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Meet fellow Clean Indie Reads author Carol Beth Anderson

!cid_f_jnj46kmo0Today I’d like to introduce my fellow CIR author, Carol Beth Anderson.

Carol Beth Anderson is a native of Arizona and now lives in Leander, TX, outside Austin. She has a husband, two kids, a miniature schnauzer, and more fish than anyone knows what to do with. Besides writing, she loves baking sourdough bread, knitting, and eating cookies-and-cream ice cream.

Yummm… sourdough is my favourite!  I was born in San Francisco, and it was one of the things I missed most when I moved to Australia (besides family, that is!)  Now Carol Beth recently released the Sun-Blessed trilogy, so as part of learning about it I’ve got a couple of questions for her so my followers can get to know you. So, firstly, what was the inspiration for your book series?

When I was pregnant with my second child, I was passionate about childbirth. I read books, watched videos, and adored the midwives at my birthing center. I had an incredible, beautiful water birth with my son. When I decided to write a fantasy novel, my first idea was to have a magic system based on childbirth.

I also wanted to use a compelling story to share lessons I’ve learned throughout life. Tavi struggles with insecurity, doubts, and vulnerability, coming out stronger each time she faces a challenge.

That sounds like a wonderful series, and one lots of people will enjoy. Now, next question, and we already know a bit about the answer, but here goes–do you write from your own experiences, or simply sit down and make something up?

I saw a quote one time about how writing isn’t just about leaning on your own experiences. It’s about empathy. (It was attributed to Neil Gaiman, but I can’t seem to find the original quote nor any proof that he said it!) I wholeheartedly agree that empathy is one of the greatest traits I can have as a writer. Some parts of my books are based on my life, and of course those parts tend to be simplest to write. But I love digging deep into my empathetic heart to explore stories I can’t personally relate to. There’s a character in my books whose mother has deep depression, another character who has a rocky relationship with her exacting father, and yet another who deals with self-loathing due to a terrible mistake he can’t ever fix. I loved exploring each of these storylines, even though I hadn’t experienced such difficulties myself.

How true is that? I’d never thought of it that way, but it’s what gives depths to our characters and helps us learn at the same time. Now, last question, what makes you happiest as an author?

I love the creative process. My degree is in theatre, but it’s hard to do plays (with time-consuming rehearsal schedules) when I have kids at home! Writing these books is the first thing that’s made my creative side feel alive in the same way acting used to do.

It’s interesting what drives each of us … and yours is an incredible reason! Hopefully one day you’ll get back to the theatre, and who knows, maybe you’ll even be performing in one of your own works! In the meantime, let’s hear a bit more about this series, and where we can find it.

The Sun-Blessed Trilogy is a young adult fantasy series with magic and adventure. After Tavi discovers her extraordinary magical talents, dissidents in a distant city want to capture her to use her gifts for their own purposes.

These are coming-of-age novels with strong themes of friendship, a unique magical system based on childbirth, and a little bit of romance. The books are appropriate for teenage and adult readers. They’re free of bad language and sex scenes, and while there are violent scenes, they aren’t gory.

The entire trilogy releases in quick succession, with the three books launching on 10/25, 11/1, and 11/15. They’re available in e-book, paperback, and audiobook (narrated by the author).  and you can find the first book, as well as the pre-orders,  here, on Amazon.

Facing the Sun (Sun-Blessed Trilogy Book 1) by [Anderson, Carol Beth]

Meet fellow Clean Indie Reads author C.L. Wells

author photoToday I’d like to introduce my fellow CIR author, C. L. Wells.

C.L. Wells is a JANE-OF-ALL-TRADES, with a passion for writing and animals. She lives in Kansas with her family, which includes a fat doggie who is not named Toto and a cat who moonlights as an escape artist. Both are seniors. Feel free to ask her about the ‘escape artist.’ She plans to write about it someday. She would love hearing from you.

You’ll find her contact details at the end of the interview.

So, we’re going to hear a bit about C. L.’s books in a moment, but before we do that I’ve got three questions for her. First, what inspired you to become an author, and how old were you at the time?

I’ve always wanted to write a book but I didn’t even try until I was 38-ish. Krystal, my main character from my debut novel, is a real girl. I’m making her sound like Pinocchio, lol, but she struggled with this as a teen right under my nose and I had no idea until later. She became my muse and she still is. Now I’ll never stop writing.

I too got a late start, but haven’t looked back. Everyone has a different path … but there’s no reason to think you’re too old! Next, what three things would you say are the most important for an aspiring author to keep in mind as they being their writing journey?

The first thing I would say is, “You can do it.” Everyone’s journey looks different so don’t compare yourself to others. Write what you know until you’re ready to put the work in researching. Lastly, take the time to produce a quality product. That means different things for each writer. Your book should look just as good as any traditionally published book. It doesn’t mean you need to sell off your children to do so, but find the right support to put out a book that’ll make you proud of yourself. There is this saying among authors that claim the first publications are trash. Mine isn’t and yours doesn’t have to be. Don’t give yourself that excuse.

Very true–believe in yourself, and make your product the best that you can. Sound advice, for sure.  Now, one last question. Other than stomping your foot and having a hissy fit, what else do you do when you get a review that isn’t so good?

No hissy fits here. Not yet anyway. When I started publishing in the Christian Fiction genre, it didn’t take long to see how critical the readership could be in that category. My main character in of my short stories titled, That’s How She Rolls, gets invited to a strip club and that caused a bit of a stir. She totally declines the invitation so there were no body part scenes, but I got feedback from readers about how that scene didn’t belong in a CF book. They’re entitled to their opinion. I want my characters to live in the real world and handle whatever comes their way the best they can.

That’s great, C. L., I too like my characters to live in the real world. Well, except for the one with the vampires, but that’s a subject for a very different conversation. So, now, let’s hear about your books.

Memoirs of a Girl Who Loves God by [WELLS, C.L.]

So far, everything I’ve published is Christian Fiction but I do have other works in progress that will not be Christian Fiction. I’ve been a big genre-hopper. I have a Romantic Suspense, a Rom Com, Contemporary Women’s Fiction, and a short that borders the MG/YA line. Before I’m done I’ll likely have at least one book in most genres. My debut novel, Memoirs of a Girl Who Loves God, is a Young Adult story about a teen with a self-harm addiction. While it isn’t my bestseller, it’s my most meaningful book. While I wrote it thinking of teenagers going through the same thing my character, Krystal, is struggling with, I’ve found that mom’s and grandma’s are my most common reader. I’ve received numerous notes explaining how Krystal’s story helped them to understand the teen in their life. I’ve also received emails from teens saying the book could have easily been about them. It’s still a hard sell. Issue driven fiction usually doesn’t win over a lighter, fluffy story. But that’s okay, it’ll reach who it’s meant to
reach and the unintended sequel will be out in a few months.

C. L. has a number of books out, and you can find them all on Amazon here.

You can also visit her at her website, by clicking here.

Meet fellow Clean Indie Reads author Shannon L. Mokry – with a New Release!


!cid_B2FA7F71-4A7D-40AB-995E-3BB4B85C9F04Today I’d like to introduce fellow CIR author Shannon Mokry. Welcome Shannon!  Would you like to tell us a bit about yourself?

Hi Sandy – I grew up in sunny California and then moved to Texas about twenty years ago where I now live with my husband, three daughters, cats,  and chickens. I’ve been a writer since grade school, and set out on my current journey to share my stories about three years ago. The Bubbles stories came about  due to stories I would tell my youngest daughter Charlotte when she would get me up during the night. She’s my inspiration. My first book “Bubbles and the Berry Bush” for example came about because she needed something fierce to keep her dreams safe, but not something scary, so we got a bubble blowing dragon. Then I decided if she was going to make me think I’d give her something to keep her brain busy while she slept. So that first book deals with conflict resolution and forgiveness.  My next picture book was just released, its called Bubbles and the Shark Attack. Like the first book, its designed to teach something. In this case its teaching kids to be aware of what’s going on around them. Children are naturally self-centered, we need to combat that by teaching them that they need to be aware of more than themselves. Lets face it the world is full of sharks, and we want our kids to stay safe. Don’t worry about this book being too scary, I did write it as a bedtime story for my own very sensitive little girl.

Hey, I’m from California originally too! But with your books, how sweet! Written for your own daughter, and now being shared with others! Makes me wish I had someone to read a bedtime story to! Well, before we learn any more about your books, I have three questions for you so here we go. First, what three things would you say are the most important for an aspiring author to keep in mind as they being their writing journey?

Inspiration comes from all different places, so carry a writing journal so you don’t forget the good ideas. The first draft is never your best draft, rewrites are important, but don’t overthink it to the point that you don’t finish. Lastly, get to know your audience, who are you writing for? Yourself or a specific group? It’s okay if you’re writing just for yourself, just be honest about it.

Great advice! Now, second question, what makes you happiest as an author?

Getting feedback from kids. Of course feedback from the parents is good too, but when a kid runs up and tells me how much they love my characters, its an awesome feeling.

It’s always wonderful to hear your books are appreciated! Now, one last question – Are you indie published, traditionally published, or hybrid? And what are your thoughts
on the whole indie vs. traditional topic?

I’m an Indie. I actually started my own micro publishing house, Sillygeese Publishing, LLC. I love being an indie, I researched all my options and decided I wanted the control that you only get as an Indie. It is definitely the more expensive route, especially for a picture book. Its also very rewarding. My thoughts? Every book has to be evaluated for
its possible success as a traditional or indie book, I’m not ruling anything out
for my future, I can only say I like my decision so far.

I’m indie too–and yes, I love the control it gives you in every aspect. Now, how about telling us about your newest release?

As mentioned above, this book is designed to teach  kids to be aware of what’s going on around them. Lets face it the world is full of sharks, and we want our kids to stay safe. Don’t worry about this book being too scary, I did write it as a bedtime story for my own very sensitive little girl.

You can find this book on Amazon by clicking here.

Or you can visit Shannon’s author profile here.

Meet fellow Clean Indie Reads author Sarah Ashwood – with a New Release!

Author pic 2Today I’d like to introduce you to fellow CIR author Sarah Ashwood. Welcome Sarah — would you like to tell us a bit about yourself?

Hi Sandy, I’m fantasy author Sarah Ashwood, author of the Sunset Lands Beyond trilogy, the novella Amana, and the forthcoming Beyond the Sunset Lands series.

I grew up in the wooded hills outside the oldest town in Oklahoma, and I hold a B.A. in English from American Military University. In my imagination, I soar effortlessly through my favorite fantasy and historical worlds. In real life, I live (mostly) quietly at home with my husband and three sons. (Yes, I’m a boymom of three!) I also try to sneak in a daily run or workout to save my sanity and keep my mind fresh for my next story.

So nice to meet you, Sarah. I understand you have a new release, but before we talk about that, I’ve got three questions for you 🙂  Here goes … one, if you could tell your younger self something you know now, with respect to your writing career, what would it be?

I would say, Hey, your first draft is going to stink. Maybe the second and third drafts also. Don’t believe you’re a fabulous author just because you’ve written a book. However, don’t count yourself out, either. Revise. Revise, revise, revise! And when you think you’ve got that rough draft pretty well polished, revise some more.

Get beta readers. I cannot stress how important this is. I really, really wish my younger self had known this before my first book was published. Beta readers are gold: not only do they pick up typos you missed, they can find plot holes, offer scene suggestions, ask questions about your characters’ motivations that you may not be able to answer (because you hadn’t thought of them), and a whole host of other things that will ultimately make your book better.

Pay attention to negative reviews. Sure, some may have nothing helpful to say, but if a lot of them are saying the same things, pay attention to that. Your book may need some strengthening in those areas. Don’t tune them out!

Great advice, Sarah. I agree completely. So, following on from that comes the next question … do you read the reviews that others leave for your books? 

As you probably guessed by reading the above question, yes, I absolutely do. I read every review readers leave for me. There are two reasons for this. The first is that a positive review can give you exactly the push you need to keep going on the days you feel like giving up. They are sunshine to authors. They tell us we’re doing the right thing and are headed in the right direction.

The other reason I read reviews is because, also as alluded to above, there is a lot to be gained from criticism. It stings—of course it does! But sometimes reviewers have picked up on something about your book or your characters that you simply didn’t catch. It’s wise to see if you can take away anything from negative reviews in terms of making that book or future books better, then walk away and let the review go. Don’t dwell on it. That can drive you crazy. Acknowledge, ultimately, that your book isn’t going to be for everyone and move on.

Pearls of wisdom there, Sarah. Learn from the bad, enjoy the good, and then move on. Now, for one last question … where are your books set? And have you been there, or spent significant time there?

Well, my book predominately take place in a parallel world called Aerisia, so, no, I haven’t visited there. (Except mentally. Does that count?) However, the opening of my Sunset Lands Beyond trilogy takes place with the MC, Hannah, jogging down a country road, which I used to do frequently. Annie, the heroine in Aerisian Refrain, my newest book, is from the Oklahoma panhandle, which I’ve travelled through a couple of times.

One common setting I find popping up repeatedly in my fantasy novels is forests. Lots of action going on in the forests. I can only attribute that to the fact that I grew up in the country—in a log home way out in the woods. I’ve always thought forests were mysterious and magical, and my love of where I grew up shines through in my writing, I think.

Oh, I’m sure it does! I love forests too … well, in the daytime anyway 😉  So … tell us about this new book of yours.

I’m primarily an epic fantasy writer, but my fantasy has elements of portal fantasy and fairytale, since I love both of those genres.

My Sunset Lands Beyond trilogy tells the story of a young college student, Hannah Winters, who is unexpectedly taken to a parallel world, Aerisia, where she’s told she is that world’s prophesied savior. There’s a couple of hitches, though. Hannah doesn’t have any supernatural abilities, and she’s not buying the idea that she’s some predestined savior. However, neither her allies nor her enemies are agreeing, and her life is in danger as soon as she arrives in Aerisia. What’s it gonna take for a girl from Earth to prove that’s where she belongs?

Or does she?

Beyond the Sunset Lands is sort of a follow up series to this first trilogy, although it can be read as a stand-alone. It contains many of the same characters. The first book, Aerisian Refrain, has just been released.

You can find all of Sarah’s books on Amazon, and her newest book here:

You can find more about my books here on my website. I do consider myself a “clean” author in that I don’t use curse words and I don’t write sex scenes. I also try to keep violence contained. Nothing too graphic, in other words. However, I don’t shy away from tough topics or real emotions. For that reason, I usually give my books a PG-13 rating.

Meet fellow Clean Indie Reads author Ciecie Newson with her debut release

!cid_E6BA7497-3D87-41BC-9C40-5AB898C0AB56Today I’d to introduce you to my fellow CIR author, Ciecie Newson.

Ciecie Newson is a writer who grew up in North East Ohio. She has written stories since she could hold a pencil, but her published work until this point focused on medical research and technical software documentation.

Ciecie has a blog site where she muses on the healthy lifestyle of a writer and gives out tips on writing and marketing.

Ciecie, currently a single woman loving her single life, lives with her plants, travels with her sister and still manages to work a full-time job at Case Western Reserve University.

Welcome, Ciecie, thank you for joining me here today.

Thank you for allowing me to speak to you and your audience about my Clean Reads works.

So, before we learn a little about your debut book, let me ask you three questions. What was the inspiration for your current work in progress?

I love gardening.  I also love farm animals.  Many times I sit and visualize having my very own homestead.  Sometimes I take this visualization further by looking for farmland, or 2-4 acre parcels of land in a suburb near me.  I have spent hours each month watching YouTube videos of homestead families.  One day when I was in my visualization zone I wondered about farms that have been abandoned and how cool it would be if I could just squat on that land and create my dream homestead.  That led me to do some research on squatting laws in Ohio and other states.  It was this thought of Squatting on abandoned land that launched my story idea for my current book Squatter.  I have completed the first draft and am now working on refining the story for publishing.  It is a story of a young lady who Squats on the land she feels she has a right to and how the rich landowner deals with her when he finds out.

Well, that will certainly be interesting to read when it comes out! Next question, where are your books set?  And have you been there, or spent significant time there?

My first book, The Man Next door is set in the location of my current apartment, and neighborhood.  (I hope I have no stalkers.  – LOL)  The apartment across the hall from me was empty and my landlord was chatting after he had completed preparations to rent the unit.  I was teasing him and said to him, “You can only rent this apartment to a single man over the age of forty and under fifty-five.”  We had a good laugh over it, but when I went back into my apartment, I thought about if I were my perfect version of me, and my perfect man moved in across the hall, what would our perfect romance look like. So I wrote the story, in my apartment, in my Kamm’s Corners neighborhood, with guest appearances from my friends who own a local restaurant.

They do say to write what you know, so it sounds like you’ve followed that advice! Now, one last question then we’ll learn more about your debut book. Are you indie published, traditionally published or hybrid?  And what are your thoughts on the whole indie vs. traditional topic?

I can answer hybrid on this question.  My book I self-published on Amazon.  I started my writing career as a journalist and that is where my first writings began being published in the local city paper, The Cleveland Plain Dealer and medical journal, Pulse.  I currently have a blog where I actually answered the question about my thoughts on the topic which way I preferred to publish. You can read the full answer by visiting my blog, Ciecie’s World.

Well done on taking the self-publishing plunge … it’s an incredible journey, and different for everyone. Now, let’s find out about this book of yours.

L O V E – Many want it. Leanne wasn’t one of them. But when she meets Donovan, love becomes a possibility in her life she never expected.

The Man Next Door is a sweet BWWM romance. It is a book a mom can read with her teenage daughter. It is a story of building a relationship and friendship. There is not a sex scene in it, no man disrespecting his woman, no bondage, no taking a person out of their relationship with another. There are sweet kisses, passion, and alpha men that respect their strong women. Please enjoy this book and leave me a comment about why you found it enjoyable. 🙂

Meet fellow Clean Indie Reads author Annie Douglass Lima – with a New Release that will be free for two days!

Annie smaller

Today I’d like to introduce you to fellow CIR author Annie Douglass Lima. Here’s Annie’s bio.

Annie spent most of her childhood in Kenya and later graduated from Biola University in Southern California. She and her husband Floyd currently live in Taiwan, where she teaches fifth grade at Morrison Academy. She has been writing poetry, short stories, and novels since her childhood, and to date has published eighteen books in a wide variety of genres (science fiction, fantasy, YA action and adventure novels, a puppet script, anthologies of her students’ poetry, and a Bible verse coloring and activity book). Besides writing, her hobbies include reading (especially fantasy and science fiction), scrapbooking, and international travel.

Welcome to my blog, Annie!  That’s some portfolio of books you’ve got! And you’ve got a new release too. But before we hear about the new release, I’ve got three questions for you. Firstly, what inspired you to become an author, and how old were you at the time?

I’ve been writing for as long as I can recall. When I was seven years old, I had a sudden inspiration for what I thought was an amazing story and decided then and there that I was going to write a book and be the world’s youngest published author. I ran to my room in great excitement, found an old notebook and a pencil, and started in. Well, that first little science fiction novel was never actually finished, let alone published, but it got me started. After that, I can’t remember a time that I wasn’t working on at least one book. Prince of Alasia, which I began in college, was the first one I finished that I thought was worth trying to get published. I looked into traditional publishing and spent a long time trying to get an agent, but to no avail. Finally I learned about Kindle Direct Publishing and did it myself the indie way, eleven years after I first started writing the book. A few months later I added the paperback edition. It was quite a thrill for me to finally fulfil my childhood dream! Now I’ve published a total of eighteen books, and with Heartsong being my first science fiction novel, I’ve come full circle!

I read a lot of science fiction when I was young, with Ray Bradbury being one of my favourites! So, what was the inspiration for Heartsong?

I had a dream a few years ago in which I was the only human living on an alien world, with one particular alien in charge of my education and integration into their culture. I played with the idea in my mind for quite a while, adjusting and developing it, until eventually it was substantial enough to be the basis for a plot. And thus Heartsong was born!

Sounds interesting! I’ll have to check it out. Now, one last question. If you could trade places with any one of your characters, who would it be and why?

You couldn’t pay me enough to trade places with any of my main characters from Heartsong! No spoilers, but they all go through great difficulties, either during the course of the story or before it starts. I do like the idea of starting a new life at the other end of the galaxy (I’ve always loved travel and adventure!). But let’s just say that starting a colony on a distant moon ends up being even more challenging than the characters expect …

Fair enough! So, let’s hear about this book, and where we can find it!

Two alien worlds.

One teen emissary.

No reality she can trust.



Get it on Amazon, along with all of Annie’s other books, by clicking here.

🌟🌟🌟🌟 And on July 1st and 2nd, 2018 only, the ebook is available for free!🌟🌟🌟🌟 (Just check the price before you click due to time differences between Australia and the US)

Note: Heartsong is a clean read, with no sex or profanity and limited violence.

You can also follow Annie’s blog by clicking here. This will take you to her site on a new page.

Meet fellow Clean Indie Reads author Christine Campbell – with a New Release.

!cid_D4677E99-1133-45CC-9C28-35CDD81CB722@defaultToday I’d like to introduce you to my fellow CIR author, Christine Campbell. Tell us about yourself, Christine, and what you like to write.

I live in a small village outside of Edinburgh with my husband, whatever assortment of children and grandchildren happen to be visiting at the time, and have just welcomed my first great-granddaughter. How exciting is that?

I write Contemporary Women’s Fiction, and have been publishing novels since 2008. Before that I used to write short stories for magazines and articles for the Women’s page of a local newspaper. As a ‘Baby Boomer,’ I have a lot of life experience to inform my writing.

When I have a moment of peace, and am not distracted by the varied wildlife currently taking up residence in my garden and the field beyond, I write novels or posts on my blog as well as producing occasional videos about writing on my Facebook page.  I have also started a book club on Facebook – a place where readers can chat to me about my novels and learn a bit about how I write. You can find that group here.

I am currently working on my tenth novel, with the working title Makeshift Memories. So busy, busy, busy writing for your pleasure and my own – because, let’s face it, writing is fun!

When I started writing novels, I was unsure how to classify them, what genre they fitted into, so called them General Fiction. But I began to realise they are Women’s Fiction. They are written by a woman, about women, for women. So why would I call them anything else? I love being a woman and I love writing about women, ordinary women like you and me, who face extraordinary pressures and situations and rise to the challenge.

In my experience, women can be extremely strong when they need to be. And these are the women I love to write about. The characters drive the stories, and they are very capable of taking anything and everything on. Oh, they get into the same muddles you and I might, they make just as many mistakes, but, at the end of the day, they show their strengths to win the battles.

All of my novels are ‘clean’ reads with no sex, gratuitous violence or swearing.

The subjects I cover vary and are sometimes quite serious, but I do my best to handle them with as light a touch as is appropriate.

Thanks for sharing a bit about your journey, Christine. Now, before you tell us about your newest release, I’ve got a couple of questions for you. First, where are your books set?

All of my books are set in Scotland, where I live. Mostly in and around Edinburgh, but often wandering further North to the Highlands and Islands of this beautiful country.

I’ve been to Scotland and agree it is a beautiful country. I enjoyed my stay–particularly Oban, in the northwest. Next question, what are you currently working on?

The book I am presently working on represents a slight departure from Contemporary Women’s Fiction for me, in that it also has a historical strand running alongside the contemporary one. The research has been so much fun and has involved travelling further north and west of my home to the area around Glencoe and Kinlochleven, where enormous changes occurred early in the twentieth century. That strand of my novel charts some of these events and the fictionalised account of the people who lived through them.

Oh, I loved Glencoe as well!  This should be very interesting! Now, last question, what makes you happiest as an author?

The thing that makes me happiest as an author is when I get a personal letter, card or email from someone who tells me their life was changed by one of my novels. I’ve had quite a few of them, and they are precious. They are my reason to keep writing, to keep telling the stories of women like you and me, women who rise to a challenge, meet life head on and find their inner strength.

How special is that, to get a personal message from a reader such as those. Well done, Christine, and well deserved no doubt.  Now, how about you tell us a bit about your latest release.


My latest release is Gold Plated, another Contemporary Woman’s Fiction clean read about a love that has endured through fifty years – or has it? Rosanna and Paul are celebrating fifty years of marriage. Their daughter, Heather, has helped plan their Golden Wedding Anniversary party, and it looks like being a wonderful night: sixties music, all their friends and family present, and Rosanna has bought the perfect golden gift for Paul. What could possibly go wrong? When an uninvited guest shows up, Rosanna’s world is shaken and she is forced to look back over their fifty golden years and see them as they were. Were they golden? Or just gold-plated?

You can click the link above to go directly to Gold Plated, or you can find all of Christine’s book on her Amazon page – either the US or the UK.