Interview with YA Author Amanda Tero

I’ve featured a couple of Amanda’s books on my blog before, but this time I’m asking questions of her instead of one of her characters! (I love getting a peek into other writers’ lives.) Amanda Tero writes Christian Historical Fiction for young adult readers — and for adults who remember what it’s like to be young. Her latest release is A Strand of Hope, one of four interconnected novellas featuring packhorse librarians.

So please help me welcome Amanda Tero!

Amanda Tero is a music teacher by day and a literary guide by night, creating stories that whisk readers off to new eras and introduce them to heroic but flawed characters that live out their faith in astonishing ways.

First, three vitally important questions. 😉

Favorite season? Fall!

Favorite color? Green.

Favorite ice cream? Only one? Uh… chocolate chip cookie dough. 

“Only one?” — That’s my kind of answer. 🙂

Who was your childhood hero? I actually wasn’t much into hero-worship as a kid. I think I just had a solid respect for people who did the hard things and stayed steadfast. Maybe Joseph in the Bible? He went through extreme hardship yet was always one of my favorite Biblical accounts to read, because he just lived so uprightly!

What was your favorite childhood book(s)? The first set I remember reading was the Little House books. Mom had assigned them for me to read a chapter a day as my first “chapter book,” but before long I was begging to just finish the book instead of waiting until the next scheduled read. 😉 I embraced historical fiction because of those books. I loved not just Laura’s story, but learning about life in a different era. A close tie would probably be The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare, for very similar reasons. Plus, it was an action story. 

Ooo, love both of those!

What would you wish to have written on your tombstone? (Feel free to be either funny or serious!) Oh, hmm… I’d like my birth and death date written on there. 😉 But seriously, I hadn’t thought of that. Something about glorifying God… trusting God… yeah, not sure.

Now give us a peek into your writer’s brain!What’s your favorite historical period to read and/or write? The 1800s! I prefer the country/western side than the city side. 

Ah, one of my faves!

What does your story-spinning process involve? (We want to hear about it all, either in general or for a specific story.) Well, it’s semi-different for each one, but I’ll talk through A Strand of Hope. The idea initiated by my sister sharing a Facebook video of packhorse librarians. As soon as the three other authors and I decided to band together to write a series, I had to find my story. I knew I wanted a girl who adored books to the point that she used them as an escape from reality. So then, I had to give her a harsh reality she’d want to escape from. Enter her mom, a single, unwed mother of the early 1900s who blamed Lena for being distanced from her family. The story was stuck there for a while. I just wasn’t sure where to go with it. So I had some brainstorming sessions while driving. I put my phone on to record and just talked through the characters, the plot, the theme. I asked questions, answered them, told myself why that would or wouldn’t work. That really helped me. I also brainstormed a lot with my friend and author of another book in the series Anita (A.M.) Heath.From there, I drafted the rough cut. I’ve just grown to accept that I’m a panster and I’m being one, I have to write the story to discover the story—but then, I’ll have a major rewrite to do. This time, I really didn’t have that major rewrite. By God’s grace, it was a solid story from the start. I think that was just God smiling down on me because I was trying to do this while attending college full-time and teaching music part time.And yeah, the rest is just hours of hard work (whether or not I felt like it 😉 ), putting it all together.

Do you consciously create your characters, or do they seem to come to life on their own? It’s really a mix of both. I do have to work to make my characters less perfect. Anita told me once that I make a great person but a boring character because I’m the type that when I do something wrong, I instantly regret it, pray, seek restitution, etc. But if my characters lived that way, there wouldn’t be as much conflict. So I have to purposefully make them choose the wrong thing and keep driving down that road. It makes their lesson more impactful. 

What was the most difficult part of writing your latest book, A Strand of Hope? Haha… remembering the small details. Faith Blum, A.M. Heath, Alicia G. Ruggieri and I all helped create the town of Willow Hollow, it’s surrounding areas, library routes, and town characters. I was forever messaging one of them with questions on details. In a way, having the team was super helpful because I could just ask and get an answer when I forgot something rather than try to dig and find the answer myself.

What are 1-4 of your all-time favorite fiction books—ones you love to reread? I need to reread more than I do… but ones I have read several times and want to read again are: The Bronze Bow (Elizabeth George Speare), The Last Sin Eater (Francine Rivers). And I have a whole list of books I’ve read once that I want to reread… but my TBR is totally unending.

Love your answers, Amanda! 🙂 Thanks so much for joining us on the blog today!


I confess I haven’t read Amanda’s latest book yet. But I’m bringing it on vacation next week, and I can’t wait to explore this little-known piece of history. 🙂 Take a peek at it below!

Journey with a horseback librarian into the hidden crevices of Kentucky mountains. Feel her pain as she struggles not only to barely make ends meet, but as she also attempts to connect the pieces of her own life while her mom continues to make selfish decisions.

Lena Davis is the daughter her mom never wanted.

But she survived. Through stories. Because books didn’t judge. Books weren’t angry she was alive. Books never expected her to be anything but who she was.

As she grows up, her beloved library becomes her true home. So when the library is designated part of President Roosevelt’s Packhorse Library Project, Lena is determined to get the job of bringing books to highlanders, believing she’ll finally be free of her mom forever.

But earning the trust of highlanders is harder than she imagined, and her passion for books might not be enough to free her from her chains.

The Packhorse Library Project was part of President Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration to encourage education in the remote parts of the mountains. “A Strand of Hope” is a historical fiction novella based on real events but set in the fictional town of Willow Hollow in the Appalachian mountains.

See why I’m looking forward to it? Check it out on Amazon. And be sure to check out the whole series, too. I have it on good authority that some of them are only 99c this week. 😉

And don’t forget to follow Amanda on your favorite social media sites (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Goodreads, Amazon, Pinterest, and Bookbub), and visit her website, where you can also find her blog and newsletter.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this peek into a writer’s life, and I do hope you’ll check out Amanda’s books!

–Miss Darcy

Protecting the Poor | Character Interview

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Today I am delighted to present the final book in the Tales of Faith series by Amanda Tero! (Remember when I featured The Secret Slipper?)

Three retellings

Don’t the covers look nice all together? (Okay, maybe everyone doesn’t admire book covers for their own sake like I do.)

PP Blurb

ABOUT THE BOOK
Sheriff Feroci is now lord over the province, and Abtshire has become a pit of injustice. Being forced into the lord’s service does not give Dumphey as many opportunities to help the poor as he desires. When attempts on his life drive him into the forest, this freedom opens a world of possibilities for helping others. But how can he do so when he is running for his life? And does God want him to do more than simply feed the poor?

Noel has always hidden behind the shadow of his older brother, Dumphey. When life forces him to stand on his own, will he still follow God in the corrupt world in which he lives? Would God really call him to do something that is beyond his power to do?

As Lord Feroci’s sinister plot comes to light, each lad has a choice to make. A choice that could cost them their lives.

Find on Amazon. Add to Goodreads.

Or, better yet, you can order a signed paperback copy of Protecting the Poor here!

If you’ve read the first two, then you’ll love seeing old friends in Protecting the Poor, but you don’t have to read them in order. You can dive right into the last book. It’s an excellent story for young readers (ten and up, I’d say), but as with all Amanda’s historical books, I wouldn’t classify it as strictly a “children’s book.”

Now, the things I loved about this story… The medieval setting: it’s a fictional country, but the well-researched details ground you beautifully in the time period (and okay, I’m a little stuck on the Middle Ages). The cool details about archery (I mean, what’s not to love about an old-fashioned longbow?). The characters: as mentioned, it was fun to see characters from the previous books, but the new ones were great too, all with their own personalities. The deep themes: forgiveness, vengeance, active obedience to God, and the excellent, oft-asked question, “Do the ends ever justify the means?”

In short, this book made me think, and that’s one of the highest compliments I can give a story.

And now, one of Dumphey’s friends has agreed to join us on the blog today!


Betin, thank you so much for visiting with us. You earned my respect as I read Protecting the Poor, and I’m delighted you’ve agreed to answer a few questions about the story.

1) When Dumphey first meets you, you have been living in the forest for some time. What caused you to take refuge there?

I used to help at the candlemaker’s shop with my sister, Lydda. After our father passed on (Mother passed when we were babes), Sheriff Feroci was holding me to unjust taxes higher than I could afford. He threatened to drive me to the barracks to make me pay, but I couldn’t do that to Lydda. Being hidden away in the forest was safer than the threats of a soldier’s life.

2) In your estimation, what is Dumphey’s greatest weakness? What is his greatest strength?

Dumphey is a great friend. To some, the way he naturally assumes leadership or voices his opinion could be seen as a weakness. To me, it was a great blessing. His strength is definitely in being bold to do what he believes he ought to.

3) Why did you think Dumphey would make a good leader for your band?

Dumphey made me realize how inactive I had truly been. We were hiding from Lord Feroci, yes, but he made me yearn to push forward and actually do more than just hide and prepare. He knew what steps to take next and was also bold enough to stand up for what was right even when very few of the group agreed. He was a natural choice for the leader of our band.

4) If you could have one wish come true, anything, what would you choose?

My greatest wish is peace on earth. That there would be no Feroci’s to fight against. No Abtshire to flee from. No tyranny.

5) Is there anything else you would like to share with readers of this story?

Glean from the lesson of hope and courage in “Protecting the Poor” and apply it to your own lives. I think, in some small way, everyone has an Abtshire situation they face in their lives.


About the Author
Amanda Tero began her love for words at a young age—reading anything she could get her hands on and penning short stories as young as age eight. Since graduation, she has honed her writing skills by dedicated practice and study of the writing craft. She began her journey of publication with a few short stories that she had written for her sisters and continues to add to her collection with other short stories, novellas, and novels. It is her utmost desire to write that which not only pleases her Lord and Savior, but also draws the reader into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.

You can connect with Amanda through her website, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, her blog, Goodreads, and Amazon.

GIVEAWAY
It wouldn’t be a release party without a giveaway! One U.S. Winner will receive the complete paperback Tales of Faith series, and one International Winner will receive the complete eBook series.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

And if you haven’t checked out the first two books in the series, you really should.

 

Befriending the Beast Blurb.jpg

Find on Amazon.

Secret Slipper Blurb

Find on Amazon.

Hope you enjoyed this peek at Amanda’s newest book!

-Miss Darcy

Shout-out to all the wonderful bloggers who are participating in the release of Protecting the Poor!

Monday – August 26, 2019

With a Joyful Noise – Protecting the Poor Release Post

Life of Heritage Corner – Interview, Review, Giveaway

Great Books for God’s Girls – Interview, Review

Peculiar Miss Darcy – Character Interview

Honey Rock Hills – Review

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations – Spotlight, Review, Guest Post

Tuesday – August 27, 2019

We’ve Got Pockets – Review

Maidens for Modesty – Giveaway, Guest Post

A Brighter Destiny – Spotlight

Wednesday – August 28, 2019

Soldier Girl Stories – Interview

Purposeful Learning – Spotlight, Guest Post

Thursday – August 29, 2019

Rachel Rossano’s Words – Spotlight, Guest Post

In the Bookcase – Review, Giveaway

Friday – August 30, 2019

Losing the Busyness – Spotlight, Review, Giveaway

Resting Life – Guest Post

Saturday – August 31, 2019

Blossoms and Blessings – Spotlight, Review, Guest Post

God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae – Review

Reading on the Edge – Spotlight

Verbosity Reviews – Spotlight, Review, Guest Post, Giveaway

Monday – September 2, 2019

With a Joyful Noise – Giveaway Winner Announced

A sneak peek at Amanda’s new release…

Cover Reveal

Quest for Leviathan | Blog Tour

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The first thing that drew me to this story was Leviathan. A story about the sea monster of Job 41 and a young man trying to destroy this menace? Oh, yes!

Leviathan-cover

About the Book

Leviathan took the life of his father.

Anath has spent three years preparing for the voyage that will end the threat of Leviathan. Yet as the Valor launches into the depths of the Mediterranean, an inward quest also begins, taking Anath to depths he is not willing to face.

May I start by saying I loved this story? It’s a short story, and I generally prefer longer works, but the adventure and the spiritual thread were handled beautifully. The historical detail was fascinating, the characters well-drawn. And, of course, we meet the awesome Leviathan. It would be great for kids to read, but I don’t think you could really box this story into applying to only one age group.

Oh, I almost forgot about the illustrations. A nice addition. I guess it’s no surprise that my favorite is the one with Leviathan. 😉

And now I’d like to introduce one of the secondary characters, Kanah, Anath’s best friend.


Kanah, thank you so much for visiting with us. We barely get to meet you in “Quest for Leviathan,” so I’m delighted you’ve agreed to answer a few extra questions for us today.

1) When the story begins, you and Anath seem to have a strong friendship. How long have you known Anath, and how did you become friends?

Kanah: Our friendship reached to before he lost his father to the sea. Our boyhood was lived together. So much so that I do not recall how we became friends. We have always been friends. For life.

2) In your estimation, what is Anath’s greatest weakness? What is his greatest strength?

Kanah: Anath’s greatest weakness would be his all-consuming vengeance toward Leviathan. At the same time, it proved to be a great strength, enabling him to become a great captain at an age younger than any of our sea captains before him.

3) There is some mention of Anath’s quest against Leviathan being impossible without your aid. Why did you invest in this venture? Did you entertain any hope of success?

Kanah: This was of high importance to my friend. It was an adventure, yes, but more importantly, it was the life-blood of Anath. I feared that if there was no one there to keep him in check, he would fight Leviathan until his death. And I knew that God had much more in store for him than that.

4) If you could have one thing in the world, anything, what would you choose?

Kanah: I already have my love in my beautiful wife, Rahel. Above that, I yearn for a godly heritage—a legacy of children who serve my great King, Almighty God.

5) Is there anything else you would like to share with readers of this story?

Kanah: Learn from Anath’s journey. Each of us faces a different dragon that we must gain victory over—and Anath found the true way to acquire that victory.


About the Author

Amanda Tero began her love for words at a young age—reading anything she could get her hands on and penning short stories as young as age eight. Since graduation, she has honed her writing skills by dedicated practice and study of the writing craft. She began her journey of publication with a few short stories that she had written for her sisters and continued to add to her collection with other short stories, novellas, and novels. It is her utmost desire to write that which not only pleases her Lord and Savior, but also draws the reader into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.

You can connect with Amanda on her Web site, at her blog, and on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Goodreads, and Amazon.

Giveaway!

Amanda is giving away TWO print copies of “Quest for Leviathan” to one winner — one for you, and one for your friend!

Visit the Rafflecopter form to enter the giveaway.

You can purchase “Quest for Leviathan” on Amazon in e-book or print. You can also add it to your Goodreads shelf.

If you’d like to see the other places “Quest for Leviathan” has toured, click on the links below my signature. (All links open in new tabs.)

I hope you’ve enjoyed this! Seriously, pick up a copy of this story. At ninety-nine cents, I think you’ll enjoy it.

-Miss Darcy

June 8 – With a Joyful Noise (Release Day Post)
Resting Life (Spotlight, Review)
The World of the Writer (Review)
Authoring Arrowheads (Review)
Purely by Faith Review (Review, Interview)

June 9 – Victoria’s Book Nook (Spotlight, Review, Giveaway)
Bekah’s Books (Spotlight, Review, Interview)

June 11 – Clothed with Scarlet (Spotlight, Review, Giveaway)
Reveries Reviews (Review)

June 12 – Chosen Vessels (Spotlight, Review)
My Purple Pen (Review)
Read Another Page (Review)

June 13 – Once Upon an Ordinary (Review)
Maidens for Modesty (Review)

June 14 – Honey Rock Hills (Review)
Life of Heritage Corner (Spotlight, Review, Interview, Giveaway)
Kaylee’s Kind of Writes (Review, Interview)

June 15 – The Red-Hooded Writer (Review)
Blossoms and Blessings (Spotlight, Review, Interview, Giveaway)
Lit Aflame (Review, Interview)

June 16 – The Left-Handed Typist (Review)
Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen (Review, Interview, Giveaway)

June 18 – Great Books for God’s Girls (Review, Interview)
Peculiar Miss Darcy (Character Interview)

June 19 – Creating Romance (Spotlight, Review, Giveaway)

June 20 – Keturah’s Korner (Review, Interview)
Rock and Minerals 4 Him (Spotlight, Review, Giveaway)

June 21 – A Baker’s Perspective (Review, Giveaway, Character Spotlight)
Christian Author: A.M. Heath (Review, Interview)

June 22 – Writings, Ramblings, and Reflections (Review)
Views from the Window Friend (Review)
Hunting for Truth (Spotlight, Review, Giveaway)

June 23 – Reading on the Edge (Spotlight)
Summer Snowflakes (Review, Giveaway)

June 25 – With a Joyful Noise (Giveaway Winner Announced)

The Secret Slipper | Blog Tour

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I’m excited to be doing something new today. I’m participating in a blog tour for the release of a new book by Christian author Amanda Tero.

Several weeks ago, I had the opportunity to beta-read The Secret Slipper, helping it on the journey to publication. I loved it! It’s exactly the sort of “princess” book I want to read with my children if the Lord should so bless me one day. But don’t get the idea this is only a children’s story. Teens and even adults will discover worthwhile gems in this novella. I know I did.

I loved the medieval setting, although it’s not a strict historical. I loved getting to know the characters. I loved the eternal Truth woven so beautifully into the story. It’s rare I find a book I can unreservedly recommend.

So, without further ado, I present:

The-Secret-Slipper-cover

About the Book
Being a cripple is only the beginning of Lia’s troubles. It seems as if Bioti’s goal in life is to make Lia as miserable as possible. If Lia’s purpose is to be a slave, then why did God make her a cripple? How can He make something beautiful out of her deformity?

Raoul never questioned the death of his daughter until someone reports her whereabouts. If Ellia is still alive, how has she survived these ten years with her deformity? When Raoul doesn’t know who to trust, can he trust God to keep Ellia safe when evidence reveals Bioti’s dangerous character?

As time brings more hindrances, will Raoul find Ellia, or will she forever be lost to the father she doesn’t even know is searching for her?

Let me insert the purchase links real quick. Both books in the Tales of Faith series are available on Amazon: Befriending the Beast (Book 1) and The Secret Slipper (Book 2). Or if you’d like to order a signed paperback copy of The Secret Slipper (U.S. residents only), you can complete this form.

Although I loved the main characters, my favorite character was Jolin, the closest friend of Raoul (also known as Lord Kiralyn). I’m delighted to be able to interview him here today. I hope you enjoy his answers as much as I did.


Jolin, thank you so much for visiting with us. You earned my respect as I read The Secret Slipper, and I’m delighted you’ve agreed to answer a few questions about the story.

My pleasure! Methinks my author had a little too much enjoyment shaping my character.

1) You’ve served Lord Kiralyn a long time when the story begins. What is your position, and what are the duties entailed?

I began as just a companion of Lord Kiralyn. Throughout the years, this has changed until he is one of my closest friends and companions. It feels as if my duty is to just be there for Raoul, to serve him however is needed—whether it is counseling his decisions or joining him in escapades which may not be the wisest for a lord to go upon.

2) In your estimation, what is Lord Kiralyn’s greatest weakness? What is his greatest strength?

His greatest weakness would be his rashness. When he gets something in his mind, he goes for it. At the same time, it can be his greatest strength. I am more of the overly cautious fellow. Another strength of his is his genuine care for others.

3) When you first heard that Ellia could be alive, did you entertain hope of finding her? Or did you think it impossible?

I couldn’t entertain hopes that Nes’s report was true. I tried reasoning it out, though, and I couldn’t deny the evidence piling up. Yet, for Raoul’s sake, I held back. If she was alive, what were the likelihoods of finding someone who had been missing for a decade?

4) If you could have one thing in the world, anything, what would you choose?

I would choose for wise people to be in control.

5) Is there anything else you would like to share with readers of this story?

It’s a journey, and a long and wild one at that, but it’s a great journey and I’d not exchange anything for being beside Raoul as he made his choices and grew through it all.


About the Author

Amanda-bio-pic

Amanda Tero is a homeschool graduate who desires to provide God-honoring, family-friendly reading material. She has enjoyed writing since before ten years old, but it has only been since 2013 that she began seriously pursuing writing again – starting with some short stories that she wrote for her sisters as a gift. Her mom encouraged her to try selling the stories she published, and since then, she has begun actively writing short stories, novellas, and novels. If something she has written draws an individual into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ, it is worth it!
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5)

You can connect with Amanda through her website, her blog, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Goodreads, and Amazon.

Amanda is hosting a giveaway for both The Secret Slipper and the first book in the series, Befriending the Beast (which I also loved). Click on the links to be taken to the Rafflecopter forms.

giveaway-secret-slipper

U.S. Giveaway: Enter to win the set of “Befriending the Beast” and “The Secret Slipper”

International Giveaway: Enter to win the eBook set of “Befriending the Beast” and “The Secret Slipper”

If you’d like to see the other places The Secret Slipper has toured, you can click on the links below my signature. (All the links open in new tabs.)

I sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed this!

-Miss Darcy

May 25, 2017
With a Joyful Noise | Release Day, Giveaway
Leila Tualla’s Bookshelf | Spotlight
Writings, Ramblings, and Reflections | Review, Giveaway
Great Books for God’s Girls | Review, Author Interview

May 26
Zerina Blossom’s Books | Interview
Knitted By God’s Plan | Spotlight and O’Scarlett Reviews | Review
A Brighter Destiny | Review, Giveaway

May 27
This Journey Called Life | Spotlight, Review, Giveaway
His Princess Warrior | Review, Giveaway
The Destiny of One | Spotlight
Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen | Spotlight, Interview, Giveaway

May 29
Once Upon an Ordinary | Review, Interview
Penumbra Reviews | Review
Peculiar Miss Darcy | Character Interview
My Joyful Journey with Jesus | Interview

May 30
Honey Rock Hills | Review, Giveaway
Christian Author: A.M. Heath  | Review
JudithWNicholson  | Interview

May 31
Whimsical Writings for His glory  | Spotlight, Review
God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae  | Spotlight, Review
Purposeful Learning | Review, Interview, Giveaway

June 1
Reveries Reviews  | Review
Victoria Minks Blog  | Spotlight, Video Review
Kelsey’s Notebook | Spotlight

June 2
RockandMinerals4Him | Spotlight, Review, Giveaway
Roxbury Books Blog | Spotlight
Views from the Window Friend  | Review
Crystal’s Adventures for Christ  | Spotlight, Review, Interview

June 3
Verbosity Reviews  | Spotlight
Chosen Vessels  | Review
Clothed with Scarlet | Review, Interview, Giveaway