Monday, April 25, 2016

BREAKING FREE ~ Character Interview with Jennifer Slattery

 Hello everyone! Y'all know I usually keep to historical romance here on the Sweet South Blog, but every once in a while I'll feature a contemporary story like we did in last week's review of Close to You.

Since I'm a hopeless romantic who strongly believes in the sanctity and value of Biblical marriage, the subject of saving and healing marriages is close to my heart. So when Jennifer asked me to feature her new novel, Breaking Free, a book about saving a women's ministry leader's marriage, I was interested to hear more about the story. This sounds like a heart-grabber, and I haven't read the book, so I'm trusting Jennifer will take readers to healing at the end. Here's the blurb:

Breaking Free:
Sometimes it takes losing everything to grab hold of what really matters. 

Women’s ministry leader and Seattle housewife, Alice Goddard, and her successful graphic-designer husband appear to have it all together. Until their credit and debit cards are denied, launching Alice into an investigation that only leads to the discovery of secrets. Meanwhile, her husband is trapped in a downward spiral of lies, shame, and self-destruction. Can they break free from their deception and turn to the only One who can save them? And will it be in time to save their marriage?

Read a free, 33-page excerpt here.

Buy it:

Character interview with Alice Goddard from Breaking Free:

Your most embarrassing moment?

Having my credit and debit cards denied while dining with my “friends” at an upscale Seattle bistro. Didn’t help many of those so-called friends like to come up with scenarios, then tell everyone about them. “Did you hear Alice couldn’t pay for lunch? Do you think Trent lost his job? Maybe they got in over their heads. You know how she loves to shop.”

(eye roll) You’d think those women were still in junior high—all except for Beth. She’s probably the only real friend I have. But even she doesn’t know…

What is your first reaction when you meet a fetching lady/handsome gentleman? Blush? Stutter? Run? Flirt? Engage them in intelligent or witty conversation? Start an argument to see them flustered? Offer a helping hand? Ask a friend about them?

When I met Trent, I felt hot, and giddy. All tingly. I know that sounds cliché, but seriously, that man literally swept me off my feet. He had charm, charisma, confidence, knew where he wanted to go and had a plan for how to get there. Plus, he was incredibly handsome. And he made me feel beautiful. Cherished.

Are there any children or pets in your life? What do you love about them?

I’ve got two teenage boys, and they’re my heartbeat. They’re both athletes; very gifted soccer players. My youngest is the studious one. He’s got such a tender heart. He can be pretty quiet, on the shy side. My oldest is a lot like his dad. He’s a risk taker, likes to forge his own way… has a strong personality.

What happened the last time you spoke to a large group of people?

I’m on my church’s women’s ministry leadership team, so I speak to women a lot. We’re planning our next big event now, actually. I don’t mind speaking, but sometimes—oftentimes—I feel like I’m held to an impossible standard. Like if those women who listen to my keynotes knew I struggle, that my marriage isn’t perfect and my kids and I fight, they’d hate me. So, I don’t show them that side. I show them the me they want to see, the me they’ve come to expect. Might make me seem fake, but I’ve learned the hard way that you can’t trust everyone.

What is your dearest dream?

That’s a question I’ve been asking myself a lot lately. I feel like I’ve lost sight of who I am, know what I mean? I’ve been so busy being a mom and wife, serving… Doing, doing, doing for everyone else. Sometimes I want to just break free, even if for only a week. But then I realize, I have no idea what I’d do or where I’d go. Is that pathetic, or what?

Any current romantic interests?

I’m married, but there’s no romance. Not anymore. I vacillate between determining to do anything to save my marriage and wanting to let it go. I’m leaning more toward the latter everyday, except after nearly two decades living as a housewife, I’m frightened I couldn’t make it on my own. And I’ve got the boys to consider.

Jennifer Slattery writes soul-stirring fiction for New Hope Publishers, Christian living articles for, and devotions for Internet Café Devotions, the group blog, Faith-filled Friends, and her personal blog. She also does content editing for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas’ Firefly imprint, and loves working with authors who are serious about pursuing their calling. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband.
Visit with Jennifer online at and connect with her on Facebook or Twitter: @Jenslattery. See scene location pictures for Breaking Free on her Pinterest board for the book. 

Comment fodder: 
-- What is your favorite thing about reading a save-the-marriage story?
-- Have you read any books with this theme lately?
-- Have you ever had to choose between two things very precious to you? What was the outcome?

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