Monday, January 26, 2015

The Author's Casting Call, episode 4: VANQUISHED by Katie Clark

Featuring VANQUISHED by Katie Clark

Join Casting Director (and author!) Katie Clark as she shares her dream cast for a movie version of her novel VANQUISHED!

by Katie Clark, special for EIR

Hi Serena! Thanks for having me. I have totally thought about my dream cast for Vanquished (book 1 in the Enslaved Series). In fact, I pretty much had these actors in place before the book was started!

Hana is my main character. She’s calm and methodical, always doing her best to follow the rules of the Greaters. But she’s just so smart, and when the evidence is laid out in front of her she can’t deny that the Greaters are lying. I picture her to look like Reese Witherspoon, but in more of a “Pleasantville” role and less of a “Sweet Home Alabama” role.

Click on the title below to find
VANQUISHED by Katie Clark at Amazon
Fischer is one of two heroes throughout the series. Have you ever seen Drop Dead Diva, on Lifetime? Do you know Fred, Jane’s original guardian angel? Ben Feldman plays Fred, and he is exactly the guy I had in mind for Fischer. A “think positive” kind of guy, Fischer is handsome, sweet, and totally caring.

And then we have Keegan. We don’t see him too much in Vanquished until the last third of the book, but he’s a musician, he’s good looking, and he’s got a plan for his future—one that definitely includes Hana. If you’ve watched the Twilight movies, then you know who Emmitt is. Played by Kellan Lutz, this is exactly the kind of guy Keegan is.

So, a movie with Ben Feldman, Kellan Lutz, and Reese Witherspoon. Sounds like a party to me!

About Vanquished:
Vanquished is set in a world where poverty and sickness are rampant, but help for the needy is hard to come by. When Hana’s mom is diagnosed with the mutation, she is denied the medication that might save her life.  Fischer, a medic at the hospital, implies there are people who can help—except Hana’s not sure she can trust him; Fischer is involved in a religious group, and religion has been outlawed for the last hundred years.  Hana embarks on a dangerous journey, seeking the answers Fischer insists are available. When the truth is uncovered does Hana stick to what she knows?  Or does she join the rebellion, taking a stand against an untrustworthy society?

KATIE CLARK writes young adult speculative fiction, including her dystopian
Enslaved Series, made up of Vanquished, Deliverance, and Redeemer. You can connect with her at her website, on Facebook, or on Twitter.

Visit Serena's Author's Casting Call Pinterest board to "see" Katie's characters as well as links back to previous episodes of The Author's Casting Call!

Friday, January 23, 2015

SPOTLIGHT: INDIE -- Author Erica Collins on Why She Decided to Become an Indie Author

submitted by Erica Collins, special for EIR
On May 1, 2012, I began the long journey of writing my novel. I was excited. I’d always wanted to write a book, and the time was finally right. After multiple edits, I carefully put together a list of ten agents and sent off query letters and chapter samples to each one. Ever so slowly, the rejections trickled in.
Not to be deterred, I entered the American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis Contest. In May 2014, I made it to the semi-finals in the young adult category. I was thrilled. Later, I learned I didn’t make it into the finals, but eagerly read what the judges had to say about my story. Several were complimentary, but they also said I needed to work on writing with more showing and less telling.
I decided to search for an editor and went with Deirdre Lockhart at Brilliant Cut Editing. As we worked together, I found that even though my book had a Christian worldview, it didn’t really fit into the strict Christian Book Association guidelines. The main reason being . . . my two main characters are not always chaperoned. Also, my novel is in the genre of science fiction romance, and there are not many of those in the CBA world.
Out of curiosity, I began to look into indie publishing. The more I learned about it, the more I knew it was the right choice for me. I love the freedom. I’m free to write in the genre I choose, free to determine my own deadlines, free to have the final say over design and edits, and even free to write and publish a short story if I choose. As long as I have a platform to sell my book, it will never go out of print. While I won’t get the monetary advance traditional authors receive, I’ll earn greater royalties from each sale.
Click on the title below to find
Under a Distant Sky by Erica Collins at Amazon
The indie publishing community is a vibrant place full of people willing to share ideas and lend a helping hand to a new author. I’ve learned so much over the past few months. The stigma of independently publishing is fading. Many traditional authors are even dipping a toe in the indie ocean and becoming hybrid authors. Some are going indie altogether.
Are there negatives to being independently published? Of course. The indie author has to pay for expenses such as editing and cover art. Furthermore, the chance of a novel making it into a physical book store is less likely. Indie authors also have to do their own marketing, but unless you’re a big name author, both the traditional and indie author will share the same challenge of marketing their books.  
Times are changing in the publishing world. Ten years ago, some of the most thought-provoking, interesting indie books out there would never have made it into print. There are more opportunities for authors now than ever. I feel blessed to be a part of it. 

About Under a Distant Sky by Erica Collins:
Surviving another Oklahoma tornado. No problem. Almost drowning. Yikes. Discovering your boyfriend is from another planet? Life wil
l never be the same. 

Seventeen year-old Rayah Willow’s junior year at Arrow High School is coming to a close. What could be better than looking forward to a sweet summer romance? 

Talon Eastmon is charming and gorgeous, but he’s different somehow. When Rayah learns he’s an alien and has mysterious “gifts,” she promises to keep his secret. 

But Talon’s past is coming back to haunt him. Government officials from his planet need humans. They’ve gathered a list of five thousand names by spying on a popular social network, and Rayah is on the list. 

She’s about to be swept up into Talon’s world. Will he leave the refuge he’s found on Earth to save her? 

ERICA COLLINS lives with her husband and two daughters in southern Oklahoma. When she’s not reading or writing, she enjoys spending time with her family and pets or watching a good movie. She loves to hear from her readers. Find her on Facebook or you can contact her at 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Author's Casting Call, episode 3 featuring Jill Lynn and FALLING FOR TEXAS

Join Casting Director (and author) Jill Lynn as she reveals the "dream cast" of a film version of Falling for Texas!

submitted by Jill Lynn, special for EIR

I’m so excited to pop by The Author’s Casting Call and share my vision for Falling for Texas with y’all. Falling for Texas is my first novel, and it’s only in stores from January 20th through February. After that, it will be available online.
Cash Maddox, played by Matt Bomer, is the hero in the story. He’s strong, protective, raising his little sister on his own, and as Olivia Grayson, the witty, not-ready-for-love-again heroine would say, “it’s definitely not a chore to look at the man.”
Click the title below to find
Falling for Texas by Jill Lynn at Amazon
When Olivia Grayson--played by Alexis Bledel--moves to Texas ready for a new start, meeting Cash definitely isn’t in her plans. She’s thrown for a loop when she starts developing feelings for him. But his promise and her past stand between them, and the two of them must overcome all sorts of obstacles to figure out the future.
When they join forces to help Cash’s troublesome but loveable teenage sister Rachel Maddox, sparks fly.
The supporting cast is a married couple with enough sass to make me smile just thinking about them. Janie Smith--played by Jessica Alba--is the perfect friend for Olivia… except for when she gets a few matchmaking ideas of her own.
Her husband, Jack Smith—played by Chase Crawford—is Cash’s best friend and the local football coach. The story wouldn’t be complete without the Smith’s two-year old son Tucker.

I hope you’ll enjoy the cast and characters as much as I have. Falling for Texas is in stores now and available online.

Check out Jill's Pinterest board for this book HERE and make sure you check out Serena's Pinterest board featuring pins for all the episodes of The Author's Casting Call!
About the book:
Raising his orphaned teenage sister isn't easy for Texas rancher Cash Maddox. The girl tests his parenting—and patience—at every turn! But when he asks new teacher Olivia Grayson for help with his sister's grades and attitude, Cash realizes he's facing the toughest trial of all. He made a promise that he wouldn't date and get distracted from his mission of being a good father figure. Yet Olivia's quick wit is drawing him unexpectedly closer to the caring beauty every day. Could it be time to make a new vow…one that'll last a lifetime? 
To purchase, click HERE or follow the link below the book cover, above.

JILL LYNN lives near the beautiful Rocky Mountains with her husband and two children who make her laugh on a daily basis. She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and won the ACFW Genesis award in 2013. Jill has a penchant for great books, boots and thrift stores. Connect with her at or on Twitter, FacebookInstagram, & Pinterest

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Cover Reveal + Giveaway! DRAVEN'SLIGHT by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

I like him already!
Draven's Light is available
for pre-order now!
What it's about:

In the Darkness of the Pit
The Light Shines Brightest

Drums summon the chieftain’s powerful son to slay a man in cold blood and thereby earn his place among the warriors. But instead of glory, he earns the name Draven, “Coward.” When the men of his tribe march off to war, Draven remains behind with the women and his shame. Only fearless but crippled Ita values her brother’s honor.

The warriors return from battle victorious yet trailing a curse in their wake. One by one the strong and the weak of the tribe fall prey to an illness of supernatural power. The secret source of this evil can be found and destroyed by only the bravest heart.

But when the curse attacks the one Draven loves most, can this coward find the courage he needs to face the darkness?

Coming May 25, 2015

Anne Elisabeth is also hosting a giveaway of three Advance Reading Copies of Draven's Light! Visit Anne Elisabeth Stengl’s blog (click this link) to enter the giveaway!

ANNE ELISABETH STENGL makes her home in North Carolina, where she lives with her husband, Rohan, a kindle of kitties, and one long-suffering dog. When she’s not writing, she enjoys Shakespeare, opera, and tea, and practices piano, painting, and pastry baking. She is the author of the critically-acclaimed Tales of Goldstone Wood. Her novel Starflower was awarded the 2013 Clive Staples Award, and her novels Heartless, Veiled Rose, and Dragonwitch have each been honored with a Christy Award.

To learn more about Anne Elisabeth Stengl and her books visit:

Friday, January 16, 2015

Author's Casting Call--Episode 2: Sally Bradley & her novel, KEPT

Meet the "cast" of 
by Casting Director (and author)
Sally Bradley

Main Characters:
Miska Tomlinson—Miska is an exotic beauty who, when the book opens, is chasing love and doing it all wrong. She’s dating a married athlete whom she’s beginning to suspect has been leading her on.

When I got the idea for the story, I knew immediately what Miska would look like—long, gorgeous, naturally curly, black hair, big eyes, and a curvy yet slender build. I didn’t know who Kim Kardashian was at the time, but when I saw her a year later, I immediately recognized her as Miska’s twin, minus curly hair. Nowadays, Miska and Kim don’t resemble each other as much, but if you look at Kim a few years back, you see that exotic, pin-up-yet-innocent look. (check out Sally's Pinterest board for the book HERE)

Dillan Foster:
The hardest part about casting the men in Kept is height. Their height matters to the story, and Dillan is the tallest at six nine. Yes, six nine. Try finding actors his height in Hollywood. No, Brad Garrett doesn’t work. Nice try, though.

I did find Dillan’s look-alike while watching Nat Geo’s Inside Combat Rescue. He’s a real PJ in the Air Force. His picture is on the book’s Pinterest page, and while the angle of the shot makes him look tall, I’m pretty sure he’s not six nine—or close—in real life.

And he might not be able to act. So we have a potential problem.

Never fear. No doubt Liam Hemsworth would step up if necessary. Only six three (only!), he’s about a foot taller than Miska—er, Kim K, so we can pretend he’s six nine and cast everyone else shorter. That’ll work. I like Liam because he often has a solemn look which fits Dillan’s personality. And, yes, Liam’s a little too good looking, but I hear Hollywood can do wonders with makeup. So we’re okay there.

Now to important secondary characters.

Mark Scheider:
Mark is the married baseball player Miska is dating in chapter one. A future Hall of Famer, he’s well known but starting the downhill side of his career. He has an aw-shucks demeanor that’s attracted Miska, and a lean, athletic build.

Until this blog post, I hadn’t found someone who looked like Mark. And while I’m still not one hundred percent sold on my pick (send me suggestions, Kept readers!), I chose Armie Hammer. He’s blond and blue-eyed, but good grief, the man is too tall, even by the book’s standards. He’s six five, and Mark is six three—which matters because, while Mark is used to his size intimidating, Dillan’s taller. Half a foot taller.

So in order for Armie to be shorter than our PJ—or Liam Hemsworth, whichever—we might need to do some, um, procedure. Just knock off about six inches of height. I’m sure Armie’ll be cool with that.

Garrett Foster:
Garrett is Dillan’s younger brother, and while he’s shorter than Dillan, he’s still six five. Which happens when your mom is six one and a good bit shorter than your father. Genetics…

Anyway, while Dillan and Garrett look a lot alike, Garrett’s the one people notice. Dillan’s very unassuming, and Garrett’s rather metrosexual. He’s got the hairstyle that he works every morning, dresses expensively (he’s a lawyer), and thoroughly enjoys being the life of the party.

I picked JP Arencibia for Garrett. I saw an interview he gave, and his sense of humor (Garrett’s very funny) and personality totally reminded me of Garrett. So I googled him, and in almost every single picture he was grinning, just like Garrett would be. Plus when I put his picture near Dillan’s (the PJ, not Liam—sorry, JP), they really resembled each other.

Tracy Coleman:
Tracy is Garrett’s fiancĂ©e—and Mark Scheider’s wife’s twin. She’s twenty-six and very pretty with blonde hair she curls loosely. She’s outgoing and has a huge impact on Miska. I adore Tracy.

Originally I picked Heidi Watney. There’s a picture on the Pinterest page that fits Tracy completely. But Heidi’s a sports personality/analyst/something-or-other for MLB Network, and her voice and demeanor don’t fit.

So in case she can’t act, we have Malin Akerman. She can do the real sweet and innocent look. Just picture her with hair curled around her shoulders, an adorable smile on her face, and you’ve got Tracy. And we know she can act, so we’re good!

Now, where do I find a budget…

About Kept
"Gutsy and fast-paced."—Laura Frantz, author of Love's Reckoning

"One of the most surprising and best books I’ve read this year."—MaryLu Tyndall, best-selling author of Legacy of the King's Pirates series

Life has taught Miska Tomlinson that there are no honorable men. Her womanizing brothers, her absentee father, and Mark, the married baseball player who claims to love her—all have proven undependable. But Miska has life under control. She runs her editing business from her luxury condo, stays fit with daily jogs along Chicago's lakefront, and in her free time blogs anonymously about life as a kept woman.

Enter new neighbor Dillan Foster. Between his unexpected friendship and her father's sudden reappearance, Miska loses control of her orderly life. Her relationship with Mark deteriorates, and Miska can't help comparing him to Dillan. His religious views are so foreign, yet the way he treats her is something she's longed for. But Dillan discovers exactly who she is and what she has done. Too late she finds herself longing for a man who is determined to never look her way again.

When her blog receives unexpected national press, Miska realizes that her anonymity was an illusion. Caught in a scandal about to break across the nation, Miska wonders if the God Dillan talks about would bother with a woman like her—a woman who's gone too far and done too much.

Sally Bradley writes big-city fiction with real issues and real hope. A Chicagoan since age five, she now lives in the Kansas City area with her family, but they still get back to Chicago once in a while for important things—like good pizza and a White Sox game. Fiction has been her passion since childhood, and she’s thrilled now to be writing books that not only entertain, but point back to Christ. A freelance fiction editor, you can find Sally at and on Facebook at Sally Bradley, Writer.


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