Kristen’s Christmas Letter 2018

Hello, dear friends! I’m an old-fashioned girl at heart who loves sending and receiving Christmas cards in the mail. But since I’m preparing the largest bulk mailing of my life (i.e. wedding invitations), I thought maybe an electronic letter this year might be more prudent and achievable. That said, I hope you enjoy my Christmas letter and year-in-review. Please comments with your own favorite 2018 memories!

January: Ski Trip Adventure

Last January was my first time skiing, and no, this Florida girl is not a natural with anything having to do with snow. You may remember my first-time-skier takeaways post. However, I loved getting to see a winter wonderland, learn something new, and spend time with friends. My then-boyfriend, now-fiancé, actually helped teach me!

Church group ski trip

March Madness: The Revolutionary Release

March 20 was release day for The Revolutionary, sequel to The Revisionary. I celebrated with a Facebook party, giveaways, and all the fanfare that comes with a new novel. I hope you’re enjoying this series! If you haven’t started yet, there’s still time to catch up on the first two books before the final one releases next year. They’re available on Amazon.

Release day!

May and June: Blue Ridge & Alpha Omega Academy Graduations

In May, I traveled to the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference and enjoyed a busy conference about all things writing. I had the pleasure of rooming with my writer friend Ruth, so naturally, we had a blast. Plus, I was honored and thrilled that The Revisionary received the Director’s Choice Award and Selah Award for Speculative Fiction.

Receiving my Selah Award

These months are always busy with school and grading, but this year was extra exciting because my principal asked me to deliver both the virtual address and Orlando ceremony address. Getting to share my heart and God’s truth with seniors ready to launch out into life is always an honor and pleasure.

Alpha Omega Academy graduates

Oh, and I sneaked in a girl’s trip to visit my dear friend Rachel and her sweet family in Georgia, which is always a treat!

My friends Rachel and Devon

July: St. Augustine Summer Getaway

Summer is my favorite time of year but always breezes by! My brother, sister-in-law, and James planned a weekend retreat to one of our favorite cities, historical St. Augustine. This place never gets old.

Nothing says St. Augustine like a lion statue.

September: Italy!

Looking back on this month and the one month of planning for it in August, all I can think is, “Wow! Did that really happen?” Even now, I have to pinch myself. Traveling to Italy with my friend and colleague Maria was such a gift. A GIFT. Until then, I had only dared to dream that I could visit some of the settings in my next novel. This trip helped make those dreams a reality, and I can’t wait for you to read about more of them in the new year (and in my next book)!

Maria and I lived on gelato in Italy. That’s only a slight exaggeration.

October: Best Friend’s Birthday & Engagement Trip

When I think of October, I think, “My cup runs over.” The month started with a bang as friends and I celebrated my best friend Devon’s birthday in St. Augustine. Yes, I went to St. Augustine twice in one year. I don’t think that’s a bad thing at all! James taught my friends how to surf, and we splurged on donuts and coffee trips. Last, we toured the St. Augustine lighthouse, a gem.

Happy birthday to Devon!

Little did I know that James and Devon were already plotting my engagement! Later that month, James, Devon and I piled into his Subaru for a road trip to Beech Mountain to “see the leaves change.” There, in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina, he popped the big question, and I said yes! If you missed it, you can read all about that story here.

I said yes!

December: Wedding Planning, Book Release Prep, & Holiday Hush

Now, here we are in the few lingering days of 2018. As we prepare to start a new year, I’m busy getting ready for The Reactionary to launch in February, planning a wedding in March, and just … breathing. I want to enjoy this special time of year with my wonderful family and friends, so you may notice me offline and posting less this week and next.

I hope you’ll take some time as well to be still and grateful for God’s indescribable Gift, the very reason we celebrate Christmas.

Wishing you and yours a blessed Christmas and New Year!

~ Kristen

 

 

Come Adventure with Me! Italy in Real Life and Fiction

Starting next week, I’m traveling to Italy with my friend and colleague. Among other mouth-watering destinations, we’ll be exploring some of the settings for the final book in The Rogues trilogy, which include Orvieto and the Port of Civitavecchia. I can’t wait to share these places in real life with you and then take you into my heroine’s fictional story where she experiences them in her dystopian world.

Can you believe we’ve been on this trilogy adventure together since 2016 when I first signed my contract with Write Integrity Press? The cover reveal for The Reactionary will be coming soon, but for now, you can preview Portia’s climactic adventure.

Maybe you haven’t dived into Portia’s story yet. No worries. You have a few months before book three releases to catch up on the action. And this month, if you read and share your review about The Revisionary or The Revolutionary on Amazon and tag me in a social media post about it, I’ll enter you into my summer book challenge giveaway. (Maybe I’m in denial, but I’m not counting summer as over until the end of this month.) Bonus points if you review both or participate in the original summer book challenge.

Oh, what’s the giveaway? So glad you asked. It’s an autographed paperback copy of The Reactionary once it releases next year. (A winner outside the U.S. will receive a Kindle copy.)

Wherever We Go

As I’m hustling through all the last-minute trip preparation, I need to pause and remember: This trip isn’t about me. Yes, it’s a huge blessing and opportunity that has me antsy with anticipation. But at the end of the day, whatever I do and wherever I go, I want to shine God’s love and light.

No, this isn’t a mission trip by any means, but are we not always to represent Christ? Who knows whose paths I’m going to cross. My hope is that I’ll represent Christ well even if I’m tired, anxious, or inconvenienced.

Bottom Line: I’d appreciate your prayers during this trip and would love for you to share in this European adventure with me. I’ll be updating my Instagram stories @kristenhogrefeauthor and on Facebook, and you’re invited to follow me there.

Happy reading, safe travels, and adventure on!

~ Kristen

Tweetables

Come Adventure with Me! Italy in Real Life and Fiction – @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)

Whatever I do and wherever I go, I want to shine God’s love and light. – @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)

The Revisionary Receives Grace Award

This month, The Revisionary received the 2017 Grace Award for Speculative Fiction in faith-based fiction. The reader-driven Grace Awards first let readers select the finalists in each category before a panel of judges reviewed them to choose the winners. Here’s what the judges had to say:

THE REVISIONARY by Kristen Hogrefe (Write Integrity Press) ~ This dystopian novel was engaging and well-paced, reminiscent of George Orwell’s 1984, with a more modern vibe similar to The Hunger Games. The author uses deep point of view in a first person present style, in keeping with current tastes in fiction. The story never stagnates but keeps moving and surprising all the way through. The plot follows young Portia Abernathy who has clung to the belief that if she excels enough to get drafted into an upper-level educational system, she can change the laws that keep her brother in prison. Her meager existence with her father in a world without electricity or most basic creature comforts is a struggle, but she has learned how to survive and hopes to beat the system at its own game. Portia is shocked when she learns the system is not only stacked against her, but that there are those targeting her for failure. In the midst of the chaos, she finds surprising friends and allies. This volume is the first in a post-apocalyptic series called The Rogues and deservedly takes first place.

Thank you to all my readers for catching the vision of this story! If you enjoyed The Revisionary, check out the sequel, The Revolutionary. And be watching for the finale in this trilogy, The Reactionary, scheduled to release early 2019.

~ Kristen

Tweetables

The Revisionary Receives Grace Award – @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)

Happy Father’s Day! A Goodreads Giveaway for you – @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)

The Revisionary Wins Selah Award

My heart nearly beat out of my chest as Eva Marie Everson, the Blue Ridge Conference Awards Director, called my name. Not just for finaling in two awards (an honor in itself) but for winning them both.

Last week, The Revisionary won one of Christian Fiction’s most notable awards, the Selah,  in its category of Speculative Fiction. It also received the Directors’ Choice Award for Young Adult Fiction.

At the Awards Ceremony with Conference Directors Edie Melson (left) and DiAnn Mills (right)

One of the best parts was celebrating with friends who also received awards. I remember meeting Lindsey Brackett at the Florida Christian Writer’s Conference a few years ago when we were just talking about our book projects, and now, she won three awards for her debut novel Still Waters. Go, Lindsey, and congrats to all the finalists and winners!

Pictured with Multi-Selah Winner Lindsey Brackett (left) and Awards Director Eva Marie Everson (center)

I want to say a big thank-you to everyone who helped make this moment possible, including my family and supportive friends, my editor Marji Laine, and mostly my Savior Jesus Christ who entrusted me with a writer’s calling. Writing can be lonely, thankless work at times, but most callings can be. Praise God for the endurance to keep going, regardless if the podium is in sight or not.

The Revisionary and its sequel The Revolutionary are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats.

~ Kristen

Tweetable

The Revisionary Wins Selah Award – @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)

Join the March Book Madness

March is here, and we’re going “mad” for books. The countdown for the release of The Revolutionary (The Rogues, Bk 2) has begun, and in the meantime, you can take part in the pre-launch festivities.

When The Revisionary released last year, you learned that my heroine Portia shares a name with my favorite Shakespearian character. Well, this famous playwright had his share to say about madness. If you’d like to help spread the word about The Revolutionary, please share any of the memes in this post.

You can pre-order The Rogues, book 2 on Amazon now (in Kindle format). On March 20 (release day), both paperback and Kindle formats will be available.

The Revisionary giveaway and specials

To celebrate the release of book two, I’m giving away a paperback copy of The Revisionary through Amazon Giveaways (no purchase necessary to enter). Click here to enter for a chance to win. Giveaway ends March 7.

If you prefer Kindle books, you can take advantage of a limited-time Kindle sale on The Revisionary, starting March 11.

Launch party

You’re invited to a virtual Facebook launch party for The Revolutionary on release day, March 20! There will be games and prizes, including an autographed copy of The Revolutionary and Reapers by best-selling, speculative fiction author Bryan Davis. And that’s not all! You’ll also have a chance to win Kindle copies of books by some of my favorite authors, including Ruth Buchanan, Jerusha Agen, and Betty Thomason Owens. To accept your invitation on Facebook, click here.

Again, you’re welcome to share these memes on social media with your friends!

A final note on madness

While I’m using “madness” in a tongue-and-cheek sense of the word, I don’t want to suggest that “madness” in the traditional sense is any version of fun. In the book of Ecclesiastes, King Solomon had much to say about folly. In his pursuit of happiness, he considered everything “under the sun” and realized that it couldn’t satisfy (Ecclesiastes 1:14). The world’s “madness” ultimately had nothing to offer.

His conclusion in Ecclesiastes 12:13 reminds us where our focus should be:

The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man (ESV).

The only way to find lasting satisfaction is to live lives pleasing to God and honor His Word. For me right now, that includes stewarding well my gift of writing and sharing the words He’s given me with others.

Publication is just one season of life (Ecclesiastes 3:1), and I’m excited to enjoy it with you. After all, Solomon also shares the challenge to do “with your might” whatever work your hand finds (Ecclesiastes 9:10).

So there you go. Thanks for joining me in the “mighty madness” this month!

~ Kristen

Tweetable

Join the March Book Madness – @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)

 

 

Holiday Book Specials

Happy December! With Christmas a few short weeks away, I want to share some holiday book specials with you. This month, all of my Kindle books are on sale, but you’ll want to mark your calendars for the dates.

Wings of the Dawn Trilogy

My first three young adult suspense books are $.99 on these dates:

The Revisionary

My latest release, the first book in The Rogues trilogy, is available for $.99 (Kindle version) on the first day of winter, Dec. 21.

For those who have already read The Revisionary, the sequel is coming soon! Look for more details in the new year on The Revolutionary, releasing spring of 2018.

Hope you enjoy and have a wonderful Christmas season!

~ Kristen

Tweetable

December holiday book specials – @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)