In the Bookcase


Author Interview! Sarah Holman on Adventures and Adversities

Hi readers,

Today I'm talking with author Sarah Holman about her book Adventures and Adversities. It is the first in her Tales of Taelis series, the most recently published of the series being Courage and Corruption -- with a new summer release on the way!

Adventures and Adversities by Sarah Holman (5 star review)

Adventures and Adversities

written by Sarah Holman

314 pages // published in 2013 // Christian YA


One day Alditha is content living with her family, the next she is taking her friend's place to serve at the king’s castle. Her father's final instructions, to keep smiling and to do what is right, will be harder to live out than she ever imagined. She will face a royal nephew who delights in making people miserable, an angry servant girl who will stop at nothing to get what she wants, and noblemen who plot murder. Will she be able to keep the promise she made to her father? Will she find the faith she longs for during all her Adventures and Adversities?

I've already read Adventures and Adversities myself, and I enjoyed it. Be sure to take a look at MY REVIEW of the book, and check out book #1 of this series for yourself! It's a historical-inspired series, each book showcasing excellent biblical morals.

Well, let's get the interview questions going! >>

TARISSA: The Tales of Taelis series is pretty unique. It has a Medieval backdrop to faith-filled adventures. What inspired you to write the Taelis series?

SARAH: In my early teens, I fell in love with the Middle Ages. I loved the castles, knights, and the idea of a world dominated by the feudal political structure. I wrote a series of four (very short) books in my early series set in a fictional country. As I grew and matured, so did my idea for those stories. I changed the fictional name to Taelis, moved it to "somewhere in Europe", and have been excitedly writing the stories ever since.

TARISSA: That's great! I love that you moved Taelis to "somewhere in Europe". I always wondered if Taelis was based on a particular country, or not.

Zale Kahlon from Adventures and Adversities
ZALE KAHLON, Narrator of Taelis stories

"Who am I? I am a teller of stories. I have lived as a priest, a prince, and a peasant. I have known the heights of joy and the depths of pain. I have known friendship as well as betrayal, hate as well as love. I have served but one God, who has upheld me through my whole life, even in the darkest of moments. I am Zale."

TARISSA: Whenever I read this series I always happen to notice some of the details you include, like the kind of clothes the people of Taelis wear, the type of work each family is involved in, and even the foods they eat. Do you draw from any particular resources, books, or media for historical detail?

SARAH: I have read a lot of books. Some of the most helpful resources have been Daily Life in Medieval Europe by Jeffrey L. Forgeng and movies set during the time. The book really gave me a feel for what life was like for various groups of people, while being honest about the holes in our knowledge of the time. I also loved watching movies set in the time and picking up so ideas from that. From one scene in a movie, I decided that the men of Taelis would carry their swords over their shoulder.

Castle Delmore in Adventures and Adversities
CASTLE DELMORE, found in Taelis

TARISSA: As the author, did you find yourself personally relating well to any of the characters in Book #1, Adventures and Adversities? ... Who are you most like in this book?

SARAH: While I dearly love Alditha, I'm more like William. I'm the protective older sibling and the one explaining things to others. Alditha is more of who I want to be with her kindness and compassion.

Alditha from Adventures and Adversities
Alditha, Heroine of Adventures and Adversities

"Whatever you do, Alditha, wherever you go, trust God, and never stop smiling."

TARISSA: I really connected well with the character of Alditha in Book #1. She has to persevere through many trials, as the reader can find out about in Adventures and Adversities, but she has an inner strength that can only come from God. Also, I just really like her name, Alditha, and I find that it somehow suits her very well. Do you remember how you came up with her character name?

SARAH: Alditha went by another name in the first draft of the story. However, I wanted a more Medieval sounding name for her. I searched for a list of names common in the Middle Ages and thought Alditha sounded pretty.

"We all doubt, my child. We all question at one point in time or another." His eyes sparkled as if the joy within could hardly be contained. "But there is a faith that lies on the other side of doubt that God gives. You will doubt, but hold onto your faith. Seek God and His son Jesus even as you doubt. He is a living God, slow to anger, and abounding in love. He will meet you where you are."

TARISSA: FUN QUESTION! >> Of all the gazillions of books published throughout history, which are your absolute tip-top favorite titles? (Yes, I'm asking this in the plural form, because I'm pretty confident in saying that all book-lovers in the world can't pinpoint just one. #personalexperience)

SARAH: The Bible is, of course, my source for wisdom and truth so it has to go at the top.

Christy by Catherine Marshall is my favorite fiction book of all time. I read it as a teenager and it greatly impacted me.

Loving God with All Your Mind by Elizabeth George really helped me through some depression I struggled with so also means a lot to me.

Of course, there are a lot of books that I love, but I think I will end the list here.

TARISSA: That's a wonderful list of favorite books, Sarah! The book you mentioned, Christy, has an amazing message in it. I've enjoyed reading it too, though more recently in life (it was a couple of years ago, anyways). I have yet to read Elizabeth George's books, but will definitely keep in mind the title you mentioned.

Thanks for taking part in the interview, Sarah. I think we might just have to do something like this again, later this summer! Readers, stay tuned. :)

"Do you think bravery means to be without fear? You are greatly mistaken. You are brave not because of your lack of fear, but because you did not let that fear stop you. That is what true bravery is."

Available on Amazon in paperback, e-book, and audiobook format.

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Author bio:
Sarah Holman is a not so typical mid-twenties girl: A homeschool graduate, sister to six awesome siblings, and author of many published books and short stories. If there is anything adventuresome about her life, it is because she serves a God with a destiny bigger than anything she could have imagined.

Author Sarah Holman

Visit the author online!

Some of the above images can be found via Sarah Holman's Pinterest board for this book.
All quoted material comes from the book.


  1. Thanks for having me today! This was such a fun interview.

  2. Joanna R.5/25/2017

    Great interview! I might have to try the Tales of Taelis.

  3. Sounds like a cool book!

  4. Great interview! I finally read Adventures and Adversities--just finished today!--and really enjoyed it! :) Looking forward to the rest of the books! Thanks for sharing, both of you. ^_^

    1. @Deborah, That's fantastic that you just got to read Adventures and Adversities. I'm sure you will enjoy the next books in the series, just like I have!

      Thanks for stopping by my blog. :)