Wednesday, October 26, 2016


Tell me a about yourself. What got you started in writing?

Tragedy ushered me into writing. After the tragic death of my teenage son, I used the pen to express the many emotions that haunted me. My writing began as short emails sent on Wednesdays to co-workers and friends. They were called hump-day devotions. The response and feedback I received helped me realize my gift for writing. My first book about the passing of my son, When Flowers Fade, was chosen for review by the publisher Brentwood Christian Press in GA. Now I have written my sixth book and they all have one thing in common: heralding the message that no matter how hard life becomes or how far we tend to fall into the pit of depression and despair, Jesus Christ will never abandon us.


How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?

I write at different times and use different methods, but I write mostly in the mornings when the house is quiet. Sometimes ideas and inspirations come to mind during the day and I have to stop, grab a pen and paper, and jot down my thoughts before the inspiration leaves. I transfer the information onto the computer when I get home.

How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or some other method of getting your words down?

I tend to use paper for my initial thoughts as I re-write and re-arrange the words and sentences into complete thoughts and paragraphs. Afterwards, I type it all into my laptop word processing program. My favorite place to write is the living room recliner. In the still of the morning, I drink a cup of coffee, pray for wisdom and insight, and start writing.

What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?
My favorite part about writing is getting the positive feedback from readers. It’s refreshing to hear how my experiences or thoughts have comforted or encouraged someone else. My least favorite part of writing is getting mental blocks. There are times when I desire to write but the inspiration and words seem to escape my mind. I noticed the blocks tend to happen when I’m under stress or become engaged in too many projects.

How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book?

Get the Book at Amazon

Soar above the Pain came from the words of someone else as we were looking at an old house my mother lived in during the 1940s. The person said, “Charlie, it’s amazing that someone with your challenging background could one day run for U.S. Congress.” I thought about her words and began to examine my entire life. I came to the conclusion that my story was worth telling. Now, close to a year of writing has culminated into a fascinating tale about the life of a person who wasn’t supposed to born, much less succeed.

What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?
I market and promote my books in several ways including through online venues such as social media, websites, and email. My platform as a minister and speaker also allows me to promote books through various church programs and Christian outlets. My books are carried through and are available to a worldwide audience.

What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?

Now that I’ve finished my latest book, I want to re-write a couple of my previous books, namely Forgiveness: Walk Me Through It and The God of My Midnights. I want to improve the story lines and make the books appeal to a wider audience. 

Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.

My back burner project is to have all of my books translated into other languages so I can effectively minister to people around the world. For example, I want to edit my book, Forgiveness: Walk Me Through It, to include a chapter on forgiving persecution, and have it translated into many languages for people in foreign Countries who live under heavy religious persecution.

What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?

My advice for a beginning writer would be two things: First, your story or idea can help someone. There is someone somewhere waiting on you to bring out the gifts stored deep within. Secondly, dream big and think beyond the traditional borders of where you live and what you’ve seen. Technology and social media has brought the world to your doorstep. So write to appeal to the world, not just to the people you know.

A Question for Me:

My question to a seasoned writer would be, “How do you develop the ability to know where and how to place words so that they are the most effective to the reader?”

Wow. What a great question! This may or may not surprise you but I'm all about finding your voice and sharing your ideas in the way only you can share them. Placement of words comes naturally as the writer delves into their heart for what they truly wish to say. It isn't about copying someone else's way of writing - rather, it's more of a, "let's find out who I am so that I can then share what is inside me." Practice, of course, is key in any indeavor, but searching your heart comes first. 


C.L. Holley - Speaker | Author | Minister

Comfort & Encouragement Ministry

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Friendships and Writing

I've done hundreds of posts up until this point, but I don't believe I've ever spoken of friendship as it relates to writing.

I have friends, many of whom I have met online, that have supported me in my writing. Whether this support came through a review, a kind word, or or a purchase, I have always felt blessed to have friends on my writing journey.

Writing can be a lonely pursuit without good friends who inspire me to be better, to let go of something I am hanging on to that's pulling me down, or to get that next book out so that they can read it.

And I appreciate that.

If you're a writer too you'll know what I mean. After all of the writing and editing, it's nice to get with friends during and after the process to sort of take a load off. Comments are always appreciated, especially if a friend liked my book, but I am also grateful to those who tell me what was a struggle for them.

Maybe it was the plot. A particular character. The way I put together my chapters. Whatever it was that caused them pause, I am most grateful to hear it. 

No, it's not easy to hear it, but if I already have a relationship with this dear friend, their words are much easier for me to take in. I can then take a look at my writing and strive for improvement.

I don't care how long you've been writing, you can always improve - always. 

And I'm glad to have friends that remind me of that.


Monday, October 24, 2016

CHARACTER INTERVIEW: Laila from Galapagos Kingdom and The Green Medallion

Tell me a little about yourself (where you live, who you are, what you look like, what you hope to achieve, etc.)

My name is Laila, I am thirteen years old. I currently reside with my twin brother at shore of Isabelle’s Island in the Galapagos Kingdom. I have long wavy blond hear and hazel-brown eyes.  I like to wear stylish but comfortable clothes.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I like drawing. There is always time to make a painting. But my favorite thing is find adventures in which my brother Caleb and our feathery friend Marat will always get irritated by.

What is your favorite color and why?

I don’t really have a favorite color. I think each color has a unique charm and we should love all of them.

What is your favorite food? Why is it your favorite?

I would say I love eating fish. Only because it is found by the sea and near the rivers within my island and kingdom.

What would you say is your biggest quirk?

I get into trouble without measuring the dangers. I even get excited about it.

What is it about your antagonist that irks you the most, and why? Share a line in the book where this irk is manifested.

I would say that he is more powerful than Caleb and I are. King Mario has years of experience in the craft as to us we have just learned about what we are able to do. I am terrified of him and what could happen.

Coming Soon!
Get the Book at Andrea's Website

"He knows the day and time in where the other half was found and since then, he has sent his men to search for the individual. This is the main reason Mia’s mother was captured for she is the only one who has the power to see who has found it. Immediately."

Laila’s face hardened and Caleb dropped his fish. They both stared at each other with concern for they weren’t prepared at all. They knew that they'd both face their demises if kind Mario was to suddenly appear.

What or who means the most to you in your life? What, if anything, would you do to keep him/her/it in your life?

That is a harsh question! I have so many love ones to which I would give my life for. I cannot choose between Caleb, Marat, my parents and other closest friends that have become family. I would do anything, turn against anyone and go to the end of the world in order to keep them in my life and safe.  I can’t pick between those whom I love for I love each and everyone the same.

What one thing would you like readers to know about you that may not be spelled out in the book in which you inhabit?

I would like readers to know the following:

I have grown to love you as if you were my brother or sister. I will always be watching over you even after you’ve closed the book. If you ever need strength I will use my newly known powers to make the impossible happen.

If you could tell your writer (creator) anything about yourself that might turn the direction of the plot, what would it be?

I would tell her to be patient and persistent. Being stubborn is what makes dreams become true.


A Question for Me: 

Do you let your characters tell their story without you intervening? Do you get emotional to see all the struggles they overcome? Do you wish they weren't where they are at this very moment?

Thank you so much!

First of all, yes, my character are always in charge. They always know what's best for the story, because it's their story. Yes, I do get emotional, especially when I want to keep them away from something they are telling me they need to do and I know that it's going to be tough for them. I often want to keep my characters from dangers and other learning opportunities, simply because I feel for them. But in my books, as in real life, we all must go through difficulties to become a better person.


Book Synopsis

Thirteen-year-old Laila has the heart of an adventurer as opposed to her twin brother Caleb who is cautious. Soon after finding a green medallion their destiny as dragons is revealed. And together, they embark in a journey to save the Kingdom from an obscure and evil sorcerer. But on their way, they encounter many obstacles in which they learn the bond of family and friendship, what it is to be loyal, and what self-sacrifices one must do for the greater good.

Overnight, their simple life at the beach is shattered, and they are thrust into a perilous new world of destiny, magic, and power. Will Laila and Caleb become full dragons? The fate of the kingdom may rest in their hands...

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Keeping Positive in Writing

This thought has come up once again for me, and as the holidays draw closer, and time appears to be dashing forward at a marvelous pace, I am left wondering how I'll get it all done.

I have a trilogy book to get ready before December (The Parables of Virginia Bean will, for the first time, be all in one book)

Work on updating Marketing Your Book on a Budget 2017 for its release in January.

Get everything bought and solidified for my signings in November and December.

Continue with my newest book, Tie Died, a new mystery for YA readers.

Keep my clients happily motivated in their own writing.

And more...

What about all else that accompanies the holidays??

Like you, balancing life is often about as easy as balancing a stack of cups on your head. Things get a bit wobbly, and often, are forgotten or come crashing to the floor.

Keeping positive isn't easy, it takes work. It is more natural to groan about our life and all we have to do over being thankful that our life is full and challenging. 

Ever feel as if you'll never get it right?

I know I do, but remaining positive helps. It keeps me going when the going has gotten the hardest. Keeping positive helps me to remain focused and balanced. I am better able to proritize my life. We can't do everything, but we can do those things that are most important first.

Whew! I feel better already.

Wow! I guess anything is possible!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Voting My Conscience

I have never written anything political on this blog - ever - but I could no longer keep quiet. In an era when the Republican and Democrat party canditates are about as pleasing to me as mud on my shoes, I decided it was time to speak up. 

In the beginning, when it looked as if Trump and Hilary were going to be the only two 'real' party candidates, I was going to opt out. There was only so much screaming, lying and blaming that I could take.

When Evan McMullin stepped up to the plate only two months ago, I was struck with awe mostly. I had been praying to know what to do, and suddenly, there he was in true red, white and blue.

Mindy Finn, Myself and Evan McMullin at the recent rally in Draper, Utah

Truth is important to me. Having someone stand at the head of our country that I can be proud to stand at the head of our country, is important to me. Someone who can speak to the public civily and with wisdom and 'smarts' is important to me. 

Who wants to be embarrassed by the President of the United States?

Not me.

I want someone who is intelligent, and who can answer questions intelligently without a slew of mud slinging. I want someone who cares more about the people than himself. Who is humble about what he's done and who keeps his promises. I want someone who will be a leader of the American people.

I'm  voting my conscience.

Are you?

Monday, October 17, 2016


Tell me a about yourself. What got you started in writing?

I was born on March 26 in Latin America hence my first language is Spanish. I have lived in many cities around the globe with my parents and younger brother, Carlos. I moved to the state of Texas, United States when I was 14 years of age and grew up to love the English language when I took my first grammar class in high school. But, it was not until I decided to obtain a Bachelor’s in Marketing at the University of Texas Pan American that I started to write.

I was required to take a composition class in which my teacher spoke about literature and grammar with such an admiration, it was hard to not be drawn into the literature world. Since I moved to United States, I started reading many fantasy novels, but my teacher’s passion on the world of words got me inspired to pursue a writing career. Since then, I have written three children’s books and I am in the process of finishing a middle grade fantasy novel.

I am also an active person – always finding new things to learn and do. In my free time, I love to swim, watch a good movie, do any outdoor activities, hang out with family and friends, and enjoy reading a good fantasy novel.

How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?

I am a night owl, I can sit all day staring at a blank piece of paper and not a single word is written. But, as soon as the night comes it's as if a switch turns on, my head is clear and I can write with ease. I do not set a specific time for writing; I just do it when my head is ready to put words into a piece of paper. For this reason, I always have a pen and a pad near me because you never know when an idea might brighten my day.

How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or some other method of getting your words down?

I write on anything and everywhere. I could be by the swimming pool, a coffee shop at a friend’s, in a car; anywhere. I do personally prefer a laptop to write my stories. But, if I am not around one, I do a tentative draft on a piece of paper or notepad and write the idea along with some notes. This helps me remember and break down the idea into a story as soon as I get home or get a hold to a laptop.

What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?

My favorite part of writing is that I can leave behind all the responsibilities and real life challenges and transport myself into a limitless world in which anything is possible.

My least favorite part about writing it is writer’s block.  I dislike it when I know what I want to write about, but somehow I can’t seem to write anything.  

How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book?

My first book, A Zoo in the Castle, came to be because since I was in my teens, children havee followed me. It didn’t matter where I was, a child will always try to hug me or be around me. I found it interesting and amazing. The love they shared, inspired me to write for them.

Get the Book at Amazon

It took me a couple of years to finish it because I was uneducated towards the literacy world.  My first draft is a completely different story to what the final published book turned out to be.

What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?

I do schools appearances to discuss writing and being an author. I also use social media (instagram, twitter, and facebook) and my website to keep people up to date. I have attended a couple of writing conferences and try to do book signings to keep the word out. I am a member of a community group that specifically focuses on children’s books and targets parents. From time to time I do a contest and giveaways. I wish I had time to do more.

What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?

I am working in a standalone middle grade fantasy novel, tentatively titled, “Galapagos Kingdom and the Green Medallion”.  The final draft will be finished soon, and from them on begins the process to find the right publisher.  

Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.

I do have a project on the back burner. I am experimenting with new genres and have a half done horror short story. It is nowhere near done, but will see what the future holds.

What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?

I would say the following. If we are writing it's because we have talent, if we don’t think we have talent, we have the passion for writing which then turns into a talent. So, no writing is bad. All writing is well received within the reader’s eyes. We just need to find the right niche to share the stories we passionately write about. We are not born knowing everything, we learn through experiences and many failures. It is very important to not get discouraged by critics, on the contrary, we need to learn and polish our stories from what we think about and what we are suggested from others to do. 

A Question for Kathryn:

How do you overcome writer’s block?

I don't have writer's block, at least not in the regular sense. When I get stuck on something I go to something else - that's usually why I have two projects going on at the same time. I also have a terrific binder full of pictures cut from magazines. I can close my eyes and randomly point to a picture. Whatever picture I have randomly chosen I write about. This opens up my mind and ususally returns me to the project that was stumping me.

Thank you for the question.

To learn more about Andrea and her work visit:

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Heaven 24/7: Living in the Light for .99 cents!

The time has come!!

Beginning todayFriday, October 14-Sunday, October 16 get Heaven 24/7: Living in the Light, the ebook, for just .99 cents!

After you've read it, I would love for you to add a review at Amazon. Authors need, need, need these reviews, so thank you in advance for doing so!

And check out the other great books for sale!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016



Read the synopsis, first chapter and author's bio!


    Dylan has worked hard to rebuild her life in the sleepy little town of Heaven, Oklahoma, despite the haunting of her recent painful divorce. She has chosen the town of Heaven as the place to begin her search for her birth mother. All she knows of her mother is that she was Amish and she had once lived in the area. Someone in Heaven knows the secret surrounding Dylan’s birth.
   Dylan left an exhilarating career as a sous chef in a five-star hotel to work in Hannah's Bakery, and just when she starts to get settled into her new life, her ex-husband comes into town and threatens her and everyone she has come to care about.
   An Amish man with his own dark past comes to Dylan's aid and soon finds himself facing murder charges. Peter has two motherless children to care for in an Amish Community that is ready to shun him forever. To make matters worse, in the eyes of the church, Peter is still married to a murderous woman on the run.
   Dylan flees to escape the men after her ex-husband and lands right in Peter's lap. Peter has no choice but to hide Dylan within his Amish family. The very lives of the people they love and care about hinge on the edge of disaster as Peter and Dylan try to navigate a forbidden attraction that sparks between them.
   Dylan and Peter face many challenges. Each trying to survive with past connections and mistakes along with a whole community of people who try to come between them to keep them apart, despite the growing love they both feel for each other. The end is a thrilling conclusion to a rollercoaster of events. Dylan and Peter both face their past, conquer their fears, make peace, and  find a way to blend their lives together to form a solid family with a fresh start.

Amish Shadows

Sally Beaufort stared out the window of the cabin she and Jess were currently holed up in. Her long dark hair fell down her back, and with her big brown eyes bathed in the moonlight, she looked angelic with an innocence that belied the cold blooded killer she really was. Outside, the snow fell while worry and fear filled her thoughts. Why don’t they come? I’m so sick of waiting and waiting. They should have come by now.
The cabin was more of a shack, really used only for occasional hunters nestled far up in the Appalachian Mountains of Ohio. There was only a wood burning stove for heating and cooking and no running water or electricity.
Jess’ cousins promised to bring food and to find an Amish community willing to take in strangers. For that to happen they would need new identities. Sally would have to make herself Amish all over again The mere thought of spending even one more day in Amish trappings angered her to the point of becoming irrational. The gold she’d so patiently waited for was now lost to her.
I’m not going to think about that blasted gold ever again. She rubbed her arm where Hannah had grazed her with a rifle bullet. The wound was healed, but the pain remained to remind her of what she had lost. I’ve done murder three times now. There is no other way for me now but to be Amish again. I’ll just lay low until I can figure a way out. She had to be one of the most wanted woman in America right now, and with any luck, she’d be able to cross the border into Canada as an Amish wife soon. Then she would at last be free to go her own way
Jess slept, snoring softly on the narrow cot in a corner of the one room shanty. For her, Jess was the only connection to protection she had at the moment. Jess was her ticket back into the Amish world. He was good looking enough, but it wasn’t love between them. Jess was now a means to an end for her. It never occurred to her that Jess had lost many things as well and had also done murder.
It was Jess’ connection to the Amish that kept them together now. Jess had grown up Amish and could speak Pennsylvania Dutch well. These past weeks, with nothing better to do, he had been teaching the language to her. Sally was smart and was picking it up quickly.
She continued to watch the falling snow outside the window and heaved a lingering sigh. Surely they will come soon. She pulled the old quilt she had wrapped around her shoulders a little tighter. It was going to be another long cold night.
After putting some more wood in the stove, she went to join Jess on the cot. At least it would be warm lying next to him. In the moments before sleep took her, she thought briefly of Peter and her two young boys. As soon as I know where were going, my sweet babies, I will come for you.

Amish Shadows
Chapter One

“Oh Hannah!” Dylan gasped and cupped her mouth with her hands. “You look lovely.” 
Standing in front of a dressing mirror, Hannah swished the skirts of her silk off white wedding dress and smoothed her floor length lace veil with her nervous fingers. Never in her wildest dreams did she ever think she would own a dress so beautiful, much less wear it. She had come a long way in the last few weeks since she had agreed to marry Quinn. Gone were the grays and blacks that had been her everyday apparel since her childhood. She wore her long hair down her back in soft honey colored waves. Just the way Quinn liked it.
Today was the first day of a new life for her and her children. Hannah made her choice, and she never looked back. She had promised to live a life without regret, and was determined to keep that promise for herself, her children, and Quinn. It seemed very appropriate to Hannah that she would start this first day of the New Year with a wedding to step into a new life.
The strains of organ music began to play, so Dylan hugged her friend tightly and slipped a small blue bead into Hannah’s hand. “This bead is off my dress. So now you have something borrowed and something blue.” As the music continued to play, Dylan left Hannah to find her seat among the pews.
Hannah thought about how different this wedding was from her first one. Her dress had been a simple dark blue with a black apron and bonnet hand sewn by her mother and herself. There was no something borrowed or blue, no organ music, and no flowers. A simple hand fasting and exchange of vows comprised the entire ceremony. The wedding cake was plain yet elegantly handcrafted by her mother. The dinner afterwards had been well attended by the entire Amish community. There were no more than a handful of people in the church today, but Hannah could not have been happier. She promised herself again to embrace this new life and all its strange elaborate traditions joyfully.
Outside the church, the snow drifted down in fat icy flakes. The air was crisp and cold, but Hannah’s heart was warm as she stepped up to the doors leading into the sanctuary. Timothy, her eleven-year-old son, stepped up beside her to take her arm. He was dressed in a new black suit with a yellow tie to match the yellow daisies in Hannah’s bouquet. Ruth Anne, his younger sister, stood in front of them. She wore a matching off white plain silk dress with a matching yellow sash and carried a small flower girl basket filled with fragrant yellow rose petals. Her bright red curls surrounded her face completing her angelic appearance. Hannah beamed with pride as she walked down the aisle with her children to meet Quinn at the altar.
Quinn was visibly taken with Hannah. She was the most beautiful woman he had ever known inside and out. Nothing he had ever done in his life made more sense than marrying Hannah and promising to care for her and her two children. With his best friend Ollie at his side, he took Hannah by the hand and vowed to love, honor, and cherish her for the rest of his life.

 Jen Gentry (Moews) Bio

Jen Gentry (nee Jenny Moews) is an award winning bestselling Christian writer of fiction and non-fiction works. She writes to entertain and inspire as well as to bring glory to her own personal savior, Jesus Christ. She is a wife, a mother, a grandmother, and a Registered Nurse. Her life journey has not been an easy one. She knows what it means to walk through the fires of faith, as she knows the pain and the joys of life.
She has a strange fascination with hummingbirds as one has always showed up in times of difficulty in her life, either a real one or an image of one. She loves things like old tea-pots and mopar-muscle cars from the seventies. She thinks of herself as kind of a redneck chick-slash-southern belle, as she loves to dress up fancy, but spends most of her time in jersey tee-shirts and jeans with her hair up in a ponytail.When she is not writing or spending time with her family, you can find her with her nose stuck in a book.She loves to hear from her readers and can be reached by email at

Monday, October 10, 2016

CHARACTER INTERVIEW: Connor Arthur Murray from Lineage

Tell me a little about yourself (where you live, who you are, what you look like, what you hope to achieve, etc.)

My name is Connor Arthur Murray. I'm seventeen years old and live in Waterford, Hertfordshire, England. At least I used to. Now I live at a private school called Avalon. Located on a remote island Off the north Shore of Scotland. I live here because I am the last worthy descendant of Arthur Pendragon. I go to class with other descendants of the court of Camelot. We're taught by the children 
of Merlin

Lineage (The Lineage Saga Book 1) by [Thompson, J. Christopher]
Get the Book at Amazon

I've been told I look like a certain bleach blonde character from a popular television show about a vampire slayer. I guess. I don't see it.

To be honest, I just want a quiet life. That's all. Yet, the universe seems to have other plans for me. If any of you know what those are, let me know? I'm getting sick of fighting legendary creatures.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

When I had spare time, I used to hang out with my friends and get into all kinds of trouble. Now that I'm here at school, it's basically the same. Only thing that's changed are my friends. I still get into trouble, but it's the life or death variety.

What is your favorite color and why?

Been a fan of Manchester United for as long as I can remember. So I've always loved red and gold.

What is your favorite food? Why is it your favorite?

I'm not too picky when it comes to food. The only thing I try to steer away from is curry. It's too damn spicy for me!

What would you say is your biggest quirk?

I have an attachment to my father's old leather jacket. I don't go anywhere without it.

What is it about your antagonist that irks you the most, and why?

Mordred and his mother haven't shown themselves to me yet. I know they're out there, but they have not attacked me directly. They keep attacking me through agents. Sometimes they even use my friends to do it. It's getting old fast.

What or who means the most to you in your life? What, if anything, would you do to keep him/her/it in your life?

I love Laure. She's sworn to protect me, and she's done a great job at training me to be a better fighter. She doesn't know that I would willingly go into hell itself to keep her safe

What one thing would you like readers to know about you that may not be spelled out in the book in which you inhabit?

I love to read. I read anything I can get my hands on. 

If you could tell your writer (creator) anything about yourself that might turn the direction of the plot, what would it be?

Get the Wild Hunt away from me!

Ask me any question. I've always wanted to know what a character thinks about writers like myself. I'll answer the question at the end of this interview.

Why are you obsessed with me? You think I'm joking, but I feel your eyes on me. All. The. Time. What is so fascinating about me? Alright, let me rephrase that. What is so important about me, or any other character, for that matter? Why are our lives so important?

Great question! I am excited to know the feelings of main characters, because they always teach me a little bit more about myself. Besides, they're fun to listen to. I bet you talk to your writer all of the time, right? If you didn't speak, James would have no idea what to write. So, thank you!


Learn more about Connor and his writer, James:

See the trailer!