Powered by Blogger.

Featured Slider

Three Years

Today makes three years since my first book, Stephanie’s Story, was published! I’m thankful to have been able to write and publish as many books as I have, and I look forward to writing as many more as possible.

You can read all five of my novels today on your Kindle! Or if you love curling up with a paperback, you can order copies on Amazon today! Information is listed below.

originally published March 18, 2014, re-released on Amazon in 2015

Stephanie Green hates the way she looks. She’s always been bigger than other girls her age and is getting fed up with looking different. She’s been told that it’s what’s on the inside that counts and God loves her no matter what, but these days, she isn’t buying. After yet another unsuccessful day at the mall, Stephanie vows to shed some weight before her high school graduation- no matter the cost.
But the diets she tries just don’t seem to work and soon Stephanie finds herself at her wit’s end. She’s convinced that this is necessary and she can’t be happy until she is thin. But she’s in for a rude awakening when God uses an unlikely character to get a vital message to Stephanie- before it’s too late.

published July 15, 2015

It's Stephanie Green's freshman year of college and things aren't as easy as she thought they'd be. She shares a dorm room with her best friend Hayley, who's been acting a little strange lately. Stephanie's boyfriend is M.I.A and her sister Danielle is caught up in a whirl wind romance and getting ready to say "I Do." Add to all of this the stress of starting college, the uncertainty of what lies ahead, all the while trying to adjust to her new independence, and it seems like a recipe for disaster.
Stephanie's friends were there for her when she was in need. Can she do the same for them?
Growing up is not for the faint of heart in the sequel to Stephanie's Story, but it is a road not traveled alone.

originally published November 13, 2014, re-released on Amazon in 2015

Growing up different is hard; especially when you're a Goth in the Bible belt. No one knows that better than sixteen-year-old Madeline Warner. The teasing from her peers, many of whom claim to be Christians, has hardened her heart toward the people around her and the God they claim to serve. If they can be so unkind, then what would God Himself have to say to her?
Lonely and in the middle of sophomore year, Madeline gets a new locker buddy, punk rocker Alice Wang. With her colorful make-up and hair and unique taste in music, Alice seems like friend material, but some of her choices may keep the two apart. And on top of that, Madeline's Bible toting Grandma is on her way for a visit.
All things considered, Madeline can't help but wonder; how can she survive this season in her life? Find out in this story of rejection and ultimately hope.

published April 26, 2016

In 1915, it is believed that there isn't much hope for a woman beyond marriage. Yet Abi Leigh Hensley, lover of the written word, believes otherwise. Growing up as the daughter of a wealthy lawyer in the gold mining town of San Francisco, Abi never felt like she fit in with her mother and father's stilted lifestyle. And though she's been raised to believe that her lot in life is to marry, she's always loved to read and write, and has dreamt of being an author all her life.
After her parents' failed attempt at an arranged marriage, Abi leaves the comfort of her wealthy upbringing in San Francisco to pursue her dreams of becoming an author in New York City, a place she has always loved. Excitement seems to loom around each corner, yet Abi may be in for more than she bargained for.
Full of hopes, dreams, and self-discovery, A Castle in the Sky is a novel fans of historical fiction are sure to love.

published February 21, 2017

In the year 1917, times are changing. In the midst of WWI and the women's suffrage movement, the world seems divided. Abi Hensley finds herself, as well as those around her, affected by these events. As she continues to pursue her dreams of writing, her third novel is published, and is an instant success. Though this does bring with it more pressure, as it seems everyone she knows is curious as to her standing on the social changes taking place within the world. New people enter her life and help her to see things in a different perspective. Abi also meets a sad young woman with a background very similar to her own, who longs for guidance.
Throughout this difficult time in history, Abi and her friends learn to face things together with strength as they look forward to all the future holds.

Thank you to everyone who has purchased and read my books these past three years. It means a lot to me and I can’t wait for you all to read more of my stories!

-Miranda Atchley

Review: Write Well: A Grammar Guide

by Rachelle Rea Cobb

In this short guide, author Rachelle Rea Cobb sets out to teach us the basics of grammar. In an hour’s time, you will learn why grammar is important, when to trust it and when not to, as well as the proper way to use punctuation marks. Many of us will even be introduced to the Known-New rule. Yet above all, we will learn a very important rule of writing; to respect the reader. The goal of this book is to teach the reader the basics of sentence structure, which is an important part of writing well.

This was a handy little book. Whether you’re learning the basics of writing, are a confirmed grammar-geek, or it’s been a while since you learned the tricks of the trade and need a little refresher course, you will definitely enjoy this guide book during your writing journey. It’s easy to follow and to the point, sprinkled with witty bits of advice. The chapters are short, yet informative, and you’ll be able to read this book in no time. I wish this eBook had been around back before I published my first book!

All in all, Write Well is a great guide that I would recommend to any writer.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Review: The Chronicles of Downton Abbey: A New Era

by Jessica Fellowes and Matthew Sturgis

In this beautiful book, we are introduced to the third series of the hit period drama, Downton Abbey. After enduring WWI, the Crawley family now find themselves entering the 1920s. Lady Mary and Matthew are engaged to be married, Lady Sybil is now married to the former chauffer Tom Branson and the two are expecting, while Lady Edith is still looking for her place in life. Lord Grantham has gotten the family into some financial troubles while Lady Grantham stands loyally beside him. Below stairs things are stirring as Mr. Bates is wrongfully in jail and new servants come to work at Downton. The book gives you a background of each prominent character on the show, complete with pictures of each as well as everyday items used during the time. Peppered throughout are historical facts and quotes from real duchesses, countesses, earls, dukes, butlers, and cooks from the time. For fans of the wildly popular PBS program, this book offers a detailed and interesting look into the show’s arrival into a new era.

I loved this book. I only recently read it when I found it at our library, but I still loved it. I love any excuse to watch or read about Downton Abbey and this book was so enjoyable. The pictures are beautiful. I thought it was neat how they featured pictures of the different household items, such as hair brushes, cans of toothpaste, cold cream tins, kitchen tools, etc... from the early ‘20s. I also like that they mentioned things that weren’t Downton specific; they also talked about other aristocratic families during this time, and in other periods. Even though the show has gone through three more seasons and has been cancelled since this book was published, I still enjoyed it. Just to read about the drama, inspirations behind some of the characters, and facts about the early 1920s, was so interesting.

All in all, this was a great book that any fan of Downton Abbey will love.

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

February in Review

February really flew by. As in, I don’t know where it went. I finally finished and published All The Future Holds this month. Thank you so much to everyone who has purchased a copy; it means the world to me and I really hope you enjoy it. After I finished writing All The Future Holds, I decided to take a little vacation. I must admit I haven’t enjoyed it as much as I thought I would; I really missed writing and am happy to be getting back to it.

Books Read in February
All The Future Holds by Miranda Atchley
Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
A Will, A Way, and A Wedding by Melody Carlson

Is it silly to put my own book on this list? I don’t think so. I did read it several times while editing it, and it is a book, so it counts. It took me a while to read the Susan B. Anthony biography. I’d been reading it here and there for a few months. In the end, I found it pretty interesting. I loved Mere Christianity; it was a really good book. A Will, A Way, and A Wedding was a good book; it isn’t my favorite type of story to read, but it was a nice quick read and offered the conclusion I was hoping to see for Daphne.

Given the release of my book, I haven’t blogged all that much this month. It may not be ideal, but sometimes you just need a bit of a break.

Favorite Posts From February

Thank you all for stopping by today! I hope you all have a great month in March.

-Miranda Atchley

The Message of All The Future Holds

The main message that I wanted portray in All The Future Holds is that we’re all equal. But we’re all different. We’re all human beings, created by One God, but for unique purposes. I believe that we all come into this world with special purposes to fill, but with unique obstacles that we all have to overcome. Whether it’s your gender, race, social standing, age, etc…. we all have challenges. But I believe that God has created each of us equally and if we learn to trust in Him and lean on Him that we can accomplish our goals.

Thank you all for celebrating the release of All The Future Holds with me this week! If you’d like to buy a copy, just click here. And if you read it, please consider leaving a review! It would mean so much to me.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

-Miranda Atchley

Books I Read While Writing All The Future Holds

Welcome back to A Real Writer’s Life! Today is day four of release week for All The Future Holds. So far, you’ve read a sample of the book, celebrated its release by reading the synopsis, and read about the year 1917. Today, I wanted to write a post detailing the things that I read, and in some cases watched, to get inspiration for this book. It probably seems pretty obvious that when writing a historical novel, you have to do a lot of research. But, I don’t think a writer truly realizes this until they get pretty deep into the writing process. Since the First World War takes place at the time I set this book, as well as the women’s suffrage movement, I wanted to read books about those subjects for research as well as inspiration.

The Books I Read

Women’s Suffrage: A Short History of a Great Movement by Millicent Fawcett

Though this book was written by a British author and features more facts that took place in Europe, I did find it helpful as well as interesting.

How Women Got the Vote:  The Story of Women’s Suffrage in America by Ida Husted Harper

This was a short read, but helpful to the writing process of All The Future Holds.

America’s First World War by Henry Castor

The Many Faces of World War I by Irving Werstein

When it came to writing about WWI, I definitely needed to check out some books because I knew so little about this war before I wrote this book. I found the books mentioned above at our library and rented them both. While these books focus more on the actual war, and the weapons used therein, I was able to find some things in these pages that touched on how people lived back then, such as their clothing, activities, and the price of everyday items. I found these facts to be the most useful for the book I was writing. Dates pertaining to the war were very helpful to me, as well.

I also read Jane Eyre for the first time while writing this book. It wasn’t for research; it was simply for-fun, but this quote from the book really jumped out at me and I knew I wanted to feature it as the opening quote in All The Future Holds.

"Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts, as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint; too absolute a stagnation, precisely as man would suffer; and it is narrow minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex."
-Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

What I Watched

Now I know it may sound silly to some people, but I did want to mention that I re-watched season 2 of Downton Abbey while I was writing this book. Of course, I knew to take a lot of it with a grain of salt because it is television, and I in no way relied upon the show for information, but it was inspiring and it was just neat to watch this show as it journeyed through WWI while I was writing a book that takes place in 1917. I also visualized Lady Sybil when I wrote about a nurse in the book, who turned out to be one of my favorite new characters in The Abi Hensley Series.

Sometimes doing research for historical fiction can be hard, but you ultimately find out some pretty interesting facts. When all is said and done, it is definitely worth it.

Thank you all for stopping by today! Come back tomorrow for a post about the message of All The Future Holds.

All The Future Holds is now available on Amazon! Download it on your Kindle or order your paperback today!

-Miranda Atchley

The Setting of All The Future Holds

Hello readers and friends! It’s the third day of release week for All The Future Holds. Since this book is brand new, I wanted to do some behind-the-scenes posts to celebrate. I enjoy reading these posts from other authors and I’ve heard from some of you that you enjoy these types of posts as well. Yesterday I posted a synopsis of the book and the day before that I gave a sample of the first chapter. Today I’m talking about the setting of the book; the year 1917.

WWI and Women’s Suffrage

When A Castle in the Sky ended, it was the fall of 1916. WWI had already begun two years prior in Europe, but the United States did not enter until the spring of 1917. It was a terrible war, as any war is. It lasted four years, ending in 1918. All The Future Holds begins in January 1917, three months before the U.S.A declared war on Germany. I wanted to continue the story of Abi Hensley’s life, and since this portion of it takes place during one of the biggest wars in history, bits of that made their way into the story. Instead of writing a book about WWI, I wanted to write bits about how the war would affect Abi, seeing that this series is about her.

A common theme in All The Future Holds is Abi’s desire to learn more about the women’s suffrage movement and to figure out where she stands in regards to it. The women’s suffrage movement was nothing new at this point in time. Yet it was still prevalent as women didn’t have some of the rights they desired, such as the right to vote and equal wages. In November of 1917, the state of New York granted women the right to vote, yet there were still many states that did not allow women to vote. It wouldn’t be until the year 1919 that the country would instate the 19th amendment, and in 1920 it would be ratified.

Fashion in 1917

Let’s talk about the clothes; because that’s the most fun part, right? Fashion hadn’t changed much between the time of A Castle in the Sky and All The Future Holds. Women still wore shirtwaists and day suits with large hats and elegant gowns over tightly laced corsets that created itty-bitty waists. Yet now that America had entered WWI, I wanted to talk a little bit about the nurses’ uniforms. They were very different from the uniforms nurses wear now, just as the clothes every day women wear are different than the average woman’s outfit in 1917. The nurses’ uniform was a plain grey dress with a crisp white apron over it. The nurses wore white headdresses wrapped around their heads, and bright red crosses on their arms, signifying they were in association with The Red Cross. In one book I read about WWI, the author mentioned that fashion designers began making women’s skirts with less volume in order to preserve the wool to be used for soldier’s uniforms. This in turn made women’s wear more comfortable, allowing them to do more, which was a sign of the times.

Things certainly are different now than they were in 1917. It was a difficult time for many individuals. Yet even though it carried its own sadness, I find the Edwardian era fascinating with its style, grace, and progressive changes.

Be sure and come back tomorrow as I post about the books I read while writing All The Future Holds!

Did this post whet your appetite for a book set during WWI? Read All The Future Holds today on your Kindle, or order a paperback on Amazon!

-Miranda Atchley