Monday, August 15, 2011


Leanna Ellis



Hannah Schmidt,a young Amish woman mourning the mysterious death of her beloved Jacob, must decidebetween 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 andvampires? Really? Yes, really. I’m asked a lot how this book came into being. Forsakenactually began as a joke. I was at a book signing and another author and I madea joke about we should write an Amish/vampire story because those were the twogenres that were selling so well. Well, it really was a joke. I didn’t rushhome and start writing the book. But I suppose some seed was planted in mywarped 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 veryintriguing 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 betweengood and evil. So I wrote the prologue and first chapter. Then I set it asidebecause I was busy meeting other deadlines. Besides what was I to do with anAmish/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 cleardirection. And he began to show me in more ways than one that this was the bookHe wanted me to write. More than a year passed, and I was at a writer’sconference minding my own business and not pursuing this story at all. Aneditor said the perfect submission would be…you guessed it! An Amish/vampirestory. 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 likeI was teetering on the edge when I said, “I’m a writer and I’ve written anAmish/vampire story.” Well, she requested it. What I love about this story isthat it shows the battle of good and evil. Evil doesn’t always appear withpitchfork and horns. Quite often, evil is appealing and attractive and hooks usin before we realize what has happened. Such is the case with my heroineHannah. She simply loved a boy. But she opens her heart and her mind too easilyand the consequences could be devastating. Even though this story is publishedin the secular world, it has a powerful spiritual message, a message the worldneeds to hear.


Winnerof the National Readers Choice Award, Leanna Ellis writes women’s fiction.Known for her quirky characters and wacky plots, don’t let the quirkiness foolyou as Ellis probes deep in the heart and plucks at the heartstrings. She livesdeep in the heart of Texas with her husband and children and an assortment ofdogs and cats, including her crazy labradoodle, aka Hilo Monster, and her newkitten, Sawyer.

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