Happy first day of October! I’m pinching myself over here, because Florida actually feels like fall right now. This morning was in the 60s! Northern friends, just humor me here. That’s a big deal for Florida.
What better time of year to “fall” in love with fiction? (Sorry, I couldn’t resist the pun!) I’m excited to share that my young adult dystopian trilogy, The Rogues, is on sale from October 1 through 5 for only $.99 on Kindle!
The Rogues trilogy blends suspense, science fiction, and American history into a saga that offers hope through a rediscovery of heritage. One reader said:
“I’ve read my fair share of dystopian fiction, Christian and secular alike, and this is hands down my favorite to date. It’s unique, clever, inspiring, and challenging, and prompts me as a reader to revisit history not only to learn from, but engage with it.”
Who’s my favorite author, and if I could write about anyone, who would it be? Thanks to Betty Thomason Owens and the Inspired Prompt crew for inviting me to share in this interview!
Welcome back to 3 Questions Wednesday, Kristen Hogrefe! This is an exciting and very busy week for Kristen, as her third book in The Rogues Trilogy released yesterday! Congratulations, Kristen. Let’s see how she answers our three questions […]
The Reactionary, the final book in The Rogues trilogy, releases in 4 days! As I anticipate launch day and entrusting the last part of Portia’s story to you, I want to share some more snippets from my own journey to the Italian settings she encounters.
Portia’s mission to secure communications with a possible international ally takes her to Orvieto, a cliff-top Italian city with more charm and beauty than one visit can capture. My friend Maria and I decided we could live in our Air B&B indefinitely and never soak in everything this city has to offer. However, because I didn’t want my novel to be the length of War and Peace, I chose to highlight some of the city’s main attractions and tie them into the plot.
The Orvieto 4Ever celebration is the reason I chose this setting for my story in the first place. It lauds the American ideals of independence and liberty on an international level, not just a national one. Moreover, it recognizes the Italian influence on the United States, including the contribution of Italian Phillip Mazzei, a friend and correspondent of Thomas Jefferson. Mazzei actually influenced some of the wording of our Declaration of Independence.
I so much enjoyed weaving this historic information into my fictional dystopian tale of a futuristic world trying to recapture the ideal of liberty for all. Though my Rogues (rebel forces) are fiercely independent and even proud to a fault, they must realize that the fight isn’t just theirs. The world, not just the ASU, needs to overthrow the Rosh League and its minions who are determined to uproot the last strongholds of freedom.
Duomo di Orvieto
The city’s centerpiece is a breathtaking cathedral that serves as the backdrop for the Orvieto 4Ever celebration. Getting to visit this beautiful cathedral in person was one of my most-anticipated moments of the trip! The outside itself is stunning and even more imposing in person than in pictures.
Purchasing our ticket to go inside was a must. The massive, pillared space has a sacred, quiet mood that invites reflection and reverence. I found a seat, closed my eyes, and envisioned how Portia would have felt inside this space while waiting for … Well, I’m not going to spoil the story.
The cathedral was everything I imagined and more. I hope as you read The Reactionary and Portia’s encounter with it that you can glimpse the beauty and my appreciation for the Duomo di Orvieto.
What’s not to love about a city that has an underground cave system? During our last full day in Orvieto, I squeezed in a tour of the underground cave network. I didn’t realize almost every house has a cave! (It made me want to take the floor-length mirror off the wall in our Air B&B to see if there was a secret passageway behind it, but Maria wisely advised against this.)
Although the caves have served different purposes, the most common was storing livestock, drinking water, and food. They also served as bomb shelters or hiding places during war times.
One interesting feature of these caves are hundreds of little holes in the wall. What do you think these were used to store? Join my friends and me for The Reactionary Launch Party on February 19 on Facebook to find out!
I hope you’ve enjoyed getting to explore a little of Orvieto with me, and I look forward to sharing more of my Italian adventure with you during the virtual launch party next week.
A few weeks back, I had a little heart-to-heart with you about closed doors and open doors in my life. As we count down to book release day for The Reactionary, it seems only fitting to have a little fun with doors today!
When I traveled to Italy to do book research, one of my favorite places to visit was Civita di Bagnoregio. Aside from the pizza there, which was amazing, I also fell in love with all the architecture, namely, doors. In fact, my friend Maria snapped my back cover author picture in front of a vine-framed door I wouldn’t stop raving about.
Here are a few more of the imagination-inspiring doors we encountered, and all the photo credits go to Maria. (For more of her Italian stories and photos, visit her awesome website.)
In The Reactionary, Portia doesn’t have a chance to explore this town like I did, but she does get to witness the city’s morning beauty from a distance. Here’s an excerpt from her point-of-view, inspired by my own:
The general and guard talk in hushed tones but at a rapid-fire pace. I turn away from them to watch the golden sun pierce through low-lying clouds. The hazy sky turns shades of purple and peach, forming the backdrop canvas to the sprawling landscape before us. It looks like a child scrawled a marker across the page, and nothing was left even, least of all that ragged remnant of a city.
How had I not seen it sooner? But I had been too intent on just taking my next step and learning to trust my stiff legs again.
I want to tell those two to stop talking. Silence seems more fitting for the tragic beauty of this dying place. Buildings jut out along the edges and top of an eroded mountain, now bathed in the dawn’s warm glow.
Join in the Fun!
I’m so glad you can share in my real life and fictional adventures! You’re invited to join my book launch party on release day, February 19, from 7-8:30 pm EST. It’s a virtual party on Facebook, so you can join right from your home! Even if you can’t stay the whole time, please pop in and say hello. We’ll have Italy trivia, book trivia, and maybe even talk about a little fictional and real-life romance … You won’t want to miss it. Click here to join.
One day, I would love to return to Italy to explore even more places (and doors), but for now, I’m content to enjoy my current setting. I hope you are too. Wherever we are, may we appreciate what we have while welcoming the possibilities God opens.
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.
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 Revolutionaryon 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!
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)
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!
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.
The Revolution Continues. Join the Launch Party tonight! – @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)
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.
If you prefer Kindle books, you can take advantage of a limited-time Kindle sale on The Revisionary, starting March 11.
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 Reapersby 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!
If you’ve started a reading list for 2018, I hope you’ll add The Revolutionary! Mark your calendars: The sequel to The Revisionary is scheduled to release March 20 through Write Integrity Press, and today, I’m excited to share the cover with you. Special thanks to my graphic artist Kelli Sorg (Make it Snappy) for another job well done!
Portia’s story continues much differently than she had imagined. There’s no hero’s rescue for her or easy solutions to save the Brotherhood’s threadbare rebellion. The Revolutionary demands an honest look at:
The source of one’s true identity
The struggle of guilt
The crippling effects of fear
The power of second chances
REVOLUTIONS RUN ON SACRIFICE … AND BLOOD.
Three months a satellite prisoner, Portia wonders if the Brotherhood has left her to die—until she plunges into the domain of a smuggler contacted by her brother. But her rescue comes with a price tag, and now, she must forfeit her identity to act as a spy. She learns that her enemies want the Dome to approve mass satellite executions, though no one knows why. Worse, they’re using her friend Luther, now a Court Citizen intern, to sign the short-term orders. She wants to confide in Luther, but can she still trust him with the company he keeps?
Plagued by shadows and guilt for leaving her protector Gath behind on the satellite, Portia must find a way, not only to rescue him and the other prisoners, but also to destroy the slave camps once and for all.
The Revolutionary, a Sequel: Dive into a dystopia that mingles American history with hope. Coming 2018. – @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)