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:

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 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 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?

Click here to get your copy!

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 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:

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Author Interview: Steal Fire from the Gods by Clint Hall

About the Book 

Book: Steal Fire from the Gods

Author: Clint Hall

Genre: Science Fiction

Release Date: November 7, 2023

The Human Alliance knew the war was over when the machines started using magic to cast fire, shake the ground, conjure storms, and part the seas.

We fought back anyway.

22-year-old soldier Gunnar Graves lost his faith and his family when a platoon of AI-driven war machines—led by an android fire mage— destroyed his unit. Forced to live in a machine-controlled village and hiding a dark secret, he spends his days trying to learn elemental power so he can take his revenge. After years of failure, his ability ignites when he least expects it.

On the run and hunted by the war machines, Gunnar discovers that an ancient, life-based strength has awakened to help humanity fight back. Joined by the other life mages, Gunnar is thrust into a mad world of android overlords, cyborg clans, and evil forces bent on his destruction.

To protect his newfound family, Gunnar must discover the truth behind a power he doesn’t understand and wage a war he doesn’t believe they can win.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Clint Hall is a storyteller, speaker, and podcast host. He has been writing stories since middle school, where he spent most of his time in class creating comic books. (Fortunately, his teacher not only allowed it; she bought every issue.) Known for instilling a sense of hope, wonder, and adventure, Clint’s work has been published across multiple anthologies and magazines. Find him at or “The Experience: Conversations with Creatives” podcast, available on all major platforms.

Author Interview with Clint

Q: What was the inspiration behind this novel?

Clint: Thanks for having me on your blog!

Steal Fire From The Gods came from a bizarre idea I had driving home one day. I have another (unpublished) series in which multiple worlds are at war. The most powerful planet is inhabited solely by war machines, although the other worlds have various magics to fight back.

One day, I asked myself what would happen if the war machines had magic and immediately realized that wouldn’t be a fair fight at all. I came up with this line: “The Human Alliance knew it was over when the robots started using magic.”

The sentence made me laugh, and I called my wife to share the silly idea. Trying to write a compelling story in which an already overwhelming enemy becomes even more ridiculously powerful became a challenge for me.

After that, I came up with everything else – the characters, the backstory, the world, everything. Fittingly, a modified version of that original line is the first sentence that appears in the final book.

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

Clint: “In most, I saw fear. In few, I saw hope. Those few were enough.”

Every chapter from the book begins with a (fictional) quote from someone who lived through the war against the machines, which took place before the book starts. This one stands out because it reminds me that we only need the slightest spark of hope to keep moving forward. The tiniest spark is enough because it can ignite fires that burn brighter than we could have ever imagined.

Q: What do you hope readers take away from this novel?

Clint: This is a weird, fast-paced, action-packed story about a hero fighting an army of AI-driven war machines that harnessed elemental magic. If the only thing people take away from this book is an entertaining story with many surprises, that’s great.

But among the deeper messages of the story, one in which I hope some people find comfort is that often our deepest secrets and darkest shames can turn out to be our greatest sources of power, particularly when we use them to help someone else.

Q: What are you reading now?

Clint: Right now, I’m reading Adorning the Dark by Andrew Peterson at the recommendation of a friend. It’s a fantastic book about creativity from a spiritual perspective that I highly recommend. The audiobook is excellent because it includes excerpts from Peterson’s songs to demonstrate some of his points.

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

Clint: Outside of writing, most of my time is spent with my wife and our two sons. I also spend a lot of time creating podcasts and even music.

But when I can, I like to go out to my driveway and play basketball. I could stay out there for hours just taking shots. I often listen to a sermon, an audiobook, or a meditation, but sometimes I let my mind wander. It’s a peaceful place for me. I first started attending church in high school only because I got invited to play for that church’s team. I think that’s why basketball will always be special to me; in many ways, it brought me to God.

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

Clint: Just go to That has links to my social media channels, my podcast, my books, and much more.

More from Clint

When I first heard the song See A Victory by Elevation Worship, I assumed the lyrics, “You took what the enemy meant for evil and You turned it for good,” were pulled verbatim (translated, of course) from the Bible, probably one of Paul’s letters.

Despite not knowing exactly from where they came, the words stuck with me. It’s inspiring to believe that God can take the terrible things that have happened to us – or even because of us – and use them to bring about something beautiful.

When I looked them up, I found that the lyrics are actually a derivation of what Joseph said to his brothers years after they sold him into slavery. “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” (Genesis 50:20 NIV)

Placing the words within the context of a story makes them even more impactful for me. It’s astounding to think about Joseph’s faith and spiritual maturity to not only offer forgiveness in this moment, but also to recognize the immense benefits that have arisen from such a horrific injustice against him.

It wasn’t until recently that I realized how much this passage is related to my book. That’s the funny thing about writing stories. You often don’t know what they’re about until you’re done.

Steal Fire From The Gods is the most faith-based story I’ve ever written. It’s also the darkest and certainly the weirdest. It’s an action-packed book in which AI has discovered the secrets of elemental magic and used that power to overthrow humanity.

But that’s just the concept. This story isn’t about magic robots. It’s about a person undergoing a crisis of faith. And you could hardly blame him.

Gunnar Graves and his family did everything the right way. They were faithful, devoted, and kind. They prayed, studied God’s Word, and followed His laws. Then, they were decimated. As a result, Gunnar is angry at God and even at his late parents for their blind faith that – from his perspective – ultimately failed them all.

Gunnar spends much of the story trying to harness magic for what he believes is a righteous cause. But despite his altruistic intentions, it eludes him, causing him even more anger and frustration. How could an all-powerful, all-loving God place such an awesome power into the hands of oppressive machines instead of mankind?

To make matters worse, Gunnar and other characters in the story have secrets that I won’t spoil in this blog. Suffice to say there are aspects of who they are and what they have done that would cause most people to cast them out if the truth became known. So instead, they hide themselves from God and other humans. More separation. More shame. More darkness.

It often feels that way for believers. In our weakness, we can simultaneously be angry at God for what we perceive as injustice – getting what we don’t think we deserve, or not getting what we think we do – while also being convinced there is something about us that will prevent us from ever connecting with His love, joy, and peace.

But there is always hope. God often reminds us of His presence by not only saving us from our circumstances but also using our weaknesses as tools to create wonderful outcomes. Paradoxically, good comes about not in spite of evil, but seemingly because of it.

As believers, we understand this is not a function of necessity. To bring about this good, God did not need evil to occur. But He will use it to demonstrate His ability to turn the enemy’s own weapons against him.

These occurrences wouldn’t make sense outside the knowledge that there is an all-powerful, all-loving Father. That reminder of His presence – that He must be with us because otherwise, such good springing from such evil would be impossible – is in many cases a greater blessing than the good itself.

But He will not force these blessings upon us. We are free to choose whether we will trust and accept them. We do so through faith, selflessness, and surrender.

That’s where we find the power. That’s where we find goodness. That’s where we find hope.

That’s what I want readers to take away from this book.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, November 14

Artistic Nobody, November 15 (Author Interview)

Exploring the Written Word, November 15

Becca Hope: Book Obsessed, November 16

Guild Master, November 17 (Author Interview)

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 18

Through the Fire Blogs, November 19 (Author Interview)

Wishful Endings, November 20

Beauty in the Binding, November 21 (Author Interview)

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 22

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 23

Simple Harvest Reads, November 24 (Author Interview)

The Lofty Pages, November 24

Blogging With Carol, November 25

Labor Not in Vain, November 26

Fiction Book Lover, November 27 (Author Interview)


To celebrate his tour, Clint is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and signed 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: