Genesis 5020

My Story for His Glory

Write to the Point with Angela D. Meyer September 21, 2016

Filed under: Author Interviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 9:46 pm
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Today we get write to the point with Angela D. Meyer. Read on to learn more about her.

Tell us about yourself, family, where are you from, how long have you been writing?

Raised in Oklahoma, I have been writing since my junior high years. After college, I spent several years in New England as a nanny. I met my husband in that area and we have been married 25 years and have 2 children. I enjoy sunrises and sunsets (Oklahoma was great for these!), oceans and reading a good book. Someday I hope to go on a hot air balloon ride.

How did you come to know Jesus as your Savior?

I grew up in a Christian home, but really owned my faith during junior high. God’s been growing and stretching me ever since!

Tell us about your latest book(s). What do want your readers to take away after the last page?

Where Healing Starts is the second book in the Applewood Hill series and is releasing tomorrow! Here is the book cover blurb:

Joanna, full of bitterness over the past, can no longer ignore the growing storm inside her and is bent on self-destruction as she seeks to ease her pain. But the refuge she seeks is always out of her reach.

Her brother Blake must choose between what has always been safe and what he has always wanted. One mistake after another leads him down a dangerous path.

The one for all, all for one sibling bond can’t help them now. They are both determined to hang onto their anger, never forgetting. Never forgiving. healing-starts-coverThey see no reason to trust God.

After so many years of turmoil, will the Hannigan siblings find refuge in the God who loves them? Or will they get lost along the way?

After reading Where Healing Starts, I want readers to better understand that God can and does redeem anything that we are willing to give to Him.

You can read chapter 1 of Where Healing Starts HERE.

How often do you blog and what do you cover in your blog?

Typically, I blog about once a week. I also have guests on occasion. My goal is to share tools and encouragement to help women stand firm on a foundation of truth, to grow in their faith and to thrive no matter what life throws at them. That might happen through a good story, a blog post, random thoughts, book recommendation, devotionals, Bible study or a bit about my life. I also blog about writing and author updates from time to time. For the past month I’ve been doing a lot of author blogging for my book launch.

What are you reading right now?

In the fiction category, I’m reading Touches of Time by LoRee Peery. In non-fiction, I’m reading Forgotten God by Francis Chan.

Can you share with us a Genesis 5020 in your life? 

About 4 years ago, I discovered my husband’s sexual addiction. Even though I was devastated and angry, I chose to forgive. We both wanted to save our marriage. We sought counseling. He joined a men’s group to help him make changes and hold him accountable. He is now an overcomer and God continues to restore us. We rebuilt trust and our communication is better than it has ever been. God has taken what the enemy meant to harm us and brought us out stronger and to a place where we can help others.

Unfortunately, challenging marriages are not rare and it can be difficult to talk about and find the support one needs. One of my hopes is to use what God has brought me through to encourage other women who live in challenging marriages. I want to help women thrive no matter the circumstance. If anyone needs encouragement in this area, please feel free to contact me via the contact form on my website. I would be happy to pray with you, listen, share names of resources that have helped me and encourage you.

Sounds like you and I hav the same hope for marriages 🙂 

Do you have a life and/or a ministry verse?

“Therefore this is what the LORD says: “If you repent, I will restore you that you may serve me; if you utter worthy, not worthless, words, you will be my spokesman.” Jeremiah 15:19a

Where can we find you on the web?

Website  Facebook  Pinterest  Google+  Twitter  Goodreads  Newsletter

 

Is there anything I didn’t ask that you would like to add?

I have a book trailer! You can watch it HERE.

If you would like to purchase Where Healing Starts, you just got in on the pre-buy special which ends tomorrow. My publisher has agreed to send the Kindle version of Where Hope Starts, the first book in the Applewood Hill series, for free to anyone who pre-buys Where Healing Starts. Click HERE to order your copy and then my publisher, CrossRiver, will send you instructions to download your gift.

Thank you for having me on your blog!

You’re welcome, thanks for much for sharing with my readers!

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Write to the Point with Sandra Ardoin December 9, 2015

Filed under: Author Interviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 4:48 pm
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Sandra Ardoin_Headshot (1)Today we get write to the point with Sandra Ardoin. Read on to see what she is up to.

Tell us about your newest book.

A Reluctant Melody grew out of my Christmas novella that released last year, The Yuletide Angel. It’s historical romance set in 1892 and is the story of Kit Barnes and Joanna Stewart, two people with a past relationship that led to betrayal, strife, and abandonment. Here is the back cover copy:

Kit’s alcoholism ruined more lives than his own. Now sober, he wants to make amends by opening a mission for drunkards. But the most suitable location belongs to Joanna Cranston Stewart, a love from his sordid past. 

Friends of her late husband blame Joanna for his death. Although eager to flee from the rumors, she will let the walls of her rundown property crumble around her before she allows Kit back into her life. 

When a blackmailer threatens to reveal Joanna’s long-held secret, will she risk losing everything she owns to Kit … including her heart?

What do you do when you’re not writing?

When I’m not writing, I’m reading or watching TV, cheering on my sports team (Keep pounding, Panthers!), or trying to get some gardening done. I also like to window shop, eat out, and prowl around antique stores.

Where do you get your ideas?

Everywhere. I’ll read something that will resonate with me and I’ll start seeing a character and situation in my head. Sometimes, it’s simply a line or an image in my mind that sparks an idea. I keep a notebook and try to record those ideas as they come to me, because they aren’t polite and wait until I’m in a position to write the story. J

Do you outline or are you a seat-of-the-pants writer?

I’m an in-betweener, a plantser, or whatever you want to call it. I used to be totally seat-of-the-pants, but have learned to do some plotting—GMC, major plot points, etc. I can write a synopsis that hits the high spots, but I’m not AReluctantMelody (1)one to plot out every scene. Though I admire those who can, that would drive me nuts.

Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?

Most of us have those unpublished favorites, don’t we? It’s hard to see them rejected. Mine is the first novel of a trilogy set in Texas in the 1870s. I love the heroine—her stubbornness, strength, and the heartache she experiences. In fact the series involves three strong women I really enjoyed getting to know. The second book is finished, but without the first selling, I’ve never submitted it anywhere. Maybe one day.

Are you like any of the characters in your book?

I suppose all of a writer’s characters have something they take from their creator, even if it’s just an opinion about a theme or topic. Joanna has the joy I get in gardening and the sorrow I feel over past mistakes. That’s all I can think of right now. However, we never know ourselves as well as we believe, so someone who knows me might answer that question in a different way.

Are you working on a new project now?

I am working on the first book of a three-book series I’m hoping to contract. It’s historical romance set in Texas in 1886. I’m also pondering a novella series, but my mind is only good for one project at a time.

Anything you would like to add?

I want to thank you for having me on your blog, Melissa! After years of writing in a closet (figuratively), I love talking about my work.

Readers, you will find The Yuletide Angel in both print and e-book on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. I have a Goodreads giveaway going on through December 15, so hurry on over and enter for a chance at a signed, print copy of this Christmas novella!

A Reluctant Melody releases January 11 and is available for pre-order on Amazon. We’ll be celebrating the release with a Facebook party on January 12. Please put it on your brand-spanking new 2016 calendar to attend! Come and go (or stay) from 12:00 noon to 2:00 p.m. We’ll have lots of fun interaction and giveaways! As soon as the event page is set up, I’ll post the link to the event on my Facebook page.

Become a part of my email community to receive occasional updates and a free short story and visit me at www.sandraardoin.com and on the Seriously Write blog. Connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Goodreads, and Pinterest.

It was great hearing from you again, Sandra and what you are up to. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. 

 

 

Write to the Point with Caryl McAdoo (Part Seven) November 11, 2015

Filed under: Author Interviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:38 am
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GreenspedssoftUntitledToday we get write to the point with Caryl McAdoo. Today she shares an interview with a character in her book. 

An interview with Elijah Eversole from Daughters Of The Heart, book five in the historical Christian Texas Romance series of author Caryl McAdoo.

 

Hello sir, excuse me. Are you Mister Eversole, Mister Elijah Eversole?

 

Yes, ma’am. That’d be me.

 

Oh, good! It’s such an honor to have this opportunity, Mister Eversole. I’m with the Clarksville01 Front - Daughters Standard, and while I’ve read plenty of stories about California and all the gold out there, but I’ve never ever even met anyone who’s actually been there before. Is it as beautiful as they say?

 

It surely is soothing on the eyes, ma’am. The big old sun setting over the Pacific Ocean…well, it can take your breath right away. And the mountains rising up… Yes, Ma’am, it’s beautiful alright. If you’ll excuse me, please…

 

I only have a few questions. I’d really like to write an article for the paper, and you’re so interesting. So you own a goldmine? I mean you don’t look like it. No one would ever think you were rich by looking–no offense intended.

 

None taken, ma’am, but I can hardly keep from grinning. Wouldn’t want you to think I’s laughing at you or nothing you said…it’s just I’ve heard tell about the rumor mongering goes on in Red River County, and your information is tea partyway off from the Truth. I do own a small percentage in the very successful Jones and Risen Mining operation. God blessed me the day Moses Jones walked into my shop.

 

So you were in another business. What was that?

 

Well, you could say I was a smithy, but I prefer machinist. Gold bug nit my pa and he and Ma left when I’s still in my teens. Though smithin’ kept bread on the table, I loved making machines, figuring out how to help a man do his job easier.

 

Wow. How admirable is that? So you must so intelligent like a genious. Is there a Mis’ess Eversole, or a special girl back in San Francisco, Elijah?

 

Ha! I don’t know that I’d say genius, but no, ma’am, no mis’ess. There is a very special young woman there. But you probably know her. Mary Rachel Buckmeyer…Wheeler…er, uh Risen.

 

Well of course I do! Mary Rachel and me were in school together. I’s a couple of years behind her in her sister Gewndolyn’s class. Do you know Gwen, too? Or Cecelia? Because if you don’t, I’d be happy to show you around Red River County. I could pack a picnic dinner and show you the Red….

 

That’s right nice of you ma’am.”

 

Oh, please, you’ve just got to call me Ronnie, well, or Veronica if you prefer. Daddy wanted a boy I guess—I’m the oldest –and hung that nickname on me ’fore I could walk.

 

Yes, ma’am, I mean Miss Veronica. I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Mary’s sisters, but I’ve come to build a steam engine for their pa, so I suppose I will. Most every man within a hundred miles tried to win Mary’s heart after that husband of hers got himself killed. My partner, Jethro Risen, he’s the only one could win her over. He’s a good man, but I sure was hopin’… Anyway, I best be on my way, Miss Veronica. I understand the Buckmeyer place is about five miles south? Is that right?

 

And a few miles east. I could show you where they live, ride out there with you. You going to rent a rig? I could bring it back to town for you. Wouldn’t be no trouble. None at all.

 

I do appreciate your kindness, ma’am, but I’m thinking I might as we;; but me a horse and buggy since I’ll be here a while. Could you be so kind as to point me to a livery?

 

Oh, yes! I’ll do better than that. Come on. I’ll walk you right over to Duck’s. Ain’t far, and he’s got the best deals in town.     

Thanks for visiting us again, Caryl. 

 

 

 

Write to the Point with Rachelle Rea October 28, 2015

Filed under: Author Interviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:43 am
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Rea Author Photo

Today we get write to the point with Rachelle Rea. Her second books has just released. Read on to learn more about her. 

Rachelle Rea plots her novels while driving around the little town she’s lived in all her life in her dream car, a pick-up truck. An Oreo addict, she is also a homeschool graduate and retired gymnast. She wrote the Sound of Silver the summer after her junior year of college.

Tell us about yourself, family, where are you from, how long have you been writing?

Some fun facts: I’ve lived in the same town my whole life, I got my dream car (a silver pick-up truck) at seventeen, and my name is pronounced like Ruh-shell. 😉 I’ve been writing stories since middle school, although I didn’t finish my first full-length novel until my freshman year of high school. The Sound of Diamonds is my first historical novel.

How did you come to know Jesus as your Savior?

My mama, who taught us who Jesus is by story and example. J

Tell us about your latest book(s). What do want your readers to take away after the last page?

The Sound of Diamonds follows Gwyneth, a girl who wears glasses and believes in the God she’s been told about all her life, through the adventure of the Dutch Revolution and the Protestant Reformation. All she thinks she knows as truth is tested—mostly due to Dirk appearing to rescue her from a convent ablaze. I won’t give the rest away, but my hope is that all who read Gwyneth’s story are inspired to hold to hope no matter what might be crumbling around them.

How often do you blog and what do you cover in your blog?

Inspiring Daring is my online journal where I like to talk about daring, courage, and going for your dreams. I also blog regularly on the books I’m reading and writing. The common theme is great fiction because I’m a big believer in the power of story

Can you share with us a favorite book you have read?

Recently I finished The Lost Heiress by my favorite author and one of my editors, Roseanna M. White. I really enjoyed the look into the Downton-era—and how the heroine, Brook, felt like a friend as I read her story.

Can you share with us a Genesis 5020 in your life?

Two years ago I entered a big writing contest, hopeful that my entry would place and that would be how my publishing journey began. Instead, I didn’t even semi-final. I considered quitting writing, but I’m so very glad that instead I started talking to my publisher, WhiteFire. Months later, I signed a contract with them!

Do you have a life and/or a ministry verse?

I just love Isaiah 30:18 because those words remind me that God loves me so much He will rise up off His throne in order to be gracious to me, to show me love, to remind me He is with me, and to inspire me to live my life for His glory.

Where can we find you on the web?

I love social media! J

Facebook: http://facebook.com/InspiringDaring/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/RachelleRea/

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/RachelleRea/

Instagram: @RachelleDianeRea

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Rachelle-Rea/e/B00RZHIL1Q/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8144149.Rachelle_Rea

 

Is there anything I didn’t ask that you would like to add?

Thank you, Melissa, for having me today!

ABOUT The Sound of Silver

The stalwart saint and the redeemed rebel. One is fighting for faith, the other for honor…sound of silver

After Dirk rescues Gwyneth from the Iconoclastic Fury, she discovers that faith is sometimes fragile—and hope is not as easy as it may seem. Gwyneth continues her quest to learn more about the love of God preached by Protestants she once distrusted.

Meanwhile, Dirk’s quest is to prevent his sullied name from staining hers. Will his choice to protect her prove the undoing of her first faltering steps toward a Father God? Once separated, will Dirk and Gwyneth’s searching hearts ever sing the same song?

Thanks so much for visiting with my readers today. May God continue to bless your writing journey. 

Readers, come back tomorrow when I will review Rachelle’s book.

 

Write to the Point with Caryl McAdoo (Part 6) October 14, 2015

Filed under: Author Interviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:36 am
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01 Front - DaughtersAn interview with Elijah Eversole from Daughters Of The Heart, book five in the historical Christian Texas Romance series of author Caryl McAdoo

Hello sir, excuse me. Are you Mister Eversole? Mister Elijah Eversole?

Yes, ma’am. That’d be me.

Oh, good! It’s such an honor to have this opportunity, Mister Eversole. I’m with the Clarksville Standard, and while I’ve read plenty of stories about California and all the gold out there,  I’ve never ever even met anyone who’s actually been there before. Is it as beautiful as they say?

Plenty soothing on the eyes, ma’am. The sun setting over the Pacific…well, it can sure take your breath. And the mountains… Yes, Ma’am, it’s beautiful alright. If you’ll excuse me…

I only have a few questions. I’d really like to write an article for the paper, and you’re so interesting. So you own a goldmine? I mean you don’t look like it. No one would ever think you were rich by looking–no offense intended.

None taken, ma’am. Sorry, I can hardly keep from grinning. Wouldn’t want you to think I’m laughing at you or anything you said…it’s just, I’ve heard tell about the rumor mongering goes on in Red River County, and your information is way off from the Truth. I do own a small percentage in the very successful Jones and Risen Mining operation. God sure blessed me the day Moses Jones walked into my shop.

So you were in another business. What was that?

Well, you could say I was a smithy, but I prefer machinist. After the gold bug bit my pa, he and Ma left. I was still in my teens and took over his business to keep bread on the table. My love is making machines though, figuring out how to help a man do his job easier. Maybe more efficiently.

Wow. How admirable is that? So you must be so intelligent. Is there a Mis’ess Eversole, or a special girl back in San Francisco, Elijah?

No, ma’am, no mis’ess. There is a very special young woman in California, but you probably know her. Mary Rachel Buckmeyer…Wheeler…er, uh Risen.

Well of course I do! Mary Rachel and I went to the same church. Growing up, I spent a lot of time with her and Gwendolyn both. Do you know Gwen, too? Or Cecelia? Because if you don’t, I’d be happy to show you around Red River County. I could pack a picnic dinner and show you the Red….

That’s nice of you, ma’am.

Oh, please, you’ve just got to call me Ronnie, well, or Veronica if you prefer. Daddy wanted a boy I guess—I’m the oldest–and he hung that nickname on me ’fore I could walk.

Yes, ma’am, I mean Miss Veronica. Haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Mary’s sisters, but I’ve come to build a steam engine for their pa, so suppose I will. If they’re anything like their older sister, I was hoping…. Anyway, I best be on my journey, Miss Veronica. I understand the Buckmeyer place is about five miles south? Is that right?

Yessir, and a few more east. I could show you where they live, ride out there with you. You going GreenspedssoftUntitledto rent a rig? I could bring it back to town for you. Wouldn’t be any trouble. None at all.

I do appreciate your kindness, ma’am, but I’m thinking I might as well buy me a horse and buggy since I’ll be here a while. Could you be so kind as to point me to a livery?

Oh, yes! I’ll do better than that. Come on. I’ll walk you right over to Duck’s. Ain’t far, and he’s got the best deals in town.     

 

Daughters of the Heart

 

BLURB:

God’s perfect plan is oft so hard to determine.

In his life, Henry Buckmeyer has never been so beside himself. His little girls are so young, just babies, too young. He hates the whole idea of men coming to take them away and is inclined to shoot every one of them, but praise God for a level-headed, loving wife and step-mother! She helps keep him sane amidst the female chaos. Packed with fun, romance, deception, action, heartbreak and tears, this delightful Christian novel keeps the twists and turns coming.

Gwendolyn, Cecelia, and the youngest, Bonnie, make a pact never to break their father’s heart like their big sister did. Then their determination is sorely tried when suitors show up, and he gets so pigheaded with his rules.

Will Henry survive his daughters coming of age? Will they endure and keep their promises to each other?

From one man asking to court her—who Daddy sends packing—Gwen goes to three! How can she ever decide? Cecelia knows exactly who she wants, but she’s still a year away from Daddy’s acceptable courting age. What if her beau doesn’t know or won’t wait? And Bonnie hates being the baby and wants to be grown-up more than just about anything…except her man. She is for sure and for certain in love.

Will the Buckmeyer home ever be settled and peaceful again? Will any of his daughters find true love…a man he’ll approve and to whom he can give his blessing?

REVIEWS:

Oh those teenagers! Raging hormones, sibling rivalry, heads that are empty of anything except the cutest boy on the ranch, rebellion against parental control, full of themselves, conniving, conspiring to get their way . . . on and on it goes. Teenagers! To think, all of us were teenagers once upon a time back in medieval ages . . . at least that’s what teens think about their parents. Everyone knows Mom and Dad are so out of touch and old fashioned!

Judging from Daughters of the Heart, nothing has changed today from the 1850s. Caryl Lawrence McAdoo has penned a book to tickle the funny bone and warm the heart. Her characterizations are spot on, her plot believable and her writing compels the reader to turn the page. With a villain or two who give rise to a span of time when the reader’s heart leaps into their throat and three teenage daughters whose common sense has been doused by a healthy dose of hormones, not to mention, two parents who are kept on their toes from the antics of their brood, for sure, Daughters of the Heart will take you hostage and keep you up well past your bedtime.

This reviewer loved Daughters of the Heart. I do believe it is Caryl McAdoo’s best book yet. Now up for pre-order, the reader would be well advised to reserve their copy. Can hardly wait to see what comes next from Mrs. McAdoo’s rich imagination and gifted pen.

–Cass Wessel, multi-published author of devotionals

http://www.wordsabouttheword.com/recent-historical-fiction-release.html

 

A fun packed Christian romance novel with plenty of action, heartbreak, tears, deception, twists, and turns. Henry’s daughters, Gwendolyn and Cecelia are coming of age. His oldest daughter, Mary, had broken his heart when she eloped. Therefore they along with their younger sister, Bonnie, made a pact never to break their father’s heart like their big sister had, but when suitors show up, it’s hard for them to stay determined to keep their promises to each other. Will they ever know God’s will for their life? Will they find true love? Will Dad accept a suitor for them and give his blessings? Their loving stepmom helps them by helping their dad to see they are growing up, and he can’t hold them back. Will they realize that stepmom, May, loves them as daughters of her heart?

–Joy Gibson, a Tennessee reader and pastor’s wife

 

EXCERPT:

“Pa is going to be mad.”

Cecelia shot her little sister the look. The one that seemed to work less and less of late. “No, he is not.”

Bonnie leaned back on the surrey’s seat and crossed her arms over her budding chest. “Well, ten cents isn’t enough.”

“Bonnie Claire Buckmeyer! We made a deal. You know how Daddy feels about welching. You gave your word.”

“But I’m not talking about today. If you ever want me to chaperone you again, I want a quarter.”

“Mercy, girl! A dime is too much. Two bits is highway robbery.”

“Don’t care. I didn’t know we were going to just sit here and watch them work. It’s so boring. Why do you want to? Let’s just leave it.”

“They’ll break for dinner soon enough. I did not come all this way to just drop off the basket and hightail it back home.”

“Fine. Fifteen cents, and that’s my best offer.”

 

BIO:

Award winning author Caryl McAdoo currently writes four series: the historical Christian ‘Texas Romance’; a contemporary ‘Red River Romance’; The Generations, her Biblical fiction and a mid-grade The King’s Highway. The prolific, bestselling novelist loves singing new songs the Lord gives her and painting. In 2008, she and her high school sweetheart-husband Ron moved from the DFW area—home for fifty+ years—to the woods of Red River County. Caryl counts four children and sixteen grandsugars life’s biggest blessings believing all good things come from God. Praying her story gives God glory, she hopes each one will also minister His love, mercy, and grace to its readers. Caryl and Ron live in Clarksville, the county seat, in the far northeast corner of the Lone Star State with two grandsons, Christian and Benjamen.

 

LINKS:

All Books   –        http://tinyurl.com/CarylsAmazonPage

PRE-ORDER Daughtershttp://www.amazon.com/Daughters-Heart-Texas-Romance-Book-ebook/dp/B012EBN35G

Website       –        http://www.CarylMcAdoo.com

(All First Chapters are offered here)

Newsletter –        http://carylmcadoo.com/sign-up-to-the-caryler/

(Get FREE books for subscribing!)

Reviewer?   –        http://carylmcadoo.com/christian-evaluaters/

                                     (Join Caryl’s Street Team!)

Facebook    –        http://www.facebook.com/CarylMcAdoo.author

 

Blog            –        http://www.CarylMcAdoo.blogspot.com

GoodReads –        http://tinyurl.com/GoodReadsCaryl

Google+       –        http://tinyurl.com/CarylsGooglePlus

LinkedIn     –        https://www.linkedin.com/pub/caryl-mcadoo/23/623/5

Twitter        –        http://www.twitter.com/CarylMcAdoo

Pinterest     –        http://www.pinterest.com/CarylMcAdoo

Thanks for visiting us again, Caryl 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Write to the Point with Jennifer Slattery October 7, 2015

Filed under: Author Interviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:03 am
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Intertwined_N154121 (1)Today we get write to the point with Jennifer Slattery. Read on to learn about her newest release.

Tell us about your newest book.

I’d love to! It’s about a medical professional who’s forced into single parenting when her husband abandons her for another woman. It’s also about the man, an old flame, she encounters late one night in the hospital cafeteria who’s fighting to hold on to his boys when a fire threatens to destroy his restaurant and tragedy threatens to destroy him. These two find much needed support in one another and begin to wonder if God might have had an additional purpose—the romantic kind—in reuniting them.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

I’m a recent empty nester who’s been enjoying the special time with my husband. It’s almost like we’re on an extended vacation. We’ve been going to small towns near us to peruse antique stores, out to dinner, visiting art shoes and festivals. The other weekend our daughter came home for a visit and said, “You guys have become so social. You know, you could’ve done all that when I was home.”

Which is true, and we did, but perhaps less frequently. I’m not sure why our outings have increased since our princess left for college. She says it’s because she left a void that we’re trying to fill with events and daytrips. Maybe. Though I think it could be more that I’ve had a bit more breathing room, writing-wise, and want to take advantage of this extra time before my next deadline hits.

Where do you get your ideas?

Sometimes from listening to and interacting with others. Sometimes ideas come from things I’ve experienced. Sometimes a storyline just flows through my brain. And other times, an idea is triggered by an off-the-cuff Facebook comment left by a friend. That’s how Intertwined was born.

One day I posted a question on Facebook. I don’t remember what it was, and a friend responded, “Write about organ donation.”

I found her answer strange and completely off-topic. I’m not sure if I responded to her but in my mind I thought, “Um… no!” I knew nothing about organ donation or the medical field, expect what I’d seen on television, and we all know how accurate Hollywood is, right?

But a short time later, I awoke with my heroine Tammy Kuhn’s story playing through my mind. I knew her struggles; her fears; how, when and why her husband left her. (I was absolutely livid at him for doing this, by the way!) I also knew the emotional struggle she needed to overcome in order to experience the joy—and love—Christ had waiting for her.

I’ve been writing with Christ long enough to know when a story unfolds this clearly, it must come from Him, so, I sighed and said to Him, “Okay. I’ll write this, but I’m going to need A LOT of help.”

Then I called my friend, who worked as an organ procurement coordinator at the time, and reminded her of her comment on Facebook, asking if she’d help me with this novel. She said she would, although I doubt she had any idea just how much help I’d need! Poor Ami Koelliker! That woman is truly amazing and literally spent hours—HOURS, yes, enough to warrant all caps—teaching me the ins and outs of donation, and then reading the novel—three times!—to ensure its accuracy.

There’s no way I could’ve written this story without her.

Do you outline or are you a seat-of-the-pants writer?

I’m a big outliner, ever since I got the timeline really, really, I mean really, messed up in one of my stories. It took so much work straightening everything out, I decided it’d be easier to plot the scenes, their order, and the days they occur, before getting too far into the story. I also tend to be an incredibly insecure writer and am always afraid a story might not work or that my idea might not be strong enough to carry a full novel. By plotting it out, I can see holes and saggy middles before I begin to write. Sometimes this requires minor tweaks; other times a major reroute is in order.

Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?

As of yet, no. However, I’m still waiting to hear back from my publisher on one—an orphan story that’s very near to my heart. But hopefully I’ll receive good news soon! (Well, as soon as one can expect in the publishing industry. Haha.)

Are you like any of the characters in your book?

You know, I probably have bits of me in every character. For this one, I really get Tammy’s love for her children, her desire to protect them from emotional harm, and her uncertainty as to how to do that. I also understand her struggle in moving past the bitterness caused by being betrayed. In Tammy’s case, she must learn to forgive her husband before her unforgiveness destroys her. Though my husband’s never betrayed me, I have experienced betrayal from others, and that hurts. I’ve found the deeper the hurt, the harder it can be to forgive, but I’ve also found God’s command to forgive is for our own sakes. Because bitterness is toxic and can blead in to every area of our lives and every relationship we have.

Are you working on a new project now?

I am, thanks for asking! I’m in the rough draft stage for what I hope to be book three in a series I’m tentatively calling the Midwestern Romance series. Beyond I Do was book one, hopefully book two, Freedom to Love  (working title) will follow, then A Different Kind of Love (also a working title).

Here’s an unpolished, unedited, not final blurb for A Different Kind of Love:

Though she stands for everything he’s against, his heart won’t let him walk away.

 

All Robby wants to do is serve God, grow a godly family, and make a positive impact on the lives of others. But when a pregnant abortionist and a soon-to-be paroled father ignite the pain from his past, his mercy-filled love is overshadowed by a bitterness that threatens to destroy him. At what point can he walk away for good? And what will it cost him if he does?

 

Anything you would like to add?

Thanks for having me, Melissa! I always love visiting your blog. I’ve got a question for your readers. I shared how God moved me to say yes to something I’d already said no to. Has He ever done the same to you, and if so, how and when? I’d love to hear your divinely-redirected story!

 

BCheadshot2013 (1)Jennifer Slattery writes soul-stirring fiction for New Hope Publishers, a publishing house passionate about bringing God’s healing grace and truth to the hopeless. She also writes for Crosswalk.com, Internet Café Devotions, and the group blog, Faith-filled Friends. When not writing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband.

Visit with Jennifer online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.com and connect with her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/JenSlatte

 

Intertwined:

Abandoned by her husband for another woman, Tammy Kuhn, an organ procurement coordinator often finds herself in tense and bitter moments. After an altercation with a doctor, she is fighting to keep her job and her sanity when one late night she encounters her old flame Nick. She walks right into his moment of facing an unthinkable tragedy. Because they both have learned to find eternal purposes in every event and encounter, it doesn’t take long to discover that their lives are intertwined but the ICU is no place for romance….or is it? Could this be where life begins again?

Intertwined, part of New Hope Publisher’s contemporary fiction line, is a great reminder of how God can turn our greatest tragedies and failures into beautiful acts of love and grace. Readers will fall in love with the realistic characters and enjoy the combination of depth, heart-felt emotion and humor that makes Jennifer’s novels so appealing. Readers will be inspired to find God in every moment and encounter in their own lives!

 

Buy it:

CBD: http://www.christianbook.com/intertwined-a-contemporary-romance-novel/jennifer-slattery/9781596694439/pd/694430?event=ESRCN

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Intertwined-Jennifer-Slattery/dp/1596694432/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/intertwined-jennifer-slattery/1121268293?ean=9781596694439

Thanks so much for visiting with us again, Jennifer. I pray God will continue to bless your writing journey!

 

 

 

Write to the Point with Ann Lee Miller September 23, 2015

Filed under: Author Interviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:38 am
Tags: ,

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Today we get write to the point with Ann Lee Miller. Her newest book touches on a very hot topic. I haven’t had the chance to read her book but I have read the first chapter and that alone was enough to know this book wouldn’t be a fluffy read. The reality is we live in a world that needs to look at these tough issues and see the brokenness underneath and respond as Christ would. 

Today she shares about her own relationship with her dad, may you be touched and encouraged by her words.

Bio:
Ann Lee Miller earned a BA in creative writing from Ashland (OH) University and writes full-time in Phoenix, but left her heart in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, where she grew up. When she isn’t blogging memoir at AnnLeeMiller.com or muddling through some crisis—real or imagined—you’ll find her hiking in the Superstition Mountains with her husband or meddling in her kids’ lives. Over 100,000 copies of her debut novel Kicking Eternity, have been downloaded from Amazon.

Forgiving Dad

 

I stood in a slice of sun and dust motes coming through a gap in the storage barn while Dad rooted through our pre-boat life.

Dad barked at me to help him look for the box labeled “memorabilia.” He hunted the April, 1953 Athletic Journal that contained a four-page pictorial spread of him doing the backstroke for an article by swimming great Doc Counsilman.

I smarted from his tone of voice as I climbed over R.J.’s old crib that Mom held onto hopes of filling with a new baby.

Twelve years of Dad’s barbed words and disappointed sighs stuffed inside me like our possessions packed into the horse stall. Some of Dad’s slights were small like the green, blue, and brown antique bottles he salvaged from mangrove swamps, now tucked in dust-covered liquor boxes. Some were big like the dining room table with the broken base we’d propped up with a cement block.

I hefted aside the glass case that held Dad’s swimming medals. My knuckles brushed dust from the footboard of my parents’ bed, and I was six again, hanging upside down, letting my hair flop over the end of the mattress, contemplating a Dr. Seuss inverted world. I scrambled across the rumpled bedding to peer over the edge where Dad leaned against the headboard, reading the newspaper.

He smelled like Ivory soap.

Sunshine streamed through the open windows and glanced off the terrazzo floor, happy like I felt inside.

But Dad had run out of patience with my antics. He told me to quit trying to peek under the sheet at his birthday suit.

I squawked in protest. I didn’t even know he wasn’t dressed. And besides, my baby brother’s pee-shooting sack of extra flesh had satisfied all my curiosity about male anatomy.

But I could tell by his expression he didn’t believe me.

I slid boneless from the bed and slunk from the room.

I packed the emotional relic back into its cardboard box and shoved it into a corner of my soul with the rest of the things I didn’t want to think about.

Five years later when I was seventeen, Dad would stop me on the front stoop of our house in New Smyrna Beach—the step where I’d ducked out of more good-night kisses than I’d stood still for.

Dad must have sensed the Clampett collection of complaints I’d piled between us. “You hate me, don’t you?”

Of course, I didn’t hate him. He was being dramatic. But I didn’t particularly like him, either.

That year I chose Janis Ian’s At Seventeen—a song about an ugly, ignored girl—to play as I was presented on the homecoming court. A weird choice for a girl just voted attractive and popular by her classmates. But the song was true underneath my skin. Dad had written it there when I was six.

At twenty-two I scribbled a short story on loose leaf as Jim, my fiancé of ten months, studied across the living room of Fern’s boarding house where he lived.

“Write what you know,” my professor had said.

I knew… Dad and a hodgepodge of hurts.

I glanced at Jim. We thought we knew everything about each other, but Jim had never met Dad. I’d told him things that didn’t matter. Dad held a BS in business. He built a sluice box to pan for gold out West the year I was five. He made wine in the bathtub from grapefruit Hurricane Betsy knocked down.

I heaved in a breath and read aloud the bitterness I’d bled in ball point ink. Then I told the stories that hurt my throat to tell.

Jim waded through the flapped open boxes of my life and sat down, sliding an arm around me. “You hate your Dad.” The words echoed Dad’s on the stoop.

“I strongly resent him.”

“You need to forgive.”

I looked at Jim, incredulous. “Didn’t you hear anything I said? He doesn’t deserve my forgiveness.”

Jim covered my hand with his. “The forgiveness is for you.”

I tore my gaze from the compassion in his eyes “I can’t. It’s too hard.”

Jim’s voice was gentle, probing. “Do you believe God is strong enough to help?”

I surveyed the wreckage littering Fern’s Persian rug and sensed the dead calm I’d felt in the eye of Hurricane Betsy.

Bible words wafted to me, nothing is impossible with God.

I scanned Fern’s delicate old lamps and figurines that peered at me from the edges of the room. “I guess if He wanted to, He could use some of His power to help me forgive Dad.” But I wasn’t sure I wanted to let Dad off the hook.

“Good. Let’s pray.” Jim gripped my hand tighter, hope in his eyes.

“Now?” It took me six months to decide to get a haircut and Jim expected me to forgive Dad two minutes after the idea materialized?

“Yeah.” Jim’s arm felt heavy on my shoulders like his will pressing down on me.

But Jim was the one person who loved me unconditionally, who’d given me a picture of how God loved me. Neither of them would do anything to hurt me.

“Okay. Fine.” I dropped my chin to my chest, my hand still wrapped in Jim’s larger one.

His prayer splashed over me in a gentle rain of encouragement, and it was over way too soon.

I wondered where Fern and Jim’s housemates had gone. Were there any Hawkins Market cream sticks on the kitchen table?

I inhaled a breath for fortification. “I believe You can do anything. If You want to—help me forgive Dad.”

My eyes popped open. The anger sucked out of me as though through a divine vacuum cleaner. I felt… free. In its place something new sprouted. For the first time, I wanted to see Dad.

That was the day Dad started his bicycle trek from California to Ohio for my wedding—sleeping in graveyards along the way.

Three months later, I walked into my Aunt Barb’s house in Canton, Ohio, and gripped Dad’s bony shoulders in an awkward hug. The faint, familiar scent of BO clung to him.

He shook Jim’s hand as the room buzzed with relatives. And before the evening was over, Dad volleyed me a criticism.

Acid poured into my stomach, my body stiffened, bracing for the plunge and twist of Dad’s emotional knife.

But his negative words melted off me, pooling at my feet. Not even a flesh wound, Monte Python said in my head. And Dad’s words never again pierced me.

Far from lily white, I’m not proud of spending my adult life stiff-arming Dad from coming closer—as though God weren’t up to protecting me after all He’d done. I got in digs when I could.

But after the boat years, after my parents’ divorce, Dad kept coming back—every year of my life. He found me in Florida—Coconut Grove, Stuart, New Smyrna Beach, Ormond Beach, Lakeland, and Deland—Ashland, Ohio, Indianapolis, and Phoenix. He persisted, pursuing relationship with me when I wanted to give up. It was his steadfastness that told me he loved me.

And when liver cancer yellowed his skin and the whites of his eyes, he came home to die with me.

I rode away from the storage barn on that Miami winter day in 1970 in our two-toned Plymouth Valliant. In my lap, I cradled Dad’s past and my future God would heal.

Chasing Happy Back cover:

After an epic fail in the hetero world, Ash Jackson heads cross country to Arizona to figure out his bisexuality and make peaceChasingHappyFinal with himself and God.

Nashville Star Samma Templeton’s music career bankrolls her future husband’s political campaigns. But she throws up before every concert and feels relegated to an item on the senator’s calendar.

When Ash moves into Samma’s apartment building their childhood friendship resurrects, and Samma must choose between promoting a political agenda that will benefit millions or following her heart. Ash must face his inner demons for the girl who was his past and feels like his future.

Thanks so much for sharing with my readers, Ann. I pray God will continue to bless your writing journey.