Friday, August 18, 2017

"Out Of The Ashes" by A.M. Health Book Tour and A Special Interview With Review!

Out of the Ashes Blurb
Sometimes peace is won through battle. 

Haunted by the memories he can't escape, Ralph Williams wants to be left alone to lick his wounds. He doesn't understand why he's forced into the company of the one woman he least desires. Can God bring him healing through such uncomfortable circumstances?

Frank Harper thought he had left the war and its turmoil behind, but the home to which he has returned is anything but peaceful. When racial tensions arise in Maple Grove, Frank finds himself on a battlefield once more. He's desperate for peace, but at what cost?

When George Chandler heads off to wed his beloved bride, things don’t go as expected. Just as George starts to get comfortable with what he believes is God’s new plan for his life, history threatens to repeat itself. Will he fight for the woman he’s come to love, or will he let her go?

The War Between the States has destroyed more than just a nation. In four years, it has damaged bodies and wounded souls until the people think that nothing is left. Will they find the healing they so desperately need from the God that loves them?
My review:  I am so excited to say that I have finished reading  "Out Of The Ashes" by Anita Health, the third book in the "Ancient Words Series" and I loved it. I strongly recommend reading book1 and 2 in this series before reading "Out Of The Ashes". So I am going to include the links for those books here if you want to check them out
"Out Of TheAshes"by A. M, Health is a book about how George, Ralph, Frank and others survive the aftereffects of war.  This book has facts of history woven into a GREAT STORY.

There are lessons that the characters learn in this book that readers need to apply to our lives, lessons about forgiveness and loving our enemies and how sometimes doing nothing to help others is just as bad as the things others are doing to those less fortune.
I got to the last chapter and was thinking I don't want this series to end and I was happy to read in the back of the book that another is coming! Yeah!

While reading the books I was thinking these books would make a great movie or movies because they are as great as the classic "Gone With The Wind" and one scene made me think of "The Gift Of The Magi" by O.Henry, no one cut off their hair but the gifts were just as special.

If I was asked to pick a favorite character from "Out Of The Ashes" it would be all of them but the few ladies from the church, yes I can dislike church ladies in books, you know all readers do, and Melissa's parents who made her feel she was worth nothing if she didn't marry and help them financially.  I think the characters will remain in my heart and head for a long time, because I could feel their pain and happiness as I read the story because AM Health told a fantastic story and made me fall in love with these characters while telling history.                                                                    

These stories made me cry ( not so much "Out Of The Ashes") and rejoice.  There was a few times in this book I was thinking ,no, don't let be that way. I am going to close the review now before I give a spoiler alert.  I SAY READ THESE BOOKS AND YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT.                                                

I was given a complimentary copy by the author.  These opinions are my own. Definitely worth more than the 5 stars I am giving it.

Anita's BioBesides being an Indie Author, I’m a wife, mother of four, children’s Sunday School teacher, sweet tea drinker, history fanatic, romantic, bubbly, lover of broccoli, and cake decorator who has a soft spot for Christmas trees, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. 
What I’m not is a laundress (or at least not one who keeps up very well), a duster, tall, or patient in a doctor’s office.

                                       Interview  With Author

Which character was your favorite to write? 
Ahh, this is so hard to answer. Claire was an instant favorite for me to work with. She reminded me so much of myself that her character just flowed out onto paper. Frank was another favorite of mine. I loved watching him grow throughout the stories. By the epilogue, I was able to stand back (much like his father, Olen) and look on Frank with pride. My "son" had grown into a fine man. 

Which was the hardest character to write?
George Chandler!! He was such a closed off character, even toward me! I had a hard time connecting with him and finding his story. 

If you couldn't write, what would you do instead? 
Bake and decorate cakes. I had planned on opening a bakery before the Lord had changed my course. No regrets, though! 

Do you create playlists for each book, write to the same music all the time, don't listen to anything? 
I actually create playlists for each book. They help me connect with the characters and their story lines. In fact, it was the only way I was able to get to know Rose Forrister. 
BUT, I typically write to the same playlist. I have a rather long list of songs that help me get into the zone and stay focused. I've noticed that I'm not able to write to a variety of songs so I spend most of my time with the one playlist unless I'm looking for inspiration from the novel's playlist. 

Where is your favorite place to write? Pictures? 
I prefer to stay at my desk. Lol I love the idea of writing at a cafe or in a booth over lunch but I'm not as comfortable and can be easily distracted. It's best if I stay at my desk. Occasionally, I'll write outside under the tree. That's as close to being comfortable and productive as I can be when not working at my desk. 

What book do you WANT to write but know you never will? 
I was watching The Secret Garden some time ago and was inspired by the slight romance they added to the story. I couldn't help but wonder what would happen as the kids aged and the interests of the two boys continued to drive a wedge in their friendship. I was inspired to carry on with their story, but I highly doubt I ever will. 

How do you find the balance of writing time and family time? 
This isn't always easy for me. I've been known to focus more on work then get stressed out when I'm interrupted. I'm learning to expect nothing or very little when the kids aren't in school. I've noticed that if I stop working while the kids are awake or home, I'm much less stressed. So I try to schedule myself around their schedule and go with the flow on the odd days when we have appointments or other mishaps. 

Which of your book covers is your favorite and why? 
That's also hard to answer. I had a hand in crafting all three so they're like children to me. I'm so close to each of the characters, so I can feel their emotion in each of the covers. I know what they're thinking. Frank is wrestling with Christ on the cover of Where Can I Flee. Sally is enjoying a love letter on In the Shadow of Thy Wings. And Ralph is remembering all that he had lost during the war in Out of the Ashes. If I'm forced to pick, I'd say Where Can I Flee but only because it was my first creation. There's something really special about seeing your ideas come to life. 

Do you ever feel like quitting? Why? 
Yes and no. It's common to reach a point in the novel where I feel like I've made a big mess of things and will never be able to finish. That's such a discouraging season, and there tend to be multiple seasons like this with each novel. But one way you can tell that you're in the Lord's will is when, even in the midst of such frustration, there is a deep sense of duty and resignation. I may feel like quitting from time to time, but I know I never will. I wasn't called to quit. I was called to finish. And by the Lord's power and for His glory, I'll do just that. 

How can readers encourage authors? 
By taking a minute to drop them a note and let them know how much their book meant to you. I treasure each message a reader sends me when they let me know that something I've written has touched their hearts in some way. And you never know, you just might be sending them a message on one of their hard days. You could be God's instrument meant to encourage them in their work and push them forward to the finish line. 

What do you do when you run into writer's block? 
I bang my head against my desk. Lol Well, that may not be completely false, but I do a number of things. I tend to be an analyzer. So in my mind, I'm picking it apart and puzzling over where I went wrong or what I should have done. I run my loose thoughts across a plotting partner and she often offers some advice or a writing technique that could help me. And sometimes, you just need to take a break and come back to it later in the hopes of being able to see more clearly. And never forget prayer!! The Lord is the author of all good ideas, so I find it best to ask for clarity as I work. 

Why did you write Out of the Ashes? What do you hope your readers will say about it? 
There are a couple purposes behind Ashes. First of all, Ralph needed a happy ending. I actually dedicated this novel to the reader for that very reason. I knew it was the story they wanted most. The deeper purpose behind the novel is to show the reader that true healing comes from Christ and Christ only. What a difference it makes when we face the trials of this life with Him by our side! 
I hope the reader will say they loved the story and that it touched their heart in a special way. 

Do all authors have to be grammar Nazis? 
LOL Not this one! Grammar actually isn't my strong suit at all. I like to tell people that it's my job to be creative and it's the editor's job to make me look good. ;) I do tend to be a little more aware of grammar mistakes while I'm editing my novel. But for the most part, it's the furthest thing from my mind.

What makes this particular genre you are involved in so special? 
Since I'm involved in two genres, Christian fiction and historical fiction, I'm going to answer for both. 
Christian Fiction is so special because it has the ability to edify the reader as well as entertaining them. It blesses me as a reader when I run across something that God uses to teach me. And nothing blesses me more as an author than to know that I've impacted someone else for God's glory through my work. 
Historical Fiction is special because it breathes new life into old stories. I never get tired of hearing from people who hated history in school but picked up their first historical fiction novel and found that they loved it and even learned something along the way. Through historical fiction, the reader is able to feel the emotion and connect with the common thoughts of the people during that time in a way that a history book often lacks. 

Who is your favorite author? 
Jane Austen and Lynn Austin are among my favorites. 

Who is your favorite audio book narrator? 

Amanda McKnight. I thoroughly enjoyed her work on Jessica Dotta's series, Born of Persuasion and I would also highly recommend. 

Out of the Ashes Blog Tour Stops

Aug. 11: Amanda Tero @ With a Joyful Noise : Book Review
Aug. 14: Deana Dick @ Texas Book-aholic  : Book Review
Aug. 15: Virginia Winfield @  Bigreadersite : Book Review
Aug. 16: Raechel Lenore @ God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae : Spotlight
Aug. 18: Debbie Curto @ Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations  : Book Review and Interview
 There is a paperback giveaway in progress for the duration of the tour.                                                             

Amazon Links:                                                                                                                                      Where Can I Flee:


A.M. Heath said...

Thanks so much for the lovely review!! I'm so glad you liked Ashes and the whole series!!
And thanks for the interview; I had a great time!!

Pam Lunsford said...

WOW! Loved the interview Debbie. You asked some incredible questions.

Debbie Curto said...

Thank you for writing such wonderful stories!

Debbie Curto said...

Thank you Pamela, I had some help from my Facebook friends

stitchesthrutime said...

Wow, Debbie, what a great interview. I've been on the lookout for post civil war books. I'm going to read all 3 of these. Anita, I love authors who consider their writing to be a ministry to bring glory to God.

Paula Shreckhise said...

Great interview. I learned so much! This is a favorite time period of mine . Can't wait to start reading these.

Flo said...

Looks good. I think I'll be putting it on my list of books to read. :-)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the interesting review! I enjoy historical fiction a lot and this sounds like a good read!