Journey to ChiYah

… a long and twisty road…

Kimberly Russell celebrates her debut fantasy novel with us this week, and she’s offering a free e-book to a commenter. Many authors, consciously or not, integrate their own lives into their stories, and Kimberly has done this intentionally. When I read her bio, I wonder if she’s also used experiences of women in the prison system where she once worked. We’ll see!

My fantasy novel, Journey to ChiYah (Hebrew for restoration) released July 1, 2021. The story is a conglomeration of my life experiences, emotional struggles, hybrid facts, and plain old fiction. Some events are verbatim, while others began as one thing and transformed into something else. Most important, it is the story of my own emotional healing, several decades in the making.

I’ve always struggled with wounds from the past. While God has untangled much over the years, I seemed to be caught in endless cycles, never quite getting long-term healing… until I began attending a new church. 

This was a different kind of place, 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. We also learned about His restoring power that can heal us from our wounded past, and I finally began to make lasting progress toward healing. At the same time, my creative juices exploded.

Everyone would see me scribbling furiously during sermons, taking notes, and journaling as God worked me through the healing process that intertwined with Jade’s story, and soon Journey to ChiYah took shape. Life got in the way for a while, and it took a while to finish the first draft, but after I retired four years ago, I knew it was go-time. 

The message of Journey to ChiYah: God can heal and restore us from our wounds if we cooperate during the process. It’s often a bumpy ride, but as we persevere, He is faithful and true to restore us to His original, best intent, then send us on assignment to share with the world.

From the back cover:

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.

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Kimberly Russell lives in a tiny house in southern lower Michigan with Toby, the Shih Tzu, 

who allows her to be his roommate. Retired for four years, Kim’s 30 year day job was that 

of civil servant in the Michigan Department of Corrections at the local prison complex as 

the Warden’s Secretary.

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. She branched out and authored 

a column for entertainment publication, Frank Talk, and has been published in Dog Life 

Magazine. Her first full-length novel is Christian Fantasy, Journey to ChiYah,

which released July 1, 2021. 

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.

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