Laura Hilton Interview

Hi, Laura! Give us a couple sentences describing what you write.   
I write contemporary romance with spiritual truths centered around the Amish.

How would you label the overall mood of your stories? 
I have been called sweet, eye-opening, witty, poignant, passionate,  and heart-warming by reviewers.

What is the name of your latest book?  
The Snow Globe

Using any celebrity, past or present, who would you cast as your main characters?   
No clue. I don’t have a TV nor watch movies.

What is the theme of your story and how did you come to it?   
The theme is the snow globe, and how life sometimes is shaken up but it comes out more beautiful as a result.

A sneak peek into what you're working on right now?  
I just finished The Postcard (coming in late spring 2015) and I’m working on The Birdhouse (coming in the fall of 2015)

Describe your writing space.   
The middle of the living room. Surrounded by family, toys, homeschool books, writing books, reading books, and other family clutter.

Do you work a "day job?" Is there a secret/technique you’ve found that helps with balancing the writing and working life?  
My day job is writing, homeschooling, parenting and homemaker.

Do you blog? If so, leave us the address.

Now the fun stuff... :)

On a dream research trip, where would you go? What would you ask to see/experience first?   
It depends on what I was writing. And what the setting is. Currently, I’m writing about Jamesport, Missouri, Amish so I would go there and interact with the people who live there, visit what I was allowed to as an outsider, and hopefully, talk with the Amish.

When you read, do you prefer paperback, e-book, or audio? Why?  
 I prefer paperback. The battery doesn’t go dead. And I get enough computer time writing my own stories without staring at a screen to read. But I do own a kindle and use it.

Author bio. 

Award winning author, Laura Hilton, her husband, Steve, and their five children make their home in Horseshoe Bend, Arkansas. She is a pastor’s wife, a stay-at-home mom and home-schools three of her children. Her two oldest children are homeschool graduates and are in college. Laura is also a breast cancer survivor.

Her publishing credits include three books in the Amish of Seymour series from Whitaker House: Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts (winner of the 2012 Clash of the Titles Award in two categories), and Promised to Another. The Amish of Webster County series, Healing Love (finalist for the 2013 Christian Retail Awards). Surrendered Love and Awakened Love. A nonAmish book Swept Away will release November 2014 from Abingdon Press. She is contracted for another three book Amish series with Whitaker House, The Amish of Jamesport series, begins in November 2014 with The Snow Globe, The Postcard in June 2015, and The Bird House in September 2015, and A White Christmas in Webster County (Amish) releasing in September 2014. Laura is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a professional book reviewer for the Christian market, with over a thousand book reviews published at various online review sites.

Book blurb.

Victor Petersheim has left the Amish and works on a river boat on the Mississippi River, spending three months on the river then having three months off. During his off-work months he returns home to his Amish community and helps out on his grandparents’ farm. When he returns home after his most recent absence, he discovers his grossmammi has developed health problems and they’ve hired Esther Beachy to be a “mother’s helper.” Victor is unsettled by this woman living in their home, but has to accept it. Esther loves listening to Victor’s grandmother’s stories and while puttering around in a store while the grossmammi’s in the hospital, she discovers a snow globe that depicts an area where the Petersheims used to live. She buys it as a gift for the grossmammi to cheer her up during her hospitalization. Victor is touched by Esther’s gift and her care for his grossmammi, and strives to be friendlier. Will Esther’s gentle heart draw him back to the community? Or will he return to the river once again?  

Twitter: @Laura_V_Hilton

You can purchase my books here:

ACFW November 2014 New Releases

November 2014 New Releases

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.

Amish Romance:

Snow Globe (Amish of Jamesport) by Laura V. Hilton -- Victor Petersheim has left the Amish and works on a river boat on the Mississippi River, spending three months on the river then having three months off. During his off-work months he returns home to his Amish community and helps out on his grandparents' farm. When he returns home after his most recent absence, he discovers his grossmammi has developed health problems and they've hired Esther Beachy to be a "mother's helper." Victor is unsettled by this woman living in their home, but has to accept it. Esther loves listening to Victor's grandmother's stories and while puttering around in a store while the grossmammi's in the hospital, she discovers a snow globe that depicts an area where the Petersheims used to live. She buys it as a gift for the grossmammi to cheer her up during her hospitalization. Victor is touched by Esther's gift and her care for his grossmammi, and strives to be friendlier. Will Esther's gentle heart draw him back to the community? Or will he return to the river once again? (Amish Romance from Whitaker House)

Biblical Fiction:

A Soft Breath of Wind by Roseanna M. White -- A gift that has branded her for life. Zipporah is thirteen when the Spirit descends upon her, opening her eyes to a world beyond the physical goings-on of the villa outside Rome she has always called home. Within hours, she learns what serving the Lord can cost. Forever scarred after a vicious attack, she knows her call is to use this discernment to protect the Way. She knows she must serve the rest of her life at Tutelos, where the growing Roman church has congregated. She knows her lot is set. Yet is it so wrong to wish that her master, the kind and handsome young Benjamin Visibullis, will eventually see her as something more than a sister in Christ? Samuel Asinius, adoptive son of a wealthy Roman, has always called Benjamin brother. When their travels take them to Jerusalem for Passover, the last thing he expects is to cross paths with the woman who sold him into slavery as a child, the mother he long ago purged from his heart. His sister, Dara, quickly catches Benjamin s eye, but Samuel suspects there is something dark at work. When Dara, a fortune-teller seeking the will of a shadowy master determined to undermine the Way, comes into the path of Zipporah, a whirlwind descends upon them all. Only the soft wind of the Spirit can heal their scars...with a love neither divination nor discernment could foresee. (Biblical Fiction from Whitefire Publishing)

A Little Lower Than the Angels by Caryl McAdoo -- Seduced by evil, Cain kills Abel then flees with his sister to the land of Nod. Bereaved of all their children in one day, Adam and Eve are heartbroken, but not until they both see a vision of Abel in Paradise with their childhood pets Lion and Lamb does Eve find the strength to wait upon the Lord for His blessing. Though dead, Abel's soul lives on in Paradise, resting, learning from the old Cherub who God sent to teach the murdered son of Adam. He listens to the war songs the legions of angels sing that battle for his brother and sister and even his mother's soul. But best of all, the angel elder tells him stories of Heaven and how one day, man and God will be reconciled. Again the first couple is tested, and must wait upon the Lord's blessing to begin again. Can they walk in obedience for seventy long years? And Cain's offering is finally accepted, but by whom? (Biblical Fiction from Independent Author)

Contemporary Romance:

Winter Brides: A Year of Weddings Novella Collection by Betsy St. Amant, Denise Hunter and Deborah Raney -- The honor of your presence is requested at three winter weddings . . . "A February Bride" by Betsy St. Amant: History repeats itself when Allie Andrews escapes the church on her wedding day-wearing a dress that has ushered generations of the family's brides into failed marriages. Allie loves Marcus, but fears repeating her family's mistakes. Months later, Allie and Marcus are thrown together for another wedding and discover their own story might be far from over. "A December Bride" by Denise Hunter: When Layla O'Reilly and Seth Murphy make their engagement public, it's only to impress her high-society client. But for Seth, who has secretly loved Layla for years, this is his chance to finally win her heart. "A January Bride" by Deborah Raney: Novelist Madeleine Houser arranges a peaceful writing getaway in a local bed and breakfast, but ends up falling in love via daily notes with the inn's owner--a man she's never met. (Contemporary Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing [Thomas Nelson and Zondervan])

Her Tycoon Hero (Heartsong Presents) by Narelle Atkins -- Set on proving to everyone that she's no longer a party girl, Cassie is focused on her career as an event planner. But her dad's top executive, Ryan Mitchell, proves to be a handsome distraction. Especially when someone from Cassie's wild past tries to get her tangled in the life she's worked hard to escape. Ryan is taken with his boss's beautiful daughter. But having been fooled by a brother who ran in her same circles, he is slow to trust. When Cassie's newfound faith works its way into his heart, Ryan soon finds he wants to claim both her faith and Cassie as his own. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Sweetened with Honey by Valerie Comer -- Gabriel Rubachuk returns to Galena Landing, Idaho, once the setting of a charmed life before an accident killed his pregnant wife. Will he embrace hope for a new life or escape once again? Beekeeper Sierra Riehl has spent three years helping to keep Gabe's health food store afloat while he worked with orphans in Romania. Now he's back, but it looks like he might bolt. Can she hold him still long enough to spark a romance? But Sierra's hope falters when she begins to suspect she can't give Gabe the life he deserves. Is new love sweet enough to overcome the pain of the past and the uncertainty of the future? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Hope for the Holidays-Contemporary Collection by Mary Connealy, Audra Harders, Ruth Logan Herne, Sandra Leesmith and Tina Radcliffe -- Six heart-warming romances remind us of the true spirit of Christmas: faith, hope--and love... Hope for Christmas by Mary Connealy: Kelsey is alone, lost, pregnant, stuck in a blizzard and surrounded by wolves. Tanner Harden finds her but with trouble coming and a baby at risk, can they stay alive long enough to fall in love? Her Christmas Cowboy by Audra Harders: Single mother Shayna Leon has disappointed her community once and hopes a successful Christmas pageant will restore their faith in her. Then disaster strikes - her accompanist is unable to play. The prospect of disappointment looms again until a reclusive cowboy steps up to save her day. Longing for a Miracle by Ruth Logan Herne: Christmas dimmed when an automobile accident claimed Tasha Sorkos's little girl... could saving Rafe Karralis's sick daughter bring the light of faith, hope and love back into her eyes? A Heart Full of Hope by Sandra Leesmith: Elena Delgado loves her father's new business partner, Stephen Edwards. As they work together to find funding for the project that will bring jobs and hope to their small community in time for Christmas, will Stephen notice her? Or is he still in love with the fiancée who left him? I'll be Home for Christmas by Tina Radcliffe: Dr. Matthew Christopher doesn't believe in happily ever after. Can wedding planner Patience McCord melt the heart of the last bachelor in time for Christmas? One Perfect Gift by Missy Tippens: In this sweet Cinderella story with a country music twist, a homeless single mother with a secret may get more than she expected for Christmas, including hope, love and home, sweet home. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Love Without End (A King's Meadow Romance) by Robin Lee Hatcher -- Chet Leonard's life was forever changed when his seventeen year old son died and then, soon after, his wife walked out on their family. Over two years later, all he wants to do is hold onto his horse ranch and raise his remaining sons to be honorable men. Kimberly Welch, widowed mother of Tara, a rebellious fifteen-year-old, has reached the end of her finances and nearly the end of her rope. She and Tara come to King's Meadow to try to piece their lives back together again. Kimberly has no intention of opening her heart again. Then 84-year-old Anna McKenna returns to King's Meadow and to the Leonard ranch and brings healing to the two hurting families. (Contemporary Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing [Thomas Nelson and Zondervan])

Swept Away: Quilts of Love Series by Laura V. Hilton and Cindy Loven -- Sara Jane Morgan is trying to balance teaching with caring for her ailing, stubborn grandmother. When school lets out for the summer, the plans are for Grandma to teach Sara Jane to quilt as they finish up the Appalachian Ballad quilt Grandma started as a teenager. But things don't always go as planned. Andrew Stevenson is hiding from his past—and his future. He works as a handyman to pay the bills, but his heart is as an artisan, designing homemade brooms. When Sara Jane's grandmother hires him to renovate her home, sparks fly between Drew and his new employer's granddaughter. Still, it doesn't take Sara Jane long to see Drew isn't what he seems. Questions arise, and she starts researching him online. What she discovers could change her life-and her heart-forever. (Contemporary Romance from Abingdon Press)

Yuletide Baby by Deb Kastner -- When Pastor Shawn O'Riley finds an abandoned baby at his church, his whole life goes into a tailspin that only foster mother Heather Lewis can calm. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

A Cajun Christmas Miracle: A Belle Camellia Novel by Marian P. Merritt -- Thirteen years ago, Mandy St. Pierre and Bridger Mathews were in high school and hopelessly in love. When his parents moved to Colorado in his senior year, Mandy was left behind with a broken heart and a secret. Then Mandy married and became mother to a child with special needs, only to have her husband abandon her. Bridger married, but lost his wife to cancer three years later. When mandy moves back to Belle Camellia, the River Road, Louisiana plantation home of her youth her Autistic son, she finds Bridger is working next door with a rescue horse his best friend has saved. Mandy's son bonds with Bridger and his horse, but Mandy wrangles with letting Bridger back into her life, letting him into her son's life, her unnatural fear of horses, and her wavering faith in God. Can both Mandy and Bridger open their hearts to trust one another in order to give Daniel an experience that may unlock his world and allow him to interact like never before? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Calculated Risk by Zoe M. McCarthy -- Whoever said opposites attract was right, of course...but no one ever said what they attract. Jilted by her father's latest choice of a son-in-law, Cisney Baldwin rashly accepts an invitation to spend Thanksgiving weekend with a sympathetic colleague and his family. Nick LeCrone is a man too much her opposite to interest her and too mild-mannered to make her overbearing father's "list," but is he trying to take advantage of her vulnerable emotions over the holiday? Nick only invited Cisney out of pity, now he's stuck with her and her sticky notes and her quirks. To make matters worse, his family thinks she's his perfect match. He'll do what he can to keep his distance, but there's just one problem-he's starting to believe Cisney's magnetism is stronger than he can resist. (Contemporary Romance from White Rose Publishing [Pelican])

Historical Romance:

Hope for the Holidays-Historical Collection by Mary Connealy, Ruth Logan Herne , Myra Johnson and Julie Lessman -- Four old-fashioned Christmases featuring inspirational romance at its best. "Sophie's Other Daughter" by Mary Connealy: Laura McClellen is just answering a call for her big sister, Doctor Beth, at the Reeve's home when Ike Reeves, shows up exhausted, and filthy, for a surprise Christmas visit. Ike claims the right to escort Laura home and outlaws after Ike turn a simple ride into a fight for their lives. "A Town Called Christmas" by Ruth Logan Herne: When gruff English pioneer Edward Stillwell offers a former prostitute a job, he gets more than he bargained for: a wagon train more! With winter rollng in, can Sylvie's faith, hope and optimism be just what the guilt-laden Idaho rancher needs to love Christmas-and people-- again? "Designs on Love" by Myra Johnson: Ranch foreman Jacob Collins has had designs on Vera Mae Beasley since their schooldays. When the pretty seamstress returns home to settle her late family's affairs, Jacob hopes his Christmas surprise will win her heart and convince her to stay. "A Whisper of Hope" by Julie Lessman: With a husband dead-set against adoption, Charity O'Connor Dennehy has barely a whisper of hope for more children, but if hope doesn't disappoint ... could it be enough to find a precious bundle under her tree? (Historical Romance, Independently Published)

Rocky Mountain Dreams (Love Inspired Historical) by Danica Favorite -- The last thing Joseph Stone expects to discover upon arriving in Leadville, Colorado, is a newfound little sister. Hoping to find his late father's silver mine and hopefully keep his siblings back home out of an orphanage, Joseph needs an ally. The preacher's lovely daughter agrees to care for the little girl. She's just not as willing to trust the prospector.... Annabelle Lassiter has seen what men do in pursuit of riches. Yet for all the hardship he's known, Joseph still shows tenderness and warmth. Annabelle's plan has long been to leave Leadville far behind. But Joseph's quest for silver could cost them a more precious dream-one of family, love and new beginnings. (Historical Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Love Never Fails (The Homeward Journey) by Martha Rogers -- At odds over their beliefs and separated by the war, Molly and Stefan must learn to depend of God. In book three of the Homeward Journey series, Daniel and Sally Delaney's daughter Molly finishes school and returns to her home to teach. When old friends of her parents come for a visit with their son, Stefan, Molly is attracted to the young man, but all he is interested in is talking about his position in the army. When he leaves to rejoin his regiment, Molly is both relieved and saddened. Can they overcome their differences and find love? (Historical Romance from Realms [Charisma Media])

Romantic Suspense:

Hawk by Ronie Kendig -- Staff Sergeant Brian "Hawk" Bledsoe is a man of his word. But when he gives a promise to the green-eyed Afghan woman named Fekiria, the short-fused soldier never knew how much it could cost him. Fekiria Haidary is keeping secrets and telling lies. Going against her strict traditional upbringing and estranged from her family, she is a pilot with the Afghan Air Force. On a mission to track down the terrorist who has plagued Raptor and the U.S. military with corrupted intel and planted information, Brian and his brothers-in-arms are nearly killed when their location is bombed. Hunting the attacker, Brian stumbles upon Fekiria and her friend, who are protecting several young girls from the Taliban. Fleeing for their lives, Brian is embroiled in a daring escape into the mountainous Tera Pass. As frigid temperatures, crippling injuries, and friction between Brian and Fekiria strain their survival prospects, Brian uncovers a lethal threat against Raptor and is faced with an impossible decision: save Raptor or save Fekiria and the girls. (Romantic Suspense from Barbour Publishing)

Identity Withheld by Sandra Orchard -- After exposing an illegal adoption ring, newly named "Kara Grant" is promised safety in Witness Protection. But someone has found her-and wants her dead. If only she could trust the handsome firefighter who catches her fleeing from a suspicious fire. Jake Steele seems to think she's guilty of burning her own home. But how can she tell him who she really is and what she's been through without bringing danger to the widowed single father's door? Yet with the criminals quickly closing in, taking such a risk might be her only chance at survival. Because the price she'll pay for her silence could be her life. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Secrets and Lies (Redemption's Edge #2) by Janet Sketchley -- Carol Daniels thinks she out-ran her enemies, until a detective arrives at her door with a warning from her convict brother. Minor incidents take on a sinister meaning. An anonymous phone call warns her not to hide again. Now she must cooperate with a drug lord while the police work to trap him. Carol has always handled crisis alone, but this one might break her. Late-night deejay Joey Hill offers friendship and moral support. Can she trust him? One thing's certain. She can't risk prayer. (Romantic Suspense, Independently Published)

Silent Night Standoff by Susan Sleeman -- When armed robbers strike her bank, hostage negotiator Skyler Brennan's life is on the line. Rescue comes from the last person she thought she could count on-the ex-boyfriend who chose his job over their relationship. FBI agent Logan Hunter knows how much is resting on this case. The promotion of his dreams...and the safety of the woman he's never been able to forget. But when an unexpected twist in the case pulls Logan in two separate directions, he'll have to make an impossible choice. Will he manage to have it all by Christmas-a career and love-or will he lose them both? (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Speculative Fiction:

Vanquished by Katie Clark -- When Hana's mom is diagnosed with the mutation, she is denied the medication that might save her life. Fischer, a medic at the hospital, implies there are people who can help-except Hana's not sure she can trust him; Fischer is involved in a religious group, and religion has been outlawed for the last hundred years. Hana embarks on a dangerous journey, seeking the answers Fischer insists are available. When the truth is uncovered does Hana stick to what she knows? Or does she join the rebellion, taking a stand against an untrustworthy society? (Speculative Fiction, Independently Published)

Deliverance by Katie Clark -- Hana is Greater. It's a future she never envisioned for herself, but she's not about to ignore the opportunity she's been given--the opportunity to find answers about her Mom, Jamie, and Fischer. This could be an opportunity to tell others the truth about God and uncover the secrets the Great Supreme has been keeping from their small, struggling nation. When Hana's search brings her to the mysterious prison she's only heard of in rumors, the desire to get inside drives her to dig deeper for answers, but what she uncovers may be bigger than them all. Can she save herself and the others before the Great Supreme realizes what she's doing, or will she give up everyone she loves in her quest for the truth? (Speculative Fiction, Independently Published)

Redeemer by Katie Clark -- In this final chapter of the Enslaved series, Hana is faced not only with a new life, but an entirely new way of thinking. Unexpected friends give insight into who the Greaters truly are. Deciding what to do with this information sends Hana on what may be her very last journey. Ever. (Speculative Fiction, Independently Published)


Triple Threat by H L Wegley -- Two brilliant PhD candidates' discovery of a cyber-terror plot sends them on a dangerous mission, an adventure that spans the Pacific Northwest from the shores of the Olympic Peninsula to the mountains of Whistler, BC, a conspiracy you might read in tomorrow's paper, but pray you never will. (Techno-thriller from White Rose Publishing [Pelican])

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.

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).

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!

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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!!! :)

Amber Schamel Interview

Today we're interviewing historical author Amber Schamel.
Bestselling author Amber Schamel writes riveting stories that bring HIStory to life. She has a passion for history, books and her Savior. This combination results in what her readers call "historical fiction at its finest". A homeschool graduate from a family of 12 children, Amber found her calling early in life. First published at age 21, she has continued to hone her craft. Between ministry, family and working in their family businesses, Amber loves to connect with readers. Find her on the Stitches Thru Time blog, or on any of the major social media sites.

Amber, can you tell us about your new release, The Messiah's Sign?
The Messiah's Sign is the second book in the Days of Messiah series. It follows the storyline of Book One, but from the husband's point of view. Here's what it's about:
Dreams…they shouldn’t bother him, but when Tyrus’ worst nightmare is vindicated, he has no choice but to face reality. His wife has been unfaithful, and God has punished her with the most feared disease in the land: leprosy. Banishing her to the leper colony, Tyrus struggles to raise their son alone and protect him from a merciless outlaw. But when Malon begins following the teacher from Nazareth, what remains of their business and reputation is at stake. Can Tyrus save his son from the beguiling lies of a false Messiah before he loses the only thing he has left?
The book releases on October 16th, so be sure to add it to your To-Read list on Goodreads!

What sparked this story?
Book one started as a short story, but a lot of people told me I should expand it. I picked up the story and began thinking about what the entire story would be like, and that's when the Lord drew back the curtain to show me not only Aaliyah's story at the leper colony, but also the story of her husband and son. Tyrus—as the heartless husband that banishes Aaliyah to the leper colony—is the villain of book one, so I wanted to show readers his side of the story.

What do you want readers to take away from The Messiah's Sign?
As hard as you try, you will never be sufficient on your own. It takes Christ working in you.
For those that have read volume one, I want them to realize that you cannot hate someone until you de-humanize them. The villain of book one becomes the hero of book two, and we see the motivations behind his 'heartless' acts. In truth, Tyrus was doing the best he could. If we can empathize with people in our lives, it will go a LONG way in keeping the roots of bitterness at bay.

What's your favorite genre in which to read?
The same one I write, Christian Historical. But I recently read a Christian cozy mystery that I enjoyed very much. It was The Jane Austen Encounter by Donna F. Crow.
It's the first cozy mystery I've read. I might have found a new genre! Actually, I might have found two...cozy mysteries and Jane Austen based fiction. Lol.

You grew up in a large family, how has that effected your writing?
Obviously growing up in a big family, with a job and a ministry, puts limits on the time I have to spend writing. But honestly, growing up in a big family has benefited me in many, many ways. I have had lots of experience telling stories, I have TONS of story fodder, a lot more people to base characters on, lots of people to observe, emotions to learn from, and on and on. Growing up in a large family has also helped me with public speaking, because it's public speaking every time I ask "please pass the salt."

Do you have a favorite writer?
I really enjoy Susan J. Reinhardt, Max Lucado, Julie Klassen and Francine Rivers.

If you had to come up with a book title to describe your life, what would it be?
Wow, that is a great question! I'm going to start using that one too. ;)
It would either be "But for the Grace of God" or "The Only Thing That's Good in Me is Jesus."

What are you working on next?
I am finishing up a really fun series with three other historical authors on the signers of the Declaration of Independence.
I'm also setting to work on a Christmas story set during the Civil War entitled The Christmas Pardon.
In the aftermath of the Civil War, a young lawyer battles with the U.S. Supreme court. In what seemed to be a Christmas miracle, he had secured a pardon for his friend from Lincoln himself. The army executed the boy anyway. On the fifteenth anniversary of his death, will the lawyer finally clear his friends name and bring justice to his memory?

I'm running a giveaway for a fan to pick the name of my two main characters! You can enter the giveaway here.

Thank you for joining us today, Amber.
Thank you for hosting me! It's been a pleasure. I'd like to invite each of you to join me in celebrating my new release with the Name-A-Character Giveaway! Enter to for a chance to pick the name of a main character in Amber's upcoming book The Christmas Pardon. Terms and conditions apply.

In the aftermath of the Civil War, a young lawyer battles with the U.S. Supreme court. In what seemed to be a Christmas miracle, he had secured a pardon for his friend from Lincoln himself. The army executed the boy anyway. On the fifteenth anniversary of his death, will the lawyer finally clear his friends name and bring justice to his memory?
Click this photo above to ENTER!

Ane Mulligan Interview

Hi, Ane! Welcome to the Sweet South Blog! :)
Give us a couple sentences describing what you write.

My brand is Southern-fried fiction, and I write women's fiction set in the South. The "fried" part is the humor in my stories.

How would you label the overall mood of your stories: dark, gritty, poignant, sensitive, heart-warming, raucous, light, fresh, funny, educational, adventurous, witty, passionate, reminiscent, sweet, forceful, eye-opening.

Definitely light, funny, but there is always a message in my stories or seeds of God's truths planted in the plot.

What is the name of your latest book?

It's my debut book: Chapel Springs Revival


Chapel Springs Revival

With a friend like Claire, you need a gurney, a mop, and a guardian angel.

Everybody in the small town of Chapel Springs, Georgia, knows best friends Claire and Patsy. It's impossible not to, what with Claire's zany antics and Patsy's self-appointed mission to keep her friend out of trouble. And trouble abounds. Chapel Springs has grown dilapidated and the tourist trade has slackened. With their livelihoods threatened, they join forces to revitalize the town. No one could have guessed the real issue needing restoration is personal.

With their marriages in as much disarray as the town, Claire and Patsy embark on a mission of mishaps and miscommunication, determined to restore warmth to Chapel Springs —and their lives. That is if they can convince their husbands and the town council, led by two curmudgeons who would prefer to see Chapel Springs left in the fifties and closed to traffic.

Sounds exciting! Using any celebrity, past or present, whom would you cast as your main characters?

Funny you ask. I'm a visual writer, so I always find photos that look like the character I'm creating. I normally never use celebrities for this. But in Chapel Springs Revival, my character is like Diane Keaton as JC in the movie Baby Boom. My character, Claire, lives without filters. She moves without thinking, dragging herself and others into calamity.

What is the theme of your story and how did you come to it? Any real-life inspiration?

Miscommunication in marriage. Years ago, I heard a young woman complaining about her husband. Let's face it; we all joke about men coming from Mars and women from Venus, but that's not what she was doing. She was stirring the water in a bitter well.

Another time in church, I overheard another conversation (yes, I'm a writer and I tend to eavesdrop). It went something like this:

"I just learned that God has the perfect mate all picked out for each of us, and we're supposed to pray to find that person."

"Yeah, so?"

"I didn't do that! I didn't know. So, that must mean John isn't the one God wants me married to."

Uh-oh. The conversation went on to include all the things her husband did wrong and the word "divorce." I later pulled her aside for a "Titus 2:4" moment.

I now had a seed of an idea. I brainstormed with a friend about a woman who, when she became a Christian, thought life and her marriage would be included in the new creation part. But her thighs are just as big, her husband as ornery as ever, and he still won't go to church with her. Toss in a BFF whose husband had grown non-communicative and was never home, and I had the foundation for a story.

A sneak peek into what you're working on right now?

The third book in the Chapel Lake series is called tentatively The Dreamkeeper. A best-selling author's latest book has bombed. While the reviewers are happily skewering her, her racecar-driver-husband, who just told her he's leaving her, didn't pay the lease and she's evicted. He neglected to tell her he also drained the their bank accounts. When his affair hits the papers, her publisher cancels her contract. Homeless and penniless, she and her little boy have no choice but to retreat to the house she'd inherited from her grandmother. A house that's been gutted. Then, a stranger knocks on her door. One that will change the course of her life. 

Describe your writing space.

We recently redid the front room (more of an unused parlor) into my office. It has a floor-to-ceiling arched window that overlooks the front garden. I let my husband tend that, since I have ten black thumbs. On the opposite wall stands a huge bookcase, with cabinets below. I have my mother's old antique Singer sewing maching cabinet as my printer stand, and an old 4-globed chandalier of hers over my writing chair.

What do you do for a break if you find yourself overwhelmed with writing pressures?

I check Facebook, post something on different social media, and then I play solitare. It's mindless, which I am at that point. I know soon enough my characters begin to talk to me again and let me know what was wrong with the story.

Do you blog? If so, leave us the address.

My blog is on the front page of my website which is

Now some fun stuff about you... :)

On a dream research trip, where would you go? What would you ask to see/experience first?

Savannah, GA or Charleston, SC. Those are two places I love and want to set a story in. They're quintessentially Southern.

When you read, do you prefer paperback, e-book, or audio? Why?

My preference is paperback, although I like my e-reader and use it quite a bit. It's especially good to put my own or my crit partners' work on to see how it reads as a book instead of a single chapter. When driving a long distance, I always get an audio book, though. It's great for that, but I have to be able to spend at least a couple of hours listening to it.

 Author bio.

While a large, floppy straw hat is her favorite, Ane has worn many different ones: hairdresser, legislative affairs director (that's a fancy name for a lobbyist), drama director, playwright, humor columnist, and novelist. Her lifetime experience provides a plethora of fodder for her Southern-fried fiction (try saying that three times fast). She firmly believes coffee and chocolate are two of the four major food groups. President of the award-winning literary site, Novel Rocket, Ane resides in Suwanee, GA, with her artist husband, her chef son, and two very large dogs.

Thanks for having me, Natalie! I hope your readers will stop by my website and see what they can do to be entered in the drawing for prizes.

Here's how it works: 

1. Each day of my blog tour that you leave a comment here on my blog, with your answer to the bonus question(s), you get a point (for each question answered).
2. Leave a comment on each of the blogs I'm on that day, and each one will earn you another point. (If I'm on 3 blogs that day, and you leave a comment on each of them, you'll get 3 points.)
3. If you post on your Facebook page that you have commented on a blog I'm on, tag me, and give the link, you get 2 extra points.
4. Tweet the same as #3, giving the link, and you get 2 more points.
5. Google+ the same as #3, and you'll get 2 more points. 

There is a possible 8 points for each blog I’m on each day. If I’m on 3 blogs, that’s a possible 24 points that day.