Kaitlin is here to share a bit about her debut release. She's offered to give away a print copy of the book. (US ONLY). You can enter by using the Rafflecopter link at the end of the post. (Giveaway ends March 22, 2019. If you are the randomly chosen winner, I'll contact you.)
Q&A with Kaitlin...
Q: Congratulations on your debut!What message do you hope readers take away from your story?
A: That everyone has ashes in their life … the ashes of broken dreams and scarred pasts. We serve a God whose love has redemptive power. He calls all of his children Beloved. He wants to atone for our ashes, even if they are the result of our mistakes, and redeem our future. Our God pursues the broken with arms of healing. All we have to do is stop running away. If we seek His face, He is faithful to heal our brokenness.
Q: So true! This is your debut. What advice do you have for other new authors?
A: Stay true to yourself when you write. Don’t let anyone rob you of the flavor and style that makes your writing unique and special. Every author has a voice. Continue developing your voice, and don’t allow criticism to steal your voice’s rhythm and harmony.
Q: Great advice! What was the hardest part of your path to publication for this, your debut?
A: The hardest part for me was learning all the twists and turns of launching the book. There was a lot more marketing involved than I had thought, but I learned a lot. I did enjoy many aspects of it as I began to get more comfortable.
Q: Now, for a few fun questions. What famous person would you like to meet and why?
A: Wow, that is a tough question. I love history, and there are so many famous people I would love to meet in person. I’m just going to say Lucille Ball because I Love Lucy is one of my favorite shows of all time! She never fails to make me laugh!
Q: Oh, I agree! She's just wonderful. What's one thing about you that would surprise your readers?
A: I love variety, and the adage “Variety is the spice of life” fits me very well. I can’t eat the same food, listen to the same music, or do the same activity too many times in a row because I will get sick of it very quickly!
Q: Ha! Well, then I'm certainly interested in this next response. Do you have any writing rituals (such as a particular pen, outfit, music) you must have or do when writing?
A: I’m definitely a “soundtrack writer.” I have to listen to music whenever I’m writing. I make lots of playlists on Spotify, and I frequently listen to instrumental soundtracks from movies to set the tone for each scene that I’m currently writing. I tend to find that music also helps me to express my characters’ emotions. Another writing ritual for me would be coffee … lots and lots of coffee! J
I definitely agree about the music (but not the coffee, lol!). I always work with music in the background. Thanks so much for being here. I'm sure my readers will enjoy getting to know more about your and your wonderful debut!
Josie’s eyes flew open to darkness as her body impacted something hard. Something coarse grazed her cheek. Terror mounted in cold ripples until it matched the cadence of her racing heart. Fear choked her until a scream ripped from her throat.
There was a muffled cry, and her body pitched sideways as though some mysterious force had gripped her in its power. A thunderous crash shook the floorboards as she fought the folds that pinioned her limbs. A man’s hands pawed at her, fingers digging into her shoulders. She fought for the strength to scream again.
She stilled at the sound of her name, familiar and fond. The man’s grasp gentled, and her trembling limbs were too weak to resist as he pulled her against his chest. Warm, steadying arms surrounded her as she detected the sound of ragged breathing. Her own chest shuddered with the effort.
“Help me,” she gasped out. “Help—”
“It’s all right. You’re going to be all right,” a tender voice murmured. It sounded familiar, but at the same time she had never heard it before. A rough jaw slid up against her skin, and wandering fingers buried themselves in her hair.
“I won’t let anything hurt you. You’re safe now.”
It hurt to breathe in the inky black oppression. The very air was poisoned.
“Light,” she pleaded against the man’s cheek. “Oh, for the love of all that is sacred, bring me light.”
Strong arms lifted her off the hard floor. She gripped the hard shoulder. His voice resonated within her soul.
“Please God, let there be a moon for her sake.”
A latch clicked, bathing her in silvery light. The stiff breeze revived her paralyzed senses with a rushing chill. Slowly, she realized where she was as she stared out at the moonlit sea through the cabin’s porthole with her husband.
Charles’s eyes caressed her in the cold light, warmth bleeding through the shadows that played across the sharp lines of his face.
“You must have had a nightmare.”
Josie’s face twisted as he clutched her closer against the warmth of his chest.
“I dreamed it again,” Josie whispered. “The nightmare. . . comes in night’s utter darkness.”
~ Pg. 139-140, Atoning for Ashes by Kaitlin Covel, copyright Deep River Books, 2019
Atoning for Ashes is a solid example of historical fiction, and it’s only the author’s debut! Richly detailed scenes and prose combine with well-drawn characters to pull the reader in early on. The characters’ struggles are realistic, and there were a few unexpected twists. Covel has a solid grasp on Regency romance. Scripture is woven throughout, and the story truly shows how God heals and can make beauty from ashes. This is not your typical historical romance. Parts moved a bit slower than I would have liked, but things balanced out in the end. There was more of a Christian element and mystery angle than I anticipated.
Difficult topics (such as alcoholism, abuse, pregnancy outside of marriage, and murder) are addressed, along with themes of self-worth, redemption, forgiveness, and trust. As a result of the topics, this book would be best for a mature audience.
Note: Swearing, abuse, attempted rape, and drinking
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy, but I wasn’t required to leave a positive review.
She lives with her family in Maine, where she enjoys teaching the teen Sunday school class at her church. Her favorite things are family, books, history, chocolate, music, the ocean, and strong cups of tea.
Where you can find her online...