3 Questions Wednesday with Amy C. Blake

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Amy C. Blake

Welcome back to 3 Questions Wednesday, Amy C. Blake. I know you’ve been busy in the last few months. You have another book out–we’ll talk about that later. And you’re a homeschooling mom and pastor’s wife, among other things.

So let’s get to the first question:

What books have fortified you as a writer? How?

Amy:  Everything from C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia to Terri Blackstock’s suspense novels to Brandon Mull’s Fablehaven has informed my writing. However, at the risk of sounding cheesy or sanctimonious, the one book that has truly fortified me as a writer is the Bible. God’s Word sustains me, encourages me, corrects me, and inspires me to share the truths I glean from it in fictional form. Even when I don’t consciously write them in, I find Biblical themes and storylines incorporated into my books.

Sounds like you have a well-rounded reading habit, grounded in the Word of God. Can’t beat that. Now, second question–

What secret talents do you have?

Amy: I’m not sure I really have any secret talents, but I do make a pretty great salsa. We ran out of last year’s canned stash a couple of weeks ago, and the store-bought stuff just doesn’t measure up to my homemade recipe. My family and I can’t wait until the tomatoes and peppers in our garden are ready for the next batch.

Mouthwatering! I love a good salsa and nothing beats fresh or homemade. Which is actually a good segue into the last question:

If we came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare for us?

Amy: This time of year, we’d probably have pulled pork and hash brown potato casserole. Maybe some homemade ice cream and a gooey, chocolaty concoction for dessert.

Yum!! I’m thinking of driving north soon. I don’t think it’s too far out of my way…

Amy, thanks again for participating in 3 Questions Wednesday!

Leave a comment on this post for a chance to WIN the Kindle version of Colorblind!

Colorblind by Amy C. Blake

Colorblind by Amy C. Blake

Eighteen-year-old Christy Kane has always been Daddy’s princess. But on the first day of her music internship at his mega-church, reporters shatter her world with terrible news: Daddy’s had an affair with the church preschool director. Christy feels as betrayed by God as the man she’s always considered Prince Charming.

When Mom sends her to Buckeye Lake to help with Aunt Jo’s School of Music and Dance in the restored Pier Ballroom, Christy’s problems only increase. First, the ballroom sits on Buckeye Lake, making her face her greatest fear—water. Second, she must help lead a handful of semi-talented volunteers, who harbor racial tensions and mysterious underlying antagonisms, in a professional quality performance for the Grand Reopening of the ballroom. The stakes are high—Aunt Jo will lose the place if they fail. Third, Christy discovers a diary written by Lillian, who lived near Buckeye Lake in the 1920s, and becomes intrigued by the stories of thousands coming to play at the amusement parks and dance in the ballrooms. But her interest soon turns to concern as tragic events from the diary happen in Christy’s world, ninety years to the date of their first occurrence.

Between her shattered past, her uncertain future, and her dangerous present, Christy doesn’t know where to turn. Does Daddy’s God really exist? If so, does He care enough to rescue her?


Award-winning author Amy C. Blake is a pastor’s wife and homeschooling mother of four. She has an M.A. in English from Mississippi College. and has written articles, devotionals, and short stories for a number of publications. You can connect with her on Facebook, Goodreads, and Twitter. She’d love for you to visit her website at amycblake.com for tips on homeschooling, advice for the rookie pastor’s wife, and helps for the Christian life. You can also find more information on her website about her novels–Whitewashed, Colorblind, and The Trojan Horse Traitor.

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http://amycblake.com/

Amy C. Blake Facebook author page

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Homeschoolers: Complex Enough for Fiction

by Amy C. Blake

When I was a kid, I’d never heard of home education. Who could imagine never having to ride a school bus, doing subjects while in pajamas, and calling it a school day as soon as the work was done? Bizarre.

By the time I was in high school, I’d heard there were a few weird people out there (mostly in California) who homeschooled, but I assumed they were all tree-huggers who ate tofu all the time, wore only bulky turtleneck sweaters and ankle-length skirts, couldn’t handle themselves in classroom settings, and didn’t know how to carry on conversations with normal human beings.

Then I reached the first year of my masters’ program in college, and I taught a Freshman Composition course. Many of the students aggravated me with their petty expectations that I coddle them like a bunch of five-year-olds who couldn’t spell or put together the most basic sentences, much less write decent essays. Okay, so a few did fine, but many did not. Still, there was one girl, Ashley, who stood out. She always listened attentively in class, participated in discussions, turned in every assignment on time, and wrote great essays. Imagine my reaction when she told me she’d been homeschooled all her life.

I was truly stunned. Ashley was cute, sweet, respectful, communicative, intelligent, and never wore bulky turtlenecks. She wasn’t even from California. Though I don’t know whether she ate tofu or hugged trees on a regular basis, I do know she was my favorite student. And she totally changed the way I viewed home education.

A few years later, my husband and I began our own family. As our oldest neared kindergarten age, we began to discuss our educational plans, and because of Ashley, the thought of homeschooling wasn’t incomprehensible. As Christians, we knew God had called us to train our children in His ways. We also knew from personal experience in the public school arena how much more difficult it would be for us to influence our kids if they were away from us most of the time. In addition, we realized we’d been teaching our kids since they were born. If we could train them to handle a spoon, say please and thank-you, and use the potty, surely we could teach them to read and write.

So we embarked on the homeschool journey with our four children. More than a decade later, I can say with confidence that it was the right educational decision for our family. I can also say that my high school notions of homeschoolers were way off base. While healthy eating and environmentalism are good things, nobody in my family eats tofu or hugs trees (well, there was that one time when my nine-year-old accidentally embraced a tree while trying to snag the ball from his brother during one of our backyard soccer matches…). Overall, my kids do well with their school subjects, participate in group classes through our homeschool co-op, and keep the Mom Taxi running nonstop to various lessons, sports, and activities. They have friends who attend public school and friends who homeschool, all of whom are fun people with varied interests and plenty of wonderful traits.

Given all I’ve learned about homeschool families over the years, it’s no wonder that when I began writing novel-length fiction, I decided to make my main characters homeschoolers, well-rounded, delightful people like my favorite student in college, Ashley, and like my own kids and their friends.

My debut novel, Whitewashed, released in February and is a Christian suspense about 18-year-old homeschooler Patience McDonough, who heads off to college in Mississippi and ends up on the bad side of a mentally unbalanced villain. In February, 2016, my second Christian suspense novel comes out. Colorblind follows Patience’s best friend Christy Kane to Buckeye Lake, Ohio, where somebody is reenacting history with potentially deadly consequences.

My young adult fantasy, The Trojan Horse Traitor, releases tomorrow (November 17th) and is about 13-year-old homeschooler Levi Prince, who goes to summer camp on an island in the Great Lakes and finds out it’s actually a haven for mythical creatures. I’m hosting a giveaway of two paperback copies of The Trojan Horse Traitor on Goodreads. You can enter tomorrow through December 14th.

Whether your family home educates or not, I’d love for you and your kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, neighbors, and random strangers to read my books and get to know Patience, Christy, and Levi. You’ll find they’re not unlike you, intriguing people with characters worth exploring and heroic traits worth discovering. And my characters don’t even hug trees…at least not too often.

Writing Prompt –  Finish this paragraph in the comments section for an extra entry in our giveaway:  Gabe’s teacher asked him to come up with a great idea for a class project, involving his cottage school classmates. He spent an entire weekend thinking and planning, then presented this to his teacher on Monday…

AND don’t forget about Once Upon a Christmas! Our Holiday giveaway! Prizes…prizes…and more prizes! Click here for more information!


IMG_2793-2Award-winning author Amy C. Blake is a pastor’s wife and homeschooling mother of four. She has an M.A. in English from Mississippi College and has written articles, devotionals, and short stories for a number of publications. She’d love for you to visit her website at amycblake.com for tips on homeschooling, advice for the rookie pastor’s wife, and helps for the Christian life. You can also find more information on her website about her novels–Whitewashed, Colorblind, and The Trojan Horse Traitor.

Also connect with Amy at Amy C. Blake Facebook author page, Amy C. Blake Twitter page, Amy C. Blake on Pinterest, Amy’s Amazon Author Page.

The Trojan Horse Traitor

TrojanHorseTraitor_FlatforeBooksLeft on Castle Island by his parents to attend Camp Classic, Levi Prince finds himself at the center of an enchanted world of amazing abilities, cloudy motives, and wicked beings that will challenge his very spirit. He begins to form friendships, but life at camp becomes more confusing as questionable activities and uncertain agendas bring about conflict that tests his character in ways he never expected. Finally, faced with a friend’s betrayal, Levi is forced to confront true evil. Will he find the courage to stand his ground, and to become the hero he was always meant to be?

Buy links:  The Trojan Horse Traitor       &       Whitewashed

Who’s Snoopy Dancing Now?

snoopy dance

Our latest winner, that’s who. The winner of Amy C. Blake‘s novel, Whitewashed, is…

 

Sparks of Ember!

 

Congratulations! You still have time to win your copy of Edie Melson’s latest book entitled While My Soldier Serves.

 

WMSS, final, high res

Thousands of families send loved ones off to fight on a daily basis. These families spend a lot of time living in a world out of control. This kind of stress can take an incredible toll, but there is hope. When we feel helpless, we can take our fears to the One who loves us more than anything and holds the universe in His hands.

In this book you’ll find the words to usher you into His presence. These prayers are a place to visit again and again as you take your own fears to God. They’re just a starting point, written to help you find your own voice as you call out on behalf of the one you love.

Comment here for your chance to win!

 

Join us tomorrow as we interview one of our own Crew members, Anne Garboczi Evans…

Today is the Day!

snoopy danceIt’s time for the Writing Prompts Crew to give away another book.

This time it’s Lori Stanley Roeleveld’s book, Running from a Crazy Man (and other adventures traveling with Jesus).

And the winner is…

Nancy K. Sullivan!

Congratulations, Nancy!

Didn’t win? You still have time to comment on either Christine Lindsay’s or Amy C. Blake’s post to be entered to win even more books.

The next time it could be your day…

summer

3 Questions Wednesday with Amy C. Blake

blake family 2 (2)Welcome to 3 Questions Wednesday, author, Amy C. Blake. Amy writes juvenile fantasy-fiction, young adult, and women’s fiction.

Which author would you never get tired of, and why?

Amy:  George MacDonald is one of those timeless authors I love. MacDonald lived in the Victorian era and is the novelist about whom C.S. Lewis wrote, “I have never concealed the fact that I regarded him as my master; indeed I fancy I have never written a book in which I did not quote from him.” Among a long list of other books, MacDonald wrote At the Back of the North Wind, The Princess and Curdie, Lilith, and Phantases. I admire his work so much I even wrote my masters’ thesis on him.

Interesting! I’ll have to check him out. Here’s a link if anyone else is interested: George MacDonald.

Who is your favorite fictional villain?

Amy: Captain James Hook is probably my favorite. Hook, the mean old pirate time won’t stop chasing, is the perfect foil for Peter Pan, the boy who wouldn’t grow up. With his long black hair, bushy eyebrows, cadaverous appearance, hook for a right hand, and elegant speech (even when he’s swearing), Hook is a colorful character I love to hate.

You’re right, he is a colorful character. Now, one last question:

What project are you currently working on?

Amy: I’m currently doing revisions for The Trojan Horse Traitor, the first book in my Levi Prince juvenile fantasy series, releasing in November of this year. I’m also finishing the second book in my On the Brink series, of which Whitewashed is the first. Currently untitled, the book is about Patience’s friend Christy. It’s set in Buckeye Lake, Ohio, and has ties to the 1920s, the heyday of Buckeye Lake’s amusement parks and ballrooms

Sounds as though you’re very busy right now, which is a writer’s preferred state. Thank you so much, Amy for answering our 3 Questions. 

Readers, please leave a comment below for a chance to win the e-book version of Whitewashed.


Whitewashed by Amy C. Blake

Whitewashed-Business-Card (1)Eighteen-year-old Patience McDonough has a plan. Despite her parents’ objections, she will attend Verity College in Hades, Mississippi, and live with her grandparents. She’ll complete her degree in record time and go on to become a doctor. But things at the college are strangely neglected, her class work is unexpectedly hard, Grand gets called out-of-town, and Poppa starts acting weird—so weird she suspects he has Alzheimer’s. On top of that, she has to work extra hours at her student job inputting financial data for the college—boring! But soon her job gets more interesting than she’d like: she finds that millions of dollars are unaccounted for and that something creepy is going on in the Big House basement. She discovers secrets tying her family into the dark beginnings of Verity, founded on a slave plantation, and she is forced to question the characters of people she has always trusted. Finally, confronted with a psychotic killer, Patience has to face facts—her plans are not necessarily God’s plans. Will the truth set her free?

Buy Links:

Paperback copy on Amazon

Kindle edition on Amazon

Paperbackcopy on Mantle Rock Publishing

Amy C. Blake is a pastor’s wife and homeschooling mother of four. She has a B.A. and an M.A. in English from Mississippi College. She contributed to Barbour’s Heavenly XOXO’s for Women, Book Lover’s Devotional, and Every Good and Perfect Gift. Amy wrote short stories and articles for Focus on the Family,Mature Years, Significant Living, Vista, Encounter, and other publications. She won awards at St. Davids Christian Writers Conference and West Branch Christian Writers Conference. The Trojan Horse Traitor quarterfinaled in the 2011 ABNA contest. Her juvenile fantasy novel The Trojan Horse Traitor, releases in November, 2015, and her new adult suspense novel, Whitewashed, released February 15, 2015.

Amy’s Website

Amy C. Blake Facebook author page

Amy C. Blake Twitter page