A Special Surprise!


Promise’s Prayer releases TOMORROW!
Preorder your Kindle ebook here

Publishing a book is a dream I’ve had for almost as long as I can remember. But it’s not simply for the sake of being published.

Writing has been a passion of mine since I could pick up a pencil and a thick lined notebook. But I don’t write simply for the sake of writing. I could get my writing fix simply by penning cute quotes in journals and creating imaginary worlds in Word documents.

But there’s a deeper reason for all this. It’s you.

What do I have to say that anyone else would ever want to read? What can I write that hasn’t been said before? What story can I tell that hasn’t been told?

I can’t.

But I know Someone who can.

And somehow, inexplicably, He has chosen to use me to tell some of His stories to you.

That’s why I write. And that’s why I publish. Because God has given me words to share, and I pray that somehow someone somewhere will be impacted by what He’s doing through me.

Tomorrow’s the big day. Tomorrow Promise’s Prayer is launched into the world. I’m excited to see how it will be received. But no matter what, I’m grateful that God has allowed me to be part of this journey.


I’d be honored if you would join me for tomorrow’s Blog Party at restinglife.com. To celebrate, there will be two giveaways, character interviews, author interviews, character bios, snippets galore, and other special goodies.

As part of the Party, I’d love to answer any questions you have about Promise’s Prayer, the writing/editing/publishing process, the characters, me, or anything else you’d like to know! So leave a comment with your question and I’ll make sure to answer it in a special post!

Surprise! Click Here to Read Chapter 1!


Taerna: The Setting of Promise’s Prayer


Three days until Promise’s Prayer releases!
Don’t forget you can preorder the Kindle ebook now!

Promise’s Prayer is unique in its setting: it’s not historical fiction, as Taerna is a fictional country, yet it lacks the elements that would categorize it as fantasy or science fiction.

This is in part due to the fact that I wanted to tell the story unrestrained by the limits of strict history while still keeping realism. In essence, Taerna’s history could have happened; it just didn’t, because there’s no such place on earth.


The culture of Taerna is a blend of medieval Europe, Biblical Middle East, and late 1800s America, with a hint of contemporary in the capital city of Syorien and its pleasure houses. Technology is a unique mix of eras, since I was free to mix and match societal advancement without the confines of strict earth history. Modern conveniences of Taerna include running water (even in poor homes), chariots and wheeled carts, plows, and listening devices that transmit audio from one location to another. Syorien’s palace is luxurious, lavish, and immense, while small towns are built of stone and brick. Bright colors abound in upper class and lower class homes.

Developing a country for a story may possibly be as much work as researching history, however. There are so many factors that mustn’t be forgotten: what is the geography like? What is the social structure? What elements are ingrained in their history? What are cultural sayings or proverbs? What is the transportation system like? What is the waste removal system? How does their economic system work? What are family structures like?

Historic buildings. Virginia City, Nevada, USABecause Taerna is in chaos at the time of Promise’s Prayer, I had to figure out what was keeping the country going. Developing the governmental system was an interesting project that also proved educational. Describing the down-to-earth daily normalcy of the pleasure districts in Syorien also ended up being essential to give a sense of the setting. I wanted to paint the picture as vividly as I could of how people frittered away their lives on one pleasure after another and how most of Syorien is essentially a “party town.”5cd3493a6a43c5cbff56161676e4dc8a

The geography of Taerna was one of the most interesting aspects to develop. Taerna is a land of trees and rolling hills. Most of the action in Promise’s Prayer centers on the small town of Frydael, where Kaelan and Carita live, and the capital city of Syorien, which is three to five days’ journey to the east of Frydael. Taerna is situated between the country of Oponsin to the east and the West Taernan Hills to the west, with unexplored territory beyond.

Typical seasons consist of a long autumn, a short and mild winter, a long wet spring, and a short hot summer. The growing season lasts from mid or late spring to mid or late fall.

Taerna’s government consists of two kings who reign together as Chief King and Co-King. Upon the death of one of the kings, the kingship passes to the first combination possible in the following chart, according to the lineage of the kings. Because of the structure of Taernan law, every king desires at least two sons.

Eldest son of Chief King Second-eldest son of Chief King
Eldest son of Co-King
Nephew of King (by choice)
Friend of King (by choice)
Eldest son of Co-King Second-eldest son of Co-King
Nephew of King (by choice)
Friend of King (by choice)
Nephew of King (by choice) Nephew of King (by choice)
Friend of King (by choice)
Friend of King (by choice) Friend of King (by choice)

All in all, I enjoyed crafting Taerna because I could combine elements of earth’s geography, nature, and history that I love and also choose a setting that would most strongly bring out the plot and message of the story. The key for me was creating a setting that wasn’t real, but that real people could relate to.

That’s my goal and mission: through Taerna, shedding light on real-world truth.

Check out my Pinterest Storyboards for Promise’s Prayer and it’s sequels to see where I got inspiration for crafting Taerna!

Image source credit: Pinterest


Past Erika Talks About Promise’s Prayer


Four days until Promise’s Prayer releases!
Mark your calendars for Saturday, March 18,
and don’t forget you can already preorder the Kindle eBook!

Special Guest! Interview with “Erika from 2014”!

The final files have been submitted, and the lengthy editing phase of Promise’s Prayer has now drawn to a close. As I leave this phase behind, I’m both scared and satisfied – scared that I missed something somewhere that I ought to have edited, and satisfied that my numerous rereads of this book have come to a fruitful close and I’m sending my book-child out into the world after investing in it my very best.

Now that editing is over, I’ve been reminiscing about where the editing phase first began. I’ve come across some notes from just before I began editing Promise’s Prayer. So let’s have some fun and go through some questions and answers. I’ll give my answer from 2014 right after I finished writing the book, and then I’ll give my 2017 post-editing answer.

On a scale of 1 (worst) to 10 (best), how well do you think this book turned out?

Erika from 2014: Probably 6 or 7. I’m happy enough with it, but it does need editing. Somehow things never seem to appear on paper as they do in my mind, so it doesn’t match the quality I imagined–yet.

Erika from 2017: Wow, it’s clear that my opinion and love of the book have only improved with each edit. I’d now rate Promise’s Prayer somewhere in the range of 9 – not because I believe it’s the best book ever written, but because I deeply love the characters, the message, the plot, the wording, the journeys of Carita and Kaelan, and the truth of Adon Olam. It’s by far my favorite fiction story I’ve ever written.

Have you ever rewritten or edited one of your books before? If so, what do you do to prepare yourself? If not, what’s your plan?

Erika from 2014: I have edited many books, but actually few of them have been mine. I edited a non-fiction book of mine a year ago. I don’t prepare much; I dive in. My plan is to go through and fix/improve one section at a time.

Erika from 2017: Editing other people’s books seems far easier than editing my own! Most of that is probably psychological as well as the fact that I’m not emotionally attached to other people’s books, i.e. with my own books, I can justify in my head why I chose those specific words or added that specific scene. With other books, I can be more objective. That said, it sounds like I didn’t have a very concrete plan when I first started editing. No wonder it took over two years! I did develop several sub-plans along the way. I read my book several times start to finish, editing each time. Three different times I sent the book to a few friends for opinions and feedback. I edited on my computer, on Kindle, and from the paperback. I scanned every bit of formatting as well as read sections repeatedly for typos. I listened to my computer read my book out loud to me and followed along with it. If there’s a method I didn’t try, please let me know and I’ll add that when I edit Book Two.

What’s your final word count? Do you plan to lengthen or trim your book? 

Erika from 2014: My final word count is 66, 328, and I’m planning to both lengthen and trim my book, though I’m not entirely certain yet how significantly. Because I know some parts will be added and others deleted, I’m not certain whether my word count will increase or decrease, but I expect at least a minor increase before it is finished.

Erika from 2017: My book has lengthened. The final word count is 71,469 – so I added about 5000 words in the editing process. Several new scenes are included in those 5000 new words.

What are you most proud of? Plot, characters, or pacing?

Erika from 2014: I’m most proud of my characters–no question there. I got to know them far better than even I imagined. They really took off with what I gave them and led me places I had no idea we’d go. Even supporting characters developed unique personalities and showed who they truly were. Kaelan showed up much more often than I expected, and other characters whom I expected would take the stage more stayed in the background. Plot and pacing are another story… pacing proved more difficult the further I got into the book, and with it, the plot seemed stagnant too, but my wonderful characters rescued both by the end.

Erika from 2017: I’m still most proud of my characters. Kaelan, Carita, and their friends are so realistic – I can relate to what they are thinking and feeling, and every time I read the book, I’m learning and growing along with them. Pacing is much better now than it was initially, though I’m not entirely confident about it. I’m very happy with the plot now that I’ve identified and filled in the original plot holes.

What are your hopes and dreams for your book? What impressions are you hoping this novel will leave on your readers and yourself?

Erika from 2014: My hope and dream is that those who read the book will be able to relate to the characters and events in the book and that they will think about their own views and perspectives on life, culture, society problems, and their personal life purpose. I hope that readers will evaluate their own methods of approaching their goals, dreams, and what is important to them and ensure that they are making the right choices. I am also challenging the stereotypical “save the world” element of many novels.

Erika from 2017:  My desire is to demonstrate how the real, powerful, lifechanging truths of God’s kingdom (the spiritual realm hidden from our physical senses) could play out in a fictional setting. I hope that readers are encouraged to pray and challenged to trust God with their fears and struggles, relying on Him alone. My goal is that God will use this book to reveal His kingdom to my readers. As C.S. Lewis writes: “By knowing Me here for a little, you may know Me better there.”


What is Promise’s Prayer? 10 Answers


Five days until Promise’s Prayer!

As many of you know, my Christian novel, Promise’s Prayer, releases in just five days.

In the midst of all the preparations and excitement, I wanted to take a minute to dive more deeply into what this book is.

What’s Promise’s Prayer?

image-2Book one in Truth From Taerna.

Christian fiction. Not fantasy. Not science fiction. Not historical fiction. Something in between – a completely realistic story set in a fictional world.

Squeaky-clean and family friendly: no magic, violence, or romance

The result of a desire to portray Truth as it applies to our lives in a fictional setting where the small struggles of our souls are portrayed as cultural struggles.

The answer to the question, “What if I were to write a saving-the-world book with a Biblical twist?”

The fruit of much meditation upon the importance of prayer in the life of the believer and the firm conviction that prayer IS the work.

The result of a notebook filled with scribbles regarding government structure, geographical features, character descriptions, plot points, villain motivations, name braindumps, scripture verses, and other notes

The labor of thirty days for the first draft and many months for revisions and edits

The chronicles of Kaelan and Carita’s journeys – one through restless longing for adventure and one through crippling fear of man

A testimony and witness of what God has done in my life, as so many scenes and statements floated onto the page not from my mind but from His Spirit that lives in me


What do you hope to see in Promise’s Prayer?

Come back tomorrow for a more detailed look at what’s coming in Promise’s Prayer! And don’t forget to preorder for Kindle today!