Monday, October 05, 2015

The Author's Casting Call, episode 45: Katie Gansert Casts Amish Christmas at North Star

Welcome back to another episode of The Author's Casting Call. This episode features a Christmas novella collection, and we're joined by one of the contributors, Katie Ganshert, who is acting as EIR's resident Casting Director today.
Here's a little bit about the collection, from publisher WaterBrook Press:

Click HERE to preorder this title at Amazon
It is scheduled to release 10/20/15
One night four lives entered the world by the hands of an Amish midwife, just outside North Star, Pennsylvania. 
Rebekah’s babies, as they are called, are now grown adults and in four heartwarming novellas each young person experiences a journey of discovery, love, and the wonder of Christmas.

Guiding Star
 by Katie Ganshert

Curiosity gets the best of Englisher Chase Wellington when he investigates the twenty-five-year-old disappearance of an Amish baby. When he finds adventurous Elle McAllister in Iowa will his discoveries upend her world? 

Mourning Star
 by Amanda Flower

Eden Hochstetler slips from her parents’ fudge shop to investigate the death of her friend Isaac Yoder.  Who is guilty? Isaac’s handsome great nephew Jacob, an angry Englisher, or someone else?

In the Stars
 by Cindy Woodsmall

Kore Detweiler has nursed his broken heart, avoiding North Star after Savilla Beiler suddenly rejected his love.  But when he is called to return home, he and Savilla must join forces to keep a family together.

Star of Grace
 by Mindy Starns Clark and Emily Clark

Andy Danner left North Star to work in construction in a new Amish settlement in Louisiana. His little brother devises a scheme to bring Andy home for Christmas, and unwittingly unleashes the power of forgiveness in an old widower’s life.

Today, Katie Ganshert joins us to cast Guiding Star, her contribution to this novella collection

Amish Christmas at North Star: Casting Guiding Star
by Katie Ganshert, special for EIR

Chase Wellington was born and raised in Amish country, which means he’s well acquainted with the plain lifestyle, even if he can’t imagine living it. He’s a construction manager by trade, but enjoys writing (especially human interest stories), so he contributes a few articles each year to his small town’s paper, the North Star Tribune. He’s a handsome fella with dark brown hair and hazel eyes. If I was able to pick the perfect actor to play his role, I’d choose David Giuntoli.  

Noelle (Elle) McAllister is a friendly and carefree twenty-five year old with wanderlust in her veins. She loves kids and art, so her work as an elementary school art teacher (with summers free for travel) make for the perfect job. Her name’s Noelle because she was left on a doorstep as a baby on Christmas Eve. She’s petite, with long blonde hair, big blue eyes, and a young face, which makes actress, Amanda Seyfried, the perfect actress to play her role.

Award-winning author, Katie Ganshert, graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Madison with a degree in education, and worked as a fifth grade teacher for several years before staying home to write full-time. She was born and raised in the Midwest, where she lives with her family. When she’s not busy penning novels or spending time with her people, she enjoys drinking coffee with friends, reading great literature, and eating copious amounts of dark chocolate. You can learn more about Katie and her books by visiting her website or author Facebook page.


Friday, October 02, 2015

Annoucement: EIR Closing November 1st

EIR's last day will be October 31, 2015 ~ until then, we have a full schedule for you!
After long and careful consideration, we have decided to step back from blogging at this location. As of November 1, 2015, the Edgy Inspirational Romance blog will no long offer new posts, but it will not "close the doors" entirely. EIR will still be "live" and available for readers, authors, and publicists to be able to link back to past features. At this time, however, we do not foresee returning to this forum as bloggers.

image ID 291383204 used under standard license from
Our heartfelt thanks to everyone who visited, shared, or contributed to the Edgy Inspirational Romance blog over the past several years. We have an October full of posts to end our run here, so please check in this month.

A special thanks to EIR regular guest contributors Megan Besing, Karen Collier, and Rachel McMillan for loaning your voices to EIR.

This decision was not made lightly. Thanks for understanding our need to turn our time and focus elsewhere. We cherish the many friends and connections made, and the authors and books discovered through our blogging here at EIR, but the time has come for us to move on.

May you be blessed . . . and may your bookshelves overflow.

All Our Best,

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Announcing! Eyes of E'veria, book 4: THE SUNKEN REALM -- available now for Kindle and Kindle Apps!

After over a year of leaving readers on something of a cliffhanger ending in The Seahorse Legacy, I'm coming to the rescue! I am pleased to announce the birth of my newest book in the Eyes of E'veria series.

And this one is kind of an epic monster! 

I hope you will enjoy what is, essentially, two books in one: THE SUNKEN REALM. I hope it captures your heart, makes you laugh, cry, worry, and bite your nails (metaphorically, of course) and then laugh a little more.

Here's a little bit about the book:

Available now for Kindle and Kindle apps!
Find THE SUNKEN REALM by Serena Chase at Amazon
She is an outcast among knights
Her reputation in ruins, her knighthood revoked, and her future bleak, Erielle de Gladiel would have welcomed death as her due. Captured by pirates, she was beaten, whipped, branded a thief—and worse—and then set adrift to die. She did not expect—or even want—to be rescued. Especially not by the dashing blasted pirate now calling himself her husband.

He is the King of Pirates
His oath satisfied and his Legacy secured, Cazien vows vengeance on all who harmed Erielle. But before he can hunt them down, a strange visitor appears with an urgent message—a message that aligns with prophecy Erielle has written in her sleep: The Seahorse Pirates must reach Nirista before the famed Tournament of the Twelve . . . or hundreds of stolen children will die.

Together, they are . . . relentless
With the fate of many resting upon them, Cazien and Erielle sail to Nirista. Once there, they are forced to follow separate paths to achieve their aims. Treacheries are uncovered and allies are gained, but in the shadows, a hidden foe plots a grievous betrayal that could shatter not only their hope, but the Seahorse Legacy itself.

The epic conclusion of this series-within-a series, The Sunken Realm sweeps Erielle and Cazien along a pulse-pounding voyage to discover all they are meant to become, together. Giving subtle nods to several fairy tales, including an unexpected twist to the story of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, this romantic YA pirate adventure is the final novel in the Eyes of E’veria series . . . but the Seahorse Pirates and their friends in E’veria may yet have stories to tell. 

Of special note: 
As Cazien and Erielle rescue children from slavery in the Sunken Realm, I am honored to add my voice and platform to a similar cause, partnering with I WILL Bring Change and Face of Dignity to help bring awareness about and healing to victims of human trafficking around the world. 
Click here to visit I WILL Bring Change & Face of Dignity

I WILL BRING CHANGE exists to PREVENT human trafficking and support the RESCUE,RESTORATION and REINTEGRATION of survivors.

SERENA CHASE lives in Iowa with her husband, two teen daughters, and a big white dog named Albus. A frequent contributor to USA Today's Happy Ever After blog, Serena is an avid reader of young adult fiction and inspirational romance and has become a respected influencer within those communities. When not engaged in her varied roles within the publishing industry, Serena can be found watching action movies and dreaming about someday living in a cottage by the sea. Connect with Serena Chase on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter (@Serena_Chase) and visit often, and subscribe to her newsletter and gain access to exclusive, subscriber-only content.

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Author's Casting Call, episode 44: Miranda Uyeh casts To Die Once

Today the Author's Casting Call welcomes Casting Director (and author!) Miranda A. Uyeh. Join us now as Miranda dreams about who she would cast in a film version of her debut romantic suspense novel, To Die Once.
Click on the linked names throughout to go to pictures of these actors, and be sure to visit the Author's Casting Call Pinterest board for these pics all in one place, and links back to all previous episodes of The Author's Casting Call at EIR!

Here's a little about the book:

 Two men, one woman, a rosebush ...
... a terrible past, an uncertain future

Jennifer, a woman unexpectedly trapped in a path of love and passion against everything she believes.
Rodrigo, a man set to get what he wants at the cost of what matters most.
Stefano, a man with a past, a story to tell and passion to offer.
Chidi, a friend in need, a friend indeed. Or not?

From a culture where good girls follow the norm and live as they've been told, Jennifer is no different from any other girl until by happenstance, she meets and falls in love with Rodrigo, a man who's handsome, rich and foreign. Different. She has no idea who he is or what he does, and is swept into a world of romance and passion. It is not long before she discovers a shocking truth that shakes both her world and his.

Then he is gone.

Stefano shows up at a time when Jennifer has made up her mind about the rules of life. He thinks she's beautiful and is in love with her. In a bid to convince her to give him a chance in her life, old memories once buried are brought to life. And the events that follow don't leave anyone unaffected by the truth of the past that was left unsettled.

Meanwhile, Jennifer with her friend Chidi, find themselves on a self-discovery journey that has one of them raising questions.

Some just have to ask, where is God in all this?

                                     ... an inspirational romance, from Lagos to Italy.

Click on the name of the retailer
to find this book
at your preferred book-purchasing location
- Amazon - Barnes & Noble -
Casting To Die Once 
by Miranda A. Uyeh, special for EIR

While watching the Screen Actors Guild Award Show a few months ago, my respect for actors grew immensely. As I listened to speeches being made, I realized that actors are not different than writers in the sense that, we all want to tell great stories that will impact people and change the world.
That’s exactly what I had in mind when I wrote To Die Once. I mean, what better way to do this than with a love story, right? I wanted something I hadn’t seen before in the inspirational genre—something exotic!—and after I released the book, I braced myself for a myriad of reactions (Yeah, Amber Stokes, my editor, warned me about this!) And, oh, they did come!

Does that mean To Die Once is a unique story? As I gathered from a number of reviews, it is quite unique and can stand on its feet as something different in the Inspirational Romance/Suspense genre.
So is it for everyone—you know, like Harry Potter? Uhmm… nope. I don’t think so. But will it garner a reaction from you? You Betcha! From the reviews, it was clear that one reader thought one thing, another thought the exact opposite, and then there were those in-between—even the undecided. Sounds like politics, right? I promise, there wasn’t a single political letter in this book. (Just romance, gangster, Interpol stuff. You know, the usual suspense-romance ingredients.) Star ratings ranged from 2 to 5 Stars, and at the time of writing this article, the ratings averaged 3.88/5. Phew! What a book!
Here are some reactions I pulled from the reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, some of them paraphrased (and, oh, they cracked me up!)

“Rodrigo got on my nerves a few times with his immature behavior.”
“Rodrigo was a true hero!”
“I wanted to bonk Jennifer on the head!”
“Jennifer had my sympathy from the beginning.”
“I did like Chidi; she seemed the most sensible one.”
“A few pages into the story and I was eye-rolling and sulking because of Jennifer’s characterization…I have a like and dislike status for Jennifer. She reminds me a bit about myself.”
“One plot twist was a bit far-fetched for me to completely buy into.” (Not if you watch movies!)
“The mystery surrounding Stefano and Rodrigo’s past was a great plot twist! I found myself exclaiming, ‘I knew it, I knew it, I knew it!’ as my heart raced!”
“I wasn’t sure what rating to give this book.” (And a rating wasn’t given. Just a review.)
“The blurb didn’t quite prepare me for the scope of the story—the diverse locations, the intense and surprising twists and turns, and the vast emotional landscapes.”
“This was an absolutely sweet story!”
“There were times I wanted to slap Jennifer and Rodrigo in the face … really, I was rooting for them and hoping for them to finally have some peace and happiness.”
“Thank you, Miranda A. Uyeh, for sharing this!”
“This book has made my all-time-favorite list!”

You get the idea? Crazy, right?

But that, too, is beside the point. What I’m trying to say is, when you write/say something’s that’s different (even in a seemingly irrelevant romance-suspense story), people are bound to react in different ways. It’s the way of the world. That’s how you know you’ve done your job.
And, yes, I’m hoping To Die Once gets made into a movie. If and when that time comes, and I’m asked to share my views or contribute to the casting, these are the actors/actresses I believe will do an amazing job. (Rather than pick actors for just the two main characters, I decided it would be more interesting to select for the four characters that are the pillars of the story.)

Meghan Markle. Courtesy IMDb
Jennifer. I had a hard time figuring out who would best portray Jennifer’s character. I ransacked my brain en database, and came up with nothing. Nadah! That was until I watched Suits and discovered Meghan Markle. And, oh, my! Was I pleased! She would represent Jennifer well because there’s a sweetness and softness to Markle’s screen personality that fits Jennifer’s characterization, perfectly. I honestly don’t know any other actress that would portray Jennifer as well as I believe Meghan Markle would.

Rodrigo. This, too, was a huge wrestle for me, until I found Strike Back, a British Action/Military TV Series (Bless my friend, Collins, for introducing me to it! ;)) It completely blew my mind! I finished the Season One DVD in less than two days (Thank goodness I was on vacation. What in the world would I have done with myself and all that edge-of-the-seat excitement if I had errands and other stuff to get in the way? *SMH*) That’s when I discovered actor, Richard Armitage. I exclaimed in my head, “That’s Rodrigo right there!” Armitage has a strong and powerful screen personality that can portray the myriad of emotions and complex character that Rodrigo is. He’s on my Top Five Favorite Actors list.

Chidi. Ah! The darling! And some readers’ favorite character! She was the other half of me in this book (Yeah, there’s some myth going around that says writers actually extend themselves into their characters. Dunno if it’s true or not. *Shrugging and moving on*) The actress I believe would do justice to Chidi’s character—one I totally love and root for!—is Candice Patton. She blew my mind in Flash (Can’t wait for October 6th, 2015! What?! You don’t know what’s going to happen? Flash Season Two Premières. Duh!) There’s a feistiness to Patton’s screen personality (especially in Flash) that’s so adorable! Suits Chidi’s character quite well, in fact. Nope, I don’t believe another actress would do better in portraying Chidi’s character.

Stefano. Oh, finally! Being waiting to write this. Why? Sasha Roiz is one of my top five favorite actors of alllll time (Eh, I really, really needed to stretch the ‘all’. Don’t judge me!) This is one actor I believe doesn’t get enough screen time, and Hollywood doesn’t give enough credit to. Don’t believe me? Watch Pompeii and Grimm, and then, come debate with me. Yeah, it’s beside the point, I know!—bottom line, he’d be perfect for Stefano.

*Armitage and Rioz’s skills are so compelling that I wrestled with interchanging their roles (in my head). Really, if they were switched, I’d be perfectly fine with it. And if it were up to me, these two, as well as Markle and Patton, will DEFINITELY be casted if or when To Die Once gets made into a movie.

So, if you’ve read To Die Once, what do you think of the choices above? If you haven’t read it, that’s too bad. Still, you can do so quickly, and join the conversation below! [Learn more about To Die Once here!]

Miranda A. Uyeh is the author of To Die Once, the first installment in the Child of Grace Series. She was shortlisted as a judge in 2014 in the Inspy Awards, in the Contemporary Romance and Romance-suspense category, and is now editor, TBAP, a website where she blogs about inspirational books/entertainment, and enjoys hosting authors/artists/actors (and anyone else in these industries) in interviews and guest-posts. Visit Miranda on TBAP and follow her on twittergoogle+ and pinterest. She'd love to have you and chat with you about almost anything!

**Sign up for Miranda A. Uyeh’s newsletter by following this link**


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Author's Casting Call, episode 43: Sandie Bricker Casts MOMENTS OF TRUTH

On today's episode of The Author's Casting call, Casting Director (and author!) Sandra D. Bricker shares who she would cast in a film version of her upcoming September 28 release, Moments of Truth.

About Moments of Truth (courtesy of the author):

Click on the link below to find
Moments of Truth by Sandra D. Bricker at Amazon
Regan Sloane was married once. Eight years, no kids, she got the house. In the years since the divorce, she’s managed to keep afloat with the only real skill she has – writing. She hadn’t really noticed how her readership had blossomed until a well-known reviewer noticed her sweet little lifestyle blog. When had it transformed into a single woman’s go-to?

Regan’s circle of girlfriends has never been happy about being included in her blog posts, despite the fact that she changed the names to protect the innocent (and the not-quite innocent). The five of them started out as a book club, but discussing a work of literature didn’t pan out so well when only a couple of them ever managed to read it. Their monthly meetings graduated to weekly ones where the literary seas parted, giving way to evenings of drinking wine, trying out recipes and decompressing by sharing their most private thoughts, fears and ponderings. With the first writing tip she’d ever received – Write what you know! – skipping around her brain, the fodder those gatherings provided was just too delicious to resist, and Regan began gravitating toward them for blog content.

A few words in the reviewer’s column – where he dubbed her “Carrie Bradshaw (from Sex & the City) for the 2015 woman” – took 1,200 hits in March to 12,000 hits in April, and became a household name. Now Regan has been approached by a book publisher and asked to compile some of her columns – as well as create some unique new content – for a book.

Casting Moments of Truth
by Sandie Bricker, special for EIR

Meet Regan and her girls… 
(click on the characters' names to open a linked window with a pin of the actor Sandie chose to play this part.)

Regan Sloane – 34, the only one of them without a partner (or potential partner) in the mix – meets Sebastian "Baz" Jordan, her opposite in every way. And despite all her best efforts and against all the odds – she is falling in love. Maybe for the first time in her life.

Iris Kramer – 50, old money, married for 25 years, raised a daughter. As she and Dean Kramer face their empty nest, they must also face the idea that the spark between them has dwindled. Best friends since high school, they talk about and share everything, but Iris can barely remember the last time they slept in the same room. 

Lynette Burris-Parker – 43, African American, just married for the second time; she has two kids and Trevor Parker has three. Blending the two families has become a full-time job, and the distractions from their wedded bliss have been overwhelming.

Abby Strayhan – 36, Regan’s best friend since college. She made the decision after a string of failed relationships to enlist a “born again virgin” behavior. But finding men to date who understand a woman wanting to save herself  hasn’t been easy. Now she’s met someone spectacular. Can she make it work with Nate Cross in the long-term without giving him the one thing it seems all men want?

Celia Sanchez – 30, Hispanic with some tough Colombian beginnings, just married for the first time. Kevin Hake had to do a lot of talking – and courting! – to persuade this marriage-phobic girl to tie the knot. And he seems to really struggle to maintain his patience with her low expectations, jealousy, and cynicism. She wants to change, and she knows how blessed she’s been to find someone like Kevin, but her heart and head just don’t seem to line up.

For more information on Moments of Truth, and to have some fun with the characters in the book, visit Readers are invited to submit stories and pictures of them with their own BFFs for a chance to be featured on the site!

SANDRA D. BRICKER was an entertainment publicist in Los Angeles for 15+ years where she attended school to learn screenwriting and eventually taught the craft for several semesters. When she put Hollywood in the rearview mirror and headed across the country to take care of her mom until she passed away, she traded her scripts for books, and a best-selling, award-winning author of LIVE-OUT-LOUD fiction for the inspirational market was born. Sandie is best known for her Another Emma Rae Creation series for Abingdon Press. As an ovarian cancer survivor, she gears time and effort toward raising awareness and funds for research, diagnostics and a cure.


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