Friday, June 17, 2016

"The Alliance" by Jolina Petersheim ... and a GIVEAWAY!

In celebration of her latest release, Jolina has graciously offered to give away a copy of the book (US Only). To enter, see the Rafflecopter box at the bottom of this post. (Contest ends June 24, 2016.) If you are the randomly chosen winner, I'll contact you and pass on your information. Good luck!

A Word from Jolina...

I guess you could say I had a slightly different childhood. When I was six and my brother ten, our family stood in a field on the camp where my parents were caretakers, and my parents told us that this was where we would meet if we were separated when the world "blew up." From this field, our family would travel by foot to our friends' elaborate, fairy-tale home and live in the blue room hidden behind their bookshelves.

My parents in no way meant to instill fear in us. Now that I'm a parent, I see that they were trying to assuage their own fears by coming up with a disaster-recovery plan. But I was born with an overactive imagination, and therefore this plan planted in me the seed of fear--and subsequently, a driving need to control my environment.

I wish I could say I uprooted this fear once I became an adult, but after I had my firstborn daughter, my fear grew worse, for not only did I have to control my environment, I also had to control hers.

When my eldest was six months old, an unnerving exchange with a logger caused my fear to deepen its roots and forced me to ask myself whether I would ever use lethal force to protect myself and my family. I believed I would, even though, growing up, I sensed that my father would adhere to his pacifist heritage if placed in such a situation.

The final puzzle piece for my book, The Alliance, slid into place when my father told us that we needed heirloom seeds to last us until the next harvest season. I remember standing in my darkened kitchen, repeating that phrase to myself--the harvest season.

Initially, I believed this would be the title of the book, but over time, I knew a community having enough food to last until the next harvest season was only a small element of the story. The larger element came from the protagonist, Leora Ebersole, and her driving need to control her environment, even after society crumbles around her, because if she controls her environment, she believes she will be able to keep her orphaned family safe.

With every one of my books, God's been faithful to allow me to experience some portion of whatever topic I'm addressing. The Alliance has been no exception.

My family and I moved from Tennessee to Wisconsin shortly before I finished the rough draft. Eight weeks later, my husband went in for a CAT scan, which revealed a tumor near his brain stem. He had surgery the next morning, and all through that night next to his hospital bed, I feared for my family.

I feared for our two young daughters--our firstborn was two and a half and our second was four months old at the time. I feared that I would be a widow, living on a grid-tie solar-powered farm six hundred miles away from our immediate families. In a matter of hours, one of my worst fears had come true, and I didn't know how to handle it.

However, all through my Garden of Gethsemane night, during the hours my husband was in surgery, and the critical weeks that followed the craniotomy, I felt God's presence as if he was sitting beside me.

I then understood that God had allowed me to face one of my greatest fears so that I would learn that inner peace can never be acquired through my futile attempts to control my environment--and therefore keep my family safe. Moreover, I can only achieve inner peace if I continually surrender my life and the lives of my family to the One who called us into being.

So I pray, dear reader, that you will discover the author of the peace that passes all understanding and daily surrender your life--and the lives of your family--to Him.

Q & A with Jolina...

Q:  What would you be doing if you were not an author?
A:  Be a midwife or non-profit doula to endangered teens

Q:  How did you start writing?
A:  I fell in love with the written word in 2nd grade when a teacher refused to let me give up on reading, though it was difficult for me to learn. Soon, I was reading everything I could possibly get my hands on (My mom had to screen some of my library titles.) and, from this, I fell in love with writing as well.

Q:  What are your thoughts on the publishing industry in general? In relation to self-publishing?
A;  I think it’s an exciting time to be an author! During the release of my debut, The Outcast, in 2013, it seemed like print books were on the decline, but now eBooks are starting to taper off. Nothing is ever the same, and I like that! Also, it’s wonderful that writers have the ability to self-publish their books and, therefore, fulfill their dreams.

Q:  What advice do you have for new authors?
A:  I read a quote recently that said, “Plan in decades. Think in years. Work in months. Live in days.” ~Nic Harambulous. It can become so easy, during the hustle and bustle of launch season (or rough-draft season, editing season, etc.) to get caught up in the finished product, inadvertently losing sight of the beauty of the everyday. I believe it’s impossible to truly create art without tapping into our world. Don’t shut it out in an effort to reach a deadline. Let life feed your art. Your story will thrive because of it.

Q:  Great advice! What is your favorite writing-related book? 
A:  On Writing by Stephen King. This is a wonderfully practical book and well-written to boot. I haven’t read much by Stephen King, but this really made me want to meet him.

Q:  What can you tell me about your next project? 
A:  The Divide, the sequel to The Alliance, is releasing Spring 2017.

Q:  What's a book you wish you'd written? 
A:  I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. Eccentric characters, great setting (a crumbling castle surrounded by a mote), a coming-of-age story in 1920s England. It just warms my heart and makes me want to weep at the same time.

Q:  Who are some of your favorite authors? 
A:  Marilynne Robinson, Donna Tartt, Kate Atkinson, Jane Eyre, Barbara Kingsolver, Lois Lowry

Q:  What do you enjoy doing when you're not writing? 
A:  Reading, hiking, cooking, swimming (or doggy paddling), digging in the dirt, and, of course, being with my precious family

Q:  What is something readers would be surprised to learn about you?
A:  I was on a clogging team in high school (like Appalachian river dance) and still sometimes break out a jig whenever I’m excited. J

Very cool! I was in a dance club in elementary school and we did some clogging. Clogging is certainly challenging!  Thanks for taking the time to visit my blog. I'm sure my readers will enjoy getting to know you a bit better!

Link to my review...
(I rated it 4 out of 5 stars.)

Amazon link for purchase...

About Jolina...

Jolina Petersheim is the bestselling author of The Alliance, The Midwife, and The Outcast, which Library Journal called "outstanding . . . fresh and inspirational" in a starred review and named one of the best books of 2013. Her writing has been featured in venues as varied as radio programs, nonfiction books, and numerous online and print publications such as Reader's Digest, Writer's Digest, and Today's Christian Woman. Jolina and her husband share the same unique Amish and Mennonite heritage that originated in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, but now live on a solar-powered farm in the Driftless Region of Wisconsin with their young daughters. Follow Jolina and her blog at

Where readers can find Jolina online...
Twitter: Jolina_Joy
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thank you for letting me visit, Leslie! :)

  2. I've read The Hunger Games and Divergent, but I'm really looking forward to reading an apocalyptic book with a christian take on it. Thank you for this giveaway!

    1. Irene,

      Thanks for stopping by! I really enjoyed Divergent and Hunger Games, so I, too, was thrilled to see that there are some Christian authors writing apocalyptic-themed books :)

      Good luck!

  3. I loved some of Stephen Kings and Swan Song by Robert R. Mccammon. His has been my favorite.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Virginia :)

      Stephen King definitely has some great books. I've never read "Swan Song, " but I'll have to check it out.

      Good luck!

  4. I have read the Left Behind series. Loved it.

    1. Hi, Jan. Yes, that's a wonderful series!

      Good luck, and thanks for stopping by.

  5. I love Molina's books, can't wait to read this one! Thanks for the blog!

    1. I mistyped Molina's name, sorry :)

    2. Thanks for stopping by, Kimberly. You're very welcome! It's a really good book :)

      Good luck!

  6. No I haven't. Thank you for this opportunity.

    1. Cheryl,

      You're very welcome! Thanks for stopping by. I think you'll really enjoy it. Good luck!