Small Business Spotlight – Shack On The Rock

I am thrilled today to be doing a Small Business Spotlight on Shack on the Rock and it’s owner Traci Cornell!

Traci Cornell is a small business owner of products that are crafted with naturally derived ingredients. She is a wife and mother of 3 boys. Having grown up in the City, she finds Country living to be an adjustment but one worth making. 

Kylie: Traci, can you tell us about your Small Business and what your mission is?

Traci: Shack on the Rock started out like every side hustle does. Looking for a way to supplement my family’s income. However, I wanted to be sure that it was something I loved. One day a good friend invited me over to watch her make soap. I instantly fell in love with cold process soap making THAT day! From there, I researched, practiced and gobbled up every resource I could get my hands on. As time went on, I branched out to other products. As I grew more experienced, a result of that was growing more aware of how many ingredients were in products that didn’t sit well with me.You see, I believe that while eating organic is important, it is equally important, perhaps more so, to be careful about what your skin is consuming. The saying goes that 60% of what you put on your skin is absorbed straight into your blood stream. Even if that statistic is off by even half, that isn’t good. That means those toxins are by-passing God-given filters like your saliva, digestive acids/enzymes, and your Liver.

Just straight into your blood.  Here’s another example that women often don’t think about; I, personally, have a long lasting love affair with fragrance. From the time I was young, I adored the magazine samples of expensive perfumes. I would tear them out of the magazines and place them in my dressers and closets (mostly because I couldn’t afford to buy them on my babysitting salary). Every product I chose, down to my shampoo, was largely in part to how good it smelled!  Scent has always played a HUGE role for me and I don’t think I’m alone in that. Of course, little did I know that it likely was harming my body, specifically my endocrine system. You see, I struggled with infertility for years and a large part of that was due to hormone imbalances. In fact, I once heard of a story where a women who loved a certain brand that specializes in great smelling products, was trying to get pregnant. Her Doctor told her to eliminate ALL scented products, both personal & cleaning items for 3 months, which she did. She conceived shortly thereafter. Again, if there is just an inkling of truth to this story, why would we risk it as women? Research shows that Synthetic Fragrance can have a lasting, damaging effect on our bodies. That’s bad news for men and children but it’s a huge no-no for women who have a multitude of hormones fluctuating in a tightly choreographed dance sequence every month. So the first thing I did was switch from using Synthetic Fragrance to Essential Oils. My business took a hit, because like me, many women buy product based on how good it smells and Essential Oils limit you on what you can create/offer fragrance-wise. Since then, I have discovered 100% Certified Plant-based scents that are derived from Essential Oils and Other Organic plant matter. This has opened up a whole new world for me AND my Customers!

Wildflower Natural Artisan Soap

Traci: My ultimate goal is to be able to offer products with versatility, that smell amazing, and are as close to plant-based ingredients without compromising in performance. I want my customers to feel good about using my products. I want women to grow more aware of the dangers lurking in many of their products. Lots of money is spent on marketing/advertising to women because we are the MAIN shoppers for our homes and families. However, most of those products are not created with our health in mind. (though we are beginning to see a shift in that direction more and more) 

Kylie: Shack on the Rock is such a unique name, what was the inspiration behind it?

Traci: I actually prayed long and hard about what to name my business. My biz name is inspired by the Casting Crowns song “The American Dream”. It’s about a man that works all day, neglecting his family, so he can achieve the American Dream of wealth. I heard that song and instantly knew that if I had a business, I wanted it based on debt-free principles. I wanted a business that I could grow from home so that I wouldn’t need to sacrifice time with my family. Perhaps something my family could even participate in. 

Kylie: Of all the products you have created, what are some of your favorites and why?

Traci: It took me years to finalize my favorite products so narrowing them down to just a few is hard for me to do. I ADORE the creative variety that  Cold-Process soap allows me to achieve. I liken it to cooking/baking/decorating a cake from scratch! I also LOVE my Solid Shampoo bars because they are so eco-friendly and how gently they wash your hair without stripping and leaving hair greasy.

There is the uniqueness and versatility of my Lip & Body balms too! You can’t find them anywhere else! As my business grows, my hope is to offer more multi-purpose products as a way to keep costs down for families. I remember when I was a Teenager, one of my favorite products was Max Factors Lip & Blush stick (I think Cody made one too). I loved that my hard earned babysitting money could buy one product that performed in two different ways! It was like getting two products for the price of one! (because it was!)

Lip + Body Balm – Honey, Honey

Kylie: Do you have any new products coming up to be watching for?

Traci: At this time, I am just looking to expand my Certified Plant-based scent blends so my customers can have more natural fragrance options to choose from!

Kylie: Are your products available in any brick & mortar stores? And where online can your products be purchased and readers connect with you?

Traci: I only offer my products at two actual brick and mortar stores. The Hello Sunshine Market (a fantastic little clothing boutique in Granby, Mo.) is owned by two equally fantastic moms, Sarah Kimbrough James & Andrea Wald. They started there business with the same debt-free principles I believe in. The second shop is “Forage” in Grove, Ok. It’s owned by Krista Sampson and she is an equally amazing mom of 3 boys! Her vision is Farm to table and helping her local community! Otherwise, I can be found at the Neosho Farmers Market, the Handmade Holiday Market in Nov. and of course, I am online. I have an Etsy shop right now and I am in the process of building a Website to establish more of an Online presence. I can also be found on Instagram (I’m experimenting with that one), Facebook and Pinterest

Visit Shack On The Rock On Etsy

Thank you again to Traci for stopping by to visit with us today and sharing more about Shack on the Rock!

Author Spotlight – Angie Thompson

I am so excited to be featuring the talented Angie Thompson on the blog today!

An avid reader and incurable story-spinner, Angie Thompson also enjoys volunteering in her church’s children’s program and starting (but not always finishing) various kinds of craft projects. She currently lives in central Virginia near most of her incredible family, including two parents, six brothers, one sister, and five siblings-in-law—plus four nieces, six nephews, and several assorted pets!

Kylie: Can you share with us what inspired you to become a writer?

Angie: I’m not sure anyone could tell you that, actually.  According to my mom, I used to tell stories from pretty much the time I could talk.  Eventually, I moved from the adventures of my dolls and stuffed animals to other imaginary friends, and it was only a matter of time before I started writing down the stories that were always swirling around in my head.  I guess the part of writing that’s always attracted me is taking a group of characters that I love and spending time with them, watching to see what they do next. 🙂

Kylie: Tell us a little about your books!What is something you hope readers take away from them?

Angie: It’s taken me a while to figure out my brand because my genres are a bit all over the map (sometimes within the same story!).  But whether it’s historical, contemporary, or futuristic, I write stories centered around simple faith, solid friendships, and strong families, and I especially love to explore the various bonds that tie my characters together.  I was an advanced reader from a very early age (literally got Little Women for my fifth birthday–and read it!), so I’m sensitive to the plight of younger readers who need a more challenging read without a lot of edgy content.  At the same time, I’ve never lost my love for a good, sweet story without a boatload of unnecessary drama, and I hope my books can be that for older readers as well.  I recently had a reviewer call one of my books “comfort food,” and I love the descriptor!
The biggest thing that I’d like readers to take away from my books is a deeper sense of the way that God works in and through all kinds of different people and circumstances to bring about what He knows is best.  Like the characters in a story, we often can’t see beyond our immediate wants or fathom how anything good could possibly come out of a particularly hard spot.  But God’s ways are truly amazing, and He is more skillful than the most accomplished author at weaving together all the tangled and knotted plot threads to make a whole more beautiful than we could imagine. ❤

Kylie: What book are you most excited about reading in 2021? 

Angie: That’s a really hard one!  Most of my favorite authors I’m not entirely sure what they’re planning to release this year, so I’m sure I’ll have some great surprises coming!  If we’re talking books I haven’t read yet, the last book in P.D. Atkerson’s AKA Simon Lee series is coming out this year, and I’m very excited for that one.  And Playgrounds and Black Markers by Libby May, which I had the privilege of alpha reading last year, is also coming out this year, and I’m really looking forward to reading it again!

Kylie: Are there any Authors or Books that have given you inspiration on your journey as a writer?

Angie: Oh, my…  I don’t know that I could give you an exhaustive list but I’ll take a shot at it. 😉  Louisa May Alcott’s and Margaret Sidney’s books were early favorites (and are still favorites).  Out of a slough of new favorite (particularly indie) authors, Rebekah Morris rises to the top for writing the kind of sweet, simple stories I’ve always loved and reminding me that there are people out there who will love my stories as much as I love hers.  I also have to give a big thanks to Bill Myers, who I’ve never read much from, but who was such an encouragement to a young writer completely overwhelmed by her first taste of a writers’ conference when he started his session by assuring us that the only difference between him and us was that some of us weren’t published–yet.  And I guess I should mention The Bobbsey Twins, which–in a weird and pretty much unrecognizable way–inspired my first ever totally imaginary set of characters. 😀

Kylie: If you could sit down and have lunch with a favorite Author, who would you choose?

Angie: Ohhh, man, that’s hard!  There are so many authors I would love to meet in real life!  I’ll go with my gut on this one and say J. Grace Pennington.  She was one of my early introductions to the world of Christian indie fiction, and she was also the first author I ever worked up the courage to message directly and let her know just how very much I was enjoying her work.  (Plus…maybe she would slip in some spoilers for the rest of her Firmament series?  I can always hope…)

Kylie: Outside of writing, what are things you enjoy spending your time doing?

Angie: Well, reading.  (Yep, that was obvious.)  I have spurts where I enjoy crafting, although if a project stretches too long, I have a bad habit of losing interest and leaving it half-done. :S  I also enjoy music, spending time with my family, and working with kids.

Kylie: Do you have any new projects coming up in the near future to be watching for?

Angie: I’m currently working on the second book in the Quiet Valor series, but it’s being a bit of a slowpoke lately (or maybe I am…).  But I do have a collection of short Christmas stories coming out in July that I’m very excited about!  It’s titled Glad Tidings: A Flash Fiction Advent Calendar, and the pre-order is currently on sale for $0.99.  I love these tiny little stories so much. ❤

Kylie: Where can readers connect with you and purchase your books?

Angie: You can connect with me through my website and newsletter (https://quietwaterspress.com) or on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/angiethompson)  My print books are sold on Amazon, and my ebooks are sold pretty much everywhere, so you can look for me in your favorite store or visit my website for all the links.

Kylie: Thank you for stopping by to visit with us today, Angie. I enjoyed learning more about you and your writing journey!

Angie: Thanks again for hosting me, Kylie!  It’s been a lot of fun! 😀

Author Spotlight – Erika Mathews

I am excited to be featuring the talented Erika Mathews on the blog today!

Erika Mathews writes Christian living books, both fiction and non-fiction, that demonstrate the power of the kingdom of God through ordinary people, transforming daily life into His resting life. She’s a homeschool graduate with a Bachelor’s in Communications, a Master’s in Biblical Ministries, and a passion for sharing Jesus Christ and His truth. Outside of writing, she spends time with her husband Josh, mothers her little ones, reads, edits, enjoys the great Minnesota outdoors, plays piano and violin, makes heroic ventures into minimalism, clean eating, and gardening, and uses the Oxford comma.

Kylie: What was your biggest “aha” moment that you knew you wanted to be a writer?

Erika: I began writing in a giant notebook when I was five years old, and I enjoyed penning stories, poems, journal entries, and school notes. When I was ten, I had the idea of beginning what later became my first middle-grade novel. So I already enjoyed writing when the biggest “aha” moment hit me at age thirteen. One evening, I heard God’s Spirit speaking, telling me that I would write many books that glorify Him. From that moment on, I haven’t questioned His calling to me as a writer.

Kylie: What would you say is your favorite thing about writing?

Erika: My favorite thing about writing is rereading previous works. Whether it’s a novel, a journal-style entry, or a devotional, I love revisiting what God has taught me and put into words through me! Often I’m encouraged, challenged, and inspired (as well as surprised that I actually wrote that particular thing!). People say to write what you want to read, and when you add a spiritual dimension to that writing advice, it’s amazing. 

Kylie: Are there any books or authors who have inspired you as a writer?

Erika: In my childhood, the Five Little Peppers series and the Elsie Dinsmore series were majorly inspiring to me. Rod and Staff storybooks heavily influenced some of my earlier fiction writings, as well as books by G.A. Henty. My current genre, kingdom adventure fiction (like historical fiction but set in a place that doesn’t exist), was inspired by Jessica Greyson and her books in the same genre – after reading her books, I realized that was the perfect genre setting for the message God had given me to write. The Ilyon Chronicles by Jaye L. Knight influenced my characterizations. In general, I’m inspired by vintage fiction (1800s) and deep spiritual non-fiction writers such as Andrew Murray and Brother Lawrence.  

Kylie: Do you have any books you are looking forward to reading in 2021?

Erika: I am looking forward to reading the upcoming Fellowship of Light series by Chelsea Burden – I’ve heard so many wonderful things about the series. I also hope to find time to read Katja Labonte‘s Colours of Life series! I also plan to read the collection for A Very Bookish Fourth of July once it gets closer to publication.

Kylie: When you’re not writing, what are some things you enjoy doing?

Erika: If I’m not writing, I’m probably editing or taking care of my children and home. In rare free time, I spend time outside (I love lakes, autumn trees, and sunrises!), read avidly, and cross stitch Christmas stockings for my children.


Kylie: I know you had a new book “Victory’s Voice” release yesterday, can you tell us more about the story and the series “Truth from Taerna” that it is from?

Erika: Truth from Taerna is a six-book kingdom adventure fiction series born from a heart to communicate the truths of God’s kingdom—the spiritual realm hidden from our physical senses—in an engaging story format. Each book focuses on an aspect of spiritual truth that today’s church often downplays. Each book can be read as a standalone and follows a different sibling as they learn these spiritual truths. My desire is to demonstrate how the powerful, life-changing truths of God’s kingdom could play out in a fictional setting. My goal is that God will use this series to reveal His kingdom to the reader. My prayer is that by spending time seeing and knowing God within these pages, the reader may know and experience Him more intimately in daily life.

Victory’s Voice is Book Two in Truth from Taerna. It follows Ellisia as she learns the power of spoken words in the spiritual realm and it’s a story I am enthused about. (Every time I reread the climax, I still get excited – it’s so powerful!)

When an extroverted bookworm discovers the hidden power of spoken words, death and life tremble in the balance on the tip of her tongue. But not only figuratively.

At seventeen, Ellisia’s passion for learning and books dominates her small-town existence. No wonder she’s elated when an opportunity to attend Academy arises: she can finally fulfill her lifelong goals to further her education and see the famed Palace BookHall. But as she begins to discover the true power of the spoken word, she faces a choice: join forces with a foreign physicist or relinquish her dream to someday work in the BookHall. Loyalties and ambitions war within Ellisia once the scientist’s projects begin to threaten her family’s safety. When impending crisis brings a clash of spiritual kingdoms, Ellisia must once for all choose how she’ll harness the power of words. Spoken words transcend her reality, uniting heavenly with earthly and commanding the forces that drive the physical world, and Ellisia’s voice will be the catalyst for sure defeat—or decisive victory.

Kylie: Where can readers connect with you and purchase your books?

Erika: You can connect with me at restinglife.com. The best way to stay connected is to sign up for my email newsletter – I only send newsletters when I have news. 😉 If you prefer, you can find me on your favorite social media through the links here, and information about purchasing my books is here. You can also find my books (currently kingdom adventure fiction, a poetry collection, a fables retelling collection, some short historical fiction, and a Christian living non-fiction book on spiritual rest) in paperback and ebook on Amazon. I love meeting new friends who love books!

I want to thank Erika for taking the time to visit with us today and I encourage you to check out her books!

Author Spotlight – Rebekah A. Morris

I am so thrilled to be interviewing the talented Rebekah A. Morris here on the blog today!

Rebekah A. Morris is a homeschool graduate, an enthusiastic freelance author and a passionate writing teacher. Her books include, among others, Home Fires of the Great War, The Unexpected Request, Gift from the Storm, and her best selling Triple Creek Ranch series. Some of her favorite pastimes, when she isn’t writing, include reading and coming up with dramatic and original things to do. The Show-Me state is where she calls home.

Kylie: Can you share what the moment was when you realized you wanted to be a writer?

Rebekah: You know, I never wanted to be a writer. I hated writing in school, and it wasn’t until after I had graduated that I “accidentally” found out writing could be fun. But I still wasn’t planning on being a writer. The whole idea seemed to come about gradually, and it was a startling thing when I published my first book and realized just how much I enjoyed it. So, I guess I can’t say there was one specific moment that I knew I wanted to be a writer. If there was, it was after I had published my first book. 🙂 


Kylie: I recently finished reading your books “Gift From The Storm” and “Unbroken” and I’m currently reading your first book “Home Fires Of The Great War”. They are all so different and also equally wonderful reads. Do you have a favorite time period to write in?

Rebekah: Oh, favorite time periods to write in is hard. I have tried so many and enjoyed them all. Perhaps my favorite, if I have a favorite, might be the late 1800s, but then I also enjoy later on too. There are things I like about different time periods, but I guess I like not having to include cell phones and computers the best. 🙂 Back when things were simpler and a bit slower paced.

Kylie: What books and authors would you say have had the most influence on you as a writer and author?

Rebekah: One author who has influenced me the most is Isabella Alden. Known as “Pansy,” Mrs. Alden wrote in the late 1800s to early 1900s. Her books are very strongly Christian and were the first books I remember reading where the characters didn’t just go to church or read the Bible and pray a little. They lived their lives for Christ, talking about Him was as normal and natural as talking about a close friend. They aren’t just romance books, or all for children, and I think that helped me realize that my stories didn’t all have to be one kind of book for one specific group of people, and that yes, I could write about real people living real lives who didn’t just “put on Christianity” now and then, or who only prayed when danger threatened.

Kylie: What are some of your must haves when getting ready to write your books?

Rebekah: I have to have my NEO, since that’s what I do my writing on, my water bottle, and some paper to keep track of how many words I write, and to jot down anything important like names of new characters. Other than those things, and either inspiration, or just a determination to write something, I just need some quiet.


Kylie: When you’re not writing, what do you enjoy spending your time doing?

Rebekah: I love to read (all authors should love to read), play music (piano and violin), play with my nieces and nephews, and walking with my sister. I knit, hand quilt, design the covers for my stories, and reading. Did I already mention reading?


Kylie: Do you have any new books or projects coming up in the near future?

Rebekah: Yes, actually, I do. I am currently working on the next Woodbreak book titled “Phil Wood” and have an idea for the next book in the series. I also have a few short stories that I’m hoping to get done in the not too distant future, as well as a new Christmas Collection book for this year, and possibly other stories or books. If I were to show you the list of my started stories, you’d probably wonder how I keep them all straight. 😉


Kylie: Where can readers connect with you and purchase your books?

Rebekah: My books can be found on Amazon, my website: Read Another Page  and on Light of Faith  (Light of Faith only carries the physical books, and any books ordered from my site, come from Light of Faith since it’s my brother’s business.) Readers can connect with me on my website: www.readanotherpage.com and on Goodreads.

I want to thank Rebekah so much for stopping by the blog today and I encourage you to check out her wonderful books!

Author Spotlight – Courtenay Burden

I am so excited to be able to share with you an Author Interview with Courtenay Burden!

Courtenay Burden is a homeschool graduate, an unconquerable bookworm, and a Victorian enthusiast. She is passionate about good and great literature—writing that embodies both literary and spiritual excellence. She believes that good and great books are a powerful tool in Christ’s kingdom and she seeks to use that tool for His glory in her vintage-style historical fiction.

Kylie: When did you first decide you wanted to be a writer?

Courtenay: Creating stories is something I have always loved. As a child I spent hours upon hours creating characters and acting out their adventures with my dollhouse and my siblings.

Through elementary school, I still had this love of story-crafting and was a ravenous bookworm but the manual part of writing a story down was challenging enough that I didn’t find writing a very interesting subject. At that time, I thought I would like to be a seamstress after I finished high school. However, sewing for a living demands painstaking attention to detail and highly inflexible deadlines—two things that make a job very stressful, in my opinion!

Right around the time I started Grade 9, I began typing confidently enough to get my thoughts onto a page without too much difficulty. My interest in writing started to grow proportionately. By the time I graduated from high school I had finished the first draft of As the Heavens Are Higher and was confident that writing was something I wanted to pursue as a long-term occupation. Well-written, spiritually-challenging fiction has had a powerful influence on my own life and I hope that my writing can have the same kind of impact on others!

Kylie: If you had to pick a book(s) that influenced your writing style the most, which would you choose?

Courtenay: If I had to pick a single book, it would have to be Charlotte Mary Yonge’s The Daisy Chain—most famous as the novel credited with inspiring Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. As a child, the Little House series and the Five Little Peppers stories both had a huge impact on me as well.

Looking back, all of those books are about daily life in the 1800’s, with strong character development, wholesome values, a hearty emphasis on family, and delightfully accurate historical details—traits that still define my favourite books today!

Kylie: I just finished your book “As the Heavens Are Higher” and it was lovely! Could you share with us what made you choose to write historical fiction?

Courtenay: I have always loved history—particularly Victorian history. I am, in fact, a Victorian fanatic.

My favourite books have always been Victorian. My favourite clothes have always looked Victorian. For many years, I regretted the fact that I wasn’t born Victorian. Today, I can see a little better that God knows what He is doing when He picks the century we get to live in! But I don’t mind admitting that I am still passionately fond of anything that can claim a connection with the 1800’s.

So I am not even sure if the choice to write historical fiction was really a “choice” at all. It was just something that grew up out of the books I loved to read—and the settings where I liked to place my characters.

Kylie: Besides writing, what are other things that you enjoy spending your time doing?

Courtenay: In addition to reading (which is maybe an obvious one!) I love drawing, knitting, crocheting, and sewing. Pretty much any creative hobby that doesn’t require getting your fingers all covered with sticky stuff! (Although I have learned to really enjoy painting in the last year or so, too—as long as the paint stays where it belongs on the end of the brush.) I also love hymns and old pictures and little children!

Kylie: Do you have a favorite author(s) whose books you would say inspire you?

Courtenay: I think the authors who inspire me fit into two categories.

The first are authors of fiction with vivid characters and a challenging Christian perspective. For me Charlotte Mary Yonge stands first on that list—and as I discovered her books at just the age when they were likely to have the strongest influence on me, she will probably remain my favourite author of all time!

The second category is made up of non-fiction writers who give a glimpse of everyday life in the past. Isabella Beeton in Britain and Eliza Leslie in America, with the generation or two of homemaking writers that followed them, are ladies whose books give me a springboard for visualizing historical backdrops.

Kylie: Where can readers connect with you?

Courtenay: I am the main writer (although not the main tech support!) for the Sheep Among Wolves blog.

Sheep Among Wolves Publishing as a company is dedicated to producing and promoting high-quality, Christ-centred literature. You can find us at www.sawpublishing.com.

As the Heavens Are Higher is available on that site, as well as on Amazon and the Kobo Store.

I want to thank Courtenay for stopping by to visit with us today and I am looking forward to seeing all the Lord has in-store for her and her writing in the future!

Artist Spotlight – Joanna Lower

Award winning actress and singer/songwriter Joanna Lower has always had a passion for singing and what started with her voice soon developed into a full fledged passion for the performing arts. Joanna released her debut album “Go Live It” in 2018, featuring 11 original songs written by Joanna herself. In early 2020, Ms. Lower also filmed her first official music video for her original song titled ‘Hope Song’ which has reached over 85,000+ views on YouTube, and her radio show ‘The Wake Up Call’ airs Tuesdays and Thurdays (10am EST) on internet radio station RacMan Christian Radio. 

As an actress, Joanna’s recent bookings include the role of the unscrupulous Ann Foster Melton in historical drama ‘Laura’ and antagonistic Caroline in the Christian feature film, ‘The Renegade’. Joanna is excited to see what the future holds as both singer and actress and she welcomes you to come along for the ride! 

Check out the interview with Joanna Lower below!


Kylie: What would you say was your biggest inspiration for becoming a singer and actress?

Joanna: My Mom introduced me to Christian music at an early age and I just loved singing along to the music, especially if it was Rebecca St. James or Jaci Valesquez songs! (They were both huge inspirations for me as a singer!) When I was still very little I decided I wanted to sing professionally and I just never stopped wanting it. I believe the Lord put the desire in my heart and it just grew from there and before long it included acting and modeling as well! I believe its a calling, to spread the Good News through the arts!

Kylie: If you had to pick a favorite song, what would it be and why?

Joanna: I have so many favorite songs haha, so I will just go with the “Most Listened To” song on my iPod… Surprisingly it’s “Don’t Dream Its Over” by Sixpence None the Richer. I’m not sure why I like this song so much (its not my typical favorite genre) but I really enjoy it! I also find it interesting because I never liked Sixpence None the Richer as a child even though I heard their music all the time on the radio, but I love their music now! Some of their music has really blessed and impacted me in the past couple years and it just goes to show that something you create now can have a major impact on someone’s life a decade or two down the road! 

Kylie: What are some hobbies you enjoy outside of singing and acting?

Joanna: I am a mixed media artist and I really enjoy sitting at my art table, listening to music or  maybe a sermon by Joseph Prince and just creating these unique works of art! Here are a couple of my Disney projects that are now hanging in my room! (Note: I did not paint the photos on the inside but the entire frame is my work.) Fun fact: I added a few “Hidden Mickey’s” to each project! Disney World is known for having hidden Mickey Mouse sillouettes throughout their theme park so I added a few Mickey Mouse faces/shapes to my projects just for fun!

Kylie: How would you say you incorporate your faith into your career?

Joanna: Anytime I perform I pray for the Lord’s anointing to be upon me and my performance. I’ll pray for the Lord’s help to do whatever I need to do with excellence. I even had one experience where I was performing with a friend for a Zoom acting class and moments before we were going to perform I felt so disconnected from the character and the scene. I called out to the Lord for His help and anointing, and the moment we began the scene I felt the connection, I felt the nuances of the character and was even able to bring a genuine tearful emotion into the scene! I believe in preparation, practicing and putting your all into what you do but I believe when the Lord’s anointing is poured over it He will help us do things that are above and beyond anything we could do on our own! 

Kylie: I know you also host and are a spokesperson for several exciting things, can you share with the readers about them?

Joanna: Yes, absolutely! I am the host of a radio show called “The Wake Up Call” on RacMan Christian Radio! It plays every Tuesday and Thursday at 10am Eastern/7am Pacific, and its an hour of music/ministry and I’m so thankful for the opportunity to host! Also I have a new show called “The Joanna Lower Show” which also includes ministry and music on an upcoming TV Channel called KTV! (This show is still in the works and we’ll have more information soon!) This show came about through a company/ministry called Coming Soon Jesus who has officially endorsed me as a Coming Soon Jesus Artist!! Anytime someone purchases a t-shirt on their website (comingsoonjesus.org) and they type my full name into the comment box in step 4 of the checkout process, they are supporting me and my music and helping me to create new content! I’m very thankful for their support!

Kylie: Do you have any upcoming projects we can be watching for in the near future?

Joanna: We will be filming a short film for a historical drama called “Laura” in the spring which I am very excited about! It will be a proof of concept short for the full-length feature film we will be shooting later in the year (or perhaps shooting in early 2022)! Also, my music will be making an appearance in some upcoming feature films such as the faith-based movie “Through Eyes of Grace!” I’ll be sharing more details about these projects and more in the coming months on my social media pages! 

Kylie: Where can people connect with you?

Joanna: So many different places haha! Here is my website and other social media sites:

Website: https://www.joannalower.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/joannalower.fanpage

YouTube: www.youtube.com/c/joannalower

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/joannalower/

Savior Connect: https://saviorconnect.com/joannalower

You can also find my music on various sites, including:

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/3uMpEzqcGuXCAzPO6jByYC

Amazon Music: https://www.amazon.com/Go-Live-Joanna-Lower/dp/B079B3TVGR

iTunes: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/joanna-lower/1340897284

YouTube Music: https://music.youtube.com/channel/UCnuuSwE9dq8RxQQgnCDqwVQ

Hope Song Music Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2w4Nxn6K7A

Kylie: Thank you for taking the time to share with us today, Joanna. Excited to see all the things the Lord has in store for you in your career & ministry!

Joanna: Thank you so much for the opportunity to do this interview! It was a pleasure and a blessing!


Author Spotlight – Hannah Mae Linder

Today on the blog our Spotlighted Author is Hannah Mae Linder.

Hannah Linder is an agented, twenty-one-year-old, Regency-era author residing in the beautiful mountains of central West Virginia. At the tender age of twelve, she unknowingly found her passion as she sat down to type the first words of her debut novel, Love Unknown. Under the pen name Willowy Whisper, Hannah writes in several different genres: historical, contemporary, western, and medieval. Recently discovering her passion for all things Regency, Hannah has decided to pursue her writing career in an era of elegance and grace. All Regency-era novels will be penned under her real name, Hannah Linder. When not writing, she enjoys playing her instruments, songwriting, painting scenery, laughing with little kids, and collecting vintage hats. Her greatest desire is to please her Savior, and to write in a way that glorifies and uplifts Him. 

Check out the interview below!


Kylie: What would you say inspired you most to become a writer?

Hannah: When I was twelve, I heard news that my second cousin was endeavoring to write a novel. I then told my mom, “Hmm, I think I’ll do that.” I never imagined when I sat down to type my first chapter that I was discovering my life passion. 

Kylie: Do you have any favorite author(s)? What about them stands out you?

Hannah: Most definitely! Terri Blackstock is one of my all-time favorites, because she writes books you just plain can’t put down. Kristen Heitzmann is another favorite. Her descriptions and her way of “pulling you in” are so incredible, and her stories stay with me long after I’ve finished reading. As for poetry, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Edgar Allan Poe are hard to beat!

Kylie: If you were to pick an all-time favorite book, which would you choose and why?

Hannah: That’s a hard one! Out of all the books I’ve read, though, Michael Phillip’s “The Heather Hills of Stonewyck” has probably affected me most emotionally. I couldn’t stop thinking about it, couldn’t stop feeling sad, even long after I’d finished the book. Such a deep, incredible story! I don’t think it’s one I’ll ever forget. 

Kylie: What are some things you enjoy spending your time doing outside of writing?

Hannah: Playing instruments, painting, photography, dressing up in vintage hats and gowns, and watching black-and-white movies! 

Kylie: How does your faith come into play in the books you write?

Hannah: I love to write stories where the characters face real-life struggles. Like forgiveness. Like trust. Like faith or lack of faith. But in the end, there’s nothing better than letting my characters use all the hardships, all the mess-ups, and all the tragedies to bring them closer to God. 

Kylie: I have read several of your historical and contemporary fiction books and they were all excellent – can you share with us some things you enjoy about writing in different eras?

Hannah: Oh, this is such a fun question! I have always been fascinated with so many different eras—and each time period has different aspects about it that I love. From the early days of Regency England clear down to the more modern-American life of the 1950s, I love delving into the past and imagining what it might have been like. I may have been born in the wrong era, but at least I can write in anyone I wish. 

Kylie: Do you have any upcoming projects or books we can be watching for?

Hannah: I have two Regency romantic suspense novels that are unpublished, which my agent is still sending out to publishers! Hopefully one of those novels will find a home with a publishing house in the near future! I am also currently writing another Regency novel, and am excited for the day I get to share it with the world! 

Kylie: Thank you for stopping by to talk with us, Hannah – looking forward to seeing what the Lord has in store for you and your writing!

Hannah: Thanks so much for having me here today, Kylie! 


You can connect with Hannah and find out more about her books at –

Her Website: https://hannahlinderbooks.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hannahlinderbooks/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hannahlinderbooks/

Pinterest: https://pin.it/21fPvbh

Author Spotlight – Michaela Bush

Today on Kylie Hunt- The Film Director’s Wife blog, I am spotlighting Author Michaela Bush.

Michaela Bush is an independent writer of Christian fiction.  She graduated from Clarion University of Pennsylvania in 2019 with a degree in English and minor in Psychology. 

She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, and when she isn’t writing, freelancing, or building her own editing business, she’s out with her horses or playing violin. 

Writing has been her calling from an early age and she hopes to touch lives and inspire readers with clean, thoughtful, and impactful novels. 

Check-out Michaela’s interview below!

Kylie: What would you say was your biggest inspiration for becoming a writer?

Michaela: Ever since I was little, I was fascinated with storytelling, and by the time I was six, I decided I would become a writer.  My mother reading bedtime stories to me every night definitely deepened my appreciation for a good story and the themes that can be learned from books.  I think that’s part of my inspiration — that someone can be so affected by words that you’ve written.

Kylie: If you had to include one book in your yearly to be read pile for the rest of your life, which one would you pick and why would that be your choice?

Michaela: Ooh, this is a tough one.  Does this include books of a series that are combined into one large volume, thereby *technically* being contained in one single book?  *sheepish grin*  Because I’d have to either choose the single-volume entirety of The Lord of the Rings or The Hunger Games.  I know those are wildly different genres, but much can be gleaned from between the covers of those books — and I can’t choose just one out of either trilogy! 

Kylie: What are some hobbies you enjoy outside of writing?

Michaela: I enjoy riding horses, sketching, playing violin, and reading!  And if there’s a Star Wars or Marvel movie marathon going on, I’ll probably be watching it.

Kylie: How would you say you try to incorporate your faith into your books?

Michaela: I always try to incorporate some element of my faith in my books.  God has blessed me with an ability with the written word, so I always try to point my work back toward Him.  A lot of prayer goes into each project, and I try to let go of my own plans for the book if I feel that God’s guiding it in a different direction.  That happens a lot!  Especially with The Lady of Lanaria, I found myself extremely propelled toward the themes of light overcoming darkness.  When I began writing it, I didn’t know how relevant that theme would become as the book became available to readers.  Oftentimes, I’m learning more about God whenever I’m writing, and that’s one aspect that I enjoy about writing.  I can’t do it without His guidance, and it really gives me a perspective switch when I’ve been stubbornly trying to go my own direction.  

Kylie: I read The Lady of Lanaria in 2020 and it was so wonderful, in my top 5 books for the year in fact – what was it like writing that book? Can we look forward to more fairytale inspired retellings by you in the future?

Michaela: First of all, it’s such an honor to hear that this book was one of your top 5 for 2020 – thank you so much!  And to answer your question…I absolutely love fairytales and retellings, so it’s definitely within the realm of reason to expect more fairytale retellings from me in the future.  In fact, I may or may not have an idea in the works which is centered around Horace, one of the secondary characters from The Lady of Lanaria…so stay tuned.

“The Lady of Lanaria” is available on Amazon in both print and Kindle book format.

Kylie: Do you have any upcoming projects or books we can be watching for?

Michaela: I have several ideas in the works over a variety of genres — contemporary, romance, sci-fi, some historical, and maybe fantasy…but I’m sadly still in the very early planning stages for all of them and don’t have a lot of info to share yet!  

Kylie: Where can readers connect with you?

My blog: https://tangledupinwriting.com

Instagram: https://instagram.com/tangledupinwriting

Facebook: https://facebook.com/tangledupinwriting

Kylie: Thank you for taking time to share a little bit more about you with the readers, I cannot wait to see what the Lord has planned for you and your writing in the future!

Michaela: Thank you so very much for having me!  

Film Spotlight: The Swing Set – A Sean Hunt Film

Today on the blog we will be highlighting Hunt Production Studios Film: “The Swing Set – A Sean Hunt Film”.

Check out the trailer to the film below:

“The Swing Set” was Sean Hunt’s College Senior Film.  It premiered January 2011 at The Flick Theater in Anderson, Missouri and went on to have theater showings in St. Louis, Missouri – Webb City, Missouri – Siloam Springs, Arkansas – & Grove, Oklahoma.

The film stars Bernie Hayes as “Doctor Robert Smith” and Cynthia Butcher as “Alison”.

“The Swing Set” recently received 12 nominations at the 2019 Dreams Come True Film Festival including Best Director (Sean Hunt), Best Writing, Best Cinematography, Best Actor (Bernie Hayes) and taking home the win for Best Child Actress (Cynthia Butcher) and Best Teen Actress (Phylicia Freytag Crain).

“The Swing Set” was inspired by the life and faith of Natalie Jones.

“Faith not tested cannot be trusted” is the film’s tagline and Sean says that he hoped the film would encourage the audience to trust God during their difficult times instead of blaming God for them.

Sean says he enjoyed the whole filmmaking process, especially writing the film and showing it to a group of people for the first time.

All hospital scenes for the film were filmed at the Gravette Arkansas Hospital in Gravette, Arkansas now know as the Ozarks Community Hospital.

Sean shares that he is thankful that “The Swing Set” has had a long run and continues to gain steam.

You can find out more about “The Swing Set” on IMDb.

It is available to Stream for Free with an Amazon Prime Account. (Digital Rental and Purchase options also available.) “The Swing Set” is also available to stream with a Saltflix account.

Enjoy the “The Swing Set” in the news and promo videos below:

Book & Author Spotlight – Librarians of Willow Hollow Series

Welcome to the first Book Spotlight post on Kylie Hunt – The Film Director’s Wife blog!

I had the blessing of being on the launch team for each of books in “The Librarians of Willow Hollow” Series earlier in 2020.

Even though each book is completely different from the next, they all fit together in the series so nicely and I enjoyed each of the Lady Librarians stories! The individual books were written by 4 fabulous Christian ladies: Amanda Tero, Faith Blum, A. M. Heath, and Alicia G. Ruggieri.

Each tale written by these talented Authors presenting their character’s story in such a way that it holds the reader’s attention and gets you excited for the next Novella in the series. If you are looking for a last minute gift for the readers in your life, a digital set of these Novellas would be wonderful! (I personally recommend them for readers 13 and up, due to some heavier subjects.)


Without further ado, here’s what the ladies behind this delightful series shared about writing and creating it together!

First up, we have the author of “A Strand of Hope” – Amanda Tero.

Amanda Tero grew up attending a one room school with her eleven siblings—and loved it! She also fell in love with reading to the point her mom withheld her books to get her to do her chores. That love of reading turned into a love of writing YA fiction. Amanda 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.

Check out below her experience writing her book in the series:

1. What was it like working with the other authors on The Librarians of Willow Hollow series?

It was such a great experience! As we worked together, we realized the different strengths and weaknesses we each have, and ultimately that worked to make us a solid team. Personally, I was buried in college work at the time of editing work, so I most often used everyone else’s knowledge of Willow Hollow as my cheat. If I couldn’t remember something, I didn’t have to dig; I just had to ask.

2. What was it like imagining and bringing to life the world and people of Willow Hollow?

For me, there was a mix of historical accuracy and fiction with Willow Hollow. I researched the different counties in the Kentucky mountains and settled on Whitley County for the location of our fictionalized Willow Hollow. Then, we all worked together to figure out which characters were needed for whose stories, and formed a town from that base.

3. What were the most enjoyable & challenging parts of creating the main character in your story?

Lena’s love for books was definitely the easiest. Even though I haven’t read all the books she supposedly had, I still found it fun to research the books that she would have loved—and figure out how it fit to her life. The most challenging part was getting in the mind of an emotionally abused girl. I tried to be accurate, yet also wanted her to be someone who came out of that life and not be battered down by it.

4. What were some interesting things you learned about The Pack Horse Library Project while writing this series?

In reading newspaper clippings, I discovered one Pack Horse Librarian who broke her arm, got it set, then the next day was out on the trail again. This is just one example of the gritty determination these women had (and yes, primarily women were hired for this job).

5. What is the one thing you hope readers take away from your story?

Lena’s story has quite a few themes threading through it, but the most important one I’d love for readers to be impacted by is the lesson of hope and forgiveness in the midst of difficulties—especially when someone else is involved, making life difficult for you.

You can connect with Amanda Tero at the following ways:

Email: amanda@amandatero.com
Website: amandatero.com
Blog: amandatero.com/blog
Newsletter: amandatero.com/newsletter
Amazon: amazon.com/author/amandatero
Facebook: facebook.com/amandateroauthor
Instagram: instagram.com/amandateroauthor
Twitter: twitter.com/amandaterobooks
Pinterest: pinterest.com/amandateroauthor
Goodreads: goodreads.com/AmandaTero
BookBub: bookbub.com/profile/amanda-tero


Next up we have the author of “I Love to tell the Story” – Faith Blum.

Faith Blum is a small-town Wisconsin girl. She has independently published over 25 books in over five years. Most of her books are Christian Historical Fiction with an emphasis on Westerns.

Faith resides in Central Wisconsin with her husband, son, and their cat, Smokey. When not writing, you can find her cooking, doing dishes, sewing, reading, or spending time with her husband and son.

She gives the following thoughts on her experience writing the series:

1. What was it like working with the other authors on The Librarians of Willow Hollow series?

It was amazing! We were able to work out a lot of details together instead of having to figure things out on our own and everyone had great ideas.

2. What was it like imagining and bringing to life the world and people of Willow Hollow?

I would say it was both hard and fun at the same time. We each had to come up with our own characters and their families so we could figure out how to include them in the stories. But we also worked on the town set up and family trees together which was really fun.

3. What were the most enjoyable & challenging parts of creating the main character in your story?

The most enjoyable part was that I was able to connect Lillian with one of my other books. The most challenging part was figuring out exactly what she was going to be like with her personality and mannerisms.

4. What were some interesting things you learned about The Pack Horse Library Project while writing this series?

Honestly just the fact that they existed. I didn’t know that (or forgot) before.

5. What is the one thing you hope readers take away from your story?

There is no wrong way to share the Gospel with others as long as God is leading you to do it. Let Him help and guide you and He will give you the words.

She loves to hear from her readers, so feel free to contact her on her website: https://faithblum.com
Facebook: http://facebook.com/faithblumauthoress
Instagram: http://instagram.com/faithblumauthor


Next in the line up is the author of “Hearts on Lonely Mountain” – A.M. Heath.

A. M. Heath says of her writing style: “As a Christian author, I write fiction that not only entertains but also feeds the soul. Whether I’m writing contemporary, historical, or a blend of the two, my characters always have a clean romance, a sense of humor, and a visible faith where repentance is clear and relying on Christ is a must.”

She says of writing the Librarians of Willow Hollow Series:

 1. What was it like working with the other authors on The Librarians of Willow Hollow series?
It was a new experience for me. I’ve never collaborated with other authors in a series before and had always wanted to.
We had a good, friendly working environment. Did we agree on everything? Nope. But we were always respectful to each other. Always kind and willing to listen or return to the topic later after we’ve had time to think and pray about it. 

2. What was it like imagining and bringing to life the world and people of Willow Hollow?
That was a blast! You can see our personalities melding together as we began creating our own librarians and other people throughout the town. 

3. What were the most enjoyable & challenging parts of creating the main character in your story?
Ivory was one of those natural characters on paper. She really didn’t give me much of a challenge. And a character who is ready and willing to present themselves on paper IS the enjoyable part. Lol  Ben on the other hand was more challenging to get to know early on. He’s so quiet and reserved. And he’s not just like that on paper, he was like that with me as well. It took a little more time to get him to open. 

4. What were some interesting things you learned about The Pack Horse Library Project while writing this series?
This wasn’t my first introduction to the project, so I’m not sure what I had learned while writing it. But I find the whole thing interesting. Just this concept of meeting a need, even in such a remote area. I love how nothing stopped these women, not even extreme weather conditions. 

5. What is the one thing you hope readers take away from your story?
That we’re called to love and serve one another, no matter how we’re treated. It’s easy to find joy in serving someone when they accept you. But Christ said to bless those who curse you. That takes determining, before they respond to you, that you’re going to follow God’s leading and minister in this person’s life no matter what happens next. 

You can connect with A.M. Heath on her Website: https://christianauthoramheath.net/ and Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/AMHeathfanpage/


Last, but certainly not least we have the author of “The Secret Place of Thunder” – Alicia G. Ruggieri.

Alicia G. Ruggieri says of her writing:

“I write to present the love, grace, mercy, and holiness of my Savior and my God through stories of commonplace individuals who are sin-broken people in a broken world… and healed through an extraordinary, loving God. This God – this Savior – is Jesus Christ, the One who has proven sufficient to meet my every need, from salvation from my sin through His death on the Cross, to day-to-day struggles on my pilgrimage. My stories often whisper of times-gone-by, perhaps because that gives the encouragement that He who was faithful in times past will remain faithful today.”

She shares of her journey writing on The Librarians of Willow Hollow” series:

1. What was it like working with the other authors on The Librarians of Willow Hollow series?

Whenever I do a group project, it is an experience that helps me to grow, and not just creatively! For Willow Hollow, our group worked together, bouncing ideas off each other, adjusting our stories and timelines so that each story fit well with the others, creating characters that would cross over among the stories seamlessly. We had lots of big life changes that happened among our group members during the planning, writing, and releasing – everything from a baby being born to a college graduation to a few moves! Yet the Lord sustained our foursome and enabled us to work together well, growing together, I think, through it. It was a good experience, and I’m thankful to the Lord for the opportunity and for His grace and wisdom throughout the process!

2. What was it like imagining and bringing to life the world and people of Willow Hollow?

Really exciting! Not only were we each creating our own main characters and their settings and stories, but we also got to see the other authors’ characters, settings, and stories coming to life around us and add even more depth to each individual novella.

3. What were the most enjoyable & challenging parts of creating the main character in your story?

I loved imagining her backstory. That’s always a favorite for me – discovering what has made this person the way they are, what makes them tick, so to speak. A challenging part for me, with Edna Sue, was to make her realistic yet likeable. She’s had a lot of heartache and has responded to it by building walls and by trying to turn her heart to granite. I needed to carefully show what this kind of person is like on a day-to-day basis without making the reader want to close the book!

4. What were some interesting things you learned about The Pack Horse Library Project while writing this series?

One was the way that the librarians were often mountain folk themselves, not outsiders. Another was how the school and town were often involved in the library’s support; the town often provided electricity and heat to the library in exchange for services to the schoolchildren. I also thought that the scrapbooks that the librarians created from old books, magazines, and donated recipes, etc., were very neat!

5. What is the one thing you hope readers take away from your story?  

That even when God is silent, He is still there and has a plan and purpose for our lives. When we see Him, all our questions of “why?” will fall away because He is our answer. We will be comforted and satisfied “when we awake in His likeness”, to paraphrase the psalmist.

You can connect with her on her Website: https://www.aliciagruggieri.com/ and Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/AliciaGRuggieri/


I hope you have enjoyed these interviews and I want to say thank you again to the 4 talented ladies behind the “Librarians of Willow Hollow” Series for taking the time to give us a glimpse into the work and love that was put forth to create this series.

– Kylie Hunt

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