Krista Wagner Celebrates Another Book!

Hello everyone! You all first “met” Krista Wagner when she hosted my blog for her Path to Publication post. She has since released another book, The Forest.

the forest

Abused by his father and mistreated by his teachers, resentful teenager Shane’s cynical worldview is challenged when he stumbles upon a hidden portal. On the other side, he finds a forest that transcends time, the very same forest he used to bully his fifth grade classmate, Amanda, for believing it was real.
Transported back into his own childhood, Shane discovers a talking pebble that is willing to guide him. However, the forest is reluctant to give up its secrets, and Shane finds he must turn to the very girl he once bullied for help. The forest offers Shane his only chance to escape from his miserable life, if only he can overcome the pang of the past to embrace this new future.

 

Buy Link:

Amazon

About the author:
Krista Wagner is a 70’s product best known for her spiritual suspense and fictional realism. In addition to being a recipient of the Reader’s Favorite 5-star seal, she has been praised by award-winning screenwriter Sean Paul Murphy for her writing skill and strong plotting. Wagner holds an MFA in Creative Writing and is an English associate instructor with an indispensable faith in Christ.

 

Connect with Krista

Find out more about Krista here: kristawagner.wixsite.com/author/bio
Follow her on Facebook: facebook.com/kristawagnerofficial/
Twitter
Goodreads

 

Cindy Ervin Huff’s Path to Publication

Today Cindy Ervin has stopped by the blog to share her Path to Publication story. Without further ado, here’s Cindy…

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cindy huff 2016Thank you so much for having me on your blog, Christi. I’m happy to share my path to publication. I’ve been doing this writing thing off and on for decades.

I was first published in 3rd grade. My teacher put a poem I wrote in a mimeograph class paper. In 8th grade I wrote a very short story that the teacher encouraged me to submit to a contest. I didn’t win or even place, but I was hooked. I spent my high school years on the newspaper staff and writing lots of skits for Thespians to perform at a variety of functions. Over the years my writing has evolved with life. While my children were young, I wrote for children’s magazines and radio programs. I’d started a novel many years before my debut Secrets & Charades that is probably in a file somewhere. My mind has always been full of stories. As a teen, I used to put myself to sleep plotting an episode of a favorite TV show. I’d talk to characters in the shower, too. Wait. I still do.

After stepping out into the work force, I put writing aside for another decade. God got my attention about 15 years ago and redirected me back to writing. I wasn’t sure it was His voice, so I put out a fleece and he answered by providing the funds to take courses through the Christian Writer’s Guild. I knew I was rusty and publishing had changed. I’d never written a novel before and knew I need some instruction.  After completing the courses and the first draft of my historical romance, there were years of rewriting and submitting my debut novel to publishers. Those were times when I wanted to quit, days of directing my attention to blog posts, figuring out social media, and writing lots of on-line articles.  Let me see, twenty or so rejections later my novel won the Editor’s Choice Award and a contract with LPC. I’m thrilled to say my historical romance Secrets & Charades recently won third Place in the Maxwell Awards.

Random factoids about me

I was a military brat. Which means I’ve developed the ability to meet strangers and engage them in conversation. Military families move a lot. As kids, my sisters and I made friends quickly and a few years later made new ones. I call myself an introverted extravert. I like interacting with people. I’ll strike up a conversation with random strangers, but I love my time to myself. I’m ok with being alone.

I think I’m addicted to tea. No one actually admits their addictions but hey, I talk to random strangers. I’ll drink hot tea all year long. I even have a tea ball, so I can drink the “good stuff,” the loose-leaf variety from England, India and China. I’m also a chocoholic. That’s common among women so I’m not embarrassed to admit it.

The Story behind New Duet

I’m excited about my newest release New Duet. It’s a contemporary romance set in Aurora, Illinois where I have lived for over 40 years. We have a large immigrant population from around the world, and generational neighborhoods. Our downtown has a great artist niche and some fun restaurants. The Paramount Theater built in the 1931 and on the National Historic Register has great Broadway performances. Aurora is a wonderful backdrop for my story.

Widow Isabella Wilson is still recovering from her abusive marriage when she joins her sister in Aurora. Dan Sweeney attends the local college after leaving the army career he loved, to find a new life with his disability. Isabella hopes to rediscover her muse and her identity in Christ as she heals from her past. Dan is trying to adapt to his new normal.  Together they help each other while resisting their attraction.

The inspiration came when I was standing on the platform during a worship service. My writer’s mind said what if the worship leader dropped dead. No, I had no ill-will toward my friend.  But I’m sure a drama from the past was the seed for the idea. During a leadership meeting many years ago a visiting missionary dropped dead from an aneurism during the meeting. He finished what he had to say and went instantly into the presence of His Savior. It was traumatic for the men in the meeting. The seed of the idea evolved around the worship leader’s wife.  That sent my mind spinning to develop the character of Isabella. The heart of her story is to inspire abused women to break out of their circumstance and move on.

But who would be the hero?  I had a conversation with my son who left the army to go to college due to a medical condition he developed while in the military. He has a heart for veterans and understood about PTSD and trying to rebuild a life after the military. So, I gave former Army sergeant Dan some disabilities and a desire to find his new normal. My son showed me a video of a veteran and his service dog. Then I decided Dan needed Brutus, a German Shepherd/Pitbull mix to help him. Both breeds have been a part of our family. So, Brutus has a mixed pedigree.  Again, my goal in creating the character of Dan is to give the physically wounded hope that God works all things together. Both Isabella and Dan will learn the past doesn’t need to haunt the present.

A word of wisdom to aspiring writer

Be patient, it takes time. While you wait for that first break, learn all you can. Be part of a critique group, and join an online writers group. Subscribe to blogs and writing magazines. Read, read, read craft books and lots of novels in the genre you want to write in. Immerse yourself in the writing craft. Attend writers conferences to meet authors, editors and agents. Tell yourself every day, I am a writer.

Upcoming release

I have a novella coming out in The Cowboys novella collection, released through LPC in August 2019.

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NewDuet_500(1)

Back Cover Copy for New Duet:

Isabella Melinda Wilson has been squeezed into the music ministry model of her controlling husband’s making. Before she can leave him, he leaves her a guilt-ridden widow. Her mother-in-law is no comfort and presses the guilt button at every turn. Isabella flees to her sister’s home in search of her own identity and a new beginning.

Dan Sweeney has one goal. Be as normal as possible. After losing a leg, some fingers and his self-worth, he needs his service dog Brutus to help keep his PTSD at bay. Career-less and clueless about the future, he struggles to put his life back together.

Isabella isn’t looking for a new relationship and Dan feels unworthy of one. Can these two broken people heal into one whole love?

Buy Link for New Duet

Amazon

 

About Cindy:

Cindy Ervin Huff is a multi-published writer and her debut novel Secret’s and Charades won the Editor’s Choice Award in 2014 and placed third in the Maxwell Awards in 2017. Her contemporary romance New Duet released in May 2018. She has been featured in numerous periodicals over the last thirty years. Cindy is a member of ACFW and founding member of the Aurora, Illinois, chapter of Word Weavers. Although she has been creating stories in her head since childhood it wasn’t until high school those imaginary characters began appearing on paper. After raising her family, she began her novel writing adventures. Cindy loves to encourage new writers on their journey. She and her husband make their home in Aurora, Illinois. They have five children and six grandchildren.

 

Connect with Cindy on Social Media:

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

Blog

Amazon Author Page

 

Another Book for Annie


The Nameless Soldier is book 4 in the Annals of Alasia young adult fantasy series. Haven’t read all (or any) of the others? That’s okay! The books can be read in any order, and each one can stand on its own.


Description:

What do you do when you’re the only survivor?

Nineteen-year-old Tarvic bears the name of a mighty hero from Alasia’s past. However, the young soldier feels anything but heroic when he regains consciousness to find himself the lone survivor of a brutal attack by invaders from the neighboring kingdom. 

Forced to leave his identity behind, Tarvic is thrust into civilian life in the role of protector to three war orphans. When the four of them encounter a mysterious stranger, he must choose between keeping the young girls safe and taking on a mission that could help free his kingdom. Can Tarvic live up to his noble name and find a way to balance his duty and his dreams?


Where to Get a Copy:

Click here to buy the ebook or paperback from Amazon. (The ebook is $2.99 just $0.99 through June 6th!)

Not sure if you’ll like the story or not? Take a look at the first chapter and see!

The Nameless Soldier
Chapter One

      

Tarvic woke to the sound of a distant yell, abruptly silenced. He pushed his blankets aside and sat up, puzzled, but heard only the light patter of rain on the canvas. “What was that?”
Drevel, his roommate in the barracks and tentmate out on campaigns like this, stirred and rolled over. “What?”
“I heard something. Someone shouting.”
“It’s probably just another drill.” But Drevel sat up too, shoving his own blankets away, as Tarvic crawled over and untied the tent flap.
A blast of wintry air and raindrops greeted him as he leaned out, peering across the tent-studded hillside. Clouds hid the moon and stars, and on every side the thick dark of the forest leaned in from the edges of the large clearing. But the telltale flickering light of distant torches sent shadows leaping over tents and across the open spaces between them. Why would someone be using torches out here? Any soldier in camp had easy access to lanterns among the supplies.
Something was wrong. Very wrong. Tarvic pulled back into the tent and yanked on his breeches and jacket.
They both heard the next yell, closer this time, and then the unmistakable clash of swords. Both men snatched up their own swords, jamming their feet into their boots and fumbling for shields. From all around them, shouts of alarm erupted as men in their company woke up.
And then the enemy was upon them. Horses exploded through the camp, trampling tents and the soldiers just crawling out of them. Riders leaned low off their mounts’ backs, swinging swords and waving torches.
Halfway out of his tent, Tarvic threw himself flat on his face to avoid a slash that would probably have decapitated him. He scrambled to his feet, only to be knocked off them again by a blow that he barely caught on his shield.
Light, shadows, horses, blades, rain. Chaos raged through the clearing to the sound of crashing metal, pounding hooves, shouts of challenge and desperation. Tarvic regained his feet and fought as best he could from the ground while enemy riders thundered around him. Dodging and ducking, he aimed for the men’s legs and tried to keep out from under their horses’ hooves. With no idea who he was fighting or why, his only goal to stay alive for the next heartbeat, he dodged and darted through the tumult looking for spots where horses and enemy swords weren’t. All around him, men fought and ran and crumpled to lie as limply as the trampled tents.
Slipping and stumbling in the mud, Tarvic felt a surge of satisfaction as his sword met flesh and an enemy yelled in pain. And then the man wheeled his horse and charged back toward him, and Tarvic turned to flee.
He tripped on something soft that groaned. Pain shot through Tarvic’s wrist as he caught his fall, and only a quick roll saved him from being trampled as the man’s horse cantered over him.
Its rider wheeled again, and Tarvic rose to his knees, barely raising his shield in time to protect his face. The force of the blow threw him backward, jarring his already sore wrist.
Another horse leaped over him, and Tarvic cried out in pain as a hoof struck him on the shoulder. He stumbled to his feet, ducking low to present as small a target as possible, and ran through the melee.
He saw fewer people on foot now, more obstacles in the mud. Was it cowardly to flee from a battle you couldn’t win? Nothing in Tarvic’s eight months in the military had prepared him for this. Not counting occasional minor border skirmishes, the kingdom of Alasia hadn’t seen an actual war in six generations. Besides routine patrols, city peacekeeping, and the frequent drills and training, the military’s primary duties involved escorting merchant wagons through robber-frequented stretches of rural highway and keeping an eye on the sections of coastline where seafaring raiders were known to attack. Tarvic had never fought in a battle that involved more than a handful of opponents at a time, and none of those opponents had been anywhere near this organized — or this deadly.
If we escape, we can regroup somewhere safer and — A hard blow to the back knocked him to the ground again as another horse pounded over him. Giving up all pretense of courage, Tarvic scrambled to his feet once more and fled for the edge of the clearing and the relative safety of the trees beyond. I can’t do anything here. They’re going to slaughter us all!
He was practically there when another rider appeared in front of him, leaning low with sword outstretched. Tarvic almost impaled himself on the blade, raising his shield just in time. He fought back frantically as the man slashed, swinging his weapon again and again. I need my horse! Military training had included nothing about how to fight a mounted enemy from the ground. But Lightning was tethered in the row of makeshift stalls on the far side of the camp, probably prancing restlessly under his blanket and wondering why his rider didn’t come to spur him into battle.
Tarvic didn’t even see the blow that almost killed him. His ears barely registered the thudding of more galloping hooves from behind, nearly drowned out by the rain and the sounds of battle. But the world exploded in light and pain as something struck the back of his head harder than anything had ever hit him before.
He lurched forward, feeling his sword drop from limp fingers. Managing two steps before his legs buckled, he was just conscious enough to recognize the urgent need to crawl. Don’t stop. Don’t stop. Don’t stop. Or they’ll kill you out here. That was the only thought left in his mind as he pulled himself toward the concealing shadows behind the line of tree trunks. And then even that faded, giving way to darkness.

Want to know what happens to Tarvic? Click here to purchase the book and find out!


About the Author:

Annie Douglass Lima spent most of her childhood in Kenya and later graduated from Biola University in Southern California. She and her husband Floyd currently live in Taiwan, where she teaches fifth grade at Morrison Academy. She has been writing poetry, short stories, and novels since her childhood, and to date has published seventeen books (four YA action and adventure novels, five fantasies, a puppet script, six anthologies of her students’ poetry, and a Bible verse coloring and activity book). Besides writing, her hobbies include reading (especially fantasy and science fiction), scrapbooking, and international travel.









NEW RELEASE!!! Retribution Road

I’m thrilled to announce the release of my 4th book, Retribution Road!

Retribution Road Cover FINAL

Graham Patterson, an accomplished veterinarian, is leaving Seattle and heading east to start a new life for himself. Opportunities abound for men who understand how to make the land work for them, rather than work the land. But after he overhears two scoundrels plotting to take advantage of a lonely spinster, his well-laid plans go awry.

Willow Bennet lives just outside the town of Whitcomb Springs with only her beloved dog to keep her company. It’s a predictable life, until late one night when she foils an attack and her dog is wounded as revenge.

Can she trust the mysterious stranger who insists he can help?

 

Retribution is available on Amazon. CLICK HERE to purchase

This book is part of the Whitcomb Springs series, which means there’s more books for you to enjoy! CLICK HERE to learn more!!!!