Exclusive First Paragraph Sneak Peek

Website Cover3

Happy February, readers! I don’t know about you, but this has been the month of weather whiplash. Missouri is always somewhat unpredictable, but for the last three weeks we’ve had warm days followed by ice and snow followed immediately by warm days. Even as I write this, I’m remembering yesterday’s 60 degrees while waiting for the snow to begin in a few hours. Are things erratic where you are or pretty steady?

Beta Reader Edits – Constructive or Critical?

The answer: hopefully both. As an author, you need beta readers. You can’t be 100% objective about your own work because it’s yours. You know the story inside and out, including all the background that didn’t make it into the story. While you can hopefully see most errors, your love of your characters will, at some point, afflict you with blindness to the story’s flaws. A good beta reader will not only call out your grammatical weaknesses, but will also note when your characters are acting out of sorts or when the dazzling fight scene you wrote could never physically happen.

I am blessed with a team of amazing beta readers who can both celebrate the strengths of my novel and also highlight its weaknesses. They don’t just say, “It was good” or “It wasn’t my style.” They tell me why, sometimes in several paragraphs. An ideal team includes those from diverse backgrounds who can view your work through various lenses. Several are authors, a few editors, all voracious readers, and one who hardly ever reads books but still provides fantastic feedback (thanks, Dad!). There are those who love Christian Fiction and those who don’t and both sides help tell a well-balanced story.

March 1 is the deadline for beta reader feedback and then the last stretch of edits begins. With only three months to go, I’m itching to share the first part of Sarah and Tobias’s story with you. In the meantime, see below for an exclusive sneak peek at the first paragraph with more to come in the next newsletter. Enjoy!

“Spanish lace and a cascade of hawthorn blossoms seemed a strange prelude to death, yet once again, Sarah Walcott found herself ensnared in its elusive web. She wondered how long it would be this time. Within the next hour? Two? By midnight surely. Either way, she knew with certainty that by tomorrow morning her husband would be dead.”

Pre-Order For a Noble Purpose

 

For a Noble Purpose Launch Team

Launch Team Applications (2)

Want to read For a Noble Purpose before its release on June 7, 2022?

I am compiling a team of readers excited to help post and review by release day. There are two available teams: one for those willing to read and review and one for those without time to review, but would still like to post about the release. Applications are open now through April 1.

Apply to the Launch Team

 

Due to variability in social media algorithms, the best way to receive this newsletter is through e-mail. If you were directed to this site via social media or a search engine, you can subscribe to updates by entering your e-mail on the Contact page. E-mail addresses are never sold or distributed. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Follow me on:

flogo_RGB_HEX-114  Twitter_Social_Icon_Square_Color  glyph-logo_May2016  1454549143-1454549143_goodreads_misc  BB 96x96 S

COPYRIGHT © KELSEY GIETL 2022

 

Are you all in?…Taking a leap of faith

Website Cover3

I know it isn’t the last Friday of the month, but I’ve had a calling on my heart for awhile now and it finally seemed like time to share it with you. I also shared this same post on social media if you follow me there.

Have you ever said you’re “all in” for something? It’s a familiar phrase, but how often do we really think about what that means?

About six months ago, after standing on the edges for my last two novels, I decided I was ready to take the leap into the world of Christian Fiction publishing. I told myself I was “all in” while only announcing my decision to my author friends and close family, but not my readers. Of course, I made a few changes to my website and posted more spiritual content on social media, but I was still hiding my light under a bushel. Because let’s face it, I was afraid.

“What if they find me preachy?”
“What if they give me terrible reviews?”
“What if they accuse me of being a fraud?”
“What if all my readers leave me?”
“What if…?”

I had spent seven years cultivating my readership and it could all my gone with the click of a button. Was being “all in” really worth that?

All In

The past month of my life has been flooded with reminders that “whatever you do, do everything to the glory of God.” As in near-daily occurrences. I heard it in my Mommy Writers group and in multiple Instagram reels and posts. It was the message in our priest’s homily this past Sunday, seen in a Walking With Purpose Bible Study video on Monday, and at Ladies Praise and Worship last night in a church that wasn’t even my own denomination. But it wasn’t until afterward, in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, that I finally committed to writing this post.

Jesus’s answer to every one of those “what ifs” I had was “What if they do?” and that is not an easy answer to accept. But I do believe the risk is worth it. God wants us to be “all in” for Him. That doesn’t mean it will be easy and truthfully, it will usually be a daily battle. But he takes that battle on His shoulders and fights for us. And I want my words, in whatever small measure, to fight for you and inspire you, my readers.

I hope you will continue this journey with me, but even if you don’t, I am thankful for each and every one of you. I hope you know how truly blessed you are. ❤️

 

Due to variability in social media algorithms, the best way to receive this newsletter is through e-mail. If you were directed to this site via social media or a search engine, you can subscribe to updates by entering your e-mail on the Contact page. E-mail addresses are never sold or distributed. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Follow me on:

flogo_RGB_HEX-114  Twitter_Social_Icon_Square_Color  glyph-logo_May2016  1454549143-1454549143_goodreads_misc  BB 96x96 S

COPYRIGHT © KELSEY GIETL 2022

 

Join my Launch Team plus Reader Extras!

Website Cover3

Happy January, readers! A new year and new series means it’s time for a new website! Or rather a website refresh. As you navigate the site, you’ll now notice an updated color and font scheme as well as new layout on many of my book pages. Let me know your thoughts!

Go Behind the Scenes with Reader Extras

Over the past few months, I’ve posted character introductions for both the Over the Atlantic and War Across Waters series. If you missed any, head over to Instagram or Facebook to catch up. Each post includes aesthetic photos plus key (spoiler free) details for each of the main characters. Here are the posts for the main characters from my most recent WWI release, Unsettled Shores.

Amara Main aesthetic pic   Emil Main aesthetic pic

Josie Main aesthetic pic   Peter Main aesthetic pic

As part of my website refresh, I’ve also added a new “Extras” section. This section has a link to Aesthetic Photos, Book-Inspired playlists, and coming soon, historical links to my favorite research sites. I’ve heard from a few readers that certain songs remind them of specific characters, so please let me know yours and I’ll add them to the playlists! Also, tell me if there’s any other extras you’d like me to consider for future updates!

Start Your Behind the Scenes Experience

 

For a Noble Purpose Launch Team Applications

Launch Team Applications

For a Noble Purpose is with beta readers, so it’s time for me to switch hats once again from writer to editor to business manager. Being an independent author means being tasked with marketing your own work, which is where you, my readers, can make all the difference.

For the launch of For a Noble Purpose, I am compiling a team of bookstagrammers, book bloggers, and other influencers excited to help post and review for the release on June 7, 2022. There are two available teams: one for those willing to read and review and one for those without time to review, but would still like to post about the release. Further details are available on the application, available on my website below:

Apply to the Launch Team

 

The Book Shop

Need a copy of my books? All are available online in ebook and paperback or by request from your favorite indie bookseller or local library. For book club appearances, contact me here.

for-a-noble-purpose-cover-front-final     Unsettled Shores Cover - Front     Broken Lines Cover - Final 4-25-2020 small     Across Oceans Cover - 2.27 small     Twisted River Cover Final - 2-27-2020

Due to variability in social media algorithms, the best way to receive this newsletter is through e-mail. If you were directed to this site via social media or a search engine, you can subscribe to updates by entering your e-mail on the Contact page. E-mail addresses are never sold or distributed. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Follow me on:

flogo_RGB_HEX-114  Twitter_Social_Icon_Square_Color  glyph-logo_May2016  1454549143-1454549143_goodreads_misc  BB 96x96 S

COPYRIGHT © KELSEY GIETL 2022

 

Friday Fiction Reading Recommendations

Happy Friday, readers! Snuggle up with a cozy sweater and a cup of tea (or coffee or cocoa). Here are my reading favorites from October through December. It was a good quarter for reading with nine to choose from! Did any of these make your list?

~ Kelsey


In Pieces by Rhonda Ortiz

Historical Fiction – 1793 Boston

In Pieces opens with Molly Chase raiding her late father’s warehouse before the lawyers sell off his assets. While there, she experiences a PTSD-induced attack brought on by memories of her father’s suicide. Josiah Robb, returned from a sea voyage as first mate, rescues his friend back to his home, insisting she stay with them while she navigates her grief. What follows is a story of misunderstanding, rumors, and gossip that threaten to destroy any chance of the romance Josiah has set his life’s plans on, but Molly isn’t yet aware of. Throughout the novel, tough questions are asked that do not always have clear or easy answers, but certainly make one think about what they believe and why. Not every question is resolved in this first novel, but the story ends with both characters at a place of peace, at least for the moment.

Bridge of Gold by Kimberley Woodhouse

Dual Timeline – 1933 and Present Day San Francisco

Bridge of Gold combines a murder mystery, an undersea treasure hunt, the history of the Golden Gate Bridge, and two romances, one in 1933 and the other in present day. The dual timelines play well off of each other and gradually come together until the big whodunnit reveal at the end. My biggest complaint is that the cover doesn’t include any of the major elements of the story, portraying it as a standard historical romance without expressing any level of suspense. The Golden Gate Bridge and the shipwreck discovered in the first chapter are almost characters unto themselves and my marketing side wishes they were shown front and center. This is my first read by Kimberley Woodhouse, but I would definitely read another.

As Dawn Breaks by Kate Breslin

Historical Fiction – World War I Scotland

As Dawn Breaks, is a tale of government secrets, hidden identities, and tender romance on the Scottish home front. Trapped in an abusive engagement, Rose Graham’s life seems hopeless until the munitions factory explodes and she is mistakenly listed as dead. Taking a daring risk, she escapes to Gretna, Scotland, but as her lies start to spiral, she fears everything she’s worked for may soon unravel, including her growing affection for former air force pilot, Alex Baird. Both Rose and Alex have scars on their hearts from lost loved ones and guilt over their past actions—or inactions. Thankfully, it is through their common experiences that they are slowly able to heal and find forgiveness.

Sorcerous by Susan Laspe

Historical Fantasy – 1356 England

Sorcerous is the perfect tale for fans of the mythological world of Percy Jackson mixed with the spirituality of Narnia set within the history of medieval England. After receiving a dire prophecy and being set upon by a sorceress, English Knight Padric de Clifton finds himself tasked to find the sorceress’s lair and an ancient artifact that could help save the world. But the clock is ticking, made more cumbersome by the fact that he’s now cursed…and not exactly altogether human anymore. The three main characters were a nice blend from Padric’s serious nature to Brynwen’s romantic (yet strong-willed) femininity, and Talfryn’s quirky demeanor. I enjoyed how Christian characters were brought into a mythological world and deciphered what it meant to them as believers. It is a subtle theme, not preachy at all, but an important one for the time period.

Last Wish by Valerie Howard

Contemporary Fiction

Last Wish follows Miranda Lewis, a high school senior who has everything going for her until a brain tumor diagnosis shatters all her carefully planned dreams. Together with the pastor’s son, she goes on a journey of discovery and faith, racing to find answers before time runs out. While this novel is heartbreaking, it is also an inspiring example of the hope and change of heart which can come from tragedy. How do we still have faith in a loving God when we are struck with an impossibly unfair situation? Valerie Howard tackles this question with realistic research and rebuttals, proving that faith and science can stand hand in hand and not to have blind faith, but one that is built on truth.

The Forgotten Queen by Kortney Keisel

Dystopian Romance

The Forgotten Queen is the fourth book in Kortney Keisel’s romantic-dystopian-that-isn’t-quite-dystopian Desolation series, an altered version of our world where North America has been restructured into kingdoms. This time we travel to the coastal kingdom of Cristole where an arranged marriage pairs King Marx, a man who is lost about who he should be after his brother’s death, with Sydria, a woman who doesn’t know who she is after losing most of her memories. Like Kortney’s other novels, I loved this one. Marx and Sydria were wonderful together and I also really enjoyed the secondary relationship of Marx’s sister, Dannyn and Kase. All of our favorite characters return from the previous books for a spectacular edge-of-your-seat ending. You do need to read the previous ones first, otherwise this book will be one huge spoiler. 

The Girl in His Shadow by Audrey Blake

Historical Fiction – 1840’s London

The Girl in His Shadow is an early Victorian medical adventure by the writing duo of Jaima Fixsen and Regina Sirois.

After losing her entire family to cholera, Nora Beady is spared a similar death by London physician, Horace Croft. Nora finds herself drawn to his knowledge, assisting with procedures until she is able to perform them herself. Unfortunately, the credit for her accomplishments remains hidden behind Dr. Croft, for if anyone learned their secret, it would mean ruin for them both. Even though she “lived” 180 years ago, many of the moral and ethical dilemmas she encounters still hold true today.

Note for my clean readers: Contains minimal profanity.

A Class Coveted by Susie Murphy

Historical Fiction – 1840’s Boston

In A Class Coveted, Susie Murphy wields her pen in her usual style, making the reader both cheer and weep for her characters. Some of our favorites search of a long lost family member, but are met with roadblocks at every turn. As they become more discouraged, they also discover that a life of promise is opening up elsewhere. It is not without hard work and heartache, but also brings a freedom and fulfillment they haven’t yet experienced. In the end, however, a decision is made that could bring an enemy back into their lives, threatening the happiness they’ve built. Each book in this series is better than the last!

Note for my clean readers: Contains moderate profanity, a semi-explicit brothel scene, and an open-door sex scene between a married couple.

The Living and the Lost by Ellen Feldman

Historical Fiction – Post-WWII Germany

Often the story of WWII is presented as a happy ending upon armistice, but the reality is the effects continued long after the white flag flew. The Living and the Lost follows Millie Mosbach, a Jewish woman who escaped Germany with her brother while their parents and younger sister were forced to stay behind. She has spent her entire life wondering about their fate and has now returned to Berlin in hopes of learning what happened to them. A city alive, but lost in the fragile remains of a life they once loved, metaphorical ghosts are everywhere. It is only through their shared experiences that they begin to find light in the darkness and a way to step into a brighter future.

Note for my clean readers: Contains profanity, including several f bombs, and a few PG-13 rated sex scenes.

Follow me on:

       

Holiday Cheer and How to Create a Cover

cropped-website-cover-3-16-2021-2.jpg

Book Quotes - MineHappy (one day until the) New Year! I hope you had a very merry Christmas and happy holidays! Here in Missouri, I enjoyed amazing 65 degree weather, attended a Christmas concert and ice show, and spent much needed time with friends and family. Unfortunantly, part of my family also encountered illness, although nothing major, so our celebrations will continue in a few weeks once everyone is well. Being Catholic, we already celebrate for 12 days after Christmas, so why not add a few more?

 

For a Noble Purpose – Writing Updates

As part of my writing process, I like to take a break between rounds of edits, allowing me to return to the story with fresh eyes. The “too close to the forest to see the trees” concept. Luckily for me, the break for For a Noble Purpose happened to fall during December which meant enjoying the Christmas season without a writing schedule.

While For a Noble Purpose patiently waited for my return, I researched for Book 2 (Dusk Shall Weep) and worked on plotting some of the finer details. Most of my reading involved James Gilchrist Swan’s book, The Northwest Coast: Or, Three Years’ Residence in Washington Territory, which provides a detailed account of his residence in a Pacific Northwest settlement during the same years my book takes place. Tomorrow, however, it’s back to Book 1 and my editor’s cap!

FaNP - Social Media Cover

For a Noble Purpose is Available Worldwide – June 7, 2022

Pre-Order Ebook Today!

For a Noble Purpose will also be published in paperback, but due to distribution channel limitations, is not currently available for pre-order.

 

In the Night Season Cover Design

I had the honor of designing the covers for all three books in Jennifer Q. Hunt’s inspirational Sorrow and Song trilogy, including her upcoming novel, In the Night Season. This World War II story weaves romance, faith, and suspense in beautiful, heartbreaking, and often unexpected ways. Several times the characters brought me to tears, and I only read the unpolished beta reader version!

+

Although In the Night Season is a war story, it takes place across multiple locations. Therefore, the background needed to feel violent and broken, but not descriptive enough for any singular location. To get the night look the author wanted while still highlighting our lead’s facial expressions, we placed the moonlight from behind and changed the original model’s suit to a non-descript grey. Over 40 layers were combined into the final full-cover layout. (Licenses: Cover Model is from Adobe Stock, Additional Photos from Unsplash)

In the Night Season is available now in paperback or to pre-order for eBook release on January 22, 2022. 

If you are an author in need of an affordable cover design and/or interior layout, I am now offering these services on a limited basis. Submit a request via the Author Services page and let’s see what we can create together!

The Book Shop

Need a copy of my books? All four can be read on their own or in order of publication. Click the covers below to purchase! Available online in ebook and paperback or by request from your favorite indie bookseller or local library. For book club appearances, contact me here.

Unsettled Shores Cover - Front     Broken Lines Cover - Final 4-25-2020 small     Across Oceans Cover - 2.27 small     Twisted River Cover Final - 2-27-2020

Due to variability in social media algorithms, the best way to receive this newsletter is through e-mail. If you were directed to this site via social media or a search engine, you can subscribe to updates by entering your e-mail on the Contact page. E-mail addresses are never sold or distributed. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Follow me on:

flogo_RGB_HEX-114  Twitter_Social_Icon_Square_Color  glyph-logo_May2016 MeWe Logo 1454549143-1454549143_goodreads_misc  BB 96x96 S

COPYRIGHT © KELSEY GIETL 2021