Friday, August 12, 2011

Forsaken by Leanna Ellis

Hannah Schmidt,a young Amish woman mourning the mysterious death of her beloved Jacob, must decide between two brothers, between good and evil.

When she learns her first love isnow the vampire Akiva, she must forsake him and cling to a new love, a lastinglove, one that will save her soul.

Amish and vampires? Really? Yes, really. I’m asked a lot how this book came into being.

Forsaken actually began as a joke. I was at a book signing and another author and I made a joke about we should write an Amish/vampire story because those were the two genres that were selling so well.

Well, it really was a joke. I didn’t rush home and start writing the book. But I suppose some seed was planted in my warped little brain and took root. Soon a character was speaking to me abouther story and wanting me to write it. I resisted. But there was a very intriguing element that I couldn’t seem to ignore. To me, this was a Phantom ofthe Opera type story, with a love triangle, and a clear dividing line between good and evil.

So I wrote the prologue and first chapter. Then I set it aside because I was busy meeting other deadlines. Besides what was I to do with an Amish/vampire story? I mentioned it eventually to a couple of writer friends.They laughed but in a good way and encouraged me to write it.

Well, I wasn’t sosure although I was becoming obsessed with the story. I spent a lot of time inprayer over this book, because I don’t want to write something that God doesn’twant me to write. Also, I knew I’d have to leave the Christian market and sellit in the secular market. I wasn’t about to make that move without God’s clear direction. And he began to show me in more ways than one that this was the book He wanted me to write.

More than a year passed, and I was at a writer’s conference minding my own business and not pursuing this story at all. An editor said the perfect submission would be…you guessed it! An Amish/vampire story. So I made an appointment to meet that editor and just talk about the idea.

It almost felt like when an addict first admits she has a problem. I felt like I was teetering on the edge when I said, “I’m a writer and I’ve written an Amish/vampire story.” Well, she requested it. What I love about this story is that it shows the battle of good and evil.

Evil doesn’t always appear with pitchfork and horns. Quite often, evil is appealing and attractive and hooks usin before we realize what has happened. Such is the case with my heroine Hannah. She simply loved a boy. But she opens her heart and her mind too easily and the consequences could be devastating. Even though this story is published in the secular world, it has a powerful spiritual message, a message the world needs to hear.

Read more and an excerpt here.

Order the book from Amazon.

Note: I was with Leanna at the conference where she pitched the idea to an editor. It's fun to see the story come to fruition! Way to go,Le!

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