Tuesday, February 25, 2020

FROM SKY TO SKY - Amanda G Stevens - One Free Book

Welcome, Amanda. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
For whatever reason, my story brain is wired for the unusual but not the epic. My stories all take place in a contemporary story world yet involve some kind of twist on reality. (In the case of the No Less Days series, that would be the twist of characters who stopped aging a century ago and aren’t killed by injuries.) Also I love the mystery and Western genres, and flavors of each of those show up in this series as well as the fantasy flavor.

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
I don’t hold on to one single pinnacle of happiness that shines brighter than any other day. There are so many varieties of happiness. Happiness to me is all these things and more: hearing the first robin’s song when winter is vanquished by spring; experiencing beauty in art at a museum or a concert or live theatre; holding the children of my creativity in my hands for the first time when a book’s author copies arrive on my porch; visiting a dear friend who lives far away, spotting them in the airport and knowing we have days to chat face-to-face; getting away “Up North” and trekking over dunes, wandering little lake towns, poking my head into indie art galleries.

How has being published changed your life?
I’ve known since I was in first grade that writing is my greatest earthly love, so for me being published is a great gift from God. I love working with savvy people who make my stories the best they can be, who believe God has a plan for each one of my books, and who help those books get into the hands of readers.

What are you reading right now?
I am about to finish Alexander Hamilton, a biography by Ron Chernow; I’m making my leisurely way through Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art by Madeleine L’Engle; and I’m devouring (nearly through!) the Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries by Dorothy L. Sayers.

What is your current work in progress?
The third book in the No Less Days series.

What would be your dream vacation?
A cabin in a warm sunny forest. The cabin would be full of skylights, have a library and a writer’s nook, and GrubHub would be delivered every day, and I could just write and write and write! Alternately somewhere warm (near a beach to walk in the evenings, maybe) where I could check out art museums and used-book stores with my best friends. I’d love to round them all up for a vacation someday!

How do you choose your settings for each book?
The setting for the No Less Days series is a fictional tourist town based on Glen Arbor, Michigan. I chose it out of utility; I’m not a strong visualizer of places, so I write about somewhere I’ve been whenever possible. By this point the setting has become intrinsic to the story, and some of the characters to whom it was only a “place to visit” are sticking around longer than they expected to.

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
I’m tempted to say “friends who live far away,” but if you’re asking about prominent personalities, that would probably be Jim Butcher, the author of my favorite currently-running series, the Dresden Files.

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I love the Golden Era of Hollywood. I love music, especially folk, and I play piano. I’m always up for a good concert or a day wandering art museums, antique stores, or used-book stores.

I like to visit used-book stores when we’re out of town. I’ve found some of my best research materials for settings that way. What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
My full-time day job is definitely the biggest obstacle to my writing, but it’s a necessary obstacle that pays my bills! I overcome it mostly with evening/night writing to the point of chronic sleep deprivation.

What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Read as many different authors as you can. Read outside your genre. Read current books and classic books. Study how they do what they do. The more you study a variety of fiction, the sharper your eye will become toward the construction of stories. There’s really no better way to learn to write well.

Tell us about the featured book.
From Sky to Sky is a contemporary fantasy, the second book in the No Less Days series.
Here’s the back cover blurb:
Zac Wilson can’t die.

Daredevil Zac Wilson isn’t the first celebrity to keep a secret from the world, but his might be the most marvelous in history: Zac doesn’t age and injuries can’t kill him. What’s more, he’s part of a close-knit group of others just like him.

Holed up in Harbor Vale, Michigan, Zac meets two more of his kind who claim others in their circle have died. Are their lifetimes finally ending naturally, or is someone targeting them—a predator who knows what they are?

The answers Zac unearths present impossible dilemmas: who to protect, how to seek justice, how to bring peace to turmoil. His next action could fracture forever the family he longs to unite. Now might be the time to ask for help. . .from God Himself. But Zac’s greatest fear is facing the God he has run from for more than a century.

Sounds very interesting. Please give us the first page of the book.
Nobody knew, as he strode through the propped-open doors of Harbor Vale Bible Church, that Zac had not entered a sanctuary like this one in more than a hundred years. Nobody knew his legs were trying to turn him around and bolt. After all, he was Zac Wilson, and nobody knew a thing about him he didn’t want them to know.
He lagged behind a few others who dispersed with clear direction. The foyer was open, the west wall composed of windows from the floor up that faced a side parking lot and a row of elderly pine trees. Nothing about the space justified Zac’s reluctance to step into it. Behind a desk stacked with programs and papers stood a blond guy maybe twenty years old. He looked bored, but his smile was real enough as he saw Zac hesitate.
“Hey, dude, are you here for the pack-a-backpack thing?”
“Yep,” Zac said.
“Okay, see the hallway to the right? All the way at the end, they’re in room 38.”
His legs quit fighting him as he fast-walked that direction. He hadn’t expected a lightning strike, but the wrongness of his presence here was permeating. God saw he wasn’t here to worship or repent, knew the lost cause Zac saw in the mirror.
He pivoted toward the voice. Tiana Burton stood, hands on hips, at the mouth of the hallway he’d just entered. Her smile was one of the kindest Zac had known in all his years. He stepped toward her to absorb more of its warmth. They stood eye to eye, she was tall for a woman and wearing heeled boots, he five-eight-and-a-half in his shoes.
“Well, fancy meeting you— Wait a minute.” He cocked an eyebrow. “This is your church, isn’t it? Yours and David’s.”
“It is. Welcome.”
“What are you doing here on a Friday night?”
“Service event. Somebody brought in a ministry for foster kids and matched donations, so we’re. . . Oh my word. Was it you?”
He spread his hands in a gesture of cluelessness.
Tiana laughed. “Does your fan base know about this?”
“I started it online. I wanted to do something local, and then the foster organization told me the backpack event was being hosted here.”
She sobered. “You wouldn’t have chosen a church for the venue.”
“Feels hypocritical.” The hairs on the back of his neck prickled, as if bridled electricity did indeed hover over him.
“I respect that. But I’m glad you came.”

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Thank you, Amanda, for sharing this book on my blog. I’m so glad a copy is sitting on my table. I must read it soon.

Readers, here are links to the book.
From Sky to Sky - Christianbook.com
From Sky to Sky (No Less Days) - Amazon Paperback
From Sky to Sky (No Less Days) - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (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 Goodreads, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, 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:


Melanie Backus said...

Love the cover! Sounds like a good one!
Melanie Backus, TX

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the interview. The book sounds fabulous. Would love to read it.
Barbara Thompson
West Monroe, LA 71292


Caryl Kane said...

Sounds like a must read!

Caryl K in TEXAS

Connie Porter Saunders said...

So intriguing! Thanks for sharing.
Connie from Kentucky

Sharon Bryant said...

Enter me in your awesome giveaway!!
Conway SC.