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The Revolutionary Blog Tour and Starbucks Giveaway

Hey, friends! If you follow me on social media, you may have noticed The Revolutionary is on tour. Through April 23, a different blogger is sharing a personal review and information about how to participate in a Starbucks giveaway (gift card).

I’d love for you to take advantage of this chance to win some coffee, plus hear what readers are saying! After all, coffee does make the world “smell better,” as my character Portia once said.

To enter, visit any of the blog stops along the way  or simply click here:

Among the Reads, April 10

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, April 10

Moments Dipped in Ink, April 11

Inklings and notions, April 11

The Fizzy Pop Collection, April 12

proud to be an autism mom, April 12

Aryn the librarian, April 13

Multifarious, April 13

Ashley’s Bookshelf, April 14

A Greater Yes, April 14

It’s Storytime With Van Daniker, April 15

Texas Book-aholic, April 15

A Reader’s Brain, April 16

Jeanette’s Thoughts, April 17

Carpe Diem, April 18

MargaretKazmierczak, April 19

A Baker’s Perspective, April 20

Bibliophile Reviews, April 21

Simple Harvest Reads, April 22 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)

Pursuing Stacie, April 23

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 24

Janices book reviews, April 24

Bigreadersite, April 25

Reading is my Super Power, April 25 (Interview)

I love hearing the different perspectives and takes on the story. That’s the beauty of fiction: each person responds to a different part of the story. For today, I’ll leave you with a few previews of some reviews so far:

Among the Reads

I could tell when reading the first book that the characters from this atheistic society would end up meeting Jesus. The author did such a beautiful job of sharing the Gospel through the testimony of a man who was a prisoner simply because he refused to give up his faith.

I love when readers glimpse one of the main reasons I write: to point people towards the truth of the gospel.

Ayrn the Libraryn

This “Revolutionary” Celebrate Lit Book Review is one of my favorites to date! And not just because the Author is a Floridian!!

To that I say, go #FloridaGirls! But seriously, I’m so glad she enjoyed the book. Click the link above to read why.

Multifarious

The Revolutionary is a true page turner (or location swiper, if you are a kindle reader) … It is full of mystery and intrigue, heroism and some young love.

Hurrah for Kindle swipers! I am one of them myself. Do you prefer paperback or Kindle? Tell me why in a comment.

Or, if you’ve read any of my books and would like to share comments about them here, please do so. Be sure to also click over to Amazon or Goodreads and post there.

Happy reading!

~ Kristen

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The Command to Rest

If there’s one adjective we all use to describe our lives, it’s probably busy. Some days, I look at my list and wonder: How did all that get there? One item you won’t see on the to-do list is this: Rest. But I think we would all do well to add it.

I’m not talking about lazy, couch-potato rest, although if we burn out our bodies to the point of illness, that sometimes becomes necessary.

Instead, I’m talking about a quiet rest, a renewing rest, a distraction-free rest. What that looks like differs for each one of us, but here are some suggestions:

  • Spending a quiet weekend morning with our Bible, journal, and coffee (always coffee!)
  • Leaving the laptop off on weekends
  • Taking a break from social media
  • Getting outside to enjoy nature and the good things God created for us to enjoy
  • Making time to catch up with friends and family

As Solomon reminds us, there is a time and season for everything (Ecclesiastes 3:1). However, the Bible reveals that our “seasons” should include rest.

Click here to read the full post at DailyPS.com.

~ Kristen

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Carve time into your calendar to rest – @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)

All Things Bookish: Reviews, BookBub, and Spring Photo Contest

Spring is my favorite season! I love the sunshine, warm weather, and vibrant green I see everywhere I look outdoors. (Sorry for all my northern friends who are still getting snow!) Today, I also want to pause to say thank you again to everyone who played a part in my book launch last month … and to everyone who continues to play a part.

Reviews and Thanks You’s

To start, here’s a big shout-out to everyone who’s written a book review on Amazon or Goodreads! Reviews don’t have to be long but really can make a huge difference.

Also, I want to thank the Inspired Prompt blog for hosting me and letting me share about my book! You can read the full interview here.

If you’re interested in learning about outside reviewers who’ve read my books, visit my press page for some of the outstanding feedback I’ve received.

For Book Lovers

Have you heard of BookBub? This website offers readers free and bargain books and lets them stay connected with their favorite authors. I recently joined and would love to connect with you!

Click here to friend me.

A Fun Contest for Spring

If you’re like me, you’re probably reading more than one book at a time or have a collection of recently read books cluttering your bookshelves.  We readers often have book lists, so why not get creative with them? My spring challenge for you is to stage your reading list, snap a picture, and share it on social media. Here are some lovely examples from my friends Lindsey and Devon!

If you include one of my books and tag me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, I’ll enter you into a drawing for a free Kindle version of one of my books … your choice which one! The deadline to participate is the end of spring (June 21).

I look forward to seeing your creative photos. Happy spring!

~ Kristen

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Why the Resurrection Makes Forgiveness Possible

Have you ever struggled to forgive someone? Though we know intellectually that we should forgive because God forgave us, we sometime struggle emotionally to let go of hurts that others have done us. But she wronged me. You don’t know what he did to me.

I’m not excusing others’ behaviors and actions. More than likely, we all have felt some form of injustice. Perhaps we have knowingly or unknowingly injured someone as well.

But the point is not what people do to us but how we respond to them. We can’t control their actions, but we can control our response to it. When Steven R. Covey tells the story of Holocaust survivor Viktor E. Frankle, he explains this man’s discovery while undergoing unspeakable mistreatment in a concentration camp.

In the space between stimulus (what happens) and how we respond, lies our freedom to choose.

Frankle found that although he could not control what happened to him, he still controlled how he responded to it. Even though he was a prisoner, he discovered freedom that his tormentors could not take away from him.

Yes, freedom. Most of us will probably never experience a concentration camp like Frankle or a satellite prison like my heroine Portia in The Revolutionary. But we will find ourselves in hard situations where others wrong us. When we choose forgiveness as our response, we can drop the burden of bitterness and live in the light of God’s grace.

The cross and empty tomb

The cross and the empty tomb represent forgiveness at its ultimate triumph.

In the cross, we see Christ’s sacrifice for us and the unimaginable sin debt He forgave by willingly giving Himself to die for us. Not only did He die for us, but Jesus also experienced the excruciating pain of isolation from His Father. He took on the full wrath of God so that we wouldn’t have to.

Even though we didn’t deserve God’s forgiveness, He made possible a way for us to find it (John 3:16). Shouldn’t we then extend  generosity to others who perhaps do not “deserve it”? I like how Paul explains this challenge in Ephesians 4:32: “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (ESV).

In the empty tomb, we see His complete conquest and victory over death. I Corinthians 15:56-57 reminds us that the believer can know freedom from earthy constraints because of the resurrection. “The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (NKJV). 

I think that victory extends to all aspects of our Christian lives, including the challenge of forgiveness. We can live victoriously when we let go of pain and hurt and truly forgive. 

Forgiveness made possible

In the words of C.S. Lewis, the resurrection makes forgiveness possible for this basic reason:

To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.

That’s the bottom line. What others have done may indeed be inexcusable, but we can forgive because God first forgave us.

Easter or Resurrection Sunday is a few short days away. Don’t carry unnecessary bitterness with you into this time of remembrance and celebration. Drop those weights at the foot of the cross and bask in the power of forgiveness, modeled perfectly for us through Jesus Christ.

~ Kristen

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Revolutionary Love

I had the privilege of meeting Christi Perry at the Florida Christian Writer’s Conference last year. Her heart for writing and for Christ shines through her life and words, so when she asked if I would guest post for her, I gladly said yes!

Her blog Not Born Fearless offers an honest, transparent look at dealing with fear and uncertainty in everyday life. I hope you’ll take the time to visit her site for my full post and check out some of her other great content.

Post Excerpt

Love perseveres in spite of obstacles. Love gives without any guarantee of receiving. Love sacrifices until it hurts and then sacrifices some more.

If I told you those themes are part of my latest novel, you might guess I’m a romance writer, right? Well, they are, but guess again. The Revolutionary is a dystopia.

Wait. Dystopia? You mean one of those futuristic novels so dark they make the problems of our own world look like a walk in the park? Yes and no. Though dystopian novels have certain bleak characteristics, I think that setting paints the perfect contrast to the hope characters are fighting (and sometimes dying) to gain.

How can a dystopia present an accurate view of love? I’m glad you asked.

Click over to Christi’s blog to read the full post.

~ Kristen

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Revolutionary Love: Dystopias can reveal real love, too – @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)

The Revolutionary Launch Party – Tonight!

Happy release day! I’m so excited to share The Revolutionary with you and hope you enjoy the next part of Portia’s story.

Tonight at 7 pm Eastern, I’m hosting a launch party on Facebook, and I hope you can join! There will be trivia and drawings for an autographed copy, Kindle books by some of my favorite authors, and a Starbucks e-gift card!

To join the party, click here.

As part of the festivities, see if you can solve the word scramble below. Hint: All the scrambled words are characters’ names, but there are a few new ones you’ll meet in The Revolutionary. Fill in the boxes to solve the message.

Hope to see you there tonight! And once you read The Revolutionary, I’d love to hear your thoughts and look forward to seeing your reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.

~ Kristen

Twitter

The Revolution Continues. Join the Launch Party tonight! – @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)

2 Upsides of Uncertainty

I hate suspense, which is ironic since I write young adult novels packed with conflict. Relegating uncertainty to fiction seems safe, because I (as author) am in control. Uncertainty in real life, I don’t always handle so well. Please tell me I’m not alone here.

Uncertainty comes in all forms, including that four-letter-word wait. Maybe you’re waiting to hear back on an interview. Any day, you could get the phone call that the job is yours—or that the hiring manager chose someone else. Or perhaps you had a medical test last week and still haven’t received the results.

At other times, uncertainty comes when we’re facing a decision, and we can’t tell up from down or good from better. It could be choosing a college, deciding to move forward with a relationship, or wondering whether to rent, buy, or room.

The uncertainties of life are endless. Since they’re not going away, let’s learn to focus on the positives they present.

Click here to read the full post on DailyPS.com.

~ Kristen

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