Friday, May 8, 2015

Meet CJ Peterson, a Passionate Author! Check Out Her Books! Celebrate Her Newly Release Winter’s Verdict: Grace Restored, Book Two!

Author Interview: C.J. Peterson

1) How your interest in writing originated?  What inspired you to write your first book? As every writer knows, a writer is generally a bookworm first. I did have the opportunity in first grade to write a cute little book for an assignment. It wasn’t until I was in my twenties did I think, ‘Hey! I can do that!’ As Toni Morrison says, “If there is a book you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, you must be the one to write it.” …And, I did!

2) Is there a message in your novels you want your readers to grasp? There are many messages that can be found within the pages of my books. The main one is the message of Jesus Christ. I make sure the salvation message is in each of my books. The other main message is that no matter what you are going through, the Lord is going through it with you, and He’ll never leave you, and that He has a massive plan for you! Sometimes it takes us going through those storms to make us a stronger person, or allows us to help someone else through. Regardless of which category you identify with, always keep in mind Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Another great verse that I often share is, Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”

3) What books influenced you the most? If you choose a mentor who would it be and why?
The main ones are the Bible, along with The Left Behind Series, and The Chronicles of Narnia. Those particular books challenge me to think. I like books that challenge the ‘norm’ and allow you to see things in a different light.
I don’t really have an actual mentor, but there are quite a few people who I would go to if I needed advice. That list is short, but I trust them, and know they’ll give me an honest answer…whether or not it’s what I want to hear, it’s honest, and I appreciate honesty.

4) Please tell us about your current work with us. I’m working on the Grace Restored Series. Katie MacKenna’s story is one that is full of grace and overcoming her past. The Lord takes her through many trials, yet never once leaves her.

The first book of this series is SEASONS OF CHANGE, which was released in December. The second, WINTER’S VERDICT was just released, so I’m working on books 3 & 4 of this 5 book series.

5) What is the hardest part of writing your books? Were there challenges (research, literary, psychological, or logistical) in bringing it to life? To me, writing is easy. I sit down, pray, and type, letting God guide my thoughts and fingers. At this point, the biggest challenge is editing – my arch nemesis! Thankfully, I have an awesome husband who reads each book aloud with me, and I have a terrific editor who has an immense amount of patience!

6) Did you have challenges in publishing your first book? If could go back and do it again, what would you change in your publishing experience? The biggest challenge was in finding a publisher. My books are not your ‘traditional’ Christian fiction books. My characters go through it all – saved or not. As a matter of fact, most of my characters find the Lord along their walk. Anyway, because I don’t ‘fit the mold’ of what a lot of traditional Christian publishers want, I have opted to self-publish through the POD (print-on-demand) company, Angela and Richard are great to work with, and they paired me with a phenomenal cover artist, Todd Engel. This team has worked with me in publishing all of my books.
As an Indie author, it has given me a benefit I never knew existed. The Indie author world is getting bigger each day, and most of us know that not every book is for every reader, so the support we grant each other has also helped me in my success.

As far as what I would change? Ideally, I would love to go through a Christian publishing company, but as I said, I tend to not fit the mold they like their books to fit in. I have yet to find a publisher that would allow me the opportunity to publish with them.
Having said that, the books have taken off in a gradual growth, which is ideal. That tells me that they are getting passed around via word-of-mouth, which is the best possible scenario. If someone likes your work, they will tell their friends. To me, that’s an honor!

7) Do you use an outline or do you just write? Oh! I am the poster child for a ‘pantser’ (a.k.a.: write by the seat of my pants). I literally sit down with an idea usually triggered by a song, pray, and start typing. While I have an idea of what direction I want the books to go in, the characters tend to take over and the story goes a completely different way than I originally intended. I love that I don’t even know how the books will end!

8) Do you ever experience writer’s block? If so, how do you combat it? Well, as I said, I sit down and type. I type until I can’t type anymore. Then I put the book up for a few days before I pull it back down, read the last portion written, and keep writing. So, to answer your question, nope, I don’t get writer’s block. What I do as well, is continuously play the song that triggered the book to begin with, along with a set play list. I can tell you what songs triggered what books – they may surprise you!

9) What do you consider to be your best accomplishment? My best accomplishment in what? In writing, it’s getting the books published. It’s the lives and hearts that are touched by the words in the books. In life, it’s the blessing I get in having a wonderful, supportive husband who honors Jesus Christ. I also have a blessed opportunity to be a youth group leader. While my husband works with the 9th and 10th grade boys, I get to work with the junior high girls (my current group is 7th grade girls). I love that we both get to pour into the lives of the young adults in our church and community!

10) Is there anything you would like to say to your readers and fans? Yes! I consider it an honor that you picked up my books and took time to read them. THANK YOU!! I pray they have touched your heart and life, and love to hear from you! When I get a message from any of my readers, I cherish them, knowing they took time out of their lives to get in contact with me. If you would like to contact me, all of my contact information is on: home page.

Also, thank you so much Paula, for having me on your blog! I appreciate the opportunity you have given me, and pray that the Lord blesses you, as much as you have been a blessing to others, including me! J
C.J. Peterson Biography:

C.J. Peterson grew up in a Christian military home, but it was far from tranquil. Many of life’s lessons were hard ones. Like many people, she walked with God, wandered away from God, and back again, finally landing in her adopted home, where she finally found out what the real love of a family felt like.

Also, after a long time of searching, C.J. found her husband, a 24-year Navy Veteran. His support and love was the encouragement she needed to rekindle the creativity she thought she lost long ago. With her first release in NOV2012 a stand-alone, she continued on to produce the first book of The Holy Flame Trilogy, released AUG2013, called THE CALL TO DUTY. The other two books, OPERATION A.N.G.E.L. and ANGELS AMONG US followed closely after. Then, in DEC2014, the first book in the Grace Restored Series, SEASONS OF CHANGE came out, followed by the new release, WINTER’S VERDICT just in the last week. The next three books should be out by year’s end.

A portion of the trilogy and the Grace Restored series go to various charities, allowing her to give back. To learn more about how to get a great read and their links, along with the information of the charities she is donating to and their web sites, click on the ‘Books’ tab of her web site.

To learn more about C.J. Peterson, feel free to check out her web site on:
‘While the stories are fiction, the journey is real.’

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A portion of the proceeds from THE CALL TO DUTY, OPERATION A.N.G.E.L., and ANGELS AMONG US go to:
For more information on what the men and women of AIRBORNE ANGEL CADETS OF TEXAS do for our military, check out their web page. 


"We all know emergencies never take a day off. We all know for each one of us claimed, another has to step up to continue taking care of our fellow citizens. Our job is to protect and to server. Our job is to care for the injured, to help those who need it, and to take down the beast known to us as fire. This beast tries to claim whatever and whomever it can. We all have a call to duty, which we have sworn to perform." 

Courageous. Brave. Fearless. Valiant. These synonyms are often used to describe firefighters/paramedics, police officers, and military personnel. They face danger and lay their lives on the line when they leave for work. What are their struggles? Could that hinder their job proficiency? Who is taking care of those who are taking care of the citizens of this country?

Casey Carter is a 'newbie' to the firefighting family of Engine Company 15. Not only does she have to prove herself as a probationary firefighter, but she also has to battle misconceptions of females within her newly chosen profession. As situations begin to arise, can she count on the firefighter brotherhood to have her back? Will she be able to pass the tests placed before her, or are there aspects that she was not even aware existed?

Often in life there are two realms in play. There is the physical realm - what is right before you; the other is the spiritual realm - what is unseen. Each can directly affect you, whether you believe they exist or not. Can Casey keep them in balance when she is not exactly sure what she is fighting? Can a group of men help her see what cannot be readily seen, hear what cannot be readily heard, and be able to overcome what she never knew existed? Will they be able to show Casey her true Call To Duty?

Ephesians 6:12-13:  12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.


This is the second book in a trilogy that follows firefighter/paramedic Casey Carter and a special ops unit known as Angels. As their worlds collide, Casey has to figure out how to live two lives at once, balancing her firefighter family with her military family.

Unbeknownst to her, things had gotten ‘hot’ around Casey.The Angels have stepped in to cover where Jack and Mac could no longer be, by providing safety and security for her on a twenty-four hour basis. But did she find something more than security within their ranks?
See how the Angels, with help from a unique band of characters, were able to heal not only Casey’s body, but also rescue her mind and soul. See how events completely turn Casey’s life upside-down once again. Did it end up being for good…or will these events finally do her in? Will the Angels be able to protect Casey from those hunting her?

I Peter 5:8: Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.



This is the third and final book in The Holy Flame Trilogy, which follows the life-changing events that surround Casey Carter (a firefighter/paramedic from Engine Company Fifteen of Denver, Colorado) and an elite, special operations unit called A.N.G.E.L. (Available to Nurture God’s Eternal Love).

With help from a unique band of characters in the Outback, Casey Carter was able to work through her past. However, would it prepare her for what was to come? The battle is forming. Both sides are amassing their troops as allies align, but will there be enough remaining Angels for them to win? Without knowing the day nor the hour, will they be prepared?

What kind of battle would this be if the Angels of flesh and blood were battling against the unseen powers of darkness? This may be the deciding factor in Casey's struggle for freedom, but will the remaining Angels survive or will it be their final battle?

Revelation 12:12 12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! For the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.


A portion of the proceeds from SEASONS OF CHANGE and WINTER'S VERDICT go to Hope’s Door, whose mission is to offer intervention and prevention services to individuals and families affected by domestic violence and to provide education programs that enhance the community's capacity to respond. To learn more about them, check out their web page:

Katie MacKenna experienced one storm after another in her life. When Leukemia stole her mother from her and her father, Katie was only seven-years-old, and her father didn’t know how to cope after such a catastrophic loss. His response was to shut down and become abusive. The overwhelming devastation which surrounded Katie throughout her journey in life forced her to shut down just to survive as well.

Trust is a difficult thing for many people, but for Katie it’s virtually impossible. Every life has Seasons of Change. Will those seasons open Katie to new opportunities or will they forever isolate her in survival mode? Will she be able to overcome the storms that have surrounded her to answer a call for help?

Ecclesiastes 3:1-4: 1 To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: 2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.



Winter’s Verdict is the second book in the Grace Restored Series. After graduation from high school in the small Oklahoma town of West Springs, Katie MacKenna decided to start her life over in Cleveland, Ohio. Taking into account her roommate and closest friend over the last couple of years in college, Jillian Shaw, was murdered by a serial rapist on campus just before break, Katie chose to stay on the nearly deserted campus instead of returning home to her abusive father. During break, she is approached with an opportunity that may affect her aspirations to be an FBI agent. In the meantime, she also builds a friendship with Giovanni, the mafia leader’s son. Things around her are confusing at best. Can she trust what is right before her when everything is not as it seems? Will her heart experience a winter thaw or will she forever be known as the Ice Queen?

John 3:19-21 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.



  1. Great interview Paula. I enjoyed learning more about you C.J.

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed this post and hope you enjoy one or more of this very talented Christian authors book as well.

  2. CJ and her book sounds really interesting - thank you for writing this interview

  3. I'm glad you enjoyed the interview and think you'll be blessed by her books also.