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Meet fellow Clean Indie Reads (aka Flinch Free Fiction) author, Jessica White

51265817_2246436995366919_2559276917542879232_nToday I’d like to introduce my fellow CIR author, Jessica White.

Jessica, would you like to tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m a hobbit. I love nature, but don’t like venturing far from home. My office is filled with books, blue and green glass, and llamas. I’m a first-generation Texan married to a sixth-generation Texan, but we recently moved to Oklahoma City with our two daughters for my husband’s career. I have a degree in education, but my spiritual calling is to teach people how to create safe space for the hurting and lost and show them how to stand firm for equality, diversity, and justice.

That’s quite a noble career, but I’m guessing you also find time to write books! But before we hear about your books, I’ve got three questions for you. Firstly, what are three things you’d tell aspiring authors?

The three things I tell aspiring authors all the time are: To become an author you have to learn the craft, learn to finish, and never stop growing. Take your first few works and learn the basics of story structure, character arc, and point of view. Then learn to finish by starting with a strong premise and knowing where the story ends. Discipline in finishing is what makes a writer an author. Third, never stop growing. Writing is an art. You don’t want to be an apprentice your entire career. Study and learn from the masters, but find your own style, brand, and audience.

Great advice, Jessica. Now, next question, do you read the reviews that others leave for your books?

I love reading reviews, even the bad ones. Great reviews tell me how the story affected or changed them as a reader. Good reviews remind me that I have an audience. That gets me through the days when my word faucet dries up. Bad reviews often show me who my reader isn’t. For example, my historicals are very spiritually deep. So my friends who are less spiritual often left reviews that said, a little heavy handed. Bad reviews also tell you where you’re falling short on reader expectation. Sometimes a bad review is actually a great review. For example, for clean fiction, sometimes reviewers will say “great romance but I wish they’d been more physical”. Obviously they didn’t get what they expected, but as a clean fiction author your still being validated that your work is clean.

Yes, as gratifying as it is to get great reviews, I also try to learn from bad reviews–and sometimes it’s because we are reaching the wrong readers and need to change something in the book’s description. Now, one more question, are you indie published, traditionally published, or hybrid? And what are your thoughts on the whole indie vs. traditional topic?

I’m now officially a hybrid author. I started with Indie publishing because I knew my stories crossed the Catholic-Protestant lines in the traditional publishing world. Some characters convert, some lose their faith, while others are wholly devoted to their chosen path. While this fits my ideal reader in that I write for people of diverse backgrounds who believe that God calls different people to different walks, it does not work well in traditional markets that are niching their marketing to a specific audience.

But my critique group leader (who is multi-published) challenged me to write something contemporary. So I wrote what I love to read, a romantic suspense. I’d been reading through the Percy Jackson series and wished there was something with those iconic Greek myth personas for those of us who are now married mothers who love visceral real life stories. So I started plotting and praying and creating who I imagined the twelve Olympian gods and goddesses to be.

After writing Song in the Dark I knew the book had all the elements to be marketable. I took it to American Christian Fiction Writers’ Conference and decided to practice pitching to agents. I walked away with a request for a proposal and a month later had an agent contract. It took a year to sell the manuscript to a small but established publisher, and another year to get it out on the market.

Having experienced both sides, there are definitely perks to both. If you have strong business skills and can network and find your own editor who can challenge you to grow, a cover designer who knows the current market, a formatter that can put it all together professionally, and can afford to hire them, going Indie will allow you to make more money and have more freedom in what you put out and when. But if you don’t have the time to run a business, can’t afford that upfront cost, or just don’t have the connections, a traditional publishing path is better.

The biggest downside to being fully traditional is time. Most readers don’t want to wait a year for a book much less two or three if you change publishers or only get single book deals. Personally, I’ll probably stay hybrid to have the flexibility to put out books between my traditional books.

It’s great to hear of someone with hybrid experience. There’s a path for everyone who wants to write, they just have to find the path that works best for them so I’m glad you’ve found yours. Now, about your books.

Surviving the Stillness (The Seasons of Healing Series Book 1) by [White, Jessica]

I have a historical series set in the 1920’s called The Healing Seasons. The first two books are out and the third will be available this summer. The story centers around Abigail Morgan, heiress to a West Virginia coal fortune, and her struggle to honor her parents’ legacy to “do what is right no matter the cost” despite the injustices she experiences and witnesses. The ripple effects of her decisions bring her and her brother into the care of a rural doctor in Montana who is grieving the loss of his wife and failing at raising their son on his own. God brings these characters together to heal them and the communities they serve over the four book series. It’s available exclusively on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback as well as on Kindle Unlimited.

*The first book does have flashback scenes of physical abuse.

My latest book, Song in the Dark, is based on the Greek myth of Hades and Persephone. This book explores what it means to overcome our darkest struggles.

All of Jessica’s books can be found on Amazon, by clicking here.

Meet fellow Clean Indie Reads (aka Flinch Free Fiction) author, Hannah Ross

!cid_f_k6kdbyb50Today I’d like to introduce you to my fellow CIR author, Hannah Ross. Hannah Ross wrote her first story at the age of six and hasn’t stopped since. Wishing to have a steady profession, she trained as a clinical nutritionist, but the writing bug was too strong and Hannah continued to write fiction in the form of short stories, novels, poetry and plays, as well as many non-fiction essays and articles.

Hannah enjoys a quiet life in the country with her husband, four children, two cats and a flock of chickens.

So, Hannah, we’re dying to hear about your books, but first I have three questions so we can get to know you a bit better. Here goes. First, you have written over a dozen books in the fantasy, sci-fi, historical fiction genres. That is quite a range! What attracts you to write in all of these genres?

I think that, as widely as my writing ranges, what all my books have in common is the element of escapism, of moving to a different reality for a bit, be it a modern research station in Antarctica, a village in medieval Ethiopia, or an entirely imaginary fantasy world. This creation and exploration of different worlds is what I love most about writing.

My books are clean of explicit scenes, but they do include violence and mild swearing.

Well, I think a bit of escapism is good for everyone, at least from time to time! Now, for the next question. What books most influenced your life or your writing?

That’s a tough one; there are so many books I love and admire, so many authors, both classic and contemporary, who have become mentors and friends. From Thomas Hardy to all the Russian classics, Ray Bradbury to J.R.R. Tolkien, and the more modern works of fantasy such as Harry Potter and A Song of Ice and Fire, I am thankful for these great minds and great books. But if you were to ask which books I reread most often, the answer would probably be everything by Jane Austen.

Wow, I have to agree with all those. I grew up on Ray Bradbury and Tolkien, and have read all the Harry Potter books at least once, and although the Game of Thrones books were toooooo thick for me, I watched the entire series … more than once!  Now, one last question before we learn about your books. What do you like to do when you are not writing?

Apart from writing and, of course, reading, I like to express my creativity in practical ways. Namely, I crochet clothes, toys, baskets, and home décor. I make soap, candles, and natural body care products. There’s nothing more satisfying than using a unique, quality product I have made myself. I love my garden and animals – we have two cats and a flock of chickens, which never fail to entertain us with their antics. I also enjoy taking nature walks with my children whenever I have the chance. All these low-tech activities help me decompress and reconnect with an island of inner peace within me. And I enjoy teaching my children in the process, too!
Sounds like you lead an ideal life. So, let’s hear about your books.

The Breath of Earth (Frozen World Book 3) by [Ross, Hannah]

The Breath of Earth (the third instalment in The Frozen World series) is my most recent book.

The entire Frozen World series is in the sub-genre of what can be defined as environmental science fiction. It tells about a near-utopian society of the Anai, an isolated tribe living in a warm microclimate pocket in Antarctica. The themes, the universal questions of these stories revolve around humankind and its relations with nature. Namely, can people coexist with nature without despoiling it? Can the desire to do right and preserve the world we live in overcome greed and power struggles? What are some things one is never justified in doing, not even in the name of survival?

Sounds awesome, Hannah. Now, you can find this book, and all Hannah’s books, on Amazon.  Click here to be taken to her author page.

Meet fellow Clean Indie Reads (aka Flinch Free Fiction) author, Rich Bullock, with a new release.


Today I’d like to introduce you to my fellow CIR author, Rich Bullock.

Rich Bullock writes stories of ordinary people put in perilous situations, where lives are changed forever. 

His first writing experience was at ten years old on a well-used Remington typewriter, where several keys added extra spaces, and clearing the tangled print arms was a continual chore. The old machine lasted through high school all-nighters.

Fortunate to grow up in small-town San Luis Obispo, California, he developed an eye for settings that remind people of home, and characters you’d like to have next door (except for the killers). He now lives and writes in Redding, California where, on most days, he sees Mount Lassen and Mount Shasta. But his favorite places in the world are Perilous Cove and Storm Lake.

While all of Rich’s books are “clean reads”, the more suspenseful stories do have violence.

Now some of you may remember Rich from when I interviewed him about a year ago, but he’s got a new release  so let’s hear about it, shall we?

Night Skyy

As a teen, I listened to Wolfman Jack, a late-night radio show broadcast on XERB “The Mighty 1090” AM station located near Tijuana, Mexico. It was irreverent and deliciously appealing to teenagers in the 1960s. Then came Delilah and her advice to the lovelorn, followed by John Tesh’s Intelligence for Your Life. I asked myself how these shows would look if they all merged in today’s Internet world.

As I thought about it, I couldn’t NOT write Skyy Delaney’s story as Skyy D, host of the Night Thoughts Internet radio show that targets teens and twenty-somethings. Skyy dispenses advice, reads posted questions, and talks with the occasional caller. But when a young girl calls in, Skyy is torn. The girl is in obvious trouble and Skyy wants to help, but how can she when she doesn’t even know where the girl is?

When Skyy begins trading messages with a man who says he’s a cop, she begins to realize living in a virtual world might be safe, but it’s not what she wants for the long term. Can she take a risk and reach out?

You can find this new book, and all of Rich’s books, on Amazon, by clicking here.


Meet fellow Clean Indie Reads (aka Flinch Free Fiction) author, Katherine Brown


Today I’d like to introduce you to my fellow CIR author, Katherine Brown. Would you like to tell us a bit about yourself, Katherine?

Hi! I write cozy mysteries and a few children’s books under Katherine H. Brown, but friends and family call me Katie. I am a lover of words and find the challenge of creating something brand new for the imagination out of words to be the highlight of my job as an author. I’ve been “making” books since I was eight or nine out of anything – paper and cardboard stapled together, for example – and feel incredibly blessed to now be writing as a career. I’m a stay-at-home mom to an incredible stepdaughter and in the last trimester of my first pregnancy. Keeping up with writing during that first trimester was rough; I was exhausted and couldn’t make it through a day without a nap. Now, I’m happy to say that I’m back in the swing of things and looking forward to the challenge of working in writing around loving on my baby girl in a few months. (Ha – wish me luck and sleep, right?) I prefer to write accompanied by tea, chocolate, and quiet.

Well, we wish you all the best with the new challenge you’re undertaking! So, let’s hear a bit more about you, and to do so I’m going to have you answer three questions. First, if you could tell your younger self something you know now, with respect to your writing career, what would it be?

The biggest piece of advice that I would give my younger self is: DO NOT stop writing. I took a break for several years to get “a real job” because I didn’t have confidence in myself to make it as an author. Don’t get me wrong, income and bills paid and debts cleared because of that job were a necessity and I would do it again. But I never should have stopped writing in the meantime. If I could do it over, I would write at whatever pace was comfortable during those years and stockpile books and stories. Then, when I finally made the leap to publishing my books, I would have had a strong backlist of titles ready to go. Writing fast enough to keep up with reader appetites is very difficult when you also have to focus on the marketing, advertising, editing, etc that goes with this business.

Isn’t that the truth, and something I wish someone had told me to do as well. But, we do the best we can now, and keep looking forward. Next question, where are your books set? And have you been there, or spent significant time there?

My Ooey Gooey Bakery Mystery series takes place in a fictional town on the beach in Alabama. I prefer to use fictional places loosely based on trips I’ve taken or places I visit because getting to imagine and build all of the details myself is more fun, not to mention you don’t run the risk of describing something about a place inaccurately and upsetting a reader. The books spend quite a bit of their time in the Ooey Gooey Goodness Bakery, owned by main character Piper, and I like to think the bakery is a combination of how I would want to run a bakery as well as fond thoughts of a favorite place in my hometown where I go for cupcakes sometimes.

Yes, I too prefer to write stories in fictional settings, but they do drop into real places from time to time as well. Oh, and I also love cupcakes! Now, one last question and then we’ll hear more about your books. What makes you happiest as an author?

I love to hear from readers. It is so fulfilling to have my words in the hands of someone else. It is especially thrilling when they point out specific things they liked or related to in one of the books. Holding the paperback copy of my book for the first time on each printing is a close second. I mean, come on, how cool is that to have created an entire book that didn’t exist before?

Oh, I agree totally on both those answers. I love reader feedback, and having my books on my shelves is just sooo special. Now, speaking of books, let’s hear a bit about yours  and where we can find them.

As I said earlier, I have both cozy mysteries and a selection of children’s books available. My children’s books were where my publishing adventure began. You see, even though I knew I wanted to be an author, the thought of writing a “big” book was overwhelming at the beginning. That is a lot of words which translates into a lot of hours and when I started, I was also working a full-time job 55 hours a week already in the construction industry.  Nowadays, my cozy mystery stories are where I prefer to spend my time and energy. The first series I wrote is the Ooey Gooey Bakery Mystery Series, a collection of 4 full books and a short story so far. I love fiction, I never had any interest in reading or writing non-fiction, but when I began my cozies, I had a desire to write something not just entertaining but that could be beneficial. Something I could be proud of. With book 1, I introduced the problem of human trafficking throughout the storyline, expanding upon it in book 2. In the back matter of both books are resources for recognizing and reporting the signs of human trafficking. It is, unfortunately, a crime that is only spreading and many people don’t recognize that it has become a worldwide problem that absolutely ruins and steals lives. Sounds heavy, right? And I said these were cozy mysteries? Well, they are. They are clean, witty, I’ve been told satisfactorily suspenseful by several reviewers, and full of delectable descriptions of goodies baked up by the main character, Piper, and her best friend Sam. The human trafficking thread flows in a way that doesn’t appear to be the focus and doesn’t take away from the entertaining characters and their problems.

Rest, Relax, Run for Your Life (Ooey Gooey Bakery Mystery Book 1) by [Brown, Katherine H.]


The first in the series is Rest, Relax, Run for Your Life.

You can find all of my books and a little more about me on my website or my author page on Amazon: Amazon Author Page.

If you get the opportunity to read any of them, please consider leaving a review of your honest opinion. Those are so helpful to other readers and to myself in shaping the next books. You are also welcome to send me a little note through the contact page on my website; I love meeting new readers!


Meet fellow Clean Indie Reads (aka Flinch Free Fiction) author, Maria Farb

AuthorPhoto1Today I’d like to introduce you to my fellow CIR author, Maria Farb. Maria, would you like to tell us a bit about yourself?

Ever since I climbed up to the rafters of our barn at age four, I’ve lived high adventure: scuba diving, hiking, climbing, and even riding a retired racehorse at full gallop–bareback. I love the thrill and joy.

Stories give me a similar thrill and joy. I love living through the eyes and heart of a hero who faces his internal demons and the heroine who fights her way free instead of waiting to be saved.

I create high fantasy, fairy tale retellings, and poetry. I live a joyful adventure with my husband and six children. I am a Christian and I love my Savior.

Wow, a racehorse, at full speed, bareback … or six children!  Wonder which is scarier? (I’m a horse person myself, but couldn’t imagine having six children when you only have two hands! Quite the accomplishment!)

So … before we hear about your books, I have three questions for you so people can get to know you a bit. First, how much time per week would you spend writing? Or are you a full-time author?

I’m a full-time homeschooling mother of six.

I write in the early morning before any one wakes up, sometimes in the afternoon when kids are playing, and in the evening when my husband plays with our kids. The early morning hours are my favorite and most productive writing times. On a good day I can get several thousand words before any one else wakes up.

I keep a notebook handy to capture ideas when I don’t have time to write. My rushed penmanship is near unreadable, even for me, so I type up all my notes each evening.

Ha Ha Ha! I have notes all over the place, but luckily, I can read mine! Second question, what inspired you to become an author, and how old were you at the time?

Some of my earliest memories are laying on the carpet listening to my dad read out loud. We explored the worlds of Narnia and Middle Earth. We cried with Corrie Ten Boom in The Hiding Place. We voyaged with The Kon-Tiki and to Grass Beyond the Mountains.

As a teen I made up stories to help my little sisters go to sleep. It backfired. We stayed up for hours continuing the tale. The King’s Trial was born in those late, whispered nights.

I started writing seriously when my youngest started sleeping through the night (two years ago).

Wow, I LOVED all the stories in Middle Earth, but didn’t discover Narnia until I was an adult. But I share your passion for fantasy of that type, and must indeed have a look at your books! Third and final question, what are some fun, random facts about you?

  • As a child, I couldn’t walk across a room. I danced, spun, skipped, ran, or otherwise moved, but I couldn’t just walk.
  • I took calculus at a community college at age 14. I planned to go to MIT and become an astronaut. Plans changed—in wonderful ways.
  • I lived in St Petersburg, Russia for half-a-year teaching English to kindergartners. I learned to wash my clothes in a bathtub, filter and boil my drinking water, and love my sweet, crayon-eating, kids. My next book is based in Russia and on one of my favorite Russian tales—Vasilisa and Staver.
  • I love reading to my children. We’ve enjoyed books from Dr. Seuss to Les Misérables. Maniac Magee is one of our favorites.
  • I love climbing, rappelling, and horseback riding. But I hate roller coasters and bungee jumping.
  • I’ve journaled almost every day since I turned seventeen. I capture conversations, descriptions, happenings, and quotes. I explore ideas. Through the years I’ve written well over a million words. It prepared me to become an author.
  • I live with a vivid imagination. I dream in 3-D, technicolor, and occasionally with my eyes open. This is a bane when it comes to nightmares. I will not watch horror movies.
  • I have an accent. People often ask me where I’m from. Maybe it’s my reader accent. I’ve read out-loud enough different books in character, that perhaps it stuck.

Well, it’s a shame we live so many miles apart (as given I’m in Australia, we’re no doubt far apart no matter where you live), as you sound like someone I’d love to meet in person! Thanks for coming here today to talk to us. Now, before we go, let’s learn a bit about your books.

The King's Trial (The King Trials Book 1) by [Farb, M. L.]


In a land where stories of the Shadow Demon keep children shivering in bed and tales of the Yorel bring hope to the commoner, Yosyph is both the reason for their fear and their hope.

Find this book on Amazon, by clicking here.




What readers are saying:

One of the best books I’ve read with wonderful characters who grow on their journeys, stellar writing, fantastic world-building, and a twisty, nail-biting plot.- Katy Huth Jones, author of the YA-fantasy series He Who Finds Mercy

M.L. Farb has created a rich world with deep, relatable characters. – Carol Beth Anderson, author of the Sun-Blessed Trilogy

I wholeheartedly recommend this clean fantasy adventure! – Annie Douglass Lima, author of the Annals of Alasia and the Krillonian Chronicles

I was struck by the beautiful prose from the first page! – Kristin Fink (Amazon Reviewer USA)


The Green Rose

My current WIP is the 2nd book in the Romancing the Californian Cowboys series. Book 2 is Casey’s story, Alex’s younger sister from Discovering Gold, and it’s almost half way finished.

In the story, Casey has written a song, and with the help of the cousin of Alex’s fiancé, Casey gets it up on YouTube!

And with the help of some dear friends of mine, it’s really there! Have a listen, and tell me what you think. And while you’re there, listen to some of their other songs, as they really are fabulous.



Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Yes, Happy Thanksgiving. And to help you celebrate I’ve made my latest book, Discovering Gold free!

That’s right … Discovering Gold is free for 5 days to help you enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday. But it’s only on Amazon.



I hope you enjoy the story, and if you do I’d love it if you could find the time to leave a short review on Amazon or Goodreads! Thanks, and enjoy your pumpkin pie!


Discovering Gold – Available for Preorder Now!

My latest book, Discovering Gold, is now available for preorder. Set mostly in California, this is the first book in a new series. I hope you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Back cover blurb:

A woman scarred by injuries that will never heal … a man who’s not planning to have his heart broken twice … and an old mining town that brings them together.

When washed-up Australian tennis player Alex Mason unexpectedly inherits half of an old mining town in California, her dream of becoming a children’s tennis coach comes within reach. However, when she travels to California to visit the town, she begins to think there may be more to it than the dollar value of its real estate.

There are two types of people Travis Gold has learned to mistrust; athletes, like his cheating ex-wife, and Masons, the family who started a feud by taking his family’s saloon in a drunken poker game. Exhausted by his past, he’s ready to move on—until Alex Mason’s arrival in town opens every old wound.

Sparks fly when the descendants of the town’s founders meet, but at first it’s for all the wrong reasons. Can they both stop letting the past define them in time to discover the real gold in the old mining town?

Preorder your copy of Discovering Gold for just $.99US before it releases on 9th October at the full price of $2.99US. This book will also be available on Kindle Unlimited if you have that and want to wait.

Amazon US       Amazon AU      Amazon CA      Amazon UK



Discovering Gold is coming soon!

Watch this space … my latest book has gone to the designer to get a cover made, and will be going on pre-order shortly.

I’m so excited as it’s been over a year in the making!

Here’s a look at some of the inspiration for this book … taken on a trip to California in June last year.