Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Author Interview: And Their Numbers Grew

And Their Numbers Grew JustRead Blog Tour

Welcome to the Blog Tour for And Their Numbers Grew by Naomi Craig & Donna E. Lane, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

About the Book

And Their Numbers Grew

Title: And Their Numbers Grew
Naomi Craig and Donna E. Lane
Bear's Place Publishing
Release Date: November 7, 2023
Biblical Historical Fiction

Four lives. Four destinies. One gospel.  

Fans of Mesu Andrews and Connilyn Cossette will love And Their Numbers Grew.  

If you love The Chosen, the story continues in And Their Numbers Grew.

Rumors of the risen Christ spread through Jerusalem like a wildfire—and the Sanhedrin is paying attention. 

Their efforts to stifle the name of Jesus only fuel the cause until a young Pharisee gets involved, breathing threats of imprisonment—or worse. Stephen’s brutal stoning accelerates the persecution and sends the faithful fleeing the city for their lives. 

They are afflicted in every way, but not crushed. As the fledgling church disperses, their numbers continue to grow. Now, the apostles must train the new believers in the ways and words of Jesus—and what it means to live in God's Kingdom here on earth. 

The Kingdom of God spreads to Damascus, Joppa, Caesarea, Antioch, and Tarsus through the testimonies of Ananias, Tabitha, and Barnabas. While an outraged Saul sets out for Damascus to arrest them all, the followers press on fervently, with the help of the Holy Spirit—though it may cost them their lives.  

Four disciples whose lives are intertwined, told in four novellas, chronicling the birth pains of the early church.

PURCHASE LINKSGoodreads | Amazon | BookBub

About the Authors

Author of Biblical fiction, avid reader, pastor's wife, Naomi Craig loves reading the Bible and imagining how things were at the time. When she’s not serving in various areas at church or trying to stay on top of mountains of dishes, you'll most likely find her enjoying a good book and a cup of coffee. Naomi co-hosts #BehindTheStory on YouTube and helps facilitate Biblical Fiction Aficionados Community on Facebook. When not writing or trying to wrangle social media, Naomi attempts to get her rescue dog to be cute on command for the many pics she takes throughout the day.

Connect with Naomi by visiting naomicraig.com to follow her on social media and sign up for email updates.

Donna E. Lane is an award-winning, multi-genre author with a passion for exploring all aspects of the human experience. As a Christian counselor and spiritual director, Dr. Lane has dedicated herself to guiding individuals on their spiritual journeys, offering solace and wisdom through her integrated approach. Her 46 years of experience in this field have provided her with insights which she seamlessly weaves into her writing, delving into the complexities of relationships and the depths of the human heart.

With a boundless imagination, a fervent devotion to Jesus, a love for history, and a fascination with time, she crafts stories that resonate deeply with readers, offering the opportunity to embark on unforgettable journeys to other worlds, across time, and into space. 

A devoted wife of 44 years and mother of three, she now cherishes her role as a grandmother and mom to her new puppy, a little white furball named Rosie Cotton. 

Connect with Donna by visiting thedoctorslane.com to follow her on social media and sign up for email updates.

Author Interview with Naomi and Donna

Q: What do you hope readers take away from And Their Numbers Grew?

NAOMI: I love the evangelistic heartbeat of ATNG. I would love for readers to come away inspired to live boldly like the disciples and the apostles. To come to rely on the Holy Spirit and his power while sharing their faith in Jesus.

DONNA: I hope readers feel encouraged by seeing the characters’ flaws, their failings, and their fears in the midst of trying to follow Christ’s direction, and how they continue to fight the good fight despite those vulnerabilities. I hope they see themselves and recognize their own courage and strength rather than feeling inadequate to the call of Christ.

Q: Do you have a favorite character from the series and can you tell more about him or her?

NAOMI: My favorite character is Ananias of Damascus (not the guy who sold land and donated money to the church, while lying about the entire profit). In ATNG, Ananias and his wife are in Jerusalem for the birth of the church, and he scatters after Stephen’s stoning. He is unsure of himself--Have I shared enough information? Is this person’s conversion genuine? How will I share the good news if I don’t have all the answers?—and changes as the Lord works through him. My grandma always shared her testimony of how someone read John 3:16 to her. Then had her read it this time inserting her name in it. I have Ananias leading someone to Christ in that same way.

DONNA: One of my favorite characters in Scripture is Stephen, which is why I chose him for one of my two main characters in And Their Numbers Grew. I’ve always been impressed by his courage, strength, and faith as he made his case before the Sanhedrin, knowing it could mean his death, and I’m in awe of how he stood with his eyes fixed on the Lord as they stoned him (Acts 6-7). Stephen’s willingness to confront falsehoods, handle conflict, and maintain his composure are some of his strengths. He is described as “a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 6:5) and “full of grace and power” (v. 8). In the book, I imagine him as intelligent, passionate, and headstrong. I envision the strength of his faith producing boldness as he preaches the truth of Christ and heals through the power of the Holy Spirit. Based on his fervor for Christ, I picture him expressing the same deep passion in his relationship with the woman he loves. He’s someone who is “all-in”, whatever he does.

As for weaknesses, Stephen’s harsh words for the elders indicate his tendency to act as judge and jury when he sees injustice. In And Their Numbers Grew, Stephen must acknowledge his judgmental reactions toward the other followers, the Pharisees, and even at times toward God, and allow the Holy Spirit to transform his heart to one of love.

Q: How long did it take to write these novellas?

NAOMI: Much longer than Donna! She writes so fast and clean. My first draft looks like a thesaurus and an encyclopedia had a collision and are in the intensive care unit. 😂

DONNA: It took me about 3 months to write my two sections, but it took longer to pull everything together, coordinate the four stories, and finish the final edits.

Q: What is your favorite thing about being a writer?

NAOMI: I love when my books impact readers and their faith is strengthened by the story I told. So many times I get feedback that my story has helped the reader understand a portion of the Bible better and that’s the best!

DONNA: I love the process of allowing a story to unfold like a movie in my mind. My favorite element is deep-diving into the characters, using my experience as a Christian counselor to help shape realistic, three-dimensional characters with strengths and flaws, and exploring real-life difficulties without sugar-coating those experiences

Q: Would you share something about yourself that most readers would not know?

NAOMI: I know the words to the song Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart in Mongolian. I went on a mission trip to Mongolia with Teen Missions International when I was 14. The locals taught us that song. Years later when I was touring China with Covenant Players Theater Company, my team sat next to a Mongolian man on a train. If I remember correctly, he was a believer, but had gotten off track. When we prayed with him, the Lord put it on my heart to sing Give Thanks. I felt the Spirit say to me “This was why you were in Mongolia, all those years ago, for this moment.”

Most people don’t know that I was a professional singer from age 16 until 20 and was once offered a contract to “go to Nashville” (as the saying goes), but I chose to go to college instead. I used the money I made to help pay for college.

Q: Do you prefer to read ebooks or physical copies?

NAOMI: I prefer paperbacks, but have grown so accustomed to using the kindle app on my phone.

DONNA: Several years ago, I would’ve answered I love the feel of a physical book in my hand, but I’ve learned to enjoy the ease of a Kindle reader since we travel quite a bit. So, my answer now would be I prefer ebooks.

Q: How many bookcases are in your home?

NAOMI: I actually only have one. I don’t often re-read books, so I guess storage space is another point for ebooks. My daughter, on the other hand…. Books in cubbies, books on shelves, books everywhere. I’m so proud!

DONNA: We have eighteen bookcases in our home, all in the room we call the Joe Library. Let me explain. At one point, the bookcases were filled with hard cover books, but we ran out of storage space. When we started reading ebooks, we cleaned out and sold all but one bookcase of books. Now, most of the shelves are filled with my husband’s collectibles, mainly vintage GI Joes and action figures—thus the name. One of the short walls houses my Fontanini Bethlehem collection. The room is quite a conversation piece.

Q: What do you like to do when you are not writing?

Reading, spending time with my family, serving in church. I founded Biblical Fiction Aficionados over on Facebook. I like talking with people about Biblical and Early Church era fiction. I also co-host Behind the Story on Youtube, where we interview Christian and sweet & clean authors about their latest books.

DONNA: Most of my nonwriting time is spent seeing clients, but in my free time, I love hiking in the mountains, painting, watching movies with my husband, and singing.

Tour Giveaway

(1) winner will win a paperback copy of And Their Numbers Grew and a $25 amazon gift card!

And Their Numbers Grew JustRead Blog Tour Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight December 4, 2023 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on December 11, 2023. Winners will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US/CAN only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to JustRead Publicity Tours Giveaway Policies.

Enter Giveaway

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

Sunday, December 3, 2023

Author Interview: When the Curlews Call by Joanne Markey

About the Book

Book: When the Curlews Call

Author: Joanne Markey

Genre: Christian Historical Mystery, Fairytale retelling

Release Date: September 5, 2023

Some say all Sophia Randall thinks of are romance novels and dance frocks…

That may have been true once, but when war broke out, reaching even to our isolated corner of the bush, my priorities changed. I now read news from afar and dance but rarely.

Only my love for the Almighty God, for family and friends, for the man who captured my heart, for the bush, and for the call of the curlew haven’t changed. Especially the call of the curlew.

Some say it’s mournful—even sinister—but I’ve always delighted in that lonely cry heralding the end of another day. And when Kenny went off to war, it became a promise—a reminder of his love and determination to return.

When the unthinkable happens, my prayers become listless. New challenges surface. Ghostly footsteps join the coal trucks rumbling through town. Dingoes lurk in the shadows. Valuables vanish. A… presence chases me through the bush. Burdens weigh me down, and I forget to remember.

But is all lost? Would the pain in my heart be easier to bear if I stopped to listen for the curlews’ call?

Loosely based on “The Boy Who Disappeared”, When the Curlews Call is a story of ghostly doings, missing airmen, and a young girl desperate to keep the home fires burning when all hope seems lost. Told through a series of letters, readers will follow Sophia’s journey, sharing her triumphs and trials all through the long, dark days of World War II.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Originally from Australia, Joanne Markey now lives in Ohio with her husband and seven children. When she’s not reading or writing, you might find her wandering the property with her kids in search of whatever seasonal treasure they’re trying to find.  

Author Interview with Joanne

Q: What was the inspiration behind this novel?

Joanne: The inspiration for this novel came from my own family history. My Dad’s hometown has always fascinated me. He always talked fondly of the years he lived there, and I wished I could have visited that town. However, it was completely demolished to make way for a coal mine, so visiting was never an option. Add to that the fact there was an Uncle Kenny on both sides of the family who served during WWII, and you have the setting and the hero. When the opportunity came to write a book set during WWII both of those things combined to bring us When the Curlews Call.

Q: Do any of the novel’s characters hold a special place in your heart?

Joanne: Definitely. The hero, Kenny, was based on two uncles. One from each side of our family—both named Kenny. One fought on the European front and is buried somewhere in France. The other fought in the Pacific and was taken prisoner. When the war ended, the other boys all came home. Enough time passed that the family gave up hope of his survival, and then he came home. I named my hero Kenny to honor those two men.

Q: In what setting do you enjoy writing the most? 

Joanne: Honestly, it depends. If the story is flowing, I can write anywhere, no matter how quiet or noisy it is, or whether I’m inside or outside. If I’m struggling to write, I’ve needed a particular situation—certain music for one series, writing on my phone for another, and then there was the time I had to write on my laptop because our internet was bad and I couldn’t sync my writing program between devices.

Q: How many bookshelves are in your home?

Joanne: As a family of readers with eleven people in the house (multi-generational household) we have ten bookshelves in use, a closet shelf piled with books, and more boxed up in storage. Most of the books in storage belong to my husband and myself, with the kids also having some books put away. We are forever adding to our collection, but finding places to put new books is becoming a challenge.

Q: Who is an author you would recommend to anyone and everyone?

Joanne: I have a lot of favorite authors, but the one author I can recommend to anyone, young or old, no matter what genre they read, is Chautona Havig. She writes in practically all the genres, if not all, her books are always clean, and there is something for everyone. She’s also the author who introduced me to my favorite genre—contemporary romance. It was as though a lightbulb went off when I first read her books ten or so years ago and I realized that was my genre.

Enjoy an Excerpt!

Sunday, 17th September, 1939

My dear friend Lilian,

The war has hardly begun and already I wish it were over! From the way they talk, we live in daily fear that my beloved brothers, Hans and Peter, will enlist. They hardly talk of anything else. Hans has begun to wave goodbye in the morning with a cheery—as only Hans can manage!—warning that Mum ought not be surprised if he should sign up before nightfall.

It’s only a joke, but there is a serious glint in his eyes that would seem to imply he is thinking it through. I don’t know why, but he seems to be biding his time.

Perhaps for Mum’s sake? It’s so near Christmas—only a little more than three months—it would not be a surprise if he waited until after that date, because we all know how much the Yuletide season means to our mother.

As much as I would hate to see them go, they feel very strongly about doing their bit. Which one cannot fault them for!

But when I think of the other boys from our district, my heart grows heavy. When will they feel the call to serve God and country? When will we be forced to say goodbye to those we love?

In particular, when will he feel the call to serve?

Oh, how I wish you were here so we could sneak away for one of our late-night yarns. Curled up in the hammocks with our blankets pulled to our chins, and the stars shining overheard as we share the deepest secrets of our hearts. I know you are doing the right thing there in the city, dearest Lilian, but oh, how I miss you!

Don’t mind me. It’s just that I feel particularly emotional tonight, and as I listen to the curlews call and try not to spill tears onto my paper, I will attempt to share as we used to do face to face.

Changes have come to our little town since you’ve been gone. The Salvation Army hall was sold to the Methodist church, and they have begun to remodel the building to be used for services. I miss our little meetings held there, but Mum is longing forward to the day when she can sit down in a good old-fashioned Methodist church again.

Did you know that the McCormicks regularly attend the Methodist church in Clermont?! I only learned that yesterday, and I learned it from a very reliable source.

 Yes, you read that right.

Kenneth McCormick himself told me that his family regularly attends church in Clermont, but now that we have our own little Methodist church, he might consider coming here. He’s often over this way to visit his cousin Duncan at the Birimgan sawmill, so he didn’t see why they couldn’t ride into Blair Athol for church before he goes back to his father’s station, Wallaby Run.

I’m sure you are wondering how I came to be talking to Kenny, and that, my dear friend, is why I wish you were here. It would be so much easier to tell you what happened than to write it out. But we cannot change our circumstances by wishing, so I’ll do my best.

Early yesterday morning, Dad trucked a huge load of wethers in. There was a slight mix-up in the time the train arrived, so the man who’d arranged to meet Dad hadn’t come by the time the train got here. I don’t know how or why, but there wasn’t anyone around to help unload, so Dad had me help. He had me don a pair of Peter’s dungarees and boots that were at least a dozen sizes too big. My only hope was that no one would see me, but sadly that wasn’t the case because…

Partway through unloading, Dad called for me to go into the yard with the sheep to close a gate. That would have been all fine and dandy, but just as I got the gate halfway closed, the sheep, being sheep, decided they didn’t want to be in that yard. They wanted to be in the other yard. The one I was trying to close them out of. So, they turned and charged, bleating like their lives depended on it.

I heard yelling but couldn’t decipher the meaning due to the noise of the bleating. All that came to mind was the need to get that gate closed.

However, remember those boots I had to wear? One caught on the other, and instead of closing the gate, the only feat I managed was to fall on my face in the dirt and muck in front of a mob of four thousand charging sheep.

I barely had time to cover my head with my arms before the first sheep rushed by me. My last thought was that this was it. I would never see Mum, Dad, my brothers, you, or Kenny ever again. All I could do was pray that the end would come as swiftly and as painlessly as possible.

Then something strange happened. Instead of being trampled to death, my body rose above the sheep. In my wild, fear-addled state, I momentarily thought death had come and my body being transported to the afterlife. I don’t think it happens that way, but one doesn’t think clearly when one is under the shocking impression one has died!

Only a moment passed before I realized that it wasn’t an angel carrying me, it was a man. One whose voice I recognized as Kenny’s the moment he yelled to Dad that I was okay.

But I wasn’t okay!

Blog Stops

Stories By Gina, December 1 (Author Interview)

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 2

Beauty in the Binding, December 3 (Author Interview)

Life on Chickadee Lane, December 3

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 4

Artistic Nobody, December 5 (Author Interview)

Texas Book-aholic, December 6

Tell Tale Book Reviews, December 7 (Author Interview)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 8

Guild Master, December 9 (Author Interview)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, December 10

Fiction Book Lover, December 11 (Author Interview)

Holly’s Book Corner, December 11

Connie’s History Classroom, December 12

Through the Fire Blogs, December 13 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, December 14


To celebrate her tour, Joanne is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Link for giveaway: https://promosimple.com/ps/2909c/when-the-curlews-call-celebration-tour-giveaway

Friday, December 1, 2023

November 2023 Reading Recap & December 2023 TBR

My November 2023 Reads: 

  1. The Edge of Belonging by Amanda Cox - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ - Review to come.

Expected December 2023 Reads:
  1. He Should Have Told the Bees by Amanda Cox.

  2. Suing Cinderella by Stephanie Mack.

  3. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes. - Currently reading. This is a LONG book!

  4. The Lexicologist's Handbook by Dane Cobain - Currently reading. Similar to a dictionary, but with less words and an aim for fun.

  5. Mom Enough: Inspiring Letters for the Wonderfully Exhausting but Totally Normal Days of Motherhood by Rachel Marie Martin. - Currently reading.

  6. An Endless Christmas by Cynthia Ruchti. - My local book club's December selection.

What will you read this month?

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Author Interview: Battle for the Crown by Dawn Shipman

Battle for the Crown JustRead Blog Tour

Welcome to the Blog Tour for Battle for the Crown by Dawn Shipman, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

About the Book

Battle for the Crown

Title: Battle for the Crown
Lost Stones of Argonia #3
Dawn Shipman
Elk Lake
Release Date:
October 16, 2023
Genre: YA Fantasy (Clean)

“Adventurous quests, prophetic stones, and forbidden romance! Who could possibly ask for more?” —Lindsay A. Franklin, Carol Award–winning author of The Weaver Trilogy

She’s only seventeen—too young to die. 

But the wizard, the ambitious king, and their marauding Borags must be stopped. Fulfilling the prophecy is the only way to defeat them, and after scouring Argonia for the missing gemstones, Lyric and her companions are just steps away from the final, crucial battle. 

If they fail, the world they love will sink into a dark night of destruction. 

If they fail, they will almost certainly die. 

But Lyric is a king’s daughter, and long ago she chose this path. Terrified or not, she will see it to its end, because sometimes, sacrifice is the only way forward. 

Dark magic, tragic loss, and tender romance abound in this gripping conclusion to the Lost Stones of Argonia trilogy.

PURCHASE LINKSGoodreads | Amazon

Excerpt from Battle for the Crown

Marek frowned. “What do you propose?”

She sighed. Raised her chin. “I would like you to go to the southern border. Fell trees, pile brush. Set fires if you have to. Delay them as long as possible.”

He shook his head. “I can’t do that. From the beginning, I’ve had one task on this mission—to keep you safe. I can’t do that from miles away. Don’t ask me to leave you now.”

She gazed steadily at him. “I have to. This is not just about me. It never was.”

More Books in This Series


About the Author

Dawn Shipman

Dawn Shipman knew she wanted to be a writer since Mrs. Juell’s 10th grade Creative Writing class. Since then, she’s written stories, poetry, plays, puzzles, quizzes, and a mass of magazine articles, including interviews, how-tos, and personal experience stories. She believes freelance writing is the ideal occupation for those who are nosy by nature and like asking personal questions.

She is the author of a YA Fantasy series–The Lost Stones of Argonia–-with Elk Lake Publishing in Massachusetts. 

Dawn makes her home in the beautiful Pacific Northwest where she lives with her long-haired, IT-guy husband, a gregarious German Shepherd, two disdainful cats, and four horses–two large ones and two very small (but mighty!) ones. She loves reading, writing, riding, and traveling. 

Connect with Dawn by visiting dawnshipmanfiction.com to follow her on social media and sign up for email updates.

Author Interview with Dawn

Q: What was the inspiration behind Battle for the Crown?

Dawn: As the third and final book in the Lost Stones of Argonia trilogy, I wanted Battle for the Crown to show my main character and her followers, after much hardship and loss, accomplishing their mission.

Q: How long did it take you to write this story?

Dawn: The series took more than five years. Battle for the Crown took about a year

Q: Do you have a favorite quote from this book?

Dawn: Warmth flooded Lyric’s heart even as her body pulled her toward sleep. “We’ve come a long way since summer solstice, haven’t we?”

“We’ve flown through the heavens,” Becca said. “We’ll never be the same.”

No, Lyric thought. They never would.

Q:What do you hope readers take away from Battle for the Crown?

Dawn: That by working together with those you love, even the greatest battles can be won. Wizards can be defeated! You can, in effect, change the world.

Q: Would you share something about yourself that most readers would not know?

Dawn: I once rode in a 50-mile race on my Appaloosa mare, Chamaree!

Q: How long ago did you start writing?

Dawn: When I was about 12. So, a LONG time ago!

Q: What is your favorite thing about being a writer?

Dawn: Seeing my books on people’s shelves! No, really, what’s best is being able to create worlds and people right out of my own head. It’s so very fun, and so very addictive!

Q: Do you prefer to read ebooks or physical copies?

Dawn: Physical. I love the feel and smell of “real” books. I worked in our public library for many years and never got over the smell of books! Also, I feel it’s good for me to get away from screens for a while. 😊

Q: How many bookcases are in your home?

Dawn: Eight? I’d have to go count! I have one whole room we just call “the library,” though there are other things there, too.

Q:What do you like to do when you are not writing?

Dawn: Ride my horse in the fields and forests around my house. I am a true horse lover, which probably explains why there are so many horses in my books!

Tour Giveaway

(2) winners will win Kindle copies of all three books in the series--Kingdom Lost, Quest of the Queen, and Battle for the Crown, plus a $10 Amazon gift card!

Battle for the Crown JustRead Tours giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight November 28, 2023 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on December 5, 2023. Winners will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. No country restrictions. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to JustRead Publicity Tours Giveaway Policies.

Enter Giveaway

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Book Spotlight: The Color of Sky and Stone by Sara Davison

The Color of Sky and Stone JustRead Blog Tour

Welcome to the Blog Tour for The Color of Sky and Stone by Sara Davison, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

About the Book

The Color of Sky and Stone

Title: The Color of Sky and Stone
In the Shadows #1
Sara Davison
Independently Published (through The Mosaic Collection)
Release Date:
November 22, 2023
Romantic Suspense (Christian)

She is the only one who truly sees him.
Which makes her his greatest threat.

Black ops undercover agent Tane Temauri—code name Vapor—has made it his life’s mission to stay out of sight. Given the dangers inherent in his job, the last thing he can afford is to step into the open and become a target. Again. 

Then a letter from a mysterious stranger changes everything. Although the letter was not meant for him, somehow, on a greater, cosmic scale, it feels as though it is. 

But answering it will make Tane vulnerable. 

Can he emerge from the shadows and risk everything for a woman he has never met? 

 If he does, more than his heart could be on the line. 

So could his life. 

And hers.

PURCHASE LINKSGoodreads | Amazon | BookBub


The letter wasn’t meant for him. But wasn’t it possible that, on a larger, cosmic scale, it was? Somehow it had fallen into his hands. The thought of the woman, whoever she was, going to the post office and sliding a key into the hole, only to be disappointed by the sight of the empty metal box, crushed him. Even so, it wasn’t his path that had crossed with hers, however briefly. Responding to the letter would require assuming the identity of his dead partner, his friend.

Which meant he’d be keeping Johnny’s memory alive. A tribute, of sorts.

Tane pursed his lips. The mental fencing match felt a lot like an attempt on his part to justify the unjustifiable.

Still, the picture the woman had drawn, of light shining through a window on a dark night, seeped deep into his bones.

What harm could it do? She’d never know it wasn’t Johnny who’d written her back. Tane could send a letter or two, let her know what her words had meant to him and wish her well, as she had done his partner. After that, their correspondence would end, and they could get on with their lives. While it lasted, though, they might both be able to draw comfort from it, a small amount of warmth in the midst of a cold, cold world.

About the Author

Sara Davison

Sara Davison has a passion for writing stories that keep readers on the edge of their seats—and maybe swooning a little. Beyond that, she longs for readers to discover, as her characters do, that whatever they are going through they are never alone. God is always with them. A finalist for more than a dozen national writing awards, Davison is a Cascade, Word, and two-time Carol Award winner for romantic suspense. Like every good Canadian, she loves coffee, hockey, poutine, and apologizing for no particular reason.

Connect with Sara by visiting saradavison.org to follow her on social media and sign up for email updates.

Tour Giveaway

(1) winner will win a paperback copy of The Color of Sky and Stone, a $25 Amazon card, and a Romans 8:39-39 wall hanging

(1) winner will win a paperback copy of The Color of Sky and Stone

The Color of Sky and Stone JustRead Blog Tour Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight November 27, 2023 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on December 4, 2023. Winners will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US/CAN only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to JustRead Publicity Tours Giveaway Policies.

Enter Giveaway

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

Friday, November 24, 2023

Author Interview: Demolishing the Stronghold by Allen Brokken

About the Book

Book: Demolishing the Stronghold

Author: Allen Brokken

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

Release Date: November 4, 2023

Lauren, Aiden, and Ethan finally found respite for their whole family in the grove surrounding the Wellspring of Life. However, the threat of the Dark One’s forces still looms over the Heathlands, and lighting the tower of Light in Blooming Glen is their only hope of cleansing their land of The Darkness once and for all. While the family plans a surprise attack on the stronghold at Blooming Glen, the Bishop calls forth the Calamitous Drake, a monster forged from the essence of The Darkness in the corrupted heart of the Iron Mountain. In the midst of the battle, the monster scatters the family, leaving Mother, Uncle, and Tye in the hands of Lord Refi’Cul and the evil giant Skull Crusher who aims to make Tye his wife and become the Master of the Heath Wardens

The children must take to the skies to forge a weapon capable of defeating the Calamitous Drake. Will Lauren, Aiden, and Ethan’s faith give them the strength to Demolish the Stronghold?

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About the Author

Allen Brokken is a teacher at heart, a husband, and a father most of all. He’s a joyful writer by the abundant grace of God. He began writing the Towers of Light series for his own children to help him illustrate the deep truths of the Bible in an engaging and age-appropriate way. He’s dedicated 18 years to volunteer roles in children’s ministry and youth development. Now that his children are off to college, he’s telling stories and sharing clean humor on social media.

More from Allen

As I worked to close out the Towers of Light series, I had to work hard to develop something new and different that still fit the 1800s frontier setting.  I had a lot of pressure from my readers to bring a dragon to the prairie.  On multiple occasions, I had to remind my biggest fans that there aren’t any dragons on the prairie.  But they were insistent that dragons make an appearance.

So, as I put the final touches on the previous book, Wellspring of Life, I thought that the censors spreading evil could bring evil things into the world to corrupt the prairie. So, the concept of a dragon formed from the censor’s smoke made a lot of sense.  But what would a “Smoke Dragon” be like?  I shared the idea with my Realm Makers critique group, and they helped form something that early feedback says works well.  The dragon’s name, The Calamitous Drake, is also an homage to a line from “The Hobbit” that refers to Smaug as a great calamity.

With a dragon flying about, I also had to devise a way for the kids to engage it in the air.  This took significant research as I didn’t want to introduce giant eagles or something else that didn’t exist on the frontier.  As I investigated different options, I discovered that hot air balloons were more common in the 1800’s than I thought.  It turned out they served in minor roles during the Civil War and used a technology they called a gasifier to fill them up.  I took some artistic liberty with that, and Lauren, Aiden, and Ethan now had a way to get off the ground to meet the dragon in the air.

This story was so much fun to write, and early reviews from my biggest fans say it was the perfect end to the series.

Author Interview

What was the inspiration behind this novel?

I began the Towers of Light Series as a story for my kids. I was traveling for work 4 days a week and spent a lot of lonely nights in hotels across the country. I started writing a story about them in a fantastic setting and then shared it on the weekends. They loved it.

Q: Do any of the novel’s characters hold a special place in your heart?

Allen: Of course! The main characters are based on, and named after, my three children.

Q: Do you have a favorite quote from this novel?

Allen: “Your Iron Sister at your service little brother.” This comes at a point where I had a really dramatic entrance that I was trying to kind of pull of the Marvel Comics heroic jump into the scene to save the day. I just loved how the whole scene came off. It’s very cinematic and I hope that makes it into a movie some time.

Q: If the novel was made into a movie, who would like you to see play the main characters?

Allen: I don’t know that I have a dream cast overall, but I hope that some day Stacey Bradshaw who does my audiobook narration could be Mother in the story.

Q: Would you share something about yourself that most readers wouldn’t know?

Allen: My first big publication was a letter to the editor of the Marvel Comics Star Wars Comic #84.

Q:What are you reading now?

Allen: A friend of me put me on to a contemporary thriller called The Judge. It’s out of my normal genre and reading tastes, but I’m really enjoying it.

Q: Who is an author you would recommend to anyone and everyone?

Allen: I like funny kid books. Something that takes the edge off. Iggy and Oz: The Soda Pop Wars, by JJ Johnson, or I’d Punch a Tiger in the Eye for You by Ben Wolf come to mind. In my genre, I have a toss-up of who I admire most right now. I love Wayne Thomas Batson’s allegorical style. But I think Robert Liparulo does a great job of dropping scripture naturally in the story in a way that just feels authentic.

Q: What do you like to do when you aren't writing?

Allen: I play a lot of games. Lately, it’s a mix of XBOX, No Man’s Sky to be exact. I’ve got a gaming group and we’ve been playing online for over 20 years. We’re mostly all over 50 now and a bit slow. We call ourselves Team Fail and our motto is “Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory since 1999.” For my 50th birthday, we all got together in person, and it was a blast. I also play Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures battles with my eldest son on Sundays after church as a way to make sure we stay connected now that he’s out of the house.

Q: Where can readers find out more about you and your novel?

Allen: On my website towersoflight.net. I am also on social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. 

Blog Stops

Artistic Nobody, November 11 (Author Interview)

Fiction Book Lover, November 12 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 12

Texas Book-aholic, November 13

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 14

Guild Master, November 15 (Author Interview)

Lots of Helpers, November 15

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 16

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, November 17 (Author Interview)

Blogging With Carol, November 18

Blossoms and Blessings, November 19 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, November 20

A Reader’s Brain, November 21 (Author Interview)

For the Love of Literature, November 22

Lights in a Dark World, November 23

Beauty in the Binding, November 24 (Author Interview)


To celebrate his tour, Allen is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Link for giveaway: https://promosimple.com/ps/28d36/demolishing-the-stronghold-celebration-tour-giveaway.