Women of Faith and Fiction~Dawn Kinzer

Good morning, friends!

Today we welcome author and editor, Dawn Kinzer! Dawn is a contributor to one of my favorite blogs, Seriously Write. Please show her some love by sharing and/or leaving a comment.

Dawn, please tell us a little about yourself.

Dawn Kinzer Headshot - Size 460Sure! I’m a wife and a mother of two grown daughters. I also have a grown stepdaughter. I absolutely adore my three grandchildren, ages 3 ½, 19 months, and 8 months.

Born in the Midwest, I grew up in a rural Wisconsin town (population of 500), then lived in the Minneapolis area for some years before moving to the Seattle area twenty-three years ago. I love the Pacific Northwest! Sandwiched between the ocean and the mountains, we’re surrounded by nature’s beauty.

I’d never thought of myself as being entrepreneurial, but discovered after working for non-profit organizations—and corporations where the dollar was the bottom line—the right path for me was to venture out on my own. In 2010, I launched Faithfully Write Editing, and I’ve been serving writers as a freelance editor since.

Although I enjoy helping others, I’m able to fulfill my creative needs through my own writing. I’ve been making up stories since I was a young child, and I can’t imagine a world without books. An added bonus of having grandchildren—I’m revisiting some of my favorite children’s stories, and I’m discovering many new ones!

I’m so glad you launched out on your own, Dawn. I love your books! And I’m sure you enjoy seeing those grandchildren. O what sweet goodness! Of course, you know this month’s theme is goodness. Please share your thoughts with our readers.

Goodness comes from God. When a person does something out of the goodness of her heart, she does it simply out of love and kindness. It embodies unselfishness. The motive is pure—there is no agenda. There is no expectation of getting something in return.

“It embodies unselfishness.” Love that answer! Now, life is a continual journey of learning, applying, and transforming. Have you ever experienced a season when you found it difficult to do good for others? How did you overcome? 

I’ve actually experienced several seasons when it was difficult to do good for others. The first—while I was going through a divorce. My only concern then was for my two daughters and their well-being. I didn’t have enough emotional energy to focus on anyone else for a while.

The second—when my nineteen-year-old stepdaughter died in a car accident. The shock initially numbed us. Then we started working through the stages of grief. She was a beautiful girl with so much potential, and even though we knew her faith was strong and that gave us comfort, her death was still devastating.

When you’re grieving, there’s nothing left to give others. It becomes a season when you need others pouring into you. Fortunately, I have a great support system of friends and family. Along with that, trusting that God is still in control and has a plan has always helped me overcome difficult times.

I came out of those seasons with new perspectives and stronger empathy for what other people experience, whether it’s similar or other hurtful situations, and I’ve been able to offer support when they’ve needed a little “goodness” in their lives.

Oh, Dawn, I’m so sorry you had to go through that. It’s true when we have seasons of heartache we gain “perspectives and stronger empathy” for others. You are an awesome friend and encourager! Your actions prove that! Now, in what genre do you write, and how does your faith influence your writing?

I’ve had devotions and articles published in books and magazines, and I’ve written numerous blog posts. But, I’ll confess . . . I’m passionate about fiction. I currently have two novels published in my historical romance series, The Daughters of Riverton, and I’m working on the third book in that series.

My faith is the foundation of my writing. I believe the written word can bring laughter and tears. It can comfort, challenge, teach, and inspire. I truly believe that story can change lives, and I use it to share God’s unconditional love with readers.

I agree with you. Stories can change lives! Dawn, thank you so much for sharing you heart with us. I’m looking forward to the third installment of the Daughters of Riverton. Happy writing, my friend!

To learn more about Dawn Kinzer and her books please visit:

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Women of Faith and Fiction ~ Vikki Kestell

Good morning, friends! Glad you’ve joined us for another edition of Women of Faith and Fiction. This morning we welcome Vikki Kestell.

Vikki’s latest series is a sci-fi/fantasy thriller! So without further ado, please give her a warm welcome.

Thank you for joining us here at CHW, Vikki!  Please tell us a little about yourself.

Thank you for having me today! Well, I wrote my first book in 1988 during a very difficult period in my life. Nothing came of that book, but I have a stack of lovely rejection letters in my files. Then, in 1991, I left my husband of twenty years and moved from Montana to New Mexico to be close to family.

I had to figure out how to support my three children, so I went to work, but I also went back to school. Over the next twelve years, I worked and earned a B.A. in English, professional writing, an M.A. in communication, then a Ph.D. In 2012, almost 25 years later, I published that first book, “A Rose Blooms Twice,” on Kindle. Since then, I’ve added seven books to the series and have written two other series. Isn’t God’s timing amazing? After all that education, I’m now back to doing what I started in 1988: writing full time.

I agree, Vikki. God’s timing is amazing! This month’s theme is Kindness. Please share your thoughts with our readers.

Hmm. I’ve come to think that kindness is more an approach to life than merely an attribute. How we make decisions on a daily (even momentary basis) can include or exclude the needs and feelings of others. Kindness is an ongoing awareness of others and their needs. Kindness is related to humility: I am not better (or less) than anyone else, and my needs are not more important than the needs of others. Following the leading of the Holy Spirit is essential to living a kind life.

Can you imagine what the world would be like if we all followed that line of thought? Now, Vikki, life is a continual journey of learning, applying, and transforming. Have you ever experienced a season when you found it difficult to have kindness toward another? How did you overcome?

Since I am naturally more task-oriented than people-oriented, I can tell you that kindness is hard for me. Being aware of and sensitive to the feelings of others is a battle I’ve fought for decades. But God is good! Spending more time with Jesus—finding and abiding in his heart and his word—is what has changed me.

My life verse is found in 1 Peter 5:6: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” It has taught me that humility is the hallmark of a follower of Jesus, that only when my desires are submitted to him will I be lifted up.

For the record, I think you’re a nice person! 🙂 In what genre do you write and how does your faith influence your writing?

I love a good story, regardless of genre. In the same way that I’m not a one-genre reader, I’m not a one-genre writer. In fact, you could say I’m all over the map!

I have an eight-book historical series (A Prairie Heritage), a follow-on historical series (Girls from the Mountain), a three-book sci-fi/fantasy thriller (Nanostealth), a short story called “The Christian and the Vampire,” and six Bible studies on Christian maturity. See? LOL. I told you I was all over the map!

What will you find in my series, A Prairie Heritage? You will find dauntless, faith-filled immigrants forging new lives on America’s unforgiving plains—and their children challenging the savagery of human trafficking in Denver, circa 1910. Once you arrive at Joy on This Mountain, Book 3 in the series, I promise you will be hooked. I seek to write good, meaty, reads of about 110k words or more. For your readers who are interested in exploring this series, Book 1, A Rose Blooms Twice is free on four major eBook retailers, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, and Kobo.

My publishing house is “Faith-Filled Fiction.” What all my novels have in common is that they are redemptive in nature—not merely “clean” fiction or “romance” with a little church or Jesus thrown in. My books focus on the realities of life and how Jesus comes into those realities and transforms my characters. Everything about Jesus brings the dead to life—and that’s what I seek to portray in my writing.

“Everything about Jesus brings the dead to life.” I like that statement! Vikki, thank you for sharing your heart and your writing with us.

Click to Tweet: “Everything about Jesus brings the dead to life.” ~ Vikki Kestell

Want to know more about Vikki? Visit:

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Women of Faith and Fiction ~ Betty Thomason Owens

Goodmorning! Today, it’s my pleasure to introduce you to Betty Thomason Owens. I met Betty when I became a crew member for Writing Prompts Thoughts and Ideas Oh My! She’s a wife, mother, and a grandmother. She’s the author of Annabelle’s Ruth (The Kinsman Redeemer Series, Book 1).

Her second book, Sutter’s Landing (The Kinsman Redeemer Series, Book 2) comes out today! Yay! So let’s show her some love by sharing and commenting.

Welcome, Betty. Tell us a little about yourself.

I grew up the daughter of a nomad. Travel was in Dad’s

blood. He couldn’t be still. I learned resilience. I learned how to adapt to circumstances, good or bad. I learned that a better world existed just around the bend. That last one is not necessarily a good thing. You might call me a dreamer. That sounds better, doesn’t it? It was during those long trips back and forth from one part of the country to another, that I began to create stories in my head. I noticed the scenery—the badlands and desert out West—and fantasized about the people that may have lived there. I still dream and create stories, but now, I write them down.

I’m a dreamer, too. There are usually hidden circumstances with dreamers. Thank goodness for stories. Betty, this month’s theme is patience. Please share your thoughts with our readers.

Quiet, steady perseverance—I love this definition of patience. It is often defined by using words like difficulty; hardship; trouble. There’s a reason for that. In my mind, patience is quiet and steady strength. Some of us have it, some don’t. And many of those who seem to have it, well—don’t look too deeply into their lives. Sometimes, it only lives on the surface. I may appear patient, but inside—turmoil and rebellion dwell. The trick is to keep those more subtle feelings at bay. Those are the things best handled by prayer. Let patience win—it goes hand-in-hand with love. Love is patient…love is kind…

I agree with you. Prayer is definitely a key to patience. Life is a continual journey of learning, applying, and transforming. Have you ever experienced a season when you found it difficult to have patience? How did you overcome?

Oh, my goodness. Yes. Right now is a good example—this past year is a good example. It’s been a real stretching time for me, when I thought maybe it was time to rest and relax a little. But it’s not time for the rocking chair yet, so I’ve had to go back to work on a part-time basis. This requires a complete overhaul of my schedule. I’m normally very laid-back and on the surface, very patient. Underneath, where only God and I can see, I’m not patient at all—especially with me. The only way to overcome this is to face it head-on. I carry it to God in prayer and ask for His help and leading. Like many, my personal expectations can be outrageous. Of course, I can’t do all that! And God knows and understands this. I just need to trust Him.

I hear ya! I believe everyone could use a big dose of patience with themselves—along with a splash of grace. We certainly can’t do it all. Now, in what genre do you write and how does your faith influence your writing?

I started out writing historical, swerved into fantasy, then back to historical. But even my fantasy writing was historical! I love reading and writing about the past. I’m inspired by stories of faith and family.

I hope my faith shines through my writing. I’m not usually preachy, but I write about people whose faith is at the center—the heart—of their existence. Sometimes they lose their way, but there’s always someone in the background, praying for them and believing they’re going to make it. That’s where I often stand. Praying. Believing.

Praying and believing is a wonderful place to stand. I’m so glad you agreed to come and talk with us. Thank you, Betty, for a lovely interview. If you would like to know more about Sutter’s Landing, scroll down and read my review.

img_9428 copyBetty Thomason Owens is a multi-published, award-winning author of historical fiction, and fantasy-adventure. She is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), where she leads a critique group, and serves as vice-president/secretary of their Louisville Area group. She’s a mentor, assisting other writers, and a co-founder of a blog dedicated to inspiring writers. She also serves on the planning committee of the Kentucky Christian Writers Conference.

Along with the upcoming Sutter’s Landing, Book 2, Kinsman Redeemer series (June 2017), her writing credits include a 20’s era romance, Amelia’s Legacy (2014), Carlotta’s Legacy (2016) Books 1 & 2, Legacy Series, and the Grace-Award-winning Annabelle’s Ruth, Book 1, Kinsman Redeemer Series (2015) (Write Integrity Press). She has two fantasy-adventure novels, The Lady of the Haven and A Gathering of Eagles, in a second edition published by Sign of the Whale BooksTM, an imprint of Olivia Kimbrell PressTM.

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