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

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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

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

 

2 Realities of Reaching Worthy Goals

I’m convinced that anything worthwhile involves sacrifice. To reach a great goal, you have to give up good things.

Take sleep, for example. For the last two Saturdays, when many people enjoyed the chance to catch some extra Zs, I set my alarm early to go for a long run. Granted, I enjoyed the morning with some amazing running partners, but I had to sacrifice sleep, embrace sweat, and push through fatigue (and dewy cobwebs along the trail).

But I’ll never be ready for my half marathon in November if I don’t.

As I type those words, I laugh, because not many years ago, I couldn’t even run a mile. In fact, I received a doctor’s note that exempted me from my college physical education class on account of my back.

Those of you who’ve read The Revisionary may be having an aha moment right now. My heroine Portia suffers from scoliosis and a back injury, a physical obstacle she must overcome in order to reach her own goal. I often give my characters something that lets me relate to them better (or a “piece of myself”).

Little does Portia know when she starts training with Luther that she will need that physical endurance to survive her satellite sentence and the next part of her story (coming spring 2018).

Her regimen requires pain and grit. Giving up would be easy, but she doesn’t. Why? The reason is one she doesn’t fully understand yet.

#1 – Sacrifice now builds endurance for future circumstances.

Truth is, we often don’t know what those situations will be. We can’t know what we’ll face next year, let alone next week.

What we do today affects tomorrow. But how can we prepare for a future we can’t see?

In his awesome little book I Dare You, William Danforth describes how the four sides of life are connected. He challenges readers to exercise all sides of their personalities, following Jesus’ example in Luke 2:52.

And Jesus increased in wisdom (mental) and stature (physical), and in favor with God (spiritual) and men (social). (NKJV, parenthesis added)

Developing our mental, physical, spiritual, and social capacities in our current circumstances equips us to better face tomorrow’s challenges.

Maybe that’s why I like running: I can see all of these elements at work. In order to develop stamina (physical side), I need mental toughness (mental side). Friends (social side) often provide the encouragement and affirmation to stick with the routine. As I run, I enjoy quiet time with God, appreciate the beauty He’s provided in His creation for my enjoyment, and recognize the parallel between running a race and the Christian journey (spiritual side).

Many of my students are competitive athletes (such as in dance, swimming, or other sports) or enjoy pastimes such as acting or art. I’m sure they could share that these rewarding experiences require them to exercise discipline and say “no” to other fun activities their peers invite them to join. However, they’re committed and confident that what they’re practicing today will produce results.

How and when is up to God to decide.

#2 – To reach the prize, show up for practice.

Back in college, I never dreamed of running 13.1 miles, and even now, know that I have many more long, hard training days before I’m ready for the race on November 22.

But I know that to be ready, I have to show up when I’d rather hit snooze.

The same principle applies to all walks of life. In order to invest in a friendship or relationship, you must invest time and emotional energy. In order to write a book, you must resist the urge to flee from your computer when your screen contains nothing but white space. (Yes, as a writer, I feel that way sometimes.)

Do you have a goal you want to reach but feel you can’t? Start showing up for practice. Set the alarm and go running, even if you don’t get far the first dozen times. Sit down at that computer and type even if the words feel locked behind an insurmountable dam. Dedicate intentional time to build into that relationship. Block time out in your calendar for the calling God’s burdened you to do.

The bad news is that you’re going to have to give up other good things in the process. The good news is that those things aren’t the passions God’s laid on your heart right now and therefore not your priorities. There will either be another time for them, or God will provide other resources and people to meet those needs.

Whatever you do and whatever I do, we should do it all for the glory of God (I Corinthians 10:31).

As I get ready to run this race, I hope you’ll follow along with me as I share about it right here.

I’d also love to hear about your goals! Leave a comment so others and I can cheer you on your way and pray for you in the process.

~ Kristen

Tweetable

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AOA Teacher Authors Message of Hope

The following article was featured in my school’s company newsletter, and the editor who conducted the interview graciously gave me permission to share it here with you. I’m so blessed to work at a place that supports my writing! 

***

The genre of dystopian young adult fiction has become highly popularized in recent years with blockbuster novels like The Hunger Games, Divergent, and The Giver; however, Alpha Omega Academy teacher Kristen Hogrefe knew she wanted the genre to offer more than just entertainment.

“I wanted to offer hope,” the first-year AOA teacher said in a phone interview from her home in Spring Hill, Florida. “Dystopian novels are oftentimes so bleak. Maybe the heroine survives, but the cost is so severe that it hardly seems worth it.”

Published on June 6, 2017, The Revisionary is Hogrefe’s fourth novel and the first of a new Rogues trilogy with Write Integrity Press. The novel’s protagonist is Portia Abernathy, a 19-year-old girl who must overcome a physical handicap to rebuild her unraveling world.

“She’s on a quest for truth, and she’s trying to rescue her brother from exile in a prison camp,” Hogrefe summarized, “but she discovers that what’s going on in her world is actually a lot more complicated than she thinks. She realizes it’s not just about her world.”

Hogrefe estimated that she wrote The Revisionary over approximately eight months. She anticipates that the second book will be released in early 2018 with the final book out at the end of 2018 or early 2019.

“I’m excited to keep working on things,” she said. “It’s a rigorous timeline, but I’m a planner. I know where I want the plot to go, but at the same time, I can’t be too rigid with my outline because as characters develop, sometimes things have to change.”

Although meeting her writing deadlines while teaching has made for some busy days, Hogrefe said she has greatly enjoyed her first year at Alpha Omega Academy.

“It’s been great,” said Hogrefe. “There’s a lot to learn at any new job, but everyone has been so helpful, and the students are wonderfully polite, at least most of the time. I really enjoy the one-on-one teaching at AOA. It’s less like teaching and more like tutoring.”

The Revisionary is available in paperbook for $14.99 through Amazon. The novel is also available on Kindle. Hogrefe said most retailers should also be able to request the novel even if it’s not on a store’s shelves.

In the end though, Hogrefe knows the impact of her writing goes beyond how many copies her books sell.

“The publishing world is a competitive market,” she said. “I try to look at each sale as an opportunity to touch a life. I have received some feedback from readers, and I know I am touching someone’s life. Whether it’s through enjoyment or challenging a reader to think more deeply, it’s a privilege to have that part in somebody’s life.”

– Article by Glynlyon Editor, Reproduced with Permission

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A Cord of Three Strands

If you follow me on social media, you’ve probably seen the rescue kitten that now runs my house (only partially joking there).

Good news is that low-to-no budget toys are often what makes kitty happiest. The other day, Mom gifted my little Ness with a red crochet strand with a jingle bell at the end. Turns out, it once belonged to some Christmas socks my great-aunt made me … a long time ago.

Despite the years, those three strands remain tightly knit together, at least until my kitten gets the best of them.

In the Bible, Solomon uses the visual of a three-strand cord to visualize why we need strong friends in our lives. Ecclesiastes 4:12 says,

Though one may be overpowered,
    two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken (NIV).

This verse reminds me of Proverbs 27:17 which talks about an “iron-sharpening” friend. A true friend challenges us to be better, lifts us up when we’re low, and stays with us during tough times.

How can we be this type of friend in return?

  • Stay in touch, and spend “face time” (not the app) with them. This point may seem obvious, but as we graduate from school and get older, keeping in touch gets harder. The distractions of life and social media don’t help. To be a good friend, let your friends know you’re there for them.
  • Ask how you can be praying for them, and then faithfully present their needs to the Lord.
  • Talk about God’s Word with your friends. Share what you’re learning or reading. If you can, join a Bible study or Sunday school class together.
  • Look for opportunities and ways to bless them. You could do something as simple as picking up a bouquet of flowers, treating them to coffee, or offering to babysit (or kitty-sit, in my case). Speaking from personal experience, I’m incredibly grateful for my amazing friend who watches my fur baby when I’m out of town!
Say hello to little Ness!

One of the Women of Faith Bible studies I use defines a good friend this way:

A good friend is one who trusts, understands, gives space, and is willing to speak honestly into your life. – Building Your Strengths

Are we that kind of friend?

A fictional example

In my prequel to The Revisionary called A Cord of Three Strands, Portia makes a pact with her brother Darius and best friend Luther to stick together like the three-corded rope they use for a fishing anchor. They understand that they’ll be stronger if they watch out for each other. Little do they know what forces are at work to tear them apart.

I’d like to share this novella in e-book format with you! If you haven’t signed up for my newsletter, subscribe using the pop-up to receive your free copy. If you’ve already subscribed and would like to receive the novella, please email me at kristen@kristenhogrefe.com, and I’ll send your electronic copy.

Parting thought: How can we be the type of friend God wants us to be?

~ Kristen

Tweetables

A Cord of Three Strands: Free Novella! – @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)

How strong are your friendships? – @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)

3 Reasons to Thank Dad on Father’s Day

To most, the man across the table from me is nothing but an old broken Tooler with knobby fingers and dirty nails. To me, he is everything left that’s kind and lovely in the world. – Portia, The Revisionary

At the beginning of The Revisionary, Portia and her father Abram Abernathy only have each other, but she’s made a plan to get back her lost brother. She thinks that if she can earn a Revisionary seat in the ruling Dome, she can rescue him from the satellite where the ASU government banished him.

Although her father calls her plan “a fool’s errand,” she is sure of one thing: he loves her, whether or not he agrees with her ideas. Truthfully, she doesn’t understand his own or the secret work that often takes him away from home.

As she embarks on her own journey, she comes to respect her father’s wisdom and realizes that all along, he’s had her best interests at heart.

You see, there are several lessons in tough love fathers teach their children, all of which help prepare them for adulthood.

#1: Dads let children make their own mistakes and learn from them.

My brave girl’s quest is a fool’s errand, but I’m proud of her spirit. – Abram Abernathy

Moms are nurturers. Fathers are providers. Moms have a momma-bear-protection instinct, but dads want to see their kids get dirty and learn to pick themselves back up. Sure, there are some things in life dads hope their children will never have to face, but dads also recognize that experience can be an effective teacher.

Abram may not want Portia to leave home, but he doesn’t stop her. Instead, he tries to prepare her for what might lie ahead.

#2: Dads teach children about the future and how to prepare for it.

“It’s more than the blade. It’s the responsibility that comes with it.” – Abram Abernathy

Before Portia leaves home, her father presents her with a gift: a small karambit blade to carry with her for protection.

Perhaps your dad taught you self-defense and how to shoot. (If he did, all the better!) If not, maybe he showed you how to change a flat tire or balance a checkbook.

Every dad has his own approach, and one isn’t necessarily better than another. As dads see best, they help equip their children for the future.

#3: Dads don’t pretend to know all the answers but give guidance for the journey.

“You do the next right thing, Portia, and then the next right thing after that. You’ll find your way.” – Abram Abernathy

The older I get, the more I value my parents’ wisdom. Though I’d like to think my dad can solve all my problems, the truth is that he can’t. Still, he knows how to handle a great many more challenges than I do, so I call him and my mom anyway.

I don’t think they mind.

The Heavenly Father

If you’re blessed to have your father in your life, use Father’s Day as an opportunity to thank him for all he does. However, I realize that due to death or circumstances beyond control, many people find Father’s Day a lonely time.

Always remember we have a heavenly Father who loves us and cares for us more than we can possibly imagine. Just think about all God does for His children!

  • He shows compassion toward them (Psalm 103:13).
  • He corrects them, because He delights in them (Proverbs 3:12).
  • He desires to give them good things (Matthew 7:11).

I hope you can call yourself God’s child. If you can’t, I challenge you to get into the Bible, his Word, and discover why a relationship with Him is the most important one you can ever have.

Happy Father’s Day.

~ Kristen

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