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Writer’s Window: Ronie Kendig

Monday, January 3, 2011

I can’t tell you how tickled I am to kick off the 2011 Writer’s Window series with one of my very dearest writing friends, Ronie Kendig. Ronie and I met through ACFW, and quite a few years ago had the opportunity to meet up in person because she lived in the Dallas area and I was visiting my parents who lived there at the time. Since then, she’s been a “soul sister” for me—as we’ve both worked and struggled to find agents and then get published. I’ve been thrilled beyond measure to see Ronie’s success, especially with a genre/series she was told wasn’t marketable. Just goes to show what prayer and perseverance can accomplish!


One lucky commenter* will win a signed copy of Ronie’s newest release, Digitalis, the second book in her Discarded Heroes series from Barbour Publishing. Deadline for leaving a comment to enter the drawing is Friday. To enter the drawing, you must answer the question posed by Ronie at the end of the interview. Only one comment per person will count toward the drawing. You do not need to include your e-mail address in the body of your comment—just make sure it’s correct when you sign in to leave your comment.

      *U.S. residents only, void where prohibited. If you win the drawing, you will be ineligible for the next three drawings, though hopefully you will still come back and join in the discussion.


An Intriguing Woman Draws an Ex-Marine into a Deadly Game

Colton Neeley left his military career to take care of his four-year old daughter. Although he’s firm in his faith now, the repercussions of his former life are still evident—namely in the form of his daughter and his debilitating flashbacks from combat-related trauma. Can he muster the courage to step out of his self-imposed isolation and embrace the new woman in his life?

Piper Blum is hiding—from life and the assassins bent on destroying her family. Although smitten by Colton, she fears the day he discovers her secrets. Does their relationship, built on a foundation of lies, have a chance?

When an attempt on Piper’s life leads to another’s death, the black ops group Nightshade steps into the line of fire. Will Colton and Piper survive the mission with their love—and lives—intact? Will love cover their multitude of sins?

Click here to view the book trailer.

What do you like best about being a writer?

      I get to do what Jesus did—tell stories to reach hearts that otherwise might not be reached. It’s a wonderful gift that keeps me on my toes!

What do you like least about being a writer?

      Marketing. Plain and simple, it’s something so completely removed from things I would put on my “favorite” list. It goes against my personality/character to “sell” myself, so having to market my books is very difficult for me. But it comes with the package, so I do the best I can. Too, getting tough reviews is hard because I want people to like my characters—I mean, I love them, so I want everyone else to as well!

Pop, Soda, or Coke? What do you call it, and what’s your favorite variety?

      Soda or coke. I grew up with a Irish mom, and I also spend my early years in the northeast, and despite being in Texas for 30 years, I still use both. 😀

What’s your favorite dessert?

      It’s a tossup between my mother-in-law’s 4-Layer Dessert or Tiramisu.

What’s the most fun/interesting/crazy/scary/unique hands-on research you’ve done for a book?

      My husband is a firearms instructor, so he’s taught me some things, and some day he’s going to take me through a tactical handgun course.

What’s your favorite movie from childhood?

      Ironically, being raised by said Irish mother, I didn’t watch movies. Seriously. I had LPs of the Disney movies like Bambi and Alice in Wonderland. Oh, and an LP of (I think) the New York Philharmonic orchestra playing Peter & the Wolf with someone narrating. I *loved* that record!

If you were to write a novel about what your life would have been like if you’d become what you wanted to be at eight years old, what kind of character would the story be about?

      It would read much like my life is at this point—at eight, I wanted to be either a teacher or secretary, and I did both of those. The character would be a focused young woman who wanted to work with children, but when the demands of finances bloomed, she found herself needing a better paying job and became a secretary/admin assistant at a national Christian bookstore chain’s headquarters. 😀

What makes you happy?

      I make the choice to be happy. Life tries to intervene, but God always provides opportunities to be happy—I just have to seize them. Like—the laughter of my children. The smile on my husband’s face. Hearing that my mother-in-law or father-in-law are proud of me. Blessing my friends and family.

What makes you nervous?

      Conflict. By nature, I avoid it like the plague. I’d walk a mile to avoid something that might create conflict, pain, or tension. I feel like the contestants in Miss Congeniality—“I want World Peace.” LOL

What’s your biggest dream for the future?

      Our family wants to own land and build a home, and I think that is the biggest material goal. Spiritually, I want to be confident in who I am in Christ, and be able to share that wealth with others. As a writer, I hope to see my TV/movie option get funded and become a series on television.

Tell us about your newest release and what you’re working on now.

      Digitalis is Book 2 in the Discarded Heroes military series released through Barbour Publishing. This story is about Colton “Cowboy” Neeley who suffers from debilitating flashbacks. He’s afraid to let anyone into his life, for fear of them seeing him “out of his mind.” When he takes the risk to get to know Piper Blum, it could be the biggest mistake of his life because she’s hiding a deadly secret.

      And be sure to check out the first book in the series:
      After a tour of duty in a war-torn country, embattled former Navy SEAL Max Jacobs finds himself discarded and alienated from those he loves as he struggles with combat-related PTSD. His wife, Sydney, files a restraining order against him and a petition for divorce. Max is devastated. Then a mysterious man appears. He says he’s organizing a group that recycles veterans like Max. It’s a black-ops group known as Nightshade. With the chance to find purpose in life once again, Max is unable to resist the call of duty and signs on. The team handles everything with precision and lethal skill—until they’re called upon to rescue a missionary family from a rebel-infested jungle and avoid a reporter hunting their identities. Will Max yield his anger and pride to a force greater than himself—love?

      And Ronie’s first book (a stand-alone novel), DEAD RECKONING, is only $2.99 to download for Kindle and Nook.

Where can people find out more about you/connect with you online?

Now it’s your turn to ask the question. What question do you want to ask the commenters to answer?

      We all have heroes in our lives. Some are military, many are not. If you could honor one person in your life, who would it be and why?

Ronie Kendig grew up an Army brat, married a veteran, and they now have four children and a Golden Retriever. She has a BS in Psychology, speaks to various groups, volunteers with the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), and mentors new writers. Ronie is the author of Dead Reckoning from Abingdon Press, and the Discarded Heroes series from Barbour Publishing: Nightshade (July 2010), Digitalis (January 2011), Wolfsbane (July 2011), and Firethorn (January 2012).

  1. Monday, January 3, 2011 7:47 am

    Right now, my dad is my horo. He is currently in a VA hospital fighting a serious blood infection. He has been on some strong IV antibiotics and improving more each day. I still worry though. He is my HERO and my DAD so that makes him very special to me.

    Please keep him in your prayers.


  2. Leah permalink
    Monday, January 3, 2011 9:15 am

    Well I have lots of people I look up too.
    I cant think of who my hero is, but some of the people I would love to be like are:

    My older sister Dana, She is so kind, and loving, a great mom, and wife, and just so much fun!

    My Mom of course! She is the best mom ever! She is a great cook,takes good care of us kids and my Dad, works hard,and is a very strong Christian.

    And then my cousin Amy. She is my best friend, she is funny, adventurous, smart, and so much more!
    So hopefully if I watch these ladies and follow in their shoes i’ll turn out good!:)


  3. Sylvia M. permalink
    Monday, January 3, 2011 9:39 am

    My parents would be the ones I would like to honor. My father is a wonderful listener and is always going out of his way to talk or listen to people. He’s a wonderful Christian who follows God’s voice in all areas of his life. I’m always seeing people give my parents Thank You notes for offerings that they have given out to people in need. My mother will go out of her comfort zone to visit the widows/older divorcees who are alone. She is a wonderful Christian who strives to be closer to God. I have often seen her down on her knees praying and studying the Bible every day. My parents have both been ones that I and my sisters have all gone to to talk over problems, even now that we are all adults.


  4. Monday, January 3, 2011 9:54 am

    If I could only pick one person to honor, it would be my grandmother. She would have been 101 this year. Newly-married and in the midst of the Great Depression, her husband was diagnosed with tuberculosis and spent a year in a sanatorium. With an 8th-grade education, she worked for the University of Kentucky that year, working for an archaeologist, cleaning and cataloging bones that were being excavated from Native American burial sites. After my grandfather came out of the hospital with part of one lung, she became wife and mother for many years, becoming a widow in her early 60’s. She’s someone I’d like to write a book about someday!


  5. Monday, January 3, 2011 9:56 am

    I’m not here to ask a question. I just finished reading Digitalis. As with Ronie’s first two books, it’s phenomenal. She gets into the heads and hearts of the forgotten heroes and the women they’re interested in. The depth and understanding is beyond anything I could imagine. I’m doing all I can to help promote these books. They need a very wide audience.


    • Sylvia M. permalink
      Monday, January 3, 2011 11:15 am

      Lena, I read the first book and loved it! I’m greatly looking forward to reading this one too. 🙂


  6. Monday, January 3, 2011 9:57 am

    Actually, I didn’t answer your question either. I’d like to honor my hero right now. My grandson is serving in Afghanistan right now.


  7. Monday, January 3, 2011 10:29 am

    Wow! What beautiful stories being told here about your heroes. THANK YOU for sharing them with me.


  8. Maureen Timerman permalink
    Monday, January 3, 2011 10:45 am

    My hero would be my husband. He has had Parkinson’s for the past 28 years. He has dealt with this in a wonderful way. He had to give up farming, he couldn’t do the job any more. He got a job at a Catholic School as a janitor. What a wonderful inspiration to the students he was…think they finally were able to put a face to this disability. Many of these children now have children of there own, and when they see him they always stop and say hello, and tell him which year they knew him. He is now late stage and it breaks my heart!


  9. Sylvia M. permalink
    Monday, January 3, 2011 11:20 am

    Here’s the character spotlight for this book on Relz Reviewz. I enjoyed reading this post, so thought I would share it with you all.


  10. Sylvia M. permalink
    Monday, January 3, 2011 11:21 am

    Oh, Kaye, congratulations on finishing TAOR! I can’t wait to read it. 🙂


  11. Monday, January 3, 2011 12:18 pm

    Maureen – Your story is moving! Thank you for sharing about your husband. What a journey you two have been on. My heart and prayers are with you!

    Sylvia – Thanks for posting Rel’s interview with Colton & Piper.


  12. Monday, January 3, 2011 12:28 pm

    I absolutely adore the fact that you listened to your stories on LP! I had so many of them growing up including the Disney ones- my favorite- hands down though was the Charlie Brown ones and the fact there was the read along stories included in the LP inside cover! Can not wait to check our your books! Thanks Kaye for putting todays spotlight on such a great author and friend!! Great way to start off 2011!


    • Monday, January 3, 2011 3:01 pm

      I had several LPs, too! My favorites were “Winnie The Pooh and the Honey Tree” (storybook included), and “A Boy Named Charlie Brown.” I still have them, and wouldn’t take anything for them!


      • Monday, January 3, 2011 9:40 pm

        Regina–I had Winnie the Pooh, too! 😀 I still have mine…somewhere. LOL


    • Monday, January 3, 2011 9:40 pm

      Oh wow, Aj. I didn’t have Charlie Brown, but I wish I had. That would’ve been awesome!


  13. Monday, January 3, 2011 12:38 pm

    My mother is my hero(ine) because this April, we will celebrate her fourth year of sobriety. My mom drank for over 25, but reunited with Jesus on the jailroom floor after being picked up for public intoxication. She’s totally a new woman in Christ, and our family has drawn closer together. I admire her courage, and God is using her to mentor others who struggle with addictions.


    • Monday, January 3, 2011 9:41 pm

      Wow, Lisa! That’s an amazing story! I am proud of her too!


  14. Aj Luck permalink
    Monday, January 3, 2011 12:41 pm

    As far as a hero – to me a hero is anyone who is not afraid to stand up and run after their dreams- so I would say I would honor anyone who has been afraid to chase their dreams but has decided to chase them today, despite their fear..they are a hero.


  15. Monday, January 3, 2011 2:22 pm

    I already have a copy of all Ronie’s books, so you don’t need to enter me in the contest, but I have two heroes to share. My first hero was my mom. Living for the Lord is so obviously the primary focus of her life. She studies and obeys His Word and applies its principles to absolutely every aspect of her life. I could not have asked for a better example to follow. My second hero is my husband because of his absolute integrity. What he says, he does. What he believes, he lives and acts on. And somehow he manages to be both tenacious and tender. Gotta love a man like that!


  16. Daphne Webb permalink
    Monday, January 3, 2011 3:29 pm

    James C. “Jimmy” Webb, volunteer firefighter for Bynum Volunteer Fire Station No.9.
    During our marriage, he said God’s calling for him was to be a firefighter. During his nine year stint, he became a state certified firefighter, state certified EMR, and Assistant Chief for Station 9. On November 5, 2005 he gave his life while responding to a house fire with entrapment.
    I honor him for the sacrifice he gave, his values and love he gave to our sons, and the memory he gave to me as a husband who treated his wife as a queen. A rare breed indeed are firemen and Jimmy was the rarest gem of all.


    • Monday, January 3, 2011 9:42 pm

      Daphne, thank you for sharing your story. I’m in tears as this write–thank you for your courage, and thanks to Jimmy for sacrificing everything. Definitely a hero! I am so sorry for your loss, though.


  17. Carol permalink
    Monday, January 3, 2011 4:46 pm

    My hero is my hubby. He’s a great father. He gives the absolute best hugs. But mostly it’s because of the way I can see Christ in him.


    • Monday, January 3, 2011 9:43 pm

      Carol–that’s beautiful! My husband is my hero as well. Nothing like a man of God!


  18. Monday, January 3, 2011 10:28 pm

    The person I would honor is my grandfather. He will turn 84 in March. He’s a World War II veteran and was in the Pacific theater in the Navy. He was actually on supply type ships, he almost never talks about the war. He’s told stories about a monkey getting aboard the ship, being in Hawaii for Christmas, 1944, mostly things like that. He’s wanted me to get a map of the Pacific, so I can chart where he went. Every.single.time I try to go to Barnes and Noble, to look for one they don’t have it! I know this is something I need to do very soon. He went into the nursing home last March with Alzheimer’s his short term memory is pretty much gone, but his long term memory is still intact. Hopefully, the next time I go into Barnes and Noble they will have a map, and I’ll have the money to buy it.


    • Tuesday, January 4, 2011 3:22 pm

      Michelle–Make sure to get that story down. I so regret not getting my grandparents’ stories, and those of my husband’s grandparents! Such treasures now lost…


  19. Emily permalink
    Tuesday, January 4, 2011 11:17 am

    My son is my hero. When we met him for the first time in China he was 4 and didn’t speak a word of English. My husband and I spoke about a half dozen Chinese words, badly. Now our little boy is 6 and in the advanced reading program in his first grade class. (And Jason and I have long ago forgotten whatever we learned in Mandarin. LOL)
    I will never forget the time I went upstairs to wake him from his nap and found him fast asleep, clutching a photograph of our family. Might have teared up a bit with that one.
    I can’t believe God entrusted him to us. Or us to him, maybe, since we’ve been blessed faaaarrrr beyond anything we deserve.


    • Tuesday, January 4, 2011 3:22 pm

      Emily – Wow, what a beautiful story! Thanks for sharing that.


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