A Mission, A Dream, And A Cat – My Interview With Jessica Schaub

July 9th, 2014

A couple weeks ago I was interviewed by Jessica Schaub. It was such a great experience, getting to let readers know about the behind the scenes work I do with my books and what my driving passion for writing is, that I wanted to share an excerpt here. To read the entire post, scroll down and click the read more link.

A Mission, A Dream, and a Cat – Meet Virginia Ripple

Over the last several months, and for months to come, I’ve been interviewing authors who have self-published their work or have published through small publishing houses. From each, I’m amazed by the mission behind each book and the hopes of the author to share a theme. I have learned something valuable from each – and the trend continues this week with Virginia Ripple.

If you are a fan of fantasy and also appreciate authors who include their faith, then Virginia’s books are certainly for you!

2Apprentice Cat Toby with mysterious eyes

1. In your biography on your website, you shared something that really struck home – While working part-time as a Religious Education Director and writing the other half “the teeter totter of passions unbalanced” your life and you found yourself writing less. Many people reading this will find encouragement that they are not alone in feeling frustrated with not having enough time to write. What changes have you made to your life-style, your career, and your passions that open up the 24 hours to more writing time?

I learned a lot during my time in ministry about what it means to be Called into God’s service. Sometimes others see our hard work and think, “Wow! She really has a heart for (fill in the blank). She should do it full-time.” If we’re not aware of what our true purpose is, then we might go along with their well-meaning suggestion and then suffer because we’re not doing what God planned for us to do. It took me the better part of seven years to figure that out and another four years to understand what doing my particular ministry meant in terms of what I spent time on.

Click here to read more.

Upon Review: The Next Target by Nikki Arana

April 11th, 2012

I love to request free books to review. In fact I subscribe to three book review sites: Book CrashBook Rooster and The Bookplex, but sometimes authors and the people they work with contact me for a review. Such was the case of Nikki Arana‘s book The Next Target: A Novel.

Here is the description that made me want to write this book review:

It only took one bullet. Austia’s friend and student fell dead. And with a glimpse of a newspaper headline, the young and recently widowed Austia knows more about what happened than the police. From that fatal night, Austia’s secret outreach to the U.S. Muslim community—in the guise of English language classes—becomes a target. Local Muslim extremists set their sights on ending her ministry and even her life. And the women she ministers to will be next. 

A thick web of deceit closes in around Austia, and her circle of friends becomes smaller by the day, even as she finally opens herself to the idea of falling in love again. But who can she trust? Facing a spiritual battle that proves more treacherous than it at first seemed, Austia’s convictions are tested to their limits and her heart becomes primed for breaking. She must ask herself: how much she will risk to stay true to her herself, her faith, and to the lives of the women she serves?

The Good…

The Next Target is a well written suspense that brought to mind Frank Peretti’s Piercing the Darkness, minus the demons and angels. The author’s use of dark and light imagery and the feeling that Hussein is able to know things without being told gave the distinct feeling that this was a story of spiritual warfare.

Wonderfully frustrating cases of “just missing” the one who could make everything work out and misunderstandings regarding a person’s real intentions made me want to continue reading just to see if/when things would be cleared up. The author did a great job showing how what may seem like a bad thing was actually God making things work out the way they needed to.

The Not-so-good…

In general, prologues are not necessary and this one is no exception. It’s beautifully written, but does nothing to move the story along.

Also, this fantastic story is marred by repetitive back story info dumps. It was almost as if the author didn’t trust that the reader would either remember important details or would miss the point of a scene.

The Overall…

The Next Target: A Novel by Nikki Arana is an inspiring suspense that keeps readers up all night wondering if it’s true that Love Never Fails.