Beyond I Do is contemporary romance about a pharmaceutical representative who, in her quest for security, has lost sight of whom God created her to be. Raised by a hedonist mother, who cycles through jobs and relationships like wrapping paper on Christmas morning, Ainsley Meadows falls into a predictable and safe relationship with Richard, a self-absorbed socialite psychiatrist. But as her wedding nears, a battered woman and her child spark a long-forgotten dream and ignite a hidden passion. One that threatens to change everything, including her fiancé. To embrace God’s best and find true love, this security-seeking bride must follow God with reckless abandon and realize that marriage goes Beyond I Do.
Of all the characters in your book, do you resemble in anyway one of them? How?
You know, there’s a bit of me in every character I craft. As I write, I always tap into whatever experience or emotion resembles whatever my characters face. That allows me to understand them on a deeper level. However, in many ways I most relate to Ainsely as I, too, fought my calling for some time, allowing a desire for security to overshadow my surrender. Praise God, true joy and fulfillment–the abundant life Christ promised–begins and is sustained by full surrender.
I hope Ainsley learns this as well.
How many books do you have published?
This is my debut, though I have two other novels (and hopefully many more!) following.
I hope so too. 🙂 What is next for you?
As I mentioned, I have two other novels contracted and scheduled to follow Beyond I Do, so I’m working on edits for those. I’ve also proposed a sequel tentatively titled Freedom To Love and am in the plotting stage of a third book in this series. So, God willing, readers might get even more of Ainsley and her friends and family in the years to come. J
Did you or do you have anything fun planned for this summer?
Considering this summer is almost over—wow, how did that happen?—our plans are largely finished, but I’ve had a great summer. We went on vacation over the Fourth and had a blast. Missed the fireworks, but still had a great time enjoying new foods—I tried alligator—frequent desserts and live shows. In case you’re wondering, we went to Branson, MO, one of our favorite vacation locations. Very family friendly with lots to do.
Yikes alligator! You are more adventurous than me.
Do you have a favorite spot in which to write?
My favorite spot or where and how I should write? 😉 I struggle with chronic pain and am learning my preferred spot to write—in a recliner—is not the best for my body. Transitioning to a more spine-supporting location, I’ve moved to a coffee table with a raising top and a medicine ball for a chair. Although I still migrate to my recliner on occasion.
If you weren’t a writer what do you think you would be doing?
You know, I’m not sure. Writing really wasn’t on my radar until the past decade or so. I wanted to go into fulltime ministry. But God continually closed those doors, directing me toward writing.
Now, almost ten years later, I can see His merciful, gracious hand in this. Since then, I’ve developed two chronic illnesses that can make things challenging. There are days where standing—actually, life in general—is a struggle. Had I followed a traditional career path, I probably would’ve had to quit. But the beauty of writing is it can be done anywhere and largely on my time schedule. If I’m not feeling well, I’ll stay in bed and work on edits or perhaps conducting research.
To me, this journey has been a reminder of God’s wisdom, mercy, and grace. Though I don’t believe He caused my illnesses, (those are the result of living in a fallen world), He knew they were coming and made a way for me to remain productive and fulfilled, even on my worst days. Still makes me teary when I think of this. Isn’t He amazing?
Yes He is! Thanks for sharing, Jennifer.
Okay, everyone, Jennifer is giving away one copy of her book Beyond I Do. If you’d like to be entered for a chance to win, please leave a comment.
Rules: Drawing is open to USA mailing addresses only. Drawing ends August 10th. The winner will be notified by me via email August 11th. The winner will have until August 17th to respond or forfeit the book. No new winner will be drawn. Void where prohibited by law.
Jennifer Slattery writes Missional Romance for New Hope Publishers, a publishing house passionate about bringing God’s healing grace and truth to the hopeless. Her debut novel, Beyond I Do, is currently available for preorder at a 26% off discount. You can find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Beyond-I-Do-Jennifer-Slattery/dp/1596694173/
Visit with Jennifer online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.