Stories that Matter


Blog Swap with Katie Ganshert!

Today we’re doing something a little different! My friend and super amazing author Katie Ganshert, is here to talk to you, and I’m over on her blog! Cool,huh? Why are we doing this? Good question! Well, as you know, I’m an adoptee and I love talking about adoption. Katie and her husband Ryan are in…
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Crazy Times!

Well, I have to apologize – due to technical difficulties and traveling non-stop for the last few weeks – I’ve been lax in my blogging, and have not managed to post my Featured Friday Author. But then I figured, since last Friday was my birthday,(not sure what that has to do with anything),  and I…
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Excited to be featured on my friend and best-selling author (if you haven’t read Into The Free, do it!!) Julie Cantrell’s blog today, on my birthday!
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A New Plan And A Purpose

You’ll notice I’ve given my blog a new name. This Is A Blog About Books…And Life. For years, I never talked about the fact that I was adopted. I was born in the ’60’s, and yep, that’s my mom holding me outside the hospital on the day my parents took me home. Back then things…
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Meet Author Ava Pennington!

Who are you? So many answers to such a simple question! I’m a wife, daughter, and sister. I’m an author, Bible teacher, and speaker. I’m a transplanted girl from New York City who now calls sunny Florida her home. I’m a graduate of St. John’s University with an MBA and a graduate of Moody Bible…
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Launching My New Website!

They say you’ve got to have a good website – it’s part of your platform as a writer. SO I have been waiting for Hidden in the Heart to come out, and my wonderful website guru, Jason Walker at Website Ministries, has been hard at work behind the scenes, improving and adding to my existing…
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Meet Author Sarah Sundin!

Who Are You? I’m just your average author/pharmacist/soccer mom. All right, so that’s pretty strange. I was raised in southern California in a home full of readers and always had my nose in a book. Although I flirted with idea of becoming a writer, I also wanted to be a ballerina and a protozoologist. When…
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Meet Author Mary Ellis!

Librarians—Authors’ Best Friends Often writers are curious to learn which marketing and publicity ideas work for other writers and which do not. I, too, am curious about the very same thing. We blog and interview on various blog-sites; we e-mail newsletters to established fans and snail-mail publicity postcards to announce upcoming books; we FaceBook and…
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Guest Author, Peggy Blann Phifer!

How many writers, if any, have ever had a work in progress (WIP) for, oh, twenty years? When I go through my file drawer and see all the partial drafts, critiques, contest entries and subsequent losses . . . makes me wonder why I persisted. The easy answer is I’m stubborn. Tenacious. Hate to quit. …
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Meet Author Deborah Raney!

If I start talking about this amazing author, I won’t be able to stop. I’m sure most of you reading this have read at least ONE of Deb’s wonderful novels. I remember reading A Vow To Cherish many years ago, and thought, wow, so this is what this Christian fiction stuff is all about. I can…
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And So We Plant

October 2, 2017 | 4 Comments

It’s been a hard season. A scary few months. We began May with much joy, still celebrating the birth of our first granddaughter, Annabel Rose, born at the end of April. And she is everything we and her parents prayed for. She is beautiful. Perfect. All amazing baby cuddles and snuggles and sleepy smiles and…


It's ACFW Conference Time!

September 15, 2017 | 6 Comments

I know, it’s been an age. And honestly, I’m not sure you’ll hear much from me around here anymore. I haven’t quite ‘hit’ the formulae that keeps people hooked. So this is more of a fun post that my friend Laurie Tomlinson has going, so I thought I’d join in the fun. It’s almost time…


And So We Choose This Thing

June 21, 2017 | 6 Comments

Thirty one years. Today. I stood before him in a long white gown that cost more than my father wanted to spend, but he bought it for me anyway, because it was the one and he was ‘the one’ and my Dad would have bought me the moon if I said I wanted it. I stood…


Is It Supposed To Hurt This Much?

June 8, 2017 | 7 Comments

That was a text I got from my daughter a few hours into labour. “Is it supposed to hurt this much?” I wanted to laugh, but I didn’t. Because, yes. It is. And it does. And it will continue to. With every challenge that comes with being a parent. Being a mother or father or…


We're Waiting For You!

April 25, 2017 | 4 Comments

Dear Baby E, You’re late. I suspect this may be a good indication that we will get along well. (I think this trait may come from both sides!). As your grandmother, I reserve the right to tell you what’s up, and rest assured I probably will, whether you like it or not. Heads up –…


Onward to 2017!

December 27, 2016 | 1 Comment

I hope your Christmas was fabulous! We spent a quiet day together, and then, in a shocking break from tradition, we went to a restaurant for Christmas dinner! It was lovely not having to spend the day chopping, peeling and cooking, constantly checking the clock to make sure everything was running on time. I’ll admit,…


Where Is Your Identity?

August 29, 2016 | 17 Comments

I’ve just returned from a few days in Nashville, where I attended the American Christian Fiction Writers annual conference. I was trying to figure out dates in my head and I think this must be at least the eighth conference I’ve attended, and still, I’ll be honest, it’s the best of times and it’s the…


Grace Awards 2015 Winners ~ in Faith Based Fiction

May 31, 2016 | 0 Comments

So honored to be a recipient of this year’s Grace Awards! And since I’m knee deep in edits this week, it gives me something to celebrate! And blog about. 😛


Guarding The Writer’s Heart

May 9, 2016 | 0 Comments

Source: Guarding The Writer’s Heart



April 27, 2016 | 0 Comments

Thanks to all who took part in the Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt over the weekend! It was lots of fun, and all the authors enjoyed it too! Here are the three overall Prize winners – First Prize: Crystal Balzer Second Prize: Jackie Wisherd Third Prize: Becky Mickels And the winner of MY giveaway – one…


Blog Swap with Katie Ganshert!

Today we’re doing something a little different! My friend and super amazing author Katie Ganshert, is here to talk to you, and I’m over on her blog! Cool,huh?

Why are we doing this? Good question!

Well, as you know, I’m an adoptee and I love talking about adoption. Katie and her husband Ryan are in the process of adopting a child, so we thought it’d be fun to interview each other about adoption!

AND – We’re both going to giveaway a copy of our books, so be sure to leave a comment for us on the respective blogs!! 

So, here we go!

Welcome to This Is A Blog About Books…And Life, again, Katie! Tell us about yourself!

I’m a slightly-frazzled, ever-inquisitive Midwest gal who loves Jesus, my family, writing, adoption, and grace. I’ve been married to my delivery-guy-turned husband for eight wonderful years. We have a four-year old son and a goofy black lab named Bubba. My debut novel, Wildflowers from Winter, released from Waterbrook Press this past May and my second novel, Wishing on Willows, releases this March. We are in the process of adopting a little boy or girl from the Congo.

How long did it take you to know for sure adoption was God’s plan for you?

Even though God had been working on our hearts for quite some time, it took us awhile to officially say Yes to adoption. To be honest, the whole thing scared us. We didn’t have the money, and like you mention on my blog today, adoption is very rarely a fairy tale, which is something Ryan and I both knew ahead of time because of several friends who were journeying through it.

Life was comfortable with the three of us. Why mess with that?

But one day, when I was reading the book of Esther, I felt in the depths of my spirit, God saying, “Katie, I have a blessing out there for you and you are going to miss it if you don’t step out in faith.”

Later, after a lot of prayer and even more research, I remember getting on my knees and telling God over and over again, “Lord, this is way over our heads. If this is from you, if you really want us to do this, you need to be clear. Because this is Way. Over. Our. Heads.”

A couple hours later, we went to church and kid you not, our pastor said these exact words during the sermon, “If you want to be filled with the Holy Spirit, then get in over your heads.” During the car ride home, Ryan looked at me and said, “Kate, we can’t let money stop us from doing this.”

God couldn’t have spoken any more loudly or clearly.

 That’s a very cool testimony of how God confirms the desires he puts on our hearts! What excites you most about this journey?

Getting to know and be a mother to this little person.

 You’ll be a great one, I’m sure! So what scares you most?

Having nothing to give our child in regards to his/her history. This past September, we received a referral (this is adoption-speak for being matched with an orphan). We received a picture, a name, and as much information on health and history as was available.

This little boy was two years old and his entire life was summed up in a measly, heart-breaking sentence. Not only did we know nothing about his birth parents, we didn’t even have a birthday.

A few weeks later, we lost that referral (a heartbreaking experience). Chances are, the next referral we get won’t be that much more detailed.

I’m afraid of a pair of beautiful brown eyes looking up at me someday and asking, “What’s my story?” And I won’t know the answer. I won’t have anything to give.

As an adoptee who’s lived through the ‘wanting to know’, I can imagine that will be difficult, but I have no doubt God will give you the wisdom and strength to deal with it when the time comes. It’s an exciting journey! What preparations have you had to make to finally get to that day where you meet your new son or daughter? Will you travel to the country of his or her birth?  

Lots! And we’re still more than a year out from traveling. We’ve done a massive amount of education—from seminars to online courses to reading books to researching Congolese culture. We put on a very time-consuming fundraiser to help offset the insane cost. We’ve connected with several families in our area who have all adopted internationally. We continue to talk to our son about his brother or sister. And we pray—for our child and for God to provide—financially and emotionally.

We join you in prayer and look forward to your updates as you get closer to bringing home the newest Ganshert! Thanks so much for sharing your heart with us today, Katie! 

Katie says:

Even though my debut novel, Wildflowers from Winter, doesn’t deal with adoption, it does explore a common theme in many adoption stories. And that’s this idea that God can use the broken, barren seasons in our lives to make something beautiful. If this sounds like a story you’d like to check out, you can read the first three chapters for free here. I’d also love to give away a copy to one person who leaves a comment!

About Katie

Katie Ganshert was born and raised in the Midwest, where she writes stories about finding faith and falling in love. When she’s not busy plotting her next novel, she enjoys watching movies with her husband, playing make-believe with her wild-child of a son, and chatting with her girlfriends over bagels. She and her husband are in the process of adopting from the Congo. You can find her online at her blog and on Facebook.

(And don’t forget to check out her books, Wildflowers from Winter, available now, and Wishing on Willows, coming in March!)

Bethany Quinn was happy to leave her small town ten years ago to create a new, successful life. But when tragedies strike at home, she is forced to return and face the pain of her childhood. Out of options, Bethany tries to find a place where love and faith make sense again.