Introductions and Pre-Author Life:
My name is Kelli Pizarro and I’m just a Jesus-follower who loves her family and writes books. There’s a bit more to add, but that sums me up well! I am mother to three children–two daughters and a son–who keep me busy homeschooling and playing with them. My husband and I make our home in East Texas where we were both born and raised. We have a few cats and an English Bulldog named Haizley.
In October of 2013, on my 27th birthday, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was a time of great prayer and deep meditation for me. I went through months of chemotherapy and surgery, and learned to cherish my time with my family all the more. I also had another revelation: I’d spent years hiding my words. I’d wanted to write a book for years, but feared putting my work out there for the world to see.
My entire life I’ve loved books. My mother read to me from the time I could hear and I haven’t put books down since. I remember her searching far and wide for old school readers such as Dick and Jane and Jack and the Beanstalk. We’d stay up late, resting on our waterbed, and she’d read to me by the light of the headboard. As I grew older, I would bring my Precious Moments Bible to school with me and read between subjects. The first series I read was the Songs of Acadia Series by Janette Oke and T Davis Bunn.
I married and started a family early in life, and instilled a love of reading in my children. I’ve always kept books around for my kids to read and I enjoy reading to them. Their baby-years passed by quickly and life got busy. Between work and the demands of the kids’ schools, I barely had time to read, let alone write. But writing a book was something that was sparked inside me many years ago and until I was diagnosed with cancer, I always said that there would be time to do it later, if I got up the nerve. I quit my job at the preschool and began homeschooling the kids the year before my diagnosis. When cancer came around, I continued homeschooling. A dear friend sent me a box of goodies to perk me up, which included historical fiction books and Dove chocolate for the kids and me. I was introduced to my now-favorite authors, Francine Rivers and Liz Curtis Higgs, in that box. Redeeming Love, The Mark of the Lion Trilogy, and Lowlands of Scotland Series put a fresh fire in my heart for books, despite the storm surrounding me. I determined that if I beat cancer, I would make the time to write.
My first book:
Beginning writing my first book was a magical experience for me. I got to experience all the wonderful “firsts” that I never knew about. The first chapter coming to an end. The first time a character refused to behave. Writer’s block. I wrote and rewrote the book until I was blue in the face. Then, I put it away. I scribbled down this book by hand in journals because at the time my computer was not cooperating with me. I have those journals still and keep them safely tucked away. I never published that first book, but have saved it for a special purpose. I intend to publish it as a special edition Christmas novella someday.
The Price of Remission:
The Price of Remission is the first book I published. It sold at McNally Jackson bookstore in New York for months before I decided to sell on Amazon. Many thought, because of my diagnosis, that the book must be about cancer, but it isn’t. The protagonist, Teagan Oshea, comes of age in the early 19th century Darlington, living on a farm and being part of the Society of Friends (the early Quaker group). She falls in love with another member of the group who lives on a neighboring farm, Benjamin Shorten, and their relationship ends in heartache and a secret Teagan is forced to conceal. Due to rumors spreading, she moves to Manchester to avoid her shame and care for an ailing cousin. There she meets Glover Hood, son of the cousin she is tending. Glover falls in love with Teagan, but she fears her secret has destroyed any chance of her accepting love. Glover’s closest friend and business partner desires Teagan for himself and convinces Teagan to love, only to later learn of her secret and come to think of her differently. The emotional baggage of hiding her past and the ruin of her reputation causes her to deal with regret, depression, and a sense of hopelessness. It is only through the forgiveness and restoration offered by Jesus that she can find the peace and love she yearns for.
The word remission in scripture is used to express total forgiveness of sins. It says in Hebrew 9:22, “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.” The theme in this story is one of forgiveness: forgiveness of self for mistakes made, forgiving others for having wronged you, and being forgiven by the One who came to cleanse us of our sins.
As far as content is concerned, there are stronger elements in this book than what some parents would allow for their children. Issues such as rape, manipulation, death, and depression are handled, though delicately, in detail throughout the book. I would take this in consideration when deciding whether this is an appropriate read for your teenage child. One reviewer posted, “Beautifully written with such a sense of class, I was so happy to see a great story being told without having to use vulgar language or tastelessness that so many authors have succumbed to. This book proves that you can capture and hold someone’s full attention without trash. Thank you so much for that, it was nice to read a wonderfully told story without the nonsense.”
The Price of Relegation:
The second book in the Remission & Relegation series, The Price of Relegation, is set nearly two decades after Teagan’s story leaves off. The two protagonists in this book are from different worlds, though only miles apart. Edwin, Teagan’s son, is a successful business man who also enjoys running the family farm in Manchester with his grandfather. Sheena, illegitimate child of a drunkard mother in Leeds, wipes tables and serves ale to men in order to feed her mother and herself. When they meet, their lives collide and a relationship takes form that Teagan is not pleased with.
Relegation means to be assigned to an inferior position. Jesus willfully allowed Himself to be relegated on our behalf. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” In this story, Teagan places her son on a pedestal that is far out of Sheena’s reach, unwilling to accept the possibility that God’s will for her son might include him marrying beneath his station. God’s love for Sheena and desire to restore her and elevate her to a place of realizing her worth in Him requires sacrifice and humility on Edwin’s part, which is only made more difficult by his mother’s determination to see their relationship dissolve.
Many of the same issues, as far as content is concerned, are discussed in this book. Nothing is new under the sun, and Teagan sees her own worst sins and sufferings being endured by Sheena. This reminds her that compassion and love should rule her heart instead of prejudice and fear. Rape, lies, violent death, and alcoholism are present in this story. The issues are, once again, handled with care while not taking away from the depravity of the sinful issues, in order to highlight the need we have for our Savior.
One reader says, “’The Price of Relegation’ is a memorable piece of fiction depicting an excellent story woven in emotion. The struggle of Sheena Huddle, the protagonist, is painted with dexterity by the author. The plot is well knit and keeps the reader engaged till the last page. It is an excellent book and can be a wonderful gift for literature lovers. Kelli Pizarro is a magician of words and creates immortal characters. Her characters are lifelike and talk to the readers. The story remains fresh in the mind for a long time. Read it and Enjoy!”
Awaiting the Reign: The Risen Branch
The story of Royse Willoughby and her betrothed, Auberi Suffern, is one that paints an allegorical picture of Jesus’ time of ministry on earth. The scriptures that drives this story to its completion are 1 Timothy 1:15, which says, “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” Also, Jeremiah 23:5, “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.”
In the Kingdom of Rosteinia, set in the 14th century, Royse lives as a cottager’s daughter, and Auberi, the son of a serf. They are counting down the days until they are wed, but the evil King Mastemus interrupts their plans when he drags the simple serf out of his life on the farm and into his court, exposing him to a life he’d never before experienced. Royse waits patiently for her betrothed to return and claim her as his wife, but that day only gets postponed with every word she receives from Auberi.
Mastemus usurped the throne before Auberi and Royse were born. The crown rightly belonged to King Yireh, a merciful and loving king. Mastemus, having been placed as a prince over territories in the kingdom, was certain that one day all in the kingdom would be left to him. He had trained and proven to be a trusted servant to his king. When Mastemus learned that the king had a son, Prince Radomir, and that he would leave his crown to the prince, Mastemus grew bitter. He convinced many that King Yireh was not the good king they knew him to be. He frightened others into following him, turning them against the good king. Mastemus told King Yireh that his people only followed him because he spoiled them, but that when those gifts were taken away, and when faced with trials, they would turn against him. Mastemus asked the king to leave the decision of who rules the kingdom to the people.
King Yireh presented the choice to the people of Rosteinia, but fear of Mastemus drove them to choose poorly. The king handed over his crown for a time, under the condition that one day, two decades from that time, his son would return to the kingdom and be given the chance to rule his people again. Mastemus agreed that when the day would come, he would leave Radomir be, allowing the people to once again choose who would rule on the throne. But Mastemus was not a man of his word.
During Auberi’s time away in Mastemus’ court, Royse meets a friendly stranger passing through, making promises of better days to come. She and her family pledge their loyalty to the rightful king, while her fiancé serves the side of darkness.
Mastemus’ trusted servant, Dioscurros, longs to be free of the king’s grasp. Being held in the castle from a young age, he wishes to become a villager and take a wife. Mastemus has no intention to free him, until the day comes that Mastemus learns Disocurros’ freedom may prove beneficial to his reign: he would aid in finding Radomir and disposing of him. Diosurros is asked to live a life of deception in order to secure his freedom. He will do whatever it takes to escape the castle walls.
The content in this book is slightly more mature than in the Remission & Relegation duology. The good versus evil theme is prevalent, but there are deeper insights into both sides here than what the typical fairy-tale novel offers. Mastemus holds orphan boys in his castle to do his bidding until they come of age. The boys, once reaching manhood, would be his lovers as well as his servants. Nothing is explicitly detailed, but the relationship he has with the young men is apparent through certain scenes. For instance, Dioscurros is often interrupted in his sleeping quarters to listen to the king complain about his days and is asked to massage him while he grumbles. Dioscurros’ thoughts, wishing he was allowed to just be a simple man who could take a wife and not be bothered by the king, is scattered here and there. The deaths are more detailed, but crucial to the story. There are betrayals, lust, and deception which pull one of the main characters away from their intended life. The wickedness of witchcraft and the truth of Satan’s limited power are shown throughout the story. In the end, all of the main characters have to face their own sinfulness and make a decision: do they side with evil or good?
Forgiveness is offered even to the worst of sinners, and the harsh situations in this book shine a light for those who feel they’ve gone too far to ever repent.
The second part of the duology is in the works. It picks up where The Risen Branch leaves off, and is an allegorical display of the millennial reign of Christ. There are so many differences of opinion as to how this will come about, but rest assured the story is written in a manner that accents the final outcome: God takes care of His people, and sin ultimately loses.
In addition to the second part of the Awaiting the Reign duology, I’m working on a stand-alone, The Roma Road: A Gypsy Tale. This will be a historical novel set in the 16th century England, during a time of heavy Romani persecution. It will tell the tale of a half-English, half-Romani child who is torn away from her family and forced to perform in a traveling show. More details of this will be released on my Facebook page closer to its release. You can follow me on Facebook or on Twitter. https://www.facebook.com/authorkellipizarro/ https://twitter.com/KelliPizarro
I love hearing from my readers! Also, my books are available for sale at Amazon.com, in both paperback and Kindle versions.