Wednesday, February 3, 2021



~Post Includes:  Book Spotlight, 
Author Bio, Author Interview,
My Review & Giveaway~



This historic home holds the keys to their destiny . . . and their hearts

Abandoned at birth, her family roots a mystery, historical museum curator Sloane Kelley has dedicated her life to making sure others know theirs. When a donor drops off a dusty old satchel, she doesn’t expect much from the common artifact . . .until she finds real treasure inside: a nineteenth-century diary.Now she’s on the hunt to find out more.

Garrett Anderson just wanted to clean out his grandmother’s historic but tumbledown farmhouse before selling it to fund her medical care. With her advancing Alzheimer’s, he can’t afford to be sentimental about the family home. But his carefully ordered plan runs up against two formidable obstacles: Sloane, who’s fallen in love with both the diaries and the house, and his own heart, which is irresistibly drawn to Sloane.

A century and a half earlier, motherless Annabelle Collins embarks with her aunt and uncle on the adventure of a lifetime: settling the prairies of Sedgwick County, Kansas. The diaries she left behind paint a portrait of life, loss, and love—and a God who faithfully carries her through it all. Paging through the diaries together takes Sloane and Garrett on a journey they never could have planned, which will change them in ways they never imagined.

This warm, beautifully written split-time novel will resonate with readers looking for stories that reveal the beauty of God’s plan for our lives, and how our actions ripple for generations.

 (Kregel Publications/February 2, 2021/ISBN: 9780825446689/$15.99)




Amanda Wen is an award-winning writer of inspirational romance and split-time women’s fiction. She has placed first in multiple writing contests, including the 2017 Indiana Golden Opportunity, the 2017 Phoenix Rattler, and the 2016 ACFW First Impressions contests. She was also a 2018 ACFW Genesis Contest finalist.

Wen is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and regularly contributes author interviews for their Fiction Finder feature. She also frequently interviews authors for her blog and is a contributor to the God Is Love blog. Her debut novel, Roots of Wood and Stone, releases from Kregel Publications on February 2, 2021.

In addition to her writing, Wen is an accomplished professional cellist and pianist who frequently performs with orchestras, chamber groups, and her church’s worship team. She serves as a choral accompanist as well. A lifelong denizen of the flatlands, Wen lives in Kansas with her patient, loving, and hilarious husband, their three adorable Wenlets, and a snuggly Siamese cat.

To find Amanda Wen’s blog and short stories, visit Readers can also follow her on Facebook (@AuthorAmandaWen), Twitter (@AuthorAmandaWen), and Instagram (@authoramandawen)


For readers who can’t decide if they would like to pick up something historical or contemporary for their next read, debut author Amanda Wen offers them the best of both worlds in her new release. Roots of Wood and Stone (Kregel Publications) is a warm, delightfully-written split-time novel that will resonate with readers looking for stories that reveal the beauty of God’s plan for our lives, and how our actions ripple for generations.

Question #1: What drew you to the split-time genre? What unique challenges does writing in two time periods present?

Amanda Wen:  I’ve always loved reading both historical and contemporary books, and I’ve long been a fan of TV shows that hop from era to era. From the ‘80s sci-fi show Quantum Leap and the 2000s crime drama Cold Case to the new hit This Is Us, series like these illustrate in dramatic fashion just how deeply the past impacts the present. Split-time novels do the same thing: characters’ past decisions have ripple effects, both good and bad, for generations to come.

In addition, one of my favorite things about split time is watching the contemporary characters dig into the past. My mother is a genealogist who’s been tracing our family history since before I was born, and her passion for uncovering our family’s stories has been an important backdrop my entire life. Her research has given me an appreciation for those who came before and a desire to pass along this appreciation to my own kids. Given all this, I think the split-time genre is a natural fit for me!

However, split time doesn’t come without its challenges. Instead of writing one story, I’m writing two, and they have to weave together in an organic way. If you can lift one story line out of the book without hurting the other one, then it’s not integrated well enough. With two stories come two heroes, two heroines, and two plot lines, all of which must be correctly paced and equally interesting to the reader. But challenges aside,

Question #2: Roots of Wood and Stone was inspired by your own family history. Can you tell us a little bit about your family’s story and what parts made their way into your book?

Amanda Wen:  The seed of inspiration for Roots of Wood and Stone is an 1890s farmhouse not far from where I grew up (and where I now live) which belonged to my great-great-grandfather, Francis Thomas Little. He immigrated to the United States from Ireland as a child and became one of the earliest settlers of Maize, Kansas. Grandpa Little, as he’s known in my family, wrote a memoir, A Kansas Farmer, which was an invaluable resource during my research process.

Francis Little married Mattie Stevens, daughter of another early settler, William Fletcher Stevens, who lost his first wife and infant son shortly after arriving in Sedgwick County in 1870. (In fact, my great-great-great-grandfather would go on to bury a second wife and eight of his fourteen children.) I wondered how someone would cope with such a tragic loss and emerge with his faith intact, and it’s this first early loss that forms the crux of the spiritual journey for my past hero, Jack Brennan.

My past heroine, Annabelle Collins, is very loosely based on a paternal ancestor, Antoinette Patrick Peterson, who as a young child was left with an aunt and uncle after the death of her mother. She moved to Kansas with her aunt and uncle, who raised her to adulthood, and I grew curious about the impact of such a decision on a child. The rest of Antoinette’s life was no less interesting and colorful, but I decided to save it for a future book.

Question #3: What role does faith play in the  lives of  your characters?

Amanda Wen:  All my characters are people of faith, but all of them have run up against some struggles. For Sloane, the wound of her childhood abandonment is the lens through which she sees everything. Feeling unwanted and unloved by her birth parents extends to her relationship with God. Is she plan B to him too? Garrett, meanwhile, has grown up in the church and has a fairly strong faith, but he hasn’t truly grasped the concept of trusting God rather than leaning on his own understanding (Proverbs 3:5–6). A highly intelligent and motivated individual, Garrett believes that life will be infinitely easier if he just comes up with and follows through on the perfect plan. But when his perfect plan runs up against obstacles he can’t overcome, he struggles to let go and allow God to enact the ultimate plan.

Trust is also a theme for Annabelle Collins, the heroine of the past time line. She suffers some losses both early and later in her life, and she struggles with the holes those losses leave in her heart. Can she learn to trust God to provide not necessarily everything she wants but everything she needs? Meanwhile, past hero Jack reels from loss as well, and he struggles to understand why—if he’s being obedient to God’s call on his life, as he thought he was—his life involves so much suffering. Throughout the book, Jack learns that just because life is difficult doesn’t mean he’s on the wrong path. Sometimes, one needs to stay the course.


A powerful split-time family story filled with faith, love, and emotion . . . 
This complex and well-crafted story features two strong women, present-day Sloane Kelley and twentieth-century Annabelle Collins. It turns out the women have a lot in common, and yet the two are unique in their life experiences and personalities.
The amount of historical detail introduced by the author is astonishing, and yet each piece of information works together with the others to build a strong foundation for the contemporary and historical plot lines of this book.
The characters and settings are well-developed and varied and are presented in such a way as to keep the reader's interest throughout the story. I love historic homes, so the family home featured in this book was of great interest to me. I lived in Kansas for a few years as a young child, so I had a connection with the climate and prairie landscape presented in the story.
The faith thread is strong throughout this book, and I was inspired by the varying relationships the characters had with God and how they followed His teachings in their own lives. The characters discussed their faith and the challenges along life's journey in a realistic and candid fashion.
I read a lot of Christian historical fiction, and Amanda Wen's debut is among my favorite books of all-time for this genre. I literally did not want the story to end . . .
I highly recommend this book for fans of Christian/clean historical fiction, fans of Christian/clean romance, and fans of Christian/clean family sagas. 
This book is completely clean in language and content.
I received a paperback copy of this book from the Kregel Publications through I Read With Audra Blog Tours. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

a Rafflecopter giveaway  



1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the book description and the giveaway.



  ~ FRIDAY FICTION FEATURE ~ --  'LETHAL LEGACIES'  -- AUTHOR COLLEEN J. SHOGAN ~Post Includes:  Book Spotlight + Excerpt, Unique Au...