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Journey to ChiYah

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Her life is crumbling beneath the weight of the past, events of the present, and fears for her future. Things need to change, but she doesn’t know where to start.Answers come in the form of an unexpected opportunity when Jade finds herself stuck in a mythical land. She meets Mayor Dudley, who insinuates she is emotionally broken and in need of repair ... a fact she’d just as soon ignore. He offers to help her get home if she is willing to face her issues through a process of restoration. Frightened and skeptical yet out of options, Jade grudgingly agrees. And soon figures out that change is a journey, not a destination.Come along on the adventure of a lifetime, and maybe you’ll find someone you never knew you lost: Yourself.

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About the author

Kimberly Russell

2 books285 followers
Kimberly Russell lives in a tiny house in southern lower Michigan with Toby the Shih Tzu, who allows her to be his roommate.

Retired for almost six years, Kim’s day job was that of civil servant in the Michigan Department of Corrections at the local prison complex. She served as Warden’s Secretary under two female wardens in a three-prison complex of medium security inmates.

The highlight of Kimberly’s career was the role of Program Coordinator for the first inmate-dog training program in the MDOC. Since its inception in 2003, thousands of rescued greyhounds and “pound puppies” have been through the program, and it has expanded to many other facilities in the Michigan system.

Kim began writing in 2009 after she joined an on-line writing community called FaithWriters and regularly participated in their weekly writing challenge. High-ranking finishes led to publication in the 2015 & 2017 FaithWriters anthologies.

Branching out to became a columnist for a local entertainment publication called Frank Talk was a challenge. The published allowed Kim to be a guest contributor in their “Critter Corner” but was hesitant to add a fictional component. After a trial run of The Adventures of Miranda DailyLife, Kim authored the column for over a year and enjoyed an enthusiastic readership.

Kim has also been published in Dog Life Magazine and has three full- length manuscripts from participation in the National Novel Writing Month challenge held in November each year (writing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.) One of these-Photo Finish-is her next project—stay tuned!

When not hanging out in her favorite place on earth—the She Shed— and creating literary magic, Kim is a pickleball fiend, playing several times a week. She also loves to read, enjoys a somewhat mediocre golf game, and is a tech geek.

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Displaying 1 - 29 of 29 reviews
May 20, 2021
Journey to Chiya is an amazing story that took me on a journeythrough healing and restoration. Not only was this an amazing book with amazing, relatable characters but it helped me understand that no struggle is too big to overcome. With just a little bit of help any restoration is possible. Journey to Chiya did a wonderful job explaining the process of healing one's emotional, physical, and spiritual self as well as mending our broken relationships with others.
I received a complimentary copy of this book and am leaving an honest review.
May 24, 2021
Since I'm not a fan of fantasy stories, I started reading this with skeptical doubts. Boy was I WRONG! What a fascinating, thought provoking way to tell the tale of all times...Good vs. Evil as well as self doubt vs. self esteem. Even though most of us have heard this story many ways, this fresh take grabbed and held my attention from start to finish! It kind of blew my mind (in a very good way!)
Profile Image for Rita.
Author 15 books27 followers
May 21, 2021
Journey to ChiYah is a magnificent novel that will bring healing to many. Ms. Russell has written a truly inspiring and brilliant book, and as a psychologist, I would’ve loved recommending Journey to my clients. It is a powerful, soul-deep calling, story that can help others so maybe they won’t have to go through years of struggle.
Profile Image for Lisa Howeler.
Author 11 books31 followers
July 23, 2021
Some who read the title of the book will be perplexed and think, “I don’t think this is the book for me,” but they would be wrong. This is a book for everyone.
The book is “fantasy”, I suppose you might say, but it is also deeply allegorical to our journey through life and especially our journey with God and Christ.
This book will transport you to a world of restoration, healing, redemption, and personal revision. It will remind you that we do not merely war against flesh and blood, but “against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
The book takes the reader on a fantastical journey with Jade Pepperdine, a 30-something woman who has faced her fair share of heartache, rejection, and flattened self-worth.
Hook yourself in, readers. This is a work of fiction but for many it will be a hard dose of reality wrapped up in a gentle embrace.
After an accident tosses Jade, quite literally, upside down, she finds herself in a mystical land, which she at first believes is part of a dream. She soon learns that ChiYah is very real indeed. A group of five eccentric helpers come alongside her to help her battle her way through the various dangers of ChiYah to reach her personal healing.
But reaching restoration won’t come easy for Jade. She’s agreed to the quest Mayor Dudley has offered to her, albeit grudgingly, so she can go back to her reality in “the real world” working at a library and fending off her overly critical mother. Now she has to sidestep the traps along the way, including unassuming attacks from a mysterious stranger who hopes to cause her to stumble and come work for him instead.
Journey to ChiYah is a book that will have you looking inside yourself, maybe not liking what you see, and then considering taking your own quest to make peace with every part of you — the happy parts, the grumpy parts, the sometimes unreasonable parts, the parts that have been hurt, the parts that have been rejected, the parts that still have hope left in them.
Russell is a talented writer who uses well-written, engaging fiction laced with humor, well thought out dialogue, and entertaining characters to drive her point home. She uses fiction and prose to touch on so many issues we frail humans deal with, including anxiety, anger, unforgiveness, self-deprecating behavior, distrust, insecurity, a critical spirit.
Most of all, though, she uses her talent to point us to the only one who can heal us of the issues that threaten our joy — a Heavenly Father who wants to take us on a journey that might seem difficult but in the end will lead us into a meadow of peace, even with the chaos of life swirls around us.

Profile Image for Heidi McGill.
Author 9 books761 followers
June 20, 2021
Journey to ChiYah is Author Kimberly Russell's debut novel. This Allegorical Fantasy gives readers a powerful lesson and message to take when they turn the last page.

Jade Pepperdine is broken and needs a change, but it doesn't happen as she expects. She ends up in a mythical land in the city of ChīYah, where she sets out on a journey. Unresolved issues surface and act as a catalyst for the needed change in Jade's complicated life. She must learn to love her younger self to come back together and be restored by healing the past.

The author's use of vivid words and her excellent storytelling make this a must-read for those who love the works of C.S. Lewis and George MacDonald.
Profile Image for Mary.
Author 11 books39 followers
June 8, 2021
As a debut book, this story has many wonderful components. Readers are whisked away like Dorothy in Wizard of Oz to learn amazing lessons. Also, much like in Alice in Wonderland, main character, Jade meets some interesting characters who help her war against childhood lies that still haunted her.
The cover is beautiful and inviting.
I received a complimentary copy of this book and am leaving an honest review.
May 26, 2021
I would recommend this book for new believers starting their journey with Christ as well as those who have been walking with Him for many years. I believe that everyone who reads Journey to ChiYah with an open heart will receive the revelation and insights they need to keep moving forward in their relationship with the Lord.
I received a complimentary copy of this book and am leaving an honest review.
Author 2 books49 followers
May 23, 2021
I'm not a Fantasy Genre reader - in fact - I'm not a huge fan of Allegory - but - Journey to ChiYah's approach into a different "world" was a transition that worked well into Jade's life and the needs she had as a person.
Also, I normally don't care for a heroine I have little sympathy for, but Ms Russell wrote backstory so smoothly, weaving it into Jade's present, I found myself empathetic enough to root for her to make "wise" decisions. The humor in places fitted the characters well!
A smooth read - a novel that had me turning the pages to see what choices Jade would make next.
I received a complimentary copy of this book and am leaving an honest review.
Profile Image for Joanne Sher.
317 reviews20 followers
May 25, 2021
A creative, thought-provoking story. You come right along with Jade as she confronts her past and learns she doesn't have to face her future alone.

The transition from reality to fantasy was a touch too sudden for me, and some of the symbolism was a bit too blatant for my tastes, but Russell did a nice job of making realistic characters I truly cared for, and who carried the plot along.

I received a complimentary copy of this book and am leaving an honest review.
2 reviews
May 23, 2021
This book is a great read! There are so many wonderful visuals of the work that the trinity can do in each of our lives if we can just learn to trust them and lean on them. I think everyone can relate in some way to Jade’s journey. We all have issues and struggles. I appreciate the really creative way this story was written. It draws you in from the start and leaves you wanting more at the end. When I don’t want the book to be over because I want to know what happens next, you know it’s a good one!
May 30, 2021
I really enjoyed Journey to ChiYah. While it had humor and seriousness both in it, I feel that the book reached out to me. Jade’s journey helped me personally, as I felt I was on the quest with her. I had a difficult time putting it down. If it weren’t for life needing my attention, I would have sat and read it all the way through, before putting it down. I have read this book and am giving an honest review.
1 review
May 27, 2021
What I really enjoyed about this book was how real Jade is. She is an average person with a rough childhood and past choices that create baggage. Just like most of us!

This allegory leads her, very reluctantly, on a journey of restoration and healing. Through her journey, there were times I cheered for her and times I wanted to kick her in the pants for her choices. Mostly because I can relate! Russell did a fantastic job writing about what it is truly like to work through emotional baggage. There is enough humor mixed in with reality that it doesn't make the book feel like a heavy read, yet it really makes you think about burdens you carry.

I received a complimentary copy of this book and am leaving an honest review
June 30, 2021
Journey to ChiYah is a fun fantasy that takes the reader into a place of self-exploration and imagination. Jade’s journey is full of likeable characters, thought-provoking challenges, and a myriad of emotions. It is easy to relate to her struggles and family dynamics. I felt myself engage quickly in what would happen next and I couldn’t put the book down. I could imagine myself in Jade’s position and soon I was both rooting for her success and frustrated with her backsliding. The characters she meets along the way are endearing and full of personality. I loved how they encouraged Jade while allowing her to make discoveries about areas of her life she’d kept closed from others for years. Jade learned a lesson that we all can learn from, that true self-healing comes from exploring our inner struggles, making peace with our pasts and, ultimately, learning to love ourselves. The book approaches this sensitive topic in a way that allows the reader to explore their own personal journey along with Jade. It is a light read with fun twists and it leaves you hoping for a sequel.
Profile Image for Pegg.
Author 20 books148 followers
June 3, 2021
Let me say upfront, if you assumed from the title that this book is a fantasy about an alternate China, it's not. Yeah. That threw me too.

Journey to ChiYah is an allegory, like a modern-day Pilgrim's Progress. Admittedly, not my normal type of read. (But - yes - I do occasionally climb out of history long enough to read something else.)

This is a self-published book, and having read a number of those, I have to say that this one is a cut above most. It held my interest throughout, there was a full character arc to the story, and ended with a solid finish.

The main character, Jade, is thrown into a journey and takes the reader along with her. It's an important journey, one every Christian should be able to identify with, and one non-Christians may wish to explore.

I can recommend this book to people who enjoy allegories, to Christians who can identify with a spiritual journey, and to those who are seeking a bigger picture or greater meaning in their lives.

I received a complimentary copy of this book and am leaving an honest review.
June 30, 2021
I absolutely fell head over heels with the beautiful, descriptive way the author led me through this story. She creatively paints the scenery and the thoughts and emotions of the characters...it truly feels like you're there watching them as they travel through the land of ChiYah.
You can't help but relate in some way to the main character, Jade, as she recognizes the reasons she responds to certain situations in the way she does, and finds a way to navigate and approach things differently with the help of her companions. The development of her character over the course of the story truly warmed my heart. She softens...in a world where we encourage strength, she finds the beauty in weakness. What a refreshing idea, and one that the world needs to hear!
2 Corinthians 12:9 "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness."

I received a complimentary copy of this book and am leaving an honest review.
Profile Image for Angela.
38 reviews
July 29, 2022
As I read the first several pages, I thought I would struggle to want to finish it because it seemed like the beginning of a fantasy or sci-fi novel. But I was curious so I kept reading. So many things within this book spoke to me on such a profound personal level. This book was gifted to me by a sweet friend (thank you Nancy!), who could not have had any idea that I have been in the throes of my own inner-child healing and restoration. I think God just winked at me, through this book. 💜 I found myself a bit emotional in the final chapters- reflecting on how my own journey has been. What a sweet, gentle story this is… one entwined with so many “nuggets”. I imagine I will be referencing this book every now and then for years to come. Thank you, Kimberly, for writing this book and for the wonderful reminder that I … we, are never alone. ❤️
1 review
June 20, 2021
I was looking for a fun summer book I could just zone out and enjoy on a sunny afternoon. I was given a copy of "Journey to ChiYah" and it was exactly what I was looking for. The author did a great job of incorporating enough detail that I could draw a mental picture and put myself into this fantastical world of ChiYah without going so overboard you get bored and forget the plot of the story. Jades journey made me laugh, cry and at times gave me something to think about. You know it's a good book when you finish it and you almost have a sense of loss because you will miss the characters and their story. I look forward to reading other books by this author.
“I received a complimentary copy of this book and am leaving an honest review”
Profile Image for Cathy Baldwin.
107 reviews2 followers
May 23, 2021
When I started "Journey to ChiYah", I thought I knew what to expect. While reminiscent of the allegories of Lewis and others, I was wrong. Jade's journey took her (and me) to places she never wanted to explore, with travel companions she doesn't trust. But she is determined to prove herself capable. It does take her a LONG time to figure things out, but isn't that true of all of us? I learned some things about loving myself, letting go of past hurts, and trusting God as I traveled this journey of self-discovery with Jade.

I received a complimentary copy of this book and am leaving an honest review.
1 review
June 22, 2021
Journey to ChiYah is a very intriguing story of how restoration works. This is not a "how to" clinical book but rather a powerful story that draws you in until you become part of everything going on.

Journey covers a deep subject but is so well written and interesting that before you know it......you truly do find someone you never knew you lost -- yourself!! What a great read that left me wanting a sequel so I could follow the story further!! I received a complimentary copy of this book and am leaving an honest review.
1 review
June 10, 2021
I really enjoyed Journey to ChiYah. The the book had me totally hooked. Jade’s journey helped me personally, as I felt I was on the quest with her. I had a difficult time putting it down. It has humor and suspense. I totally recommend this book. The author did a great job. Thanks for allowing me to be one of the first to read.
June 30, 2021
Journey to ChiYah is a unique and entertaining plunge into the life of lead character, Jade, and her bumpy but beautiful transformation from wounded soul to valiant warrior. This book keeps the reader engaged from first page to last. The reader is afforded a front row seat to the gradual, yet powerful metamorphosis of Jade, instilling hope that the quest for restoration may not be so far out of reach. Get lost in the land of ChiYah and let Jade’s transformation inspire yours!
June 16, 2021
Very well written. Lots of symbolism that was easy to pick up on. Great imagination of the writer. Enjoyed the book
May 24, 2021
WOW. I enjoyed the characters, even the evil ones. I couldn't put it down. The way the author took us on an actual journey of restoration was amazing. This book is a great read for any reader, young, old, and of any faith.
Profile Image for Brittany Gillen.
85 reviews1 follower
September 26, 2021
In Journey to ChiYah, Russell explores the theme of restoration, facing the past in order to enter a brighter future. I picked this book up because of the fantasy element, and I read two sample chapters available on the author’s website. The initial portrayal of Mayor and Abaddon hooked me in. I was really intrigued. The book turned out to be much more conversational and less story-driven then I was hoping, but it does demonstrate some important life lessons, especially the importance of loving ourselves.

Russell creates some beautifully peaceful settings, and her visual references can be quite inventive. My favorite was that Jade “dangled upside down like keys in the ignition.” (Ch 1) She also uses tangible examples to explain the challenges Jade faces, such as the field full of boulders labeled angry, self-deprecating, insecurity, and jaded, which she crushes with the help of a giant bulldozer.

Her heroine,Jade Pepperdine, is angry, controlling, and determined to be wholly self-sufficient. For the majority of the book Jade pushes every character she encounters away, refusing to be vulnerable and trust. Though this ties to the theme of the book brilliantly, giving Jade room to grow, it also makes her unlikable and keeps the reader at a distance, unable to bond with her.

Much more endearing is the character of LJ, who although also very surly at times, weasels her way into the reader’s heart as little kids always do. By the end we are happy to see Jade victorious, though still humanly imperfect, and pray she holds tight to the lesson she learned in ChiYah.

Although I would not recommend this book for fantasy lovers, it does a good job of presenting the challenges women face with accepting criticism and learning to love themselves. I could see a reading group finding great fodder for discussion, and even the possibility for a study guide to apply the lessons learned to the readers own life challenges.
1 review
September 26, 2021
I enjoyed the characters and quickly became attached to them all. The biggest surprise was when Jade met LJ. I will not spoil it for you, but a special part for sure. The journey was one we could all relate to in one way, shape, or form. Special lines touched my heart personally as well as the similar issues Jade had in her growing up years. I felt like I GREW along with her on her journey. As a fantasy, the scenery and the characters were quite thought provoking and many times I just did not want to put it down. I highly recommend this book to those who are ready for restoration....we can all take a little away from this. Sandi
Profile Image for Debbie.
292 reviews5 followers
January 2, 2022
I’m not a fantasy fiction reader, but stepped out of my comfort zone for this book. It’s a little bit like Pilgrim’s Progress in that it’s an allegory about faith in a fantasy land. It’s a little bit like Alice in Wonderland and Wizard of Oz too.

I did like it, I related to the main character and some of her issues. I didn’t particularly like her, but maybe that’s because she reminded me of myself. I did a fair amount of highlighting in this book. I felt like it was my own private counseling session sometimes. I thought it was simplistic, child-like, yet complicated.

I liked the last quote: “I must learn that the purpose of my life belongs to God, not me.” Oswald Chambers
Profile Image for Peggy Watkins.
Author 1 book3 followers
March 16, 2023
Journey to ChiYah is a great story that reminded me of my path and journey through resilience and liberation. I feel this book will help many relate to their journey and how they, too, can heal no matter how significant their pain is.

I felt Kimberly did a great job explaining the process of healing your emotional, physical, and spiritual self, and with that came the healing of relationships with others.

I was given a copy, and I am glad I was, as this was a good read and will help others with their issues.
Profile Image for Debra Allard.
Author 1 book1 follower
August 3, 2021
I believe that anyone who enjoyed Pilgrim's Progress or The Shack will enjoy this fantasy/allegory of self-awakening. After Jade has a car accident, she undergoes surgery, but while under anesthesia she is taken on a spiritual journey where she must come to terms with her past before being allowed to return to her present. The writing is good and kept me reading until the end.
7 reviews
August 12, 2021
Thoroughly enjoyable with unexpected twists and turns. I couldn't put this one down! Part fantasy, part self-help, part spiritual expertly woven together into an engaging novel. Highly recommended!
Displaying 1 - 29 of 29 reviews

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