Thursday, October 23, 2014

Laura Jackson Interview

Hi, Laura! Give us a couple sentences describing what you write.
I write YA. The teen years are when many of us figure out who we are, and I believe we can’t find ourselves without finding Jesus.

What is the name of your latest book?
My debut novel is titled Worth the Wait, and it released in January. Book two in the series comes out in January.

What is the theme of your story and how did you come to it? Any real-life inspiration?
For Worth the Wait, Ellie learns that God’s plan is worth the wait. When everything is falling apart, He’s still working, creating something beautiful from a mess.
Worth the Time releases in January, and Lindsey (the mean girl in book one) finds that despite everyone walking away from her, God won’t. He loves her unconditionally.

I took parts of my life and put them into each story.

A sneak peek into what you're working on right now?
I’m working on a new novel about a high school senior who has always lived in her best friend’s shadow. And when things crumble, she has to find out who she is apart from that friend and who she is in Jesus.

Describe your writing space.
Anywhere! I write in my bed a lot…surrounded by pillows.

Do you blog? If so, leave us the address.
Yes, I love sharing Friday Confessions---just fun things from the week.

Bonus fun questions:
Which is your favorite hot drink to sip while reading? Tea, coffee, hot cocoa, apple cider, wassail or other? 
It’s strange, but I’m really loving kale and banana smoothies right now. You can’t even taste the kale, so you get a nice drink with a veggie kick.

Author bio.
Laura Jackson loves books---reading and writing them. A life-long reader, Laura studied English in college and taught 7th grade language arts before earning her Master's degree and becoming a school librarian. Now, she spends her days sharing great books with kids and her evenings writing books about teenage girls discovering God and His plan for their lives.

Book blurb.

Ellie Lansing has a picture-perfect life with a close-knit family and the perfect boyfriend. But her world is suddenly knocked off center when her drool-worthy boyfriend cheats, and her always-has-it-together mother is diagnosed with cancer. Ellie doesn't get it. She always does the right thing - doesn't God owe her a happy life? Through her heartache, Ellie learns that sometimes what seems like the end is really just the beginning and that what God has for us is always worth the wait.

GIVEAWAY: Laura has agreed to give away a copy of Worth the Wait AND the sequel Worth the Time!!! Rafflecopter giveaway The giveaway will last from today until the 30th! Paperback (or e-book) available for US and e-book for international winners.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Jennifer Slattery Interview

Give us a couple sentences describing what you write.
I write what I (and my publisher) term “missional fiction”. This is fiction that has a strong missional or outreach focus, though I like to take this a step further and say I write “missional romance” as I always have a strong romantic thread involved. For example, in Beyond I Do, the missional aspect centers around a homeless shelter my heroine feels called to serve in. 

How would you label the overall mood of your stories: dark, gritty, poignant, sensitive, heart-warming, raucous, light, adventurous, witty?
I’d say my stories have a mix. In the editorial notes for my second book, When Dawn Breaks, my editor called my story heart-breaking and hilarious. Often I write about some tough issues—homelessness, poverty, addictions, foster care. Because of this, I like to add a fair amount of humor, and of course, a great deal of romance. (smile)

What is the name of your latest book?
The book that just released is titled Beyond I Do.

Using any celebrity, past or present, whom would you cast as your main characters?
Oh, my! This is a hard one as, to be honest, I don’t watch much television (except for Ninja Warriors and Shark Tank). Therefore I have zero celebrity knowledge. Yes, I know, I need to venture out in the real world once in a while, but my fictional reality is so appealing. I’d love for your readers to help me out with this question.

Ainsley main character has long, loosely curled hair. Though she initially works as a professionally dressed pharmacuetical representative, she’s much more comfortable in jeans and a t-shirt. Her hearts desire is to sing though she’s too insecure to admit that, and she’d much prefer a picnic in the country to a fancy restaurant.

Her fiancé Richard is an impeccably dressed socialite psychiatrist who grew up around fancy parties and enjoying five course dinners. He loves the symphany, discussing theories regarding abhorrent or dysfunctional behaviors, and has a very dominant personality, especially when stressed.

My third main character, Chris, Ainsley’s neighbor, has a relaxed, often sarcastic side and a huge heart for the impoverished and homeless. He’s also very much a momma’s boy (in the good sense of the word) and sold a thriving law practice in order to move closer to his mother who has early onset Alzheimer’s. Having recently purchased a local coffee house, you’ll often find him working alongside his staff, dishrag in hand. When not working, he enjoys spending time with his aging and arthritic dog.

Knowing all that, what actors and actresses come to mind?

What is the theme of your story and how did you come to it? Any real-life inspiration?
As I said earlier, the story largely centers around homelessness, and this arose from my experiences with homelessness as a teenager and also my experiences serving the homeless as an adult. A big theme in the book is surrender, and much of this stemmed from the angst I experienced when I first sensed God’s call to write. It felt so irrational and unpredictable to me! Much like persuing a career in singing feels to Ainsley.

A sneak peek into what you're working on right now?
I have a second novel coming out in January that I recently finished substantive edits on. It’s about a 51 year-old realtor who’s displaced by a hurricane. New believer Jacqueline Dunn has a strained relationship with her adult daughter, and this is a major regret of hers. Seeing the storm as a chance to begin again and reconnect with her daughter, she moves to Crystal Shores where her daughter lives.

While there, she encounters three children also displaced by the storm who’ve been abandoned by their mother. She also encounters a handsome widower, and the two become quick friends. However, Jonathan Kohen has his own issues to deal with, and Jacqueline isn’t sure she can lean on him in the difficult days ahead. Then there’s the three orphans to consider, especially Gavin. Must Jacqueline relinquish her chance at love in order to be restored? 

Describe your writing space.
Oh, my, is it ever a mess! I do clean it fairly regularly but I have a strange and growing addiction to sticky notes and multi-colored notecards. It’s like if I don’t have it on a slip of paper, no matter how burried that slip of paper is, I’ll forget it. I also tend to migrate. Right now I’m in my office which has a large window allowing me to gaze out into the front yard. Othertimes I’ll work in the living room, gazing through that window at the golf course behind us. So either way I have a wonderful view.

What do you do for a break if you find yourself overwhelmed with writing pressures?
I have a few special friends I love to hang out with, and I’ve learned I must regularly schedule girls’ days in, whether I think I have time or not. These ladies are hilarious and keep me laughing to the point my stomach gets a work out. Therefore, I’m sure there’s a great deal of calorie expenditure taking place, making up for the large amount of heavily-flavored coffees we drink!

Do you blog? If so, leave us the address.
I think I’m a blogging addict! On my personal blog, http://jenniferslatterylivesoutloud, I post devotions written by myself or guest authors. I’m also part of two group blogs: and, manage a blog for a local homeless ministry, and write monthly devotions for

Bonus fun questions:
Leaves—rake or mow?
Um… Watch my honey do it while I prepare his favorite meal?

Favorite fall movie?
I’m not much of a movie person, but I love, love, love curling up in the corner of the couch with my snuggly blanket and a great book. In regard to novels, my taste is ecclectic but I love anything by Shannon Taylor Vannattor, Mary Connealy, and Carole Towriss.

Author bio:

Jennifer Slattery writes missional romance novels for New Hope Publishers. Her debut, "Beyond I Do", released in August and her sophomore novel, When Dawn Breaks, will release in January of 2015. She also writes Christian Living articles for and devotions for her personal blog, JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud; Internet Cafe Devotions; and Takin' it to the Streets', a ministry serving Omaha Metro's working poor and homeless.

When she's not writing, she enjoys reading, hanging out at the mall with her teenage daughter, enjoying her real-life hero husband, or serving in her church or community.


Book blurb:

Will seeing beyond the present unite Ainsley and her fiancé or tear them apart?

Marriage . . . it’s more than a happily ever after. Eternally more.

Ainsley Meadows, raised by a hedonist mother who cycles through jobs and relationships like wrapping paper on Christmas morning, falls into a predictable and safe relationship with Richard, a self-absorbed, socialite psychiatrist. But as Ainsley’s wedding nears, a battered woman and her child spark a long-forgotten dream, a hidden passion. One that threatens to change everything, including her fiancé. If she wants to embrace God’s best and find lasting love, this security-seeking bride must follow God with reckless abandon and realize that marriage goes Beyond I Do.

I am currently doing a give-away over at Shannon Taylor Vannatter's blog (where I'm also sharing a true romance story).

Monday, October 13, 2014

Email List GIVEAWAY!!!

Hey, y'all! I need your help! YOU can play a major part in helping an author get published!!!

Here's the deal. I need to build my email list. It's one of the most important things an author can do to get an agent's/editor's attention.

To show my thanks for your support, I'm giving away a prize to one email contact randomly selected from my list!
Book image courtesy of
Prize includes:
  • $15 Amazon or Starbucks Gift Card, your choice!
  • Surprise bundle of 5 Christian fiction books!

  1. Enter your email, using the form below (name optional).
  2. Check your inbox for a confirmation email from me. Click the link inside to confirm. (If you skip this step, I won't have your email yet and won't be able to include it in the drawing! If you can't find the confirmation email, check your "junk" or "spam" folder. ***If you have any difficulty at all, email me at nataliedmonk (at) gmail (dot) net and I'll add you manually. ;)

Tell your friends. Get them to sign up, and promise to loan them the books if you win! Hey, that doubles your chances! If you or your friend would like to see an excerpt of my writing, I've included a snippet at the end of this post!

Subscribe to my mailing list

* indicates required

THANK YOU!!! You can't imagine how much it means to me, that you'd be willing to support me in achieving my dream! ;)

What my book is about:
Leaving her took all he had. Winning her back will take more than he’s got.

Blane Roeper is in a world of hurt. A struggling new Christian with an alcohol-stained past, he returns home for his family’s forgiveness . . . and his childhood sweetheart. Instead, he finds his father dead, the family farm up for auction in ninety days, and his sweetheart set on marrying his brother. 
Besides closing the local saloon, Temperance activist Valor Hill has two goals in life. First, forget Blane Roeper ever existed. Second? Take in his orphan sister and rear the girl as her own. But to do that she needs a husband, so Valor pursues the last bachelor in town—Blane’s brother.
When the brother is injured in a strange accident, the saloon owner’s veiled threats against Valor grow suspicious. Is the smooth-talking man also behind the other mishaps on the farm? Can Blane conquer old fears to save the homeplace and win back his lady in time? Or will he forever relinquish a heart of valor?

For a sample of some of my writing, click here.
 Hugs! :)

***Winner of the Surprise Book Box Giveaway is Savanna Kaiser. Congrats, Savanna!!! :)