Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Cover reveal: Going over Jordan

It's finally complete! Here is the cover for my upcoming book, Going over Jordan, sequel to Going over Home. The design is by Lorie Lee Andrews, an Indianapolis artist, and friend and former neighbor of mine. It is a copper plate etching hand colored with watercolor. Title graphics were done by my sister, Kristin Stout, of Stout Studio Designs in Carmel, Indiana. I must say, I am head over heels with the final product. It's more beautiful than I dreamed. The book will be for sale in a matter of days!


Back of the book reads:

Ellie Fox is a product of the 1990s and 2000s: headstrong, outspoken, and independent. She grew up in the Indianapolis suburbs, started her college life at Indiana University. So when she suddenly has to start life over in the 1840s, her mind is left reeling. She feels, naturally, a bit out of place. Her sister Maddie came with her, but Maddie is now married and seems to be adjusting to her new surroundings quite easily. Not so much for Ellie. She lives with her grandmother in the backwoods and helps her run a station on the Underground Railroad, but what she has been told will become her “new normal” just…doesn’t. And because she is from the future, she knows who she is going to marry— a man named William Cookston. Ellie, ever the hopeless romantic, just knows he will be perfect and will sweep her right off her feet. But when he arrives he seems to be as opposite the man of her dreams as he could be—and he has his secrets, too. Once they’re married, they find themselves living lives of secrecy as they aid runaways. It seems only a matter of time before Ellie’s mouth gets the best of her. And when it does, everything is at stake –even lives. Now it’s up to her to restore their part of the Liberty Line, and grow from a young girl to the woman she is called to be.

Available on Amazon soon!
Release signing: Conner Prairie Curiosity Fair, Saturday, June 13, 2015-11am-4pm- Conner Prairie Interactive History Park, Fishers, Indiana

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

For the love of God

I want to brag on God for a bit here. He is so good. He knows our innermost beings and the desires of our hearts and he seeks to use us through our passions and talents, which he instilled in us. God knows my heart. He knows that the most important thing on this earth to me is my family. When my job in education, being unstable in nature and far away from where we live, which I really did love, began to take a toll on my mental health and my family last year, God helped us make the big decision to transition me to full-time stay-at-home mama at the end of the school semester. It was a huge leap of faith for us. My husband is a good provider, but we really weren’t sure what it was going to look like without my income. But God has sustained us, and has opened up opportunities for me in the world of stay-at-home mamaness. Not only has it restored my mental health and done wonders for my family, especially my children, it has also allowed me to focus my writing career in ways I never have been able to before. I have finally finished my second young adult historical fantasy novel after three years and will be publishing it in June. I am working on editing my great-great-great grandmother’s memoir to turn into a children’s picture book. And the thing I am most excited about: writing Indiana history and genealogy curriculum for homeschooling families.

But since my last blog, God has opened a door that I am about 98% certain I will get to walk through that will expand my writing career in a way I have only dreamt about. I have been accepted into a Master’s program in American History, am all set to start classes in July. I am just waiting on my financial aid to come through. When I first started college in 2004, my majors were History and Writing –two of my greatest passions. After a semester I decided that this was not the direction I was to go – yet—and I changed my major to Elementary Education. In 2010, I graduated with that degree, and I now hold my teaching license in K-6 and have worked in Special Education and ABA Therapy. But now, as God has brought me home and made it clear that he wants me to WRITE in the field of education, he is now opening doors for me to study History again, and these studies will in turn open doors for me to open the doors of history to children around the country, in both fiction and nonfiction. I firmly believe this is the direction God is leading me. He has instilled a love of writing in me since the day I could pick up a pencil and form a word on the page, and the love of story, history, since as young an age.

I am so excited to see where God is leading. It truly is amazing when you come to accept the unique person God has created you to be and understand how he can work through you. It is not yourself who does the work, that we should get the glory, but God. He doesn’t always show you the path clearly laid out, so we have to trust him, but he is so trustworthy. Our lives are in his hands, and I can think of no better place for them to be. Praise his Name.