Friday, April 19, 2013

DESTINY DEFIED - J A Marx - One Free Book

Readers, I've really looked forward to introducing you to this author whose debut novel introduces a new genre--Embattled Spirit novels. She's a member of the critique group that meets in my home. 

Welcome, Julie. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
My counselor’s heart wants to come through most. I have to remind myself that there’s only one counselor in the series, and Dr. Young doesn’t show up until book 2, Destiny Delivered. I completely let my guard down when writing in his POV.

As for the other characters, some of them would actually intimidate me in real life. I created each male character from the 4 personalities in the book, The Two Sides of Love.

What is the craziest thing you have ever done?
I’m secretly adventurous, Lena. So I’d have to say it’s a toss up between smuggling Bibles into China and jumping out of a plane. (Not at the same time.)

I have a dear friend who is a missionary in China. She started by going several times to smuggle Bibles in through Brother Andrews’s ministry. When did you first discover that you were a writer?
Don’t laugh, Lena. I know this will be hard for you to believe. I didn’t realize I wanted to write until 2001-02 when I first penned Destiny Defied. Our pastor in Ohio prophesied over me that I was about to discover a deeper aspect of my calling. And I did.

THAT SAID. In 1991, Frank Peretti’s books inspired me to write my very first novel. I wrote it just for fun and it’s now buried somewhere. I think God let me taste the bug but purposely blinded me to the calling.

Actually, I wouldn’t laugh at that. We all find our calling to write in different ways. God didn’t just use one cookie cutter to create all the writers. Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I love suspense and stories with spiritual depth. Some of my favorite authors are Tosca Lee, Peretti, Dekker, and C.S. Lewis.

When I was younger, I read all of Phyllis A. Whitney and a variety of other authors and genres. Then I read mostly non-fiction for ministry purposes. Once I started writing, I got back into fiction.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
About 20 years ago, I traded in New Year’s’ resolutions for a life strategic plan, which I review/refine yearly. If opportunities do not line up with my mission, vision, and values, I don’t do them—unless God leads otherwise. This helps me say “no” without guilt to the many opportunities that arise and saves me from burnout and over-commitment.

I’m sure that answer will touch a chord in many of my blog readers, Julie. How do you choose your characters’ names?

That’s a self-imposed challenge. I’m very purposeful. I take the meaning of each name seriously. For example, Sabio Quinn. His name means “wise one” and he’s the intellectual of the bunch. Riki (ruler) Hammad (highly praised) took some research to put it together because Riki had to fit both genders and be a title the fanatic underground would name the prophesied Chosen Child, who was supposed to be born a boy (according to their prophecy).

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Successfully homeschooling my 2 beloved children.

I’ve only met one of them, but I can agree that you did a very good job with him. If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
A large bird. I love the feeling of soaring through the air and getting a bird’s-eye view of the world. Pun intended.

What is your favorite food?
Let’s see . . . besides %70 dark chocolate?
Homemade oatmeal with cinnamon, apples, and Stevia.

Readers, our critique group is known for our bowl of dark chocolate on the coffee table every week. Sometimes, there’s also some milk chocolate. Now, Julie, what is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Great question! Point of view (POV). When I started writing, I revealed everything that was in every character’s head and felt it had to be that way to get the story across. Thanks to my insistent and patient mentor, author Carol Umberger, I now value a tight POV. The tighter the better.

Tell us about the featured book.
Eighteen-year-old Riki survives a shipwreck and ends up trapped on a mysterious private island. She finds refuge with four college guys who insist they are the only people there. But Riki senses someone stalking her. Evil redefined.

Lord Vétis, executive leader of a cultic underground, has three days to reclaim the Chosen One as his property. He uses black magic to manipulate Riki and her self-appointed bodyguards. If Vétis can’t have her, no one will.

Riki and her island-mates are forced into a consuming battle. In the end, she must fight for her freedom to live a normal life – something she’s never known.

Destiny Defied explores God’s relevance, man’s choices, purity, and the value of friendship. The supernatural is a hot theme, and this novel is a must for anyone interested in the effects of dabbling in the occult. The reader will also get a powerful and intimate look at how the way we treat a person can change a life.

Since I’m only familiar with books two and three, I can’t wait to read this one. Please give us the first page of the book.
Friday night, May 25, 1990
Southwest of Andros Island

I should’ve killed him. If the drugged oils Lord Vétis had made Riki inhale weren’t raging in her system, she’d revisit his cabin. Armed with a knife.

Don’t be stupid. She hesitated near the hatchway. Vétis she could handle. But no earthly weapon could defeat the phantom the Lux overlord had summoned. She’d prefer the vile, molesting hands of a man over experiencing it ever again. Returning to Vétis’s rancid cabin would be suicide.

All crew and passengers had been ordered to go below, but Riki had sworn to make the rendezvous. She sneaked out the hatchway, and the weather deck pitched beneath her wobbly legs. Gripping the side rail, she pulled herself aftward through the darkness, her stomach sloshing with the ship’s sway. The light rain pecking her back told her to expect a full-blown storm.

Every centimeter of the Nave del Piacere disgusted her. Since her seventh birthday, this mega-yacht had cursed her weekends. Tonight topped them all. Why had her mother not warned her that this cruise was different?

Why had the Lux chosen her?

“God…” Dare she break the law and pray? Superstitious, no. She was desperate. “If you exist, save me—”

Burning prongs gored her solar plexus, and Riki doubled over. Just as quickly, the burning ceased, leaving her midsection tingling. The phantom had found her, just as Vétis had said would happen. An invincible force.

I can’t wait to get a copy of the book in my hand. How can my readers find you on the Internet?
Destiny Defied is available on
ISBN-13: 978-1-938092-32-9
ISBN-10: 1938092325
-Barnes & Noble
-Book Depository
-By Request at Local Booksellers
-Also available on Ingram

Thank you, Julie, for sharing your life and this book with us today.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Destiny Defied (The Destiny Series) (Volume 1) - paperback
Destiny Defied (The Destiny Series) - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Google +, Feedblitz, Facebook, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.


Norma S said...

Thank you for giving me a chance to win you book, i would love to win your it.I could not believe i am the first one. You book sounds real fantastic! God bless you.
Norma S. from Ohio

Shopgirl said...

This sounds unique and exciting! I'm in MN.

Mary Preston said...

What an intense read this promises to be.

Mary P


Marxists said...

I am looking forward to reading this book as well. I am heading home today after travelling for the week and I can't wait to read it. I have heard about it for many years so I am anxious to read!

Katie said...

Sounds very good! Please enter me. I'm from NC.

Lyndie Blevins said...

Thanks for the opportunity to get this book.
Lyndie Blevins
Duncanville, Tx

Sharon Richmond said...

Enter me!!
Sharon Richmond

Julie from TX said...

Hey Everybody, thanks for commenting. Lena is awesome isn't she? I'm so thankful she's promoting Destiny Defied. Yes, Mary, Destiny Defied will be an intense read.

rubynreba said...

Enjoyed the first page!
Beth from iowa

Julie from TX said...

Beth from Iowa. Thanks for sharing that. It only gets better.