It’s the Little Things… Christmas Memories with Author Amanda Strong

It’s the Little Things… Christmas Memories with 

Author Amanda Strong. 

I’m afraid my favorite Holiday traditions might be all too standard (and therefore boring to read!). What
is fun to me is how we emulate in our small family what I did as a child: my complaints over the one gift on Christmas Eve being PJ’s is beautifully echoed in my son, the account in Luke is just as moving as when I was young, my children wake up two hours after I’ve crashed (bringing new empathy for my parents’ sacrifices), and the treasured sibling gift exchange ( where you hope your older brother didn’t have you or you might end up with a box of tampons). So instead of delving too much into my love-hate relationship with ginger bread houses and all the sticky mess that comes with them I think I’ll share a favorite Christmas memory instead.

Ironically, it was the year the economy tanked and my husband had been out work with little income for about six months. In our struggles to even buy food, we had no money for ‘Santa’ to come for my two young kids. At the time I was heartbroken over our plight, but then we experienced such an out pouring of love from our family and friends it reminded me what Christmas is really all about. Even my neighbor, whose husband was also out of work, left a box of food on our door step (dividing what someone had shared with her family with mine!).

My three year old son wanted to get his mommy a gift so my husband took him to Walmart with a five dollar budget. Christmas morning I opened my present; a package of three pink, heart-shaped soaps. Though they hadn’t cost much, he picked them out because he thought they’d make me smile. The gift melted my heart. I’ve hung on to those little soaps through the years because it’s a little reminder of the year we felt our Savior’s love. That’s something I hope I never forget.

More About Amanda Strong:

Born in Dekalb, Illinois, Amanda Strong has called Utah, Arizona, Hawaii, Virginia and now New Mexico home. Amanda has been spinning tales since she was a child. Her family still remembers finding young Amanda with her bright pink glasses, hiding in random corners of the house while scribbling away in one of her many spiral-bound notebooks. You could say that some things never change since Amanda is still writing today. Amanda began her writing career when she uploaded The Awakener, her first full-length novel, on Wattpad where it received over 430,000 reads in four weeks. She was blown away and humbled by the reader support and feedback she received. Because of The Awakener’s success as a non-published book, she was asked to talk on 1400 KSTAR about her story. 
In September 2013 Amanda Strong signed with Clean Teen Publishing for publication of The Awakener, which is scheduled to release in late October of this year. The Awakener is the first book in an all-new young adult paranormal romance series called: The Watchers of Men.  
When Amanda isn’t writing, you can find her chasing her three rambunctious children around the house and spending time with her wonderful and supportive husband. On some occasions you can still find Amanda with her not-so-pink glasses, hiding in a corner reading her favorite young adult fantasy novels or working out only to blow her diet by eating ice cream.

THE AWAKENER

Young Adult Paranormal

A simple touch will change their lives forever. 
Seeing Micah for the first time in years, fifteen year old Eden wants nothing more than to run and hide, but instead in a moment of sheer embarrassment, she throws her arms around his neck; unaware she just changed her childhood friend forever.
With eyes’ opened to the realm of angels and demons, Micah discovers he has become the Seer, called to save the world from an impending fire.  Shy and awkward, Eden stumbles through high school clueless her guardian angel shadows her every move, keeping her safe while she unknowingly “awakens” others to their spiritual gifts. Micah will need those Eden touched to complete his mission which began long ago in the ancient City of Enoch and its secret underground temple. 
With angels and demons fighting around them, both Eden and Micah must find their own personal courage and faith in order to know what to do for the battle that awaits them, one they must triumph or risk losing everyone they love.

What do you think of the new cover? 
Here is the previous cover of The Awakener:

Why did we change our cover? The model on the original cover above is stunningly gorgeous. We did receive the comments though that she doesn’t look fifteen like the main character in The Awakener. We listened to the feedback of our readers and decided to make an updated cover with a younger model. 
Interesting Fact: The model on the new cover, Ashley Brown, is the sister-in-law of one of Amanda Strong’s friends whose a photographer named Amy Brimhall with Dramatic Imaging! She’s a natural right? We can’t wait to see more of her on the sequel to The Awakener. 
The new cover will be updated for our print books by early January. The discontinued cover will become a collectors edition!