Author Interview: Chawna Schroeder!

Today I’m interviewing Chawna Schroeder, whose debut novel –  Beast – was published this July!

102_0074b Short Bio:
Chawna Schroeder loves stretching both imagination and faith through her novels. Living in Minnesota, she dreams of far-off places, daring swordfights, magic spells, and princes in disguise, just like her favorite Disney princess Belle. When she isn’t committing her dreams to paper, you can find her studying the biblical languages, working with fiber, or teaching about the importance of discernment.

Interview:

What was your original inspiration for Beast?
This story sprang out of an emotionally down time, when I was feeling especially unlovable. I knew God loved me and loved me unconditionally, but I couldn’t understand why or how He could.
So God gave me the image of Him standing with His arm outstretched, ready to catch me. But for Him to catch me, I had to let go. I had to let go of my need to understand or explain. I had to let go of my view of myself to see me as He did. I had to accept His love simply was.
Then as I mulled further the difference between how I saw myself versus how God saw me I developed the first line and the last lines of the story. And from those things Beast grew.

How long does it usually take you to write a novel?
That’s hard to say. Every novel I’ve written has been a bit different. Amount of time also depends on what you mean “write.” From the day I decide to write a novel to the day I consider it presentable, not counting periods of major interruptions, I currently guesstimate that I average around eighteen months.

What are five words you would use to describe your novel.
Whimsical. Emotional. Personal. Intense. Satisfying.

What is your Favorite fairytale?
Film: Disney’s Beauty and the Beast
Written: Either Photogen & Nycteris by George MacDonald or The Wild Swans/The Six Swans (Anderson version/Brothers Grimm version)

 Beauty and the beast is my favorite too! 😀

What about favorite hobbies?

Fiberarts (weaving, spinning, crochet, etc.), playing piano, translating Greek & Hebrew, and hiking/camping.

Coffee, tea, or hot chocolate?
Tea, hot chocolate or mulled cider, depending on the season and mood.

What is you biggest challenge when writing?
The challenge changes with every book I write. With Beast, getting Sarah’s voice right and striking the right balance between symbolism and story proved my biggest challenges. In the current story I’m working on, the world building and description have given me the greatest headaches thus far.

Have you ever cried over your own characters?
Upon occasion, though I’m more likely to get mad at them.

LOL!

What scene was the hardest to write?
I’m not sure which one was the hardest, but one of the hardest was the short exchange between Tabby and Gwen in Chapter Twenty-Three. While not the most emotionally intense, the scene required a very delicate balance of emotions. It took several rewrites to get these few, short paragraphs of dialogue right.

Are you an outliner or a seat-of-your- pants author?
I’m mixed. I like a broad outline when I start—the beginning, the climax, and a few major turning points between—but then I want to fly by the seat of my pants for he rest of the story. I like the security of the big-picture structure and great flexibility in how I get from Point A to Point B.

What are you working on now?
Another adult mixed-genre fantasy set in a world mirroring the WWII time period. It’s about a young girl who gets herself intentionally arrested in order to escape from a prison camp reputed as inescapable.

What do you want readers to take away from you book?
We don’t have to earn, explain or understand God’s unconditional love. Only accept that it is.
The truest thing about us is what God says about us.

Thank you, Chawna, for taking the time to do this interview with me!

Beast

Description:

I am Beast. I serve the Master.
For as long as Beast can remember, she has lived among her master’s dogs. With them she sleeps. With them she eats. With them she fights and struggles to survive. But through hunger and cold, she dreams of one day becoming her master’s favorite, earning bones with meat and a place beside the fire.
When her pack scatters after a surprise raid, Beast must defend herself against slavers,
hunting down the loners. They are so strong, and she is only a beast. . . isn’t she?
For anyone who has found a monster within, Beast is a tale of truth and transformation.

Amazon Kindle Link: Beast
Amazon Paperback Link: Beast

Website: www.chawnaschroeder.com
Blog: www.chawnaschroeder.blogspot.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChawnaSchroederAuthor/

Beast: a book review

Description:

I am Beast. I serve the master.

For as long as Beast can remember, she has lived among her master’s dogs. With them she sleeps. With them she eats. With them she fights and struggles to survive. But through hunger and cold she dreams of one day becoming her master’s favorite, earning bones with meat and a place beside the fire.

When her pack scatters after a surprise raid, Beast must defend herself against slavers, hunting down the loners.

They are so strong, and she is only a beast . . . or is she?

For anyone who has found a monster within, Beast is a tale of truth and transformation.

My Review:

When the Master is killed and Beast is dragged away from the only home she ever knew. Along the journey she meets another girl named Tabby, who shows Beast her first human kindness.
But Beast has also made an enemy. Challenging “Two Eyes” as Beast dubs him, was a massive mistake. He will do anything to possess her, and conquer her. To live under his hand is a fate worse than death, but can she handle the alternative?
Tabby and her father offer her a place in their “pack”. they don’t seem to realize that she is Beast. She does not deserve such kindnesses.
When bad choices threaten to tear everything apart, and no one seems trustworthy, she must decide whether to fight for herself, or for her pack.
Is she Beast, as everyone has said? Or could she possibly be…Sarah?

The character of Beast has a very unusual and delightfully fresh view of the world. Her unique perspective is quite fun to read. The rest of the character cast here are very black and white. You won’t find any truly “grey” characters in this one.
I was quite surprised to find that this book was a Biblical allegory. This one is definitely one of the few truly good ones I have read.
Beast is a short, but beautiful story of trust and forgiveness, with a strong redemption thread woven through.

My Rating: five flames

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Heat Warnings:

Romance: surprisingly, nothing at all.
Drinking/Drugs: clean.
Violence: Plenty. there are chases, fights, beating, whippings,  and “Hunts” where the villain makes a game out of hunting the main heroine down to capture or kill her. The author does keep it tasteful though, little blood is mentioned.
Other: Slavery and the question of what makes us human are both briefly touched upon.

You can find this book on Amazon Kindle here:Beast
Or the paperback here:Beast

Author’s Website: Chawna Schroeder

Happy Reading y’all!

Cover Love: Enclave Publishing Covers – Summer 2016

Hey, everyone! Is there anyone?

*scans room*

Hmm. Well, anyways, to anyone who might happen to come along, you have just got to check out the covers of the latest releases by Enclave Publishing for this summer. They really outdid themselves with this lineup.

And what’s even more awesome? They’re releasing next week! Yup, that’s right folks. set your calendar for July 2oth.

Now without further ado, Here are the gorgeous covers as well as their purchase links on Amazon and a brief description:

NO. 1

Beast by Chawna Schroeder:

Beast

Isn’t it absolutely stunning? This is by far my favorite cover of the four. The colors, the eyes… oh wow, those eyes. I could just stare at this cover all day. Gorgeous work.

Book Blurb:

I am Beast. I serve the master.

For as long as Beast can remember, she has lived among her master’s dogs. With them she sleeps. With them she eats. With them she fights and struggles to survive. But through hunger and cold she dreams of one day becoming her master’s favorite, earning bones with meat and a place beside the fire.

When her pack scatters after a surprise raid, Beast must defend herself against slavers, hunting down the loners.

They are so strong, and she is only a beast . . . or is she?

For anyone who has found a monster within, Beast is a tale of truth and transformation.

Intriguing, no?

You can find the book on Amazon here: Beast

And the author’s website here:Chawna Schroeder’s Website

NO. 2

Chains of Gwyndorr by Joan Campbell

chains-book-cover-1

This cover is my second favorite. I just love the colors and the fantastical feel.

Book Blurb:

Secret schemes. Stolen magic.

Trapped behind Gwyndorr’s towering walls, Shara longs to unlock the secrets that surround her. She believes the Cerulean Dusk Dreamer is the key. The power rock gives vivid dreams of the past and future but it also has a dark side.

Its forces lay siege to her future, tightening her chains. In seeking help, Shara rekindles a forbidden friendship with Nicho, the Lowborn lawbreaker facing banishment to the Rif’twine Forest.

Together, Shara and Nicho must thwart the plans of their enemies. But what if the power they unleash is an even greater chain than what they’ve come to bear?

You can find it on Amazon here:Chains of Gwyndorr (The Poison Tree Path Chronicles Book 1)

And the author’s website here:Joan Campbell’s Author Website

NO. 3

The Word Endangered by Steve Rzasa

the word endangered

Here we can see a lush forest broken up by what appears to be a crashed starship. Doesn’t it just make you want to jump right on in to find out what happened? I borrowed the first two books in this series years ago and loved them. Lots of action. I’ll totally be looking into this one.

Book Blurb:

So much for peace and quiet.

Now that the government overthrow is said and done, a new frontier awaits colonization.

That’s where Zarco Thread and his wife enter. He and Ria head up a surveying crew, commissioned to report on worlds with potential for settlements. However, nothing is settling about what they discover.

A conspiracy threatens to unravel the progress the Five Realms made in the last decade. Not to mention, strain the development of Zarco and Ria’s marriage.

This time it’s more serious than revenge…

A dominating force exists in the Realm that has recruited their long-time enemies, tempting them with a greater plot, one that will endanger the Word once again.

You can find the book on Amazon here: The Word Endangered (The Face of the Deep Book 3)
And the author’s website through here:Steve Rasa’s author website

And finally,

NO. 4

Space Drifters: The Iron Gauntlet

the iron gauntlet

This cover has a great cool color scheme that I love. Kirk DuPonce always makes the most awesome covers.

Book Blurb: 

Reality check.

No good-luck charm can help Captain Glint Starcrost out of this no-holds-barred reality show. The Iron Gauntlet pits competitors against four of the most fearsome, fang-filled, alien fighters in the universe.

He’s one of the few human challengers ever chosen to contend, but he’s not alone.

A fan, a mysterious benefactor, offers Glint and his ragtag team support. The catch? If Glint loses or withdrawals from the competition, it will mean a permanent game over for his crew and the woman he loves.

Will he have the mettle to medal? Or is the game too much of a gamble?

You can find the Amazon link here: Space Drifters: The Iron Gauntlet

And of course, the author site: Space Drifters series official site

Enjoy!

C. M.