KAYLA'S BIO: Thirteen-year-old Kayla Woodhouse’s zest for writing comes not only from her natural ability, but also from her love of the written word as witnessed by her voracious reading appetite. One of only a few dozen cases in the world, Kayla was born with HSAN, Hereditary Sensory Autonomic Neuropathy, an extremely rare nerve disorder. Unable to sweat, or feel pain, she’s also been through brain surgery. But even through a life of extreme hardships, her ever-present smile encourages others to pursue their dreams, no matter the obstacles. In addition to being homeschooled and writing with her mom, she’s an amazing swimmer, and spends up to thirty hours a week in training.

She has appeared on ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, The Montel Williams Show, Mystery ER, and numerous other national programs. No Safe Haven, her first release from B&H Publishers in 2011, written with mother, Kimberley, makes her the youngest author to have a full-length novel published by a royalty paying publisher.

KIMBERLY'S BIO: A devoted wife and mother, Kimberly Woodhouse is a creative genius, with a sense of humor and voice like no other. A third generation Liszt student, she has passed down her love of the arts to hundreds of students over the years.

About fifteen years ago, Kimberly began writing seriously. Songs, plays, articles, newsletters-you name it- she’s written it. It wasn’t’ until a dear friend challenged her to “do something with it”, that she pursued publication. A long-time editor and now dear friend, gave guidance and direction, as well as several seasoned authors who have mentored and loved her through this incredible journey.

Her quick wit, enthusiasm, and positive outlook through difficult circumstances have seen her asked to share and speak at conferences, retreats, churches, military functions, and seminars all over the country.

How did you get the idea for No Safe Haven?

Well, it was our brilliant editor (Karen Ball’s) idea for us to write together. Then we just had fun brainstorming all the wild and crazy things about Alaska that we had experienced there. We chose something that would fit well with Kayla’s nerve disorder and knew we would have fun creating a story that put our characters through our own worst fears. 

What made you want to write about a girl that had the same life challenges as Kayla? Did this make it easier or hard to write for you?

We knew that we could make it real and authentic like no one else. We also knew that thousands of people had written in to our website asking questions about how Kayla did this or that. So it really came easy since we understood it so well – having lived with it day in and day out – BUT it was hard to write it. It was hard to imagine what I would do as a mom were I in the same position we put Jenna in. 

What was it like to write a book with your daughter? How did the writing process work for the both of you?
It was amazing. I never knew how great it would be. We both write really fast, and we “feed” off each other like there’s no tomorrow. I definitely feel like it was a God-thing when Karen suggested it – because we hadn’t thought of it ourselves. And now we can’t imagine NOT writing together 

I’ve read of how beautiful Alaska is but you brought out a side of the Alaskan frontier that I’d never read about before-it made the story more compelling to read?

Well – first and foremost – we LOVE Alaska. Loved living there, love going back every chance we get. It really is like the last frontier. It’s huge. Majestic, beautiful, scary, and a land all its own. Even when I lived in Europe, I didn’t experience what we had the incredible privilege of experiencing in Alaska. We just wanted to share our favorite state with everyone.

I heard in a YouTube interview that your family lived in Alaska? How long and what was your favorite aspect of living there? What made you move to Colorado Springs?

We did  We lived there around five years and loved it. We lived on a little island for quite a while and I’ll never forget the thousands of eagles, salmon, whales, and sea lions that entertained us. It was a perfect climate for Kayla – so it really granted Josh and Kayla a childhood that they’d never had before. We had to make the move to Colorado Springs when Kayla became very ill in 2005. And in December of 2006, she had to have brain surgery.

Can you give us a sneak peak into your next novel the sequel to No Safe Haven? Race Against Time?

Race Against Time was so hard to write and yet so fun all at the same time. Here’s the blurb:

Anesia Naltsiine has made mistakes that have cost her-and her 13-year old daughter, Zoya-dearly. But no more. She will prove her worth as a mother and as a breeder of champion sprint racing dogs. Her kennel is so successful that buyers come from all over the world. So why does she still feel so worthless?

Zoya misses the dad she never knew. All she wants is to follow in his footsteps as a champion sprint dog racer. But when she witnesses a murder in their town of North Pole, Alaska, she finds herself thrown into dangers and emotions she can’t begin to understand.

Enter Sean Connelly, a new employee at the kennel with demons of his own. When he discovers macrochips bearing military secrets implanted in the Naltsiine's dogs, a puzzle tracing back to the murder unfolds. Then strange "accidents" start happening; clearly someone wants Zoya silenced. Anesia tells her daughter it's not safe to race, but Zoya, angry with the world- and God-takes off across dangerous Alaskan terrain alone. Anesia and Sean must race against time to save the girl-and themselves.

What do you want readers to take away from your stories?
Our goal for each book is basically the same although each book has its own theme. We want to challenge the believer in his/her walk with the Lord and point the non-believer to the Lord. No Safe Haven tackles trust. Race Against Time tackles forgiveness.

You had Jenna your female lead learning to fly a plane. Is this something you’ve done or aspire to do? It was so real and believable. It made me think you’ve flown a lot!

Wow – thank you! Well, I have to admit, living in Alaska, we flew in small planes a lot. And I always wanted to learn how to fly.  Thankfully, I have a really close friend who’s been a pilot for decades and was my source for all things about being a pilot and flying. He’d have to talk me through each scene step-by-step – sometimes I’d have to call 10-20 times a day while I was in the middle of those intense moments trying to get it right in the story. So a big thank- you goes to Bill Zink for helping me “get it right.”

What was your favorite scene to write?
Oh my goodness, I don’t know if I can answer that. No Safe Haven had so many really fun ones… I’m sure it was one of the ones where Andie was bantering with Cole. 

I wanted to ask you a few of your discussion questions they were really good. “Scripture commands us several times to not fear. Is this an easy command for you to obey? Do you lend to worry? How do you turn your fear over to the Lord? Discuss a situation where there has been fear and the Lord has intervened.

Thankfully, the Lord really worked on my heart in this area. It was very much trial and error as I learned the lesson – but through Kayla’s disorder, through the diagnosis, and all the difficulties that followed – I had to let go. It hit me smack-dab in the middle of my forehead one day: I couldn’t ever know everything there was to know to help my daughter, the doctors would never know everything… only God knew. He made her. He understood better than I ever could. Learning to let go helped me learn how to let go of my fear and say, “It’s okay to not have answers. It’s okay for the doctors to not have answers. God knows and He’s the Great Physician. I’m going to rest in that.”

I enjoyed the humor in No Safe Haven. While on the side of the dangerous mountain Cole, Jenna and Andie use humor to relieve the tension of their serious situation. How does finding humor in the hard times of life help you through? How did it help you change your outlook on life? Things?

Humor has been a saving grace for us many times. I have a chapter in my book Welcome Home titled: If Something’s Going to Happen, It’s Going to Happen to Kim. My husband started saying that years and years ago so that we would be able to laugh our way through. And it’s worked. You really can have joy through every trial.

Jenna comes to a point where she is out of control and has to totally leave the care of her daughter in God’s hands. It’s hard for her because she’s a woman that has always been prepared for everything. She comes to the end of herself and realizes that she can’t possibly protect her daughter from every little thing that could possibly happen every minute of every day. Have you felt like Jenna? How did you cope with these feelings?

A little earlier, I touched on that. Jenna is based on me in that area. I was hoping it would help other people/parents know that it’s a real struggle we all have. With Kayla, we had to learn to control everything in her environment to keep her safe, so that’s why we decided to put our characters through that – knowing how difficult it is to face, and what a struggle it is to let go of the fear.

You talked a lot about mountain climbing in the snow, and how to be prepared for the worst weather in this book. It felt so real. Have you mountain climbed or been to the Sultana mountain range? What made you use this as a back drop to your story?- I Loved it! This added so much depth to the novel because it was not only a race against the bad guys but a race against the physical challenges this dangerous, remote mountain range brought each of the three people running for their lives. What intrigued you about this mountain?

I LOVE the Alaska Range and love the snow and climbing and hiking. We also wanted it to feel real to the reader (so thank you for those wonderful compliments!) so they could get a taste of Alaska. The Talkeetna Rangers were invaluable help to me and I also talked to people who had climbed Denali and Sultana to get the “real” story. Denali is taller than Mt. Everest from base to top (Everest starts at a higher elevation) and the weather is so severe (the weather on Denali in the summer can be as bad as the weather on Everest in the winter!). Approximately 1200 people attempt the climb every year on the tallest mountain in North America. But then there’s Sultana. “The Wife.” Steeper and much more dangerous in weather – only about 20 people attempt that climb each year. I fell in love with this mountain and just had to share the uniqueness in our story.

Could you please share a little bit about your testimony?
I was brought up in a wonderful Christian home (my dad is a pastor) and was saved at an early age. What’s interesting (I think) about my testimony is that I’m a trained musician. It’s what I did all my life – what I went to college and majored in. But God had different plans for me. He gave me my incredible husband (of 20 years this year!) and our two amazing kids. Our lives changed drastically with Kayla’s diagnosis. And one day, I just started to write. But didn’t tell a soul.  When we were moving to Alaska, my friend found one of my hidden manuscripts, read it, and then came and hit me over the head with it. She told me I was hiding my light under a bushel. I sputtered and spewed at her that I didn’t know anything about writing, I only knew music! But isn’t it amazing to see what God can do through a willing vessel, even when we have no confidence in what we’re doing? 

What have been two wow moments for you as an author? What made it a wow moment for you?
My very first mentor – a multi-published, amazingly talented woman, told me I was a true storyteller and I better get to work. Again, I didn’t think I could write, so that was definitely a wow moment.

And secondly – writing with Kayla. She’s so amazing. So talented. So fresh. Every moment with her is a wow moment, and I’m so thrilled I get to be her mom.

What has surprised you about being an author?
It’s so much hard work. Not that I didn’t think authors worked hard – but wow. It’s way, way harder than I ever imagined. But I love it. 


1.Was it hard or easy for you to write about the life challenges you face day-in and day-out?

Kayla: It was pretty easy actually.  I guess we’ve had to explain things to doctors, family and friends so much that it’s kind of a habit. But God also worked great miracles through writing Andie. As I was writing some scenes (for example the scene where she overheats on the mountain side) I was able to describe how it felt to overheat like I’ve never been able to before. It was as if a light bulb came on, like God gave me the exact words. 

2. What do you hope your readers take away from your story?

Kayla: I hope that people will see Jesus in our/my writing. Every story is different, and different people get different things out of them. I just pray that He will use No Safe Haven to challenge the believer and point the non-believer to Him. I know God has called me to write for Him, and the only goal I really have in writing is that it will point people to God. I guess what I’d really want people to get out of No Safe Haven is that God is in control at all times and that He loves us more than anything.

3. I loved your passion for Jesus that you share in your novel. Can you tell me of a time that you knew without a shadow of a doubt the Lord was with you and very real and would see you through no matter what you faced?

Kayla: Hmmm… I can’t really pin-point just one. God has been by my side so much—every step of the way! I can’t imagine life without Him. Although, up until I was about eleven, I was just going through the motions. Not really on fire for Him. Then over a period of time (I don’t know exactly when, it wasn’t so much a “bang Kayla over the head with a 2X4” more of a “tap, tap, tap on the shoulder”) God really began to take over my heart. I know He has always been with me, but I have to say that the past three years or so have been the best ever. Mainly because I’ve felt God and given my all to Him.

4.What has surprised you most about being an author?
Kayla: How long it takes to get published!  Mom and I signed contracts in December of 2009, finished the book on March 23, 2010 and it’s just now coming out!  LOL But I guess that makes sense, with all that you have to do to edit, get the cover, make sure there are no boo-boos and all that. 

What was your favorite scene to write?
Kayla: I think my favorite scene to write was where you find out who the villain is (but I won’t say any more so I don’t spoil the book!). Every time I read through that scene I giggle (well, okay so I laugh maliciously) and think of how surprised our readers will be!  Either that or the scene where Andie almost cracks Cole’s head open with the MagLight. LOL 

1.What movie most impacted your life as a kid?

Kayla: The Passion of Jesus Christ. We watched that movie last year for Easter… it was definitely the hardest thing that I’ve ever had to watch, but it’s so powerful all at the same time!

Kim: The Sound of Music. I loved how they gave up everything they had to stand up for what was right.

2.Besides family what three things would you rather not live without?
Kayla: God as number one most definitely!!  Hmm… the other two would probably be my Bible and computer. 

Kim: God. My Bible. Lots of pen and paper.

3.A friend of ours has just brought a time machine – what TWO events would you like to witness in the history of the world?

Kayla: The creation of the world and Jesus’ ministry (walking on water and calming a storm especially!). 

Kim: I agree with Kayla – I want to watch the Creation. And I want to see the crucifixion and resurrection.

4.What three books do you feel everyone should read (besides the bible)?

Kayla: Not My Will by Fanscina H. Arnold (if you haven’t read this book you HAVE GOT TO READ IT! It will change you forever. Literally, I’m not kidding. It’s without a doubt the best fiction book ever written. Although it is fiction—and was written in the 1940s—It deals with the issue that I think every Christian on this earth has to deal with. This is without a doubt my number one favorite book besides the Bible), My Hands Came Away Red by Lisa McKay (the second greatest fiction book EVER! Again, tear jerker and life-changer), and the Dragonkeeper Chronicles by Donita K. Paul (I’ve read this series ten times. No joke!  I love her writing, and will always love her stories).

Kim: You can tell I must have a little influence on my daughter because her first two are two of my choices as well.  Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers is by far at the top of my list though.

5.What three movies could you watch over and over again?

How to Train Your Dragon, Pride and Prejudice, and The Lord of the Rings movies (okay, so technically that counts as five, but who’s counting? )

Kim: Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion, and How to Train Your Dragon

6.When you all have family night what is your favorite thing to do?

Kayla: Probably play a board (or card) game and watch a movie. 
Kim: Wow. Same thing.

How did you come up with the title to your book No Safe Haven? I like it, it’s catchy.

Kim and Kayla:
Thanks! We do too. To tell you the truth, I (Kim) was brainstorming with Colleen Coble on the phone and I said, “…they have no safe place to go…” and the fantabulous Colleen said, “That’s it! That’s the title!” Then it morphed from No Safe Place to No Safe Haven.

THANKS Kimberly and Kayla for stopping by and letting us get to know you and your writing journey better.

I’m excited about the contest we have to promote your book at The Book Club Network on "Live" Monday March 21st at 9p.m. Eastern Standard time. We will be giving away several $25.00 gift cards and having the readers do a scavenger hunt to go to your website and others to find treasures.

It kind of reminds me of the mystery in your book. Everyone is in search of a computer program and where it’s hidden. THANKS also for the give away opportunity of your New exciting book called No Safe Haven! The readers need to leave a comment about the interview for their chance to win a copy.

I cant’ wait to read the sequel Race Against Time. Love the book cover. I’m looking forward to talking to you all again.
Blessings to you both.

Nora :D

MANDATORY - PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT About the interview for your name to be entered in the drawing.Be sure to leave your email address so that I can contact you if you win. Winners chosen using

For EXTRA CHANCES to win this book you can
1. Become a FOLLOWER of my blog (1) entry - please make a separate comment
2. Twitter about this interview and give away!! (1) entry - please make a separate comment
3. Grab my button on my site and add it to yours (1)entry - please make a separate comment for each entry
4. Make a post on your blog about this drawing (2) entries - please make a separate comment for each entry

PLEASE REMEMBER to leave your email address so that I can contact you (Use (At) and (dot) so that people won't be able to spam your email address; I'll be contacting the winner via email.

Nora :D


  1. Nice interview! Loved all the questions and answers, especially about using humor to relieve tension/fear. Laughter really is a good medicine! Book sounds like a winner to me. Would love to read it with my boys. Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy.


  2. I'm a follower :)


  3. your buttons on my blog :)


  4. Posted on my blog about this great giveaway :) can you tell I really want this book?!


  5. I loved the interview and the questions that were asked. Nice to see mom and daughter write together.


  6. Great interview!
    I love reading more about authors!
    I also requested two of the favorite books mentioned from my library so that I can read them as well!
    Thanks for the giveaway!
    Many Blessings and Smiles:)
    Charlotte Kay
    charlovesmark at gmail dot com

  7. I am a follower:)
    Charlotte Kay
    charlovesmark at gmail dot com

  8. I just tweeted
    Charlotte Kay
    charlovesmark at gmail dot com

  9. I loved your interview. Please include me

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  10. I enjoyed the interview and would like to read the book.

  11. I've read several interviews and reviews about this book and it sounds awesome! Would love to have it!

  12. Has anyone noticed how similar Kayla's and Kim's movie tastes are? They both chose similar movies. Like mother, like daughter! :)


  13. Would love to read this book. Sounds great!

    Gail Mundy

  14. I'd love to win. :)

  15. I'm a follower. :)

  16. What an exciting life this family has lead!
    It is great how they can share writing books together...
    Many thanks, Cindi

  17. I follow your blog publicly via Google
    Friend Connect....
    Again, many thanks to you!

  18. "Tweet!"
    Merci, Cindi

  19. Wow! What an in-depth interview! I love to read the accounts of the writer's journey. Please enter me in the drawing for the book. Whether I win or not, I'd like to add this to my TBR pile.

    teaching by writing [at] yahoo [dot] com

  20. Wow what an interview. I loved it. Wonderful mother and daughter. congratulations. would love to read this. trishbazin(at)

  21. I have always wanted to go and see Alaska.

  22. I would love to win this book. I'm now following via google friend connect. I'm would love to win because Kim and Kayla's family used to go to much church here in Anchorage Alaska. :) come see my blog at

  23. Oops I forgot to leave my email. on my last comment. I also put your button on my blog. My email is