Encourager. Positive Message Spreader. Kind-Hearted. Patient.
A few awesome words come to mind when I think of Jenn Appel. She’s been one of my biggest supporters from the beginning of my career as an author, and I decided it was time to get to know her a little better. (I added patient because I promised her this interview, wrote the post, and then scheduled it for July OF NEXT YEAR by accident LOL. She’s not complained at all.)
When Jenn first started commenting on posts on my author page, I didn’t realize she wrote books herself. She’s never once been opportunistic. Instead, she’s always offered her wholehearted support without expectation of anything in return. These days, that’s an awesome trait!
Jenn grew up in Fairbanks, Alaska. She lived with her parents, who both worked in a Christian school, but then moved to Georgia when she was thirteen, which devastated her. She says she thought she was saved when she was a small child, but actually became a Christian at age sixteen. She attended Pensacola Christian College for 2 1/2 years. Now, she’s using her talent to write faith-based stories. You can find out more on her Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/JenniferAppelAuthor/
So, Jenn, what made you decide to write?
I began writing when I was 13 right after we moved. It may have been because I didn’t know anyone where we were, but I felt a need to write. It took me 3 years to finish my first book. I don’t ever remember deciding to write. I just knew I had to write.
How many books have you written, and how many are published?
I have written nine currently with four being published on Amazon. My fifth one – Secret Truths – should be available in August if I can get my cover the way I want it and finish editing in time.
Tell me about your favorite literary character.
Oh, that’s easy, but it’s two from the same book. Delancey and Makenzie Bishop from Lori Wick’s Pretense. That’s a book I read about once or twice a year. Second favorite would probably be Jonas from The Giver. I’m an eclectic reader.
I love the Giver! Awesome. Okay, next question. Who inspires you most as a writer?
Hmm, that’s a much tougher one. Lately my two favorite writers have been Dayo Benson and you. And I really don’t say that as a suck up. I really enjoy your style of writing so much. I feel like you’re where I want to be heading and that’s inspiring. Growing up, Lori Wick for sure.
Very sweet of you! Okay, next question. Tell me about your books.
I love writing books set in Alaska because I’ve spent so much of my life here. My first series begins with Flight of Her Life. It’s about a female pilot named Piper who flies people on adventures in the Brooks range. She has issues with God based on the fact that her father died and her fiance joined the military unexpectedly on her. We pick up several years after those events and she and her ex-fiance are working to be friends again. They work closely together so are thrown together often. Spoiler alert – she ends up in a plane crash that tests her faith and her relationships.
The series continues with us meeting other characters who are also in Piper’s world. In book 2, Rebecca Gentry moves to Silverwood, Alaska to be a nanny of sorts and finds so much more there. Book 3 is Anna McDaniels, a married woman whose marriage is much less than “happily ever after.”
Captive Freedom is the first of my Life at Sea series and explores modern day slavery from a different perspective. It takes place mostly in Alaska and part of it on a cruise ship. And yes, I want to go on a cruise someday, but I had to do my research for this one the unfun way.
My newest book, Secret Truths, is my first one not set in Alaska. Best friends, Reagan and Kennedy find estrangement when Kennedy finds Christ at age fifteen. They are working on their relationship when a huge secret comes to life threatening everything they have ever known. This book skips back and forth in time which was fun to write, but also hard to keep track of so many story timelines.
What are your writing goals for the future?
I want to continue writing and get the word out for my books, not for fame or fortune, but in hopes that the Gospel will be seen by more people. I’m not very good at face to face witnessing to strangers, but I enjoy weaving Christ into every story I write and I hope that someone may come to know Jesus through my writing.
Planner or Pantser?
Pantser, for sure. I did plan for Captive Freedom (and so much research) but that’s the only one I’ve planned on. As an aside, it’s my favorite so maybe that should tell me something.
Do you have an overall theme or message you’d like to get out to readers?
Yes, Jesus is my theme, Jesus is my message and Jesus is my mission. But I do also enjoy highlighting social issues such as modern slavery in Captive Freedom.
Awesome! Well, it’s been a pleasure–not only this interview, but all your continued support and encouragement. I’m glad to know you!
I’m glad to know you, as well! Thank you for this honor!
Here’s the link to Jenn’s Captive Freedom, just $1.50 on Kindle. Just look at that skyline! Show her some love! Download a copy and give her a review! https://www.amazon.com/Captive-Freedom-Life-Sea-Book-ebook/dp/B01MZJ0KFR
Ivy Bishop isn’t thrilled for her upcoming Alaskan cruise or her father’s new marriage.Bored with life and wanting to be out on her own, she has a penchant for running away. Meeting new friends on board the cruise, Ivy gets a new glimpse of how life can be surrendered to God, but she isn’t ready to give up the anger that has become her life. But when the unexpected happens and Ivy is faced with her eternity, she has to make decisions that will change the rest of her life. Captive Freedom is a book of adventure, forgiveness, and second chances.
I loved this action-packed, high-stakes, speculative Christian fantasy. It dives into the imaginative possibility of the afterlife from an angle that embraces the concept of spiritual warfare, and serves as a great, subtle reminder of the responsibility we have to keep fighting the battle between good and evil in our daily lives. One key incident, which I won’t mention because of the spoiler, clearly shows how humans engaging in evil acts are fighting the devil head-on and need salvation as much as anyone.
I found Audrey’s tenacity inspiring, and appreciated her realness–the same self-doubt and temptations and the same reliance on God to pull her through them as she would have needed in life. It was a nice touch for her to start the book without remembering what kind of person she was prior to her death. Doing so added to the tension of the first few pages of the story and made it a page-turner.
The romance aspect was perfectly dissatisfying and convincing–enough to set me toe-tapping for the next book. Read this book!
The Second Chance Holiday set is a two-novella collection featuring Kelli Hughett and Monica Mynk.
Upon a Clear Midnight by Monica Mynk
Jeannie Nelson and Trevor Harris are going through life in a fog. She lost her dad in a terrible accident; he lost his mom to cancer. She’s working a meaningless job and living with a guy in a dead-end relationship; he was just fired from his preaching job after his wife left him following her very public affair.
Their worlds collide when her mom and his dad, both too physically and emotionally impaired to manage on their own, buy next-door homes that are part of a revival project in a forgotten Lafollette neighborhood.
When Jeannie and Trevor come to Lafollette for an extended visit to help each of their parents settle in their new homes, they find an unexpected path to renewal, friendship, and dare they hope—love?
Mistletoe and Folly by Kelli Hughett
Can love redeem the folly of the past?
Five years ago, Bryce Camden carved out a chunk of her still-beating heart. And he’s got the gall to walk into her theater? Julie’s Christmas wish this year: make Bryce—and all those painful memories—disappear.
After retiring from Major League Baseball, Bryce lands a coaching job at a school in Longmont, Colorado. Enter Julie Jordan and old feelings he can’t ignore. Had he ever stopped loving her?
When the theater is vandalized, Julie’s dreams of directing the Christmas musical come crashing down, along with her hopes to raise enough money to keep the school open. When deeper malice is discovered behind the vandalism, they’ll each face a decision that could change the course of their lives. A Christmas story about the miracle of love in the face of past mistakes.
Nineteen years ago in rural Dreyfus, Kentucky, seven fourth grade girls studied mythology at a small Christian school. Three bore names of goddesses. The others took on goddess nicknames. Their teacher explained true power could only be attained through Christ. They promised to always be friends and later all became Christians. Then they fell deep into sin. These are their stories of redemption and love.
Pandora (Savannah Barrett) seeks acceptance in empty sexual relationships and blames Geoff Spencer, the one man who could love her anyway. She left town because of his bullying. When she inherits Geoff’s farm, she’s forced to return home and face him.
Medusa (Megan Carter) cannot stop crossing paths with the ruggedly dashing Zach Allen, who resents her for brushing him off in high school. Her heart’s so full of bitterness toward him she has no room for love.
Athena (Athena Lewis), once an unmarried teen mom, regrets past mistakes, but she can’t seem to stop making them. Now she’s pregnant from a one-night stand, and believes she’s not worthy of love. Officer Nathan Smith hopes to change her mind.
Cassandra (Cassie Davis) now follows her psychic aunt’s New Age religion, and searches the cards for her soulmate. Instead, she finds handsome Christian lawyer Kevin Henry, who pursues her in a witch-hunt lawsuit.
Nike (Nikki Denton), high school girls’ basketball coach, must rely on Mark Harris, an attractive coworker, when a car-accident takes her starting players and assistant coaches out of the game. While she pushes to win the championship, he tries to win her heart.
Iris (Iris Chambers) blames God and her husband, Ryan, for losing everything to a flood. When she turns to a neighbor for support, she just may ruin her marriage.
Aphrodite (Anabelle Cooper) obsesses over making things perfect and beautiful, which causes her severe, crippling anxiety. When type-Z personality Drew helps her escape a teenage stalker, he offers an imperfect love that she must humble herself to accept.
A Christian teen must face off in a battle for her soul against an extremist leader—her father.
Cocooned and Cavernous are now available on Amazon in print and ebook.
Conceded will release in November 2017.
In a divided America, several secessions lead to the formation of a new nation, the Alliance of American States. Fueled by extremists who solicit members via social media, the Alliance has one weak point: Callie Noland, daughter of extremist leader Adrian Lamb. Can she maintain her faith in God and stand up to the man who calls himself Lord and Master?
Callie, a Christian, has become a cynical teenager, bitter and pining since her sister stole away Ethan, the boy she loves. Then her mother disappears, and Callie’s forced to leave her beloved Kentucky to attend a militaristic Alliance school. There, she suffers intense persecution and faces choices that could leave her either weak in faith or physically dead.
The mission of the Cavernous trilogy is to incite a revolution for teen girls to delve into Scripture. Many of today’s society grasp at a meme-driven belief system and draw doctrine from Facebook and Twitter statuses. They need strong characters that write the words of God on their heart and take stands against slight untruths and injustices, especially the youth.
Wow. What an awesome review!
Okay, you’re probably reading that and thinking – Thirteen stars? What kind of scale is she using? I thought it only went up to five?
There’s a reason for that.
Billboard Bride is a must-read for anyone who is looking for a fun, lighthearted inspirational Christian romance. It is written by Monica Mynk, author of the Cavernous Trilogy and the Goddess to Daughter series. Her talent at weaving stories not only keeps you on the edge of your seat for every page, but imparts a message of faith and redemption. I recommend all of her books.
In Billboard Bride, Monica tells a story with a unique twist. Minutes before walking down the aisle, Melanie Turner learns that her fiance Stephen has been cheating on her. Being the spitfire she is, she grabs Daddy’s shotgun, runs onto the neighboring farm, and seeks solace in the most unusual of places – the…
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Here it is! The last clue! I’ve had a couple people who’ve participated since clue 1 ask for more time to finish reading, so I’m going to extend the submission deadline to the 15th before I draw for the winner.
If you’d like to squeeze your name in the drawing a couple more times, I’d really appreciate an honest review on Amazon and/or Goodreads! Even a sentence or two helps. One entry per review site, and be sure to send me a message with a link!
One more clue after this one! Remember all entries are due by midnight on Saturday, May 13!