Welcome, Leanna. Tell us about your salvation experience.
Lena! Thanks for having me here today! I was twelve when I was saved. We had a guest speaker at our church, James Robison. Heard of him? A powerful and dynamic preacher, he spoke on Romans. I couldn’t get things he’d said out of my head, so one night I called my mom into my bedroom and told her I’d prayed the prayer to ask Jesus into my heart. Pretty simple, nothing radical, but changed my life. Then my mom began pressuring me to be baptized. But I know this is hard for some of you who know me to believe, but I was very shy and we went to a very large church, the largest in the at that time. So I resisted. I dreaded every Sunday because my mom would give me ‘the look’ during the invitation. But when I was sixteen, I went to church camp. Guess who was the camp pastor? Josh McDowell. It was a time of questioning for me, but it was when I truly turned my life over to the Lord. I didn’t tell my mom anything had happened at camp but she knew. She and my sister hardly recognized me because I had so radically changed in my attitude and demeanor. Then nothing could have stopped me from getting baptized. At the first opportunity, I raced down to the front of the church, eager to be baptized. Now please don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe baptism saves anyone. It’s simply an outward gesture of the changes that have taken place in the heart, where I was once dead in sin I was alive, resurrected in Him. U.S.
Of course, I know who James Robison is. He goes to our church and I respect him a lot. I’ve been in the studio audience for his TV show many times. You’re planning a writing retreat where you can only have four other authors. Who would they be and why?
First and foremost would be my best writing buddy, Dorothy Love. We’ve been friends for twenty years and met in a writing class when we were first starting out. We’ve been dear friends ever since. Just to get away and be quiet and think about writing sounds heavenly. But honestly, I’d want to bring my husband and two kids along. I don’t like to be away from them. So often when I do research trips, they are right there with me.
Do you have a speaking ministry? If so, tell us about that.
I do speak to groups, but I don’t pursue it. I take opportunities that the Lord brings my way.
What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you and how did you handle it?
The list is too long to name, which is probably why I rarely get embarrassed anymore. I’m more likely now to embarrass my kids. Oh how times change!
People are always telling me that they’d like to write a book someday. I’m sure they do to you, too. What would you tell someone who came up to you and said that?
You just have to write it. Put the ol’ backside in the chair, hands on keyboard, ready, get set, write. So many people talk about it but fewer actually do it. And even fewer study the market and study writing in order to do it well. So if it’s something you feel you are supposed to do, then don’t waste time talking about it—do it! And while you’re doing it, read, read, read, and study, study, study. Then remember when you get that first draft of the book done, that’s only the beginning. Then there’s much revision and editing to get a book ready for publication.
Tell us about the featured book.
This is a very different but very special book to me. It’s my most spiritual book to date. It is a battle of good versus evil. Evil isn’t always blatant and scary looking with horns and a pitchfork. Evil is often alluring and attractive. I explore that side of evil in this book. It is also an Amish/vampire story. Yep, you read that right. Before I jumped into this story, I prayed and prayed and prayed about it, because I didn’t not want to go forward if the Lord was not leading. But he clearly was. So I wrote the book. This is the first book in a series called PLAIN FEAR. Forsaken: Hannah Schmidt, a young Amish woman mourning the mysterious death of her beloved Jacob, must decide between two brothers, between good and evil. When she learns her first love is now the vampire Akiva, she must forsake him and cling to a new love, a lasting love, one that will save her soul.
Please give us the first page of the book.
PLAIN FEAR: FORSAKEN
Jacob Fisher shoved the metal door, which banged against the warehouse, and the empty, hollow sound reverberated in the awaiting stillness. Don’t look back. Not one glance.
He bolted into the sticky heat, darkness devouring him, and ran straight into it, grateful for his only cover. The damp pavement made his tennis shoes skid, and his arms flailed wide as he regained his balance and pushed himself faster, harder, further. A shaft of light injected hope into him. How far?
Lungs burning, he risked one glance over his shoulder. Just one.
The warehouse door remained open, the alley empty. He was alone. For now. But how much longer? Whispers encircled him. Was it the wind? Or was it them?
“Angels and ministers of grace defend us,” Jacob whispered the Shakespearean words like a prayer.
Or, had he gone crazy?
Be thou a spirit of health or goblin damn'd,
Bring with thee airs from heaven or blasts from hell,
Be thy intents wicked or charitable…
No, they weren’t a fabrication of his imagination or a half-baked fantasy or even a made-up story. They were real, far too real. The blood, the bodies, the evil permeating every crevice was authentic. Trolls of the night. Visitors from the bowels of hell. Their purpose was heinous, reflected in those black eyes, which were void of feeling. And they chased after him now.
I can hardly wait to read this one. How can readers find you on the Internet?
www.leannaellis.com I’m also on FB and Twitter.
Thanks for having me here today,
My pleasure, Leanna. I've known about your call to write this book almost since its inception. So glad to be a part of promoting it.
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