical day like for you?

A: Oh, you really don’t want to know…

Just kidding. Long work days are the norm. Aside from Nordskog Publishing duties on behalf of other authors’ work, contractual design obligations as a practicing landscape architect—no joke—and sharing the fruit of my labors in Thy Will Be Done, I am working on developing personal missionary support for an incredibly important and far reaching educational work in Uganda.

Q: What’s next for you?

A: I consider the success of this book a most important, however small, contribution to the redeeming of Americans and others to Christ. The reintroduction of the ideas represented in Thy Will Be Done are critical to the restoration of Christian societies and the foundations for the Gospel work worldwide. The Psalmist asks, if the Foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? I have devoted my life to restoring the foundations. I hope to spend considerable time and effort to the book’s success.

For the same reason, I hope to answer the call to the work in Uganda. To expand a little, the work of the Master’s Institute for Education is capable of redeeming the entire country and its culture. It is sponsored primarily by Ugandan Christians themselves. A group there, New Hope Uganda, has used my educational system for the past 25 years. It is catching on because of its success and an increasing number of people, including educators, business people and government officials, wish to reproduce the same good fruit of true Biblical education—relational, character-, faith-, wisdom- and skill-based—and see it become the mainstream in the nation.

Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Ron.  We wish you much success!

A: Thank you for the opportunity to share! If I have piqued interest you can read more about Thy Will Be Done online at Nordskog Publishing and at Amazon.com. The book should be in regular bookstore distribution soon. Ask for it! If the message moves you, please share it!

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Closet Words by Kim Hilton Book Blast – Win $25 Amazon Gift Card

From the Inside Flap

Taken word for word as heard from God, Closet Words is a collection of powerful and penetrating words written down in the stillness of a prayer closet. Hearing from God for several years, Kim Hilton began writing down what she heard. Encouraging, uplifting, and challenging words with a clear message to His servants, Closet Words gives a renewal and refreshing word to the Christian believer.

From the Back Cover

“As the leopard moves quickly in the jungle awaiting its prey so the evil one is lurking around waiting for the moment to devour you. The spirit is deep within you. Do you have your shield to deceive the one who is looking for you? Is your armor in place? Have you prepared for the battle? The battle is not for the weak but for the strong. Only those who are prepared will survive. Do not approach the battlefield meekly. You must know your enemy and fight him or he will overtake you in the darkness before you are even aware he is there. Arise – awaken! – Hear My bugle! I am calling those who are prepared to battle. Your victory is near”.

“The days of rain upon your soul arrive. My spirit is pouring upon you as the rain pours onto the earth. Lift your eyes. Lift up your heart and feel my rain upon you. Become drenched in my spirit. Allow your heart to be soaked…”

Purchasing information:

WestBow Press: http://bookstore.westbowpress.com/Author/Default.aspx?BookworksSId=SKU-000600577

Kim Hilton, MCC, PCC, has a master’s degree in Christian counseling. Founder of Closet Words Ministries Foundation, Kim is a teacher on prayer and listening to God. An avid writer of several books, Closet Words was chosen as the first book to be published with the proceeds going to Closet Words Ministries Foundation. A sought-after speaker and Bible Study leader, Kim has spoken at both national and local events. She resides with her husband on a farm and enjoys spending time with their six grown children and grandchildren. For more information on Kim Hilton or her work, please visit: www.KimHilton.org.

Pump Up Your Book and Kim Hilton are teaming up to give you a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!
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Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow on Sale During October!

The story of “Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow” takes us on the journey she travels to figure out how to get the cows at a new farm to like and accept her.

While she hopes to find friendship at her new home, instead she learns what it means to be different from everyone else. (Spotless!) Mary Elizabeth uses clever ideas and a sense of humor to help her on her quest for friends at the new farm.

This inspiring tale shows how perseverance in spite of obstacles, using a sound thought process to arrive at solutions and the importance of having fun, using humor and enjoying playtime can build friendships.

When you buy this book, 50% of net proceeds go to Phoenix Children’s Hospital Child Life Program to make a difference in the lives of children with critical and life threatening illnesses.

Excerpt: 

Once upon a time……..there was a farm in Ohio with lots of Cows. They all had many spots to be proud of. One day a truck pulled into the farm. The back door opened and out came a new Cow. The other Cows were so excited to have a new friend!

But as the new Cow came out of the truck the other Cows looked on in shock!!! “Oh My! What on Earth?!”

It seems the new Cow, whose name was Mary Elizabeth, had no spots!

“Where are your spots??!!” Demanded the Cow called Anna Belle.

“I don’t have any spots. I was born spotless, you see.”

Well, Anna Belle and the other Cows were horrified.

(Not mad, you had to be very careful about mad)


Purchasing information: During the month of October, purchase Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow from the Sweetles website for only $12.00 (List price: $17.99). When you buy this book, 50% of net proceeds go to Phoenix Children’s Hospital Child Life Program. Visit http://www.sweetles.com/product/books/mary-elizabeth-the-spotless-cow-book/ for more information.

Sal is the author and illustrator of “A Sweetles Dream”® book series. As the Creative Director for Hartman-Barbera llc, a family media & entertainment company, he is also an animator, sculptor, painter and all around fun guy. Sal lives the phrase: “A day without laughter is a wasted day”. To that end, he uses his writing, illustrating and animation skills to create endearing characters and comedic stories.

Sal’s sense of humor and empathy for his characters explore personal and social situations in ways that makes it enjoyable for both adults and children to experience together. Born in New York City, Sal moved to North Bergen, NJ where he grew up on a steep hillside neighborhood with his four older sisters. He currently lives in sunny Arizona with his wife and artistic partner, Sheri, who he defines as his inspiration. On any given day Sal might be painting, sculpting, drawing, animating, writing or enjoying one of his favorite pastimes: cooking, television, movies and golf.

Visit Sal Barbera’s website at http://www.salbarbera.com.

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Interview with Tim and Debbie Bishop, Authors of Two Are Better

Two Are Better new cover

About Two Are Better

From an engagement to a cross-country trip in just ten weeks? And with no experience in bicycle touring—or marriage? While Tim left behind a 26-year corporate career and familiar surroundings, Debbie was about to enter a “classroom” she hadn’t seen in her 24 years of teaching. Was it a grand getaway or a big mistake?

Purchase from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Two-Are-Better-Midlife-Newlyweds/dp/0985624825/

Purchase from Open Road Press: http://www.openroadpress.com/store/

Q: Thank you for this interview, Tim and Debbie. Can you tell us what your latest book, Two Are Better, is all about?

A: Two Are Better: Midlife Newlyweds Bicycle Coast to Coast is the true story of two lifelong singles who come together in marriage at age 52, and then cross America on a self-supported bicycle tour on their honeymoon. Issues surrounding midlife courtship, marriage, and other life changes—and the lessons learned along the way—make Two Are Better more than just a travelogue.

Q: How did you come up with the idea?

A: We decided to share our unique story of finding true love in our fifties and celebrating with a bicycling odyssey to beat all because we believe our testimony is a gift that can benefit others. We waited many years for companionship and intimate love, and had become entrenched in the grind of daily living. We think our story of breaking free will encourage, motivate, and bless people who are struggling with unfulfilled dreams and desires. And most people have them at some level. Sharing deep personal matters in the context of an adventure that others may fantasize about provides a perfect setting to engage readers with powerful and lasting impact. A dual narrative from the seat of a bicycle, as well as some captivating photography along the way, will also provide a fresh perspective on the beauty of America, and an entertaining read.

Q: What kind of research did you do before and during the writing of your book?

A: We had the benefit of writing a memoir, so much of the content is based on our own personal experience. We learned how to blog during our trip, which became a valuable aid in the writing process. Our photography, trip log, and payment receipts helped to stir the memory and fill in the gaps. Since we shared this adventure together, each of us remembered unique aspects and reminded the other. And a GPS, along with downloadable capabilities and the power of the Internet, allowed us to retrace our steps when necessary.

Q: If a reader can come away from reading your book with one valuable message, what would that be?

A: The strongest underlying message of Two Are Better is that it is NEVER too late to realize your dreams—and to fulfill your desires. There is always hope!

Q: Can you give us a short excerpt?

A: “There they were: three big ones. I could see them from afar as they began barking and sprinting down their owner’s driveway, launched like a triad of missiles at the prospect of fresh meat. The driveway was about the size of a football field, so I had some time to gather my thoughts. They seemed on pace to intercept me when I arrived at the end of what had become their racetrack. And Debbie was several feet behind me. Surely, no one on this isolated stretch of road would be investing in invisible fence technology, but I could hold out hope. Since Debbie had our only can of pepper spray, it would do me little good. And another troubling thought occurred to me: If I get through this pack in one piece, what about Debbie? She’s lagging behind and sure to encounter these snarling canines. Nevertheless, I wasn’t inclined to stop and serve up lunch on a silver platter to these mutts.”

Q: In your own experience, is it hard to get a nonfiction book published today? How did you do it?

A: We had a choice to make going into this project. Would we seek a traditional publishing solution, or venture out on our own? Swayed by the primary motivation to share the story, we decided to start our own publishing company, Open Road Press. In effect, we traded in one set of challenges for another, but we remained in control of our message and our destiny, at least until readers were to weigh in.

Q: What’s a typical day like for you?

A: Our days no longer seem typical. Since “retirement” from long-term jobs, we are both feeling our way along as we discover our new life together, and our new work models. Each day comes with its own unique challenges. Such is the nature of adventure in life!

Q: What’s next for you?

A: We’re in an exploratory stage and we have several options. Tim is considering a few ideas for another book. He also consults for two small businesses, and may seek to build upon that. Debbie wants to write a program on learning to read, using the Bible. She also has a few part-time teaching opportunities. Both of us continue to serve as volunteer hope coaches for TheHopeLine, an organization spotlighted in Two Are Better. TheHopeLine has made a difference in the lives of many young people, aged 13-29, who came to them in crisis. We count it a privilege to be involved with that organization.

Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Tim and Debbie. We wish you much success!

A: Thank you for this opportunity to share our thoughts with your readers. We hope that our words have encouraged them to pursue their dreams anew.

About Tim and Debbie Bishop

Tim BishopTim Bishop

Originally from Maine, Tim Bishop has over thirty years of experience in business, first as a CPA, then for many years in various roles in the corporate world. In addition to consulting for small businesses, Tim serves as a Hope Coach for TheHopeLine, a nonprofit organization that seeks to reach, rescue, and restore hurting teens and young adults.

Debbie BishopDebbie Bishop

Debbie Bishop has taught for over twenty-five years, for the past ten years as a literacy specialist in Framingham, Massachusetts. She has a passion for reading and seeing that young people do it well. She also has high interest in recovery issues and encouraging others with her own triumphs over struggles earlier in her life. Debbie also serves as a Hope Coach for TheHopeLine.

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A Conversation with T.J. MacLeslie, Author of Designed for Relationship

MacLeslie photoT.J. MacLeslie has been involved in a variety of Christian ministries since 1990, including pastoring, church planting, leadership development, prayer, and spiritual formation. He currently lives in the UK with his wife and two children where he leads a team focused on prayer and spiritual formation. You’ll often find him walking the fields with his dog, reading a book, or enjoying a warm cup of coffee.

Visit the author online at http://about.me/tj_macleslie.

Q: Thank you for this interview, T.J. Can you tell us what your latest book, Designed for Relationship, is all about?

A:  There are so many ideas about God floating around in our world today. Many present God in terms that are uninviting, and frankly, inaccurate. I grew up with a view of God as a distant and forbidding king and judge. I have joyfully discovered that while God is the King of kings and Lord of lords, He is also much more. The God of scripture is relational at His core, Father, Son, and Spirit, constantly loving and interacting. God decided to expand this community of love and created humans to be partakers of the divine nature and little images of His relational self. This is very different than the picture I received as a kid growing up in church.

The book invites you to rediscover the relational nature of God and humanity in two parts: Part One examines ancient truths in the Bible to renew our vision of God and humanity; Part Two applies these truths to our lives, using the Five Circles, a practical tool to understand what it means to be human and provide a framework for growth. All of this has come as a result of my own search for God in the confusion and chaos of the real world.

Q: How did you come up with the idea?

A: This book is a summary of the lessons I have learned in my search for truth and meaning. Along the way, I have met wonderful people who challenged me and encouraged me in my pursuit. Now, I have the opportunity to help others. It was in the process of listening to and serving others on their journey that the idea for this book came up. Some of those I have journeyed alongside kept asking me to write something down so they could share it with others. While the message of the book is ancient, the way it is assembled is unique, particularly the paradigm I call The Five Circles.

Q: What kind of research did you do before and during the writing of your book? Designed for Relationship cover

A: I spent a lot of time studying the Bible and checking everything against this unchanging standard of Truth. I also studied those who have walked similar paths through the years: from St. Augustine and St. Patrick, right through to Henry Nouwen, Dallas Willard, and David Benner. The book is heavily referenced and has an extensive bibliography, but above all this is a practical book. The lessons gleaned from others have been tried and tested in the laboratory of the real world. In a sense, my whole life has been research for this book. I draw on my own experiences as well as those of people I have worked with through the years, to share the principles and tools that we have found helpful for our journey.

Q: If a reader can come away from reading your book with one valuable message, what would that be?

A:  When we fail to understand who we are and who God is, we are missing out on the very core of what is available to us as people. There actually is an amazing, abundant, eternal kind of life available to us. Don’t give up hope! Keep searching along the ancient paths.

Q: Can you give us a short excerpt?

A: Here is a short section from Chapter 5:

People are incredibly diverse and our backgrounds are so varied that the problems we face deserve more than a ‘one size fits all’ solution. Whether we are working on our own issues or helping someone else, we need to ask questions and listen carefully to the answers. The Five Circles can guide us in asking questions, gaining insight, rightly understanding problems, identifying potential solutions, and suggesting practical steps toward healing, wholeness, and intimacy with God.

We need to be careful to remember that our relationship with God is the core pursuit. God is the One who heals and frees as we draw near to Him. If we make our goal wholeness, healing, or freedom, those goals can subtly become our idols. It is not that freedom is a bad goal, but it is not the ultimate one. I have found that as we grow closer to God we become more whole and free. We become like the thing we behold, the thing we exalt, the thing we worship. He made us for relationship with Him, and each aspect of who we are is important to that relationship. We cannot be content just to do what comes easy to us. Growing in relationship with God means embracing all of who God made us to be, and striving to become who we are. As we do that, freedom results.

Only human beings have to struggle to become who we are. Other creatures do not have a choice about what they become. Trees grow without making conscious choices. Only humans think about what we would like to become. We make decisions that affect the direction of our lives. The flip side of this is our capacity to stunt ourselves. We have the capacity for denial. We can choose to move into or withdraw from relationship. Sometimes these are conscious decisions and other times we choose them without realizing why. By pursuing God, we can cultivate awareness. We can choose to love God with all we are, leaving nothing out and holding nothing back. When we fail to love God with our mind, our will, our emotion, our spirit, or our body, we are failing in the most basic, the most central command – the command to love God with all we are.

Q: In your own experience, is it hard to get a nonfiction book published today?  How did you do it?

A: I think it is easier than ever to get a book published, particularly with digital printing and print-on-demand as options for the self-publishing author. I was fully intending to go this route for both of my books, but it seems that God had other plans.

I create in community, and invite people to read and respond to the manuscript, throughout the creative process. My goal was to hone and improve the book by getting a variety of perspectives, but an unintended consequence was the buzz being generated, and in both cases a small publisher asked to print the book.

This is my second book and my second small publisher. I feel like a small publisher has a lot of the benefits of self-publishing without the complications and loss of control that comes with a major publishing house. I like that the small publishers are responsive and are invested in marketing and selling the book, the parts that I find most difficult. I wrote the book because I wanted to help people and I believe in the message. I find the creative process to be a joy, but the publishing process to be really draining. I am happy to let someone else take the lead in the design, printing, distribution, and marketing of the book.

Q: What’s a typical day like for you?

A: I lead a team for an international missions organization, Pioneers, providing prayer and soul care for pastors and missionaries serving around the world. It is such a joy to get to listen to, pray for, and share with people who are experiencing God and helping people each day. Most days I pray with the team for people around the world, and then correspond  and talk with people that I am involved with in mentoring and spiritual companionship relationships. We live in a small town in the UK that provides some great places to walk through the fields and along the coast, so most days I take walks in the fields with my dog to connect with God and talk with Him about the people I love.

Q: What’s next for you?

A: I love my primary job, helping people to grow and experience God more day by day, and I see writing as an extension of that. I plan to explore the issues of faith, culture, and personality in fiction next. But one of the really interesting parts of living connected with God is the adventure of letting Him lead you into what’s next. I have my plans and ambitions, but if the past is any indication, my plans will have little bearing on what comes next.

Q: Thank you so much for this interview, T.J.  We wish you much success!

A: Thank you for interviewing me. I pray that you will be successful in all you set your hand to, and that you will become ever more who you truly are.

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Interview with Lindsey Fairleigh and Lindsey Pogue, Authors of After the Ending

Lindsey and Lindsey Headshot OFFICIAL!!!

Lindsey Fairleigh lives her life with one foot in a book—as long as that book transports her to a magical world or bends the rules of science. Her novels, from post-apocalyptic to time travel and historical fantasy, always offer up a hearty dose of unreality, along with plenty of adventure and romance. When she’s not working on her next novel, Lindsey spends her time reading and trying out new recipes in the kitchen. She lives in the Napa Valley with her loving husband and confused cats. You can visit Lindsey’s blog at lindseyfairleigh.blogspot.com.

Lindsey Pogue has always been a little creative. As a child she established a bug hospital on her elementary school soccer field, compiled books of collages as a teenager, and as an adult, expresses herself through writing. Her novels are inspired by her observations of the world around her—whether she’s traveling, people watching, or hiking. When not plotting her next storyline or dreaming up new, brooding characters, Lindsey’s wrapped in blankets watching her favorite action flicks or going on road trips with her own leading man. You can visit Lindsey’s blog at lindseypogue.wordpress.com.

Q: Thank you for this interview, Team Lindsey. Can you tell us what your latest book, After The Ending, is all about?

Lindsey Pogue (LP): With pleasure, and thank you for having us! There are a few non-conventional aspects to our book that we feel make it not only unique, but enjoyable to a wide variety of people. For starters, After The Ending is a post-apocalyptic story told in first person, but from two different perspectives–Zoe’s and Dani’s. I write for Zoe and Lindsey Fairleigh (LF) writes for Dani. The story begins with a deadly virus that infects everyone, including our characters and their loved ones. After the virus wipes out most of the human population, Dani and Zoe (best friends, mid-twenties) learn they are among the few who survived the pandemic. Although adult life has sent Zoe to the East Coast and Dani’s life is on the West Coast, their friendship is one of the few remaining things they have in the virus-ravaged world, so they embark on separate journeys to meet up with each other at a supposed safe haven, the Colony. It’s through their individual journeys that the reader can experience what our heroines see and feel as they discover what the world after The Ending is like and, in turn, discover more about themselves as survivors.

LF: From the get-go, we aimed to make sure the focus of After The Ending wasn’t entirely on the hardcore survival aspects of the post-apocalypse, but on the characters, specifically their personal struggles and relationships. The story highlights the undeniable power of friendship, love, and hope, and how they can make life worth living even when everything else is lost. There is romance, but there are also some definite science fiction elements, such as the spontaneous genetic mutations caused by the virus, leading to extraordinary abilities in survivors…or to insanity. We’ll be the first to admit that After The Ending was written with a female audience in mind–it’s very character-driven and the romance storylines aren’t negligible–but we have heard from male readers who enjoyed the book as well.

Q: Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters?

LP: Our two leading ladies are very different in both appearance and mannerisms. Zoe is the more serious of the two friends–a determined, independent artist. She grew up in a dysfunctional family, which has made her closed off and generally bitter about life. Zoe is twenty-six years old, tall, has long black hair and teal eyes, both of which end up being important character traits as the story progresses. She has a good grasp on reality that helps her remain level-headed in most situations, but she’s also melodramatic, and that makes her seem a bit younger at times. One thing she is is determined. It both aids and hinders her throughout the story. Dani is the only constant thing in Zoe’s life, so she’s grown to love her more like a sister than a friend. She relies on Dani’s vibrance and quirkiness to help coax her out of her hardened shell.

LF: Dani is petite, with curly red hair, green eyes, and a fierce intellect that she tends to hide. She is quite a bit girlier and more emotional than Zoe, and sees Zoe as the embodiment of personal strength and determination. She often draws on her perception of Zoe to help her get through tough times throughout the story. By far, I would say the most defining characteristic about Dani’s personality is that she’ll do almost anything to keep the people she cares about safe. Unfortunately, that tends to get her into slightly sticky situations in the world of The Ending.

Q: Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

LP: I’ve actually had a number of people ask me if Zoe is an extension of myself, if I see myself the way I portray her. The answer is no, not at all, and she’s not really like anyone I know either. I definitely don’t look like Zoe or act like her. I mean, she’s pessimistic, or “realistic” I like to call it, like me, but I think the similarities between us stop there. She has a lot of the qualities I admire in other people though. She’s super determined, whether she juggling two jobs, trying desperately to get to Dani when the world seems to be against her, or even just trying to understand her brother and every other man in her life.

LF: Dani is entirely from my imagination. So much so that it’s really difficult for me to picture any real people–actresses, models, or otherwise–as her. I think the problem is that she exists so vividly in my mind that nobody else quite looks or acts like her. I’m not sure where she came from, and she’s certainly nothing like me, but I love her all the same.

Q: Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel, or do you discover it as you write?

LP: Because this project was a team effort, we definitely had to draw out a skeletal outline so we knew which direction we were going with our characters. Once we determined the major subplots, character arcs, and where we wanted to end the book, each of our stories took off on their own, changing even from what we’d individually planned to write about. Characters have a way of doing that to you.

LF: Yeah, our characters definitely have a talent for commandeering the story. I have one character in particular, Jason, who has such a strong personality–I guess you would call him an Alpha–that I pretty much expect him to steal the reins whenever he’s present in a scene. I suppose I should apologize to LP because she’s had to deal with him a lot in the second book, Into The Fire. Sorry LP! I have to say that when the characters take over and the story starts writing itself is when I have the most fun.

LP: I guess you’re forgiven :)

 Q: Your book has many different settings. Can you tell us why you chose the cities you did in particular?

LP: I know for Zoe’s team, it was more of a question of “what’s practical”. Although our story is science fiction, we tried to make it as realistic as possible–using a logical route to move the characters from point A to point B across the US was one of the ways we did that. I had to figure out realistically how far a group of people could drive or walk in X amount of days and in the snow. That helped me narrow down my settings in Ohio, Kentucky, and St. Louis before finally getting to Colorado. Once I knew which areas I needed to have them settle in, I searched for locations that would work well with my evolving storyline.

LF: Like LP, I mapped out Dani’s route throughout the entire book, first by car, then by horseback, before I wrote the majority of it. I couldn’t just pick a town willy-nilly, but had to keep in mind how far a horse could travel in a day, or where there might still be unscavenged fuel or food left after X amount of time had passed. There are a few locations we chose purposely, like stationing the Colony, our heroine’s destination and meet-up point, at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs based on the military branches stationed there and its central-ish location. We chose Bodega Bay as Dani and Zoe’s hometown because it was near enough to where we live that we could conduct setting research with relative ease.

Q: Does the setting play a major part in the development of your story?

LP: I think it definitely does. Our characters are just as new to The Ending as our readers are, so we needed Zoe and Dani to experience what was going on around the entire country. Not only does moving them around get them closer together and progress the story, but through their eyes we see the types of Crazies (those survivors driven mad by the virus)  they come across and how quickly and how much the world is changing.

LP: On a more technical note, the setting actually directed portions of the story because we had to be mindful of weather patterns. For example, Dani’s group of survivors spends some time near Lake Tahoe in the heart of winter, and it slowed down their travel pace quite a bit. I had planned for them to move faster than they did, but there was no working around it–snow slows travel plans, even in our own post-apocalyptic, fictional world.

Q: Open the book to page 69. What is happening?After the Ending cover art

LP: That’s sort of a funny and difficult question to answer. If you’re looking at the hardcover version, it’s a pretty intense Zoe chapter. She’s discovering how unnerving her developing Ability is, she thinks she’s losing her mind since she has no clue what’s happening to her yet, and she’s also starting to really process the fact that the world has ended and that her father is most likely dead.

LF: In the paperback version, Dani and her travel companions are just arriving at a swanky hotel in Portland…to squat. That is one thing to note about surviving in a post-apocalyptic world–the characters get to bunk down in some pretty interesting places, from mansions to wineries to barns. Let’s see, on this page Dani is also dealing with some tangled emotions regarding a certain man in her group–Zoe’s brother, Jason.

Q: Can you give us one of your best excerpts?

LP: This is one of the scenes I enjoyed writing the most. It’s a huge turning point in the Zoe chapters and her life is about to change more than she ever thought possible:

“Feeling alright?” Clara asked, batting her eyelashes and smiling innocently.

I hunched over as my stomach gurgled and churned, tangling into knots. Once again I reached for the water, but she yanked it away, dumping it out on the floor beside her.

Her grin lingered. “Sorry, I can’t let you do that.”

My stomach cramps worsened, and I broke out into a cold sweat–I knew I didn’t have much time. I needed to find help. Trying to run for the door I doubled over in pain and cried out. Fire seemed to be scorching my insides. Bile rose in my throat, and I began salivating profusely, unable to swallow. I spat desperately.

“I really hate you, Zoe. I’m not completely sure why, but I have to admit, this is a very good day for me.” Her cheerful voice was like a hammer in my head as I twisted and spasmed on the mess hall floor.

I prayed someone would find me before it was too late.

LF: I considered several different passages, some more dramatic and some more romantic, but I settled on this one because it shows the special relationship Dani has with one of my favorite characters, Jack, her faithful German Shepherd.

I tore open a peanut butter and chocolate chip protein bar as I exited the bedroom, tripping over my dog on the way out.

Jack wagged his tail happily while I righted myself. “Good morning, Sweet Boy,” I said between bites.

He yawned dramatically and bowed, earning the last nugget of the tasteless bar.

As I lumbered down the stairs, a plan of revenge formed in my mind. I waved at Chris and Ky, apparently the only other people awake at such an ungodly hour, as I neared the front room’s largest window. I peeked around the heavy tan and green-striped curtain and spotted Jason standing on the lawn—he was staring off into the woods. Smiling, I led Jack to the back door, and we silently slipped out into the damp morning chill.

Pausing on the back porch, I clicked my tongue, and my dog watched me intently. “Okay Jack,” I whispered, kneeling down in front of him. “You’re going to go that way.” I pointed to the left side of the house, and his eyes followed. “Find Jason. You need to be happy and loud.” I scratched his neck with both hands. He licked my cheek in return.

“Go find Jason,” I commanded quietly and stood. Jack instantly trotted away, barking every few steps.

Stalking in the opposite direction, I made my way around the house and found Jason watching Jack frolic like a month-old puppy. The grass muffled my steps as I snuck up behind him. I crouched, gliding the last few steps, and held my breath. Revenge is so sweet!

Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Team Lindsey. We wish you much success!

LF: Thank you for having us and for the wonderful questions!

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