An interview with Author Jacqueline Gillam Fairchild

Today, I welcome a new to me author, Jacqueline Gillam Fairchild. She has led an interesting life and has several books published. I always like to hear writers share their journey with me and what sparked that journey.

Thank you Jacqueline for visiting with me today. Tell my readers why you started writing.

I think women crave a prettier, kinder, independent world. Through my restaurant, my shoppe and my stories, I show women how this can be achieved. How they can find that gem inside themselves and develop it into their dream career or hobby.

I inspire and encourage women to leave the rat race before they are forced out, and to become self-starters in all the ‘dream’ categories from running a bed and breakfast, tea room, bridal business, photographer, pastry chef, interior designer and floral designer, to name a few.

My stories include the beginning and end—the very young and the very old and the ties we make with them in the middle. And perhaps a bit of whimsical magic, because, after all, there is that magic inside of us that sometimes we just miss. I think of myself as Hallmark meets Disney.

I can so visualize that combination. What a great description. I understand you have a few series available.

I have two series at this time. My Mid-West series showcases a part of the country I now live in and care very much about. Estate of Mind, Make Me Over, The Scrap Book Trilogy, The Dating Agency series of four. My Nantucket series has recently found a new publisher. I have a special place in my heart for Nantucket and have been there countless times. I think it is a spot many people hear about but have not been. It is not the easiest place to get to as it is tucked away in the ocean. As a result, it has its own mystery and lure. I write about this. I also have several cookery books that I believe will be published soon. 

Cookbooks of local cuisine are always an interesting find when visiting an area. Jacquelyn, what is your lastest  project?

My newest story is being released soon. It is number three in my Nantucket Tuck You Inn Series: The Mermaid Mansion. 

 Do you believe in mermaids? Well, it’s a lot easier if you live on Nantucket. After all, that’s where they all are. It’s not that the Mermaid Mansion was cursed; it was just locked up for 100 years, with the understanding that at the appropriate time it be opened and restored. And the appropriate time, Tabatha Tucker proprietress of the Tuck You Inn next door, decided was now. 

Plucky five-year-old Clemmie enters her over worked interior designer mum in a contest to restore a mansion that had been locked 100 years–on Nantucket, next door to the elderly Miss Tabatha Tucker’s Tuck You Inn, simply because the child wants her mum’s life to be better.

Can a crayon drawing of a mansion and a mermaid get Miss Tabatha’s attention as a serious contestant? Apparently yes. 

Octogenarian Auntie Clara lands at the Tuck You Inn, with simply her scrap book. It seems whatever she puts in her scrap book happens … but other than a little mind reading, she assures Miss Tabatha she is quite normal. Auntie Clara not only has a need to be needed, she begins an ongoing friendship with 5 year old Clemmie. 

Once a broody Scot architect is in place, the mansion’s real work begins. But Auntie Clara and Clemmie discover similarities to the original mansion’s owners, Clemmie, her mum, and the architect. 

Come with me to a seven mile island that finds it easy to believe the sea is full of magic, and meet a five-year- old child who simply believes what she sees, and who not only solves the mystery of the mansion, helping the pirate and mermaid’s souls finally rest, but finds a dad and honorary grandma.  

For anyone who has read my Scrap Book Trilogy and met Auntie Clara, they will be happily reunited with her as she takes a permanent holiday to Nantucket.

Sounds like an fun story

 What kind of research went into this book? 

I feel very strongly about only writing about things I know. I have read so many great stories that fell short because the author missed a point or two of reality about something or other. My experiences are vast, and I have a lot to draw from. I have had the good fortune of being in so many of the fields women are interested in from being an Interior Designer, working at a florist, being an avid gardener, studying at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, running a British Tea Room (Her Majesty’s English Tea Room), being in the fashion business, having owned a photography business, being a gemologist, owning and running a boutique (Fairchild’s Ltd), being a cast member of the Murder Mystery troupe at Grand Hotel Mackinac Island,  and so many more.  I write about places I have been and feel comfortable with. I want to share these things with my readers. 

Seeing places first hand always adds to a story. Tell me what inspired you to write your book?

Like so many other writers, I have a story in me that wants to be told. I believe so many things that I write can comfort other people, especially with a message tucked in a novel. 

So true. Novels can speak to things that a reader might not talk to others about.

Do you have a favorite motto that resonates with you? 

Be true to yourself. 

If you could go back in time and give one piece of advice for your younger self about writing, what would that be? 

Whatever you are doing right now is important. It is making you who you are. You do not need to start your future career now, as a matter of fact your future career may change a million times. Your story will unfold. Live today and be true to yourself and this will take you where you are meant to go. 

Excellent advice. Too bad no one told us that when we were young.

Who is your best support system to keep you focused on your writing? 

I have a small writer’s group and we encourage each other. I try to always look to people doing better than me, no matter what their field of interest is. They are the true inspiration. People who follow their hearts and make their dreams come true.

What is your favorite genre to read for fun? 

I like cozy romance and cozy mystery. I also can while away an entire evening with a good cookbook. Travel books to places I love always capture me as I am an armchair traveler at times. As a former Interior Designer, I love the design books because a part of my heart always goes to interior design. 

Where is your favorite place to write? 

Anywhere I have a pen and my clip board. I can literally disappear into the characters I am working on. And I find sometimes a few minutes here and a few there keep me going. 

Today, Jacqueline is featuring Becoming Santa and Looking for Santa. You’ll find links to these books.

Becoming Santa, Book One of the Nantucket Tuck You Inn series

What if you were destined to become the next Santa Claus yet not only fought the idea—simply couldn’t grasp it?

Even if you were in love with the person proposing the idea to you? Even if your son felt he’d found his new mom? After all, how could you believe in something so totally outrageous when you don’t even believe in yourself…?

And when the love of your life leaves, because it is almost Christmas and she has work to do, you cast all logic to the winds and chase after her. Your only address is Santa’s Village, North Pole. Your planes get smaller until you find yourself on a train going through Candy Land and King Kandy himself taking you by sleigh to Santa’s Village.

A story of a young man who cannot believe in himself mind Santa Claus, and a young boy who doesn’t question his belief just feels he has found a mom.

Looking for Santa, Book Two in the Tuck You Inn Series

Santa Claus has a summer house on Nantucket! Absurd!

But ace New York Times reporter Max is on a ferry to the island, to satisfy his young nieces, when he meets the elusive Noel, part time dress designer for Nantucket’s #1 boutique, and part time designer to the first family of Santa’s Village, and starts to change his tune.

Is the entire island hiding Santa’s secret and if so what would it take to crack the exclusive circle of insiders—short of love?  But of course, first Max needs to believe …

Join me from the magical island of Nantucket to the North Pole and start to believe all over again .Take an arm chair visit to the enchanting island of Nantucket, and then zip right up to Santa’s Village all while immersing you in the world of high end magical fashion design. Just be prepared to hold on to your heart …

About Jackie:

Jacqueline Gillam Fairchild writes cozy fiction stories that are escapes to countryside settings, and also on Nantucket Island. She writes of women who are ready to take the leap into starting their own business, or who just want to start over. At the heart of Jacqueline’s writing is the belief we all want a life that is just a little bit prettier and maybe a little bit magical.

Jacqueline owned Her Majesty’s English Tea Room, and her British store Fairchild’s, in the middle of the middle with her Pekingese, Piewacket and now runs an online shoppe Teatimwithhermajesty.com and writes novels. A former Interior Designer who studied pastry at Le Cordon Bleu, her business was a finalist for Gift and Decorating Accessories Magazine’s Retailer of the Year award and won the prestigious Icon Award Americasmart Atlanta. Youtu.be/HK3_bUCqbWE. Jacqueline is also a script writer and is a cast member of the Grand Hotel Murder Mystery Troupe.

Enjoy her daily blog at teatimewithhermajesty.com, and on Facebook at Her Majesty’s’ English Tea Room and Jacqueline Gillam Fairchild.

Her Books are available through teatimewithhermajesty.com and on Amazon.

Follow her on Linked in and Pinterest.

Links:

Jacqueline Gillam Fairchild

Teatimewithhermajesty.com

Facebook at Her Majesty’s English Tea Room

Youtu.be/HK3_bUCqbWE

Thank you for joining me today, Jackie.

Zanne Marie Dyer Christian Counselor to Mystery Write and a Fun Giveaway

I’m delighted to have Zanne Marie Dyer with me today to share her transition from Christian clinical counseling to writing murder mysteries. She also has a fun giveaway. Thanks so much for being my guest today, Zanne. Please tell my readers a little about your writing journey.

As early as seven years old, I’d secretly ride my bike two miles, across a major highway, to get to the closest library. I’d sit on the library floor, like it was holy ground, pouring over books. Writing became a natural outflow of that young passion, scribbling ideas everywhere, even on my hands and arms. But life leads in many unexpected directions—mine led to a career in clinical counseling. My work put me in touch with many beautiful people, but where there are victims there are also offenders. It was at this same time, I met a few malignant criminal minds, up-close and personal. Strangely, these dark figures became an inspiration to not only write stories about crime and sociopaths, but to use words to bring light out of darkness.

You have me intrigued Zanne, the suggestion  that writers should write what they know resonates with your work. Now, talk about your latest published project.

 

My suspense novel, Dark Motives, has been recently launched. I’ve stylized this murder mystery to make readers feels as if they’re walking real-time beside the main character, Detective Jet Wholeman, as he solves a case of abduction and murder. Jet has definite skills, but he also has some serious distractions—a struggling marriage and an alluring journalist, busy weaving her web of seduction. Another layer of challenges emerge with the development of a local terrorist cell. This story has enough going on to entertain both men and women.

One of my objectives in writing this book was to recruit men to Christian fiction. By far, women are the greatest fans of this genre. I believe the lack of male interest is due mainly to the watered-down men portrayed in today’s books. With this in mind, I created an alpha-male detective. Jet has an irresistible, boyish charm—the type women crush on—but he’s also a guy that men can relate to. Although Jet is a flawed character, in danger of losing everything he holds dear, he faces many of the same challenges of a real man, in a real world. I believe this is one of the most significant factors in making men such big fans of this book. And for the record, this is not just another story about death and danger, but about the greater threat of a man about to lose his eternal soul.

I love your desire to grab male readers. My husband has begun to read more fiction since he retired. Strong believable male characters are so crucial to a great story. How do you research your books?

My husband specializes in criminal law, so he’s my go-to person for legal and criminal procedure. Also, his work puts me within reach of local police officers and detectives who’ve been kind enough to help me out. But my favorite research is in true-crime podcasts and television shows like Forensic Files, Criminal Minds (I fast-forward the darkest parts) and The Mentalist. I also love geographical, boots-on-the-ground research, and for Dark Motives this was a cakewalk—Fort Lauderdale is my hometown. The land of ocean, sunshine, palm trees and copious crime.

What inspired you to write your book?

As I said earlier, my background in psychology played a major part in my writing. I counseled many victims of heinous and violent abuse. Some of the offenders were not only untreatable but had a sadistic enjoyment for the pain they inflicted—clinical sociopaths. Some were so evil I wondered how they could possibly co-exist with the rest of us. Most mental health experts would say a sociopath is a combination of genetics and experience, but my faith told me there was something more. My quest to understand the warped wiring of these almost sub-humans intensified. With all of the research and information I had floating around in my head, it was only a matter of time before I was compelled to write a murder mystery. As I wrote, I made an unexpected, personal discovery. I realized that while I enjoyed helping victims in the healing process, my greatest desire was to stop the evil causing their pain. Clearly this is God’s job, not mine, but we all have our own flawed fantasy of justice; mine just happens to be expressed in a crime/detective novel. Uniquely, an author can use her imaginary super-powers to create good and abolish evil. Writing a book on good versus evil is pretty empowering, but the real power is in the Christian message.

Another great inspiration has been Word Weavers International. This large group of Christian writers provide support on many levels, but for me, the most profound help came in the form of their critique groups. In this format, members read an excerpt of a writer’s work and give skillful feedback about technique and content.

Yes, Word Weavers is a wonderful group. I’d recommend it to anyone wanting to improve their writing craft or a novice writer.

How did you create your story’s characters?

I think my characters are a combination of thousands of different people I’ve met throughout a lifetime. Some characters may be a combination of three separate people, others just pop out of my over-active imagination. But I’m sure I’ve met all my characters somewhere, at some time, and a few of them are still hanging around in the

dark corners of my unconscious mind.

 

When did you realize your calling to create words on paper to share with the world?

Since the day I became a believer in Jesus Christ, my desire has been to live-out my passion for him. When I first started writing, I told the Lord—If one person, just one person, becomes a believer because of my words, then I’ll deem myself a success. And I’ve stuck to that.

Do you have a favorite verse that resonates with you?

Right now, I hold fast to a verse that I believe is most fitting for the times we live in. “Do not be overcome by evil,but overcome evil with good.” (Ro.12:21).

If you could go back in time and give one piece of advice to your younger self about writing, what would that be?

I’d tell myself—take writing classes! I’ve discovered writing is more than just fancy words and pretty adjectives. Stringing words together with clarity, visuals, and emotion is not only an art but a science.

That is so true. As a writer what is your favorite genre to read for fun?

To keep my writing sharp and up to date, I stick to the crime/detective genre.

But if I want to relax and escape, I go for historical fiction with a little romance thrown in.

Tell us, where is your favorite place to write?

I love a quiet place with a water view, but if I need a writing jolt, I run to the nearest coffee shop. But it’s much more than a caffeine fix I’m looking for. Somehow, the muted background noise of coffee dispensers, buttons and beeps, and quiet chatter seem to simultaneously calm and excite my brain neurons.

More about Zanne Marie Dyer

Zanne Marie Dyer resides in Daytona Beach with her husband and has three young adult children. As a former Christian Clinical Counselor, she became increasingly interested in the psychology of the criminal mind. Her dream to write has resulted in a new mystery murder novel, Dark Motives. She is now working on a sequel, focusing once more on Detective Jet Wholeman, and his unique style of tracking down homicidal killers. Additional projects include a series of devotionals on the mindset of being heaven-bound versus earth anchored.

Zanne is currently a Chaplain for Word Weavers International and provides periodic Christian counseling services at her local church. Her hobbies include water activities, painting, ballroom dancing, and spending time with her children and their families.

Connect with Zanne Marie Dyer:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1951970551/

 

https://www.instagram.com/zannemariedyer/

 

https://m.facebook.com/zannemariedyer/

 

http://zannedyer.com/

 

https://www.goodreads.com/ZanneMarieDyer

 

 

Now for the GIVEAWAY

Zanne will do a giveaway for a copy of Dark Motives. Leave a comment here on the blog for a chance to win. A winner will be chosen from a drawing to receive a paperback copy. If you’re up to a fun challenge, please help name the killer/sociopath that will appear in her next novel. Simply add a first name in the comments section. This step is optional.

 

I know those who follow my blog are creative. Can’t wait to see the names you all post.

 

The drawing will be on Monday, September 28th, and Zanne will reach out to the winner for their contact information.

A peek at Sherri Stewart’s newest work and a giveaway

Sherri Stewart is my special guest today. Like me, she is a Jubilee Writer. One who started her career later in life. I am so encouraged by her life message and her newest release.

Welcome, Sherri. I always like to start out these interviews learning about my guest’s writing journey.

I came to writing late in life, but my publisher has been helpful in keeping her writers busy writing for new series and collections. I’ve had a lot of careers: French teacher, Principal, Flight Attendant, and Immigration Attorney, which inform my writing a great deal. Word Weavers International opened my eyes to the world of writing and helped me improve. Now I run a freelance editing business and have too much work since March when the pandemic began. I guess there are a lot of writers who dusted off old projects during the last five months.

As busy as you are you’ve managed to get another of your own projects done. Tell us a bit about it.

The Promise Keeper is a romance novella that will also be part of a Christmas collection. The common theme is “Misstletoe,” missed chances. Readers who enjoyed Serendipity, An Affair to Remember, and Sleepless in Seattle will like this book.

I’m intrigued. I loved those movies.

All writers do research on some level to bring realism to their work. How do you research your books?

First, I read every book I can find on the period and place in which the book takes place. I watch every documentary on Prime and on YouTube. There’s a goldmine of information on YouTube. So for my latest release, The Promise Keeper, the characters meet in London at an Eagles’ concert, so I bought tickets to their concert at Wembley Stadium, and if the characters eat at a specific restaurant, I eat at the restaurant—even order the same food. I walk the streets to get a feel for the architecture, the atmosphere, the smells, etc. Sadly, because of the COVID virus, I had to cancel my trip to the UK. But I’ve been studying the Welsh language for the last six months, and I’ve watched every travel film I could find on Wales. Fortunately, some of the book took place in Atlanta so we were able to visit without fear of spreading the virus to other lands.

I appreciate that you didn’t let COVID keep you from your research. There is so much available information out there without traveling to a location. I love how immersed you get in your research. Can’t wait to read The Promise Keeper. We authors often get a germ of an idea that evolves from there. What inspired you to write your book?

I’m not a big chick-flick fan, but I have my favorites—Julia Roberts in My Best Friend’s Wedding, Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality, and Kate Beckinsale in Serendipity. In fact, it was Serendipity that made me start thinking, what if? There’s something charming about destiny bringing two people together, yet it’s even more exciting if the God who created us has a special someone in mind for us, and He brings us together in creative ways. That’s the essence of the providence of God. So I started thinking: What if God had two Americans who live far apart meet up in another country? Since they’d eventually return to their own homes, they’d have to make plans to meet up sometime in the future. Wales came to mind. I don’t know why because I’ve never been there, but since choosing Wales, I’ve fallen in love with the country and have been studying Welsh, which is a daunting language.

Wow! What a wonderful premise. Thank you so much for giving us a peek into your writing process and your upcoming novella.

A bit more about my guest:

Sherri Stewart loves a clean novel, sprinkled with romance, and a strong message that challenges her faith. She spends her working hours with books—either editing others’ manuscripts or writing her own. Her passion is traveling to the settings of her books, sampling the food, and visiting the sites. Sadly, her research for The Promise Keeper trip to Wales and London was canceled due to COVID, but she did visit Atlanta, and she’s still learning Welsh for a future visit. A recent widow, Sherri lives in the Orlando area with her lazy dog, Lily, and her son, Joshua, who can fix anything. She shares recipes, tidbits of the book’s locations, and pix in her newsletter. Subscribe at http://eepurl.com/gZ-mv9

A giveaway- who doesn’t love those.

 Sherri will do a giveaway of The Promise Keeper. Leave a comment here on teh blog for a chance to win. She’ll choose a winner on Friday to receive either a paperback or e-book copy.

Link for The Promise Keeper: https://amzn.to/2Y07QP0

 

Connect with Sherri Stewart

https://www.amazon.com/author/sherristewart/ 

https://www.facebook.com/sherristewartauthor/

https://twitter.com/machere

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/758893.Sherri_Stewart

www.stewartwriting.com

https://www.instagram.com/stewart_sherri/

https://www.bookbub.com/profile/sherri-stewart

 

If you are visiting for the first time and enjoyed this interview why not subscribe to get more sneak peek interviews and other writerly content.

 

 

 

From Captivity to Freedom-Author Gail Porter

Gail Porter’s new release addresses a subject we all struggle with, rejection. she’s here today to share her writing journey and a bit about herself. Welcome, Gail.

Let’s start with how you began your writing journey toward publication.

The opportunity to become a serious writer opened up when I timidly joined the Orlando Chapter of Word Weavers International. Having the chance to know this encouraging group of writers and sit in a critique group each month improved my writing and built my confidence to create non-fiction articles and books.

Participating in the annual Central Florida Christian Writers Conferences also gave me the chance to sit in on professional workshops and make appointments with editors, publishers, and agents to pitch my current manuscript. The conferences honed my writing skills and paved the way to become a published author.

I love Word Weavers. I wouldn’t be published today without the critque help. I learned so much. So, tell us about your newest project.

My latest book is Will the Real Person Please Stand Up: Rising Above the Fear of Rejection. God’s direction to write this book about the fear of rejection took me by surprise. Most of my adult life I’d been unaware that this devastating fear ruled my life. Through writing this book, I learned a lot about myself. Isn’t that often what happens to us writers?

Absolutely true. What kind of research did you do?

Writing this book thrust me into a deep search for what my early childhood was like. From my adult perspective, there was no reason why a fear or rejection had evolved. Yet, a trusted counselor and a friend gifted in the healing of our pasts, helped me see with child’s eyes. I made crucial discoveries and uncovered buried memories that helped shed light on how I felt in those days: sad, lonely, unimportant, and unloved. For the first time in my life, I realized that my parents’ inability to create a loving connection had left me with unfulfilled longings for their love and acceptance.

Wow, I’m impressed with your willingness to share your heart with us.

Fear of rejection had ruled my life and my lack of love and acceptance fueled my efforts to try to be the person everyone else wanted me to be. I built many emotional defenses against rejection, which served to only keep me alone and isolated from people. Realizing this truth gave me the courage to come out of hiding and let God tear down my defenses so I could walk on His path of freedom. Because of my journey, I am passionate about helping others escape captivity and experience freedom to be all God created them to be.

What a powerful ministry, Gail.  Now let me ask a few questions I always ask my blog guests.

When did you realize your calling to create words on paper to share with the world?

While attending one of the Central Florida Christian Writers Conferences, the keynote speaker looked over the audience of perhaps 400 people and made a declaration that became a turning point in my life. He said, “If you write, you are a writer.” Accepting that truth, freed me to write with confidence and share His words so that readers could know about Him and His plan for their lives.

Do you have a favorite verse that resonates with you?

While writing my book, Galatians 5:1 became my theme verse: “It was for freedom that Christ set you free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” I became a slave to my fear of rejection and hid behind an invisible wall and emotional masks to protect myself from rejection. God rescued me from my life of slavery so I could experience the freedom Jesus died to give me. I need to stand firm in this freedom and never become enslaved again.  

If you could go back in time and give one piece of advice for your younger self about writing what would that be?

Be myself. Write what God lays on my heart and trust that He will use my words to help change the lives of readers. I am uniquely designed, so I have no reason to compete with anyone else.

Where is your favorite place to write?

If you visited me, you’d find me writing at my dining room table, in front of two patio doors, where I can look out and see foliage of every kind, colorful flowers, and many Florida birds. Writing for hours is not a problem for me, because each time I lift my head from my computer, this scenery refreshes me and gives me an outward view.

 Sounds lovely and inspiring.

More about Gail Porter

Gail Porter is an inspirational author, speaker and workshop leader. She spent fifty years serving with Cru/Campus Crusade for Christ in the U.S. as well as in the Philippines. She’s had extensive experience in speaking at women’s conferences in many countries. Gail is a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA) and Word Weavers International (WWI.)  Her latest book, Will the Real Person Please Stand Up: Rising Above the Free of Rejection, highlights her passion to help those who struggle with the fear of rejection know how to escape captivity and experience freedom to be all God created them to be.

Gail lives in Orlando, Florida. In addition to writing and speaking, she enjoys ballroom dancing and her favorite role as aunt to her nieces and nephews.

Visit Gail’s Website to learn more about her books and to request her to speak. Follow her Blog and  connect with her on Facebook: gail.porter.731.

Grab a copy of Gail’s books.

Links to her books:

Will the Real Person Please Stand Up?    Amazon Link Redemption Press Link  Barnes & Noble Link

Life Through Loss     Amazon Link  Barnes & Noble Link

 

Click here to take the Fear of Rejection Quiz.

.

About the Book

Will the Real Person Please Stand Up? Rising Above the Fear of Rejection offers hope to those who long to be set free from the fear of rejection. In this life-changing book you will read Gail’s own experiences, stories of real people, and input from those in the medical field. You will learn how to identify and acknowledge the defenses you’ve built that keep you isolated and alone. Gail helps you escape captivity and experience freedom to be all God created you to be. She knows from personal experience the devastation that comes from choosing bondage instead of freedom. The reflection questions at the end of each chapter make this an easy book to study in a small-group setting.

If you want to keep discovering more new releases and writerly things please subscribe to Jubilee Writer before you leave. Please and thank you.

Cindy

Returning to Writing After Life Interrupts and a Giveaway

During this time when life threw us a curveball. I think this guest blog by Norma Gail is very timely.  The time gap between her first novel and its sequel is a lesson for all of us Thank you for joining us, Norma.

In the midst of building your writing career what put the skids on it for a season?

The first book came too easy. I received a contract following my second writer’s conference. The second was to take six years. My debut novel, Land of My Dreams, released in April of 2014. Two years later, the sequel was written, but it was rejected. I set it aside and concentrated on promoting the book I had, fearing more rejection. Sure enough, when I got up the courage to pitch it again, the editor rejected it. Then life got complicated.

About four years ago, I began to make a five-hour trip about every 2-3 months to help my childless aunt and uncle in their 90’s. My mom died halfway through that time period, shortly after my second knee replacement. Within two months, my cousins and I moved our aunt and uncle to assisted living near me. I helped clean out both houses. My aunt died several months after their move, and I had two ablations for atrial fibrillation. I still care for my uncle.

Throughout these experiences, there has been a lot of pain and struggle. I couldn’t write a sentence that didn’t sound hurt and angry. That’s not a heart attitude that allows you to share your words with others.

I understand that feeling. But you did begin again.

When did you know it was time to resume writing and how did you go about restarting?

When you fall off a bicycle, you get back on and try again. Twenty-five percent of the reviews for Land of My Dreams ask for another book. I felt a responsibility to give them one. I also knew that God had given me the story for the sequel, one very dear to me. I started slow, just re-reading the manuscript, which had been edited. Reading it reminded me of how much I loved the characters and the story. I wanted it to be read. I began to write again, and things just flowed. The editor loved it more than the first book.

Add a comment for a chance to win a copy.

I couldn’t blog or write anything after my mom died, exhausted from surgery and emotion. A year later, I attended another writer’s conference and pitched my sequel again. I felt this story was truly what God wanted me to write. A publisher who knew the first book, and believed there was a market for the second one, offered to publish it for me. The result is Within Golden Bands, the story of my heart.

How did it feel to finally get words on paper again?

I had let Within Golden Bands go, but the book wouldn’t let go of me. As I regained strength, the desire to write returned. After I knew it would finally be published, I began blogging again. I’m not doing as much as I did before, that will come with time, but I am writing again. I’ve been through a lot. Sitting down and writing is good therapy. It helps me heal and it’s a good escape.

 I admire your determination. What lessons did you learn during this time?

The biggest lesson is that it’s a mistake to quit writing completely. If all you can do is journal, then journal every day, but never stop putting words on paper like I did. That hurt more than anything else. To not write created a hole in my heart. If I had written, I would have healed faster. Two deaths, four surgeries, and all the family dynamics that surround such major life changes needed an outlet.

Writing is a gift, and God calls us to use the gifts He has given us. After leading women’s Bible studies for over 21 years, I knew better than to ignore a call from the Lord. I also felt the need to minister to someone out of all the things I experienced. Both writing fiction and the devotionals for my blog stem from what the Lord has done in my life, lessons learned from walking with Him for many years. Once I began to write, all the hurt from my difficult experiences began to heal.

Fiction speaks to people who will never attend a Bible study. My feelings come out through the experiences of my characters. Writing allows me to share how the Lord has worked in my own life, even it’s not my personal story. I see writing as a ministry, the same as leading Bible studies. I must write.

About Land of My Dreams:

Alone and betrayed by a former fiancé, American professor Bonny Bryant accepts a position at a small college in Fort William, Scotland. But when she meets a fellow professor, Bonny discovers her wounds may be the scars of healing Kieran MacDonell needs to reach past his own grief. Land of My Dreams spans the distance between New Mexico’s high desert mountains and the misty Scottish Highlands with a timeless story of overwhelming grief, undying love, and compelling faith.

About Within Golden Bands:

Newly married Bonny MacDonell finds the transition from American college professor to Scottish sheep farmer’s wife more difficult than she expected. When her miracle pregnancy ends in a devastating miscarriage, she fears her husband’s reaction will hurt more than the loss of their child.

But Kieran never shows up at the hospital. When found, he is beaten and unconscious. The only memory of his attacker is the words, “Get off my land.” Reeling from the threat to her husband and the loss of their child, Bonny struggles to hold her marriage together. When faith in love is not enough, where do you turn?

Norma, your feelings do truly come out in your words and many women will be touched by them. Thank you for coming. I look forward to having you visit a few more times as the release of Within Golded Bands draws near.

Giveaway:

While we wait were going to have a drawing for the first book in the series: Land of My Dreams.

Tell us about any struggles you are having trying to get words on paper or just say I’d love a copy of the book in the comment section below.

Your name will be entered in a drawing. The winner may choose either a Kindle or a paperback version.

About Norma Gail:

Norma Gail writes Fiction to Refresh Your Spirit. Her contemporary novels, Land of My Dreams, which won the 2016 Bookvana Religious Fiction Award, and Within Golden Bands (releasing May 19, 2020), explore the theme of women whose faith triumphs over trials. A women’s Bible study leader for over 21 years, her devotionals and poetry have appeared at ChristianDevotions.us, the Stitches Thru Time blog, Inspire a Fire, and in “The Secret Place.” She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America, Historical Writers of America, and the Women’s Fiction Writers Association. Norma is a former RN who lives in the mountains of New Mexico with her husband of 44 years. They have two adult children. To connect with her, you can follow her blog, or join her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Goodreads, or Amazon.

Follow her on social media:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/AuthorNormaGail/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Norma_Gail

LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/norma-gail-holtman-3b271a42/

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/normagailth/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/normagailwrites/

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7874459.Norma_Gail

Amazon Author Page – https://www.amazon.com/Norma-Gail/e/B00ILHXBAK/

Order her books:

Land of My Dreamshttps://www.amazon.com/Land-My-Dreams-Norma-Gail-ebook/dp/B01ENKEL02/

Within Golden Bands – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B084TSQ432/

 

Before I sign off, don’t forget to comment below for a chance to win Land of My Dreams.

 

Author Melissa Henderson uses her personal experience to write for children

I love sharing other authors writing journeys on Jubilee Writer. Today I welcome Melissa Henderson. She’s going to have a drawing for a copy of her children’s book  at the end of this post. Don’t miss it. Thank you for being with me today, Melissa.

What prompted you to write a children’s book?

The inspiration for writing my children’s book, “Licky the Lizard” was based on two things. The first and most important is that I wanted to write a story for our first grandchild. He is 2 years old now. I wanted to share my love of writing and reading with him.

What a wonderful reason.

 

The second reason I wrote the story is to share how I overcame my fear of lizards. Well…to be honest, I am still working on being totally rid of the fear of lizards.

 

In the story, a lady is afraid of the lizard who lives outside her front door. She realizes the lizard is just as afraid of her as she is of it.

Sounds like a fun story.

 

My love for reading and writing began at an early age. My parents enjoyed reading and shared the love of the written word with me. From reading newspapers to books to visiting the local library or bookmobile, there was always something to read in our home.

 

I was blessed with wonderful teachers in elementary school who noticed my love of stories. Those special teachers encouraged my writing and gave me inspiration to continue my writing journey.

 

Do you have a favorite verse?

Philippians 4:4 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.

This Scripture reminds me of the love God has for us. I wake in the morning and before my feet touch the floor, I am rejoicing and thanking God for His blessings.

Who is your best support?

My family gives me great encouragement in my writing. Also, I participate in several writers groups in the area. All writers need encouragement to press on in their writing experience.

 

 

Back Cover Copy:   click here to order.

Licky the Lizard is one nice lizard, and just like you and me, he’s one of God’s own creations. Unfortunately, we sometimes forget that we’re really all the same—because He created everything in our world. We feel afraid because of our differences.

What happens when Licky the Lizard comes face to face with a lady who’s going in and out of her house? When the lady sees Licky, he causes her quite a fright! But guess what? Licky is also scared. Of her. They’re scared of each other! Then Licky and the lady remember that there is no need to be afraid. They were both created by God, and that’s what makes them very special.

In Licky The Lizard, author Melissa Henderson offers parents, grandparents, and educators a tale that teaches young children a simple, yet important message: There is no need to fear any of God’s creatures because we are all created by Him—and He loves us all.

More about Melissa.

Melissa Henderson is a writer of inspirational messages. Her first book for children, “Licky the Lizard”, was released in 2018. She also has a story in the compilations “Heaven Sightings” and “Remembering Christmas”. She contributes articles and devotions to various magazines and websites. Her passions are helping in community and church. Melissa is an Elder, Deacon and Stephen Minister. She and her husband Alan moved from Virginia to South Carolina to be near son, daughter-in-love and first grandchild. The family motto is “It’s Always A Story With The Hendersons”.

Follow Melissa on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and at http://www.melissaghenderson.com

 

Giveaway:

Melissa is happy to give away a signed copy of “Licky the Lizard”. Answer the question to put your name in the drawing.

Question- Are you afraid of lizards?

Put your answer in the comments. We will draw a name on Monday.

 

Melissa Henderson, Award Winning Author Social Media links:

Website and blog: http://www.melissaghenderson.com

Facebook: Melissa Henderson, Author

Pinterest: Melissa Henderson

Twitter: @mimionlife

Buy links:

“Licky the Lizard” http://a.co/d/0a3COnd

“Heaven Sightings” http://www.amzn.com/B07NDMCRZC

“Remembering Christmas” http://www.amazon.com/dp/1604950595

 

A peek into Penny Cooke’s writing journey

Today I welcome Biblical Life Coach and debut author Penny Cooke to Jubilee Writer. Congratulations on being a finalist in 2020 Selah Awards. Penny, let’s start by talking a little about your writing journey.

I always wanted to write but didn’t think a nobody like me could ever get published. Then God started opening doors. I had been asked to teach a class on prayer at church. Then came an opportunity to write articles for an online magazine based on the material from the class. Then I was asked to go to a writer’s conference and enter their contest. My potential book on prayer won first place. That was just the encouragement I needed to keep going, and doors kept opening from there.

What an exciting time that was for you. Tell us about this new book, why a book on prayer?

Pursuing Prayer – Being Effective in a Busy World, released from New Hope Publishers last November (2019).

I have seen God work through prayer on many occasions in my life. He’s not only given me insight, comfort and strength through His Word and prayer, but He’s answered some pretty big prayers – He healed my marriage, He saved my addicted son who is now a pastor, among other things. Now I look around at how busy we’ve become and see the neglect of continual prayer and the need for more fervent prayer.

There are many books out there on prayer, what makes yours different?

My book is written from a life coaching perspective. It’s about being proactive and intentional with our prayer lives. It uses an acrostic for prayer to address the different elements of the Lord’s Prayer, which many of our on-the-go prayers may be missing. Jesus taught us how to pray, but mostly we just give Him our lists. I believe we need to get back to fervent, fruit-bearing prayer. Our families and our world are at stake.

Explain the acostic briefly.

The book is a Bible study (or personal devotional) with six weeks of study. Each week addresses a different letter of the prayer acrostic and coincides with a different element of the Lord’s Prayer:

1 – Proactively Pursue Prayer (Pray then like this…)

2 – Remember His Righteous Deeds (Hallowed be Thy name…)

3 – Acknowledge Sin (Forgive us our debts as we forgive…)

4 – Yield to His Will (Thy will be done…)

5 – Enjoy His Daily Bread (Give us this day…)

6 – Rest in Him (Yours is the Kingdom…)

How did you research for this book?

Books, commentaries, and on line resources, etc.

When did you realize your calling to create words on paper to share with the world?

I didn’t realize my love of writing and words was because I had a calling on my life. I realized it when God led me into writing through many open doors I could not have opened myself. And I might add – many closed doors for what I had been pursuing.

Do you have a favorite verse that resonates with you?

Regarding the topic of prayer – Ephesians 3:20, God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or think. But, we have to ask; we have not because we ask not, James 4:2.

 

If you could go back in time and give one piece of advice for your younger self about writing what would that be?

Just start writing; take hold of that desire and run with it. Stop thinking small; stop thinking you’re a nobody and you can’t do it. God is a big Somebody and He can do it! Wow, if only I understood that sooner. But praise God, I have to trust His timing.

Who is your best support system to keep you focused on your writing?

I’m a member of Word Weavers International, a writing critique group. They have been so supportive and encouraging, and I have learned so much about the craft.

What is your favorite genre to read for fun?

Nonfiction, but I love getting lost in fiction every once in a while!

Where is your favorite place to write?

In my comfy chair in my family room. I do other writing-related tasks at my desk, but when I want to concentrate on the creativity of writing, I like to put my feet up and get comfortable for a while.

More about Penny

Penny Cooke is a Certified Biblical Life Coach, writer and speaker. She has been a leader in women’s ministry for over 25 years and has taught numerous Bible studies.

Penny seeks for women to be in the Word and for them to be empowered by His Spirit for this battle we call life. Her passion is to see women (and men) rise up (or kneel down) and pray more often and more fervently.

Penny is a multi-award winning writer and the author of Pursuing Prayer – Being Effective in a Busy World. She also contributed to Lighthouse Bible Studies’ Heart Renovation study and Worthy Inspired’s Let the Earth Rejoice devotional. She has written articles for CBN.com and Thoughts-About-God.com, and has had two columns in Blessed Living Women’s E-Magazine. She also enjoys blogging about things of life and faith at pennycookeauthor.com.

 

Penny and her husband live in South Florida and have three grown children and seven grandchildren.

Links to connect with her on Social Media:

https://pennycookeauthor.com

 

Twitter: penny_cooke

Facebook: penny.arakeliancooke

Instagram: pennydcooke

Buy links:

Order link: https://amzn.to/38ZuYAq

For multiple copies: http://bit.ly/2qa4g7g

Subscribe to Penny’s blog and receive her free download, “Ten Prayer Tips for Busy Days” here: http://bit.ly/32RKcE7 

Plus, everyone who subscribes March 5-9 will go into a drawing for a FREE copy of her book, Pursuing Prayer. (Winner will be announced via email and on her Facebook author page March 10, http://bit.ly/39kYfWD )

Thank you so much, Penny, for being a guest on my blog today.

A Visit with Denise Weimer: Editor and Multi-published author

Denise Weimer is my special guest today. She is blessed with two books releasing at the same time in different genres. I had to get to know her better. Welcome Denise, please tell me about your writing journey.

My writing journey began around age 11, when my parents would take me to historical sites around the Southeast. My active imagination wondered what kind of people lived in those old houses and towns and what their lives were like. I started scribbling stories in my spiral-bound notebook in the back seat of the car. Then reading them aloud to my mother, who encouraged me to keep writing.

I received a journalism degree with a minor in history from Asbury University. I was almost published by my dream publisher right out of the college—back in the day one could approach publishers directly, without an agent or previous publishing experience—but they’d just committed to a similar series. I set my writing aside as I worked in public relations and as a free-lance magazine writer, then started a family.

When my younger daughter started napping, then attending preschool, I decided I might write a novella. Thus my first book baby, Redeeming Grace, was born. It was followed by The Georgia Gold Series (Eugenia Price-style historical fiction set in Savannah and the mountains during the mid-1800s), The Restoration Trilogy (modern romantic suspense with historical back stories that emerge during a renovation), and Across Three Autumns of The Backcountry Brides Collection.

I loved The Backcountry Brides Collection. My absolute favorite novella was Across Three Autumns.  Your historical imagination kept me engaged. Now, tell me about your latest project.

Backcountry Brides last year was my most recent release, but please check back next month as I share about two novels I’m releasing in September with Lighthouse Publishing, a historical (The Witness Tree – https://www.amazon.com/Witness-Tree-gain-break-heart/dp/1645260623/) and a contemporary (Fall Flip).

While we all wait to hear more about your two new releases and how you research them could you tell us what inspires you to write your stories?

I draw inspiration for my novels from the varied settings in my home state of Georgia—from the mountains to the piedmont to the coast. Add to those all the different time periods, and there are endless possibilities.

For The Restoration Trilogy, watching my parents restore a mid-1800s doctor’s house and apothecary shop provided the nudge. I love the idea of modern characters learning life lessons from history. In the stories, a brooding bachelor and a historical preservation grad uncover artifacts and letters from three different centuries, all while enduring mysterious accidents, fighting about the restoration, and then, of course, falling in love. (https://www.amazon.com/gp/bookseries/B0719FYYLZ/)

There’s another book to put on my TBR pile.  Here is one of my favorite questions to ask authors. If you could go back in time and give one piece of advice for your younger self about writing what would that be?

“You were right, and your professors were wrong. You don’t have to start your writing career at a newspaper!” LOL. Although I admit, my journalism training has served me well.

In general, I’d say that everyone’s path to publication looks different, these days more than ever. And that’s okay.

I agree.  It’s tough to be  a creative in a world that demands so much of our time. Tell me, who is your best support system to keep you focused on your writing?

My author friends, most of whom I’ve not yet gotten to meet in person. It’s such a blessing to know there are so many like-minded individuals out there, even if we are scattered across the county! Most of the doors that have opened in my career have been opened by the grace of ones who have gone before me, like Carrie Pagels and Pegg Thomas, my mentor and co-laborer as managing editor at Smitten Romance.

As writers, we are encouraged to read, what is your favorite genre to read for fun?

Historical romance, although I do also enjoy a fast-paced modern romantic suspense.

Denise, where is your favorite place to write?

At my kitchen island when everyone is gone, with a cup of hot tea at hand and a view out the window of beautiful autumn hardwoods.

Awesome! Denise, thanks so much for stopping by. I’m looking forward to your revisit in September when you share more details about your new releases.

  More about Denise:

Represented by Hartline Literary Agency, Denise Weimer holds a journalism degree with a minor in history from Asbury University. She is the managing editor of Smitten Historical Romance and Heritage Beacon Historical Fiction (imprints of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas) and the author of The Georgia Gold Series, The Restoration Trilogy, and a number of novellas, including Across Three Autumns of Barbour’s Colonial Backcountry Brides Collection. Fall Flip (Candlelight Romance –order on amazon) and The Witness Tree (Smitten – https://www.amazon.com/Witness-Tree-gain-break-heart/dp/1645260623/) release in September. A wife and mother of two daughters, she always pauses for coffee, chocolate, and old houses! Connect with Denise here:

Monthly Newsletter Sign-up

Website

Facebook

Twitter

If you love author interviews and blogs about writerly things please subscribe to receive these posts in your email. Don’t forget Denise will be with me again in September, you don’t want to miss learning how she does research for her historical and contemporary romances.

Adam Blumer Talks about writing and Kill Order

Today suspense writer Adam Blumer is my special guest. When I read a suspense novel I want to be captured. Adam’s really drew me in. The what if scenario kept me glued to the pages. I want to introduce him to all of you. His newest novel Kill Order releases August 15th. Welcome Adam. How did you get into this writing gig and what has the journey been like?

I’ve loved to write stories since I was a kid and studied novel writing in college. I completed five unpublished novels, mostly for youth, before I began Fatal Illusions, my first published novel, in the spring of 2002 in conjunction with a Writer’s Digest correspondence course on novel writing. In January 2006, literary agent Steve Laube, a well-known and respected voice in Christian fiction, responded enthusiastically to my book proposal and asked to see the entire manuscript. Of course, I was on cloud nine. Though he ultimately declined to represent me, he kindly gave me eight suggestions on how to make the novel publishable.

Energized, I followed his advice and got to work, but I still couldn’t find an agent or publisher. A year later, I contacted Kregel Publications, not about my novel but about opportunities to edit books from home. The managing editor noticed on my resume that I had written several unpublished novels and asked to see my latest project. Kregel accepted it for publication in August 2007. God opened a door I never could have opened for myself.

How exciting. What is your latest published project?

Kill Order, my third novel, is being released on August 15 by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. Here is a short description:

When he sleeps, the forgotten terrors of the past come alive.

Grammy-winning pianist Landon Jeffers’s brain cancer has given him only a few years to live. But when he sleeps, the forgotten terrors of his past torment him. When he wakes, shameful memories come rushing back. Desperate for answers,Jeffers discovers that a brain implant intended to treat his cancer is really a device to control him. forcing him to commit terrible crimes. Now he’s being manipulated by an evil crime syndicate and a crooked cop.

What if free will isn’t? What if your every move is predestined? If you kill, are you guilty of murder? Preorder link.

This is not the kind of story you read before you go to bed at night.  I made sure to read it during the day. Great premise, by the way.

What inspired you to write your book?

My dad, Larry, passed away from brain cancer in 2011, and several aspects of his cancer journey kicked off the initial story idea. One key detail involved a medical procedure; the doctors agreed to remove as much of my dad’s brain tumor as possible and replace it with medicinal wafers intended to fight the existing cancer. My mind began playing the what-if game. What if the doctor implanted something else, something that could monitor or even control my dad’s life? The story’s premise grew from there.

Only a writer’s mind would go in that direction. When did you realize your calling to create words on paper to share with the world?

When I was a child, I began writing wildly imaginative pirate and fantasy stories. My first handwritten story was a fantastical tale about Captain Kidd’s spyglass. In high school, I also wrote and finished an unpublished novel called Down with the Ship. It’s such an Agatha Christie copycat that I laugh whenever I peruse it, but emulation is how a lot of authors get to be where they are today. Those were the early projects that inspired me to take novel writing seriously. When I won a high school award for creative writing, I wondered if God wanted to do more with my love for fiction. In college I won more writing awards, and though I studied journalism, I took as many creative writing courses as possible. God opened doors from there, and I’ve never lost my love for fiction writing.

Do you have a favorite verse that resonates with you?

Isaiah 41:10 says, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (ESV). I’ve always loved this verse, and my wife and I included it in our wedding ceremony.

Here’s one of my favorite questions to asked authors. If you could go back in time and give one piece of advice for your younger self about writing what would that be?

Writing the story is only half of the project. The other half is finding out what readers like to read, crafting the story for them by following publishing standards, and writing the story to the best of your ability. Then remember that publishers can take a very long to decide whether they want your work. Don’t get discouraged. Just keep going and waiting.

So true.

What’s one unusual fact about you?

When I was a kid, for a while I wanted to be a ventriloquist and had a “dummy” named Andy. But then I got braces and could no longer talk through my teeth like I used to. Andy sadly went into storage.

Where would you be today if you hadn’t retired Andy? So fun.

Authors are usually avid readers. What is your favorite genre to read for fun?

Authors write what they like to read. When I was a kid, I devoured Hardy Boys books—yes, even my sister’s collection of Nancy Drew. I read Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle, C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Terry Brooks, Ray Bradbury, and Madeleine L’Engle. Eventually I gravitated to suspense fiction by authors like Frank Peretti, Terri Blackstock, and Mary Higgins Clark. I grew weary of whodunits and preferred suspense novels. I like novels that grab me around the throat, keep the pages turning, and never let go until the final period. Suspense novels filled with plenty of action and conflict captivate me like no other books I read, though I also have a fondness for good literature as well as for fantasy, history, biography, true crime, and science fiction.

What are you reading at the moment, and who are a few of your favorite authors and why?

I’m currently enjoying Mind Games by Nancy Mehl. I especially enjoy a good thriller, whether Christian or secular. Some of my favorite authors are Steven James, Terri Blackstock, Frank Peretti, Ted Dekker, and Brandilyn Collins. I like how they weave story threads together and craft their scenes in ways that keeps the plot moving forward. Their books are great examples of what works in suspense writing. I learn so much simply by reading their novels.

 

A book junkie like me. I knew it. 😊 Now back to your writing.

Where is your favorite place to write?

I have been blessed with a wonderful home office. Though I often like to write in other locations, this is by far my favorite place. I can close the door, shut out life’s distractions, pray, and become immersed in my story. Now and then, if I need a break, I can glance out the window and delight in God’s creation.

What is the best part of your author’s life?

I love hearing from readers who went to work tired because they stayed up too late finishing one of my novels. If I kept them immersed in my story, that’s a score in my book.

Name your three biggest frustrations about the writing business.

  1. The amount of time each book requires from start to finish. Included in this is the long wait time from publishers.
  2. The continually changing rules in writing and publishing. Just when you think you know what publishers are looking for, your agent tells you something else.
  3. Book marketing. One cannot guarantee sales. I wish a book release was like the movie Field of Dreams. “Build it, and they will come.” If only it were that easy. There is almost an equal amount of work in just promoting the book.

Your frustrations resonate with me. I’m sure they do other writers.
On the flip side, what excites you the most about the creative process?

I get most excited about the creative process when a plot development I never saw coming unexpectedly presents itself, taking the story in a new but stronger direction. This epiphany has happened to me several times.

Cindy, thank you for the opportunity to talk about my writing life at your blog.

My pleasure, Adam.

Adam is going to giveaway a copy of Kill order to one lucky winner. Follow this link to enter. http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/8d1eaa8d6/

More about my guest:

Adam Blumer is the author of three Christian suspense novels: Fatal Illusions (Meaningful Suspense Press); its sequel, The Tenth Plague (Kirkdale Press); and the upcoming Kill Order (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas). A print journalism major in college, he works full-time from home as a book editor after serving in editorial roles for more than twenty years. He lives in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula with his wife, Kim, and his daughters, Laura and Julia.

Social media links:

Website: http://www.adamblumerbooks.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AdamBlumerNovelist
Twitter: https://twitter.com/adamblumer
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2315682.Adam_Blumer
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/adamblumer/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/adamblumer/

 

Southern Fiction Writer Jennifer Hallmark Shares Jessie’s Hope

I’m excited to welcome Jennifer Hallmark to Jubilee Writer today. She’s going to taught about her new release Jessie’s Hope and tell us a bit about herself and her writing journey.

 I’m a Yankee through and through and until I was published I had no idea Southern Fiction was a genre. Tell us what is Southern Fiction?

Jennifer: True Southern fiction has to be lived. You need to feel the humidity, spend a summer working in a vegetable garden, and fish in a pond surrounded by cattle. Southern fiction is about family, not just one generation but how past ancestors shape each and every character.

My publisher, Firefly Southern fiction says on their website: “Southern fiction is about story, driven by characters who are distinctly southern and/or characters who move to southern settings (which are also characters). Southern characters fall into several categories and should not be stereotyped.”

That’s such a fun definition. I’ve read some of Fireflies offering and I enjoyed the quirky characters and the southern charm.

What is your latest published project?

Jennifer: Jessie’s Hope is a Southern fiction novel about a young woman who has overcome great odds in her life and is engaged to be married. She’s decided to try and find her absentee father first. Her Papaw, Homer, who helped raise her only wants to provide for his family. But he finds giving his beloved granddaughter a wonderful wedding with a specially designed dress is harder than he ever thought possible.

I’m excited to see a book with a handicapped heroine.

What inspired you to write your book?

Jennifer: Jessie’s Hope started with three writing prompts during a writer’s club meeting: a wedding dress designer, faded coveralls, and a dusty baseball cap. But my inspiration really came from my parents. I never remember my dad walking. He’s been in a wheelchair since I was a young child with a spinal disease he contracted in his early thirties. Witnessing my dad remain hopeful and encouraging throughout the rest of his life and my mom sacrifice much to take care of my Dad, brother, and me had a great impact. I melded these experiences with my life lived mostly in rural Alabama.

True life experience always add so much to our fiction stories. On that note you must have a have a favorite verse that resonates with you.

Jennifer: Romans 15:13 is the verse that best goes with my novel, Jessie’s Hope. “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (NKJV) Not only is God a God of hope but He urges us to believe and abound in hope. I’m not quite there but I long for that abounding hope inside of me.

Love that verse. Thanks for sharing. I think we all strive to experience that abounding hope.

Because writers are encouraged to read I’m always curious to know what authors read. What is your favorite genre to read for fun?

Jennifer: Beside Southern fiction, I love classic mysteries. I never figure them out, but I enjoy following the clues and wondering whodunnit. All my stories have a thread of mystery in them. In Jessie’s Hope, the reader needs to discover the mystery of the green shed.

A love a bit of mystery with a bit of romance.

Authors always have a favorite place to write. Sometimes it’s more than one location. Where is your favorite place to write?

Jennifer: I do a lot of writing in my study on a desktop computer. I also write on my laptop at times, in the living room or the local coffee shop. Occasionally, I use a gel pen, especially when I’m waiting at the doctor’s office or when inspirations strikes and I’m not at home. I always carry a small notebook 😊

Here’s the blurb about Jessie’s Hope

Can a sliver of hope lead to everlasting love?

Years ago, an accident robbed Jessie Smith’s mobility. It also stole her mother and alienated her from her father. When Jessie’s high school sweetheart Matt Jansen proposes, her parents’ absence intensifies her worry that she cannot hold on to those she loves.

With a wedding fast approaching, Jessie’s grandfather Homer has a goal to find the perfect dress for “his Jessie,” one that would allow her to forget, even if for a moment, the boundaries of her wheelchair. But financial setbacks and unexpected sabotage hinder his plans.

Determined to heal from her past, Jessie initiates a search for her father. Can a sliver of hope lead to everlasting love when additional obstacles—including a spurned woman and unpredictable weather—highjack Jessie’s dream wedding?

Order Links for Jessie’s Hope

Goodreads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

 

More about my guest:

Jennifer Hallmark writes Southern fiction and her website, Alabama-Inspired Fiction, and the group blog, Inspired Prompt, she co-founded, focus on her books, love of the South, and helping writers. She’s published 200+ internet articles and interviews, short stories in several magazines, and has co-authored three book compilations.

Her agent is Cyle Young of the Hartline Literary Agency. Jennifer sends out a monthly newsletter, which you can subscribe to here. You can visit her on Facebook, Facebook author pageTwitter, and Pinterest.

Jennifer and her husband, Danny, have spent their married life in Alabama and have a basset hound, Max. When she isn’t babysitting her grandchildren or gardening, you can find her at her desk writing fiction or working on one of her two blogs.  She also loves reading detective fiction from the Golden Age and viewing movies like LOTR or Star Wars. Sometimes you can even catch her watching American Ninja Warrior.

Lots of places to connect with Jennifer.

www.jenniferhallmark.com

www.inspiredprompt.com 

Jennifer Hallmark, Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Instagram

More wonderful interviews to come along with some writerly insist you might enjoy. Subscribe to this blog to receive them in your email or RSS feed as they become avaiable.