Interview with Author Amy Blake +Review + Giveaway

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I couldn’t be more tickled to include you today in the excitement surrounding Author Amy Blake and her new book, Whitewashed.    How about an interview to get to know Amy Blake, a chance to win a copy of Whitewashed for yourself, and a review of the book from yours truly?

 

Author-Amy-Blake-01Amy  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.

 

Now let’s get on to that interview with Amy, shall we?

 

Thanks for taking the time to chat, Amy.  Readers love to know about writers, so tell us a little about yourself, family, dogs, cats etc.
 
I’m a pastor’s wife and homeschooling mother of four from Columbus, Ohio, and we have a spoiled, 11-year-old English Springer Spaniel named Chrisgo. I earned my BA and MA in English from Mississippi College, the place on which Verity College in Whitewashed is loosely based. My husband and I met at Mississippi College and argued against each other in Argumentation class. We still debate about who won the argument because the teacher voted for him while the class voted for me (which, of course, means I won).
 
That’s a great love story!  What are some of your favorite activities?
 
I love to read suspense and YA fantasy, along with other genres. I enjoy playing games like Spades, Rook, Euchre, and Dutch Blitz with family and friends. I also like cuddling on the couch with my kids watching good movies.
 
What made you want to be a writer?
 
I’ve always loved to read, though for years I never had enough self-confidence to believe I could become a published author myself. Eventually, I took a couple of writing courses, attended writers’ conferences, and decided to give writing a try. I started with short stories, articles, and devotionals and was encouraged when some were published. Then I moved on to books. My first novels were pretty bad, but they helped me learn how to write. Now I’m glad I stuck with it through the discouraging seasons.
 
What age range is it for? And with female protagonists, I’m guessing it’s mainly for girls, or is it for both genders?
 
Whitewashed is primarily for girls, especially those in the older teen/younger twenties range who are transitioning into adulthood. However, I’ve had a few male readers tell me they enjoyed the book, and many women all the way into their senior adult years tell me they couldn’t put it down.
 
What’s the novel’s theme? Or what do you want readers to take away when they’re done?
 
Whitewashed has several themes interwoven into the plot, but I’ll just tell you about one. Patience is a real stickler for truth, so much so she sometimes can’t see people. She’s even been known to scream truth in the faces of people she loves, and in so doing caused much more harm than good. I want the reader to learn, along with Patience, that truth and mercy go hand-in-hand. Just as God is a God of truth who is merciful to His children, we should be people of truth who also show mercy to others.
 
Great biblical truth. Whitewashed is book 1 in the On the Brink series. The other stories feature Patience’s sisters, correct?
 
Actually the other two On the Brink books feature Patience’s two best friends, Nat and Christy, who are also homeschooled. Christy’s story is set in Buckeye Lake, Ohio, and ties into the 1920s when Buckeye Lake–with its amusement parks and nationally-known ballrooms–drew huge crowds. Nat’s story is still in the works, though I’m pretty sure it’ll be set in Washington DC.
 
 
Do you have any advice for beginning writers?
 
Keep writing, no matter how bad what you’ve written seems, because the more you write, the better you’ll get. Try to attend a Christian writers’ conference and network with others. Join a critique group. Read books on the writing craft and books in your genre(s).
 
 
What do you do when the muse is uncooperative?
 
I write anyway. If I can’t create anything new, I edit my old stuff. Sometimes I shift gears and work on blogs or articles for magazines instead of fiction for a while. Other times, though not often enough, I go clean the house instead.

 

Giveaway of Whitewashed by Author Amy Blake

Amy gave us a lot of insight about her latest book and here is the synopsis from Amazon:

      

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 when millions of collars are unaccounted for and that something creepy is going on in the Big House basement. She discoveries 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?

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

My Review of Whitewashed by Amy Blake

Oh my goodness, where shall I start?

We’re all aware that a good book must be an attention-grabber in the first chapter and captivate me throughout to get even a mediocre book review.  I think we all long for that and it isn’t too much to ask, is it?

Not only did Whitewashed intrigue me from the start and entice me with it’s unpredictable twists and turns, but it also included two of my favorite things, mystery and history.

I felt as if I was right alongside Patience on her airplane trip in the first pages.  Throughout the entire plot, I felt as it I was caught up with the interesting characters as they dealt with the burdens of the past, the Civil War situations.

Surprisingly, I found myself relating to Patience as a very intentional, independent girl whose stubbornness sometimes gets her into quite a fix.   I’ve also been guilty of being so intent on “my way of doing things” that I miss what God has in front of my face the whole time.

Oh yeah, and I stayed on the edge of my seat trying to figure out who it was that sought vengeance.   I highly recommend.

Verdict of Whitewashed review?

The How-to Guru gives two thumbs up.

 

I was gifted a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Keep up with Author Amy Blake and all of her writings on her site, her Author facebook page, or on Twitter.

 

Tell me why you want to win this book?

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Shan
Shan

Published on HuffPost and Okefenokee Living Magazine and other publications, Shan is a Family Travel Journalist and lover of all things ‘calm & cozy home.’

She shares travel reviews & insider secrets that Women REALLY want to know about southern family destinations and creating cozy homes they can’t wait to go home to.

Her hope is that overwhelmed women feel like family travel and cozy home gurus in their own right.

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6 Comments

  1. March 3, 2015 / 9:13 am

    Homeschooling mom! Way to go!

  2. March 3, 2015 / 9:48 am

    I love books with a little history thrown in. And I agree that books need to spark your interest within the first chapter in order to be a good read.

  3. RaeAnn huffman
    March 3, 2015 / 10:18 am

    I really like the idea of mystery but keeping it Christian so it is not far out there but I also think amy as a home schooling mom she writes very good also lots of plots not just one

  4. Kathy
    March 3, 2015 / 2:50 pm

    Attention-grabber, mystery, history, edge of your seat…sounds intriguing! 🙂

  5. March 4, 2015 / 10:52 am

    Thanks for leaving comments, Kathy, RaeAnn, Heather, and Starla. And thanks, Shan, for hosting me. Hope you all enjoy Whitewashed! 🙂

  6. March 13, 2015 / 4:32 pm

    I hope the book is available in Scribd. I have a subscription there.

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