Check out an interview with the author... The Gatekeeper's Descendants by Johanna Frank (Interview & #Giveaway) #christianfantasy #yalit @celebrate_lit

Welcome to my tour stop! Check out the interview and enter the giveaway below...

The Gatekeeper's Descendants
(The Gatekeeper's Descendants #1)
By Johanna Frank
Christian Fantasy, YA
Hardcover, Paperback & ebook, 437 Pages
September 26, 2021 by Marrow Publishing



Hesitant to enter the kingdom, spirited and stubborn Pipiera grudgingly accepts a task to save a fledgling earth-dwelling boy, Matthew, from sabotaging his own future. Challenged with the pull of an obsessive emotion from her past life, she’s unequipped to handle the mission, let alone discern the perplexing interference from a rebel–an unearthly soul who takes great interest in both she and the boy and who relentlessly seeks to capture their affection.

As Matthew’s world spins throughout the cosmos, his mother’s world churns at his bedside while she awaits an unknowing outcome.

Who overcomes?

Who ends up cursed forever?

The Gatekeeper’s Descendants is an easy-to-read, thought-inspiring fantasy. The story weaves together adventure in the afterlife with growing faith and family drama.


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What inspired you to write The Gatekeeper’s Descendants?

A number of things, really. But the primary inspiration came from a story my mother once shared. One sunny and warm Sunday after church, a direct ancestor of ours was viciously murdered by his own neighbor on his front porch, with an axe. (I know, horrible, right?) Rumors of hauntings carried through the generations. The murderous neighbor claimed his victim haunted him day and night. Years later, the ghost of an old woman, the victim’s mother, simply rocked in a chair behind the front porch following her own death.

It was the notion of unresolved emotions that got me thinking - just what happens if they are taken to the grave? Might emotions follow their owner, the one who has kept them held tight and secure for so long? Might they somehow get passed down to following generations? If those rumours of haunting were true, was it the traumatic wounds from anger, guilt and unforgiveness that kept the haunters tied to an earthly realm?

Months after my teenage daughter died of osteosarcoma, I too suffered intense emotions, predominantly grief. I would have given anything to have her return to me, somehow. But in a dream so profound, she came to me as a young child, crying. Wanting to come back, feeling terrible that she had left. She loved God and was a Christian, so I was confident in all those joyous people surrounding her, coaxing her to go along with them. I gave her encouragement, and in this dream, I confidently reassured her. “It’s alright, you can go with them. I’ll be along later. Don’t worry honey.” Psychologists and dream interpreters might have a heyday with this, but it certainly gifted me pause for thought. God’s ways are clearly not our ways and often can feel quite the opposite.

The Gatekeeper’s Descendants is not a story about my child. Nor is it about my ancestors. Directly anyway. Rather, the concept of simply imagining what that lively realm lying right alongside us might be like, as we journey on in our own earthly tours, was definitely a prompt. I must confide that although a fantasized environment was necessary for the story, I used a variety of Christian allegories where I felt they were fitting.

What one piece of advice would Pipiera give?

The advice she learned herself in the book – wisdom is truly meaningless unless you learn to digest it and then take your newfound lessons for a spin.

What part or aspect of this story do you love the most?

The idea that our lives truly are journeys, that we have a magnificent home awaiting us, a place where generations can unite. It’s the big picture, the really big picture, the one that counts – a free gift should we accept it. Keeping this in mind makes the small stuff disappear and clears up more room for laughter and joy in our lives.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Keep going. In your writing, be true to yourself. You have something to offer and if you are true to yourself, you will set it free. I used a pen name, not so much for unanimity, but to allow myself some room to breathe. To write without the boundaries I’ve placed upon myself over the years, to let thoughts flow freely without judgement. Sounds strange perhaps – but it was freeing.

What are you writing next?

Already started book #2! The Gatekeeper’s Descendants will be a series, although I haven’t made that official in the book’s metadata. This book #2 will include the same characters, only ten years later and set in the early 1980s. I have some intense plans for book #3 as well – but I am not quite ready to share.

About the Author

To Johanna Frank, retirement means the freedom to do what she simply loves—bringing family and friends together with good food. But even better is the space to pen creative, inspirational fiction; stories she hopes will touch the lives of her readers.

Johanna lives in the Waterloo Region of Ontario, Canada with husband, Joe, cherishing and watching their children and their families as they churn through life and develop into their own wonderful characters.

At the time of publishing, Johanna’s The Gatekeeper’s Descendants was declared a Winner of The Word Guild’s 2021 Word Awards.

The Gatekeeper’s Descendants is Johanna Frank’s debut novel.

More from Johanna

Hey, hello! It sure is a pleasure to be here 😊.

I’ve always believed it’s a gift when others just happen to come into our lives. Sometimes it’s like a drift and ever so brief, maybe even digital. But always, I like to think anyway; it is for a reason. Sadly, we simply don’t see it that way.

That was just one premise for The Gatekeeper’s Descendants. There is so much more to our life journey than what we see and, therefore, what we could possibly appreciate.

According to some translators of ancient Greek (yes, I google the internet a great deal), the term we so often use today to explain chance happenings, coincidence, is derived from the word synkyrian – a combination of two words: sun and kurios. Sun reported as meaning “together with” and kurios reported as meaning “supreme in authority.” So, a chance happening, meeting someone along one’s path in life? …not an accident. The question becomes why.

As far as the story in The Gatekeeper’s Descendants goes, sure, I had a plot in mind. But those wonderful fictional characters came first, and I quickly discovered they had much to say about their own decisions and paths. Important to me was to incorporate realisms: personality traits, emotional challenges, tough situations and simply, life in general. And then place all such realities alongside characters from an ethereal and lively kingdom. Of course, what would a kingdom be without its rebels? This fantasized world in charge of intervening to make chance happenings actually happen, or, interfering to disrupt the course of one’s path? Well, what fun! I totally loved the adventure of writing this novel. But please, be rest assured. Faith is central in my life, and I did my utmost to treat it with great and utter respect.

And you are part of this equation. That is the most exciting part for me: your experience with the read. One reader told me how grateful she was after reading The Gatekeeper’s Descendants for the hope it gave, particularly as it came at such a perfect time—weeks following the loss of a parent. Another said it brought to her imagination the child she lost at infancy and the absolute joyous wonder of her lively existence now. Yet another felt the appreciation of having a chance at feeling a troubled teen’s point of view and the potential of very real battles that are not always visible. As one reviewer put it, “this is a story that has something to impart to even the most cynical among us.

Without readers, writers simply wouldn’t have much purpose. So, a heartfelt thank you. I hope you will give The Gatekeeper’s Descendants a chance even if it is a diversion from your normal genre.

I would absolutely love to connect and hear your experience with the story!

And may you journey well!

Johanna Frank

Tour Schedule

Texas Book-aholic, February 12

By the Book, February 12

deb’s Book Review, February 18

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, February 22 (Spotlight)

Blogging With Carol, February 23

Wishful Endings, February 24 (Author Interview)

Tour-Wide Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Johanna is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a signed hardcover copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

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