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Author Spotlight,  Giveaway,  Hope-filled Fiction

Author Spotlight with Kimberly Russell & a Giveaway

By Deena Adams

By Kimberly Russell

Please welcome Christian Fantasy author Kimberly Russell to the blog this week. Kimberly’s debut novel, Journey to ChiYah, released on July 1, 2021.

Not a fantasy reader? You may be surprised as Kimberly shares her heart and how God led her to write and publish this story. You’ll learn that the Journey to ChiYah may be more for you than you realize.

She’s offered a giveaway of the book, so be sure to comment on this post by Tuesday, September 21, for a chance to win!

Welcome Kimberly!

Journey to ChiYah is fiction…yet it’s not. 

The story is based on a gal who ends up in a mythical land where she doesn’t want to be with strangers that seem to know all about her, including her emotionally charged history. She is offered a quest to deal with the fall-out that has plagued her life, but is less than enthused to face any of it.

That’s where I come in.

I’ve always struggled with things from the past. While God has untangled much over the years, there was always an endless supply of cycles I could never get a grip on. (Notice the use of the pronoun…I do enjoy being in control, yet another one of my struggles.)

I made progress through counseling, support groups, and even medication. They all helped to a certain degree, but things really began changing after God’s perfect timing took me to a new church.

It was a different kind of place. Very different, packed with Biblical teaching about how to live entwined with God, breathing in His presence daily. Living in complete agreement with Him involves a willingness to have a cooperative, repentant heart and lifestyle, and being willing to address things He points out. Not always an easy thing.

I learned about restoration where I could tap into His original intent for my life by addressing long-term emotional issues. Soon my healing accelerated, and I actually began to experience lasting change. At the same time, my creative juices kicked into overdrive.

During church, I would scribble as God downloaded ideas that intertwined fiction with my own twisty road to healing. But when He told me I needed to share my story with the world? Talk about terrifying.

As Journey To ChiYah took shape, I struggled with the plot that had turned into a convoluted mess. I was determined to weave every ounce of revelation into the story, fretting that the reader might miss something important. Good thing God is patient. 

He finally told me to quit going in circles and get on with it, allowing Him to dictate the direction of the story. 

What a novel concept.

Once I let Him be in charge (me trying to control? Pshaw!) the storyline came together to become exactly what HE wanted it to be. 

I stopped and stuttered several times for a few years as life got in the way, but after I retired, it was go-time and Journey was released July 1, 2021.

The message of Journey to ChiYah is that God can heal and restore us from our past if we cooperate during the process. It’s often a bumpy road, but as we persevere, He is faithful and true. Only then will we be prepared to go on assignment and share what we’ve learned with the world.

It’s a Journey.

Thanks so much for sharing your story, Kimberly. I love how God worked in your life to guide your writing journey, and your life journey. What a great testimony!

Join the conversation. Can you relate to God asking Kimberly to share her painful past with others? Was it easy for you to obey? What questions do you have for Kimberly?

Be sure to comment by September 21 for a chance to win a copy of her book!

Journey to ChiYah book cover

Journey to ChiYah by Kimberly Russell

Click the book cover for purchase link

Jade Pepperdine has a problem: Her life is crumbling beneath the weight of the past, events of the present, and fears for her future. Things need to change, but she doesn’t know where to start.

Answers come in the form of an unexpected opportunity when Jade finds herself stuck in a mythical land. She meets Mayor Dudley, who insinuates she is emotionally broken and in need of repair … a fact she’d just as soon ignore. He offers to help her get home if she is willing to face her issues through a process of restoration.

Frightened and skeptical, yet out of options, Jade grudgingly agrees. And soon figures out that change is a journey, not a destination.

Come along on the adventure of a lifetime, and maybe you’ll find someone you never knew you lost: Yourself.

Kimberly Russell lives in a tiny house in southern lower Michigan with Toby, the Shih Tzu, who allows her to be his roommate.

Kim began writing in 2009 after she joined an on-line writing community called FaithWriters and regularly participated in their weekly writing challenge. High-ranking finishes led to publication in the 2015 & 2017 FaithWriters anthologies.

Branching out as a columnist for a local entertainment publication called Frank Talk was a challenge, but Kim became a guest contributor in their “Critter Corner,” and after a trial run of The Adventures of Miranda DailyLife, Kim authored the column for over a year and enjoyed an enthusiastic readership.

Kim has also been published in Dog Life Magazine and has three full- length manuscripts from participation in the National Novel Writing Month challenge held in November each year (writing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.) One of these-Photo Finish-is her next project—stay tuned!

When not hanging out in her favorite place on earth—the She Shed— and creating literary magic, Kim is a pickleball fiend, playing several times a week. She also loves to read, enjoys a somewhat mediocre golf game, and is a tech geek.

Connect with Kimberly: Website / Newsletter / Facebook / Goodreads / BookBub

Please share this post on social media to help spread the word about Kimberly’s book!

If you missed last week’s interview with Amanda Cox, find it here.

As a Jesus girl for more than thirty years, Deena Adams understands how important hope is to daily life, which fuels her passion to inspire others through hope-filled fiction based on true to life stories. She is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency and is a multi-award-winning writer, an active ACFW member, and ACFW Virginia president. Connect with Deena through her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


  • Debbie Lester

    I haven’t read many books in this genre but it sounds interesting. Especially your story about how it came about. Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy of this book.

    • Kimberly Russell

      Hi Debbie: Thanks for dropping by. I, too, don’t read in the fantasy genre, and no one was more surprised than I to end up writing one. Journey is also an allegory, and speaks to my own emotional healing. Best of luck in the drawing.

  • Deena Adams

    Hi Teresa. That’s cool that you have a dream to turn into a book. I don’t have any memories of vivid dreams except one as a child where I was chased by a monster. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Teresa+Moyer

    That book sounds so good! I am just getting into Christian fantacy and sci-fi. I want to and need to read more of this genre. I wrote down a very detailed dream I had about a year ago and there is a bit of a pull from God to possibly turn it into either a short story ot book and it would fall under the fantacy genra.

    • Kimberly Russell

      Hi Teresa: I’m so glad you wrote down the dream–it’s very easy to forget them after we wake up. God speaks mightily in our dreams, and if you’re feeling the pull to do something with it, be sure to listen as He will do amazing things with the assignment He’s given you.

      I never dreamed (LOL) I would be writing in the fantasy genre as I don’t generally read it or am pulled toward, but that is where Journey fell. Now it’s off wandering the world doing exactly what He intends.