Wednesday’s Wanderer: Kate Zook

Kate’s Diary

Five Weeks Before An Amish Buggy Ride

clothes-lineToday I went to visit Susan and help her with cleaning the haus. She’s getting so big and seems more tired than anything else. I’m not certain which of us is more excited for the boppli. Two months to go! She always felt more like an older schwester to me, not an aendi !

Timothy joined us for dinner. He sure does take right gut care of Susan. While I miss her living at home with us, I sure am happy that she has such a wunderbarr husband.

I wish I could say that bruder David will make a wunderbarr husband. Mayhaps it’s only because he’s in his rumschpringe and running around with his friends, including some Englische boys, that he seems so wild. Maem and Daed often pray that he takes his baptism soon; I hear them talking at night.

Ruth sure doesn’t seem to mind David’s exploration of the Englische world. That surprises me some. She’s such a quiet one; I’ve barely heard her say five words at youth gatherings. She must still feel shy, being only sixteen.

That reminds me that this week’s youth singing is going to be held at Verna’s. I promised to help her and her maem ready the haus for worship service and bake some brownies for the evening youth gathering. Becca wanted to go with me. Maem had to explain that neither she nor Miriam can attend, not until they are sixteen. That would sure be awkward having my younger schwesters’ at a singing!


An Amish Buggy Ride-3

Interview and Giveaway!

I am visiting with Lena Dooley over at A Christian Writer’s World ~~ Characters who grip your heart, to chat about First Impressions. If you would like a chance to win a copy, pop by and leave a comment. It’s that easy! You can enter by clicking here.

To purchase a copy of First Impressions click on any of the retailers listed :)

AmazonChristianbook.comBarnes and NobleWalmart

First Impressions

Monday’s Musing: A Happy Monday

There’s nothing nicer than starting off your week with someone who has nice things to say about your book! I just saw my first review of An Amish Buggy Ride by The Amish Reader.

How exciting to read what someone else thinks of your words, especially when they have something nice to say about them!

This book review made my day and, considering it is Monday, I really needed a blast of WAHOOO! to kick off the week!

I hope you enjoy reading this review and, if you haven’t already, pre-order the book.



Wednesday’s Wanderer: Chautona Havig

Effective Immediately, the long-awaited third book in The Agency Files series releases on September 26, 2014.

Effective Immediately Keith Auger hasn’t had trouble reconciling his job with his faith—until now. As a security agent for The Agency, his career creates situations that redefine danger. As a Christian, he sleeps well, knowing that he serves others through his protection.

But when an assignment ends badly before it has a chance to begin, Keith questions everything—his job, his judgment, and even his faith. Feeling like a failure, he resigns and turns to his would-be girlfriend, Erika, for emotional support and advice.

Contrary to everything she’s ever felt or thought, Erika Polowski finds herself arguing in favor of a job she once didn’t understand, supporting a faith she doesn’t share, and reconciling the two in ways she never imagined possible. His quest to piece together the remnants of his shattered faith and to redeem himself in the eyes of a friend puts Keith in more danger than he realizes. As a result, both he and Erika must make decisions that could change the courses of their lives.

Keith must forgive himself for his failures and trust the Lord’s direction for his life. Erika discovers that forgiveness is also her biggest need, but she needs to seek it from a God she has always rejected. If she doesn’t, she’ll lose Keith. If she does, she knows she may lose herself.

Of all the characters in this series, Keith has always been my favorite.  I love his quiet, steadfast dedication to his job and his faith.  When clients attack him, he doesn’t take it personally.  When things go wrong, he readjusts and moves forward.  Until this book.  In this book, I explored a side of Keith that I didn’t really like.  Even the most wonderful people have weaknesses that can annoy or infuriate us, and I really wanted to delve into Keith’s weaknesses a bit.  I think the most revealing thing comes when you see that Keith tried to do his job in his own strength, and when he failed, he blamed God for failing him. Isn’t that what we all do?  We try to walk that tight rope without God’s help, but when someone bumps us, we blame Him for not putting some kind of force field around us to protect our carefully orchestrated balancing act.

I spent a lot of this book, yelling—and yes, sometimes audibly—at the laptop as Keith said or did something else that made me want to slap him.  It was difficult to make him so raw and human—so unlikeable at times.

Keith as a character appeared when I came up with the idea for Justified Means.  I wanted a scenario where someone is jerked from her home and essentially “kidnapped for her own good.”  But I recognized quickly that it would take a unique person to be able to have a job that did that.  And being an author, I also had to torture the character a bit.  Making Keith a Christian created the juxtaposition that I really wanted.  A man who values faith, honesty, law, and order and breaks the law every day to protect people and save lives—what more could you ask for in a character who doesn’t fit a stereotype?  People often ask me why I think it’s okay for a Christian to have such a job—to break the law in the name of saving people.  I always find that funny, because I don’t think it’s okay.  I don’t write characters that just do what I think is right and good.  I write characters that interest me—even when I disagree with them.

Finishing Effective Immediately doesn’t have that sense of accomplishment that I usually feel when I complete another book.  Just before the last scene, I had an idea that completely revamped book four.  The subplots that I deliberately did not tie up in this book will obviously get tied up there, but there’s a new character, a new plot, and man, I want to start now! Unfortunately, I have a few other projects to finish first.

I have an awesome group of pre-readers who read and give feedback as I write.  Some of the comments they shared were:

~ I find this EI [Effective Immediately] intriguing and compelling.

~ Good story. Grabs my attention.  Great action.

~ Well, I guess I see where the title came from now. I feel like I want to shake Keith, and am just waiting to see what you show us next.

~ Oh my goodness, Chautona!!!!!!  You hit it out of the park again and left us wanting more!!!!!  You did a remarkable job!!!!

Thanks for sharing with us today Chautona! Readers you can PREORDER CHAUTONA HAVIG’S BOOK BY CLICKING HERE.


Books.  I love them– always have.  From my earliest years, I spent most of my free time lost in a book, until one day I realized that I had stories in my mind that I wanted to tell.  Time passed, life, family, and work got in the way, and my dream of being a writer seemed to vanish into the desert winds.

Dreams are beautiful things, though; they never quite disappear.I began writing again, editing, writing, editing, and now I have over a hundred books in progress– some of them finished.  I write the stories of fictional people who have real problems, weaknesses, and triumphs.Through their stories, I try to share the Hope that is within me.

I live in a small, remote town in California’s Mojave Desert with my husband and seven of my nine children. When not writing, I enjoy paper crafting, sewing, and trying to get the rest of my children educated so that I can retire from home education.

Monday’s Musing: The Great Christmas Giveaway

After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Matthew 2:9.11

Myrrh: An Anointing Oil

Back in the days of Jesus, myrrh was an oil used as incense, perfume, and medicine to ease suffering. It was also used to embalm the deceased. Such a gift was typical for kings, not infants. But the wise men knew that the small baby wrapped in swaddle clothing would grow to be the King of all Kings.

What “gifts” can you give to those they may be suffering? Not just at Christmas but all year long. Do you visit with an elderly friend? Donate blood on a regular basis? Volunteer at a soup kitchen? Run a committee at church? Thinking of other people, and not just your own personal gain or success, is essential to capturing the light of Jesus. If you already so something, document your journey and the impact it has had on others. If you don’t, find a way to focus on helping others.

Submit a video, photo, drawing, or poem of your “story” to enter this contest.

Details for how to submit your entry will be posted on Facebook closer to the entry date. Early submissions will not be considered.


Submissions must be received by November 15, 2013 by midnight EST. The judges will select up to ten submissions and post them online for voting viewers to select their favorite. Voting will begin on November 19th and end on November 23rd at 6pm EST.

Five winners will receive copies of Beth Shriver’s latest book, Rumschpringe, and Sarah Price’s First Impressions.

Winners will automatically be eligible to participate in the contest for the Amazon Kindle Fire.

Frankincense: A Valued Incense

Frankincense is a resin that was burned in temples as a pleasant offering to God. It was also used to anoint the high priest, a symbol of their holiness and righteousness.

How do you help other people? Not just once a year but on a regular basis. Food pantries run bountiful during the holidays, but lack supplies during other months. Children need sheets, towels, shoes, and coats, not toys. Even if we are fighting to pay our own bills or wiring multiple jobs to put food on the table, somewhere there is someone else who lacks the basic necessities. Find some organization and ask for ways that you can help them, even if it’s cleaning out your own food pantry to donate canned goods or paper towels. Recruit neighbors, friends, or colleagues to do the same.

Submit a video, photo, drawing, or poem of your effort to enter this contest.

Details for how to submit your entry will be posted on Facebook closer to the entry date. Early submissions will not be considered.


Submissions must be received by December 6, 2013 by midnight EST. The judges will select up to five submissions and post online for voting viewers to select their favorite.  Voting will begin on December 10th and end on December 14th at 6pm EST.

Five winners will receive a copy of the MEV Bible, the most modern translation ever produced in the King James tradition, providing fresh clarity for Bible readers everywhere with an updated language that doesn’t compromise the truth of the original texts.

Winners will automatically be eligible to participate in the contest for the Amazon Kindle Fire.

Gold: A Precious Metal

God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, a precious gift to the world for salvation from eternal sin. Christmas celebrates that gift. In today’s world, many people have forgotten the true meaning of Christmas.

Put Christ back in Christmas by recreating the nativity scene with friends and family, whether through acting, dancing, singing, drawing, or storytelling. Make the story modern or stay true to the Biblical version. The idea is to get people together to focus on the true meaning behind the holy day.

Submissions can be video, art, photo, essay, or poem format.

Details for how to submit your entry will be posted on Facebook closer to the entry date. Early submissions will not be considered.

NOTE: The ten winners from the previous two contests are invited to submit a re-creation of the Nativity scene and will automatically have their submission posted for voting in the final round.


Submissions must be received by December 13, 2013 by midnight EST. The judges will select up to five new submissions and post them online for voting viewers to select their favorite. Voting will begin on December 17th and end on December 21st at 6pm EST.

One winner will receive a brand new Amazon Kindle Fire.